Bright Gems Amidst the Fog of Memory

I was thinking yesterday about scenes. And how there are just some scenes that whabam! stick with you forever. Like when Walter Hartwright first meets Anne Catherick in The Woman in White. No? Just me? How about that scene in Oliver Twist. Yeah, that one in the orphanage. Please sir, etc. Or in The Phantom Tollbooth when time flies. TIME FLIES! Brilliant.

My favorites, though, are the scenes that I remember without remembering what book they came from. For instance.

This book was a fantasy. One of those girl-witch-finding-her-power fantasies. And there was another main character, probably a boy, because I think this scene was from his point of view.

All I remember of the book is this image near the end. The Bad-Guy-Wizard is standing in like a circle of magic, untouchable, and the boy/POV character is standing/sitting in front of him, at his mercy. Then girl-witch-finding-her-power, forgotten at the side, crawls out of the bushes towards the edge of the circle of magic. BoyPOV sees her, and GWFHP, on her hands and knees, looks at him, shakes her head, and crawls onward to disturb BGW’s circle of magicalness.

Something about the crawling and the headshake are stuck in my head. I could not tell you why for love or money. It’s just a striking image.

The other main stuck-in-head-with-no-source scene is more of a concept, really. It was an awful sci-fi book, that’s really all I remember. (Boy, I read some quality books when I was a kid. Don’t take these two examples as representative, please. I mean, they are, but we can pretend like they’re anomalies.) In this sci-fi book there was some horrible mutative disease. But nobody cared, it didn’t affect anyone “important.” Then one of the main doctors (there were a lot of doctors, I recall) contracted a new, mutated form of the disease–right before he was due to go to a Senate hearing of some sort to beg for research money from a bunch of people who didn’t want to give it. And he didn’t tell anyone. The book ends with him flying off to government headquarters, with plans to infect every Senator he shakes hands with, to force them to care.

And I was like Wow.

That is literally all I remember about each book. Amazing that a writer can create such a whabam moment and not pull it off for the entire novel itself.

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So, two questions. 1. Does this ever happen to you? If so, give us the scene! and 2. Do you recognize either of these books, and if so PLEASE TELL ME. It is driving me to MADNESS.