She woke up with her mission. Go through the SOS flea market toward the plane. Find the hole in the fence and turn left. Therein lies the answer to everything, or at least 42. What’s within will not be what it seems.
The plane, check. But not the flea market before her. The cat on a nearby plank of wood meowed an answer but it was not 42. Something about dinner time being only 2 hours or so away now. Useless for her, although encouraging for the cat. She moves right, since left is…
… hold on.
In the secret basement lair of the large house to her left, biggest in town:
Only 2 hours till dinner time, thinks Greg Ogden with exactly the right number of G’s in his name. Better change.
“Interesting choice of shows, Martha. Do you like aliens?”
“Dunno, whatofit?” Her voice was raspy, as if she’d smoked a 100 cigarettes a day for her 45 years of life. At least the days she was able to reach her mouth with her hand in a coordinated way, that is, beyond infancy and early childhood. She’d had a rough life, and didn’t expect to live beyond 65 or so. She wasn’t planning on retirement. Her husband Jack was around, but in a wheelchair over at the Asylum. He’d seen things in the dark, heard rumors. So, yeah, she was interested in aliens. She was *studying* them. Must keep deflecting Agent 47 or whatever the f-ck they’re up to down at the station. “Want some pieee?” Pie was code for sexy good times in town. Some of these smart looking ones liked her type. In fact she had a website; must make ends meet *somehow*. Plus she had to have money for her cigarettes. Where were her cigarettes?
The agent was staring unblinkingly at her. She hated when they did that; maybe did something to their eyes in childhood. And she’s heard they need very little sleep. They stay up and read manga most of the night, analyzing it to pieces. Or so she’s heard. “Sooooooo. Taking that for a no?”
“Martha,” he starts firmly. “You know us agents accumulate knowledge on the residents of this town. It’s like coral; my brain is like coral, *our* brain. We are a hive.”
He stared at the tv screen again. He stared a very long time, then: “How many minutes for the information I need?”
Sally decided this would be her last trip into Jack’s former office with the all important ring binder she was still carrying around the day after yesterday. She had taken it to the bathroom with her and had a peek inside. Peking: (old) China stuff. “Just around the bend,” one document proclaimed. “Epidemic escalated to pandemic,” another said. “This was about the bug, like up in the beige hills, beyond Collagesity even,” she whispered to herself while on the john. She shut the ring binder, propped it carefully against the stall wall, balled her hand under her chin while sitting there in thinking mode. Sally was a bright chick, perhaps too much so. Since she had a double life, just because she was smart enough to pull it off. Lackey by day here at the Dogoog Coast Guard Station, an affiliate of Angel’s Airports. By night: spy. It was like the split of Orient and Occident, she realized, and herself as a reverse Marco Polo ready to unleash the goods to the enemy.
Marsha knew that boss Phillip Strevor was spying on her while she photocopied downstairs, eager to get away sometimes at least from the direct stares of her backside. At first he hid behind that big palm pictured above. Okay, good: only a sideways view, she thought, and tolerated the stalking. Then, gradually it seemed (it probably happened all of a sudden, though), Phillip slid out from behind the palm and over to the couch for a better view. He had sunglasses and wore a fake beard. He usually sat lotus position to disguise himself as an Indian. He thought it would be enough to fool her. Phillip Strevor perhaps wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, but that’s probably because of his head being cut off and all back in the war. He had it reattached, but decided to keep the demarked cut lines just to make him look tough. “CUT HERE”.
He also thought the beard would hide this from Marsha.
While still hauling around that damning ring binder all over the building to various offices (traitors, she thought, every last one of them!), Sally checked the script weight board. No sign of Wilson Fox this time. Only 2 All Oranges now, the big boss out on the dock taking care of the what’s-his-name dignitary, and the hooker across the bay probably wearing all that bling jewelry she likes. Man attactors, she calls them. Little lurid beacons of light. Sally usually hates women of the night and thinks them the lowest of life forms. But she’s befriended the hooker — Ginger I think is her name — because she has valuable information about the Orient she needs to dig out from her. And to top it all off, there’s Lime: the very origins of Our Second Lyfe. It actually started on Yd Island — just beyond the edge of the Coast Guard property over there. You can almost see it with a 512 meter draw, the maximum allowed in this here game. Ratzenburger Rabbit. Ginger (I think) knew the whole story. She grew up on Yd Island back in the 30s, 50s, and 70s.
(to be continued?)
He could go anywhere, do anything. He truly had a bike now. But how to use this new found power. He’s decided to be a spiritual guide for the blog, for Collagesity perched up there on that beige ridge between Route 13, which he’s riding on currently, and Route 14 on the other side. Together (through the Wizard Cube): 25, or the number of letters subtract one. And that one could be him, hidden in form. He could be the true man behind the Wizard in Oz-speak, which is All-speak now for him. Because he knows Oz represents the Afterlife.
He bikes on, plotting on how to heal the Great Split. Brother against brother, friend against friend. It’s all going to end somewhere, and perhaps badly. But Nautilus can survive. If he places himself in the middle. And that could be an anchor for the rest.
“Sure is a perfect day, Tillie.”
“As usual, Tealy.” BOOOOOOOMMMM.
“What was *that*?” he exclaimed to his 4 colored partner.
He listened in open mouthed amazement, like always.
“I don’t know, Groover,” he put it mildly but seriously. “I’m just not feeling it yet in…” He considered the name of the place, the village. But not a village. A community. Centered around Blues. He stared at his blue companion; decided to ask him about a name. “What do you locals call this, um, neighborhood?”
Groover stared back, also considering a name. He hadn’t thought of it before. A list developed in his mind, Thirteensboro at the top. Unlucky Village? But 13 is a good number according to TILE tarot reader Marsha Slot, due to arrive at quarter past the hour to start her shift in the next room over. We should wait for her, Groover realized. He told this to Man About Time (MAT).
The front door opened and closed. A woman’s footsteps were heard going into the other room. “There she is,” MAT said over in his soft tone with raised eyebrows, and they got up to go get her first reading of the day. MAT had 50 lindens. He hoped that was enough, because he knew Groover never carried around cash with him. No pockets.
I am wearing a red cap for some reason. The skeleton opposite me has just flipped over the Ace of Spades from his own deck, the death card. But I have an ace to counter from mine. But my ace is red. I lose (*SLICE*).
MAT (Man About Time) wakes up with a gasp. He knows how the vote about the town vs. city moniker is going to come out. Good news! He can’t help but feel his neck, though, to make sure it’s on nice and tight (phew!).
He crosses his arms, feeling guilty again. Was this statue that had trouble rezzing in before *alive*? Was it another version of himself? Was it Graham once more? The green dot doesn’t lie but no one was around according to his scanner. He pinches himself. Is he dreaming? His hand passes through his arm on the way to its intended action. Failure, of course. He’s dreaming.
He attempts communication. “Whatup?” he decided to frame it. “How’s it hanging?” he follows up. Nothing. There *must* be something to this — anomaly.
The only avatar around — found through turning off volume and toggling on the “show skeleton” option for avatars — is this dancing gecko more in the southern part of the sim: Montague. He teleports to the edge of a sky “o” to find it. He stares over at the drink cooler after manifesting, realizing this was another hole, like in his most recent work called “Half and Hole” featured in that last post before the current one here. And the bar itself is shaped like a hole. He’s traveling a diagonal again.
“Whatup?” he tries again over to the jiggling exotic lizard. He’s sitting on a “333 — Tiki Bar Stool”; he checks while waiting. But nothing again. He wasn’t surprised.
Someone else must be coming.
It seemed like a good place to send Crappy in, the newest freebie outfit on the marketplace I added to my cart only several minutes back. Crappy hates the 1974 music of Supertramp and thinks their album “Crime of the Century” is vastly overrated. Perfect.
It didn’t work! Something is wrong with Crappy. Maybe Supertramp merits deeper study after all.
Philip Strevor was his own boss for a while but that changed when he entered the Red Room and met Casey One Hole, the bastard. From then on, he worked for him; boss no more. Instead he was a grunt man, bullying underlings and upward mobile wannabes. Like Whatammys except transparent. Sammy Whatammy, aka Miss Raincoat, waited in the waiting room to be seen next by Philip. Then it was Yoko Ona (upward mobile wannabe) and then Zapppa (underling). The place was still heavily bugged.
“Never mind the sign,” he made the obligatory apology to start. “I’m not the boss any more. *He* is. He calls the shots, sometimes golf shots, sometimes other kinds of shots, if you know what I mean.” He stared at Miss Raincoat/Sammy Whatammy, expecting an answer. “Do you *know*… what I *mean*?” he repeated more sinisterly, as was appropriate at this juncture. He’d seen it happen. He didn’t want to see someone face that kind of music again. Pizza!
“I testified just like [delete name] wanted me to. I said all the words I was suppose to say.” She repeated some of the words here: “Underwater. Sinky. Blub blub blub. Just like [delete name] told me.”
“Why can’t you say [delete name]?”
“The name of our (actual) boss. [Delete name]. Dang! Now I’m doing it too. Must be [delete word].”
“[Delete name][delete word] is obviously [delete word][delete name]. Reversed.”
“*That* bloodied vampire? That imbecile? Impossible.”
“I believe [delete word].”
“*He’s* Casey One Hole? Played by ever method actor Tom Casey? Dang!”
(to be continued?)
“I’ve killed your husband Jeffrie Phillips, Audrey. I’ve killed the *killer* of your husband Arthur Kill. I’m afraid we are *all*…”
“–Don’t say it, former lover,” requested Audrey to Marty from the bench in front of NWES’ Red Rose (actual type of business yet to be determined). “You brought him back. You also got rid of that murderer Arthur Kill to everyone’s great relief.”
“Legos, yes,” states the famed musician/composer, pondering fondly of the little, toy-like people living on the hill overlooking Urquhart Castle at similarly famed Loch Ness in Scotland. They’d only spotted the actual one a handful of times, but they knew a monster when they saw it. And Arthur Kill definitely was one. *Pop,* roll roll roll, *splunk*. Laying in a bloody heap down at the edge of the castle thanks to the quick action of Winfield 5 and husband-wife Winnie. Marty followed it all in his mind’s eye; replayed his reimaging of the event many times. And then when you erase the extra “u”, like the Loch Ness Monster himself or herself did that one time, you get, um, well you get *home*. Urqhart. While I remain in Our Second Lyfe most likely. And Marty is a neighbor!
Audrey waited patiently for the internal monologue to end. Then: “I heard the fire engines will also be cooled down because of — this place.”
Marty turned. The Red Rose.
Yes, indeed circumstances had changed in this here NWES City, still a partner to newly repositioned Collagesity over in Urqhart moving forward. Both have been *reset*.