Memories Lost

April 9, 2018
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Due to a series of strange and unforeseen events, these are the objects Sam carries each day:  a dog tag, a photo, a key, and a lighter.

 

     Sam stood in an underground room, glaring indignantly at the pedestal standing directly in her way, a lock to open the huge stone door just behind it. Rock walls surrounded her on every side, lines and symbols etched into its sheer walls, most likely some sort of opening mechanism for the annoyingly large door. Of course, Sam knew exactly what the stupid rock wanted, she just really didn't want to give it the satisfaction.  Hands hovered over the tall, smoky marble pedestal, five respective places for five objects, just great.

 


     The first indent was small and circular, no bigger than a silver dollar and just big enough for the silver disk that lived in her pocket, now nestled in the girl's palm. A dog tag, such a common item, what significance could it possibly hold? Year four, first day of summer in 1955, the day Sam buried her first body, albeit simply a family pet, a body nonetheless. 'A freak snake bite,' they said, 'A complete coincidence' they said, sure. Even at age four Sam knew good and well that this was no coincidence; snakes had always had it out for her, gods know why. The dog just happened to be the first of many unfortunate casualties. She still remembered the day of the German Shepherd's burial; the nice woman in the lab coat pressing a silver dog tag into little hands. She had turned it over reading the black words etched into the soft metal, 'Sherman', a phone number and address scrawled in lovely cursive letters, a final reminder of a loving dog. Sam glanced it over one last time before placing it in its respective place.

 


     Place number two, a shallowed, square shaped indent just big enough for a common polaroid photo. With a resigned sigh Sam held up the small photo, smiling at the scene it held. Late October, 2000, 7:54 pm on the California docks. The wooden planks framed by the dying light of the setting sun, gentle waves lapping at the barnacle crusted support beams. Two teens held hands, a blonde girl and dark-haired boy, huge smiles gracing their faces as they looked at the camera. The photo looked as if they were caught mid-laugh, the boy with his mouth open and the girl gasping for air, tears gleaming at the edge of her eyes. Sam smiled fondly at the photo before setting it on the pedestal gently. 

 


     Sam held the small, heart patterned key reverently in her hands, staring down at it somberly. The key to her first apartment, the one she'd shared with him... She'd really lucked out with that life, a boyfriend, and an actual apartment. She'd made it to 18 that time, of course she had to keep something from such a successful go around. Since a low pay check hadn't allowed much she'd opted to keep the small key, a simple reminder of a life well lived and the happiest one yet. She set it down gently in its place, casting one last reluctant glance at it before quickly moving on to the last item. 


     

 


     Sam grinned, sadness forgotten as she removed the fourth item from a side pocket in her jeans, a lemon-yellow lighter, her favorite out of all the items. The sweet smell of burning paper in a convenience store bathroom, those were the days. Early July, 2017 a random note from her father appearing in her pocket on day one of her supposedly 'new' life. The wonderful look of confusion on the poor clerk's face as she nearly demanded a lighter, a slightly insane look glistening in her emerald eyes. The wonderful memory of burning that wretched note and the last thread of patience her father had ever managed to maintain with the slightly maniacal teen. With an angry glare at the pedestal, Sam slapped the lighter down, huffing in annoyance at the loss. 

 


      The items on the pedestal sunk into the marble, disappearing with a satisfying hiss as the stone disappeared into the floor. Glancing up Sam saw the markings one the walls glow blue, the large stone door sliding out of place, shaking from the sudden shift. Casting a rueful glance at the hole in the floor, she walked through the doors before they could close again. 
 






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