Sunklands 2022 Middle 04


00330401

“This man and his phone calls,” she speaks through clenched teeth, smile all a sham, “is going to *kill* me.”

“… no it’s me, dude. (pause) *Me*.”

Spencer pretends to take a long long sip of his coffee, masking his reply. “Any way we can exit gracefully?” he says into his cup.

“… I’m sitting right here, he he… where are…”

“How about if I do this.” She flips her hand and hits Spencer’s cup, making the contents splatter all over his white jacket. *White*, he thinks, getting up out of his seat and looking down at the mess. What was she *doing*?

“… hold on, dude… something’s happening here…”

“Oh *dear* oh *dear*,” she exclaims, putting hands to mouth even to reinforce the spectacle.

“It’s all right,” Spencer says back, making a face that Jennifer understands is sending a message to her and her alone that she went too far. She gives a smirk back expressing that maybe she did (yikes, what a stain; he’ll never get that out!) but at least it will get them out of here and away from Julius.

“We better get you to that bathroom over there; wash you up,” she says. They jointly move away from Julius, who simply picks up where he left off without making a remark about the accident.

“Anyway, dude, where are *you*?”

—–

“Ooo. So *close*,” she says as he rather pins her to the tiled wall near the door, having flung the obviously ruined white jacket aside and also the unsoiled tank top underneath. Betty reciprocates. Julius would still be talking to himself when they exit the bathroom 30 minutes later, hardly noticing they were gone. Does he not have a home he can go to?

30 more minutes and this: “Well dude and dudette; packing it in.” He pulls the phone away from his ear, puts it in his pocket. He disappears. Betty and Spencer both wonder if that last part was for them or if there was a third party involved in the conversation with himself, his double. Another double, like 3 identical cousins. Soon they would find out.

(to be continued?)


sports trivia

“OK, Tom, we’re ready to roll again,” he hears in his ear PRESS.

Tom the bartender is recording. Should be OK and it was. Geronimo, Slick, Olive. Then: *himself*; and he was careful not to mention his real name to Eyela and Newt. Yes he clearly heard the word Tom followed by Kite. Then again several sentences later to the west, Watson this time being the follow up word. Two famous golfers named Tom, he realized after a pause. “Kite probably means drugs,” he later relayed to his boss after Eyela and Newt had left the club, “as in ‘high as a…’ (he was good with wordplay). Watson points to something deeper, blacker even. I’ll check on that.” He removes the recording device from his shirt UNPRESS.

U.S. President Jimmy Carter grew up at Archery on his family’s farm from age four, in 1928, until he left for college in 1941.[3] In Carter’s time, the population consisted of approximately 25 black families and 2 white families, namely the Watsons and Carters.[5] President Carter recalled in 1976 that Bishop Johnson was “the best-educated, most famous, the most widely traveled, and the richest member of the community”.[9] The Carter family remained at Archery until 1949; ownership of the Carter property was transferred to the National Park Service in 1994.[10]


ponytail (greentree (zeroed out))


grrocery/only coke is real

“The portal was too strong,” guessed Kolya later on, standing before it with a can instead of a bottle. “Collapse of the kingdom SIIIPP.”


00330405

He was in Pieve, Alysha beside him per usual. Her gams glistened in the morning dew; so did his, for that matter. 3.16 instead of 3. He has a bottle instead of a can so he knows this coke experience is real. We are truly back in the past.

It doesn’t work any other way, he reviewed in his mind. The circumference of the circles must be that instead of 3. City Park… County Park… Country Park, the latter basically inactive this time of year because, mainly, of the blocking poison ivy. My shortcut meadow is now full of it (!).

But City and County give me a lot to explore in the summer, which has only just started, he thinks. TOM, for one.

“Tom,” he said aloud, hoping Alysha would respond. “Um, w-what?” she said groggily, having fallen asleep in her lounge chair. Not enough shut-eye last night, she then excused herself, which Kolya obviously understood.

“Tom,” he repeated carefully, not wanting to spill the beans too early. He had become good at saving them up. But sometimes it happens. Like last night.

“Oh yes,” she recalled, stretching her arms and yawning. “The mountain… Top O’ Mountain. TOM.”

He waited a while again. “What…”

“… do you think we should do with it?” she completed for him, gams for gams. 3.16 he thought again. Something is about to begin.


00330406 (gammy rays)

Hucka Doobie looks up into the Blue Feather Cube and imagines seeing Mr. Tom “Spilly” Bean emerge from the center of a triangle of 3 white stars, falling or perhaps even plummeting to Earth in a beam of white. Must be white.

Now to bring him actually to life.

—–

She recalls the day she gave up her blackness, all ears now. In the opposite direction: red. She became the Controller after that, some say Morgan the Hagg returned from a watery grave, even. She picked up the phone. She gave him a call. Pepi “Can” Kolya was no more in her life. Until now, which was actually then.

“Herbert, it’s me,” she remembered saying into the screen, waiting with baited breath for a reply. Was that even his correct name?

—–

“Herbert. I mean, *Newt* (sigh). Can I take off the ears now?”

“Not yet, babydoll.” He reaches over.

“Again?”


Boos 27 and 26 (“2 Fer 1”)

“It’s one of the ones that we had to give up when we moved to Rooster’s Peninsula here, Hucka Doobie. But as you can see, there’s (Mr.) Bean, there’s Tom (Kite) — front and center here. Combined: Tom Bean.”

“Fascinating,” Hucka Doobie admitted. “So we go back to Tungaske? Canada?”

“Ontario at least,” replied Baker Bloch.

“Ahh. Picturetown.” Hucka Doobie suddenly felt sorry she/he wasn’t directly a part of those Canadian based collage series, the In and the Out. With his/her analysis, I mean.

Baker turns. “You seem to be changing back into a bee-man,” he observed.

“Admittedly I’m slipping. A bit.”

Poor Hucka Doobie. If you don’t nurture a character and pay attention to them, they tend to atrophy. Hucka Doobie became stuck on Baker Bloch, unable to deal with the stuff happening all around her/him. What does that say about me (though)?


flip side: elimination (obscuration) of Tom and Bean


birth


00330409

She’d lost her hat. She’d lost her ability to speak. The White Whale looks down on her, concerned that things had taken a turn for the dark again. Blue must be involved. Blue’s always involved when there’s trouble, she thinks. She opens her mouth. Nothing. Starbuccaneer Barista also opens her mouth and also produces nada.

“Newton and Jasper!” she wanted to cuss so badly.

Observing Newt then heard a tiny tittering beside him on the floor. About as small as ants they were, he thinks. Salt and Pepper.

He becomes them.

(to be continued)


00330410

He didn’t know if they were open for business but he thought he’d try anyway. “I’ll have a 4 shot latte, I *mean* — 4 shots in a cup.”

“No milk?” she tried to clarify. “No flavoring, chocolate perhaps?”

“Just shots, please.”

“So,” she said, “you just want 4 espresso shots in a cup.”

“And two of them — forgot to add that.”

“*Two* cups with 4 shots each in them.”

“Yeah.”

Starbuccaneer Barista thinks: Baker Bloch has changed. She decides to say this aloud.

“Well, just saves time and money,” he comments about the switch in drinks. Probably brain damage down the road, he adds to himself, dutifully completing the unfolded triad.

“Coming right up!” she says brightly, moving down the counter to the espresso machine tucked between a seafood ad and the store safe, tight but meaningful. Aren’t you going to ask about the new establishment? she laments while filling the 2 baskets with 2 shots each, then two more of the same to follow, she reminds herself. Darn Baker Bloch. Always involved in himself; thinking about the blog and such. But then this, putting a smile back on her face:

“Place has changed.” He looks around. “Not really a Starbuccaneers. Glad you got coffee still.” I guess you’re the glue, he thinks, imagining her with her three cornered company pirate hat back on to match her apron. Guess it was removed to save on prims. Perhaps Spongeberg the Editor has already come for a visit, ha ha.

Changed just like you, she thinks, finishing the first of the two. Tandem. She says aloud: “Wheeler thought the white whale motif would look better against the side of the white castle. *Barely* fit, you know. Take a look at the tail when you leave.”

Baker glances at the rug behind him. “And the elephant. Why an elephant? Why not–”

“Enough whales in here already,” said Starbuccaneer Barista, scanning the pictures on the walls. Second of the two done, with two more to go still, she reminded herself again. “Have you ever been to Wales?”

—–

“Have you ever been in a whale?” Still no sense.

—–

“Have you —“. Wait, I guess that last sentence does make sense. Coffee is served.


00330411

Holding his two hot drinks comfortably in either hand, cozies in place, he pauses before leaving to admire the view toward the ocean, the sea that surrounds his home continent of Nautilus like a circumference to a circle (or square). About at the same place Newt, earlier on it seems, saw those salt and pepper shakers tittering on the floor. Exactly the same spot. Not tittering: *crying*. He readjusts the cozie on either cup and proceeds to take his “little bambinos” — as he likes to call them — back to The Table room for the meeting with Wheeler. Guess I should have asked if she wanted anything, he thinks while walking toward the castle gate. Perhaps one of those unsweetened teas she likes so much.

But too late: inside the castle now, its walls sealing off exterior from interior. He didn’t even look over at the whale tail brushing the side Starbuccaneer Barista mentioned. Another tight but meaningful that Baker missed in the rush toward safety.


00330412

“Now I think it’s logical that I keep the seat here next to the refrigerator, because of my little bambinos I have to fuss with all the time — pouring milk over them to turn them into lattes, icing the lattes, so on.”

“Here we go,” muttered Wheeler Wilson across from him, who had already requested to be addressed by a new name: Flip Bean. She flipped her hair lightly when saying this. Baker nodded. It was done. On to round two.

“Welll?” Baker wanted a likewise response from across the table. Wheeler has her name, he will have his fridge.

“Fiiine. And another request while we’re on the subject. Axis here is not Axis any more. He’s Newt. He won’t even answer to Axis any longer.” She turns toward him. “Will you Newt?”

Newt thinks about not replying for a joke but then decides against it. Wheeler, I mean, *Flip* is pretty serious when she sits down to the table here. Down to business as they say. “No,” he says.

“Good. So it’s settled. New names for us, and a refrigerator for coffee boy over there. Anything else? I have some hiking in the Himalayas to get back to.”

“Well… I…”

“Grassy,” Wheeler Flip guessed about Baker’s next topic. “Took his seat away. Not needed right now.”

Baker Bloch could see his seat next to Flip’s clear as day. “Toys must be represented,” he kept firm. “Besides…”

“… there’s a chair already there?” Flip guessed correctly again. “In my reality there isn’t. We agree to disagree about that.”

“Okay,” Baker began again. “How about this. I keep calling you Wheeler in these here meetings, and the toy will be banned from same — toys in general.”

“Explain,” she asked. This was the final decision, she realized. Then it was off to meet Stan in Timbuktu to conquer K-2 again. Good ol’ Stan. And Axis doesn’t mind since he’s Newt now. He’s completely under her control.

“I… just can’t get use to calling you anything but Wheeler. And our one or two other readers would appreciate the continuity as well I’m assuming.”

Flip answers by rattling the ice around in her water, melting fast. “*I* want a refrigerator too, then. I have needs as well: wine, liquor, tea. A fridge back there behind me and I’ll be Wheeler, he’ll be Newt (still), and Grass(y) will be out on his ass. Deal?” She leaned over the table, extending her arm for a shake. Baker thinks about quickly reaching into his fridge and handing her a leftover chocolate chip one but wisely decides against it. He knows, like Newt, that Wheeler is totally serial in these kind of meetings, as the young’n’s might say. She wants the business done so she can leave and get back to what she was doing. Hiking in the Himalayas, surfing in Wakiki, bungee jumping in the New River Gorge — could be anything for the thrill seeker. Just last week it was rhino riding in the Serengeti. Next week, maybe a space walk even — who knows?

She comes as Eyela to the next Table meeting. Space walk it is.

15 minutes in and she looks down at her watch. “Are we *done*? I have a ship to catch.”


designs

“You should really look at the scenery while you’re here, Baker Bloch.”

“Busy eating grapes right now, thanks.” He spits another skin into the sand while digesting the innards of one, another being positioned to pop in. After a good number of tries (MUNCH) he’s actually starting to like the fruit, but the outside can still go to hell as far as he’s concerned. Phoey on it. SPIT Phoey!

“I’ll surf in a minute and that’ll catch your attention.” She would wink at him if he weren’t facing the other direction.

Understanding Wheeler and her ways, he briefly pauses in his activity to point to a sign on the beach’s edge.

“Yeah, yeah, I know,” she said, using the eyes in the back of her head to observe. “But wouldn’t it be fun if you actually *cared*.”

“TILE balloons over there,” he deflected. SPIT

“Whatever.” She was really beginning to see why Hucka Doobie was so frustrated with him (MUNCH), even causing her to turn back into a bee-person lately, it seemed. Probably a bathroom break coming up… now.

SPIT “Gotta wee,” he said while rising. She must be reading the script again.


on a line

Silver Surfer, Bikini Woman, and a monkey, watch out!

They’re okay.

I don’t think one or two of ’em got the introductory notecard.

—–

“Is that a toy, Baker B.? I said: no toys.” This is what we get, she thinks. Disobedience of the rules.

Wheeler then realized this could come in handy, as in hands to the sands. She’s going in. She’s going to check out the whole Silver Surfer dealie up front and close, crawl between his legs, etc. She’s going to get down and dirty with the enemy, just like Leany Golden Guy before her way back in 2014 in the basement of my house, other stoopid toys looking on.

(to be continued?)


on a line 02

“Are you about finished, Wheeler? We really need to get back to the castle.”

“Just a minute…”

—–

“You know what the Silver Surfer represents? Don’t you?”

“Blue Mountain. No Ashville,” she replies. “I could see it in his eye.”

“We’ll have to take it into the woods, give it a home there. Tomorrow perhaps. One Strange Rock.”

“*If*… it is even the rock you’re thinking of.”

“It is. I think.”

“And Linesboro (!). Like I’m on. Wonderful. Half legal half illegal; black and white. Much more to ponder there.”

“The monkey is naked but is it okay or is it not okay?”

“Time will tell.”


on a line 03


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