Tronesisia nurses a jigger of cognac and waits patiently in Audrey’s while the others amble about below and beyond. She speaks to the bartender after glancing over at Curled reading ‘Winesap’. “You know, Bean, they should never have named that boy Paper.”
Paul finally made it out of that cave.
It took them a while to find the teleporter up to Audrey’s in the tall grass, the remaining bit of vegetation in Grassland created by magical seeds.
“We need to get The Lawnmower back down here pronto,” Paul demands.
“I’ll see what I can do about,” a smiling Peter replies, thinking he can find him sleeping at the Prog Rock Museum over in Kazzkark.
Paul looks around. “Where’s Mary?”
It’s as if she just disappeared into the weed itself.
“Wake up Rip Van Winkle. Time to go back to work.”
“Lambs,” states Paul. “As far as you could see.” He reconsiders. “Well, that’s an exaggeration. How many would you say there was, Mary?”
“20, 25. Then whittled down to 16, then 8, then 4, then 2, then only one. My precious Little One.”
“Little One yeah,” Paul says, thinking back. “That was before the VHC City days.”
“Yes,” Mary answers with a lump now in her throat.
“VHC City?” Peter questions.
“Oh let’s not go back to that right now. Let’s stick to the far past. See, Peter, this is why we should rename our group The Lambs.”
“Or Lamb,” Paul adds.
“That way dazed and confused fans won’t be calling out for that dreaded ‘Huff the Magic Dragon'”.
“Huff, Puff, whatever,” chimes in Paul.
Peter taps his cane on Grassland’s barren ground, producing a hollow sound. If it wasn’t tinted green it might as well be a sandy dune. “And the darters did all this?” he asks. Tacit agreement through silence here. Mary keeps holding back a big cry.
“I’m so glad you brought the dart board back to Audrey’s, Rocky. Play another game? My turn to start this time. Rocky? Are you listening to me?”
Now absorbed in the bar’s computer card game, Rocky saw his strategy for getting a full house to win would not work. “Yes, Jackson Nova,” he answered in irritation.
“Jackson *Super*nova,” the man-shark proclaims proudly. He’d not make the error of his clone siblings and erase the true prefix!
Rocky ignored Jackson and talked to Mary instead. “How long do you think it’ll take Paul to get back to your Malone Central *this* time?”
“Days,” she answered, transfixed by the label on her beer. “Days and confused.”
He’d been standing there for the longest time, trying to make the next decision. Town lawyer Teebestia Heartthrob walked up. “Can I help you sir? Are you lost?”
“No,” Paul replied. “I’m just a bit stoned,” he admitted. “Wait. You’re not the fuzz? Copper? Because I didn’t mean that if so. I meant I was stone cold tired. Stone cold tired, yeah.”
She laughed liltingly. No, I’m not a copper. Nor bronze, nor lead nor any other metal.” She was playing with his mind now. His little weak mind. “My name is Teebestia, but everyone calls me Teeb. Now brace yourself when you turn around. My sight is not for the faint of heart.
Paul turned his head ever so slowly. Would this be the big reveal?
Great, Rocky thinks. My first customer! Hope the store doesn’t disappear again. Stupid root prims.
“Howdy over there,” the now white Paul says. No clothes again except the underwear, to mitigate his demon nature as much as possible. “I’m going to clean you out today, hehe. I have a whole city to feed for a couple of days. Malone Central.” Paul tested the walking raccoon. “You’ve probably heard of it,” but he almost said that as a question.
“Nope,” states Rocky plainly. ‘But I’m glad of the business. I’m a novel writer myself, but the second book is going slow, and my original tome isn’t selling as well as I planned. Long story. So have *you* ever heard of ‘Bible Truth’? That’s my town, I guess you could say.”
“I’m afraid I haven’t. But I’d like to spend more time in The Above. I’m from around here but not from around here. This store is new. I heard about it through The Grapevine. We get hungry down there in Malone Central, but have just existed on what grows on the almost barren Grassland for a long time. It’s the grass itself. We’re… well, we’re all pot heads I suppose you could say. There’s a robot… but that’s a long story as well.”
The anthropomorphic animal and almost naked man share a smile. “Well, help yourself. Munchies all around. If you’re into the healthier stuff, there’s a cooler with meat and cheese products in the back. Maybe some yogurt — yeah, yogurt. We don’t specialize in vegetables, sorry. There’s a garden around here you can loot for carrots, however. I don’t recommend it, though.” Rocky looks over at his gun, thinking back to the day he had to use it to chase off the clowns. Those dratted clowns.
“I’ve got to get in there sometime Nance. I have to clean!”
“We better leave Paul.”
“Alright Mary.” He stands up and moves away from the door. His wife follows.
“You need some help getting out of there Pot Head, hehe?”
“Goodbye,” adds Mary to the struggling robot. The couple shoots down Rabbit Hole.
20 seconds later…
“Caught ya you rascal!”
Peter, Paul and Mary (accompanied by Rocky) were performing at Clownski’s today, but it’s probably not the trio you expected with the billing.