“Everyone’s mind skips like a bad record sometimes.”

Her mother used to say that whenever Alice stammered or misremembered a word. The last time she’d used the cliché was the day she’d been admitted to Cottonwood Oaks.

“Every record skips,” she’d said, unable to remember if she’d taken her galantamine. Alice winced to hear the phrase so innocently mangled.

Now, sitting in her mother’s dusty attic going through forty year’s of memories, Alice was slowing. Her mother wouldn’t know most and, disturbingly, she was only recalling a handful, herself. With Dad gone and Mom fading, what was left when memory itself, betrayed?

She retrieved an old, leathered telescope with colored lenses from a box, barely remembering her mother cautioning her to never touch it; something about shadow … about color, something about danger and risk.

When sadness and sickness took everything, even warnings, was there really anything left to fear?

Embracing her unremembered childhood, she raised the spyglass and looked through it.

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