I – Be Careful What You Wish For…
24th December 1965
The Monkees were singing “Your Auntie Grizelda” as they ran, clutching their instruments as they ducked the rubbish being thrown at them. The gig had gone from bad to worse from the moment they set up. Perhaps they should have realised the moment they saw the ultra conservative Republican club signs out front. Or failing that, when they’d overheard one particularly loud and particularly fat man in the kind of starched suits only seen in Congress telling all who would listen that rock and roll was dangerous and subversive and would be the ruination of their country..
But they hadn’t.
So they’d played.
And it was safe to say, the very starched, very conservative men and woman had not been best pleased to hear a bunch of long haired subversives singing their blatantly subversive music.
Peter wailed as a fine bone china plate hit him in the shoulder. Mike stopped a moment to yell back – the effect of which was slightly spoiled by the canapés that thudded into his face halfway through.
It felt like they were soldiers under fire, and that’s what they were in their Heads – running through the streets in full battle uniform, with moustaches, and camouflage painted faces, ducking the bombs as they fell.
“Right, men, we’re going over the top!” Micky commanded as they flew through the crowds of outraged suits.
Finally, after putting a couple of blocks between them and the baying hoards, the Monkees collapsed down on the curb, panting hard.
Davy looked at his broken tambourine. “That’s 3 this month!” He complained.
“Least ya stand a chance at replacin’ it, man.” Mike pointed out. “Look at this.” He held out his custom guitar. It was covered in various foodstuffs, some of the strings had been snapped and the headstock was ruined.
Micky tried to lighten the mood. “It’s not that bad. Just a few missed cords. It’ll tighten up our tunes.”
Mike just gave him the look.
“At least we got paid.” Peter chirped. Then he caught the looks of the others. “Oh.”
“Let’s face it,” Mike said. “This whole thing’s a joke.”
“It’s just a bad gig, lighten up.” Micky told him.
“Bad gig after bad gig, man.” Mike told him. “Look, we ain’t gonna make it. We’re just foolin’ ourselves here. We may as well accept it.”
“C’mon, man, it’s not that bad.” Micky told him.
“Yeah it is.” Mike looked at his prised 12 string and shook his head. “I wish we’d never started this.”
There was a snap of fingers behind them.
The four boys looked up. A middle aged man in a crumpled cream coloured suit smiled down at them.
“Your wish,” he said kindly, “has been granted.”
II - Does an Angel Contemplate My Love?
The Monkees stood up. The street was suddenly deserted, no people, no cars, no sound of any kind. Just them and this strange looking man.
“Who are you?” Peter asked.
The man straightened his tie, which was the same bland colour as his suit. “You could say I’m your saviour.” He said. “Your guardian angel as it were.”
“Our what?” Mike repeated.
“You don’t look much like an angel to me.” Davy said.
“Well I am. And really, that’s no way to talk to the person who’s just granted your wish.”
“What wish?” Micky asked, confused.
“That the Monkees never were.”
“You can’t do that.” Mike told him.
“No you can’t.” Micky argued.
“Oh yes I can!”
“Oh no you can’t!” Davy intoned. Then looked around and shrugged. “Sorry, wrong Christmas cliché.”
“Well I can, and I have.” The man said firmly. “You are no longer the Monkees, just four guys on the street.”
And the group looked down and saw that their red eight button shirts were gone, instead they wore ordinary clothes.
“Ex-Monkees, as it were. In fact, none of you ever met. And at the stroke of midnight tonight, your wish becomes irreversible. You’ll wake up in your new lives and no one will ever have heard of the Monkees.”
“We didn’t wish that!” Davy cried.
The angel looked confused. “But you did.”
“It wasn’t my wish, it was Mike’s wish!”
“You were all in agreement.”
“No we weren’t.” Davy argued. “I never heard anyone agree.”
And both Peter and Micky nodded their heads.
“But you did.” The man told them. “In your hearts. I heard you.”
They all looked down at their feet, a little ashamed.
“Now…” The angel said, rubbing his hands together. “Shall we begin?”
“Begin what?” Mike asked.
“Aren’t you curious about what became of yourselves, without the Monkees?”
“Well, kinda, I guess…” Mike said.
“Good. We’ll start with you.”
And the angel clicked his fingers.
III – Mike
The ex-Monkees found themselves in a small run-down room which was cluttered with boxes as if someone had just moved in. The furniture was old and thread bare, as were the carpets. Someone had tried to brighten the place up with a bunch of cut flowers, but they were starting to wilt.
A woman came in from another room and the foursome immediately began making excuses as to why they were standing here in her house.
“She can’t see or hear you.” The angel told them, somewhat unnecessarily, as the woman walked straight past them and had she been a mere two inches to the left, she would have walked right into, or possibly through, Peter. “You are now merely shadows of what used to be.”
“I know her.” Mike said. “She used to live a few blocks from my house, back in Texas. Mandy…or Mindy…”
“Mindy.” The angel confirmed.
A crying sound pierced the air and the woman sighed. She went back through the door and came back out a minute or two later with a bundle of blankets. It was the bundle that was making the noise.
The woman sat back down on the moth eaten sofa and carefully arranged the blankets on her lap, revealing the reddened face of a crying baby snuggled inside them. It was a boy, judging by the blue cardigan he was dressed in, no more than about six months old. His soft downy hair was dark as were his eyes. His nose and chin…
His nose and chin were unmistakably Mike’s.
Mike knelt down and looked at the baby – at his son.
His son. He was certain. He could feel it.
The baby smiled and gurgled, calmer now it was being rocked by its mother. A glob of drool oozed out of the child’s mouth as it grinned.
Mike smiled back.
The others all imagined themselves with huge cigars in their mouths, patting the new father on the back. Peter had a plastic stork under his arm.
The door opened and broke the fantasy. They looked around.
Mike slouched in.
Another Mike, the Mike who had never been part of the Monkees, the Mike who had fathered this child…
He dumped his guitar down on a chair. This Mike was heavier set than the one they knew and loved, still lean but with noticeable bulk in his shoulders and more flesh around his middle. His face was covered in beard stubble and his eyes looked older somehow. He still wore the ever present bobble hat but it was unwashed and dirty.
“Lousy city.” He muttered, making no attempt to greet either the girl or the child. He dug into his pocket and pulled out a handful of something before chucking it down on the coffee table. Loose coins rolled over the dented wood. “Played all day and that’s all I have to show for it.” He headed straight for the fridge and opened it. He helped himself to a beer. “Ain’t gonna pay the rent.”
The woman’s eyes were angry. “Ain’t gonna pay it if ya keep spendin’ it on beer.”
“It’s always the same, isn’t it?” He snapped, slamming the fridge door shut. “Dontcha get tired of sayin’ that?” He slumped into the chair. “Ain’t no harm in one beer.”
She looked away. “If it was just one…” She said quietly.
“And what the hell is that supposed ta mean?” He demanded.
The baby began to cry again.
This Mike got up and trudged into the other room. “And shut that kid up!” He yelled, slamming the door behind him.
The woman jumped at the noise.
Mike stared at this parody of himself. “That ain’t me.”
“But it is.” The angel said. “This is you without the Monkees. You never left Texas; you married Mindy…because you had too. All those dreams you had and all the songs you wrote… Well, you still have those, buried under responsibility.” The angel explained. “It’s a hard thing for a young man to bear.”
Mike looked at Mindy, who was shushing her child, while fighting back her own tears. “Ain’t no excuse…” He whispered.
“You didn’t meet Micky that day at the bus station, never heard him sing your songs, never heard him make those songs real… He and Davy and Peter…they never showed you how to be young.”
Mike tore his eyes away from the angel. His gaze fell on the baby, being hushed so gently by his mother. “Ain’t all bad…”
“No.” The angel admitted, “but he doesn’t see that.”
Mike looked around. “I would.”
The angel sighed. “Are you sure this is what you want?”
“Well it ain’t paradise, but…I could make it work.”
The angel appeared to lose some of his colour and his face grew sombre. “On the contrary, Mr Nesmith, this is paradise.” He turned his gaze onto the youngest ex-member of their group. “Davy on the other hand…”
The ex-Monkees all turned to look sharply at the angel.
“What happens to Davy?” Mike demanded.
The angel clicked his fingers, and the scenery changed…
IV – Davy
The ex-group found themselves backstage at a very loud and very crowded concert. There was thick smoke all around and coloured lights played in the fog. Music pounded against their eardrums, the bass so deep they could feel the vibrations in the air. The noise of the crowd was incredible. The masses roared, yelling and screaming.
The ex-Monkees were standing just behind the speakers, looking out at the band playing before the dark sea of people. The lead singer was belting out a number, his long hair matted with sweat. Behind him was a drummer and another man on a bass guitar and next to him was…
“’Ere, fellas, that’s me!” Davy cried, pointing.
There was no mistaking the small figure doing the backing vocals. His hair was longer and shaggier, and he seemed even slimmer, but it was Davy.
Micky patted Davy on the back. “You’re famous, babe!”
Davy broke into a huge grin.
“So…” Peter frowned, “Davy’s still in the Monkees?”
“The TT’s.” The angel corrected. “Davy came to America to be in a band. That didn’t change.”
Mike, Micky and Peter all exchanged looks. If it hadn’t have been for them, Davy would have made it.
“The only thing that changed was who you met, Davy.” The angel continued. “It wasn’t Peter, it was Jacks Bentley,” he pointed to the lead singer, “and you became part of his group, the TT’s.”
Davy absorbed this information while they all watched his other self perform. The TT’s songs lacked the warmth of their own music. This was harsh rock anthems, no softness at all. But the beat was good, and the foursome soon found themselves lost in the moment.
But finally, it was finished and the exhausted band came off stage, wandering through the Monkees like they were phantoms.
“Do you mind!” Micky protested, shuddering in disgust at having been walked through.
The group obviously didn’t, helping themselves to the bottles of whiskey lined up on the tables and dressers. Various groupies came over and began draping themselves over the band.
The other Davy glared at the lead singer, who was almost a whole foot taller. Jacks was lighting a roll-up and no-one in the room, real or phantom, was under any delusions that it was ordinary tobacco.
“We agreed we’d do ‘I wanna be free.’” He said.
Jacks snorted, “it ain’t our kind of song, Dave.”
“It’s my song.”
The singer began nuzzling one of the groupies on his arm. “Look, next time, babe.”
“That’s what you said last time.”
Jacks exhaled a long line of smoke and offered him the spliff. “Relax, Dave, take a puff and take a bird. You earned it.”
The drummer swigged down some whiskey. “Ain’t one ‘ere short enough!”
“We’ll get one a stepladder.” Jacks said.
The band all began laughing.
Davy flushed. “Jacks...”
The lead singer groaned and sucked on the roll up, “next time, Dave, next time!”
“Yeah, give it a rest, Shorty.” The drummer began dragging two of the groupies out to someone more private. “Have some fun.”
Jacks pushed the spliff between Davy’s teeth and grinned at him. One of the groupies, a stick thin girl with jet black hair, leaned over and tucked a lock of Davy’s hair behind his ear. She smiled. Jacks caught her eye and slowly, sensuously, did the same to Davy’s other ear.
Davy took a drag on the roll up as the girl, still with her eyes locked on Jacks, began kissing his neck.
And then he took another… and another…
“Relax, Dave…” Jacks murmured, stroking the boy’s cheek. “We earned it…” His other hand tangled in the groupie’s hair, guiding her movements against Davy.
“Jacks, I don’t…”
“Shh…next time, Davy.” His voice was just a whisper. “I promise, all right?”
Jacks fingers moved up to smooth away the troubled frown on his brow. “You’re so pretty, Davy…” He murmured, leaning closer, lips apart.
The scene faded away to a colourless mesh of unreality. Davy turned to yell at the angel but found himself turning instead in another room, a different room…
Light poured in from the window, falling onto the bed, where Davy lay entangled with the dark haired girl and Jacks. The other Davy was the only one awake, blinking up at the ceiling.
The ex-Monkees watched as this Davy carefully untangled himself, grabbed some underwear to put on and walked to the dresser. He sat down, staring at his own reflection in the lighted mirror.
He looked tired and pale, cheekbones jutting out from his sunken face, and even though the room was quite cool, a faint sheen of sweat stood out on his brow. Then he opened a drawer and got out a picture. He looked at it for a long time, running a thin and slightly shaky finger along the frame.
It was a photo of his grandfather.
Then he softly apologised to it and put the picture face down.
Davy got something else out of the drawer.
A syringe, and a belt.
The ex-Monkees all drew a breath.
“That’s…!” Davy cried, “I wouldn’t!”
They watched in horror as he expertly tied the belt around his arm and pulled it tight. There were enough marks on his skin to confirm this wasn’t the first time the boy had done this.
“Stop him!” Mike demanded of the angel.
The angel spread his hands in an expression of helplessness. “We are only shadows here.”
Davy found a vein and winced as he pushed the needle home. Then his face relaxed, his lips parted.
“Why?” Davy cried. He was staring at his own face, watching with sick fascination as his alter ego spaced out.
“When this Davy arrived in America, he didn’t meet Peter. He never felt welcomed in America. He was mugged on the street, beaten. He was so hungry when he met Jacks and so grateful to him. Jacks took advantage of that. The TT’s offered him a home, just like the Monkees did, but Jacks and the others, they put him down, ridiculed the songs he sang, the lyrics he wrote, even the girls he dated. Somewhere along the line, this Davy began to believe it.”
Davy grew angry at himself.
“That’s not a reason!”
“He didn’t mean to get addicted, Davy. He only wanted to make the loneliness go away.”
“He could have gone home.” Davy sounded angry.
The angel looked at him. “Would you?”
Davy’s head bowed, knowing he wouldn’t. The disappointment in his grandfather’s eyes would have been too hard.
The angel looked down at the drugged boy. Davy had slumped over the dresser, long hair falling across his face, hiding his eyes. “And now he can’t go back. He’s too ashamed.”
Micky laid a hand on Davy’s shoulder. “It’s not you, man.” He told him.
Davy shrugged him off. “But it is, isn’t it?” He demanded of the angel.
The man slowly nodded. “The only thing that is different is who you met. Or didn’t meet. The choices were still yours.”
Peter offered Davy a dimpled smile. “He could find us.” He offered. “Me and Mike and Micky. We could help him.”
Davy returned his smile with a small one of his own. He looked at the angel to ask if that could happen, but the question died on his lips.
The angel’s face was grave. He shook his head. “They can’t help you, Davy.”
Both Micky and Peter went still.
“This only looks like Hell,” the angel said, “but Micky is really there…”
And the angel snapped his fingers.
The room was replaced by trees and greenery. The four boys looked around, eyes growing wide.
The jungle was oppressively hot and damp and there was faint scent of cordite under the heavy smell of stagnant water in the air. The sound of gunfire echoed all around them. The ex-Monkees ducked instinctively at the harsh rat-a-tat of a spitting machine gun, crouching low among the harsh razor like reeds.
Mike paled. “Vietnam.” He whispered.
V - Micky
There was yelling somewhere ahead, harsh shouts in an alien tongue. The four boys ducked lower, frightened.
“They will not see us.” The angel reminded them softly.
But they stayed down all the same.
They could hear movement behind them, and Mike stole a quick look back through the reeds. A mud covered figure was running for the cover they themselves were using. His feet slipped in the mud and he came crashing down into the water, swearing under his breath as he landed heavily. He crawled forward on his elbows and came to a stop right beside the ex-group.
The boys looked at the solider, who was scanning the sky as if he expected to see, or hear an approaching Huey. But the only sound surrounding them was gunfire.
The young man cursed under his breath and wiped at a smear of red on his arm. He was bleeding. It didn’t look bad, but it had to be painful. And he would need help soon if it wasn’t to become infected.
A snapping sound drew the soldier’s attention and he turned. He was now looking right at the ex-Monkees, seeing through them.
“No…” Micky gasped, even though, in his heart, he already knew. They had all known.
Under the blood and the mud and the buzz cut hair, there was no mistaking who the boy was.
Micky Dolenz. US draftee.
Another tiny sound cut the air behind them. The other Micky froze, hearing it too.
They could only watch in horror as this Micky stood up, gun ready and fired. His bullets tore into the trees and several bodies slumped out, landing in the mud with a sickening wet sound.
They were the enemy.
The Viet Cong.
They were human beings.
Peter covered his eyes, but the others didn’t… found they couldn’t. They had to watch as Micky yelled over the hail of his bullets, moving the gun back and forth to spread the hail as wide as possible.
His gun finally jammed, or ran out of ammunition. He cursed and ducked back down, wincing as his movements jarred his arm.
“Are they dead?” Peter wailed, still not looking.
Mike stood up and looked through the reeds. He wanted to lie.
But he didn’t. “Yes.”
The other Micky pressed himself to the ground, his lips moving in silent oaths.
“I couldn’t kill anyone!” Micky was shaking. “I couldn’t!”
“He has to.” The angel said, “or be killed himself.”
“I never went to war.” Micky’s voice trembled, trying to deny the evidence of his own eyes. “I failed the physical.”
“You failed because you were under weight.” The angel sighed. “And you were underweight because of Peter.”
Davy frowned. “Peter?”
“Because of his cooking, to be precise.”
“It’s inedible.” Davy agreed.
Peter was crying and didn’t react to the insult. He had gone still, staring at the men…at the boys, for they were no older than the Monkees themselves…that he had slain.
“Without Peter cooking, you ate well and gained weight. You passed, Micky. You went to war.”
Davy put his arm around Peter, and made him look away from the dead. Peter buried his face in Davy’s neck and his sobs died away to sniffles.
The other Micky was searching the sky almost desperately now, trying to see some way out. The growing fear in his eyes was terrible to see.
A voice snapped behind them, spitting out a single harsh word in Vietnamese.
They all spun round. Peter let out a cry as he saw the VC solider looming over them. He had his gun pointing at Micky.
The other Micky stared up at him.
The man yelled something at him in Vietnamese.
“Go to Hell!” Micky spat.
The man hit him across the mouth with the butt of his gun. Micky slumped back into the muddy water.
Then he pointed the gun at Micky’s head.
“NO!” Mike jumped to his feet and put himself in front of Micky, tried to shield him from the VC.
At the same moment Davy cried out, “Micky!” and tried to grab him, to pull him away, but his arms simply went through uselessly.
And then the jungle was gone and it was suddenly dusk. They were still crouching, but instead of reeds surrounding them, there were cages. Row after row of tiger cages, almost all with occupants - US soldiers, some of them merely boys, in various stages of malnutrition, all covered in bruises.
Mike swallowed. “Micky…?” He could barely ask.
“They didn’t kill him.” The angel told them. “But sometimes…he wishes they had.”
Micky stumbled to his feet and broke from the others, compelled forward. He went to one of the cages and knelt down. The occupant, beaten and sick and half starved, raised his head weakly.
The other Micky’s face was haggard, his eyes dull and lifeless. He looked straight at him, almost as if he’d heard his other self’s approach.
More harsh Vietnamese snapped behind him and Micky stumbled back, numb, as he watched his other’s cage wrenched open by two VC.
The boy inside was dragged out and he made a soft whimper of protest.
Davy ran to Micky’s side. “What are they…?” But his voice trailed off when he saw who the POW was.
The other Micky dug in his heels, shaking his head, pleading something softly in Vietnamese, but the VC soldiers continued to drag him away.
“Where are they taking him?” Davy demanded.
Micky hugged himself. “Torture.” He whispered.
Mike got to his feet and turned angry eyes on the angel. “Ya made ya point!” He yelled, “don’t make us watch this!”
The angel snapped his fingers and the scene blacked away. They were back to the street where they had begun. It had grown dark and the air was crisp and biting after the heat of Vietnam.
The only sound came from Peter who was sobbing softly.
They stood in silence for a long, long time.
Peter’s tears finally died away and he sat down on the curb, hugging his knees. His dark blond hair fell forward like a curtain.
Mike watched him.
“What about Peter?” He asked softly. “What happened to Peter?”
Micky, still shaken, shook his head and all but collapsed onto the curb beside Peter. “It can’t be any worse.” He muttered, bitterly.
The snap of fingers echoed in the night and the scene changed again.
Davy felt the blood drain from his face.
“Um, fellas,” he murmured. “I think it’s worse.”
VI – Peter
It was darker here, and so very cold. The silence after the noise of Micky’s jungle was almost welcome. But then the reality of where they stood struck home and their hearts filled with dread.
They were in a graveyard.
Peter looked around, eyes wide.
The angel’s face was solemn and he bowed his head as he moved aside.
Behind him was a simple, grey tombstone, with white letters spelling out a very simple message.
Mike took off his bobble hat in respect.
Micky fell to his knees. “I can change!” He wailed.
“Micky, that’s Scrooge, man.” Mike pointed out.
“Oh right, sorry.” He stood up.
Peter looked down at his own grave, going paler with every heartbeat.
“What happened?” Davy asked the angel. His voice was soft.
“Such a small thing, Davy.” He told him. “You turned left that day on the street and met Jacks, instead of taking the right that would have led you to Peter.”
“How can that lead to…this?” Mike gestured.
“Do you remember where you met Peter, Davy?”
. I was trying to find the park.” Then Davy flinched as he remembered. “Peter was…!
But I stopped him!”
“Not in this reality.”
Mike frowned. “What d’you mean?”
“Peter was about to walk off the curb…” Davy shuddered at the memory. “There was a car coming. I pulled him back.”
“I wanted some ice cream.” Peter said softly.
“He didn’t look, Davy, he just stepped out...” The angel told them.
“And I wasn’t there to…”
Peter began to cry.
“No, you weren’t.”
“I’m sorry.” Davy apologised, even though it couldn’t possibly be his fault.
“Look, enough, all right!” Mike’s voice was angry. “We get it.”
The angel looked at them all in turn. “Do you?”
“Yeah, without the Monkees I become an asshole, Davy’s a junkie, Micky’s a soldier and Peter doesn’t get to be anything at all. You’ve made your point, man.”
Micky nodded. “We want things the way they were.”
“Yeah, our rent maybe overdue and the fridge may be empty…” Davy began.
“…and our instruments are broken,” added Mike, “and we don’t have a Christmas tree…”
“But at least we’re together.” Peter finished.
They watched as the angel lifted his hand and clicked his fingers. The graveyard blacked away in an instance. But they didn’t return to the street.
People bustled around them, with heavy bags and suitcases, hurrying past the Monkees so closely that it was as if they weren’t even there.
“Our clothes!” Peter said, hand to his chest. Their clothes hadn’t returned to the familiar eight button shirts.
“And where’s the guy, the angel?” Davy asked, looking around.
They all searched the crowds, growing afraid. He was the only one who could undo the wish. But the cream suited man was gone.
Then Mike went still. “Look.” He murmured.
The Monkees all turned. And there in the distance, one very familiar figure in a red bobble hat, with a guitar case slung over one shoulder and a duffle bag over the other wandered through the crowds…
VII - I’m Loving Angels Instead
It was Mike, a little younger looking maybe, but still the Mike they knew. He was studying a map, head down yet still skilfully dodging the crowds. That is, until a kid, with short dark hair ran straight into him, and the pair tumbled to the ground.
The Monkees watched as Mike and the boy went flying. Mike’s bag hit the floor and burst open sending clothes and toiletries spilling out and a wad of pages fluttering from the knapsack to fall like chunky confetti all around them.
“I don’t believe this.” The Monkees Mike said, “this is how I met-”
Micky pointed at the boy on the ground and finished for him, “-me!”
The young Micky gave a crooked grin, looking bashful. “Hey, sorry, man.”
Mike scrabbled to pick the pages up. “Man, ya wanna look where ya goin’!” He snapped as the kid bent to help him gather up his things.
The young Micky looked at the pages he had collected, skimming the hastily written musical notes and the much changed words underneath. “You write these?” He asked.
“Ain’t none of ya business.” Mike snapped and went to snatch them back. He was tired, hungry and fed-up and rapidly regretting his decision to head for LA.
Young Micky avoided Mike’s aim. “They’re good.”
He was in no mood to be patronised. “Look, just hand ‘em back, all right?”
Then the kid – this scrawny, scruffy haired kid – did something that Mike would never, no matter how long he lived, forget, nor would the passing of time dull the rightness of that moment.
The kid began to hum a few bars. Then…then to sing... “I thought love was only true in fairytales, meant for someone else but not for me…”
Mike felt a curious sensation run through him. “You…um…you sing?”
“Nah… I play drums.”
“You ought too.” Mike said. “You’re good.”
The older Mike and Micky felt a jolt and looked down. They whooped as their clothes became to the familiar 8 button shirts.
Davy and Peter looked at their own clothes. They were still dressed normally.
“Oh…guess we’re gonna be a duetette.”
Peter looked as if he might cry, but their surrounds changed again, stopping any tears before they might have started.
They were on the street.
And ahead of them was a small figure, lugging a single bag. He was glancing between a piece of paper and the street signs.
“Make that a trio.” Mike corrected and nodded towards the small boy. “That’s Davy.”
They watched the very young English boy slowly make his way along the street. He looked tired.
An ice cream seller cycled up on the other side of the street. The young Davy looked up and smiled, after the chill of England, the heat of California was quite intense and the thought of an ice cream was very welcome.
He went to the curb and stopped, making very, very sure to look the wrong way, the way that didn’t come naturally to him, the way that cars came in America, and didn’t in the UK. A blonde haired lad passed him, took no such care, and went to step of the curb. There was a terrible, horrible sound of screeching tyres. Peter looked around, startled by the noise, pausing in mid-step at the sight of a black car barrelling towards him, frozen in place. The frightened man behind the wheel was so very visible, whispering a prayer to the Almighty that the car would stop in time.
Davy grabbed him and pulled.
A passing truck blared its horn at them both and it swished passed.
“Are you all right?” He asked.
The boy nodded his head very fast, dark blonde hair bobbing, eyes wide as saucers.
The young Davy didn’t like the look of his suddenly very pale cheeks and put down his suitcase. “You don’t look it.” He decided and pushed the boy down to sit on his luggage. “What’s your name?”
“Peter.” Davy repeated, but like all Brits, failed dismally to hit that “r” sound. “I’m David.”
Peter continued to stare into space.
Yelling pulled Davy’s attention away. The driver had got out, roaring and shouting at the stupidity of youth.
The older Peter watched his younger self. “I looked kind of bad, didn’t I?”
“You didn’t stop shaking for the rest of the day.” Davy told him.
Peter looked around. “Neither did you.” He said softly.
Davy shuddered. “No.”
They watched as the young Davy finally calmed the driver down. Then he took charge of Peter and led him away.
The scene changed again and the Monkees found themselves in a long hall way. It was old and shabby with a thread bare old red carpet running the whole length.
“The Regent hotel.” Mike said, immediately recognising the place he’d found to stay when he’d arrived in California.
Footsteps sounded behind them and they turned to see the young Davy herding the still shell-shocked Peter to the room he’d rented.
“15.” He murmured, “this is it.” He’d kept up this stream of words the whole way to the hotel, trying to fill the gap left by Peter’s silence.
The door to number 16 opened just as Davy went to open his own room.
“Hi,” his new neighbour said. “Want some help with that?”
“You’re English, huh?”
And with that, Davy and Peter’s shirts changed.
And they were back on the street, one block from the Republican Club. It was still dark, but now there was people and traffic. They looked down at themselves. They were still clad in their Monkees shirts.
The angel was gone.
Peter threw his arms wide. “I’m alive!” He cried.
An old lady waved her walking stick at him and muttered at him to get out of the way.
“You can see us?” He gasped.
“Of course I can see you, you weirdo,” she snapped, “now get before I call the police!”
The group began dancing around, grabbing their instruments to begin playing.
“Hey, Mike, your guitar’s fixed!” Micky gasped.
Davy shook his tambourine. “So’s this.”
Snow began to fall and dusted their hair with little crystals of ice. The flakes almost seemed to be dancing in joy at the wonderful music they made.
When the song finished, they could hear the far off sound of a bell tolling midnight. It was Christmas Day. And they were together.
They pulled each other into a four way hug and wished each other, “Merry Christmas.”