“We found a dogg, Police Chief Vice Chancellor Inspector Martha Wiggins. But *not* in *this* Lyfe.”
“Oh it smells *awful*, Buster,” Duncan spoke about the green pocketbook mounted in a display case on the side of the newstand. “Nothing new in there atall. Something *old*, and rotten. Smells like rancid sauerkraut to me, maybe mix in a little mustard. Can you imagine? My hands are turning redder just thinking about it. I need to amscray outta here! (reply/order) Red it is (*click*).” Duncan will have to stay a spell longer. TILE is strong here in Slaashsides-soon-to-be-part-of-Middletown, Buster believes. Continuing his pained face beyond the odor, he walks toward the subway, intending to turn himself in to Officer Davis Jefferson and his pseudo-supervisor Martha Wiggins for the murder of Hot Dog, then spill his confession at the merged jailhouse and mental institution later on. It’s the only way he can get the inside scoop. He purposefully bumps against Cory on the way down, one with the mother now. “Happy, bud?”, he asks sarcastically as he spots Jefferson and Wiggins at the bottom of a long long flight of stairs.
the one and the many (Lost Angels)
“We’ve lost the Angels airport with the red Kentucky book, W. I can’t find a substitute.”
“Check SL Marketplace for heart chair.”
“No go. We’ll have to ask Alysha.
The emergency vehicles at the airport in the same sim are gone too. The many and the gone.”
“Think I found something: ‘wire chair’ instead…”
“Boy, *Hidi* found it quick. But still no book. It’s not the same table and set of chairs. *Looks* the same… but different (animations).”
“Shoot. (pause after mild cuss) Might as well have her shop some more while she’s there. No harm in trying demons.”
“Demos,” I corrected.
17 hours later:
“We’ll have to try something different.”
“No go on Angels, no go on Demons. Only one direction left.”
“The way of Norris,” I guessed. Neutrality.
She listened as they talked about her outside.
“Found her up in the hills,” Dr. Paul Mouse spoke in his now kindly voice, changed from before. Another operation, this one performed by a colleague, not that he was opposed to working on himself. He’d done it before, Las Vegas style. “Can’t say where, exactly. Might be a crashed alien spaceship involved, might not,” he cryptically added. Texarkana Ritter was mesmerized. She saw a prize winning surgeon before her and knew he would do the right thing. Turn the alien in! It was the unwritten law of these here parts. You turn the aliens in, you subjugate them to tests, and then, when you’re done, you turn them loose up in Upper Austra into the wilds where they and their kind belong. Let them run over some distant, kind-of-alien village of its on up there. The up, the north, the wilds. Lower Austra hated Upper Austra in general. Where did it all begin? Roads, most likely. Lower Austra had them, two of ’em in fact. Upper had none and that started the whole wild aspect, she supposed. Limited transportation, limited communication. And now *those* aliens had the real deal kind; our infestation becomes their infestation. She was saying some of this stuff aloud to Dr. Mouse as well, which young Ruby, still without clothes gosh darn it, overheard of course. Her sharp ears pricked up as she sat up. She better get use to being up, since she’s heading that way. After the tests. They might have brought her to the good doctor anyway of course, although he was new to this dealing of the civilized south, the down, the lower. All aliens go to the doctors for checking and inspecting and making sure they don’t have any tracking devices or internal, hidden babies or whatnot and then: let ’em go up north. They don’t usually make it back. The border patrol makes sure of that with their guns specially loaded with alien poppers, as they called them. That was a concoction they learned from the midlings, the ones between the human and alien avatars and had knowledge of both and could swing both ways. Well, the ones that swung toward the human side told them of the alien side secrets, the weakness, the vulnerabilities. Achilles heels. Right as advertised. The old myths and legends were based on truth, just *extraterrestrial* as it turned out.
Ruby reached down with her long arm and scratched her right heel anxiously. She could feel there were bad days ahead.
(to be continued?)
She had no book still, red or any other color, so the only thing she had to read was her palm. Heart line equals head line. Good fortune ahead, and a lifetime of happiness. Bah, hand! The wrong hand obviously, just like she had a wrong foot, a wrong heel. The right heel was the one. The right hand was the one. She’d have to reverse the picture to make it fit.
Yet she was still physically in her bed in the small doctor’s office not 400 meters from the center of Collagesity, this newly moved in Dr. Paul Mouse, formerly of the Hope Clinic over in Black Diamond Lake. She had the power to be in two places at once, since the dreaming realm was also real to her. Powers this new incarnation of our old friend Ruby had!
And now the show was about to begin. Big star arriving soon. It was her! She was a singer in a band of unknown design before and of no design now. She was on her own, yet she was not alone. Fans! More than ever before. She felt her right heel beginning to itch again. Time to switch over to the other reality; someone was prodding her slender Grey body, the color of insect green just like the stage before her. And she was about to go on! Oh well, there was always the return times.
Dr. Paul Mouse was asking her to wake up while softly shaking the top of her long arm with his hand. He knew she was on the other side, and he had to be gentle. Thus the operation; thus the establishment of this clinic in the backwoods of the south, far enough off the highway not to even count. The bonafide doctors here had to pass efficacy tests in order to test themselves, sometimes the aliens but not a lot, since the flow had died down due to the epidemic, which may be a bonafide pandemic since it had spread to the outer isles.
She wakes up to the other reality, the second one to her because it is not so good. The first will remain there; the stage is set. She has her setlist, with the top being Plastic… Plastic… she can’t recall. She stares deep into the doctor’s eyes, wishing she had the second part of the name. Something about a bug.
(to be continued)
She looked toward the northern mountains from her home not away from home, her *real* home, in the dreamscape, or what we would call the dreamscape, as close a name as we have for it perhaps. This angel from above, this demon from below. *Both*. She was here to make a difference. “*There*,” she exclaimed to herself, pointing. A craft in the V shaped gap. Her original mother and father, or perhaps a prominent relative, like Uncle Stu or Aunt Zafflemorph. Always the red-green-red message. She was not alone.
“Why are we here, Summerhill?”
“You know why. Because it’s the only place I absolutely *can* stand in this here flat piece of–”
“Summerhill!” interrupts high priest clown Amos Sandman, her colorful opposite in ecclesiastical matters. If only the *owners* could hear. He peers around nervously, as if the bushes and trees and flowers had eyes. Perhaps they do. “Do you know how much *rent* is around here?”
“Arm and a leg, I know. Angel’s Rest indeed, pheh. More like Devil’s—”
“Now, now!” intervenes Sandman again, eager for a break in this line of talking. Perhaps they should resume walking. If the vegetation has eyes and also ears, let them hear leisurely chatting of a lazy summer afternoon, see random smelling of roses and thistles, and the occasional prick of a thorn or needle despite carefulness, for there are so many around. He stares at the wienies stuck on a finely waxed, hand crafted stick between them, hot dogs if you speak uncouth around these here parts. Maybe that could be a new topic.
Summerhill Nova, white as Elmer’s glue (that was the point), shuffles her feet on her own luxurious forest rug before her. “Can’t *stand* it.” She stifles an urge to stand to emphasize her point. She too now stares at the wienies in their midst, recently roasted to a delicate crisp. Not too languid and limp of course, but also not too staunch and rigid. On a scale of 10 to 13, about an 11, then, or maybe a 12. From her perspective the two objects perfectly cover the head of the clown priest except for the eyes that see and ears that hear, albeit the latter hidden in thick, curly red clown hair. She ponders the meaning of the juxtaposition. Does the vegetation lushly lying around them also know that Sandman is full of unknown ingredients of dubious origins? That must be it. I see you for what you are (etc.).
Sandman catches her stare and makes his own interpretation of the framed overlap, opposite in direction for him. “We are like two peas in a pod, you and me.” He points between them and then they are perfectly done.
Summerhill has to accept that.
(to be continued?)
The Fawcett Bros
“I’m *freezing* in here, Mr. F. Why, um, why don’t we close the windows?”
“I like… the billowing drapes,” he said coldly, without emotion. “Allows… me to thiiink.”
“Sure, sure,” I spoke back, shivering as usual. I guess they didn’t name him Mr. Frost for nutt’n.
“Torchboy,” he spoke to me, using that nickname I hated so much. “Turn down the space heater.” He pointed to the floor at the softly humming device. “You’re ruining the effect for me.”
I guess it would help if I put on a shirt, but I liked to show off my scorch’n tattoos. Over there is a tiger, and then there is another tiger, and then another tiger over there–
“I’m going to interrupt you here, baker b.,” said W., coming out from behind a curtain. We need to return to Picturetown, Canada. It’s the only way to properly end.”
They sat for hours like this, one still too hot and the other too cold, despite the hot body art. “Torchboy” had caught on. The wind speaks!
“Has the wind… ever called itself ‘W’ to you?” he asked at exactly 1/2 past 6. Maybe they should eat something, but neither could pry themselves away from the mesmerizing voice.
“Have you heard, the news, Douglas? “‘Daily Toilet’ says Picturetown is back on the map and humming.”
“Distractions,” offers Douglas Blue Feather, the local sheriff ’round these parts. “Us Angels should stick to what’s good for us. *Dreaming*.”
“But reality beckons!” Douglas hated when Yellow Purse Kimball shouted during a game. And this is the first hole (!). What will the 8th, the 11th, the 16th bring? A noisy snack of Big 60 cookies in assorted vanilla, chocolate, strawberry packed away deep in his golf bag? Gum chewing; finger snapping; whistling; singing, even: “Singin’ in the Rain”? Weatherman Fox Stet, a professor of biology over at Camden Yards, forecasts a good chance of storms this afternoon. Per usual in early May or June or whenever the f-ck it is now. Along with the wind of course, the constant evening billowing.
“Better finish by 2,” Douglas says, looking up in the skies. Clear sailing so far. He glances over at his golfing partner already swatting away. “Maybe, Yellow, we should save the putting for the actual green and not the tee.”
“Hey, I’m just practicing!” The shouting again. Oh looky, there goes the first piece of gum into his mouth. It was going to be a long round of golf. The only reason he’s doing this in the first place is get the scoop on Picturetown, because Yellow Purse Kimball has inside stuff. But he mustn’t be too obvious about the prying, the digging, the scooping. “Vanilla and chocolate,” he imagines saying to Don the ice cream vendor between front and back nines. “And top it off with, let’s see…”
“Strawberry?” guesses Don, still 9 holes away in dream-reality but already scooping away at the brown and and then white filled buckets below him in his imagination.
“Let’s go with lime.”
“This is absolutely the longest f-cking round of golf I’ve ever played, Douglas thinks after 2 pieces of gum, 5 whistles, and 15 hums by his count. And we’re only 1/3 the way through! Don and his delicious, home made ice cream, sorbet and sherbet is still 3 holes away. Can he hold out for his just reward? But he’s already got some scoops, so to speak. Information, that is. White Palace, Toddles the precious precocious child stuck exactly halfway between 23 22 and 22 23. Male and female. This information definitely didn’t come from the “Daily Toilet”. Inside stuff indeed. He looks over: at least Yellow Purse is on the green while putting now. Can you take any longer to make a shot? Oh, there’s goes the humming again, the stalling. He’s recalculating his line. Might as well dream about ice cream again, pheh.
(to be continued?)
only a rehearsal
She’d *been* here before, this Sugar O’Cotton, a sultry singer during the 1919 Kentucky Prohibition period. But the setlist has changed, the *colors* had changed. Strawberry wine/ blueberry tart. Red light, green light. Traffic light: stop, go. Did we need this addition?
Monday, this venue will be packed to the brim with screaming fans. But she will not be she. Someone different.
Ruby Alien wakes up, or switches sides (realities), first to second. The inferior one comes into focus. Again the good-bad doctor with the prodding, the poking and rubbing. “Come back to me,” he says. “Don’t die, don’t die!”
“You have to let her go, doc. She h’ain’t human. Heck, she’s hardly animal at all. Green blood instead of red, two hearts instead of one. It *doesn’t* take two to, you know,” and here John Frank Baum Ritter, husband of formerly heard from Texarkana Ritter, thumps his chest bigly for Dr. Paul Mouse. “One’s perfectly fine for all the pumping and such.”
Dr. Mouse thinks back here to his estranged wife, out in the beige hills even above Collagesity a bit. Only a shack for her now, but the one eye sees fine. He was looking for her the other day when he spotted the smoking, crashed saucer with the red and green lights in a small hollow to the west, perhaps in Baddest. And then Ruby laying beside it in a tall heap. 8 foot? he was trying to guess the height even from a distance. He gets closer, the bug green growing more metallic with each step. A bug, he though. A bug will fall her. Even then he knew, because he was also an alien of sorts, also psychic to a significant degree. Thus the rather frequent sightings of his mouse pal Pansy, the famous rodent who was never famous and instead replaced by another. The Pooping Pigeon was suppose to be his revenge. Now he will get his own through Ruby. He *will* discover a cure.
(to be continued)
you can spell numbers too
Waiting for an important flight to come in and nervous because the big boss is supervising. Poor Johnson and Waxx. Didn’t get any sleep last night. Who’s coming in? Dignitaries. That’s all J & W know. They’re suppose to look their sharpest but nerves shot that. “Makeup to the eyes, makeup to the eyes,” they panicked at 5:15 and 5:25 respectively, having to take turns in the single bathroom of their building. “Visene, Visene,” both exclaimed at 5:30, finally caving in and sharing a bathroom mirror because of the urgency to fix red eyes as well as baggy. At 5:35 they were on the deck. All Orange was waiting for them in the semi-darkness, sharp as a tack and dressed crisp and cleanly. He glanced at his watch. “5 minutes late, gents. Don’t let it happen again on my watch.” He looks up. “Get it?” He points to wrist. “Watch. Funny, eh?” Calm and cool; never panics this one doesn’t. But All Orange? Must be a renegade 5th. That would explain the perfection.
9:35. Main building. Everyone on standstill:
“Did you cast that spell yet, honey. Joey deserves it for sure.” Jack spots Gertrude walking toward the window, knows he’s in trouble. “Okay, erm, gotta run; luv ya.” He hangs up. Gertrude stands at the window, pocketbook open. He knows what he has to do. Receptionist Jean Allbright rolls her eyes, having seen it before. The fall of the mighty.
Sally, the part time temp receptionist, hauls an important ring binder upstairs to one of the big wigs while dreaming of hopping on her green 10 speed bike outside and riding the hell outta here, never to return. Maybe at one on her lunch break she’ll do just that, lunch break then being the final break — from the company. Oh about that. We’re at a Coast Guard installation, but of recent design, so much so that the 3rd story to the building
Marsha Sally is walking up the stairs to the 2nd hasn’t been completed. A couple of people unfamiliar with the construction have already fallen attempting to reach the still nonexistent top floor via the stairs, including Jack the Tripper, Betina Clubfoot, and Marsha Losst. Especially interesting is Jack, since he died. See, it was a spell that erased the 3rd floor, and the 4th and the 5th because they too were present just the day before. Everyone just forgot. The base had been here 5 years. and All Orange had controlled each and every one of the five. The story is so sad we must stop. STOP
START 3rd floor has return; 4th and 5th still missing. The spell is wearing off. Somewhat less big boss Phillip Strevor (hi Phillip!) is watching Marsha Camel xerox a lot of papers. Phillip enjoys watching Marsha do this task so he weighs her down, usually about 1 in the afternoon when his own work load gets lighter. He purposely lowered the wheels to the thing again just the other day. She has to hunch over a bit more to do the deed. Phillip likes that. Maybe next week he’ll just take the wheels off completely; no one ever moves the copy machine anyway: he’s guessed it’s been in that one spot going on 5 years, maybe 6. And I believe now this use to be the office of All Orange, before he was promoted to Asst Vice Deputy Chancellor for Overseeing Watches. He must have sat at this same desk, stared at the same… task performing person, in all likelihood another woman of course, and of his “type.” Phillip understands this, man to man. A heavy creaking sound occurs. The 4th floor has suddenly manifested as well. Everyone’s roles shift.
Oh about the dignitary. Turns out they had the wrong day, another effect of the spell in all likelihood. Thursday was the day he was suppose to arrive, which was instead tomorrow. Looks like another night without sleep for the J & W boys.
(to be continued?)
Sally decided this would be her last trip into Jack’s former office with the all important ring binder she was still carrying around the day after yesterday. She had taken it to the bathroom with her and had a peek inside. Peking: (old) China stuff. “Just around the bend,” one document proclaimed. “Epidemic escalated to pandemic,” another said. “This was about the bug, like up in the beige hills, beyond Collagesity even,” she whispered to herself while on the john. She shut the ring binder, propped it carefully against the stall wall, balled her hand under her chin while sitting there in thinking mode. Sally was a bright chick, perhaps too much so. Since she had a double life, just because she was smart enough to pull it off. Lackey by day here at the Dogoog Coast Guard Station, an affiliate of Angel’s Airports. By night: spy. It was like the split of Orient and Occident, she realized, and herself as a reverse Marco Polo ready to unleash the goods to the enemy.
Marsha knew that boss Phillip Strevor was spying on her while she photocopied downstairs, eager to get away sometimes at least from the direct stares of her backside. At first he hid behind that big palm pictured above. Okay, good: only a sideways view, she thought, and tolerated the stalking. Then, gradually it seemed (it probably happened all of a sudden, though), Phillip slid out from behind the palm and over to the couch for a better view. He had sunglasses and wore a fake beard. He usually sat lotus position to disguise himself as an Indian. He thought it would be enough to fool her. Phillip Strevor perhaps wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, but that’s probably because of his head being cut off and all back in the war. He had it reattached, but decided to keep the demarked cut lines just to make him look tough. “CUT HERE”.
He also thought the beard would hide this telltale tattoo from Marsha.
While still hauling around that damning ring binder all over the building to various offices (traitors, she thought, every last one of them!), Sally checked the script weight board. No sign of Wilson Fox this time. Only 2 All Oranges now, the big boss out on the dock taking care of the what’s-his-name dignitary, and the hooker across the bay probably wearing all that bling jewelry she likes. Man attactors, she calls them. Little lurid beacons of light. Sally usually hates women of the night and thinks them the lowest of life forms. But she’s befriended the hooker — Ginger I think is her name — because she has valuable information about the Orient she needs to dig out from her. And to top it all off, there’s Lime: the very origins of Our Second Lyfe. It actually started on Yd Island — just beyond the edge of the Coast Guard property over there. You can almost see it with a 512 meter draw, the maximum allowed in this here game. Ratzenburger Rabbit. Ginger (I think) knew the whole story. She grew up on Yd Island back in the 30s, 50s, and 70s.
(to be continued?)
“She’s always over there just staring at the fire, waiting for him to come home and tell her what to do. Robot, I say. Completely controlled. *I* was the rebel. He didn’t like that.” She paused in her soliloquy to take a drag off her cigarette, a Virginia Slim I believe, long and lean on smoke. She blew what little she had away from the child sitting next to her, then turned. An Asian, she thinks. Just like Sally over there at the Coast Guard building. Could it be? She packed those suspicions away and sent them down a baggage conveyor. Nah: impossible. She’s just a lackey, not smart enough to live a double life, much less shrink down to child size if needed. This was just an innocent youth before her, a *friend*. She hadn’t had one of those in a while. Not since Bettie. Or was it Ruth?
So she decides to unload more. Why not: it makes her feel good and that’s what matters in the moment. Another drag off the slim cigarette; another pleasure. Today was the day for enjoyment, since this was her day off from that other job that’s suppose to bring joy but almost always doesn’t in the end. Except for Pete.
“The Fortress, it is called by some. Maybe John.” She stops; another drag, another exhale away from the child.
“Who owns it?” the child dared to venture, picking her openings carefully. She had to keep up the ruse. No time to get cold feet now. That will be later when she ices them down from the hot sand. Azura Beach! She truly loved this little hidden spot with its cute dunes just away from the Airport grounds. But she must remember her real task: digging for information instead of clams, although that would be later as well.
“K.C. some call him. Others: L.A. I think he likes to use the initials of famous cities. Maybe ones he’s visited.” She stares directly over at it, knowing the new gal, if you could even call her that, the robot, would be sitting in there, staring at the flames that would certain consume her just like they did herself. A witch, they called her, and then she had to live in that ditch behind the airport for a couple of months until she was able to at least rent this cottage on the edge of his property. He had at least the dignity to do that. And he’s probably just keeping her around when he gets tired of the new one, with her more ample bosom and brown-not-blue eyes. He tired of blue, he tired of normal. And always with the golf club; might as well be a baseball bat the way he cracks it. Always plays the odd numbered holes and skips the even. Then in the evening he evens it out with the even holes. Complicated man. And she could still spy on him, but of course that’s what he wanted. He wanted her to see the new gal-robot and how he controlled her just as she was controlled. “Look,” he could hear him say with his smokey, deadpan voice in her head, “and learn.”
(to be continued?)
Some planes took off and never made it to their destination. But some planes never took off and still made it there just fine. It was a central theme of this here photo-novel, 25 in a… 26. And here we are, just beyond the (Collagesity centered) 5×5 appropriately enough, trying to look inside. This must be a Michigan ship.
Kolya had been meaning to report the crashed craft for the longest time, but he couldn’t remove his feet from this oh so comfortable, warm pool to go over the the green phone and make the call. He tries to calculate in his mind how long it had been there. It had stopped smoking some time back, so maybe 3 hours? Make that years — he truly couldn’t recall, and that hurt his chances for a call. He does know noone is inside still, at least after the doc took that basketball player type girl away still in her green uniform, as green as his phone should be. Perhaps she had just come back from a game; could be she was even a professional player what with that height. But why just the single person on board, then?
TWO TO KNOW weighed on his damaged brain, thanks to Marty, thanks to Roger Pine Ridge. What they did just north of here in Leemington will not be forgiven. 59.
And so we end where we began: on No Tor hill in Leemington seen in the distance in that last photo, following young Alysha around again searching for that ship of hers.
The hill is like an ant to her, in that she is her ant. She crawls forward, scrambling to the top, eager to have a better perspective on which to build further, view farther. Let’s zoom in.
Just gotta get up over this rock, *ugh*, and smooth sailing.
Good. She’s at the peak. Now to ratchet out the draw distance to the max and see what we have. MAX
She’s happy she can peer beyond the Green Between from Lower Austra into Upper Austra, most likely where Ruby Alien will be released day after Wednesday’s yesterday. I believe it will be the 5th. Doctor Paul Mouse will cave into local pressure and bring her to the proper authorities, meaning the actual, qualified doctors who are able to deal with such things. Check her out, let her go. Maybe she’ll make her way into the great, empty city of Perch-Mistletoe, she thinks it is called, a doorway between dimensions where one kisses another and won’t let go. She knows this is the two sides of herself, 13 to 13, evened out now; Nautilus (continent) complete. But it won’t be in this photo-novel.
The continent remains a conundrum, a mystery. 32×32 sims, 41 times the size of Collagesity’s localized 5×5 we just exited back there. And that 5×5 is hard enough to understand as it is (!).
Alysha and SEAN Green, Mr. Michigan, look to one of the far corners filled out in the past two novels, with more Nautilus fun to come. NW NE SE and, with this one, SW. Jeffrie Phillips in a Santa outfit floats on Little George Lake — or just Lake — waiting for 2 blue eyed pools to become one blue eyed pool so that he can proceed with the examination of the Arkansas book, which appears to be the same as the Oracle. He’s taken it back to Collagesity still in the middle of it all, or at least Lower Austra. He’s starting to study it intently, with help from sometimes wife, sometimes girlfriend, always lover Charlene the Punk Brown, currently rocking a hot pink babydoll for him. They’ll probably remain childless though; he has too many mistresses on the side, which Charlene allows now, or rather puts up with. *Barely*.
She takes off the babydoll, intent one more time to get Jeffrey to forget about all those others.
END OF “COLLAGESITY PHOTO-NOVEL 26”!