“You shouldn’t be digging too deep in these hills, Marty. There’s Indian relics that you don’t want to be uncovering.” He indicates the heavily bulldozed, grassy green knoll behind the famous singer/composer.
“Cursed, yeah. I know all about that.”
“The fame,” guessed Barry X. Vampire from his swing, smoking a Marlboro tonight for a particular reason. Marlborough.
“Star,” Marty furthered. “Like Marsha ‘Pink’ Krakow wanted to be. I sent Arthur Kill over to Storybrook to kill all that. But then I had a change of heart. Let her be a star if she chooses. It’s her life to live. I will be hidden darkly in the Beech Grove if she needs me, like New Orleans. I still have a key.”
“To success,” Barry finished again.
“To *failure*,” Marty corrected. “Obscurity. It’s what Vain people like us fear the most. To die in Vain when we could have died in Washington D.C.”
“Capitol idea,” came the reply this time.
“Capitol *Records* idea,” and then in Marty’s newish Urqhart garden they played his first non-Capitol hit “Coming Up,” knowing it would inspire Lemon to come back to music one last time. Despite the immense weight of fame and also Yoko Ona. Who we should probably talk to next; get her side of the story.
She carefully checked her inventory. She had only 1 even satisfactory picture of it, a polaroid taken almost 2 months back now. Nothing worthy of showing former photography (and calligraphy) teacher Tom Banks for artistic reasons. But still, very *meaningful* to her.
A solid lime green car, formerly in the very back of the backyard of her neighbors the Hendersons who had since moved to even greener pastures. She thought she might make a poem about the object; call it “Lemon”.
There was no feined variation of hue
Lime green it was through and through
A car of such utter solidity
That it brought into question the rest of the city
It was a start at least. Her inspiration for the title, a Warhol print pointed out to her by Brown (Beige):
And now Tom Banks is accused of killing Gene Kelley (aka Jake Trimmer aka Mr. Fix It) behind another lemon of a truck, as he called it that day of the killing, in front of Brown and herself no less at his gas station. Of course they didn’t understand the circumstances at the time — couldn’t grasp the gravity of the moment. Now it weighed on her mind constantly, and she turned back to the other lemon in town, that queerly solid hued car behind the Henderson’s house, almost hidden within a small grove of trees there. The two *had* to be connected. But how?
She remembered being disappointed that the car was suddenly gone, followed by the Hendersons themselves. She never got to ask Gerald or Geraldine or Gerald Jr. or Geraldette about it, so quickly they left shortly after the sighting. But she has the polariod, she didn’t dream it up. A solid lime green auto. And now she suddenly feels that the town is empty without it, a shell of what it was. Growing pains are difficult. She better get down to SEAN at the beach, help him continue to move…
“What are these, um, *eggs*?”
“Oh… just something I bought from some witch over in Egg Hill Sink,” Green replied to Pink, obviously thinking of Olive here.
There was only one egg, he understood now. And it was a nest version.
the story continues…
SEAN “Green” Penn was the last person who lived on Arnold Lane, now covered in sand and almost forgotten in time. And now he was leaving as well, heritage perhaps lost to the town. Back to New Orleans where he came, back to The Man and perpetual plans to move to Little Rock in Arkansas and decrease the blues a bit. Just a little, just enough to put thoughts of ending it all out of the picture. The more limiting framework of a polaroid might help here again, so he took Pink’s with him, studied it until sometimes late at night when the moon was full and the stars were obscured by lighted sky. “We will be married one day and I can reveal to her my truth self, black behind white. 28 years old and developing rheumatoid arthritis in my back and neck and not a 15 year old with developing acne.” He’d learned that from Olive, *remembered* it because of her. Now the heritage was with him. He must return.
It was 5 years in the past 5 years in the past 5 years in the past. But it was also present. Marsha “Pink” Krakow had a choice to make.
“Welllll. I guess this is it, Marsha. Out with the Old, in with the New, as they say.”
“New *What*, though?” asked Marsha, piggybacking on something SEAN had revealed earlier in the evening. Marty had sent former top assassin Arthur Kill away — a possible way to cross the river into Staten Island and New York proper. She *knew* that. But she kept asking. *Was* she a star? *Could* she be? She stared over at SEAN, studied the lines on his concerned face, the pain of realization. No. She couldn’t go with him. Not now not ever. Storybrook remains Story*book* forever and ever. There were different currents, true, but only one unity under church and god, and that church had a red top. STAR, she must be.
She picked up the drumsticks she brought with her and went over and kissed SEAN full on the lips before departing. Back to the “Good Side” and loving parents who are, yes, split right now because of her, but also loving and caring still. And Dogg! Who could forget Dogg, both shades of him. A true Great Dane he is.
SEAN will be *fine*, she tried to reassure herself as she walked away from Arnold Lane that night, tears in her eyes. I will send him another polaroid when I become a true star to cheer him up again.
“We’re not here to play with chess pieces, my lovely Linda Halsey,” Marty opens. “We’re here to play with minds. Give me a report on the latest over in Urqhart (or thereabouts), dearest.”
“Sure, um. We think Wheeler may be back in the game.”
“Is that good?”
“Is it?” she returned, and then Lisa Smipson showed up asking if they wanted menus but only brought up Vegetarian selections for specials. They thanked her while shaking their heads about needing food, not realizing who she was in the moment. Lisa then dropped this broad hint of how the game should go.
“You know, a mere pawn can be turned into a whole board given enough time,” she said in her pleasantly squeaky voice, bordering between serious and parody. Kind of like stuck between a 2d and 3d existence. Fisher the fry cook called from the kitchen, needing her to pick up another order. “2 Perch, hold the fries, hold the slaw,” he called, giving more hints. She turned sideways and fairly disappeared in front of them. Another took her place in a frozen slice of time.
We are here.
A work in progress still, but Collagesity has moved to Urqhart or thereabouts. Former land in Nautilus will be set up for sale in the next day. Big news indeed! These here Collagesity photo-novels have found a new center to pivot around in all its various locations. Home.
elephants once more
“I can’t emphasize this enough, Wheeler. We are *here*. Elephant continent. Until the end.”
“I’ll give it a year and a half,” spoke up the part owner of newly relocated Collagesity, just like before. “And you, Peter Oesso — like an opossum. Are you: *Baker* yet? You don’t appear to be Axis any longer. Not at the core.”
“Hucka Doobie is going to be *soo* mad.”
He stands up, alone in the office that could have been his given different circumstances. Santman was going to be born right over there, Peter Oesso, formerly TronAxis (etc.) lamented. And now he shall. I have escaped the machine. I will let another be absorbed, an alternate self.
I have made a decision which way the current flows.
The Storybrook garage will stay for now. Marsha “Pink” Krakow and new bestie Beige/Brown will return soon. I will tell them a joke about 2 elephants with conjoined trunks. Marsha will remember who I am, and also the aunt. Ant. She can leave, then.
“I couldn’t stay away from you forever, dear, you knew that.”
“I did,” he spoke over to his unfaithful but still forgiven wife. “Dogg would miss you too much!”
Brown/Beige was tittering yet again. At basically nothing this time. “Who (*snicker*) is that *girl* over there? (pause) Playing that (*giggle*) game?” she asked bestie Marsha “Pink” Krakow at the gas station owned by Pete Oesso now.
But suddenly she was *there*, stars on her shoes. Someone had been in her shoes before. Similar choices.
She stepped back from the machine that had nothing on it. She looked over: Brown/Beige was gone from the window seat. She was alone in the gas station.
She changed again, remembering more.
“Of course, Albert. She *belts* out tunes like no one and she does this at The Diamond owned by a Black (man). We must get in touch with this Jim A.; see what he knows about The Room. Something happened there, er, Alberta… sorry about the name before.”
“That is okay, sir,” Alberta the Selenite butler dutifully assured. “I am but a humble servant, ready to serve.”
“I think I’ll wear the Great Belt again — stare out at the tire.” He knew he could get additional insights this night. Energy was obviously strong here in Urqhart or thereabouts now that Collagesity had been manifested. So exciting! Green: so green here. No arid, desert-like surroundings to deal with any longer. He was *free*.
Alberta returned with the belt. “Here it is, sir. Do you…?”
“No. I can do it,” requested Barry X. Vampire, knowing what Alberta was going to ask. He didn’t need help getting it on this time. He was getting use to the contraption. And the shock. More difficult for a man!
“I think it’s working, Albert!” he called back, happy in the moment.
“That’s very fine, sir.”
He deftly straddled the Baja Bullet, looking around. Star, huh? Yeah, he was in the right place. Now to find Your Mama and, hopefully, Jim A. as well.
Maybe start at the Starlite up there…
He had acquired the list of Pipersville landmarks and was checking each one individually. No sign of life at the old Weston residence out on Sandpiper Lane, and the house itself seemed to have mysteriously shrunk. Or maybe he was just gaining weight, he rationalized — or… height? He was still a growing boy after all, merely masquerading as a soldier man. At least he wasn’t tin like his friend from the sticks, way out in the woods. He always forgets his name, though. Johnny Something. From Somewhere. South Something. Johnny South — I believe that’s it. Cpt. Americus might know. If he wasn’t dead in his grave from that atom bomb dropped on the town only last year. Seems like two.
This Grove place just south — South again — of Sandpiper Lane still seems interesting. Hobbits, pheh. Lt. Salt hated Hobbits, even more than mustard (gas).
He finds a couple in bedroom cutting some small z’s and shoots them dead, blowing the smoke away from his gun hole at the end in satisfaction of a good day’s work. And it’s only 2 in the afternoon, he thought, checking his white watch to match his snowy outfit. Two again, hmph.
The woman hobbit’s name was Grabby, because she did from the male, a Chestershire example named Givey. Givey Witherspoon, hence Grabby Witherspoon, since Hobbits didn’t really get into modern marriage things like the wife keeping a given surname. So in that one respect she *wasn’t* a Grabby, I suppose. Accepted what was given to her by the husband. But the name was about it; all else was taken, including the family heirloom silverware the husband wanted to donate to the families of the unfortunate wee ones from their coastal region eating by sea monsters each year. But I diverge. We must return to Lt. Salt and his exploration of old Pipersville links, eventually leading…
… to the Pipe Room of course. The Room.
He hears footsteps outside: Jim A. and lover Sweet Alice, ready to pose as Venus once more. Nowhere to hide!
The Donut Hole, Marty thinks while looking down at it from the high window of the Starlite Lounge, fortunately for him and others one of the last Pipersville landmarks Lt. Salt had on his list to check. Didn’t get there. “And Sweet Alice is the filled void in the middle; no need to go back,” he spoke aloud while turning his red topped option back to the turntables. For every season, I suppose — seasoning. Pepper in this case. Pepper black starry void of 1975 or thereabouts.
He stares thataway now at what’s being filmed…
All proper passageways to the Big Inside had been sealed up.
Yet Marsha “Pink” Krakow, basically without friends now, drummed on and on, faster and better than ever, speeding toward New York.
The Black Elephant consumed her.
“I’m always having to hoooovverr in here for a proper sit,” Marty complains softly, still sorry that he had to absorb that poor girl Marsha “Pink” Krakow for the Greater Good by dying his hair black again. Almost half a meter higher than his median Second Lyfe position now, he returns his attention to the red doors.
“We want to make sure it’s someone believable that enters those doors, Baker Bloch.”
“Sure, Hucka Doobie.” She keeps staring at him. “Oh — me?”
“*No*. It’s not always about you. *Me*.” She points to herself in the teal boathouse still rented by Baker Bloch in town, having given up on the green one closer to the church just today. Former occupant SEAN is truly gone from Storybrook: back to New Orleans for him, sans Marsha to his great disappointment. He should have never tried the Big Reveal. “Marsha was just too young, too *brainwashed*,” he speaks aloud to The Mann (her father) 5 years later in the New Orleans Blues Little Rock bar in nearby Little Rock, Arkansas. A pity visit that turned into friendship and beyond: The Mann now truly loves this 28 year old black man with developing arthritis just as much as his little girl in ways. “I’m — sorry you had to leave, SEAN,” he spoke soon after arriving, looking out at the current of the stream sweeping another magic toy down to the bay.
“Come with *me*, fellow hoverer.”
“I’ve killed your husband Jeffrie Phillips, Audrey. I’ve killed the *killer* of your husband Arthur Kill. I’m afraid we are *all*…”
“–Don’t say it, former lover,” requested Audrey to Marty from the bench in front of NWES’ Red Rose (actual type of business yet to be determined). “You brought him back. You also got rid of that murderer Arthur Kill to everyone’s great relief.”
“Legos, yes,” states the famed musician/composer, pondering fondly of the little, toy-like people living on the hill overlooking Urquhart Castle at similarly famed Loch Ness in Scotland. They’d only spotted the actual one a handful of times, but they knew a monster when they saw it. And Arthur Kill definitely was one. *Pop,* roll roll roll, *splunk*. Laying in a bloody heap down at the edge of the castle thanks to the quick action of Winfield 5 and husband-wife Winnie. Marty followed it all in his mind’s eye; replayed his reimaging of the event many times. And then when you erase the extra “u”, like the Loch Ness Monster himself or herself did that one time, you get, um, well you get *home*. Urqhart. While I remain in Our Second Lyfe most likely. And Marty is a neighbor!
Audrey waited patiently for the internal monologue to end. Then: “I heard the fire engines will also be cooled down because of — this place.”
Marty turned. The Red Rose.
Yes, indeed circumstances had changed in this here NWES City, still a partner to newly repositioned Collagesity over in Urqhart moving forward. Both have been *reset*.
“Well, Parasol, the *white* version.” Parasol chuckles here. “Looks like we can leave Storybrook again since we’re together once more.”
“Right you are!”
“Now all we have to do is round up that little girl of ours, Marsha ‘Pink’ Krakow, and skedaddle outta here, like we’d planned before. The job opening in Drane underneath that open hill is still available. Freedom at last!”
“I like the sound of it.”
“So… where is Marsha?” The Mann looks around, as if he’d missed her in the immediate vicinity.
“Probably with Beige. Or Brown or whatever drab color she’s going by now.”
“Ring her up,” requests The Mann, glad to delegate responsibilities to the wo-Mann of the house again.
“Okay,” Parasol offered, just glad to be loved and wanted once more. Charlie Banana was such a tool!
“Thank you Belinda.” Parasol hangs up the phone after looking for the carriage a bit. “Alright, she says there’s no word from Marsha *or* Beige.”
“Or Brown or whatever,” The Mann furthers himself this time.
“Right. Dr. Hockentopper down in the opposite corner of “Good Town” hadn’t seen her in about a day.”
“Looks like it’s time for a search party. The Hockentoppers of course. And then us. No need to bring in Tank or Bazooka right now.”
“Well… at least *Tom Banks* is locked up. We know our little girl is safe from…” The Mann then absentmindedly flips over the unread morning paper in front of him.
“Jeepers willikers, Parasol!” He turns the headlines toward his recently restored wife.
Pipe Room 01
Her friend Frankie “Beige/Brown” Hockentopper was dead. She knew it by the way murderer Tom Eugene Banks spoke of her. “Frankie *was* like that too,” he mentioned during the last visit about the similar ways they both hurled back the insult “f-ck you a-hole” when he asked them to do him a favor. Like, “*shut* UP.” Brown even went so far as to sing the entirety of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” after the final insult just to rile him up more. Not a really good idea, given what he did next. “Mary never had a Lamb,” he spoke over the body with smoking gun after cutting the third and last stanza a bit short. “They’re (the lambs) all gone, Frankie, leaving dreams exposed — best left unrecorded.” He snaps a picture with his polaroid camera. He turned toward the Magic Red Door still on the wall. Igor can clean this mess up. He must find the *next* star — quickly, before she disappears from Storybrook altogether.
And so here she is. Attached to the same pipe as friend Frankie was. Then another appears, not Igor but a girl. Not really the ghost of recently deceased Frankie, although there’s an aspect of that involved. Instead: Jenny, who grows up to be none other than Your Mama.
“I’m here… to help.”
Pipe Room 02
She tried to see better through the tears. The girl in front of her couldn’t be see-through. Could she? Unless…
“Frankie?” she almost whispered. “Frankie — is it — you?” She struggles some more against the pipe, then looks again. The apparition persisted.
“There is that aspect,” Jenny allowed. “I am not dead, though. I appear through *time*.” She let that sink in.
“Time?” Marsha “Pink” Krakow was crying harder again. Jenny knew she was in danger of losing contact. She exposed more. “Not space, because it essentially happened in this very spot once more.” Did this help? Marsha looked like she was going to fall into a black hole, never to be found. An emotional hole inside of her kept whirling everything she knew and understood into itself. This is what Jenny must save her from.
“Options, Marsha,” she exposed more. “You are a *Star*. You *can* be reborn from the Great Void. Think, Marsha, think. Dwell on your future. See yourself drumming like you’ve never drummed before, in front of a large, *worshiping* audience. *See* yourself there.”
Marsha “Pink” Krakow fought hard against the Void. She entered a time, a space, not yet recorded, not yet known about. Tom Banks couldn’t find her here, she realized. She entered the club…
Pipe Room 03
Her future besties Tronesisa “Blue Eyes” and Duncan “Avocado” were already there, playing up a storm. She realized a Void needed to be filled. The drum set beckoned. She already had drumsticks sticking out her back pocket. She tended to carry them everywhere she went now. The drumsticks were sure to go.
She sits in the middle, sticks at ready.
Tom Banks reenters the room. “Oh, so you’re trying to get out of this through a trance, huh.” He draws his gun again.
There was only one thing left to do for Marsha “Pink” Krakow. “Hit it!” she shouted at the top of her lungs while the sticks traveled down. The whiteness takes her.