00350607

She thought of another answer while chopping pepper for the big meal. George was coming over! Or was it Arthur? Anyway, she thought of this: I *love*, that George’s backwards guitar was destroyed in the Moray Docks explosion when that new Tar Guit appeared over top of it. BOOOM! she recalled joyously. That can replace the “resourceful” answer, #4 I believe.

“She’s gone,” Baumbeer speaks later to Newt about the poor girl’s mind. “But I know where she is.”

“I’ll go see her,” replies the father not father-in-law. “No need to bring the boy in the picture,” he says half to himself. “He’s already heartbroken enough.”

“Let me know if I can help more,” spoke Baumbeer into the receiver to finish. He hangs it up. On a clothes hanger.

Newt rings Shelley up. I mean, he calls her. Since the wedding is off and he’s no longer the Best Man. Thus the meal.

“Newt!” she modifies again, moving to the cucumber or tomato next. “The father-in-law.” Her face squinches up. “Father *in-law*?”

They meet at the same gazebo in the sim’s corner. Property called Sim’s Corner. The Void’s energy was just loosened enough so he could reach over and straighten up the blouse on her shoulder. Pepper t-shirt no. 1 she wore now. Small successes before bigger ones, he thinks, staring at the daughter he didn’t know he had until the end of the last photo-novel, 34 in [delete rest of sentence].

“Wheeler says to say hello,” he starts again, trying to jolt more memories. Does she remember the spaceship? Of course not, Newt thinks. Too young. Shelley says say hello to Wheeler back, even though she doesn’t know who that is. She’s trying to mask her big big problem. And where’s George? Or was it Arthur?

“Your… *mother*,” Newt says to this, understanding she doesn’t recognize the name. “George — you know George, right?”

“Georges,” she says, which Newt lets slide.

“Anyway, *your* George says you look a lot like her. You even have some of the same tattoos.” Kind of odd, Newt thinks here but, again, lets it slide; chalks it up as another disturbance of The Void.

—–

“You’re batty I tell you. *Batty*!”

“Out of my way, whoever you are! *Whatever* you are!”

“W-where you going, dude? Nothing left but *me*.” She starts dancing and dancing with her weapon. Hypnotizing. Just like on the bus. It was her.

Shelley wakes up. What did I do to *Johnny*, she immediately thinks. We go back to that point. That’s where she began to lose it. The baby. My baby!

She was the baby.

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