Flash fiction piece for:
I remember the 80s.
In my own way, I remember them.
It was in the 80s that I am supposed to have committed the heinous crime that brought me here. I have no memory of that crime, but the pain inflicted on me has made the crime belong to me.
Shackled here, unmoving, perpetually tortured, I begin to believe the things I am accused of.
All I have are memories.
Outside of the pain all I have are memories.
I use my memories as a shield. I hide behind them, locking away the shrinking remains of my sanity behind a tattered curtain of memories.
Not all the memories are real, some of them aren’t mine. But they have all become mine: I own them as much as I can own anything.
I am resigned to living out my life here. How long I live is not up to me. I don’t really care. Death would have once been a relief, now it is just a dream.
Dreams are not like memories.
I don’t dream anymore, or maybe I do, I just don’t remember them.
If I did, would they be memories or dreams?
Are you a memory?
Are you real?
Can you hear me or am I just trapped in my head, wishing you were here?
Sometimes I imagine myself being that person, a person that could do those things and it just doesn’t fit. I’d know wouldn’t I? If I did?
It doesn’t matter now. Perhaps the truth is like my memories: as real as it is needed to be.
Maybe I am being punished because they don’t know the difference anymore. Maybe that’s it. Maybe I’m just a false memory to them, something they need to believe to keep themselves sane?
I don’t think I’m sane anymore…are you?