West Hel*en*

“She can control everything in Lower Austra, once it is defined, boundaries and all. But outside…”

“Gone,” she realized. “Lost.”

“Like beach comber Pepi ‘Can’ Kolya. Saved by Nauty who has knowledge of the Big Picture. The complete puzzle, pieces all in the right place. It’s because he comes from…”

“Iowa,” she finished again.

Man About Time looked over. “But you’re not Miss Ouri,” he continued mildly.

“And you’re not Baker Bloch,” she said in turn.

“Hmm.” He pondered whether to get a coke to drink. K K Cola here. Damn copyright infringement laws. Wheeler had wine. He wondered where she got it.

“I have one blue eye and one green eye — damaged,” she started again after a guzzle. “I don’t have two matching eyes like Ouri.”

“*Miss* Ouri,” Man About Time dutifully wanted to say but held his almost always mild tongue. No need to bring Texas Pete into this, his mama always said about verbal acidities. She trained him well; he absorbed everything he could from her. Poor mama, he lamented. Hanging with the angels now.

Instead: “Where did you get the wine?”

“A barrel,” she said, and then winked. I think the green eye remained open but difficult to tell. All eyes looked the same to him. After Miss Ouri.

(to be continued)

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0032, 0509, Lower Austra^, Nautilus

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