The next day, Danny’s chest triangle lit up after breakfast and told him to visit a man named Great who was also Good and So-So and then back to Great again. He knew where to look.
“Piggies,” he grumbled while looking inside that cop car on the way. “What’s next in town? Marshmallow men? Confetti parachuters?”
Like any superhero, he was simply going to walk through that fence ahead separating the town’s two sims.
Made it! But in turning around Danny finds he can’t go back through the barrier from this direction. Power neutralized on this side of town? He tries to melt the top of a nearby building with his laser vision. It doesn’t work! Yes, he’s a mere mortal again. He doesn’t like it. Onward to the hotel.
He instead decides to walk up the stairs straight ahead to the town’s raised park where Rocky was performing on a much larger piano this day, grand in style. “Shut up,” he says softly from the top of the stairs. “Shut up!” he then shouts toward the animal pianist. “Shut up!!”
Third time Rocky finally heard him. He stopped playing the 2nd movement of John Cage’s “4’33″” and turned around. “Great,” he muttered. “The Jester has arrived.”
“I’ll have a whiskey sour on the rocks, Ginger.”
“My name’s Tina. What’s with the triangle, sport? And the hair? And, well, *everything*?” Her thoughts began to dwell on the plunger especially.
“My name is Danny. I’m kind of new.”
“Just off the boat if you ask me. Are you a superhero of some sort?”
Danny thinks hard. “Umm, maybe. Perhaps.”
“Because of the triangle and all,” Tina explains.
Danny considers this is a great idea. Then he reconsiders it to good. Then finally so-so. “That is a so-so idea,” he speaks aloud.
Tina stares at him, then makes the drink. She leaves out the ice.
Danny thinks to clarify. “But so-so is *great*, see?”
“Shut up and let’s go upstairs.”
“Yes I’ll get that fixed right away Audrey.”
Upon waking, Danny has a great urge to clean the back room.
Instead he heads to the bar where he knows his mate will be.
Audrey Helen Ginger.
Police car! They must be on to him. He goes gingerly outside. Audrey’s the name. Yes, Audrey. Or is it Helen?
The inspector is still there in his window.
He inspects the inspector.
He seems to be preoccupied with his own thoughts. Good. Now to the bar.
Wait. A knife. Sandwiches.
And those mounds. Are people buried beneath? Perhaps his beloved Helen and Audrey?
“Peters found this on the interwebs yesterday and passed it up to us, Tronesisia. We thought you’d like to know about the missing post, er piece.”
“I had a dream about Lambs.”
“Rocky is playing a wonderful tune tonight. Cage, you say?”
“Yes. John,” answers Bettie. “‘Suite for Toy Piano.’ Debuted 1948 in Black Mountain, North Carolina. Not far from our user’s home. Very close, say, if it were 5, 6, 7 years down the road. If users are even around. We may be on our own by then. Us down here, alone with our actions, our consequences. Might be nice, Nancy. Just us, this town, its inhabitants. The Atoll Continent as a whole. Sansara can go to hell.”
Nancy frowns. “I don’t know. I like the old continent. We should go visit the climbable beanstalk (in Welsh) sometime.” Rocky’s piano tinkling ends and he gets up.
“Babble,” replied Bettie. Then: “Shush. The rant part of Rocky’s performance piece is starting. Let’s dance while he speaks.”
Each one of us must now look to himself. That which formerly held us together and gave meaning to our occupations was our belief in God. When we transferred this belief first to heroes, then to things, we began to walk our separate paths. That island that we have grown to think no longer exists to which we might have retreated to escape from the impact of the world, lies, as it ever did, within each one of our hearts. Towards that final tranquility, which today we so desperately need, any integrating occupation–music and writing are two of them, rightly used–can serve as a guide.
“Rehearsals were already suppose to start, Nancy. We were gonna be stars. That globe would obviously hafta go.”
“I guess we’ll just have to be each other’s star, then.”
“My thoughts exactly. Let’s go get some cake.”
“It’s a very patriotic town, Bettie. But what is this Us of A?”
“It’s a place our user might want to get away from soon. War is brewing. Two little bitty people commanding militaries with their tiny gestures. We’re safe down here. As long as the infrastructure remains.”
She glared over at him again, he with his own piece of delicious cake. It was a small town. Not a lot of restaurants to choose from, for example. They’d keep running into each other. One day they might be friends. But not today. Too much real world mirroring.
“Well,” determined Little Tonshi Ashokan while staring up at the bottom of the Lapara Airport from her waterfall hammock. “If I can’t have a wife right now I’ll at least try to make some friends.”
She hops off the hammock and begins strolling the Crooked Pine Walkway toward Calypso Rock where the terminal teleport is stashed, right beside her *still* unfinished house. She thinks again how horribly lazy she is, never completing anything of note. The airport certainly remains a mess. She “borrows” her other, much larger abode from neighbor Simple when needed. And the “Bible Truth” play has now been put on hold thanks to that inbred town council bending to the wishes of those stupid protesters from the southeast sector (R). She may never act the role of Bettie. Back to being just plain old Little Tonshi, the nutjob from the hills, the vampire with no fangs.
“But Calypso Rock is so sacred,” she counters herself while approaching. “This is where I created Nancy, my greatest, perhaps my *only* accomplishment. And maybe that’s all I need.” She steps inside.
“Hi Tonshi! Glad you’re back. Just straightening up the place a bit.”
“Hi Nancy. Want to head down into town with me?”