“Maybe it just means Monkey City, Jeffrey.”
“Means,” he replies.
“I was still just a young guy at the time. Young Kane young guy.”
“They called you Kane?” Tessa tried to clarify about Jeffrie Phillips’ past. He’d regained the ability to talk and she wanted to try to get as much info as possible out of him before a potential recurrence.
“They called me many names. Sometimes Kane, sometimes Old Kane, even though I wasn’t — as stated — and then…”
“Young Kane?” Tessa ventured.
“No, never that. Odd in retrospect. Then Kane yielded to Spankey yielded to Michael yielded to Clark yielded to Woody. It was a whole county full of names, really. And, yes, now I recall about the Kane name. It was short for Hurricane. My actual name was Rainey, and I had a stormy personality.”
Tessa looked at her watch, felt the back of her tired neck. “We better get to the Borderlands again.”
“Right, so I was standing there, in my tuxedo which I always wore in my younger days, clutching my Philip doll — as always, or as usual.”
“We might get into that later on. About the trail…”
“Bunny trail, yes. So I saw one carrot, and the one carrot led to the next carrot led to the next carrot… kind of like the trail of my names from the past.”
“You said something about the Blue Rose,” Tessa said, trying to speed things up. “About *that* particular name.”
“The carrots led right by them. I was on my way.”
“The Bunny Trail leads…” He suddenly ground to a halt. Someone was preventing him from speaking further about this subject!
He remembered, but he couldn’t say.
“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.
Hilter sat back down on the couch. He realized he was already chancellor of Germany. The year was 1939. Wendell “Biff” Carter sat beside him reading the red book and starting to figure it all out. He’d skipped twenty pages!
Right after his reading, he decides he’s going to head over to the Tome Raider and buy a proper bookmark.
“Boy I sure love these new mesh chairs the chief got us, dad.”
“Yes, certainly helps with the ailing back and neck, son.”
“I’m here to file a report about a missing town,” spoke Ben Wolf, towering in his good looks.
Bazooka, the elder of the two policemen, indicates a seat beside the bloodied werewolf in the background. “Take a ticket,” he says, and then laughs at his son about the duplicity.
After that horrible scissors accident the local police are still investigating wiped out both his parents, SEAN “Green” Penn inherited the beach house and made it his own. For one thing, he painted it green to match the color of his perpetual outfit. He was a 28 year old black man with rheumatoid arthritis developing in his back and neck, but gave the appearance of a 15 year old white boy with developing acne to acquaintances and friends. The *green* was always a constant, though, framed by this house. The house makes the boy/man makes the house in a repeating, reciprocal action, like yin and yang but with no opposites involved except that pitting flesh against wood. Each night he slept, they — structure and body — exchanged energy, paint for clothes. One day he might wake up with the body of the house and the house that of a body but it would be far in the future, if so. These things don’t work that fast.
So his parents died, he inherited the house and made it his own. So what about the white/black part, the dichotomy he presented to first himself and then the world? It happened on August 8, 1988
in a town called 88. He woke up calling for his ma. “Mom, mom?”, and then he remembered the accident, the scissors, the *horror*. Never, *ever* run with scissors, but it was more than that. (Yes,) *mother* approached father with scissors held high.
“I will stab him,” she said aloud. “He has chosen to be the voice of evil and I will kill him. When I have killed him something will snap within myself and I will die also. It will be a release for all of us.”
But this wasn’t right either. That’s just a quote from that book everyone is talking about these days. “Winesap,” but with a twist of the bitter apple. It involved the game of rock paper scissors that every Our Second Lyfe avatar can play, large or small, old or young, black or white. Rock beats scissors because it can bang them into submission, but paper beats rock because it can cover up the past, which scissors can then expose through snipping. And so that’s what we’re doing. Making a hole, perhaps one for an Ant.
SEAN’s Aunt Bee wakes up suddenly and with a headache, clipping still in hand. She recalls the past.
She liked to get out of the castles and roam about the neighborhood, pretending she was a kid again. Little Katy Kidd still instead of grown up Kate McCoy. The Hot Spot feuding island shared with Hatfield lay ahead of her, unseen. She had blocked it in her mind with memories of, for example, guitar strumming Lucy here, claiming she was going to grow up and play in a rock band, naming it after something red. “What?” Kate Kidd would ask. Then they would spend hours making up rock groups based on that color, never venturing into other hues. So much fun. One of their guesses was actually [delete name], but Robert Fripp didn’t want it listed in the blog so I won’t (ha). Probably just still pissed I picked Peter Gabriel as the only Sunklands Variant that will never be a Variant over him and also Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson. Thanks SID’s 1st Oz! Thanks Fantastic Aspic! But it was always leading to Tronesis and the robot lady derived from that early synch and the creators behind it, including, of course, Peter. And, I suppose now, TronAxis as he is presently constituted. Where is he anyway?
“Crimson and Clover,” spouted out Lucy after a pause in the listings.
“Oh you’ve used that (name) over and over,” countered Katy.
Lucy puts finger to lips in thinking mode. “Something Crimson anyway.” She set the guitar aside and cupped her head in her hand and stared out the rain splattered window toward the Northeast Castle, giving up for the moment. “I’ll come up with it.”
Of course, after she worked out the Crimson in her system, the correct name was found. Redeye, with herself becoming lead guitarist Angus Girl. Unless it was Buckethead Girl or Slash Girl.
(to be continued?)
I sat there, on my point, watching the odd glow in the distance. Blocks of glow, actually. She approached from behind.
“So you see it too,” she said to end the vision, as if her very voice dispelled it. I looked around. Ruby Fantasie (!).
“Cool tree,” she spoke amidst my studdering, looking over at the live oak. “*Baker Bloch*.”
Of course I invited her inside for tea and cake. She said she just wanted coffee. *Hot* coffee. Ruby Fantasie! And she always declared she would never stay here during the winter. “Circumstances change,” she spoke in a “normal” voice to me, completely absent of the usual, thick Jamaican accent. This is how she instantly knew who I was: Baker Bloch. The user was the only one she lost the accent with, we learned back in photo-novel 12.
“Where do you live here?” I queried politely. Don’t say here, don’t say here! I thought.
“Ebonshire,” she answered, making me wipe sweat off my brow inwardly.
“Oh, that’s nice.”
She moved her coffee away from her mouth, gauging me. “You thought I was going to say here — didn’t you?”
“Maybe,” I quipped back reflexively and defensively. Why did I say “maybe.” I should have said “no.” But somehow I couldn’t lie to her. We were tight that way. User and usee.
She looked around. “It’s okay. I know you have enough problems now with the wee ones.”
So she knows about *them* as well, I speculated, envisioning an axial alliance between Jamacian witch and gremlin-ish wees, like Norris. The handshake: big black on small white.
“What wee ones?” I decided to lie better but was instantly seen through. I suddenly felt stupid… and alone. Ruby Fantasie had vanished before my eyes. I knew she wouldn’t return until I wised up.
(to be continued)
But then he changed his mind, Bellisaria’s Wheelhouse sim popping into his head again. Wheelhouse… Wheeler. Wheeler’s House, he realized. He heads to the Blue Feather instead. Roger Pine Ridge wasn’t home so no loss there anyway.
Inside the Blue Feather, in the Table Room on floor 2 still attached to the Perch Restaurant, just like in Collagesity, another secret meeting was taking place. Hucka Doobie was demonstrating the oddity of Polk County for Baker Bloch. Although Wheeler Wilson still technically owned the Blue Feather, she had always let members of the same named club have access to the 2nd floor. And the first and the third if they wish, but there was less reason to do so, or at least to *linger* there. The Blue Feather (Club) was designed to be an establishment of lemony persuasion, and the roundabout 1-3-2 way of traveling through it was part of this heritage. Its development is traced way back in novel 2, when Wheeler took over the reigns of Collagesity from one-eyed, giant chartreuse alien Carrcassonne in a coup. But now The Man About Time (Pierre) is pondering a return for the deposed former ruler. In some form — he hasn’t decided what or how yet. He’s currently set aside “Floydadada” to study up on how Jacob I. tried to take over the town back in novel 7. It may be handy to track down the similarly one-eyed deity who failed. Last seen in the Gaston estate sim as far as anyone’s best guess goes. But The Man About Time actually checked there earlier today: no luck. Maybe his pet or companion Broken Heart Jackie. Hmmm. Hmmm, again. Many wheels spinning in his head.
“‘Goodnight Violet.’ Like I said goodnight to gallery exhibits in general after that time.”
“She liked me, you know. Violet I mean.”
“I can’t remember. I doubt it. But — you *were* still a man back in those days.”
“Nah,” countered the bee person. “I really wasn’t. I never was a man. You just *thought* I was. I’m not.”
“Well. Let’s head over to Fal Mouth Moon, then. See the related work.”
“Jeepers, Hucka Doobie. It’s *gone*!”