While creating the scripts for Time Out Of Mind, the proposed sequel to The Dante Experience, I began to take notes and scribble ideas for the third and final part, which had the working title of The Honeymoon.
I always knew I wanted the series to be a trilogy. Where I saw the first part being the afterlife and the second being time, I wanted the third to be a little more personal, and less large scale. For some reason I became fascinated by the idea of putting as many of my characters as I could on a boat in the middle of the ocean… and seeing what happens.
After sending Time Out Of Mind to Mind’s Ear and realizing it was not going to happen, my notes and scenes for The Honeymoon became… well… history.
This is not as big a deal as it may sound here (and that last sentence was kind of dramatic). The fact is ideas and projects become abandoned all the time. This is nothing new. The first novel I worked on seriously (which had the working title of After A Fall), became 200 pages of an abandoned draft. And like most of my uncompleted ideas, I stole ideas, characters, and dialogue for other entities. Chances are much of the elements of Time Out Of Mind might end up the same way, unless something outside my reach happens to reinvigorate the series that is The Dante 3. It’s a wonderful dream, but I am not holding my breath at the moment.
SOUND: Of Heaven
SOUND: Lighter and a cigarette being lit.
TED: (Takes a deep slow drag on his cigarette) Ah, sweet nicotine…. (Suddenly very excited and nervous). Oh, your holiness, you are back! I didn’t see you there. No, I wasn’t smoking! Awful, awful habit. Yes, I know it is banned in Heaven. I’m Angel Ted and I am the correspondent on the Hunt of the Binkies. We are in Day 365 of our Hunt. Yes, this is anniversary of the first year that the Binkies from the future stole the time traveling device and traveled back in time to create havoc throughout time and space.
For the last year, the binkies (dragons) have been causing havoc throughout history. At the time of The Honeymoon, there would be two left. The Honeymoon will follow the meeting up of numerous storylines… all on one oceanliner, where Robert and Alison would be having their honeymoon. Which, of course, thrills Robert to no end.
For Robert and Alison, after the end of the last episode, they went back to the present, and have been living a normal life. And without all the stress and distraction of, well, everyone else; they are happy. Their wedding was a grand affair and their honeymoon is to be a cruise, with a trip to a beach that Robert has visited before in Time Out Of Mind (here is where you do the timpani “baba baaaaa!”).
At the end of Time Out Of Mind, Angel Ted had taken over the updates to God (narrator duties), but that is not going so well. It means for 365 days he has been doing nothing but hanging out in the throne room giving one stressful update after another… and over the course of the series we will be seeing him snap.
Angel Michael has gone rogue and I would have been integrating him more into the actual plot. Face paint will be involved and he might dress like a ninja. (I was also going to have him shout “Ninga!” every time he was about to do some mysterious and sneaky.) He will be on the boat as well.
Susan is in many ways a battle-weary leader. She wears an eye patch now (not that she lost an eye, she just likes it), a torn WWII general uniform, and carries a flamethrower. She is in charge of a small army of heroes she has collected over the last year from time. They include Albert Einstein, Charlotte Bronte, Napoleon, Cardinal Richeliu, Winston Churchill, Sherlock Holmes (“I’m not real!”), and others.
EINSTEIN: Use our Name.
EINSTEIN: Come on, I’m sure they want to hear our name.
ALISON: Yes, Susan what is the name of your team of historical warriors?
SUSAN: (Sighs) Fine. Ok. They are Susan’s World Historical Or Religious Elite Squad.
ROBERT: You mean, they are Susan’s….
SUSAN: (interrupting) We are working on a new name!
EINSTEIN: I like the name actually.
STEVE: (Laughing) I came up with it. You gotta love acronyms.
WILL: What’s so bad about World Historical Or Religious Elite Squad… Oh, now I get it.
Will, Steve, Dante, and Angel Jenkins are with the… well… the elite squad. Dante at this point reminds me a little of Wormtail from Harry Potter to Susan, if that makes sense. He is a little weasel under her and broken by the horrors they have seen. Angel Jenkins has become something of a clown for the group (They will ask him to dance and sing randomly from time to time).
Here is one of the big surprises, Steve is in love. And he is in love with Charlotte Bronte, but the catch is she does not like him at all. He is not dark and broody enough for her. He will be working to correct that image over the series.
And Will… Will is Will. He doesn’t really change.
The squad arrives on the boat because the tracking devices said the dragons had arrived there. They could be in hiding as guests on the boat.
Mephistopheles does arrive on the boat as well. He still has the head of General Joseph. They are now almost like an old arguing married couple. No one has seen the body of the General.
So for the first half of the series, you have the adventures of the group on the boat, building to the experience on the beach… where Robert is killed by Mephistopheles. Shocking everyone, except Mephistopheles who again reminds everyone he is a devil.
Alison is driven to get Robert back, but no one will go since they have to get the dragons first, and to everyone’s surprise Alison finds and kills the two dragons in a matter of minutes.
So, fine, the team will now go with Alison to get Robert back from Hell.
TED: (Hiccups and is clearly drunk). Hello all your godliness, It is I, Angel Ted…. What? (Pause) What? What did you say? Oh, you didn’t say anything. Yes, I am drunk! And I’ll tell you bloody why I’m drunk. I’ve been working every day watching this time traveling adventure and my wife has left me. Yes, she took the kids and left! Gone! And there wasn’t even a note. She didn’t even leave the dog… Ok, we don’t have a dog, but it would have been a nice gesture to have left a dog for me…
From there the story would build up to a major battle in Hell, with a revolt of the damned saying they want out (working with the devils since they have realized they are not happy either with the whole reality thing). To get to this point a lot has been going on, including Will and Angel Jenkins going to Heaven on a secret mission.
It feels like all time and the afterlife will fall apart (and we see Steven die at one point for Charlotte) because of Alison’s determination to get Robert back, when Will while visiting God asks if there is a reset button like in a video game.
And in a zap, everything is back to the beginning of The Dante Experience.
The crew is back in their car… on their way to the Mall of America, but they all remember what happened.
The last scene after the last credits is Angel Michael.
SOUND: Ding Dong!
MICHAEL: Greetings, my name is…
NEIGHBOR: You’re an angel!
MICHAEL: Yeah, I know. My name is Angel…
NEIGHBOR: (excited) Do you have a message from God? For me? I knew going to church every week would pay off and you are here to see me! I am blessed and…
MICHAEL: No, now will you let me finish. My name is Angel Michael.
NEIGHBOR: (In reverence) Oh, great Angel Michael. Should I kiss your robes.
MICHAEL: Sure if you want. Great. I like that… Anyway, I’m here as a representative of Paradise Cleaners.
MICHAEL: We sell numerous cleaning supplies from…
NEIGHBOR: An angel appears on my doorstep to sell me cleaning supplies???
MICHAEL: Listen, an angel’s got to make a living too. Would you care for a demonstration?
NEIGHBOR: If I buy some will I get to go to Heaven?
MICHAEL: (Evil) Yes. (Pause) Yes, you will.
Thanks for reading (and listening) to my little comedy.