A short story by Bryan Edenfield
Content warning: the following contains gore, brief graphic language, exorcism, mentions of suicide and genocide, shapeshifting, and other disturbing elements.
According to the doctor, memories have no tangible form; they are not shapes within the body with tactile properties, like sharpness or smoothness.
The priest quietly disagreed with my doctor’s assessment. “I believe that all thoughts, memories included, have definable dimension within our psychic terrain,” said the priest. “I believe that the terrain is real. Sometimes, a memory is sharp enough to puncture an internal organ.”
Uncle took me at a tender age to view the Green. I remember being very scared.
My twin sister asked, without the slightest degree of irony, from the top of the balcony, leaning against the banister all frozen and aloof, “What ya waitin for?”
Unable to process what Uncle had shown me, I talked instead about his collection of antique dentures. Sister hated discussing teeth, so changed the subject.
“What sort of boat is taking you away from me? How flammable do you think this house is? Do you think they have a well furnished brig aboard the seafaring vessel? Is it a barge?”
In my memory, I answer her questions, but the answers themselves are not contained within my memory. They are contained within her memory, which is a curious quirk, as if within her mind lived another version of me that I don’t have full access to.
The idea that another person can remember things about me that I cannot remember has always disturbed me. This morning, sister — now much older and very cynical — suggested that this disturbance, coiled within my memory of the Green, was partially responsible for the accident.
My memory contained a thorn of uncertainty, a thorn suggesting that my past did not belong only to me. My experience of the Green, specifically, was only partially mine, even though it had, at the time, felt so intimate and singularly personal.
Perhaps terror is born from these sharp fissures in our minds.