Daily Archives: October 23, 2021

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He was not far behind them, in Ross. He stared at the 3 primary colors under the red and white umbrella that represented candy. Cotton candy in this case, doubly meaningful. Because he’d also learned of Peter Cotton, inventor of the world famous cottonpicker from Kick-ass Bogota, as well as about Marion, a fellow pilot of WWWWI. “Flew a mission with me the day I went down,” he said at the bar drinking a tall grasshopper, as green as his outfit. Greener, Axis-Windmill realized. “Came to get me — only reason I’m standing here with this metal plate in my head. *Borneo*. Get that: Borneo. And all the maps said it didn’t exist, said there was nothing beyond the Elephant of Celebes or the Giant Rat of Sumatra. Rose knew all along where the cube-box was hidden. In one of the deepest corners of space. Marion took me there one night. We were up drinking and drinking and he said he knew of a place where we could get the best whiskey in the solar system, nay, the *universe*. Mind you, we were really drunk. He would have never told me otherwise — said so the next day. We climbed this low granite hill near his new airport over at… I think it’s Enchiladas. Anyway, something that starts with an ‘E’. Some wooden box type thingie was at the top. We reached it. He pointed west, I believe. A particular star, he said. Just rising… over there.”

“Alpha Centari?” I offered, just saying the brightest one I knew.

“That’s how you *find* it,” he replied, and then pointed me west to the famous cross of somewhat fainter stars, the crux of the matter as things turned out. “His buddy studies it,” he said, which I later learned referred to Philip Strevor, a professional pill popper over in Heaven Town.

“Dead?” I guessed about him after learning his job title and the name of his town.

“Might as well be,” came the answer from the green guy, almost as green as his drink he was still sipping, still nursing. “‘To death do us part,’ he said one night on the same low granite hill actually. He was staring at the star and said that, like the star was going to kill him or something.”

“Or marry him,” I added to the story. I was, of course, channeling in the moment. I’d gotten very good at that, in fact.

“We better get to Bartholomew,” he then said, turning toward me, or perhaps looking behind me for someone. I turned as well. Who were we looking at? 102? Something that can’t be edited because it goes in a perpetual circle, editing itself in the process as it revolves around and around and around? Could be.

We were both psychic is all I knew for sure.

He turned away from the cotton candy dispensers and headed toward town.

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job change every 3000 miles

“Fill er up, Burt.”

“You!” I exclaimed beside my old Papa.

Marion Star Harding stared into me while still strolling toward us, taking his time. I knew I shouldn’t say his real name. I’m remembering!

“You know this Bozo?” Papa also stared over at me, but with puzzlement instead of secret knowledge.

“No.” I looked between the two. “No, I was mistaken. I thought this was the man–”

Marion stares again. She’d said enough. She stopped.”

“Thought this was the man what?” Keith asked, still with furrowed brow.

“I thought… this was the man who offered to drive me to your place,” she decided to allow. “Before you picked me up.”

“Burt?” uttered Keith B. “A *pilot*.” He stared to laugh. Jennifer join in with him a bit — nervously. Then Marion Star Harding: just a chuckle and a smile. Because Keith B. would only expect that from the silent type guy.

“Whadda ya say to *that*, Burt?” he said between guffaws. He turns to Jennifer. “I’ve known Burt since he was a little boy. He can’t tell right from left, heck, up from down. Right Burt?” Laughter again all around, Keith B. the most, then Jennifer, then Marion. “He… he he… he once tried to build a submarine on top of a mountain and fly it into space (giggle). You remember that old wooden sub, Burt? (grin).”

Marion Star Harding remembered the sub. And indeed, he got it to fly into space, deep into space. But only at night when no one was looking and the stars were out. Because he had a particular Star in mind. His own.

(to be continued)

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Hookton Hill

Lengthening their draw distance a bit as Keith B. recommended, they both stared out at Clarksey from this low granite summit to the north.

“It’s big, Shelley.”

“Jennifer,” she corrected.

“It’s big, Jennifer,” he began again, then backtracked a bit to “…biggish”. “Ambitious,” he started once more.

“I get the picture.”

“It’ll get more people.”

“Hmm,” she declared. “How many now?”

“Five, I think. Wait: four. Clovis fell into the gorge the other day. Decided it was too dangerous to stay what with his drinking problem. Flew away from Enceladus day before yesterday. You just missed him over there, then.”

“Nice people over there,” she replied. “This one guy, Marion Harding, a Cowboy, even offered to drive me over here from the airport.”

“Who was the pilot?”

She wanted to say Indian but she knew that wasn’t possible. Indian was her brother — 1/2 brother — from another mother. Like Rose — full siblings those two were. “Can’t remember,” she decided to utter, trying to mask the hesitation. Memory gap! ‘Nother one.

“Did anyone follow you?” Strange question from her old Papa. But there *was* someone, someone black. Check that: someone named Black. A, um, black man. Doubly black.

“No,” she issued. “No one. Strange question from you actually.” She took drama in high school. She could still act a bit if necessary. But she’s remembering (!). A trio of men: Cowboy, Indian, Black. And behind them: still fuzzy. Maybe someone named… Frank?

(to be continued)

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