Nov 30

The Story Jumpers -- The Final Chapter

The previous chapters written by people all over the world (a distance of some 114,000 miles) is summarized here and should be, or could be, read first if you are so inclined.

The quick recap: Bruno writes a journal. Kevin gets a copy but finds it's a magical map. Kevin has a lot of female admirers. They have maps too. They follow him and take him on weird time/place jumps. There is a weird blind man with a hitman sidekick who want the map. They all meet George Harrison. Then they meet John Lennon, who says there is more to life than figuring out what life is about.

Buck isn't sure what to think. He has been watching this all unfold in the giant screen in his bunker. He thought he had seen it all. A weird man with gloves and weird glasses. Who says he is president. And has a British accent. And nuclear bombs. But now he is perplexed. He picks up the hot phone, the Red one, the one that connects him to God, or the woman he thinks to be God.

"Who is John Lennon?" he asks.

The woman responds in a language only Buck can understand.

"If he is not born yet, how could he be dead?" Buck asks.

The conversation continues on like this. Buck puts down the phone. "We must have clarity," he tells the generals. "We must not allow a mineshaft gap!"

The generals scurry about. They are good at that. They pick up their own red phones, a lighter shade. They shout. There is pandomonium. They hang up. They pace the War Room. The man with the leather gloves appears. "There shall not be fighting in the War Room!" Everyone freezes. Then he leaves. The phones ring. All at once. It is Timothy Leary. For Buck.

The generals look at Buck. He listens. "What do you mean an acid trip? What's acid?" He pauses. "I understand. Truth is not always a pleasant thing. Tomorrow never knows."

The War Room screen suddenly goes to color. There are exploding swirls and kaleidescope electric kool-aid rainbow fantasmorical patterns. The generals put down their phones. A bodiless head appears. It is the blind man. He is 200 years old. "I have found the other map," he says. "All is well."

And then the head disappears and the generals watch, as if flying on the back of a bird, as they float down to a beach in Hawaii where they see, laying in the white sand, a group of people, waking, as if in a dream. Bruno appears. He is dressed in bell bottoms and has long sideburns. He is carrying a jug of water and glasses and is walking, awkwardly, toward the group.

"Are you OK?" Bruno asks. He hands out the glasses and pours water for Kevin and his twin, Keith, for Sarah and her twin, Haras. He hands glasses to Kal and Kara as they awake and brush sand off their blue, red and yellow jump suits. The Henchman, dressed in black, sweat pouring down his face, pleads for water. Bruno hands him a glass.

Kevin speaks first.

"I feel as if I were in a dream," he says.

Buck presses the button on his intercom. "You can't say that." His voice echoes down from the skies and startles the beach throng. They look around.

John and Yoko walk by. So does George and Paul and Ringo. And the other guy. Then come Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa and Janis Joplin. They wave.

"Maybe it's not a dream," he says, unfolding a crumpled map from his pocket.

Sarah reaches over for her ukulele and gently strums it. "Were we really in Frobisher Bay?"

"I had forgotten that," says Maha. "I think that's when I got really confused."

"Yah," says Sarah. "And what was with the domino?"

"Snake eyes," says Keith.

"Bad luck," says The Henchman.

"And what became of Rhonda and the Quill and Ink?" asks Sandy.

"What are you doing here?" says Sarah, looking over at Sandy.

"I was driving the car, remember?"

"Oh, yes, that's right."

They finish the water. They are sitting up now, staring at the waves coming in, one by one by one. Bruno walks back up the beach to the walkway. He is barefooted. He is going to find them all some egg rolls. Everyone, he thinks, looks positively famished.

Buck turns off the War Room screen. It fades to black.