“Peanut,” answers Rock Ramby in his gruff voice to lover Gill Alex in their more expensive apartment on Southside. “That’s what we’re looking for. They’re all over town. Along with that other guy. The Guy guy.” He continues to stare out toward the sea.
“Guy Linden,” responds Gill in an effeminate voice from the pillows with the books inside, currently enjoying the backside of Rock instead. “Met him once on a railroad.”
Rock swings around and looks at Gill Alex directly. “W-why didn’t you tell me this?”
“I don’t know.” Rock’s front was not nearly as pleasant to behold as the behind. He was truly angry this bit of information was withheld from him.
“Especially concerning a *RR*.”
They later ate at Spunky’s, a popular, local watering hole that we’ve already seen other characters of this current Collagesity photo-novel at (Merry Gouldbusk, Herbert Dune, maybe some others).
Oh, sorry… wrong “coffee Japanese Tea House.” There’re so many of ’em in NWES!
… let’s start again. They later dined at Spunky’s, a local, popular place to eat and drink.
Rock was taking too long to eat, as usual for his lover. Gill Alex was only drinking by this point, far ahead of his partner in that aspect. His two toned brain began to spin around the idea of the Guy again.
“He wasn’t my lover,” he defends between gulps, and then clunks the glass noisily on the table. “*Lover*.” His voice was increasingly becoming more Zeus-like, as it had been in novel 13. Not quite but getting there.
Rock woofs down some more lasagna pasta. “I know that, I know that,” he murmurs while simultaneously chewing, a little less gruff in tone to balance things out. “It’s just, ahem,” and here he sets down the fork quietly. “The RR and all.”
“Hitchcock?” Gill Alex scoffs. “We haven’t talked about that idea in months.” Then he had another idea. “Blue Berry Girl? Is *she* involved?” He stared at his purple wine back in front of his face. The glass seemed to hold a story.
Out of the Misty Mountains she came, landing just outside Rock Ramby’s RR.
The dogg started barking…
… but then stopped as Blue Berry Girl crossed the RR and lost her plump, blue encasement. Herself at last!
Dogg bounded toward her, recognizing the long lost master. She scratched his ears while talking. “Outside, over there, I’m fat and bloated to the world. Inside I am free.” She looked toward the cabin no one lived in. “I’ll never be unfree again.”
Yeah. *That* story. The dogg one.
After the funeral, the frog cousins crashed at Lu Ellen’s place just beyond the lower edge of Apple’s Orchard before moving into NWES proper. She was quickly indoctrinated into and made new leader of their Red Squirt Seven group, now headless since Melvin was dead. Melville “Peepee” Todd, that is, who also happened to be Lu Ellen’s father. They were all bound and determined, by blood and guts, to find the murderer: fellow cousin Bullfrog. Each spawned from a different sibling of the same family. And 3 of the 4 bound by a belief larger than family that happened to include family. A return to ORDER.
As new head, Lu Ellen tried to instruct the simple frogs as best she could. Yes, homosexuality was a sin in the sight of God and, yes, they were right to intervene, even though it cost them her father, their old head, their brains. Tough guy Kermit Winkler, simplest of the bunch, equals hands in this manner, perhaps health. Tough but warmer Lester equals heart, I suppose. And girl child Lu Ellen was there to lead them all back home. To sanity. To purity.
The irony is that she’s (almost) human, like Marilyn of “The Munsters.” Not that frogs are monsters, but you get the general point. She elected to be this way, to fit in better with the world at large, with costly procedures representing stepping stones from amphibian to homo sapien existence. And now that process is almost completed. Just one more operation. And then *this* happens.
(to be continued?)
enjoy the little things
“To be clear, Hucka Doobie, the paint brush sign for this Little Art House contains no green. Red, blue, and yellow, to be true. But green is gray or colorless, just like in…”
“… The Red Umbrella?” guesses Hucka Doobie correctly. “61 rr crossing 49; I suppose you’re right. But who… you go.”
“But who will play Lu Ellen? Someone, obviously, with a red hat or cap. Doesn’t have to be *that* cap; (simple) red will do.”
“She’ll have to be human as well,” adds Hucka Doobie still standing below the green-less sign. “What I mean is that at least outwardly she’ll appear as wholly human. It’s only the difference between here (Hucka Doobie grabs her breast) and here (Hucka Doobie grabs lower) that matters now. Then *this* happens.”
“You know who it has to be,” states Baker Bloch, looking over at his old friend the bee-person.
“Well. She *is* still living here. With her brother/lover. Might as well put her to work. Make her grean again.”
She was having that dream where she was looking everywhere for the correct script. Under the coke machine? Not there.
Heading down from here.
Sewers, eww! The underbelly of society itself. The discarded, the disorganized. They can go to Sh-t Hell for all she cares. Up again.
And up again.
Doors open. Her mother giving birth to her. Top of the head appears. No red hair atall. She quickly hits close.
She was looking for her father to speak to him in heaven, for surely that’s where he is. Being a martyr to the cause and all. But there was no door to heaven on this elevator. Only the red place.
She had missed the portal. At the end of the sewer where you have to wade through the most sh-t to get to. The highest is found in the lowest.
“There is some hope here in the upper part of Black Dragon.”
“Black Drake,” she corrected.
“Right. But, see? More black than green here, black equaling rented or ‘in use’.”
“Especially around Black Drake Square,” she offered, taking a better gander.
“Black Dragon,” I corrected in turn.
“Sure. So. You’re saying this is one of those neighborhoods that could work for further stories.”
“Well, we have Rock Ramby and partner Vain and Artery Boy in the neighborhood already. He goes by Gill Alex now, in honor of his red and blue splitness.”
“I get that,” she responded. “No one else will, but I get it.”
“Like the RR (in Wazob).”
“And then, let’s see, there’s the Red Umbrella of course, then Spunky’s, a local, popular eating and drinking joint.”
“Popular, local drinking and eating establishment,” she agrees.
“Then another gallery across the way from the Red Umbrella. And then, as we speak, there’s a dude over there who’s rented the place next door to it. And then, as soon as I rented the building for *our* gallery, someone almost immediately rented the building next door. See, Hucka Doobie? It’s infectious. Everything happens in clusters.”
“Like a gumball machine. The black is clustering together amongst the green. In Black.”
“And *then*, there’s Apple’s Orchard.”
“Now I’m going to turn around,” Dr. Baumbeer declared, “and let’s see if you’ve chosen the correct chairs.”
He turns around. “Very good, all. Honestly, I thought that Gill here may be confused about the red and blue chairs, since he is both red and blue. But his *hair* is yellow, and he has correctly deduced, or you gals have helped him deduce, that that is his defining color, since it covers *both* hemispheres. And Blue Berry Girl, that naturally leaves you with the blue chair, and, likewise, you (he points to the east chair), Lu Ellen, with the red. Thank you all.”
“You’re welcome,” all mutter to one degree or another. Enthusiasm wasn’t their strongest suit tonight. Each had another motivation for being here.
“So now I’ll assume my own chair, which is the west one, the green one.” He sits down in the appropriate chair. The meeting to find True Center can come to order now.
“Now Gill, let’s start with you. How did you come to Black Dragon and what is your motivation for being here?” But Gill Alex continues to lock stares with Blue Berry Girl across the way and doesn’t answer.
“Okay, moving on then, I suppose, let’s see what you, Lu Ellen, has to say about that topic.”
“I’m here to kill someone,” she spoke plainly, laying all the cards down on the table. As one, both Gill Alex and Blue Berry Girl rotate and stare at
her the doctor instead.
“W-who would that be, dearest?” continued Baumbeer, starting to sweat due to all the staring.
“*You*.” Ka-POW!! POW POW!! *POP* POW!!
They all looked away from Rabbit 01 after he’d finished his statement, toward the evil city that had taken another child. A child psychiatrist in this case. *Functional* wee one; even worse.
“Now we’re having trouble in the Far East, even,” says Chief Nipsie Tanner, half to herself. “Better think about opening another police department over there in the boondocks.”
“Yes, Ms. Tanner,” everyone around dutifully recites, making her even more irritated. She must get away from the herd sometime soon again. Escape to the hills. Escape this — costume.
“A sewer,” speaks Tanner again, picturing it in her mind. So close to heaven yet so far.
“Look gramma. A bunny rabbit!”
“Nice, Toddles. Are you ready to go to the next museum? Grampa wants to buy him some guys at that record store next door.”
“Guys?” Toddles turns her head briefly to stare at her mother’s mother.
“Gunn(s) I meant there.” Alice Farrowheart wondered about the mistake, though. She had studied Sigmund Fraud in college and didn’t think all of his theories were bunk. Like tongue slips.
Toddles swings carefree toward Sam Parr Collage 09 again, arms restless. “Why is his *brains* leaking into that rabbit?”
Alice walks toward the collage to study more of what the child was talking about. Indeed, the “brains” of the green figure in the collage seemed to be leaking into the “rabbit”, and from not one but two directions: from the west and also from the south. And what was this landscape? The Heartland? Looked like The Heartland.
The next morning, Alice Farrowheart read about the death of young Dr. Rabbid Baumbeer in the NWES Gazette and wondered about the synchronicity with the likewise rabbit spied by her granddaughter in the Red Umbrella Gallery. She’d also studied Carl Young in collage in the same course. Did she think: collage?
She went back to the Red Umbrella in the afternoon. And the afternoon after that. And then a final time on the 3rd of November, when she decided to phone the local police department about the matter. Synchronicity can perhaps solve crimes!
“So where would you like to go Ms. Tanner?”
Nipsie Tanner looked around the room. “Oh (*sigh*), I don’t know. Just away from — here.” She points. “How about that middle one over there.”
“Middle one it is.” George V. Norris gives her a ticket to ride.
Aah. This is the *life*, she thinks later by the “Black Side” pool. Tomorrow I will go check out the local police station; see how it measures up.
She couldn’t help mixing business with pleasure.
The Wild Wild West they called it in the Far East, but most of the wilds was hidden. You’d need a powerful telescope and also know exactly the right location to spot. And the Red Umbrella predicted it all. Again.
Far East was different, they proudly declared. No wilds, no crime much atall in comparison. But the murder of Dr. Rabbid Baumbeer, child of grieving Rabbit 01 and Rabbit 02 over in Braynard’s Place, changed all that. Red, red rats were found to infest their incomplete sewers and subways (etc.) as well. Red from feasting on blood this time, red from the tainted water left behind.
Golden Jim from Gaston was here to investigate and, hopefully, put a stop sign to all that new redness over in the east. He knew exactly which one to choose.
“Where’s your chief?” asked Ms. Tanner to the staff psychiatrist the next day at the police station.
“Oh, he *claims* he’s on vacation over at NWES on the mainland, but my guess is he’s snooping around for a new case.
“NWES?” Nipsie Tanner declared in surprise. “That’s where *I’m* from.”
“Well I’ll be,” offered back Jack “Jiff” Danielsonlanderscroft, knowing more than he’s letting on.
“What is this suppose to be again, Karoz?”
“It’s called ‘Dance #12,’ and it’s beautiful. I love everything about Chilbo, Baker Bloch,” the alien green being reinforced. “I feel like I am home here.”
“So you’ve said.” Baker didn’t think he was going to budge Karoz’s feelings today. Nor any day perhaps. Maybe this *was* home to him. But what of 7 Stones, then, and the duplicate temple there? It’s time to start pondering — the end?
“Let’s go see it once more,” Karoz requested to his old friend. They’ve been together for over 10 years now, Real Life time. And all those stepping stone years perhaps lead to this moment, this decision. To stay in Chilbo forever or attempt to reintegrate him and his wife Baker Blinker back into a self contained village populated only by alts. Collagesity I mean there, and, now, its replacement, 7 Stones, a chip off the old block.
“Marvelous, eh? Like it was suppose to be there. All along.”
Baker admitted to himself that the temple looked good up there on its perch, overlooking the town. “You know they didn’t want us here, Karoz,” explained his friend, his family. “They thought the collages — too derivative.”
“That’s just your fears.”
“No, I think it’s true. Fleep wanted me here; tried to encourage me. But forces behind the scene persuaded her otherwise, or just overruled her. Perhaps on this and a lot of other matters as well. You have power struggles in a town like this, not solely ruled by alts and their characters.”
“I understand that.” Karoz gazed up the hill, inspired. “But we can change that. We don’t emphasize the collages. We emphasize the philosophy *behind* the collages.”
Was it as simple as that? the male Baker pondered. And where was Baker Blinker today? What was *her* current ruling on the subject? Baker Bloch guessed that she’s going along with Karoz, as usual in the end. She bends her will to his. At least about all this TILE stuff: temples, colleges, etc.
“Okay, let’s go see what you’ve got so far, Karoz.” I through Baker Bloch have accepted the idea of letting go.
“*Swell,” and he dashed up the green, green slope with this. Like a man of 30 instead of the 60 he is.
I admittedly had a hard time keeping up.
i.c. planets 02
“In this diptych, Richard Pryor, rescued by Superman from rock, i.e., ignorance or *wildness*, is a prior, as in a more primitive, past life version. I say this as a strong, black woman in the present, mind you.”
“Shake’s straw is colored oppositely and bends the opposite way as Superman’s powerful, rescuing arm. He is a Master, but not in a good way. Like in the past. Like in the South.”
“*Now*, Baker Bloch. What has this to do with *Neptune*, the unseen, the unspoken even? West is east. Yellow eyes…”
“Hucka Doobie,” admitted Baker Bloch. “My heart’s really not into this tonight. Can we go somewhere else and talk? I feel like all these collages are closing in on me tonight. There’s too much there.”
“Too much information, eh? Okay. We can simplify. Where do you want to go?”
“The alleyway behind the travel agency,” Hucka Doobie answers herself.
“Karoz ain’t coming back Hucka,” started Baker Bloch again, sad this evening. About Karoz. About Baker Blinker along with him. The anima to his animus, after all. Virtually speaking.
“Well — then let him stay in Chilbo. You can still have 7 Stones.”
“*I* can’t have both.”
“Then, let’s say, create a duplicate. A duplicate temple to mirror his own.”
“That’s already been done.”
“Wheeler owns the land. She could swap her (2048 parcel) in 7 Stones for this (1780 in Chilbo).”
“Maybe you should talk to her about this as well.” Hucka Doobie looks around at the alley. Seedy. “And what of NWES? That is a second, big factor now in simply staying on Jeogeot; not returning to Nautilus fully. I’ll go with whatever you decide. I’ll stay with you whatever.”
“Thank you, Hucka. Nice to know.”
The next day, they returned to the collage. “Flying Superman rescuing the Pryor — prior — then, is not the Master but the Liberator, in his true, white fashion. He recognizes the inversion in color: Aquaman, seen to his north. An understanding is made of both the sky *and* the seas. This is Neptune. This is the ability to see.”
“I *see* planets, yes. First Uranus, if you look just right. Then Neptune if you look just right with a telescope. It all telescopes out.”
“Ending with Pluto.”
“Not any more.”
the ability to enter collagewold
Baker Blinker studies the duplicate Temple of TILE from the corner of her would-be, 7 Stones house. Karoz is wrong, she thinks.
Stashed away in a corner of 7 Stones, yes. No comparison with the great site in Chilbo, true.
She looks up at the “floating” Edwardston Station Gallery with its “Art 10×10”, along with the curving top of the Power Tower Gallery containing “Gilatona Lis”.
But more is at stake here.
Golden Jim 01
He liked walking around town. It helped clear his head of all the thoughts. Plus the place is active: this map just appeared overnight, similar to the one we’ve seen in Black Dragon.
Anyway, as you can see, there’s a lot of green on this, which represents unrented units. Black, again, equal “rented” or “in use.” Golden Jim quickly locates the office of Dr. Baumbeer on the map, sees the black cube. Still rented, at least for this week. He better get as much work done as possible. Shame he couldn’t get here from Gaston before they cleaned up the initial crime scene. He checked his pockets to make sure he had the keys still.
Tattoo parlor across the street. Also something new.
Rented by the same person who runs this records store next door, which (mental note) always seems closed.
And then this strange path, or road actually, almost across the street. Dr. Baumbeer’s body was found in the sewers directly underneath the attached structure — with attached rats feasting on his blood and guts. This was not a good way to go.
He knew this building well by now, but — what the heck, he thought. He decides to walk up the road once more…
… and spy this particular section of NWES from a rusted lookout tower at the top.
He could rent on this side of town. Certainly enough units available. But he’s just starting to settle into his “cave” on the other side of NWES. Plus there’s other advantages to being there.
He heads down, stops at the top of the road.
Red cap again, he thinks, trying to put all the pieces together.
(to be continued)
Golden Jim 02
And you’re positive you’ve got all the prints from this place. Don’t want to contaminate a crime scene.”
“Oh, we’ve got them all right,” answered Officer Mustardgas, who had met him at Baumbeer’s building. “All in our database except one. Dr. Baumbeer, of course (West). Then this guy called Gill Alex from MISTY MO who lives over in another ‘Japanese tea house’ in Black Dragon (South). He’s on vacation with his, ahem, boyfriend Rock Ramby. Mind you, we get fingerprints from all strangers who come in town. Then Blue Berry Girl, who’s currently in Marwood (North), and who also hails from MISTY MO. Staying alone over there. We’re still researching the odd MISTY MO connection. Then, um, one other person we can’t figure out. She has red hair, is all we know. And a red cap. Face scars,” he furthered. “Perhaps effects of a botched surgery or something. We’re only guessing, mind you, from what Blue Berry Girl and Gill Alex reported to us. It would be perhaps logical if she was from MISTY MO as well, but BBG and GA insist they don’t know her. Admittedly, we’re scrambling. Glad to have you on board, Golden Jim. Especially with the chief being on vacation.”
Mental note, Golden Jim thinks. A lot of vacations going on here. Including his own. “And you say this was Baumbeer’s initial meeting to find True Center (of NWES)?”
“Witchcraft?” Golden Jim queries. “They might have been trying to evoke something which threatened to kill them all, not just Baumbeer. Took possession of the red cap girl.”
“We like to call her the red hair girl,” requested Mustardgas.
“Of course. As you wish.” Golden Jim stopped attempting to rock on the horse and stood up, walked out to the small balcony of the building. “Who’s Guy Linden?” he then asked while looking down at the “land spirit shrine.”
“So… Baumbeer was sitting in the green chair when it happened. The red haired girl sitting in the red chair just opened fire on him. Gill Alex and Blue Berry Girl in the yellow and blue chairs respectively were the witnesses.” Golden Jim had a hunch. “What if — hear me out because this is going to sound crazy — but what if Gill Alex and Blue Berry Girl — one or the other — were *also* trying to kill each other?”
After not answering again, Mustardgas walked over to the table and picked up an envelope stuffed to the gills with paper.
“Then there’s this.” Mustardgas handed the golden packet to Golden Jim. “Came in the day after the chief went to Gaston. From a local woman named Alice Farrowheart. Said she went to that new gallery in town I told you about: the Red Umbrella. Said she saw something that relates to this case in the art collages there, starting with the image of a *rabbit*.”
It makes sense, he thought later in his “cave” apartment on the other side of town while studying the information. Gazelle here equals *gazette*, as in the place where Alice Farrowheart first learned of the death. Half gazelle, actually. Half rabbit. That was the beginning.
Back to earlier in the day at Baumbeer’s place:
“And your database covers the 4 sims of NWES, representing the 4 cardinal directions.”
“That’s right,” answered the heavily mustachioed policeman. “If this was a meeting about True Center, then the person in the red chair, the final piece of the puzzle, should have been from the East: Apple’s Orchard (Applewood).
“No possibility of broadening your search to neighboring sims is it? Say, Chapala?” Golden Jim had checked. The billboard of the girl with the red cap lies just below Apple’s Orchard. Outside of NWES, that is. This is obviously where she came from; he was sure of it now. The local police couldn’t figure out what was hanging heavily right under their noses. Soon they’d gotten a name. Lu Ellen. Lu Ellen Hutchinson.
gold and green
The next night, Golden Jim returns to Baumbeer’s not to investigate the decontaminated crime scene any more but to just sit in the old wooden chair downstairs and stare at tv static, part of the doctor’s therapy for most ailments of the mind. What was he looking for? he pondered as shapes began to form then quickly vanished in the snowy noise. Lu Ellen Hutchinson? Gone, they discovered, leaving her inept frog cousins behind who didn’t know anything. Gill Alex and Blue Berry Girl: also exited, back to MISTY MO we assume. We’re still checking on that whole connection. Another ghost manifests and dissolves, teasing him once more. He senses it is time to return to Gaston, to go back to breaking up prostitution rings and busting drug addicts, more in his line of expertise, ha ha (being a former male prostitute and drug addict himself). Murder’s over his head. He’s grasping to stay above water. The static, the noise threatens to pull him down into the abyss again. One more shape forms and disappears. It’s time to go home.
Meanwhile, on the other side of town, the Far *West* as the East likes to call it, Senor Green Jeans shows up at the Neptune Pool on a mission.
“I’m looking for a rabbit,” he spoke in booming voice, looking down at the the 2 people there taking in the morning sunshine. “Small. Wears glasses.”
Alice Farrowheart and Toddles both gawked at him.
“Maybe hangs out with a kangaroo. Perhaps a moose?”
He throws up his huge, hulking arms. “Anything??”
Alice later wrote the whole thing down in her new-ish “Little Book of Synchronicities”, complete with sketches.