Dear Diary:

(3 years earlier)

I feel like a little girl again, writing those words, but it feels good!

We’ve never met before, but my name is Amara. I guess I’ll have to think of a name for you. I’m sorry I didn’t have time to come up with one on the car ride home. Writing in the car makes my stomach wobbly. For now, I’ll just call you Diary, but only until I come up with something perfect. Promise.

My dad used to say, “A sturdy journal is the best friend you could ever hope for.”

I didn’t believe him (though it didn’t stop him from repeating himself).

I was fourteen when he bought me my very first diary. She was about your size, but a different color on the front. Her cover was red, and she had matching red trim around the borders of every page. When you flipped the pages fast enough, the edges turned pink! I thought it was just about the coolest thing I’d ever seen. But I guess it’s not hard to impress a fourteen-year-old. I used to love the way that book smelled. Every time I took it out of my armoire, I would hold it up to my nose, fan the pages back and forth, and breathe deep. It always made me smile. Even when I had a bad day; even when I just wanted to curl up on my bed and cry salty tears on its pages, that smell always brought me a moment of happiness.

I wonder whatever happened to that old diary.

But anyway, enough about the old. Today is a day for new.

Diary, I have big news. I had a breakthrough yesterday. I’m a little nervous to talk about it, since I haven’t started the work yet and it doesn’t even seem real yet, but it’s happening. I only started working at Praxem three months ago, and I’ve already had an epiphany that could change everything. Mason couldn’t be happier for me.

Oh, I just realized, you don’t even know who Mason is yet, how rude of me!

Mason is my husband. We’ve been married three years. We lived in Ohio since we met, which was a little over six years ago. We had a small apartment there, but our house here in California is bigger. Praxem has been good to us. I guess they wanted me bad enough, they agreed to all my stipulations. My dad used to tell me I’d make a great attorney.

But you want to know a secret?

You can’t tell anyone. Not even Mason.

When I was a little girl, I didn’t want to be a lawyer or a mathematician or a doctor. What I really loved was flowers, and nature, and poetry. Oh, I loved writing poems in the field near my childhood home. We lived on a hillside surrounded by meadows and a big creek. The fields that turned purple in the Spring from all the prairie clover.

I used to sit barefooted in the field at the highest point on the hill and draw sketches of the flowers. I would talk to them and sing to them and read poems…

I just realized… that makes me sound crazy! Don’t get the wrong idea, Diary. The flowers didn’t talk back. I just never felt happier than when I was surrounded by all that purple life. The color, the smell, everything about it was just incredible. That place held unparalleled beauty.

When I got older, and my mom got sick, we moved out of that house and into the city. Dad wanted to be closer to the doctors and nurses who were taking care of her. That was a hard time. I stopped writing poems and singing songs; I started studying biology and mathematics to help my father try to learn what was making mom so sick.

Come to think of it, I guess I never went back to see my flowers after… well, after everything that happened. I haven’t thought about this stuff in years.

Diary, I can already tell we are going to be good, close friends.

But back to my news. Yesterday, I had a moment of realization that could change my life forever. We’ve been looking for answers in all the wrong places. I guess I should tell you about my job. God, it’s all so exciting. I can’t even keep my head straight!

Okay, so my job is Lead Researcher of Cessation Studies, Biology Department at Praxem Industries. Praxem maintains many global research initiatives, but here at the Leiden Facility in California, our studies focus on dying; more specifically, the moments leading up to death, and the moments just after.

It sounds very dark and gloomy, I know. But I promise it’s all very fascinating!

Dr. Soliman says my breakthrough yesterday could be the key to unlocking the secrets of human death and the afterlife! Can you believe that? And to think, it all happened because Mason and I took a drive up the coast, to the beach.

I remember seeing the flowers along the roadside swaying in the breeze. It was so windy out, we couldn’t walk very long, but something about the way the flowers moved made me realize, we’ve been measuring the wrong variables. Up until now, we’ve only looked at synaptic cessation, trying to draw correlations with temperature (heat) transfer, but now I know we’ve been looking at it all wrong. I just know it! I won’t go into the technical stuff, but I’ll give you a hint (this is top secret!): my breakthrough has to do with sound, not heat. Isn’t that crazy? Sound!

I’m sure none of this makes sense at all. But don’t worry Diary. I’m going to tell you all about it in the days and weeks to come. That’s why I went out and bought a new journal. I wanted to document this time very carefully, for posterity. If this really does lead to a significant discovery, it could change the way we think about human life altogether!

Isn’t that exciting?

Well, that’s all the time I have for today. I’ll write some more tomorrow evening before bed when I know more about the parameters of this new study. Maybe I’ll even come up with a name for you in the meantime.

Til then, with love.




like the black hole-bound galactic tempest sweeping across eons of empty space receding through time, atavism that I am. I am that. I am not not that, that that I am; not that I am not-not. I am-am. I am seven billion billion billion empty atoms bleeding through a fucking pinhole, the percolate ocean seeping, current-swept cephalopod suppurating pus, darkness disembogued like ejaculate in water, wash of wavering welkin dust in light in color in sound in incalculable infinity.  I am everything. E-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. Eve, writhing.


I am time mE i aM iT


time tessellates threescore, temporal tides touching, a tryst I witness, wreathed in sound. What will betide? Tumbling untethered, thoughts tattered, torn tittle.

F o l
, g n i


Fermenting fractal shifting shift shit, oh shit oh god oh Jesus fuck the gobbing geometric gyre groping, giants gangbang glad for gore a game going gonzo go GO nonono


time is gone I am gone i.e. go ego-free we go, no know we nowhere why? Know now. Without form, impassive.

Discontinuity.       Disc






of plumbless



that this

is all




l              lolling






in lambent, lonely emptiness. Waves of nothing.


n     o      t      h      i      n      g




Not nothing. A river. Waves. Tide. Sound. All around me.




Systematic entropy. Echoes. Everything echoes. Everything. Echoes. Everything. Echoes. Everything echoesechoesechoeseverythingeverythingechoeseverythingechoeseverythingechoeseverythingechoeseverythingechoeseverythingechoeseverything

I hear everythingiheareverythingeyeyearaverythinkihurrynothinghereivory

Again and again and again, electronic ether innerving my exhausted eardrums, exciting exaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ohhhhhhhhhfffuuuuuuuuuuuck

roiling rhythmic rape that HURTS harmonic hatefuck hollowing have I heard my last?

Regressing. Redshift. Regurgitating radial roundelays, ruminant RAPE resonances descend bite ANH ANH ANH gnawing feeding on every last molecular iota convalescing, disassemble, reassemble, deteriorate, design, rebuild, decay, dissolve. Dee’s table eyes. Distally destructed.


I am nothing, deconstructed by Sound itself. Almighty the rhythm, the shaking


F                                                 C

 U                                                   K




The floor opens. Darkness shines, swallows the last pinhead of light gravitationally. Kaleidoscoping buttresses of noise evict my consciousness the way an airstrike evicts a family from a thatched hut. I flee from myself, rapacious for freedom from sound good FUCK




My head






Returns to form. Goes again. STOP.

Return. Go.


Spinning. My body takes the shape of the sound, a wriggling, flaccid thing. Floating, libidinous volleys of noise, exeunt! The universe escorts me politely off the stage of existence, dizzy, dysphemic. I do not belong. “I” is a dirty word.






I don’t even NEED to breathe

















































































holyfuck I see it. Death is just a misunderstanding with Time. I understand.

Even better.



I’m standing on it. A bridge. The bridge, as it were. As it is.

I’m standing on a bridge is a bridge existing below me?

I am only eight years old. Eight eighty eight hundred yearsssssssss

White mist rain smothering my neonate skin, rubbing raw. Exposed, I press forward. Into the fog. White on white clouds, corded clamshell ruffle clouds, warm as vaporized sweat against my neck and                did I just hear




No. Couldn’t be.




I heard I know I heard


the universe






cannot be






a quiet








must be







the birth of a universe must be sound incarnate.





Is that what I heard?
 The sound of Existence.
Capital “E.” The voice of


















issssssss s s  s  t      i     l     l



sinking. Sinking,


I let itsss











The tunnel-bridge shifts, is shifting, is moving like a creature through water swaying, almost—more like—breathing. Fuck that is sickening. What is this thing? Where is it taking me?

My heart is out of rhythm. I feel like throwing up. Feel my heart every third beat, throwing itself against the wall behind my sternum.

My stomach turns. Throw up. I want to. Just thinking about it makes me gag. Ugh.







fucking everywhere. Covered. Shirt, legs, arms, finger sticky wet warm marshmallow goo warm and stringy something solihhhhhh





ohhh god ohhhhhhhhhhhhh

hot hot hot gag fuck. It’s already cooling against my clothes. Stale. That acid smell. Cold. That was fast. What happened? When did I eat last?

Glue between my fingers. Spread them out. Acid glue, little specks of brown phlegm, snot and food drying on my palm. Feel it dangling from my nose. Wet on my leg. God, that mephitic fucking smell I’m standing in


Something changed.


The chair.

The chamber.


I was



      a b r i d g e

I was standing on                             above a river.




not a bridge
not a river


I’m surrounded by them—both of them—on it and under it and over it. All at once. Above me is an ocean of white. To my side, both sides. Front and back. Above and below. White fog whorls and reaches with skeletal tendrils like the rangy fingers of some osseous phantom, stretching at me, begging come closerrrrr then dissipating. But there’s something else. It’s hard to say.

An emptiness at my periphery. Darkness skirting the edges of my vision. Like—

if I look over


but there is just more ashy snowy static, a river, for lack of a better word. The bridge-tunnel swims around to receive my steps whichever way I turn. I can’t look at this whole shifting mess. It’s making me  hrrnnnnnn fuck


What is this?


The mist dances and flurries, not like water. Niveous. Like snow. Static blazing, like tuning to a dead frequency. The bridge moves through it; a tunnel of it—static? Or is it ash?—and I am surrounded by the tunnel-bridge, so I guess this is my ride for the foreseeable. I’m in a whale made of pure noise.


Assess. Stay calm. Get your bearings.

See: Static. Tunnel. See §: (aforementioned) Whale, Noise, Swallow.

Taste: My own gag.

Smell: Same. Also, something more rancid, perhaps. If I am being eaten, and it stands to reason that indeed I am, then surely whatever this thing had before me will be digested in here.


Scream as loud as I


I am deaf.

I. Am. DEAF. Either this place is silent like the chamber or I am deaf. From the noise of creation, most likely. Exiting, transitioning, existing. That horrible adenoidal screeching. The closest thing I can call it. I remember

Crawl. Get away. Crawl stay on your belly stay low stayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy fuck

shaking. Earthquake. The earth broke apart, swallowed me up. Resolve to lay supine covering my ears on a bed of not-snow, not-ash, devoid of being, consumed by sound?

A flashback: popping. Something—inside. A sickening crunch. Convolved spiriferously, bones crunching under the weight of the wave. To the point that at one notable moment (I cannot actually believe I remember it? Although I feel like I do. Am I fabricating this now? Is my mind compensating for lost time?) I lost control and gave in and

I existed as a wave. It took me and I became a literal, real, wave. I became sound.
Rolling upon myself.  ouroboros

Then: pain. Mordant, awful agony. Surfeit and rote. Unspectacular. Just. Fucking.


As I’ve never before experienced it.


Realization: It’s a war, and I’ve been caught in the middle. No-man’s land. This is it. Bombs on either side, a vehement hailstorm of decibels, playing for keeps (this time).

Oh, yes. The war of AM; of Being. Contrasting ideologies between the sides. “IS” and “IS NOT.” They both want the other to be false. Subatomic ionization for control of what?

My soul?

What the fuck do I matter, anyway?

I want to scream it. Scream into the belly of this beast. But I cannot make a sound over the forever G R I N D I N G against forever endless erosionless friction. A pulse. Seething, deafening. Breaking me down. I’ll be digested soon enough.

Consciousness is a pulse, one of many, lost in the main. The open ocean.

A wave.










jīvá. Living.


That is, generically speaking: a wave is a living thing. i.e. “Signs (sines) of life.” It all makes senseI know what the cicadas were saying.

My chest feels odd. Something off in my lung. Maybe the lung itself is off track. A wet sensation; the way fog is wet. Pressure. Soreness in my ribs. I feel…

P  u  l  l  e  d .

My skin shakes against the bone, rubber limbs quivering like tuning forks rapped against the stone jaw of God and stuffed inside a wet meatsack.

Break my neck to look at my watch. Correction: watches. I’m wearing three.

Neon green seaweed lines dance across the void, vibrating softly, sultry as sirens calling from the darkness beyond the bridge.


Thomas Roan | DRIP - A psychedelic mixed-media narrative experience that goes beyond the page to transport the reader beyond death.


I think I’m gonna be sick again.


Grasp the edge and lean.


L E A N.


Déjà vu.

Am I leaning out or in or

Close my eyes. Fuck don’t let go





what—was I?             And now?

What is this place?

Remember. I need to—

Listen. I can’t hear but I can feel it. The flow. Soft lacustrine roar, dim but powerful. Don’t let go. Hold tighter. It can have you if it wants you. You (ME, I) have to fight. Remember: “I.” Remember.

Me. Time.

The essence of nature is flow.

Impossibility is the birth-place of life, of existence, of I. It is Mother. It is the source. Energy and null. Diffraction and atrophy. I see the shape of all things


Thomas Roan | DRIP - a psychedelic mixed media web serial experiment that goes beyond the page to transport you beyond death. Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Trippy, Hallucinatory, Dark, Surreal, Surrealistic, Bizarre, Bizarro, Trailer, Teaser, BIG Creative Designs, David David Katzman, A Greater Monster, The Wasp Factory, Smart, Intelligent, Brilliant, Genius, Complex, Intricate, Puzzle, Theory, Conspiracy, Tiered, Narrative, Experience, Immersive, Innovative, Interactive, Fiction, Web Serial

is endless




How did I get here? Open my eyes, watch the rolling spinning whale screaming through eternal




A     R     E                           Y       O       U                       T   I   M   E


nothing—what?                                                           what’s that?


Yes. I am Time, I tell the far-off voice. Of course. I believe we



No. That’s not what it said.
It—they—said. A voice. Said.

Turn. No, wait. Don’t. Just hold on. Static plays nasty tricks. Don’t look. It will go away. Whatever it is. Just stare into the fog. But with your eyes closed. There, that’s better. Breathe




and relax. Goddamnit.

The voice, louder now. Reaching. Loud enough for me to feel the vibrations when they speak. A noise just beyond my ken. Batted back by sucking, sibilant static. The river isn’t even loud anymore. I just feel it more than I hear it. My jaws ache. I’m grinding my teeth. My skull is vibrating with the continuous roar of the static, it’s doing something to meeee


The bridge undulates, sharing soft vibrations with my feet. I need to move. If I don’t move now, I’ll never get my sea legs.

Gentle, easy does it. There, that’s it.

My toes kindly transport the static waves up, beyond the shins, through the knees, thighs, abdomen. It ends in my jaw. Just hold tight. You’re hearing things. You need to get a grip before






I can’t make it out. I look around. Nothing.





Spin on my heels. The river groans in my chest. Turning slowly, trying not to vomit again.

It sounded like it came from




t   h   e   r   e

the fuck?






W  H  O  I  S


My hands won’t stop shaking.

Gordon’s pacing—although honestly, I don’t think it’s fair to call it that, at this point—like he’s trying to formulate a new methodology for setting the carpet on fire with nothing but intricate choreography. His living room is immaculately clean, to the point of sterility. I’m not wearing shoes.

It’s that clean in here.

I drove a hundred and ten miles an hour through the city all the way here.

And my hands won’t stop shaking.

For the last twenty minutes, Gordon has been pacing back and forth in front of the sofa where he kindly insisted I sit, muttering the same two or three words over and over.

“I’m fucked. I. Am. Fucked. I’m fucked!

“Listen, I know it sounds crazy, but—”

“Crazy?” I think he’s trying to smile at me, but honestly, it just looks like showing teeth. “Crazy would be if we walked up to Dr. Soliman’s office, pulled out a gun and said, ‘Good morning, Dr. Soliman, I’m having trouble killing myself today. Would you mind to help me out? Oh, and while you’re at it, I’d like to use your office.'”

He’s right. That would be pretty crazy.

“What you’re talking about doing is completely and totally FUCKED!”

If I didn’t know any better, I’d think he was going to break out in tears.

Gordon rocks back and forth as he walks, his body hinged at the waist like a stiff doll; the nightmare Christmas Toy creation of an autistic-savant-designer-turned-terminal-crackhead.

“I’ll tell you,” he says, completing his seventy-fourth lap around the coffee table, “but you have to swear to me you won’t try anything stupid. Just get the video from the archive and get out.”

My plan flashes behind my eyes:

  1. Connect remotely to the Praxem SecureBridge packet and download the server keys.
  2. Create a query in the system to allow access to the building after hours, coded to my employee ID.
  3. Tell the security guard I left my wallet in my office the day before, and
  4. Use my security credentials to bypass monitoring in the archive room. That’s where they keep encrypted copies of the video footage from the cameras in the observation rooms.
  5. Use Gordon’s access code (which he is very close to giving me) to get into the observation deck.
  6. Blastoff…


“Gordon, I promise. Listen, man….”



I’ll see you soon, baby.

I love you.