The day of the Great Jump had come and gone, and Elvis Kannelvis hadn’t participated. Instead he stayed in the small Linden Wood, learning more about The Line with each passing night. No one knew where he was — the woods had a way of hiding people like that as well. The hole was not made to be jumped into; it was a mere pointer to the Guy who owned it, who then pointed him back to The Line. Blue Berry Girl took his place in the event. Blue Berry Girl never had a chance, her round, juice filled body pierced by the jagged sides of the hole less than halfway down, with a pool of blue-violet at the bottom marking her failed effort. Not Linden water, because that would be a little further down still and the hole didn’t penetrate that far. Unlike the former Ulyanovsk Oblast hole strangely (yet again!) equidistant from the central crossroads of X-City as this Gangkhar Hole. This was false water, false liquid. Not Linden. Not Guy. Guy had pointed elsewhere.
Category Archives: 0701
Mercury X. Rising’s still down there, heh. Waiting for Wheeler. He’s certainly in love with his car.
Man About Time — MAT — turns. “And what about you my friend. My best friend. Are you ready to really turn over this time?”
MAT phoned up Toothpick. “The wedding will have to be called off. I can’t get Wheeler, I mean, Carrcassonnee to start.” Toothpick begins to sob profusely. MAT reconsiders. “There *is* one other option. We have the beginning of a new town suburb, one that might seal the deal and make 90 into 100. Are you ready to take that chance, make the leap across a small but not insignificant gap?” Toothpick stopped crying, wiped his eyes, blew his nose. “Sure,” he was finally able to speak. “But what?”
“St. Mary’s. Just behind the Bigfoot Bar, or what use to be that bar. Moe’s I think it is called now. In fact, I own it. I own the church. I own the land bridging the church with the bar with the gallery with the apartment. I own it all. Your wedding to Elberta would help seal the deal. In fact, I think I’ll invite a good friend of mine who happens to be a grey seal. Can you find it? Just behind the Bigfoot Bar. Quickly, before he turns into a snow covered Yeti and we’re all in danger. Can you handle it?”
Toothpick rings up Elberta. “We must get to 245,” he spoke without emotion, trying to complete…
“This place reminds me that we need to check in on Roger Pine Ridge back in Iris, Hucka Doobie. I wonder if he still has that Indigo child’s sphere; perhaps putting it on when he wants to know about all the secrets of the world.”
“This place reminds *me* that we have our own underwater world — alongside Roger’s.” Do you see how I’m posing, she thinks, striking another one. Can you see me atall?
“I guess we better move along, Hucka Doobie. Enjoy the rest of the show.”
She stands up, tired of the talk for tonight. “You go ahead without me. I’ll catch up with you at Sunklands.” She disappears.
Baker is left alone to explore the fabulous Indigo Waters sim pointed out to him by friend Veyot. But he doesn’t mind since the dazzling sights are such a distraction.
“Today, class, we’re going to talk about a historic event that happened right here in Toppsity. It was 11 years ago. No doubt many of you remember what I’m talking about.”
“Oh, I know Mrs. Orchardsity. Was it — The War?” Abigail always wanted to be the first to guess one of Mrs. Orchardsity’s queries. Most often she was wrong, like this time.
“No Abby,” — for that’s what she wished to be called now. Abigail was too formal, and she told the teacher and other students at the beginning of the semester this in no uncertain terms. “The War was further back in time. 1873-1874.” Catalina Orchardsity knew that it was really 1873-1873 but tacking on that extra year sounded better to the ears. Catalina Orchardsity was not a strickly “go by the rules” teacher. She bent the rules. She bent history a bit too. Because she knew it was malleable in the first place. Her ultimate goal was to eliminate The War altogether. Stretch it out in time until it was too thin to exist. Right not it sat fatly in the middle of 1873. She knew it had to start moving in order to lose weight, lose significance in time. This is what the coven taught her.
Bert Bright who always sat up front, second chair from the left next to his best bud Bud Dimm (2nd cousin to Dimmy Gene who we’ve already met in this here photo-novel), spoke up. “The Witch Trials.”
“I was going to say that,” grumbled Bud Dimm to his side. He always muttered this to one of Bert’s bright answers.
“Now, now, Bud. You know Bert is *much* smarter than you. Take it like the little man you are. Chin up!”
Bud raised his chin up. He liked being reinforced that he was much dumber than Bert; gave him an excuse for his lack of answers. He was satisfied with the brain that life had provided him and wanted no further advance in society than a low paying, menial job. He had been taught well.
(to be continued)
“It really is very nice, Hucka Doobie. But — where are all the *new* collages?”
“Well,” she responds to Marty as they keep walking toward the Temple of TILE, perhaps the final destination of the night. “*That* process has basically been absorbed in the generation of the Collagesity *photo*-novels, photos equaling vague or simplified types of collages quite often. Like this.”
Marty looked over at the profile of the walking bee-woman. “Like what?”
“Never mind,” she says, “that wasn’t for you.”
“Hmm.” They continue forward toward The Junction. Official name? They pause here.
“Temple of TILE — thataway, Marty. Barry X. Vampire’s new writing house: dead ahead. Which way do we go?”
“Is this, ahem, another *collage*? One I can’t see?”
“Maybe, er, baby.”
“Listen, baby. I must be going. Lemon is coming over for stew, bringing Yoko Ona. The “Coming Up” song really worked! He’s back in business. Solid lime-green he is. You should come see him.”
“I saw that Barry X. Vampire had written about that,” spoke a noncommital Hucka Doobie. “But — what of the solid lime green auto? Back in Storybrook.”
“Oh that place is so *history*,” quickly replied Marty, waving his hand in dismissal. “Lemon’s taken its place. You have to choose between green and yellow. You can’t have one over the other.”
“But you *can*.” Marty didn’t understand this. After pecking her cheek with a swift kiss he chose the path to the Temple of TILE to get to the Circuit La Corse which would take him home. Hucka Doobie stood her ground, staring ahead at Barry’s place on Collagesity’s edge and wondering what just happened. Next to the town dump currently he is. Barry hadn’t complained about the smell yet. Perhaps that’s a bad sign about his health.
“You and Marty had a *what*?”
“I think — it was a kind of date (!)”
Dennis Jarman knew that someone important lay dead in 7 that came from previous numbers. He ran back the reel of time.
“Nick Barkley of Big Valley,” he spoke aloud, observing the past from a relatively safe distance. “Should’ve known: Big Valley was always pumping out the big V.’s (Villains). Graduate of Chry University like me. Or was it Chry State — never can recall. One’s team wears yellow-green and the other red-violet. Barton — that was it. Nick’s opposite at, yes, Chry State. Ned Barton I believe. Unless it was Nick and Nick was Ned. Barton-Barkley, though. Pretty sure I got that right at least. Better check. If I shout loud enough he may hear it as a tiny whisper. But also, better get ready to amscray if he’s the wrong Chry. He must not know of my past present future in any way. I’ve talked enough; time for action. Time for *time* action. Nick Barkley!!” he cried across the gap of space and time. Barkley lowered his gun and looked around on the ground, as if for a mouse. Good, thinks Dennis Jarman. He doesn’t know where I am. “I’m glad you lowered the gun!! Now lower your *shield*!!” This would be the proving test, because Chry State graduates don’t know what shields are, the tool of a soft and not hard scientist. One who believes in psychics as well as physics. Nick Barkley, who was truly Nick Barkley, lowered his shield. He looked in the direction of Dennis Jarman, saw an outline forming. “Good, good,” spoke Jarman over to Nick and walked toward him, form becoming corporeal for the latter. “Now give me the shield and let’s go home. We have a lot of tape to look at.”
Parasol was so close to the man with the answers (Patriotic Soup Restaurant cook) but yet so far. The bearded lady’s answer to the location of Kuckoo’s or Palace Hotel was: “Ask the fish butcher at the flea market. He knows everything and everybody.” Another dead end, then, for, as we know, the underwater butcher knows nothing. She decided just to wander a bit more before totally giving up, and stumbles (and bumbles) upon a passageway she didn’t think she’d explored before in her many travels through the city now. She touches something and then finds herself here…
…. confronting a white rabbit on the sky object’s edge. Dr. Rabbid Baumbeer, murdered in “Collagesity Photo-Novel 16.”
Parasol didn’t know this fact, but quickly gathered she was talking to a ghost. “Your plan would not have worked,” he called over in earnest after introducing himself. “The whiteyes would not implant correctly over your own eyes and you would have been found out immediately and killed. Just like myself.” He faded from view with this, but the brief encounter provided Parasol with more valuable information than she had hitherto received from anyone in Kowloon. My plot would not have work! she said, spinning the possibility, nay *actuality* around in her mind. Because she knew it was true as soon as it spilled out of the dead doctor’s mouth. White rabbits are true guides. They do not seek to mislead in and of themselves.
Parasol looked up. Another mass of black and white color directly above her head. She flew up…
… to confront *another* white rabbit at the same position on the taijitu symbol’s edge. The symbol was smaller, brighter, and with a more irregularly shaped edge (with a good number of rounded protrusions) than the otherwise duplicate one immediately below. Another 2-n-1.
This white rabbit, taller and appearing feminine in the dim light to Parasol, introduced herself as Charlie in about an octave higher register than the doctor before her. Feminine indeed, although possessing a uni-sex name. “I am the continuation of the doctor,” she spoke, and then Parasol was in a very different location again. Very low instead of very high.
She stared up. The spinning, red fabricy doctor had just finished fixing the first red eye and was about to start on the second. A beam shot up from the “unfixed” eye, destroying the aberrant being in one poof of smoke. She stood up. Was she alive or dead? She couldn’t tell as she walked down the trench toward the surface again…
(to be continued)
“‘Pumpkin Twisters’ anyone?” the great Tin S. Man bellowed, his heart aching from all the lame chit chat. Must get down to business, absences be shamed! His time to shine had more than come. Channeling Kinks’ head man Ray Davies in the round, he must finally put selfishness over selflessness.
On the other side of the tiny woods on the highest hill of the Hills of Bill: the Regaltown “hecklers”, adding more to the tableau.
The target again? Bullfrog, still aligned with Space Ghost. But Space Ghost was getting older, Grammy’s Vortex powers finally losing steam…
They were in their usual spots on the porch outside the trailer perched at the very tippy top, trying to understand the situation.
Space Ghost started the now old argument again. “I thought *you* were Aqua Dude. Like my former roommate…”
“… and his Super Guy duality, yeah. 2n1 in that case. No, for the fiftieth time Aqua Dude and I are separate. Two separate people. A *gay* couple. Get that through your head once and for all.”
“But — I can’t recall ever seeing the two of you *together*. And where’s my cane?”
“You don’t need it yet, Space Ghost,” responded Bullfrog, starting to feel sorry for the old man once more. Getting older by the day, the hour. The cane will come soon enough. “You’re just remembering wrong — getting thoughts jumbled up in your head. We’ve been *over* to your trailer together.”
“But Kevin A…” Space Ghost rattled on.
“I know. It’s confusing. *True* in his case.” Or *was* it, Bullfrog suddenly realized.
They sat in silence for a while, listening to diffused calls of the hecklers across the small grassy parcel from them. No actual words could be made out. The middle “heckler” remained silent as usual, but the stare coupled with the calls from the two surrounding ones made the message loud and clear. Here was Hermania, last girlfriend he’d ever have. Aqua Dude was two guys up from her. But it *wasn’t* Hermania; couldn’t be. Just a statue, an effigy. Made by the other two. No, this was terms for an intervention. Space Ghost had arranged it then let the matter drop. But the hecklers were more persistent. They latched on like ticks. They think Bullfrog and Space Ghost are now lovers. Were they?
“Saying Aqua Dude and me are the same person is as ridiculous as saying we’re two gay lovers, like those idiotic hecklers think.”
(to be continued)
“So the A.Team’s rocket was never launched. Chip Shot, Pipersville in the future, was saved.”
“Oh the bomb reached Chip Shot. Wiped it pretty clean out. But it’s like that church choir practice synchronicity from Beatrice, Nebraska, US of A. Pretty much everyone was out of town at the time. Sink X is there for a reason. It’s a residue crater for certain — not a legitimate, Sinkology verified sinkhole. The Brown-Bower theorems prove that conclusively. So that part can’t be changed. But we got almost everyone out. Save one.”
“The Gno King,” I guessed after a beat.
“No,” replied Detective Biff Carter, still on the hunt. “He or she survived in the Room. It was on the north side of Chip Shot but the south side of Pipersville. When the former rebuilt as the latter after the War of Southern Aggression.”
“So the Gno King hid out in the room and survived the blast.”
“No… not the Gno King. Get that trail out of your noggin. It was someone else. We know he (or she) was there because of the maths, though. They couldn’t work out the way they did if not.”
“Your Mama. Your Mama was in the Room.”
“It’s on the north side of Chip Shot,” and here patient, precise Detective Carter moved his right hand away from me on the bar counter, and pivoted it sideways, as in a karate chop, “and the south side of Pipersville — when it came about.” He opened his near hand with the same gesture but facing the opposite direction. “Where’s the other gun, Marcus? What’s neither North (he moved his far hand back toward me) nor South (he moved his near hand away from me until they met in the middle to make a fused statement)?”
I thought I was Clever, like a Fox. I thought I was Smart (hence the names). But I couldn’t quite wrap my brain around it. I’d need more help.
“Can I phone a friend?” I joked.
The bridge is derezzing behind me. No time. No time!
It’s my worst nightmare.
“He should’ve stayed, you know. We would have gotten him some linden plants around here. He didn’t even ask.”
“Shush, Jeffrie. I’m reading. The book is being written again.”
Of course the treasure is here, fools, escaped prisoner Casey One Hole thought from his perch while staring toward the simulation. One comes with a snowy peak, one doesn’t, duhh. And now it’s all mine to find since the Klancaster Dixons are out of the picture.
He peers upwards. Hmmm, snowy from a distance, but even higher up close. Artificial rock on top.
And between the decoy treasure and this peak is that treehouse over there — an actual house in a tree. Perhaps that’s where it is. Simple as that.
“I don’t *need* the treasure,” he says to himself while descending toward it. “But I certainly *want* it.”