This is part 3 in my episodic flash fiction story The Journal. Read part 1 and part 2 of The Journal. The Journal, Part 3
Sara ran down the sidewalk, quickly crossing each busy street she came upon. Her heart felt like it would pound out of her chest. She held the journal she found when she'd awakened firmly in her hand.
She couldn't let her father get it.
He was wrong. Sara had been an only child. She'd always wanted a little brother, but her parents could never get pregnant again after her.
Suddenly, the man who claimed to be her dead father tells her that she had a brother named Jack?
If Jack was real, then where was Jack now?
Her father said that he died, but the journal had a note from at least within the past few days from someone named Jack.
Surely, the man who wrote in the journal wasn't her brother, but she had to find out who he was.
She looked back, hoping her father wasn't pursuing her. He'd tried to stop her from leaving, but she couldn't take his lies anymore.
She'd seen the world end. It wasn't a hallucination.
As she ran, her vision shifted for a split second. In that tiniest of moments she saw the city before her, not as it was now, but as it had been. Vehicles thrown everywhere. Fires lining up and down the street. The bloodied bodies of people trying to run from the carnage.
She stopped. She looked around, but everything was normal again.
Was it a hallucination?
Only a few hours ago, that was the world she lived in. A world that was dying at the hands of an evil corporation.
She had to find answers.
She stopped a man who was about to cross by her. "Excuse me, sir?"
The man stopped and smiled. "Can I help you?"
"I hope so," she said. "Has anything strange happened in the past few days?"
She had to choose her words carefully. She didn't want to sound crazy. "Something to do with the Faceless Corporation."
Something like the end of the world, she thought.
The man looked confused. "What's the Faceless Corporation?"
No one could live in the world of the past year and not know what the Faceless Corporation was, Sara thought.
"You've never heard of them?" she said.
"I'm sorry, miss. I don't know what you're talking about."
So maybe she was hallucinating. A really long hallucination.
"Sorry to bother you," she said and continued down the sidewalk.
Sara stopped and sat on a bench, pulling the journal open to the page she'd read earlier.
Despite what you believe, the world ended.
I saw it all, and I know who really caused it.
But if I told you now, your life would be in much more danger than it already is.
What you see is real, but it's not what you think it is.
Just know that you're not crazy, Sara.
"You wrote that," a voice behind her said.
Her father sat down beside her. She wanted to run, but there was no longer any point.
"It's your handwriting," he said. "I can tell."
She looked at it closely, and it did look familiar.
"You've been through a lot," her father said, putting his arm around her. "You don't have to be afraid anymore."
Sara stared ahead. "It had all been so real," she said. "The fighting. The destruction."
She looked her father in the eye. "We were trying to save the world."
Her father smiled. "You're going to do great things, Sara. We'll get help with the hallucinations, and I have no doubt you'll be someone who changes the world."
"Let's go home," he said, standing up and taking her hand.
As Sara lay in bed that night, she flipped through the journal's empty pages. How could she have imagined all of it?
When she got to the back inside cover, she noticed a small logo in the bottom right corner with writing next to it. She had to look closely to read it.
Her heart began racing again.
Next to a circle with the letters FC inside of it were the words Property of the Faceless Corporation.