Title: Like the otters
Summary: Sometimes the queerly shaped Venusian trees seemed to talk to him, but their voices were soft. They were loyal people.
Word count: 1095
COPYRIGHT © 2017 PLAMEN
Image: Pixa Bay
They were running on the road between the sunflower fields. Golden eyes watched the sky under the hot August sun. The small road was miles from the last house in Harsch, through the sunflower fields, around the forest and from there toward the bridge of Devil river. They call the river that way because according to a legend, whoever gets into the river, shouldn’t come back.
The lorry was driving with not high speed. From the open windows John Lennon could be heard singing ”Come Together” and the driver, almost like roaring, was singing along.
They were running on the road. Her boots are covered in boots. Her knees,too. In her hair, she had a tiara with white, almost pink roses. Her dress falls loose around her legs, while running with her hand in his’. In her two collars there are pinned two brooches that looked like mechanical butterflies. She likes to run with her hands up in the air; and becomes free, feels completely free.
They reach the lorry. She found herself in the lorry trailer, full with raspberries. They feel the juice of the mashed fruits to invade their clothes and he mumbles that they will become soon like a magnet for the bees. She is too busy eating the delicious raspberries to reply him.
. . .
When they near the river, they jump off the lorry. The taking off is heavy: he falls on his bottom, but misses to hit his leg into one of the stones nearby, while she is far more gracious and lands tenderly on her heels, with a handful of raspberries.
The two of them walk down toward the river, passing by the forest. The shore is sandy. There are here and there bigger stones and some logs. The murmur of the river mingles with the secret language of a couple of otters which lie behind one of the stones. They clean also their furs.
-Look, they are baby otters-says she and lurks nearer the stone to see them better.
-Otters are also very communicative!-he notes and sat on the shore, near the water animals. The light belly in one of the otters was shining damply in the sun, but its long tail reaches almost the water.
-You are all sticky! Clean yourself! Your father will kill us if he sees us!-said the man to his companion, his rogue companion.
-Oh, you remember him?!
-Yes. Some things have happened. Together with him decided it will be cool to come and tell you…
-Tell me what?-replied she suddenly.
He went to the river. A wave washed up to the shoulders two otters that were floating around hand in hand.
-You know the things in my head are more…..
-If the news is that you are certified ”crazy”, it is not something new at all-continued she but he replied seriously:
– I began forgetting.
She saw his face, then his eyes and ejaculated:
-You never forget anything. Except dad, but he is ….The officials from the Library punish you again?
-No, doctors said it’s sort of a sickness. They haven’t seen such case before. I travelled many dimensions and worlds-the perspectives are not good.
-You know what this could mean, right?-her voice was quiet while at the same time the voices of the little otters were deafening.
-I have some bad ideas. Your father has some terrible ideas.
-It is not fair! You never forget anything!
. . .
Precise autobiographical memory. He remembers every moment of his past. He remembers what was the time the clock above the clerk in the Library showed. Or the size of that boy’s shoes who lives on the second floor of the third bed from the boys’ bedroom. The mind is a well ordered cupboard. Or an archive. Every moment is sealed with ink. More important than the moments are the images in them. He remembers. Know more than it is allowed to know. And now, for the first time in his life, he begins to forget. Suddenly, he doesn’t quite know where his favourite book from his childhood stood on the shelf. His mind almost erased the remembrance of the holidays with the little girl who is a woman now and is crying on his shoulder.
. . .
-I used to write down everything about your dad. But it would be great if I forget all about the Library.
-What about me? Do you want to forget me,as well?
He smiles and says:
-You are like a daughter of mine. I am glad your dad is not here because I’d pay with my head probably for the raspberries in your hair.
She laughs but in a sad way:
-Please, don’t forget me!
-Do you promise? I know you never wanted to forget him also but you didn’t have a choice when they erased him from your head.
-He is my best friend-sighed he- and you are like my daughter.
-I know you are terrified by the missing memories but look at us-we also don’t remember everything!
-I prefer to remember the bad instead losing the good,honey!
-You will tell me when you make a radical decision,won’t you?
-Like what?-replied he under his eyebrows.
-Like returning to the Library.
He removed his eyes from her face aside and remained silent.
. . .
The Library is not a bad place. Except if you are not like him. Then the Library turns into a very awful place. There is a special archive for the broken time spellers. There, they were being dismantled, letter by letter, packed in tiny glass bottles of ink, labelled and numbered. He has never imagined would end up like that. And was right because there were unofficial system for time spellers like him.
His ink would haphazardly been split, the leaf of paper folded many times and thrown away. What a horrible end indeed.
. . .
She was standing beside him watching the otters.
-Do you know what the otters do while sleeping, avoiding getting lost in the river stream?
-What?-the sick man asked.
-They hold each other hands.
She also gave him a hand and he responded the same way.
-Hold on to me. No matter what the fate has prepared for you.
He nod and then hugged her. The raspberries from her hair went to his face and they burst into laughter for a long time. The first but not the last one…..today.