Lacuna: Document 2

The Diary of Megan Penn.¹ Bound in black leather with a silver clasp. 333 pages of goatskin parchment, bound with black and red thread. The handwriting is an italicized cursive, and seems to have been written with a fountain pen. It is also written in a cypher based on various Occult correspondences, and appears at first to be utterly nonsensical gibberish, but through collaboration with our esoteric experts, our cryptographic team was able to decypher the code.

Dear Diary,

We just boarded the bus to Lacuna. Got a window seat near the back. Score! It’s the little victories. Other seats are filling with the usual suspects. Tired-looking businessman whose company was too cheap to buy him a plane ticket. Ex-convict returning home from a prison sentence. Single mother with too many kids and a deadbeat boyfriend. A few poor college kids.

Dear Diary,

Not much action for a while there, but we just got a morbidly obese couple, a middle-aged latino lady, a very elderly gentleman, and

OH SHIT my heart literally just skipped a beat. Some guy in black, mirrored sunglasses. Long black coat, black suit, white shirt, red tie. Leather briefcase. I thought he was with Them, but he walked right by without even glancing at me. I just realized I’d been holding my breath.

Dear Diary,

You know, I really, really shouldn’t be keeping a diary. But who the hell else am I going to talk to? Besides, it’s just analog, paper and pen. It’s not like it’s a blog or a MyFace or anything they could track or hack. How dumb do you think I am, huh Diary?

Dear Diary,

Just got back from the bathroom. I didn’t think it was possible to get worse than an airplane bathroom, but it definitely is. Sunglasses is reading a book, but I couldn’t make out the title.

Dear Diary,

I’m leaning my head against the grimy window of the bus as I write this. Dawn is sleeping beside me, her head on my lap. Bright crimson strands of my hair are sticking to the glass, and a few are floating in front of my face and tickling my nose. They look like veins. It’s a good thing I stocked up at the last rest stop. Still, I am looking a little pale. Now I’m getting a cramp, and I need a sip from my flask. Just a sec, Diary. There, that’s better. Though my head still hurts, and my eyelids still feel like sandpaper, and I can feel the fatigue deep down in the marrow of my bones. We’ve been on this bus for seven hours now, and we’ve been travelling a lot longer than that. I can barely remember the last time I slept in a bed. Barely, but I do: it was a cheap motel bed with roaches in the room and stains on the sheets. But at least I could lie on my back and stretch out my legs. I figured out about ten hours ago that if I put my feet under the seats at a certain angle, I can extend them all the way without bumping the feet of the person in front of me. I’m doing it now…Ahhh! I wonder if the person in front of me heard my knees cracking though.

Dear Diary,

I can make out the mountains now, huge silhouettes against the dark blue blanket of sky, but we’re still in the plains. Storm clouds are brewing, and there is a hint of light on the horizon.

Dear Diary,

Finally! After hours of winding through dirt roads and mountainside switchbacks, Lacuna is up ahead. They just said twenty minutes, so we have at least an hour. It sure is a strange looking city. It’s built in the foothills, right on the borderlands where the mountains start to really become mountains, on a sort of mesa. It looks like the top of a peak was just sliced clean off, and replaced with a ring of tall towers. They build all their skyscrapers on the outer edge of the city for some reason, so it looks like we’re driving up to a sheer wall of steel and glass. Though as we get closer, I can see the gaps between them, and the smaller buildings that nestle inside and around those gaps like ivy spreading and climbing columns.

Dear Diary,

It’s started to rain. It was just a drizzle at first, but now we’re crossing the final bridge, it’s become a torrent. I can hardly see anything out of my window except a lot of blurry grey shapes where the mountains are, and a tall blackish blob in front of us. I don’t know how the driver’s still going, his windshield wipers must be magic. That, or his eyes are.

Dear Diary,

We are passing through the towers.

I can’t see much out of the window, but there’s a lot of green. Trees and shrubs and grasses growing through pavement. The trees are huge, they look much older than those you usually find in cities. The buildings look old, too. Lots of mossy stone and ivy covered walls and decrepit-looking wood and peeling plaster. We keep passing under covered bridges that span the streets, connecting the buildings on either side. We must have gone under several dozen already. And the statues. I can’t make out the forms or faces through the blurred glass, but I think I’ve seen more statues than people. No wonder, they don’t mind the rain. Well, Dawn is waking up, the Sun is rising and it looks like we’re finally nearing the bus station. The clouds combined with my hoodie and umbrella should keep the sun at bay, but we’ll still have to get inside and underground as soon as we can. Anyway, sorry Diary, gotta go.

¹ This is a pseudonym, a “pen name” (no pun intended), though she did legally change her name to Megan Penn, and it appears on driver’s license, social security card, and even her birth certificate. We have so far been unable to discover either her birth name or her True Name, though various field agents are currently investigating the matter.

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A Magical Mystery Tour Guide View all posts by MysterMe

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