Venus had finished her song. Wasn’t her worst but wasn’t her best. Lorster… Lester, I recall. Must get back to the purple door, another door to open if we now have the key. And we might.
“Well I’ll be,” he said, withdrawing it from sudsy purple. Not poop after all! Thanks Dovie!
We follow him down to the door of — where he lived? We open the door. Not a chained prisoner as we suspected a bit. Not sentient Christmas excrement Mr. Hankey from South Park, another logical candidate. But Casey One Hole. Casey One Hole, yikes!
“A Blue Bird?!” he exclaimed, truly surprised himself. “I was expecting a Cardinal or perhaps a Rooster at worst, ha ha. This should be easy.”
“He swiftly moves toward me,” Blue Bird who opened the door to the outhouse — or tramp shack or whatever it actually was — kept on explaining to the others, “towering over me, cornering me, as the toys had tried before but didn’t succeed with. Then I looked down at his ‘weapon’ and started snickering.
“‘W-what?’ he managed between snarls, and followed the direction of my eyes.
“A mop instead of a golf club. He *had* no weapon. He swatted at my head with it anyway in the subsequent intensification of anger but it just kind of tickled my cheeks. Soft as downy wings — charmed obviously. Something had happened. Casey One Hole had been neutralized through the outhouse — I knew now this was an outhouse, a bathroom set to be cleaned, perhaps in perpetuity.
“‘Better get back to it,’ I joked while pointing in its direction as he jumped up and down in frustration, then swung the mop round and round, aiming at nothing now; crazy as a beetle. I left free as a bird. Appropriate.”
“Poe fellow,” said Mistress, seeming to miss the point but actually not. She unclasped her wing-like hands and settled back in the rocking chair again. Venus on the 1/2 bed decided to sing a song.
(to be continued)
“So I went to the middle of The Cross, the middle of Lineside (which is the same), just to see what was there. The well was gone, you know, the one Lou and Morris declared was the center of the world or something.”
“*Well*,” she exclaimed back. “I never.” Because she knew the center of the world was in Arkansaw, some say Miss Ouri. But it was probably Arkansaw. Or not. Debate for another time and place.
“Yeah, I had a hard time getting there with the ban lines and all but I finally found it. A rock, you see — ‘nother one. And a grassy little hill attached to it with water sprinkling all over the place.”
“Your mouth is getting lazy again,” the other with the first complained, probably Venus since she was more sharp mouthed, perhaps part bird herself with the beak and all. But that was just (in) a dream.
“Knoll,” the first defined more clearly. “Toys.”
“Yeah, those too,” admitted Blue Bird, looking to her right and left as they approached, threatening to close her in on this very spot in the center. Or as close as she could get. “I touched the green star near me. I began to dance. I seemed to worship the rock, become one with it even. That seemed to drive them away. I was alone again, but I kept wanting to dance and worship. I realized I was someone else in the moment.”
“Inky Man?” asked Mistress, the first more clearly defined as well. “I recall: Inky Man.” STOP
In her mind, she saw the black figure approach and then recede. Just like a toy.
“I worry about Blue Rose Thorn, Mistress. I know he has become our friend Blue Bird but how does he change back?”
“Simple, my lovely Venus,” purred The Mistress, her great length folded into the rocking chair on the porch of their retirement home. “He has to find a plane that isn’t crashed and jump out of it, danger abated. That way he won’t need the wings any more. That way our friend Blue Bird can be returned to us, and Blue Rose Thorn to himself. That way…”
“… he can find his way back to being Jeffrey Phillips,” guessed Venus on the 1/2 Bed.
“Perhaps,” she answered, and unclasped her wing-like hands while settling back. The pink parrot behind her squawked softly; the first to hear. “That is not of our jurisdiction. We must first get to the Town on the Mount in the Air and see what happens.”
They sat quiet for a while, pondering all of this. Then: small rustlings in the jungle to their left. “Over there,” Mistress proclaimed, the first to see. “The future is now(!).”
“How?” Slack jawed Venus saw too. A familiar shape had emerged from the tropical leaves and bushes and walked toward a chair marking the edge of their land.
“We will let her answer that. Blue Bird!” she called over. “Come out of the shadows. Explain your presence!”