Life Without Memory (Book 1 of the Magical Machine Series)

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Chapter 8: Visions of Power

Time seems to slow own and drag the more I have to sit her and not move. I have all the time in the world to do nothing. To let Nathan wait on me. To think.

I test those strange blocks in my mind that I’ve been trying to ignore. I’ve been feeling strange since Nathan reset my legs and I had that light headed moment. It’s as if there is a strange buzzing behind my eyes, something waiting to be used.

Does this have something to do with the blocks?

The more I focus on the blocks, the more I realize a couple things. One of those things is that some things are constantly flowing behind those blocks. I can feel the floor under my hand, but if I dig on of my nails into my arm, all I feel is the gentle touch of a nail against my skin, and there is some other feeling being immediately forgotten behind those blocks in my mind. I think I should feel something else, in fact I am certain I should be feeling something else.

I can feel it, a thread like the threads that bind my clothing, flowing away behind that block. I pull my finger away from the skin of my arm, and notice a red mark in the shape of my nail.

The thread becomes thinner, almost invisible. I rub my finger against the mark, and for a second it gets thicker again.

I go to try again, and Nathan grabs my hand. “Hope, why are you inflicting pain on yourself?” He looks worried, as if I am doing something wrong.

“Pain? Is that what this mark is called?”

He frowns. “Pain is… It’s that intense feeling of – of…” He drifts off. He seems to be struggling to explain this word. “It’s – It’s the feeling you get when you make the mark on your skin. It’s a burning feeling.”

“A burning feeling?” Maybe this is the feeling that is being immediately forgotten. Should I have felt this when you reset my legs?”

His eyebrows furrow. “Yes. You should have felt this sensation when I reset your legs. In fact, it should have been so bad that you screamed of passed out.”

I nod. That makes sense then. I had noticed in the back of my mind that a very large thread was going behind the block when he reset my leg. Maybe that was the reason that I had gotten that strange feeling. I was probably overfilling the area behind these blocks.

“Hope?” Nathan’s voice breaks through my thoughts.


“Did you hear what I just asked?” He is still holding my hand, preventing my from testing my theory again.

“No, what did you just say?”

“I asked, can you not feel pain?”

I nod. “I think so. I was testing this. I thought that maybe I was missing something. There was a ghost of a thought that I should have felt something.”

“Please, stop testing this. Let’s just assume that for some reason you can’t feel it, and you can be grateful that you can’t feel it. Even if you can’t feel it it’s not good for your body.”

I shrug, “Ok, I’ll stop.” I’ll stop while he’s awake. I will continue testing my blocks later, when he is asleep and I can’t sleep. He sleeps so much now, and I struggle to sleep now. I’m not sure why, but now I feel more alive than I used to. Everything seems to be in more focus, and yet time drags immeasurably slowly.

And yet it continues. The light goes on, food comes three times while the lights are on, and then the lights go off.

Each time porridge comes, Nathan makes a mark on the floor on the other side of the cell.

But he seems to be losing focus. He moves around the cell with a noticeable lethargy. He moves as if by wrote, barely even speaking to me anymore. Even now, he is walking back and forward across the cell in front of me. He seems to notice nothing as he walks. The chill of the cell doesn’t even seem to bother him anymore.

I’m surprised he even noticed my experiments.

Bread tumbles through the door, and he picks it up throws me a piece, and chows down on it. Why can’t I be in that state of non-existence anymore? I used to be a master of passing time by just letting it flow by, but I can’t do that anymore. I’m fully aware, fully awake now.

I gnaw on the bread because it is habit to chew the tasteless stuff.

He is pacing again, back and forward in front of me. You seem sad. Do you pity him? You should feel happy for him. He probably barely notices the days anymore. I think he keeps track more out of habit than out of any care for the time passing.

It’s been twenty porridges since he broke my leg. I know this even though I can’t see his marks. I’ve been keeping track.

That feeling behind my eyes. The buzzing behind my eyes bothers me. It’s as if something wants to be released from behind my eyes.

When he reset my legs, that feeling of reaching out…

I imagine reaching out to him, and I imagine little hands, reaching out to ward him, and the buzzing is soothed, though my head feels tight and pinched. Gently, I tap his should with one of the little hand I can see reaching out, and he jumps.

I snatch back to myself, and the hands disappear. The buzzing is less, but I feel that strange light sensation for a moment.

Nathan is looking wildly around the cell. Did I actually just touch him with my hands, or is this a dream and it is all my imagination.

I laugh, unable to help myself, and Nathan glares at me. “Why are you laughing, I swear someone just tapped my shoulder.”

I shake my head, “You looked funny, looking all around like that. So you are imaging things now…”

I couldn’t tell him about my visions, about the hands I had seen and manipulated.

He shakes his head, “No, I swear, I wasn’t imagining it. Someone…” He shakes his head again, “No, Something touched my shoulder.”

He shudders and I look down at the floor. I can’t explain what had just happened. I shouldn’t have laughed though. I think – I think I caused what he felt.

He looks around, as if he expects to see something else around him, “Did you see anything or anymore, a wispy shape, maybe a ghost?”

I shake my head and stare at my feet. What had I done? What am I? This ability. It wasn’t – I don’t know.

The pressure in my head is making it hard to think. I hold my head in my hands; my head feels too heavy to hold itself up.

Nathan’s hands are on my shoulders. I look up enough to see him sitting next to me, holding my shoulders, his face lined with worry.

“Am I worthy of such a look,” I laugh but it adds to the strange pressure, so I stop.

“Hope, what’s wrong? You never feel pain, right?”

I try to shake my head, but it’s too heavy, so I revert to words, “Pressure, I feel like my skull is too small, like my brain is pushing against my skull.”

“Is there anything… I think if you just lie down and sleep it should help.”

“Mmm,” I can’t say more. Sleep sounds good. I feel myself falling, but something is holding me up, gently lowering me to the floor. Him.

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