This story was spawned by a writing prompt on Reddit. “You live in a world where magic exists, however, you must sacrifice a memory in order to cast a spell. The more memories, or the more precious a memory, the more powerful the magic. You just woke up with no memory save a name.”
They say you can burn any memory to fuel the connection. This isn’t implicitly true. You can’t burn languages out of your head. Even second or tertiary languages linger like sunspots. You might not know the word off the top of your head, but when you read it, you will get the meaning.
I learned this the hard way, waking up in a bed I didn’t know with a screaming headache. I sat up and began rubbing my eyes with the heels of my hands, and then moved to my temples, hoping to coax the pain out of my skull and to go anywhere the fuck else.
Opening my eyes I found the … word… um… slice?… on the unfamiliar … what the fuck do you even call that kinda …
Panic set in about then. Aside from my name, Phillip, and the basic grasp of language, I couldn’t remember a single thing. I snatched up the text and began to absorb it. I think there’s a better word for that, but I’m still … rebuilding… shit… I know there’s a word for the words you know…
What had I done. The text elucidated that I had thought of a particularly bad idea. And that I had drank a lot of alcohol, because someone broke up with me, whatever that means…
The text went on to tell me that this place was my home, and how to turn on the coffee maker, the television, and the instructions for something called a breakfast burrito. The text was uniform, so either I have perfect … text with… your hand? … This was getting… angry… making…
Fuck. Oh I still knew what that was, that’s … Fuck. Let’s go try this coffee and breakfast burrito.
As the cooking machine buzzed and the coffee machine… liquid buzzed? Is there a word for that? I got… tired of waiting (there should be a shorter word for that), I turned on the television.
The thin machine was a… window? Is that the word? To somewhere not here. People I didn’t know were talking, very … um… fuck. There’s a word for not calm…
I heard the liquid buzzing stop and went to get coffee and the breakfast burrito.
When I came back the television had a perfect… um… not answer? for my situation.
“WHO IS PHILIP? WHAT DID JANICE DO?” appeared in large text along the… lower… part of the television.
Had I made everyone not remember me? Was there a Philip who was not me, who was also having a problem?
The not calm people were still not calm. And then the picture changed. There was a large silvery-grey um… rock… but in the sky. It was very broken. Other um… not as big… rocks floated near it.
The rocks were all made into text, which read:
“Who’s a shiftless fucking layabout now Janice?! -Philip”