The Musician tries to remember where his studio apartment is in this maze of streets, stairs and alleyways.
Eight, nine… He believes his was 5.
Squalor. He thinks for the thousandth time that he must remove himself from this environment. But he’s been inspired (!). The Musician has some new songs. “Terri,” for one, a love ballad.
He found it. Down by the harbour.
How’d he get so lucky?
But he’s got his eyes on this 2 story yellow house 2 doors down. The place remains unlocked, and sometimes he and Terri meet here and jam.
Yesterday he received a telephone call from Wheeler. They caught up. Wheeler said she’s probably heading back to Collagesity in a month or 2, and that some things remain to be tied up in Olde Lapara Towne. He, in turn, tells how he got to Gaston from VHC City. It was pleasant talking to her again. Afterwards he thought of the good times back in their Safe Plaza, where they first met up. The Ear Bar. Yes…
He looks for the landmark. Takes him a while…
Key shop… close enough.
There it is. The Musician almost forgot how to find it.
His favorite pinball machine inside — still broken.
“Howdy Percolator,” The Musician calls toward the bar counter. Percolator is a sentient clown machine.
The red doors across the way were no longer locked. Underground open to all. No OD needed!
He could still stay here. Crash on the upper floor’s couch just like old times.
But there was Terri to think about now. He imagines him sitting in the chair next to the couch, his twin sister Chroma illuminated in the background.
Chroma wishes to be a mathematician, but is limited because she only likes group theory. “0 1 4 9 4 1”, she might randomly say. He can’t recall any other of her rows right off. Chroma’s graphs she calls them in total. She’s red for a reason.
Chroma gets around. The next morning she visits Baker Bloch’s new upstairs gallery at the Olde Lapara Towne’s Bodega Market and takes notes. She especially likes the large red work of the 8 piece exhibit: “See title 02”.
A balance for “See title 01” on the opposite side of the room, hmmm.
Chroma’s all for symmetry. And mystery for that matter. But now it’s time for an early martini at Audrey’s just below (a.k.a. Red Door Bar) and a chat with Terry. Not the same as Terri, obviously, but related.
Teleporting down, Chroma didn’t realize what a big boy Terry was getting to be. He’s grown!
They talk of New Lynne and the purchase of additional magical seeds.
One day, after a particularly intense jamming session the night before, The Musician woke not beside Terri but *as* Terri. Although his name was now Earie. Some people called him Chuck. He lived in the Yellow House — been living there for a pretty good while.
Siblings Chroma and Improvio resided in the same row of houses, but remained in cocoon form, chained to a more basal music. He was the first to emerge.
He gives Improvio next door in the Blue House a ring, knowing he wouldn’t be up, hehe.
Chroma (Red House) was usually down at the waterfront by now, studying symmetry in objects washed up on the beach. She jots down a lot.
Right this moment she happens to be scrutinizing an old waterlogged book found floating underneath a rickety pier.
color row 02
“Giant Jiff,” Buster commands, “this morning we need to dismantle this block of houses and attached tiny village. Location change — other colorful houses used for the set, you see. Also: phone Bettie up and tell her we need to start preparing to get the heck out of Dodge. I have to take a shower.”
“Sure thing boss.”
“Shoot,” exclaims the overhearing sheriff down at Tiny Towne.
“Looks like you’re free to go Prisoner Pothead.”
Earie woke up in a strange place once more. He felt like he’d been drugged. But he recognized the rusty lighting all around. Still Gaston-Berry, he realized. For there indeed was a Berry too, as legends told.
Now where was home again in all this mess?
Ahh, the ocean. He must be close. There’s Stewart’s ship out there. A landmark for his confused mind.
He sits in the worn wooden chair on the pier and tries to remember what happened the night before.
Audrey was her name? No… Leona. Leona Lei. And her sister Hana Lei. Or at least they always wore leis (traditional Hawaiian garland of flowers). But wait — he’s remembering the horrible details now. It was only his siblings Improvio and Chroma, dolled up like women of the night. What was in that weed Jacob sold them last week?? And those wacky glasses (sunglasses?) they passed back and forth between them, with one lens red and the other blue. Yes, he must track down Jacob, who resides downtown somewhere. He remembers an initial for a last name but not the actual name. Jacob I. Maybe that will be sufficient.
But first, to find home.
He must pay more attention to his surroundings.
“So little grass, Broken Heart Jackie.”
“And so much paper.”
Earie (The Musician) realized there were still many mysteries to be resolved concerning VHC City — like the relationship of this Sipvicious logo found in the Quincey Educational Building and the famous punk Sid Vicious who stayed in the town’s grand Hotel Chelsea. Chroma and Improvio, being rooted in a basal nature still, desire to visit the infamous Room 100 where Sid killed Nancy. The All Nancy’s ghost found in the Grand Lapara Hotel more recently is mere reflection of this tragic event, they’ve determined. The Grand Lapara Hotel itself, they say, is a reflection of Hotel Chelsea, in that both are modeled after real life New York City hotels. Earie, who has evolved beyond them now, he feels, thinks otherwise. But his main concern right now is not VHC City nor Olde Lapara Town. It’s Gaston-Berry, and finding Jacob I. and attempting to get him to explain what the heck is happening to him currently. Chroma and Improvio made up like hookers? Red and blue lensed glasses? The Lei sisters? It’s a head scratcher, he realizes while scratching his head. So it’s back to the Yellow House to prepare for a downtown visit.
But first, he must dress more appropriately for the location. Some purchases at historical Blackburns Store in Alabama or Georgia aid him.
Did he go too far with the blue eye? Yes, he determined. He did. A bit too alien, and the new landlord specified in her short rental note: NO aliens.
Eat your heart out Improvio, you old skunk.
Red, yellow, blue, he thinks. Is this *us* again somehow?
And across the street: same colors in a row. Right order according to their houses, even. He peers through the window.
Someone shooting up. Grim town.
Nope. Not here either.
There was just a lot of f-cking places Jacob I. could be.
He decides to retreat back to the safety of his Yellow House and try again tomorrow. Too dangerous at night.
Oh no. He’s lost again.
Is that the burning barrel from the night before? He’s unsure.
A scream from the shack down the plank walkway.
Red and blue glasses thrown through a window. He’s close! But so dangerous here. He senses it all around. Maybe he should put on his blue eye again — look tougher. Or crazier may be good too.
Totally lost. “Shoo cat. Ain’t got time for you.”
But the boney feline persisted. “RreeRRW!” it said. That translates to “follow ME!” in cat language.
Then, gazing at Earie’s turned face, it changed. “Blue red,” Broken Heart spoke with an eerie, child-like voice. “Blue red blue red blue red.”
name game 02
Broken Heart led Earie through a series of backyard passages where they met several colorful characters. I’ll get to that story more later. But true to her word they were here outside the Joint Joint, with Jacob I. supposedly within. Broken Heart had further explained that the I. stood for nothing. “Think Harry S. Truman,” she said while striding over some old tires on their journey. Seeing Earie not reply, she added, “or U.S. Grant.” “So his full and legal name is Jacob I.,” Earie replied back, dodging a broken coke bottle. “Formerly Jacob the Lawnmower,” he furthered, alluding to earlier conversation. By this time they were passing through Old Lady Bedford’s clothes line in another tight spot, being careful not to get, well, clotheslined (caught in the neck). At 96 she represented the town’s oldest prostitute, but her only remaining customer was Billy Tokesalot, a nonagenarian himself. Sometimes it took them 10 days.
In the present moment, Earie tried the door to the establishment. Locked. “Don’t knock the knockers,” Broken Heart ordered from below. “He’ll come.” Nothing happened for several minutes. Earie glanced over at the policeman standing beside them a couple of times, but his gaze remained fixed on the window. “Nice night,” Earie finally offered. The policeman didn’t answer; focus unchanged. At 4:45am Jacob I. opened the door, and stared at each figure in front of it. “Broken Heart,” he said, nodding down to the cat-person. Jacob then came back to Earie. “I thought I told you to stay away, Chuck.”
Turns out Jacob I. had mistakened Earie for another punk with a queerly similar mohawk who came in earlier that night. “Chuck,” Jacob said, thinking back to the meeting and shaking his head. “Must have been a clown dressed up as a punk. They do that.”
“Tell him to take off his hat,” purred a tinier Broken Heart, sitting on it. “You know you want to see.”
“See what?” Earie asked.
“The I., of course,” replied Broken Heart.
“Oh he’s not interested in that thing, Jackie.”
“Don’t call me Jackie,” said the bone cat.
“Alright.” Jacob looked to the punk presently sitting with him. “How’s that grass treating you, hehe.”
“Pretty good,” said Earie, taking another toke. He’d finish this joint and be done with it, he decided. Has to walk home still, he knew. But how to navigate that whole backyard journey again? Maybe Broken Heart would escort him. If she did, then perhaps he could partake in at least part of another joint. “Good stuff; starting to see Hawaii, haha,” he finally replied to Jacob’s query. “So… what were we talking about? Oh. I have to ask the bone cat something.”
“Hat,” persisted Broken Heart. She tapped her little paw on Jacob’s straw chapeau for emphasis.
Jacob exhaled a lot of smoke in resignation, raising his eyebrow for Earlie while setting his joint down in the ashtray on the table. “She’s not going to give up. But I’m warning you. It’s intense.” Broken Heart jumped to the floor and he removed the hat, laying it carefully on the couch beside him.
Looks like another Big Reveal to me.
Rocky closes up the market and bar tonight and steps outside to look in the direction of the Wanderlust Art Truck. It’s received quite good press in various blogs and other social media outlets,* and the raccoon is certainly glad of the extra business his store has gotten as a result.
He’s saving up quite the nest egg. But as the old saying goes, winter is coming, and the tourists will trickle down and eventually go away as the snow lays thick on the streets of Olde Lapara Towne. He’s frankly tired of cold winters. Peter, Paul and Mary — I mean, Lamb — were smart to retreat down into the much more temperature regulated underground and create Malone Central, he thinks. But that’s disappeared too apparently, as everyone has gone through the sand dunes/sand castle portal into this mythical land of Hana Lei. He thinks here of a particular collage in Baker Bloch’s small art gallery upstairs featuring David Bowie.
Rocky decides to go back into the store to check again, just to make sure. He passes through the phantom red door into Audrey’s and takes the old timely teleporter to Grasslands. He always seems to bring his gun with him when he comes down here lately.
Yes, he remembers now. The last remaining, actual grass of Grasslands, along with the sand dunes portal, had to go away to make prim room for the upstairs art gallery. And local punk band Story Room lost their remaining OLT venue since the theatre space formerly there was also eradicated, and this just after they were banned from playing at Clownski’s after a new noise ordinance was passed by the town council. Our two local bands, lost in a single stroke, he ponders. Rocky thinks of another old saying: Lamb dies with Ram. Baker Bloch tried to prevent it from happening by moving the future focus back into the here and now of the present. Yes, Rocky has his market, has a bar, has a small gallery even. Things are good in October. But even November can get snowy, and the anthropomorphic animal longs to see Santa Claus without Jack Frost always tagging along and nipping at his nose.
He’s not even going to think about how his new novel is coming, and the lack of sales for the old one. Because it’s target practice time once again!
* See, for example, several of my friend Veyot’s recent posts from her “Veyot’s Views” tumblr site (tag = Lapara):
It’s time for Improvio to strike out on his own.
… and Leona too.
The at least part alien Baker Bloch disguised himself as an apple tree before teleporting into the very center of the Gaston sim.
Just like Earlie/The Musician indicated to him. The sim’s so-called Central Park is not a name be taken lightly.
And whoever sleeps in this Wastelands Bed next to it holds great power.
Baker then decides to teleport over to the site of Leona’s rehearsal last night. Or are they called The Blackstars? Anyway, another sky island…
After The Blackstars’ latest jam session, lead singer Improvio and drummer Woody Woodmanson hung back in the sky island to chat about the band’s future. Howard, Pretty Man, and Sheriff had all headed to the Ear Bar down in Soho.
“Well Woody,” began Improvio. “You said you had something to talk about. I think it went pretty well tonight. Band’s pretty tight. I had worries about Pretty Man especially but it’s all shaping up. Pretty Man’s not just another pretty face but has real talent at the keyboards.”
“*Howard* was on the keyboards tonight. Not Pretty Man. You need to turn around and acknowledge the band now and then.” Woody was in an unusually pissy mood tonight. The rehearsal didn’t go as well for him as it did for Improvio.
The blue lead singer tried to assuage his wood toy drummer. He changed the subject for a moment. “Tell you what, why don’t you take me down to the center of the Purden Woods tonight and show me this Core-Alena tree you’ve been on about. How about that?”
But Woody would not be deterred. “Here’s my thing,” he said, continuing the mood. “Sure we can jam and jam and jam until we toast ourselves to death. But it’s all spinning wheels and slinging mud. Nothing’s *written down*. Jam, jam, jam,” he said again. “We need…”
“No,” broke off Improvio. “I’m not going back to Gaston and interact with those other two.”
Woody stopped walking on the log and hopped off, holding his brightening key in front of him.
“I’m getting a message from the Great Cheese,” he spoke solemnly. There was a small pause, then: “Yes, you must return to Gaston. But it’s not Gaston, it’s *Garson*.”
“What?” exclaimed Improvio, as he turned to see what Woody was transfixed by. A large, bald man with queerly tilted head had appeared on the edge of the sky island.
He steps further…
“Alright I’ll go back Woody,” proclaims a totally spooked Improvio.
Basically like clockwork, Earie passes Jiff’s abode a couple minutes beyond total darkness. 7:30 tonight, but winter is coming and the days are getting shorter. Tomorrow he should pass at approximately 7:29, the next day 7:28, and so on until time turns around or he leaves the sim. One day Jiff will follow the punk to see where he goes, but right now he needs to get some sleep. Jiff’s usually in bed by about 8 and rises around 6. Sometimes he even sees Earie pass the other way. Then it’s off to work at the Gaston-Berry Police Station as staff psychiatrist. A new and troubled male inmate has just arrived who goes by the name of Wilson. Pretty face, though. Maybe that’s the screw’s turn, Jiff ponders, knowing other information. Maybe this town demands too much from its citizens.
“You’re back Clyde.”
“Yes, Richard,” answers the pink lady-elephant. “But it’s Bonnie.”
“Where’s Gregg?” asks Richard.
“You mean Stan? He said he was on his way. What are you guys up to tonight?”
“Nothing. Heard you got a new band Clyde.”
Bonnie shakes her head. “*Howard* has a new band. That’s my twin brother. They call themselves Leona, yes. Just rehearsing so far, I’ve heard.”
“Blackstars,” says Ziffie the smaller pink elephant on the bar stool to Richard’s left.
“What was that?” Richard asks down to him.
“The name of the band,” Ziffie explains, “is now Blackstars. I think it’s a David Bowie tribute band, but Garson sued and put them in their place.”
“Who’s Garson?” asked the man in the scary rabbit costume.
“Former Bowie keyboardist. ‘Alladin Sane’, ‘Outside’… list goes on.”
“But mainly ‘Alladin Sane’,” pipes up Ziffie again.
“Yes,” agrees Bonnie. “More the (title) song and not the album.”
“Improvisor,” inserts Ziffie.
“Right you are, cousin. Three time’s the charm.”
Stan comes strolling into the cafe.
“What’s up homies?”
“Blackstars,” says Bonnie.
“Blackstars,” Ziffie quickly follows.
Bonnie and Ziffie stare at Richard, pressuring him. He relents. “Hmmm. Blackstars I suppose.”
“Cool. Let’s you and me, Richard, go see the new crop of dead people over at Pervimus’ Gathering Bar.”
Instead of answering, Richard goes up and smells Stan. “That a new perfume, honey?”
Looks like some big ta’doin’s going on at Chelsea for the Halloween season, but Baker feels it’s not his place to go down and investigate. He’s for all practical purposes banned from the Sister sim of VHC City, if not physically then psychologically and philosophically, he feels. He allied himself with alter-ego and ancient town vampire Pitch Darkly and is now suffering the consequences. Fellow former VHC City vampire Buster Damm cannot return either, but has less of a desire to do so. Pitch wants to come back; enjoy the alternate reality where his “Pitch Black” property was not absorbed by the Finely Torn Id and he still has a central place in town and can pick the brain and borrow the ear of Chelsea leader Sikul Himakt about developments in those directions (psychological/ philosophical). But it’s not going to happen. The Diagonal has power still, yes. Rubi and Sister are still definitely sister sims, united by the triple numbers 97/97/97 in past/present/future. All’s Baker and me can do is focus on what we have, what we know. 97/97/97 is no longer present in VHC City. If it *would* return, if the power of the triple numbers and the attached Diagonal were known, then a link could return. But there’s always fiction for it. 🙂
Woody may have discovered or remembered an important detail related to this. Let’s have Baker Bloch tonight quickly change into that character instead of Pitch or something else…
… and send him over to the very center of the Purden sim, with the “show interface” option checked off on the snapshot.
Sentient tree Core-Alena should be here, true, but it’s only Woody tonight. He ponders on the absence, and then notices that he’s at 128/128/127, very close to the theoretical lone triple number of the sim. Or are there maybe even other triple numbers here? It’s worth a check… lemme turn on the sun and have Woody walk around and I’ll get back to ya’ll on this.
First off, Baker-as-Woody finds it more difficult to walk The Diagonal in Purden than Rubi because all the *trees* seem to be exactly the same. In this way, Purden, although containing many more trees than Rubi overall (I think I estimated about 5 times the amount at one time), is a simpler, perhaps more primitive sim. Core-Alena stands out from all this same-ness more than kindred walky talky tree Unch does in his own Linden woods. Back to Woody’s walk…
Okay, Woody can definitely stand at coordinates 127/127/127, and my guess is that this may be the true triple number of the sim. But so close to the center that it’s most likely a practical equivalent. Or centre, as Woody likes to spell it for a reason. He’s thinking of psychologist/philosopher
Phillip Jeffries Jeffrie Phillips right now.
He’s heading uphill for a little bit beyond this. Definitely possibilities for another triple number, maybe even several…
But in subsequently walking up to the crest, Woody realizes that’s it’s simply not high enough, and that another triple number wouldn’t be reached in the sim. He gives Purden up for the night and teleports over to Jaffee instead, right on the edge but not within the Purden forest. This is the place where he once lived in an a-frame, as chronicled in “Collagesity 2016-2017 Winter” (Part 6). But now we have two places named “Still” there instead. They’re even marked on the inworld map…
Strange. The word “Still” has now been erased in Jaffee (!). It was just there the other night when Woody joined the rest of the Blackstars at a rehearsal in “Still Dead”. But there is — or *were* — two “Stills”, as mentioned, with “Still Alive” joining “Still Dead” to make a logical yin-yang sky box tandem.
Hmm, a new house on his old land. And this Blackbook person perhaps within, the owner of “Still Dead” Woody talked to just about a week back. He doesn’t desire avatar interaction tonight, however, and decides to teleport elsewhere. Home will do presently. Collagesity, yes. This is indeed home now. And right on the western edge of another, parallel woods. Perfect for him.
Good thing Woody didn’t use remote viewing while there to look within. Bert the Semi-Nudist! (his old love)
“Terry. I’m glad you’re here already.”
“Yup. Mr. R. sent me ahead to set up the place, make sure all the correct drinks are loaded up, (and) so on. We’re playing cards later tonight. On the clock, of course.”
“Of course,” Baker Bloch responds.
“Sorry we don’t quite have our license nailed down in Minoa yet,” the green fire-ickle states.
“Perfectly all right. Just checking to see how things were going.”
“Mr. R. should be here by the end of the month, first of next month at the latest, Mr. Bloch.”
“Mr. Baker. Mr. B.” Terry emits that cool clicking sound with his mouth again and points. Baker is a bit smitten himself. Such a groovy dude.
“Norum,” Wilson Wheeler says. “This is the place.”
“And there is the man.”
“Bucket of nails,” requests Wilson to Terry. “And make it bloody.”
“Ahem,” intercedes Baker Bloch. “Not open yet, Wilson. Sorry.”
“Yeah, sorry,” echoes Terry. He tries to size up his new potential customer, but can’t quite make out what’s the deal-i-o. Baker helps.
“So you’re a man again,” he states to Wilson.
“Yeah. A pretty man. Let me show you. You haven’t seen yet.”
“Just a glimpse at the police station. How’s Burt the Cop doing?”
“Brutus?” replies Wilson. “Prostitute problems as usual. Gastons’s filled with them, even choking on them. Berries. Cherry, Raspberry, Blueberry. Lemon. Yes, Berry is fully intertwined with Gaston. You knew Lemon on Mars didn’t you?”
“I did,” states Baker, thinking back fondly to his stay in futuristic INSCO. “Have you seen her? She ran around with Sugar then, but wasn’t a prostitute (like her) at the time. Circumstances must have changed. Science is getting tough to swallow for many.”
“I’m not sure she’s really a whore there,” says Wilson. “She could be undercover. Brutus hinted at so much. Purple Gang. Burt Lake Band. Crooked.”
“Oden, then,” responds Baker.
“Yeah. Have you seen him?”
“Maybe a glimpse as well at Morrison. Rockabilly Cafe. But we’re done filming there.” He pauses. “And you haven’t shown me the new face yet.”
“That’s way too pretty, man,” Baker offers. “For a man. How about a scar? What do you think Terry?”
“see title 02” again
Chroma was the last to emerge. Gregg, but without the extra “g.” The old Lapara question “Who’s ‘G’?” may have been answered.
trailers and chairs
Earie was walking past the red, blue and yellow chairs positioned in front of the
art trailer when he heard Pretty Man snoring. At first he couldn’t tell what the sound was, but then a loud, pig-like grunt firmly indicated to him the presence of another human being. He moved toward the trailer’s dark interior and watched the folded body on the dirty mattress and rugs within heave up and down a minute, sometimes with a twitch. This guy was obviously in deep dreamland. Shame to wake him, Earie thinks, and decides to move onward through Central Park to the Joint Joint, where Jacob I. and Broken Heart Jackie were most likely waiting. But with an even louder grunt, Pretty Man then rolls over on his other side and opens his eyes. “Don’t pull a knife on me, friend. I ain’t dangerous.”
“Sit up, then, and let’s take a look at you,” the pink haired punk commanded. He didn’t have a knife on him currently, but two pistols were tucked in the back of his belt. Pretty Man sat up and started looking all around, as if in a haze. “Art is everywhere,” he then said. “In the sky, in my hands.” He looked at his hands. “In your hair.” He gazed at Earie’s mohawk. “*Especially* in your hair. Where you from, fellow dude?”
Earie had concluded this person was obviously stoned on something. He definitely *wasn’t* going to tell him where he lived in town. So he made up a place. “Butcher shop,” he said. “Upstairs.”
“Ah, Wanesa the Slasher. And I didn’t know her shop had an upstairs… thought they cut that off back in the 30’s.” Pretty Man stared at Earie’s head again. “Your mohawk thinks you’re lying,” he said, and then laid back down on the old mattress in the trailer and started to laugh, face upwards and arms spread. Earie wondered if he could tell just by the tone of his voice or if he’s one of those true psychics. Their services are more expensive than the whores. Sometimes you can get a two for one deal at a discount, but he’s only heard about such things; Earie doesn’t engage with Gaston’s Berry imports if he can help it. And, gandering at Pretty Man’s current pose, this led to the another thought: that this *man* in front of him could be a woman in disguise. He’s never heard of a male psychic. Or a male prostitute, at least around these parts.
“What’s your business, here, partner?” Earie inserted amidst the continued chuckles. He voiced some of his suspicions. “Man whore? Man *psychic*?”
Pretty Man’s laughter petered away, and he dismissed Earie’s guesses with a wave of his hand. He sat up again. He stood up out of the trailer, looking in the direction of Earie’s Yellow House. Does he know already? Earie pondered. He briefly goes around the trailer’s corner and comes back with a cup of coffee, steaming hot somehow. He sits down in the red chair. Earie just stares at him, wondering if he should take a seat as well.
But then Pretty Man pops back up and states, “this isn’t the right chair,” and then looks at his coffee. “And this is not the right drink, pheh.” He spits the beverage he just partook of out on the road beside him. Pretty Man goes around the corner of the trailer again, returning with a beer bottle this time and hops back up in the trailer, leaning against the wall. “The red one is not mine,” he reinforces. “That’s… what’s his name?” Earie gets tingles. He *must* know.
Pretty Man moved to the edge of the trailer again and looked directly into Earie’s face. “Chro-ma,” he pronounced distinctly. “Sit down in your *yellow* chair, and let’s have a talk Earie,” he then said to the stunned punk. “And of course I’ll take my blue one.”
“Uh huh.” More buzzing/squeaking from the floor. “I see.”
“What’s she saying?” asked a slumping Broken Heart from the other couch. He was pretty stoned.
“Hold on a minute.” Tina speaks again in her minute, tinny voice, understandable only to Jacob I. in the room. Perhaps it is because he’s closer to her, however, or just actually paying attention. The lawnmower continues to interact with the tiny being. “Alright, I guess we can do that.” Tina replies. “No, we don’t have the equipment or manpower for that, Tina.” After a small pause, Tina squeaks and buzzes for about 30 seconds more. “You take care as well, friend.” She scoots rapidly across the floor and out the door.
“So… what’s she saying?” queries Broken Heart again while remaining in a slumping position. He didn’t even realized she’d left the scene.
“Jeffrie Phillips, that’s what,” replied a frowning Jacob I. “Centre,” he added.
15 minutes earlier in Gaston’s Central Park, Pretty Man puts on the green ring. Everything changes.
“Over here, punk,” he calls to
Earie Chuck after the deed is done. “I made a small detour.”
Mr. Babyface stares disgustedly into the heart of Hana Lei, wondering how his nephew could have ended up in such a God awful spot.
“Blow she does indeed,” he answers that whale over thar.
Mr. Babyface attempts to return to his new Collagesity apartment but realizes he set home to Audrey’s Bar instead. So he just asks Terry if he can use his phone to make the call.
“We’ve found them,” he starts for the person on the other end. Twittering; he waits, then seems to answer. “It’s fine. Commode is kind of out in the open.” More twittering from the phone. “Baker Blinker owns the property. She’s the one who set me up.” Another round from the other side. “I haven’t been in the woods yet.” A long bout of twittering, then, “Okay thanks.” After a small click, he hands the receiver back to Terry who puts it underneath the bar somewhere.
“Trouble in paradise?” Terry probes, as bartenders often do.
Mr. Babyface thinks about asking Terry if he perhaps knows the whereabouts of Caucasian Tommy Brade but then decides against it. No need to rouse suspicion so soon. That will come. So he pretends Terry is asking him about his recently rented Kidd Tower abode.
“Nah, the apartment is basically fine. Phone has some static. The bed needs a new mattress. The downstairs renter controls the heat. The stove doesn’t work.”
“But the view, eh, Mr. Babblefarce?” Terry smiles and winks cooly.
“Mr. Babyface,” he corrects. “Yeah. Good view.” He takes a series of puffs from his pipe, contemplating the next move. “When will you get your liquor license?” he then thinks to insert.
“End of October. First of November at the latest. Then Collagesity will be back in business for real. You’ll see. Baker Blinker has filled me in on all the detail-i-o’s.”
“She seems nice,” offers Mr. Babyface. Ah, yes. *Baker* would know, he realizes. But there’s the other Baker as well. Which is the real power in town? That’s what he has to find out next.
Pretty man Wilson Wheeler walks around the corner and into the bar.
“And what the f-ck are you suppose to be?” he asks the small, pipe smoking figure. Terry keeps grinning and winking.
Greg Ogden sits in his new apartment and enjoys the latest Sunklands post. “Upstairs guy doesn’t have any heat of his own, eh?” He makes a mental note to figure out this Mr. Babyface’s schedule and turn down the thermostat appropriately. Because Greg Ogden is here to cause trouble. If he wasn’t he would have chosen to remain Gregg Oden and stuck with the seaweed hair, even kept the plot line going over in Morrison.
He spent the rest of the afternoon painstakingly arranging the furniture in the apartment to suit his symmetrical needs.