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by on August 13, 2010


He stood very still as the feathers fell.  Collecting at his feet, forgotten memories.  Maybe they were his memories.  Memories as unreliable as feathers in the breezy air.  This way, that way – which way is true?  Which memory is true?

He reached out and grabbed one of the floating feathers and brought it to his chest, making the memory his.  But he knew as soon as he opened his hand the memory would fly away and be lost in the swirling memories around him.  So they weren’t his memories.  He was lost without his memories and felt so alone.  Quickly, in desperation, he reached out again and again gathering as many memories as he could.  He would keep them all.  They would all be his, pressed to his heart because it knew the truth.  He would hide the truth with the forgotten memories that weren’t his own. He would not be lonely and the illusion of his sanity would not be ruined.

But his heart would not be hidden.  It mocked him for his vain attempts, his deluded ideas.  He wept as the feather fell from wilted hands, his heart laughing.  Slowly, tentatively, he reached into his heart and began to pull free his own memories.  It hurt but they were his.  He began to remember… There was so much sadness at first but he pushed his way through the sorrow and the heartache and found laughter.  It was his – he was laughing.

  1. Our Hero is surrounded by a collection of feathers, each holding a memory. He doesn’t appear to remember his own memories, and is performing a vain attempt at gathering these other memories. Ultimately, he realises that he still has his own memories; they’re buried within himself — he was only trying to hide from himself.

    I enjoyed the sense of frantic desperation in the middle of the story as he tries to gather all the feathers, even though he knows that those memories will fade as soon as he lets go of them. It shows how strong his need to hide from himself is.

  2. I really like the surreal metaphor here – the imagery of the falling feather and the associations with half-remembered dreams and fleeting thoughts works really well.
    Also like the repetition of hands in catching feathers and again in reaching into his own heart – worked well for me; with the exceptions of the phrase ‘wilted hands’ which seriously confounded my visualisation.

  3. cbraz permalink

    I really like the stream-of-consciousness feel of this piece, and the memories as feathers metaphor. Thanks.

  4. Damn, I’m sorry, Nantalith, I keep on not commenting on your stories – you put them up very early, usually, and I forget to come back to them when I’m in commenting mode. I liked the memories/feathers analogy in this, it works very well – both light, insubstantial things which lend themselves naturally to images of flight. I also liked the blurring of boundaries between reality and metaphor in this. Thank you.

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