“I don’t think he-she’s coming out of there, wife of mine. I think we’ve lost her-him to Utah.”
“Don’t always be so negative about things, husband so dear. Utah was chosen by all.”
They paused, considered. Then Fairy Ruby, who was now playing the permitted seasonal role of Mrs. Claus, spoke up again.
“I wonder if Snowmanster will show up to save the day? Like Superman.”
“Depends…” and they both say this in sync: “… if our user splurges the 400 lindens to make it so.” 4 again, I realize beyond the screen, like 40,000 but 100 times less. 2 dollars? I think I can manage it.
“I’m here to save the day!” an extremely, nay, *irritatingly* high pitched Snowmanster wannabe called from the edge of the compound.
“Cheapskate,” groused observing Santa-Axis softer to his wife. Then: “Okay, um, *Snowmanster*! Come join us by the fire for a powwow won’t you!”
“Don’t mind if I do! Don’t mind if I do!”
He was still yelling, even from a few feet away. “Well?! Who’s going to start!?” They stare, waiting for the change. Will it come? Hold on…
There was still a kind of town or at least community here in Meribel, the animated snowman thought, teleporting into the center of the sim.
But was it enough to make him change?
Ahh. Santa’s Workshop still here in Porvoo. That’s encouraging too.
I know this is good; I’ll save it for later.
No Arosa Village downtown any longer (drat!). But small yet intense Inferalist remains for more possible scenes. Good as well.
However, in examining further, the burg seems to have shrunk even more since Collagesity novel 3. Another backset then, it seems.
The backside of what remains of the Arosa Village.
Site of former downtown.
Better not head up there as a piece of cheese.
Look and learn.
Ahh, someone standing before the Kama(s) Portal (!). Chance?
I’m going to fly over there…
He’s not exactly where I thought the portal was (256/128). Then again, maybe I was wrong.
I’m on the line once more…
“Why do you need me here again, Misty? We’re a long ways from Philo… and it’s getting dark. Maybe I better escort you home now.”
“Shut up and listen, retro-boy,” Misty insisted (Misty again?). “I *need* you because I need to be part of a couple. Takes two to know, after all. You know… the portal.”
“I don’t know what you’re on about witch lady.”
“Just follow me.”
“I don’t understand, Misty.” Septimius Felton’s voice was low and anxious. “There’s a bat lady over there… dancing. And then there’s one behind us. Gargoyles I fear. I read about them in the town library. It’s Salem all over again here. This is high witchery.” He stared steadily and intensely at Misty, as if she were to blame for it all.
“All right, all right,” she relented. “Just stop burning me alive with those eyes; we’ll go back. Your *comfort* zone. Swindon’s it is But first…”
“*That’s* a gargoyle, Septimius. The others are just some kind of demons. See how it just perches there at the corner of a building, waiting for rain water so that it can spout out of its mouth again? Spout, gargoyle,” she demanded boldly. “Spout *observer*.”
“Interesting,” both declare in unison.
Her head hurt terribly from the transition. What year was it? 1920? 2120?”
She managed to recover and get up. Time to see if Jacob I. was truly out of here, taking his talking bone cat with him. She knocked the knocker.
“Jacob’s really gone, isn’t he G.G.?”
“Then who the hell is that??”
“And give me back my hat and hair,” Hank whispered louder while the knocks continued.
back to Snowlands
“We brought her back. She-he’ll just have to live with the changes (in Purden).”
“It’s good to see the kids having so much fun at Christmas season.”
“And the animals too!” tittered Tiny Tomita Thumb below him.
“Yes indeed Tomita.” Uncle Jack turned. “But we have a new guest tonight.”
“What to do with him, what to do with him?” Tomita trilled while Uncle Jack eyed the axe in the far corner of the kitchen. A small buzzing noise then occurred.
“Oops. See? Look at that. Happened again.”
“I just feel like it’s all closing in on me, Aunt Emerald.”
“There there, Greg dearest. A nice meeting will cheer you up. New friends to meet as well.”
“I… guess so.”
“See. All nice, clean cut boys, Greg. Wonderful new friends all.”
“Surely one of them will break down and tell us where their brother Jacob went.”
“40,000 for the lot of ’em,” Nawty Santa gruffed from the end of The Table. “Take it or leave it, as they say.”
Aunt Emerald should have guessed long ago that Jacob I. was an elf all grown up and run away from home. The 3 brothers stayed, lucky for her. Now, at a price, she can have her fun with them.
“I’ll, let’s see, have a tequila sunrise please.”
“For God’s sake, Greg,” spoke store owner Johnny Thor. “You know this isn’t a bar. I’ve told you a thousand times now, a *thousand* thousand times.”
“That’s ten thousand,” utters Greg Odgen nonsensically. “That’s ten thousand!”
“No. And no! So do you want some coffee? Maybe a comic book? Comic book character (figurine)? Comic book character outfit? ‘Cause I got plenty of those. Just sitting on the shelf, in the rack. Waiting to be sold.”
“I don’t know, I don’t know,” muttered Greg. He turns to his roommate seated in a booth behind him. “What’ll you have, Mr. Babyface?”
Mr. Babyface keeps tapping the table nervously for some reason, like maybe he’s typing on an imaginary keyboard. “Say they’re out of tequila?”
“Um, yeah, I think so.” Johnny emits a sigh.
“Then I’ll just take a beer. Any beer. You choose. Johnny… you choose.”
“That’s it,” spoke an exasperated Johnny. “I’m out of here — closing early. Everyone out. Restocking again.”
“So — you wanna head to the beach next, Gregg?”
There’s something different about Middletown today.
But it’s not quite ready to be shown yet.
“Under Construction”, photograph by Oak Groves, Middletown Municipal Museum
“Ahh. This is the life. Eh Gregg?”
“I guess so.”
“Time to oil me up.”
“I want to change further, Axis. I am not happy being me any longer. Look at the women Rhode photographed here. Beautiful.”
“You have changed, Young Ruby,” Axis advised. “You are now Fairy Ruby, a natural extension. And certainly quite beautiful. Natural beauty. Not like these more fake examples in my opinion.”
“Look at what I found on the marketplace,” Ruby declared, and then rezzed a new top. “Another natural extension?”
“No, Ruby. Put that foolish thing away. Fairy Ruby is quite satisfactory to me, and besides, we get to be married to each other as Mr. and Mrs. Claus. At least for a while.”
“Until the end of the season, yes.” Ruby persisted. “But how about this with the top.”
“No Ruby,” insisted Axis, staring at the manifested hair. “You are trying too hard. Let’s go to the upper floors, to the more abstract art. That will cheer you up and inspire you more. Leave these so-called realistic photos behind. They’re affecting your confidence.”
“Alright. But I’m going to test out my new look a little longer.”
“See Ruby? You passed this accident right by. Intermixed red and green again. Back of a Rhode work instead of a front. Sometimes looking at what’s happening behind the stage, for example, gives more information than the play itself.”
Ruby runs ahead, ganders at the front…
… then looks all around the floor. “Huh. I guess you’re right, Axis. Everything is separated out neat and tidy in front. Green in this one. Red over there. Then green with a bit of red but only in one distinct streak, then another two reds and then back to green over here. ‘Green Monster’. The one we talked about before.
“I’m not a monster, you know,” stated synchronized Gregg, sitting at the table opposite Mr. Babyface in their unfinished Middletown penthouse apartment. “I got’s real, true feelings. I like… Bailey’s in a shoe. I like watercolors. Watercolors of Bailey’s.” He pauses thoughtfully in his ranting. “I like you.”
“Oil me up, then.” Accompanied by a small buzzing sound, green Gregg Oden changes over to red Greg Ogden. Mr. Normal.
“Ah so.” But Mr. Babyface had been thinking lately that “normal” Greg(g) could do with a little more monster inside him. Might help their sex life. He dare not try all that out with the monster itself yet; not quite yet. Must keep using oil. No, he must think of other things now.
Has he done 2:01am? He tries to think down through the months.
Permanent Green’s dripping from the brush. No time to go back now.
Finished with his approx. 400th Treasure Hill painting, a satisfied Greg Ogden watches the moon set into the Jeogeot Gulf.
Reversion could come any time. Always does after an oil work.
Flo waits patiently on the park bench below the big eucalyptus for her ex-husband to return to the Kidd Tower. Which one will it be? she wonders. Either way, she plans on getting her just due.
A to Z
“Why did you come here?” Greg Ogden queried his ex-wife Flo. “You know I’m with Mr. Babyface now. Oil me up and all.”
“I know. I’m kind of cool with all that actually. You and The Face. You and *you* and The Face.”
“Middletown’s where it’s at, Flo. Treasure Hill. We get oiled up, we paint, we gear down by looking at the bay, then the next day we start over again. Over and over. And over.”
“And when you’re finished… you’re the monster?”
“Sometimes.” He pauses. “Often,” he admits, which was a lesser lie.
Flo pondered this, guessing it was more than he let on. “You paint to stay sane, then.”
“Maybe,” he replied reflexively. Greg turned, stared at the apartment’s media input with Flo. “‘Hidden Vilage’ is you, you know,” he says, referring to his geometric work portrayed on the screen, completed almost a year ago.
“Red yellow blue perfection. But…”
“… there’s always green to contend with,” she finishes.
Banished to the upstairs apartment, am I, while he and the ex talk. Well (he sighs), might as well make good use of it instead of being all jealous and green eyed, I suppose. Study this Big E again — been a while. Let’s see, where’s Xilted on it again?
Ah so. On the other side. Must spin it around.
“I’ve decided I like this role, Axis, and will stay a while here in Middletown with Mr. Babyface and his two goons.”
Half-Axis considered. “You’re not getting back *together* with…”
“Of course not,” Flo cut off. “Banish that from your mind, love. I’m with you now. At least until Xmas. But you’re a changer too. Better go dance up in New Eden to get back to proper form. In fact, I’ll go with you. I need a little break from Cartoon Town.”
She yelled over the music (The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me”) while dancing. “Ahh, this is the life.” She spun around again, then spoke directly over while facing him: “Cross your fingers (she crosses her own fingers here) — I find that treasure before you-know-who gets to it.”
He nodded and continued his frantic gyrations, but the Half-Tropp part remained in place. This was not the right core.
The HI and LO of it.
Oh God, she thinks. *That* one.
void to fill
Could be anyone in this corner where the Kidd Tower originally sat in Middletown. But let’s choose… Dr. Nightwing, a more interesting composite figure.
We could put him in a wearable pool with Paula Butterfly to enjoy the late day sun.
Appears they might be having considerable fun there.
Brazilian Bill (frog) looks on, hoping they’ll talk about town linchpin Tronesisia later on. Because he has some beans to spill.
Who else? How ’bout an apple tree in another corner.
The last one planted by Johnny “Thor” Appleseed in Our Second Lyfe, who, since he’s out of seeds now, is just plain ol’ Johnny Thor, purveyor of a local comic book store specializing in DC and Marvel comics — mainly Marvel. No renegade or underground comics in his place of business mind you. He leaves that for sinister lowlife Oranga Black, dealing on the wrong side of town. Away from the bay as they say.
And lastly: this person.
“So Karl (Karl!). What’s the story with the painting of the little girl with the blue purse?”
“That goes back a looong way, Dr. Superhero. With *blue* bowtie,” he adds on.
“Please, Mr. Bartender. Do tell.”
“I just did.”
He realizes the bowtie is the same as the purse, listening Mystic Girl thinks from the far side of the bar. Both tack ons. But does he realize he *is* the painting now? I created him. I should know.
“Something just happened, Karl.”
“Oh boy,” the furry bartender exclaimed anxiously, and quickly left the scene, claiming to be restocking in back.
Sans bowtie, Casey the Alien ran far far away from the new Middletown establishment hidden inside a native skyscraper, realizing he had been tricked into being.
He even ran into a tree and kept on running. All the way out of this sim.
green, green hills
Chip Westerhouse was the first guard posted at the newly built and still unoccupied women’s addition to the Chebi State Military Prison prison bordering Linden protected Xilted. His assignment required he not move from his post…
… but he did have this great view to contemplate while standing still for so long.
Supergal Flo looked on from afar, wondering how many alternate realities she’d have to manipulate in order to stay out of that hideous place for any length of time.
“I think I’ve lost my way, sir,” addressed Casey the Alien to serviceman Bill Pill. “Can you help me get back home?”
“First hall to the right, first door on the left,” Bill offered without needing further details. He’d seen all this before.
“I’ve lost my way, sir,” Bill repeated to the person opposite him, who was also the same as him. “I need to find my way back home.”
The other Casey leaned forward, staring straight ahead with black, smoldering coals for eyes. “I don’t *need* anything.” He kept staring until the other acquiesced.
“Neither… do I,” the Casey on this side then spoke. He was home.
Casey One Hole waits in his chair for the actual visitor today. A woman named Ruby. Something about a prison breakout. And cherry tarts.
The other prisoners wait patiently as well.