I’m sorry to inform you, BLANK, that Red is dead. Blonde is where it’s at. Or is it Blue these days? Hard to tell — Blue from Black I mean. Because it’s definitely Blue. Unless it’s Red. Is she dead? Better check. Raise the body!
Ahh, *White*. Should’ve guessed.
Red was very much alive and took White’s place over at the next plot in the graveyard that might stand in for this here photo-novel (29). She saw and felt things she didn’t like…
…. made her quiver and quake in her shoes…
… then got use to them…
… after the shock wore off.
She made peace with the grave.
She can go home again.
Todd A. was next. We center the picture in the middle of the triangles sort of framing his head. He is like an infinite game of roshambo, hand on top of hand on top of hand. Pact with the Devil. Atomic Suicide. Todd A. was smart, management being his specific, chief skill, to add to the other’s two. Todd A. knew a lot about triangles and how they fit together. He went over to Billie Jean Kidd down the bar, recognizing talent when he saw it.
“That’s some kind of balancing act you got going on there.”
“Thank you. I also do cards.”
“Well…” He rubbed her head playfully, like an adult to a kid. Which she isn’t of course. She let the gesture go, knowing that Todd A. was old fashioned in that way. Because she knew who he was, even if he didn’t know her. She could see into the past present future. She knew this guy with his infinite seeing mind was trouble in a bottle, troubled water without a bridge, just blub blub blub. He later turned into an alcoholic to match his drowning mind. 1/8th of the brain cells gone, then 1/6th. Soon he would not be able to manage a diverse collection of bugs drawn together through a common plant.
“… aren’t you the clever one,” he finished, and sat down beside her, relighting his cigar. Billie Jean Kidd was use to cigars, being a stogie toking man in the assignment before last before last, the first without Philip and Marion. She had to admit to the new partner, a chain toting robot dominatrix, that she kind of missed them. “They were like… totally inept dads.” “Gay?” the mechanoid questioned back. “Hard to tell,” came the answer. “Extremely close *pals* at the least.” If only they didn’t bring out the worst in each other, all 3 of them together, she then bemoaned. It could have worked, perhaps. If only their promised Clyde was real.
“We better get you out of here, child,” spoke Todd A., seeing the warm up act appear on stage and knowing Certain Death was not far behind.
I got out of the car the black dog was driving. He exited too, went over to the skeletons playing cards with themselves to sniff for more clues. I was told to touch something. I tried and tried and finally found the right object. Everything swung into place.
So that’s where the magic will happen, I thought while staring over at the chair. Or un-magic; removal. They’ll start with the head, they told me. Remove the black until I am white as a flower, menace no more. But did I believe them? I could call the black dog back over from the skeletons and high tail it out of here if I wished. I still could back out; I had that option.
“Jenny,” he exclaimed, looking over at the crashed ship in Wallytown. Better phone up Wheeler and tell her the bad news.
“But Speck and Crazy *saw* it,” the tinny voice came just later over the phone. “It landed at Castle Town.”
“Nope,” I countered. “The witnesses were wrong.” Just like with us.
The wrong one walks into the Castle Town bar to meet her mates.
“Hearts for you, Pansy,” said one of the Certain Deaths after dealing the card. All the rest dug spades; Grumpy never had a chance.
He knew exactly where to look. He heads across the road toward the hills.
He pauses to roll two dice at Gigi’s place, red and white. “Twins,” he exclaims, seeing the result. “Good. I’m on the right track.” Certain Death can be avoided tonight.
He moves forward…
A wise sparrow looks down from a tree behind him. He stands in flowers again, pansies. This is where it will happen. He waits. He, again, knows Certain Death is not stalking him. This is the day, this is the portal. He waits. The sparrow knows too.
His head begins to vibrate rapidly. It has begun.
“Hi Tessa!” Carolin called from above while waving. “Ready to go back in the cave?”
Was she ready? Then she remembered the blackboard, the missing center of the equation. Q. Someone named Q.
She recites what she knows in her head. She is on Crow Island at End of Time. Crow Mountain is above her, the Climax. Meditating Freddie — yes. Bakersworks. They are in a Baker B. work. But… someone is missing. Man – About – T…
“Time,” Carolin finished for her later at the blackboard, writing out three identical numbers in a row, the number of the beast from The Bible. “Now… if we extend this infinitely, what do we have? We have a *7*. So we might as well say it with a 7 instead of a 6 for that third. 667,” she finalized, and wrote it on the board. “Who is…”
“Sepisexton,” Tessa answers, getting smarter all the time, and she was pretty sharp from the beginning. She recalled the capital of Olive, the one before Tin separated and became its own principality, the 7 from the 6. Boy we are really ranging far and wide in time now. But I sometimes write that as far and yd. The man comes out from behind the curtain (4th wall). He is a Woo Woo. He believes in ghosts, cracker jacks, and cereal circles with a prize inside. Q.
“Q.” Carolin points. Red Point. Buick. Boss who is green like Bixby. Canada. They are traveling across the frozen Heartland, trying to reach…”
And that’s the one thing she couldn’t remember that Man of Time did. We are done now.
She dreamed she was in a grim place. She had to get to the head before the head got to her. She saw the head, the head sawed she! Little skulls littered the cell floor. Like hers.
“I need to find you 102.”
Should Toothpick move west to Grimm instead of east to Marwood from his starting point at the Pinemont temple owned by Master Berry? This would cause an alternate path for photo-novel 22, which I guess means the correct path for photo-novel 23. The candle tells him this.
But I don’t think this path should involve Toothpick again. Nor Master Berry, who seems to be the same as MAT (Man About Time). Hmm. Working on it…
“I am alone again, Certain Death.”
“Deaths,” he corrected, staring out at his dancing brethren.
Barefoot Toothpick had a dream that night. The overalls were removed again. He was walking across a field of delicious green grass that should be a paved, car filled street toward a building that would answer it all. Instead it was full of playing kids and supervising parents who were also having fun, shrugging away the burden of responsibility for the time being. Fun. Toothpick should be having that too. But he had other things to do he knew were both right and wrong at the same time. It was as if truth were suspended in mid-air before him off a bridging pole.
The location? Picton, but it wasn’t called that any longer, not after this festival or whatever it is. The name was now Pict on Pict, short for Picture on Picture, a new blog category. Heck, let’s just call it Picturetown, or maybe Frametown if we draw out a bit more. But we can’t right this moment because of the setting, blackness or the abyss all around. Picturetown it is.
Elberta meets him near the threshold. Certain Death is both at the front window and nearer the door, another 2n1 situation since time is overlapping here again (Munday = Sunday + Monday). She knew she’d have to lose the body to go inside. They hold hands.
Not what they were expecting.
I am wearing a red cap for some reason. The skeleton opposite me has just flipped over the Ace of Spades from his own deck, the death card. But I have an ace to counter from mine. But my ace is red. I lose (*SLICE*).
MAT (Man About Time) wakes up with a gasp. He knows how the vote about the town vs. city moniker is going to come out. Good news! He can’t help but feel his neck, though, to make sure it’s on nice and tight (phew!).