After all the actual avatars had moved over to Perch (diner) for after-meeting drinks, Gordie Down, formerly Curled Paper, said his first meaningful word for no one except us, the reader and the writer of this here blog. “Grote,” he uttered, not loud enough to attract the attention of others. Instantly he felt his physique change, growing in some spots and retreating in others; no need for Baker to get those apples. For the first time, he-turned-to-she began to dream. The result was a whole book which remains unpublished to this day, “Winesap” taking its place in the instant of the moment.
Daily Archives: December 20, 2020
If only they could have brought the ocean all the way up to the docks here and made NWES City a true port, thinks Baker Bloch, staring out at same. Maybe Sammie Parr, Tenty, the rest could have been saved, maybe the Black Ice Market here would still be thriving and providing talky tubes for beloved pets, etc. He sighs, turns.
If Spunky’s also goes that may be it for this side of town. And if one part crumbles then the rest fall as well, all 4 jigsaw pieces. And that means the 5th, orange, Sunklands Institute in effect, will be meaningless too. Might as well move it back to Iris, then; Bella (squirrel) could have proved that.
Speaking of which, I must get to the Blue Feather meeting over there, called specifically because of new developments in Bella, Belle- seri… sare… whatever (think “Bell is serial”, baker b.!).
“So you see,” he says a bit later at the meeting, comprised of himself, Wheeler Wilson, Grassy Noll, Chef-Detective Keat Owens, and Gordie Down (formerly Curled Paper), just like before, “this wheel of avatars found by Bixyl — lemme see (Baker squints at the media feed), looks like Shuftan — occurred just after the completion of photo-novel 22, the one prior to the current one.”
“Hi!” repeats “Winesap” reading, light bulb headed Gordie Down. Baker and the others look at him, jointly wondering if he’s ever going to become a functional member of The Table they all sit around and participate in. Baker also makes a mental note here to get those apples for him as requested by Wheeler.
“Yes, hello once again, Gordie.” Baker decides to try to prod more out of him. “What do *you* think of this circle or wheel, Gordie? Do you think it represents the nodal photo-novels 1-4-7-10-13-16-19-22, like we talked about before? At the time, Wheelhouse (sim) was at the top of the developing continent and Wheeler (sim) at the bottom. This circle was created just over from Wheelhouse. We think it’s All Orange, Gordie (Wheeler and Grassy nod in agreement), but… what about you?”
No success on that front! They’ll try again another night.
It was in the 4th valley, or perhaps it was the 5th, that Jeffrie Phillips actually found something solid and concrete and pertinent to his mission. He kept staring at that tree in front of the rock wall: something wasn’t quite right here. A cave! he intuited with his enhancing Pan-Z mind conditioning. But hidden — someone or something is doing the hiding and he’s going to find out. This is where he will camp. Too bad about Sammie, he laments again, not knowing her ill fate. He was luckier than Tickie in that way. One ambulance turned into two as the night went on. Jeffrie heard them, but the sirens blended in so well with the distant whale songs that he couldn’t tell one from the other. Ah yes, those whales, confirming he was a lala. Tessa Doom came to him in a dream that night, a dream so real that it could be Earth, like New York but in the past.
At 2:01 am, in the middle of the dream, the portal opened.
Valley no. 2. Higher, more dangerous, more chance of monsters. He trods the path that Jeffrie Phillips walked before him again. Is Jeffrie dead already? Did Sammie make it back to the highway or was she done in like Tenty. We know, in fact, that she made it back to the highway but not in a good way. So: like Tenty, except a different type of transport.
Sammie was so red already that it was hard to tell where the body stopped and the wound began. This likened her to an alien, perhaps a Cygnus Xian this time. Why was she in all those collages in the Red Umbrella and why was she actually a 5n1? Yes, a member of Pan-Z, like Jeffrie, but one not nearly as established and in the loop. Qualities of a red shirt, then, Jeffrie realized; no better, really, than a middling to higher constituent of inferior Pot-D, he rationalized. He figured she would be done in, but he didn’t reckon this early; thought he would have at least *one* night with her in his “love tent”. He was surprised, just like Tickie in a different way. And soon they would find out why. Together. But first: two.
Jeffrie descends to the lakes and thinks he finds the first monster which turns out to be just an oddly shaped and hued rock protruding from the water. Charlene would not be proud.
Valley no. 1. Probably not far enough away from civilization to act as a bonafide monster attractor, but we’re on the way. Tickie reviewed the events of what just happened in his mind again. Tenty: dead! Or was he? And the Operator or Zero Hero. He is me! He’s jumped the rail, skipped the highway. He’s in lala land: a lala. He believes he hears a whale song far in the distance. Perhaps the sea is nearer than he thinks but perhaps not. New York comes to mind as well: he’s heard about a certain island on this continent that acts as a land antipode for a place on the opposite side of the world, proving Our Second Lyfe is a globe, a sphere (it has a belt). But it’s not New York; something *pre* New York. New Hamsterdam: that’s it. Pot-D sent a team in there a couple of weeks ago — hasn’t heard back from them. Pan-Z’s probably not far behind. They like to send the red shirts in first to test the atmosphere of a place. And antipodal Our Second Lyfe sounds dangerous.
2 hours earlier:
“Just up this path should be the second valley. More chance of monsters for certain!”
Sammie Parr hung back. She was scared. I should have never left NWES City, she bemoaned, thinking of Richmond.
Jeffrie Phillips was suddenly on his own as well as Sammie silently made her way back to the highway while she had the chance. He only turned around at the top.
He’s in there somewhere, Tenty. We’ll check that isolated valley over there first.”
“We’re looking for different people — entities — yes, but have a common goal.”
“To free the Inbetweenland of monsters (like us).”
“Alright, let’s move out!”
Inexperienced traveler Tenty never made it past the railroad tracks.
Tickie then spotted him across the road and knew this was no accident. The Undertaker. Some called him the Operator. Some… Zero Hero.
He lifted up his monstrous arms and screeched a horrible, echoing sound. “Watch out!!!”
Then he turned into me and I was gone.
“What just happened??”