Blue Jay Wade was still kinda noticing (and imagining/remembering) the thing before the thing while Big Red washed his hands prior to serving their evening meal. Carrot and cucumber enchiladas it was tonight, yum. Big Red could cook with the best of ’em. Something to reassure himself after this afternoon’s humiliation, Wade speculated. But I guess he got his revenge at least on Trashy. Certainly did. Thinking it best not to re-imagine *that* right now, the blue bird-man turned his attention instead to the left.
“We gotta pay to get these windows unfrosted sometime, Big Red… Mr. Butler.”
“*Why*?” Big Red was still in quite the pissy mood.
“Because, you know… of The Monster. Sneaking up on us all the time. We don’t even have time to react most times.”
“I *like* The Monster visiting us,” Big Red measured out acidly while putting their enchiladas on plates and lumbered toward the table. “I *like* being abducted. It’s like a mini-holiday. Away from *you*.”
“I’m just saying…” Blue Jay Wade tried to defend himself.
Big Red hovered to the side. “If you’d spend more time at your *boathouse* then you wouldn’t notice these windows so much.”
Blue Jay Wade tested the frosted panel with his finger to see if dirt or grime could be adding to its translucent quality, so little could be actually seen.
“Stand up,” Big Red barked while roughly plopping down their plates on the wooden table and sliding one over to Blue Jay Wade. “You know I don’t like eating with my back to the wall. Get up; you can have this plate.” That image of the thing after the thing flashing in his head, Blue Jay Wade quickly complied and slunk over to the center seat while Big Red glowered above and behind him a minute — breathing rather heavily and menacingly, a suddenly sweating Wade felt — before moving to the vacated chair.
Ruby found Trashy’s red, white and blue severed head the next day bobbing around Yd Bay on the other side of the island. “What have I done??” she cried, worrying more about what suddenly pill denied Aunt Annie was going to do to *her* than anything.
“Why don’t you just take your clothes off right now and go hop in the tub, Big Red. Because you’re going *down again.*”
Blue Jay Wade pretended not to see Ruby’s victory dance on the table…
… but certainly noticed Big Red’s big, hairy heiney as he waddled back to his house for his loser bath.
“Don’t say *anything* Trashy,” Big Red warned while passing.
“Like *you’re* going to do anything about it,” taunted the drug dealing clown.
“Other Baker,” calls Baker Blinker from the floor toward Baker Bloch, who is helping prepare dinner for four. “I think I have an ending for this one.”
“You can put your wings back on, Blue Jay Wade. We’re done here.”
“Holey moley Big Red! What was that?!”
“Oh…My…GOD. It really happened! It really REALLY happened!!”
Then Fisher combined a sentence and question at once. “I believe we’ve been invited to dinner?”
“Not too bad, Baker Blinker,” speaks a reading Baker Bloch from the floor. “But — I have to ask this. Where’s Annie?”
“These pills are pretty good, Axis. Tasty. Say the Silver King machine just appeared over there tonight? Right before I arrived?”
“Right, Big Red. It’s an honor to have you here, by the way. The abduction process wasn’t too painful, I hope. Sometimes it is to those with the wrong energies.”
“Not atall. Time doesn’t exist here, eh?”
“Nor Beach,” completes Axis. “Only, um, Middle.”
Yes, he realizes. This is Middle. A new sandwich with something else inside; something beyond the spinning 78.
A sandwich appeared in Big Red’s mouth, loaded with innards.
“Interesting,” chirps Axis.
In a control experiment, the next abductee was asked to read a specific chapter from a red book and found it fascinating and loaded down with meaning.
Annie really liked New Island, and enjoyed at least *trying* to jog all the way around it every couple of days. She lived alone now in the Gloomy Gus, Karl having being forgotten since True Opp (Tropp) manifested in the Braynard’s Place Bluebird Cuddle Van, oh, I guess about a week back now. And she could really and actually paint! Big Red was the first subject in this new age, Karl’s fragmented and distorted Blue Boy having succumbed to ultimate winners ‘Beach’ and ‘Time’. Annie enjoyed dancing and spinning to both sides of the 78 night before last up at the Silver King Diner. For she had learned — also a part of this rebirthing process — that Eden, or *New* Eden, occupied the same psycho-physical or psycho-spiritual realm as New Island. Both part of the New. The red crossed Man in the High Castle had demonstrated this to her, this Axis she’s become friends with, despite the admitted abduction aspect. She use to like to think of herself as a Madam (of the Night), but now she was an Artist, Adam be damned. Wave upon wave of inspiration washed over her in the illuminated Centre. There was no “I” in either.
Now to find Tennessee and fix it all in place.
She knew it had something to do with Curled Paper, a member of Axis’ Table and also the folk-punk band Rock Paper Scissors best known for destroying a West Virginia club carved out of a giant piece of coal in 1978.
I’m sorry I haven’t gotten back to Annie’s New Island story in a while. She’s been attempting to run around the entire island most days now, but always seems to get distracted or sidetracked by this and that. She knows about the abandoned artist colony in its southernmost region (where more recently met Alice 02 was once a successful landscape painter), but hasn’t received the whole story about what happened there. And today, while attempting to round the northern part of the isle, she finally met Big Red again, sunbathing in the nude at Yd Bay (pronounced like “Wide Bay”). Emboldened by the obvious aesthetics, she struck up a conversation. Big Red then said he’d throw on some clothes and that they could meet at the recently remodeled Fishers Island Amusement Park, now a bar/social hangout, to resume their talk. We catch up with them there.
“Tennessee Colony it was originally called,” Big Red continued about the former artist colony that attracted Annie to the island in the first place. “Run by a woman named such. Sculptor. I believe she did…” — he puts his finger to his mouth here in a pondering gesture — “yes, she sculpted men’s parts as I recall.”
Men’s *parts*, Annie thought, and then wondered why *she* hadn’t thought of that. But then Annie was mildly disappointed to find out Big Red meant arms and legs and heads and so on as well as, yes, the occasional one based on those bits in the phallic region. She learned of such a work named “Flapper” she was itching to see for possible inspiration. Yes, Annie had to find out more about this Tennessee woman: her style, her influences, her life in general.
Blue Jay Wade ambled up from his home just to the south. “Hi Mr. Butler, he spoke to Big Red, and then glanced at Annie without introducing himself. He looked around, obviously concerned. “What happened to my amusement park?”
I distinctly remember that conifer tree right there, Robot Derak Jones thinks while reviewing the appearance of (The Monster) night before last in his mind. Appearing and then fading away, like a noisy apparition. Never could find the source. Well today, he declares, I’m going to work a little harder at it, probe a little deeper.
His friend and neighbor Eraserhead Man suggested keeping his mind focused and looking for something red. “That’s what Gus remarked about the subject when I asked him,” EM said to RDJ yesterday evening after riding down on his John Deere tractor for another visit. At the exact moment he mentioned this, RDJ was looking at a flaming red maple tree framed against the night sky across the island sands, but thought this was just chance.
Opp has been missing a month now from his side. Annie and Karl, after the former painted the latter as what was obviously some kind of representation or stand in for the blue lad, left Pencil’s place last week to assume residency on the other side of the island. That’s when (The Monster) showed up. That, in fact, is when Pencil tossed his coffee into the fire at his home to produce Gus for the first time. Gus seems bound and determined to find that (Monster). I wonder why?
RDJ decides to check out the small house beside the tree.
“Oh. Sorry neighbor! Didn’t know anyone was here.”
“T’is alright,” the large, bathing man with a red beard spoke through the opening. “I’m a nudist anyway. No shame in a person finding another person naked. Thus the open door!”
Red beard, Robot Derak Jones thought later while relaxing with Eraserhead Man on the sandy beach in front of his home and staring toward the same house. “Gus said to look for something red, right?” he asked of his friend.
“Right. And to keep your mind focused. If you do both you’ll probably succeed. Seems to always work for me.”
And then he saw it again.