MONICA: I can’t believe it’s really you . . .
JAKE: I can’t believe you’re actually here, in Point Mystic.
MONICA: How did you even get here?
JAKE [smirking]: Same way you did: through a door.
MONICA: I feel like I’ve been doing that for fucking ever. Met lots of interesting people, visited some really crazy fucking places. But never found you. Though I got close once . . .
JAKE: You did? How do you know?
MONICA: The porcelain lily.
[Gasp of shock from Jake.]
MONICA: Well, half of the porcelain lily that you told them to put in that lockbox.
JAKE [Absolute shock]: Oh my god, you found it. It really got to you. That’s incredible. I never really expected it to work. It was totally a Back to the Future move.
MONICA [Not believing him]: Never expected it to work? Really? JAKE: Okay, I was really hoping, but was never certain. But it did work. Here’s my piece.
MONICA: Yep. And they fit.
[Porcelain scratching sound]
JAKE: Just like us.
MONICA: That’s fucking terrible. But I’m going to allow it, because you’re as wiped as I am, I’m sure.
JAKE: Not all it’s chalked up to be?
MONICA: And now I want to punch you. That didn’t take long at all. It might even be a record for you, Jakey.
JAKE: I try.
MONICA: So how did you know I was here?
JAKE: Once I arrived, I got introduced to Christopher. He wanted to interview about how I ended up in Point Mystic. I said sure and told himmy story. And then he asked me if I was looking for someone. That’s when I started getting excited. Then he told me you were here.
MONICA: Did he say where to find me?
JAKE: No. He basically just said go walking around the town. You’ll findher.
MONICA: [Snort] Typical of him. He told me the same thing, essentially. So I just started walking around. Eventually I saw there was a lighthouse andgot drawn to it. Wanted to check it out.
JAKE: That was the first thing I noticed. I figured I’d give it a shot and then started searching the rest of the town. But I wasn’t worried. I’m not under a time limit here.
MONICA: Yeah, me neither. I don’t know what it is. Is it something about
MONICA: Yeah, me neither. I don’t know what it is. Is it something about Ostium this place? Point Mystic. It’s pretty unique.
JAKE: Yeah. Has a kind of magical feel to it, like it’s not quite real. A place you’ve got to find for yourself. And it’s not on any map. Nobody outside of town really knows about it.
MONICA: Kinda sounds like a certain other place we found.
JAKE: Yeah. No kidding. But Ostium feels a long way off from here. MONICA: It sure does.
JAKE: Maybe it’s because we finally found each other. That’s why we don’t have to leave anymore, or at least right away.
MONICA: Could be.
JAKE: Why did you come after me?
MONICA: Are you kidding? I had to Jake. I wasn’t going to let you fucking leave me behind again. Plus I knew the state you were in. I needed to do whatever I could to try and get to you and help you. I wouldn’t let anything hold me back. Nothing could stop me. I wasn’t going to take no for an answer from anyone. I just wasn’t going to let it happen.
JAKE: Well, I could say something about how much it means to me to hear that, but words wouldn’t do it justice. But I appreciate it. More than youwill ever know.
MONICA: You sure about that?
JAKE: Yes. Undoubtedly. Wholeheartedly.
MONICA: Okay. Good. So what’s next for us?
JAKE: I figured we’d go through a few more doors, check out a couple more worlds, and see what’s happening.
MONICA: Sounds good to me.
MONICA: Fuck no, Jake. I’m done doing that. I want to get back to Ostium. Some-fucking-how. And then take a really long nap.
JAKE: That sounds . . . really great to me. Let’s make it happen. MONICA: Do you know how?
JAKE: No, not really. But I have an idea . . . well, more of an inkling. Do you have all the talismans from the different worlds you visited? MONICA: You betcha.
JAKE: Good. I think they’re going to be important. So, step one is . . . MONICA: Go through a door?
JAKE: You guessed it. How about that one?
MONICA: The lighthouse?
JAKE: Yeah. It’s the closest one to us. No reason not to use it. MONICA: Sounds good to me.
JAKE: Good. And I’m going to need to hold your hand. I feel like that’s part of it.
MONICA [Serious]: Okay Jake.
[Old squeaking door opening, then closing.]
JAKE: Where are we?
MONICA: Somewhere dark and stuffy.
JAKE: Let me see if I can find a light switch.
MONICA: Oh my god. We’re fucking back baby!
JAKE: Holy shit. It’s the clock tower. We’re inside.
JAKE: Okay, I can’t really see much outside, but I can see shadows of buildings, and the hintings of streets. Yep. We’re definitely back in Ostium. Fucking-A.
MONICA: You ready for some grub?
JAKE: Shit, yes. I’m starving. Let’s get cooking.
[Eating sounds: utensils on plates]
MONICA: So, I know it’s a big fucking step that we’re back here, but we still need to get back to the Ostium Network. Somehow.
JAKE: I know.
MONICA: We need to get back to Steve. He’s probably worried shitless about us. And . . . I really miss him too.
JAKE: Yeah, I do as well. I’ve got the stirrings of an idea, but not till the
JAKE: Yeah, I do as well. I’ve got the stirrings of an idea, but not till the morning. Once we’re done eating, it’s time to get a good night’s sleep. MONICA: Shit. Yes! That sounds wonderful. And in the morning a hot shower!
JAKE: Perfect. After sleep, a shower, and some breakfast we’ll be able to think a lot clearer and I should have the plan all worked out by then. MONICA: And I’m not gonna set an alarm.
JAKE: Hell no!
We get a really good night’s sleep. We shower . . . together, but that’s all the detail I’m giving about it. We have a hearty breakfast and clean up, and then we’re ready. I lead Monica to the map table.
JAKE: I need you to put all your trinkets on the map table, in no particular order. But hold on to the porcelain lily.
Monica does so. Then I do the same, keeping my porcelain lily. Nothing happens.
MONICA: Is this right?
JAKE: I think so. Just going through the steps of my plan here. Not sure if anything’s going to actually happen, we’ll see.
I then place my porcelain lily in the center of the map table.
JAKE: Now you place yours, joining up with mine, so they’re one. JAKE:
Monica slowly does so.
Then we stand.
[Porcelain clicking sound]
The sound of the pieces joining makes us both jump. We move closer and soon have our arms wrapped around each other. Comforting. Then a rumbling begins. I feel Monica tighten with fear. I do too, a little, but I recognize the rumbling as different from the earthquake we experienced so long ago in Ostium.
The rumbling increases, then there’s a bright flash of light that blinds us both.
[Electric fizzle sound]
I open my eyes once again and can see nothing at first. Dread races up my body like rising icy water as I wonder if I’ve gone blind from the flash, but then details come back into my vision and I know I’m going to be okay. Thirty seconds later we’re looking at each other. We’re both okay. Our
Thirty seconds later we’re looking at each other. We’re both okay. Our sight back to normal. Mostly.
We look down at the map table.
All the trinkets are gone.
MONICA: Was that it?
JAKE: I don’t know.
MONICA: Do you think it was enough? Can we leave Ostium now and get back to Gibraltar?
JAKE: No clue. Maybe.
MONICA: There’s only one way to find out.
She leads me out the clock tower and down the street. We’re walking really fast, then she starts running and I do too. We’re running hard until we make it to the gates. Those very same iron gates I looked upon the first time I arrived at Ostium.
There’s no padlock in sight.
Together we push the gates open and they swing easily and without sound.
On the other side is not endless blackness, a chasm of emptiness and despair.
Instead there’s a rectangular black doorway. Then there’s that fizzle sound again.
And I can start to see something. Details on the other side of that doorway. It looks like it might be the inside of that lab or whatever it was where they kept the door to Ostium. The one that was in the Ostium Network. The one that Steve first went through. And then Monica.
But I’m not certain.
I look to Monica. She looks at me.
She’s not certain either. Then she gives me a shrug. I nod and take her hand.
We step through the doorway.