She thought the new thing on the tracks looked like a ballerina but knew it wasn’t. This one was without heart.
“Oh hey guys. Already time for another fairy watch?”
“Don’t touch it, don’t touch it,” they implored.
“Oh I know.”
They didn’t know what to do with him after he just appeared out of nowhere in the heart of Collagesity. Right in the ballerina. He seemed to like popcorn, but kept feeding the little heads attached to his body instead of his own head. He claimed to be from a place called The Great Fracture. On one side: him (he explained). On the other: Nevermind or Nevermore, names which he exchanged freely. Then to the right a person called Hidi or Heidi or Hayden (something) — again when we asked to clarify the spelling it never came. The “direction left” he couldn’t talk about yet. That would remain a “stalwart mystery” as he put it in his tinny, warbling voice.
“I can’t get these dal garn chips open, Bauer. I’m just going to have to bites through the bag.”
Hidi was having that dream again about being in the middle of Nascera’s Forever Bridge that ended Collagesity novel 8, one side leading to the past…
… the other, the future.
“This must be 9.”
Dawn comes at Horenso and Hakusai.
An unexpected crowd at Karoyaka, the sim below that. Right on the line again (with MogenAi), but no time for line dancing today.
Are trees dancers? she thinks at MongenAi and Shinryoku.
Shinryoku and, just in front of her, Shinkai. This is what she came for. A place of peace and quiet where she can truly rest.
And here’s where she met Magus Ellen at the end of the world. Younger partner Sidechick Corea was scavaging the colorful woods for seeds and berries.
There were no words exchanged, no looks. Hidi approached the meditating man…
… and became one with him, seeing through his eyes.
A boat forms on the edge, a transport. A sim skipper.
“Damn this fairy dust just isn’t washing off today, Axis.”
But Absinthe’s partner’s attention was drawn elsewhere. “Says here that this wrecked ship in the water before us was called Nevermore. After the Poe poem I assume. Funny that. Poe… poem. Like he was born to write ‘The Raven’.”
“I always forget,” says the showering girl, “whether the bird beats the bug or the bug beats the bird. ‘(The) Gold Bug’. Short story.”
“I remember.” Axis continues reading the sign aloud. “‘Lost to the sea — in 7-4-53 — by the grace of Our Dear Lord — whose boats are all adored.’ Another poem, Ruby.”
“Absinthe,” she corrected, still washing and showering and cleaning with all her might.
“No mention of the Trojan-Durexian War, though.”
“Oh it’s to blame all right.” opined Ruby, finally back in form. “Too close to the edge, see,” she explained while drying.
She had been living on the Aloha houseboat for over 3 1/2 years now. She’d had plenty of time to contemplate her life as Witch Hazel in the past, and, moving forward, well… something good instead of bad she’ll be the next time at bat. Fruity bat.
Right now, she occupies a position between good and evil — red and blue. Purgatory, in effect. But she’s grown use to her schizoid nature. Soon enough it will end for Parasol and she’ll become someone else.
Sam Bee is a key; Trojan-Durexian War, etc. Sting operation. She knows that from Ruby Fantasie’s Middletown US of A investigations, which are ongoing.
In the other room of the boat, Charlie Banana wakes up and needs a drink. Yes, “between” she is indeed currently. But all split things must end.
no chance upon
Then the other way…
July 14, 2018:
Here’s the part that confused me most about the orientation. The building in the immediate background of the last two pictures is basically the same, but has been turned *90 degrees clockwise* relative to its July 2018 position. We’re looking west here. Let’s take a gander north toward the same structure in the present and compare…
See what I mean? The “Have You Seen Me?” graffiti on the building has been switched over to a “Razor Bird Short and Sharp” one. Obviously the same “bird” represented, though.
We’re going inside…
Oh yes, this is where Hannah Montana decked up Mabel and her similarly “limed” robo pal Robert Drake Johns sat in the follow-up post from last July (“absorption”). Again, this has been turned sideways from before.
I believe I know who should still be here now.
“I have 9 linden dollars to my name, Charlie. We need to go back to Rodentia and gamble again. I won last time!”
“You also *lost*,” Roger Pine Ridge’s new Collagesity roommate Charlie Banana reminded and reprimanded. Both loved smokes, and that’s how they “accidentally” met. Rodentia speak-easy.
“Now… let’s talk about Parasol.”
one could say they were on the summit of Crow
At the Jaeger’s Hat, Rosehaven tourist Donald Farr gets a big laugh out of a jukebox style gramophone that comes to life and sprouts arms when touched. The castle scene behind the sentient record player is actually a false window, which becomes important a little later on. Reminds Donald that he’s made friends with a Rosehaven castle owner recently, and wonders if it is the same structure he presently calls home. King Tull (or King Tully). We’ll get to him soon as well.
In looking behind him now, I realize that the false window of 10×6 panes, if extended into a square, would represent 100 panes that have become one through the castle.
Donald enjoying his second house whiskey at the Avalon Estate irish pub and dance hall, the first being so refreshing. Good thing he’s not driving, walking and teleporting being his only means of transport while on vacation. When did he have to be back to work? he ruminates through the inebriated haze. Perhaps never, hehe.
Hmm. Donald remembers a building that could be rented on this parcel before, which now is vacant. He had his eyes on it, but the rent is a little steep for his traveling budget. He just wants a place to rest his head between exploring jaunts. Perhaps one of the nearby cottages is available now. He’ll go check there next. He can only impose on King Tull (or Tully) for so long. Plus it’s pretty much a fur piece from anything out where he lives on that mountain. He’d like to be closer to the center of all things Rosehaven, and the cottages fit that bill.
Darnit! The edge cottage that had been available for several days was now rented. He missed his chance! Music is heard within — a ragtime tune being played on an out-of-tune piano. It draws him in; there’s a welcome sign as well. Plus he’s still a little drunk and uninhibited. Is this a private parcel? He didn’t care. He felt it should be his.
He opens the door and walks inside…
…. to find himself staring at himself.
“The missing building!” he cries while twirling about.
He couldn’t quite resolve the ruined and useless parasol from this distance — thought it another of the circling ravens at a glance. But this particular black shape remained motionless unlike the others. And it was more triangularly. He better go investigate.
This is when Dickie Doom first sat on the Throne of Jethro. Or was it the Bauer Throne. Anyway, that’s when he initially surveyed the ruined Fries with Cheese church where former New Island neighbors Mrs. Fogg and Ms. Frame hid out in the dark, dark days after the apocalyptic lime kiln explosion. Deafening it was to their ears, blinding to their eyes. Yet after several excruciating hours the sights began to return for each, the sounds. Silence all around for the longest time. Visuals, but of wrecks. Twisted metal. Tires. Crates and doors and chairs, paint removed by the disaster. Highways broken and trust up in the air instead of grounded and whole. The insects remained, hidden in the filthy soil. Then the birds came back. The blessed birds. The insects scuttled out. The birds swooped in, first one, then a few, then a flock (or murder). Gobble gobble. The cycle of life and death was restored in this small way. This opened the doors for others: rats, of course; a few wild cats who ate the rats, and then the larger animals. Mastodons. No, not mastodons. But some other large animals. Hippos might have numbered among them. Tigers. Yes: tigers. And dogs the size of rats the size of cats.
And the ruined parasol mirroring the ruined church turned out not to be black but purple, the color of violets. Dickie Doom missed flowers greatly.
He better get back to the shelter.
“That ruined church has come up from several different directions now, Baker. It must be important.”
“I think TILE is within. We better check.”
“The drone will pick it up if it’s there.”
“Interesting art,” states Baker Blinker. “Reminds me of Mark Tobey the Bahai.”
“But this is about TILE. Ssshhh. Let the drone do its work.”
“Oh,” exclaimed Baker Blinker. “Oh dear. There he is (!). I wonder why the sensors didn’t pick him (or her) up originally?”
“The drone understands the alien DNA now. Look over there in the corner: the mate. The female.”
“These creatures shouldn’t be here,” proclaims the female Baker logically.
“I have a theory,” the male Baker then returns.
Collagesity > Fruity Islands
“I think there’s a fly in my beer, Baker Bloch. So catch me up more. What’s happening in town? *Who’s* in town… now? I saw Roger Pine Ridge staring at me from his perch up Old Cannon Road. Who else?”
“No time tonight unfortunately, Baker Blinker. We must return to Parasol.”
“I’m glad you enjoy my company, Charlie. I enjoy yours as well.”
“You know, don’t you?” Charlie began suspecting for some reason during the climax.
“Hmmm, about Bandit Boy? About how you betrayed your supposed good friend Roger Pine Ridge and then changed forms after Cyberpaperdoll left you in turn to try to make amends? Do I know about the stolen Rainbow Sphere and the fame and fortune that goes along with it? Yes. I do.” She turns and stares at him squarely. “And there’s not a gosh darn thing you can do about it.” She blinks her red-blue eyes innocently.
“I see.” He avoids her stare in turn, looks at his feet, his hands. Gazes at the horizon while in thought. “Are… you going to tell.. on me?” he then manages. He liked Collagesity. He wasn’t ready to leave yet.
“I have a deal for you, double faced boy. There’s a puppet in town that I want killed. Cut his heart out and bring it to me. Then we’ll talk.”
Silence, then Parasol tacked on: “It’s only a puppet after all. A *doll*.”
The two lovers’ hearts beat as one again from this direction, King Anderson Tully thinks from his rocky perch.
But I must get back to the castle. New guests are arriving! Filling the void of the old.
“He said he’d give us a great deal, April Mae. 300 linden dollars a month. Just like one of the Absinthe cottages.” Mssr. Gold turns. “April Mae? Where’d she go?”
The king approached.
She’d finished the 3oth and last of Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Goldberg Variations” and waited for accolades that never came. This time was different.
“Your daughter plays superbly, King Tully.”
The king acted surprised, then: “Tull please. The spirits flaunt their wears at 12 midnight. You must stay up for it. Every night it happens without fail. Music as well. The spirits sometimes say it’s for a Benefit, sometimes they’re just Living in the Past, they decree, sometimes for a forgotten War Child, and then, most mysteriously of all, for the Passion Play. The play of life itself. Daughter Merry Gouldbusk is fair. But the spirits play a superb and haunting tale weaving in and out of itself.
“The daughter is good too,” Monsieur Gold reinforces, knowing the difficulty of the pieces just performed. Merry Gouldbusk beams inside — a little ray of sunshine enters her cold, metallic life. I will marry this man, she states inwardly. I will show father what he can do with his Jimmy Fisks of the world.
“Let me show you something, Monsieur Gold,” the king then commands while rising. “The mystery of my name.” He turns to his daughter, who awaits orders. He bows his head toward her. “You can come with us.”
God I hate that man, she thinks for the millionth time.
“Are these the… spirits?”
“No. I’m afraid not.” King Tully’s voice betrayed disdain. In fact, one could tell from only a short time that the king held contempt for everyone and everything around him. Except the “Great Queen”, as he always addressed her. Always the full name Merry Gouldbusk for the daughter, though. “This is the perpetual choir, currently on shutdown.”
Herbert Gold stared at each frozen character in turn. “So… it’s not a perpetual choir. Since they’re not singing currently. To be perpetual…”
“They sing within,” interrupts King Tully. “There is no difference in the play of life between inward and outward. It’s all golden appearances and then golden opinions and values. Everything counts equally if you’re gold. Isn’t that right Merry Gouldbusk?”
“Yes,” the trailing daughter dutifully utters without thinking of her father’s nonsensical speech too much, a long honed practice.
“And… the name?” Herbert Gold was becoming impatient with the king perpetually sitting on his high horse.
“Name?” King Tully returns coldly.
“You said you had something to show *us*” — he indicates both himself and the trailing Merry Gouldbusk here — “about your name. A mystery I think you put it.”
“Oh, that will come with the spirits. Look for the shapes in the air. Golden in hue, of course.”
“Some silver,” his daughter interjects, then quickly regrets it. He turns toward her. One could say he glowers at her, but a glower without emotion, if that makes sense. Emotionless rage?
About 20 seconds pass. Herbert Gold wonders if the king will smite his fair daughter, something he *definitely* doesn’t want to witness. But he simply bows (again) and turns back to Mssr. Gold. “Gold,” he reinforces. “With *some* silver.”
Merry Gouldbusk declares another small victory today.
At five minutes to twelve, the king declared that it was time for his daughter to retire for the night. Punishment! She will not see the shape pullers tonight. And all because she spoke about a little silver being mixed into their predominantly golden hue. Truth! She must escape into her fantasy world now, the micro-continent of Rosehaven. She is *Princess* here, not mere Merry Gouldbusk.
One day she will rule this land with a sweet not sour heart. But right now the burden is too great, and bitterness threatens to break her soul. She’s got all the places that make her life worth living still. Not mere pins marking locations but *resonance*. She will rule by such resonance. Rosehaven will vibrate as a single, pure note when she’s in charge. The Queen will back her, she knows. From her Coffin World.
Just a little time to watch some tv before turning in.
isle not aisle (but related)
Tropp knew there was a danger of being trapped in New Eden forever. Far out, like Planet X. Beyond Pluto even. But did he care? Probably not — in and of himself.
But there was Hidi to think of. Or Hayden. She changes each day. She’s at Rosehaven, in The Waste, at The End of Time, in Nascera. Everywhere the family is, she is too.
But most of all currently, she’s on Dog I. With the Cat.
“If you reopen the passage to Caledonia the water will rise and swallow the island. Let the child decide instead. I decree this from my Coffin World.”
King Tull(y) had already made up his golden mind, inner and outer in resonance. “Did you enjoy the spirits tonight, Great Queen? They sang my molten name loud and clear through the silver fog.” He turned his head. “The child will obey me.”
She didn’t look up from her book. “The old ‘you have yours, I have mine’ routine, then.”
The king coldly simmered a minute before acting again.
more Picton pics
Muffled voice from within: “Is it spring yet?”
“Just kidd’n. I’m over here now. But what happened to Yellow’s?”
“Ahh so. Ye11ow’s. 11 instead of ‘ll’.”
“And only 200 meters away as the crowbird flies…
… but still hidden, hmmmm.”
“Hold on. What’s that over there (just up the street)?”
“I am The Light, The Way. No one comes before Me.”
“What’s happening to Me? No. Noooooo!!!”