Tale of Two
“What you writing there b-b-boss?” asks Marty Claflin, formerly known as Pot Head.
“Oh just some ideas about our business,” replies Jay Woodhull, formerly Sheriff. The Sheriff. But his law upholding days are over for now.
“M-Mabel coming back tonight?”
“Oh, I doubt it. She has to sing at the Cult of Oo’d in Collagesity tomorrow. She told me she’d most likely be staying over there tonight to save prep time in the morning.”
Jay puts down his pen and stares at Marty. “Why’d your studder come back? Hey, look over there… out the bay windows,” he says suddenly while pointing. “Someone’s coming.”
Marty’s heart began racing. “W-w-where?”
While Marty’s head was turned, Jay took the opportunity to knock the crap out of it with his metallic left hand. “OW!” he yelled, but with no studder. Jay’s quick remedy had worked.
“Thanks,” Marty managed after a moment of rubbing. “I think.”
“No problem, Marty.” He began writing on his notepad again. “Now about that business plan…”
Meanwhile in Mabel’s duplicate (and original) Scarlet Creative Sylvia House in Collagesity, she sits on her DaD Design knitted pouf freebie and stares out the front window into the woods, trying to spot Unch, an old game. It’s good to be home, she thinks while continuing to peer and squint. Too bad I can’t stay.
The Point of Barnaby Point
“The 3rd, Baker Bloch. Er, Pitch Darkly. Maybe you should just *turn into* Pitch Darkly since you seem to like the character so much. Right Mary?”
“It might be nice,” Mary said from behind them. She then hunches over further so she can see the Wisconsin map with the proximate New Island and Fisher Island better. “Do you think this will convince this Leeman or Leemon? There’s Sunset Beach in the lower right corner (after all).”
“His childhood home,” Bill finishes. “Well, it’s obvious something is going on in this and that other Wisconsin location at least.”
“Outagamie County,” Pitch Darkly adds. “Leeman there as well, mirroring the Leemon in Missouri. Only other one.”
“Right,” reinforces Bill. “You getting all this Mary?”
“I… think. Where’s the Wisconsin Leeman? Do we have a map of it as well?”
“Of course,” declares Bill, returning to the Oracle home page and looking up ‘Leemo’. Only 1 direct hit: Leemon Missouri, but with a lone variant of Leeman. Which leads us to the only other Leeman, in Wisconsin. She clicks the appropriate link and adjusts the map.
“Just a placemarker,” continues Bill. “But perhaps an effective one. Subtle but effective. It’s in his home county, you see. The new one.”
“Oh.” Mary scratches her head. “So Fisher Island is right next to New Island in Beaver Dam Lake, Wisconsin…”
“The two biggest islands of 22 in that lake,” Pitch tacks on. “And that’s the only New Island in America besides the one in the big swamp in Georgia. (Which) probably doesn’t count.”
“Fisher Island is a blog invention,” continues Mary, slightly irritated at her train of thought being interrupted. But she gets over it quickly — fascinating subject for her. “New Island is also a blog invention but… connects to Leeman or Leemon’s New Island through Barnaby Point. Barnaby Point exists in both.”
“Correct, Mary,” replies Pitch, proud of his studious spouse. For he had married Mary on March 25th of this year in the Cult of Oo’d Church, the only place of worship in town at the time. One could say they were still in their newlywed phase. With all the attached highs and lows, of course. Tough dealing with New Life situations; but they were managing. Now that Pitch was out of the thick of his Russian phase. Still… the statue… “Art gallery laden Barnaby with its Barnaby Point in *his* New Island also being near the Sunset Beach of *his* New Island,” Pitch states. “Couple of miles apart.”
“Artist Point,” utters the freelancing Mary. “‘Artist Point Interactive’… that’s the *Hazel meeting*. Mentioned in Pot Head’s and Sheriff’s new business blurb in the ‘New Island Gazette’ *Our* ‘New Island Gazette’.”
“They are no longer Sheriff and Pot Head in this blog,” corrects Bill. “They are Marty and Jay or Jay and Marty — take your pick. They are too stoned at any one point — get it? point — to care which of their names comes first, I would venture.” Bill was known for her bad puns, but at least she has a bit of a sense of humor now. Unlike olden times when she first came to power in Collagesity. She’s softened. “I’m tired,” she suddenly declares. “This meeting is over. Go back to your Darkly Manor and think of things to discuss in *our* next meeting. Which is tomorrow. And I expect *you two*” — she turns and points to the two 4 handed librarians sitting around The Table — “to contribute as well. And not just ‘carrot’… and ‘glasses.’ Something substantial and with meat that we can lay out on the table and feast upon. Beef or chicken. Or at least fish. Can you do that for me, hmm?”
The librarians stare at each other, knowing they can’t.
Why did the graphic artist we hired — this Hazel or Mid Hazel or sumtin — turn Fisher Island into New Island, Jay Woodhull thinks later while enjoying his nightcap spliff and staring at Wednesday’s edition of the “New Island Gazette”. He looks at the inside curve of his left metal hand, spilling some pot ashes on the blurb below. “But they got the palms left, um, wrong — three instead of four, hmm.” The palms began to smolder, and Jay gathers enough sense to snuff them out with his other hand.
He was staring at the test pattern on the television, wishing MTV was on this late at night, when the soft knocks came at the door. He checked the clock on the wall to his left: 2:01 am on the nose. Heart beating harder, he knew this could only be one person given the precise timing. Ragdoll and Indigo had both gone to bed around 11, he reckoned; most likely fast asleep. Because he knew what the conversation would be about and there was no need for his daughters to be involved right now.
Even then, with only this brief prompt, Angus Nuffin started making assessments of his property, started planning how to get from this place to another place. For The Diagonal here had been losing energy for a considerable amount of time now. There was hardly anyone over at Lollygagger Lane these days for instance, although in its heyday it was one hopping place. Like a perpetual bunny hop, and he inwardly laughed at his joke. Because this meant the person at the door had also visited the psychiatrist over there already. She would not remember the contents of their meeting until later, maybe not until after the move, he speculated. He might even have to be in disguise for a while wherever they ended up.
The soft knocks repeated. Better not keep *our queen* waiting any longer. He made himself get up off the couch and answer the door.
“I think you’ve been expecting me?”
Angus immediately spotted the large red ring on the strange woman’s hand. “Yes, mum. Please come in.” He waved her over to the most comfortable chair in the trailer.
After the physical (dinner) grilling the next day, Ragdoll planned to start in on the verbal grilling while they sat on the porch and let their bodies digest all that heavy meat they’d just consumed. Beef and chicken and fish all! For they had expected Indigo and her new bo to show up, the same dad burn Justice that Alma had just gotten rid of. Ragdoll thinks her sister may be doing this just to irk everyone around her! But Justice complained that he still couldn’t sit in a regular chair for more than 30 minutes at a time, and they ended up having dinner in bed over at their own trailer in Tinseltown. More food for them, however, and Ragdoll had overeaten due to nerves. Yet she instilled zen calm within while sitting in her lawn chair pretending to doze, and was seemingly good to go after about 10 minutes.
“Daddy?” she began.
Angus Nuffin roused himself from an actual nap. “Yes, pumpkin?”
“Do we have, um… any pie left in the fridge?”
Ragdoll just couldn’t do it; couldn’t get herself to talk about the conversation she overheard last night. Or mainly overheard, for there was still the wall that muffled some of it. She loved her daddy so much and didn’t want to hurt his feelings, and knew he’d tell Indigo and her when the time was right. But she was planning as well: she’d just herself started dating Tin Tin, a cousin of Justice actually (and how they met), but considerably smarter and nicer. She’d miss that relationship. But maybe something else as good or better would come up in this Collagesity they were heading to. Not far over the hill, Bill had said last night. Just a hop and a skip, as she put it — just beyond the wall.
While her daddy began dozing again, Ragdoll quietly got out of her chair and walked around the side of the trailer, “show property lines” toggled on.
The Diagonal, she thinks, staring at the northwest corner of the Obscure sim. So close yet so far. And in Rubi it would be a little further still, according to Bill. But the woods amplified — those were her exact words, she recalls. Ragdoll returns to her lawn chair, pondering what it could mean.
Ragdoll was the first person to point out that if you stand atop the Stairs Gallery (still vacant as of this writing) and increase your draw distance to just over 300 meters, the almost totally white Max Statue will appear to the northeast. It then became sort of a fad to have impromptu parties there on Friday nights to celebrate the mysterious, 20 meter high deity perched atop the Second Lyfe Railroad in that direction. But Sister Martha Lamb quickly snuffed out any chance for the get-togethers to develop into yet another rival religion in town to her own. She declared it idol worshiping, and threatened to write the Lindens (rulers of our world) to have the statue torn down. The threat worked: either avatars moved over to Ragdoll’s old trailer park to continue worship (these numbered three: 30something couple Richard and Linda Abingdon, along with octogenarian Steve Barker), or people stayed in Collagesity and conveniently forgot all about it, including Ragdoll. After all, by this time she had a new boyfriend named Jerry Richardson to deal with, an older man himself and well into his 50s when they shared their first bowl of Bumpy’s ice cream purchased from the new Bodega Marketplace dessert bar. Yeah, Collagesity is doing just fine these days, and another religion may have muddied the spiritual waters too much. But Max remains there for all to see from Stairs, and — if you increase your draw distance to the, um, *max* (512 meters) — from about anywhere in town within eye shot actually. Long Live Max!
2 weeks earlier…
“Tell me what to do, Max. Give me guidance.”
Once again disguised as a girl of relatively ordinary height, Bettie/Tonshi Ashokan entered Collagesity from the west at sunset and spotted something different about this statue in front of the Town Diner, a 2d copy of Rodin’s “The Thinker”.
It was moving back and forth — barely perceptible but still obviously present. And the vibrating would both slow and increase in radius in the coming weeks until a climactic point is reached. Think about that, attached giant rock and spoon.
“Ahh, my love! I thought I’d greet you by Pitch’s new statue so you’d know the way. Right across this bridge, light of my life.”
“Thanks. Back at you, Buster my sweets!” She changed to match him one-to-one before they crossed the wood plank bridge to their new home.
“Over here dear. It’s this smaller house.”
Shirley Boot returned to Yd Bay on Wednesday, ostensibly to sail her FB Lollygagger Raft 2.0 around the northern shore of New Island again. Secretly she was hoping to see the nice nude man again which caused such a different kind of itch in her the week before. But to her amazement, little Yd Isle out in the bay where the man had been standing was on fire today!
Shirley pondered calling the island’s fire department but then decided against it. Yd Isle was surrounded by water, of course — the fire would not spread beyond. And the 3 linden palms, the only things growing upon it as far as she knew, were obviously already goners. So she just sat on the shore and watched, but the flames never seemed to die down. Eventually she became bored and went back to her house on the other side of Mt. Sondra. She didn’t mention the spectacle to her parents for fear of getting in
hot water trouble.
Today Shirley scanned the morning edition of the “New Island Gazette” for any news of the fire. Nothing. Did anyone even *notice*? she wondered, sipping on Earl Grey tea and taking another bite of one of those fresh cheddar biscuits brought down by nice neighbor Ms. Frame last night. She read the paper more carefully, front to back and then back to front. Still nada on the fire, but the blurb about New Island Studios she kept running across then began to strike her as kind of queer in itself. 3 palms again — did these stoner guys Marty and Jay get the inspiration for their blurb’s isle from Yd Isle itself? Maybe *they* would be upset that the trees had burned down.
So on a whim, Shirley Boot decided to give fledgling New Island Studios a ring, since the number was right in front of her. 709-576-8220. Leaving off the area code since the call was local (in fact, all of New Island belonged to 709) she pecked the number into her smart phone.
“Hello, ‘New Island Gazette’,” a friendly female voice on the other side of the line spoke. Shirley hung up. “Stupid stoners,” she muttered. “Gave the number of the paper in their blurb and not their own business.” She decided to make a hike of it this morning and go directly to their office, since she knew the physical location. Behind Bumpy’s Ice Cream Village, near the center of the island; not more than a 15 minute walk from here. That way she could pick up more pot spliffs from that Corsican gal Laverne Glam who should be working at the Village today, and also thinking a, um, business warming gift, ha ha, might be appropriate for the likes of two self professed stoners. Then Shirley considered: Maybe it was just the pot the day before making the bay isle burn, hmm. But she was pretty sure it wasn’t. Pretty sure…
… until she revisited Yd Bay on her way over. The 3 palms still stand! It’s as if nothing had happened, nothing at all. And perhaps, she decided, it hadn’t.
Still, a visit to Bumpy’s Ice Cream Village and then New Island Studios seemed to be in order since she was already about halfway there. And Shirley needed Laverne’s spliffs more than ever now!
As she was painting another Infinity Point seascape that wasn’t a seascape atall, the island’s “Monster” came for Annie again.
And after the latest abduction/visit, Annie and High Castle man Axis became more allies than ever.
tonight’s the night
Young Ruby had fallen asleep at the dining table while reading Mabel’s Diary No. 3 again. Such fascinating stuff: Fishers Island and New Island are one! “3 palms and the truth,” Mabel kept repeating as a mantra within. And she *must* visit this Artist Point Interactive, where she left off reading before cutting the z’s. Maybe, perhaps… tonight? But Mabel also warned never EVER go in there alone. What were those two potheads thinking when promoting it as a so-called up and coming New Island art gallery, hmph? Didn’t they understand who was secretly the center of it all, this Hazel or Mrs. Hazelhurst or Mid Hazel? A powerful witch, and one not to be f-ck with according to the book by any means. That’s yet another reason this place should be named Fisher or perhaps Fishers Island overall. Ruby was the chosen namer of Queen Mabel. She and she alone had that power, that ability. But when to affect it?
Ruby checked the clock on the wall: 11:46. I wonder if that interesting tomboy lady Shirley Boot I met this morning when she came over here to see the potheads might want to accompanying me? Maybe I’ll give her a ring. Yes, a ring.
Now where was Mabel’s phone in this place? Oh yeah, she remembered. Upstairs now. With the potheads — their new business line until they set up something on their own, out of *our* house, pheh. She hated going up there…
… because it was always something like this.
“A little to the right, Marty,” Jay was saying, engrossed in the moment and not paying a bit of heed to the suddenly materialized Ruby. “No, a little to the left now. No, back to the right.”
Annie spotted the phone. A quick call and she’s out of this madhouse.
tonight’s the night 02
“Mabel, I mean *Ruby*,” Jay Woodhull suddenly uttered after Ruby got off the line with Shirley Boot (the API visit was on for tonight!). She was just about to teleport down and out of here. “We, Marty and I, have had a talk and we’ve decided to show you who we really are. Deep down beneath.”
Please don’t do that guys, Ruby thought to herself. Please please don’t.
“So deep,” Marty added, out of breath from all the moving about apparently, “that we almost *forgot.*”
He changed in mid rock, Jay along with him.
“Fisher and Lord Bendington?!”
no elephant memory
Fisher soon gets a part time job DJ-ing at the local Elephant Club to help support his religious, artistic, and recreational causes, but usually only one dancer showed up: perpetually bopp’n and popp’n Annie, always attracted to a New Island beat and often freshly landed from the latest High Castle abduction.
Still — alternating between Roger Pine Ridge’s hit single “Time” and its flip side of “Beach” tonight upon her request — he imagines the tips piling up.
Just for the, er, record, the father of Corsican gal Laverne Glam owns both this club (named for the trademark shape of his home continent) and neighboring Bumpy’s Ice Cream Village his daughter works at. Hopefully we’ll be able to fit in more of their interesting New Island story soon.
But right now we must return to the Fisher and Bendy show…
“I remember the first time we met. That chess shack back in VHC City.”
“It was an ice fishing shack that just happened to have a chess set laid out inside,” Fisher corrected. “And it was the *last* time we met.”
“Oh. Right. Forgot.”
5 palms and the truth?
There was a disturbance in The Force today at New Island’s Mt. Sondra.
And poor little abused Jim’s Isle was threatened with extinction.
We can’t lose yet another one!
Crisis over; slow-to-react but still safe Jim Turtle returned to hammock. 🙂
“You should really get something for that itch, Shirley,” spoke Ruby to her new friend while posing on an effigy of island legend Jim Turtle at sunrise, not far behind Bumpy’s Ice Cream Village. “Sand fleas don’t really seem to be bothering anyone else around here that I know of.”
“I think it’s actually a sexual thing. I’ll be 13 in two week; coming of age you know. I look at men — differently now.”
Ruby decides to open up a bit more about a related topic. “My Aunt Annie is looking at men different now too.”
Shirley scratches her left underarm. “What do you mean?” The tomgirl was secretly wondering how old Ruby was and hoping she would tell her, along with also talking about how she feels around boys now. Shirley was guessing: about 15. Old enough to know a lot more than her on the subject.
“Oh… she just looks at them like, I don’t know, *objects* now. Pieces of art.”
“Like the stuff we just saw?”
Ruby considered this, thinking back to Smelly Santy, Tronesisia, and the rest at API. “Yeah, I guess it’s not too much different. No Hazel tonight thankfully. Thank you for coming with me.”
Shirley was scratching the top of her hinny now. “No problem, my fellow New Islander. *Lady* New Islander. We girls here must stick together. Against all those men.”
Ruby knew what she meant. Objects, hmph. Like we were made of plasticine or something. Movable, bendable toys. Annie was just joining the crowd, doing what Romans do or whatever the expression was. She was falling into the rhythm and beat of the land, Ruby then thought and was pleased she came up with the phrasing. “Do you think this island has a pulse?” Ruby tried to reword it in better terms. “You know, like a, um, fundamental *tone*?” Ruby rolls over on the turtle and looks directly at Shirley Boot now, gauging her expression, the green terrain of what would later be known as Pimushe Isle jutting out of the sea in the background.
“Sea,” Shirley then uttered out of the blue without consideration.
Fisher and Bendy or Lord Bendington returned to the place of their rebirth, wondering if the pink mini coop was in good enough shape to be driven around the island. They had a lot of ground to cover now, what with running New Island Studios and visiting all those galleries. Or potential galleries. Reliable wheels would be nice.
“Hey Fisher,” Bendy said in his standard gruff tone, staring beyond the car.”
“Hey Lord Bendington,” Fisher replied playfully in an innocent monotone.
“Do *you* remember that island over there? I don’t.”
Fisher admitted it was all just a blur for him when they resurfaced to the, um, surface, but knew LB, being a robot, would have a more accurate memory imprint of the event. At least now that he’s back in the Elephant Club.
“A new island,” Lord Bendington said almost religiously. “‘Nother one.”
“How many does that make?” Fisher queried. “We need to start *eliminating* them instead of adding to the total.”
“We should name it for the sim instead. Not New Island or New New Island or whatever this time.”
“Good one!” A satisfied Bendy sits in the car. “Hop in. Let’s see what this baby’s still got!”