Shelley Struthers testing out the redwoods near Somoco where we saw Wheeler Wilson and Baker Bloch earlier. She likes! Not Leni and the full pack of dances, but swell enough. Thumbs up, she gives us the reader while continuing, head screwed back on tightly as hell.
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When the death card was dealt he’d seen enough and turned his back on them, walking away. Ocean it is today, not mountains. Not Ant and his history.
“I”m so glad you decided to come back, Arthur,” she spoke with full heart as the dark castle on the mount continued to recede into the distance, mentally if not necessarily physically. They were wrapping up their honeymoon in Mortons Gap, getting ready to head home.
Wherever that was. Probably Soos Mountain Community I would think. It was all being prepared.
“Well it’s just lovely, dear.”
Like you, he thinks. He’s still smitten with her beauty after all these years. To him, she hasn’t aged hardly a bit. In his eyes. “We’ll get you some new art,” he explains about the missing piece on the wall, stolen from a gallery somewhere they both can’t recall the name of at this point. “Turning over a new leaf in this here newest version of Collagesity we are. Crinimals no more.”
“No more,” vowed his wife Lovey, the former Ms. April Mae Flowers, together the Clyde and Bonnie of Second Life art thievery. She reaches across the table to hold his hand. A team still they are, just on the right side of the law this go around. But then her mind starting wandering back to one particular piece specifically, the one that earned them their nickname of Humanvillians at the time of the steal. She was picking up on the psychic vibe of the community in her gifted way (so many residents with “gifts”!). Intuitively, she knew about the cave, the railroad, the train, the castle, the deity within who needed to return home so badly, whether it be Missouri or Kentucky or Oklahoma or some other state, even a state of mind.
“I’m glad that man I killed in Collagesity is still floating in the pool back there. A constant reminder of the errors of my way. We’ll keep him there.”
“The… gardener,” Herbert Gold, in turn, reminded his wife, thinking they really *both* killed him. Since he was his rival for her hand back in ’72. The Zoo Year; all the monkeys let loose; everything *bananas* (flying about). Who knows who did in who at the time, or who cheated on her husband and/or wife during any particular stretch. That Zoo needed to be closed, become a fossil. That Zoo was also Boos, the gallery, the collages. Did I say ’72? I meant 2017. 2016, actually, although 7 is a funnier number than 6. Sepisexton.
At the bottom of the hill below Herbert and Lovey’s new house, Sepisexton pulls in with Paul. They’re here about the art.
“Just up there,” she points. “Let’s go,” Paul says, ready to spew some acidities.
(to be continued)
Clifton “Carbon Glow” Mahoney taking a well deserved rest at Gloomy Gus after a busy day working on the train and railroad. He’d figured it out. The last *key* was removing the cave front and replacing it with this suspiciously rectangular piece of rock positioned at the top of the town’s cascade, a leftover mistake of residents at the time…
.. because this was obviously the old front of the tunnel that the train passed through beneath the 7th and final spire of Castle Soos, also known as Soos Mountain Castle, or Somoca, not to be confused with the Soos Mountain Community, instead abbreviated Somoco. Anyway, once he figured this out and did the switcheroo, the train slotted perfectly into the hole, spinning keytop on the locomotive fitting comfortably beneath the top now, which the shorter cave didn’t allow. Check it out.
Another thing he had to do to make it all work was to shrink the miniature train found in storage behind the castle (more sloppiness!) from Tiny back to Teensie, an even smaller, original, pre-Robolution version, the one that allowed for proper portal hopping, he felt. He wouldn’t go to Oklahoma next time, even thought that was just a dream. Or if he did, he’d know it wasn’t in error this go around. Something about dunes last night. Check here:
That’s not the first time we’ve brought up Beaver formerly Beaver City Oklahoma in this here blog and attached photo-novels. More soon (stay tuned!).
“And over there is Carbon Glow — geez, I didn’t even realize they were that close. So you see, I’m the one that has to rescue Carrcassonnee from the cave.”
“Why are you telling me this now?” queried Lucas. “I thought — you already went into the cave.”
“No, that was a *dream* about going into the cave I told you. Quite different.”
“Tomorrow for the cave? Out back? Under the 7th spire of Soos Mountain Castle. Somoca?” Lucas was trying to keep straight on everything; not get bogged down in the labyrinth of information again. Carbon Glow? Kentucky? Carcassonne? But with the extra letters to disguise the link. But now he’s telling it openly.
“Yes. Just through the vegetable garden. The Red Door Church should have shut their doors while they had the chance.”
“Tell me about that relationship once more.”
It was here Clifton “Carbon Glow” Mahoney told him about the deleted train track. And the train. Teensie, also known as Tiny (before the 1st Robolution). The train use to pass right through its doors and into the cave. He was going to revive it.
“What about Spider?” Lucas then asks, knowing the mutt had to be in on it too.
“You leave that to me.”
(to be continued)
Making his way through the profusion of lettuce, tomatoes, and peppers in the community garden, avatar Clifton “Carbon Glow” Mahoney, fully transferred over from Baker Bloch and accepting of that new role, enters the cave system from the hole directly below the 7th and last spire of Castle Soos. Probably goes to Kentucky, Real Life, he’s thinking. Pretty sure. Hence the name: Mammoth, changed over at the tail end of the 2nd Robolution, the Panhandle Year some call it.
He switches on the light.
“It was the end of the line for me, Baker Bloch. Car broke down, you see.”
“Couldn’t go further down this road. Had to give over to another.”
“Who is yourself,” the male Baker attempted to clarify.
“No.” Fellow core Wheeler Wilson left it at that. I suppose it was like saying Baker Bloch here was the same as Clifton Mahoney — oops, there he goes again.
“You’re breaking down too,” Wheeler pointed out, staring over at the new figure. We’re *old*, Baker Bloch. Time to yield. There’s… even Liz standing behind Shelley now, 2 down the road instead of 1. Clifton Mahoney—” But Wheeler shut up here, not wanting to revealed too much future stuff again. No need to know about Carbon Glow right now.
Baker/Clifton extended his draw distance out to the maximum (512 meters), stared out across the flat plain toward the mountain he now rents the top of. The castle never rezzed above the bus stop in front of him, although it did when checking from this very spot yesterday. He sat and sat…
Broken once again. Our Second Lyfe has a fatal flaw, he thinks.
Wheeler could view it fine but she could see in the dark. And twice as big. Secret weapons. Among others.
“Nice redwoods over there,” Wheeler tried to deflect. But he couldn’t see them properly neither in the moment. Moving on…
“See? He likes you. He’s staring at you instead of me.”
“And…” said Lucas to the left of us, the reader or readers, “… you are?” He had to ask. The other seemed oblivious to the transformation that happened while they walked up the hill to here, not really a chance meeting since the town wasn’t that big.
“Baker. Baker Bloch. We just looked at the Falls Shack together the other day. You pay me rent. 15 bucks a month.”
“You are not Baker,” spoke Lucas. “Or at least the Baker I know.”
“Well of course–” Baker Bloch looked down at his non-gloved hands, his olive drab shirt, his black-gray shoes and pants. He was not the Baker he knew.
“Explain,” said Lucas. “Explain everything. Start with Carrcassonnee. How did you come up with such a krazy kooky name?”
I sat today with blog owner and blog stranger or newcomber. They asked me questions about my source. I, Carr, came up with something. Rrrrr. RRRRrrrrr. Rrr Rrr RRRRrrrrrrr. I start (continual raspberry noise).
“So tell me about this Church of the Ood. Been a while, you know.”
“Oh things have changed. No more clown sacrifices for these good folk up here. That’s all done and in the past.”
“Explain.” He looks at the pictures up front again, merged at the frames — black and white, yin and yang, he perceives. He’s explaining the situation to himself. “One beneath it all?” he guesses.
“Yes.” Guy sure is psychic, thinks Baker Bloch again, still hanging around Gold since his wife has been delayed. Suspicious but of course he doesn’t delve deeper into a reason. The Golds always seem to sort it out despite the many issues involved now, he thinks, infidelity to name a big one on both their parts. High Infidelity, then.
“I was also thinking,” Gold theorized further, “that the clowns have been exterminated through repeated sacrifices and there’s no more reason to hate them. Because none exist.”
“Yeah, that too I suppose. 1/2 and 1/2.” Gold glared over. We weren’t suppose to use that expression past novel 25, the one that changed everything. Baker apologizes, but he only 1/2 meant it. He of course kept that fact to himself. Because — it was a little thing but such things add up to make big things — he wanted to make it okay to say that again. He wanted to honor 12 Oz Mouse expressions above all else. Now that Spider has been found inside collages again. Spider equals Skillet, he knows through Missouri. Polk County, Missouri, to be specific. Home of Uncle Joe and Aunt Zoe, humanvillians both. He didn’t return the glare but he looked over all the same. Gold — could turn into platinum at any specific turn of events. Reaction. Visit from grand-niece and now grown-up Tessa could trigger it. Because she thought him dead anyway; surprised he was still a part of the Land of the Living after Baker phoned her up on a whim. He’s curious to see what happens when they meet.
And where is Preacher Zoidboro? he thinks. 7:05 now. Everyone is here that’s here so far, everyone is anticipating results from this lone religion of town now that the clowns are gone. They have to find or at least pretend to find some sort of God or else all is still doomed.
(to be continued)