Using his shield as a camouflaging device, David A.B. sometimes liked to mingle with the commoners, the ones far far below him on a scale of 1-10, he being a 10 or a 9.5 at the least. Nothing to see here, he says in his mind about himself while looking around. Certainly no *God*, your creator, amongst you. No, just an ordinary Joe waiting on his train. Just like the lot of you. Joe was a good name, he then thinks. I believe I’ll keep it for this part of my journey. He turns to the Ordinary reading the paper to his left. “Joe’s the name,” he spoke in as ungodly a tone as he could muster. “How about you?”
“Ted,” came the fainter answer. “Ted Johnson.”
“Just waiting on the train, hmph,” Joe states the obvious. Ted returns to his funnies. ‘Hatfield’ — so humorous.
“Oop, there ’tis!”
Gazing Eric Gordon beside Ted exclaimed, “It’s like it just appeared — out of *nowhere*.”
Ted looked up from his cartoons. “Wow, that was super fast today. Usually I sit here for over an hour.”
Not on my watch, David A.B. says inwardly.
Kind Of Messed Up 02 stared at the picture, knowing this had all happened before. A negotiation.
“$50,000 for the lot of it,” Messed Up offered for her cafe, her house on the water, heck the whole kitten caboodle, along with her not quite as messed up kitty kat who Prof. Young Harris had nicknamed Leo for some reason. Perhaps the effect of the 4 Corona-V brewskies he downed before leaving Joan/Astrid back at the New York university sim-island to the northwest, another in the cluster of Weird-o Islands as history will call them. Like Stranger Creek here. Like Abbey up in the air where David A.B. lives, who seems to be the same as God in our current story or a close approximate. And then the NY isle to finish, upper state style. No Arthur Kill involved here, nor his Staten Island. He has been eliminated from this region by another local named Illuminatus, who we’ll revisit with later. Because, yes, Prof. Young Harris was charged with buying the island for upwards of 50,000 linden dollars, which Messed Up just offered. He couldn’t talk her down for some reason despite his savvy salesmanship — perhaps, he reasons, she was secretly in on the deal all along as well, and had forewarning of his visit. Or maybe they were just in total sync with each other. Because they also found themselves married 5 years down the road, after Messed Up had been basically cured of her confused look status and come into proper focus. Kind of Messed Up 02, renamed Leo from this point on, was with them until the last. A Happy Ending.
David A.B. reads Young Harris’ report up in Abbey and sees it is good. He can rest for a while.
Professor Young Harris, son of Elder Harris, also a professor at the university, hated when his prize pupil turned her back on him, no matter how cute she looked laying over there. He continued his urgings.
“You’ll get on with your studies, dear. What is it? Astrophysics?”
“Astro*mystics*,” she corrected. “It’s *your* major. That’s the only reason I *came* to this crappy school, hmph.” She pawed at the floor below her.
“Oh. Right.” He couldn’t even remember what he taught at this upper central virtual New York university. *Mystics* not physics. How could he have forgotten — that? Yet another sign it was time to go. Aries probably, or a fire sign anyway.
“I must leave, Astrid. For Stranger Island. The sim skipper that will whisk me there from this location is due to arrive at dusk.” He looked out the window at the ever-calm bay, even though dusk was several hours away still. They had time for one more “study session,” he calculated. “I think we should go over that final chapter before I leave. ‘Departure’.”
Joan rolled over and faced him, a good sign (Sagittarius). “Only if you call me by my right name.” He had only one shot at it.
He was reaching a peak. He remembered. “Joooooaaann!” And then he was done — outta here. Leo had arrived.
“Goodbye Astrid!” he waved from behind.
Axis felt it should be *him* sitting there, talking to Kind Of. Not this Prof. *Young* Harris. Young, indeed. Gone around the South Bend if you ask him, far far from the North, pheh. But it is what it is at this point. Let’s focus in on the conversation.
“I haven’t been to Strange Creek in a long long time, Mr. Messed Up 02.”
“*Kind Of* Messed Up 02,” Kind Of corrects, knowing he wasn’t — yet — on the nutty level of his master actually named Messed Up. He kind of explains this to Prof. Young Harris, then, who nods in semi-understanding.
“I had a mother once, who was kind and then messed up. I think I understand.”
Kind Of moved on. He said things were even weirder in Strange Creek these days, thus the furthering of the name. “It’s *Stranger*,” he punctuates.
Prof. Young Harris then has an idea, and points up in a Eureka moment. “Cyan!” he exclaims quite loudly, pricking Axis’ ears even more.
He imagines his wife standing before him. “What have I done?” he asks. “*I* had to be Young Kane instead. The transgressions.” He shakes his head while she stares steady. He thinks he should probably get back to her…
Kind Of Messed Up 02 often went further up into New York to hear Prof. Young Harris speak. His arch-rival Dr. Young Kane was not in attendance today in Oswego Hall, much to the professor’s relief. He knew Dr. Kane, quite old now and not young atall anymore, much like himself (they’ve been rivals since The Beginning) would interrupt the lecture at various points to call out what *he* felt were fallacies. “There’s no such thing as Certain Death,” he might scold, for example. “Young Harris (no ‘Professor’ at the beginning, you’ll notice), me thinks you doth not understand what you speaketh of,” knowing his broken Shakespeare would always get a laugh from the audience, and perhaps make Young Harris turn bright beet red again, like that time in the summer of 1919. The Summer of Red they called it after that. Anyway, today he was talking about Certain Death again, and contagions luring in the shadows, perhaps whitewashed by what he called not pseudo-science but *non*-science or even *anti*-science. “There’s a difference between the two,” he explains. “Pseudo-science *strives* to be science, and perhaps it will one day. Take crop circles –” and here he has a handy paragraph or two to deliver about the “supernatural” reality of what most think are man-made phenomenon, very scientific in scope. He might also invoke here telekinesis, mind reading, tarot cards, dice, I Ching, phrenology, as fields that are not viewed as kosher amongst the scientific elite — those in power to make important decisions and then package and disseminate them to the common public as they wish — but what could be found out to have actual value down the road somewhere. Then he brings up contagions and the blinders we, as a society and also as an elite lurking within, put on in regards to being “in the dark” soon. “The lights,” — and here in his lecture he instructs one of his Young assistants to actually turn off the lights in the auditorium — “*will* go out, and we will *all* — be blinded.” The lights come back on. He takes his bows. No one here today — not that one dissenter in the crowd — to take the spotlight off his success. One even throws a rose at him but it turns out to be blue.
As the crowd dissipates, Kind Of moves down to the lower level to attempt to make contact.
“Professor? Professor, could I have a word?”
“If C.D. ever gets out of that whitewashed village over there, we’re *all* in trouble.”
“So I’ve heard, Messed Up,” responded Kind Of Messed Up 02 across from her, also staring at it from the Messed Up Cafe. *Her* cafe (oh).
She turned toward her cat again, her tenuous tether to the world of sanity created before the day of last Wednesday’s Monday. “Game of chesskers while we wait?” she bubbled.
Knowing there was no such game (tether!), Kind Of went in back to retrieve the board and pieces.
On his way back, he paused to stare at the picture again, a thing he’d done a thousand times now. “The Man Upstairs had such great plans for this place,” he said once more, a ritual litany.
A new danger lurks out in the wild whites of Stranger Creek. Certain Death, who prefers to go by C.D.
Many other things exist there in the cockamamie cock-up created by our God and Lord David A.B., better known for his benign creations such as Jesus Christ of Nazareth and Spongebob Squarepants of Bikini Bottom. But A.B. especially had no control over C.D., who followed from him and was not part of him at the present. In the Current.
If he can make it out of Whitewash Village we’ll all be in trouble. Stay tuned!
And while we’re there snapping pictures, let’s open the draw distance and take a better look at God’s great cock-up known as Stranger Creek, formerly known as and followed up from Strange Creek. Before it got even weirder.
A jumbled mess isn’t it? And a perfect breeding ground for the unknown to come. The Corona-V brew infesting Storybrook and perhaps the rest of Corisca Prime and maybe beyond was just a *taste* of what’s lurking just around the corner.