Upon reaching the cave’s upper mouth — leaving The Musician behind in its bowels again while she scouts for additional, useful poses — Wheeler spies Willard and Harriet Miller dancing up a storm in a nearby gazebo.
Then something extraordinary happens. The couple instantly cease their gyrating, then Harriet appears to fall asleep on the spot. Like she’s “away”, as we say in Second Lyfe speak.
Another takes her place. Jimmy. The *bastard*, Wheeler thinks. He’s asleep too, for a moment, then springs awake.
“You can go now,” Wheeler can hear him say faintly from her position. He’s apparently speaking to Willard Miller, for just after this the husband of Harriet Miller vanishes — poofs out of existence.
“It’s time to come out of the closet, er cave,” he then calls in the direction of Wheeler. “It’s time for you guys to remember who you are. The upper 2/3rds of the infamous punk band Story Room, with me completing the trilogy.
Jimmy approaches the cave mouth, still quite red but now much taller. And also a woman.
The Musician couldn’t help himself at breakfast. He had to show off his new cybernetic arms and torso to The Millers. Artist Harriet Miller was completely taken by the shirtless subject, and insisted he pose as a model for her newest work. Wheeler Wilson reluctantly tagged along to Harriet’s creative getaway tucked in the small woods, along with her husband Willard, an insurance salesman at Barnum and Bailey’s.
Wheeler was thinking: Willard looks *so* familiar.
On a window ledge of the cabin, Dirty, Frosty, and Bluebell wonder what they’re gandering at with the part machine Musician.
The Millers having returned to their primary lodgings, we catch up with Wheeler and The Musician partaking of after-breakfast treats at a nearby frozen pond. He was explaining more about the procedure.
“Same thing happened to Philip. No problems in 10 years. He just keeps his shirt on, like you’ve suggested to me about 10 times now… keeps the eyeglasses on so the vision will always remain slotted — no problem there again, really — and then keeps his mouth shut as much as possible. Because without the teeth, the deal is not sealed. The great 3-n-1.”
He forcefully smiles for Wheeler Wilson again. More metal. More jagged.
I’m going to kill Jimmy the next time I see him, she thinks.