Hatti the witch disappeared from the cell block. Across the aisle, fellow prisoner Patrick McDonnelhany’s head turned into a pen. Or pencil — hard to tell from this distance, Stu Umbriel thought. He turned around as well, tried to look beyond the frame by facing it squarely. No luck. He remained panicked and in character. Fern Stalin spoke.
“We are at 42, Stu. The Answer. Are you ready?”
Was he? He looked to the right. He looked to the left. No escape. He was as ready as he’d ever be. Which was never.
“The director is dead,” she deadpanned to Chef-inspector Petty upstairs. “Killed in the Biker Bar and Grilling explosion day before Sunday of week before last month’s Tuesday. Do you recall?”
Or course he recalled, he thinks. He was first on the scene, picking at the bones and flesh of the unfortunate victims. Like Hank Graphite and his gorilla bodyguard; like Ted 02 the half android cyclops; like family challenged Sugar McDermit and bar owner Biker Mann. And then: Biker Chick, also known as Chuck Cheese also known as Heidi, formerly Penn Mann. The director of this here photo-novel, 28 in a series of infinity apparently (ha). We’ve been without direction, then, since, let’s see, post 0280110. Quite near the beginning, then. Fern says all of this to Chef-inspector Petty, omniscient narrator in the moment. Could have been before she went downstairs to the cell block, could’ve been afterwards. Doesn’t matter in the moment.
(to be continued?)
Hank Graphite rode into town yesterday’s tomorrow for this important meeting and brought his ghost gorilla for protection — just in case. “Take me drunk I’m home,” he recites upon turning around and facing his competitors again, the “Lost Boys”. “Hadn’t heard that one.”
Ted 02 sat at the bar taking it all in. He’d been here before. Omega continent comes to mind, bartender himself.
He’d said that before as well. Many times.
“Gimme a Bud… bud.” Familiar too.
The establishment exploded.
The house seemed empty. But it had a portal room.
In the thin woods eyes were watching.
Maybe 1/2 and 1/2.
We should walk back to GASTON.
.daor eht ssorc mih gnihctaw ,nacnuD desserpmi na denipo ”,onimoD ,naem uoy tahw ees I“
We pick up the treasure hunting trail of Dixon Too a little beyond where we last saw his brother Dixon One. Phillip’s ultra-thick stand of Linden trees protected Young Duncan from detection once more. Snowwhite’s not going to be happy.
Ignoring a couple of local yokels to his right, he checks out one of those primitive bamboo planes the Durexians use these days. “Bombed them back to the Stone Age we did,” he mutters proudly, again wondering how his life might have changed if he’d joined the Trojan air force instead of the army. “Well, not quite but good enough.”
He turns toward the gorilla and the caged man. “You hear that over there!” he called defiantly. “Close enough to do the job!” No answer.
He looked back at Highway 8 bending into the heart of Mountain Country. Better move on, he thinks. Put some distance between him and this backwards spot before darkness hits.
About 200 meters directly north, the actual treasure location remains unseen.
“It really is unfortunate that Duncan had to be treated like that. But t’was a necessary evil to eliminate a competitor. One down, two to go. Maybe one. Horace Wise did his shtick well. Railroaded back to Dixie he was.”
“Treasure – must – be – protected.”
“Exactly, Potty Steve. They must never suspect we were the ones behind it all.”
“Yeah, yesterday that woman came into the Rhino all wrapped up and shite. I thought she was a stripper or… exotic dancer, you know. But she just sat in the corner, kept to herself while the show continued. John Denver last night. We’re getting the big stars now.”
All became quiet as Osborne Well walked out of the establishment.
“I see what you mean, Domino,” opined an impressed Duncan, watching him cross the road.
Then John Denver and his manager G.G. showed back up from the other direction. Zowie!
Her head hurt terribly from the transition. What year was it? 1920? 2120?”
She managed to recover and get up. Time to see if Jacob I. was truly out of here, taking his talking bone cat with him. She knocked the knocker.
“Jacob’s really gone, isn’t he G.G.?”
“Then who the hell is that??”
“And give me back my hat and hair,” Hank whispered louder while the knocks continued.
“Those wacky Magenta people,” Ghost Gorilla Harambe grunted from across the bay. “Always fun to see what they’re up to next, eh King Fisher?”
“Se-VEN,” squawked the bird on the sign, meaning that he agrees.
“Ele-VEN,” he follows after a beat. King Fisher appears to agree even moreso today.
“Safe Zone… Safe Hub,” G. G. Harambe’s always roommate, sometimes lover Hank “Halfwit” Graphite said to himself, with chosen nickname to disguise his amazing brilliance of mind. Like a diamond it is.
He was figuring out stuff again today. “128, 128,” he continues. “The portal must be (Hank turns and points) directly west of here.” He jumps back into his little red car and drives to the edge of Vilania.
“Shouldn’t be so obvious about it,” he grumbled while passing through.