Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Frosted (not really)

Pink coats the yard outside my house like icing sugar. Not like frosting, because there's nothing frost-like about this pink. It's deceptively downy. Cotton candy made of feathers.

Dante pokes at it with the umbrella skeleton. Bones sizzle and smoke. There'll be no burial today. Cremation looks like the better option.

"That what did in your parka?" I ask.

"That's what it finally settled on being." He eyes the pink petals. "I still don't understand how this pancake of ill repute got in your house. It's one thing for someone to shape part of the Inspiration storm into a pancake-like being. It's something completely different for random evil intentions to come through the walls and be soaked up by your breakfast."

"We might've left a window open."

Still he has a point. A sharp one. Other than the ones the petals just created on his dead umbrella. I know his family doesn't really encourage him, but Dante's got one of those innate understandings of how things work. His parents probably worry about him becoming dangerous.

If you know how things work, you know how to take them apart. And his family should be worried. I tend to rub off on people. Don't mean to. It just sort of happens.

"It's a lot of effort spent on a practical joke," Dante continues.

"It wasn't a prank, Andy." I give him a warning look. Can't have him falling back into those logical ways. "Someone turns you into a girl as a prank. They don't turn your breakfast against you."

"They both sound vindictive to me, Ethan."

We really do come from the same world. You'd never know it. But we do. Really. Just different parts of it. Dante also doesn't have a brother. He has three sisters. While you'd think that would increase the probability of him having been in a dress at some point when he was younger, he somehow avoided that rite of passage. Like I said, reason doesn't necessary work around him. Even if he gets stubborn about trying to force it to.

"Whatev." I shrug. "Wait here while I create a safe path for us."

"Sure." He sets the umbrella aside and messes with his hair.

His hair is fine. Always. Doesn't stop him from messing with it. Like I said: He has sisters. All of whom would like to meet me. Sincerely. Apparently.


If we were in your world, I'd spin the beats to make things happen. Remix reality. Safer that way. Trust me. (It's probably wisest if you don't trust me all the time but this time is ok.) Anyway, here I don't have to remix. I just change things. It's one of the benefits of a world that isn't so rigid.

When Val's feeling sulky, he says it's the only benefit. He doesn't say it often, because he doesn't often get sulky. He tends to express displeasure by measuring the inflammability of various substances. I know how he'd deal with these serrated petals.

He's not here. Dante is. So I am.

Scattering the petals is an option. Just not a good one. Given the destruction they can do just by being poked, the damage they'd do in motion would be massively epic. So would the trouble I'd get from Matt. I could do it anyway, but the solid beats I can hear from that probability this "Thursday" with Dante would come to an end. Quickly.

Instead, I reach out without fingers and grasp that connection I have to this place of constant changes. Whisper without words. Tell it what I need. What I want. Then I wait to see if it's listening.

The petals rumble and roll like waves of pink snow. Slowly, their ominous layer lowers as the ground drinks them up. My world's a tough old place. Serrated flowers can't defeat it.

Dante doesn't comment. I'm sure he sees far more impressive things every day in his city. That's right: He's from a city. Some tribes have them. Not all of us are solitary familial units. Most of us aren't. Family units. Hard to have families without children.

We're connected in other ways. Our dataNet stretches between us. Creating nodes of civilization in a vast unstable wilderness. Our digiMaps and intelSystems display where we are to each other. We can look at one during any heartbeat and see we aren't alone. Yet we never really shake the incurable isolation caused by physical distance.

Dante frowns. "It sounds like someone's banging around inside."

It's not Matt. Strains his melody drift from the shed in the backyard. He must be feeding the narratives. We have story sheds all over the Dream Fields. There's also wild ideas roaming. Sometimes I try to catch them with Risa. They don't look like fireflies, but they do glow like fractions of starlight.

"You can't hear that?" Dante asks.

I give him a look.

"Of course. What I am saying." He rolls his eyes. "I think we should take a look, just to be on the safe side—"

Whatever entirely reasonable thing he was going to say is lost as the door bursts open. Floating upright at the level of his knees is the frying pan. The Talky Face pancake stands in it. Well, no. It can't stand because it doesn't have legs. It sort of balances on the bottommost curve of its circular shape.

The pancake doesn't say anything. It just goes :D at us in a really spooky silent way. I can only conclude it's plotting our doom. Or DOOM. Probably our doomy-DOOM.

Dante is unperturbed. "Hey there, pancake."

"Hey there, friend!!"

Ok. Only two exclamation marks. It's lulling us into a false sense of security. Obviously.

My gaze goes to the yard. A shallow layer of stabby sakura remains. It's definitely deep enough to still cause us potential harm and pain and embarrassment at being attacked by blossoms.

"Are you the same pancake that gave Ethan that message from Stellina?" Dante asks.

"Yeppers, friend!! That's me!!"

"Good." He reaches for the umbrella. "How about you tell us who really sent you before I stab you in your syrup-filled face?"

1 comment:

That Girl said...

How exactly does one catch a wild idea? Does it involve metal bear-type traps, or a butterfly net?