[Excerpt, “Chapter 24 The Saxophone in the Stars”, from The Diamond Kings of Clarence Checkeredfish. Note: the novel (and “play”) near completion as Stevie Bingo and the Gingerbread Boy, having traveled the long and perilous road from Mobile to Springfield, and having heroically rung the bells at the Martin Luther King Church to summon the neighborhoods together, continue on their journey, now walking among the stars. But they will soon come to realize that they have been “living” all along inside the farmer Charlie Plume’s painting. The painting is a composite of all the other drawings in the novel. As Charlie Plume signs his name, he “becomes” another one of Clarence Checkeredfish’s “diamond kings.” All shapes are (more or less) from the backgammon board. Although the Gingerbread Boy “sees” the painting as a tyrannosaur and an apatosaur together, other interpretation appear at the very end of the novel.]
Little Stevie Bingo held the tiny li’l Gingerbread Boy’s hand without th’ glove as they left Springfield to begin their journey anew to the stars. The Gingerbread Boy felt amazed. “It sure seems like baseball out here!” he noted, surveying the space around him. “Down there looks like a tyrannosaurus on top of an apatosaurus!” he said, rather astonished, looking at where they had come from. He carried a “Unite the Nations” flag. “Yes!” agreed Stevie Bingo. A jazz record played moz…a’c…t’…r…o…a…s…i…s…t’…b’ardplay…back“gamin’roguegal’”…m…aybe…a…l…l…y…o…ucan…b’…O!ama…z’n’…ewtimes…a’…river…co…o…l’…m who s…e…y…z…ambe“c!” Lif’…for…dB…row’n’…log…old-land…link-course“101R”…ilus’… t’rate…t’ro…ughs and cres’s…jus’…idat’…please…“HAHAheehee”…lp! “WOW!” said the Gingerbread Boy, hearing saxophone for the first time. “It sounds like star-shine-–funky, like th’ guy after a ballgame!” Soon, they came across a billboard. It read: “‘We Travel Fast And Travel Far. The Universe Has Made An Error, So Be Sure You’re Greater Than H-Bar!’ Rat-Ratta’-Tart-Attach-Ra-Madman-Ring-Ring-Tra-Ha-Atta’-Tatta’-Hatta’-Tat – Ring-Ring-Attra’t-T’-Har’-Rant’n’-Tartan-Anth’m-Ring-Ring…Bueno…Madam-Ta-Ta.” “Does the Universe have a pastime?” asked the Gingerbread Boy. “Maybe quantum mechanics!” said Stevie Bingo. “A science based upon chance…” While in Massachusetts he had taken the Gingerbread Boy over to Williams College for a birthday event about Dr. Martin –––––– ––––, Jr., and he had stopped in to listen to a few lectures. “Oh?” said the Gingerbread Boy, surprised to hear that physics incorporated luck too. “Are there dice?” “In a way! Yes!” said Stevie Bingo, after thinking. “Like backgammon?” said the Gingerbread Boy. “Yes,” laughed Stevie Bingo. “Like backgammon!” “HA! If ‘quantum mechanics’ is as fun as backgammon, imagine the party the Universe must be having now!” said the Gingerbread Boy. They walked and came across another billboard. It read: “‘Far out, man! I Mean, Like… Wooow! The Universe of the 1960’s!’ Love Generation did we forget the horrors of war and the antagonisms that bruise our world still? Love Generation, look, look! HURRAY! Do you see—that tree that was carved on still stands and grows!” “How far is it to another Universe?” asked the Gingerbread Boy. “Farther than Copenhagen, I bet,” Stevie Bingo answered, laughing, and added, “Farther than Atlanta, too. And Mobile.” Then he thought a minute, shook his head and said, “But then again, if Everett was right with his many-worlds, perhaps it’s only as far as the next throw of the dice.” That wasn’t much help! Then the Gingerbread Boy reasoned, “Well, our Universe is in a lot of places. Perhaps the next Universe is in a lot of places too.” They walked further and came across another billboard. It read: “‘Muscles says, “Aren’t we all characters out of history?”’ Yet didn’t one British physicist say about quantum mechanics: ‘The Universe has had many histories!’” “How does the Universe experience love?” asked the Gingerbread Boy. “It would sure make headlines if it did!” said Stevie Bingo, struggling with the premise. “It must be doing some risk-taking!” the Gingerbread Boy noted, trying to think it all through. Ever since Stevie had told him about Martin –––––– ––––’s great marches, the Gingerbread Boy knew about risk-taking. He knew “love,” like asking a lovely person to dance, needed risk-taking. “Does the Universe take risks?” “Putting relativity and quantum mechanics in one basket sure seems like risky business!” laughed Stevie Bingo. “HA!” That settled it! “Meant for each other!” the Gingerbread Boy said, not knowing who or what Stevie was talking about, but imagining them tying the knot together! He was pleased that the Universe was out there taking chances, too, along with the rest of us. Stevie Bingo and the Gingerbread Boy walked further till they reached a new billboard. It read: “‘The Ace Of Diamonds – What D’ Ya’ Mean By – “The Universe…”’ Everybody needs magic and spirit! The Captain he never says much but… probably he’s got a certain lady-friend on his mind!” “How many Universes are there?” asked the Gingerbread Boy. He wondered because wherever he was he always counted up to only 1. Stevie Bingo couldn’t fathom how to frame the question. Perhaps they weren’t countable, he thought or… “Perhaps we first need to know the number of branes,” he said, thinking out loud. “Yes, yes!” said the Gingerbread Boy. “Let’s put all our brains together, and figure it out! We can count together!” The teachers he liked the most were the ones that did group activities. It made learning enjoyable! [Scene 2. The lambeosaur listenened as Dolly said, “Let’s try 4-groups. You can get with: the lariosaur amargasaur ’n’ troodon. ’E…gg…re…ss…tt…ur…h…i…de…s…no…w…central…ize…haledream…s…r…e...del…iv…in’…only1…p…ractical…l…y…e…ve…n…ver…s…y…thing…psyche…de…li…c…ate…beach-ball…Pirate-Blue-play…u-ground…chu-choo…w’…“alma-mates”…StevieBingo&theGingerbreadBoy…&…fe-mala…Shorty…propa’n…o…uns…j…unghe…r…o…w’…2pizzasauc…e…s…y-ki-ki’s…yes…fed…ism…this ward winnin’ teacher. “How about a presentation on Dr. Martin –––––– ––––, Jr.?” the g…e…ttysb…ur…g…h…l…in…c…o…lnmemo…address:3…s…t…“and 7…” r…amps…f’light…de…rai…l…o’…u…p…his…alley…g…h…eny…version Dolly had suggested. “You know-–in his last speech before he died, the last thing that Dr. –––– spoke of was of a school child!” said the eg…g…lehaslanded…u…th…r…ee…ontopo’…messo’poto’…maoeia…doll-u-phraseas“Tranquility,” Binibining had l…p…rairiehi…ll…s go-for-th’-moon. HAHA! The spinosaur heard this and laughed!] They came across a new billboard. It read: “‘Stories Come And Stories Go! Tomorrow’s A Day For Sleeping In… The Universe Begins In Mystery And Ends With a Lullaby!’ Pirate Blue… where do you sail today? Tell us of the ocean’s mysteries beyond the horizon-–the great gifts that are there for us to treasure forever…” The Gingerbread Boy asked, “Are there keys to the Universe? I’ve often wondered how we got in.” “Through the front door or the back door, we got here somehow,” laughed Stevie Bingo. “And mysteriously were given the gift to wonder,” he added. “We all wonder, don’t we?” said the Gingerbread Boy. Stevie Bingo nodded yes. The Gingerbread Boy continued, “In some ways… well, perhaps… I’d say it sounds a lot like Martin –––––– ––––.” Stevie Bingo looked at him inquisitively, when the Gingerbread Boy surprised him with a poem: “The Universe presents to us riddles we may never solve or understand. “All we can ever know for sure is we must learn to learn together. “Freedom and love persist in shouting. ‘All men, all women…’ “Ring th’ bells again and again. “Perhaps softly, “‘Din’-don’, din’-don’! “Perhaps loudly, “‘Din-n-n-g-don-n-n-g, din-n-n-g-don-n-n-g!’ “In this (what often seems to be) chaotic world, we somehow come to know “Each other’s stories, each one unique and valuable, “Told in its own way. “We become signposts for one other. We move towards harmony. “As we do, our journeys become less fragile. “We’ve all got to tell a story about Martin –––––– ––––.” The Gingerbread Boy and Stevie Bingo together began then to recite together over and over again: “…We’ve all got to tell a story about Martin –––––– ––––…” [Scene 3. Muscles had said, “…and Mahatma Ghandi and Cesar Chavez...”] [Scene 4. Spotlight on. Enter stage left Mrs. Winchester, Charlie Plume and Antoine Éléphant, and Shorty Gates and Clarence Checkeredfish, Jr., the Sleep Sisters and “Spinosaur.”] “ …We’ve all got to tell a story about Martin ––––––––––.”] [Scene 4. Spotlight on. Enter center right the Cupcake Sisters along with Binibining Mayumi and the Moose and Mr. Checkeredfish and the Bar Point, Dr. Umbrella, Muscles the Clown, the Ace of Diamonds and Corp. Bird and all the rest of the cast (except the missing Captain). Curtain closes. THE PLAY ENDS.] The two walked further and came upon a final billboard. It read: “‘Be A Fan! Be A Player! Get To Know the In’s and Out’s Of the Universe!’ Fill us in more: consc…ient…IOUs and unc…le…on…sci…ence…trap….m…ous’, let’s fly together… The Queen to educate, road t’ freedom forks! What a gam’ to win on blue! Conn, box at 8, left, right! Runna’ back t’ prime base, read pants! Captain shakin’ catch a death o’ cold with Don Q about. Out of the royal cup, steal a smile! On checka’ out, score big on love sheet! “Mahal kita!” Shhh…!” The Gingerbread Boy read this and asked Stevie Bingo, “Who am I in this Universe?” Well! Stevie Bingo couldn’t find any words at all! His tongue’s tied! That’s okay! They both realize there is no need for an answer… because Charlie Plume has just signed his name!
Author Profile: Brian S. Hart is a first time author with a background in physics. He has a Master’s Degree in Education from Westfield State College and is a former teacher in multi-cultural education. He is interested in mathematical structures and puzzle forms within experimental writing.The Diamond Kings of Clarence Checkeredfish was a semi-finalist in the 2012 William Faulkner-William Wisdom Contest, sponsored by the Pirate Alley Faulkner Society, for the category of novels and narrative nonfiction.