Her friend Frankie “Beige/Brown” Hockentopper was dead. She knew it by the way murderer Tom Eugene Banks spoke of her. “Frankie *was* like that too,” he mentioned during the last visit about the similar ways they both hurled back the insult “f-ck you a-hole” when he asked them to do him a favor. Like, “*shut* UP.” Brown even went so far as to sing the entirety of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” after the final insult just to rile him up more. Not a really good idea, given what he did next. “Mary never had a Lamb,” he spoke over the body with smoking gun after cutting the third and last stanza a bit short. “They’re (the lambs) all gone, Frankie, leaving dreams exposed — best left unrecorded.” He snaps a picture with his polaroid camera. He turned toward the Magic Red Door still on the wall. Igor can clean this mess up. He must find the *next* star — quickly, before she disappears from Storybrook altogether.
And so here she is. Attached to the same pipe as friend Frankie was. Then another appears, not Igor but a girl. Not really the ghost of recently deceased Frankie, although there’s an aspect of that involved. Instead: Jenny, who grows up to be none other than Your Mama.
“I’m here… to help.”
Barry X. Vampire never made it out of the original 9×9 square of sims that included his home town of Bena(ngatron). He was still in Fearzum, struggling to choose a direction for escape. “West, obviously,” he might mutter at some point. “Or is it South?” Little did he know until today that the correct way out was *centre*, right in the middle of it all. I’m almost positive of this.
He uses his gift he’s had from childhood in seeing this centre in any sim he’s in. A red beam connecting ground and sky always indicates it — he *can’t escape.* It was inevitable that he grew to understand what this meant all along. Particularly frustrated at this day’s events and the inability to write, he’s drawn toward it. For calm. For peace. Maybe for even love. The love he misses from Cathy Love Peace Hippie Child, perhaps, left behind in Urqhart along with the nifty, many windowed house he liked so much, with the spinning tire outside that inspired the writing of his current novel, the newest working title being “Wheels Go Round”.
And what do wheels spin round? A centre. It was inevitable. Guided by the beam he starts to move away from a central western perimeter position. Due east — interesting again. What would he pass on this central line in?
For one, this fence sequestering a square of grassy green off from the rest of Fearzum-town. Not quite the past but getting there.
At its corner, he starts sensing the egg. Is this white object here an egg? It would be about the right volume, he ponders, if not the right shape. Is it in disguise?
Then he walks over to the other side and sees the “Multiscene” label and determines it probably isn’t. Onward and inward!
“No, I think you’ve had quite enough spaghetti tonight,” answers Kuckoo to her daughter Louisa’s request. “Now let’s see if we can get that nasty bowl off your head.” But, having a revelation, she instead pivots toward googling Sparky at her laptop. “Anything yet?” she asks, lining up her thoughts while Louisa slurps a stray spaghetti noodle into her mouth. “Not really,” he barks back, and then relays what he thought was sidestepping trivia but turns out to be the heart of the matter. “Did you know, Kuckoo, that there’s a Cow Pond over on the old continent. Spelled with a ‘c’ instead of a ‘k’.” Kuckoo doesn’t get angry, but she inwardly thinks that Sparky should keep on track with his search for the missing girls. The big ta-do is — tonight! No time for sidestepping trivia. Even though, as I said, it’s the meat of the problem, the gist of the matter, white and grey. “Sorry,” Sparky apologizes when Kuckoo doesn’t respond. “I just–” “No problem,” she answers, thinking on the contrary, it *is* a problem. Perhaps they’ll have another sale on word processing dogs down at the marketplace soon. She’s saved enough money. She’s about ready to buy. One more slip–
“Bowl,” she then utters, remembering her insight. “Fish bowl,” she elaborates. “Google, Sparky, ‘fish bowl’ and ‘lost’ together.”
Sparky does as commanded (good dog!). “Yes, there’s a hit!” Sparky is excited because he thinks this can save his job as animal word processor for the Kuail family. Because he knows he’s in trouble too. Dogs are intuitive like that. “But — looks like there’s only two lost souls in that song instead of three. One off, then.” Sparky’s job is suddenly jeopardized again.
In other parts of Kuckoo’s small house overlooking Tao Bay, daughter Thelma is lining up Benjamin Franklins to stick on her doll heads…
… while visiting Earnheart and Gordon fiddle around with drawers and cover themselves with grease stains. Who left those children here??
“She has received the belt, ma’am, and is testing it out in Marwood.”
“Good, good,” Mid-Hazel returned. “But get her to Black Drake as soon as possible.”
“10-4 on that, Eleanor.”
“Stop doing stuff like that,” she commanded. He never listened. One day Jack Toadswallow would pay for all those non-listenings. The Abyss remembers.
Alice Farrowheart was embarrassed she had to widen and deepen the belt so many times in the options mode. Must go on another diet soon! But she had it on, and she *wasn’t* going to enlarge it any more, despite some of her waist still drooping over the top in the front. So be it! She was what she was (at this point). Not a young woman any longer, although in my day… Alice F. thinks back here to winning Ms. Applewood in ’52. A good year for apples in general, she sighs while looking down her torso toward the belt. She can barely make out the edges. But… it’s on.
Now: to test it out. Think I’ll go to that bot bar on the north side of the sim so’s no one important can see me if things go wrong. Alice F. has studied Mystery Woman’s working of the same. Several options will not be used! Just the one that teleports you to a different place. Shocking, I know.
She imagines the bar very vividly in her mind. And: SHOCK.
She’s there! Initial test complete.
“He will — see you now.” The voice was husky and deep, sort of like Darth Vader.
“That’s great. That’s wonderful! I’m so happy.”
“Are you — not rattled?” the giant turtle asked, his beak only inches from the crocogator’s ear now.
“Nah, nah, I’m okay. It was better than, say, Barry *Manilow*, hehe.” Crocogator stared over at Andy’s huge face. “Get it? Because Barry Manilow is so *awful*.” Andy most definitely didn’t get it. There was nothing more to say here.
“Watch out for the exploding lamb!” Winkler the big frog warned. Luke Skywalker this time.
Crocogator walked around the lamb, but in doing so moved just left enough to fall out of “Heaven” while crossing this open corner.
So close to God, he lamented while dusting himself off back on the ground. Now I’ll have to start all over.
He looked around for the clown so that he could start all over.
“So as you can see from the screen behind me…” — Woody Woodmanson points to it with his precious golden key for the rest of the group sitting around The Table —
“…it was always suppose to end with the Horns of Hatton. The Crown (Capital) is there,” he continues in his squeaky, shrill voice. So irritating to Wheeler, but she couldn’t make it tonight because of the flu. Perhaps not a coincidence when I think about it. “And that’s my Pitch,” he concludes.
“Richfield is the place we can divert them, where the fork is,” Tealy summarizes some earlier talk from his suave chair behind Woody.
“Horns of Hatton, where they could end up instead of Golden Sink,” exclaims Tillie beside him, similarly facing the screen close up from her partnered suave chair. “The B.’s could be saved.”
“*Fork*” Woody spouts suddenly, making everyone jump because of the, you know, voice. So irritating, I’m sure Wheeler would think at this point — if she were here. He was channeling the key again. When he channels the key, his voice tends to become *really* irritating (in Wheeler-speak), with all the “negative” aspects magnified. The key has power that way.
“Yes this could work.”
He walked and walked until he came upon a horse.
Approaching it, Allen Y. commented on what a pretty horse it was. “Thank you,” the creature replied in a smooth, feminine voice, surprising the yellow alien.
“A talking horse, eh?” He was facing the beautiful brown animal directly now. “What’s your name, then?”
“Mirabel,” it quickly replied. “Use to be Tricksy. But that’s a horse name. I got a proper *being* name when I came in contact with Brainard. Have you met our God? He often rolls around the valley… like a marble. Sometimes in the hills surrounding the valley, sometimes in the valley.”
“Hmmm. How big is this… marble being?”
“A *God*,” Mirabel neighs. “A collective, some say. But a God still. There’s little debate on that. Hitchcock can tell you. He’s the expert.”
“Hitchcock,” Allen Y. urged. “Another horse?”
Mirabel snorted, then: “Not hardly,” and went back to eating greener grass on the other side of the fence.
Sensing the animal-being was done with him, Allen Y. moved on. “Thank you,” he said in parting.
Soon he came upon a stream, and across it, a cabin in a small grove of more of those tall, tall trees. The abode of Hitchcock.
(to be continued)
It took them half a day to reach another of those clear spaces where they could make enough sense to each other for more of the story.
“A railroad oval. An engine runs into a caboose. Tale before the tiger,” Marion explained. “A race between beginning and end, she said. Tale wins.”
“Maybe tails win,” Billy Jean King said while sitting on a small bed in the corner of the otherwise almost unfurnished and undecorated cabin. “As in a coin. Flipping a coin — heads and tails.”
“She said to always pay attention to the blue roses. They always indicate something. We looked west now. Two thrones — blue roses to side. She said these were the Prince and Princess of Rosehaven, but only when Caledon is Caledonia.”
“See?” BJK nudged Philip sitting beside her in the ribs. “I *told* you it was Caledon. Maybe we were in the wrong place to start with.”
“No,” insisted Marion. “We were definitely in the right place. Caledonia. And then — get this — they removed their, er, masks. Actually the Prince had on some rainbow swirly globe or something — over his head. The princess just shed her golden skin, like a snake. ‘Let the waters rise,’ they said in unison, then. I looked around but didn’t see any water, let alone water rising. But something had changed. I could feel it.”
I also noticed there was a tiny bit missing from the Prince’s fin-foot, like it was bitten a little bit.”
“A little *bite*,” BJK insisted. She turned toward Philip knowingly. Philip just stared back blankly.
“The Princess’ shoe was right there.”
“Achilles heel?” BJK offered, visualizing it backwards in her mind.
Duncan Avocado had prepared and was about to teleport into the center of the Gaston sim when he looked at the map. Someone was already there in that Central Park at 128/128. Never seen that before. He teleports in at a safe distance and remote checks… another black man!
Who was he waiting on, if anyone? Was this a potential ally or foe? Could it possibly be someone investigating prison corruption in the sim like himself? Another dancer Sugar sent in, perhaps to taunt him? Speculation goes many directions. But his presence is real. He better lay off Gaston involvement and send another avatar from the core over here. Or, better, just use another core…
What a mess.
The time to act is now, he then thinks. “I must do what I planned to do. Tonight.”