They said I’d never amount to anything, but what did they know?
They’re all dead now.
But, truth be told, they all helped. They helped me amount.
I amounted, is that a word? I don’t care, I amounted. I amounted to this.
Mother helped first. You’ll find her in the lavender bottle, father’s in the swirling beige decanter. Mrs Barnes lived next door. She hated me, but she’s in the blue jar.
There are more, many more, each one better than the one before. It’s okay though, they were old, most of them. It’s better when they’re old. They’d lived long, interesting lives. It’s fascinating how interesting peoples’ lives really are, even when they think they’re not.
Take Grandpa, he’s in the bottle stained green, Army green. His life in the services was paramount to my success.
Just in case you’re worried by my use of words, they aren’t really in the jars, or bottles. Not really. They’re dead and buried, all good and proper. They died of old age. No story there.
Old Mr Thompson, a real gentleman, but one who wooed many young flirty things, and Mrs Crane, she had some stories I can tell you! Ms Haines lived a riotous life during the swinging sixties. Bob, I’ll use his first name, he’s special to me, a real treasure, he’s a deep burgundy, wine red, churning like hell itself. He helped. He’s one of my most popular. And Mr Bartlett, oh, yes, we have the dreamer. Hatchet, he lived in the Amazon, not the bookshop, the warehouse, the real thing! Sandy, lived up to her name.
You’re wondering now, aren’t you? How did they help me?
I wasn’t much – they told me I wasn’t much. Even when Dad gave me that chemistry set when I was eleven, he laughed and told me not to burn down the house. I didn’t.
I wasn’t much at school that I’ll admit, but when you have Google, and the world at your fingertips, you can amount to much more than people tell you you will. Chemistry, bio-chemistry, neuroscience, electronics, astrophysics, and a little dabble at alchemy of a sort. You’d be surprised what you can learn online. I wasn’t an Emo locked in my room contemplating suicide *insert mwahahaha laugh here* I was learning. I was amounting.
Mother showed an interest, the first of her negligent motherhood, so I showed her everything. I think she was worried about the number of packages arriving from Amazon, the online store this time not the jungle, and that sparked her interest, or maybe it was concern. She was great! She wasn’t well, anyway. So, timing was imperative. She helped me learn.
So, now I’m renowned. I don’t think how I became renowned is really the issue. Nobody cares anymore. They only care that I amounted, and because I did I can help them. I can offer them, and you, a service that no one else can.
After patenting the process I amounted to so much I now own businesses, governments, clients, and the entire entertainment industry. People rely on me.
You know when life gets too much? When you’re so stressed out you don’t know what to do. You can’t cope, anxiety creeps in, panic rises, and you need something? It used to be weed, Ritalin, coke, the little blue pill, brown sugar, a little bit of skunk, a tab, acid or liquid gold, the Halcyon days. Now – it’s me.
I can give you anything, whatever you want. I can help you escape for however long you wish, wherever you wish, doing whatever you wish.
I’m in the memory game. I am the memory game.
Whatever memory you want to experience, I have it. I only take from the dead. I have clients queueing up to donate to me on their way out of this life, hoping they’ll live forever in someone else’s mind. That their memory will be your favourite, that their moment standing on the beach, waves lapping at their ankles, cotton clouds wafting by will be your chosen moment of calm.
So, tell me, what do you want to experience? Love, sex, peace, war, I have it all. What are you buying?
Write up to 750 words inspired by the prompt photograph.