Slowly but surely it’s all coming together. Reality links up with the reality inside of it. Fannntastic.
More details to come. Stay tuned!
“I’d like to buy a vowel please?”
But collage he did anyway — despite of or perhaps even because of the rising Boos danger. They started conglomerating in the center of the critter laden place, coming together to make an ultimate decision. Should he stay or should he go. Holey Kolya listened and watched from the side, not quite grasping what was happening. But he knew they were talking about him. And someone called The Wizard.
Grown up Alysha begins. “I have so many papers to grade,” she speaks into the microphone after teleporting in from Darkewood. “And I’m soo sleepy.”
“The rain gets in (his head),” said Hidi just afterwards, lowering herself a bit from Alysha’s position in order to speak directly from her heart. “But I love him.”
She turned to Kolya with this. “In his *dreams*.”
Front and center Lemon and his less positive bud Lime were next. This was the crux of the matter, one up and down and the other side to side. How to coordinate (worlds)?
“Here,” Lime said. “Let me at least get this out of your back while I’m hugging you.” But like with the King Arthur legend the knife stayed put. For now.
He was on a tightrope above the city, higher than ever. If he fell this time he may never make it, Yellow Family below absorbed by Black Mouse by this point up in space. Sacrifice. A menace revealed. To the left: death. To the right: death. Only center is safe, and that’s a narrow line indeed to navigate.
All Hidi can think to do to help is jump into the next section, the next book. Alice in Wonderland is done and over with. Time to head through the Looking Glass.
“Don’t worry,” he says below, waiting for her. “I’ll catch you.”
“Whooo … are … you?”
“Well, I’m *not* Alice if that’s what you’re thinking. I mean, we kind of look the same I guess — and since I’m *here*, in Wonderland…”
“*Whooo* … are … you?” he repeated from his mushroom, exactly three inches tall to perhaps Alice’s two now. Kolya would be a *real* big boy to her in her current size. “I’m just a girl, another girl — but not Alice, like I already said, already stated.”
“Wendy,” she decided to interrupt him instead of visa versa. “Like the hamburger girl. You know, ‘Where’s the beef?’ That’s (a franchise catchphrase) from the 70’s.” She looked up at the caterpillar, trying to gauge his age. Impossible, she decided, in this land full of paradoxes and riddles. Could be one day. Or one century.
“Whaat … are … you?” He was satisfied with the Whooo part for now. Time to change the question. “Whyyy” could be next, maybe even “howww” to cover all the bases. He takes another inhale from his hookah pipe, ready to emit new (smoke) letters.
“What am I?” she said, half to him and half to herself. She hadn’t thought of it before (!). “I am a…” Witch? she pondered saying next. Mermaid? Or just a clever girl playing hide and seek with damaged goods. “Just a girl. With a schweet secret smile,” she decided to tack on.
“Shooow … me.”
He wanted to scream but couldn’t open his mouth to do it. Stuck. Just like in life.
Realities were shifting around for him more rapidly than ever, almost at a blur’s pace now. Time to calm the hell down. Where’s that green phone and D Flat ring when you need it?
Lunchtime now. He wondered if any of these other dudes he was sitting with on this beam in the sky had any packets of mustard for his sandwich. He hated bologna without mustard. But with it: best thing ever. “Wanda forgot the mustard again,” he said to Fred beside him, lifting the top slice of bread to show the non-yellowness within.
Yellow yellow yellow. He was remembering something. Tumbling, he fell into a different reality, different universe really.
Wanda was with him, now called Hidi, true face hidden beneath towering blue hair. They had kids between them. Yellow ones, all beaming smiles at the camera. “Cheese!”
He tried to reach for the ringing phone but it remained just out of his grasp. Blue anyway; probably wasn’t for him, and neither was Wanda-now-Hidi and the in-between kids. And now he’s checking, the key is D, not D Flat. Too far away from Middle C to matter. Oh well. On to the next!
“Let me try!” Hidi exuded, poseball whisked away as she selected the next.
“Get it?!” she shouted down to Kolya far below after assuming the new pose. “I’m a banana!” Kolya didn’t get it, the one within not yet ready to be peeled. “Very appealing!” he shouted up, trying to be funny despite the confusion. The holes in his head began to hurt. He forgot to eat his sandwich before he left that one reality, but there was the problem with the mustard. Then, with the vertigo induced by hunger apparently, he fell off the beam into a family centered by beaming yellow kids. Well, except for the middle one, who was too small to smile and just sucked on her pacifier to indicate being please in the moment. The camera’s eye moved onward…
Kolya selected one but it turned out to be Hidi’s pose again. “Whaddaya think? Giant tigers!” He’d seen this before. But where?
Then he remembered (again). Picturetown. Must – get – back.
Seeing the cow chip holding giant beaver in the snow and all, hot Biker 02 knew he was in the right place. It was a small but significant burg, and he had designs on digging up someone in a church cemetery there.
In a similar sized town directly south, cold Biker 01 bikes down a main artery, passing vein after vein. He was searching for the church in vain. He should have been looking up to icier climes.
It was raining when he got back to Collagesity and it made his depression worse. He decided to go to Vivian Blue Hair, the new girl — or one of ’em — for advice. She was a fire scryer, using candles for the most part, like here. He asked what was foremost in his mind. “Which… one?”
Vivian could have been selfish and said she was the one, but almost immediately upon staring into the flame saw black and white patterns all around. She slips deeper into trance, closing her eyes. “I see two countries — or counties — one black and the other white, but both named Austra.”
“Austra, yes,” Phillip replies. “There’s a Lower and an Upper — everyone knows that–” Phillip stops here, understanding that Vivian Blue Hair arrived off continent just day before last week. She was a friend of… he can’t remember. Maybe Man About Time, wherever the heck he is these days. Phillip is already itching to leave his Collagesity but has nowhere left to go, he doesn’t think. Not after Wendy.
Vivian Blue Hair changed into someone else, chessboard patterns moved to the face. “A promise made, a promise lost.”
It was the cards (!), heart upside down being a spade.
Jeffrie Phillips wakes up from the rabbit hole as the lot of ’em fall to the chessboard floor in a disheveled mess, like roses. He’s received his clue.
“Charlene,” he says to the woman beside him, the usual one, but probably not *the* one. This also stirs her.
“Yes, Mr. Jeffrie Phillips, sir,” she dutifully and groggily recites, automatically reaching for his red tie hung on the bed post but then realizing it was still the middle of the night. She returns her hand to his bare chest.
“That new girl in town…”
“Right… see where *this* is going.” She yawns and looks at her nails.
“No, no, I don’t fancy her or anything.” Jeffrey Phillips definitely fancies her as he does most women, but that wasn’t the point here. “She has black hair, correct? Not blue or anything crazy like that.”
“First off, blue *isn’t* crazy. My Aunt Zelda had blue, red, and green in a row before her death in the early 80’s.”
“She lived that long, huh,” Jeffrey replied, starting to contemplate time and the colors that one can change into at the end. “But to my point…”
“In a certain light,” Charlene said in answer, “yes, it could be considered blue. But the light has to shine upon her hair in a very particular setting, I’ve noticed. Early morning or late day perhaps: hafta check.”
“So: blue.” Jeffrey decides to lay the cards on the table, this time in an orderly manner. “I dreamed about her just now.”
“I bet you did.”
“Not that kind of dream. A dream of this whole continent, which (he then realized) broke down into a series of black and white squares — *sims*.”
“Fascinating,” she deadpanned, and put on her babydoll and got up to get some water. “Want anything to drink or eat while I’m in the kitchen?” He watched her move away from him in a satisfying manner. Nice to have compensation when he returned home. Charlene is a swell mate as well as lover. He’ll keep her around for sure; a short leash. Strange way to think about it, he realized. I don’t *own* her. Or maybe… maybe I do in a way. I pay her bills, I give her a place to stay here at the Blue Feather (building). She was rummaging around the kitchen now. “Are you going to answer me?” she called, hoping he could hear her over the static this time. “I’ll get you something anyway.” More noises, and then about 5 minutes later she returned with some milk and a plate of choco chip cookies. She lay down beside him, put the plate on his partially bare belly, and picked up the top one for herself, studying it. “Cow chips, they’re called. Saw them advertised on TV. Big beaver holds one up in his paws.” She extends her arms here and holds the cookie between them like a small steering wheel toward the static filled TV on a table just beyond the bed. “Like this.” In the snow, she imagined the big beaver mirroring this back to her.
He studies her, then he follows her arms to the cookie, realizing what this meant. “That’s disgusting.” He picks one up himself using just the one arm. Oversized and heavy on choco chunks, he sees, but otherwise just an ordinary cookie.
In another dream that night, the cookie Charlene holds expands and turns into a whirling vortex, sucking up everything in the room including his milk. “And so on the 5th day…” he heard her say beside him as they fell and fell, blobs of white and chunks of brown all around. The rabbit hole seemed endless this time.
“Maybe *this* is what I need in NWES City. A Penny Lane style magic shop. Or mystic shop. Whaddaya say, Marty?”
“Roger. We’re here to talk about my death. Right over there.” Marty points to the chair at the window where he was stabbed in the heart and bled out only the night before in this central Eveningwood location. So central, so *middle*. In the future if not now, the town will be called that because of its sensual nature. Middletown, with any sign of Eveningwood swept away as in a raging fire or something. But for now the signs remain. Clues and signs.
“You *know* why we’re here Roger. Evening out.”
“Right: takes two to know. What, er, does the book say? About the spell. Can you reverse (the murder)?”
“It says: look in the beech grove for the answers you seek. Marg will be waiting.” Marty looks up at Roger. “Marg? Like in the game? I *killed* Marg.”
“No,” corrected Roger Pine Ridge opposite him at the fortune teller’s table. “You said Marg killed everyone else, including the ragamuffin — I think.”
“That’s not true.” Marty puts hand to chin in thinking mode. He tries to remember the order of things. Marg bludgeons Homer with her purse, then, yes, *kills* Boss Burns, then Willy comes up, steals the purse, and goes on his own murderous rampage. Marty puts down the book. “We’re looking for a man named Willy, then. He may go by Willard.”
“George?” spoke Roger back, knowing the name.
With this, they head back to the Blue Feather in Collagesity to study the table in preparation for future actions.
“We’ve left Merry Gouldbusk, Eraserhead Man, Barry De Boy back in the dust. Looming ahead are both Sandy Beech and Buster Damm at 58.”
“Duncan will never allow us to reach Buster together. We’ll have to stop before that. Don’t want to anger him! No telling what powers he has now. He’s at least 2 nights ahead of us in the search.”
“Exactly Mr. Roger Pine Ridge, my fellow 54.”
“Let’s agree, then, to stop at 57.”
“Make it 56,” Roger urged, knowing a bit more in this area. They bickered on it. They settled on it. [Delete number] it is.
(to be continued)
“Look out below! Coming down,” he continued while sliding.
“Made it I see,” Marty greeted him nonchalantly. “My new personal shadow.”
Roger Pine Ridge walked over. “Whatchadoing?”
Marty has wife Marg bludgeon Homer with a weighted purse to begin, then answers. “Trying, ahem (death of Boss Burns now with purse), to figure out the clue Duncan Avocado got from this game.”
“Avocado.” Marty has Willy walk up to Marg and belch in her face, then steal her deadly purse and kill Mo the bartender with it. Quick as a wink.
“Well I say. Listen, how much longer are you going to be here? In this, er, *firehouse*?”
“I am the fireman,” Marty states plainly. “As long as I wish — this is my project.” Death to Principle Poop now.
“O-kay.” Roger Pine Ridge tries to decide how to exit gracefully from this awkward situation. He was tailing Marty to this Eveningwood place, true, but didn’t expect him to be engrossed in anything like this, and declare it was totally a situation of his concoction and that he had everything under control. Fires rage outside! But here he was, cool and calm and collected, like it was pouring down rain all over the countryside.
“Just — gotta — find — the ragamuffin.” Many bleeping noises now. “*There*” Skateboarding Bart Smipson got run over by a doughnut truck headed to Homer’s.
Roger Pine Ridge decides to wait on the roof. Everything seemed familiar. He stares out at the Eveningwood cityscape realizing there were were no raging fires and that Marty was right and he had everything under control, at least here. The light side of the moon rose over the horizon. Yes, must have been a trace of that brain damage he feared so much, the other, thought-to-be-left-behind Roger leaking in a bit.
Marty beams up, beaming. “Found it!”