It’s time you learned the ties of TILE to the Korean Channel, young Kola.”
“Kolya, actually,” the young man, perhaps the young apprentice corrected. He turned to the red clad guy on the mat beside him at the pit fire. “Who are you, sir — really? I know you’re Santa and all but that’s just a costume, a disguise even, if you will.”
The man dressed as Santa chuckled with this, jovial in the moment. “I will call you Pepi Kola you young jokester. See, Pepi? The sacred islands spread out before you from this viewpoint. And it has a heart, a Sacred Heart.” He now looks up in the sky, channeling a trance it seems. “Pink is still with us,” he speaks after a pause, fire crackling louder before them. “And Brown… they haven’t left this plane yet.” He stares back at the sea, at the islands, at the *center*. “Resolution.”
“Well, that’s great and all — I don’t know who this Pink or this Brown is –”
The Santa man snickers again. “Oh you will, young man — young apprentice.”
“Apprentice?” Kolya questions. He has not bought into this Santa dude’s new name for him atall, but he does likewise stare toward what he’s been told are the sacred isles, looking for a heart. He is beginning to see.
“Jesus that was loud!”
“I know. And it’s just starting.” The plane flies into the ship. Pink and Brown are dead after all.
The artist whose name sounds like Rothko sits opposite Andy Warhole, one a-hole of a guy.
“The soothsayer will be here soon and we’ll *see*…
who’s the better artist in hyperspace and hypertime.”
“Just hypertime will do. I don’t do hyperspace.” His voice was level and confident, like he was the more famous artist already instead of a basic unknown. Andy was threatened. He’d been to Gabby several times since we last saw him over in Cassandra City (Moe’s –now sold!). The picture was clearing in his smoky ball. Andy was not the most famous artist of the land! Gabby then explained this was in hypertime — Gabby worked mostly in hyper worlds to see his visions, he said — and thus there’s *time* to change the outcome. Gabby didn’t illuminate the idea of complementary hyperspace to the rather dim witted Warhole; probably knew it would be a waste of his breath. Hypertime was enough for today. The stage had been set. And here he was, murderous covid ravens circling above and outside this tiny cafe perched on the top of Yellowmoon or thereabouts. With the artist whose name sounded like Rothko but wasn’t Rothko. Close! Close enough for Andy. Because Andy indeed thought he was this artist. He had trouble resolving near from same in his fuzzy way of thinking, and Barry was just playing along with the confusion. So this would be another Post involving Close.
Thoko: that’s it. Maker of fine designer women’s clothing. But that would become a front for something much more deep and sinister, like the Amazon itself. It was like going from Nowhere to Somewhere…
Ant arrives from his castle in the distance. Harrison Jett will shortly show up from his castle in the opposite direction acting as rear guard. Soon the battle will commence in earnest.
(to be continued)
He was still hugging the Philip Linden doll pillow when he returned to the bakery. *His* bakery: Bake’s Bakery. No doubting it now. Umbrella had been fully revealed.
He manifested his new, 22 inch colored tv since no one was around. The bakery had closed hours ago, but it didn’t matter. No one showed up; no one bought anything. This was just decoration, like the frosting on a cake without a cake to go along with it.
Jeffrie Phillips recognized the Ant Castle on the video that was left playing the last time he rezzed the thing. Always predicting the future — another cursed object in the bakery, like that demon hot beverage vending machine over there sold to him by the Appleyon fellow back in section 2. But he didn’t reflexively look over at it in the far corner of his establishment, as would be natural at this point. He kept staring at the castle on the screen, wondering what was going on.
This Norris fellow kept hooking and dragging — on some kind of grappling line I suppose — the castle toward him through the landscape, then similarly hooking and dragging a girl to the castle to head inside for obvious reasons. They appeared to be married, just like…
He derezzed the tv. He’d seen enough for tonight. Still pathetically embracing the doll pillow, he settled back into the couch for a long sleep. Perhaps forever.
“Umbrella, Hucka Doobie. It’s closer than you think.”
“Umbrella, huh?” muttered private dick Wendell “Biff” Carter after he’d finally found the correct place to read in his red book. Read book? Anyway, maybe it’s just the correct *place*… to read his book. Paperville. In a coffee and pastry shop with some suspicious design parallels with the recently opened Bake’s Bakery over in Teepot. He can read it here; he can read it there. Hmm (again). Better get over for a shot of those “Umbrella dunces.” *This* is where Dunce Boy aka D Boy aka DeBoy (etc.) went after his hat transformation and acquiring that tracking red tie from either the Pot-D or Pan-Z tracking gang. Probably the latter, unless it is the former. Jeffrie Phillips would know. If we could find him. He’s disappeared too. Another suspicious
To that tell-tale Paperville sculpture:
The Boy is here!
He was remembering more. “Pansy. That was your name! Pansy Mouse.”
“Correct.” He points to the planchette on the crate in front of him with the board, another demon device. “We got it from this.”
“And that’s where…”
He changed. This was the past. Pansy = Pan-Z. Jeffrie Phillips instinctively grasps his glowing red tie, a long held habit. He knew *they* were still in there. So many — well, five.
The now squeaky voice continued. “Audrey was in it all along. She *caused* it.”
(to be continued?)
“I don’t know how long I was a mouse but it was a long time. I lived in the richest house in town but we were still dirt poor. Like all the rest. Audrey lived 5 doors down. There were no houses inbetween. Just doors: upright, as if still serving a function. And perhaps they were.”
Jeffrie Phillips was becoming impatient with the doctor’s rambling story. Why was he the doctor now? What happened to the old one? He asked these aloud.
“I’m trying to tell you, Baker Bloch.”
Baker Bloch? Jeffrie Phillips thinks here. But then he realized the (new) doctor was right. That was he. And this was his bakery. Bake’s Bakery, with the demon hot beverage dispenser to complete. It didn’t work without the vending machine. He decides to ask the doctor about it next.
“So tasty,” Doctor Mouse compliments. “I had a, let’s see (he checks his inventory), a Jedi tea. I suppose that’s something from Star Wars.”
“Star *What*?” Jeffrie Phillips had never heard of Star Wars. “Do you mean Star Trek?”
“I do not,” the doctor measured out. He keeps thinking back to the drink, and how it vanished into thin air just before he could take the last swallow. Oh well: delicious still. No need to ask for a prorated discount from Baker Boy here. The Boy.
He first met him when he was this Mouse. He tells Baker Baby Buddy Boy this here. His old nickname. It rang a bell.
Bake’s Bakery has moved in to one of the 2 lower rooms of my more downtown Teepot apartment. The demon hot beverage dispenser remains, ha ha (he he he (ho ho ho ho)).
Just around the corner (hu hu!).
Also: the important bits of the attached apartment remain. Like this now 5 day old pizza in one of the 2 upstairs rooms (hi!).
“We better get down to business, Jeffrie. Let’s talk about Audrey.”
“Okay, um, *doctor*.”
Jeffrie Phillips decides to try something different out with Charlene the punk tonight. “Are you there?” he im’s her.
“Yeah, I think so,” she replies back after a lag in her parallel spot. “There’s a rhino, so…”
“Yep, that’s it. So… go ahead and see if you can get through the door. Then I’ll try with the gate.”
“What happened to your last girl?” asked new gal pal Hina 3 days later at Teepot’s sake bar (and art gallery).
“Ah, she was just in a different place than me,” he spoke truthfully. “I wish her well.”
“Your place or mine?” Hina then asked boldly, not wanting to waste the moment.
“Mine.” But Jeffrie returned to his downtown apartment alone and without another tag along girl. He seemed to be flipping through them more rapidly these days. Must be the heat, he wrote to end.
“Audrey’s place,” he spoke over to still tagging along Charlene. He didn’t mind, as long as he could use her for a sounding board every couple of minutes. “Right down there. With *him*. I see their green dots in the middle of the night. I know what they do.”
“Jeffrie,” she urged.
“I know, I know.” Jeffrie Phillips sighed. “Stop dwelling.”
But he couldn’t. Next stop: the Gasthause, as close as Jeffrie (and Charlene) could get without actually trespassing on *his* property. The doctor. I bet he is, I bet he is, Jeffrie Phillips thought over and over in his mind as he stared up toward the structure owned by a man from the future. And the past. Along with the present of course. He said his thoughts aloud again. It was here, for the 12th time today (not coincidentally, the amount of sounding board moments between Jeffrie and herself), Charlene considered leaving this clearly possessed man. Audrey, Audrey, Audrey. That’s *all* he ponders about.
“You don’t understand,” he defended himself after being called out again. “I was just wandering around, having a good time, poking my head in here and there. When I stumbled into that cabin and found *her* chair. Just sitting there. Like a sacred altar — which it was, actually. For me, and her. When we were *together*.”
Ah, a secret submissive, though Charlene here, understanding more in the moment. She knew about such chairs. Well — *two* can play that game.
“*I* have a chair. Back at my place in Colona.”
“Won’t be the same,” he quickly replied, putting her in her place again. Audrey was queen. She was merely a pawn in a much bigger game.