“If you don’t mind, I find it advisable to schedule activities early in the day. Even a simple task, or a conversation, requires all of my concentration.
“By dusk my thoughts will skitter and slide away from me. Maybe that’s a blessing. Lately I find I can only remember well what I’d rather forget. I’m told this is common in people with similar conditions. Without warning or invitation, the errant past will sneak up on me and flood the more confusing nights. Crimson light bleeds into the edges of multiple images, and memories stutter in their frames until they begin to burn and curl at the corners.
“I’ve known many stories. This one doesn’t matter anymore, and I don’t know what it means.
“When I was twelve years old my parents took me on a road trip to kidnap my cousin. ‘Kidnap’ may be the wrong word. Maybe ‘abduct’ or ‘collect’ or even ‘contain’ would be more accurate. Whatever the term, Claudia was running wild, my parents were sent on a mission to stop her, and they decided I should join them…”
—from “Legends of Claudia,” S.P. Miskowski, Supernatural Tales 40 (Summer 2019)
Cover art by Sam Dawson