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Authors: Brendan Mancilla

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Someone to Remember Me: The Anniversary Edition

BOOK: Someone to Remember Me: The Anniversary Edition
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SOMEONE TO REMEMBER ME

The Anniversary Edition

 


by Brendan Mancilla –

 

Copyright © 2014 by Brendan Mancilla

Cover design by Natasha DiMatteo All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the author. The only exception is by a reviewer, who may quote short excerpts in a review.

Written in the United States of America

First Printing: February 2012

ISBN-13 978-0-9850016-0-5

 

 

To Ian Hillis, who I will remember forever.

 

 

 

CONTENTS

 

Part One: The Survivors

Chapter One: Dawn

Chapter Two: A Nearby Sadness

Chapter Three: On the Hunt

Chapter Four: Timeless Knowledge

Chapter Five: Among the Shallows

 

Part Two: Rapture

Chapter Six: In Memoriam

Chapter Seven: Origins

Chapter Eight: A Soul to Keep

Chapter Nine: The Flaw

Chapter Ten: Love and Reconciliation

 

Part Three: Eternal Recurrence

Chapter Eleven: Summons

Chapter Twelve: Mortal Coil

Chapter Thirteen: Grand Cross

Chapter Fourteen: All Creation

Chapter Fifteen: Someone to Remember Me

 

Afterword & Acknowledgements

 

In this hour of daybreak, my sins yearn for absolution once more. They have endured exaltation and exile, ecstasy and misery, born from kindness and yet mired in criminality. Judge my actions as you will, decry them as you must, but the reward for my patience is nigh upon the horizon.

A cold light spreads across the ruined place you fought to possess and, in your arrogance, doomed forever. This fatal truce, this peace in death, could not last. Perhaps that is why you stir? Woken from your age-long slumber, summoned to action by the dawn of the roses.

 

 

Part One: The Survivors

 

Chapter One:

Dawn

 

Vomit came easily, the third time around. It burned and scraped against the back of his throat and threatened to course through his nose. In the end it burst through his mouth and splattered against the cement, giving him to chance to gasp for air and think. Amidst this wondrous activity a singular thought occurred to him:

How could he be vomiting when he didn’t remember eating?

Trembling, he fell to the ground but made sure to avoid the pile of what had once been in his stomach. If the air hadn’t been bleached by some other baleful odor then he might have worried about smelling like vomit. That brought another thought to mind and he sniffed the air. Try as he might he couldn’t name the scent that it carried to his nose. As he inhaled gulps of air, he figured that it eliminated every other smell. After a few seconds his nose could not detect the bile only inches away.

A faint pain in his hand distracted him from the air quality. Clasped in his fist was the stalk of a flower. Dark green, its…thorns, yes, thorns was the right word...the thorns had cut into his skin. Because this…the words clicked into place in his mind, this was a rose, and roses had thorns.

And this rose, in his hand, with its thorns, had cut him. A bit of blood dribbled along the stalk of the rose until it hit the pavement. There was no pain. And that was odd because as soon as he pulled the rose free of the cuts, the gashes remained. He turned his hand about as he evaluated it. He didn’t know how to fix a cut. He had no idea how to repair the damage done to his body.

He felt that time was slowing down for him. Unable to make sense of anything, the sky and the air were halting their movement to give him a chance to catch up. Why couldn’t he remember words, or names, or even where he was? What caused him to wake up, sick, and at a loss for everything? At least it wasn’t nighttime. One advantage was obvious to him: the time of day.

Gray, useless light fell through the street he stood in the midst of. It pushed through the great towers that were bathed in black shadows. Far in the distance, obscured and mottled by the morose clouds, the sun rose and punched a couple of lucky beams through the coverage. As white light pressed inwards it illuminated the buildings and a dim gleaming emanated from them, carrying a twinge of something alien—a color other than gray and white—to their lonely observer.

Holding his hand up to guard his eyes, he could see that nothing stirred in the approaching dawn. The street he stood on, vacant in every direction except for the towers that guarded it, betrayed no other people. He knew when the stillness endured that things were not as they should be and panic overtook him.

“Hello?” he bellowed at the top of his lungs. By standing, he inhaled more deeply than ever before. “Is anybody there?”

The vast emptiness of the city carried his voice a distance greater than it might normally travel. No response. Such silence. Such emptiness. Around him, the relentlessly tall buildings stood and watched his vain attempts to not feel alone. Overwhelmed, he staggered backwards.

Where was he? How could this be? Where were the people, their voices, the signs of life that a city should exhibit? Why were the streets empty, the doors shut, the windows crusted over by dust and dirt? If he was alone, then he had a mournful city to himself, clearly abandoned by the original owners, whoever they were.

That was it. Abandoned. Everything, the whole entirety. The buildings, the streets, the sidewalks were abandoned. Wary of remaining in one place for too long, he wandered down the empty street and cast his eyes up the lengths and sides of the buildings.

Size had no meaning here because everything was tall, imposing, and empty. He supposed that each one of the towers could house incalculable numbers of people. What had caused the inhabitants to leave? Better yet, what had caused him to stay?

Being alone began to frighten him. His life had started four minutes ago, when he’d realized he was vomiting in the middle of a road. No other memories came to mind when he prodded for them. When he asked himself to remember any detail before a few minutes ago, his mind shrugged irresponsibly. As the lonesome magnitude of his situation began to settle in on him he remembered that in his hand, his only clue, was a rose.

Where could the rose have come from? As his mind devoured and reconstructed his understanding of the word city, he concluded that an industrial beast was no place for a flower. Towers, metal, steel, glass, pavement: they were their own type of nature where the artificial crowded out the organic.

His pacing became hurried, his fear worsened, and with each step he felt driven towards something. In the oppressive silence the only sounds he heard were those of his feet against the pavement. Soon he was running, almost flying down the black top, searching for something. His heartbeat, his steps, his gasps for air, they worked together and formed a patchwork music. Becoming cohesive, taking form, the music slid out of the dark spots in his memory.

No more than a memory’s wisp, he hummed the musical notes and the fear within him became still. His mind’s slow feed of information, which had reluctantly come to him when he thought about roses and cities and buildings, evaporated in the heat of the music. His mind remained a black depth when it considered the music.

He felt like he had been running for a long time. Not from fear but because it felt good to run. Testing his physical strength felt correct. Until he started running he hadn’t realized how stiff his body felt. In defiance of its resistance, he whipped through the streets of the forgotten place, but clutched the rose while the music pulsed through his head.

The rose was his link, it was his key. To what, to when, to whom, or to where could not be answered yet. The answers were here and nowhere else, he felt certain of it. The knowledge he sought was being watched by towers rotting with lonesome grief.

In the dark spot of his mind the song burned clearly, the lyrics dictated to him by a force stronger than instinct.

“Day of wrath, oh day of mourning!” he hissed, the melody absent from the words. His body trembled and slowed to a stop. Without the melody the words issued like a warning from his lips and were emboldened by the dead city.

In his fear he refused to reach out and touch the song again. He shuddered to a stop and cast a fearful gaze across the endless stretch of city ahead of him. When he thought of the song it made him feel connected to a story he was afraid to think of and simply unable to remember.

The fear was too great and the loneliness set in again. For how impressive a sight he found the city, it was a shame that he should be left alone inside of it. An unpleasant sensation returned to his hand and he looked at it.

Well, almost alone.

In his bloodied hand was the rose. He held it up in the feeble light of the morning, facing the weakened dawn. The sun brought a faint hue of another alien color, too weak to cling to the rose for long, to his eyes. A brief life in the petals of the flower, a soft reminiscence of old glory. It encouraged him to think that there could be more beyond the gray and the grief. When the clouds parted, the sun rose above the obelisks of towers. A featureless white orb ascending the scentless air, dominating the silent city.

He hesitated, wondering where to go. The music had propelled him forward and without it the familiar uncertainty returned. Because walking on the empty street felt too strange to endure much longer, he returned to the sidewalk. The buildings lining the streets here appeared even older than the first ones he saw. These buildings, not nearly as tall as some of their neighbors, were a combination of brick and steel at their base. At their zenith they were glass and metal, aged by the elements, their comparative youth scarred beyond recognition.

Studying a particular doorway, he left the street and carefully approached it. Drawn to it, he thought he heard an echo of the music but dismissed the notion. The door was part of a wide landing, an opening for the building’s occupants to flood in and out of. As he got closer he realized that the wooden door was actually glass. Glass that was so filthy, so disgusting with dirt and mud, that it looked—and felt—as grainy as wood.

He wiped a hole in the grunge with the bottom on his fist and peered inside. Perceiving only darkness, he used the width of his open hand to clear a larger area. Dirt crumbled away from the glass while some clung to his hand. The glass, cold to the touch, yielded little more of the building’s interior.

His attention was grabbed by an audible clicking noise. Beneath his palm and fingertips the glass warmed. Small red lights appeared beneath each of his five fingers, contemplating whatever secrets they might glean. As the lights in the glass deliberated, he heard it again. The music came back, ringing in his ears alone, weighing his mind down, pushing his body towards the ground. If he could have cried out, he would have, but the music forced sentient thought from his mind and pulled him towards the past. His mind, so much of it blank already, plunged into vacuousness. Dimly aware that his hand was still pressed against the glass, held in place by the same forces trying to swallow him into the past, he did not see the lights switch from red to green.

BOOK: Someone to Remember Me: The Anniversary Edition
13.72Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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