She woke up with her mission. Go through the SOS flea market toward the plane. Find the hole in the fence and turn left. Therein lies the answer to everything, or at least 42. What’s within will not be what it seems.
The plane, check. But not the flea market before her. The cat on a nearby plank of wood meowed an answer but it was not 42. Something about dinner time being only 2 hours or so away now. Useless for her, although encouraging for the cat. She moves right, since left is…
… hold on.
In the secret basement lair of the large house to her left, biggest in town:
Only 2 hours till dinner time, thinks Greg Ogden with exactly the right number of G’s in his name. Better change.
He unfortunately found himself on the opposite side of the Greek village from the parish, staring into a mirror and admiring himself. Typical.
Later he went down to visit John. Jack was now playing the preacher, churches over liquor stores. A marriage was taking place. John was not allowed to perform marriages. Not after Reno.
“We need to *talk*,” he hissed over as the “I dos” were spilled out like fine wine.
“Meet me at the bar,” he whispered calmly back. Bells rang out. It was over.
(to be continued?)
John thought and thought and realized he wanted a Corona-V. “The new one,” he uttered in calm, stoic way, fit for a Man of Faith. Lamb was behind him now, supporting him, uplifting his career. He must get back to the parish. “I hate to do it but cancel that, Jack.” Man of Science was not amused. “John, *how* am I suppose to keep in bus–“, but he was cut short. John had disappeared (again). Jack re-turned. “I guess this one’s on you,” which user Peter Oesso didn’t argue with.
Come on, *dance* with me boys, the blue haired witch requested in her mind from the corner. Soon they were with her.
“*Just* escaped, whew!”
He had followed John down to the Ravine (bar) but he was no saint. Lamb equals Ram; he sees himself in his own face, the user power.
I was a beautiful little girl before becoming such a handsome man, he thinks, still changing, still metamorphasizing.
“I’ll have what John’s having, please.”
Brother Jack the bartender turns. “Yeah, what’ll it be, *John*??”
Always look for the spaces between things. There lies art.
I am not a painter in this life. I am a collagist. Moving on…
“What does the future hold for me Esmerelda?”
“A cave? A *landscape*?”
Very faint from across the table again: “Enter the cave.”
He paid Ms. Wells handsomely and was on his way again.
“Do you like my last painting. This one was successful — not sure about the present one. I call it… “Ship in Disguise.”
Indeed she couldn’t tell if the ship was in the water or in the sky. 1/2 and 1/2.
We will return to this place, but other plot lines must now be followed.
“Queer dream,” states the now black Chief in his bar by the blue swamp in the southwest corner of Paper-Soap. “Say the girl’s name is Atrophia?”
“That’s what she said. Blue hair. Blue as Heaven.” The visiting Aldebaronian glanced at his wrist. 4:20? Not on *his* watch.
Black Chief looks out the door of the small bar. “Rain now. Swamp will be getting pretty damp soon. Better rev up the dehumidifier, um, Stu. That *is* your name today, isn’t it?”
Stu Umbriel, who goes by many names since that cursed birthday party about 1 month back now where bodies began to merge together in queer ways, smiles and says it is so. “Today,” he reinforced. He moves around back to crank up the moisture removal device, which he knows the ins and outs of better than Chief, being a regular moisture producer himself. In fact: better take a leak behind the bar after I roll this baby out in the middle of the room, he thinks. He glances down. This blue blue baby. Blue? Center? Just like the (stranger’s) dream.
The rain gets harder. “Yelloo!” he exclaims behind the bar, getting wetter all the time.
Hookah here, hookah over there (on the other porch). The Anomaly grows. Not sure I can complete the story in this novel. Code name: Caterpillar, perhaps WORM (WURM). Freshly formed Martin at the window may know. Martin, Luther.
He moves inside, takes a seat at the bar. The glowing birthday hat and Giant for a Day blue t-shirt gave away his identity.
“I’m on the other side of the counter now, ‘Umbriel, Stu’. You serve *me*.”
“You tell him Martin!” encouraged another new figure from his position next to the door, a gatekeeper of sorts.
“That’s all right — Luther is it?” Stu Umbriel guesses, taking the switcheroo with the person formerly known as Chief in stride. “I’ll get my twin sister Loo to help with the bar. Right over there she lives.” Stu points beyond the house next door now set up with a duplicate hookah to his — and even on the same spot on the porch — to the dark opening on the eastern edge of Swamp Lake, not big enough to become a sea and getting further from that designation back to out-and-out swamp every day. Atrophism. Maybe that has something to do with the Anomaly as well.
“We’re not identical as you know, Luther, but close,” he furthers. The Sewer hole beckons.
In checking back through my posts, I see I have overlooked mention of Paper Soap’s Swamp Lake up until now. Here’s an overhead view,
Chief Stu’s bar toward the north next to the sheriff’s office where the Anomaly was first spotted. Probably should catch up with chef-inspector Petty to see how he’s doing.
“WURM” he spoke with conviction at the meeting still going just north of the Swamp Lake bar, naming the thing at last. “And spell that with a U and omit the E. I think.” Conviction wavering, apparently. Missing letters will do that to you.
Gee Cat 02, now just Gee Cat period — having ate the other — prepares to move inside.
After work, Wheeler returned to the theatre to watch more of Kane, studying each clap closely. Stu Umbriel mosied in, and seeing Wheeler down front suddenly had a hankering for a frozen one. Kolya (aka Ben aka Gus) came in immediately afterward — they either walked or drove over together — and then the last of their party sauntered inside as well, a person they derogatorily called Chief, because of his Indian heritage. Thing is he sat down on *top* of Kolya and kind of merged with him, Devil power showing its pitchforked ways again. Stu didn’t look over, just glad it wasn’t him this time. Chief had been taken over for sure. Maybe it’s the common redness, he speculated while woofing down another popped kernel. He watched Wheeler pop hers. Maybe they could pop some common food together sometime, he thinks, seeing something different in the claps as well. Just keep studying, he said to himself. We’ll compare notes later. As soon as I can ditch the Devil Boys.
“New bar in town, Chief.”
“Don’t call me that. I’m not an Indian any more. I’m an *American*, dammit.”
“Sure you are Chief. Anyway, Gus and I…”
“Gus? Since when did you start calling yourself Gus, Ben?”
“Since, I don’t know, yesterday?” Distant but distinct.
“*Forever*,” countered Stan, formerly Stu. “You’ve always been Gus.” He turns to Chief. “He’s *always* been Gus.”
Slowly but surely, they traced all the confusion back to that birthday party where they summoned The Devil.
“Oh yeah,” spoke Ben at the time. “Guess that could have done it.”