Some things never change.
“Fish Head! Give us a report.”
Cathy A., natural mate to Marcus Fox Smartville and also a DJ like Grey Scale Kimball, had long dug Elvis White but didn’t know about Elvis Black until he showed up at one of her pretend gigs in Kensington’s Serenityville day before Wednesday. Always with the primmy rose she was, thus couldn’t spin the other record, the dark side this time. Like the South — but they were *barely* in the North now. North side of the middle that is (Hills of Bill/Neutral Zone). But, perhaps: close enough.
Elvis Black, who of course is our Duncan Avocado in disguise once more, just sat on the wooden bench on the far side of the lawn, letting his presence be known. He didn’t want to seem threatening at all, just seen. Here was a keeper of the portal, he thought from within. Like Marcus before her. Maybe they’re even one and the same, or at least soulmates. I think with the common rose it’s obvious. Is it the *same* rose?
Day after Thursday he stands before Cathy, turning Grey in the process. Exactly east from this spot on the day between Sunday and Tuesday of the previous week, Gabby Truth saw it coming.
“You have lost the West but gained the East,” he spoke, seeing visions in his scrying ball once again. “But, at the same time, you have lost the South, but gained — yes — the North.” He draws back his white, pancaked face from the glow. “Interesting.” He looked over at Elvis Black — black Elvis. “All the 4 directions at once, blabber de blah…”
But they weren’t “all at once,” as Gabby proclaimed. He had himself lost separation of time in his chatty mannerisms. Elvis’ — Duncan’s — losses were 2, the latter nested inside the former. This was not seen today, this between day.
Duncan becomes fully Grey on a day of the week further down from Friday. “I have lost the South but gained the North,” he said in DJ character, staring at the 2 records, spun and un-spun.
Gabby Truth finally remembers to turn off the light in his crystal ball.
“Personally I don’t like to look at the thing,” she spoke, facing way from the map. “But there it is. The Maebaleia blue galleries of lore. Notice — and I’m not going to turn around for this — that Cassandra City near Bluestocking is closest to The Moon here.”
“I know,” cooed the staring Heart Queen, thinking back to the previously examined map on the second floor of the House of Truth. “Barracuda. Just like in ‘Moby Prick’. Gypsies. Karoz! I’m remembering. He was there!”
“He has been disguised as (similarly blue-green) Tealy for the current run of Collagesity photo-novels,” admitted Grey Scale. “Waiting to reveal himself.”
“Now’s the time!” requested the queen.
“Not quite yet,” tempered Grey Scale, who was still in charge despite the niceties. The Heart Queen, like Chesteria before her, was learning when to keep in line; bend her own will. “Don’t cross Grey Scale,” urged Chesteria as newly appointed executive advisor. “She knows what she’s doing. Despite the purse.” They both had a laugh about the yellow handbag after that — so unfashionable, both agreed. Doesn’t really go with any of her earrings, for example.
“We have to determine the identity of Tillie, the accomplice. She may be Baker Blinker, the wife in Our Second Lyfe. Or she may be…”
“Very close.” Grey Scale turned to the Heart Queen. “Very close.”
“Ice cream for you today, my ruler?”
“Not today, Jer,” Grey Scale Kimball replied while walking by. “Maybe tomorrow. You just stay there in that here ice cream truck till we’re ready, tehe.”
“Will do, mum.”
“Let’s take another shortcut,” the Horns of Hatton ruler expressed while staring beyond the end of the path, where the stones run out.
“Let’s go through the front door instead,” replied Chesteria A. Arthur. “She’s had enough of being sneaked up on lately, don’t you think?”
“Wonderful.” Grey Scale is turning out to be a wise and thoughtful ruler, ready to bend her will through sound feedback if needed. But Chesteria also knew when to get back in line. They were soulmates through and through.
“You’re *right*, Chesteria my love. Look: my statues emitting both colored and non-colored waters. She *has* acquiesced. We can move forward together to defeat the North.”
“We can move forward together to defeat the North,” the Heart Queen finished her 2nd surrender speech (as it will be later called). “I look forward to fighting side by side in many battle victories.”
One after another, they pricked the symbolic white fish on the hearth to make sure it was dead. And it was, through and through this time.
The Zindra continent has been through a similar (North-South) war, pondered Grey Scale, leaving Chesteria behind for now. I can pattern my strategy after that. There’s even a direct character link between the two. Dixon 01. Or was it Dixon 02? Anyway, both are dead now. Or are they totally alive? One way to find out: visit the old homestead.
“Dixon? Dixon Klancaster?” she shouts back on the ground.
But both Dixons were indeed dead, having been one and the same. Snowwhite Well appears on the landing outside the squatter home, old and withered now. She’s basically turned into maw herself, mother of the two. But formerly: married to the two. It was complicated.
“Whatcha want? Tithes? You a tithe collector? I’ve gaven my fair share last month. Now, run along, tithe collector. Or do I have to sic my *chickens* on you. She turned toward Gander, the largest of the bunch. “Been a while since you’ve tasted human flesh, Gander eh? Fondness grows in absence they say, eh?”
“Listen,” bargained Grey Scale. “I don’t want any of your money.” Not yet, she tacks on for herself. “No I’m here to speak to Dixon.”
“The former warrior. The vet of the Trojan-Durexian Wars over on Zindra.”
“God *knows* I know where they were *fought*, foreigner. Everyone around here knows. We all lost peoples.”
“I’m sorry,” backed down Grey Scale. “I didn’t know…”
“Anyway. He’s dead. Dixon. Both of ’em. I married ’em. Shortly after the war. But the bees and their massive beehives got them in the end. Not a bayonet stinger, a *stinger* stinger. Irony perhaps — I’ve heard that word applied here anyhows.” She takes a better look at the grey figure standing proud below her. “You a woman of words, sister?” she inquires. “Maybe you can help me with some words I’m trying to read in a section of this here book. ‘Moby Prick.’ You may have heard of it.”
Grey Scale Kimball was up on the landing faster than a fly on wheels. A chance to analyze her favorite book with someone (!). But she quickly corrected elderly Snowwhite Well on something before entering. “It’s *chapters*, not sections. I should know, having read or attempted to read so many of the latter lately.”
“Fine with me, woman of words. Now — inside before the chickens peck at your tail feathers, hehe.” She swats Grey Scale on the behind and sends her reeling inside.
Chesteria poses in front of one of Grey Scale’s new statues in town. “Go ahead and get in the water, dearest,” requests snapping Grey Scale.
“Ohh. So cold!” she protests.
“Believe me, you’re still red hot,” returns her ruler and lover, watching the water soak into the clothes. “Hold on!” *snap*.
For Grey Scale, it was about reinforcing colored over black and white, Letters over Numbers. The former ruler is sad, but she’ll get over it.
“It all ends with the chicken,” Grey Scale responded to the still defiant Queen before her. “No Mor,” she insisted.
“But…” She shook her head in continued defiance, “you’re no more president of this here South than I am. It’s a technicality you’re talking about, a *loophole*. It doesn’t really exist. It won’t stand up in a Court of the Land. Neither mine *nor* yours.”
“I am president,” put forth Grey Scale Kimball in a matching tone of finality. “The loophole, in my opinion — in my *decree* — was set up by fate. You state that *you* set up loyalist Space Ghost on that property called ‘Ghost land’ due to fate. I am saying to you in solid return that, although this is *technically* true — another loophole in a way — it was also fate that I discover the traitorous move. Trailer traitor,” she finished for now.
“So lemme get this straight,” the Queen shot back. “Lemme get this straight.” Her eyes were in the air now as she had assumed again a state of high haughtiness in line with her royal position. “*You* were elected head of the Council over in Regaltown.”
“Then since Regaltown is the old capital of the South, before the coming of the grey and white elephants, then your power is transferable to Horns of Hatton because the Head of Council there was once the same as the Head of Council here.”
“Still is.” Grey Scale continued to mirror the fixed position of her foe standing before her. Her *defrocked* foe. She pointed to herself. “Me.”
The Queen waved her monstrous red hands in the air and stomped about the floor a bit, uttering cusswords I won’t repeat here with such words as “unbelievable,” “unfathomable,” “unconscionable.”
“Duly elected,” broke in Grey Scale in the middle of all this. “DU-LY…” She motioned for the Heart Queen to simmer down. “ELEC-TED.”
And that was basically the end of it. Space Ghost’s illegal trailer on the west edge of town derezzed and owner banished back to Regaltown. The Queen’s mutinous club gathering at Cpt. Americus’ Between Land cabin on alternate Tuesdays and Thursdays dispersed. No scripts allowed to run at the King’s tomb; no more worshipping of the dead, of the past. Grey Scale had found an opening, an *Achilles heel*, and taken full advantage of it. She was ensconced.