“Hmph. Hidi’s got a privacy screen surrounding her property now. And ban lines. Can’t get in. Doesn’t reply to im’s.” Mary Peppins scratches her chin, then continues to speak to herself while looking eastward. “Guess we’ll have to put up with that eyesore over there a little longer.
Category Archives: 0313
“Steppiing out off that ridiiculouss tableauu noww my pointt iis maade…”
“I amm *heere* Rosehaveen. You cannot gett rid off me noww.”
“Sea Monsterrs! Twoo evenn.”
“Butt it iis snoow noww. I do nott liike snoow. I will return iin Maarch, yess.”
As mentioned, Mabel and Buurb loved the 3rd floor of their potential house. A type of heaven for them, I suppose. Buurb could write and Mabel could do art. Their respective passions, besides each other of course. Or this is how they fulfill themselves through each other.
We start at the northernmost window (of 3) looking west…
… then pan out to take in a nearby chest with a smaller container, perhaps a suitcase, on top of it.
This is in the room at the top of the ladder heading up from the 2nd floor. Then below we also peek into the next room. Both contain a variety of what could be called refuge or junk, but the married couple still love the stuff and dare not throw any of it away once the house transaction is complete. Whenever that is.
Mabel often wonders who this melted girl in the portrait is. Could it be her as a child, somehow? At any rate, looking at it always reminds her of her beloved twin brother Little Big for some reason, still off fighting in the Green and White War in some distant part of the galaxy. Last she heard: Aldebaran.
More of the second room; that would be Buurb’s writing desk in the distance, which would double as a place for them to have brunch, tea, etc.
And then we have Mabel herself sitting in the 3rd room. This is projected to be her art studio where she’ll rekindle her love of painting (and drawing). But what to paint remains a big question.
Maybe that perpetually burning fuel tanker down at the gas station seen through the south window here, hmm.
Those weirdos again, Philip Strevor thinks in a dream. Southwest corner table.
A knock at the office door, then. Small but firm. “Daddy?”
Man, school’s out already?
Well at least she was a quiet kid, Philip Strevor consoles himself. Always reading that darn blue book, though. When he asks what it’s about, she just says, “stars,” sometimes, “stars and space.” But never just “space”, oddly. “Stars… and space.”
“Honey, why don’t you play with your new friend Anorexia out back in the alley. Get away from that book for a while.”
“Spica,” she then uttered, still reading. “Did you know that Spica is such a close binary star that each component is egg shaped due to the gravity pull, and cannot be resolved even with the most powerful telescope?”
“No I didn’t know that.” No more oddball star facts from you, missy, he then thought. He had to get these accounting numbers to Casey One Hole by tomorrow morning. And Philip’s sure he’d bug him about them all the time they were playing golf later on today. He always had to let him win, especially on that prized par 3 hole on the back 9 — the origin of his nickname. He learned that the hard way.
The kid relented. “Oh all right,” she said, putting down the book and heading for the door. “I’ll go find my *new friend* Anorexia.”
Good kid, Philip Strevor thinks again. But the crazies are now sitting at a table in the opposite corner of the building. How’d *that* happen? What’s going on?”
Almost the instant the doors shut behind his kid, more knocks, larger but softer. “Dearest?”
Oh God, Philip thinks. My mother. What does *she* want?
“What’s this trash you’re reading, Philip? ‘Celestial Handbook’? I bet it’s a celestial handbook.”
“That *trash* is what you gave your granddaughter 2 Christmas’ back. The one she still can’t put down even now.”
“Oh.” She scrutinized the cover more closely, then drew back. “Well it’s good for her to read. Keeps her out of the alleys. Where is she anyway? Wanisa said it’s your turn to keep her.” Philip feels the noose tightening around his neck. Might as well say “cut here”. Oh wait… it does.
“Mom, I’m *so* busy. Can we talk later?”
“Not until you tell me where Poodles is.” Poodles is (June’s) pet name for her granddaughter.”
“Okay, okay, just to get you off my back. Yes, she’s in the alleyway, but she’s supervised. Her new friend who just happens to be *13* is back there with her.”
“Have you checked? Did you follow her out to make sure her friend met up with her?”
“You should have run smack into Bug before you came in.” Bug was Philip Strevor’s pet name for his daughter. He then thought of the spooky trio that switched corners of the building. “*Did* you run into her?”
His mother disappeared. His wife took her place.
“Philip we need to talk. It’s about Casey One Hole. Yankton.”
He wakes up in his ersatz observatory. “Yankton?”
“The sugar house on the corner of William Street and Duane Street in lower Manhattan was used as a prison by occupying British forces during the American Revolutionary War,” states old-time cop Ricky Bendicky, originally from East Bennington. “Out of 2,600 prisoners of war captured during the Battle of Fort Washington in November 1776, 1,900 would die in the following months at makeshift prisons. At least 17,500 are estimated to have perished under substandard conditions of such sugar houses and British prison ships over the course of the war, more than double that of casualties from battle.”
“When did it become the police station?” asks rookie cop George Carver Washington, Gaffer George as his fellow officers had started calling him after he accidentally shot himself in the arse last Thursday.
“Built in 1763 by William Rhinelander,” continues Ricky, “the sugar house was a five-story brick warehouse originally storing molasses and sugar next to his own residence. The old warehouse was replaced by the Rhinelander Building, which retained part of the original wall from 1892 to 1968, and received reports of ghostly prisoner sightings. The site is now occupied by the headquarters of the Gaston-Berry Police Department, near which one of the original barred windows was retained.”
“Fascinating,” coos young George. “And how about Utah?”
“Sugar House Prison, previously the Utah Territorial Penitentiary, was a prison in the Sugar House neighborhood of Salt Lake City founded by territorial governor Brigham Young in 1852. The 180-acre prison housed more than 400 inmates. It was closed in 1951 due to encroaching housing development, and all of its inmates were moved to the new Utah State Prison in Draper. The site is now occupied by the headquarters of the Gaston-Berry Police Department.”
George pauses, then: “And that’s where Hidden Village comes from?”
“Yes,” answers Ricky.
“And Greg Ogden and Gregg Oden?”
He doesn’t exactly know how, but Rocky is very pleased that Hucka Doobie’s gift of a media player (“tivi screen”) from Collagesity works in Baker Bloch’s Olde Lapara Towne apartment as well. He can’t stop staring into it…
Hucka has returned to Collagesity, but The Librarian remains, similarly absorbed in “Floydodo”.
Pitch Darkly continued the formalities. “Nice of you to cease your fishing and come for a visit, Chuckles.” He was thinking she cleans up nicely.
“Please. Call me Delbert. No: Wanda.”
“Alright, Wanda. What brings you here this fine morning? And if you’re wondering, by chance, I’m not a vampire chained to a night and day cycle. I’m *weaker* during the day — certainly don’t do any large killings at this time — but I’m perfectly okay otherwise. I avoid direct exposure to the sun for long periods obviously.”
“Wheeler said there was news about the Novas.”
“There is. The, ahem, *immoral* person Tronesisia brought to your and Buster Damm’s Kill Shack the other day…”
“Fisher,” inserted Pitch Darkly. “But not a fisherman. I don’t think. Just a name. Yes, he was immoral and thus worthy of sacrifice as determined by the Book of Blood. The chess game was indeed rigged. His former slavebot Bendy has been freed to go back to his proper place in the skies.”
“Anyway,” Wanda/Chuckles continued, “turns out he was also someone else at the same time: Clare.”
“Clare?” Pitch asked. He pretended like he didn’t know who this was.
“Clare Nova,” Wanda clarified. And not an alt. A rebis. Like you and Baker Bloch. Something to do with the clowning disease.”
“Oh, Clare *Nova*. What does this imply?”
“Fisher is dead,” spoke Wanda, wondering how long it would take Pitch to get it. “And Clare Nova is Fisher…” she urged. “So what does that mean?” Pitch Darkly shrugged.
But he knew what it meant. Wheeler had just gone from understudy to star.