Accidentally, you open your diary up at the wrong page. A few months ago, in fact. A Sunday.
October 18th 2015.
On the page is written (not your writing), one word.
Oh no! You think. I'm dreaming that I'm Harry Potter and Voldemort is trying to contact me through the pages of my A5 planner.
You pinch yourself as you stare at the word.
It is still there. As are you.
Oh dear. How does one converse with a word.
You look around.
“Emily, is that you?” you say gaily. If this is to be some TV show prank, they are going to get your good side.
“You got me!”
She owes you big time. What is it? Five pranks, you, zero pranks, her?
You sit and wait, teeth on standby. Toothy grin on demand. Good ol' natured you.
Nothing happens. No teak-stained, wooden host, shoves a microphone in your face and asks you how you feel.
You look down, but the word has gone.
Phew! It must have been a hallucination. An hallucination? You are not sure – one of those.
Well, I'll just... You turn the pages, trying to find the present. But there it is.
A week later.
Tentatively, you scribble a hasty Hello back, and shut the book.
That's telling it.
You have your hand on the cover, but deep inside you are worried it is a horcrux and the sword of Gryffindor will rise out of it and pierce your palm.
Oh, how ridiculous.
You open it up at the page and stare at the words. Your jaw falls and your mouth forgets to close itself.
Two words stare back at you: A hastily scribbled 'Hello back'.
Trepidatiously, you turn the quivering pages until a week later. Not your writing.
Is anyone there?
Your breath turns shallow. Your stomach starts cartwheeling freely.
Someone, or something, is stalking you.
In a wibbly wobbly, timey wimey way, something is following down your time stream.
It has latched onto your tachyon energy and has its thrusters in hyperdrive.
OK, not the last thing.
Hastily, you scribble, No, and throw the diary across the room, where it lands under the bed.
You sleep fitfully. Tossing and turning like a rotisserie doner, until the heat and the smell of frying meat drive you to the kitchen.
Emily is standing at the stove.
“I was hungry,” she smiles.
You sit, and eat kebab with her and tell her about the diary.
She tuts. “You fell asleep and had a dream you were Har..” You stop her.
“No, I've been through all that.” You say.
“Let's get it,” she says recklessly. Night times are for adventure, you think. Why not?
Buoyed by the meat, you feel lead-lined.
You follow her into your room, guarding her from behind with a frying pan held aloft.
She turns. “What's that? The frying pan of Godric Gryff...?”
You stop her again. “Not now,” you say.
She finds the book.
You nod, solemnly, so she thumbs through the pages.
“Is anyone there?” she says spookily.
You jump out of your skin.
“Is it there?” you ask, pathetically.
“No,” she says. She shows you the hastily scribbled word.
“Oh,” you reply, with a sinking feeling.
She goes. It's late.
You are still sunken.
October, November, December. You thumb through the weeks of your life. You don't really get up to much do you?
Even Christmas Day was nothing to write home about. It was a Thursday.
I'm nearly there.
Your sunken feeling bungee jumps you to the ground.
A week ago, someone, something, wrote 'I'm nearly there' in your diary.
Its been hunting you for months. It knows where you live. It's nearly here!
Invisible spiders run up and down your spine, giving your goosebumps, goosebumps.
This can't be right. What does it want?
You've done nothing but good in your life. Apart from the pranks.
The pranks were harmless. No-one really minded.
No-one got hurt!
You shiver uncontrollably.
No, really. The shivering is not stopping.
Terminal velocity vibrations about a given point may result in temporal displacement.
Wait, what? Was that one on Star Trek? The Simpsons? Kate and Ally?
It is 2015, and yet, thoughts of TV programmes long forgotten are leaking from your temporal lobes.
Something is horribly wrong here.
The dismembered head of Albert Einstien floats past looking at Marilyn Monroe. You hear the words, 'My dear, you are truly beautiful,' in a bad Austrian accent.
You see a giant clock whose hands are whirring backwards, madly, and you hear the words: 'There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man..'
The Twilight Zone? But it is 2.30 in the morning.
All the breath has left your body. All the sweat, all the life has left your body.
You lie on the floor, exhausted from your trip down memory lane. Experimentally, you move your arm a little.
For some reason it is daytime.
The TV is on in the corner of your room, where it is normally to be found. Nothing unusual about that.
“It is the 18th of October, 2015,” the announcer says. “And here is the news.”
No, here is the diary.
No, here is the diary.
And you are holding a pen.
Are you about to play the biggest prank of your life.
You smile wickedly.