The Memory Key
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Lora Mint is determined not to forget.
Though her mother's been dead for five years, Lora struggles to remember every detail about her—most important, the specific events that occurred the night she sped off in her car, never to return.
But in a world ravaged by Vergets disease, a viral form of Alzheimer's, that isn't easy. Usually Lora is aided by her memory key, a standard-issue chip embedded in her brain that preserves memories just the way a human brain would. Then a minor accident damages Lora's key, and her memories go haywire. Suddenly Lora remembers a moment from the night of her mother's disappearance that indicates her death was no accident. Can she trust these formerly forgotten memories? Or is her ability to remember every painful part of her past driving her slowly mad—burying the truth forever?
Lora's story of longing for her lost mother—and for the truth behind her broken memories—takes readers on a twisty ride. The authentic, emotional narrative sparks fascinating questions about memory and privacy in a world that increasingly relies on electronic recall.
impeded by the poor visibility. After two hours of searching, Ms. Mint’s body was recovered a mile down the river. There is no mention of the two people who came to our house the night before, no indication of anything unusual about her daily routine, no question that the accident was more than just a horribly tragic accident caused by bad weather. I read the article again. Then again. Then again and again, until I am gagging on the words. Until I’m just gagging. I clap my hand over my mouth.
it. Not in front of her, anyway. When we arrive at my aunt’s apartment building thirty minutes before we’re expected, I laugh at my father for rushing, but he merely suggests we go for a walk in the park, around Grand Lake. It’s a beautiful day. A tousling breeze moves through the trees. People are lounging on the pebbly sand, children hop around in the shallow water. Dad pats my shoulder. “Remember when we came here for a picnic?” “I remember.” The memory approaches. But for the first time I
the extent of our conversation for the rest of the drive. There is not much traffic, so even with the detour it doesn’t take long to get there. “Thanks for the ride,” I tell him. “And for taking me to get my key fixed.” “Yeah,” says Tim, and as soon as my bicycle and I have been removed from his car, he zooms away. For a moment I just stand there, alone in the middle of the street, and try to remember the exact feeling of his mouth on my mouth. But I can’t remember. Not anymore. It’s for the
The cheerful man rolls his cheerful eyeballs. “Where’d she go? Are you sure everything is all right?” I say. “Well, since you’re family, I suppose I can tell you.” He glances around, then lowers his voice. “She was called home for an emergency,” he says dramatically. “What emergency?” I’m ready to smack his smiling face. But now he is looking past me. “Hello!” he says over my shoulder. “It’s horrid weather out, isn’t it? I hope you didn’t get too wet.” I turn around, hoping it’s my aunt.
down to the lake. Tim sits in her vacated spot and immediately tells me: “No apologizing.” This is our joke that isn’t really a joke. Because I can’t stop apologizing to him. Because he’s been fired from his internship, suspended from school, pending the dean’s review, and his trial date for trespassing is in two months. “Just a little apologizing?” I say. “Not even a little,” he says. “Listen, Lora, what I did, I didn’t do it for you. I did it because it was the right thing, and I wanted to