Blurred Memories

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
When a young girl is shot by her babysitter, she mistakenly ends up in the world of the dead. All of her memories have disappeared. Lucky for her, a bad guy with a good heart is very knowledgable when it comes to magic and memories. After mistaking her for a dead girl and trying to drag her away, he has to help her regain her memories and return to the living. But will he be able to pull it off?

This story in no way reflects my beliefs about what happens after death.

Sorry if Booksie centers this weird and/or screws up all the italics. Booksie has been fighting with my iPad non-stop today. :/ By the way, there's one part of this story that looks as if it's in another language, but I promise, it's English. Can anyone tell what it says?

This is for Ikky & Skye's competition (Booksie's Got Talent).

Submitted: June 14, 2014

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Submitted: June 14, 2014

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I feel two strong hands shove me toward the hard concrete wall. My head hits the surface with a sickening crack. I moan in pain as the room starts spinning.

As if my head hasn't suffered enough trauma, I feel cool metal against my left temple. I know what's about to happen.

"Brock," I gasp. "Please, no!"

He ignores my pleas. I try to scream for help, but my cry is cut short. The trigger is pulled, and my body goes limp as the blackness consumes me.

******


I wake up to the darkness. I can't see a thing. I don't know where I am, and even worse, I don't know who I am.

I struggle to recall anything about myself or why I'm here, but I just can't. Tears well up in my eyes. I am completely and utterly lost, in more ways than one.

Suddenly, I feel someone grab my wrist. I scream, but to no avail. Before I know it, I'm being dragged across the hard ground.

"Let me go!" I continue to yell, hoping that this "someone" will leave me be. "Go away! Please, just leave me here!"

The dragging stops for a moment. Maybe my captor will let me go?

"I will not harm you. I am not allowed."

And, with that oh-so-comforting thought in mind, the dragging continues. Tears slide down my face as I sob. I strain against my captor, but I am not strong enough to do any good.

Once again, there is a pause. "Why do you resist? Do you not realize that you are dead?"

"No," I whimper. "I don't even remember what 'dead' means." 

"You do not?" 

"No!"

My captor groans. "You have got to be kidding..."

Two fingers gently press into the inside of my wrist. I frown in confusion.

"What are you doing?"

My captor ignores the question and mutters, "She is not kidding."

"What do you mean? None of this makes sense to me," I complain.

"As it shouldn't," comes the reply. "Wait here, and do not move. I will be back."

"You're going to leave me here, alone?" My voice is filled with worry.

"Do not be afraid. Nothing will harm you in my absence."

And with that, the fingers leave my wrist. I still can't see through the darkness, but I can sense my captor walking away. I whimper. I know what my captor said, but I'm still scared to be alone. 

I hug my knees to my chest. I'm struggling not to cry. I still don't remember who I am, but I'm starting to think that I'm not a very emotionally stable person.

After a long while, I hear footsteps approaching me. I realize that two people are coming toward me, not just one.

When they reach me, one kneels on each side of me. The new person speaks first. 

"What is your name?"

I look to my left, where the voice is coming from. I still can't see anything. 

"I don't know."

"Do you know your age?"

I frown, trying to remember. The tears threaten to fall. Finally, I say, "No."

The voice is starting to sound annoyed. "Well what do you know?"

My voice shakes as I whisper, "Nothing."

I lose the struggle, and a tear slips out. I quickly wipe it away, thinking that no one will notice. After all, nothing is visible in this darkness. 

Apparently one of them noticed. I feel a hand on my shoulder. 

"Please," says the voice of my captor. "Do not cry." 

I realize that the voice is shaky and sounds upset. I turn to my right, wishing I could see. 

I ask, "Have you been crying?"

I don't get a response. Instead, my captor starts talking to the person to my left. 

"What are we going to do with her? She is still alive! How did she even get here if she is not dead?"

The person to my left replies, "I assume she is in some sort of a coma. We will need to find a way to return her memories to her. Whatever put her on the brink of death obviously made her lose her memories."

"Then why are we trying to return her memories to her? It is not as if we took them. Why must we return them?"

"We owe her. We've obviously terrified the poor girl."

I eventually stop listening, because none of the conversation makes sense to me. Instead, I focus on the sound of the voices. 

My captor has a deeper voice than me. The voice is almost always calm and even. My captor speaks kind of loudly, though. I don't like the loudness. 

The other person has a higher pitched voice. Like my captor, this person has a calm, steady voice. They speak quietly, and I like that. This voice is nice for me to listen to. It sounds much better than that of my captor.

Honestly, I really don't think my captor is actually a captor anymore. I guess I've just been using "my captor" as a nickname since I don't know my captor's real name. I'm now curious about my captor's name. 

I blurt out, "What's your name?"

The person to my left, the one with the higher pitched voice, asks, "Who are you talking to?"

"Both of you."

"I am Clarence," says the one who was previously my captor.

"I am Violet," says the one to my left. 

"Okay," I say, and they go back to their conversation.

Eventually, I feel someone gently shaking my shoulders. I realize that I'm lying down. 

"You fell asleep," says Clarence. "Time to get up."

I yawn and sit up. It's still dark. Tiredly, I ask Clarence why it's always so dark. 

Clarence asks, "You cannot see?"

I frown. "No. You can?"

"Yes. Now come here."

"Um, where? I still can't see."

"Oh," Clarence says. "Right."

Clarence takes a seat next to me. A hand is laid over my eyes.

"What are you–"

"Just trust me."

After a few seconds, I feel my eyes start to heat up. It feels like Clarence's hand is burning my eyelids.

"Uh, Clarence?"

"Don't worry, the heat is normal."

I nod. I try to ignore the heat, but it become too painful. Tears start streaming down my face. 

"I am almost done," assures Clarence.

After another thirty seconds of agony, Clarence's hand is removed from my tightly closed eyes. Slowly, the pain recedes. Eventually, I'm able to open my eyes.

Now I can see perfectly. Clarence is sitting to my right, and I turn to face him. 

My eyes widen with this realization. Him.

"You're a man!"

Clarence raises his eyebrows, and it looks like he's struggling not to smile. 

"You did not realize this before?"

I shake my head. "Before, I didn't even remember the meaning of the word 'man'. I think regaining my vision jogged my memory!"

His eyes widen. "Do you remember who you are?"

"I'm not sure. Let's see." I focus for a moment, trying to remember. Unfortunately, I still draw a blank. "Nope. Still nothing."

"Hm."

We stay silent for a moment. Then I ask, "Where's Violet?"

"She has other, more significant things to do," says Clarence. "It is just us now."

"Oh, okay."

I'm not really sure if I like the idea of being alone with him, but I don't really have a choice. He seemed scary when I first met him, but he hasn't hurt me... So far. I guess I don't know what to make of him.

He asks, "Can I try something?"

I hesitate, then say, "Um, sure."

"Close your eyes, then."

I raise my eyebrows. "This won't hurt?"

He smiles. "No."

"Good," I reply. 

I close my eyes. Clarence touches my forehead, and I instantly feel tired. I try to open my eyes, but they're too heavy.

"Clarence," I murmur sleepily. "What're you doing?"

He says, "That is not your concern. Just relax."

I nod. After a few seconds, I'm asleep.


********


I open my eyes. I realize that I'm in Clarence's arms. When he sees that I'm awake, he smiles. 

"Good morning. Have a nice rest?"

"Yep," I say. "But why did you put me to sleep?"

"So we could travel here. It is hard to transport a living being from reality to reality, especially when you're going back in time. Having the living being asleep makes it a bit easier."

"Huh?"

"Do not worry about it," he says. "You needn't understand such things yet."

I frown, still trying to understand what he said earlier. "Are you magic?"

Clarence chuckles. "In a way."

I'm getting very confused, so I change the subject. "So why are we here, anyway? And where are we, exactly?"

He gives me a knowing smile. "You tell me."

With that, he lowers me to the ground. I hold onto his arm until I gain my balance. After I'm able to let go of Clarence, I survey the scene before me. 

To me, everything looks blurry. The sun is melting into the sky, and I can't make out the individual blades of grass. The ground looks like a furry green blanket.

Sky? Sun? Grass? 

I gasp. "Clarence! My memory is coming back!" 

"That's great!" He pauses, frowning. "By any chance, does this scene look odd to you?"

"Yeah," I say. "It's all blurry. Why is that?"

"After a while, memories become harder to recall. The less a certain memory is thought of, the blurrier it becomes. Some memories get trapped in the back of the mind, and, after a few years, they become almost impossible to recall, especially when it comes to the memory's small details. Those are called blurred memories." He gestures to the scene in front of us. "This is an example of one."

"This is a memory?"

"Yes," he says. "It is one of your memories, actually."

"Really?"

Clarence nods, and then points at another part of the memory. "Do you know who that little girl is?"

He's pointing at a little girl playing on a swing set. I can't make out many of her features, but I can tell that she has dirty blonde hair and is wearing a yellow shirt. She looks awfully familiar...

"That's me!"

Clarence smiles. "Yes, it is."

"How did you find one of my memories? And how did you know that it would help me remember myself?"

"Just a little magic." Then, he winks.

I laugh.

Clarence asks, "Do you now remember your name?"

I frown. It's in the back of my mind, but I just can't seem to recall it... I struggle for a few moments, and then it finally hits me.

"My name is Ashlynn Burns. In this memory, I'm seven, but now I'm fourteen years old."

"You remember your age, too?"

I smile. "I remember everything."

"Good." He smiles back.

"Earlier, you and Violet were talking about recovering my memories. Now that I have my memories back, what will we do?"

"I must return you to the living," he says.

I frown. "You're... You're not living?"

He sighs. "I am not really considered alive, but I continue to exist in a strange way. I cannot explain it to you, not yet. Someday, you will know." 

I look up at Clarence, and I notice details about him I hadn't before. All of his clothing is black, and most of it looks like it went through a war. His eyes are a pretty shade of light blue, but they look very sad. His skin is an odd grayish color. Worst of all, there's a gaping hole in his chest.

"You were shot," I realize.

Clarence just nods.

"Me too," I say quietly.

We stand in silence for a while, just watching the younger Ashlynn swing. I think about everything that's happened to me since I was shot, especially the parts that include Clarence.

"You aren't supposed to be a good guy, are you?"

"No," says Clarence. "I am not. I've broken the rules by helping you. But do not worry, Ashlynn. I will continue to help you, and I will get you back to the living."

"Clarence? What were you trying to do when you started dragging me by my wrist?" I look at him expectantly.

He sighs. "It is not something a child needs to know. You will understand someday, when you really are dead. Hopefully, by then, you will be older."

I nod. "So how will you return me to the living?"

"I have my ways."

"Okay."

Once again, we fall into silence, just watching seven-year-old Ashlynn swing. Finally, Clarence asks if I'm ready to go. 

"I think so," I say. "But I have a question: Will you become one of my blurred memories?"

"Probably," he says. "But I promise that you won't become one of mine," he adds as he notices the tears on my face. 

"I want to remember you," I whisper. 

"I know," he says. "Do not worry about it. You will see me again soon."

I'm too choked up to say anything else, so I just nod. Clarence wipes my tears away. Maybe he isn't supposed to be a good guy, but I just can't picture him being a bad guy.

"Are you ready now?"

"Yes," I say. "I think so, anyway."

"Then farewell, Ashlynn. Tel hist cebome noe fo yanm lurbred emmroeis!" 

"?What?"

Suddenly, the world goes dark, and I collapse. 

 

*******

 

"Are you going to wake up today, Miss Ashlynn?"

The voice I hear seems all distorted, almost like my head is underwater. My head doesn't feel like it's underwater, though. It feels like it's been used as a soccer ball. The lower left side hurts worst.

"Come on, kid. You have to wake up sometime."

I moan in pain, making a sound sort of like, "Ohhnnggg..."

The voice exclaims, "You're awake!" I hear foot steps running away from me, and then the same voice yells, "Doctor! Hurry! She's awake!"

I hear lots of noise, and then many sets of footsteps run toward me.

"Ashlynn," says a male voice. "Open your eyes if you can hear my voice."

I try to open my eyes, but I can't do it. I don't have the energy. Instead, I moan again.

The first voice says, "I told you she's conscious!"

Lots of voices start talking at once, and the noise hurts my ears. I whimper pitifully.

"Please," says the male voice. "Everyone out. I need time alone with the patient."

After that, I must've fallen unconscious again, because the next thing I know, I'm awake again. My eyes are open. I don't remember opening them, or waking up in the first place. It's kind of weird, but I'm beyond caring.

"I'm glad to see you awake," says the male voice from earlier. 

I glance to my left and see a man wearing all black. He has sky blue eyes and black hair. His skin has a weird gray tint to it, sort of like he took a bath in water mixed with ash. Everything about him seems familiar, but I don't know why.

"Who..." I start.

"I am Dr. Stanley, but you may call me Clarence."

I ask, "Why do you seem familiar?"

"Beats me," he says. Then he shrugs.

He goes about doing his normal business, taking my vitals and whatnot. I still get the feeling that I know him, but I just can't understand why. I mean, it's not like I've ever met him before, right?

All this thinking is making my head hurt even worse than it was before. I squeeze my eyes shut and try to ignore the pain. 

Clarence notices. "Violet," he commands. "Get this girl some more pain meds."

A nurse in a white outfit starts messing with the IV that I didn't even know I had. Oddly enough, her name seems familiar, too.

Violet looks up at my bandaged head. "How on Earth did you get shot, anyway?"

My doctor shoots her a warning look, but I just shrug. "Evil babysitter. Some high school guy named Brock. I told my parents that he doesn't like me."

Violet nods, and we all stay silent for a while. She leaves the room after she's finished with my IV. Meanwhile, I'm still wondering why everything seems so familiar.

I ask, "Can you dream when you're in a coma?"

"Well," says my doctor. "I learned in medical school that dreaming while in a coma is impossible, but I do hear the occasional story of it happening from my patients. Then again, I specialize in head trauma, so who knows if they're in their right mind when they tell me such things... Why do you ask?"

I frown. "I think I had dreams after I got shot. I have all these memories of darkness and magic and amnesia, but when I try to remember the details, they're all blurry."

He gives me an amused look. "You have memories of amnesia?"

I furrow my eyebrows. "Yeah, it's weird to me, too."

Clarence just nods. At this point, I'm pretty sure he thinks I'm just another one of his patients who's suffered head trauma and gone off the deep end. He proves me wrong when he asks me a serious question. 

"Do you usually remember your dreams?"

"Yeah," I reply. 

"Well, I realize you were on the brink of death and your mind wasn't in it's usual state, but I still find it odd that all you have left of these dreams is blurred memories."

"That is pretty weird," I say.

We don't say anything else, and he eventually leaves the room. Not long after, I fall asleep. When I wake up, I only have one thing on my mind.

"Blurred memories," I murmur. "Why does that ring a bell?"

I spend the rest of the day wondering.


© Copyright 2019 Ally Shark. All rights reserved.

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