blue red yellow DEAD
“So here it is all mapped out, Hucka. The murder. *The* Murder. The ‘crime scene’: here. This building. Upstairs I mean. Not downstairs — *here* here. Up there here.”
“The ‘murdered’ is Dr. Rabbid Baumbeer, yes,” speaks Hucka Doobie, trying to speed things along. Much to analyze and absorb tonight.
“Then next is the ‘motive’,” continues Baker Bloch in a line. “Peepee, the person –er, creature murdered in the first place. The start of a chain reaction.”
“Cool.” Hucka Doobie moves to the next line down. “Then the ‘#1 suspected’ — the murderer of *Rabbid*, is, um, Lu Ellen? Did I get that name right?”
“Lu Ellen Hutchinson, yes. Or maybe Hutchison without the (first) ‘n’. I’ll have to check.”
“But Lu Ellen (for the first name),” Hucka Doobie attempts to firmly establish.
“Moving on, then, is ‘clue # 1’, which is provided by synchronicity investigator Alice L. Farrowheart. We also know now that this person sometimes goes by Lilly.”
“No, I never said that,” defends Baker Bloch. You must be confused, yes, with Alice Frame. Another Alice F. — perhaps interesting.”
“Okay, I’ll trust you with that,” offers up Hucka Doobie. “But this is from the Red Umbrella, specifically a Sam Parr collage from the Red Umbrella. Specifically specifically Sam Parr 04. This is a marriage. Who is getting married? Well…”
“Wheeler. Wheeler is getting married.” Baker Bloch is referring to information shared with Hucka Doobie earlier as they drank coffee at Spunky’s in Southside. Surprising news!
“The married woman — Wheeler or not — is then throwing a frog toward a green man who is removing his own head in ‘clue # 2’. This is the next collage in Sam Parr — Sam Parr 05, part 1 of a diptych.”
“Part 1 of 2, yes,” elaborates Baker Bloch (unnecessarily).
“So in summary — for now — the just married gal throws a frog at a man and turns him green and removes his head. This is her father Peepee, murdered by Bullfrog. But it is *also*…”
“Bullfrog,” completes Baker Bloch. I don’t think it can get any clearer than that.
“Nope. I agree. The rabbit is obviously the frog.”
DEAD End Street
He wasn’t budging, this Big Black Smoke. “I have as much right to be here as you, red boy,” he declared from his cheap, green box seat. “You ain’t paying no rent.” He settles back, crosses his arms behind his head. “Neither am I.”
Greg Ogden argued that he is about to pay the rent but is still trying the apartment out at times.
“Times what?” replies the larger, black man. “42?”
Greg didn’t know the answer to that. He didn’t know everything. He remained silent, contemplating whether to leave. But *he* had as much right to be here as Big Black Smoke. This remained a stare down for now. He told him that.
“Hey,” then declared BBS. “You ain’t that red dude who’s going to marry that red haired gal in the church next door this coming Sunday? She’s been talking about you. About how you become cross sometimes.”
Greg said he wasn’t this person, although he likes to dress in red. Greg Ogden explains that he use to be a red mechanoid playing in a punk band with 2 other, differently colored mechanoids. “We got kicked out of Olde Lapara Towne due to a noise ordinance,” he furthered. “We came here to escape, to *hide* and regroup. But this place…”
“I know I know,” responded Big Black Smoke, looking around at all the red walls surrounding them. Like a cell. “This place changes you.” He was starting to feel sorry for the boy. “You know Golden Jim, the police chief? Don’t confuse him with Golden Joe. That’s a chef. You see what I mean about this town, boy? This New (Lapara) Towne? Same as the old town, hmph.”
Greg says he’s trying to leave but can’t. “Stewart’s dead,” he offered, nodding toward the window with the bay view. “Newton owns that ship out there now. That’s his brother.”
“I *know* who Newton is.” Big Black Smoke resisted the urge to call him ‘fool’, but he’s certainly trying to step off a ledge now. “You can’t leave once you stay here long enough.” Big Black Smoke had figured out who Greg Ogden was, and that this was his old apartment. Golden Jim had told him about the 2 Greg(g)s, one with the extra ‘g’, or, better (explained Golden Jim), the ‘g’ *stolen* from his last name. This theft bought him some jail time. Golden Jim wasn’t here then, but, again, this was legend. Like the day Pierre Schaeffer rode into town and stole all the Berries and took them off to La La Land. Even nimble Thimble couldn’t escape. Ahh, Thimble, thought Big Black Smoke, traveling back further in time to a thinner physique. Those were the days. The Dark Ages. I wish those old times could return. But Pierre changed all that. Him and the eye guy.
“This is *Jasper*, fool.” Big Black Smoke couldn’t help himself. “You’re stuck as much as those *flies* over in Central Park!”
“Two Joint Joints, side by side. One in Gaston — here. The other: NWES. How could this be?” Then Greg Ogden remembers who he is, deep down. He loses the hair, the campy hobo shirt. The Red Cross returns.
He recalls bastard pirate Randolph two (motel) doors down, not one to cross by any means.
4×4: it was all coming back to him.
He has to reach Climax.
Baker Bloch was working alone tonight. The marriage of Wheeler was throwing him off his game, he felt. How could this be? He was trying to figure out how to organize all the Gaston posts into a separate page, a separate site even. He must be careful. Randolph with an additional name of Cross of all things. 2 doors down from Axis. 2 doors down from…
The door to the almost finished coffee shop in the central part of NWES opened. “Thought you might need some company tonight.” Hucka Doobie, Baker thought, rather disappointed that he couldn’t hide from the other core avatars completely. Ever. They were a family bound together in this virtual space and time, perhaps beyond. “Hi Hucka,” he offered as graciously as manageable. “Have a seat. Have some coffee. On the house.”
I’ll sit in here and read until Hucka Doobie finishes her pie.
“What is that thumping noise, Baker Bloch?” queries his bee-friend after the bathroom break, after the pie. Maybe his best friend now that Baker Blinker spends so much time in Chilbo, away from *Collagesity* (Collagesity! Yea!).
“Must be coming from the apartments directly above us. The Foxxy I believe it’s called — yes, checking remotely: The Foxxy. The primary owner and creator of the town was working on those at the same time I was working here, directly below. He contacted me via im about another matter — rental one — and I told him I was directly below him at the moment, which he didn’t know.”
“You have to be careful about contacting the outside. Outside our family of avatars, I mean.”
“I know. You’re right of course. But this is the *guy* who also created the duplicate Faux Rhino over in Gaston. I so so wanted to talk to him about it — why the duplication, so forth. It was so tempting.”
“Just that,” Hucka Doobie reinforced in her warning. “Another temptation.” She looks over at the shrine again, just outside the cafe at the terminus of a small, dead end hallway. Baker notices and starts to explain a bit more.
“Lu Ellen Hutchison is becoming a town hero, at least in certain parts. The place, NWES, is split down the middle, just like a certain US of A our joint user lives in up in the so called Real World. Real Life.”
“I know,” opines Hucka Doobie. “So cliche.”
Baker blows out some air, then continues. “Anti-gay, anti-immigrants, anti-whatever. Negative forces, Hucka Doobie. Save the unborn fetuses who are less than 3 months old but kill off all the old people in the world. It’s backwards. It’s *madness*.”
“Yes,” agrees Hucka Doobie, then glances at the shrine again. “Madness.”
He was playing a white piano in Black Dragon, waiting for Axis. Well he was *pecking* at the thing, since Baker Bloch is quite the non-musician. “I can’t even play John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ on this,” Baker lamented aloud, non-talented hands finally lifted from the keyboards. “Better get over to Spunky’s”.
“Have we met before?” Baker Bloch asks after sitting down with Axis at Spunky’s. The wine had just arrived. Merlot for both.
“Sure we have, Baker Bloch. You played the piano for me.”
Baker Bloch stared at him, knowing he was confusing him with someone else. But he was too embarrased to talk about his lack of musical abilities right now, especially after the white piano fiasco. He *dreams* he can play the piano quite well. Why not in reality? he’s asked himself more than once. Not even “Imagine”.
“Y-you must be confusing me with someone else,” he offered after a pause. *Pitch* can play the piano. Has Axis met Pitch?
“As you wish,” the black clad man with the red crossed chess returned, allowing the matter to drop. In his reality, black moves first in chest. Baker has indeed met Axis (novel 15; toward the end) but doesn’t recall. What he *did* note here is that their voices are strangely synchronized — same tone, same mannerisms. He also doesn’t recall that Axis is already married in that reality. To Teebestia, the open heart woman from, let’s see, novel 5 I believe. Yes, the one set almost exclusively in Olde Lapara Towne, also mentioned recently in this here blog, um, this here photo-novel (16).
“Well anyway, congrats on the marriage old chap!” Baker raises his glass, and Axis reciprocates. They don’t clink because that could end the dream. “Good that we’ve met and discussed things. I’ve grown quite fond of Wheeler down through the years now. We had a rocky start, being competitors for the ownership of Collagesity originally, but now we’ve learned to share. Part for me, see, and part for her. And, I suppose, now part for you as her partner. Will you be living in Collagesity? Maybe at the Julia House? My friend Karoz Blogger will not be returning it doesn’t seem. He was slated to live there.”
“That could happen,” Axis matched Baker, almost at mate. Black opening first makes all the difference. He can add the “N” at the end to finish.
Axis and Baker Bloch finished their wine at the same time. Axis was suddenly alone at the table. The meeting took place tomorrow, but it was today.
Alice Farrowheart, working hard on her “Little Book of Synchronicities” at the counter behind him, looked over, sensing that something had happened.
She then shook it off and returned her gaze to this.
Aah, I’ve been looking for you 3rd sim rental map. More green than black again — not surprising. And the coffee shop directly underneath new rentals at the Foxxy Apartments. Just a name. Not necessarily foxes there, ha. This will be my coffee shop from now on.
My Mission for tonight. Thank you Braynard!
I’ve seen the central figure before, Axis thinks after flipping over all the cards. Red Umbrella. All turning their back on me.
Axis wonders if he could turn his own hand into Heterocera. That would make him, as a whole, let’s see…
Axis hovers this hand over his heart, as if he could feel something beating in there once more.
Yes, here it is, he thinks later, returning to NWES for more of his fun. And *this* cave must be *my* cave. My new coffee shop, yes.
He worships Lu Ellen again before entering.
Henry consulted Axis about his tattoo.
“You don’t wanna mess with the palms, man.” Henry replied gruffly while shaking his head. “I have a twin brother who lost both of ’em that way. No what you want to do is stick with the *back* of the hands. Just happens I’m running a special on what’s called a henna design. Here, I’ll show you an example of a dude I fixed up last week with the same thing.”
But Axis so so wanted the full palmistry tattoo on the face of his hands so he’d always remember which lines were which. He’ll have to look elsewhere for that later. “I don’t need to see a picture. Just do it.”
“Alright, suit yourself.” Henry rolled his stool over to the chair and began to prepare his instruments.
Afterwards, Axis walked over to the new Rosehaven Yarn Shop that had opened up in Baumbeer’s old building just down the street.
Several items remained from before his tragic end, including the psychiatrist booth we’ve already seen during Baker Bloch and Hucka Doobie’s visit to same, changing out “The Doctor is IN” with “The Doctor is DEAD”. And then his static filled tv with old chair positioned in front of it is still present. “A Princess sits here,” Axis coos while staring down. “Indeed she does.”
Time to go see what Lu Ellen is up to over in her secret beach house.
“Why am I here, Axis? I can’t stand it any more!”
“Keep it down, dearest. You know why you’re here.”
“I know I know. The *Hiding*.”
“Did your skin change over today? How long this time if so?”
“Always with the percentages. *Yes*, it changed over.” She looked up from her backwards position, straining to see his face above her knees. “Sit down in the sand beside me. Hard to talk with you this way.”
Axis didn’t like sand. Actress Alice Frame knew this. And she’d purposefully rezzed only one chair on the tiny beach here. Fate, she thought. I stare straight out, but no one can look in. She lowered her head back toward the sand. Backwards she remained.
“I got a letter from Jack Toadswallow today.”
“Um, Jack who?” He was still standing. His legs were getting weary, his neck beginning to hurt. He couldn’t pull her off this peninsula effectively isolated from the rest of prying NWES. And he couldn’t stay.
“You know. *Ingo*.”
“Oh, Jack Toadswallow, right.” Axis had forgotten the name of the actor playing Alice Frame’s brother in the current production. And her real life lover, at least until the end of section 3. “How’s he doing?” Axis had taken pictures of the Rosehaven Yarn Shop but sensed he wouldn’t be sharing these with Alice Frame today. The princess has forgotten who she is.
Alice F. Too
“Good evening, Ms. Tanner.”
“Good evening, er, Jack. Have a good night. See you tomorrow.”
“Yes, Ms. Tanner.”
She’s always in that hammock, Percy. In her underwear; maybe, sometimes, without any clothes atall. Not that I’m perving.”
“Sure you are,” Jodie Tanner’s sometimes lover joked. “You sit here after work is over, *pretending* you’re doing more work and you’re just perving. Sitting here spying on that poor, pitiful woman over there. Percy peers over as well from her somewhat less advantageous position in the booth. “Never moves, huh?”
“No. Not even to go to the bathroom. Not even to change clothes. I suppose she does both remotely.”
“It’s just a bot,” concluded Percy. “Marwood’s full of ’em. Have you seen the mime?”
“No, this is different,” countered Jodie Tanner.
“I don’t *think* so,” offers up a convinced Percy, matching her tone.
“Alice Farrowheart’s in the same apartment building. The Monarch Too.”
“Yeah? Your point?”
“I mentioned it to her the other day. When we were discussing the (Red Umbrella) collages — just catching up with all that (after my vacation), you know.”
“What’d she say?” Percy’s interest was perking up again.
“She didn’t say anything, which was odd. Alice F. likes to *talk*, you know. But she was strangely mute when I brought the woman up.”
“Alice F.? When did you start calling her that?”
“Oh it’s just we’ve been seeing each other so much lately. Farrowheart’s kind of a long word. So we agreed to shorten it. Alice F. she is now. When I’m off duty, of course. Alice Farrowheart, the full name, around other police people.”
Private detective Percy Pierce looked over again, trying to see more details. “Maybe — we should arrange to go see her.”
“Exactly what I was thinking.” But Percy was thinking of Alice F. and not the woman.
I look in a mirror and see myself as not quite me. Alice F. — Alice Farrowheart. Why the formalities? And Percy is right. We should talk to her together, public servant and private dick as one. We are a swell team, she realizes, standing back a bit and trying to adjust her hair the same way as in the mirror. It doesn’t quite work.
“You’ll have to forgive my lack of furniture and niceties here in my apartment, fellow women! I spend a lot of time in the South — Black Drake or Black Dragon to most. The Red Umbrella (gallery) is there, of course. And some other galleries and nice shops — the place is still growing! Very exciting times here in the town. I’m looking for a reasonable apartment down there. That’s a joke — they’re *all* pretty reasonable here in this NWES city. New WES City it was originally called, you know. Named for a large burg in the past down the coast a bit. That’s where Ingor…”
“Ms. Farrowheart,” pleaded private dick Percy Pierce, tired of the babbling. Enthusiastic to talk — yes, that’s a plus. But it must be guided stream-of-consciousness. “We need to get down to the bottom of it. We’ve mentioned that woman upstairs, the one who sits in the hammock all the time.”
“Oh, she doesn’t sit there *all* the time. She has a double!”
Jodie Tanner and Percy Pierce exchange glances. “W-what do you mean: a double?” offers Tanner, daring to jump in. She quickly amends the conversation. “Mind you this is *off* the record, Alice F.. Notice I called you Alice F. there again? That’s because we’re off duty. *I’m* off duty.” She shakes her head toward Percy, acknowledging the gaff. They’re becoming one and the same more each passing day. Sharing bodies, sharing fluids. Two hearts as one.
Alice F. winds up again. “Oh she has a *belt*. I looked it up; it’s called a Great Belt. That’s the actual name of the thing. Well, she uses that belt to teleport in and around all over the place, but the belt *projects* a double still sitting up there in that hammock. With hardly a stitch of clothes on,” Alice F. complains again, rather old fashioned in those ways.
“So…,” attempts Jodie Tanner. “Kind of like, um, Wonderwoman?”
“Ahem,” piped up Percy Pierce in clearance, more aligned with the cartoon world of superheroes. “I think you may be thinking more of Batman. Or maybe Batgirl, hmm.” She turned to Alice F. “Is that what you mean, though? Some kind of talisman with, er, superpowers?”
“*No*. It’s mainly used as a toy.”
“Toy?” Jodie and Percy both exclaim.
“I’ve seen her down in Black Drake or Blake Dragon with the thing on. She *doesn’t* just sit up there in that hammock in Marwood. This is more a North-South connection. But Black is where (the belt is most powerful); more closely aligned with what it *really* is.”
“Martial arts?” attempts Jodie again. Wrongly.
Well. If she’s going to be stuck out here on this peninsula isolated from the rest of NWES — turning her back on the yellow green blue red puzzle pieces that are sims, in essence — then’s she’s going to try to stay as jolly as possible. Celebrating Xmas to the hilt seemed to be the ticket. Axis help out. A lot. Most of the objects were his.
Then he added the final touch in the bedroom, the coup de grâce. They both looked down.
Alice Frame’s skin changed over. She remembered who she was, deep down.
She turns toward her partner, her lover. “Thank you, Axis. Thank you so much.”
“You’re welcome. Wife.” It was time to show her the yarn pictures.
… the handsome red-green prince in the picture on the wall turned into a grotesque. She was alone again. And lonely. She’d forgotten who she was. Alice Frame decided, then and there, to open up one and only one present to cheer herself up. Try to make herself jolly and happy and carefree once more. She liked that feeling! She didn’t like what she was feeling now. The Deep Down was lost inside a gaping Abyss. TILE had it right. There is no hole like despair.
She picked the one from Jack. Her lover now that she’d forgotten the entire truth. “Hmm,” she said aloud. “Looks like a belt.” The attached note said, “for when you start missing me.” He later defended the present, stating that he’d heard it was all the rage around Our Second Lyfe. She untied the ribbon, opened the box, and tried it on.
Disappointment. Just a dull, silver belt with no decoration or style to it atall. She’d forgotten to read the attached notecard telling her how to use it to transport people like her to a different place altogether. She tossed it aside in a corner, more melancholy as ever.
“She has received the belt, ma’am, and is testing it out in Marwood.”
“Good, good,” Mid-Hazel returned. “But get her to Black Drake as soon as possible.”
“10-4 on that, Eleanor.”
“Stop doing stuff like that,” she commanded. He never listened. One day Jack Toadswallow would pay for all those non-listenings. The Abyss remembers.
Alice Farrowheart was embarrassed she had to widen and deepen the belt so many times in the options mode. Must go on another diet soon! But she had it on, and she *wasn’t* going to enlarge it any more, despite some of her waist still drooping over the top in the front. So be it! She was what she was (at this point). Not a young woman any longer, although in my day… Alice F. thinks back here to winning Ms. Applewood in ’52. A good year for apples in general, she sighs while looking down her torso toward the belt. She can barely make out the edges. But… it’s on.
Now: to test it out. Think I’ll go to that bot bar on the north side of the sim so’s no one important can see me if things go wrong. Alice F. has studied Mystery Woman’s working of the same. Several options will not be used! Just the one that teleports you to a different place. Shocking, I know.
She imagines the bar very vividly in her mind. And: SHOCK.
She’s there! Initial test complete.
“Help Tronesisia. I’m stuck between the floor and ceiling!”
“Get down from there, Duncan,” she pleaded again. “You’re going to hurt one or both of your keyboard playing hands (!).”
Alice Farrowheart walked into the psychedelic records store looking for her husband of 40 years. Ignoring Duncan Avocado doing a one handed stand on a bicycle seat — she’d seen enough of those kind of circus acts this week over at the bot cafe — she spotted the small, grey alien sitting on the opposite side. Oh well, she thought. At least he’s upright. I’ll ask him instead.
“Excuse me, sir?”
“Oh, ahem, what’s that?” Ingo pretended to shake himself out of a daydream, but he knew full well where he was and what he was doing here.
“I’m looking for Fred. That’s my husband.” She came closer to him. “About yea high; wears a cardigan.”
“Nope,” Ingo exclaimed. “Just us freaks in here today. We *wish* more people would come in and buy stuff. That would allow us to get better instruments, do more gigs. You see, we’re a band.” He pointed around the room, ending with himself. “Her, and him over there, and then me. I’m the drummer. You may have heard of me. Ingor Ratts. I was pretty famous back in the days.”
“No, sorry. I don’t think I have.” But she was more trying to ignore the large red rat that had just emerged from behind the counter. It reminded her of…
“Baumbeer!” she exclaimed while waking up. “Baumbeer was killed by the drummer!” She must get to Black Drake asap. Now where is that confounded belt?
She brought her psychic granddaughter Toddles along with her. Donning the magical belt, she walked straight toward the green man removing his own head within the Red Umbrella. Beckoning…