The house seemed empty. But it had a portal room.
In the thin woods eyes were watching.
Maybe 1/2 and 1/2.
We should walk back to GASTON.
.daor eht ssorc mih gnihctaw ,nacnuD desserpmi na denipo ”,onimoD ,naem uoy tahw ees I“
She glanced past Harrison Jett through the window. “You know, I thought that was Bigfoot out there for the longest time. But it’s not. It’s a man — carrying a woman. The woman looks like 2 arms.”
Harrison Jett also looked out, not impressed. After all, he was a man fused with a woman as well. He was the real deal, the Real McCoy. He told this to Charlene the punk, then asked her how the heck she got *here*. Last he’d heard, she was in Gaston.
“Well, Barry X. Vampire — *sorry* — *Jeffrie Phillips* got tired of me and separated his place from my place. Yeah, I was in Gaston for a while. Yeah I saw Firesign Theatre perform there, a house band at the Rhino. But then I started hanging around Randolph the Pirate; hanging around that Dark Peak of the two, the one without the topping Christ.
“I believe he’s called Jim in some realms,” offered Harrison about the bastard buccaneer while sipping on his mysterious Xplicit drink. She had a parallel drink, held in the opposite hand. Male and female, once more. They should clink and get it over with.
She had to ask. “Those — apples. Are they real?”
Harrison Jett looked down. Were they?
(to be continued)
Now eyepatched Jim the Bastard Pirate, still working from his magic typewriter, looks around the 2nd floor of his new Bogota Gallery in NWES City and sees it is good.
Soon he would reach the 3rd and enter a new level of understanding about what happened to Hucka Doobie when she was pushed into that collage to the left by thought-to-be friend Tammy Whatammy back in photo-novel 7. Instead: fusion.
“I remember that day like it was yesterday,” spoke Jiff the former staff psychologist at Gaston Police Station. “Gastion, they sometimes called it when they were all drunk and slury down in the basement beside the torturing devices. Best to be intoxicated down there. Too many ghosts and memories. But it was the only place they could get away from chief Golden
Josephine Jim and expect to get away with it. Chef Golden Jim Josephine often joined them. Cook at the upgraded Joint Joint, now a hip place for those who think with their hips instead of their head. Which was seemingly everyone around here. The Dark Peak dominated once more — Dark Days again.”
Jim the Bastard Pirate, formerly Randolph the Bastard Pirate, was typing away as Jiff’s cartoon-ish, Ickle voice yammered on. The words almost came too swift. He needed something better than a manual instrument for his craft, his trade. Because, he determined early on, this one will *sell*. I’ll hide all the things I’ve plundered from others, like that graphite gray map on the, let’s see, wall behind me. There. He turns.
Half of it remains screened for now.
138 dead. Chain reaction. The words reverberated in his head like a broken record or something. A repetitive sea shanty — that’s better. He remembers to paint again. Dreamy dreams can wait. He tries to set them aside but more return en masse. Chain reaction. 138 dead, 138 dead, 138 dead. Perhaps it is time to write; maybe the *other* voices will drown out *these* voices. He moves from the canvas to the typewriter to begin a long overdue project. He inserts a blank sheet. Like life itself, waiting to be written upon, he thinks. Fresh start. He presses caps lock and centers the page 2/3rd up with 3 backspaces. He types a G, then an A, then an S. He stares at what he’s typed so far. T, then, O. He pauses again. N to finish. It has begun.
That should keep the bastard busy for a while.
Jeffrie Phillips decides to try something different out with Charlene the punk tonight. “Are you there?” he im’s her.
“Yeah, I think so,” she replies back after a lag in her parallel spot. “There’s a rhino, so…”
“Yep, that’s it. So… go ahead and see if you can get through the door. Then I’ll try with the gate.”
“What happened to your last girl?” asked new gal pal Hina 3 days later at Teepot’s sake bar (and art gallery).
“Ah, she was just in a different place than me,” he spoke truthfully. “I wish her well.”
“Your place or mine?” Hina then asked boldly, not wanting to waste the moment.
“Mine.” But Jeffrie returned to his downtown apartment alone and without another tag along girl. He seemed to be flipping through them more rapidly these days. Must be the heat, he wrote to end.
“Two Joint Joints, side by side. One in Gaston — here. The other: NWES. How could this be?” Then Greg Ogden remembers who he is, deep down. He loses the hair, the campy hobo shirt. The Red Cross returns.
He recalls bastard pirate Randolph two (motel) doors down, not one to cross by any means.
4×4: it was all coming back to him.
He has to reach Climax.
He wasn’t budging, this Big Black Smoke. “I have as much right to be here as you, red boy,” he declared from his cheap, green box seat. “You ain’t paying no rent.” He settles back, crosses his arms behind his head. “Neither am I.”
Greg Ogden argued that he is about to pay the rent but is still trying the apartment out at times.
“Times what?” replies the larger, black man. “42?”
Greg didn’t know the answer to that. He didn’t know everything. He remained silent, contemplating whether to leave. But *he* had as much right to be here as Big Black Smoke. This remained a stare down for now. He told him that.
“Hey,” then declared BBS. “You ain’t that red dude who’s going to marry that red haired gal in the church next door this coming Sunday? She’s been talking about you. About how you become cross sometimes.”
Greg said he wasn’t this person, although he likes to dress in red. Greg Ogden explains that he use to be a red mechanoid playing in a punk band with 2 other, differently colored mechanoids. “We got kicked out of Olde Lapara Towne due to a noise ordinance,” he furthered. “We came here to escape, to *hide* and regroup. But this place…”
“I know I know,” responded Big Black Smoke, looking around at all the red walls surrounding them. Like a cell. “This place changes you.” He was starting to feel sorry for the boy. “You know Golden Jim, the police chief? Don’t confuse him with Golden Joe. That’s a chef. You see what I mean about this town, boy? This New (Lapara) Towne? Same as the old town, hmph.”
Greg says he’s trying to leave but can’t. “Stewart’s dead,” he offered, nodding toward the window with the bay view. “Newton owns that ship out there now. That’s his brother.”
“I *know* who Newton is.” Big Black Smoke resisted the urge to call him ‘fool’, but he’s certainly trying to step off a ledge now. “You can’t leave once you stay here long enough.” Big Black Smoke had figured out who Greg Ogden was, and that this was his old apartment. Golden Jim had told him about the 2 Greg(g)s, one with the extra ‘g’, or, better (explained Golden Jim), the ‘g’ *stolen* from his last name. This theft bought him some jail time. Golden Jim wasn’t here then, but, again, this was legend. Like the day Pierre Schaeffer rode into town and stole all the Berries and took them off to La La Land. Even nimble Thimble couldn’t escape. Ahh, Thimble, thought Big Black Smoke, traveling back further in time to a thinner physique. Those were the days. The Dark Ages. I wish those old times could return. But Pierre changed all that. Him and the eye guy.
“This is *Jasper*, fool.” Big Black Smoke couldn’t help himself. “You’re stuck as much as those *flies* over in Central Park!”
He was having a dream again of that planet. Totally red, totally rusty. He was looking for Stewart this time, but Stewart had passed on to another realm. The Land of the Living. Because, in the dream, *he* was instead dead, trying to make his way back from, shall we call this Hell? No, Greg Nash Ogden corrected himself while staring around. Too luminescent, he decided, to be that place of anguish and gnashing of teeth. But certainly red like that place. No fire, though. Better wander around while I have my wits.
He eventually stumbles upon the underground base, vast in size.
A robotic weapons factory, at least in part.
But no food. He realizes he might starve down here. To life?
He receives a name on a back wall. Mars.
Greg Ogden wakes up, his mouth dry as desert.
He stares out at Stewart’s boat in the bay while calling.
“Hello, Stewart?” Indistinguishable answer. “Oh, cool. Stewart’s big brother. I remember you.” Answer. “Oh… sorry to hear that.” Answer. “Oh that’s too bad, oh man. When’s the…” Tangential answer, still indistinguishable. “Well, my deepmost condolences, Newton.” Final reply. “Goodbye. Let me know if I can help in any way.” He hangs up with this. “Guess I won’t be using *Newton’s* sim skipper out there tomorrow after all. Maybe never. Mr. Babyface is going to be *so* disappointed. I’ll have to find another way off this isle of isolation. Poor Stewart! Disappeared inside a watery sinkhole.