“You are the station master, sir. You must know something.”
“I am… The Devil.”
“We must keep testing games, Chef-inspector *Petty*. Carcassonne is good, but–”
“Carcassonne is the one,” Petty emphasized rapid fire, refusing to play this new one. It was too far along in the year.
Hindsight (Golden) kept waiting for collage elements to show up as repercussions. And there they are.
“So what is ‘Billfork’ you might be asking?” then said Baker Bloch. “Well, on the audio side it’s primarily ‘Boom Dot Bust’ by Firesign Theatre. On the video side it’s the movie ‘Northfork’ by the Polish twins, Michael and Mark. As Tin S. Man alluded to, both feature towns that have to be moved in order to be saved. The town of Northfork is being flooded by a new lake. Billville is threatened by tornadoes, and also, strangely and syncily, a flood at the end, where the mayor has to turn into a fish and ‘swim, swim, swim’ to stay alive.”
Baker Bloch positioned 8 oranges around The Table instead of handing them to people in chairs like before. He was about to fill in the spaces between the oranges with lemons and limes as prescribed by the Billfork Core Diagram when chef-inspector Keat Owens stopped him. “Stand back and look what you have,” he rather commanded. “But –” Baker protested, “I haven’t finis–.” Owens interrupts him by reciting all the numbers that count: “1 – 4 – 7 – 10 – 13 – 16 – 19 – 22. And who is 22?” Baker counted clockwise as well from his south-southwest position, all the clockwork oranges, just to double check. He stared at Owens. He points at him with one of his now orange free hands.
“Correct. Here’s what we’re going to actually do next. Sit down beside me at ‘1’ and we’ll start.” With this, he had light bulb headed Curled Paper go in back and bring out the game that everyone was raving about lately over in The City.
“Do I still need my orange?”
“‘Cause I’m hungry.”
“Go ahead. You can have mine too.”
“Bravo. So what’s this game called again?”
They then built The River from certain pieces inside the box and named it Amazon.
(to be continued)
“I’m telling you, Owens. That handle was *broken* last night when I woke up. Now — it’s okay! I’m not lying to you, though. And I’m *not* crazy.”
“I didn’t say you were,” replied the calm, cool chef-inspector. “I’m just trying to get the facts. So — you woke up when the door slammed. This was when the other Sandy — in the dream — left the store — sans bikini bottom.”
“It was her tail and her little purple skirt, but I guess you could say ‘correct’ to that. I can’t recall her wearing anything else. When the cold, naked air blew in through the door when I went downstairs after I awoke I knew that she was the same: cold; naked; out *there*. The door slammed again, then. The handle was *broken*. Someone *broke* it. The dream was real!”
“Calm down, sir. Calm down. You said the door slammed in your dream and you awoke. Then you said the door slammed again after you awoke. But then you said Sandy — the other one, the dream one — *slammed* her tail and skirt down on the table between male bastards — think that was your words again — Renaldo O’Donnell and King Orange, saying they could have them. Strange you remember such specific names for a dream, Sandy Beech.” Then chef-inspector Keat Owens considered that *this* was a dream, and not the first time. It all started with the remembering of Spongebub. “But this could be the door slamming again,” he completed his analysis. “Except you didn’t awake just then, only with the subsequent slamming.”
Sandy considered this. Two realities were superimposing themselves on top of each other, inadvertently (perhaps) creating chaos and confusion. He simply didn’t know; he simply couldn’t understand. In the moment.
(to be continued)
“Let’s take you somewhere and put you to work, Mr. Author — Mr. Detective. How about Perch, hmm? Wait… that’s currently closed for ceiling repairs. Blue Feather it is!”
“Good to see you back on the case, Chef-Detective Keat Owens,” spoke Baker Bloch over to the new but very familiar face. A bargain for 35 lindens in olden times.
The chef-detective shook his head, as if just waking up to the reality around him. Which was true. “I was on the ceiling,” he said, eyes blinking at Baker trying to focus in. “The building — was being repaired. An art installation. Then…”
“Murder?” Baker Bloch knew it could be the only reason Owens was back. Grand larceny or burglary or even manslaughter wouldn’t be enough.
“A girl. A friend of the 4 squared one.”
Spongebub? He hadn’t thought about that name in a long time. Not since the early days of Rubi. Speaking of which…
“4 men in one,” Keat Owens continued, as if Baker Bloch had said nothing, which he didn’t. “One of tin; one of glass — no, fur; one of steel; and then one of…” He tapered off, unable to think of the last element. That’s because it was imaginary. Baker Bloch explained this to him, along with the others.
“Superman?” he replied about the man of steel. “No, that doesn’t sound right.”
“Superdude?” Baker then altered. “Superguy?” he tried again. “Super*bub*?”
Then the reality of the overarching *umbrella* name kicked in. The chef-inspector was beginning to remember a whole world abducted from reality. “Someone has lost their bikini bottom.” His eyes were as big as quarters now.
Next stop: Bigfoot Bar or thereabouts.
We do not purport to know what’s really going on at this French rr station with its blurring of time.
But could it be something to do with, for example, *this*?
Out on the platform, people walk one way…
… then mysteriously switch directions for the next shot.
A man appears just in this one photographed panorama and then vanishes. The logical answer is that this is the cameraman himself. Why the similar jacket and shirt to the other man here, though? Is it just chance; did they think this resonance funny and thus the jumping out of 1st person perspective and into the photo? Why at *this* station of all places? The Center of the Universe.
At the end of the camera’s journey on the platform, time is different in the mirror…
… from reality.
For the ultimate answers we may have to look upwards.
“She’ll get back here,” he said. “Go ahead… continue.”
As Baker spoke, the rest of the “Wall of Ass.” disappeared behind him, leaving Dali’s paintings alone in the apartment.
A deep metallic voice: “Ah yes, this must be the tube that LRPV used to destroy formerly Zen City and set up his Nowtown to rule NWES Island. Until it too was destroyed by a spawned fireball emitted from the Zen City detonation. The rule lasted about 10 seconds, then. Wait.” He checked his script. He saw the word “improvise” in bold italics after “Wait.” “Uhm. I don’t think that’s right, Wayne.” Who’s Wayne? I look off in the distance.
Sandy knew it had to happen. As he had changed others to make them appear as he wished, so too must he now pay the price. Karma, a word not to be thrown lightly around. He lay in his bed, dreaming he was another. Another Sandy. Seems like Spongebub images are everywhere these days, ba ha ha ha ha.
“Dig that chick at the bar, King Orange.”
“Sandy?” replied King Orange, now staring at her instead of clown and fellow burger baron Renaldo O’Donnell. “Sandy Chic?” he completed.
Renaldo O’Donnell glanced over his shoulder again, taking her in better. “I’d like to get her out of that little purple skirt,” he said in a male bastard way. “Like to get some of that tail.”
Sandy overheard with her sharp squirrel(-like) ears. She walked over and complied. “*Here* (*pop*), you can have them (*slam*). The things were getting stuck in the bar anyway behind me; keeping me from standing properly.”
She walked out of the Bigfoot Bar as they called it, also slamming the door.
Sandy Beech fully awakes with this, remembering everything. The stand, the poster. “Wendy,” he says aloud. “I forgot about Wendy!” He rushes downstairs to see if anything he was dreaming about remained.
Nothing but a cold, naked air blowing through an open door with a suddenly broke off handle. The wind slammed it shut again. Who would do this?
He woke up the next morning to find this basically blocking the way between his new house and his old spherical rocket ship he intended to use to fly down to the city and scout out the place. A coffin, he realized after a pause. He noted that it was held up by a kind of teapot shaped object which he didn’t recognize immediately as a water faucet. His plan of world domination was in jeopardy. The originator of Pan-Z had arrived.
He sat on a plywood cube he’d rezzed underneath a blossoming cherry tree behind it — Apples only spotted him after first seeing the coffin, the “teapot”, the tree, the cube. The coffin made a diagonal between him and his green colored nemesis. Appropriate.
Apples could barely make out the tiny voice when he announced himself, but thought it sounded like, “I believe you have something I want,” which would make sense in the moment. The two entities representing the forces of Pot-D and Pan-Z had come face to face at last. Spore was threatening Apples with death if he didn’t get what he desired.
Apples’ senses were finally waking up. He sniffed the air. Someone or something was inside. Rotting.
“That person inside is *you*.” Clear as a bell now.
Before she left the double peaked mountain, she said goodbye to next door neighbor Oranges, who you may remember as Appleyon from our last photo-novel. He’s switched sides: he lives on the east part of the west side of the double peaked mountains. There’s significance there. Apples and Oranges in one basket.
“I — have… nowhere to go!” she cries between sobs, hoping for the obvious. She knew Oranges had fancied her for the longest time. She’s playing her final card.
Oranges looks on, slightly sympathetic but mostly amused. He offers her a drink from his demonic vending machine blocking the nice view down the mountaintop. “Jedi tea?” he says over. “It might help to cheer you up, Pumpkin.” It was an old game they played with these names, always (an) orange (object) for the green one and green for the orange one. “Okay, Lemmie.” She couldn’t help herself and changed a sob to a giggle in the moment. But he had no intention of letting her stay. Or did he? It was a Somerset dilemma. Another one.
Apples’ plan hatched next door was working perfectly. Or was it? He stares at the teapot hoping for an answer that never came.
Maybe he should ask the apple tree suddenly appearing outside instead.