Saturday, May 23, 2009

Todd/Anne-Marie: Meet the Johnsons

Julia's message, as "Ken Johnson" was vague about who exactly "Ken Johnson" was, perhaps deliberately. Maybe she had explained in an earlier, now lost, e-mail, or perhaps she just didn't want to come out with it. It stood to reason Ken's a guy and maybe Julia finds that embarrassing. In any case, in my message to her I was upfront about wanting to know her situation, as it relates to our plans.

I have somewhat mixed feelings about the response I got. I was considering just posting the letter in its complete form here and letting you be the judges, but this is somewhat personal stuff and she never said I could, per se, so I'll just tell you what I think I can get away with.

On their Maine trip, which would've been mid/late-June 2008, Julia and Kalli awoke in the bodies of Ken and Sasha Johnson. When I heard those names I thought 'married couple' but no. Ken and Sasha were 16-year-old fraternal twins. How they arrived at the Trading Post is a story that makes me want to rant a fair bit.

Moving from Upstate New York to Washington, the Johnsons parked their kids with their Grandparents in Maine while everything got settled with their new home. Apparently Ken and Sasha weren't the most... well-behaved teens, and began raising hell pretty much immediately. Exhausted by the kids' late nights, rebellious behaviour and drinking/drug use (sheesh this sounds familiar) they offered the opportunity to pay for the kids' stay at, you guessed it, the Trading Post, where they will be trusted to look after themselves and free to basically raise hell.

Now here's where a red flag goes up for me. Every so often, after I was transformed, I wondered if maybe someone haddone this to me on purpose. Alia's parents, who were supposed to stay at the Inn, didn't care much for me, and I'd done a lot to push her to the brink over the years too. What if one of them knew the secret? What if someone planned to change me?? On occasion I've let paranoia creep in and entertained those thoughts, but I never really figured it was all that likely. But this? Come on, Grandpa and Grandma Johnson. I've got no proof but out of all the motels and lodges nearby, why this?

So not long after discovering their new bodies (a new gender for Julia, a new race for Kalli,) they were brought "home" by their new grandparents, who insisted there was nothing amiss with them. Not long after, they were shipped out to Washington, where they started high school again.

So the status report is this. They can't make it back out to Maine, because they have no way to get here. They also don't know the whereabouts of the old Ken and Sasha, who barely wrote anything in the way of notes, forcing them to figure everything out on the go. Lastly, they don't seem to want to come back, which also bothers me a little. I can understand to some degree if your body's been stolen, like Ashlyn or Art, or if someone's made it impossible, but Anne-Marie and Ellie are going back, and it looks like there will be a new Julia and Kalli this summer, which is a shame.

"Ken" says to me, they never really gave much thought to whether they could come back or how they might do it. They just went along with it, and apparently they made for better Johnsons than the old Ken and Sasha did. They are appreciating high school more than most teenagers do (and probably having less of a crisis than Bry is) and "Ken" didn't even mention whether he'd found it difficult to adapt to boyhood.

Of course I wonder whether a new reservation is even possible this close to the trip, I don't even know. I guess I just wanted everything to get back in its place. Maybe after a year some pieces just don't fit.

Well, if Ken and Sasha are fine with their new lives, then I guess good for them. I've got bigger fish to fry. (Literally, we're having seafood tonight and I should get cooking.)


1 comment:

J.B. said...

Regarding your conspiracy theory:

This inn is open from what, beginning of May to mid-September (judging by Arthur's entries during the first year of this blog)? So, if reservations are for two-week blocks, that makes 10 blocks per summer season. Multiply that times 13 victims per block, and that's 130 new victims every summer, minus however many are "second timers" making an intentional return to the inn (that's anybody's guess).

Now, with average lifespans in the U.S. being 77 years, that means there's probably in the ballpark of 10,000 inn victims scattered around the country at any given time, or roughly 1 for every 30,000 people (with the concentration likely being highest in the northeast, due to proximity to Maine) . Under the "a few bad apples" principal, there are bound to be more than a few inn victims who will make use of their knowledge to manipulate others' lives. Look at how Conrad/Jessica ended up going to the inn, or how the original Nell ended up there. Or Trip, for that matter, although there was no malicious intent on the original Kat's part.

This doesn't prove that either your trip to the inn or the original Ken and Sasha's trip were the product of a conspiracy. This just presents the idea that it might not be an uncommon occurrence.

And yes, I do have too much time on my hands -- it's a holiday weekend, after all!