“What about the king?” I asked a little later, remembering that he is still groundside.
“Don’t touch the king.”
Petunia then suggested I talk a walk to calm my mind.
“Don’t worry,” he said while seeing me off toward the ferry. “Goodbye!”
Petunia had the answer. At least a temporary one. “You’ve brought the house up, good,” he purred in his mysterious, cat-like voice. “Now you must bring the *rest* up of importance. The house, the church, the *tree*,” he emphasized.
“There,” he declared, moves seemingly over. “Doesn’t that feel *better*?”
Turns out the house, the church, but especially that tree, were attracting the wee ones, Ruby Fantasie the Jamacian witch, and who knows what else. Red balls fell from the sky as I was taking ground shots today. Now, yes, it felt better. We asked him the next step.
“At the very least, Herbert Gold, I had to move your house. I believe it’s jinxed!”
“The *house* — *my* house; *OUR* house — is not jinxed. It — just doesn’t have a proper home yet.”
“I’ve successfully set it up back in Snowlands now,” I replied to the disappointed, tired, aging man sitting across from me, his tea finished like mine. We were in the house, true. In Rosehaven still, yes. But way up in the sky now. More to be seen *here*, but not down below.
Then I had a realization. We need to talk to Petunia, I suggested.
“Ring him up.”
Petunia came right over.
“Slowly but surely, Spring is coming to Rosehaven, Sandy. The snow is melting. The old link with Winterfell is weakening once more. Eversnow.”
“Herbert, please,” spoke Sandy Beech, still under contract. “I suppose that will have to be one for the blooper roll of this novel.”
Merry Gouldbusk skips over Herbert’s breaking of the 4th wall in her reverie. “And castles… they are changing too. I’m not sure for the best. Homogenization.”
“Still sulking about Murdock’s Castle, eh?” Herbert Dune looked at his nails. “There’s still Dog Island.”
“No. (The essence of) that’s moved too. I consulted the Oracle yesterday. It spoke of a Pineapple Island where the true savior of Our Second Lyfe was born. One Daniel. Or Jackson — the Oracle couldn’t specify.”
“The Tiger Oracle,” clarified Herbert. “How is DJ anyhoot?”
“He’s doing fine. He’s looking forward to spring too. When the rest of Rosehaven will homogenize with his evergreen, everliving Borderlands.”
“It’s a nice anchor,” declares Herbert. “A tale that wags the dog — something.”
“Something,” agreed Merry Gouldbusk.
“I had to get rid of the doll house, Mssr. Gold. We were getting too close to the truth.”
“That’s all right Mr. Platinum. I know where to find another one.”
Across the room…
“Our view has changed. Our *castle* has changed, Norris.”
“I don’t like it. I don’t like it one *bite*.”
In the other room (the *only* other room now that Murdock’s castle has shrunk)…
… Petunia begins manipulating documents so that the correct reality might return.
“Methinks this is my kind of place.”
In a related story, the body of a witch was found just outside her cabin in Wabe today. Authorities believe a rival practitioner of the Dark Arts threw her out the back window during an argument over possession of a cat.
But she’s okay.
“There, there. Now, now.”