Life After 9/11

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Return to Beldensville

“Well, it’s a shame we’ll have to miss the “Beldensville” reunion,” Sean said as he and the others watched Christina reporting about the TV show cast reunion on the Stale Grapes News. At this time, the Stale Grapes News was gaining popularity because the news show didn’t sensationalize celebrity misbehavior and political scandals. Sean smiled, pleased that he was finally turning the hearts and minds of over five million Americans back to the true heart of journalism.

Or so, he thought.

“It’s not like we can’t watch the reunion on TV,” Dicky said as the rest of the group sat on the couch. They were still at Samantha’s apartment in Seattle, Washington, where they planned to stop the wicked Sons of Ebal from causing trouble for the already unhappy world.

So far, Logan, Dicky, Andrea, and Sean had prevented the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington, DC. They also broke Harry Potter’s stranglehold on the world (with Logan’s Father Diego disguise) and caught several agents of the Sons of Ebal before they could cause trouble at the Salt Lake City Olympic Games.

Now, the four cousins were going to deal with a group of villains that wanted to not only take over the world, but they wanted to rule over the people and turn the world into a totalitarian state.

“What’s “Beldensville”?” Andrea cried out. As the boys stared at her, she said, “Sorry. I never liked watching TV as a kid and always got in trouble for reading during TV time.”

“Well, you’re exactly my kind of person,” said Dicky. “I don’t like TV; the last time I watched TV was when I watched MTV during the 1980s. Anyway, what’s “Beldensville” about?”

“Well, Skybolt Film Productions was responsible for that show that caused America to examine their racial bias, if not racism itself,” said Logan. “Anyway, the main story centered on the Keller family, who lived on Maple Hills Farm near the small town of Beldensville, Tennessee. The Keller family was down on its luck due to the progression of the 20th century; the town was so dead-set in its old ways that the residents refused to accept any changes, changes that could benefit them. Yet when Jethro Keller (the fifth son and seventh child of Abram and Gloria Keller) shows up with his biracial daughter Cassandra, this throws the entire family in for a loop. Not only that, but he’s forced to answer to the community for fathering a child out of wedlock with an African-American woman.”

“OK, where are we going with this?” said Dicky.

“Back then, it was regarded as a social taboo to have a child out of wedlock,, but to hook up with a Black woman was seen as rape, even if she gave consent,” said Logan, “I’m sure Zarela Sanders didn’t have a choice, as she was mentally retarded and didn’t have her family around to help and protect her from terrible men like Jethro Keller. After a trial, Jethro was banished from the town and the Kellers agreed to raise Casey after Zarela’s family rejected her.”

“And what happened?” said Andrea.

“Casey Keller’s arrival throws a huge wrench into the family, as they’re forced to deal with long-held stereotypes and change their opinions about African-Americans,” said Logan. “The rest of the community also had to deal with taking care of Casey and reexamine their own relationships with their families and other people.”

“So that’s what the show was about,” said Dicky. “The city of Beldensville needed to deal with their own racial bias along with their declining community.”

“Now you know why I referenced the show a lot on "The Teen Rebels",” said Logan. “My character, Jamie Hailama, is a huge fan of the show. He tries to get Josie, Seth, Moira, and Trixie to watch the show with him on Thursdays.”

“And what episode do the Rebels meet Jamie?” said Andrea.

“Episode 10, towards the end when they ditch the Leap Year dance and bump into him,” said Logan. “Two episodes later, he joins the group.”

“And that’s how you came up with the story about the Teen Rebels?” said Dicky.

“Indeed,” said Logan. “It’s a shame that the same studio that produced a great TV show like “Beldensville” was also responsible for that piece of shit movie known as “The Spirit Keeper”. It’s like we don’t know what happened to Skybolt Films.”

“Between the ending of “Beldensville” and filming “The Spirit Keeper”, something went terribly wrong,” said Andrea. “We’ll be taking care of that after we deal with bin Laden and his cronies.”

“And everything always reverts to him,” said Sean. “I personally want to punch that guy in the face. I mean, it was already bad enough that Logan and I barely escaped with our lives when bin Laden attacked the Twin Towers back in 1993, but what he tried to do a few months ago takes the cake. Never have I met a man who decided to make a career out of attacking people in the name of terrorism.”

“Yeah, stupid jerk,” said Logan. “I want to slap him so hard his ancestors would be ashamed of him.”

“I assure you, it’s going to happen,” said Dicky. “No one should be allowed to inflict unnecessary pain on other people and live.”

“Now, guys, let’s not sink to his level,” said Andrea.

“Why not?” said Dicky.

“We can’t become the people we’re hunting,” said Andrea. “Besides, there’s more to us than stopping terrorism and taking down bad guys.”

“Fair enough,” said Logan. “Now let’s watch some TV; we can leave the plotting for tomorrow.”

“Good idea,” said Sean. “I would like to forget about terrorism and go back to a time when everything was almost right with America.”

The others agreed and switched to the reunion special. Logan had no idea that one of his houseguests was connected to the show in a surprising way...

“So let me get this straight: YOU were Casey Keller on “Beldensville”?” Deirdre cried out as the party commenced.

“Well,” said Karema as she stared at Deirdre. “It wasn’t really for me to say...”

“You were the star of a popular TV show and you never told me?” said Derrick. “Who are you?”

“That’s why I never told anyone,” said Karema. “You know how they would have reacted knowing that I was once on TV.”

“Yeah,” said Derrick. “James Martin is a pig.”

“At least he’s nothing like Arthur Erickson,” said Karema. “You both know the crap that he had tried to pull when he invested that money into that film studio. That studio lost the money when they made that one movie that insulted white people. That was the nail in his coffin. Arthur and his father could never recoup their loses; their film studio eventually went bankrupt.”

“Oh, I remember that,” said Deirdre. “Although Black Pride Films had low-quality movies and TV shows, what they threw out wasn’t that bad. But their first feature-length film was unbearable to watch.”

“Also, “The Emerald Magic” ruined all chances of many other fantasy movies getting off the ground,” said Derrick. “Plus, many people who watched that movie were horrified to see so much darkness in a children’s movie.”

“Yeah, about that,” said Deirdre, but before she could continue, the show began. Many people in the United States tuned in to see the show that almost destroyed stereotypes about African Americans and reinforced traditional Christian values. And of course, the Stale Grapes News covered the event.

Back in Washington, Jadis frowned as she watched the reunion story, as “Beldensville” began in 1984 and ended in 1992. Jadis had never watched the show, but some of her friends did. Some of them didn’t give the show great reviews, especially when one of them saw Sean guest starring on that show as Cousin Lucifer “Lucky” Keller.

“Guess you were too good for me; yet, the guys in Hollywood decided to put you on the small screen and leave me on the side of the road,” Jadis seethed as she watched the show.

Yet she knew it was her fault that Sean switched to the Hollywood scene after his marriage ended. Plus, the fact that Jadis had a hand in his wife’s death didn’t make her popular with the celebrities either.

“I can’t say that they’re saying positive things about you,” Felix said as he poured them some tea. “Not if they expected Lindsey to play Sean’s wife on the show. Needless to say, they had to change Sean’s character from a responsible young man into a hard-core rock star who refused to settle down and get married. At least until the middle of the third season, of course.”

“Don’t rub it in, Felix,” said Jadis. “Everyone already knows about Sean’s evil ex-girlfriend, which I’m not.”

“Well, you’ve been blamed for the murder of Lindsey Matheson and partly responsible for the death of Marvin Brummett, so people are immediately going to assume that Sean has an evil ex-girlfriend who won’t let him date or get married to anyone but her,” said Felix. “And I bet that 99% of those people want you behind bars or in a mental hospital for that matter.”

“Oh, so they’re still calling me the evil ex-girlfriend?” Jadis snapped in anger. “I’ll show them!”

Yet, she should have known that she was being watched. Especially

if the person watching her didn’t like her to begin with.

But we’ll leave that for another chapter.

We now go back to Deirdre, Karema, and Derrick as they’re still talking about Karema’s stint on the TV show “Beldensville”.

Mainly about why she hid the story about her involvement with the show.

“Well, you of all people should know why I kept this a secret,” said Karema.

“Why would you keep something like that a secret?” said Deirdre.

“Firstly, the boarding house where Derrick and I once lived frowned upon any interactions with White people,” said Karema.

“Well, I think that’s racist,” said Deirdre. “The people who run the orphanage are insane.”

“We’ve noticed,” said Karema. “Anyway, I made sure no one there knew that I was Casey Keller. If anyone knew and told the head honcho, the repercussions might have been awful.”

“Such as either the paparazzi would have the place surrounded or Karema would have been kicked out,” said Derrick. “She wasn’t about to take that risk.”

“Also, we were forced to work for Black Pride Entertainment,” said Karema. “They were particular about what we could or couldn’t do, from what we watched on TV to who we were allowed to hang out with.”

“Wow, what a messed-up world you guys lived in,” said Deirdre. “No wonder why you left.”

“I’m glad I left, if but to do something for Connie,” said Derrick. “They would have forced me to send her to a mental hospital had I not left.”

“OK, let’s leave that for later, as the party’s about to begin,” said Karema. “Plus, Barbara Walters wants to interview me for her special. I also have to go on the talk show tour with the rest of the cast next week. I might be gone for two weeks.”

“Let me guess: you need me to watch the kids?” said Derrick. Karema and Deirdre stared at him. “That’s all I’m ever good for, isn’t it? Babysitting?”

“Not really,” said Deirdre. “In fact, I’ve got some projects you can help me with. Also, Margaret is old enough to look after the kids for a few hours. They’ll be fine.”

“Good,” said Karema. “I don’t know why, but it feels like a homecoming. I know everyone back in the orphanage is watching this and thinking to themselves oh crap, it’s a white trash convention, but to me, it’s a great big family reunion. Not even the casts of “Gangstown High” and “Mr. Joltyton” were as popular as the cast of “Beldensville”, and that’s some of the few good shows produced by Black Pride Entertainment.”

“I hear that channel’s currently on the auction block,” William said as he approached the group. “Should we do something about that?”

“Not yet,” said Deirdre. “Remember, we’re still acquiring Shropspear Entertainment and Logan wants to sell his shares in Skybolt Films. Let’s not do anything important until Logan gets back.”

“Agreed,” said William. “Shall I inform the others that you wish to buy some shares in Oystertainment?”

“Only if we can buy the Stale Grapes News,” said Deirdre. “Sean’s too good for that sinful company.”

“I’ll get right on it,” said William as he left the group.

“Well, I don’t know about you guys, but I know that the time has come for us to control what we expose ourselves to,” said Deirdre. “The motto for Moviemagic Films is “we’re taking over the world, one movie at a time”!”

“What about television?” said Derrick. “Shouldn’t you try to take over TV as well?”

“Maybe,” said Deirdre. “For too long, cartoons ruled over our lives and the lives of our children. But no more. We need to break that stranglehold on America’s children and introduce quality TV shows that’s safe for them to watch.”

“At 8:00 A.M.,” said Karema.

“But before we do that, let’s make sure we know what we’re up against,” said Deirdre. “We already said that Disney-made cartoons were bad, but how do we make kids not want to watch TV?”

As the quickly-forming Moviewatching Trio plotted to take on Saturday morning cartoons, Logan and the others were talking about a completely different issue. That issue was about how to form the group that Samantha had spoken to them about in the last chapter.

“I don’t know if that could be done,” Dicky said as the others stared at him. “I mean, we could form the group, but should we?”

“We should,” said Andrea.

“Why?” said Dicky.

“Because only eight people can stop the Sons of Ebal,” said Sean. “For years, I and my group managed to stop them from committing various crimes against humanity, from saving Rachel Grant to stopping the bombing of the Alfred P. Murray building and warning people against living life that doesn’t glorify nature and God. We’ve been through it all. But I still wonder why we couldn’t stand up to a teenage girl who caused nothing but trouble for us and killed people because she couldn’t get what she wanted.”

“Maybe the time for the Knights is over,” Samantha said as she came into the room. She looked at everyone and said, “Your role in the creation of this elite group is simple: they will be known by the number on their right hand.”

“Wait a minute,” said Logan. “What number?”

“You, Dicky, and Andrea each have a number on the palm of your right hand,” Samantha said as she stared at their hands. Dicky had the number one while Logan had number two. Andrea, however, had the number four.

“What does this mean?” she said.

“It means we’re a lot closer to forming the group than we think,” said Sean. “If we can find the other five, we’ll be ready to challenge those jerks and take back the world for humanity.”

“We could, but should we?” said Dicky.

“We should, if only to save humanity from itself,” said Samantha. “Remember this: things are unraveling faster than people can rebuild their lives. We need to stop evil before it gets a chance to take hold on this country. If we can stop them here, they will die.”

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