By San Antonio Rose
April 2, 1968. 6:30 a.m., Pacific Standard Time.
An evil laugh rang through the halls of Wizard Glick’s underground hideout.
"What’s up, boss?" a henchman asked as he ran though the door.
Glick, convulsed in giggles, took several seconds to answer. "I’ve fixed those Monkees good and proper this time!" he finally announced with glee.
"I’ve cast a spell on them so they’ll sleep for a thousand years or until one of them receives true love’s first kiss, whichever comes first!" Glick bounced around the room in something like a jig. "They’ll be out of my way forever!"
The henchman frowned. "But, boss, what if they wake up too soon? Davy’s always been one for the girls."
"No problem," Glick chuckled. "I fixed it so no one can break the spell by kissing Davy. Peter and Mike hardly ever have girlfriends, and Micky’s last girl dumped him well before Christmas! They’ll be out of commission until 2968, by which time I will have conquered the entire world! AHAHAHAHAHA!"
April Fool’s came a day late for Glick. That evening, while perfecting an alchemy experiment, he made the colossal mistake of pumping water into a vat of highly concentrated hydrochloric acid. The resulting explosion killed him and five of his men and reduced the underground stronghold into a sinkhole.
Far away in a beach house in Malibu, four young men slept.
June 8, 2003. Noon.
Dawn Carter regarded the house sadly as she pulled up her knee-length hair into a bun. Weeds choked the front yard, making it almost impossible to see the front door. It had been on the market for about 15 years, ever since Mr. Babbitt, the owner, died. Yet no one had ever dared to inspect the house.
There were rumors, of course. Some said the tenants who rented the house disappeared without a trace. Some said they’d moved away, others that they were murdered. Many considered it haunted. A few said they’d seen the men, who would now be in their late fifties to early sixties, performing at a country club in 1997. Not many people believed that report.
Even the real estate agent had been afraid to come near 1334 N. Beechwood. So Dawn had gotten the key and come herself. She had to admit that the house looked spooky, but that was not about to deter her. She’d heard so much about the intrepid young men who had lived in that house that she had to come find out the truth. The crazy band from the 1960s had a special place in her heart, especially their insane drummer.
With a sigh, the blonde, blue-eyed Texan got out of her car. She didn’t relish the idea of fighting her way through the thistles to get to the door, but someone had to do it. Carefully she maneuvered her way down the sidewalk to the door, pausing occasionally to detach thorns from the legs of her blue jeans.
Thank God for cowboy boots, she thought as she pulled a vicious briar out of her cuff. That one would have made a major hole in my ankle if I’d worn tennies.
At long last, she reached the porch. The traffic signs, the bric-a-brac—all were still there. Her heart nearly broke as she gazed at them. With a deep breath, she pulled herself together and put the key in the lock.
It turned easily, as if the lock had been oiled.
Suppressing her surprise, Dawn went inside. The house was not filled with cobwebs, as she had expected, but it was fairly dusty. She took in every detail—the loudly painted cabinets, the eclectic decorations, signs declaring "In case of fire, run" and "Money is the root of all evil," the red-faced dummy who served as the group’s advisor, the black chaise lounge and the couch where so many discussions had taken place.
On the bandstand, the instruments reposed, ready for their owners to play them again. Black Beauty, the prized Gretsch 12-string guitar, leaned carelessly against an amplifier. A banjo and a bass guitar stood between a piano and a harpsichord. A tambourine and a wide assortment of maracas were strewn across the top of an odd-looking contraption that Dawn deduced must be the famous Moog synthesizer. In the center, commanding the stage as always, sat the drum set with the red guitar logo silk-screened on the bass drum head. The snare and hi-hat stood in the position used by left-handed drummers.
Dawn felt a bittersweet smile cross her face as she set her Stetson on the coffee table. Then, on a whim, she went around the tornado staircase and entered the downstairs bedroom. The thick weeds prevented any sunlight from reaching the window to pass through the beaded curtain, so Dawn turned on the light. When she did, she nearly screamed.
There, in their respective beds, lay Peter Tork and Davy Jones, looking exactly as they had in 1968.
Petrified, Dawn stood staring at them for a moment. Finally, her curiosity got the better of her, and she walked over to Davy’s bed. After listening to her heart pound for a few seconds, she lightly touched his face.
It was warm and soft. Putting a hand near his nose, she could just barely feel the breath coming in and out.
Astonished, she moved over to Peter’s bed. Taking his hand, she felt for his pulse. She found it. It felt normal.
"They’re alive," she breathed.
Ignoring the knot in her stomach, she raced up the stairs and opened the door to the other bedroom. Sure enough, Mike Nesmith and Micky Dolenz lay in their beds. Mike seemed to be snoring slightly.
Dawn ran first to Mike. Gently touching his face, she softly called his name. There was no response, so she tried again, louder. Mike never stirred.
Slightly discouraged, she moved across to Micky. Shaking him by the shoulders, she cried at the top of her lungs, "Micky, wake up!"
Neither Micky nor Mike moved. There was no sound from downstairs, either, and from all accounts Peter had been a pretty light sleeper.
Dawn’ heart sank as she released Micky’s shoulders and ran a hand through his thick mop of curls. The Monkees were here, and they were alive, but she had no way of knowing how to wake them. This was almost as bad as believing them to be dead.
She studied Micky’s peaceful face. She’d seen pictures, of course, but none could really do justice to the man she’d grown to love, even though they’d never met.
And never will, she thought sadly. So close and yet so far.
Without thinking, she kissed his sleeping lips. Then, finally overcome with emotion, she sank down on the edge of the bed and wept. She scarcely noticed the motion on the bed.
"Hey!" said a voice behind her. "It’s okay. Don’t cry."
Strong arms wrapped around her shoulders and drew her close. Returning the embrace, she buried her face in a man’s chest and sobbed. A loving hand stroked her head while a soft tenor voice whispered comfort until she stopped crying.
The first thing Dawn noticed as she sniffled was the blue and white striped pajama top, wet with her tears. She pulled away slightly as her gaze traveled up to her comforter’s face.
Almond eyes peered anxiously at her from under an unruly mass of curls.
"Are you okay now?" Micky asked, concern filling his voice.
Dawn stared open-mouthed for a moment. Then she let out an excited squeak and gave Micky a bone-crushing hug.
"OOF! What? What’d I say?"
"Nothing! Everything!" Dawn was too happy to be coherent.
"Pipe down!" Mike grumbled, rolling over. "An’ how’d a girl get in here, anyway?"
"Good question," Micky replied, looking at Dawn quizzically.
"I’ll explain to everyone at once," she answered, bouncing off the bed and pulling back the curtain. The weeds, which had touched the windowsill outside, no longer crowded the yard. Instead, the yard looked as manicured as it had in the late ‘60s. The next door neighbor stood on the sidewalk, gaping.
"Mike!" Peter shouted from downstairs. "Micky! It’s after noon, and there’s a strange car outside!"
"All right already!" Mike groused, pulling himself out of bed.
Davy yelled as the sunlight hit his eyes. "Why didn’t you wake us up before now?" he demanded loudly.
Dawn bounded onto the landing. Micky was close behind.
"Whose hat is this?" Peter asked as he shuffled into the dust-free living room. "And I just woke up myself, Davy, so don’t complain."
Micky scooped Dawn up and slid down the banister. Dawn squealed in delight. Laughing, Micky plopped her down on the chaise lounge and started tickling her.
"What’s going on?" he demanded.
"Wait! Wait! I’ll tell you in a minute!" she gasped between giggles.
"Maybe you oughta ask her name first," Mike advised as he came down the stairs.
"Dawn Carter," Dawn answered. "Please—oh, help!"
Davy came charging out and whacked Micky with a pillow. "’Ello, luv!" he smiled at Dawn before Micky tackled him.
Peter tossed a pillow to Micky and pulled Dawn, who was laughing so hard she could scarcely breathe, out of the fray. Micky and Davy began an all-out pillow fight. The living room was covered in feathers by the time Mike pulled the combatants apart.
"No wonder this place is always a mess!" Mike growled good-naturedly.
Micky and Davy caught their breath, looked at each other, and started laughing again. Dawn collapsed, giggling. Mike and Peter joined in, and the walls shook with laughter until someone knocked at the door.
"Oh, man! Babbitt’s gonna kill us if he sees this mess," Micky sighed, wiping his eyes.
"That’s not Babbitt," Dawn informed him, picking herself up off the kitchen floor and brushing off the feathers.
The knock came again.
"I’ll get it," Davy volunteered.
"In those things?" Mike asked, referring to Davy’s polka dot PJs.
"You don’t look much bettah." Mike wore blue and gold paisley pajamas.
But Davy was already to the door. He peeked out the peephole, looked at the others with a shrug, and opened the door. "Can I help you?"
The man outside, whom Dawn recognized as the neighbor across the street, took one look at the assembled company and fled, screaming.
"What in the world…?" Mike asked no one in particular as Davy, wide-eyed, shut the door.
"That’s what I need to explain," Dawn replied, picking her hat out of a pile of feathers. "Y’see, it’s 2003."
"What?" the four men exploded.
The young woman nodded. "No one’s seen or heard from y’all since April of 1968. Most people think you’re dead."
"You mean we slept for 35 years?" Micky asked incredulously.
"I don’t believe it," Mike snorted, crossing the room to where the portable TV stood. He turned it on and, with some fine tuning, picked up the end of… Barney and Friends.
"I can’t believe that stupid show is still on," Dawn confided in Micky.
"I love you, you love me…" Barney sang.
"A purple dinosaur?" Davy asked, crinkling his nose.
"’Fraid so," Dawn grimaced.
Peter watched, enthralled. Davy left to get dressed and Micky started rooting in the cabinets for cereal. Disgusted, Mike finally switched the TV off.
"Hey!" Peter frowned.
"That TV ain’t doin’ us much good in findin’ out what’s goin’ on," Mike explained. "I’ll try the radio." He pulled the radio out from its hiding place.
"So that’s what a transistor radio looks like," Dawn remarked.
Mike ignored her, intent on finding a news station. He finally picked up KFI in the middle of a Rush Limbaugh monologue about the latest iniquities of the liberal wackos. It took Peter all of five minutes to get confused.
"Why aren’t they talking about Vietnam?" he asked at the commercial break as Mike went upstairs to change.
Dawn laughed. "Peter, Vietnam is long since over. So is the Cold War. Our biggest worry now is China."
"Yep. They stole a lot of nuclear secrets from Los Alamos. Our last president even gave them some of the technology they needed to use what they’d stolen in exchange for campaign funds. So now they’re only a few years behind instead of decades. It’s really bad news."
Peter was still digesting this information when Davy told him he could use the shower. Dazed, Peter wandered into the bedroom to get ready for the day.
"And he got away with this?" Micky asked, sitting down with a bowl of orange juice and corn flakes.
Dawn snorted. "They don’t call him Slick Willie for nothing. How that philandering draft dodger got elected is beyond me."
They talked politics for a while. Dawn did a lot of explaining of how situations had changed over the years, and the others spent a considerable amount of time listening to her and to the radio. By the time the Monkees had all eaten and gotten ready for the day, they had made up their minds.
"I believe you," Micky said firmly, sitting next to Dawn on the couch and taking her hand.
"So do I," nodded Davy, endeavoring to sit on the arm of the couch. Micky glared at him, and he moved off to the chaise lounge.
"Me too," Peter agreed.
"I don’t," Mike frowned. "For one thing, you haven’t told us what you’re doing here."
Dawn promptly explained the circumstances surrounding her arrival and the miraculous awakening of the band.
"Like ‘Sleeping Beauty,’" Peter gasped, wide-eyed.
Mike made a "yeah, right" sort of noise.
Someone knocked at the door. Davy jumped to open it. A little old lady stood outside.
"So it is true," she whispered. "My boys are alive after all."
Dawn leapt to her feet. "Mrs. Purdy! Come in!"
"Mrs. Purdy?" the Monkees gasped.
Mrs. Purdy, their long-time neighbor who was now well over 100, hobbled into the Pad. "I never could quite believe you were gone. And then when all the weeds vanished and Tim came in thinking he’d seen ghosts, I just had to come see for myself. But somehow I always knew you’d be back."
"Has it really been 35 years?" Davy asked.
Mrs. Purdy nodded. "And believe me, boys, the neighborhood just hasn’t been the same without you."
Mike sank down on the couch, dazed.
"OH!" Mrs. Purdy suddenly exclaimed. "I almost forgot. It’s been so long. Now where did I put that?" She started digging through her purse. "Aha! Here it is."
She pulled out a long envelope that had faded with age. "About ten or fifteen years after you boys disappeared, a man came and knocked on my door. He looked like he’d been in a terrible accident some time ago. Anyway, he gave me this envelope and told me that if ever you four should turn up again, he wanted me to give it to you. I think he died not long after."
Peter took the envelope and opened it. "Hey, it’s a letter!"
"Let me see that, shotgun," Mike demanded.
Peter handed him the yellowed paper. Mike read it aloud.
Dear Monkees (it ran),
I’m really sorry for what happened to you. It was Glick’s fault. See, he cast this spell so you’d sleep for a thousand years or until one of you got true love’s first kiss. He assumed that would get you out of his way.
But he died in an explosion that night. Five other men died; the rest of us were badly hurt. I thought that maybe Glick’s death would end the spell. That often happens in fairy tales; when the witch dies, all her magic comes undone, or vice versa. But it doesn’t look like that is the case here.
I’ve had a lot of time in rehab to think about my dealings with Glick. I’ve decided I don’t want to do evil anymore. So I wrote you this letter to apologize for all the things Glick did and that he made me do. Oh, and I think Mr. Babbitt left the house to you if you ever come back.
It was signed by one of Glick’s henchmen, presumably the one to whom the Wizard had told his plan all those years before.
Mike broke the stunned silence as he folded up the letter. "So."
"Yeah," Davy nodded.
"Well," Peter added, sitting down on the chaise lounge.
Micky didn’t say anything. He and Dawn were looking hard at each other, both thinking the same thing: True love…
Dawn had never had a boyfriend. Micky’s heart had been broken several times. Both could see that in the other’s eyes. Yet somehow they both knew…
June 25, 2004.
"Here come the newlyweds!" Peter hollered from upstairs.
Mike opened the door, humming the Wedding March. Micky swept Dawn off her feet and carried her across the threshold. Dawn giggled.
"So, how was Jamaica?" Davy asked as he hung up the phone. He hadn’t lost any time in trying to find new girls to add to his little black book.
"Wonderful!" the new Mrs. Dolenz proclaimed.
"Glad you enjoyed your month off," Mike said as he closed the door and came back into the living room. "It’s the last vacation you’re gonna have for a while. We’ve got more gigs than we know what to do with!"
"We’ll have enough money to buy lots of groceries and lots of VeggieTales tapes!" Peter cried as he slid down the banister.
"Oh, Peter," everyone else groaned.
And they all lived happily ever after.