“Father, when will mother be joining us?” asked Snowbob the man-child.
“Corsica,” indicated the father. “Corsica, Corsica, Corsica!”
“She’s not going to be here anytime soon. Is she?” The father doesn’t answer this time. Both stare blankly into space.
Snowbob is beginning to theorized his family won’t be staying in Collagesity long. The house payment hasn’t gone through yet. Their furniture is still in storage. Even though he manged to get the main gate to the property open yesterday, there was still some kind of invisible barrier that he had to jump over to come inside — a sign. And his father’s skin had turned from yellow to green. A mysterious malady, because he seems perfectly normal. But Snowbob keeps recheckeding his father’s outfit list behind him. Always green skin instead of the previous yellow. Yellow is missing. Yellow is missing!
I’ve got to solve this case so I can get out of here! thought Owens, wearing the mantle of private detective now.
Tired of staring at roshambo images, he sat down at The Table and enjoyed more leftover wine from the diner. By this time he was drinking straight from the bottle. “Reading anything interesting?” he asked Curled Paper across from him, trying to start up a conversation once more. “‘Winesap’? Sounds intriguing.” But Curled Paper still said nothing (his light was off). Paper, he then thought. Curled Paper. Another clue?
“I wonder where The Librarian went?” he tried again. “He always seems to be here, sitting.”
“Bathroom break, let’s say,” then uttered Tin S. Man in his low voice from the left. “It takes him a while.” Owens had forgotten the metal being was alive. Someone to talk to while he drinks. Nice!
“Well, er… what do I call you?” He squinted up at the giant’s kind face.
“Tin S., please. Like the game. Like the sport. It’s always love something for me. My ego and aggression are always zeroed out.”
“Well that’s fascinating, Tin S.,” Owens spoke while taking another sip of wine from his bottle. “So rude,” he then said of himself, lifting the bottle toward Tin S. Man. “Want any?”
“I cannot drink wine, only oil. Wine makes me tipsy. When I fall down, I cannot get up because of my massive weight. Only oil please. Do you have a bottle of oil?”
“Not on me, no. Maybe later. Listen, Tin. S., how did you get here? I mean, why are you at The Table along with the others? Old Mabel mentioned you were a famous musician inside that outer casing. Dave something. Davis?”
“Davies,” corrected Tin S. Man. “That is a true inner form, yes.” He paused.
“What’s the purpose of all this?”
Tin S. Man moved his joints slightly, then asked a question back: “What do you know of our user?”
“I know that Baker Bloch is the main channel for the user who goes by the same name.”
“Baker B., close enough,” said Tin S. Man.
“And… um, I guess The Table, as far as I understand, represents a gathering of variants, mainly musicians like yourself, who have, er, *donated* their work to a greater whole. This Table.” He then knocks on The Table to reinforce his answer.
“Are you staying in town long enough to attend the next Table meeting?” asked Tin S. Man.
“I *hope* not,” returned Owens. He needed to get back to the roshambo images. Something about that yellow hand. Paper. Switch. He pulled the little, wine stained slip of paper from his coat pocket and read it again. This is the one found in Baker Bloch’s own wine. “Pill” is all it said.
“Reading anything interesting?” The giant smiles.
Meanwhile, over at the Red Umbrella…
“That’s him alright. Owens.”
“And over in Boos as well,” added Old Mabel.