clinic (Eotia Village)
“*Axis*, Zoidboro. That’s who *we’re* trying to defeat. We must make sure we don’t get this VD person to help us. Let’s see, V could stand for Val, Valerie, Valentine…”
“It’s *not* someone’s initials, Pat. Stop looking around. And don’t touch *anything* you don’t have to. Let’s just get you checked up and get outta here.”
After a pause, Pat whispers in Zoidboro’s ear. “I wonder if *he’s* hiding out from Axis too,” indicating the man sitting on the far seat from them.
“Stop — with the Axis talk,” Zoidboro reprimands out of the side of his tentacle covered mouth.
“Patrick?” a suddenly appearing nurse shrills, making them both jump a bit.
“Um, that’s me.” Pat raises his hand. Zoidboro grabs it and shoves it back down.
“Right this way sir.” She looks at Zoidboro. “Are you his… guardian?”
“Yeah, we can go with that,” Zoidboro grumbles, and gets up to follow.
“Say you come from a, quote unquote, mutanty place, huh?”
“Hambone, sir. That’s right. Zoidboro here lives in North Yd…”
“… but part of the same sub-continent,” Zoidboro further explained.
“Hmmm…” Doctor Brown taps his pen crisply against the report several times. “Well, sorry to break this to you Patrick — *Pat* — but it looks like you’re pregnant. 8 months so, in fact.” He stares at the dumbfounded Patrick, then at Zoidboro. “I, um, don’t reckon you’re the father?”
But was he?
Dr. Brown knew a thing or two about sniffing out mysteries. He’d been doing so most of his life, especially a particular one involving the Cult of the Three Suns. Clues had been flying in from all directions recently. And now another had fallen in his lap: a pregnant Pat or Patrick Starr, connected with *North Yd* of all places (pronounced like “North Wide” just so you’ll know). Tilers, he thought from his secret underground lair, far far away (spatially and temporally) from the simpletons at Eotia Village. Squid people. Opposite sides of the circle, one dead and stuffed, the other living and breathing and… preaching. Vicious cycle — no, not vicious — *natural*, a comes around, goes around sort of idea. But now he had to find Tessa. She was the key.
“The tile here indicates safety, however,” her grandpa reinforced. “Safe to split up, then. You examine the buildings that way,” — Grandpa Gold points behind Tessa — “and I’ll work my way around from this end — counterclockwise — until we meet up somewhere in the middle. Is that okay?”
I could spend the rest of my life staring at these walls and learning nothing else. I can’t believe all of the months from my past I did so. Nascera, he thought bitterly. Turns out nothing’s here. Nothing atall.
Even Reginald appears to be gone.
“Very nice. This will do.”
“I get it, Magus Ellen,” Sidechick Corea shouted from below. “The rat tales are the 2 in the pictures, the first and last of the post. But the *same* rat tale. That of Reginald’s.”
Ellen walks out to the front stairs. “What was that, my friend?” But Ellen heard well what he said. No need to voice it, true, but no harm done. Here at least.
He listened patiently while Sidechick repeated his observations. Then: “Good, good.” He stares back inside the treehouse… “We’re almost ready up here.”… and then toward the cave mouth.
“Methinks this is my kind of place.”
In a related story, the body of a witch was found just outside her cabin in Wabe today. Authorities believe a rival practitioner of the Dark Arts threw her out the back window during an argument over possession of a cat.
But she’s okay.
“There, there. Now, now.”
“He must have come here after walking across the bridge, Sidechick Corea. Hi Sammie!”
“Sammie seems to want us to go inside, Magus Ellen,” observes the younger man.
“Dog’s tale, yess.”
“We better change into something else.”
“What *you* got?”
lesson learned 02
“You’s guys look *different*. You’s just be passing through?”
“That’s right, um…”
“Jane, yes,” replied Magus Ellen in an acquired accent. “We be seeking a man named Murdochh who liveth in the area.”
The bar goes silent. Jane stares at him steadily, perhaps even with fear in her eyes. Yes: fear. She immediately closes the bar, saying she has some restocking to do.
“We’ll come again tomorrow looking different, Sidechick. That’s your homework for tonight — to get a good disguise. Let’s head back to Nascera…”
the fruity one
“128, 128, Mr. Baker. I had to come out and talk to the tree.”
“Really, Ruby Fantasie?”
“*Noooo.*” But: yes, Ruby Fantasie had to come out to get further instructions from the tree. At the centre of the sim (Fruity Islands). She wasn’t going to let Baker know that, however. She splits in two.
“Let’s go back inside now,” she ordered after receiving.
“Come on, come on, hurry it up.”
In a poof of pollen the vines part!
“A choice here, Mr. Baker. I’ll let you choose.” For that is what the Ruby Tree told Fantasie to do.
Baker walks left.
“This pool is where we came in from the waterfall. Those torches over there mark the entrance. We’ll never be able to dry out today. Good thing it’s so hot; but not down here.” She sneezes. “Catching a cold, I believe.”
“Just beyond that bend behind the fruit bats, Fantasie,” Baker declared while pointing ahead, obviously in The Trance now. He doesn’t shiver atall.
Inhabitants! thought Fantasie. Dear, lordy me. I’ve never seen *this* before. The tree was right!
robots don’t dream
She was having that nightmare about blood spilling out an elevator.
Later, she really wanted to eat that piece of chocolate raspberry cake but didn’t have the stomach.
“You can have it Tess.”
“I ain’t hungry neither this morning, Mabel. Mud again,” she summarized her own nightmare.
It was all Robert’s.
“Gimme, gimme, gimme,” he cried while reaching.
hotel (Eotia Village)
“Full occupancy still, Pat. Guess that goes along with it being free and all. Looks like we might have to stay in the caves.”
“I’m not having my baby in a cave!” Pat implored.
And Zoidboro heard her, er, him. It might be his baby too after all. He’d have to think about that possible angle more.
So after finding her Grandpa had turned fully platinum from gold, Tessa ran screaming through the north gate of North Yd and into the cave without even thinking, destined to be trapped perhaps forever inside its seemingly endless passages.
Until Baker Bloch and (Ruby) Fantasie showed up.
But Tessa couldn’t see or hear them yet. All she noticed was a cooler breeze which made her shiver.
A small shop I’d like to open in the heart of Rosehaven but probably never will. Has little to do with knitting, weaving and sewing. Instead: tales, with tall preferred.
Let’s begin with this:
And here’s the bit that links this yarn with the other:
Forest of the Mist
The two figures become one here at the bench of the yellow roses.
“Murdochh’s” castle is nearby, spatially and temporally. Not a trip for tonight.
She continued to puff on her Havana while talking.
“Wee found another dooor out, Duncan, Baker Bloch and Ii. Stiill shut… but sooon.” She puffed again. “You are stiill happy here in the Fruit Loopy Islands, noo?” She stares but no answer. “I seee that you arre. You just continue what you’rre doing and doon’t mind mee. Play as iif I’m not heere, hehe.” She stared some more, then looked behind her through the palms, though the location in her mind was far, far out of sight even with the longest draw distance. “Biig Island, eh? Stiill much to exploore. Snaaakes (pause) Manateees (pause) Liooons. (pause) I’ve even heard there are tiigers on the neighborring island with thee temples. Tiigers, Duncan. Tales of thee..”
“And mee in the ceentre. I was *theere.*”
“I plan to goo to Rosehaaven and shaake things uup a bit.” Puff. Thaat’s my deestiny.” Emit smoke.
John Cage had come to feel
That art in our time
Was far less important
Than our daily lives
~ “Tiger the Lion” by The Tragically Hip
“So here we are. At the appropriately named Ebonshire. This is as far as you’ve ever gone Monsieur Gold. You are almost ready to transition. See over there?” Parasol indicates across the water to her left. “End of the tale. Tiger. Are you ready?”
But then Monsieur Gold was gone, in a flash. From the other direction, several deer look on, thinking her crazy for talking to herself.
Just later, Parasol goes to confer with the Monster of the Sea about the next step.
“Thank you my friend.”
This is where I will make my home for a while, thought Duncan Avocado. No, he reconsidered. Not a home — a *base*.
Actually — this and perhaps one other spot. Another island.
Now let’s see where we are on the map.
To that other location…
More the other spot, he thinks after arriving. But this place is crucial too.
Start of a gorge. *His* gorgeous gorge. This was where he was reborn, after all. In Paradise.
But then (he reconsidered again)… I like many of the Fruity Islands, some nearby here…
… some not so much.
I will make *all* of them a kind of base. Fruity Islands as a whole.
I still like it here.
“Ahh Mr. Murdochh. I havve finally found youu! Show me yourr inner circle, please. I’ve havve come such a verry loong way.” Ruby Fantasie was careful to pronounce another command line the right way. “Read: Orchard City.” The lid lifted.
“Touchéé! *Yourr* Avenuue has beeen topped by a Cherrry, huhh. Aaa (she points), Eee (she points again), Ccc (yet again). Cherrry Avenue inn toto. Not Murdochh anny loonger.”
She looks further. “Butt whatt is thiis Fff Ggg Hhh Iii near the miiddle? Do I neeed to loook furrther?” She clicks.
“Ii doo!” I am insiide the insiide now. Lett’s talk. But I mustt adjuust my lang-uagge to the localls.”
So Ruby Fantasie made a fine day of it chatting with aliens Ingleboort and Flaarph and their human counterparts George and Harriet. She learned much about the history of Cherry Avenue, Lime Street and sandwiched-between Linden (or Lynden) Creek, which is probably the same thing as Our Second Lyfe. That’s where they came from — emerged from. That’s the bit still shrouded in mystery, as they say. Mistery.
Cherry on top
Cherry Island (Scottish Gaelic: Eilean Muireach, meaning Murdoch’s Island) is the only island in Loch Ness, Highland, Scotland, and is an example of a crannog. The island is about 150 yards (140 m) from the shore near the southern end of the loch. The island was originally 160 feet (49 m) by 168 feet (51 m) across, but is now smaller as the level of the loch was raised when it became part of the Caledonian Canal. The increase in the level of the loch caused a smaller natural island nearby, Eilean Nan Con (also known in its Anglicised form of “Dog Island”), to be totally submerged.
A castle stood on the island during the 15th century; this was constructed of stone and oak wood and was probably used as a fortified refuge. It has been suggested that Eilean Muireach may have been a hunting lodge, with Eilean Nan Con the home for the hunting dogs.
“*Now* is the time, Sidechick.”
“Rest assured, Petunia,” spoke Hidi the Witch by her side. “You are not a possession like Sammie; you are *you*. This is a cat’s tale in the end, after all. Not a dog’s.”
“No ‘butt’s’,” retorted the witch. “Just watch… and learn.”