In a burst of enthusiasm, I did a little work on another new story.
This one, called I Remember Everything, is based on an idea that I had last year. It’s another psychological thriller, this time I’ve set it in the near future.
Here’s the tagline.
A detective is mysteriously murdered.
At that precise instant, a child is born
In its brain is the name of the killer.
All they have to do is grow up and remember.
Once again, I designed a cover, which I find is the most effective way of crystalising the concept in my head. The act of picking the important part of the narrative and giving it a pictorial shape is a great prompt for my creative process.
This was what I came up with. The reason for the design will become clear as you read on.
And this is a glimpse of how it begins.
I remember the first day of this life, it started with pain, the same way that the last day of my old life ended.
I didn’t realise that it was a new life, not to begin with. It seemed to start only seconds after the end of what must have been my last one. I had slipped into unconsciousness, now I was awake.
I opened my eyes, where was I? The last thing I recalled was the grin on his face, the cold, dark warehouse, the flash of a blade. Where I was now was bright and warm.
“What lovely blue eyes,” said a voice out of my sight. Who was that? We had been alone, it must be paramedics, in which case, I was alive and once I got myself sorted out, I could reveal who the murderer was.
I’d caught him in the warehouse and not waited for backup. My mistake. I had known that as soon as I had been forced to retreat into the corner, dodging the thrusting blade until I had run out of room.
There was a brief flash of light away to one side, they must be taking photographs of my injuries.
“Where am I?” I shouted, all that came out was an unformed cry.
“Perhaps it’s time for a meal,” said another voice. What were they talking about? Food was unimportant, just get me better, so I can bring him to justice. I had his name, it needed to be told.
I must have been lying down, all I could see was the ceiling, the white strip lights under frosted plastic covers. I tried to move my arms, it felt like I had no control over them. My legs were the same. Had the knife stroke paralysed me? I couldn’t even lift my head.
“Here, let me,” said the first voice.
I felt myself rising, then my face was smothered in warm flesh.
“Isn’t she a beautiful baby?” said the second voice.
That was where the panic set in.
All the experts tell you that babies don’t understand. I see it differently. We understand everything, it’s just that we can’t tell you. At first, all I could do was scream. “I’m Detective Ian Gisbon. I was killed in October the 15th, 2037, by Harold James Meltis, at Hendrix Metals Warehouse.” I shouted it time after time. All my parents and anyone around me heard were screams, they thought I was hungry, wet, dirty or suffering from indigestion.
My parents thought that my screaming meant that I was sick. They took me to see doctors who poked and prodded and told them everything was fine, they were just worried because they were new parents.
But they persisted. In the end, I was sent for brain scans.
“There’s a lot more activity than we would normally expect,” said the doctor. I tried to shout again. “Of course there was, I’m in here and I have a story that needs to be told.”
As time passed, I gained control of my arms and legs, could hold my head up. In frustration, I thrashed them around, repeating my tale even though it was starting to fade as my mind filled with so many other things.
As time went on. I learned that shouting would do me no good. Instead, I quietened down and concentrated on trying to keep the memory alive until the day when I would be able to tell everyone. My parents were relieved that I had seemed to have settled. Now they called me quiet. People who saw my thoughtful expression when I was wheeled around our town told my parents that I had the look of an old soul.
I learned to walk, by that time all I could remember was Harold James. By the time I could actually speak, all I could say was Harold. Except it came out as Haral. It became a family joke, my mother wondered where such a word had come from.
I couldn’t tell her, it had gone from my conscious mind.
The story will have several separate threads, all running concurrently. There’s quite a bit of organising to be done if I want to get it all tied together in some sort of logical order. I have a feeling that this will be my NaNo project for 2022.
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