1/2 green, 1/2 granite, all bastard. Corsica.
Let’s get back to business…
“She said I had to help out you.”
“This witch woman. This… sorcerer.”
“But not in a bad way, I don’t think,” replies Duncan Avocado.
“But not in a totally good way either,” returns Sam Bee, catching the drift.
“Maybe not. Kind of neutral.”
Sam Bee stared at the fire. “Well, you know what I *really* want to do right now? To explore that gorgeous gorge of yours, where you were born here in this Paradise.”
“Reborn,” Duncan corrected.
“Right. I want to make a day of it. Perhaps several days. Show me what this is all about. You said a lot of work seemed to go into it. Mermaids and such. I’d like to see a Mermaid. I’d like to… well, she told me not to talk like that any more.” Sam crossed his legs.
“About girls… women.”
“Well…” Duncan exhales. “You *were* in a war. The ultimate madness and anything goes situation. You had to do what you did to get by.”
“No. I can’t accept that any longer, Duncan A. About the women.”
“Maybe you shouldn’t dwell on it,” his friend advised. They sat in silence for a bit.
“Freed up that damn Southern Bypass for a while, hehe. Almost had them by the *balls*.”
“Not soon enough… sorry.”
“For you, I know. We were working beyond the bamboo planes and cars and ships. We were almost there.”
“They had steel. They had energy.”
“We had the voodoo,” Sam countered. “The plants helped; almost worked. Southern Bypass.” He leaned forward. “I can cite one or, at best, two crucial moments in battles where things could have turned. On a dime, as the old saying says.
“Best not to dwell,” Duncan reiterated.
“I had this man’s head…” Sam stopped here. He couldn’t do it. He couldn’t put a bamboo hatchet through a man’s head not 2 feet from his own. They told him to think of them like grapefruits… basketballs perhaps. He lay the hatchet down. He let the man pass. And immediately watched him kill one of his own.
“Come on,” Duncan says, getting up. “It’s afternoon now. You said you wanted to go swimming. Perhaps ride one of those killer sharks.”
“Whales,” Sam edited, making him think of Tessa.
“Ahh. A nice hot coffee before a nice hot fire. Doesn’t get any better than this in Our Second Lyfe, Robot Derak Jones. But take a seat.”
“I’m glad you found your hearing aid and stopped yelling, Pencil.” He remained standing. His hemorrhoids were acting up again.
“Me too! I mean: me too.”
“You are truly David now.”
“Well,” adds Eraserhead Man. “I’m a giant pencil pretending to be David Lynch for the purposes of this story. Novel 8 is it?”
“That’s right, EM.”
“Kids couldn’t stay around a while longer? I kind of miss them since they left, what was it, this afternoon?”
“It was a sudden departure,” agrees Robot Derak Jones in his metallic, echoed tone. “They found a house on the other side of the island. Baker Blinker had it in her inventory. That’s the core avatar for Karl.”
“I know who Baker Blinker is,” declares Eraserhead Man. He sips his coffee, then smacks his lips pleasingly. “I understand they found out that Karl is blue. Blue Rose Case, of course.”
“That’s why you’re here.”
“Well… let’s see what *this* does.” Eraserhead Man abruptly throws the contents of his cup into the fire. Both watch as someone else forms in the room.
“Look at that, Robot. A demon. How about that? A flamey little fire demon. What’s your name, little fellow?”
“Gus,” came a small answer from the fireplace after a pause.
Eraserhead Man turned to his friend Robot Derak Jones. “Gus, he said, Robot.”
An erratic wind began to blow outside. One might say it was gussing if they had the guts.
“South YANKTON!” Eraserhead Man shouted toward the bleached face Norris. “We need INFORMATION! A man named PHILIP STREVOR has returned from there! Listen and this is IMPORTANT! There’s a giant BEAVER there!”
“Don’t look at me,” Norris demanded in a normal register. “Are you looking at me? Because you’re suppose to be looking straight ahead and not at me. Don’t look at me!”
“I WON’T! I’m NOT!” Eraserhead Man rummaged around in his pockets and procured a cigarette, lit it, and proceeded to smoke. “You don’t mind if I SMOKE, do you?!” he asked while emitting his first puff.
Norris didn’t answer, remained motionless. Eraserhead Man continued his grilling. “He goes by the name of CASEY here! Sometimes Casey the ALIEN! Last seen in GAETA V — get this — like GTA V! GTA I Said! Grand Theft AUTO! One of our INFORMANTS tipped us off! KEDAR! Use to live over in NAUTILUS!” He stopped there.
“I may have heard of him. We may have shared a drink!” Norris piped up.
“Had a GOLF club! MOTIONLESS FACE. Said, ‘I’m yrev very happy to SEE you old friend.’! I don’t have to tell you what color ROSE we’re talking about here!”
“You should leave now,” Norris suddenly demanded. “The holiday entities could be up and roaming about by now. There’s a chance they may come to this lower plane… just a chance but not worth taking it.”
“CHANTS?!” shouted the hard of hearing Eraserhead Man. Norris forgot to pipe up at the end this time. “What KIND of chants?!”
In related news…
… Peter SoSo was resting on a bench near End of the Line after a particularly difficult day of working on the Lapara train system: trying to smooth out some pesky car turns and pondering what to do with The Void, as everyone seemed to like calling the pitch dark link between the town’s upper and lower realms. He then fell sleep and dreamed that a second, somewhat smaller top hat appeared on top of his own, and then a fishbowl with two clownfish atop that.
He woke with a start, suddenly understanding how to fulfill the train system. It involved pitch perfect balance.
But the realization would take time. Luckily he was a patient mer-man.