- Vol. 05
- Chapter 10
A Decision at Dawn
I’ve never seen someone like him. He’s wearing a suit. That’s not the weird thing. It’s quite well cut, something my father would admire. Why am I thinking this now? It’s probably to distract from the fact of his face. His face isn’t a face. It’s all white, featureless flatness; that is, except for the neverending red spiral decorating it. It’s the stuff of cheesy hypnosis visuals in an old movie; the kind of uncanniness I’d likely admire if my parents weren’t lying deceased on the living room floor.
His face is directed towards mine, as if he’s looking right at me, but how can you look when you have no eyes? I want to scream, to howl, to run; but I’m stuck to the spot. Like in a dream. But it’s not a dream. The smarting fingernail-shaped cuts on my arm tell me that.
What can I do now but accept my fate?
I close my eyes; I wait.
But nothing happens. No blow to the head, no whack to the legs, no knife to the heart.
I open my eyes and hypnotic man is still where I left him. I stare.
“I can make you forget.”
“What you saw here.”
I notice that I’m shaking violently; my face is wet. Had I been crying this whole time? I suppose I must be very upset. That’s natural, isn’t it? But I can’t feel it right now; I can’t feel anything. And this man is asking me to make a decision. What was it again?
A Decision at Dawn
“I can make you forget that you had ever known them,” says the man, somehow making sense of my silent, muddled thoughts. “It’s your decision.”
My decision. They say it’s hard to make a decision when your emotions are clouding your judgment but I reckon that feeling numb is decidedly worse.
“What happens when I forget everything?” I ask.
The man says nothing.
I stare out the window of my former family home, this apartment at the top of the city. The sun is beginning to rise, lending light to the rundown blocks and buildings where the electricity has long been cut. It’s the only time of the night where you can see them in plain view. Our local eyesore. My father likes to joke about it. Oh. liked, I mean.
“Best view in town,” he said when we moved in, after his promotion. “Except for the sunrise.”
By then we could afford holographic curtains, so it didn't matter. We didn’t have to see what we didn’t want to. We had access to a different landscape on any given day; a Hawaiian beach or a leafy forest. Whatever we wanted.
Who had pulled open the curtains?
“What will my life be like if I forget everything?”
I tear my eyes away from the slums, briefly turn them to my parents for as long as I can bear, then to back to the strange hypnotic man.
How exquisite it would be to forget...