“I had that dream again where your name was George,” she offered at the breakfast table. Toasty-O’s this time. New shape: hexagons. And licorice flavored, yum. Something different, something to spice up the palate. Last night it was fried red tomatoes. Night before — he couldn’t recall. Something with spaghetti and yogurt. Afterwards: salmon flavored ice cream. A lot of times it was all about color, warm mixed with cool. Just like (orange toned) Julius. He gurgled and spat out more milk — happened a lot these days as well. “We’ll have to ween him off the stuff soon,” she said, looking over at the white stain enlarging on his baby blue bib. Because of course Shelley knew now as well. This was a boy. She just didn’t realize when it happened. Like unwanted pregnancies this was an unwanted sex. But it was too late to abort (the name). Julius it is, although Shelley would have preferred a Julia. Sometimes the man still rules the house. Especially with a wife so vain she stares a little too often in the mirror. He can trick her, he can distract. Now what *next*, he ponders from his side of the breakfast table, staring over as she picks up another magazine. He’s planted them all around the house and beyond. Henrietta had taught him well, ha ha. Hehe. Ho.
“Who?” he asked innocently, knowing exactly what his real name was, one he hadn’t revealed to Shelley except in the deepest depths of night.
It was a coastal afternoon sort of day. He tried his luck with a passing fairy who spoke two octaves above him. “Crabwoo?”
“What was that?” she buzzed, and was gone.
“Darn.” He shakes his head. “Fairies,” he utters. “Everyone says they know everything but I haven’t seen nothing yet from the lot of ’em.” He imagines spitting on the ground, this *dreamscape*. He wakes up.
Shelley made it no secret that she wanted another baby. She tried provocative pose after provocative pose for enticement, even buying this giant cat-girl scratching post to aid. “Dear,” she called over to Tommy, reading another magazine at the top. Herself again, of course. “Yes, what is it?” He mixed a dab of indifference into the tone. Hatti’s influence again (of course). She’s a genius at recipes, he thinks often, especially deadly ones. But just plain harmless tasty ones too. Half and… “Dear,” she prompts again, seeing she’s losing him to the dreams. Snores would soon follow if she wasn’t quick. She assumes a different pose to change the scene. She puffs her stomach out to appear like it’s got another baby in it already. This time he takes the bait. But that was his plan all along. Julia here we come!
Out in the yard, the mannequin shuts her ears and eyes, having enough of babies. Where was her own? She didn’t care; she put it out of her mind. Eyela erupts from the ground behind her, another spat-upon fairy.
The front doors remain locked.
she’s coming home
He was playing on the keyboard.
She was belting out the piano.
The front door rang. No one knew where they lived. Who could it be?
white on black
I just *love* this music, Swanky. She’s my brother, you know.”
“Indian?” he asked.
“But American. Not Asian,” she clarified. She didn’t think. Point is, she was home, listening to her old music on her old phonograph player. All the Wells: well well well. That was an old joke she shared with Patty Spearmint, her bestie since grade school going on high school. Schneider would enjoy it too. If he were alive to hear it. All the Wells were musical, geniuses even. Rosie decided to part ways with the rest and become a scientist. Now she worked on the Crabwoo Revitalization Project or whatever the heck they’re calling it these days. Blue Feather Redevelopment Initiative — something. And she had that single eye which was different too.
They tried burying it in the front yard that day, but it just popped right back up. They had to accept her as a sister, albeit different.
q and a with the girl who came home
So how are Patty Spearmint and Patty Peppermint you’ve been associated with earlier (photo-novel 1) related?
We are sisters! At least in spearmint.
Spirit, yes. So I’m gathering (the 2 Pattys) are the same.
We don’t talk about Schneider. I drew a mustache on the mannequin outside. Its sex changed (note: LTV starts weeping a bit here).
Here ya go, LTV (I had her a hankie; she loads it up and hands it back to me, nose cleared for the moment). Thank you.
That’s okay. So to continue, Patty and you shared the joke about the Wells: well well well, if it isn’t the Wells (etc.). Then the Wells became reality (“neighbors”). *Your* reality.
Snowball in Hell helped. Stabilization. Affair with…
(end of Part I)
the sphere is the cube is the sea is the whale
She couldn’t stop playing with the Cube of Space, no matter how hard she tried. She’d given in to the urges, complacent in the moment…
She always knew she’d return to (the general) Crabwoo (area). Horses — in the middle of Horsa, or at least an ass, donkeys they call them around these here Northern parts. Loaded down with flowers for the market. And where was that place? That’s what she had to find out next.
She hadn’t heard good music in what seemed like ages. Yet here she was, listening to the beautiful crooning of famous Lena Horned in a cafe she just stumbled upon by accident it seemed. Rehearsals of course, else the place would obviously be packed. Another black person accompanied her to her immediate right drinking bitter wine. Zach Black — caved in to the pressure from the central government of the South. “You help her reach her highest peak pitch or else,” Jer Left Horn demanded in the alley out back of his Cass City club, brother Benny Right Horn with grease monkey wrench beating in hand next to him. A threat in other words. If nice doesn’t work then it’s back to the routine of being bullies, which they’re better at than regular diplomacy anyhoot. Horns of Hatton must be completed. A continental tour will be the warmup. And thus here she is, in the far North, ready for conquest like the British Beatles did with America. Similar. “We have to get you another hit,” said Zach Black after the alley scene was over, now understanding his position in the big scheme of things. Else: walking dead. Like Jim A. Brown before him.
The phone rings for her but is answered by another. She has a personal assistant now. Thank Gods. Time for herself at last.
White Mage: I should yield to black.
Duncan was, of course, glad of the new assignment from the Pot-D powers that be. Which meant essentially: Buster Damm, his “boss” for several years now. Gave him his red skeleton heart medallion hung on a necklace for tracking purposes and sent him off to parts unknown, or at least for Duncan. Now he was needed again. In the briefing, he’d learned that other black people were involved in this here photo-novel. Good! “‘Bout time,” he said to the small vampire staring across from him at the VHC City bakery where they always met, no exceptions. Because it was away from the Sister sim, where Buster was banned. And Bemberg, the other sim which made up most of the rest of VHC City: off-limits as well for other reasons. Tussock it is, and no need to hide the actual name of the sim there either.
Back to the present. Tonight Duncan was asked to just roam around and take pictures of interesting looking things. Buster said he trusted his instincts by now; always seemed to know where to exactly look for clues to the current dilemma. And boy did they have one this time, Duncan thinks from his cushiony leather chair, trying not to stare over at it until absolutely necessary. The Moon. Crabwoo was back, baby. Probably Blue Feather Douglas the old TILE coot as well. Said to call him the Master toward the end. Weellll… he wasn’t going to do it (!). And neither should anyone else in this here photo-novel, especially the people… that looked like him.
He tried to remember how the man appeared in case he was in any of the photos here. He peered around and saw there were a number in this room alone, and the space base (space base?) had a good number of rooms and levels to go. He better start or else not enough sleep tonight. And he needed to be fresh in the morning because it would start all over again about 9:30 or so. “Purple Rain”: that always got him up and going. Prince of a guy, until he became not-Prince and dead at the turn of the Century. Two thousand zero zero: never made it. But, through the Pot-D Grape Vine (purple again!) he’d heard about alternate realities where he did and wore a raspberry beret through it all. Or was it just a rasp*berry*, as in a disguise. He’d have to check…
(to be continued)
He was paler behind the smoky glass but Duncan knew who this was. Indian Wells, part Asian part American. The 3rd wheel to complete the black and white, male and female synthesis. Because everything that was understandable needed to be read… red. It was his job (to observe). He noted the presence and moved on, later thinking how he could get the lost musician back to the other Wells. Little did he know that sister Rosie was behind the disappearance all along. They were studying him (!).
White Mage: I think I’ve changed my mind. I *will* join the new storyline.
(to be continued)
I’m sorry to inform you, BLANK, that Red is dead. Blonde is where it’s at. Or is it Blue these days? Hard to tell — Blue from Black I mean. Because it’s definitely Blue. Unless it’s Red. Is she dead? Better check. Raise the body!
Ahh, *White*. Should’ve guessed.
Red was very much alive and took White’s place over at the next plot in the graveyard that might stand in for this here photo-novel (29). She saw and felt things she didn’t like…
…. made her quiver and quake in her shoes…
… then got use to them…
… after the shock wore off.
She made peace with the grave.
She can go home again.
shockers (L is for Red)
He told me to look for Green…
“Alright, let’s give up the gig. *Master*.”
He said to give peace a chance and that Horsa is the place. Go see Lena Horned. “She’s the complete package,” he reiterates with others.
I was back in Bellisaria. Red’s daughter, or at least the (old?) neighbors.
I decide to head west into Cowabunga. Misdirection? We’ll see.
I spotted something to the west after I entered the northeast corner of the sim. Just plain colors. I went there next…
What was it?
I see. A *witch*.
East (World of Lemon)
It was a peculiar dream for the boy. A happy Green in the midst of a sea of unhappy Red. And he himself: that color. He looks down at the world that he doesn’t realize is Earth but knows is a globe. “Our Second Lyfe looks strange today,” he says, studying it. Maebaleia — thicker or something — and over there, Zindra, he thought. The forbidden continent, ha ha. I’ve seen pictures. And up there: Corsica. Loooonnng. But Nautilus… *Nautilus*…
He wakes up. Also stirring Lena Horned is ready to go home and he’s in charge of seeing her there. Groggy Zach Black says he’s going to stay a little longer and drink some more coffee and sober up. I was the sane one right now. But was I unhappy? Did I really have a good boss? Yes, he decided, looking down at his real yellow skin on his hands and arms. I answer for Red but she also answers for me in the lonnng game, which I’m playing. Because one day I’m going to marry her, different species or not, he determined then and there. Lena was leaning on him now, still struggling to put one foot after another. It was up to him to protect, she said. Use the powers of the Great Black Swamp, The Abyss, if needed. But *carefully* and also only what you absolutely have to. The Abyss, pheh, he thinks. He’s not sure it is a real place yet.
In another dream, he was a circle that had been straightened out.
(to be continued)
One of these things…
“Tell me about this mix up of blue and black, Primary Rabbit,” he requests from the shell chair while listening to the insane croonings of this Indian Wells fellow. Inane even, perhaps, like he doesn’t even know what he’s doing. Like The Shaggs, he thinks, good girls but totally misguided. But Frank (Zappa) liked them and thus they can’t be all bad. I wonder what Frank would think of Indian? I think he had an Indian in his group one time, The Mothers. But maybe it was a Black man instead, he corrects. *Both*, he realizes. In one. And a Cowboy as well.
“Have you gotten it yet?” Primary Rabbit squeaks from beside him, still deciding what primary color would go best with his vest.
Someone knocks at the front door.
“*Itchy*. Don’t answer that!”
Web Winder West
The horse spotted her from the saloon, even neighed at her, seeming to beckon her toward him. But maybe it’s just the attraction to the sim of Horsa in general, and what it means for the future of this continent, indeed Our Second Lyfe. We are trying out the whole “give peace a chance” angle, and “love love love.” Interesting. And Lena Horned is here too (!), gigs extended to perhaps the end of the month. She’s hinted around that she might record her comeback album here, if she can find a suitable barn or something to transform into a studio. That’s why *she’s* here. To make sure all this happens in the most correct patterns.
Better get back to the boy, she thinks. He seems a bit down today; probably that attempted contact with his father. She shakes her red head with this. 102 — the *boy* is *102*. Must be. Not Rael McCoy but the *real* McCoy plain and simple. And with a more well respected and rounded sister. She’s next…
And following the advice of her smaller self she can still meet in dreams, she’s decided to put a tattoo on her back and neck, although it’s covered up by her rose shirt from this angle. *Rose*. She’s forgotten about the renegade Wells over at the Blue Feather Sea. Wonder if she’s procured that telescope she needs to see beyond Uranus yet, further into the corners of Space. Because Space indeed has a limit. She knows all about that.
Oh: he’s also the Mouse as well.
When blue turns to black…
… we will all be able to see the Devil and know that he is we.
I have found you again stone well. Well well well, as they say.
“Who is that girl over there,” said Zach Black in a low tone across the table to Lena Horned. “I’ve seen her before… somewhere. Maybe a fan?”
“Maybe,” Lena said between bites of food, not looking over for fear of *him* again. She knows he’s lurking.
hello I must be going (aloha)
She heard the alley whispers.
She knew she had to go back to Creepy Alley, where *it* happened. The falling of the pipe. The raising of the voice. 3 notes now she could sing that she couldn’t before. The town (Pipersville) even welcomed her back.
She felt like a mannequin, stuck there until I told her she could move forward. I sensed she hated me for that; didn’t like to be controlled. I moved her toward the alley. I’d done this before.
Still there. Perhaps expanded, even. There was a confusion, a mix-up, involving Your Mama and herself dealing with this alley. She always knew this. She dreamed about it often, this so called Creepy Alley. The only… the only way to deal with it is to make a song about the place, she then thought, influenced by the energy, creepy or not. She remembers Zach Black owning a (Texaco) gas station along it, with a back door importantly without an eye in it — he made sure of that. But then, yes, Marion “Star” Harding, Cowboy for life, bought the station, although he didn’t really *buy* it. Said money is no option. She recalls that as well. Then Jim’s Diamond Club right across from her here. She remembers… she sang… Here she looks down at her fur outfit. Why do I *wear* this all the time. Must be a dream. And indeed, here comes Jim, now Jim A. or Jim Brown or Jim A. Brown (altogether now), walking up the hill toward her, dead flesh still in place and not fallen away.
“Jim,” she says, but remembers she shouldn’t call him that. Or she needs to *add* onto that. “Jim A., Jim A. Brown.”
But suddenly he was walking away from her, as if forward had switched to backwards in an instant, a blink of the eye. “F-ing cursed alley,” she cursed.