The Journal

Flipping through your library books for research, you find one of the books you incorrectly checked out. It’s a handwritten journal authored by someone you know. Who wrote it and what does it say?

Writer's Digest Prompt

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Dr. Romanov’s work was so badly translated that I had to put it down. He lived in the Stalin era; as a free-thinking scientist that meant he also died in the Stalin era, frozen to death in some forgotten gulag. His work on the paracosm was inspired but sadly incomplete.

When I set the tome down it slid off the table along with several others. Picking them up, the one that caught my attention was a little brown notebook with a leather cover; I didn’t remember even taking it from the library, but it was there on the floor. There was nothing written on the cover so I opened it.

The Journal of Alana Ravenwing. What the? She was my friend as a little girl – my imaginary friend. She got me through many long and lonely days. Alana was someone I could cry to when the other girls would deliberately exclude me, or when the boys would call me Creepy Cassandra. I still addressed my journal to her. This could NOT be Alana.

As I read, I became convinced it was her. Alana’s life was a story I’d made up, yet here it was laid out in someone else’s handwriting. Still not fully convinced, I turned to April 10, 2002. It was there. The day she grew from being my imaginary friend to my imaginary lover.

Her journal filled in gaps I’d suspected but never really known. She was a physicist too, and also working in a lab studying mass quantum superposition; alternate universes to normal people. Her lab, under the watchful eye of Amerika First, had gotten a lot further: they’d broken through. The journal included her equations – enough that I could see where we’d gone wrong and fix it.

She talked about something called the Foam, a set of microworlds defined by variances off a hypothetical Prime Reality. Alana’s great discovery was that her world was in the Foam, and could simply blink out of existence at any time. Needless to say, she didn’t tell the authorities. Instead she used the portal they’d developed to send the largest thing she could – this book – through to what she hoped was the Prime world.

So now I’m at home, writing this in my electronic journal with Alana’s book beside me. I dream of her excitement as I draw up the schematics to change our sensor into her portal. I don’t know how I’m going to explain this to Dr. Edworthy, but we’ll need a bigger grant to get into the Foam. And we’re going to need power, lots of power, to make the portal big enough to bring a person through. I’ll have to think of something.

I imagine Alana’s hand caressing my shoulder. Her imaginary lips kiss the back of my neck, right on the sensitive spot. I stand up and shuck off my housecoat, feeling her phantom embrace, tasting her sweet breath. I would move heaven and earth to actually see and touch her. And I will.