“You’re not listed.”
Waka Wajaka turns to face me. “I know.”
A nearby green dot seemed to indicate he remained around, but I couldn’t re-find the guy.
There were also people in town who used magic toys to attempt to tap into the positive energy of the Big Inside as opposed to the negative. Appropriately they all lived up on what’s colloquially called the “Good Side” of town, a plateau area closer to God without any darkness atall. The “bad” side, where SEAN “Green” Penn grew up, is down at the beach. Arnold Lane, now covered up with sand due to time, was known as the “Colored Section”, red green blue and bleached yellow beach houses in a row, occupants all practicing some kind of voodoo as far as the rest of the town supposed. “Where are they at the regular church gatherings on Sundays and Wednesdays?” Gloria Snippet a town gossiper might whisper to Betty Freeze at the local grocer on Tuesday or Thursday of the next week after last. “I don’t know why that Marsha Krakow hangs out with any of them.” “She must be *one* of them — secretly somehow,” returned Mrs. Freeze, late for a prayer meeting because of all the hot speculation going on between the two.
Ironically sand is “1” in the 3 hole toy golf town making up most of Dr. Thimblehook’s yard up in Good Side. You open up an oyster there, you get a gold pearl. Then “3” is where the voodoo style idols are found, not down at the beach, in the sand. They got that part right anyway.
“It’s *glorious* in here, Col. Bucket.” She splashes some water in happiness. “Come on in!”
“I — can’t get — this *bucket* off,” the smaller person in the 90 room complains, yanking with all her might.
“Oh come in anyway. It’ll get a little soggy — so what? It’ll fall off naturally then.” Blue Feather was adamant. Col. Bucket must join her!
“You don’t understand, Blue Feather. That *is* your name? Right?”
“Yeees. You know my name, Col. We’re related.”
“We are?” Her voice was muffled by the bucket, but still strong and youthful. They were indeed related. “How?”
“You are my cousin.”
“Hmm,” Col. instantly responded, not surprised. “I think everyone is everyone else’s cousin to some degree — I — I — read that.” She remembers her primary task and begins yanking again. The bucket must come off! She must see straight once more!
“Here.” Blue Feather rises out of the water, but becomes instantly dry. She goes over, and in another instant, removes the bucket easily from the Col.’s head.
But, trouble is, the Col. disappears with the action. We’ll see her again soon, though.
Blue Feather cusses, complaining that she’s lost another one.
She leans down and begins to fill up the bucket again.
Bland Street now, thinks Craighead Phillips Option 02 while walking past an auto repair shop. Not Bland Road any more. But what’s wrong with that sign? All squiggly and stuff. Melted somehow? Better keep walking and not linger, though. It is what it is. Crazy world over here.
I have no reflection! he suddenly realized. Not real in this realm. But somehow: still real. He keeps moving forward.
He decides to ask someone else to check the first source. “Excuse me, sir? Am I on the right street to get to the center of town?”
“Stay away from me,” the man getting in his car barked. “No cash. No cash!”
Craighead Phillips Option 02 wisely moves on without an answer.
I’m not even going to ask this woman where I am, he thinks. I can tell by the look in her eyes she’s not going to help, pheh. Stupid world.
“Watcha checking out on those interwebs little lady?”
“A car,” Wheeler/Jennifer stated plainly. “I’m going to buy one when I get back.”
“Back from where?” asked puzzled Norm, a local resident. “I know of the Before and the After. But there is no Other. There is only Here.”
Great, another MISTY MO religious nut, Jennifer thought. “My home is in Collagesity. On the Atoll continent. Heterocera. Surely you know your continents. Did you not take geography in the schools you went to?” She looked over at him, noticed the rivets in his forehead, his hands. Mechanoid, ahh. That could explain it. He is programmed to know no other place but here.
“I took high school in geography. Does that count?”
Wheeler Jennifer pondered what could be a riddle. Story within story again. “Maybe,” she decided to answer.
He continued his information. “Before is the establishment of Fairview Alpha. Sometimes it is called the Big Mess. Too messy. Water everywhere. So many trees and plants and bushes. Clutter, if you will. After is Fairview and Alpha separate, as they should be. One in one place and the other in another. This is also known as the Plane of Martin and the Plain o’ Allen. Fairview is a fair view of the world, as it is, plain and uncluttered. The great bird flies in the sky but always lands here. Here is here. There is no Other, except for the Abyss.”
Jennifer took in the strange, new information. She shut the laptop, put away the visions of a speedy, glossy auto for now to concentrate. “I came here on a plane,” she said, thinking back to the one that landed on the edge of the Rubi Woods, the plane specifically sent by MISTY MO Inc. to take her to their homeland. Far far away from mainland madness, one flight attendant said of it. Brainwashed, she concluded. They’re all brainwashed into thinking this MISTY MO is somehow separate from the rest of Our Second Lyfe. Better, she concluded. Much better — some place *new*. Could this be?… no, she must put away thoughts of ever finding Ultima Thule. She spent the better part of her 20s and 30s looking into that black hole of an idea. The idea that she could purge herself of her demonic origins, pheh. No such luck. But still, there was the recent vision of the Demo Lake. She decided to ask about it — maybe Norm would know something. But in a roundabout way…
“Plane of Martin — that’s the plane.”
“Yes,” stated Norm. The sun was setting, the glints on his metal constituents fading. Was it safe here with this mechanoid being, Jennifer thought? She decided it was. The lodge brochure said no crime had ever been committed in modern MISTY MO. At least after the wide scale manufacturing of clothes.
“And this… Plain of Allen.”
“Plain *o’* Allen,” Norm clarified, pointing at Jennifer at the same time. “Like a possum.”
Hmm, Jennifer thought. I think his name might be Bob instead.
“What did you say your name was?” she tested. “Norm, right?”
Norm didn’t answer directly. “We better get you back to your lodge and me back to my lake. The night is full of owls and beaks that speaks. The Abyss returns.”
“Lake? You live in a lake?”
“Next to a lake,” Norm answered.
Jennifer didn’t have to ask *its* name. She knew it was Black. Where the demons lived.
Jennifer woke up, the sound of falling water swiftly returned. Midday. No Norm, no nobody. She had fallen asleep while daydreaming of fast, shiny objects. But the dream was like reality. She then realized there were much fewer trees and undergrowth in the “place” she had just been with Norm… Bob, Norm. And no water. *Was* it a dream?
She opened the laptop again and set the screen on mirror, held it up to her face, noted the DEMO stigmata again on her own forehead. 7610: DEMO.
Yes, it was a dream. A *reflection*.
She had been living on the Aloha houseboat for over 3 1/2 years now. She’d had plenty of time to contemplate her life as Witch Hazel in the past, and, moving forward, well… something good instead of bad she’ll be the next time at bat. Fruity bat.
Right now, she occupies a position between good and evil — red and blue. Purgatory, in effect. But she’s grown use to her schizoid nature. Soon enough it will end for Parasol and she’ll become someone else.
Sam Bee is a key; Trojan-Durexian War, etc. Sting operation. She knows that from Ruby Fantasie’s Middletown US of A investigations, which are ongoing.
In the other room of the boat, Charlie Banana wakes up and needs a drink. Yes, “between” she is indeed currently. But all split things must end.
“Are you coming to bed, baby?” actor/writer/inventor Tom Casey called from across the room.”
“I’m *thinking* about it.”
“Why don’t you think some more about it cuddled up in my big, muscular arms.”
Anorexia huffs and recrosses her arms and legs. “Are those your trophy girls?”
“The women beside you on the bed. Your harem or whatever. Is that what I’m to be added to?”
“Oh. *Those* girls. They mean nothing to me, sweets.”
“Why don’t you, I don’t know, put them *face down* on the nightstand, then? If we’re going to go through with this.”
“Listen, Annie, I paid top dollar for this rendezvous. I had to come all the way out to this adult sub-continent to get away from prying eyes. You don’t know the psychotic depths of my ex.”
“I think you are motivated by one thing and one thing only.
Have you ever heard the Poodle Lecture?”
“What?” Tom Casey repeated.
“It’s how Zappa explained WO-MAN controlled MAN. It’s why I left the fold. But now I’m summoned back. She thought back to removing her ruby slippers and rainbow halo at last.
“*I* asked for you.”
“No you didn’t. The Kidd asked for me. She said her daddy was in a heap of trouble and I had to do this to make things right. Had a thing for thin, she said. Something about supermodels.”
“Philip,” Tom Casey explained again to her, “is a simple accountant. Working in a simple stripper club. Nothing more.”
“You’re dreaming if you say that.”
The actor/writer/inventor sat up in the bed and looked her over from the span separating them. “18, you say?”
“Right.” She was wiggling her foot rapidly.
“Cause there’ve been rumors.”
“Rumors started by The Kidd. It makes me look innocent. I’m not, of course.”
“Then come over here. Let’s get started.”
The flames rose rapidly.