This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Note: This story is set in a fictional version of Walt Disney World Resort, and all referenced material is used in like fashion. The Walt Disney Company has not authorized or endorsed this story. Story by David Foxfire; Artwork by David Foxfire, colored by Rich Koster
Oswald scratched his head as he looked at the black tablet in his hand. To him an iPhone would be little more than a handheld monolith from 2001. “So, this is a phone?”
Ortensia nodded. “It’s a phone, a radio, a music and video player, and you can even play games on it.” She showed her hers. Both of them were given by Minnie earlier. “Flowers vs Zombies, my favorite.”
“Meh,” Johnny said, looking out the window of the light rail train. “They’re not so hot.”
“Speak for yourself, sweetie,” Ortensia said. “Where we were, we still had phones that weren’t even rotary; there was that crankshaft that you have to turn to call the operator.”
Johnny looked to Ortensia, gave a smile and snorted a little. “There’s this application called ‘Cheese Platter’ but when I downloaded it, there wasn’t any cheese. It was just shapes you can move around on the tablet.”
Ortensia raised an eyebrow. “Aaaaaah.”
“So they can’t make food appear,” Oswald said. “Important thing to know about these things.”
“Tell me about it,” Amber said. “I had to stop Johnny from going up Steve Jobs’ pant leg for that.”
Johnny has to nod to that. His eyes dart over to the window outside of the light rail train heading to Celebration. Unlike the Monorails that the guests use which by now connects all of the parks in the property, the Light Rail is used by the castmembers and the local people in the region, especially those in Celebration. The train is nearing Animal Kingdom now and Ortensia wondered why he’s got this expression. Then she remembered.
“Johnny,” she said, “Is this where that mouse village is at?”
Oswald looked over to her wife.
“Johnny was once a normal field mouse who lived in a forest around Animal Kingdom,” Ortensia said. “Am I right?”
“Actually the place is between Animal Kingdom and Epcot,” Johnny said, “but you’re right. It’s protected wilderness so they shouldn’t worry about it being paved over. We got a little worried when Eisner decided to build his zoo.”
“Minnie told me your story, about how you got here,” Ortesnia said. “About the experiments in the 40s evolved the mice there, about that experimental beam that made you toon sized. You must’ve had a very exciting life, young man.”
Johnny shrugged first, and then smiled at the cat. “What can I say, I wanted a life of adventure like Mickey and company had. Actually dropping into one, though, it’s another matter. But enough about me. There’s something that’s bugging me. How on earth did you and Oswald get out of this Wasteland place? From what I heard, you need a heart to get out of there.”
Oswald continued the thought. “And in order to have a heart to leave the wasteland, kid, you need to be remembered. And I have to admit that it was the utter shock of our lives to wake up one day to the sounds of our own heartbeats. And that’s when Master Yensid popped out of the mirror and explained things to us.”
“Or rather, I discovered the reason.” Ortesnia said as he lifted up her iPhone to show a screen of a Youtube search on ‘Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.’ “First thing I did when I saw Yensid’s computer is to do what you call ‘Googling’ for my husband. And lo and behold. Every cartoon was there. Every one of them. It was almost like we never left.”
“This internet thing pulled my cotton tail out of the mire!” Oswald said. “Everyone in the wasteland was getting their hearts back left and right, it was unbelievable! Even Yensid was surprised, and that’s something you just can’t do.”
Amber had to chuckle at that. “I heard about one guy who found a never fairy near death, so he thought he’d Google ‘Clap for Fairies’ with the pixie in front of the screen.”
“Did it work?” Ortesnia asked.
“Ever seen those electric paddles you use to shock a heart back beating?” Amber waited for the nod. “Imaging using a lightning bolt as a defibrillator, that’s what the results were.”
As Ortesnia looked over at Oswald with an expression of utter awe, the train slowed down.
“Here we are, guys,” Amber said. “Celebration Station.”
Johnny kept the door to the train open—never mind that the door automatically did so—to let out Oswald and Ortesnia—and then did a little weaving around the two, causing Oswald to spin from the torso up, and then bounded on top of a railing, hopping over benches and trash cans. Oswald had to run to catch up. “Hey, wait up, Kid. How’d ya do that?!”
“There he goes again,” Ortesnia said. “Amber, does Johnny always do that?”
“That’s parkour for you,” Amber said with a nod. “Look it up, you’ll find a lot of videos.”
“Maybe once I get out of traffic first.” Ortesnia said as she made her way along the crowd, some of them even greeted the ‘new’ character that appeared in front of them. “Oh, it’s nice to meet you too, my dear. Yes, they warned me about Johnny, heh heh heh. My husband’s out there with him now trying to get him into line. Oh, we’ve just moved in last night. If you search Youtube for us, you’ll find out why we—FRANCIE!”
She almost didn’t catch the black-ink rabbit in a nurse’s frock coming toward her. “Ortesnia! You’re here!”
The two embrace almost like sisters.
“How’d you get out here, Fanny?” Ortesnia asked.
“Well, I really lucked out today, hon,” Francie. “I’ve got hired to be an assistant for a local vet. Yes, I know my medical education is mostly for more sentient folk, but with this economy, you take what you get.”
“That vet,” Amber said as she came up to them. “That wouldn’t be Terry Merichello, by any chance.”
Francie took one look at Amber, and the recognition of her in a Mouseketeer outfit doubled the bright smile she had. “You must be Amber. Your mother told me all about you and Johnny. But I met him earlier; had to patch up his forehead after taking one of Donald’s elbows. Should’ve warned the mousie about him.”
“Oh, Johnny knew what he was getting into,” Amber said. “It’s getting out of things that’s the problem.”
The three laughed at that.
“So anyway, how’d you get the job, Fanny?” Amber said.
“Well, she wanted to help me bring Ozzy and Ortesnia’s kids over here so they have someplace new to play in.” Fanny said, and then blew an imaginary lock of hair back into place. “All 480 of them.”
The pair waited for the number to register in Amber’s brain.
Ortesnia made sure that the Mouseketeer was looking at her in utter shock to say, “Not all at once, dear! We spent eighty years in the Wasteland, that’s plenty of time to…” she then blushed. “You know.”
She paused just a moment to shoot a stern glance at someone who shouted out “Rule 34!” to her.
But that was enough for Amber to ask, “Are they all here?”
Amber got her answer from a sound of a stampede and a panicked Johnny: “Ohmygosh! Zerg Rush!”
She managed to run on ahead to see Johnny about to be swallowed up by what looks like a tsunami of blue fur.
The impact made her wince.
Ortesnia just sighed. “Better break out the first aid kit, Fanny. Johnny might need patching up again.”
“Right,” Francie said as she made it materialize out of thin air.
“Hahahaha!” was all Ozzy could say. “I don’t know what you mean by Zerg Rush, but I think my kids are the masters of it.” He then turned to the three girls. “Hey ladies, I learn something new every minute nowadays!”