MISBEGOTTEN PLACES #8

The Bopp Chamber of Light

TEDDY

My name is Bopp.

I was born on April 1, 1997, during the brightest phase of the comet Hale-Bopp as it raced through the solar system. As it was also April Fool’s Day, my parents named me Bopp.

When I turned twenty-one, I gained control of the trust fund that my wealthy uncle left me. Uncle George was my mother’s brother, and they never got along. Truth is, they despised one another. I never met Uncle George, so it’s kind of funny that he left me a sizable fortune, but he did it just to spite my parents.

Knowing all my life that I was to become a very rich young man, I saw no reason to work hard at school, so I dropped out and began preparing for my life’s ambition. This took me all over the world, searching for metaphysical answers to the questions of existence. And I found what I was looking for.

Welcome to my Chamber of Light!


GEORGE

I’m Theodore’s Uncle George. I’ve been concerned about him ever since he started calling himself Bopp. Teddy lives in an imaginary world of his own, creating strange stories which he writes and submits to literary magazines, book publishers and comic books. He has yet to have any of them published, but he keeps trying.

Despite being strange, he’s a nice kid. Last week I gave him a hundred dollars for his thirteenth birthday. And for the record, I like my sister.


TEDDY

The Bopp Chamber of Light is a self-contained room within a gothic castle that I purchased in Scotland. Built from granite mined from a quarry in Aberdeen, it is spacious, cold all year round, and spooky.

I employed three glassmiths to build a marvelous glass pyramid inside my chamber. It measures twelve feet tall with a nine foot base, constructed of borosilicate glass and weighing 43,368 pounds.

Each day at noon, a beam of sunlight passes through the pyramid and refracts into spectrums of colors, lighting up the room with a marvelous aura of electromagnetic energy. But I have found that I could harness these spectrums and make them do my bidding.


THERESA

My name is Theresa. I’m Teddy’s mother. He’s such a creative and imaginary young man, who has always entertained us with his wonderful stories. I just know he’ll get published eventually, and maybe even get a book deal with a publisher.

I just wish he would get some friends.


TEDDY

I am now able to bend these refracted light rays into a dimensional void - a space time continuum that realigns the forces within specific spatial coordinates. This results in ionized electromagnetic waves that can be either good or evil, as I determine.


VASILY

My name is Vasily, and I’m Theodore’s father. Look, I’m supportive of his writing. I’m glad he’s involved in some form of creativity. But I can only go so far! If he doesn’t give this up soon and start getting good grades, I’m gonna throw him out of the house. You can count on that!

The other day he came down for dinner and announced that he wouldn’t sit under the fluorescent light because it redirected the whatever rays into his cerebellum.

Grow up!


BILLY

My name is William. I used to be Teddy’s best friend. That is, until he wired my head to a generator. He said my brain waves could generate enough electricity to power a light bulb. I think it worked, but I still have bald spots above my ears.

Hey Teddy, stay away from me, man.


TEDDY

Before you enter my Chamber of Light, you pass through the Castle Keep, where your cosmic energy is redistributed throughout your body, making you receptive and ready for what is to come.


DR. RASMUSSEN

My name is Dr. Benjamin Rasmussen. As Theodore’s therapist, I’m not at liberty to divulge much about him, but I’m not particularly worried. In my estimation, he’s a very typical 13-year-old boy with an oversized imagination. I find nothing harmful in his writings, which are mostly about farm animals and riding a bicycle. Nothing to raise an alarm.


VASILY

Theresa’s mad at me. Today I lost my temper with Teddy and told him I was cutting off his allowance and locking up his bike. She thinks that was too much, because he stormed out of the house and we haven’t seen him for hours.

I’m sure he’ll return for dinner. I hope.


THERESA

Vasily’s mad at me. I yelled at him for punishing Teddy. I thought he went too far and told him so.

Then a bit later, Vasily disappeared. Without a word! I haven’t seen him all evening and I’m worried. Teddy came home eventually. Now we’re both waiting to hear from my husband.


TEDDY

You are then finally led to The Chamber of Light. This is where I direct the ionized electromagnetic waves to either your cerebrum or your cerebellum, depending on whether the intent is to be good or evil.

If it’s good, you will be enlightened with superior intelligence and moral fortitude. And all kinds of good fortune will befall you.

If it’s evil, you will be locked in a glass sphere for all eternity.

You’d better hope I like you!


GEORGE

Theresa called me tonight, nearly hysterical and not making sense. She told me about the punishment that Vasily gave to Teddy. And she told me about Teddy leaving, and the arguments that she and Vasily had. But I became really alarmed when she said that her husband had disappeared without a word. That’s not like him.

I tried to calm her down, but it was not working. So I said I’ll be right over. Twenty minutes later I was pulling up into the driveway of Theresa’s house. It was dark, but the porch light was on and I could see them both.

And then the strangest thing happened. I’ll never understand it. I got out of the car and raced up to where Theresa and Teddy were standing, next to the garage. Theresa looked extremely upset…


THERESA

…There we were: me, George and Teddy. In front of us, in the woods behind the house, there was my husband Vasily. It was hard to make it out in the darkness, but there he was, inside a glass ball, or sphere or something! It looked like he was yelling and banging on the sides, but we couldn’t hear anything.

George carefully approached the ball. Vasily looked at my brother with a look of desperation. Moving closer to my husband, George saw that there were two bald spots above his ears.

Oh Vasily!


TEDDY

Well it worked! My life’s ambitions have been accomplished. One thing remains to be done: I still haven’t figured out how to release people from the glass sphere. I need to work on that. But at least now the world will take me seriously.

Or else.