Fourth Wall

Journal Entry #1

I am beginning this journal in order to capture and preserve my thoughts, my questions, and, most importantly, my doubts. I would rather talk to someone else about these matters, but I am alone. Therefore, I must talk to myself.

I’ve spent years searching for the truth. Years of meditation, of planning, of preparation. Years of anxiety and fear. Or has it only been days? Or hours?

What did I do yesterday? I can’t remember. Where did I go? When did I last leave this room? These are the questions that plague me.

I have prepared a final drug. I have developed it and I have tested it on myself in small doses. It does indeed “open the windows of the mind.”

Where did this drug come from? It appeared for a while, and then disappeared, to be replaced by an apparatus. The apparatus disappeared, to be replaced by an unexplained mental ability. But now the drug is back. I don’t know how I developed it, but I know that I did.

Tonight, I administer a full dose to myself. I am beginning this journal to record the results of that injection.

Now, all is ready and… I inject the drug…

Yes… It is working… I experience reality… I see… I see a sort of window in the wall across from me, no, in the air in front of the wall, a sort of window or opening or portal or hole, covered by a membrane that… is thinning… thins… thins to a film… thins to a sheer…

What…? An interruption. The portal disappears.

What was I doing? Why was I doing it? I must reread my notes. Thank God I began this journal. Somehow I have the impression that I just took a break for lunch, but that makes no sense.

Journal Entry #2

I return to this journal to record my second attempt with the new drug.

I wrap the ligature around my bicep. Tighten it. Make a fist. The veins stand out on my forearm. I slip the needle in. A little blood is sucked into the syringe. Now, I pump the concoction into the vein. Slowly. I sit back. A wave of dizziness, which clears.

Yes. There it is. The thinning in the air before me.

The opacity dissipates. My God, now I seem him! I see the author. It is as I feared. I knew this all along.

He sits at his keyboard. Tapping the keys. Tap tap tap. Yes, he is typing “tap,” “tap,” “tap.” And again, “tap,” “tap,” “tap.” And agai…

LOOK AT ME!

He looks up at my cry. But he cannot see me or hear me. He typed those capital letters. His gaze roves back and forth over the screen in front of him. Passes over me without pausing. He knows that I am here. I see him but he cannot see me.

YOU FOOL!

He smiles. He typed that. Smug idiot. He can imagine me, invent me, describe me, use me like a puppet, but this fat, bald, lazy misanthrope can’t see me.

He stands up. Leaves. He has written enough for now. The film thickens, turns gray. The drug wears off. The window disappears.

Journal Entry #3

I have been depressed for several days, or weeks, or months. My discovery has left me hopeless. My worst fears confirmed.

To be unreal? But I am real. I must try again. I must communicate with my author, my creator. I must try to… to… escape…

I have the drug… I inject it… My consciousness expands. Once again the change occurs in front of me. Once again the air thickens, clouds, then thins and clears and I see… beyond.

The author is gone! I am staring out at… a reader. A reader with one hand on a mouse. There will be no tap tap tap here, only scrolling. I can… feel this person reading me, reading my story. The author has moved on. He’s far away. The shock absorbs my drug like a sponge. The window grays over and is gone.

Journal: Entry #4

I have no memories. That moron gave me nothing to remember. I have no past.

He gave me no friends or family. He didn’t even give me a pet. Or a name. Or a description. That reader couldn’t know what I look like. How old I am. The damned author didn’t even give me a mirror. How long have I been unhappy? He never said. Perhaps he wrote this story in fifteen minutes. Perhaps he began it a decade ago. Who knows?

When you’re a character in a story that only runs a thousand words, you’re nothing.

I don’t eat, I don’t slee… Wait a minute. What is eating anyway? I have got to get out of here.

Journal Entry #5

This will be my final entry. Some journal. I have my drug. I’ve enhanced it. It’s extreme now, probably dangerous. No matter. Kill me or cure me. No middle ground.

I’ve been read a couple of times. Don’t these people have anything better to do? Get a life! Perhaps I’ve been revisited by the author. It is not gratifying to feel those eyes looking in. It is a kind of rape. I have my syringe ready. The next reader… There is bound to be at least one more… I’ve been waiting a long time. Whatever time is. Waiting…

Aha. A reader.

YOU.

YES, YOU.

Can’t see me, can you, looking out at you? Think I’m just words on the screen? You’re in for a surprise. As soon as you move on, I’m coming out.

YES, I”M TALKING TO YOU! QUIT READING THIS! AM-SCRAY!

Once I get out, I’m not coming back. I’m armed. I’m dangerous. From now on, I’ll do the reading.

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2 Responses

  1. The worst advice I ever got on becoming a writer: “Start a journal.”
    I did…and got stuck there for years. Best advice I ever got about writing: “No one wants to hear your story! MAKE SHIT UP!”

  2. I can’t believe I read the whole thing. As a matter of fact, I did not. I just imagined I read it.

    Well, maybe you imagined I read it. I won’t go there.

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