“Rest assured, Petunia,” spoke Hidi the Witch by her side. “You are not a possession like Sammie; you are *you*. This is a cat’s tale in the end, after all. Not a dog’s.”
“No ‘butt’s’,” retorted the witch. “Just watch… and learn.”
Cherry Island (Scottish Gaelic: Eilean Muireach, meaning Murdoch’s Island) is the only island in Loch Ness, Highland, Scotland, and is an example of a crannog. The island is about 150 yards (140 m) from the shore near the southern end of the loch. The island was originally 160 feet (49 m) by 168 feet (51 m) across, but is now smaller as the level of the loch was raised when it became part of the Caledonian Canal. The increase in the level of the loch caused a smaller natural island nearby, Eilean Nan Con (also known in its Anglicised form of “Dog Island”), to be totally submerged.
A castle stood on the island during the 15th century; this was constructed of stone and oak wood and was probably used as a fortified refuge. It has been suggested that Eilean Muireach may have been a hunting lodge, with Eilean Nan Con the home for the hunting dogs.
“*Now* is the time, Sidechick.”
“Ahh Mr. Murdochh. I havve finally found youu! Show me yourr inner circle, please. I’ve havve come such a verry loong way.” Ruby Fantasie was careful to pronounce another command line the right way. “Read: Orchard City.” The lid lifted.
“Touchéé! *Yourr* Avenuue has beeen topped by a Cherrry, huhh. Aaa (she points), Eee (she points again), Ccc (yet again). Cherrry Avenue inn toto. Not Murdochh anny loonger.”
She looks further. “Butt whatt is thiis Fff Ggg Hhh Iii near the miiddle? Do I neeed to loook furrther?” She clicks.
“Ii doo!” I am insiide the insiide now. Lett’s talk. But I mustt adjuust my lang-uagge to the localls.”
So Ruby Fantasie made a fine day of it chatting with aliens Ingleboort and Flaarph and their human counterparts George and Harriet. She learned much about the history of Cherry Avenue, Lime Street and sandwiched-between Linden (or Lynden) Creek, which is probably the same thing as Our Second Lyfe. That’s where they came from — emerged from. That’s the bit still shrouded in mystery, as they say. Mistery.
This is where I will make my home for a while, thought Duncan Avocado. No, he reconsidered. Not a home — a *base*.
Actually — this and perhaps one other spot. Another island.
Now let’s see where we are on the map.
To that other location…
More the other spot, he thinks after arriving. But this place is crucial too.
Start of a gorge. *His* gorgeous gorge. This was where he was reborn, after all. In Paradise.
But then (he reconsidered again)… I like many of the Fruity Islands, some nearby here…
… some not so much.
I will make *all* of them a kind of base. Fruity Islands as a whole.
I still like it here.
John Cage had come to feel
That art in our time
Was far less important
Than our daily lives
~ “Tiger the Lion” by The Tragically Hip
“So here we are. At the appropriately named Ebonshire. This is as far as you’ve ever gone Monsieur Gold. You are almost ready to transition. See over there?” Parasol indicates across the water to her left. “End of the tale. Tiger. Are you ready?”
But then Monsieur Gold was gone, in a flash. From the other direction, several deer look on, thinking her crazy for talking to herself.
Just later, Parasol goes to confer with the Monster of the Sea about the next step.
“Thank you my friend.”
She continued to puff on her Havana while talking.
“Wee found another dooor out, Duncan, Baker Bloch and Ii. Stiill shut… but sooon.” She puffed again. “You are stiill happy here in the Fruit Loopy Islands, noo?” She stares but no answer. “I seee that you arre. You just continue what you’rre doing and doon’t mind mee. Play as iif I’m not heere, hehe.” She stared some more, then looked behind her through the palms, though the location in her mind was far, far out of sight even with the longest draw distance. “Biig Island, eh? Stiill much to exploore. Snaaakes (pause) Manateees (pause) Liooons. (pause) I’ve even heard there are tiigers on the neighborring island with thee temples. Tiigers, Duncan. Tales of thee..”
“And mee in the ceentre. I was *theere.*”
“I plan to goo to Rosehaaven and shaake things uup a bit.” Puff. Thaat’s my deestiny.” Emit smoke.