TheNeverPages Serialisation
Series 4, Episode 4

TheNeverPages - Series 4, Episode 4

The town is horrific! It is a nightmare vision I am aghast at the monstrosity that has been forced upon me. Pripyat has been irrevocably disfigured. It is not partially melted like Master G_ in the kiosk and not levelled like my laboratory, but it is in the most painful stage of transmogrification possible. The reality of Couldwell, as Master G_ saw it, has morphed with the reality of Pripyat. Then is there, when is now, there is here.

Every building that was once wooden is now fused to some twisted steel and concrete structure. But neither is fully integrated. Neither one is complicit in their amalgamation. It is as if each structure is being forced together against its will and so is still pulling away. It is as if the buildings themselves are reeling in horror at what is being forced upon them. When tectonic plates collide, land masses crash together forming vast mountain ranges and it seems therefore that when two realities fold in on one another, the constructed landscape does the same.

I should have guessed this when I discovered the dual fates of Master G_. If it seems that death in all realities is the same, save for inconsequential details, it follows that the same be true for buildings and monuments (have not seen glorious Mother Motherland yet and I feel ill at thought of the grotesque that will await me there).

However, the transition of one town’s reality into the other is not yet complete. Each iteration of building in this universe has one foot still in its other. The fold is not sealed. I am standing in the middle of open-city surgery and it feels as if I am the only whole object around.  Must investigate.

Luckily, I have the detailed map of the town Master G_ and I chartered a while back. Will make similar studies to find what is new and what is not. After Pripyat, I will go to the ridge and view the LHC. I will brave the sight of the new Mother Motherland.

I have not yet contemplated what might have happened to the population of this place, given what state the architecture is in.

Street markings seem to be congruous with before. While some corner-markers were difficult to locate, some were easily found which made it easy enough to gauge the overall geography of this mutant town. I have made map on the reverse side of our old map. This way, when I hold it up to the light, I can see a detailed map of all three states – Pripyat, Couldwell and the mutant town in between.

Found a newspaper on the floor. The headline read, ‘Exxon Valdez, pride of Engineer Brekker’s fleet sets sail!’ doesn’t mean much to me but I made a rubbing of the front page in the journal. Ink came straight off and left the original page blank. I used the blank paper to make copy of new map.

To note – I have started to bleed out of my left ear. Nothing alarming, just a trickle. Paisley noticed it first. I had bent down to mark the west corner of the fountain by Torpor Avenue when the good dog barked and licked my ear. I laughed until I saw the blood on his tongue. I will keep track of this leak.

The purple residue is still causing half of my body to disappear, although now it seems at a somewhat slower rate. Though I do not need to hold hand to sun to notice nerve clusters and I can make them out under normal light, the rate of degradation is in no way congruous with the rate of disappearance of but a few hours ago. Curious. I have also not lost any feelings, dexterity or tactile feedback from the disappearing half of my body. It could well be a purely aesthetical dysfunction of either my body or my eyes.

I am writing this now leaning against the fountain, Paisley by my side. I’m hungry. Imagine Paisley is too. Haven’t seen him eat. Ever. Or drink. No water here. No rain. He doesn’t complain. Energy of fifty. Good dog.

I’m looking at him as he inspects his shadow. He is tilting his head curiously to one side and then tilting it the other side in surprise when he sees his shadow copy him. Back and forth he tilts his head. Like a metronome. Sweet mutt.

Took another look at the picture of Lucy. She is beautiful. Looked around the town for signs of life. None. Scared for what my lover will look like, if she is even alive.

Wonder now about the mysterious Alexander Tumour Baby. Though I have never seen him, I have heard Master G_ talk about him and the curious mixture of love and revulsion at the constantly soggy baby. Wherever he is, I am pretty sure he is not here. Possibly crawled away at the right time perhaps.

The fountain makes me sad. This is where I met you, dear friend Master G_. You were fierce with the needles. I imagine you to have had the same look about you when you recklessly threw yourself into your desert mind. Determination for the truth, at all costs. I miss you.

I am alone and sad.

I was flicking back through the journal as I rested against the fountain. Scanning over entries, clues and discoveries. Noticed an oddity. Where before I could make out specific etchings, scrawled over Master G_'s writing, I can now read them as clear as day, and they occupy their own space! They are no longer faintly scribbled over Master G_’s original notations. All subsequent entries have shifted down to accommodate them. It seems that as the realities collide and merge, this journal is shifting too. Making space, making order. What kind of journal am I in charge of? Clearly it is more than a book, that much has always been obvious…but now this? Can it self-edit? If it can move text, copy entries from alternate realities and paste it all into one single form chronology then what can else can it do? Can I trust what I read over? I rely on it for information from Master G_s travels, for answers from his discoveries and also to remind myself of what I have learned (as my memory is slowly blurring and turning into a muddy canvas like a chalkboard never once cleaned after a million physics lessons).

Can this journal self-edit? How is it moving entries? I have studied it through the periscope and there is no change. It is impervious. How is it doing this?

I cannot contemplate the alternative, but I must.

If this journal is turning into some sort of NeverDiary, and it is not doing it of its own accord, then who is doing this?

This entry will no doubt delete itself.

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