The Forgetful Elixir - A Short Story



I sat alone in the dimly lit bar, staring at the drink I hadn't touched in ten minutes. It was one of those places you find by accident, down an alley, no sign, just a door you have to know to push. The bartender, a grizzled man with a knowing smile, slid the glass closer to me again.


"Try it," he said. "It's called 'The Forgetful Elixir.'"


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I laughed, a hollow sound that echoed my empty insides. "What's it supposed to do? Make me forget my troubles?"


His smile didn't falter. "Something like that."


I looked into the amber liquid, swirling it around. I had plenty of troubles to forget. A breakup that still stung, a job that drained me, a sense of purposelessness that was eating up my soul. 


It had been two weeks since I discovered Neha was cheating on me. The ring I had bought for her was still in my bag. I had plans to propose and dreamt of our life together. We went house hunting and I had already taken out a home loan for a house we both fell in love with.


On the other hand, I was once again passed over for a promotion. Working at this job felt like a dead-end. Despite my hard work and dedication, my efforts went unnoticed and unappreciated. It was as if my dreams and aspirations were being stifled, leaving me feeling trapped and undervalued. 


The frustration and disappointment added to my already heavy burden, making it increasingly difficult to find any sense of fulfillment or purpose.


I was drowning in sorrow, in pain. The weight of all these emotions were pulling me deeper into a sea of despair. Each day was a struggle, a battle to find a glimmer of hope in the midst of the overwhelming darkness.


The world around me seemed indifferent to my suffering, and I felt utterly alone in my torment. It was as if I couldn't see a way out.  


But amidst the heartache, I also had memories I cherished—moments with friends that filled me with laughter and joy, the comforting warmth of my mother's hug that always made everything seem better, and the exhilarating taste of victory after a hard-won game that reminded me of my strength and determination.


"What's the catch?" I asked, eyeing him suspiciously. Nothing this tempting came without a price.


His expression grew serious. "It erases your sadness, but it takes your treasured memories with it. Once gone, they're gone for good."


I scoffed. "And you expect people to drink it?"


"You'd be surprised," he said quietly.


I looked back at the drink, my reflection distorted in its surface. Was it worth it? To feel nothing but lose everything? My mind drifted to the night Neha left, the arguments, the silence that followed. It was all too much, and the prospect of relief was enticing. 


I lifted the glass to my lips, pausing. What would I lose? The time we laughed until we cried, the night we danced under the stars, the promises we made. The time my friends surprised me for my birthday. The time my mom cared for me while I lay sick. Those moments of peace I felt driving down the open desert roads.


I could feel the weight of those memories pulling at me, a tether to a life that once had meaning.


Taking a deep breath, I set the glass down. "I can't," I whispered, more to myself than to the bartender.


He nodded, as if he'd expected it. "Most can't."


"Why offer it, then?"


"Because sometimes, someone is so lost in their pain they can't see the value in their memories anymore. They need the choice."


I sat there, the drink untouched between us. In that moment, I realized that my pain was part of my story, just as much as my joy. Without one, the other lost its meaning. 


I stood up, leaving a tip on the bar. "Thanks," I said. "But I think I'll hold on to my sadness—and my memories."


The bartender nodded again, his smile returning. "Take care, then."


As I stepped out into the night, the cool air filling my lungs, I felt a strange sense of clarity. I knew this night would pass, and that the morning would come. 


My pain was mine to bear, but so were my memories. And for now, that was enough.




This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ 
hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla 
in collaboration with 
Dr. Preeti Chauhan.


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17 Comments

  1. Lovely, truly we don't see the beauty of our memories and emotions, only the dead and the rampage. I guess, life is alll about the ups and downs.

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  2. Such a lovely story, Felicia. Its poignant and makes you ponder. Do we cling on to memories or erase them forever? It is a tough choice. I wish I could erase some but I cherish most of them.

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  3. An awesome story Felicia! It is true that the sad time seem to drag us down and seem to last for longer than the good times but without these sad times, we would never be able to appreciate the good times nor will we become stronger.

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  4. That's such a priceless life lesson to learn. Our sorrows are as much ours as our happiness and form a part of our being. We wish to lose them, but do we really? The pain shall pass someday.

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  5. What a unique perspective in this story. Awesome

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  6. Beautiful! You can't want happiness without sadness coz it's the latter that reinforces the beauty of the former! So glad your protagonist made the sensible choice.

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  7. Like two sides of a coin, aren't they? The happiness and sadness, the good and bad memories that life brings along. Lovely story with a very important message

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  8. As I read your post I wondered what would I do given the same choice? Sometimes we forget that life is filled with painful moment interspersed with wonderful memories in between. Both are important and much needed. We must learn to be patient and move on.

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  9. What a beautiful story! Our life is not complete without our joys, sorrows, pains and love. Removing one emotional experience will leave a void forever.

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  10. Such a beautiful short story. I agree we always cradle are pain more then cherishing all the beautiful memories we make in our life.

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  11. Beauuuuuutiful Felicia. It really really touched my heart this one. First of all the concept on which you based your story is amazing ... hats off for the creativity of the thought of coming up with a drink like this one. Secondly, the pace, flow and the length is just bang on and third and the most important, the emotions at play.. beautiful!... keep them coming!

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  12. Beautiful story Felicia. Life is filled with ups and down. We want to forget sad memories but that keep dragging us. But the happiness is also there. I guess both are equally important for us.

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  13. One word that came to my mind after reading your story is "Awesome"... hat's of you to for your brilliant power of storytelling. Memories are powerful and it can make and break you and it depends on us what to store and what to erase to ensure we lead a purposeful and happy life.

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  14. What a beautiful story. I do wonder what the flavour of such a drink would be? tho i can see why someone may want to drink it too, i felt it when the bartender said. 'you'd be surprised'.

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  15. Life is a roller coaster. Full of ups and downs. Intriguing story. Moreover, I was really drawn to the word "elixir" in the title.

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  16. Such a great article to read especially if you're in the crossroads of life and feel the same as the main character. It's so true that life may be full of hurdles but it's the good times that we must hold-on to, being grateful is one more thing we must practice everyday.-MommyWithAGoal

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  17. At the end of the day it's our lives and we have to bear everything, either happiness or sadness and a glass of Elixir can't make us forget everything within a second. Lovely story.

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