“You are my *sister*.”
In encroaching dawn, he looked over at the parcel that use to contain The Mission of town, employed as a portal by Mabel and others to transfer between here and Collagesity back in the days. He wondered what remained of Heartsdale to exploit character-wise and story-wise, but then remembered why he was sitting here in this throne-like chair. The Diamond.
At the same time, he was also in the wee garden against the far wall, raking weeds from a row of carrots. Mmmm, his favorite. Should be any day now…
I then counted them. They were exactly 24 in number, leading me to discover the difference between a carat and a karat.
He was also across the road playing another late Schubert piece as the ravens again gather in the tall church spires beyond the empty Mission lot.
Mid-Hazel has returned.
The Olive, some called this oval encasement surrounding Carrcassonnee’s lone eye for obvious reasons. A pickle of a concept, because a handful, an *important* handful mind you, considered the encasement to be more meaningful than the eye and said that it should itself become solid. Another handful, larger but less important, stated that the eye and the encasement are equal, and that a balance of solid and transparent is required. Then the 3rd group, largest of all but with lesser voice in power indeed, said to remove the corrupting encapsulation, discard it into The River to float out to The Sea for possible purification but way away from the deity itself. These are The Clears, wishing The Olive never existed.
And then there’s the problem that Carrcassonnee’s eye doesn’t quite fit into The Olive, and a piece of it tends to bulge out from certain angles. This allows The Eye to be manipulated independently from The Olive, which started all this division in the first place. “See?” cried the second, larger group to the first. “Carrcassonnee *wishes* for The Eye to be independent of The Olive.” “We can *shrink* The Eye, just a bit more, so that it will fit inside The Olive and be gone,” returned the first. “Oh, we are *not* allowed to do *that*,” shrieked the third from their weaker but more voluminous corner. “Grow The Eye beyond The Olive. Or, better, throw (The Olive) away! Into The River, into The Ocean.” And so it goes.
Carrcassonnee has some ideas of her own about the heated debate between the 3 groups. “Make me mobile,” she wants to cry out from her fixed position. “Allow *me* to go out and get a *better* eye, a *better* olive to encapsulate it. Then we’ll see what’s what and who’s not.”
She wants the ability to READ her A B C’s and 1 2 3’s correctly.
The analysis is finished. The Nun and The Monk relay their information to The Man About Time, who then concocts an Action Plan. Carrcassonnee must be exercised! But he misunderstood what Brother Joseph and Sister Mary actually said.
“I feel this is a sinful religion, Sister Mary. God is not colors (!).”
“Not sinful,” replies the perhaps wiser Mary to Brother Joseph. “Simple,” she decides, and looks up toward the minor God that is Carrcassonnee, wondering if they can truly reactivate her today.
She can just see the naked eye, and wonders what happened to the 7th.
The Man About Time was playing one of Schubert’s late piano works when they arrived on the second floor. They were asked in turn to stare at tv static and play with a sand castle before approaching the minor deity still one level up.
“Do your magic,” The Man About Time requested and then stepped aside.
“The 7th is back,” whispered Mary over to Joseph. They knew it was a sign.
“If you get stuck at any one point, you can always go back to the Old Country to regroup,” the Man About Time softly spoke over to Newtonia Kashkow, who could barely hear what he says across the circle. Is this another time distortion? she thought. No, it’s just *him*. So mellow and meek for someone so important. Must be the effects of the travel.
“Collagesity,” he spoke more, “should become a focus again.”
Newtonia Kashkow took this in. “I know you are the same as Marcus Fox Smartville and so we are related.”
“True,” Man About Time admitted after a small pause.
“And you are *not* a sucker.”
“Only in the mind of the beholder. On this turf (Our Second Lyfe): no.” He sat confident in his tannish/goldeny brown, throne-like chair. This was his moment. He steps in to become the knight in tan armor. Or was that aroma. The smell of something hot. And unpleasant. No, that was just an anagram. He sits back up from a naturally slumping position, mind focused again away from the morass. That particular sometimes light brown substance will not play a role in this.
Oh, if she could only see what he felt. But the War between Mind and Senses wouldn’t allow it.
We keep following breadcrumbs. The newest one? The Beer Tent in Dalnim, a part of the Greater Chilbo area. Recognize the tent?
Yes, very tasty.
But then: sidetracked.
“Do you have a tummy ache, little boy?”
“A mild one, yes sir.”
“We’re *all* sick,” the child opposite him at the Mad Hatmaker table spoke up. “It’s the magic mushrooms in our tea and coffee. We — didn’t know.”
And then *another* one just down the hill, but not owned by the same avatar. The house with the sick children lies between.
The Man About Time finally returned to the empty Instabar parcel that inspired his trip. This was an easy one. He downs another satisfying swig of Flasche Oettinger Export and contemplates what to put within.
“It’s time to get a form, Summerhill Nova,” The Lord said in her head, the same one that spoke to fellow Oodite Ben Wolf, and perhaps still does (more later on that — involves the *second* Bena — we’ll see what happens). Oh, they don’t call themselves that name any longer. Christians they are now. No more underground planchette movements in the middle of the night. That can only spell TROUBLE. Weegee is no longer the key. *Visibly*.
Summerhill knew full well who the Lord was. She use to rent to him. But 20 linden dollars a month and her will to charity can only go so far. *If* he returns it will be for the regular price, the one everyone else pays that stays “x” amount of time. And it will depend on the destruction of Collagesity. Just like before. And she told him that in *his* head.
I asked her about the missing wall at the Point of It All, the one where my collage formerly hung in the underground, where The Musician became Sikul Himakt once again several years back now to translated the codes and symbols correctly. She said it was just a building mistake, corrected at one point. Didn’t have anything to do with me and my art. Oh, but I begged to differ. It has *everything* to do with it.
“When you erased that wall — those *rooms*,” I explained patiently in her head, “you changed reality. Something was let loose; something was lost.”
She asked again about Pitch Darkly so I told her the full story of what I knew up until now. She was rather shocked he was in Bena. And even the older, original house in Instabar, about as close as I could get to that summit that represents the “featured” peak of the present section.
“You’ll have another Red Pepper incident if you don’t watch out.”
She was right, I realized while spotting an avatar in the house just above it. I wisely decided to delete the structure…
… delete the structure
… delete the structure. Oh heck. I can’t do it.
She kept pressing. “What of the name Bemberg for, er, my sim?”
I said it was an Oracle thing. Like Sikul Himakt. Like Vainom Kug. I resisted saying once more she didn’t die in Vain but in VHC City, but I did segue from that into telling her there was a Firesign Theater angle to all this, involving member Phil Austin in part. Maybe in a major part. I explained the choice of the name Melder for the sim her church was in. And next door: Fharsine. “Melder points to Elmer and the underground,” I said. “That’s why you are…”
“… white as glue?”
Surprising me, the Main Church of Cheese (or just Main Church) still exists in the Pond District of Heterocera. I decided to pay a visit, disguised as a parishioner.
Afterwards I tracked down the Good Rev. Amos T. Sandman (clown) to get more of the scoop. Info about the brief but intense Pond District-VHC City war back in the day would be super nifty. *Jackpot* there, for the Reverend was a treasure trove — had a personal archive out back on the conflict. Said his grandfather piloted a Main Cheese boat over to the shores near VHC City to help with the barricade.
The next week we met in nearby Rodentia to further discuss the matter. Rodentia is fast becoming a treasured relic itself, having been around in Our Second Lyfe for over 10 years. His church was visible through this coffee shop window with a larger draw distance, adding to the ambience.
“So tell me about the Oodites,” I began. “Why did you guys hate each other so intensely? I get the whole clowning thing with you and presumably your grandpa, heh.”
“The Oodites deserved all they got. They put a black hole in the middle of that town and dominated through it. Warped the minds of the commoners (humans) there. *Sang* from that middle. He opened his red tainted clown mouth here for a bit but no sound emerged that I could hear. “That was 10 years ago,” he then continued, and *that* at the end of another 10 — the 10th. Pitch Dark that black hole was.” He paused here for me to absorb.
“I mean,” I spoke through Man About Time, “how did the Oo’ds get there? The aliens you speak of.”
“Oh they were horrible to look at. Could drive a man mad easily with their tentacles for mouths and their sideways eyes. Henry (Russian Grey parishioner I met the week before) looks good in comparison, ha.”
“Heh.” And I wondered why I laughed like that again, like a goofy kid. Did I have a cold?
“Well — how did the underground (movement) start?”
And it was here that Rev. Amos T. Sandman said he had to split to prepare for a diatribe against bananas on Sundae, a rival yellow food. We’d have to get more of the story at a later date.
(to be continued?)