Tag Archives: Buster Damm

dates and plants

For their 5th date, Nancy decides to take Danny to Collagesity, to dine at the exclusive Blue Feather Club. Bettie had told them of Baker Bloch’s open offer to come live here if they ever tire of Olde Lapara Towne. However, upon teleporting in, Danny becomes scared of what’s outside the window and tries to run away. He’s never seen an actual forest with real Linden trees before. They have to return to OLT.

—–

“Don’t you ever get tired of eating cake and dessert?” Nancy asks.

“No.”

Bettie and Buster sat, heads down, at another table in the Clownski establishment. Not praying, but just sharing an awkward moment. It was their first “date” in 771 years.

“We should eat the rosemary sprig that comes with our plates,” Buster then suggested. “Else we won’t get any vegetables tonight.”

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going world? 02

“Rocky is playing a wonderful tune tonight. Cage, you say?”

“Yes. John,” answers Bettie. “‘Suite for Toy Piano.’ Debuted 1948 in Black Mountain, North Carolina. Not far from our user’s home. Very close, say, if it were 5, 6, 7 years down the road. If users are even around. We may be on our own by then. Us down here, alone with our actions, our consequences. Might be nice, Nancy. Just us, this town, its inhabitants. The Atoll Continent as a whole. Sansara can go to hell.”

Nancy frowns. “I don’t know. I like the old continent. We should go visit the climbable beanstalk (in Welsh) sometime.” Rocky’s piano tinkling ends and he gets up.

“Babble,” replied Bettie. Then: “Shush. The rant part of Rocky’s performance piece is starting. Let’s dance while he speaks.”

—–

Each one of us must now look to himself. That which formerly held us together and gave meaning to our occupations was our belief in God. When we transferred this belief first to heroes, then to things, we began to walk our separate paths. That island that we have grown to think no longer exists to which we might have retreated to escape from the impact of the world, lies, as it ever did, within each one of our hearts. Towards that final tranquility, which today we so desperately need, any integrating occupation–music and writing are two of them, rightly used–can serve as a guide.

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going world?

“Rehearsals were already suppose to start, Nancy. We were gonna be stars. That globe would obviously hafta go.”

“I guess we’ll just have to be each other’s star, then.”

“My thoughts exactly. Let’s go get some cake.”

—–

“It’s a very patriotic town, Bettie. But what is this Us of A?”

“It’s a place our user might want to get away from soon. War is brewing. Two little bitty people commanding militaries with their tiny gestures. We’re safe down here. As long as the infrastructure remains.”

She glared over at him again, he with his own piece of delicious cake. It was a small town. Not a lot of restaurants to choose from, for example. They’d keep running into each other. One day they might be friends. But not today. Too much real world mirroring.

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up the falls

The structure was indeed a duplicate of the jailhouse in town proper. But it was likewise empty, much to the disappointment of Buster.

His attention was then drawn to a jagged incline outside, dotted with those queer, two-dimensional orange trees. “What’s up there?” he asked Peter, who replied he didn’t know. “Wait here with Wheeler,” Buster commanded, steeling his nerves for a new challenge. “We need your conducting powers to get back.”

Buster returned to the others, saying he’d found an alternate way out of the underground beneath the SLRR and that they didn’t have to go through that God awful void again.

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Other Side

Peter graciously offers to conduct a cable train down to the duplicate jailhouse for curious Wheeler and Buster. They begin at a raised platform on the east side of town.

Small downpours delay the train for just a minute.

Unexpected twists and turns fill the journey.

Passing through the heart of town.

Wheeler and Buster become more excited as the train then heads southward through a tunnel.

An underground station stop. Peter checks out a strange noise in the back while Buster hides his eyes in fear. No problem however: just a stuck branch from a tree dragging the tracks.

Entering an inexplicable black void. “Are we dead?” Buster utters. Wheeler pats his head for comfort.

Emerging in a different place.

Another brief rain…

… then a final turn to reach End of the Line and the duplicate jailhouse.

The gang stares on, accompanied by an indifferent reindeer.

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begending

“I don’t quite get all these references to clowns, Buster. Could this be a Clare Nova influence on the town? Clown town?”

“Here it is, Wheeler,” said Buster beside her, not really listening. “The stairs I took up to my death spot. But now Peter says there are two such structures (in town).”

“Well, let’s go look around. Anyone coming in has to land there. Why did they do that? Some things here puzzle me. Puzzle me greatly.”

“My guess is that there are two forces in Olde Lapara, one for each involved sim. The town is split, in effect. Male and female. Black and white. Good and bad. Old and new. The town needs to heal itself in order to go forwards. It’s the same with every one of us.”

“Quite the philosopher you are, Buster. I guess that goes along with you being 10,000 years old or something.”

“Yes. I’ve seen a lot. Do you know how hard it is to kill a vampire?” He answers himself. “*Really* hard. If they don’t want to be killed. And I’m simply a coward. I enjoy life in death.”

“Jesus could give you that,” offers Wheeler. “So says the protesters. Where’d they go anyway?”

“So many questions, but we must start at the beginning. And the end.” They walk up the stairs.

—–

“We could just wait here long enough and meet up with everyone that regularly comes through the place,” says Wheeler, staring inside. “Manifestation spot. What does it mean?”

“Stop asking that. Meaning meaning meaning. Maybe it just is what it is. A work in progress. Continual progress.”

“Let’s go see the other one. This one’s empty to me.”

Buster took a closer look.

“You don’t understand, Wheeler Wilson. I couldn’t even look out to see who was continually shooting me. 47 times. They thought I was already a vampire. But I wasn’t. At the time.”

“Who turned you?” queried Wheeler (yet again). “I mean, to become a vampire someone has to kill you — drain you of blood, right?”

—–

Synchronicity. Just then, Bettie manifested in the south side of town using Rocky’s Unique Mushroom Portal, as she called it — RUMP, for short. That was part of the deal. Rocky would possess the small house, but Bettie and her alts like Little Tonshi Ashokan could use it as a shortcut when they wished to come down the mountain for a visit. Which was turning out to be often, much to Rocky’s irritation. He was attempting to jumpstart his second novel. Current working title: “Two to Know.”

On August 8th, 1926, cubic Arnold and Betsy Layne had just arrived in town, demanding a room in the already booked up Grand Lapara Hotel…

Rocky took the sheet out of the typewriter, wadded it up and threw it toward the wastebasket in the corner. “No, that won’t do,” he sighed.

—–

“Do you want to do it or should I?”

“I’ll go. You go get some rest for tomorrow when we explore the other end.”

—–

“I said *I’d* go.”

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Searching

It was simply going to be too expensive for Wheeler and Buster to live in Ratcliff. $L600 a week for a store and an apartment (!). And they weren’t even going to use the store part of the equation.

But wait… the store property directly across the street is only $L200 per week. Hmmm.

They talk at the neighboring Corner Pocket after a tension releasing game of pool. Buster sank the 8 ball to win. Wheeler proclaims she is sleepy and lays her head on the bar table. Buster ponders options.

“This doesn’t feel right Wheeler. We have no business to promote here. I’m not sure a residential status by itself qualifies for town citizenship. And you always seem drained and unhappy.”

“Something about the place, yeah,” Wheeler admits, yawning. “Thank you again for not selling me out to that Tonshi person up in Lapara. I certainly don’t want to be anyone’s wife.”

“Nor will you have to,” reassures Buster. “But we do need a place to exist. Why not Collagesity?”

“I’m not ready to go back. There’s too much else in the world to explore. Time is short.”

“I agree. VHC City?” he then offers. “Let’s go see the PCH Woods anyway. An old haunt (for me).”

“Alright. Can I change costumes first?”

—–

“We could stay in the witch house over there,” states Buster, laying in a familiar, old tree.

“No, I’m not doing that. No more dueling witches. Oz is dead.”

“Oz *is* dead,” agrees Buster. “The forest here is history. And… VHC City? Obviously I can’t go as I am now. I’d have to be in disguise.”

“It would just be too hard for you Buster.”

He sighs. “You’re right. It’s not like the old days when the Novas — Clare, Summerhill, Golden Bee-ing, even Orange — cooperated with each other. Clare was so good to hide me here in these woods when I got in trouble in Olde Lapara Towne. Then she used her sibling ring to get me set up in VHC City. But all that’s over. No… but we’re running out of options.”

They looked at each other. The obvious option remained: return to OLT.

—–

Bendy’s door stood wide open. “Bendy?” they called. No answer. “Let’s try the hotel,” suggested Buster.

“Peter! You’re still here.”

“Not… for long,” he exclaims. “Bendy… left town. With Prissy!”

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