a postcard story about magic and memory

Stories are meant to be shared:

Facebook Reddit Tumblr Twitter

<<< first story           < previous story           next story >           latest story >>>


a postcard story about magic and memory

The Mnemomancer’s innovations truly kicked the anthill of the Collegia Arcana. Before her, every magical discipline was powered by physical sources: crystals of compacted energy or spell batteries of conniving clockwork and glass-tube alchemy. But Mnemomancy didn’t require such baubles. It was fueled by memories.

In the middle of an arcane duel, the Mnemomancer could ignite the scent-memory of hot oil and popping corn the day the carnival came to her on-the-way-to-nowhere fishing village, or the image of her mother’s salt-scoured face streaked with tears the day she left. with that energy, she could conjure a miracle.

She took the world by storm. Publicly, she was a glorious comet rising through the firmament of the Collegia Arcana. Privately, she was on a meteoric descent, breaking apart in a combustion cloud of burning memories. For a while, she rationed herself to using only negative memories: private traumas and petty grudges. But even that left her feeling flat, like a portrait instead of a person.

By the time she ascended to the Collegia’s highest office, she had everything she’d left home to find: power, wealth, status. But where was home? She could hardly remember. She set out, navigating the growing darkness of her mind by a fading constellation of memories. The going was slow. It took days to find her way from one waypoint (the first time she stopped to marvel outside the gates of the Collegia) to the next (bartering her mother’s locket for passage).

Her path led to an old croft by the ocean, listening to the surf scrub the shoreline with carpets of kelp. The mossy door creaked open, revealing a salt-scoured face from a half-remembered farewell. For a moment, the Mnemomancer didn’t know if she was really here, or experiencing a memory as it burned out. Then the face cracked with a smile and she was wrapped in a long, sobbing hug. It no longer mattered. Either way, she was home.


Short story written by Peter Chiykowski

website   twitter   facebook   instagram   

Story prompt taken from a photo by Alexey Turenkov

website   instagram