Category Archives: Apple’s Orchard

North again

“Well? How did you like it?”

Toothpick turned on the bar stool. “Who are you?”

She rubbed her big red horns seductively. “An Aries, why?”

Toothpick adjusted. “*What* are you?”

“They call me Wanda,” she said in a bass voice for a woman. “Big Wanda. Because of the, ahem, horns but maybe not. 1/2 –.” She stopped here, saving some grace. “I’m what you became absorbed in,” she goes again. “Just a moment ago. Just over there.” She points to the nearby black couch. “Like the one in the Bigfoot Bar, except that one’s gone now. There are others.”

Toothpick thinks back to Bigfoot. Yes, he remembers now. This was his sister in another guise. She has horns. They’re still testing couches and realities both. Yes he had been absorbed. It was nice. Too nice. He thought back to the pleasantries. A belt was involved. The Great Belt of Marwood or thereabouts, purchased in oppositely directioned and colored Black Ice down south at its Black Diamond market square, or at least as a demo. Near where they were born, actually, in the Deep South (of the Black Ice sim). The original one broke; all he has now is the one with the attached squares that say demo and follow him wherever he moves with it. Like the Gone Fishing square from before, prior to the horned one taking over. He takes another gander.

“Are you Satan?” He thinks back to well known Aries and settles on the idea of batting champ Peet Rose, red as a. Why Peet Rose? Why not Jonny Bench or some other bench player, like Leeroy “Steamboat” Kelly who filled in for the Browns when Cleveland Jim Brown became a star on Hollywood Boulevard?

—–

In a related scene, Big Wanda’s sometimes, gun toting partner Little Oakley Annie, a Leo, was visiting her own grave but having trouble remembering the name of her own star. She only recalls (with a shudder) the wide, yawning abyss just beyond, the Great Black Swamp devoid of such. Her star was the first out. Polar came to mind but that wasn’t quite it. Pole star?

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0022, 0413, Apple's Orchard, Black Ice, Marwood, NWES Island, Ohio

Head’s Helm(et)

“Boy I’m stuff, phew! Thanks for the pork chops flapjacks, Berry.”

Berry, MAT (Man About Time) thinks. That’s how he sees me currently. I can play along. “No problem [delete name].”

“What did you call me?” Toothpick truly couldn’t hear his own name being thrown back at him. It was part of the hypnosis of the role currently. He was fully Toothpick now, brother of beautiful, strong and handsome Elberta but soon to be more. The Temple of TILE wedding bells beckoned again after a brief lapse of trepidation. They’re so in sync! Of course they should get married. It was the way of the Deep South, their heritage. The Deep South of the Black Ice sim. He wonders how Boos and Bogota are getting along way down there. He needs to revisit the old homeland — hinterland. Invisible to most but straw enhanced Toothpick could see.

“I called you [delete name].”

Toothpick cocked one of his ears in MAT’s direction. “Say again?”

“Never mind that, um, Toothpick.” He really had a mild voice. Again, for someone so important. He knew a lot, being able to leap about time like he does. A man about it. But he often was a little confused; unfocused. Part and parcel of the gift.

“I am your neighbor,” MAT tested further.

“No. You live *here*” protested Toothpick, knowing that Berry moved to his Kidd Tower penthouse apartment in The City to start attending services over in the Temple of TILE and to, well, serve *him* instead of visa versa, with Master becoming, um, Slave. Sort of. Which makes Toothpick think of choppers. He points to the space where his two front teeth should be. “Lost ’em. In the war.”

MAT knows it was football and that Toothpick has a ways to go to remember who he actually is. Maybe the Monkey helmet would help.

—–

He gives it to him the next time they eat. “What do you think this is, [delete name]?”

“What?”

“Toothpick.”

“Oh. A, er, helmet?” He takes it out of the box; inspects; places it over his head, even.

“Yes but what kind of ‘Head’ protection?” So mild.

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0022, 0314, Apple's Orchard, NWES Island

channel

He stared at the amber light beyond the end of the dividing canal, wondering if it had been moved from the wall to the floor.

And what it meant. Was he *finally* reaching?

—–

On the other end, Zapppa hungrily eyes the now almost vacant Bigfoot Bar, which apparently will be up for rent soon. He’s waiting to pounce. He has the idea to bring (Dinah and) Moe’s Bar of Cassandra City to NWES Island. And explore more of that Montana/Zircon tweezers theme to himself escape the grave. I think it will happen. It’s the exact same building after all. Fate: bar exchanged for another bar. Continuity ensured.

And just in time for our first seasonal bigfoot sighting (?)

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0022, 0312, Apple's Orchard, Neptune, NWES Island

no bloody babies

“Say it.”

“I know who you are. I know who is behind Billfork. It’s the oranges…”

“Say it.”

—–

“Alright what do you want me to do tonight, baker?”

“I’m not sure. We need to get you married up with your sister Elberta before the end of this here Collagesity photo-novel, number 22 in a series of 20.”

“Oranges, then?”

—–

“Oranges, then?”

“You’re insistent. On oranges.”

“Oranges, then?”

—–

“Did you like my trick with the oranges? Wasn’t that clever?”

“The Billfork Core. I’m saying that more for the reader.”

“You mean Veyo?”

“No. I have other readers.”

“Who? [delete one sentence]”

“Yeah I know. The country is *so* divided. And the debate last night… I have lost hope, Toothpick, er, Filbert.”

“I would rather you call me Toothpick. I put one in my mouth (he takes the straw out of his mouth and reinserts it), and then I become invisible. That’s the meaning of Berry at the beginning of this here photo-novel, 22 in a series of 20. Matt Berry, who did the same for ‘What’s Creeping Out The Car.'”

“I’m going to correct you on that, Toothpick. It’s…”

“Say it.”

“‘Whatever Happened to Baby Jane.'”

“Say it for real.”

“‘What They Do In the Shadows.'”

“Master Berry… Matt Berry. What else have I done, hmm? The Billfork Core, obviously. Then coded it into your precious maps.”

“Tough guy, eh?”

“Then, let’s see, Goss… he’s the religious fellow who was both an ally and axis. Different things at different times. He should have paid more attention to Billfork according to you.”

“According to *you*. Apparently.”

“Correct. Because I worked hard on that. Do you know how hard it is to create a proper audiovisual synchronicity? You only collage together the already finished pieces. It’s *tough*. Try doing that from the other side of the veil.”

—–

“And Matt Berry is a master in that show. If he had a living familiar, which he might.”

“Where is Mad Anthony? Is he in Winesap?” Toothpick reinserts himself.

—–

I have him fly over to the canal for obvious reasons. Set him down on the box of Budweisers. We’ll probably see that later in a different location now. I face him.

“Well you look just terrible. Is this how you see yourself?”

“Well I h’ain’t got two front teeth. Do I.”

“Knocked out in the war?” He stops talking to me. I realize war is like a football game. Monkees.

—–

“I’m curious, Toothpick. You handed the reigns over to The Residents at some point. You, heck, you probably created the eyeball guys, or the resonance.”

“Loco,” he answered simply.

“But then you came back strong in Uncle Meatwad.”

“As you have surmised, Zapppa helped.” Just then, Zapppa passes by in a canal boat but is unable to wave hello.

—–

“Bowie, too.”

“Bowie.” But Toothpick knew that was more in the future. Nick Danger, Dead Cat Island, Lynch. Jeffrie Phillips. Philadelphia.

Mahler.

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0022, 0311, Apple's Orchard, Black Ice, Marwood, Neptune, NWES Island

partners 02

Why did he switch chairs? he thinks, staring over at the weapon wielding Dinner Girl. It made his stomach turn just thinking about it! But he wasn’t in the direct line of fire. Not quite. He knew who was. History was repeating itself. But first to the other.

“Blue Berry Girl,” Dr. Rabbid Baumbeer addressed, turning to his left and prying his eyes away from the huge barrel of a gun pointed kind of right at him. 1/2 and 1/2 (oh boy). “We were expecting someone else.”

“I know. She couldn’t make it. Stomach ache, let’s say. No: let’s go with flu.”

“Has she been tested?” Dr. Baumbeer was all about testing. Because it could be one thing but it could also be another. You couldn’t know without the test. Baumbeer sneezed here, but not in his arm. In the air. The girls stared at him. Had he inadvertently infected everyone in the room? His stomach was hurting after all, although he chalked that up to the nerves of the present situation, with the gun and all. But maybe it was the other thing. He better get to the point and have a test himself. He has to see this through first.

“Dinner Girl.”

“Um hmmmmm,” she answered haughtily. She lowers the gun a bit. She’s lightening up and becoming less tense. Baumbeer’s shoulders sag, a relaxing exercise he’d learned long ago back in mummy embalming school in Egypt. He trained with the best. It was an Illuminati run campus after all, pyramids all around. And here he is. Still in the middle. A good place to be post-mortem.

“Tell me 5 things you love about Supper.”

When she answered food items instead, Baumbeer knew he was in trouble. The gun was raised again. She wasn’t taking this seriously. Because she was here to kill someone and that alone and he wasn’t here in the moment. Someone had come to life too soon with his Neptune style blonde hair and all and was foiling everything they had tried to accomplished in Our Second Lyfe. Which was to suppress the dead; keep them in their grave. No red meat for any of ’em.

(to be continued?)

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0022, 0306, Apple's Orchard, Black Ice, Marwood, Neptune, NWES Island

partners

The next night, Toothpick remained in the Red Rose, whatever the Red Rose turned out to be. In the moment it was a counseling center. “Alright I’ll bite. Who *are* you guys?”

“You know who we are. *Aqua-boy*. You with your Neptune hair, albeit a try out. You’re Neptune. You sit in the green chair representing the Neptune sim I mean by that. I never sit in that chair any more. Not since…” The reborn, half rabbit/half bat Dr. Rabbid Baumbeer, a psychiatrist originally specializing in bodily fluids back in the days, trailed off here, unable to complete his sentence. Toothpick helped him out.

“Alcatraz? Gettysburg?” He was trying too hard. Settle down, Toothpick. Your nerves are shot. You’re getting married to your sister Sunday after tomorrow’s next Tuesday! It was wrong and both knew it, even though it was right by their culture, their upbringing. She should be sitting here opposite him, he realized. That’s Elberta’s chair over there, the red one. But she’s blonde like me. I saw her change. Toothpick again thinks she’s the most beautiful girl he’s ever laid his wonky, mismatched eyes upon. Darn that she’s my sister! Just my luck. “I have bad luck,” he says to the others after the settle down.

“We all have bad luck,” chips in Supper Man to his other side, still holding his stomach from eating all that food. If he could cut back on the red meat at least… Toothpick realizes something else in his psychic, post-mortem ways. *He* has a better half that should be sitting opposite *him* in this meeting. Toothpick asks him about her without giving away too much.

“Dinner,” he names. “Dinner Girl. Soon to be…” He faded here, unable to complete his sentence. His stomach hurt too much from the perpetual supper he’s always downing bite after bite. He’s getting pudgy… finally. Soon he’ll be a round ball of blubber if the Corona pirates keep storing all that food in his pantry much longer.

“She’s your sister,” tries Toothpick. Wrong again.

Dr. Baumbeer senses it is time for the meeting to start in earnest. Time to bring in the girls.

(to be continued?)

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0022, 0305, Apple's Orchard, Black Ice, Marwood, Neptune, NWES Island

switch to blonde

He wandered around the streets of Apple’s Orchard in a thought haze after the engagement with his sister was back on, eventually settling into this cold seat in Dr. Rabbid Baumbeer’s still undeveloped Red Rose (consignment store?) staring at a hot spot picture and understanding that reality had changed, and that something had somehow been saved. But what? He looks at the locos superimposed against each other in both the backing and fronting photos before him to become one. Locomotives, that is. Train cars. Something had begun, something he didn’t understand. And apparently no one around him did either, Peter, Cat, Phil 02, David, no one. Didn’t matter if I said their names here. No one was listening.

Maybe it’s just Our Second Lyfe that is off-putting. I can understand that.

Doesn’t really matter to me that much because I enjoy hiding anyway. 🙂

(to be continued)

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0022, 0304, Apple's Orchard, NWES Island

set

“She h’ain’t coming!” So shrill and trilling for a chicken, who usually wax eloquently when they have that talking device inserted down their throats. But Toothpick knew what happened; voice matches emotions of the moment. He figured Elberta ran off with that [delete name] boy Jimmy John Jones who she’s been going on about for months now. She’s bucking tradition in more ways that one. So she sent her messenger chick. The coward. He’d understand. He didn’t want to see her that way neither. This was his sister for God durn sake. His *twin*. He begins to think of running away himself. Maybe he’ll just follow her and Jimmy to wherever they went. That’ll teach ’em. He would have understood. He h’ain’t no looker like Jimmy. Everything will be safe and above board. He always liked Jimmy anyway. Despite the, um, well…

—–

“We’ll have to order you a new part from Black Ice. I think it’s down in the belt section.”

“No.”

“You’ll get use…”

Duncan Avocado kept shaking his head. He wasn’t going to budge on this. Pot-D can do whatever they like to him in return. Send him back to Dixie for all he cares. Then the memories flood back, the Slave-up vending machine, etc. Two months is a long *long* time down there (in Hell). He doesn’t want to relive that pain, even from a safe distance. He forces himself to come back to the present. He fondles his skeleton heart necklace, the one Buster gave him almost two years ago now. He reconsiders.

Buster Damm senses the change of heart and sweetens the package. “Elberta is a *looker*. You’ll get use to the hick ways. And they’re not really from the Deep South anyway, Mississippi and all. They’re from the very southern part of Black Ice where we use to have the Boos and Bogota…”

Duncan was nodding his head now. He’d given in. To whatever they had in mind. Mention of The River sealed it.

“No three word name. One, or, at best, two.” He spits in his hand. Buster spits in his. They shake.

Reality changes.

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0022, 0217, Apple's Orchard, Heterocera^^, NWES Island, VHC City^

x’s and o’s

Goodbye Ant Castle at the end of Eleph’s Trunk. I feel like I hardly knew ya.

The only related castle remaining on The Trunk is Harrison Ford Jett’s, whose enhancing apples were recently mentioned in relation to a city crime. The City now. But was he suspected perpetrator or victim in a series of 4? And is he truly a man or a woman? Perhaps it doesn’t matter; let’s go with it doesn’t matter.

“Sure you can stay with me, Ant. Until you get your 6 feet back on the ground.”

“Thanxxxx!”

—–

That taken care of, let’s move back to The City and the Happy Travels Travel Agency…

“Hellloooo. I’m ready to go on vacation. Hide away again.” It was typical of Hidi to do so; in her genes, one could say. Speaking of which…

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0022, 0211, Apple's Orchard, Corsica^^, Gaston^^, Northwest, NWES Island

Hello

“Oh I am so *full*, Dinner Girl. But I’m still going to have a piece of Mama Ruby’s pie.”

“You’re a pig, that’s what you are.”

“Oh stop it.”

“Can’t we just *chat* for a while? Without all the eating?”

He looked at her. “I’m Supper Man,” he declared levelly. “That’s what I do. Every meal is supper for me. And all times in-between.” He keeps holding his stomach, pondering what kind of pie he wants. Oh, he’ll go ahead and order the apple and cherry both. One for each. Except Dinner Girl, ho ho, hates both apples and cherries. More for me, oh well. He laughs inwardly again. Dinner Girl catches the wry smile.

“You’re thinking about food again. Aren’t you?” Why was she surprised.

He decides to spring it. Tonight’s the night at last. “I have a proposition for you.”

“Ohhh?” Dinner Girl was sweating now, even faint feeling.

“I want you to take my name. I want you to become Supper Girl instead of Dinner.”

Joy! She can’t wait to tell Mama Ruby when she brings the pies. Let the engagement party begin!

—–

In a different part of town, Dali realizes the pig is a boar is a rhino and changes accordingly. Professor Art points to what parallels the CB Dylan Dresser. “The being at the center of the universe will arrive just… *there*.” Small Aloha climbs into the picture and assumes the shape of a muse to prepare.

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0022, 0210, Apple's Orchard, Black Ice, NWES Island