Category Archives: 0008

exit, stage left

“Well, it looks like this is it, Grassy.”

“Grass, please.” Grassy would never get over that he’s a child-like Mmmmmm through and through and will never “progress” to the current state of his cousin Opp — True Opp or Tropp, that is. He’ll never be X-ed out in other words. The shortened name of Grass would never stick. “Yes, I will miss you my old friend.”

“And you my friend. But I’ll return for the weed if nothing else. You certainly haven’t seen the last of me, ha ha.”

“Yes: ha ha. Ha ha ha.”

“Ha ha ha ha ha!”

—–

15 minutes later:

“Would you like to see the painting, Grassy? Er, Grass. Grassy… Grass… can’t remember.”

“Whatever,” Grassy Noll submitted, having given up on correcting her about his name, at least for tonight. “Oh, sure. I totally forgot that’s why you can leave now.”

“Plus the payoff to that loathsome Philip Strevor. And the payoff for, well, everyone that lives here in the swamp village, but most importantly perhaps, Roger Pine Ridge, the great variant. And *you* can leave too, of course.”

“No, my place is here. Waiting for your intermittent returns.”

“Fine, fine. I thank you for your service. I hope the new apartment is to your liking.”

“It’s great!”


Grassy in his new apartment.

—–

30 minutes later:

“So there it is Grassy. A beaut, isn’t it? And it’s all because of that ring Ellen gave me — the power. Catvas here likes it too.”

“I do!” meows the winged feline from her perch just behind.

Grassy moved closer to study the painting more carefully. “Lovely indeed.” He put a finger to his lip here. “But I think I see one detail you missed. We better go check it out.”

“Now?” Bill almost shouted. “But there’s *people* over there. Lots of people. You know I can’t stand people.”

“Most of them are just bots — no one really inside, you see. But let’s go beneath the Mermaid Tavern for a beer beforehand to loosen up your nerves. I’ll buy.”

“You talked me into it!”

—–

“See, Bill? Just one of those silly bots down here. Usually there are a number standing around like zombies.” Grassy’s eyes glaze over here. “And only a handful more right now at the temple according to my inworld map. Perfect time to go. Fate, we could call it.”

“All right. I’ve drunk almost my entire chug-a-mug. One more gulp and I’ll be ready.”

—–

“No, we’ve checked around the whole structure — like the back of my hand now, Grassy — and I can’t see anything I really missed of importance.”

“Look again,” the green Mmmmmm requested. He indicates toward the epicenter of the temple.

“The dancer?” They then jointly stare at the child going ’round the world.

—–

“And that’s it, Sidechick! We’re done with ‘Collagesity 2018 Early’.” They were standing beside Nascera’s Meadowbrook ice cream truck where it all began.

“Just like that? It was sort of an abrupt ending.”

“Bill can paint,” Magus Ellen counters. “Annie can paint. We will assume Mabel can too because of those paint splattered jeans Axis gave her. The great 3-n-1. It’s complete.”

“What *about* Axis? You said time and beach space were altered because he got Baker Bloch to discover Magellan’s broken teleporter one day too early.”

“If you haven’t guessed, Sidechick my friend, my understudy, Magellan is me. I broke the teleporter. But on purpose. It was the only way we could get Opp to come here in the first place and fill the center up with his blueness. Otherwise — all for naught.”

“I’m not understanding. What about, for example, the golden orb?”

“There’s a black and white opening beyond Braynard’s Place that doesn’t concern us. This would be New Eden. Does it stay coupled with New Island through the castle or does it begin to move independently? This depends on a number of factors, including what happens in the haunted Artist Point colony. But it’s a story for another day, as they say.”

Sidechick Corea tries process all this information, then: “What now for us?”

Ellen smiles mischievously. “I have a surprise for you. Still holding his own ice cream cone in his right hand, he expertly whips out another from his left pocket and hands it to his faithful assistant. “You’ve earned this.”

Now let’s leave the 8×8 behind and walk up the road to see that bridge you’ve been talking about forever.”


The Forever Bridge.

END OF “COLLAGESITY 2018 EARLY”!

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0008, 0618, Iris^, Nascera^^

Troll Cave 02

The Bakers stare at Eraserhead Man while he rants. “It’s ‘HOW’S ANNIE?’ for PETE’S sake! And I MADE my successful ‘Return’! No more ‘WORST ENDING LINE IN TELEVISION HISTORY’ talk for ME!”

The Bakers then turn to his riding companion to the dinner, Robot Derak Jones, and stare. “I said I’m *sorry* I forgot to remind him to bring his hearing aid!”

“LEMONADE?! NO THANKS!”

—–

After the party, The Bakers clean up and discuss amongst themselves a more proper ending to “Collagesity 2018 Early”.

“Annie should be in the dunes,” offers Baker Blinker. “Just wandering around at night, lonely after Karl had, er, been forgotten. Do we know what happened to Karl?”

Baker Bloch talked while continuing to scrub omlet stains out of a pan. “I think (he scrubs some more), I think Tropp took his place in the Bluebird Cuddle Van. True Opp, I meant there.”

“The more realistic and human version of the Mmmmmm Opp, yes. The one that came out the pipe on the far side…”

“Anyway, that’s what I’ve got.”

“Seems kind of vague,” opines the female Baker. “How would we go about bringing Karl back, if it could be done? I *love* playing that role, after all.”

Baker Bloch finally manages to remove the last egg stain from the pan; hands it to Baker Blinker for drying. “Let’s go outside and sit and discuss it more.”

—–

“Sun’s setting again, Other Baker. Days are so short here. What is it? 3 hours of day, then an hour of night?”

“Think so.”

“So short,” he repeats. “*Could* we get use to that?”

Baker Blinker takes in the implication. “You’re saying we should just *move* here? Aren’t you? That’s how Karl can live on. That’s how New Island and the rest can continue onward forever and ever.”

“We have this cave, after all. Seems pretty empty overall. Vacated, I mean; owners aren’t around much. We can prepare and cook meals, then clean. We can continue to have parties with Robot Derak Jones, Eraserhead Man, and the rest. Given time, we’re sure to figure out a way to bring Karl back.”

“Write out Tropp,” states Baker Blinker, shifting her weight in the Sunlounger. “Write out Madam Mexico or whatever you’re calling her. Get rid of New Eden altogether. It’s just New Island and The End. Ellen and his assistant Sidechick don’t have to be right about *everything*.”

“Let’s take a walk. Let’s go down to the bridge and turn around.”

—–

“It seems like ages ago when I first crossed this bridge in the Spookmobile, Other Baker. But it was only a little over a year ago. I didn’t remember how I got here to New Island afterwards. The Spookmobile turned into a Love Bug. I guess you were back in Collagesity when all this happened. I turned into Mabel, got out of the car and then sat back in as myself so I could reach the pedals — and I was already trapped.”

“Mid-Hazel,” Baker Blinker responds.

Baker Bloch sighs. “I don’t even like to say her name. Wheeler was *so* wrong* to get in cahoots with her.”

“That’s why we need to blow it up.”

Baker Bloch’s face expressed confusion. “The *bridge*?”

“Ummm…”

—–

But then they made the mistaken of wandering even further — under the bridge and south into the abandoned art colony in the dead of night. Safer Barnaby Point here, but then a couple of steps beyond: Artist Point proper. Someone or something followed them. Baker Blinker’s facelight soon winked out, a tell tale sign.

It was just Baker Blinker, Baker Bloch, and that person or thing alone in there. Forever and ever?

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0008, 0617, New Island^

Troll Cave

“Other Baker,” calls Baker Blinker from the floor toward Baker Bloch, who is helping prepare dinner for four. “I think I have an ending for this one.”

—–

“You can put your wings back on, Blue Jay Wade. We’re done here.”

“Holey moley Big Red! What was that?!”

“Oh…My…GOD. It really happened! It really REALLY happened!!”

—–

Then Fisher combined a sentence and question at once. “I believe we’ve been invited to dinner?”

—–

“Not too bad, Baker Blinker,” speaks a reading Baker Bloch from the floor. “But — I have to ask this. Where’s Annie?”

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0008, 0616, New Island^

Madam Mexico

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0008, 0615, New Eden^^

attempt?

True Opp (Tropp) certainly wanted to pay a visit to the original Adam and his Eve up in ironically named Green Acres to console them about the recent loss of their child Oliver.

But such a long and winding road to get there.

Over Easter break, he managed to drive as far as the Mexico Flats Rest Area, still less than halfway up.

The Others had decided it was enough.

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0008, 0614, New Eden^^

dance

Only minutes later, the dawning sun was shining on an observing Sidechick, still standing just beyond the crossing bridge.

Ahh, beach access.

Mystery crevasse?

The beach. *The* Beach? He then spots them just down the cliff.

A Rainbow Sphere (!). And the Golden Orb, ruler of all here.

Nothing else to do but…

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0008, 0613, Braynard's Place^^

crossroads 02

There was no doubt that Sidechick Corea would have to tell Magus Ellen about *this*.

But which path to choose from the Centre tonight?

He decides on a direction (north) and sticks with it.

Spotted immediately he was after crossing the bridge — and welcomed by Braynard herself, up at the club watching the dancers from her corner.

So she was more than just a brain — she had a host body as well. Dare he join her and ask about The Rainbow Sphere this soon? Magus Ellen warned him about the possibility. Certainly not time to strike out on his own or deviate beyond the ordinary. Plus she had just admitted to the crowd that it was time for her to turn it in, eyelids getting heavy. Perhaps there would be another day, when both were fresh.


A sleepy Braynard…


… hits the hay.

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0008, 0612, Braynard's Place^^

Happy visions

“I keep looking over at that tower, Buurb, and see Henry Winkler keep climbing up and down those ladders. *Henry Winkler*. Does he live in Heartsdale? I guess he has to, given that I keep seeing him over there. From ‘Happy Guys.’ You remember, don’t you? Fonzie Bear I think he was called. I wonder how he got *here*?”

“Sometimes he even looks over here and waves at me or something.”

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0008, 0611, Heartsdale^^

like in urchin

“*There* you are, Gramps! I don’t know how I keep missing you.”

Space Ghost (“Gramps”) turns, takes a look at Buurb, and then faces forward again, rocking a bit faster. “You haven’t changed,” he spouts grumpily.

“I know. I think I’m going to give it another shot with Mabel. I’m not quite ready to end a steady marriage.”

“My boy Baker Black,” the elder Space Ghost grumbles, mispronouncing his son’s name, “said to wait here in this town until the boy turns back into a girl. Then and only then can I go home.” He glances at Buurb again. “And you’re not changing, hmph. So I’m not heading home yet.”

“Collagesity, you mean,” speaks Buurb, who again thought of Mabel’s invitation to join her there to live in *their* new house, she keeps putting it. She’s certainly not prepared to break the bonds from her end either.

“1 1/2 years I’ve been here, give or take a year or two. Do you know how long a year and a half is give or take that?”

“Well,” states Buurb, trying not make *too* much fun of the old man, “that could be a negative half year, meaning you haven’t even arrived in Heartsdale to begin with. You stayed in Collagesity, and, even on top of that, lost a half year there.”

Space Ghost shakes his head, not taking this in correctly. “Babble. That’s all you young folks do these day. Rambles and babbles. You might as well be little robots walking forwards and backwards and every which way — always getting in *my* way, phmph. Now, back in my days… (Buurb thinks: here we go) In *my* days…,” Space Ghost repeats, turning to face Buurb and even shaking his cane a bit at him, “boys and girls remained separate and pure. There *were* no mixed up boy-girls like you.”

Buurbs attempts to remain patient again. “Oh, I’m sure they were around, Pops. It’s just they didn’t tell you they were, um, mixed up. It wasn’t socially acceptable then. It’s a lot better these days with the interwebs and social media educating people about such things.”

Space Ghost wasn’t finished digging at him. “Then *why* did you marry Mabel?”

Buurb shrugs. “I changed over. I knew I didn’t love Precious Snowflake any longer when I began to love Mabel. My sex changed — before I was a woman, now I’m a man. It’s not *that* unusual Gramps. Out friend Turchin McGur–.”

“He’s not *my* friend,” Space Ghost cuts Buurb off. “*He’s* the one who took Mabel over there in the first place. You should be together here or you should be together there if you’re a couple. But not you here and her there, see. Figure it out. Who *are* you? *What* are you?”

“I’m Buurb,” the hobo-man declares firmly.

“You *were* Unch,” Space Ghost snaps back.

“Urch, you mean,” Buurb replies. He’d finally lost his cool. “And it’s Baker *Bloch*, not Black. You don’t even know your own son’s name, let alone the true state of the world.”

Buurb immediately regretted flying off the handle. Kindness, he thought. I have to be kind to the Grandpas. They don’t know what they’re talking about half the time. But also: so much shared wisdom between them. They will be missed, each and every one.

“How was John’s funeral?” he then thought to ask, changing the subject.

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0008, 0610, Heartsdale^^

Queens Arms

“Well pardon *me*, I guess. Robots, hrmph.”

—–

“It’s tough losing your hair, isn’t it Grandpa 02?”

“I suppose, Grandpa 01. Oh. There’s Grandpa 03. Tapping at the window. We’re about ready to commence.”

“Shame about Grandpa 05 last week. Died on the john.”

“We still have Grandpas 04, 06, and 07. Along with us three.”

“The originals, he he. As of about 2 minutes ago.”

“Right. Another beer?”


Grandpa 07

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0008, 0609, Heartsdale^^