Episode forty five

With help from Dr. Amodeus Harrington-Willey—descendent of town founder, Reginald Willey—Violet learns that the music that had been coming from The Void is a code. Using a cipher from Olivier Messiaen, composer of Quartet for the End of Time, she and Nanako learn the code states: “Everything will be okay,” which is a message Violet has seen left in a number of places in town and even on certain websites.

After receiving another coded message from her mother, Violet searches the town for new clues and finds a startling new message: “Everything must begin again.” The next day while following a cat that looks like Mr. Business, Violet finds herself inside an abandoned house with several suspicious objects, including a comic that seems to have been an inspiration for the golden figure’s suit and a number of notebooks. She realizes she has stumbled upon the childhood home of Sebastian Marlow, a citizen who went to prison for robbery and had been building a golden suit in order to try to travel through time. She also discovers someone else seems to have visited Marlow’s home recently as well.

As Violet moves closer to uncovering the golden figure’s identity, Ms. Peterson approaches Violet and asks for help. The two travel out to Question Mark woods and enter the cave behind the Falls. Ms. Peterson asks Violet to help her say goodbye to her deceased brother; Violet carefully places Ms. Peterson’s umbrella in the cave, signifying that she no longer feels she needs her brother’s protection. But the final gesture comes with one final warning: the next day the town will end.

After attending the elementary school pageant, Violet hears the same strange music she first noticed more than thirteen months before, and follows it to the defunct bowling alley. There she confronts the golden figure and discovers it is none other than a future version of Gary Dublowski, who reveals he has spent the last one thousand years traveling through time to try to return to the year 2023, just before his mother left and his life was forced to change. Gary reveals his attempts to go back to the past have caused abruptions in time–seven in all–which led to the creation of the Voids and which upset the chronological order of Time. These abruptions unleashed particles from the future into town, which caused the disappearance of pets, signs, shoes, even statues, and essentially led to the destruction of Question Mark. Convinced he must undo his mistakes, Gary has created a machine to reset the Time in town to thirteen months prior and initiates a five day countdown until everything and everyone will disappear on Monday, May 20th.

Sending out a warning to the entire town and returning with Officer Ron the following day, Violet discovers the future version of Gary has disintegrated. She enlists the help of Dr. Amodeus Willey and even nine-year-old Gary, but neither can shut the machine down.

Just as everything seems lost and the town begins its final evacuation, Violet sees a town announcement about a cat being discovered in town and her Nanako race to discover Mr. Business has finally been recovered. But Nanako suggests that the cat no longer belongs to her and she and Violet decide to leave Mr. Business in the care of Bruno. Eventually, seeing all that has changed in the last year, Violet recognizes the end of Question Mark has come. She and Nanako put together a loss memorial for the town and all the remaining citizens attend, even Mayor Zisk who thanks Violet for her help.

On her final day in Question Mark, Violet rides around town once more and realizes her future is open and full of possibilities. She says goodbye to Nanako and receives a final gift which Nanako tells her to open when she gets to where she is going. In a motel room in Columbus, Violet sits holding the box, appreciating the gravity and uncertainty of the moment. She discovers it is a game Nanako has made, celebrating the beautiful uncertainties of Question Mark and when Violet’s father asks what’s in the box, Violet invites him to play.

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