Category Archives: Black Ice

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)

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00250703

“I like your gray hair.” It changes. “Oh, I mean, *black* hair.”

“Never mind that,” she waves off, still weeping a bit. She lays her head in her folded arms on the table. “I can’t (*sniff*) *believe* he’s *gone*.”

MAT pats her hand. “There there.” It’s something she did a lot for Jeffrey, especially when he woke up after one of his weird dreams. The memory makes her cry even more. We better postpone the post about her chat with MAT for another day.

Oh wait, she’s finished. She looks up, stares into MAT’s eyes. “I’m better (*sniff*). Yes,” she nods. “Better.” More nodding, like a bobble-head winding down. MAT withdraws his hand from hers, sensing he needs to do that. It starts wheels turning in Charlene’s head, though — the subtle pause. Was MAT interested in her? So soon after Jeffrey’s demise? How dare he! But maybe she’s just imagining it. She stares into his eyes. Very intelligent, yes, but very unformed. What would be a better word? Unfocused. *Fuzzy*. Blurred even, but perhaps that’s because of the remaining water in her eyes. She wipes them, looks again. Still a bit blurred, still a bit fuzzy. This was on MAT. How is he going to run a whole 1/8th sim town like that? she asks herself.

“How’s… (*small sniff*) Collagesity managing? I (*smaller sniff*) imagine the paperwork is piling up even higher than before, foot by foot.”

“One foot after another,” MAT recites, thinking back to leaving the subway and heading here. Spunky’s coffee bar, bought by Charlene the Punk from Rochelle the Spy in the Summer of ’98, which would be just last year, NWES Time Zone. She’d done a great job with it. “Money’s not great,” she admitted to Jeffrey Phillips just the week before last Wednesday’s Tuesday or thereabouts. So soon was he taken from us! “Come with me,” he then beckoned. “Come to Collagesity.” Oh, she was there some nights, and it always seemed the ones where he had those weird dreams. About this place called Pickleland, for example. Danny as a time traveling super scientist, ha! He can barely plunge a commode. Okay, he’s actually a pretty good janitor, Charlene admitted in her mind.

Man About Time had nodded off while Charlene thought about other stuff. He too was dreaming about Pickleland, and being in control again, fuzzy no more. Grandma loves him best of all, he knows, up there on the 7th level or whatever. Maybe 8th. But way up high, so no one could reach her. But him.

(to be continued)

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equals?

“Well it certainly sounds like a dangerous place. I’m not sure I want to move there now, despite the advantages.”

“I mean, look at your wine. It’s still gray,” Jeffrie Phillips pointed out. “Sooo laggy.” He looks around, as if he can see the whole, huge city from his vantage point. NWES City, which once, not very long ago, almost decided to become a town and let its several suburbs handle all the city problems. Not any longer. But… what if.

Charlene takes a sip of gray wine, which tastes perfectly fine despite the color. She looks again: red now. But it took a while. And it also took a while, albeit a shorter time, for her shirt to rezz in. She thinks of, for example, omelettes. It would probably take half the time to cook them in Collagesity if she decides to move there. But what is the night life? As Jeffrie Phillips is describing it to her: none. Except for crime — maybe the criminals are just *bored*. She says this aloud to Phillips.

“We think it was just one person committing the actual homicides if that helps, one April Mae Flowers, a widow. She has a history of crime in the town — notice I use town there, not village, but not city.” He was trying to paint a contrast between Collagesity and NWES City for Charlene to help lure her back.

“How big again?” she queries about the size of the town.

“8192, with room to grow. Approximately 500 prims worth of room. That’s a lot of omelettes.”

Charlene was wondering how Jeffrie Phillips knew she was thinking about omelettes earlier but then dismissed the mind reading possibility. But was he? She knew they were separate cores, so no symbiosis there for psychic sharing. He was, at the core, Baker Bloch. She: Wheeler Wilson. Baker Blinker, Karoz Blogger, Hucka Doobie, and most of the others seemed to have faded away in the distance. It was only us two left, she thought. She says this out loud to Jeffrie Phillips.

“Then we should be king and queen of Collagesity. I know you are Fern Stalin in the future.”

“In the *past*,” Charlene the Punk counters about the time relativity.

“See there? We’re a great balance. You look at something one way, I another. We are Janus headed, looking in both the past and future directions. Can’t you see?” He manifests a glass of gray wine in his own hand and adjusts his position appropriately. “Fate.” He takes a sip, the sip of victory. He reaches the wine glass out to clink with her own. Dare she?

She could have asked about veracity advantaged Bad Kitten/Zado, she could have asked about Elsie at the kissing booth and nimble Darlene down at the bay and “Hot Shot” Cloris over in the Rat Village bar and grill. Had she known about them.

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shared states

“I will withdraw the monkey in me,” she said while standing on the edge. “Crime rates *will* go down in this here Collagesity, 25 in a series of 1.” Who is she to be so small yet so wise?

—–

I still have a definite presence in NWES City over on the Jeogeot continent, just diminished. We’ll see how that develops.

“Dear, can we go to the temple… now?”

“Not yet. I’m still trying on shoes.”

“Lordy, *pheh*.”

—–

Ray’s well deserved pizza should be arriving any minute. He’s forgotten who he is again.

—–

And static. Glorious static.

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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.

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butterflies

I remain ensconced in NWES City — more to see and use here.

And I guess Baker Bloch is still the head honcho of my little family of avatars, since I can’t figure out a replacement for him so that he can permanently move to the White Palace which appears to be in the center of Picturetown (who da thunk?). Speaking of which…

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letters and numbers

Former stripper and teen tennis star Steff Graffiti needed a place to stay. Her yarn shop (Ye11ow) down the street had gone bottom up. Baker Bloch graciously allowed her to move some stuff upstairs at the Rosehaven Yarn Shop and crash on her couch up there; “yarnies” stick or at least clump together that way. “Several weeks,” she insisted about the stay. “I’ll be on my feet by then.” If it came down to stripping and backhanding again like back in the days then so be it. It would not come down to that, because…

… Steff had plans.

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Unhappy

It all started again with the formation of Thornwood. Thornwood exists: I exist, the Rose be damned. But that was the problem. I couldn’t find the roses again because of the thorns. This was an existential dilemma. Rosehaven also did not exist now. Instead: Rose Heaven. Witch Hazel *must* be suppressed (!). She could destroy this queendom-kingdom with a single, steely glance of those evil, dead white eyes. Powerful.

I clutch my Philip Linden doll even tighter. I miss my daddy, *sigh*.

“Don’t you think,” I can hear Tessa in my head (if not in reality, at least currently), “that the truth lies in the ruined village now partially in Thornwood?” I realized this was just me reflecting back to me, but it helped.

The background sound of static. I knew I was back in Room 1898, sleeping in that oh so comfy bed of ours. Tilists — always with the static at night. I wake up (let’s say). Who is beside me? Charlene the Punk? Probably not — (she was) several girls ago. Probably that girl Gigi who hangs around the bar all the time. Just like me. Whatever’s handy at the moment. But I mustn’t wake up, must dream a little longer. I unclutch the doll pillow and turn its face toward me. “What would Philip Linden do?” I ask it. Slot Mountain! came the answer in my own enlarged skull.  I hadn’t thought of that slitted peak and attached haunted castle in a long time. Not since…

Time is all mixed up for me now. I know I’m dreaming but it’s even worse than that, because when I wake up, it will still be all wonky, like Willa. Hey, I could use that (expression) in my memoirs: Wonky like Willa. Slip in some more comments about chocolate and sweets in general to balance things out. Maybe delete that section about arsenic; too much of a downer, like the barbiturate section I eliminated previously. But here I am, wasting precious dream time on my memoir planning. I try to see who is in the bed with me. I’m clutching my Philip doll again, still in the dream.

Behind me, the square piece of land representing Illyria slides up and Thornwood appears in the gap, but brown instead of white like the others. Winter hasn’t come yet, at least not here in the yarn shop. Yarn Shop! Rosehaven? How did I get here?

Wormholes. Must — control — the — wormholes.

I can’t see Green at all now.

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pansies

“You’re one of our most trusted contacts, Bella.”

“Sandy here, YUCK. Sandy *Squirrel*. I’m a squir-rel, HO.”

“Right, right. You’re a squirrel here. You’re name is Sandy. *Not* Bella.”

“That’s right. And I can’t breath, HUH HUH HUH (pants). See? I just removed my helmet and the atmosphere’s plain POISON. It’s like I took a red pill, a blue pill, and then turned into a COW, hehe.”

“I don’t get it. Anyway…”

“It’s that old saying,” she explained with another chuckle, still without helmet. “‘And on the FIFTH day… wait, And SO on the FIFTH day…”

“Right, right. I get it. You’re a cow.”

“I’m NOT a cow. Becauuuuse… I didn’t take the *pills*. I didn’t become Phyllis. I h’ain’t no channeler, see. I’ll leave that up to…”

“Phyllis?” I interrupted. I didn’t see the connection between pills and Phyllis yet. I could tell I upset Sandy/Bella by interrupting her. Me and my big mouth. I think of the calming blue pills in my pocket that could slow me down. Getting anxious. I reach; try to disguise to Bella/Sandy what I’m doing. Cartoon-like, she begins to imitate me; reaches into her own pocket on her astronaut suit or whatever the heck she’s wearing.

“I got some TOO, and I bet they h’ain’t the same color, HO.”

Synchronized now, I pull out two, she pulls out two. I figure out the Phyllis-pills connection. Together we could do each other in. She reaches over with one and I do too. We exchange. We swallow.

—–

We’re in a different place altogether, staring at trash that also isn’t trash with TILE channeler Phyllis and revived lady of the night Sammie Parr. It was all a dream.

—–

Tickie comes back from the bathroom. “Where’d they go?” On his own now, he became even slightly more blue but it would take a while.

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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.

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