Sunday, February 2, 2014

Prompt: Person with very poor memory, Laundromat, Email that can’t be unsent

Sam sat in the empty laundromat, watching her clothes tumbling over and over in the dryer window. The stifling smell comforted her, brought a feeling of security that she never felt in the open air, or even the confines of the small rooms that seemed to be her own.

An old man in a suit and old-fashioned hat came in, walking with a fancy dark wood cane and carrying a backpack. He nodded to her and walked over to the row of washing machines, emptying his backpack into the one farthest from her. He searched in his pocket for quarters, then carefully fit them into the washer. As it started filling with water, he closed the lid and sat in a chair, pulling out a tablet that he peered at through his coke-bottle lenses.

Her tablet sat perched on her lap, the video she had finished ten minutes ago still open on her screen. She struggled in vain to remember it, trying the tricks she had written in Notes front and center on the home screen. She supposed she had set it up that way. She didn’t remember any of it. Anything. She read the notes and nothing felt familiar, felt like her. How could this be her life, if she couldn’t remember a single bit of it?

She clicked open the note she looked at the most often.

When you want to remember
Click Send

What kept her from clicking the link? She opened the note over and over, but some sense of dread kept her from acting. Her finger hovered over the letters, bouncing slightly in the air, not touching the screen. She glanced up at the old man, still staring intently at his own tablet. Almost without meaning to, her finger dipped down low enough to touch the screen. She was startled by the swoosh of an outgoing email, and her eyes dropped back to her tablet. What had she done?

The old man stood, his cane sliding against the floor. A car squealed to a stop outside the Laundromat doors, two doors slamming. Sam jumped to her feet, adrenaline flooding her body. She felt jittery, her sight narrowing on the old man and the door behind him. Raising her hands, forearms crossed, she took a step forward, then faltered when the old man said, “Wait, Samantha. We don’t intend you any harm. Calm yourself…”

Dogs in house

ZZ Ward, Till the Casket Drops

Time writing
30 minutes

February word count

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