Category Archives: Apple’s Orchard

00250702

We began again the next day…

“It’s Plan 2, Stumpy,” spoke Man About Time within Moe’s Bar over at NWES City. He’s decided to leave this footprint in the town; keep paying rent on it. “Black Ice is caput.”

“Yeah, I know,” replies Stumpy the formerly headless bartender, hired only after he promised to get one. “We’ll have to think of ‘what ifs’ on that one.”

“What if…” MAT starts, “… I was recognized for being a world renowned artist.”

“What if…” Stumpy chips in, getting into the game himself, “… I remained headless and could still balance red wine and blue pot correctly.”

“What if…” MAT’s turn again. “All of this is a dream.”

“What if… I were actually dead instead of alive.”

“What if… Charlene were actually my girl instead of Jeffrey Phillips’.” MAT pauses here; Stumpy takes a good gander at him. “Because, you know, he’s dead and all.”

“Maybe *we’re* dead,” Stumpy doubles down. Were they still playing the game? “Do you, er, fancy her, Man About Time? You can tell me. I’m your no. 1 bartender after all. Remember, you hired me after I promised to get a head.”

“Ahead in life, yes. Which the job would give you. So: case closed; loop completed. You are here. You have a head.”

“Back to Charlene…”

—–

He sits for a while on the subway before he remembers it was never finished. He’ll have to walk. Another “what if,” then. What if… the subway system of town was finished and residents could more easily move from one sim to another. But to Black Ice and continue his pitches which are All Pitch. Maybe he should buy Barry DeBoy’s red baseball cap. Put it on backwards so he can tell the two apart. “I’m here,” he imagines saying to forward cap wearing Barry across from him on the train. “And you’re there.” But he was facing (transposed) the other way and couldn’t even see him. Reminds me of a certain Tiger we’ve viewed recently. Barry, I mean, MAT sits alone again. Then gets up. Because of the whole nonfunctioning part of the subway. He’ll have to walk to Black Ice. Surely he remembers how to walk — yes, one foot then another then another. Feets get moving!

(to be continued)

Leave a comment

Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0025, 0702, Apple's Orchard, NWES Island^

lost in the sea that is the sky

He was a blank, ready to be written upon. Some called him Jonny already. He stared out past the Bellisaria Blues Bar toward the sea, the houseboats. He was looking for a… kite? His mind went blank again. He was a blank. Jonny he was called by some. He stares past the blues bar toward the sea, the sky, the… what was it? A ship. A boat or maybe… space?

I decided it should be a 200 meter long tether of red, knotted up like a rock hard ball of yarn left of center. This is the Jonny part.

—–

Alice Farrowheart was inconsolable. My poor poor Toddles, she lamented to anyone around at the time, the police for now.

“There there, now now,” the squad all attempted to calm. “Toddles is still in town. The tracker implanted in her neck like everyone’s neck tells us so (!).”

“But *where*?” she exclaims back.

“The tracker says Apple’s Orchard. Wait.” Officer Robert Petrie Dish checked Master Radar again. “Heading to Neptune now… yes, she’s in Neptune. She’s… making a turn left. Looks like she’s going to Black Ice.”

“You’ve checked *everywhere*. She’s *physically* NOT in the city!” Alice Farrowheart couldn’t help herself. She had to yell to get the feelings out. Where — was — TODDLES??

The officers and gentlemen around her knew there was one other place she could be hiding but were too scared to raise the possibility. They knew Collagesity was more or less fully integrated into NWES City — and Collagesity contained collages and now NWES City does too. Precious precocious child Toodles could have gone to the Inside World, perhaps, gasp (they collectively did when they thought of this), Picturetown? Inside the pictures that were collages? The squad thinks again about how unwise it was for town to decide to stay “city” and live with all the other lesser and inferior cities intruding in and around it, like unwanted pregnancies and resulting ragamuffin children. They should have been cast off with the name. Now look what happens. Actual children disappearing. She could be anywhere now, even — gasp (again) — Canada.

Leave a comment

Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0024, 0608, Apple's Orchard, Bellisaria^^, Black Ice, Canada, Canada/Picturetown, Four Corners, Marwood, Neptune, NWES Island^

00240607

“I was younger back then, still a rocker, still a moder. Cleveland had nothing on me.”

“Drew ‘Grumpy’ Cleveland?” Baker Bloch questioned, still shocked at the revelation. He hardly had breath to ask.

“Yes,” Stefan [last name still to be determined] admitted, thinking back to the lake, the peninsula. So calming after the pansies. He knew who he was… for the very first time. Then a Brendan appeared on a nearby peak and it began in earnest. He understood that this was not a bucolic paradise, and that paradise was a long way off indeed, like his sister knew before him. Brother too.

“Soooo…” Baker caught his breath again. “That’s when you began (inhale) to know… about Pansy…”

“Mouse,” Stefan completed for Baker Bloch. He held all the cards now, was playing with a full set of dice. Die — Certain Death. Red equals white. Alice in Wonderland would be proud. He let the word hang in the air again, like a kite cut loose from its tether, adrift in a sea of nothingness.

Leave a comment

Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0024, 0607, Apple's Orchard, Bellisaria^^, Four Corners, NWES Island^

00240606

“What assets can *you* bring to me, Mr. Baker Bloch.” I wish Stefan [last name yet to be determine] had a German accent but it would be too hard to write. He was applying for an apartment in the Kidd Tower in Apple’s Orchard, a prospective neighbor, then, to the Man About Time who’d be living directly above him in the penthouse suite. This here was Mr. Babyface’s old apartment. Mr. Babyface had decided to move away from the city to carve out a bucolic life for himself in the land of Hana Lei, wherever the f-ck that was. Maybe Rose Heaven.

“Well,” Baker Bloch began his answer. “You’ll become an automatic member of the exclusive Blue Feather Club, with 10 percent discount on all items at any of the Baker Bloch owned businesses in town. That would include, let’s see, the consignment store down in Black Ice, the Red Umbrella (gallery) in same, the Rosehaven Yarn Shop — that would be selling story yarns and not yarn yarns mind you.”

“Shoot,” Stefan mildly cussed here. He was a natural born knitter, weaving and bobbing the needles to whittle away the dreary nights. But he could live with this handicap. Still full price for the yarn yarn. Baker Bloch continued without a beat.

“Then The Cones — that’s the all you can eat buffet style restaurant atop the Blue Feather, part of the overall Sunklands Institute complex. That would be, er, right down there or over there.” Baker Bloch pointed out the transparent wall to his left toward said complex. You can clearly make out the towers at the top from his perspective. Stefan had none of this. He remained undecided whether to move to NWES City, despite what Baker considered his pretty pitch, like a lob thrown to a junior leaguer who could then hit it out of the park on any given day. This was a given. It was up to Stefan to throw away the chance, make a clear error of judgement. Baker held all the aces, he felt.

“I know Pansy Mouse,” Stefan stated out of left field, a game changer. Baker’s plans suddenly flew up in the air like a pack of misshuffled cards.

Leave a comment

Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0024, 0606, Apple's Orchard, NWES Island^

0024(0403)

Kick-Ass Bogota wonders where his brother Kick-Ass Boos ran off to — for several weeks! It’s like he has a secret life as a superhero or something, ha, laughs Bogota inwardly, knowing the reverse is true. Because he’s right over there, just up over the street edge at the bar he forgot he owned and had to be reminded by his employee. I know this is happening. I sawed him off (last Thursday’s Tuesday).

If only it had worked out better over at Four Corners on the Bellisaria continent, he thinks. Maybe he could balance the ordinary and extraordinary better. But as he is, he’s totally unfit to replace Baker Bloch as Sunklands leader, pheh. I’ll testify against him if it comes to that.

Bogota looks out, trying to spot his sometimes bodiless dog in the yard. 3 more trailers align themselves out into the distance, ending with the dumpster where Bogota found that book which told the whole story, 4 Corners, NWES City, everything. In fact, he should get back to reading it. He’s up to where he’s sitting in front of his trailer and staring off at the distance and then remembering to pick up the book from his lap. He picks up the book from his lap.

Leave a comment

Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0024, 0403, Apple's Orchard, NWES Island^

fuzzy navels

“What’s up, boss. I’m back, as you see.” Stumpy wanted MAT (Man About Time) to comment on his return, ask him what he’s been up to. Man About Time didn’t even know the formerly headless man went missing.

“Where’s Karl?”

“That’s what I’m trying to tell you, hoss. He’s gone. So is Moe. I’m *back*.”

MAT tried to recall the bartender’s name. “You were… missing something.”

“My *head* is all. You almost didn’t hire me for the job because of it. Then Gotham came along and I became a head, almost the opposite. But then it all balanced out, thanks to the red, the wine. Red and blue coordinated. I’m back.”

“That… doesn’t make any sense.” Mild but to the point.

Stumpy began to wax philosophically, inspired by the pot dreams. “Life is a 3d movie, both red and blue. Stereoscop-ic. The trick is to see them *together*, make everything real around you. It’s tricky, yeah, but it’s worth it in the end. I’m 3d, you’re 3d. The bar is 3d. The new trailer park just over the street edge in front of the store is 3d…”

“Ahh yes, thanks. That’s what I came in for. I wanted to ask about renting a trailer, er, Stimpy. From Jim K. Polk.” The Man About Time then remembered he had already rented the trailer, already paid the last month’s rent, already cleaned out the premises and came here to find Stumpy back on the job. It’s like the Karl/Moe intermediate period never existed. He looked around the room. Another head should be here besides Stumpy’s and my own, he thought. But it was hit out of the ballpark, bruised and battered somewhere far over a left field fence.

Man About Time was worried about flipping around time because he was now the logical candidate to replace Baker Bloch once the blog protagonist moved on to the White Palace, which already might have occurred. Now that fellow candidate Jeffrie Phillips has left town with that cryptozoologist who hangs out down at Spunky’s. Where was Spunky anyway? I recall 2 people of that name in town, one small, red, and with horns. The other…”

“I see you’re still confused about time,” Stumpy spoke up, seeing the glazed look in MAT’s eyes.

“H-how long have you been back?” MAT managed.

“Just got back. Ask me where I’ve been. Buy a returned employee a drink why don’t you. I’ll buy you one and we’ll call it even.”

But then Stumpy forgot all about the experience in the Green Yarn sim as well, and his gig there. Gigi was always at the bar, but he doesn’t recall that either. He had the unfortunately experience of going into the 1898 room and falling asleep, replacing Jeffrie in the bed — another replacement for him. Stumpy stares at MAT, MAT stares at Stumpy. They suddenly realize one is as much of a mess as the other, unable to replace anybody, anywhere, any*thing*.

(to be continued)

Leave a comment

Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0024, 0402, Apple's Orchard, NWES Island^

2(0)1

“Thanks for helping out, Charlene Brown.”

“I’m busy: but I’m here.”

“Okay, so there’s the two girls who must have seen Bart, yacking in front of the Giant Tiger painting. This would be caddy-corner to you standing at the intersection of, let’s see, Main and Elizabeth. Bart should be skateboarding by you right this instant.”

“I see nothing.”

“So let’s just swing the camera around and… Charlene? Where’re you going? Come back!”

I finally spot the pink dress wearing punk again just beyond the Rosehaven Yarn Shop, about to walk under the Regent Theatre marquee. But she’s way ahead of where she should be. Where’s she going?

“I see him Baker Bloch!” she suddenly exclaimed as I pull back beside her at Main and York.

Three Beatles were crossing the road in front of me and I knew this was a special, sacred spot.

“And that’s how Bart Smipson travels between Picturetown and NWES City,” I write in a letter later to Hucka Doobie. “Through that alley with the 102 graffiti. He’s indicating how he does it!” I sign my name with love and stick it in an envelope addressed to the White Palace.

Leave a comment

Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0023, 0603, Apple's Orchard, Black Ice, Canada/Picturetown, collages 2d, NWES Island^

short for Grotesque

After all the actual avatars had moved over to Perch (diner) for after-meeting drinks, Gordie Down, formerly Curled Paper, said his first meaningful word for no one except us, the reader and the writer of this here blog. “Grote,” he uttered, not loud enough to attract the attention of others. Instantly he felt his physique change, growing in some spots and retreating in others; no need for Baker to get those apples. For the first time, he-turned-to-she began to dream. The result was a whole book which remains unpublished to this day, “Winesap” taking its place in the instant of the moment.

Leave a comment

Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0023, 0517, Apple's Orchard, Bellisaria^^, Black Ice, NWES Island^

Sunkland Institute’s Blue Feather

If only they could have brought the ocean all the way up to the docks here and made NWES City a true port, thinks Baker Bloch, staring out at same. Maybe Sammie Parr, Tenty, the rest could have been saved, maybe the Black Ice Market here would still be thriving and providing talky tubes for beloved pets, etc. He sighs, turns.

If Spunky’s also goes that may be it for this side of town. And if one part crumbles then the rest fall as well, all 4 jigsaw pieces. And that means the 5th, orange, Sunklands Institute in effect, will be meaningless too. Might as well move it back to Iris, then; Bella (squirrel) could have proved that.

Speaking of which, I must get to the Blue Feather meeting over there, called specifically because of new developments in Bella, Belle- seri… sare… whatever (think “Bell is serial”, baker b.!).

—–

“So you see,” he says a bit later at the meeting, comprised of himself, Wheeler Wilson, Grassy Noll, Chef-Detective Keat Owens, and Gordie Down (formerly Curled Paper), just like before, “this wheel of avatars found by Bixyl — lemme see (Baker squints at the media feed), looks like Shuftan — occurred just after the completion of photo-novel 22, the one prior to the current one.”

“Hi!” repeats “Winesap” reading, light bulb headed Gordie Down. Baker and the others look at him, jointly wondering if he’s ever going to become a functional member of The Table they all sit around and participate in. Baker also makes a mental note here to get those apples for him as requested by Wheeler.

“Yes, hello once again, Gordie.” Baker decides to try to prod more out of him. “What do *you* think of this circle or wheel, Gordie? Do you think it represents the nodal photo-novels 1-4-7-10-13-16-19-22, like we talked about before? At the time, Wheelhouse (sim) was at the top of the developing continent and Wheeler (sim) at the bottom. This circle was created just over from Wheelhouse. We think it’s All Orange, Gordie (Wheeler and Grassy nod in agreement), but… what about you?”

“Hellooo!”

No success on that front! They’ll try again another night.


Baker discussing the same concept with dummy Chef-Detective Keat Owens in photo-novel 22.

Leave a comment

Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0023, 0516, Apple's Orchard, Bellisaria^^, Black Ice, NWES Island^

alchemy

That belt is giving me strange dreams, she thinks after waking up and recalling. Must stop using it so much.

She goes to check on Toddles. “Toddles?” Not in the bedroom, not under the covers. “Land sake’s child.” She calls downstairs. “Are you down in the kitchen!?” She descends the stairs — not there. She searches the entire house. Her precious precocious grandchild is gone! The belt did something to her that night. Broke through the drugs that Toddles had carefully and stealthily dispensed into her bedtime toddy, as was common. The belt doesn’t want Toddles to succeed in her mission of growing up way too soon so that she can save the world, several worlds in fact. All Orange.

If she wasn’t so worried about Toddles, Alice Farrowheart would have noted that the belt was gold instead of steely grey in the dreams, and wondered what that meant. It too is growing in power. A face off (to the death?) is probably in the works.

—–

“Grounded!” I say. “GROUNDED. And gimme those drugs you use to doctor my toddy. You’ll grow up to be a heroin addict or worse and put me in an early grave, Toddles.” Alice Farrowheart, her dear dear “Granny,” could stop shaking her head; the belt did this, the psychic toddler realized. Alice F. held out her hands. “DRUGS,” she demanded. “I want to see what you’ve come up with in that wee evil noggin of yours.” Toddles produced 2 pills, one red and one blue, from the pocket on her baby jumper. “Take them,” she said. It wasn’t a request. It was an order. Time to pull out the big guns, hypnosis and not what. Toddles had collected a bag full by now.

(*swallow*)

—–

“Where were you Toddles? I was looking all over for you. I was worried!”

“Just getting some milk for me and Whimpers (cat).”

“Aww,” Grammy let off. “That’s so *sweet*.”

—–

“Phew. That was close!” she admitted to milk sipping Whimpers after Grammy puttered off back to bed.

Leave a comment

Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0023, 0411, Apple's Orchard, Black Ice, Marwood, Neptune, NWES Island^