It’s called The Rock, W. And on top, a radio tuned to a rock station currently playing The Beatles. We must look for nodal points (in these here photo-novels).”
“(We must look for nodal points) in these here photo-novels,” she echos. “Find me.”
“Are you Wagner?” No answer.
Baker peers again. “Kind of looks like a man, don’t you think? With a mossy beard and all, perhaps (looking again), a veil. Cap and a veil.”
Baker Bloch comes back to study it, knowing he was summoned.
“What do you think it is, W.?”
“You know what it is,” she replied, still beyond the frame. Probably Wheeler don’t you think? Maybe not.
“Oracle,” he answered. Both were thinking, of course, of Carrcassonnee. She’s returned (!).
“You put the eye in there,” she stated, ready to move beyond the veil, “and you’ll *see*.”
I wonder additionally if this is Borneo. Borneo to Delphos, actually. “Whadaya think, Blackey?” he says to his bird on his shoulder, the same size from this angle as the blackbird in the background more in the center of the beach, highlighting its name. Staring up as well, Blackey thinks hard. He knows it has something to do with TILE.
(to be continued)
Why was he brought back? To contemplate, I suppose.
Tillie will be here soon. But first: the boy. George, revolving around 10 to 13 to 10 and back and back endlessly. Obviously a reference (he thinks) to the relationship of the I and the E of TILE, 5 and 8 tiles respectively. 5 turns into 8 turns into 5 and on and on. Similar — the same, really. Raising up of 3 then lowering back down again. And 10 is twice 5.
It obviously has something to do with the Last Christmas where I couldn’t relay my information about TILE, and its unique qualities, to Clare. I believe Clare is in the background, ready to emerge. But where? And how?
The board, eh? a b c d e. 5. e becomes E. m n o p q r s t. 8. Ultimately back to 5 through 7, T, and 6, L. 5 is I. 5 is Eye. 5 is…
“… me.” Little George.
“Take me home, Duncan. I’m hungry.”
He gets close enough to where he can’t miss.
“No mann’s from you, young’n,” replies Duncan Avocado to the boy’s protest. “You’ve got to go back to Aunt Clare for a spell. Just until I can figure out a plot to this here photo-novel.”
“But… you’re such a good cook!” George thinks back to the ice. And snow. The crunching. He could lose a tooth this time. ‘Nother one!
“Remember to pack some extra coats. November now. On the other side of the
chasm schism, there’s Tennessee. Perpetual snow.
“I *hate* snow!” Certainly sounds like a boy of 10 now. Unless he’s 13. We’ll get to a picture in a moment to properly see and deduce.
“Besides,” Duncan attempts to rationalize. “Your Aunt Clare needs you — she gets lonely, out in those granite hills.
“I’ll have to get some shoes,” George continues to complain. “I *hate* shoes.”
“Now, now,” Duncan tries to calm. “Most boys don’t have your luck in the first place to move to warm climates when they choose. Scratchy just happens to be as far south on this continent as you can get. It’s warmer than everywhere else. You’ll return soon enough. Think of Clare — think of *others*.”
“I *hate* thinking of others.” Duncan gives up. There’ll be tomorrow for more coaxing; maybe the boy will age by then.
(to be continued)
The Sun and Moon seem to be moving very fast in this town.
“I thought I’d come talk to you first, Marilyn, clarify some stuff about your angle in this, ahem, evolving story. We have bigots in town, we have zombies, probably all wearing spiked or non-spiked helmets. Like that policeman who keeps eyeing me all around town.”
She wanted to say Tank but held back. And Bazooka — Bazooka was his dad, and, as former captain of the force back in the good ol’ days, the one who wore the spiked helmet. Tank: just a bright blue cap. Put him in the bigot category.
Then she remembered the slip of paper in her jeans pocket, the one she was suppose to pull out in case she got stuck. She pulled, she read. “Moms, don’t let your boys grow up to be Dimmy Jean.”
Silence. Was that helpful? she pondered, staring into his watery eyes. Was he… crying?
Dimmy wipes the counter down nervously, thinking that 1/2 the people in the room are watching him and half aren’t. But he doesn’t know which. He tries to determine friend from foe through the caps and helmets but all the lines get blurred together. He’s lost it. He needs to go home but he doesn’t even know where that is any more. Home is here I suppose, he says to himself. He pours two shots of Jack Daniels, one for the raccoon man and one for himself. “Here’s to home,” he proclaims while raising his glass, resigned to the fact. Over in one gulp, he pours another while 1/2 the room still eyes him.
“I love you, Dimmy. I really do (*smooch*).”
I’ve got to get back to the station now, he thought, wiping the pink from his lips. Can’t let Wanda see he’s been kissed (!).
Gene was a family name, not a proper first name in the Occident style of things. His father, Daffy, was a seller of fine clothing over at the mall, and expected Dimmy to follow in his tracks. But Dimmy wasn’t doing well in school. Daffy decided to hire a private tutor with his hard earned money, but unwisely selected Marilyn. Marilyn hated Wanda. Marilyn would do anything to get back at Wanda for what she did to her in the 5th grade. Marilyn soon had dim Dimmy wrapped around her little finger. Marilyn kissed. Dimmy wiped, realizing what he’s gotten himself into. A pickle!
She was pounding her nightstick menacingly into her left hand, sitting, waiting. “You were *suppose* to be here at *four* to *pick* *me* up*. Where have you *been*??”
“I don’t know.” He tried to think of a better line but couldn’t. Dim, as stated.
“Remember, heh, remember the Pickleland static murders, Wanda? Good times. Back then you were known as Michelle Roundup and, me, Bill Mustardgas. Good undercover work. We nabbed those snowmen.”
“And got some nummy popcorn out of it too!” she joked back, but then became serious. She wasn’t with Tank any longer, either professionally or personally which, for her, usually go hand in hand. Dimmy was the exception, and Marilyn is about to solve that problem. “Tank?”
“Yeah?” He waited with baited breathe. Were they a team again? Had he done good by telling her that Dimmy’s new pink lipstick was actually Marilyn’s new lipstick and that Dimmy wasn’t applying it himself, despite the rumors about town, rumors planted by Marilyn herself, still trying to get back at Wanda after all these years. This was still a black and white situation, which meant black vs. white, which means good vs. evil. Trouble is, no one knows who is who and which is which. Both witches in a way to everyone around. East vs. West is another way to put it.
“I think we should study static again.” She met his eyes. She was dead serious about this. “You take, say, Tennessee, and, me, Kentucky.”
All Tank’s effort has paid off!
“What are you doing now, Raspberry Girl?”
“You wanted to learn about Nautilus. So here I am. In another boat: yellow, small.”
“Yet we all live in one according to John.”
“John is key. Lemon.”
“Is that your house in the background there? The raspberry colored one?”
Still inside the hole, her body pivots toward the beach behind the little sub. “Suppose so. Could be.”
“You’re studying Monkey City (too), I assume.”
She turns back. She doesn’t seem to have anything to say about this so I explain a bit more. “This is where a place called Monkey City existed, say, 5-10 years ago. Full of skyscrapers. I picked up the resonance with my own Monkey City immediately.”
“This sim?” She knew it was this sim, since she was me as well. She’s just playing dumb right now. Might as well call her a possum.
“Oh Raspberry Girl,” I uttered, and she shut the lid with this.
Later I found her combing the beach outside her shack in a similarly colored paddle boat, heading for a castle…
… of sand.
She lay on an inflatable slice of pizza in what was once the Monkey City sewer system, staring at her remnant home in the area. She should go with the rest of the characters back to Maebaleia, pull up stakes here on this Nautilus continent. She knew that. She’d been banned from basically half the old Monkey City sim already (!). But more was at stakes. Not vampires (she reads my mind), but something else. Not sand castles and the ability to blow up from small to really tall, although that will play a role later.
Her energy had run low from the paddling, thus the “reversion” to witch form. She remembers — Paper Soap. The pizza “squeaks” unpleasantly as she shifts her weight on it with the thought. But she has her revenge.
Because of his exploits and otherwise poor grades, Daffy and his wife Dandelonia decided to send Dimmy Gene to a private school up in Nautilus, but trouble followed him everywhere. “Marilyn?” he questioned unbelievably, resisting the urge to scrub his eyes with balled up hands to see if he was hallucinating an old flame just left back in his Jeogeot German hometown.
“One of ’em (!),” came the happy reply by the blonde bartender, just starting her shift at the Princess Club. “Buy me a diamond and we’ll talk about it.” She held out her hand seductively. There was a ring for every finger, including the thumb which held the largest and also the most uniquely shaped. “General named Tom bought me that one,” she said, knowing where his eye lingered. She was an expert at that. “Thimble Diamond, biggest in all of Nautilus continent.” She moved it toward him more. It crossed his mind to grab her hand, pull off the big diamond, and make a run for it. But he knew he couldn’t get far what with all the bodyguards he’d seen around. He held it instead, kissed the ring, and acquiesced to utter power.
Dimmy later described one of the main features of the Princess Castle where the school was as a runaway to his old pops, but he’d inserted one too many vowels into the word. After her shifts at the bar, Marilyn was also often seen there with more lingering eyes. She had ambitions in this world. She’d sell her diamonds one day after she collected 5 more for the other hand, and move to Argentina and run a house of ill repute with all the attached glamour and prestige. She even had a name for the dream place already: Marilyn’s Munsters, with all the girls dressed up like ghouls and goblins; a novelty attraction. She knew it would be a hit and become her legacy. She had it all planned out. Until Dimmy hit town.
The school also provided him with a loaner car. Daffy had spared no expense to make sure his son got ahead in life. “Got anything faster?” he said to Sam Petty the car loaner agent, his eyes pulled away by the glitzier ones. He settled on the most glittery, kissing another, more bony hand. Marilyn was with him at the end.
The principal seemed to take a shining to Dimmy Gene but in truth he just wanted an excuse to hang around Marilyn more. She had that effect on men, made them do bad and irresponsible things. Like letting Dimmy use his expensive computer for his supposed homework. “I know you like souped up things,” he said to the dim witted man-boy after his sex history lecture at the main auditorium below the Pear Room. People need to know how their sex is chosen and make wise decisions about it, he offered to school district superintendent Jonathan Petri Dish one day in early May. He thinks back to his own childhood. Not even a week old and they decided he would be a boy. All the aunts and uncles hadn’t weighed in yet. Cousins usually got a vote too. But, no, his old man, his old pops couldn’t wait. So while his mother Doris was busy reading her fashion and furniture magazines one day, engrossed in the moment, his father decided for all of them, each and every one. He was still king of his domain, he rationalized, not knowing there were other pieces on the chessboard of life that made it all work in unified peace and harmony. It took Doris several weeks but she finally realized. She’d been focusing on the navel and feeding the blasted thing day and night before then, navels being common to us all, whatever sex. The milk had to be *just* the right temperature else the navel rejected and they’d be up all night again. But one day, while he gurgled out more white on his blue bib, she understood. There was a hair on his upper lip, a single hair but one is enough to know. 3 weeks later they had to start shaving him as well. Oh for the old days, when sex was determined in the womb, way before birth. Now there were so many choices — well, two. But two very important options I think we all would agree.
Where was I… oh yes, Dimmy and the principal’s souped up computer, just like he had a souped up car now and drove all over his new town with Marilyn normally by his side. She’s normally with Gene they all agreed, which in time — but not too much time — was shortened to Normal Gene and finally Norma. Because they had gotten married and she’d acquired her first diamond ring on her left hand, which, since it was pretty small in comparison to the rest on her right, she wore on her pinkie, and joked all the time about having Dimmy wrapped around her little finger, usually to a gusto of laughs from a crowd of admirers. People, well, men, flocked to her everywhere. She grew tired of it. “Dimmy,” she requested one day in late May. “Drive me out to the country. Go fast enough where my hair will be billowing in the wind at a 1000 miles an hour. Go fast enough that it will *never* return to its normal, lackluster appearance. I want to be billowy… *forever*.” And she had her wish.
(to be continued?)
this town (no breakthrough)
Stuck on a mountain, Norris waits for the train to stop and pick him up. Problem is, he himself is the train, the trees, the mountain. This is plainly displayed for others to see.
Duncan Avocado confidently enters the store, noting the colored writing on the wall.
He spies what he wants on the top shelf. “I’ll take, let’s see, the policeman, the fireman, and that, um, Star Trek military robot I believe, Rootitooti or something.” He wanted to own them all, practically the entire public safety force.
“5 bucks,” she said so softly he asked her to repeat the price, which she did even fainter. He never got the cost; the train kept spinning and spinning round the small granite summit like a carousel.
root of the problem
He found her in a town full of bigots and zombies on the other side of the wall, a mere apple’s toss from where he was before. Annaball or Annabell, the pretty, white, raspberry beret wearing woman of the night who was dating that [black guy] who just broke into town one day, stole all its dignity. She had ambitions, she did. The hooker aspect was just to tide her over until her *real* dreams kicked in. Plus she really wasn’t a hooker; they just hung that tag on her back because of the incident in the alley and it stuck. A lot of things get stuck in this town of 9 that can’t quite reach 10, however hard it might try at times (try 3.16 instead of 3). “And to think she use to teach our children!” exclaimed one when learning about the alley. “Abhorrent,” hissed the other sitting across from the first, still below the TILE colored lights where green mysteriously switches with yellow at times, another round and round situation. If only the carousel could stop. We have to get off.
“Nautilus,” she said to me (he relayed later on to the proper authorities). “I have to get back to Nautilus.”
“And you just let her *go*?”
“I didn’t… have any choice.”
“Dot dot dot,” the authority figure chided. “It’s always dot dot dot for you lot. You’re as bad as her,” he finalized, spiked helmet secured on zombie head with a dead leather strap. Or so they say.
silver and gold
It had advanced beyond black and white. This was an all read situation, book in her eyes. Jennifer Lane I suppose. She wore a raspberry beret but this wasn’t her first time. She was indeed an experienced woman of the night but not quite that way. It’s complicated, more than you can perhaps imagine. Call it, just like these here photo-novels, 30 in a series of nothing: an experiment in complexity. Coral-like it keeps growing. We’re back on Nautilus, link to the outside world broken, perhaps beyond repair. The Oracle, the connection, has been damaged in at least 2 ways, rendering it practically useless for time-space transport. Borneo remains a past-future barrier. A box. But what are the contents?
We have come so far, all the way to the edge. We peer inside, waiting to see the bottom writing, like looking through stacks of translucent paper. Reality.
(to be continued)
Brend woke up, having fallen asleep while reading the book about dreams. The Princess of the Diagonal’s portrait loomed above him. He looked around. Nowhere in sight. Probably out exploring leads while the day people are safely tucked in bed, some having drawn the covers over their head. It was getting cold in the Nautilus highlands. Soon the frost would move down into the coast here. Time to go buy a jacket, he contemplates, maybe a tweed one. He probably has the place to himself for a while, perhaps the rest of the night. Good time to get some work done himself.
He contemplates the square before him while drinking molten silver, as they call the spiked coffee drink round these parts. He thinks of a joke here: “Do you know where the Nome King lives?” “I don’t know. Al-as-ka round.” A variation involves Anchorage, and, rarer, Douglas Fairbanks. Back to the map.
“It probably all starts in Alaska don’t you think?” offers W. from the side. “Northernmost — the cold moves south; down. Parameters established — upper limit. John Fitzgerald Kennedy City,” she then utters, looking me straight in the eye.
We start, of course, with the Diagonal, he thinks while studying. A lot of people enter that way; exit through Borneo. Like Marion Star Harding and his plane that turned endless instead of finite. He wore his inflammable suit which means it didn’t catch on fire which means he didn’t die. The Princess of the Diagonal is a bonafide expert on planes. She created this airport. She created Airton Hill itself, aligned it with Mount Ayr
up in the through the (common) air.
“You are going far,” W. encouraged. “You will get there tonight.”
He drew back. He took another sip of the spiked beverage. He’d lost Iowa. He recalls the old days, when a seed was planted just east of Des Moines. JFK took a bullet for it. What would *he* sacrifice?
(to be continued)