“Umbrella, huh?” muttered private dick Wendell “Biff” Carter after he’d finally found the correct place to read in his red book. Read book? Anyway, maybe it’s just the correct *place*… to read his book. Paperville. In a coffee and pastry shop with some suspicious design parallels with the recently opened Bake’s Bakery over in Teepot. He can read it here; he can read it there. Hmm (again). Better get over for a shot of those “Umbrella dunces.” *This* is where Dunce Boy aka D Boy aka DeBoy (etc.) went after his hat transformation and acquiring that tracking red tie from either the Pot-D or Pan-Z tracking gang. Probably the latter, unless it is the former. Jeffrie Phillips would know. If we could find him. He’s disappeared too. Another suspicious
To that tell-tale Paperville sculpture:
The Boy is here!
“I was wondering if you’ve seen a little boy. About yea high?” Walter Pillsbury then sticks his hand behind his head in a nervous reaction, pretending to scratch his neck. There was something on it that he wasn’t suppose to reveal. The hand must remain hidden and out of focus as best as possible.
“No, I’m afraid not sir. Like I tell everyone with such an inquiry, you’ll have to talk to the king.” That’ll put them off, Tipsy the barista thinks without saying. Because the king is much too busy to deal with such a trivial matter. Little did she know.
She glanced past Harrison Jett through the window. “You know, I thought that was Bigfoot out there for the longest time. But it’s not. It’s a man — carrying a woman. The woman looks like 2 arms.”
Harrison Jett also looked out, not impressed. After all, he was a man fused with a woman as well. He was the real deal, the Real McCoy. He told this to Charlene the punk, then asked her how the heck she got *here*. Last he’d heard, she was in Gaston.
“Well, Barry X. Vampire — *sorry* — *Jeffrie Phillips* got tired of me and separated his place from my place. Yeah, I was in Gaston for a while. Yeah I saw Firesign Theatre perform there, a house band at the Rhino. But then I started hanging around Randolph the Pirate; hanging around that Dark Peak of the two, the one without the topping Christ.
“I believe he’s called Jim in some realms,” offered Harrison about the bastard buccaneer while sipping on his mysterious Xplicit drink. She had a parallel drink, held in the opposite hand. Male and female, once more. They should clink and get it over with.
She had to ask. “Those — apples. Are they real?”
Harrison Jett looked down. Were they?
(to be continued)
Apple’s Orchard 02
They were. And so was Bigfoot. The locals referred to it as Her Majesty, again for mysterious Xplicit reasons. In the winter when she became all snow covered, she was more often called a yeti. 12, up to 13 residents were lost each holiday season. Baker’s dozen; Baker never liked that kind of talk associated with his name. Because that meant he was the last one to blame, I mean, he was to blame for the last one, the thirteen. If only he’d been a better Christian as a boy. The Boy. And now he’s paying through the Dark Peak of 2. Twin Peaks. Just like Harrison Jett had. The real deal.
If only he knew what the bluebird chirped down at Blue Jay Bay he would be a head of the game.
(to be continued?)
Stranger Creek 02
He was as close to the centre as he could be while remaining on solid.
He looked over at the big cone, where everything started to go wrong. Perhaps The Boy wasn’t here, but his influence has lasted. Through time. Whether he was or wasn’t the same as Illuminatus, the Great God of Chaos and Destruction and Deception and the like, didn’t really matter. Because he was merely a pawn in a game of long duration. Centuries. Yet only seconds as well.
He does a double take. The cone moved!
Someone else was here in this queer, weird land.
Stranger Creek (trees)
Preceding the cone(s), there were big plans (again) for Stranger Creek, not known atall as that name back in the days. Instead [delete name]. Let’s try that again: [delete name]. Looks like the correct, past (pre cone(s)) name will have to wait. But you can see the difference. What went wrong (again)? It looks like we must find out in order to move this here photo-novel forward, 21 in a list of 20. Or at least make up something plausible and believable according to the pre-setup parameters. Um. Categories and tags I mean here, which are the same as locations and characters. Things I have to leave alone. Locations and characters are complicated enough to keep up with! Things like pyramids, cones, bluebirds, the lot: no way. No Blue Jay way.
It’s really up to us what to make of this NWES City, thought Harrison Jett in the moment, staring at the canal that runs through the center of it all. Blank slate, he contemplates. Bigfoot, he ruminates. 12 or 13 seasonal victims, depending on the weather and how hard it snows and what she can get away with. But always 12/13. Better get back to the Man About Time and see how poor, sick Carrcassonnee is faring. Displaced again!
“She’s not doing well at all,” offered the Man About Time, keeping watch over the withering, alien figure of a former Collagesity ruler on her last leg. “It’s the lack of center; she’s away from her nourishing tree, her temple. Can’t we…”
“No,” spoke over Harrison Jett plainly. I realized who he might be. An amalgamation. There *must* be some reason why I dwell on all that a lot of the time. I’ve been shut out (!).
“I am who I am,” said Harrison Jett, reading my mind. Another Popeye situation. Speaking of which…
“She’s dead, Jim. What should we do with the eye?”
“Bury it,” spoke Harrison Jett bluntly again. “Wait. We’ll throw it in the canal and let it float downstream. Wait. There is no downstream.”
“Yeah, I was going to add that.”
“It’s all flowing the same way. Nowhere.”
“That’s where we are (!)”
“What a waste of a life.”
“Not waste. It’s up to us to take us somewhere.”
“Exactly what I was thinking earlier on. Before I knew how bad this was getting.”
“Well it’s over now.”
“What about the other, erm, 6 parts. Oklahoma? Olive?”
The Man About Time supposed this was his apartment now, what with the death of Carrcassonnee. He had no one left to take care of. Collagesity was done and over with. NWES is where it’s at; The Current.
I realized that MAT was me in the future. And the past and the present, I suppose. All the colors, well, one (current). Green, I guess. Lime. Olive?
“Why did I call him Jim?” he wondered mildly from his rainbow colored couch, too big for his apartment and probably something he would be getting rid of soon (along, obviously, with the bits and pieces of Carrcassonnee’s body). He has many options. This town is big and wide if lacking depth. But, then again, the town owner, a true neighbor of a guy, is working on the subway it seems. In the meantime: road system disrupted; north cut off from south. It rang a bell too close to home. He must hit it off with this neighbor and not be a (total) stranger. Because he thinks he knows this Guy. Met him on a RR once; talked about Azure Islands. But I’ve speculated before who Guy is. I thought he was Magellen and just gell’n. I thought he was…
The phone rings. Too close to home to answer. Maybe it was under his couch? He’d find out soon enough.
“You are a doctor. Aren’t you?”
The doctor puts his arms over his head in a stretch. “I am so, my dear lady. And *you*… are a nun. We are both servants of the community at large. This, erm, *Teepot*. Is that what we lot decided to call it, hmm?”
“I’m afraid you aren’t a part of our lot, doctor,” spoke New Nun honestly. “You are not an inhabited soul. You are merely a prop. I merely ask if you are the doctor to see if *you* realize this.” She was truthful but not harsh. No need to get testy with this fellow servant, as he called himself. Good. He may be worth saving in the long haul.
“I *see*.” But did he really see? He made the queer observation again in his pleasant, proper British accent, as if he were repeating himself at a set interval. “You know, when I started this bartending gig here those statues over there were nude. I just came to work one day and they were suddenly clothed, out of the blue. I remember it being a clear, crisp morning. I had the same tweed jacket I have on today. In fact…”
“You never remove it from your body,” New Nun guessed about what he was going to say.
The doctor eyed her keenly. “Yeeeess. Me thinks you know more than you let on, madam.” He thought back to her earlier statement, absurd in the moment but becoming a growing, flickering possibility in his diamond-like mind. Although a prop, true, he was such an extraordinary learned and storied one that he truly may be becoming alive in the moment. New Nun could be right about him being worth saving. Why would I doubt her? It’s in her business after all.
She looked at him squarely. “But you are not the doctor I seek.”
“No.” She took a final sip of her whiskey drink and was gone. The doctor vaguely waved goodbye before forgetting who she was.
New customer, one blacked out but with dangerous curves. She felt the cross and crucifix disappear from her hand beneath the counter. She remembers Rhode… second life. His head pivots toward her as the sequence begins again.
“I’m going to go outside the city walls like this, Audrey. The Blue Thorn. *Not* the Blue Rose. ”
Audrey! she thought. *That’s* how he sees me. “But the rose and the thorn come from the same… Plant.”
“Robert?” questioned the secret superhero guise of Jeffrie Phillips, ready to be unleashed upon the world. Or at least the rest of the Confederation outside Teepot. “Nah. He’s over in NWES still. Never left the Jeogeot continent. Been there, oh, let’s see, 12 years? Xenosaurus (sim) I recall.”
“Interesting,” said Silhouette, only taking form when projected upon. Like now. Audrey she was. She changed to match what was there in his eyes. He changes, she changes. Both have superhuman powers.
(to be continued?)
“Where are you again, Toddles? I can see the green (right) and the gray (left) but you’re nowhere to be found. I need you to be *somewhere* — and just not in my head.”
“Behind the UFO,” the small child spouted in her cute-as-a-button voice. So wise for someone so little, but that’s the psychic part working its way in. She can also see into the 4th dimension and bend her vision around things.
Alice Farrowheart finally understood that her grandchild, speaking directly into her mind at the time, was behind the saucer centered collage in the middle of the room on the easel. She decides to move around it to examine the bigger collage more, framed by the green and gray figures she mentioned earlier and spanning two of the 4 walls. But — right or left?
“Choose right,” uttered the magical child, sensing her thoughts and spacial placement again. “Then left till you get to the umbrella.” She wanted to emphasize green over gray for a particular reason. She had already told Alice the Pooh (bear) holding a red parasol and pulling a blue cart with a honey pot was exactly halfway between (Phil!).
“*There* you are, child. And there’s the umbrella tucked snug in the corner, just like you said. Not surprising of course.”
“Right between the two,” Toddles reinforced, into her sight and out of her mind, to Alice Farrowheart’s relief. The prescient toddler pointed to the doubly displaced green “T” at the bottom of a Telephone pole and elaborated the connection with Colona, the twin city of Teepot in the Confederation. A graphic representation of what she said to her grandma for now; more later:
We end with a front pic of the Red Umbrella gallery itself, returned to NWES City as of yesterday:
“Triumph of the Toys”
“And something about *this* one. That man at the top with the flowy hair.”
“All right, child. I’ll mark it down for later inspection. Here, let me take another snapshot with my phone.”
Alice Farrowheart again wonders briefly if pictures are allowed in the gallery but reinforces to herself that she doesn’t care. The study of *synchronicity* trumps all, since it is a bridge-maker. Important term, and one she’s been using a lot in her journal lately. The Little Book of Synchronicities. She’ll worked on it when she gets back to the apartment. Along with playing with the belt again, hehe. She’s been experimenting for days.
“We’re done, gramma. That’s the last.”
“Good job. Let’s go home.” Alice wishes they could take the subway back but knows that’s a way off from being finished. Walking is good for the soul, though. The belt can wait.
assimilation into NWES continues
Can you spot the Kidd Tower here?
The Man About Time now has a comfortable place to stay. As perhaps does his former neighbor Mr. Babyface, who now may remain his neighbor. “I am your neighbor,” he might say to MAT the next time they meet.
We’ll see if the Kidd Tower can stay. But — I can’t imagine a better spot for it!
Hi Mr. Baker Bloch!
I’m admitting it’s so scary to write you (insert wavery letters there!). I *adore* your Red Umbrella Gallery and all the ART within and am so glad it has returned to [NWES City] (!!). My psychic grandchild and I have already visited several times. You may have heard of the gallery’s relation to a murder last year in our fair weather city. That’s me (!!!). I was the one who saw the rabbit in the collage — let’s see, that was Sam Parr 08 I believe — and told the police about it. Ms. Tanner and her private dick friend Percy. You may know them by now. Dr. Rabbid Baumbeer I’m talking about here. His corpse was discovered in a sewer over in Apple’s Orchard. I don’t go over there much any more because of it. And to think at the time it was known as the “Mild East” of [NWES City].
*Anyway*, have to run. It’s *so* nice to write you, and a bit relieving as well. I’ve thought about your work *so* much since it’s come to [NWES City] and also visited your own village of Collagesity back in the fall while doing further research on the murder. The newest gallery of yours in NWES, Bogota, still, um — well, still exploring that one. But the Boos gallery beside it is prim-o! I love how the interpretations flow from one collage to another in [Sunklands].
Toddles is urging me we need to go to the store. I promise to write later (!!!!).
Your fan and secret friend,
Alice L. Farrowheart the 5th
Alice Farrowheart looks down on the letter she just typed on her old timey computer-typewriter and wonders if she overdid it with the exclamation marks. Perhaps so, but, after all, this is very exciting. She’s talking directly to a maker (!!!!!). Now if she just has the courage to send it.
It was pretty obvious who should come back next to NWES City. Little Robert Plant Variant. All grown up to become… Gill Alex? Vain and Artery Boy? Gold topped head dominating or directing the otherwise contrary motions of slightly shorter red and slimly taller blue within his body?
One leg must be slightly or slimly shorter than the other, then. LRPV needs to realign his center to preserve his back in his older age (59?). And here we are.
(to be continued)
Black D. 02
I am both the contrary motions of male and female in one body,” he spoke over to his brother-lover Rock Ramby, who was sure to go everywhere
Little Robert Plant Variant Vain and Artery Boy Gill Alex went. What a lamb. They were on vacation from Misty MO, like last year around this same time. “Always hurricane season for a coastal town,” Gill Alex groused about the location choice again. “Can’t go to the beach. Can’t lay out this gorgeous body on a sun towel for every passing boy and/or girl to ogle at.” He reflexively flexed his blue toned arm muscle with this for Rock. “Hard as *you*,” he added while patting it, making his significant other grin. “Shut up,” he waved Gill off. He knew he had to take certain kinds of pills now to be a serviceable lover. And Gill Alex liked to rub it in every now and then — when the opening occurred. They were playful and carefree like that. “*This* one,” — he flexed the muscle in his red arm now — “not as strong. Weak. Limp, even.” “Alright, knock it off Gill. Or should I call you… Alex.” Gill Alex shut up, then. He didn’t like his first and last names switched with each other, not one bite. He took another bit of his butterscotch topped doughnut in front of him so he could bite his tongue. He knew he deserved the come back. Then he got over it. Just that quickly. They were… well they were who they were. More Popeyes.
Speaking of which, Rocky Ramby was about to reveal to brother-lover Gill Alex why they were *actually* here.
Tulsa behind them was taking notes all the time.
“Oklahoma,” he started. “Oklahoma, then Olive.”
“Confederation?” expressed Gill Alex reflexively. When was the last time he’d thought about *that*.
They were here for the *eye*.
(to be continued)
Black D. 03
Back at their rented house, the local servant boy was offering them some kind of regional soup that looked grody to the max to Gill Alex. He instead stared out toward the sea, which at least they can *see* from this spot, if not visit. “Rain’s coming in again,” he observed. “Had a brief reprieve…” “Between 4 and 6,” Rock completed for him. Always thinking about numbers, he observed himself about his brother-lover. Always 4, always 6. Like clockwork. The rain just cooperated with what was already in his split hemispheric mind. Thank Gods for the topping golden hair. He could always talk rationally with that; it operated the mouth parts and most of the nose and ears. The eyes he couldn’t control. Gill Alex continued to stare at the sea and become one with it. He kept thinking of the eye they spoke about earlier. Tulsa was typing out her notes on a (regional) computer-typewriter by now, getting ready for a splashy, stormy front page story in the NWES Gazette. Picture here: