I refuse to die this time Jerome T. Newton. I’m going beyond the end of Newton — you — into Oblong.”
“It’s that girl that’s helping you,” Newton declared between clenched teeth. “From the *fu-ture*.”
Chef-detective Keat Petty Owens had already moved on from his stalking ghost to a different gallery. He was staring at the beginning of the second 1/2 of the 10×10. 51. “It’s All Here.”
He even gave his petrified hands back to Newton as a parting gift. Goodbye demo(n) alien. Forever. Maybe.
To Montana. And beyond…
He kissed the cone topped clown head from the back. “I love you,” he cooed. “And I *understand* you.”
He turned and finally saw her. In the flesh! She was scratching her head, but not from something she didn’t understand this time. Lice. Must have got in during the middle of the night. No more sleeping in clown barns!
She hadn’t notice him yet because of all the scratching. Itching and scratching. He could run away — again. But where? Back to his maw? Nah, that wasn’t really an option, although he needed food every once in a while. Tripe: better than entrails at times. It described his life perfectly.
Bubbles, he thought. That’s what I’ll call her. The name just floated into his head like an enclosed air pocket. And once he had a name then talking could commence. “Little girl, little girl,” he began softly, out of earshot again. He knew just how to pitch it to remain unheard. Then: “I’m here, I’m here, I’m — *here*.” The last “here” got through, as he planned. Despite the name (DeBoy, derived from D-Boy or Dunce Boy or one who makes a lot of “D”s and just gets by) this diminutive fellow is quite nuanced and different from us more learned folks. And now he possibly has a friend.
Suisan turned again toward the voice but again saw nothing but a cone. The boy remained invisible to her.
The Olive, some called this oval encasement surrounding Carrcassonnee’s lone eye for obvious reasons. A pickle of a concept, because a handful, an *important* handful mind you, considered the encasement to be more meaningful than the eye and said that it should itself become solid. Another handful, larger but less important, stated that the eye and the encasement are equal, and that a balance of solid and transparent is required. Then the 3rd group, largest of all but with lesser voice in power indeed, said to remove the corrupting encapsulation, discard it into The River to float out to The Sea for possible purification but way away from the deity itself. These are The Clears, wishing The Olive never existed.
And then there’s the problem that Carrcassonnee’s eye doesn’t quite fit into The Olive, and a piece of it tends to bulge out from certain angles. This allows The Eye to be manipulated independently from The Olive, which started all this division in the first place. “See?” cried the second, larger group to the first. “Carrcassonnee *wishes* for The Eye to be independent of The Olive.” “We can *shrink* The Eye, just a bit more, so that it will fit inside The Olive and be gone,” returned the first. “Oh, we are *not* allowed to do *that*,” shrieked the third from their weaker but more voluminous corner. “Grow The Eye beyond The Olive. Or, better, throw (The Olive) away! Into The River, into The Ocean.” And so it goes.
Carrcassonnee has some ideas of her own about the heated debate between the 3 groups. “Make me mobile,” she wants to cry out from her fixed position. “Allow *me* to go out and get a *better* eye, a *better* olive to encapsulate it. Then we’ll see what’s what and who’s not.”
She wants the ability to READ her A B C’s and 1 2 3’s correctly.
The analysis is finished. The Nun and The Monk relay their information to The Man About Time, who then concocts an Action Plan. Carrcassonnee must be exercised! But he misunderstood what Brother Joseph and Sister Mary actually said.
She finally turned away from the photos. “I know how you feel,” she spoke to acquaintance Marsha “Pink” Krakow, working on a friend. She called her Marsha instead of Pink for now. “This feeling of — someone watching you. Hoooverrring above you even.”
“Is that how it was with *you*?” Marsha spoke over, curious about the resonance with this strange girl who also frequented the Wired and Wireless upstairs bank of laptops. Usually searching for crime stories this girl was, though, not rock bands.
“Shhhhh. There he *is*” she whispered over as Tom Banks entered the store from below.
He admired his work before looking over and spotting Frankie.
“Hi!” he exclaimed to his star photography pupil. “And helllooo,” he said creepily to Pink. He immediately recognized another star.
Surprising me, the Main Church of Cheese (or just Main Church) still exists in the Pond District of Heterocera. I decided to pay a visit, disguised as a parishioner.
Afterwards I tracked down the Good Rev. Amos T. Sandman (clown) to get more of the scoop. Info about the brief but intense Pond District-VHC City war back in the day would be super nifty. *Jackpot* there, for the Reverend was a treasure trove — had a personal archive out back on the conflict. Said his grandfather piloted a Main Cheese boat over to the shores near VHC City to help with the barricade.
The next week we met in nearby Rodentia to further discuss the matter. Rodentia is fast becoming a treasured relic itself, having been around in Our Second Lyfe for over 10 years. His church was visible through this coffee shop window with a larger draw distance, adding to the ambience.
“So tell me about the Oodites,” I began. “Why did you guys hate each other so intensely? I get the whole clowning thing with you and presumably your grandpa, heh.”
“The Oodites deserved all they got. They put a black hole in the middle of that town and dominated through it. Warped the minds of the commoners (humans) there. *Sang* from that middle. He opened his red tainted clown mouth here for a bit but no sound emerged that I could hear. “That was 10 years ago,” he then continued, and *that* at the end of another 10 — the 10th. Pitch Dark that black hole was.” He paused here for me to absorb.
“I mean,” I spoke through Man About Time, “how did the Oo’ds get there? The aliens you speak of.”
“Oh they were horrible to look at. Could drive a man mad easily with their tentacles for mouths and their sideways eyes. Henry (Russian Grey parishioner I met the week before) looks good in comparison, ha.”
“Heh.” And I wondered why I laughed like that again, like a goofy kid. Did I have a cold?
“Well — how did the underground (movement) start?”
And it was here that Rev. Amos T. Sandman said he had to split to prepare for a diatribe against bananas on Sundae, a rival yellow food. We’d have to get more of the story at a later date.
(to be continued?)
He thought he’d do some ice fishing while he was here, a favorite pastime from way back when he was a kid. He’s looking for his wayward brother Benny Right Horn, true, but nothing in the royal decree said he couldn’t turn the assignment into a kind of vacation as well, get a little feel for the local culture and habits. Plus he just loved that giant live oak over there on the peninsula. He’d been coming every day here since he arrived 3 days back. Finally he caved: ice fishing it is. If his mother (the Heart Queen) found out so be it. Benny was probably long gone from here anyway, his brother Jer Left Horn rationalized. Into the caves and out into another dimension.
Jer was not yet prepared to enter the End of Time cave system himself. He was still gathering intel from the locals. People disappeared. *Groups* disappeared. Children — old people. The cave didn’t discriminate due to age. Some pin responsibility on the cats also known to inhabit the caves; say they use a different set of tunnels to surprise and capture visitors. He needed to find one of those cats, attempt to communicate with them if possible. His great great grandmother was part cat on her father’s side. Maybe he could use that bit of shared heritage as leverage. Start up some kind of conversation. Ideally the contactee would be at least somewhat invested in genealogy, then. But he’d also heard of cats with human qualities, hmm. That could lead to — no, he promised his mother he’d set aside his promiscuous ways in this quest. Always the distraction for you, she called him out.
He couldn’t help himself, though. He had an eye on a girl who always sat at the same table beside the canal in the village. Today was the day to make a move, he thought while trying to spot any fish swimming below the ice. Maybe this pond was devoid of them? He’d been here 2 hours. No bites yet. Time to move on to bigger fish. In the village….
“Goodbye live oak. See you tomorrow.”
“Is this life ever gonna get old to us, Philip? This Gastion — notice the name change?”
Early the next day, Marion and Philip realized that Gastion was just a (high) pot name and the real name of the sim had not changed. It remained Gaston. But, in fun, the two partnered criminals called it Gastion (or sometimes Gas Station or just Station) from here on out.
Then one day, without Philip, Marion visited the creepy alley behind the “Station” with the aid of Golden Joe.
“Uugh. Where *am* I?” he asked groggily while swatting away leaves from his face.
“And *who* am I?”
Having faced 2 white dead ends in the southerly directions, Kevin A. rests outside the music store and looks back at Space Ghost’s trailer on what’s called “Ghost land”, even *before* their move here from Regaltown. Fate it was they were in Horns of Hatton. Like many others, Kevin A. has already shortened the name of his newly adopted hometown to just Horns. He hasn’t met the actual Horns of Jer (Left) and Benny (Right) yet, but will soon. He’s caught his breath. He’s ready to move on.
Kevin A. decides to change into tiny person Super Guy to explore underneath the store through this spotted opening here…
… but finds only one way out.
This transformation is the one superpower he has himself — as Kevin A. — since reading at a 3rd grade level doesn’t really count. Then *Super Guy’s* one, superior superpower is the ability to invert space left to right. If you remember back, Super Guy’s arch nemesis Aqua Dude’s chief superpower was the inversion of colors. In both cases, there’s the creation of a second, full world equally as large as the first. One thinks of Alice’s famous mirror world from “Through the Looking-Glass” in the case of Super Guy especially. Also different from Aqua Dude: Super Guy’s inverting powers are on automatically all the time. He has to will them *off* instead of on. So all the pictures above featuring him are actually reversed left to right from what anyone else would see.
Here’s another picture of Super Guy at the same bench we saw Jer Right Horn sitting at in the last post. “S” to “Ƨ”, you’ll notice.
And, in fact, the single path from the trailer, as Kevin A. finds out in continued experimenting, really leads here and here alone: the tomb of Max the Mad a.k.a. the Red Devil. The two parcels are inextricably tied together as one. Even the music shop opens up from the trailer side instead of toward the main part of Horns of Hatton. Very peculiar, seemingly, like a maze with only one solution for moving forward. Like *chess*. Kevin A. begins to believe he’s merely a piece in a larger game afoot.
Just beyond the tomb, a reconstituted Kevin A. then finds a portal to the next “space”. The in-between one.
Chickens, he thinks upon arriving. Always chickens.
“Tillie! I found something. Tillie?!”
… or prisoners.