Tuesday, 16 September 2014


“Do you have any idea of what the event was?”

“What event?” I said, momentarily forgetting what he had just said a few seconds ago. “Oh, urrr....no.”

“Well, I’m going to explain a few things, but I don’t wish to blow your mind. Therefore, I can only provide a couple of answers. The rest will come in time.”

I nodded and leaned back in my seat.

“You are free right now,” he said. “And I do mean truly free. The bank card you have has a limitless supply of funds and you can literally do as you wish.”

“What is this?” I scoffed. “Some kind of practical joke?”

“There is no jest here, I can assure you Christopher. From here on, you are free to do as you please.”

“But free to do what?”

“Live – live as you wish.”

Somehow, I knew he was speaking the truth. I observed the massive opulently decorated living room and looked at him. “I have to say, I’m still slightly baffled by the fact that with all your wealth, you decide not to clean your teeth. That’s just really strange.”

The man laughed. “Well, that’s my personal little preference, but I’m alive and well and as you can see…” he gestured with both his hands for me to observe his surroundings. “No challenges here. I just always hated brushing my teeth as a child and as an adult. Now, I don’t have to.”

“So I take it you used to be at The Institute as well.”

“I used to work there, but I retired.”

“So what’s your deal now?”

“To guide people like you. People who somehow break free of the…mind cleaning process and find themselves a little lost. At the very least, I hope to help you start the path to recovering your memories.”


“I suppose because you remind me of well…me - in that you managed to retain some memory. And because evidently Christopher, through that rigorous process they do at The Institute to wipe your mind, there WAS and IS something you don't want to forget.”

Saturday, 13 September 2014


I frowned and tensed my jaw as if readying myself to take a fierce blow to the face. Something was coming and I knew it was going to be a mixture of good and bad. It would test my skills of interpretation to the max – how do you roll with this punch Christopher? a voice in my head asked. 

“Christopher,” the man said. “I take it something must have happened to you for you to decide to visit The Institute. Judging by your candour-looking face and your body language, I would say you didn’t pay for The Institute. I would believe they chose you. You look like the type they choose. Strong yet reserved. Yes, definitely a chosen one.”

“What’s The Institute?”

“Simply put – it’s for people who have been traumatised by some past event or events and wish to erase their memories. Permanently.”

I shook my head.

“Now clearly, you weren’t completely sure about this,” he said.

“What makes you think that?”

“Well, you’re here. If the erase had taken, you would have taken their shuttle bus. You must have run away. And I know your next question. I will explain. Due to your brain washing, you literally lost consciousness while you were running away. You probably woke up mid-jog due to exhaustion.”

The reminder triggered the reanimation of the pain in my joints, manipulating me to massage my legs.

“Another guess is you must have left yourself some form of stimulant to remind you of who you are.”

The note, I thought.

“Are, you did,” he said with a look of curiosity on his face. 

Thursday, 4 September 2014


The man beckoned me to follow him across his meticulously groomed lawn, then the pebbly exterior that funnelled into a direct path to his immense manor house. We passed two manicured patches of lime green grass, that influenced me to think that these would be mazes fit for rodents.

He pushed his door open and again, gestured with his hand for me to follow.

My eyes receded as I took a step into the property. It was phenomenal, yet even the word ‘phenomenal’ as a description seemed to fall short.

I love the English language - enjoy the combinations of words, phrases, and the plethora of synonyms that come from research and greater experience. But, there are occasions when my ability to wield words fails me. This was one of those incidents.

We walked through upon marble flooring with an English Colonial Great House interior. We continued through, passing a huge marble staircase and moved away from that to a smaller room - if you could call it small.

It was a shared lounging, kitchen and dining space with a more contemporary feel. Varnished wooden floors with white leather couches in the living area and granite counter tops and hanging lamps in the kitchen and dining part. Art work was positioned nearer the ceiling and more hanging lamps around, all aligned neatly created a cosy yet grand ambiance.

The one thing that did strike me about this particular interior of the house – it didn’t suit the man in front of me. Not a single bit.

“Sit, please,” he said.

I sat. He sat on a couch adjacent, yet close enough for me to get a whiff of his smoky odour. It didn’t prepare me for the next smell.

“Would you like some tea?” he said. He pronounced 'tea' with a strength that puffed his breath straight into my nostrils. The scent was one that makes you feel a push from the stomach that rises up the oesophagus, then stops and shoots back down.

My head jerked back, quick enough to avoid breathing anymore in, but sufficiently slow to go unnoticed.

“No thanks,” I said.

He clapped his hands together and perched his head forward on his couch. “So!” he exclaimed, again forcing the 's' hard to send more unpleasant air my way. He smiled, but it was a tight-lipped smile. I was grateful.

I shrugged with my hands out, oblivious, ignorant.

His head moved closer still. “What made you do it to yourself I wonder? You look like a strong, strapping lad. What would break you so?”

I squinted and held my breath as I felt his ghastly air brush my face again.

“Sorry,” he said. “I’m moving a little ahead here.”

I endured – breathing the stink that emerged from his mouth with every word spoken, every forced pronunciation released, and every sigh breathed. The bad stench filled every orifice in my head, making me want to vomit. I was truly drowning.

“I bet you’re wondering why I don’t brush my teeth?” he said.

I didn’t answer. I had learned a long time ago to be damningly honest with my silence. Give a reply with my eyes. Yes. Yes I want to know why you can’t spend two minutes of the day, once in the morning and once in the evening, scrubbing those filthy, furry things in your mouth that no longer resemble teeth.

“Simple,” he said. “After my time at The Institute, and my reawakening, I said to myself, 'why follow convention? Why follow the rules? Why follow what everyone tells you?'”

I shook my head and frowned.

“Sorry, sorry, I’m moving ahead again, aren’t I? Okay, Christopher,” he said, compelling me to stiffen every muscle so that he didn’t notice he had surprised me by saying my name.

“I will begin from the top.”