“There’s no one there, honey.”
“Oh, but there *is*.”
The artist explains to a prospective buyer that an arm *is* a leg, cutting the price in half. Saale!
“If you dream correctly,” he explained afterwards, “you have purchased a whole museum inside the picture containing many more objects you now own. You’re welcome!”
She took the painting home using both her arms and legs to haul the massive object around. By doing so she has become a creature as well as creator. The door to her house becomes that of the museum. She steps inside the other world, waking up.
“Missouri or Arkansas? I’m going with Arkansas because of the redness (of the book). But maybe…”
“Missouri instead,” I completed for him.
“Michigan?!” shouted George from the side.
I knew there was only one way to find out. Purchase the monster book on the marketplace and then… open. Chapter 1 (potential): “Marble Falls, Marbles Fall”. A blue marble seems to have fallen out of the cover, leaving the monster with only one. But maybe the title is misleading.
“Chapter 1,” Alysha read later in the red book before her while she was sitting in the heart shaped chair, or a heart backed chair. Make sure it doesn’t turn into a spade, I thought for her.
She was at the monkey. “Marble Falls, Marbles Fall”, she said again, staring at the reversed image, a shadow if it was beneath her feet. “A heart becomes a spade.” And so it begins.
“I don’t think Marty has any right to judge art from my town, Buster. *My* opinion.”
“You are right,” Buster replied. Better get to a picture of ’em.
“I went to the Fortress today, Buster,” Duncan Avocado confessed to his boss, the Pot-D Deputy Assistant Sub Vice-Chancellor for Internal External Affairs.
“I know, Duncan.” He nods toward the tracking skeleton heart medallion hung around his neck.
“Oh, yes,” Duncan replies, fondling it. “Forgot.”
“The Fortress is not for you.” Sterner now. “It is for someone else.”
“I know: Hidi.”
“Well… *whoever* it is, and you don’t need to know that yet.”
“What about… Jerry Lind, the Asian Indian–”
“We know about him as well. And he’s both American and Asian: a mix.”
Duncan thought of the red complexion and understood. “They were headed to the Fortress.”
“I said I don’t…” He blows out a tiny puff of air from his small vampire body, trying to calm down. “Just show me the new Willendorf.” He was ready to blow this joint, his regular hangout beside the railroads. Still red hot and angry “policewoman” Angelina Dickenson lives just down the tracks, but in a different sim. He’s safe here, he considers again. But he remains trapped overall in the southern part of VHC City. Best he and Betty move somewhere else. If only Nautilus’ version of Collagesity were a bit bigger, had a few more shops for the wife to frequent. But alas: not so. Baker had decided on a regular 8192 parcel and that wasn’t enough for extras like that: only what he deemed so-called *historic* buildings, like the Blue Feather, like the Temple of TILE, like Fal Mouth Moon and the Castle and a couple of other ones. Not enough.
Quickly they were in the gallery Duncan im’ed Buster about earlier, staring at the new Willendorf. Skyscrapers loomed above them. This was Middletown obviously, Duncan opined to Buster. Buster wasn’t sure. A gallery from the *future*? But it had happened once before and very recently. What can of soup had Marty opened up with his TWO TO KNOW project with Roger? Will traces of Middletown keep showing up and showing up until it’s finally *here*? he pondered correctly, knowing more that he knew at the time of the month.
Duncan closed his diary and stared at the tulips. So close.
Future Schumann was trying to show me something.
I returned to Collagesity, set on finishing that ditch traversing almost the entirety of the town. What do we have here?
And why am I Baker Bloch again? *The* Baker Bloch. Must be Wheeler, I assumed: the third wheel. Her “other”, or “others” I suppose. Marriage, pheh. How can she say she is married… to which one? Or better, which is which? They both came from novel 8, like a Crazy. Maybe Cpt. Crazy over at Half Hitch would know, or at least half know some kind of truth. And what about *his* significant other, that Speck or whatever, the First Mate or the Only Mate or Lone Mate. Mates indeed. Randolph the Bastard Pirate must be laughing in his sleep, chest still rising and heaving with every internal guffaw. The alchemy bird stays silent, forgetting its purpose as a watcher in de skies.
“But a twin *has* moved forward,” I can hear Wheeler inside my head. “We have chosen a hairstyle, a form. We are from Heaven now. You know the denizens of Hell; you’ve seen them very recently.”
You know we are trying to save you and we chose just in the nick of time.”
I shook off the daydream and stared down the length of The Ditch. Ditch City they may call this place in the future, if they have no imagination.
(to be continued)
“Alright Barrys. Let’s strategize about what comes next since Charlene Brown is busy cooking up a storm in the kitchen. Barry Vampire…”
“*X.* Vampire,” he insists.
“Yes. What do you see on your computer screen? A specific location? A specific person? Or perhaps, dare I go there, a *thing*?”
Barry X. Vampire stares at his computer screen but only sees snow — whiteness. “Nothing yet,” he offers in a slightly disappointed tone. But he’s hoping for words over images. Too many pictures from Picturetown recently, he bemoans internally.
“How about you Barry De Boy? Pictures? Symbols? Words? Something else?”
Barry De Boy expresses he doesn’t see anything yet either. And neither can we even more in this picture. Not even snowy whiteness.
“How… about you?” ventured one of the Barrys rather timidly, I’m not quite sure which one yet.
“I’m not the important one (here),” Jeffrie Phillips declares firmly. “I coordinate between the two of you, the writer (nods toward X. Vampire) and the artist (nods toward De Boy).”
“But… you’re the author,” spoke the Barry that was different from the one who dared to pipe up first. “You are the base, the core. You coordinate *us*.”
“That’s what I just said.”
“But…” the first Barry began again, then was cut short. Charlene came back with chicken dumplings and a lot of other stuff, some smoking hot, some cool as a cucumber. They ate until 7 and then slept until 8. Then at 9 they spoke again but nothing about coordination or anything serious. I believe it was about the local infestation of wild parsnip. Or was it poison ivy. Giant hogweed?
“I remember you, girl. From Paperville!”
“Right, right. The Little Cafe on the Way!” Both open their mouths further in surprise but never get to the heart of the oddity. Rabbit 02 in the corner of the fake flowery field worships on. Fertility. Much fertility.
“I remember you too, Birmingham.”
“Shut up Muff,” the fellow red fox hissed over. “I did what I had to do.”
“Yeah right, hmph.”
Rabbit 02 has a new husband. Rabbit M4, who lives just off the freeway. He usually stays over at Rabbit 02’s place because of the noise. He has a lot of patience and ironically he is a doctor too (optometrist), so more patients. When Rabbit 02’s family got together at Thanksgiving, he and Dr. Rabbid Baumbeer, Rabbit 02’s son from husband no. 3 — Rabbit 01 we’ve called him in this here blog — got along swimmingly, being fellow doctors (and swimmers) and all. Now in the last couple of weeks she’s had 3 more from M4: Uffcott, Hinton, and Winterbourne, because he was, since his birth came the first of December and the other two, slightly older triplets came out a little before midnight. They usually keep them over at the “highway house” with housekeeper Sarah because, again, of the noise. M4 is patient, but he needs a lot of quiet because of all the research he’s doing into creating a super eye capable of perpetual self healing — alien science we’re talking about here, top secret hush hush stuff. He can’t discuss it with anyone. All his friends and relatives think he’s just selfish separating himself from his children, not knowing he has very good reasons, very good indeed.
The wife finishes her worshiping and walks back over through the fake flowery field between the two girls who had turned their backs on each other, and between the two foxes who had also grown apart.
“I hear the town has a temple, dearest. I wonder if we could fit in a visit between your shops.”
“Maybe,” shot back Rabbit 02, irritated that he would ask. “Consignment store next door, or so that’s what the map says: Odds & Ends. I need to pick out some outfits for Christmas for the big ta-do at Ben the Parrot’s.”
“That foul mouth bird brain!” Rabbit M4 wanted to yell with his tongue at the top of his lungs but of course bit it. They should never have started selling those animal talkie toys, he laments.
They move next door. No consignment store there. Yet.
Instead: “Come here dear. There’s a man stuck in this picture!
MAT looked down and only saw Mercury X. Rising on the lowest floor, who was a dummy. No organ music from the 2nd directly below him either.
There is no mixture of sacred and profane here at the temple, he thought. No un-well placed people down below to go along with a check written by Dorothy to Wheeler. Baker must be mad, victim of the 2989 curse, or 49 x 61. All will be solved when Toothpick marries his sister here Tuesday’s Thursday Wednesday’s Friday Saturday. We invented a special time for it called Munday, another Happy Day and raising the total from 6 to 7 [or would that be 5 to 6]. Mr. Z. and Mrs. M will be very proud, the best man and the maw.
He turns back to stare at the big eye oh so wanting to be well and sacred again. “But it can’t come about without your cooperation, Carrcassonnee,” he speaks aloud to the great olive being on the 3rd and top floor of the temple, the alien object all is built around. “You are the beginning and ending; you are alive, true, but your eye is not functioning properly still. You are yourself and not yourself at once. This is alchemy, this is a tin or lead voice wishing to raise itself to be gold like the visible body. We must make sound synchronize with silence. Silence is good and golden but…”
He attempts again.
“Iiiiii. Iiiiiiii-iiiii.” Like a car trying to start but can’t.
“Umbrella, huh?” muttered private dick Wendell “Biff” Carter after he’d finally found the correct place to read in his red book. Read book? Anyway, maybe it’s just the correct *place*… to read his book. Paperville. In a coffee and pastry shop with some suspicious design parallels with the recently opened Bake’s Bakery over in Teepot. He can read it here; he can read it there. Hmm (again). Better get over for a shot of those “Umbrella dunces.” *This* is where Dunce Boy aka D Boy aka DeBoy (etc.) went after his hat transformation and acquiring that tracking red tie from either the Pot-D or Pan-Z tracking gang. Probably the latter, unless it is the former. Jeffrie Phillips would know. If we could find him. He’s disappeared too. Another suspicious
To that tell-tale Paperville sculpture:
The Boy is here!