She heard the alley whispers.
She knew she had to go back to Creepy Alley, where *it* happened. The falling of the pipe. The raising of the voice. 3 notes now she could sing that she couldn’t before. The town (Pipersville) even welcomed her back.
She felt like a mannequin, stuck there until I told her she could move forward. I sensed she hated me for that; didn’t like to be controlled. I moved her toward the alley. I’d done this before.
Still there. Perhaps expanded, even. There was a confusion, a mix-up, involving Your Mama and herself dealing with this alley. She always knew this. She dreamed about it often, this so called Creepy Alley. The only… the only way to deal with it is to make a song about the place, she then thought, influenced by the energy, creepy or not. She remembers Zach Black owning a (Texaco) gas station along it, with a back door importantly without an eye in it — he made sure of that. But then, yes, Marion “Star” Harding, Cowboy for life, bought the station, although he didn’t really *buy* it. Said money is no option. She recalls that as well. Then Jim’s Diamond Club right across from her here. She remembers… she sang… Here she looks down at her fur outfit. Why do I *wear* this all the time. Must be a dream. And indeed, here comes Jim, now Jim A. or Jim Brown or Jim A. Brown (altogether now), walking up the hill toward her, dead flesh still in place and not fallen away.
“Jim,” she says, but remembers she shouldn’t call him that. Or she needs to *add* onto that. “Jim A., Jim A. Brown.”
But suddenly he was walking away from her, as if forward had switched to backwards in an instant, a blink of the eye. “F-ing cursed alley,” she cursed.
I have found you again stone well. Well well well, as they say.
“Who is that girl over there,” said Zach Black in a low tone across the table to Lena Horned. “I’ve seen her before… somewhere. Maybe a fan?”
“Maybe,” Lena said between bites of food, not looking over for fear of *him* again. She knows he’s lurking.
… we will all be able to see the Devil and know that he is we.
The horse spotted her from the saloon, even neighed at her, seeming to beckon her toward him. But maybe it’s just the attraction to the sim of Horsa in general, and what it means for the future of this continent, indeed Our Second Lyfe. We are trying out the whole “give peace a chance” angle, and “love love love.” Interesting. And Lena Horned is here too (!), gigs extended to perhaps the end of the month. She’s hinted around that she might record her comeback album here, if she can find a suitable barn or something to transform into a studio. That’s why *she’s* here. To make sure all this happens in the most correct patterns.
Better get back to the boy, she thinks. He seems a bit down today; probably that attempted contact with his father. She shakes her red head with this. 102 — the *boy* is *102*. Must be. Not Rael McCoy but the *real* McCoy plain and simple. And with a more well respected and rounded sister. She’s next…
And following the advice of her smaller self she can still meet in dreams, she’s decided to put a tattoo on her back and neck, although it’s covered up by her rose shirt from this angle. *Rose*. She’s forgotten about the renegade Wells over at the Blue Feather Sea. Wonder if she’s procured that telescope she needs to see beyond Uranus yet, further into the corners of Space. Because Space indeed has a limit. She knows all about that.
Oh: he’s also the Mouse as well.
Someone knocks at the front door.
“*Itchy*. Don’t answer that!”
One of these things…
“Tell me about this mix up of blue and black, Primary Rabbit,” he requests from the shell chair while listening to the insane croonings of this Indian Wells fellow. Inane even, perhaps, like he doesn’t even know what he’s doing. Like The Shaggs, he thinks, good girls but totally misguided. But Frank (Zappa) liked them and thus they can’t be all bad. I wonder what Frank would think of Indian? I think he had an Indian in his group one time, The Mothers. But maybe it was a Black man instead, he corrects. *Both*, he realizes. In one. And a Cowboy as well.
“Have you gotten it yet?” Primary Rabbit squeaks from beside him, still deciding what primary color would go best with his vest.
It was a peculiar dream for the boy. A happy Green in the midst of a sea of unhappy Red. And he himself: that color. He looks down at the world that he doesn’t realize is Earth but knows is a globe. “Our Second Lyfe looks strange today,” he says, studying it. Maebaleia — thicker or something — and over there, Zindra, he thought. The forbidden continent, ha ha. I’ve seen pictures. And up there: Corsica. Loooonnng. But Nautilus… *Nautilus*…
He wakes up. Also stirring Lena Horned is ready to go home and he’s in charge of seeing her there. Groggy Zach Black says he’s going to stay a little longer and drink some more coffee and sober up. I was the sane one right now. But was I unhappy? Did I really have a good boss? Yes, he decided, looking down at his real yellow skin on his hands and arms. I answer for Red but she also answers for me in the lonnng game, which I’m playing. Because one day I’m going to marry her, different species or not, he determined then and there. Lena was leaning on him now, still struggling to put one foot after another. It was up to him to protect, she said. Use the powers of the Great Black Swamp, The Abyss, if needed. But *carefully* and also only what you absolutely have to. The Abyss, pheh, he thinks. He’s not sure it is a real place yet.
In another dream, he was a circle that had been straightened out.
(to be continued)
He told me to look for Green…
“Alright, let’s give up the gig. *Master*.”
He said to give peace a chance and that Horsa is the place. Go see Lena Horned. “She’s the complete package,” he reiterates with others.
after the gig
I was back in Bellisaria. Red’s daughter, or at least the (old?) neighbors.
I decide to head west into Cowabunga. Misdirection? We’ll see.
I spotted something to the west after I entered the northeast corner of the sim. Just plain colors. I went there next…
What was it?
I see. A *witch*.
I’m sorry to inform you, BLANK, that Red is dead. Blonde is where it’s at. Or is it Blue these days? Hard to tell — Blue from Black I mean. Because it’s definitely Blue. Unless it’s Red. Is she dead? Better check. Raise the body!
Ahh, *White*. Should’ve guessed.
Red was very much alive and took White’s place over at the next plot in the graveyard that might stand in for this here photo-novel (29). She saw and felt things she didn’t like…
…. made her quiver and quake in her shoes…
… then got use to them…
… after the shock wore off.
She made peace with the grave.
She can go home again.
He was paler behind the smoky glass but Duncan knew who this was. Indian Wells, part Asian part American. The 3rd wheel to complete the black and white, male and female synthesis. Because everything that was understandable needed to be read… red. It was his job (to observe). He noted the presence and moved on, later thinking how he could get the lost musician back to the other Wells. Little did he know that sister Rosie was behind the disappearance all along. They were studying him (!).
White Mage: I think I’ve changed my mind. I *will* join the new storyline.
(to be continued)