Category Archives: Rubi

Muff and Bermingham

Sikul Himakt faced a similar choice as before. Across the bridge from him here lounges an elephant, a male in this case named Eli. If he instead follows the river bank to the right on this side, it should lead him to the path beside the waterfall that was missing in the parallel forest. He decides he has to find out sooner or later about the village. He goes right.

Sure enough, there it is, just as Lou described.* Excitement!

He heads up.



After having explained the best he could about what happened to the man Wheeler Wilson knows as The Musician, the red alien Morris excused himself and faded from view again as he had done once previously. He warned Wheeler to just stay put here in this arid skybox and he would attempt to bring The Musician back himself. “Don’t move,” he said. “Else you may never be together again.”

She quickly tired of exploring the various structures in the now opened up skybox. Castle Knight with its projecting red spires, for example, only contained a picture of who Morris called Ted, described as “another employee” of this mysterious Lou he kept bringing up, a fairy being he said owned the place The Musician went to.

He also stated that The Musician was not awake but asleep in her realm. “I’ll find him and rouse him,” Morris promised just before he disappeared.

Wheeler waiting, and wishing she had a good book to read.


* compare with end photo of this post:

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The Musician chased Scotty past the still unused Hollywood Talk Show Studio set up on the edge of the Muff-Bermingham skybox…

… between the partially de-walled SoSo Gallery with its recently altered (now red and green) Oblong 17 collage and the back of the cave Scotty and his two fox mates had just manifested inside of…

… up to Morris’ projected house or workshop also on the edge of the skybox. Here the fox stopped, but not out of tiredness. To indicate something. An already winded Musician walked up to see what he was barking at.

“What is it boy?” asks The Musician to Scotty. He didn’t recognize the image of the famous basketball figure before him regular readers will now understand is recently retired NBA power foward and former San Antonio Spur Timmy Duncan (also pictured on the aforementioned Oblong 17). But he did recognize something about the ball — there were, in fact, two of ’em, one partially overlapping the other. The foremost appeared to be three dimensional; the back one Duncan actually grasped seemed to be more a natural part of this two dimensional representation. The fox’s yelping attention focused on these balls.

The Musician touched the front basketball to find out more information if he could…

… and the Duncan figure quickly flipped around to become somewhat different: now Duncan appeared to be holding this *three dimensional* ball directly.

Scotty stopped barking and took a few steps backwards. A diagonal darkness began to wash over the Duncan image starting from the lower left. The Musician took a couple of steps back as well. Scotty then rushed over and eagerly jumped into his arms.

Another portal had formed.

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little runaway

“You can come out now, Wheeler and Musician.” Morris called from outside the cave, holding his own fox still. “The lights aren’t flickering any longer. All clear signal.”

But when they emerged from the cave, Morris became flabbergasted. “*Why* do you have two foxes, Wheeler? What happened?”

“I don’t know. They both liked me. They didn’t take to The Musician. It just happened, Morris. Why does it matter? We both made it through.” She looks around. “Ooh nice. Everything has opened up.”

“Look,” says a pointing Musician. “There’s the caravan, all safe and sound.”

His point moves to the left.

“And there’s the building we only saw the top of before, now apparently in full view. Let’s go take a look Wheeler… Morris.”

“Giant tree here as well,” adds Wheeler. “Nice job Morris.”

“I didn’t do any of this,” responds Morris. “I just figured out how to get here. Yes, everything is exposed now. This is Muff-Bermingham in full.”

For some reason, that sentence didn’t sound quite right to Wheeler but she let it go.

“There’s more,” continues Morris. “But first: the issue of the foxes.”

“What do we do?” Wheeler asks the red alien. “Just set them down on the ground and let them run back into the cave?”

“Yes,” answers Morris. “Except we were suppose to have one apiece.” Just then, the second fox that jumped into Wheeler’s arms began to fight with the first. What ended up happening is that the second squirmed out of her grasp and fell onto the ground, running off in the direction of the caravan in a panic.

“Great,” exclaims Morris. “Just great.”

“I’ll go get him back,” offers an animal free Musician. He begins running in the same direction as the fox.

“Scotty,” pouts Morris, holding his own fox even tighter. “Should’ve seen it coming.”

“The Musician is pretty nimble. Maybe he’ll be successful in catching him.”

“Maybe,” says Morris to Wheeler. “But I sense our plan has run afoul of something. We’ve been sabotaged.”

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double the fun

“Aww, look Musician. It just hopped up right in my arms. Who’s a good foxie?” The fox Wheeler holds yelps softly while she pets its head.

The second fox was more warey. He or she eyed the Musician suspiciously. “I don’t think *mine* likes me as much,” he says while staring back.

“Oh go on. Pick it up. This one’s so *friendly*. Don’t be a scardy cat.”

“I mean, why are we here playing with foxes anyway? Where’s Morris?”

“Oh Moriss Smorris,” counters Wheeler. “We have foxes! Adorable, lovable foxes. Go ahead. Pick it up,” she repeats. She just knew that The Musician *had* to hold that fox. The desire was overwhelming. “Go ahead. Call it to you. Say: ‘Here foxie foxie. Jump in my arms. Who’s a good doggie?'”

But her urging created the wrong effect. Suddenly she had *two* foxes in her arms.

“Oh dear, hee hee.”

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knoll and hole

The Musician woke up Wheeler the next day to the tune of “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes, played on a gothic violin purchased in a VHC City music store several days back. He’d been saving up for months. And he’s already dubbed the steep hillock he plays upon in the above picture Fiddler’s Knoll, a natural perch for such creativity. As fine as the musician is playing, and as interesting a song as he’s covering, Wheeler still awakens upset. She had no water to bathe with the night before. All the scrounging around the various corners of their compound — nay, their *prison* — had produced basically nothing of interest. And they were unable to scale the walls to see what was outside. No flying here as well. Trapped. But today was another day and perhaps Morris would return and give them more information.

Wheeler yawns and stretches her arms as she exits the caravan. The Musician halts his playing and looks down on her. “Past 10 now,” he explained. “Waited long enough to practice.” He then begins another song, which he introduces with the title and composer. “‘My Sweet Lord’; George Harrison,” he says, and immediately leaps into it.

Wheeler walks over and sits on one of the logs at the still brightly burning fire in the compound’s center. “This place stinks,” she says.

The Musician halts his playing again. “What’s that dear?”

“I said, this place *stinks*! Did you hear that?”

Sensing the mood, he gives up trying to practice for now and rather stumbles down the knob’s slope while cradling the violin in his arms, meeting Wheeler at the fire. “I don’t think it’s too bad,” he says, sitting down on a log beside her own. “I have my knoll now, my practice perch. I’m pretty happy here.”

Wheeler simmers a second before responding. “No… I meant this place *smells*… smells bad. And what’s that beside the fire? Looks like a bit of colored shoe.”

Just then a hole opens up in the cliff wall opposite the direction of their caravan with only a slight, brief rumble. Morris emerges.

“Ahh, I actually found you here. Good you’re up. I hope you slept well, or as well as possible. I heard there was trouble locating water.” He then stood unusually close to the fire, shuffling and kicking his feet around on the ground in front of it. Again, Wheeler and The Musician missed the hints.

“No water, yeah,” Wheeler said. “Tougher for a girl.” She glared over at The Musician, who moved his violin to the opposite side.

“Well, no fear in that now. I found a portal to the outside. It was those darn foxes all along. One for each of us. I’ll go first, just to make sure it’s safe and it works again. Give me above 5 minutes before heading in yourself.” He moves around the fire and leaves just as quickly as he came, exiting through the hole again.

Wheeler only waits about 30 seconds tops and then bounded off the log and toward the opening. “Come on Musician,” she beckons with a wave. “I want to see what he’s up to if we can.”

Inside they found the cutest little things possible.

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there and here

“The sky looks like Mars,” Wheeler opined. “I think this is Mars.”

“No,” countered Morris, who had been explaining what his home was for about half an hour now. “This is truly the legendary Muff-Bermingham planet you’ve heard so much about. Muff-Bermingham may have been a *conduit* to Mars, I’ll admit. I don’t have your experience in that realm. I only showed up day before yesterday. I’m a newbie, as they say down here. Or up here.”

“What’s that was over there?” The Musician asked, indicating with a head tilt the projecting spires of a structure beyond the rimming brown rock cliffs of this habitat.

“That’s something in the works, let’s say. Things are a bit plasticine here still — melting plastic.” Morris took a deep, satisfying breath through his nostrils. Wheeler and The Musician had suspected nothing in that direction; just thought it was a different planet smell of some sort. “I have few land resources to work with,” he continued, staring into the fire. “Already, the SoSo gallery had to be stolen from Collagesity below us to create an effect I desired. *We* desired.”

“Who’s ‘we’?” Wheeler asked.

“I think his name is Lou.” Morris paused, uncrossing his legs. “Or her. Anyway, we’re still working on that as well. I do know that one is red and one is green. Stop and go. Like Muff and Bermingham. I’m sorry Osborne Well couldn’t show up in person to greet you as well but… land resources again. Collagesity may have to make additional sacrifices. But at least your Spongeberg the Destroyer has been put to bay. Is that the expression I’m looking for?”

“If you mean that Spongeberg didn’t effect the destruction of Collagesity between (the two halves of this novel) you seem to be correct,” Wheeler offers. “Instead of VHC City we are here, in Collagesity but not in Collagesity. Like the legendary Moon and its own (Moon of) Moon.”

“Like Mars,” The Musician says to Wheeler. “You’ve told me quite a lot about it. Sounds fascinating.”

“I’m projecting you’ll learn to love Muff-Bermingham just as much,” Morris pipes up. “This is just a foothold, a start. In several hours spotless day will return into splochy night. I will leave you to your own devices now to explore, gather, prepare.”

With this he simply fades from view in front of them.


Back in VHC City, Mary/Chuckles ungrasps Pitch’s cold white hand extended across the table and stares into the dark corner of the room behind him.

“Um, your Timmy Osborne Well is fading out again, my love,” she states with only mild surprise. “It’s as if he’s trying to reach somewhere else, maybe a place he can become lively again. Wonder where?”

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Dike van Dyck

“I think we’re ready.”



The Musician woke up with a hot head. I don’t mean he woke up angry. His head was *hot* ow ow!! He jumped up from the bed and screamed downward. “What the f—!?!?”

Wheeler rolled over on her couch at the far end of the caravan and took in the spectacle. Smoke was billowing up from the floor at the upper corner of The Musician’s hobo mattress, right where his head is usually positioned. Outside through the door: fire itself. This place where they had been “living” for several days appeared not to be in the secret Muff-Bermingham Room of VHC City any longer. And they weren’t clowns — and with no other clowns passed out from the night before strewn about the place as per usual. The smell of scorched plastic was in the air.

Wheeler and The Musician stood together. “Something is different,” he says as the pain in his forehead begins to subside.


Just beyond their view from the inside, Morris waits paitently for them to come out and discover his presence. “Boy these clowns sure burn good,” he exclaims while watching the fire grow even brighter. “12 prims saved right there.”

Welcome to Muff-Bermingham, Musician and Wheeler.

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