Monthly Archives: November 2022

Jem’s World

“Well, my name is Gemilly Johnston — Jem for short — and these are the books I’ll be keeping up with (!).”

So cheerful that first week, she says, reviewing her introductory video, whiskey sour in hand as usual when looking at this type of stuff. So many videos in her collection now. But this was one of the clean ones, before the dirt and grime of the city, this Dodgey City, became fully evident, thanks to John. *Not* Jim.

“I live about 1500 meters up in a nice house with a beautiful perpetual sunset, right on the beach. See? (she indicates a hand, an arm). I’m already working up a tan (!).”

If I could go back and kill her — myself — I would, thinks Jem here, wanting to wipe that ridiculous smile off her face with a rag of acid. OK, maybe Texas Pete.

“The house is owned by John L. Brown, who is also my boss, who is also my, ahem…”

Boyfriend? thought present Jem. Fat chance.

“… cousin,” past Jem completed her sentence.

Wait, is that possible? present Jem thought. She reversed the video, started over. At 2:32: “cousin” again. She doesn’t remember saying that. Plus it wasn’t true (!!).

—–

But John L. Brown for one knew it was and changed the wording yesterday after also slyly suggesting she take a day off for mental health reasons and look at old videos from the archive to soothe her nerves, especially recommending — or starting with — the one she’s viewing right this moment. Jem eventually figured this out as well as she continued to sip (or at least try to contain it to a sip) on one of her whiskey sours and ponder and ponder. Cousin — that aspect conveniently forgotten, conveniently wiped from memory, just like she was trying to wipe the happiness and naivety from her past self’s face back then in her imagination. She imagines someone standing behind her, looking at her as if on a video, trying to wipe something from *her*.

“John L. Brown,” she muttered with Texas Pete, add a little Oklahoma from beyond the screen. She turned (toward the camera?). Time for my close-up.

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00350707

It was at the end and not the beginning but the marriage finally came through.

“Do you have a problem with this?” Newt ask in a low voice as the I do’s were being said. “Speak now, you know.”

“Why would I have any problems with this?” said Wheeler back. “Shelley would just run around with other men behind his back if she married George. This way she’ll be happy. Or at least have a chance to be.”

“Do you, Shelley, take Lemont slash Arthur…”

“And there’s always Liz,” whispered Newt.

“Yes.”

“Should we end there? Again?”

“Why not.”

“You may kiss the bride.”

END OF “SUNKLANDS 2022 LATER”!

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00350706

“So, Residents of Paradise Lost, we, Shelley and I, head back to Omaha, which is in Oklahoma after all!”

“You’ll never make it!” shouted Fern below, reunited with Lichen since the latter was finished with her horse subplot. Poor Liz. “Wrong state, buddy!” she clarified.

But Abbey Abdominator, the Grey who was also several other people of this town, as in an actor playing multiple roles in the same film,* knew exactly how this thing worked… and ended. “So long everyone!” he said as the balloon rose into the sky and he expertly maneuvered it due north, soon enough dwindling to a point and gone as the few townspeople gathered on the rooftop at the launching pad kept staring….

Shelley snapped awake, pulling away from The Void, The Emptiness. Arthur, she immediately thought. I’ve got to tell Arthur!

—–

*SEE: Harry/Jerry, MessiaenSphere, Wizard Wells, Big Boy, Billy Bloodsworth, others

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00350705

“We demand to see The Wizard!” spoke Lichen and Liz together after marching into the room, trotting into it even.

“Wizard?” replied receptionist Cathy Catchulater. “Oh. You mean *Abs*. The Wizard *boss*.”

“Well,” said Lichen for the both of them, being the eldest by 10 or 15 years or days, “that could be him I suppose. What does he look like?”

Cathy showed them a picture she had ready for the question.

“Yeah,” she sighed and peered over at also onlooking Liz. “I suppose that’s him.” Alien, she thinks. Grey even. What have we gotten ourselves into??

“Have a seat on a cube, any cube,” said Cathy C. “He should be with you in about 10 or 15 minutes or days. Just kidding. He’ll see you now. He was waiting for you. President’s Ball.”

“Presidents?” uttered Liz, quite lost by now. She was into the whole horse persona deeper than Lichen, who had escaped the iciest clutches of The Void. Seeing this, Lichen ditched her own, got rid of the plume, harness, that *tail*, yeck.

“Now *you*,” she commanded over as the confusion lifted. Freedom!

——

But Liz didn’t have the guts to do it, fear retaking the reigns. She stood up from the cube and took a seat at the mirror in the guts of the town, waiting, like her equine fellows, for the next customer, hopefully a fellow this time. Because, unlike most of the batty people around her, the *inmates*, she wasn’t a switch hitter. Heck, she wasn’t even a pinch hitter, needing out in the worstest way. However her story is more complicated than the rest, perhaps, and we’ll have to wait till a future photo-novel to find out more about our lovely Liz, our beacon of hope. Goodbye for now! And the best of luck until you find an opening. Hold onto Trixy — she’s a dear. And Betty, despite her faults (like long and unexplained hiatuses from the, er, set), has a heart of gold. Argent — stay away from her, despite the name symbolizing purity as well. And Angel will act as a mother figure to you all. Build your imaginations. Pretend that you are somewhere far away with someone very special indeed, without warts and awful battle wounds and all those other things you will encounter. Stay strong, stay brave!

“Next!” calls Angel from the front room.

“That’s you,” Trixy says softly from the bed beside her.

“‘Bout time,” gruffed Argent with crossed arms in the corner. Think that’s it. Betty was in a different game this week exploring San Andreas.

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wheel (red-violet opposite yellow-green)

“You look troubled, Harry.”

“Thank you.”

“Thank you?”

“Yes. For using my real name. Amanda.”

“Yes, thank you too. I understand the frustration sometimes.” Juanita doesn’t look off-screen for direction, thought Jerry within Harry here. She goes with the punches. She’s a winner(!).

“The only thing worse than a child actor is an actor acting like a child,” Harry says, still improvising, still venting.

“So true,” Amanda replies.

—–

“Should we stop them? asked Thomas behind the scenes to Kurt, knowing when Jerry gets on a roll like this it could run a while. Look at “Mission Impossible”.

“No, we can edit later,” director Kurt Strawb, a 1/2 himself, says back to his assistant on the set. “Let him say what he wants to say. Heck, this is about the only time he’s actually acting, you know. During the ad-libs. He gets into them, lets his personality go.”

“I hear ya.”

—–

“5,000 dollars, Amanda? Try *50*, as in 50,000. That’s what my daily debts are up to.”

——

“So true to real life,” spoke Thomas, marveling at the acting that wasn’t much of an act atall.

—–

Across the room:

“Would you look at him over there, *acting* like nothing has happened. Do you know how much that weasel bastard owes me? Do you want to wager a guess?”

Tom and Jerrie (different!) stay quiet. Sam the Taker who is also Sam the Toker is on a roll too. 10 ones? Try one. As in: one. It was all a ruse, a scam.

(to be continued)

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00350703 (one off)

Inky McOilwell just before getting fired, then terminated. Didn’t see or hear the leak behind her on Sunday’s Tuesday’s Thursday of last week’s Monday’s Wednesday. The specific day was Friday I believe, unless it was Saturday. Unhappy for Inky whatever.

Despite the loss, the ridge rig kept working, thanks in part to today’s fresh recruits…

… like Ginger here, just come over from the satellite base in Azzlebury and preparing for her 10th bath of the day.

And… is that Franklin watering the plants over there? She’s alive (!).

Jesus, Lichen and Liz in their horse costumes coming through the gate now too!

—–

Fern felt she was still 1 step ahead of them, despite the progress. “What did I do to you to deserve this is all I want to know,” the fellow boat riding minion spoke up to them from his tight fitting cage.

“You exist,” spoke Fern as plainly as possible. “1/2 fruit or vegetable, 1/2 robot… all bastard. And where’s the banana I gave you to eat? Did you throw it overboard? I don’t see the peel. Better not litter in this water. You know what happens to people — and creatures — when they misbehave around here”

“I–I…” He admitted he ate the banana peel and all. He was confused about what he was suppose to do. Yeah, he was told not to litter. Why do you think he did it? he asked them.

“Throw him in the water,” Boatman Neil said for not the first time, tired of the yapping and begging and whining. “Let the underwaters have him.” He thought about his own encounter with MessianSphere not 3 years ago. But somehow he escaped. Or did he?

“No. We need him,” spoke Fern softly back to Neil only. Because she had a plan. Fern always had a plan, for every occasion. And 7/6ths into a photo-novel still without a plot was a special one indeed. Unprecedented if memory serves, unless it was 11, 16, 21, 26, 31.

We move on…

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character elimination (he wasn’t really that important to the story anyway — or was he?)

Liz is somewhere here, thinks Keith B., spying the guts of the place from a high point in one of its vineyards.

Watch out!

“Did you hear that??”

“Sounded like an explosion!”

A new cube appeared down at the beach. Ready for transport.

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00350701

Harlie and friends head into the woods today for a little more inmate bashing.

—–

“So what did you hear over there?”

“The wedding is *definitely* off.”

“Good, good. So I guess we’ll be getting a little cake from all this.”

“Saved you a piece.”

“Mmmm *mmm*.”

—–

“No, this one’s not wine. Instead: Jeannie.”

“Genie, eh?” Derick was now more interested than ever. He’d always wanted superpowers of some kind. Hero School wasn’t hacking it for him.

“Yeah, but spelled with a j. And an extra n, And an a. Talking about a person… in a bottle. Found it on a beach where I crash landed in my Gemini or perhaps Mercury space capsule, we don’t know which. Could be a 2 seater, could be 1. A mystery, a conundrum. All for a nickle.”

“You’ve got to be joking.”

Thinking of Lichen here, Fern said: “I never joke.” But maybe I should more, she thinks. The Claude-Fern combination was pretty funny though, or so Lichen told me afterwards. I have ultimate respect for her opinion on those matters.

“I’ll give you 5000 dollars, that’s my lowest offer.” Derick knew the bottle was probably cursed, didn’t want to insult the Gods of the thing by swindling this poor stupid lady who came in from the beach or wherever.

“Call it 10000 and I’ll throw in the mate,” Fern said, reeling in a fish. Now she can pay off her gambling debts from this morning.

—–

At the next table over:

“This wine has a finger in it.”

“And it’s mine!”

“Ah HA HA HA HA HA HA!”

What’s so funny over there? wonders Fern as Derick studies the second bottle.

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cake = lie

And so we end with Stiggy the Bluebird arriving early for her supposed birthday party, asking where the spectacular cake was Elanea promised to show her. Elanea said she’s it, then fired a tranquilizer dart right in her forehead between the eyes, then dragged her back into the kitchen to be prepared. One too many jokes about her amphibian nature for Elanea to stand. And she’d spewed the same racist type insults to people in powerful positions like reptilian Stu in Marketing, human Pamela in Waste Management, and, most importantly and most damning, to the Big Boy himself, calling him a [delete name]. To the Abyss she must go, he declared, which was his own personal word for the Void, having been raised a devout Tilist all those years ago, memories and rituals sticking like glue. The others decided the degree.

After the party, they prepared one cross that had the wrong year of death — had to be redone (too much partying, perhaps). A second, sturdier and more upright one was made by Harold the Carpenter, a gnome sent down by Head Office to do the task right, along with another named Jack who’d dig and fill in the grave. No coffin needed, though: no part of her remained to be buried by the time Elanea finished with the knives and saws and the gnomes arrived, not even her heart, deemed inedible from her species but which was still put into the cake just for spite and to rub it in all the way.

The bird was George.

Shelley’s still beating heart only pointed one direction after that. Biff Carter provided an interesting alternative but had aged 20 years overnight, thus eliminating him from the picture. Big Boy again, of course — [delete name] again the hurled insult. Only Arthur remained. And through him Liz. The marriage will take place at the beginning of the next section, 7 in a series of 6.

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crosses at The Falls

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0035, 0616, Blue Mountain, Frank Park