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midnight_medusa t1_izuwrfi wrote

[Author Note: This response has turned into a novel "The Brink of Oblivion" and I'm posting it on my profile as I write it.]

The creature watched me from just beyond the tree line, shadowed in dark, inky blackness. I couldn't make out its shape or anything else about it really. All I could see were its bright yellow eyes. I took one step towards it, and then two, and then I was running, branches whipping past my face, tearing my skin. But the creature was too fast and the forest was its domain. I was nearly at it, my hand almost able to reach its back when-

I opened my eyes to an inky blackness of a place void of both light and feeling. Or was I the one void of light and feeling? I blinked as a white walled room slowly came into focus.

Who am I?

I sat up in bed with my head in my hands. A woman and a dog were lying beside me, both sound asleep. I couldn't remember either of them. The dog opened its eyes and wagged its tail lightly as I stood up and looked at a room I felt I'd never seen before. The woman didn't move.

I stumbled into the bathroom and leaned against the sink. I felt sick, off. My face felt strange, as if it didn't truly belong to me. It was the face of an older man, in maybe his sixties, but I didn't have any of the memories of life to accommodate such an age. I tried my hardest but I couldn't recall any memories. Nothing from childhood, adulthood, or anything in between. It was as if I came into existence only this morning as I opened my eyes. I knew deep down that something was wrong but I couldn't figure out what it was. My arm was itchy and when I moved to itch it I noticed the tattoo. It read: You have Alzheimer’s. You love your wife. Your name is Keith.


Why didn't that feel right? I flexed my arm and as I did I noticed the scribbled, quickly written words on the palm of my hand.


I turned on the water and glanced back at the sleeping woman. She turned over but remained asleep. I didn't feel anything when I looked at her, but did that mean loving her was a lie? How could I possibly prove that?

I splashed water on my face, did my business, and then wandered through the bedroom and into an open concept apartment. It was cozy and cute, full of pictures on the walls of me and the woman, Keith and his wife, and other fragments of what looked like a happy life. On a bookshelf was a dog tag and an old photo of a different dog named Max. How long have I been with this woman? What was her name?

"Good morning," a voice said from a doorway. "How are you Keith?"

I turned to see a young woman, about twenty, leaning against the wall dressed in her PJ's and a robe. She was holding a steaming cup of coffee and handed it to me.

"Uh, hi." I said, reaching for the cup. "I'm... okay I guess."

"The mornings are usually the worst," the girl said. I shook my head.

"I'm sorry," I said, "You're talking to me like I know you really well and I feel like I should know who you are but-"

"It's ok." the girl said abruptly, her cheeks filling with color. "This is my bad. I should've been more gentle. I forget sometimes. It's hard to talk to you like you're not my, uh, nevermind. Go through that door over there and I have breakfast ready for you. Call me Claudia."

"Beautiful name." I said. She smiled and turned down the hallway.

I walked through the door and entered the kitchen. The lighting in this home felt off, duller than it should be. Was my vison going now too? How scary the world would be if I was navigating my mind and body blind. There was a plate of food siting on the counter. As I pulled it up a piece of paper tumbled down from under it.

I put the plate back and went to read the note when I head the dog running and a woman's voice. I put the note in my pocket and took my plate to the table.

"And Dia," the woman said as she walked into the room. She gave me a wide smile, "Don't forget to call me after so we can-"

"Mom I know!"

"Okay, just last time you didn't and I-"

"This isn't last time. Goodbye!"

The front door slammed and the woman turned to look at me as the dog scratched at my leg, his hungry eyes watching my fork.

"Good morning Keith," the woman said, "My name is Jennifer."

"Hi Jennifer," I said, feeling an strange wave of anxiety flow through me. "I'm sorry."

"What on Earth are you sorry for?"

"Forgetting," I said, "I know I love you and I know we're married, but I feel like... my current experience of you is as if I'm meeting you for the first time."

"It's okay," Klara said, "I like when you look at me for the first time. And each day I get to watch your eyes change until the next day."

"When did I get Alzheimer's?" I asked. Klara began to make herself some food as she considered my question.

"It was about three years ago, but the onset was quick." she said, "It started off with you forgetting little things, like where you put your keys, and then one day you couldn't remember where the house was. We have been doing okay though, and sometimes you remember things and I love hearing about that."

"Oh," I said, "I feel like I lost a whole life."

"Sometimes," Klara said, shooting me a wide smile, "You find comfort in looking at our photo albums. You'll sit in there for the better part of a day looking through our old pictures. Sometimes that can spark your memory."

I nodded and finished up breakfast. Klara treated me kindly but I could sense that she was working hard to keep her distance. Like Claudia, there was a far more familiar tone to her presence than made me comfortable.

After breakfast I sat on our comfortable couch with a stack of photo albums. I started with one of just Klara and myself. We were friends as teens and there were lots of pictures of us growing up together with our families. I have two brothers. I saw Klara go from a little button-nosed girl and into an awkward teen. She had braces for a long time.

The next album was one for Claudia. It started with her birth certificate and her first picture. She was red and all squished down. In her second picture her black hair was very messy and her nose was so little. I was about to turn the page when I remembered the note. Glancing towards the kitchen and not seeing anything I opened the note.

"This is not what you think it is. Everything is a lie. This isn't real. You are a prisoner of a powerful warlock. Await your next instruction. Destroy this note." My heart began to beat wildly as I searched for a match. I found one beside our fireplace and I quickly made a fire and used the note as kindling. As I worked I thought about what it said. If I were truly trapped how could I even begin to get out?

-End Part One


midnight_medusa t1_izvv4fr wrote

I heard a commotion from behind me and I quickly placed some more logs on the fire and took a seat on the couch. I sunk into it and it made me feel more relaxed but my hands were still shaking. Why was I feeling so anxious? It felt like some instinct was trying to tell me something but I couldn't place it.

I felt suddenly small, tiny, and insignificant. My chest tightened as I began to feel like my life had to purpose. Was this an existential crisis? How many mornings have I woken up like this? How many times had my family have to explain to me who I was? What did that note mean and was it even real? I glanced at the fire which had erased all evidence of the note.

Is this a test of some kind? Or a game? I shook my head and sighed deeply. The alternative is that this is all real, I have lost my memory and now I was perhaps losing my mind. Can I even trust myself or my own instincts if I don't even know who I am?

Klara entered the room, dressed now, in a long blue dress with sparkly earrings that she was still fitting to her ear as she walked in.

"How did it go?" she said and then furrowed her brow. "It's so hot outside, why make the fire?"

"I feel oddly cold." I said rubbing my shoulders as if that would help my case. The lie felt strange in my mouth.

"Okay," Klara said, "No problem. I'll open the balcony door though, give you a bit of a breeze." She turned to walk towards the door when a question struck me.

"Klara," I said, "One second."

"What?" Klara said, her brow furrowed as her mouth pulled into a tight line. Her eyes narrowed and she changed from friendly into something else. After a second she composed herself and her expression morphed into a tight smile. "It's okay honey, but my name is Jennifer."

"Oh." I said furrowing my brow. I thought back to the moment she introduced herself and all the things written in the photo album. I could've sworn she said Klara... that I read Klara... yes, she must have said Klara.

I thought back to that moment in the kitchen when she stood before me in her PJ's. The dog was at my feet or on my right... she said: "My name is -"

Now I couldn't even bring that memory to my mind. It was as if it was being erased in real time. The more I tried to focus on it the blurrier it became.

Great, so now I couldn't even trust my own memory from a time as recent as this fucking morning? Or was Klara another clue? It could be another clue if this Klara person could help...

No, this is illogical. I need to learn more about my life before I fall down rabbit holes I'll forget tomorrow. I have such a short window of conscious awareness and I didn't intend to misuse it.

"I'm sorry Jennifer," I said. Jennifer smiled.

"Don't worry about it, truly, it's fine."

Jennifer pulled open the balcony door and a sweet breeze struck me. I took in a deep breath of air, complete with the fragment of spring rain and blooming flowers. This made me remember my question.

"How old am I?"

"You are Sixty-Seven years young." Klara, I mean Jennifer, said. "I am three years younger than you. We've known each other since we were thirteen and started dating in our twenties. We went our separate ways for a while, but somehow our lives always intertwined."

"How old is Claudia?"

"She's twenty-five this year," Jennifer said proudly. "She's an amazing young woman."

"Why does she still live here with us?"

Jennifer took a seat across from me and folded her hands on her lap.

"Well," she said, "Claudia is very found of you. When she found out you were sick she took time off work and moved in with us to help out. She's been living here for about two years now."

"Oh," I said, suddenly feeling like a burden. Jennifer reached across and put her hand on mine. Her hand felt cold and clammy. "You have good days and not so good days. It's okay if you're struggling to remember today. Yesterday was a good day. All we can do is try to make the best of every day."

She was right but I was starting to feel scared and claustrophobic, like I was trapped in this life with no possible escape. Doomed to suffocate my family until I withered away into nothing.

"I'm going to get some air," I said, standing up and walking towards the open door.

"Enjoy," Jennifer said, "I will be in the room. I have a meeting. Claudia should be home soon. She'll be here with you while I'm gone."

I nodded and closed the door behind me.

I took a seat in one of the chairs and leaned back. The view was beautiful but like inside it felt a little bit duller than I remember. As if the colors were not as bright as I remembered. But could I really trust anything that had anything to do with my own memory.

I glanced at the little glass table in front of me and saw a book. It was titled "Get out." I picked it up and as I did a note fell out and landed on my foot. I glanced to the glass door but Jennifer wasn't there. I quickly picked up the note and opened it up.

"Klara is the key. Trust no one. Not even Claudia. I mean it, not even Claudia! Your name is Ammon. Reveal this to no one. Await your next instruction. Destroy this note."

-End Part Two


midnight_medusa t1_j009jm8 wrote

I read it again: “Destroy this note.”

I clutched my hand, crumpling the note in my palm. It felt real but who knows what kind of tricks unwell minds can play. I could feel myself split between two main beliefs: that the notes were real and I should listen to them or the notes were a figment of my own imagination and I needed to tell Jennifer and go to the, uh, you know, the place people go when they’re not feeling well.

What was that word?

“Destroy this note.”

I bit my lip and looked around, anxiety and confusion fogging up my ability to think. My thoughts were like a whirlpool, spiralling out of control and in uncomfortable circles. Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t seem to concentrate long enough to really think this through. I rubbed my temples in frustration.

Come on you stupid, old fool.


I took in a deep breath and closed my eyes hoping that I could try to imagine all the components of this problem in my mind's eye. I think some character in a book I read once called it his “Mind Palace”. Some detective who was super sharp. Holmes? I tried to channel him.


If I continued to destroy the notes then I’d also be erasing all evidence of the notes. How could I know for sure that they’re real without this evidence? And how the hell am I supposed to remember what the notes say? I tried to imagine the first note. I recreated the scratchy handwriting with looping letters. I believed I could remember what it said but I had already learned that my own recollection was unreliable.

I could write the information down somewhere, maybe I have a journal, but that was risky since I didn’t know if Jennifer would read it.

I unclenched my hand and read the note again.


Ok, if I can commit that to some fragment of my broken mind perhaps I can remember at least that much.

Ammon. Ammon. Ammon.

What is it people do when they’re trying to commit something to memory? I couldn’t think of anything so I continued to play the name through my mind like a song. It felt nostalgic, if that makes any sense.

I folded up the note and put it in my pocket. I leaned forwards and looked inside the living room but all I could see was the dog sitting at the glass window. He began to wag his tail as I met his eyes.

The dog, I should really ask his or her name, began to paw at the door and I walked over to open it. The dog whined and licked my hand. I checked out its collar.


That was cute. I wonder who named him.

He locked his brown eyes with mine and lifted his eyebrows. I got a strange feeling, as if the dog was trying to communicate something to me. I scratched behind his ears. I couldn’t remember what the breed was called, but he had long golden hair that made him look a little like a lion. Regal and beautiful.

Jennifer walked into the kitchen and began to grab some pill bottles from the cupboards. She was on the phone and didn’t sound pleased.

“Well tell them that wasn't what we discussed. Yes Claudia, that matters. They need to respect their initial agreement. Yes, it does work like that. No, you don’t have to have it written down for it to matter. Ok sweetie, yes, I heard you. Okay, good luck. See you soon.”

Jennifer hung up and walked over to me with a cup of water and a tiny bowl filled with about three small, white pills.

“Here you go dear,” she said, handing me the pills and the glass. “You need to take these every day, doctor's orders.”

A knot began to form in my stomach and I wanted to object but figured this was a losing battle. I took the water and the pills. Jennifer put her hand on my shoulder and squeezed. Her touch made me want to recoil but I remained still. She was a beautiful woman with long silver hair and captivating blue eyes. Her age had made her look powerful, like a witch of the woods, and I found myself drawn to her physical appearance. But there was something under her skin that made my own crawl.

Was Jennifer who she claimed to be?

Jennifer turned and walked back into the bedroom. I lifted the pills and felt a strong urge not to take them. I investigated each one and played with them between my fingers. The third pill I picked up felt different. I placed it in the palm of my hand and pushed on it. It was made of paper.

I turned my back to the hallway and unravelled the pill. It pulled out into a long, thin strip of paper.

“Do not take the pills and stop hesitating. You do not have a memory problem. You get reset each night. You will remember today unless she knows about it and erases it. You are being manipulated. Destroy the note Ammon, god dammit. Do you want to be stuck there forever? Take the book on the balcony to the bedroom and sit in your reading chair. Await your next instruction. Just destroy the fucking notes. I will explain all soon, I promise.”

- End Part Three


midnight_medusa t1_j009llb wrote

I shoved the pills and note in the pocket with the other one. I pretended to put some pills in my mouth and drank the water. Jennifer had peaked her head out of the bedroom door, her eyes like a hawk’s, watching me with something, suspicion maybe, in her eyes. She seemed satisfied with my performance and disappeared back into the bedroom.

I retrieved the book from the balcony and walked to the main bathroom. I hoped Jennifer would leave before I exited. She was beginning to give me the creeps.

I re-read each note before I ripped it up and watched the small pieces fall into the toilet. I took the pills out one at a time and dropped them in the water. Each one made a small “plopping” sound. I checked them all for markings before I let it fall off my palm and into the toilet but there was nothing distinct on the pills. I didn’t know if that was strange or not.

Someone knocked on the door and I jumped. I flushed as I said, “Yeah?”

“Keith, dear,” Jennifer said, her sharp voice slightly muffled. It was nice to have a door between us. “I have to go. Claudia just got home. I’ll only be there for about an hour. See you soon.”

“Okay,” I said. My heart rate began to settle only when I heard the front door open and close.

I sighed deeply and glanced at the empty toilet. I looked at my reflection next and felt the same emotions I did this morning. This didn’t feel like my face. I leaned forwards and inspected every inch of my facial features. As I did I noticed a slight flickering. Bright green eyes hidden behind my brown ones. Black hair under the grey.

“Keith?” Claudia’s voice said through the door and I jumped, knocking over a bottle of lotion.

“Uh, yeah?” I said as I picked it off the floor.

“You okay?”

“Yes,” I said, annoyance bubbling up inside my chest. “I am not a child.”

“Okay,” Claudia said. I couldn’t tell if there was a tone of hurt in her voice. She walked away and I unlocked the door.

Claudia was reading in the living room as I exited the bathroom. She looked different now, wearing a long floral dress and a decent amount of make-up. She smiled at me but I couldn’t bring myself to return it. The confusion and irritation was beginning to catch up with me and I worried that if I spoke to her it wouldn’t be kind.

I walked towards the bedroom and firmly closed the door behind me. The silence was soothing. I took a seat in a chair by the window bathing myself in warm yellow rays. The chair was placed in front of a bookcase that was packed with books. I wondered if it were I or Jennifer who had the book addiction.

I opened the book “Get out” and started to read the first page.

Ammon, we are running out of time. You are in grave danger. She has already broken off so much from your mind. You are not ill but you are fragmented. I know you can feel it, pieces of yourself being pulled away with each passing moment. You are almost out of time, once she finds what she is looking for she will not hesitate to kill you.

I am not here, not really. I have learned how to manipulate this reality to send you messages. You are the only one who can free yourself so listen closely. I will only be able to tell you this once and you will only be able to try to escape at exactly midnight tonight. That’s it. If you miss it you will die there, do you understand?

It is now or never. I know you don’t remember who you are but you are very significant. You have to believe me that this is all so much bigger than you. You must not let her find what she is looking for. You must not let her fragment the last pieces of you. Do you hear me, you spontaneous fool? I still need you. The world still needs you. It’s time to remember who you truly are. But I must warn you, you will not like what you hear.

-End Part Four


midnight_medusa t1_j00xssy wrote

Oh shit. Okay, I don’t have much time. I have to make this quick:

You have become a monster with a blackened soul, but you haven’t always been this way.

You are Ammon to me but you are known by many names. You are a powerful spell-caster, also known as a wizard. You were once kind and I hope somewhere deep down you still have a good soul but you were tempted by the side of magic we do not touch. You- I will just say it, you allowed yourself to be seduced by a dangerous warlock known as Jennifyiar, who I warned you about but, whatever.

Together you discovered a powerful relic or something, you were rather withholding concerning the details. Bet you wish you hadn’t been now.

Anyway, this relic sparked some morality that was still inside of you and you stole it from Jennifyar. The relic consumed your mind, you said, and taught you something. Some ultimate secret of something that would be rather dangerous in the hands of someone like Jennifyar.

You were caught eventually. I’m not sure how. You and I had an argument, it’s not important what it was about, and I hadn’t seen you in days. Eventually I was able to find you and infiltrate your mind prison, but I have been cautious. Arising any amount of suspicion is dangerous, and I know I took many risks today. But it’s been really challenging and I have only recently learned how to send you information. She’s keeping you in some other time-line without magic so it’s been hard. It's also rather inconvenient that you forget everything the next day so I’m always starting from scratch.

Klara is the key to your escape. You can find her at 4966 Forest Road. It’s about a thirty minute walk from your apartment. Bring the dog, he knows the way.

You will need to leave before Jennifer gets home. She won’t expect you to attempt to leave the place since you’ve been a shell of a man for a long time.

I will try to contact you again soon but it's risky and I am afraid I will rouse more suspicion in Jennifer. Bring this book, I’ll try to contact you again this way.

You must do as I say. You must not hesitate. You must not let Claudia see you leave. She is not who she seems to be. She is just as dangerous as Jennifer.

I blinked and the words on the page began to move until they settled into an entirely new text:

The man stood on the hillside, admiring the manor that resided atop the rocky cliff. Many memories-

I closed and opened the book but the mysterious author was gone. I realised that she never told me her name. Or did she? I frowned, why did I assume it was a she?


I am fragmented.

What did that mean? And what did I learn from that so-called relic? And what did it mean that I was a monster with a blackened soul? What did I do? What had I become?

Where did she say I was? An alternative timeline? Does that mean that somewhere, someplace, I truly am this elderly man who is slowly losing himself to a terrifying disease?

It all felt too good to be true. Since the moment I awoke to this life I longed to be able to escape it. Being this man, Keith, who can’t trust anything around him, who wakes up only to learn about his life for the first time again. Trapped in this looping, daily cycle of confusion with no way out. The only question on his mind is the one that can never be answered: who am I?

It was terrifying, being this man.

So it would make sense, right, that this man would create an elaborate fantasy where he had a way out of this life. A mysterious saviour who could unravel him from his trap. It would make all this feel like it could have meaning. It excited me beyond words to be able to take this road and follow it to another possible life, even if that life came with its own challenges.

I didn’t know what to do and I was still struggling to figure out what to believe. What was at stake here? According to the author it was a lot. But what is the harm in taking the dog for a walk? The worst that can happen is I’ll forget where the house is and eventually someone will find me and take me home. So it was worth a try to follow this path and see where it goes. Maybe I am truly this Ammon person. Perhaps there is some power and strength within me that I had forgotten.

The dog knows the way?

What the hell did that mean?

I stood up and grabbed a jacket from the closet. I put the book in one of the breast pockets and opened the bedroom door slowly. The living room was empty but as I started to walk down the hallway Odin came running around the corner. He licked my hand and led the way towards the door.

“Where are you going?”

I turned around to see Claudia standing in her bedroom doorway. She smiled sweetly and stepped out into the hallway, closing the door behind her. I forced a smile on my lips and reminded myself that I needed to act like I hadn’t just been told that Claudia was dangerous. I needed to navigate this conversation carefully.

“I wanted to sit on the balcony, watch the run set.” I said. “Would you like to join me?” Claudia’s face brightened with a smile and she nodded her head.

“I’ll make some tea,” she said, “I’ll meet you outside.” I nodded and walked towards the balcony. On the way I snatched the leash off the wall and shoved it in my pocket.

-End Part 5


midnight_medusa t1_j00xtks wrote

The breeze on the balcony was sweet and brought up memories of lying in fields as a young child. I took in a deep breath and Odin rested his head on my knee.

The view was ignited with bright pink and purple clouds that reflected the setting sun. The sky was a deep purple/blue. Bright white sun rays cut through holes in the clouds, painting the entire scene in shimmering spotlights. The mountains loomed upon this horizon, shadowing the trees just yonder. It was beautiful and I hoped I wouldn’t forget it.

Claudia opened the door and stepped over Odin who watched her with curious brown eyes.

“Here you go,” she said, handing me a cup of steaming tea. I had no intention of drinking the tea, I was worried that Claudia might try to drug me or something, so I blew on it and held it in my hands. I hoped she wouldn’t notice I wasn’t sipping it.

“This is so beautiful,” I said, nodding to the sunset.

“Yea,” Claudia said, “It’s my favourite part of this place.”

“Would you mind telling me a little about yourself?” I said, “I assume you have a script prepared, I probably ask you this a lot.” Claudia laughed and nodded her head.

“We have been through this a few times,” she said, “it’s true. But I don’t mind. It’s nice when you’re interested in me.”

“Am I not always?”

“Some days you’re in a more… challenging mindset.” She said, “I can’t even begin to imagine how confusing it must be, losing memories all over the place, feeling lost in your own life. I do not fault you for having days where you just sit in your room and read or have some time alone. Days like today are very special to me. It feels like, well, old times.”

“Old times,” I said, watching as the colours of the evening began to darken. “I hope we were happy.”

“We were!” Claudia said, “We are. You are an amazing person and nothing could ever change that.”

“Thank you.”

“As for me,” Claudia said, “I’m a bit of a mess. I was in school but I took a year off. I’m working on selling my artwork and in this long process with a gallery, which I won’t bore you with. But life is really good but complicated.”

“I would love to see some of your artwork.”

“I’d love to show you! One minute.”

Claudia stood up and ran through the door. I glanced over my shoulder and then clipped the leash on… what was his name?

Right, Odin.

I ran for the door, got my hand around the lock but just as I was about to open it Claudia ran back into the room.

“Where are you going?” she said, pain in her eyes.

“I-” I said, but I couldn’t think of a good reason. The fog was coming back.

“What do you know?” Claudia said, her eyes narrowing as she took a step towards me.

“I don’t know what you mean,” I said, “Odin looked like he needed a walk.”

“No,” Claudia said, admiring my eyes. “No, I see it now. That little spark. There’s a light within you that is new. So I ask again, what do you know?”

I opened my mouth but decided I could probably push past her, even with these old muscles, and I tried to open the door.

Claudia moved too quickly. She was in front of me in the blink of an eye. She opened her mouth revealing sharpened teeth. She sneered and walked her hand up my arm which was on the door handle.

“Oh little mouse,” she said, “You cannot leave that easily. Do you take me for a fool.”

“No,” I said through gritted teeth. A smile lifted the corners of her mouth but there was something sinister about it.

“There is something different about you today,” Claudia said, “Usually you’re this little worm of a man with an empty head, consumed with confusion and anger. You lash out, you sit and stare at the wall for hours, and each day you lose a little more of yourself. But today…”

Claudia touched my cheek. Her hand was clammy and cold. Her eyes turned yellow as she leaned in towards me. “Even now, you can’t even begin to be able to understand what is real and what is being made up inside your own head.”

I pushed her into the door. Odin started to bark as Claudia laughed. Her black hair framed her face, her skin was pale but her eyes were the most changed. They reminded me of something I saw in my dream but it was just beyond my reach.

“You’re weak.” Claudia sneered, her lips uncomfortably close to my neck. “So close to death that all it has to do is reach out a sharpened fingernail and-” she traced a line across my neck with her sharp nail. “Death would sweep you away in a second. So I suggest you go back to your room, take your pills, and sleep the madness away.”

“Who are you?”

“I’m the creature that haunts you,” Claudia said. “Your keeper. Your mistake.”

I ran to the fireplace but Claudia jumped on my back. We fell to the floor, rolling around, limbs flying everywhere. Claudia bit me and blood flowed from my arm. She lunged for me but I rolled away. Odin bit her leg and she kicked him across the room.


I scampered to my feet but she was too fast. She grabbed my neck and lifted me up. I kicked my legs and tried to break free. I gasped for air, my eyes rolling into the back of my head.

“Don’t worry,” Claudia said, “You won’t remember any of this in the morning. Tomorrow I will just be your loving daughter and then, before you know it, you’ll be dead.”

My lungs were burning and I couldn’t breathe. I felt a cold hand reach out, death here to sweep me away. Images started to flicker through my mind. A man with black hair and emerald eyes. He shouted something and an explosion knocked back his foe. What were those words? The author said magic didn’t work here but, what if I could give it a try?

Claudia dropped me to the floor in a pile. I gasped for air, big gulps. She rolled her eyes and reached for me.

“Might as well fix up that wound,” she said, “Before I feel tempted to take just a little bit more.”

Her head was over mine, inches away. I looked up at her, right into her ugly yellow eyes and shouted: “Sh’okour!”


Claudia was thrown backwards with enough force to make a dent in the wall. I didn’t trust that she would be hurt too badly so I needed to take this opportunity. I ran to Odin who seemed mostly okay and flung open the door. We ran down the hallway until I found the stairs. We went down, down, down, spirling and praying that Claudia was not behind us and Jennifer wasn’t in front of us.

I reached the bottom floor and flung open the door and into a busy street. I turned in a circle unsure of where to go, but Odin pulled me right and I followed him without question because, Odin knew the way.

-End Part 6


midnight_medusa t1_j07x114 wrote

Author Note: Hey friends! So this is turning into a full-on novel I'm writing for fun/ practice. I want to see where I can take this story. I'll keep posting "Parts" as I write them. I welcome any feedback since I might try to get this published when it's done. Keep in mind it's a "first draft" and so I suspect I'll make a mistake with the plot here or there. But overall I think it's turning into a pretty cool story!

Thank you so very much for reading and interacting with this writing prompt response. It has been so amazing seeing all the wonderful comments. Hope you're having a good day, Happy Holidays!

-Midnight_medusa ;)


AlexAlho t1_j07xlii wrote

I've loved every sentence of this. My favourite bits are the internal dialogues, where he debates the reasons why either scenario (Alzheimer's or magic) are plausible or implausible for his current situation. Reminds me of characters in other media discussing how find out you're in a dream against your will.


midnight_medusa t1_j081msb wrote

Thank you! This makes me really happy, it's the "effect" I was going for. I wanted it to feel confusing and have both "realities" be plausible. I appreciate you so much, hope you're having a wonderful day.


midnight_medusa t1_j08l06j wrote

Where am I?

I held Odin’s leash in my hands tightly, afraid that if I lost him I’d lose some critical part of myself. Without him I would be truly lost.

He wandered and sniffed about, taking his time and making his mark. His tail wagged as his nose reached for every passer by. Each one greeted him with a smile which was then given kindly to me. Some people said, “Beautiful dog!” as they passed. I tried to smile but knew my features were locked in some stressful clench. I was watching the street signs as we passed them in vain. I didn’t know where anything was in relation to the address, so it was useless. Like having the answer to an unknown question.

Odin led me right and off of the main road. We entered a park with big, wide oak trees and many people wandering about. I wondered if Odin was choosing this route strategically. It was harder for Claudia and Jennifer to attack me if we were in a public place. Or maybe this was just the fastest way to, what was it again?

4966 Forest Road

So that I can remember. Was it because Jennifer didn’t know I knew this and so couldn’t erase it from my mind?

Odin’s tail began to wag as he turned left and then he suddenly lunged towards a squirrel that had ventured too close. The leash was ripped out of my hand and cold, icy panic grasped my neck. I chased Odin who chased the squirrel. Some people gave me a look and my cheeks flushed. I must have looked insane. We went around in circles, cutting sharply and following the chaotic path of a squirrel running for its life.

Eventually the little critter found a suitable tree and ran up the side. Odin circled the base of the tree, looking up with his tongue hanging out.

I picked up his leash, out of breath and feeling pathetic. I had been trying to carefully watch the route we took from the apartment but now, I looked around, I had lost my way.

Odin sat on the grass, his tail wagging against the yellow flowers. When I picked up the leash he stood up and skipped left. I followed him feeling once more like the frail old man who was losing himself. Would I ever feel whole again?

We turned down a narrow lane that led out of the park and into a cul-de-sac. The tree branches hung low and the sunlight sparkled along the dirt path. Odin’s nose was locked on the ground, sniffing intensely.

We rounded the corner and entered a quant looking neighbourhood. There were houses of many sizes, shapes, and colours. At the end of the driveway of a light green house surrounded with flowers and full, healthy looking plants a woman with long, wavy blonde hair paced. When she saw me approaching with Odin she smiled and ran towards us.

“Good boy Odin!” she said, as she came to a stop in front of me. “Come quickly, we need to get inside. I have defences up in my home but we are very vulnerable here.”

She looped her arm in mine and, her head looking around on a swivel, led me to her white front door.

The woman closed the door firmly behind us and swept her hand across the lock. The many locks clicked into place on their own as she turned and walked to her kitchen.

“I thought magic didn’t work here…” I said, watching the locks with a deeply furrowed brow.

“It doesn’t,” the woman said, her voice slightly muffled, “But, uh, just take a seat, I’ll explain everything in just a minute.”

I unhooked Odin from his leash and placed it on a table beside the door. There was a mirror hanging in the entranceway and I caught my reflection with a start.

I was not the old man. I was a much younger man, perhaps in his thirties, with raven-black hair and bright emerald eyes. My skin tone was darker than Keith’s, like desert sand. I touched my face and the reflection followed. The woman walked out of the kitchen holding a steaming bowl. She smiled as she saw me pressing on my face.

“This house is detached from this reality… in a way” she explained, but I didn’t really understand. “Sit down, please.” She took a seat on a comfortable looking forest green chair and I walked to the matching couch across from her. Odin happily jumped on the couch beside me and put his head in my lap. The woman’s gaze softened as she looked at him.

“It’s amazing,” she said, “Some things are so similar between timelines.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well,” she said, “Odin is more than your dog, in your original timeline he’s more like your familiar. You share a very deep bond that we call a “soul-connection”. You and Odin, in many ways, are one in the same. If you try you might even be able to see the world through his eyes. You do that a lot where we’re from.”

“I’m sorry,” I said, putting my head in my hands. “Back up, who are you?”

“Oh,” the woman said, putting the bowl on the table. She pulled something out from her apron and started to add it to the steaming bowl. “My name is Klara. I’m… well I suppose the closest thing here is “wife” but I’m more than that. It’s complicated.” she sighed, “Sorry, I’ve practised how to explain all of this to you, I promise, but so much of our reality doesn’t translate here. We are also connected in a soul-bond, like marriage but stronger and more long-lasting.”

“Is that why I knew your name, somewhere deep in my subconscious? I called Jennifer ‘Klara’ and she did not like that.”

Klara laughed, her face brightening and her eyes shimmering with a clever thought I wished I was privy to.

“Probably,” she said, “And I bet she didn’t like that. Despite her best efforts you’re strong and you’ve always had flickering memories that connect you to who you truly are.” she paused in thought, “Has anything, unexplainable in the rules of this world, happened to you?”

I told her about Claudia and how I managed to attack her with a single word. Klara’s eyes widened.

“It’s just as I hoped,” she said, excitement sparking in her eyes. “It’s true that magic doesn’t exist here, but you and I don’t really exist here either. Our original bodies are still in our timeline. This means that your mind is still linked to our world where magic is your speciality. If someone is a powerful enough spell-caster, like yourself, then I hoped that link could be used. I was able to do it so I hoped you would be able to as well. I’m happy I was right. Shelia will be so pleased.”

“Who is Shelia?”

“Our daughter,” Klara said, “She’s been the one sending you messages here. Jennifyiar and Claudia have infiltrated your wife and daughter’s bodies in this timeline.” she met my eyes, “If you were wondering, yes, somewhere in the vast universe you are an old man with Altzheimers. But not where you’re from. I guess in a way where you’re from you are an old man… but we age differently. That’s why you look so much younger inside my house and in your OG world, despite being the same age as this ‘Keith’ person.” She handed me the steaming bowl. It smelled like plants and dirt. “Drink that, and I’ll explain the next part of the plan. We don’t have much time.”

-End Part 7


midnight_medusa t1_j0avz7j wrote

(This is now also being posted on my profile under the post titled "The Brink of Oblivion")

I lifted the steaming liquid to my lips and sipped it lightly. It was absolutely disgusting, bitter and thick. I pulled it away making a face and shook my head.


“What were you expecting?” Klara said with a knowing smile, “Hot coco?”

“No,” I said, eyeing the muddy brown water as a leaf floated through it. “I just don’t understand how drinking mud will help.” Klara’s eyes softened. It was kind but it was irritating. Everyone was treating me like I was helpless and naive. It was maddening when everyone but you seemed to know what was going on.

“It’s an antidote of sorts,” Klara explained, “Jennifer is very powerful and she has trapped you in a kind of… labyrinth of the mind. She has been separating your mind and body from itself in the hopes that she can just peel you like an onion until she eventually finds what she’s looking for.”

Klara eyed me playfully, a strain of her golden hair tumbling across her eyes. She was radiant in the sunlight. But she would be radiant even in a place void of all light. Something about her illuminated the entire room and made me feel whole. I relaxed slightly as I allowed myself a second to believe that she loved me.


“But I know you.” Klara continued, a laugh behind her eyes, “And you knew she was coming for you. I suspect you hid the information she seeks somewhere deep inside yourself, maybe somewhere so deep you wouldn’t be able to access it either.”

“Am I really that clever?” I said. Klara leaned forwards, placing her elbows on her kees. Her light purple dress fluttered around her, illuminating the fabric around her shoulders like a halo.

“Ammon,” she said, “You are the most obnoxiously clever man I have ever met. You think everything through, it drives me insane sometimes. You never take a move that is not already fully calculated. You are a scientific man, deeply fond of data and observation. But I suspect you know this already. Tell me,” she cocked her eyebrow, “has there been a step you’ve taken today that wasn’t fully thought out? A decision you made where you didn’t weight all the sides you could think of, even in your broken state? Could you describe any of your actions as ‘impulsive?’”

“Well,” I said, leaning back with my hand on Odin’s head. “You could argue that attacking Claudia was pretty damn impulsive.”

“She attacked you first,” Klara pointed out and then smirked,“I’m right aren’t I?”

“Sure,” I said, “I like to think about things before I act. But how do I know any of this is even real?”I motioned to the house. “How can I be sure that I’m not just losing whatever is left of my mind?”

Klara nodded to the liquid.

“That should help,” she said, “I hoped that it would bring back some more memories. Like the one where you remembered that spell. Clearly your desperation allowed you to access a powerful memory and I’m hoping to recreate that with less pain and, uh, threat of death. It should also help us sever her link to you. Jennifer works for what they call a ‘police department’ in this reality. It’s like our Renoke Warriors, but with the advanced technology of this time and place behind them. This mostly means that she has access to lots of information and power in this world. We can’t let her find you.”

I grimaced and started to sip the brew. It had cooled and that wasn’t helping. I took a few big gulps, telling myself that it would be over soon, and only let myself bring the bowl away from my lips when I’d consumed every last drop. I chewed on the leaf as I handed the bowl back to a rather happy Klara.

“Okay,” she said, “It should start helping in a few minutes.”

I laid down on the couch and closed my eyes. Her home was comfortable and, despite my stomach groaning in protest, I was feeling relaxed. There was a gentle breeze floating through the open window and I smelled the fragrant flowers.


I was a little boy with jet black hair playing in a garden full of different colored lilies.

I shifted my weight and opened my eyes. Was that me? The world was spinning. What was in that awful brew? I felt like I was suddenly not in control of my mind and where it took me, I was just along for the ride.


My vision became consumed with thin red threads. They cycled and twisted, pulling me through them. I saw flickers. A man standing in a stone-walled room, bowing to a woman dressed in a velvet purple robe. An open field surrounded by razor sharp ridged mountains that shot out from the ground like spikes. A book full of oddly shaped letters and other symbols I felt I knew but couldn’t remember.

A woman with bright blue eyes. No, ocean eyes. Swimming with blue, green, and gold. She beckoned me closer.


I tossed and turned, unable to control myself. A scream erupted from my chest.

A red beam hitting my body. Pain surging through my veins.


I moaned. The woman with yellow eyes sneered. She struck me again.

A prison. A black walled room. A man with long black hair hangs forwards, his bowed head encompassed with a red ball of light. Geometric bars surround his head. His body is thin, weak, frail. His beard is long and unkempt.

Man I look like a common thief.



It was as if a lost fragment of myself fit suddenly into place and I felt… well it was hard to describe even to myself. It was as if a severed connection was rewired and this feeling of self consumed me. It was still very much not complete, and I knew I was still very lost, but one shard was back.

Spells, names of the Universe, and other important information crashed into my mind, colliding with each other and setting off fireworks behind my closed eyes.

Then, it was over. The silence returned. I sat up on my elbows and met Klara’s ocean-blue eyes. She looked at me, curious and expecting. My chest fluttered. “It”, that feeling of love, that bond that can only be forged by lovers, was suddenly present in me when I looked at her.

“I think I love you.” was all I could say. Klara jumped with a sudden burst of ecstatic energy and wrapped her arms around me tightly.

“I need you,” she said as sirens began to echo from far off.

“I feel a little more… me-like?”

She kissed my cheek and then looked deeply into my eyes.

“Good,” she said, “Because I’m going to need ‘Ruthless Ammon’. There is no way we’re getting out of here without a huge fight.”

“How are we getting out of here?”

Klara stood up and walked to the window, pulling back the curtains only a little.

“Shelia and I have found an exit of sorts.” she said, “It opens at the peak of a full moon which, fortunately, happens tonight at midnight. You have to disconnect your mind from Jennifer’s prison a certain amount before we will be able to free your mind through the portal. Following me?”

“I think,” I said.

“Once you’re out of here and back in your own body, the real hard part begins.”


“You’re still physically restrained. Shelia and I are working to get into Jennifyiar’s hiding place but, it’s rather difficult.”

-End Part 8


Gonergonegone t1_j0hjqfy wrote



midnight_medusa t1_j0hs6f9 wrote

Working on it! Hopefully I'll post another "Part" this weekend! Thanks for reading! :D


Gonergonegone t1_j0hu25f wrote

I hope you do! I'm going to be following this story for as long as you write it. I normally get tired of reading prompt replies halfway through, but I just spent the better part of a half hour reading every single word you wrote. Keep it up! Your writing style is captivating!


midnight_medusa t1_j0idujh wrote

Wow thank you so so much! That is one of the greatest compliments I've gotten as a writer. I'm trying to be published and your kindness and support makes me feel like that dream is within reach. Thanks so much, truly :) <3 It is probably easier to read it on my profile, it's pinned if you want to read it there. Happy holidays!


midnight_medusa t1_j0rhnc2 wrote

I stumbled to my feet using the couch as a support. My entire body felt like it was more stimulated. I realized I could feel the light breeze as it whispered across my skin. I could feel each step as my foot fell between the plushy threads of the carpet. I could taste the sunrays that spilled shadows across the floor. They tasted like lavender and mint. The shadows waved against the bumpy carpet like the crashing of waves in a mighty storm.

I was here and yet…

I reached my hand out, spreading my fingers. There was still evidence of the scribbled note on my hand and it creased as I opened and closed my fingers. Now that Klara had explained it, I could feel a link. Something far off, like a light at the end of a very long tunnel. There was something not quite right about my body and that was because it wasn’t truly mine.

This existence was not mine.

Thank fucking God.

“Ammon!” Klara said, she had her hand in the hallway closet, her eyes widely looking at me. “Come on! You’re probably still feeling the effects of the elixir. Try to snap out of it.”

“I feel weird.” I said as I took an unsteady step forwards.. “It’s like I’m in so many places all at the same time. Hey, what’s ‘Her’ah?”



I jumped as many hard objects flew cross the room and hit me. I shielded my head and then glanced around nervously. Metal objects of different shapes and sizes laid at my feet and a metal decoration had been pulled off the wall and towards me. But Klara found the studs and it was hanging in midair, as if being lifted by a ghost breeze. I giggled. Klara stomped towards me and grabbed my arm tightly in her hand.

“I should’ve waited to give that to you,” she said, but she was smiling a little bit, I saw it.

“What was that?”

“A spell,” Klara said with what I suspected to be annoyance lacing through her tone. “Try to be careful before you just say things. Write the spells you think of down first and I’ll tell you what they do.”

“Okay,” I said, clearly half-listening.

“I mean it,” she said as she pushed me into the closet just as I was beginning to be mesmerized by a painting. I swear the people were moving as if it were a true window to a different reality. She pushed me through the closet door forcefully.


The arm of a leather jacket hit me in the side of the head and I waved the coats away as they attacked me ferociously. The back door of the closet had swung open revealing a spiraling staircase. Odin was standing at the top of the stairs, his mouth happily open and his bright pink tongue hanging out.

“Hey,” I said as I squeezed past him with suspicion. I took his chin in my hand and looked deeply into his hazel eyes. “Aren’t you supposed to be a lion?”

Odin licked my face and wagged his tail. It thumped against the wooden steps in a light rhythm.

“What have they done to you?” I said, then started giggling again. Klara encouraged me down a few more stairs and then closed the closet door, or rather, the door in the closet behind us and a lock clicked into place. Klara turned and nodded down the stairs.

“Okay,” she said, “Any time now.”

I didn’t move. I was too captivated by how the shadows played on the wall. “Right, don’t mind me. Please, keep staring blankly and giggling.”

“Odin is supposed to be a lion!” I said with a deep laugh as I turned to walk down the stairs. My hand traced a wavy line along the stones as I went. I sang a song that I must have heard somewhere about the mighty lion who lost his mane in a bet with a wee mouse.

Down, down, down we went. I was beginning to wonder if this path was endless when a stone floor revealed itself. The room was a cube, about the size of an average bedroom. There were desks lining the walls and with many different plants on their surfaces. Beakers connected with tubes and filled with shimmering liquid bubbled over yellow and blue flames. Different colored lightbulbs shone against the walls, creating rainbows that smiled at me.

This looked like the lair of a great Alchemist.

“You’re an Alchemist,” I said as Klara closed the door at the bottom of the stairs, locked it, and turned to me with a deep release of air from her lungs. She nodded and walked towards me. She pushed my hair off my cheek and nodded.

“Yes,” she said. “I am.”

“You’re very good.” I said, “This stuff is fun.”

“I bet it is,” Klara said with a sweet tone. Her eyes softened as she gazed at my face. “I prefer your hair longer.”

“Me too,” I said. Klara leaned forwards, hesitated, and let my hair fall from her hand. I got this intense feeling that she wanted to kiss me and show me deep affection but she was being distant. Unlike with Jennifer and Claudia, I wished she would treat me like we were more familiar. Odin rested his head on my knee and wagged his tail. Klara was back to work, mixing some liquids together and admiring them under bright lights.

“Right,” she said, handing me the light purple liquid. “This should sober you up a bit.” She grabbed a journal and shoved it onto my lap with a pen. “Write down everything you think you remember in here. Don’t cast any spell that you’re unsure of what it will do. The last thing I need is to be blown up here before we can get you out."
“How am I getting out?”

“That was part one of three elixirs you will need to drink,” Klara said and then tossed me a regretful glance. “Sorry, they don’t taste great but they will help you begin to unweave yourself from Jennifer’s influence. Once you can pass a basic memory test you will be distant enough from her for your consciousness to escape back into your body through the portal.” I sipped the liquid, it tasted much better, like grass and flower petals.

“Then I need to be able to physically get away,” I said. Klara nodded.

“It will be tricky, but…” she leaned against a desk. “One thing you need to know about yourself is you are very strong and powerful. You are a match for Jennifer in a diminished state and arguably better than her when you’re at your best. Before we leave I will help instruct you on the spells you can use to break your binds. After that you’ll need to get to the door Shelia and I are trying to infiltrate.” I drank the rest of the liquid and nodded.

“Okay,” I said, “Sounds like the odds are stacked against me.” I grinned, “But I always perform best when the odds are against me.”

“There’s the Ammon I remember,” Klara said.

- End Part Nine


garrrrrrrett t1_j0ajjey wrote

Medusa you are absolutely crushing this story. Please keep it up :) Also, you might want to post them on your profile so we don’t have to dig through the comments to get to them. I followed you in case you decide to do that :)


midnight_medusa t1_j0apbg4 wrote

Thanks so much! Now that I'm serious about writing it I'm going to make a subreddit. I can also post on my page. I just wanted to have a "working title" before I made the subreddit.

Any suggestions for a title are much appreciated.


garrrrrrrett t1_j0bssit wrote

A few off the dome: Mind Fog; Not Quite Right; Trapped; Prisoner of the Mind; Intellect Day


midnight_medusa t1_j0cfe11 wrote

Thanks! These are great. I think I'm going with "The Brink of Oblivion" for now. Thanks so much for your suggestions! 😊


N0rway12 t1_j00cyab wrote

This is so good! Looking for meats to the next part!


Tadc_rules t1_izwxo0y wrote

Tactical comment for coming back.

Amazing write up so far!


Great_n_powerful_ODD t1_izvi46j wrote

You introduced the “wife” as Jennifer and then klara. But good read. Had my full attention


midnight_medusa t1_izvrpfn wrote

Oops! Thanks! Not sure why I did that haha


midnight_medusa t1_izvrsi3 wrote

Or maybe not oops... I think I'll incorporate that mistake into the plot. See where I can take that.


MrNanashi t1_izy79jc wrote

Holy shit did you really turn a mistake into a thicc plot? If so, it is an absolute terrific turn and an awesome plot. Cant wait to read more


HappyHungarian15 t1_izv3n6a wrote

I came to in pitch darkness, lying in a bed entirely too large for just a single person. My head hurt something fierce, and my body felt like it was RKO'd by a semitruck. Even with that being the case, I had woken for a reason; nature called. It took me a bit to find the bathroom, guided only by the small slivers of moonlight that peak between the nearly-closed shades. I entered the bathroom and closed the door behind me, losing even that tiny bit of light I had before. A rookie mistake. There had to be a light switch around here. Flip.

The lights came to life, and I came face-to-face with myself in the mirror. Or at least, that's who it had to be. For some reason, I couldn't seem to remember things very well. The person in the mirror looked unkempt and wild, and his eyes looked cold. Was I an unkempt person? My head started to spin; I grew dizzier and dizzier until I unceremoniously plopped down onto the toilet, thankful that the seat had been left down. Where was I? Who was I?

Quickly, my breathing grew shallower and shallower as my heart began to pound. What was going on? My eyes caught on black lettering etched onto my forearm. They read, "You have Alzheimer's. You love your wife. Your name is Keith." Keith. That answered one of my questions, but I didn't understand why I was alone in that room, nor why my head hurt the way it did.

I needed explanations. Perhaps it was my fortune, or maybe divine providence, but it was at that moment that I found my next clue. On my opposite hand, scrawled hastily in what appeared to be black sharpie, was, "THE TATTOOS ARE A LIE." And all of a sudden, any semblance of understanding that had begun to build shattered.

Still sitting on the toilet, I heard a dull thumping. It grew louder, and louder, and louder until it just... stopped. A knock at the bathroom door. "Honey, are you alright in there?" a feminine voice asked. "You've had a rough night."

The wife. "Yeah, I'm just fine. I had to use the restroom."

"Okay. I'll be right out here waiting for you, honey. Take your time." She walked away, and by the creak of the bed, sat down on the bed. For the life of me, I couldn't remember what she looked like. Her voice was unfamiliar. Everything about this place was foreign. And a part of me refused to believe that Alzheimer's was the answer.

My instincts were screaming at me. The tattoo seemed entirely excessive for a reminder about Alzheimer's, and the scrawls on my hand looked as if they were written with haste, the last letters written even more poorly than the first ones. Something wasn't right.

I got up from my seat and, as quietly as I could, began to root through the bathroom. Maybe something would jog a memory or help me understand. For the life of me, everything seemed reminiscent of what a normal bathroom would look like, barring that none of it rang a bell for me. Then I got to the cabinets below the sink. There were empty containers of just about every painkiller imaginable, along with things he'd never even seen or heard of.

"You okay in there? Do you need some help, hun?" my wife called.

My heart beat fast. "I'm good!" I responded with as measured a tone as I could. What was this? I tore through the cabinet as quickly as I dared, but when I reached the back, my heart - which had been beating so fast - froze. It was a picture of me, along with a list of what I presumed to be my daily routine. A 7:00 AM run, an 8:00 AM grocery run, and everything else I did leading up until the evening. This... this I remembered. Vaguely, but there was definitely something there.

This was not the schedule of a man with Alzheimer's. I tried working through the brain fog that had defined my working memory up until that point, but I was drawing blanks. I turned the page to see if there was anything on its back. And there was. Written in very detailed steps was the process of drugging someone to the point where they could hardly remember a thing.

"Oh shit," I mumbled.

"What was that?" my 'wife' got up from the bed. "Okay, I need to make sure you're alright, hun."

As hastily as I could, I got to my feet and locked the door. I needed to get out of there.

"And did you, Keith?" a scrawny boy asks. I look at him and gesture to the grey walls that surround us and the little metal trays that contain the last vestiges of whatever slop we had for lunch earlier.

"No, James, I didn't."


RolloRocco t1_izyg4yl wrote

> "And did you, Keith?" a scrawny boy asks. I look at him and gesture to the grey walls that surround us and the little metal trays that contain the last vestiges of whatever slop we had for lunch earlier. > > > > "No, James, I didn't."

I didn't understand this part, can someone please explain?


HappyHungarian15 t1_j03fg8s wrote

Hey! I tried to write it in such a way that it's alluded that Keith was captured and detained in some kind of prison facility, with the reason why being undisclosed to the reader.


EclecticAndIndubious t1_izug0x2 wrote

A thousand punches rained down on me from above. As my defenses weakened, each became more damaging than the last. Suddenly, they stopped. I dropped the protective arm from my face and looked up in anguish. Scalding, sharp, stinging pain was my entire existence as I felt my face becoming inflamed in real time. Bleeding on the bathroom floor, she towered above me with her back now turned. Slowly, ever so slowly, she turned around and revealed her face. A cheshire cat mouth, filled with pointed, sharpened teeth and frigid, expressionless eyes.

“Are you ready for the last part?” she shrieked, and let out a piercing cackle as she savored my reaction. As I tried to scream for help, she lunged at my throat and —

As my eyes opened slowly, the light poured into my consciousness and cleansed me of my fear.

Have to find a way to know I am dreaming before it's over.. I thought as I resentfully and painfully pulled off my warm covers. Nature was calling, and I had long since accepted that I was subservient to nature. As I departed from my now empty slumber nest, I glanced outside and saw that it was still snowing. How many days in a row is that? I wondered to myself airily.

Stumbling down the hall on my way to the washroom, I could tell that I wasn’t yet ready to face the day. The overwhelming, familiar, amalgamated gremlin of weariness, dysphoria, and lamentation was wrapped around my knees. Sometimes I was lucky and it was hanging onto a part of me less strictly necessary for locomotion, but no matter what it was always present and pulling. Pulling, pulling, pulling. Pulling me down with perpetual and indubious dedication.

Despite the rote familiarity of this sequence, by the time I had finally trudged all the way to the washroom I was feeling worse than usual. Anxiety was in the midst of a terroristic hijacking of my train of thought, and, having already expended my willpower just to make it to the toilet, I gave it the free reign it demanded.

After finishing, I flushed the toilet and looked in the mirror. I looked terrible. My pasty white skin was nearly translucent. It looked like God himself, that ineffable prankster, had used liquid white-out to coat my skeleton. My eyes were swollen, and I could still see the bruise on my left cheek and accompanying scar across the bridge of my nose from the week before. Never again, I promised myself emptily.

As I was about to embark on the migration back to my bedroom, I felt a frightening, electric sensation shoot down each vertebrae in the xylophone of my spine sequentially and in rapid succession. Without knowing why, I held out my left arm and looked down. There was a large tattoo, written in dark capital letters with beautiful calligraphy:


A small motor in the pit of my stomach jump-started. As it continued to accelerate, I felt tingling in my fingertips as I slipped into the terror like a weighted vest.

I stopped in place and waited. All I could hear was my heartbeat, which now sounded like it's origination point was inside my head.

I peered into the hallway, and waited. Did I just hear the front door? The lines between reality and paranoia were blurring again, and I tried to remember what the doctor had told me about maintaining a militant divide.

I stood there for a long time, waiting. Nothing was happening, and my terror was proportionately dissipating.

Just then, I felt a tap on my shoulder, and whirled around.

“Are you ready for the second part?”


duelingThoughts t1_izuvymm wrote

Wow terrifying. I love your unique vocabulary, and especially the phrase using a comparison to God for physical features in the negative.

My only critique is that the first scary phrase is "are you ready for the last part?" Versus the end, "are you ready for the second part?" I feel like those should match, but maybe you have a reason. I feel like second part is scarier personally.

Well done!


EclecticAndIndubious t1_izv10sk wrote

Thank you so much for your feedback! I am new to reddit and this subreddit is wicked. Thanks for reading :)


jardanovic t1_izvozl2 wrote

For a second, I wondered if somebody was pranking me, but that didn't seem possible. My wife wasn't the type to play pranks on me and our son was at college the next city over. And then my mind drifted towards the fact that I didn't even remember having a son or what my wife was named. I groaned as I made my way to the bathroom--it was going to be a long day.

Suddenly, my wife poked her head out of the bedroom and asked, "Everything okay, hon?"

I glanced back and replied, "Yeah, yeah, everything's good, honey. I just had a bit of a kink in my neck."

"Aw, I'm sorry. You want a massage later? Would that help?"

"Thank you, but I'm okay. Oh, and good morning."

"Good morning to you too."

With our chat out of the way, I entered the bathroom and did my business. At the same time, I thought about how I could figure out if everything around me was fake, what question I could ask my wife to prove my life had been fabricated. Once I finished up and started washing my hands, I looked in the mirror and gazed down at my bare chest. It wasn't Bachelor-worthy or anything, but it was definitely proof I'd kept in shape over the years.

It made me want to vomit. Something about it just set off alarm bells in my head, and I didn't know why. I couldn't tell if it was too bare, too empty, too flat, too--wait.

Flat. That was the issue. And the minute I realized that, I remembered who I really was.

Suddenly, a sharp, throbbing pain in my head sent me to the ground. Everything around me seemed to be getting more intense; the glare of the lights, the coldness of the tile, the sound of the pipes. But it wouldn't work this time now that I knew who I was and what I was capable of.

I reached out into the space in front of me and concentrated. The pain seemed to be getting more intense, but pain never stopped me much anyway. Suddenly, I could feel it: glass. With a grin, I wound up and let loose the strongest punch I could muster.

In an instant, I wasn't in a house anymore. I was laying in a puddle of strange green liquid with bits of broken glass mixed in. As I gathered my bearings and looked down at myself, my grin came back with a vengeance. I was wearing a pink and dark blue costume filled out with bodybuilder-grade muscles and, best of all, motherfucking breasts. The bitch was back.

"No no NO!!" I turned to my right to see a woman in a lab coat and gas mask pointing some kind of gun at me. "How did you get out?! That simulation was four months worth of work!!"

I made a show of flexing as I responded, "Look on the bright side, Critical: you've got front row seats to the Koroleva comeback tour!" I held out my hand. A bolt of lightning appeared and transformed into a war hammer. "And audiences everywhere agree: it's a smash hit!"

Critical opened fire on me as I charged. The laser blasts hit my skin to no avail, a feeling I savored after being stuck in a place where I couldn't have that. I went in for a thrust at Critical's midsection, prompting her to summon a forcefield around that area. At the last minute however, I quickly swung the hammer away and into the ground, sending the both of us plummeting to the level below.

I landed on my feet while Critical wasn't quite so lucky, landing on a table hard enough to break it in half. As she tried to get back up, I lifted her off the ground and growled, "Now, let's have a chat about you sticking me in a simulation where you made me think I was still a man."

Critical, unbothered, pressed a button on her wristwatch, at which point the same pain that happened in the simulation came back, only about ten times stronger. As I collapsed to the ground screaming, Critical ripped off her gas mask to reveal the murderously joyful expression on her face. "Get this through your thick, bulletproof head! You are a man and you always will be! And I won't rest until every perverted crossdresser like you and every traitor like that little shit Repertoire is dead or enlightened! I will save the...s-save the...future of--"

Critical looked down to see an arm sticking through her chest before abruptly collapsing in the middle of her speech. As I regained my bearings, I saw a woman with a pale blue costume and full facemask that let her long black hair flow freely. Gwisin--my actual wife. Gwisin took her mask off and happily cried out, "Koro!"

"Spooky!" I immediately pulled Gwisin off the ground and kissed her deeply. Once we broke apart, Gwisin shifted positions so that I was bridal carrying her and nuzzled into me. "I missed you like crazy, hon."

"Mmm, I missed you more."

"Bullshit, you didn't even remember I was your wife until like three minutes ago!"

"Yeah, but it was a really intense three minutes! Quality over quantity, right?"

Gwisin giggled and kissed me on the cheek. "Let's agree to disagree so we can get Critical in a cell quicker and we can start making up for lost time."

"Fine by me." As Gwisin levitated Critical off the ground and I started making my way out of the lair, Gwisin asked, "By the way, how'd you break out of the simulation?"

I smiled. "I realized that there was something important from my life that wasn't there anymore."

"You wanted your tits back, didn't you?"

I shrugged and responded, "Yeah, I wanted my tits back."

Gwisin gave my chest a playful squeeze. "Well, they are fantastic."

"Aren't they?"


Treepizzafatbunz t1_izw0sh9 wrote

"¡Concentramos! ¡Tres, dos, uno...!"

The sand blew from the two's feet as they ran, launching themselves towards the stand of foam frisbees. Blazing fire boomed from torch poles behind them. People in their respective team colors watch from the benches, against gray walls of spray-painted graffiti. They scream and throw their arms as the red and blue members raced for the chance to aim at air.

"¡Cuidado allí, cuidado allí!" a woman boomed.

The man with blue jumped up onto a black net and began to heave himself over the obstacle. At the end was a ring of sticks that moved like a carousel. All he had to do was knock down all the blue sticks with the frisbees before the red team could in order to win.

"Que paso," a voice groaned audibly when the blue missed all his shots. Everyone was shouting for him to pick them up and try again.


He yawned and stretched his stiff back. His body was more than stiff but numb all over with a hint of fatigued tearing. His breath jolted after catching himself; regaining his footwork, he continued to wobble. The floor was ice to his tender flesh.

Without opening his eyes since he rolled out of bed, he flicked the light switch of his bathroom on. The light boomed like a winged pest, casting a light blue hue. He yawned and opened his eyes to find himself naked.

The toilet seat was next to the sink, so he reached and aimed for the hole as he pissed. A couple of seconds later, his bleary eyes squinted hard and blinked.

Still swaying, the man slowly brought his arm to his nose and peered at his skin. It was an elaborate tattoo with black letters etched into a bold pattern. It took a moment for him to remember that he could read and grazed his arm with his eyes a fourth time.




The tattoo had encompassed the whole forearm, with only a space of untainted skin in the inner arm marking the start and end of the edgy calligraphy.

"Bueno." Keith said, feeling indifferent of the discovery to his body. He shifted his hands and noticed that there was ink on his palm as well. Mildly intrigued, he examined the palm of his tattooed hand.

It wasn't a tattoo, but words hastily scrawled in a style that was hard to appreciate. In marker, it read: "THE TATTOOS ARE A LIE".

"Ohh," Keith noted appreciatively, trying to memorize the English words for future use. He looked down his whole body, expecting to see his tattoos from years of living rashly and making bad artistic decisions: his breath caught.

The tattoos on his stomach were not only faded and grey, but his skin looked older. Also, his body hair was unkempt as if he had forgotten to personally groom himself and stopped decades ago. And there were segments of pink skin that gave rise to rows and rows of stitches, with hints of red tender flesh that had been amateurishly sewn together to make an uneven lump of flesh, scattered all over his core and arms.

His heartbeat and awareness slowly reignited and maintained a seriously fast-paced tempo. He looked down at his dick and saw for the first time the lacerations that roamed the suddenly sensitive surface. He swiftly faced the sink's mirror.

Keith was a tan individual with newly discovered aged lines around his brow. His jaw seemed less defined and saggy, his hair was thinning and frayed with gray, and his eyes looked unrelentingly shocked and crazed. He was a naked old man looking at his naked self.

Three knocks echoed from outside the bathroom, beyond the bedroom. Keith jumped and looked around, heart racing and chest hurting. Thinking, and thinking fast, he wondered how this had happened.

"Hello, honey?" A chillingly enchanting woman's voice called out. "I-I-I've got you some medicinal tea and some soup for you, but my hands are full."

Keith observed his forearm again, with the tattoo he doesn't recognize. It, too, seemed old and aged. He paused to read the words again.




"Ah!" Keith exclaimed, recognizing some of the English words: you, accident, tea, soup... "¡¿Pero que había pasado?! ¡No recuerdo nada lo que pasó desde...!"

His mind drifted back to his dream. Traces of sand wipe at his eroding memory. What was he, and did he win for his team? As he looked down, he found himself back on that arena with a blazing heat caressing the back of his soul. The obstacle course of the week stretched on and on. He ran, in slow motion, reaching for the frisbee stand.

"¿Eso no era cierto...?"

He pulled back his hand to read the marker on his palm: "THEYRE COMING FOR YOU! RUN".

Time sped up as Keith jumped over a bed that had always been there.

"Vamos, vamos," screamed his teammates.

He turned the corner and shouldered himself into the block of blue wood and started to push it past the goal line. Keith screamed as he gave one last hard shove and caused the column of wood to topple onto its side.

Everyone screamed as scalding liquid burned Keith's naked flesh. He opened his eyes to find an aged woman screaming in pain, doused in brown liquids with a tray of silverware pressed sharply into her flabby and loose floral chest. He was on top of this poor woman, pressing her tray and utensils into her boobs; much like a dull rock imprinting a marshmallow in such an irreversible way.

"Ay mierda," he whispered, rolling off her.

She was writhing in agony, belting out a loud panic. The naked man considered briefly of helping her, but hesitantly backed away instead.



Treepizzafatbunz t1_izw1fad wrote

[2/2]...The woman covered her eyes and sobbed, trying and failing to quell herself. Keith turned around and ran out of the hallway and found an empty living room with withdrawn curtains: so that the windows let in a bright white.

"Carlos, what did you do..."

Keith turned around to find that the hallway was replaced by an open doorway into a hospital room. Inside was dark and mirthless, with a single lamp in the corner illuminating the drawn glass window that showcased a stormy parking lot. The hospital room was also empty.

"Carlos, what did you do!"

It came from the window. In the doorway of the living room, a dark silhouette of a uniformed man threw open the door and charge at him with balled fists. Thunder screamed as all the windows started to buckle under intense rain. The man grabbed at Keith's neck.


It looked like a black tattoo. It was a lie: so, Keith threw himself at the tattoo and began biting the nostrils of a man who looked a lot like himself. But it occurred to Keith that the mirror hadn't shown his true reflection: it was only a coincidence that they looked alike, because he didn't look like that; naturally.

The black man struggled but managed to produce a knife from his chest and sliced at Keith's face a few times. The tattoo struggled, but Keith eventually choked the consciousness out of it. Using the knife, he mangled the face up until it was indistinguishable.

Breathing hard, the naked man stood up. He had fought with the tattoo next to the open doorway of the front entrance. An array of policemen with pointed pistols brandished him with fiery orange eyes. The sky was a bright cloudy white, like a blank canvas of smoke, and the windows continued to rhythmically thud despite the rain having seemingly stopped.

"Freeze, motherfucker."

Keith looked down at his body. He was in his underwear, the stitches and blemishes were gone, but his entire forearm was drenched in blood, cuts and bitemarks. There was also a layer of blistered red skin over his chest that was coated by a brown aromatic sauce.

"Raise your hands!"

"Hands up and drop the weapon. Hands up!"

Keith briefly heard the word "hands" and understood from the context that he should raise his hands. But then he remembered that there was writing on the palm, so he turned his hand to see if it had changed.

"Hands up!" A cop yelled angrily, growling the words out.

The message was still there on his hands. But it read differently:

"Gracias por hacer un buen acto. Casi listo, mi amor. Levante la mano y gana."

"¿Mi amor?" Keith said perplexed. He raised both hands.

"Drop the knife!"

He dropped the knife and faced his palms to the police. Immediately, gunshots sounded as his bleeding forearm was assaulted by the palm.

Keith screamed as he fell, landing on the wisping sand. A hiss slithered out from his body before a force propelled his limp form against the walls of the entryway like a flung towel. Dark tendrils of reptilian skin, coated with Keith's blood, had erupted from the bone of the brutally fresh orifice. These tendrils had no core body or head, and simply flung line after line into the crowd of policemen: skewering their necks and heads in one swift movement.

They all stood still as Keith's hand wiggled inside of each human's corpse. A pleasant humming sound vibrated from Keith's head. The walls of the house started to fade away, and he was back in the hospital room. But this time, it didn't look so mirthless and dreary; though this time, there was a reflection in the window. And so, you watch yourself on the bed for a long while, taking in details you have forgotten since the beginning of that special day. You didn't seem to blink as you watched yourself in wonder. And you find comfort in that gaze of yours.

"Have you thought of a name yet, dear? I know you said you wanted a girl, so you could name her after Keisha."

"I know, I remember..."

"We've got to name our baby something. The people are waiting on us."

"Hm, how about Keith then?"

"That's a good deal, sweetie. I'm sorry for what happened to her but remember that I'll name the next baby, okay?"

A light clap of thunder sounded from overhead. Keith wriggled his index finger slightly.

"I know honey. I know."


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plushflink t1_izuq8n9 wrote

My brain and body ache as I drag myself out of bed and slide my feet into a pair of navy blue slippers. I really need to piss. I stumble into the bathroom and flip a switch, allowing the light to flicker on, letting a meek glow settle onto my weary face. My eyes adjust to this newfound light, and fall onto a strange set of sentences etched upon my skin. I rub my arm, attempting to scratch them away, they won’t budge. The sentences read, ‘you have Alzheimer’s. You love your wife. Your name is Keith.’ The strangest part of that, is I dont recall having a wife, however my name is Keith… perhaps its a two truths one lie, or two lies one truth? I have no recollection of having Alzheimer’s…

I turned my arm, searching for more information, something to heal this growing pain of unknowing, and then, like I had been kissed by the devil’s fowl lips, another mystery befell me. A second message, this time, however, it was messy, and done in thick black ink; that of a marker pen. The words jumped out at me, ‘THE TATTOOS ARE A LIE.’ My stomach churns, my brain desperately searches for answers. Nothing. I don’t remember anything.

No longer in need of a piss (the panic must have wiped it clean from my mind) I head back to the bedroom. In the bed, a woman began to stir awake, “Keith? What are you doing up?” She says, forcing herself into an upright position. “Oh… erm, I just needed to pee.” I responded, awkwardly scanning her face, trying to gain any sense of familiarity, still, I could remember nothing.

[I got bored so sorry about that 👍]