Summary: Some memories are inescapable, some are intangible.
Competition entry for the broken world fic. Go support your DA writers. www [dot] x [dot]thebrokenworld [dot] org
The Challenge was to take a sentence and write for fully five minutes without stopping for punctuation, spelling etc. Then finish it off, clean it up and post.
The memory burns. It's always the same; a pretty brunette, a hug, a kiss—pure unadulterated rage and then pain, static and nothing.
I wake up in a cold sweat not knowing why the image hurts so much. Not knowing who the girl is that smiles so sweetly, why she seems so important or why there was so much pain.
Of course, there's so much that don't know—amnesia will do that for you.
All I know us what I'm told and even that is up for speculation and interpretation. I seem to have an almost instinctive hatred for authority and an aptitude for numbers. Why? I don't know. I wish I did but the emotions aren't mine. All I get are snatches, brief fragments of a life that I know I should know but don't. A life that doesn't make sense, a life I should get back to... if I knew how.
Buddy tells me that my name is Adam—but that doesn't feel right either. I'm no more Adam than I am Sam.
Sam. That name grabs me and hovers at the corner of my attention—a balding man, a white lab coat.
The memory burns— intangible yet so very real.
I can't grasp it before it fades and I am left with clenched fists of annoyance and hopelessness. Why can't I remember? I know I can, I know I want to; although the image of the white lab coats more than unnerve me.
Still, Buddy and Mary do their best for me, its nice to eat three square meals a day and I know what its like to go hungry. I don't know HOW I know but I do. Stomach cramps, arms aching, holding breath, blackness, too tired to move but always on the lookout for the enemy.
What enemy? Do I have enemies? Why am I always alert, always aware? I even seem to sleep on the edge and wake up with every creak and crack of the dusty old mill house that I'm told has been my home for the past three years. Three years that I don't remember.
Buddy says I had some military training which would explain the constant alertness, the echo of drills and march of footsteps. But it doesn't explain the perfect memory of sixteen children in military khakis, sitting on bunks, making hand shadows against a wall.
No army recruits six year olds.
But those faces in the memory, those children, every time I see them I feel this urge like there is something that I am supposed to do, something that I am supposed to be doing.
It's urgent, it's ingrained— it's elusive.
Like the memory of the girl with a big smile and doe eyes. She especially tugs at my mind filling with me frustration at the fact that I can't remember, I just can't. Argh.
Buddy says I'm trying too hard and that the answers will eventually come. That'd be nice, I'd like answers. Answers to why I'm much stronger that I appear, much faster, much smarter.
Why I can lift the tractor with my bare hands.
Why I can see a falling apple from halfway across the orchard, let alone catch it.
Why the words "Heat" and "Ninja" make me smile, yet the words "Deck" and "Solitary" make my hands tremble.
Why I'm fascinated by bar codes on food boxes and why, if I'm such a great farm hand, I hate cows.
I have a suspicion that Buddy knows more than he's letting on. Something tells me to trust my instincts and watch him closer than he watches me. But I'd sure like to know why he won't let me watch the news or go to town without him. Why I have to have laser treatment once a month on the back of my neck supposedly to help with the memory loss.
I don't trust him. But something tells me that that is nothing new. I shouldn't get too attached to him or the farm. I
t's all phoney sentimentality anyway.
I should leave, I should be leaving. The enemies that I don't know might be looking for me. Is this why I'm here? Is this why I hide? I don't know and so I'll stay, I want the answers but will I get them if I leave?
So, for now, I'm content to lie low and know that, like the identity of the girl in my dreams, I'll eventually remember it all.
Until then I'll dream of her.
Her bright smile, glittering eyes and welcoming arms. A flash of soft cheeks in firelight. Wine and candles and silky hair, lips almost touching. A flash of lightning, squeak of wheels and pure fury. Pain—so much pain and a jolt of electricity.
I wake up covered in sweat.
The memory burns.
I just wish I could remember what it is.