“Rooster,” he mutters, seeing the weather vane atop the barn on his peninsula. “I must think about this further.”
Full perms on the property here.
I wonder if Rooster could be related to Santa Claus?
What are you Nautilus?
Why are we here?
Listening through the walls and the coke machine is over. It’s time to find out who’s in the basement. Is it Rooster?
I think it must be Rooster. Smells like Rooster, even from this distance. We’ll see.
It wasn’t Rooster. He backtracks a bit; forgets about the end of the tunnel for now.
“Who are you?” he asks mildly.
Squeaky voice, like a inflatable toy full of little holes: “I am (wheeze) the answer you seek.”
Significant pause as he takes the creature in. “Where’s Rooster?”
“He is (wheeze) not here yet.”
Smaller pause. “Will he ever be?”
“(wheeze) No.” Slowly and skillfully the seated small being then moves a chest pin down to emphasize his pricked nature.
“Funny,” is all MAT could think of to say.
“Is (wheeze) it?”
Voodoo doll, Man About Time mulled over. Obviously related to Kactus back in the library — up in the library, just above him in fact. He tries to see through the ceiling toward it. Doesn’t work.
“Ponder (wheeze wheeze) the nature of the peninsula, another (wheeze) sticky outy thing (wheeze wheeze). I am (wheeze) running out of (wheeze) air (WHEEEEeeeeezzzee).”
The final prick did him in. He shouldn’t have done it, MAT realized. Like
Conception Concepción Conception, he’d made an error between his legs.
He moves on beyond the deflated being, encountering himself in the first of two cells off the passage.
“Hi me,” he said nonchalantly to himself.
Should he wave back? Or is that how you become trapped in the first place? Acknowledge that you’re here already? MAT decides to ignore him(self) and walks down to the final cell, the end of the journey that has become this post. Is he ready? After seeing himself down here, what choice does he have? No going back.
“What is it?” he asked, out of his cell and sneaking up from behind.”
“I think you should go back where you came,” the other requested, pointing down the passage over his shoulder while he finds himself waving at *it* for some reason. MOA he knew, but that was just another puzzle inside a riddle inside a cypher. The foul smell was starting to become overwhelming; not Rooster indeed. “Let me handle this now. I’ve been waiting for you after all.” STOP
“Man About Time?” I speculated, knowing he waved at this thing like he did to himself before. Continuation.
“That and more,” agreed the other, yet to be determined. Maybe Wheeler with her green and blue asymmetrical eyes. Miss Ouri perhaps if they are matching instead. Feminine anyway. Female.
We should also determine if we are dreaming or awake. Could be difficult.
The white block shoes were not ideal for walking on rocks but she had to find something on this beach, perhaps a discarded *Can*.
But how to kill that man who found it first and then dispose of the body? Issues. Always issues.
Pincushioned Nauty hid behind a nearby tuft of grass ready to run interference on this beachcombing chump if needed. He’d found MOA and that called for protection. Because *everyone* still in their right mind was looking for it, good or evil. Miss Ouri: probably evil since she’s emphasizing kill over kiss, death over love.
Whatever you seek with focused intent, there it is. Fear (tentacle emphasis) can bring you to this point as well.
statement of fact
This boat remains landlocked.
I have them now.
He continues to talk to his boss even though he isn’t with him any more.
“That boat over there in that bay, Jeffrey,” speaks Man About Time mildly. “Lower Austra. But just beyond, just beyond the bay: Wild West. That’s how they slipped away from Miss Ouri, Jeffrey. They outsmarted her, which is difficult to do. Someone must know the whole map to do this. It’s like they have the entire knowledge of Nautilus itself.”
“Think,” he could hear Jeffrey Phillips in his head now, which he often does.
“That’s right, Jeffrey. (The) Thinktank (sim) is just beyond the bay. The Wild West.”
“No. *Think*.” Jeffrey often emphasized words for Man About Time in his head because he misunderstands what he’s actually trying to convey. Because Jeffrey Phillips is still around, just not physically.
“Oh okay. Think, huh?”
“Think,” he finished.
“We went out on the same date. March 1, 2022. Yet he was a King and I was a Bishop at best, a Knight.”
“9 to 5, yes,” stated Wheeler Wilson to Baker Bloch at The Table, which had moved from the Blue Feather up to the Castle in De Skies, although not out of Collagesity itself. It was a conundrum because (the castle) sat in 2 completely different places on the continent at once: Lower Austra’s Collagesity and North’s Rooster’s Peninsula, with the ultimate link being glowing MOA down in the basement of each. *They* sat in these 2 positions. “I think you underestimate *your* position, though,” she continued. “Rook… you were a rook; a minor rook but a rook still. And people around you didn’t like it because you had no ambition to further your place in life. You were happy as is, just riding everything out until The End. You were stuck on a 5 which was much closer to 5 than 6 and you were satisfied. That was the basic issue. That caused the distancing.”
“I started out as a Pawn.”
“We all do,” explained Wheeler. “We all do.”
It was chilly up on this ridge above Kings Bishop, near the lower end of Route 13 on the western side of Lower Austra. Not as chilly as Collagesity would be this night, Man About Time ruminates, glad for a little break from all the building and shuffling about in his home town just up in the mountains a little more. Town, hmmm. Man About Town —
Anyway, the relative cold makes him think about the distance formed between creators — artists — inworld and beyond, each in their own sphere of influence and interest. He needs to let go; he needs to forgive. He’s gone very far, the 32 being the latest number reached if not finished. He’s working on it, as always.
He usually calls in Wheeler to help him, in this instance because he’s simply too lazy to rise up from his comfy sleeping bag and look around. She may come as Miss Ouri tonight, or maybe not — someone else. Once she was Alysha. He sighs, thinking of his former girlfriend, like if Thelma Lou left Barney for Sherriff Andy Taylor, attracted to the shine of the bigger badge. Another King over Bishop (or Rook) situation, then. Or a King’s Bishop anyhoot.
He hears the manifestation. 10 minutes — not bad for Wheeler. He looks out to see Miss Ouri, his latest crush, sitting on the chair outside along with that creepy prick doll of hers, the cactus creature. A mascot she calls it. For the library they’re building together as a whole. He thinks of the King. He thinks of the Bishop, the Rook at best. King’s Bishop (or Rook); that’s what he is now. He’s been adopted it seems. The black and white swan urged him forward instead of back, trying to escape her own shadow self. “See down there in the library’s floor,” she said to him as Ted one night, working late on his novel instead of his dissertation which he should have been doing, pheh. But Ukraine and the Delta needed him, another camper in another camping spot. “That’s *me*.” The white swan, out of her element in special collections, could not pass through the door to the library proper without causing a shadow. It’s an old story with a familiar ending. Entrapment, much like he can’t be bothered to get out of this tent and go speak to Wheeler. He summoned her after all.
Here goes nothing, he thinks.
“Nice morning, huh?”
“If you’re going to climb out of your tent, why did you need *me*?” She’d been busy doing other things. She had a lot on her plate: grapes, kiwis, bananas, oranges and apples from the looks of it. Kactus was hungry and requested permission to dive in, which was granted.
I could stomp on it and put an end to the thing, Man About Time thought, looming above. But what would be the consequences? He decided quickly he didn’t want to find out. Wrath of Ouri might not look as pretty.
I spotted the cacti I spotted the cops.
Then all became blinded.
“She can control everything in Lower Austra, once it is defined, boundaries and all. But outside…”
“Gone,” she realized. “Lost.”
“Like beach comber Pepi ‘Can’ Kolya. Saved by Nauty who has knowledge of the Big Picture. The complete puzzle, pieces all in the right place. It’s because he comes from…”
“Iowa,” she finished again.
Man About Time looked over. “But you’re not Miss Ouri,” he continued mildly.
“And you’re not Baker Bloch,” she said in turn.
“Hmm.” He pondered whether to get a coke to drink. K K Cola here. Damn copyright infringement laws. Wheeler had wine. He wondered where she got it.
“I have one blue eye and one green eye — damaged,” she started again after a guzzle. “I don’t have two matching eyes like Ouri.”
“*Miss* Ouri,” Man About Time dutifully wanted to say but held his almost always mild tongue. No need to bring Texas Pete into this, his mama always said about verbal acidities. She trained him well; he absorbed everything he could from her. Poor mama, he lamented. Hanging with the angels now.
Instead: “Where did you get the wine?”
“A barrel,” she said, and then winked. I think the green eye remained open but difficult to tell. All eyes looked the same to him. After Miss Ouri.
(to be continued)
“So you see, Man About Town–”
“Time. Man About Time,” MAT mildly corrected.
“Yes, of course. Anyway, we don’t need to be a part of Lower Austra. We are more than capable of protecting ourselves with our large ships, *huge* in the case of the Pompelmoo here.”
“I see.” Indeed this particular boat stretched from one corner of the namesake sim to the other, darn near close to 400 meters total then. MAT admittedly couldn’t wait to explore it more, along with the rest of the island, this Trinidad? “Did you say the name of your island here was Trinidad?” he tried to clarify.
It took Zapppa back, to when he first found the island himself. A lone painter was there. Rock painter, before they moved all the rocks to make room for the ships. Named the Captain but not because he was a naval hero or anything. Jon Carson tried to get to the bottom of it, my mate in the tiny “Annoying ZZ Mat” that made the trip from Nautilus City to the southeast, he reminisced. *Barely*. Almost sunk along the way. “Sink Sank Sunk” we nicknamed it after that, because it produced the same results over time. And now I’m with a man named Time. Funny how things go in a big circle — MAT again and all too. He’s finding out himself how special this island is. “Trinidad?” he finally answered. “Well, that depends.” It’s the same thing the Captain said all those years ago.
(to be continued)
He was behind glass again, writing to his superior officer. Summary: he fell for it, the whole Captain and rock art story. Man About *Time* won’t be snooping around his *islands* for a while. Signed — no *Love*, Zapppa, with an extra “z” 🙂 🙂 🙂
Time to put Jenny back out to sea and head toward Jenny.
He hid behind tall tufts of Pampus Grass (etc.) waiting for Jenny to pull into the Crystal Hill of Moonberry, the central mount of the 3 Queendoms in extreme lower Nautilus. Nauty: but in a different form.
Can had been easy to overtake, having all those holes in his head, holes matching holes. “Glory be!” he exclaimed in his now non-wheezy voice as he seeped into the body, the only way to ditch pretty but snitchy Miss Ouri, monitoring the Lower Austra beaches for any sign of escape. Now if I can just keep *this* body from loving her as well. Can fell for Alysha before, and Ouri is just a different form of the same. We’re back in Arkansaw and that is something. Monster Book.
There she is (!) *CRASH*. Uh oh. Right on the rocks.
Directly above Can who is the same as Nauty now, another figure watched the incoming ship with great interest.
Soon both were ejected from his or her land.
(to be continued?)
“Good, isn’t it?” she wanted to say in her Northern accent. “Comes in bottles in this county.”
“Jasper?” she could hear him say back, which prompted in her mind: “Bling, Diamond Cave, Arkansaw. CAN.”
“Are you a witch?” he actually said, sitting on the couch before her and knowing she was the one. Miss Ouri.
Of course I’m a witch, she again thought, but decided to answer otherwise. She went with the Arkansaw story. Can saw right through it.
“Take off your dress,” he tried, figuring she was a simulacrum. “I want to see.”
But she was no pleasure bot like Tronesisia still hallucinating that cactus plant over in the library. Her eyes were equal to each other, orange against orange. 2 + 2 adds up to 4 for her. She is rational, reasonable. “No.”
Well I tried, he thought. It was worth the effort. “Then… reveal yourself for who you really are.” It was second choice but maybe had a better chance to work.
Since she was a bot if not a pleasure one she had to obey this time.
He was — 1/2 and 1/2. “Where do you come from?” Trick question! “Your mama?” she played with in her head. She was from nowhere, actually. Outside *everything*.
“Chattanooga,” she decided, then ended with a weak, “choo choo,” and the appropriate pulling arm motions, like a conductor with his tooter or whistle. Yes. Exactly like a conductor. Mahler.
The next thing he knew he was in bed, drink still in hand which indicated that what went on before wasn’t actually a dream. Not really. Along with the 2 orange legs of course to match the eyes.
“You had to see, ow,” she said in her mind.
He studied them later and decided they were like 2 coke bottles while he finished his drink. Evil, they were. Not Northern atall.
He went back to bed and had a different dream about the dresser and their wardrobe.
(to be continued)
a welcoming sight in the woods
Probably Bigfoot. Or not. Welcoming anyways.
Here’s some evidence Bigfoot may like Hot Wheels. They’ve maybe screwed this bit o’ track to the floor of a “covered bridge” located not far from the first photo of this post above. Probably not again, but just saying, just showing. And the arranged rocks once more…
I wonder if they swing on this swing when they know no one is around, play with the rocks, bring their Hot Wheels and more track stored safely out of the elements in their nearby dwelling places to attach to this base stretch. Could be Bigfoot children taking a break from the serious lives of their parents and elders. Just make sure a human doesn’t see you, they might warn. Or they could be out on a lark. Bad Bigfoot children! if so. Elders always know best when it comes to safety.
We cannot speak of Area 54 and its mysterious rocks and pipes (etc.) in any detail which would provide you the reader further information for the weighing of truths in this matter. Maybe later, sorry.
He left her with her two orange eyes and matching orange legs, dancing up a stoorm in Trinidad at a place she’d been hanging out for years now, she said. He had succeeded in part 1 of his 2 part quest as well. The price? Reversion to Nauty, extraction of the possessee, pins revealed. He was Nauty. He was Nautilus.
Let’s see where we are on the big board…
I’m going to artificially light up Darkfold, the nearest gallery to Collagesity since we just featured a couple of his pieces at
Wheeler’s Miss Ouri’s Trinidad dance spot, synchily enough. But I didn’t place them there — already present, like a present to be opened. Returning to the map, and understanding highlighted locations are the ones featured in the current photo-novel, now lumbering toward the end of its 5th section like a wheel running out of air (admittedly), we more clearly see the weight toward the south of the Nautilus continent, centered around Collagesity perhaps. Yes: Collagesity, even featured by itself in section 4, which hadn’t happened in a while. And now the struggle with encompassing Lower Austra, how to define borders between the east, the west, the north and south. How to define *center*.
Later a folk-punk band showed up to help with the cause as seagulls all around continued to squawk their mournful tunes.
the end of Duncan, A.
“He’s not coming out of there,” he says to me. “He’ll always be a part of the library.”
I knew I was weighted too much in the South. But that’s where he chose to stay. “Who will replace him?” I asked Buster Damm sitting across from me, an impossibly small vampire in such a big big world. Too small to fit in anywhere properly. But too important to die himself. He stared the answer into me.
“So they just found him there. Dead.”
“Gone to South American,” Buster elaborated as best as possible. Just like Sherwood before him, another Allen.
Nighttime at the Castle in De Skies; fog getting thicker. Must think about heading home soon. North.