Afterwards, The Arab took Baker Bloch on a walk through the local vineyards to try to cheer him up. He knew, because of the new outbreaks, that he’d most likely never make it out of Corsica alive. He was *stuck*.
Eventually he was able to steer the conversation back to Peakology and a positive outcome.
“Come on. Pick up, pick *up*”
“Says here, Baker Bloch, that the Corona-V pirates have come back and are now focused in on Arkansas. New reports are coming in all the way from Mountainsburg to the west, Formosa a little to the north, Kate to the east, and, let’s see, I can’t read what’s south of Arkansas.”
“New Orleans,” spouts Baker Bloch, not in a good mood because of the news. He’d just posted a rant about it on Facef-ck.
The Arab squinted further. “New Something, that’s for sure.” As hard as he tried he couldn’t make out the second word of the printed name in the article, like something trying to fade from existence or hide itself somehow.
“They’re such *dummies* over there,” Baker Bloch further groused.
Amanda finally heard the ring in her purse.
Certain Death was playing on the turntable below the “Big Open”, beckoning them forward, the white twin obscured. Blackness. The End. Starless.
Marsha “Pink” Krakow watched as the moving van gradually filled up with their possessions. “Drane Hill,” she said aloud, testing the name. A rather ugly one, she thought. Doesn’t roll off the tongue like Storybrook. Bad sign up front.
She’d looked it up. It was a mistake appellation. Drane *Lick* use to run through the area, and perhaps still does. That’s a stream — lick equals stream. But the small knob directly above the village wasn’t Drane Hill, at least originally. It was Pleasant Hill, a descriptive name. Somewhere along the line hill and stream had gotten mixed up. A confusion was created. But from where? she pondered as her father, The Man, waved her toward the now packed truck, black hair queerly flickering on and off from her present perspective, grey revealed in part.
“Time to leave, honey,” he said rather hoarsely, voice weary from commanding the movers all afternoon. “The ugly yellow living room couch your mother loves so much was the last item. Come on — get inside. We’re going for a drive.” He then beckoned The Dogg to jump in the back with rest of the furniture and boxes, now all locked down. Dogg perhaps strangely was reluctant to get up from the pavement. Another meaningful sign for Marsha “Pink” Krakow, if she was paying attention. Which she was.
She too could stand her ground and not allow the van to escape. She didn’t have speak down and say goodbye to the Big Inside, trading a closed hill for an open one and a known commodity for the unknown. There was still time to talk. She had an ace in the hole. She and SEAN had been watching her mother’s comings and goings for a while now.
“Daddy?” she said, not budging an inch. “Do — do you know that fellow Charlie Banana in town?”
“Bandana?” he queried back, getting hard of hearing with his advancing age.
“No — Ba*nan*a. Yellow. Um, like that ugly yellow couch you just loaded in the back.” And here comes the zinger…
She was just finishing up Movement 3 of the Platinum Prune suite of songs, popular in Corsica Prime these days. Her hands lift from the keyboard after an ending chord of complex expression.
“There. 3 of 5 done. Or is it 6? Jeffrie, be a dear and pull up the big fat map of the continent for all to see where we are presently.”
Listening Jeffrie on a nearby couch complied.
“*4* of 5,” exclaimed Audrey, looking beyond the facade of Our Second Life into the frame of it all. “Lordly I must have been on the wrong movement after all. We’re at Drane Hill!”
She peered remotely beyond the juxtaposed black and white statues outside toward the hill above the cabin they rented last night, all out in the air and exposed and without any attached Big Inside at all, unlike the story with Storybrook and its Kraken Hill. Marsha “Pink” Krakow and her family, kin and extended, should be arriving soon to breathe in the fresh air of a new location, feet grounded again.
And I suspect wannabe famous novelist Barry X. Vampire is around as well, given the red beam and all.
Well, I’ve explored the Xuxorr Plateau as David A.B. instructed me to. Now what?
Hold on. What’s this? Perhaps a village? A place to bed down for the night, perchance to shack up with a local lass, hehe? I sure miss Audrey. But she screwed me over with Marty and I can’t let that pass. She has deceived me, *killed* me even. No way I’m going back!
“I knew you’d come back you Jeffrie Phillips.”
“Just read me some more from that magic book,” he demanded, pissed off that his hips had overridden his head once more.
Audrey nimbly leaned way over and picked it up off the rug where she had thrown it earlier in their sudden passion for reconciliation. They knew it couldn’t be damaged. She deftly thumbed to page 56 where they had left off…
“North America — he’s starting to remember, Izzy. Better try to call Pink again.”
“My darling Pink. How is she these days… Olive?”
“I’m going to have to burn all these MapS, Jane. They’ll do us no good now.”
“Where we’re going,” she clarified.
“No, I will stay in my quaint house in Gormthoog, Baker Bloch. I do not need to live in 7 Stones to be a continuing part of the storyline there. I have done my main responsibility: the destruction of Collagesity. Others are hesitant but I trust instinct and faith completely. That makes me a good destroyer. That makes me Spongeberg the Destroyer. That, and the names of my mother and father obviously.” He tries to crack a smile. I don’t hear Spongeberg joke much, so it was a pleasant surprise.*
Yeah I could hang here for a while, Spongeberg thinks at the entrance. Maybe meet up with that Green Squirrel fellow. Possible candidate for a new destroyer. We need some.
* Earlier, Spongeberg indicated to me that his name is a combo of “parents” Spongebub Squarepants and Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg.
Spongeberg at home in Gormthoog off Route 14.
Newlyweds Sid and Martha are disappointed that the Harry Potter themed Diagonal Alley is no longer in Corsica’s Shedao sim, but they’re still having a lot of fun tonight at the replacement attraction of “Chedderbarrel: A Day at the Zoo.” Open through May 15! Lots of freebie cutouts too.
Local resident Green Squirrel even has a job there again: playground supervisor, but mostly he just plays in the sand himself. Helps pay the mortgage on his and wife Huma’s Julia House located in Asha next door. You may remember he worked as a Slytherin salesman in the Horizontal Lane part of the Harry Potter setup from Collagesity novel 10. After being unemployed for most of the winter and spring, he’s back at it again. Huma has already spent a good chunk of the first paycheck on a new dishwasher. She’s tired of washing dishes by hand, especially since GS doesn’t help out that much. He said he’d try to remedy the situation and do more work around the house. We’ll see.
Quitting time. Time to get back to the Asha hills and a well cooked meal of seasoned trout and spagetti-o’s. What a wife!
Time for Sid and Martha to head home as well. They and their children Indigo and Ragdoll are the last inhabitants of Collagesity, left behind as caretakers for the Rubi Woods through their PotD organization: Protectors of The Diagonal, with The Diagonal now also known as the Head Line. Not sure if they’re additionally helping preserve the more recently discovered, parallel Heart Line as well. Have to ask them soon…
“Then we rounded the corner and, lo and behold, downtown Notherton was still there (!). Right below us. Gene Fade was so excited.”
“Because, um, Gene Fade was there — with you.”
“Right. And then the 5 sided mall (!!). We looked for it and then suddenly it was just looming before us, all dramatic and stuff.
“You can’t see the mall, mind you. It exists in another dimension.”
“Of course it does. Gene Fade’s dimension.”
Wheeler went to the next picture.
“And Gene Fade reached Notherton from this road leading back to his home at Jupiter Rock.”
“Jupiter Rock was his home,” Baker reaffirmed. “The town was named after the rock looming above it.”
“Gene Fade’s dimension. A dimensional rock as well.”
“Of course. It had a big red spot on it. More garnet colored, I suppose, but still red and obviously connectable to the same on the planet Jupiter. That’s how it got its name.”
“Not because Gene Fade or his town was from Jupiter. Because that would be ridiculous.”
“I wouldn’t say it would be ridiculous,” Baker countered. He thought about sulking but then changed his mind.
“I do really like the rock art on the posts,” said Wheeler, flipping back to picture 01. “80 posts to conform with the 80 posts you had in your new Sunklands blog at the time of its discovery. And both are still going on — rock posts and blog posts. Both continue. That certainly seems important.” The rest, thought Wheeler to herself: hogwash most likely. There was no Gene Fade. But, she modified, there *could* be Mossmen.
(to be continued)