“Tell me what is troubling you my dear. I hope you like it here in Chicken Itza.”
This is *not* Chicken Itza, Chesteria Arthur thinks. And I’m not doing this tonight.
“My father is right over there,” Baker Bloch spoke to spiritually oriented Hucka Doobie. “Just beyond the unwaving grass.”
“Bamboo,” Hucka Doobie elaborated. “A type of grass, yes.”
“But I can’t interact with him,” Baker Bloch continued. “Oh the things I could tell him.”
Hucka Doobie remained silent, then: “Why can’t you interact with him? Since he’s just right over there especially.”
“That you would change the future?”
“The future cannot be changed, because there is no future except a web of possibilities. We could change *one* probability, yes, but it was already there in the first place. We cannot change anything.”
Baker Bloch nodded for Hucka Doobie without really understanding what he said. “So… I can go see my father? My *young* father?” He points toward the bamboo on the other side of the frog pond. They can see the trailer faintly through it from where they sit.
“Sure, sure,” Hucka Doobie agreed. “But would this be pre-Baker Bloch Space Ghost or post-Baker Bloch?”
“What I mean is… what I’m asking is…”
“Whether I am yet born, yet *conceived*,” Baker Bloch realized
“Well…” He blew out air here. “One thing I know is that I better not be my own grandpa or something.”
“How would that work?” Hucka Doobie shot back.
Baker Bloch thinks of his mother here, who we’ve only seen as Old Grey in the Collagesity novels. “I suppose it can’t.” Baker Bloch gets up off the bench they’re awkwardly perched upon. “Come on, Hucka D. Let’s go see pops.”
“Hold on there young fellas.” It was Bullfrog, who rented the cottage behind them. “I can’t help but see you were sitting on that bench but you weren’t *sitting* on that here bench. You must be straight…. unable to run scripts… not part of the group.”
Standing Baker Bloch looks over at standing Hucka Doobie, then admits this is true. “We are here as observers,” he elaborates. “From the future.”
“Ohh.” Bullfrog looks anxiously back at the cottage. A diminutive figure emerges from around it: Bullfrog’s partner Aqua Dude.
He almost immediately invokes one of his own special powers. “The green turns to red and the red turns to green,” he speaks down to Baker Bloch and Hucka Doobie, still clustered around that bench. Things completely change.
They look around. “Is this *real*?” Baker Bloch speaks to his bee friend.
“I’ve heard of such,” exclaims Hucka Doobie, also looking at the pond, the ground, the sky. “In theory.”
“This way,” Aqua Dude pipes up, “I can turn into Super Guy as well as being Aqua Dude. Ruler of the sea *and* the sky. See? Hehe.”
“He thinks his colors now are the same as his arch nemesis Super Guy,” explains Bullfrog above him. “But it’s not really an exact match. Just humor him. He does it to everyone he first meets. He’ll get use to you.”
“I rule the *skies* as well as the *sea*,” he repeats, glaring toward them.
“Sure you do, Aqua Dude,” tempers Bullfrog. “Sure you do.”
Satisfied that the strangers understand perhaps his most unique ability, Aqua Dude shuts it off and the pond and its environs return to normal colors. “The red turns to green and the green turns to red,” he reverses.
“Now, about that trailer…”
“I wish they wouldn’t emphasize that rocket so much here. Makes me cold inside, brrr.”
“Well,” jested older Keith B. a bit. “It was a big deal in the days. Put Golden City on the map.”
“Put it *on* the map by taking it *off*, brrr. Nothing left but a big hole.” She glances sideways at The Man, who was scanning pictures on the wall at the back of the stage, focusing on one in particular. “Speaking of which… he needs to get back over here and finish his story.”
“True,” agreed Keith B. “He can’t just leave us hanging in mid air about that whale.”
“Hey!” Kate McCoy called over to The Man. “We gotta keep moving down the road, to the fork. Else…”
“I know,” The Man replied in his cool, bass voice while still studying, still looking. “All of this will be in vain. But I believe — this man — is wearing — lipstick.” He touches Jimmy’s gray lips with his finger, as if he could swipe them and then check for color.
“The white whale escaped, of course. The famous Moby Prick of the Deep South. But the blue whale didn’t fare as well. Caught in the Blue Feather Sea. Some say she *became* the sea, one equals the other. Do you understand, older Keith B.?”
“Absolutely not, Kate McCoy.”
“Good to admit, thank you. The cube is the sphere is the sea is the whale.”
“Maybe we just better unfreeze or unthaw The Man and go. Let him explain it all. After all: he was there.”
“Indeed. Let’s go get him.” They enter the “aquarium”. Dog joined them there.
“The cube is the sphere is the sea is the whale,” Kate McCoy pronounces clearly in the direction of The Man. He begins to stir inside his plastic cocoon.
“I was just there watching the red and green grasses wave back and forth with the fairy, thinking: love is the answer, but what is this question we all must ask.”
“Kind of going beyond John Lennon in that way.” Kevin C. (or was it E.?) expressed puzzlement. “Like in the ‘Mind Games’ song, the flip side of the better known ‘Meat City’, admittedly, but still fairly well known. Here, let me hum a few bars.” He proceeds to do so, then mouths the appropriate lyrics. “‘Love – is – the answer. And you know that – for sure.’ See, he never sings about the question.”
“So — are you going to let me stay? Knowing what you know?”
“That you’re not gay, yes. Alright. But we’ll have to put you in the Northeast Quadrant, behind the art gallery. The old Coutts residence. Old codger is more like it. Straight as a porcupine quill he was. I should know.”
But when Kevin C. (C. — that was it) arrived at his new home in the Northeast Quadrant of Regaltown, someone was already there. Not old but young. Space Ghost, with all his powers returned. Ability to turn invisible. Er, ability to do this and that and the other stuff. Not pointing out imaginary green squirrels with his cane any longer. Kevin C. would have a male roommate after all. And wife Grammy was no longer around, since this was the past. Her vortex powers made sure of that.
Young Space Ghost takes one look at Kevin C., then says, “No gays in this quadrant. Who sent you? Arnold? Tell Arnold he can go to hell. Or back to Sweetgrass, where he came from. Americans.” Young Space Ghost spat on the ground with this.
Iggy Stooge stares into the central sim of Blue Junkyards from the edge of his parents’ property. Is this really where he wants to settle down now that he’s been rejected by Baker B. for the current novel? This backwater place? He had dreams of city life in Regaltown, in Horns of Hatton even, the capital crown jewel of Maebaleia’s South. Not the Deep South: that was instead Cassandra City, but of similar size. He could have been police chief, fire chief, even mayor if Baker B. so chose.
But this bayou? He’s not a flatlander at heart and he knows it. There was one other option: return to Pipersville, where time is more fluid. Not as much as Golden Sink (hence the reasons for the auditions there), but still — the bomb and all. Another sinkhole (like Golden Sink).
He rezzes in his repaired tv head once more to ponder the possibilities…
… and then eventually heads back home. Or his parents’ home actually.
If only they weren’t so infatuated with those darn butterflies.
“What color breakfast do you want tomorrow, dear?”
“Blue, green, whatever,” Iggy Stooge replied unenthusiastically, thinking of Pipersville instead.