The next morning Tony bade Jack, Bendy and Molly farewell as he continued his (to them) sideways journey around the moon, soon to be over, he claimed, as he circled back to the portal to his home world located in the next section called Farside. After watching him disappear into the drift that makes up the edges of any particular moon side, they moved toward the Cardinal Tree again and stood in front of it at an angle perpendicular to that of Tony’s exit. Both knew the time for dawdling was over.


Molly the parrot spoke up. “You will contact me, Jack, after you reach the next side. Tell me how Bart is. Tell me if Lily’s eucalyptuses are still visible just over the next edge at the South Pole. Tell me what is found on Minoan Radio. Yell and I will hear you. We may not be quite able to see each other but we will hear each other. If we speak loudly enough.”

“I will,” promised Jack. Molly had become what is called a “fixture” element, unable or unwilling to move beyond the side they had settled upon. Molly and Cardinal Tree: perhaps united forever now on the North Pole of the moon as an animal-plant composite. On the opposite side of this pole, across the divide of Big Crease, Jack was and still is in danger of becoming the same with his work shed, his celestial globe, his skynoculars. Animal elements attach to inertial plant and mineral elements through imprinting archetypes. Jack’s particular Achilles heel is the passionate pursuit of star mapping above all else. He cannot see a small part of the sky situated above the south pole on the opposite side of the moon and that is his saving grace. This would be directly above Lily’s residence; this drives him on. Once in motion around the sides of the moon you cannot stop until you circle back to the beginning, as in the Ouroboros. And Jack must always move in one direction and one direction only. North to east to south to west. Going against the grain of the moon’s built in physics leads to inevitable danger and extinction. Nectar, Ginger and others had learned that the hard way.

Jack and Bendy nod at each other and then walk forward in tandem. Molly watches them as their legs, torsos and finally heads disappear below the ground before they reach Cardinal Tree. “Goodbye Jack,” she says as tears drop from her eyes into the sand below. “Circle back as soon as possible.”


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