I think I’ve found what I needed to this morning. An unregistered Nautilus (continent) gallery. Hypercubes.
My opposite Franklin doesn’t quite fit in here yet. Too large. We’re working on it.
(to be continued)
The door to the place in the sewer was open, unlike before. Now casually dressed Roberts sat on one of the reddish chairs within, facing another. Franklin? If John L. Brown is such, and perhaps he is. He got Jem high as a kite with the Duck dope over in Ontario to save or at least extend her short simulacrum life, and everyone knows *Benjamin* Franklin is an expert kite flyer, perhaps a drug user himself? Firesign Theatre seems to think so, at least in one strong probable reality. And besides, John’s already called himself Benjamin Franklin for just those very reasons in part 01. So there’s that.
Or Franklin could actually be Johnny Black who just arrived, since namesake Johnny Cash, Man in Black, was famously married in Franklin KY to June Carter in 1968 after getting his license over the line in Tennessee, probably passing through Black Jack south of Franklin in the effort, shared between the two states — yet another black then. And a separate community named Black Jack exists just to the north of Franklin, firmly in Kentucky in its case. Speaking of cases, pilot Thomas Mantell was born in this same Franklin and very mysteriously plummeted to his death just outside the small KY town in ’48 while chasing what he and others identified as a bonafide UFO, very near Black Jack and the Tennessee line again, even though he lived in a different part of the state at the time. So he is another aspect of Franklin definitely, representing the uroboros where cradle links up and even eats grave, causing a perpetual loop.
Roberts invited Johnny Black in, seeing him space out thinking about some of these same associations. John L. Brown then waved high as well. Appropriate. Someone was also in the pool ahead of him, although he couldn’t tell what or who. Perhaps green? Oh, and when he made his way inside and stood between them, he was standing right smack dab in the middle of what townspeople called The Anomaly, thought to be gotten rid of. Nope. Just showed up in a different place and a slightly different form.
One thing we know is that the green thing in the pool *isn’t* Norris, who is instead dead behind swifter Johnny in the sewer, victim of a zombie attack it appears or something. We wish him well in the afterlife.
Oh look. It *was* Norris in the pool — *just* formed. Another Franklin! And perhaps the truest one.
Unexpected development at the vet’s office. Another numbers crunching dog was already there, typing on his laptop as fast as possible. The screen shots changed at a rapid, even amazing pace. But although there were a dizzying amount of different angles, the location was obviously the same. The Red Room, sometimes known as the Red Bathroom. Also sitting Norris had found it after a long long search.
Johnny Black tried to remain as calm as possible. “Your dog?” he said over. “Talented,” he added.
“Not my dog,” replied the man with the bleached out face. Don’t look at me, he thought. Anywhere but me.
“Oh.” Johnny Black had a rethink. Norris was obviously studying what the labrador was looking at intently. Not his dog, but Norris was fascinated with the information it was receiving. Another Universe was already in place here. Removing the numbers from his own dog wouldn’t work! Darnit! Drat! Wheeler won’t take this well, he knows. He digs further to find out the source of the problem. “Interesting room he’s got there. Very red it appears.”
“Red Room, yes. I’ve been… searching for it…” Norris knew to shut up.
“Red Room you say. Is that the same as the Red Bathroom?” Johnny Black was testing Norris to see if he even knew of the latter, and that it might be the same as the former, given the right circumstances. Because everything hinged on that association now. Everyone in a high enough circle of information knew the Red Room was ultimately inaccessible. But a red bathroom — could be different.
Norris dared to look over, understanding the same. Their eyes met, their eyes locked. This was a race to the end with the loser becoming dead. Norris stood up, Johnny Black stood up. Norris took one step forward, so did Johnny as he gathered up the dog to leave. Norris took one two threefourfivesixseven. He was running out the door down the street. Johnny was right behind him, or right beside him. Maybe in front, even. Both had to go to the bathroom and it was urgent in each case — couldn’t wait. Just over there next to the swamp…
“Next!” Oh frick, thought Abby the vet and vet assistant both today, seeing the empty waiting room besides Sparkles. Another owner on the run. She hasn’t got time for this.
Norris was sitting in the hot seat up in the Red Room. He wasn’t going to leave until he’d memorized every object, every corner. His mind was downloading all. He’d been waiting for so long. He’d give a 1000 WIS maps for this, he briefly thought between measurements. 200 to 214 now. Shouldn’t be much longer. Billie Jean Kidd begged him to get up, and that this was not Clyde and that they need to get the hell outta here before… he comes back. The club man.
“The club man?” said Norris, not afraid of anyone at this point. He had so much information. Besides, he’d been killed once before by same. Just comes back in the next photo-novel. Until the end, which is now. 228: nearly there.
“Please, *please*,” she pleaded in front of him, again and again, tugging at his arm, trying to get him to move… out of that seat! “He’s coming, he’s coming!” she cried, hearing footsteps in the corridor, slow and weighty. Sometimes he slid the club, a 4 wood if she remembers correctly, on the ground beside him to add to the menacing sound. Clop-*clop* hisss clop-*clop* hisss clop-*clop*. Around the corner he appears, just as Norris is downloading it, the final one, the final piece of the puzzle.
An Ass? Casey One Hole wasn’t expecting this.
256. Download complete.
“We’ve been waiting for you!” spoke Billie Jean Kidd. “Welcome to Clyde!!”
Did it work?? We’ve unfortunately run out of posts and time in this here photo-novel and will have to wait until the next for that answer, sorry!!!
END OF “SUNKLANDS 2021-2022 WINTER”!
“I remember the circle squared, Hucka. Can I call you Hucka without the D? Or Doobie?”
“Call me whatever you like. Fred if you wish.” Hucka D. looked around at the same old place. The Old Same Place.
“That would, I suppose, be looking at the bell from below.” He peered at the old photo, then switched it back to Nautilus, the present square and circle combined. Gordie Down’s head blinked off, as if he’d fallen asleep. Wee Norris on his shoulders came around the bend like on a carousel and took over. “So here we are.”
“Fountain,” Hucka D. corrected after giving it some thought. “1/2 and 1/2, though, although we aren’t suppose to talk about that.”
“Limit saying that, yes,” Baker Bloch understood. So many 12 Oz Mouse references in their talkings, like it was the center of the Universe and not Clyde. But everyone knew it was Clyde. Trouble is, no one could get there to see what it was like, not even Gordie Down, although he continually reads about it dawn to dusk and dawn to dusk. Billie Jean Kidd dreams about it as well: a wanted paradise of sorts for her. Add in NORRIS and you get a 40 year stretch of history, not 20, a 2 fer 1 kind of deal-i-o or sumtin. That was the secret of Wheeler on top of Wilson. And Wilson on Wheeler – 1/2 and 1/2 again.
“Baker,” Hucka D. interrupted my reverie, as she was suppose to do here. “I… have to go.”
“Wee wee,” but he didn’t mean yes yes. Okay, 1/2 and 1/2. STOP
GO “I’m back. Someone needs to clean up in there.”
“Last owners,” I clarified. “It was as if the filth was baked in back there in the shadows, the darkness. Same in the bedroom.” But Baker Bloch knew he wasn’t suppose to talk about that room. Keep with the bath.
“There’s tiles out in the shower — I pulled back the curtain — couldn’t help it; saw the outline of something through the curtain. You need to fix that Baker B. And the fence. Neighbors are talking. People beyond the veil are talking, like [delete name]. How are you going to find Ancient Clyde in all its black and white glory with its horsed and horseless carriages if you can’t even manage the present (situation), hmm?”
He, I mean, she had a point (*scroll*). She gets up then down and points to the one with the stinger beside masked Gene Fade. “This is me.”
In a whale of a position, a tree grows out of Newt’s head.
He was getting sucked down into the 3 sim region. Typical; can’t help himself.
Something about ghosts and busting them. Busts! He recalls now. He’s about to get busted for the drug ring he supposedly runs. But it’s really just wrestling on the side, until the money starts rolling in with the art and all. Sepisexton awaits atop the Monolith of Paper-Soap with more pills for thrills. Let’s go there now.
She stares at the crying lady again, another lone, dark figure in the distance. She begins.
Stuck on a mountain, Norris waits for the train to stop and pick him up. Problem is, he himself is the train, the trees, the mountain. This is plainly displayed for others to see.
Duncan Avocado confidently enters the store, noting the colored writing on the wall.
He spies what he wants on the top shelf. “I’ll take, let’s see, the policeman, the fireman, and that, um, Star Trek military robot I believe, Rootitooti or something.” He wanted to own them all, practically the entire public safety force.
“5 bucks,” she said so softly he asked her to repeat the price, which she did even fainter. He never got the cost; the train kept spinning and spinning round the small granite summit like a carousel.
“We don’t like your kind around here, you *hippies*, with your *peace* signs.”
“We’re *not* hippies,” Norris and Pietmond demanded in front of their parked, garishly colored van, trying to get their bearings in this queer place. Its wheels simply would not turn without them. “We’re gypsies.”
“And killing citizens right and left after you just entered the gates of town,” he continued his rant and attached deadly glare.
“They were *zombies*. They would kill *us* without thinking about it!”
“Nevertheless. Zombies are people too. Besides… you need a license in this town to kill zombies. I’ve been waiting to say that to someone for a long time. People around here don’t listen. But *you*…”
“Strangers.” Norris understood this must be one of the disgruntled Pro-Dead he’s heard about in the general Sunklands area. The reason they’re there in the first place. He nodded toward Pietmond, knowing they were on the right track. He produced the blue feather from his grey pocketbook. “Know anything about *this*?”
The farmer-lawyer recalls. His mind drifts back to that day in early May of last week’s July. He falls back but then springs forward, pitchfork in hand. He’s gonna make *them* dead. Then he can defend their rights properly, heh.
(to be continued)
She woke up with her mission. Go through the SOS flea market toward the plane. Find the hole in the fence and turn left. Therein lies the answer to everything, or at least 42. What’s within will not be what it seems.
The plane, check. But not the flea market before her. The cat on a nearby plank of wood meowed an answer but it was not 42. Something about dinner time being only 2 hours or so away now. Useless for her, although encouraging for the cat. She moves right, since left is…
… hold on.
In the secret basement lair of the large house to her left, biggest in town:
Only 2 hours till dinner time, thinks Greg Ogden with exactly the right number of G’s in his name. Better change.