Memory Found

Kerri watched as the bedroom door eased open and a man’s head popped into view.

“Kerri, honey, are you alright?” He inched in slowly, as if afraid he might startle her, like she was a rabid animal.

She breathed deep and nodded her head. She couldn’t bring herself to speak, because she could not recall his name or his face for that matter. Where was she? Who was he?

The man nodded and flipped a lamp on in the bedroom and turned the hall light off. “Sorry you didn’t find me when you woke. I just wanted to get my things ready for tomorrow.”

Kerri tilted her head in confusion.

“For my trip? Remember, I’m leaving for a conference?”

Still, she couldn’t remember what he spoke of.

He let out a sigh. “Maybe this was a mistake. You’re not ready for this yet.” He turned to leave the bedroom again. “I’ll just call and cancel, tell them I can’t make it.”

“No, wait.” Kerri reached out a hand. “It’s okay. I’m fine. Just had a nightmare.”

He looked back at her, as if unsure if she spoke the truth.

She swallowed hard and smiled. “Really, I’m fine. You don’t have to worry about me.” She still hadn’t responded with his name. Though she had no clue who he was and where he was going, she felt they must have had a close enough relationship that her vague reassurances would be enough to ease his mind.

He settled back into the bed beside her and nodded. He leaned over and kissed her forehead, and the gesture made her smile. Whatever memories were missing, the sensation of familiar intimacy hadn’t gone.

“Get some sleep,” he whispered in her ear as they lay back down.

Kerri watched as this man that gave her a feeling of warmth at the very center of her chest closed his eyes and fell into a restful sleep. She couldn’t help but watch as he breathed evenly, the tension from before slowly fading from his face. After a few minutes his breathing turned into a soft snoring, and the sound made her giggle.

Without thinking, Kerri reached a hand out and ran it through his hair, a gesture that felt so familiar and practiced, and yet in that moment seemed alien to her. She worried at her lower lip as she struggled to find his name and face in her memory.

The energy of worrying finally got to her. Kerri drifted into sleep, her hand still on the man’s head in a gentle caress. As the world around her turned black once more, a single word popped into her head: Tom.

She tried to jerk awake at the revelation, but instead of finding herself in the bedroom, she found herself in the topsy turvy dreamland once more. This time though, she remembered what she needed to know. Tom awaited her whenever she returned to the real world.

For more of Kerri’s adventures, see part 1 and part 2.

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Memory Missing

Kerri furiously tore through the sheets and pillows, seeking him out. Why couldn’t she recall his name? And who was he to her?

Her mind, still fuzzy from the dizzying dream that felt all too real, searched frantically for the memory of whoever he was, something to cling on to. As her hands worked through the bedding, now tearing the fabric apart with inhuman strength, she wracked her brains, but nothing came.

The desperation left her breathless, and she began to gasp for air. Her fingers tangled into the sheets, tightly winding the fabric around and around, cutting off circulation until finally she simply ripped it apart into tiny threads. Kerri looked down in dismay at the ruined sheets, dropping them suddenly from her hand like a hot pan. How did she do that?

Before she could get a hold of herself, the sensation of not knowing turned into a panic attack. She took long inhalations, but to no avail. She rocked back and forth in the bed, her lungs burning for air they couldn’t get. It seemed as if the room were shrinking around her, and she hunched lower and lower into the bed, trying to maintain space between her body and the walls. The harder she tried to breathe the less air flowed through her lungs.

Tears streamed down her face as she felt she might pass out again. A terrified scream escaped her mouth, and the sound triggered a light in the hallway to turn on. Kerri saw the flicker of shine come through the crack in the bedroom door. The realization that she was not alone was what finally settled her racing heart and eased her breath. Someone was here with her.

This is a continuation of another story. See part one here.

In the End — Sharing

Another great piece on the Drabble. How can someone be so riveting in so little words?!

By Donna L. Greenwood “When they drop the bomb, there’ll be nothing left worth surviving for,” he said. And then they dropped the bomb. I couldn’t bring myself to gobble up the pills or drink the vodka he had provided. He had no such trouble. Halfway through the vodka, he told me a joke about […]

via In the End —

Sharing from the Drabble

By Richard Helmling As the ash piled up on the sixth day, they finally decided to head south. “Por favor,” they made their son practice as they drove. They avoided El Paso because the last radio broadcasts they had received said it was impossible to cross there. So they found a seemingly desolate stretch of […]

via Inversion —

A short piece but it packs a punch.

The Baby

Yes, it’s okay to play with the ball in the house; we won’t break anything and mom will never know; look you broke it, mom’s gonna be so mad; let’s play cops and robbers, you be the robber and I’ll be the cop; don’t worry I won’t leave you tied up here all day; I’ll be right back to look for you, it’s part of the game stupid; I see you managed to get yourself loose from that rope, I knew I should have tied it tighter; don’t tattle you little baby; yes there are monsters in your closet; I can’t believe you fell for that you stupid baby; when will you ever learn?

Keeping Time

Another old assignment from my undergrad years as a creative writing major at UCF.

“Again Daddy, again,” Susie laughed as her father, Frank, finished waltzing her around their private garden. The array of flowers changed from side to side, surrounding the father and his daughter with pink and red roses, white and purple carnations, aromatic white gardenias, and orange and yellow chrysanthemums, their sweet aroma dancing around them.

“Again?” he chuckled, bestowing his beloved daughter with a tender smile. “We’ve already danced through two songs.”

“But this one is my favorite.” She giggled, clasping her hands in front of her, bending forward in urgency, pleading for another dance with her father.

“That’s what you said about the last two.” He winked at her, a mirthful glint in his eyes. He was teasing her, pretending to sit down on the gray marble bench near the garden’s arch entrance, watching as she anxiously awaited him to join her again. Of course, he would not deny his little girl another dance.

The next song began, a delicate melody being plucked lightly on an acoustic guitar. The sun floated in the sky, a brilliant, golden orb. Susie never stopped laughing and smiling, her happiness contagious. A cool summer breeze ruffled their clothes and hair, and the sun warmed them inside out. The flowers’ fragrance in the air was sweet on their lips.

“This one is my absolute favorite,” Susie chimed, tilting her head back as her father held onto her, keeping her from falling.

“This one is my favorite too.” Frank took Susie’s hand and twirled her gracefully, so content with that small, soft hand clinging to his. The music began to fade to an end just as the sun was almost finished setting, leaving a perfect line of gold on the horizon. Susie’s head nodded and Frank picked her up, bringing her inside, keeping time to the fading waltz.

Childhood Pranks —

Reblogged from The Drabble. I couldn’t not share this one. Too funny.

By The Urban Spaceman Two weeks into summer break and bored out of their minds, Tommy and D.J. rode their bikes two miles to the abandoned church in the countryside. They spent three days chiselling the image of a giant penis into an outer wall, and the rest of the summer giggling over their artistic […]

via Childhood Pranks —