Head of Crow.
But I’m afraid meditating Freddy (The Freditator) may be facing the wrong direction.
Let’s journey downward into the Heart.
This is far enough for tonight.
Later, meditating Freddy becomes mesmerized by a 12 sided shadow in the ocean on the other side of the sim.
Or is it 13?
The Bar at the End of Time 02
“Says it’s right here,” the demonic card creature slurped. “But I don’t see’s no bar.”
“Coordinates don’t lie, Clubby. Let’s proceed forward. With caution.”
“Another level below us, Clubby. Looks like we’ll have to jump this time. How are your knees?”
“They’ll have’s to do.”
“How you feel?” asked a truly concerned Axis after the leap. Clubby was his right hand man in all things demonic. He dare not have him out of action for any length of time.
“Well. We’ll get you some knee braces when we get back to base.”
“That could be it down there, Clubby. Wouldn’t you say that would be about right under where we were?”
“What did I tell you about the misplaced plurals, Clubby,” Axis finally scolded. “We have to prepare for the *big* leap. The ‘going outside’. You can’t *talk’s* like that out there.”
Axis then figuratively bore another hole through him with a riveting stare.
“‘Okay,’ I mean,” the evil Clubby acquiesced.
“Good.” Axis looked down the corridor again. “Let’s go ahead and turn invisible at this point. I know it will be a drain on our energy, but we probably shouldn’t take any chances in case of ambush.”
“I double checked,” Clubby held firm. “No ambush.”
“But you didn’t *triple* check.”
Clubby backed down again. “No,” he admitted.
“True soldiers — warriors — always triple check, Clubby. At a minimum.”
“We’ll move into invisibility mode… now.”
Axis winked out of view in front of Clubby. Clubby then also shifted into invisibility mode. He looked down and couldn’t see his hands, his feet, his hole pierced torso. What a relief to get rid of that horrid body!
“We’re here,” whispered Axis to Clubby as low as possible at the entrance to the bar. But no one was inside. They checked every corner while still being transparent. Axis then ended invisibility mode; winked into view in front of Clubby. The demonic card creature reluctantly did likewise.
“We’ve been had!” cried Axis, realizing an escape hatch was used.
Turns out, The End of Time extended beyond the bar.
“Hi, Freddy. Just passing through.” But The Fredinator was too deep in meditation to acknowledge Patrick and Zoidboro’s sudden appearance.
Camouflage (new character?)
clinic (Eotia Village)
“*Axis*, Zoidboro. That’s who *we’re* trying to defeat. We must make sure we don’t get this VD person to help us. Let’s see, V could stand for Val, Valerie, Valentine…”
“It’s *not* someone’s initials, Pat. Stop looking around. And don’t touch *anything* you don’t have to. Let’s just get you checked up and get outta here.”
After a pause, Pat whispers in Zoidboro’s ear. “I wonder if *he’s* hiding out from Axis too,” indicating the man sitting on the far seat from them.
“Stop — with the Axis talk,” Zoidboro reprimands out of the side of his tentacle covered mouth.
“Patrick?” a suddenly appearing nurse shrills, making them both jump a bit.
“Um, that’s me.” Pat raises his hand. Zoidboro grabs it and shoves it back down.
“Right this way sir.” She looks at Zoidboro. “Are you his… guardian?”
“Yeah, we can go with that,” Zoidboro grumbles, and gets up to follow.
“Say you come from a, quote unquote, mutanty place, huh?”
“Hambone, sir. That’s right. Zoidboro here lives in North Yd…”
“… but part of the same sub-continent,” Zoidboro further explained.
“Hmmm…” Doctor Brown taps his pen crisply against the report several times. “Well, sorry to break this to you Patrick — *Pat* — but it looks like you’re pregnant. 8 months so, in fact.” He stares at the dumbfounded Patrick, then at Zoidboro. “I, um, don’t reckon you’re the father?”
But was he?
“Very nice. This will do.”
“I get it, Magus Ellen,” Sidechick Corea shouted from below. “The rat tales are the 2 in the pictures, the first and last of the post. But the *same* rat tale. That of Reginald’s.”
Ellen walks out to the front stairs. “What was that, my friend?” But Ellen heard well what he said. No need to voice it, true, but no harm done. Here at least.
He listened patiently while Sidechick repeated his observations. Then: “Good, good.” He stares back inside the treehouse… “We’re almost ready up here.”… and then toward the cave mouth.
“Methinks this is my kind of place.”
In a related story, the body of a witch was found just outside her cabin in Wabe today. Authorities believe a rival practitioner of the Dark Arts threw her out the back window during an argument over possession of a cat.
But she’s okay.
“There, there. Now, now.”
the fruity one
“128, 128, Mr. Baker. I had to come out and talk to the tree.”
“Really, Ruby Fantasie?”
“*Noooo.*” But: yes, Ruby Fantasie had to come out to get further instructions from the tree. At the centre of the sim (Fruity Islands). She wasn’t going to let Baker know that, however. She splits in two.
“Let’s go back inside now,” she ordered after receiving.
“Come on, come on, hurry it up.”
In a poof of pollen the vines part!
“A choice here, Mr. Baker. I’ll let you choose.” For that is what the Ruby Tree told Fantasie to do.
Baker walks left.
“This pool is where we came in from the waterfall. Those torches over there mark the entrance. We’ll never be able to dry out today. Good thing it’s so hot; but not down here.” She sneezes. “Catching a cold, I believe.”
“Just beyond that bend behind the fruit bats, Fantasie,” Baker declared while pointing ahead, obviously in The Trance now. He doesn’t shiver atall.
Inhabitants! thought Fantasie. Dear, lordy me. I’ve never seen *this* before. The tree was right!
robots don’t dream
She was having that nightmare about blood spilling out an elevator.
Later, she really wanted to eat that piece of chocolate raspberry cake but didn’t have the stomach.
“You can have it Tess.”
“I ain’t hungry neither this morning, Mabel. Mud again,” she summarized her own nightmare.
It was all Robert’s.
“Gimme, gimme, gimme,” he cried while reaching.
hotel (Eotia Village)
“Full occupancy still, Pat. Guess that goes along with it being free and all. Looks like we might have to stay in the caves.”
“I’m not having my baby in a cave!” Pat implored.
And Zoidboro heard her, er, him. It might be his baby too after all. He’d have to think about that possible angle more.
So after finding her Grandpa had turned fully platinum from gold, Tessa ran screaming through the north gate of North Yd and into the cave without even thinking, destined to be trapped perhaps forever inside its seemingly endless passages.
Until Baker Bloch and (Ruby) Fantasie showed up.
But Tessa couldn’t see or hear them yet. All she noticed was a cooler breeze which made her shiver.
here’s the deal
“These fries smell a little off, Patrick.”
“Whadda you expect for free food, Zoidboro,” spoke the human across him more wisely than usual. He turns in his seat and peers at the stage. “When’s the band start here?”
“Oh, they’ll kick us hobos out long before the music begins, Pat. These are top dollar seats here!”
“Oh.” He then looks to his left. “So the Doc and his lady friends are just the first to arrive, huh.”
“Of course. Frozen Meat Waffles. A very popular band in Eotia Village, perhaps the most popular. We bought that ‘Human Flesh Zone’ CD back when we first arrived. Remember? Now I wish I had that money for some food, clothes, anything.”
“We can sell it.”
Zoidboro waves off Patrick’s again wise suggestion. “Ahh, I actually listened to it a couple of times while you were out on your walks. Knew you wouldn’t be interested. But it’s used goods now.”
“Nah. 5 (dollars) at best for a half dozen times played CD.”
“That’s a fresh Big Mike.” He glances down at the stale hamburger in front of him. “And a sloshie and some proper fries. This is the place to do it.”
Zoidboro wonders along with us, the readers, how Patrick suddenly became so wise. Then he realized: pregnancy. Coming to term. He was basically thinking for two now. And the baby must be smarter than he. Interesting. *I’m* smarter than he. More proof? He must induce that dream of Nevermore again. Or was it Nevermind?
The first band member to arrive sasheys through the front door.
By golly it’s Colonel Flagstaff. In a new disguise. Well, the same disguise we last saw him using over on the Omega continent, but in a quite different setting. And peddling a quite different commodity this time.
He approaches the pair in the booth; speaks in his cool, grunge voice.
“Used CD? Sell? I’ll buy it from you for a dream.”
“2:01, Mabel. Who do you think will come through today?”
“We can only hope,” replied Tessa’s likewise observing Martian friend, bracing for the “norm”.
“Bloody fairy,” uttered Tessa disgustedly, spotting the wings first. “Put her across the tracks with the rest. I don’t even want to speak with this one.”
“Me neither,” echoed Mabel, still not over the incessant babbling of the impossibly exuberant Bubbles.
She points for the confused newcomer.
She thought the new thing on the tracks looked like a ballerina but knew it wasn’t. This one was without heart.
“Oh hey guys. Already time for another fairy watch?”
“Don’t touch it, don’t touch it,” they implored.
“Oh I know.”
They didn’t know what to do with him after he just appeared out of nowhere in the heart of Collagesity. Right in the ballerina. He seemed to like popcorn, but kept feeding the little heads attached to his body instead of his own head. He claimed to be from a place called The Great Fracture. On one side: him (he explained). On the other: Nevermind or Nevermore, names which he exchanged freely. Then to the right a person called Hidi or Heidi or Hayden (something) — again when we asked to clarify the spelling it never came. The “direction left” he couldn’t talk about yet. That would remain a “stalwart mystery” as he put it in his tinny, warbling voice.
“I can’t get these dal garn chips open, Bauer. I’m just going to have to bites through the bag.”
one could say they were on the summit of Crow
church (Eotia Village)
Four or five years were spent in Caledonia, years which formed Anderson’s earliest memories. This period later inspired his semi-autobiographical novel Tar: A Midwest Childhood (1926). In Caledonia Anderson’s father began drinking excessively, which led to financial difficulties, eventually causing the family to leave the town.
“That’s an interesting story, Zoidboro. But I thought it was Caledon.”
Again with the smarts, Zoidboro ponders. What was it now, 8 1/2 months? 8 3/4ths? Better get to the caves asap. “Cale*don*ia,” he emphasizes to his pregnant male friend. “It would be Caledon if told from their perspective, but this is through the eyes of Rosehaven. The Princess ruler, to be specific. Soon to be Queen now that the father is dead. And the mother remains in her grave.”
“So…,” Patrick Starr tries to reason, “… Caledon, I mean, *Rosehaven* is way over here.” He moves his right hand far to the right. “And The Waste, *our* home, is way over here.” The left hand goes more left.
“But brought together by the Oracle,” states Zoidboro, shifting slightly on the bed to peer at the strangely colored 8 ball in the middle of the table to one side. “Tiger,” he completes, noting the residual “stripes”.
“I suppose.” Patrick retracts both hands, sits up, and holds his bloated stomach. “Oh, I felt a kick!”
Ready to take on a witch.
inn (Eotia Village)
“Amazing, Patrick my man. Man *wo*man. All I had to do was volunteer to preach at the local Broken Clock Church twice a week and we get wined and dined all we desire. Room and board too.”
“No – more – cave!” expressed Patrick, who hated to shiver. Doc said his baby was due any day. “Another glass of rosé?”
“Don’t mind if I do, sir. Don’t mind if I do.”
“I don’t understand, Magnus Ellen. The observing truck is gone here at Crow Island. How do we keep up with the progression of Zoidboro and boy gal Patrick?”
“Something must have changed,” opined the wise Buddhist to his understudy. “Strands (of time) must have been altered.”
Sidechick Corea paced nervously on the wooden swing bridge. “What… now, then?”
“Back to Rosehaven. Back to the cave. There *must* be a portal, for we’ve seen Zoidboro also preaching in Rosehaven Serenity.”
“How many places *is* he preaching, sire?”
“Maybe he can’t stop saying, ‘Don’t mind if I do, sir. Don’t mind if I do.'”