“”What’s wrong, honey? (no answer) Oh dear, are you channeling again? (no answer) Is it… the triangles?”
She sat there all glassy eyed for a while like 2 marbles were planted in her head in place of eyes. Then…
“What you cooking today Eddy?!” shouted the runny man, passing by.
“Hot dogs!” he called back. “But made with veggie stew!”
“Cool! Catch you later, then!” Tom shouted, his voice receding in the distance as he headed toward the far corner of the strange, rectangular green pool that centered the apartment complex they both lived in, this Paradise Town as it liked to call itself. The pool begs to differ, because it also has a name, usually unspoken. Tried to be forgotten.
Common denominator: umbrellas.
“Ahh, my Queen approaches!”
“Just *stop* it,” he heard through the water and mask.
I was dancing with Hucka Doobie under the red car and next thing I know I wake up here. I’m beginning to think this world isn’t real, ha. Oh well. I’ll wait until I’m called again, pheh. Hopefully something out of the tall weeds.
It’s called The Rock, W. And on top, a radio tuned to a rock station currently playing The Beatles. We must look for nodal points (in these here photo-novels).”
“(We must look for nodal points) in these here photo-novels,” she echos. “Find me.”
“Are you Wagner?” No answer.
Baker peers again. “Kind of looks like a man, don’t you think? With a mossy beard and all, perhaps (looking again), a veil. Cap and a veil.”
“Still smoking with the nose instead of the mouth,” Gotham observed in his chair across from me. Me? Man About Time, but changing fast (again).
I stared over at the joined tile on the far wall while speaking. “Let me tell you a story, Gotham, about how I joined a group to find bigfoot. It all started on a porch in a chair. I was in disguise (cough cough).”
I had taken off my shoes in order to help think (cough; *toke*). The cold rock patio (*exhale*) kept me alert and on task, brr. Changing perspective, I knew it had to do with the, um, tent in the same sim. I’d seen this (*toke*) tent before. In Insipid… oh heck, what was the name of that sim. Intrepid.”
“Instabar,” offered Gotham. “I’ve read the attached novel,” he explained. “Pretty good, except for The Man in the exact center. Highly unlikely,” he judged. Side note: Gotham was pretty much the same when high as not high. He’d smoked so much down through the years that he had become the pot. “Hi pot!” he exclaimed first thing in the morning, burying his thumb and fingers in the bag to protract the sweet monie. He’d gotten small so many times…
“I was… *there*.” It was about as much energy as I could muster in the moment. Mustard. Ketchup. Condiments! I realized, mind yelling much louder than mouth could. I need a Hot Dog!
Ripped Windmill Man, as they called him, was assigned the role of night guard for Ruby the green grey Alien, currently holed up down at the fire station for further protection from those darn psychic kids. Half policeman half army man, he was more than equipped to fulfill the duty — overqualified, Ben Bolt said, eager to get the job as well to support his own troupe of kids, 2 psychic and 1 mundane from an early marriage (the former Mary Bolt, now married to Alfred Reynolds the shoe cobbler). His ripped body wouldn’t fit through some of the doors there, he argued. His half policeman half army man training made him all bastard, he tried. Jim Wells, father of Alice Wells who Ben was also trying to woo along with the job, would have none of it. “Windmill’s a fine man. He has 3 ripped bodies that he can strip like a snake or lizard or something if needed to fit through any door. It’s *just* a night guard job, Ben,” he said to a potential son-in-law he didn’t want. “Maybe you should aim a little higher, hmm? How about — manager of the day care; help keep an eye on those psychic toddlers, make sure they don’t get into trouble *too* early.” Because Jim Wells knew it would come to trouble later on as they aged a bit, spontaneous fires being only one potential hazard. “The firemen, the policemen, heck the *army* men can’t do anything about them once they reach a certain age, some say 5, others: 7.”Jim Wells realized he was making a case for ripped Windmill Man to take the day care managerial job instead of Ben Bolt and stopped. His future son-in-law — if it came to that — would *not* be a night guard at the fire station, no way Jose.
Ripped Windmill Man stripped his 2 outer ripped bodies so he could fit comfortably through the door and look in on Ruby. “Everything all right in here?” he asked, checking the corners of the fire station’s storage room again for bugs. He was sensing something but didn’t know what.
“Tell him everything is okay,” commanded unseen Billie Jean Kidd from the side. Turns out Ruby had already been compromised and the firemen, the policemen, the army men couldn’t do a darn thing about it.
(to be continued)
He stood in the middle of 4 sims, looking down at the water. Far Future City, he thinks through his holey head. Metropolis. If only the kryptonite radiated bug hadn’t bitten him he could have seen further, clearer. As it was: an improvement! He might be getting better.
“Snap out of it, bud,” she requested beside me, perhaps also snapping her fingers but perhaps not as well. Choices.
“Hidi,” I answered groggily, as if just waking up, which really didn’t describe the situation but also *didn’t* describe it either. A half and halfer. “Had another vision,” I offered as a partial apology for nodding off. “The music was really good. The music, in fact…”
“Yes?” she prodded, also perhaps nudging me in the ribs, depending on how physical she was in the moment. At least she didn’t slap me at first. I don’t think.
“I’ve… heard it before. It was taking me somewhere else…” I trail off.
Introducing himself to the scene, Deere comes out of the john, but don’t call it that in front of his face.
“Hidi; Kolya; *George*.”
Was I still dreaming? “Slap me,” I said to Hidi.
(to be continued)
She’d basically been living in Wallytown for I don’t how long, weeks at least. She’d taken enough showers to kill a cow, wash a bible head starless black ink sculpture all the way back to clear. She wasn’t done. Someone was with her, urging her on. Her worse half, as she called the louse (see above). This was the Orient, this was India. *She* was India. It was about time for an interview.
India: Glad be here. Glad you like my secret schweet smile.
Me: I missed you in Delhi and New Delhi. Turns out it was American instead of Asia.
India: I like hiding (laugh; smile revealed again)
Me: Chef-inspector Petty is hot on your tail. How do you feel about that?
India: He’ll never find me. And if he did he’s just a mesh object. No danger to him, none atall (smile again).
Me: What of the plane?
India: There *is* no plane. Petty knows.
Me: What of Kolya, who also goes by Pepi and Can?
India: (after a pause, then serious) A schweet boy, but damaged goods. I dare not touch him.
Me: And Alysha? We seemed to have scared away all the main characters.
India: *We* are the main characters. Always have been, you and I (she points to her and me).
Me: Alysha is Asian (I tried).
India: We are done.
She asked me to wait outside until she could clean the place up a bit but when I finally got to go in I initially judged she was instead just messing it up more — to irritate me, perhaps, or just to demonstrate that she was hard at work over here on the outer islands in this witch house. No time for tidiness with so many spells to perform (!), one of which — *which* — apparently brought me here. She said she and her “mates” (fellow witches) bought into the quartz business on a tip from Lisa the Vegetarian who they knew from the Omega continent. “And where are Lichen, Wendy?” I queried after finally being invited in. “Warm your hands first,” she demanded, and after I protested that I was just fine in terms of temperature, she turned around from casting her latest spell and indicated the fire. “Just do it,” she said, so I did and then I realized my hands *were* cold, my whole body, and it had been so all my life. Only now was I truly warm, truly alive even. She asked, “better?”, and I replied, “yeah… h-how did you do that?” “Oh you don’t know the half of it, the half of the *half* of the half. You are merely an apprentice,” and I realized she was speaking truth. This from my warm vantage point now. She was not an irritation any longer. She was a sage, she was a source of all knowledge, a conduit. Just like she had always been. Except I didn’t realize it. Until now.
I suddenly became cold again. I went back to the fire, knelt down and warmed once more. “It only lasts about 5 minutes or so,” she said about the latest spell. “I’m still perfecting it, but: pretty good, eh?” Fern Stalin turned all knowing, all seeing. Pretty good indeed.
Biff Carter was filling in for Philburg Johnson Jones, sick with the pill. Back on the beat for the first time in a while. Cpt. Henry needs to get these boys a new set of wheels, Biff thinks while staking out a rough joint and catching up with his red book, the one with him in it (the *other* Biff Carter). Paper, he ponders while rereading chapter 2 for the 17th billionth time. Sure glad it beats scissors or we’d all be in a fix.
Suddenly: gunshots in the distance. The City was a tough, rough place, he knew. He was not a cop now but a private dick, forced to retire from the force after the Oakley Annie debacle. Gun selling was illegal in the Great Black Swamp and Biff Carter well knew it. He just let it slip, like all those dickhead cops before him. He was just unlucky enough to get caught. Oakley Annie gunned down a bigger gun this time: the mayor of Swamp Fox. And now he’s stuck in this ruddy city of all places. New Eden, pheh. But now: a possible opening. Philburg has a history of illness and may not make it this time, with the pill harder and harder to get over. Phyllis the waiter told him this down at the Red Dress Diner. She’s popped enough; she should know. More gunshots. Should he go check? Nah, not his responsibility. He may not even remember how to fire his pistol after all this time. What was it: Alcatraz? Or maybe Gettysburg. Yeah, the latter. Philburg would know. He was the one who got hit in the foot by the stray shot. This started the pills. Ahh, it all goes in a big circle. He shot Philburg, Philburg shoots pills, Pills shoot… ahh, he’ll work on it. Point is, he may get Philburg’s job because of an accident that happened a number of years back now. Last time he filled in on the force. He could work up to 30 hours a year per his early retirement agreement. And this is 10 of ’em today. Now’s his chance, he senses. No more shooting people (or himself!) in the foot.
The gunshots get closer. At a certain point, it’s obvious they are heading his way. “Shoot and darnit,” he cusses, trying to start the old police jalopy in order to run away from danger. But the tires had gone flat in the meantime. He’d have to face whoever was causing all the trouble head on. Most likely this was their hangout. Was Philburg behind this? he suddenly guesses. Was he… getting back at him? As soon as Biff Carter thinks this, he knows it is truth. This is…