part six (departure)
The rocket-powered helicopters began landing at sunrise, as previously instructed.
Kris had managed to recapture into his black box the surviving, singed demon-ghosts and dragon-spirits. Fortunately, no alter-geists had made the inter-dimensional jump last night. After much pleading and theatrical gesture, we persuaded Kris not to attempt a take-off from the roof. Instead, he would hitch a ride with Nabina. To India, which would get him fairly close to Australia. He could then paraglide the rest of the way, over sharks and stuff.
People came out in pairs of themselves and boarded their respective transports, back to their private worlds and a semblance of sanity.
As the Paulas stood waiting for their helicopter, I pulled the real one aside.
"Paula, I need to tell you something -- part explanation, part apology."
"Yes, Tim. Please do. Something was just a teeny bit 'off' last night. So...spill the beans. Ha, ha!"
"Okay, see...I knew you didn't imbibe, that's why I ordered ginger ale and told Jasper to serve it just for you. So I figured your...tipsiness...last night was simply a physical manifestation of your...umm...free-form spirit. Then I became suspicious, eventually interrogating Jasper. He finally confessed, amid an obnoxious outburst of guilty tears. He had a crush on you. But he knew he was an uncouth and unsightly redneck. So he developed a theory: you might possibly fall for him if he substituted wine for your ginger ale. That's why you got...'verbally enthused'...and then passed out a couple times. I'm so very, very sorry about that."
"I thought that Jasper fellow was eying me funny last night. Hmm....well, Tim...just don't let it happen again. Ha, ha..."
An hour later, everyone was gone, even the rednecks. I was standing alone in front of the odd skyscraper.
A sadness came over me, and I wasn't sure why. I began walking absentmindedly around the clearing. Until I heard the hissing of Nabina's lawn sprinkler. I guess she'd left it going all night.
The water had formed a good-sized pool, almost a miniature pond. With the new sunlight hitting the tall sprinkler spray and then falling back into the pool as pieces of wet brilliance, my sadness shaded into melancholy. Parting had become such bittersweet sorrow. Now, my coming days would be burdened with a new pitch of chronic disquiet. Oh, well.
As I mused, I noticed that a glowing white lotus blossom had spontaneously emerged inside the wondrous pool. I splashed through the ankle-deep water and picked up the flower. It was shaped like a kiss never to be kissed. I smiled strangely (most likely) and then put the lotus blossom back, to float beautifully within the natural liquid poem.
Then I heard what sounded like a lawn-mower engine overhead. I looked up. It was a large black zeppelin. It was directly overhead. And a dozen ropes fell from it. And a dozen Special Forces soldiers slid down the ropes toward me. I was arrested and taken, for temporary lodging, to the Tupelo Jail.
NASA had detected the Tesla-blast and contacted Homeland Security. Homeland Security contacted the President. The President informed the Pentagon.
So far no one in official capacity believed my account of last night's events. They would detain me indefinitely until I said something that made sense to them.
And here I still sit, in the Tupelo Jail. Waiting for whatever may come. The sheriff was nice enough to slip me paper and pencil. To pass the uncertain time, I wrote down the above account. The deputy was kind enough to, surreptitiously, mail this account to my alter back in Jonesboro.
In fact, he's probably typing this whole thing up right now and will soon post it on FB.
The End. :)