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  • #3449

      The Master Builder’s verdict was hard to swallow.

      “Your Holiness?”

      The P’hope knew his options were limited, but somehow he had hoped, in spite of the King’s disappearance, in spite of the odds, that somehow he could manage to keep the City afloat.
      But the beanstalk’s wilting was not something that could be stopped, and the aphids were just one manifestation of the rampant symptoms. Like all living things, there was an expiry date, a deep-rooted belief in death that trumped all the efforts.
      The only thing they could do was to prepare for a difficult landing, and salvage what could be salvaged of his beautiful City of Karmalott.

      “Your Holiness?”

      “I heard you the first time, Downson.” The P’hope carefully removed his silver zucchetto and put it aside.
      “We need to prepare for evacuation. Have the Sentries prepare all the storks and cranes they can find. Send a detachment of Magi to secure an encampment at a safe landing spot. Then give orders to evacuate all the people you can.”

      “What about you, Your Holiness?” Downson’s question was likely to be pure formality, but Jube answered nonetheless

      “I’ll go to an ancient place, the source of power of this island. I wished I could avoid it, but if there is a glimmer of hope, it is my holy duty to follow it.”

      “Shall we send people to escort you?”

      “No, I would prefer to go there alone. It is the kind of powerful places one would prefer to visit alone than badly accompanied.”

      “Then, good luck to you.”

      “As well, Downson.”


        “Sir Ed, be a darling, summarise the messages. I can’t read 257.”

        Linda’s ezapper responded immediately: “Messages received over 48 hours. Sadie is invisible and requests transfer to 2222.”

        Fuck! I knew that! A wave of something akin to panic swept over her. She took a deep breath.

        “Anything else I should know?”

        “Management applied a temporary memory block to enable you to complete USB mission without distraction. The block has now been removed and full memory returned. Management are not in favour of the girl returning to 2222 at this stage and strongly suggest that you maximise the learning potentials of the invisibility scenario and determine the method of cloaking being utilised in order to assess the feasibility of, and probabilities for, future successful outcomes of Management objectives.”

        Linda sighed. The laughter of a group of young children playing tag in the distance drifted over. For a moment she wished she could deposit the ezapper in the trash can along with the USB stick and just walk away. Far away.

        “Plain english, Sir Ed.”

        “You need to get your butt over to Sadie and find out how she did it.” Sir Ed’s tone was appropriately sympathetic.


          “He’s escaping!” Cheung Lok shouted in Chinese to the others.

          It seemed the scene had already played thousands of times in his mind, with various outcomes and different potential scenarios.

          Cheung Lok was struggling to understand why his choice of potential had finally left him in that New York apartment littered with maps, instead of following Jeremy and his strange cat to wherever they had disappeared.
          Somehow, it felt as if he’d been there, but had rewinded the action and chosen a different outcome.

          Not afraid of a good Chinese puzzle, he’d decided to meditate on it. He’d sent his henchmen back to the Corporation, so there was no distraction in the apartment. The summer heat was receding slowly with the sun setting, and a soft breeze made the paper blinds rustle to an irregular tempo.

          There was no point focusing on the tracking bug’s signal which he’d served in the sea cucumber dish to his guest, as its signal was now gone, and not even reliable. He even started to wonder if following such a fickle and capricious man was his way to the lost robot prototype.

          The meditation was soothing, if anything else, and his mind felt at peace for a while. Gone was the pressure of performance and success, gone were the merciless and faceless bosses to whom he reported. He was at peace. With the world, with himself, his choices, and even his vanished adversaries.

          When he opened his eyes, only a small ray of sunlight was left in the room, falling on a piece of lintel that seemed off.
          He sprung to his feet with the agility of a leopard, and with a swift and precise movement of his hand, removed the piece of sky blue panel. Under it, well hidden in a dusty corner, he found a crumpled bit of green paper that was probably hastily placed here before his team rammed the door open.

          Unfolding the paper, he smiled as it revealed a wonderfully drawn moving map.


            It hadn’t been easy to obtain Sadie a pay raise. The management always seemed to look for new ways to cut the costs wanted to give her an extra for the good job. Although this time, LP could put the golden balls and the rebirth of the network in the balance. They could have had enough to give the whole team a decent salary. Indeed, it wasn’t really fair that the young queens were not paid at all. Unless of course you counted props, wigs and fake eyelashes. Eventually, Linda got Sadie the extra and the raise she had asked for, and new contracts for the three young queens. She shall not forget the tears of joy in their eyes when she announced them they were part of the big Queer Network family. It had made her feel good and generous even if it was not her money she was giving.

            Linda Pol wrapped her luscious lips around an authentic straw and sucked up voraciously the glowing rainbow cocktail. Mmmmm, this new Peas’cocktail is divine, she thought. After the buzz created by their last network and that mysterious quest of Saint Germain for Peasland, peas-thingies were everywhere. She put the glass back on the edge of the Jacuzzi and looked at the little magenta umbrella for a moment. She didn’t know what was the most pleasing, the bubbles gently massaging her back in the water, or the gorgeous scenery of the Merry Otter resort in Maui. Linda Pol hadn’t had good vacation in a long long time, and if she had been in vacation this place could totally be one of her first choices destinations.

            Unfortunately, she wasn’t there for vacations or relaxation. She wasn’t there for exercise either. She had been asked to attend a conference and meet with one of those new Random Science scientists specialized in the ambergris tiles. As if it was a joke from the Universe, her name was Amber Graystone. But Linda Pol had long learned that there were no such thing as unusualness, you just hadn’t seen enough of the world.

            A boy came to refill her cocktail. Girl, you spend too much time looking at young bums, she thought, ageing beliefs were everywhere. She was feeling drowsy with the bubbles and the alcohol, almost dreaming of whales and ambergris.

            “… Graystone is taking her job too seriously”, said a man’s voice.

            Linda Pol opened her eye, just enough so that her fake eyelashes could still hide she was awake. When she was young, her curiosity had put her in trouble more times than the number of her pair of shoes. She had developed strategies and an incredible butt recognition skill. It had helped her win many contests in her youth and avoid boring conversations later on.

            The two men wore bath suits. Linda could clearly see that one of the butts was slack and lifeless. Almost avoiding the contact with the fabric. An American butt fed with hamburgers and soda. The rest of the silhouette seemed to naturally spread out from its central component.

            The other one moved like a mustang, the shiny red lycra was only here to help you see more clearly the outline of the flesh, not hide it. The curve of the bottom of the spine indicated a Russian ancestry. She felt a rush of adrenaline. She loved how Russians rolled their Rs. They could do many things with a rolling tongue.

            “You want me to take carrre of herrr ?” asked a voice carrying ice.

            “No, just remind her to whom she owes her subsidies. And her results.”


              “Good time for a segment of refreshment” was Sanso’s words of goodbye, as he left them retching sea water out of their system, and taking welcome gulps of air in the fresh cave of la Sormiou, just a few knots off Marseille’s harbour.

              Linda Paul was impatiently chain-smoking outside while waiting for them near the dildo-truck, excited for a follow-up confidence sequence about the last show.
              In truth, she would have loved to lead them herself in their adventures, but despite her saying the contrary, had chickened out at the last minute. A few months ago, the show’s had moved away from the initial pitch which was supposed to have only her as the main cast and star. It then shifted into the broadcast pilot with the other junior queens competition.
              Her personal guru, Ganeshki had told her it had to do with beliefs of ageing, and she would have plucked his eyelashes out of his head. That was no thing to say to a lady.
              But then, he was a bit right.
              She crushed the butt under her high-heels. Nasty habit.
              Not the butts, she tittered at the thought, but the chain-smoking. A fucking lot of beliefs with it too, she didn’t need Ganeshki to realise it.

              At last, they all emerged, not looking particularly good, even if she noticed the effort to puff out their wet wigs.

              “Oh, honey, is that kelp in your wig?” she disdainfully picked up a bit of algae from Terry’s hair. “Well, you all look…” she searched for words and broadened her smile “smashing!”.

              Sadie, honey, you did such a marvellous job”. She leaned closer lowering her voice to confide “That wasn’t a piece of cake, I will give you that”

              “Well, Linda, now you mention it, I’d like a raise. And less working hours.”


                With years of intense Happiness training, and being herself a certified Happiness Coach™ in Rainbow Unified Bliss®, Lisa was reasonably adept at dispelling the occasional bouts of frustration that the six time travelers were experiencing while familiarizing themselves with the new time frame. Learning the new languages, both the local Spanish and the common language of the village tribe, English, was of paramount importance, and Mirabelle in particular was having difficulties. A basic vocabulary was easy enough, but when it came to grammar, Mirabelle was hopeless. Thus her communications were of a very basic and rudimentary nature, and she often felt unable to express her feelings, or her thoughtful observations on the many nuances, similarities and differences and overlaps of the current time and 18th century France. Not only was she obliged to learn two new languages, but was also learning to read and write. Often it seemed like all work and no play, too much pressure to perform, to learn, to do well at her studies, and yet play breaks were always frustrated in some manner because of her difficulties in communicating clearly. The fact that the others were progressing better with the languages made her feel alone, adrift in a sea of her own unexpressed thoughts.
                Adeline had a more relaxed approach to the language difficulties, less inclined to struggle with it and more likely to chatter endlessly to Boris instead, and ask him to translate when she needed some help. She had discovered an interest, and some considerable talent, in the art room, experimenting with the paints and materials, and spent many happy hours engrossed in her paintings and playful collages of mundane (but to her, bizarre) objects. She was like a magpie, collecting items that caught her eye. The bright colours and smoothness of plastic appealed to her, especially when transformed in shape by one of those odd little plastic fire making gadgets. Sunglasses were another favourite, especially the different shades of lens. It was not unusual to hear one of the villagers complaining that the lids to the tupperware containers were missing, or all the bottle tops had been removed, to find they had all been glued together, with the flyswatter, a few odd flipflop beach shoes and the mirror lenses out of someones shades. But the villagers were on the whole amused, generously indulgent, and good naturedley rolled their eyes at her creative curiosity.
                Boris was practical and capable, and true to form, was learning rapidly. He had no particular desire to express vague rambling thoughts (indeed, he was not a vague and rambling man by nature) and turned his attention to more practical matters. When he wasn’t chatting to Adeline, he was watching Jack tinkering inside car engines, or playing with Pierre’s camera and had quickly learned how to upload and play with the images on the computer. Often in the evenings Adeline would sit beside him and watch drowsily as the images changed in front of her eyes on the screen.
                Ivan and Igor were learning what they needed to learn while doing it ~ tending the goats and chickens, working outside on the land, or helping with various building projects. They had taken to the local bars like ducks to water, and spent the evenings downing copious amounts of beer and wine with the locals, all of them babbling and shouting incoherently, but seeming to understand each other in the camaraderie of inebriation.


                  – 346:
                  RICHARD: I guess I have a question about incarnations or parallel realities. Do humans experience focuses as other species, and specifically dolphins? ‘Cause I had an experience with a powerful hallucinogen at one time, that I was actually remembering of a time when we were all — or I and other people that I was with — dolphins. I mean, it sounds crazy!

                  But then as I’ve been reading about it, I heard about this tribe in South America, where you mentioned I had a previous focus. It’s an area where there are these pink dolphins that actually are said to be able to shift their body structure. It sounds crazy, but I’ll just throw it out there anyway! They change their appearance and come out of the water basically, and then go back. The tribe that lives there protects these dolphins. If anybody goes anywhere near them trying to harm them, they will kill them, and it’s out of love, not anger.

                  I’m just very intrigued by this particular species of dolphins. I’m just wondering, ‘cause I really had a close … I mean, I had an experience where I thought I was breathing … I mean, I was under the water in a hot tub for five minutes! So it was just because of my belief system, maybe, that I was not needing to breathe air anymore? (Pause) I guess that’s a question! (Laughing)

                  ELIAS: Very well. This … you may not be discounting yourself in this in your questioning, and not holding fearfulness with myself that I shall view this as an inconsequential question, for in actuality, this is an interesting question.

                  Early within the onset of these sessions, I offered information to this particular species, and that species which you term to be whales in this physical dimension. I have expressed that creatures within this dimension do not hold essence, but are created by you, which IS essence, although they are consciousness. But I have also expressed previously that these two particular species of creature within this dimension have moved into an area of assuming essence.

                  Now; at the time framework that I was discussing this physically with individuals previously, this action had not yet occurred, but was very close, as I was expressing. Within this present now, this is accomplished, that these particular creatures are also an expression of essence, and choosing to be manifest within this dimension NOT in the physical form of your species.

                  Now; as to the addressment of these particular creatures in this area of South America and your myths surrounding these creatures, these are not myths, they are not stories, and they are not what you term to be imagination.

                  In the experimentation of manipulating consciousness to be creating of essence, these particular creatures engage the action altering form, allowing the connection of the physical manifestation of essence within this dimension to be holding an accurate understanding and empathic sense of your species and to be creating of a connection physically, a knowing, but also recognizing that the choice is not to be manifest as essence in the form of your species, but to be manifest in this other species.

                  Now; within this present now, all of the species of this particular creature — dolphins, and also your whales — are manifestations of essence, unlike all of your other creations of creatures within this dimension.

                  This opens the window for much misunderstanding. Therefore, I shall clarify, for this is not to say that your creatures are lesser than you. They are different, for they are a creation of you. They are not essence. They are your creations, but they also are, in a manner of speaking, a part of you, just as your finger is not your entire body, but it is an element of you. Your dogs or your elephants are an extension of you. They are a creation of yours. Your dolphins and your whales are not. They are their own expression. They are their own essences.

                  RICHARD: And now, they’re creating their own realities.

                  ELIAS: Correct.

                  RICHARD: So then that has come about recently and will be a notable, dramatic change.

                  ELIAS: Correct.

                  In this, you have allowed yourself a similar experience in allowing yourself to empathically experience these other manifestations of essence, allowing yourself the experience of the dolphin in like manner to those particular dolphins which have offered themselves the experience of your species.

                  RICHARD: But when they did that, that experience, that was before they were essence. Wouldn’t that be a creation of our consciousness at that time, that caused them to take on a human form?

                  ELIAS: No! This has been their choice as consciousness, moving in the direction of creating essence for themselves within consciousness.

                  In that, they have created their experimentation with form within this dimension. This was an element of their choice, to experiment in their exploration of whether they shall participate within this dimension in similar form to you, or continue to manifest within the form they have chosen but incorporating essence. Therefore, there has been a time framework of experimentation of shifting shape.

                  Now; within this present now, this continues, but not for the same reason. This continues occasionally as a playful act, for they hold the knowing — unlike yourselves — objectively that they hold the ability to shift shape.

                  You also hold the ability to be creating this, but you do not offer yourselves the objective knowing of this. Therefore, you do not manifest this.

                  RICHARD: How? How do we do it?

                  ELIAS: Ha ha! (Grinning, and laughter)


                    They arrived to the tunnel, it was almost dawn. Sanso spotted a ghostly flicker near the entrance. The cave network was guarded by a kind of protective spirits who checked your mission order so they could establish the right connection between the way in and the way out.
                    Sanso felt a twinge of irritation as he recognized the ghostly figure.

                    “Rifraf”, said Sanso as affable as he could manage.

                    “Stop”, said Rifraf with a tone cold enough to freeze your spine. “You know the procedure”, he added with his hand stretched in front of him.

                    Sanso looked into his rough leather bag to find the mission order. He could swear that the objects and papers had moved on their own while he wasn’t looking. It was a mess. He looked carefully at the paper he found and handed it to the guard. Rifraf seemed to have slowed his movement on purpose. He looked at the document. He looked at it again, looked at Sanso briefly, and at the document again.

                    “This document is incomplete, you can’t pass”, said the spirit.

                    Sanso looked at the mission order and realized that he had handed the copy. The original had two curly fleurons on the top and on the bottom. That’s why he didn’t like this one, he was a bit too rigid about the protocole.
                    Where was this … document ? Sanso looked in his bag frantically as Rifraf was beginning to disappear. Here it was. “Hold on”, he said to the ghost. he checked quicky if there was no other typo or missing element. Everything was there. He just hoped Rifraf would say nothing about the grease stains.

                    The guard snorted and nodded, as if reluctantly. He waved his hand and blue torches began to light up, showing the way.

                    “Follow the blue lights”, said Rifraf and he disappeared.

                    Sanso felt the warmth flowing back in his bones. When Sadie looked out the window, he was feeling much better. “What is taking so long ?”, she asked with a frown.
                    “Administration”, he said with a grin.

                    She answered with an eye-roll and her head disappeared in the coach. The sun was rising.


                      Stonehenge had moved. Standing stone circles don’t usually move, but this one did. For the reason that nothing is cast in stone, I suppose. Not quite sure yet where to reposition it. There are four standing stones, now, and not five. Or you could say there are now six instead of five, but two are quite short now. After the branch pruning days (some pruned by the wind and some pruned by chainsaw) (when is a fig branch not a fig? when it’s a prune), today was a digging and planting day in the less shady garden. A previously unusable area was now liberated from permanent shade, and a particularly good crop of seedlings meant that it was immediately usable. Hence, the unceremonious removal of the ceremonial stones. The stone circle was now a pile of stones, a stone heap without a plan ~ but with endless possibilities.


                        The fresh breeze on her face awoke Aqua Luna. She struggled a moment to open her eyes, and realized that it was completely dark around her. The floor she was lying on was soft and spongy, and when she moved to sit the soil emitted a weak suction noise as if full of water. But it was dry, that she could tell after so many years of cleaning. And the smell on her finger was merely that of her familiar detergents.
                        She was feeling a bit numb and in a neutral mood. She couldn’t remember how she arrived here. She hesitated a moment and asked “Where am I ?” Her voice sounded muffled and distant to her.
                        “You’re on my ship,” an unknown male voice answered after a few seconds.
                        “Why is it so dark?”
                        “I didn’t want to frighten you.”
                        “Am I a prisoner ?” she asked, checking if she could feel something else past the numbness. “Are you going to torture me ?” she probed with no more success with her feelings.
                        “To the contrary, earthling, you are a very valuable person to us.”
                        She thought about her work. Maybe the Long Poonese mafia abducted her to extract some information.
                        It was so dark that colors and shapes were beginning to appear before her eyes.
                        “Did you drug me ?”
                        “It was a necessary precautionary measure for your own good. “


                          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.


                            “Honey, we’re shrunk!” explained Bee. “Remember that jelly baby I gave you half an hour ago? It was a miniaturizing potion. We’re inside the Magpie shaped teapot on the shelf in the kitchen.”

                            “That would explain the strange shape of this room and the curved chimney alright, but what to we do next?”

                            “Well, there’s a snag.” said Bee. “The re-enlargement jelly babies are still in the bathroom. We’re going to have to find a way back there.”

                            Just then the sound of muffled voices became louder and closer. “Anyone fancy a cuppa?” they heard Pearl asking.

                            And then the earth moved. Bee and Mari Fe were hurtling from one side of the teapot to the other, crashing into each other, trying to find something to hold onto on the slippery walls.


                            In reply to: Tales of Tw’Elves


                              “Who else?, as a matter of fact, Dr Whoohelz,” he winked unapologetically.

                              “Oh, that?” he added knowingly to the glaring lady. “Did you know pink tutus made from pink panthers’ hides are a symbol of power in most old African countries.”

                              Meanwhile, Luigi, the hapless driver and his scooter, and the land beneath them had moved and groaned a good few meters further away from the doctor.


                              In reply to: Tales of Tw’Elves


                                Luigi recalled reading something about the kraken, that it was sometimes mistaken for an island. Some of the more far fetched notions said the kraken moved so slowly that he could be mistaken for an island for many thousands of years in between each blink of his eye. On the other hand, some said that the real danger to sailors was not the creature itself but rather the whirlpool left in its wake. The idea of a kraken on crack awakening with anything like a relative alacrity would create a whirlpool of considerable propertions, Luigi surmised. He hoped the government would come up with a plan to keep it sleeping awhile longer. At least until he’d heard some news of Flinella.


                                In reply to: Tales of Tw’Elves


                                  The elves, representatives of the twelve continents of the earth, removed their attention from the discarded blood soaked bodies. On each of the other continents, each of the twelve elves had another s’elf, and in such instances of the demise of the physical body of the s’elf, the elves would simply remanifest another body. The elves were assisting in the adaptation of the inhabitants to the new land mass arrangements of the new earth (which was literally now more correctly called earth, as there was more earth than salt water; many wondered why the previous earth hadn’t been called “sea”).


                                  In reply to: Strings of Nines


                                    Arona had indeed been devastated by the loss of her chippendale.

                                    “Oh, thank you Buckberry,” she exclaimed joyfully. “My great Aunt, twice removed on my father’s side, Auntie Shelly Dwelling, gave me this beautiful chippendale tea set when I was just a little girl … before she disappeared in very strange circumstances … or so the story goes. Clever you to find it. I can make Nhum tea now!”

                                    “This makes no sense at all,” sniffed Mandrake, privately wondering if he had better dispose of the Nhum when Arona was otherwise occupied. He did prefer things to make sense and clearly this Nhum Bhum stuff was messing with Arona’s head. Which is silly enough at the best of times.

                                    Vincentius is taking a long time. Perhaps we should see if he is okay and then we can all have a nice cup of tea in my beautiful tea set,” enthused Arona.


                                    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


                                        There was no place like home, notwithstanding that home could be considered to be anywhere at all. Home in this case was Blithe’s patio one balmy September evening. Citronella candles flickered on the table, and coloured fairy lights strobed in strings along the facade of the house. A rosy glow emanated from the bedroom window and Blithe took a snapshot, noticing later the fly screen visible, overlayed onto the bedroom scene. Not only was the view of the bedroom limited by the width of the camera lens, it was also limited in the sense that the wire screen was obscuring almost half of what would have been visible if the photograph had been taken from the other side of the screen, or, with no screen at all in between the lens and the view of the room. However, despite having such a partial view of the whole, the remainder that was viewable was still identifiable as a bedroom.

                                        Blithe wasn’t about to remove the screen however, because it was doing its job of screening, or filtering out, the unwanted insects. That wasn’t to say that she was denying the existance of those insects, or that they weren’t welcome on the other side of the screen, just that she was selectively screening the unwanted items from a particular scene. If, for example, the room was full of insects, Blithe might have been preoccupied with them, to the exclusion of whatever else she might have preferred to focus on within the bedroom. Out on the patio, however, the insects were, if not always entirely welcome, appreciated. The praying mantis and the dragonfly were welcome, and the butterflies and moths were always welcome, because Blithe had associated the energy of those insects with familiar welcome energies. The wasps, flies and ants were not translated in the same way, but were appreciated for entirely different reasons, being an aid to exploring such issues as irritation (and occasionally, pain). Blithe had to admit that despite the praying mantis and dragonfly being welcome, it would not be true to say that they were welcome in the bedroom, however.

                                        There had been times when Blithe wished that the whole patio was enclosed in screens, but the trouble with screens was that they tended to filter out everything of a certain size, although perhaps that was more a beleif about physical screens than anything else. Was it possible to filter out flies and wasps, but allow dragnflies and butterflies? Possible surely, she thought, but perhaps not with physical wire screen devices and associated beleifs.

                                        A few days previously Blithe had cleaned the mesh filter on her kitchen tap, unrestricting the flow. Coincidentally, her friend had also had a tap mesh restricted flow incident, and had removed the mesh filter altogether. Another friend had removed a window screen for cleaning, and had chosen not to replace it, as she was appreciating the allowance of much more light. And then another friend had mentioned a dream, of dragonflies under a screen that was covering a pool. She had lifted the screen in the dream, to allow the dragonflies to escape, and yet some of the dragonflies chose to stay under the screen.

                                        Intrigued with the words screen and mesh, which meant the same thing in one respect, but not in others, Blithe investigated the definitions. To screen could be to filter out the unwanted, but to mesh was to weave together. But were they so different, really? A screen was also a blank place on which to project images ~ meshed and woven selectively screened and filtered images, perhaps.

                                        {link ~ weaving}


                                        In reply to: Strings of Nines


                                          “Have you noticed?” Yurick asked Yann
                                          “You didn’t notice!… that we moved near the Robespierre road?”
                                          “Yeah, and what?”
                                          “Robespierre,… that one must have been a secret Peaslander too; after all, didn’t he end up losing his head like the rest of ‘em?”


                                            Peanelope wiped a tear from her eye as she looked at her mantelpiece. She had removed the blubbit chasing trophies, Pee’s pride and joy, and replaced them with the four heads of her dear family.

                                            “Come home safe, my pretty ones’” she whispered.

                                            A moment later, spying something on Pickle’s chin, she leaned forward for closer inspection.

                                            “Marmite dribble! Good Lord boy, you aren’t going through the portal with marmite dribble on your chin. They will say I am an unfit mother!”

                                            With a hanky she wiped the offending spot away, relishing the fact that, for once, Pickle could not answer her back. Unfortunately Pickle, although endowed with her own fine looks, had inherited his father’s raucous voice.

                                            “That’s much better,” she said proudly, “What a fine looking family you all are. Even you, Gnarfle,” she added after reflection. “Sometimes I forget you are a dog, you certainly feel like one of the family.”

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