The Mursday Effect Chapter 10: The Reporter Without Positive Qualities

the mursday effect

Dear reader, before we enter back into the glorious romp that has been The Mursday Effect, there is something I must address. Last week, Joanna Oxford made a series of slanderous, unfounded accusations against me. My character has been besmirched, and I demand satisfaction and fair treatment by the cruel media.

I am not a fan of Anne of Green Gables. I have never been a fan of Anne of Green Gables. My childhood was not spent reading Anne of Green Gables under my duvet whilst Mother drank her red wine and berated Father for his laziness.

These are lies propagated by my enemies and those who are so deeply jealous of my undeniable eloquence and chiseled jawline.

Also, we did not take off in a replica of the car from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. What kind of ridiculous fantasy land is Joanna living in? No, we took off in a specially-designed fighter jet and proto-helicopter built to fly at upwards of 17 million aero-nautical knots, while maintaining hover control and turbular carbunicity.

After leaving the Anne of Green Gables museum, a visit that in no way excited or interested me, and flying off, Joanna and I made for Nova Scotia with great swiftness and professionalism.

“Why don’t you like me?” is something I most certainly did not ask Joanna.

“I like you fine, Rutherford,” she didn’t say. “Sometimes you’re a bit annoying, and you sure like to go a bit nuts in the syntax department, but you’re an all-right guy and a decent reporter. It’s been a pleasure working with you, believe it or not.”

“Oh,” I said.

My phone vibrated in my pocket. I had set it to the rhythm of “Beethoven’s Fifth,” because I am sophisticated. Checking the screen, I saw a message.

“Bring her to ‘The Flannels and Moose Parts Emporium’ not to ‘Well-Varied Tiaras.’”

I paused, looked over at Joanna and tapped out a message:

“I can’t.”

An immediate response: “You already took the $$$. I have the Venmo receipts, dumbass. One call and I can have you arrested for conspiring to tear apart reality. And we have the surveillance footage of you at that motel with the peanut butter.”

I slid the phone back into my pocket.

“You know, someday I hope we really do serialize our story,” Joanna said. “Each of us taking on one chapter to tell the world about our reporting adventures. This is the kind of case that would really work for that. It would be like the old days in the newsroom when we cranked out copy together at 1 in the morning for deadline.”

“Tim, are you all right?” she said.

I swallowed once, turned back to her, and nodded.

“Yeah,” I said.

She smiled and began our descent into Nova Scotia.

“So, I say we head for the shopping district,” she said. “I’ve had my eye on this place called ‘Well-Varied Tiaras.’ Their most recent IRS filings smell like ‘secret hideaway front store’ to me.”

“Why are you staring at me?”

“I think we should try this other place a mile or so away from there: ‘The Flannels and Moose Parts Emporium,’” I said. “Those seismic readings from Mursday indicated a disturbance right around there.”

Joanna shrugged.

“Sure, we can try that first,” she said.

She landed the plane in a small field full of dying crops and sadness. We both exited the plane, checked the Global Positioning Systems and began walking toward “The Flannels and Moose Parts Emporium.”

***

Only a few miles away, Retrograde and Regina stood facing each other in the middle of Well-Varied Tiaras.

“I’m surprised you made it this far,” Regina said. “But it’s too late to repair reality. The trigger’s been pulled, friends. At this very moment, mercenaries are breaching tears in reality, entering into the dark and fallen worlds and searching for our escape. We successfully broke reality with Mursday so that we could find these other worlds, these other universes, and escape this rotting existence. In only one day, all the pawns will be left behind and we will leave for a better world, while you all die in the rubble.”

“Did you rehearse that?” Bridget said.

“Yes,” Regina said.

And that was all.

***

“There it is,” Joanna said, pointing to the large warehouse in front of us. We knew it was “The Flannels and Moose Parts Emporium” because a large sign on the front read “The Flannels and Moose Parts Emporium.”

We walked toward it silently, crossing another field and then a parking lot. As we neared the front doors, Joanna spoke.

“How do you think we would start it, the story we’re going to write?” she’d say.

I didn’t respond.

She turned toward and walked backward toward the front doors, smiling, waiting for a response.

I wanted to say I was sorry, but I didn’t even have the strength to do that.

The door opened behind her and the mercenaries grabbed her by the arms and pulled her inside. I saw her face once before they shut the doors again.

My phone vibrated in my pocket again. I read the message:

“Good job, Rutherford.”

Featured Image by Zoe Fanning / Heights Editor