Category Archives: Cable Isle

sideways

The front door to the investigators office had slammed hours ago, it seemed. Tessa had basically given up, when:

“Yes, here it is, Ms. Daigle. Thomas Mantell. Born Franklin Kentucky 06/30/22, died Franklin Kentucky 01/07/48. The famous UFO case of course, hidden amongst these more ordinary court cases and in a darker shade, which is why I overlooked it before. My missing partner.”

Tessa Daigle, divorced from her first husband for 3 years, looked up. “Your missing *what*?”

Psychic-detective Laura Roberts turned. “My missing partner,” she repeated evenly. “Robert Franklin, the beginning, the end, and everything between.” She sat down at the table with the confused Tessa. “*And* I think also *your* missing partner. Black Bart wasn’t it? Donald is never wrong. He predicted the going, he predicted the coming back to Earth in the cursed ship. Black Bart… Black Jack. The plane crashed in Black Jack.”

Tessa knew the case as it turns out. And for a specific reason. “But… you said he died in Franklin. Born in Franklin, died in Franklin. Hence: Franklin through and through it seems.”

“Yes.”

—–

Tessa scratches her head. “Black Bart has risen from the grave, the one just out there, beside the Junk Yard and…”

“And?”

“Auto re-pair, yes.”

“Good.”

“Both are dead now, the junk purveyor and the, um, jalopy mechanic. Done in by Black Bart, whom others know as Arthur Kill.”

“Soon he will acquire a new name, ” spoke the prescient Roberts, jotting down something. “Here — here’s an address he may go to next. Or this person will eventually be involved — probably already has been.”

Tessa looked down at the almost illegible scribble Psychic-detective Roberts handed back to her on the sticky note. She finally made it out. Wheeler… Wilson, yes. Wheeler, Wilson. Who’s that?

—–

“You cannot return here, although we may see each other again. Goodbye.”

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Cable Isle

It was a pretty town for what it was. Perhaps was called Greentown at one time because of those nicely hued hills over there. Fake but fitting. Wheeler, donned in purple now as is her style in the current photo-novel, 34 in a series of infinity apparently, had to come back to see what chaos was wrought with the return of Arthur Kill, who hadn’t remained long in his long wooden coffin in the grave of the paltry cemetery on the south side of town, just behind Roberts and Franklin Investigators down there, immediately beside Johnson’s Junk Yard and Repair Shop to be more specific. Where he first showed up after he rose from the dead, I might suppose.

If he could have opened this darn, stuck gate first. “How do I get out of here?” he barked at Wheeler behind him, dressed as a witch in this earlier purple phase and oddly holding a mop instead of a broom while swinging on her swing after doing the deed.

“Have to go through the basement, silly,” she said. “Not that easy to raise the dead, you know. Can’t just walk through the front door and return to life. Just be glad you’re not down in that hot hot grave any longer.”

He turns. She points with the mop, the thing that did the deed in the first place. Sometimes silliness works best for more powerful magic, which was needed here. Basement it is, opening for opening.

Junk car enthusiast Ken and his repairman Bobby remain safe. For now.

Later :

“Car.”

“Jesus you scared the bejebers out of me, Arthur! I thought you were dead!” Kill had already killed repairman Bobby under the Cordova sedan while Ken had his head turned. Just that quickly, thanks to his new, improved powers of death found in the basement. Now he had his aim on the owner. After getting the ’57 Chevrolet up to snuff.

“I need a car,” he hounded. “I need a car now.” He kept staring at the one on the lift, the vehicle that would transport him back to the past, he knew (basement knowledge again).

Ken saw blood oozing from Bobby’s stiff body, realized what had happened. “Sure, sure, Arthur,” he said shakily. “W-when do you need it?” Ken knew he probably couldn’t escape the situation alive but wanted to delay the inevitable as long as possible. “I mean — look at it.” He pointed to the beat up, rusted Chevy while keeping his eye on Kill.

“How long?” Kill issued.

“I… I don’t know.” Ken dared to wipe some sweat from his forehead. “Weeks?” he stated weakly.

“How about tomorrow. *No*, how about 11 o’clock tonight. Red paint. New tires, the *only* thing I want new. Oil change — yes, new oil as well. Two new things, then. And gas — fill her up. New as well. 3 new things. And…”

“I—.” Ken started to explain that he couldn’t possibly do all these things in the requested time then changed his mind as Kill pointed a gun at his head, the same one he took to the grave. Repaired as well, like his body if not his soul. “I’ll… try,” he modified.

“You’ll *do*,” commanded Arthur back. Say it with me, Kenny. “You’ll *do*.”

“I’ll… do.”

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00340101

“I *know* this person,” thinks Wheeler at the door of the investigator/psychic’s interior office. She’s playing around with forms again, and this one is an extension of her recent consumption of fries with cheese at the nearby Twin Peaks bar and grill. File it under: you are what you eat. She thought she had 30 days before the skin turned green on this freebie avatar she’s attached to the outfit. Not as advertised; no wonder it was a budget item. She’s trying to become — but never mind. It’s not turning out. But that figure on the door (!).

“What was that Mrs. Corn?” Corn? she thinks. A last name? What’s the first? But she knows what it is.

“Oh… nothing. Just staring at the big eye on your door. It reminds me of someone.”

Psychic-detective Roberts pivots toward Mabel (Mabel!). “We’ve been through this.”

The situation changes.

—–

Jack barges in with his recently cleaned shovel. “Ma’am, the corpse is now bur — oh. Sorry. Didn’t know you were with someone.” Why would he? Miss Roberts never has any clients. Except dead ones. But this one appears to be alive. And green! Must be — but it couldn’t. Martian?

“Hi Harry,” he speaks over to the shorter figure standing beside her, also a gnome, also working for the firm.

“Hello Jacob,” as Harold calls Jack, which he doesn’t like but puts up with. Harry’s a nice guy. And a great carpenter. He did a fine job with this coffin. Extra long, but he made it fit.

“Just looking for the case, Mrs. Corn,” Roberts excuses herself to Mabel, now considerably smaller but just as green. Moreso, since she’s now wearing a Hannah Montana lime toned outfit, fresh from a concert at the Rooftop Inn over in mid-town. Where are we, then? The land description mentions an asylum. Is everyone here nuts? Could explain the outfit.

And the book! Just like the one at the newly established Table Room on Rooster’s Peninsula, where I live as a castle dweller, library in the center still. For now. A sprite was looking in it for information about her type, where she comes from, what are her weaknesses. This is Greenleaf, who also shows up in Towerboro standing on a big rock behind Dove, formerly Ivory, but still a sister to Ebony on the giant tree trunk dead in front of her: Deadwood. And the alphabit spread out on the forest floor below them, which they eat with a spoon one by one by one until they reach M, when *they’re* dead. Mmmmmm dead. Thirteenville.

But I feel like I’m needlessly complicating things again. Let’s back up more.

—–

“Okay, Mrs. Daigle. Let me just begin to look for that case we were just talking about. Oh — and Barry? You can take off your pyramid and go home now. I think you’ve learned your lesson well enough, young gnome.”

The striped dunce cap he was wearing! One and the same.

We must follow this figure and see what happens next.

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00330617

It wasn’t much of a cemetery, but then Arthur Kill wasn’t much of a man. “Where’s Tessie?” Wheeler exclaimed, hardly making an effort to honor the deceased via her casual pose. “She should be here.”

“Tessa’s at the town psychic,” Baker Bloch said, assuming a more deferent stance over the grave. He truly liked the actor playing the character and hated him to be killed off, as it were. Though perhaps Lemont Sanford can come back later as someone named Kill van Kull, he pondered, a brother or maybe another one of those twins, cousin or not. Anyway, it wasn’t fair. It was suppose to be a Mexican standoff in Ontario or at least Lake Ontario, above New Jersey above New York and not visa versa. One shot from the shooters went north to the head, the other south to the heart. Yet Tessa survived. That damn third eye just took in Arthur’s bullet and… absorbed it! Then the pyramid appeared. Then another pyramid appeared here. Tessa had to go. Soon Wheeler Wilson and Baker Bloch would learn what actually happened, eye for eye.

Time to bury the dead. Tessa missed her chance.

Wheeler decided to throw in her purse as well on top of the lowering coffin. Fire should be getting pretty hot already.

“Any money in there?” queried Baker, waiting for the inevitable.

“$1500,” she replied. “I figured he might need it for some air conditioning, ha. Final gesture. Fat chance though, right? Am I righht?”

Baker couldn’t help but emit a small smile.

“Just kidding (of course). I wouldn’t give that sorry slimeball any of my hard earned cash. Actually it was just his cursed pistol — good riddance (like him). And some food for his arrival.”

Soon enough, the burger inside began to sizzle again, blood continuing to withdraw and pistol rendered even more useless. Tessa’s duplicate, on the other hand, still worked perfectly. She was using it right now to defend herself again, this time from a fellow 3rd eye being posing as a psychic posing as a detective. But that’s another story for another photo-novel, it seems.

END OF “SUNKLANDS 2022 MIDDLE”!

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00330616

“Nice hair. Is that your natural color?”

“You can get your food to go, you know,” she shot back. She’d had enough of this stranger in town, who showed up at 7. 7:15 now. 10 minutes to order, 10 minutes to look over the menu that had only 3 items. Bar owner made it sweet and simple to save time.

“Martian,” Wheeler continued the absurdity. “Greentown — should’ve known.”

Jamie hadn’t read any Bradbury so she didn’t get the reference, and probably wouldn’t want to if she did. The dinger dinged on the stove. Wheeler’s fries, extra cheese were ready, burger extra blood still cooking. She wanted to make sure it had as little blood as possible now.

“In town for a funeral, thanks for asking,” Wheeler then said, rummaging around in her purse. “Man named Arthur, Arthur Kill. Strange thing I know. Because he was actually killed — murdered. Mexican standoff.” She pulled out a pistol. “Killed by something much like this.” She plopped it on the counter with a loud clunk beside the just delivered fries, barrel facing forward. Jamie turned back around, saw the gun, stared at Wheeler.

“You can’t bring that thing in here,” she started to say but then changed her mind. She could take the gun from Wheeler, she calculated — confiscate it in effect, since a town ordinance forbids firearms inside the city limits. Would be close, though. Then, hehe, she could *back* Wheeler out of the bar with it and tell her to not come around here any more and to get her ass out of town, funeral or no. But as she was thinking this Wheeler picked the weapon back up. She’d missed her chance.

She looked it over a bit. “Yesss. I think it is exactly this type of gun that did our poor Arthur in.” She pointed the gun in the direction of the far wall to her left. “Ping ping… *ping*,” she produced with corresponding, fake recoils, then blew pretend smoke from the end before reinserting it back into her purse.

“Out!” Jamie wanted to issue. “Done!” she shouted instead, turning around as Wheeler stared into her more-dairy-than-vegetable fries, devising a plot on the spot. The burger was off the grill and into a day old bun faster than a Wyatt Earp burp (local expression?), then plate on the counter as loud as the pistol was earlier, clunk for cluck. Wheeler took the plate and deftly dumped the contents into her purse as well, making a bloody mess (but not as bloody as Wheeler wished). “Thanks!” she said pretend sweetly and made her way out of the bar to Jamie’s exasperation, leaving the dirty, empty plate spinning at a booth near the door. It spun and spun and finally settled down on the formica table top after Wheeler walked up the street, down another, and into the town cemetery to meet a waiting (or awaiting) Baker Bloch.

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