Posted in 2017, Contemporary, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, The Rememberer, Writing

The Rememberer – Chapter 6

“Won’t you sit down?” The bald man asked her. “We have so much to talk about and I would hate for you to be sore afterwords. Good. Good. Now let us begin.” He smiled showing off what Rowan believed were sharpened teeth and a split tongue. This man looked almost reptilian except for when his mouth was closed and he looked perfectly normal.

“I am Edmund Skyscale though you can call me Edmund. I’m the head of the Council of the Hidden in this area.”

“The hidden?” Rowan looked at him blankly. A couple of the other members glanced at him briefly out of worry.

“Yes. The hidden. You may not realize this but there are creatures other than humans in this world who are both sentient and humanoid. Some people call us monsters, others myths. We live among humans and hide ourselves to keep ourselves safe.” He sighed loudly. “God. I sound like someone from a poorly written supernatural romance novel. I’m sorry we expected that you would already know this stuff. I certainly didn’t expect you to know nothing.”

“I don’t understand.” She stammered.

“I didn’t expect you to. It is a lot to take in all at once.”

“That’s impossible. I’m sure I’m just being pranked. I should probably go.” She stood and backed up to the door.

“Who would have pranked you?” A woman asked. She had long white hair and her eyes were covered with a scarf. She removed the scarf revealing bright purple eyes. “It certainly wouldn’t have been the man you call father. He doesn’t even know where you live. He believes you live in a better place than you actually do. It’s not like you have anyone else either. Humans tend to be scared of you. So who could be prank in you?”

“Scar.” Ordered Edmund. “Stop scaring the poor girl.”

“That is all stuff you could have learned through a little research.” Rowan exclaimed. “It means nothing.”

“Is it? Sorry I had no idea.” Scar chuckled.

A woman with bright red hair stood up. Flames jumped behind her eyes, or so it seemed. She held a hand up and it erupted in flame. “Please don’t go.” She begged. “We need you to help us.”

“Pyra.” Warned Edmund. “There is absolutely no reason to scare the poor girl.”

“If only there were more qualified people in this area. Than I wouldn’t need to deal with things like this.” He mumbled to himself.

“Hey.” An unremarkable woman with grey hair and blue eyes exclaimed. “We are more than qualified.” She looked at Rowan and smiled. “I hope my little Albin treated you well.”

Rowan still stood staring at this bizarre group of people. “How… How is that possible? No one should be able to do that.” She finally managed to say.

“How is this so unbelievable.” Asked a man with brown hair and gloved hands. “From what I understand you aren’t a stranger to strangeness.”

“B… but how?”

“Now look what you’ve done.” Edmund mumbled to himself. Aloud he addressed Rowan. “We are the hidden of course this is possible. Scarlet is a see of sorts. Pyra is a phoenix, and believe it or not but Greg here is a Memory Thief. I understand that you’re able to read the memories of objects. Is this correct?”

“I mean I do see strange things whenever I touch old objects. But that’s not normal. Im delusional. There is no way I’m one of you.”

“Yet you are. In fact you are one of the most prized type of hidden in our society. You are a rememberer.”

“A what?”

“A rememberer.” He replied.

“Is that even a word?”

“Of course it is. It’s just not a very common word. Essentially you are able to read the memories of objects, but you can’t read the memories of humans, any living creatures, or anything that was alive within a year ago. Your kind usually acts as private investigators, police; and help keep our society from turning chaotic. At least you did until 40 years ago.” He explained. 

“What happened 40 years ago?”

“Something terrible. An entire family of rememberers were found murdered in their own home. A few days later it happened to another family and then another. The remaining rememberers went into hiding. We have been unable to find any to help us solve this case. That is until now of course.” Edmund smiled. “And that is where you come in. We want you to use your abilities to find the killer or killers. We will pay you handsomely.”

“I don’t know if I can even do what you want, but I’ll at least try.”

“Good. Then we have a deal.” He held his hand out. The other Council members watched with interest.

Rowan stared at his hand with minor amazement.  When she noticed everyone else watching she grabbed his hand firmly and shook once. “We have a deal.” 

Posted in 2017, Contemporary, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, The Rememberer, Writing

The Rememberer – Chapter 5

Mr. Hoffmann wasn’t joking when he said they would leave at dawn. Rowan had only gotten a few hours of sleep when he rudely shook her awake.

“Come on. Wake up. We must leave immediately.”

She groaned. “Are they even going to be up at this hour?”

“Of course they will be. They’re up when they need to be up and they sleep when they need to sleep.”

Rowan rolled her eyes. She had had enough of this man’s nonsense. He kept on spewing words that only worked to make her even more confused.

“Fine. Just leave my room. I need to change.”

“Oh. Okay. I’ll leave then.”

He stood outside her door as she changed. She knew this because she could hear his occasionally cough. She prayed that he wasn’t somehow peeking in on her, but from what she had already learned about his personality that was highly unlikely. 

It was as though he knew what she was thinking because he called into her room. “I won’t peek. Don’t worry. The Council will know if I do and I can’t have that. 

She ended up choosing one of her many pairs of blue jeans with a black t-shirt to wear to this meeting. Not exactly the best outfit to wear when meeting a group of people who call themselves the Council, but it would be good enough because everything she had that was even remotely fancy was dirty.

She opened the door when she was done.

“I’m done. Let’s go.”

Mr. Hoffmann raised his eyebrows. “Wow. You look great.”

“Really? It’s just a t-shirt and jeans. It’s nothing special.” Though that compliment creeped her out a little bit she still ended up blushing.

“Yeah I know. It’s just that I was always told I should complement a woman on what they’re wearing no matter how casual it is.” He smiled.

“That’s an outdated thing to do you know.”

“Really?”

“Yes really. I’m not trying to look nice so you don’t need to say anything.”

“But it did make you happy. Did it not?”

Rowan decided to ignore his question, mainly because it did make her a little bit happy when he said that and walk over to her door after grabbing her purse off the kitchen table. Gladly nothing had gone missing while she slept.

“Let’s go.”

“Okay. I’ll lead the way.”

They walked through the same city streets Rowan had walked through for the past few years. She had been there since she left home to live in the city. This was a decision that she often regretted. At the time she believed that everything she could ever dream of was in the city. A good paying job, many friends who cared about the same things as her, and someone who loved her more than anyone else. She thought everything could be found here, yet when she actually moved to the city she could barely pay her living expenses. But she couldn’t move back in with her father. She didn’t want him to think less of her.

The stores were still closed. The sun had just barely risen above the horizon and already she was a good distance away from her apartment. She usually didn’t wake up before noon. She was exhausted. Normally she wouldn’t have done something so crazy like this, but she didn’t have much of a choice. Her most prized possession had been stolen away by Mr. Hoffmann and she had to get it back.

But thinking this made her start wondering about how he had known that she cared for this necklace. It’s not like she reached for it once while he was talking to her. It had actually been hidden underneath her shirt. She shivered at the thought of him reaching into her shirt to grab it off her unconscious body.

They walked up an alleyway and stopped next to a large blue dumpster. Large areas of paint had peeled away showing the red rust underneath. Mr. Hoffmann took a key out of his pocket and unlocked a door next to the dumpster. They stepped into a darkened room. Dim light shone through slits in the boarded up windows.

He walked up to a door on the far wall and knocked. A thin bar of light shone out from beneath the door.

“Rowan Winters the rememberer is here.” He announced.

“Let her in.” Another voice called.

He opened the door and beckoned her inside. When she walked in he closed the door behind her.

She now stood with a room lit by a mixture of old-fashioned torches and flashlights. It was so bright in here that Rowan had to blink a few times to get used to this new brighter light level. Across from where she stood twelve people sat in chairs. They all stared at her in interest.

“Welcome Miss Winters.” A bald man with golden eyes with slit-like pupils in the middle exclaimed. “We have been waiting a very long time for you to come.”

Posted in 2017, Contemporary, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, The Rememberer, Writing

The Rememberer – Chapter 4

Rowan woke up in her own bed. Her warm quilted blanket sat on top of her. It was actually too warm and she was sweating heavily. Her throat was sore. She sat up, tossing the blanket onto the floor. On the nightstand next to her sat a steaming hot cup of tea. She knew that she had made no tea that day and even if she had it wouldn’t still be steaming hot. This was something her father would do;make tea when she wasn’t feeling well. But her father was not there. He was far away. She did not drink the tea. Besides the night was too hot for such a beverage.

She carefully got up and tiptoed to her closed door. She opened it just a crack so that she could see into her living room. Something didn’t feel right to her.

On her couch sat Mr. Hoffmann, his back turned to her.

She slammed the door open instantly. “What are you doing in my apartment?” she demanded.

He was noticeably startled. Quickly he turned to look at her and he smiled. “Good, you’re awake. I was getting a little worried there.”

“What. Are. You. Doing. Here?” she seethed. “I barely know you.”

“Oh, well you see you fainted right there in the doorway. I couldn’t leave a lady such as yourself in such a position now could I. I carried you inside and put you in your bed then stayed to make sure you were alright. I was about to call an ambulance because it was taking too long for you to wake up. I did nothing wrong” He sounded sincere.

She suddenly clutched her head. The pain was only slightly bearable. “What did you do to me?” she demanded once more. “What do you want from me?”

“I did nothing to you and as for your other question all I want from you is for you to allow me to do my job. Failure is not an option in my line of work.”

She raised an eyebrow amidst the pain. “What exactly is your line of work?”

“I’m a servant of the Council of the Hidden.”

“What does that even mean?”

“You will know in time. Soon if I bring you to them now.”

The pain faded away. “Are you sure you didn’t do anything to me?”

“Of course I am. I think what happened is that one of the members of the Council reached out to you through the memories in my jacket. His name is Bruno and he’s an intensifier.”

“Reached out?” She was now completely confused.

“It is definitely possible with your kind. You are a Rememberer. The Council will tell you more about your heritage when you finally meet them.”

“I am not going anywhere. I need to stay here to wait for a possible call for a job offer.”

“Oh. You already got that call. They wanted me to tell you that you did not get the job.”

“What?” she ran to the phone and looked through the call history. Sure enough she had gotten a call from the high school just hours before. She also realized just how late it was. The time was 2:43 in the morning.

“And also I think you should know that I cleaned up around here while you were unconscious. Man was this place a mess.”

“Of course it was.” She snapped. “Someone broke in and left a raven corpse in front of the door.”

“What.” He stood up. “It’s even worse than I thought. They’re coming after you now. It won’t be long until you are yet another one of their helpless victims. You need to talk to the Council about this asap.”

“I won’t be telling anyone anything.” She moved to her front door. “Now leave before I call the cops.”

“You won’t be calling anyone.” He held his hand out and dangled Rowan’s necklace from his closed fist, smiling mischievously. “Not when I have this.”

“You stole that. Give it back.” She demanded frantically. That blue stone was the only thing she had from her life before she had been found by her father. It was worth more to her than anything else she owned.

“I won’t give this back until you talk to the Council.”

“Fine.” She gave in. “Fine. I’ll go with you.”

“Good.” He put his hand down. “We leave at dawn.”

 

Posted in 2017, Contemporary, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, Remember...?, Writing

Remember…? Chapter 3: Blackbird

Rowan Winters stifled a scream. She did not want to startle the neighbours. It was still early in the morning and she had planned to get to her office before the morning rush. She was not a person who enjoyed crowds, not after all she had seen. She took a few deep breaths and though she was still shaking uncontrollably she inspected the scene.

The bird was small with bluish black feathers. Its beak was long and orange. Its glazed over eyes were dark and surrounded by orange rings. There was no mistake about it. This was a blackbird.

She then went to the note. She couldn’t use her power on any animal, insect, or plant. This made it so she couldn’t find out everything about a person just by shaking a hand, but if she touched something like a ring she would at least know everything the object witnessed. Not that she would ever do that. She found it far too unsettling and creepy to do.

She couldn’t use her power on the paper, but at least she could use the ink if it wasn’t blood.

She touched the ink and closed her eyes. Everything that had happened around the ink ever since it was first made filled her mind. She looked at one of the more recent memories, one from before it had been taped to her door.

A strange person stood over the piece of paper. He was tall, very tall and wore a black hooded cloak that reminded her of a drawing of the grim reaper. His hood covered his face from the ink as he wrote. His fingers appeared to end in long metallic claws. While he wrote, he spoke.

“Stay away Demivma if you do not want to be mixed up in this. The others may see you as Kápoios pou thymátai but I do not. You are nothing but a Demivma. If you step a foot within Pouthena I will be forced to perform my duty. This is your final warning.”

Rowan found herself pulling her hand away from the note. Never before had someone spoken to her directly through the memories. It felt so strange, but it also felt completely natural to her. She stood there for a moment staring at the note. Who was the man who had written it?

“Hello.” Someone nearby said. “Are you alright?”

One of Rowan’s neighbours stuck her head out of her own door. It was Mary, the kind lady who always seemed to have her grandkids over. They were nice kids. Rowan stared at the other woman with a pained expression on her face.

“Sorry I heard a small commotion. Why are you still here? Wouldn’t you have normally left for work by now?”

Mary stepped out of her room and stopped. Her eyes passing over the small bird in horror.

“Oh… Oh my goodness!” she covered her mouth in horror.

“It was probably just some teenagers trying to be funny.” Rowan urged her neighbour. “There is nothing to get worked up over.”

“I’m… I’m calling the police.” Mary ran into her apartment. Rowan could hear dialing sounds coming from within.

“No don’t. Wait!”

But it was too late. The police were now coming and Rowan was forced to stay in the apartment building waiting for them to arrive.

Posted in 2017, Contemporary, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, Remember...?, Writing

Remember…? Chapter 2: The Murder

Rowan Winters relaxed on the small couch in her small living room that night. Her apartment was chilly and she snuggled up in a soft blanket. She wanted desperately to fall asleep but she feared she couldn’t after what she had read in the file. She was even more scared about what she would see when she touched the evidence.

She began doubting her ability to solve the case. In the past all she had gotten were small jobs. Things such as finding a lost object or finding out who had written a cruel letter. What was she getting into by taking her first ever murder case. She had no experience. Why had she even been hired?

She sighed as she remembered the contents of the file.

The murder had taken place a few days before near the Horned Owl café just outside of the city. It happened in the late evening when no one was around. The waitress working at the time had seen the victim leave in a hurry just an hour before the estimated time of death. She said he appeared agitated and scared when she saw him in the café. He was also strange in that he wore a hoody that was a few sizes too large and always kept the hood up so that it covered his face.

The fire department was called at around half past ten to a small fire that had broken out. They found the victim in the middle of it. The police came shortly after having been called at the same time as the fire department. The autopsy showed that he was mutilated before being burned but they need more time to figure out exactly how.

All this left Rowan Winters with a sick feeling in her stomach. What exactly had she gotten herself into? What was she thinking when she accepted to help the police with this case?

She finally fell asleep in her bed after deciding that she would tell the police the next day that she would no longer be helping. That was the best choice for her after all.

But she wouldn’t get away from this murder that easily. She woke up the next morning determined to talk to the police, did everything that she normally did in the morning, and walked out the door. She almost vomited when she saw it.

Someone had placed a headless bird as well as its head just in front of her door. A note taped to her door read:

“Stay out of Pouthena, Demivma. If you don’t listen you will be next.

Sincerely,

The Valkyrie”

Posted in 2017, Contemporary, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, Remember...?, Writing

Remember…?: Part 2, Psychometry

“Why would you need something like that?” Asked the police officer.

“Because it helps me with my work.”

“How?”

“Do you happen to have anything on you so that I can show you? It is kind of hard to explain. Anything will do.”

The officer reluctantly handed over a crumpled-up piece of paper. Rowan held it in her hands for a second, concentrating on the texture, shape, and size of the object she now held. She closed her eyes though she had no need to. She could see every detail about this object. After a minute she had enough information to do what she wanted to do.

“This piece of paper came from the notepad of a Greg Saunders. He is a police chief, I assume he’s your boss. He bought the pad about a month ago. He tore this piece of paper off it a week ago wrote a message on it and gave it to you. After reading the message I know why it sat in your pocket for a week. Don’t worry I won’t tell anyone.”

“But that’s just stuff you could easily find out by searching the internet.”

“Of course it is. What I can’t learn from a quick search of the internet is the fact that it has been in your pocket for a week along with some keys, a credit card, some candies which have quickly been disappearing into your mouth, and a small pebble from a creek just outside the city.”

“How’d you know.”

“Observations. You can find out a lot just by looking at and feeling an object.”

“Really? I had no idea.”

Rowan smiled before handing the paper back. “Can you please get me such an object?” she asked again.

“Of course. I’ll just have to convince the Chief.”

The officer left after saying good bye.

Rowan sighed and sagged back in her chair. She didn’t like lying to people like that but she didn’t have a choice because no one could possibly believe the truth.

The truth was she didn’t have superior observational skills after all, but instead she could sense an objects whole history just by touching it. She could turn this ability on and off at will, unless the object was connected to an event with strong emotions. The building her office was in was fairly new to avoid the side effects of her power.

After some research she found that she had psychometry. She was curious as a child and this piece of information had made her so excited. However she soon realized that it brought her nothing but pain, especially as she was seen as mentally insane growing up which caused her to move from foster house to foster house every couple of months.

From that she learned to never tell a soul about what she could do.

“Glad that’s all over.” She laughed to herself.

To be continued…

Posted in 2017, Contemporary, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, Remember...?, Writing

Remember…?: Part 1, Rowan Winters PI

The bright sun shone into the dark room through the thin slits in the blinds. Inside everything was covered in shadow. The lone private investigator sat alone at the one desk flipping through papers. Rowan Winters, Private Investigator was painted in thick swirling letters on the single pane of glass that had been set in the door. To Rowan the words were backwards, but to anyone else they were an invitation.

That is because rumours had recently begun to spread throughout the city of Kapou of a private investigator who could find anything or anyone no matter how much effort was put into hiding them. It was only a matter of time until Rowan could investigate something a little more complicated than a cheating boyfriend or a lost ring.

Rowan lit up one of the cigars from the top drawer of the desk just as a knock came to the door.

“Come in.” The PI called.

A lone policeman entered the office.

“Dude, what is this? A noire film. It’s 2017. Why don’t you open the blinds or turn on some lights?” He exclaimed.

“Do I look like a dude to you?” Rowan took a puff of her cigar.

“And is that even legal? Aren’t there, like, laws that state that you cannot legally do that?” He coughed.

She chuckled to herself. “Sorry, I couldn’t resist.” She placed the cigar on the ashtray that sat on the desk before opening the blinds. “Besides you’re a police officer, shouldn’t you know if that was legal or not?”

“Um, obviously I knew that.” He gave her a strange look.

“Sure you did.” She said as she sat down in her chair. “Now why are you here?”

“Ma’am. There is someone we need to find urgently. We have had no luck. Will you please help us? I promise that you will be paid.”

“It’s my job to find people. Now who do you need me to find?”

He smiled in thanks. “There has been a murder. It’s a strange one and we can’t make heads or tails of anything. We need you to find the murderer.” He walked up to the desk. “I have the files here and if you need anything else just call this number.” He placed a file and a small slip of paper on her desk. “Thank you so much.”

“I have just one question?”

“Yes?”

“Are there any objects you know for sure the suspect would have touched?”

To be continued…