This story is now published as part of the anthology ‘Loyal and True’.
As it turned out, it was all about memory.
Chadwick Kirchmeier had spent a large portion of his long life fiddling about with stuff.
At least that’s how his wife Veronica described it.
They were both a bit forgetful but not so much that it caused problems.
They were not what other people would consider old, but they knew that life does not go on forever, at least not in these corporeal bodies, and Chadwick wondered what might happen if one or both of them began to drift off into that unkind darkness.
He was determined to gather all their memories together so that those who came after them would know who they had been, who they loved and who loved them.
Neither of them could write well let alone type, and the idea of talking into one of those damn machines had little appeal, so Chadwick did what he had always done since they had been together; he improvised.
For a long time, he had known that the long metal fibres that can be found in certain wire brushes behave strangely if you heat them ever so slightly.
They become a kind of ‘memory wire’, and they absorb the knowledge from whatever you put close to them. As far as he could tell the wire held that knowledge no matter what you did to it. So long as it remained intact, the knowledge remained intact, and even rust did not seem to diminish it.
To retrieve the knowledge or memory it contained, you simply stood close to it and remained very still. The memory would flash into your mind and stay there until you began to move.
Most of the strands contained shared memories, and they recorded them standing side by side because this is how they had been for most of their lives.
When all the recordings were finished Chadwick and Veronica bundled them all together and put them in a cupboard in their kitchen.
As their friends came to visit them over their remaining years, they seemed drawn to this room and always remarked on how warm it was, even in the winter.
PHOTO BY: earthquakeboy many thanks for letting me use this amazing shot.