Diary of A Disney Daydream- Chapter Sixteen: An Unavoidable Occurrence

Chapter 16- An Unavoidable Occurrence

“Who is that?” Mitzi asked, nodding her head quizzically towards the gentleman on the park bench.

Roselyn could only shrug her shoulders in response. How strange the past few days had been- she couldn’t begin to guess what would happen next or even if it was real or a dream.

“Dear ladies! Come- come I have saved you a seat! Rest yourselves!” the gentleman called out to them.

Roselyn gasped as she viewed another bench materialize out of nowhere across the clearing. Glancing first at Mitzi, she took a tentative step forward.

“Oh come now, Roselyn. There is no time to be leery of an old man like me. I mean you no harm. Oh Archimedes, I had hoped she would remember more by now! Gracious me what shall we do?” the gentleman spoke aloud, seemingly to himself as the two companions made their way to the empty bench that now sat adjacent to the man.

“Um, hello,” Mitzi said, trying to maintain some form of manners in the awkward presence of the stranger. Roselyn was too busy thinking. What did he mean he had hoped she would have remembered more? Who was he talking to?

“Why hello, my dear Mitzi! I am so grateful to you for coming back and bringing Roselyn too. We owe you a debt that I hope we will be able to repay one day. As for you,” he nodded in Roselyn’s direction, “we have some catching up to do.”

“I…I am afraid I don’t understand. I don’t know…remember…anything. I don’t know what is happening. I don’t even know if you are real!” Roselyn said, almost tearful but too perplexed to allow herself that luxury.

The man laughed; a good hearty laugh. His silver hair and matching moustache glimmering as he threw his head back. Regaining his composure he smiled at the two of them. “Oh, my dears, I am real. Old, but very real nonetheless.” He stood up from the bench and approached them. Roselyn noticed that he was not very tall when he stood, yet he had a warm and confident sensitivity about him. She felt more at ease with each shuffling step he took towards her. The man reached out his hands and took Roselyn’s, patting them reassuringly. “My goodness we have been waiting a long time for you, Roselyn,” he said, and Roselyn could see the tears of sincerity in his eyes.

“I don’t mean to offend you, sir- I really don’t. It has been a strange trip, that’s all. Mitzi and I are trying to solve something here and to be honest I have no idea what we are doing.”

“You, my dears, are saving us. All that is good on these hallowed grounds- it is all in jeopardy. They have been gaining strength for the past twenty years, the gloomsayers. Now they want to finish the job and replace all of us old timers. Our values and ideals mean nothing to them. They see our world as a golden opportunity as a means to indulge in petty selfishness; to rule over all who come here rather than to serve others. Walt used to say that the reason he created the evil entities was to create stability, but the balance he created is out of control.”

“Begging your pardon, and please don’t take offense, but how do Mitzi and I fit into all of this? Why us?” Roselyn asked, not taking her eyes away from his.

“You are special, Roselyn. You know that, even if you can’t remember. Tell me something,” he paused and took a deep breath, “what is your earliest memory?”

Roselyn was taken aback by this. Mitzi gasped. Roselyn’s past was something she simply didn’t discuss, not with anyone. It had taken Joe, her ex husband, years to gain a granule of information from her, yet this man was so kind that she could tell he meant her no ill will.

Taking a breath herself, Roselyn recanted what she knew to be fact. “I remember a man taking my hand and smiling. Walking with him on a beach-I don’t know where. He bought me some hard candy at a store and told me to wait for him there,” she grimaced as she relived the experience within her memory, but the old gentleman patted her hand in encouragement.

“Then what happened, dear?” he asked.

“I waited. I waited there and he never came back,” she answered, trying to be matter-of-fact.

“How old were you, Roselyn?” he asked.

“I….was……eleven,” she said as she heard Mitzi gasp again.

“You don’t remember anything before that?” he asked her. Roselyn shook her head. She had tried many times to remember. Countless hours in several foster homes were spent in quiet solitude trying to figure out who she was and who she belonged to. The only thing she managed to cling to was her name. She knew her name was Roselyn, but she had no idea what her last name had been, who her parents were, or where she had lived. It was an empty void she had tried to overcome for her entire adult life, and yet here she was in the middle of the woods telling it all to a man she didn’t know- or at least that she didn’t remember.

“Your name is Rose,” he said calmly.

“What?” she stared at him, stunned.

“Your name is Rose. We played together when we were younger, my dear friend. I have waited for you for many years. I knew that the magic of this place would lure you back one day, I just hoped it would be within my lifetime. And now, when we need you the most, here you are. It is…a miracle, Rose,” he wiped the lone tear that was running down his wrinkled cheek.

“Why can’t I remember? Why?” Roselyn asked him.

He shrugged his shoulders. “I wish I knew. I think that leaving us so young must have done something to the magic. We know it has started to come back to you, however. That is certain. We knew you had the gift as soon as we saw you. That it could only be you!” he paused. “Of course, they know it too.”

Roselyn felt dizzy. So much to think about and so much had happened already. She must have appeared woozy for a moment because the gentleman grabbed her by the shoulders quite suddenly. “Rose? Come on, let’s get you a nice cup of tea.”

Mitzi cleared her throat. “Sorry to interrupt you there, but aren’t we in the middle of the woods? Where is the tea?”

The gentleman looked at her and smiled, a sparkle of mischievous energy in his eyes. “You’ll see! This is Disney, Mitzi my dear. Come now, follow me,” and he walked across the clearing, stopping by the trunk of an old tree. Mitzi followed, taking Roselyn by the hand.

“Um…. sir…it’s a tree,” she said.  It was a fact. They had stopped directly in front of a very sturdy, well established, tall and solid looking tree.

The gentleman looked around and overhead. He threw his head back- and… crowed. Loudly. Mitzi and Roselyn jumped at the startling and sudden sound he made, and then they were mesmerized.

The tree trunk began to shift its shape, slowly at first as if it were uncertain it wanted to be disturbed. Within moments, there appeared a door frame big enough for a man to walk through, and stairs just beyond the entrance that descended into more of the unknown.

“Whoa,” Mitzi managed to whisper.

“Whoa indeed, Mitzi,” the gentleman replied. “Come now, don’t tarry! It’s tea time!” and he disappeared into the trunk.

“Could this trip be any more like the 60’s at this point?” Mitzi laughed a bit nervously.

“I don’t know- I don’t remember the 60’s,” Roselyn laughed at herself and the sheer irony of that comment. “Come on Mitzi- it’s tea time!”

They stepped into the darkness of the tree trunk together.


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