I’ll See You in the Trees – Part 1

Hi there,

I’ve never written fanfiction before.  I’ve never had the motivation.  After the great summer I’ve had thanks to David Lynch and Mark Frost’s fantastic creation, however, I just wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the world of Twin Peaks. I came up with an idea for a short story about something that might happen and decided to just run with it.

So, this is completely unofficial. It is just my attempt to have a peek into the world that they created. I hope they don’t mind.  This is just for fun and completely free. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.  If you’re new to the world of Twin Peaks, I hope it’ll inspire you to seek out the real thing. If you’ve been a fan for as long as I have, then I hope you feel the love I have for that world in what I’ve written.

All the best,

Richard Austin

 

PART 1 – “You’d need this to pay for entry.”

Occasional shouts echoed in the night, including some from the field below. This moment held none of the suspense that it was supposed to. It was a formality. I looked up at the scoreboard, frozen at 25 seconds. This was it for the third quarter; the kick would put the Seahawks up by twenty four points. A collective inhalation, the grunted call, sound of a boot striking the ball and the wait as it sailed through the air, bisecting the uprights and unleashing a perfunctory roar from the faithful all around Century Link Field.

As the crowd disgorged temporarily into other pursuits, the players below us reorganising themselves for the start of the last period, I made my way to the nearest vendor to get myself a drink. Rubbing my arms against the frigid air, I made my way through hordes of similarly attired fans, each one’s shirt bearing the name and number of their favourite. I was the odd one out by more than just my accent. I’d come a long way in a short time and was still not quite sure I believed everything that had come my way for what it was. I nestled into a line for drinks behind a pair of bulky gentlemen wearing a ‘Sherman’ and a ‘Wilson’ respectively and scanned the menu for what I wanted. A whiff of perfume, out of place in the surroundings, tugged on my nostrils which in turn pulled my eyes to a trio of blondes behind me. Each one wore a number 10 on what looked like brand new jerseys. Their hairstyles were almost identical, coiffed and decorated with a single peacock feather. Two had vacant stares that seemed oblivious to the hustle and bustle around them while the third looked intently at me, a kind of wonder in her expression that seemed to me completely out of place. I nodded and turned back to the queue in front of me.

When my turn came, I began to indicate a choice to the harassed employee behind the counter but, before I’d finished my sentence, a hand clasped my shoulder and spun me around.

“He’s another damn Brit! Bradley, I do not believe you.” The voice belonged to a very sharp suit who had joined the three blondes and was studying me with utter disbelief.

“I can’t help it, Rod. I really can’t,” said another, similarly dressed man who was looking me up and down, a hand raised and fingers rubbing his temple. I couldn’t quite find any words, content to stare at the strangeness of the pair, standing in front of me in their immaculately tailored suits that made them look like something from an old film noir; like the guys my grandma used to hang off in the pictures my mother showed me.

“You a Brit?” said the first, his hand still gripping my shoulder.

“Well, I-“

“The next Brit you see; that’s what he said right? That kid, Freddie?”

“That’s what he said, Rod. Now I’m thinkin’ is anything else ever gonna be a surprise in this world?”

“This gets more surprisin’ every day, brother.”

I looked from one to the other, trying to figure out what they wanted, all the time the person behind the counter shouting at me to make up my mind, make up my mind. Rod held up his other hand to silence her and then led me gently away from the line, speaking softly as he went. “Look, we have a small problem here.  My brother, Bradley, was given a task to perform by someone.  He then had a dream that he would get to do it here, in this place.”

Bradley nodded at me as his brother spoke, then added, “I’m not a fan of this sport-”

“-but nevertheless, here we are. My brother takes such obligations seriously. Now, believe me, we have had a most peculiar few weeks and there is nothin’ we would like better than to return to our home in Nevada to carry on our lives.  Therefore, I feel like we should simply pass on our message and be on our way.”

“Message?” I said. I felt no malice from these two; quite the contrary in fact. It was almost as though they felt sorry for me in some way.  It was in their eyes: a kind of resignation to the way things were. They looked at each other and then Bradley came forward, leaning in closer than was comfortable and locking eyes with me.

“Use the broken one.”

“What?”

He gave me a frustrated look, pulled away a little and then, after a moment’s hesitation, he leaned in again. “Use the broken one. It’s important. That’s what this kid, Freddie, told me to tell the next Brit I saw.”

“But-“ I couldn’t get the words out before Rod grabbed me with his other arm and pulled me in for the most bizarre, uncomfortable hug I think I had ever experienced.

“Good luck.” He released me and spun round on his heels. “Come on girls, Las Vegas here we come. Bradley?”

The brother was still stuck fast to his place. “We’re not supposed to help. I’m sorry but you’re on your own. Nice coat, by the way.”

Rod took his brother by the arm, nodding appreciatively at the truth of his last sentence, and led him away into the crowd, followed by their female companions. They were almost lost in the crowd before the lady who had been staring at me so intently turned and ran back my way on what looked like an excruciatingly high pair of heels.

“I forgot something,” her voice had a hypnotic quality to it; she reached into a bag at her waist and produced a shiny quarter which she pressed into my palm. “I had a dream too, and they told me you’d need this to pay for entry.”

Before I could respond, she kissed me on the cheek and turned, clattering away across the floor to the others. They vanished into the hordes of blue and green and I stared after them, trying to make sense of what I had heard. I looked around me but everyone else was wrapped up in their own comings and goings. I thought about getting the drink that I had left my seat for but another urge had replaced that one so I moved off in search of a toilet. The queue snaked out of the doors and I had ample time to mull over what the two strange brothers and their lady friend had said to me.  They had looked so sorry for me. Why? The encounter had taken me away from the pleasure that this evening was supposed to be bringing me. Winning this opportunity was a once in a lifetime thing so why wasn’t I enjoying it more?  Was it the game; so hopelessly one sided as to be meaningless even if it was in my favour? Or was it something else? Jet lag maybe? It was a whirlwind trip, for sure. As I finally rounded a corner in the queue, I noticed the reason for its length. One of the stalls was broken, a bold sign declaring it Out of Order. The urge to urinate was building to uncomfortable levels and I stared at the broken stall with cont… Broken. Use the broken one. Could it be that simple? I picked my way past the others in the queue, hearing muffled protestations from behind as I tentatively pushed on the door of the stall.  It creaked open and I slid inside, bolting it shut behind me before anyone could complain. I had jumped the queue; how very not British of me, I thought.

The toilet itself looked to be clean and in working order so I set about relieving the urge that had brought me there. As I did, I pulled the coin from my pocket. I always looked at quarters when I got them to see which state they had on them, to check whether it was one that I’d had before.  This one bore the faces of Mount Rushmore and the words South Dakota. As I flipped it over, it slipped from my hand and, though I almost caught hold of it, it escaped my outstretched hand and fell into the toilet bowl. As soon as it hit the water, my vision started to blur.  I shook my head and everything else was brought into sharp focus yet, when I looked at the circle of water, it seemed to be spinning so fast it blurred. Its diameter grew bigger and bigger and I stared into it, unable to tear my eyes from this expanding vortex.  Sparks of lightning flashed inside and I thought for one second that I saw a face looking out at me.  I could sense the thin walls of the bathroom stall and how calm and still they seemed but I couldn’t put my attention to them; only this spinning hole beneath me. It was now stretching from my knees to the cistern and the wall behind it.  Its centre was black and I tried to back away from it but I felt like if I moved my legs they would float away. Instead, I simply stared and stared until the black reached up and enveloped me.

If you’ve ever woken up from anaesthesia, then you know what the feeling is. You start by hearing things; things that are disembodied. Voices of nurses around you and doctors that seem completely disconnected from reality.  Before you can figure it out, your eyes are working again and you forget who you are and where you’ve been. I heard a voice first, as calm and serene as the tallest, broadest oak.

“Your name is needed. Time is everything and nothing.”

I heard the words like they had been jumbled up or said backwards, maybe. My name? What did that have to do with anything? I was in an armchair. The cushions were worn and old but still retained the feeling of deep comfort. My eyes were working again but not completely as everything was in a crisp monochrome, as if I had been trapped inside The Maltese Falcon. The other furnishings of this place held a strange association with something I knew. I kept coming back to a childhood memory of Christmas pantomime, rich thick curtains and velvet chairs making indentations in a plush carpet. A theatre. I hadn’t noticed before but a man sat opposite me, bolt upright. It was a man of such stature that his legs stretched out across the floor like shadows on a sunny midwinter morning. He gazed at me from his chair, awaiting my attention.

“Where am I?” I said, feeling the words ooze out of me like so much golden syrup.

“The question is, where should you go? You have no direction.”

He pointed a long finger to the ceiling and I followed with my eyes to where a window had appeared above me. Through it, I saw a woodland clearing and a circle of trees. That image was replaced by the seat in the stadium from where I had been watching the game. The number stood out on the seat, 48. The window went black and I looked back to the tall man. He held up his finger again and pointed at my lap.  I broke from his gaze, which reminded me of the resigned look I had received from the two brothers, following the angle of his finger to see a lightbulb which was resting on my lap.  I held it up and studied it.  It was an old one: the kind with a thin metal filament threaded delicately between four slender pillars.

“Trading places. One for one,” the tall man continued.

“One what?”

“One hundred watts. Light reveals what is hidden.”

“Hidden?”

“Don’t be fooled. Red is not your colour. Jump. Jump. Jump.”

The armchair was no longer comfortable; the cushions itched through my coat and compelled me to stand, slipping the light bulb into my pocket. Before I could speak to my host again, I heard a strange, clicking sound that was housed, impossibly, within my ears. I brought a hand up to my head and closed my eyes. When I opened them I was back in the bathroom stall once again. Like being half asleep and kicking out your leg at a fall in your dream, my body shook involuntarily and I braced myself against the flimsy dividing wall. The motion filled me with an overpowering nausea and I knelt down to vomit in the toilet bowl. As I grabbed the slippery white porcelain, I noticed a number etched in the wooden panel behind: 774655.

I swallowed hard and remembered the seat number I had seen in the window in that place. I couldn’t account for the sense of purpose that I felt. Bursting out of the cubicle and through the crowd, still queuing as if nothing had happened, I emerged into the main concourse. I let my eyes seek out what I needed, numbers flying at me from different angles: 117 on a taxi firm flyer on the floor, 146 above the entrance to a block of seating and three sevens on a picture of a fruit machine plastered on the side of a concession stand. That was it; everything I needed. With the fourth quarter getting underway, I made my way out of the stadium and back to the rental car I had been given as part of the prize. The hotel room was part of the package too but I wasn’t going back there. I fired up the Sat Nav and tapped in all the numbers I had seen into the GPS box. It cycled through a loading screen and then zoomed in on a little town about seven hours drive from Seattle on the opposite side of the state, tucked up near the Canadian border.

Was I really doing this? I couldn’t account for the feeling of purpose that I was wrapped up in. The whole thing seemed as inevitable as the setting sun that poked in through the windshield. Shifting the car into Drive, I pulled out of the car park, around the perimeter road and onto the on-ramp to the I-90. Next stop: Twin Peaks.

Check out Part 2 here:

I’ll See You in the Trees – Part 2 | The Crossing

https://richardaustinwriter.com/2017/10/07/ill-see-you-in-the-trees-part-2/
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