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      The fourth-age interim authority of the Team had given new directives. They were clear enough. The new wave was in full bloom and required utmost attention, so all the operatives in action had to temporarily suspend their missions pending review.
      Madame Li, for instance, was again in the middle of a food and water scare surge in Shangpoon, where bloated floating glowing gloating piglets were found roaming freely in the river of the city’s main water supply. And that was the least of those she had to corner these days in the most populous city of the country.
      Simply enough, they were required to pay attention to what they paid attention and gave importance to… Which wouldn’t solve most of the surges, most of them had sniggered when they heard the speech.
      “Or are they suggesting we are the ones creating the surges to get a rush of adrenaline, maybe?” Skye sighed.
      A bit of unwanted leave in all this craziness wasn’t something they all were used to, especially under the previous management, but for all that was worth, they seemed to all relish a bit of pressure release.
      “Relish that, old horseradish,” Pearl said “now I’m pretty sure they did overdo that religious stuff…”


        “Oh no, not Korea yet, it’s minus 18 degrees there!” Yann was busy throwing darts on the world map patafixed to the blank wall after a fashion.
        He’d spend the last hour trying to find a suitable and close enough destination to fly so as to activate his last one-month coupon-visa due to expire at the end of the month. But most of the attempts seemed to follow an unknown logic he wasn’t ready to go along with.
        “It’s starting to snow again in Paris, and it’s too far. Taipei or Kyoto don’t look much better than here…”
        He marked a pause, and breathing slowly, emptied his mind, following the tradition of the Güt lineage of Libetan alpacas. Then the solution to his predicament appeared to him as clear as broad daylight.
        “Alright then, Long Poon it is again the safest choice. And I could be back the 23rd, isn’t it great? Let’s just hope the booking will go easier than last time !”


          While stroking his mustache fondly, Ed Steam had the clearest realization that although he’d done that quite a few times in the past mostly to his advantage, it was a lot of work to rewrite timelines and figure out the hows and whens of everyone in his team.
          Maybe it was actually time for him to restore the original timeline while disappearing — by faking his own death to be certain nobody would thwart his carefully thought retirement plan. Then, he could also stop dyeing his mustache he figured… So many things to take care of, retirement would be so sweet.
          Although the Egyptian timeturner gave him all the time in the world, he actually felt like he’d lost already a great deal too much of it, and started to enact his plan without further ado.

          Procuring a body double was actually not so hard. The last surge had brought a few of them in Thrifteen’s Alley in their Moreguest Facility. A switch and a twist of the pocket portal and a zap and a blink of the miniaturizer was enough to get there and come back in seconds with a frozen pocket-size life-suspended body from the testing stock, with convincing enough miniaturized slim lips, safely put in a test tube in his waistcoat pocket.
          A six-shot cudgel from his artefact war trove was all he needed to make sure the amateur assassin in red robes they’d hired would be taken care of easily.
          Then, an enscombulator bedazzler ray spray would be enough to convince Mari Fe she’d managed to hit him, buying him time enough to then deminiaturize the thawed slim-lipped body double, to slip in his stead.
          Last, but not least, he would then have a few seconds to discombobulize Mari Fe while disappearing with a backup transportable portal. The plan was perfect. The original timeline restored in pristine conditions.
          Only for a few minor details of course. He’d almost forgotten to reprogram the mini-man in his pocket with enough memories for him to be a convincing Ed-himself sans la moustache of course. At least, for the short time he would survive (surge victims discovered still alive were placed in life suspension by the team, but this was mostly for medical analysis as they usually wouldn’t survive their conditions).
          Oh, and the bloody mustache of course… A squeeze of foolicle solventilator would be enough to make it temporarily invisible.

          Simple enough… Well, sandbagging Mari Fe would have probably conveyed similar results with minimal efforts, although the elegance of his plan, as well as the fact that he was loath to hit ladies did unmistakably weight in favour of it.

          And with that, he would be back in time for dinner.
          In fact, he already was.


          In reply to: Tales of Tw’Elves


            The world didn’t end that day.
            But maybe it should have, or at least the endless list of senseless rules, silly obligations, half-compromises and clever-yet-too-often-outdone-by-stupidity ploys to defeat them.
            Stuck in the middle of his twelfth failed attempt at booking a flight for the Land of the Long Cloud, he found himself dreaming of buying… well, no— buying was sorely overrated nowadays. With all the rules on how you could or could not spend your money, he’d found it impossibly difficult to buy his friend the new camera of his dreams.
            So, let’s dream of building something instead: a dream submersible airborne trailer, or maybe just a flying house with giant wheels, to soar above the pettiness of this world, and to go unfettered wherever fancy called.
            He knew why the shark tank in the department store had exploded last week, killing only the sharks and turtles. It probably wasn’t being boxed, as much as being forced to look everyday at the headless consumers that killed the creatures. Whatever the reason might have been, in all fairness, they’d managed to boldly go beyond the end of their world.


            In reply to: Strings of Nines


              Arona was starting to get cold in the pinkini. She wondered how the lady with the green hair managed to keep warm with so little (not to say as much as nothing) on her skin.
              She probably had some fuel more lasting than just Nhum.
              Upon seeing that (not the nakie lady, Flove forbid, but the freezing Arona and the night falling down), chivalrous Vinny and Bucky went to gather some bones and fire to spend the night around a nice bonefire. Just what she needed for a keetle of hot tea.

              Note from the observing Sue Maffey, who started quickly to get high and delirious on Nhum tea in chippendale cups and mumbled to herself and patient Minky-in-crutches in between a few hiccups: “you knew that a bonfire is actually a fire made of bones, originally said of fires in which the bones of slaughtered animals were burned, allegedly a Gaengelic tradition of the slaughter season in autumn (Samhain, which was soon to come).”
              She almost gasped wondering where their camelephants had suddenly gone and why that purple reckless dragon suddenly looked satiated.

              By now, almost everyone else who was there, including (but not only) Mandrake, Yickesy, Winky-nakie-greenie-Messmeerah-with-her-carved-jamón and Mrs Janet had thought the same at least once. That and wondering whether they’d ever get to see that famed Jiborium.
              So much for cheap package tours.


              In reply to: Snowflakes of Tens


                After having had a wheel ride in the garden, Grandpa Wrick came back a little less in-tense.

                “Mmm, I suppose this game isn’t as much fun as I expected. I want to give it another try, adding a little something more.” he said to the kids when their cartoon had finished. India Louise, Cuthbert, and their friends Flynn and of course Lisbelle (who had been quiet in the background, playing with her pet rabbit Ginger) started listening with a mild interest —the whimsical Lord Wrick having proved countless times he had no qualms at making a fool of himself, and thus at entertaining children.

                “What I want to achieve, by playing this game of snowflakes,” he said after a pause “is paying more attention at your stream of consciousness.”

                “You see, I’ve been reading the classical Circle of Eights countless times in my young age, and dear old Yurara didn’t have much interest in creating links between her narratives. This is what I want to do with this game: pay attention to the links.

                In this game of snowflakes, the stories (flakes) matter less than the links you build between them, and thus the pattern that is created.
                We have the choice to continue and detail the previous story, in which case, the link is obvious, or we may want to start another one. But we need to know what, from the previous entry, prompted you to create that special new story you are about to write or tell.

                Just like in a dream, when you explore a scene, some object will jump at your attention, and propel you to another dream story. Just like that, I want to spend more time exploring the transitions between each scenes and story blurbs that we tell. The links don’t necessarily have to be an object, of course not.
                It can be an idea, a theme, a music, virtually anything, provided that it can make some sense as to why it is used as a transition…”

                Seeing the children waiting for more, he pursued: “a good introduction to this game would be for you to try to follow your train of thoughts during the day. Try to do mentally that small exercise before you go to sleep, and remember the transitions of your whole day, and you’ll see how complex it can become, how often you pass and zap from one thing to another.

                Take even one event that lasts a few minutes like eating a honey sandwich at breakfast, can make you think of dozens of things like the texture of the bread, the fields of wheat, or the butter, the glass jar filled with honey and the bees that made it, the swarm of bees can carry you even further into another time, or towards a bear or into a movie maybe.

                I want that you pause to take time to break this down, so that your audience can follow the transition from one story to another, and that it makes perfect sense for them.”


                  “oh goodness me. Get out of his boots”. Tina resisted an urge to give Al something to do. He seems to spend alot of his time with a warm glass of fine French brandy.

                  Sam chuckled. “It’s constipation.”

                  Becky looked puzzled. “I just needed to get rid of that mummy.”


                  In reply to: Strings of Nines


                    When Phoebe had recovered all her memories she’d felt particularly annoyed at the Baron snatching her prize from her.
                    So far, that crystal skulls quest had been only a disaster. She’d been warned, but the temptation had been too great for her.

                    Now, she wanted to get back as soon as possible (which was her nicest way of saying “NOW”) to her dimensional interstitial home —that place that uninformed people would have called her evil lair, but that she preferred to think of as her little cottage.

                    However, to be able to travel through interdimensional puddles would have required to gain some speed, and without something like a tuned motorbike, it wouldn’t be easy nor practical. She hadn’t got that much time to spend on recreating her tools from scratch.
                    Brilliant as she were, it would still have required at least a few weeks, and the days she’d spent at this place had already been far too much to her taste for her to suffer one more —handcuffs entertainment notwithstanding.

                    Her hopes were high that Vincentius, her talking parrot would find her and bring her the key that was needed.

                    Then she would focus on her next quest. The artifacts of Rumbold the Pale, the famous Byzantine architect from the Renaissance.


                    In reply to: Strings of Nines


                      ~ “We are broadcasting today from planet Xavier.”~ wrote Rich Kendall, who was also online having a go at the radio exercise. ~ “The Happiness index on the Xavier stock exchange has gone up 75 points. It seems that a fellow named Morris Fishbaum has decided to stop berating himself for his supposed failures in the past, and has embraced a new self image. This change in Mr. Birnbaum has had a ripple effect automatically lifting up many others who also had been dwelling on past “mistakes.” Mr. Fishbaum’s metamorphosis leads analysts to forecast a new all time high for the Happiness Index within the next month. That’s the story from the Xavier financial markets and have a nice day.” ~

                      He continued: ~ “Morris Fishbaum is alive and well and living off the coast of Gibraltar
                      And rumor has it Morris has become very good friends with a local celebrity in Gibraltar that shall not be named except for the initials TM” ~

                      “Otherwise known as Teleport Moll”, Yoland pointed out.

                      ~ “Roy Gilroy was also mentioned in an article as to spending lots of time with Morris Fishbaum but that’s a whole other story.” ~


                      In reply to: Scrying the Word Cloud


                        is there some hidden message in that one? :-?

                        Spend random says georges
                        although malvina accent send family
                        friend inside odd questions thought
                        bea three work everywhere front details knew


                        In reply to: Strings of Nines


                          Back in January, her friend Ronda had asked her if she wanted to come with her to a seminar in Madrid, one of these loonatics seminar. She wasn’t interested herself in that kind of gathering of freaky people and she wouldn’t have accepted if Ronda hadn’t offered to pay for her expenses.

                          That was the perfect occasion and the perfect time, with the crisis her little enterprise was sinking rapidly and money had never been so scarce. Those would be the perfect holidays, even if she would have to spend some time among some loonatics.

                          So in March here they went in Madrid. The hotel was simply gorgeous and as they told the biggest in Europe.

                          It was perfect again.

                          Not that the rooms were big, though they were quite expensive, but there were so many sculptures and paintings, so many trinkets :raw-crystal: :crystal-skull: in the lobby and in the lounge… and there was a pool!!! She could see herself flirting :face-kiss: with one of those rich loonatics, always ready to spend money on glass pyramids that had properly been tachyonised :yahoo_hypnotized:

                          That’s where her life changed and that she realized she needed STRUCTURE in her life.

                          It happened during one of these meditations by a certain T’Eggy, a still active porn star, the favorite of Marvin Scrozzezi… and she was also doing seminars!!!
                          When she saw her, Patricia thought her face was familiar, and that’s when she saw the groupies in the first row, all of them wearing the leopard superstrings that had been made mass spread by her performance in the latest Marvin Scrozzezi. Patricia had one of them, but the superstring hadn’t resist her generous forms or she would have bring it to the party… well that’s another story.

                          T’Eggy was stressing the need of structure that they all needed in their lives and she made her points listened and watched with a few scenes of her recent and not so recent movies. Everybody was charmed and she made them laugh with her story about when she played the millionaire waiting for Bill the milkman…

                          Ronda was not really interested by T’Eggy and a bit shameful of her adoration of T’Eggy, Patricia had to sneak out during the break and she bought a few books, amidst which “The Pelvic Respiration” or “Release your Stress in a Gang Bang”. She also bought a few vials of the special Dr. B. Cream which said “Rejuvenate your Vagina”… apparently made with some blue spiders silk and venom. She went quickly in her room and hid her purchases in her suitcase before returning for the Channeled Music of the Chinese Swamps Monastery and the Channeling of the Big ErectoMagnetic Stick called Fryzon.

                          Patricia didn’t listen to all of that, she was already imagining all the ways she could structure her new life with the pelvic meditation.


                          In reply to: Strings of Nines


                            Yoland was inordinately pleased with her purchases, trifling though they were. She smiled at the little bottle of cherry red nail varnish, imagining how it would look on sun browned and callous free toes. Painted toe nails was one of life’s simple pleasure, she reckoned. Nothing fancy or expensive or uncomfortable, like her new brassiere, which had never the less given her spirits a bit of a lift, as well as her breasts, with its bright blue moulded foam shape. She wondered if she could suspend the brassiere and its contents from something other than her shoulders for once, but couldn’t see how it could be arranged and still allow a modicum of freedom of movement. Perhaps some of the new scientific discoveries that she was eagerly awaiting would include some kind of gravity and weight defying device, possibly helium filled foam support. Perhaps even in the future, anyone with a high squeaky voice would be described as a bra sucker. Or perhaps one day breasts worn on the waist would be fashionable. This thought made Yoland a bit uncomfortable, as she hadn’t really believed she was following fashion, but maybe she was after all.

                            Yoland wondered if she was verging on the ridiculous again, and decided that it didn’t matter if she was. There was something rather splendid, she was beginning to discover, about the mundane and the silly. Something serenely pleasurable about ~ well about everything she’d been taking for granted for so many years. The things she hadn’t really noticed much, while her mind was busy thinking and pondering, replaying old conversations, and imagining new ones, sometimes with others, but often with herself, inside the vast jumble of words that was her mind.

                            It was always a wonderful change of pace to go away on a trip, with its wealth of new conversations and words, events and symbols to ponder over later at her leisure, the many photographic snapshots providing reminders and clues and remembered laughs, but it was the renewed sense of appreciation for the mundane that was ultimately most refreshing about returning home.

                            The word home had baffled Yoland for many years. For most of her 51 years, if the truth be told. So many moves, so many houses, so many people ~ where, really, was home? She’d eventually compromised and called herself a citizen of the world, but she still found herself at times silently wailing “I want to go home”, but with the whole world as her home, it didn’t make a great deal of sense why she would still yearn for that elusive place called home.

                            Of all the words that swam in her head some of them seemed to keep bobbing up to the surface, attracting her attention from time to time. That was the funny thing about words, Yoland mused, not for the first time, You hear them and hear them and you understand what they mean, but only in theory. The suddenly something happens and you shout AHA, and then you can’t find any words to explain it! Repeating the words you’ve already heard a hundred times somehow doesn’t even come close to describing what it actually feels like to understand what those words mean. That kind of feeling always left her wondering if everyone else had known all along, except her.

                            Yoland was often finding words in unexpected places, and these were often the very words that were the catalysts. (Even the word catalyst had been one of those words that repeatedly bobbed to the surface of her sea of words). Her trip had been in search of words, supposedly, channeled words (although Yoland suspected the trip had been more about connections than words) and yet there had only really been one word that had stood out as significant, and oddly enough, that word had been watermelon.

                            That had been a lesson in itself, if indeed lesson is the right word. Yoland had been attempting to exercise her psychic powers for six months or more, trying to get Toobidoo, the world famous channeled entity, to say the word watermelon ~ just for fun. She couldn’t even remember how it all started, or why the word watermelon was significant ~ perhaps a connection to a symbol etched on a watermelon rind in Marseilles, which later became a Tile of the City. (Yoland wasn’t altogether sure that she understood the tiles, but she did think it was a very fun game, and that aspect alone was sufficient to hold her interest.) By the end of the last day of the channeling event Toobidoo still hadn’t said the word watermelon which was somewhat of a disappointment, so when Yoland saw Gerry Jumper, Toobidoo’s channel, in the vast hotel foyer, she ran up to him saying “Say watermelon.” The simple direct method worked instantly, where months of attempts the hard way had failed. Yoland felt that she learned alot from this rather silly incident about the nature of everyday magic, and this particular lesson, or we might prefer to call it a communication, was repeated for good measure the following day in the park.

                            Wailon, the other world famous channeled entity who was the star attraction of the Words Event, had proudly displayed photographic evidence of orbs at the lecture. Like Yoland had tried with the watermelon, he was choosing an esoteric and unfamiliar method of creating orbs, suggesting that the audience meditate and conjure them up to show on photographs, rather than simply creating physical orbs. Yoland and her friends Meldrew and Franklyn had chanced upon a beautiful glass house full of real physical glass orbs in the park, underlining the watermelon message for Yoland: not to discount the spontaneous magic of the physical world in the search for the esoteric.

                            It had, for example, been rather magical and wonderful to hear Gerry Jumper explain how he had mentioned watermelon to his wife on the previous day in the dining room ~ mundane, yes, but magical too. It would have been marvellous to create Toobidoo channeling the word watermelon for sure, but how much more magical to create an actual slice of physical watermelon in the dining room and have Gerry remark on it, and to have an actual physical conversation with him about it. Who knows, he may even remember the nutcase who spent six months trying to get him to say watermelon whenever he sees one, at least for awhile. It might be quite often too, as his wife is partial to watermelon. Yoland wondered if this was some kind of connecting link, perhaps the connection to Gerry and Cindy started in Marseilles and watermelon was the physical clue, the pointer towards the connection.

                            Perhaps, Yoland wondered, the orbs were the connecting link to Wailon, although she didn’t feel such a strong connection to him as she did to Toobidoo and Gerry Jumper. She had been collecting coloured gel orbs for several months ~ just for fun. There was often a connecting link to be found in the silly and the fun, the pointless and the bizarre, and even in the mundane and everyday things.

                            In the days following her return home ~ or the house that Yoland lived in, shall we say ~ she felt rather sleepy, as if she was in slow motion, but the feeling was welcome, it felt easy and more importantly, acceptable. There was nothing that she felt she should be doing instead, for a change, no fretting about starting projects, or accomplishing chores, rather a slow pleasant drifting along. Yes, there were chores to be done, such as watering plants and feeding animals and other things, but they no longer felt like chores. She found she wasn’t mentally listing all the other chores to be done but was simply enjoying the one she was doing. Even whilst picking up innumerable dog turds outside, she heard the birds singing and saw the blossom on the fruit trees against the blue sky, saw shapes in the white clouds, heard the bees buzzing in the wisteria. The abundance of dog shit was a sign of a houseful of happy healthy well fed dogs, and the warm spring sun dried it and made it easier to pick up.

                            It was, somewhat unexpectedly, while Yoland was picking up dog shit that she finally realized what some of those bobbing words meant about home, and presence, and connection to source. It seemed amusingly ironic after travelling so far (not just the recent trip, but all the years of searching) to finally find out where home was, where the mysterious and elusive source was. (Truth be told, some printed words she found the previous day had been another catalyst, by Vivian channeled by Wanda, but she couldn’t recall the exact words. Yoland had to admit that words, used as a catalyst, were really rather handy.)

                            Wherever you go, there you are ~ they were words too, and they were part of the story. Now that Yoland had come to the part where she wanted to express in words where home, and source, was, she found she couldn’t find the right words. In a funny kind of way the word vacant popped into her head, as if the place where the vast jumble of words was usually housed became vacant, allowing her to be present in her real physical world. It really was quite extraordinary how simple it was. Too simple for words.



                            In reply to: Synchronicity


                              This afternoon I felt motivated to spend some time here, for the first time in ages. I was in the story section, Circle of Eights Part 2, where there is the nut story line and of course the quote from the infamous Lemone chap.

                              we’re all nuts anyway; different flavours thereof, but nuts nonetheless, peanuts, peacan or up the wall-nuts

                              While I was reading a parcel was delivered to the door, which turned out to be a box full of of bags of nuts; cashews, peanuts, pistachios, chocolate almonds … (it was a hospitality industry advertising thing, which was completely unexpected .. cool! and YUM! )


                                “The fellowship didn’t know it was possible…”

                                What was possible?

                                “The fellowship didn’t know it was possible that the publication be suspended for a moment.”

                                What does that mean? Where and who am I?

                                “A new babe essence… at least in this particular blink.”


                                  The two roses of Jericho had almost completely dried up, furled again into a tight ball exhaling a slightly pungent odor.

                                  Yurick was impressed by the genius of this plant, which could die and “resurrect” countless times, while spending most of its time in this dried up state, only waiting for some water to revive it.

                                  Perhaps essence was a Rose of Jericho too; he meant his wider self, he could feel it springing from the moisture of new prospects and challenges, then slowly crawling back to a state of balance. These last past days were a sort of clearing of the rest of the waters of the year. Things were looking a bit shriveled on the outside, but you could feel life and impetus was there, if only dormant…

                                  Funnily, these two didn’t have any names, unlike Sha and Glo the aerial plants, which were still kind of resting on an empty beige egg carton upon the white toilets in the bathroom, where light, moisture (and aerial nutrients) surely never failed to float around.
                                  It was funny, he thought all of a sudden; looks like the little hairy plants are travelers upon a big iceberg… What a funny story this would make.

                                  So, the roses didn’t have names… If they were essences of roses, what would be their focuses?

                                  Well, what was imagination telling him? He could easily imagine them as sort of strange mummies who would dry up into balls of dried flesh and sinews and being revived sometimes during the flood seasons. Actually with the news of Venice (and next Rome) being flooded if there were some old mummies suddenly revived from old times and prolonged lyophilization, that could be a place to start. Well, they probably would have a hard time coping with all the changes and the pace of this time.
                                  Alabama or Louisiana would be fun places to have some too… Funny mummies…


                                    Elizabeth!” Godfrey strode into the room, and slapped the Reality Times down on her desk. “How dreadfully embarrassing! Your economy is considered to be a basket case, it’s in the news for heavens sake!”

                                    “I never economize, Godfrey, what on Ooh are you talking aboot?” replied Elizabeth tartly.

                                    THE economy, Liz, not your housekeeping affairs!”

                                    “What housekeeping affairs, dear? Do calm down, Finnley takes care of all that”

                                    Godfrey flung himself into an overstuffed armchair, running the back of his hand across his brow. “Perhaps it’s because your currency is the Illusion, Liz. People are afraid to buy things with illusions you know.”

                                    “Well, there’s not alot of point in hoarding illusions is there? I had no idea the general poopulace was hoarding illusions, honestly, you just can’t get the poopulace these days, not like the oold days when everyone was spend spend spend….well, what do you suggest?”


                                      “Hey! Look at that Bea!”
                                      “What?” Beattie answered distractedly
                                      “A flyer for a friggin’ Christmas Boulder Moving Party ! Bugger if I want to go there and spend euros on stupid gifts! Spoiling the fun on the snowy mount, innit a shame?”
                                      “Mmmm mmm”
                                      “What’re you looking at Bea for Pete’s sake! You’re not even listening to a word I just said!”
                                      “Shhht Leo, that old bat of Barb has found another treasure of a book, it’s full of tattoos designs ; I’d love to get one.”
                                      “You’re kiddin’?!” Leonora was dismayed “And where would you put the fucker? On your hips with all your cellulite, it’ll look like a bloated wrinkled balloon in no time at all!”
                                      “Yeah, been thinkin’ of that for a while… I think I’ve got a good smooth n’ firm place for it though…”
                                      “Don’t tell me…”
                                      “Yes, on my butt!”


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

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

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

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

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


                                          Balbina had had a quite difficult week. Feeling cold, having trouble to find sleep, not even speaking of being unable to do the kind of out-of-body travel she had managed to do last time.
                                          She was almost starting to doubt she could redo it again.

                                          Of course, the relocation at her son’s cottage was a source of much change in her habits, and although he wasn’t at home most of time, she wasn’t really feeling like she was ‘at home’. Strangest thing really, as for the time she was at the hospice she wasn’t feeling as much an alien as in this cottage. At least, at the hospice, she was in a sort of neutral environment, some place where she wasn’t undesirable (would it be asking for too much to actually be desirable at her age?). Here, the environment wasn’t neutral at all; everywhere everything reminded her of her son: his books, the posters, even the dust on the coffee table was almost looking as though it was his own.

                                          So she had to adjust. Contort her energy to fit —to crumple herself!— into this place, as it would be likely she would spend quite some time here. She wasn’t asking for much really, as she wasn’t able to move from the bed he’d had installed in the spare room. Ghastly room, with a creepy wallpaper from a has-been era of the past days, year 2000 or close she’d guess, gaudy as it was… oriented to the south, with hardly bearable heat during the day. She would have loved to see the coast on the north, but instead, the only window was showing her the shade of the trees, and that ominous alligator-green mountain just behind.

                                          If she couldn’t project in her dreams as she managed to do before, she would soon either die of boredom or of heat. She wasn’t too sure which one would be the most painless and efficient.

                                          She pushed the button to have her bed roll a little closer to the window; once straightened up a bit, she was able to see the passageway to the mountain. She couldn’t explain why she didn’t like this mountain; it was quite beautiful; perhaps she feared to be lost and abandoned. All the more since she could feel so much presence in this environment. Unseen presence, and trickster ones too.

                                          She was tired, and yawned so much her tense jaw’s muscles ached.

                                          On the emerald path to the forest, a moving teal wisp of light caught her attention. Funny plays of light at this hour of the day. But the wisp was persistent, and it started to move towards her.

                                          “Good day Balbina!”

                                          The crazy rabbit was back again. And… she was sleeping? In or out?

                                          “In or out, smell my foot, it’s your choice, and matters not
                                          but be quick, and come forth, for Anita and her folks this wicked way come!”

                                          “The tune is set, the tunnel is close
                                          Of playfulness you’ll need a hefty dose”


                                            Al was greatly pleased to see that the telepathic communication between themselves was going better by the day.

                                            With Becky in her plane to Long Pong talking to Tina in New Venice, while he and Sam were listening on their way to the dolphins ranch of their friends Marfisa and Rogero in the Floridisles

                                            … what a great pleasing way it was, to spend the time of the trip!

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