Liz is somewhere here, thinks Keith B., spying the guts of the place from a high point in one of its vineyards.
“Did you hear that??”
“Sounded like an explosion!”
A new cube appeared down at the beach. Ready for transport.
She was chopping down the beanstalk as fast as possible with the magic ax she purchased with her soul. Dreaming Shelley came up on her. “What are you *doing*? You’ll *kill* yourself. You’ll kill both of us. Stop it; put down the ax.”
Still-a-kid Liz kept chopping away, whack whack whack. At the 200th swing, the giant plant leading up to the top of the sky began to crack at its base. It was falling. “Look what you’ve done!” screamed Shelley still beside her. The thing unwound in the distance like a collapsed tornado. She woke up.
“I remember the circle squared, Hucka. Can I call you Hucka without the D? Or Doobie?”
“Call me whatever you like. Fred if you wish.” Hucka D. looked around at the same old place. The Old Same Place.
“That would, I suppose, be looking at the bell from below.” He peered at the old photo, then switched it back to Nautilus, the present square and circle combined. Gordie Down’s head blinked off, as if he’d fallen asleep. Wee Norris on his shoulders came around the bend like on a carousel and took over. “So here we are.”
“Fountain,” Hucka D. corrected after giving it some thought. “1/2 and 1/2, though, although we aren’t suppose to talk about that.”
“Limit saying that, yes,” Baker Bloch understood. So many 12 Oz Mouse references in their talkings, like it was the center of the Universe and not Clyde. But everyone knew it was Clyde. Trouble is, no one could get there to see what it was like, not even Gordie Down, although he continually reads about it dawn to dusk and dawn to dusk. Billie Jean Kidd dreams about it as well: a wanted paradise of sorts for her. Add in NORRIS and you get a 40 year stretch of history, not 20, a 2 fer 1 kind of deal-i-o or sumtin. That was the secret of Wheeler on top of Wilson. And Wilson on Wheeler – 1/2 and 1/2 again.
“Baker,” Hucka D. interrupted my reverie, as she was suppose to do here. “I… have to go.”
“Wee wee,” but he didn’t mean yes yes. Okay, 1/2 and 1/2. STOP
GO “I’m back. Someone needs to clean up in there.”
“Last owners,” I clarified. “It was as if the filth was baked in back there in the shadows, the darkness. Same in the bedroom.” But Baker Bloch knew he wasn’t suppose to talk about that room. Keep with the bath.
“There’s tiles out in the shower — I pulled back the curtain — couldn’t help it; saw the outline of something through the curtain. You need to fix that Baker B. And the fence. Neighbors are talking. People beyond the veil are talking, like [delete name]. How are you going to find Ancient Clyde in all its black and white glory with its horsed and horseless carriages if you can’t even manage the present (situation), hmm?”
He, I mean, she had a point (*scroll*). She gets up then down and points to the one with the stinger beside masked Gene Fade. “This is me.”
In a whale of a position, a tree grows out of Newt’s head.
Hitgal, still manning her cornog stand at this same Half Moon Airport in Southwest Nautilus, watches a tulip plane coming in from out the front windows, 2 of ’em in fact. Lips are like one pink. She recalls a dream last night where she was floating in such, on a pool shaped like Vermont or New Hampshire, pick your camera angle. Two people sitting and talking at a table perched on the far side of the irregularly shaped cement pond. A mouse. A man. A cane between them, linking them together in the irresolved distance, as if by magic. Someone lost their cane. “Excuse me, miss,” he said after approaching, and then told her what was amiss. He walked with a limp but not badly. Hitgal pondered if the cane was more symbolic than necessary, a symbol of power, an emblem of a man who can point to what he wants before he takes it. She overheard whispers of a restaurant that would manufacture hot dogs out of pig lips. Hmmm, lips again. She speaks to him with her own.
“Over theres.” She points behind her to the left. “Mae Baelias.”
“Maebaleia?” he repeats, wanting to get it right.
“That’s right. Just over theres.” She points again. There could be no mistake. But of course a bigger mistake hid behind this lesser one avoided. Dr. Mouse would spend the rest of the year and then 3 or 4 months of the next searching for his cane on the Satori continent, which airline reservation agent and sometimes lost and found negotiator Mae Baleia directed him toward. The tickets were free and so was the pain. He needed a vacation anyway, but it was not what he expected. Chickens — always the clucking and pecking around, the incessant pecking and clucking. But Dr. Mouse found his cane upon return. Hitgal kept it safe below the cornog roaster at her stand, awaiting the closing of the loop. Tulips are like one pink, she knew, and the plane he took to Maebaleia/Satori would be arriving at the same time he departed. There would be no gap.
(to be continued?)
We began again the next day…
“It’s Plan 2, Stumpy,” spoke Man About Time within Moe’s Bar over at NWES City. He’s decided to leave this footprint in the town; keep paying rent on it. “Black Ice is kaput.”
“Yeah, I know,” replies Stumpy the formerly headless bartender, hired only after he promised to get one. “We’ll have to think of ‘what ifs’ on that one.”
“What if…” MAT starts, “… I was recognized for being a world renowned artist.”
“What if…” Stumpy chips in, getting into the game himself, “… I remained headless and could still balance red wine and blue pot correctly.”
“What if…” MAT’s turn again. “All of this is a dream.”
“What if… I were actually dead instead of alive.”
“What if… Charlene were actually my girl instead of Jeffrey Phillips’.” MAT pauses here; Stumpy takes a good gander at him. “Because, you know, he’s dead and all.”
“Maybe *we’re* dead,” Stumpy doubles down. Were they still playing the game? “Do you, er, fancy her, Man About Time? You can tell me. I’m your no. 1 bartender after all. Remember, you hired me after I promised to get a head.”
“Ahead in life, yes. Which the job would give you. So: case closed; loop completed. You are here. You have a head.”
“Back to Charlene…”
He sits for a while on the subway before he remembers it was never finished. He’ll have to walk. Another “what if,” then. What if… the subway system of town was finished and residents could more easily move from one sim to another. But to Black Ice and continue his pitches which are All Pitch. Maybe he should buy Barry DeBoy’s red baseball cap. Put it on backwards so he can tell the two apart. “I’m here,” he imagines saying to forward cap wearing Barry across from him on the train. “And you’re there.” But he was facing (transposed) the other way and couldn’t even see him. Reminds me of a certain Tiger we’ve viewed recently. Barry, I mean, MAT sits alone again. Then gets up. Because of the whole nonfunctioning part of the subway. He’ll have to walk to Black Ice. Surely he remembers how to walk — yes, one foot then another then another. Feets get moving!
(to be continued)
The pageantry of Elvis Kannelvis’ hole jump brought out a number of the local dare-demon wannabe’s, like Ricky Pageant and his even more dare-devilly and showboating skating partner, er, Millgate (partially hidden by street lamp here).
Ricky is the step-brother of Annaliza Pageant who we’ve met in photo-novel 14 as the Intake Manager of Sinkology U. just down the street. No relationship to the pageantry of the current event that we know of.
All sorts of tourists showed up, only mildly disappointed when Elvis Kannelvis pulled a no show and Blue Berry Girl had to fill in for him. “Elvis who?” many said, unaware of his moderate fame up until this point in his dare-demon career. “Lizard what?” they might add on, not hearing of his main claim to moderate fame: the Lizard Gulch Jump of ’86 which resulted in only 2 spectator deaths, despite the prognostications. If only there would have been more, Elvis Kannelvis often lamented in secret.
Some people were confused about the nature of his newest dare-demon event. Was he going to *jump* the hole, as in jump over it, or jump *into* it. And, if so, what was the point of it all? What did he expect to accomplish in either case? The width of the hole didn’t seem that impressive, but there were all those jagged little peaks around it that could prove a hazard and got some mouths salivating for blood. But what about the depth — where did the hole lead? Was it bottomless? some speculated. Was there a hot breakfast and a golden staircase waiting for Elvis when he reached the bottom? Crazy stuff like that, fueled by the excessive sugar intake no doubt. Hank’s Urban Ice Cream Parlor was running a 2 fer 1 scoop deal throughout the whole of it. He knew it would pay off for him big time in the end, whatever the results of the event.
“There’s *my* little dare-demon. Smile you demon!”
“Oh stop it Ray.” (*blush*)
The fires were finally going out in the Toppsity area, but Gabby would not let brother Amos die in Vain. Never mind that he died in that field next to his house over there across the road. Images of Amos’ beloved Sacky Doll started popping up here and there around the town, starting with a trickle and ending with a flood thanks to Gabby’s friend Marilyn, who was helping out again the way she could. The good witches were working above and beyond the bad ones. White had displaced black at the top of the totem. Cat balance had been restored, or was being restored. Dogs go home — bad dog, bad dog! The Dead had become a Danger again.
Speaking of Cassandra City…
For their second “date”, Marty took Hucka Doobie to a remote coffee shop in the sky on a parcel bordering his own over in eastern Urqhart. “Bring your mac,” he warned. “It’s always pouring rain there.”
“It really is raining quite hard here,” spoke Hucka Doobie, staring out.
On his part, Marty wasn’t looking at the rain.
“I think he likes me (!),” she exclaimed later to Baker Bloch back at the Perch restaurant in Collagesity one sim over.
“Oh, come on, Hucka,” said one of her two oldest friends in this world, along with female counterpart Baker Blinker. They go back over a decade now. “You know he’s probably still married to Linda Halsey. And he lusts after that Cathy Love Peace Hippie Child. And he’s had an affair with Audrey, even after causing the death of her husband Jeffrie Phillips before deciding to resurrect him at her urging. In other words: he plays the fields.”
“Strawberry Fields,” responds the wise bee person. “Lemon is back as well (!). I get to meet him on our next, er, get together.”
“Still afraid to commit to calling it a date, I see.”
Hucka Doobie knew Marty and herself didn’t have a real future as a couple. She was just trying to get under Baker Bloch’s skin, see how he felt about the whole situation. I guess it seems to be working? she queried herself while staring into his cold, dead eyes, looking for signs of life.
“Well?” asks Hucka Doobie after an hour. “Where is he, Marty? You said he’d meet us at Perch.” Marty still wasn’t paying attention, staring down from Hucka’s eyes. “Oh I don’t know. Probably picking up more eggs for Yoko or something.”
Lemon’s foot enters the door…
… shortly followed by his body. “Hell-o hell-o hell-o”.