The History of Twin Bayous – “In the beginning there was Riverview…”
As soon as Dweezil brought the systems back online, 1974 went away and with it went all that wonderful disco music. It took Dweezil a full six days to get the universe back up and running.
After he was finished, I let him know just how proud of him I was.
And on the seventh day, Dweezil (and I) rested.
Then on Monday morning, the yelling and screaming started…
The old universe was gone and now in its place there appeared another place and another time. The place was called Riverview and the time was the year zero.
The universe had been reborn and just like a tiny baby, the new world needed an around-the-clock operation to keep it healthy and happy.
I could sense that Moo was falling slowly down into a deep depression. First, there was the shock of Jimmy’s disappearance, then came the destruction of our universe, caused in part by the actions of Jimmy’s mother, and now there was the sudden cancellation of what felt like a 1970s sitcom and what was her mother’s universe in replay. My BFF for life, Moo Clemens had a lot to be despondent over.
With Dweezil having taken charge of the group, the remaining six of us were split into three shifts of three days on, three nights on, and the three days off. I made sure that Moo and I were a team so that I might take charge of watching out for her.
And this is what Dweezil and I got into a fight over. He made a comment where he was basically saying that he did not think that Moo and I could handle a shift on our own and that he was going to be on our team. I told him NO and if he did not get out of the control room, I would not be feeling proud of him anymore.
For the first two nights that we were on shift, things seemed to be going well. We spent those first two nights getting a general overview of the town of Riverview.
The label on the box of diskettes from which Dweezil installed the universe has this to say about Riverview: “Along the banks of the Simomon River lies the sleepy town of Riverview. Many have moved to this serene little town to escape the clamor of city life. Will the current residents let the newcomers in on the town’s little secrets or will they do their best to keep their dirt from being unearthed?”
This notice implied that there was dirt to be had and Moo & I were ready to dig up all the dirt to be found in this lovely town of 49 households and 146 residents. The town of Riverview may have been physically divided by the Simomon River, but it was actually along the lines of old-timers vs. newcomers that this town experienced its cultural division.
This sort of thing was not something that was obvious to the casual observer. Moo and I decided that we were going to tackle this question from top to bottom, North to South, and so we took a virtual tour of the tiny town of Riverview, Something, Something, New Earth.
One the north-side of the Simonon River was an area known as the Warehouse District. In a section of town along sleepy Commercial Boulevard, about four blocks in length, was the part of town where folks would go if they were looking for an athletic stadium, a hospital, an office building, a military base, a diner, or maybe a bowling alley. In one of the warehouses, there was an on-going festival that changed in character each season.
East of there, high upon a hill, stood a mansion named Remington’s Ruse. This was the Remington family home. We read that the Remingtons were the wealthiest family in town and we also quickly learned that there were no single Remington males between the ages of 16 and 60 except for a ghost named Cody.
Across from the eastern tip of Long Island were some other mansions and curiously, in one of those mansions lived a family named Viernes.
Even more curious was that the family had a daughter named Tracie Viernes. Moo recognized that name from the History of Twin Bayous. She told me that Tracie was one of the most notorious gangsters in the history of that town.
In the center of the town (and also the center of the river) was an island called Long Island. It was here where one would find the town’s movie theatre, a nice(ish) restaurant, city hall, a market and some other junk and stuff.
Following south from the Simonon River was where all the ordinary and boring people lived or so we thought.
The high school was down along the river about midway between the island and the farms.
Nearby and across from the first farmhouse, was a street upon which all the houses looked the same. The street was called Suburbia Avenue.
At the corner, there was a park and (get this) a malt shoppe. I don’t know if there was a Betty, but I soon discovered there was a Veronica living on that street. It was about this time that Moo and I both got really quiet. It was like we had both suddenly noticed some familiar pattern about life on Suburbia Street.
Along the street, there were about a dozen houses that looked exactly same – house after house.
Following the grand tour of the town of Riverview and just after we got to Suburbia Street, Moo said that she wanted to work alone for a while. She said that she would like to focus on monitoring one particular part of town and suggested that I should perhaps do the same. She said she would take the south-side of town and that I should take the north. I said “Okay.” and then I didn’t think to tell Moo that I wasn’t sure which way North was.
On so I stayed on Suburbia Street. As I was glancing along sidewalks, I saw a man that I recognized from someplace else earlier. He was standing out in front of the house next door to the Malt Shoppe.
I did not take me long to realize that the man that I saw was none other than the famous writer, Mark Clemens. His name was Mark Clemens and he looked just like himself. He was Mark Clemens.
And wouldn’t you know it, the man had a pair of teenage daughters named Colleen and Janny. How cute is that? (GAG ME WITH A SPOON!)
Digging deeper I witnessed with my own burning eyes that Mark Clemens, a novelist, was having an affair with his agent, businesswoman Celia Ringwald.
I learned also that Celia’s daughter, Ronnie, was the most popular girl in high school.
But the two girls who were really popular were the two who were known to fool around. They were Colleen Clemens and Dawn Gentille. (I was getting really good at being a remote-monitor tech. Just like Missy Churchie, I can see everything.)
And OMG! There is even a Miss-Goody-Two-Shoes, Donna Gentille in this town. Moo is going to have an absolute fit when I tell her of this discovery.
It was at this moment that I snapped to the sound of Moo shrieking.
“Oh my god! You will not believe who I just found!”
I was still staring at my screen and I was not seeing what she was seeing, so I just assumed that she had found Donna Gentille.
When I said the girl’s name, Moo said: “No! Come here look! It’s Jimmy’s mom! It’s our Lady Wendy!”
Moo was staring down at the image of a woman on her monitor. It was her! It was Lady Wendy! It was totally her!
Moo then stood up and calmly went and changed her clothes. When she returned, now wearing her witches outfit, she began punching commands into the keyboard.
Then after a few seconds, the noises coming from her console made it sound as though she were playing a video game.
Watching her twisting back and forth in her seat, I just had to ask her what in the heck she was doing. I stood up so I could a look at her monitor.
It looked like she was flying a spaceship over the town of Riverview. Keeping her eye on the screen, Moo explained to me that Dorothy Knacker looks an awful lot like Wendy Dawson-Dobbs.
“Way too much like her!” Moo exclaimed.
So, on this very night, Moo was piloting a virtual UFO-drone above Suburbia Street in Riverview. She was having the woman abducted, interrogated and examined via the UFO that she controlled. I held my breath as I watched the whole thing unfold right before my very eyes.