Philip Kendred Dickens

...I sat thunderstruck. Could the story this most singular stranger had told me be true?

But if he did indeed speak truth, then all my memories--the orphanage to which I had been sent after my true mother's death, the cruel master at the school at which I had boarded, the job I had gotten finally transcribing city council meetings, and even golden-haired Harriet whose heart I had, after many years of yearning, finally won--were as false as a drunkard's tale to his wife. Even if some of these things had occurred, and had not been implanted by the foul means he had described, how would I know which? If others remembered as well, how would I know that matching memories had not been implanted within their minds?

And if they could implant memories, then perhaps they could affect my perceptions in even subtler ways. This foggy London street where I now stood witless--could it even be unreal? As I thought thus, the fog wrapped ever tighter around me, and it was lost to my vision.

My last thought, before darkness total came upon me, was this: could such memories be removed? Could all that I thought was myself fade away in an instant? But then I knew no more.

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The Den of Ubiquity / Aaron V. Humphrey /