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The Goodbye

by Dany Jean-Pierre 2 months ago in Short Story · updated 2 months ago
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what if your only memory was a goodbye

I jolted awake, blinking the fog out of my vision. I was in a train. I looked around. Tables were set and a few couples on a makeshift dance floor. A violinist is playing an upbeat jig.

"Dead drunk at your own bachelor party, Davis?"

I looked around assuming some Davis would respond. The man laughed boisterously,"Who you lookin' for?"

I looked back, the mystery person assuming I was a Davis? I didn't feel like a Davis. He grabbed my hand and pulled me upright. A dizziness coming over as I was pulled to stand. I felt a note get pressed into my hand.

He whispered,"Come find me at the caboose."

I looked around frantic, trying to understand the paranoia. I saw only groups of friends enjoying the talent and the food. My eyes caught another scanning the room, a woman in red. A mischievous smirk on her blood red lips. A memory flashed in my mind, a woman remarkably similar to the one locking eyes with me. She was crying and she gave me a kiss on the train platform.

She whispered something, something important. The memory hit and left like a drive-by.

I nodded my head at her in acknowledgment. She waved delicately. It felt almost like a slight to her character for her to be so gentle. The way she saved felt deceptive and familiar. Uncomfortably familiar.

I looked away. I walked up to the bar and ordered a water. As the bartender handed me my water. I unraveled the note and read," Ms. Caroline has been murdered. I know who did it. -Barry"

Ms.Caroline, who was she. I felt a burst of sorrow, as if my body was instinctively grieving a woman it could not remember. I determined that even if I did not know my own history, I needed to discover hers.

I left my drink at the bar top and crossed the train car, going to follow the only clue I had of who I was and what had happened here. As I traversed train cars I felt a presence following me. I turned into a random empty compartment. I stood to the side of the door hiding in the nook.

The woman in red from the dining car. She glanced into the compartment. I grasped her arm and pulled her in. I slid the door shut and pressed her against the wall. Caging her in my arms, "Why are you following me?"

Her eyes narrowed, "What do you think Davis? I want to know what your little friend knows." She chuckled almost as if it was something obvious.

"We always play this little game don't we lovely." Her eyes glittered with excitement as if this threat was the best part of her day.

"I wouldn't know." I shifted back. Leaning away from her. "You may be playing a little game but this little situation is more dangerous than a simple game. You should stay out of it."

Her face quickly shifted from that maddening smirk to a wrathful disgust. Seemingly like my implication that she was outpaced was a disappointment. Eyes that were so inviting now closed off.

She bit out,"You don't know, Davis you never under estimated me. Not once. Now this. I'll stay out of your little detective's club. Just remember later that you told me to stay out."

She left the compartment, slipping out to another car. I looked and continued on down until the last car.

Red told to remember. I don't even remember myself. With nothing familiar and someone calling me by a name I didn't know. She was someone I was drawn to. Someone who pulled me in like a siren's call. Anything I said or did before now is but a dream I have no recollection of. If nothing else, I felt in my soul I had to help solve the murder of this Ms. Coulson.

A woman dead, someone who I meant something to. A person that I instinctively knew that I cherished.

As I made my way to the end car, I tried to grasp at all of the straws that built up this story on the train. A woman dead. A bachelor party. Red who was wanting to cover or scheme or get something out of this mystery. Barry, a man wanting to meet a drunk for secrets about a murder.

Nothing made sense.

What made these moments align with my sudden amnesia. Did they have to do with the woman who sent me off?

Did Red know I had no memories? Does anyone on this train know anything about me?

Davis, an investigator of some kind. Or perhaps on the other end of the spectrum a criminal. Hell If I knew. Everything about my identity, my morals, even my love was scraped out leaving only the residue of a goodbye.

I came to the last train car on that note. Opening the door and seeing Barry slouched facing the conductors quarters.

I announced myself getting closer. Attempting to grab his attention. He was still, breathing heavily. I called to him.

Barry muttered as I sat closer,"Davis, I know you have a soft spot for the she-devil but she just shot me and took out the brakes."

I blurted out,"Who shot you?"

Barry rolled his eyes," Your she-devil Maeve, the mercenary. She shot me and apparently took out the brakes."

I frantically searched the room hoping for some clue that she was here still and hadn't abandoned the train after her stunt.

Barry glanced at me. He sounded weary and fading,"She's going to wait to make a dramatic exit like she always does. She's probably still on board. I need medical attention and we need to figure out how to stop this train."

I felt like everything about this day, this situation was unhinged, psychotic, meaningless chaos. Then it clicked.

Maeve wasn't an assassin. She was an agent of chaos.

I helped Barry to lay back. "I think I know her play. "

Short Story

About the author

Dany Jean-Pierre

they/them/theirs

I started with libraries and now I’m trying to fill one with all of my own works.

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