The Waste


COLLAGESITY NOVEL IX


“Let’s go visit that small town over there.”

“What do you think Baker Bloch?”

“It’s really interesting. Really is. Soooo… Bart Simpson is invisible now? Is, er, that the alchemical experiment gone wrong?”

Baker Blinker put her hands behind her head. “I suppose. We don’t really have to explain it. Things are implied.”

“I suppose,” echoed the male Baker, irking the female Baker with the implied language.

“We can write it over.” She was thinking: I’m *definitely* not writing that over. Took me 4 hours as is!

“Nah, it’s fine Baker Blinker. It really is. I get it. Bart Simpson is invisible on New Island and that’s why his sister Lisa couldn’t find him. He’s probably a fugitive of the law, and that’s why these Silver and Gold people decided they had the leeway to experiment on him — not registered, perhaps.

“Baker Bloch, I’m not sure if you get the basic gist. Bart was suppose to be a companion for Tessa, to get her mind off the killer sharks, ahem, whales and such. Like earlier in these Collagesity novels, Toyna Two Egg created robot Arale from a kid her parents gave her when she was just a kit.”

“Kit… kid. I recall. But why invisible?”

“That’s the ‘wrong’ part about it.”

Baker Bloch rolled up the paper in the typewriter a little more. “And this part below the line…” He turned to Baker Blinker in her hanging chair. “Ready to read yet?” he queried.

She blew out air. “Go ahead,” she relented, steeling herself for more veiled criticism.

—–

Future times. July 11, 2022. Yd Bay again. Much, much more has washed ashore.

Through the peculiar odor from what was cooking (stench, to her), East Bennington refuge Tessa Fish issued a declaration. “I don’t like this place, Grandpa Gold. I don’t like this place *one bite*.”


futures

He looks down at the Orion’s Vale sinkhole and dreams of a Corsica continent that could have been.

But perhaps the dream contains pathways of possibilities yet.

Back to future Yd Bay:

Yes it got worse for Grandpa Gold and Tessa Fish. Especially Tessa. North Yd: a post-apocalyptic town not to be played around with.


“No. Uh-uh.”

Grandpa Gold knew that if they didn’t get out of there by sunset there may be no escape from the darkness.

“Grandpa. Get *down* from there. No playing around!”


N. Yd

“Tilers, Tessa. It marks this place as safe after all, despite the surface malignancy.

But we can’t take a chance anyway this time — fog rolling in; darkness too. We better ascent that tall ladder over there to higher ground for the night.”

“I’m *more* than ready to get out of these lowlands,” Tessa offered, staring back at the pirate ship from whence they came. Shark references everywhere. And not in a good and beneficial way. *Those* signs are there too, and in much more profusion. Tessa thinks that her Grandpa Gold puts way too much stock in these Tilers he goes on about at times. Left their signets here, dropped their talismans there. Sanctified grounds, he states and walks forward. Nothing malicious has happened… *yet*. And this is just the kind of place to break the lucky streak.

“We’ll come back in the morning if possible,” he says. “If Tilers were here then there is surely more to look at and study.”

“Whatever.”

—–

The next morning, on the same spot:

“Oh the weather is *much* better now,” Tessa voiced sarcastically. “I can barely see 20 feet in front of me.”

“The tile here indicates safety, however,” her grandpa reinforced. “Safe to split up, then. You examine the buildings that way,” — Grandpa Gold points behind Tessa — “and I’ll work my way around from this end — counterclockwise — until we meet up somewhere in the middle. Is that okay?”

“If you say it’s safe, then I suppose it’s safe,” says Tessa, doubting the words coming out of her mouth but also putting her trust in who she assumes is a wiser and older being.

“Saves time that way,” he adds without verification from the child. “See you in the middle.” He turns away from her and walks toward the first structure in his direction. Tessa begins on her side.

—–

“Freak show eh?” Tessa speaks aloud at one of the westernmost structures of the compound, thinking back to something called the Elephant Man, she believes. Nothing to make fun of! But is this an octopus who has the features of a man or visa versa? Anyway — not alive. Taking a picture and moving on…

—–

“Nothing in there either.”

“Oh, there you are already, Grandpa. We meet in the middle, I suppose. Anything on your side?”

“A church,” he states.

“Tilers?”

“I think so. The right colors. They were indeed here. But first: let’s look in the last house of all. Together.”


chance upon

He approached the other bush cautiously. “Are you my son?” He waited. “I’m looking for my son.”

The wind continued to blow.


absorption

“I should be finished with journal 9 in 2 weeks or less, Robert Drake Johns. Then we will reassess the situation.”

“That’s great, Older Mabel,” spoke the tall, lime green robot seated beside her. His voice was nasal compared to most mechanoids of his type — Mabel designed him this way to appear slightly comical to her and help lighten the mood sometimes. Because the mood was dire in many instances. The Wastelands held nothing back.

“I’m wondering when The Monster will return,” started RDJ again. “Sally lives on the edge of the Deep Dunes but hasn’t seen or smelled anything in 2 weeks or more. The Axis powers may have won the war, but they haven’t been especially active conquerors… let us do what we please, when we please.”

“Oh they’re around.” She scribbles quickly once more. “Right now I’m seeing a narrow boat, mired deep in the high sands. Two children — no, a child and a man, actually an older man. Then another, observing man. No, sorry again, a woman but with many eyes, some which could be masculine. Actors and Observers again, Robert Drake Johns.”

“I miss my cousin,” said RDJ out of the blue. “I miss Cardboard. The character and not the substance, although that has disappeared too. All metal and rust now; little plastic as well.”

“And parchment,” added Mabel brightly. “Thank Gods for parchment.”

“And Ink!”


giraffe

She was leaning so far over that I’m surprised her head wasn’t hitting the window pane in the back. But Nataly was doing a good job explaining the story so far. Let’s take a listen…

“Pen is the evolution of The Pencil, Dear Reader. And so our saga continues, just 4 long, long years later. New Island has become post-apocalyptic. What is the disaster that caused this? you should ask. Increase of sand, increase of terrain and elevation; increase of *The Wastelands*. The Tilers moved in first, took over the Fries with Cheese property downtown and destroyed the church. Hopefully we’ll get to the continuing challenges of basement dwellers Mrs. Fogg and Ms. Frame soon, thrown together for protection, food, and liberty. Young Shirley Boot ceases to be 12, but has progressed no further than the first day of her 13th year, frozen in time because of the… catastrophe — we’ll certainly get to that shortly. Not-so-young Ruby also remains middle-of-15, unable to transverse the ages 16 17 18 to reach the 19 she should be by this point. And Mabel: Mabel remains old but child-like. She’s taken to wearing her Hannah Montana outfit 24/7, and this is most likely the effects of the radiation as well — affecting her brains and not what. She’s remodeled Robot Derak Jones to become Robert Drake Johns, probably another symptom since he’s as lime green as her now. Ahh, now we get to Sally. For Sally is perhaps an even stranger one. Founder of New Yd, evolution of the Tilers, she now keeps watch on the Deep Dunes for sign of The Monster, who continues to roam New Island and where aging *is* effected. The Man in the High Castle makes sure of that. Perhaps we should join him and his current crew next for more answers. Thank you for listening, and have a super night!”

Nataly removed the mike from her long, long neck and stood up. “How was that David?”


slenderman

“How long has it been, Tessa?” an older Grandpa wheezed. He was the more valuable platinum through and through now.”

“4 years. You’re old, Grandpa. You need to rest here a while.”

“Is my tie on straight? Can you tell my teeth from my face still?”

“You look great,” his grand niece lied.

“Send her in, then. We must get the pricing over with.”

Liana the owner enters her heavily windowed coffee shop and immediately begins hanging tapestry. This was not who they were expecting. Where’s Sally?

Looks like Grandpa will live to see another day.


Middle House

“Who are you?”

Tessa suddenly understood. “Um. This is not good, Grandpa.”

“Don’t get up sir.”

Too late.


COLLAGESITY NOVEL XII


sandy

Something different came to the sim of The Sand Seas today.

Nearby, spatially and temporally: Patrick still likes cats.

“I like cats. Man.”

But who was this man he speaketh to, just emerged, dusty and dingy and gritty, from The Sea of Sands to the immediate south of here? Jethro?

No, not him. Although he may play a part in our play later on. Instead: Monsieur Gold. Looking high and low for granddaughter Tessa. Searching near and far for step-children Lisa and Bartholomew. Dealing with the connivings and machinations of Madame Silver and fellow evil villain known as The Parasol all along the way.

“Any other place to sit here?” he implores to Patrick the crazy cat lover across from him, not wishing to presently accomplish the function his tire seat was designed for. Disgusting.

“No,” responds Patrick, attempting to smooth out a cowlick on the back of a cat.

Nearby (spatially and temporally):

“God I hate murders. Despises them.”

I think it may be Jethro’s brother/cousin. Baer? Bauer? I believe I’m onto something…

Something different came to the sim of Bauerbridge today.


129,127 — close enough.


Parasol

But is she really that evil? Instead of just… well, *split*?


The Bar at the End of Time

“We can speak freely here, Pat. Away from the users. Go ahead.”

“Well. Like I said, I knew he came in from the high desert because he was all gritty and grimy and stuff.”

“Where else would he come from?” asked Zoidboro intelligently.

Patrick Starkey adjusted his cap. “Nowhere, I suppose. And he was different looking. Not as mutanty.” Patrick stared at Zoidboro and the various projections issuing from his head. “No offense, man.”

“None taken.” Zoidboro decided to direct the conversation toward the heart of the matter. “Tell me how Rosehaven came up?”

—–

“They’re down there, Axis.”

“We have them now.”


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.

“Been better.”

“Well. We’ll get you some knee braces when we get back to base.”

“Okay’s.”

“That could be it down there, Clubby. Wouldn’t you say that would be about right under where we were?”

“Sure’s.”

“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.”

“Okay’s.”

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.”

“Alright.”

“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.


missing

I’ve looked everywhere on God’s beige earth for them. But I’m not going down there to North Yd to check. Not after what I saw last year with Tessa. Gold to Platinum.

Better head back home in the narrow boat-plane. Maybe refuel first over at Sparky’s since it’s nearby.

—–

Ooops! Knocked over a couple of gas pumps again. Oh well. Nothing scars this old babe. Except that cursed dune of April Mae’s. Must be some kind of magic dune, and in the wrong way, hmph. Probably some voodoo connected to the aberant Omega continent itself. “Sparky!” Monsieur Gold calls through the station’s open door while honking his horn. “Sparky! It’s happened again!”

Now where is *she*?

“Zoidboro!” cries little Raphaelia Jenkinson from a nearby garage bay, flickering merrily in her red dress beside similarly wind-blow, yellow cat Ziggy Dustbowl. “Zoidboro!” she repeats.

In the basin immediately below…

… Sally the Spark O Naut (“Sparky”) has waited a long time for Reverend Zoidboro to start preaching. Two days, in fact, since this is Tuesday. But she’s decked up in her Sunday best and dearly hates to needlessly change clothes.

5 more minutes, she thinks. Maybe 5 hours.


missing 02

He didn’t want to, but Monsieur Gold really had no other choice but the fuel up at Widow’s Lair since Sparky (Sally Spark O Naut, again) was nowhere to be found and there was no self service at her station. He’d been here once before. He didn’t like the scene. But the Lying Widow was gone as well. Thank God in Brown Heaven.

He had pumped his gas and was about to leave…

… when he noticed the hole across the road. Let’s see, he realized, that would be just beyond the southwest corner of Burnt Oak… like Sparky’s is just beyond the northeast corner of same. I wonder if the two gas station owners — good and evil — planned it that way, Monsieur Gold pondered. Almost a perfect opposition. And both are *missing* now.

—–

Meanwhile… inside…

“Tell us what happened Lying Widow,” demanded Axis the Tin Tin Soldier Man, Clubby by his side as usual. “You must have seen them go in. You see *everything* with those big peepers of yours.”

“I’m not saying anything,” she barked gruffly while struggling with the ropes. “You can burn me like a witch and I’ll cook to my grave without speaking. Talk is cheap. Go ahead and kill me.”

Axis TTSM smiled toward his demonic sidekick. “We’re going to do better than that, Lying Widow. We’re going to seal you in here. You’ll be trapped as much as the two traitors whose identify we have yet to learn. Thanks to your uncooperation.”

“Kill me,” Lying Widow demanded. “Kill me!” she pleaded as they exited The Bar at the End of Time, laughing maniacally. “Kill me!!” she screamed as their footsteps died down the corridor.

—–

Later:

“Add a couple of trees, some chairs, half an old car, and noone will be the wiser this was *ever* opened up, Clubby. Case *closed*.”


rat tales

Dr. Brown knew a thing or two about sniffing out mysteries. He’d been doing so most of his life, especially a particular one involving the Cult of the Three Suns. Clues had been flying in from all directions recently. And now another had fallen in his lap: a pregnant Pat or Patrick Starr, connected with *North Yd* of all places (pronounced like “North Wide” just so you’ll know). Tilers, he thought from his secret underground lair, far far away (spatially and temporally) from the simpletons at Eotia Village. Squid people. Opposite sides of the circle, one dead and stuffed, the other living and breathing and… preaching. Vicious cycle — no, not vicious — *natural*, a comes around, goes around sort of idea. But now he had to find Tessa. She was the key.

Less than a half year ago; North Yd:

“The tile here indicates safety, however,” her grandpa reinforced. “Safe to split up, then. You examine the buildings that way,” — Grandpa Gold points behind Tessa — “and I’ll work my way around from this end — counterclockwise — until we meet up somewhere in the middle. Is that okay?”

—–

—–

I could spend the rest of my life staring at these walls and learning nothing else. I can’t believe all of the months from my past I did so. Nascera, he thought bitterly. Turns out nothing’s here. Nothing atall.

Even Reginald appears to be gone.


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.

Nevermore.


nexus

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.

“Hi.”

But Tessa couldn’t see or hear them yet. All she noticed was a cooler breeze which made her shiver.


open for business

To her amazing relief, Lying Widow got out of that hole. Well, Colonel Flagstaff, aka Frozen Meat Waffle’s lead singer Kob Curtain — overriding the powers of Axis — let her out. He needed her help in gathering more human victims from The Waste and sending them his way. For the lyrics of their 2nd, more successful album “Human Flesh Zone” (hit single “Smells like Steve”, etc.) were based on reality. During the recording sessions at a haunted hotel, Kob and the other members of the band developed a taste for homo sapien. Fine young cannibals they were.

——

“Oh, is it me?” Murmuring offscreen. “Sorry.”

—–

“Let’s see, I’ll take that one over here and… that one over there for today. Good work Lying Widow. Now just throw them in the hole and I’ll have Ingor (drummer) pick them up later.