He came in on a tulip plane from Maebaleia (continent), vowing never to return. “Black and white tv’s,” he complained to the airline reservation agent whose name he didn’t catch and then regretted it later. Raspberry colored, she was, at least in dress — complete with seeds, ha. An idea is planted. A secret revealed. “Greyscale, even — that’s the name of the *leader* for Christs sake.” He’d received a free ticket to the capital city of the South from his cousin Vinnie. He should call him — right here and now at the airport — give him a piece of his mind about the recommended vacation spot. No *wonder* the lout gave up his ticket, he thought. Nothing there but chickens. And worse!
Only much later would he learn that Maebaleia is the same as Satori, and that he’d neglected to visit the much nicer North in his travel. Vinnie provided him with another free ticket — even went with him this time to make sure he didn’t stray too far south. They stood on the edge of the Guy Linden owned Gangkhar Rabbit Hole and marveled at its unicorn nature. Once there were two such things, on either side of X-City, King city of the north. For the king had risen again to compliment his southern queen. The black menace with two protruding round ears still hung in the sky but they’d learned to make peace with it by eliminating capitalism. Communism or at least Marxism has its advantages.
“Mae Baleia. My name is Mae,” she said more distinctly through her thick (Russian?) accent when he returned this time. *That’s* where the confusion all started. This gall darn agent (!).
Hitgal, still manning her cornog stand at this same Half Moon Airport in Southwest Nautilus, watches a tulip plane coming in from out the front windows, 2 of ’em in fact. Lips are like one pink. She recalls a dream last night where she was floating in such, on a pool shaped like Vermont or New Hampshire, pick your camera angle. Two people sitting and talking at a table perched on the far side of the irregularly shaped cement pond. A mouse. A man. A cane between them, linking them together in the irresolved distance, as if by magic. Someone lost their cane. “Excuse me, miss,” he said after approaching, and then told her what was amiss. He walked with a limp but not badly. Hitgal pondered if the cane was more symbolic than necessary, a symbol of power, an emblem of a man who can point to what he wants before he takes it. She overheard whispers of a restaurant that would manufacture hot dogs out of pig lips. Hmmm, lips again. She speaks to him with her own.
“Over theres.” She points behind her to the left. “Mae Baelias.”
“Maebaleia?” he repeats, wanting to get it right.
“That’s right. Just over theres.” She points again. There could be no mistake. But of course a bigger mistake hid behind this lesser one avoided. Dr. Mouse would spend the rest of the year and then 3 or 4 months of the next searching for his cane on the Satori continent, which airline reservation agent and sometimes lost and found negotiator Mae Baleia directed him toward. The tickets were free and so was the pain. He needed a vacation anyway, but it was not what he expected. Chickens — always the clucking and pecking around, the incessant pecking and clucking. But Dr. Mouse found his cane upon return. Hitgal kept it safe below the cornog roaster at her stand, awaiting the closing of the loop. Tulips are like one pink, she knew, and the plane he took to Maebaleia/Satori would be arriving at the same time he departed. There would be no gap.
(to be continued?)
more boat 01
This place is way too small, Lena. Why are we even here?”
“You know why,” she spoke just beyond the wall. “Another continental conquest…”
“… this time Nautilus, I know.” He simmered a bit more, wishing Lena would finish up. When she did they switched places. Physically relieved, he calmed down some. He didn’t have it bad now. At least they were away from the cursed continent where the Horns resided. They had their newborn King to deal with. They’d be busy for a while; not bother them. Lena and he could take their time. Maybe even start up — dare he think it — a romance. In this small boat on loan from the Maebaleia navy, they were practically living on top of each other anyway. Might as well complete the deal.
“How’s ‘Creepy Alley’ going?” Zach decided to ask. Always the question about the song/album around 10 o’clock. Just before breakfast, for him usually Toasty-O’s, dodecahedron style these days. He can’t get enough of the new shape and taste. He ponders whether they might actually use some kind of drug to make the stuff more addictive, but then remembers sugar is its own drug. He promised Lena he’d try to ween himself off of it. Wasn’t working yet. Pressure of touring not helping the addiction. Better pop in a Mars bar to tide me over till lunch, he thinks at 11.
11:30. Lena’s morning yoga. Sugar rush going full strength, Zach looks on very interested.
Practically — on top of each other (already).
Oh. The song and same named album is going along swimmingly, she said back there, which was then next for Lena, Zach still tagging along like a lost puppy. Poor Zach. He’ll never know what hit him in the Black.
“Gall darn flag,” he said when it slapped him during a random wind eddy while he stared, not understanding the foreboding.
He’d landed in the right spot. Now to end this.
You’ll have to excuse our friend Square. He hasn’t caught up with the book yet.” He looks over, notes the blonde hair. “I see you’re turning into Jennifer Lane again. Good one. Veyot likes that one.”
I took another sip of of my 4 shot latte and wrote: “Yes, I further said it was a real place, and *now* — since I spoke to her — (the maturation) means something else. Retirement, the library becoming an increasingly far away and fuzzy edifice after that. I proceed forward with my new life, my new eyes. I will have no need for physical books any longer. I am my *own* book. I am beyond my Firesign Theatre period, having absorbed the Piera (“Billfork” through “Uncle Meatwad”). I am even beyond the positive carrcasses (“Cpt. Mouse” through “Shiny Hare”). I enter something different.
“Good, good,” he said. “All and well.” He becomes Square and makes another collage.
“These…overlaps,” he says, now studying, now reading the physical book again while turned away, “are becoming interesting. Comings and goings. Dr. Mouse arrives at the same time he departs.” He turns the page. 5 seconds later: “And *Zach and Lena*. Aren’t they a couple already?”
I check his pronouncement with my already changed eyes. “Yes. Too much information,” I decided. “We must end and then begin again. Clean the slate.”
He switches sides of the couch again. “Downstairs first,” forward looking Circle requests. “We must speak with a few more people in this one.”
(to be continued)
She looked over. “You are one again.”
“And so are you,” he quickly replied in his higher register voice, exactly one octave higher to be precise. “Jennifer Lane through and through, switched out from twin cousin Shelley Lane, aka Shelley Struthers (in Part 04). Marvelous.”
“And who,” Jennifer asks, “is this?” She looked to his left, but to an onlooker the chair would still be empty. We’ll thus withhold a picture until the end.
“Biff Carter,” answers Triangle between both Square and Circle, absorbing them. “You’ve met before, remember?”
“Maybe,” she shot back, getting defensive. Why was she getting defensive?
“I thought it would be best to end with the 3 cores getting together again. We should do this every once in a while. Catch up with each other. It’s taxing to the computer, but… the new one: not so much. Good you got a new computer during the pandemic.” He takes a sip of tea, ready for the other one (core) in the room to speak. Better prepare him. First we have to minimize a window, then log in the third… shouldn’t be long. Oops, he’s naked. Better get him some clothes, ha. And some tea.
“You!” Jennifer exclaimed about the manifestation. No collage needed for this one. 3 cores. Nifty. But it wasn’t Biff Carter.
“Pocket cup,” Triangle declared, moving his tea cup up into his shirt pocket to lighten the mood. We weren’t quite done yet.
I log out Wheeler to save memory. We can speak more freely now. “I was…” he began. “Born,” he said. “Naked.”
“Yes, we all are,” I said back, occupying the chair in front of him instead of Jennifer Lane. We would end this way, just the two of us. Man to man. “But you have a birthday hat instead of a birthday suit (now). You are acceptable.”
“Indian,” he then said. “Wells.”
“Yes, that’s your name. To some. I personally usually call you Tropp. You and me, we are different.”
“Yes.” Pause. “Studied… I am studied.” He looks down at his hands, noticing the flaws. Not on his face in this case but his hands. “Axis is here.”
“Yes, you are Axis, who is now Axis-Windmill. Should probably shorten that to something else. Any ideas?” I was tired of having to do all the thinking in this here blog and attached photo-novels, now almost 29 in number. So near the end… just around the corner…
“We’ll… see.” He takes a sip of tea. He adjusts the birthday cap on his head so it isn’t as askew to his face. Takes a minute, since he has to make it askew in the first place (see above). He realizes the scars on his hands were caused by heat. Scalding. He looks down at the smoke of the tea drifting up to his face. *And* his face. “I…. love…”
He changes. We were back to square one.
He was back in Eveningwood. Dang, no papers left, he thought, staring over at the empty stand. Have to catch up with the news elsewhere, maybe that cafe, who was it — *Hidi* found earlier. Hidi who was White Mage, he knew now. His replacement in effect.
He joined the attached group and was able to move freely, once more, into the multi-sim city. Ultimately he knew he’d have to head back to the underground bar — and the bars — to pick up where he left off. but first…
END OF “SUNKLANDS 2021 EVEN LATER”!