At 10 they were back inside. “You don’t know a lot about Bach, do you?”
“No,” admitted Harrison Ford Jett, getting weary of the magic now. About time for bed, he thought. But with her? It both excited and chilled him. What would she attempt *this* time? It was always a roulette wheel of love. “My knowledge of classical music basically starts with Beethoven, beyond Mozart, beyond Hayden. And, in fact, the same with rock music. Starts with Beatles, skipping over Elvis and Buddy Holly and the like.”
“John Lennon insisted that Beetles was spelled with an ‘a’. He was trying to forget the past. He was trying to forget the *parallel*.”
“Suppose so.” It was an interesting conversation for Harrison. Bluebird, his little chickadee, had “turned” smart again after the coffee incident. Maybe it was all the caffeine, he speculated. For *both* of us. Relax and float downstream, I guess. “John is Mahler, though. It’s obvious — the glasses.”
“It’s more complicated than that.” Bluebird decided she better start acting dumber again. She slows down the thoughts. 1 1/2 times now, 1, then 1/2. 1/2 usually does the trick. Not *too* slow.
They were in bed now. Harrison was relieved to find the antics tonight were quite vanilla. Afterwards his neck hurt, though, giving indication that something was askew once more.
Seeing the cow chip holding giant beaver in the snow and all, hot Biker 02 knew he was in the right place. It was a small but significant burg, and he had designs on digging up someone in a church cemetery there.
In a similar sized town directly south, cold Biker 01 bikes down a main artery, passing vein after vein. He was searching for the church in vain. He should have been looking up to icier climes.
Charlie Banana could transform into a giant banana phone when needed. George uses this power to attempt to contact Duncan, knowing he would be late for dinner again. Probably fish tacos or some other fish product, bleh. Best to stay here with Charlie; partake of the fruits of the garden. Clare sure makes some mean melons!
“Hello?” An answer on the other side, but not Duncan.
“Charlie,” George whispered above and beyond the all the digits now fronting his body, knowing his friend was still in there. “You sure you dialed the *right* numbers?”
Charlie hadn’t told young George the secret to any telephone call. You dial all the numbers at once and then wait for an answer. Whoever you are suppose to talk to will be on the other end.
“Hello?” the strange voice said again. The central tree? Could be. Or perhaps one of those differentiated wood spirits Charlie foretold about already showing up.
“Hi… is this… Duncan?” George asked, knowing it wasn’t but not figuring out anything else to say.
“Duncan… Avocado?” The person on the other end of the line hadn’t heard that name in a long, long time.
“Moe! I thought you were retired.”
“Nah, just decided to go back to my homeland,” he gruffed. “Us cartoons should stick together. Right Sandy?”
“It’s Willy (*hiccup* BURRRRRP!).”
“Right. Never can remember that.”
“How about me, big boy,” spoke Teacher Felicia Mae Appletree on the other side, ready for more action if needed. She hadn’t seen a banana (or lemon) she didn’t like yet. The blinking neon head of Homer loomed above it all. HOMR. Jeffrey Phillips decides to ask.
“Moe,” Moe corrected.
“Did you mean Homeland? Or *Homer*land?”
Pause. “Why don’t you go see for yourself,” then came the answer. On cue, the music started next door, a Residents piece this time (“Walter Westinghouse”).
Homer was about to eat 12 boxes of 12 donuts live before a TV audience and then spray paint a pig and some other stupid stuff, so Moe said. “The kids eat it up,” he explains while Homer quickly downs his first, second, third…
“We could send her over to New Eden to live with recently reunited Wendy and Axis, but I don’t think that’s a good idea. Probably not the best surrogate parents.”
“Nah,” she answered.
“There’s a treehouse with a butterfly theme perched on the top of a prominent Omega continent peak. That might do the trick.”
“For a while.”
“But it has to be butterflies.”
“Yes,” she answered.
That belt is giving me strange dreams, she thinks after waking up and recalling. Must stop using it so much.
She goes to check on Toddles. “Toddles?” Not in the bedroom, not under the covers. “Land sake’s child.” She calls downstairs. “Are you down in the kitchen!?” She descends the stairs — not there. She searches the entire house. Her precious precocious grandchild is gone! The belt did something to her that night. Broke through the drugs that Toddles had carefully and stealthily dispensed into her bedtime toddy, as was common. The belt doesn’t want Toddles to succeed in her mission of growing up way too soon so that she can save the world, several worlds in fact. All Orange.
If she wasn’t so worried about Toddles, Alice Farrowheart would have noted that the belt was gold instead of steely grey in the dreams, and wondered what that meant. It too is growing in power. A face off (to the death?) is probably in the works.
“Grounded!” I say. “GROUNDED. And gimme those drugs you use to doctor my toddy. You’ll grow up to be a heroin addict or worse and put me in an early grave, Toddles.” Alice Farrowheart, her dear dear “Granny,” couldn’t stop shaking her head; the belt did this, the psychic toddler realized. Alice F. held out her hands. “DRUGS,” she demanded. “I want to see what you’ve come up with in that wee evil noggin of yours.” Toddles produced 2 pills, one red and one blue, from the pocket on her baby jumper. “Take them,” she said. It wasn’t a request. It was an order. Time to pull out the big guns, hypnosis and not what. Toddles had collected a bag full by now.
“Where were you Toddles? I was looking all over for you. I was worried!”
“Just getting some milk for me and Whimpers (cat).”
“Aww,” Grammy let off. “That’s so *sweet*.”
“Phew. That was close!” she admitted to milk sipping Whimpers after Grammy puttered off back to bed.
“Red yellow green blue,” the introduction began. “NO purple. NO orange. NO nothing else. We have our 4. I am Phyllis and I approve this manifesto. Let’s make this shit happen.”
561 words. In the next paragraph.
Future scholars picked out key words like Olive, Gray, Residents, Oklahoma, Pink, Brown, and Geronimo as anchors to their attempts at analyses, even though the sentence, “Keys — you can have them; I’m producing my own delicious peanut based spread for my bread.”, appears plainly in the 166th paragraph (before perhaps one about milk) as a seeming warning to this approach. 1/2 and 1/2 again, since almost everyone agrees that this sentence *is* the key since it is the only readable one in the whole 561 paragraph document (except perhaps for the sentence about milk following it), with the ending paragraph simply, “End.”, and the second to last, “Tartar mosquito.”, and the third to last, “I am instant.”, and so on back to the 561 word 1st paragraph — most scholars don’t count the clearly worded introduction just to be clear. So the 166th paragraph with the sense making sentence has, let’s see (pulls up calculator), 395 words, of which 16 are in that key sentence quoted above. Some turn to maths for explanation of the inexplicable Manifesto, usually capitalized in these TILE friendly and frenzied days. Jim Baloony of Yale’s Harvard points out that 395 divided by 16 equals 24.6875, which when extended to the logically equivalent 24.687531 contains all the even and then odd numbers in order and then reverse order between 0 and 9. “Where is the 9th?” he questions, and then turns to the “perhaps sentence” (as it is called these days) about milk to make his theories more palatable and easier to swallow. It reads: “And so on the 5th day he cowed.” Several books about that sentence alone have now been published, one by Bart Smipson, a skateboarder from Tull, and the other by his vegetarian leaning sister Lisa, co-written by someone who chooses to simply be known as Marty. And then there’s the whole Zero Hero cult that has grown around the mention of Gong in paragraphs 3, 40, and 340.
(to be continued?)
“Where are you again, Toddles? I can see the green (right) and the gray (left) but you’re nowhere to be found. I need you to be *somewhere* — and just not in my head.”
“Behind the UFO,” the small child spouted in her cute-as-a-button voice. So wise for someone so little, but that’s the psychic part working its way in. She can also see into the 4th dimension and bend her vision around things.
Alice Farrowheart finally understood that her grandchild, speaking directly into her mind at the time, was behind the saucer centered collage in the middle of the room on the easel. She decides to move around it to examine the bigger collage more, framed by the green and gray figures she mentioned earlier and spanning two of the 4 walls. But — right or left?
“Choose right,” uttered the magical child, sensing her thoughts and spacial placement again. “Then left till you get to the umbrella. She wanted to emphasize green over gray for a particular reason. She had already told Alice the Pooh (bear) holding a red parasol and pulling a blue cart with a honey pot was exactly halfway between (Phil!).
“*There* you are, child. And there’s the umbrella tucked snug in the corner, just like you said. Not surprising of course.”
“Right between the two,” Toddles reinforced, into her sight and out of her mind, to Alice Farrowheart’s relief. The prescient toddler pointed to the doubly displaced green “T” at the bottom of a Telephone pole and elaborated the connection with Colona, the twin city of Teepot in the Confederation. A graphic representation of what she said to her grandma for now; more later:
We end with a front pic of the Red Umbrella gallery itself, returned to NWES City as of yesterday:
The weak, ineffectual Miss Crumplebottom had been replaced by another teacher named Jill. Winona. Something.
But she too ended up waving at the cat, seceding power to its more central or middle position. And so it goes.
“How the hell are you Hucka Doobie?”
“I’m doing fine *Wheeler*.” She wasn’t playing the Venus Flytrap game here. Not now not ever.
Venus/Wheeler nods toward the 2 men in the room, trying to make a divide between here and there. “Those Bozos, eh? What are we doing hanging around with *them*?”
“Can’t live with them nor without them I suppose,” answers Hucka, still busy slicing the mushrooms and carrots. Can’t Wheeler *help*? she thinks to herself. What a lazy woman! And she’s working while the men talk about the blog. *She’s* an owner too. Both Wheeler and herself. We’re all core, she wanted to say over to them. How about letting us in on the action.
“Axis is such a tiger, though,” states Wheeler, revealing too much for Hucka Doobie. She knows she won’t have any similar stories to share about Baker Bloch. *Both* know this.
“Yeah, well that’s good. Tell me all the details, Wheeler. About the positions and such. Do you do aerial?”
“Maybe,” Wheeler replies quickly then hops down off the cabinet and walks toward the table. “Aren’t you guys finished? Can we all become one again now?”
Hucka Doobie couldn’t watch. She cut mushroom after mushroom then carrot after carrot, not turning around.
“Let’s talk, Venus. About Philip Marz and his role in all this.”
Oh *brother*, Hucka thinks, shaking her head while still slicing away. Mars again.