Who am I? I’m not really sure.
During the day, people call me Tennyson. When I’m asleep, I hear voices calling me Marissa.
You may have heard of Tennyson Olivia Claxton. I’m supposed to be an heiress, a party girl, a wild child. Fodder for tabloid newspapers. Yes, your basic nightmare.
I don’t remember most of that life. I remember things that aren’t true. In my memories, my eyes are always green. But these days the mirror tells me my eyes are not green. They are brown. As brown as leaves that die in the fall. It is disorienting and I find looking into mirrors difficult.
My memory is greatly impaired from a terrible accident I had in January. Much of the time since then, I’ve been in a fog, but I’m coming out it now. I’ve been living at a research facility called the Campus, near Middleburg, Virginia. During the days, I partake in various therapies in an attempt to regain my memories. My brain is stimulated and scanned and found wanting.
I seem to be a piece on a chessboard playing a game with rules I don’t know, engaged to a man I don’t recognize, a man who makes my skin crawl. His name is Giles Embry.
I’m writing down these words because I don’t know if tomorrow I will remember what I know today. I have too many memories. Like the memory of my eyes. But I also have memory losses. Great chunks of time are missing. Frankly, I’m terrified of losing more pieces of myself, no matter how small.
I have started a journal where I pray no one will ever find it. Writing in an old book in a corner of my suite, between the bed and the wall, where the camera lens doesn’t see. At least I hope it doesn’t. I write in tiny print between the lines, and sometimes in the margins, of an ancient book that looks as if no one ever cracked it open. This book. I found it on the bookshelf in my room, placed there as a decoration. Many of the gold-tipped pages have to be carefully pried apart for the first time.
Jotting words down here where no one else will ever read them, makes me feel safe. This is The Odyssey that only I will know. My Odyssey.
You can read more about Tennyson in The Dollhouse in the Crawlspace, published by Lethal Black Dress Press.
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About the Author
Ellen Byerrum is a novelist, playwright, reporter, former Washington D.C. journalist, and a graduate of private investigator school in Virginia. The Dollhouse in the Crawlspace is her first suspense thriller, which introduces Tennyson Claxton, a woman with two sets of memories.
Ellen also writes the Crime of Fashion mysteries, which star a savvy, stylish female sleuth named Lacey Smithsonian, a reluctant fashion reporter in Washington D.C. (“The City Fashion Forgot”). Two of the COF books, Killer Hair and Hostile Makeover, were filmed for the Lifetime Movie Network and can occasionally be seen on odd dates in the middle of the night. The latest book in that series is Lethal Black Dress, but there will be more to come. She occasionally writes a newsletter that contains her latest publishing information.