00270103

“Picturetown, huh?” He glanced back at his prospective new customer, unable to see the holes in his head from this angle. Well, he *does* take the flights that no one else will cover, including flying to imaginary countries, counties, and cities if needed. Last week it was Oz. Week before: Wonderland. One of the Alices wanted to go home to visit a sick aunt who might or might not be on her deathbed, hard to tell. But she had to find out. Then before that: he couldn’t recall. Maybe Texarkana. “Sure, I’ll do it,” he said, not wanting to delay his reply any longer, wanting to exude confidence that he could get the job done. He’s checked all the maps in the meantime. No Picturetown in Canada or anywhere else in the world. But he’ll get him there. All he needs is the coordinates, and he can get them from Chuck and his special computer tapped into the Lemon World, the one no one is suppose to know about. Chuck connects him to the fantasy lands, and for that he gets a hefty wage in *real* money, not that fake green crap they peddle at, say, Oz. Rubles, someone tried to hand him the other day after a flight to Borneo. “No rubles,” he said in return. “*Real* money,” and he kept his hand out until actual, metal coins were laid in it, signifying a completed sales transaction. Paper money doesn’t hack it for our Marion “Star” Harding, former ace pilot in the World Wide Web War, version 2.0. Since then they’d come out with 3.0 and he was back at his desk, back to being a private pilot specializing in the weird and even profane, like sneaking the elf hookers out of Santaland and back to Easter Isle where they belong. Bunnies, he thought here. Nothing but bunnies. “5:15 tomorrow okay for you?” he asked the prospective customer, working with numbers on his computer at the same time he thought all this other stuff.

“Sure.”

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two to know

He was waiting on his brother, who was coming up from the south.

Yeah, yeah, he thinks, I could *talk* that white lady over there about my brother and also who she’s waiting on, if anyone. I’m a social guy, you know. But — look at that look — I can tell she doesn’t like black people, or is at least scared of them. Why if I moved over one chair closer to her she’d probably call the cops on me, even though I may have a perfectly good reason to do so. What if I just found out that cokey cola was spilled under my chair, and my shoes were getting all sticky as a result. Yeah, yeah, that could be a *legitimate* reason for moving one chair down. And, let me see (he glances over out of the side of his eye), that would still leave one chair between us. But, no, that darn white woman would probably call the cops on me, or at least airport security.

He simmers down, but then starts again when he catches her eye once more, just trying to look at the plane outside. Southern Cross, he thinks. I mean, the name was *right* behind her. What was I suppose to do? Get out of my seat, go to the window — *not* getting too close to her or walking too close to her in the process — and *then* check out the (plane and the) name? No, no, all this what they call *systemic* racism isn’t for me. As soon as my brother arrives we’re going to go back to my island resort and *stay* there. No more wandering around in public. I’m *through* with white people. Had it.

—–

Oh: an announcement.

Southern Cross representative: “We’re sorry to inform you that Flight 215 that was suppose to arrive at 3:15 with 415 passengers aboard…” He stops, putting his hand to his head, rubbing his eyes as if crying (he wasn’t).

Lance C. Lott gasps in the gap. Crashed? he thinks. All aboard — dead? Representative Johnson Protocol rustled his papers nervously here, starting to sweat. The droplets then make their way over his eyebrows down onto his cheeks, eventually dribbling down to the floor. To an outside observer, and knowing this was his first day on the job (thanks Uncle Stan!), it would be understood that he just lost his place and is search for the right page that continues the announcement. But to L.A. (as his friends call him), the pause and apparent crying seemed to be a harbinger of bad bad news. Smokey dead! And that’s about all the family I have left.

“… is 515.” the representative finally continued, restarting at the top of page 2 which contained only these 2 words. Anxiously stacking his papers against the podium, he takes his leave with this.

515? he thinks. Wtf??? He looks over at the white woman, who doesn’t seem to be very concerned. Does she know what this means? Does she even care? Is she waiting on someone from this flight? Maybe she’s just happy *she* wasn’t on that plane. Maybe she knew someone was going to die today here and is just relieved it isn’t her. Strange thoughts. Must be from that horror movie he watched the night before. “Losst”, it was called, with an extra “s” to emphasis that all the people in the show, yes, were really, truly lost. “We get it,” he said at 1/2 past 6, stuffing more buttered popcorn between his lips and thinking he should get to sleep early this night so that he can get up at the crack of dawn and go wait for his brother over at the regional airport. My long lost brother, he thinks. Another lost angel. Peter from the show falls down into a camouflaged cannibal trap in the middle of the jungle, giving him a chuckle. But enough: *switch*. TV off.

The white lady looks at him now, even leans toward him. She’d heard the gasp, seen the confused look on his face. “515” she measured out. “It means delayed.”

“Oh.” Lance C. Lott wipes sweat from his own brow with this, trying to act like he at least *thought* that’s what it meant. She returns to her start position, which means systemic racist position. Don’t come any closer, the posture and attitude warned. Or I’ll call the cops or at least airport security. I’ve given you the information you need, you dirty [blank]. Now we are done.

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Lost Angel

We begin where the last one ended. On a map of Nautilus continent in my Collagesity skybox, the full view this time. Because this go ’round we’re going to tackle the whole thing. We’re not at one of of those nodal photo-novels yet but we’re closing in. Preparations must be made. Alysha jumps off the pin representing NO Tor and proceeds northward, intending to find Ruby the tall, green alien, perhaps Martian but also perhaps not. The qualified doctors would know, but Dr. Mouse the unqualified as it turned out, doesn’t have access to that information, that file. Ruby Alien remains, thus, a…

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secret schweet

And so we end where we began: on No Tor hill in Leemington seen in the distance in that last photo, following young Alysha around again searching for that ship of hers.

The hill is like an ant to her, in that she is her ant. She crawls forward, scrambling to the top, eager to have a better perspective on which to build further, view farther. Let’s zoom in.

Just gotta get up over this rock, *ugh*, and smooth sailing.

Good. She’s at the peak. Now to ratchet out the draw distance to the max and see what we have. MAX

She’s happy she can peer beyond the Green Between from Lower Austra into Upper Austra, most likely where Ruby Alien will be released day after Wednesday’s yesterday. I believe it will be the 5th. Doctor Paul Mouse will cave into local pressure and bring her to the proper authorities, meaning the actual, qualified doctors who are able to deal with such things. Check her out, let her go. Maybe she’ll make her way into the great, empty city of Perch-Mistletoe, she thinks it is called, a doorway between dimensions where one kisses another and won’t let go. She knows this is the two sides of herself, 13 to 13, evened out now; Nautilus (continent) complete. But it won’t be in this photo-novel.


Perch-Mistletoe

The continent remains a conundrum, a mystery. 32×32 sims, 41 times the size of Collagesity’s localized 5×5 we just exited back there. And that 5×5 is hard enough to understand as it is (!).

Alysha and SEAN Green, Mr. Michigan, look to one of the far corners filled out in the past two novels, with more Nautilus fun to come. NW NE SE and, with this one, SW. Jeffrie Phillips in a Santa outfit floats on Little George Lake — or just Lake — waiting for 2 blue eyed pools to become one blue eyed pool so that he can proceed with the examination of the Arkansas book, which appears to be the same as the Oracle. He’s taken it back to Collagesity still in the middle of it all, or at least Lower Austra. He’s starting to study it intently, with help from sometimes wife, sometimes girlfriend, always lover Charlene the Punk Brown, currently rocking a hot pink babydoll for him. They’ll probably remain childless though; he has too many mistresses on the side, which Charlene allows now, or rather puts up with. *Barely*.

She takes off the babydoll, intent one more time to get Jeffrey to forget about all those others.

END OF “COLLAGESITY PHOTO-NOVEL 26”!

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00260615

Some planes took off and never made it to their destination. But some planes never took off and still made it there just fine. It was a central theme of this here photo-novel, 25 in a… 26. And here we are, just beyond the (Collagesity centered) 5×5 appropriately enough, trying to look inside. This must be a Michigan ship.

Kolya had been meaning to report the crashed craft for the longest time, but he couldn’t remove his feet from this oh so comfortable, warm pool to go over the the green phone and make the call. He tries to calculate in his mind how long it had been there. It had stopped smoking some time back, so maybe 3 hours? Make that years — he truly couldn’t recall, and that hurt his chances for a call. He does know noone is inside still, at least after the doc took that basketball player type girl away still in her green uniform, as green as his phone should be. Perhaps she had just come back from a game; could be she was even a professional player what with that height. But why just the single person on board, then?

TWO TO KNOW weighed on his damaged brain, thanks to Marty, thanks to Roger Pine Ridge. What they did just north of here in Leemington will not be forgiven. 59.

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Alysha

“She’s always over there just staring at the fire, waiting for him to come home and tell her what to do. Robot, I say. Completely controlled. *I* was the rebel. He didn’t like that.” She paused in her soliloquy to take a drag off her cigarette, a Virginia Slim I believe, long and lean on smoke. She blew what little she had away from the child sitting next to her, then turned. An Asian, she thinks. Just like Sally over there at the Coast Guard building. Could it be? She packed those suspicions away and sent them down a baggage conveyor. Nah: impossible. She’s just a lackey, not smart enough to live a double life, much less shrink down to child size if needed. This was just an innocent youth before her, a *friend*. She hadn’t had one of those in a while. Not since Bettie. Or was it Ruth?

So she decides to unload more. Why not: it makes her feel good and that’s what matters in the moment. Another drag off the slim cigarette; another pleasure. Today was the day for enjoyment, since this was her day off from that other job that’s suppose to bring joy but almost always doesn’t in the end. Except for Pete.

“The Fortress, it is called by some. Maybe John.” She stops; another drag, another exhale away from the child.

“Who owns it?” the child dared to venture, picking her openings carefully. She had to keep up the ruse. No time to get cold feet now. That will be later when she ices them down from the hot sand. Azura Beach! She truly loved this little hidden spot with its cute dunes just away from the Airport grounds. But she must remember her real task: digging for information instead of clams, although that would be later as well.

“K.C. some call him. Others: L.A. I think he likes to use the initials of famous cities. Maybe ones he’s visited.” She stares directly over at it, knowing the new gal, if you could even call her that, the robot, would be sitting in there, staring at the flames that would certain consume her just like they did herself. A witch, they called her, and then she had to live in that ditch behind the airport for a couple of months until she was able to at least rent this cottage on the edge of his property. He had at least the dignity to do that. And he’s probably just keeping her around when he gets tired of the new one, with her more ample bosom and brown-not-blue eyes. He tired of blue, he tired of normal. And always with the golf club; might as well be a baseball bat the way he cracks it. Always plays the odd numbered holes and skips the even. Then in the evening he evens it out with the even holes. Complicated man. And she could still spy on him, but of course that’s what he wanted. He wanted her to see the new gal-robot and how he controlled her just as she was controlled. “Look,” he could hear him say with his smokey, deadpan voice in her head, “and learn.”

(to be continued?)

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undercover

Sally decided this would be her last trip into Jack’s former office with the all important ring binder she was still carrying around the day after yesterday. She had taken it to the bathroom with her and had a peek inside. Peking: (old) China stuff. “Just around the bend,” one document proclaimed. “Epidemic escalated to pandemic,” another said. “This was about the bug, like up in the beige hills, beyond Collagesity even,” she whispered to herself while on the john. She shut the ring binder, propped it carefully against the stall wall, balled her hand under her chin while sitting there in thinking mode. Sally was a bright chick, perhaps too much so. Since she had a double life, just because she was smart enough to pull it off. Lackey by day here at the Dogoog Coast Guard Station, an affiliate of Angel’s Airports. By night: spy. It was like the split of Orient and Occident, she realized, and herself as a reverse Marco Polo ready to unleash the goods to the enemy.

—–

Marsha knew that boss Phillip Strevor was spying on her while she photocopied downstairs, eager to get away sometimes at least from the direct stares of her backside. At first he hid behind that big palm pictured above. Okay, good: only a sideways view, she thought, and tolerated the stalking. Then, gradually it seemed (it probably happened all of a sudden, though), Phillip slid out from behind the palm and over to the couch for a better view. He had sunglasses and wore a fake beard. He usually sat lotus position to disguise himself as an Indian. He thought it would be enough to fool her. Phillip Strevor perhaps wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, but that’s probably because of his head being cut off and all back in the war. He had it reattached, but decided to keep the demarked cut lines just to make him look tough. “CUT HERE”.

He also thought the beard would hide this from Marsha.

—–

While still hauling around that damning ring binder all over the building to various offices (traitors, she thought, every last one of them!), Sally checked the script weight board. No sign of Wilson Fox this time. Only 2 All Oranges now, the big boss out on the dock taking care of the what’s-his-name dignitary, and the hooker across the bay probably wearing all that bling jewelry she likes. Man attactors, she calls them. Little lurid beacons of light. Sally usually hates women of the night and thinks them the lowest of life forms. But she’s befriended the hooker — Ginger I think is her name — because she has valuable information about the Orient she needs to dig out from her. And to top it all off, there’s Lime: the very origins of Our Second Lyfe. It actually started on Yd Island — just beyond the edge of the Coast Guard property over there. You can almost see it with a 512 meter draw, the maximum allowed in this here game. Ratzenburger Rabbit. Ginger (I think) knew the whole story. She grew up on Yd Island back in the 30s, 50s, and 70s.

(to be continued?)

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you can spell numbers too

Waiting for an important flight to come in and nervous because the big boss is supervising. Poor Johnson and Waxx. Didn’t get any sleep last night. Who’s coming in? Dignitaries. That’s all J & W know. They’re suppose to look their sharpest but nerves shot that. “Makeup to the eyes, makeup to the eyes,” they panicked at 5:15 and 5:25 respectively, having to take turns in the single bathroom of their building. “Visene, Visene,” both exclaimed at 5:30, finally caving in and sharing a bathroom mirror because of the urgency to fix red eyes as well as baggy. At 5:35 they were on the deck. All Orange was waiting for them in the semi-darkness, sharp as a tack and dressed crisp and cleanly. He glanced at his watch. “5 minutes late, gents. Don’t let it happen again on my watch.” He looks up. “Get it?” He points to wrist. “Watch. Funny, eh?” Calm and cool; never panics this one doesn’t. But All Orange? Must be a renegade 5th. That would explain the perfection.

9:35. Main building. Everyone on standstill:

“Did you cast that spell yet, honey. Joey deserves it for sure.” Jack spots Gertrude walking toward the window, knows he’s in trouble. “Okay, erm, gotta run; luv ya.” He hang up. Gertrude stands at the window, pocketbook open. He knows what he has to do. Receptionist Jean Allbright rolls her eyes, having seen it before. The fall of the mighty.

High noon:

Sally, the part time temp receptionist, hauls an important ring binder upstairs to one of the big wigs while dreaming of hopping on her green 10 speed bike outside and riding the hell outta here, never to return. Maybe at one on her lunch break she’ll do just that, lunch break then being the final break — from the company. Oh about that. We’re at a Coast Guard installation, but of recent design, so much so that the 3rd story to the building Marsha Sally is walking up the stairs to the 2nd hasn’t been completed. A couple of people unfamiliar with the construction have already fallen attempting to reach the still nonexistent top floor via the stairs, including Jack the Tripper, Betina Clubfoot, and Marsha Losst. Especially interesting is Jack, since he died. See, it was a spell that erased the 3rd floor, and the 4th and the 5th because they too were present just the day before. Everyone just forgot. The base had been here 5 years. and All Orange had controlled each and every one of the five. The story is so sad we must stop. STOP

3:33 PM:

START 3rd floor has return; 4th and 5th still missing. The spell is wearing off. Somewhat less big boss Phillip Strevor (hi Phillip!) is watching Marsha Camel xerox a lot of papers. Phillip enjoys watching Marsha do this task so he weighs her down, usually about 1 in the afternoon when his own work load gets lighter. He purposely lowered the wheels to the thing again just the other day. She has to hunch over a bit more to do the deed. Phillip likes that. Maybe next week he’ll just take the wheels off completely; no one ever moves the copy machine anyway: he’s guessed it’s been in that one spot going on 5 years, maybe 6. And I believe now this use to be the office of All Orange, before he was promoted to Asst Vice Deputy Chancellor for Overseeing Watches. He must have sat at this same desk, stared at the same… task performing person, in all likelihood another woman of course, and of his “type.” Phillip understands this, man to man. A heavy creaking sound occurs. The 4th floor has suddenly manifested as well. Everyone’s roles shift.

Oh about the dignitary. Turns out they had the wrong day, another effect of the spell in all likelihood. Thursday was the day he was suppose to arrive, which was instead tomorrow. Looks like another night without sleep for the J & W boys.

(to be continued?)

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00260611

“You have to let her go, doc. She h’ain’t human. Heck, she’s hardly animal at all. Green blood instead of red, two hearts instead of one. It *doesn’t* take two to, you know,” and here John Frank Baum Ritter, husband of formerly heard from Texarkana Ritter, thumps his chest bigly for Dr. Paul Mouse. “One’s perfectly fine for all the pumping and such.”

Dr. Mouse thinks back here to his estranged wife, out in the beige hills even above Collagesity a bit. Only a shack for her now, but the one eye sees fine. He was looking for her the other day when he spotted the smoking, crashed saucer with the red and green lights in a small hollow to the west, perhaps in Baddest. And then Ruby laying beside it in a tall heap. 8 foot? he was trying to guess the height even from a distance. He gets closer, the bug green growing more metallic with each step. A bug, he though. A bug will fall her. Even then he knew, because he was also an alien of sorts, also psychic to a significant degree. Thus the rather frequent sightings of his mouse pal Pansy, the famous rodent who was never famous and instead replaced by another. The Pooping Pigeon was suppose to be his revenge. Now he will get his own through Ruby. He *will* discover a cure.

(to be continued)

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only a rehearsal

She’d *been* here before, this Sugar O’Cotton, a sultry singer during the 1919 Kentucky Prohibition period. But the setlist has changed, the *colors* had changed. Strawberry wine/ blueberry tart. Red light, green light. Traffic light: stop, go. Did we need this addition?

Monday, this venue will be packed to the brim with screaming fans. But she will not be she. Someone different.

Ruby Alien wakes up, or switches sides (realities), first to second. The inferior one comes into focus. Again the good-bad doctor with the prodding, the poking and rubbing. “Come back to me,” he says. “Don’t die, don’t die!”

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