August’s theme is Forgotten in Time. Here we have two short stories that take very different approaches to this theme, with each exploring the idea in a new and refreshing way. Peaches tells the tale of a freak tsunami which has left all but a quaint little farmer’s market standing, and how the shared experience of discovering it brings a group of friends even closer together. Forget Me Not is about Danielle (written in the 2nd person) and her struggle to cope with the devastating loss of a partner. She sees the accident again and again, never able to escape it.
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Peaches – Jessica Wren
After a freak tsunami devastates the East Coast, Bryce and his two closest friends must stick together to survive. A fantastical farmer’s market strengthens the trio’s bond.
I have asked every man in the Eatonton Camp about Peaches. No one remembers it. One fall afternoon Colyn and Tim, my two best friends who were also workers at Eatonton, found the ramshackle building that had once been home to a farmer’s market.
I got the impression that the building had not been affected much by the hurricanes, or even that freak Tsunami in 2018 that had swallowed every house, park, shopping center, school, library, hospital. Washington was not spared, and neither was New York, Boston, Charleston, Savannah, or Miami. The government has determined that the cost of repair would be too high, and therefore moved its center of government out west to Dallas, where they remain to this day. Some cleanup and restoration has been done to the East Coast, but nothing is the same. Those trapped in the areas east of the Mississippi after the tsunami were left to their own devices.
My friends and I consider ourselves lucky to have this job at Eatonton. We spent many years cleaning the area that had been Georgia in our youth. After about thirty years we have made some progress, but the East still has a long way to go.
The tsunami caught us all completely unaware. When you think of tsunamis, you think of them hitting Japan or India, but not our coast. I can’t explain how it happened. You can look it up if you want to know. It was something about an island in the Caribbean collapsing and creating large pockets of displaced water. That seems like a load of bull to me, but I’m not the scientist here….
Forget Me Not – Ian Williams
You are Danielle. You live in terror, forced to relive the same moment of your husband’s gruesome death over and over.
You hear Ryan screaming again, hear his voice become taut and strained as the life leaves him. A feeling of falling is made worse because you know you’ll hit the ground a second later. Then, when you do, it’s like the sky has come crashing down upon you. You hear something crack inside your own head, but you don’t feel a thing. Something has broken, something you know will leave you less than what you were before.
Breathing is difficult now, slowing to a shallow intake and delayed exhale. A warmth radiates throughout your body that seems to be getting stronger as Ryan becomes weaker. You wish you could reach out to him, that you could touch him somehow, feel his presence before it is gone. But you can’t move now.
Eventually you’ve faded, strayed too far from consciousness and not even Ryan’s last breath registers with you. It’s all a dream, happening somewhere else, somewhere far away. The pain, both physical and emotional, can’t touch you here, where the world is peaceful and strangely comforting. Are you dead? Is this what comes next?…..
From the Mayhem, Madness and Mirth team