“He’s gone. Our leader is gone. What do we do now?” Archibald Duke had just spoken 10 times as many words as he’d ever said before.
“I’m going to explore more of the BEH dimensions,” offered Dollie quickly in her high, thin voice.
“I’m going to go hop around that nice creek behind the lodge,” added Piper in his deep, masculine tone.
“Hmm,” said Archibald, looking at both of them. “Suppose I *could* go to this Black Lake I’ve heard so much about now. Fish for demons.”
Jennifer M. Friend woke up, went to the main room, looked around. “Hmph. Where’d everybody go?”
They talked far into the night. No mention of Bauer again, as stated. About 10 Roger Pine Ridge showed up as well. He kept glancing over at his old flame Cyberpaperdoll (who arrived about 7:30) but saying nothing.
11:15. His last Chesterfield was now half smoked. Perhaps time to pull out one of his special cigarettes; start seeing things in the middle of the night again. Sea monsters this time, perhaps. The white stick light tells truths to be beholding to. Behold… beholding. Beh.
“Beh,” he uttered over to Cyberpaperdoll. “Beeeeeehhhhh.”
“I’ll defend you Dollie.”
“What are we looking at?” she queried Randy Big Cat in her meek voice. So feminine and thin.
“Pirates of course! *Other* pirates.”
“Of course.” But it didn’t look like any pirate she’d beheld.
She kept tripping the light fantastic. White stick light. Giant bunnies were good and cool. She wanted more. But Ruby’s Democratic Empire sim remained empty. It was only a stage, a set, good to go for Collagesity novel 10 but then discarded and emptied just after. *Had* to be a set. And now connected with beh. All sims starting with beh, especially their center (128/128). Try it for yourself. You’ll see.
Dollie in the
dollhouse doghouse again, snooping around.
She pretended this improptu gathering of cubes also in central Behemoth was a meeting of the selves again. “You,” she barked as much as possible with her unbarky voice. “Over there. The black, silent one. Time to *speak*.”
Eventually she fell asleep on its southern side after taking yet another form. Smoking.
Allen Y. decided that the whole gang of his selves should meet afterwards to discuss Treelor, Tropp, a lot of things actually. Facelight remained off. Facelight doesn’t work in a Gang of Selves photo. He decided today that Archibald Duke should speak his first words. “I’ve seen you in The Waste, Archie — can I call you Archie?” No answer (yet). “I’ll call you Archie, then. But I remember you lurking around the Throne of Bauer or the Bauer Throne — whatever — maybe even sitting on it. Yeah, I remember you perched under the ruined purple or black parasol.”
“Black”, spoke Archie, his first word.
Allen Y. nodded approvingly. “Good. Good first word, good one.” But Allen Y. then clearly remembered that the umbrella in question was purple. This was instead an opening into something deeper. A sea with mysterious bottom-writing. Something about demons.
“Black,” Archie repeated.
No other mention of Bauer was spoken that day.
She knows she saw it. The sea had DEMO written all over it, like it was mocking her very existence.
But she can’t seem to recreate the vision.
Wait: there it is.
Is that woman nude over there? The owners said: no nudity. And… well, where is perpetual birthday boy Tropp? It’s not Allen Y. obviously. That’s Pine Ridge. The bastard. Going rogue on Baker and me and creating his own batch of lousy characters. Dollie — what the heck? And a *frog*? I’ve seen *him* before: Middletown, where he was called Brazilian Bill. I assume soon enough a puny, sickly apple tree will show up sprouting off some craggy rock or such. “Make it so,”
Treelor Tropp might say, and it would be. Why… do I keep writing thinking Treelor instead of Tropp? Another 2-n-1? 2 Hearts in One. The glue? She better get back to the lodge. Of course she’s not going to report *these* 2. It’s going to happen here. The rule is more a suggestion, perhaps, as long as you do it in a harmless, non-graphic way.
Now back to looking for a nice car for when I get back.
When she looked up again the couple were gone. In their place, Allen Y. and Archibald Duke sat around a nearby campfire. Dollie and Piper are probably luring somewhere nearby, Jennifer rationalized, hidden by the tall grass or something. Looks like the lodge came to me. Better go see what they’re up to. I suppose. Or… she could just walk the other way. She eyes the exit route. Nah, too easy to spot — can’t get away with it. So it’s be *friendly*, true to my name. A last name I might share with Allen Y. someday. If he’s so inclined. Could be an interesting story. Story within a story.
“S’up guys?” She spots Dollie hidden in the nearby grass. “And gal.”
“Did you know Johnny Appleseed supposedly planted his *last* apple tree right here in these mountains.” Allen Y. pointed back in the direction they came. “Said so in the lodge brochure. Probably really old and shriveled by this point, wouldn’t you guess. Let’s go take a look.”
Jennifer looked west. *Knew* it, she thought.
The mists move in…
“Why don’t you and Tropp get away from it all. Make a sort of vacation out of it. Another 2 stone with one bird situation. You keep an eye on Pine Ridge and his *unsanctioned* new gang at MISTY MO and at the same time further your own storyline. We can book you in the same lodge with the rest of ’em.”
Wheeler Wilson pondered what Baker Bloch was offering here at the Table. She’d just explained how Tropp and she were now banned from Braynard’s Place where he was, in effect, born into this world in present form, boy to man style. But he admitted to her it was worth it. Yes it was.
“I once had a happy life,” he kept explaining from the floor. “On my lily pad with Laurie. Our paradise, our private Eden. Until the yellow ball.”
Yellow, Allen pondered. Like me. “You said it was golden before,” he interjected downward. He was trying to separate himself from the situation. But he knew something was there. Something he had forgotten. Encasement. Something.
“Yellow… golden. Depends on if you have your glossy on.”
“Shiny, you mean.”
“Glossy,” Piper held firm. Indeed, his Second Lyfe viewer was different from Allen’s. Different terminology throughout.
“I needed a vacation from the ball. I told them I wanted to go stay with my cousin in Mistymo. Yet… here I am.”
Same mistake, Allen Y. ruminates. But now: *no* mistake. He knew that. And he knew darn well they heard “Alien comma Yellow” also. This is starting to sound like some half baked plot in a backwater blog.
Dolly beside him begin to tell her own tale. “They found me. I asked for it. I asked to be exposed. They found me.” Piper’s voice was deep, masculine and robust; Dolly’s was so thin and feminine you could barely hear it. Her pipes weren’t what Piper’s were. Allen received the idea that the two knew each other better than either let on — the way they looked at each other.
But there was Archibald left. And Jennifer M. Friend from Anniston, Alabama hadn’t even shown up yet. Complained of upper stomach pains last night. Hope she’s okay. Maybe someone should go knock on her door. Maybe that someone should be… me. Because, Allen admitted to himself, I kind of fancy her. 1/2 and 1/2. Plus she might need help. I’ll bring her some candy to cheer her up. Corn should do the trick.