Audrey was, as usual, dancing an Irish Jig. Jeffry Phillips was enjoying the scene, but they must get down to business soon. One more dance, though.
“Try 13 now,” he requested.
“Whatever happened to Marsha, by the by?” Philip asked after Audrey had given him the latest update. He didn’t need the information but he wanted it. Sounds familiar.
“Oh, the usual. Marriage to some slob and now they’re pinned down with the standard 2.5 kids. Thank you for not wanting any. Teepot has enough. The *world* has enough.”
“The world is not long for us anyway. No use in bringing someone new in to experience all that misery.”
“Agreed,” Audrey quickly followed.
“Well… we’ve tracked Casey One Hole down to Danshire before his disappearance, along with the Small Kowloon House. This is right outside Phyllis and Ben’s home — no accident there. And now Ben might be recalled to the old country, thanks to Host Charming. No accident there either. One chance out between two worlds.”
“Don’t say that,” red pendant wearing Audrey requested. “It reminds me of the girl we had to kill.”
“Kill off,” red tie sporting Philip elaborated. But the Kidd remains within. They didn’t know of Tronesisia’s big picture plan.
“Who are you??”
“Don’t be afraid,” Billy Jean spoke to Katy from the other side of the walkway. “It’s only another Kidd.”
When I entered the room, I was alone. Except for the complete bastard of a man known as Casey One Hole. Philip was no more. I figured he was shuffled back to Gaeta V, since my corresponding shirt had also disappeared.
“I didn’t need something. But I *wanted* it. Now I have it.”
I walked in front of him to confront the demon. “Tell me where she is,” I demanded.
“Well, well, well, Marion. Well well well well *well*.”
“Yes,” replied his partner in crime. Always. “What do we have *here*?” And then he waved Philip on before him. “After you,” he offered.
If and when she came into town, she liked to sip coffee at The Green Lady next to the park and stare out at the bay. At night, Ben’s place was too full of vampires, and during the day there was still the threat of one or two of his old werewolf friends stopping by and reminiscing about the old days. She didn’t want to hear such talk. *Both* eras are equally bad in her mind, she’d always want to pitch to them, both Bennington and, now, Bena. This town is *cursed*! she sometimes wanted to scream from the top of Bena Hill toward the buildings and roads spanning north to east before her, Mothers Place behind be damned. Here at the Green Lady, drinking her cinnamon spiced coffee, she could feel away from it all for a moment. It was like the place was made for her, Green Lady matching green (clad) lady. It was here she could think about her *own* past, and figured out what went right but also, yes, what went wrong according to her master plan formulated at age 17, her first year in college taking astromystics classes at Teepot Tech. She would acquire a husband in due time but not be chained to his lifestyle. Well, she missed the boat there(!). Although she loves Ben dearly, no one can deny his faults, primarily the threat of turning into a wolf during any full moon despite the continued treatments down through the years. “I can change,” he declares every now and then. “I *will* change”. “I have found The Lord now,” he also might tack on to any such proclamation. But wanderlust sometimes gets a hold of him and he’s gone for days, part of his wolf heritage surfacing. “Where were you now?” she’d ask, and he’d just go on talking about how The Lord told him to do this, and go there and do that. Always the same excuse. Sometimes she’d like to just yank this Lord dude out of the clouds and give him an earful back.
They managed, but it wasn’t what you’d call a perfect relationship. On the sly, sometimes Phyllis Phox would inquire to her lawyer friend in town — Rebl of course — about how divorcing a werewolf might fare. “Poorly,” she would emphasize. The pack always takes care of itself. Ben, of course, wouldn’t lift a finger — *probably* — but the others…
If only ditzy classmate Marsha wouldn’t have introduced me to him at that Benjamin Harrison Ball held at Grover Cleveland Hall down Former Presidents Lane. If only one or the other would have chosen a different college.
(to be continued?)
From this angle she could barely see the top of the newcomer’s house over Jana Forest, this Pitch Darkly she’s heard so much about lately. Laughed at by other vampires in her husband’s bar so loudly that rumors have it he’s already moved away out of embarrassment — looking for land on the west side of the continent to settle down instead. But maybe the rumors are confusing recent Bena exile Barry X. Vampire with Pitch, Phyllis Phox considers, for Pitch was definitely still a vampire, or at least a wannabe one according to Ben. So goofy, though(!) Perpetually blood-splattered to name just one error: proper vampires do not roam about town with blood stains on their elegant, primly pressed clothes. She’d passed by his house several times now on her walks into the hills surrounding the town. No one there yet, and stuff that should be inside it according to her reckoning still outside cluttering up the yard. Good Bena has a privacy screen separating him from the rest of town(!). So that’s another strike against this Pitch Darkly fellow. Sloppiness in attire and decor all around. He won’t make it here — there.
Phyllis then looks just above Pitch’s disorganized spot at Mother’s Place perched on the now hidden green hill dominating Bena from the southeast. Polar opposite to the great castle out in the northeast corner of the sim, she knows (but, importantly, *not* the Northeast Castle this time ’round: that appellation still belongs solely to Hilling’s similarly positioned citadel). And the Whore Mother within, tended to by that poor, pitiful child of hers. Always forget the name, Phyllis Phox ruminates. Everyone just calls her kid. That’s what she answers to most of the time.
Katy, Phyllis Phox then remembers. Maybe she can shorten it to Kate when she grows up and, following Barry X. Vampire and others’ lead, forget about this place and move on. College is sometimes a turning point. But the Great Mother is now pushing for Bena to have its own, defeating the purpose in her mind. You go to college to get *away* from home. She certainly did.
She then looks more southward and tries to spot the tiny island in the middle of Danshire adorned until just several days back with a shack much like she grew up in — eerily so, she understands — with a mom tending to 3 other kids most of the time as well. And she had all the color drained out of her skin to blend in better at Bena after the marriage to her husband Ben, then the powerful werewolf leader before the Vampire Coup and the name change from Bennington.
Much to digest about town history, as it’s turning out(!).
No luck here. A little further up Queck Hill should do the trick.
Yes. There ’tis.
Rocky Racco sat in front of his typewriter waiting for a story to happen but it never did.
He went to the theatre to try to envision a play being acted out onstage, perhaps an interpretation of the novel he couldn’t start. Didn’t work.
What *was* it about this place, Old Ben — Bennington — but now New Ben: Bena? Creativity seemed to be sapped from the town. Before going back to his cave-home and sleeping the rest of the day for lack of anything else to do, Rocky decided to go visit Ben at the town bar, the center of it all down through the years, gluing old and new together to make something most likely not quite as good as either.
“Creative drought, eh?” he responded to Rocky’s confession of writer’s block. “You know what I do when something like that happens to me? Go fishing.” He looks to the large castle out in the water with this, tucked away in the northeast corner of the sim. Quite similar in this positioning to the Northeast Castle of the Hilling sim featured in the last section of this here photo-novel, perhaps too much so. There be the answers, Rocky realized, picking up on Ben’s accent in his mind. He’d have to rent a boat.
“One more thing, laddie, before you be renting that boat,” Ben further advised. “You be also seeking a double to this town, but not Hilling. Don’t go back to Hilling.” Rocky was thinking: I’ve never been to Hilling and don’t even know where that is. Maybe that was his problem. He didn’t have enough backstory himself to go off and start creating microcosms of reality through books and plays.
He recalls… something about a hotel. Yes. I can start there.
“Hello, anyone… here?”
“You think he’ll go back?” asked Philip Strevor to his partner in crime Marion Harding, wearing his Gaeta V shirt for this particular shoot.
“He has to,” quickly came the reply. “He has to find that demon that killed our little girl.” His voice was becoming anxious, murderous even. Philip had not smoked any pot to take the edge off the racier drugs he was currently imbibing. Marion, in contrast, only did the marijuana. So much here! Mixed in with red wine per usual; balancing the red and the blue as he liked to say. Easier said than done. Like tragedy and comedy in life as a whole.
“Philip,” Marion tried to calm him, “have you ever thought about how we got from Gaston to here. I mean, *really* thought about it. The chain of events that leads from one to the other.” He looks around, at the other hippies milling about the place. Well, *he’s* a hippie. Philip definitely was the odd man out in this bunch. So much pot, so much booze. But the racier drugs were few and far apart. This wasn’t Philip’s place in the end. Corsica really wasn’t his continent. Gaeta V suited him better. But Capitol City and its Capitol Hill were no more. Returned to the swamp they arose from. Flattened back to the pancake prairie it started as. Pancakes… Laboratories. Marion suddenly had an idea.
“Philip, how would you like to return to Gaeta V? Just for a bit.”
I’m just going to have this red wine but you eat as many pancakes as you like, Philip.”