“The spotlight is on you, Yoko Ona. It is your decision where the brain goes next. Does it return to its original owner David A.B., making him *normal* again? Or somewhere different altogether? But (weighted pause): your choice.”
Yoko Ona knew it was no more her choice than anything else ’round these here Heartsdale parts. She’d already been cloned twice! Replacements are standing by, as they say in show business. David A.B. it is.
Now to just find the right time for slicing his head open once more.
She studies his every move during his perpetual interaction with fellow coven member Linda Halsey. He steps into the road right…
The next day he’s taken to the hospital after being sideswiped by a beat up old station wagon in front of this very same motel. There Yoko makes her move.
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.
“Sometimes I don’t know where the blues begin and end, Esmerelda.”
Remaining silent, she stares out at the rocking and rolling boats as well. He’s obviously concerned about the waxing and waning Oesso logo on his chest, she thinks. Instability! The threat of re-absorption into the machinery. But she knows it also probably won’t happen. This was a test, after all. “Do that thing you do to the gas emblem,” requested the head honcho with her all white eyes spanning the universe itself but in a bad way. “See what happens; see if he has any weakness that we can exploit.” Nothing of significance spotted so far. He seems destined to leave again. “We can’t trap him,” she imagines saying to a displeased Mid-Hazel, dreading the rest of the day.
The Oesso logo remains stable now. He returns his attention to the table and the map upon it. “Any-way. Here it is, what you witches have been looking for. Mountainsburg to the west, Formosa — the LOST island — kind of to the north, Kate to the east. And a Little Rock in the middle, just enough to eventually get us out of New
York Orleans.” He then looks at the Cat-Witch’s colorful wafer cookies just beyond, wondering why the south pales in comparison. Further away than the rest from his angle? A symbol of Oesso itself? *Cat-Witch* is to the south, he reminds himself. The whole lot of ’em.
Esmerelda studies the map of Arkansas carefully, looking at the handwritten parts. Peter Oesso can’t cheat at this game because he doesn’t know how — yet. Best to strike a deal early before his presumptive ascent. “Sold,” she says. “You can have the girl.”
“Great.” He stares out again. “Now can you make at least *one* of these boats stop rocking so I can get the heck out of here??”
The crows are still up there, thinks Venus down on the ground below the high spired church. Mid-Hazel is still here in Heartsdale — manipulating John.
And I am *certainly* unable to help now the Mission portal is gone. Right Snaily?
What happened in Room 03? she pondered while looking down at it. Did Jane kill hubby Ben Wolf just because he called her — *Plain*? Where’s Olive, I mean, June now? After the separation. The hills look lovely over there. I wish I could go hiking in them. My suit is too big for my torso.
She ends her reverie and turns in the old church with the high spires with the crows.
“Linda Halsey, yes,” Mid-Hazel spouts with her ancient, crackly voice while checking. “We lost track of you at Jim’s Bar. The bomb was dropped, true enough. How did you manage to get out? We know about the others. Please reveal.”
Heavily suited Linda Halsey stood her ground. She knew she was just a pawn in a bigger game that expanded across the galaxy, nay, the *universe*. And in the middle… well, a…
“Don’t say it again, Hucka Doobie.”
“*We* — just did.”
Yoko Ona had returned from what she’d seen and was determined to walk right between them, the *forgeries*.
“Excuse me lovebirds,” she said, eclipsing both from each other in the moment.
“What’s going on?” she called over to security guard Big Black Smoke, still guarding the Room 03 door as if his life depended on it. “Police tape?” She *knew* this wasn’t here before. She wondered if the authorities had finally been alerted to the body inside. Had maid Hidi come out from hiding with it? Despite the tape she decided to go in. Big Black Smoke, another dummy, didn’t lift a finger to stop her from entering. As long as it’s not Room 03…
Secure in the fact that the body was still within — bridge-like portal exposed behind a wall — Yoko Ona took a relieving pee in the toilet before entering. This witch was not who she appeared to be.
“It’s John,” exclaimed observing Marty over in Urqhart (or Thereabout)’s Collagesity. “It’s got to be!”
Standing on its head, Yoko peered into the first of the other rooms, beyond the original. This was Two beyond One. She didn’t like what she saw.
“She has received the belt, ma’am, and is testing it out in Marwood.”
“Good, good,” Mid-Hazel returned. “But get her to Black Drake as soon as possible.”
“10-4 on that, Eleanor.”
“Stop doing stuff like that,” she commanded. He never listened. One day Jack Toadswallow would pay for all those non-listenings. The Abyss remembers.
Alice Farrowheart was embarrassed she had to widen and deepen the belt so many times in the options mode. Must go on another diet soon! But she had it on, and she *wasn’t* going to enlarge it any more, despite some of her waist still drooping over the top in the front. So be it! She was what she was (at this point). Not a young woman any longer, although in my day… Alice F. thinks back here to winning Ms. Applewood in ’52. A good year for apples in general, she sighs while looking down her torso toward the belt. She can barely make out the edges. But… it’s on.
Now: to test it out. Think I’ll go to that bot bar on the north side of the sim so’s no one important can see me if things go wrong. Alice F. has studied Mystery Woman’s working of the same. Several options will not be used! Just the one that teleports you to a different place. Shocking, I know.
She imagines the bar very vividly in her mind. And: SHOCK.
She’s there! Initial test complete.
The personnel in the central police station watched the burning of Club 88 and attached Little Jimmy from a distance and talked amongst themselves.
“Now order will be restored,” said Officer Brennon to Officer Barney, turning away from it for a moment. “*Big Brother* will be restored,” offered Officer Warren behind them (off-camera here). True men these were. They waited for Ms. Tanner to weigh in, the most important opinion.
“There is only one Big Brother,” she finally declared as the fire crescendoed, damage done. Casualties inside for sure. “Big brother Ingo Ratts has been eliminated, like big brother Little Big before him.” Brennon, Barney, and Warren didn’t know who Little Big was but nodded in agreement anyway. The point is: everything was reset. INGO banners had reverted to pre-film INGSOC, which stood for the fictional English Socialist Party of George Orwell’s seminal “1984” novel, and whose totalitarian ideology represented what he saw as the worst possible outcome of socialism in his native Britain.
The new center of town was burning while the old one looked on satisfied.
She had been living on the Aloha houseboat for over 3 1/2 years now. She’d had plenty of time to contemplate her life as Witch Hazel in the past, and, moving forward, well… something good instead of bad she’ll be the next time at bat. Fruity bat.
Right now, she occupies a position between good and evil — red and blue. Purgatory, in effect. But she’s grown use to her schizoid nature. Soon enough it will end for Parasol and she’ll become someone else.
Sam Bee is a key; Trojan-Durexian War, etc. Sting operation. She knows that from Ruby Fantasie’s Middletown US of A investigations, which are ongoing.
In the other room of the boat, Charlie Banana wakes up and needs a drink. Yes, “between” she is indeed currently. But all split things must end.
Green Squirrel sat patiently on his tiled roof, biding his time and waiting for another part time assignment at Diagonal Alley (etc.) just beyond the hills over there where his wife Huma was currently exploring. What more was there to do?
Greentop, she thought from afar, looking at the one their house was wedged into the side of. I’ll explore that peak next.
“Tronessissia,” the witch Mid Hazel hissed back in Jeogeot. “Should’ve known.”