Monday December 5th, 2011

The exercise:

Today we write about: amnesia.

I appear to be coming down with a cold. This... displeases me.

If you're interested in continuing mine, I expanded it and brought it over to Protagonize as a choose your own adventure.


You wake to chaos.

Chaos and pain.

The throbbing ache at the back of your head holds your attention for several laboured breaths before other sensations force their way to the forefront. Cool pavement against your left cheek. The scent of burnt metal in your nostrils. Shouting.

With a groan you shift to a seated position and force your eyes open. You immediately wish you had kept them shut.

You are in the middle of a narrow road that disappears down an incline a few hundred meters ahead of you. On either side of you is a thick forest of evergreens, into which men are fleeing. A glance over your shoulder shows you what they are running from.

A prison transport bus is on its side, smoke billowing from beneath the hood. Unmoving bodies lay scattered around the vehicle, most of them wearing prison guard uniforms. Were you on that bus? You must have been, but you can't remember.

You close your eyes and try to picture the accident but your mind goes blank. Telling yourself not to panic, you switch tactics and try to recall your time as a guard. Nothing again. Training sessions with fellow recruits? No. Your name?

Oh God, you can't remember your name.

Eyes open once more, you struggle to your feet. Focus on what you do know: you need to pull your partners away from the bus before it explodes. Save them first, then worry about the rest later. Move.


You turn to find an escaped prisoner running towards you, a pair of handcuffs dangling from his right wrist. As he nears you raise your hands to shield your face from the coming attack.

That is when you realize that you are also in handcuffs.

"Come on, we gotta go!" The man shouts, grabbing you by the arm. "The cops will be here any minute!"


Greg said...

Tagged? I'm sure I never mentioned Tagged :-P
I've heard lots and lots of supposed remedies for colds, but the best one seems to be to let it run its course; they last 5-9 days pretty much. However, vitamin C and zinc seem like the best way of boosting your body to speed up getting rid of it.
That's a very good first chapter for a choose-your-own adventure! I shall have to return to Protagonize, but it's almost certain to be after Christmas now.
The handcuffs are an excellent touch, btw.

My first is in altered, and also in state,
My second's in dream, and the reason I'm late
Is my third: in the end I'm wandering lost.
My fourth is in street but I'm on the road,
My fifth's in realisation which lightens the load.
My sixth is in sin, but also in virtue,
My seventh's in madness and is never untrue.
My all is explaining that this isn't a sham,
I honestly don't know who I think I am.

Anonymous said...


I forgot.

Aaron said...

I really liked your start Marc. I think I might have to take a whack at it. But for now. Greg, I like your poem, I had to ponder it to get all the meanings I could, the ways good poems require.


I forgot it all. I don't remember remembering and I already forgot forgetting. Now, I sit here at this breakfast table eating my "favorite" cereal. It seems pretty good. I look over my spoon for some recognition but it never comes. My "son," they say he has my eyes but all blue eyes look pretty similiar. My "wife," where did they find this woman? Ugly, fat, dumb-looking. Those are the only facts I have about her. The "family" photos didn't teach me anything about these strangers. They are a nice touch ,sprinkled throughout the house. Convincing, to bad they are all filled with a man who is clearly younger and way less bald than me. I'm probably just some homeless guy the government picked up and then they erased my memory, stuck me into a single mother of two's house with some crackpot amnesia story. What's this your new cure for welfare Obama? Yeah, only one problem, Obama, in order for me to have ended up in this family I wouldn't have had to be an amnesiac, I would have had to be retarded.
"Bob, Bob, BOB! You're daydreaming again. What are you always thinking about?"
"Just wondering what it would be like to have amnesia, honey. Love you."

Marc said...

Greg - love the ending to your poem :)

Writebite - ha! Cheeky :P

Aaron - hah, great build up and then a wicked twist at the end :)

BelltdieKatze said...

I just felt like writing, so I scrolled down to a prompt I thought I could do on the spot. It's not very good.

“I feel like I’ve seen you before,” the girl insists. The cashier looks up at her warily, then back along the queue. It’s an obvious hint, but she won’t give up.
“I don’t know you,” he says finally, “and you’re holding up the line.” He gestures in the forward direction, making it amply clear what he’d like her to do. She moves.
“Hey, your stuff-” he makes an abortive attempt to give it to her. She hasn’t left, though. Only crossed the barrier. She’s staring at his face, intently trying to figure something out.
“You’re not supposed to be over here!” he hisses. There’s no point. She has a look of intense concentration on her face and she isn’t going to be moved.
He gives up temporarily, moving to the next customer. He smiles and nods, remembering that this is his first job, that he wants to do well and be polite to all the customers. They aren’t too happy with the delay. It’s not his fault, but they take it out on him anyway. He puts his head down and continues working. The girl waits until a bell somewhere chimes.
He glances at the clock, then locks the till. His shift’s over. They make their way across to an employee-only door, with her trailing him like a puppy.
He turns on her suddenly, his anger showing. “What do you want?”he says savagely.
“I…” she tries to explain. “I was in an accident recently. I don’t remember a lot of my recent life.”
She takes a breath.“My family’s been helping me remember. I tell my mom about ‘most everyone I know, so there’s not much I’ve missed.”
A wan smile appears on her lips. “But I feel like I know you. Like you’re someone I should… remember.”
He steels himself and replies, “If your family doesn’t think I am, then I’m probably not.”
“Right. Why would I keep a secret?”she seems to ask herself. “Sorry for bothering you.”
He waits until she’s gone before he looks at his phone again. That text he wished he’d never sent but didn’t have the courage to delete, that night she cried so hard she couldn’t see where she was going and stepped out onto the street.
I don’t want to be your dirty little secret anymore.

Aaron said...

I really liked it BelltdieKatze. You have the gift! Keep writing and don't ever stop.

Marc said...

BelltdieKatze - you're quite right, it's not very good.

It's extremely good.

I highly enjoyed that, and I'm looking forward to reading more from you! Thanks for dropping by and sharing your writing with us :)