The Wonderful Journals of 2020 (First Edition)

From Zepur’s journal (found underneath a public bench):

Tuesday, March 17, 2020:

9:01 – It’s as if there’s a marble slab pressing violently against my chest. The third day of the lockdown and I think there must be something wrong with my chest. Still no news of Anahid. She was supposed to teleport herself to my place before the settling of the mandatory lockdown – not the human one; the one the Unseen World has imposed, restricting the usage of our magic. Anahid probably got ensnarled in a nasty business with a shape-shifter. I had reprimanded her many times about this kind of fighting. You never what to expect from them. Anahid’s insularity will be the death of her one day. And now, with the spread of this new ‘virus’, Anahid better be careful about the werewolves she’s been fiddling with. After all, they’re half-men. They may just as well contaminate her.

Two days ago Sodeco, Anahid’s cat, appeared in my bedroom with a toilet paper in his mouth. He informed me about Anahid’s whereabouts. I asked him if he knew where exactly in the north, but he only shook his head. I thanked him and asked if he could grab a hand sanitizer with his tail if he ever goes bag-thieving today. He said he’ll consider it.

Now I’m left with a stainless steel pot for a cauldron. The horror of using a stove as opposed to a proper bonfire… If Christians and Muslims are complaining, where does that leave our kind?

My father contacted me through the crystal ball yesterday afternoon. He warned me not to touch the artefact as it might teleport the virus somehow. What an old fool… I kept it short with him. My true disposition is coming to forefront of my interactions.

18:24 – I’m starting to get worried. What if something bad happened to Anahid during her excursion? The Unseen World was clear about reducing forest movements.

Sodeco came back with stacks of noodles. He thinks that people have gone ‘bat-shit crazy.’ I could not bear his tasteless joke, so I kicked him out with my foot.

23:21 – Where’s Anahid? Why isn’t she back? Is she still alive?

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Anahid is busy talking into a pond.

“Zepur. Zepur…” She leans closer to the stagnant surface. There is no connection. “Zepur, please respond. They have me.”

Elbows digging in the mud, she nearly has her chin in the water and is 99% sure it is werewolf piss. Hands tuck in under her armpits and thighs and she is carried back in an almost formal manner, as if she is a pencil, to the shed where she now lives. They are mercifully still wearing masks but the amount of musk they are expunging from their glands she might as well be licking their eyeballs. Anahid is busy regretting everything.

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Zepur takes off his cloak and drops it to the floor. With both the Unseen World and Humanity on lockdown, he might as well enjoy some alone time. The bathtub is filled to the brim with bright warm floral water. Humans consider such an act ‘feminine’ and ‘bourgeois’, apparently some people use these words as insults, but Zepur does not care. He finds floral smells relaxing, and likes sitting in warm water for extended periods of time.

He was just about to put his foot into the bathtub when a muffled noise came out of the bubbles.

“Ze…Ze…please…”

Contacting me through the bathtub? What idiot would do that?

“Ze…Ze…they…they have…please…they have me…help”

“Hello?” replied a very annoyed Zepur. Does this mean he’ll have to let the water go? Wizards working in the human world aren’t known for their opulence. Still, the voice is familiar.

“Ze…can you hear…they…me…werewolves…masks…no use…help”.

Holy shit it’s Anahid. That’s worth wasting expensive water for.

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@TonyMarx @SilverRose

Wednesday, March 18, 2020:

01:21 am – Anahid just contacted me roughly a few minutes back. Portal of choice: Water. I need to keep track of the timeline. What if they gave her poison? FUCK (heavily underscored)

03:54 am – I tried to refill the tub and cast all kinds of spells to reach out to her. So far, nothing. All I remember is her voice, disjointed and alert, asking for help.

05:30 am – I nudged Sodeco out of his sleep. He needs to know his owner is in some sort of trouble. Sodeco is concerned. We’ll see what we can do. He’s here with me. Sodeco presumes, from what his feline memory can serve, that Anahid had a bone to pick (quite literally) with a Norwegian shape-shifter. It seems that with the outbreak of the coronavirus, Anahid decided to terminate this task before any precautionary lockdown was put into effect by the Ministry. The Unseen World is stricter than any government’s rule I’ve lived in – I’ve outlived the USSR, I should know. Anahid just does not know when to stop feeling stupidly invincible.

08:10 am – Third attempt: Still no contact. Apparently the Ministry just restricted all teleportation procedures due to new reported cases. That means Sodeco has to stay here; if the Ministry finds out about this… I called my father half an hour ago, asking for advice, but he seemed unable to focus.

08:13 am – sound // bathroom // somethings hapenin i’l

08:15 am - sound // living room // loud banging

9:00am - I grab Sodeco and we run for it. No time to put on a mask, no time to grab the hand sanitizer. I’ll magic them up later, legal or not. It doesn’t matter anymore when you’re already being chased by the Unseen Police. Called so not just because they serve the Unseen World, but because they’ve mastered invisibility. You can’t outrun what you can’t see.

9:30 am - Luckily Sodeco can see them. Cats in the human world have a sixth sense that lets them see ghosts and stuff; our cats have a seventh sense and can see things that even magic users can’t see. I don’t think we were considered a particularly dangerous case, seeing as Sodeco told me there were only around three cops dicking around our living room. No perimeter barricade - classic Unseen Cop tactic. We’re now on the other side of town, I need to find some water to try and contact Anahid.

9:45 am - I’m on a street without many magic users. I enter a human coffee shop. I’ve been up looking for a way to contact Anahid since 1 am and a cup of coffee will help. Luckily, not all stores have gone on lockdown just yet in this city - god forbid I lived in Italy or France. I ask for a long black and a glass of water - no, sir, waiter, no a bowl. Yes a bowl of water. Sorry, weird request I know but please. Thanks.

Let’s see where she is.

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Anahid has just glimpsed through the tiny slit of a window gap, a werewolf gagging and coughing up for a full five revolting minutes. It eventually delivers one whole, undigested human arm in a puddle of miscellaneous juices from its face. It was like witnessing a baby deer being born in the unspeakable dimension. The werewolf looked down in a pleased and curious way and set about re-eating the arm with a devoted idiot joy. I will digest you, silly arm! Anahid gently tutted. Werewolves have zero self awareness to an almost enviable degree.

“Boy!” She squeezed her mouth into the gap. “Boy?!”

The werewolf started with a bicep glistening between its jaws. He cocked his head in a question. “Mnph?”

He stands up suddenly, full height over 7 feet and walks towards her mouth. He doesn’t even bother dropping the arm.

“Hello, boy! Hi, wolfie!”

The werewolf drops the arm finally.

“That’s racist. You can’t say that.”

“I’m so so sorry. What’s your name?”

“Sally.”

“Its lovely to meet you, Sally. Sorry about just now. Could I please, please have some water? Can I be watered?”

“Ok. We have human rum too. Would you like some human rum?”

“Thank you, Sally! Yes I would.”

Five minutes later, Sally returns, but without any kind of fluid.

“I’m allowed to let you out for a bit. I want to come and show you to my friends.”

Sally releases her from her little hut and walks her to a big marquee made of bones, branches and furs a few minutes through the trees. Then an hour later, she is hiding in a pile of fur skins during an eventful werewolf orgy. She is covered in slobber, blood, filth and she is howling into a bowl of rum.

“Zep. I took a wrong turn. I’m about to make a run for it. I will come and find you. You may have to protect yourself from me.”

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@TonyMarx @SilverRose

11:01 am – I swear in the name of whatever that’s living and fucking precious that Anahid just contacted me. Or else the waiter put something funny in my coffee. Her voice was garbled, though; I think she’s using either a dense or a very unclean liquid and I’

11:03 am – Another attempt. Voiceless. 7 bubbles, pause, 2 bubbles, pause, 5 bubbles, pause. That’s it. I need to double check the Liquid Codes Reference. Damn it. I should have paid more attention in aquacryptology.

11:15 am

–> 7 bubbles: Danger/Entrapment/Jeopardy
–> 2 bubbles: O.K./Well-being
–> 5 bubbles: Warning

Something bad happened to Anahid. She’s okay. She is warning me from something. That’s not enough. That’s just not enough for me to know.

Nota bene: Google scholar is utterly impractical for necromancy research. A so-so by the name of H.P. Lovecraft keeps popping up. (How is romance relevant to the subject???)

12:00 pm – Must leave. Suspicious customers. Unseen Cops undercover.


On Ministry of the Unseen International (a secret Facebook group with over 500k members):

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT
Dear Unseen community:

Today marks the sixth day of our meticulous monitoring of the Novel C-virus developments. With your safety being of utmost importance, and for the safety of the Unmagicals, we will deploy our professional resources to check all channels through which the Unseen operate their communications, thereby putting into effect the SAFETY AND PRECAUTION MEASURES - STAGE 7 protocols. Hence, we advise you to be co-operative and to let our monitoring procedures run as malleably as possible. You are kindly urged to limit, terminate and/or postpone your current magical correspondences by midnight. Resistance will not be tolerated as the C-virus seems to act more severely with magical hosts.

REMINDER:
Some of the symptoms of C-virus infection:

  • Coughing sand
  • MHS (Medusa Headache Syndrome)
  • Shapeshifting (to be confirmed)

– posted on the 21st of March, 2020, at 12:00 pm


UPDATES:
Dear Unseen community:

Members of the International Unseen Police Organization have found the body of an unidentified 25-year-old female Magical near Magnam Silvam. The deceased is suspected to have been in mid-biotransition (shapeshifting) before her demise. The reasons behind this incident are still unclear to forensics – however, there is a high probability that the C-virus is the chief cause.

A press conference will be held this afternoon with regards to the unfortunate event. Until then, we urge you to block all communication channels and to cast protective spells on any opening around you (for further information, please visit www.unseen.gov).

– posted on the 22nd of March, 2020, at 10:15 am

When Anahid woke up, she was dead. It was an inconvenience. This would not do.

Her mind and soul were trapped between two dimensions. The one one that she had been accustomed to for 25 years of her patchy life, and one so unfamiliar that it seemed itself unsure that it existed. She could see all around her self at once as if she were a giant eye. Above her was saturated with pinky orange and purple that was also yellow and also nothing and also the blue of eternity. And beneath her was her poor body that she had liked a lot.

Sand and spit caked around the mouth that had loved kissing, talking loudly, and eating, often at the same time. There were dead snakes in her hair that she never remembered being there. Her upper torso and arms had obviously been attempting to shapeshift, with violent enthusiasm, into something vicious, and revolting. The corse, thick, thickets of brown hair tufting out of her traumatised skin were telltale signs that she was on her way to being a pissy, dumb werewolf. This will just not do. How can I puncture this membrane and get back to the matter at hand. Whatever that was. This will just not do at all.

Why was she still SO HUNGRY?

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Tuesday, March 24, 2020:

05:00 am - It’s almost sunrise. I did not know it was possible for my eyes to generate bucketful of tears. The local Unseen Police department called me yesterday to identify the mutilated body of Anahid. My spine trembled. I did not know that was possible, but it did. There was an announcement on the community page two days ago, and it did not even occur to me that it could be Anahid. All I did was scoff. Scoff. At the news. I wish I took it more seriously. When I received the call, I was on my zillionth attempt to contact her. During the last tries, however, the water surface did not even stir. I should have known something wasn’t right. In my mind, there’s an indelible impression of Anahid’s corpse in hasty transition. What was she doing? She was turning into a wolf, but somehow, her body did not let her complete it. I don’t know what to make of it. They didn’t even let me touch her. Sweet beards of Merlin and Seneca…

Wednesday, March 25, 2020:
03:15 pm - They’re not going to bury her. They’re going to ‘investigate’ her. Investigate. That’s the word they used. Fucking biomagicals thinking they’re some big fucks that can tamper with nature. I’m incredulous. She’s dead. She’s dead and they want to know how, not why.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020:
6:24 pm - Sodeco moved in with me. It took me a week to convince him to leave Anahid’s apartment. He’s not capable of dealing with this loss. What does he know, a magical cat. Magical cats are gifted, but all denizens grieve the same way – magical or not. I’ve lost half of my sleep. Anahid’s memory is haunting me.

Monday, April 6, 2020:
2:55 am - My diary keeps disappearing. I left it on my nightstand before going to sleep, and I just woke up to find it on the kitchen table. What the hell is happening? Is there a ghost of a German tyll in my apartment? I thought the Christians got rid of them in the 1600’s? What the fuck?


April’s entries are interrupted by the following message, written upside down:

zepur zepur this is anahid im here please turn this upside down zepur im stuck i need help please zepur notice this im not very good at this

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She finds herself slipping through the membranes of the dimensions like sausage meat. She notices that, as she’s wriggling above the forest, the trees bend toward her then spring back after she passes. Colours dagger down from above like iron filings toward the magnet of her incorporeal body. It is quite astonishingly novel and she starts to paint Van Gogh swirls it the sky. “I’m good at this!” she mouths into a bubble. She’s already forgotten about her sorry, sad little corpse that was left with forensic professionals in the aftermath of that werewolf orgy. This is 2020 and it’s still only April.

She missed Sedeco. And Zep. They must be so mad with her for catching The Cove. And from werewolves, no less. Dying from it. She’d never live it down. Mortifying. Anahid missed her apartment so much too. She’d got it just how she wanted it, 5,000 cushions and plants, and the kitchen just so. Zep and Sedeco both accepted that they were partly ornamental.

It was time to see whether she had more control of her life in death than she’d had in life-life. She needed to slide her heavy soul to the city and pay her boys a visit. It’d be weird for sure, but this is 2020.

I have never wanted anybody’s body as much as I want my own

BODY 4 ME written on the mirror

Friday, April 10, 2020:
Anahid is here. Anahid is here and she is trying to contact me. I spent the past few days finding messages all across the house.

Anahid, I know you can read this. Tell me what I should do.


Zepur’s left hand hovered over the page, hoping for direction. Anahid, suspended upside down in mid-air, her hair unaffected by gravity, decided to follow her gut feeling. She held Zepur’s hands, hoping against hope not to frighten her. She began scribbling the instructions.

NEKROMANCY SHOPPING LIST

  • sweet oil

  • mastic

  • Wine - v strog

  • hemlock, mandrake, and/or opium.

  • chalk

  • nice talisman

  • My body from morgue (take big bag)

Zep reread the list back and forth while Sedeko rolled around on it smudging the ink.

“V strog? What’s v strog?”

The pen floated up once again and angrily stabbed at the note book: VERY STRONG the nib scratched into the paper.

“Anahid…. this is deeply prohibited stuff. Even the basic logistics are…”

The pen hits Zep between the eyes.

“For you, my love,” Zep began again in the correct manner, “I will move heaven and earth.”

Saturday, April 11, 2020:
WHAT THE FUCK WHAT THE FUCK ANAHID (underscored three times)

wat hapnd

can you hear me if I speak?

no - write

I think I’m going to puke

ur a witch uv seen worse - wat time is it

it’s 3 in the afternoon I think

ok

why are you asking

I need to know when to start time works dfrntly here

what the hell happened to you

Ill tell you about it once u bring me back

and when’s that?

in a few hours

what am I supposed to do with the body? it’s so damn disgusting

anything just dont touch it

should I let it out of the bag? it looks like it’s going to smell badly

NO WAit until ur contacted again

okay

(A doodle from this entry was omitted from the transcription.)

just let me doodle why did you stop me?

do stg useful

like what?

make a salad you have the ingreds

fuck off

I love you, I didn’t mean that. Stay. I’ll be patient. You’ll be back. You’ll tell me all about it.

I’ll deal with you later.

Full sentence… am I in trouble?


it’s time

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8.27pm::::It is gloaming nicely. hanging about a car park with a corpse slung over my shoulder and a craving for powdered viper flesh. never been so stressed, and potentially in so much trouble. It is a beautiful evening for it

witches don’t sweat

To make the body a bit less of a literal deadweight, Anahid has pulled, lifted, and dragged it spectrally, and as much as she can in her lonely dimension. She has thoroughly examined her body inside the polythene sheeting. With the mangy, uneven fur sticking out all over her chest and arms, it looks like she’d been in a rather upsetting performance of “Cats: The Musical” when she met her doom. “But, y’know, I’m in not bad nick, all things considering.” Unseen forensics had preservation spells put over her in quite a banal, formal ritual before they went back to pranking cops by replacing the jam in their doughnuts with spiders.

All Unseen Cops Are Bastards, says some graffiti. Zep feels panicked.

Why a car park??

intense magic happens in car parks, esp this 1

Zep tried to lay the body down as tenderly as possible, but it slipped from the shoulder like a big sack of crap. It fell in an oil stain that looked like Boötes Void. This must be it.

we begin now

draw a pentagram on the ground, with the letterings across 5 ends – the usual stuff

ok now place me in the middle face up

good – now oil me

what?

just pour some oil all over me & rub the most critical parts like my shoulder blades and my left boob

this is not okay

do it


take the crushed mandrake and sprinkle it over my forehead and both hands

smear the opium on all parts stuck in half-transition

did you bring a talisman?

srsly??? a bell???

it’s the only one I have

no matter – place it on my heart


where did you go?

hello???

anahid what the fuck where did you go

im here / spirits R medlin / B quick

put the mastic at the bottom of the cup + poor wine + wait for dissolution

marmin yev aryun im, dzer goyutyan mahe chi tani

CHANT IT ZEP FAST


Sunday, April 12, 2020:
1:22 am - Anahid is asleep. She’s been sleeping ever since she reclaimed her body – well, what’s left of it. It’s still somewhat stuck in half-transition, albeit she is almost intact. It is slowly becoming quite clear that she may have to live in her body in this state for the rest of her life. I am burning to know what happened. She immediately fell into slumber once her corpse finished twitching. I can’t believe nobody saw us; it all seemed way too loud. Anyway, Sodeco is glad that Anahid is back, but he is severely weirded out. If normal mother cats disowned their own kittens because of a change in their scent, what does that leave for magical cats with better senses?

Something terrible is going to happen in a few months. I can just feel it. Proper Nekromancy has not been successfully practiced in five centuries. What have we done? What have we unleashed?

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As she slept the sleep of the dead, her cells flooded with life. Zep watched her for hours with love, wonder, and terror as she snored in gorgeous oblivion. She’d make little growling noises and scratch at the odd patches of fur. The way her long, black hair mixed with the wolf pelt did something to Zepur’s heart. It sometimes takes a thing like ancient and forbidden necromancy to take a relationship to the next level.

“Putting the romance back into necromancy,” said Sodeco from his nest of dirty t-shirts on the floor.

“Shut up.”

Stupid cat.

Zep got into bed eventually, laying right on the edge and any small area that Anahid hadn’t taken up in exuberant repose.

Zep woke much later with an animal snuffling inside her ear enthusiastically with more than a bit of drooling and light nipping. She could hear the hot breath rattle her eardrum. It wasn’t unpleasant. It was Anahid, alive and very awake.

“Babe, my love! My sense of smell is through the roof! I can smell your mind through your scalp. Your pink ears smell like hot blood. It’s your turn to make breakfast.”

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Sunday, April 12, 2020:
9:13 pm – A weird, but pleasant day. I put Anahid under an anesthetic spell; she resumed her sleep peacefully. At around 10 o’clock in the morning. I couldn’t help but sleep next to her, contemplating her figure. Her hair, though tainted with what looked like wolf blood, covered the other half of my pillow. I tried to move it away gently, but decided to lay my head on it, its texture against my cheek, her scent filling my nostrils. What is happening to me, I asked myself. Why did I feel this urge to be with her. Yes, be with her. Was it the grief subsequent to her death? Was it the surprise upon her return? Was it the phenomenal effort we both exercised to practice that which has not been done in millennia? Well, whatever it was, I surmise that my energy nudged her into wakefulness.

Her voice was different when she first woke up, but it slowly relapsed back into its own unique tone. I thought I was never going to listen to it. After breakfast, she told me everything.

Days before the complete lock-down, Anahid received a message by pigeon-post from someone who apparently held a personal vendetta against her family. An old ancient creature her great-great-great grandmother had cursed ages ago. She told me that she knew nothing of the matter, but that she discovered it when she inspected her great-great-great grandmother’s diaries. Us, witches, we like to keep track of things, she said, pointing at this notebook. How odd. Anyway, she wanted to put an end to the curse, given that she was the only one capable of it. She traveled North-North, for that’s where they decided to meet. Little did she know, there was an ambush waiting for her. The creature was not a wolf, though. It was a vulture the size of a parking ticket machine…


“What do you want from me?” Anahid asked, mustering all her powers to sound composed.

The vulture, Roc-like, tilted his head and opened his beak slowly. “Ha,” he said, simply. “Ha, ha,” he continued. “Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.”

Anahid fell into a bout of confusion. “Are you… laughing?” she posed.

“No,” the creature said. “I just said ‘Fuck you’ in my own humorous language. You know humor? You witches may not understand this.”

“What the hell are you talking about?” Anahid’s anxiety wrapped itself around her stomach like a snake at a prey. “What has she done to you?”

“She didn’t get my joke,” the vulture said, shifting his claws. “She didn’t get my punch-line. So she turned me into this… this… Can’t even fly with these things.” He preened his feathers upon instinct.

At that moment, Anahid noticed from the corner of her eyes hunched figures approaching from the obscurity in which the vulture stood. “And you,” he said, “do you get my joke?”


Well, they took her. They injected something in her, that thing which turned her into this… new person that she is. She is theorizing that this warlock turned vulture is the one behind the pandemic within the magicals and non-magicals. Skeptical as I am, I should give this a thought. After all, she did exhibit the same signs the Unseen Police has warned us about. This is not what worries me – what worries me is that she wants to see him again. She wants to put an end to this.

I don’t know what to do. I lover her I lover her I love her I love her and I don’t want her to die ever again.

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Anahid neglected to mention the werewolf orgy. It wasn’t the main event of the evening. Although it was insightful. And there was human rum. However, meeting Rick the Vulture was something she’d never forget. The guy is a joke and, now, as Rick understands it, the Great Anahid is dead. Let him believe that.

“Zep?”

“Yes, Ana?”

“I’m going to turn Rick the Vulture back into a warlock.”

“What, now?”

“In a bit.”

“Why??”

“Because it’s the nice thing to do.”

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Monday, April 13, 2020:
We arrived to the north an hour ago. Anahid is resting. She is adamant. What’s gotten into her? Why wouldn’t she let this go?

Wednesday, April 15, 2020:
We just arrived to where Anahid met Rick, the vulture. Anahid strictly prohibited me from using my powers, as she does not want to draw any attention. We are going to wait here until twilight.

Whoever finds this, if we don’t make it, notify the Unseen authority as soon as you find this. This notebook will be teleported to a location in the city, somewhere public. NOTIFY.

theyreCOMING!!!


Jørgen left the premises with unease and foreboding nestling between his lungs. The journal, tucked under his armpit, caused an eruption of sensations at the mere touch. Jørgen could not understand why no one was taking him seriously. They all – all of them; curse them – thought that the journal he’d found underneath the bench on that early June afternoon at exactly 8:34 p.m. was nothing but a piece of fiction, a written figment of someone’s imagination which happened to be lost there. But Jørgen had always thought differently.

“Officer, this is serious stuff,” Jørgen would say. The said officer would meet his eyes meekly, assuming that the person standing in front of him – that is Jørgen – is a lunatic. Again and again and again. In one instance, Jørgen caught an old lady by the arm and forced the journal into her hand, shouting, “BEGONE, BEGONE!” To his and everyone else’s surprise, the old lady did not react violently; she returned the journal back to him gently, tapped him on the shoulder, and resumed her walk. In another instance, Jørgen tried to write in the journal. He opened it at random and resolved to pierce it with his pen. He failed miserably. As he positioned himself to begin writing, the pen flew out of his hand and pierced right through his bedroom wall, much like a bullet. The journal was driving Jørgen mad.

Yet on July 4th, a month after his find and lunacy, there was a knock on his door. Somehow, he knew who it was. He left his slumber in his bed and rushed to the door. The knock grew louder and louder as it was consistent and ceaseless. He turned the knob, prepared his smile, and — and nothing. There was no one – there was nothing, save for a shaft of sunlight. The odd thing was, the entrance had no windows.

That Saturday morning was, indeed, a blessing.

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