“I still don’t know why you did it, *Pink*.”
“Well, *Beige* — welcome to the besties club by the way –”
Frankie “Beige” McCracken tittered here. Then, while looking out the side of her eye, “Oh my God, oh my *God*.” Her hand remained in the same place all this time. “*Don’t* turn around.”
Muffled speaking outside. Tom Banks, photography and calligraphy teacher at the local jr. and sr. high schools, was talking to Mr. Fix It about a flat tire. “Ol’ lemon, hehe, broke down right down the street, Jake.”
“Jake,” Frankie whispered over while frozen in place. “I thought you said his name was Gene,” making Marsha “Pink” Krakow weakly shrug. They listened again.
“Well –” Jake was saying. “Let’s just go down and have a look. I’ll bring my tire iron and repair kit.” With this they went into the garage and then down the street.
“*Phew*.” Frankie “Beige” McCracken pretend wiped her brow while looking out the window. “That was a close one. I thought we were goners, what with your hot pink outfit you always sport. You’d be a *horrible* spy with that on all the time.” She titters again; she had a cute way of doing this quite a lot, cute to some that is, and Marsha was a good sport about it. Always – a – sport. She dared to glance down the street herself, but the “lemon” was out of sight.
“Just on the other side here, Jake — I’ll hold that iron for you while you take a look.”
*WOP*. That was the end of Jake in town for a while. Drug into the wee woods behind the laundromat with a head gash the size of Viagra Falls. He’d surface several days later, but it wasn’t a pretty picture.
Whiteness. Purity. Sometimes associated with milk deliveries but most often not. These are the qualities you hear about storied Storybrook, legendary in upper east west central Corsica Prime. Until the day of May 2, 2020, when the Big Inside was finally exposed for what it was.
Rocky could almost see it from his laying spot in the dog park above. If only he were 12 feet taller maybe the story would be different, with brook becoming a book.
But no one saw the event. Marsha “Pink” Krakow and new bestie Frankie “Beige” McCracken (later changed to “Brown” for practical reasons) just figured that creepy photography (and calligraphy) teacher Tom Eugene Banks had given Jake “Mr. Fix It” Trimmer a ride home after work, never mind that he had 3 hours left on his shift. The girls weren’t thinking that deeply about it. They had other adventures in mind that day. A trip inside the Big, um, Inside.
Jane Olive Green had already gone and come away unimpressed. SEAN swore off the thing, calling both girls “ho’s” and leaving on a jet plane back to the New Orleans Blues Little Rock bar over near Ashenlave, 5 years in the past, 5 years in the past, 5 years in the past. That left only Frankie for Marsha to bum around with on her most important mission to date. To find the beating heart of this Inside, where everything comes from and everything will go. Beyond the white purity of the surface. This was black, this was deep. This was starless. And a red book shall lead them.
“What does it say about your mother, Pink?” prompts Frankie later on the lower level of the Wired and Wireless, their favorite hangout and where they met. But at the same time she couldn’t stop tittering about the joke Pink just told concerning 2 elephants with conjoined trunks. So funny.
“It says…” She thumbs to the correct page: “‘A banana in a boat is worth two in the bush.'”
“*Somewhere* something,” Marsha “Pink” Krakow reinforces to her remaining bestie in town.
Time to head down to Southside for another row row row your boat ride.
It all looked so tempting to Olive, but she must choose — or die. Because she has to eat to live. Eating: a strange concept to her. She’d lost so much but wanted to lose so much more. The Black Moon was the healthiest place to dine in town. It was here she found herself hanging out more and more. And away from Pink and SEAN (Green) (or Green (SEAN)) down at the Black Elephant. Policemen also frequent the establishment and that’s how she met and begin to, ahem, interact with Bazooka Ferguson, father of Tank Ferguson who took his slot as the Storybrook Chief of Police about, oh, 12 years back now I suppose. But Bazooka has a lot of fire left in him, as Olive had found out. They’d even talked of marriage, or at least Bazooka has. “You realize you’re still paying for me,” she offered to the confused old geezer at the time of the first “proposal”, part real and part in jest and uttered after at least 3 Corona-V tall stouts, maybe up to 5. “I’m technically still your, well, you know.” “Whore,” he finished, head sinking low to the money filled table. “I *need* that income,” she furthered for him, raking it in. “I can’t give–” “You’ll be with me,” he pleaded. “I’ll give you anything you want.”
And thus here she is, staring at food as it rotates rapidly past her. Like the sands of time. *She’s* not getting any younger either, which perhaps exacerbates the weight problem, or what she thinks is one. And yet she knows she appears as a 15 year old to Pink and perhaps Green as well — she must remember to ask him sometime. “What is my appearance to you?” she imagines in the moment. “A girl… or a woman? I’m 15 years old after all.” “I thought you were 13, ho,” she fantasizes him coming back at her in his witty, urban style way. Yes, I’ll ask Green how I appear to him, she finalizes.
The front door slides open. Bazooka: ready for another “date”. Will he propose again today? Can she keep saying no forever?
A funny (funnier) thought then crossed her mind. What if Green stopped calling me “ho” all the time. Would I stop actually being one as well? Another thing to ask Green.
(to be continued?)
There were also people in town who used magic toys to attempt to tap into the positive energy of the Big Inside as opposed to the negative. Appropriately they all lived up on what’s colloquially called the “Good Side” of town, a plateau area closer to God without any darkness atall. The “bad” side, where SEAN “Green” Penn grew up, is down at the beach. Arnold Lane, now covered up with sand due to time, was known as the “Colored Section”, red green blue and bleached yellow beach houses in a row, occupants all practicing some kind of voodoo as far as the rest of the town supposed. “Where are they at the regular church gatherings on Sundays and Wednesdays?” Gloria Snippet a town gossiper might whisper to Betty Freeze at the local grocer on Tuesday or Thursday of the next week after last. “I don’t know why that Marsha Krakow hangs out with any of them.” “She must be *one* of them — secretly somehow,” returned Mrs. Freeze, late for a prayer meeting because of all the hot speculation going on between the two.
Ironically sand is “1” in the 3 hole toy golf town making up most of Dr. Thimblehook’s yard up in Good Side. You open up an oyster there, you get a gold pearl. Then “3” is where the voodoo style idols are found, not down at the beach, in the sand. They got that part right anyway.
Dr. Thimblehook’s dream
“I’m just wondering if you can help a man out who ran out of gas.”
Just down the road.”
“*Another* one,” Hidi uttered while gazing forward at the sea monster in the distance, a double to the one in Storybrook Lake.
“This must be the correct photo to begin tonight’s session with.” She then decided on another form. Batty Casey?
Not quite yet. All grown up Katy Kidd, the Real McCoy now?
Soon. Then I remembered the arena, the battle. Grays vs. Browns. Slaughter but then Olive Branch extended. Fred and Ethel.
Looks like Batty Casey is the one.
But first a little fun.
A strange occurrence is happening in Port Mansfield, blocking Batty Casey from joining us tonight at the Mansfield Mansion.
We’ll have to go back to Mars instead, disguised as Marz this time.
Someone lives inside the purple Marz house with the hand, probably Katy Kidd again.
Because this is another mother abode, pheh.
“My two proteges together once more, 88 and, 88. Together we make a cross. Peter’s. We can control him again.” Then she cackles. Uncontrollably.
This Violet Sphere
“Hucka Doobie, I think we must explore the idea that Katy Kidd, at least when she was a kid — Kate McCoy, then, I’m talking about…”
“Go on,” replied the wise bee person beside him in the White Palace.
“Well, I think she may be deaf, blind and dumb, like Tommy. Or that other person.”
“Yeah: that one. Anyway, that may explain a lot of her problems. Like mental illness, when she’s all grown up as–”
“–Kate McCoy,” finishes Hucka Doobie for Baker Bloch. “I *think* we should explore the idea that it’s *both*.”
“Now I want y’all to *feel* the sphere around you, the tension, the *weight*. Now: breath out! Let it go.”
“Katy is a difficult nut to crack,” continued TronAxis in his Tyranea office while Baker Bloch and Hucka Doobie furiously take notes, trying to shorten the night so that another post can be created after the present one. “Oh. Sorry I guess I should have put that another way, ahem. Kate is a difficult *case* to crack–”
“You said she still can’t tell what time it is, what year it is?” uttered Hucka Doobie, attempting to move things along.
“That’s right. One moment she’s little Katy Kidd, stuck in a purple house with an abusive mother, and then the next she’s Kate McCoy, all grown up and back in reality. How long has she been here now?” he inquired partly to himself, partly to the “guardians” Baker and Hucka sitting before him. “5 years I would guess,” he answers while looking up, then looks left. “And the purple house still sits right over there in the opposite corner of the sim. Vacant — the mother’s been dead that long. Still she torments this poor woman-child from the grave.”
Baker’s turn now. He lifts pencil from pad while starting his question. “How about the sphere? She hasn’t strayed down the path of Blue Berry Girl and gone all nudist on us? I’m not (he flips a page, checking notes before he speaks again) sure why — (flips more) she was hired actually. Wasn’t she a former patient?”
“Of Dr. Baumbeer my predecessor, yes,” answers TronAxis, trying to be as transparent as possible within the opaque framework of client-patient confidentiality here. “Blue Berry Girl is a very capable therapist, and there’s no therapist like one who understands the patient’s viewpoint, which she does.”
“And Vain and Artery Boy–” Both men in the room stare at bee-woman Hucka, more woman than ever now her antennae have permanently retracted into her skull. They know she’s on the wrong timeline, and could set them back precious minutes, seconds. They decide not to answer her and advance to the next subject. But they then speak at the same time.
“After you, Mr. Bloch,” TronAxis graciously allows.
“No, after you sir. You’re the doctor after all. The new one.”
“Alright, if you insist, thank you.”
(to be continued?)
“The blog owners were here inquiring about progress,” TronAxis speaks down to an imaginary Venus Flytrap, his estranged partner for the moment. “They’re asking about the Kate McCoy/Katy Kidd timeline, wondering how long it will take to get back to the Storybrook story, the main one.”
“Nineteen,” she says upwards.
“What’s that dear?”
“We’re on nineteen. The Sun.”
“How the hell are you Hucka Doobie?”
“I’m doing fine *Wheeler*.” She wasn’t playing the Venus Flytrap game here. Not now not ever.
Venus/Wheeler nods toward the 2 men in the room, trying to make a divide between here and there. “Those Bozos, eh? What are we doing hanging around with *them*?”
“Can’t live with them nor without them I suppose,” answers Hucka, still busy slicing the mushrooms and carrots. Can’t Wheeler *help*? she thinks to herself. What a lazy woman! And she’s working while the men talk about the blog. *She’s* an owner too. Both Wheeler and herself. We’re all core, she wanted to say over to them. How about letting us in on the action.
“Axis is such a tiger, though,” states Wheeler, revealing too much for Hucka Doobie. She knows she won’t have any similar stories to share about Baker Bloch. *Both* know this.
“Yeah, well that’s good. Tell me all the details, Wheeler. About the positions and such. Do you do aerial?”
“Maybe,” Wheeler replies quickly then hops down off the cabinet and walks toward the table. “Aren’t you guys finished? Can we all become one again now?”
Hucka Doobie couldn’t watch. She cut mushroom after mushroom then carrot after carrot, not turning around.
“Let’s talk, Venus. About Philip Marz and his role in all this.”
Oh *brother*, Hucka thinks, shaking her head while still slicing away. Mars again.
“Aye, you might as well be admitting your business here is failing, me lassie. It’s the Corona-V brewskies that be your undoing. And the trading pirates that come with it, aye. I’ve even picked up their accent shiver me timbers!”
“Oh you’re just being silly Jezabella,” Marsha “Pink” Krakow responded, back in her working element now. At last count, she holds at least 3 part time jobs around town to go along with the drumming hobby. It’s plain to see that she’d rather toil with the commoners than focus her energies on schooling. She’s waiting on her big break, teachers like Mrs. Crumplebottom and Tom Banks be damned — although the photography route to fame still represents an alternative in case the drumming plan fails; she must set aside time for that *one* class anyways. But she thinks she can go far; be a star like that other star. *The* Star(r). She plans to go to church this Sunday to pray about the matter. The big red doors in front still remain closed, although rumor has it that Preacher Ben Field may open them up in a surprise effort to circumvent the bars selling that delicious yet devilish beer, defying local social distancing rules and regulations in the process set in place about, oh, a month and a half back. And he has some new information coming in from St. Louis, Missouri or thereabouts concerning the similarly colored book, the one that basically took the place of *his* book during all this turmoil. He knows it’s now about death and South America, Brazil and Peru in one. One way ticket and all that stuff. No going back; life over. Regrets.
He has a big sermon planned about it. He’s even asked Marsha “Pink” Krakow to tinker around with some music in the background. “A *rock* opera,” he tempts, looking into the future. “Direct to you from the land down under,” he further promotes.
The China Wok across the way had already closed, giving up the ghost for the brew. “6 feet apart, 6 feet apart!” everyone warns. No one wants the other one to know who’s secretly drunk. Asymptomatic, they call it, a strange word that now everyone knows and understands the meaning of.
If only the pirates would stay away, she laments, looking at another loaded down ship arriving in the bay.
She wanted a listening experience that would knock her socks off; blow her brains out.
She eventually chose “Lions Tigers Bears,” by Dorothy and the Cowardly Woodsmen, a tin plated golden hit back in the early to mid 70s.
She listened closely for the sound of a munchkin hanging itself in the middle of track 5.
In more serious Storybrook news, a dead body was found in the wee woods behind the laundromat, explaining why the chicken didn’t cross the road that day.
Peter Esso walked right by it on the way the bookstore to look at that map of Michigan again in the old atlas he’d found the day before last Wednesday’s Sunday. Or something. He’d had an epiphany the night before. The two St. Joseph Rivers of that state are actually one St. Joseph Rivers, er, River. “Eureka!” he cried while climbing out of the bathtub, still soaking wet as he padded toward the computer and the map of Hillsdale County he left up on it, a *modern* version but still one indicating where the conjoined sources lie: Osseo.
Osseo, 6000 years in the future.
Thus the purchase of the Esso t-shirt from the Marketplace, and also the old sign reinforcing to himself that he was indeed a tiger (see: Wheeler). And then the name change: SoSo to Esso, but the one embedded in the other thanks to Osseo, he understood.
Wait — he has an idea.
end (of section)
After the body was found (by Mann’s Dogg), the funeral held (1st funeral after quarantine lifted (!), but still 6 feet apart for grieving parishioners), and the investigation wrapped up by Tank Ferguson’s team down at the station, TronAxis, now Peter again (Peter Esso, or, really, Peter Osseo if I can figure out how to transform the Esso t-shirt easily (see former Esso poster turned Osseo poster back at the purple Marz house in Tyranea)), stands before Gene Kelley’s old place, the town’s Mr. Fix It now 6 feet down in the ground itself over at Storybrook Memorial Cemeteries just off Little Miss Muffet Highway in Slabtown — a kind of permanent quarantine if you will. He’s saved enough money from recent criminal activity to buy, which he does shortly after the dirt is padded down nice and hard atop Gene’s grave. Greasy hands will be the order of the day for many to come. Wife Venus Flytrap (Wheeler in disguise once again) will have her hair slowly turn from blue-green to blue-black to black itself in following months because of the touching, the fondling. For Axis truly loves his sometimes on sometimes off wife, still running from the law like a virtual Bonnie and Clyde but always ending up on their feet. The lucky aspect this time is an inept police department led by a man controlled by his hips and not his head, just like his father before him — Jeep or something, Axis thinks here in his ruminations of victory. The gas station will be a perfect headquarters/front for further criminal activity.
He didn’t murder Gene Kelley/Mr. Fix It himself, but the death was handy for him nonetheless. He and Venus will be staying in Storybrook now for a while. But those pumps will have to be replaced, he thinks while staring over.
Peter’s Garage is born, selling fine
Esso Osseo gasoline.
He goes over to the town jail to thank former photography and calligraphy teacher Tom Banks once again.