The thing she remembered about Carisbrooke

Isle of Wight © Google Maps Mateusz Baran

When she remembered the holiday, she always remembered the same things: the ferry ride over, the sprawl of countryside on the drive out, and the way the irregular fields were stitched with rows of trees. But when she tried to remember the castle itself, she couldn’t recall a single detail.

There were pictures, to be sure. She swiped her thumb across her phone screen, paging through them. Generic pictures: the royal bedroom, the chamber organ, the Nash clock.

They were nothing like the sort of pictures she normally took. These were the soulless stills of a promotional brochure. Where were the candid shots of Dominic? The forced perspective at the turret? Why no shameless selfie beneath the iconic arched entry?

“Don’t you remember, love? We played the bowls. You had the walnut cake in the tearoom. Don’t you remember?”

She nodded. “Of course.”

But the thing was, she didn’t.

149 words

This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. To read more stories inspired by the prompt or to submit your own, click here.

I’m always in trouble when I read other’s takes before writing my own. After reading the fine story by J Hardy Carroll, I just couldn’t shake the whole alien abduction thing! I apologize for the pale rehashing.

I’m on to Nanowrimo–I’m at about 46,000 words and counting.

22 Comments

  1. An intriguing piece. Is she brainwashed? Or is she becoming another person? Well done.

    1. I like your intriguing possibilities! Thanks for reading.

  2. The mystery. What really happened to her inside the castle? Not necessarily an alien abduction. Could be a lot of things. It would be fun to read an expanded version of this tale exploring those avenues.

    1. The possibilities are endless! Thanks for reading James.

    1. Thanks so much, thanks for reading.

  3. Dear Karen
    This isn’t a pale rehashing! Your story is full of great description, and has a living main character in an intriguing situation. I’m particularly spooked by the soulless promotional-type photographs!
    Well written!
    With best wishes
    Penny

    1. Your delightful comment has me grinning. Thanks Penny!

  4. I fear that Dominic is her Russian handler after three months being brainwashed in Crimea. He probably took her back to the Isle, spoke a code word to wake her up and she returns to her previous memories. Just like someone awaking after hypnotism. Once again, I love stories that leave room for interpretation.

    1. That is a great interpretation! It could very well be!

  5. Dear Karen,

    I was going to make a comment but I forgot what I was going to say. Again, as I did with Josh’s,, does she have dementia or has she entered another dimension. Good one as always.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    1. Lol, I feel like that all the time. Thanks for reading!

  6. I wouldn’t trust the other half if I was her – the ‘But don’t you remember, darling’ line has been played too often in creepy conspiracy stories. Rosemary’s Baby for one! Perhaps that’s it – she’s carrying the child of his Infernal Majesty and Dom is the Fiery One’s main accolyte, honoured to offer up his wife as a surrogate.
    Lovely prose, Karen – liked the fields stitched by the trees particularly

    1. Oh my word, rosemary’s baby! I’m so glad I wrote this, the theories are blowing my mind. I think this one is my favorite!

      1. Rosemary’s Baby is a weird film, slightly laughable now in parts, but still with a creeping unease. A reworking is due I think 🙂

  7. peterkirsch

    Congrats on NaNoWriMo! Despite my best intentions, I totally failed. Nov. proved to not be a great month.
    So maybe I’ll try December instead.

    1. You should! Hope you do 🙂

  8. I like all the open-ended questions. Your story leaves me wondering what the heck happened!?! Nicely done, (I too liked the fields stitched by trees. Great line.)

    1. I expected one outcome but now I’m not so sure. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  9. Definitely an alien abduction. It was her clone which played bowls and had tea. She was up in the spaceship being experimented on at the time 😦

    1. Lol, is this the sort of thing that normally goes on there 😉 Trying to decide if I should include it if I ever do a tour there. hehehe. Thanks for reading!

  10. I loved the take on the prompt here.
    I really felt the somber thud at the end with “she didn’t” – ugh
    \\
    and you know, I wonder if many many years from know we will read this and see “swipe” to scroll photos and we will remember the tech we have now – like when someone wrote about flipping over their phones a while ago.

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