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    When Finnley got out of her full body bathing suit, Liz gaped at her.

    “It appears your suit wasn’t that waterproof after all. You should have kept the receipt. Now you can’t ask for a refund.”

    Finnley rolled her eyes while sending daggers. Liz caught them in extremis with her pen and put them down in writing at the end of her pink notebook for later reference. She thought maybe they could be an appropriate prop for the family betrayal she planned to write about in her next chapter. Daggers between the shoulder blades were always a nice effect.

    “I don’t need a receipt, I ordered them online.”

    “What do you mean? What does she mean Gordon? She looks so mad, she won’t answer me… and stop eating those bloody nuts. That’s not good for your cholesterol.”

    “Actually that’s the reverse,” said Gordon.

    “Stop eating them! I find the crunching noise and the movement of your tongue on your teeth disturbing.”

    “She means she kept the email with the e-receipt. Knowing her she’s probably kept it in the trash for safekeeping.”

    Finnley threw another pair of daggers.

    “Ouch!” Gordon said.

    “You deserved that,” said Liz. “You were mean. Now I need to talk to Godfrey. He’ll know the answers, he always know. Where is he?”

    “Just behind you. I’m always behind you.”

    “Don’t say that, it can be misinterpreted. Anyway, can you answer the question?”

    “She kept the email with the e-receipt in her trash can. You know, it’s an internet thing. Like the writing workshop you asked me to help you organise.”

    “Oh! I totally forgot about that.”

    “You have 57 inscriptions. The chat session starts in 5, no 7 minutes. Should I be worried?”

    “No you shouldn’t. Just do the typing for me please. You type faster than me, I’m still doing it with one finger, well two actually, now I can use both hands.”

    “Okay, you’ll speak to me as if you were speaking to them and I shall write down your words faithfully.”

    “You can do the speaking too, dear. Godfrey, you’ve known me for so long, you know better than me what I’m going to say.”

    Liz looked at Finnley’s blue hands and turned back to Godfrey. “Oh, and before you do that, prepare some cucumbers slice, I need a power nap.”


    “Well, I wish you would stop interrupting me while I fill in the empty pages of my pink notebook with gripping stories, I keep losing my thread. Most annoying!” Liz sighed.  She wrote Liz snapped at first and then erased it and changed it to Liz sighed. Then she added Liz sighed with the very mildest slight irritation and then became exasperated with the whole thing and told herself to just leave it and try to move on!

    But really, Finnley’s timing, as usual! Just as Liz had worked out the direct line to the characters fathers mothers fathers fathers mothers fathers mothers fathers father and mother, Finnley wafts through the scene, making herself conspicuous, and scattering Liz’s tenuous concentration like feathers in the wind.

    “And I don’t want to hear a word about apostrophes either,” she added, mentally noting the one in don’t.

    “Oh, now I see what you’re doing, Liz!” Gordon appeared, smoking a pipe. “Very clever!”

    “Good God, Gordon, you’re smoking a pipe!” It was an astonishing sight. “What an astonishing sight! Where are your nuts?”

    “Well, it’s like this,” Gordon grinned, “I’ve been eating nuts in every scene for, how long? I just can’t face another nut.”

    Liz barked out a loud cackle.  “You think that’s bad, have you seen what they keep dressing me in? Anyway, ” she asked, “What do you mean clever and you see what I’m doing? What am I doing?”

    “The code, of course!  I spotted it right away,” Gordon replied smugly.

    Finnley heaved herself out of the pool and walked over to Liz and Gordon. (is it Gordon or Godfrey? Liz felt the cold tendrils of dread that she had somehow gone off the track and would have to retrace her steps and get in a  fearful muddle Oh no!  )

    A splat of blue algae across her face, as Finnley flicked the sodden strands of dyed debris off that clung to her hair and body, halted the train of thought that Liz had embarked on, and came to an abrupt collision with a harmless wet fish, you could say, as it’s shorter than saying  an abrupt collision with a bit of dyed blue algae. 

    Liz yawned.  Finnley was already asleep.

    “What was in that blue dye?”


    The woman sitting next to me on the plane never stopped talking, she must have told me her whole life story, Aunt Idle wrote in her diary. It was a long flight from Australia to Iceland, I’m not complaining ~ it was quite an entertaining story. She said she came from Blue Lagoon campsite in the Adirondacks originally, although that was many moons ago, as she put it. Then she joined the army, but she didn’t tell me much about that, only that she’d been posted to Kenya and had taken to the place, always meant to go back and never did. She’s been married twice, once to a northerner called Bert Wagstaff, but that didn’t last long ~ nice enough guy, she said, but a bit boring. No kids. Then to Trudell. That was another story she said, but didn’t elaborate.

    She said something about investigating fungus but the drinks trolley appeared. She asked for Blue Sapphire gin but they only had Gordon’s, and then she started going on about when she was in India. She had a book in her hands the whole flight, although she didn’t stop talking long enough to read much, it was The Rabbit, by Peter Day, with a picture of an upright man with a rabbit head on the cover, all in white, rather surreal.


    In reply to: The Hosts of Mars


    Godfrey had started to sweat when Lizette had called him Gordon, fearing she might have blown his cover. Just as he made a move to clamp his hand over her mouth, the medical bay had lurched sideways, throwing Lizette with force in the direction of his approaching hand. The result of the two forces colliding on her face had knocked her out cold.

    But nobody was paying any attention to them in the confusion. Godfrey slung Lizette over his shoulder like a sack of rice, and hastily retreated from the medical bay. The stupid woman had made everything that much more complicated. He toyed with the idea of just leaving her on the waiting room floor, but it was too dangerous. What might she blurt out when she came round?


    In reply to: The Hosts of Mars


    Lizette patiently waited her turn in the medical bay. Her injury wasn’t serious ~ indeed there was not much need for medical assistance, after all it was just a minor lesion on her heel, but it did make it painful to walk, let alone run, and the increasingly heated babble of conversation in the waiting room was interesting.

    Although initially everyone had been calm and obedient, trusting the management and the system implicitly, before long the mood had changed to confusion and suspicion. Seeds of doubt crept in and were quickly fertilized by the submerged energy of fear at the unexpected disorder. Up until now, everything on MARS had been Controlled with a capital C ~ there were rules and protocol for everything, rigid regimes and timetables, a place for everything, and everything in its place. It had been stifling, to be honest, with very little in the way of spontaneity or surprises, nothing unexpected to expect but the dry tedium of calm control.

    In a way, the meteor impact (if indeed it had been a meteor impact ~ there was much speculation in the waiting room that they had been attacked by aliens, that the management was hiding this detail from their explanations) had been a welcome diversion from routine. But a welcome diversion that was rapidly spiraling out of control. When people were confused and frightened, there was no telling how they might behave, brainwashed or not. When they were physically injured as well, panic and suspicion swiftly set in, fears and wild theories echoing around the waiting room. Add to that the trapped feeling, with nowhere to flee, and the threat of a hostile outer environment, and strange unknown beings breaking through their protection boundaries, well, it was a recipe for chaos.

    Lizette felt herself getting caught up in the general mood, feeling roused by heated calls for a mob handed demand for answers in one moment, and chilled to the bone by the terrified screeches of the most fearful in the next; thankfully noticing in time to reactivate her personal space buffer before descending into the energy quagmire herself. The dense fog of the previous brainwashing had distorted their power of rational reasoning; Liz felt she was the only one in the waiting room with the mental capacity to weigh up the various perspectives being aired, to try and make some sense of it.

    When Gordon popped his head into the waiting room, Lizette hobbled over to him, wincing at the pain in her Achilles heel.

    “Gordy, a word in your ear, old man,” she started to say, and then found herself catapulted into his arms as another tremor rocked the room. “Good God, Gordon! What’s going on?” she managed to say before slipping into unconsciousness.


    In reply to: scattered grasps


    “You mean you’ve finished seeing the funny side?” asked Godfrey and Gordon in unison. “NEVER!” replied Ann firmly.


    “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…”


    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?”


    Ann had to admit it wasn’t a bad idea. She wondered why she hadn’t thought of that herself. Why haven’t I been expressing more of the perecption in front of my eyes, I wonder? The more she thought about it, the more confused she became. It did sound like a good idea, and she was pleased that she had created another ‘her’ as it were, to mention it.

    On the other hand, of course, there was nothing stopping Walter (or was it Gordon? No, Godfrey…wait, wasn’t it Al?) from creating another one of his ‘hims’ masked as an Ann to express more of her perceptions in HIS own ‘It’s All You’ story.

    Am I getting this right? Ann whispered to her left ear.


    The shopping trip during Prof Less’s class time was indeed fun. Ann purchased a cruet set with a dragonfly motif, half price in a sale. Just one more class to attend before the weekend, Professor Godfrey Gordon’s class, or Good God Gordy as he was affectionately known.

    “Ann, I must congratulate you on doing so VERY well with Continuity.” Gordon said, with much appreciation and deep sincerity. “You’re doing very well indeed. A toast!” he raised his glass, and smiled warmly at Ann.

    Ann found herself blushing at the unaccustomed praise. “Gosh, Gordy, thanks!” she gushed. “And what fun to have champagne in class! Cheers, everyone!”



    In reply to: Strings of Nines


    A toast to Ann! agreed Godfrey raising his glass.

    Anyway Ann, how are you enjoying Noo Zooland? It is obviously doing wonders for your continuity. Gordon smiled sincerely and appreciatively at Ann.


    In reply to: Strings of Nines


    “Ann, I must congratulate you on doing so VERY well with Continuity.” Gordon said, with much appreciation and deep sincerity. “You’re doing very well indeed. A toast!” he raised his glass, and smiled warmly at Ann.

    Ann found herself blushing at the unaccustomed praise. “Gosh, Gordy, thanks!” she gushed.



    In reply to: Strings of Nines


    “Never mind the Fellowflip now Gordon” Ann said exitedly, brandishing a letter. “Or are you Godfrey? Well, whoever you are, look at this! It’s a letter from that fat A. Morgana from Anatrica!”

    “And where, pray tell, is Anatrica?”

    Ann looked shocked. “Why, it’s south of Antartica, eveyone knows that!”


    In reply to: Strings of Nines


    “You mean you’ve finished seeing the funny side?” asked Godfrey and Gordon in unison.

    NEVER!” replied Ann firmly.


    In reply to: Strings of Nines


    “It’s the 57th Creative Challenge theme, so I have to do it,” Ann remarked to her editor. “Obviously”, she added.

    “What do you mean, obviously?” asked her editor (Ann had forgotten his new name in the second book, and toyed breifly with the idea of making up a new one ~ perhaps Rumbold the Pale?)

    “Well, I would have thought that was obvious, Godfrey!” Ann replied tartly, secretly delighted that she’d remembered the old boy’s name. Notwithstanding, Ann continued to make little ‘cuh’ and ‘tut’ noises, and rolled her eyes a bit, until Godfrey eventually replied.

    “Spiggot on the spike freak, Lingenburg Dash”.

    “I beg your pardon?” Ann looked at Godfrey in astonishment. “Holy Moly, I said that earlier myself, whatever does it mean?”

    “I haven’t got a clue, dear,” he replied. “Just popped into my head, you know, how it does…” His voice trailed off as he stared into space.

    “I’ll google it.” As Ann started the search, she realized she’d completely forgotten that she was doing the 57th Creative Challenge entry. “Blimey O Riley, what am I LIKE” she said to herself, with a wry grin ~ she wasn’t altogether sure what wry meant, but somehow she felt it was wry ~ “Now what was the theme again?”

    “Misery Loves Company” Godfrey piped up. “And dare I say, it’s rather obvious what has occurred here.”

    “What do you mean, obvious?” retorted Ann, somewhat snarkily, although nowhere near as snarkily as Lavender might have said it.

    Godfrey resisted the urge to respoond with a few little ‘cuh’s’ and ‘tut’s’, and chose to simply smile enigmatically.

    Ann scowled at her old freind and said “If you don’t spell it out, you maddening old coot, I’ll write you out of this story. I’ll delete you.”

    “You can write me out of YOUR story if you wish, but I may continue to write YOU into MY story.”

    “Oh Gawd, WHAT?” Ann said to herself. “Where did that come from?”

    “Ann, let me explain.”

    “You sound just like Elias, Godfrey!”

    “Ha! Ha! Ha!”


    “Now shut up and pay attention”

    Elias would never say that”

    “That’s YOU saying that, Ann, to yourself,” said Godfrey.

    YOU said that Godfrey, it’s right here in black and white!” retorted Ann.

    “It’s never black and white, Ann, and it’s only here in black and white as ME saying it because YOU wrote it.”

    “Well there’s no answer to that” replied Ann. She went to put the kettle on.

    Ann returned to her computer with a steaming mug of tea.

    “Now, shall we get back to the point, Ann?” inquired Godfrey, with a wry grin.

    “I must look up that word later”, Ann mused. “I seem to be inordinately fond of the word wry tonight, I wonder why. I Wonder Wry…”

    ANN!” Godfrey shouted. “Back to the point!”

    Ann looked pained. “What point?”

    “The point of this story, and the obvious occurence therein.”

    “Welp, you’ve lost me there, Gordon, there was a point?”

    “Oh My God, this could go on all night” Gordon was wringing his hands.

    “Good God Gordon, didn’t see you come in!” exclaimed Godfrey.

    Ann was giggling helplessly. She was rather pleased with the way she covered her faux pas over the editors name.

    “‘Ann was giggling helplessly’; you see Ann, there is your clue!” Godfrey said excitedly, as he read aloud what Ann had just written.

    “OH! NOW I get it! D’oh! Nonsense loves company! Giggling loves company! No wonder I couldn’t stay focused on misery!”


    In reply to: Strings of Nines


    “Never mind that,” Ann said to Gordon, who hadn’t said a word, “Where the bloody hell is Finnley?”



    In reply to: Strings of Nines


    “That would depend” Gordon replied “On whether you wish to create plain white functional cotton or an elaborate brocade tapestry. You may wish to create strong reliable durable corduroy with it’s dependable grooves, or something eye catching in contrasting black and white. Gossamer fine colours, or sturdy weaves, lace and beadwork, traditional designs, and new ones, always new ones, take your pick!”

    “I’ve forgotten what it was I was choosing now, Gordon” replied Ann. “Pass the walnuts.”


    Inspired by the courageous example of Finn, Quintin was thinking of changing his name too.

    There were too many Quintins out there, and he needed to find something more suitable. Michaela had mistaken him again for another Quintin, and of course, Quintin had heard Elias laugh in the background.
    Yann’s battery of his new phone was charged at 33%, so that was probably a confirmation too.

    Why not something like Yurick
    Looking for a confirmation, Quintin found this.

    YORICK: Altered form of JORCK. This name was used by Shakespeare for a court jester in his play ‘Hamlet’. :yahoo_skull:
    JORCK: Danish form of GEORGE

    So that was it… Having recently read some poems from George Gordon Byron, Quintin thought that it was in perfect sync.
    Yurick was henceforth adopted.

    Interestingly, Yurick noticed that it was the 303 rd comment posted. So it was obviously another confirmation. Perhaps that with his new name, now Yurick wouldn’t need 3 confirmations in a row…

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