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Every kid, or so he’d been told, had adventures in some magical “Neverland” of talking animals, fierce dragons, powerful wizards, and evil knights:  they just forgot. Mortal minds couldn’t retain the memories forged in those other realities. Furthermore, as a person got older, the length of time in which a young mind could recall their exploits grew shorter and shorter. By age twelve or thirteen, the memories vanished altogether. Although he couldn’t usually remember them, each time he encountered something from that parallel world the experience would shake loose the darkness and his childhood adventures would come streaming back. Wiste, just by visiting, carried Anthony’s memories with him.

“So, Meripone has been censured by the Alabaster Throne. She’ll never bother you again.”

“And Rosa? What about her and Auntie Willow?”

“They’re dryads.” Wiste shrugged. “They may have helped you against Meripone but they’re also capricious.” He downed more beer. “Like all forest spirits.”

Anthony harrumphed. “I could’ve done without Rosa’s prickly brand of help, thank-you-very-much.”

“Her penance will come.”

Anthony nodded, taking another drink. “Wish you’d been there.”

“So do I. I missed my chance to meet your boyfriend.”

Anthony nodded.

Karl had already left campus for his Aunt and Uncle’s place in Baton Rouge. He’d spend the summer there while Anthony whiled away the hours in the Chicago suburbs. Although they’d both forgotten their NeverEarth adventure within a day of getting back, they’d grown closer, since. He wondered if the forgotten memories of the place had somehow strengthened their relationship.

“At least my best friend is here,” Anthony said and raised his beer.

“Hear, hear!” Wiste opened another can.

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