Words: Jeremy Curry
Cliff Hangers is an epic serialized story of Bill Cosby fan-fiction that began way back in 2009. Previous entries can be read by scrolling through Mr. Curry’s contributions to our old site here. This passage marks the brilliant finale of a tale that’s brought us from hoagies to Cockroach and into a twist ending you’ll never see coming.
Cliff was feeling woozy from his trail up to Vanessa’s room. He was getting older, and was on multiple medications from aches and pains that come with old age. He wasn’t sure if his eyes deceived him or if there was actually a young man in Vanessa’s bedroom. “Dad! It’s not what you…” her voice trailed off. Cliff opened his mouth to shout at Vanessa, but not a single sound was uttered. The whole room was silent. The whole house had an eerily quiet feeling to it.
His body felt much lighter than it did five seconds prior to his non-scream. He felt like he was filling up like a balloon, softly floating, but while still barely touching the ground. The room was bubbling outwards and slowly sinking back in toward him, as if everything around him was breathing all at once. Colours were more vivid and a slight haze flickered around every object. “Did I take the wrong dosage of medication today?” he wondered, but this time he managed to say it aloud. He thought Vanessa had heard him say this, to which he felt a mild embarrassment. But Vanessa was gone. She was nowhere to be seen, as the room had breathed such a gasp that it sucked her through a wind tunnel.
Cliff’s eyes had now become heavy, while the rest of his body remained very light. He felt extremely sluggish all of the sudden, but with none of the pain he usually carried around with him. This also went for the recent emotional stress he had built up. Nothing mattered. He was a balloon, stuck in a bright, breathing room that had at one time belonged to his now non-existent daughter.
Suddenly, his body began to slouch down. From a slouching point, it slowly dragged itself into a puddle. The puddle would not move or take another form. It lay stagnant on the ground. The room’s breath was slowing down as well, and the light became dimmer. The light dimmed until there was nothing except complete darkness. There was nothing blacker in the universe than this particular moment in time.
Cliff flickered as he adjusted to the burning light. It felt like burning spears were clashing with his retinas. “What did I do to deserve such pain?” he thought. He awoke in a hospital bed. “Bill, you certainly had a nasty spill,” said a man in what appeared to be a nurse’s uniform. “Who is Bill?” Cliff stammered. “You are,” the doctor replied. “Bill Cosby? You are great. I have a bunch of your stand-up albums, and I loved your show.”
Cliff had no clue what this quack was yammering about. Where was his family? His children and Claire? The nurse gave a short sigh, and explained that he was telling some jokes on some talk show program called “Jay Leno,” and that the jokes were not going as well as planned. In a fury, he rushed offstage and tripped over a camera cable, hitting his head on the ground, which put him in a coma.
None of this made sense. Why was he on a talk show telling jokes? He was a father first and a doctor second. Why was the nurse constantly calling him “Bill”? Was this the afterlife? Was his life a sham? The nurse left to call the doctor in. While Cliff waited, he turned on the TV. He changed the channel until The Cosby Show appeared.