Tag Archives: STU UMBRIEL^*~~~~~~

00280513

They had finished their burgers — vegetarian for the doctor; basically raw red meat for Wheeler, er, I mean, Wendy — and were sitting outside in what they called the kid’s area. Greg Ogden was riding a coin operated horsie across the way; no food for him, just play. The 2 “grown ups” took the opportunity to talk, core to core.  Mouse was asking a lot of questions, so Wendy plopped out her laptop for some quick google searches when needed. Or so she said.

“Claude,” he spat out. “Friend or foe?”

“Friend,” replied Wendy quickly. “But a mechanoid so basically useless. And he indirectly blew up our director so we’ll have to mark down for that.”

“Kids?”

Wendy stared at him. They weren’t suppose to talk about the children. He remembered that with her prompting and moved to the next.

“How about the swamp? How about the bars?”

“Bar None?”

“Um… not sure.”

“Both have black mold thanks to the you-know-who. Both lack bathrooms, hence Stu Umbriel in jail for the urination and such. But he just likes peeing in public, don’t get him wrong. He’d do it anyway. That’s just what his lawyers are going to say.”

“Kolya… seems to be missing.”

Wendy stared over at Greg Ogden still jiggling on his horsie. “Did you give him 2 quarters or 3? Because this could take a while.”

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00280510

Hatti the witch disappeared from the cell block. Across the aisle, fellow prisoner Patrick McDonnelhany’s head turned into a pen. Or pencil — hard to tell from this distance, Stu Umbriel thought. He turned around as well, tried to look beyond the frame by facing it squarely. No luck. He remained panicked and in character. Fern Stalin spoke.

“We are at 42, Stu. The Answer. Are you ready?”

Was he? He looked to the right. He looked to the left. No escape. He was as ready as he’d ever be. Which was never.

—–

“The director is dead,” she deadpanned to Chef-inspector Petty upstairs. “Killed in the Biker Bar and Grilling explosion day before Sunday of week before last month’s Tuesday. Do you recall?”

Or course he recalled, he thinks. He was first on the scene, picking at the bones and flesh of the unfortunate victims. Like Hank Graphite and his gorilla bodyguard; like Ted 02 the half android cyclops; like family challenged Sugar McDermit and bar owner Biker Mann. And then: Biker Chick, also known as Chuck Cheese also known as Heidi, formerly Penn Mann. The director of this here photo-novel, 28 in a series of infinity apparently (ha). We’ve been without direction, then, since, let’s see, post 0280110. Quite near the beginning, then. Fern says all of this to Chef-inspector Petty, omniscient narrator in the moment. Could have been before she went downstairs to the cell block, could’ve been afterwards. Doesn’t matter in the moment.

(to be continued?)

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00280509

“Public urination, Umbriel, tsk tsk tsk.” She wags an evil finger disapprovingly. “You should keep that yellow stuff private, just like this post.” Till it’s finished she furthered, glancing over at me. This witch could see out, beyond the frame of the location of the story. For she knew the secret of the cake.

“I want to show you something,” she then said, revealing what was mentioned just before.

“You’re a man!” Stu exclaimed while reeling backwards, stunned at the sight, deflated even. He had designs on her, true. He’d watched from afar while she sold her papers. He’d forgotten about Wheeler at the frozen banana stand. She had been replaced, blue hair instead of red. The cake is a lie. But now — all that *dashed*.

Fern Stalin enters the cell block, putting perspective on the scene.

(to be continued)

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visitors

“What’s your name, stranger?” Stu (today) Umbriel was checking out the new bar in town, this *Dinah’s*, switched from Moe’s. Moe wasn’t around any longer.

“You can just call me… Windmill Man.”

Stu looked over again with this, noted the propeller beanie on his balding skull. “Hmmm,” he thought internally. “Cool,” he said externally. “My aunt lived in a windmill.”

“So do I,” the stranger shot back, and took a long hard drink of his jungle juice produced by bartender Stumpy (hi Stumpy!) just seconds before, emptying the 1/2 coconut. “Next!” he called over to him, clanking the hollow object on the counter loudly. He didn’t even have time to wash his hands.

—–

A mysterious fern floated into town, hoping to take over someone’s mind.

No, not that one, although that’s also a fern and also floated into town. Just chance (insert nervous laugh). We’re talking about Fern Stalin, who came in on a Messenger Featherfloater from over in Brilliant, one of the most interesting rim islands of Maebaleia along with its twin of sorts: Mistery, the name a combination of mystery and misery. And it was! We should return.

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00280104

“Queer dream,” states the now black Chief in his bar by the blue swamp in the southwest corner of Paper-Soap. “Say the girl’s name is Atrophia?”

“That’s what she said. Blue hair. Blue as Heaven.” The visiting Aldebaronian glanced at his wrist. 4:20? Not on *his* watch.

Black Chief looks out the door of the small bar. “Rain now. Swamp will be getting pretty damp soon. Better rev up the dehumidifier, um, Stu. That *is* your name today, isn’t it?”

Stu Umbriel, who goes by many names since that cursed birthday party about 1 month back now where bodies began to merge together in queer ways, smiles and says it is so. “Today,” he reinforced. He moves around back to crank up the moisture removal device, which he knows the ins and outs of better than Chief, being a regular moisture producer himself. In fact: better take a leak behind the bar after I roll this baby out in the middle of the room, he thinks. He glances down. This blue blue baby. Blue? Center? Just like the (stranger’s) dream.

The rain gets harder. “Yelloo!” he exclaims behind the bar, getting wetter all the time.

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00270612

Hookah here, hookah over there (on the other porch). The Anomaly grows. Not sure I can complete the story in this novel. Code name: Caterpillar, perhaps WORM (WURM). Freshly formed Martin at the window may know. Martin, Luther.

He moves inside, takes a seat at the bar. The glowing birthday hat and Giant for a Day blue t-shirt gave away his identity.

“I’m on the other side of the counter now, ‘Umbriel, Stu’. You serve *me*.”

“You tell him Martin!” encouraged another new figure from his position next to the door, a gatekeeper of sorts.

“That’s all right — Luther is it?” Stu Umbriel guesses, taking the switcheroo with the person formerly known as Chief in stride. “I’ll get my twin sister Loo to help with the bar. Right over there she lives.” Stu points beyond the house next door now set up with a duplicate hookah to his — and even on the same spot on the porch — to the dark opening on the eastern edge of Swamp Lake, not big enough to become a sea and getting further from that designation back to out-and-out swamp every day. Atrophism. Maybe that has something to do with the Anomaly as well.

“We’re not identical as you know, Luther, but close,” he furthers. The Sewer hole beckons.

In checking back through my posts, I see I have overlooked mention of Paper Soap’s Swamp Lake up until now. Here’s an overhead view, Chief Stu’s bar toward the north next to the sheriff’s office where the Anomaly was first spotted. Probably should catch up with chef-inspector Petty to see how he’s doing.

“WURM” he spoke with conviction at the meeting still going just north of the Swamp Lake bar, naming the thing at last. “And spell that with a U and omit the E. I think.” Conviction wavering, apparently. Missing letters will do that to you.

Gee Cat 02, now just Gee Cat period — having ate the other — prepares to move inside.

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Yelloo!

After work, Wheeler returned to the theatre to watch more of Kane, studying each clap closely. Stu Umbriel mosied in, and seeing Wheeler down front suddenly had a hankering for a frozen one. Kolya (aka Ben aka Gus) came in immediately afterward — they either walked or drove over together — and then the last of their party sauntered inside as well, a person they derogatorily called Chief, because of his Indian heritage. Thing is he sat down on *top* of Kolya and kind of merged with him, Devil power showing its pitchforked ways again. Stu didn’t look over, just glad it wasn’t him this time. Chief had been taken over for sure. Maybe it’s the common redness, he speculated while woofing down another popped kernel. He watched Wheeler pop hers. Maybe they could pop some common food together sometime, he thinks, seeing something different in the claps as well. Just keep studying, he said to himself. We’ll compare notes later. As soon as I can ditch the Devil Boys.

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around the corner…

—–

He recognized her immediately upon entering his pizza parlor, despite the black and white checkerboard makeup. Wheeler. She, of course, knew him as well. Knew he was *dead*: killed by a monster way back in VHC City in the olden days, before the coming of Mud and the parallel need for Soap. He took off his crown. He dared to sit down, confront her.

—–

“H-how?” she uttered about his resurrection. I mean, she’d seen enough of them in the meanwhile but still — a bit of shock. He was stone cold dead laying on the floor when she found him. Heart attack. Couldn’t reach the pills in time. Surprise crocogator appearance through a thought-of solid wall did him in. They’d walked through the Fate Gate together, even, she escorting him to the afterlife. This is what he told her; she wasn’t physically there at the time; left when she found the body; alerted the authorities; cried her eyes out way into the night, The Musician, her other boyfriend at the time, seething on the other side of the bed, green with jealousy. She loved *him* more than *me*, he thought, although she was still with him, didn’t run wee wee wee all the way back to Collagesity like a broken piggie, even though she had supreme power there and not in VHC City. And now — The Musician was long back in the rear mirror, yielding to Axis and Opp both, take your pick. And now her new husband, she as Wendy Wilson Wheeler that is. Not really Wheeler any longer. All the old avatars had packed it up and moved to the White Palace, as Hucka Doobie liked to put it. But really: storage. Old yields to new. Continually.

“Jeffrey — Phillips?” Old Man Allen Martin, the resurrected one, didn’t like the sound of it. Then again, he wouldn’t like the sound of any of Wheeler’s lovers past himself. “How many down the road from me (and The Musician)?”

“4 — something like that. It’s complicated.”

“I bet it is.” He blew out air. “Well, yeah, I *died*. But then Soap cleaned me up, wiped away all the grime of a dirty grave. Plenty of Suds and Bubbles did the trick.”

“They *are* uplifting,” opined Wheeler, having caught the vaunted dancing troupe’s act in Collagesity 02 not long ago, Peter Ladd on his soapbox between them. The contrast of talent almost balanced out to mediocre but not quite. Skippy Bittman.

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holding a banana

“‘sunburn by noon, clammy at night, cracks in the earth, pavers delight'” She stopped quoting the poem she’d spontaneously made just 15 minutes ago while studying the damaged cement before her out of boredom; paid attention to a potentially paying customer approaching on same. We’ll see how this goes, she thinks.

“Yelloo!” Stu Umbriel said in greeting.

—–

Earlier/later:

“Yelloo!”

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merging tracks

“New bar in town, Chief.”

“Don’t call me that. I’m not an Indian any more. I’m an *American*, dammit.”

“Sure you are Chief. Anyway, Gus and I…”

“Gus? Since when did you start calling yourself Gus, Ben?”

“Since, I don’t know, yesterday?” Distant but distinct.

“*Forever*,” countered Stan, formerly Stu. “You’ve always been Gus.” He turns to Chief. “He’s *always* been Gus.”

—–

Slowly but surely, they traced all the confusion back to that birthday party where they summoned The Devil.

“Oh yeah,” spoke Ben at the time. “Guess that could have done it.”

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