Lena Horned waits at the park for everything to rez in. Then she takes a picture to remember it by. The day she met Jim A., aka Jim A. Brown aka Jim Brown. But don’t call him (just) Jim. What would they talk about? A new gig at his old club? Hardly. Jim A.’s a washup; she’d moved on, starting with the success of what turned out to be her signature song, “The Ballad of Stormy Daniels.” Who knew a court transcript would so successfully transfer to song lyrics (!?). But she’s having trouble following up on her initial success. Repetition for gain of fame is not the same as mutable creativity. Ask David Bowie: she’d been getting into his music lately, determining he’s half black himself. Has a black wife, his soul mate. Lena Horned had met her once at a fashion show. She had wisdom in her eyes. She was a deep soul — just like David.
There: a picture.
And there: Jim A./Jim A. Brown/Jim Brown.
But Jim wasn’t fully formed and apparently only Lena could see it. Instead: walking dead. Too late to run.
not a full deck
She sat as far apart from him on the bench they shared as possible without being *too* obvious about it. Along with looking just plain awful he also reeked of dead flesh — death itself. Yet he talked as if nothing was out of the ordinary. He was chattering on and on about his club — Jim’s Club, before he insisted that you add an A. to it, a Brown, or an A. Brown if you wish. But not plain ol’ Jim; not after his club sank after, first, Your Mama and Keith B. left, and then Lena herself. She’d never known him as Jim A./Jim Brown/Jim A. Brown, since she hadn’t seen him since the fall of the Club — last fall she believes. She only knew him as Jim.
“Jim,” she began innocently, trying to excuse herself and daring to insert his name in his soliloquy. Bad mistake.
He waited for more which didn’t come, then: “Jim. That’s it? As in Jim’s Diamond Club, red and black together to make something not quite as good as either separately? *Jim*?”
“Yeah: Jim,” she repeated. “Isn’t — that your name?” She was sweating now. She shouldn’t have wore her fur costume she was going to sing in tonight. Probably brought back bad memories for Jim (Jim?) and his club — same outfit she wore at times there, she now recalled.
He stared at her: no life atall in his eyes. “Call me that again and you’ll be as dead as me. Get it?”
Lena Horned got it. She just let him talk and ramble on about the past after that. Finally he’d unwound everything he wanted to say to her. He got up. “Well, ’bout time to head back into the grave, honey. I thank you. I think you’ve — saved me.” He left the park, sauntering up the street he came down from, into the sunset. She stayed on the bench, wondering what just happened. She better get back to her apartment and talk to Zach Black about all this, before she forgets. Was this all a dream? she wondered, snapping her fingers and finding they just pass through each other. Yeah: dream.
Thank Gods. She takes the tension out of her shoulders and heaves a deep sigh and wakes up, Zach’s arm draped about her midsection. Her new man. Her new *club* man.
“The past again?” She’d been fidgeting for a while, keeping him awake. He contemplated prodding her but just let the dream unwind. Always the sigh at the end to wake up. He knew it wouldn’t last long; never did. The dead can’t leave their grave for too long.
(to be continued?)
“Oh it was just awful, Zach. That *look* in his eyes.”
Always the same, Zach thinks. She repeats herself over and over about their description, these “walking dead” as she calls them.
“But then the last dream I had about David Bowie was *fun*. Cute umbrella people — New People they called themselves, but come from a flooded country. They turned into umbrellas — that stopped the rains. Very cute,” she reinforced. “And David Bowie was their leader (!). Except he called himself… umm.” She couldn’t recall the name Bogota, because that could put a kind of damper on the cuteness. Because: another walking dead obviously.
Cowboy (revealed 02)
“Another dream: I was at 23:23, the place *and* the time. This was the…”
“… beginning?” He’d heard this too. Male-female synthesis. “So we’re back to trying to track this 102 fellow. Or 102 girl.”
resident but perhaps not evil
He waited for the security orb to kick in but it never did. He was INSIDE. Triple number for Hooktip, or close enough — 1 off.
Who to celebrate this occasion with? Why his wife of course: Martha Lamb. Or maybe (since animations are limited)… Shelley. Yes: Shelley.
She was, as usual, speed reading the famous or infamous red book, take your pick. It’s also flame retardant she’s heard.
“Hi Shelley. Sorry to hear about your castle.”
“That’s okay (read read read). There’s another one already there (read read). And Jacob’s I. (read) is asleep back on the bench at the Prog Rock Museum (read read read read read).”
“So I’ve heard.” Sid wanted to ask the obvious. Was this his daughter? ‘Nother one?
Sid was gone. Shelley was all grown up, having been through her Firesign Theatre period (“Piera”) and loving it. “Uncle Meatwad” — soo funny. Queer as well, but mainly funny. Both at once. It was all in the book…
… which was in her eyes now.
(to be continued)
It was a Red Land, mix in a bit of yellow (“Yelloo!”), a kinder, gentler Axis for the modern agogo world of yesterday’s tomorrow, mix in a little propeller (whirl, whirl whirl!). Okay, let’s ditch the propeller cap actually. Here he is.
Bit of midriff showing but we’re working on it: we’ve called him Windmill Man, as he stands at the bottom of another Diagonal that acts as the axis for the Chalet subcontinent of Bellisaria. Bellisseria. This is the path to FREEDOM, starting at Brady Stream. I check nightly for name changes to the surrounding base sims.
The Diagonal moves upwards beyond Bellisaria into the Maebaleia continent, almost as hard to spell. And this is where we must begin tonight, because new things are happening in Cassandra — just off this Diagonal or affected by its energy. Developments continue…
It was a poor, shivering girl indicating that lawnmower guy Jacob I. was still alive and awake and kicking like a little baby here. Somewhere. Thank you. I said: thank you. Watch out! (swerve at last second)
A girl within. Looks like Jill Valentine but it’s not. And I’ve run into another girl named Valentine recently. Can’t remember where…
Oh, of course: *Faye* Valentine. With the gun. On the *other* Diagonal we’re currently examining.
Cowboy Bebop. Mimosa Lanes. Ur-parents. Still guiding (“We: here”). Hoooome cooking, Andy Griffith NC style.
Marion “Star” Harding, cowboy for life, ponders the death of his lover, his *director*, in that awful explosion over in Paper-Soap. Oh Heidi — or whatever your actual name was — I will miss you deeply. I will miss the *money* coming in, because I was one of your favorites. You cast me in every film you directed, and even though I didn’t get every part (too obvious!), I got a good heap of ’em. We were together tonight, albeit briefly.
All we have are memories.
He had a new girl now. And, not coincidentally, a new director. Percy was her name, although some people call her Pauline. Some people don’t call her anything, afraid to say the wrong thing and suffer the consequences. Other people know her as Dean, which is apparently a woman’s name as well — didn’t know that. Some say she looks exactly like Jill Valentine from the Evil Residents game, and she does. But they aren’t the same.
Some say she has umbrella eyes, but that was instead Shelley Struthers, also dead, also an evil resident, or at least others say. All Marion Star Harding knows is that he is in love again, a new Valentine in his life, although he still dreams — day and night — about his old “cowgirl” Heidi. He can’t decide between a woman who’s dead who he can keep alive in his mind, and this woman here lying on the beach before him who’s perhaps dead but still living. A conundrum.
“Marion,” she calls over, getting up from the towel. She dare not take her bodysuit off else the flesh could crumble. It’s all that’s holding her together now. “I’ve got to direct another shoot over in Cass City. I’ve got to get going. Be a dear and start packing my bags.”
More time with Heidi coming up soon, then. Is he happy about it? He’s not sure.
(to be continued)
Controller (xyz (23s))
“It’s what I tell everyone at this Table. Time to choose, darlings. You can pick two apples or one banana. If the latter, I’d go with the ripest one in case you don’t like it. Oranges aren’t needed since everyone has one — needless redundancy you see. And the choco chip cookies are *right* out unless you’re one of the Far Corner peoples. Don’t be that. Jacob or Jacobia — please select the item or items you wish to be.”
“I don’t think we have to worry about the Heart Line any longer, Sid. Since the heart of the Heart is no longer there.”
“Head is still in play, apparently.”
“I know. I was there (!) 23:23.”
“So my suggestion is go back to that spot, that exact melding of space and time. Obviously it will most likely be a different *time* of course, but the space remains locked.”
“Right-o. Can I take Martha?”
Buster thought this over. “How’s her hormones doing?” he decided to phrase it. No distracting from the job at hand!
“He’s here. We’ll have to jump.”
“You go first.”
“Okay he’s gone down the road guys! You can come out!”
Cass City > Horns of Hatton?
“You know, she really is the complete package, brother Jer, this Lena Horned.”
“I hear you brother Ben. I hear *her*.”
They listen to the completion of “The Ballad of Stormy Daniels,” preparing for their pitch. Come with us, they’ll tell her. Come back to the capital of all of the South, not just the Deep South. Help us make the South great again, that’s what they’ll say.
“Thank you (applause whistles applause). Thank you very much (applause applause applause).”
VHC City (opposite sides of 1 wall (it’s a girl!))
And there are definitely apples involved here.
Back down at her lake house, cat-girl Coffee phones up Zach to spill the beans.
“Hello sweetness, have you heard the *latest*?”
“Leave??” He spat it out toward Lena like it was a meal of fresh shite. He didn’t like it one *bite*.
“It’s only for the holiday season,” she tried innocently.
“Listen honey, I *know* how these things *work*.” He shakes his head. “Lord lord lord, first Jim A. and now *me*.”
“It’s not… like that.”
train of thoughts (for now)
Guyd on one side, Rebl on the other, the director of the current film (“Sunklands 2021 Even Later”) talks with newly synthesized Axis Windmill Man about further developments in the plot. Don’t want another giant diamond ring in an open casket situation to end!
“Scratchy is the destination,” began Axis-Windmill in earnest after the niceties were over. Down to business now. Cass City business. “The show within the show that is Our Second Lyfe.”
Director Percy Pierce tried to put new lover Marion Star Harding out of her mind. She’d been thinking about him ever since they parted ways several days back — left him back at Starfish Lake or Sea or whatever the f- they’re calling the body of water these days — the new trend. She knew he, in turn, still thought about Heidi. Actually: another show within a show, since it is a mere window in his mind now. Job at hand…
“Snowball in Hell is… reality?”
“There are 2 sides to this,” explains Axis-Windmill, looking at green and yellow eyed Guyd to the left, then red-blue eyed Rebl to the right. He moves his right hand toward his left hand to meet in the middle and form praying hands.
“Are you saying we should *pray* for the correct plot direction?”
“Ob-JEC-tion,” overruled Guyd from the left. “This show should be non-denominational.”
“Secular even, yes,” interjected nodding Rebl from the right.
Director Percy Pierce peered at them as well. “The feline-people will have their way. They created all this after all, like toys for their boys.”
“Did they?” Axis-Windmill obviously had his doubts.
“Yes,” doubled down Percy Pierce.
“That’s not what the manual states.”
“The manual remains a draft in places. I’m sorry — I meant to update before you were synthesized and acquired lines.”
“The manual states–”
“I *know* what the manual states.” They sat silent for a spell, all 4 of them. Percy’s thoughts involuntarily drifted back to Marion… and, within the window (she almost thought “windmill”), the director that preceded her.
(to be continued (?))
In the mirror, Percy Pierce stared at the device on her chest that made her controlled. At least it’s not in her *head*, she ruminated, trying to cheer herself up. And, after all, it’s what makes her a top notch director, able to think in many directions at once, see many possibilities. The problem, then, becomes *choice*. And that’s where Axis-Windmill Man comes into play; why he was manufactured in the first place. She needed someone imaginary to do battle with. Manual, pheh. There *is* no manual.
“What are you looking for little boy?”
She spreads her arms wide. “Alll around.”
’tis the season of Boos
Ohhh. *This* corn.
And some candy ta boot.
Axis-Windmill thinks he’s going to like this new place.
The first night staying in Neat Town I shared a cabin with a guy named BOOS, oddly enough. I was checking the blog for new posts about Cass City (no go) when he began to speak about the main topic at hand.
“Have you seen one?”
I was still busy with the search. “Cass City + Windmill”. Nope, hadn’t been there in a couple of nights, not since meeting — who was it? — Percy Pierce (of course!) at that place next to the railroad that runs between Cass City and Scratchy — almost runs. Strange that those 2 cats control all of Our Second Lyfe. Or so Percy says. Overlords, eh? Not the Lindens. I looked over. I could only see the top of his blue body from my position, not even a head. “I’m sorry… what did you say?”
“I *said*, have you *seen* one? The samsquanch.”
“They wha-? Oh.” I think back to the big bigfoot statue at the entrance to the campground I decided to stay at to begin my exploration of the town and its environs. “You mean sasquatch. Yes: bigfoot.” I tried a search on the tag Percy, then started with Guy/Guyd. Aha (!) Benjamin Guy *is* Guyd — with an extra letter. Figures.
“Bigfoot yes, whadd I say? I have.”
Axis-Windmill set the laptop aside, figuring he’d have to follow through with the conversation or else get no more work done tonight. “15 minutes,” he requested as politely as possible. “Then I must get back to my business. I have an important blog to run now.”
BOOS would not be deterred from his subject. “They came down in a, get this, *shoe* on the western edge of town, a *giant* one. They started unloading red houses, started dotting the landscape with ’em. The shoe flew away. The bigfoot started moving the houses into position. A town was born. A *neat* town.”
Axis-Windmill’s forehead furrowed, trying to wrap his brain around what the heck BOOS was talking about. Neat Town created by bigfoot or, er, bigfeet? “How many?” he decided to reply.
“How many what?”
“How many bigfeet did it take to create the town? Or were involved?”
“I don’t know. *Ten*? What does it matter? We’re talking about *bigfoot*. He’s *real*.”
“I’m sure there are women bigfeet as well.” Axis-Windmill wasn’t going to let go of his new appelation. Bigfoot plural: bigfeet. He’ll look up if anyone else calls them that after he’s finished talking with BOOS. He checks his watch: 8 minutes now.
“Awwww,” BOOS waves over at me. “You don’t believe.” He rolls over and pretends the conversation is over, baiting me. So I decided to take it.
“I believe. No, truly, I believe. Tell me (quick search for “Rebl” now in the pause)… more.” I’ll half listen for the remaining, let’s see, 6 minutes now. Won’t be long.
“It was fun playing Kickass Boos again,” he said mildly, per usual. “I enjoyed yelling. I’m not… a yeller.”
“I’m glad you enjoyed it,” the Controller said back. She had more plans for Kickass. And his brother — also named Kickass, Bogota in his case.
Now where was I?