Future Schumann was trying to show me something.
I returned to Collagesity, set on finishing that ditch traversing almost the entirety of the town. What do we have here?
And why am I Baker Bloch again? *The* Baker Bloch. Must be Wheeler, I assumed: the third wheel. Her “other”, or “others” I suppose. Marriage, pheh. How can she say she is married… to which one? Or better, which is which? They both came from novel 8, like a Crazy. Maybe Cpt. Crazy over at Half Hitch would know, or at least half know some kind of truth. And what about *his* significant other, that Speck or whatever, the First Mate or the Only Mate or Lone Mate. Mates indeed. Randolph the Bastard Pirate must be laughing in his sleep, chest still rising and heaving with every internal guffaw. The alchemy bird stays silent, forgetting its purpose as a watcher in de skies.
“But a twin *has* moved forward,” I can hear Wheeler inside my head. “We have chosen a hairstyle, a form. We are from Heaven now. You know the denizens of Hell; you’ve seen them very recently.”
You know we are trying to save you and we chose just in the nick of time.”
I shook off the daydream and stared down the length of The Ditch. Ditch City they may call this place in the future, if they have no imagination.
(to be continued)
“I’d like to propose to you all over again. Like in the old times.”
Wheeler looked him over good. “You’re not Baker Bloch any longer. Else…”
“… I wouldn’t be saying this, yeah. I ditched Baker back at Collagesity. Or maybe it was in the White Palace; yeah, the White Palace. I remember playing the piano which I can’t do. I was in the dark all of a sudden. Then I was alive again. White. Rock beats both Paper and Scissors surrounding it. I was in the present.”
“Here, then.” Wheeler stopped looking him over good. “Good. How do you plan to do it? With a rose?”
“Just stand over there and I’ll get down on my knees.
“It had to happened,” said one witness to the other in a low voice. “Else… the alternative.”
scene of the crime
Another big wave was coming in. “Well here we are, Wendy Wheeler. Lounging around on a beach with our oversized gin and tonics like an old married couple.”
“You’re leaving me,” she guessed. It was something in the tone of his voice. And, well, his history with women in general.
Jeffrey Phillips sighed, thus giving an answer.
“It was the Tennessee thing, wasn’t it? We didn’t go… far enough.”
“I guess, Wheeler, I just like them (*sigh*) cheap and easy.”
Silence for a while. “You’ll go back to Marwood then, to Easy Street — E Street.”
“Suppose so,” he said after a pause. “I mean, what do you care. You have 2 husbands already — Tropp and Opp or whatever…”
“Opp. His name is Opp. Tropp was just an invention by the maker of this blog.” She stared directly out of the blog and into my eyes. “A contraction of True Opp, just like sometimes I am referred to as True Wheeler — Treelor.”
“Yeah I never figured out what that meant.” He stared out of the blog as well, but not at me. Just at darkness. I’m writing this at 2:42 in the morning with the lights out. What I mean is that he isn’t as informed as Wheeler on the subject of the 4th wall and how to successfully break it. But he did have one trick he was about to reveal to her.
Wheeler/Hidi felt her hair get impossibly wet from that waterfall tumbling off the cliff over there. The blog, if successful, is one continuous collage, and she also knew this. Her marriage was a sham. “Jeffrey,” she then said, staring at it across the water while still getting a bit wet. “Are we even engaged?”
It was here Jeffrey admitted he had his fingers crossed behind his back the whole time, which led to this.
“Looks like another ship is landing at Castle Town, Cpt. of mine. A trawler, just like ours.”
Cpt. Crazy (8?) looked over as well, beyond Grandpa Cliffs to the opposite shore and the town resting upon its likewise steep slopes like a demented sunset. His eyes were sharper than his 1st mate, his only mate. “Jenny,” he could just make out on the bow. “Must have repaired it over in Wallytown.”
“Good,” replies Speck. “Now, ahem… what were my lines?”
Cpt. Crazy picks up the script from between them, indicating his true seat as well.
“Says here you’re suppose to be enraged over the name. I-I don’t remember that in rehearsal.”
“Jenny,” Speck gets in the mood. “Jen-ney.” He remembers. It was the name of his old girlfriend. The one stolen by… “GUMMMMMP!” Echoes all around.
going off Half
Ahh, good to be back in the saddle again, eh Speck? Back her up!
Damn crazies, homophobic Sooloo thought from his porch up on the hill while listening to the noisy, dirty trawler putter out of the Half Hitch harbor. Now maybe he can finally get some sleep at night.
Yellow and Catchup
Drew “Grumpy” Cleveland had an idea how to lure the right Mouse over. “Corndogs!” he called while still protecting his valuable package behind the counter. “Corndogs for the pick’n!” Had Mick been successful with the operation? He might soon find out.
circle of fiends
“Hearts for you, Pansy,” said one of the Certain Deaths after dealing the card. All the rest dug spades; Grumpy never had a chance.
reverse mode still
I got out of the car the black dog was driving. He exited too, went over to the skeletons playing cards with themselves to sniff for more clues. I was told to touch something. I tried and tried and finally found the right object. Everything swung into place.
So that’s where the magic will happen, I thought while staring over at the chair. Or un-magic; removal. They’ll start with the head, they told me. Remove the black until I am white as a flower, menace no more. But did I believe them? I could call the black dog back over from the skeletons and high tail it out of here if I wished. I still could back out; I had that option.
“Jenny,” he exclaimed, looking over at the crashed ship in Wallytown. Better phone up Wheeler and tell her the bad news.
“But Speck and Crazy *saw* it,” the tinny voice came just later over the phone. “It landed at Castle Town.”
“Nope,” I countered. “The witnesses were wrong.” Just like with us.
The wrong one walks into the Castle Town bar to meet her mates.
another kind of card game; no Right of Way
“I only told a fib *this* big. Not a whopper.”
“Shut your mouth,” she responded, getting the joke but not liking it. Back to the cast of “Burger Wars” for her, it looked like.
“*Anyhoot*, we’re back to where we started from, you in your position and me in mine. This is good.” He puts down his hands. “This is excellent.” He begins to whistle a tune of no solid design. “This is great,” he paused in the activity to reinforce the positivity of the situation once more.
Wheeler/Wendy continues to wipe down the counter with a nonexistent rag. “Do you want me to keep doing this until we can see ourselves in the polished surface, hmmm?”
But her rhetorical question was answered by the first visitor of the night to this central Nautilus location, the basically vacant, sim-wide city we visited before for a couple of posts in section 3. Man About Time.
“Ahh, my most unfocused doppleganger, have a seat have a seat. How are things back in Collagesity, #2?” We are lone mates, thinks Jeffrey Phillips here, much like Speck and Crazy.
“I took Carrcassonnee apart and then put her back together, as you suggested.”
“Great!” Jeffrey Phillips was pleased MAT followed orders or at least suggestions for a change. “Any luck? Can we get her back? How long away from the tree can we expect her to live when disassembled?” So many questions, Phillips thinks. I need to return; can’t keep ruling the place long distance. But squaring the circle is important important and thus the return to this pretty central location.
“10 days at most,” MAT answers the second question first. “But it doesn’t matter,” he continues in his mild way. “The eye, even when separated from the (6 sectioned) body, remains staring and unblinking. No real response. I say we move to Plan B. Or Plan 2.”
“*You’re* Plan 2,” Jeffrey responded, laughing while simultaneously disappointed that Carrcassonnee couldn’t be reactivated. Wheeler/Wendy continued to needlessly wipe down the counter, wondering when this was going to end. Another visitor shows up. Fern Stalin. And right behind her, as usual, her own no. 2: Lichen Roosevelt. The old Yalta Bar and Grill gang had reassembled. They were all here to talk about what happened with the crashed ship over in Wallytown. Everyone needed to know; everyone needed to be brought up to speed.
“Speeding,” finished Fern Stalin 15 minutes later. “Stop signs ignored.”
“Any word from Sally lately?”
“Not since Milwaukee,” he hiss-spoke from his wheelchair.
“He hadn’t heard from Sally in a while, Wheeler, not since what he indicated were his Happy Days, before she left.”
“Hmmm… so, er, he’s *not* Dr. Mouse. The one who operated on Mick and use to be called the Doctor *of* Mouse.”
“Nugent — did that name ring a bell? We’ve heard Sally also go by that alias.”
“Forgot to ask, sorry.”
Wheeler frowned from her position across the Blue Feather table, knowing in all likelihood she wouldn’t have made the same error. “Let’s get down to other business,” she then said, patting the top of a large pile of papers before her. He didn’t seem to understand the gravity of the situation. Collagesity needed him there more than he was!
“Well why don’t you just f-ing take over again, will ya?” he exclaimed later in a fit of exasperation. And they were only about 1/5th the way through the pile still.
“Moe! I thought you were retired.”
“Nah, just decided to go back to my homeland,” he gruffed. “Us cartoons should stick together. Right Sandy?”
“It’s Willy (*hiccup* BURRRRRP!).”
“Right. Never can remember that.”
“How about me, big boy,” spoke Teacher Felicia Mae Appletree on the other side, ready for more action if needed. She hadn’t seen a banana (or lemon) she didn’t like yet. The blinking neon head of Homer loomed above it all. HOMR. Jeffrey Phillips decides to ask.
“Moe,” Moe corrected.
“Did you mean Homeland? Or *Homer*land?”
Pause. “Why don’t you go see for yourself,” then came the answer. On cue, the music started next door, a Residents piece this time (“Walter Westinghouse”).
Homer was about to eat 12 boxes of 12 donuts live before a TV audience and then spray paint a pig and some other stupid stuff, so Moe said. “The kids eat it up,” he explains while Homer quickly downs his first, second, third…
He was going even further back now, almost to the beginning, the origin of Our Second Lyfe itself. What was the point of it all?
It was logical that Roger Pine Ridge would show up at this
point juncture in our still evolving storyline, taking even more rusty twists and turns to and fro across the Nautilus continent and beyond. We’re on Yd Island currently, the Ratzenburger Rabbit just behind that castle over there. Jeffrey Phillips felt warm again; he knew he was close. Roger helped.
“I was last on Mistery Island, helping Blue Bear Y out with that broken orb. Do you recall?”
Jeffrey Phillips vaguely recalled.
“Rainbow Sphere, some called it. Go back and find the Rainbow Sphere.” Good advice from Roger tonight. Thanks!
“Did you know I have a hole in my back, Jeffrey? Do you even notice these things?”
“Let’s not argue tonight, Charlene.”
Pause. “Anyway, I guess coming here gave me an excuse to wear that hot pink dress I haven’t worn since, oh well, I suppose since I walked under that marquee in Picturetown and then glanced down the alley at skateboarding Bart Smipson. The bastard.”
“Now now, Charlene. He’s just a kid, a ragamuffin of the streets.” Smaller pause. “Plus, he’s probably dead. We’ll find out soon. Because of the next place we have to visit. Fern’s already been there. Which means you will be there. Eventually.”
“Pheh.” Charlene the Punk reached behind her shoulder and felt the hole in her back, suddenly becoming self conscious of it. She then drew her attention forward again to the girl sitting beneath the drinks. “And who’s this suppose to be? Me in the past I suppose — presume.”
“That’s the idea. Felicia Mae Appletree, but not the Smipsons teacher, the one who would have taught Bart most likely.”
“Instead, the child, the daughter. Maebaleia tattoo already on her back — she’s too young for that.”
“I have a tattoo of a *hole* on my back,” Charlene complained. “I don’t want to hear about some itty bitty upper back tattoo.”
“Central back.” He had walked behind the bar and checked. That’s how he knew where they needed to head next. Fern must have planted the idea in the young Charlene’s head. If this is Charlene, and it appears it is so.
“Does she *talk*?” Charlene the Punk says exasperatedly, about ready to leave if some kind of music doesn’t start soon. And no Residents this time or she’s outta here real real quick. She’s already told Jeffrey that, who assured her that’s it’s only Pink Floyd music offered here. She checks to see where his hands and fingers are, though, and notices that some remain hidden either in darkness or in clothes. She will not be entertained by the mastications of Homer; she was never one of those kids.
Boxes of donuts were rolled out on the stage. Charlene the Punk was outta here quicker than a pig with wings.
“Have a seat, er, Felicia,” offered Jeffrey after the exit. 10 years younger, underaged even for him. Probably all for the best.
“Tell me about the tattoo; I dig it,” Jeffrey requests after the entertainment starts. Turns out she was one of those kids after all. She’d just forgotten what she had dug.
I was on a trail again, per usual. A Yd Island profile led me to here: Fonzerelli Docks, a New Babbage location which seems to have seen happier days in the past. Former owner: C. Thetan of Nova Albion. Ahh yes. Our Second Lyfe just keeps pulling surprises on me. I figured it was this location that “Fancy (Dress Ball)” Sally (Nugent?) fled from her creator we talked to a couple of posts back, but I’d have to place her here if so. No problem! Let’s meet up with her at this Ruby’s Pub, apparently a popular local watering hole and just next door to the docks.
Turns out we met at Merryman Pub on the other side of the docks, I’m not sure why. Yoko Ona was there, talking about eggs and the whites of eyes. Linda Halsey showed up and they had a punch fight, one pulling for Salieri and one just pulling hair. Finally Sally arrived, declaring herself Sally Fancy and Nugent no more, and everyone settled down and became curious and started asking her questions about her new and also former life with Halloween Jack at Phantom Hill and perhaps some other places. And of course about who we might call Dr. Not Mouse, because he wasn’t, and who created Sally and Jack both and gave them a starter house next door to his Phantom Hill Castle where they raised designer horses and played cards until midnight every day, sometimes poker but also sometimes Miles Bourne the French road game. And that’s how they met the aliens who broke down over
on Highway 70, Bert and Jenny, as if the latter game had moved into reality, which is truth. They looked and looked but the most valuable card, the Right of Way, was nowhere to be found. The aliens Bert and Jenny suggested under the table, and then in the kitchen, perhaps where they were slicing bread between hands for sandwiches. The aliens got the association as well. Nowhere could it be found. Bert and Jenny were here to stay.
“We ended up playing Miles Bourne most nights,” Sally explained, “but it was like the German autobahn in there. ‘Fasten your seat belts!’ Jenny would always exclaim after the cards were dealt, and it also always ended in disaster. We were just recreating the wreck over and over.”
I just didn’t seem to fit in here with my bike and all. It was a hell of a bike, though. Got me through Gormania. Mystery Shack.
gump in the road
Stairs again. And owls. Owl stares. He rides straight ahead and avoids full on eye contact. Always to the side for them.
Rainbow Sphere, he thinks after moving inside the palace with the super polished floors and glancing upwards. I’m on the right track again.
Biking past similarly rainbow colored dance balls, he decides to test out this antique piano; see what he’s made of round these parts.
“Ahh, a Schumann. You must be a scholar, then.”
Jeffrey Phillips raises his hands from the ivories, surprised he can play so wonderfully. He turns (changes).
“So you’re ready to move on from this… *Pickle* state. Now that you’ve found a new host. Is that how it works?”
“I suppose so, David.”
“Don’t call me that here.”
“I’m sorry.” Pause. “But I did what I had to do to better…”
“… yourself,” David finishes for him.
“I can’t argue.”
David A.B. settles back in his chair, tries to calm himself. Although he is a God he’s prone to errors too. More emotional ones for him rather than intellectual, because of the brilliant, diamond-like brain and all inside his nogg’n, thanks to Mid Hazel. Or thanks to Mid Hazel for allowing him to keep it there. What does she want long-term, though? he ponders once more. It’s a direction he can’t see clearly, which is unusual. He’s asked Jenny to help. She should be here soon. Better wrap it up with this Pickle man dude.
“You better confer with the Ant. I know you hate him but…”
“… he’s a part of me too,” Sandman finishes for David this time. There is no me without we, he knows. Maybe he should have thought this whole host transferring thing out better, but, too late now.