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April 24, 2012
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RE: Midweek Update
Ethan,

Glad the move went well. Your first job and apartment out of school, how exciting! Everyone's doing fine here, busy as always. The cat's driving us crazy. I wish you could just take him. But I know, no pets.
So, Dad and I were cleaning out the attic and stumbled upon this old diary that belonged to your great-great-great etc. relative of some sort... it's more than 200 years old. Well, it seemed right up your alley, and I thought you might want to have it—it's not in the best condition, so I figured you could do some practice artifact restoration. So, it's on its way! Who knows, maybe the museum will want to put it on display?? Look forward to talking to you this weekend!

Love,
Mom
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Journal of J. Wilstone

May 8, 1803.
There was knock on cabin door & I rose to open.  R. stood in the doorway, silhouetted against a fiery sunset.  Beautiful as ever, both R. & the shine of golden sun on dark waters.  She came in & sat next to me, leaned over to rest head on my shoulder. Reminded of the many weeks remaining of our trip—v. eager to get back to Dover, finally marry my love. Adore the sea, but adore R. more than anything. Conversed quietly as the sun took its leave, R.'s eyes reflecting the flickering lamplight. We went up to the deck & found the others in our party speaking in v. hushed tones. Had something happened?

It would seem that we have encountered what we were looking for & it is nothing as we thought it would be. There is an island, but Dr. Hainesworth says it could not support life & Mr. Exton thinks it is v. much smaller than his map suggested. I am only a student & even I suspect that something is amiss. R. is unsettled, hoping that once we get to the island we will find evidence to go against the Dr.'s assessment. Sleep for now, tomorrow we will disembark & find out for ourselves.
--------------------------------------------------------------
RE: Midweek Update
Hello!
Thank you so much for the journal—it's really fascinating. The first part is kinda water-damaged, so there's not a whole lot I can do about that, but the last few entries are pretty readable, and with the help of my magical museum-person skills, should be good as new! You know, I would take the cat if I could. Well, that's all for now. I'll talk to you on the weekend!
Love,
Ethan
--------------------------------------------------------------
May 9, 1803

Sleep did not come easily, & was v. fitful. R. said she had trouble sleeping as well. Most likely we are all anxious for what is to come of our little expedition. Capt. Gifford believes bad luck upon these waters, but he holds v. odd superstitions from his upbringing, & I do not give much credence to his words.  Violet light of dawn sprays across the calm waters. Island appears no more impressive than it had at dusk the previous night. Mr. Exton has set up rowboat to bring the party to land. Capt. Gifford will stay aboard while R., Mr. Exton, the Dr. & myself search for flora & fauna on what the Dr. hopes will be named Hainesworth Isle—needless to say, Mr. Exton does not approve of this idea, & I am not certain of it myself.
--------------------------------------------------------------
Today: Monday, May 6, 2009
>Hey there <3
>hi ^.^
>And how're you doing this fine day?
>okay… bad day at work, but I'm fine now. i just need to relax a bit
>*makes tea* here ya go darlin.
>if only it were so easy: P haha
tho i appreciate the sentiment. how're you?
>You know. The usual.
>nothing new?
>Well, I just got this old journal from my mom—apparently it belonged to some ancestor of mine, and she was thinking I could use my "magical museum-person skills" to fix it up
>sounds pretty interesting, how old is it?
>It's from the early 1800's, from this guy J. Wilstone on a scientific expedition of some kind. The first part's pretty damaged, but I think I can repair the last bit
>your obsession with old stuff never fails to amaze me: D
>Hey, it's awesome old stuff!
>haha, you know I like it too. I'm just pulling your leg, darlin':3
>Well, methinks I should be getting to bed. Talk tomorrow?
>Of course<3 goodnight my dear
>I love you, g'night
>love you too :*
--------------------------------------------------------------
May 10, 1803

Despite the v. small size of the island, our trip has proven to be most fruitful. Altogether, we have gathered samples of 9 novel varieties of plant life & 2 species of insect. Mr. Exton says he has observed a v. small rodent-like creature burrowing about the isle, and all 4 of us observed several interesting species of bird reminiscent of the brightly-colored creatures found in the amazon. The Dr. finds this v. peculiar, but we are working towards an explanation. Must go, am meeting R. on the deck very soon.
--------------------------------------------------------------
Today: Tuesday, May 7, 2009
>hello?
you there?
Ethan??
Eeeethaaaaannn?
ya buttheadXP
--------------------------------------------------------------
May 13, 1803

The past days have been v. unsettling. As the tide subsided & more shoreline was exposed, we began to find odd stones with some kind of markings on them. Mr. Exton thinks these to be made from scratching against other rocks along the shore, but Dr. Hainesworth believes that some semi-intelligent creature has purposefully carved them. I am dubious—neither explanation seems plausible. We have turned our attention from the life on the island to gathering as many of these symbol-engraved stones as possible, & have discovered a seemingly endless supply. R. agrees with Mr. Exton, but Capt. Gifford continues to spout his superstitions, claiming that these seas are cursed, & that the stones mark the gate between this world and another. Impossible.

May 14, 1803

Impossible indeed. After a thorough analysis, the Mr. Exton, the Dr. & I have determined that these markings could easily have been caused by abrasion from tidal movements. Problem solved. I am feeling a bit weak, & fear that I am becoming ill, so I will retire to my cabin early. R. will understand.
--------------------------------------------------------------
Today: Thursday, May 9, 2009
>Boo!
>eek, a ghost : O! no, really, I thought you were dead
>I'm so sorry, I got really caught up in this journal. I'm almost done, but it's been driving me crazy for the past few days…
>nerd XP jk, but you should have told me! I was getting worried about you. let me know from now on if you're gonna disappear off the face of the earth, kay?
>Alright, promise. But guess what?! I found some files in the museum archives related to early scientific seafaring trips, and J. Wilstone's was one of those.
>pretty cool stuff you're uncovering htere
**there
>The weird thing is, the record in the archive said that the ship set off with 5 people—the captain, a professor, a sailor/self-proclaimed explorer, and two students—but when the ship returned after the expedition the captain was the only one there, and he was feverish/incoherent, then died just after his return.
>creepy…
>Yeah. So I'm gonna spend the next couple days slaving away at these last few pages. I really want to find out what happened.
>well, I'll leave you to it then, mr. detective: ) see you on the other side, good luck, have fun, don't hurt yourself!
>Haha, thanks. Love you:  )
>love you too :*
--------------------------------------------------------------
May ?, 1803

Impossible indeed. It is not possible to that is & I said "R., get down from that g—d—ed apparatus, it will strike you with its overbearing forearms" and the listening was done by none and all. The Dr. said that illness has befallen the each of us, one more than the last but I was the first so therefore… & logic has prevailed once more.
Mr. Exton has eaten his fill,
For Hainesworth has given a pill,
Now R. must give Gifford
The hat she had pilfered,
For Hainesworth is poséd to kill.
What a beautiful poem I have written. I shall read it to R. on our wedding day. The bells shall chime, the choirs shall sing, & all of heaven's angels shall pour down decanters of the holiest of waterfalls on the tears of the innocent cherubic orphanage that I no longer can tell what it is I write in a moment of sanity or clarity or insanity or feverish madness

???? ??, 180?

I fear of that the world may have come to the end of the end of the edge of the flat map of islands filled with the insects of mystical proportions the colossus hath spoken the spokes are in motion the turning of time is no friend of mine nor of anything on which I rely which is moreso than ever the end of the world the end the beginning where are they is that you, R.? Is that you? R. my beloved moment of clarity before the end is this what it is like why do you let me run my pen across the page long after I should be putting down put down the piece of paper to let these thoughts out of my head why o why o why why why
--------------------------------------------------------------
RE: Midweek Update
Hey Ethan, just wondering if you were planning to call us this weekend. If you're too busy, that's fine, just give us a call Monday or Tuesday.
Love,
Dad
--------------------------------------------------------------
Today: Monday, May 13, 2009
>where were you all weekend??!!
>
>i must've called you at least 20 times…
>
>helloooo?
>
>Ethan?! this isn't funny, if you're gonna IM me back, at least put words in the box.
>I finished it
>That's it?! you're completely gone for days, and all I get is "I finished it"??!!?!
>It's done and it all makes sense now all of it
>this isn't funny Ethan, you're freaking me out…
>all of it has come together the parts become the whole the whole becomes the parts oh why did it have to be like this
>Where are you?! Ethan, I'm worried about you!
>Worry no need to worry the earth is turning there's no hurry just get it done before it ends  because the end is here and I missed my entrance or was it my exit that I missed does it  even matter anymore
>Ethan? I'm coming over…
>Come over if you will, my dear, come over but nothing will remain but the beginning of the end and the end to all evils and the end to all life on the edge of this map on which we all perch so unsteadily, unsteadily
JoNanna402 has logged off
>Log off, I haven't missed my exit after all oh why did I have to see and to read and to feel to fix to find out why oh why
oh
why
why
why
eelocke.1 has logged off
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MISSING PERSONS REPORT
BROOMALL, PA—24-year-old male Ethan Locke was reported missing today. He was last seen on May 15th at his workplace, the Newhaven Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, where he was reportedly found by a coworker setting fire to a pile of papers estimated to be 200 years old. Locke fled the premises and has not been spotted since. If you see this man, please contact the police immediately.
--------------------------------------------------------------
month day, year

I think that I have never felt more rational than I do at this moment. The world & everything in it is so v. clear that it pains me to even open my eyes to observe my surroundings. Each form, each line, each curve, each stone, plant, beast, cloud is in perfect alignment, as letters on a page. I have looked upon the creator & have learned the language of existence. Now I cannot unsee what is, I must interpret the syntax & discern the semantics of the fabric of reality. Man was never meant to know so much.

The Dr. was the first to succumb to madness, & has given himself to the inscrutable depths of a watery grave, dragging down Mr. Exton with him. Mr. Exton was only too happy to take his exit & to avoid the seemingly inevitable insanity. Capt. Gifford shows a great deal of fortitude; I believe he expected such an outcome & came prepared due to his v. superstitious nature. Something tells me that my dearest R. has given in, though I cannot tell, as I am not going to leave this cabin until we make port in Dover. It is v. painful to see the undulating waves now that I can read them. But I shall not give. I shall not give. I shall not give.

I know what I must do. My v. over-crowded mind cries for an outlet. I shall transcribe the language of existence, here, in this journal, I shall excise the excess information from my mind and place it on the page. I do not know whether to hope that it is lost forever & unable to further taint the minds of men, or that it is spread across the world, enlightening all who gaze upon it.

I have looked in a mirror. I have read myself & in doing so I have destroyed myself. The fine lines that have begun to form on my brow, the subtle movements of muscles as they form expressions to convey emotions, all have become clear. I am not what I believed I thought I may have once been, nor was I ever. Nor is anything at all. Am I mad? No, of course I am not mad. Of course I am mad. What else is there left to be?

I think it is time for me to take my exit.
This is inspired by #TheWrittenRevolution's prompt to write an epistolary piece. Thanks for taking the time to read this pretty lengthy story!
Oh, and I made the cover image. Many thanks to Axeraider70 [link] , redheadstock [link] , and akisu-sama [link] for their wonderful Gimp brushes.

Update: It's been featured in tWR's prompt journal here [link] !
Yay:]

Up-update: I turned it into a radio script and directed it! It'll be here [link] eventually.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconindigoskyes:
IndigoSkyes May 9, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Hello there! As I'm sure you've seen, you've been featured by #theWrittenRevolution's prompts blog. :clap:
Here is the accompanying critique:

Things I Loved
:bulletgreen: I adored how each character, from the main character to the girlfriend to the mother and, most interestingly, the diary, had their own voice and personality.
:bulletgreen: Nothing felt forced, which I really really appreciated.
:bulletgreen: The plot was very cool. Reminded me of a horror story I read once in a compilation of scary stories. Also Tom Riddle's diary from Harry Potter, and this time, we get other perspectives, which is great. :highfive:
:bulletgreen: The tone from beginning to end was spot-on.

Suggestions
:bulletblue: It would be great to see this expanded, and show more of the main character's relationships and develop their personalities. I didn't really have enough time to get properly invested in the characters, as good a job I thought you did creating them. (:
:bulletblue: I'd definitely like more diary back story. I did know what was happening, but more would be awesome. Setting, circumstances leading up to it, how did it get possessed, etc.

...I honestly can't think of anything else. I really enjoyed this piece a lot! Hope this was helpful. :hug:
Reply
:iconbmansky1:
bmansky1 May 10, 2012  Student General Artist
Thank you so much! I really appreciate the advice, and the feature of course. Maybe I'll re-write this as a longer piece with more backstory, if I get a chance. Thanks again:] Glad you liked it.
Reply
:iconindigoskyes:
IndigoSkyes May 11, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Please do! :nod:
Reply
:icontsengeclipse:
TsengEclipse May 8, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Wow. This was fantastic. The ending especially was so powerful.

(Far more inventive than the idea I would have used for my version of the prompt, had I had the time to write it!)
Reply
:iconbmansky1:
bmansky1 May 8, 2012  Student General Artist
Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it!
Reply
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