Category Archives: Pipersville/Sink X
We better get back to the ‘X’.
He was dreaming of that creature again who lived at the bottom of the Blue Feather Sea. Olivia. With aspects of Tracy but also different. Obviously a mermaid, yes, but something else as well. Whale? He can’t quite put his finger on it. But — different. Unique, even.
Something about the patterns.
The Mermaid it’s been called for many long years now, son,” spoke Uncle Barnacles to Craighead Phillips later on. “It’s why, it’s why…” He couldn’t finish his sentence. But Craighead could translate: It’s why he can’t remember what year it is, let alone century. Craighead tested him later. “17th?” UB ventured.
“Mary, keep blocking the door.”
“Buster… DAMM.” Pitch Darkly repeated to the receptionist. “He must be in your database. He’s been writing me for going on 2 years now about this place, and his studies in Sinkology.”
“OH,” Melissa Pageant exclaimed, looking Pitch over better. “You mean the *vampire*. A tiny, like his wife. Except she is a tween.”
“A tween?” Pitch was unfamiliar with the term.
“A tiny that can also be an un-tiny — normal, er, like you and me.” She studied the tall, bloodied vampire again. “I mean, like *me*.” She was thinking that Pitch might be another type of tweener, except between normal and giant this time.
“Sooo,” Pitch attempted, “Buster is just a plain ol’ tiny.”
“That’s right Pitch sir… darling. But he can turn even tinier. A bat, don’t you think? My English is still not polished, excuse me, even though I have also been here 2 years. Many, many people come through this place. Tinies are handy…”
“Yeah, yeah, I know. Buster tells me all about it, how they specifically recruited him. It’s because you can see around them better when in flight. I mean, they can see around *themselves* better. Works well for the scouting.”
“That’s, um, right Sir Pitch.” She looked at Mary now. “But your wife — she is different too?” Mary hadn’t moved an inch since blocking the door a couple of minutes back. Hands on hips, per usual when standing in place.
Pitch glances over at her. “She can sit down too. And fish. Lord you should see that woman fish. She can really reel them in, can’t you Mary?”
“That’s right, Pitch,” Mary readily agreed in her normal, cheerful voice. “Perch is my specialty. But,” she quickly added, “perch is the specialty for the whole continent, er, whole *world*. I bet there’s some in that pond we passed on the back corner of this place. You know, inside the small Linden pine woods.”
“Yes,” the receptionist responded, “there is fish there that I assume. Perhaps your perches too.”
“Ahem,” Pitch urged, indicating the computer and the database pulled up on it. “Buster. Buster Damm, and that’s, D-A-M-M. Like an actual dam but with an extra ‘m’.”
“Oh, that’s funny.” The receptionist giggled briefly. “Like, er, DAMMastock.”
“The sink: Finsteraahorn-Dammastock. To go alongside our Grossglockner-Schrekhorn.” The receptionist’s pronunciation was immaculate now. Pitch surmised that she might know German too. Japanese and German, hmmm. What were we dealing with here?
(to be continued?)
“It was a meeting of the Pipersville brain trust. Cindy A., Jim A., and Todd A. A different setting, certainly, than the Hole in the Wall the general public knew them from. The Tipsy Trio some call them, like Your Mama. She knows them all too well, she thought — back in the days they were best mates, her being a kind of unofficial 4th member of the club. Jim’s Club — ahh yes. That was the name. Because Jim was the ringleader; on the catbird seat. Now that Keith had fled the scene. Bower-Brown. Undercover. Famous, even infamous, but also not known atall. The sink did that to people, affected their minds. This was proven by the theorems they were working on at the time. The bank had 1 room where they could test subjects, but there were others. You could call it a time machine, but that wouldn’t be taking it far enough. Kind of a space machine as well. No, let’s call it an *Option* machine, both through space and time.”
Preston Weston was cutting the z’s by then. Craighead Phillips, the more moral Option, decided to call it quits for the night. Long journey back to Old Wagon Road or thereabouts to pick up where the other one left off.
“We have this road running straight here, and then the same road running to the side as well. Wonder what it means Option 01?” Pause. “Option 01?”
Turn. “Now where’d he go?”
“You know, son, these wearable pipe chairs come right here from Pipersville back in the days. Hence the name.”
“Cool, dad. Um, cool, heh, that you’re hanging around more now. I sort of, I don’t know, *missed* ya.”
“That’s great, son. No, I’m back. Or at least more back.” Damn sinkhole, he thinks to himself again while staring down at it. He’s glad now he planted that big Tree Green 02 back in the days as well, since it now helps impede his view of the bottom. Along with that big piece of plywood the neighbors left just sitting down there. Cursed sinkhole. Maybe just start a petition to cover up the thing. We have the Professor Suckaluck death story to get the ball rolling. Rolling, rolling, dead. Doorknob dead.
“Dad?” asked Preston Weston, still clutching his zapper gun. “Are you in thinking mode right now?”
Craighead Phillips Option 01 turns to his only child. “You’re one to speak about thinking modes.” He points to his head. “You have a whole *world* in there, son, heh heh. Your mother can’t wrap her brain around it.”
“Are you asking me to tell you a stor–yyy?” Preston Weston queries expectantly.
Craighead Phillips takes one last drag off his Chesterton cigarette before snuffing it out on the cement porch. “Nah, I’ve got to catch up with my other self, the one who cares less. Just wanted to come visit and see how you’re doing, kid.”
“I’m fine. So — you’re not going to stay the night?”
“Nah. Your mama and I have patched things up pretty well but not to that extent — not… well, let’s not go that far quite yet. Maybe within a month or so.” Maybe within a month or so my other self and I will tire of exploring north east south west on the continent, he thinks. Away from this blasted sinkhole. Anywhere else. But maybe they could *all* go away. At least for a bit. A vacation of some kind. He decides to test the water.
“Son, if you could go anywhere. And I mean anywhere. Where would it be? Where would make you happier in the world? Mars, I’m guessing.”
“Aww dad. You know the answer to this.”
“Not the Pipe Room. Don’t say the Pipe Room.”
“I… I wasn’t going to say that.”
“Because we don’t talk about the Pipe Room,” Craighead Phillips insisted.
“I *wasn’t* going to talk about it.”
“Son. That’s where your mother went off her rocker. When she was just a kid. Only a little more older than you. Did I ever tell you that story?”
And he thinks *I* have an overactive imagination, Preston Weston ponders while wondering how he can get out of a 15 minute soliloquy himself at this point.
“Come on, Preston Weston. It’s time to go into town.”
“Aww, maww. Do I have to? I always get burrs on me passing through that small forest on the the way, heh.”
“Now, now. That cute, little Felicia Mae Appletree might be at the laundromat, hmmm?”
And her *mother*, Preston thinks. Saturdays are *so* cool. He resets his zapper gun to smooch mode. “Okay. You talked me into it.”
“Almost there, Preston,” Your Mama encourages.
“Jeez! Dang burrs.”
I’m just going to pass that place by, Your Mama thinks when stepping onto Brown Street, named for 1/2 of the famed Brown-Bower team of Sinkologists. What put Pipersville on the map!
And those too.
“Jeez, ma. Walk on the sidewalk will ya.” But she didn’t want to get too close to any of those doors over there. Too tempting…
“What happened to the laundromat?” Your Mama asked aloud.
“Creepers ma, I-I don’t know.”
She throws her sack of clothes down in the middle of the road in disgust. “And no water in the sinkhole (as a backup). Damn sinkhole.”
“Maa!” Preston protests, knowing you’re not suppose to cuss that sacred cow ’round these here parts. He scans the area to see if anyone overheard the faux pas. Your Mama cusses again. And again, beginning to stomp on the sack of soiled clothes with all her might. “STINKING SINK HOOOOLLLE!” she hollars in crescendo, then collapses beside the battered sack, crying. Preston goes over and tries to comfort in his own, special way. “Aww maa. Not the tears again. Did, heh, I ever tell you how Antarctica became frozen?”
“Preston, dear, please. Not now.” Not ever, she thought. Because she’d made up her mind. She was leaving.
Spiky-headed Craighead Phillips shut the book. “And that’s how Preston Weston got lost in his dreams, Katy. No tether to reality any longer. The End.”
Tracy Austin (Clown) weighed in. “I don’t think that’s an appropriate book for a child, dear.”
“I disagree,” gruffed Phillips in his whiney voice. “It’s got kids written all over it.”
“Yeah, dad,” offered Katy, wise beyond her years (but, after all, not a kid at the core). “Couldn’t you, I don’t know, chip in or something. He was *your* son after all.”
“Yes,” spoke Tracy again. “I agree. One of your Options should have been chipping in.”
Phillips sighed, realizing he’d have to go back in time again and switch things around. Damn sinkhole.