“OK, Tom, we’re ready to roll again,” he hears in his ear PRESS.
Tom the bartender is recording. Should be OK and it was. Geronimo, Slick, Olive. Then: *himself*; and he was careful not to mention his real name to Eyela and Newt. Yes he clearly heard the word Tom followed by Kite. Then again several sentences later to the west, Watson this time being the follow up word. Two famous golfers named Tom, he realized after a pause. “Kite probably means drugs,” he later relayed to his boss after Eyela and Newt had left the club, “as in ‘high as a…’ (he was good with wordplay). Watson points to something deeper, blacker even. I’ll check on that.” He removes the recording device from his shirt UNPRESS.
U.S. President Jimmy Carter grew up at Archery on his family’s farm from age four, in 1928, until he left for college in 1941. In Carter’s time, the population consisted of approximately 25 black families and 2 white families, namely the Watsons and Carters. President Carter recalled in 1976 that Bishop Johnson was “the best-educated, most famous, the most widely traveled, and the richest member of the community”. The Carter family remained at Archery until 1949; ownership of the Carter property was transferred to the National Park Service in 1994.
“He’s not coming out of there,” he says to me. “He’ll always be a part of the library.”
I knew I was weighted too much in the South. But that’s where he chose to stay. “Who will replace him?” I asked Buster Damm sitting across from me, an impossibly small vampire in such a big big world. Too small to fit in anywhere properly. But too important to die himself. He stared the answer into me.
“So they just found him there. Dead.”
“Gone to South America,” Buster elaborated as best as possible. Just like Sherwood before him, another Allen.
Nighttime at the Castle in De Skies; fog getting thicker. Must think about heading home soon. North.
… the Blue *Thorn* walks into a pizza establishment, only to discover the irony of his main bane. He *himself* is this mysterious Monroe Ray who borrowed his antique red Chevy and perhaps drove it into the levy but definitely, at any rate, got himself lost… then killed. Smashed in the face by Casey One Hole in the 256 defined Red Room, one a-hole of a guy as we know. Thus the cybernetics. “Don’t die, don’t die,” said the one armed doctor, hovering above him like a white masked angel. And so he didn’t but being brought back to life in this way, in this manner, cost him. Recruitment into Pot-D; tough boss Buster Damm over him now. “Damn!” he often cursed at his situation.
He sat in Collagesity’s newest business for half an hour, waiting on the pizza he’d ordered just before climbing the beige hill to the village within the village, a microcosm. He’d figure it out soon enough. The pizza was made by himself at the same time and it sat there on the counter, waiting for him to open the lid and solve the puzzle. More would come of this.
She wasn’t f-ing around any more. She owned the Dixie Belle gambling boat and all the characters that had passed through this here photo-novel, 29 in a series… Just: 29 in a series. She had complete control, *not* Alysha. Alysha was left back on Maebaleia — I’m not sure why but there you go. Now we have blonde Lichen Roosevelt. And, with her, dark haired Fern Stalin. And then the 3rd, but not red headed Alysha (or Wendy). Fern originally thought it would be similarly red Indian Wells, 1/2 brother to Rose Wells and the one she was studying for the Crabwoo Revitalization Project or Blue Feather Reinvestment Initiative or whatever the f- they’re calling it these days. Buster brought in Duncan to protect, then changed his mind and assigned White Mage to the case, but has, again, changed his mind because of Dixie (Belle). Duncan indeed does have karma involved. He pulls out a fish taco to eat on a break from acting. It almost reaches his mouth before he remembers the boy. George! I left him back in VHC City to fend for his own! He must be, jeez, 17 now? Maybe 18. I believe his birthday is Tuesday (of last week’s month). Oh (relief!). He now remembers he left the boy with his Aunt Clare, his *sister*. They didn’t have the same mother but it was close enough. Last time he spoke to him George was having more dreams about Yelloo. That’s where we should head next (Fern directs — former director Percy Pierce assigned to another “film”). The border between granite and snow. The ultimate division between Tennessee interior and Kentucky exterior. Like Static…
“I see,” she muttered after turning page 15 and starting to read 16. “Cowabunga *is* a misdirection, interesting.” 5 seconds later she turns another page.
He flickered in but then was quickly replaced by another, a *guardian*. Pot-D representative Duncan Avocado, assigned to the case by Buster Damm a while ago in the photo-novel but then pulled in favor of White Mage. Now he’s back. And beautiful. “Duncan,” she said, not that surprised. “Should have known you were lurking behind the curtains somewhere, ready to have a seat. Whatcha been upto? It’s been, oh *forever*. Since…”
“Dixie, yeah I know,” Duncan Avocado said in her direction, knowing over what part of the table this was going. “I said I was sorry.”
“How’s your neck?”
“Mmmm.” Duncan hesitated, understanding this was the key. Jasper turned wrong. like a Newton Jasper Ninja Turtle upended to make a soup bowl.
“‘Cowabunga,'” she then said. “I want that treatise.”
“You know what.”
“It’s what I tell everyone at this Table. Time to choose, darlings. You can pick two apples or one banana. If the latter, I’d go with the ripest one in case you don’t like it. Oranges aren’t needed since everyone has one — needless redundancy you see. And the choco chip cookies are *right* out unless you’re one of the Far Corner peoples. Don’t be that. Jacob or Jacobia — please select the item or items you wish to be.”
“I don’t think we have to worry about the Heart Line any longer, Sid. Since the heart of the Heart is no longer there.”
“Head is still in play, apparently.”
“I know. I was there (!) 23:23.”
“So my suggestion is go back to that spot, that exact melding of space and time. Obviously it will most likely be a different *time* of course, but the space remains locked.”
“Right-o. Can I take Martha?”
Buster thought this over. “How’s her hormones doing?” he decided to phrase it. No distracting from the job at hand!
“He’s here. We’ll have to jump.”
“You go first.”
“Okay he’s gone down the road guys! You can come out!”
“Oh it smells *awful*, Buster,” Duncan spoke about the green pocketbook mounted in a display case on the side of the newstand. “Nothing new in there atall. Something *old*, and rotten. Smells like rancid sauerkraut to me, maybe mix in a little mustard. Can you imagine? My hands are turning redder just thinking about it. I need to amscray outta here! (reply/order). Red it is (*click*).” Duncan will have to stay a spell longer. TILE is strong here in Slaashsides-soon-to-be-part-of-Middletown, Buster believes. Continuing his pained face beyond the odor, he walks toward the subway, intending to turn himself in to Officer Davis Jefferson and his pseudo-supervisor Martha Wiggins for the murder of Hot Dog, then spill his confession at the merged jailhouse and mental institution later on. It’s the only way he can get the inside scoop. He purposefully bumps against Cory on the way down, one with the mother now. “Happy, bud?”, he asks sarcastically as he spots Jefferson and Wiggins at the bottom of a long long flight of stairs.
If we could just recreate the original crime scene. Pigeon roosting on ass; Amanda Stoorm placing an ultra important call to Buster Damm.
Call? Looks like we just did. Duncan Avocado brings it home.
“I knew you’d be here, Ginger. Because of the face replacement clinic and all.”
“500 lindens for a whole new look. Worth every penny!”
“Yes, you look great, you look fantastic.” Could Duncan date a high class white chick like this and get away with it in this town, this place in the center of it all? It would be controversial. Maybe *he* should get an operation. He knows a certain Dr. of Mouse who might be able to help. He ponders the outcome, black to white. But is he running away from his heritage because of that? He’s *tired* of being discriminated upon, but he’s in the same boat with the rest of his color. He can’t date fair, red haired Wendy down at Mac’s Diner either for the same reason, that damn white racist rat Pansy watching over it all. If only he could get rid of the Pooping Pigeon franchise, maybe create a reality where Wendy branches out on her on, dumps the hot dog angle, and goes all in for burger. Pure Angus beef; not those ridiculous fillers for the dog like lips and genitalia, even if that isn’t quite true. People could be trained to *think* that.
And that’s what he decided that day in the late of May or early June or whatever. Kill the Hot Dog, stick a pigeon on its rump and call it done. Killer Andrea Stoorm, trained in the Death Star battalions, knew what to do, Buster guiding her and then Buster telling Duncan what actually happened. “We manipulated probabilities in that Middletown alley that day in early May.” “June,” I corrected, but understood it all now. There was only one actual killing, the other 5 being deflections or subterfuge. Although it still thrived in other realities, in this one the Pooping Pigeon was over almost before it started, with Pansy
behind bars behind a bar instead.
“What’ll it be Duncan, my man?” Always the “man” for the black dude, he observed. But at least he still played his old music here.
And now: Hidi.
He places an all important call to Buster Damm, his regional boss of sorts.
“Yeah, I’m standing right outside his place right now. (reply) He’s been here for *years and years*. (reply) Mom just came back in town. Now she’s in therapy. Or jail: it’s a mixed up place, with one establishment shifting over to the next before you can blink one eye and bat the other. It’s all red and blue here. I’m ready to amscray. (reply/question) Biker? Yeah, he’s here too. He just rolled up in fact; I heard his souped up motorcycle all the way across town. (reply/joke) Far as the ear can hear, good one. (reply/request) I’ll get on it.” Duncan Avocado hangs up the pay phone, glances over in the direction of the club’s entrance. The killer could be in there right now for all he knew, cooking up another crime in some degree of seriousness ranging from blue (not very much at all) to red (very *very* much so). “Damn town,” he reiterated again under his breath, and took steps toward the entrance.
“Ever killed anyone, lady?” he joked at the bar, continuing the conversation to its ultimate end.
“Define ‘kill’.” There were different degrees of seriousness to it.
” He wanted to show us one of our ancestors,” tiny Buster Damm explained to his fellow (sometimes) tiny wife Bettie about the latest Venus of Willendorf find.
He stood directly on The Diagonal in the corner of a VHC City gallery, famous for such. A boy of 10, then 13, then back to 10, then over and over the process continues, perhaps until infinity. Unless Duncan finds a cure for the boy’s ail, pluck him out of the cycle.
He had seen too much for his youthful days thanks to living in the city. Interior becomes Exterior. Eve holds the apple and the snake. Hissing of Summer. Buster knows.
“Fish tacos again?”
“Oh *George*.” But Duncan knew his ward was right and that they had become stuck in a rut in this here VHC City, famed for its gallery and music scene. They needed a vacation.
(to be continued)