[Estimated reading time: 6 minutes]

ID: PAA-19BDL-2025

Recovery date: March 4, 12 PAE (August 7, 2038 CE)

Diary belonging to Anne Graham-Hatoyama, found in the aftermath of ORANGE FEATHER.
Handwriting analysis and on-site surveillance confirm that all entries were written by the same person, Anne Graham-Hatoyama, over the course of 6 days.

Monday, October 6th, 2025

Dear diary, hi!

My name is Anne and I am 13 years old.

Papa said that I should keep a diary, and then he brought you for me.
You are leather-bound hippy paper, pages with rough edges in a strange, inconsistent white.

I'm using my favorite black pen, the one I buy online direct from Japan, with very sharp tip.
It rips you to small, white shreds, but it works.
When I go to the store tomorrow I will try to find a different pen.

I am going to try writing in you for at least 10 minutes a day.

Papa says "habits make the person".
I like that.

Papa is keeping a diary, too.
He started keeping one today.
His diary has a picture of Italy on it, "to remind me of home", he jokes.
Mama keeps a journal already, it has a picture of Mount Fuji on it, so instead she went out and got some wine from the store.

It is my turn to cook tonight, so I will be making salad and lasagna.
It's Monday night, so we'll probably watch "Bob's Burgers" after dinner.

Papa usually works on Mondays, but he stayed home today, I don't know why.

Good night, diary.
I'll write more tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 7th, 2025

The apocalypse came today.
Mama went out and never came back.

The TV says that we need to stay inside at night.
That at night, when we aren't looking, things disappear.

Papa says "hang in there, help is coming".
I like that.

Papa moved our mattresses into the living room, along with all the lamps in the house.
I am writing this on my bed.
Papa is listening to the emergency radio.

I don't know what's happening and I miss mom.
I cried a lot today.

Night, diary.

Wednesday, October 8th, 2025

The government men came and took us to the Century Stadium.
I took you, my trusty journal, and a week's worth of clean laundry.
Papa brought his suitcase, the ratty brown thing that he's lugged everywhere, and his laptop.

The local NBA team's colors are purple and silver, so banners in those colors line the stadium and wave hypnotically.
Large retirement jerseys hang on the walls.
Images of the team's mascot, a fierce puma, adorn most of these signs.

There are lights everywhere.
It's brighter than the brightest day in Honolulu.
We went to Honolulu, it was a band trip, and the thing I remember is how bright it was.
I don't remember why last year's band trip was to Honolulu, but it must have been important.

After we got cots assigned to us, Papa got plugged in and started researching things on his computer, so of course I was on my own, just like at home.
It's not easy being a single parent, or the child of one, but we make it work.
Mostly, that's done by Papa escaping to his laptop, and me just escaping.

The announcer on TV said that countries are disappearing into the darkness.

Papa says "after this is over, we'll rebuild".
I like that.

I made my way around the stadium for a while, to familiarize myself with our new home, figure out the exits, routes, that sort of thing.
There are some kids here from school, and we catch up a bit, but everyone's awkward.
No one is joking or laughing, everyone is just freaked out.

So then I came back and started writing.

Do you like this pen better?
I found it in someone's office, it was next to a weight-training room.
This pen feels better than the sharp scratchy one I was using, doesn't it?
Guess I must have found the sharp scratchy pen somewhere along the way, when there weren't any other pens around.
It's got weird lines on it, arranged into little houses, all sitting in a row.
It's weird.

Good night.

Thursday, October 9th

The Century battle-carrier vessel is the last line of defense against the Apocalypse.
We are humanity's last hope against the unyielding Assailant.

The shell of the Century battle-carrier vessel is constantly pelted from the outside by what sounds small pieces of metal.
The battle-carrier vessel must be passing through an asteroid field, but the controls and sensors are still all messed up, so everyone is just guessing at this point.
It is as if we are permanently surrounded by a tornado of rusted junk.

The old timers, the spacers who have lived decades in battle-carrier vessels like this, they'll talk your ear off, if you let them.
They say that it's the quiet, the darkness, the void that gets you.

Large purple-and-silver pennants hang from the ceiling, the fierce felines on them remind us daily of the sacrifices the Silver Cougars made to safeguard us.
Among these are a dozen purple-and-silver oversized regalia, large versions of the short-sleeved coats that function as ceremonial uniforms aboard the battle-carrier vessel.
Each of the oversized articles of clothing is a tribute to one of the Fallen Heroes, their names marked in large white letters on the chest.

The General looks up at the banners often, and says "we won't go down without a fight".
I like that.

We are told that the rations have to be cut again, for the third week in a row.
This won't end well.

The lights keep flickering, I hope someone's working on that.

Good night, diary.


During the ship's night, the enemy broke through and tore through our defenses, shattered and destroyed close to a third of all the lights in the battle-carrier.
They split the vessel into a handful of sections, all separated by deadly darkness.

We are in the #4 VIP Lounge, the closest shelter we managed to prepare in the short time we had.

The Lounge is small and there are twelve of us, but we make do.
We alternate who gets the comfy seats and who takes the too-few cots, and some of us sleep.
But at all times there are at least three of us, watching.

Holy Father says "they are coming to rescue us, you'll see, you'll all see".
I like that.

We split the day into shifts, and it's going to be my shift soon.

I will watch the people and the cots and the walls.
And if I ever look away, even for a second, I know that Johns and Martinez have my back and will be watching the Lounge.
They have my back and they know I have theirs.

But... what do I really know?

I used to know what was outside the #4 Lounge, I used to even be out there.
But I can't remember now.
And my earlier journal entries read like gibberish.
I have no idea what Century Stadium is, or was.
Who were all of these strangers that I looked up to?

I take a minute to look around at my litter-mates and the reality of our predicament slams into my chest.
Here we are, just 12 of us, standing against the threat of annihilation.
We are the very last, the last of...

The last of...

The last of what?

I can't remember.

I can't remember what came before today.
Did I even exist before today?

Johns just stopped by and gave me his light vest: Martinez is turning in, so it's my shift.
I put the light vest on, check that it still has enough fuel, and switch it on.
It shines like... something bright.

Johns also showed me that there is a small cabinet under the sink.
"I'm putting some of our rations in there, just in case," he said, before going to sleep.

I'm going to be busy keeping an eye on the Lounge, so I won't be able to write for a few hours.
So good-night, diary.


I'm not sure where I am.
The walls are touching me on all sides.
I have to twist myself around this strange, cold solid, in order to write.
The light vest still has fuel, so the walls are illuminated, but that doesn't help me understand the situation.
The cold solid bounces the light back and I try not to be blinded by it.

I'm not sure what happened.
I think I've always been here, contorted like this, and writing in this journal.

Writing each line takes a lot of concentration!
I am having trouble pulling up the correct words from my noodle!

The door in front of me is shaking, wobbling, buzzing.
If I rest my hand on the door, it feels warm.
Opposite of the cold, solid, metal, thingy that's snaking through this space, that's forcing me to contort myself.

I can push on the door in front of me, and it moves a bit.
I'm not sure what's on the other side.

When I push a bit, when the door is open just a crack, I can't see anything past the door
There is no light on the other side, there is only darkness.

The light vest is running out of fuel, it is slowly dying.
I can barely see these words on the page.

What happens when I can't see the diary?

What happens when I can't see myself?


3 thoughts on “Post

  1. This is good! I like the slow deterioration of the narrator. And the mystery of what happened to them is not entirely explained. And for me, it has echoes of the Diary of Anne Frank which gently starts my feeling of dread. Well done!

    1. Thanks Jeanette! Glad to hear that the deterioration worked.

      Is the mystery behind the apocalypse a good thing? Should I keep things vague or try to explain more?

      I hadn’t thought about the Anne Frank connection, but obviously it’s there, good catch. Now I’m pondering about making the connection a bit more obvious (like naming the narrator “Anne”, or someone even mentioning Anne Frank) and foreshadowing that the story has a similar ending.

  2. I agree with Jeanette. This might be your best effort yet, although I’ve only read 3 or 4 others. I really like the narrative persona. The usage and grammar feels very consistently adolescent, however some metaphors and adages seem inconsistent to my ear. I suggest you leave out “after decades of abuse” and come up with something more adolescent for “to get a lay of the land”, and maybe “the elephant in the room”.
    I wasn’t sure which pen the protagonist is talking about with “Guess I must have found the sharp scratchy pen somewhere along the way, when there weren’t any other pens around. It’s got weird lines on it, arranged into little houses, all sitting in a row. It’s weird.”
    The “Assailant” catches me off balance. I think I prefer the protagonist to continue to alternate between helpless speculation and unfounded faith in her papa or others.
    How does she know, from her perspective, that the noise on the hull is “small pieces of metal”? The asteroid field might be likely speculation from a teenager with little knowledge of astronomy, but that seems inconsistent with the rest of the paragraph.
    “the third week in a row”? the whole narrative is only 3 days in at this point. You may just want to present excerpts from the diary to account for the passage of time.
    “They showed up” – she earlier identified the “Assailant” in the singular. Again, I still like the perspective of a young person assaulted by mysterious forces beyond her experience or control.
    “we make due” should be “we make do”.
    “know know know” – I think I like this idea, but it seems to need a bit more setup or context before we get into it in the next paragraph. The way it makes sense to me is something like, “I know? I knew? I was known?”, but you may have something else in mind.
    Did you consider using Aloha Stadium or Honolulu Stadium instead of Century Stadium?
    I really like the “litter-mates” metaphor, but it seems odd suddenly erupting from this persona, plus, it feels to me like trains would be rather uncommon in the islands. I bet you could come up with a unique simile coming from your rather innocent protagonist.
    Why would her shift be busy?
    I’m having a hard time picturing what a “light vest” might be or what purpose it might serve, but I imagine it could be an imaginative twist on “life vest”.
    Finally, “There is no light on the other side”. I was picturing an opaque wall between the protagonist and the vacuum of space. It occurs to me now that I assumed the protagonist was female. Was that your intention?

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