How to Forget About Evil: #3: The penalty: The Two Rivers

by M.T. Ingoldby

read it in the correct order


There is a myth… not quite a myth anymore, just an old story… about a river that grants instant death to the drinker. Its waters are sought by ruined businessmen, rejected lovers, and the incurably guilty.

But waiting on its banks is a kind of trickster or sprite named Timon, who, in the guise of a concerned stranger, implores the miserable soul to change their mind, to live. If this fails, he offers an alternative: There is another river, not far from here, that rids the drinker merely of their memories. Those seduced by this notion set off, only to meet the trickster at the next riverbank; who tells them, this is still a stretch of my river. You must go further on.

On the seeker wanders, weary now, and at the next riverbank, there again is Timon. This time Timon chides them for not heeding his instructions. Many at this point will give up and return, discovering new strength in the hardship of pursuit. For the rest, the pattern is repeated endlessly, until the search overcomes the mind, and the body dies at last from dehydration.



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