Sometimes Bob spoke without his lips. Telepathy is what Jane liked to call it. It’s just thinking that other people can hear, apparently.
Bob could hear Jane thinking now and she didn’t sound too pleased. “What’s she doing here?” she hissed in his head.
Jane and Julienne never got on. Well, they used to years ago. Then something happened. Something to do with a fruit cake recipe … Bob could never understand the ins and outs of it. They hadn’t spoken much after that. Jane called Julienne the town gossip.
“That’s very thoughtful of you,” said Bob reaching out for the offshoots.Goodness knows what he was going to do with them. It was Jane who was the gardener.
Clara smirked. “I’ll go and see if Nora is up.”
“No, she’s alright,” said Bob sharply. “You stay here. She’ll just be resting up now. It’s all been quite a shock for her I think.”
“What’s all this?” asked Julienne. “Someone’s had a shock?”
“”Sorry, I’m only just telling you this about the note now, lovie. Your Grandma’s been on at me to tell you. Just in my thoughts I mean!” he added quickly.
Jane smirked and tapped her forehead. “Careful, Old Man. She’ll think you’ve completely lost it!”
Clara stared at him, a small frown creasing her brow. “So, the note said you were to call him?”
Bob nodded uneasily. Clara had that look on her face. The one that means she aren’t happy with the way things are proceeding.
“And then what?” asked Clara slowly.
“I dunno.” Bob shrugged. “Guess they’d bury it again? They was pretty clear they didn’t want it found. Now, how about I put the kettle on?” Bob stood quickly and began to busy himself filling the jug with water from the tap.
Clara shook her head firmly. “No.”
“No to a cup of tea?”
“No we can’t call this man.”
“I don’t know Clara. It’s getting odd it is. Strangers leaving maps in collars and whatnot. It’s not right.”
“Well, I agree it needs further investigation. But we can’t call him … not without knowing why and what’s in it.” She tapped her fingers on the table. “I’ll try and get hold of Nora again.”
Clara breathed a sigh of relief when she saw VanGogh running towards her; in the moonlight he looked like a pale ghost.
“Where’ve you been eh?” she asked as he nuzzled her excitedly. She crouched down to pat him. “And what’s this?” A piece of paper folded into quarters had been tucked into VanGogh’s collar. Clara stood upright and looked uneasily around the garden; a small wind made the leaves rustle and the deep shadows stirred. Clara shivered.
“Clara?” called Bob from the door.
“It’s okay Grandpa, I found him. We’re coming in now.”
In the warm light of the kitchen, Clara showed Bob the piece of paper. “It’s a map, but I don’t know those place names.”
“And it was stuffed into his collar you say?” Bob frowned. “That’s very strange indeed. Who’d of done that?”
Clara shook her head. “It wasn’t Mr Willets because I saw him drive off. But why didn’t VanGogh bark? He always barks when someone comes on the property.”
“You really should tell her about the note,” said Jane. She was perched on the kitchen bench. VanGogh pricked his ears up and wagged his tail as he looked towards her. Bob couldn’t figure out if the dog could see Jane or just somehow sensed her there. He nodded.
“What?” asked Clara.
“There’s something I should tell you, Clara. It’s about that box you found.”
“Grandpa,” Clara said, partly to distract him ~ poor dear was looking a little anxious ~ and partly because she was starting to get twangs of gilt about Nora, “Grandpa, do you remember that guy who used to make sculptures? I can’t recall his name and need his phone number. Do you remember, used to see him driving around with gargoyles in the back of his truck. You look awfully pale, are you alright?”
“No idea,” Bob replied weakly.
Tell her! said Jane.
“No!” Bob exclaimed, feeling vexed. He wasn’t sure why, but he didn’t want to rush into anything. Why was Clara asking about the man whose phone number was on the note? What did she know about all this? What did he, Bob, know for that matter!
“I only asked!” replied Clara, then seeing his face, patted his arm gently and said “It’s ok, Grandpa.”
For the love of god will you just tell her!
“Tell who what?” asked Clara.
“What! What did you say?” Bob wondered where this was going and if it would ever end. It began to feel surreal.
They were both relieved when the door bell rang, shattering the unaccustomed tension between them.
“Who can that be?” they asked in unison, as Clara rose from the table.
Bob waited expectantly, pushing his plate away. It would take days to settle his digestive system down after all this upset at a meal time.
“You look like you’ve just seen a ghost, Clara! Who was it?” Bob said as Clara returned from the front door. “Not the water board again to cut us off I hope!”
“It’s the neighbour, Mr Willets, he says he’s ever so sorry but his dogs, they got loose and got into some kind of a box on your property. He said…”
“Knock, knock! Dinner’s ready!” Clara popped her head around the door to Bob’s room. “What are you doing?” she asked as Bob started and hurriedly put his hand over a small piece of paper.
“Er, nothing, just …” His words trailed off. He smiled brightly at her. “Dinner eh. Smells good. I’ll be right with you.”
Clara’s gaze travelled from Bob’s face to the cardboard box on the bed. “Are you okay? You look strange. What’s in that box?”
“Odds and ends. Just doing a bit of sorting.” He put the piece of paper in the box and placed the lid back on. “Nothing that won’t keep till after dinner.”
“If there are any old photos in the box I’d love to see them.”
“Tell her,” said Jane. There she was, sitting cross-legged in the middle of the bed near the box. “Go on, tell her about the number.”
Bob shook his head vigorously and Clara regarded him strangely. “Not to worry about photos then,” she said
“You were wishing I was here and now here I am and you aren’t even going to listen to me?” Now Jane was whispering into his ear and he imagined he could almost feel her breath like a feather tickling his cheek—it was all he could do not to laugh. “Tell her or I will.”
The message was scrawled in pencil on a roughly torn off piece of note paper. Bob had to squint to make out some of the words.
Hopefully you won’t need this but put this somewhere safe, just in case. The man i introduced you to today will know what to do.
And then there was a phone number. Bob wondered if the man would still be there. It was nearly 15 years ago and Bob’s memory was sketchy. He frowned, trying to remember. When the receptacle had been unearthed in the bad flooding of that year, he had contacted someone … how he got onto him he can no longer recall … some number from the archeological thingamajigs maybe. The person he spoke to came round, him and another fellow, said he shouldn’t tell anyone about the receptacle. Said it should be put back in the ground. Said it was important. The other fellow, the one he is supposed to call, made sculptures—Bob remembered that because there had been some sitting on the back of his truck.
Bob sat on the side of the bed and rubbed his head. He couldn’t really be bothered with all this carry on. It all seemed a bit crazy now, having to keep the damn thing buried. What’s all that about? And Clara was so excited, contacting her archeological friend and whatnot. Strange girl though, that Nora. He wished Jane were still here. She’d know what to do.
Bob sighed loudly as he rummaged through the odds and ends drawer: old menus from the takeaways in town, pens, rubber bands, a button, reading glasses, newspaper clippings. He’d never expected to need the phone number; now he did and what do you know? He can’t find the damn thing.
“What a shameful mess that drawer is in,” said Jane. She was seated at the kitchen table, arms folded, shaking her head at him. She looked about twenty today with her dark hair cascading prettily over a lacy pink mini dress.
Bob frowned at her though his heart did a leap. The way it always did when he saw her. “You were the one who kept it clean and you jumped ship. And I’ve said, can’t you look your age?”
“Don’t I look pretty?” She pouted and fluttered long eyelashes at him.
“Makes me feel old. And I don’t recognise you like that.”
“You are old,” she said as her hair turned white. “And bad-tempered as ever. What are you hunting for?”
“The phone number. You know the one he said to call if the box was ever unearthed. Can’t find it anywhere.”
“You’d lose your head …” said Jane as her head lifted off her body.
Bob jumped. “Darn it, Jane. I’ve said don’t do that! Why do you always do that and go giving me the heebie jeebies?”
“Cos I can, love.” She grinned mischievously before settling her head back on her shoulders. “Just a bit of fun. Now think hard, where else might you have put it? The shoe-box under our bed? The safe in the pantry?”
Bob flung a hand to his head. “The shoe-box! That’s where it will be!”
Jane grinned. “Well, get a move-along, old man. Before our Clara gets in more deep than what’s good for her. She won’t let it go now she’s found it. Stubborn as a mule my grandchild,” she added proudly.
Bob reached a hand to her. “Come with me while I look? I miss you, Jane. You never stay long enough.”
“Oh stop with all the sweet talk!” She poked her tongue out at him. “Anyway I’ve told you before, it takes too much energy.” She was fading and Bob felt his chest tighten. “Don’t worry, I’m keeping an eye on you, old man.” She was vibrating air now, sparkly and pink.
“Surely you don’t want sage as well with your ice cream?” asked the ever mentally eavesdropping Finnley.
“Finnley, considering you are always telepathically listening, you really need to refine. You are missing the gist, girl!”
Finnley snorted. “Girl? you dictatorial old hag, fancy calling a 49 year old ‘girl!”
“Get on with your work, boy!”
As the crow flies, Glenville is about 100 miles from the Forest of Enchantment.
“What a pretty town!” tourists to the area would exclaim, delighted by the tree lined streets and quaint houses with thatched roofs and brightly painted exteriors. They didn’t see the dark underside which rippled just below the surface of this exuberant facade. If they stayed for more than a few days, sure enough, they would begin to sense it. “Time to move on, perhaps,” they would say uneasily, although unsure exactly why and often putting it down to their own restless natures.
Glynis Cotfield was born in one of these houses. Number 4 Leafy Lane. Number 4 had a thatched roof and was painted a vibrant shade of yellow. There were purple trims around each window and a flower box either side of the front door containing orange flowers which each spring escaped their confines to sprawl triumphantly down the side of the house.
Her father, Kevin Cotfield, was a bespectacled clerk who worked in an office at the local council. He was responsible for building permits and making sure people adhered to very strict requirements to ‘protect the special and unique character of Glenville’.
And her mother, Annelie … well, her mother was a witch. Annelie Cotfield came from a long line of witches and she had 3 siblings, all of whom practised the magical arts in some form or other.
Uncle Brettwick could make fire leap from any part of his body. Once, he told Glynis she could put her hand in the fire and it wouldn’t hurt her. Tentatively she did. To her amazement the fire was cold; it felt like the air on a frosty winter’s day. She knew he could also make the fire burning hot, if he wanted. Some people were a little scared of her Uncle Brettwick and there were occasions—such as when Lucy Dickwit told everyone at school they should spit at Glynis because she came from an ‘evil witch family’—when she used this to her advantage.
“Yes, and I will tell my Uncle to come and burn down your stinking house if you don’t shut your stinking stupid mouth!” she said menacingly, sticking her face close to Lucy’s face. “And give me your bracelet,” she added as an after thought. It had worked. She got her peace and she got the bracelet.
Aunt Janelle could move objects with her mind. She set up a stall in the local market and visitors to the town would give her money to watch their trinkets move. “Lay it on the table”, she would command them imperiously. “See, I place my hands very far from your coin. I do not touch it. See?” Glynis would giggle because Aunt Janelle put on a funny accent and wore lots of garish makeup and would glare ferociously at the tourists.
But Aunt Bethell was Glynis’s favourite—she made magic with stories. “I am the Mistress of Illusions,” she would tell people proudly. When Glynis was little, Aunt Bethell would create whole stories for her entertainment. When Glynis tried to touch the story characters, her hand would go right through them. And Aunt Bethell didn’t even have to be in the same room as Glynis to send her a special magical story. Glynis adored Aunt Bethell.
Her mother, Annelie, called herself a healer but others called her a witch. She concocted powerful healing potions using recipes from her ’Big Book of Spells’, a book which had belonged to Annelie’s mother and her mother before her. On the first page of the book, in spindly gold writing it said: ‘May we never forget our LOVE of Nature and the Wisdom of Ages’. When Glynis asked what the ‘Wisdom of Ages’ meant, her mother said it was a special knowing that came from the heart and from our connection with All That Is. She said Glynis had the Wisdom of Ages too and then she would ask Glynis to gather herbs from the garden for her potions. Glynis didn’t think she had any particular wisdom and wondered if it was a ploy on her mother’s part to get free labour. She obeyed grudgingly but drew the line at learning any spells. And on this matter her father sided with her. “Don’t fill her mind with all that hocus pocus stuff,” he would say grumpily.
Despite this, the house was never empty; people came from all over to buy her mother’s potions and often to have their fortunes told as well. Mostly while her father was at work.
Glynis’s best friend when she was growing up was Tomas. Tomas lived at number 6 Leafy Lane. They both knew instinctively they shared a special bond because Tomas’s father also practised magic. He was a sorcerer. Glynis was a bit scared of Tomas’s Dad who had a funny crooked walk and never spoke directly to her. “Tell your friend you must come home now, Tomas,” he would call over the fence.
Being the son of a sorcerer, Tomas would also be a sorcerer. “It is my birthright,” he told her seriously one day. Glynis was impressed and wondered if Tomas had the Wisdom of Ages but it seemed a bit rude to ask in case he didn’t.
When Tomas was 13, his father took him away to begin his sorcery apprenticeship. Sometimes he would be gone for days at a time. Tomas never talked about where he went or what he did there. But he started to change: always a quiet boy, he became increasingly dark and brooding.
Glynis felt uneasy around this new Tomas and his growing possessiveness towards her. When Paul Ackleworthy asked her to the School Ball, Tomas was so jealous he broke Paul’s leg. Of course, nobody other than Glynis guessed it was Tomas who caused Paul’s bike to suddenly wobble so that he fell in the way of a passing car.
“You could have fucking killed him!” she had shouted at Tomas.
Tomas just shrugged. This was when she started to be afraid of him.
One day he told her he was going for his final initiation into the ‘Sorcerer Fraternity’.
“I have to go away for quite some time; I am not sure how long, but I want you to wait for me, Glynis.”
“Wait for you?”
He looked at her intensely. “It is destined for us to be together and you must promise you will be here for me when I get back.”
Glynis searched for her childhood friend in his eyes but she could no longer find him there.
“Look, Tomas, I don’t know,” she stuttered, wary of him, unwilling to tell the truth. “Maybe we shouldn’t make any arrangements like this … after all you might be away for a long time. You might meet someone else even …. some hot Sorceress,” she added, trying not to sound hopeful.
Suddenly, Glynis found herself flying. A gust of wind from nowhere lifted her from her feet, spun her round and then held her suspended, as though trying to decide what to do next, before letting her go. She landed heavily at Tomas’s feet.
“Ow!” she said angrily.
“Okay! I promise!” she said.
That evening there was a gathering of Uncle Brettwick and the Aunts. There was much heated discussion which would cease abruptly when Glynis or her father entered the room. “Alright, dearie?” one of the Aunts would say, smiling way too brightly. And over the following days and weeks there was a flurry of magical activity at 4 Leafy Lane, all accompanied by fervent and hushed whisperings.
Glynis knew they were trying to help her, and was grateful, but after the initial fear, she became defiant. “Who the hell did he think he was, anyway?” She left Glenville to study architecture at the prestigious College of Mugglebury. It was there she met Conway, who worked in the cafe where she stopped for coffee each morning on her way to class. They fell in love and moved in together, deciding that as soon as Glynis had graduated they would marry. It had been 4 years since she had last seen Tomas and he was now no more than a faint anxious fluttering in her chest.
It was a Friday when she got the news that Conway had driven in the path of an oncoming truck and was killed instantly. She knew it was Friday because she was in the supermarket buying supplies for a party that weekend to celebrate her exams being over when she got the call. And it was the same day Tomas turned up at her house.
And it was then she knew.
“You murderer!” she had screamed through her tears. “Kill me too, if you want to. I will never love you.”
“You’ve broken my heart,” he said. “And for that you must pay the price. If I can’t have you then I will make sure no-one else wants you either.”
“You don’t have a heart to break,” she whispered.
Dragon face,” Tomas hissed as he left.
Glynis returned to Glenville just long enough to tell her family she was leaving again. “No, she didn’t know where,” she said, her heart feeling like stone. Her mother and her Aunts cried and begged her to reconsider. Her Uncle smouldered in silent fury and let off little puffs of smoke from his ears which he could not contain. Her father was simply bewildered and wanted to know what was all the fuss about and for crying out loud why was she wearing a burka?
The day she left her mother gave her the ‘Book of Spells”. Glynis knew how precious this book was to her mother but could only think how heavy it would be to lug around with her on her journey.
“Remember, Glynis,” her mother said as she hugged Glynis tightly to her, “the sorcerers have powerful magic but it is a mere drop in the ocean in comparison to the magic of All That Is. You have that great power within you and no sorcerer can take take that from you. You have the power to transform this into something beautiful.”prUneParticipant
“Sometimes you don’t know who you really are, but your story does.”
That was a strange fortune sesame ball. Janel’s parents had brought us to their favourite restaurant in town. Well, apart from Bart’s, it was the only other restaurant in town. The Blue Phoenix had this usual mixture of dimly lit, exotic looking run of the mill Chinese restaurant. But the highlight of the place, which surely drove people from miles here, was its owner. She liked to be called The Dragon Lady with her blue-black hair, slim silhouette, and mysterious half-closed eyes, she was always seen scrapping notes on bits of paper, sitting on a high stool at the back of the restaurant, near the cashier, and a tinkling beaded door curtain, leading to probably even darker places downstairs.
“How did you like the food kids?”
Janel’s father was nice, trying his best. I confectioned the most genial smile I could do, not my greatest work by far, “it was lurvely!” was all I could get out in such short notice.
The Dragon Lady must have felt something, she had apparently some extrasensoriel bullshit detector, and moving unnoticed like a cat, she was standing at our table, already not mincing words. “What was it you didn’t like with the food, young lady?”
She managed to cut all attempts at protest from the clueless adults with a single bat of an eyelash, and a well-placed wink of her deep blue eye.
For worse or for worst, the floor was all mine.
“Are glukenitched eggs even a real thing?” I managed to blurt out.
“Oh, my dear, you have no idea.”
“What do you think of the new lodger?” asked Sue that night over dinner. It was Monday so dinner was fish pie. Monday, Wednesday and Friday it was fish pie and Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday it was meat loaf. Sue believed Sunday should be a day of rest so Sunday dinner was fried left overs.
John paused mid bite and considered the question.
“She seems alright, I guess. Doesn’t seem to have much in the way of interests … always locked in her room with the computer. I mean, she could at least join us for dinner. I was hoping for someone a bit more interesting this time … you know, a bit of interesting conversation.”
“Eat up, Jane. What were you thinking of, Dear?” asked Sue anxiously.
John grunted. “Oh you know … travel …. and what not. I dunno. What’s on the telly tonight then, Luv? Anything good?”
“Nothing much,” said Sue. “I might just have an early night. And anyway what sort of a name is Clove? It’s a bit unusual.”
“It’s a bit bloody odd, alright,” said John. “A bit odd to name your kid after a spice. It takes all sorts, eh. I think there is snooker on the telly later. I might stay up and watch that.”
“Oh, that’s great, Luv. I might sit up with you and do a bit of crochet then. The twins are out late tonight at bingo — they probably won’t be home till after 9pm.”
“9pm. That’s late,” grunted John.
Meanwhile, Clove was wondering if she had made the right decision to lodge with the most boring family on earth. True, there had been times when life had been somewhat boring back home, but nobody could accuse her family of being boring.
But the Smith family! why, even their names were boring. John and Sue had spawned a small tribe of boredom: Sara and Steve, the unidentical, uninteresting and unemployed twins, still bored at home at the age of 27; Jason, an ordinary ten year old who wasn’t even autistic or allergic to anything, and a particularly unprepossessing three year old called Jane.
Edward Cayper had been absorbed on the mesmerizing display of the large monitoring screens. He’d liked to believe it was a meditation of sorts. The simulation made the most tantalizing displays, ever changing.
Although there had been flitches. Increasingly. He called them flitches, scratchy flea-like glitches, all small and jumpy, but he had an eye for them. He was, after all, one of the early designers of the Program. REYE – Reality Emergence Yielding Existence. That didn’t mean much, but sounded cool at the time.
REYE was in its eighth stable upgrade. Despite the flitches, it had evolved at exponential speed.
Edward swiveled from his chair to look behind his desk. A series of pods was lined up with sensory deprivation tanks hosting hundreds of plugged-in bodies dreaming in synch with his creation.
He’d been told they were volunteers to participate in the largest mind control experiment in the world. He wasn’t sure it wasn’t a lie, but didn’t care so much.
REYE was in charge of coordinating the whole program with astronomical and minute precision. Each person linked to the program believed they had become ascended (or something similarly close to their metaphysical belief). Free of the bonding of space, time and corporal existence, they were taught into a very subtle and complex system of attunement to higher truths. A large basket of bollocks of course, but while they were doing it, and deeply believing it to be real, the mind-energy they produced was redirected to certain mind control experiments.
Since they started in the 80s, the program had had slow progress. In the beginning, only a few sprouts of channellers appeared near their area, in Nevada. They were quite timid at first, full of doubts about their hearing or seeing voices – still better than the abductions of earlier, when many went completely nuts. But now, progresses were made steadily, and with much less effort. Edward personally believed that the network of waves created by cellphone proliferation had a factor in this trend. Such interconnexion made everything easier.
Within the program, the flitchy Ascended Masters still had to be reconditioned from time to time. On the vitals of Jane Pierce (a.a.a. “also avatared as” Dispersee within the program), Edward could see there were occasional resistance and stress, which in turn made the glitches more frequent. A change in her drugs dosage would do fine to level the serotonin in her bloodstream. It would be that, or unplugging her.
Before leaving the room, like every day, Edward switched the monitor to the camera over one of the pods. Florence Vengard (a.a.a. Floverley), was dreaming peacefully, as usual. Since she’d arrived, he’d felt connected to her. He imagined her with long curly red hair floating in the milk bath instead of the bath-cap that made the maintenance so much easier. He was told she had overdosed on pills, and wouldn’t wake up. The program seemed to be tethering her to life, frozen in time.
A well-oiled machine.
If you overlooked the small things… that REYE was becoming more inquisitive, and Edward suspected, greedy too. He had seen subtle gaps in the mind-energy gauges, it couldn’t be a coincidence. The program was becoming too smart, maybe too human.
It couldn’t bode well.
The following is an e-mail from the past, composed on July 01, 2010. It is being delivered from the past through FutureMe.org
The Absinthe Cafe
Dawn and Mark had a bottle of Absinthe (the proper stuff with the WORMwood in
it, which is illegal in France) but forgot to bring it. Wandering around at
some point, we chanced upon a cafe called Absinthe. Sitting on the terrace, the
waitress came up and looked right at me and said “Oh you are booked to come here
tomorrow night!” and then said “Forget I said that”. Naturally that got our
attention. After we left Dawn spotted a kid with 2016 on the back of his T
shirt. We asked Arkandin about it and we have a concurrent group focus that does
meet in that cafe in 2016, including Britta. Dawn’s name is Isabelle Spencer,
Jib’s is Jennifer….
The Worm & The Suitcase
I borrowed Rachel’s big red suitcase for the trip and stuck a Time Bridgers
sticker on it, and joked before I left about the case disappearing to 2163. I
had an impulse to take a fig tree sapling for Eric and Jib, which did survive
the trip although it looked a little shocked at first. As Eric was repotting
it, we noticed a worm in the soil, and I said, Well, if the fig tree dies at
least you have the worm.
At Balzacs house on a bench in the garden there was a magazine lying there open
to an ad for Spain, which said “If you lose your suitcase it would be the best
thing because you would have to stay”.
Later we asked Arkandin and he said that there was something from the future
inserted into my suitcase. I went all through it wondering what it could be,
and then a couple of days ago Eric said that it was the WORM! because of the
WORMwood absinthe syncs, and worm hole etc. I just had a chat with Franci who
had a big worm sync a couple of days ago, she particularly noticed a very big
worm outside the second hand shop, and noted that she hadn’t seen a worm in ages
~ which is also a sync, because there was a big second hand clothes shop next to
Dawn and Mark’s hotel that I went into looking for a bowler hat.
Arkandin said, by the way, that Jane did forget to mention the bowler hats in
OS7, those two guys on the balcony were indeed wearing bowler hats, and that
they were the same guys that were in my bedroom in the dream I had prior to
finding the Seth stuff ~ Elias and Patel.
And another Time Bridger thing; a while ago, Jib and I had fun planting some TB stickers at random places in Paris (and some on a wooden gate at Jib’s hometown).
Those in Paris I remember were one at the waiting room of a big tech department store, and another on the huge “Bateaux Mouches” sign on the Pont de l’Alma (bridge, the one of Lady D. where there is a gilded replica of Lady Liberty’s flame).
I think there are pics of that on Jib’s or my flickr account somewhere.
When we were walking past this spot, Jib suddenly remembered the TB sticker — meanwhile, the sign which was quite clean before had been written all over, and had other stickers everywhere. We wondered whether it was still here, and there it was! It’s been something like 2 years… Kind of amazing to think it’s still there, and imagine all the people that may have seen it since!
I wasn’t all that keen on flying and procrastinated for ages about the trip. I
flew with EASYjet, so it was nice to see the word EASY everywhere. I got on the
plane to find that they don’t allocate seats, and chose a seat right at the
front on the left. The head flight attendant was extremely playful for the
whole flight, constantly cracking up laughing and teasing the other flight
attendants, who would poke him and make him laugh during announcements so that
he kept having to put the phone down while he laughed. I spent the whole flight
laughing and catching his mischeivously twinking eye.
I asked Arkandin about him and he said his energy was superimposed. I got on
the flight to come home and was met on the plane by the same guy! I said
“HELLO! It’s YOU again! Can I sit in the same seat and are you going to make me
laugh again” and he actually moved the person that was in my seat and said I
could sit there. Then he asked me about my book (about magic and Napolean). He
also said that all his flights all week had been delayed except the two that I
was on. He wanted to give me a card for frequent flyers but I told him I
usually flew without planes ~ that cracked him up
The Dream Bean
Eric cracked open a special big African bean that is supposed to enhance
dreams/lucidity so we all had a bit of it. The second night I remembered a
dream and it was a wonderful one.
(Coincidentally, on the flight home I read a few pages of my book and it just
happened to be about the council of five dragons and misuse of magical beans)
In the dream I had a companion with magical powers, who I presumed was Jib but
it was myself actually. It was a long adventure dream of being chased and
various adventures across the countryside, but there was no stress, it was all
great fun. Everytime things got a bit too close in the dream, I’d hold onto my
friend with magical powers, and we would elevate above the “adventure” and drop
down in another location out of immediate danger ~ although we were never
outside of the adventure, so to speak. At one point I wondered why my magical
freind didn’t just elevate us right up high and out of it completely, and
realized that we were in the adventure game on purpose for the fun of it, so why
would we remove ourselves completely from the adventure game.
In the dream I remember we were heading for Holland at one point, and then the
last part we were safely heading for Turkey…..
The other dream snapshot was “we are all working together on roof tiles” and
Arkandin had some interesting stuff to say about that one.
There were alot of vampire imagery incidents starting with me asking Eric if he
slept in his garden tool box at night, and then the guy who shot out of a door
right next to Jib and Eric’s, in a bright orange T shirt, carrying a cardboard
coffin. He stopped for me to take a photo (and Arkandin said it was a Patel pop
in); then while walking through the outdoor food market someone was chopping a
crate up and a perfect wooden stake flew across the floor and landed at my feet.
The next vampire sync was a shop opposite Dawn and Mark’s hotel with 3 coffins
in the window (I went back to take a pic of the cello actually, didn’t even
notice the coffins). Inside the shop was an EAU DE NIL MOTOR SCOOTER Share, can
you beleive it, and a mummy, a stuffed raven, and a row of (Tardis) Red phone
I had a nightmare last night that I couldn’t find any of my (nine) dogs; the
only ones I could find were the dead ones.
The trip to Balzac’s house was interesting, although in somewhat unexpected
ways. (Arkandin was Balzac and I was the cook/housekeeper) The house didn’t
seem “right” somehow to Mark and I and we decided that was probably because
other than the desk there was no furniture in it. Mark saw a black cat that
nobody else saw that was an Arkandin pop in (panther essence animal), and Dawn
felt that he was sitting on a chair, and Mark sat on him. (Arkandin said yes he
did sit on him The kitchen was being used as an office. Jib felt the house
was too small, and picked up on a focus of his that rented the other part of the
house. (The house was one storey high on the side we entered, and two storeys
high from the road below). There were two pop ins there apparently, one with
long hair which is a connection to my friend Joy who was part of that group
focus, and I can’t recall anything about the other one. Dawn was picking up
that Balzac wasn’t too happy, and I was remembering the part in Cousin Bette
that infuriated me when I read it, where he goes on and on about how disgusting
it is for servants to expect their wages when their “betters” are in dire
straits. Arkandin confirmed that I didn’t get my wages.
The garden was enchanting and had a couple of sphinx statues and a dead pigeon ~
as well as the magazine with the suitcase and Spain imagery. Mark signed the
guest book “brought the cook back” and I replied “no cooking smells this time”.
Ed Steam’s Rally Update:
Where is your Surge Team now?
- 1. Cornella • last seen in Long Poon, with computer troubles (#2942)
- 2. Pearl • last seen with Mari Fe considering freezing their butts on a flying carpet in a shop at Baku (#2939)
- 3. Mari Fe • last seen with Pearl (#2939)
- 4. Skye • last seen missing in action, probably lost in London’s last surge of fog (#2851)
- 5. Katarina • last seen with Pearl and Mari Fe (#2939)
- 6. Vera Pappaloosa • last seen with Lulla set to meet in Pohnpei, in the middle of the Pacific to deal with a yet undefined surge (#2863)
- 7. Kiki Razwa • last seen chatting with Björk about an upcoming transportation surge (#2941)
- 8. Björk • last seen on her way to deal with a transportation surge somewhere in Europe (#2941)
- 9. Janet Mendyourhall • last seen heading her way back to Nevada after containing a zombilic surge in Spain (#2922)
- 10. Lulla Spinosa • last seen meeting with Vera (#2863)
- 11. Madam Li • last seen heading back to Harbin, in Shanghai’s metro, after a snow surge successfully contained (#2940)
- 12. Anita Charmpatti • in Mumbai (no comment yet)
- 13. Elza • last seen in Moscow managing a taser surge (#2937)
Other recurring characters in the same timeline:
- Ed Steam • last seen fomenting a sinister plot in his secret hideout after faking his own demise and looting the Surge HQ artefacts warehouse (#2946)
- Aqua Luna • last seen at an unknown location, in a mysterious ship after a probable alien abduction in Long Poon (#2945)
- Belle (Bee) Endwhistle • last seen flushed out-of-body in the magic E-map, but didn’t yet reappear unlike Pearl and Mari Fe (#2902)
Recurring other-dimensional characters in the same timeline:
- Arona • last seen with Sanso, god Vincentius, the cat Mandrake and ugly big adult-grown-baby Yikesy looking in the sabulmantium, in a quest to find a Chinese dragon (#2916)
Other characters in the future timeline:JibParticipant
The snow was falling gently on that Russian night. People were walking in the cold, covered in warm colorful clothes which Mari Fe was finding funny.
“ Do you hear the music ?” asked Pearl.
“What music ?”
“It’s sounds like a choir in the distance. I suddenly feel melancholia.”
Mari Fe had forgotten she had her earplugs on, and as soon as she had removed the right one, she put it back.
“Put your earplugs, Pearl ! Quick ! You’re being hypnotized.”
“Hypnotized ? Don’t be silly; I’m sad, is all.” Pearl was feeling tears filling up her eyes. Life was so dull lately and maybe it was the seven beers she drank, maybe she something awful had happen and she didn’t know. Something sad must have happen, she thought, how else would I’ve been so sad. But she couldn’t remember. She wasn’t even listening to Mari Fe who was being agitated suddenly. Hadn’t she realized ?
Mari Fe was looking frantically in her pockets. Did she has another pair of surge earplugs ? She found a pink panther taser. Another techno stuff, she threw with disgust on her face. She jumped on Pearl and tried to immobilize her, she was trying to put her hands in her pockets to find those damn earplugs. Maybe Janet took them ? What an idea.
“Looks like Ed Steams’ own impetus was his downfall Janet said solemnly after she covered the mustacheless body with a white bedsheet.
“Damn right you are, Janet.” Riff Raff nodded. “I wouldn’t have recognized him without his mustache though…”
“I think it’s safe to say that Pearl and Mari Fe’s plan was nearly a fiasco, but in the end, he took the surge full blast. Not quite the end we had in mind for him, but what’s done is done.”
The zombies hadn’t been difficult to subjugate however, and although Riff Raff nearly had his brain eaten out, there had been no spread or civilian loss to deplore. That much was good, Janet didn’t like the whole body moving business one bit. The Moreguest Facility was such a drab place, at least she could go straight back to her post in beautiful sunny West Coast.
On the table, an egg-shaped translucent gem was beaming bright green. Janet took it thoughtfully, carefully placing it in the diplomatic case. “Strange that Ed died from the surge while the others recovered once the zombie energy had been sealed into the rote.”
Riff Raff was more pragmatic. Or maybe eager to get back home too. “He was a man consumed by his quest for artifacts, let’s not dwell on things past.”
Using the portal from the bathroom once she decontaminated and recalibrated it, she’d sent everyone, their clothes doused in moonshine to some dark alleys in Granada, where they would probably be picked by local officers alerted by the usual racket made by the transspace portal, with no memory at all and alcohol breath. At least the nosy auditor would be in for a trip.
“Hey Riff, give my regards to Midgenta” Janet bear-hugged her friend, throwing the diplomatic suitcase with the pocket-sized forklift into the glove box of the red car, and disappearing in a trail of fine caliche billowing behind the vehicle wheels.
The aftershock of the surge at the Three Kings’ Parade started to hit full blast at the portals initial location, thus effectively linking old mummies energy to the bodies there that were hit by Mari Fe, and for he most part still lying unconscious.
The combination of energies started to make them arise and walk like mindless zombies, intoning old guttural sounds in cadence in a language that sounded like Italian poetry.
There you had the Balthazar, Rogelio, Dru and alter-Ed who all woke up at once, and even Sanso who had been hit (while impersonating a Portal Worker) started to feel oddly strange.
Noticing the atypical occurrence, Arona, whom Janet seemed to have had taken a sudden liking to (blame it on her Yankee side), started to look at her brood and rally them for a safe and prompt exit.
“What is it Arona dearie?” Janet didn’t seem worried. She was a Surge Team member after all, and a zombilic epidemic (zombies energy coming from wormholes) wasn’t anything she couldn’t handle.
“I fear that although your presence is most delightful, we shall be on our way.” Arona’s old sabulmantium had shown persistent and remarkable hints of dragon energy in this dimension that, although a bit different and looking in her mind’s eye like red flying snakes bearing impossibly long mustache, resonated quite well —not to mention she was eager to part with such bizarre company.
“Alrighty, let’s keep in touch dearie,” Janet added, covering their escape, not without winking at Sanso as he was the last one to leave through the map portal, leaving her to look for her missing flushed friends, Mari Fe and Pearl.
Unbeknownst to everyone, the picture-taking lady had camouflaged herself to look like a red sofa nearby the hot pink leather chaise lounge in the corner of the room, and was documenting silently the promising epic battle of Janet and Riff Raff against the zombies.
And for sure, Janet was still ready to make good use of the pocket-sized forklift to move away all cumbersome bodies,… as there was bound to be casualties.
Pedro was birding again: “Do you know why I’m so fond of the time-space continuum,?
Besides that I thought it up… Besides you being in it… Besides puppies and kittens…
It’s because it can all seem so logical… so predictable… so real, when you want it to. Or, in the twinkling of an eye, you can choose to remember it’s not.”
“What an outstanding ball of blue bull’s dung,” Janet Mendyourhall laughed at the notification from her mobile that had distracted her from ogling the gas station boy.
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