Life After 9/11

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More to Come

“Logan, this is a bad idea,” Dicky said as the trio walked towards Eleani’s beauty salon. They had traveled to Oahu to “lie low” following a death threat from Osama bin Laden. The incident happened after said angry man had called for the deaths of the three cousins after learning that they had stopped the 9/11 attacks from happening.

The cousins also got 19 men arrested for attempting to hijack four planes and blowing up the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and the White House. They also incited millions of people to fight against terrorism and called the Al-Qaida “terrorists”. (Plus, I’m not even going to mention the story about how Andrea’s in-laws were arrested for their involvement in the plot to kill Andrea and her cousins That would be a huge waste of time.)

In short, Logan Dara, Dicky Michaelson, and Andrea Marshall had made a dangerous enemy.

“You know my mother worries if she hasn’t heard from me in three days,” said Logan. “She’s been that way since 1988. Plus, with the whole 9/11 debacle, she’s not going anywhere near the continental United States until it’s safe.”

“I bet that if anything happened to you, your mother would have personally killed bin Laden and tore up the entire Middle East,” said Dicky.

“Like I would doubt that,” said Logan. “There’s nothing my mom won’t do to protect her only begotten son.”

“Wouldn’t it be better for everyone if you moved to Oahu?” said Andrea. “That way your mother doesn’t have to worry about if you’re safe.”

“Can’t do that,” said Logan. “My business is in Pasadena. Plus, I’m not about to uproot my family and force them to move to another state all in the name of a mother’s concern.”

They reached the salon and everyone in the place turned to stare at them. Apparently the workers and customers had known Logan when he was a newborn, for one of them said, “Am I seeing a ghost?”

“No, it’s only me,” said Logan. “Sorry to disappoint you, Robert.”

Robert Landrum glared at Logan, saying, “I can’t believe it. Logan leaves this humble little place and becomes a big-time Hollywood star...”

“...and you’re still Robert Landrum, the useless underachiever, just as you always were my whole life,” Logan snapped in turn. “But I’m not here to see you; where is my mother?”

Eleani Pekelo Dara saw Logan, Dicky, and Andrea and ran towards them, crying, “I thought you three were dead!”

“Evidently not, as we’re still alive,” said Dicky.

“And not rotting in a pine box at Forest Park Cemetery,” said Logan.

“Where did you hear those ridiculous rumors?” said Andrea.

“When I heard that you went missing at the same time as those terrorists were arrested for trying to blow up those buildings, my heart almost stopped,” said Eleani. “The thought of my baby boy, the boy who I gave birth to against the wishes of my family and the doctors, being dead in the streets of New York, would have killed me, as if nothing else would.”

“You knew why I had to disappear,” said Logan. “Osama bin Laden is calling for my death because I stopped his attacks from happening. And I’m not going to mention that every Harry Potter fan out there wants my head for claiming that the Harry Potter books are promoting witchcraft.”

“Never do that again, Logan Kamoku Dara,” Eleani snapped at Logan. “Never disappear. You never knew how much it hurt your father when he had to tell me that you would have been dead or far worse.”

“You do know about Osama bin Laden and how he’s calling for Logan’s death for stopping his attacks on New York and Washington DC,” said Seth Johnston.

“I know, and I’m going to carve out that wicked man’s heart with a rusty crochet needle if he tries to kill my boy,” said Eleani. “That man has no right to be demanding my son’s blood to be spilled because he can’t blow up any buildings. He is a child, and his actions are that of a whiny child who isn’t getting their way. He’ll be answering to the Trichenberg family soon.”

“Plus, you should know what he said about Harry Potter,” said Marina Ford. Everyone stated at her. “Logan made that video claiming that Harry Potter promotes witchcraft.”

“And before you say anything, it’s true,” said Dicky.

“And if you still like Harry Potter after it flopped in theaters, you’re stupid,” Andrea said in turn.

“Of course it promotes witchcraft,” said Saul Watson. “You think Harry Potter is a harmless children’s book? I’ve seen fourth-grade essays that were better written than what that talentless hack could have written.”

“Yeah,” said Laura Reynolds. “When I first read the book, I couldn’t believe the amount of crap Harry was able for get away with. If I did half the stuff he did, I’d be expelled from Hogwarts faster than you can say hocus pocus!”

“Yeah, and that too,” said Seth. “Anyway, I’ve had enough of dealing with Harry Potter; the story is boring, lame, and unoriginal. If another Harry Potter movie is made after the first movie bombed in theaters, it’ll be way too soon.”

“I hope so,” said Logan. To his mother, her said, “Anyway, we’re here for a makeover.”

“What’ll it be? The All-American Childhood or the Patriotic Special?” said Angela Cooley.

Andrea cried out, “I thought we were coming here to relax, not totally redecorating my body! What’s going on here?”

“I did say that we have to lay low, didn’t we?” said Logan. “Well, I can grow out my hair without causing too much trouble, but since you and Dicky both have Down syndrome, disguising you two isn’t going to be easy.”

“I don’t think it’s fair to have to change our outer appearance just to keep us safe,” said Dicky.

“If there was another way that I could keep us safe, I’d go for that in a heartbeat,” said Logan. “But since I can’t do that, this is what I have to do.”

“Straight to the back, you three, I’ll be with you in a second,” said Eleani.

Logan, Dicky, and Andrea walked to the back of the salon, which held Eleani’s tools for body makeovers. Andrea said to Logan, “I hope your mom knows what she’s doing.”

“Of course she does,” said Logan. “She spent six months in Turkey learning how to do this procedure. Plus, that’s how she managed to lose all that weight after getting that tumor removed from her head when we went on vacation in Thailand two years ago.”

“OK, but I don’t see how this is going to work,” said Dicky.

“And what makes you say that?” said Logan.

“Andrea and I have an extra 23rd chromosome, as you already mentioned, and no amount of plastic surgery is going to make that go away,” said Dicky.

“I’m not trying to change you or get rid of your extra chromosome; I’m only here to make you better,” Eleani said as she came into the room. “Now, it’s time to say goodbye to the old Dicky, because Richard Trichenberg is going to be reborn!”

Andrea frowned, knowing that she would be next to face Eleani. The woman turned to her and said, “And as for you, Andrea, you may be the face of human rights and fighting for the rights of mentally handicapped people, but I know that no one will take you seriously if you look like that. Your hair isn’t a pixie cut and you look like you’re still in kindergarten. How your husband didn’t get arrested for marrying you astounds me.”

“Mom,” Logan began, but Eleani shushed him. “I have no choice but to fix them, so shut up and let me do my work,” she snapped. “Remember, you’re supposed to be hiding in secret.”

“Yeah,” Logan said as he sat in a nearby chair the corner of the room. He was beginning to wonder if it was a good idea to bring Dicky and Andrea to his mother’s beauty salon. If anything, Logan wondered if it was safe to disguise his friends with the knowledge of them having Down syndrome.

As far as he knew, it was almost impossible to hide a person with Down syndrome in a crowd. And it was even harder when almost everyone in New York (and around the world) knew who Andrea was and what she looked like.

But that didn’t stop him from bringing Dicky and Andrea to Eleani, nor did it prevent them from protesting the decision to alter their appearance. Some things should not be altered, and a person is one of those things that shouldn’t be altered.

Logan could only hope he didn’t make things worse for himself and his friends.

“William, could you hand me the screenplay for “The Time Masters”?” said Deirdre.

She was sitting in Logan’s office, going over screenplays and scripts for the spring TV premieres. So far, she had already dropped seven under-performing shows and canceled an eighth show after viewers complained of a gay storyline.

“Such a shame that “Boyfriend Series” had to be canceled,” William said as he handed her the screenplay. “Just as it was getting good too.”

“I’ve noticed,” said Deirdre. “I’ve also been thinking about taking some disciplinary action against Shane McIntyre. Just because he’s gay doesn’t mean he has the right to impose his homosexuality upon the viewers.”

“I see,” said William. “Logan needs to know about this incident as soon as possible. We’ve given Shane too much leeway and now he’s throwing it back in our faces. This is what happens when we’re too nice to people who are normally marginalized by society.”

“And now we’re paying for it in canceled TV shows and lost viewers,” said Deirdre. “Haven’t we learned anything from the “Spirit Keeper” fiasco?”

“I’m sure that it will come up at the next meeting,” said William.

Deirdre sighed as she read over the screenplay, making notes about the characters and scenery. She set it aside, promising to read it over later.

She picked up another screenplay; that screenplay was for the next season of “Sweet Twilight”. The show was beginning to gain its popularity, particularly with the high school crowd. It wasn’t “The Teen Rebels”, but it was still close.

“As far as I know, you’ve already canceled “Party Dad”, “The Flying Foxes”, “Escapeless”, “The Dark Hours”, “The Parlour Adventure”, “The Eternal Garden”, “The Light of Metronome”, and “Boyfriend Series”, so how many shows are left?” said William.

“Fifteen, which seems like a lot right now,” said Deirdre, “But “Good Hunter” and “The Return of Jessica Brown” will be renewed this spring, and Logan wants “Road Raiders” to be ready for the summer premiere. Plus, we have to get ready to promote the sequel to “Frostfall”. So we can’t be fooling around.”

“I hate to break it to you, but you and Logan have been invited to take part in the winter Olympic Games,” said William.

“Well, I’m shocked,” said Deirdre. “I honestly thought we were going to watch the games. I already brought tickets and everything.”

“And the bad news is,” William continued, but Deirdre said, “Don’t tell me: Amos Yates of Gardenstone Drive has ordered yet another “Teen Rebels” special. I already told him that we don’t need any more Teen Rebels specials. I mean, I’ve already done “Teen Rebels 2000" last year; what more does he want?”

“It’s not him you should worry about,” said William.

“Well, that’s good,” said Deirdre. “What is it?”

“I’ll tell you, but you won’t like it,” said William.

“Tell me anyway,” said Deirdre.

He told her; she didn’t like it.

A few hours later, Logan woke up from his nap. He was still sitting in his seat in his mother’s salon, waiting for her to be done with Dicky and Andrea’s makeovers. Within a few moments, he reached over and answered his cell phone. Deirdre told him that they had been slated to participate in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.

“Well, that’s interesting,” said Logan.

“But the bad news is that you’ve been picked as the leader to fight against your cousin Ramley Tallahard in the Trichenberg Hockey Tournament,” Deirdre said.

“Aw crap! You mean, I gotta go up against the fat pig who does nothing but sit on the couch and watches TV all day?” said Logan. “This is insane! Whoever thought of that idea should be shot!”

“That would be the organizer of the tournament,” said Deirdre. “Plus, you should be more concerned with the theme of this year’s tournament, which is called East Coasters vs. West Coasters.”

“Have they lost their goddamned minds?” Logan hissed in anger. “Have they forgotten about the East Coast/West Coast rap wars? That rivalry left Tupac and Biggie dead and scarred many people for life. And I was friends with Tupac! This theme is an insult to his memory!”

At this point, Dicky and Andrea came out. They had been changed from what they had once been that it scared him. For starters, Dicky and Andrea looked like the typical people with Down Syndrome, with slanted eyes (Dicky also had Brushfield spots in his blue eyes), flat noses, a short neck, and a small chin. Neither Dicky or Andrea were able to reach five feet in height.

But thanks to Eleani, Dicky stood a bit taller than he was before and had tan skin and dark brown hair. (Yet his Brushfield spots still remained.) Andrea, however, still retained her height of 4′7, but she had light brown hair, cream-colored skin, and purple eyes (as her ancestress, Johannah Trichenberg, had purple eyes). In short, both of them looked more like supermodels than the childlike people who had put an end to the September 11, 2001 attacks before those attacks could happen.

“Well, do you like it, Logan?” Eleani said as she came out of the room.

“What did you do to them?” Logan yelled out.

“Same thing I had done to myself after getting that tumor removed from the back of my head two years ago,” said Eleani. “No one will know it’s them.”

“But still, that was completely unnecessary,” said Logan. “I brought them here to get a makeover, not completely turn them into superstars.”

“Don’t worry, Logan, we had to do this,” said Andrea. “It’s not like we had any other choice. Need I remind you that there’s an evil man by the name of Osama bin Laden who is calling for our heads because we stopped him from attacking the Twin Towers?”

“Besides, I like the new and improved me,” said Dicky.

“But what about your Down Syndrome?” Logan cried out. “You yourself said that it wasn’t going to go away.”

“And you’re right,” said Dicky. “We can’t get rid of it without causing a ton of problems. But our appearance is a lot better, no thanks to your mother.”

“Now I don’t have to wear those ugly frumpy clothes whenever I have to leave the house,” said Andrea.

“I guess that will work,” Logan said as he stared at them again. Then to Eleani, he said, “Do me a favor, will you?”

“What?” said his mother.

“Don’t ever change,” said Logan.

“Too late,” said Eleani. “I’ve already changed our friends. Now we celebrate.”

“Celebrate what?” Andrea said with a strange look on her face.

“Your rebirth,” said Eleani. “If you weren’t born before, you are born now. Now, let’s put away your old life and start your new life. If anyone thinks they will harm you, they’ll be answering to me. Now, let’s go!”

Logan frowned, as if he wasn’t already regretting his decision to take his friends to his mother’s salon. He knew that it would only be a matter of time before Eleani would change him as well...

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