Disclaimer: Jasper Fforde owns the Thursday Next saga, and all of the characters therein

AN: this ficlet occurs between The Eyre Affair and Lost in a Good Book. I wrote this a few years ago, but there was no appropriate category on ffn so I stuck it in a folder and forgot about it. Rating for some language and vague descriptions of violence.

Memory by shrinni

Aornis stared at her reflection. A short, attractive blonde stared back at her. At least, Aornis thought she was attractive.

No one had ever told her she was pretty. Even her own family was sometimes unsure of what she looked like exactly, and strangers never remembered her at all unless she wanted them to.

Except for Acheron. Acheron always had a special smile and a wink for his younger sister. On her birthdays he told her she was beautiful and got her a thoughtful gift, usually an exceptional and exciting memory of torturing someone he especially liked.

He always shared his interesting memories with her. None of the other Hades' considered it, they got her normal gifts like sweaters and weapons. She watched their memories anyway, but it wasn't the same.

Acheron had been the one to comfort Aornis when she came home from her second day of school crying because no one could remember her name, because none of her new friends recognized her. Acheron was the first to realize that she was a mnemonomorph. He was the one to call their aunt, the only other mnemonomorph in the family, so she could teach Aornis.

Acheron had always taken care of her and because of that he was the only person to whom she never lied, the one person whose memories she had never made lie to him. He shared his memories willingly with her, and when he asked her to scramble and opponent for him she did it happily.

They had been a team for some time, reveling in anarchy and performing evil acts of derring-do that left them breathless with excitement. They had killed, stolen, and sunk to the lowest moral state a human can exist on.

It was the most fun Aornis had ever had.

She didn't know why Acheron didn't ask her to lend a hand in the hostage-taking of Chuzzlewit and Jane Eyre. That he hadn't dropped any hint to her had stung, a little. She had been rooting for him of course, because he was her brother and she never liked Jane Eyre anyway (the ending was so disappointing).

And then he had gotten himself killed by some second rate SpecOps. Who then went on not only to improve the ending of Jane Eyre, but to make the Hades name common like they were some normal, high-profile criminals.

They were high-profile criminals, but that wasn't the point.

Aornis suddenly punched her mirror, cracking the glass and sending small shards cascading into the sink. Her reflection was now split and disjointed, staring grimly back at her with 4 different pairs of eyes.

Shards of glass... shards of memory... Shards are all I have left of Acheron now.

Her knuckles were bleeding a little, Aornis didn't care. She just stared at her fragmented image.

I walk in other peoples' memories, I watch and I play and I can twist them until they're nothing like what I started with. The mind is my playground... it's where I love to be... isn't it?

Isn't it?

For years Aornis had been content with her powers. Search, play, change, mutilate, and destroy. It had been fun when Acheron was there.

It was shocking to realize that it wasn't enough. Without Acheron, cavorting in other peoples minds just didn't have the same appeal.

She didn't know whether she was angrier at Thursday Next for killing Acheron or for making her realize that she was unhappy with her life. Either way it didn't matter.

That bitch is going to pay.