00280510

Hatti the witch disappeared from the cell block. Across the aisle, fellow prisoner Patrick McDonnelhany’s head turned into a pen. Or pencil — hard to tell from this distance, Stu Umbriel thought. He turned around as well, tried to look beyond the frame by facing it squarely. No luck. He remained panicked and in character. Fern Stalin spoke.

“We are at 42, Stu. The Answer. Are you ready?”

Was he? He looked to the right. He looked to the left. No escape. He was as ready as he’d ever be. Which was never.

—–

“The director is dead,” she deadpanned to Chef-inspector Petty upstairs. “Killed in the Biker Bar and Grilling explosion day before Sunday of week before last month’s Tuesday. Do you recall?”

Or course he recalled, he thinks. He was first on the scene, picking at the bones and flesh of the unfortunate victims. Like Hank Graphite and his gorilla bodyguard; like Ted 02 the half android cyclops; like family challenged Sugar McDermit and bar owner Biker Mann. And then: Biker Chick, also known as Chuck Cheese also known as Heidi, formerly Penn Mann. The director of this here photo-novel, 28 in a series of infinity apparently (ha). We’ve been without direction, then, since, let’s see, post 0280110. Quite near the beginning, then. Fern says all of this to Chef-inspector Petty, omniscient narrator in the moment. Could have been before she went downstairs to the cell block, could’ve been afterwards. Doesn’t matter in the moment.

(to be continued?)

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0028, 0510, Paper Soap

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