An alarm clock by the bed reads 4:00 AM. A sweating DAD bolts upright in bed, gasping.
DAD: I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH BOOKS ABOUT WINSTON CHURCHILL.
He glances at his bookshelves.
DAD: Wait. Yes I do.
He sinks back down gratefully.
A sleeping DAD is taking a road trip to an unclear destination. On the way he stops by an unfamiliar Starbucks, where the baristas do not know his name or his usual order, and they are out of world music CDs.
Someone has moved that paper. You know that paper. The paper that was just here. The special paper you needed but didn’t tell anyone not to move that was near the briefcase by the phone, just a minute ago.
The kitchen was finished. The basement never was.
A genie appears and tells your father that he can bring any U.S. President back from the dead for a single day. He’s overcome. He panics. The only name he can think of is Woodrow Wilson.
“Wait,” he says, as the genie snaps his fingers and disappears. “Wait, I didn’t mean it. I meant — I meant Teddy. I meant Teddy Roosevelt. I meant to say Teddy Roosevelt.”
Woodrow Wilson makes him listen to every one of the Fourteen Points before asking if he could get a ride to the library.
When he made it out to the driveway, everyone else was already in the car. “Come on,” they said in unison. “We’ve been waiting for you. We’re all ready to go.”
She was already in the driver’s seat, seatbelt on and everything. “I thought I’d drive today,” she said brightly, as if she was commenting about the weather or something equally harmless. “You can sit in the passenger seat.”
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.