Hi Readers, where am I?
Everything was gray and blurry and refused to clarify.
When she tried to remember, she found nothing, not even a hint of a clue. Her mind had been scoured clean of everything except that one conviction—I was just somewhere else in the middle of doing something important. That wrenching feeling of displacement was so strong, there was no denying it. But it gave her something to go on, some mental ground to build on. She clung to that scrap of information and searched for more.
My mind can’t be completely erased if I have even a vague sense of what I was doing before I woke up in this state.
She smiled, already feeling a little more in control of things. First things first, she must find who or what stole her memories and if that person, place, or thing could still take them. Her smile became a grin, but it faltered as that gray nothingness wrapped its colloidal thickness around her and her newly formed plan disintegrated.
Oh, no, you don’t.
She tried to hold on to her plan as it slipped away, word by word, dissolving into the mist until she was left empty and alone again—a listless husk twisting in that all-encompassing fog.
Dark whispers vibrated that gray stuff as she came back to herself. Was it a cocoon of some kind? If it was, then it wasn’t made from anything she could touch or feel. How strange.
I should be freaked out by this, but I’m not. Why aren’t I?
In fact, she just felt empty as if the ability to feel had been sucked out of her. Not exactly normal, but at least she could still think.
It’s this place. It’s trying to make me apathetic, so I’ll be a good prisoner and wallow away the years in my bland cell. Yeah, that’s not happening.
She tried to remember anything at all but there was just the grayness rolling in endless waves through her mind, wiping away each attempt to remember, but she refused to give up.
Something doesn’t want me to remember. I must know something this mysterious ‘they’ don’t want me to know. And that must be important. How can I figure out what that something is without tipping off the gray thing encasing me?
Now that was a muddle. Can it sense my thoughts?
Probably. How else would it know I recalled something?
But she couldn’t know that for certain.
It could’ve wiped my mind a thousand times since I arrived here. I have only a vague sense of purpose to go on. And that too could be wrong.
She drifted then, floating in the gray sea of forgetfulness until whispers disturbed the quiet. They grew louder and less intelligible as the grayness under her rippled like disturbed water.
Is there water under there?
A memory stirred but the gray fog vacuumed it up before it could rise to the level of conscious thought. But there was something important about the water here. Her nemesis couldn’t erase that fact. It had left an indelible mark on her psyche—or a well-trod path from countless memories I can’t yet retrieve. She suppressed a smile and blanked her mind before the fog sensed the change in her and closed in to kill it.
I remember nothing. I am nothing, she sent into that grayness passing over her, and its smoky fingers stayed out of her mind.
It flowed sluggishly by as if it had eaten too much and was considering whether it had room for more. Or was that just wishful thinking?
My memories can’t have filled you up. You’re too vast. Unless she was inside the belly of a beast, but that seemed too strange a scenario to contemplate.
All the truly enormous magical beasts were long extinct. Her gut confirmed that, and she didn’t need her memories to back up that certainty. No, she wasn’t inside anything except a bizarre prison, and prisons had walls to scale and locked doors she could pick. If she could find her way past this gray menace.
Does the fog-beast seem vast because it’s all I see? How far away is that horizon? This misty plane seemed to stretch on forever in all directions without end or relief. Nothing is that large.
But the fog could be an exotic creature, or it could be generated by one as a defense mechanism. Given its memory-stealing properties, that made sense.
It might even fear me.
She laughed at the idea of anything fearing her. Still, the idea had some merit. Everyone feared something.
Maybe I’m more fearsome than I feel.
That voice called again, still in no language she understood. The ground didn’t react this time. Even though the call grew fainter, her gut still urged her to hide. And that didn’t make any sense at all.
If there’s someone here sharing this bizarre experience, I should find them and compare notes. Maybe they know how we got here or better yet, how to escape.
But that inner caution, something she hadn’t known she possessed, refused to unclench. It held her down under the fog and kept her quiet. Not everything here might be friendly. I’ve forgotten too much. How can I tell who’s a friend and who’s the foe who tossed me in here?
The voice continued to call while its owner moved further away. She still couldn’t tell what this person was shouting nor whether the voice was the same one as before. It might not be. There could be a whole enclave hidden in this gray stuff. That memory-stealing fog might be protecting their home.
Would they help me if I made myself known to them? Probably not, you don’t shroud your home in forgetfulness unless you want to discourage visitors. Alright, new plan—avoid those searchers.
— excerpted from His Angelic Keeper on sale now for 99 cents everywhere.
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