Category Archives: 0410

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^

00350410

As soon as he logged back in, Biff Carter, former police officer now just out on loan, drove his old, battered patrol car — maintenance not kept up after his retirement much to his lament — over to the cell where they were *suppose* to be keeping Arthur Kill. Or Kill van Kull — whatever. He’d know the shape if not the name fer sure. And this wasn’t him.

“Where is he?” he barked to Policeman Clubb in terse greeting. Clubb and he go way back, had their hands in the old style beatings of ’73, miracle year indeed. It was all in the book that Shelley at the tavern somewhere below — beyond — just put down in favor of her tablet and dream related material. “Big Red Machine.”

“Dunno. This guy just appeared in his place while I was looking away for a moment. Said he’s a Receiver.”

“*Receiver*. What’s *that*?” Biff Carter was feeling the pressure of the beat again, the anxiety of not knowing what’s around any corner. Like this. He purposely fed Filburt those pills so he could get him ill and take his place back on the force, so it was all his doing. He had to keep up with the girl. He asked about her next.

“Missed her by a day and a 1/2,” replied Clubb.

“Darn,” cussed Carter. But maybe he said “damn” or even “f-ck” here. Then to this “Receiver”: “Who are you? What did you do with Kill? Did you *kill* him?” Carter might have emitted a small smile here but couldn’t manage it through the anger.

“Kill van Kull?” replied our Claude, who we met back in Section 01 and last appeared in this photo-novel (don’t say what # in the series) at the beginning post of Section 02. Seems like so long ago. “Lampton?” Claude recites another name this killer of the film went by, kill or be killed being one of his mottoes. He’s working on some more.

“Whatever he goes by,” replies Biff Carter bitingly. “I know *you’re* not him. Despite being a [delete name] too… sometimes hard to tell you f-ers apart.

Ah, the f- word, thinks Claude here. Another one due for a visit to The Void. He’ll see to it asap. “He turned… into the Receiver that I am,” spoke Claude, knowing this wouldn’t make any sense to Carter, Clubb. He dare not mention the dog.

Carter finally emitted that smile, which turned into a laugh, which turned into a doubled over guffaw. Surreal truths sometimes do this to people. Witness George Washington Carver exclaiming that he invented a phonograph needle made out of peanuts to a world wide audience in ’84. Not a dry eye on the planet. Hmm, Carver… Carter.

Finally he recovered. “Bring him down to the station,” he barked at Clubb while dabbing his face with a handkerchief. “I’m going to the Kitty Kat Klub,” which Clubb knew was one of their old hangouts while on the beat. Wasn’t even invited. Who was in charge here after all? His old boss Carter or his new boss? Maybe, deep down, they’re both the same.

“Sure, sure,” he relented, not wanting a beating himself. Because he knew what was going to happen to Claude BOOF!

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0035, 0410, Hana Lei^^, Mountain Lake^, Omega^^

sideways

The front door to the investigators office had slammed hours ago, it seemed. Tessa had basically given up, when:

“Yes, here it is, Ms. Daigle. Thomas Mantell. Born Franklin Kentucky 06/30/22, died Franklin Kentucky 01/07/48. The famous UFO case of course, hidden amongst these more ordinary court cases and in a darker shade, which is why I overlooked it before. My missing partner.”

Tessa Daigle, divorced from her first husband for 3 years, looked up. “Your missing *what*?”

Psychic-detective Laura Roberts turned. “My missing partner,” she repeated evenly. “Robert Franklin, the beginning, the end, and everything between.” She sat down at the table with the confused Tessa. “*And* I think also *your* missing partner. Black Bart wasn’t it? Donald is never wrong. He predicted the going, he predicted the coming back to Earth in the cursed ship. Black Bart… Black Jack. The plane crashed in Black Jack.”

Tessa knew the case as it turns out. And for a specific reason. “But… you said he died in Franklin. Born in Franklin, died in Franklin. Hence: Franklin through and through it seems.”

“Yes.”

—–

Tessa scratches her head. “Black Bart has risen from the grave, the one just out there, beside the Junk Yard and…”

“And?”

“Auto re-pair, yes.”

“Good.”

“Both are dead now, the junk purveyor and the, um, jalopy mechanic. Done in by Black Bart, whom others know as Arthur Kill.”

“Soon he will acquire a new name, ” spoke the prescient Roberts, jotting down something. “Here — here’s an address he may go to next. Or this person will eventually be involved — probably already has been.”

Tessa looked down at the almost illegible scribble Psychic-detective Roberts handed back to her on the sticky note. She finally made it out. Wheeler… Wilson, yes. Wheeler, Wilson. Who’s that?

—–

“You cannot return here, although we may see each other again. Goodbye.”

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0034, 0410, Cable Isle, Hana Lei^^

00330410

He didn’t know if they were open for business but he thought he’d try anyway. “I’ll have a 4 shot latte, I *mean* — 4 shots in a cup.”

“No milk?” she tried to clarify. “No flavoring, chocolate perhaps?”

“Just shots, please.”

“So,” she said, “you just want 4 espresso shots in a cup.”

“And two of them — forgot to add that.”

“*Two* cups with 4 shots each in them.”

“Yeah.”

Starbuccaneer Barista thinks: Baker Bloch has changed. She decides to say this aloud.

“Well, just saves time and money,” he comments about the switch in drinks. Probably brain damage down the road, he adds to himself, dutifully completing the unfolded triad.

“Coming right up!” she says brightly, moving down the counter to the espresso machine tucked between a seafood ad and the store safe, tight but meaningful. Aren’t you going to ask about the new establishment? she laments while filling the 2 baskets with 2 shots each, then two more of the same to follow, she reminds herself. Darn Baker Bloch. Always involved in himself; thinking about the blog and such. But then this, putting a smile back on her face:

“Place has changed.” He looks around. “Not really a Starbuccaneers. Glad you got coffee still.” I guess you’re the glue, he thinks, imagining her with her company pirate hat back on to match her apron. Guess it was removed to save on prims. Perhaps Spongeberg the Editor has already come for a visit, ha ha.

Changed just like you, she thinks, finishing the first of the two. Tandem. She says aloud: “Wheeler thought the white whale motif would look better against the side of the white castle. *Barely* fit, you know. Take a look at the tail when you leave.”

Baker glances at the rug behind him. “And the elephant. Why an elephant? Why not–”

“Enough whales in here already,” said Starbuccaneer Barista, scanning the pictures on the walls. Second of the two done, with two more to go still, she reminded herself again. “Have you ever been to Wales?”

—–

“Have you ever been in a whale?” Still no sense.

—–

“Have you —“. Wait, I guess that last sentence does make sense. Coffee is served.

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0033, 0410, Nautilus, North, Rooster's Peninsula

big red machine

“Lou, be a dear and buy your old man a drink while he’s studying, would you?”

“Dad-dy,” Lou replied, arms still crossed. “We’ve been here *3* days.”

“Keep it down, keep it down,” father Osborne Well says over more in a whisper. “Other people are here too.”

Lou Well stays quiet this time.

“Weelll?” her father prompted, a typical reply and a play on their last name he loves to utter when he can. He beams a wicked smile. She still doesn’t return the smile but rises from her chair with a small huff and does what he asks. She inserts a quarter, hears a bottle drop. Or is it a can? — she can’t tell if the sound is more glassy or metallic. Queer, she realizes. And — great — she can’t get the door to open at the bottom of the thing. “It’s broke, daddy. We’ll have to go into town for your sody pop.” *Finally*, a possible way out of this prison of books for her.

“Then leave it,” he decides, learning winning over thirst and sugary desire. He’s about to uncover the deepest, darkest secrets of the great tentacled one. He confers this to his daughter.

“MOA,” she replies without thinking. “We’ve been there already. We *know* what it is.”

“Shhh,” he reprimands again about her raised voice, but then realizes she’s right. It *is* MOA he’s searching for: Most Old Ancient.

Man About Time wakes up but remembers what they said behind the wall. He’ll return another night in another dream to this spot. This portal is *key*.

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0032, 0410, Collagesity Fordham, Lower Austra^, Nautilus, North, Rooster's Peninsula

00310410

Something is missing here, investigating Jeffrey Phillips speculates later. Better get back to Iowa, but maybe that’s it. The missing piece — letter — is in Iowa.

Just a statement of fact.

Find me, she thought, hiding behind one of those many white trees.

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0031, 0410, Hana Lei^^, Iowa

!oosaB

He arrives in a red boat from Ten Pages. He thinks it may be the end of His Second Lyfe, Venus caged. The witch would know, if he could find her. Probably here, don’t you think? Probably here, I think.

Looks like 3 6’s to me. Maybe they’ll be okay.

They waited for the arrival of the legendary surfing blue panther but he never came. Or at least Sozzy Bozo missed him, mask over eyes instead of mouth.

Yoko Ona, fresh from a rock’n commercial over in Enigma, was fixing up a batch of her patented octopus balls in the kitchen and had her back turned, engrossed in her witchy ways under the stove vent.

Maybe next time.

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0030, 0410, Crisp Sea, Nautilus, Wild West

arrival

She said she didn’t mind but I’m not sure how she made it all the way over here in that position from upper Nautilus. Darn near 5 miles! Of course the different alien physiology allowed her to be balled up like that for a longer period of time. Humans would be turned into sardines. “Ruby, are you there?” I spoke down after opening the multicolored storage container which slipped through Grayling Airport that grey day in early May. “Ruby?”

“Yes,” she said in a watery voice, more than usual since she hadn’t used it in a number of days.

On the other side of her: Billie Jean Kidd; unseen to Alysha; checking to make sure herself that Ruby was okay after the grueling journey — grueling, again, to us humans if we had to do it. Ruby was fine. Being scrunched up like that helped her arthritic neck, actually. She caught up with her long behind self cleaning. She texted old friends with her mind in her otherwise idle body. She finally solved that math equation involving Dark Matter and the Milky Way and the Black Hole at the center of it all. She fell into the Black Hole for a while so she could dream. She woke up refreshed, pure and white as the driven snow. She texted more friends. She revised another equation. More self cleaning. She decided to grow hair and then decided against it, shaving it all off (with her mind, of course). She slept. She woke up. She slept. She woke up, did some more stuff. She slept. She: here.

—–

“Is she okay? Is she damaged in any way?” Billie Jean Kidd knew that Alysha couldn’t hear her but she asked anyway, being nervous and momentarily forgetting her invisibility. She pried her eyes away from tested Ruby and moved them to Alysha, noticing the flowers on the faded blue jeans. “Oh,” she realized. But Alysha answered her anyway, talking to herself as well.

“Looks like she’s been to Jael. And Miccall: she’s a Tilist (!). Thought Martians where always Pentagonalists. And, just there (she checked another part of the rotating glowing blue cube before her): *mermaid*. And jellyfish!” This particular specimen was proving to be more complicated than promised. She’d have to complement The Master on his research as soon as she sees him again. Which should be yesterday’s tomorrow if today’s clock is right.

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0029, 0410, Blue Feather Sea^, Maebaleia/Satori

no Boos (yet)

“Whatcha writing?”

Like you’d like to know, witch, he was thinking. “Journal,” he said out loud.

“Oooh. I *love* journals. Can I read?”

His neck suddenly hurt, as if the mere mention of sharing something so personal with her caused him physical pain.

“Uhh. I don’t know. Maybe. Let me work on it some more.”

“Am *I* in it?”

Of course you’re in it, witch. I’m trying to figure out what you are (!). “Kind of,” he said to her. “It’s kind of fiction.”

“Role play, eh?”

“Er, not really.”

“Fiction, though.”

“Yeah.” He let her mull that over. Not role play but still fiction. What does that mean… witch?

—–

He paused to make some coffee. Then they sat outside and stared at the sea.

“I think this is the most romantic place we’ve ever been, Harrison. Can I call you… Harry yet?”

“No.” He was firm about no nicknames. Not until they were married, whenever that would be.

She cuddled against him. “But at least I don’t have to call you Harrison *Ford Jett* any more. Remember that (period)? First the Ford was dropped, then the Jett…”

“I recall.” Of course he remembered. He set the rules. Again he thought that maybe he wasn’t dated the brightest bulb in the drawer. But on that he was dead wrong. *This* was role play. She was doing it very well.

—–

By 8 they were down at the beach lounging about. “Funny, Harrison (she feigned a laugh here), how we (tee hee) can still see our coffees smoking on that patio up there. Strange, eh?”

Harrison didn’t say anything. Witchcraft plain and simple, he knew. This was a *warning.* Don’t talk about role play with me. He’d underestimated her. Why does he keep forgetting how powerful she really was? Must be another spell.

(to be continued?)

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0028, 0410, MISTY MO^^

balancing act

“See? I can do this *too* (!).”

“Wonderful, child. We’ll make sure that nasty bug doesn’t return tonight so you can perform more.”

Heidi absorbed what this meant. “The… stage? The *big* stage?” She glanced over, seeing the empty platform — except for the wee Lost Angels all lined up in a row of course, flashing on and off as they do. This was their club. They could do as they wish. Soon they would combine again into one giant statue and move in a diagonal across Lower Austra to that other place, their other spot. Diagonals are powerful in this realm. So much so they have spread to other realms, namely Earth: Our US of A; Our Iowa; Our Ringgold County of Our Iowa of Our US of A. I remain pretty amazed: Fife in the middle of it all. And “Dune” famous Frank Herbert was a resident of Fife in another state. We found him in the dunes.

Now we find him onstage? No, it’s Frezied Fred instead, a different collage element performing solo again while the rest of his Purple Bunch band is in drug rehab. FF is frantic enough already. He doesn’t need speed, coke, or any other enhancement for his body. He’s a natural at his act.

But what’s this? (“HOW BIG WAS IT?” the crowd chants back, setting up the punch line) A *comedy* routine??

“When they finally stop laughing, you can go on, kid,” off-camera Todd A. states. “But it could take a while.”

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0027, 0410, Lower Austra^, Nautilus