Flash Fiction: Recall? by LJ Frank

Credit: Woman in the Garden II, 2019, Michel Blazquez, Abstract Artist

The complexion of her skin was in striking contrast to her long, straight black hair. She was seated next to the cot I was lying on. She was dressed in a uniform of sorts and holding an unrecognizable instrument in her right hand and her left hand was laying on my chest. I heard a strange drone like sound. A tear formed in my eye and dripped down my cheek. She stopped whatever she was doing and uttered, “My God.”

Minutes passed. I could only see her lips move. “What do you recall?”  Her voice was familiar. 

I shook my head as if to clear my mind. After a few moments of silence I said, “I was running down a narrow dirt road, between sand covered vacant pieces of property with scattered large trees…towards a seashore. I remember feeling free. Then I heard distinct heavy breathing behind me. For some reason I couldn’t turn my head to look. I ran faster. My breaths came in short bursts. Suddenly I felt a person a few steps behind me. My heart pounded. Then everything went blank.”

“Do you remember what happened after you opened your eyes?”

“I…heard a voice. I found myself looking up at a cloudless, blue sky…then saw the blur of a person hovering above me. I detected the sound of waves crashing on the shore. I closed my eyes. The next time I opened my eyes I was in a large room. The smell of different flowers infused the air – carnations, roses, gardenias, hyacinth and lilac. There was a small pillow under my head and a sheet covering the lower half of my body to the waist. I could hear people whispering. I wanted to cry out. I noticed a cross on the wall in the distance.”

“I understand. What are your thoughts about reincarnation or resurrection or…?” 

“What do you mean?”

“There’s a Tibetan Buddhist saying that suggests – where you are going into the future can be known by looking at the color of your mind now.”

“The color of my mind?”

The woman nodded. Her voice beckoned. Yet for some reason she was unreachable.

“Where am I?”

“Perhaps that’s not as important for you to ask…as when are you?”

“What do you mean?”

“Life is ambiguous and time isn’t linear.”

“I don’t understand.”

“You collapsed near the seashore. You were delivered to a monastery that serves as a hospital. Next to your body was a leather-bound pad of paper that had some writing in it.”

“Writing?”

She nodded.

“What was written on the paper?”

“How could I have not known?”

“What does that mean?”

“Was trusting you could tell me. Why do you think you were being sought?”

“I don’t know.”

“Do you remember standing in a lush garden near the ocean next to a woman with a veil covering part of her face?’

“It’s all so vague…is there such a thing as the déjà vu of clarity?”

“Shall we find out?” She asked, with an outstretched hand.