The most excellent Damon Lindelof has kindly offered to share a serialized story with NextDraft readers to help us, and him, through the quarantine. Past chapters here.

Chapter 9: Am I a Traitor If I Believe Pillow Guy’s Heart Is In The Right Place?

Kenny Loggins was making a woodchuck.

More precisely, he was carving a woodchuck from a block of wood, wallowing in the sheer delight of the meta-ness of it all. Kenny Loggins had always loved woodland creatures; Chipmunks, beavers, squirrels, they were all delightful… but the woodchuck was by far his favorite and he was well on his way to immortalizing one.

Kenny Loggins also loved wood. Wood was his namesake. When he was little, the other kids would say, “Hey, Kenny Loggins! You like looooggggggs?” And he would stay silent, understanding the question was rhetorical. But he did like logs. He liked them a lot.

Kenny Loggins was not a professional carver, but he was no hobbyist either. The same dexterity he used when he played guitar was applied to each stroke of his knife as he carefully created the orbs that would become the eyes of his woodchuck, the very windows to its soul.

How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Kenny Loggins knew the question was preposterous. Woodchucks were vegetarians and did not gnaw on wood, let along chuck it. He would reflect the frustration of constantly being asked this question by etching it into the furrowed brow of his subject, angling his knife deeper…

And suddenly there was a woman standing in the room with him.

“AGHR!” shouted Kenny Loggins as the knife slipped from the block and across the tendon of his thumb, a spurt of hot blood geysering into the air.

The woman held up her hands – “I’m alright!” she said calmly, as if she had not just materialized from nowhere.

But Kenny Loggins was surprised and wounded and confused – the door to his studio was locked. Who was this woman in glasses and a lab coat, her blonde hair pulled back into a ponytail? And how the hell did she get in here?

“Easy, Kenny Loggins!” she said. “I’m alright.”

But he wasn’t alright. The blood was still gushing and fuck, FUCK, he and Messina were already barely speaking and JESUS, how was he expected to go on tour and play guitar without his goddamned thumb?!?

The woman giggled now. Kenny Loggins could not explain why, but he could not shake the feeling that she had just successfully conducted an experiment of some kind. Well maybe he could explain why. It was the labcoat. And the clipboard.

“Is this 1977?” the woman asked.

“Huh…?” said Kenny Loggins.

“The year… Is this 1977?” said the woman.

“Yes.” said Kenny Loggins.

The woman giggled again. Then looked at the half-carved woodchuck and furrowed her brow.

“You haven’t done Caddyshack yet.” she said.

“Wha?” said Kenny Loggins.

“That gopher. If it’s ’77, you haven’t done Caddyshack yet.” said the woman.

Kenny Loggins was confused. “It’s… not a gopher. It’s a woodchuck.”

“Ohhhhhh.” said the woman, “Gotcha.”

And with that, she gave him a thumbs up, once again repeated, “I’m alright.” then abruptly shoved two of her own fingers down the back of her throat and vomited all over the floor of Kenny Loggins’ art studio.

“…. The fuck?” said Kenny Loggins.

But Elizabeth Rosenberg was already disappearing into thin air, heading back from whence she came.

To be continued…