An Epic Space-Time Thingy Kind of Party
Take Me to the Moon 5.18
It was the big day. Fiona and Felicity were becoming kids, and Alexander had invited everyone he could get on the phone, who had been brought back to the game through the Gallery. Cacey and Gavin were first to arrive.
Delaney got on the phone to invite everyone she could think of, until the game engine wouldn’t allow any more invites.
Elise went out on the patio to turn on the music and welcome the early guests.
It wasn’t long before Beatrice arrived, and, without missing a beat, set herself up as mixologist. Alexander introduced her to his brother, Desmond, and Cacey’s son, Dashle. “Dashle, this is your grandmother, Beatrice Tesla.”
Perhaps Dante realized what a momentous occasion this was, because he was in the kitchen cooking, instead of dancing and goofing off as he had at Dennis’ wedding.
Felicity and Fiona, the Tesla Generation 6 babies, woke up from their naps, and leapt out of their bassinets. This time Felicity went first, then Fiona.
Felicity, who was neat above all else, went and changed into something more presentable. Probably her artistic dad, or maybe her goofball mom, had picked this green hat and sloppy red t-shirt for her. Then she made her way over to her evil great, great grandmother Beatrice.
“I’m Felicity Tesla,” she said. “What’s your name?”
While Fiona chatted with her dad, Ewan was having fun with his brother, Eric, who no longer lived in the house. “I never thought I’d miss you so much,” he said.
Maddi Tesla, the legacy founder, was happily looking around, watching everyone enjoy being together.
Fiona danced with her mom, Elise, while the party started to get more boisterous.
Maddi gave Delaney an approving look; Delaney felt like she was going to burst with emotion.
Ranen had been embarrassed by someone, and gone away from the crowd. Felicity wished she could say something to comfort her uncle.
She told him a funny story and got a smile out of him.
Fiona was having a similar issue, embarrrassment, but in her case, she had ended up saying something awkward to someone. She hid in her grandparents’ bed.
Then she went to talk to Uni. “Why don’t they understand me, like you do?” she asked the big, stuffed toy.
Soon, she felt better and decided to play on the jungle gym.
Cacey had asked Delaney how it was that Alexander was introducing all these Tesla ancestors to everyone. “It’s a space-time thingy,” Delaney joked. “No, really, though, it is a long story. You know, it really started when you left. That really got me thinking, and changed the direction of Alexander and my life, ever so slightly at first, but now, this is where it has taken us.”
Delaney was finding out all over again, that it was not easy to get along with her mother.
Something Cassandra said, really bothered Delaney. And Cassandra looked so smug about it.
Later, Delaney was still fuming at Cassandra. Maddi thought about defusing the situation with humor, while Elise held her tongue.
Ranen and Alexander had renewed their epic debate over Star Trek captains when Alexander suddenly heard the doorbell ring. “That’s odd,” he thought,” I thought everyone was here.”
A man Alexander had not met before was at the door.
“Hi, my name is Elder Wolff,” he said. “I’m searching for my son.”
He showed Alexander a flyer showing three missing persons.
Alexander felt at ease with Elder right away. “Elder, I’m happy to help. Tell me about your son, and where you’d like to look, and I’ll go with you.”
Elder told Alexander about how Free-Jon’s last sighting was at Granite Falls. “We’ve got a national park up at Yuma Heights, Alexander said. “Let’s start there.”
Alexander’s cousin-in-law, Darryl, was there. Alexander showed him the flyer and asked if he’d seen them.
Darryl started to tell Alexander a story, but in the end, he didn’t really have any info.
Free-Jon had enjoyed the visit to Ewan’s Gallery, so Alexander took Elder there next.
Elder told Alexander how Free-Jon had spent most of his time during the gallery field trip, in this wedding photo studio, not realizing the public art gallery was upstairs. Alexander laughed, “Maybe having lockable doors will help. This is my son’s apartment, and he is just sorting through all the wedding photos to give to family!”
“You know, he enjoyed the wedding portraits so much, I don’t think he missed out,” Elder said.
They took a few minutes to check upstairs, just in case Free-Jon was there.
As they were sitting and thinking about where to go next, Alexander learned that Elder is a Foodie, Creative, and a Geek.
When Elder described Free-Jon’s imaginative streak, Alexander thought maybe he would have visited the Forgotten Arbor in Oracle Point.
They searched, but they didn’t find any clues.
Alexander wanted to look at the stars, which were magnificent. Elder pointed out the house where he grew up, and where he fell in love with the younger CathyTea, at the House Full of Hippies. Another Alexander had been CathyTea’s best friend growing up, and first roommate there. Alexander marveled at the connections. Words his dad had said to him in his youth, about different existences, made so much more sense now. Elder described how CathyTea had emailed him, with her mind, and he had received it, and they had returned across unfathomable distances to be together again. That was the love Free-Jon was made of, and Alexander understood Elder’s confidence that Free-Jon was ok.
They both wondered where Free-Jon was, right now, and what he was doing.
Suddenly Alexander knew where they needed to go. “I’ll see you in a little while,” he yelled as he ran.
Elder was surprised to see him move so quickly.
Delaney was so happy to see Alexander when he returned home.
“We need to pack up,” Alexander said. He told Delaney about Elder’s quest to find his son.
On the way, the family stopped in at the farmhouse to say hello to the elder Teslas, and let them know to be on the look out for Free-Jon. The snow capped peaks of Granite Falls were visible in the distance.
Alexander explained how Free-Jon, and his best friend Emelia, and Free-Jon’s cousin, Amina, had gone missing on the last day of summer camp. Micah wondered how Alexander could have such composure in this situation. Alexander told them how Em and the older CathyTea who was a camp counselor, had been talking about Narnia, and another children’s story, A Wrinkle in Time, and Em had told CathyTea that if she didn’t know where she was, it was ok. So CathyTea had a hunch that they were ok, that they were on an adventure like the children in the books.
“How in the world can anyone be justified in making that kind of deduction?! Cassandra retorted. “That’s ridiculous.”
“In the first Narnia book, the children are worried that their sister Lucy is making up lies. But the Professor asks them to think about it logically– aside from the fantastical nature of the stories she’s telling, would they usually believe Lucy? Basically, he tells them that if a person is trustworthy, even if it’s hard to imagine the situation they are describing being true, to stay with that trust. Because things happen that are outside our expectations and limited sense of reality.”
Fiona had been listening with special attention. “Are we going on an adventure, now, to help find Free-Jon?” Fiona asked with a spark in her eye.
“Yes, we are off, to Narnia, in a sense,” Alexander declared. “Who’s with me?”
Next thing they knew, they were standing in Granite Falls, looking at the most magical tree house. They brushed the pine needles out of their hair and stamped the moth ball crunchies from their shoes. It seemed that Aunt Jo’s Farm was just behind them, but when they turned around, they saw only the Granite Falls they knew and loved.
Everyone looked to Elder.
And he asked Fiona to stargaze.
Fiona looked up at Elder. He was so quiet, yet so full of creative energy. She wanted to hear more about Free-Jon, and Em, and what made them so special to Elder.
Elise was comforting Ranen, who had been embarrassed by a passer-by, offended by his purple skin.
“…And Free-Jon loves cupcakes, but you don’t drink them… and he is the Intergalactic Cheese Mailman…” Elder was grinning, as he described Free-Jon to Fiona. “You know, this tree house was the first place Free-Jon and Em went. It’s at Em’s home world.”
Elise found the same book that Em was reading when she was at the Tree House, and checked it for clues.
Ewan comforted Felicity, who was worried that they were not being organized in their search. “We’ll let Elder take the lead,” he said, “because he knows Free-Jon best.”
Ewan was missing Zoe, who had stayed behind so Elder could come. He made her a painting.
The moon was setting, and the dawn was changing the sky into a lighter blue.
Ranen went for a hike, just in case he could find any clues.
“Free-Jon? Amina? Em?” the girls looked, staying within sight of the tree house.
When the sun was up, the ranger came by to greet everyone, but as usual, he didn’t have any helpful information.
The tree house was magical. Ewan even painted a beach for Zoe, like she had wished for, on their honeymoon.
The search party spread out and checked all the rooms one last time.
And then Elder knew it was time to go. Where would he go next?
Elder was fully autonomous the whole time he visited; I am nervous to switch houses with Alexander and Delaney’s life bars being halfway full as elders. Rather than frantically looking for Free, he was going to these places, being with these people, and thinking about what really matters, which is, as Ranen’s ethical code says, Kindness in the Moment. He’s not giving in to fear, but full of hope. Elder’s game aware; I am certain that he realizes Free is not going to be found on my hard drive, lol. But at the same time, I think he enjoyed being with Alexander and his family. I loved it when he asked Fiona to stargaze!