“I’m tired of being a Menace, Grandpa.”
“Grumpy, please,” insisted the octogenarian soaking beside him.
“Right. You’re sure they didn’t see me.”
“No one can see you. Now.”
“No one takes heed of me any more. I’m *ever-present* you could say. And I never do no talking. Being naked all the time has its advantages. No one takes you really seriously.”
Mick looked over, noted the substantial package Grumpy was obviously protecting from harm. Star in his days, he thought. Still thinks he can make a comeback in that industry; still able to keep it up for 20 or so minutes at a time. With aid from the red and blue pills. “I’ve chosen a disguise,” he says over to his one and only true, non-goofy friend in the world, now that the wife has passed away. But he doesn’t like to think about the farming accident with the tiger and the grenade down in Bellisaria. “The doctor has arranged it. He will be known later on as… the Doctor of Mouse, and then, maybe, perhaps, simply become Dr. Mouse. He will do it. He has assured me it will work.”
Grumpy Grandpa thinks back to the days when they were trying to talk him into an operation to change a body part. Too big, they exclaimed to him, catching him in the shower with it one day. Perhaps his mother, perhaps a brother — but word got around. Drew has a big package, everyone found out. The girls at the school started taking more notice of him, a lot more notice. The boys respectfully bowed their heads now when he was around, instead of taunting him with jeers about his weight and such. He had found his niche, even though he didn’t know it at the time. No more residing between a rock and a hard place.
Mick brought him out of the past. “They’ll start with the head; get rid of all the black. Just like Bendy: you know Bendy, the attendant up at the gate house.”
“No.” But Drew “Grumpy” Cleveland, aka Grandpa Cliffs, knew all about Bendy and what went right and also what went wrong with *that* operation. Disguises all around in this here Castle Town of Southern Omega.
The next morning, Tickie finally caught up with Jeffrie Phillips, who was scared out of his wits at the events of the night before, damaged beyond repair even.
In the weakness and as a cure, Tickie *merged* with Jeffrie to become something else, unafraid of fear. A new superhero but hopefully not supervillian. Blue Thorn, perhaps the Blue Rose Thorn but with the Rose dropped because of fear of copyright infringement (see: Santman).
Blue Thorn looks around with new eyes for both, sensing that Knob Noster was not here in the Inbetweenland. Never mind Mr. Platinum/Operator/Undertaker/Zero Hero, because he was a different animal altogether. Blue Thorn could change back into Jeffrie Phillips (and Tickie, I suppose) after he had nabbed the similarly blue beast and brought him (or her) back home to mama (Charlene Brown the punk, who we know now is a type of bigfoot *herself*) for detailed study. She could finish her cryptozoology dissertation that way. She could become a doctor herself. Maybe then Jeffrie could find a way to finish off the other doctor he knew well, the one who could turn into a mouse (Pansy). It was all coming together if it wasn’t all falling apart. And actually it was both. The Blue Thorn stepped forward away from the now closed portal into the past.
Sally and Jack celebrate the establishment of their Phantom Hill Horse Farm only 3 week prior to Halloween by dancing amongst the breedable horses, the colorful blue mare in background also being named Sally, as it turns out. Accident?
No one else is allowed on that property or I would check further. But at least Sally will return from Phantom Hill back into the land of the living a bit later in our tales. A person or entity named Nugent might be involved, but not Ted. I don’t think.
I must tell the story of of how Sally and Jack met at a fancy dress ball sometime. That’s actually how they became the ghoulish figures you see strutting their stuff in the picture above. Costumes they are. Outfits for core avatars to wear and then discard, normally after the end of October.
Nugent Mouse looks down from his castle next door, considering how he created these 2 misfits and what went so right about something that should have gone so wrong. And I think his first name is Ted. Ted Mouse. Teddy.
He was remembering more. “Pansy. That was your name! Pansy Mouse.”
“Correct.” He points to the planchette on the crate in front of him with the board, another demon device. “We got it from this.”
“And that’s where…”
He changed. This was the past. Pansy = Pan-Z. Jeffrie Phillips instinctively grasps his glowing red tie, a long held habit. He knew *they* were still in there. So many — well, five.
The now squeaky voice continued. “Audrey was in it all along. She *caused* it.”
(to be continued?)
“I don’t know how long I was a mouse but it was a long time. I lived in the richest house in town but we were still dirt poor. Like all the rest. Audrey lived 5 doors down. There were no houses inbetween. Just doors: upright, as if still serving a function. And perhaps they were.”
Jeffrie Phillips was becoming impatient with the doctor’s rambling story. Why was he the doctor now? What happened to the old one? He asked these aloud.
“I’m trying to tell you, Baker Bloch.”
Baker Bloch? Jeffrie Phillips thinks here. But then he realized the (new) doctor was right. That was he. And this was his bakery. Bake’s Bakery, with the demon hot beverage dispenser to complete. It didn’t work without the vending machine. He decides to ask the doctor about it next.
“So tasty,” Doctor Mouse compliments. “I had a, let’s see (he checks his inventory), a Jedi tea. I suppose that’s something from Star Wars.”
“Star *What*?” Jeffrie Phillips had never heard of Star Wars. “Do you mean Star Trek?”
“I do not,” the doctor measured out. He keeps thinking back to the drink, and how it vanished into thin air just before he could take the last swallow. Oh well: delicious still. No need to ask for a prorated discount from Baker Boy here. The Boy.
He first met him when he was this Mouse. He tells Baker Baby Buddy Boy this here. His old nickname. It rang a bell.
Bake’s Bakery has moved in to one of the 2 lower rooms of my more downtown Teepot apartment. The demon hot beverage dispenser remains, ha ha (he he he (ho ho ho ho)).
Just around the corner (hu hu!).
Also: the important bits of the attached apartment remain. Like this now 5 day old pizza in one of the 2 upstairs rooms (hi!).
“We better get down to business, Jeffrie. Let’s talk about Audrey.”
“Okay, um, *doctor*.”