“Missouri or Arkansas? I’m going with Arkansas because of the redness (of the book). But maybe…”
“Missouri instead,” I completed for him.
“Michigan?!” shouted George from the side.
I knew there was only one way to find out. Purchase the monster book on the marketplace and then… open. Chapter 1 (potential): “Marble Falls, Marbles Fall”. A blue marble seems to have fallen out of the cover, leaving the monster with only one. But maybe the title is misleading.
“Chapter 1,” Alysha read later in the red book before her while she was sitting in the heart shaped chair, or a heart backed chair. Make sure it doesn’t turn into a spade, I thought for her.
She was at the monkey. “Marble Falls, Marbles Fall”, she said again, staring at the reversed image, a shadow if it was beneath her feet. “A heart becomes a spade.” And so it begins.
“What happened to you? Tell me *every-thing.*”
“There was this other man. Todd. Lured me into a trap. Triangles.”
“Irresolved, he said. Called me in to help.”
“Mushrooms?” she picked up. “Should have let him down. Slow and eassy.”
“Yeah, I know that *now*.”
“Right. Okay. Continue.”
“A dreaming boy. 5 cats out on a limb. The boy dreams the cats, the limb. It is he. They are waiting for the one who chops the limb off. Fallen.”
Uninjured Wonderlady sits back. “How is High Fidelity doing anyway?”
With this they enter the sphere (*POP*)
Prick grew up after the disappointment of losing the balloon and his childhood sweetheart along with it (Pip). Took to playing the violin; joined a band of sorts. But beamy yellow sunshine always remained hidden in starless darke. He was not a happy man. Here he bows a dirge to fallen children everywhere — one of his compositions for the group.
Don, Joe and Alex put up with the pain and sorrow, which they liked to mask themselves with drugs and women and expensive, gaudy clothes. Colorful, they were in a word. Sgt. Pepper-ish. Not Prick. Just pepper would do for him, as in sneezy and black.
They played the last sad chord of the piece.
“Okay,” offered Cheery Don, who was kind of the leader. “Let’s try something more uplifting now.”
One of *yours* obviously, Prick thought pungently, but instead it was green boy Jolly Joe’s turn. Ambiguous Alex, who was closer to Prick’s spirit as well as his body here, glanced over, wondering if he’d even lift up his bow holding arm to his fiddle for this one. Someday, he knew, the limb would not rise but remain by the side. Then it would be done. All this was written or foreshadowed or prerecorded back in childhood.
Then the group as a whole could move on to Frenzied Fred. The Purple Bunch they would become in this most likely of probable realities, archaic instruments set aside forever.
Diagonal power/ Triangles
She could just make out the word “Angels” from a distance on the sign ahead. I was just *in* Angels, she thought. Must – proceed – forward. Despite the pain. Old wounds coming back/ phasing in. Must – be… close — to something!
Such a struggle, though.
“Get ready with the disinfectant, Frank. This one looks like a runner.”
“Don’t worry about the wine, lady. I’m not really a kid.”
She simmers for a second, then: *Wonder*lady if you please.” She tries to stop simmering, crosses her legs, assumes a even haughtier if more subdued tone. “I’m a pro-per superhero after all. Like Superduper Man.”
“Realllly?” Billie Jean Kidd fakes, since she’s not really a fan of that genre. “Telll me mooorrr (!).” (*sip*)
“First you have to tell me something,” Wonderlady bargains, falling for the trap. “Who is that green *lady* back there on the bed. Is she sick?”
“She has a Little Bug — that’s all I’m allowed to say.” Snickering inside here from our old friend, a kid who is not a kid indeed. A lady as well: young, old, everything in-between, and then add a dog and perhaps that other thing to top it off. Shapeshifter in a word. That’s why she’s a member of the Black Lake Gang, recruited originally by gangster pals Marion Star Harding and Phillip Strevor, the *louts*. She hasn’t seen them since Rose Heaven. They promised so much; delivered so little. She had to part ways, ask for a reassignment. And here she was. With the alien. Ruby. Her *bug*.
“So not too serious a bug.” Wonderlady starts to feel the wounds forming again. She must be close to something.
“Oh it’s *serious*. But indeed Little. Little in a different way, though. Like, see, *I’m* a kid.” Billie Jean Kidd was revealing so much without revealing anything at all she had to stifle a laugh here. “But I’m really not a kid. And I’m *serious* about that.” She couldn’t help herself. She let out 3 quick laughs, like fake ones except not. The cover was still in place, as Wonderlady then said:
“I’m going to the loo (restroom). Cover for me.”
When Wonderlady went into the bathroom to check her body for new openings, Billie Jean Kidd looked over at Ruby Alien and winked at her, which was reciprocated. The game continues…
Todd A. was next. We center the picture in the middle of the triangles sort of framing his head. He is like an infinite game of roshambo, hand on top of hand on top of hand. Pact with the Devil. Atomic Suicide. Todd A. was smart, management being his specific, chief skill, to add to the other’s two. Todd A. knew a lot about triangles and how they fit together. He went over to Billie Jean Kidd down the bar, recognizing talent when he saw it.
“That’s some kind of balancing act you got going on there.”
“Thank you. I also do cards.”
“Well…” He rubbed her head playfully, like an adult to a kid. Which she isn’t of course. She let the gesture go, knowing that Todd A. was old fashioned in that way. Because she knew who he was, even if he didn’t know her. She could see into the past present future. She knew this guy with his infinite seeing mind was trouble in a bottle, troubled water without a bridge, just blub blub blub. He later turned into an alcoholic to match his drowning mind. 1/8th of the brain cells gone, then 1/6th. Soon he would not be able to manage a diverse collection of bugs drawn together through a common plant.
“… aren’t you the clever one,” he finished, and sat down beside her, relighting his cigar. Billie Jean Kidd was use to cigars, being a stogie toking man in the assignment before last before last, the first without Philip and Marion. She had to admit to the new partner, a chain toting robot dominatrix, that she kind of missed them. “They were like… totally inept dads.” “Gay?” the mechanoid questioned back. “Hard to tell,” came the answer. “Extremely close *pals* at the least.” If only they didn’t bring out the worst in each other, all 3 of them together, she then bemoaned. It could have worked, perhaps. If only their promised Clyde was real.
“We better get you out of here, child,” spoke Todd A., seeing the warm up act appear on stage and knowing Certain Death was not far behind.
Mr. Babyface loads his pipe down with Red Dragon.
As he then happily puffs away he continues talking to the Kidd.
“I’m glad you brought me back, Heidi.”
“Billie here. In this location in this novel.”
“Okay, Billie, sure. But I promise I’ll take care of the city while you’re away on your journeys.”
“Big Baby will help you. She can patrol the streets; keep the various citizens and denizens at bay and under control. Along with the Peopleeater.”
“Cool.” More puffs. So satisfying. “Listen, are you going to stick around to hear my nephew rant and rave on his soap box over at the Arena tonight? He’ll be accompanied by the interpretive dance group Suds and Bubbles. In fact, I see they’re already warming up over there.
“Sure I will.” But Billie Jean Kidd knew she had another date and couldn’t make it. No need to let him down right now, though; dampen his enthusiasm for the new town and ruin his enjoyable pipe smoking. Next time she’ll buy him Blue Pennant. Billie then thinks Mr. Babyface is kind of like a cat: keep feeding him (tobacco) and he’ll always return. But you must mix it up because, also like cats, he’s a bit persnickety.
7 more puffs and Mr. Babyface is done, already tired of the flavor. Billie Jean Kidd ends up smoking the rest of the bowl herself; no need for waste.
“No, it was really great, Peter.” Blue Pennant this time. Billie had run to the grocery store before departing for northern Nautilus and picked up a can. 9 big puffs later and the flavor hadn’t lost its zing. Not yet. “But what’s all this stuff about red being serious and blue being comedy?”
“It’s *all* comedy, Uncle. Red vs. Blue is suppose to be funny.”
“I don’t get it. Maybe I’m too *red*, hmmm.” Suddenly the Blue Pennant wasn’t as satisfying. A couple more inhales and he’s done.
“Mind the dead stick figures on your way out!” Peter called in parting.
Sometimes — just to mix it up again — Mr. Babyface and his nephew Peter dine in the old, abandoned spaceship. Today the topic of discussion is the Peopleeater of their new hometown directly below (skybox 02) and his hatred of its stick people residents. Assisted by Big Baby Jane, he’s declared war on them in essence.
“He hides out in that purple building in the smallest block of town, which *isn’t* purple when he’s out and about.”
“Must be the same as the building, then,” speculates Mr. Babyface alongside his nephew, hearing their voices echo in the big empty chamber, a full half of a sim from front to back. Big enough to carry a town the size of Collagesity to a new location if needed. If it were finished. Perhaps it is: maybe it’s just suppose to be an empty hull until utilized.
“Heidi’s gone again,” Mr. Babyface then ventured. “Said something about the North. She said she’s sorry she didn’t make your rant rave.”
“‘Tis okay. *You* were there. You are the important one.”
Mr. Babyface stopped eating, took in his nephew seated across from him. Subtract the freakish babyface, a medical condition, and he’s kind of the spitting image of himself at that age, down to the Hawaiian trunks and sunburned skin. Always in the sun he was. “You’ll turn into a prune or raisin you’re sitting out there in that sunlounge so much!” he recalls his Mom yelling at him from the window of her cool, dark kitchen. He can’t imagine how it was at his birth with that big, fat head of his. She complained about it
not at all all the time. “You’ll never imagine,” she described the pain in no uncertain terms.
Peter was different, thank the Gods. Escaped the head gigantism that cursed himself, his father before him, and his father and so on — a male trait of the family. “Maybe it ends with me,” he remembers telling his Mom after Peter popped out with an ordinary nogg’n, easy as pie. You don’t know how relieved Marsha (sister) was at the time; she’d taken enough drugs in preparation for the birth to paralyze a small elephant. But here he was: Mr. Ordinary. Not Mr. Babyface or any other nickname that would stick with him through time. Just plain Peter. Peter Ladd. He continued with the Heidi discussion.
“Where’s (*bite*)… her partner?”
A good question indeed. Skybox 02 was created as a tribute to the golden hued, mechanical dominatrix but he never learned her name — Heidi, I mean, Billie never spoke it, saying it needed to be kept a secret. “Just keep calling her Golden One,” she requested. “Or Goldie — whatever — just something with Gold in it.”
Some say she’s the same as the big golden robot statue in the center of the town itself, ready to spring into action when needed. Perhaps her presence will spell the end of the Peopleeater-People War, or at least before it switches from blue (not very serious atall) to red (quite serious and worth looking into for solutions).
“Dunno,” he remembers to answer. “Maybe — you should make it part of your act. The not knowing anything much about her.”
“Tie it into the statue.”
“Exactly.” They were on parallel frequencies for sure. If only he could get the comedy.
(to be continued)
“See? I can do this *too* (!).”
“Wonderful, child. We’ll make sure that nasty bug doesn’t return tonight so you can perform more.”
Heidi absorbed what this meant. “The… stage? The *big* stage?” She glanced over, seeing the empty platform — except for the wee Lost Angels all lined up in a row of course, flashing on and off as they do. This was their club. They could do as they wish. Soon they would combine again into one giant statue and move in a diagonal across Lower Austra to that other place, their other spot. Diagonals are powerful in this realm. So much so they have spread to other realms, namely Earth: Our US of A; Our Iowa; Our Ringgold County of Our Iowa of Our US of A. I remain pretty amazed: Fife in the middle of it all. And “Dune” famous Frank Herbert was a resident of Fife in another state. We found him in the dunes.
Now we find him onstage? No, it’s Frezied Fred instead, a different collage element performing solo again while the rest of his Purple Bunch band is in drug rehab. FF is frantic enough already. He doesn’t need speed, coke, or any other enhancement for his body. He’s a natural at his act.
But what’s this? (“HOW BIG WAS IT?” the crowd chants back, setting up the punch line) A *comedy* routine??
“When they finally stop laughing, you can go on, kid,” off-camera Todd A. states. “But it could take a while.”
yin yang Yanktons
Seeing the cow chip holding giant beaver in the snow and all, hot Biker 02 knew he was in the right place. It was a small but significant burg, and he had designs on digging up someone in a church cemetery there.
In a similar sized town directly south, cold Biker 01 bikes down a main artery, passing vein after vein. He was searching for the church in vain. He should have been looking up to icier climes.
planes to see
Marion Star Harding flew over the town, not knowing what he was looking down at. The South. The Opposite. Phillip Strevor instead of Trevor Phillips. And he being the new guy in town, so to speak. And shapeshifter Heidi Hunt Ives or whatever she calls herself these days tagging along as well, controlling each of the paired gangster types in a different way. Good times all around. But now he had more responsibility; was a respected pilot up in the Starfish Lake or Sea area; had a different kind of clientele to deal with. Hole headed Kolya wanted off of this “2” continent back to “1” and he was bound and determined to help him, given the right price. He use to say money wasn’t an option but he’s changed his tune, perhaps changed his key as well away from middle C to a different one, maybe D Flat. A small but significant difference, the same adjectives that apply to the town below as stated in that previous post here. Diminutive yet important.
Uh oh. Running out of gas. He’d forgotten to fuel up at Borneo, the last stop outta here. He’d have to make an emergency landing, but the place appeared to have no landing strip that he could tell. Small — too small now. He’d have to crash into a building to halt forward progress. He donned his inflammable airsuit, thinking it would protect him being fireproof and all. In the same way he use to think infinite and finite meant the same thing. But of course inflammable *does* mean flammable, so when the plane burst into flames upon impact so did he. Filled with pure oxygen it was, with no nitrogen or any other neutral gas anywhere to be found. The abbreviated Kidd Tower, highest in town despite being only 3 stories high in this incarnation, was the unlucky target. Tower resident Mr. Babyface didn’t make it either, nor namesake Billie Jean Kidd. Wait — I’m getting indications that Mr. Babyface was down at the town arena listening to one of his nephew’s rant raves so was spared. Same for Billie — back up in the Lost Angels bar for her, also listening to a comedian but of a much funnier ilk, or that’s what the raucous audience leads us to believe. And Marion Star Harding, then? Spared, because in *this* dimension inflammable actually means flame retardant, as it should in any dimension it exists logically. But as compensation infinite and finite are the same here, which explains why he couldn’t pilot the plane off the, well, plane (of existence). Because the plane is endless.
“*Kolya*,” he exclaimed upon entering the arena from the crash site, smoking hot. “Forgot about Kolya!” But the damange had been done, with a permanent big 2 in his head. Happy birthday!
(to be continued?)
“So as you can see, Billie, we’ve had a bit of excitement in town since you’ve been gone. But it’s all cleaned up now. Your tower scrubbed up nicely. The only thing damaged was a couple of house plants which were dying or dead anyway. And, oh yeah, this is where Kolya had his head damaged.”
“I was wondering where that happened,” she replied in her child’s voice from the chair, this youth that was not young atall. “The encounter with God.”
“We should have never erected that giant golden *cow* in the middle of town, Billie, and you know it. We have been frowned upon.”
“Claudette is there for a reason.”
“*This* reason?” Mr. Babyface questioned, wondering if the idolatry had come to this. Fire.
“God must show himself,” she reckoned. “Or else…”
“… all be damned, yeah I get it.” Mr. Babyface didn’t get it but he didn’t want to seem stupid (again!) in front of the precocious child. So prescient. I’m sure she saw all this coming and that’s why she was away at the time. And she probably also spared me, he rationalized, by organizing that rant rave by my nephew that afternoon. It was all in the book, all in the pattern. The Oracle book and/or pattern.
“How was your comedy show, by the by?” he decided to deviate.
“How was yours?” She knew it wouldn’t be as good. She had chosen the freshest act and left him with the leftovers.
“You know,” he said. “A nephew is a nephew and needs support.”
“Nepotism, yes. I enjoy a Skippy Bittman too but only as an act of an act, a step beyond; meta–.”
Skippy Bittman? “*Anyway*, I suppose you know Marion Star Harding was here as well.”
“I had a feeling.” She didn’t see this! Time was changing again, infinite becoming finite as inflammable separated from flammable. She could see the edge of the plane but not beyond. And the beyond was becoming here, plain and simple. Marion Star Harding. Not since Rose Heaven, for him and Phillip Strevor both. Maybe Phillip is around as well, she rationalized, perhaps down at the church cemetery trying to cover himself up with dirt. It would fit.
(to be continued?)
He sat at the table outside the bamboo hut he’d rented several days back and thought about All Orange and what he’d lost. The phone rang (D Flat). The phone never rang.
“Hallo?” He was expecting someone jovial, not saturnine. He was surprised. He stared at the missing blue eye on the Book of Monsters before him as she continued to chatter. He dare not crack the cover lest the other one roll off. Especially now. Would he get a word in edgewise?
She hung up the phone. “We’ve got to keep an eye out on him,” spoke Jeffrie Phillips, glancing over at his bamboo hut across the water. “He may even try to off himself, say.”
“No he won’t.”
Her hair was now the green of seaweed but she was no monster, or at least Jeffrey thought. Was she?
“What next?” he queried about her appearance. “Your skin turns green?”
“Maybe,” she shot back quickly. Both knew that if this happened she was lost for good to him. Maybe even the mohawk would reappear.
Something was happening on this sim. A painter paints. A complainer complains. ART appears. A perfect circle. Pooh with his honey pot moves away from the scene with little to no impact now.
A perfect circle, eh? I thought, yellow included. I knew what this meant.
He placed a call himself: for help. “SOS,” he exclaimed to the girl who was not a girl on the other end, a friend this time instead of a fiend. “I’ll be there at 7 past 11.” She was currently resting against a rock wall, reading a red book and eating a red heart tart for health and good being. She was balanced. Actually it could be either of two girls, Alysha or Billie Jean Kidd. Let’s go with
Alysha Billie Jean Kidd Alysha. She packs up her book and heads down to the police station to steal a bike. She tries to put Ruby the green Grey alien out of her head, the matter being out of her hands. “She’ll be fine,” she calms herself. “I can do this one thing without worrying about her. Kolya is important too!” By the time she arrives at the station through the shortcut tunnels a cooler head prevailed and she just takes a rented boat over to the other side of the continent from the 765 Village. Paperweight was the destination, which had strong resonance with Paperville from a couple of photo-novels ago, perhaps 3, maybe 5 back (it was 7).
Kolya was in his thinking chair under the Wasteland sign when she arrived.
“I’m – so – *wasted*, Alysha.”
“No you’re not.”
“You’re so kind.”
“Yes I am. *Now*. Let’s go take a peek inside that Monster Book over there and see what we’re potentially dealing with.”
“Okay.” Kolya had moved away from Saturn and more toward Jupiter. Wendy had been right about cheering effects of the girl.
(to be continued)
Kolya also claimed the larger bamboo house at the very center of the sim owned by the same rental company. 128/128, he thought, standing upon it. This will be *my* center as well. I can finally find myself, see who I am. He looks around.
“Shells? No no no no no. I’m through with shells.” Alysha manifested in the chair below the indicated art, helping him out again.
“You need to focus on the *monster*, Kolya. *Can* — you do this?”
Kolya remembers the name friends call him: Can. This was a friend. They, together, were looking for not necessarily a foe but indeed a fiend, removing one important letter from the equation. He(-she) had been here a long long time; Kolya was picking up on that as well. Black Lake. Circle of 4. He knew that the lakes would attract him, tiny to not so tiny. He must make a map.
“You must make a map,” Alysha spoke back, in his head as well but also with her mouth.
He soon determined that this was the Black Lake in question, not the other more rounded water body just to the west. And it was more symbolic than anything. But he was not in his actual form any longer. He had turned into a painter. Oil me up, I suppose.