I visited the old quarry first this night time trek. It was snowing harder here. It was always snowing harder in the quarry. A large dragonfly dipped down from the flake filled sky and hovered before my eyes. Dragonflies in snow. More mysteries.
Meanwhile in Sansara’s Snowlands, Herbert Gold was checking out the location of his newly set up house/mansion over there. “Piano,” he declared, sitting down at it. “Just like Baker Bloch said it was.” He played a tune he thought would cheer him up. *Not* a Booger Hayes piece. He’d learned his lesson on that.
The aberrant notes hid underneath the upstairs sink, biding their time.
“*You* again,” Jane the barmaid spoke across the counter, not seeming very pleased to see Magus Ellen once more in her place of business. “Where’s, um, your sidekick this time?”
“Sidechick? He couldn’t make it.”
“Are you going to ask about that castle again?” added Jane rapidly, not wishing to talk any more than needed to this — *intruder*.
“Nah, all that’s done.” He waves his hand in gesture.
“Because all that investigation last year got you *banned* from the property.”
“And *your* Princess is not *our* Princess. I’ve found out some things in the meantime. Who is this Merry Gouldbusk? Why is her skin colored gold and not normal? Who are King Tully and that Queen of his? Not *our* rulers (once more). Never have been and never will.”
Nothing more seemed to be said. Magus Ellen rose from the stool. The castle was gone, or at least changed — morphed. This was not Murdochh’s Castle in resonance with the Loch Ness castle any more. *That’s* when it changed, he realized. A moment in time. He thought from this video that *Murdock’s* castle in the realm of Rosehaven was open to the public. Apparently it was all a misunderstanding.
That’s an important key. Misunderstandings can be smoothed over. He donned his hat.
“I will speak to the Princess before leaving,” Magus Ellen then called back while walking away.
“Make sure it’s the *right* one!” she insisted with bile. The door slammed behind him.
“I’m afraid I may have to leave, Hucka D. This Rosehaven is not my Rosehaven. My Princess is not their Princess.”
“How ’bout this. You call *your* Rosehaven Rose*heaven* instead. Or Rose Haven — two words instead of one.”
“Maybe.” Baker Bloch, in character as a uniformed Ellen now, perhaps ready to revisit the… he can’t remember the name of the pub Magus Ellen and Sidechick Corea visited last year trying to dig up information about Murdochh’s castle. He tells Hucka Doobie this.
“I’ll go check,” she says, then teleports out.
Hucka Doobie teleports in. “The Flock and Feather,” she informs.
“Probably doesn’t matter anyway… but thanks.” Baker Bloch stares out in the distance. If only The Mist would roll in right now and make all this better.
“So what do you think, Herbert?”
“It’s all I ever dreamed of, Baker Bloch. The house is perfect. Thank you so much (!).”
“You’re very welcome. I, um, assume April Mae will be following you soon.”
Herbert Gold hangs his head down, then up again, giving away his doubts. “I would assume.” If she ever gets over the Breeze lapse! he adds to himself. Maybe she will. It’s only virtual reality, after all. Nothing’s real. Is it?
“And this, my friend,” Baker waves his arms around, “is St. Merry’s Church. I’ve toned it down from Collagesity a bit. But you still have Merry.”
“Yes, I see.”
“And then you still have the clown over there. One and the same.”
“Sacrifices?” queried Herbert, knowing the history of the church in Collagesity.
“You bet! Bring your body apron if you sit on the first several rows.”
“Fantastic. I love it. I love it all. ”
“Let’s hope the Princess doesn’t have any complaints.”
“Why would she?” exclaims Herbert, not doubting his words. “Like you said before, the *tree* covers all; makes up for all mistakes.”
“Live Oak, right.”
“Amazing, Patrick my man. Man *wo*man. All I had to do was volunteer to preach at the local Broken Clock Church twice a week and we get wined and dined all we desire. Room and board too.”
“No – more – cave!” expressed Patrick, who hated to shiver. Doc said his baby was due any day. “Another glass of rosé?”
“Don’t mind if I do, sir. Don’t mind if I do.”
“I don’t understand, Magnus Ellen. The observing truck is gone here at Crow Island. How do we keep up with the progression of Zoidboro and boy gal Patrick?”
“Something must have changed,” opined the wise Buddhist to his understudy. “Strands (of time) must have been altered.”
Sidechick Corea paced nervously on the wooden swing bridge. “What… now, then?”
“Back to Rosehaven. Back to the cave. There *must* be a portal, for we’ve seen Zoidboro also preaching in Rosehaven Serenity.”
“How many places *is* he preaching, sire?”
“Maybe he can’t stop saying, ‘Don’t mind if I do, sir. Don’t mind if I do.'”
Hidi was having that dream again about being in the middle of Nascera’s Forever Bridge that ended Collagesity novel 8, one side leading to the past…
… the other, the future.
“This must be 9.”
Dawn comes at Horenso and Hakusai.
An unexpected crowd at Karoyaka, the sim below that. Right on the line again (with MogenAi), but no time for line dancing today.
Are trees dancers? she thinks at MongenAi and Shinryoku.
Shinryoku and, just in front of her, Shinkai. This is what she came for. A place of peace and quiet where she can truly rest.
And here’s where she met Magus Ellen at the end of the world. Younger partner Sidechick Corea was scavaging the colorful woods for seeds and berries.
There were no words exchanged, no looks. Hidi approached the meditating man…
… and became one with him, seeing through his eyes.
A boat forms on the edge, a transport. A sim skipper.
“The two hearts still burn as one from this position, Sidechick.”
“Yet something has changed.
Speaking of which… you haven’t.”
“I’m working on something,” Sidechick Corea defended himself. “Would you like to see? Preliminary, you must understand. I might combine it with something else.”
“Sure, my friend, my understudy.”
“Snow,” Sidechick explained. “Even appropriate for the season.”
“Well,” said Magus Ellen, looking him over. “Then how about this for *me*.”
“Perfect,” exudes Sidechick. “Rosehaven was called Winterfell before 2017. They changed the name because of the growing popularity of the ‘Game of Thrones’ TV series and its own Winterfell. This was *not* a ‘Game of Thrones’ roleplay region, decreed the Princess ruler who effected the change. So we are stragglers, misunderstanders. We are merely in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
“Back to the pub, then!” emits Magus Ellen. “But not tonight.”
Cherry Island (Scottish Gaelic: Eilean Muireach, meaning Murdoch’s Island) is the only island in Loch Ness, Highland, Scotland, and is an example of a crannog. The island is about 150 yards (140 m) from the shore near the southern end of the loch. The island was originally 160 feet (49 m) by 168 feet (51 m) across, but is now smaller as the level of the loch was raised when it became part of the Caledonian Canal. The increase in the level of the loch caused a smaller natural island nearby, Eilean Nan Con (also known in its Anglicised form of “Dog Island”), to be totally submerged.
A castle stood on the island during the 15th century; this was constructed of stone and oak wood and was probably used as a fortified refuge. It has been suggested that Eilean Muireach may have been a hunting lodge, with Eilean Nan Con the home for the hunting dogs.
“*Now* is the time, Sidechick.”
The two figures become one here at the bench of the yellow roses.
“Murdochh’s” castle is nearby, spatially and temporally. Not a trip for tonight.
“You’s guys look *different*. You’s just be passing through?”
“That’s right, um…”
“Jane, yes,” replied Magus Ellen in an acquired accent. “We be seeking a man named Murdochh who liveth in the area.”
The bar goes silent. Jane stares at him steadily, perhaps even with fear in her eyes. Yes: fear. She immediately closes the bar, saying she has some restocking to do.
“We’ll come again tomorrow looking different, Sidechick. That’s your homework for tonight — to get a good disguise. Let’s head back to Nascera…”