When Daniel woke up the next morning, he walked into his living area. The book, he had thrown on the floor, was back on the table nice and pretty. The papers, he had torn out, were no longer on the floor either. His pencils were put back in the box as if they are brand new. Every day, Daniel experienced the same thing.
He stood in the middle of the room looking around at a perfectly clean hotel room. It had to be a dream. He was living at Disney World, not paying for it, and nothing made sense. If that was meant to be, Daniel would let it be. He grabbed the blank sketchbook as he did every day and left for the park.
Dopey was a character Daniel always liked. Lovable but a bit dorky which made him irresistible with the ladies. As he watched Dopey take photos with the guests at EPCOT, Daniel found that most of his visitors were girls in their teens to mid-twenties. They were gaga over him. Some were even flirting with him, making him blush. He noticed how Dopey’s little gestures made him more human than a cartoon. For example, if a pretty girl around the same height as he wanted a photo, Dopey checked out her backside as she stood for a photo. Daniel even one time saw Dopey’s hand rest there and she enjoyed it. Daniel snickered by the fact that he knew a girl was inside the Dopey costume. Fans were so oblivious to that.
Drawing the scenes Daniel saw entertained him. It did not occur to him at first, but he noticed it as he finished his drawing of Dopey and Snow White. Each time he finished a drawing and turn to a new page, a sparkle formed around them. Once he saw it, he tried it again. He drew another photo and when he turned the page, Dopey and Snow White in front of them sparkled. Pixie Dust?
Daniel had an idea. He picked up his eraser and began to erase Dopey in his picture. He looked up and Dopey was gone. Guests stood around in amazement as Dopey vanished. Daniel drew Dopey back into the scene, and he reappeared next to his guests. The guests clapped as they thought it was Disney Imagineering at it is best. Dopey bowed, going along with his fans.
Dopey and Snow White left behind the cast member’s door. Daniel followed behind them. He caught Dopey before he could take off his costume. Daniel asked if he could draw one more photo. Dopey posed and Daniel drew him. As soon as he finished, the sparkle around Dopey appeared.
Daniel convinced the girl inside the costume to let him try it on. The girl playing Dopey knew Daniel from her meetings; so, if Daniel wanted something, she would not argue. She did not want to get in trouble with RED. Daniel put on the Dopey suit then ran over to his sketch pad and quickly erased Dopey on the piece of paper. Everything turned black for Daniel.
Daniel landed on a big pile of eraser dust. He shook it off, standing up and removing the Dopey costume. He looked around. No clue of where he was. Daniel turned 360. Around him were different lands and villages that look like they should be the backdrops from cartoons. He went toward an old English city looking and everything came alive. The building up ahead had a sign that read, Pub. Daniel thought he should explore. When he opened the door of the pub, he was in the middle of a bar, and its patrons were cartoon characters that he had never seen before.
Everyone turned toward the door to see a strange creature they had never seen. Daniel greeted them with a hello. Everyone turned back to what they were doing and ignored him, except for one. Daniel felt a tug on the leg of his jeans. When he looked down, Daniel noticed a horse-type creature but had the head and torso of a young girl. She was black with pigtails, large eyes, and bucked teeth. She smiled at Daniel.
He realized that she seemed to be a centaurette like those he had seen in Fantasia. She was not as mythical as those in the movie.
“Hi, I am Daniel. What’s your name?”
When Daniel said his name, the centaurette took a jump back. Everyone in the pub turned their attention to him as if he said something wrong. Very cautiously, the little centaurette asked Daniel, “Are you really him?”
“Am I who?” he asked.
“The one who will bring us back to life?” She asked.
“I am not sure. What’s your name?” He bent down to talk to her on her level.
“I’m Sunflower.” She said just shy of smiling.
Daniel could tell she was a bit nervous. “Nice to meet you, Sunflower.” When he looked around, everyone was staring at him. “It’s nice to meet every one of you.”
Daniel put his hand on Sunflower’s back and petted her as if she was a horse. Sunflower moved close; she liked the attention.
Daniel stood and walked toward the bar. There was an empty seat next to a bird that looked like a toucan. Daniel did not know much about animals, especially birds. The bird had a bit of an attitude. Daniel looked at the bartender and asked what was good to drink.
The voluptuous blond behind the counter said, “We only have one thing to drink here. Want it?”
“Sure.” Daniel hesitantly said.
She sat the glass on the counter and slid it down the bar. Each person at the bar lifted their drinks as it passed to let it continue to slide. Daniel stopped it with his hand. “Thanks.”
He looked at the bird next to him, but the bird did not look back. The bird demanded. “Stop staring. Haven’t you ever seen a drunk bird before?”
Daniel continued looking at the bird, he did not know how to answer that question.
Sunflower pulled on Daniel’s shirt. He looked down. She said to Daniel, “He’s just a grumpy ‘ol bird. He don’t know how to be nice, ya’ know.”
Daniel asked, “Why he is grumpy?”
The bird turned toward Daniel and began speaking with a raised voice. “I am not Grumpy. If I were Grumpy; one, I wouldn’t be a bird, I’d be a drawf. And two, I wouldn’t be here right now. Would I?”
Daniel and Sunflower were surprised how forceful the bird got when he spoke. “Can I ask, something?” Daniel did not pause for an answer. “Where are we?”
The blond bartender walked up to Daniel and leaned over the counter. Daniel leaned back as she seemed to be confronting him about something. “Think about it. How did you get here in the first place?”
Daniel ignored the question as his eyes were focused on her large breasts that were about to pop out of her white dress. She noticed where his eyes were. She snapped her fingers in front of his eyes, “Hey. Eyes up, pervert.”
Daniel woke up from his gaze. She repeated, “How did you get here?”
Daniel thought a moment. “I erased myself?” He thought long and hard until it all fell into place. “I did. I erased myself.”
The toucan shook his head. “Figures, he’s dumb too.”
Daniel looked around the building and saw many unusual types of characters, talking animals, girls that could be princesses, ruggedly handsome guys, and other random people. He asked, “Were all of you erased?”
Sunflower said, “Or edited out.” She had a sad look on her face.
“What do you mean, edited out?” Daniel asked.
Sunflower explained to Daniel that she had been drawn into the movie of Fantasia, but when corporate big wigs re-edited the movie, she was edited out. “I wasn’t pretty enough to be part of da’ movie.”
Daniel looked at her and smiled, “I think you are.”
Sunflower rubbed up against Daniel’s leg cat-like.
“So, everyone was erased. Or edited out.” He smiled at Sunflower again, “And you all came here?”
The toucan replied, “More like dumped for eternity.”
Daniel looked at the blond behind the counter and asked, “What’s your story?”
She responded. “I am Marilee Bunny. I was going to be in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” They wanted a redhead instead. That bitch, Jessica, took my job and I was sent here instead.”
Daniel looked at the toucan. The toucan looked forward but told his story. “Fine, I was to star in The Three Caballeros with my friends Jose and Panchito, but they decided that dumb duck would bring in more money.”
Daniel heard a little voice talking in his ear, “I couldn’t help but listen to all of this.”
Daniel looked around and did not see anything. Sunflower said, “He is on your shoulder.”
Daniel looked on the shoulder of his shirt and he saw a mosquito. Daniel was about to swat it off, but Marilee stopped him. “He is one of us.”
“Let me introduce myself. I am Ivan. Originally, I was to be featured in The Rescuers. I would have been a giant mosquito to match the size of the mice. It would not have been believable, so I was replaced with a dragonfly. Much more appropriate for the story if I may say so myself.”
Daniel picked up the mosquito and put him in the palm of his hand. “Are you going to bite me?”
“Oh no, sir. I was drawn without a stinger.”
“Okay good, then we can be friends too.”
“Thank you, sir. If I may continue… I heard you say you erased yourself to get here. How do you think you are going to get out of this graveyard?” The mosquito questioned.
Daniel never thought about that. He never thought he would not be able to get back when he had gotten into the Dopey costume to see what was on the other side.
Thinking back on the last few hours that he had spent with his new friends, he remembered something Sunflower had said earlier. “Sunflower, you asked me earlier if I was going to bring you back to life. What did you mean by that?”
Sunflower stood up on her two back legs and leaned on Daniel’s knees. “People come here with stories ’bout things people who draw us say, ya’ know talkin’? People talk ’bout Daniel Disney comin’ to take back Disney. Bring back Walt’s ideas an’ values. Ya’ must be him. Ya’ gotta be.”
“Why do you say that? My name is not Disney. It’s Hayes.”
Many of the characters at the bar seemed to lose hope that Daniel was Daniel Disney and that he was there to bring them back to life. There were a few special friends who still believed in him.
Sunflower said to Daniel, “No one from da’ real world has ever visited us before. Ya’ must be him ’cause you are here. Ya’ see us, ya’ have da’ magic.”
Daniel assured Sunflower he was not a Disney, which made Sunflower start to cry.
Marilee felt bad for little Sunflower, who had never really warmed up to anyone in the graveyard before. Sunflower always kept to herself, never made friends with anyone before. Seeing her making friends with Daniel warmed her heart. Watching Daniel pet Sunflower, she had an idea. “You know, there have been times people have left here and never came back.”
Daniel’s ear perked up, “How?”
“Get redrawn!” She said excitedly.
“Huh?” That confused Daniel and everyone else around them.
Marilee climbed on top of the bar to talk to everyone there, “Does everyone remember Mufasa? He was here from like the sixties until he was redrawn for The Lion King.”
Everyone’s eyes widened and many of the characters gathered around Daniel and Marilee when they all put two and two together. Marilee continued, “He told us that he was drawn for The Jungle Book, but they dumped him for a tiger.”
Daniel added, “Shere Khan. I met him; he is one crazy tiger.”
“When The Lion King was made, they redrew Mafasa and he disappeared from here and has not come back,” Marilee added.
A rhino pushed a bunch of characters aside with his horn to stand in front of Daniel, “I remember Mufasa. I made it into the film but got cut at the last minute, too.”
Daniel touched the rhino’s horn, “What’s your name?”
The rhino replied, “Rocky. No one got to see me. I wanted to be someone’s favorite character someday. I had big dreams. I even got to sing. I love singing.”
Daniel looked around at all the characters that were staring at him as if he were their savior. He did not know what to say to them. He could not imagine being the guy who could bring all these people back to life. He did not know how but he thought he could try it.
Daniel grabbed a napkin that was on the bar and the pen from Marilee’s hair. He began to draw himself. He looked around and said to his admirers, “If this works, I will do everything I can to come back and get you all of you.”
His pen met with his first mark, making his drawing complete and Daniel began to sparkle.
Sunflower exclaimed, “Pixie Dust!!!”
Daniel disappeared from the bar.
All the characters looked at each other and the toucan sniffled, “I hope he comes back soon.”
There was a light peering through the crack in the darkness. Daniel stuck his finger in the crack and a door opened. He walked out of a closet in an unfamiliar place. There was a lamp on the desk of the office.
Daniel looked around, saw a family portrait on the wall. It looked like Walt Disney, along with his brother Roy on the wall with their families at Disneyland in California. Glancing more around the room, he noticed his face on the wall behind the desk.
Looking out the window, it was dark. It must be nighttime, and everyone was off already. He looked outside the door to see if anyone was in the office building. Everyone seemed gone. Daniel turned back to the office. The desk that stood in front of him had the nameplate that read Roy E. Disney. He was in Roy’s office. Roy E. Disney was the only Disney family member left at The Disney Company. Walt’s nephew had stayed aboard at Disney to help keep the company running and intact.
Nervous about being in Roy’s office, he was about to high tail it out of there but on the table in the corner of the office was a bunch of books that looked like sketchbooks. Daniel’s curiosity got the best of him. He went to the table and glanced inside them. All his drawings were there. Books that he had filled with both Disney and original drawings were in Roy’s office. Disney had stolen his books, he thought. Pissed, Daniel took the first book on the top and tore all the drawings up into little pieces, and scattered them over Roy’s desk.
Daniel grabbed the rest of them and went up the stairs to the door of the building. He slowly opened the door to leave, and an alarm went off. Daniel ran, hoping not to be caught at the offices.
The security guard sat at the side of the building when then the alarm went off, he drew his gun and ran toward the front door. Daniel ran across the parking lot away from the building when the guard saw him. He fired a gunshot in the air as a scare tactic, but Daniel kept running. The guard called Roy on the phone, “RED, he was here. Do you want me to go after him?”
The guard hung up the phone and sat back down where he had been. Daniel ran to the safety of his apartment, so he thought.