“Was he really the King of Pizza? Axis-Windmill ponders from his booth, staring down at the cheesy triangle steaming before him. Or was he the King of *Paper*?

He takes a bite. Tastes like cardboard, he determines, upping the possibility.

I could have been much more, he thinks below his golden crown while hauling in cardboard boxes from the back. And I am.


“What’s up?” Hatti demands asks. Suddenly ashamed of her face scars, she turns away, looks at the picture on the wall instead. Funny, she decides after a small debate in her head about its value. Pizza slices at the Last Supper. Lo-fi goodness.

“Gold,” he answers. “Golden crowns.”

“Cows?” Claude obviously came to mind.

“Seriously,” he replies, getting serious. “Dinah’s back.”

“The Anomaly? How?” She knew how.

“You know how.” They look at each other again.

“I’m just a simple witch. Don’t give me credit where credit isn’t due.”

“You blew up–”

“*You* blew up…” It was here that Axis-Windmill realized he was talking to himself, as in a mirror. He’d conveniently forgotten that inconvenient fact.

“Right, right. Dr. Mouse. I know.”

“He was the only one who could fix this.”

“Herbert,” he offered.

“Herbert Dune?” she replied skeptically again. “That’s you too. Can’t you remember *anything*? It’s like you’re not even trying.”

Axis-Windmill started trying. He stared over, noting the blue hair poking out of the large, black, conical hat, holes made on purpose for this, purpose. “Why is your hair sometimes blue and sometimes red?”

“You know, silly. Sometimes I’m cross, sometimes I’m not. I can edit out the cross but I have to use red. When I’m not cross: blue. I’m in a good mood tonight,” she explained about the present color.

He looks at her face scars, wondering how she got them again. He looks down at his aging hands; his own flaw lines. He thinks of his age. 60-ish. 62, 65. 60. Early 60s. 63 — that’s it. And Alysha: waiting at the other end of the 1 1/8 year stream. But still many choices to be made along the way. “About Dinah,” he decides to switch back (to earlier talk). “There’s a video I want you to see — want your thoughts on it. A witch is involved. And… pizza.”


She was remembering.

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