on the border
We catch up with Barry X. Vampire in Urqhart, not far from Instabar on the Corsica continent atall. Like anyone who lives long enough, vampires obviously included, Barry has turned to novel writing to try to explain the inner life he sees mirrored in the outer life all around him. Recent killings in Instabar, actually, have planted the seeds for his next inspiration, centered on a *man* named Larch who was at the center of it all. In reading about the deaths in the local newspaper and then researching the guy, Barry X. quickly found out that the lone pick in his profile was the Loch Ness Inn in a Scottish Highland related sim, with the description simply reading, “Old Country.” Sounds like his kind of place. He teleports over…
… only to find lego people living in a stone cottage on a hill overlooking the world famous lock. The inn must have moved, Barry deduced wrongly. He decides to ask one of the composite creatures if they knew of a Mr. Larch. “*The* Larch,” came one of their squeaky voices, and then Barry told them of the murders, which they didn’t know about, this Winfield 5 and his husband-wife Winnie. They said they warned him not to go back and stay here in the Old Country and that one of their “type” would do him in eventually — they saw it in the tea leaves and the cards and several other divining methods down through the years now. “‘Who will do him in?'” Winfield 5 asked dramatically when recreating the scene, painting it in vivid, clown-like colors. “‘One of *you* lot,’ it always said back in its various forms,” he relayed. “So Winnie and I racked our brains and gnashed our teeth about this down through the years, wondering why we — one of us; *both* of us — would have any reason to kill our good and kind and trusted friend Mr. Larch. But: now we have our answer.”
“Yes,” quickly added Winnie by his side, obviously sad at the death of his friend but still greatly relieved to know what the scrying messages were about after all this time.
Barry X. turns to take in the view and think about lego people and creatures in general. A lego monster killed Larch and the rest of his neighborhood watch gang attending that meeting held at DC Universe, he ruminates while watching what he thought might be the Loch Ness monster itself float by the ruins of the castle below him but which turned out to only be a line of porpoises. The meaning to his mystery, he realized, may turn out to be just as elusive.
What was the name of that castle down there? He couldn’t recall right off. It hit too close to home.
He finds out the rather shocking news. “The story begins in Urqhart,” he scribbles on the blank page back at home base. “Or is it Urq-U-hart.” Classic opening lines, he thinks while staring down. He’s beginning his own “Moby Prick.” Success at last!
A preliminary name is “The Revolving Tire”, after this lone object in the yard next to his. It’s truly in Urqhart, even if he isn’t. But he must find a better writing desk to view the thing for inspiration. Can’t keep penning his Great American Novel at the kitchen table!
Cathy knocks on the door. Cathy Love Peace Hippie Child is a girl Barry met down at the local biker bar the first night in town. He needed her then, but now, since he’s started what he feels will be his groundbreaking novel, she may be more distraction than necessity.
Bed, she thinks while staring in and thinking of the first night as well. *Definitely* want more of that.
Barry rather reluctantly answers the door, figuring he can take her shopping with him for that desk.
The Tall Walk
Cy Twomile knew that when he crossed this bridge leading to where the great burg of Fisher Rigg use to rest there would be no going back and his secure, blanket-like place in the world would be lost forever. Better change his avatar appropriately before ascending into a new land.
“Civilian” life begins here.
he is a good egg
Not great, not so-so. Good. Better than most of us.
The Tall Walk is temporarily obscured.
He needs to rest for the night.
Dawn. March 8th, 2020. She wakes up in that bed again, Barry X.’s arms wrapped around her “tip jars”. Life is good. She remembers to set her watch ahead an hour. Fall back spring forward, she recites in her mind. Best to put the coffee on; surprise Barry X. with a fresh brew. That’s a woman’s duty: to rise before the man and get his day off to a good start. Not so-so, not even great perhaps. But good at the very least.
She reviewed events of the night before. Barry read her the first few pages of his new novel he’d written that day while she was at work, his GAN he called it. She was tired and probably didn’t appreciate it as much as she should. Thus another reason for the coffee, the breakfast. Let’s see, she thinks to herself while rummaging around his refrigerator purchased the day before that, along with a proper writing desk. No more writing his GAN on the kitchen table! he demanded. “All right, all right,” she tried to calm. “Don’t get your panties all in a wad.” It was an expression her mother use to use with her all the time, and now she throws it around indiscriminately to men and women alike. “Don’t get your panties all in a wad,” she said to Gadfly the cook that day when he demanded she pick his dishes up from the counter faster so the customers wouldn’t be served cold food. “Don’t get your panties in a wad!” she shouted at Horace the dog out back, incessantly barking during her only break of the day, a 15 minuter which turned into a 1/2 hour one when she then stepped into one of his special presents beside the door. “Arrrrgh!” she screamed. “ARRRGH!” she exclaimed even louder, then took off the soiled, high heel shoe and wobblingly made her way down the bank to the stream below, washing and washing it until the present was removed and the shiny black gloss of the void revealed again. Putting it back on at the top, she fumingly pointed at Horace all the way to the door, deftly avoiding what remained of the present. “Tumblestone!” she called to the busboy when re-entering the bar. “Clean up outside the back door. And *watch* where you step!” She then glared at Gadfly, at Jake the bartender, daring them to say anything about her break running over. They’d seen her in these moods before. Best to not have a dumpster fire again. Or worse.
She removes eggs from the refrigerator and looks around for a frying pan.
(to be continued?)
Aptly named Arthur Kill, just off some fresh kills in Staten Island, decided to hop the ferry over to virtual reality and Lindenwold to see if old boss Marty had any new assignments.
“Sorry everything is a little up in the air at this moment, Arthur,” he apologized about the levitating objects in the yard.
“You moving?” Arthur gruffed.
Arthur Kill stands up, preparing to teleport back to New York City. He doesn’t like to kill time unnecessarily, unlike most things. “Let me know if you do,” he declared without emotion.
“Wait.” Marty was glad of the rare appearance of his former chief assassin and decided to cook up something on the spot. “There’s a, er, *Mouse*. At the end of a Dead End Street. Big Black Smoke. That’s all I got.” Mouse was code for Rat.
Marty looked out at the landscape here, as he had been doing when Arthur abruptly showed up out of thin air. Urqhart Hill, he thought, staring straight ahead. That girl at the top. She’s been there for hours. He can’t stop looking at her. What’s she doing, what’s she up to? Smoking weed? Marty would like some weed. If she stays there very much longer, he’s going to assume she’s using drugs and just walk up to her and ask for some. Not the hard stuff (like before). Just weed this time. She looks the type, yes. A grass chick — sitting in the grass up there. Marty realizes he must answer Arthur Kill.
“Local — right.” Very much so.
He didn’t know where he was. The approaching, grey ghost didn’t help. “You killed me Arthur Kill,” she moaned. Oh — *her*, he thought while watching the spectre waver back and forth, then retreat again. The *freshest* one. This sometimes happens. He must be dreaming…
Big Black Smoke couldn’t resist. The door was open with no one home currently — he’d checked all the windows. The bed beckoned; he’d deal with the consequences later. That’s how the man known *locally* as Big Black Smoke met his end at the terminus of a Dead End Street in Urqhart. Or right next to it.
Hmmm, pondered Arthur Kill, readying for another. A black man like me. Oh well. Duty calls. He enters.
Later, while staring at the rotating tire outside that Arthur Kill buried Big Black Smoke under, a tiny rap at the door. It was Cathy Love Peace Hippie Child, longing for another bed down with new
love lust and wannabe novelist Barry X. Vampire, who would escape all this mess and slaughter as fate deemed it. Onward and upward into new peaks to the south west, he wisely decided earlier that day.
*POP* (another one)
Dawn was breaking in Arthur Kill’s dream, driving the ghosts away. But he was in the middle of novel 19, with no story there yet possible. Since this is sort of toward the middle of 18. Or a little beyond. Urqhart.
“That was a short one, Hucka Doobie,” spoke Baker Bloch while staring down at the freshly inserted pin on the Big Map.
“Not over yet,” advised the wise bee-ing just out of sight to the west and/or south.
“Don’t turn around Jeffrie. You’ll draw suspicion — eyes everywhere here in Fearzum.”
“I’m listening.” Jeffrie Phillips was patient that way. That’s why they paid him the big bucks.
TronAxis continued, leaning in a little closer. “There’s trouble in Urqhart, Jeffrie. The story there ended too soon and Baker Bloch has to fill out the rest. *Your* mission, if you so choose — and that’s why we’re paying you the big bucks (Jeffrie Phillips nods here) — is to find out who lives in that Gothic House on the edge of Centre Sink. Just a little over there in front of me. He stares toward the small, granite topped mountain in that direction, knowing the central sink lay not far beyond.
Jeffrie Phillips, from his angle, was looking toward a larger version of the same, intuiting that the answers they seek lie in that direction as well.
“I’ll get on it as soon as you pay for my breakfast,” Jeffrie requested, knowing he was well worth it. Later researchers found the tab to contain 3 eggs, toast and waffles, although they weren’t sure who ate what since it was all in one bill.
Jeffrie Phillips begins his latest assignment proper back in Instabar, the sim highlighted in section 3. Might as well be Sector R.
Perhaps the last dinner of the late, great Mr. and Mrs. Achilles T. Pippin — The Pippins, he considers, who of course include Mary with her red umbrella we suspiciously see little of, even though at least one character says she carries it around all the time. Better check on that, he thinks…
He finds the red wine stale but acceptable for an Australian. Better start looking around for that umbrella, he ruminates.
Hold on, he ponders. This seems unusual, hmm. Cyan… cyanide. Cy Twomile, one of the two most recent victims in this here photo-novel, even though he’s locally known as Big Black Smoke. Derogatory racial name? He better find a computer somewhere.
But what’s this? In the Peppins’ living room: red, blue, and then a yellow lemon on top. And cyan turns to red in inverted color mode — which he, like Aqua Dude before him, can switch on and off when needed, which he does here.
Yes, something about that coat hanger or whatever it was, he contemplates while sitting in the swing beside the 32 square meter house that caused all the messy Instabar trouble in the first place. Buster Damm, hrmph. Popping in and out of this reality at his convenience to cause harm and mischief, like a little, blood sucking gremlin or something. If only we could trace him back to his Pot-D origins.
He decides to check the “coat hanger’s” description remotely while enjoying his hot coffee the swing graciously provided for him, pretty good for Cambodian.
Ahh. *Cage* stand. Bird cage. But where’s the bird? Or *birds*, even?
He travels further back in time than ever to find out.
The gothic house near the lip of Centre Sink or whatever. He sighs and says aloud, “whatever,” then returns his attention to the crosses (knives) in the yard next to it, like little escaped, pixelated birds heckling his lack of knowledge about the whats, wherefores, whys. Like the death of Vainom Kug over in VHC City, who, he vows to his own grave, did not die in Vain (but instead in that city). Maybe he should consult with Vain and Artery Boy on the subject. He scratches his chin again. He’s wearing a cleft out on it with all the pondering, considering, ruminating he’s done lately. Hmm, sir. Hmmm again. Hmmm.
Corsica is one.
Jeffrie Phillips is in Lexicolo tonight, following up more leads. The Larch rode this train, he meditates upon. Before he became The Man. Car no. 1 here, then no. 3 in back. Plane 003 (wall) to the side. We must think of planes, trains and automobiles but also birds, planes… Jeffrie harks back to perhaps The Man/The Larch’s most prominent nemesis, the arch one: Super Duper Guy. Faster than a speeding bullet he was claimed to be. More powerful than a *loco*motive. Take ex and i out of lexicolo and there you are (nuts?). Hmmm. There’s that cleft rubbing again — deeper and deeper. Yes this assignment, obviously a blue rose one (recall the blue rose in killer Arthur Kill’s lapel), may turn him bonkers. Lip trilling finger land.
Oops. He’s off! Let’s see where this loco ride takes him.
He spots the elephants, large and small, rolling away but can’t get a good pic of them as the train rounds a bend. These will have to do for now.
There they are!
back in Urq…
I was going to create a post about figures found near Urqhart, specifically two elephants in opposite corners of a house. But news just broke in Urqhart itself. Urqhart Hill, featured in the Marty-Arthur Kill interaction post from a few nights back, has been bought and paganized! The new owner: a Rhiannon, obviously a nod to Stevie Nick’s song “Rhiannon” in some form, and the Welsh legend behind it of the goddess who fell in love with a mortal and paid the price. Also I’ll remind readers that Barry X. Vampire’s subsequently murdered girlfriend Cathy Love Peace Hippie Child sat her ass on this very hill’s grass as Marty observed her from his house just below. The house still stands despite everything being a bit up in the air at the time. And that observation tower has been added. Let’s zoom in on the modified hill. A memorial? We go deeper…
And here are those elephants in the neighboring Annelie sim just to finish:
Corsica (continent) is an elephant. More soon!
good day sunshine
“We *dance* the celebration of life, of victory,” interpreting Audrey [delete last name] declared to lover and fellow dancer Jeffrie Phillips spinning around the same, fire centered circle. “Urqhart has, amazingly, been *fulfilled*. The past can be revealed. Behold!”
Within the fire, a vision appeared about the valley below to Jeffrie. A sim sized lake — or pond — or *both*, filling up that central sink we’ve been mentioning lately, straddling the sims of Urqhart here, then Ensleigh to the west then Malhaven to its north and finally Yia Yuto to complete the (fire centered) circle. Indian Lake, he realized. But also Sox Pond. 1919, the year Big Black Smoke descended upon it and wrought its damage. An important — very important — link between Virtual and Reality in this here blog. Pennsylvania (state) and Corsica Prime (continent). Corsica is an elephant.
“Will Marty be joining us?” queried Jeffrie Phillips, building up quite a sweat trying to keep pace with jumping, jiggling Audrey.
Marty joined them. “I’m happy too!” he proclaimed, starting to dance up a storm with the others. Employee Arthur Kill then appeared behind him, just glaring around. Get this love peace crazy shit out of here, he wanted to say, but bit his tongue because of a paycheck coming up. A big one. Big Black Smoke one.
They danced until the sun came up and then a little more.
“I saw it,” he reaffirmed afterwards, sitting on Urqhart Hill looking over the valley, water filled in the dancing fire vision. “I guess the dam would have had to been at about Marty’s house here, then run across the gap connecting Urqhart Hill with, well, whatever that opposite peak’s name is over there.” He looks toward it as if Marty’s house was transparent. And perhaps it was in the moment, just in that instant.
Now let’s draw back and look at the whole thing, at about the same angle Jeffrie saw it in his fire vision.
Behold: the Indian Lake (Sox Pond) basin. 1919. The year fire met water and neither won.
Better get down to the bar and meet the others, he ruminated/thought/pondered.
“You’ve become part of the machine again, Axis.”
“I know, honey,” Axis wrongly termed the already committed and married Tronesisia. She took it in stride, knowing the bug would have its fun.
Jeffrie Phillips had come to the end of the book. Arthur Kill eyed him keenly from the piano which he had no ability to play. His music was death. Death to Big Black Smoke, death to Cathy Love Peace Hippie Child, death to perhaps Jeffrie Phillips too. If he so chooses. The eyeing continues.
“Well… what did you think?” asks Marty from a nearby stool about the tome detailing the history of the bar and Urqhart in general. Spanking new girlfriend Linda Halsey, fresh from a broken relationship down in Adgatetown on the lower coast, was by his side,
holding his arm even preoccupied with her own thoughts at the moment. I wonder how David Newton Jasper is doing, alone with his Chalcedony and other progressive math rock albums? Fine, she then thinks, imagining him playing air guitar again. How many times? She had to leave (like all the others), looks be damned.
Jeffrie Phillips decides to answer Marty since Linda’s internal monologue seemed to be over. “It was… interesting.”
“Do you understand now why we have to eliminate ‘Love Peace’, eliminate the smoke screen that was the Summer of Love, ’66 or ’67 take your pick? There is no Love. There is no Peace. This must be *revealed*.”
Arthur Kill nods agreeably from the dormant piano. This is why he sticks with Marty. Through thick and thin, the cynicism always shines through. It attracts him like a dim moth to bright light. I think of the bug again here…
Jeffrie stares out the dappled window beyond the bikes in the parking lot into the heart of the Indian Lake/Sox Pond basin. Started right here in this bar, eh? 1919 huh — double 19’s. Scandal. Black. Indian… red. White.
Phillips rezzes a local, vanilla style paper without any red atall to take his mind off the quandary, which gives Arthur Kill his cue (*pop*!). Our story must continue elsewhere.