NOTES: This story was written by myself and California Girl from January to April 2023. Our last collaboration together, it was never finished. I couldn’t let almost 3500 words go to waste, so I wrote the ending by myself (and you can tell). It was an experimental new way of writing, and the story needed a lot more work to keep it focused and tight, but it is the most “true to life” of all our writing together. Or, at least, it was, for a brief moment in time.
Edie’s story will continue in The Adventures of Tee Bone Man. This is the final chapter of Edie’s solo adventures.
By LeBrain & California Girl
The Adventures of Edie Van Heelin’: Edie’s Winter Vacation
Mike was out in the frigid winter cold, loading bags and camping supplies into his vehicle. His breath wafted in cold clouds in front of his face, and then dissipated into the ether. He struggled lugging his supplies through the snow, but the sky was a gorgeous ice blue, and the sun’s rays warmed his whiskers. But why would anyone be loading camping supplies in the dead of winter?
For the answer to that question, you’d have to ask Edie Van Heelin’.
Mike looked up to the sky, awaiting his superhero friend from California. She should be rocketing here any moment now. Mike’s wife Jen slowly began making her way outside to greet the hero as well, as she trudged through the slush.
“Got everything?” asked Jen as she tried not to fall.
“Careful sweety!” cautioned Mike as he steeled himself to catch her if she slipped. Fortunately she didn’t. “Yes…I think I have everything. Including a 4 gig hard drive full of music. I loaded up the complete collection’s of all Edie’s favourite artists. We won’t be short of music. We have food, a portable gas barbecue and stove, several extra changes of clothes…I sure hope I’m ready.”
Jen shaded her eyes as she looked up to the bright sky. “Is that her now?”
Sure enough, it was! Edie Van Heelin’s trademark rocket boots made a somewhat unique sound as she roared across the sky. Her boots made contrails that now wound their way on a direct course. Mike and Jen could see her waving as she slowed herself down, and came in for a gentle landing.
“Edie!” shouted Mike as he attempted to run across the parking lot to greet his friend. She was carrying several bags of her own luggage — all Coach of course. She was dressed head to toe in silver winter gear, including a new pair of winter rocket boots. Her lips were even painted silver to match. Mike nearly bowled her over with a hug.
“Great to see you Fanboy!” she Edie, returning the hug even harder. “Hey Jen!” she waved. “Are you sure you’re not coming with us?”
Jen got that dear-in-a-headlight look with the wide-open eyes that Mike adored so much. She laughed. “Me? Camping in the snow? No, I’ll be ordering coffee and Chinese food and watching the Leafs in my warm house. You can have the tents for you and Mike! Just make sure you don’t turn him into a Mike-sicle out there!”
“Oh, I can keep him warm, don’t worry,” winked Edie. “Next time, how about you and I leave him at home and we go shoe shopping in California?”
Jen nodded yes emphatically. “You have a deal. Maybe we can catch a Sharks game.”
“Count on it!” smiled Edie. She then turned to Mike. “You ready, Fanboy? As agreed: no superhero-ing this weekend, but rocket boots are packed as an emergency measure. Which we won’t need. Let’s go!”
“Not yet!” stopped Mike. “We have the most important decision of the whole trip still to make. We can’t get the road trip started without the right music. As you know, my usual rule is ‘driver always chooses’ but this is our first road trip together, and I thought I’d let you pick the first album of the drive. I’ve already chosen the second record.”
“Kiss?” asked Edie.
Mike laughed. “Of course Kiss! But Kiss Unplugged. You won’t hate this one so much. So what’s your pick? The only rule now is that whatever you pick, we play the full album. I don’t skip tracks!”
Edie placed a silver-painted nail on her chin and thought.
“Bob Seger’s Greatest Hits. Does that count? I’m a fan of greatest hits.”
“Of course it counts!” gasped Mike. “That album was probably my top seller at the Record Store, Christmas of ’95. I know it very well. In fact…speaking of my ‘no skipping tracks’ rule? The old boss at the Record Store had his own rule, which was to always skip ‘Old Time Rock and Roll’. Sure it’s overplayed but he had a real pickle up his ass over that song. Like he didn’t just skip it…he’d skip it angrily!” The trio laughed.
“Ugh I guess I’ll deal with ‘Old Time Rock and Roll’,” agreed a reluctant Edie. But turn it up a bit during ‘Night Moves’.”
Mike smiled a wide smile. “You got it!” Then he thought to add, “I hope you don’t mind, but I tend to sing in the car…”
Edie raised a hot pink manicured hand. “Stop right there, no need to explain, you’re speaking my language! Let’s hit the road!”
With a hug and a kiss, Jen said goodbye, and Mike got in. With bags packed, phones charged and a nice big tent waiting to be set up, Edie and Mike set off on their winter road trip. The sun shone bright, promising a good drive. Mike selected Seger’s Greatest Hits, track one, “Roll Me Away”. And away they rolled.
Almost immediately the storytelling commence.
“So Edie,” began Mike, “As you know I worked at a Record Store. My first Christmas, Christmas of ’94, this was a top seller. And my boss had a big rule about ‘Old Time Rock and Roll’…”
“Let me guess,” interrupted Edie. “He made you skip it every time because he hated that song.”
Mike yelped in surprised laughter. “He made us skip it every time because he hated it! You got it. And you know how I feel about skipping.”
Suddenly track two, “Night Moves”, came on, and the pair happily harmonized.
“Workin’ on our night moves! Tryin’ to make some front page drive-in news! Workin’ on our night moves! In the summertime…”
“Man, I miss summer,” said Mike.
Edie sympathized. “I know Mike, but we’re going to have so much fun this weekend. Know what I’m looking forward to the most?”
“Tell me!” asked Mike with excitement in his voice.
“Winter hiking!” answered Edie. “Hiking in the snow! Snowshoeing! Did you remember our micro spikes for the ice? I want to see the trees capped in snow! Untouched snow! A winter paradise! The quiet of the forest dressed in white! I want to take a step and fall waist deep into soft powder! I want to fall back, arms open and be caught by soft snow! I want to feel the cold and peace all around me! I want to see a stream cutting through the snowy paradise! I want to hear the sound of the gentle waters moving!”
“Quite the wishlist,” responded Mike. “I didn’t bring any spikes – we won’t need that where we’re going – but I can guarantee everything else is on the agenda. It’s so fun seeing winter through your eyes. Wait until you see the forest in the winter! We used to get snowbanks so high, we could climb on the roofs and sled all the way down!”
Edie’s eyes went wide. “Oooh! I want to do that too!”
“Well, we should have plenty of time, since we agreed we’re not doing any superhero-ing this weekend,” said Mike. He laughed. “It’s funny – a few years ago, I would have done anything to go superhero-ing! And I would have done anything to avoid the winter! Now here we are looking forward to a winter vacation without any superhero shenanigans. Who woulda thunk it?”
Edie interrupted his philosophising. “Look! Maple syrup! We have to stop!”
“My pleasure, ma’am!” said Mike as he signalled to pull over. “What are you looking to get? Light, dark, anything specific? Ooh look – they have pepperoni and beef jerky too.”
Edie shot up in her seat before she could even get the seatbelt off. “Umm, hello! Beef jerky!”
The pair stocked up on treats and supplies, while the Mennonites stared at Edie’s boots. As she selected the finest beef jerky on offer, the Mennonites in black surreptitiously stole glances at her footwear. If the inch-and-a-half high platforms didn’t stun them, perhaps the chunky five-and-a-half inch heels did. Patent leather, thigh-high and perfect for the snow or ice.
“We’ll take these,” said Mike as he placed a pile of jerky and several bottles of syrup on the table.
“What are you folks up to today?” asked the older gentleman who took Mike’s money.
“Well, my friend here is from California and she’s not used to these kinds of winters. We’re going to do some winter camping, showshoeing, maybe even build a snowfort if there’s time!” answered Mike with glee.
“Be careful out there,” warned the old man. “I can feel it in my bones, there’s a storm coming. A big one, if I’m not mistaken. Make sure you have plenty of fuel and food!” he advised.
Without hesitation, Edie grabbed five more packs of jerky. “Just to be on the safe side,” she winked.
Once they were back on the road, Edie noticed Mike was unusually quiet. “Hey,” she nudged him. “You OK?”
Mike nodded. “I’m OK, just a little rattled about the weather. Sometimes those old timers get it right when the weatherman didn’t. If a snowstorm rolls in, it’ll be hard to dig the car out.”
“Don’t worry my friend!” answered a chipper Edie. “Rocket boots are packed in the back seat if we run into trouble! Don’t worry, it’ll be fun!”
Mike loosened up. “You’re right, of course. We’re winter camping, we need snow anyway.”
Before long, Lake Huron was in sight. They had arrived! The snow was crispy, deep, untouched. It was so deep that they were unable to drive all the way. They parked far up on the road and walked down into the treeline.
“This spot is perfect!” said Edie as she twirled in the snow. Then, she spread her arms wide, dropped down into the snow, and was soon encapsulated in powder, laughing the whole time.”
“You OK Edie?” asked Mike as he trudged towards her. He reached out to help her up, but she clasped his hand and pulled him right down!
“You sneak,” mumbled Mike as he spat snow from his mouth. “Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m cold, so let’s get the tea going and put up the tent.”
“Good call,” said Edie as she got her solar kettle and accessories ready. “Today it’s green chai, and I thought it would be nice to try that brand new maple honey that we picked up today!” Before too long, steam was pouring from the kettle and delightful smells were filling the forest. But Edie was distracted and Mike sought some revenge.
THWACK! A snowball pelted her in the back of the head as Mike snickered in glee. He tried to run away but the snow was far too deep. He tripped and was buried in the deep snow. He sank deeper as he struggled to get up, laughing the whole time. Edie trudged in his direction and pulled him up.
“Serves you right!” said she. Mike had to agree.
The two sat down to tea and indulged in some happy conversation as they set up the tent. Mike trudged through the snow towards the car. They had unpacked a few essentials – the bags, the tent, the solar kettle – but most of their camping gear was still inside. Mike fumbled through this pockets, but suddenly, he had a serious problem.
“Ummm…Edie…we have a serious problem.”
She was unphased. “What’s wrong?”
“I lost the keys,” Mike answered glumly. “They must have fallen into the snow. The rest of our equipment, including your rocket boots, are in the car. Aww, crap…my phone is in the car!”
Edie checked her pockets. “Oh no…mine too.”
Mike held back a tirade of F-bombs. He threw his Canadian toque into the snow in frustration. “I can’t believe this! Now we’re stuck out here with no phones, no rocket boots, and all our equipment is in the car!”
Suddenly Mike felt the cold smack of a snowball to the side of his head. He looked towards Edie.
“You had to pay for hitting me with ain the back of my head…my perfectly straightened hair will get wet and start to wave now!” She laughed as Mike wiped the snow from his face.
“I like you with wavy hair,” answered Mike. “But what about the keys?”
Edie placed a finger on her chin and pondered.
“I say we continue as planned. We have everything we need, and I can recruit my Canadian squirrel friends to help find the keys.”
Mike shrugged. “If you say so, but that’s a lot of snow for them to dig through.”
“Hey,” said Edie. “These are Canadian squirrels, the hardiest I’ve ever seen! They’ve got this!” Edie raised her arms to the trees and called. “Canadian squirrels! To my side!”
Nothing happened. A wind began to whip through the branches, but no squirrels came. Edie repeated her command, but the animals were silent.
“It’s the storm. All the squirrels gave gone to ground. There’s a blizzard coming. I suggest we reinforce the tent with snow blocks, to help keep the wind off,” said Mike grimly.
Edie nodded in agreement. The two began digging up and packing large blocks of snow into a wall on the west side of the tent, where the wind would be coming in hard. They were unusually silent as they worked, for as upbeat as Edie was on the exterior, inside she knew they had to take this seriously.
Mike felt the silence and decided to sing.
“I get up! And nothin’ gets me down. You got it tough? I’ve seen the toughest around!”
Edie looked up and sang along.
“And I know! Baby, just how you feel! You got to ro-o-oll with the punches and get to what’s real!”
“Might as well jump!” exclaimed Mike as he leapt atop the wall they were constructing. “This is pretty good Edie! It’s solid.” He looked up through the trees. “Sky is turning really ugly though. It’s going to be black out soon, and the wind is picking up.”
“Let’s get inside and eat,” suggested Edie.
“Barbecue chicken a-la Mike,” responded her friend.
“Isn’t it too snowy to barbecue?” asked Edie.
“This? Not in Canada. In Canada this is a minor annoyance. Fortunately we unpacked the cooler and grill…priorities!” answered Mike.
Everything was prepared in advance. The chicken had been marinating for hours in a local Guelph BBQ sauced called Silver Bullet. The veggies were chopped and buttered. With the flick of a Bic, soon Mike had his grill fiery hot. He carefully turned the pieces, caramelising the sauce and skin together into one crispy layer of delicious. He then plated the delicious food with the care of a gourmet, even as the snow glistened on his beard.
Inside the tent, Edie had arranged things for comfort and practicality. She had the tea at the ready, and something else too. Mike looked down at his seat and found an ice-cold Coca Cola with Coffee – Dark Roast.
“What’s this??” asked Mike as he took his seat.
“A surprise,” answered Edie.
“I had actually planned on going soda-free this vacation, Edie…but thank you. This will taste great with the chicken!”
“Everyone deserves a treat now and then, drink up and enjoy!” smiled Edie.
“I got you something, too,” said Mike, “Here, put it on.” He handed Edie her very own Canadian toque.
“A beanie with the Canadian Leaf on it!!” she said excitedly.
“It’s a toque, but put it on! We’re not eating until you’re properly dressed!” prompted Mike. Edie eagerly placed the knit cap over her head and smiled a huge grin.
“I love it!” grinned Edie. Mike thought she fit right in now. He picked up his plate, but Edie stopped him.
“Wait…let’s say grace this time,” she said.
Mike listened to the storm beginning to whip around them, and nodded in agreement. Edie said a few words of thanks.
Moments later, they were fingers-deep into the chicken, with barbecue sauce lingering on the lips and laughter in the air.
The wind continued to whip around them, playing their tent like a drum. Edie looked concerned, but Mike reminded her that they reinforced the structure with blocks of snow for this just exact reason. Mike scooched over next to her.
“It’s so loud!” said Edie.
“Imagine if we were out in the clear, without the trees to shelter us! Like those old boys in the Antarctic over 100 years ago…just them in their tents and nobody else on the whole continent. They were out of food and out of fuel…we have both! We just need to stay warm.”
“I don’t think the animals are looking for your keys anymore,” said Edie solemnly.
“Can you blame ’em?” asked Mike with a chuckle. Edie shook her head with an emphatic “No!”
The dark was well upon them now, and the two sat up, leaning in on each other for warmth, telling stories and jokes until Edie fell asleep right there on Mike’s shoulder.
When he realized she wasn’t laughing at his hilarious jokes anymore, Mike gently moved Edie down to her foam mattress, and covered her with her sleeping bag.
“Sweet dreams, Edie Van Heelin’, and may the sun come out tomorrow,” said Mike and he tucked her in.
Outside, the wind cast doubt. In Canadian winter, there is never a guarantee the sun will be out tomorrow.
Smiling in her beanie, Edie drifted off. Mike was slow to slumber. He saw Edie snoring peacefully, her breath puffing clouds in the cold air, and he wondered, “What is she dreaming of right now?”
In her mind, she was communing with a large family of wolves. Wait…no…the picture was getting clearer in her sleep. She was building an igloo…fortifying it like a snow fort…when suddenly her work was interrupted by arctic wolves so large, she could ride upon them. There was a mother and father wolf, and two cubs, white and grey with eyes as sharp as ebony darts. But they were friendly, and the mother wolf lay down on the ground so Edie could climb on.
Mike drifted off to sleep. As he took his first big snore, he somehow joined Edie in her dream. She motioned to him, “climb on,” and so he did. The father wolf was laying in the snow waiting. Instinctively, and not knowing how to ride a giant horse-sized wolf, he climbed on. Then, like steel springs suddenly triggered, the wolves took off! In their dreams, Mike and Edie hung on securely to their mounts and caught the snowflakes that flew into their faces, directly on the tongue.
“I’ve always wanted to do this!” screamed Edie in glee.
Mike turned and stared. “You’ve always wanted to ride a giant arctic wolf, in the snow?”
“Yeah!” screamed Edie. “Haven’t you?”
“No,” answered Mike, “It never occurred to me. And also, this must be your dream and not mine, because even I know that we don’t have arctic wolves down here!”
The pair laughed as they rode….
Hours passed. As they slumbered peacefully away, outside the tent, the snow had continued to fall. Accumulating rapidly, the tent was all but buried by the first rays of the new day.
It was Edie who woke first, in near-total dark, thanks to the layers of snow now around and above them.
She shook Mike on the shoulder. “Mike! Mike! Wake up! We have a problem.”
Groggily, her Canadian companion slowly opened his sleep-crusted eyes and yawned.
“Edie, I had the weirdest dream…”
“Never mind that Mike. I have some good news and some bad news,” swallowed Edie.
“Give me the bad news first,” moaned Mike.
Edie gestured around the tent and said, “We appear to be almost completely buried.”
Mike groaned some more. “Well, my back is at least partially mobile today. Looks like digging is in our future. What’s the good news?”
Edie smiled. “I brought a special tea for breakfast!”
Groaning again, Mike drank some sort of strange watermelon tea concoction, and began shovelling.
“Never again!” he moaned as he dug. “Never again am I going winter camping!”
Edie laughed, grabbed and shovel, and joked, “Oh yes you will!”
The morning turned into midday, and Mike had had enough of snow, winter, and all of it! In a grumpy mood, he trudged off alone, heading towards the nearest town, and a tow truck. Back at camp, Edie took some pictures and made some snow angels, waiting for the tow truck to eventually arrive. But what did arrive took her completely by surprise.
A family of giant wolves were sniffing around the treeline. Just like in her dream. The mother wolf approached, beckoned her to climb on, and leaned down so Edie could ride. Wordlessly, she did just that. With a flash, they were off.
“Canadian wolves! Into town to meet up with Fanboy Mike!” The wolf pack darted forward in the snow, with a gleeful Edie singing Bob Seger songs as the wind whipped her hair.
Mike was seated at a local garage, drinking a coffee, and waiting for the tow truck to return from its last call. He was sore all over from that hike. He was all but falling asleep with the newspaper opened in front of him. Ironically, it was the entertainment section, and there was even an article about Edie’s upcoming album being produced by Wolfgang Van Halen.
As if on cue, Edie Van Heelin’ pranced through the doors.
“Miss me?” she asked?
Mike gasped. “How the heck did you get here so quickly, without rocket boots?”
Edie grinned. “Why, I rode on the back of a giant mother wolf, of course!”
The garage attendant standing behind the counter choked on his coffee a bit, and regained his composure. “The hell you say?” he asked astonished.
“Don’t be surprised,” said a bemused Mike. “That’s Edie Van Heelin’. She can talk to animals.”
“I’m not talking about that,” said the grease monkey. “Giant mother wolf? Is that what you said?” Edie nodded affirmative. “Lady…you just had a close encounter with the unexplained!” He took a minute to regain his composure. “There’s a legend around here, going back 200 years, or even more. Reports of a pack of giant arctic wolves, not afraid, not aggressive…friendly. They show up out of nowhere in the winter, when people are in dire need. They don’t leave footprints in the snow. They don’t leave scat on the ground. There are no physical traces left behind. Ever. Show me where the wolves dropped you off.”
The three ran outside to the road.
“It was right here!” said Edie. “But I don’t….”
“…See any paw prints…” finished Mike.
After some moments of puzzled silence, Mike spoke again. “‘Fantasy is the impossible made probable. Science Fiction is the improbable made possible.’ Rod Serling said that. But this…this is something other. We have truly entered the Twilight Zone.”
As if on cue, the grease monkey’s phone rang…with the Twilight Zone theme music.
“Let’s go home,” said Mike. “This has been the weirdest vacation ever!”
With that, the pair hopped into the tow truck that had just arrived, and silently pondered the mysteries of the unknown.
NEXT TIME…EDIE VAN HEELIN’ vs. TEE BONE MAN!
The long-awaited crossover! Finale to The Adventures of Tee Bone Man Phase One: The Squirrel Saga!
THE ADVENTURES OF TEE BONE MAN: PHASE ONE – THE SQUIRREL SAGA
Chapter Zero: Tee Bone Man – Origins (by LeBrain)
Chapter One: A Friend in Need (by LeBrain)
Chapter Two: Hell Freezes Over (by Harrison Kopp)
Chapter Three: Hell Ain’t A Bad Place to Be (by LeBrain)
Chapter Four: Tee Bone Man and the Rink of…Doom? (by Aaron KMA)
Chapter Five: The Super Duper Vault (by John T. Snow)
Chapter Six: Tee Bone Man Goes to Camp (by LeBrain)
Chapter Seven: The Revenge of Common Knowledge (by LeBrain)
Chapter Eight: Tee Bone & Deke’s Time Travelling Adventure (by 80sMetalMan)
Chapter Nine: Castle Communications (by Harrison Kopp)
Chapter Ten: The Case of the Lost Iron Maiden Socks (by LeBrain)
Chapter Eleven: A Tee Bone Man Christmas (by all five of us)
Chapter Twelve: Lost In Space (by John T. Snow)
Chapter Thirteen: Clip Show (by LeBrain)
Chapter Fourteen: Tee Bone Man and Superdekes Discover the Tao (An Intermission) (By Aaron KMA)
Chapter Fifteen: Status Acoustic – The Really Big Deal (by Harrison Kopp)
Chapter Sixteen: A Crazy Crazy Night (part 1) (by Harrison Kopp)
Chapter Sixteen: A Crazy Crazy Night (part 2) (by Harrison Kopp)
Chapter Sixteen: A Crazy Crazy Night (part 3) (by Harrison Kopp)
Chapter Seventeen: Tee Bone Man vs. Edie Van Heelin’ (by LeBrain) Coming this summer – conclusion to Phase One
THE ADVENTURES OF TEE BONE MAN: PHASE TWO – THE MULTIVERSE SAGA
Chapter Eighteen: Shinzon – Origins (By LeBrain)
THE WRITER’S ROOM
The Writer’s Room: Chapter One
The Writer’s Room: It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like a Tee Bone Man Christmas
The Writer’s Room: Welcome to the Writer’s Room!
The Writer’s Room: Empty Room (Coming soon)
THE ADVENTURES OF EDIE VAN HEELIN’
The Adventures of Edie Van Heelin’: Edie vs. Tommy Lee in the Bouncy Castle of Doom! (By LeBrain)
The Adventures of Edie Van Heelin’: Edie and the Quest for the Lost Lego (By LeBrain with Harrison Kopp)
The Adventures of Edie Van Heelin’: Edie Van Heelin’s Canadian Vacation (By LeBrain)
The Adventures of Edie Van Heelin’: Edie Van Heelin’s Canadian Vacation Part 2 (By LeBrain & California Girl)
The Adventures of Edie Van Heelin’: Edie Meets the Wolf (by LeBrain)
The Adventures of Edie Van Heelin’: Edie’s Winter Vacation (By LeBrain & California Girl)