Category Archives: 04

00360417

On the outskirts of Mortons Gap lies Tintown, or use to until it became another one of those pandemic casualties. There you could dig for Gold, which means you could find Self, alchemically speaking.

All of ’em.

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0036, 0417, Kentucky, Missouri

dream 00360416 (“traces”)

A mysterious red being directly beneath a towering redwood tree, extending all the way into space and a bit beyond.

Another appears in the center of a circle of pink albuca flowers (see: shoulders of Dr. Back before). Both are completely invisible to the naked eye, like outer planets.

This one is without a head, in contrast to the first. Dr. Back indeed.

Looking directly into the face of already decapitated Man About Time, Shelley struggles in vain to get away. Trapped.

Only one other blue around to help her, but she’s on a different level. She heard the screams for help, though.

Too late (OWWWW!). Although the now soul-less body still twitches.

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0036, 0416, Corsica, Northwest^

Demon (Dr. Back)

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0036, 0415, Corsica, Northwest^

00360414

Geez that gray woman has been out there quite a while, Shelley thinks, having woken up in a strange camper in the sim above Mortons Gap but then recalling the story.  She could hear the crashing of the waves when she stirred, a reassuring sound. Arthur must be around. They were just too tired to walk all the way back to the hotel after visiting the Ant Castle up on the mountain, quite a climb to get to. So they just bunked down here as the sun set into the ocean, just to do something different, they agreed. “No one around,” spoke her newlywed husband. “Why not,” she replied. But that gray person… actual owner? Telling me I’m intruding on her property? Could just ask, she thought as she took another sip of coffee and continued reading the article she started, it seemed, a 1/2 hour ago. Ooo, she thought. Just there. The woman took on appearance; just for a second. Yes, staring right at me, it seems (!). Better gather up Arthur and head back to the hotel. Probably down on the beach.

—–

He comes here often and just sits and listens. “Getz/Gilberto” always seems to be spinning on the turntable, the record that started it all for bossa nova, as he learned. Steely eyed Luther stirs the patriotic soup slowly and deliberately, like an automaton instead of an actual person. ‘Nother “gray” being. And what has Clifton Mahoney got on the docket today? Well — beach. Just like Shelley and Arthur. Coming up is a collision course of information that would change everyone’s world. The Ant Castle was not what it seemed (!).

—–

Barry down at the pier would be involved too. Because after 8 straight days of angling it was about time to head home. Art studio. Just below the castle. Barry’d seen and heard things there he didn’t want to dwell upon, didn’t want to be in such close proximity to. Thus the trip into town, to the beach, to the pier. Sanity in contrast. Warm sense of people around. F-ing cold in the gray granite mountains above Mortons Gap this time of year, but not necessarily that kind of cold. Remote kind of cold, the worst type. Barry liked privacy when he painted but enough was enough. But, also, he couldn’t stay away forever, had to face the devil sometime.

(to be continued)

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0036, 0414, Corsica, Northwest^

trunks

Shelley loves hanging around the beach. Arthur and she have such a great time night after night, day after day here… in Mortons Gap overall. She could see living here, staying here. A bit laggy, but they’re working on it, reducing shaders, draw distance, etc. Even minimizing screens, their view on the world, if needed. It wasn’t ideal. But — so pretty.


If she could just erase that full moon faux pas from her memory. What did Arthur do that night? she wondered for certainly not the first time. Because she’d found lipstick on his coat which wasn’t hers — she rarely uses it except when they hit the town. And the smell of lobsters. Or was it crabs? — she’d have to check the difference between the 2 later on when they walk down to the fisheries. Do it nice and subtle.

Nearby Arthur was building another one of his patented sand castles, complete with ants that he’d found on the vegetated dunes in back. He was trying to recreate the past. In truth, someone had put a spell on him. George/Musician most likely, if only from his dreams. He wanted to walk up to the real Ant Castle later that day, thus Shelley’s excuse to visit the fisheries kind of on the way. Ah heck, she’ll just ask him. Why does she care if he stayed with another woman that night. *She* was with a woman that night. Served her right. Painful, very painful, but… what was the right expression for it? Tit for tat, she decided. Or tit for tit — something.

She swung down from the palm tree, walked over. “About ready to go?”

He was about to coronate the new king and queen of the ants after building their thrones. “5 more minutes,” he requested, herding the crowd in the right direction.

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0036, 0413, Corsica, Northwest^

Redrüm again

Let’s see, I’ve done a blue dress and a red dress. How about a purple one this time.

A purple cube manifests in the room as sewing Wheeler Wilson thought this. The door opened. Showtime.

—–

“This cat’s ears are soo soft (!).”

“Ma’am — or sir — I hate to rush you but the show’s about to start. Do you want to check in your overcoat or not?” She indicated the indicated sign with the hand and all, warning that the establishment would not be responsible for hats and coats unless checked in at the front.

“I’m thinking, I’m thinking.” She could feel his eyes bore into her back and side. Her *real* son. At long long last. She was actually frozen with indecision. And because she was a chaos object, everything else in the place froze along with her — oops, there goes Doris, not asking questions any longer, not pattering her fingers impatiently on the counter. 7:21PM. Son Cory’s shoulders also move for the last time in the recognition. Mother.

Spade tattooed bartender Sarah escaped with her gum *just* in the nick of time, but heart tattooed assistant Rosalyn didn’t make it. A bit too red herself, I suppose.

—–

Alright Jackie. Explain to me *one* more time about how you escaped the crematorium? And where’s Don?”

“Burt. His name was Burt.”

“*Was*? So… he’s dead. He did his duty.”

“Yes. I guess.” She started crying. “I don’t know.”

“And the rooooocckks??” They were the most important thing for Officer Davis Jefferson, the most complete bastard of a guy on the town’s force, ever in pursuit of the notorious Black Lake Gang and his one-to-one ultimate archrival Brutus, who also goes by Ted. Curious: So close to Burt; just rearrange the beginning letters a tad, a pinch, after dropping off the US. And where were we? Back on Nautilus? It might be so, although the map says Maebaelia. We’ll coordinate and synchronize asap.

Better stop questioning the dangerous bitch and handcuff her, Jefferson thinks here. Haul her unfried ass back to hq.

It wasn’t Brutus but it was a pretty satisfying arrest nonetheless. Might get him a promotion to sgt., even, which would be bad for everybody, the law, law abiding citizens, and crinimals all.

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, Nautilus, Maebaleia/Satori, 0412, Slaashsides, North, 0036

00360411

Good to see you back home and safe, Mrs. Shelley,” spoke Sam the bartender. “Mister Arthur was looking for you this morning. Said he was going for a walk — Ant Castle I believe was specifically referenced by the sir.”

“Yeah,” spoke Shelley. “I didn’t come home last night. Wandered down The Trunk.” Sam nods here understandably and sympathetically, having heard this before. “Got lost.”

“Aah The Moon again,” he said, knowing it was full last night. “Did you do anything you can’t take back?”

“I…’m not sure.”

“Then you better choose. Dark Side or Light Side. And which is which in your mind. Because if you don’t, The Moon will choose for you. I approximate you have about 1 month to decide. Or 27 or 28 days, ma’am. Which *service* will you choose?”

Pretty profound words there from a bartender, but, then again, he was studying for the priesthood. Or to be a gourmet chef… choice will also come to him soon. She decides and I decide, he realizes. Because instead of praying he was cooking up a storm last night, shrimp, lobster and crab being the victims in order. “Rock’n it,” he said at one point in the heat of creativity, expertly blackening a shrimp with one hand while boiling a lobster to perfection with another. Master chef. Or not… a crab dropped out of the pan while he had a moment of doubt, fear creeping into and intruding on unconditional love. God, he thought later. God disapproves of this night.

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0036, 0411, Corsica, Northwest^

00360410

“Well, he makes a good point,” she tries to joke.

“He’s *pointing*… to his *name*,” said Marilyn to this, a what you see is what you get kind of gal. Unlike Sep here, who’s complicated. Marilyn was also reading her book upside down, which Sep didn’t bring up. No more pointing out anything. She needed to get to why she was here.

“I have a new gal in my life, Marilyn. I think… I’m in love. Yet she’s married.”

“*Married*?” Marilyn exclaims. “More like *buried*. I’ve been married 7 times and that’s just because I’m only 42.” She looks over, satisfied smirk on her face. “Okay, 56,” she relents. “Go on, change your expression to shocked. I’ll wait.”

Sep sits there for a second, then obligingly lets her jaw drop. “*Fifty*-*six*?” she meters out, knowing what Marilyn wants to have said to her. If she had to guess, Sep would have said 49, which is splitting the difference.

“Yes, shocking I know. Now go ahead and do the same for the 7.”

So Sep feigns the second shock as well. “*Seven*?” The information she has about the Heart Line here better be good. If only the duck were truly alive instead of just a dummy he could help instead or at least chip in. She makes a mental note to search out the real Professor Duck after this was over.

The alarm goes off. Sep wakes up. No Shelley beside her. Unlike last night. Must have taken a walk, she rationalized, not hearing anyone downstairs. Then she realized the obvious: she walked home. Back to Arthur. One night stand she just had here. Better write down the Heart Line dream before she forgets, what good it did her. “*One* *night* *stand*,” she imagines telling still couch sitting Marilyn, giving her back a dose of her own medicine.

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0036, 0410, Corsica, Heterocera, Northwest^

00360409

She was hoping beyond belief. “Tattoo parlor?” she tried, drawn in by the butterflies.

“Hair salon,” replied glowing pink haired Sep Felton, not seen in a while. Not since Wallytown, I believe.

“Any?…”

“Nah,” answered Sep to Shelley. “Too small (of a town),” she explained about the lack of such establishments. “Haven’t seen you around — figured you were a stranger.” She takes in her visitor. At first she thought: plain. Now she’s starting to reconsider. “Where…?”

“Morgans Gap,” Shelley said, anticipating Sep’s own question here. “Vacation — honeymoon, actually. Just bumming around the neighborhood.”

“Well, you’re a pretty fur piece down The Trunk to find this place (!).”

“Yeah, I guess. Got the wandering feet today.”

“Where’s the significant other?” Sep began to fantasize a relationship with the increasingly cute visitor. She couldn’t help herself.

Where *was* Shelley’s recently married hubby, if not just married? Their honeymoon had been postponed for a month because they had to find exactly the right spot to do it. Morgans Gap was the place no doubt. They were visiting a gallery in the area, heard about the Ant Castle on the mountain above the town, and the rest fell into place pretty quickly. Arthur Kill withdrew some saved money for the purpose out of the bank and handed it over to 3 1/2 star rated Hotel Higashiyama down on the beach of the town. They haven’t regretted it one moment. More role play tonight, Arthur promised. If she can get back before bedtime. She checks her online map. Dang. How did she get so far away?

“Well…” tried Sep — hoping beyond belief herself this time. “I have a spare room upstairs if you don’t think you can make it back tonight. Sun will be setting in about an hour. Just saying… trying to be hospitable. Us Marooners like to cultivate that reputation.” Which was true, although Sep knew she was trying to cultivate something else. Better end this post and check her history in the photo-novels.

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0036, 0409, Corsica, Northwest^

out back

“*Say*, Hucka D. It’s your car again. You know, the one you got from the Mountain in the Air.”

He needs to stop trying. Hucka D. is not coming back. Instead:


“Heater Presents”

“All the hard, impermeable rocks are tucked safely inside, Jackie. I think we’re ready to roll.”

“I’ll get the butter.”

“Funny. I’ll drive while you sober up.” Burt edged around her; entered the cab.

“I’m not drunk.”

“Power I’m referring to,” he said, rolling down the power window in preparation. “Get in.” He opened the door on the other side; rolled down its window too. Burt figured they needed the fresh air after what they’d been through.

—–

The road turned from pavement to dirt, then back to pavement and then finally to rock. “It was rough, Burt,” she said, bouncing along, voicing her confession, knowing the end was looming. “All the dust and the visions.”

“I know. I have a wife, daughter and dog. I’m more rooted than you. I only saw dust,” *bounce*. A hard one there. Took out a tire.

“Sawdust, good.”

“Yeah. 2 comedians on their way to the gas ovens to dispose of the evidence.”

“They’ll never miss us.”

The heavily illuminated crematorium revealed itself around a last, dark, rocky, really bumpy turn in the road. Heaven for some. Heavenly illuminated. They had to stop for a bit and admire it; the flaming entrance like a door to Hell. It *was* Hell. The place was both — 2 places at once. Burt used the pause to check the tires. 3 flats. Perfect. Just enough air left to make it to the end.

They knew the rocks wouldn’t survive the intense heat. They donned their inflammable suits, but it was only for show: the bodies would be consumed along with the stones.

Burt climbed back in; gave the gas a go, opened the passenger door (your choice).

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0036, 0408, collages 2d, Iowa, Maebaleia/Satori