Using his shield as a camouflaging device, David A.B. sometimes liked to mingle with the commoners, the ones far far below him on a scale of 1-10, he being a 10 or a 9.5 at the least. Nothing to see here, he says in his mind about himself while looking around. Certainly no *God*, your creator, amongst you. No, just an ordinary Joe waiting on his train. Just like the lot of you. Joe was a good name, he then thinks. I believe I’ll keep it for this part of my journey. He turns to the Ordinary reading the paper to his left. “Joe’s the name,” he spoke in as ungodly a tone as he could muster. “How about you?”
“Ted,” came the fainter answer. “Ted Johnson.”
“Just waiting on the train, hmph,” Joe states the obvious. Ted returns to his funnies. ‘Hatfield’ — so humorous.
“Oop, there ’tis!”
Gazing Eric Gordon beside Ted exclaimed, “It’s like it just appeared — out of *nowhere*.”
Ted looked up from his cartoons. “Wow, that was super fast today. Usually I sit here for over an hour.”
Not on my watch, David A.B. says inwardly.
Always down there looking for that extra “R”, Fanny Mae Palm Branch thought about her boyfriend/fiancee Robert Dee Generic, an Ordinary originating from Pasttown.
Ain’t gonna find it. This is *Reality*.
“And stop trying to perv on that pink girl!” she wanted to shout over as well.
Marsha “Pink” Krakow tries to decide what she wants to search for on the internet today at the nearby Wired and Wireless coffee shop.
Led Zeppelin or The Who is always a good start.
She finally turned away from the photos. “I know how you feel,” she spoke to acquaintance Marsha “Pink” Krakow, working on a friend. She called her Marsha instead of Pink for now. “This feeling of — someone watching you. Hoooverrring above you even.”
“Is that how it was with *you*?” Marsha spoke over, curious about the resonance with this strange girl who also frequented the Wired and Wireless upstairs bank of laptops. Usually searching for crime stories this girl was, though, not rock bands.
“Shhhhh. There he *is*” she whispered over as Tom Banks entered the store from below.
He admired his work before looking over and spotting Frankie.
“Hi!” he exclaimed to his star photography pupil. “And helllooo,” he said creepily to Pink. He immediately recognized another star.
She didn’t want to be a celebrity, at least like this.
The press followed her around like a pack of wolves, hounding her ’round every corner.
But that was far in the future. In the here and now of Storybrook (*not* Storybook), she was just a nobody, a local kid with a knack for smack — smacking around drums. People around her saw it as a hobbie not a profession. Sure Led Zeppelin, The Who made some money off gigs. But, looky, people would say, their drummers are both dead! You don’t wanna end up like them — do you?
She thought about giving up drums for the most part and taking up photography, like her new friend Frankie. Not *quite* close enough yet to earn a colorful nickname, but they’d been joking around lately it could be Beige. So it’s around. But what of SEAN “Green” Penn and Olive, the ones that had earned color so far? Completing his transformation, SEAN had moved into the green house over at the beginning of Arnold Lane, now covered up by sand and only known about through maps. Olive, I think, might run the local bookstore. Unless it’s Ms. Crumplebottom. We better go check…
Pink was asked to run the store while the owner went to get some lunch. Who could it be?
She’d started reading the red book that everyone in town was talking about, especially since the Corona-V beer became such a popular take-out order at the local bar. “6 feet, 6 feet!” everyone ordered about the distance between themselves and others, because no one wanted anyone else to know how much they’d been drinking. You could smell the Corona-V for 3, 4, 5 feet. But 6 seemed like a naturally agreed upon distance where the smell dissipated and everyone became the same again, subtract other obvious physical characteristics of a drunk. But that was the thing. You couldn’t *tell* just by looking at people if they’d been imbibing the toxic drink. “Oh Sam over there in the grocery store has been chugging them down,” Ms. Snippet, one of the town’s many gossips, might say. But really the only way that you could tell is by smelling their breath, if you didn’t see them down the brewskies personally.
Still waiting for the owner to show back up…
grays and browns
Still engrossed in the red book after she was relieved of her lunch duties, Pink ran right smack into the rump of Ms. Crumplebottom at the corner of two streets.
“Lordy child!” the elderly schoolteacher exclaimed, then crossed herself and ran home to take a 120 degree shower, then turned the other way and took another. “1 year to retirement,” she complained while sudsing her hair a second time. “And that girl is trying to put me in an early grave!”
But then while drying she remembered the Corona-V wasn’t catching, it was just a catchy drink super popular in town right now. No one could go to church, read the proper, starless black book, and had substituted red for black, like Marty’s most recent hair color. 1975. A good year for Mars, and Venus along with it. Stars in general. Crumplebottom just had a bleed through experience, as if from another dimension (which it was). But at least she was super clean for her date with Bazooka Ferguson tonight, father of the local sheriff Tank Ferguson, the one that would later arrest — well, we jump too far ahead again.
But I think we’ve eliminated Ms. Crumplebottom as the bookstore owner, since she seems to be a local teacher instead. Don’t think you can be two in one, or at least go on dates, since you’d be working all the time. I think it has to be Olive. Maybe another poll is in order, alternate realities at stake and such.
Meanwhile, within the brownstone apartment Pink just ran into Crumplebottom outside of, Bazooka Ferguson lamented the fact that he had to warm up to the school teacher with Olive. “It’s okay,” she comforted after the fact. “You didn’t go all the way through so it isn’t cheating.” She looked in his eyes for understanding. “Is it.”
“Now take off that old uniform and get ready for your date.”
“Officer Ferguson’s just here to ask you a couple of questions, pumpkin.”
“Da-ddy! Don’t call me that.” She indicated her pink outfit. “Wrong color!”
“Oh, this won’t take but a second of your time, me laddie,” interrupted Tank Ferguson, uncomfortable with talking about colored people. “We’re just here to discuss your visit to the old Perch place from the other day. We suspect — an unrendering of volume.”
The Man — playing Pink’s daddy in the current scene — gasped from his corner, but the gesture was a forgery. Fooled Tank, though, which was the important thing in the moment. “You *didn’t*,” he exclaimed to his little pink girl. “So… you saw the Big Inside,” he further rationalized. He turned to Officer Ferguson. “I *promise* Tank, that this will *never* happen again. I’ll — well I’ll never let her out of the house again!”
“Da-ddy,” Marsha “Pink” Krakow offered quieter now. “It was just a one time thing. We didn’t *go* inside… the, you know, Big Inside. We just looked at it, peered in just a bit. Peeked in, ahem.” Marsha “Pink” Krakow knew she had slipped up with the mention of a “peak”. Tank Ferguson, who majored in psychology before switching to criminal justice just before what would have been his senior year, caught the Fraudian slip. Pink’s face started turning beet red. Tank pivoted toward The Man. “I think we know what’s going on now.”
“We *do*?” he sputtered, but also knowing full well what was going on just beneath the surface slippage.
“I’m going to verify it with that SEAN child who lives down on Arnold Lane and then Olive Green, if she’s returned from the monastery.”
“You’ll never find her,” boldly responded Pink to the officer, in full defense mode now. “She’ll always be hiding just outside your grasp.”
“Oh I think I know where I can *find* her,” retorted Officer Tank Ferguson, smug look appearing on his face. He stared at The Man again. “Just so happens *I* have a daddy involved as well.”
“Bazooka?” shot back The Man, truly thinking the old geezer was dead in his grave. He’d been away too long.
(to be continued?)
… Pink had a frank (Frankie?) talk about the red book with her parents, so secret that I wasn’t involved (sorry). We must move on from Storybrook again…
“I’ve got to figure out where I *am* in this story, Inspector-Chef Petty. Am I in Storybrook? Or — here?” The answer was obvious. He was here. He draws back out of the media feed in his adopted house in Greater Urqhart.
The butler came to him from behind with an offer of tea, which would have been his 6th drink of the day to add to 2 iced espresso beverages, 2 hot coffees, and 1 other tea, a blend of caffeinated and decaffeinated Earl Grey, mix in some Orange and Spice for pizzazz. Just like the one being offered.
“No thank you, Alberta, not right now.” Then Barry spoke again to the butler over his shoulder. “Say, you’re from Corsica originally, aren’t you Alberta?”
“Yes sir. The western part, or, more correctly, the southwestern part. I originate from a place called Butler as well. I am a butler and my place of origin is Butler but it is all coincidence.” He spoke methodically, something like a robot but not quite. There was still warmth in his voice. And the overtone trill of an insect.
Wannabe famous novelist Barry X. Vampire knew there were no coincidences, at least not in His Second Lyfe, by experience. He began to query more. It was thus here that he learned of his alternate existence on the border between Golen Hill and Golen Bay, with the same butler, with the same media feed, with Inspector-Chef Petty still by his side reading “Floydadada” or the “Necronomicon” or whatever the current book rage was, red one be damned. He will *not* pick up the red one and read, no sir-rie. But then he did — just found the book in his hands all of a sudden. Inspector-Chef Petty begins to red. A red door appears behind him — her, a portal…
“It is known for its great belts,” continued the butler, as if nothing had happened, no movement or teleportation occurred. “Black Diamond style. The word Belt is incorporated into the word Butler, after all. Think about it sir. Think long and hard about it. I will leave the great belt with you to decide.
Decide *what*? Barry X. Vampire ruminated as the butler left the object on the table before retreating back downstairs somewhere. “*Somewhere*, he then realizes, seeing the portal for what it is. Amazon — Basin. *Comet.*
The door opens.
Bigfoot Art Happening revisited/recontextualized
Unholey Book (Red).
Catcher catching Ball below it (Greenilocks marble) during the meat of the event. Conclusion: It is Arkansas.
Later: Unholey Cave…
… and our Bigfoot protagonist Taum Sauk and his wife Mina bedding down within for the dark times ahead.
End of “Bigfoot Art Happening 2015”.
Much much *much* later (2020): He has miraculously emerged in Our Second Lyfe! On a circular island making up a D’Vine Club, with metal *golf* club also in hand and rope similarly wrapped around left forearm to remember his existence in Bigfoot by (formerly named Ironton, Iron, Middle Game, etc.).
And then the also circular but considerably smaller island at the center of the neighboring sim of Danshire he quickly “moved” to, complete with Small Kowloon House. Briefly, that is — was he killed there along with the derezzing of the shack by neighborhood watch fanatic Red Pepper? Fellow former Danshire resident Phyllis Phox might know. If she weren’t combined with anti-self June Bug in the current novel. Current.
Whether dead or alive or something else altogether, we know he still exists in the Twin Peaks Laboratory’s Red Room — a waiting receptacle for both the Black and White Lodges — as confirmed later by Marion Harding and crime pal Philip Strevor. But where is his wife Mina now? (“Where’s Mina? Where’s Mina?”)
Is this what Marion is really asking here? Too bad about Phyllis.
“North America — he’s starting to remember, Izzy. Better try to call Pink again.”
“My darling Pink. How is she these days… Olive?”
“I’m going to have to burn all these MapS, Jane. They’ll do us no good now.”
“Where we’re going,” she clarified.
the problem with 3 and 4
“You don’t understand,” pleaded Olive to SEAN “Green” Penn. “Beige — I mean, Frankie *can’t* join our ranks. We must remain three colors and three colors alone. The contracts–”
“I don’t want to hear another *word* about those f-cking contracts!” shouted SEAN over the drumming, on his 5th Corona-V of the night. “And lean back and stay 6 feet the f-ck away from me, ho.”
Olive leaned back, but pressed him on the ho part. “When did you start calling *women* that?”
“That’s what you *are*,” he replied, defiance in his voice and washing another french fry down with a swig of beer. “With, erm, that *policeman*. The older one, not the younger one. Jeep or something.”
She laid down all the cards on the table. “Listen, *SEAN*. I’m here to help.”
Pink was sitting too close to Olive but Olive didn’t mind. She knew it was all a ruse.
“Weelll? Whatdaya think? Pretty good tonight. I was feeling it.”
But SEAN “Green” Penn had other things on his mind. “Listen, erm, Pink. We have to leave this town. We gotta get away.” He glanced over at Olive, understanding the truth now. He didn’t want to look too long.
“Leave?” replied Marsha “Pink” Krakow. “But we just — just *got* here again. What about Beige, I mean, Frankie?”
“We’ll just have to take her along,” responded SEAN rapidly, sobering up real quick. “*And* the creepy photography teacher. We’ll just have to drag out the story elsewhere.”
“2 weeks,” reinforced Olive to her left. “That’s all we have.” She looked down at SEAN’s big feet tapping anxiously against his bar stool, as if they were on fire.
“It’s called ‘Fathers’, Hucka Doobie, a more interesting one from the Embarras series. And I think pertinent to the current story.”
“Current,” echoes Hucka Doobie beside Baker Bloch, visiting the just reinstalled Red Umbrella gallery in NWES as well.
“On one side, Hucka (he points to the right at a figure more in the distance propped up against a house): Homer, a famous father figure from Cartoonworld. And then the other…”
“Anderson,” spoke Hucka Doobie, looking left at another, larger figure walking down the road while stifling a yawn. “What the *heck* are you going to do when the 2 weeks are up? You’ll have to sleep at work!”
“I know you will,” Hucka Doobie said, finished with her joke. “You’ll be fine. The *characters* will be fine. Olive Green Pink. Phyllis Phox will finish her novel she’s already read and everything will be okay in the world again. The Corona-V brewskies will fade into the distance. People will set aside their individual realities to join together as one in churches across our fair (Abraham Lincoln) nation. The red book will also be put away in favor of starless black. No Red Star any more. But that’s Storybrook — which, like you know, you’ll be leaving in 2 weeks. What of the other places you need to go now, to complete the story of the elephant continent? So much more…”
“I know, Hucka Doobie. It’s as though I’ve barely scratched the surface.”
“You know the danger.”
“Yes, Hucka. I suppose I do.” He turns toward the collage again and away from his closest friend in virtual reality now. “So about ‘Fathers’…”
“We’re going to have to leave, Rocky. Like the Hendersons before us. Perch — his mansion has been empty for a while, maybe 3 months. We’ll have to take Dogg of course. The Mann loves that animal.”
“I see,” the anthropomorphic raccoon says from his laying stump.
“I don’t know what we’ll do about a dog park in the new place, the new town. I’m sure we won’t have anything like this.”
“No.” Then Rocky Racco, who’d been living in Storybrook 3 months himself and had no desire to leave atall, asked this question which had been on his mind for awhile. “Do you believe in sea monsters, Mrs. Mann?”
“Please. Call me Parasol. We’ve been talking together on this bench and stump for a while now, *Mr.* Racco. I call you Rocky, see. You call me Parasol.”
“*Parasol,” interjected Parasol Mann. “Just: Parasol. The light skinned one,” she added. “Not the dark one. Things are different here in Storybrook. You have to adapt to the time, to the place. A story in a brook. Current.”
“Right…” But he couldn’t say her first name by itself yet. He was overly formal like that.
An odor was in the air. The Dogg must have dumped a big one over there with The Mann, Parasol thinks, watching the end of it. Great Danes are like that. Then she remembered she hadn’t answered Rocky’s question from a while back. “Oh. To the sea monster thing: no.”
“Why not?” Rocky returned hurriedly, almost urgently. “Say, green ones. Wearing pink tutus with seaweed for hair. How about something like that?”
Not wanting to answer Rocky twice about the same subject she was firm about, The Mann approached her with The Dogg. “We’re all done.”
“I would hope,” Parasol answered, looking at the happy animal in front of her and still sniffing a bit.
“Did you have a good chat with your old pal Rocky while I was walking Dogg?” It was here that Parasol realized she hadn’t talked to Rocky about the most important thing. Her infidelity to The Mann. Her affair with Charlie Banana on those islands out in Southside Bay (Southside?). The breaking of her heart by same. Charlie Banana definitely had a way with yellow but red and blue were beyond his scope to comprehend, she’d learned. It was wrong.
But it would happen again. She got up to leave. “Goodbye Rocky. I’ll see you around.”
“Goodbye.” He still couldn’t do it, despite the circumstances.
“Ro rong,” Dogg said in parting, knowing this might be the last time he’d see his park buddy.
Well, I’ve explored the Xuxorr Plateau as David A.B. instructed me to. Now what?
Hold on. What’s this? Perhaps a village? A place to bed down for the night, perchance to shack up with a local lass, hehe? I sure miss Audrey. But she screwed me over with Marty and I can’t let that pass. She has deceived me, *killed* me even. No way I’m going back!
“I knew you’d come back you Jeffrie Phillips.”
“Just read me some more from that magic book,” he demanded, pissed off that his hips had overridden his head once more.
Audrey nimbly leaned way over and picked it up off the rug where she had thrown it earlier in their sudden passion for reconciliation. They knew it couldn’t be damaged. She deftly thumbed to page 56 where they had left off…
Barry? Come in, Barry.
She was just finishing up Movement 3 of the Platinum Prune suite of songs, popular in Corsica Prime these days. Her hands lift from the keyboard after an ending chord of complex expression.
“There. 3 of 5 done. Or is it 6? Jeffrie, be a dear and pull up the big fat map of the continent for all to see where we are presently.”
Listening Jeffrie on a nearby couch complied.
“*4* of 5,” exclaimed Audrey, looking beyond the facade of Our Second Life into the frame of it all. “Lordly I must have been on the wrong movement after all. We’re at Drane Hill!”
She peered remotely beyond the juxtaposed black and white statues outside toward the hill above the cabin they rented last night, all out in the air and exposed and without any attached Big Inside at all, unlike the story with Storybrook and its Kraken Hill. Marsha “Pink” Krakow and her family, kin and extended, should be arriving soon to breathe in the fresh air of a new location, feet grounded again.
And I suspect wannabe famous novelist Barry X. Vampire is around as well, given the red beam and all.
Certain Death was playing on the turntable below the “Big Open”, beckoning them forward, the white twin obscured. Blackness. The End. Starless.
Marsha “Pink” Krakow watched as the moving van gradually filled up with their possessions. “Drane Hill,” she said aloud, testing the name. A rather ugly one, she thought. Doesn’t roll off the tongue like Storybrook. Bad sign up front.
She’d looked it up. It was a mistake appellation. Drane *Lick* use to run through the area, and perhaps still does. That’s a stream — lick equals stream. But the small knob directly above the village wasn’t Drane Hill, at least originally. It was Pleasant Hill, a descriptive name. Somewhere along the line hill and stream had gotten mixed up. A confusion was created. But from where? she pondered as her father, The Man, waved her toward the now packed truck, poofy black hair queerly flickering on and off from her present perspective, underlying grey revealed in part.
“Time to leave, honey,” he said rather hoarsely, voice weary from commanding the movers all afternoon. “The ugly yellow living room couch your mother loves so much was the last item. Come on — get inside. We’re going for a drive.” He then beckoned The Dogg to jump in the back with rest of the furniture and boxes, now all locked down. Dogg perhaps strangely was reluctant to get up from the pavement. Another meaningful sign for Marsha “Pink” Krakow, if she was paying attention. Which she was.
She too could stand her ground and not allow the van to escape. She didn’t have speak down and say goodbye to the Big Inside, trading a closed hill for an open one and a known commodity for the unknown. There was still time to talk. She had an ace in the hole. She and SEAN had been watching her mother’s comings and goings for a while now.
“Daddy?” she said, not budging an inch. “Do — do you know that fellow Charlie Banana in town?”
“Bandana?” he queried back, getting hard of hearing with his advancing age.
“No — Ba*nan*a. Yellow. Um, like that ugly yellow couch you just loaded in the back.” And here comes the zinger…