Memories of a Forgotten Girl
A Netheron Short Story
Story, Poetry and Art by Vivienne Waltzer
Kiss me, oh just once -
make me forget my dreams;
For should one kiss be grant,
I will live my life dreaming of you,
and not of my dreams...
It was war.
Prince Otto stood silent, adorned in a red and white military uniform. He held two large golden pistols in his pockets, each with intricate carvings. His limber body stood between two large pine trees and a rubbish pile of haystacks. To the front of him seated a set of target dummies - each with large blue roses in the middle of where the heart would be.
Marcilyn leaned against a tree, breathless at his appearance. In that moment – the sweat glistened from his nervous face, but his body only trembled slightly as he rose the pistol in his hands. The inventor hummed, bringing her hands to her face with enthusiasm. He raised the gun and hesitated. Marcilyn bit her lip with anticipation - until she tasted the tangy sourness of blood.
His eyes eyed her from the distance, covered by a thick layer of aluminum glass, and he carefully drew his arms to his target. With a pause, he put his finger over the trigger, and shot.
Down dead cold – the dummy that had been stiffly sitting, knocked over. Marcilyn watched, mystified – breathing in the cold air of dust. All was silent, except for the heavy breathing of the former prince. Not even Alexander moved, nor did the other soldiers. No one spoke, until Otto spat on the ground, and walked away from the arena. His eyes empty, and his heart cold.
But Marcilyn didn’t notice. Marcilyn didn’t care. She watched his eyebrows slowly begin to furrow, in the most majestic way. Marcilyn saw everything as majestic, did she not? Of course. He was a prince after all.
Marcilyn found everything right about him - so right, she would tremble with delight upon seeing his pale white face and wondrous features. What better man to take down a princess? Perhaps she could take down such – but no one ever allowed her to even see, what such princess even looked like. Was she ugly? Beautiful? Marcilyn never knew. She was just an inventor, after all.
In her shock, her breath stopped. He was heading towards her, surely to ask her on another date. They would walk inside the parts of Mr. Monette’s mansion – the one with the indoor garden, the beautiful nature of the flowers that the plantation struggled to keep. Marcilyn knew the rarity of her being outdoors. Alexander would not allow her to go outside – though he never told her why.
She strangely felt empty. Otto filled her heart – but it was never enough. She strangely trembled, strangely felt pains coarse through her body until all of the energy had been zapped out of her. She didn’t remember much of her childhood, nor the beginnings of her teen hood. She was almost an adult, and yet she hardly felt like it – the only memories she had were the present, and it made her feel like she was young – far too young for her age.
How she wished she could have her memories back. But she knew it would never happen. It would take years to recover the ashes, decades alone to regain a tenth of it, and her whole life to regain it all.
Otto finally caught up to her. "Marcilyn? Are you okay?” His lips cried. Marcilyn drew her eyes to them and not his eyes. If only...
Marcilyn quickly pulled away, reminiscent of a vague memory. He reminded her of someone... someone from long ago. His lips, so cherry red... reminded her strangely of a girl. A beautiful girl. She sighed. She didn’t understand herself sometimes. “I’m okay, Otto. You’re going to take me on a date, aren’t you?”
The prince's arm hooked onto hers, giving a curled grin. “Of course, Marci. Of course. Let’s go to the garden.”
Marcilyn’s eyes hid a dark secret behind them. She knew he looked within her, trying to find it. What secret could she seek within herself? Did she even have a secret?
“Could we go for a stroll instead? To the outdoors?” Marcilyn asked. Would he kiss her? Finally, finally kiss her? Just intoxicate her with his lips... and cling to her, her small frail figure? Oh she was so lonely… so desperate. Something very important had been taken from her. She knew, she knew and yet she didn’t know… she was broken, so, so broken... she had been shattered long ago.
Otto grinned, he grinned with sincerity – oh had the war changed him? Did she remember him from long ago? No, she couldn’t have – she dreamed of the old days, her father, her mother – and her friends… her friends who she didn’t even remember their names, nor their faces.
“I’ll do anything for a lovely inventor,” the prince said, leaning in close to her. Closer the inventor thought. Closer. Make the pain go away. “We’ll go through a stroll through the forest.”
She lived the days over and over again. The times spent in complete darkness. Why couldn’t she remember anything of the past? Was it possible Otto wasn’t the one? Was it possible… there was someone so beautiful, so precious… a person that looked vaguely similar, but yet was so different?
Marcilyn paused, nodding her head as he took her hand. She melted, melted with the grip, so full of emotion and frenzies that she nearly pulled away – what beautiful hands he had, what a beautiful smile he had… everything so pure, in that moment – just like… who? Just like who? She didn’t know… how could she? She remembered nothing.
Marcilyn took his hand, and they began to walk outside the mansion, hand in hand. So beautiful… so, so beautiful. She never wanted it to end.
“You know, I wonder sometimes Otto. About you... about us...” Marcilyn told him. Her daze so noticeable, her smile so large - Otto flinched at this, considering breaking the grasp, but the inventor held it so strongly. She’d always been stronger, always been so well built, ever since she was a little kid, even despite her brittleness. “I like you very much... but I still remember. A face, without a name. I remember this face... and it calls to me. Every night, I dream of a girl turning into a woman - every night I dream of a wicked man who stole my name.”
“Marcilyn, that’s outrageous,” Otto told her. “Whatever girl is on your mind - is fake. She doesn’t exist.”
Marcilyn paused, stopping in the middle of the road. The purple river flowed before them, glistening against the warm sun.
“Maybe your right... but I hear her every night. She calls to me. She tells me, ‘I love you,” Marcilyn told him. His horror was so apparent, she nearly quit talking. But he had to know, she had to be honest – and she knew if she wasn’t, there would be consequences. “I feel a deep attachment to her, this girl in my dreams. So, strong… so, so strong. It’s stronger than anything I’ve ever felt. I don’t understand it...”
“Marcilyn, you fantasize all too much,” Otto told her. “I know you like girls as well as boys, but really - just let it go. It irritates me whenever you have fantasies... but... I know if we’re ever going to be married, I have to put up with it.”
They finally were enclosed in deep privacy, stacks of willows trees and lights spanning for miles. Towards them, was a small white Victorian home, with a porch lit with kerosene lanterns and the brief smell of chamomile tea. Marcilyn clung to his shoulder. Pain. So much pain. She wanted the agony to end before it drove her mad – she needed his lips, his breath, his everything – because she would just be an empty shell without it.
“Would you really want to marry me though?” Marcilyn asked. “I feel so much… I feel too much; I feel more than you could ever know. I’m too emotional, I can’t even keep my emotions a secret… no man, nor woman appreciates that.”
“In this world, everyone is emotional,” Otto told her. “The war makes it so…”
"Then I wish the war didn't exist Otto. Because I don't want to fight," Marcilyn told him. "But my mind tells me to."
They made their way to the small Victorian house. Marcilyn realized it had a porch. Could this be Alexander’s house? The inventor wondered. No, it was probably a stranger’s.
The inventor gazed into his eyes with a look of longing. Closer. She thought. Closer. Closer. Closer. Just one kiss… Just one kiss, Otto. It’s all I could ever need.
Otto leaned towards her. Closer, and closer, and closer… he stopped. He stopped, then he leaned towards her. Closer.
Closer… closer… there. Marcilyn grabbed him around the waist and pulled him to the porch.
Her heart was on fire. Having him so close to her… just made her body hot. In this secluded forest… they could do anything to their hearts content! But… it made her tense. So tense. So, so tense. She didn’t understand it… didn’t she want that?
“You’re so good at those shots,” Marcilyn told him. “So, so good…” A grin slowly crept up her face, “I could beat you easily though. At least at Muay Thaseo.”
Otto pulled himself forward, leaning against the inventor. His lips easily upturned, revealing snarly white teeth. He never took care of his teeth, did he? Oh, it didn’t matter… he was beautiful…
“You’re a beautiful inventor,” The prince told her. His lips only grew wider. “But you’d never beat me at a sword fight.”
Did he really find her beautiful? If he said it, she'd believe it.
"Well, you're my equally attractive prince," Marcilyn responded. "So gifted at shooting guns and fighting off evil princesses...”
"I think we all know who bests us at inventing those weapons," Otto said.
"Oh... I'm sure you're right," The inventor said, leaning in to brushed her lips against his shoulder. His arms exploded with goosebumps, making the inventor grin. “But I can't imagine a better man for second in command..." Her lips worked their way up to his neck, where they brushed up against the sides of his cheek, as she whispered into his ear, “You're incredible.”
“Oh Marcilyn…” Otto wrapped his arms around her waist. The braces holding her trousers loosened, until one slipped from her sleeve. “You flatter me all too much,” Otto said seductively. He leaned closer to her, slowly veering in to kiss her cheek. “You obviously can’t get any better than me.”
“Maybe you’re right,” Marcilyn said. “Or maybe... you should kiss me."
Otto leaned forward, clutching the strap of her brace.
"I'd like that..." He whispered.
He pressed his lips against hers. Marcilyn melted in the moment. Oh Otto... Otto Otto Otto... her name breathed Otto, her life breathed Otto - her soul breathed Otto, everything breathed Otto. It was complete bliss... Oh god, how she never wanted it to end! She felt her heart pound from her skull, and so many emotions raced through her mind… so many images… of her… and… and…
Wait... Otto? Was it Otto? No... it was... her. The blonde haired girl, with curly hair, much more curly than Otto. Even so, did she stop? Oh no, she kept going… she kept kissing.
Erase it. Her mind said. Erase everything.
Otto kissed back, equally powerful, as she wrapped her arms around him and pulled him towards the porch. Otto, Otto, Otto... she must breath Otto, she must breath Otto... but she didn't. She didn't breath Otto. She breathed her.
She pulled away from him for just to catch her breath, before pulling back in.
Her body shifted against the porch railing. Otto wasn't even on her mind anymore. The curly haired girl... her dreams of kissing her ever so passionately, ever so loving!
Otto broke apart the kiss, and the trembling worsened, so powerful Marcilyn nearly lost her balance.
She caught herself on the railing and shuddered. Why was she so cold again? Oh, she always trembled at the worst times…
Otto steadied her. His touch was so warm… so vibrant. Marcilyn could swear it was driving her crazy. She was so unrealistic – how could a kiss solve everything? She didn’t know why she hurt. She didn’t know why she was in pain. She just was.
“Are you okay, Marcilyn?” He asked.
The inventor nervously tugged at her polka dot bow tie, and crossed her knicker shoes in response. She wasn't, but she wouldn't tell him that.
Otto softly lifted Marcilyn’s hair back behind her ear, seeing her clearly was out of breath. She tried to hide the trembling. She tried to hide the fear. She tried to hide the hurt, the pain, the frustration. Why couldn’t she move on? What was stopping her from forgetting about her dream? It wasn’t real.
“Why do I feel like I’ve done this before?” Marcilyn asked. “Like... I’ve locked lips in such a passionate manner, that I nearly lost my breath?”
“You’re probably dreaming again,” Otto said. He wrapped his arms around the inventor, and Marcilyn complied, still trembling. The night was nearly among them. “Look at how... beautiful you are in the sunset. I can see your eyes sparkle.”
“I want to forget about... that girl... that girl in my dreams...” Marcilyn told him. “It’s so easy to forget when we’re kissing. But when I let go of you, it comes back. The trembling, the hurt, the pain. I want to know her, but I don’t know if she exists. Is she real? I love her. I love her so much… but what if she’s just a figment of my imagination?”
“What does she look like?” Otto asked. “You talk so fondly of her... don’t you have any idea what she looks like?”
“She’s... pale. Paler than the moon,” Marcilyn told him. “And so beautiful... so, so beautiful... with the curliest blonde hair and curvy pink lips. Oh she has the most beautiful crimson-brown eyes... so gorgeous, so wonderful… I adore her every being.”
Otto paused, going slightly white in the face. Wait.... what was wrong? Did she go too far?
‘You talk as if you’re in love...” Otto said. “Should I be concerned?”
“Oh Otto, nothing can replace you... this girl isn’t even real,” Marcilyn told him. “But oh! She steals my heart, so fast, so furious… so wondrous… and every time I dream of her, I’m in ecstasy...”
Otto gulped. He pulled away from the daydreaming inventor. He tightened the buttons on his military jacket and stood up.
“I just remembered. I have somewhere I need to be,” Otto told her. He held her up and gave her a kiss on the cheek. “I’m sorry I had to cut our date short, but Alexander needs me.”
Marcilyn paused, wondering why he was leaving. Where was he going?
“Wait, Otto -” She paused, watching him quickly depart from her. She sighed, turning around to face a poster. Wait, what was that? She got a closer look.
For a moment, she had paused, realizing that the poster was a wanted sign. She studied it carefully, reading the details.
Wanted for Death of Hundreds, the Princess of Netheron.
Wait a minute… was that... the girl in her dreams? No, it couldn’t be right? But the clothing… the hair… the eyes… the lips…
With a horror so vast... she realized who the girl had been.