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"A Prize Unlike Any Other" | Edogawakun | 3


Your fingers quickly flip through the diary, trying to find the big day. The day the old hated so much, and the day the new would have been elated about if not for the diary. Your high school prom. The day tickets went on sale, the old was wishing for someone to ask her to go, a wish she made upon the wrong star apparently since she spent the night on the computer after not getting even one request. The new , on the other hand, found the premise of a party, the pressure to lose her virginity, and the past behavior of her classmates to be reasons in favor of spending the night on the computer. Now was your chance to change the new 's mind and accept one of those offers to the prom.

PT04!& Prom tickets went on sale at school today, and I got bombarded with even more requests than usual. Between the prom and the fact that the senior class is officially loaded with only 18 year old "adults," it's understandable if annoying. I really want to go, but all these people at school make the idea too scary.

"'Too scary'?" you read aloud. "Is the diary really so feeble-minded when it's in control?"

Regardless, your grab the pencil that made your new body and bring it to the entry. Just as the tip touches the entry, you stop, realizing you haven't got a clue how to edit this. Whose request is worth taking? How do you ensure you get exactly what you want out of this? In fact, what exactly do you want? A date and a first time, of course, but how should this play out?

Before you have a chance to even consider these thoughts, a flash of light emerges from the diary and engulfs you completely. No matter which way you turn, a bright white light is the only thing you can see, not even figures are there to give you some hope to eradicate the sinking feeling in your heart. You seem to be moving, but you're not sure, the wind blasting your hair behind you in an erratic dance could be a lash out from the diary causing the air to move passed you, not the other way around. Whatever it is, it seems to be over. The light is fading and a background is becoming visible, though remains indiscernible, and your hair has fallen into place along your spine. Wait. Why is all that hair collecting in one small line instead of fanning out?

Your senses return and begin to take in the unobstructed scene before you, causing your eyes to go wide as saucers. You're back at your high school. As if that wasn't bizarre enough, the man standing in front of the school greeting you and the other students is Principal Herbert, who had a fatal heart attack hours after your graduation ceremony. Adding to this are your clothes. For the test, you prepared your office attire, a blazer, a blouse, a pair of tailored pants, stockings, and pumps, carefully cleaned, ironed, polished, and more in an effort to make a good impression. They changed size and hugged tighter in accordance with your edits, but otherwise remained the same afterwards. However, you were now clad in a pair of loose blue jeans and a t-shirt of some local band that broke up when you were in college, a t-shirt you threw out days after that due to a laundry mishap. And instead of the simple bra, you could feel the extra support of a sports bra on your boobs. The socks and sneakers were more relaxing for your feet and your panties were still a pair of ordinary briefs, but all of that still failed to answer the question: What's going on?

As you start trying to make sense of it, a voice calls out to you. It seemed to be from everywhere, and yet nowhere at the same time. And oddly enough, it was your voice.

"'FREA-KEY!'" it called. "That was my thought as I found myself back in time, back to my senior year in high school. I was quickly able to piece together that the diary has the power to fling me into the past, but it was a complete accident it even happened in the first place. I guess it's lucky I hadn't figured out what to edit in to my senior year, or I never would have left my pencil idle and discovered this power to more directly control the past. Before long though, I'm liable to discover some of the drawbacks to this method and the limitations of the diary, as well as other, less obvious means of editing the diary when I'm actually IN the diary, and not to mention how I get OUT of the diary. I've already figured out the diary reads out some entries when I'm in this...Immersion Mode, I guess is a good title for it, relevant entries that can help me confirm my answers to certain questions, but there's so much more to it than its ability to help me understand the situation."

That answers that, you think, I'm taking total control of the memory instead of leaving the diary to decide the details, but how total is "total"? Unconsciously, you reach to your shoulder to play with your hair, but you feel only the air and the cotton of the t-shirt. You reach to the top of your head, remembering your hair hitting you along your spine, and begin following the tightly wound strands backwards towards a French Braid. After going over your attire and your memories, it all becomes clear. You only tied your hair back like this and dressed like it's laundry day on one type of school day, a day the underwear should have made apparent. Prom tickets went on sale on a day you had gym class.

"Oh well," you mumble. "So I go through a gym day looking for Mr. Right. There are worse ways to spend time looking for the prince in the frog pond."

You take your first step in the body of your past self, and find yourself shooting off like a bottle rocket. The moment your foot touched down, the bell sounded, signaling that you only had five minutes before you were late. You have no clue what your first class is, and no idea whether or not you have your books, but remember all too well that the traffic after the first bell made getting to class on time as difficult as slipping out of handcuffs. Upon confronting the mass of slow moving students, every cell in your brain is calling the same: HOLD THE CLOCK!

Only after you ran well into the school do you realize you suddenly forgot your locker number. It was fresh in your head just a moment ago, no doubt knowledge fresh in the past 's mind, but all of a sudden it's gone. Not only that, the whole scene seems wrong. It's too quiet, you think, there's always a hum from the lights, and there was constant noise from some person echoing through the halls, even during class time. You look up from the ground, hoping to figure out what makes this day so different, and you literally jump backwards.

People are stopped in place, the second hand of the clock is resting over the 13 second mark, and you can even see the stationary wings of a mosquito locked in place no more than an inch below the ceiling. The ceiling. You haven't moved one bit since you jumped, you're still near the ceiling. You look back down, only to see your naked form floating above a line of students, and your hair is no longer tied back in a braid. And even stranger, over by the door is past , also stuck in mid-step.

Curious, you begin experimenting on the mosquito. First, you try reaching out, and confirm your suspicions as you watch your hand go right through it to the ceiling, which also failed to stop your wide arc. Next, you repeat the same movement, but this time think about crushing the bug. As you expected, the creature remains against your fist as you bring it crashing into the ceiling. And right on cue, your voice calls out a diary entry:

"I'm starting to get the hang of this. I've figured out I can change the flow of time by thought alone when I'm in the diary, which means I should be able to edit the events of the past the same way, and I discovered my spectral form of Immersion Mode. The latter works the way a ghost is thought to: Tangibility when I want it, intangibility when I don't, and gravity is a choice. The only drawback is it leaves me hanging around naked. That's going to take some conditioning, but luckily the new body will make that easier. I've pretty much figured out all the powers the diary grants me in this Mode, but I'm still missing the real drawbacks of this form, problems that don't result from my own inhibitions, and the restrictions to the diary in general, as well as direction of what to do in the past."

"That last part is dead on," you mumble. "I know I wanted the perfect prom, but I still don't know who that starts with. And now I kinda want more. Maybe I could date more before the prom, or find some parties to attend. I could fix my grades and achievements and make it so I inherit the world by the time I'm 13." A dark grin creeps across your face as you finish, "Or maybe I should get revenge against all the people who bullied my friends and me, in both pasts. This ghostly form would be perfect for such a cause. And there's so much more I could do."


Focus on the prom? Socialize? Revenge? Something else?


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