TheNeverPages Serialisation
Series 5, Episode 4

TheNeverPages - Series 5, Episode 4

We did indeed look towards the sun, we did indeed climb up to it and we did indeed pull it from the sky. The sun really is a window. We climbed through the sun, leaving the desert behind and we pulled ourselves back into TheNeverRealm.

We were standing on the dune, Lucy’s song fading away in our minds. We looked up towards the sun and reached out to it. But instead of the air, we felt resistance, like pressing on an invisible ceiling or wall. Only, it was not solid, it was pliable like a film above us. We teased, prodded and investigated it. The film, when prodded, distorted the light, bending the shape of the sun into an oval. Its touch was warm, sleek and dry.

We were abruptly interrupted in our pawing of the sky-ceiling by a ripple and a shudder emanating from the centre of the sun, and spreading outwards like a stone thrown into a pond. As the ripples dispersed, the colour of the sun dulled, the saturation falling away slightly revealing a black spot in the centre. We sat back on the sand to study it. The black spot grew until it was the size of a fist, then the black spot lost its absence. An image appeared like a hole cut through a sheet of paper to reveal a landscape behind it. We could see, in the spot, a vista behind, we could make out a sky of a different hue, we could make out the partially collapsed roof of a building, we were on the floor, looking up at the ceiling, and past it. I knew instantly what it was. I was looking up at the ceiling of Tesla’s laboratory.

I was about to stand up when, without reason, an oblong object fell through the hole and landed in the sand next to us. It was my periscope. I picked it up and looked through it. The sky that we knew, the sky in my desert fell away, and the full vision of the laboratory was revealed to me. I saw, from my vantage point below the floor, the cracked walls, the melted desks and twisted chair, the hole in the ceiling, the sky above and I saw a woman walking away.

We knew immediately what had to be done. The second version of me began talking in my mind and we formed a plan. In seconds I had holstered my periscope, and climbed onto his shoulders. My face was so close to the hole in the sun that I could taste the air on the other side. I could almost hear the cold dripping of the broken water pipes in the laboratory. I reached up and grabbed the edges of the sun-hole and pulled it open. The resistance to my efforts was immense, but I overcame them, pulling and tearing at this window back to TheNeverRealm.

The second version of me held my feet and with an almighty heave he pushed me up. I was half in the laboratory, half in my desert-mind with a pile of sand around my waist. The suction from the desert world below was dragging me back down. I was struggling against the pull and below me the other version of myself was pushing my legs up with all his might. I could feel the sand falling into my pockets, I could feel it in my sleeves grating against my skin. I scrabbled around to find something to hold onto. I found a good purchase on the cylindrical chair leg. Gripping it tightly, I was able to pull myself fully into the laboratory. I lay on my back, panting hard. I coughed, hacking and spluttering up the muddy sludge from my throat.

After coughing up the mass, I lay on my front and stuck my arm into the sand-hole, shouting at myself to leap up and grab hold. He did and, our strength working double, I curled my arm, shouting loudly in exertion. The other me grabbed the edge of the hole and pulled himself up, the sand pouring into him as it had done to me.

With one final pull, I got him out of the desert and fully into the laboratory. Like I did, he heaved up a vomitus mass of sand and mud. I slapped his back hard and helped scoop the remaining sludge from his mouth and throat. We were about to embrace and laugh at our accomplishment when a look of panic overcame him and without a word, he dived back onto the floor and into the second sand pile, falling halfway back in, head first! I dived down and grabbed his legs before he sank back for good. I yanked him back, the force against me even greater. I fell backwards, smashing my coccyx. I screamed in pain, but kept a hold of him. I kicked against the floor, trying to pull myself (and myself) backwards. Slowly I began to get a purchase, and slowly I dragged him back from the pit.

As soon as his head was free, I rolled him over. His eyes were closed and he was not breathing. I punched his chest plate repeatedly until he was revived. Again he vomited. I screamed at him to explain his actions.

He pulled his arm free of the sandpit just as the portal closed for good and in his hand he was holding this journal. My journal. The NeverDiary. It had been sinking into the pit, seemingly thrown into it as if it were garbage!

We sat on the floor in the laboratory and laughed. Exhausted, elated. Alive. Beyond all reason and hope, we had traversed time, space and even death.


I am writing about our return to TheNeverRealm while the other version of me inspects the laboratory. He has sand in his hair and he leaves a trail of sand from his trouser legs wherever he walks.

We are back and we have work to do.


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