Sunklands 2021-2022 Winter 04


O’Neill

Standing on the edge of the ring, Venusian Joey Avatar wonders what she’s gotten herself into.


Wild West

He kept looking toward the window beside the door at me instead of the action in the ring. In the ring.

“New around here?” asked Lichen Roosevelt, tending bar in this here town until her big break as a singer comes, national anthems being her specialty.

Axis-Windmill kind of looks toward her, kind of doesn’t. “We’ve met many times before, Marilyn,” he deadpans.

Marilyn? she thinks. Hadn’t heard *that* name in a long time. “Well… can’t recall. Many, huh?” She keeps wiping the wine glass in her hand, although it’s perfectly transparent now. She looks through it at him, watching his distorted steely eyes move here and there, sometimes toward the door, sometimes at her, sometimes in-between. But not at the action. Another lift, another slam to the canvas for Joey. Poor Joey Avatar. Looks like a rain of pain coming tonight. How did *she* get into this mess?

“That’s right,” he finally answered Lichen. He walks toward the door. He opens the door, telling me to come in and join him. He indicates the tables to his right. We sit down, no words between us. We watch Lichen tend bar. The action in the ring (in the ring) wraps up. Victor Eugenia O’Neill moves toward the bar, decided what kind of drink to order for Joey to make up for breaking a couple of her nails tonight. Usually: so gentle, so careful. Must have been the full moon, she reckons. Grasshopper should do it, extra mint.


purple mountains 02

“Long night again, Joey?”

“Ahh yes, I *need* this.” The kangaroo has spoken.


rock’n 5 second commercial

Announcer: “Ono’s Octopus Balls…

… an avalanche of flavor!”

—–

“It’s great!” said character-husband John Lemon, glad to get back on the horse.

“Love the hand coming out from under a rock effect,” octopus ball recipe inventor extraordinaire Yoka Ono added.

“We’ll put it on after the 9 o’clock news,” said the network big wig behind them, not needing to look and instead studying his hand for warts. He could hear the success. “Test it out on the non-magical people first.”

“Fantastic.” John envisioned the money rolling in like batter covered spheres.


sideways observer (23 23 23)

—–

“We must change your name from Axis-Windmill,” she spoke from the side, also observing. But me in this case. A 10 now instead of a 9. Good. We return to Squared Root City, she urged. No need to invoke karma in this place again. No need to even mention the name again. The Princess has spoken.

—–

So I go to another 23 23 — but not w/ a 3rd 23 — in a very different sim, but it’s the wrong time (again). Let’s take W.’s suggestion…


statements of fact

This boat has nowhere to go. It’s landlocked.

Hidi is both red and blue at once.

She is not alone.

Later they travel by a different boat and head to the open sea.

Here be Creatures….

Made it?


open

“You’re not red and blue any more, Brend. You’re white.”

“Just like you,” he acknowledged. “We work in tandem. Together.”

“I… don’t think we made it…”

“… past the creatures, yeah. Critters,” he redefined.

“Yet. Here we are.”

“Thought to be Critter Sea,” he returned. “But instead: Crisp. Crisp Sea.”

“Crisp… Sea,” she repeated, more crisply on the Crisp.

“But we definitely didn’t make it.”

“Nah,” she followed quickly and moved into position 06 in the sequence, unable to look at it any longer.


Charlie

“We died on that line,” spoke White Mage, rid of cursed blue and red. Now only purity. “That’s why we can go back and forth back and forth, not worrying about time.”

“Or space,” she dutifully finished, applying the last of her makeup.

But in truth she wasn’t ready to commit to death. She felt this could be an anomaly, a once in a lifetime opportunity. After all, the red still applied to her lips, the blue to her eyelids. They were still *fixed* in ways. She turned. “Pucker up, white boy.” If the red transferred to him, then (this world) might be real.

—-

later; downstairs:

She *thinks* it worked. She had fun trying anyway. She crossed her legs, prepared for whatever. “Turn around again, *Brend*. Let’s see.”


red to blue

“Interesting tatoos.”

“Thanks.”

“So, are you going to join this Umbrella group, or not?”

“Don’t know. Depends on how the shrimp goes.”

“Yeah. Me too.”

“Food is my guide.”

“I hear ya.”

—–

“So, where’re you from?”

“Place called Spoiled Rotten.”

“For real?”

“Yeah. Got 4 daddies. And one biological one too although I usually don’t count him. 3 daddies, then. No: 4. Forgot about Fred.”

“You sound like quite the catch (!). Is it the tattoos? Should I get some? Who would you recommend? *What* would you recommend?”

“Tattoos?” She was only half listening to that last paragraph, instead thinking about Fred and how she needs to call him.

“Yeah.”

She readjusted her colorful legs, a story on each one. She spoke in general. “You have to appease your daddies so stuff like ‘I’m yours,’ or ‘Daddy’s baby’.”

“Lemme guess,” the untattooed one said back. “Even though *you’re* in control.” Observing from her position, she was thinking: 3 9’s make a 6.

“Yeah baby.” Both giggle.

“How about you?”

“Oh, a nowhere place. Vanilla mom and dad. An uncle who was a prevert. That’s why they sent me away.”

“To this camp, yeah.”

“Yeah.”

“Well…?” Same for her? she was pondering. Could she have found, a friend?


!oosaB

He arrives in a red boat from Ten Pages. He thinks it may be the end of His Second Lyfe, Venus caged. The witch would know, if he could find her. Probably here, don’t you think? Probably here, I think.

Looks like 3 6’s to me. Maybe they’ll be okay.

They waited for the arrival of the legendary surfing blue panther but he never came. Or at least Sozzy Bozo missed him, mask over eyes instead of mouth.

Yoko Ona, fresh from a rock’n commercial over in Enigma, was fixing up a batch of her patented octopus balls in the kitchen and had her back turned, engrossed in her witchy ways under the stove vent.

Maybe next time.


Old and White

The wheels in his mind kept spinning. I’m in Dex, he thought rapidly. But in olden days this island, this *town*, was named Avalon according to that map over there on the wall, not too far from (the Isle of) Babylon but also: not too close. A gap between, but Smaller Water instead of Bigger Water. He had to prepare. The past meets the future and it’s not pretty. Pink (or red) does not bode well for a man. He’d been tested. Red it was. The lipstick remained. He could not remove it now, however hard he tried.

“Try again,” W. urged from the side, still just out of sight, of reach. He could only talk to her as if via phone.

She remained black and white as she twirled and whirled, like a rotisserie chicken in the Wild West of Nautilus, he believed, beyond the reach of phone. Hurry up, he thought, rid of the lipstick for now but not for long. This was a battle of Madam and I’m Adam. He turns.

At least Marilyn is here. Sing us that national anthem again, dearest.


a state of being timeless

“Avalon,” he said without turning, remaining old and gray instead of black and white. The Room would always be his center, another Box come to think of it. Trapped.

“Yeah,” ditzy blonde Marilyn says back to him, still cleaning that glass, almost wearing it out like with sandpaper now. She should think of another task to perform. She’s stuck as if in a rut. But at least her mouth, her *mind* is still working forward. As well as backwards. “Some say Our Second Lyfe started here — in Dex — instead of Babylon.”

“Whore of Babylon,” he responded. “There *is* no Whore of Babylon.” He should know since he was there. “It’s all… make-believe.” He said it with disgust, she thought. He’s bitter about something else. A hidden truth. He could have done the deed as well as young Travis, she gleaned. If circumstances were different. She turned.

He assumed the position of a man, she a woman.

“You know, I had a sister once,” he started his confession on that late April day on the 4th of July.


marina (new killer star)

He figured this was his boat since he had the keys. And the Maebaleia battle flag. Was he finally heading home, away from *here*? He needed to get off this island at least. He knew that. But where? So many ports of call on this aptly named continent of Nautilus. He might as well be a submarine and attack it from the rear. But he was a woman’s man, he recalls. He had a sister.

She let him go. She’d read in the script she was suppose to do this but he didn’t know that, not quite yet. He’d received the pink April copy that morning in the post and she’d already gotten the July blue, with white between them. He wasn’t even in-between, as if stuck on one side of a flag. At least he wasn’t sitting in back and it flapping and slapping him, like poor Zach Black, still without his Jazz Attack, also thanks to Fern. Fern was *real* smart if you didn’t get that part, that role. Because you probably couldn’t. I’d give it at least a 145 to comprehend and play accurately. Sarah I think was the actor’s name, with Jody playing Marilyn, a somewhat lesser challenge. But that was all a long time ago now. I was a different person, a mere child in comparison.

The old and white man had a task, he knew this. To get the hell out of Dodge. West might be best since East is least. Little did he know that Fern Stalin would be waiting for him there as well.

(to be continued)


A Fleabug’s Life


hats off

“I must ask Horace Wise how we got here when we go back. We must be dreaming — perhaps this fits into his post-R.B. Hayes theories of alternate US realities somewhere. Wake up, I say to this witchery of yours. Wake up!”

“Oh shut your gob,” Misty spat out to her thought-to-be future husband Septimius Felton, not worried at all that they were back at the painter’s place. A painter paints, a collagist collages. Paperweight is both. But here… *here*.

“Time to jump back in the lake,” she commanded.

“Again?” Wake up, he said in his head this time. Wake up! Down they go.

But he must admit it was pretty good fun for irreality.


00300416

“You must love me exactly as I love you!”

And so we’ve returned to Black Lake in a very unexpected way through Misty and her partially submerged beau, soon to be husband (??); circled back around. We have similar choices that we did before here, then. Return to Paper Soap from Paperweight using the resonant keyword Paper? A painter paints, a complainer complains. I’m no painter and I’m no complainer. I can go with the flow, even if it doesn’t involve oiling it up and applying to canvas. Joey Avatar knows how comfortable canvas feels now (!). I don’t need to break a couple of nails to understand, but I do need to hammer a couple. In our fence. I’m looking out our Real Life window now. So many people outside, though. If only they would go away for at least that one special day of the year. Hmm.

And I still have a foothold in Paper-Soap, with transfigured Moes’ pink welcome mat seen here back in the sewer tunnels behind sitting old Keith B. I always seem to have to brighten up the place considerably with “Phototools – Lo Gun Light” sky to snap a proper enough picture. But the dark, conjoined sims seems very important still — moving down the road. Photo-novel 31 should start just after Christmas or around the New Year. Omicron’s moving in from the north west east south too. Soon we’ll be surrounded on all sides, blocked in. I need to keep my options open. I’ve had a good run at my job. I’m saying goodbye to the school as a whole, wrapping things up. I know where my mentors are, the painterly ones, the ones that draw as well, were able to bridge the gap between the two disciplines, like Paul Clay. I was relaying to a student I was working with the other day about not liking clay, as in pottery. Foundation classes were cool, but when I moved on to the specialty courses, like pottery, like *weaving* — not a weaver — I lost interest. I dropped out. I returned 6 years later under the good graces of the college, completed my art degree. But, as stated, I’m not a painter, even thought that was my declared emphasis. Never was. I’m not a Warren. I’m not a Dennis.

But what do I have instead? A canvas true, if a map can be considered as such. It’s the world as a whole but it’s very focused in on our US of A. And within that US of A: Iowa. Ringgold County, even — just one county. And at the center of that county: a hypercube; there can be no doubt. You look inside the translucent layers, like paper, and see the bottom writing on the walls. Everywhere.

We continue…


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