"A Prize Unlike Any Other"

The Diary

Chapter 1 by Edogawakun Edogawakun

"A prize unlike any other," they advertised. "Take a test and receive a prize. The first person to receive a Perfect Score gets a mystery prize unlike any other." You expected something the likes of details pertaining to Einstein's contributions to Physics and the things that stemmed from said contributions or the finer working of Chaos Theory with such a billing. You were even expecting something insulting, like a test on the history of the United States being held by some smug Europeans whose sole purpose in hosting this was proving the country's citizens don't know anything. But no, it was nothing near as fantastical. It was a test screening for new television series, and "Perfect Score" referred to a show by that name; you would receive it based upon your interests, and it was believed (and accurately predicted) by the network that it applied to a very small demographic, if any. You spent a night cramming for something that required nothing of you but appearing and pressing buttons.

You thought the prize would make up for it, and even expected it was just extra cash when you learned what the test was. In retrospect, even one of those children's toys with the underlying sexual implication would have been better than this. "Unlike any other" meant specifically "unlike any other prize we were offering." You got a notebook for your trouble, and no, it's not a computer. It's a fucking paper glued to a spine notebook. The only way to salvage this venture is if this turns out to have notes by someone famous, like songs Elvis never got around to recording, or an unpublished story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

When you finally get home, you pop open the notebook to see if there's anything worthwhile written in it, and find several things written in entry form. It seems this was a diary for someone once upon a time. You begin reading the entries on the crisp white pages, hoping to find something interesting.

XY34!! I got my first car today! A Porsche 356A, just like I've wanted since I was 11! Dad said it was the leftovers of the settlement he got from the hospital that delivered me plus interest from the bank, but it was actually out of a separate account that he was building up just so I could have this car and would still have the settlement for my future.

"...That's weird," you mumble. "Dad gave me a 356A on the same day, and told me the same thing."

You put this out of your mind and flip to another page further along in the diary, you notice this one has an entry for today written. Correction, there's an entry for today BEING written, ink moves along as you read the entry wide eyed.

ZW57%& It was the most random thing. I go off to take the test I studied all last night for, and it turns out to be a screen test for television shows. I got the prize the advertisements talked about mysteriously, but I don't realize how important and great it really is yet, so I'm still brooding.

I thought it was just some worthless diary, but when I got home and read it I finally realized this diary knows everything about me, including things I didn't know about until I read them. I'm still skeptical, since this diary is brand new, but once I see the diary's other powers and verify them, I'm bound to embrace it.

You blink several times, unable to process what's going on. You're holding a magical diary that knows you better than you know yourself, even though you're the author of the diary. It's like you're simply a character in a story you're writing. All that comes to mind is the phrase, "I am the master of my own destiny."

Whatever it is, you start rolling with it to see what it means by "other powers." Since it's a diary, you take out a pencil and go over the entries about your appearance from birth and through development. You rework your image, and feel a flash of light burn your eyes. When your eyes finally refocus, you find a yellow page at the back of the diary, which you're certain wasn't there before. You read the page, and on it see all the entries you changed as they were before you changed them. You then go back over the entries in white pages, and see your changes went through. And to verify, you run to the closest mirror and look at all the changes you made to yourself.

What do you see?

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