Memory, Light & Medicine

      by Brian S. Wheeler / Fantasy / Science Fiction

Memory, Light & Medicine
Memory, Light & Medicine
Brian S. Wheeler


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This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the author’s imagination and used fictitiously.

Copyright © 2017 by Brian S. Wheeler

For Kate.

If you enjoy this story, please consider purchasing one of the following novels available at your favorite distributor of ebooks. Flatland Fiction welcomes your feedback at letters@flatlandfiction.com.

Mr. Hancock’s Signature
The dead walk in Monteray. The corpse of a nearly forgotten farmer named Hancock arrives via train. Ian Washington remembers Mr. Hancock and vows to return the body home. Yet Mr. Hancock's body will not rest while Ian works to reopen a cemetery, and the corpse found each morning upon the doorstep forces the town to choose between the isolation of their fear or the hope of their fellowship.

The Sisters Will Dance
Blaine Woosely claws his way back to the living. He has cleaned his blood of his addiction, and an unexpected, family farm home rewards his efforts. Only the country acres isolate Blaine when a sharp-toothed monster hunts to bring Blaine back to the dark. The sad history of Blaine's blood brings magic to the country home's new master, but in the end, only Blaine himself can break his chains.

Fallen Stardust
A boy, an outcast and an alien must find salvation in a world of ruin. Samuel must find a medicine to cure the fever ravaging his village. Markus must find the motive that murdered those he loved. And an angel must find a future in a city crumbled into debris. But something lurks beneath the wasted world, and waking it may doom what little of humanity survives.

The Light Floats Slowly
Hugh Simms looks to find hope amid the stars when he fails to find any on Earth. Heartbroken by the loss of his only love, Hugh loads his great spaceship with ash and glass before launching his Starchaser into the cosmos. Miraculously, that spaceship finds an alien civilization in the vast dark, and Hugh might deliver that civilization the salvation he failed to deliver to the Earth.

Vanity and Stars
Rise to grasp new worlds, and fall with the tragedy of human and alien frailty. These ten stories underline the potential seeded throughout the galaxy, while never denying that humankind’s flaws will surely tarnish the stars. With the vain and the foolish, buckle into the rocket seat and hold a breath while the cosmos unfolds.

Contents
Chapter 1 – Medicinal Light
Chapter 2 – The Skeptic
Chapter 3 – The Father
Chapter 4 – Cruel Children
Chapter 5 – Darker Sparkle
Chapter 6 – Dutiful Daughter
Chapter 7 – No Retreat
Chapter 8 – Magic and Miracle
Chapter 9 - Faith
About the Writer
Other Stories at Flatland Fiction

Chapter 1 – Medicinal Light

Thousands of small, blinking lights surrounded Thomas Voss, kneading his memory, searching for the for the man others believed Thomas Voss to have been.

Thomas’ wife, Elaine, and oldest daughter, Vicki, stared through the small window of the viewing chamber at the man illuminated by so many flashing diadems of silver, pearl and gold. They said nothing. They concentrated to maintain the regularity of their breath. They regarded the ceremony of those lights to be as solemn as any magical practice that summoned the dead. Staring through that window, they prayed that the man they loved, and not the monster they feared, would rise and return to them.

Vicki glanced again at the blue, digital clock whose numbers retreated towards zero. “What if it doesn’t work?”

Elaine smiled. “It’ll work. The lights are already bringing him back to us. We only have to be patient and give the therapy time to take hold.”

“That’s not what I mean, and you know it. What if father rages again?”

A soft hum of melody escaped Elaine’s lips. “Then we’ll just have to wait until whatever memory is making him angry fades before we start another cycle with the light.”

Vicki stepped back from the window and leaned against the cold, metal wall. Her hopes had been much higher when her father started his light therapy many months ago. Vicki had hoped that the lights might’ve brought better results, would’ve returned more than just fleeting glimpses of the Thomas Voss the man’s family desired. Yet the lights failed to provide any lasting balm, and Vicki grew tired of the spectacle. All those small LED lights dulled in her eyes.

“How can you put him through another turn so easily?” Vicki shook her head. “You’re only putting him through more. You’re putting us through more. Don’t you think it’s time that we consider letting him go?”

“I won’t do that. Not when the doctors tell me it can keep at any time.”

Vicki sighed. “And what if that memory holds after the light brings back another monster?”

“You know better than to worry about that. You know there’s still a loving man in your father.”

Vicki peeked again at the lights blinking in that small window. “You always believed that. Nothing that ever happened beneath our roof ever threatened your faith. But I’m not so sure. I don’t think Logan is sure.”

“I promise that the lights will only bring back the best of him. The rage will be gone. You’ll see, Vicki, and we’ll all be happy. Even Logan will be happy.”

Vicki found a plastic chair of her own in that small viewing chamber and returned her attention to the blue digital numbers that continued to blink towards zero. That clock would buzz. The lights would extinguish. The doctors would open the door to that treatment chamber and escort whatever shade of Thomas Voss their medicine lights summoned into that small viewing room, where Vicki and her mother would hold their breath as they gauged how much anger returned with their family’s father. How many more cycles must they all endure? How many more times would the lights need to flash before Elaine finally retrieved the husband she mourned? How much more hurt would her mother’s heart endure if she was forced to watch more memories recaptured by the light fade again into the fog? Vicki’s shoulders slumped. She had said her farewells to her father a long time ago. Wasn’t it best if her mother finally said her own?

Elaine hummed in her plastic chair. “The lights are dimming. We better hurry to his door and greet him the moment he steps out of the room.”

“Be careful, mom,” and Vicki followed Elaine out of the viewing room. “Be ready, just in case the lights don’t summon what you’re hoping for.”

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