Memories in a Bottle
There were times where he felt like he was forgetting something important.
Which wasn't saying much, considering his condition.
His very first memory is of the snow and the numbing cold, his little self trying to endure the infamous blizzards of the mountain and pushing against the whistling winds, trying to reach some destination that he doesn't remember any more.
For some reason, all he can really, really think of when pondering on it, is the hazy image of an old book bought from a traveling merchant, holding detailed sketches of the world and all it had to offer him.
His second memory is of a little girl, wearing her brown hair in childish ponytails and having big green eyes that seemed to stare right through him with a smile that, occasionally, is very eerie. She states, on the very moment he wakes up and with an overly-exaggerated swell of pride, that she is the one who found him, close to becoming ice himself as he slept obliviously in the snow.
But that is all - no names, no answers; just a one-sided conversation filled with dodged questions that makes him think almost instinctively of a loud and confident character who truthfully spoke little of what mattered most, and simply executed action through a weapon if otherwise.
His third memory is of a small living room - there is a fireplace along one side of the brick walls, its somewhat bare mantle holding a photo frame oddly facing down and a smooth wooden carving of a faerie dressed in elaborate robes, with a large book tucked under one arm and a hand gripping onto a staff with a regal-looking crown frozen between slipping and dangling from its orb tip.
The girl hands him a warm mug of thick hot chocolate, both settling comfortably before the embers before she questions his background out of the blue - he thinks about it, hesitates, and then he shakes his head silently; he's had enough time to ponder on it, a week if the human was really being truthful, and he has long realised that he doesn't remember anything.
And for some reason, he knows without really knowing that with this lack of knowledge, it is the most peaceful he has ever been.
His fourth memory is of tea, amber-hued and overly sweet with only the slightest traces of sharpness when he carefully drowns a jagged-edge leaf of mint into his own steaming cup.
For a moment, he watches the liquid blankly, observing the light reflecting from it like a full moon, and he thinks he saw a world of mist and mountains, wisdom and the oriental, before the image abruptly wavers and he only sees himself.
His fifth memory is of the cheery settlement that he is apparently located in - Happy Valley, the human tells him as both wander the snowy streets and go through the small shops, passing by people that his rescuer knows by heart because it is still a very, very small town.
She calls such close relationships another sort of family - says it with the most subtle tinges of sadness that he would soon learn are so very rare, and without really thinking, he says that he would stay with her until he remembers something, anything, which both know by now is unlikely because nothing seems to trigger an illusion cast by his locked past.
All he does know is a strange moment of deja vu that hit him the moment the words flew out.
His sixth memory is of a full-length mirror, just recently bought, that his now-owner places in what he slowly considers is his bedroom. He looks curiously at his reflection - looks at the baby Poogle standing there, with innocently-wide blue eyes and a silver chain hanging from his neck, a pendant in the form of a ridiculously small, clear bottle strung along it.
He clutches it the moment he even lays a second-long glance on the glass pendant, gripping it with a strong hold that is scarily familiar - an odd sense of fear and anxiousness fills him, and he pretends that he never saw that brown speck of something like paper rolled up inside it.
His seventh memory is of a blue Eyrie, abandoned in the snow with forever-broken wings. But it isn't the same thing as him, and that is because she remembers, and as such makes all the difference - she says that her name is Anna, that she has no family, and that she also has no home. She is independent and strong, secretly wanting to try knitting, and admires the sky she can no longer roam.
He's quite sure that he's supposed to be jealous of such a great contrast, at least slightly - however, a young voice at the back of his mind, sharp-eyed and not as innocent as it sounded, whispers that all three hid something or the other, so the gap is truthfully not all that wide.
His eighth memory is of baking and frosting, flour dusting the counters and spilt ingredients littering the kitchen as a mess. Anna looks at her batch of vanilla muffins, not too pleased at how squashed they are, but smiles regardless at his small plate of palm-sized slices of plum cake, perfect to eat as a bedtime snack with a glass of milk.
She pats his head fondly, laughing when he wonders aloud if it looks bad. The praises received only vaguely remind of a gentle personality that he doesn't recognize, one forced to juggle the fragile balance between a kind sister and a responsible parent-figure.
His ninth memory is of bedtime stories, the two adopted siblings being tucked in bed together for a single night before their owner pulls a chair to their side with a weathered book looking like it has never been opened in ages.
The brunette relays anything but bedtime stories, speaking to them of tragic tales from older times, the words far too ancient and sagely for her youthful voice - like a momentary merging of dreams and reality, who he sees in the human's place is a shadowy face, fingers treading under sentences of depressing make as he quietly read aloud to a trio of siblings with varying levels of interest each.
His tenth memory is the most important - on the outskirts of Happy Valley, he finds a lonely cottage. The old wood is threatening to collapse into a burial of snow and the insides are made of icicles and cold dust that cover all the wood and grey stone of its make. Someone once lived in there, he can tell, for antique furniture still furnished its otherwise empty rooms and signs of usage can be seen here and there.
He goes through it slowly, quietly, feeling a heavy aura burden itself on his shoulders when he looks at the house's terrible maintenance, at how bare the drawers and cupboards are, at how devoid of life and comfort it appears to him - there is no grand music in the background or a quiet click of realisation in his mind; he just stops before the front door, glances over his shoulder once, and never comes back.
It just reminds him of a family unfortunately stuck on the side of poverty, with no parents and no real help, and he doesn't want to return to those times ever again.
His most latest memory is of memories themselves, as he finally takes the time to muse on what those flickering and vanishing thoughts of the past mean and sips a floral-print porcelain cup decorated with gold on its wide rim and filled with a pitch-black tea.
"Miiiiiiiiile!" He snaps out of his strange reminiscing, not really having the time to react when a brunette blur hugs him from nowhere and grins into an ear, taking just the slightest bits of amusement from his surprise. He winces a bit when his tea spills into his hand and floor, but his owner doesn't seem to really care about that.
"Mile, I made cookies! Chocolate chip cookies~!" Mint chirps, still as innocent as her ever-childish appearance remained since the day she found him. "I made them with Anna! You want some?"
"Um..." The Poogle glances at his somewhat-burnt hand, eyeing the black-amber liquid making trails as it drips down to the wooden floor. He considers the offer for a moment, considers what he had been doing seconds prior, and lets a smile creep up on his face as he nods eagerly enough, setting his cup on the coffee table and moves to stand up. "Sure."
He decides that, memories or none of them, he has a new life to live - the past, is the past.