Life After 9/11

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Time passed, and soon November was here.

During that time, Anastasia Élan passed her 5th birthday on Sunday, November 11, 2001. On that day, Andrea reluctantly threw a small party for her, hoping that she could keep everything regarding her children under wraps until Roger could rejoin his family.

(Of course, Andrea had scolded Sean for taking too long to get her husband out of New York quickly; they had the mother of all fights on Halloween. It took Logan and Deirdre an hour and a half to break up the fighting cousins. Logan forced Sean to get Roger to Pasadena (job or no job) while Deirdre dispatched her friends Derrick Virgil and Karema Smittand to keep an eye on Anastasia and Consuelo while she dealt with Andrea.)

Also during that time, Logan, Dicky, and Andrea spent the last few weeks plotting to use Deirdre’s latest movie, “The Frostfall”, to overtake the highly anticipated movie “Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone”. The reason they plotted to get rid of Harry Potter was not only was Harry Potter rumored to have witchcraft in it, but so much unnecessary hype over the movie annoyed them all.

(Unknown to everyone, Andrea had changed the movie’s title from “The Frostfall” to “Frostfall”. She also had the movie’s release date changed from December 12, 2001 to November 15, 2001 in an effort to destroy Harry Potter’s stranglehold on the world.)

Also, Logan posted a video on his MySpace page that denounced Harry Potter as evil. He also claimed that the books were promoting witchcraft, two things that frightened a country that was almost destroyed in a terrorist attack less than two months earlier.

(In the video, he dressed as a priest named Father Diego Cortez. Father Diego was a character featured in the controversial movie “Siege of the Priest”. Despite the controversial disguise, he was able to get his point across. Everyone who had watched “Siege of the Priest” knew that when Father Diego spoke, he meant business; no one was allowed to dispute him.)

Well, that was that.

With “Frostfall” about to be released in theaters (with little fanfare) and many parents becoming concerned about what they were allowing their children to read, Logan, Dicky, and Andrea knew they had their work cut out for them. All they had to do now was convince children between the ages of 8-15 years old living in the city of Pasadena, California that “Frostfall” was better than Harry Potter.

Namely, a certain 8-year-old girl named Jacquelyn-Claire Ritterwolff, a distant cousin of Logan, Dicky, and Andrea as well as the oldest daughter of Arexus and Irina Ritterwolff.

Technically, Jacquelyn would be 8 years old when “Frostfall” and “Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone” were released in theaters. (Let’s assume she already made up her mind not to see “Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone” because she doesn’t like Harry Potter.)

“Are you sure that “Frostfall” is a good movie?” The girl in question said as she and her entire class went to the theater. She was at the age where most kids were skeptical about what they wanted to read. She, like most of her classmates, kept themselves away from the Harry Potter books; some of the kids knew someone who told them that the books weren’t good for them to read.

“Of course it is,” said Dicky. “You know what they say; if it’s made by Logan Dara, it’s going to be a good movie.”

“I didn’t make that movie,” said Logan. “Deirdre did. Besides, not all my movies were good. Do you remember when I was kicked out of producing “The Spirit Keeper”? Do you remember how much backlash the film had gotten upon its release in theaters? The movie was so bad, Skybolt Film Productions almost went bankrupt. Even President Clinton wanted the film and the books based on the film destroyed.”

“Don’t forget, Book Marketing Plus gave the author of “The Spirit Keeper” a lifetime writing ban,” said Dicky. “Such a shame one little story could cause this much trouble.”

“OK, I know that the world wasn’t ready for that story,” said Andrea. “But still, we’ve invited a few kids and a handful of journalists to watch this movie. How do we know they’re going to give the movie a good review?”

“We don’t,” said Dicky. “No one’s going to be able to force them to stay if they don’t want to watch it.”

“Yeah, and that too,” said Andrea.

“I’ve already asked Cousin Sean to come tonight,” said Logan, “and everyone seems to be paying attention to him nowadays; albeit most of what he says slanders and belittles Americans.”

“You know what they say: if you can win over Sean Michael Rowes, you win the average American citizen,” said Andrea. “And as we all know, J. K. Rowling managed to piss him off when she made that insulting remark about his mother last year at the Hugo Awards. I’m sure he’ll be more than happy to do some serious damage to that woman.”

“I know,” said Dicky. “If we succeed with this movie, that’ll give Sean more than enough fodder to poke holes into her Harry Potter books.”

Logan nodded as he noted a group of reporters from various newspapers and magazines taking their seats in the theater. The story about “Frostfall” and its potential to overtake “Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone” swept throughout Los Angeles, with many people betting on how long it was going to take for “Frostfall” to flop and “Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone” to become popular, especially with the kids. He saw Sean waving to him from his spot next to a journalist. Jacquelyn came to him, saying, “You won’t say bad things about the movie?”

“Well, not exactly,” said Sean.

“Why are you doing this?” said Jacquelyn.

“Because Cousin Logan owes me for making sure that bad people don’t blow up any buildings in New York,” said Sean. “He has to pay me back.”

“With money?” Jacquelyn cried out.

“Not just with money, but with something else,” said Sean. “I’m going to make sure that he pays me back in every way possible.”

The movie started after 15 minutes of previews. Within a few minutes, everyone in the theater was hooked. The story entertained the children while the scenery fascinated the journalists. Yet, the main part was the fact that Lacey Parrish appeared to be more confident than Harry Potter was. She never gave into despair and wasn’t afraid to stand up for what she believed in. (Plus, she didn’t need anyone to tell her about her destiny, as she said, “I make my own destiny,” at the end of the movie.)

After “Frostfall’s” preview showing, the film was immediately released in theaters, which competed with “Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone”. While many people did watch “Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone”, many more people watched “Frostfall”. Those who watched “Frostfall” said they preferred that movie over Harry Potter while those who watched Harry Potter disliked “Frostfall” because they believe that “Frostfall” was stealing attention from Harry Potter, the attention they felt that Harry Potter rightfully deserved. Nonetheless, Sean’s positive review of “Frostfall” and Jacquelyn’s enthusiasm (and that of her classmates) was what had driven “Frostfall” to overtake “Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone”.

“Wow,” Logan said as he looked over the results of his latest scheme. “Frostfall” had managed to overtake “Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone” in a matter of days. It was all thanks to him, Dicky, and Andrea. “I never thought this would work itself out.”

“I did,” said Andrea, “if for my own kids being entertained by Frostfall.”

“How did you know to use the fear of witchcraft to force schools and libraries to give up the Harry Potter books?” said Dicky.

“Well, I have my ways,” said Logan, “and the best way to stop Harry Potter from taking over the United States was...well, let’s say my video about the threat of the Harry Potter books introducing witchcraft to children certainly did the trick.”

“That it did,” said Dicky, “because nobody’s allowed to ignore Father Diego.”

“Logan, you’re cruel and heartless,” said Andrea.

“And fiercely proud of it,” said Logan.

Just then, Leilar showed up with the Entertainment section of the Los Angeles Times. He said, “I got the reviews of the movie!” (Just so you know, the movie that Logan, Dicky, and Andrea promoted was “Frostfall”, which was based on the book “The Destiny of Lacey Parish”. But you already knew that!)

“Oh, did you now?” said Logan. “Let’s see what they’re saying about the movie!”

The article read: “Based from the book “The Destiny of Lacey Parrish” by Suzette Mullen, Frostfall is a fast-paced film with strong characterizations; fans will enjoy this superb fantasy adventure. In remaking the classic “orphaned hero archetype” and throwing in new twists and turns, “Frostfall” succeeds where “Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone” fails in making the characters enlightened and not village idiots. Though Deirdre Dara pumps this story full of intrigue, the book’s vivid, unique characters steal the show. I highly recommend that you skip “Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone” and watch “Frostfall” right now.

“Do they like it?” said Dicky. “Please tell me that they liked the movie!”

“Well,” Leilar said as he continued to read the article, “the truth is that the critics are claiming that even though the movie was boring and used too many worn-out fairytale clichés, at least it’s better than Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone.”

“Wow, we’re such geniuses,” said Andrea. “Needless to say, though, I think your plan to make the Harry

Potter movie flop in theaters worked.”

“Because wasn’t that our job?” said Dicky.

“Yes, that was our job,” said Logan. “To get rid of Harry Potter and make it so that no one would want to have anything to do with the books or the movie ever again. I always knew the plan would work before we got started.”

“That’s because we recruited Sean to write a positive movie review about Frostfall,” said Andrea, “and everyone knows that if you win over Sean, you win over the world. On the other hand, if you lose Sean, you lose everything. J.K. Rowling will be learning that lesson soon enough because the movie based on her book flopped while our movie succeeded.”

“Yeah,” said Logan. “I can’t wait to rub her face in my success. Guess it goes to show you that magic alone cannot sell a story.”

“You’re right, Logan,” said Andrea. “Magic doesn’t sell a story; a good plot and good characters does. Hopefully, J.K. Rowling will have learned that lesson from Suzette Mullen soon.”

“And if she doesn’t, we’ll remind her of who won last year’s Hugo Award, which was NOT her,” said Dicky. “Because George R. R. Martin’s “A Storm of Swords” was so much better than her “Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire”. I know, because I’ve checked.”

“The only thing she’ll be checking is her books’ popularity,” said Logan, “because popularity ain’t the same if you promote a movie too much and it falls flat on its face as it reaches the finish line.”

“Logan,” said Leilar, “you have a lot to learn about popularity and promotion, especially when it comes to movies. Right now, scores of Harry Potter fans are up in arms about the whole thing, with the movie flopping in theaters and nobody reading the Harry Potter books. You’ve done some serious damage to the Harry Potter fandom with your controversial video the same way that Johnathan Peck destroyed “The Spirit Keeper” with his essay claiming that homosexuality was being sold to children.”

“Who cares about what those Harry Potter fans think?” said Andrea.

“It’s not like anyone’s going to listen to them,” said Dicky. “Not since Logan’s video was released on the Internet and everybody now knows the truth about Harry Potter. Since people know the truth about Harry Potter, nobody wants to have anything to do with the books or the movie based on the books. We got rid of an epic disaster before it could begin.”

“Because we’re powerful,” said Logan. “Remember the motto for Moviemagic Films: We’re taking over the world, one movie at a time!”

“Not so fast, everyone,” said Leilar. They all glared at him as he said, “We still have “The Lord of the Rings” to contend with; from the looks of it, I say that movie’s going to be big.”

Lord of the Rings?” said Logan. “It’s going to be a movie? Should we be threatened?”

“Should we block it?” said Dicky.

“Nah, let’s leave that one alone,” said Andrea. “Besides, “The Lord of the Rings” is like the king of all epic fantasies. Between you and me, it’s about goddamn time that somebody made this movie.”

“Yes,” said Logan. “Someone needs to make the “Lord of the Rings” as a movie and get rid of those stupid cartoons made from the book during the 1970′s. I will never forgive Rankin Bass for screwing up the story.”

“Not to mention Ralph Bashir’s complete destruction of the story,” said Andrea. “I will NEVER get over that at all. That movie sucked and it destroyed my desire to read the book based on said movie.”

“Word on the street is that the movie was divided into three parts and directed by someone called Peter Jackson,” said Dicky.

“You mean that guy who did that movie called “Bad Taste”?” said Logan.

“He also did that movie called “Heavenly Creatures” where Kate Winslet was sent to jail for murdering her own mother,” said Dicky.

“I’m not too sure about him,” said Andrea. “If anything, Steven Spielberg should have directed Lord of the Rings.”

“Steven Spielberg directing Lord of the Rings?” said Dicky. “Oh hell no! I could not fathom him taking something that big and making a movie out of it! No way will I allow that to happen!”

“Let’s not forget, George Lucas would totally obliterate the book if he were to film it,” said Leilar. “No way are we letting “Star Wars” and “Lord of the Rings” get that close to each other, not in my lifetime!”

“Well, let’s make sure he succeeds and hopefully make the public forget that Harry Potter existed, as well as those piece of crap “Lord of the Rings” cartoons,” said Logan.

“What have we got to lose?” said Andrea.

To make a long story short, “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” was released in theaters on December 18, 2001. It shot up in viewings, shattered various movie records, and became one of the most popular movies during the 2001 Christmas season. “Frostfall” fell to 3rd place with the release of a movie called “The Forbidden World” on December 7, 2001, but “Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone” flopped in theaters after a three-day run and was soon forgotten by the public. (Within two weeks, that movie was pulled from theaters.)

None of this would have been possible it wasn’t for Logan Dara, Dicky Michaelson, and Andrea Élan.

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