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Deal 1049: Fishy

This morning we set out on a test run. If it goes well, we might just press on from there, but we also planned to return to Gwen’s palace and regroup if needed. I’ve been soaking op knowledge about this world. Hopefully most of what I remember is true and useful. I also feel like my memory is about is reliable as a birdcage. It captures things, but possibly only the big, flashy, important bits. The small bits tend to find a way to be unaccessible when I want them.

We are back to the river as a start. There’s a fish here somewhere who worked with one of the last successful visitors. If we can find him and get him to talk, we might learn a few tricks. Tricky bit here is that all anyone seems to remember was that there was a fish. Not what kind of fish, how big a fish, how mean a fish… just fish. At the same time, saltwater fish are a lot fussier to keep alive, so the smart money’s on it being of the freshwater persuasion.

Our pattern at each stop on our journey is simple: first dodge any indoctrination efforts, then continue on our way in search of fish.

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Deal 1048: Glimpses

spiked all over
hardly any safe approach
unless it’s pumpkin

Facing down the wild porcupine on the patio naturally fell to me, and swiftly became an ad-hoc training exercise. Something unpleasant to do? Let Sydney do it — its probably good for him anyway.

This would have been a lot harder to do if I hadn’t remembered seeing once that they are suckers for ripe squash.

After that, it was nearly docile enough to pick up. But even I’m not quite that stupid. I led it away down a garden path, then to the edge, and beyond with scraps of squash.

calm and collected
washing all the window glass
without any ropes

More exercises!

I guess Gwen had always wanted to wash the upper windows, but never got around to it. Having a student provided the opportunity.

And yet, there was precious little in the way of safety equipment available. I was expected to be graceful, coordinated, balanced, and not miss a pane. Or perhaps, use this as incentive to learn how to access my powers.

rampage and conquer
even strings can’t stop me now
the world will be mine

We agreed not to discuss my one attempt at self-animated puppetry.

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Deal 998: Illusions

The audience quieted (aside from the inevitable heckler) as the curtains opened on a new setting. One thing they were sure of was that something amazing was going to happen. But they saw before them a fairly ordinary set familiar to just about any modern sitcom. The open plan ranch house was mostly represented in photographic drops, but the standard family sized sofa was front and center, complete with an abandoned letter jacket, some sports shoes dropped messily, and a pizza box tossed haphazardly on the coffee table.

But there were not actors to be seen, so they quieted down in anticipation.

Except for the heckler, again.

As the lights came up on this prosaic scene, they noticed that the pizza box was moving. It had started out tossed aside on the table, but turned towards the audience, then canted up a bit and the front row suddenly got nervous. It was looming at them. Then it opened and began to speak. It was using halves of an apple for eyes, and a stale pizza slice as a tongue.

It raised up further as it set out on a bit of classic oratory.

The scene was so outrageous that when discussing it later, people couldn’t agree on what the box had actually said. Everyone was sure it said something, and said it well.

As it spoke, the front row calmed. Not the heckler, though. He got louder, and revealed himself as definitely not the gentleman in the room as he taunted the box mercilessly. The box just turned and stared at him. Eventually he wound down and went silent, and finally sat back down. It was the most professional treatment of a heckler that most had seen.

Finally, some people joined the box on the stage. As they entered, the box seemed to suddenly realize it was an inanimate object, and dropped back down on the coffee table. It didn’t quite remember to pull its tongue back in though.

The couple had a fairly predictable sitcom argument about the mess in the room and junior’s grades. Then the man settled down on the couch, stretched out, and dozed off. That was the wife’s moment to exact her revenge. She pulled out a sheet, tossed it over the man’s legs. He didn’t stir. So she added the pizza box to his belly, then pulled the sheet all the way over him.

He mumbled something inarticulate, but didn’t stir.

Then the whole sheet shifted a little. Then a little more. Then we realized it was lifting up and off the couch.

It raised up to where it’s tails were just dragging on the furniture when the woman suddenly noticed it. She screamed.

The she grabbed at the sheet and just barely caught a corner as it flew up, yanking the sheet away to reveal nothing at all. No lay-about husband. No pizza box. The couch was empty. The sheet was just a sheet.

Finally she balled up the sheet and threw it at the sofa, where it lay still.

Perfectly still.

Everyone held the breath, sure that there was one more twist to come from somewhere.

She stepped back to the couch, picked up the sheet and wrapped it around herself as a cloak, flipping a corner up to hide her hair.

A sudden bright flash and cloud of smoke cleared to reveal the sheet falling to the stage and the woman gone completely.

Then the lights went out.