COLLAGESITY 2017 MIDDLE
Wheeler Wilson was taking a break from playing pool with Buster Damm over in a Ratcliff speakeasy when she got the call.
“Clown part, eh? L$100 a week, huh? I’m there dude.”
“What’s cook’n?” asks Buster after she hung up. In answer, she threw one of her rats and an attached chunk of cheese at him.
It was simply going to be too expensive for Wheeler and Buster to live in Ratcliff. $L600 a week for a store and an apartment (!). And they weren’t even going to use the store part of the equation.
But wait… the store property directly across the street is only $L200 per week. Hmmm.
They talk at the neighboring Corner Pocket after a tension releasing game of pool. Buster sank the 8 ball to win. Wheeler proclaims she is sleepy and lays her head on the bar table. Buster ponders options.
“This doesn’t feel right Wheeler. We have no business to promote here. I’m not sure a residential status by itself qualifies for town citizenship. And you always seem drained and unhappy.”
“Something about the place, yeah,” Wheeler admits, yawning. “Thank you again for not selling me out to that Tonshi person up in Lapara. I certainly don’t want to be anyone’s wife.”
“Nor will you have to,” reassures Buster. “But we do need a place to exist. Why not Collagesity?”
“I’m not ready to go back. There’s too much else in the world to explore. Time is short.”
“I agree. VHC City?” he then offers. “Let’s go see the PCH Woods anyway. An old haunt (for me).”
“Alright. Can I change costumes first?”
“We could stay in the witch house over there,” states Buster, laying in a familiar, old tree.
“No, I’m not doing that. No more dueling witches. Oz is dead.”
“Oz *is* dead,” agrees Buster. “The forest here is history. And… VHC City? Obviously I can’t go as I am now. I’d have to be in disguise.”
“It would just be too hard for you Buster.”
He sighs. “You’re right. It’s not like the old days when the Novas — Clare, Summerhill, Golden Bee-ing, even Orange — cooperated with each other. Clare was so good to hide me here in these woods when I got in trouble in Olde Lapara Towne. Then she used her sibling ring to get me set up in VHC City. But all that’s over. No… but we’re running out of options.”
They looked at each other. The obvious option remained: return to OLT.
Bendy’s door stood wide open. “Bendy?” they called. No answer. “Let’s try the hotel,” suggested Buster.
“Peter! You’re still here.”
“Not… for long,” he exclaims. “Bendy… left town. With Prissy!”
COLLAGESITY 2018 EARLY
Tonya Two Egg…
…. seems to be trying to communicate with me again.*
I’m assuming this has something to do with Heterocera’s Pond District, but could be wrong.
* Compare with the second snapshot of this February post:
In the Pond District today:
Axis found a black and white girl slumped against a Rodentia dumpster but did not know who she was. She didn’t open her eyes.
Tealie woke Jiff up in a bad mood, who did not wish to play right this minute.
So she instead goes to visit the grave of her old friend Matthew Lodenwald. What a blow to the community when he died!
Bob Richards continues to reads scrapbooks of the war and laments how he will never see his beloved Alpha again. Oh dear, looks like Li’l Bob’s jumped out of his crib.
Uncle Doomed drinks Jack Daniels in front of the neighbor’s Blob until passing out.
Lucas Smart tries to figure out how his life went so wrong.
Chris Caveman lumbers out of the Rodentia Underground, worse off from the experience.
In the local arcade, punk band Story Room prepares to play Cruise Control with newbie Grassy Noll, snickering about whether he’ll even make it out of the first turn.
Also in the arcade, Bill (Wheeler) confers with Rocky Racco about her most recent name change and move to Iris. “Heterocera is still at the fore of my research,” she reassures the learned writer. “I haven’t forgotten about Olde Lapara Towne, Collagesity, VHC City, or any of the rest.”
“Good, Wheeler.” He scratches his nose with his free paw. “Did you know that my cousin Tealie now lives in this area?”
Philip Strevor wasn’t available, so Mr. Matrix took his spot at the Watching Booth. He was staking out the place of a guy known as The Rabbit, but The Boss correctly assumed he was just a rat in disguise. Now to dangle the carrot, er, cheese.
Whenever she’s fit and ready.
Sure the giant carrot was pointed directly at his hideout, but The Rabbit was no longer there. Or had he not moved in yet?
Directly behind his past/future hideout lived Lucas Smart, hatch open to his own home. He’d hoped someone would find him down there all sideways before now. Vertical and horizontal had become all smushed up. And the water could be rising once more!
Lemmings existed in the area. Here’s one sunbathing at Bowers Beach.
And here’s another at the same beach raiding a treasure chest of gold bricks and coins. Could this be why The Rabbit is in the area? Treasure, buried or exposed?
There use to be a village of tiny gummy people across the lake from the beach, but they seemed to have moved away in the last 5 years or so, probably because of the variant water levels. Their main street was aligned with the Rodentia Underground entrance seen in the distance here.
But it was not just a town (New Gummton). There was a tiny forest beside a tiny lake with a tiny pier. A whole microcosm for the miniature inhabitants to exist within. They needed no “outside”. I wonder what happened to them?
Back in Rodentia proper, the bait had been set. “Sure hope this work,” Mr. Matrix thinks, checking his daily sports scores.
Mr. Matrix has found a nice piece of land in the Pond District from which to establish a base for his operations there, but he can’t decide on a house. Oh the vanity.
A weird thought then crossed his mind as he stared into the mirror. Maybe *he’s* the rat.
Anyway, he better get back to his deliveries.
Bay door open at the service station with bait taken, Wheeler has finished her exercise routine and is fit and ready for action. Philip makes sure of that.
Akking here we come again!
Alice 01 patiently explains to Alice 02 that the 3rd is actually the 4th.
But let’s back up a bit…
Alice was certainly glad to have a place to go to after the New Island artist colony shut down.
And the view of Lake Tethia from her grandmother’s hillside cabin was certainly a bonus.
Time to drop down into the 3rd to meet the other Alice at the restaurant. Soon she would learn that this 3rd is actually the 4th.
Certainly explosive news.
COLLAGESITY 2018 MIDDLE
“I only need one color.”
Okay, so Alice 02’s landscape paintings of New Island tended to be a little glamorized or accentuated, granted. This triptych, which she chose to hang in her new Meanderhead apartment across the lake from her aunt’s house, depicts fabled Fishers Isle at low tide in the center, with Mt. Sondra, the highest elevation of the island but still hardly at mountain atall, poking up in the background. She has more trouble with vegetation than water, so she tends to negate the former in her work, like here.
Alice 02, whose real name was Adelaide, didn’t need the apartment, but it was so cheap and spacious she couldn’t resist.
She also had a peculiar attraction to the cigarette ad hanging on the wall outside, a beckoning she only grasped presently on a deep, intuitive level. “Come to… Marlboro.” Soon she would understand more about all that while puffing on a different kind of cigarette.
“I am the 9th, Mary.”
“That’s great. Are we done (with the snapshot)? Let’s walk over to the insane asylum, if so. Let’s go see Adelaide.”
“Alice’s (Alices?) nowhere to be found. We reside in the Ukraine now. Russian is sooo yesterdays.”
“Let’s just *go*.”
“Oh all right,” Pitch Darkly relents and gets up to head westward. Into Russia territory again. New Island, pheh.
The portal entrance to Lake Tethia. Pitch allows Mary to get all angley and fish for perch a moment, with immediate success.
She schemes to make a list of Pond District pools and their angling potentials. Would Pitch allow her to complete the project, though, given this is “Russian” territory now? And what’s *wrong* with her husband? Would he return to normal after all this “Number 9” stuff is done?
Unable to get through today, however — the property seems blocked. Did they do this specifically to keep Pitch out of their village? These Ruskies? He hates them now, whatever the actual facts.
Northern side here: he’s just not having much luck. Pitch black blocks him again.
He decides to teleport back home and try again another time. Mary, of course, follows him there. What a lamb.
Later, in the consulting room at the Collagesity branch of Fries with Cheese…
“You must leave your husband. *Immediately*.”
“I’m over here,” the distressed Mary beckons.
“I’m sorry,” Sister Martha Lamb apologizes. “I can’t… seem to turn my head… to the left right now.”