Bump is campaigning hard at a waterpark. he's barely squeezing into his polka-dot one-piece.
Bump: folks, thanks for joining me here, this weather is a disaster. wait, let me sit under this oversize hydrant and soak my large head. oh, this one's a flushing hydrant, genius. okay, here come the dogs, let's move over if you don't wanna get sprayed, hehe. Bump loves dogs and dogs love Bump. first day in office, i swear, voting rights for all your pets (crowd cheers, Bump gives a wet-five to a supporter in the crowd), book it. y'know this heat is making me as low-energy as Jeb (crowd laughs), i needed a jump start.
crowd member who may be an outside-agitator media plant: what is your position on the burning of the Grand Oak?! we shamefully stood by and let this happen, that's the real disaster!!
Bump: sit down, i know, sit down on that puddle. refreshing, huh? i know, i saw that on the drones and i was so saddened. that area is Bump country, mostly voters for me, but this is not a political matter, it's a nature sciencey literature antiquity language english matter. that bush was the last of its species, it's now extinct and i have no words.
agitator: oh NOW you have no words. thanks, Bump. you could have sent in one of your jets to crush those idiotic fools before they lit the tree. what is their endgame anyway?
Bump: no blood off my back. oh it's some religious thing, i try not to get into that now with the Stones messing religion up permanently. live and let live i say, i've always said, check the tape. that goes for personal faith as well as trees. it was done in the name of some anti-religion religious cult that just wants to see the world burn. but i try not to fight fire with fire, if you do that enough the world becomes Hell. a jet, huh? yeah that would have been fucking awesome to have my jet carried live on the cable networks blowing those terrorists up, that would for sure have secured me becoming Dash Elect! what a grand idea, a grand-father idea, when all else fails, bomb the fuck outta it (crowd cheers and splashes)................what a shame. my head is bowed down cos what a shame, also the sun gets in my eyes that's why my head is down, that beautiful tree that was older than God, all that history gnarled up in its roots, the only tree on this great green globe to produce milk rather than water, our natural hydrant...............shame. sorry for going on, i like to hear myself talk.
the only thing which stops the latest soliloquy from this candidate surprisingly leading in the polls by a rout is a cat flea which flies straight into Bump's open mouth.
Binny's diary again:
i'm crazy. this is good. this is true. this is a sign, a good sign that i'm not crazy. when you're not crazy, that's when you're in trouble. okay i've finished the article on the Grand Oak, no extra amendments to the death section, can't let every nut filter the death through his own religion, only the facts, Pam45. "not to be confused with Grand Oat", what? Grand Oat Museum? hell naw, i don't give a shit about that, who would go to such a place? who would curate such a place? more and more when i type in urbandictionary it types in for me Uncle Grandpa once i type that first u. so i think i'm typing "urbandictionary apple" but it comes out as "uncle grandpa apple" and the resulting images are as hilarious as they are frustrating. my computer is too smart for its own good, its memory is as long as an elephant's. it forgives but never forgets. when i type "translate" i'm still getting "transformers". history is long. what can i say? i like Transformers even though i'm a girl. still having problems with the blue line: i type in the url of a page to go to, and the blue line starts, halts suddenly, ACTUALLY GOES BACK, and then does everything in its power NOT to go to that page, it fights with all of its might to remain on the left not the right, an electronic tug-o-war. when will this blue line give me a break?
Kenyatta is swimming across the ocean to her supersecret quadruple-agent house located off the grid of the drones on a nano-stone in the middle of the sea. can't use any boats or anything or she'll be spotted. it's the opposite of a search-and-rescue.
Kenyatta (swimming upright): i've really become more accustomed to nature rather than nurture as time goes by. that incident hasn't left me. i don't know who i work for anymore but i still know the cause. trees, not tech. i know my heart and that is all. but i do have down days, this is true, down days which turn into down years. i lie to myself to keep me from drowning but sometimes i feel like letting the waves wash over me. if i'm going to go out i might as well do it the cool viking surfer way.
Kenyatta starts to sink beneath the surface.
Kenyatta (bubbling): in this other world, this other blue screen to view the world, it's blurry but i somewhat remember a wobbly wikipedia account of Samuel Beckett who had found himself in a place very similar to mine right now, in the middle of water with no help in sight and nothing to hold onto. did the notorious nihilist look above to the nonexistent heavens and the stars still blurred by daylight and simply say, "well it was a good life but c'est la vie it seems to be over now. why fight it? bye" and offer no resistance as he drifted down to the bottom? oh no, Beckett swam like a bat out of hell trying to survive, stroking till his writer muscles gave out getting himself out of that water and saving his meaningless life.
Kenyatta efforts again, she rises up till she is able to take the best breath of her life outside the ocean, she dogpaddles like a mad woman to her house on the shore, past the Gilligan's Island hammock, and pushes the doorbell of her shared mansion. Bridge answers.
Bridge: hey babe. what happened to you? you're all wet.
Kenyatta: lost the plot somewhere in the middle but improvised like a motherfucker till i got here. i am so fucking happy to see you!
Kenyatta plants an enduring smooch on Bridge's full lips and the two skedaddle inside the mansion and offscreen.
(but will what comes next be offscreened?)
Atalan is in a mood. he feels helpless. he's doing his steps to be somebody but it's not working, it's either not enough or it's not enough. he's trying to use the system to his advantage while all the time fucking the system.
Atalan: dammit but i have that kid in me. Yayray is influencing me, not the other way around. respect your elders by repurposing them. fuck the system. the continual search for something new. but i can't go down Yay's road and start taking drugs, can i? can i be sober and sentient?
Ata sweats down his workshirt collar, drenching all around his neck. he's at his Codrus workstation on a typical day doing typical busywork and nobody is paying attention. he slides out a stapler from his first drawer and opens it up: inside aren't a row of neatly lined-up metal staples but rather Stones shining in the shape of thin staples. he need only take one and slip it under his tongue like a nicotine paper, a patch, one of those paperthin gums that looked and felt like tissue paper that came out awhile back. he does, Ata takes one despite everything and plops his head down on his desk into a plate of jello. he doesn't feel sticky as he sees wonders in his head. he thinks back to the Grand Oak since that's been pervading the news and he remembers his personal connection to the brilliant tree. he tied a rope and old tire to it once and swung on it when he was in K before the national park became a tourist attraction. he sees the Grand Oak in his mind and starts to cry inside, it hasn't been burned down never to reveal its secrets again, it's right here...
Ata:...it lives in my mind, my imagination makes it so, it makes it live again, it makes it real, the Grand Oak is reality.
he's mumbling with his eyes closed but his coworkers think this is how he sleeps and leaves him alone.
Bump: i will build a great wall and get someone else to pay for it. okay i'll pay for it, i'm rich you know. call it the Bump Wall or something more imaginative, i dunno, i'm a businessman not a poet. i will...
Atalan: ...i will bring the Grand Oak back. the terrorists will not win. history endures ideology. the stickiness inside all humans will provide the sticky needed to bind the chain together, i am drawing from everyone's deep inner good will.
Ata imagines a
LINE OF THE SPIRITS OF COMMUNITY OAK TREES WHICH HAVE SERVED THEIR COMMUNITIES WITH SHADE AND SOURCE THIS PLANET EARTH OVER SINCE ETERNITY. THE OAK SPIRITS LINK TOGETHER IN A COMMUNITY CHAIN TO THE SPOT WHERE THEIR PARENT THE GRAND OAK USED TO LIE, CLICK HERE, RIGHT HERE AT THIS (CYBER)LINK
each manifestation of the Grand Oak is smaller than the original thing and all blue and transparent but they are all tied together and form a line from Ata's head to the spot of the great tragedy. the terrorists who were about to kill the curator of the Grand Oak Museum are so flabbergasted they let the curator go. the curator runs away with an open mouth shouting as the terrorists stand dumbfounded with their mouths open. the ghost water turns real and swallows the terrorists all up. the water crashes every which way, fills up the giant hole left by the great ol' strong green brown Oak's absence and yes, there before the world's eyes, the Grand Oak starts to grow on the ground again! it's a little baby sprout.
the world cheers.
Bump: are the drones getting all this? yes they are, just got a call from Wolf. i'm a shoe-in. see, folks, my wall worked. wait, WHAT?!!
Bump had been transmitting his thoughts, too. the wall he envisioned was built ghost brick by ghost brick by Stone Energy. Bump had had water on his mind so naturally his wall went to the ocean where it parted the sea and fought off enemy invaders on each side with huge tsunami waves and generally made sure the oceanwater or anything else wouldn't dissolve the sticking agent of the chain. the wall showed the path for Ata's tree-chain to travel to the old oak.
Bump (on his helicopter phone to Codrus): still can't quite control it yet.
Codrus: as i can see. working on that. carry on.
Wolf and his daughter Cub are scrolling through Cub's instagram in her glittery glitter room.
Wolf: man social media sucks. just another excuse to advertise. i need to get out of this depressing if-it-bleeds-it-leads business.
Cub: dad you're getting me depressed instead of the other way around. oh i dunno, i like to look at the top of every instagram post to see where the location is, i learn of new places around the world through this.
Wolf heartily drinks a glass of water then looks up over his glass to a particular pic on the screen.
Wolf: stop. STOP! STOP THE PRESSES! STOP THE SCROLLING!
Cub: god, dad, WHAT?!
Wolf sees a languishing closeup of a man with sad lips and a very long typed passage as the caption. Wolf chokes on his water maneuvering his neck to read that passage.
i avert my eyes at all times, when i'm scrollin my work insta i make sure NOT to read the top portion of the pics cos it's just gonna be another weird exotic place name i'm gonna have to look up. come on blue line, i don't have all day, all day i watch you not work.
the blue line of Binny's ipad mini goes from left to right and turns into a real mini-river of sparkling water in a nanosecond as it lands on the New York Times webpage detailing the top news of the day: the miracle of the reappearance of the Grand Oak.
Binny (flapping her soaked ipad mini every which way): good thing this thing is waterproof.