The Eights’ Shift, Stories

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      And Opening.

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    • #2339

      When Harvey Tater left Idaho, he left his childhood sweetheart Goldie Cabillaud behind. Goldie was distraught, having been led to beleive that a lasting union for the pair would result from the many years they had been freinds. There were aspects of Harvey that stayed in Idaho, or probable selves, and some of those probable selves did indeed wed the young Cabillaud girl; however, so as not to confuse the reader, we will henceforth concern ourselves with the Goldie Cabillaud that wept as her beau, Harvey Tater, boarded the FlyBoat at Gibbonsville , for parts unknown.

      :fish: :yahoo_crying:


      Unbeknown to the young Goldie, weeping at the Fluboat terminal in Gibbonsville….

      (Ann had to laugh at the typo. She had just hard a joke about ‘catching swine flu’ being a code word for shagging a fat bird)

      ……there was another probable self of hers already at the Worserversity. Harvey Tater would recognise this other version of Goldie when he met her, and although he would be confused as to where she came from, or who she really was, or where he’d seen her before, he would sense a feeling of familiarity. By the same token, the Worserversity self of Goldie (who had been stolen by itinerant French potato pickers shortly after her birth, and renamed Pomme de L’Air) sensed the same feeling of recognition, but had no knowledge of her, er, roots, so to speak, or any of her other potatable selves.


        As far as the Ooh-dimension was concerned, the shift of Vowellness was probably complete

        “Thank Flove for that!” Ann (or was it Elizabeth?) exclamied. She continued to read the contents of the large manila envelope that had been delivered several weeks late due to the postal strike.

        “Postal strike?” Gordon (or was it Godfrey?) inquired sarcastically. “Ann ~ or is it Liz? ~ surely you just made that up! Do you need an excuse?”

        LizAnn chose to ignore her old freind Pig Littleton and continued to read.

        And she couldn’t find anything new being published by Ms Tattler in all now probable directions she was looking into.

        LizAnn snorted.

        She was of course ignoring the disrupted echoes from the Jumbled Eights thread, which were probably the brainstorming board of ideas of the writer, which she had the greatest difficulty to follow (she wondered if even the writer could).

        Reaching for her handkerchief, LizAnn snorted again. “No the writer bloody can’t follow it” she muttered. “But does it bloody matter!”

        Her own thread and the details of the history of the Wrick family was always sketchy and full of holes;

        “Aha Ha Ha Ha”

        she’d attempted at learning more about the elusive Becky , but she kept blinking in and out of continuity, too quickly for her to follow her anywhere in her explorations

        “Yes, where the devil IS Becky, Gordfry? or is it Godon?”


        — “I’m sure some weaving of threads can be done at a later date if necessary, if it doesn’t weave itself. Did you see the weaving quotes?”
        — “Well, it would be like asking shaven sheep to have their mops of hair on the floor weave themselves on their own…”
        — “Text/textile ~ weaving a story, which was where mother goose came in!”
        — “And how would she know the first thing about weaving, she’s only got feathers on her back!”
        — “Ah but she weaves a good story”
        — “She doesn’t,… she pensThat’s what I call weaving… We need more giant spiders! Are you still … game?”


          “Serenely on her tiny loom she weaves her story with careful art.
          And who am I, with meddling pen to send it’s loveliness apart?

          For I, who am a weaver, too, look on that intricate design,
          And know its daft embroideries are just as beautiful as mine….”

          LizAnn read the poem out loud, subsituting a few words of her own, and pointed out to Godfrey the distinct lack of any mention of spiders.

          “We don’t have to include any actual spiders, Godfrey,” she said firmly. “Forget the spiders! We’re talking here about weaving a story from all the loose threads, not spinning a web with which to ensnare anyone. The myths” continued LizAnn, warming to the subject, “Concerning spiders and weaving are being rewoven anew. The Text Tiles are myriad, and all equally meaningless. The purpose of Text Tiles is no longer a sticky web of beleifs with which to ensnare the unsuspecting traveller, but a patchwork of …of….”

          “Lost your thread, LizAnn?” inquired Gordon, smugly.

          “You rude old coot” she replied, “Have some more peanuts, and allow me to finish.”

          “Finish? Well, that will be a first.”

          “What I was trying to say is that the weaving of the story can’t be contained inside the confines of the linearly constructed Reality Play. One only needs to focus on ones own weaving, in and out of the warped story, and the weft wide world outside, so to speak. The same principle applies to the other weavers and the Text Tile viewers. Each comment may be considerd to be a single Text Tile, or patchwork piece. These indiviual Text Tiles may be arranged in multitudes of ways according to the manner in which they are woven into an individuals own story weaving experience.”

          “That’s as may be, LizAnn, but what about loom weights? To anchor the warp? Or is it the weft…”


            “Allow me to explain about loom weights,” said the man in the elaborate blue turban. “You create a type of pattern, so to speak, a tapestry. The picture of the tapestry is created in the style, so to speak, of the qualities of the family that you align with. The details and the background threads of the tapestry are the expressions of qualities of the family that you are belonging to.”

            “I knew this tapestry and weaving stuff would fit in somewhere” interrupted LizAnn.

            “Shh!” said Finnley.

            “In this” the man in the blue turban continued, “You may notice certain qualities and expressions throughout your focus that appear to underlie all of your directions that you choose within your particular focus. This is the influence of the family that you are belonging to – in this situation, that of Sumafi.” He looked pointedly at Godfrey. “You shall notice throughout your focus what may be expressed as an attention to detail in the qualities of the Sumafi family, and at times this may be associated within your societal beliefs and definitions as a type of perfectionism.

            “This is counterbalanced by the Sumari” he said with a glance at LizAnn, “Who do not concern their movement with tremendous attention to detail.”

            “Tell me about it” remarked Godfrey drily.

            The man in the blue turban grinned and continued, “The expression and qualities of the Sumari are merely to be creating new directions and offering challenging information which shall spark new explorations of your reality. But the attention of the Sumari does not concern itself with outcomes or endings or detail.”

            “Yes, we had noticed” interjected Finnley, who stuck her tongue out at LizAnn. LizAnn made a rude gesture to Finnley and said “See, I told you I couldn’t help it.”

            Godfrey sighed in resignation and reached for the peanuts. “I suppose the point of all that is that there’s no point in fighting your warp. Or is it weft?”


            Well I don’t know about you, she said to whoever was listening, but I am inclined to think that something rather than nothing, even if that something is off the track, round the bend, out of line, unsupported by connecting links or threads, or simply just plain rubbish, is better than no thing at all. The time has come, dear freinds, to resume random impulsive meaningless nonsense, for it has far greater continuity than anything that might actually mean something however so much as it might be deemed continuous ~ for, and I express the blindingly obvious, there is no continuity thread to be found in nothing-at-all-ness.



              “The fact of the matter, Finnley,” Liz whispered confidentially to her dear freind, “ is that I feel scared to say something discontinous now, which results in me saying nothing (or rather, not all that much).”

              “Leave it with me, Ann dear” replied the resourceful Finnley. “I’ll have a word with God about nonsense.”

              Liz” corrected Liz.

              “Oh dear. I think you’ve been infected with the continuity virus.” Finnley looked worried.


              Ann realized she was late for her Flimsy Unravelled Continuity Knowledge class. A couple of months late, in point of fact, as Worserversity classes had resumed two months previously.

              “Where have you BEEN?” Lavender whispered as Ann slid as inconspicuously as possible into the seat beside her, while the professor at the front of the class was facing the blueboard.

              “Do I know you?” asked Ann, with a puzzled expression. The girl beside her did look vaguely familiar.

              “Oh how rude you are, Ann. Are you trying to be funny?”

              “Oh no, not at all!” Ann’s eyes filled with tears.

              Lavender frowned. It wasn’t like Ann to start blarting and blubbering in public. “What’s the matter?” she asked kindly.

              “I’ve lost my memory!” exclaimed Ann. “I can’t remember a thing!”

              “Oh, is that all,” replied Lavender dismissively. “I’d have thought you’d be used to that by now.”

              “No, no, you don’t understand! I can’t remember anything at all now, it’s all gone, poof! Gone!” Ann wept and started to wring her hands.

              “Well the first thing you need to do is stop that bloody snivelling and wipe your nose. Here” she said, handing Ann a tissue. “And the next thing you need to do is stop worrying about it, and just fake it until you get your memory back. Worrying about it won’t help, you must focus on the things you do remember.”

              “But it’s all jumbled up and muddled in my head, I remember bits, you know? But I can’t fit them all together. I CAN’T FIT THEM ALL TOGETHER!”

              SHHH!” snapped Lavender. “Try not to draw any attention to yourself! I’ll help you, don’t worry.”

              “You’re so kind” Ann smiled weakly. “What did you say your name was?”

              “Lavender. My name is Lavender, and I’m going to help you remember. Just remember this, for now: what you can’t remember, don’t worry about, the important thing is to carry on. Just CARRY ON REGARDLESS, ok?”

              “OK.” Ann sighed with releif. “What’s the Professor going on about?”

              “The next assignment. We’re to read that cryptic old classic book Circle of Eights and try to decipher it.”

              “Good greif! Nobody has ever managed to decipher that book!”

              “You see?” said Lavender. “You can remember that! Well done, girl!”


              Ann was savooring a coughee with Lavender and Phenol. It was certainly not easy to follow a conversation when you were coughing all the time after a sip of coughee but it was quite savoory and tasty, and Flove knows why it was soo expensive.
              Phenol was one of those students at the worserversity with acne and he or she wouldn’t allow another person to see his or her real face. So maybe for convenience only we can call him or her: IT.
              It was the only moment you could hear a sound coming out of ITs hood, during thoose coughee sessions it was hard to keep completely silent.
              Ann was very curious though, and it could be the only reason that she kept asking Phenol to come. She was still in search of clooes about that when a man arrived.

              He was wearing a black hood and speaking with that particular raucous voice you only hear in movies… She got the chills and asked him to join their company. Lavender rolled her eyes because the man with the raucous voice stepped on her right foot. Not that she suffered much, because she couldn’t feel her right leg since that accident a few years ago.

              The man ordered a coughee with croombs and stayed there, saying nothing. That was not unpleasant at all, since Ann was chatting and coughing, taking the coughs of the others as a yes or a no to her questions. At least an acknowledgment that she was heard.


              Oh damn, not another masked man! thought Lavender. The raucous voice of the hooded stranger was irritating her. On further reading of the previous comment she decided it was a jolly good thing he was saying nothing. So was it the unrelenting heat which was doing her head in? Or maybe it was Ann’s incessant chatter and coughing.

              “I want to see your real face, Phenol,” snapped Lavender suddenly.

              IT, taken aback by the unexpected outburst from the usually mild tempered Lavender, turned and ran.

              “Goodness!” said Ann, startled. “Was there any need to upset Phenol like that?” She looked accusingly at Lavender, who could only hang her head and cough in reply.

              “You are a bossy one aren’t you?” said the stranger to Ann, and Lavender smirked to herself. “But, don’t worry, Phenol will return soon.” The stranger smiled mysteriously, although of course the others could not see that as the mask obscured most of his face.


              Lavender stood up suddenly and hopped around the cafe.

              “You know what? Since that masked man stood on my foot, the feeling seems to have returned!” Lavender hopped joyously over to the stranger and gave him a big hug, cleverly removing his mask at the same time, as if by accident.

              Ann and Lavender stared in shocked surprise at the vision before them.


              There was a blue light spiral whirlwinding in the center of what should have been a head. Ann seemed not at all surprised as if she had taken too much of those weeds of hers, though Lavender was terrified. Was that a wormhole? She coughed a few times.

              “Please, pardon me!” said the raucous voice coming from the center of the spiral. Ann was so fascinated that she stretched her arm to touch the vortex. In doing so, the voice took goaty characteristics that made her giggle.
              “We need your help…” said the goaty voice, which hurried to add “In peace, always…”

              For a moment, Lavender thought she heard someone coughing from the other end of the wormhole. But with Ann messing with the vortex who knows what it could have been.

              Note from the editor: in another version of the story, it has been a double of Ann playing with a device. Her voice was sounding much like the one of Darn Vadoor in Stare Worms before he informed Lurk that he was his janitor.


              “Good grief, I don’t feel so bad about my face now”, said Phenol, who, as the stranger predicted, had reappeared.

              “What sort of help?” asked Lavender suspiciously.

              “We would be delighted to offer any assistance we can” gushed Ann, glaring at Lavender.

              Ann felt herself being sucked into the spiral of blue light and wondered if the vortex was messing with her head, or perhaps she should cut back on the weeds? “Well, not to worry, this feels like it could be a jolly fun adventure!” Privately Ann thought the stranger was rather good looking too, in a blue sort of a way.

              Lavender, who thought the stranger looked weirdo, rolled her eyes and wondered whether to call Harvey. She was becoming concerned about Ann, who seemed a little more blurred at the edges than usual, and whose skin had taken on a slight blue tinge. At least she had stopped all that irritating coughing though.

              “When in doubt, hug!” shouted Phenol, throwing ITs arms around Lavender. “Come on! Group Hug!”

              “Oh a group hug, how lovely!” giggled Ann, lunging at the stranger, who had become strangely quiet.


              “We need your help” the strangely familiar voice had said, and then enigmatically, “In Pea Sauce Ways.” All loved a riddle

              (LizAnn decided to leave the typographical error in the manucrept)

              Ann loved a riddle, and was delighted to discover this unexpected and charmingly bizarre clue, particularly as it hinted at green, which would be perfect with all the blue, she thought.


              There was trouble in New Peasland. A plague of hungry blubbits had wiped out the pea crops. Peas being the main staple in New Peasland, usually mixed with marmite and made into a tasty sauce, meant that the future looked grim for the increasingly hungry New Peaslanders.

              In desperation it was decided to send a volunteer through the portal to the Eigth dimension, where it was rumoured that the inhabitants were kind hearted but rather directionless and random, and would no doubt be happy to be given some pea producing purpose.


              Pee Stoll, the Marshal of the Peaslands was indeed keen on investigating.

              There was this lair of bandits, where there would surely be leads on that matter, no matter how unfocusedly random. Mungibbs would certainly reveal a bucketful of clues.


                Phenol had a sudden craving for blubbit saddle in peaberry sauce.


                “Pee, don’t go!” Pee’s wife, Peanelope had pleaded.

                “I am rather keen on investigating,” said Pee thoughtfully, anxious to please his wife, but also terribly excited about the idea of Mungibbs. “How about I leave my head here with you as security until I return?”

                Marginally appeased by this fine plan, Peanelope reluctantly agreed to let him go.

                “If I leave my head with you, I had better leave my voice as well I suppose” mused Pee.

                “No take your voice with you.” said Peanelope, rather hastily, Pee noticed.


                “At least the witch didn’t say my voice was bossy for once” Pee was always finding comfort in the little satisfactions of life.

                “Dad! I want to come with you!” Pickel, their young son was rather keen on the prospect to walk in the footsteps of his father, no matter how notoriously difficult to follow they were.

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