Graffiti popped by the local cafe. She breathed in deeply the scents of fresh roasted coffee and reveled in the sounds of life all around her. She had spent the last three months in hibernation, completely cut off from the outside world. It had been a healing time during which she had completed her memory book.
The download of her memories into the tiny crystalline book had taken nearly three weeks to finish and months to recover from. Now she felt refreshed but the process had been messy and emotional. Graffiti took a deep breath. She was no longer troubled by those memories, they were safely stored away with the rest of the world’s memories at The Tempest Stone Library.
The cafe was busy. Graffiti had no memories to reference in order to know whether it was usually this busy on a Tuesday. If she could remember she would know that usually Tuesdays were dead and that’s why she went on those days. To spend more time with the adorable barista, Raven. However, Graffiti couldn’t even recognize Raven’s face. Raven’s dark eyes grew wide at the site of Graffiti. He stared a little too long, hoping against hope some flicker of recognition would stir in Graffiti’s eyes. Even the palest fire of a memory would’ve given life to the dead butterflies pinned to the walls of Raven’s heart. But no flicker, no glimmer, not even a sparkle of recognition stared back from Graffiti’s brilliant blue eyes.
Graffiti watched the young man in front of her take her order. He seemed like he had something he wanted to say. Instead he just hung his head and took her order. She had no idea what her usual order was so she ordered a minty hot chocolate. The young barista added extra whip cream to it without even consulting her. When she took the first delicious sip she forgave him for being so bold.
Graffiti went and sat at a table by the window. Raven watched her from behind the counter. He was dead to her now. His friends had warned him against getting involved with a curator who donated their memories to the great library. Curators led volatile lives and wiped away the damage they did by hibernating once a year. Raven sighed and quoted a long dead poet. “Nevermore.”
The prompts for this short story:
quoth the raven
when the butterflies float
the tempest stone
a memory book
Copyright 2020 Klaudia Grady