“Rest assured, Petunia,” spoke Hidi the Witch by her side. “You are not a possession like Sammie; you are *you*. This is a cat’s tale in the end, after all. Not a dog’s.”
“No ‘butt’s’,” retorted the witch. “Just watch… and learn.”
“Full occupancy still, Pat. Guess that goes along with it being free and all. Looks like we might have to stay in the caves.”
“I’m not having my baby in a cave!” Pat implored.
And Zoidboro heard her, er, him. It might be his baby too after all. He’d have to think about that possible angle more.
“Methinks this is my kind of place.”
In a related story, the body of a witch was found just outside her cabin in Wabe today. Authorities believe a rival practitioner of the Dark Arts threw her out the back window during an argument over possession of a cat.
But she’s okay.
“There, there. Now, now.”
“So Duncan,” requests Sid (Angus) at the Blue Feather Table after taking a sip of milk. “Continue with the report on what you’ve found.”
Duncan stared at his right red hand. “Berry… disengaged from Gaston. Berries gone. Jacob I. and Sugar Dumpling with them, but still alive in their case. Thimble *might* remain.”
“Is that your hope? Or something based on solid conjecture?”
“Former, admittedly.” He thought of the great view again. ‘Nother Sugar House. “Oh, and The Musician too,” he remembered to tack on. “At least according to Jiff the police psychiatrist.”
“Good, good. So… Duncan,” summarizes Sid. “You say these only two ‘Vila’ sims are directly linked one with the other. Core-Alena in her green car was able to successfully enter Vilania from The Straight…”
“I would like to correct you on terminology, Sid. If you don’t mind.”
“Go ahead, Duncan.”
“The Straight is shared between Reality and Virtual, so my conjecture is on the Virtual side it is the same as the 4 sims bordering Foothill Drive. This makes Utah’s Foothill Drive the east side of The Straight, and not The Straight itself.”
Sid turns to Curled Paper, who was taking notes (in his head). “Make sure in the minutes that The Straight is noted as being the same as these 4 sims, Mr. Paper.”
Curled didn’t nod, but Sid knew he would take note, as requested. One of the two librarians at The Table then spoke up, surprising everyone (even himself): “Gorilla. Mind Gorilla.”
All stared for a beat. Then Sid continued. “So…. next we have Hank driving the red car… and that’s good, Librarian 01,” he then realized. “You remembered the mate.”
[delete 1 exchange]
“Anyway,” started Sid again. “Hank, being less pure of heart, didn’t make it back to Vilania after the Fairy Forest heist but switched over to Vila… erm, *Gaston*.”
Duncan suddenly recalled one other person that could remain. Heidi.
But where? Where could Heidi be hiding? At the Hideout? The intermediary Big Between?
Likely explanation. The Big Nope is the failed or closed portal, the lone “willow” at 2013.
Takes two to know, once more (1719). Safe Zone; Safe Passage.
1890’s Big Between is the observatory, neither here nor there. Core-Alena can see her-himself but not at the same time.
“So tell me about this 40,000 lindens you were carrying around with you?” questions police psychiatrist Maury “Jiff” Monroe at Gaston’s lone sugar house now. *Former* sugar house. He’s unseen in the photo below because of his stature. But his mind, like Hank Graphite’s he’s grilling, is big and bright. This showdown could go on for a while.
“40,001”, answers Hank. “Because I had to bring *you* into being as well.”
Jiff pondered on this, then realized what it meant. “Describe me, then,” he decided to say.
Hank crossed his arms and settled back. “I don’t know. Small… *tiny*. Green — blueish green. Silly, blank expression on your face. I understand you have five. Show me another one.
So Jiff complies with smiley face, replacing the neutral one he had.
“There, that’s better,” Hank cooed. “Now we can maybe get somewhere.” He leans forward again. “Listen, bud… I’m not suppose to be here. It wasn’t suppose to be this way.”
Jiff giggled. “What *do* you mean?” he chirped happily, then decided to change expressions again. “What do you *mean*?” a suddenly surprised, almost shocked Jiff re-asked with different emphasis.
“I mean it was suppose to be *Vilania* I returned to. Not this sim.”
“Gaston? Just so you’ll know, there’s no Berry attached to the name now. Nor the police station.”
Hank waved this bit of information off. Jiff found himself becoming irritated…
… because the loss of Berry was big, big news around these here parts. But the disinterest seems to detach Hank Graphite from that fiasco at least. Loss of the actual Sugar House at the end of Main. Sugar Dumpling gone, taking all the Berries with her, taking Jacob I. with her, and then of course Broken Heart Jackie, who always tags along with his master. And that leaves, let’s see, *him*? Anyone else? He can’t think of one single being. Maybe the punk styled Musician in the Yellow House on the west side of town. We’ll see.
Will he even get paid for his job at the end of the month? The Berries poured in a lot of money, and that flow’s now dried up. He decides he’s now angry. Yes: *angry*. He’s going to demonstrate to this *Halfwit* exactly how important the other half *was*.
“I want to show you something, Hank Graphite,” he measured. “But you have to turn around and shut your eyes. Give me five seconds, and then open your eyes without turning back. Can you do that for me… *bud*?…” But Hank had already whirled around, shut his eyes, and started counting, “Five, Mississippi, four…”
Jiff acted fast. Change of shape, then a quick teleport.
“… one Mississippi…” Hank opened his eyes, turned, then quickly stood up, nerves rattled. Giant Angry Jiff stared down at him from outside.
Point made. Hank shakily handed him another linden when he returned inside.