Nov 30

The Digiwrimo Story Jumpers Saga -- BACKGROUND

This is the summary of the first 25 installments of the Digiwrimo Story Jumping experiment accomplished by people all over the world. Truth be told, the story did lose a bit of its thread, but it was fun nonetheless. For the FINAL chapter, concocted by GG and with edits from YWP Staff, click this honking big link.

1. The story begins with a journal entry of Bruno W. as he describes the seemingly mundane details of a journey to a cheap hotel in London where, surprise, surprise, he enjoys some wonderful food -- at a Chinese restaurant, of course.

2. Meantime, a woman named Sarah, a mad collector of ukuleles and a friend of Kevin, a mad fixer of all things tech and musical, finds an old laptop case while visiting a uke shop and gives it to Kevin, who, upon inspection, finds a page from Bruno’s journal with this text:
  • A few more days later, I realized it was again different: They are more proofs that I didn’t imagine this story, I didn’t dream it or exaggerate it. This part of the story is so trite you barely need a proof, other memories, encounters are more exceptional, surprising that I’ve been relieved to find some tracks of them. Like the sand that you find in the morning, in your pocket reminds you that a dream could have been more than a dream.
 As Kevin inspects it more closely, and holds it up to a light, he discovers what appears to be a mysterious map.

3. Most strange. Kevin, it seems, has more admirers than just Sarah. Maha has been spying on him from her window across the alleyway. She watches as he tinkers with devices he then takes apart and fixes. She has grown fond of him. Sometimes she grows jealous of Sarah and other friends, including girlfriend Sandy, and on this night Maha sees him reading the discovered papers, sees him hold up to the light what she thinks to be a map. Without realizing why, she reaches into her pocket and removes a map — much like what she had seen Kevin holding — with a location and a date: Nov. 30, 2015.

4. Sarah, meantime, has awoken with a strange haze — a hangover, perhaps? She had been playing her Uke at the pub the night before and has only a vague sense that she and Kevin (on sax) were thrown out of a bar where they’d been playing.

5. Ron knows. He was at the pub. He saw Sarah get into a fight with Sandy. Is it jealousy? Sandy responds by shooting a machine gun into the ceiling. But it is Sarah who is soon tossed from the pub and Ron follows. He sees her heading to Kevin’s house. And then he sees Maha, staring down from her window.

6. Kevin awakens with even more confusion than Sarah. He had been seeing Sandy lately but now he wasn’t sure. The whole thing with the machine guns has put him off. Big time. He also wondered about Sarah. And what was with that woman who kept staring at him from across the alleyway? He decides to get up to get some fresh air and goes into the garden and comes face to face with a spider. … He blacks out. He awakens in an unfamiliar place with odd signs, giant chess pieces and magical flowers. And a cookie.

7. Throwing caution aside, Kevin eats the cookie and suddenly everything came clear, as if he had been in some weird dream. But why was he in his garden? He went inside. He reflected. He had been under much stress. This whole Sandy thing was coming unravelled — she was so so violent, he thought. And what about Sarah? And that weird voyeur across the way. He had this feeling that she was not the only one watching. He decided to take another look at Bruno’s map. This time, under a different light, he saw the date, November 30, 2015. But then he noticed something else: What he had mistaken for arrows were, in fact, something different, something more sinister.

8. Moments later, there is a knock on Kevin’s door. Two men — a blind man and a rather large, ominous looking brute, The Henchman, — come in. The blind man demands Kevin’s map and says is a map that can alter reality. The brute threatens Kevin who hands it over. The blind man feels the map and then returns it, asking The Henchman to wipe it clean of his fingerprints. "This is not a map that shows you where to go," the blind man says, "this map tells them how to find you.” The blind man tells the brute to hurry that they don’t want to be here when “they” come. Kevin gets worried when told he doesn't have much time.

9. Kevin knew he needed help. He decided that he would go to his neighbor’s, the one that had been watching him. She would help, he thought. But as he went to the woman’s door, he heard Sarah call to him. She, too, had found a map.

10. Maha opened the door and they both were shocked. They had been transported, in that single moment, to some deserted street. She, too, had a map, which she fingered in her pocket. Suddenly, a screeching tire, car stopping, Sarah jumps out. “Get in,” she said. Kevin jumped in. So did Maha. Suddenly they were traveling as if though space, their bodies compressed, disorienting feeling, and they were suddenly in a boat in the middle of an icy lake.

11. It was not a lake after all. It was a tidal bay far to the north in Nunabut, what was once called the Northwest Territories. They were in a freighter canoe and soon found some tea and biscuits. Kevin opened another package of what he thought was food, but inside was not what was expected — a star chart, a thimble full of sand and a double-one domino.

12. In the darkness Kevin struggles to find a light. There is too much ice in Frobisher Bay and Sarah worries they will hit an iceberg and sink. Suddenly there is a grating sound — they have hit a giant ice flow — and they see, not too far away, blue and green lights. Kevin, though, has lost the domino. They set out for the lights.

13. The story shifts back to Rhonda, a young woman charged with cleaning the Quill and Ink, the pub where the odd machine gun shooting had taken place the night before or was it the night before? Rhonda reflects on how it was the wildest night in years at the bar, a place where the map jumpers come. She, too, was a map jumper. As she sweeps up she notices one of the customers, a blind man, going through a collection of maps in the corner. He pulled one from the stack, spread it on the table and seemed to be more feeling the map, listening to the map, than seeing it. Suddenly she felt light-headed; while she hadn’t jumped in years, she felt everything go whacko, the familiar whoosh of air, the darkness, the disorientation.

14. Kevin awakened. He did not know he was sleeping. He was back at home. The dream stealers, the extractors were after him again. He heard swimming sounds. He was again in the hands of the brute, the blind man’s henchman who slung him, like a missile, and suddenly Kevin found himself in Singapore.

15. Writerly interlude: This chapter’s writer notes: “So here we have a mess. Characters have gone missing into the wings and we have these curious map jumpers that won’t stay put. Worse, we have a crisis of structure where the tour bus seems to be overturned and obscured by a fuzzy shrubbery of peril that won’t resolve.” Here here. The story seemed to be unravelling. Are we in Frobisher Bay, England, Singapore? And the essential question: Did Kevin fix Sarah’s Ukulele? (When did it get broken?)

16. It seems that the jumpers jump not only in place, but time, too, Sarah and Kevin end up in Times Square.

17. Their walking boots and worn traveling clothes were so out of place. They felt disoriented. They consulted their map, and, looking up, are suddenly stunned by what they see coming towards them on the sidewalk Peter Pan. Wendy. Oh Good. Where's Hook? They went for tea. And ran into two friends, Smidgy and Wry.

18. In the tea room, Kevin suddenly became Keith. Sarah became Haras. Is this time to call the Continuity Police? Or do the maps let them jump into other persona, too? They see the blind man. They confront him. The old man demands the “other” map. If they find it, they can save their friend’s map. They do not have it.

19. Wry has insights: Time is a flat circle. The maps are not from the future, the maps are alive. They allow any of the characters to change anything any time. Handy.

20. Little did anyone know. Kevin’s initial paranoia of being watched WAS justified: Superman and Supergirl were watching, a.k.a. Kal and Kara. They had noted that Kevin and Sarah and Maha and Smidgy and Wry were all experiencing what the super-beasts' super-intellects understood: The maps represented a kind of fourth-dimension actuality based on something or other and that by soaking the maps in water, they would see a new way of looking at the world. But quick, they just made their way to Hawaii.

21. The Uke lives! In Hawaii they heard the sound of Ukulele and all became right in the world. The map was still with Kevin. And they saw what they thought was a Uke floating in the ocean. No, wait, it was only a turtle. Everyone felt sleepy.

22. The crew bumps into George Harrison. And a blinding white light. “We are here,” a voice whispered.

23. And here comes John Lennon.

24. George reveals his philosophy: “Maps are not geography.”

25. John reveals his philosophy: “I believe in everything until it’s disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it’s in your mind. Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares aren’t as real as the here and now?”

26. Timothy Leary is at the root of it all. General Buck and his cronies see all. The other map is found. Fade to Dark.