The Prologue of 7097-050719, Book One in A Theme Park Trilogy:
On the night of December 14, 1966, at St. Joseph's Hospital in Burbank, California, Roy Disney sat at the bedside of his younger brother Walt. Cancer had ravaged Walt's body. A portion of his lungs had been removed a month earlier. Colbalt treatments had left him weak and had robbed him of his appetite. Despite his frail condition, Walt managed a conversation with his brother – discussing their plans to build an elaborate theme park resort and futuristic city in Central Florida. Walt used the ceiling grid of his hospital room to map out the project – at one point indicating to Roy where he wanted to place a bench so he and his wife Lily could sit and “watch all the happy people” visiting Walt Disney World.
Soon after, the world learned Mr. Walt Disney had died – the cause of death listed as acute circulatory collapse brought on by complications from lung cancer. His passing was documented on State of California Certificate of Death 7097-050719. It was reported that Mr. Disney died at 9 AM.
That's what was reported.
* * *
At the beginning of 2008 I made a personal resolution to write a manuscript. I had no dreams of topping any bestseller lists or attracting a legion of readers that would result in a movie deal and/or theme park attraction.
Rather, I simply wanted to experience the exercise – to see if I could string together a narrative (beginning to end) and create something linear, coherent and (fingers crossed) mildly entertaining.
The resolution produced a work titled 'Name Tags' (which will be released as Book Two in the trilogy, later this year).
I found that completing the manuscript was a very satisfying experience. It gave me the necessary encouragement to compose a second story which I titled '7097-050719.'
The cryogenic preservation of Mr. Disney is (from my perspective) the quintessential urban legend. The rumor that Mr. Disney was being held in suspended animation is so pervasive it appears on the opening pages of Neal Gabler's remarkable biography Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination.
While I certainly don't claim to be the first to explore this topic in the small arena of hypothetical fiction, I take some pride in the result.
Book One in the Theme Park Trilogy follows the adventures of Milo Tucker and Baxter Welles – a couple of park enthusiasts who crossed paths (and swords) on the discussion board of a popular theme park web site.
In order to resolve an especially contentious online debate, Milo and Baxter decide to meet face-to-face at the 2008 ComicCon convention in San Diego. The encounter begins a series of situations that uncover the truth about a 20th-century legend. Milo and Baxter's escapade draws from Disney's rich history as well as more topical events related to the company.
'7097-050719' is presented as parallel stories – one dated in the 1960s, the other placed in a more contemporary period.
I'm pleased to report that the response I have received from those that have read the book (including a fair share of TPI regulars) has been … well … VERY positive. So (taking a small leap of faith) I have placed it on sale at Amazon as an eBook.
Yes there are a couple of typos and some rough grammar. Then again, in the age of DIY, I often remind myself that Joe Strummer didn't play every chord perfectly.
Please note: The story contains a fair share of profanity. Um … Baxter has something of a mouth on him. And he likes beer.
A Theme Park Trilogy, by TH Creative
Published by Old 535
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