• Darkness, overwhelming all sensations. It was as if nothingness had gathered him up in her arms and swept him away. Opening his lips (at least, what felt like his lips) he tried to gasp for breath, but felt no answering rush of air. There was no air to gasp to, no lungs to drag the air into, no heart to pump the life-giving oxygen throughout him, no nose to expel his breath. There was no anything, just... nothing.

    Shivering, naked, it seemed, without his body to enclose him, his mind felt raw. Drifting aimlessly, alone, it seemed that although he was searching for a light, he was drifting farther away. Only silence, shadows, an abyss yawning open before his blind eyes, ready to catch him in it's maw. Panic, or a feeling akin to it, rose with him. The heart that did not quite exist was beating rapidly, screaming life into the void.

    And then, there was a light.

    With the coming of light, sight came streaming down. A large oak tree, sturdy and broad, as if it had been there throughout time. Leaves blowing in the wind, he realized he too could feel the cool caress of the breeze and the warm kiss of the sun. Lungs expanding gratefully, he looked closer at the tree and saw a young man laying beneath it. Starting towards him, he approached this boy, who stood up when he saw him. Opening his arms wide like he was about to embrace him, the boy beamed at him. "Hello there, my young wanderer! I was named Mnemosyne, but I am called Nem here."

    "Where exactly is here?" he asked Nem.

    Smiling again, Nem made a sweeping gesture with his arms. "This, my friend, is the Forgotten Lands. Everything your eyes take in has been forgotten. This tree, for instance. I have, and so has that young girl over there. As well as that lovely little stream...."

    "But why am I here?" he blurted.

    Once more, Nem smiled. "That is easy. But first, tell me your name."

    Surprised, he thought for a moment. "Jake. Jake Longfellor."

    Bowing his head, Nem said, "Well then, Jake, you are here because you are like all things here. You are either dead or forgotten."

    "Dead? I'm not dead!" he said indignantly. "At least, I don't think I've died...."

    "Really? You are very solid for a glimmer.... That leaves you being forgotten."

    "But tons of people get forgotten. That person standing on the side of the highway, holding a help sign. Isn't he forgotten?"

    "Yes, by the people who drive by. But not by himself. You see Jake, it's you who've forgotten yourself. You forgot who you were, what you liked, what you stood for. Somewhere along the way, you forgot everything about you. And now, you're here."

    Looking around, Jake felt a spiraling moment of sadness. "Oh," he said, sitting down suddenly. "So wherever my body may be, it's nothing but a shell?"

    "Precisely." Nem seated himself comfortably next to him. "I believe it would be appropriate to say that it sucks." Smiling a bit despite himself, Jake nodded.