Ahh, the imposter. “Hi Reddie.”
Now if I can just find a standing version of Saffie here we can go on more diverse dates. Otherwise… might be back to Audrey, etc. Theater and dinners only go so far.
Strange foreign accent; woman: “I’m look-ing for Norm the Cash-ier.”
“You’re looking at her.” She recognizes the war paint. “Oh God.”
“Yes. Pay-ment time.” Norm barely resists putting out both of her hands in defense. She *knew* this day was coming. At least Barry isn’t here to see all this.
“2989 per month for the pipe-line to the ri-ver, just like we a-greed. Sixty-one times forty-nine.”
“Okay, okay.” Norm the Cashier knew she didn’t have the money. Could she faint to distract? How about a fake heart attack. Polio. That’s it. “I’ve been diagnosed with something.”
“Poli- poli- po-LICE! POLICE! POLI–!”
Burt, did you hear anything just then?”
“Oh, sorry.” He turned a bit red. “Burritos for lunch.”
The next night found him walking again, still looking for that perfect house. Saffie had snatched the only decent one rental baron Snowmanster had available at the time. Marty felt he was snubbed; that Snowmanster didn’t like the looks of him for some reason. He’d given her a nice painting of her husband, all for nothing it appeared. The short meeting was adjourned. At least he got a date with Saffie out of it. Maybe the whole problem could be solved with…
No, he couldn’t go in that direction quite yet. After all, he was still technically married to Linda. The lush. And he was still sort of dating Cathy Love Peace Hippie Child, if she’s still alive. And then there’s Audrey — on and on it goes, actually. Hucka Doobie: another one. He needs to phone her up. Marty makes a mental note to look up the number again; he thinks he added it to his long contact list but wasn’t sure. What was that bar they went to way up in the air above Urqhart? The place of perpetual rain: Fireman’s? Wasn’t sure.
He reached the center of the 4096 Illuminati property. He stopped walking. The elevation was 2000 meters. He looked up and noticed red had replaced green in the most central banner. But not another apple this time despite the still appropriate color. Another skull instead. This place was a land of the dead. He’d literally reached a dead end.
Sipping green-ish lemonade still — probably a limeade, then, wouldn’t you think? — he decided to head back to the green apple banner marking the beginning point when the voices started. A murmur at first, then clearing. He picked out the repeating sentence amongst the babble. “You have something that we want.” Over and over and over it went until the voices unified in a deafening crescendo.
He woke with a start. “Godchild” Lisa the Vegetarian was still onstage, talking about the limitations of the capitalist system through something called debt paradox. He shouldn’t have fallen asleep. But Saffie beside him seemed enthralled — she was literally on the edge of her seat listening in. She could teach him like Linda taught him about vegetarianism. And Lisa of course could aid in his understanding about the economic end times to come as well. If we, as a world, only stopped eating at least *red* meat then part of the problem would just go away. Just like that (he imagines snapping his fingers). Stupid Earth, pheh. He sits up and becomes one with Saffie again in the viewing.