Mouse Island

I didn’t get out of the pod, which had turned into a boat. Soon enough I was darting toward Dizneyland, probably Pansy as well. I could only hope.

I stepped out of the boat and walked across the entry dock as quietly as I could. Maybe if I didn’t wake up anyone I could get out of this alive.

A squeaking board. “Halt!!”

Nope.

—–

We ate supper that night in silence. The knife we used to cut the pizza lay just beyond reach. I had two options as I saw it. We could either kill each other… or kiss each other. But this was Wheeler, I reminded myself. A Blurmaid — blue mermaid — but still: Wheeler. The whole separation of state and power came back to me like a punching fist, a jabbing knife. Looks like killing is the option.

“CUT!!” the director shouted behind the scenes. “That was GREAT. Now do it like you’re two monkeys climbing up a tree to grab the same banana. Annnnd ACTION!!”

The improv suggestion didn’t work. We sat there still, staring at each other. If I could only describe the look in her eyes. Two pools… whirlpools perhaps. I wish I was somewhere else.

—–

I was in the Temple now, having just completed the second of 2 whirls of the rainbow labyrinth on the bottom floor. Blue all around, but white here in the center. Just like her and her eyes. I was trapped like a fly between two window panes. I looked over at crooning Mercury propped up against a dead tree and understood more about what he went through.

Blue yellow red green, and then, secondly, cobalt purple orange maroon. If only there were just letters and not letters and numbers together then the world could remain perfect.

—–

“The switch from Kansas to Oz equals the switch from yellow to red as if through a door. Blue and yellow are Kansas, which remain perfect. Red and green are Oz, Munchkinland and the Yellow Brick Road to begin and encompass the whole. This *should* be perfect but it has been singly corrupted. And this is where we must understand *numbers* beyond letters. 13 in the first has been reduced to 12 in the second, with numbers adding 1/4th from the outside. This ‘outside’ is what we must really begin to understand. Because that is the direction of the Abyss and not God.”

I didn’t want to hear this TILE talk from Man About Time, attempting to explain my latest dream-reality. I knew Wheeler had created it all to teach me a valuable lesson. Don’t f-ck with mermaids. Or mice.

I am Pansy. Zero Hero.

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Birthplace of Bogota — BoB

“So is this it?” he asked. So innocent and mild-spoken, not like in the Big Dream I had. I’m reassured by his physical presence. This is not a monster before me (!). It was all imaginary; unreal. Like with that girl in the 1898 Oz movie.

“Yes, Man About Time — MAT.”

“Thank you,” he replied about me adding the way he likes to say his name. Like someone named Matt in our world — *your* world. “Welcome MAT!”, and so on. It reminded me of something else.

“Do, ahem, you remember Marcus Fox Smartville? I believe you may have met him on News Years. Not this year but maybe one back.”

“Of course.” He twirled around in place on the edge of the road. Highway 14, the compliment to Highway 13 on the other side of the peninsula we live upon.

“Explain your relationship — if you don’t mind.”

“I am he,” he said plainly, flinging his arms about again. He looks up at the colorful sign, continuing talk from before. “So this is TILE.”

“TILE indicator, yes. The gallery across the road pointed it out. One Barret Darkfold. Interesting art within as well.”

“And you’ve contacted him?”

“Yes. Because his is the closest registered gallery to Collagesity as I found out last night, and also that our names are alphabetically next to each other in a member list of the Virtual Soho group, which I just found out tonight in looking up something totally different. I told him I thought it was funny: these two found juxtapositions of ourselves in two nights.”

“It’s the bridge,” he suddenly said. “It points right to the sign.”

I looked north. “Bridge of the 7 Chickens?”

“Yes. It points directly to this… TILE substitute,” he reinforced.

The individual tile numbers are not exact but the colors match in two different ways, red for L and blue for E, just like in the letters of TILE. But this is LOVE, of course, so the O and the V don’t match the letters. But they match the remaining colors of green and yellow. This is TILE.

“Shall we go see the art?” I asked him after nothing else seemed to need adding about the sign.

As we started walking, 2 pods flew by us and pulled into a small station just ahead. We took it as yet another sign…

… then I found another pod across the bridge. I hopped in, leaving MAT behind.

MAT decided to check out the Darkfold gallery by himself. “Didn’t even say goodbye, hmph,” he muttered about my quick exit while passing through the multi-arched entrance.

—–

Ahh. Quito’s Garage. The place Karoz Blogger got married way back in novel 2. And I was just here.

—–

Soon I was back where I started. The pod had suddenly decided to turn around in its journey not far past the garage. As if it was all about that.

“How was your trip?”

“How was *yours*?”

“Colorful,” he replied over.

“Mine too!”

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00250602

Sometimes you can’t help yourself. You have to take a snapshot.

Flash! The world is gone, then reappears. Blue Berry Girl sits on a rock, trying to figure it out. “Norris. Be *quiet*,” she demands. But Norris had said nothing in fact, not being alive in any way except through remote animation. She takes him everywhere. We could call him a constant sounding board. “Norris. Stop picking at your nose!” That kind of thing.

Flash! The brightness then dies down from the last pocket of virtual reality. A pond with real seeming rocks lining it. They sit down again, tired from the 50 meter walk, or Blueberry Girl imagines Norris is tired. Looking down, she then wonders when and why she painted her fingers (and toes) such odd colors.

“Norris. Stop *humming*.” Blueberry Girl imagined her constant companion was humming a Schuman, perhaps the one with the red eye (hopefully).  But then Norris stops and doesn’t start again.

“What *are* these rocks?” Blueberry Girl asks. “They seem… *different*!”

Norris had an independent thought for a change. *I* rock! he realizes. He is alive, resurrected even.

“Scratch scratch scratch!” went the seagull down at the rocks like a demented violin, trying to tell them the truth but being unable to communicate effectively being a simple bird and all. He has plans to change himself.

—–

“Another dream, Charlene. I was a dummy.”

“Aww,” she says with fake pout. “I’m sooo sorry.” She rubs his arm. She hands him his red tie, which he must put on first thing even to get out of bed.

“I saw rocks. I woke up. I was a violin. I was a seagull.”

“There there, now now.” She was rubbing the other arm now. She was patient. Jeffrey Phillips was doing right by her these days. Collagesity was not that bad. Once you get use to the crime and the background shooting and looting. As long as you’re in bed, say, by 7, and wear your noise cancelling headphones to go to sleep: you’re okay. April Mae Flowers was still in custody. There has to be more criminals, especially given the 5 sets of fingerprince and, well, the continuing crime, only slightly abated much to Jeffrey’s chagrin. He returned to continuing chaos. The paperwork containing the police reports among other things piles up. He works through it one day at a time, inch by inch, foot by foot. Then he comes across this.

—–

“The sun is hot today Norris,” she says, looking up from her hands into the cooler trees, trying to spot the seagull that had flown away from the toasty rocks down at the shoreline. But in vain: the demented violin sings no more.

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00250601

I recognized him immediately, even though I’m not sure I wanted to. Not the man on the bike also staring over. That would be the long sought after Dr. Mouse, shortened over time from Doctor *of* Mouse, as in Mick Mouse, as in Pansy Mouse which Mick changed into after the operation to remove all the black and fatten up the face and body. No, I’m talking about the shadowy man in the window with the red eye, presumably with a matching one hidden behind the grille of the window pane. I’ve seen him before: the house on the hill in Pickleland. This is Schuman; Schuman is interested in what I am doing. Endlessly inventive, he has found a new guise.

I also think about the “red eye” of the 1st Bogota collage, there the color applying to a lightning bolt design highlighting an eyeless socket of a skull, a facial tattoo made famous by pop musician David Bowie.

And to further this, I’m reminded in one of his last videos called “Lazarus”, Bowie had bandages very similar to Schuman.

So is this Schuman or is this Bowie? Perhaps a game of eeny, meeny, miny, moe would be appropriate here.

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Pickleland end

He was near the start again, deciding which way to go and whether it was even worth choosing at this point. The house on the hill to the left remained a disappointment, with no Grandma inside except a kindly one named Tessa who was obviously not the horrible monster he’d heard about from several denizens of PickleSong now. But there also seemed nothing of real value or meaning to the right either: no real structures of substance. The red door loomed front and center before him. Dare he (despite the warning color)? There was nowhere else. Except retreat a little further back toward the Portal and thank Brunhilde for the bike, which he never did, and ask for his advice. He seems kindly enough as well. Yes, that sounds like a plan.

“It’s already been taken care of,” offered muscle bound Brunhilde about the door, helping Sandman more than he could know if confusing him in the present. “I’d go ahead and start over: go back through the Portal and start afresh tomorrow. Things will be different, trust me. And, oh, leave the bike behind. I need to pedal to the store up on level 5 today for some bread and eggs and some other stuff.”

—–

Jeffrey Phillips woke up back in the Blue Feather in Collagesity. He wiped the little bit of grit from his eyes (sand!), and looked around at familiar surroundings: the infamous red tie draped around his bedpost, his tuxedo hanging in the corner on an antique coat rack, his Phillip Linden doll beneath him that he’s cried into many a night before sleep. And, most immediate: Charlene the Punk beside him. “Put on a dress babydoll and get out of that babydoll,” he spoke over to the groggy punk. “We’ve got to go see Man About Town and pronto!”

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confluence 02

“How did it go today, sister of mine?”

“She is *definitely* one of us,” Daisy Mae Flowers replied to Lou Ferrig No, not seen in this blog for a while. Not heavily since photo-novel 4, when she interacted with The Musician in her own, similar realm of Bermingham and took care of his pet dingo for a while, if memory serves — maybe still does.

“That’s great, yes. Can’t wait to meet her. Staying in Shauna’s room I assume?”

“Yes. The snow monsters have her now.”

“Nice — I suppose. I mean, the snow monsters aren’t *that* bad, I’ve heard.”

“They’ve killed 3 million people!” exclaimed Daisy Mae, pushing a popular myth about the actually quite decent blizzard creatures.

“Nah, not what I’ve heard. Do you still get your news from FOX?”

“Lets not go into all that sister.”

“I’m just saying, *dingo* is better — all small letters in that case. Small is for humble; truthful.”

Daisy Mae looked away from her sister, not wanting to start an argument that had no end and would most definitely spiral into the Abyss. She’d seen enough of the Abyss. Instead: “She’s met David A.B. here, the normal one. What I mean…”

“What you *mean*…” continued the sister, “is that he’s not the Devil.”

“No, he’s the God,” agreed Daisy now with her sibling. “At least he *thinks* he’s one.” Both titter with this. They act in unison again.

—–

It was a long time ago and it happened in the theatre below the castle. It was a round concavity full of something but not popcorn this time. Instead: brains, specifically the diamond like brains of David/Dave, who had not chosen a moral direction yet. The victim slumped opposite him. Keith B. most likely, who subsequently acquired his own new brain from… well, let’s just keep some things private for now. The man they called The Barber sings a tuneful song of familiar design while he works.

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more Highcastle

Shauna never made it out of the static monster (aka snow monster) realm.

“Shameful waste of life,” spoke investigating Officer Bill Mustardgas over to fellow investigating Officer Michelle Roundup. “But also, wouldn’t you agree, a shameful waste of popcorn, nom nom nom.”

“Agreed! nom nom nom.”

—–

Tessa was nosing around the castle while waiting. “Grandpa?”

—–

“I hear that my step-cousin didn’t make it in from the snow today, Willa. When will it stop snowing? Will it be March?” *sigh*

“Pills!” exclaimed the Registered Nurse, a type of monster herself who had a whole bunch in her hand to cure any ail.

“Put those away and bring the girl to me,” she commanded, wanting to stay lucid if melancholy for the moment. “The Grand Niece”.

—–

“Stop looking over there, child. Stop touching things.”

“Oh, okay,” Tessa agreed while lowering her hand, trying to stay compliant. She knew this woman — creature — before her had valuable information about her beloved Grandpa. Was it possible that he was still alive? She had to find out.

“Look at me, girl. Look me in the eyes.” Tessa did as she asked again. “Do you know who I am? Do you know why you’re here?”

Tessa said she’d heard that she was a member of the family and that she could come to the castle to live if she wished. She was told she could also take step-cousin Shauna’s room soon, and that Shauna was going away for a while and that she might not be coming back.

“That is correct, child,” then spoke the creature before her, who had decided to take the name Daisy Mae March as a sign of hope that the Realm of Snow will end soon. “The Grandpa is upstairs,” Daisy stated, knowing what was foremost in Tessa’s mind.

Joy! Reunion with the most beloved! But then the complete downer was revealed: Grandpa was still dead and only living in Grandma’s head while she herself remained alive. Grandma? Tessa then thought, puzzled. April Mae Flowers?

“Who are you?” she demanded, eyes boring into her now.

“So much pain, Tessa. Yes, you are most definitely one of us.” Joy in return.

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0025, 0515, Pickleland

a little lower down…

“I’m almost finished, despite this stupid balloon getting in the way.”

“Can I see?” she uttered with licorice lips.

He didn’t answer directly; kept working. “I… couldn’t get the hair quite right.”

Sepisexton thought: she doesn’t have any hair. But kept her mouth shut. She’d already been scolded several times for changing her position. There were six in the chair, and she got rigid if she used any one too long. Why were there 6 if she couldn’t move about a little? Plus this was a cubist work. Wasn’t he suppose to look all the way around her? I am Carrcassonnee reborn, she thought here. The “I”. The 7th has every right for the 6 to do her bidding. They were the surfaces of her being, as she sat here being painted. She dared to switch again.

“Awww, Carrcassonnee,” he complained.

Ah ha! she thought. He really and truly knows who I am now (!).

—–

He showed her the finished project. So much blurring, she noted, but she supposed that was her own fault for being so darn multidimensional.

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Highcastle

His foot pointed at yet another classic book he hadn’t read: “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” by Thomas Hardy. So many tomes to read and seemingly so little time, since he was on his own photo-novel 25 in a series of 1. He was at the top, everything leveled off. The Grandma, the *actual* one, was nearby. Very close. But she was busy with Man About Time at the moment. Everything depended on Sandman *not* reaching this level, and MAT knew it. He had to be reinforced that he was the chosen one. Would it work?”

He rested his hand on hers, not daring to ask the question foremost in his mind. He thought back to Collagesity and Carrcassonnnee, the attempt to make the 7th well and alive and functional again. There was a trick involved. Just like there was here. Grandma was always near death but never made it to the Pearly Gates, her just reward. Grandpa was waiting for her, just around the corner. She could hear his voice, feel his presence. Yet there was still a barrier, a resistance. What was it? Was it MAT? Did he want me to choose? she pondered.

—–

“I’m through here for the moment, Keith B. We can go back to your place.” But Keith was busy listening to the voices again. Only writing would help, not reading. He sat amidst the volume of dusty books, holding his head in his hands while rocking back and forth. What was wrong with him? This seemed just like Mercury.

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butterflies

Before heading over to the only real grown up person in the room as far as I could tell, I studied The Munsters a bit more, puzzled by their red Rudolph noses. The mounted rats Rock, Paper — er, Paper, Scissors, Rock — I think — represented a riddle too, a cypher. Better ask the Grandma about it. If this was such person.

I approached. “Grandma?” I tested.

“Tessa,” she corrected in a wavering voice. “You’re looking in the wrong place.”

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0025, 0512, Pickleland