Full Moon rising over Full Moon.
Welcome to Part 2!
Policewoman Mary says: “No tree beings in the alleyway. Move along.” Gliph or Glyph complies.
Glyph wonders what Gliph is looking at here (and visa versa).
Time for Gliph or Glyph to go home.
Or is it?
“No trees allowed here!” cries the pointing manager to studying Glyph or Gliph. “Get back in The Wall with the others where you belong! NOW!”
“Alright you talked me into it, Mr. Tin Tin,” spoke Ruby, tired of her texture laden house for now. “Take me to this Glinda you go on about.”
Tin Tin clapped his hands in glee. “You won’t regret it.” He too was frustrated with things not rezzing in correctly when they were together in the house. “Just follow the Linden land as best we can there and it shouldn’t be a problem. BUT… once you step off this sim — your empire after all.”
“In the future,” Ruby amended. “Not quite yet.”
“But, anyway, once you step off you have to be CAREFUL. Siren lures everywhere. Or in your case — what’s the opposite of sirens? You know, the men sirens or something.”
“I don’t know,” she stated plainly. “I’m rather plain looking. I doubt if anyone out there will find me that attractive.”
“*I* find you attractive.”
Ruby blushed a little, but then composed herself, flattening out the front of her skirt. “You don’t count. You are my housemate by mistake and perhaps deception and that’s all. We share a house — for now. Madame Silver and I are working on a long term solution. She’s apologized again and again.”
“Not as much to me,” Tin Tin spoke, winking the left eye of his two toned face. Could she ever get use to it? Rather shocked at herself, she suddenly understood she perhaps could. He was becoming ever so *slightly* attractive to her, despite the inherent split nature. And she’s taught him how to eat with his mouth closed, at least *most* of the time. That helps.
Looking around at the beautiful but flawed textures again, Ruby vibrates her lips together in exasperation. Talk of the duplicate contract — another wacky combo, I suppose — could wait until later. “Okay, so where do we start?”
“Scale the wall? And stop knocking into me all the time!”
“I’m just *joking*.”
Turning and staring, Ruby then swatted him hard on the shoulder. “You just wanted to see me climb it… see if I would do it.”
“Yeah, okay, I’m *sorry*. He points southward. “The wall ends a little bit over there. We can cross the road — no problem. Just remember to look left, look right, look left again. This is an urban area, not the hick island you stayed at before.”
“Which had some similar problems to the ones you’re describing. I’m not totally oblivious to the big, fantastic fantasy world out there.”
“Alright,” Tin Tin relented, shuffling his feet. “I get it.” He thrust his hands into his pockets, starts swaying back and forth. He decides to just blurt it out. “Sooo… you’ve had a boyfriend before?”
“*Before*?” She swatted him again, but then ultimately didn’t answer his question.
“So here we are,” declared Tin Tin. He points. “Just through that gap over there. With the Linden trees.”
“Are you *sure* you know what you’re doing Tin Tin?”
“No,” he admits with uncharacteristic seriousness. “No I do not.”
It was awful. The parcel Tin Tin declared they could cross safely to get to what he called the Linden passage to Glinda was blocked most of the way across. And when they finally did get access, the gap in the wall in back that Tin Tin also remembered didn’t exist any longer. “Virtual reality is so mutable!” he declared, making Ruby snort. They tried to fly across an intervening parcel, but — banned land. No luck. So they had to backtrack and go up the sidewalk north anyway and turn left down another main road. Ruby indeed saw things she wished she hadn’t in their short but intense walk there. Finally they reach the Linden passage with the characteristic trees — cypresses all, but of several different hues and sizes. Wonderful, she thought. She’d not seen trees like this on her New Island, which was very sandy in comparison to the green terrain of this place.
She looks down the hill they were perched upon into the meat of the town while Tin Tin played in the grass behind her, feeling the freedom. She’ll not go into that mess if at all possible, she decided. Country to the east of her empire, *future* empire she reminded herself. She’ll take that direction to explore after they finish up this adventure. But this turned out only to be partially true.
“Follow the rail,” Tin Tin declared. “Easy. 200 more meters tops.” So they did.
“Glinda,” he indicated as they passed through a more intense cluster of cypresses. “Here, but moreso across the river. *The* river. I was named for this river. I never told you that before. I’ve waited until right this moment.”
Ruby was curious about what Tin Tin was babbling on about *now*, but could see nothing of interest across the water. Until she turned up her draw distance to the max and viewed remotely.
Nice. Very nice indeed.
“Beautiful. Isn’t it?” Tin Tin spoke of his beloved river forest, the one he even claims to have been conceived in (!). He pointed upwards from his position. “One of many merged tree types here. I need to make a count of them; survey the woods.” Perhaps you could help me, Young Ruby, he thought silently to himself. Might we possibly make a Tin Tin II here (hehe)??
Ruby certainly liked the trees but didn’t think Tin Tin’s self named Glinda measured up as a whole to the Rubi Woods. Not even close. No leafy grass for one thing. No mysterious inundations all over the place for another. No, this is not worth an intense study if you asked her at this present moment. And then there was the problem of what lies all around it. This was a hole, a void, in the center of a cacophonic symphony of energy. But, true, it *was* energy, she thought. Unlike the old continents now. Our Second Lyfe is certainly not what it use to be. And she can now point to a particular date: July 1, 2009. Working on 10 years ago. Utopia and the resulting chaos-freedom split asunder. Apples in one basket, oranges in another. Or perhaps lemons and limes in this case. These fruit cases, umm…
“Let’s go back to my spot on the river,” Tin Tin shouts up, snapping Ruby out of her reverie. “Have a picnic or something.” But Ruby argued they should return to her — *their* house in the democratic empire. “It’s all very close,” she then compromised. “We can come back most any time.”
And talk about and work on that Tin Tin II, he machinated inwardly. Pleasant images indeed.
Here they are walking past The Spot. Tin Tin glances down, wondering if Ruby might change her mind about that picnic. But too soon, he then decided, and walks without talk for a while.
F-ck, Roger Pine Ridge thought. It actually worked! But what to do now??
Sh-t. I’ve been spotted.
pull the string
Tin Tin explains what Ruby Roo originally supposed was a dream.
“They were behind the waterfall barely in the next sim, past the corrugated pipe on the river floor I had just tripped over. Green Glinda, a tree being I had seen before somewhere. But also silver if zoomed in closer.
‘A Silver Statue’ was the name as I now checked. And then it just seemed to disappear as I adjusted my graphic options. But then, zooming in again: there; silver once more. How could this be? More mysteries to be solved re Fishers Island. For this was Fisher’s island through and through now. Most everyone had forgotten the former name of Wall Island. That was so histories.”
“We have to find Fisher, then,” came Ruby’s quick assessment/analysis. “He must have survived the explosion and is now working on the island somewhere, perhaps in another dance club. Most likely Bendy or Lord Bendington is with him, being indestructible and all.”
“I didn’t like that space,” Tin Tin concluded. “Very confined. Just plain weird.”
“You must return,” Ruby countered. “Again and again. Until: something happens.”
Tin Tin didn’t plan to do that. Besides, he knew what would happen. The beginning. Big Bang. Again and again. “A Silver Statue” was a ticking bomb.
The next time Tin Tin visited that same location he tried pushing “A Silver Statue” through the waterfall and back into Glinda through repeated collisions, but it suddenly became nonphysical at the sim border, unable to be shoved any further in that direction. Glinda couldn’t go back to Glinda. And then he realized something: Glinda was actually Glin. Glin *or* Glinda. Queer.
“Such a pretty, happy family,” a looming Madame Silver cooed before spoiling it all. “Let’s just, um, remove the *father* from the scene, har har. Like thus.” She picks up “Monsieur Gold” and squeezes him tight in her hand.
“Now what are you going to do Young Ruby and Tin Tin? Stay in the woods until darkness descends?” She takes another figure.
“Ooooo. Come here you!!”
“Mother, I don’t know where I am. I’m scared. Oh, gotta get off the line. Someone’s coming in.”
“And… CUT! That was great Cloe! We’ll definitely keep you in mind! Good job!”
“Next, Eraserhead Man, we have Jill MacGill all the way from Bennington South,” introduces the casting manager. “Her credentials are ‘Pull the String’, ‘Willoby Point’, and ‘Tarzan the Super Man’ — you may remember John Willoby was also the producer of that one.”
“My brother-in-law, yeah! EX Brother-in-Law! Well, Ms. MacGill, let’s get right to it!”
“MOTHER! I… I don’t know WHERE I am! And I’m scared, real scared. Really REALLY scared. Oh I’ve got to get off the line now, sorry. Someone’s coming in…
“I’ll call you later.” Doris Drone quietly hangs up, and turns to face the only other person in the diner.
“What do you think, Sandy!?”
“I think we’ve found our Doris is what I think,” the actor playing Herbert Dune in the production says while arching his visible eyebrow considerably higher than normal. I even believe he begins to salivate a bit.
“Remember, your motivation is that you found your Urbane Blue, your dream place! And your dream girl matches your dream place 1:1! Cool, huh!?”
“Right. I’ve got it Mr. Director. Believe you me I’ve got it.” He arches his spiraling eyebrow even higher.
“Urbane Blue by Phillip Jeffries, Baker Bloch, er, Pitch Darkly.”
“I see it. I see it very clearly. Laggy in here tonight. Isn’t it?”
“Yes,” replies Bill/Wheeler plainly. “Do you have to go back to Darkly Manor to prepare food in the next couple of minutes? Do you have a moment — 15 minutes, say — for a chat Mr. Mary?”
“But the pattern — it’s the Black Lodge floor again, even.
And this is *not* the origin of the name Urbane Blue.”
“Bracket’s playing Sandy Beech, eh?” Pitch says, half to himself. “Good for him. Found a way to work him into the story. But *you*…” He turns.
Bill/Wheeler shrugs. “I was all set to play Doris Drone as Jill MacGill but then Cloe Price just showed up. Now it’s up in the air. Who do *you* think won the role, Pitch Darkly? I assumed Jill won it, the second actress in that last post. But maybe she overdid it. Maybe Cloe won with her more soft spoken mannerisms.”
“I assumed the opposite. Cloe instead of Jill.”
“Sandy Beech obviously knows who won the part. Maybe we should check back with him tonight. Is Bracket available?”
“Blue roses at the entrance. Blue policeman — hi Derek.”
“Hello Mr. Beech. Nice evening isn’t it?”
“You gonna explore Smithy’s House?” asked the beat cop. “Not finished yet, though. Don’t even know who’s going to play Smithy, I don’t believe.”
“No I don’t think so.” Sandy then thinks: And that’s not the only role still up in the air.
Who’s Mary? Sandy Beech ponders while trying unsuccessfully to sit on the only provided furniture of the house.
“Oh, that reminds me,” Pitch exclaims, suddenly popping up out of the suave chair. “I’ve got to get home to Mary!”
“Suit yourself. But at least we know,” Bill called to his receding figure.
He decided to confront Eraserhead Man when the latter seemed almost passed out from his 4th 4 shot latte of the evening. EM had been wrangling, wrangling, wrangling with the roles of both Smithy and Doris Drone, going back and forth on each one with the different, involved actors. At this very moment, the famed director was even casting about in his mind recasting someone else as Hebert Dune besides Sandy Beech to better fit the mood. Not the best timing for an approach by his antsy production star, then.
“Is that the latest version?” the towering Sandy questioned about the rust colored book on the table. He had a weird notion just to snatch it and run off right here and now. The director didn’t answer immediately, didn’t even look up to acknowledge his presence. *Meditation*, Sandy then realized. EM was in really deep with this one. To startle him might even induce some kind of heart malfunction, he further contemplated. Best to walk away, his better senses commanded. Confront EM another time. But: no. His worse senses shoved their way to the fore again, fortified by insecurity, greed, envy. He slammed his hand down *hard* on the book he knew was the production script.
Eraserhead Man came out of it by shouting “ice cream anyone!!” at the top of his lungs, then slowly, gradually managed to free himself from the self induced trance. He looked around, blinked his eyes. He looked up at Sandy. “Sandy! I was just thinking about you! What a surreptitious interruption of my nirvana state. *You’re* *fired*!!”
Eraserhead Man stared at him blankly, watching Sandy Beech squirm like a fish in front of him. “I’m just kidding!” he then uttered after a pretty long interval. “Sit down!” Eraserhead Man then realized there was not another seat at this table. “Oh, let’s just move to the porch. Give me a bit to further compose myself! You go ahead! Any seat will do! Just give me a moment please!”
A shaken, humbled Sandy Beech dutifully took a seat on the porch behind EM and waited on him, but after about 15 minutes the director simply got up out of his chair and walked in the direction of his bungalow down the street, not turning around. The next day he acted like the event never happened; work relationship back to normal. And maybe, Sandy pondered then, it never did. He was a little high on those wacko pills Laverne Glam had sold him, after all. He remembered Eraserhead Man even glowing a bit in hindsight. *Never* do drugs around EM again, he told himself. Ever.
But: Lavern Glam? How did *she* get here?
Wait. I think it was Franklin Bowers who sold him the pills. Yes. Lives in the zircon encrusted RV out on self named Bowers Beach just outside Urbane Blue. We might visit him next. Not for pills, but just for another shoot.
“Frank Bowers!!” Eraserhead Man shouts upon waking up in the middle of the night.
“Now you can all relax tonight and not jump out of your seats every time I call out your name. Because I FOUND my HEARING AID! And that’s the last time I’m going to yell, end of story! I mean, end of story. Let’s begin.”
Eraserhead Man at the head of the table pauses to collect his thoughts on the as yet unnamed production. “First, I’m so so glad we were able to gather here today without *much* ado. As you can see from the person sitting directly opposite you on the table, I haven’t got rid of *anyone*. Truth is, you *all* won your parts. And I’d like to introduce to you Desert Knobb across from our beloved Sandy Beech and to my left. Sandy is, of course, seated to my right.” Eraserhead Man indicates these directions with his stubby yellow hands. “Desert will not only play Sandy’s *understudy*, but also his *doppleganger*. Because, you see, I’ve decided this production should be about doubles through and through. It came to me in a dream last night. The dreamer lives inside the dream, but who is the dreamer?”
Mindless mumbo jumbo, Sandy Beech was thinking by his side while glaring at newly arrived Desert Knobb across the table. “And where’s *your* double, EM?” he piped up. Yeah, he had popped a few pills before the meeting — just to steel his nerves.
“Good question, Sandy. Can you hear me in the back there you waskly wabbits!” Eraserhead smiles as Rabbit 01, Rabbit 02, Rabbit 03 all nod their heads. I’ll get to you wackos in a minute. But next we must talk about the *ladies*, Cloe and Jill.” At that moment Cloe Price was playing with her short, blue hair, seeming not to pay attention. But that was just part of her shtick. Jill MacGill, like Sandy for his own counterpart, was just glaring at her, loathing her every petty move. *I* should have won this role through and through. I *nailed* that phone call. ‘Ohh, ahem, eheh,’ she mimicked, to her, Cloe’s frivolous attempts at playing coy in her mind. If you asked her, Eraserhead Man needed to make a new plan, find a new key to this whole production business. She decided to speak up as well (sidenote: wouldn’t Sandy and Jill make a *fabulous* couple. But I jump ahead of myself…): “And *what* is the production’s name, EM? *And*… you haven’t answered Sandy’s question about *your* doppleganger, I’ll tack on.”
Eraserhead Man laughs out loud. “That’s what I love about you, Jill MacGill from Farmington West. *Spunk*. You got it in spades, you and Sandy both.” That’s when it occurred to EM as well that the two would make a swell couple. He decides then and there to work that potential love interest into the script somewhere. Maybe the other two of the doppleganger pairing — Desert and Cloe — *hate* each other in contrast, hmm. EM had trouble shutting his mind off of possibilites. “But we must move on. I assume everyone knows Frank, now. Franklin Bowers.” He indicates the nearest and also darkest and tallest rabbit of the 3 at the meeting. “He’s going to play a man– er, a bunny man with that exact same name, although he’s always just addressed by his first name. Do you have any questions about what’s going on Franklin? OH, and beside him obviously is the lovely Rabbit 02, whom we’ll call Patsy in the production.” EM stops here. “Nah, let’s go with Peggy instead. Peggy,” he repeats. “Change that in all the scripts, Mary. Mary?” He looks around but Mary was nowhere to be found.
Poor soul, Franklin Bowers thinks sympathetically. Never can remember his wife is actually missing. Going on 5 years now. All we have left are her portraits. Her many many portraits.
(to be continued)
production meeting 02
“Now about *Yip Yip* here, I haven’t decide. Could be mayor of this fine burg, could be a school principal or a teacher or a fireman. I haven’t decided,” he reinforced. “But doesn’t he *look* the part — whatever that is.” Eraserhead Man takes a good gander at the table’s voluminous blue being. “Beautiful,” he ends. “Just so beautiful.”
“Thank you,” Yip Yip returns in a gruff tone.
“And I’d also like to thank Monster Cookie for trying out for the role too. Right now, well, right now he’s crying his eyes out in the other room, because I just made that decision prior to the meeting. When he collects himself, he’ll come in and make his introductions, I’m sure. Before he departs. Any other questions?”
“Just the ones we’ve already asked,” sardonically reiterates Sandy Beech to his right.
“Right.” EM sidetracks again. “So we’re ready for everyone to take Dr. Baumbeer’s psychological test. This is just to prepare you for the new relationships, the doubles and all, as well as the *cross* relationships between doubled pairs. So everyone just line up behind the good doctor and take a stab at *his* questions.”
EM takes his leave while everyone gets up and shuffles toward the smaller, white rabbit at the back of the room — our Rabbit 03 or Rabbid or, now, Dr. Baumbeer of course. Still toying with people’s minds. The men let the ladies go first. “After you, Cloe,” spoke Sandy politely. “You go first, Jill,” offered Desert. Jill and Cloe then just stare at each other, a Mexican showdown and one of many to come.
“Alphabetical,” inserts a compromising Dr. Rabbid Baumbeer. “Cloe before Jill, then Desert before Sandy. Then the parent rabbits, 01 and 02. Then… whatever you are.” He points to Yip Yip. “Let us commence. Fair Cloe, please take a seat.”
“Just tell me what you see in the black and white pattern. Do you see yourself in there yet? Because you are. Everyone is.”
“I’m, ohh ahem eheh… *trying*.”
(to be continued)
production meeting 03
“I’m just feeling so — *blue*.”
“I know, Monster. I know…”
Wall, The 02
“What do you see outside the window?”
“Umm, a mound?”
“Good. That’s the mound where we lost Hector and Lewis. And two fine Russian Greys they were!”
“Yes. Sorry to hear about the loss of your alien friends, doctor,” Tronesisia responded.
“I.C., please. As in Ice Cream.”
“Now turn to your right.”
“What do you see now?”
“This is the night I’m going to do it,” Roger Pine Ridge mutters in the general direction of Natali/Molly. Another day off for the latter, but she was too interested this time not to care. Roger was going through the door, he said. She’d heard the story before — a choice between green and red. Which way to flip, etc. She only understood a portion of what’s been uttered by the sad former Floydian, but resonance was there. She too had made a similar decision. Her alter ego: Molly (Lustrous). Colors again; violet and orange in her case.
“The other wizard chose red,” she tried to help. “It turned out okay. Ultra successful film franchise and all. String of best seller books.”
“Yeah, but it may have turned out better if he’d been clad in green. Obscurity has its rewards. Hidden in the depths, the mud, the *muck*. A jewel in the rough. Not rough: just a jewel in hiding. Alexandrite, perhaps. Best of both worlds.” He sighed. “One way to find out.”
“So you’re going through with your trip to Corsica, huh.”
“Short stop on Jeogeot first, though — Dewey, weirdly enough. ‘Nother map synch.”
True, pure water bubbled and splashed just outside the door.
“You’ve made a wise decision, Roger Waters, um, Pine Ridge,” spoke the green doppleganger standing before him. “Obscurity here we come!”
2 fer 1
Green Squirrel sat patiently on his tiled roof, biding his time and waiting for another part time assignment at Diagonal Alley (etc.) just beyond the hills over there where his wife Huma was currently exploring. What more was there to do?
Greentop, she thought from afar, looking at the one their house was wedged into the side of. I’ll explore that peak next.
“Tronessissia,” the witch Mid Hazel hissed back in Jeogeot. “Should’ve known.”