Monthly Archives: December 2022

the goats know

“It’s a trance club, sir. Are you sure you want to go in there?” She looked him over, noted the dated clothes, the glassiness of his aging eyes. Might not make it out. Like a lot of them; like *most* of them. There’s a queue of carcasses out back still. Ready to be buried alive as if antiquated VHS tapes.

He knew he had to. For Shelley. Yet another door was opened that he possibly couldn’t walk back out of.

He stopped his simple walk in the midst of it all. Cold breath came out of his mouth. Must be 20 degrees below what it was in the foyer. Maybe 30, or even more. Moon indeed. And it could be getting colder ta boot. Yes: people, susceptible ones, could die in here, he thought. And he had some kind of lingering chest congestion he couldn’t get rid of.

He stared over at her, prepared to start her yoga routine on the green bamboo mat, turning green herself in the process. True center. He recalls the 108/108/108 spot in Perch-Mistletoe where he also stared at bamboo, a whole wall of it there, across the canal that evenly divides that most central of Nautilus’ sims in two. This is 108 as well, he realized. Moon itself.

She begins the motions.

Soon after our Wolvie, born oh so shortly before, was no more: absorbed.

Leave a comment

Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0036, 0308, Nautilus, North

3 scenes

He opened all the doors he could and peered inside before entering. Seemed safe. Here he goes!

—–

He sat in the corner of the couch that was missing a bit of one of its other corners (GH), waiting to enter the story again. It will come to him, he knows.

Meanwhile, there’s always stuff to read.

—–

The portrait of grown up Marsha “Pink” Krakow from novel 34 appears in a most unexpected place. Just noting to remember.

Leave a comment

Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0036, 0307, Corsica, Hana Lei^^, Lower Austra^, Nautilus, Northwest^

00360306 (New)

He approached cautiously from below.

—–

He’d been saving up presents for some time, preparing for the worst. Flood! they warned. Global warming gone rogue! they cried. Thus the ark.

Or so the story goes.

After a return trip to the box, they ate Christmas dinner up top. “Shelley, you seem depressed,” he spoke. Probably just leftover effects once more, he rationalized.

“Oh. Just thinking about The Moon again. Where are we on it?”

George/Musician didn’t bother to correct this time. “Tranquility, love,” he said instead. “Remember? We landed there, all of us Americans through two specific Americans. All in the Family.”

Shelley Struthers buried her suddenly aching head in her folded arms, trying to forget everything. The nearby lemons and drink bottle were reminding her of something she didn’t want to see.

“Would you like to open a present?” offered George/Musician. Maybe that would help her mood.

Leave a comment

Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0036, 0306, Corsica, New Island^, Northwest^, Omega^^

numbers

He thought about Back as he lay on his back and she turned her back to him.

“Where are we on The Moon again?” she asked dreamily while studying, lingering effects of the box.

George/Musician sighs. “We’re not *on* The Moon, Shelley. We’re in… Mortons Gap. I think. At least the Ant Castle, old style, is playing on a continual loop on our TV over there.” Ropes, George/Musician thought. Aah the good old days when marriage meant something and everyone knew their place.  He sat up.

Back ruined all that, pheh. Better get back to it while I have time. 7:04AM. Soon it will be 5.

Yeah, there it is. Too late. Next! (as Wheeler might say)

Leave a comment

Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0036, 0305, Corsica, New Island^, Northwest^, Omega^^

00360304

“Why do you always pray to your God?” asked Sam Bee, listening in while trying to read. “Why not your ancestors, your Ma, your Pa?”

“Listen, Durexian heathen,” spoke Barren Monroe, mixing the best and worst aspects of soldiering in one. “If I wanted your opinion I’d ask it on the battlefield tomorrow. Where I could smash in your head without any consequences.”

Silence between them for a while, then. Both listened to crickets and the sound of distant cannons, becoming fainter with each passing day now. The battle and also the war along with it was about over. Both knew it.

Barren thought about renewing his prayer but decided not to. What was the use? He’d be going home soon. He’d hear enough about God from his family after that, thanks to the Triangleist church they all belonged to. Praying to his Ma, his Pa, pheh. Ridiculous savage. Instead: “I can’t believe the army came to this. Sharing (*spit*) a tent with the enemy.” Many times he wish he could spray bullets into the thin membrane of a wall separating the two, the green-blues from the red-yellows. But he’d be executed if so. Kill only on the battlefield between 8 and 5, the superiors commanded. When you get back to your tent you can trade all the verbal acidities you want, but no physical interaction. Pretend like that thin membrane separating the two of you is a thick sheet of bulletproof steel several meters high. Impenetrable. We will allow that you can hear each other but not see each other. *No* physical interaction, they doubled down as both sides ran out of money as the war dragged on and on.

Problem was, many tent mates got along, even became friends and promised to pay each other visits — sometimes extended ones — after the war was over. There was even rumors, substantiable no doubt, about tent mates being more than friends, way beyond enemies on the other side of the spectrum. Lying together in one sleeping bag, and not because the cold was closing in from the north as August became October became December, although shared heat could start the whole thing.

Such was certainly not the case with Pvt. Barren Monroe and Cpl. Sam Bee, from vastly different backgrounds and status. Barren belong to dirt poor Triangleists who only had their Father-Son-Fruity One centered religion to cling to in times of desperation, which was often. Sam Bee belong to an elite family from Wampumtown, his father and his mother both raking in the cash from a lucrative Voodoo practice specializing in pincushion dolls. Sam had talent too in that area. He planned to return to the business after the war; already had a number of clients lined up thanks to high connections. True, they were discarded clients of his parent, no doubt, but you have to start somewhere, work your way up the ranks. He’d deal with the troublemakers with a smile on his face, basking in the sunshine of an ever brightening future.

“Tomorrow, heathen,” spoke Barren Monroe again. “Tomorrow it is,” and then rolled over and tried to simmer down his boiling blood enough to sleep. Tomorrow, he thought, imagining a head like a piñata, ripe for bursting. If he waited too long he wouldn’t have the chance. Already he strains to hear the sound of war in the distance. He’ll miss it greatly.

Leave a comment

Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0036, 0304, Corsica, Northwest^

00360303

The view entering the downtown area from the west was… dramatic. Mr. Back, sorry, *Dr.* Back directed us to a smok’n bar and grill he claimed he owned, where we could finally get our dogs and rejuvenate. We’d been saved from leftover gravy and jam and whatnot by a mystery shooter.

It’s actually here we encounter Ashley. And Clyde, Big Loop complete. Because Clyde correspondingly brought Steelton back to Goldsboro, saving us a trip. We meet in the middle, which is nowhere. He’d just killed our Uncle Roy, who was ankle deep from the top down in the steel stealing crinimal matrix. He was even eating Roy’s leftovers he stole from his fridge just before we showed up, on a break between dough rolling. “Roller,” he said about his profession. “Rock’n it,” he added, which I assumed meant he was good at his job. He then beat the roller mercilessly against the dough a couple of times, smoothing out some rough spots I supposed. But, gazing into those steely eyes, I could see him doing the same with the inevitable bumps on someone’s head, the ones they use for soothsaying in phrenology. Clyde didn’t believe in any psychic bullshit. He was down to earth, meat and potatoes, what you see is what you get. He could have been a good mechanic if he wasn’t a better killer.

“I have a question,” W. said from the side, playing my wife Wanda Wannabe in the current scenario. Mother of 11 year old Tommy and 6 1/2 year old Junior, the “wee one” they called him because he always seemed to need to. “Junior, we *just* left the bathrooms at the service station,” was a common utterance during trips in the Wannabe car, being repaired with 2 wheels removed to bring it back down to the normal 4. Back saw to that — felt guilty for shooting them in the first place. Or have Bobby Carter the mill boy do it. Cousin of Clyde, I believe. All in the Family. Speaking of which…

“Wait… me now. What’s the connection between Goldsboro PA and Mortons Gap KY?”

“Well… Back,” I answered with some confidence. “And Place.”

“Place of eating or place of worship?”

It was here I realized the name of the bar and grill we were sitting at was M and J. But it was also described as a place of grace: “M & J’s Place of Grace.” Do they worship food? Anyway, this was 2 places at once we were in. I knew Firesign Theatre was involved again, because we also weren’t anywhere atall, neither here nor there.

Gunslinger Bobby Carter walked into the establishment. We all knew who this was now. He went up to Clyde and kissed him full on the lips, a new and different twist to the old kissing cousins trope.

(to be continued)

Leave a comment

Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0036, 0303, Corsica, Kentucky, Northwest^, Pennsylvania

00360302

I’ve successfully changed Gouldsboro PA into Goldsboro PA by moving Street View into Stret View — alternate spelling again. Now to go inside and grab a celebatory weiner. Celebratory (dangit).

“Hardware? Live Bait? What’s going on here?”

“There’s Back at the door,” pointed out W., still by my side, still helping, still listening. “Maybe he knows.”

Leave a comment

Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0036, 0302, Pennsylvania

alterations (Back’s story)

“Oh they’ve known about the armless giant who stands in the field quite a long time now. The most dreaded thing of all is when he turns his back on them, forgets who they are. Then he’s gone. That moment will arrive soon enough.”

“Will it?”

“Yes.”

“He’s the Ant?”

“Ant’s *replacement*.”

“Yes.”

—–

Both stared at Clyde for some reason. Instinct probably. He was hiding something behind those steely blue eyes of his. Perhaps he stole something. Perhaps he blew someone away. Maybe something between these extremes.

Some say he was rolling in dough when he had none before. No one knows where he got the money. Looks like steel it is. More precious than gold in these parts. Lots of bridges, lots of ships. Metal all used up; none to go around for other purposes. Easier to corner it on the marketplace.

Add in a corrupt mayor and you’ve got the makings of a scandal. But someone with a lot of money has to be behind it, at the center of everything, its pumping heart, supplying cash to keep the crinimal machine well oiled. Why do people do this kind of thing? A challenge, perhaps; notoriety that results. Too smart for their britches with no other proper outlet. If only they could take up painting, letters, dance, drama, poetry, reading. Stock marketplace is their only toilet fodder. How much is steel, how much *to* steal?

In the olden days such metal obsessed people might have turned to alchemy for creative release, done their souls some actual good instead of harm.

—–

“Easy as changing a 4 wheel car into a 6 wheel car.”

“Two problems,” returned W. “1st, there’s no such thing as a magnae.”

“Sure: plural of magnate. There was more than one Jay Gold. Says so in the name: Golds.”

“Highly unlikely,” opined W. “Then the extra letter in named, speaking of name.”

“Alternate spelling.”

—–

“All this is more believable than Goldsboro as a last name. Goldsboro is a *town* name.”

“True enough, I suppose. What will you do with the old sign, the sunny one?”

“Town dump; history successfully altered; 21 years of misery averted.”

“And… this will bring back the alchemy?”

“Might.”

“Better get to the people in the car.”

—–

“Dad-*dy*. How far til Uncle Roy’s? Huh, huh?” Junior held his crotch and did a small jig beside the added 5th or 6th wheel now, indicating he had to wee really bad. Mother Wanda Wannabee took him inside to the Tastee Freeze. “*Junior* gets to go inside,” continued Tommy with the complaining, watching them go through the front door of place. Last of the lunch crowd, as it turns out.

“Now now, Tommy. You know Uncle Roy’s cooked us up a nice meal of mashed potatoes and gravy jam and some other stuff. Steelton’s only 7 more miles. You can hold it in, I mean, hold out til then.”

“Ooohhhhhhh. Just… one… hot… dog.”

“This is not the place for that.”

Someone in the distance shot out one tire, then another and another and another and another… and… another. They were stuck here for a while. Tastee Freeze it is.

(to be continued)

Leave a comment

Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0036, 0301, Corsica, Kentucky, Northwest^, Pennsylvania

00360217

Ant suddenly stood up. “Eureka!”

“I’m right here,” protested bath mate Eureka. “No need to shout.”

“No, um. I’ve had a revelation.”

“Oh?” (suds suds suds)

“Well?”

“Dang. Forgot… distracted.” He watched her raise the other leg now.

“Well sit back down and I’ll suds you up this time. Come here.”

“Alright. Maybe it will (suds suds suds) come back to me.” He suddenly stood up again, backwards from the first. “Back!” he exclaimed.

Leave a comment

Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0036, 0217, Corsica, Kentucky, Northwest^

00360216

“Welcome.”

She stepped out of the box, this “Wilson Fox”, exposed at the core. Looked back. “Cute,” she said of the stuffed fox on top. “Why am I here?” She was enjoying the slumber, but she’d been called out.

“We have to help Hucka Bee.” Plain and simple. No “Doo” in the middle any more. Thanks to Amagon.

“Okay… how?” It was here that Fox probably remembered she was Shelley.

Baker, in the guise of Wolvie here, put images in her head from the last several blog posts. He wanted perspective from a different angle. Female would do the trick, he supposed.

“Mortons Gap, eh?”

Baker/Wolvie nodded. “Although we could also start in nearby Chapel Vile. I checked. The small village in the shadow of Yellowmoon Ridge is still intact.”

“Fearzom,” Shelley/Fox added to this.

“Another option I suppose. Although the castle, Harrison Jett’s, isn’t there any longer. The actual owner came along and deleted it. I think I’ve been banned from the property as well, ha. ‘Nother one.”

“Ha.”

“But Ant’s Castle (Ant Castle) is still present, bigger and blacker. As black as his exoskeleton.”

“Does he have a phone?” logically asked Fox, since he is the purported inventor of the device. “Can’t we just ring him up again?”

“Do you have–” But Baker/Wolvie stopped. He remembered that here — Our Second Lyfe — you just press all the numbers on your phone and you’re connected with whoever you’re suppose to be in the moment. Except 4. Unless you want to dial The Moon.

“I know *you* have a phone. You called me up earlier on it. Yesterday, I think. From that 108/108/108 spot in Perch-Mistletoe. Amazing.”

Yes. In his back pocket. He pulled it out, dialed all the numbers except 1 (4). No Moon this time. “Hallo?” came the ordinary voice on the other end but which was actually Insectoid in translation, as all Ant’s calls were.

—–

“Tell you what, lemme call you back. Kind of in the middle of something.” *click*

But Baker/Wolvie had received answers in the short convo they had. Ant was not at his old location in Motocyclone. Instead he was at Fearzom, just below the granite peak that formerly housed rival Harrison Jett’s Princess Castle. He moved to the mountain after Harrison left, having a free place to stay. Plus his own former castle plot had been taken over by another, who deemed it a “place of power”. Just who this unnamed other is we’ll soon find out.

(to be continued)

Leave a comment

Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0036, 0216, Corsica, Nautilus, Northwest^, Upper Austra^