He’d met her on one the outer islands of the continent, Pieve I believe. They started out thick and fast with an Adam and Eve kind of situation, like John and Yoko. He was with her everywhere, even the doctor’s office. But as time went by everything slowed. She said her legs were too long and got an operation, but that just made her a 9 instead of a 10. She had to reverse it; he footed the bill since it was his choice to shorten them in the first place. It was his choice for everything, but not because he was a misogynist. It’s because he created her, from his rib as it were. He was her. Madam I’m Adam. So the rumors about the woman of the night, the whore of Babylon and stuff like that. Lunacy — people will believe anything these days. People believe God incarnated on Earth without a motherly womb. That’s cutting out half the equation, removing black from white, dark from light. There *is* no dark without light. 3.16: that was *her*. She lived in new-ish and still-being-constructed Squared Root City and he with her. Because of the Being One thing. She doesn’t exist without him. But is it also Romeo and Juliet? What else is in Florida that I need to consider? Whitehead, obviously. Since he has white hair and it doesn’t work any other way, unless it’s black. She? Red. Let me check…
Interesting that we’ve moved from (considering) Alaska to Florida, as far across the country as you can get. And also: extreme cold to extreme warmth. It was a coastal situation through and through now. But Squared Root City was in the hills between the coasts, between Highways 13 and 14; M and N. Maybe this was a new Mystenopolis developing, he pondered, and then marveled at the possibility. Jesus H. Christ is involved again after all. He must also think about the (Pagan) Faun, the 2 doppleganger houses next to each. Black and white — revolving around each other. No, that’s the right solution. Not black *versus* white. They are one. We are one.
And the Princess of the Diagonal? A boss. He had a job to do and he was doing it pretty well. He still had access to past records of the Oracle, even though it presently was broken and seemed irreparable in its damage. The boss was away a lot. His research kind of mirrored hers. But what of the white hair? That had to do with the Declaration (of Independence). March 1: not far away atall. He will soon be the (fabled) Whitehead of the Woods. It’s projected to coincide with the end of photo-novel 31. Strange, eh?
He gets rid of the illusion.
“There you are.”
“F-ing complicated!” he said about the map he stood upon, and all the pins dotting it. Nautilus. The 1st continent. The last continent. Where the Outside gets In.
“Calm down, calm down,” she said from the side, just around the corner. “You know about Marilyn and the alternate national anthem. You know which US of A is peering down into the translucent cube — hypercube, actually — from the Outside. It’s one that has been frozen in time. You have your pattern,” she finalized, looking steady into his eyes now, fully emerged. I couldn’t tell her hair color. I’m going to go with white (for now). I knew this was a 3.16 situation and that a return to Squared Root City was up soon. “Give it some time to mature,” I said, trying to calm myself this go around. Unable to keep stabilized, she receded. I moved forward — past Collagesity. Forward into the past, perhaps.
I start a new folder for my inworld photos and pin it to my Quick access. (photo #) 1950. Here we go!
Ah yes. Starlight.
I sit down, trying to gather some local color. I brighten up the place (smoky blue sky).
Tulsa was taking orders from a white couple nearer the front door. I could tell there was some tension — a bit, but noticeable, at least to me. Peggy and Wanda played with their cell phones at the table nearest me, not engaged in conversation at the moment. I tried to glance at what they were looking at, Peggy at least, who had her back to me. Some site about jobs — they were looking for jobs in this town. They were tense. No: just more focused. The other white couple in the room: well, they were all just kind of normal.
I decided to manufacture a friend for Wanda and Peggy and have him sit at their table with them. Let’s go with Chet. Chet was dressed to the hilt for the holiday season, anticipating December 1st like it was his birthday or something. Wanda had known Chet since college. Peggy was Chet’s girlfriend for the moment, at least until he dumped her for Phyllis. But that was in the future — no more going forward into the future which is also the past. We are *here*. Chet walks up. Ah, another core — not me. I can stay seated; I can still listen in.
Wanda giggled in Peggy’s direction after he sat down. “Isn’t he so cute with his mask and all.” Of course I’m wearing a mask, thought Chet. There’s an f-ing pandemic going on. He had the urge to leave. He wasn’t being respected, like he was some kind of Christmas dupe instead of their friend. He decided then and there: he was going to start dating that girl Phyllis he’s had his eyes on as soon as possible, as soon as he gets out of here. He’ll give it 30 minutes. Peggy didn’t say anything back to Wanda’s little remark. She kept playing on her phone. She wished she’d brought a mask herself now. She didn’t want to get sick just before the holidays (!). Chet was thinking about the holidays, in contrast — all along. I’m going to celebrate it like it’s f-ing Halloween, Christmas and Easter rolled into one (!), he decided on Thanksgiving Day, watching Uncle Bert come down with it afterwards. Then Aunt Jermima. Then Cousin Lute. And with a new baby’s sex to be decided — they weren’t up for it! Uncle Bert never got back up. He was 82 and more susceptible than the rest, having married beyond his age. He went to the emergency room; said his cat bit him. Infection spread; virus weakened the immune system. Gone in 2 days. There was a wake but Chet didn’t go. Instead he went upstairs in his house and decided to wear Christmas garb for, I don’t know, until Arbor Day maybe. Yeah, he got the tree out as his mother demanded, but he got a lot more out of that closet. I can’t really say he snapped, because about a 1/3rd of our great country is bonkers now and at least he wears a mask in public places. Tulsa was uncomfortable with the white couple she was serving because they also weren’t wearing masks in a public place and it put pressure on the owner to say, “don’t wear masks,” while serving them; “makes them uncomfortable and put-off,” he decided. He’s gone over to the dark side, Tulsa thought. She has about 30 minutes on her shift. Won’t be coming back, she punctuates the post.
Ah yes, much better match. Even if she did wear an ill fitting mask. He’d give her a lecture later on, after they knew each other a little better. Ah, heck. He’ll do it now. It’s the holiday season after all. She’s trying. She won’t be offended, he figures.
“Phyllis?” he starts.
“Berta, actually. Remember? Phyllis is my twin sister.”
Shoot. Wrong holiday girl after all. Back to the drawing board.
“It’s okay,” she says to the obviously downcast Chet. “We’re really clones, you know,” she confesses. “Basically one and the same. We just use the sister story to throw the police off the track of…” She hesitates. She doesn’t know him well enough to talk about Dr. Mouse yet. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe never.
(to be continued)
flutterbys (red, blonde, and blue)
She was in Between and she had to stare at it. The chair would face no other way. Turtle Hill, or, in olden days, Turtle Butte. Before the terraforming messed up the mesa effect and made it round and soft instead of square and rough. The center of the Maebaleia continent, some say, yea, some call it the center of *everything*, with religious overtones implied. And perhaps it was. In olden days again. Nowadays these Hills of Bill are emptied out of meaning, devoid of framework, like a void picture in a gallery of no design or wealth.
She sat reading a fashion and furniture magazine in her new-ish apartment in Squared Root City, waiting for Starlight to open so she could peruse the clothing again for that interview over at the fire station this afternoon. Because she considered herself to be one hot item and had to be put out. You keep your friends close, like Molly Jackson here, also a town newcomer (dancer), but you keep your enemies even closer, like the fire department. Soon everyone would know her burning desire for stardom. She would set the night sky ablaze with rockets’ red glare.
Molly had designs on wealth and stardom herself, but not with a fiery dress; instead: cool and calm and collected. She would bid her time in the shadows of the police station and attached department, blue replacing red. She would dance to the tunes of white Guy Lombardo but only after midnight and on the dark side of the moon. The situation seemed to call for it. She got up off the couch formerly shared with red garbed Elisa and moves to the window to stare out between the two stars just below toward both departments, considering balance.
She prayed before the interview in her new dress. She knew if the backing stained glass windows depicting some kind of holy scenario behind the cross were truly transparent she could see Star Rd. just behind the church, and then perhaps even Starlight just around the bend, on Packer St. she believed (it was Nemo Av.). Not Star Rd., though. Queer, she thought, but then tried to focus. “Lord,” she said just beyond a whisper, trying to not take his name in Vain for a change, “give me the strength to do well in the interview, the courage to show who I really am, fiery passion burning deep within.” They’ll have to put me out by taking me in, she inserts mentally, trying to frame the situation in a correct manner.
Something happened then and there — a miracle perhaps, but from which direction to be determined. At any rate, the police had to be called in, newly appointed officer Molly Jackson first on the scene, since her interview had been in the morning. “Wha – what happened to the *church*?” she asked in still praying Elisa’s direction. Only the stained glass remained. It was a depiction of the Lord’s crucifixion and ultimate sacrifice. Elisa needed to learn this — and Molly too. The In-Between.
sideways observer (23 23 23 )
“We must change your name from Axis-Windmill,” she spoke from the side, also observing. But me in this case. A 10 now instead of a 9. Good. We return to Squared Root City, she urged. No need to invoke karma in this place again. No need to even mention the name again. The Princess has spoken.
So I go to another 23 23 — but not w/ a 3rd 23 — in a very different sim, but it’s the wrong time (again). Let’s take W.’s suggestion…
“I’m *here* (snicker). Where are you?”
“No, *I’m* here.” He smiles broadly at John across from him, who grins back a bit. Becky looks away, lost in thoughts of some kind.
“Yeah, yeah I already told you that. *I’m* here. But where does that leave *you*?” (more snickers)
Julius hangs up, tired of the running gag. It had run its course, which was a needless mini-marathon, he felt. Time to get back to work anyway. He makes a mental note not to call him again until he truly does figure out where he’s at. Because he forgets all the time. Now… where does he work here?
The waiter comes over, Bob I believe. “A phone call for you, Mr. Nance. It’s Mr. Nance.”
“Oh… thanks.” Receiver in hand again. Bob cleans up for the people who just left. Big smile, preparing for the best but expecting the worst. His twin had been missing for hours, days, weeks.
“Where are you, bro?”
Baker Bloch looks on, pretending to eat grapes but just spitting them out into his napkin when the waitress has turned away. Omaha, I think. But from Oklahoma, or comes from within such. Not Nebraska, although some people just won’t get it out of their head it’s at least Kansas, a compromise she’s come to live with. Dorothy, others call her. Dot.
Hucka Doobie joins him; turns away from Omaha so she won’t accidentally spill coffee in her lap. “Stop spitting, my love,” she requested, like a mongoose.
With her kids shoes and grown up hair, Alysha was more red than ever. She even had a red door to her office here near the center of Squared Root City, where I’ve decided to end this particular section of “Collagesity 2020-2021 Winter”. But not the (photo-)novel itself — I don’t think. Haven’t quite made up my mind yet, actually. Anyhoot, we’re back, Alysha is in charge again, *not* Fern Stalin, and ditzy blonde Lichen Roosevelt is merely along for the ride, at least that’s what the other 2 think.
Alysha hangs up the phone. Herbert Glenn Gold is okay — she just wanted to check. April Mae is back in prison over in Collagesity. Good. She speaks to the people present.
“So you see, Lichen, Fern, we’ve been working on three different scripts ever since, well, I guess, since the last director left.”
“That’s *me*,” interjected Fern, still sharp as a tack. “Why are you *there* and I’m *here*?”
“Well, that’s the basic problem,” explained Alysha, the same age and also intelligence as myself, actually. A bit dimmer than Fern, perhaps, but one up on Lichen in that department. If only she had Lichen’s comic timing, though, she often laments. Back to business: “It started — or we picked up on it — with a phone call from this very town — just right over there at one of the coffee shops.” She tries to determine if she can see it from this direction but decides she can’t. Took her just a minute to get her bearings. Fern silently thinks she would know such a detail *before* the meeting started and not embarrass herself with such a thing in the middle. Lichen was thinking of an Abbot and Costello type dialog involving the confusion of “here” and “there”, but she hadn’t gotten very far. Fern can’t wait. She puts forth what she knows.
“So *I* have the blue script, since I’m ahead of everyone else — July apparently. “Then you have the white one in front of you there, Alysha — or you did — anyway, we can collage that in later — then Lichen has red — or pink — to end. Even further back. May.” She turns to Lichen. “May, dearest?”
“W-what?” Costello was about to find out the center fielder’s name was I Don’t Know.
“The date on the script, beautiful. May? April?” Fern then recalls it is actually April and continues with her theories, ignoring Lichen’s fumbling through the pages attempting to determine a date.
Alysha jumps in before the bazooka that is her mind starts firing again. “We are all one.”
“That’s what I was just about to say (!). We are all one core. Wheeler Wendy Wilson.” The full name — Fern *must* be serious, the other two think at the same time. “The 3 faces of Al — Anselmo.”
“Right, right,” Alysha tried again. “Ansel…”
“… also reverberates with Adams the black and white photographer, yes.” Fern with the upper hand again. She rarely loses it. Unless a name like Helmet Newton comes up. Which it did next.
(to be continued)
It was merely a black and white picture of an unknown town with one somewhat colorful tree. But then it came to life and we were somewhere else. Hermanly again, I would assume.
Yes: Hermanly. Axis-Windmill, who may be the same as Helmet Newton, tries to ignore the increasingly busier burg, knowing he could get sucked into the picture. Like Baker Bloch before him. I mean: Jeffrey Phillips. Man About Time panicked at being thrust into a leadership role, even though he desired it forever. He had to find Baker Bloch (!), but when he did he’d forgotten how he got there and how to get back home. He pointed aimlessly, trying to get his bearings, just like we saw Alysha scramble with in Squared Root City just a minute ago. Alysha had decided to seal off the black and white city in its own little room, handy if needed, but not viewable at any one time. Out of sight out of mind for the most part. Until Helmet was mentioned. It was time for Axis-Windmill to acquire a proper non-hyphenated name. We’ve tried out Brend but then that went to another character — two characters actually, twins, one blue and black and the other red and white. Perhaps live in this same city, even. But Axis-Windmill is not Brend.
The sound of horseless carriages was deafening.
On a tip from someone in Squared Root City, she decided to confront them, this bigoted “Annaberg” audience, in a
private public post. “Who are you!?” they cried from their respective positions after she had assumed not quite front and center stage but a viewing nonetheless. “A witch?! What bedevilment is this??!!” They studied her from their angles in the half darkness. Since red was involved, some of them wondered if this was the ancient hagg Morgan returned to them, who also goes by Morgaine and other similar words. They shuddered at the thought. They’d all read the legends, good and bad.
She realized they wouldn’t recognize her — in the present — without her beret on. She changed/she turned. The light on her face increased, emphasizing it over the rest. “You!!??” they cried even louder, seeing before them now the white woman associated with raspberries who loves black. “What *is* this??!!” they demanded.
“I am presenting myself to you as I am. One who has been tested for alien powers and abilities. One who is indeed part alien, as witnessed by my pink-ish skin, at least in comparison to you lot. One who has a vertical and a horizontal line up top. One who has a cylinder at the bottom, several in fact. One who has the colorful markings of a modern, because I am also that. I have fish, I have butterflies, I have hearts, I have writing, I have rings and stars, I have designs of odd origin. I am… me.”
This *is* Morgan, some had determined, since the red remained in the lone shoe on her feet, the left and not the right. And they were not wrong.
One also being tested dared to approach her through the mistletoed entrance with luckily a Julia and not a Julian, or else all would be too upset to continue watching and return home to view current black and white reruns of “I Love Lucifer” and such. They danced in complete sync as if on a granite hilltop between two sims. Then the N was regained and all went to hell. The bell was back.
“Let’s meet at your place instead,” past Hucka Doobie determined.
He waits between hot and cold, choosing hot himself and currently enjoying a mustard and ketchup laden dog of such temperature before customers show up for the midday “rush” — not much of a rush actually but he’s not much of a worker these days, being technically retired and a bona fide Whitehead in Da Woods.
The Mustard Ketchup Kid plays soccer in a nearby field with his sister Ventura, who hails from California. She channels her energy in order to attempt to get the ball past Bert (actual name), but all this is just more code.
Squared Root City is expanding across Highway 13-14 into the sim to the north. Still exciting times for the burg. We hold out hope that it can replace Collagesity-Fordham as proper capital of Lower Austra. Because the latter is probably going away and is, anyway, too small for the role, being only a little over 1/8th of a sim in size. Squared Root Cy is, in contrast, about a sim and a 1/2 in area now.
That’s why the Axis-Windmill character is back. He waits in the Zero Club at the beginning of it all — just before the beginning, some say — for another important character that has chosen to resurface in these here blog-novels to match the new energy. Vim, some call her; others: Vigor (that’s actually her sister, maybe a twin). She counts her Mississippi’s in anticipation of the manifestation. One Mississippi, Two… wait, she forgot something. Newt! At the Zero!
“Hi baby doll.”
He turns. “Eyela?? Wasn’t expecting *you*.”
“No one is,” she speaks truthfully and, after adjusting the strap of her new clockwork eyepatch to better match her face, takes a seat beside him at the bar. Both now turn away from the camera and speak privately. We try to listen in but only catch a couple of words like Geronimo, Slick, Olive, and Oklahoma. We gather an oil spill in Indian territory of the panhandle state may be involved but could be mistaken. Let’s back up and move in closer. We’re the bartender. Let’s call him Jim. Tom, actually, only 3 feet away. Close enough to properly record. We ask if they need a drink to be more legitimate seeming. They refuse. We move away but not too much — should be OK. And… PRESS.
“I’m glad we could mustard enough energy to catch up,” she began, which was code for “very important information to follow.”
“Spill,” he requested, and she did. We were right. Kind of.
(to be continued)
Zero Club (away from bar (shapeshifter))
“I recall the first time I saw you, your (one good) eye. Staring out between Moon and Saturn standing on a piano with Sun while a man with a moth on his back climbed a blood red picture behind you, using your huge ponytail to get a boost.”
“It’s not *that* huge,” she retorted.
He continued. “They said she would never be invited again to one of these get-togethers since she brought so many friends and acquaintances with her. But 3-d Venus is alive and well, still with her many fans following her around like packs of wild dogs and cats.”
“In the flesh (!).” She indicated herself, her body. What else was different about her, he wondered.
He went on. “You lived in a house much like our user, front covered in wisteria as if in a protecting fence or wall. You designed the moat to surround a castle but then had second thoughts of leaving bucolic life; castle too large to properly fit on (your) island. Stymie, husband at the time — stymied still how he could have ever goofed up on a looker like you! –”
Cute tittering; cute covering of mouth.
“…was most often away exploring Viterbo, finding relics in the ruins. Then one particular relic ruined it for you; he had to move on, *you* had to move. And so on to another Rim Island, taking the house with you and adding another husband to replace the subtracted first: Jacob, 1/2 man 1/2 alien in this case, with 2 normal eyes below a united third. You?”
“Me,” she decided to say. “Pure bred. One single eye and no normal eyes atall, they said. But that was wrong. I just covered one up, the bad one. Clockwork now.” She indicated the spinning, geared wheel on her face, very fashionable, very retro future. She pointed to both eyes at once now. “Two, you see, just like you.”
“What’s under that tuft of hair?” he said, still doubting her and tempted to reach over and lift it to see for himself. Maybe then he would know if she was happier with Stymie or Jacob.
She changed as she revealed the truth.
“I remember seeing you from above, just before Jeffrie’s untimely…”
“… death,” she finished for him. Wendy had gotten over it better than even Axis-Windmill. And she was the bride(!).
Axis-Windmill continued. “You called me Newt back there — when you were still Eyela.”
“That’s your name isn’t it?”
Axis-Windmill thought back again. Beyond the vision of Jeffrie Phillips and Wendy Wheeler on Corton, the Queen and King of Our Second Lyfe truly. Controller of those creatures she was after that. They had a whole encyclopedia on them now, the ones in the right. Wendy Wheeler: in the wrong by then.
“Welll?” she prompted, seeing the space in his steely grey eyes. Time for a reality check.
“Newt,” he tested. The word sounded right: why not. Zero Club, Vim and Vigor, *Energy*… Newt. Short for Newton, as in Helmet.
We have reached the point of no return. Oily way.
“GERONIMOOOOOO!” he thought he recalled. *SPLAT* he definitely remembered.
Who leaped off the cliffs at Corton to their untimely death on the rocks below? Is it still Jeffrie Phillips? Yet he is back thanks to renewing the vows with Wendy Wheeler. How did that work?
And where is he now if not dead (again)?
Policeman Blue Jay
A plane crashed into Squared Root City today at 0800 AM. No one was hurt, but those who were aware took it as a sign that the character Eyela shouldn’t be renting an apartment or house in town and that she would be “crashing” the party (role play) if so. Direct link: both are Demos, as we know when making that famous tuft of purple hair transparent. No 3rd eye under there, no 3-d Venus either. Sloow and easy, they decided.
“I am ready to serve again, 3-d Venus. Just get me out of this heavenly yet heavily primmed place.”
“Done,” the great being ruled. “Done,” echoed the even greater or at least taller being behind her — Wanda, I think — adding, “we’ll come too.” They must be sick of it as well.
Blue Rose Thorn aka Jeffrie Phillips jumps out of the plane.
That was easy, he-as-she thinks when landing safely instead of smashing to the ground, becoming a type of plane him-herself. Now to steal one of these cars.
leaving role play
“Hold on hold on, I’m going to call my bro — it’s always fun, he he.”
“Oh boy,” Spencer says between sips, knowing the story.
Wanda Betty whispers to Spencer: “What *wrong* with him?”
“No, where are *you*?”
What’s wrong with him is that he’s in two places at once when he’s… but you should know the story too by now.
She’s heading to Airtol Hill. She’s heading to Airtol Hill?!
Newt and Eyela (one strange rock)
“No. You go first,” she requested, not being as prepared as I wished.
“I was just going to say,” he started, probably improvising, “that you look lovely tonight.”
“Thank you (!).” Cute tittering, cute covering of mouth. “Oh, I was going to check out *Whitson* tonight,” she realized. “*Sorry*.”
“Kind of your double, I’m assuming.”
“Kind of,” she agreed. “Um… uh…”
“Well,” he decided to insert in the awkward pause. “Baker Bloch still has ties to Lower Austra, *roots*, even.”
“In Squared Root City here, yes,” she said, remembering some of her lines now thanks to the prompt. Not all, but perhaps enough to get by if she can fill in the rest with filler.
“Zero Club.” He glanced over his shoulder at the sign; another prompt. “Just like Baker was looking for. A place Baker, the male one, could Zero Out and reset everything.”
“Good to know.” She was struggling. The Whitson gaffe threw her off her game. She decides to end the scene and do some research.
“I’m going into space again,” she said after learning she was. Thanks once again wikipedia! You’re a life line. “It’s a joint venture between Axiom and SpaceX.”
“So… Axis,” he responded. “Like me.”
“My name is not Axis any longer. My name is Newt.”
“I know that.”
“I don’t like to be reminded of my Axis past.”
“I… won’t say anything more about it, won’t bring it up.” She cleared her throat. The research got her into hot water (!). She said his new name to reinforce her conviction. “Newt, yes I like it.” She recalled a tree growing out of his head instead of the other place. She realized she had to part with Whitson on this, Mars or no Mars. She had to choose… well pump over spaceship.
(to be continued)
disattached from land
“Can’t you pull one of your Tungaske type miracles to save my village?”
“I’m afraid not. Too small.”
She shed a tear, perhaps with more to come. Probably so. These were scientist tears, the tough ones. “Hard to believe it’s gone.”
“No one under 18. Really nothing we can do [Eyela]. (pause) I’m sorry.”
He corrected me as soon as it came out of my mouth, perhaps before. “Bono, I’m Bono here,” he said. “And you’re Newt — we can’t change that.”
“But Peggy –”
“Peggy Smeggy.” He took a breath. “You don’t understand the implications yet. Darkside is *here*.” He looked me square in the eyes now, black inside black. He wasn’t evil but he came from a place
of called Intensity. In Mississippi I believe. Very focused in his tasks, he was.
“So… you brought them here.”
“Yup,” with the “p” emphasized with a pop. I reviewed what I knew. I thought he was Nemo but he said he was Bono. Bono Jores, fresh from the bowels of Mississippi. Or was it Arkansas? Anyway, he presented me with the book; said it was the way out. He did this now.
“This is the way,” he said, scooting it toward me. “The Way.” He scooted it closer. “Open in the middle and start reading.”
“I–,” I started to protest. Closer. He even opened it for me, eyes still boring. But he was no Sherwood Anderson. Or was he?
3 hours later — sunset — I finished the book that was the same as 1/2 a book. Everyone had left in the meantime, Bono to my right and
Peggy Gertrude to my left. Peggy was still here with her friend over at another table in the establishment. And that’s where I headed next — to give her the good news. All was not lost.
The convincing took a while. Her hometown was still gone; I led with that. But there’s *another* hometown coming up where gravity’s not as much up in the air. “Aerial,” I said, and demonstrated with my hand.
(to be continued)
She’d just popped down to the fire department to check her mailbox and now *this*. But she dare not remove the parking ticket and throw it away in disgust after learning it came from Zero, apparently a policeperson in this here town as well as the owner of that club. We have been reset.
Glancing over at a clearly distressed Elisa staring at the ticket on her illegally parked Mazda RX-7 sports car, Newt checks to make sure he’s off the street good and pays the parking meter before heading inside to meet the others. He understands parallel time as well as parallel parking. He’s seen three squad cars circling around the city now and knows the force is strong here, like Star Trek or Star Wars — he can never remember which one applies. Star, hmm, he then thinks. He swears this use to be Star Street instead of that long German name he doesn’t know how to translate. Why the change? He believes it may be a bad omen. Or a good one — hard to tell yet. Maybe the meeting with the 3 “witches” will clarify either way.
Uh oh. Likewise tardy Alysha coming from down the street. He pretends he doesn’t see her and rushes inside before she can catchup with him. He’d rather not have the meeting colored (red) before it began.
Just made it.
“You’re late,” black haired Fern Stalin says at the door. “And so is the other one.”
“Right behind me.”
“Lord, lord. Lord lord lord lord lord.” She shook her head as she uttered. She looked down into her coffee which wasn’t steaming any longer, meeting stretched beyond expected. Yet Newt had forgotten about the parking meter and the need to feed past 8. Too much had happened. Clyde! It’s back! The impossibly loud sound of horseless carriages transfixed. He was almost there; just up there. He could reach into the screen and probably procure some kind of souvenir or relic to bring back to the others: Fern, Lichen… and the one who most figured in as the cause, the one who was red, the one with the awkwardly long gams (she thought), the multicolored tree on the back and the fox and the octopus up front, black and white zebra’s eyes formerly x’d shut but now wide open. He can hear, he can see. He *must* get married after this. He knows too much.
Lichen went over and exchanged wigs with her. “See?” she said, returning to her seat, spell intact.
“See?” prefigured Fern and then also leaned over and exchanged her hair with Alysha’s. “Doesn’t matter.”
It was 9 before Newt got back to the car with the inevitable ticket attached to the passenger window. “Zero strikes again,” he muttered and then crumpled it up and threw it in the gutter, knowing the thing was now worthless. Nothing mattered in this Squared Root City in this most virtual of realities. Except 3.16227766. Let’s shorten it down to 3 so we can move on…
“This man and his phone calls,” she speaks through clenched teeth, smile all a sham, “is going to *kill* me.”
“… no it’s me, dude. (pause) *Me*.”
Spencer pretends to take a long long sip of his coffee, masking his reply. “Any way we can exit gracefully?” he says into his cup.
“… I’m sitting right here, he he… where are…”
“How about if I do this.” She flips her hand and hits Spencer’s cup, making the contents splatter all over his white jacket. *White*, he thinks, getting up out of his seat and looking down at the mess. What was she *doing*?
“… hold on, dude… somethings happening here…”
“Oh *dear* oh *dear*,” she exclaims, putting hands to mouth even to reinforce the spectacle.
“It’s all right,” Spencer says back, making a face that Jennifer understands is sending a message to her and her alone that she went too far. She gives a smirk back expressing that maybe she did (yikes, what a stain; he’ll never get that out!) but at least it will get them out of here and away from Julius.
“We better get you to that bathroom over there; wash you up,” she says. They jointly move away from Julius, who simply picks up where he left off without making a remark about the accident.
“Anyway, dude, where are *you*?”
“Ooo. So *close*,” she says as he rather pins her to the tiled wall near the door, having flung the obviously ruined white jacket aside and also the unsoiled tank top underneath. Betty reciprocates. Julius would still be talking to himself when they exited the bathroom 30 minutes later, hardly noticing they were gone. Does he not have a home he can go to?
30 more minutes and this: “Well dude and dudette; packing it in.” He pulls the phone away from his ear, puts it in his pocket. He disappears. Betty and Spencer both wonder if that last part was for them or if there was a third party involved in the conversation with himself, his double. Another double, like 3 identical cousins. Soon they would find out.
(to be continued?)