Ready to take on a witch.
It was not an *incredibly* bad looking house from the outside, April Mae Flowers thought while standing in the snow. But the insides were all wonky: crazily placed stairs, doors that won’t shut, and, perhaps most irritating of all, the transparent on transparent wall overlaps, which made parts of the house practically see-through when viewed from certain angles. She had told her newly wedded husband at the time that the Princess (who was in charge of such things then) rejected it after giving the matter serious consideration, citing some of these same issues plus tacking on a couple of her own — lighting; bedrooms that aren’t linked to the interior; plumbing. 300 linden dollars a month was all it was back then for a nice parcel, perhaps a 1024 like this, albeit without the double prims. But Herbert insisted that his “mansion” go along with the deal. It is understandable in that this was the place he helped raise Lisa and Bartholomew with his first two wives, Marg and then Madame Silver. What disastrous marriages! As bad as her own to retro-guy Septimius Felton, now 3 1/2 years dead in his grave. Marg as well — going on 9. Only Madame Silver remains among their exes, and apparently she’s gone bat-ass crazy over on the Omega continent, vowing to destroy Lisa and keeping brother Bart in limbo. She tries to avoid her part of the continent when visiting Septimius’ grave over there. Which reminds her… she needs to ask Mssr. Gold for the narrow boat-plane again tomorrow. She dreads the moment.
Funny how I’ve been banned for 30 minutes from that central property, just for sitting at that table and attempting to grab an orange. Better send replacement Snoupy in for a shot instead. Must – get – oranges!
He checks his watch. *Or*, I could just wait the now 19 minutes remaining and explore some of the rest of this Adgatetown. David Jaspers, Linda Halsey — wonder if they’re still here. And of course Lisa V., the real reason for the visit. Bartholomew. I know where he is. I know where all the Smipsons are: Homer, Marg, Grandpaw, Magee, even the aunts Selma and Louise. I know who shot Mr. J. R. Burns. And I know why Lisa can’t find any of them. She has evolved.
Two kids playing on a jungle gym linked together with red, blue, yellow pentagons. Wait: there’s green there too. Sometimes that is forgotten in the mix of primary colors.
Maybe like Lisa and Bartholomew when they were children. Innocent days of youth. Before the Big Change. One made it through the waterfall, the other didn’t. Lisa casts a shadow and evil is born. Projected onto the boy.
They are acting out a play: The boy dreams of life on an elephant, but can’t make it there himself. For the girl: smooth sailing.
What game are they playing now? The one where blue wins and red loses? That happens all the time.
What about yellow on the edge? Oh, there’s the father or guardian showing up. Perhaps come to gather them up and take them home to a nice, delicious warm meal prepared by the significant other while he was out hard at work selling encyclopedias or something. Nice suit.
But when Marion Harding also stopped at the edge of the circle, only one child was still within. The dancing one. The one who cast the shadow.
Oops. Past time to take a pic with those oranges!
“Such a pretty, happy family,” a looming Madame Silver cooed before spoiling it all. “Let’s just, um, remove the *father* from the scene, har har. Like thus.” She picks up “Monsieur Gold” and squeezes him tight in her hand.
“Now what are you going to do Young Ruby and Tin Tin? Stay in the woods until darkness descends?” She takes another figure.
“Ooooo. Come here you!!”
An invisible cartoon boy, Martha Lamb thinks, studying Falmouth 36 once more on the 4th floor of the Fal Mouth Moon gallery. Hugged and loved by a visible cartoon girl with red shoes. Perhaps they are future lovers, or perhaps brother and sister. Maybe he has a defect that hides him from view — a malady — but is loved by his sister still. Odd that I think this, she ruminates.
Then over here, further away in a field, the inversion: girl invisible and boy visible. The “E” on the next collage over blinks on and off. This *is* love; mutual exchanging.
If I could just *reach* into the collage… somewhere about… here.
Or is it here?
So close yet so far. How to get from there…
… to here. Swish away the pain into the ice and snow and make it all go away. Football successfully kicked.
“‘Copyright Protected Image’,” she read from the picture in front of her. “And to think I was going to get rid of all this in Collagesity, Sid my dearest. But now I think it is a gateway to the Great Beyond, fries and liquor be damned.”
“You shouldn’t say that about your church,” Sid offered. “You were so devoted to it before.”
She turned to him. “The Diagonal changed me, made me into a true woman. I was like two-dimensional before. *You* changed me.”
“Yeah, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that…”
“All that’s left is the hand and how to break through. Without pain. They say that there’s no gain without pain, but I’m thinking of something else.”
“Yeah, Martha. I need you to listen tonight.”
She went on. “It’s the 36th collage of this series all right. I’ve been studying it nightly for going on half a week now. The Diagonal is giving me energy to understand.”
Sid grabbed her hand in order to stop her. “Listen, Martha. We need to talk. About The Diagonal.” He let go of her hand. “We can’t use it in that way any more.”
“No?” Her voice was suddenly far away, as across a field.
“No,” he said firmly. “I need to tell you the story of who I really am, how I really got here. It all started with the firing.”
“Firing?” Tears formed in her eyes despite her efforts. “What firing?”
“We should tell Tessa the truth, Monsieur Gold,” she spoke after finishing her meal.
“You mean that we are actually brother and sister as well as husband and wife, Madame Silver?”
“No — although that may be handy later on.”
“That the killer sharks she is so fond of are actually whales?” he guessed again.
“No, not quite yet on that one either. She’s having so much fun with them, and she detests whales as you know. Considers them noisy.”
“They should have never bought her that Engelbert Humpbackdinck record at such a tender age.”
Right.” She picked up her sterling silver fork nervously and then set it down again. “No, I think it’s time to talk to her about the experiment, Monsieur.”
“The one that went right, or the one that went wrong, Madame?” he asked.
“Ahhh,” he uttered, thinking back…
Lisa the Vegetarian was very disappointed to learn that rumors of her brother Bartholomew living on New Island turned out to be false. All witnesses seemed to have seen was this flattie replica sold for L$30 in a popular northern island store. After manifesting the demo, she and Fisher stayed inside a yellow caution ribbon to avoid getting run over by the fast skating figure. “Soooo, does this mean you’ll be leaving the island soon?” Fisher had to ask, prompting Lisa to reply, “We’ll see.”
While there, Fisher pretends to become the victim of a crime scene. Bernard the Bear, shopping for 4th of July gifts for his relatives — flattie Tasmanian Devil for Uncle Lester, a Roadrunner for Aunt Samantha, etc. — gets in on the fun as well.
But it was Snoupy as the Red Baron, along with accompanying doghouse, that Fisher decides to purchase today.
Lisa settles for a Yellow Submarine demo. She needs to save her money for traveling expenses. Already she’s planning to call cousin Eleanor in Corsica’s Fisher Rigg to see if she can moor her houseboat there for at least a couple of days. “Bad news about Bart,” she imagines telling Eleanor in her head. “Still on the lam.”
Fisher Rigg, hmm, she then considers. Any possible relation to *this* Fisher? *And*: should she take him with her?? Could it already be time for him to leave New Island?