“I’m Sorry, Ms.Belmont but that’s what the papers say. You don’t exist, you don’t have any records, you don’t have history. I can see you plain as day in front of me but according to this, there’s nothing.”
A plain faced secretary stared Lana Belmont in the eyes, almost looking through her. Lana was frantic, fidgeting in her chair, “There has to be some mistake. I only changed my name a few months ago. Surely this has to be a joke. It has to be a glitch in the system or something.”
The secretary shook her head, “Ms.Belmont, I’ve double checked, I’ve triple checked. There’s nothing here.” She rested her head on her hands, “You know it’s funny. Every time we try to upload a document, it fails. Every time I send a copy of some paperwork to someone they lose it a few seconds later. I’ve made copy after copy for you and there’s nothing. I don’t really know what’s happening. Have you pissed off a witch?”
Lana ran a hand through her pink hair and scratched her neck with a look of bewilderment, “A witch?”
The secretary leaned in close, a smile on her face as if sharing a secret, “Yeah. A witch. This is the only explanation I can really think of.”
“Are witches real?”
The secretary rolled her eyes, “Yes. Of course. Why wouldn’t they?”
Lana tilted her head in confusion, “Do you mean like pagans and stuff?”
The woman shrugged.
“I don’t think so. I don’t get out much thanks to the pandemic. And I’m on the bottom floor of my apartment. I don’t think I’ve pissed anyone off. if I have, They haven’t told me.”
The woman moved over to her computer and started typing, “Okay, I’ve got just the witch for you. She’s works in a different department but I’ll let her know you’re coming.”
Lana blinked, “The social security office has Witches?”
She chuckled, “We like to call it the ‘curses’ department, but yes.”
“I’ll let them know to expect a Miss…”
The woman blinked for a second and then looked up at Lana as if she had never seen her before.
Realization suddenly dawned on her, “Right! Lana! Such a pretty name. Where did you pick it from.”
“You just asked that like ten minutes ago. Are you feeling alright?”
“Sorry, I think I forgot.”
“Right. okay. Anyways where is this curses department?”
“Third floor! Why are you going there again?”
Lana sighed and picked up her paperwork as she walked towards the elevator, “Just forget about it.”
The secretary blinked the moment she left her eyesight, “Forget about… what?”
Lana walked down an empty hallway with paperwork in a recently manicured hand. She pulled out her phone and scrolled through her recent messages. Someone was talking about a new movie they had seen and how much they hated it. In another server someone was talking about a ten year old webcomic and arguing about how some sequel to it was pretty good. No one agreed with them. She shot a quick message in her personal discord with a few friends.
“So they still don’t know why my paperwork is disappearing. And they directed me over to this curses department that deals with witches? The lady at the desk kept forgetting things about me and thought I pissed off a witch. So. that’s where I’m at right now.”
She hit enter and watched it load. No responses, that was fine but everyone was probably asleep right now. not to worry. She wasn’t being forgotten. It was just some weird computer glitch and just a stressed out intern and oh there’s the curses department.
Lana reached a hand around the knob and turned open the door. She wasn’t really sure what to expect, So when she opened the door and found a normal office work setting she was a little shocked. Another secretary waved her over with a tired look.
“Um. Is this the curses department?” She asked nervously.
The man on the other side of the desk rolled his eyes, “I swear is that what we’re calling it these days? Why did they send you?”
Lana brushed a length of hair out of her eyes, “Um. My credit report keeps coming back blank and I just changed my name so I’m trying to make sure I can actually afford a car you know I had a fairly decent credit score so I’d like to not
have to pay an arm and a leg”
“That doesn’t seem very curselike.”
“Well I tried to send in paperwork and every time it would get lost in the mail. so I came in here brought the paperwork like eight times now and each and every time it gets lost or uploaded and then corrupted.”
“Alright, so maybe a computer bug?”
“Yeah, but the lady at the help desk downstairs kept forgetting me every time she looked away.”
The man blinked as recognition crossed his face, “Oh yeah that is weird.”
Lana sat down at a chair in front of him and sat her purse on her lap, “Anyways what do they call this department?”
“The social security office of anomalies and weird occurrences”
She felt disappointed, “Seems kinda clinical if you ask me”
The man scoffed, “It’s the government. When is it not clinical?”
“Touche.” Lana sighed, ”Anyways. I’m not really sure where we go from here.”
“Oh don’t worry, someone’s on their way.”
Lana chuckled, “Oh that quickly huh?”
Lana jumped in her chair and turned around to face the woman behind her. She was dressed in a graphic tee and a skirt. Neither of them matched.
“Oh sorry did I startle you?”
“Oh it’s fine I just wasn’t expecting you.”
“Heh. We here in AWO always do sneak up on ya. Follow me”
Lana got up, pulling her paperwork with her.
“Let’s save the talking for when we’re at my desk okay? it’ll be easier that way miss…”
“Oh don’t tell me you forgot too.”
“This is what I was talking about.”
Lana shut her mouth and followed after until they reached a fairly large cubicle decorated with what looked to her like scribbles and strange plants strewn around. The moment she stepped in though, the ladies demeanor changed.
“Oh much much better Ms.Belmont.Here take a seat. Yes you are definitely cursed. Now Hello, I’m Emilia. But my friends call me Em.”
“Are we friends?”
“Maybe. It’s up to you really. Now tell me Lana, when was the first time someone forgot about you.”
Lana chuckled, “like today?”
Em shook her head, “Just whenever.”
Lana leaned back in her chair and tried to remember, “Umm, this week my doordash driver forgot my order in their car.”
Em laughed, “No no I mean something significant. That happens to everyone.”
“Oh uh.. A few weeks ago I set up a work meeting and no one showed up. We later found the invitation had been deleted.”
“Interesting. And anything else? What about further back.”
Lana thought harder, “last year I set up a Christmas party, several people volunteered to bring food and we got a venue set up. When the day arrived, no one was there. they all said they forgot. I got mad at everyone and lost a lot of friends and then the pandemic happened and the ones that remained just… forgot.”
“Uhhh. When I was in college, a professor completely forgot I was a student there and my student record got wiped because of it. I haven’t gone back since.”
Em’s eyes widened, “O-oh. So pretty far back then.”
“When I was eight My entire cub scout troop forgot I was with them when I went to use the bathroom.”
“Cub scout, I thought that was only for boys.”
Lana rolled her eyes, “This all happened because I legally changed my name and gender?”
Em laughed, “Oh right! sorry, carry on.”
“When I was two, my parents left me on a bus. I don’t know if that counts.”
Em stroked her chin thoughtfully, “Maybe. that would mean that you’ve been cursed since you were two and it’s getting worse now. Which as far as I know, couldn’t be caused by another witch but… something else.”
Lana shook her head and scoffed, “Witches is one thing, what do you mean, something else?”
“Are you aware of what a Fae is Lana?”
“Uh, like a fairy?”
Em nodded, “I think a Fae has been with you since you were born.”