“Umbrella, Hucka Doobie. It’s closer than you think.”
Keith B. was back in Cassandra City, exploring old haunts, some still around, a lot: gone. He doesn’t remember, for instance, Big Dick’s Halfway Inn. He quickly figured out that BD stands in or resonates directly with MP, that is, Moby Prick. Here was a famous white whale manifested, perhaps. He better check it out.
He waited for the clerk to show up but one never came. From the corner of the lobby, unseen until now, a man spoke up, his voice crisp with confidence and intrigue. “Place is filled up, sir. You better go elsewhere. Gabby is on one of those long lunch breaks again.”
“Gabby?” returned Keith B., thinking the name was wrong. What was it in rehearsal. Jimmy? Dimmy? No, that wasn’t it either.
The man introduced himself instead of gabbing more about Gabby. “My name is Wendell “Biff” Carter and you were lured in here by the sign. Lured in so that you could meet *me*.”
The *whale*? Keith B. thinks while staring over, trying to get a better estimate of the man while not being so obvious about it. That was it: someone was attempting to create a *report* on this man. And failing. Failing in general. Keith B. was here to help. At least that’s what the last version of the script read.
“Big Dick I assume.”
He extended his arms and scooted forward a little. “In the flesh.”
Keith B. turned away. He was finished studying for the moment.
“We’re not here to play with chess pieces, my lovely Linda Halsey,” Marty opens. “We’re here to play with minds. Give me a report on the latest over in Urqhart (or thereabouts), dearest.”
“Sure, um. We think Wheeler may be back in the game.”
“Is that good?”
“Is it?” she returned, and then Lisa Smipson showed up asking if they wanted menus but only brought up Vegetarian selections for specials. They thanked her while shaking their heads about needing food, not realizing who she was in the moment. Lisa then dropped this broad hint of how the game should go.
“You know, a mere pawn can be turned into a whole board given enough time,” she said in her pleasantly squeaky voice, bordering between serious and parody. Kind of like stuck between a 2d and 3d existence. Fisher the fry cook called from the kitchen, needing her to pick up another order. “2 Perch, hold the fries, hold the slaw,” he called, giving more hints. She turned sideways and fairly disappeared in front of them. Another took her place in a frozen slice of time.
He sighs. “Black *is* beautiful. Oh Lily, why you do me this way? Why you do me this way?”
“Li-ly! Oh my darling wife Li-ly! Former wife Li-”
The phone rings, grinding Morgan Freechild’s attempt at a song to a halt. It’s Axis again.
“I *will* give your love to Lily,” he speaks into the phone to Axis a bit later. “Yeah, she’s right here,” he lies, “playing the piano as usual, he he.” Axis indicates he can’t wait to see them again; just has to tie up some business in *Fearzum* — *not* Fearzom — always gets a laugh, which Morgan does. “Okay, well I guess, um, I’ll see you after *that* — whatever it is.” Axis says he can’t talk about it then commences to talk about it for the next 15 minutes. “Sandman, eh?” responds Morgan Freechild to what he was revealing with obvious worry. “Well I haven’t seen or heard from him since he started preaching over at the Main Cheese Church in Heterocera; started wearing clown makeup all the time. I wonder what this Ant Man wants from him?” Axis replies that the name of the big ant is just Ant, with no Man attached and that would be a copyright issue if so. “Maybe that’s what it is, then,” says Morgan Freechild, administrative skills kicking in again. He was taking a break from all that, and Axis’ currently empty house fit the bill perfectly. Mountain retreat. Fearzom and not Fearzum. Strange, Morgan thinks once more, that Axis is involved in both. Maybe *I* should get involved with this, he ponders. Not tell Axis, just fly in and be done with it in a few hours. No stress involved. None atall. His old heart would be ticking none the worse for it. Good to get back to the old job, at least for a couple of hours. He decides then and there: Axis seems to need him.
It would be the worse decision of his life. Let’s just say he’ll never finish that love song.
Instead, Duncan Avocado finds himself in the southeast corner of the sim of Blue on the Old Continent (Sansara), zooming in on a strange PLime flag adorned with a fused plum and lime.
Lime is the sim immediately east of here, and Plum lies immediately below Lime. Blue is the color of the pool ball he couldn’t remember the number of, but he’s not here in Blue for that reason. Instead: following leads from Kowloon. The place has magic. But Our Second Lyfe as a whole still retains the ways — YES — *before* the coming of the Blimey Limeys, as some in the Pot-D circle of more English persuasion decry the Lindens, the overlords to this world of ours. Because there was certainly a world before this world. Duncan originally found that out through Nautilus, then it spread to other continents, Maebaleia/Satori and its North-South split most prominently perhaps. You have to be quick to receive the proper messages coming from this world. And Duncan, thanks to his Pot-D training the last year, had learned nimbleness, beyond mere polished dance moves. He can dance through associative links now as well….
So Blue is still the mystery to be penetrated, he contemplates further from a nearby, green checkerboard sofa.
He remained on the Old Continent for a long, long time, never to return to Kowloon and its mysterious ways. The associative links took him elsewhere.
But we ourselves must remain in the Kowloon’s Gate Reborn themed sim a bit longer. At least until the end of the current photo-novel. Because Fish Head indeed has more information at his disposal now, thanks to the listening pipes. Goodbye Duncan! We’ll catch up with you soon enough. Happy dancing!
Baker Bloch was working alone tonight. The marriage of Wheeler was throwing him off his game, he felt. How could this be? He was trying to figure out how to organize all the Gaston posts into a separate page, a separate site even. He must be careful. Randolph with an additional name of Cross of all things. 2 doors down from Axis. 2 doors down from…
The door to the almost finished coffee shop in the central part of NWES opened. “Thought you might need some company tonight.” Hucka Doobie, Baker thought, rather disappointed that he couldn’t hide from the other core avatars completely. Ever. They were a family bound together in this virtual space and time, perhaps beyond. “Hi Hucka,” he offered as graciously as manageable. “Have a seat. Have some coffee. On the house.”
I’ll sit in here and read until Hucka Doobie finishes her pie.
“What is that thumping noise, Baker Bloch?” queries his bee-friend after the bathroom break, after the pie. Maybe his best friend now that Baker Blinker spends so much time in Chilbo, away from *Collagesity* (Collagesity! Yea!).
“Must be coming from the apartments directly above us. The Foxxy I believe it’s called — yes, checking remotely: The Foxxy. The primary owner and creator of the town was working on those at the same time I was working here, directly below. He contacted me via im about another matter — rental one — and I told him I was directly below him at the moment, which he didn’t know.”
“You have to be careful about contacting the outside. Outside our family of avatars, I mean.”
“I know. You’re right of course. But this is the *guy* who also created the duplicate Faux Rhino over in Gaston. I so so wanted to talk to him about it — why the duplication, so forth. It was so tempting.”
“Just that,” Hucka Doobie reinforced in her warning. “Another temptation.” She looks over at the shrine again, just outside the cafe at the terminus of a small, dead end hallway. Baker notices and starts to explain a bit more.
“Lu Ellen Hutchison is becoming a town hero, at least in certain parts. The place, NWES, is split down the middle, just like a certain US of A our joint user lives in up in the so called Real World. Real Life.”
“I know,” opines Hucka Doobie. “So cliche.”
Baker blows out some air, then continues. “Anti-gay, anti-immigrants, anti-whatever. Negative forces, Hucka Doobie. Save the unborn fetuses who are less than 3 months old but kill off all the old people in the world. It’s backwards. It’s *madness*.”
“Yes,” agrees Hucka Doobie, then glances at the shrine again. “Madness.”
Buster knew she would be looking in through the secret window. Some called her Blurmaid, half blue, half (mer)maid. She was what Craighead Phillips dreamed about regularly in the aquarium at the center of the X, Maebaleia/Satori’s only true crossroads. And they *were* at one, as we, (the reader) and I, are. This is so top secret that I’m almost inclined to make the remainder of the posts of this current Collagesity novel private. I believe Buster Damm would feel more comfortable if this were so.
“The X is a portal,” he spoke through the bamboo to his old friend Pitch, his best mate for, well, centuries I suppose. This is secret stuff between two old pals, old buddies. “You found the blue rose by the sign — you know that now.”
“Ahh, blue rose. Should’ve known.”
“Novalis, yes. But the blue rose is close yet again.” He peers at the door he cannot see through once more. “We are — being monitored,” he measured in his high pitched voice.
Pitch let this sink in before responding bassly from his reclining position. “Cathy A. I know about her and the blue rose that once was red. Like, er, Marcus Fox Smartville’s. What — happened to them?”
[delete 5 exchanges]
“We will compensate by editing…”
[delete 3 exchanges]
Annaliza appeared from around the corner. “We have had enough of discussions today if you please. Mr. Pitch sir, you will follow me again to the pool room where we will talk more tomorrow. Mr. Dang, if you will excuse us.”
Sweet Alice waited for the Magic Bus out of Pipersville. Sweet Alice asked for marriage to Jim A., who she knew as Jim A. Brown, owner of the Diamond Club and keyboardist in the resident band The B.’s. Her father unsurprisingly said no. Hence the birth of the Gno King legend and the entrapment of the fair maid inside the Indecypherable Tower until rescued by Master Ben Bolt five long years later. Only he could break the code.
“What reason do you give *now* for the ‘no'”, she begged before leaving the town perched on the edge of Sink X. Everyone was starting to feel the radiation effects, either directly or indirectly. “Pipes,” he plainly put it to her from his soon-to-be-established Kingdom, which was actually anywhere he physically stood. “Pipes, table, door, bars, um… do I need to go further?” Sweet Alice automatically assumed a modest pose where she covered he clothed body with strategically placed hands. He didn’t need to go further.
“Amazing, Patrick my man. Man *wo*man. All I had to do was volunteer to preach at the local Broken Clock Church twice a week and we get wined and dined all we desire. Room and board too.”
“No – more – cave!” expressed Patrick, who hated to shiver. Doc said his baby was due any day. “Another glass of rosé?”
“Don’t mind if I do, sir. Don’t mind if I do.”
“I don’t understand, Magnus Ellen. The observing truck is gone here at Crow Island. How do we keep up with the progression of Zoidboro and boy gal Patrick?”
“Something must have changed,” opined the wise Buddhist to his understudy. “Strands (of time) must have been altered.”
Sidechick Corea paced nervously on the wooden swing bridge. “What… now, then?”
“Back to Rosehaven. Back to the cave. There *must* be a portal, for we’ve seen Zoidboro also preaching in Rosehaven Serenity.”
“How many places *is* he preaching, sire?”
“Maybe he can’t stop saying, ‘Don’t mind if I do, sir. Don’t mind if I do.'”