Novel Collaboration (Identify): Chapter 13.

Previous chapters:

Chapter One (Psyche) by Lucy.

Chapter Two (To the other side) by Andrada Costoiu.

Chapter Three by B.V. Stratton.

Chapter Four (The fateful night) by Smita Ray.

Chapter Five (Insight Part I) by Amitbhat0912.

Chapter Five (Insight Part II) by Amitbhat0912.

Chapter Six (They’re still out there Part I) by Lucy.

Chapter Six (They’re still out there Part II) by Lucy.

Chapter Seven (Cycles of violence Part I) by Lucy.

Chapter Seven (Cycles of violence Part II) by Lucy.

Chapter Eight (Fragments of the past Part I) by Shweta.

Chapter Eight (Fragments of the past Part II) by Lucy.

Chapter Nine (Flashes from the past) by Smita Ray.

Chapter Ten (Be the hero you weren’t) by Lucy.

Chapter Eleven (Glitch) by Lucy.

Chapter Twelve (Revelations) by Lucy.

Chapter Thirteen (A Time Forgotten) by Jonathan “Electric Icarus” LaBelle.

Laying there on the isthmus with eyes closed, Tom started to remember.

No single particular memory, it was more of a flood ran through him. All the names, places, times, and even dates… Suddenly “Hadn’t seen you before?” was asked in the form of a question by the frowning man from across the room. 

Who was this? Tom thought. Best not to disagree, hell maybe he has a smoke.

“What is this?”

Then another inconvenient memory blackout.

Back again, Tom realized he was being asked questions. Password was the only thing he could cryptically decipher or vaguely remember. Remaining quiet with his own personal thoughts and ideas, his ignorance worked to his advantage. The less he knew the better it would seem. He managed himself this far in a new world. Best to know what may lay ahead of him first.

There was no demeanor change until the night of the shadow. Were it not for the realistic calming of the wind that time—well, the sea would have easily taken him in his dreams and deep into the subconscious of who-knows-what. But, that’s not how things worked out.

Through all the beauty of fauna and flora, Tom saw the gorgeous eyes of humanity. Not sick, nor dire, or even begging but more a state of constant everlasting wonder.

Tom, well, he had already died many times with a mask on. But who can differentiate from the mask and his face? This kill done purposely in front of many. Ego always the first to let go. Not to separate the ID though. That would unconsciously continue to remain, almost as if stuck in some Jungian fantasy or worse, nightmare. A place in the shadow of the Liber Novus and whenever his current now is, Tom thought, “What do I do next?!” though he accidentally noticed his words came out.

Every decision forward was made from this specific vague memory of self-confidence, intuition told him this much. Questions with more answers leading to more questions, thinking that as the typical outcome. Well that was, if he was remembering right.

Then the woman always teasing, trying his confidence whether it be blowing literal smoke in his face to testing a smart mouth. Never true torture, but she always seemed to know what to do to get under his skin, always working the last of his last nerves.

Recognizing a bit, Tom knew that this current being did keep him alive before. Regrettably, always in a debt.

Bureaucracy and playing sexy was their game. Something Tom knew little to nothing about. Who was he to even argue such a gesture?

Through malnourishment and dehydration, his life was spared. In a world he didn’t know with amnesia that came before the big Epoch change. Tom definitely needed some sleep at this rate.

When Tom woke by a creek, he was immediately addressed a local. Local people seem to naturally have more authority already. But with no response, Tom frantically changed his mind and played possum for a solid moment.

After a decent amount of time, Tom finally got up. A fear, something subconscious took over. Whatever the reason, Tom could run.

Eventually the words “I’m your sister, Tom!” completely blindsided him. Perplexed, he began a mental tailspin within since there was no memory trying to explain or even remember.

Then she placed a certain fear in him.

More came to memory. With a specific bravery related to subconscious fear and desire, Tom started to grow strong. Remembering all from the ranch was essential, he knew that much, but then the conversation began; a thing to become lonely, just as quickly as it had started.

He was left in a world of confusion and loneliness unwilling to trust anyone or anything that he thought he might know before he woke up.

Then Tom remembered. These questions… I’ve answered this before.

“Is it happening again or is it a new thing?” Tom said worn and beaten as if it were nothing.

A series of questions began with a cigarette smoking grinning face. Somehow, Tom felt he had been in this exact position before. A nuisance to memory is all he could think about.

Lauren dragged me through the riverbed. He recalled. She looked so strong with her bamboo stick in the pouring rain. Zara was after us…

“I remember the launch of a boat!” Tom went blank again before even earning a cigarette. When he started to come to, “Cold eyes and hounds are all I remember. Something about an oak bridge aside from that.”

“Nothing else?” said the grinning face.

“Well, this jogs my memory a little!” Tom joked. “I am almost positive there was a child… Plus that monster, Anastasia? I can and will never forget that craziness!”

He looked up, blowing his smoke toward the grinning face. Tom smirked.

“So do we loop it on back around again? Or are you satisfied? Was that finally good enough? If not, how can we do it better this time? Let it be known, I’ve lived three lives supporting the same politics.” Tom said in an unsupportive way. “Another life and I might be able to call the game.” He was sounding rather disappointed.

The grinning face spoke, glitching, morphing, finally closing a looping mind gap door. “You know my nature, I will forever want more. Something you tend to forget. Blame it on amnesia, though you know what it really is; it’s plain regret.”

Tom spoke dry and calloused, almost frail. “When do I finally tell my true tale?”

“Almost there!” said the facetiousness of the grinning face. “Let’s start over again…” almost as if spoken from the true puppet master, Merlin. “And Tom? You are owned. Don’t forget.”

“Do I at least have a linear time lapse this time?”

Nothing in response. Frustrated, Tom tried to explain his interest, “Basically, will I know if this is the beginning or end of a new loop?”

“We shall see…” said the grin.

A powerful occipital headache came over Tom. When he looked again, he saw the face of Anastasia.

Blank again. Erased.

Back into the nothingness of what was considered his memory. Remembering enough if it was completely safe to trust it or not. Which it was. Reliability would be where the problem lies.

2 thoughts on “Novel Collaboration (Identify): Chapter 13.”

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