Category Archives: Apple’s Orchard

state of mind and body

The penultimate song of Mabel Montana’s set had just ended. Time now for her theme song. But first…

“Well, *that* was interesting,” Stumpy spoke over to Gotham, both high on something tonight of course. “I guess we know what Dinah and Moe hum together.”

“Shhh,” spoke Gotham over to his head friend. “Montana’s starting.”

“Yeah, errr, I know. She’s started singing again.” Even though it was just a hum in the beginning, a purposeful carryover by the alien Martian girl clad to the hilt in lime green garb.

“*No*. Just listen. I *know* this song.” She starts in earnest.

I might be movin’ to Montana soon
Just to raise me up a crop of
Dental Floss
Raisin’ it up
Waxen it down
In a little white box
I can sell uptown

Baker Bloch spoke over the music. “She’s really quite good, you know. In a karaoke kind of way.”

“You’re lucky I’m even talking to you again, lover boy,” Hucka Doobie said back.

“Another… drink guys?” Wheeler now, tending the bar.

“Make it a double,” the other woman at the bar said, scooting an empty glass toward her. “No, a *triple*.” She glanced at Baker again, a smirk still on his face. She wished she could just wipe that expression off his dead mug like a state from a map. Montana’s second verse began…

I’m pluckin’ the ol’ dennil floss
That’s growin’ on the prairie
Pluckin’ the floss!
I plucked all day an’ all nite an’ all afternoon
I’m ridin’ a small tiny hoss
His name is…

Mabel stopped singing, lowered the microphone. The music continued on without her.

“Mighty Little!” offered Gotham from the back, thinking she had forgotten the lines. “The horse’s name is…”

“I can’t do this,” she interrupted Gotham, who was just trying to help. Okay, helping but also a little pissed off that his buzz was being killed. He was grooving! “I’m going home.”

Baker turned to Hucka Doobie and also Wheeler. “What just happened here?”

“Duh,” spoke Wheeler. “It’s her brother. Big Little. The song reminded her of…”

“It’s Little Big,” said Hucka Doobie in yet another interruption. “Or Big comma Little; but we get the point.”

“See ya, guys. Sorry. Thanks for coming.” She walked across the tiger head one more time as Montana before it all went away.

(to be continued)

Leave a comment

Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0025, 0705, Apple's Orchard, NWES Island^

zircon encrusted tweezers

Perhaps the Kidd Tower never should have been eradicated from this cozy corner of NWES City, Man About Time thinks while flying above it all again. It’s another “what if…”, but the Kidd Tower remains in Collagesity, on the *Nautilus* continent. Not here, though, in its more natural position on the Jeogeot continent which NWES City acts as a crown jewel of — was *suppose* to act that way. Now its Black Ice is being depopulated, victim of urban overbuild. But I still have Moe’s in Apple’s Orchard, he thinks. And Charlene still has her coffee bar down in Black Ice, and Stumpy still lives with fellow head Gotham above the record store there. Gotham, he realizes. A black person in Black Ice: exactly what I need. He knows where he must head next.

—–

“You’re not suppose to smoke it in your *nose*, you silly person,” he exclaimed as they lounged around in his and Stumpy’s apartment and partaking a bit before heading out to… where? Not much left in Black Ice except Charlene’s coffee bar. Gotham tells Man About Time this.

“Then let’s (*cough*), go to Collagesity. Mabel will be singing (*cough cough*) at the Montana Bar tonight.”

“Really?” said Gotham, use to strange pot talk and the lies it can surface. Blue over red, as Stumpy might explain it. Or something — he can’t remember the exact phrase he uses right this moment. Also something about octaves. And doctors.

“Yeah (*cough*).” Man About Time can hardly breathe now. He had to get out of here. It was foolish for him to toke, even if only through the nose. He was still high enough to fly. He could go back over to Apple’s Orchard right now and probably see the Kidd Tower there in that cozy corner, like it never left. He remembers that Mabel wasn’t singing tonight, and that the Montana Bar hadn’t been built yet. But it will. If other things line up as planned — dominoes. “Let’s, er (*cough cough cough*), go to my place over there instead.”

“What place? You don’t live *here*?”

Man About Time didn’t have breath to explain. He could only manage: “I’ll (*wheeze*) send-you-a-link,” which meant a teleport invite. He knew his apartment was home base — easy reach — and that he hadn’t changed it to the Blue Feather yet. Why would he?; he wasn’t ruler of Collagesity *yet*. Mabel’s dad wasn’t Billy Ray Cyrus — *yet*. Charlene the Punk wasn’t Fern the super-witch…”

“Link to where?” Gotham interjected, making Man About Time remember to teleport himself. But he ended up just falling asleep on the couch afterwards, forgetting about Gotham until the morning. He phoned him up.

“I was waiting here — *all* *night*,” Gotham protested about the disappearance and the missing invite.

“I’ll make it up to you,” came the mild reply. “Montana, I mean, Mabel is singing next week as it turns out. Everything lined up.”

—–

That night at Moe’s Bar:

“Stumpy. Where’d you get that poster?”

“Gee, I don’t know. Why?”

“Was Dinah, Moe’s…*wife*?”

They’d both find out at Mabel’s Montana gig.

(to be continued)

Leave a comment

Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0025, 0704, Apple's Orchard, Black Ice, NWES Island^

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 kaput.”

“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, collages 2d, 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 catty-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^