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…
in the progression of sheds red mysteriously switches with orange
“Let’s go with *this* picture instead, Hindsight, er, Golden.”
“Yes, call me Golden. For now.”
“O-*kay*, Golden (*tee hee*).”
“More light, I agree.” Hindsight/Golden knew the squeaky voiced sponge being was always right. He was worshiped in many galaxies.
Those who didn’t worship him were often left in the dark. Pitchfork territory.
He has a son. I’ll deal with him next. Hindsight/Golden turns here toward the CB Dylan dresser. “And the wife.”
The newest anomaly of Rhodenwald is gone as of sometime in the last 24 hours. A temporary madness.
Maybe that kind of madness will also pass for the country as a whole. But I don’t have my hopes way up.
“Uh herm, you’re showing a bit of an ankle there, New Nun.”
“No, Duncan, it’s just that I can’t hate this place. I *should*. But love is here. So much hate in the world.”
“Like the couple in the park,” Duncan Avocado in the wicker chair beside her said, referring to earlier conversation.
He looked up from the bare ankle. “And the cross?” he spoke. “And the crucifix?”
“Yes, they will always be in hand. A second life must be prepared.” She pauses again.
“*Is* this a second life, a second chance?”
“I cannot say there is not love here,” she finalized, looking across the road at yet another symbol of red hate. Dixie seems to surround this oasis of Rhodenwald, a Meat City all around. We’ll have to talk about it further.
Zero was a figure of some importance so I decided to circle around him in a permitted pattern to indicate this. He marked my 5/4th time with his special watch.
Yoko 01 showed up and was mystified why she was already here in Heartsdale. And now the drama continues…
So I’ve killed Arthur Kill, ruminates Marty at his home in Urqhart while watching the full moon revolve atop Urqhart Hill. No extra “u” you’ll notice this time. But someone will have to fill his timeline over in
Kraken Storybrook, hmm, he ponders further. I better get over there and set the stage.
But first, someone else has to “die”, hehe. Dye their hair that is.
If only I had a bathroom with a mirror, hrmph.
Better get down to the local bar; see what changes I’ve wrought with the death of my former top assassin. Maybe even (murdered) Cathy Love Peace Hippie Child has returned? That would be kind of cool.
No Cathy, just Linda, the old ball and chain. Oh well, at least she can dye my hair for me.
“Your place or mine?” she slurred, half talking into her 4th Corona-V tall stout of the night.
Looks like Pitch Darkly is all ready to move in to his newly relocated house in Bena. Just hasn’t done it yet.
I’m picking up on: Barry. Barry is missing?
Better start in the graveyard. If I can just get over this — chasm.
Easy peasy! Now… who will I turn into tonight originally? Barry?
Ah, let’s just go with Pitch. He begins poking around while the transformation continues from Baker…
*This* is what I’m missing. A coffin! Vampires must have coffins to hide out for the night. And something about native soil. He should study all this more, him being a vampire and all. How does he exist and breath and live? What does he eat and drink? What kind of crowd does he mingle with? Other vampires? Not likely — at this stage. Too naive; would be called out (!).
So much more to learn about vampiring. Is that even a word (for instance)?
It’s not a bad fit. If I only had something to read late at night, to kill the time or just help me get to sleep. Wait — I don’t *need* sleep. Not at night. It’s during the day — yes, I remember. I’m suppose to hunt at night. For food, for blood. This is a daytime hangout. I’ll have to switch all my hours around to get by in this place(!). This Bena. Still — it’s night now. I can still go over to the public library and see what books they have. Okay, if this town is full of vampires, would businesses be open at night instead of the day? Would the public library be open? Maybe, even if not, I could just pass through the door, being a vampire and all.
He smartly decides to ring up Bena lawyer wannabe Rebl to ask how to proceed with the assimilation into the community. Good idea. The first thing she recommended upon hearing Pitch’s explorations so far was: *don’t* use other vampires’ coffins. Get your own!
So he went online to the SL Marketplace and picked up a cheap used one from some dude named Barry.
“At the very least, Herbert Gold, I had to move your house. I believe it’s jinxed!”
“The *house* — *my* house; *OUR* house — is not jinxed. It — just doesn’t have a proper home yet.”
“I’ve successfully set it up back in Snowlands now,” I replied to the disappointed, tired, aging man sitting across from me, his tea finished like mine. We were in the house, true. In Rosehaven still, yes. But way up in the sky now. More to be seen *here*, but not down below.
Then I had a realization. We need to talk to Petunia, I suggested.
“Ring him up.”
Petunia came right over.