I suppose it all started when Blutus tried to cross the road to get to the other side. He never made it; run over by a blue-black car of dubious design and specs, unmarked all the way from bumper to fender. He’d just made a call to the police. He had the information they needed to solve the puzzle of a case they were facing head on. Just on his way over he was to make his report. When this happened, *SPLAT*. They never really got the blue-purple blood off the pavement, a permanent testimony of sorts to the stain and strain (and drain) this put on the town. Toppsity was never the same. This is where it started most likely. The War.
Elements were involved of course; when weren’t they in conflicts involving Toppsity and covens in general. The fires that ultimately consumed Gabby’s brother Amos Truth and prevented him from regenerating one more time were put out by Marilyn’s Niagara waterfall tumbling and roaring over the western ridge. Earth moved north to south and consumed sign posts and everything underneath that level. The Ministry of Soiled Clothes was set up near the laundromat. Air and leaves and air through leaves crowded around and basically enclosed innocent residents in their harmless apartment units over here and just there, like insidious kudzu. Aether had split the scene, unable to fit in anywhere. Spirit was gone, spirits were low. People were taking uppers everywhere just to try to reach the surface of the soil and not be taken under. Reds and yellows were shot most of the day to decrease pervasive dopamine and increase lacking serotonin. Toppsity was in a state. Maybe Utah (or Indiana (or Pennsylvania)). Where’s those string beans?
Sacky doll waited for his master to come home again but it never happened. Amos was gone from this world.
around Cassandra City
“Where is he?” Warhole demanded to the mechanical soothsayer. “Where’s Gabby?”
“You come — bearing the mantle of other people tonight, Andy War-HOLE. You have been talking to — *people* too much. You are too — *peoplely*.”
“Well, yeah. What of it? I’m an artist. I have to mingle. Socializing sells art. That’s what I’m about. Baby.” He checks his watch with this. Gabby should have been here 20 minutes ago! He needs help.
“Oh I look hideous,” Poetry Dancer complained to Marilyn.
“Won’t take long dearest (*coo*). We’ll have you looking, *exactly* like one of us in a jiffy, darling (*ooo!*).”
“No sir, you don’t understand. We sell *one* book. The red one.” You’ll have to go to the other bookstore in town for “Moby Prick”.
“Aww, *geez*.” Dimmy Gene’s book review was due tomorrow, and now he has to walk all the way across town to get a copy and start reading.
“It’s no good,” Gabby complains at the typewriter with its inserted, still blank sheet of paper. “I need people to write!” Long lunch break’s over. He better head back to the wagons.
around Cassandra City 02
Dimmy Gene never did get a copy of “Moby Prick”. The other bookstore in town closed 10 minutes before he arrived. He’d have to lay out of school (once more), maybe ride his motocyclone over to Toppsity. But first: an early movie. Cheaper that way.
2:00 in the afternoon and hardly anyone is here. Oh right, everyone *else* is in school, studying away. Studying to be grown-up dunces, he muses, thinking of his father Daffy Gene and his family run chain of fine clothing stores. He’s set up to be another Gene in their line of production. Well I’m *bucking* the system. Buck “Moby Prick.” Buck the red book, even, although he’s heard it’s better than the other. A whole bookstore devoted to that one book, he thinks again, not quite understanding the impossibility of it.
Great. Another movie about the future being in the past. Oh well.
He runs and gets some popcorn, mountainy dew, and candy before settling back in for a long one.
Keith B. was back in Cassandra City, exploring old haunts, some still around, a lot: gone. He doesn’t remember, for instance, Big Dick’s Halfway Inn. He quickly figured out that BD stands in or resonates directly with MP, that is, Moby Prick. Here was a famous white whale manifested, perhaps. He better check it out.
He waited for the clerk to show up but one never came. From the corner of the lobby, unseen until now, a man spoke up, his voice crisp with confidence and intrigue. “Place is filled up, sir. You better go elsewhere. Gabby is on one of those long lunch breaks again.”
“Gabby?” returned Keith B., thinking the name was wrong. What was it in rehearsal. Jimmy? Dimmy? No, that wasn’t it either.
The man introduced himself instead of gabbing more about Gabby. “My name is Wendell “Biff” Carter and you were lured in here by the sign. Lured in so that you could meet *me*.”
The *whale*? Keith B. thinks while staring over, trying to get a better estimate of the man while not being so obvious about it. That was it: someone was attempting to create a *report* on this man. And failing. Failing in general. Keith B. was here to help. At least that’s what the last version of the script read.
“Big Dick I assume.”
He extended his arms and scooted forward a little. “In the flesh.”
Keith B. turned away. He was finished studying for the moment.
It was night for Biff. Maybe he overdid it with the BD thing, he thinks while staring over at the now sleeping Keith B. Had to sleep in place since no rooms are available. Maybe he’ll get some decent rest tomorrow; maybe find that couch over in Hoboken or whatever they call that place now. Hobo Ken. Ken the Hobo. That was it. And that was his couch. I bet he’s over there right now. Sleeping soundly away. Well — let’s just switch them out. Test the malleability of this place.
There was no true sleeping animation in the couch. Ken the Hobo must not exist after all. Keith B. would have to wait until Saturday to get that good night’s rest. Let’s return to the present.
He really is gone. It worked! What’s that speck on the globe? Is that where we’re suppose to head next?
This is as close as I can get for now.
“You said you wanted to get closer to me, Kate, so here we are.” He turns in his seat. “At the place it all began for Jenny and me. Before she became world famous Your Mama and all turned to rust and rot.”
Kate McCoy was tired of hearing about Keith B.’s daughter but bit her tongue right now. He had brought her along on this trip to Cassandra City and she was grateful for the bonding opportunity. If only *he* were her daddy instead of that low life Craighead Phillips. Where was *he*? Still galavanting around in Bluefield US of A? She didn’t want to know; she didn’t care. She was with Keith B. for the present. She had designs on a long term relationship. Maybe he did too — she didn’t know. Yet.
He starts pointing around the place, indicating changes. “The stage, Kate, use to be in that corner — instead of over there on the side. A lot of these booths have been added too.” Keith B. was disappointed that there’s no indication of their presence in this bar. It was apparently up to him to keep the history alive. “It’s all in the autobiography,” he often tells friends after throwing them a juicy piece of the past. They usually want more and then that’s what he tells them. He’d rather write for many instead of talk for few. He’d learned that lesson decades ago. People like to talk, but words only last if you write them down or record them in some equivalent way. He started a blog in 2008. He could better organize his thoughts about people places things with categories and tags. He had a system.
“Keith?” Kate McCoy spoke, seeing her wanna-be dad spacing out again, most likely about the past. She wanted his full attention once more.
“Thinking about the blog?”
“Yeah. I suppose.” He feels the slightly extra pressure his flip style notepad makes in the back of his pants. He senses the push style lead pencil in his front pocket against a thigh. Tools of his trade. While he was away from the computer. But he must resist the urge to pull it out in front of his wanna-be daughter. That’s not how it works.
(to be continued?)
The Tall Walk
“I tell ya, Hucka. If I could just find a nice, understanding city to settle down in (like Cassandra City), I might just give up Collagesity here. You wouldn’t mind, would you?”
Hucka Doobie, walking beside Baker Bloch straight into the setting moon as well, pauses before answering, knowing the truth ahead of time like she often does. “I’d — give each equal weight.”
The moon gone, they were passing underneath Perch now. The head was still absent above them at the main entrance to the restaurant, revealing the clock beneath that brought back sane time to this virtual village of mine, me as baker b., or Baker Bloch, animus, and Baker Blinker, anima, combined. Instead: Carrcassonnee possesses it again, just like in the beginning, the great 3n1. But is she yet fully activated? What about new sidekick Frank who replaced former sidekick Spider? Where is *Spider*, then?
“Thinking of the past?” Hucka Doobie spoke over, seeing the glazed, dead eyes again. “The future inside the past?”
“Maybe.” I was a bit defensive of her prescient presence (present?) sometimes. We walked further, past Mossman’s bar, past funny feet John Lemon. We seemed to be heading out of town. But where?
the counter 01
He was looking for The Red Book but instead stumbled into the wrong store. “Other side of town,” the purveyor spurned upon hearing his request.
“Ahh, I’ll just take a ‘Moby Prick’, then.”
“1 nickel please.” This was 1939 after all. Or thereabouts.
Biff Carter walked into the Cassandra City bookstore with the *correct* book. He laid a nickle on the counter.
“No cost,” the purveyor spurned. “You have to read it here.”
Biff Carter walked over to the bookshelf with the lone book not stuck or fused with it, took it to the store’s lone chair, and began to read. About himself.
the counter 02
Into the lunch room he stalked and deposited twenty cents upon the counter.
Biff Carter paused in his reading, looked over at the purveyor who was himself. I’ve been underpaid! he realized.
It was 1919 now. He’d lost twenty years somehow. Just by reading the book.
He went over and paid the purveyor twenty cents to make up for the time. Back to reality!
Tome firmly in hand, ex-police officer Biff Carter walked out of the The Red Book, never needing to return.
“The portal is pulsing over there; it’s ready to go. What say you, Wisey? Horney?” The owls beside him didn’t answer. He asked in the other direction. “What say you Cybie?”
Cyberpaperdoll, facing the opposite way from Baker (but with the owls), was thinking hard, thus the whirling twirling paper airplanes above and around her head. She knew they were on different tracks now, he with his blog and she with her… well, we’ll just leave it at maths for now. And memory! She almost forgot *that*.
“Kids over here a couple of days ago throwing cans in it,” Baker Bloch spoke again. “Darn kids. Hope they didn’t mess up anything.”
Cyberpaperdoll decided not to say anything to that once more. She would be silent from now on. Perhaps “different” can become “parallel” in time.
“Well okay, then.” Baker gets up from the box, intending to go inside the small bar beside the portal in front of him. “Guess I’ll see you guys later.”
(to be continued)
“Though I might find you in here Wheeler, er, Flip.”
“Flip it is.” She flips her hair lightly with this.
“How’s ‘Beach’? I hear you’re working directly with Roger Pine Ridge this time. Great! Like Stanley K. and Arthur C. on ‘2001’. How is Stanley K. anyhoot?”
“How would I know?” Wheeler/Flip returned flippantly. Maybe “innocently” would be a better word there.
“Oh… right. How come no one wants to work with me?”
The seriousness of the question after surreal nonsense surprised the new dooed girl, former ruler of Collagesity, present ruler of Iris and Heterocera as a whole, including the (diagonal) lines, the whole hand. She was still in charge over here. Maybe it was best to move away from the Rubi Woods. Perhaps it was cursed after all, just like Karl claimed. Poor Karl.
I say most of this to Wheeler in the pause. Unlike what Cyberpaperdoll could do, she turns to face me. “You don’t suspect who I am yet.”
“I have my suspicions,” countered bloodied Baker, presently an inept werewolf named Ditch Parkly to balance his similarly inept vampire Pitch Darkly.
“I’m from the future.”
“I might have guessed.”
Wheeler/Flip returned her attention to her drink. A bucket of blood hold the nails. She was just tempted to splatter it all over herself and become a match to Baker over there. Bartender Sammy Whatammy, brother to Tammy and perhaps Gammy (Nammy, Pammy?), had gone to the grocery store over on the piers — should be back any minute. Baker Bloch used the opportunity to probe a little further.
“Hucka Doobie and I think Collagesity may be a goner, *Flip*.”
“What do I care? It’s not my responsibility any longer.”
Another pause. Sammy returned with the needed supplies.
(to be continued?)
blub blub blub (sinking)
Sammy Whatammy went home after work and just sat here usually. She never saw sister Tammy. Nammy and Pammy never called — it’s like they didn’t exist. Only Crayola and herself, waiting for this mysterious boss to show up.
“How long was it last week? 3 weeks?”
“Welllllll,” replied Crayola, stretching out words with her large red mouth like she’s wont to do. “Tiiiimme does work difffereeentllly upp therrrrre.”
Looking down at her still normalized shoes, the only bit that remained, she remembered why she never saw Tammy: Witchery.
“Yooouurr cryiinnng. Wouldd youu like anotther sheeetttt?”
Two weeks and 36 bar shifts later, the boss shows up, golf club in hand. This was his club, and Sammy and Crayola were his
“Hey!” he harshly cried through the underwater window. “Wake up in there and open the door!”
Philip Strevor was his own boss for a while but that changed when he entered the Red Room and met Casey One Hole, the bastard. From then on, he worked for him; boss no more. Instead he was a grunt man, bullying underlings and upward mobile wannabes. Like Whatammys except transparent. Sammy Whatammy, aka Miss Raincoat, waited in the waiting room to be seen next by Philip. Then it was Yoko Ona (upward mobile wannabe) and then Zapppa (underling). The place was still heavily bugged.
“Never mind the sign,” he made the obligatory apology to start. “I’m not the boss any more. *He* is. He calls the shots, sometimes golf shots, sometimes other kinds of shots, if you know what I mean.” He stared at Miss Raincoat/Sammy Whatammy, expecting an answer. “Do you *know*… what I *mean*?” he repeated more sinisterly, as was appropriate at this juncture. He’d seen it happen. He didn’t want to see someone face that kind of music again. Pizza!
“I testified just like [delete name] wanted me to. I said all the words I was suppose to say.” She repeated some of the words here: “Underwater. Sinky. Blub blub blub. Just like [delete name] told me.”
“Why can’t you say [delete name]?”
The name of our (actual) boss. [Delete name]. Dang! Now I’m doing it too. Must be [delete word].”
“[Delete name][delete word] is obviously [delete word][delete name]. Reversed.”
“*That* bloodied vampire? That imbecile? Impossible.”
“I believe [delete word].”
“*He’s* Casey One Hole? Played by ever method actor Tom Casey? Dang!”
(to be continued?)
Cassandra City still holds promise but probably not for this here current photo-novel. Baker Bloch must take his leave, rented apartment in town unused. Big Dick, a Phil actually, waits patiently in the corner of his hotel lobby, looking forward to more communication through the aether.
Story possibilities in Heartsdale, a major driver early on in photo-novel 20, have most likely been exhausted as well. Let’s return there for a similar, final shot: Baker Bloch in front of Small Wood posing with Teddy, a black and white horse owned by an avatar named Zero.
Both glimpse Philip Strevor through a broken gate to the sidewalk. Strangely, the duplicate Yoko Ona that also walked around this particular Heartsdale block is gone now. Yoko as a whole has probably moved on from this sim.
There seems to be more in Iris, a place to be focused on still. For example, there’s a kind of, um, inexplicable “hole” in the center of the 4-5 sim region owned by [delete name], who may actually, in Real Life, be [delete word]. If so, *Crooked* seems to be a link. The prominence of the Moth Temple seen in the background here, the “eye” of the whole Heterocera continent, could play a role in the hypothetical overshadowing of this mystery spot.
Toppsity? I’m not sure what took place in the trial of Yoko Ona. We *know* that she spat on Baker Bloch when he tried to turn her right-side up from upside down while both were fishing in Heartsdale Bay, the last Heartsdale related post in this here photo-novel actually. You don’t spit on the chief avatar of a blog, the one the owner most identifies with, and get away with it — at least in the blog itself, where we still are last time I checked. (pause) Yes, I just checked. We are still in the blog.
But the witches of her coven eliminated original judge Tronesisia: drowned, with a possible saving ship arriving too late in the early afternoon after the late morning accident. Then the several witnesses we know of — Miss Raincoat (aka Sammy Whatammy), Uncle Stinky, and probably Crayola as well (aka Tammy Whatammy?) — have all been linked to maleficent forces too. Wait, let me check that again. (pause) Uncle Stinky has *not* been associated with such forces. He still can be used by the prosecutor George A., who we’ve not talked about since that particular post either. So we should return to Toppsity and finish the trial. Defendant Yoko Ona may be called to the stand herself. *That* could be interesting.
Rocking Roger Pine Ridge was blunt. “Why would I want to leave, Baker Bloch? I have everything here. And now there’s (an Iris) mystery hole, as you guys put it. ”
“*You’re* one of us guys, too,” non-rocking Baker emphasized from the couch more away from the view.
“And, besides, I didn’t think you liked it here in this swamp village I think you termed it at one time.”
“Circumstances change. Look… you can see the Moth Temple just beyond that palm tree with a long draw. Can you see it?” He points forward.
Baker Bloch didn’t want distractions tonight. “Yeah, I see it,” he replies without attempting to see, trusting Roger Pine Ridge’s claim. It was a looonnng draw at almost 2 sims, he estimates, but probably reachable. He took RPR’s word for it.
“Oh,” began Roger Pine Ridge after a lingering gander at the beloved temple which he thought of as the center of His Second Lyfe as a whole, if it wasn’t now the *hole*. “The girls make a ruckus downstairs on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and sometimes Sundays. Alternate Sundays I believe. But it’s only for a couple of hours in the afternoon and they clean up nicely.”
“You’re talking about Flip and Magika Bean,” Baker Bloch attempted to clarify. “The wrestling duo.”
“Yeah, who are actually Wheeler Wilson and Baker Blinker, I know. But they like their new names. And, like I said, they clean up…”
“Well,” Baker finished this time. “Better go. You think about what I said. Cassandra City might offer more possibilities than here. But then he dared to look out and extend his draw distance and suddenly doubted it. Yeah, the hole sealed the deal. Roger Pine Ridge, along with neighbor Grassy and Wheeler up more toward the temple itself might be here for good. He’d have to face that fact. Face the music of that fact. “Time,” or “Beach”. Depending on the way you flip it.
“Marty says he’s leaving Urqhart and that his new house is too ugly, Hucka Doobie. There’s also a wall between him and his neighbor who owns Urqhart Hill — this Rhiannon or Golden Josephine I suppose. Remember when the Tower card came up in a reading for Collagesity in Urqhart, Hucka? Seems now it may come to pass. The Collagesity tower will be destroyed by lightning, casting out the 2 owners of the town, Wheeler and me. Does this not seem to be what is happening Hucka?”
Baker Bloch looks about but broken-hearted Hucka Doobie was nowhere to be found. She had already moved on.
Baker was still hanging around but barely.
“I watched her and Linda Halsey dance and dance around the sacred circle, waiting for a pause where I could insert my question, which was: What is the future of Collagesity in Urqhart? I needed to hear it from Golden Josephine or Rhiannon or whatever her name was currently. And Linda Halsey — still Linda Halsey, and not Cathy Love Peace Hippie Child. Another “bad” sign. The Tower card turned up when she appeared at the table a couple of weeks ago, taking CLPHC’s place there. CLPHC equals Collagesity intact and remaining in the area. Linda Halsey equals the opposite. Destruction; derezzing. There was actually no use in hanging around. Observing Baker Bloch knew this as a fact. There was no need for a clarifying card. But Baker forced the issues anyway.
“Hey!’ he called to the two dancing fools for girls. “A little help here!” So rude. Not very characteristic of Baker Bloch either. More a trait of, say, Roger Pine Ridge.
Golden Josephine didn’t stop prancing. Neither did Linda Halsey. But after a moment, Golden called over her shoulder: “Whadda you want?” The music was intoxicating to them, and probably to Baker in a different way. It was a combination of Roger’s “On the Run” and Judy’s “Over the Rainbow”, twirling in and out of each other like the two dancers here themselves. Must be a match.
“A clarification card!” shouted Baker over the music. Or an attempt to. There was barely a hole to find in the combo, so dense it was. Like two people sitting in the same chair. The music and dance went on and on. Finally Golden Josephine broke free. Linda kept doing what she does now. But the figure was different: Cathy Love Peace Hippie Child.
Baker points as Golden Josephine approached. “What gives?” he asked about the transformation of the now lone dancer.
“Let’s look at that card and maybe we can tell.”
But something else then came up. The *real* Rhiannon made an appearance, replacing the fake, golden one. She seemed to be in tune with magical juxtapositions as well. She was also thinking of giving up her land adjacent (or thereabouts) to my Collagesity. She told me about the runes on a mushroom near me. I asked her if I should just have the question in mind and then touch “spread”. I knew little about runes. She affirmed this. I chose past/present/future. I had in mind this was the past/present/future of Collagesity itself. I didn’t want to just ask if I should give up Collagesity in Urqhart (or thereabouts). My desire was to broaden the picture a bit.
“What do you think?” I asked over. She was multitasking like myself. I was, of course, creating this blog post. She was working on her fairy forest.
Then she was gone, wishing me luck on my choices before leaving. “But…” I cried into the void now, “I don’t know what it means!”
Maybe it means nothing — and it does for me, in this moment. I didn’t need clarification. The meeting with the actual Rhiannon told me everything I need to know. Thank you.