…a wacky sci-fi family sitcom
Amnesia & Magic
I’m about to start heading up the steps when a voice behind me says, “Excuse me, miss, but I think you’ve dropped something”.
I don’t jump out of my skin, despite every urge to. Instead, I turn around and there’s this sweet looking older lady holding out a small coin purse. I’m about to tell her that I didn’t drop it when I see her wink at me. I decide to go with it and take the purse.
As I’m thanking her, I’m giving her a good look to see if I might know her. She’s maybe in her mid-sixties, about 5’2” and chubby. Grey hair, blue eyes and a face that looks like the model for every picture of a grandmother that was ever painted. She’s wearing a simple blue dress that is lightly dusted with flour. She smells like cinnamon buns and cookies. My brain is screaming out that we know her, but I’m not getting a name.
I smile back at her and thank her. She pats my hand.
“Glad to help, sweetie. I’m sure you’ll need that purse.” Her voice is calming, like all good grandmother voices are.
“Yes,“ I reply, still not coming up with a name, “I’m sure I will, Miss…?” I’m fishing here, but what the hell, right?
Her smile gets bigger. “Oh my, look at the time! I need to get back and get started on my cupcakes. You have a good day and stay safe, Snoopy.” With that she starts walking away, but I hardly notice because my head is reeling and I’m remembering that Snoopy was my nickname as a kid. I’m also remembering that my older sister, who is nameless at this point, gave me the nickname one summer at a cabin my family stayed at up on the Mendocino coast. I can see that cabin as clear as day and remember every twist in the road to get there, but I still can’t tell you my own name.
Ok, I tell myself, a little at a time will do. Better than nothing.
A breeze is kicking up and for no good reason I start walking west away from the Big X. It’s a nice sunny day in San Francisco and in the moments when I’m not wondering what in the hell is going on, I enjoy the breeze and the sun on my face.
Opening up the coin purse reveals a hundred bucks in twenties, a set of car keys, a tiny pouch of what looks like leaves & roots and another note from myself. It reads…
“Her name is Mrs. Olaffson. Figured I should tell you that or it would bother you all day. If it’s past noon, you have less than three hours to get out of town before your memory starts returning and you become very detectable. If you’ve already regained some memories, you can cut that time in half.
The keys fit a ’33 Hudson Hornet parked at the ferry dock in Tiburon. Once, you’re in it, head towards the cabin, but stop in San Rafael at Hoagy’s so you can change your clothes and get a big cup of hot water to make the tea in the little pouch. After that, go to the cabin, then find old fort you used to play in. You’ll get more answers there. Watch your back, kid, because things are going to get damned dangerous soon.
Again, sorry to be so vague.
Love, You From 18 Hours Ago
PS: Unless they call you “Snoopy” or “Mick”, don’t trust anybody human. And avoid the peppersteak hoagy. Delicious, but you don’t need the heartburn.”
OK, this is more like it. I like specific goals. Time to hail a cab and get my ass to the ferry. I look up and down the street and see a cab parked in front of a hotel. I pick up my pace and I’m almost there when I start to sneeze. Not just one sneeze, but a whole chain of them. My eyes are starting to water, too. That’s when I see the roses in front of the hotel. The roses that are downwind from me.
So, I’m allergic to roses. Well, that’s one mystery solved. I was wondering if it had something to do with magic.
Wiping my nose, I jump into the cab and tell the driver there’s a big tip in it if he can get me to the Ferry Building in record time. He hits the gas, does a U turn that gets him cussed out by a dozen other drivers and we’re off to the races.
After a few minutes, I stop sneezing and my eyes feel ok. Allergies are not fun and I’m not looking forward to any feline encounters. Of course, it’s also a distinct possibility that cats are magical trouble. I guess we’ll just have to see which side the coin lands on.
As we fly down the street dodging pedestrians and other cars, I start thinking about what the Elf kid told me. I’ve got Power, which means I’m connected to some source of it. Since I’m not a Wizard or Mage, It’s got to be the book, the ring or both. But if that’s the case, whoever is after me should have grabbed me up while I was still knocked out on the garbage pile. Both the Feds and the Wizards have some really effective ways of finding things that had Power, and yet, here I was, free as a bird.
Well, ok, a bird being hunted, but I hadn’t been tracked down yet.
I’m searching my brain for what I know about magic and it turns out I know a fair amount. I know that magic returned to the certain parts of the world, mostly the northerly areas of North America & Europe, in 1851. I know that Elves can’t cast spells, but they use magic to do things like hide really well in forests and travel quickly in any wilderness area. I know that humans can cast spells, but they need to channel the raw Power through elves, which is not good for the Elves. I know that’s why Elves are dying out and I know that’s why I hate Wizards.
Lost in thought, the cabbie has to tell me twice that we’re at the Ferry Building. I toss him a twenty and he thanks me profusely and hands me a card. It has the cab company phone number and his name, “Luis”, on it. If I ever need a cab, he tells me, ask for him.
The schedule posting says it’ll be 15 minutes until the next ferry to Tiburon, so I buy my ticket and grab a cup of Joe from the snack bar. I’m just pouring in some cream when I see the Elf kid coming towards me and he’s not alone.