Relatively Dead

by Alan Cook

Chapter 1

Nobody knows the value of family like the person who doesn’t have one.
I’m speaking from experience. I didn’t have any relatives for many
weeks last year. That’s when I had amnesia. My name is Carol Golden.
Well, it’s not my real name. It’s what I called myself when I didn’t
know what my real name was. Now I like it better than my real name.

When I recovered my identity (but not my memory) I found one of my
relatives—my grandmother, Elizabeth Horton. My parents and my brother,
Michael, were dead. Recently, I’d learned about another line of
relatives who were cousins of Grandma, which meant they were my
cousins, also. I talked to one of them—Jason Boyd—on the phone, and
promised to visit him in California at some nebulous future date.

Now, a few days later, I was standing in front of the counter at
Raleigh-Durham Airport, checking a single suitcase and preparing to
go through security and face scrutiny and possible humiliation at the
hands (literally) of the TSA staff. I was on my way to California
to visit Jason Boyd.

However, it wasn’t a happy occasion. The day before I’d learned his
grandson—also named Jason—had been murdered. I’d found relatives and
already lost one of them. Grandma told me I’d never met either Jason.
It didn’t matter. Call it a compulsion to collect relatives born from
my amnesia, but I couldn’t not go.

Copyright ©2012 Alan L. Cook

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