Category Archives: 0112

Ives got it

Just up the hill as it turned out. Former site of a little place called Collagesity.

—–

“What do you think it is?” said Franklin, apparently to the tall, hiding pampas grass in front of her but actually to fellow greenie mate Apples even more hidden within. The teleport invite placed her right in the center (good one!).

“I can’t see,” logically answered Apples, because of the grass and all. High it was, but not her. They hadn’t partaken in a week. This was all on the straight and narrow.

“Right right,” replied Franklin, still gazing upward instead of inward.

“Describe it to me.”

“I will.” And Franklin counted off the stories for Apples, 7 in number, summarizing that it looked like some kind of prison with its bleak outer facade, a tower prison. She was starting to get nervous, butterflies in her stomach if not upon it. Assumed to be assimilated Franklin had somehow escaped, thanks to this type of Central Park location, a hiding spot that, as I said, is the most-least obvious place to look for her. Little did she know. We, of course, let her go, let her be independent from Shelley once more, but at a price. Checking the downstairs works sometime after she arrived, she saw she didn’t have a Gang of Willard any longer. Roberts would not be pleased — if she could ever reunite with her again. Maybe *Roberts* has it, Franklin thought last night in her loneliness. She had the dog, she continued to rationalize. She has a history of buying unusual magical objects. Maybe this is something like, I don’t know, a *Christmas* present, red returned to what was now thought to be only purest green. Sins paid for by another.

“Any signs of life? Any signs of the light?” Apples broke Franklin’s reverie.

Still backwards guitar holding Franklin studied the faces, the windows. Nothing but plain surfaces, outer masking inner as well. “No.”

“We’ll wait it out until dark here. Then stealthily make our way back to Campground Central and Unch. He might have some ideas on this as well.

“He’ll probably just start blathering on about how Collagesity is bound to return, and that a Linden owns the prime part of the land now and that the buyer she’s specifically selling it to for one of her kind’s dollars hasn’t reciprocated yet.” It will come back on the marketplace, the sentient tree predicted with its rustling leaves, emphasized this time by a couple of falling limbs even. Unch was confusing offworld marketplace purchases with inworld land purchases, but they didn’t bother to correct him.

“Hmm. Maybe we should be quiet for a while,” Apples said within. And so they were.

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0036, 0112, Collagesity Fordham, Lower Austra^, Nautilus

more, eh?

“Who ordered the early bird special of wavy worms?”

“I think that’s you, Jennifer.”

“Patsy… here.”

“Of course.”

“Over here,” she called to Debbie Angie from the dive down the way, if not the docks. There’s an alley in back there somewhere. Patsy and Melissa had found it earlier, just don’t ask them how or to recreate their steps. They requested: just bring it over to the fish stand by the sea where we’ll order the rest of our meals,” not liking the looks of the other stuff on their yellowed menus. Eels? Don’t think so. Eels cannot be fitted into meals. But the worms (fries) seemed enticing to light eating Patsy formerly known as Jennifer. Until she took a bite. Fishy as well!

Etherea was sweeping the stoop in front of her dockside apartment when she spotted more spiders, all red and in a row this time like military ranks or files. She warns the town of the invasion from afar, Ohio I believe, staying with her cousin Angie Apples (Apples?) until the fumigators from neighboring Triggerfish did their tricks, trying not to use too many guns in the process although it made them happy to do so. Etherea was all for that to speed the process up from her afar position — grenades, bazookas, bombs even, whatever they had, although the townspeople always complained of collateral damage if so, like butcher Jim, like dentist Arthur, like author Butch who had just written a book about the sea from the perspective of an old man with scaly skin. Dabbled in oil too, applying it to his body as well as canvas because he was a painter alongside being a writer, and he also had rigs set up just over there in the bay until his untimely death in the First Spider War, as they called it afterwards. The spiders regrouped, having turned from red to even more menacing black in the great oil spill of ’32, and then forged forward with the second invasion, bringing an end this time through collateral damage again to James, Jack, and Joe, a tennis player, a basketball weaver, and a furniture leg remover from Uptown, Downtown and Sidetown respectively. All tragic losses the remaining townspeople felt for hours afterwards, maybe weeks or, yes, years. Years I meant. Hours to the spiders perhaps with their much shorter life, but they weren’t grieving until the end. Triggerfish. Atomic now. Boomb!!

And yet here they are, back somehow. Rosy red again, just like at the beginning, like nothing had transpired in the meantime, like all that effort, that suffering was for naught. Etherea screamed and dropped her broom to the ground, seeing black magic when it appeared in a new guise.

Shelley spent the afternoon with Bob, oblivious to the spiders, then returned to the motel to find this note from Debbie and George, excusing their sudden disappearance. “Uncle Jiffy has crabs. See you at the wedding!” They were just that desperate for good food.

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0035, 0112, Nautilus, North

00340112

“Hello Jupiter.”

“Hellow Howward,” Jupiter the Savage returned in a deep voice, not breaking his pace.

“Never mind me,” he called after him about his current situation with the grocery cart and all. “Just doing a thing for a person, heh heh.”

—–

John exited the grocery store with his egg and his other egg at 07:15, bound to return to his underground apt. to devour one of the two and have the other stolen by his amoral and unfaithful girlfriend Peg, but for a particular reason. He was trying to balance karma because he stole an egg from Jake only yesterday while he had his back turned, looking for an old videotape to play in his just set up antique VCR. He enjoyed it so much that he had to run to the store to get another. Back to the egg. The sky spit lightning when John went out later to the grocery store, having finished the 2 videos with Jake that he had owned and then bought at the video store next to the grocery store. In combo with the earth shaking thunder, John knew he did wrong by now, and that some curse was in effect. Like what happened day before yesterday when he paid a visit to Martha.

Martha was one of the uncloned people in town. In fact, that’s how you could tell them from the rest. Almost all the names of the clones, besides Clyde, started with either a J or a P. The non-clones: M or R. Martha, a seer, was going to tell him how to find a plot for his current comic book he was writing, or so she promised. He was almost done and still there was none. The art was amazing, impeccable even. Yet when the main character talked (or squawked), nothing really meaningful came out of his beak. Martha said, “You must bring your protagonist to life, bring him into *this* world.” “Virtual reality?” John queried. “Yesss,” came the answer. She studied the cartoon book he had brought with him further. “This wo-man protagonist, I’m assuming, with the googly eyes…” John peered over at the page the old seer was viewing, not immediately knowing what she was talking about. “Oh,” he said, seeing the error. “That’s not googly eyes. That’s a censor sticker. This is the one the publisher wants me to show people before the R version is actually released. So those googly eyes, as you call them, are covering up… see?” John ripped off the bandage.

Lightning struck, thunder sounded. And now it was happening again. Bit actor Howard Hector Duck had shown up in a grocery cart outside a supermarket in the virtual village of Ontario off the coast of Maebaleia in the eastern hemisphere of Our Second Lyfe. Playing the role of Hector Herbert.

“Hey bud!” he called after John L. Brown, going the wrong way out of the store with his eggs. “Over here!”

“Oh *dear*,” he muttered when turning around, dropping one of the two in the shock and invoking karma again, SPLAT. One of his eyes was gone. After John had his remaining egg stolen by Peg later that night it popped back out again, good as new to the relief of both.

(I’m not sure this can be continued, ha)

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0034, 0112, Wendy-Ontario

00330112

Second Life rebirth. I’ve heard about this — the return of Philip Linden. If only this guy would stop screaming at the TV every time someone kicks a little ball around a field I could concentrate.

“Can I take this outside?” Edward Daigle indicates the paper.

“No. Have to read it here,” replies Doris, who’s running the bar tonight in place of Debbie. Soccer is her thing and soccer you’ll enjoy here while she’s working. No Masterpiece Theater for her, no basketball or any other sport either, although when the Olympics are on she’ll sometimes switch over to rugby, which currently only features women’s matches. “Rugby is similar to football,” she’ll rationalize to the attendees at the time. “Women need support too.” But the support only lasts until the next soccer game of any gender variety revs up, which always takes precedence. Good to have your priorities straight.

“When is this… *sport* over with?”

Doris checks the clock behind her. “10,” she answers. “8 now. Quite a wait for a read.” She takes a better look at the rugged, broad shouldered man in front of her; leans in closer. “Tell you what, buy me a drink at 10:05 and afterwards I’ll find you a nice, quiet place to skim your newspaper.” She picks up one edge of the paper and expertly flips through all 20 individual pages in a split second, like it was a deck of cards. Talent. The woman has talent with her fingers, Edward thinks here.

While Edward mulls the offer over and the possibilities involved, the man on his right side starts pointing to the screen, saying in a non-shouty voice, “Blackjack.”

“Blackjack,” he repeats, still pointing. Doris is mixing another drink for the actual shouty man. Great, he’ll probably just get more boisterous now, Edward ponders, as he screams at another kick or something.

“Wrong sport,” Edward says to the pointy, non-shouty customer.

“Blackjack.”

Doris glances at the screen while still shaking her drink. “What are you saying, Donald? Do you want to switch to cards? You know we can’t do that here. That’s a Debbie thing.”

“Blackjack,” he says in the same tone of voice, no higher no lower. Debbie keeps looking at the TV, trying to figure out what he wants or what he’s thinking. She knows Donald is a special case. Highly psychic, some say. Most say, “plain nuts”, but a good number of people in town, a growing number at that, respect his talent for numbers especially. If he, for example, says there’s 12 frames to that queer animation continually playing over in the Towerboro Record Store, then that’s how many frames there are. Stranger named Daniel found that out just the other day. Car careened over a cliff into Thirteenville next door just afterwards — bloody mess. So if Donald says this is 21, let’s say, then Donald is most likely on to something.

“Blackjack.” Edward thinks of cards, of the paper, of the flipping. Doris realizes there are 21 players on the field, not the regulation 22. Blackjack. A whistle sounds from the referee.

“Blackjack,” he says over the call.

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0033, 0112, Jeogeot, Towerboro

Prince

After the kiss, he was different: taller, darker, more withdrawn. He danced to the beat of his own drum (she thought as he drummed his hands against the side of his legs). She realized this wasn’t going to work. Nothing cook’n in here.

Time to open up the oven door and make a withdrawal.

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0032, 0112, Frog Isles, Lower Austra^, Nautilus, Yd Island^

00310112 (left leaning)

“Good to see you again, Ruby.”

“Good to see you, Baker B.”

“I — didn’t expect to see you here. But, then again, I don’t expect to see anyone anywhere anytime.”

“Surprises, I know. All around.”

“Yes.”

“What do you wish to know tonight? To close.”

“Thank you. How about Nautilus to start. It seems super important still.”

YES… MAYBE… NO.

“Interesting, and how about Iowa?”

YES, YES, YES.

“How about that, Ruby. Iowa.”

“Yes.”

“And the transition from Nautilus to Iowa?”

YES.

“How will this take place?”

The planchette moves to the center of the board. Stops. Circles a bit. Stops. Circles a little. Stops.

“Center, then?”

Circles a bit. Stops.

“Is this Fife?”

“I’m picking up something about automatic writing,” interjects Ruby at this point. “Someone is drawing something.”

“Okay. I maybe see where this is going.”

“A *spirit*, yes. Summoned by a *witch*.”

“That’s you!” Baker Bloch exclaimed, then saw it manifest beside them.

“Inter-resting,” spoke Ruby to end.

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0031, 0111, 0112, Iowa, Lands End, Lower Austra^, Nautilus, Wild West

200 Motels: A Space Oddity

“We’re closed,” she states levelly to Duncan while he says nothing, just peering in a store to see what’s there. We’d be closed to you lot anyway, she thinks while continuing to sweep, not paying him any more attention. Long… and dusty… road. Where’s your raspberry girl, she additionally thinks a few seconds later. Word’s gotten around.

Since she doesn’t have a name, some have just started calling her Annaball or Annabell as a joke, and always in white with the attached, mocking graffiti, like this one here on the northwest train tunnel of town. Always the crossed out “a” corrected with “e” — John Lennon would not be proud. A white girl should not be messing with a black man in any shape, form. This was a warning to all the Annaballs or bells of the world: stay in line; stay in your color.

Three glowing white nuns, white angel in background to reinforce the Heaven aspect, pray for their souls as they watch the heathens up front, also praying.

But not for forgiveness. For enlightenment. How to marry black and white in this town full of bigots and make it work. Two words (again): Helmet Newton. This is the place.

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0030, 0112, Jeogeot, Sunklands^

brown bombshell

Back down at her lake house, cat-girl Coffee phones up Zach to spill the beans.

“Hello sweetness, have you heard the *latest*?”

—–

“Leave??” He spat it out toward Lena like it was a meal of fresh shite. He didn’t like it one *bite*.

“It’s only for the holiday season,” she tried innocently.

“Listen honey, I *know* how these things *work*.” He shakes his head. “Lord lord lord, first Jim A. and now *me*.”

“It’s not… like that.”

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0029, 0112, Cassandra City^, Maebaleia/Satori

third angle

Cory watched the flames licking out the top of the building, thinking it didn’t have to be this hard. Why I could have blown the place up with my mind easily enough, he thought from his position at the corner of the sandbox. All I need is a pretty good night’s sleep (for energy). Indeed, most of the kids attending Paper-Soap school, merged since ’71, were psychic to a high degree. They didn’t need primitive *physics* to destroy anything. Claude Jr. was behind the times, but he was a robot after all, mere mechanoid. The other kids tried not to make fun of his clunky, nay *dense* ways of thinking, but it was difficult, being kids too after all and not having the moral compass of a fully mature adult. One of their “sloooow” projects in class, as they called it, was the atrophying of the swamp down in the town’s southwest corner. In fact, Cory’s study group had brought up the swamp from lake to sea back down to swamp a good number of times now, and recorded the reactions of the residents living around it. The kids were experimenting on the adults. The kids were in charge. As a sea it flooded the sewer tunnels. Dinah’s bartender Stumpy wondered why he could never get rid of the black mold in the bathroom down there. He ended up just having to derezz the thing.

“Can you point me to the restrooms,” a somewhat tipsy customer asked him in tomorrow’s today. “Just go in the sewer outside like everyone else,” he commanded, wondering if he should bring the issue up to the town council, a council also controlled by kids of course. Their powers were ever-present.

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0028, 0112, Paper Soap, Soap

chasm

Finally finished with the bong hits and passing it on, school jock Nick Barkley reveals something to sometimes friend always lover Nef R. Titi about himself that he’s never done before.

“I think (*snort*)… that I’m becoming a (*choke*)… head (*final exhale*).

“You *think*,” she exclaims back with likewise glazed eyes. Might as well be 2 deer in the headlights.

“No (*wheeze*)… you don’t… understand.”

“Oh, I understand.” Nef was always under control, no matter how high she was, or so she claimed. Inside she had her doubts of course.

Nick just decided to lay down the cards and show her.

Open mouth response here; yes, she had finally lost control. She tumbled tumbled tumbled into the dizzying darkness, only to land at the bottom without something of her own. Her last name.

“I don’t know who I am!” she yelled in the blackness of the pit.

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0027, 0112, Nautilus, Upper Austra^