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PAGE 9 CONTINUED
JENIFERI come to and find myself sitting on the floor in a circle with several other people and a man in a white coat.
PAGE 9 CONTINUED
PTGOooooo! She is such a feisty creature and soooo bossy!
PAGE 10 CONTINUED
PTGNow we all know that those orderlies can move quite quickly when they have to, and especially if they want to catch moi.
PTGI have persuaded my partner to return to the Confessional with the promise of an ice cream (if it hasn’t all melted yet)
PAGE 11 CONTINUED
In the workshop I give the password to the jeweler's assistant. In the back room is a door labeled "in case of elevators do not use fire." (You didn't think I would really say the password out loud where anyone could hear it - did you?) I've reached the compromised Cloud City tunnel.
My phone buzzes with a text message. Cash the ferret wants to know the turn rotation if three people are playing double solitaire. I shove the phone away.
I traverse the tunnel, looking for any tears in the local universum, or signs of actual physical construction of lairs (secret, evil or otherwise). Nothing, just a tunnel with nice stonework, lit by the occasional light bulb. Except by now I should have reached the intersection for the passage to the Dream Palace, and it isn't here.
I pull out the phone to access its location finder. Wait, what was Cash doing in the Griffin Stall? For that matter, where am I? The coordinates don't match up to any MC location I recognize - totally off the grid. Immediately I backtrack to the jeweler's workshop, and that entrance is missing as well. Just smooth stonework, as far as I can see. Which isn't very far as the tunnel now ends abruptly.
I'm lost in an uncharted tunnel, and I may not even be in the MC world anymore.
PTGWell there is no way that I can catch up with Jenny Wren, when she is on a mission.
PAGE 11 CONTINUED
JENIFERPogoRandy and I sit together in the ancient park with ice cream dripping down our lumpy heads.
'OH FOR FUC-"
PTG wrangles me once more. I struggle and bite. My serious pony tail has become askew.
I wrench free. "NO! Do you have ANY idea how many blood lotuses are required at my level?"
"PREACH!" PTG snaps his fingers. I'm glad he's back.
"I ACTUALLY put them on my wish list! I got THREE! LOVE my friends, but blew threw them in TWO days! You seriously want BLOOD LOTUSES?"
In the distance we hear screaming from a locked pantry.
We look to a still entranced Captain PogoRandy. "Well hellooo Penny! Where's Shadow?"
I groan. "FINE! I'll do the rounds!"
"Will you be okay alone?" PTG chews his broom. I touch his shoulder gently. "I'd never forget my PARTNER".
He smiles. I strap on several more bells, bows and feathers and leap off into the night.
I am accompanied by Cash - the ferret who taught me how to love. I feel serene in my quest.
But I punch George Lucas in the face. "That's for Jar Jar!"
GRIMI watch the - discussion? - between PTG and Jenifer with bemusement. It's much easier to watch this on a monitor than in person. Just as confusing, though.
PAGE 12 CONTINUED
I say to PTG, "You want to know why we need to hear Randy's history? Because it's different from the official Castle history. I'll listen to your history of the Castle, too, if you like, if you have one." PTG pretends to look away, omming.
"I think the Castle is breaking. It keeps trying to repair itself, but that makes it worse. Individually, we can't see it. Once the Winter Garden changes to the Summer Garden you never go back to it, you think it’s gone. But for someone new to the Castle, the only scene they visit is the Winter Garden. Both Gardens exist in the same place at the same time, but most people can only visit one."
Jenifer pounces on that. "MOST people?" Cash pops his head out of the tangle of her hair.
Randy explodes in incoherence I don't know how to transcribe. I hope it wasn't the conclusion to his story.
Jenifer snaps, "AttenSHUN!" and he stops. "I think he suffering from multiple personality disorder," she says.
I say, "So… when you don't use a quest to travel to the Binding Egg, what's the best way to get to the Castle from the Town? I usually walk."
Jenifer's jaw drops as she realizes that she unnecessarily went on rounds for a blood lotus. "But you get to keep the blood lotus!" I tell her.
"No, you don't," says Randy to me, very clearly. We all stare at him in surprise. "You don't walk. You open up that hole in the air, that aperture thing, and you're going to do it right now, for us."
I'm suddenly very nervous. "And where do you want to go?"
"To the Special Room."
JENIFER"No! NO MORE DOCTORS!" I run to sit on PTG's magical floating bench. "Take us to Portofino!" Nothing happens. "Aw this is broken!"
PAGE 12 CONTINUED
ZZZZ Visions of sugar plums dancing in me head ,tra la la la , WHAT were am I ??? why kin I no move?? ohcraponacracker I have done gone and did it lost me flipping mind TOTALLY, I thought I saw a Wabbit dat rascal of a Wabbit,, wait dis was a bigun I mean a huge un, NO NO NO Daddy Wabbit flew out of me grey matter and left Mamma Wabbit?? and all da dust bunnies wiff no Daddy say is no so.
Crack cracklel pop WTH ??? screens? dodads? controls? floating benches? gizmos? okay okay breath Cap ya be fine,,, lay still play dead like good old Pete, and Hooded Death at da card table,, I crack one eye open and peek around,,, oh okay I am right in front of The Wheel of Fortune, but wa happin to it ? it all cracked and empty?? NOOOO how we goin get goodies now diamonds , eggs, free spins?? I hear a very deep baritone voice from behind me as I grab my Sai ** instinck* voice says I need no assitance at the moment please come back later,,, Keeper ??? dat you?? calm Cap calm then I hear a loud screeeeeeeeeach and look at the Pit, da fire birdie is flapping her wings trying to fly away from da fire?? go birdie go dat way der be lots ice der to cool ya down in The Winter Garden,,, peeks around and sees Jenifer snoring so loud she goin burst da walls,
where is PTG??? I betcha in da Doll House sweeping up or in the Fabric Counter sweeping up needles , pins, threads, sparkels so no one will get stuck and blood ,, OMG no Blood all over da Lotus dat will bring da Vampeers to us I shake da heck outof Jen wait up you smidjit we gota get out of here ,,, JENNNNNNNNNN WAKE UPPPPPPPPPP you loonie Tunes,,,,,,,,
PTGI have almost succeeded in shutting out all extraneous thoughts and accompanying noise from my companions when that little bossy-boots Jenny Wren demands of my very comfortable chariot bench to be taken foreign parts. At least that is what I think she is saying since I have also borrowed those noise cancelling ear muffs from a passing sweet little avatar.
PTGI sit on a little mound in the middle of nowhere that I recognize, and contemplate where I am in the Great Scheme of things.