“It’s going to be *beautiful* Cloe, a beautiful scene.
Let’s go take a look again.”
“Dead Lakes and The Basin in one. Fate, my blue haired friend. Beginning of a stream.”
Jill MacGill/Gwin spouts the history of the place she and Axis wait at for the ambassador.
“‘The water at the upper dam of Fish Lake, also known as Lake Three’ — that’s because of its shape and not because it is the third part of some series,” she adds as an aside, then continues. “Let’s see — ‘… falls vertically in contrast to the gentler step cascade of the lower dam.'” She turns to Axis, who was formerly the boy known as Tin Tin. There was no need to keep up that disguise any longer, since the marriage was off. To both Ruby *and* her effective doppleganger Gwin here. “That’s because of the salmon. The salmon need some way to get to the lake to spawn, where they themselves were spawn.”
“I know how it works, Gwin. But thank you for the passage. I’m going to go over and look behind said waterfall now. See what has changed since my last visit as that snotty nosed boy Tin Tin.”
“Disgusting,” agreed Gwin, shaking her head. “Try to remedy that the next time you incarnate as a hormone raging teenager.”
“I’ll try.” Axis gets up off the curving bench. “I’m going over there now. You wait here for Briney if you don’t mind. He said to meet him in the northeast corner of the plaza and we don’t want to miss him. Again.”
“But I want to see *too.*”
Axis looked around, gauging distances and space. “All right. But leave your red book on the bench — open — so he knows we’re here. In case he misses us standing over there. You know how he is.”
“No one will steal it,” assures the red crossed man, guessing what Gwin was thinking. “It’s just a old book *prop* and not an old and rare book itself.”
“Oh yeah. Forgot.”
“The camera’s right over there. Remember?”
“Yeah I know. Hi Bert!” She waves to the cameraman, who hesitantly waves back.
“We should get up. The script demands we get up.” But Jill MacGill/Gwin was still thinking it’s a continuity error as she lays down the supposedly rare tome. Plus it could damage the spine keeping it open like that.
“We’ve seen this before, Pitch. That tome is ‘Winesap’.”
“I suppose it has to be, Bill.”
“Way down there, aren’t they?”
“Completely vertical, like I said.”
“And last time I checked — for the purposes of this shoot earlier today, you understand — we have yet another avatar that winks on and off while switching colors between green — cypress colored green, or the darker variety anyway — and silver.”
“Like Madame Silver,” Jill MacGill/Gwin tacks on, thinking they need to get back on script.
“The name is Emerald this time.” Axis checks the location behind the waterfall remotely. “But now she’s not there.”
“Could be other clues,” suggests Gwin. “Don’t give up so easily.”
So Axis scouts again and perhaps sees something else.
“He’s checking the water in Glinda. He’s in Glin, but holds the glass in Glinda, then scrutinizes it. The he wipes it down in Glin and starts again. Over and over it goes. He understands it is different over there. He’s afraid to step beyond the boundary, else…”
“Phantom,” completes Gwin.
“He’s trying to figure out why. Scientist?”
“No, they’re *both* over the line. Both in Glinda. A man and a woman. Adam and Eve, then?”
“No, there’s no plans for a prison in these schematics, Mr. Man.”
“EM! Call me EM! Everybody does!”
“How ’bout Smithy’s place?! Is it finished?!”
Rob Reeder and Ted Totter just stared at each other, unable to decipher what Eraserhead Man was on about now.
“Yeah. And Ghostwood! Ghostwood Estates Mental Hospital! Audrey’s there!”
Rob Reeder and Ted Totter exchanged looks. “Do you want us… to *add* these things, Mr. Man… EM?”
EM paused dramatically, then: “YES!”
“Where *is* he?” groused Chloe Price, sitting in the blue chair . “Where’s our famous director?”
“He said 3 o’clock,” returned Jill MacGill from the red one. “Be patient.”
Chloe checked her watch, then nodded. “All right, all right.”
“Only 3:05 now.”
“I’m tired of looking at this poster and water fountain. I’m going to roam about the place. Freely.”
“NO,” commanded Jill. “EM said to *stay put* this time. He’ll be here shortly. Sometimes he goes on… tangents. As you well know. He said 3 so it will probably be 3:30. Just give him time. Don’t leave me in this spooky place *alone*.”
“Spooky?” questioned Chloe to Jill.
“I meant just: place. I suppose it’s not that spooky.” But Jill was shaking within. She’d seen a ghost here and another one could come.
Jill relented out of boredom and strategy. “All right, tell me about this game you found near the Horne Inn. The one EM left you.”
Suddenly alert, Chloe’s head bounced up off her raised knee. “I’ll do better than that.”
“What does it say in your little red book about me? About us?”
“Let’s see,” improvised Jill MacGill through Gwin again. “‘The Story of Doris and Gwin’. Sorry: ‘Gwin and Doris.’ Says here we’ll be married in 2 years. Will stay with Aunt Sally until the crops are harvested. Then we’ll be free to live out our days wherever we choose. But, again, says here: Wallytown. That’s why I need the book. To learn all about our future home.”
“All right, all right,” cedes Doris Drane across from her. “We’ll go back to the library and get the other book. The big blue one.”
Gwin rushes over and kisses Doris full on the lips, then sits beside her, holding her hand. Yeah, this is some *real* acting, both actresses think (hint: they despise each other).
“Smells weird in here. Old book smell, I suppose.”
“Shhh. I’m trying to read.”
“I thought you were just going to steal that book. Not read the entire thing while we’re here.”
“I’m reading up on the part about the wall. The Green Monster. So… shhh.”
Doris Drane kept quiet for a bit, then started again.
“Never heard of a tree eating wall,” Doris rehashed some of what Gwin was saying before. “Glin or Glinda, Gliph or Glyph — with an i and a y. Why do these cypress trees always come as, um, twinned pairs of the opposite sex that don’t, er, don’t know anything about the other half?”
“It’s only one tree,” corrected Gwin. “It can appear at different times in different places and think it is the same. Like I could sit over here and talk, and then we could switch chairs and I could talk over there. But to the tree, it’s as if the switch never happened. They’re always where they are.”
“That doesn’t make any sense.” Doris noisily scooted back her uncomfortable wooden chair and stood up. “I’ll be freely roaming the grounds if you need me. I’ll check back in about, say, 30 minutes?”
Gwin is absorbed in what she’s currently reading (trees have 2 souls!) and doesn’t respond. But then improvises: “Watch your navel!”
God I hate that woman, Chloe Price thinks. And EM is letting her get away with all this!
I wonder who’s actually sacrificed here? Doris ponders, laying in the center of an elevated stone circle. Trees? Fish? Fish people? Her mind is running wild.
Huh (mysterious floating pylon).
“Hello. Anyone home?” But Doris needn’t had worried because no one lives here.
After waiting the appropriate time, she goes inside and sits at the dining room table. I hope those are candy bunnies on that platter over there, she thinks.
Hmm. 2960. Probably another empty building. I’m not even going to knock this time. Feeling free to roam indeed.
Lemons and lime; that reminds me of something.
This is a little different.
Don’t mind if I do.
What’s this? My foot must have accidentally activated the screen. Doris studied the graphic.
“Gunn Mobile Trailer Park,” she spoke aloud, then saw the byline at the bottom. “Your Darkness.” She settled back in the executive chair. “A game. I love computer games.” So she just decides to start a two person round with herself.
“Ah yes, I see them now. Fish. Hence Fish Dam.”
“Salmon, to be more specific. Heading 15 meters up to Fish Lake — also known as Lake Three — to reproduce at or near the very place they themselves were spawned. Says here this is due to olfactory memory. I think that means they can smell their way back to their original home.”
Doris Drane looked down at Gwin. “You shouldn’t have stolen that book about the island from that library.”
“The About Land description read: Feel free to roam about the grounds and explore,” countered her red haired companion sprawled out on the green ground beside her. “Didn’t say anything about not taking anything or leaving everything as is. It just said to go wherever you want, do what you want. I could have exposed my midriff to the world if I’d chosen. But I didn’t.”
“Yeah. Your choice.” The actresses playing Doris Drane and Gwin were improvising beyond the shooting script now. Behind the cameras, Eraserhead Man couldn’t help but smile.
“We have to take it back,” implored Doris Drane, back on script. “We have to go back to the library.”
“Good,” states the defiant Gwin. Maybe I’ll steal a couple *more* books while we’re there. There’s a big blue one about this place called Wallytown I’d like to have in my possession. Maybe I’ll take that one. That might be enough.”
“Just stop it, Gwin. And stop bending back the spine on that red one. It could be rare — we may have to pay!”
“50,000 lindens do you think?” EM smiles again. Keep going you Jill MacGill, he thinks. Just keep on keeping on.
“We should get back to the hotel, Benny. I need some ice cream. I checked. That truck behind me back there at the drive-in theater…”
“*Dive*-in theater,” Jer’s brother corrected.
“Yeah. Like I said. Dive-in theater — anyways, the truck is completely empty. And the fridge in our apartment here is empty. And the fridge over at Audrey’s next door. And the…”
“Yes, yes, I know,” spoke Jer’s brother. “We have no ice cream. We have no bananas. Those girls *took* it all.”
“I’m not sure I get all the fruit references, EM. Apples, oranges, bananas.”
“Orange,” amended Eraserhead Man, sitting in the opposite golden hand from the actor playing Jer Horne (Ted Sprinkles). “Important to leave out a letter.”
“Right. Like I said.”
“My time in the hot seat, um, hand, eh?” He adjusted his weight in the awkward sitting spot. “Kind of hard don’t you think?”
“Listen, Jed — ‘Benny’. You and Jer are the Ice Cream brothers through and through. You’re not just a nice guy, for example. You’re a *sweet* guy. And your brother has an *icy* stare. And your hotel has pillows as soft as whipped cream. And so on.”
“Great. That’s great — I get it. Back to the fruit.”
“We’re going to have to let someone show a little skin, Jill. Nothing higher than the navel, nothing lower. Just the midriff.”
“Check my contract, EM. *No* nudity.”
“It’s not nudity,” implored the lauded director. “It’s just… never mind. Send in Chloe. I know she’ll do it. For a price.”
“50,000 lindens. Take it or leave it.”