Note: This review will be full of spoilers. The work is short enough that there's no practical way to talk about aspects of it without actually talking about those aspects of it.
In "Memories," author Alex Hurst has given us a bitter-sweet story of love and its importance no matter what kinds of gender boundaries may exist. From that perspective, it is well worth reading, this look back through the important moments of two lives that have come together. It's sweet and it's sad, and it could, really, be the lives of any two people that have come together in love and lived out their lives that way, which is where the power of the story comes from.
However, I found the vehicle for that story to be... distracting. And, actually, unconvincing. But, first, there is a brief introduction for the audience that spells out what's going on which I also thought detracted from the story. The story itself is really one of discovery or, actually, re-discovery by the story-teller. I think introducing the story to the audience by telling us that she has entered a shop of memories takes that journey of discovery away from the audience, removing some of the power the story could have as we figure out what's going on. It removes rather than adds to the tension of the story.
The real issue for me, though, was the artificial limitation of "you can choose only one thing" which just made me want to know "why?" I get that the author is using that limitation as a vehicle to stroll the memories of the character and examine them while contemplating the importance of each, but that didn't stop the question of "why" from bouncing around in my head. It reminded me of those silly games people do:
You're stranded on a desert island and can only take one book, movie, food with you; what do you choose?
And I want to know, "Why am I stranded on a desert island?" and "If I am stranded on a desert island, what good is one book going to do me?" And "how am I going to watch this one movie while stranded on the desert island?" And "What? There's going to be a pizza tree there?"
So, yeah, this idea of the narrator only getting to pick one memory from her life before going on to wherever it was she was going really got in my way of enjoying the story itself.
Which may or may not be fair to the author and may or may not affect anyone else, but it did effect me.
Also, there is the issue of the ghostly store clerk, which I couldn't stop thinking about in terms of a static-like TV image after the description of it being like bad radio signal. If the memories are the narrator's and it's her store, so to speak, why is there a sales clerk following her around? And, if she has all the time in the world to choose, why does it keep interrupting with "have you chosen, yet?" Yes, I'm sure some of that is just my own issues. But I was annoyed on behalf of the narrator and wanted to tell the clerk to "go away and leave me alone! I'll call you when I'm ready."
And here's the problem with such a short piece: what I'm saying here makes it sound like I liked the piece less than I did. I enjoyed it well enough. It's well written. There are only a couple of grammar issues (which I can't even remember now, so they couldn't have been that big a deal). And it has a message that, probably, more people need to get. Okay, not probably, certainly. This is the kind of piece that might be able to give people a connection to how a real person feels about the issues being dealt with in the story, and, for that, it's worth the read.