The Frightening Fable of Forgetful Frodney

Oct. 16, 2016, 9 p.m.
tags: recentcontacts

Forgetful Frodney was a young lad with big hopes, and even bigger dreams. Unfortunately, time and time again he found those dreams drifting further away. Constantly ridiculed for his name, Frodney felt like whatever he did, he could not escape his destiny to forget everything. Yet, deep down, all he wanted was to be a Historian.

The naysayers would call him a “fraud” — an imposter who could never be a Historian. Frodney had once even tried to convince every one that the “F” was silent, that his name was really pronounced Rodney — but no one went along with it, aside from Frodney’s good pal Steve.

One day, Frodney and Steve were strolling down one of the brightly lit, chromatic streets of Constellation Court. Steve was growing tired. “Shouldn’t we have been there by now? I remember the laser tag place being much closer last time?”

“Yes, trust me, I know exactly where we are.” Frodney responded.

Steve was losing patience. “Look, I fully believe in your non-forgetting abilities, but everyone can make mistakes like this. It happens.”

“Don’t worry, before you know it we’ll be eating ice cream just as planned.” Frodney kept a straight face.

“Ice cream?”

Frodney had intended to make a funny, knowing they were actually looking for the laser....

Laser... laser... shit! Frodney thought. The more flustered he became, the more he forgot! He had to forge on though.

“HAHA I’m kidding. Come on then.” Frodney continued leading the way.

They soon came to the end of Constellation Court and looked out over an abandoned quarry. “I... I, forgot again.” Frodney gave up.

Steve sighed. “It’s alright, we’ll—”

A cackle echoed nearby. Frodney and Steve had never encountered one before, and didn’t want to believe their ears. They quickly ran and hid behind a dumpster nearby.

Breathing heavily, Frodney slowly peaked his head above the dumpster. There were three of them. Tall, gnarly, festering, and hairy. Witches.

Two were launching fireballs from their hands and lighting the ground on fire. The other was cackling and spinning around. Laughing with no care in the world, enjoying the terrible destruction.

It stopped spinning. It stopped laughing. Frodney’s heart sank as the witch locked eyes with him.

“We have to go!” Frodney led Steve in a sprint away from the dumpster, back toward.... Frodney forgot which way they had come from. They sprinted toward the quarry. Fireballs licked at their heels, and they could feel the heat breathing down their necks. The witches howled with excitement.

Steve never let on before, but by golly, that lad could run. He sprinted ahead of Frodney, looking like a graceful cheetah, and Frodney was inspired by his energy. That is, until Steve tripped up his feet, stumbled sideways, and fell into a mine cart.

Frodney went to peek over the cart, and as he did, a fireball landed inches from his feet, the flames tickling his toes. Frodney flipped into the cart for cover, causing it to start rolling deeper into the quarry.

The witches were gaining, but so was the momentum of the cart. One of the witches had taken flight and was within ten feet of the cart, arms raised to conjure a fireball. The ball blazed toward Frodney and Steve and as they took cover, the cart passed into a tight tunnel and escaped the ball just in time.

The cart kept rolling through the tunnels, and the cackling subsided.

“No one escapes the witches,” breathed Steve.

The cart rolled into a large opening within the tunnel system. They rode a narrow track that looked out over a rich deposit of Singles. Singles were deep-blue spiraling crystals, once thought to be imbued with magic powers.

“Convenient we run into Singles.” said Frodney. “Well, if only anyone knew how to activate them.”

The witches had attacked Frodney’s world many years ago, so said the Historians. Supposedly, the witches were defeated with the magic power of Singles. But sadly, everyone had forgotten how. The Singles lay dormant in the tunnels of the abandoned quarry for several years since they were first discovered. When the witches first started appearing again a few months ago, many had tried to extract the Singles, but they were immovable, and seemingly no longer held any power.

All that was left was to hope to never encounter the witches. For no one had encountered a witch and survived.

Frodney and Steve had left the mine cart and wandered among the Singles as Frodney recounted all of this. When he finished, Steve was staring at him with his mouth agape.

“What?” Frodney wondered.

“That’s amazing. How did you remember all that?” Steve asked.

“I… hmm, I dunno?” Frodney was surprised at himself.

A cackle echoed through the tunnel that Frodney and Steve had come from.

“Back to the cart!” As they scurried toward the cart, another cackle echoed from the only other exiting tunnel. They were surrounded.

Steve and Frodney leapt to the middle of the Singles deposit, back-to-back. The cackles grew louder.

Steve started freaking out. “Ayayay, I wish Galadriel were here!!! She’s studied witch lore for many—” Suddenly, a Single next to Steve gave off a brief glow and hummed quietly.

“Whoah!! What did you do? Did you activate that Single?” Frodney remarked. As he did, he could see the orange flickering of the witches lighting up the two connecting tunnels.

“Yeah .. uh, I don’t know. All I did was talk about how I wish Galadriel—” two more Singles gave off a faint glow.

“THAT’S IT!” said Frodney, feeling emboldened by his sudden recall of witch lore. “The Singles were rumored to hold memories of all who come in contact with them, to gather a true history and temporarily provide the power of unlimited memory to those who most recently came in contact with the Singles.”

“Galadriel is someone you just met. Maybe the way to activate the Singles is to give them some of their own power. Uh, um… who’s someone else you became new contacts with recently?”

Steve pondered. But as he did, the orange flickering from the tunnels stopped. The cackling stopped. “Umm…” Steve fretted, but gathered his thoughts. “Marcus!!”

Nothing happened. But then a moment later, the Singles glowed again. “Yes! Quick, I heard there is an app that can help with this!” yelled Frodney as he pulled out his iPhone.

He forced his shaky, pudgy fingers to search for “recently added contacts” on the App Store, scanned through the riffraff, and found one that called to him — Recent Contacts.

The cackles returned, and this time they weren’t from the tunnels. The witches had entered into the Singles opening. As they crept closer, Steve scrambled to get the app on his phone, which is available to download for free. “Ugh, I’m not finding it!!! Is it not on Android?!”

“Oh, shoot, no it’s not. But maybe if enough people are interested, the developer will make it for Android too!” responded Frodney.

The witches crept closer, fireballs holstered between their hands. Feeling like he was food being toyed with, Frodney began shouting out the list of names on his phone.

“Georgey! Miranda! Bell Biv Devo! Calamity Calzone!” Fireballs were sent blazing in their direction. Many of the Singles began glowing and humming. Steve joined in on their last hope.

“Mark! Shelly! Ham sandwich dude! Lindsey!!!”

Frodney was ready for the fireballs to hit them. It was only a matter of time before he failed to reach his dreams, destined to be a fraud. No one escapes the witches.

The fireballs exploded, but a few feet short of the two friends. A blue shield grew around the pals, and the witches whined in dismay.

“The Singles! They’re saving us!” yelled Steve.

“Penelope! Don Weedle! Brad Armpitt! Susan Saranwrap!” The Singles began to sing and the cave turned blue and swirled with amazing blue auras and energies.

Once they had exhausted all of Frodney’s recent contacts, the blue frenzy calmed down. The witches had disappeared.

Two weeks later it was declared that the witches were officially gone. The townsfolk held a parade through Constellation Court, and Frodney and Steve were honored for their bravery. The town rejoiced in revelry, and all the inhabitants downloaded Recent Contacts and rated it five stars.

At the end of the parade, the Mayor revealed a plaque in honor of Frodney, Steve, and Recent Contacts. It read:

To Forgetful Frodney — you remember when it counts.

To Steve — Thank you for being there.

To Recent Contacts — The #1 must-have app for Singles. Thank you.

“We did it! We’re heroes!” Steve said.

“I know, pretty cool, eh? I just wish…” Frodney trailed off.

“Wish what?” Steve asked his dear friend.

“I wish I could remember like I did that day.... The only reason I remembered all that lore in the quarry was because of the Singles.”

Steve gave his friend a life-imbuing stare. “No Frodney. You’re wrong. The Singles didn’t help you remember — you did. You’ve had a great memory all along.”

Deep down, Frodney knew he was right.