Where had he been before? He remembered water. Nothing more.
“What are you doing here?”
Isaac turned and his heart jumped. There was someone right next to him. How did he miss that? “What?” he asked.
“Why are you here?” the boy asked again. He was just as tall as Isaac, but his legs were furry and he had two bumps on his head, just where his forehead met his hair. His feet didn’t look the same as Isaac’s either.
Isaac thought for a moment. “I don’t remember. I don’t even remember my name.”
“That’s normal here.”
It was a little scary, not being able to remember anything. Did he hit his head? He nervously patted his head, his arms, his legs. All was fine, until something made a crinkling noise. He found something folded and flat and covered in markings. What was it for?
“What’s that?” the boy asked. “Can I see it?” He held out a hand.
Isaac handed him the paper. “I don’t remember what it is.”
“I think I’ve seen something like this before, but I don’t remember when.” The boy gave it back to Isaac.
Isaac folded it up and put it away. “Why can’t I remember?”
The boy laughed. “No one can. Not here. We have to go that way.” He pointed towards a darkly shadowed path.
Isaac didn’t like the look of it. “Why that way?”
“To remember. It’s too bad you don’t remember why you’re here. Sometimes people remember.”
“What people?” Isaac asked, looking around.
“I don’t remember.” The boy started walking. Isaac followed him.
Isaac wasn’t sure why he felt nervous when he couldn’t see well. Would he know when he could remember? “What am I scared of?”
“I don’t know,” the boy said. “If I can’t remember me, I certainly won’t be able to remember you.”
“Will you remember me when we can remember?”
“Will I remember what?”
“Will you remember the things I’ve forgotten?” Isaac asked. He couldn’t remember if that was normal or not.
“Not here and not there, but maybe somewhere,” the boy said. “Who knows?”
“Are you scared?” Isaac asked.
“I remember… I remember that I like to laugh. Can you remember anything funny?” the boy asked.
They walked a little further through the patches of light and darkness, stumbling over small obstacles and skirting around larger ones. The patches of light grew larger and larger. Suddenly, Isaac remembered. “Orange you glad I didn’t say banana,” he said suddenly.
“What?” The boy looked confused.
“It’s a joke. My name is Isaac, and I’m looking for a party, and I remembered a joke.” He grinned and looked at the boy. “Are you a goat-boy?”
“I’m a faun, not a goat-boy. My name is Timmons. Your joke isn’t very funny, you know.”
“That’s because it wasn’t the whole joke. Just the ending. That’s what I remembered first,” Isaac said. “The joke really is funny. Well, it might not be as funny if you already know the ending.”
“You’re not very good at telling jokes. You should tell the beginning first and save the ending for last.”
Isaac felt his face heat up with embarrassment. “I know that. If you’re so good at telling jokes, you tell one.”
Timmons shrugged. “Fine. Why did the doe give the faun an umbrella?”
“I don’t know. Why?”
“In case of reindeer.” Timmons laughed.
Isaac looked confused. “I don’t get it.”
“Well I won’t explain it to you. That ruins the joke. Maybe you’ll get it later.” The faun stopped walking and turned to face Isaac. “Unless you’re looking for a party of one, your party isn’t here.”
“How do you know?”
Timmons smiled. “I can remember things here, outside of the jungle, and I know you’re the only new person I’ve seen here in a while. I think I would have noticed a party.”
Isaac took the map out of his pocket. There were now three islands marked with an x. “Do you know how to get to another island?”
Timmons looked at the map. “When the tide is low, you can walk over to that island on a sandbar.” He pointed to an island at the center of the map with a picture of two houses.
“When will that be?” Isaac looked out at the water. It looked just as deep here as it did anywhere else.
“In the evening. Would you like to come to my house for lunch while you wait?”
Suddenly, Isaac was starving. “I’d love to. I can tell you some jokes while we wait.”
The faun smiled. “That sounds like fun. As long as you remember to start at the beginning first.”
“I told you that I know how to tell jokes!”
Timmons laughed. After a moment, Isaac laughed too.