Paradigms Lost — Chapter 23

Chapter 23: Remembering Old Times

“Okay, Jason, what’ve you got?”

That was Renee, straight to the point. “A whole lot. But first, come here; there’s someone I want you to meet.”

She followed me to the living room. Verne rose from the red chair, bowed as I introduced them. “Renee Reisman, Verne Domingo.”

She didn’t shake hands. “Jason, we’ve had our eye on this man for some time. I’d like to know just what his connection is with you.”

“I shall explain, my lady,” Verne said. “Look at me,” he continued in a low but commanding voice.

Reflexively she shot a glance into his eyes — and froze.

He stepped closer, touched her temple gently with his right hand. He gazed intensely at her for several seconds. “Remember,” he said.

Renee’s eyes widened. A choked scream burst from her lips, and she staggered back, sagged, pale and shaking, onto my couch. “Oh dear God …” She closed her eyes, massaged her temples, and took several ragged breaths. Finally she raised her head. “I… I remember now. But until now, it was like those memories didn’t even exist.” She stared at Verne, still shaking.

“My sincerest apologies, Renee — may I call you Renee? Those memories were still there; merely locked away, as you requested. But Jason has convinced me that we need your aid, and we both knew that you must have your full memory to help us.”

The old Renee was reasserting herself, albeit slowly. “That bad, huh?” She raised an eyebrow at me. “I’d assume that his being here means that he isn’t our killer.”

“You’re right.”

She turned back to Verne. “Okay, Domingo. Now that my brain is back, this had better be real good. Because,” she shivered again, “I don’t think that I’ll be able to go through that again. Having my memory switched on and off like a light …”

Verne smiled, the gentlest expression I’d ever seen him use; his fangs didn’t show. “Milady, you showed courage far greater than mine to undergo that treatment once; neither of us either desired or expected that you would once more ask to forget.”

“Damn straight.” She ran her fingers through her hair, took a deep breath, and crossed her legs. “All right, let’s have it.”