“Peppins, Pippins, Pippens… the name shifted all around down through the months, now almost years. It all had to do with that Peppi machine: that was the center it all revolved around, The Diamond some call it. David A.B. put his heart and his brain into designing that machine; literally for the brain. He knew what was just around the corner. A beat up old station wagon with an Illinois license plate reading BDR529, intent on harm. He didn’t have much time.”
“But what does this *mean*?” ask Poetry Dancer, with Jeffrie Phillips for the moment. Until Charlene Brown the punk woke up about 11 o’clock. Morning walk he could say, building up a sweat by running in place for a couple of minutes. Poor Charlene — so involved in her cryptozoology dissertation writing late into the night that she was oblivious to the transgressions. Jeffrie was taking full advantage of that. The bastard. But a smart bastard, perhaps the worst kind.
“It *means*, my dear, that the death was planned; on purpose. We must track down this Sammie Parr, who is in the collages after all. She is an amalgamation of 5, just like me. That means…”
“Pot-D. *Sorry*. I mean Pan-Z of course.”
“Yes. A rival member, perhaps rogue. *Obviously* rogue because of the murder and all. David A.B.’s brain must have been in there all right.”
“But what will they do with it *now*?” queries Poetry Dancer further, no ugly in her face for the moment.
“They got him to the hospital through trickery, just like before. The brain I mean, and not the host.”
“It’s Mid Hazel,” he suddenly intuited, putting collage pieces together in his own brain. “She’s up to something.”
“More… *cake*?” he said after a weighted pause.
Mary Pippins’ red umbrella and the Red Umbrella gallery
Bake’s Bakery (newly relocated!) with Barry X. Vampire and pretty Poetry Dancer
Zapppa’s apartment? (dreaming of that chick down there)
that chick down there — actually, those chicks, including the Her Majesty bigfoot/yeti in the doorway just down
Toddles roaming the mean streets of Black Ice at night again after drugging up her Grammy
Stumpy, the new bartender at Moe’s, smoking bong hit after bong hit while listening to noise rock with Gotham the psychedelic reggae monk. He’s got a head! He *is* a head!
Charlene Brown the punk working late night on her cryptozoology dissertation, unaware that off again on again boyfriend
Barry X. Vampire Jeffrie Phillips is with Poetry tonight, the bastard
Melvin the devil boy offers a passing skateboarder some suspicious looking soup while half-sister Eldwina ponders her 1st assignment as an official member of the City Squad. Knew it! thinks full brother Judd from the stairs.
“I was wondering if you’ve seen a little boy. About yea high?” Walter Pillsbury then sticks his hand behind his head in a nervous reaction, pretending to scratch his neck. There was something on it that he wasn’t suppose to reveal. The hand must remain hidden and out of focus as best as possible.
“No, I’m afraid not sir. Like I tell everyone with such an inquiry, you’ll have to talk to the king.” That’ll put them off, Tipsy the barista thinks without saying. Because the king is much too busy to deal with such a trivial matter. Little did she know.
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*.”
“Where is he?” Warhole demanded to the mechanical soothsayer. “Where’s Gabby?”
“You come — bearing the mantle of other people tonight, Andy War-HOLE. You have been talking to — *people* too much. You are too — *peoplely*.”
“Well, yeah. What of it? I’m an artist. I have to mingle. Socializing sells art. That’s what I’m about. Baby.” He checks his watch with this. Gabby should have been here 20 minutes ago! He needs help.
“Oh I look hideous,” Poetry Dancer complained to Marilyn.
“Won’t take long dearest (*coo*). We’ll have you looking, *exactly* like one of us in a jiffy, darling (*ooo!*).”
“No sir, you don’t understand. We sell *one* book. The red one.” You’ll have to go to the other bookstore in town for “Moby Prick”.
“Aww, *geez*.” Dimmy Gene’s book review was due tomorrow, and now he has to walk all the way across town to get a copy and start reading.
“It’s no good,” Gabby complains at the typewriter with its inserted, still blank sheet of paper. “I need people to write!” Long lunch break’s over. He better head back to the wagons.
“It’s a good strawberry shake. I wish we could have enjoyed such a shake while growing up.”
“What do you mean?” asked Poetry, truly confused in the moment.
Parasol changed, staring sideways at… “What did you say the name of that movie was?”
“‘Hot Rod Girl,'” Poetry said, not noticing the change and responding to earlier conversation.
“Another thing I could not enjoy.”
Poetry noticed the change.
She was trying to determine an exact year here in this place. “Hot Rod Girl”: she remembered that film from the early 60’s — maybe late 50s. But she wasn’t allowed to go to such a racy flick. Some said there was a bit of nudity involved (!).
A black lady in the nearby pink diner. Black people are not allowed in this diner. Not in the early 60s, and certainly not in the late 50s. She gathered she was about 18 or so, or about the same age as herself. Her profile picks led Poetry to this sign which she also didn’t understand, being from the past and all. A relic.
Well of course Black Lives Matter, thought Poetry at the time. That’s why we made them separate but equal (!). She wanders into the gallery of the woman, named Eight. Was Eight code for a gang member? A revolutionary? She’d heard of such people. The single name of a letter or a number came to her mind. She was becoming more ensconced in time. 1921 may be next…
She was looking for particular evidence that would support her now outdated slant on reality. Could she snap out of it?
The jazz and beatnik club known as The Dive was actually just a front for the numbers station in a secret room below the establishment. An old bomb shelter. Charlie Banana became humanized after being successfully contacted by Poetry Dancer. They listened to the artful tunes of D.J. Marty, still intent on finding out whether Yoko was a good or bad witch. We’d determined that Mid-Hazel was the real manipulator behind the scenes. Another All the Numbers situation, most likely. He played his Pepper album both forwards and backwards at once to attempt to create a third, higher perspective. Lt. Salt entered the club and
killed them all bought them all drinks. It was an unexpected result.
Okay, she’d finally found something that interested her in the past. A numbers station, broadcasting all the figures. She could call somebody! She first thought of Charlie Banana, an old lover. Good ol’ Charlie. Peach of a guy. But then a Siamese cat suddenly landed on the table from somewhere on high and talked to her instead. Wrong Charlie contacted (mentally). He said she’d missed something in Paperville and that she needed to return. Thinking the cat meant her blue-green shoes, she stated to it she’d already retrieved them, and plopped them on the table in front of him to gander at. As you can see, she’d also bought a matching dress in the meantime to fit in better with the past all around her.
Was it the shoes? the God-like cat thought, still ready to fill a void if need. But now Axis was in control of Paperville. Poetry Dancer here’s brother, or maybe former brother. And then there’s lover Barry X. Vampire. She desires the past, though. Charlie Banana. All the numbers. He better say the shoes were what he was thinking of and take his leave; regroup; try to find another angle (of communication). The past is the past, though. No changing or altering it. That’s why he doesn’t like to go there — here. No malleability; he likes malleability. Change. Flow. The Siamese cat takes its leave.
“I’ll leave you with the other Charlie,” it said/meowed/purred to Poetry. “It’s my mistake; that was the Charlie you desired in the moment. Not me. My bad,” it apologized again, and then wondered if he was overdoing it.
Charlie poofed out. Another Charlie poofed in. All the numbers.
“Hi doll baby.”
“Beautiful place isn’t it?” spoke the biker to his side. Hmm: Biker. “You won’t find a better place.”
“I don’t expect to,” returned Barry X. Vampire, knowing he was being kicked out by the head honcho. “Get your own sphere,” he said on our tour of the underwater gallery, seeing many of the iterations of Paperville in the past. “Collagesity can be as important as Paperville,” he then furthered. “You think about that upon your return.
Barry X. Vampire later contemplated the two were a balance, one focused internally and the other outside of itself, as in the great outdoors. They are kind of backwards from each other in this respect.
In this moment, the train outta here should be arriving any minute. Poetry had to run over to the apartment to retrieve a final thing, she said, but met Hucka Doobie sitting at Peter Oesso’s old spot on the way back. “Don’t — I know you?” she wanting to ask while glancing over, but didn’t have the time. She just passed and nodded.
Hucka had done her work. She would be remembered later on.