A Foolproof Plan
It had been a summer by the time Glen and I arrived in California. Glen and I were exhausted, and our funds were running low. Needless to say, the Golden State would be our last stop. Other than a taste of fame and glamor, we came to California in search of the Dark Watchers, mysterious creatures said to roam the Santa Lucia Mountain Range. Although they’re very antisocial with outsiders, Glen and I had a brilliant plan.
The Santa Lucias at dusk.
The Hollywood of West-Central California
We parked our trusty van in a parking lot in King City, CA, a town nestled in the Santa Lucias and, more importantly, known as the Hollywood of West-Central California. We figured KC would be the perfect spot to meet the Watchers. After dinner at a local In-N-Out, Glen and I got to work in the San Luis Obispo Public Library. Using the library’s free wifi, array of printers, and surplus of colored ink, we designed and printed eye-catching, irresistible flyers. In colorful bubble letters surrounded by clip art of aliens and space cowboys, these flyers read:
“OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFETIME AWAITS! – YOUR CHANCE FOR FAME AND FORTUNE! – DARK WATCHERS WANTED FOR LOCAL HOLLYWOOD ROLE!”
We left our contact information at the bottom. How could the Watchers possibly resist? Although they’re mythical, cloak-wearing ghosts, they want what everybody wants: fame and fortune.
The Waiting Game
After hiking a few mountains and posting the flyers at each peak, Glen and I waited. Within minutes, our phones began to ring. A few of our responses were just spam calls, and others were from people clearly confused by what we meant by “Dark Watchers,” including a nocturnal bird-watching society and a questionable local militia. We did, however, receive a few legitimate Dark Watcher calls, which we identified by the heavy breathing and animal sounds on the other end (Dark Watchers don’t speak English).
Working hard or hardly working?
We staged auditions in the public library’s auditorium, where we turned down the lights to emulate the Dark Watchers’ natural habitat. The turnout was great; we received eight Dark Watchers and one cloaked man imitating the others. The Dark Watchers were silent, and couldn’t read the fake scripts we gave them (sales pitches we “borrowed” from a nearby call center). They were even more disappointed to learn that the movie they had auditioned for was fake. However, they were friendly enough to take pictures with us, and that’s all Glen and I ever wanted.
With our new friends.
The Last Happy Ending
The Dark Watchers invited us to dinner in the mountains, where we enjoyed cow-gut tartare with a side of huckleberry mush. Over dinner, Glen and I reflected on our road trip across the country. We described the adventures that brought us to California and the new lives we hope to build in their wonderful state. As long as the Dark Watchers were happy to listen, Glen and I talked into the night. We were satisfied with our trip and felt we’d learned a lot – about monsters, livestock, van repair, and life.