Baker Blinker would scratch her head if she had a free hand. “The treasure map says it’s suppose to be right here Other Baker,” she calls across the property line to her male counterpart.
“Some kind of phantom prim is keeping us apart. It must be the treasure!”
“Could be just the terraforming taking time to kick in,” offers Baker Blinker. “Usually the effect is over after a minute, though.”
“Hmm, I already tried logging off and then back on.”
“I’m on my side and you are on your side,” resigns Baker Bloch. “But we’re unable to join each other here. At the ‘X’.”
“You’ve been here a pretty long time in VHC City Duncan,” speaks the boy George. “Don’t you miss home?”
“Bermingham? Sure. But I have an obligation to The Bakers to remain here and wait for a story. You too. So we just stay put here. Hear?”
George sighs. “I guess so. Can’t we at least go back to the (PCH Forest)? I’ve heard the tower has some new things on the top floor. Let’s go look.”
Duncan realizes he can’t keep the kid cooped up in this apartment all the time. Else he’ll drive *him* crazy. “All right,” he says. “But just for an hour. One hour,” he reinforces.
“You happy now George?”
“Yes! I want to stay *here*. Why not?”
“You know why not,” returns Duncan Avocado. “We’re not inside the Sphere here. We’re unprotected. We’re suspect to derezzing. In order to be a part of the story we have to remain in VHC City. Best to be right in the heart of it when it happens.”
“But it’s been 4 months!” complains George. He reviews what occurred. “End of novel 4. I came to Mother Mary in the spaceship.”
“You need to let it be,” Duncan said, speaking words of wisdom. “Drop it,” he added less succinctly without a beat. “What goes around comes around. The End,” he finalizes.
“I study the blog while you’re asleep. I was (recently) mentioned in connection to a police station in Gaston that was formerly a sugar house. George *Carver* Washington I was called. I supposedly was a rookie cop there who shot himself in the arse.”
Duncan sat up, interested.
“Sugar house, you say? Like a sugar house for prisoners or a sugar house for storing molasses and sugar beets and stuff?”
“Both, I think.”
“You know how big I am on prison reform,” he spoke to the 10 year old boy.
“Well maybe this is our opening. The other Paul probably isn’t going to come back into the story.”
“Even Whiter Walt?” chimed in George. “I know about him too. You were in one sim and he was in another. But you two were separate. Something about an owl’s head… I’ll have to check.”
“Well, it’s been about an hour here George so let’s go back to the apartment and your computer so you can do that.”
George shakes his head and stands up, looks around.
“I never went over to the main house on the property. I never went beyond the church. I stayed in the forest, Duncan. Just like you told me to.”
“I know. You did good.”
“We can do it again. Together.”
“Story’s not here,” Duncan repeats. “But it could be in this sugar house. Tell me all about what you know. But back at the apartment. We might have found another way out. Now let’s skedaddle outta here.”
in the dark
The place was way too dangerous for George, so Duncan had a go at it alone. He teleported into the very center of the sim just like the characters in the blog suggested — this Central Park.
But it seems George might have already been here! Duncan thinks, looking at what he supposed was a child’s fort. It wasn’t.
Duncan unwisely walks into Main Street from his concealed position in the park. Now if I remember correctly, he deliberates, the police station will be up here to the right.
It was a little longer trip than expected in risky territory, but then he was upon it. Potential sugar house! Hard to even tell it was a police station from the ground level.
Qwirty21 smiles at him from behind some walls. Best to get inside as quick as possible, he realizes, and walks through the main door.
But the barred entrance to the inner sanctum of the station was locked. Duncan decided to wait in the reception area until a policeperson or other employee showed up, so’s he could hopefully get some of the story behind the structure.
Brushing aside a couple more propositions from the outside for the next hour, Duncan then watches Sugar Dumpling enter the station in a huff, beating her rolling pin repeatedly against an open palm.
“I’ve been waiting for one of you to show up and stay a while, ” she started. “Where is he? What have you done with my Jacob?!”
Understanding that Even Whiter Walt’s Mary is most likely not coming back to him, Pitch Darkly decides to visit her creator’s place over on the Gaeta continent to purchase another Mary. What’s his limit for a wife, though? 50 lindens? 100? 150 even?
Turns out to be just some kind of faceless witch that has the same body type as his former lover.
Pitch rather quickly determined that Mary’s creator is kind of one crazy dude (or dudette). This would be Ponsonby Low, reminding the ancient vampire that his alt ego Baker Bloch originally served an alien named Mr. Low when first manifesting in this world (Second Life) way back in 2008. Any connection? he wondered. In checking, Pitch didn’t find much information about the current Mr. Low except that his user works in publishing in RL, and that he was also born in 2008 like the male Baker. Another older soul here.
Pitch doesn’t quite know what to make of this place. And so much more to look at! But he must remember his mission of finding another Mary.
Pitch gets tired from running around and sits a spell at a complexly designed fountain.
He found her! At least the angling version. “Mary?” he speaks. No answer. This one isn’t animated. At least yet. But the figure is not for sale and he moves on.
He can buy a pointing witch wife for 50 lindens who looks a lot like Mary, once more. But witches and vampires traditionally don’t get along.
40 lindens for this warrior who has Mary’s face. *Is* this Mary? He calls again. No answer. And he’s afraid of pointed objects.
“How ’bout you sweetie, hehe. Wanna go out with me?” Pitch pauses. “Okay, be that way.” He keeps moving.
Finally he spots the real Mary — both of them, in fact — at the end of another of those narrow, rainbow colored bridges that dot the place. He runs down.
“I’m *so* glad to see the two of you! It’s been so long.” But like all the other figures he’s met, the Marys remain silent. He checks the price. 60 lindens for the both of them. Quite reasonable. But for some reason a picture of Tronesisia forms in his mind. “Don’t do it,” she calls. “Wait for me. I’m coming.”
Pitch returns home to Collagesity and his Darkly Manor still without a Mary. He’s landmarked the place where they are. He can return at any time and make the purchase. But maybe, just maybe, he’s outgrown the desire for mere “dolls” for girlfriends and needs a real avatar lady this time. Someone like Tronesisia? But she’s with Peter SoSo, isn’t she? Robots and vampires — he hasn’t heard anything bad about that particular mixture of species.
He sits on the thought.
“What happened to Starbuccanneer Barista?” asked Baker Bloch/Pitch Darkly. “I wanted to show her my new look.”
“I’m Cindy,” answered the new SoSo Mall coffee shop barista. “I have a girlfriend also named Cindy. So don’t try me.”
“Alright. But to my original point.”
Cindy points up, down, all around. “You missed out on the witch.”
Possessed, Baker/Pitch realizes. Just like the old one.
Olde Lapara Towne’s Rocky Raccoo hasn’t quite given up on the idea of moving to Collagesity, despite his cousins Racket and Sport setting him up nicely with that cabin high up in the Lapara hill country. He can work at the Grand Lapara Hotel, but doesn’t have to live in his old crawlspace area there — quite yet. Life is pretty good. Still he sometimes pops down here in the middle of the night to take a look at the apartment and ponder on the life that could have been. And there’s also the fact that winter is coming. Winter is almost here!
My name remains on the mailbox, Rocky thinks. Bookworm must not have used the town’s postal service during his stay.
There it is. The Hana Lei portal. Baker Bloch worked quite hard on all of this Grassland re-creation. Baker Blinker too.
Portal’s still warm, he says to himself after walking over and feeling the sand castle’s walls. Someone’s used it recently. He’s sees the glint of the green jewel. Hmm. Dare he?
First he decides to take a look upstairs.
I bet you this Bookworm fellow didn’t even meditate, Rocky continues. Scripted Dr. Who throw pillow and great view squandered!
But *they* can look down on him. That was a big factor in his decision not to come here, although he didn’t really express this drawback adequately to The Bakers. Kidd Tower renters could see everything that goes on. And no drapes! Although I guess I could have asked for some. Lots of things happening at once, though: loss of my market, switching jobs, switching places to stay. I didn’t have time to think all the possibilities out. The Bakers promised that I could run Collagesity’s Bodega Supermarket as well.
It’s right down there. I could see everyone that goes in and out from this perch. Advantage. I wonder if this window could be tinted black at night. Kind of a Wall of Jasper effect.
Through the opposite window, there’s a view into the 4th and last apartment in the SoSo Mall complex. The Bakers says it’s rented by a biker guy and his cybernetic lady friend. So that’s more potential spying neighbors. But at least on eye level this time. Still: pretty good view of Collagesity North and the newer part of town next to the Rubi Woods.
Rocky goes back downstairs to the table beside the dune portal and begins making a checklist. Kidd Tower neighbors can see in: negative. Winter is coming to Olde Lapara Towne: positive. 4th Apartment renters can see in at eye level and indirectly: negative, but less of one. Winter is coming: positive.
Rocky puts down the notepad, starts shaking his head. “Winter is coming,” he repeats aloud and looks over at the sand portal. “This will be the final test, then. How far it will take me; how much grass and weed I can find out there in the Great Beyond.”
He digs the owl’s head ring out of the sand in the widest castle turret and places it on the appropriate finger. One twist should do it. Right or left this time? he debates. “Let’s try counterclockwise.” He twists the ring with his body still touching the castle.
“Well this is different.”
Must admit this is cool. But where’s the wacky weed?
Nice. Where’s the grass?
“Grass? Any grass here? Well be that way then.”
Ooo. No way around the island or whatever it is from *this* direction. Don’t want my feetsies getting toasted!
“Anybody home?!” Rocky yells after going through a gap to reach the eastern side of the island. “Any grass around?! Any at all?!”
His calls echo around the volcanic mountains. More strange, non-communicating creatures appear.
He walks to the shoreline and looks out across the expanse of water. “Is that mainland?” he asks himself now. One way to find out.
“Why did I come here Casey?” Duncan asks of his colorful fellow inmate next door. “Why oh why oh why?”
And a quick jail break wouldn’t be happening now that Tiny Tina is dead.
Luckily for Duncan Avocado he was only dreaming, his actual location being just behind the police station in Central Park. And fellow homeless person Casey, before he got too drunk and passed out, had filled him in on all the details about Gaston’s 2 sugar houses past and present. More soon…
“420,” curses Billie The Kidd two stories up, sitting in her brown suave chair as usual and glancing over the latest blog post. “Someone is (already) here.”
two spots in one
He transforms and walks two floors up.
“Oh. It’s just you Karoz,” says a relieved Billie. “What are you doing here?”
“Playing with my ring you gave me.”
“No. I mean, what are you doing *here*? In my spot?”
“I was just parking my ring, er, my truck at the most logical spot in town.” He turned and looked at the latest post as well. “Nifty, eh? Found it on the SL Marketplace for free. But — strange thing — I found it through Casey.”
“Who’s Casey?” asked Billie Jean Kidd
“I white out in that direction,” Karoz admitted to the child. He looked around. “So this is where you live.”
“Yeah. Kidd Tower. Lower 1/3rd anyway.” The Kidd, who is not really a kid atall, tries not to stare at his Green Lantern underwear also found on the marketplace for fear of giggling. “So you were just parking your truck, eh?”
“Yeah. And your house came crashing down on me. I could have been killed!”
“Not possible.” Billie finally couldn’t restrain herself and bursts out laughing. Karoz was standing just too close.
“What’s so funny?”
Better break this to Duncan gently when it all shakes out, George deliberates.
No more Bermingham to go back to now!
back to the ward
The tutu wearing sack of sh-t has returned, Gaston-Berry Police staff psychiatrist Maury “Jiff” Monroe thinks, staring over from his cubicle at Gregg Oden passed out across three chairs against the west wall. He’s going to be sent up the creek a loooong time for this one.
Something’s different about him — it — though.
Of course: the hair.
“(There’s) something about that police station,” speaks Billie Jean Kidd while studying former blog posts from her tower chair.
“Who are you?”
“What are they doing over there now?” demands Wilson from inside the room. She was a man still, but getting prettier by the day, it seemed. Soon she may have to change over again. Hold on to those eye scars as long as possible!
“Nothing,” answers her most recent invention Sidechick Corea as he keeps gazing across Central Park toward Main Street.
“We could dig deep into the Jeogeot Gulf/Korean Channel with this one,” she said when finding him as a freebie demon on the SL marketplace. “Mr. Babyface has a decision coming up. Axis or Allies? Does he go with his half aunt or his little dog Ttoo? No, that wasn’t the name of Mr. Babyface’s dog. Poo, she thinks incorrectly again. Li’l Poo Poo. But then she remembers the actual name and lets it drop.
He turns from the window and stares at Wilson instead. “Still hanging around with men, Sidechick? I know you are because I made you that way. You’re hanging around with *me* aren’t you? I am a man still, you know.”
“Yes, ma’am,” he answers. “I mean, yes man.”
She manifests the two rolling pins on the table from her inventory. “Well, anyway, it’s time for me to figure out these objects Sugar Dumpling brought with her to the police station over there. Best guess: they’re not rolling pins but scroll rollers. Jump out of that cheap costume and get back on my shoulder, Sidechick. I need some doubled up third eye thinking for this mystery!”
20 minutes later…
“Jasper and Newton, hmm? I agree. Good work!”
At 209/168 in the woods this afternoon, Little Boris Spaskey heard its family of owls for the first time.
Billy, Jean, and kid.
“4-2-0, 4-2-0, 4-2-0,” they hooted in staccato manner.
At 192/169, he comes across Bobby’s Grave.
Briggs the Raven attempts to share another secret.
175/168: a creaky, swinging sign (“Cooper”).
And just behind the tree it seems to hang from, at 168/168…
… Boris finds a body in a sack facing the other way.
“Hello,” he calls to it. “Anybody in there?”