The Inbetweeners

Tickie was getting between good friends Tealy and Tillie. He had to run away. Tenty was the logical choice for a destination, a twin brother from another.

—–

“Ground rules: *don’t* go over to Grimm unless absolutely necessary and, whatever you do, don’t go over to the Slot Mountain Castle. Death within!”

Tickie had heard about a head in a jar named Homer there who use to be a prominent resident of NWES City (*almost* NWES Town, but not quite). He wisely decided to heed the warning of host Tenty.

—–

Tickie naturally looked east for answers instead of the forbidden west (Grimm; Slot Mtn.; Slot Mtn. Castle). They were sitting in identical chairs in back now, but Tickie had gotten up: restless. “Who lives over there?” he asks about the house between the source and the lake of a blue-grey stream beyond the wooden fence.

“Oh, just one of those TILE fanatics, hence the *river*.” Tenty didn’t really like the Tilists, and thought there were too many in the area and on the island as a whole. He stated this to Tickie. He told him about the river of the world as the Before and After, or the Zero and the Nine.

“Like Zero Hero?” exclaimed Tickie, getting excited despite himself. He was a hero worshipper by nature, and Zero Hero was one of his favorites. He’d never heard of a hero called Nine, though.

“That’s Jasper,” spoke Tenty through his tentacled mouth, but in a pretty ordinary man-voice despite this, more than Tickie’s which was kind of squeaky; mouse-like. “That’s the Land of the Dead. The Egg.”

Tickie didn’t know these terms. He felt like he was getting in over his head with Tenty, who use to be a professor of religion/philosophy/games at Northwest NWES but which wasn’t there any more, a victim of the Tar Wars as they called it in scholarly-land. He turned toward Tenty. A realization occurred. They had been here before!

“Tell me about core avatars, Tenty,” he asked, knowing his friend would know a lot. His very close friend.

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