From my anthology Echoes & Illusions out with Melange-Books.
Five years ago, MoiraCastle couldn’t tell you her favorite color or the type of food she liked. She couldn’t tell you much about anything personal. All she remembered was waking up in a hospital bed on a cold September morning. Nurses stated she had been found unconscious in the SaintarkRiver and stayed that way for well over three years. The only traces of her former life were a battered journal she had in an old purse and a Celtic wedding band with blue sapphire diamonds forming half the infinity symbol. No other forms of identification were found at the time of recovery. Her life was a blank page but at least she knew her name.
She began searching for the life she once had, but without knowing the starting point, it was hard to see the end. During the time of her coma, nothing in the newspapers or the media showed acknowledgement of recognition. After some time, she gave up and accepted the truth and made way in her new life. She hated the toll the unknown had on her heart. Each search that ended with no answers added new wounds and deeper fears. There were lonely nights ridden with insomnia; she stayed up and watched figures out the window. There were idle fantasies and hopes one of those shadows would materialize into something recognizable but it never happened that way. Vulnerability in its particular malevolent form of solitude tore at the base of her soul. She tried to deny it, she even tried to suppress the loneliness and the pain, but it was useless. Every uncertain emotion of the unknown sent her heart into rages of tears as her mind screamed with grievance. And that is precisely what it was—injustice; it was unfair that her mind couldn’t remember what her heart wished.
The tears came from the hidden placed inside a woman’s heart that saved fanciful dreams and tucked them away when there was nothing left to believe in. No woman should ever have to feel that in her life.
Those moments she looked down to the glittering, and exotically designed ring on her left hand. Who was it that shared the other half of the infinity ring? What type of man was he? Her only link revealed a past that was as mysterious as the circumstances that had led her to CastleMemorialHospital. It took some time to officially re-establish herself within society.
A new last name, social security number, and driver’s license was the first of many steps in the search of familiarity. Adopting the name Castle from the CastleMemorialHospital, Moira referred to the doctors and nurses, the only people she knew, as her family and friends who had taken care of her. It was through this experience she made friends with Nurse Kasey Newton and Dr. Sean Macat.
Now, here she was, two years after regaining consciousness, and five years after she severed the ties of her previous life. She was living life as a movie editor in Saintark, Georgia, listening to the rambling of her best friend, Kasey, trying to guess her past.
“I’ve got it, Mo! You were the Queen of Sheba!”
Moira chuckled under her breath as she tried to focus on her work. “Is that the best you can come up with, Kasey?”
“Well you didn’t like the Princess of Wales idea,” her friend commented as she bit into her pizza with gusto.
“The Princess of Wales died genius.”
“Or so they think that’s what really happened. Little did they know she was alive and well, living as a movie editor?”
“Here we go again,” Moira mumbled to herself as she hid a wave of laughter and pushed up her glasses.
“I heard that.”
“So, tell me. How long are we going to play this guessing game?” Moira asked as she continued reading the manuscript before her.
“Until one of my answers is the truth or Matthew McConaughey comes to marry you.”
“He’s a movie star, Kasey.”
“And you’re a script editor, amazing isn’t it?” She smiled wide.
Shaking her head and leaving her friend to her outrageous thinking, Moira continued with her editing. She usually did revisions on the weekends but exploration was on her mind for the following days. She wanted to venture and discover the areas of the town she considered her home. More important matters were on her mind, which geared the exploration, but for now venturing outside of her apartment for leisure instead of work was the goal. As she absent-mindedly twirled her wedding band, once again thoughts of who held the other half of the infinity ring echoed in her mind.