COLLAGESITY 2018 MIDDLE (PART 1 of 2)
New Island and The Beginning
Annie was surprised to still find the pink Mini Coop perched on tiny Fishers Island with its 4 trees and the truth. The real owner of the boathouse land (and the isle) must not be online very much, she rationalized. She decided to check. You can do this by joining a group an avatar is a member of and viewing their status, which will indicate the last time they logged onto Our Second Lyfe.
Okay, last time for this particular avatar: 12/16/17. Closing in on a half year ago. This pink car could be sitting here for a while. But where were Bendy and Fisher, freshly returned from the Second Lyfe Underground with tall tales to tell obviously? She recalls something about a dinner. Last Supper?
Checking her new smart phone Axis (Tronesisia?) gave her, Annie didn’t find any mention of Fisher and Lord Bendington (this particular blog is usually blocked from characters within, to protect them from infinity points) but she did find a Fry thanks to a face recognition app.
Hmm, she thinks at the time. Fisher is Fry, or, actually, as she is looking yet again today, *Fries* (Mandela Effect in effect, thanks to Fishers Isle). And his famous traveling companion Lord Bendington is obviously this Bender fellow from the same show, this “Futurama.” Or was it Bendy? Anyway, her new boss Tronesisia (Axis?) said that Fisher is also Clare Nova, one of the old lords of Greater VHC City. And, as such, Fisher was dead but now brought back to life. Like Jesus or the Easter Bunny. The Underground is Death itself.
In the future, Fisher will lead a new religion championing life over death, hope over despair, peace and harmony over war and strife. Bendington will be his trusted right hand Peter, Paul and Mary all rolled up into one
(joint). But it is the era of religion. Witness Collagesity with its rival upstarts of the Cult of Oo’d and Fries with Cheese.
Yes, there was more to accomplish here on this New Island. Annie was a bonafide artist now. And Karl is back (!), thanks to Baker Bloch wisely yielding to Baker Blinker’s wishes.
Annie remains Wheeler and Wheeler remains Annie ’round and ’round.
Mrs. Fogg always ate and drank alone in her beachside house. Her husband had died many years ago in a boating accident involving a run in with a huge piece of floating cheddar out in Yd Bay, broken off from the Great Cheese, no doubt, during the hot summer of ’56. The sim of Yd had seen many interesting events in its time, invoking both tears and laughter. There was Jack Benny’s USO show in ’42 that took place on the wide beach there, for instance, but they never found the almost priceless red violin that octopus wrestled from the comedian mid joke. Claimed by the bay, as they say.
Mrs. Fogg will put away several more full glasses of wine before retiring to her lonely, grey bedroom.
Ms. Frame, a near neighbor of the sad Mrs. Fogg, almost always forgot to put on suntan lotion before sailing, thus her condition at age 36. She at least carries around a shading umbrella these days, but too little too late if you ask me. Ms. Frame is also widowed, having lost her husband to the ’78 land sharks revolts. But, unlike Mrs. Fogg, she remains upbeat and breezy despite her misfortunes, and is a devout member of the 2nd Fries With Cheese Church down in mid-town. Drop in any time for tea and cheddar biscuits she told The Bakers just last week.
Young Ruby was the latest avatar to be sent through Eraserhead Man’s Rabbit Hole portal, direct orders of the new Queen of Collagesity who is Mabel. Get to *that* story a little bit. Being a natural explorer, Ruby’s interest was immediately piqued by two larger dunes to the northwest of EM’s property, just beyond where Annie famously painted her mate Karl as a smooth, bloated blue boy instead of his regular hairy, chubby self.
Ruby knew that naming had become important on New Island, thus considered the appellation of these two dunes carefully. That was one of her assigned responsibilities.
She stood there for about 15 minutes…
… while the sun rose to her east, casting the dunes in a rosy light. Rose 1 and Rose 2 they shall be, she determined, and then treats herself to a banana split float at nearby Bumpy’s Ice Cream Village as a reward for her naming success, the first of a good number she would apply to both the island’s physical and political geographies.
Later, another new character named Tin Tin would discover two roses in a New Island skybox and understand the synchronistic resonance. There was an important difference between the two dunes, just like there was for these roses.
One is more natural and one is less so. The digging would commence soon.
Annie sneaks up on Trashy the Clown from behind this time, surprising him.
“Gimme some pills!”
“You’ll have to stay behind from this point on, Young Ruby,” commanded Annie, hands on hips at the entrance to the sugar house.
“I thought you were an *artist*, Aunt Annie.”
“I’m slipping. Karl is threatening to turn blue again. I need a cash replenishing. This will do it.”
“Don’t do it. Think of Tennessee. Would *she* stoop this low?”
“Many times,” countered Annie to the youngster, not her real niece but a faux relationship Ruby deemed necessary. And she had that power, thanks to Mabel. But she couldn’t take away her free will. “Many times with many men,” Annie furthered. “And their many parts.”
Ruby continued to pout outside while Annie signed up for her new business. “If you tell Karl, I’ll kill you,” she told Ruby later. Annie may have to have some therapy soon. I chalk it up to the recent pill popping. Red and blue are all mixed up for her, undifferentiated.
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.”
Here’s the deal. Baker Bloch was in charge of Collagesity and possibly the relatively nearby Pond District, while Wheeler Wilson here covered New Island in its entirety. ‘Round and ’round, as they say, or I said. Infinity Point is next, the Gods declare. A starting point in a way.*
… and then picks up a free magazine before leaving.
She’ll be back.
* This insinuates that the Tropp (True Opp) controlled New Eden has truly separated from New Island and made its own sphere of power — but we’ll see. If so, I’ll have to adjust my blog categories accordingly.
Annie already has a small gallery near the center of New Island showing her nudes. Karl admires his own portrait again even after leaving. It literally brought him back to life. What a gal, he thinks. I must keep her forever.
Now let’s see. I head directly west to get back home I believe. Pretty sure.
But then he sees the teleport invite from that Infinity Point we mentioned before. Almost immediately, Karl was with Annie, the latter painting not a seascape as one would suppose from the location, but what happened at work today.
Karl takes a seat and watches the painting continue to evolve. He decides to let her concentrate on her work. After a minute or two, he speaks. “All I see is a buoy out there, baby doll, but whatever rocks your boat I guess. Whatever gets you motivated.”
“Um hum,” is all Annie grunted in response, finishing up the last bits. She was almost ready again.
no narrow escape
Dr. I.C. Yourinsides knew that this narrow boat would never make it off the wide New Island beach. The magnetic attraction of the place had snared another one.
For the moment, Tessa laid the blame somewhere else. “Oh no, Grandpa. What have you gone and done *now*?”
Sh-t, he thinks from the back. Can’t steer this thing worth a lick!
Martian Mabel so desired to remain Queen of Collagesity on “Earth”, but she knew she had other responsibilities for now. New Island would stay an always perceived/felt aberration, to her and others, unless she came here and helped resolve the whole situation. This morning she invited closest confidant and former Mission resident Turchin McGurchin over for counsel; her right hand man in many ways. The Mission project had been aborted and Precious Snowflake’s Rainbow Sphere files moved to a safer location.
“Roger Pine Ridge represents a problem,” Mabel continues. “He’s looking for them.”
Turchin McGurchin tears off another piece of his cheese croissant and gobbles it up quickly, like someone else would do it for him if he didn’t act fast. Mission training in effect here. “Roger is useless,” he then says, mouth still full and chewing away at too big a chunk for its space. “Our joint user Baker B. had to move the whole Sunklands operation from Ink, Arkansas to Ink, Missouri because of him, but to no avail. He tried pushing him into the big sink there — no good again. He unwisely gave away a server to Sunklands Ink in Marked Tree, Arkansas and now needs it back. The Reality Module of the blog is currently inoperable. Not even Dr. I.C. Yourinsides can help.
“But we’ll need her later.” Mable pauses, looks over at Annie’s nudes displayed in Swanson’s Art Gallery next door to her right. Turchin follows her stare. “We’ll have to cut them out of the picture.”
“Which one?” the grizzly old man ponders. “You mean Annie’s pictures as a whole? You mean the *bits*?”
Mabel reconsiders. “Yes,” she finally speaks.
“A SPHEROID BEING, Robot! Just in front of Ruby’s BLUE ROSE Dune! TOP SECRET STUFF, right Robot?!”
“I guess so,” his mechanical friend and neighbor replies. “It *was*.”
“Like LAURA from ‘The Return’! Like BILL!”
An awkward pause ensued. Robot Derak Jones was hesitant to correct Eraserhead Man played by the great David Lynch on the name of perhaps his most infamous creation. Eventually one of the cameramen spoke up.
“BOB!!” Eraserhead Man then echoed around a good majority of central New Island. “How could I FORGET THAT?! Played by the LATE GREAT FRANK SILVA! THANK YOU, JIM!” he shouted toward the cameraman. He then faced Robot again. “I’m now going to TURN UP MY HEARING AID so we can SPEAK IN PRIVATE!”
“REMEMBER,” he said before adjusting the dial, “speak at a WHISPER from now on!”
“But that Eraserhead Man was halfway wrong about the situation. The sphere being lies *between* the two dunes, one red and the other blue. Both roses of course. We need to talk with whoever lives in that high castle in the background. He or she could have seen what happened.”
“Well…” says Annie to her faux niece Ruby. “*He’s* right behind you.” Ruby whirls. Axis waves innocently from the table.
“If only we could hear what they’re talking about right now.”
“Hold on,” Axis then offers. “I’ll rewind it and then turn up the sound.”
“Baker Blinker. Come here. Quick!”
“Just because I have the ring doesn’t mean I necessarily have to go back to Collagesity and be queen. Does it?”
greenborn in white carrot/all i can show
show i can all
Old Reading Man and Little Reading Light were the first to arrive, and, big surprise, each whipped out a book from their deep pockets and began reading.
What LRL was scanning had more to tell. St. Croix’s Diamond Keturah, but the Keturah was missing. A seismic activity earlier in the day had temporarily erased it from the island’s map. But the name would return soon enough. Such things always do.
Later, Biker Jones and Ranger Johns guarded the entrance to the meeting room, keeping out riff raff like the “reading twins” as they jokingly called them. “This is an *action* room,” they said to Old Reading Man and Little Reading Light after arriving, and told them to remain sitting in their seats and just keeping on doing what they’re doing and stay out of it.
Meeting room. Action galore. Tronesisia led the charge, but many more straggled in between 7:47 and 8:01, with Carrcassonnee the last to arrive, saying she’ll just, “squeeze her big butt in against the wall over here,” as she put it. So: Carrcassonnee lives!
Others present, going counterclockwise from Tronesisia: (floating) Wyn Galbraithe from Lapara, Cardboard Derek Jones (no relation to doorman Biker Jones that I know of), Redbot, Old Man Baby…
…. and then, continuing to circle around, Carrcassonnee, whom we’ve spoken about, then, er, I guess that’s Doogie Martin (?), then Grey Seal who just wallowed out of the nearby sea to join in, then Furry Karl (another resurrection?!), and then a figure most commonly called Pietmond Boy in the blog, I believe.
Let’s pause here before continuing the character introductions to gander at two art pieces on the wall, the first hung directly behind the seated Pietmond Boy. It might be familiar to regular blog readers, being, at the base, the same as the famous painting “My First Sermon” by John Everett Millais, mentioned in Martin Gardner’s “The Annotated Alice” as probable direct inspiration for Tenniel’s illustration of Alice riding in a train in chapter 3 of “Through the Looking Glass”.
But there’s some twists here. Parts of what appears to be *another* picture bleed through around the edges in mysterious, blobby patches. We see the image of several ducks — or at least their heads — just behind or beyond the seated girl, for instance.
And then on the opposite side of the door from this, a now sideways Bunneh 02 and his egg and candle holding cushion cover up what appears to be another figure, perhaps from a bathing beauty poster, say, like in a mechanic’s garage.
Then continuing our introductions, we have Ben Thar (Mr. Bean cutout, actually) beside the Bunneh 02 art, then Bluebot (counterpart to Redbot across the room), then Second Lyfe founder Philip Linden standing behind Tronesisia in the corner, and lastly Ross C., another robot who may be a servant or some equivalent to the central Tronesisia.
Out in the hallway, yet another robot, named Claude — a golden hued gezzer made in ’25 — attempted to do the unspeakable to same just before the meeting (about 7:47). To excuse him *just* a bit, he *does* remember Tronesisia from Bennington when she was a mere pleasurebot and not the important and distinguished Collagesity novel character she’s known as today. But at any rate — and very justly of course — he was then promptly banned from the Meeting Room by Tronesisa who obviously spurred his advances. Get to reading the Collagesity graphic novels, Claude! Tronesisia has come a long long way from where she use to be back in those dark days.
Claude was only there because his perpetually smoking and toking brother Punky was acting as receptionist for the gathering out on the front porch. Claude had to drive his sibling around since he lost his feet in that rabbit tossing accident in ’92.
Punky was also known for his womanizing ways, and, similar to his brother, made little to no attempts at hiding it. Many times they had fought over the same “floozy dame”, as they sometimes termed them.
In yet another room of the house, Original Eve (still macabrely clutching her dead child Oliver), Pigpen from the Grateful Dead, and couch sitting Norris/Harry waited for their chance to join in. It never came.
Nor did it for the 3d Venuses who just showed up at 8:15 with *way* too many friends and were barred from these kind of meetings for life.
“I don’t want to seem above everybody else but I think the meeting should be called to order.”
“Oh wait. Yes I do.”
Yd Bay revisited
“I have delicious sandwiches over here, Mr. Leeman. Mr. Leemon. And watermelon…” Mabel knew it was no good. If this *was* a spell, the theoretical creator of New Island itself was mired deep. He was simply immobile now. But still the resemblance to Smelly Santy couldn’t be denied. She had checked earlier in the day — just after the sun rose — and taken snapshots. She went over and compared again, show attachment option on.
Yup, they’re the same.
She looks over at Volkswagen Gurl’s house, gleaming white bright in the noonday sun. No sign of the chatty owner, though.
Mabel then gazes north into Yd Bay and the small isle there, about the same size as much more noted Fisher or Fishers Isle to the south, but 3 palms and the truth this time, ha, instead of 4. Linden palms 1 and 2, as she’s currently checking. Fishers Isle’s palms are mesh objects in contrast.
She decides to fly over.
Snorkling comes to mind again while she stands upon it– exploration of the sea life surrounding New Island. That’s a thicket of purple Irish Moss sticking out over there, for example. She can see this happening soon.
And then another island a little beyond. Larger, but no palms this time.
Yd Bay, and another thicket of Irish Moss within. The great chunk of cheddar that ended the life of Thadeus Fogg must have been situated just between me and that point of land, Mabel speculates, trying to recall the tragedy as described in the New Island Gazette, then a 20 page publication instead of the 5 it has dwindled to in present times. She wonders how the Widow Fogg is doing.
And decides to pay a call. Maybe she would know more about Leeman or Leemon. Or maybe Mid-Hazel?
Permanent bay dweller Timothy Sprawled saw it all, but he’s been unable to relay what actually happened for a long time. Decades and decades.
Yd Bay revisited 02
“Hold on. What’s that over *there*?”
“Interesting art, Mrs. Fogg. Are those Second Lyfe images?”
“Always,” Wanisa Fogg would usually reply to such a question, but presently she was crying. Profusely. Mabel’s red violin she had found earlier in the day lay central on the table. The fog always swirling around her was as thick as it had been in many a year. Grieving fog. Even after all this time.
For this was what her seafaring spouse was always looking for. Perfection, he termed it. But it never came; was never collected, crumpled and ruined, on the ocean floor, much less bobbed up on the surface in absolutely pristine shape. May 28, 2018. A magical day in Mrs. Wanisa Fogg’s life. This is when she learned the truth about her husband’s death. And also his rebirth. On Yd Isle.
“Hi! I’m a talking violin!” it said.
12 year old, sand flea ridden Shirley Boot was scratching the top of her fanny before boarding the FB Lollygagger Raft 2.0 when she saw something glimmering on Yd Isle out in the bay, almost at the exact same place where Mabel was standing the day before when she found the talking red violin.
Taking a closer look, she suddenly had another itch which couldn’t be satisfied.
At the Black Star Diner, Animaid-X lobbed an idea to Annie that she ultimately couldn’t refuse. Free dance lessons for a year in exchange for complete servitude to her master. Two left feet soon changed into a left and a right, each knowing its exact station. Unlike Sister Martha Lamb, she could then see all around, but at what undifferentiated price? And the pills! So many. They always seem to be around.
“Smoking!” (blurb from “New Island Gazette”)
Encouraged by up and coming studios like Swanson’s Gallery and Artist Point Interactive (API), Marty Claflin and Jay Woodhull, two self confessed potheads, have decided to start a parent enterprise for New Island studios as a whole. You buy into the company — NEW ISLAND STUDIOS — you get promoted in the biggest and most popular Second Lyfe art venues, plus even off-world platforms like Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat, and Minecraft. Way to go Marty and Jay! Here’s wishing you guys the best of luck in your new (island!) business venture. We’re sure to be hearing a lot more from these two wacky stoners in the coming months and years. Decades!
Tale of Two
“What you writing there b-b-boss?” asks Marty Claflin, formerly known as Pot Head.
“Oh just some ideas about our business,” replies Jay Woodhull, formerly Sheriff. The Sheriff. But his law upholding days are over for now.
“M-Mabel coming back tonight?”
“Oh, I doubt it. She has to sing at the Cult of Oo’d in Collagesity tomorrow. She told me she’d most likely be staying over there tonight to save prep time in the morning.”
Jay puts down his pen and stares at Marty. “Why’d your studder come back? Hey, look over there… out the bay windows,” he says suddenly while pointing. “Someone’s coming.”
Marty’s heart began racing. “W-w-where?”
While Marty’s head was turned, Jay took the opportunity to knock the crap out of it with his metallic left hand. “OW!” he yelled, but with no studder. Jay’s quick remedy had worked.
“Thanks,” Marty managed after a moment of rubbing. “I think.”
“No problem, Marty.” He began writing on his notepad again. “Now about that business plan…”
Meanwhile in Mabel’s duplicate (and original) Scarlet Creative Sylvia House in Collagesity, she sits on her DaD Design knitted pouf freebie and stares out the front window into the woods, trying to spot Unch, an old game. It’s good to be home, she thinks while continuing to peer and squint. Too bad I can’t stay.
The Point of Barnaby Point
“The 3rd, Baker Bloch. Er, Pitch Darkly. Maybe you should just *turn into* Pitch Darkly since you seem to like the character so much. Right Mary?”
“It might be nice,” Mary said from behind them. She then hunches over further so she can see the Wisconsin map with the proximate New Island and Fisher Island better. “Do you think this will convince this Leeman or Leemon? There’s Sunset Beach in the lower right corner (after all).”
“His childhood home,” Bill finishes. “Well, it’s obvious something is going on in this and that other Wisconsin location at least.”
“Outagamie County,” Pitch Darkly adds. “Leeman there as well which is also Leemon, mirroring the Leemon in Missouri. Only other one.”
“Right,” reinforces Bill. “You getting all this Mary?”
“I… think. Where’s the Wisconsin Leemon? Do we have a map of it as well?”
“Of course,” declares Bill, returning to the Oracle home page and looking up ‘Leemon’. Only 2 hits, as she stated: Leeman, Wisconsin (which is also called Leemon as a variant, at least according to the Oracle) and Leemon, Missouri. She clicks the appropriate link and adjusts the map.
“Just a placemarker,” continues Bill. “But perhaps an effective one. Subtle but effective. It’s in his home county, you see. The new one.”
“Oh.” Mary scratches her head. “So Fisher Island is right next to New Island in Beaver Dam Lake, Wisconsin…”
“The two biggest islands of 22 in that lake,” Pitch tacks on. “And that’s the only New Island in America besides the one in the big swamp in Georgia. Probably doesn’t count.”
“Fisher Island is a blog invention,” continues Mary, slightly irritated at her train of thought being interrupted. But she gets over it quickly — fascinating subject for her. “New Island is also a blog invention but… connects to Leeman or Leemon’s New Island through Barnaby Point. Barnaby Point exists in both.”
“Correct, Mary,” replies Pitch, proud of his studious spouse. For he had married Mary on March 25th of this year in the Cult of Oo’d Church, the only place of worship in town at the time. One could say they were still in their newlywed phase. With all the attached highs and lows, of course. Tough dealing with New Life situations; but they were managing. Now that Pitch was out of the thick of his Russian phase. Still… the statue… “Art gallery laden Barnaby with its Barnaby Point in *his* New Island also being near the Sunset Beach of *his* New Island,” Pitch states. “Couple of miles apart.”
“Artist Point,” utters the freelancing Mary. “‘Artist Point Interactive’… that’s the *Hazel meeting*. Mentioned in Pot Head’s and Sheriff’s new business blurb in the ‘New Island Gazette’ *Our* ‘New Island Gazette’.”
“They are no longer Sheriff and Pot Head in this blog,” corrects Bill. “They are Marty and Jay or Jay and Marty — take your pick. They are too stoned at any one point — get it? point — to care which of their names comes first, I would venture.” Bill was known for her bad puns, but at least she has a bit of a sense of humor now. Unlike olden times when she first came to power in Collagesity. She’s softened. “I’m tired,” she suddenly declares. “This meeting is over. Go back to your Darkly Manor and think of things to discuss in *our* next meeting. Which is tomorrow. And I expect *you two*” — she turns and points to the two 4 handed librarians sitting around The Table — “to contribute as well. And not just ‘carrot’… and ‘glasses.’ Something substantial and with meat that we can lay out on the table and feast upon. Beef or chicken. Or at least fish. Can you do that for me, hmm?”
The librarians stare at each other, knowing they can’t.
Why did the graphic artist we hired — this Hazel or Mid Hazel or sumtin — turn Fisher Island into New Island, Jay Woodhull thinks later while enjoying his nightcap spliff and staring at Wednesday’s edition of the “New Island Gazette”. He looks at the inside curve of his left metal hand, spilling some pot ashes on the blurb below. “But they got the palms left, um, wrong — three instead of four, hmm.” The palms began to smolder, and Jay gathers enough sense to snuff them out with his other hand.
Shirley Boot returned to Yd Bay on Wednesday, ostensibly to sail her FB Lollygagger Raft 2.0 around the northern shore of New Island again. Secretly she was hoping to see the nice nude man again which caused such a different kind of itch in her the week before. But to her amazement, little Yd Isle out in the bay where the man had been standing was on fire today!
Shirley pondered calling the island’s fire department but then decided against it. Yd Isle was surrounded by water, of course — the fire would not spread beyond. And the 3 linden palms, the only things growing upon it as far as she knew, were obviously already goners. So she just sat on the shore and watched, but the flames never seemed to die down. Eventually she became bored and went back to her house on the other side of Mt. Sondra. She didn’t mention the spectacle to her parents for fear of getting in
hot water trouble.
Today Shirley scanned the morning edition of the “New Island Gazette” for any news of the fire. Nothing. Did anyone even *notice*? she wondered, sipping on Earl Grey tea and taking another bite of one of those fresh cheddar biscuits brought down by nice neighbor Ms. Frame last night. She read the paper more carefully, front to back and then back to front. Still nada on the fire, but the blurb about New Island Studios she kept running across then began to strike her as kind of queer in itself. 3 palms again — did these stoner guys Marty and Jay get the inspiration for their blurb’s isle from Yd Isle itself? Maybe *they* would be upset that the trees had burned down.
So on a whim, Shirley Boot decided to give fledgling New Island Studios a ring, since the number was right in front of her. 709-576-8220. Leaving off the area code since the call was local (in fact, all of New Island belonged to 709) she pecked the number into her smart phone.
“Hello, ‘New Island Gazette’,” a friendly female voice on the other side of the line spoke. Shirley hung up. “Stupid stoners,” she muttered. “Gave the number of the paper in their blurb and not their own business.” She decided to make a hike of it this morning and go directly to their office, since she knew the physical location. Behind Bumpy’s Ice Cream Village, near the center of the island; not more than a 15 minute walk from here. That way she could pick up more pot spliffs from that Corsican gal Laverne Glam who should be working at the Village today, and also thinking a, um, business warming gift, ha ha, might be appropriate for the likes of two self professed stoners. Then Shirley considered: Maybe it was just the pot the day before making the bay isle burn, hmm. But she was pretty sure it wasn’t. Pretty sure…
… until she revisited Yd Bay on her way over. The 3 palms still stand! It’s as if nothing had happened, nothing at all. And perhaps, she decided, it hadn’t.
Still, a visit to Bumpy’s Ice Cream Village and then New Island Studios seemed to be in order since she was already about halfway there. And Shirley needed Laverne’s spliffs more than ever now!
As she was painting another Infinity Point seascape that wasn’t a seascape atall, the island’s “Monster” came for Annie again.
And after the latest abduction/visit, Annie and High Castle man Axis became more allies than ever.
tonight’s the night
Young Ruby had fallen asleep at the dining table while reading Mabel’s Diary No. 3 again. Such fascinating stuff: Fishers Island and New Island are one! “3 palms and the truth,” Mabel kept repeating as a mantra within. And she *must* visit this Artist Point Interactive, where she left off reading before cutting the z’s. Maybe, perhaps… tonight? But Mabel also warned never EVER go in there alone. What were those two potheads thinking when promoting it as a so-called up and coming New Island art gallery, hmph? Didn’t they understand who was secretly the center of it all, this Hazel or Mrs. Hazelhurst or Mid Hazel? A powerful witch, and one not to be f-ck with according to the book by any means. That’s yet another reason this place should be named Fisher or perhaps Fishers Island overall. Ruby was the chosen namer of Queen Mabel. She and she alone had that power, that ability. But when to affect it?
Ruby checked the clock on the wall: 11:46. I wonder if that interesting tomboy lady Shirley Boot I met this morning when she came over here to see the potheads might want to accompanying me? Maybe I’ll give her a ring. Yes, a ring.
Now where was Mabel’s phone in this place? Oh yeah, she remembered. Upstairs now. With the potheads — their new business line until they set up something on their own, out of *our* house, pheh. She hated going up there…
… because it was always something like this.
“A little to the right, Marty,” Jay was saying, engrossed in the moment and not paying a bit of heed to the suddenly materialized Ruby. “No, a little to the left now. No, back to the right.”
Annie spotted the phone. A quick call and she’s out of this madhouse.
tonight’s the night 02
“Mabel, I mean *Ruby*,” Jay Woodhull suddenly uttered after Ruby got off the line with Shirley Boot (the API visit was on for tonight!). She was just about to teleport down and out of here. “We, Marty and I, have had a talk and we’ve decided to show you who we really are. Deep down beneath.”
Please don’t do that guys, Ruby thought to herself. Please please don’t.
“So deep,” Marty added, out of breath from all the moving about apparently, “that we almost *forgot.*”
He changed in mid rock, Jay along with him.
“Fisher and Lord Bendington?!”
no elephant memory
Fisher soon gets a part time job DJ-ing at the local Elephant Club to help support his religious, artistic, and recreational causes, but usually only one dancer showed up: perpetually bopp’n and popp’n Annie, always attracted to a New Island beat and often freshly landed from the latest High Castle abduction.
Still — alternating between Roger Pine Ridge’s hit single “Time” and its flip side of “Beach” tonight upon her request — he imagines the tips piling up.
Just for the, um, record, the father of Corsican gal Laverne Glam owns both this club (named for the trademark shape of his home continent) and neighboring Bumpy’s Ice Cream Village his daughter works at. Hopefully we’ll be able to fit in more of their interesting New Island story soon.
But right now we must return to the Fisher and Bendy show…
“I remember the first time we met. That chess shack back in VHC City.”
“It was an ice fishing shack that just happened to have a chess set laid out inside,” Fisher corrected. “And it was the *last* time we met.”
“Oh. Right. Forgot.”
5 palms and the truth?
There was a disturbance in The Force today at New Island’s Mt. Sondra.
And poor little abused Jim’s Isle was threatened with extinction.
We can’t lose yet another one!
Crisis over; slow-to-react but still safe Jim Turtle returned to hammock. 🙂
“You should really get something for that itch, Shirley,” spoke Ruby to her new friend while posing on an effigy of island legend Jim Turtle at sunrise, not far behind Bumpy’s Ice Cream Village. “Sand fleas don’t really seem to be bothering anyone else around here that I know of.”
“I think it’s actually a sexual thing. I’ll be 13 in two week; coming of age you know. I look at men — differently now.”
Ruby decides to open up a bit more about a related topic. “My Aunt Annie is looking at men different now too.”
Shirley scratches her left underarm. “What do you mean?” The tomgirl was secretly wondering how old Ruby was and hoping she would tell her, along with also talking about how she feels around boys now. Shirley was guessing: about 15. Old enough to know a lot more than her on the subject.
“Oh… she just looks at them like, I don’t know, *objects* now. Pieces of art.”
“Like the stuff we just saw?”
Ruby considered this, thinking back to Smelly Santy, Tronesisia, and the rest at API. “Yeah, I guess it’s not too much different. No Hazel tonight thankfully. Thank you for coming with me.”
Shirley was scratching the top of her hinny now. “No problem, my fellow New Islander. *Lady* New Islander. We girls here must stick together. Against all those men.”
Ruby knew what she meant. Objects, hmph. Like we were made of plasticine or something. Movable, bendable toys. Annie was just joining the crowd, doing what Romans do or whatever the expression was. She was falling into the rhythm and beat of the land, Ruby then thought and was pleased she came up with the phrasing. “Do you think this island has a pulse?” Ruby tried to reword it in better terms. “You know, like a, um, fundamental *tone*?” Ruby rolls over on the turtle and looks directly at Shirley Boot now, gauging her expression, the green terrain of what would later be known as Pimushe Isle jutting out of the sea in the background.
“Sea,” Shirley then uttered out of the blue without consideration.
Fisher and Bendy or Lord Bendington returned to the place of their rebirth, wondering if the pink mini coop was in good enough shape to be driven around the island. They had a lot of ground to cover now what with running New Island Studios and visiting all those galleries. Or potential galleries. Reliable wheels would be nice.
“Hey Fisher,” Bendy said in his standard gruff tone, staring beyond the car.”
“Hey Lord Bendington,” Fisher replied playfully in an innocent monotone.
“Do *you* remember that island over there? I don’t.”
Fisher admitted it was all just a blur for him when they resurfaced to the, um, surface, but knew LB, being a robot, would have a more accurate memory imprint of the event. At least now that he’s back in the Elephant Club.
“A new island,” Lord Bendington said almost religiously. “‘Nother one.”
“How many does that make?” Fisher queried. “We need to start *eliminating* them instead of adding to the total.”
“We should name it for the sim instead. Not New Island or New New Island or whatever this time.”
“Good one!” A satisfied Bendy sits in the car. “Hop in. Let’s see what this baby’s still got!”
COLLAGESITY 2018 MIDDLE (PART 2 of 2)
From his perch atop Pimushe Island, zebra-donkey Zettie Lamont laments the recent loss of the undifferentiated mini coop from nearby Fisher’s Isle down below because he knows it means the beginning of the end for his beloved New Island.
He also laments the loss of his Uncle Zippers in the island’s short but bloody ’92 war between The Actors and The Observers, and often trots over to Flossie’s in the Leon sim to complain to former soldier and current couch potato Norris about it.
“Get off your striped ass and do something!” he might sprayingly bray into the bleached man’s face during any one visit. He’s earned that right.
“What a doll!” Fisher thinks when spotting a stiffly laid out Lisa the Vegetarian on one of his roamings around New Island. But she was just playing and roaming as well. Turns out she owned a luxurious yacht moored at the fabulous Diamond Sailing Club in the southwest part of the island. She boldly invites him over for dinner, entertainment and “whatever”, a proposition Fisher readily accepts. Could it be: love at first sight?
He helps her clean up after a delicious meal of tofu tacos, bean salad, and fruit smoothies — well, *sort* of helps. They chat of the bloated naval budget caused by the military industrial complex and how it takes away food, clothing, and decent housing from the island’s poor and feeble.
Moving downstairs to the living room, she dazzles him with Rimsky-Korsakov‘s “Flight of the Bumblebee” and David Bowie’s reinterpretation of Pink Floyd’s “See Emily Play” on her Prim Possible grand piano. Yes, she was showing off now.
They talk more on the couch in front of one of Adelaide Morris’ most famous multi-panel paintings: “Fractured Violin”, commissioned by the Jack Benny Musical Foundation in ’76 and bought by Lisa after her first shipment of high grade quartz to the Corsica continent.
It was time for Fisher to leave, he said. But Lisa skillfully removed a key item of clothing when it became entangled in the shutting door. Soon they were rocking to David Bowie’s reinterpretation of the Rolling Stones’ “Lets’ Spend the Night Together” spinning on a bedside ’39 victrola.
In the morning, Lisa proudly shows Fisher her collection of homemade, low prim plants, pastries, and culinary appliances.
over the hill
“Give. Me. Some. PILLS!”
“Flying high are we again tonight Annie? And we’re also joined by Young Ruby. Hi Young Ruby!”
“Hellooo,” the 15 year old replied innocently across the table. The Table. She was also flying high but in a different way.
“And of course The Librarian between you. But let’s go further up tonight, guys” Axis suggests, retaining a small, mischievous smile upon his lips, Mona Lisa style. “To the Hitop Pool of Undifferentiated Lovemaking. Love, I meant there. 1/2 and 1/2. And I believe its Hilltop. Let’s top, er, hop to it!
“Annie, you chose the red tube. That means you’re temperamental and undisciplined. Ruby you chose the blue one. You are even keeled and fun to work with. Your weaknesses are chocolate…”
“… butter pecan…”
“… and lemonade.”
“Sure ’nuff! Remarkable Axis.” Young Ruby was amazed over how spot on his on-the-spot psychoanalysis was. Axis was an evil genius for sure! And also: in that order.
“It’s time for me to turn into the dog.”
Oh goodie, both women thought as one. Their love of Tin Tin was only matched by their love for their weaknesses, but unfortunately he had his back to them tonight with not much to say.
The sun was rising on Hilltop Pool. The sun was always rising here, over wealthy and poor alike.
“What was it about that jar?” Sister Martha Lamb wondered for yet another time concerning Falmouth 08, even going so far as to rez a small couch in front of it for further analysis. “Copyright protected image; inside but also broken through,” she continued thinking aloud. “A weakness but also… hmmm.”
She still couldn’t quite put her finger on it.
red green again
“Get it? She’s *my* doll.”
“Yes, ha ha. Very funny, Bendy. Now lets go put the Tronesisia statue back in API (Artist Point Interactive) before anyone misses her.” 34,537 dollars worth of lindens for that piece alone! Fisher was thinking. Bendy must be punished for this particular mischief. Perhaps taking his Mars Bars away for 1 month will do the trick.
But when they reached API in the southeast part of the island (Bendy is very strong; hauling back and forth and even bending the steel Tronesisia statue presented no problem), the gruff robot had another surprise for Fisher. I, Baker B., had decided to donate 3 of my most recent collages to the gallery, hanging them in the “Waiting Room.”
And then Lisa the Vegetarian herself gave me *half* the “Fractured Violin” painting from her boathouse to put in the gallery, leaving a message saying the other half would be sent when Fisher finished the work he began the other night. When I messaged her back asking what this meant, she simply replied, “Fisher will know.”
But it’s a coup if the future prophet can pull this off — in however way he’s suppose to. “Fractured Violin” is worth at least 10 Tronesisias! Some rumors have it that Adelaide’s multi-panel work might actually be priceless due to certain compositional anomalies. Lisa must really *really* like Fisher to even go this far with the transaction.
But can he finish the deed he started? The salvation of all our Second Lyves may depend on it.
“These books over here have no title. They must be the important ones. The ones behind the rules.”
“I don’t feel comfortable here,” replied the almost 13 year old Shirley Boot to middle-of-15 Ruby. “Eraserhead Man could come back from one of his ramblings with Robot Derak Jones at any time.”
“Relax,” assured Ruby, still standing tall after the events of the night before up at Hilltop Pool. The Sun Rose. “We have permission to be here. I was *born* here… in the Rabbit Hole.”
“Then what about *him*?” Shirley rolls over and points down to the floor below them. “Mr. Transparent,” she adds glibly.
“Oh he’s just a halfway person. A portal effect. Nothing to worry about. As long as we don’t sit in the chair and try to knit or something. Just do like I said and don’t sit in the chair.”
“Oh I *won’t*. I never had any intention of sitting in that chair.”
“It’s EM’s chair and that is that. It’s a portal thing… ‘nother one. But this raised floor, the books (she waves at the bookshelf in front of her), even the toilet over there just behind the wall… fair game. The table below us as well. It’s just the chair…”
“So you keep saying.” Shirley was itching to talk about men again… boys. She wondered if she should pull out the spliff she has in her pocket and light up. Does Ruby smoke? Is she *cool*?
“I saw the Man in the High Castle outside today,” the 15 year old then said, reimagining the scene. “Checking out EM’s small palm grove. And I’m sure he spotted Annie’s easel and cherry chair there as well. He owns the land, you know. But he didn’t delete the objects. Curious, huh? And he’s just enlarged his castle toward Mabel’s house; you know, the Scarlet Creative Sylvia House. The castle’s west wall is practically in her front yard now.”
Potheads, Shirley then thought, seeing
Marty Bendy and Jay Fisher milling about in their strange ways upstairs. New Island Studios, humph. Maybe I should excuse myself and head over there instead. Always up for a smoke those two are.
Ruby was thinking along the same lines — how to excuse herself without seeming rude. But they stuck with each other tonight, unable to break the magnetic attraction. Not that either was gay or anything. But there was a friendship forming for sure. One needed the other. Despite the 2 1/2 year difference in age. Shirley needed to cut down on the smokes, especially at her tender age. Ruby just needed *someone* to discuss High Castle stuff, dunes and island morphology, and so on. Annie had gone too far down Pill Popper Lane now, an understood cul-de-sac.
So Ruby and Shirley went back to Mabel’s house and lounged around the dining table. Ruby read some favorite passages from Mabel’s 3rd Diary to Shirley while Fisher and Bendy, now downstairs, sat on the couch behind them here and stared at various, small insects that flew within range. “A gnat,” Bendy blurted at one point just before he ate it.
Strange that Irish Moss would grow in the sea, Mabel thought from the Yd Bay coastline, peering out at the red plant cluster in the shallow water ahead…
… that, in truth, was another red-blue situation, its duplicate cluster’s hue being just unresolved from Mabel’s distance.
Mabel makes sure to say hello to Leeman or Leemon on her way back to the Scarlet Creative Sylvia House, her home away from home.
Aloha indeed, in that you say hello to this island you never get to say goodbye. The blue never seems to come with the red. Except for one person…
“I knew it was going to be you tonight,” Mabel spoke across the table in her peculiar Martian accent, consonants accented and vowels subdued.
“Well, I knew it was going to be *you*,” the confident 15 year old countered.
one way two
“The walls are closing in on us, Ruby. We have limited time.”
“Have you been inside?” asked the wirey teenager while glancing over her shoulder at the new, western half of the castle. Axis’ castle, I suppose.
“The door remains locked.” On a whim, Mabel decided to do something else tonight. “Would you like to see another one of my incarnations? It may come in handy when trying to understand the battle between Bill and me for Collagesity later on. Won’t be long.”
“That’s cool. Blonde hair again. I think I like the Martian angle better.”
“Um, you’re still a little different than before.”
“Am I?” Mabel looked down at her dress, realized she had glasses on now. Sunglasses — lime colored ones, matching the dress. And hoop earrings! Yes, she remembered now. Montana. This was the outfit she concocted to sing at the Cult of Oo’d church last month. Must have gotten mixed up in her regular, normal day outfits. Embarrassed, Mabel decided not to divulge her more recent infatuation with pop singer Hannah Montana and also her father Billy Ray Cyrus. Daenerys from “Game of Thrones”: yes. Hannah and Billy: not quite yet.
But they must move on the meat of Mabel’s report. “Ruby, I cannot stress this enough. Do *not* return to the API with Shirley Boot or anyone else for that matter. This Mid Hazel’s presence is still strong there. Bill and I have talked. She’s agreed to meet the powerful witch — her mentor after all — face to face once more. In the old castle across Route 9. She could be over there right now.”
“Axis’?” queried Ruby, thinking of the high castle directly across the road from her Blue Rose Dune that she suspected may also belong to him.
No, this one is different. More of a manor, I suppose. I guess.”
On a whim, Bill decided to show Mid Hazel another one of her incarnations. “Might come in handy later on,” she explained.
“Get that whore trash out of here,” the observing witch commanded.
The next morning, Bill couldn’t stop playing a role.
“I mean I get the whore part but why did she have to add ‘trash’?” she complained to the hammerhead shark circling above. “Trash is just, well, trashy.”
“Whisk me away from this New Island to another land, Blow Boy. I command it.”
But Mid Hazel soon tracked down her former pupil and locked her in an underwater cage near the manor house for a tough love lesson. Wasn’t hard: she could literally smell the treason. “If you like the sea so much, you can stay down here for a while,” she cackled before leaving. And of course Mid Hazel couldn’t resist mixing the phrase “whore trash” into the conversation a couple of times.
Seven days she stayed down there. And when Mid Hazel released her on Saturday, Bill was indeed ready to hammer out a deal. Blow Boy was walking on another continent by now.
(too) red (spot)
“Face it Ruby. Your aunt’s gone. I stopped DJ-ing about 5 hours ago and she’s still dancing up a storm. She’s lost. Lost to the beat of the island.”
“C. The tone is C.”
“C? Like in a musical C? Middle C?”
Middle-of-15 Ruby didn’t answer. “Take me back home, Fisher. I’m tired of hearing and seeing this.”
“We FAILED in this one, Baker…!” Eraserhead Man turned in his rocking chair and squinted over at my avatar, trying to make out the sex, but his eyes weren’t adjusted yet. “Baker B.!” he just finished to cover both possibilities while resuming his coffee drinking.
“Why don’t you turn your hearing aid up, Eraserhead Man! But there’s Ruby left!”
“Ahh, Young RUBY. Elephant’s ears and eyes both.” By just mentioning (shouting) her name, Eraserhead Man could suddenly hear and see better; didn’t even need the hearing aid now. He pivoted again and saw he was talking to the male Baker. “The Corsica continent is still in play Baker *Bloch*. I didn’t try to nuke Bumpy’s Ice Cream Village for nothing!”
“I hear they have land sharks now!” my avatar offered about the continent.
“No need to shout, Male Baker. Hearing’s up.” Sipping EM gave him a thumbs up from behind.
“Oh. Didn’t even see you turn it up. But it’s different times, Eraserhead Man.”
“Pencil, please,” the rocking male requests, still staring ahead. “We’re *friends* now, I’m suddenly remembering.”
Baker B.’s memories started kicking in as well. Yes. *Friends*.
Lisa the Vegetarian was very disappointed to learn that rumors of her brother Bartholomew living on New Island turned out to be false. All witnesses had seen was this flattie replica sold for L$30 in a popular northern island store. After manifesting the demo, she and Fisher stayed inside a yellow caution ribbon to avoid getting run over by the fast skating figure. “Soooo, does this mean you’ll be leaving the island soon?” Fisher had to ask, prompting Lisa to reply, “We’ll see.”
While there, Fisher pretends to become the victim of a crime scene. Bernard the Bear, shopping for 4th of July gifts for his relatives — flattie Tasmanian Devil for Uncle Lester, a Roadrunner for Aunt Samantha, etc. — gets in on the fun as well.
But it was Snoppy as the Red Baron, along with accompanying doghouse, that Fisher decides to purchase today.
Lisa settles for a Yellow Submarine demo. She needs to save her money for traveling expenses. Already she’s planning to call cousin Eleanor in Corsica’s Fisher Rigg to see if she can moor her houseboat there for at least a couple of days. “Bad news about Bart,” she imagines telling Eleanor in her head. “Still on the lam.”
Fisher Rigg, hmm, she then considers. Any possible relation to *this* Fisher? *And*: should she take him with her?? Could it already be time for him to leave New Island?
back to New I.
Bendy was showing off again for the Tronesisia statue at Artist Point Interactive in the middle of the night when he thought to check Adelaide’s “Fractured Violin” painting to see if it was whole yet.
“Nuts and bolts!” he cussed upon seeing the picture totally missing from the wall instead. “Either Fisher completely succeeded with Lisa’s request,” he rationalized out loud, “Or completely failed!” Either one could be bad news for him.
Bendy quickly returned to the top floor of Mabel’s Scarlet Creative Sylvia House where Fisher and he lived together…
… or formerly lived together, it seemed. Fisher’s stuff, including his rocking horse, his kitchen appliances, were gone!
Corsica, Bendy then thought, remembering Lisa and Fisher had been talking about it recently. Laverne Glam over at Bumpy’s Ice Cream Village might know what’s going on. She knows everything there is to know about that continent — between her and her father. At least the phone is mine; I’ll give her a ring.
“Hello, Lavern?” Twittering from the receiver. “No, I don’t want the usual triple dip — right now anyway. I have something to ask you: Have you seen Fisher?” More twittering. “Yeah, the orange guy… who’s dating the yellow girl.” While Lavern gabs more on the other end, Bendy happens to look to his left.
“Um, never mind Lavern. I’ll see you in a little bit for that ice cream, okay?” He hangs up, stares at the completed “Fractured Violin” hidden by a wall jut from the teleporter. Fisher enters the room.
Fisher then explains to Bendy over an early morning spliff that Lisa gave him the other half of the “Fractured Violin” picture just before leaving for Corsica in her house boat, saying he had done “good enough.” He explained that the kitchen appliances were missing because he had ordered all new stuff for their apartment with the money they’ll be making now, including an upgrade on the rocking horse. “No manual adjustments on the position any more,” he said. “Everything will be auto!”
It certainly was an interesting illusion, this blue image against Fishers Isle in the exact same place the blue mini had been before.
(Ruby turned) But it was certainly an illusion.
little over big
“Why don’t you just take your clothes off right now and go hop in the tub, Big Red. Because you’re going *down again.*”
Blue Jay Wade pretended not to see Ruby’s victory dance on the table…
… but certainly noticed Big Red’s big, hairy heiney as he waddled back to his house for his loser bath.
“Don’t say *anything* Trashy,” Big Red warned while passing.
“Like *you’re* going to do anything about it,” taunted the drug dealing clown.
big over trashy
Blue Jay Wade was still kinda noticing (and imagining/remembering) the thing before the thing while Big Red washed his hands prior to serving their evening meal. Carrot and cucumber enchiladas it was tonight, yum. Big Red could cook with the best of ’em. Something to reassure himself after this afternoon’s humiliation, Wade speculated. But I guess he got his revenge at least on Trashy. Certainly did. Thinking it best not to re-imagine *that* right now, the blue bird-man turned his attention instead to the left.
“We gotta pay to get these windows unfrosted sometime, Big Red… Mr. Butler.”
“*Why*?” Big Red was still in quite the pissy mood.
“Because, you know… of The Monster. Sneaking up on us all the time. We don’t even have time to react most times.”
“I *like* The Monster visiting us,” Big Red measured out acidly while putting their enchiladas on plates and lumbered toward the table. “I *like* being abducted. It’s like a mini-holiday. Away from *you*.”
“I’m just saying…” Blue Jay Wade tried to defend himself.
Big Red hovered to the side. “If you’d spend more time at your *boathouse* then you wouldn’t notice these windows so much.”
Blue Jay Wade tested the frosted panel with his finger to see if dirt or grime could be adding to its translucent quality, so little could be actually seen.
“Stand up,” Big Red barked while roughly plopping down their plates on the wooden table and sliding one over to Blue Jay Wade. “You know I don’t like eating with my back to the wall. Get up; you can have this plate.” That image of the thing *after* the thing flashing in his head again, Blue Jay Wade quickly complied and slunk over to the center seat while Big Red glowered above and behind him a minute — breathing rather heavily and menacingly, a suddenly sweating Wade felt — before moving to the vacated chair.
Ruby found Trashy’s red, white and blue severed head the next day bobbing around Yd Bay on the other side of the island. “What have I done??” she cried, worrying more about what suddenly pill denied Aunt Annie was going to do to *her* than anything.
“We should tell Tessa the truth, Monsieur Gold,” she spoke after finishing her meal.
“You mean that we are actually brother and sister as well as husband and wife, Madame Silver?”
“No — although that may be handy later on.”
“That the killer sharks she is so fond of are actually whales?” he guessed again.
“No, not quite yet on that one either. She’s having so much fun with them, and she detests whales as you know. Considers them noisy.”
“They should have never bought her that Engelbert Humpbackdinck record at such a tender age.”
Right.” She picked up her sterling silver fork nervously and then set it down again. “No, I think it’s time to talk to her about the experiment, Monsieur.”
“The one that went right, or the one that went wrong, Madame?” he asked.
“Ahhh,” he uttered, thinking back…
“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*.”
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.
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!”
“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.”
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.
“I think so. The right colors. They were indeed here. But first: let’s look in the last house of all. Together.”
He approached the other bush cautiously. “Are you my son?” He waited. “I’m looking for my son.”
The wind continued to blow.
“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.”
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?”
“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.
“Who are you?”
Tessa suddenly understood. “Um. This is not good, Grandpa.”
“Don’t get up sir.”