THOTB-8.6

The History of Twin Bayous – Welcome Home, Stranger

Remember the movie Sunset Boulevard with William Holden? If you do, then you know what I am talking about. In the opening scene of the movie, Bill Holden’s character, Joe Gillis, is floating face down in a swimming pool as the police and paparazzi swarm around the pool looking down on him.

Well, let me just say that I can relate to Joe Gillis. For you see I am a dead man. That is to say that as I write this I am dead, but I had better back up a little so that I may properly impart to you the reader how it all came about.

You will recall that in the previous episode I stepped through the wall of a wrecked spaceship half-buried in the sands of the wasteland off “the coast” of the source.

Upon doing so, I suddenly found myself in a place that I quickly recognized as being my home – a trailer parked out in the desert outside of Angel City, Simfornia.

Looking at a newspaper I found outside the door to my trailer, I learned that the year was 1980. But despite it being the same year and same season as when I entered the magical wardrobe in Miss LeFey’s home, I soon learned that I was no longer in the same dimension.

One thing that was certain is that I was hungry and I made the short trip over to the diner that was located in nearby San Berdoo and next door to the fairgrounds.

It was as I had just finished breakfast and was about to leave the diner when I came face-to-face with one of the most recognizable faces in late night television. Anyone who has stayed up past midnight watching TV on a weekend night in the past twenty years would recognize Elvira Richland.

Miss Richland said that she was looking to hire a detective and specifically wanted to hire me.

Rather than make excuses about having just arrived from a another dimension, I played right along with this as if I had been asleep and suddenly realized that I was dreaming. Deciding that if that were the case, as long as it did not become a nightmare, I would play right along.

I asked her why she came all the way out to San Berdoo when she could have just come to my office in Hollywood. She replied that the utmost discretion was required for this case and she did not want to risk being seen entering the detective agency that her husband owned and operated.

I told her that she could count on me to be discrete.

Miss Richland told me that a policeman by the name of Joe Monday was attempting to blackmail her personal assistant, Wendy Dawson.

When I heard Wendy’s name mentioned, I started to think of asking that I please be excused, but I decided that I would be a good sport and play along with the nice lady.

I also I knew exactly who Joe Monday was. He and his family were my neighbors. They lived across the road from me. At least that is way things were in the dimension that I came from.

From what I knew of Joe Monday, he was a good egg, as clean a cop as there ever was. Hearing that that this guy was blackmailing an ex-girlfriend of mine took me by surprise. So that morning instead of going into the office, I went back to my neighbor’s trailer and did a search of Joe Monday’s mailbox and trashcan. I found nothing to suggest that Joe Monday was making trouble for Wendy.

That evening when I called up Miss Richland to report in, she informed that I had passed the first test (whatever that meant). She then told me that I was to go to Mann’s Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard in the morning and meet her personal assistant. Miss Dawson would then explain to me the second part of this case. Of course, I did not complain about any of this as Miss Richland had agree to pay me a hefty sum.

The following morning I drove into Angel City.

Instead of going to the office, I went straight to Mann’s Chinese Theatre and there in front of the theatre was Wendy Dawson.

Trying to be cute, I said “Miss Dawson, I presume.” and this gave me the result that I wanted: a pretty smile. However, the look on her face suggested that we had never met before. It was just that look on her face that told me that I was “not in Kansas anymore”.

We exchanged pleasantries and I remarked about how nice the weather was. I started to say something about the humidity in Twin Bayous, but I decided to refrain from saying something that might confuse things.

Then Wendy said something that struck me as quite out of character for the “Wendy Dawson” that I once knew… Miss Dawson began apologizing for “causing trouble” for me.

I was beginning to realize that maybe this “Wendy Dawson” was not the crazy b___h that I knew in a previous dimension. I responded with a gallant “Oh, no trouble at all. I am just wondering when you will get around to telling me what the second part of this is all about.” I said this with a smile and instead receiving a derisive pout in return, I got another pretty smile.

Wendy apologized once more explaining that Miss Richland is very much concerned about secrecy and loyalty.

Elvira Richland had tasked Miss Dawson with a very important mission that would involve exchanging a large sum off simoleans for an extremely valuable item. It was Miss Dawson’s idea that they should have someone to provide security. Miss Richland wanted to hire the police officer Joe Monday, but Miss Dawson did not like that idea and she had suggested hiring someone from Miss Richland’s husband’s security agency.

Miss Richland could not argue with that and then at the last minute she came up with the idea of testing me that I would take on the job with no questions asked.

Having passed the test and still not asking questions, Miss Dawson informed me that I what I was being hired for was to accompany Wendy to Lucky Palms where she was to purchase a mythical magical book called the “Claviculu Rachela” from the LP city library for 10,000 simoleons.

I did have one question… When do we leave? Wendy responded that there was a car waiting to take us to the train station. I said nothing as I followed her to the car.

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