“I *know* this person,” thinks Wheeler at the door of the investigator/psychic’s interior office. She’s playing around with forms again, and this one is an extension of her recent consumption of fries with cheese at the nearby Twin Peaks bar and grill. File it under: you are what you eat. She thought she had 30 days before the skin turned green on this freebie avatar she’s attached to the outfit. Not as advertised; no wonder it was a budget item. She’s trying to become — but never mind. It’s not turning out. But that figure on the door (!).
“What was that Mrs. Corn?” Corn? she thinks. A last name? What’s the first? But she knows what it is.
“Oh… nothing. Just staring at the big eye on your door. It reminds me of someone.”
Psychic-detective Roberts pivots toward Mabel (Mabel!). “We’ve been through this.”
The situation changes.
Jack barges in with his recently cleaned shovel. “Ma’am, the corpse is now bur — oh. Sorry. Didn’t know you were with someone.” Why would he? Miss Roberts never has any clients. Except dead ones. But this one appears to be alive. And green! Must be — but it couldn’t. Martian?
“Hi Harry,” he speaks over to the shorter figure standing beside her, also a gnome, also working for the firm.
“Hello Jacob,” as Harold calls Jack, which he doesn’t like but puts up with. Harry’s a nice guy. And a great carpenter. He did a fine job with this coffin. Extra long, but he made it fit.
“Just looking for the case, Mrs. Corn,” Roberts excuses herself to Mabel, now considerably smaller but just as green. Moreso, since she’s now wearing a Hannah Montana lime toned outfit, fresh from a concert at the Rooftop Inn over in mid-town. Where are we, then? The land description mentions an asylum. Is everyone here nuts? Could explain the outfit.
And the book! Just like the one at the newly established Table Room on Rooster’s Peninsula, where I live as a castle dweller, library in the center still. For now. A sprite was looking in it for information about her type, where she comes from, what are her weaknesses. This is Greenleaf, who also shows up in Towerboro standing on a big rock behind Dove, formerly Ivory, but still a sister to Ebony on the giant tree trunk dead in front of her: Deadwood. And the alphabit spread out on the forest floor below them, which they eat with a spoon one by one by one until they reach M, when *they’re* dead. Mmmmmm dead. Thirteenville.
But I feel like I’m needlessly complicating things again. Let’s back up more.
“Okay, Mrs. Daigle. Let me just begin to look for that case we were just talking about. Oh — and Barry? You can take off your pyramid and go home now. I think you’ve learned your lesson well enough, young gnome.”
The striped dunce cap he was wearing! One and the same.
We must follow this figure and see what happens next.
The woods speak once more. A gnome appears high on a local mountain in a place I generically term County Park, a more eastward counterbalance (or countybalance, ha) to our City Park and its Aloha village of toy avatars tucked under a thought-to-be sheltering rock on Mt. Tom. This is a taller mountain by about 500 feet: 4038 to around 3525. Name? Um, let’s leave that for now. Okay, let’s say The Knob. Anyway, the gnome appears off a trail quite a ways up it. Someone would have had to make a pretty good effort to get it there — the figure is a foot tall or close to it. A backpack would have been needed.
Salazar Jack or Jacob Gnome; Harry or Harold the Gnome; another child gnome who we know grows up to be Barry DeBoy; and now this, in a way the most miraculous of all. Is it an indication I should move all my toys from Mt. Tom over to this nearby location? Especially given the presence of a bee hole right on the edge of Aloha, and also mud dauber wasps threatening from above? Something to think about.
If only I could figure out a way to talk to the newly discovered toy avatar. Maybe through Barry? So many questions (as usual).
Building numbers the same: too coincidental. This is the neighborhood where I grew up — highlighted in the Oracle as well (Alabama, other states). And *Edward*. Poor Eddy Daigle, Wheeler thinks, purposefully getting his name wrong in honor of cousin Tessie (our Tessa). She “defeated” the pyramid being; sent him out the door without his dunce cap into the world of reality. Although he made a lot of D’s (hence the corner standing), she’s confident that he could work things out; join the land of the living.
She’s got on her retro sock hop outfit to better blend in. Now to see what else is here in this rainbow powered burg.
She checked building after building. The place seems empty. For now.
The next town up and kattycorner: more success.
But can she fit in here?
Half the audience will be red, the other half blue. But in her purple sock hop outfit singing the right songs she thinks she can make it work. First off: the national anthem. “America the Beautiful”. No one can argue with that choice.
She decides to augment the “purple” in mountain through synthesizer manipulation. Lampton will be more than willing to help, she realizes. He knows the importance of all this too. The manipulation of the people of our great US of A.
Come on back Lemont Sanford (!). Turns out you weren’t killed off after all. Wheeler has that power.
But Duncan Avocado was another story and thus we cut off at the drums. Acapella I presume. Get ready for that augmentation Arthur “Kill van Kull” Lampton!
“Oh beautiful for spacious skies…” Beautiful singing voice. Just beautiful. Get ready.
“For ℘ùℜ℘Îē …”
She keeps singing but she scans the audience for change.
Wrong side of the road.
We watched from afar (right side of road). “This is where I got my butterflies,” she spoke over, hovering beside me. “You can have some too!” I didn’t need that kind of thing. I needed answers.
“Why are we here?” I cut to the chase. “Jeogeot, I mean. I thought Nautilus (continent) was our focus now. But as soon as we abandoned Collagesity it seems the energy drained away from it. So that would be novels 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 focused on that continent. But now…”
“You need to tell *this* tale because no one else will or can. Else… everything lost.”
Middletown, I assumed.
I looked across the small Linden pool of water at the significant amount of land I could rent. I knew it was coming: the unleashing of MOA again. But not yet. Nautilus remains the one, the tentacled sphere locked away down in the castle’s dungeon. If head librarian Miss Ouri hadn’t already destroyed it. Will check as soon as I get back.
No. Still there.
Oh. Hi me.
Newt brought Jane Space over to Ontario or thereabouts (it was Tonar) to interview her for an acting position, similarly colored couch *acting* as an attractor. Turns out the couch would have made a better choice. Jane was simply too spacey to reply to much of what Newt was asking. “What did you say?” she repeated for the umteenth time when he probed further into her past for needed experience and references. Soo many memories. Galaxy memories, the deepest and most unfathomable kind. She’d have to keep thinking to assess them all but the pit was bottomless, an Abyss in other words. She’d need TILE to escape it all but that was still in the future a bit, perhaps 7 days or weeks or years. Jane Space knew that the universe had corners and that was about it. Muff-Birmingham in one, the fabled 1/2 desert 1/2 jungle realm where she spent some of her formative years — forming. She recalls her pregnant mother in the spaciness. “There — that was me.” “I’m sorry, what?” came Newt’s reply, already given up on her and thinking about the next potential character-actor he could interview.
Wait… the next one was pregnant as well! Okay, okay, I think through him. Synchronicity, right. “Tell me, Jane — Jane, are you there, are you with me?” Jane sleepily answered affirmatively. “Tell me about your mother.”
“Okay, so is this her?” he then asked after the teleport invite was accepted and bits actor Alessia appeared on the couch between them, needed google eyes in place since she said none of her clothes fit now due to the weight gain. A similarly eye sized blue ball also appeared and Jane knew. Daddy.
Every Man’s Land
“You again (!).”
“Yeah? What’ll it be?”
“What’ll what be?”
“Red or blue, bud. Good or evil I suppose. Dunno, don’t care. But you gotta choose to play,” he insisted.
“No,” said Newt. “You don’t understand. I’m just here to talk about Squared Root City with someone. Why this place — Ontario — and that place don’t get along, see.”
The fellow I’ve already seen several times in Ontario, including the groundside gun store where Arthur Kill was killed with a bullet to the heart by grown up Tessa at the end of the last photo-novel, just scratches his head. “Dunno anything about that. You might have to see the Mayor. Or even higher.”
“Mayor?” Newt parroted. “Higher?”
“Yeah, the King of course. I don’t know anything about this Root Squared City,” he insisted.
“Squared Root City,” Newt quickly corrected, but then thought about it. 3.16 x 3.16 is essentially 10, which is perfection (to us Pythagorean related TILERs). But then 3.16 is also pretty close to the circumference of a circle with a diameter of 1, and, in the case of City Park, County Park, Country Park, even closer. 3.14 to 3.15, maybe even 3.16 again. They are coded as All Ears because if Mickey Mouse’s face was turned into a matching circular ear it would exactly fit between all 3, copyright issues forever solved.
“I know this is space,” he continued, seeing the thoughtful look on Newt’s face, “but you can’t space out here. You gotta play or you gotta go. Orders.”
“Dunno. Just came with the instructions.”
“Who do you work for?” The gun shop employee now space station arcade employee scratches his head again. “You gotta leave,” he insisted, and pointed to the lightsaber sign.
“I know I know,” said Newt, preparing to explore the rest of this space station. But first he had to ask permission to look out the window for a moment at all those glorious stars, perhaps some galaxies mixed in.
“Sure I suppose. 5 minutes. But then…”
“Gotta go, I get it.”
He walked toward the nearest window, stared out. Many of the illuminated dots were moving. Could these be spaceships? Newt pondered. And the colors (!). Not just white, but pink blue yellow. He could stare at it for days but he only had minutes, seconds now.
“Time’s up, bud,” he says oh too soon. But surely there will be other windows around the station with just as good a view, maybe better.
“Can I ask your name?” he said before leaving.
“Jack,” came the answer back. “Now… please.” He indicated the door.
“Goodbye Jack,” Newt said while walking out, knowing there was something to that name. Because, in some circles, perhaps the ones we just talked about, Jack was code for clone.
(to be continued)
The next time I saw Jack he was pushing me against the wall of a clothing shop I was examining in the plaza where the space pod took me upon exiting the station.
Didn’t take long for him — one of his selves that is — to give me a pointed message. Don’t meddle in the affairs of this town. Stick to the rules, the instructions as he called it. Play the game and then leave. Else everyone gets confused, fearfully so. And, most likely, violently so.
But I was determined not to leave without the information I *wanted* (not needed). I was ruthless like that. I didn’t know that, just underneath the surface, there was an interplanetary and interdimensional conspiracy ripe for revealing. I had stumbled not into a bottomless pit this time but the unveiling of the face of God at the bottom of it, Mexico and Canada combined unto one.
Later Ruth showed up working the plaza’s coffee stand and I was back to need not want. Trouble is, John was there too, staring at me staring at her. She was aware of eyes on her but decided not to acquiesce — play hard to get, as her character demanded (she had a secret). And then another John passed in the distance but I missed it.
And then Jack shows up walking toward that clothing store again, pheh. Clones. Town’s full of ’em. I fit right in.
(to be continued)
“What did you do to him Jerry?”
“What did *you* do to him… Gerry?”
Pause. “Well whoever did whatever I’ve got to go on patrol. You can stay here and bare the stares — figure it out.”
“We could just go talk to him.” Both laugh. Jack would have no useful information to give the pair of security guards: what he’s apparently pissed off about with one of them or perhaps both of them, or anything about Ontario in general. He’s a bad ass, in a bad way. He does the bidding of the Big Boss and that’s it, period. Doesn’t share anything with no one except for the highest level, the Mayor, the King, perhaps merged now as the Mayor-King. Hafta check; hafta think about that. New angle. Maybe Mexico-Canada related.
“He’s got that gun shop, you know,” states Gerry before he goes to punch keys on his rounds. “He could be toting one right now, ready to go on a killing spree.”
“Nah,” offers seated Jerry. “Wouldn’t come to that. He’s a company man. Doesn’t want to ruin his standings in the hierarchy.” Jerry leans in closer to Gerry. “There’s a potential slot opening for no. 3, you know. The guy in the middle.”
“Not North not South — I’ve heard,” he says back not far above a whisper as well. Mayor-King it is.
Meanwhile, a duck-man on a neighboring rooftop had more useful information, but no one knew how to reach him, least of all Jem, who could use it the most right now. 3 more days and ticking.
Even John had forgotten and he invented the anthropomorphic fellow — let the SOB loose unto the world at large. Repeated cloning comes with a price, but I can’t remember what it is right now (wonder why).
Jem and… Jim?
“I’m only talking to you through this wall this time. *John*.”
“You know I’m not John. I’m Jim.”
“I bought that *before*. Not now. (longer pause) *John*.”
“Okay, okay,” he relented while still dancing up a storm. Hadn’t rained in Ontario since last Tuesday’s Wednesday. He’s trying to chip in, help out the town where he can. Week before last it was portraitures for the poor, however worthless that was. Then the week before that: free bungee jumps for babies down at the gorge. Rope and elastic was a speciality, but he had many of those. He could compose music too. This was his song he was dancing to. “Rat Infested Jim,” the first single from his critically panned but nevertheless cult hit psychedelic heavy metal album “Alice in Suds”. It’s about a man who turns into a rodent and eats insulation in the walls of houses, focusing on the hottest summer and coldest winter days. The title song and next released single from the album is about a woman who can’t find a towel because of all the bubbles produced from her bath, eventually going blind as a result.
“You know why I’m here.”
Dancing stays steady. “The duck. You think I know where the duck is.”
“Did you look high? Did you look *while* you’re high? Preferably high as a kite in the hands of an experienced Benjamin Franklin. Like *me*, hehe.”
“Stop the nonsense,” Jem plainly stated, taking a swig of her Stygian to mask another oral fixation. “You know I don’t do that stuff any more. Besides, I don’t have the energy now.” She pivots, peers at him through the opening in the chalkboard bar.
“Like I told you before, I don’t have much time. Not much (sniff), time at all (sniff sniff wipe-nose sniff). Help mee,” she squeaked, desperation in her voice and facial expressions. She wipes her face of tears with her arm, sniffs again, sniffs some more, wipes some more, looks off in the distance all moist eyed and mascara stained.
John took pity on her. He didn’t stop dancing but he was formulating a plan. He knew she met the duck the first time when she was high but that wouldn’t work any longer. They’d have to use the wegee board.
The rain starts. The dance stops. Now on to the next good deed.
(to be continued)
“Hellow Howward,” Jupiter the Savage returned in a deep voice, not breaking his pace.
“Never mind me,” he called after him about his current situation with the grocery cart and all. “Just doing a thing for a person, heh heh.”
John exited the grocery store with his egg and his other egg at 07:15, bound to return to his underground apt. to devour one of the two and have the other stolen by his amoral and unfaithful girlfriend Peg, but for a particular reason. He was trying to balance karma because he stole an egg from Jake only yesterday while he had his back turned, looking for an old videotape to play in his just set up antique VCR. He enjoyed it so much that he had to run to the store to get another. Back to the egg. The sky spit lightning when John went out later to the grocery store, having finished the 2 videos with Jake that he had owned and then bought at the video store next to the grocery store. In combo with the earth shaking thunder, John knew he did wrong by now, and that some curse was in effect. Like what happened day before yesterday when he paid a visit to Martha.
Martha was one of the uncloned people in town. In fact, that’s how you could tell them from the rest. Almost all the names of the clones, besides Clyde, started with either a J or a P. The non-clones: M or R. Martha, a seer, was going to tell him how to find a plot for his current comic book he was writing, or so she promised. He was almost done and still there was none. The art was amazing, impeccable even. Yet when the main character talked (or squawked), nothing really meaningful came out of his beak. Martha said, “You must bring your protagonist to life, bring him into *this* world.” “Virtual reality?” John queried. “Yesss,” came the answer. She studied the cartoon book he had brought with him further. “This wo-man protagonist, I’m assuming, with the googly eyes…” John peered over at the page the old seer was viewing, not immediately knowing what she was talking about. “Oh,” he said, seeing the error. “That’s not googly eyes. That’s a censor sticker. This is the one the publisher wants me to show people before the R version is actually released. So those googly eyes, as you call them, are covering up… see?” John ripped off the bandage.
Lightning struck, thunder sounded. And now it was happening again. Bit actor
Howard Hector Duck had shown up in a grocery cart outside a supermarket in the virtual village of Ontario off the coast of Maebaleia in the eastern hemisphere of Our Second Lyfe. Playing the role of Hector Herbert.
“Hey bud!” he called after John L. Brown, going the wrong way out of the store with his eggs. “Over here!”
“Oh *dear*,” he muttered when turning around, dropping one of the two in the shock and invoking karma again, SPLAT. One of his eyes was gone. After John had his remaining egg stolen by Peg later that night it popped back out again, good as new to the relief of both.
(I’m not sure this can be continued, ha)
Turns out the duck had as many varied talents as his new master, including the ability to wheel and deal at a rapid pace. The duck-man quickly garnered the job of chief salesperson at the local car dealership. John, attached to him by the ankle and neck and some other places, had to tag along. He mainly played jigsaw puzzles on his phone while the other worked. A few hours each night, he was free to roam the streets of town and explore while the other slept. This is when he secretly rendezvoused with Martha and had a chat with the Wizard through that wegee board of hers. W-I-Z-A-R-D it began, announcing the spirit.
Meanwhile, over in Jeogeot Wheeler is surrounded by rainbow colored butterflies.
He was up at 5 AM practicing skateboarding behind the dealership for the big meet with the truck salespeople uptown next week. Actually he was skateboarding mainly on *top* of the dealership, the roof having been designed as such by the owner, anticipating the coming of the duck according to prophecy. At least that’s how John remembered the story. He was certainly getting ideas for a proper plot now. The Wizard had indicated in no uncertain terms that the duck should be the star of the show, and that all dialog should revolve around it. THE DUCK SHOULD SHINE, it spelled out at 3 o’clock, a mere two hours before this. John needed more shut-eye. Maybe he could get away with some later in the morning instead of playing jigsaw games. Duck probably wouldn’t mind. As long as it didn’t distract potential customers from buying cars. Maybe put on some shades to hide the closed eyes, and be careful not to snore — too much.
At 10:00 he admitted he was going to sleep to his new duck friend, and that if he started to fall over just nudge him.
“Up last night, eh? Whatcha doing? Woman?” he asked in his very normal voice for a duck-man.
“No.” How to phrase? John was talking to a Wizard through a wegee board wouldn’t hack it. He had to hide the fact that he was getting his plot from a disembodied spirit and not directly from him. “Okay, yeah,” he decided to say.
“Great! Great, what’s her name?” John thought of Ruth down at the plaza, which he visited every day while she sold her coffee. At least until the duck came along and he had more responsibilities. So he went with Ruth.
“Ruth, huh? I know her. I know her well. I know her mother well, and her grandma and her uncles and aunts. Why I bet there’s not a relative alive she has that I’m not on speaking terms with, and you can probably pull all the ones that have died in the last 20 years or so into that. Uncle Taum — known him for years, worked for his step-dad polishing bats for the Varnishtown Vampires — how they got their name. And Aunt Mini sewed all our uniforms and clorinated the water for our drinks. Cousin Lester? Use to be on my paper route and would tip me if I managed to throw the paper directly through the open front door — he always had it open just for my visit. I almost always got tipped, heh heh. And her maw? Why we use to date! In fact, hmmm. No, couldn’t be, couldn’t be.” He studied Ruth’s figure in his mind. “Not enough duck.”
“Ruth?” John decided to deflect. “Did I say Ruth? I meant Mabel, you know over at the *ice cream* stand — got the wrong stand at the plaza.”
“Welll, then we’d *definitely* be in-laws if you two tied the knot. Check out the yellow in her complexion the next time you’re there. Congratulations!”
John gave up the lies; decided to tell his now constant duck companion the truth.
“Paul, actually,” he corrected. “Paul Duck,” but he said the whole name unassuredly, like he was starting to wake from a dream, like it was turning into a question instead of being the answer.
“Paul, then. You know why you’re here… around me all the time?”
“Yeah, sure sure. I’m your character come to life. You just write down what I say and then your plot is, um, realized. Won’t take too long, bud.” He leans over and pats John on his large, tanned back. “5 years, 10 years. I won’t be in your way. I’m pulling my weight — selling cars and all. “Let’s say 5. Yeah, 5 it is.” He holds out his duck hand for John to shake for the deal. John doesn’t. He knew it wasn’t going to work as soon as he spotted the anthropomorphic being in that grocery cart outside Winnies.
Then suddenly he was gone, the effects of the designer drugs wearing off. He quickly called up Martha to make another appointment tonight for more clarification. *He* was the used car salesman. He only wished he could sleep on the job, pheh (although he still partially did).
He better get to work and sell some cars today lest his boss suspects.
new to Wendy
If denizens of Wendy can pass through a void sim and visit Ontario directly to the west, then we can assume that the same from Jolie directly east can pass through the 2 intervening void sims to reach Wendy — not much more of a reach, if you see what I’m saying. And so this would be proof. Jolie herself, which translated from French, means “Pretty One”. Another plant being.
We’ll see how that develops. Had to insert here. Destiny.
He knew if he stayed low like this he would not be seen. The little trees in this park on the northern edge of Ontario were just too thick for proper viewing above knee level. And that was the point of John and Jem being here: out of sight. John gave Jem the “medicine” that would produce the duck and give her the needed results. Probably only 1 day left; cutting it close. As it had to be. Too risky otherwise. “The duck will lead the way,” he says while handing over the zip lock bag with the blue powder (blue? powder?).
In quiet mode, Newt took a couple snapshots with his built in camera then watched John exit west and Jem south, out of the trees and into the world of man again. Martha’s board spelled it out in no uncertain terms last night. SAVE THE GIRL.
(to be… continued)
center and periphery
Okay what’re we looking at here?
Impossible. She’s *green*(!).