What Was I Saying Again? (Part 2)

Submitted into Contest #62 in response to: Write about a character putting something into a time capsule.... view prompt

1 comment

Friendship Fantasy Funny

Recap of part 1: Ken, a trans male, can see into the future, but it’s taken up all the room of his memories, so he remembers nothing almost instantly. Jason is Ken’s roommate/ pimp for future readings. Ken had a ‘stalker’, named Liv who found him and gave him an envelope with his old necklace, a photograph of a theater group with him and Liv in it, and a steel key. When he’s near Ken, his future abilities dull. When he wears the necklace, he doesn’t forget things instantly. At the end, Ken’s on the brink of a crisis after discovering Jason doing magic, but Jason doesn’t know he was caught.

Oh, and there’s a man’s body behind the red door of their apartment; Jason claims it’s Ken’s, but Ken has already forgotten it’s there.

***

Existence crisis: OVER! Because I said so! Ken declared in his mind, Let’s get to work figuring out how Jason did magic… Er, or who my supposed-stalker really is… Er, or how this necklace is affecting my ability to remember… Er, or…

Ken’s head spun. This was too much. The river of future visions that ran in his head didn’t make anything clearer. If he couldn’t figure out what path to go down on, the river served no use.

“Ahhh,” he flopped over in mental agony. Then he cried in real agony when something in his sweatshirt’s pocket jabbed his side. “Ow.”

Ken pulled out the steel key from his pocket. Twisting it around in his hand, he pursed his lips trying to think of what it could open. Nothing came to mind.

Out of ideas, he surveyed the living room to see if anything would belong to it. His eyes fixated on the red door with ‘Do Not Enter’ painted on it. “Seems kinda sus. I wonder…”

Getting up,  he tested the door. No lock. Shrugging, he opened it and fainted as he came face to face with a man’s corpse.

A couple of minutes later, Ken woke up with a crushing weight on his chest. “What…”

His eyes flung up as he stared at the body on his chest. “Ahh!” Ken shoved it off and sat up. While he was certain it was a human corpse, no smell came from it, nor did it look that far decomposed, yet it wasn’t warm from a recent death.

“Is everything alright, Ken?” Jason called out. “I’m kinda busy right now so please tell me you didn’t break something again.”

“It’s—it’s fine,” Ken echoed back. It was not fine.

Oh, god. Oh jesus. Oh... other religious figure.” He paused for a second. “Santa, maybe? Wait a minute, I’m getting side-tracked. What do I do with a dead body? Plant it?”

***

Listening to the flowing knowledge of the river of the future visions in his head, Ken brought the body to a close, little-known park without being spotted. In the quiet, early evening, the rustling leaves were his only company. On one hand, he held a shovel. The other, his phone with a WikiHow article about giving proper burials.

As he picked out a spot to bury the poor guy, something familiar about the park twisted in his gut. His necklace nagged on his skin. “Wait a minute…” Ken pulled out the photograph his supposed-stalker gave him. He held it up to a worn, looking outdoor theatre stage. Sure enough, it matched the background of the photograph. Only difference was the photograph had a banner of ‘Shakespeare in the Park’, too. Though, in the present, it looked like no one had performed here in awhile.

“Weird,” he muttered, shoving the photo back in his pocket. “But I have bigger problems right now.”

After picking out the nicest rock he could find to be a headstone, Ken started digging. A few shovels in, his shovel hit something. A metal banging rang through the air. Dropping to his knees, Ken eagerly pawed at the shallow hole to uncover it.

It was a metal box with a lock. Maybe ten by six inches. A date from about a year ago carved into it. Steel.

“No way,” Ken said as he took out the steel key and tried it. It opened.

Dirt exploded into the air as he opened the box. Coughing, Ken rummaged through the box. Inside was a handwritten note and old nokia with a half-charged battery. He started with the note.

Dear me,

It’s Ken. It’s you. Past you. Us. We. Me. What. How do I refer to my future self? You know, this is why I think I’d be a terrible time traveler, I have no idea how to refer to anything. It’d be nonsense.

Where was I again?

Oh yeah, I’ve noticed something is off with Jason. I’ve seen him using magic. Like real magic, Ken. There’s a dead body in the closet, too. I think it’s supposed to be mine. Ours. Shared custody, maybe?

I keep writing notes about this, but forgetting them, then discovering again at random times. I’ve come to this conclusion over ten times. Everything I’ve learned is compiled here.

Something is wrong. We need our memories back. Hopefully, you’ll remember Liv. She makes things clearer. She’s our friend, you can trust her. You should trust her. We need her and more things from our past. They ground us. Liv’ll will have that.

I think Jason is starting to suspect that I know something. Something tells me that’s not a good thing. I don’t know, maybe he has something to do with this. Regardless, I’ve written this note and created a time capsule to warn you. Me. Us. Frick.

I’ll lose my memories again so Jason will lose his suspicions. In a couple of months, Liv will have found you and given you everything you need to uncover this time capsule. Our old necklace will help you stay focused and remember things as they happen. Do us both a favor and figure out what the hell happened to us.

With kisses,

Ken.

Ken blinked a few times, then reread the note. “Well, how the hell am I supposed to react to this?”

Moving on, he picked up the nokia. Only one number was saved. He called it.

“Sup, it’s Liv,” his supposed-stalker answered from the other side.

Ken swallowed. “It’s Ken. I need your help.”

***

Reluctantly, Liv agreed to meet Ken at Matty’s Patties after he finished burying the corpse.

He knew she showed up when the river of future visions in his head went dry and the present started printing memories again. “I’m sorry about what happened last time.” He dropped the time capsule on the table. “Did you bring what I asked for?”

She slid a cardboard box full of their old shared mementos from college. “Yeah.”

“Why does it smell like gasoline?”

“I was about to burn it.”

“What?”

Liv crossed her arms and slouched back with a scowl on her face. “Burning stuff is therapeutic—look it up.”

He scratched the back of his head. “Yeah, sorry about all the crap you’ve been put through. Guess we must have been really good friends for you to do this for me. Haha.”

She loosened up a bit. “Some would say the best—until you went AWOL on me. What’s up with that?”

Raking his hands through his hair, Ken stuttered, “I—I don’t know. I don’t have any of my memories. Things have been getting pretty weird lately.” With that, Ken spilled everything he knew about Jason, the time capsule, the body, and his ‘gift’.

Liv’s mouth hung open in a small ‘o’.

“Yeah, it’s—it’s a lot. That’s why I need your help.”

“So this Jason… he’s your pimp?”

“I wouldn’t say that. We’re roommates.”

“But he pimps you out for future readings. How much does he make from it?”

“I don’t know? A lot?”

“How much work does it do?”

“Not a lot.”

“Interesting. So, this guy who monitors you 24/7 is making a good profit from monopolizing you and your ‘gift’. That’s pretty suspicious.”

Ken squinted and nodded. “Indeed, sus.”

“Dude, just say ‘suspicious’.”

“It’s pretty sus that you won’t say ‘sus’.”

With a smile on her lips, Liv rolled her eyes. “Whatever you say. Let’s corner this Jason guy for some answers. What are magical beings’ weaknesses? Iron?”

“Sounds right.”

***

“On guard!” As Ken opened his apartment’s front door, Liv shouted and chucked a heavy iron net over Jason’s head he made dinner.

Poking his fingers through the net in an effort to get it off, Jason screamed, “What the hell? Who is this? What is this?” His arms flailed underneath the net, trying to pull it off. His feet tripped over it, sending him and the sizzling fry pan he was cooking with flying.  Jason’s eyes widened as a pool of burning greasy flew towards his face. “Temporis mora!” He cursed.

Midair, the grease stopped.

“What language is that? Spanish?” Liv asked.

Jason rolled his eyes as Ken pointed at him and exclaimed, “Ah ha, you can use magic. What’s going on, Jason? Or is that even your real name?”

Gritting his teeth, Jason mumbled some magic words. The fry pan and grease returned to the stove while the net floated off him and folded itself neatly on the counter.

“What are you, a demon?” Liv asked.

“Might be a demon, but I’ll never know since I’m adopted.”

“Ignore her, what’s going on?” Ken demanded.

“Nothing you didn’t agree to,” Jason said. “Can you grab a take-out menu over there? Dinner’s ruined. Magically touched food always tastes terrible.”

“Sure—Hey wait, don’t distract me. I have things from my past—” Ken held up his gasoline-soaked box of mementos. “I don’t forget things that easily anymore.”

“Good for you. That won’t put food in my stomach though.”

Ken handed him the menu. “Thank you.”

Holding up her hands, Liv asked, “What, what did you mean by ‘nothing you didn’t agree to’? What happened that Ken can’t remember?”

Dialing, Jason said, “He made a magic deal with me around fourteen months ago. This ‘gift’—or now that the cat’s out of the bag, curse—is just your end of it.”

“What deal? Why would I do that?”

“You said quote: making a deal with a magical being sounds less costly than bottom surgery.”

Liv snorted. “Where’s the lie, though?”

If Ken was a cartoon, question marks would be surrounding his head. “What are you talking about?”

“You said you wanted a man’s body.”

“Yeah, but I still have titties—OH MY GOD, DID YOU GIVE ME THAT DEAD MAN’S BODY?”

“You said you wanted a man’s body.”

“I meant a dick, you dick!”

Dialing, Jason calmly replied, “You don’t have to shout. I was even nice and made it a magical body that would never decompose—no wait, I did that for me so I wouldn’t have to smell it rotting. “As he held the ringing phone to his chest, Jason asked, “Do you want anything?”

“Chicken lo mein,” Ken grumbled.

“Six egg rolls and concise explanation because I’m so lost,” Liv said.

“Basically, ya boi Ken over there wanted a man’s body because of dysphoria or whatever. I don’t know, I don’t judge. Either way, he came to me—no idea how he found me—and made a deal for it. He gave me a poorly worded request, I gave him a dead body. And the consequence of making that deal is that I cursed him with the infamous Cognitionem Nimis curse.”

“Why that curse?”

“Duh, for the ability to see into the future. It’s very handy and profitable. And as  you know, it comes with some ‘side effects’. So obviously, I couldn’t curse myself. That’s where you came in. Make sense?”

“Well, uncurse me,” Ken demanded. “You didn’t fulfill your end of the bargain.”

“Ah, but I did.”

“But I’m not satisfied with it.”

“Doesn’t matter, babe.” Ken snapped his fingers and a golden contract written in red ink appeared. “You signed a magic contract. That’s binding. The only one who can void it is me and I’ll never do that. You might as well ditch the girl and that memento junk. Trying to remember the past with the curse is just gonna screw your brain up. Plus, ignorance is bliss.”

Liv snatched the contract from midair. “There has to be a way out of this. I may have flunked out of law school before getting my teaching degree, but I flunked out after two years of barely passing. If anyone can find a loophole, it’s a professional lawyer because I remember nothing.”

Jason laughed. “You want rice with that slim sliver of hope?”

***

“What the hell is going on here?” Jason stormed over to Ken and Liv, chilling on a park bench with shades on and ice cream.

Liv lowered her shades and grinned. “Oh hey, super annoying demon. How’s your future reading business going?”

Shoving his phone in her face, Jason shouted, “My clients have been blowing up my phone nonstop. All of their recent predictions are wrong. They’re pissed, demanding refunds, and threatening to sue for their losses caused by the incorrect future readings.”

Ken took a bite of his ice cream and immediately regretted it. “Too cold,” he whispered. “Damn, they’re wrong, huh? That’s crazy.”

With a sneer, Jason gripped Ken’s shirt and lifted him into the air. “I know you can still see into the future, Ken. There’s no way my magic is at fault here. So what the hell is going on?”

“Well, Mr. Big Shot Demon,” Ken said, “Liv went through the contract. And yeah, while it said you could curse me, our little business you’ve started by taking advantage of me is nowhere in there. Which means, while I know the correct future, it doesn’t mean I have to tell your clients that. No point on keeping this curse on me—might as well take it off.”

Jason gritted his teeth, but didn’t respond.

“If you remove the curse, I’ll tell you which future will avoid you from being sued.” Ken said. “Best option for you, really. Either way, your business is over.”

“Fine,” Jason growled.

“It’s the future where regular mortals can’t sue over magical nonsense in the American court system. Don’t need future sight to figure that out, dumbie. Now your turn.”

Setting Ken down, Jason closed his eyes as he spoke, “Et eris aut subiciemur transferendum est.”

Around Ken, a blue smoke rose from his body. He felt the future river drain from his brain and even shook his head a few times  like he had water trapped in his ear just to make sure it was out.

“There it’s gone.”

Ken furrowed his brow. Sure the river was gone, but his head just felt empty now. “So?” Liv asked. “Did our old memories come back?”

“Those?” Jason said. “Oh those are gone forever. There’s nothing that can bring them back. Enjoy that, assholes.” Giving the duo the finger, he left.

Stress lines formed on Ken’s forehead as he kept trying to dig for the memories. But there was no treasure to find.

“Hey,” Liv coaxed. “It’s fine. You know what no memories means don’t you?”

“No?”

She grinned. “It means we just have to make new ones with a…”

Ken matched her grin as they exclaimed at the same time, “ROADTRIP!”

October 09, 2020 03:10

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

1 comment

Bianka Nova
21:46 Oct 11, 2020

You write faster than I can read 😁 Which in this case might be a good thing, because I've read both parts of What Was I Saying Again in one go. It's still one of the funniest and most original things on Reedsy, but this time was a bit messier. I guess you didn't have the time to edit properly. There were a few places where I lost track of who's speaking. I didn't get the point of the kindergarteners in the beginning (how did they know him anyway?). And I wouldn't give Jason magic skills (maybe just a way to find magic pills that affect mem...

Reply

Show 0 replies