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      When she began to focus her mind to the place on the map, something weird happened. The parchment began to wave under her feet, she almost lost her balance and her concentration. But she managed to hold her focus. She didn’t know what could happen because she knew nothing about the place. But she had done that before, just for fun. She was not one to go by the most elementary rule of teleportation : “you never go where you have never been before, lest you end up a part of a rock.

      She felt in her body the ripples of the focus, it was still wavy and unstable but the necessary vortex was begin to form.
      “Bee, help me”, she squeaked to her friend.
      Bee, who was still in Vincentius’ shorts, managed to get out, making the god giggle and blush under the disapproving look of Arona.
      She fall down just near her friend and took her hands.
      “Where are we going ?” she asked.
      “I have no idea”, said Mari Fe, “But I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough. Hold tight, I feel the flush coming through!”


        Arona felt something was wrong. The invisibility cloack was moving on its own. She looked around and met Vincentius eyes. He seemed as puzzled as her. Actually, the cloack was moving upward. She looked behind her and gasped. Yikesi was almost as tall as herself. Actually, it seemed now that he was a bit taller than her, and he was still growing.

        Pearl screamed. She just saw what looked like feet appearing from nowhere, and legs were growing on top of these feet.

        Janet fall from Vincentius’ lap, the cloack was now only covering Yikesi’s head, which was big.
        Vincentius let the teapot fall on the floor, where it broke into hundreds of pieces. Bee and Mari Fe were upside down, and in all that confusion, the cat who was very specific in his vision spotted them. Despite his intelligence and his other dimensional quality, his instincts, reinforced by thousands of years of habits, influenced him deeply into the natural feelings of the hunter. He began to hiss and prepare himself to jump on his preys. But Arona was pushed by the still growing Yikesi and fall upon him in a ouch.

        Mari Fe, totally oblivious to what could have happened with the cat saw the gigantic body of a baby missing its head. The cloack was still big enough to hide it from sight.

        “Rats”, she said, “He ate all the jelly babies, we’re stuck into miniatures!”


          Yikesy, who had been quietly observing the assembled gathering, gave a whale-like shout. Fortunately, he had remembered to wear his voice-muter gadget, and for most of those gathered in the room his shout was nearly imperceptible.

          Sanso, who had his voice-muter-deactivator turned up full volume, leapt up in alarm. In the process, poor Janet went flying, landing on Sir Ed, who had been starting to stagger unsteadily to his feet. The impact of Janet’s ample frame hitting him full-force caused Sir Ed to lose his footing and, in his descent, he knocked his head on a charming wooden replica of a Tahitian dancing girl. (This was actually the same one which had earlier been mistaken for a hippopotamus.)

          “What is the matter, Yikesy?” asked Sanso, managing to keep a clear focus in the midst of the ensuing chaos.

          Yikesy smiled smugly. “I knew there was something strange about this map, and I have cleverly worked it out: there are 257 place names and all of them, except 12, have 5 letters and start with the letter E.”

          “Of course, I should have spotted that!” exclaimed Sanso. “Well done, Yikesy.”


          In reply to: Tales of Tw’Elves


            Through her tears Sue Flay caught a glimpse of the sun flashing on the shiny foil purple party hooter lying at her feet. Curiosity halted the sobs that were vibrating the wooden decking under the cafe terraces, much to the relief of several dozen Italian tourists, who were busily mopping up the coffee that had sloshed over their cups and onto their buns.

            Who sent me this purple party hooter? Sue asked, blowing her nose on Fray Mentos’ white loincloth, providing the Italian tourists with an eyeful of Fray’s crown jewels which were momentarily exposed to the salty marina air.


            In reply to: Tales of Tw’Elves


              Tal turned on the invisible-izer, and smiled as he enjoyed the idea that his spaceship would never be noticed by any human or animal alike.

              He exited the ship, walked a few paces and then suddenly halted in his tracks.

              Directly in front of him was no other than a large sink hole.

              What the Kraken? he thought. There must have been some major Earth changes since his interstellar space traveling. Good thing he didn’t land a few feet to the north.

              Tal clicked a small button on his nifty zinger-space-belt, which enabled the detection of any Earth anomalies.

              The gauge was reading off the charts!


              In reply to: Tales of Tw’Elves


                Luigi, preoccupied with worried thoughts about Flinella who he still hadn’t heard from, didn’t see the eu de nil motor scooter haring round the corner until it was too late. The scooter swerved, avoiding a head on collision, but clipped his shoulder, spinning him around. Luigi crashed into a signpost and fell to the ground. Shocked and dazed, he lay sprawled on the ground, unable to get to his feet. The narrow street was deserted, apart from a couple of tourists strolling along, looking upwards, as tourists so often do in foreign cities.

                “Stupid irresponsible motorscooters, they should watch where they’re going” Luigi was saying, “Knocking old men to the ground like that, they should be more careful!”

                This caught the tourists attention, so they stopped for a moment to look at the old man lying bruised on the ground. “You shouldn’t blame the motorscooter you know” said the woman. “You created that yourself”

                “What are you talking about?” Luigi replied. “Please give me a hand, I can’t get back on my feet.”

                “Well you created it, chum. I’m not going to give you a hand until you stop blaming the motorscooter and admit that you created it yourself.”

                “Oh piss off, you vacuous fuckwit” replied Luigi, looking desperately around to see if there was anyone more helpful in the street.


                In reply to: Strings of Nines


                  Of course, it wasn’t Mandrake, but a stray snakipooh, lured by the magical properties of Aronipooh’s feet that had started to lick her toes while Mandrake was away chewing on his pride. Arona had a split moment of pleasurable intensity before she came quickly to her senses to realize Mandrake wouldn’t do such an odd thing.

                  Arona wondered if the snakipooh would make a nice boa round her lovely shoulders, but then thought it would be a tad too daring and quite unecessary given her natural allure. She quickly shooed it away, searching in her magical bag, among the sabulmantium and her other belongings, for a bottle of Nhum.


                  In reply to: Strings of Nines


                    “W-a-t-e-r-f-r-i-n-g-i-n-m-e-l-o-n … yes still way too short!” Yikesy wasn’t really the party type and felt ridiculous wearing a bowler hat. While the others were engaged in general merriment precipitated by the arrival of the champagne, he surreptitiously removed the map from Minky’s backpack.

                    He scanned the map till he found what he was looking for.

                    Meanwhile ….

                    Arona giggled. “Look at that sign! Waakaawaakawaawaawaawaawaawaawahuhun! I want to go there!”

                    Mandrake raised an elegant eyebrow. “I suppose it is as good as anywhere, considering we have no idea where we are going.”

                    “I will run ahead and make sure it is safe.” announced Vincentius melodically. “You rest Arona, and eat these delicious sandwiches I whipped up earlier.”

                    “And shall I lick her feet for you while we wait?” asked the sarcastic Mandrake.

                    “Splendid idea. Thank you Mandrake!”


                    In reply to: Snowflakes of Tens


                      Everything was white, from the sky to the ground and the limit between them was not even discernible. Despite the lack of visibility, he felt confident that the house was near. His small feet were making crunchy sounds, and at times, between two gushes of wind, he could almost see the fur at the top of his boots.
                      At a distance, some woolly beast, a yak maybe, was making a muffled sound that resounded in the landscape, and like the beast, he was feeling strong against the elements. On his left were some black shriveled trunks of some small deciduous trees, and it looked like the only life around.
                      This was far from the truth; even if most of it was frozen in a deep slumber, there still was a lot of life underground.
                      He had been chasing a few rabbits, and though he had to compete with the lynxes at that game, he had managed to get one. That was why he was feeling so strong and proud. He could feel the still warm little soft creature against his belt, dangling at each of his steps. Soon he will be home…



                        Dear OW’s and Favourite Daughter,

                        I had a dream last night. It went like this . . . . I was in the garden when I noticed an alien space ship coming down from a great height above me. It was humming, humm, hummm, humming. Like that. There was a smell of old cabbages and kitty litter.

                        It landed a few feet away from me. It was like a saucer and coloured olive green. A door opened on the underside and a ladder lowered. The ladder was made of wood, which surprised me. The aliens started down the ladder. They had no arms or legs. Just heads. They came down the ladder using their lips.

                        There were eight of them. The leader (at least I took it to be their leader as he had the biggest head) approached me. He said “Where can we get some hats ?”

                        Next thing I remember I was in the back of a pickup truck eating a prawn cocktail. Next to me sitting on some old sacks was the head alien slurping down uncooked carrots direct from the tin.

                        He said to me “We would like you to make a tv commercial for us”.

                        Then I woke up.

                        I’m afraid to report this encounter with the third kind to the authorities in case they just laugh at me.

                        I need your advice on this one. What should I do ?

                        Uncle Garnet


                          Deep within the Furcano, the Mother of the Blubbits was growling. Her belly actually. She’d spent days and days, like every good blubbit alien mother, spawning a furry and ungrateful progeny.

                          For each of the blubbits captured and slaughtered, she was compelled to balance the loss. Balance was her motivation —at first. Now she was starting to think that maybe drowning them in baby blubbits would be a better and quicker way to end their (and her) suffering.

                          That was at that precise moment that something round and hairy rolled at her feet with a funny movement and strange soft sounds. How funny she thought, she suddenly felt compelled to balance that odd thing on her nose.

                          Imagine the expression (yes you’d have to imagine it, because they didn’t have one) on the faces of our favorite Peaslanders when they came into the cave running after the rolling head to see said head balanced on the nose (pink and soft) of a giant and furry Mother Blubbit.


                            Arona had no idea what dimension she was in. Or indeed, whether she was where she was at all. Oddly enough, and it was not often now that Arona found anything odd, she was finding the experience rather freeing.

                            “Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Hoooooooooooooooooo” she shouted, and holding her arms wide open, began to whirl joyously around, till dizziness overcame her and she landed in a heap on the ground. She expected to land in a heap on the ground in a soft meadow with pretty spring flowers, but to her consternation realised that she had landed on what felt like polished concrete. She was even more concerned when she realised that she had a large audience watching her with interest, although at that stage all she really took in was a sea of feet around her. On further inspection she appeared to be in what looked like an enormous building full of shops, and, shoppers.

                            “Are you okay?” A kindly gentleman asked her in a concerned voice. At least that is what Arona thought he said. Although the words were familiar, the accent was strange, and not one she had heard before.

                            “I am fine, thank you,” replied Arona, trying her best to appear composed and rise gracefully from her sprawled position all at the same time. She must have looked convincing because, after a few more curious looks in her direction, the crowd began to disperse.

                            Good Grief, where am I now? she wondered. Determined not to be alarmed and to go with the flow, however rapid that flow may be, the intrepid Arona set off to explore her new surroundings.


                            Arona looked around. It was the strangely spoken gentleman who had first offered assistance. He was brandishing a book towards her.

                            “Take this book. It is no good for me.”

                            Arona hesitated. The last time she had heard those words she had ended up with a funny little baby to look after. The man was insistent though, so, thanking him politely Arona accepted the gift.

                            “Hmmmm, How to Write Fiction, how very peculiar!” Flipping it open randomly she read:

                            [Random Words Epigraph] Step One: Randomly choose 5 entries from your dictionary. Just flip through the pages, close your eyes, and put your finger down on the page. Copy down the word that is closest to your finger. If your finger lands on a word that you don’t know, you can choose the word just above or just below it. For the purposes of this assignment, count paired words as a single entry (for instance, “melting pot” is listed as a single entry). Step Two: Shape your list of dictionary entries into a poem or story, using all of the entries.

                            “bugger that,” snorted Arona.


                            She woke up at noon and it was 100 degrees, or 37 degrees, whichever you prefer, but whichever way you look at it, it was not a good temperature to wake up to. Everything was pointing in the direction of going solo, playing the game on her own for awhile, or at least until she was in a regular habit of giving herself priority, giving more attention to her own creative pursuits, and less time to the futile attempts to keep group projects going. She supposed for a moment that making a start whilst hot, tired, discouraged and confused was not the most ideal mood for a start, but at least it was a start. She wasn’t even entirely sure what it was she was actually starting, but suspected that it didn’t much matter, in the grand scheme (or lack thereof) of things.

                            She’d had a moment of inspiration when she started reading a book. She’d only read a few pages and had no idea how the book would turn out, but the format was interesting. Julie had had an idea, simmering on a back burner for years, to write a book. It always seemed to want to be an autobiographical book, and that’s where she always came unstuck because she couldn’t see the point of that, not that she was overly concerned about whether anyone would want to read it or not, but she often came unstuck when she wondered about how all the characters in the book might feel about it, which is why that moment of inspiration in the bathroom the other day seemed like such a good idea.

                            She could write a book about a probability party, perhaps called ‘Probably Real’, (maybe with the subtitle ‘Probably Not’.) There would be an occasion, the details of which she hadn’t worked out yet, in which various (not all, she soon realized!) of her probable selves met ~ such as in the Atkinson book, in some quiet desolate place with no interruptions (obviously somewhere with no internet connection, although there was always the danger of picking up a freak broadband WiFi), where they had all the time in the world to tell their tales, compare notes as it were.

                            Which was where the fiction idea came in ~ of course! Just call it fiction! Would just one of the probable selves be telling the truth, relating the only true version of Julie’s life? And if so, which one was the real probable self? All the characters in the book would have probable selves and probable lives; which of them was the real probable self, the official version? No-one would ever know.

                            Of course, anyone versed in the metaphysical mechanics of probabilities and such would realize that all probable versions are real, at the same time as all being, in a certain sense, fiction ~ made up. The only question was, would that be too unlimiting to contain within the confines of one book, but time (so to speak) would tell.

                            Procrastination had set in, as usual, not that that is a bad thing, and things pretty much carried on as usual for a few days. Julie noticed the puppy tugging at a particular magazine from the bottom of the magazine rack over the course of those few days, and eventually the magazine was rather pointedly poking out from the bottom of the pile, it’s title clearly showing: a booklet on How To Write FICTION, with FICTION in big letters.

                            Never the less, the procrastination continued, although the clue was duly noted. It hadn’t been the first time a Writing A Book incident had occured.

                            It was easy, in this case, to remember that date, because it was right around the time of the 1999/2000 milenium party, right around the time when that particular roller coaster had derailed. While unpacking the boxes of books and putting them on the shelves of yet another rented house ~ a particularly garish and tasteless monstrosity, a drug baron’s dream of unfunctional largeness with hideous coloured glass windows (it’s the sheer randomness of the colours that’s so awful, G had remarked) ~ a book flew off the shelf, quite literally, and landed alone in the middle of the floor some distance away from the bookshelf.

                            Becoming A Writer was the name of the book, and the funny thing was that she had been thinking of writing a book but didn’t know where to start, and had been toying with the idea of buying a book on writing a book. So she read the book and started writing, a little bit every day, following the books advice to just start writing, even if it’s just ‘I can’t think of what to write’. There was plenty to write about as it turned out, but circumstances changed, another sudden move of house ensued, another rollercoaster ride, and the writing stopped for awhile.

                            But back to the book, Becoming A Writer. For a long time, Julie had no recollection of buying that book, and wondered by what magic had it appeared at her feet. Many years later she perhaps would have simply accepted the magic, and would have known that she created the book in that moment. But at the time she didn’t, and in due course constructed a memory of buying the book some years previously at a car boot sale somewhere along the coast road.

                            (We did buy the book, piped up PSJ2, and I actually read it, unlike you, as soon as I bought it. My 5th book is about to be published, a lightweight comedy/detective series about the Costa del Crime)

                            PSJ2’s interjection reminded PSJ1 (Good grief, we’ll have to think of a solution to the probable self names, she noted) that she had in fact started writing a book about the Costa del Crime, called Peregrino’s, or perhaps that was the name she’d given to the bar, the central hub, of the book. Of course, that was in the days when bars had been her central hub; she doubted very much if she would choose a bar as the central hub of a book now. She hadn’t got very far with the book, and had burned it when PSA1 got busted, just in case. What to do first, bury the (probable, it must be remembered) pump action shotgun, or burn the book. She had buried the gun, under cover of darkness, in the back garden, wrapping it in plastic bags and blankets, making it look for all the world like the body of a dead child. It was dark, it was raining, and there weren’t many neighbours out there in the orange groves, and she could do no more than hope for the best that she hadn’t been seen.

                            No doubt there was a probable self who did choose to create being seen, but if so she hadn’t arrived at the probability party (yet, at any rate) with her tale.

                            That it had been a major probability junction was certain. Not just the gun burying incident, which had turned out to be no more than merely incidental, but the events leading up to it.


                            In reply to: Strings of Nines


                              The word flounder popped into Yolands head, and for want of the inspiration to do anything meaningful, or even useful, she googled flounder. She was astonished to find so many varieties of flounder, and recognized that she was counterparting with quite a number of them.


                              There was the Crosseyed flounder that she felt an affinity for, at the end of an evening of trying to sort out her photos; Alcock’s narrow-body righteye flounder, which was what she felt like in a bed full of male dogs every night, and she could relate to the Antarctic armless flounder when she couldn’t keep track of the Antarctic thread. Barfin flounder reminded her of the green icon and her friend Finn; Bigmouth flounder ~ Yoland sighed, she definitely felt a connection to that often enough. Blotched flounder, well that sounded a bit like botched ~ there were many occasions when Yoland felt that everything she did was botched, half done and messy. Chain-mail wide-eyed flounder when she dabbled a bit in past lives, and the Disc flounder when she got her music in a muddle. The Dark flounders were the worst, when everything seemed to take on the tone of a horror movie, but they were often followed by a Deep flounder, which sometimes contained a few insights, more often than not promptly forgotten.


                              Yoland sighed. Imagine counterparting with just about every flounder known to man! She decided she wasn’t the only one counterparting the European flounder, which was a releif, nor was she the only one counterparting the Fantail flounder, although at least it could be said that she wasn’t a complete fan of anyone in particular, dead or alive, she was a fantail of quite a number. There were long spells of resonating with the Finless flounder; Finn was always disappearing, or so it seemed to Yoland. Very rarely she felt an alignment with God’s flounder, thankfuly she wasn’t often prone to dwelling on God things.


                              Ah, the Gray flounder, yes she’d had a bit of a flounder when Gray sent all those photos of the Beltane Dance, she’d had a flounder for sure in amongst all those. Looking back though, she’d had fun with the mummy and Ella Tindale in the Gulf flounder…


                              Yoland had to laugh when she came across the Intermediate flounder. Yoland wondered if the majority of her foundering was counterparting with the Intermediate flounder and decided she was probably too intermediate to work it out objectively anyway. She often had a tussle with the Large tooth flounder, lordy, she was always floundering with dental issues. And the Largescale flounder, that really was the biggest ongoing flounder of them all, the sheer vastness of everything.


                              Every now and again, less than previously though, Yoland had a Melbourne flounder on Saturday nights, and rather enjoyed it, but not as much as she enjoyed a good old New Zealand flounder.


                              Another flounder Yoland always enjoyed was an Olive wide-eyed flounder, roaming around the ancient olive trees of Andalucia, wide eyed and awestruck with the beauty and history of the place. She also enjoyed a Peruvian flounder on occasion, too ~ she’d even had a dream recently about floundering around by the mysterious doorway of Amaru Muru. The next night she’d had a River flounder, dreaming of the river in the Grand Canyon.


                              Sand flounders were the best of all though, Yoland recalled many happy flounderings in the world of sand and all its Subulmantium configurations. The trouble with the sand flounder was that it often morphed into the largescale flounder, and got quite out of hand.


                              Yoland sighed, it had been ages since she’d felt connected to the Seven pelvic ray flounder, what with Dan working nights. She was beginning to feel like a Shelf flounder. However, at least thanks to her new diet of replacing meals with flans, chocolate mousses and ice cream, she was closely aligning now with the Slender flounder.


                              The ongoing slug issue with the cat food was obviously because she was still strongly aligned with the Slime flounder. Notwithstanding, Yoland was rather pleased to note that despite her morose and petulant mood this morning, it had to be said that she often counterparted with the Smooth flounder; although that was easy to forget in moments of quiet desperation when the floundering got out of proportion.


                              Smiling, Yoland remembered the dream of feet touching when she noticed there was a Sole flounder too. And how often the Spotted flounder popped up, she was always spotting clues. Well spotted! she would tell herself. Oh, and the Stone flounder, wasn’t that the truth! Yoland was aligning strongly with that lately, smoking more than ever, somehow striving for either inspiration, or perhaps oblivion.


                              Oh well, I guess this is just a Summer flounder, it will pass, Yoland decided (who was secretly glad that she was nearing the end of the list of flounder names). And sure enough, the next on the list was the Three spotted flounder, surely a good sign! A probability change perhaps! As if to validate Yolands impression, she noticed the Tile-colored righteye flounder. There was even a Warthog flounder, which seemed to ring a bell with a recent entry to the Reality Play.


                              Best of all was the Windowpane flounder, Yoland felt she would even go so far as to say that this was her new focus animal. Well, she thought, if I am making this all up, I can make that up too!


                              Thankfully Yoland reached the end of the flounder list, rather pleased that it had ended on such an amusing and encouraging note.

                              Being closely aligned with flounders wasn’t such a bad thing after all.



                              In reply to: Strings of Nines


                                The fact of the matter was that Ann had been intending to write about Cordella’s twin sister Flagella, but had been hopelessly side tracked when Godfrey had thrown that curve ball. Flagella had been wanting to slap herself rather badly and Ann was more than willing to oblige her by entering a scenario into the Play. The way things had panned out highlighted some interesting parallels with Yoland’s current state of affairs too. Obviously Flagella had chosen not to slap herself after all, although she appeared to have chosen to effect that in a somewhat convoluted manner. It was the unknown factors that were baffling Ann, the missing links in the convoluted manners; she felt painfully aware that she simply wasn’t seeing the whole picture.

                                Unsure of her footing, that’s what it was, at least that’s what Yoland had noticed. With the puppy always climbing over her feet or somewhere underfoot, she hadn’t been able to take a normal step in a fortnight. It was making her tense and tired, and jittery. Every step she took was halted, mid step, which made her feel permanently off balance.

                                Flagella had wanted to slap herself for being irritated, which was becoming immensely irritating in itself. Being irritated wasn’t fun at all, it was irritating! The most irritating thing of all was that she didn’t know why she’d started getting irritated in the first place.

                                Ann wanted to butt in and tell Flagella a thing or two about how dense she was being, but didn’t think there was much point. It wasn’t as if Flagella hadn’t already heard whatever Ann might have to tell her a thousand times or more, so it was doubtful that more words would be any help.

                                She doesn’t need any help, full stop, Ann reminded herself, and neither does Yoland.


                                  The Fellowship wish to extend our greetings to you young lady, and to thank you most sincerely for gracing us with your delightful presence.

                                  Lavender smiled encouragingly at the pointy headed gentleman who was welcoming her so warmly. Still, she was wondering anxiously why she had been summoned to this meeting of the Fellowship, when her little Essence was not due for another two days.

                                  Thank you, it is I who am honoured to be here. she responded politely.

                                  The Speaker smiled benignly at her. I sense your anxiety. Let me assure you there is no reason for concern. We are very happy with your pregnancy. However we did encounter some unexpected challenges. Perhaps, it is best if you just see for yourself.

                                  He nodded to one of the Helpers, who waited like silent black shadows around the edges of the room. The Helper disappeared, and returned a moment later carrying a large bundle, which appeared to be wiggling vigorously. The Helper laid the bundle gently at Lavender’s feet and unwrapped the cover. Three little striped piglets emerging, squealing indignantly.

                                  Yes, smiled the Speaker. We are delighted to inform you that your pregnancy has resulted in triplet piglets. I am sure even though this is unexpected, you will be as thrilled as we here at the Fellowship are.

                                  Lavender hoped Aspidistra liked piglets as much as the Fellowship clearly did …


                                    With the flood of water that was spilled on the land after the crash of the plastic-wrapping-the-now-melted-iceberg-ship dragged along by the strong pull of the engine for miles inside the lands, a huge pool had started to form that began to gather animals around.

                                    The blessings of the fresh water was in fact such that, not long before they managed to have their feet back on terra firma, the three valiant musketeers Sharon, Gloria and Mavis with their chivalric Akita and his faithful spirit dog Kay were surrounded by the most diverse fauna they’d been seeing in days.

                                    — Lookit that! Can ye believe it?!
                                    — Zebra, zebra,… ZEBRA!
                                    — What’s up with your underwear Glor’?
                                    — Zee-bras, no bloody brassieres! See?!
                                    — Well, no bloody wonder, it just looks like the Serengeti
                                    — What bloody gothic serum?
                                    — Jeeze, Serengeti! In Tanzania… Africa, the land of the Maasai, bloody Lake Victoria et cætera
                                    — Oh, you don’t start getting that snotty tone again…

                                    Leaving for a moment the ladies at their cultural talks, Akita went for a walk with Kay, looking for some clues on how to get moving in this faraway place. He’d hoped to reach Egypt and the Suez Canal to get the ladies back to Europe, but obviously the single-use strange iceberg-ship was planned for Africa, and not much further.

                                    Kay always had most puzzling associations to bring up in their conversations. “Well,” he’d say “besides all these blue bulls isn’t it funny that the zebras are a variety of indigo’s…”

                                    “You’re a funny dog”, Akita told him “what is that supposed to mean?”
                                    “Obviously it’s an analogy…”
                                    “A bit too bloody subtle” Akita was starting to talk awfully like the ladies…
                                    “Zebras are symbols for a people who have a funny way of blending in… Or actually to not blend in. They’re symbols of the weirdos of your societies. Affectionately said, of course. I do consider you and your girlfriends a bit on the weirdo side by the way…”
                                    “Well, that’s nice… I suppose?”
                                    “It’s all symbols, and it’s dream-time, so pay attention dear one.”
                                    “If you say so” Akita said with a shrug
                                    “It is not uncommon to find in dream interpretation books some funny sentences like

                                    Dreaming of zebras running fast indicates you are interested in fleeting enterprises. If you dream of a wild zebra in its native environment, you might try a pursuit that could bring unsatisfactory results. Beware of those with multicolored stripes.The Everything Dreams Book

                                    “Now,” Kay was continuing his near-monologue as they were still walking “what is that supposed to mean; if that were a dream you were dreaming, would you use that one-fits-all approach to interpret that zebra dream?”
                                    “Who cares, really, it’s not as if I’m dreaming anyway…”
                                    “Of course, you’d know better; but anyway, that brings me to the multicoloured zebras. There are children who have started some years ago to manifest en masse on this planet with different views, a wildly different approach on life. People around your world have started to label them “indigos”, another shade of blue if you will. I wouldn’t be so circumspect in my dealing with funny coloured animals, if I were you…”
                                    “I’ll be damned if I understood a word of what you just said… Perhaps you’re right and I’m dreaming after all…”
                                    “You can say that again.”


                                      “Barry the White Bear is the last person having seen Arky the missing Aardvark “ Mlle Mongoose reported back to the team of worried animals.

                                      “And did he say anything more?” Angela Goose asked, interrupting busy-looking Mlle Mongoose in mid-sentence.

                                      “Well, if you’d let the Director speak, perhaps we could hear what she knows” said Freaky the Ferret.
                                      “Don’t be zo mean to Angelipooh” Jobby the Hippo said compassionately “You know poor Angie is zo buzzy with Baba Yolanda coming over”
                                      “Who?” asked Weirdy the Weasel distractedly
                                      “Baba Yolanda the Loon !” answered Angela with a hint of exasperation “You’re not paying attention my dear? I told you ages ago she’d be coming this week to the Zoo to spend her winter here… I figure it’s getting too difficult for her in the wild given her age.”
                                      “Well, I hope it’ll be better this time; last time she came, she left you in a pretty bad shape, it took us months to get you back on your feet. It should be time for her to get over that old ugly-duckling complex…”

                                      “Ahem”, managed to say Mlle Mongoose who was however following the discussion with great interest
                                      She continued “As far as Arky is concerned, perhaps you should go see him yourselves. You’ll probably get more from Barry White than I did; He’s bearing the management a grudge since we decided to raise the temperature of his room because everybody around was catching colds after colds.”

                                      “Oh, great… my time of hitting the spotlight has finally come, and I’m stuck with dear ol’ Baba Yolanda” sighed Angela Goose.


                                        “Did you see how Malvina went to her date?”
                                        “Yes I saw it beloved” and she added with a giggle “though she probably wouldn’t like us to call that a ‘date’ huhu”.
                                        “Ahaha” Georges was enjoying himself with various associations connected to his periphery. Associations with words like ‘date’, or with time-space connections, like the ones related to the dress Malvina was wearing.

                                        Salome huddled herself up against Georges, and not looking at him, said in a dreamy gaze “I remember perfectly that first time we heard about the Zynder”
                                        Georges answered, surfing on his own associations “I remember how people had so much trouble pronouncing it ‘right’ — Ze-In-dear, Zee-Indeer, Zaindher…ahaha it was so funny”.

                                        Then coming back to Salome’s last sentence that had been hanging in the soft silence unanswered. “I think I heard about it before you did, but I was vaguely aware of it. You were the one to tell me the legend.”

                                        “Yes, on that first day on the Kandulim, where the Zentaura told me about it.”
                                        “I would love you to tell me again…”

                                        The Legend of the Zyndre

                                        as told to Salome by Zharon the 44th, of the Zentaura’s tribe

                                        There is a legend among the people of this place, that people love to remind themselves of in times of despair. It’s the legend of this mythical creature named the Zyndre.
                                        What the Zyndre looks like, nobody knows for sure until they see one. Because once you see one, you know what it is, without a shadow of doubt. It may be tricky because some people have seen one, and they get into fights about what it looks like, for such is the nature of the Zyndre that its form is diverse and it doesn’t show itself to two people the same.
                                        That’s why my people have named it Zyndre, which means “the creature of a thousand forms”.
                                        Some people have searched to catch it, but their attempts have always failed. For the Zyndre doesn’t show itself to the forceful people. The Zyndre is a peaceful creature that will find for you what you most desire.
                                        That’s why many people have used to represent it with a large nose, for it is a seeker. It may find anything you want, but you have to desire it so much that it becomes the main focus of your attention. It burns in your head, not like a madness, but like a warm reinsurance, a soft knowingness that you will indeed find it, that which you desire most.
                                        So that once you find the Zyndre, you know you’ve reached that thing that you desire, because the Zyndre is pointing you in its very direction.

                                        “You know Georges”, she says “that night on the beach, I dreamt of the Zyndre”
                                        “Really? And how did you perceive it?”
                                        “It was beautiful, not like the classical representations we see, of that big-nosed creature; it was so elegant, like a small silver-shining spotted doe, with tall feet proportionally to its body, not unlike the Qilin of the ancient Chinese; and it was proposing me to ride it to escape its enclosure.
                                        And I was thinking in the dream, ‘it must be strange and a bit uncomfortable when it’s galloping’ —because it’s small, and my feet will touch the ground.”
                                        “So did you ride it?”
                                        “Yes, and you were with me, and it was carrying us with ease and grace, like it was floating and gliding above the ground…” Salome looked at Georges with a smile “So that when I woke up, I knew without a shadow of a doubt, that I was exactly where I most desired to be.”


                                          Al was singing this Hallowe’en tune in his imp costume:

                                          “Trick or treat, smell my feet, we want something good to eat” :yahoo_pumpkin:

                                          —“Sacrebleu,” he said to Tina “I guess Becky Pooh must not be far away, I can feel her limerick rhymes aiming at Ewrick”
                                          — “Mmmm, ‘whatever that means’ I suppose” retorted Tina, rolling the eyes of her funny Hallowe’en fancy dress. :ghost:

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