The children rock inside while Uncle Jack approaches the window, telling them the deed is done. The fake Uncle Jack has been buried out in the backyard along with the fake children that showed up yesterday. Blue has switched with pink. No pink clad twins in this storyline! But perhaps their ghosts will haunt the oversized trailer later on.

After supper, the children sit on the porch while Uncle Jack stays back in the kitchen. He always seems to be cooking or cleaning there.

“I’ve seen inside their room,” says Buurb, sitting on the wooden flooring opposite Old Mabel.

She makes a shocked face. “But *how*? The door is always locked.”

“Remote viewing. You don’t know that trick yet?”

Old Mabel’s shoulders ease back a little. “Of course. But I don’t like to pry. What’s behind closed doors should stay behind closed doors.”

“Not how it works around here,” answers Buurb, who was naturally nosier than his counterpart. “Anyway, they’re dead now. What do they care if we peek around inside. I could even lay in their beds if I wished. You could too.”

“Don’t you *dare*,” reprimands Old Mabel. “This Livigno sim will serve us well as long as we obey the rules set up by Uncle Jack. Do I need to tell them again to you? There are only three.” Buurb was about protest that she doesn’t need to do this again when she stands up anyway and begins.


“…if the fake people show up, they will be killed and disposed of in the backyard.”


“… don’t leave the Livigno sim because all answers are here.”


“… *never* enter the Story Room.” She sits back down in the executive chair. “Any questions Buurb? Buuuuurb?” Old Mabel knew Buurb hated it when the double vowels in his name were stretched out like that.

“Um, yeah actually.” He puts his index finger to his chin smugly. “I’ve been thinking about this. If all the answers are here, in this sim (he points down), and Story Room is part of this sim — *if* it’s part; perhaps its beating heart as Jack once put it — then maybe the answers are in that room.”

Uncle Jack’s ears prick up in the kitchen. He thinks about the still bloodied axe against the wall around the corner.

“We can just march in and get them,” Buurb continues. “That’s the, er, paradox of all this, where the head eats the tail. We stay in the sim, but must never look into the *heart* of the sim? Ever thought about that Old Mabel?”

“This is not the Garden of Adam and Eve.”

“Isn’t it?”


At the same time and 100 yards to the northwest, Wheeler tries to teleport back into her adopted Ayas cabin after buying a stack of books, a Lisa Simpson cutout, and some ice cream down the hill at Inferialist, but instead finds herself in a hidden space underneath.

On the other side of the wall she discovers more.

Buurb was looking in the wrong place.

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