Contest #247 shortlist ⭐️


Suspense Mystery Science Fiction

Transcription - 4:30pm May 8th, 2318

It feels odd. Narrating things like this, not speaking, just thinking. Is it even…yeah, it’s working. Um…so, they said this would be a way to fix things, explore all the things I thought I knew. See things from a different perspective and all that. When I was accepted to the Ruminate pioneer program, I was really happy. Jace and Clara begged me not to go, but I told them I needed this. It was only four months, after all. At the very least, I could be a pioneer, you know? It’ll take a few days to prepare but I'll write again when I’m in. Wish me luck.

Transcription - 11:20pm May 13th, 2318

The dive wasn’t so bad. I got pretty sick for the first few hours, but they said that was likely to happen. Luckily, the vomit didn’t transfer along with me. The timer started this morning and they were very adamant about it. Four months from this morning. September 13th, got it.

Transcription - 6:05pm May 16th, 2318

Today was the first day I was able to walk around and explore. The air here is thick and heavy, like I’m wading through molasses. There’s nothing but warmth and color as far as I can see so far, but my instructions are to go further in over the next two days. I think this was the right decision. I wasn’t sure what to expect but, I feel…better here. Like missing parts of me have come back.

Transcription - 2:33pm May 18th, 2318

Time isn’t quite the same here, the alerts that signal the days passing are so far apart, days and weeks pass before I hear the announcement in my head. 117 days remain. That will take some getting used to. Nevertheless, this place is amazing. The rivers are crystalline and the trees bleed color down their trunks. The sky is night and day simultaneously and I don’t even really need to walk to get around. It’s beautiful but it’s all so…empty, although I guess from the start I knew it would be.

Transcription - 4:01pm May 23rd, 2318

The world is finally beginning to react to me now. I didn’t think it’d eat up so much time, but I guess that’s why this is an alpha test. Its boundaries morph and bifurcate, leading me to new paths - or old ones, I suppose. It’s letting me in. The murkiness of movement has become more refined. I no longer feel as though I’m wading through oil. I experienced the conception, which was as odd as you’d expect, but there was something poetic about it.

Transcription - 11:29am May 29th, 2318

The past few days have mostly been watching. It’s surreal to be a bystander here, to be able to explore but not alter. I know we can’t change the path here, only expand upon it. But, I’ve learned to slow the moments that matter to me. I can’t go back but at least I can spend time where it matters.

Transcription - 3:48pm June 2nd, 2318

I’m getting the hang of things, it doesn’t feel so lonely anymore. It’s frustrating to not be able to leave the bounds but at least I can relive all this. See it from a new perspective. It all feels so real. Like I could touch the grass and eat the food. Sometimes I swear I can when I watch them eat. 

Transcription - 4:21pm June 12th, 2318

My parents and I talked for a long time, nothing they hadn’t said before, but it was still nice. I know it’s not really them, before you think I’ve lost sense of reality. It’s just…they were just how I remembered them - Dad still obsessed with his archaic motorcycle, Mom still asking a million questions. She kept asking about a girlfriend though, which I didn’t have - maybe mark that down on your side? 

Transcription - 4:21pm June 19th, 2318

I spent too much of my time with Jace and Clara. We were just so inseparable back then. I feel like something changed after the accident. There was always a look of worry in their eyes after that.

Transcription - 8:49am June 22nd, 2318

Hey, team, really hoping you’re not dosing me up there… I’ve been experiencing - I don’t even know what to call it. Let’s say ‘flickers’. Every so often the world, er - the hippocampal environs have been shifting rapidly. I was with Jace and Clara - I was always with Jace and Clara - but Clara would skip and jitter, her voice would shift and muffle. The words would turn to gibberish. You know, for a moment back then, I thought Clara loved me. But seeing it back like seemed like she hardly spoke to me.

Transcription - 5:55pm June 26th, 2318

Okay, I think I’ve had enough. This is becoming surreal and it’s not helping anymore. I came here to find out what’s wrong with me. To find a reason for feeling so empty, but this is just…this isn’t my life. There are seams, ripples of glass that surround every moment. Things have become so distorted, like I’m walking through a million mirrors repeating moments and reflecting them at me, omitting the things that aren’t caught in their perspective. I wanted answers and all I’m finding are dreams.

Transcription - 12:19pm July 3rd, 2318

Classes. Parties. Mistakes. - Happiness but less saturated. False without reason. I wanted so badly to relive it, to feel that joy again in this world you’ve sent me to. Memories that turn to dreams. Expanded but never changed. I can only succumb to the motions of my subconscious. Until I saw it. Nestled between a door that can’t be opened. A string. It’s real. I know it is.

Transcription - 2:36am July 9th, 2318

Just beyond the glass. I can see it. The blinking. The frayed cords that keep my mind in pieces. The veil that shades. A helmed man sewing the walls with mirror-like thread.

Transcription - 1:22pm July 14th, 2318

I saw the man again today. As I graduated college in a field of shattered glass. Jace gave his valedictorian speech, muffled by a quilt of patchwork memory. Clara sat beside me, her hands fractured and split, but the rest of her more whole than before. Behind us all, at the edges of my mind, there he was. Helmed in a silver device that dripped wires and obscured his face. A man in black weaving strings.

Transcription - 8:34pm July 21st, 2318

After searching and searching, I’ve found the Weaver again.. He isn’t like the others. He is illusory, unspeaking and momentary. He sits in the far corners of the moment, weaving and weaving. If I blink, he is gone.

Transcription - 10:08am July 25th, 2318

As I continued to explore further into my depths, I watched for the Weaver’s next appearance. I began to dream again. Another life. One I’ve never lived. For moments, I’m so happy. In them I feel fulfilled but, when I realize what I’ve dreamt I’m consumed with guilt. I dream that Clara is mine. Today, I dreamt that we married young, full of passion and love. We had a wedding in the quarry we used to swim in as kids. If these entries are to be made public, please omit this one. I don’t know what Jace would think, I mean I was the best man at their wedding for god sake.

Transcription - 5:44am August 1st, 2318

The only days that feel real are the ones where I’m alone. The mornings are shattered with glass and thread, but then the days are whole and real for a number of hours. I work, I eat lunch, I fill my days. Then, when the sun sets, the threads return and the shroud of mirrors falls once more.

Transcription - 9:02pm August 13th, 2318

Clara is all I can think of. So many moments are stuttered with her presence. Half here, half not. Sometimes Jace too, but never quite as fragmented. I tried to pull at the threads in the corners of my mind. It stings as though I had a thousand needles pressed into my temples. I had to stop otherwise I felt like I would shatter. It’s hard to focus on reliving. We were celebrating this week, I think. Jace got his fancy government tech job that he would never tell me about. He was so happy back then. We all were.

Transcription - 11:58am August 22th, 2318

I haven’t seen the Weaver recently, but then again I’ve been distracted. The day of the accident is growing closer, I’ve been trying to buy myself time to prepare but I need to use my time down here wisely since there isn’t much left. It’s why I came here after all. Something shifted in those days of black. It took something from me.

Transcription - 2:12pm September 7th, 2318

The accident is tomorrow. Which for me, will be in a few minutes, I think. I tried to stop myself from getting in the car, but that’s the one of the few things I could never interact with. I was in such a hurry, and for what? Nothing leading up to it had given it away. I had just looked so angry.

Transcription - 6:23pm September 8th, 2318

It was hard to watch the Paramedics carry my body out. I didn’t know limbs could twist like that. Or you could survive a head injury with that much blood leaking from your face. 

Transcription - 12:12am September 9th, 2318

I’m glad it wasn't just darkness here too. I was in that bed for a long time, I guess I was still processing even if I couldn’t remember any of it on the surface. Clara’s stuttering ghost was here a lot. Jumping, fragmented. Jace would pop in too, I know his work kept him busy. At times they argued at the foot of my bed, their voices a muffled gibberish I couldn’t make out.

Transcription - 4:32am September 11th, 2318

The end of the dive is coming, I need more time!. These memories were more dreams than memories. This isn’t what I needed - this isn’t what was promised. These were supposed to be my memories! Real and dynamic and I could see what was wrong inside! I could fix it! What have you done!? Huh!? What happened to me?!

Transcription - 9:20pm September 12th, 2318

I’ve decided to shatter myself. Before I wake up in that bed, I’m going to undo the strings that weave around me. I am already broken, there is nothing to fear.

Transcription - 11:52pm September 12th, 2318  

I’m recording this in real time, should the worst happen. 

I’m beginning to - agh - to pull at the seams at the edges of my mind. The threads are cold and sharp. My head feels like it's shattering. Agh! But I can not go back…I can not...leave this place without answers.

The thread.. it’s…pulling away, the veil is pulling back. Haha! There are things beyond the shrouds, the mirrors are breaking! This is it! This is- What the..

The…the Weaver is here. Not an afterimage in the corner of my mind, but in this memory. In this room, at the foot of my bed. He’s wearing a device like the one you all gave me. It's more crude though, like a prototype. H-He’s connected to me. Clara is watching the hallway through the window in my hospital room door. She’s telling him to hurry. I’m trying to rip the device off his head, but it won’t come off! Work, come on! Expand and not interfere, my ass! Show me! 

He’s getting up! That’s right, show me who you are! Take it off you son of a…

No.. no, no, no.

Transcription - 12:00am September 13th, 2318


{End of Ruminate™ Subconscious Dive}

April 25, 2024 21:02

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Story Time
05:18 May 07, 2024

The structure of the story is hard to pull off and I thought you did an exemplary job at it. Well done.


Lucas Marrow
14:19 May 07, 2024

Glad you think so, I appreciate the read!


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John Rutherford
10:57 May 04, 2024



Lucas Marrow
14:18 May 07, 2024

Thanks John!


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Alexis Araneta
18:00 May 03, 2024

A well-written tale about discovery...even if it got your protagonist more than what they bargained for. Lovely work ! Congratulations on the shortlist !


Lucas Marrow
18:51 May 03, 2024

Thanks, Alexis! Glad you enjoyed it.


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Mary Bendickson
15:05 May 03, 2024

Congrats on the shortlist and welcome to Reedsy.🎉


Lucas Marrow
15:18 May 03, 2024

Thanks so much, Mary - couldn't ask for a better welcome!


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Lee Kendrick
12:52 May 01, 2024

A complicated and well written story in the future.This subconscious dream world had lots of atmosphere. Your protagonist was trying to find answers after his accident. Think he discovered more than he bargained for at the end!


Lucas Marrow
15:17 May 03, 2024

I'm glad you enjoyed it, thanks Lee!


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Philip Ebuluofor
11:19 May 06, 2024

It makes me to know that I don't know how to keep diary.


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