“When are we?”
“Do you mean where?” She knew word choice could be difficult. “Or what time is it?”
He grabbed her shoulders. “What year?”
“Now, now.” Her heart raced, her exterior remained calm; his mind was not his own. “It’s 2019, December.”
He let go. “Twenty... nineteen? No...” He began to tremble. “It’s too early.”
His eyes went glassy with tears. “The drugs don’t exist yet. Time travel, see, taxes the brain; temporal drag wreaks havoc, degenerative, ongoing.”
“Of course,” she nodded. His past was unknown, a mystery patient, but they all guessed sci-fi nerd, before the dementia.
Author bio: Over the past year and a half (ish) John Xero has had a daughter (adventurous, bright, contrary), changed careers (to care work, with dementia) and taken up aquascaping (soon to include fish)... He wonders why he struggles to find time for his old (but still real) passions, of writing and reading...
Occasional twittering: twitter.com/xeroverse
Blog (in desperate need of new content): xeroverse.com
Instagram (surprisingly active): instagram.com/johnxero
Degeneration is part of 101 Fiction issue 25.