“There’s no one there, honey.”
“Oh, but there *is*.”
She heard the alley whispers.
She knew she had to go back to Creepy Alley, where *it* happened. The falling of the pipe. The raising of the voice. 3 notes now she could sing that she couldn’t before. The town (Pipersville) even welcomed her back.
She felt like a mannequin, stuck there until I told her she could move forward. I sensed she hated me for that; didn’t like to be controlled. I moved her toward the alley. I’d done this before.
Still there. Perhaps expanded, even. There was a confusion, a mix-up, involving Your Mama and herself dealing with this alley. She always knew this. She dreamed about it often, this so called Creepy Alley. The only… the only way to deal with it is to make a song about the place, she then thought, influenced by the energy, creepy or not. She remembers Zach Black owning a (Texaco) gas station along it, with a back door importantly without an eye in it — he made sure of that. But then, yes, Marion “Star” Harding, Cowboy for life, bought the station, although he didn’t really *buy* it. Said money is no option. She recalls that as well. Then Jim’s Diamond Club right across from her here. She remembers… she sang… Here she looks down at her fur outfit. Why do I *wear* this all the time. Must be a dream. And indeed, here comes Jim, now Jim A. or Jim Brown or Jim A. Brown (altogether now), walking up the hill toward her, dead flesh still in place and not fallen away.
“Jim,” she says, but remembers she shouldn’t call him that. Or she needs to *add* onto that. “Jim A., Jim A. Brown.”
But suddenly he was walking away from her, as if forward had switched to backwards in an instant, a blink of the eye. “F-ing cursed alley,” she cursed.
Her future besties Tronesisa “Blue Eyes” and Duncan “Avocado” were already there, playing up a storm. She realized a Void needed to be filled. The drum set beckoned. She already had drumsticks sticking out her back pocket. She tended to carry them everywhere she went now. The drumsticks were sure to go.
She sits in the middle, sticks at ready.
Tom Banks reenters the room. “Oh, so you’re trying to get out of this through a trance, huh.” He draws his gun again.
There was only one thing left to do for Marsha “Pink” Krakow. “Hit it!” she shouted at the top of her lungs while the sticks traveled down. The whiteness takes her.
She tried to see better through the tears. The girl in front of her couldn’t be see-through. Could she? Unless…
“Frankie?” she almost whispered. “Frankie — is it — you?” She struggles some more against the pipe, then looks again. The apparition persisted.
“There is that aspect,” Jenny allowed. “I am not dead, though. I appear through *time*.” She let that sink in.
“Time?” Marsha “Pink” Krakow was crying harder again. Jenny knew she was in danger of losing contact. She exposed more. “Not space, because it essentially happened in this very spot once more.” Did this help? Marsha looked like she was going to fall into a black hole, never to be found. An emotional hole inside of her kept whirling everything she knew and understood into itself. This is what Jenny must save her from.
“Options, Marsha,” she exposed more. “You are a *Star*. You *can* be reborn from the Great Void. Think, Marsha, think. Dwell on your future. See yourself drumming like you’ve never drummed before, in front of a large, *worshiping* audience. *See* yourself there.”
Marsha “Pink” Krakow fought hard against the Void. She entered a time, a space, not yet recorded, not yet known about. Tom Banks couldn’t find her here, she realized. She entered the club…
Her friend Frankie “Beige/Brown” Hockentopper was dead. She knew it by the way murderer Tom Eugene Banks spoke of her. “Frankie *was* like that too,” he mentioned during the last visit about the similar ways they both hurled back the insult “f-ck you a-hole” when he asked them to do him a favor. Like, “*shut* UP.” Brown even went so far as to sing the entirety of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” after the final insult just to rile him up more. Not a really good idea, given what he did next. “Mary never had a Lamb,” he spoke over the body with smoking gun after cutting the third and last stanza a bit short. “They’re (the lambs) all gone, Frankie, leaving dreams exposed — best left unrecorded.” He snaps a picture with his polaroid camera. He turned toward the Magic Red Door still on the wall. Igor can clean this mess up. He must find the *next* star — quickly, before she disappears from Storybrook altogether.
And so here she is. Attached to the same pipe as friend Frankie was. Then another appears, not Igor but a girl. Not really the ghost of recently deceased Frankie, although there’s an aspect of that involved. Instead: Jenny, who grows up to be none other than Your Mama.
“I’m here… to help.”
The Donut Hole, Marty thinks while looking down at it from the high window of the Starlite Lounge, fortunately for him and others one of the last Pipersville landmarks Lt. Salt had on his list to check. Didn’t get there. “And Sweet Alice is the filled void in the middle; no need to go back,” he spoke aloud while turning his red topped option back to the turntables. For every season, I suppose — seasoning. Pepper in this case. Pepper black starry void of 1975 or thereabouts.
He stares thataway now at what’s being filmed…
He had acquired the list of Pipersville landmarks and was checking each one individually. No sign of life at the old Weston residence out on Sandpiper Lane, and the house itself seemed to have mysteriously shrunk. Or maybe he was just gaining weight, he rationalized — or… height? He was still a growing boy after all, merely masquerading as a soldier man. At least he wasn’t tin like his friend from the sticks, way out in the woods. He always forgets his name, though. Johnny Something. From Somewhere. South Something. Johnny South — I believe that’s it. Cpt. Americus might know. If he wasn’t dead in his grave from that atom bomb dropped on the town only last year. Seems like two.
This Grove place just south — South again — of Sandpiper Lane still seems interesting. Hobbits, pheh. Lt. Salt hated Hobbits, even more than mustard (gas).
He finds a couple in bedroom cutting some small z’s and shoots them dead, blowing the smoke away from his gun hole at the end in satisfaction of a good day’s work. And it’s only 2 in the afternoon, he thought, checking his white watch to match his snowy outfit. Two again, hmph.
The woman hobbit’s name was Grabby, because she did from the male, a Chestershire example named Givey. Givey Witherspoon, hence Grabby Witherspoon, since Hobbits didn’t really get into modern marriage things like the wife keeping a given surname. So in that one respect she *wasn’t* a Grabby, I suppose. Accepted what was given to her by the husband. But the name was about it; all else was taken, including the family heirloom silverware the husband wanted to donate to families of the unfortunate wee ones from their coastal region eating by sea monsters each year. But I diverge. We must return to Lt. Salt and his exploration of old Pipersville links, eventually leading…
… to the Pipe Room of course. The Room.
He hears footsteps outside: Jim A. and lover Sweet Alice, ready to pose as Venus once more. Nowhere to hide!
“Of course, Albert. She *belts* out tunes like no one and she does this at The Diamond owned by a Black (man). We must get in touch with this Jim A.; see what he knows about The Room. Something happened there, er, Alberta… sorry about the name before.”
“That is okay, sir,” Alberta the Selenite butler dutifully assured. “I am but a humble servant, ready to serve.”
“I think I’ll wear the Great Belt again — stare out at the tire.” He knew he could get additional insights this night. Energy was obviously strong here in Urqhart or thereabouts now that Collagesity had been manifested. So exciting! Green: so green here. No arid, desert-like surroundings to deal with any longer. He was *free*.
Alberta returned with the belt. “Here it is, sir. Do you…?”
“No. I can do it,” requested Barry X. Vampire, knowing what Alberta was going to ask. He didn’t need help getting it on this time. He was getting use to the contraption. And the shock. More difficult for a man!
“I think it’s working, Albert!” he called back, happy in the moment.
“That’s very fine, sir.”
He deftly straddled the Baja Bullet, looking around. Star, huh? Yeah, he was in the right place. Now to find Your Mama and, hopefully, Jim A. as well.
Maybe start at the Starlite up there…
Brown/Beige was tittering yet again. At basically nothing this time. “Who (*snicker*) is that *girl* over there? (pause) Playing that (*giggle*) game?” she asked bestie Marsha “Pink” Krakow at the gas station owned by Pete Oesso now.
But suddenly she was *there*, stars on her shoes. Someone had been in her shoes before. Similar choices.
She stepped back from the machine that had nothing on it. She looked over: Brown/Beige was gone from the window seat. She was alone in the gas station.
She changed again, remembering more.
“Go ahead and take off your head and roll it into the center of the sink. That way you’ll be free of it. You can enter Pipersville unencumbered.”
“Of what?” Hucka Doobie speaks behind me in the void. “Yarns?”
Beyond the resourcefulness of its porcine citizens, there wasn’t much to recommend the small mining town of Rumpus Ridge. But even in such a hardscrabble place, they had created something they could be proud of: over the years they had collected the biggest ball of string in the world. Folks came from miles around to see it. But one night, a flood carries their prized string away and washes it ashore near the town of Cornwall. Rather than return it, the Cornwallians decide to keep the string for themselves.
“See what we did, Keith B.? I *told* you we couldn’t avoid Horns.”