COLLAGESITY NOVEL 12
Duncan finds himself naked and aware in a sim of his own name. 128, 128 of course.
He stands before the Pearly Gate.
Peter thumbs through the great book. “Let’s see. Oh yes. ‘Avocado, Duncan William.’ You may pass through. Job well done.”
“*We* could have given him riches,” protesteth Jeffrie Phillips back in Teepot. “Jewels, diamonds, the lot.”
Peter pauses. “You did.”
“Stay here as long as you like, Duncan dearest. This is place of rest and relax. Eventually you move on… but take your time. What’s time here anyway.”
“Thank you [delete name]. I’m enjoying it a lot so far.”
“The (Fruity) Islands are very much like where we came from, Duncan. And, actually, they were set up that way. [Delete name] is paradise. Hope lies within. Hope always remains at the center of it all, like a guiding beacon.”
“I must go back now. The cause and all. I’ll of course be in touch. Enjoy!”
“I’m telling you, Baker. This trees has eyes (!).” Ruby Fantasie turns. “And what is that ridiculous outfit of yours suppose to be?”
“I’m cold,” Baker states plainly, then fakes a shiver.
“Cold?? It must be 95 here! Take that silly thing off.”
“I… I haven’t got any underwear beneath it.” Baker blushes slightly.
“Well. I’ll turn my head until you find another outfit. We must talk!”
“You scared Bob, Baker. That’s not a good sign.”
“Maybe I just took too long to change and he got bored.”
“No, there’s something more. I have other things to show you now.” She points down the clearing. “Geraldine. Counterpart to Bob. Let’s see what she does with you.”
“Easy going fellow, eh?”
“But she’s not heading toward you still. Sideways at best.”
“What does that mean?”
“Let’s go to the waterfall,” Ruby Fantasie then declares. “Beyond the pool which is sort of a decoy, I suppose. You think: there can’t be another, hidden pool this close to an exposed pool. That kind of thing.”
“Lead the way.”
“We have to backtrack a bit.”
There she is, Baker thinks. I feared I lost her again.”
“The exposed pool,” Ruby Fantasie explains. She turns. “Then over there, behind some rocks: the hidden one.”
“What now, Ruby?”
“We go down.”
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!
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.
She continued to puff on her Havana while talking.
“Wee found another dooor out, Duncan, Baker Bloch and Ii. Stiill shut… but sooon.” She puffed again. “You are stiill happy here in the Fruit Loopy Islands, noo?” She stares but no answer. “I seee that you arre. You just continue what you’rre doing and doon’t mind mee. Play as iif I’m not heere, hehe.” She stared some more, then looked behind her through the palms, though the location in her mind was far, far out of sight even with the longest draw distance. “Biig Island, eh? Stiill much to exploore. Snaaakes (pause) Manateees (pause) Liooons. (pause) I’ve even heard there are tiigers on the neighborring island with thee temples. Tiigers, Duncan. Tales of thee..”
“And mee in the ceentre. I was *theere.*”
“I plan to goo to Rosehaaven and shaake things uup a bit.” Puff. Thaat’s my deestiny.” Emit smoke.
This is where I will make my home for a while, thought Duncan Avocado. No, he reconsidered. Not a home — a *base*.
Actually — this and perhaps one other spot. Another island.
Now let’s see where we are on the map.
To that other location…
More the other spot, he thinks after arriving. But this place is crucial too.
Start of a gorge. *His* gorgeous gorge. This was where he was reborn, after all. In Paradise.
But then (he reconsidered again)… I like many of the Fruity Islands, some nearby here…
… some not so much.
I will make *all* of them a kind of base. Fruity Islands as a whole.
I still like it here.
In Jethro’s dream, the peak of Bauerbridge had rejoined the rest of the Mountain Lake summits to celebrate the return of Timmy, reunited with his war torn family at last.
In a related story, Trojan-Durexian War vet Sam Bee lounges at a Fruity Island public beach, wondering if this is finally the year he’ll be able to return to the land of the living.
Friend Duncan says they’ve found a door — not yet opened, though. Sam knows voodoo; he can remedy that.
“Sometimes it’s not all about you Baker Bloch. Now put that on your head.”
“This is where you are. Be *here*.”
“I’m going to the Red Umbrella now, Ruby.”
“What are you looking for?”
“A way out.”
“You already know the way out. Way… Marr.”
“Do you want to talk about the pain?”
“Failure. No connection. Blame the other.”
“Way, then. Not Marr.”
“Were you to blame? You were the weirdo, after all. Not the one grounded in physicality. Look at these novels, eh. No solid ground. Unless it is here — in Orange. Sorry, where are you now?”
“Let’s see. Looks like Pitaya. Just beyond Orange, though. NW corner.”
“I’m coming down.”
“It’s just me and you now. Here.”
“I’m dead. I know I’m dead.”
“Yes. You are dead.”
“I think… I’m ready to live again.”
“Help out our mutual friend Sam Bee. Then we’ll talk.”
“She said I had to help out you.”
“This witch woman. This… sorcerer.”
“But not in a bad way, I don’t think,” replies Duncan Avocado.
“But not in a totally good way either,” returns Sam Bee, catching the drift.
“Maybe not. Kind of neutral.”
Sam Bee stared at the fire. “Well, you know what I *really* want to do right now? To explore that gorgeous gorge of yours, where you were born here in this Paradise.”
“Reborn,” Duncan corrected.
“Right. I want to make a day of it. Perhaps several days. Show me what this is all about. You said a lot of work seemed to go into it. Mermaids and such. I’d like to see a Mermaid. I’d like to… well, she told me not to talk like that any more.” Sam crossed his legs.
“About girls… women.”
“Well…” Duncan exhales. “You *were* in a war. The ultimate madness and anything goes situation. You had to do what you did to get by.”
“No. I can’t accept that any longer, Duncan A. About the women.”
“Maybe you shouldn’t dwell on it,” his friend advised. They sat in silence for a bit.
“Freed up that damn Southern Bypass for a while, hehe. Almost had them by the *balls*.”
“Not soon enough… sorry.”
“For you, I know. We were working beyond the bamboo planes and cars and ships. We were almost there.”
“They had steel. They had energy.”
“We had the voodoo,” Sam countered. “The plants helped; almost worked. Southern Bypass.” He leaned forward. “I can cite one or, at best, two crucial moments in battles where things could have turned. On a dime, as the old saying says.
“Best not to dwell,” Duncan reiterated.
“I had this man’s head…” Sam stopped here. He couldn’t do it. He couldn’t put a bamboo hatchet through a man’s head not 2 feet from his own. They told him to think of them like grapefruits… basketballs perhaps. He lay the hatchet down. He let the man pass. And immediately watched him kill one of his own.
“Come on,” Duncan says, getting up. “It’s afternoon now. You said you wanted to go swimming. Perhaps ride one of those killer sharks.”
“Whales,” Sam edited, making him think of Tessa.
She had been living on the Aloha houseboat for over 3 1/2 years now. She’d had plenty of time to contemplate her life as Witch Hazel in the past, and, moving forward, well… something good instead of bad she’ll be the next time at bat. Fruity bat.
Right now, she occupies a position between good and evil — red and blue. Purgatory, in effect. But she’s grown use to her schizoid nature. Soon enough it will end for Parasol and she’ll become someone else.
Sam Bee is a key; Trojan-Durexian War, etc. Sting operation. She knows that from Ruby Fantasie’s Middletown US of A investigations, which are ongoing.
In the other room of the boat, Charlie Banana wakes up and needs a drink. Yes, “between” she is indeed currently. But all split things must end.
one could say they were on the summit of Crow
Collagesity > Fruity Islands
“I think there’s a fly in my beer, Baker Bloch. So catch me up more. What’s happening in town? *Who’s* in town… now. I saw Roger Pine Ridge staring at me from his perch up Old Cannon Road. Who else?”
“No time tonight unfortunately, Baker Blinker. We must return to Parasol.”
“I’m glad you enjoy my company, Charlie. I enjoy yours as well.”
“You know, don’t you?” Charlie began suspecting for some reason during the climax.
“Hmmm, about Bandit Boy? About how you betrayed your supposed good friend Roger Pine Ridge and then changed forms after Cyberpaperdoll left you in turn to try to make amends? Do I know about the stolen Rainbow Sphere and the fame and fortune that goes along with it? Yes. I do.” She turns and stares at him squarely. “And there’s not a gosh darn thing you can do about it.” She blinks her red-blue eyes innocently.
“I see.” He avoids her stare in turn, looks at his feet, his hands. Gazes at the horizon while in thought. “Are… you going to tell.. on me?” he then manages. He liked Collagesity. He wasn’t ready to leave yet.
“I have a deal for you, double faced boy. There’s a puppet in town that I want killed. Cut his heart out and bring it to me. Then we’ll talk.”
Silence, then Parasol tacked on: “It’s only a puppet after all. A *doll*.”
Big on enjoyment.
Another satisfying meal for Duncan Avocado in one of his many Fruity Islands hangouts. No way he could eat it all. Dog friend Barney was currently barking at some ducks swimming in a pool backed by several waterfalls.
A snake named Matilda lay nearby, as full as Duncan from gorging on a stray duckling. Mother Wanda will be inconsolable for days until her next batch of quackers is born, when she completely forgets about the existence of Little Arnold as babies Pete, Jim Bob, Orange, Tan, Smokey, Lila, and Bertie absorb all of her time.
Recent mother Abbey tells Matilda to stay away from her own brood, and emphasizes that there’s plump, juicy frogs and lizards over in the far corner of the pool. Jack the Mallard just wants to make love to either Wanda or Abbey again. It’s that time for him.
Trojan-Durexian War vet Sam Bee, watching Barney, Wanda, Abbey, Jack and Matilda in turn, has taken up fishing. But also, friend Duncan notices, drinking, a not deadly combination but one to perhaps worry about for later. Better get him into his gorgeous gorge as soon as possible. But Big Island is so peaceful. He wouldn’t mind popping open another brewskie himself. And, in fact, does so.
Life death is good.
1st and last
After several hours of lounging and drinking, a man appears on the beach in front of Duncan and Sam as a sea monster’s fin manifests in the water behind him. They can’t help but notice the conjunction.
“That is a monster who has turned into a man,” Duncan says in a low voice to his war vet friend.
“Indeed,” Sam murmurs back.
But the two were just drunk and spouting relative nonsense. The man, who was actually The Mann, couldn’t see Duncan and Sam on their deck since he was in a different sim. He continued on down the beach past Matilda the snake, hoping to meet Da Womann before dusk. Shirley was her name. Or Ethel. Something.
fruit loop adventure
He could feel her hot, putrid breath against his neck. Death, Angel of. Head like a grapefruit. Or a basketball.
“Come on, Sam Bee. Time to take the plunge. She’ll be waiting here for us when it’s over.”
“You don’t know,” he hissed, gazes still locked. “You weren’t there, Duncan.”
“I was there,” Duncan reassured his friend. His war vet friend.
“We — almost — had them — by the BALLS.”
Parasol woke up, looked over at Charlie sitting heavily on the couch beside her. “You’ve changed.”
“Something’s happening,” he agreed.
Someone was about to enter the circle.
Parasol woke up again, Charlie still beside her.
“Duncan A. and Sam B. are about to enter the gorgeous gorge. I saw it in my dream.”
“Then I guess you’re gonna split, huh?”
“Not till Sundae.”
Parasol woke up.
Fruity Islands > Rosehaven > Collagesity
“So *you* were the Prince all along. This Ingo. Should’ve known by the name. Ingo… Ingor, your drummer.”
“And you have been the witch Hazel all along,” declared Col. Flagstaff from his log. “My ancient nemesis.”
“Perhaps not any more. Maybe moving forward from this centre spot we can be allies instead of axis. Depends if I can choose blue over red. It will be hard.”
“You should ditch Banana Boy to begin. Your yellow lover.”
“I need him still,” countered Parasol.
“Alright. Suit yourself.” Both knew this was a mistake, though.
Parasol looked at Col. Flagstaff. “You’ll have to remove the sphere to make a final decision. You can’t take that thing with you.”
“Sure about that?”
“Say they — we — were trying to get rid of you, huh?”
“Yeah. Implied I was a liability.”
“And you saw this in the cave.”
“Yeah. I was the fire in the center of it all. The observing fire.”
Charlie Banana knew that if he didn’t kill the puppet man soon Parasol would need his heart instead. Better move into action.