Crossing the River Lethe
It's a cool night, cold when the wind blows across the water, and she forgot to bring a jacket. At least she thinks she forgot to bring a jacket. She can't remember preparing for this trip at all, or where she is headed. The stars reel slowly in the vast firmament above her in forgotten constellations. She knew them once, traced them on a large, folding map of the night sky when she was a child: Cassiopeia, Orion, Andromeda, the Big Dipper. She's never seen such a profusion of stars. It should be possible to orient herself by the North Star. Isn't that the brightest? But she can't locate it, and can't recall how to navigate by the North Star, though she used to know. The black water gleams, reflecting the starshine. The rushing current on the sides of the boat looks treacherous and icy cold. She can't remember the name of the river. It's a cool night, cold when the wind blows, and she can't remember where she's going exactly. The sky is so vast. She feels infinitesimally small. She's having trouble remembering her own name.
Jacqueline Doyle enjoys flash, and she has pieces published and forthcoming in DOGZPLOT, LITnIMAGE, Monkeybicycle, Staccato Fiction, flashquake, blossombones, elimae, 5_trope, and many other online journals. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she teaches at California State University, East Bay.