“We’re both tall for our species,” spoke Albert. Maybe we should bury the hatchet, get together. You’d have to have an operation of course. I’m not taking what you have down there currently.”
“You’re joking, right?” Sometimes it was hard for Franklin to tell.
“Of course.” Albert was somewhat reformed, having almost died over at Sporminore in the last photo-novel, 35 (period). He’s kind of seen the light. He returned his butterfly curtains from his formerly very special room to Curtis’ just the other day. I believe we have a photo of him doing so in the media library, along with some attached dialog…
“So I come here looking for the Umbrella girl and instead find you. Under an umbrella.” He looked over, he looked up. “Explain.”
“We’re different people,” said Franklin. “I sit on the blue pillow, which represents positivity.”
“I resent that,” shot back Albert quickly. “*I* represent positivity… in the now.”
Franklin realized this was so. More memories kicked in. She was Shelley before, but also, behind that, Wheeler. She was Wheeler. She *is* Wheeler. She took him in, realizing she was sitting beside fellow core Baker Bloch instead of prevert Albert. Only the blackbird linked them together. And the hat(s).
“Take off your hat, Albert, and I’ll know that you speak the truth.” Could he?
(to be continued)