Joined: 2 Apr 2009
This is supposed to be a short story. I wrote this for the forgotten contest on
figment.com. Make an account to heart my story and help me win!
Before I even open my eyes, I know that there is light.
I feel stiff and sore, as if I've been lying in the same position for too long. I feel
uncharacteristically warm, but it's a pleasant warm. The air smells like daffodils. So I
simply lay here-wherever "here" is-and take deep breaths. I don't want to move.
But I get bored, so I slowly open my eyes. Just as I thought, there is light everywhere. I
squint and put my arm over my face. Suddenly, I hear someone chuckling. I spin around in
the direction it seems to be coming from, but since I'm still holding up my arm, I can't
see where I'm going. I stumble a little and almost fall.
Someone steadies me. "Careful there." The voice is quiet and calm, and I can tell whoever
said it is smiling.
Sure enough, standing before me is a man, a middle-aged man with graying hair and a short
beard. Several wrinkles form around his mouth as his lips curve into an even bigger grin,
and he chuckles. So that's where it came from the first time!
The man says nothing, and sweeps his arm out, gesturing around us, indicating for me to
look around. I gasp as I see where I am. The place looks a little familiar, but I can't
quite figure out why, or how I know this.
I am inside a little dome house. There is no roof; just a hole at the top, which explains
why it is so bright. The walls curve at the top, and are made out of long, thick sticks.
The floor is dirt packed tightly together, with several braided rugs dotting the interior.
Lining the walls are shelf after shelf of various jars, books, and little chotchkies. I
feel like I should know where I am, and I kind of do-in a way. But I don't know why I am
here, or where exactly "here" is.
"Am I . . ." I can't finish my sentence because I suddenly realize that I don't know my
name. Knowing your own name is a subconscious action, but now, I am consciously aware that
I can't remember it.
The man continues to smile. "Ahh, you must have many questions," he says, taking my hand.
"Do you know where you are?"
I hesitate. "Kind of . . . well . . . not really. No."
"Do you know who I am?"
I study his face. Maybe it will jog some memory deep in my brain, but there is nothing
that I can think of. "No."
"Do you know who you are?"
I don't know how to answer this one. Will I sound silly if I say no? What if I lied and
said yes? But something tells me that would not be a good idea. So I go with the truth.
"No, I don't."
"Good. This means that the transformation went well."
I am surprised. "The transformation for what?" I ask.
The man ignores me and sits down on a nearby chair. "You must be wondering who I am," he
says, then continues without waiting for me to answer. "My name is Jack General, and I
will be your teacher." He pauses, as if trying to figure out the best way to continue.
"You must also be wondering who you are, are you not?"
I nod, wondering where this is going. "Can you tell me?"
"I cannot tell you who you are, but I can tell you who you will be." He folds his hands
and offers no other explanation.
"So who will I be, then?" I ask impatiently.
"You will be a hero, a legend. You will assist people, and bring them love and hope in
troubling times. You will be special. You will be you."
I close my eyes, trying to wrap my head around all this. "I'm sorry, but I don't
understand. Can you-"
"This happens every few decades," Jack interrupts. "We choose someone new to take over. We
bring them here. Their memories are temporarily erased, but only so they can focus better.
They are given a new name, and the job of a lifetime. I am sure you remember learning
Now that I think about it, I can. The teachers tell us this when we are very young. Some
of my memories are coming back; where I used to live, the people I knew, the activities I
did. I remember learning about this situation, but I don't remember exactly what it is.
"In time, you may remember your old name. You might not. It does not matter, for you will
be given a new name, one that you will use until the day you die." Jack stands up, folds
his hands behind his back, and walks toward the shelves, his back to me. "What you are
about to learn from me, you must put to good use. It is very important that you are always
thinking, always moving. You were chosen for your quick thinking. I believe that you will
be fantastic; I have no doubt that you are perfect for this. Your job is extremely
important . . . it would be terrible if you let anyone down." He says this last part
quietly, as if remembering some dire part of his life.
We stand there, silent, for some time. I feel like I should be courteous and not ask
questions right now. I know that in time, I will have all my answers. But there is one
thing that I need to know before we continue.
"Jack," I say, breaking the silence. "Please, tell me. What, exactly, is my new job? Why
is it so important?"
Jack turns around finally and faces me. He is smiling a little. I can tell that he is an
incredibly nice, gentle, and loving man. He looks so happy, eyes lit up, full of joy and
excitement. "You," he says with dignity and pride, "are the Dream Catcher."