Journal Sequence #8: Terrific [Runes]

The journal is the writer’s sketchbook.

Document what you see, rough out whims and fantasies. Allow fragments and the poorest of punctuation. Allow any form whatsoever. Allow reality to melt into fiction.

Stop thinking about how this will be perceived. There is no observer. We are only waves here.

The dark-skinned lady with her bald head and pearls holds the crystal ball up high. Its violet glow illuminates the thrill in her eyes. The teenager before her smirks beneath a hood, arse the to cold floor, knees together, book in hand. Neither is what the other expected.

It’ll have to do. The old man wasn’t specific about the journey, only the result.

Find a movie you love for its vibe and skip to a random scene. Watch for five minutes, no more.

Teeth can be seen through the skin of the cheek. The left foot is hacked down to the metal. Someone has been using the bad way.

This is not a writing prompt.

Undo typing.

Words spill out of the wounds, covering the floor. Some seep through into the apartment below, some coagulate to make sculptures of warriors and forgotten lands. Runes, F thinks. Maybe I can use these to decipher their next move.

Loose, careless lines at various points of the canvas. Not connected, not yet.

Pieces of chopped up coloured card and thin cable are strewn across the desk. They may look random, but Dr Hertz has placed them exactly where he wants them. It’s the only way to forge the necessary connections. The card, of course, represents the people. Once joined as one, now sliced apart arbitrarily. The cables are the worms from the other side that will allow energy to flow. The lady with the crystal ball knows this. She sees it. The teenager knows nothing. Her book is devoid of words.

Before they became runes, before they came to live in F’s flesh, the words were stolen. They escaped their captor and sought refuge in him. Why they should do that, he never understood. He was but a machine, a made thing. But, having become used to their presence, he had taken on the role of their protector.

I can’t get down with words like ‘terrific’ or ‘superb’.


More and more details wriggle to the surface. Sprawling alive things. Vulgar. Cumbersome. In need of reeling in.

Can you read the gaps or must I go on?

I’m trying something out here. Looking for patterns, rhythms and connections in journaling and beauty in fragments. I’m looking for the point at which communication breaks down between writer and reader, where intrigue fails and where the key to subjectivity may lie. I join personal beats with character perspectives and notes for plot, as ever to play with the boundaries between fiction and reality. I’m looking for the line to ride.

Header photo by Irina Jurinac via FreeImages

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