He was still hugging the Philip Linden doll pillow when he returned to the bakery. *His* bakery: Bake’s Bakery. No doubting it now. Umbrella had been fully revealed.
He manifested his new, 22 inch colored tv since no one was around. The bakery had closed hours ago, but it didn’t matter. No one showed up; no one bought anything. This was just decoration, like the frosting on a cake without a cake to go along with it.
Jeffrie Phillips recognized the Ant Castle on the video that was left playing the last time he rezzed the thing. Always predicting the future — another cursed object in the bakery, like that demon hot beverage vending machine over there sold to him by the Appleyon fellow back in section 2. But he didn’t reflexively look over at it in the far corner of his establishment, as would be natural at this point. He kept staring at the castle on the screen, wondering what was going on.
This Norris fellow kept hooking and dragging — on some kind of grappling line I suppose — the castle toward him through the landscape, then similarly hooking and dragging a girl to the castle to head inside for obvious reasons. They appeared to be married, just like…
He derezzed the tv. He’d seen enough for tonight. Still pathetically embracing the doll pillow, he settled back into the couch for a long sleep. Perhaps forever.
“Umbrella, Hucka Doobie. It’s closer than you think.”
He cracks a window and then cracks another to stare out at the linden woods bordering this place. Samantha’s Place. He knew this silhouette of a woman with the dangerous curves came between the private dick in the trench coat — the real gravitas behind surface, buffoonish Wendell “Biff” Carter — and the owner of the magic shop over in Colona with the green geode that Jeffrie Phillips took back to Teepot to “mate” with his smaller pink one to complete the circle and symbolically unite the twinned cities. That’s why the former didn’t want to talk about the later, despite 2 requests to do so in case the first was missed. It was a dame, in retro-speak.
Samantha was also the same as New Nun, a disguise that perhaps she forgot she was wearing, like a mask. New Nun knows. Rhodes > Roads.
The Colona man formerly had a herb shop over in Cassandra City. The private, trench coated investigator now has his office *in this very spot*. He’s trying to complete a triangle, just like the A.Team did in this very same town before him. Scarlet Triangle. It was all there in black and blue. Somewhere.
The Man About Time raised himself up from the ground. The portal looked bigger from the outside
than the inside.
Typical. There would be no safe passage to the Amazon this night, but he knew that was death anyway. Speaking of which…
Just later the Man About Time deduced it also had something to do with this chimney, a Big Chimney indeed. He would have to take it apart brick by brick soon to find out what makes it tick. Clock? Bomb? (another one?)
“So tell me about this Colona,” he requested mildly a bit more later to the man with the orange firebird burning in front of the hearth fire. “I know that Teepot use to be the twin city of Pietmond, long since destroyed, but now it seems to be this one.” He stared at the green geode on the mantlepiece, knowing Jeffrie Phillips hadn’t arrived yet. He should be due any moment. Or any century.
“Different,” uttered the man opposite him in a deeper, less mild voice. “Somewhat,” he amended. “Reason,” he spoke about the overlap, meaning there was a reason for it. “Absorption — *assimilation*.” MAT knew that New Nun had also been assimilated.
(to be continued)
“I’m going to go outside the city walls like this, Audrey. The Blue Thorn. *Not* the Blue Rose. ”
Audrey! she thought. *That’s* how he sees me. “But the rose and the thorn come from the same… Plant.”
“Robert?” questioned the secret superhero guise of Jeffrie Phillips, ready to be unleashed upon the world. Or at least the rest of the Confederation outside Teepot. “Nah. He’s over in NWES still. Never left the Jeogeot continent. Been there, oh, let’s see, 12 years? Xenosaurus (sim) I recall.”
“Interesting,” said Silhouette, only taking form when projected upon. Like now. Audrey she was. She changed to match what was there in his eyes. He changes, she changes. Both have superhuman powers.
(to be continued?)
“You are a doctor. Aren’t you?”
The doctor puts his arms over his head in a stretch. “I am so, my dear lady. And *you*… are a nun. We are both servants of the community at large. This, erm, *Teepot*. Is that what we lot decided to call it, hmm?”
“I’m afraid you aren’t a part of our lot, doctor,” spoke New Nun honestly. “You are not an inhabited soul. You are merely a prop. I merely ask if you are the doctor to see if *you* realize this.” She was truthful but not harsh. No need to get testy with this fellow servant, as he called himself. Good. He may be worth saving in the long haul.
“I *see*.” But did he really see? He made the queer observation again in his pleasant, proper British accent, as if he were repeating himself at a set interval. “You know, when I started this bartending gig here those statues over there were nude. I just came to work one day and they were suddenly clothed, out of the blue. I remember it being a clear, crisp morning. I had the same tweed jacket I have on today. In fact…”
“You never remove it from your body,” New Nun guessed about what he was going to say.
The doctor eyed her keenly. “Yeeeess. Me thinks you know more than you let on, madam.” He thought back to her earlier statement, absurd in the moment but becoming a growing, flickering possibility in his diamond-like mind. Although a prop true, he was such an extraordinary learned and storied one that he truly may be becoming alive in the moment. New Nun could be right about him being worth saving. Why would I doubt her? It’s in her business after all.
She looked at him squarely. “But you are not the doctor I seek.”
“No.” She took a final sip of her whiskey drink and was gone. The doctor vaguely waved goodbye before forgetting who she was.
New customer, one blacked out but with dangerous curves. She felt the cross and crucifix disappear from her hand beneath the counter. She remembers Rhode… second life. His head pivots toward her as the sequence begins again.
200 200: another threshold.
But Hucka must *really* get over to Harrison’s before the night is done. Daylight in a little over an hour. Magic opening closed!
144 144. Maybe I better call Baker over here instead.
145 145 and 144 144 respectively.
“I was just going to tell you that The Boy was not at Stranger Creek. That’s all.”
“Good enough. Let’s see what else we’ve got on this Diagonal. Maybe it is all planned.” Both laugh.
203 203: “Let me help you out here old timer.”
204 204: Mo guest. Missouri? Mizzou?
Mount Lemmon, Arizona
203 203: “We’re just missing the mark now, Hucka Doobie. Can you hear me?”
239 239, 240 240:
240 240, 242 242: Uh oh. Something’s going on. “How can you be in 2 places at once?” I exclaimed, flipping back and forth between Baker Bloch’s and Hucka Doobie’s viewers.
Hmm. A triple number: 173 173 173. Carpe Diem, huh? Seize the day. Seize the night!
Better head over to Harrison’s place.
166 166 (173): “Rome Italy: Montage 5” by Kyoko Furse-Barzane (L$350). Hucka Doobie naturally thinks back to the “When in Rome” collage and her role in that. Trapped! (Gastonite!) But what does “Rome” mean now? Carpe Diem: a Latin term.
I suppose Rome would have to mean Teepot itself, and the ability of the Greater Baker family to fit in. Starting with Bake’s Bakery: it all centers around that now. Do as the Teepoters do.
161 161 173: Sake server.
Silver Sake server
“I don’t know how long I was a mouse but it was a long time. I lived in the richest house in town but we were still dirt poor. Like all the rest. Audrey lived 5 doors down. There were no houses inbetween. Just doors: upright, as if still serving a function. And perhaps they were.”
Jeffrie Phillips was becoming impatient with the doctor’s rambling story. Why was he the doctor now? What happened to the old one? He asked these aloud.
“I’m trying to tell you, Baker Bloch.”
Baker Bloch? Jeffrie Phillips thinks here. But then he realized the (new) doctor was right. That was he. And this was his bakery. Bake’s Bakery, with the demon hot beverage dispenser to complete. It didn’t work without the vending machine. He decides to ask the doctor about it next.
“So tasty,” Doctor Mouse compliments. “I had a, let’s see (he checks his inventory), a Jedi tea. I suppose that’s something from Star Wars.”
“Star *What*?” Jeffrie Phillips had never heard of Star Wars. “Do you mean Star Trek?”
“I do not,” the doctor measured out. He keeps thinking back to the drink, and how it vanished into thin air just before he could take the last swallow. Oh well: delicious still. No need to ask for a prorated discount from Baker Boy here. The Boy.
He first met him when he was this Mouse. He tells Baker Baby Buddy Boy this here. His old nickname. It rang a bell.
Bake’s Bakery has moved in to one of the 2 lower rooms of my more downtown Teepot apartment. The demon hot beverage dispenser remains, ha ha (he he he (ho ho ho ho)).
Just around the corner (hu hu!).
Also: the important bits of the attached apartment remain. Like this now 5 day old pizza in one of the 2 upstairs rooms (hi!).
“We better get down to business, Jeffrie. Let’s talk about Audrey.”
“Okay, um, *doctor*.”
“I may never go back to Mainland, Hucka Doobie. I like it here. I have Bake’s Bakery now. Like it was meant to be.”
“What about Cassandra City?” asked Hucka Doobie logically. “What of NWES City? It appears you need Mainland still.” She wiped her highlighted nose with her sleeve. Always forgetting her handkerchief these days, arrgh! Stupid nose.
“Both, then.” Like vending machine salesman Appleyon was both a new friend and an old old enemy, he thought to himself.
“Baker, you’ll have to excuse me,” Hucka Doobie blurted with this, stifling an urge to snort. “I have to go somewhere and blow my nose!”