“A boy 13 to 10 and back to 13 and over and over. Obviously this is TILE, W.”
“(Small) ‘e’ to (large) ‘E’,” she agreed. “5 to 8, gaining 3. Years in this case.”
“Yellow to blue.” He looked out at the sky, the suns rising over the horizon. Horizings.
“But what of the step-down?” she continued in this vein. “The 12, then the 11, back to 10 and then back to 13, over and over?”
“Children according to the TILE documents and creeds. Red and green. Gred. Or Reen.”
“Redgreen. I remember that place. A place of war.”
“7 and 6. Mixed up. Which is higher, which is lower? Confusion in the middle. And by extension…”
“At both ends. Hi becomes lo. Hilo.”
“But one thing we agreed,” he offered as a compromise. “The Abyss plays no role in the end game. Because the Abyss has no real power. Only illusion.”
“Like static.” She squelched the urge to tack on the state names of Tennessee and Kentucky to this. It would all play out.
“Tennessee, pheh,” she uttered, staring over at the fake, flat snowy mountains standing in for the real ones just behind. “Come on, George,” she urged to the meditating youth gazing out in the other direction. “Let’s go see what this *Abyss* is all about.” She starts walking toward the stairs, still talking. “Nothing to be afraid of, George. So says TILE.” Was Clare losing her faith? Now that she remembers the whole of the Wheeler existence? Do we even need to be asking this? I believe it is so.
“Come on come on come on.”
“Oh all *right*.” George was enjoying the meditation. He didn’t want to encounter the Abyss just now.
“Well, here we are at the mouth of this thing. You-go-first.”
“Me? But I’m just a kid.”
“You’re no kid. *Go*. Protect me if you must.” She sweeps her hand forward. “Off you go,” she commands again. “Come on come on come on.” This was not like Clare Nova, who was sweeter. This was the orders of Wheeler. Fully clowned now, she needed to find out what she was facing at the end.
“What do you see in there?” called Clare-Wheeler from just outside the mouth now.
“I don’t know,” replied George. “Skulls. Candles. Lots of skulls and candles.”
“That’s the Abyss part,” said Wheeler. “What else is in there? Look in the corners, along the walls. Look *beyond* the normal.”
“There’s nothing *normal* about this place.”
“*Try*,” she urged. “I’ll be right here, ready to help if needed.” She definitely wasn’t going to help. If the power behind the Abyss got George, then another one would fill his spot. Just like she did with Clare. George could die, yes. *Duncan* had already died, maybe several times — hard to keep up. But Baker Bloch will continue on. Along with herself it seems.
“Um. Oh yeah, Mother Mary. I guess that’s good. But then a, let’s see, Medusa Gorgon beside her. Not so good.”
“Great. Keep looking. Maybe something in writing?”
“Well, the Gorgon is holding a, er, book it looks like.” He stands on his tippy toes. “But I can’t see the cover… (strain) to tell what it is.”
“Get that book,” Clare-Wheeler commands. “Just *grab* it from her.”
“We’ll call this Little Lake George. Or Big Lake George — just *Lake George*. I can’t tell if you’re big or small right now.”
“I’m *13*,” spoke the floating boy over to the famous and/or infamous British musician from the 60’s or thereabouts. Our Marty, currently with red hair instead of black.
“So: big. Just Lake George, then.”
“Let’s just go with… Lake,” he measured out intelligently from his reposed position, knowing more than he let on. Aunt Clare had taught him a lot about TILE.
They stayed in their positions for a while, he floating on Lake and Marty dipping his shoed feet in same, testing the water to see if he could safely take his loafers off. George, in fact, was doing the same with his clothes, with his feet already being bare and exposed. They were indeed one here on this OWL island in the Southwest of Nautilus continent, ready to begin their next adventure.
“One Blue Eye gone from OWL, W. We must be in Arkansas.”
“Or Missouri,” she offered.
“But probably Arkansas,” I returned.
“Because of the red.”
From the top it looked like 2 giant, naval style oranges frantically trying to merge. But from the bottom: 2 dancers (with All Orange highlighted), obviously having a good time with their parachutes.
Where did they drop in from?
“Questions,” warned W, still observing from somewhere nearby, perhaps behind that palm tree with the woody woodpecker pecking up the wrong, Yelloo upward.
“More dancers nearby,” spoke observing George now, hidden at the bottom of his small pool. Big George, small pool. A Lake he just proclaimed it ironically enough, but more firmly aligning himself with TILE. MUST STUDY.
“Channeler,” I observed myself. “TILE.”
And now: correct upwards.
“Oh, I know. Blue blue blue!” George cried, knowing we were one short in that category. But which one? Michigan: above and beyond them both. The 26th. Where was this photo-novel, 26 in a series of something, taking us?
I could feel W frowning behind that left-behind tree.
Younger George now: “I always wanted to play this game. Richochet.” He tosses another marble, perhaps a blue.
“This is your time, George. Enjoy the game! Soon you will be 13 again and forget about all this.”
“No I won’t!” he protested to the big eye, and gathered up what he tossed while marking the spot of the furthest marble for future reference.
“We are almost done here, George. It’s time to find your future place in the spheres.”
“I won’t let you down!”
two of a kind
“I broke it. My phone (*sob*).”
“Alright, alright,” Justin Dustbin hurried up former 2nd cousin once removed Beverly Dooright, found crumpled and discarded outside a local club. “Just how much do you *want*.”
“I’ll have to replace… my face!”
“So, erm, 500?”
Yeah, I just spread my arms out like this to look big, you know, like an animal…”
“Yeah, like *this*,” Sugar McDermitt imitated, spreading his arms as well.
“Like an animal.”
“Yeah, yeah. Rooaarrr, heh heh.” Sugar claws the air in front of him then returns his arms to his side.
“Yeah. Oo ga oo ga oo ga, huh huh.” Pissy Demwit beats on his chest; arms then return to side.
“That… that banana ran all the way back to the fruit stand he came from, har.”
“Yeah. Lickity split,” reinforced Sugar again.
“On *Sundae*.” They almost split their sides with this, laughing and laughing as Biker Mann finally drove his XK59 motorcycle away, having enough of it. He had other concerns today besides talking to two ruffian *meatheads*.
It came to be called the Pigeon Butt Murders, because there was one roosting on the rear end of every found corpse. This was the first. John E. Weissmuller III, a former special ops swimmer for the pentagostal church out on loan to the navy.
And where was this off duty swimmer/sailor heading to on main street in Slaashsides when he got whacked on the back by a still unknown assailant? Jim’s Club, the very same we’ve seen Justin Dustbin and Beverly Dooright on the other side of just a minute ago in this here blog post. They shortly become victims nos. 2 and 3. Nearby Sugar McDerrmit and Pissy Demwit, arms still raised to sides: nos. 4 and 5. Biker Mann drove away. Biker knew more than he was letting on. He knew these guys were as much toast as bacon and eggs, and that they’d never be harassing a poor little innocent fruit child again.
She warned him at the bar earlier on. I believe it was about 1/2 past 6. “I don’t like seals, leeches, or any other type of animal. I’m going to do away with the lot of them, starting with the area just around this club (*sip*).”
Biker Mann drove far on his XK59 that day, but not to the police, because he was on the lam himself for a series of serious crimes down in Slayertown. He had no right to judge a fellow murderer (etc.). Later they became husband and wife for a spell, but that was after the kids had themselves already grown up to become looters and burglars and so on.
(to be continued?)
Gotta keep my eyes peeled like a banana, thinks Officer Spotty John, back on the beat. Crime everywhere in this town these days. Why it’s becoming as bad as, say, that Collagesity down in Lower Austra I’ve been reading about in the local toilet. Nautilus (continent) is being overrun by animals!
Officer Davis Jefferson was asking the local hookers in a nearby alley if they’d seen any illegal activities lately while working their own beat. “Nothing,” came the answer from Shelley Poplolly, a member of the City Gang and thus friendly with the police. “Something,” deviated Nancy Pantsy further down the wall, a Country Girl and thus not obliging to the local law. She was being paid by the Black Lake Bunch to get them off their tail.
“Weeeellll?” exuded Davis, tapping his foot in anticipation.
“Ketchup,” she said.
“Ketchup stains… all over the body. Then mustard came along and squirted him real good too. He was a true hot dog then and fit to be roasted, er, roosted, in that a pigeon came down and then roosted on his buns. He was done.”
“What’s alllll this with pig-e-ons, for crimeny’s sake?” Officer Davis Jefferson, formerly a busty barmaid of the Irish Resistance Movement out on loan for the moment, scratched his head with this. “So we’re looking for two squirts…”
“Squirters,” corrected Nancy Pantsy quickly, not wanting him to get too close to the truth.
“I’m going to call them squirts because that’s what they appear to be. You are how you act. Am I right. Ammm I riiiiiight?”
“Yes Officer Davis Jefferson,” dutifully recites Shelley Poplolly, a Loyalist.
“Yeah, what-ever,” recites Nancy Pantsy, a Dissentist, but then realizes her slip-up as he glares. “I mean, yes Officer Davis Jefferson.”
“Thatttt’s betterrr. Now: tell me more about this… doggg.”
(to be continued?)
almost over the edge
“Jasper, take a look at this photo one of the drones took over the Amazon and settle a bet with us. Does that look like a beaver to you, because Marion says it’s a propeller.”
Jasper studies the photo. “Where’s his head?”
“Well, it’s underwater obviously. And you have a tail and and two little arms sticking out plain as day.”
“And how about this picture of a swimming pool while we’re at it. Do you think that’s suppose to be Vermont, or New Hampshire?”
She floated on the two lips joined together in the center of the pool. She kept glancing anxiously over at Dr. Mouse and his greatest creation, Pansy, conferring about the deal at a table on the cement’s edge. She wondered how it was going. Copyright infringement? Trademark protection? That’s how it all started, this conference in the Amazon. A River runs through it, Source to Mouth. Or Lake. George had traded places with a girl, Hitgirl to be precise, not selling corndogs any longer at a Southwest Airport. Or cornogs I suppose I should say. But hot dogs remain in the news. 6 dead now in in Slaashsides over in the nw part of Nautilus continent, with the last squirted with both mustard and ketchup, indicating his kind. That brought it to the attention of Dr. Mouse, who then asked Pansy to enter the picture for more visiblity. He was planning on a national campaign. The Pooping Pigeon was going to mean big time money, big time power. It was a built in headliner.
“A chain of restaurants,” shot back the doctor. They were exchanging ideas rapid fire.
“Chocolate. No: vanilla,” came the squeaky reply. “Like the color of the…..”
“Poop. Just say it, Pansy. Don’t be afraid of the word. It’s going to make us a fortune.”
(to be continued?)
Mouse Island, etc.
“Beaver,” decided the littlest mouse perched between Pansy’s ears, noting the flattish tail.
Smoking and toking Lemmy on his back had nothing to say about the matter, facing away. Pansy knew this was an important decision for the future of his franchise — *their* franchise, because he had to keep the creator in the picture for all those photo ops later on. But Dr. Mouse had, how do I put it delicately? Let’s just go with Brain Damage still to seal the deal. Endless triangle, endless loop, the yelloo sun far far away, hidden by night. Jasper knows. Jasper knows this is a beaver. His head (identity) is just below the water, right Jasper? Sorry: “Right Jasper?”
“Yeah boy.” Jasper is the littlest mouse between the ears, with the primary speaker being Pansy himself, who combed all through those drone shots the day before and the day before that, looking for any anomalies. They could get no closer.
It was a place of wisdom, of learning, this Amazon or Amazon-like environment. 12 sims total, just like the river tiles of Carcassonne (game).
“The Source is missing,” corrected W, again just over there somewhere, just around the corner or out of sight. I still can’t see her secret, schweet smile. “12th,” she clarifies. “Find the 12th. Or at least have fun doing it. See you later!”
“Yarrow,” spoke wise Dr. Mouse, or so he thinks. “Spirit of Yarrow over the head. Delete it and you’re lost. This island…”
“It’s not an island,” one the “pupils” dare speak up, I think it was the right one.
“You over there!” shouted the obviously mad man now. “Against the wall! It’s the kane for you again, pheh pheh pheh.” Dr. Mouse was panting he was so mad. Both mad *and* mad: both kinds. The worst possible combination. Whack whack whack! came the stick to the pants. The right pupil was obviously wrong. And later he became left behind in 5th as the other pupil or pupils graduated to 6th. It was Paul’s switch all over again.
“So you’re the famous or infamous Dr. Paul Mouse,” spoke Duncan from the opposite stump later on, as if between 2 pupils, 2 ears. “Knew it.”
“Glad you could make it tonight, W.” But her schweet smile still remained hidden since Duncan didn’t have any teeth behind his lips.
“What’s the scoop on the poop?” It was the most logical question in the world, but Pansy didn’t have an answer. Yet. He knew it was still up to Dr. Mouse, despite the rain in the brain. What’s the rain in the brain? could be a follow up question.
We were going quite far tonight, exploring the Amazon more. STOP
Looks like we’ll have to stop.
Go to the temple of the tor now, she commanded again. Would Alysha listen this time? Before, she had teleported directly into the ship, enthralled by its shadow. But maybe she could escape the shadow this time and come into the light. “Jasper,” she spoke. “The turtle’s name is Jasper, not Meanie,” she said later on when the shades were drawn again because of the intense sunlight. Too close to a Star, dancing to the beat of a different drum. “Maybe a Moon this time,” said Dr. Paul Mouse, still with switch in hand, if not a kane. Close enough. And a reddish rear was nearby too, plopped painfully on a central log and not facing away from a wall no longer. He will get his revenge.
Peter Oesso strolled down the beach, looking for shells. Shellman some called him. Then he found a miniature Venus of Willendorf and we were on our way…
That’s not a beaver down there, Dr. Mouse.” STOP
“Oh yes it is.”
lost and found
“So (the phenomenon) all started in this here diner. Pansy?” START Dr. Mouse looked around but no actual or at least anthropomorphic mouse could be found. Had he turned into Jasper the littlest formerly between his ears and scurried away to safety and obscurity? Possibility.
“Well… I think this diner is obviously the first Pooping Pigeon, start of a chain. Obvious, right?”
“Possibility,” I said again, not ready to pin down that particular reality to this here blog, 25 in a series of… I mean 26 in a series of…
“Probability at *least*,” she countered. “Probable reality. We must go down that path, that avenue.”
“Hot Dog, the 6th victim who became the most famous, on the wall in back, true,” I admitted, starting to see the light at the end of a long, long tunnel.
“Ketchup on one side,” also observing W spoke. “Mustard on the other. Two squirters who are also squirts. It was a great marketing tool.”
“Funny how they hold his buns instead of him… as Hot Dog I mean. Emphasis on the buns.”
“Right. See how this is working out? No need to stop.” STOP
“I can’t name the Amazon Amazonia, W. I have a tag of that name.”
“Trivialities. No need to bother the reader with such. START You need to find the 12th (Source tile), like I pointed out before.”
Wendy went away from the register and approached the counter again. “Who let you in here?”
“I let myself in,” replied Duncan, seeing the game beginning again. Long, long tunnel.
“Yeah, don’t lean into me like that. Pansy!” she called back to the register. “A little help over here!”
“They called it McIntyre’s Switch because it’s in McIntyre (sim) and it’s where people and people-like animals came to get turned on. Obviously Lemmy is a pusher.”
“That’s pretty good,” W admitted, just around the corner. “What about Sweet Lips (then)?”
“I’m getting to that. And: thanks!”
“They called him a racist rat after he had established his 1st diner in McIntyre’s Switch. But for a white supremacist, he was pretty hip. He enjoyed black music, and that turned him around. He said it was just a club for socializing, this whole… *persona*.”
“The whole white rat thing,” said W, still into it. “So tell me about this, um, Social Circle.”
“Thanks again. He was a reborn white supremacist because he had gotten rid of all the black thanks to the good doctor. This was, of course, long before he himself became a Mouse, as in Dr. Mouse. Back then he was mere Paul Black, a vet studying to be a dr. and desiring to move from animal to man status and get out of the shadow of his more successful brother.”
“Brothers,” chipped in W.
“Okay. (pause) So that kind of clears up the doctor’s origins.”
“But they rejoined forces later on, this doctor and his mouse, his greatest creation as it turned out, much bigger than the Bendy thing.”
“Another removal of black, yeah. And — here — you can *see* Sweet Lips (sim) just out the window of the establishment. This proves it is directly linked to the Oracle.”
“And Paul’s Switch. That would be sometime in the 60’s. Well, obviously, at or around the time of Penny Lane.”
“And Arnold Layne.”
“I think we have all we need tonight.” W started putting things back in her pocketbook, viewable from just around the corner.
“I forgot to mention that Lemmy is also a mascot.”
“Yeah, I gathered that.” She had almost finished gathering up her stuff. Lipstick. Toothpick. Mascara. And a little special toot for later. McIntyre’s Switch indeed.
“No, but you see, Lemmy is also a tree… tree mascot. Greentree.”
“Gotta go. See ya!” And she tooted on the way out, being good at hiding it. Good at hiding in general.
(to be continued)
“Figured you might be here, Biker.”
Well. I had to go *somewhere*. *Burt*. Wasn’t that your name the last time we met? Black Lake Bunch?”
“Brutus, actually. But enough of the past.” He fondled his skeleton heart medallion hung from his neck like an underweight albatross, knowing he had to further the plot. Biker was merely following steps.
“Evening wood be too kind for this sky.” He waited. Nothing. This must not be Eveningwood.
“Amazon is awfully hot for June.” Nothing. But then:
“Ama*zonia*.” Bingo. We can continue the dance.
She stepped out of the subway and into the light.
“Mother?” Cory asked at the top of the stairs, hands folded. He hadn’t seen her in nigh on 20 years.
“Cory?? My little baby???”
“It’s me, Mother. Your little Cory.”
They hug. They embrace. Cory had heard she had been gunned down in a crosswalk over in Urqhart or thereabouts but here she was, full of blood again and pumping like hell. He could feel her heart pound through his. He hugged more. She embraced more. It was a warm moment, hot even.
She drew back from him, arms still entwined. “*My* *little* *Cory*.”
“Yes, Mother. It’s me.”
She exhales bigly. “Wellll. Where’ve you been??”
“Where *haven’t* I been.”
“Biking. So Peter tells me. And Jonathan.”
“Biking with a man named Biker, yes. I’m a biker, he’s a biker, but more than one. TWO TO KNOW.”
“What did you say, darling??” She hadn’t heard that expression in years and years, the last time being…” She unclasped his arms from hers, stood back, staring, no love in her eyes now, or just shock. She knew this wasn’t her little boy all grown up. She knew that this was some kind of doppleganger manufactured for a reason. *A* *reason*.
“Mother? Anything wrong?” He couldn’t even see it in her eyes, but he wasn’t programmed that way.
This Middletown was big, far as the eye could spy. Women wearing red wishing they were wearing blue. Visa versa. It was all a big game of 2 in this most central of cities.
He places an all important call to Buster Damm, his regional boss of sorts.
“Yeah, I’m standing right outside his place right now. (reply) He’s been here for *years and years*. (reply) Mom just came back in town. Now she’s in therapy. Or jail: it’s a mixed up place, with one establishment shifting over to the next before you can blink one eye and bat the other. It’s all red and blue here. I’m ready to amscray. (reply/question) Biker? Yeah, he’s here too. He just rolled up in fact; I heard his souped up motorcycle all the way across town. (reply/joke) Far as the ear can hear, good one. (reply/request) I’ll get on it.” Duncan Avocado hangs up the pay phone, glances over in the direction of the club’s entrance. The killer could be in there right now for all he knew, cooking up another crime in some degree of seriousness ranging from blue (not very much at all) to red (very *very* much so). “Damn town,” he reiterated again under his breath, and took steps toward the entrance.
“Ever killed anyone, lady?” he joked at the bar, continuing the conversation to its ultimate end.
“Define ‘kill’.” There were different degrees of seriousness to it.
Andrea Stoorm (killer) and Duncan Avocado had a followup meeting to their first at Jim’s-later-Cory’s Club but it didn’t go so well. Multiple theories were tossed around with none settled on. Blue and red remain confused and muddled.
“I have to split this damn dopple town,” thought Mary Ricardo, walking away from it all. Dopple on dopple!
Unseen Alysha knew more than she let on.
She heard the alley whispers.
where’s the beef?
If we could just recreate the original crime scene. Pigeon roosting on ass; Amanda Stoorm placing an ultra important call to Buster Damm.
Call? Looks like we just did. Duncan Avocado brings it home.
“I knew you’d be here, Ginger. Because of the face replacement clinic and all.”
“500 lindens for a whole new look. Worth every penny!”
“Yes, you look great, you look fantastic.” Could Duncan date a high class white chick like this and get away with it in this town, this place in the center of it all? It would be controversial. Maybe *he* should get an operation. He knows a certain Dr. of Mouse who might be able to help. He ponders the outcome, black to white. But is he running away from his heritage because of that? He’s *tired* of being discriminated upon, but he’s in the same boat with the rest of his color. He can’t date fair, red haired Wendy down at Mac’s Diner either for the same reason, that damn white racist rat Pansy watching over it all. If only he could get rid of the Pooping Pigeon franchise, maybe create a reality where Wendy branches out on her on, dumps the hot dog angle, and goes all in for burger. Pure Angus beef; not those ridiculous fillers for the dog like lips and genitalia, even if that isn’t quite true. People could be trained to *think* that.
And that’s what he decided that day in the late of May or early June or whatever. Kill the Hot Dog, stick a pigeon on its rump and call it done. Killer Andrea Stoorm, trained in the Death Star battalions, knew what to do, Buster guiding her and then Buster telling Duncan what actually happened. “We manipulated probabilities in that Middletown alley that day in early May.” “June,” I corrected, but understood it all now. There was only one actual killing, the other 5 being deflections or subterfuge. Although it still thrived in other realities, in this one the Pooping Pigeon was over almost before it started, with Pansy
behind bars behind a bar instead.
“What’ll it be Duncan, my man?” Always the “man” for the black dude, he observed. But at least he still played his old music here.
And now: Hidi.