“Tell me what is troubling you my dear. I hope you like it here in Chicken Itza.”
This is *not* Chicken Itza, Chesteria Arthur thinks. And I’m not doing this tonight.
“Always looking for love, aren’t you Marcus Fox Smartville. I have an aunt down in SIFton. I’ve heard the rumors.”
“Well, ahh,” I attempted to explain. “You know. Things happen. I sometimes get a little carried away.”
“And you’ve still got that primmy rose with you. Primrose… primmy rose. That’s where it all started for you, right?”
“It was, let me tell you. YOUR SIM 01. Neither North nor South. Then the second (02). That’s where you found *me*.”
Ah ha. A clue! I thought. Thanks Sweet Alice! Now I just had to finish out this awkward meeting. She stared steadily at me. A member of the church choir she was, and also the prayer group meeting immediately afterwards. Was this…?
“No,” she answered, as if reading my mind, shocking me. But then I remembered we were already talking about the Room before the rose diversion. She was just answering a question I’d already asked about 2 minutes ago. Might as well be 20 years ago. Then she did it again.
“20 years. *Not* 12 as some think. Give me credit for aging well! It was a long time ago now. I’ll give you this before we — both of us — move on. The retaliatory strike was at Golden City, in case you didn’t know.”
“I knew that,” I replied.
“Golden City to Golden Sink. The Truth Brothers wiped out.”
Ahh. The Truths! Both of ’em. Such horrible luck. First the house with the fire, then the house they were replacing it with by an even greater fire. Nuclear. Was this what Biff Carter meant by the second gun?
“No,” she answered. She’d done it again. Time to move on.
Sweet Alice waited for the Magic Bus out of Pipersville. Sweet Alice asked for marriage to Jim A., who she knew as Jim A. Brown, owner of the Diamond Club and keyboardist in the resident band The B.’s. Her father unsurprisingly said no. Hence the birth of the Gno King legend and the entrapment of the fair maid inside the Indecypherable Tower until rescued by Master Ben Bolt five long years later. Only he could break the code.
“What reason do you give *now* for the ‘no'”, she begged before leaving the town perched on the edge of Sink X. Everyone was starting to feel the radiation effects, either directly or indirectly. “Pipes,” he plainly put it to her from his soon-to-be-established Kingdom, which was actually anywhere he physically stood. “Pipes, table, door, bars, um… do I need to go further?” Sweet Alice automatically assumed a modest pose where she covered he clothed body with strategically placed hands. He didn’t need to go further.
As you can see, Commander Blue Bear Y, this so-called *Real* World is interfering with our examination of the continent. In my opinion, it must be *destroyed*. What say you, Preston Weston of the Far Reaches?”
“I can do it right now with my zapper gun. Ka-BLAM!”
“No,” spoke Blue Bear Y in a calmer, rational voice. “Both can co-exist in the same space with each other. We are at the ‘N’, which was always suppose to be.” He points upward, toward the Earth. “Continents there, too. South America, Africa, Eurasia, some others I can’t remember. Austria I believe.”
“Ka-POW!” Preston Weston of the Far Reaches emphasizes.
“No,” repeats the commander, motioning for PWotFR to lower his weapon of mass destruction. “We will instead superimpose the two.” He looks upward again. “Let’s see, Africa corresponds more to the continent we are examining.” He keeps looking at the spinning sphere. “No, I believe South America would be a better match.”
“Africa,” states Preston Weston. “Let me at ’em.”
“If I may interject,” requests King Null, in pieces himself and not fully conscious of what he was before, “I’d say (the Real World) is backwards from the Second one we are currently trapped in — er existing in.”
“Trapped??” asks Preston Weston, aiming his gun at nothing now.
“No, that was a slip. Excuse me Lord Commander Blue Bear Y. I must check on the chicken. It should be almost broiled by now.”
“Of course,” Blue Bear Y said in that calm, cool voice of his. So compact and educated he was. Someday… someday…
Your Mama entered the command room, Raggy Too in tow. “Your Papa should be arriving any minute Preston. Why – aren’t – you – DRESSED??”
“The jellyfish has eaten the lion.”
“You need to STOP it, Preston.”
He stirred his spoon randomly in his bowl. “Mama. Can I go out? I know it’s raining…”
“Preston. You can go out when it stops raining. This afternoon sometime. Now eat your cereal. I have to go to the women’s club today and you have to look after your little sister Robin.”
“No ‘awww’s, young man. Suck it up and eat the cereal.”
Cereal, he suddenly thought. Circles! Cereal circles. Two of them. But where? How? The jellyfish ate the lion.
“Spongebob Squarepants” was playing on the tv. Robin’s favorite show. Baby Jane was too little to have a favorite show. But of course Jane would go with mama. Too small for him to take care of. But Robin — unfortunately — was just big enough now. He had a new responsibility and he didn’t like it.
But the dreams. He could always withdraw into the dreams when things get boring here. Robin is small — *tiny*. She’s riding on the edge of a car with a madman at the helm, spinning and turning and spinning and turning. She wears a big R on her blouse. She’s happy, carefree. ‘Wheeeee!’ But then there’s the giant baby reaching into the tv, grabbing her off the car’s edge like King Kong to Fae Ray. Did I get those names right? He’d watched that movie last year. Empire State Building. He wants to go visit now. See where the monkey hung off the side of the building. Visit the top where he made his final stand against the fleet of attacking airplanes. *He* is King Kong. He’s being attacked from all sides, “wrrr! wrrr! wrrRR!!”
Sweet Alice’s father was King Null, obviously conceived before he became all jigsaw-y and stuff and was known merely as Richard (or Ricardo to some). This was the fault of Bishop, his closest companion now that the Queen was dead. Long live Queen Mae, fairest in the land, protector of the realm, instigator of none. But the Bishop — different alligator altogether. A crocogator, even. He pulled a Brutus on Caesar; took away his humanity; made him like he was. Sometimes likes attract as well, and this is the case here. King Null: only his now separated body pieces know the full picture. Let’s listen in…
“Move over,” Bishop commanded. “You’re in the center again.”