Tag Archives: Man About Time^*~~~~~

squeegeed

“Using the tip from Sally, we followed the car all the way to the entrance of the park but could go no further. *Fifes* Grove Park, like in Barney Fife.”

“Like in Barney *Rubles*,” emphasized Man About Time, fascinated with the new information. He hardly ever emphasized anything in his speech, so mild manner and calm and cool and collected he is. But this seemed different. They had found a way… inside.”

“I thought you might want to know, being second in command of this here chilly town in the mountains.

“So beige,” said MAT almost religiously. But he understood. “In case something happens to me,” is the unspoken sentiment.

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0027, 0212, Iowa, Lower Austra^, Nautilus^^, Upper Austra^

00270210

Spying from a safe distance, he watched her enter the library on the southern edge of Collagesity and the Fordham sim as a whole. She stayed until about 1/2 past 6, and then exited with no books checked out as far as he could tell. Tim Bean had retired from the library in ’72, about 2 years ago minus a year or three. Right now it was auto-service in there until they could get a new person. She had her pick of the books, then, but she seemed not to want any. Then he remembered *he* had the monster book, found in The Abyss temple atop unique, unicorn-like Fissure Mountain over on the old continent of Sansara. Maybe she came out with nothing because *that’s* the book she was looking for — interesting.

He could slip a note under her door at the Kidd Tower where she was staying, directly beneath the apartment of Man About Time, a kind of vice chancellor to the city and a right hand man to himself as head honcho. He’d made his peace about the resurrection through the marriage to Wendy over in the Urqhart sim or thereabouts. Man About Time would still have to bid his time to become the ruler of this here fair burg.

“Meet me at Perch (restaurant) at half past 7 in the evening after today’s tomorrow,” he decided to word it, with just the right amount of detail, he felt.

In the meantime, he was due to meet with Man About Time anyway concerning the town budget wars so he slipped in a couple of questions about the new gal. Sally was her name, MAT said. Sally Nugent. He gathered she came from a family of monsters, because the pictures he helped tote upstairs for her all had people with green or bloodless white skin, with fangs in their mouths or bolts in their necks.

Bingo.

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Newgal

“It’s moreso now don’t you think?” speaks Jeffrie Phillips to sometimes/always companion Charlene Punk Brown, perhaps the best of all his girls. She puts up with a lot at the very least. “The hair, I mean.” He points to his own hair here between bites of the spinach pizza. “Blue. Whaddaya think?”

Charlene also steals a glance, trying not to be jealous. This *could* be her replacement. Why did she arrive so mysteriously in the middle of the night, as they say, on a plane originally bound for Starfish Sea, or Starfish Lake as some call it? Jeffrey said it landed just outside the town over the sim line in Siliconicus. He said he’d been meaning to put a small landing strip over there if he could only figure out how to position the anchoring prims properly, since it’s not technically his property but instead abandoned land — a lot of that in Siliconicus, which is commonplace in the beige highlands part of the continent. She *is* cute, probably as cute as she is. She’d also look good in that pink babydoll Jeffrey keeps around, she suspected. Maybe she should dye her own hair blue.

“Are (bite) you going to answer me or not, woman?”

“Woman?” Not now she isn’t. “Listen *man*–” but then bit her tongue as Jeffrey hesitated to take another bite, waiting for a lashing, which he knew he probably deserved. Sometimes he slips into old world talk, as his daddy use to say. Poor old dad: he hadn’t thought about him in a while, nor ma-ma. They didn’t approve of his playboy ways so he had to leave the family hearth. So long long ago at this point. Seems like a different lifetime.

“I’m sorry,” he ventured, then finished his bite.

“No — me. And in answer to your question it does look a little bluer. Is — she really the woman of your dreams?” She meant *in* your dreams but she let the statement stand, too ashamed to go back and correct it. She flushed a bit, even. He stared at her, trying to figure out how to get past this awkward moment so he could finish his pizza.

—–

He couldn’t stop thinking about her as they lay in bed later, bedposts not put up yet so nowhere to hang his tie and suit. They remained fully clothed. Charlene wasn’t anxious tonight to slip into that babydoll. She was just as worried as Jeffrey was excited. “What do you think she was looking up on the interwebs over there?” he asked his likewise restless partner. “Man About Time said she was a scholar of some kind, but he didn’t know what of.”

“*I’m* a scholar,” muffled Charlene, mouth to pillow. She moved so she could more easily speak to her partner. “Perhaps you got us confused with each other. Let’s try that quiz again.”

“Okay,” he relented, knowing he may or may not pass it.

“Alright, who’s your wife? An easy one to begin.”

He knew he shouldn’t say, “you” — that never seemed to work. He remembered the roses. He remembered the checkerboard face. Or chessboard face, take your pick. “Wendy,” he said.

“Right, and where did you get married? I’ll throw that in for a new wrinkle.”

“Er… Urqhart?” He remembered a house across the road from the Illuminati place.

“Correct. And *why* did you get married… to Wendy? And, say, not *me*?”

“Because…” He couldn’t remember that part.

“Yes?” She wasn’t going to drop hints, it seems.

He simply didn’t recall that he was recently dead and had been resurrected by the power of the vows. It happened a lot when he’d just returned home.

(to be continued)

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0027, 0209, Lower Austra^, Nautilus^^

flagged

The first thing they saw was an angel heralding them in — or out. “Duncan is good,” said one to the other. “He knows what to see when it looks back at him.” The other didn’t respond, waiting for something better.

—–

“Ahh yes, that’s much better today Mrs. Fox,” says airport assistant vice manager for human interactions Stephan Spaceboy, checking the weight board.

“Miss,” she says. “Actually: Ms.”

“As you wish, *Ms.* Fox. Now. What can I do you for?” Stephan taps his foot nervously against the floor under the desk. Return visits by avatars usually mean trouble. It means they are looking for something. Or somebody.

“Yes, I think I’m ready to talk about Pink again. I hear…”

“… she’s here, yes.” Stephan tries to act casual while looking away from her. He glances out the office window in what he knows is the direction of Pink’s lair, as he calls it. Who is she with now? He doesn’t want to know.

—–

In her own office not 100 meters away to the south, Pink was asleep at her desk, dreaming she was young and, well, alive again. Tom Banks had brought her a vase of flowers, saying he was sorry he had to kill her but it was his role in life. Similarly dead Frankie “Beige” Brown sat across from her, giggling at the conjunction of Pink and Tulip outside on the plane and inserting, “Lips are like one pink,” between snickers. Going further back in time, Doogie Martin was staring at a snow filled tv he’d just mounted on the wall and mumbling something about Aspinwall. It was all being swept away in the (white) noise, all the sorrows put behind her. Then she wakes up.

One thing remains, but silent or at least very low.

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0026, 0308, Lower Austra^, Nautilus^^, Rim Isles

cross plains

Duncan pauses in his examination of Eveningwood. 300 address at the western edge of town: where had he seen this before? And a “ROOST – Jasper Landing TALL Fence” over there — interesting.

Duncan would keep going, but he would never return to Our Second Lyfe as he crosses the boundary between real and imaginary on the other side of the 300. Virtual I meant there. Real and virtual. He was a black man inside the sphere; he never knew what hit him.

“Oh *I* see. Field *on*. As in some kind of activated force field.”

“Spherical in nature,” he added.

But who were these people inside this darkened cinema on the edge of realities? They stare into the screen as if a window.

(to be continued)

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0026, 0307, Eveningwood, Illinois

free?

She was small but she was no longer a baby, this Alysha, not to be confused with Ayesha also from the last photo-novel. 26, eh. Number of letters. Beyond Missouri and Arkansas. Michigan. We are even again, 13 and 13.

“It is good that you progressed onward.”

“*You* again.”

“Of course. Your opposite. 13 and 13. Call me Michigan,” she then offered, giving me pause. Was she the one?

“Straminsky?” I tried. It was a word the Oracle didn’t know, or you had to back up back to three to get any population hits. Yet this was the 13th of the MASH sims. Did I succeed? She just kept on with that schweet but secret smile, like the end of INLAND EMPIRE. And maybe that was what all this was: the end of a long and dusty trail or something. Fulfillment. A drink of long sought after water from a magical well. “Well well well,” I wanted to utter but stopped myself. STOP

—–

“Get to the temple. The temple attached to the tor.”

“Thanks for allowing me to continue.”

“I waited for you. Alpha. Windyville. Zula. A woman with a child as one. Unity of mother and daughter. An “l” was crossed, forming a “t”. You progressed forward. 6 to 7.”

—–

She was gone. She never made it out of the shadow.

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0026, 0102, Lower Austra^, Nautilus^^

baby steps

“It’s a start.”

“He’s got a bit of, you know…”

“Brain Damage,” Wheeler offered (Wheeler? Is Wheeler still around? Could she just be *Wendy* now?).

“Yeah, like, you know…”

“Syd?”

“SID, yeah.”

“Syd lower case. Like lo-fi. Hi-fi and lo-fi.”

“Syd, right. Not the other Syd (SID).”

“Well, shall we (begin)…?”

—–

She’d actually been basically in Wallytown for I don’t know how long. Ever since the shower was installed I suppose, curing her — brain damage? Perhaps. Anyway, she was Wendy through and through. Fern Stalin and Lichen Roosevelt stared on, wondering what they had created. Hi-fi.

I can’t say what she did but it was a bad thing and she deserved to be.

—–

“They started by moving independently of each other, he with his lemonade and she with her secret — smile. Schweet. Yelloo.”

“Now you’re just chanting random (Nautilus) sims.”

“Not random, W. Can I call you…?”

“Of course. And, yes, I do have a schweet smile thank you for noticing.”

“Can I see it?”

“Not yet.”

—–

“So it was this lime colored car, an X 1/9, that started it all.”

“We can go with that. And the No Tor (she urged).

It started ON… the No Tor.”

“Okay let’s go with that (instead).”

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end of Sector

“This ditch will make the town, Danny with an extra N. Some, in the future, will just call it Ditch City, some Old Ditch City, because another will be built on top of it, another Collagesity.”

“Yes sir,” replied Danny, loyal to his new ruler for sure, past present future. “I’m ready.” The shovel in hand was now just another tool of the trade, like the plunger, mop, and bucket. He could handle it.

“I know you are, Danny.” He shuffles his feet again, points in a random direction, sometimes down the ditch but most often not. The fuzziness is still showing. “1948 where we stand now.”

“Yes sir.”

“And we need to reach all the way back to 1898 to change the first Oz movie, make it the first talkie.”

“I’m ready.”

“I estimate — hmm — about where the ditch passes underneath, well, your *new house*.” It was about as excited as mild mannered Man About Town could talk. Danny looked at him google eyed. Tears formed in them, even. Ones of joy. For Danny with the extra N had never had a real and proper home before.  He would leave the trailer. He would… finally have a say in town meetings. How marvelous! “That’s right, Danny. You now take care of the Blue Feather itself and become my right hand man. You have a voice; 1898 has a voice. That’s what I figured out. Through the plunger.”

“Tiger,” responded Danny Rada, already practicing losing the R.

END OF “COLLAGESITY 2021 EARLY”!

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0025, 0706, Lower Austra^, Nautilus^^

zircon encrusted tweezers

Perhaps the Kidd Tower never should have been eradicated from this cozy corner of NWES City, Man About Time thinks while flying above it all again. It’s another “what if…”, but the Kidd Tower remains in Collagesity, on the *Nautilus* continent. Not here, though, in its more natural position on the Jeogeot continent which NWES City acts as a crown jewel of — was *suppose* to act that way. Now its Black Ice is being depopulated, victim of urban overbuild. But I still have Moe’s in Apple’s Orchard, he thinks. And Charlene still has her coffee bar down in Black Ice, and Stumpy still lives with fellow head Gotham above the record store there. Gotham, he realizes. A black person in Black Ice: exactly what I need. He knows where he must head next.

—–

“You’re not suppose to smoke it in your *nose*, you silly person,” he exclaimed as they lounged around in his and Stumpy’s apartment and partaking a bit before heading out to… where? Not much left in Black Ice except Charlene’s coffee bar. Gotham tells Man About Time this.

“Then let’s (*cough*), go to Collagesity. Mabel will be singing (*cough cough*) at the Montana Bar tonight.”

“Really?” said Gotham, use to strange pot talk and the lies it can surface. Blue over red, as Stumpy might explain it. Or something — he can’t remember the exact phrase he uses right this moment. Also something about octaves. And doctors.

“Yeah (*cough*).” Man About Time can hardly breathe now. He had to get out of here. It was foolish for him to toke, even if only through the nose. He was still high enough to fly. He could go back over to Apple’s Orchard right now and probably see the Kidd Tower there in that cozy corner, like it never left. He remembers that Mabel wasn’t singing tonight, and that the Montana Bar hadn’t been built yet. But it will. If other things line up as planned — dominoes. “Let’s, er (*cough cough cough*), go to my place over there instead.”

“What place? You don’t live *here*?”

Man About Time didn’t have breath to explain. He could only manage: “I’ll (*wheeze*) send-you-a-link,” which meant a teleport invite. He knew his apartment was home base — easy reach — and that he hadn’t changed it to the Blue Feather yet. Why would he?; he wasn’t ruler of Collagesity *yet*. Mabel’s dad wasn’t Billy Ray Cyrus — *yet*. Charlene the Punk wasn’t Fern the super-witch…”

“Link to where?” Gotham interjected, making Man About Time remember to teleport himself. But he ended up just falling asleep on the couch afterwards, forgetting about Gotham until the morning. He phoned him up.

“I was waiting here — *all* *night*,” Gotham protested about the disappearance and the missing invite.

“I’ll make it up to you,” came the mild reply. “Montana, I mean, Mabel is singing next week as it turns out. Everything lined up.”

—–

That night at Moe’s Bar:

“Stumpy. Where’d you get that poster?”

“Gee, I don’t know. Why?”

“Was Dinah, Moe’s…*wife*?”

They’d both find out at Mabel’s Montana gig.

(to be continued)

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0025, 0704, Apple's Orchard, Black Ice, NWES Island^

00250703

“I like your gray hair.” It changes. “Oh, I mean, *black* hair.”

“Never mind that,” she waves off, still weeping a bit. She lays her head in her folded arms on the table. “I can’t (*sniff*) *believe* he’s *gone*.”

MAT pats her hand. “There there.” It’s something she did a lot for Jeffrey, especially when he woke up after one of his weird dreams. The memory makes her cry even more. We better postpone the post about her chat with MAT for another day.

Oh wait, she’s finished. She looks up, stares into MAT’s eyes. “I’m better (*sniff*). Yes,” she nods. “Better.” More nodding, like a bobble-head winding down. MAT withdraws his hand from hers, sensing he needs to do that. It starts wheels turning in Charlene’s head, though — the subtle pause. Was MAT interested in her? So soon after Jeffrey’s demise? How dare he! But maybe she’s just imagining it. She stares into his eyes. Very intelligent, yes, but very unformed. What would be a better word? Unfocused. *Fuzzy*. Blurred even, but perhaps that’s because of the remaining water in her eyes. She wipes them, looks again. Still a bit blurred, still a bit fuzzy. This was on MAT. How is he going to run a whole 1/8th sim town like that? she asks herself.

“How’s… (*small sniff*) Collagesity managing? I (*smaller sniff*) imagine the paperwork is piling up even higher than before, foot by foot.”

“One foot after another,” MAT recites, thinking back to leaving the subway and heading here. Spunky’s coffee bar, bought by Charlene the Punk from Rochelle the Spy in the Summer of ’98, which would be just last year, NWES Time Zone. She’d done a great job with it. “Money’s not great,” she admitted to Jeffrey Phillips just the week before last Wednesday’s Tuesday or thereabouts. So soon was he taken from us! “Come with me,” he then beckoned. “Come to Collagesity.” Oh, she was there some nights, and it always seemed the ones where he had those weird dreams. About this place called Pickleland, for example. Danny as a time traveling super scientist, ha! He can barely plunge a commode. Okay, he’s actually a pretty good janitor, Charlene admitted in her mind.

Man About Time had nodded off while Charlene thought about other stuff. He too was dreaming about Pickleland, and being in control again, fuzzy no more. Grandma loves him best of all, he knows, up there on the 7th level or whatever. Maybe 8th. But way up high, so no one could reach her. But him.

(to be continued)

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