Disclaimer: I do not own Zorro and company (be nice if I did), I just borrowed them from Zorro Productions and have returned them in the same condition I found them in. Todd and Allison Bennett belong to Kathy Green. Linda Thomas and Elaine Madison belong to Marilyn Pulley. Harvey Williams belongs to me. I have obtained permission from their originators to borrow their characters for this dialogue and have also returned them in the same condition I found them in.
Harvey sat in the bookstore, sipping his coffee and looking over one of the books about California. Sharon had taken the children to do some last-minute souvenir shopping before they left. Harvey had decided to stay in the bookstore because, as Sharon put it, Harvey was not meant to shop. As he eyes scanned through the book, he heard a voice.
"Todd," a girl cried excitedly. "Come here and look at this. It's a Zorro comic!"
At the mention of Zorro, Harvey looked around, wondering where the voice came from. He couldn't see any signs of children , so he decided to look for them. He turned around one of the bookcases and saw two children peering at a comic book.
"It's not at all like Zorro," the boy said.
"Yeah," the girl replied. "Where's Alcalde Ramon and Felipe?"
"I disagree," Harvey cut in.
The two children turned around and saw Harvey. Harvey noticed they saw him, but had also looked past him at something else. Harvey turned around and saw two women behind him. All five looked silently at each other and they knew they had a connection.
"I think we should talk," one of the women said.
"Yes, we should," Harvey agreed.
"We--we're not allowed to talk to strangers," Todd said.
"No you shouldn't," the woman answered. "My name is Linda Thomas. This is my cousin, Elaine Madison."
"I'm Harvey Williams," he said.
"We can sit out here if it will make you feel comfortable," Linda suggested.
Todd and the girl looked at each other.
"Should we?" the girl asked.
"I don't know," he replied, "but I want to talk to someone else about it."
The girl nodded and they looked at the adults. "I'm Todd Bennett, and this is my sister Allison," the boy told them.
"Please to meet you," Linda said, then pointed to one of the tables. "Let's sit down."
The small group sat at the table. They looked at each other and Harvey had the feeling that each wanted to speak, but were waiting for someone to begin the conversation. Finally one of the women spoke.
"I guess we should start with where we meet Zorro and how it happened," Elaine suggested.
"Sounds good," Harvey replied. "I was at the Martinez Bed and Breakfast and met him last night."
"We're staying with our aunt and uncle and meet him yesterday," Todd spoke up.
"A few days ago we were driving along the coast when I met Zorro. Linda didn't go with me, but she knows about it."
"How did it happen?" Harvey asked.
"The sky turned brassy," Allison jumped in. "Zorro said it was in Indian story."
"There was a bright light around the car. It's some sort of experiment. We're not really allowed to talk about it," Linda said.
Harvey nodded as did everyone else.
"I was sitting outside and everything went dark," Harvey said.
"The Martinez Bed and Breakfast," Linda said aloud. "That's right out of town."
"And we were along the coast when we went back. Where is your aunt and uncle's house."
"It's about thirty minutes from here," Todd said.
"Where's a map?" Linda started looking through her purse.
"Here's one," Harvey pulled out the book he was reading.
Linda opened it up and started flipping through some of the pages. She stopped and studied one page. Then she placed the book down.
"Here's where we were," her finger landed on one point. "Here's where Martinez Bed and Breakfast is. Do you know where is your aunt and uncle's house is?"
"Here, I think," Todd placed his finger on another point.
"Look at that," Elaine said in wonderment.
The three points formed a perfect triangle.
"I wonder how many more points there are?" Elaine asked.
"No telling," Harvey looked at the map with the same questioning look as Elaine. "I think it's time we tell our tales. Who wants to go first?"
"I will," Elaine said.
"But they said we shouldn't say anything about it," Linda reminded her.
"They said we shouldn't talk about their project," Elaine told her. "Besides, I don't think any of us is going to tell the local newspaper or some foreign government about it. Right?"
"Right," Harvey agreed.
"Yeah," Todd said. He and Allison nodded. "We won't tell anyone. Promise."
"Anyway," Elaine continued, "I have to get this off my chest. As Linda said, we were on the highway when all of the sudden the air around us went weird, like a vortex. The next moment we were in a strange place. The city lights were gone, the noise, pollution. Very different.
"I went to see if I could find help when I spotted a rider. He said his name was Zorro. At first I thought he might have been kidding around, but he did look like the Zorro on the TV shows. I was about to tell Linda I had found someone when the car disappeared. I tried to reach it in time, but I was too late."
"What did you do then?" Harvey asked.
"Zorro was nice enough to take me to the de la Vega hacienda where I stayed for a few days," Elaine answered.
"You didn't go to any of the missions?" Allison asked.
"What about the pueblo?" Harvey questioned.
"No, sorry," Elaine said. "I stayed mostly at the hacienda and on the grounds surrounding it."
"Did you see anyone?" Harvey asked.
"Just Don Diego's family and servants," Elaine replied.
"Felipe?" Allison asked.
"No, I'm sorry, I didn't meet a Felipe."
"But he's Don Diego's most trusted servant," Todd told her.
"That's Bernardo," Elaine replied.
"Hmm." Elaine tapped the table. "You say Felipe was Don Diego's most trusted servant?"
"Yeah," Allison said. "He couldn't speak and everyone thought he couldn't hear, but he could."
"The same thing with Bernardo," Harvey said.
"There was a Bernardo in your time?" Elaine asked.
"Tell us about it."
"Very well." Harvey sipped his coffee. "It was already night, and I decided to go out for some fresh air before retiring to bed. I saw a rider and I thought it was one of the workers coming in late. When he rode up to me he asked who I am. I told him and that I was staying at the hacienda. He seemed surprised, and I later found out it was his house.
"He heard something and had me mount behind him, and we rode off. A sergeant and some soldiers were after him. I was watching Zorro fight them, when I was knocked out from behind. I woke up in a prison cell."
"You were a prisoner, too?" Allison asked.
"Yes, Captain Monastario thought I was helping Zorro," Harvey explained.
"The alcalde thought we were spies." Allison wrinkled her nose.
"What happened next?" Elaine asked.
"The captain had to leave on business, and left the sergeant in charge. Mercedes was kind enough to let me eat in the tavern."
"She runs the tavern."
"No she doesn't, Victoria does." Todd looked at his sister and she nodded.
"More discrepancies. If my theory is correct," Elaine cut in, "then we've each visited different Zorros. So not all the people will be the same."
"I think you're right."
"Did you go to see any missions?" Allison asked.
"No, I stayed mainly in the cuartel, the tavern, and at the de la Vega hacienda."
"Did you tell Zorro where you were from?" Elaine asked.
"No, I didn't think to tell him. I thought, why spoil it with telling him about the future?"
The other people around the table nodded.
"All of you told Diego what happened?"
"Yes," Elaine said. "I thought he should know, since objects from our world kept appearing."
"We told him, too," Todd said. "We even showed him some of our things. They were pretty cool about it."
"Diego is fairly level-headed," Elaine added.
Harvey nodded, then looked at the children. "Why don't you tell us of your adventure?"
"We were at our uncle's house waiting for him to return from an emergency, when we started exploring the house," Todd began.
"We found a secret passage and decided to follow it," Allison finished.
"We made our way outside the house and found a cave. We were exploring when there was an earthquake and bright light."
"It was real scary," Allison told them.
"It must have been," Linda said. "Continue."
"The first people we saw were soldiers and a man who called himself an alcalde. It's like a governor or something," Todd said.
"He was real mean. He locked up Indians and forced them to work. He said we were spies. Zorro came and saved us and took us to Don Alejandro's house."
"They were nice. They took us places, like one of the missions where we got to meet Rosita, Elena, and Padre Benitez. We got to play with the children and work with them." Allison smiled as she recounted the adventure. "Once, we stayed at a farm for a few days, because the alcalde's soldiers were looking for us. We had to work real hard while we were there." She wrinkled her nose at the memory.
"Then we found out that Don Diego is Zorro," Todd added. "And we told him about our world and we got to learn about his. We really enjoyed it."
"But we don't really want to go back. We missed our family," Allison added.
"I might want to go back, but just for a visit," Harvey agreed. "I missed my family too."
"You have family?" Todd asked.
"Yes, I have three children. My oldest is about Allison's age. Let's see: 10, 7, and 5. The 10- and 5-year-olds are girls and the 7-year-old is a boy."
"I wonder what they would think about Zorro's time," Todd thought out loud.
"I don't know, but I hope they would enjoy it as much as you." Harvey turned to Elaine. "Would you want to go back?"
"Yes--no--I don't know," she answered.
"She would." Linda smiled at her cousin.
Harvey didn't question any further. He guessed something more had happened than Elaine was letting on. He looked up and saw his wife looking for him through the window.
"There's my wife, Sharon; I need to get going," he told the group. "It was a pleasure meeting you. Perhaps we can meet again someday."
"Perhaps," Linda said. "It was nice to meet you, too."
"Same here," Elaine said, though a little preoccupied.
"Bye, Mr. Williams," Todd and Allison said together. "Thanks for talking with us."
"You're welcome." Harvey met with his wife.
"What was that all about?" Sharon looked at the little group breaking up.
"We were just talking about our trip to California," Harvey replied, and waved to the two children who were meeting with two more people.