Barry was sleeping on a different couch but in the same old place: the old Same Place, a restaurant adjacent to the Pink Motel that had a duplicate or doppleganger in Tinseltown. This is what happened to him as an acne spotted kid when he and his mother had an argument, often about grades and schooling, sometimes about church and religion, occasionally about the status of the world in general. Marsha “Star” Pink was an optimist, Barry a born pessimist. Or was it the opposite? Heck, let’s jettison the whole idea of discussing the world in general. Let’s focus on local. Barry was sleeping on a different but familiar couch. It reminded him of the one in Norm the Cashier’s Flower Shop but that’s a future memory instead of the past.
He wakes up remembering something awful happened. Bullfrog, a friend of the family, had been killed over in NWES City, known then as New WES City before the shortening and way before the CITY decided to remake itself as a town to counter all the copycat but obviously inferior “cities” spring all inside and around it. Like Meat City, like Zen City before (destroyed by an atomic blast much like the one pictured on that vending machine in the above photo). Like Collagesity, with sity equaling city. You know. These are not Collagesity photo-novels any longer, but something else. Sunklands for the moment because that’s where *my* home is. Not Rubi as in the past. Not Fordham, or Urqhart over on the Corsica continent.
Pink knew Bullfrog from her mother who was
green Green. An EEL of a man is often how her mother described him, but she was conservative leaning. Bullfrog was progressive and that’s a fact, and that fact which got him killed by a red headed and red hatted evil entity known as Lu Ellen Hutchison (or Hutchinson) played by actress Alice Frame in Act II. And now she’s back as similarly red topped Wendy. Barry DeBoy knows nothing of Wendy now, or that he is directly sleeping with a mortal enemy back in Black Ice in the present. He is ensconced in the past, in the dream. Bullfrog has just died by gunfire and his mother Marsha “Pink” Krakow, not yet a Star — neither Trek nor Wars — remains in shock, and Barry along with her. This was Uncle Bully to him, a friendly not hostile moniker. How could this happen?
(to be continued)