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“I *want* to get better,” bubbled a depressed Messed Up from a similarly colorful and confusing couch. “I — have a new love in my life. I’m motivated!”

“That’s great, Ms. Up,” responded Dr. Young Kane (played by Axis aka TronAxis). “I’m glad you have a reason to change. Makes my job easier.”

“You — may know him actually,” Messed Up sloshed haltingly again, knowing more than she let on.

“Oh?”

“Yes.” And then she spilled his name.

—–

“Young *Harris*,” spat out Dr. Young Kane later to his imaginary wife sitting below him, more cartoonish tonight than usual but still sporting the perfunctory blue-green hair.

“The reason you came *here*,” she returned. “Where are we going with this?”

“I — was going to ask you that.”

“I think — we should go to bed now. We can think better in the morning. With our coffee, eggs and tea.”

“*No*,” Axis said firmly. “We’re going to *figure* this out *tonight*.” His voice was pitched just below a yell now. “*Why* is she here?”

“New patient,” said Venus cooly from below. “You need the money.” She stared at The Sun between them, the rays. “It’s the Corona–”

“*Stop* saying that word. I’m sick to death of hearing it.”

“–V Drink,” she dared to finish. “The deal is almost done.”

—–

He finds himself in a different place, sporting the Esso t-shirt once more. Peter Oesso now, formerly Peter Osseo formerly Peter Esso. “Like an opossum,” he explained to Randolph the pirate beside Storybrook’s Gatcha Warehouse about the newest name. Fresh from another hand washing he is.

“Possum; opossum. I *think* I get it.” He turns toward the effigy of Mr. Fix It against the Black Elephant with the graffiti art. “So that’s It, huh? The man you killed to get that gas station.”

“I *didn’t* kill him. It was just a — convenience.”

“Convenience *store*.”

“In the future,” Peter Oesso admitted to the bastard buccaneer.

“So, are we on for 500 more cases of the often deadly brewskies? Or are you done with it now? The killing and all.”

“I — have a confession.” And it was here Peter Oesso told Randolph the Bastard Pirate about the conjoined trunks streams.

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continuation

Peter Esso walked right by it on the way the bookstore to look at that map of Michigan again in the old atlas he’d found the day before last Wednesday’s Sunday. Or something. He’d had an epiphany the night before. The two St. Joseph Rivers of that state are actually one St. Joseph Rivers, er, River. “Eureka!” he cried while climbing out of the bathtub, still soaking wet as he padded toward the computer and the map of Hillsdale County he left up on it, a *modern* version but still one indicating where the conjoined sources lie: Osseo.


Osseo, 6000 years in the future.

Thus the purchase of the Esso t-shirt from the Marketplace, and also the old sign reinforcing to himself that he was indeed a tiger (see: Wheeler). And then the name change: SoSo to Esso, but the one embedded in the other thanks to Osseo, he understood.

Wait — he has an idea.

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brother deaths

She wanted a listening experience that would knock her socks off; blow her brains out.

She eventually chose “Lions Tigers Bears,” by Dorothy and the Cowardly Woodsmen, a tin plated golden hit back in the early to mid 70s.

She listened closely for the sound of a munchkin hanging itself in the middle of track 5.

—–

In more serious Storybrook news, a dead body was found in the wee woods behind the laundromat, explaining why the chicken didn’t cross the road that day.

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Dr. Thimblehook’s dream

“I’m just wondering if you can help a man out who ran out of gas.”

Just down the road.”

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Somewhere again…

“I still don’t know why you did it, *Pink*.”

“Well, *Beige* — welcome to the besties club by the way –”

Frankie “Beige” McCracken tittered here. Then, while looking out the side of her eye, “Oh my God, oh my *God*.” Her hand remained in the same place all this time. “*Don’t* turn around.”

Muffled speaking outside. Tom Banks, photography and calligraphy teacher at the local jr. and sr. high schools, was talking to Mr. Fix It about a flat tire. “Ol’ lemon, hehe, broke down right down the street, Jake.”

“Jake,” Frankie whispered over while frozen in place. “I thought you said his name was Gene,” making Marsha “Pink” Krakow weakly shrug. They listened again.

“Well –” Jake was saying. “Let’s just go down and have a look. I’ll bring my tire iron and repair kit.” With this they went into the garage and then down the street.

“*Phew*.” Frankie “Beige” McCracken pretend wiped her brow while looking out the window. “That was a close one. I thought we were goners, what with your hot pink outfit you always sport. You’d be a *horrible* spy with that on all the time.” She titters again; she had a cute way of doing this quite a lot, cute to some that is, and Marsha was a good sport about it. Always – a – sport. She dared to glance down the street herself, but the “lemon” was out of sight.

—–

“Just on the other side here, Jake — I’ll hold that iron for you while you take a look.”

“Okay.”

*WOP*. That was the end of Jake in town for a while. Drug into the wee woods behind the laundromat with a head gash the size of Viagra Falls. He’d surface several days later, but it wasn’t a pretty picture.

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missing piece

Gene Kelley, Mr. Fix It of town, waited patiently beside his new work for Marsha “Pink” Krakow to finish her stress relieving ride on the big white bunny in the playground behind the Black Elephant pub.

But then she passed it right by without comment on her way back in. Time for a bit more practice today! She’s calculated that she can be up to 10 minutes late for supper and not get *that* reprimanded. She’s timed it all out. Led Zeppelin’s “When the Levee Breaks” and The Who’s “The Real Me” coming up!

“Afternoon, Gene,” she offered while barely glancing sideways, absorbed in her thoughts of drumming glory.

“Afternoon, er, *Marsha*,” he returned, staring at her as she walked to the side door of the pub and re-entered.

“It’s an *eleph*ant,” he called to her just out of earshot now. “Trunk removal,” he added weakly, summarizing the rather long story about its concept.

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