Actor Lemont Sanford demonstrates how perfectly he fits the role of Blackbart in the current production of Sunklands photo-novels by laying in this pool of water exactly his length, head against stone and feet brushing wood. “Like a glove,” he speaks up to the director in charge of casting, mixing idioms of sorts.
“Well, this is where you’ll die so that’s nice.” He tries to frame the shot with his hands. “Yes, yes. Nice fit for sure, hmm. Now, how are you with claustrophobia?” he says down, knowing a coffin scene would also be involved.
Venus had finished her song. Wasn’t her worst but wasn’t her best. Lorster… Lester, I recall. Must get back to the purple door, another door to open if we now have the key. And we might.
“Well I’ll be,” he said, withdrawing it from sudsy purple. Not poop after all! Thanks Dovie!
We follow him down to the door of — where he lived? We open the door. Not a chained prisoner as we suspected a bit. Not sentient Christmas excrement Mr. Hankey from South Park, another logical candidate. But Casey One Hole. Casey One Hole, yikes!
“A Blue Bird?!” he exclaimed, truly surprised himself. “I was expecting a Cardinal or perhaps a Rooster at worst, ha ha. This should be easy.”
“He swiftly moves toward me,” Blue Bird who opened the door to the outhouse — or tramp shack or whatever it actually was — kept on explaining to the others, “towering over me, cornering me, as the toys had tried before but didn’t succeed with. Then I looked down at his ‘weapon’ and started snickering.
“‘W-what?’ he managed between snarls, and followed the direction of my eyes.
“A mop instead of a golf club. He *had* no weapon. He swatted at my head with it anyway in the subsequent intensification of anger but it just kind of tickled my cheeks. Soft as downy wings — charmed obviously. Something had happened. Casey One Hole had been neutralized through the outhouse — I knew now this was an outhouse, a bathroom set to be cleaned, perhaps in perpetuity.
“‘Better get back to it,’ I joked while pointing in its direction as he jumped up and down in frustration, then swung the mop round and round, aiming at nothing now; crazy as a beetle. I left free as a bird. Appropriate.”
“Poe fellow,” said Mistress, seeming to miss the point but actually not. She unclasped her wing-like hands and settled back in the rocking chair again. Venus on the 1/2 bed decided to sing a song.
(to be continued)
“So I went to the middle of The Cross, the middle of Lineside (which is the same), just to see what was there. The well was gone, you know, the one Lou and Morris declared was the center of the world or something.”
“*Well*,” she exclaimed back. “I never.” Because she knew the center of the world was in Arkansaw, some say Miss Ouri. But it was probably Arkansaw. Or not. Debate for another time and place.
“Yeah, I had a hard time getting there with the ban lines and all but I finally found it. A rock, you see — ‘nother one. And a grassy little hill attached to it with water sprinkling all over the place.”
“Your mouth is getting lazy again,” the other with the first complained, probably Venus since she was more sharp mouthed, perhaps part bird herself with the beak and all. But that was just (in) a dream.
“Knoll,” the first defined more clearly. “Toys.”
“Yeah, those too,” admitted Blue Bird, looking to her right and left as they approached, threatening to close her in on this very spot in the center. Or as close as she could get. “I touched the green star near me. I began to dance. I seemed to worship the rock, become one with it even. That seemed to drive them away. I was alone again, but I kept wanting to dance and worship. I realized I was someone else in the moment.”
“Inky Man?” asked Mistress, the first more clearly defined as well. “I recall: Inky Man.” STOP
In her mind, she saw the black figure approach and then recede. Just like a toy.
She tried to find where the 2 lovebirds, Snowwhite Well and one (or both or neither) of her cousins, were married, Aunt Emerald becoming Maw in any case except 1. No luck; *had* to move or derezz some of the trees here. It all centered around a streetlight, and 2 of those were still in the area. But neither framed by trees as before, symbolizing or standing in for the bride and groom themselves. The groom: one of the 2 Dixons — Dixon One and Dixon Too — brothers to each other and 2 potential husbands to Snowwhite, their cousin. Tradition dictated it had to be one or the other.
But then she also recalled that one or both (or neither) of the Dixons were *killed* seeking the treasure that Snowwhite Well claimed was actually herself, the snow white peak representing her diamond-like brilliance and beauty and loveliness. Aunt Emerald (Maw) probably knew. She was attracted to Snowwhite like a man and she wasn’t that type. She thought her sons daft for running off into the hills, the mountains, to look for gold and diamonds and rubies when they had Snowwhite right here, the most valuable thing either one could have found in their miserable, schizophrenic lives. But, no, they had to look exterior to the city for the meaning of life, go on a silly and perhaps deadly quest. And it turned out it was. The Cross knows the story. The Cross, centered by Lineside, remembers up and down, right and left. The Cross remembers similarly killed Duncan Avocado where it intersects with The Straight on the west edge of the continent. *That* was in the Oracle; the reason for Colonel Flagstaff to be there. And I *just* had a dream about him, it seems.
Point is (here), they left the city and The Cross and got in trouble because of it. “So predictable,” Aunt Emerald summarized when finding out about their ultimate fates, whatever they actually were.
Yes, she remembers now. 128/128: right in the center of the sim. *This* is where they got married — this is the right streetlamp. The preacher between them must have stood right on this very spot while accepting their I Do’s. If it even happened.
These other birds could have told me all along.
(to be continued)
“Aww *raspberries*!” he cussed after running me over in his little purple car, him with his curly purple hair and dark, tall attitude and altitude. *Finally*. I’d been asking for it since John F. Kennedy City when Jeffrey Phillips almost did it with red. He prodded me with his foot to make sure, but I was sure dead all right, raspberry beret crushed and mixed into a bigger mess that was formerly my somewhat dense but pretty enough head. Maw was right. You can’t be in two places at once when… can’t remember the rest.
He could never have me.
He withdraws foot from leg, knowing it was The End.
“I worry about Blue Rose Thorn, Mistress. I know he has become our friend Blue Bird but how does he change back?”
“Simple, my lovely Venus,” purred The Mistress, her great length folded into the rocking chair on the porch of their retirement home. “He has to find a plane that isn’t crashed and jump out of it, danger abated. That way he won’t need the wings any more. That way our friend Blue Bird can be returned to us, and Blue Rose Thorn to himself. That way…”
“… he can find his way back to being Jeffrey Phillips,” guessed Venus on the 1/2 Bed.
“Perhaps,” she answered, and unclasped her wing-like hands while settling back. The pink parrot behind her squawked softly; the first to hear. “That is not of our jurisdiction. We must first get to the Town on the Mount in the Air and see what happens.”
They sat quiet for a while, pondering all of this. Then: small rustlings in the jungle to their left. “Over there,” Mistress proclaimed, the first to see. “The future is now(!).”
“How?” Slack jawed Venus saw too. A familiar shape had emerged from the tropical leaves and bushes and walked toward a chair marking the edge of their land.
“We will let her answer that. Blue Bird!” she called over. “Come out of the shadows. Explain your presence!”
Retirement presents all around; manual: done.
We begin again, *tired* but then fresh and newborn.
END OF “SUNKLANDS 2022-2021 WINTER”!
Carla covered her ears, sick of hearing the booms. It’s just as loud over here as back on the beach! she complains within.
White clad Morna beside her had bigger problems. She was about to be cast into the sea with the sharks by Peggy. Peggy didn’t want to hear no shit about
Baker Bloch Marty Uncle Albert being a prevert, despite being the reason for Zizzy of the Ditzy and Zizzy duo to be shipped off to Camp Umbrella next to the Crisp Sea, or so she said. Now there was yellow between and a new element involved — more balance.
3rd eye. Triangle.
“Let’s stop here, Baker, and contemplate what we just wrote.”
“In the flesh!”
We return to ring woman and the generation of it.
We are about to go up the path to see what’s over the hill, monsters left behind in the dust. 2:23 soon, tick tick tick.
How about that manual now?