Category Archives: Nautilus
“Yeah, this place is definitely whacked,” he said, trying his own i-pad for size.
They were down on the beach now. North — South. The only directions Albert could successfully navigate. Although he could still look “out”. Claude was back with him. Albert knew more, knew he was stuck for some reason. And Claude or someone directly connected to him was responsible. And he now called himself a *receiver*. What the hell? “Like Paul Warfield?” he decided to say to this. Silence between them after that, then:
“That wasn’t very nice what you called me back there.”
“West from here. This is North, we *were* in West. Thus all the sideways stuff. You’re *stuck*.”
“Hmm, so you’ve said.” He could look out but not go out — lateral. Like a chess piece that can only move file and not rank or diagonal.
“Is it because I’m a prevert? Is that why I’m here?”
“Could be could be.” He was still working with his i-pad despite the sideways disadvantage Albert could clearly see from his angle. Claude made sure of that.
“Tell you what,” he then said. “Look over there, in the distance. See that darker boat with the mast sticking up? Just over there behind the swing thing hanging from the palm.” Albert follows his point and sees.
“There’s two women over there on that island, just on vacation, a break from the rat race. They’re *gay* mind you, no two ways about it if you know what I’m saying. I know you don’t like gays.”
“I don’t like *anybody*,” Albert reinforced, indeed prejudice against the world at large. He’s hateful and hurtful when he sees an opening. The disrespected minorities like Claude, like those ladies apparently, just represent a more worldly acceptable target to him. He tells this in basically using the same words and phrasing to Claude.”
“I know, that’s why I’m giving you this chance. The boss — at least the one I deal with — has given you a break because — well, just like you said. You hate the world in general, etc., etc.”
“I *do*,” Albert reinforced. “Thus the black, thus the infatuation with black. I like black.”
“One thing,” Claude then said. “Apologize.”
“Apologize about what you said to me back there, on the beach.” He pointed West this time instead of North, or North by Northeast. Could Albert do it?
(to be continued)
She said she was on a break from bartending to better pick up men but quickly adding he wasn’t her type. “Too black,” she said, then snickered. He wasn’t interested in this *Marilyn* (she said) anyway. Too white, or not enough black as in hair color, as in clothing. Darla provided that for him. And he was bound and determined to find her and bring her home. He’d follow her to the ends of the Earth, or at least Ohio. If it wasn’t for his own shackles, however electronic they were. But *here*…
“Having problems with your i-pad… *here*?” Marilyn said, looking over while nursing her tea I believe and also probably reading his mind as well.
“Yeah,” he admitted since he had to. She was only about 3 feet from him and could see everything. “Won’t move from sideways.”
“*We’re* sideways,” she offered, then giggled. “You don’t even know where you are.” Fact.
Albert thought back. He was walking down the beach toward the Umbrella Club or Resort or whatever after finishing up with Claude and then… here. Someone or something teleported him. But he wasn’t too worried about it. He figured it was a feature of Our Second Lyfe he wasn’t familiar with. He’d solve the issue soon — get back on track. He was trying to google the problem and then this.
“This is HOME,” she said, and finished her tea with a big gulp before resuming her position behind the bar. Should be a busy night. The Umbrella Operation is not the only one with a deal with the Abyss.
“This is home,” Albert mused, still sideways, still not seeing the correct direction. He never will… here.
A new crop of potential recruits has shown up on what they call Umbrella Beach on the western edge of Nautilus’ Crisp Sea, chatting after the delicious, shrimp dominated buffet. Decision time coming up. Whether to step into the shade of the protecting umbrella or go back out into the glare of the harsh, unrelenting sun, all exposed and for everyone around to gawk at in their increasing redness. Red ironically protects against red, they said during the meal, standing up one by one, these past recruits, to give their testimonies of success and life fulfillment through the initiative, the collective. Already, one here was basically under the umbrella, decision made, shackles (of outside life) removed and legs to be retreated back in the shade with the rest, perhaps even before I write this sentence. The purple clad one in the background middle was also about to cave, being a bigger shrimp lover than Lois in white. Sitting down Darla was just ready to go home and be done with it, another one forced here by a prevert relative trying to seduce her to the dark side. “Okay, okay,” she said to her mother Tulipia in a call between meal and beach. “You win. We’ll move to Ohio.” Joy in the Conner household tonight. Uncle Albert would *not* be tagging along, thanks to a restraining order issued by Pinky, Darla’s father, just yesterday.
Speaking of which…
” Medium build, medium height, wearing a black bathing suit. Any idea?”
“Sir you just described about half the girls that walk on this beach.”
“Oh. Thought of something else. She wears a Venus cage necklace. Very distinctive. I don’t think (smile?) you’d be able to miss it.”
“Just a moment; hold on. I promise not to do anything stupid.” Beach cottage owner and secret “receiver” Claude briefly goes inside and retrieves a box, opens it for the stranger. “You mean like *these*?”
It was full of such. Claude gives them away to every girl lured in by the bosses. He doesn’t tell Albert they’re trackers as well. They know where you are.
“Whatever that picture you’re referring to, every one of those girls up there has sent back the same to their family.” He also doesn’t tell Albert they track even through photos. Powerful amulets indeed.
“Interesting information,” says Albert, the uncle of not one but several girls involved down through the years. He comes from a pretty big family. “Just for that, I’ve decided not to shoot you.”
“Just kidding! POW POW… POW.”
No wounds. Albert wasn’t kidding. Just a water gun… this time.
“You *fell* for it [delete name],” he said while walking away, already plotting Plan B.
Dripping Albert runs inside, calls the boss who would care the most and explains the hold up. “We have another situation,” he says, knowing the boss would understand. “Heading your way.”
“We’ll take care of it,” the boss says to him in a deep, level voice made for a crinimal. “We’ll send him to the Abyss. With the others.”
“Good deal.” [Delete name], *pheh*.
It was fun testing out boats before settling on the KittyKat one we eventually bought. Like this golden beauty found under an airport in Agrippa — on the Nautiulus continent ta boot. We’re kind of loyalists in that way: Mainland first, then Nautilus even in front of that. We want to stay close to Real Life through the Iowan hypercube, more Roberts’ thing but I get it. She’s explained it to me in layman’s terms.
But this one, whatever the other advantages, didn’t have a functional bathroom. What are you suppose to do, go off the side of the deck? You just dock a little more often, the seller tried to persuade. You’ll get use to it, she added. I don’t think so.
So afterwards we chose to look exclusively at the Bandit series, the ones with the cute little ducks on the shower curtains. All have a functional shower, a functional bathroom. And the KittyKat was well within our price range, being less expensive, for example, than the gold one pictured above, which was more near the top. Whatever disadvantages we have in bedroom animation we’ll make it up with imagination. And, anyway, you have to dock less for bedroom stuff than bathroom stuff. Everyone has to do their no. 1’s and no. 2’s with regularity, several times a day at least, right?
Truthfully, the first time I used their standard Flushmaster 2000 I was sold. Aim free peeing!
And I guess we were joking when we said Roberts hadn’t seen a man thing since she was 14. We’ll figure it out.
My name is *Franklin* and I approve this message.
Darn stove. Won’t heat up again. Oh well, they can eat at the cottage now. Hope it’s well stocked.
“Hurry up and brush your teeth, dearest.”
“Arr arr arr Arr arr arr Arr.”
“Have you taken your shower?”
“Arr arr ar — *spit*. Not yet. Arr arr arr.”
“Well hurry. Landfall should be in any (*hard clunk*) minute.”
She looks around to see if anything has fallen off the walls or appliances in the kitchen. Collision with the island obviously. They’re here, automatic pilot accomplishing its mission.
“Looks like we’re here.”
“No joke. I spit all over my jacket this time. My nice green Columbia.”
“Yeah, why are you wearing that thing indoors anyway? Must be 70 in here.”
“Thin blood obviously.”
“*Green* blood you mean,” replied Roberts to this. “Like everything else about you. Except your cash oddly,” she wondered aloud.
“Yeah, gotta draw the line somewhere. I thought I’d make it the obvious.”
“Well no one else I know has got red money.”
“Coins,” Mabel (Mabel!) replied to this. “I almost always pay in coins, gold and silver, true moolah.”
“You put you on the scale at any random moment in the day and your 25 over, ha. Just go all the way. A girl of Purest Green.”
“You know I can’t do that.” She’d finished cleaning the white off her jacket. “Time for a shower still?” she called over hopefully.
“Only if I can join you, tee hee.” F-ck the stove.
20 minutes later they were staring over at their new home for a week. Martha had left a big pot of beans cooking on the beach. Good ol’ Martha.
“It’s small,” complained Mabel — we’ll still call her Mabel. For the moment.
“It’s cheap,” shot back Roberts.
“And that *thing* at the door.”
“Yeah, ha. I guess you’ve never seen one of those — don’t know what it represents.”
She took the joke in stride. “Oh I’ve dated men.”
“We started dating when we were 14. *When*?”
“Before you, sister. Jim. Yeah, that’s his name.”
“Another made up lover. A man this time. Ridiculous. You’re about as straight as the coins filling your pockets.”
“I paid *cash* for him. The straight stuff. The *green* stuff. Why do you think I’m so loathed to carry it now?”
“Jim, huh.” Roberts was starting to be convinced.
“Yeah. Right before we started dating. I ran from men to women as fast as I could after that encounter. And wasted my money as well.”
“Yeah. I just want to know. How much would you have paid for *me*?”
“Fifty. (pause) That’s all? A male hooker in upscale Wampumtown? What, did you go all the way down to the docks –”
Mabel turned and glared at Roberts with this. Enough was enough, line drawn (again). Docks it is.
(to be continued)
“Who is it baby doll?”
“It’s the *agency*.”
“Well, keep trying to smile.”
“Hello?” she says. “Yeah, this is him, well, his proxy.” She winks at actor Lemont Sanford, currently unemployed but not caring. They’d made so much on the dog.
A pause as she listens to the other party. Then: “Back? Kill van Kull? I’ll tell him.”
Lemont Sanford, best known for his role as Arthur Kill back there, picks up that there’s no one else on the line. This was all a sham. “You’re *synthesized* part is all lined up,” she said, putting away the phone — somewhere. He couldn’t help note the purple again.
10 days later they were back on the set in Middletown getting married to a new wedding theme, someone name Bodenheimer I believe. 10 weeks later the character played by the actress divorce the SOB. But not before something happened, something very important to the future of this blog and attached photo-novels.
In a word: Liz.
END OF “SUNKLANDS PHOTO-NOVEL 34”
She was chopping down the beanstalk as fast as possible with the magic ax she purchased with her soul. Dreaming Shelley came up on her. “What are you *doing*? You’ll *kill* yourself. You’ll kill both of us. Stop it; put down the ax.”
Still-a-kid Liz kept chopping away, whack whack whack. At the 200th swing, the giant plant leading up to the top of the sky began to crack at its base. It was falling. “Look what you’ve done!” screamed Shelley still beside her. The thing unwound in the distance like a collapsed tornado. She woke up.
“Oh *I* see, Mr. Robot,” she said, standing directly behind him and looking over his bent head. “You drew yourself, see, but you forgot to paint what is in front of yourself. You were too… self centric.”
“Who are you?” the brown mechanoid issued, not liking criticism of his art, however valid it was. “What are you doing here? Where did you come from?”
She realized she didn’t know the answer to any of these.
She was on a raft in the whirlpool now, art come to life. Around and around and around at a dizzying pace she went. She decided to phone a friend.
“Hello. Liz? Can you hear me over the *roar*? I’m in trouble! Come get me at 232, um, 222… dang I can’t remember where I live!” The whirlpool swallows her. She wakes up.
Another dream about the upper levels,” Shelley relayed to Liz later on. “Where I’m grown.”
“I see.” Liz recently felt she needed to put a stop to all that.