But, across the *road*…
… the sim of Rhodenwald certainly still is, thank God.
“The South was wrong, you know. Worshiping 2 dimensional cartoon people like Hatfield over 3 dimensional history and facts, no matter how dusty and boring.”
Bettie stopped swinging and looked over at still swinging Nancy, imagining a horn growing out the far side of her head for some reason. Then she attempted to synchronize with her again and soon they were side-by-side.
Bettie later brought the subject up to husband Buster, turning tiny herself in the meantime.
“I’m more focused on the sinks and Lemon vs. Lime.”
“Nancy says that’s related,” spoke Bettie across from him.
Buster sits up while looking in the distance. “Hold on. I think I see Duncan.”
But it was another Black Man. Duncan had been replaced.
“Tell us about yourself — Elvis wasn’t it?”
“Black,” added Elvis, because he was. “Well, I liked books, no matter how dusty and boring. I’m a learned man. I enjoy truths over falsehoods. I don’t enjoy singing and dancing and womanizing as much as my white counterpart.” He turned the page, because he was reading and speaking at the same time. The word “white” had just been encountered. “That’s about all for now,” he said plainly.
Buster looked over at Bettie and raised his eyebrows. She knew what he was thinking and visa versa. This is Duncan again, playing some sort of trick on them. Or someone *through* Duncan playing a trick. But just because this was another black man…
Elvis Black changed. Duncan A. indeed.
“Do you know who I am yet?”
All Hail the Pumpkin King?
Center. 128/128: Rhodenwald. Roads Rhoads Rhodes. LIVES (2nd and 1st). Black Man… Men. Central Pumpkin.
“Pipersville,” Hucka Doobie chipped in.
“Pipersville,” Baker Bloch reinforced from the corner.
TO BE CONTINUED…
The New Truth
Cathy A., natural mate to Marcus Fox Smartville and also a DJ like Grey Scale Kimball, had long dug Elvis White but didn’t know about Elvis Black until he showed up at one of her pretend gigs in Kensington’s Serenityville day before Wednesday. Always with the primmy rose she was, thus couldn’t spin the other record, the dark side this time. Like the South — but they were *barely* in the North now. North side of the middle that is (Hills of Bill/Neutral Zone). But, perhaps: close enough.
Elvis Black, who of course is our Duncan Avocado in disguise once more, just sat on the wooden bench on the far side of the lawn, letting his presence be known. He didn’t want to seem threatening at all, just seen. Here was a keeper of the portal, he thought from within. Like Marcus before her. Maybe they’re even one and the same, or at least soulmates. I think with the common rose it’s obvious. Is it the *same* rose?
Day after Thursday he stands before Cathy, turning Grey in the process. Exactly east from this spot on the day between Sunday and Tuesday of the previous week, Gabby Truth saw it coming.
“You have lost the West but gained the East,” he spoke, seeing visions in his scrying ball once again. “But, at the same time, you have lost the South, but gained — yes — the North.” He draws back his white, pancaked face from the glow. “Interesting.” He looked over at Elvis Black — black Elvis. “All the 4 directions at once, blabber de blah…”
But they weren’t “all at once,” as Gabby proclaimed. He had himself lost separation of time in his chatty mannerisms. Elvis’ — Duncan’s — losses were 2, the latter nested inside the former. This was not seen today, this between day.
Duncan becomes fully Grey on a day of the week further down from Friday. “I have lost the South but gained the North,” he said in DJ character, staring at the 2 records, spun and un-spun.
Gabby Truth finally remembers to turn off the light in his crystal ball.
not far enough
“So tell me about this chicken outside, The Mann. I thought this place was the North already. Why the big, Southern mascot, then?”
“Do you like this song? The *black* Elvis, not the white one. Listen to that smooth, jazz-cat voice, eh?”
“Now, now. You’re switching subjects on me again, white man. But — then again, I guess if you’re playing the black Elvis on the jukebox then this has to be the North.”
“Well,” and The Mann turned around to look at the chicken, “we have interlopers here still. *Close* to the South here. But when you reached this truck stop you could feel safe and breathe freely once more. Just a sim down on Route 8: a different story potentially. No trust there yet.”
“Where did you get your car?” I asked, looking outside myself but in a different direction.
“Bought it from some dude who hailed from Pipersville. Heard of it? Sweet deal. Only 60,000 lindens — *no* shipping.”
But then the man in front of me changed. I was speaking to Keith B. again. Or was it Kevin A.? Of the Kevin Orchardsity trio. Time and Space and *Options* were still unstable here.
And who was I?
Better get further North. Totally away from the Chicken People.
It’s going to be tough finding Blue Feather Douglas in the North without falling over the edge. 128/128 here again: right on the edge. I must use caution.
This central island (across the bridge) may hold answers.
So pretty here. Some thread of the storyline must be found.
Tempted to stay on this island forever, but must return to the beginning.
Think of the Trojan-Durexian War again. The last thing I want to do. But I also cannot cross that bridge again. Ever.
“So how did you find her?” queries Trojan-Durexian war vet Sam Bee, back from the dead.
“Accident,” answers fellow vet Duncan Avocado. “About like everything here. That matters.” They both watch her hover around some more.
“Carol?” calls Sam Bee toward it after the wait. He looks at Duncan. “Could it be…?”
“I think it has to be. A cemetery with one ghost and no headstones. This is the town.”
“Better follow her, then.”
“Well. You are the *Pumpkin King*, after all.”
Duncan always hated that war derived name. To death.
The ghost disappeared on this parcel. They stopped. “This must be the place she wanted us to visit,” spoke Duncan A. “Another empty cemetery?”
Red stop sign; red rent overdue box, they noted. Then something else red more in the distance…
… but on the same parcel and in line with the other two.
66 sign, which probably can be expanded to 66.6. Owned by the Red Devil himself.
numbers and letters
“Congratulations on being the 666th character of the Collagesity novels, Cathy A.(!). Sorry about the Satan part on the icing. Had to use what was at hand, see.”
“Thank you. I wanted to say, ‘do you like my b.’s,’ but I don’t have any to show.”
“We’ll work on it.” Baker Bloch was thinking they definitely weren’t going to work on that.
“Better get back to Gregson or whatever. Am I in that (town)?”
“We’ll work on that too.” Baker was thinking (her presence there) was a stronger possibility. In fact…
“Do you think I’m beautiful, Marcus?”
“Um, sure you are, *Dharma*,” actor Marcus Fox Smartville answers while staring at himself and wondering basically the same thing, except switch “beautiful” with “handsome.”
“Oh right. Dharma,” she tests. “I like it. Better than Cathy.”
“And I’m Greg,” Marcus added, thinking of how much pancake to apply now. “Like the town.”
“Hmm. Hehe. How does — *prrr* — how does *that* work?” She keeps spinning and spinning in front of the full length mirror with her rose, looking at every angle.
“Baker Bloch said he’s just winging it again. But, don’t you think… *Beautiful*…” He looks over.
Dharma twirls in place and faces him as well. “Yes, *Handsome*, hehe.”
“Haha.” Greg completes his thought, character fully in place now. “Pencil guy,” he states simply.
They exchange some more laughs, picturing the situation.
“Ooo. I *love* it,” actress Cathy A. coos. “So you’re Gabby Truth as well. Splendid!”
“Thanks. But let’s see what we see inside my crystal ball. Here. Let me turn it on first.”
“Ahhh. The *Moon*. Didn’t recognize it in the dark.”
“The New Moon is a false Moon,” Gabby Truth (Greg) states cryptically while beginning to stare deep into its glowing, cratered surface.
“Interesting. We will remain Marcus Fox Smartville and Cathy A. instead of Greg and Dharma. Pencil Man wishes it that way and says we already have a Greg (with two “g”‘s) and also Gregg (with three “g”‘s) in the production. *His* production, because Phil has yielded to a stronger, *living* entity now.”
But Marcus Fox Smartville currently playing the role of Gabby Hayes Truth doesn’t answer Cathy A. and instead begins speaking of Gregson or whatever name the small Northern town will ultimately annex. “The 66(6) sign was just that — a sign. Owner: the Red Devil indeed. Here’s a quote I’m seeing about the him… or her: ‘Please allow me to introduce myself, I’m a man of wealth — and taste. I’ve been around for a long, long year….'”
“‘Long, long year?” Cathy A. quotes, snapping Gabby out of his trance. “What does that mean?”
“I don’t know. Now let me *concentrate* again — don’t interrupt unless absolutely necessary.” Gabby (Marcus) stares into the lighted Moon again. After a moment: “Devil… yes, I’m seeing it again. An establishment was there (on that parcel). Southern, not Northern, although within the North.” He pulls back, still staring into space. “Red Devil was a Northerner.”
“We *all* know that,” replies Cathy A., new memories suddenly snapping into place via The Magic. “It was a hidden fact, but now the townspeople want to embrace this noble past. It’s in all the local papers, duh.”
“It is?” Marcus behind Gabby then realized this was truth. New memories had snapped in for him as well. “Ahh, yes. His *establishment* there. Southern — but a disguise.” He had no need for the Moon now. Scrying information had become real information for all to see and remember.
(to be continued?)
wheres and whyfors
It was a busier night at the Gregson Motel in Dharmaraksa. The well established establishment was about to get 2/3rds full. Brothers Jer Left Horn and Benny Right Horn were the first to arrive, coming from Horns of Hatton by Royal (Magic) Bus. They were followed quickly by Marcus Fox Smartville and new gal pal Cathy A., with last name to be determined. The vehicle this time? None other than Little Jimmy, the complete bastard of a car also recently owned by Keith B., Kevin A., and perhaps some others I’m not recalling right this instant. $70,000 lindens was the price this time. The bastardliness just keeps on building upon itself like some kind of warped lego concoction.
“You allow chickens, I’m assuming,” said Jer Left Horn to the hotel receptionist, unseen to his left here. “She’s house trained.” Bethulia was current playing hide and seek with Willard (receptionist) from behind his computer monitor, but he didn’t find this cute at all. Blame Southerners, he instead thought swearingly. I guess they’ll start coming in droves to this place after it’s all said and done.
Marcus and Cathy picked up whispered words from the horned brothers like, “Red Devil”, “father”, and “honor”. But there was no need for secrecy. History had shifted in and then turned out upon itself, like some kind of warped twister game. All was there to expose thanks to scrying, reality flipping black holes. Marcus recalls something about a jug, or, better, like a glove turned inside out, true nature revealed. Both left and right at once — in a warped way again. Red Devil.
“Alright that was GREAT guys! FanTAStic! That’s a WRAP for today! Good WORK!”
Blue Feather is close, that’s for sure.
“I think that’s the worst part of leaving the South for me, Jer my bro.” He stares at Bogart and Bergman on the screen. “No colored TV.”
“I hear ya.”
“I *love* black and white TV,” Cathy A. squeals downstairs at basically the same instant in time. “Reminds me of my childhood in…” She tails off here.
“In where, pumpkin spice? You mean…?”
Marcus Fox Smartville studies her sad face, so filled with joy just a moment before. Then he notices the rose.
Not the same hand, not the same color. Just with the insinuation of Crabwoo everything had changed.
“I’m remembering things,” she said.
“Anorexia?” he responds just a minute later. “What kind of name is *that*?”
“She goes by Annie.”
“‘666 Satan’, it’s called, Cathy A. One of my team researchers Scotty found it on a search for Dharmaraksa images, Google style — almost gave up for the night then checked one more time and found this. And, get this, turns out the main character of the series is named *Ruby*. *You’re* the 666th character of these Collagesity novels. Red Devil was here in this town as late as last week with his unknown establishment of Southern bias. Left a *sign* there: 66, which translates into the same (666).
“And I can *talk* to you without those blasted *hearing aids.* Everything points to you being Ruby yourself. Well, not *that* Ruby necessarily but *our* Ruby, the one that blew up *our* New Island at the age of exactly 15 1/2. Now keep that in mind when I read some notes Scotty sent me along with the (‘666 Satan’ texture).” Eraserhead Man pulls out a small notebook from his pocket. “Let’s see. Okay, this is from a combination of several sources. Alright: ‘Set in the near future, it tells the story of a teenage girl named Ruby Crescent who wants to become a treasure hunter.’ And then he goes on, um, ‘(She’s) a teenage girl of *15*’ — *our* Ruby’s 15 and a 1/2. Can’t get any more 15 than that.” Eraserhead Man flips a couple of pages in his notebook, then: “So there’s mention of a 4 year *timeskip*, just like New Island went though. Again: *our* New Island, not the one out in the middle of the Indian Ocean. This is Our Second Lyfe we’re talking about here. But — this is important too — *that* Ruby, the ‘666 Satan’ one, aged. Turned all voluptuous during those years. *Our* Ruby never changed. She remains, well,” and here Eraserhead Man cups his yellow cartoon hands underneath his breast region. “No real *b’s*. Apples in Preston Weston speak.”
“Hey, thanks a lot. I’ve got b’s.”
“Well I know you do, sweetie. But you’re naturally…”
“Petite,” Cathy A. finishes for Eraserhead Man. “Dainty? *Stunted*?”
Fast forward to 8 months later…
“Bogart and Bergman again? Aww, Ruby Dharmaraksa. What are we doing here in this sim?”
“*You agreed to the situation as well,” she snapped back.
“Oh yeah, what — what are you going to do? Throw another *pot* at my head. The last one didn’t draw enough blood?”
“Ruby D. begins to cry. Marcus Fox Smartville caves and calms down. Little footsteps could be heard running around upstairs, directly above where they were sitting. “You better, *sniff*, go check on them again. If (she wipes her face with her hand)… you don’t mind. I don’t want them to see me this way, all red eyed and runny nosed.”
“Okay, sure. Just don’t get this way.”
“It didn’t, *sniff*, use to be like this.”
“I know. Things change.” He reaches over and pats her hand now. “Circumstances change. We have so much more responsibility now. The roses aren’t the only thing we have to take care of these days.” Marcus Fox Smartville thought back to the day when her rose changed. They weren’t the perfect match any longer. Ahh, the halcyon days. The XOXO times. When is there time for that now? Hardly ever.
“How are they doing, Gus?”
“Oh, you know. Little demons as usual.”
“2 hours until lunch. Just try to keep them *slightly* under control till then. As long as they don’t burn down the house again, or set the neighbor’s on fire.”
“Again,” Gus the caretaker tacked on. He looked over at Marcus with this. They couldn’t help share a mischievous smile; both loved these little devils. More than Ruby D. More than the neighbors, obviously. More than, well, the town as a whole. But everyone knew they had to put up with them in the meantime. Jer Left Horn and his brother Benny Right Horn were scouting for a place to put them and selected Gregson, according to their father’s wishes. His *spawn*.
section’s end too
“Who will sit here in this chair, Eraserhead Man. Mr. Producer, teehee. The Queen?”
“Yes, Ruby D. The Heart Queen. Coming all the way from Horns of Hatton to visit this God forsaken *Yankee*town. Not the far, far North, but North enough. Chickens frowned upon here, etc.”
“Then what? *prrr*.”
“The South takes over. Like yin into yang. The balls revolve, like the Moon. Dark into light (EM positions his glowing yellow hands as if holding a ball), and light into dark (EM switches the hands’ position with each other while still holding the ‘ball’).”
“And the, ahem, little devils are waiting for this. Red Devil’s spawn. These are, er, Benny and Jer’s *brothers*, then?”
“There’s a couple of sisters involved as well. But: yes.” He peers over at Ruby D. A *different* Ruby, yes. More *ditzy* than the rest. But still Ruby. He can feel her essence. It calmed him. He could *hear*. He could think better as well. Yes, he could still *marry* this girl standing beside him. “And it should happen the day before the last Tuesday after the first Saturday of a month. Pick a month — any will do.”
“August,” emitted Ruby D. automatically.
“August it is.”