dr4gonbl4z3r t1_j6jb5g7 wrote

What’s a memory made of?

It’s one measly picture in your head that you desperately scribble in again and again, inevitably overcorrecting or under-representing. One thing, trying to replicate everything you were feeling then. Your firing senses. Overflowing emotions. Unmatched chemistry.

In fact, what’s weird isn’t that we forget. Try finishing a painting and then immediately dipping it into water, then repeating the process over and over again. Ending up with even a smidgen or similarity is a miracle, not an expected result.

So, a magic soup that erased memories? Least of the wonders in the afterlife. It made sense. Completely. People forget things all the time already.

All I could do was sit here, shafted into my special queue of one, while I watched other souls shamble up to the giant pot. The burly soup kitchen chef, whose name I can never recall, served the souls with an expression so flat and even that it looked like a… a… a… small human drew lines in the sand.

He sat on a high chair, and doled out bowl after bowl. Once in a while, his eyes flitted towards me. He would then grab a soul out of the line, passed them two bowls, and bade them to walk towards me.

The soup was disgusting. My first wish was always wishing that I would forget the taste. I swore it worked by being so terrible that it concussed your brain from the inside. The second wish was wishing finally, finally, the forgetting soup would work.

It never did. It never worked. I forgot everything else.

The chef would glance over, then shake his head. While the rest of the souls continued to file past him, I remained near the pot, staring in agony at the cauldron and line of souls that never ended.

I forgot all the time.

Can’t even remember how I died.

Or lived, for that matter.

I forgot how I ended up here, desperately downing soup after soup in vain.

How I can’t fucking forget that one single thing, a thorn of torment hammering itself into my brain again and again, flooding my entire body with pain. Perhaps smashing the bowl against my skull would stop that pain, or knock me out long enough for unconsciousness to act as nature’s painkiller.

The words rang in my head, over and over and over and over again.

“You will never forget.” His voice. That smirk, with yellowing teeth that could have done with several more brushings, twisting into a cruel laugh.

“You just lost the game.”



dr4gonbl4z3r t1_iv7cs2m wrote

The Dark Lord’s first reaction was, surprisingly, mirth. He thought the heroes had simply misspoken. Three halflings in a trench coat was an uncommon archetype, but nothing he’s never heard of.

As such, imagine the simultaneous mix of revulsion and fascination that welled from within him, like a snowball so yellow that it passed the invisible, but commonly agreed-on valley of distaste right into the hellish depths of morbid curiosity.

The three trench coats were utterly drenched with sticky fluids, smelling like something fishy that had been left to dry in the sun and then promptly forgotten about. They were black. Or at least, the Dark Lord hoped they were black, and not some colour that has since been dyed improperly.

The halfling that once stood before him bravely was now sprawled on the ground, his jaw in a state that can only be described as too open. The chest heaved and ho, indicating a modicum of life still inside him.

The Dark Lord, who had a gigantic god complex since he was little, then chose to invoke a blasphemous name in his complete shock.

“What in god’s name is this abomination?”

The trench coats stood. Sat. Laid? Somehow, they were upright with nothing to support them. One collar started flapping incessantly.”

“We are trench coats,” a muffled voice came through the middle coat. “Fairly common around these parts.”

“I’m sorry, but I am physically convulsing from the sheer, visceral disgust, like thousands of bugs crawling about in my bloodstream—which, trust me, is a torture so horrendous that I’ve kindly elected to keep it out of my personal torture dungeon,” the Dark Lord gagged. “Talking trench coats. Hacked from a halfling’s poor, undersized throat. And you call yourself common?”

“Hey,” the right coat complained. “Don’t bring race into this. We’ve had a hard time trying to make others take us seriously.”

“Race?” the Dark Lord whispered, bewildered. “You are—”

“You are deliberately misunderstanding the point, Dark Lord!” the middle coat shouted again, to vigorous collar flaps from the other two. “We are no men! And we are here to take you down!”

“Trench coats,” the Dark Lord shook his head. “I don’t see how you can…”

The coats started trudging towards him, the bottom of their floating coats barely swishing the floors. The Dark Lord was prepared to simply laugh, then burn every bit of thread up with the strongest fireballs he could muster.

Which he did. He was a powerful being. It came with being named the Dark Lord. It took a certain amount of prestige and ability to simply being known by a sole title that no one else dared to claim.

The trench coats, unfortunately, could not stand against fire that sprouted from every which where, hotter than the average hellfire pillar. The Dark Lord would know—the devil often tried to obtain this very spell for himself.

But as the coats burned, the Dark Lord had the audacity to breathe in deeply, in preparation for a solid sigh of satisfaction.

The smell had spread. Even the choking ash paled in comparison. What wafted through the air now was something so pungent that it would have killed a lesser man.

In the Dark Lord’s case, he stumbled to grab hold of a nearby pillar. He struggled against the innate desire to breathe deeply, in order to prevent himself from drowning from the inhuman odour that now spread across the room.

That day, the Dark Lord did not die.

But he gained a new nightmare. Something which no hero had ever done before.

And he realized—sometimes, even gods can cry themselves to sleep in a room filled with lavender incense to drown out the smelly memories.