I was hot on a trail again. Zero also owned this Heartsdale horse, hitched in a small woods behind its central Blown-Apart store.
And there’s the *other* circling Yoko dummy.
“Boy I sure love these new mesh chairs the chief got us, dad.”
“Yes, certainly helps with the ailing back and neck, son.”
“I’m here to file a report about a missing town,” spoke Ben Wolf, towering in his good looks.
Bazooka, the elder of the two policemen, indicates a seat beside the bloodied werewolf in the background. “Take a ticket,” he says, and then laughs at his son about the duplicity.
“I’m alive!” Ben Wolf looked around, deducing he must have hatched from that egg on the dresser in front of him.
“Jewels,” he spoke aloud again, observing the glinty objects also spilling out from the egg. Like stardust.
Better not alert Phyllis Klondike or Phyllis Phox or whatever her name was currently, he thought. Report instead directly to Host Charming, the host with the most. Back in the Old Country. Ahh, yes. Now I can return.
“I’m all mixed up,” he says to Host Charming inside the Mixed Up Castle in Seacliff on the Old Continent. “I must get my bearings.”
“*You* must get your *Bena,*” the often wise prince responded to him, giving his employee a map in his head. But that is a story for another photo-novel. We return to Port Mansfield for a proper plot device in this one…
“There you are,” spoke smoking hot Batty Casey from the bed. “Now shut the door and get in here and make sweet love to me.” But when Firefive compliantly crawled under the sheets there was no one left but Batty. “Hmm,” she wondered, bat swinging around in thin air before her. “Something must have happened.”
Summerhill Nova’s other job besides running the Bemberg sim in its entirety was preaching to the congregation who congregated at Church of the Elmers in Melder in its entirety each Sundae. Unlike with the Main Church of Cheese, usually a packed crowd for this one, and no exception this day. They began by honoring a fellow parishioner who had been killed in the recent, new troubles down in, “Bena or Bennington or whatever they call the miserable village these days,” white Summerhill lectured from her white pulpit in her big white church to a host of white people dressed in black. She knew harping on the evils of their degenerative sister sim to the south was a certain crowd pleaser. Then she started talking about Ben Wolf.
“I know many of you’n’s frowned when we accepted Ben into our congregation. You said he smelled weird, especially around the full moon. You said he howled when he went to the bathroom. You complained — silently mainly — when we found out his wife the Irish Lass (Summerhill couldn’t remember her name right off either) was also a beast underneath it all, a fox in her case. Yet he heard the calling of the Lord (Summerhill stops here, as if hearing my voice as well), and came to us for guidance, for shelter from the harsh world he saw around him, trying to tear his very limbs apart, pull his very head out of his body and parade it around for all to see and mock. Yes, this Ben, this *Wolf*, was just as much a *man* as any of you lot here.” She pointed around the congregation for emphasis, singling out various men. “And what else has he done for the church you might ask? Well, we set him to tasks — menial tasks but after all he was grateful just to be here. I think each and every one of you will agree that the 17 bathrooms spread out in our various churches across the compound look spotless now; he will be hard to replace for sure in that area.” Agreements and nods across the congregation here. “And what of tree trimmings, and the squirrel bombings, and so many more tasks we set for him that he accomplished with great joy, great glee, great triumph. No, this *man*… will be sorely missed around these here parts.”
“And now — a word from the widow, an exile from Bena or Bennington…” she stops here and covers the mike with her hand, calling over to Phyllis Phox sitting in one of the nearby lawn chairs positioned below the main congregation. “What’s the name, dear?”
“Phyllis,” came Phyllis’ answer, not understanding what Summerhill Nova meant.
“… Phyllis,” Summerhill then continued, thinking that was the correct name of Bena/Bennington now. Phyllis approached the podium to scattered applause.
(to be continued)
For the child, Great Mother of Vampires asked a high price. “Let me have the lives of the remaining werewolves in town. Let my vampire brood feast on their flesh and blood.” Rebl looked over at Ben Wolf, who nodded, a look of surprising calm in his eyes. “We agree,” the cat-being lawyer answered back. Ben turned to the Great Mother and studied her ancient figure. He knew this was the only way to save his Irish Lass. What was her name again, darnit? Oh yes: Phyllis — the only way to save Phyllis. The pack would kill her otherwise. Unless it was the pack being killed. No other way.
“Then I turn over the child to the Cat-Witch here.” Great Mother eyed Cat-Witch loathingly again. So young! she thinks while imagining her own skin turning to dust. “We will not speak of the matter further.” She got up wobblingly, grabbed her cane, and hobbled out of the room down the hall to the secret elevator that would whisk her back to her parlor. Ben returned to his bar to prepare for the slaughter he knew was coming. He’d made his peace with The Lord. In fact, The Lord (me) told him to do all these things, to allow the vampires to take complete control now. “Fate”, I called down to him. “Bena must shift into a new era, with no Wolves or wolves allowed. That means *you*.” He had seen the light on this particular Corsica summit — Moork I think it was again. He descended back into town to tell Rebl to go through with the prearranged deal.
What of this child, though, this Katy Kidd? All we know now is that she will live to see another day in another section.
“They’re ready for you Ms. Rebl.” Hidi then noticed that the cat-person lawyer was using her hands for a brush and her attache case as a pallet. “What, pray tell, are you painting, ms.?”
“Like any good lawyer, I’m painting a scene,” came the logical answer.
Case still in hand, she follows Hidi down the Hall of Fear to the Chamber of Utter Unspeakable Horrors.
Despite the name, there was actually a happy, feel-good vibe to it tonight. Things in this section of the photo-novel were being wrapped up in a relatively honest and decent way.
“Great Mother,” spoke Rebl solemnly while bowing at The Threshold (they called it). “I am honored.”
Whenever Ben gets lost or confused in his wanderings, he just types BENA into his map search box and returns here through it, to the center of Bena, formerly Bennington — with his bar straight ahead. Through this practice he’d learned, quite a long time ago at this point — about the time of the Vampire Coup I suppose — that his home sim now called Bena has a double, also named Bena. Or beginning with Bena. Anyway, it’s an ocean sim or water sim, more in the western reaches of the continent. And, just to its northwest, a kind of parallel town to here. One day he’d use this trick to escape the bar, the vampires, even his old werewolf friends that still come by his establishment every now and then, despite what the vampires told them to do. “Stay away,” they exclaimed after the coup. “The bar is ours, the *town* is ours. And then they brought in that foreign lawyer Rebl to seal the deal. How many forms did he have to sign back in the day? Too many to remember. Bennington to Bena, pheh.
He turned around in place and stared at
Northeast Bloodbath Castle, so named because of a bath of blood (the king’s favorite in olden days) instead of a murder spree of some kind. “Wonder if that Rocky Racco writer guy ever made it over there to fish?” he wonders aloud. “Guess I should have told him about the sea monster that guards the place, hehe.” Ben Wolf ponders about the last time he saw Gregg Oden, aka the “monster”. Probably 20 years ago at this point. Just walked in the bar, ordered a Baileys and poured it in his shoe and drank it down, and then walked back toward the bay, shouting, “I’m Gregg Oden!” before the waters took his slimy green, pink tutu wearing figure again. He’s always looking for a man-wife after he shows them his shiny man-gina, and perhaps this Rocky Racco will turn out to be a suitable one this time. But the odds are stacked way against him.
Ben exits the bay and walks into town, but passes his bar — empty anyways (day hours) — on the way to Rocky’s now vacated cave, his old home when Bena was Bennington. The “Wolf Den.”
He could live here again, he ruminates while sitting on the soft, cushy pillows within. But that would mean…
The pack wouldn’t understand, despite the weakening down through the years. They’d still tear her to shreds, pull out her head and all her limbs and wave them about while howling their crazy “traitor songs” maniacally. Once married to a wolf, always a Wolf yourself, he understood. The surname Phox she cooked up one drunken evening was a sardonic play on words. She knew it was Wolf still and told it to everyone who asked, saying the other name was a joke and then usually laughed a bit to emphasize this. Funny Phyllis Phox, people thought about her. Guess that led to the stand up comedy. Which led to the novels.
No, he’d have to think of another way. Perhaps involving this other Bena, yes…
If and when she came into town, she liked to sip coffee at The Green Lady next to the park and stare out at the bay. At night, Ben’s place was too full of vampires, and during the day there was still the threat of one or two of his old werewolf friends stopping by and reminiscing about the old days. She didn’t want to hear such talk. *Both* eras are equally bad in her mind, she’d always want to pitch to them, both Bennington and, now, Bena. This town is *cursed*! she sometimes wanted to scream from the top of Bena Hill toward the buildings and roads spanning north to east before her, Mothers Place behind be damned. Here at the Green Lady, drinking her cinnamon spiced coffee, she could feel away from it all for a moment. It was like the place was made for her, Green Lady matching green (clad) lady. It was here she could think about her *own* past, and figured out what went right but also, yes, what went wrong according to her master plan formulated at age 17, her first year in college taking astromystics classes at Teepot Tech. She would acquire a husband in due time but not be chained to his lifestyle. Well, she missed the boat there(!). Although she loves Ben dearly, no one can deny his faults, primarily the threat of turning into a wolf during any full moon despite the continued treatments down through the years. “I can change,” he declares every now and then. “I *will* change”. “I have found The Lord now,” he also might tack on to any such proclamation. But wanderlust sometimes gets a hold of him and he’s gone for days, part of his wolf heritage surfacing. “Where were you now?” she’d ask, and he’d just go on talking about how The Lord told him to do this, and go there and do that. Always the same excuse. Sometimes she’d like to just yank this Lord dude out of the clouds and give him an earful back.
They managed, but it wasn’t what you’d call a perfect relationship. On the sly, sometimes Phyllis Phox would inquire to her lawyer friend in town — Rebl of course — about how divorcing a werewolf might fare. “Poorly,” she would emphasize. The pack always takes care of itself. Ben, of course, wouldn’t lift a finger — *probably* — but the others…
If only ditzy classmate Marsha wouldn’t have introduced me to him at that Benjamin Harrison Ball held at Grover Cleveland Hall down Former Presidents Lane. If only one or the other would have chosen a different college.
(to be continued?)
Rocky Racco sat in front of his typewriter waiting for a story to happen but it never did.
He went to the theatre to try to envision a play being acted out onstage, perhaps an interpretation of the novel he couldn’t start. Didn’t work.
What *was* it about this place, Old Ben — Bennington — but now New Ben: Bena? Creativity seemed to be sapped from the town. Before going back to his cave-home and sleeping the rest of the day for lack of anything else to do, Rocky decided to go visit Ben at the town bar, the center of it all down through the years, gluing old and new together to make something most likely not quite as good as either.
“Creative drought, eh?” he responded to Rocky’s confession of writer’s block. “You know what I do when something like that happens to me? Go fishing.” He looks to the large castle out in the water with this, tucked away in the northeast corner of the sim. Quite similar in this positioning to the Northeast Castle of the Hilling sim featured in the last section of this here photo-novel, perhaps too much so. There be the answers, Rocky realized, picking up on Ben’s accent in his mind. He’d have to rent a boat.
“One more thing, laddie, before you be renting that boat,” Ben further advised. “You be also seeking a double to this town, but not Hilling. Don’t go back to Hilling.” Rocky was thinking: I’ve never been to Hilling and don’t even know where that is. Maybe that was his problem. He didn’t have enough backstory himself to go off and start creating microcosms of reality through books and plays.
He recalls… something about a hotel. Yes. I can start there.
“Hello, anyone… here?”