Illuminatus eyed the bluebird who’d just flown in on the window seal suspiciously with his most closed of 4 eyes.
“Harrison,” he muttered. “Harry.” He got up off the 256th most crazy thing in the sim and walked toward Centre again.
Young Ruby looked far and wide for her missing friend Shirley Boot, starting with Yd Bay on the far side of New Island, hoping to hell she didn’t find another bobbing head there like she did before with Trashy the Clown’s (she didn’t).
Another place to visit was Faux Aunt Annie and Karl’s Gloomy Gus on the west coast. Now the last couple of times we checked in — well, actually throughout this *whole* novel, looking back — it seems that Annie was in a heap of trouble with all these pills and incessant dancing and, um, the other thing. And she was! But the death of Trashy the Clown, although extremely difficult to get over at first, was a blessing in disguise. She cleaned up, with aid from loving beau Karl — locked up in the Gloomy Gus for going on two weeks. She emerged exhausted and dehydrated and still a little nauseous, but ready to move forward into the future without drugs and the other, attached things. Karl was her focus now, her beacon of light. So we have a happy ending to that part of our story, and an important one it is. But no luck for Ruby this day — no sign of Shirley there.
Mrs. Fogg and Ms. Frame, now moved in together for mutual protection, food, and liberty, hadn’t seen her either. That basically took care of the whole northwest section of the island, so active these two women were with their sailing and beach running and frequent picnics to the top of Mt. Sondra where they had a commanding view of that part of New Island.
Blue Jay Wade was dead, and his former chum turned complete psychopath Big Red Butler remained incarcerated at the Gaston-Berry jail, at least for this week. But neighbor Zettie Lamont the zebra-ass, similar to Fogg and Frame, had a pretty good view of the lower western part of the island from his perch atop Pimushe Isle. He relayed to the disappointed Ruby that he hadn’t seen the young girl either.
How about one of the houseboats or yachts at the Diamond Sailing Club? Possibility, but since Lisa the Vegetarian Smipson left for Corsica, she has no contacts there.
No one lived at Artist Point in the southeast section of the island. The east was dominated by Mid Hazel’s compound of buildings. Ruby felt that if Shirley had somehow gotten stuck over there she was doomed anyway. Lost to a powerful witch.
Which left center: Mabel’s house (Mabel and roommates Fisher and Bendy had seen nothing), Eraserhead Man and his Rabbit Hole house (nada again), and Robot Derak Jones (who said, check with Eraserhead Man, which she’d just done). Hmm, she thought, standing in the middle of central Route 9 dividing the island almost cleanly in two. She looked down at the buildings: Elephant Club, Axis’ Castle, Flossie’s, a new place beside Bumpy’s Ice Cream Village. “*Wait*,” she suddenly exclaimed. “The Village! I could ask Lavern Glam. She has eyes everywhere.”
So we head back to the ice cream truck, the sole component of this so-called village. Use to be bigger in the day, as they say. But Mr. Glam sold part of his original land to the Elephant Club, who turned it into their western parking lot, and then part to Oranga Black who built the Arcade in back. He downsized from a double wide trailer with indoor seating to the small truck we’ve already seen in that last post, whose cab also doubled as his daughter’s bedroom for a while. She didn’t mind: she felt she remained in the center of it all that way.
Ruby approached the truck. “You’re not Lavern Glam.”
“Yet *you* remain oh-so-red Ruby Roo,” spoke the alien behind the counter. “Exactly 15 1/2 today, this minute, this, um, second actually. Your anti-birthday.”
The island blew up around them. To those on the outside, those who survived, they describe the sound it made as close if not the same as middle C on a piano. Queer, huh? Too queer? We’ll see…
In the middle of the night, Rabbid Baumbeer types up his report on the unfortunate blue bird-man sprawled out on the table behind him. It took the wannabe doctor most of yesterday to sew the head back on, plus extract all the fluid he could. Precious bodily fluid, he thinks. One day my study of it will take me far away from here and such poor, pitiful creatures.
“Ooh,” he says, studying the data in front of him. “Says here there’s formaldehyde in there already. Looks like this big red dude was planning on keeping him well preserved, perhaps for future rituals. What a sicky!” Yes… far away from here.
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.
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?”
After riding the Wild Whale and other attractions at Fishers Island Amusement Park, a daily routine, Blue Jay Wade realizes he was getting tired and started looking homeward again.
Toward the namesake jut of land and attached boathouse of his own creation. For the tiny island makes the house in this case, like a tail wagging a dog.
Fisher’s Isle. Name for the great explorer of Underground Second Lyfe, along with his riding companion Lord Bendington. Four trees and the truth, they always said. When will they return? It was suppose to be on that island. Or inside that isle… beneath, something.
He was falling asleep while standing. Better get back to the boathouse and his soft “crashy couch” asap.
Ahhh. That’s better.