She clung tight to the back of a giant white bunny as he approached. She’d spotted the cursed, bright red cross on the chess first. Axis! Why is Opp wearing that outfit of all things? And here of all spots! The place where I was… well, *killed*. In a strong variant reality at least.
“Hi!” spoke Opp from the other side in a somewhat muffled voice. “I’m here with the outfit I promised — what’s up *today*?”
So it *is* Axis, Wheeler/Wendy realizes about the dark figure slowly — fortunately — making his way up the slippery white slope. Two steps forward, one step back — repeat. She drops from her “hidden goth” position on the bunny to the snowy ground; tells present lover Opp wearing a “Giant for a Day” t-shirt to zip it behind a matching mask. “What’s going on?” he whispers over. They rendezvous about every day this time. He was just honing in on her location, as she allows.
Wheeler/Wendy points around the rabbit they then huddle behind. Opp sees him too.
“I thought he was busy playing God over in that paper city,” responded Tropp, just as scared as Wheeler/Wendy now.
“Apparently not.” She considers the day and then rejects the theory. Not the anniversary of her death. That was February. Axis wasn’t here for that.
“Is he, I don’t know, playing a game of chest with us?” You know he always makes the first move, even though he’s always black.”
Dark as a swastika, Wheeler/Wendy thinks, watching the inky figure inch forward even slower. The slope was steepening. More good news.
“I will make it up to the castle in my present form,” a determined Axis declares below. “No need to turn into a car or some other silly traction device.” But he slips again in saying this. He’s slowed to a one step forward one step backwards, soon to move in reverse. No, this will not do. A car it must be.
(to be continued)
Carolin saw her approaching the hill from the road. “Up here Tessa!” she called from the designated meeting spot, sacred in the long game. Cow Hill. The Man About Time finally made it. And Tessa’s old cave friend Carolin, whose circumstances we haven’t really delved into yet, with only one post devoted to her so far. Here’s where that changes: novel 24. (Wheeler thinks) we need a new (important) female character, and Carolin is a good fit, helping to fill out the overall macro-picture a little bit more. One novel at a time. One post, one section, one novel. When will it end? What is at the end of *that* particular road? Another too deep mystery with ban lines all around? Let’s see what Carolin adds to the now very big equation, with a large blackboard needed to contain.
Ahh: appropriate. A big blackboard.
And I guess that leaves Man About Time out of the picture currently since his seat has been taken. He missed again! On with the show…
Cow Pond, which I had planned to use for a filming location, has suddenly been dug out and deepened, with this mysterious structure positioned inside. The owner implies in her description that it can’t be figured out, so I won’t try. Plus the property is restricted at least for the moment. But this *is* Cow Pond, or *was*, now turned into a lake. This must be Loon Lake (too). And, appropriately, *Tessa* has returned to this here blog and attached photo-novel, 24 in a series of 20. Because Part 02 of “Sunklands Winter 2020-2021” will be its own novel, separated from Part 01. This is a little different than what I’ve done before, but the pattern of 6 sections of about 17 posts apiece (add on a couple of posts at the end as a coda to make a 7th section often) will hold true, I’m assuming.
Last we checked in on Herbert Gold’s oldest grandchild she was going a little la la over in a middle part of a larger Bellisaria island some have started calling Manhattan, because of the similar shape, I suppose, but also because it has a central park of sorts: Millgate. Alright, I just made all that up, but the island is real, and Tessa has definitely associated it with New York (City), close to solving a mystery herself. But — here we go — she was *banned* from this oh so central section as pond turned into lake, deepening the mystery. We have to switch over to a new novel for further development. So here we are: the present.
Tessa has no choice but to walk back up Cow Road to Cow Hill at the other end to meet those responsible for the banning, and an explanation. Plot of photo-novel 24 coming up!
After I saw what I saw at the Blue Airfield I decided to pay a visit to my old friend Tigertail while in the neighborhood and discuss all of it with him. He’d been overseeing my actions for a long time.
Not in his shop. And there’s the time-plunger I first used to travel through the centuries and beyond (!)
A prototype, and I was a guinea pig. Oh well, paid for my first 3 years in college in Mesopotamia. 50 bucks (lindens) goes a long way back then. It’s over now, and luckily I’m only mildly confused about all of it. I think. Time to find Tigerhead.
*There* he is. In that giant snowflake seen in the opening to the sky. “Hello Tiger… er, just Tiger!” But Tiger existed in a different strata of time than MAT presently, one operating much more slowly, frozen even (to us). He’d visited the Blue Airfield partially in Gray one too many times himself and this is what happened.
In a larger perspective, Tiger sees different times as islands in a sea of space. “Oh look at me, I’m standing on Mesopotamia,” he wanted to joke to his former pupil but couldn’t because of the whole frozen thing. Can’t… move.
Like Olive Oylstick and blue monster companion Groover before him, Man About Time — MAT — also waited at the Blue Airfield for a ship of some sort, hopefully an airship, you know. He perched upon the best vantage point possible, on a high knoll just over the line from Blue in Gray, he thought. He was testing out realities. He’d just found pansies in Orion Falls and much more.
He was hot on a trail but to where he didn’t yet know. It led here first, picture-wise, a stepping stone. He thought back to Marvin the Martian next to the Blue Feather Sea (his original home). And HELMETS.
An agreement signed. Planes penetrating each other. I remember something about Jim Polk but then someone else warning me to slow down and that I was going too fast and to take the 2 blue pills and don’t think about red for a while. So here I am. At Blue… field. So here I am… at Blue… field.
He turns. Something was wrong, he realizes. He should be in Gray; this is not Gray. Too much Blue! Instead: over in that small bit of woods across the Blue field. Hiding. He was too much out in the open. Warning again. Exposed! (War!)
The ship swooped down and carried MAT off to a lala land and dropped him into the ocean where he was rescued by a passing whale and brought instead to Humansville where he met Baker Bloch and Hucka Doobie while breaking into a house and who then helped him find the right house for the keys he now possessed which turned out to be not the ninth he tried, but the 10th, like a wheel and then he thought about dinner and 12:37 and a spark on his shoulder which told him to return to Bellisaria which led to the pansies… and the prison… and Elizabeth. There. He felt better. He turns back, away from a lala land triggered by the moving blocks of color. Time to go hide in those woods.
“You have wonky eyes.”
“You’re one to talk.”
“6 o’clock?! I’ve got to get back for supper. Butter get those flapjacks on, witches!
“Soup’s up!” Fisher the fry cook called.
“That’s yours, Groover,” Olive Oylstick reminded her dinner companion, wondering where her pancakes were. Damn witches.
“Oh GROOVEY!” Shut up, is all she could think with rumbling stomach.
Picking out a new favorite stuffed animal at the pet shop, one without wonky eyes. She doesn’t want to be reminded! She stares straight at them to keep aligned.
She brought Groover back to wait at the Blue Airfield (in Gray?) for her cousins Zimmy and Mr Z, all three born from another mother. They never showed up. “Just like pancakes,” she groused, looking over at the monster everyone in certain parts of various continents were talking about. Knob Noster, some called it. “You know this means we’ll have to stay in the homeless shelter again, Groovey… Groover.”
“I don’t care,” he said, patting his full stomach again. One meal at a time for him, one meal, one day, one week without a 7th to show up. She could put an end to it; turn him in. But she needs a pillow tonight, apparently. She glances one last time out the window to see if any more ships were flying in. Ghosts again.
“Hey stop reaching. *My* wine. Now get behind me and fall asleep so I can too, pheh.”
“Wonder who the new bozo is over there.”
The next night found him walking again, still looking for that perfect house. Saffie had snatched the only decent one rental baron Snowmanster had available at the time. Marty felt he was snubbed; that Snowmanster didn’t like the looks of him for some reason. He’d given her a nice painting of her husband, all for nothing it appeared. The short meeting was adjourned. At least he got a date with Saffie out of it. Maybe the whole problem could be solved with…
No, he couldn’t go in that direction quite yet. After all, he was still technically married to Linda. The lush. And he was still sort of dating Cathy Love Peace Hippie Child, if she’s still alive. And then there’s Audrey — on and on it goes, actually. Hucka Doobie: another one. He needs to phone her up. Marty makes a mental note to look up the number again; he thinks he added it to his long contact list but wasn’t sure. What was that bar they went to way up in the air above Urqhart? The place of perpetual rain: Fireman’s? Wasn’t sure.
He reached the center of the 4096 Illuminati property. He stopped walking. The elevation was 2000 meters. He looked up and noticed red had replaced green in the most central banner. But not another apple this time despite the still appropriate color. Another skull instead. This place was a land of the dead. He’d literally reached a dead end.
Sipping green-ish lemonade still — probably a limeade, then, wouldn’t you think? — he decided to head back to the green apple banner marking the beginning point when the voices started. A murmur at first, then clearing. He picked out the repeating sentence amongst the babble. “You have something that we want.” Over and over and over it went until the voices unified in a deafening crescendo.
He woke with a start. “Godchild” Lisa the Vegetarian was still onstage, talking about the limitations of the capitalist system through something called debt paradox. He shouldn’t have fallen asleep. But Saffie beside him seemed enthralled — she was literally on the edge of her seat listening in. She could teach him like Linda taught him about vegetarianism. And Lisa of course could aid in his understanding about the economic end times to come as well. If we, as a world, only stopped eating at least *red* meat then part of the problem would just go away. Just like that (he imagines snapping his fingers). Stupid Earth, pheh. He sits up and becomes one with Saffie again in the viewing.
Jeffrie Phillips decides to try something different out with Charlene the punk tonight. “Are you there?” he im’s her.
“Yeah, I think so,” she replies back after a lag in her parallel spot. “There’s a rhino, so…”
“Yep, that’s it. So… go ahead and see if you can get through the door. Then I’ll try with the gate.”
“What happened to your last girl?” asked new gal pal Hina 3 days later at Teepot’s sake bar (and art gallery).
“Ah, she was just in a different place than me,” he spoke truthfully. “I wish her well.”
“Your place or mine?” Hina then asked boldly, not wanting to waste the moment.
“Mine.” But Jeffrie returned to his downtown apartment alone and without another tag along girl. He seemed to be flipping through them more rapidly these days. Must be the heat, he wrote to end.
“If you get stuck at any one point, you can always go back to the Old Country to regroup,” the Man About Time softly spoke over to Newtonia Kashkow, who could barely hear what he says across the circle. Is this another time distortion? she thought. No, it’s just *him*. So mellow and meek for someone so important. Must be the effects of the travel.
“Collagesity,” he spoke more, “should become a focus again.”
Newtonia Kashkow took this in. “I know you are the same as Marcus Fox Smartville and so we are related.”
“True,” Man About Time admitted after a small pause.
“And you are *not* a sucker.”
“Only in the mind of the beholder. On this turf (Our Second Lyfe): no.” He sat confident in his tannish/goldeny brown, throne-like chair. This was his moment. He steps in to become the knight in tan armor. Or was that aroma. The smell of something hot. And unpleasant. No, that was just an anagram. He sits back up from a naturally slumping position, mind focused again away from the morass. That particular sometimes light brown substance will not play a role in this.
Oh, if she could only see what he felt. But the War between Mind and Senses wouldn’t allow it.
“I’m alive!” Ben Wolf looked around, deducing he must have hatched from that egg on the dresser in front of him.
“Jewels,” he spoke aloud again, observing the glinty objects also spilling out from the egg. Like stardust.
Better not alert Phyllis Klondike or Phyllis Phox or whatever her name was currently, he thought. Report instead directly to Host Charming, the host with the most. Back in the Old Country. Ahh, yes. Now I can return.
“I’m all mixed up,” he says to Host Charming inside the Mixed Up Castle in Seacliff on the Old Continent. “I must get my bearings.”
“*You* must get your *Bena,*” the often wise prince responded to him, giving his employee a map in his head. But that is a story for another photo-novel. We return to Port Mansfield for a proper plot device in this one…
“There you are,” spoke smoking hot Batty Casey from the bed. “Now shut the door and get in here and make sweet love to me.” But when Firefive compliantly crawled under the sheets there was no one left but Batty. “Hmm,” she wondered, bat swinging around in thin air before her. “Something must have happened.”