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Abraham Lincoln

A 1-post collection

Challenge #01025-B293: One Near-Apocalyptic Afternoon in Bloomington, Illinois

The speech known as Abraham Lincoln's "Lost Speech" was given at the Bloomington Convention on May 29, 1856, in Bloomington, Illinois.

The traditional reason given for the lack of any written recollection of the Lost Speech is that Lincoln's skilled and powerful oration had mesmerized every person in attendance. Reporters were said to have laid down their pencils and neglected note taking, as if hypnotized by Lincoln's words. When the speech ended no notes existed, so media reports of the day simply recorded the fact that the speech had been delivered.

But that's just the traditional reason. I bet you can come up with a much more creative reason why the content of an entire speech would have no record of existing other than "He spoke so good they forgot to write it down"...

You don't even need to use Lincoln or his speech, if you don't wish to do so. -- Anon Guest

Abe shook himself, staring at the outlandish fellow sitting across from him. "What in the name of the Lord...?"

"Don't worry. I've purged their presence from you. You should be immune," said the bizarre fellow. He flipped the peculiar... wand? And caught it. Grinning. "The problem is that the spores have spread to the entire convention. Good news - you're about to give a speech. Everyone will be there. I'm going to add a hypersonic harmonic to your microphone so that everyone who hears you will be purged."

"Spores?" echoed Abe. "What's going on? Where's the security?"

The strange gentleman in tweed sighed and rolled his eyes. "Spores from space. Trying to take over the Earth. Starting with the most abundant species. If they win it's not going to be pretty. Well. For your definition of pretty. They think they're quite lovely, and I got derailed again. Um." He played with his hair. "Point is, I can eradicate them here and now and I need your help."

"Where are my guards?"

"Taken over. They're not themselves, any more. Well. Not entirely themselves. There's still some of themselves left, but not for long. The bit that's still them is going to attend your speech. They think that you can help them." A wild grin. Something usually seen on a child about to slide down a frozen hill. The smile of someone who knows they haven't thought things through and are still going to race ahead. "And with my help, they'll be right."

Several facts lined themselves up. Fact, he had noticed people around him going a little strange, here in Bloomington. Fact, he could not remember three days. Not precisely. There were blurred moments. The sensation of fear. Trying to fight... something... and the smell of mushrooms.

"All right. Do I need to say anything specific?"

"No. Not really. You could recite nursery rhymes, it doesn't matter. Side-effect of the harmonics is the people subjected to them forget everything they heard and saw whilst under their effect. Something of a self-preservation instinct, there. It's not nice when they come out." He shook his head and made a face. "I wish I could forget it like you can."

"Sir. I have a reputation as a great orator. I will not stand and spout nonsense, even if the world is at stake." He stood up and dusted himself off. Made himself presentable. "I thank you for your assistance, sir, and for telling me the truth."

"I'm the Doctor," he thrust forward an eager hand. "Big fan."

Abe let the Doctor do as he whist. Tried not to flinch at the sight of what these spores had done to the audience as they filed in. The effect on the ladies was the most disturbing to him. The Spores turned their beauty into grotesqueness.

The hum began. "Ladies, gentlemen, and distinguished guests..." it was the last thing he'd remember as a slight hum overtook his mind and turned his memories into mush. All he could be certain of was that he did not, in fact, spout any nonsense.

And then there was a standing ovation. Tears in the now-healed eyes of the ladies. Whistles in the lips of the men. They said that talking could not save the world. He knew very different.

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