The Memory Thief – Friday Fictioneers, June 2018

Copyright Roger Bultot

She watches him stir, push back the quilt and reach for his notebook.

Only when he’s read yesterday’s notes does he turn to look at her.

“Hi,” he says.

“Hi yourself.”

“Yesterday was great,” he says, lips brushing hers.

He’s adapted quickly, too quickly perhaps.  Without that notebook he’d have no recollection of her, of how they spent the day.  And he believes that to be his fault.

But her forgettability is an uncanny gift, a trick of her trade, the way she makes her living.

And when she moves on, as a kindness, she will destroy his notebook.

 

I read a book recently where a young woman suddenly finds that no-one remembers her, starting from when her parents forget to set a place for her at the dinner table, and look at her blankly when she enters the dining room.  Eventually her ‘gift’ leads her to a life of international crime, where even on the rare occasion when she’s apprehended, she’s released because no-one can remember her or why she was apprehended once they’ve left her presence.  I’ve experienced the same forgettability myself as I’ve grown older, but I’ve yet to take up shoplifting…

The unforgettable Rochelle Wisoff Fields, who could never be just another face in a crowd, leads us into another week of Friday Fictioneers.

About Sandra

I cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and write fiction and poetry. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
This entry was posted in Friday Fictioneers, Just Sayin' and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

99 Responses to The Memory Thief – Friday Fictioneers, June 2018

  1. neilmacdon says:

    A lovely magical sad tale

    Like

  2. Indira says:

    Strange. Interesting story.

    Like

  3. Dear Sandra,

    Oh my. That could be a ‘gift’ of sorts, particularly to an unscrupulous individual. Well done, which comes as no surprise.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

  4. Sue says:

    Intriguing, and rather sorrowful ….

    Like

  5. ceayr says:

    Jings, Sandra, this left me strangely disquieted.
    I think perhaps this is the most frightening tale I have read here, and i don’t know whether I am more afraid for her or him.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. A delightful story! You did a lovely job in writing it. What a unique gift, though I’m not sure I’d want it … not to be remembered. =)

    Like

  7. Amazing story – and interesting to read where you got the idea from. Really loved this.

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    Like

  8. Excellent. Tense, well-written and leaving the reader wanting more.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. She’ll move on and employ that gift to her advantage again no doubt. Delightfully different Sandra

    Like

  10. Kind of scary this growing older thing… I have memory lapses sometimes and it bothers me. I really like your story. A little intrigue with the memory loss!! 😉

    Like

  11. Rowena says:

    Great story, Sandra. I really liked the thinking behind it. I also wanted to pick up on that point you made about becoming invisible as you get older. I’ve particularly noticed it in the dance studio where the teens share all sorts of private details with each other while I’m sitting there and as you noted, it’s like I’m invisible. They’ve even talked about their mums and I know some of them and I just sat there gobsmacked. The other thing I’ve found, is that my daughter has ideas about how mums should dress and behave. That it was okay for me to try on violet lipstick in the shop when we were having fun, but when I thought of wearing it to Church on Mother’s Day, it was like I was naked. She was adamant I didn’t wear it. I went back to my pink one. Safe. However, now I’m starting to see a rbellion on the horizon. That it won’t be the teenager rebelling. it will be the mum. Stay tuned.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

    Liked by 3 people

    • prior.. says:

      Rowena – and S – had to share that recently I was chatting with my mother and she told me she was tghere when i took my driver’s test in the 80s. I told her she was not there – I could not recall her being there – she then asked me – well who took you then? I could not see anyone else there besides me and the testing agent.
      How could I eliminate my mother from that entire memory? My we take primary caregivers for granted at times. But she was invisible back then and R – your story with the teens reminded me of that lack of peripheral vision some have –

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sandra says:

        Thank you both for your input here. Interesting how the mind plays tricks, Prior. And good luck with that rebellion Rowena. I hope you come out unscathed. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Rowena says:

        That is so interesting, Prior, isn’t it? No one wants to be taken for granted and especially left out of the story altogether. However, at the same time, we do need those people we can take for granted and just know they’re there for us as reliable, dependable and almost as invisible as the air we breathe. Then, when we are overlooked, trying to be gracious and know that we were appreciated in more of an unconscious way.
        Best wishes,
        Rowena

        Liked by 1 person

        • prior.. says:

          you said that well –
          now they’re there for us as reliable, dependable and almost as invisible as the air we breathe

          and my mother and I laugh about the story now. We are so close these days and have been for the last 15 years.

          In fact, I was out to eat last week and some acquaintances were there and forced us to sit with them. Really did not want to but it was this social manners thing.
          and so the one lady – a sweet, but insecure and competitive business woman had to be corrected.
          I noted that my mother is coming to visit next month (on her way up north – we live on the east coast of us) and how my mom used to sometimes by pass our place because it saved three hours – but after my nephew died my mom said he will make the trip every time.
          so… this lady said, “she’s making sure she visits her grandkids.” I said, “um, no, she is visiting me.” – and she pointed to me older son (who was with us) and winked and said something like, nah – it’s the grandkids she wants to see.
          I let it go…
          but little did she know that two of the last three visits my mom made did not include seeing either grandson – and so that is why we both drove across the state to go and see them recently. but my point was that this woman kept missing that my mom was actually coming to spend time with me – her daughter. Just me.

          Like

  12. pennygadd51 says:

    What an intriguing story you’ve written. You illustrate the complex idea of forgettability by having the man keep a diary of how he spent the day with the woman who is forgettable. it’s a very engaging tale.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. StuHN says:

    Nice. At first I thought it was another Alzheimer’s story, but instead, we get magic happenings.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. James Pyles says:

    Seems like it would be a double-edged sword. The downside is you can have no lasting relationships.

    Like

  15. Dale says:

    It truly is a poisonous “gift”. One she seems to use to her advantage.
    So very well done, Sandra. I, too, had the first thought that Alzheimer’s was involved… You sneaky one, you…

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Iain Kelly says:

    What an intriguing premise. At first I thought it was him who suffered from some sort of memory loss, starting each day afresh – see the film ‘Memento’ for a wonderful twisty crime story like that – but I enjoyed the idea that everyone forgets her, so much potential.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      I don’t recall the film. I read another book about a woman whose memory was wiped out overnight. Every night. And how her husband (or the man who professed to be her husband) connived to use this to his advantage. It’s a topic with endless possibilities. Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Anita says:

    Chilling indeed, Sandra!
    If no one remembers us, digital cameras & CCTVs can tell the untold story… May be they can piece together the info & reconstruct the real story…

    Like

  18. prior.. says:

    The book you read sounds GREAT.
    and laughing at your humor – glad you are not stealing – bah!!

    but also this touches on a deeper note – so much to chew on – enjoyed your fiction

    Like

  19. This story left me with a very eerie feeling. Such a scary story and strangely pleasurable. Very well written, Sandra.

    Like

  20. It is so interesting how what we are currently reading leads us toward what we write. Nicely done. Many little twists and turns.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Sometimes I wonder whether I’d be able to write if I didn’t read as much as I do. And then I wonder how much I could write if I didn’t spend so much time reading… Thanks for visiting, Alicia.

      Like

  21. How would he know to make notes about her if he didn’t remember that he forgot her every day? My mind is in a twist over this one. Loved it and I’m so glad you haven’t taken up a life of crime.
    Tracey

    Like

  22. nsimonf@yahoo.com says:

    Hi Sandra,
    I gather that you no longer have your boat in Burgundy – pity, I was always hoping to bump into you one day -not into your boat you understand! 🙂 I still have my Dutch Barge moored in Decize, but age creeps on….

    I was wondering where the picture for today same from – ? Brussels Fine Art museum?

    All the best,

    Simon

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Looks like it’s not going to happen now Simon. But pleased you’re still boating. Hope you’re enjoying Decize. I’m not sure about the origin of the picture, though I believe it is a museum. Have a lovely summer and lots of happy boating ahead! 🙂

      Like

  23. Wouldn’t work for you. You’re unforgettable, Sandra.

    Like

  24. Joy Pixley says:

    Are you talking about “The Sudden Appearance of Hope”? I have on that on my to-read shelf, and that was the first thing I thought of when I read your story. Such an intriguing idea, but with such heartbreaking implications.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Ah, thanks for that Joy. It’s been niggling at me for days now. One of those stories you keep having to stop to try to reason how it can possibly work. (Just like Tracey Delaplain did) 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        As long as whatever the magic or paranormal or curse thing is consistent in terms of how it functions (the rules don’t change conveniently just when it’s important for the plot) I can suspend my disbelief pretty well. I’m looking forward to reading it.

        Like

  25. This feels like a blending of things–the girl you mentioned who is forgettable, but also the stage in aging when loved ones are forgotten. Very stirring.

    Like

  26. yarnspinnerr says:

    An intriguing take.

    Like

  27. shivamt25 says:

    I found this extremely interesting. What is the name of the book? The concept is intriguing.

    Like

  28. Liz Young says:

    The pair of them are as bad as each other, but surely you’re not in that league? I remember you every week, at least!

    Like

  29. draliman says:

    Nice one! I started thinking dementia or brain injury but reading on I’m thinking she’s one of the faerie folk.

    Like

  30. Alice Audrey says:

    Succubus! I was sure it would be Alzheimer’s. Now I wonder if his friends and family will remember her or if they see her now.

    Like

  31. granonine says:

    Unusual. For a minute there I thought it was a take off on “Fifty First Dates,” but you went way beyond that. Sad that being forgettable leads to a life of crime.

    Like

  32. What an interesting approach… and such a bad luck to meet a man with a notebook. I think you should stay out of shoplifting

    Like

  33. Mike says:

    It feels as if there might be more possible stories gathered from this type of complaint.

    Like

  34. plaridel says:

    a blessing or a curse depending on one’s perspective.

    Like

  35. lisarey1990 says:

    Intriguing and sad.

    Like

  36. Really interesting – I can see several levels here/different tales/readings. I now revisit it. Again.

    Like

  37. jillyfunnell says:

    I really like the way this is written, Sandra. It goes off in a completely different direction from the one I was assuming and I love that. Excellent stuff!

    Like

  38. dmmacilroy says:

    Sandra,

    I’ll not forget you. Ever.

    Love,

    D.

    Liked by 2 people

  39. Laurie Bell says:

    Gosh there is such sadness here. What a powerful and terrible magic curse

    Like

  40. Brilliantly written! Intriguing!

    Like

  41. Sarah Ann says:

    Such a wonderful story and great idea – what it is your protagonist is up to? I can see the benefits of being forgettable, but don’t think it will do much for her mental health long term.

    Like

  42. I am not sure of her kindness.
    Sinister, that’s how I would name.her!

    Like

  43. Lynn Love says:

    I used to have nightmares like that when I was a child, or more accurately of being invisible rather than forgotten. But this young lady has turned the skill to her advantage. I love the touch that as a ‘kindness’ she’ll destroy the notebook – beautiful touch and it humanises her in a very simple, deft way..
    Lovely writing

    Like

  44. Sounds like a good book and you’ve written an intriguing introduction.

    Like

  45. Nicely written. And an interesting premise.

    Like

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