“At the very least, Herbert Gold, I had to move your house. I believe it’s jinxed!”
“The *house* — *my* house; *OUR* house — is not jinxed. It — just doesn’t have a proper home yet.”
“I’ve successfully set it up back in Snowlands now,” I replied to the disappointed, tired, aging man sitting across from me, his tea finished like mine. We were in the house, true. In Rosehaven still, yes. But way up in the sky now. More to be seen *here*, but not down below.
Then I had a realization. We need to talk to Petunia, I suggested.
“Ring him up.”
Petunia came right over.
Petunia had the answer. At least a temporary one. “You’ve brought the house up, good,” he purred in his mysterious, cat-like voice. “Now you must bring the *rest* up of importance. The house, the church, the *tree*,” he emphasized.
“There,” he declared, moves seemingly over. “Doesn’t that feel *better*?”
Turns out the house, the church, but especially that tree, were attracting the wee ones, Ruby Fantasie the Jamacian witch, and who knows what else. Red balls fell from the sky as I was taking ground shots today. Now, yes, it felt better. We asked him the next step.
“What about the king?” I asked a little later, remembering that he is still groundside.
“Don’t touch the king.”
Petunia then suggested I talk a walk to calm my mind.
“Don’t worry,” he said while seeing me off toward the ferry. “Goodbye!”
I visited the old quarry first this night time trek. It was snowing harder here. It was always snowing harder in the quarry. A large dragonfly dipped down from the flake filled sky and hovered before my eyes. Dragonflies in snow. More mysteries.
Meanwhile in Sansara’s Snowlands, Herbert Gold was checking out the location of his newly set up house/mansion over there. “Piano,” he declared, sitting down at it. “Just like Baker Bloch said it was.” He played a tune he thought would cheer him up. *Not* a Booger Hayes piece. He’d learned his lesson on that.
The aberrant notes hid underneath the upstairs sink, biding their time.
While he was in this confined space with limited view, Herbert Gold liked to increase his draw distance so he could see the mountain. One day, not far down the road, he was going to climb that mountain.
Yes, this place for his house would work. April Mae should be arriving tomorrow from the Omega continent, vacation with gardener in tow *over*. Thank God. But he can’t speak much about that… because of Merry.
“Merry, Merry, Merry,” he lamented, looking at the computer screen again and contemplating when to dump the smoking gun *this* time.
A noise (a *plop*?). He opens the other door to his study.
But no wee ones here. He misses them. He’ll ask Baker Bloch if there’s any way possible to bring them back.
“*There’s* our tea, April Mae. I thought I was going to have to ask to send your (6 prim) *gardener* away.”
“I’m not quite finished with him,” defended his wife of 7 years about keeping her vacation pal around a bit longer. “You have your smoking guns. What do you care?”
Herbert Gold couldn’t say anything to that. He looked down at the steaming hot tea in front of him. He’d have to wait to take a sip. April Mae put her own cup to mouth and slurped noisily, taking a deep draw. She was use to hot. She grew up in central Jeogeot.
“Well… I *do* like the house. It’s in the middle of everything, it seems. Middle of Meribel, middle of Snowlands. You know I’m use to middle, growing up in the center…”
“Yes,” interrupted Herbert. “I know.” He watched her slurp more while his own tea still wasn’t ready for his own mouth. “I *am* glad you like it, despite all else. But…” Herbert hung his head down. He couldn’t say it. April Mae said it for him.
“I know,” she attempted to comfort. “Rosehaven was perfect, I know.”
He was going to dream of someplace else tonight. He was determined about it, did all the right preparations before bedtime. *Not* Rosehaven. But, as he was told, *negative* suggestions didn’t usually work. He couldn’t tell himself, over and over, *not* to dream about Rosehaven. He might as well say to himself to dream about it then. Instead he decided to suggest someplace warm. That would let Rosehaven and its current, wintery landscape out of the picture. But it brought into play some possibilities he didn’t particularly care about. Like jungle. April Mae would be at home there. Not him. So he decided instead of “warm” he would use the word “temperate.” He looked it up beforehand to make sure. Temperate climates indicates *mild* temperatures. Not too hot, not too cold. A goldilocks clime. He finally fell asleep at 2:01 AM…
“Aah, North Yd. Shouldn’t known.” But North Yd was no longer a wasteland village but simply a wasteland period. The Tiler Church was no longer here. Zoidboro didn’t have a place to preach any more.
Yes, he realized. He was looking for Zoidboro. And possibly his guy-gal pal Patrick Starr as well. Better head up the cliffs to see Sally. Both of ’em. Get the scoop on what happened to North Yd.
He heard someone over the waves. “Aww, you got me, Baker Bloch. Remember Mabel? Your old Martian pal?” The voice faded, to be replaced by another. “And me? Tessa. We’re still in the cave! Find me, find me, find me…” the second voice echoed, as if in a, well, cave.
He was ready to step off Dog Island and come back to mainland.
Or at least the bigger, less isolated island in front of him currently.
Then he found *her* as well. The ex. She spoke without turning while dancing on a west facing patio. “You find *them* or I’ll find *you*. And you know what I’ll do to you when I do!” She faded as well. He was starting to sweat coldly.
A smoking gun dropped from the sky, barely missing him.
Still hot to the touch, he picked it up. He realized he would need this gun to get to the cave. A person would be in his way. And that person was…
Axis spied the cave opening from the top of the Broken Clock Church. Zoidboro preached here last winter. He was hot on the trail!
But first some supplies from the General Store.
Across the dirt road, his wife was still asking favors from Santa. “I want a pretty, new house. I want a wardrobe full of fine clothes. And, most of all Santa, I want a new skin. I’m tired of this golden one.”
“Done!” her husband shouted while walking out of the General Store, loaded down with camping gear, flashlights, rope, anything you’d want to explore a virtual cave system. “Here’s your *real* presents.”
Merry Gouldbusk didn’t think so. It took her a while to leave Santa’s lap.
Axis ended up having to rest on his sack.
A warning, Miss Ruby. Princess Merry Gouldbusk has forgotten who she is again and is about to enter the cave system. Rose–”
“Don’t say it,” interrupted Ruby Fantasie, tired of the word.
“Yes ma’am,” acquiesced Rules of Rose. “Anyway, Baker Bloch tried to wake up while there but couldn’t.”
“Yes, but Baker Bloch must be close *now*. Else I couldn’t talk this way.” She eyed Rules of Rose, who had just flittered in through the portal, more closely.
“We found the gun,” Rules of Rose continued. “Inside the game. Benny Right Horn…”
“Benny *What* Horn?”
“You know, the fat– er, more weight challenged half of the Horn Brothers. Like in Twin Peaks.”
“*Tessa* is from Twin Peaks, or very close. Aren’t you Tessa?” Ruby Fantasie squinted across the tracks but still couldn’t make out Mabel and Tessa in the darkness over there. If they even were there.
She returned her attention to Rules. “Well it was a ridiculous story, true. Me in Rose– that place — in the winter. Bahhh! Only in the spring at best and when the blog isn’t filming me. And *Norris* here. Does he look wee to you, Rules of Rose?”
“Not atall,” agreed the elven fairy with the high doo, looking beyond Ruby Fantasie to the far chair of the group.
“No, this is who we are,” declared Ruby. “And we’re here now. What is this place again?”
“End of Time, ma’am,” proud she could say the name this time. She looked toward the glowing entrance, white with light.
“We wait,” commanded Ruby Fantasie, knowing the question in her mind.
It wasn’t that other place that shall not be named but it was interesting enough in its own way.* Wabe… Wabd. He must remember to look for a green yard. Or perhaps a yd (“wide”) green. Level Green?
Now to the caves….
I later decided to add that it shouldn’t see itself as a second fiddle to Rose– (even if it was). Focus on strengths. Focus on the caves and the central village. More to be seen….
“Did you find anything today?”
She didn’t find anything today! Her name was Guyd but she was so far away from being a *guide* it wasn’t funny. She must be more successful tonight. She would work overtime to do it. But which way to go?
She lazily decided Gyre/Crow, because that would give her 2 choices instead of 1 down the road. Er, tunnel. She was heading from Wabe, which may be the same as Wabd (which would explain the greenup yd (yellow down) eyes). We’ll see.
This was a labyrinth and that’s a fact.
She’d reached the tracks. She didn’t like the tracks because humans lived amongst them. She and humans didn’t quite get along. Because most of them had *dogs*. Dog Island should have been erased and destroyed while they had them all rounded up there, she feels. That was only 2 outside days ago. Perhaps there’s still time….
And she’d missed her exit to Gyre. Oh well. Straight across the tracks it was. *Surely* she wouldn’t get lost. Again. Waste another day.
Phew! That was close.
But that human smelt funny. Almost like he was a… No. Couldn’t be. Could it? Guyd again thinks of destruction/erasure. Should have gotten rid of them with the chance. Now they could be *anywhere*. *Anything* anywhere (apparently). But then, maybe she could turn into a human as well if needed. That would be handy. She’d have to check the status of new, magical powers with Rebl tomorrow. Hopefully with *good* news to relay. She so wanted to be a true guide some day like her. Stepping stones, she calmed herself. One slipping rock at a time.
She never can remember where this tunnel leads across the tracks. Oh well. Onward and upward!
Tasteless smell-less Robert Drake Johns had had enough. 5 was his limit for mud cake pies! He pushed it just enough toward Guyd, who quickly grabbed it up and ran. “Thanks!” she purred back at the gluttonous, lime green robot. The stench was all over it. “Mine mine mine!” he cried, his eyes beacons in the dark, but Guyd had already exited the cave room. 3 hours later, bumbling and stumbling through the maze, she found Rebl back in Wabe. Or was it Wabd now?
Rebl was pleased (!!). She took one bite, spat it on the ground, dug a little hole for the thing, covered it up, and put a little tombstone on top that read “shite”. “It’s a dog’s dinner,” she pronounced through painful wincing, and went to retch in a corner while holding a thumb’s up. Success!
Second fiddle no more. She was ready to meet Bush. Either one would do, but she’d prefer the Sun. The burny one.
He always seemed to be hiding behind bushes.
No not that one (SWING!). *This* one.
Because he himself was a bush. Not yet burning but hopefully soon. The Sun was very very hot today. Perhaps today would be the day….
He moves on, trying to find…
OH SHITE, it happened!
Junk Yd 02
Some would later say it happened in Burnt Oak, a logical transference because everything was so open and exposed there — and hot. Plus the word Burnt threw people off. But, in truth, only the more temperate or moderate clime around the bay at North Yd escaped the extreme heat of daytime paired with the quite chilly night degrees. There was certainly more a *swing* in temperatures up here on the plateau making up most of The Waste. And it was during one climax moment of heat that the bush ignited and became rooted on that spot forever and ever. Or very nearby, since it managed to crawl a bit more, to the edge of the Junk Yd sim itself. It wasn’t in Burnt Oak, despite the legends.
Nor was it in the Sand Seas in the southwest corner of this land, although rumors persisted down through the years that this was the location as well. Again because of all the heat and openness there.
But certainly 3D and Hoborobo here knew better. Because it was their job to take care of the God Portal. People tired of playing second fiddle in an orchestra of ill definition and sought the pure truth coming from the ever-never burning leaves and branches. Well, branches now, because the ever-never burning leaves had finally burned off after a century of ignition, leaving only the ever-never branches to define the bush. Experts estimated that the branches would perhaps last, at best, another century, maybe even down to 50 years. The God Portal has a limited, functional window, despite the rumors and legends that it is perpetual. And already, we’ve seen a breakdown in functional information coming from this window. Just yesterday it misspelled itself as Buch (for example).
Still, ever-never — a word that could only apply to the Bush. Just outside.
“It’s your turn to water it, Hoborobo.”
“No YOU,” he lashed back. They were both very very tired of taking care of the thing. Hoborobo personally was starting to see it as a portal of evil (Devil) instead of good. 3D remained neutral on the subject, drawing from a more well rounded body of information.
She just had to get out of that cave system for a while. She’d just learned about the death of Mssr. Gold (again). Her grandfather! Tessa ruminated about the good times driving around that old, clunky narrowboat. Taking it here, there, *everywhere*. Anywhere her grandfather could dream about. And now he’s gone (again).
Oh well, she thinks while getting up out of the old boat and walking toward the cave mouth. He’ll probably be back tomorrow or something.
“Ahh. *There* she is, Rules of Rose. Hitting the tracks again.” She tries to call over once more, a little softer than before, knowing the futility of it. “Tessa. Tessa, honey. It’s me. Your Aunt Ruby.”
“She still can’t see or hear you,” states elven fairy Rules of Rose beside her. “It’s — different over here.”
Ruby Fantasie folds her hands over her lap, leaning back. “I know.” She sighs.
“It’s because of me.” Rules of Rose puts her hands to her eyes, beginning to cry (again). “I’m so sorry *sob*”.
Tessa makes her way back into the heart of the cave system, seeing/hearing nothing.