Some have asked for more details about my upcoming book. The prologue to Blithering Genius features AAAAGGHHHH, a young girl with far too many heads. You’ve been warned…
1 Year Earlier…
“Don’t scream. Don’t scream,” Dr. Maryann Jensen silently reminded herself. “Whatever she does, don’t scream.” She paused. “Please, let her have only one head this time.” Inhaling deeply, she stepped into the young girl’s room. The doctor nodded to an orderly who dashed outside and slammed the door.
Facing the shadows in a corner, a single headed child scowled. Dr. Jensen allowed herself a brief sigh of relief before greeting her patient. “Good morning. Have you decided on a name, yet? We can’t very well use that…that other thing.”
“I already have a name,” muttered the girl quietly.
“Yes, but ‘Aagh’ is not a suitable name for such a pretty girl. The executives at the Mongomery Institute of Mental Health frown on that sort of thing.”
“You’re saying it wrong.”
“Well, let’s return to that later, shall we?” Dr. Jensen held up a CD cover. “I wanted to talk about this for a moment. This is the only CD we found in your bag. I would not have expected you to be a Detestica fan. Did someone give you this?”
AAAAGGHHHH’s head cocked sideways. “It’s their first album,” she explained. “It has the extra track. It was a mistake that wasn’t really a mistake.”
“You’re talking about the untitled track, right?”
“Number 11. There’s only supposed to be 10 songs, but they added an 11th track and no one at the label noticed.”
“It’s just noise,” the doctor said. “It’s roughly three and a half minutes of white noise.”
“Not a mistake,” the girl repeated.
Dr. Jensen opened her laptop and motioned for the child to come closer to see the screen. “I want to show you something and ask you a few questions.” A video buffered and then sprang to life. White padded walls dotted with faded cartoon characters filled the screen. “That looks like this room, doesn’t it,” asked the doctor. The camera panned to the left to reveal the jagged edges where the rest of the building used to be. In the distance, fires glowed on the horizon against the broken skyline. In the foreground of the video, AAAAGGHHHH stepped into view.
“That’s you, isn’t it?” Dr. Jensen asked pausing the video. The girl only blinked. “Well,” said the doctor. “I don’t think there’s any doubt about it, and that’s one of the things that’s confusing me.” She clicked to resume the video. “Here’s another one.”
“Detestica warned us,” said the girl in the video. “Track 11,” she said as she held up their debut CD. “The untitled track. Most people think it’s just noise. They think it’s a mistake.
“AAAAGGHHHH!” screamed Dr. Jensen, pausing the video. Heads froze, partially springing out of the girl’s skin. “I’m sorry,” the doctor gasped, trying to control her breathing. “It startles me everytime.” She looked away from the screen and rubbed her temples for a moment. “Alright, let’s continue.”
“Eternity,” said a head near the child’s left elbow.
“…in a moment,” continued another on her right wrist.
“Time,” intoned a head on her chin.
“…without Time,” moaned one from her shoulder.
“It’s,” the heads paused. “Fornever,” declared the original head.
“This sound,” groaned a head on her knee. All of the heads froze for an instant, blinking owlishly at the camera. In unison, they chanted, “It’s the white noise of the End of Time.”
The heads slipped and sucked back under her skin. Eyes darted left and right. “Be very careful what you think,” whispered the sole remaining face.
Dr. Jensen closed the lid on the laptop and tried once again to will her goose bumps to recede. “At the time, everyone thought that was a strange special effect. Eleven years ago, this video went viral and, some might say, is one of the big reasons for the band’s rise to fame. Of course, now that you’re here, we know this was no special effect, was it?” AAAAGGHHHH blinked. “So, one of the things I want to know,” Dr. Jensen said. “I want to know how you could have made this video that long ago? The girl in the video appears to be around your age, so there’s no way the person on the video could be you. Who is this?”
The child stared into Dr. Jensen’s eyes. “It’s me,” she answered. “I’m the only one who does that.”
“That’s not possible, child. When did you record it?”
AAAAGGHHHH tilted her head in concentration. “Not yet,” she answered.
A chill that Dr. Jensen thought threatened to remain permanently ran down her spine. “In what possible universe would you expect me to believe that you travel in time?”
Dr. Jensen choked down her scream. The heads terrified her infinitely more in person than onscreen. Heads craned and peered in all directions, with blinking eyes and slack expressions. All at once, they stopped. Slowly, each head turned to face the doctor, who felt her stomach attempt to claw its way out of her throat in sheer desperation.
“Mmmghppp!” squeaked the doctor through her hands, which had leapt up of their own accord to seize her mouth. Her right eye, the bravest and most foolhardy of the two, cracked open to make sure all of the extra heads were gone.
The girl glanced around quickly and whispered, “Fornever…Only in the Worst Possible Universe…”