House of War

Three months ago I was as normal as anybody. I had a decent job, a nice home, a pretty girlfriend. I liked drinking beer, watching films and playing video games. ‘Grow up,’ my girlfriend would say, as girlfriends do. If only I’d listened… To her, and to Jack too. But no, I wouldn’t stop, I had to keep going, I had to see for myself. I thought I had it all under control. And now, well…

I am writing this because my memory of events is dissipating rapidly, my sense of self dissolving a little more every day. Today I woke up to find that I had forgotten my girlfriend’s name. Only an old, dirtied, creased letter addressed to her, dating back five years, which I discovered behind the hall cabinet while looking for lost signs of my past life, resurrected her name. Julie Robinson. Holding the letter like a precious relic, I said it aloud, a few times, almost like an incantation. But it did not resonate. It did not conjure up any tender images, any warm feelings, any kind of familiarity. Nothing, as though she were a stranger. And yet, it must have been her name. Judging from the date on the envelope, we lived together for over half a decade. I desperately cling to shreds of the past, hoping that reminding myself of the man I used to be will slow down this frightful deterioration.

[…] Read the rest of the story in SYNTH 1, the first issue of a new anthology series of dark SF edited by CM Muller, published in March 2019.

Read a review of SYNTH 1 on Pyles of Books.

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