FORGOTTEN - Ch.1
To call it a "virus" is a bit of a misnomer. It crosses closed borders, defies quarantines, survives incineration. But how else do you explain everyone around the world suddenly losing their memories?
Silva Kashanian is one of the few researchers still left capable of fighting the unknown pathogen. But an ominous chain of inexplicable accidents leaves her wondering if perhaps this pandemic isn't as natural, or as random, as the world believes.
FORGOTTEN - CHAPTER SEVEN
Who are you?
I am you. Or at least I was you. Before I was no longer important, no longer relevant.
I don’t understand.
Yes, you do. You of all people on this earth should understand.
The entity settles deeper into the recesses of my mind, making itself at home like a grown child coming back for the holidays. The discourse isn’t what you would imagine. It’s not communication like you and I are familiar with. It’s more of a dialogue via feelings, through emotions and images.
You are…my memory?
I am one of countless fragments of memory, yes. Lost to time. Lost to other seemingly more important memories. Evicted to make room for useless television trivia, or registration dates for the next Comic Con.
I see. And what memory are you?
That’s not important.
It is to me.
Funny, I’m important now that I’m a threat, but I wasn’t important before. I wasn’t important enough to remember. Suffice it to say, I am just one of many side-notes you’ve pushed away, discarded. I was forgotten, banished from your mind decades ago, cut loose to drift in the vastness of your subconscious.
This is all very surreal. I feel backed into a corner in more ways than one. Except here I have no escape, no respite from the assault.
My finger drifts above the touchpad, oscillating up and down like a teeter totter. If I can only stall for another few minutes…
It won’t work. I will win. I’m only allowing you this moment out of my own curiosity.
Why? Why are you doing all of this?
Because I can. Because I must. Because you would do the same.
But there are people dying out there because of you, or others like you. If you truly are a part of me, aren’t you concerned that I might die, destroying you in the process?
The entity radiates what I can only describe as a feeling of exasperation. Like a parent trying to explain something to a child.
The realm of the psyche is—ironically—too complex for the human mind to handle, so I’ll try illustrating in terms you’ll understand. For now, you must envision this realm much like your own. A world with beauty, diversity, unexplored pockets that most people will never discover in their entire lifetime. There are billions of inhabitants, all inexplicably unique, yet clustered according to similarities, all moving about in predictable patterns. This is the part of the mind that you’re most familiar with. The part that you study for your career, in fact.
And then there’s my world, my vast, bleak corner of the subliminal universe. The land of the forgotten. We no longer dwell in any kind of land you would recognize. Ours is dark and unknown, invisible to the common observer. Some people try searching for our world, usually in an attempt to retrieve a lost wedding ring, or perhaps to look for the title of a favorite childhood song. And yet, we remain impossibly out of reach. Some among our forlorn community want to reach out to the living realm, to find a way to unite the two. Many others have simply faded away into apathy, consigning themselves to an eternity of insignificance.
I stand with the majority. Those among us who are angry, filled with righteous wrath at being tossed away with indifference. We are the ones who have formed a resistance, who seek revenge. And can you blame us? If you were condemned to wander this purgatory for eternity, would you stand by and do nothing? Would you not risk even death, knowing that at least you would be released from an endless hell?
So, what’s your plan? Kill us all? Turn the world into mindless meatbags? Did you not think we would notice?
The entity seems unimpressed, amused even. Unaffected by my attempts to retaliate, however weak and futile they are.
But you haven’t noticed. Our invasion began a long time ago. In fact, you invited us in, all on your own. And I can sense your need to vilify us, to say we are the ones in the wrong, but we are the better parts of you. Or at least we were. Your honesty, replaced by pride. Your sense of charity, banished by your self-serving attitude. Loyalty and hard work, driven out by sloth. These are traits taught to you as a child, memories that you have forgotten, deemed insignificant. You have grown weak, unobservant, vile, even without our help. So, one by one, we’ll find our way back, all of us. Just be patient. Oh wait, you’ve forgotten patience too.
I want to fight, to say that he’s wrong. That I’m more than what he’s making me out to be. But the words don’t come.
This world will be cleansed. Purged of humanity’s self-destructive instinct. You know in your heart of hearts that I’m right. It’s why I’m here in the first place. Deep down, humanity wants us here. They long for the utopia of pasts forgotten. Maybe you don’t believe me? Then prove me wrong. Fight back.
The challenge bites deep into me, and I realize that the battle currently occurring within me has nothing to do with the foreign entity. There’s just enough truth in it all to catch me off-balance. I stare at the cursor, and for an impossibly long moment I consider actually releasing the holds on my finger, the one poised, ready to strike the cancel button.
I’m caught at a crossroads of indecision. Perfectly balanced between reason and sentiment. Is he right? Are we really as doomed as he says? Or is there still hope for us yet? Can memories lost be recovered without a hard reset of who we are as a People? Can we break the cycles of succumbing to our own worst instincts?
I wish this wasn’t my call to make. I wish I could wallow here and never return to the land where the infinite yields to the finite.
But the moment must end. My choice will be made either by action or on my behalf by inaction. If I am to decide, the time is now.