… awakens in the middle of the night to find a number of additional startling changes. To begin, he notices the “moon of the moon” is no longer revolving below his perch on the edge of fake moon. Turning around and walking inward, he next discovers the Collagesity diner had also been complete removed, along with the encircling railroad and attached vegetable garden. He wonders what happened to the crazily joined John Lockfry/Dr. Mulholland within, and their Selenite butler. Erased as well? Then, lastly and most importantly for Karoz, the Boos gallery had now fully manifested on the western edge of fake moon, with the prickly cactus formerly guarding the door from premature visitations also gone.
Karoz can finally move forward… back to Collagesity. Once he walks through that open door, this travesty of a moon will no longer have the energy to exist; nothing left alive on it. His period of servitude is near its end.
He looks around one last time at the surface: the glowing entrance to the underground he never got to visit; his crashed, embedded spaceship he worked so hard on to design and build; the oh so blue Second Life cube of a world rotating slowly to the right which he now also knew was fake. He was done with all this. He can build another ship, better and stronger. He can find other worlds to explore. But first he has to get back home.
He turns around and passes between framing craters to walk across the threshold.
Looking back through the door, he sees the moon gradually turn darker…
… and then just wink out of existence, leaving only the starry sky behind.
Karoz takes the time to study each of Baker B.’s collages on the first floor of the gallery. He reviews what he remembers of the interpretations Baker (me) wrote about them at the end of this past year: the start in rural Missouri, the introduction of Second Life’s Nautilus City images, and then the portal into the tiny, artistic hamlet of Tungaske, Canada, whose energy would entice and grab firm to the series beginning with collages 9 and 10 that finish off this floor.
By the time he circles the walls back around to collage 10 (“Goodwater Goodland 02”) Collagesity had appeared through the gallery door, replacing the stars.
“Thank the Lord God Almighty,” he declared, tears in his eyes. Home at last.
The fake moon erased, the now whole Dr. Mulholland floated away toward the blue cube-world in the sky that had transformed somewhat in design. She was free! No more crippling transformations into that former husband of hers. All that was behind her now. Moon destroyed… chair and former lover destroyed. They were one and the same.
She saw what she knew was her *true* husband appear from behind the cube, about the same distance from it as herself. A new and better mirror. It was Jack and Lily’s Peter, freshly immersed into his own grave, and with his real face locked in now.
It wasn’t quite Peter Gabriel, which would especially be to Lily’s disappointment. But this particular version of Peter Soso would still do the trick.
Dr. Mulholland shouted at him from around the cube. “Peter?” She waited for an answer.
“Yes,” a weaker voice finally responded. “It’s me.”
“I’m going to move close to the Blue Feather now. Do you have the key?”
Peter had to think hard, but then remembered the answer. “Yes.”
“Okay, good. I can see your face clearly now. And what a lovely face, sweetie. You *do* know who I am?” Both were close enough to the cube now to almost reach out and touch it.
Peter looked at her face. Another whole set of memories tumbled into place. “Yes,” he answered again. “You are The Doctor.”
“We are each other,” Dr. Mulholland completed. They were upon it. “Go ahead and open the cube, my dearest. It’s time.”
“Time is a funny thing.” He placed the key into the Blue Feather.
“After you… my dearest.”
Lily finds that old rowboat in her inventory and promptly rezzes it on the newborn ocean in front of *their* cottage. She tells Jack to hop in and starts to row for them, being the considerably stronger of the two and in better shape. “I promise in a month’s time we’ll be switching places,” he adds while plopping down in the boat’s passenger seat, rocking it forward. Destination: Jack’s work shed at the other pole, to see what needs to be moved to the cottage. And for another reason Lily and Jack aren’t telling their “children”.
Bendy, Prissy and visiting Tony Tiger see them off as they sail past Peter’s submerged grave. Seems like months ago that Peter used his own burial spot as a portal into the celestial sphere then *inside* the moon (as well as outside, of course) to merge with Dr. Mulholland at the Blue Feather cube. The world ocean became stable after that, not fluctuating in level and remaining translucent. But it was only 4 days ago. Time’s indeed a peculiar thing.
Halfway to their destination they also pass a waving Tilie and his new assistant Molly. “Don’t worry about us getting in your way,” the wise parrot says, knowing more of what’s going on than at least Bendy and Prissy. “And happy honeymoon!” she added. Both Jack and Lily blush slightly. “Take care, Molly,” says Jack in parting. “We’ll see you in a bit.” She and Tilie head away from the ocean bank to parts unknown.
They arrive at their destination. The new world sea ends here in this direction, filling up Big Crevice separating the work shed and Cardinal Tree, Molly’s former fixed place of residence.
“She’s made sure no one bothers us here, you know,” Lily states as she gets out of the beached boat and stares toward the dead tree with its now empty limbs. “This is *our* spot presently, our private area.” Jack rubs his chin knowingly. “She’s a sharp bird indeed. She’ll help Tilie greatly in continuing to maintain our moon. Gravity’s omni-directional now. Much easier task than before. Molly may even have time to attend night school at Crabwoo University, since all that’s opened up again. That would be exciting for her.”
“Cool,” says Lily. “I’m sure she’ll do well.”
They enter the shed. “Do you think it will fit?” Jack queries.
“Well, we’ll obviously have to move your globe out of the way,” Lily responds. They both stare at the red pins marking the limits of what Jack could see of the celestial sphere from this pole. “And then your thinking chair and the books,” Lily says, as she continues to look around. “Everything, really, *including* the cat.” She and Jack turn toward it.
“I’m not having that thing stare down on us while we’re…”
“… completing our world?” Jack finishes.
“Exactly!” exclaims Lily, joyously leaping upon his back and seeing the whole ball of wax now.
(END OF COLLAGESITY 2015-2016 WINTER!)