You know Timmy that it was your aunt Oksana who made this, she said, pointing to the cross-stitch sampler by her desk.
A memory is a memory
of a memory
of a game of Chinese Whispers
of a memory . . .
You’re making stuff up, Timothy.
Does this really sound like something I could make up?
Well, you wouldn’t make up stuff that sounded completely made up. You’d go for something somewhat feasible, yet overdramatic—and in this case the most I’ll give you is somewhat.
Come on, Bill. I was there. How can I convince you?
I’d say bring in an eye witness but you’ve already covered up that track by telling me that your aunt is dead.
Well . . .
Mom—I tried telling Bill about that time we visited Aunt Oksana in Philadelphia. The incident with the rat.
Oh stop. You’re always bringing that up. Give me credit for growing up.
I’ve sorted out the files, realizing that the wall of fire and the dead man tumbling down the stairs were different incidents unrelated to the rat killing.
But you’re still clear on the slaying of the dragon.
Yes—of course. I was there.
It was after Uncle Stefan’s funeral. I stayed on to keep Aunt O company.
True. I had to get back to New York. You stayed an extra week.
Aunt Oksana said it was just a dream because she didn’t want you thinking rats were running around her house. But it happened right before my eyes. I saw her take that metal rod from behind the refrigerator and corner that rat in the kitchen.
I’ve heard the details many times. Aunty Oksana standing heroic above the slain beast like St. George. Just like the painting of St. George in our church.
Exactly. So yesterday something triggered a memory of the embedded old perfume smell in her house. The rat story followed so I wanted to tell Bill.
And it used to be that the kitchen was on fire and that your uncle fell down the stairs trying to save you.
Mom! We’ve straightened that out. I just had some things confused. The fire was in their kitchen the day before—the plumber had caught a dish towel on fire with his blowtorch—and it was just a black trashbag full of Uncle Stefan’s clothing on the way to Goodwill that Aunt O unexpectedly tossed down the stairs.
I’m glad she slew the dragon if she did, Timmy.
Your Aunt died in her sleep on September 11th. She never got up to see the horror here in New York that morning.
I think of her whenever I see that We Will Never Forget slogan getting tossed around. She was such a skeptic on memory—not to mention nationalism—that I see her rolling her eyes in response.
They’ll never forget, I can hear her saying, but what will they remember and what will they do with those memories?
© AleXander Hirka 2020. All Rights Reserved.
Read RemingtonWrite’s version here:
In August 2020, I set myself the challenge of creating a daily digital collage based on an image and a concept. The image was that of the antique Omega watch that belonged to my Mom and the concept was Time.
In September 2020, the Anomalous Duo is challenging themselves to write a short piece of fiction for each collage — the Our Hours project.