“We’re not here to play with chess pieces, my lovely Linda Halsey,” Marty opens. “We’re here to play with minds. Give me a report on the latest over in Urqhart (or thereabouts), dearest.”
“Sure, um. We think Wheeler may be back in the game.”
“Is that good?”
“Is it?” she returned, and then Lisa Smipson showed up asking if they wanted menus but only brought up Vegetarian selections for specials. They thanked her while shaking their heads about needing food, not realizing who she was in the moment. Lisa then dropped this broad hint of how the game should go.
“You know, a mere pawn can be turned into a whole board given enough time,” she said in her pleasantly squeaky voice, bordering between serious and parody. Kind of like stuck between a 2d and 3d existence. Fisher the fry cook called from the kitchen, needing her to pick up another order. “2 Perch, hold the fries, hold the slaw,” he called, giving more hints. She turned sideways and fairly disappeared in front of them. Another took her place in a frozen slice of time.
Linda Halsey finds a mirror in the Garden of the Goddess across the street from the bar, about equidistant from both her new and old Urqhart abodes. “Oh I look *hideous*,” she exclaims, not having seen her reflection in several weeks — since the move from old to new. “No *wonder* Marty doesn’t want to live with me any more. *I* don’t want to live with me.”
“Rhiannon!” she calls into the sky, hoping the Great White Witch would come down and save her from this condition. Like she did once before. “Rhiannon. I need you more than ever!”
A golden figure descended from the sky. Rhiannon.
Marty never got that dye, at least this night. Linda had moved into the treehouse next to the bar to save money — couldn’t afford even the one bedroom house across the road now due to sinking her money into all those Corona-V’s. The lush. Plus it was a shorter walk to the bar and a shorter stagger back home, she explained to hubbie Marty the next morning. I should also add that she used the bar’s bathroom for her business. “Maybe we should just move in together (again),” she suggested during her morning martini, temporarily forgetting about the deficiencies of Marty’s own bathroom. “Where’s *Marty’s* martini?” she started asking irritatingly after a couple of deep draws, which didn’t set the stage well.
Marty didn’t want this. He had the freedom now to do what he wanted, see who he wanted to see. He was still married true, but…
Barry X. Vampire paused here in his writing. So Marty is still married to Linda, he thought, but they’re kind of estranged, even though they live in the same sim. And Marty is pining for former bar employee Cathy Love Peace Hippie Child, the one who stepped in the doo out back and is also unable to give Marty his old doo (hair) back. He tapped the No. 2 Kendal pencil lightly against the two manuscript pages he had typed tonight. And where was he? we must ask (to continue setting the stage). In the Centre of It All? But that’s where we’ve seen Olive of “Olive Green Pink” fame. Is Barry’s book *that* book? Oh… something is happening in the present in Urqhart as Marty and Linda begin stirring about. She’s in place for the Big Reveal — better head back.
“Just over there,” she explains further while pointing through the slats of the upper deck’s fence.
“A ball park?” exclaimed Marty in disbelieve. “Out in the middle of *nowhere*?” So this is the big change he was warned about. By Barry (Barry?).
So I’ve killed Arthur Kill, ruminates Marty at his home in Urqhart while watching the full moon revolve atop Urqhart Hill. No extra “u” you’ll notice this time. But someone will have to fill his timeline over in
Kraken Storybrook, hmm, he ponders further. I better get over there and set the stage.
But first, someone else has to “die”, hehe. Dye their hair that is.
If only I had a bathroom with a mirror, hrmph.
Better get down to the local bar; see what changes I’ve wrought with the death of my former top assassin. Maybe even (murdered) Cathy Love Peace Hippie Child has returned? That would be kind of cool.
No Cathy, just Linda, the old ball and chain. Oh well, at least she can dye my hair for me.
“Your place or mine?” she slurred, half talking into her 4th Corona-V tall stout of the night.
“Linda, I’ve decided we’re going with Legos for the next album.” Marty turns in his chair. “Come on in boys.”
Jeffrie Phillips had come to the end of the book. Arthur Kill eyed him keenly from the piano which he had no ability to play. His music was death. Death to Big Black Smoke, death to Cathy Love Peace Hippie Child, death to perhaps Jeffrie Phillips too. If he so chooses. The eyeing continues.
“Well… what did you think?” asks Marty from a nearby stool about the tome detailing the history of the bar and Urqhart in general. Spanking new girlfriend Linda Halsey, fresh from a broken relationship down in Adgatetown on the lower coast, was by his side,
holding his arm even preoccupied with her own thoughts at the moment. I wonder how David Newton Jasper is doing, alone with his Chalcedony and other progressive math rock albums? Fine, she then thinks, imagining him playing air guitar again. How many times? She had to leave (like all the others), looks be damned.
Jeffrie Phillips decides to answer Marty since Linda’s internal monologue seemed to be over. “It was… interesting.”
“Do you understand now why we have to eliminate ‘Love Peace’, eliminate the smoke screen that was the Summer of Love, ’66 or ’67 take your pick? There is no Love. There is no Peace. This must be *revealed*.”
Arthur Kill nods agreeably from the dormant piano. This is why he sticks with Marty. Through thick and thin, the cynicism always shines through. It attracts him like a dim moth to bright light. I think of the bug again here…
Jeffrie stares out the dappled window beyond the bikes in the parking lot into the heart of the Indian Lake/Sox Pond basin. Started right here in this bar, eh? 1919 huh — double 19’s. Scandal. Black. Indian… red. White.
Phillips rezzes a local, vanilla style paper without any red atall to take his mind off the quandary, which gives Arthur Kill his cue (*pop*!). Our story must continue elsewhere.
“You know she left town more because of me,” spoke Linda Halsey earnestly to new beau David Newton Jaspers. They were standing on the East Bridge of Adgatetown, the only place they’d ever known or ever would know. Narrow perspective. “I hate to put you down, put you in your place.”
“Wanna listen to some more Chalcedony tonight? I downloaded it from a pirate site. It’s before Dyslexia Cornfield the drummer left. Good stuff.” He pauses, considering. “What were you saying?”
“Never mind.” She takes his arm and dreams about blue tomorrows.