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Dead Man's Journal

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Hubert Granise, pacing the length of his pleasant lamp-lit library, paused to compare his watch with the clock on the chimney-piece. They were both in perfect sync just as they were when last he compared them only two minutes earlier.

‘Damn,' he thought, ‘Where is that boy?'

The boy Hubert was referring to is Aengus Brennan, a young man with an internship with the city newspaper whose future career in reporting depended on what he could take from being assigned to accompany Hubert during Hubert’s latest project. Hubert is extremely eccentric but always seems to make headlines, so much so that an intern usually gets assigned to document his work and findings.

Aengus had been introduced to Hubert the day before with the arrangements for a suitable time for both men to meet and Aengus was already running late, not a good start. Everything went to routine for Hubert; anything he'd do would have an allotted time in which he'd expect to have it accomplished. Not working to schedule really gets his goat.

When Aengus finally arrived, apologizing for being late, it was time to get right down to it and plan for what may lay ahead. Hubert had come across something, whereby on his initial viewing he believed to be an obvious fake, but the more he indulged himself, the more intrigued he became, further yet he began to be convinced of its authenticity due to certain situations which occurred. His main objective at this point is to somehow prove or disprove without a shadow of a doubt the authenticity of what it is he had found.

*

Jason Duggan was deep in thought as he stared out the window from his seat within the coffee shop with which he regularly would frequent. His large latte, already cold, had yet to be touched. So deep in thought was Jason that a murder could have taken place right in front of him and he still would have not taken any notice, for he was in more of a trance-like state rather than being in a moment of daydream.

Something however was about to take him somewhere where his thoughts never could. His mind had been wandering quite a lot of late, so from May 12th, 2009 Jason decided to begin keeping a detailed journal of his daily events and activities in an attempt to decipher his moments of daydream wandering.

The strange thing now is that this journal that Jason Duggan is keeping would end up in the hands of a certain Hubert Granise though why should that be such a strange thing? Because the present-day moment in time was or is for Hubert is that of May 12th, 1890, exactly one hundred and nineteen years to the day earlier than that of the day of the first journal entry. There was no name or address on this journal, just the time, date, and the entries themselves.

Hubert had read some of this journal and decided not to go too far into it. He began to investigate it day by day matching day for day with his investigation, reading, and making necessary adjustments for each entry on the same day as the days go by as he felt this to be of importance. So, May 12th, 2009’s entry would be looked into on May 12th, 1890, while having Aengus document this journey. Such is why timing is so important to Hubert.

‘I have been daydreaming uncontrollably as of late, no matter what I am doing I just drift off. It can happen at the most inappropriate of times. I am afraid to do anything of consequence as for when I drift off, I could easily cause harm to either myself or those around me. This… drifting… is consuming my life. Whatever this is, this thing that is happening to me, I want it to end.

These daydreams, it's as if I go somewhere, and witness a moment, a moment in another place, and perhaps another time too. Just moments ago, as I looked out the window from where I am sitting, it seemed like as if I was looking into a room, a library like living room of a very old-style house, lit with oil-lamps.

I see this room as if I were a fly on the wall or as if I were watching a movie. A man stands by the fireplace seemingly impatient, comparing time from a watch he keeps in a pocket on the right breast of his waistcoat, with the time on a clock hanging on the wall over the fireplace. A much younger man arrives, apologizing for the delay of his arrival.'

This first entry in the journal, more or less just described Hubert waiting for Aengus. Hubert knew that something beyond the ordinary was involved here, and he was going to find out what, and get himself some documented proof, if that at all would be possible. He couldn’t help but wonder as to the watching a movie reference and there would be the thought as to if all works to how he figures, he might then have cause to keep some of his gathered proof secrets.

So far it may be only one entry into the journal, but Hubert already had an experiment ready for the next day or rather the next night. If this journal really came from the future, written by someone with visions of the past and with the first entry describing what it did, then maybe the content of the journal would continue to tell of what would lay in store for Hubert and Aengus. Some preparation would be needed.

The journal entry for May 13th was written in two parts, one from early in the day and another from late in the evening, the first is as follows:

‘This is affecting so much of my life, I have just missed my bus stop by four stops, by the time I get to work I am going to be late yet again, but I want to write of my latest vision while it is still fresh in my mind, since it is the cause of my lateness I may as well write of it while it is indeed so fresh in my mind.

There is a cavern not far from a graveyard. It runs deep, a person could go missing in such a cavern, and it is a place not in any sort of regular use at all. I don't know why I am seeing this place, but I am getting a strong sense of what I can only describe as importance from this cavern, importance to whom or for what reason I don't know, all this vision (if that what these daydreams truly are?) showed me was this cavern nearby a graveyard.'

Hubert knew of such a cavern near to a graveyard and he took it for granted that the cavern he knew of and the cavern mentioned in the journal are both one and the same. Hubert took note of a list of items he wanted Aengus to pick up, for they were to go to this cavern, and Hubert was going to be prepared for his trip. When Aengus left, Hubert wondered once again, this time to the meaning of ‘bus stop' as referred to in that journal entry.

It was late in the evening and already dark before Hubert and Aengus were to head to the cavern and Aengus wondered if it was a good idea to go to this place so late in the day, but Hubert was set on going there as there was a second journal entry for this date, and he was going to proceed according to the dates in the journal.

There was enough light in the night sky to take them both to the cavern, but once they got there, both men lit an oil lamp each for there was no light at all inside the cavern.

‘I'm not sure being here right now is a good idea.'

‘No time for whining boy, you’re assigned to me to write for your paper, you want to make a good impression with your editor, right?'

‘Yes but...'

‘Ah but nothing, there are no buts, besides it is too late to change you for another intern, so that's it, we're here and that's all to it.'

Hubert sat on a rock, put his lantern down, opened the journal, raised up the lantern so he could read that second entry for May 13th, and what he read confirmed that the journal most definitely referred to himself and Aengus, but it was what came next that what to change everything.

It was quickly becoming just as clear to Jason as it was to Hubert, that what Hubert had was and is indeed Jason's journal, after such point of course, when Jason was done with it. Seeing these visions Jason knew this Hubert fellow had indeed Jason’s journal. So, something from Jason's present or near future would end up one hundred and nineteen years in the past, and not only that but it would end up in the hands of a man whom Jason was having visions of.

None of this can be real but then again isn’t this just what Hubert is trying to prove or disprove despite the fact he knows nothing of the owner of what it is he holds. And for what was to happen next, no one could have seen coming.

Hubert almost fell over as he got up from the rock he was sitting on. The rock itself did move as Hubert did try to stand and this went some way as to why Hubert almost fell. The movement of the rock partially revealed a bone underneath it. Moving more rocks away from the area, Hubert discovered the skeletal remains of a grown human.

Aengus had his camera with him to document everything, so he set up his tripod, camera, and flash and began taking photos of Hubert's find. Hubert worried about moving the bones away from the cave and to where he lived but he felt he had no choice but to do so as he felt these remains may just belong to the author of the journal he had in his hand.

Jason's visions continued with Hubert and Aengus laying out the bones they discovered at the cavern, all the while saying to himself, ‘They are not my bones; they are not my bones,' while being unable to deny the possibility that just maybe they are. Of course, with seeing these visions he knew of Hubert’s deduction.

Aengus worried over the fact that they removed the bones from the cavern. Even if they did belong to the author of the journal that Hubert somehow had in his possession, Aengus felt that the bones should not have been disturbed. Jason felt like shouting out ‘they are not my bones' as he continued on lost in a moment of vision.

Though Jason could somehow see and hear both Hubert and Aengus within his lost moments, neither Hubert nor Aengus could see or hear Jason. However, a thought did hit… For whenever Jason would be smack in the middle of one of his visions, there may just be a way to communicate. Such a thought in itself also seemed to create quite the effect.

Due to whatever was causing the link between the men, history, past, present and future couldn’t help but be altered; sure, it all is interacting to some degree as it goes on, so there is no point in fussing on the potential to alter time or to possible paradoxes and whatnot. Whatever needs to be done, will be done, one way or another.

It was now into the early hours of May 14th both in 1890 and 2009. Jason had yet to write an entry for May 14th, and when Hubert went to continue his reading of the journal, where there previously had been entries for May 14th and beyond, it was all just a blank, a blank until Jason had his moment of clarity.

When Hubert had come across this journal it indeed had been filled with entries and that now obviously had been changed. Had his own actions been responsible for this? Or was it down to something else?

Not only were the days in time in 1890 and 2009 on a par at to a date but so was the time of day, right down to the minutes and seconds. If it's 00:05 in one of the times zones then it was also 00:05 in the other, so as Hubert stared at the journal page before him Jason would write on his blank page, and what he wrote was ‘they are not my bones', Hubert watched as the words just appeared on the page before him.

‘He can hear us; I don’t know how but he can hear us,' said Hubert.

‘Who can?' asked Aengus.

‘He can,' said Hubert as he pointed to the bones.

‘He can't hear us, how could he? He, if it is a he, is dead.'

‘I am not dead, and they are not my bones, and not only can I hear you, but I can see you both too… in real time as well. However all of this may be, my visions are of you guys.'

Words continued to appear on the page, and now they were more distressing words.

‘Who are you?’ Hubert asked out loud.

The words came, my name is Jason…’

Jason's vision began to surround him, rather than just looking at a blank wall or staring out into space as it had done previously. Jason was becoming engulfed in a vision, not only becoming engulfed in a vision, but it physically took him somewhere, took him away from where had actually been.

He had been taken away to the point that Jason was surrounded by darkness. Touching his surroundings; he knew that he somehow was in the cavern from his vision. He still had his journal, and it was still open on May 14th, hoping what he would write would turn out eligible, he wrote, ‘I am in the cavern, I don't know how, but I'm in the cavern.'

Rumblings or tremors began as if an Earthquake was coming and Jason began to worry, now believing that maybe the bones Hubert found were in fact his. These tremors may cause entrapment to the point that Jason might not have anywhere to go, therefore seeing his life come to an end right where he is. Also feeling the rumblings of tremors from a small Earthquake, Hubert read the words Jason had just written. These words definitely had not previously been there, or maybe they had. Hubert is not too sure anymore.

‘He's at the cavern.'

‘What?' asked Aengus.

‘Our skeleton, Jason, he is somehow at the cavern.'

‘As in right now?’

‘It might just appear so and he might be about to see out the end of his life…’

‘How can he there when we have already removed his bones here to your home?'

‘I don't know but we're going back there.'

‘And what if those bones aren’t his but actually the remains of one of us?’

Now there is a thought.

Hubert and Angus got to the gates which lead up to the cavern, but it was clear to see that the cavern entrance had been blocked by a cave-in. Before they could even wonder as to if their journal’s author was inside, Jason approached the cavern. With the thoughts that Hubert and Aengus may actually have found his remains and with there being a tremor, Jason was able to make his way outside of the cavern through a small side opening.

All three men wondered as to how any of everything they are experiencing was possible, but before they could make any suggestions, they were all faced with one another moment.

Hubert and Angus could see a man stand only feet in front of them, a man they presumed was… Is… From the future. Jason is faced with the two men he had been having visions about. Indeed before any suggestions could be made, Hubert and Angus watched as the man from the future faded and disappeared from existence, perhaps?

Jason soon found himself back in 2009 while Hubert and Aengus were left standing in front of the cavern in disbelief. The journal Hubert had held in his hands disappeared, and when he and Aengus arrived back at Hubert's home, they would discover that the bones were also gone.

What had happened? Can it ever be known for certain? Maybe a rift in time had unintentionally sent Jason back into time and to his death, and maybe Hubert’s discovery of Jason’s journal altered the rift to a point where it forced itself into a course correction, though whatever had caused it all, whatever indeed had happened, there were three men who witnessed some strange events enfold.

Aengus submitted his article with his editor, it went out in the next edition along with a comment from the editor, a comment basically discrediting Hubert as having lost it, and that is if he ever had it in the first place. This comment went out despite any protest that Aengus could put forward.

There was no proof. Aengus had no proof of what he and Hubert had experienced, Hubert had no proof. There were no bones, no journal, none of the photographs taken of the bones turned out either, so when Aengus found Hubert at the cavern, he showed him the newspaper with his article along with the editor’s comments. Hubert read the article and the editor’s comments.

Disheartened and discredited to some degree, Hubert would not let this affect his future endevours, if anything this recent case as a whole will go on to enhance further studies. Aengus too would go on to become affected by this case. He would no longer continue to work for the paper with which led him to Hubert, instead, he would become a student and an eventual successor to the works of Hubert Granise.

Would further journals ever be discovered? Would there be more time rifts? Perhaps, maybe those questions are questions which could be best answered by Hubert Granise and Aengus Brennan. That newspaper, however, would, or at least a copy of it would end up in the hands of Jason Duggan one hundred and nineteen years after its publication.

 

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