Reflections of Shattered Memories

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
What would it be like if it were possible to place your mind in a copy of the woman you loved? Would it be the best of all worlds or not?

A VERY short piece exploring this sf idea.

Submitted: April 24, 2007

A A A | A A A

Submitted: April 24, 2007




"How do you love me?" she says.  Her dark eyes dance.

"Like this.  And this.  And this," he says, and plants a trail of kisses down her sun-warmed body.

Her laughter turns to soft moans and they make love on the warm, white sand.

When they finish, she opens her eyes and he sees himself trapped within them.

"What do you see when you look at me?" she says

But the incoming tide drowns out his answer.


Samendahl wakes alone in his bed.  It's 5:48.

He showers, soaping and rinsing without looking at the body he wears.  He is drying the dark, thick, wiry hair he used to love bunching in his hands, trying to bring it to some order, wondering if Idiri - no, he won't think about her - when the summons comes.  It is 6:15.

His palms are sweaty when he goes to enter the connecting suite.  H rubs them against the skirt and feels the silk slide against his thighs.  It is the red skirt Dahl and he like best. 

Who will be waiting on the other side, he wonders.  The scientist, the lover, the child?  He wonders every morning.

Samendahl opens the door.

"Good morning, Samendahl."

He breathes then.  It's all right.  It's Dahl.

Dahl is sitting beside the table already laid for breakfast.  He is shaved and the graying hair is fresh cut.  His white shirt is crisp and his jeans are neatly pressed.  His brown eyes are alert and intelligent.  He is handsome in a distinguished way.  Samendahl wonders if this is how he always looked, or does he just notice it more now.  He pours a glass of orange juice and holds it out to Samendahl.  "Juice, Samendahl."

Samendahl hates his name.  It was his grandfather's.  He never liked his grandfather.  But he must be called something and Dahl is already Dahl, and he does not like Sam, so Samendahl he must be.  It is not something he, Dahl, thought about before.

Samendahl takes the juice and sits down.  Dahl begins shooting unified equations at him.  Samendahl throws them back with changes.

Their identical plates of scrambled eggs, tomato bits, fired ham slices, and toast with orange marmalade go uneaten, grow cold.  The droid server waits in energy conservation mode for them to finish.  It is used to it.

At times like this, when one idea sparks another and another and the answer is getting closer Samendahl forgets the face Dahl wears and the body he wears it is just one mind asking and answering itself the way it was meant to be.

Dahl says, "But you must be tired of listening to this, Idiri.  We'll speak of something else."

It is 1:36.

Samendahl grows cold.  His stomach knots.  He says through dry lips, "As you will, Dahl."

Dahl's brain is dying.  There is no cure.  But Dahl's mind must be saved.  It is a wonder of the world. 

Samendahl is the clone of Dahl's mind.  Everything that Dahl is and was, Samendahl is and was.  They are the same.

That is not true.  Samendahl does not have Dahl's body.  Samendahl has a woman's body.  The woman Idiri.  Idiri, the woman Dahl loved.  The woman Samendahl loved.  But Idiri left Dahl. She did not understand him.  She did not love him enough.She left Dahl before Samendahl was ‘born'.  But Samendahl remembers how it hurt Dahl, hurt him.

Dahl has someone who understands him now.  He has Samendahl.  And when he forgets, he has the woman he loves.  He has Idiri.

But Samendahl never forgets.  Idiri is gone and there is only Samendahl and Dahl.

Dahl covers Samendahl's hand with his own.  It is big and warm.  Samendahl shivers.

"Are you cold?" Dahl asks.  "I can make you warm."

Samendahl can see Idiri in Dahl's eyes.  He feels like he is drowning and he wonders, if he sinks into that Idiri in Dahl's eyes will he be one with her or Dahl? 

Did she feel this way, he wonders.  Did she feel this mix of excitement and fear at Dahl's touch?  Did she want Dahl to touch her or did she endure as Samendahl endures?

Dahl's hand is hot through the silk on Samendahl's thigh.

Samendahl remembers the feel of Idiri's skin beneath his hand, the scent of her arousal, the feel of her around him.  He groans and his body, her body comes to life.

They make love slowly, Samendahl and Dahl, lost in memories, Idiri between them.


"Why do you love him?"

He watches the woman in the mirror.  She does not answer.  She continues brushing and pinning the thick, wiry hair he loves to fist in his hands when they make love.

He feels cold fear and hot anger and he does not know which is stronger.  He asks again.  "Why do you love him? "and watches himself watch her in the mirror.

She puts down the brush, but she does not turn.  Instead she looks into the glass to meet his reflected eyes.  "He sees me," she says.

She walks away and he is alone with himself in the glass.

Dahl has forgotten Samendahl.  "Idiri," he says, always "Idiri".  He is lost in time, making new memories from old.

He does not talk to Samendahl.  He talks at him, never asking what Samendahl thinks, never saying what he thinks.

Samendahl no longer knows what Dahl is thinking.  They are individual minds, not one mind in two bodies.

Samendahl wonders if it was like this before.  Wonders if Idiri felt this way.

He wants to say to Dahl, "Look at me.  It's me, Samendahl!" but he cannot.  He cannot bear to see the confused and lost expression on Dahl's face.  It frightens Samendahl when he sees that expression.

He sees Idiri through the store window.  She is alone.  She is smiling.  She does not see him.

He reaches for her, but the glass is in the way.  She comes nearer, still not seeing him, her image blotting out his reflection until there is only Idiri.

Samendahl stares at the doctor.  If he looks hard enough he will see the medidroid is joking, that it did not say what Samendahl heard him say.

"Do you understand?" The medidroid shows concern.  Its malleable gelface flows into creases of concern and sympathy as its programming tells it to do.

Samendahl can see his reflection in the metal cabinet, stretched, distorted, as in a fun house mirror.

"Do you understand?" the medidroid says again.  It does not care.  It diagnoses and delivers its reports, but it does not care; it only follows its programming.

Samendahl nods because that is what the medidroid wants.

The medidroid's gelface slides back into placidity.  It has performed its duty.  "The recepcon will inform you of your next appointment.  Thank you for using our medical services," it says.  It rolls away to the next client transferring this visit to its main memory storage unit.  Samendahls case ‘forgotten' until it needs to be recalled.

Samendahl can not forget.  He walks home slowly.  Inside he is numb.

He stops at a café and orders cherry chocolate chip ice cream.  He is licking the last drop from the spoon when he remembers he does not like cherry chocolate chip.  Idiri liked cherry chocolate chip ice cream.

The server sweeps the broken spoon into the trash after Samendahl is gone.

Samendahl shivers as Dahl places butterfly light kisses over the slight swell of his abdomen.  His eyes burn as he watches tears flow down Dahl's face.  He's happy, Samendahl thinks, and he wonders why.  He never wanted children.  Samendahl knows this.  They are one.  Why is Dahl pretending?  He is pretending, isn't he?

 He knows Dahl.  He is Dahl.  If he isn't Dahl, who is he? 

Dahl pulls him into his arms and Samendahl does not resist.  He is cold, empty. 

He makes love eagerly, frantically, seeing warmth and wholeness.  He looks into Dahl's eyes.  They are opaque. 

Idiri wakes in Dahl's arms.  It is 5:48.


"How do you love me?" she says.

"Like this.  And this.  And this," he says as he plants a trail of kisses down her sun-warmed body.

Her laughter turns to soft moans and they make love on the warm, white sand.

When they finish, he opens his eyes and she sees herself, her stomach round with child, trapped within them.

"What do you see when you look at me?" she says.

She hears his words above the onrushing tide.  "The other part of me."

© Copyright 2018 Acton Bell. All rights reserved.

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