On a windy day in
Windy Wendy, before the castle library, wedding gown bedecked and alpha constricted Wendy jumps into the Gap, unable to decide between Axis and Tropp.
“Don’t look at her head, don’t look at her *head*!” the first to arrive at the cliff and peer down commands to the other. Taking the brunt of the fall, it was a plain and simple checkerboard catastrophe.
Down below: Axis first now to take turns and give still unwell Tropp a break. They couldn’t get to the body. The gap was too narrow. Reinforcements would have to be called in.
Axis’ turn now, “BLEH!”
Wheeler wakes up.
“There have been other libraries in other places. Like Crabwoo.
“Right, Karoz?” he prompted after turning.
“Are you going to answer my question about the Abyss or not?” Dave’s blue-green roommate for the exciting semester replies while applying the last bit of mascara to his face. Wendy! In all its glory. They finally made it after a long, hard stretch of work. Reward!
In a different part of the dream, Karoz looks up to see a whale sized blimp pass over a backwards blue E, otherwise known as a schwa. Red seems to be a theme for tonight but it’s not Devil Dave this time. Instead, a car, and a particular car at that. One plucked from the Iowan hypercube they knew so well now.
“Your burger, sir,” Wendy offered from the side… with a side (fries), prying him away from the aerial spectacle. Perhaps he should get back in the car to receive.
(to be continued)
“Tell me about Dub?”
It was an odd question from the former Bottle Cruncher star. 5’5″ Jer Ronamy, who also went by the name of Chuck Laser back in the days, an athletic moniker. Laser sharp were his passes and few lost their arms as a result, even though they played at the bottom of one (Starfish Lake arm). Plus they would just grow back; many smaller guards of his kind used this regeneration process to their advantage; fitted it into their overall game plan and strategy. Not brown clad Chuck, except when he masqueraded as purple garbed Joel Maser that one year he went undercover to play for a rival team so that they could face each other in the championship. Zircon vs. Amethyst, just like it was suppose to be; battle of the Titans. Never spotted, although the name should have been a giveaway. Just short enough to fly below the radar. It was tricky playing both sides in the finals but he explains it all in his book, “Going Both Ways,” disguised as outlining his prowess on both the offensive and defensive ends. Read between the lines and it’s all there: never was any defense when he was on offense and visa versa. I mean, you can read about it in this way but it’s still hard to believe. He planted a double, a lookalike. Similar name, yeah. A bit taller so as not to be *too* suspicious. And, oh yeah, that magical charm around the whole thing enacted by Morgan the Hagg. People hated him when they eventually found out. A lot of money was lost the day he hoisted the trophy as high as possible over his 5’5″ frame on a pedestal built by those that worshiped him.
“Dub?” responded Devil Dave back in the present, thinking back to receiving the ill wind from that Maebaleia cave in the sky. Does he also know about the jungle and all that goes on there, the wildness (in the wilderness)?
We need to bring in a female to balance out the whole and make a 4orrin1. Jem should do the trick, a simulacrum who thinks she is real and the only type who would stand Jer for any length of time, like seconds. Here she is with the rest.
(to be continued)
You Tar. Me?
Jey looked at Tar doing some work around the house finally. Glad to see him away from his desk writing that novel about death and destruction — bring him back to the land of the living. “How’s the plot going on the new one, dearest?” she asked to pass the time. “32, right?” she guessed the number. She wasn’t sure but she thinks that what he’s up to, along with some other stuff.
“Right, right,” he said, continuing to toss the salad after chopping the baby carrots, cucumbers, and onions with his power dagger, slice-slice-slice-slice-slice. Green must be evenly mixed with all — just like with him. “Actually the latest scenes are set much in a place like this.” STOP
START “Much like Ontario.”
“Oh,” she said, surprised at this. “The place next door?”
Joey, with an extra letter this time, thought someone dropped a yellow marker off the whiteboard into the floor to leave only red green blue but it turned out to be a bleed-through from another reality next door. Wendy.
(to be continued)
“The library, as a castle-like monolith, stands against you; wouldn’t allow you back in beyond the moat, the safety net that, admittedly, also cast out others.” Hucka D. paused again, reflected. “Only One, actually. The One that stands in front of the Two (and unites them). But marriage would have to be involved. It won’t be pretty. You’d… have to get her to accept the whole of Wendy.” Pause again. “The entire body of work, as they like to say down
“See it as protection instead of the obvious.”
They found some of the outfits left behind, I realized. I had been sloppy in my goings back and forth between here and there, confusing the two with each other.
Reinforcements came. Like Humpty Dumpty they were able to piece her back together. Except for the face, which remained a bit of a jigsaw puzzle, missing black and white pieces still to the sides.
“This board must be broken Debbie. I can’t get black to move first.”
It was over in 13. White (Dickie (Archibald)) had no more to say. Sister Debbie retreated back up the cave tunnel from the meeting in the underground game room to her Hobbit Hill rental, pondering what just happened and the true nature of reality. *Why* can’t black start? Who goes first, what goes second? She doesn’t know; can’t figure it out currently. There must be a game of chesskers where the rules are reversed, she ascertains later, but only after the mission is done.
“We’ve just got the one piece left,” Rescue John responded to Rescue Joe’s question about the face. “But it’s a crucial one. Looks like, let’s see, we’ve got a green eye instead of a blue to match the other. Asymmetry: can’t have it.”
“Boss wouldn’t be please,” Joe said back weakly, and looked into the distance from the top of the Gap toward the Hobbit Hill rental, toward Jer and Jem’s Ragged Rocks abode, toward Tar and Jey’s watermill home, and toward the cottage on the perch currently housing interns (Devil) Dave and Karoz straight from fabled academic mecca Crabwoo after their final exams were done and over with. He knows the answer lies out there somewhere. But here… they can only insert the wrong piece for now; no other way. He says this to John, who agrees to “finish” the process with a big sigh. “Green it is,” and crams it in despite the ill fitting nature of the thing.
Wheeler can see again.
Face stitched up as best as possible, rescuers gone, Wendy finds the portal to neighboring Ontario through a void sim thanks to the help of Dickie and some indicating, howling wolves. Delight! Maybe there’s hope for the chesskers situation after all.
“Iowa,” she spoke back to Dickie while feeling the cold wind of reality blow on her wounded face, stinging it a bit. Close!
The library can finally be left behind. Dickie waves goodbye as the darkness envelops her, wolves silent with their task done.
Archibald woke up on top of trash. Typical. But this time his shoes were gone. He rises up and dangles the bare tootsies over the grate to the underground. Where he stayed, he remembered, either in Apt 1 or Apt 2. The only 2 down there, not counting Black Bart’s old place, which was unfit to live in at the moment. They must have dropped down through the grate while I was stirring in my sleep, he rationalizes, but then realized someone could have taken them, maybe the other from the underground. Black Bart? Nah, he’s gone; the rumors couldn’t be wrong what with all that happened before to the poor, pitiful dude. Joey his neighbor? Could be for a prank. They were kind of seeing each other and kind of not. It was one of those “it’s complicated” relationships. He recalls, in his hangover-ish grogginess, that she keeps seeing things bleed through from the other side. Like that yellow marker the other day that *wasn’t* a yellow marker. Like, well, *me*, he then thought, dusting the dust off his pants and standing. Portals — yes. The dream comes back. A girl went through who specializes in burger, then he emerges in this burg so he becomes her burger. Strange thought. He opens the grate and moves down the ladder, ready to confront Joey with the theft, careful not to step on anything sharp or slippery. Difficult, because there’s so many things like that about the place. The underground, pheh, he ruminates as his socked feet touch the bottom. And people thought that was only confined to the dreams man made. Man-made dreams.
He walks up the stairs to the viable apartments, not hearing anything behind Black Bart’s old one downstairs for a change. But he hasn’t much hope the silence will last.
(to be continued)
“Hey, weren’t you just here 10 seconds ago,” Jim joked from behind the counter.
“Yeah… I was,” responded Dickie, confused in the moment. As I type this he may have moved back to the street corner about 10 yards away. Twice this has happened already.
“Lovecraft stuff, that’s what it is. Like with Black Bart. How’s the old creature doing anyway?”
Dickie thought back to his assignment. Rent an apartment in the underground, keep an eye on Black Bart downstairs. How’s that part of it going? he thinks sarcastically.
“Check your viewer again,” gruffed Jim Brown, poised to sell his first customer of the morning some 3 day old apple juice. Got one day more on that stuff, Jim thought. Then I’ll have to drink it myself. Jim knew he could dispose of anything — internally. That’s why he didn’t buy any garbage cans or bags when he rented the stall oh, about 3 years ago I guess. Brown comes from a long line of renters, not buyers.
“See what I mean!” he shouted to Dickie at the the corner, observing what happened all the time but not able or not willing to share the information right now. “You just stay right there!” he called again. “I’ll bring you a nice glass of apple juice to soothe your nerves!”
(to be continued)
Dickie had solved the mystery. A man, walking in a cycle, runs into him if he stands in front of Jim’s counter and pushes him to the corner, where he then leaves him and dashes diagonally across the road.
About 2 minutes later he’s back, pattern repeated. Again and again this happens. Did Jim set this up on purpose so customers wouldn’t loiter? he thinks.
The morning light was increasing. He had to find Joey Avatar to talk to her about the shoes and some other important things. Like their prospective date tonight. He doesn’t think he’s up for it. Besides, that apple juice he just bought from Jim was not quite agreeing with his stomach. Perfect excuse for backing out. “I’m sick, babe,” he rehearsed in his head. “Jim?” he imagined her saying, because he was responsible for the bulk of things bad in town. He may even be the person behind the transmutation of Black Bart himself, Dickie realized in this created scenario. He then imagines going back to Jim, confronting him. Oops, there’s that guy pushing him to the corner again. Yes: convenient.
Jim L. Brown, he recalled. He makes a mental note to check what the L. stands for sometime, because he’s heard of another Jim Brown and doesn’t want to confuse the two in his continued investigation. A., he also remembers about the other. Jim A. Brown, with the A. standing for nothing, he recalls, even turning into B. at the drop of a dime, for no rhyme or reason. Maybe L. is just a progression of this, and stands for nothing itself.
Here comes the dasher again. “Merry f-cking Christmas to you too!” he called in turn, stepping aside this time. Dasher yes, hmmm.
He checks his wallet but it’s okay. The guy appears to be a pusher but not a taker. Hmm, again.
(to be continued)
“Good evening, Debbie. How are you doing tonight?”
“Been here long?” she asked her brother originally husband Dickie. “I… couldn’t decide what to wear. I just ended up coming as your sister. *Simplify* is what I say.” She takes another sip of her espresso, looks out the window.
“That’s Lake Ontario,” says the brother formerly husband. “Halfway here, halfway there.”
“Isn’t everything these days.” They sip in unison, tacit agreement with each other.
They catch up. Dickie fills in Debbie about Joey Avatar and Black Bart and the man who’s perhaps responsible for most evil in this town of Ontario which seems to be Ontario itself, one James or Jim L. Brown. “Pusher if not a taker,” he elaborates. He instinctively feels for his wallet again.
“Drugs?” she responds, glancing about the place to make sure no one was around still.
“Implied,” he said. “Through the indicator (Dasher).”
“Hmm,” she said, thinking of nothing else to say. It *couldn’t* be that simple. Pan-Z or Pot-D surely had more complicated reasons for being here. But she’s simplifying; maybe they are too. Ditching the paranormal aspect.
“You?” he said to fill the gap. “How’s Lorsters Worst going?”
“Oh I’m not there any more. Elisa took my place there.”
“Elisa?” He sipped, recalling her from other assignments. She always requested to be a red clad lady of the night. He thought she secretly just wanted to be a hooker outright, forget the force or group or whatever they’re calling our collective these days. He says his thoughts aloud for his sister.
“Could be, (sip). My theory: they let me out of the gig because I couldn’t find what was behind the purple door.”
“Elaborate,” he requested. His coffee was done. Time to light a fag. Fags always got his organizational brain going after a prerequisite caffeine boost. The more smoke filled his eyes, the better he could see.
“Oh dear,” she said, seeing the tears and redness. “Let me get you a rag.”
“No no, it’s just the smoke. Helps me think.” He continues to organize his thoughts and tear up, redness increasing. But he’s about to come up with something. He bursts out crying, finally putting the cigarette down. He loves his sister, he realizes. He never got beyond being the husband.
(to be continued)
The lake is just silver shores now. Debbie is gone; the situation had changed. He had Joey now. Time to head back to the underground, check on Joey, check on *Bart*. If he starts to stir again he should be there. Too bad Debbie can’t help since she’s better at recording. But she has the library gig now, she explained a bit earlier, before the mist moved in and turned everything metallic. “I… love…” he confessed, and she just POOF: gone.
Debbie Doom left in a huff, tea cup and saucer broken beneath her on the reckoning couch. The powers that be had deemed her replaceable. She made error 01 in the playbook of love. Falling for a relative. Taboo. Pot-D or Pan-Z couldn’t put up with the bad press. Leforest Bresford was send in. She’ll make shit happen, Erik Jones Johnson said in the office of the Big Wig, delivering the pitch for his ex-wife. “Do you love her still?” he asked back. He knew this could be a deal breaker. “No,” Erik lied, which is exactly what the higher powers wanted him to do. Lie between and out his teeth. “Okay,” the bigger said to the smaller. “*One* shot,” he warned, and then handed him her gun.
Her mission: to find Black Bart and put a bullet through his lead head before he becomes fully shadow and *all* are doomed. The renegade manifesto must not be written.
From the couch in the secret meeting place, she aims for first one then the other in the short distance, watching them sweat and swear. “Choose him!” the red cried. “No, her!” the blue screamed back, eager to save his own skin even though it was the same “skin”.
The shot whizzed between them, somehow missing both. She had been trained well, and now had not one but two allies by her side, both male and female powers. She incorporated them into her being, even though no one could see the can except herself, when she wanted to. Like now.
The mist cleared as she exited the ruins, confusion over.
(to be continued)
staying on the grounds
Leforest Bresford soon realizes that the town, this Ontario, is chocked *full* of mysteries. Like this floating woman at the back of the church apparently named Selene by the description. But through her training in the 32, she also knows this is somehow user and blog owner Baker Bloch’s mother Old Grey, exposing her oily way again. Gong, pheh. Zero Hero. She’s in it deep again.
She attempts to merge with the figure and understand its meaning. Training again — making shit happen and such. Zero back here; maybe 9 up front?
She continues to roam the grounds of the church that also contains the ruins where she shot up that tin can and became one with it as well. It still surrounds her, only she chooses, in the moment, not to let us the blog readers see it. Trash and Recycling some call her red and blue companions sitting at either shoulder, combined in this way to make something not quite as good as either separately. Purple perhaps, weaker than either constituent red or blue. She ponders this too.
From the rocks the church is perched upon she thinks she sees Jim or James L. Brown walking down the sidewalk in the distance but is unsure, and then forgets to check immediately.
She wanders through an opening in a row of tall cypresses to this nice patio with a green table with green chairs set up for game playing. It begins to rain, then it begins to pour. She takes shelter in a roofed pergola and starts reading a proffered book…
… only to swiftly fall asleep as the text bores her, a mystery about a wee man murdered in a normal sized outhouse. Quite unbelievable. In the subsequent dreaming she is in the same place but with two more strange characters interacting at a table nearby, also out of the rain.
“I believe you know my father,” the 1/2 snow 1/2 sponge being spoke to the other.
“Oh Snowbob,” his snow white mother with two coal lumps for eyes exuded, tired of the games. Who is he now? she wondered. Kactus?
“I’m glad at least *you* remain my friend, Joey,” she said between sub bites. Dreaming makes her hungry. Must replenish, must recuperate. For most this is sleep itself. Not Leforest. “Agents can be so thin skinned. It’s *just* an assignment. Some fits are better than others.”
“Yeah,” expressed Joey across from her, also eating a sub but with meat instead of potatoes, “they told me to wear purple hair now…”
“Wondering about that,” says Leforest Bresford.
“Yeah, purple is sometimes a sign that you’re about to be taken off a case. Like, you know…”
“Debbie,” replied Leforest, thinking back to her description of the purple door in Lorsters Worst and how she couldn’t open it. *Sign*, yes.
“But to your dream.”
“Dreams,” corrected Leforest, glad for the diversion and thinking about her own red and blue companions at each shoulder, unseen to Joey and others as she chooses at the moment. But potentially another purple situation, with her in the middle which is, as we all know, unfortunately in the way a lot of times.
“Dasher” passes by. “Morning Luke,” says thought-to-be James or Jim L. Brown.
“Morning John,” he says back as he moves on to the corner down the way, no one to push around this time. Maybe next go round.
“Did you hear that?” whispered Joey over to Leforest, watching him now dash diagonally across the road in front of her to continue his cycle. “*John*. Not Jim.”
“Or James,” her fellow sub eater whispered back.
“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”
“Certainly am.” Twins.
Then in total synchronicity to the situation the other twin walked by in the distance but neither spotted him.
Only we the blog readers know for sure still.
He was called in to replace Agent Joey Avatar. Or help her — he wasn’t sure. Anyway, he was here, aiding her to begin, not mentioning the replacement part, although of course she suspects. Purple hair, he ruminates. Symbol of suspicion. Just woke up like that the other day, she says. Fat chance.
*There*. John or Jim — one or the other; doesn’t matter. Here’s where he comes out of the portal. Now to pinpoint the center. “What you got?” he asks Joey through his walkie talkie wristwatch after John/Jim moved down the road a bit, out of earshot.
“2 seconds,” she responds from her position on the other side. “He went into the closed up subway at exactly 11:37:07. Did he come out with his sub?” she tried to joke. Agent 47 was a serious type, she understood. She was attempting to loosen the armor. But she knew she was in trouble. First things first, though. They had to figure out the mystery of this plaza that stood in the middle of it all. Umbrellas, they had determined. But which one?
“Let’s let him go in one more time to make sure.”
“Too foggy in this gal blasted town to do much more tonight,” Agent 47 said after the double check. “Let’s reconvene at 08:00. I’ll stay with Black Bart downstairs from you guys.”
“Um, I wouldn’t do that,” she responds, shaking her head for emphasis.
“Elaborate.” It was one of the most common words these agents used. What he got back surprised him. A shadow being! And all because he was being tracked by The Mouse. Weelll. He’ll fix *that*. Shadow beings have no place in the land of living breathing Second Lyfers. All of Wendy would be for naught if so. Nautilus, hmm, he thought. That would come back shortly. But first…
“Bring him out in the light,” he rather commanded to Joey when they returned to the Underground Apts., 3 in number but only 2 viable in the moment. Because of Bart.
“Told you,” Joey Avatar said to Agent 47 after he opened the door, standing back a bit from the spectacle.
“Clean him up and bring him out,” he doubled down. *You* clean him up! she thought, but then did what he requested. She was only 45. No way to jump two numbers in a fortnight. She’d have to wait til Tuesday.
(to be continued)
“Find out who is in that 9th spot and find out if black or white went first,” Agent 47 orders in his dream to Joey Avatar while hovering above it all. He doesn’t realize the impossibility until the next morning while eating his 9-sided Toasty O’s and remembering the game. But the tree is 9; the other vendor is 8. Time to head back to the plaza for some nitty gritty research. He takes a broom and knocks it against the ceiling, knowing Joey would understand. 3 times. 9 times. Magic Square.
He wakes up for real this time. He turns to Bart on the couch, cleaned up at last and looking like a little cartoon boy again, perhaps 9 himself. Saturn-9. But at what price? 1,000,000? Just then, Bart begins to glow as if radioactive. He’d been exposed, he knew — tricked even. He’d have to deactivate himself. Joey won this time. But there’s always regeneration.
He wakes up once more.