A Girl Called Memory

“Memory!” the woman shouted at the water park. 

On the field, at the other end, I asked my wife. “Is that kid called Memory?”  

“I think it’s Melanie,” she responded, tending to our dog. “Memory is a terrible name. Kids would make fun of you.” 

“Memory!” the woman hollered again. This time a pre-teen girl trotted over. 

“It is Memory…” my wife sighed, shaking her head. “Oh no…”

“We’ll never forget about her,” I said, with an intelligent smirk. “I should write a story about her: A Girl Called Memory. That’s a great title.” 

My wife returned her attention to the dog, who was now laying on his side for tummy rubs. 

I looked up at the sky to find my words. Then it came to me: ““Memory!” the woman shouted at the water park.” I recited the line outloud. It came so naturally then… 

But now… as I sit here at my desk, I can’t remember what happened next. 

For more of my comedic writing, please check out my Humour Section

Layover: and Other Stories of Delayed Travelers by Elliot Chan

Buy It Here!

Cover Layover and other

Book Description:

Following the journeys of desperate lovers, lonesome pilgrims, borderline criminals, stranded space travelers, and lamentable individuals held up in a place far from home, Layover: and Other Stories of Delayed Travelers introduces an array of characters adrift in a purgatorial state, halfway from failure and too far from contentment. Elliot Chan’s first collection of short stories explores the traveling sensations often omitted from our memories; the missing photographs in our recollection and the time lost in between destinations.

 

Origin of the collection:

Much like writing, traveling to me is a love-hate relationship. On one hand, I can not live without it, and on the other, it is killing me slowly. How many hours have I spent waiting for the next bus, next train, next plane, next taxi, and next trip? How many hours have I spent fine-tuning these stories you are about to read? What did I really get out of these two time-consuming hobbies? What was my return on investment?

I wrote Layover, the title story, upon returning home from a trip to South East Asia in 2011. It was meant to be a companion piece to my novella Ben but stand on its own in a literary sense. My writing at that time was crazed. I worked like a man trying to pen down all his treasured memories before he lost his mind. I could have written a journal, but I didn’t, I chose the medium of short stories because I wanted to be published. I thought my fantastic tales of vacation were worthy. They were not.

Like traveling, writing is full of disappointments, delays, and disenchantments. They’re both escapes, but one is significantly cheaper than the other. By writing about traveling, I was able to assess my mistakes on the road and perhaps learn from it. But most importantly, the practice scratched an itch and saved a few bucks.

I would like to claim that my finest works are locked within this collection, but that is not true. If you wish to continue, you’ll be reading the words of a boy without a clear direction. Each piece was meant for something entirely different. Some trailed off, some ended abruptly, some were meditative, some wound up in an unpredictable place, some didn’t even go anywhere at all. I’m proud of what I’ve done here not because of any grand success, but because it liberated me. There is something divine about pairing writing with traveling. This is unlike a photo album, this is my album of words, the best kind of souvenir, in my opinion.

Many of us dream of a once-in-a-lifetime trip, but most of us fail to pursue it. Many of us want to write a best-selling novel and fail to do that as well. I don’t expect Layover: And Other Stories of Delayed Travelers to blow you away, but maybe it’ll inspire you to turn your mere insignificant trips into memories, memories through fiction. That to me is meaningful enough.

Elliot Chan

August 1, 2015

Layover: and Other Stories of Delayed Travelers is available on Amazon.