7.5 – Scorpion’s New Hole

Since Wolf had Graduated Perceptionism School, Scorpion had gotten a job, a wife, and a New Hole in Philadelphia Suburbs (Pennsylvania).  Wolf had never been there before, but we followed Scorpion’s directions.  I imagined he lived in some kinda pile of rocks or crevice in the desert or at least an unsuspecting boot, but when we got there it was actually a neighborhood of condos.  Each one looked exactly like the one next to it, and you hadta go thru a maze of identical looking streets and parking lots and landscaping before you got to one that had Scorpion’s van out front.

“This kinda looks like an Adult neighborhood,” I said when we got out.

“Yes,” Wolf scratched his chin and then held his head, “it’s making me a little dizzy.”

Then to cheer him up I showed him The Stash in the trunk.  There were two big cardboard boxes each holding nine bottles of all the different varieties of Alcohol.  Wolf looked at it and licked his chops.

“That does look tasty,” he said.

“How could Scorpion say no to this?” I said.

“How indeed… but he can be a bit of a Perceptionist Snob.”

“Oh.”

We decided we should bring it in anyway, and we all went inside. Wolf put down his box, and Scorpion and his wife hugged Wolf&Lamb, and then gave us all a tour.

The inside of Scorpion’s Hole looked as Adult as the outside.  The living room was full of furniture like a couch and a coffee table and a television.  The kitchen had appliances like a dishwasher and a microwave.  Everywhere the walls were a sparkling bright white, and there was no clutter or Perceptionist Paraphernalia anywhere.  The only strange thing was a mysterious shiny gold wheelchair hiding in a little nook under the staircase.  Otherwise it was not much different than my parent’s Nest or Kat’s parents’ place, and I wondered how such a mythic Perceptionist could live there.

All of the younger Realities from The Wedding seemed to be there already, except for Emperor Penguin, whose band apparently hadta play a concert before coming over, and Lamb’s sisters who went to see the show.  Everyone who was there hugged and congratulated Wolf&Lamb and told them how beautiful the Wedding was and apologized for taking off in the van so quickly.  No one seemed to notice I was standing there the whole time with a big box of Alcohol in my arms, except Wolf.

“Alright,” Wolf said to everyone, “it’s time to decide on the Common Perception for the night.  My fellow Reality Traveler, Bluebird here, has secured for us quite a bit of leftover Lubricant from The Wedding.”

Then he pointed at The Stash, but no one got as excited as I thought.

Scorpion stared at it, waved his tail just a little and shook his head.

“We have to choose something that all of us can handle tho,” Wolf said.  “We can’t just try to seek The Highest Most Powerful Perception tonight.”

Scorpion said nothing.

Wolf hadta shake his head like a wet dog.

“Alright,” he said.  “What do you have in mind then?”

Scorpion stared at him for a second.  “Marijuana Perception,” he then said.

“As you know Marijuana is my Preferred Perception, but I have to acknowledge that not every Reality here feels the same way.”

Wolf looked over at me.  Scorpion looked over at me too and then turned back to Wolf.

“So?” he said.

Then Wolf tried to explain the RealityFuck at hand and how important Common Perception would be.  But Scorpion wasn’t listening.  He raised one claw and pointed it at what looked like a basement door.

“The Marijuana Perception is in my Hole,” he said

“Alright,” Wolf said.  “If that’s the only thing you’re willing to Adventure with then that will just have to be The Common Perception.  But everyone has to do it together.”

Everyone agreed, and then I hadta put The Stash down and go into the Hole.

7.3 – Hitting The Road with Wolf&Lamb

Me and Wolf&Lamb hit The Road from Philadelphia Suburbs (Jersey) to Philadelphia Suburbs (Pennsylvania).  It wasn’t a long distance, but we hadta go right thru the middle of a major city, and there was a lot of traffic.  It gave us enough time to catch each other up on our recent Travels and compare notes on The Wedding.  Wolf got more and more distracted as we went along tho.

“I know Bluebird and Wings from Where-ThePlains-Meet-TheMountains,” he scratched his chin, “but we’re driving on The Roads I know from my hometown, and we’re on the way to Realities I know from Perceptionist Training, where I met my fiancée.”

“I’m actually your Wife now,” Lamb said.

“Oh my Gods, you are, and I Love you very much, but this is concerning.”

“What is?” she asked.

“I didn’t realize it until now, but we’re heading into a possibly major RealityFuck for me.”

Then he started telling us about all the different Realities who would be at The AfterParty, like his childhood best friend WildFuckingTurkey, his HighSchool best friend Emperor Penguin, and his Perceptionist Training School best friend Scorpion.

“I know it’s incredible,” Wolf said, “but they’ve never even met each other until today.”

“I haven’t even met them all yet,” Lamb said.

“Exactly,” Wolf said, “and then add in all their dates and wives and partners and our other friends and families and their dates…”

“Hmm,” I said, “that’s a lot of different Realities to MeToo.  What if you get The Vertigo?”

“That’s what I’m afraid of,” Wolf said.  “Yet, although it won’t be easy, we have to remember we’ve spent the last two years Training in tactics to deal with just these types of BoobyTraps.  This will be a perfect opportunity to test my Reality Travel Training Thesis on Common Perception.”

“That reminds me,” I said.  “There’s a whole Stash of Alcohol in the trunk as we speak. Me and The Perceptionism Professor swiped it from that bullshit Open Bar when they weren’t looking.”

“Good work,” Wolf said.  “That crooked bartender wouldn’t even serve us more than a Dixie cup at a time.”

“We don’t have to worry about rationing anymore,” I said.  “There’s enough Lubricant to keep the whole AfterParty in Alcohol Perception for the next week!”

“Normally,” Wolf said, “I would agree that Alcohol is the perfect choice for Common Perception in such a RealityFuck, but I’m not certain it’s the Preferred Perception for some Realities there.”

“Who could possibly not like Alcohol Perception?”

“Scorpion for one.”

 

6.8 – The Wedding

The Wedding was in Philadelphia Suburbs (New Jersey).

Philadelphia Suburbs (New Jersey) are Suburbs about inventing the Suburbs. At first no one lived in New Jersey, and they called it The Garden State, because the only things there were plants and things that went into salad. But it was surrounded by big cities, and when the car was invented Realities realized they could work in those cities without having to actually live there in the overcrowding and danger and stink. Then they all moved to New Jersey where they finally had enough room to build things like indoor shopping malls, strip malls, mini-malls, mega-malls, outlet malls, and outdoor shopping malls.

To get to the Wedding you had to go past an indoor mall and sneak between two strip malls, where it surprisingly opened up into an original Garden with grass and trees and vegetables and a lake. Beside that was a big white tent and rows of chairs and a whole lotta New Realities.

As soon as I walked in I almost felt like The Goddess of Faith had never existed before. Wolf&Lamb were young Reality Travelers, but everyone at their Wedding were somehow strange looking old Adults. They were all in pairs, and their clothes were way fancier than mine. The men wore neckties and shiny shoes, and the color of their jackets and pants were an exact match. The women were in bright colored dresses of fine materials and wore jewels all over, and when the sun hit them it would shoot a beam of light at your eyes. There were so many Adults you couldn’t see anything else. I didn’t know where Wolf&Lamb were, and I wondered if I was even at the right wedding at all.

Suddenly someone came up from behind and grabbed my arm. The grip was strong, and they used it to march me thru all the Adults to an opening near the lake. There several guests had been lined up in a row like they’d committed an unforgiveable crime against The Wedding, and a MeNotzie firing squad was going to execute them all. Organizing the whole scene were several Realities in red jackets, who had the purpose and teamwork of a colony of army ants.

“Wedding Planners,” I said to myself.

One was The Queen Ant, and she held up a clipboard and called out the orders.

“Make them come here, make them stand there, make them stay still, we’re running out of time!” she was saying.

Others were Soldiers Ants following the orders, swiftly moving around people up to twice their size with brute arm-grabbing force. Some were Worker Ants scrambling to arrange flowers and furniture. And at the center of it all, there was one Drone Ant with a camera, taking pictures of the whole creepy crawly process.

The Soldier who had me by the arm had orders to interrogate me.

“Which side are you on?” the Soldier asked me.

“I don’t know,” I said.

“Wolfgang’s or Elaine’s?”

“Who?”

“Wolfgang’s or Elaine’s?!”

“I think I might be at The Wrong Wedding.”

“Wolfgang’s or Elaine’s?!”

“Do you mean Wolf&Lamb?”

“Yes, the Bride or Groom?!”

“Um… The Bride&Groom.”

“What do you mean ‘&’?”

“I know both of them.”

“No one knows both of them.”

“I do. I met both of them pretty much at once.”

“How?”

“Reality Travel Training School.”

“Where is that?”

“Where-ThePlains-Meet-TheMountains.”

“Nonsense words!”

Then they hadta bring in The Queen to figure it out.

“I don’t know which group to put this one in,” The Soldier said.

“We don’t have time for this,” The Queen said.

“But what do we do with him?”

“Which side is he on?”

“He says he’s not on a side,”

“Everyone’s on a side. Where’s he from?”

“The Mountains or something.”

“Mountains? There are no mountains here.”

“That’s what he says.”

“Then put him in The Mountain Group.”

“But I don’t think anyone else here is from there.”

Then The Queen turned to me directly.

“Who else is with you from The Mountains?” she asked.

“No one,” I said.

“What about your date?”

“I don’t have one.”

“What do you mean? You’re here alone?”

“Yes.”

The Queen looked at me like no one had ever answered the question that way before. Then she shook her ahead and shouted out, “He’s all alone. Just do it with him alone!”

Then the Soldier forced me to march again to the very edge of the water. There they used their hands to move several parts of my body like my back and arms and chin so that everything was rigid and pointing up. When they finally backed away, I was able to realize Wolf&Lamb were actually standing on either side of me. They were rigid and pointing up, too, and they were not in their regular t-shirt and jeans Traveler Uniforms either. Wolf was in a shiny silver Tuxedo, and Lamb was in a white dress that was so long it had to lay on the ground behind her.

“Wolf,” I said, turning my head towards him.

“Don’t move!” The Planners yelled.

Then the Soldier came back and moved my face back to where it was.

“What is this Reality?” I had to say to Wolf without moving my face.

“Hell,” Wolf said without moving his face.

“What should we do?” I asked.

But before he could answer the Planners yelled at us all to smile and kept yelling until our smiles were big and perfect enough. Then we were blinded by multiple bright flashes.

“Got it,” the Camera Drone said.

“Get him out of here, and bring in the next one,” The Queen said. “Time is precious!”

Before my eyes had adjusted and I could say anything else to Wolf&Lamb, the Soldier grabbed me again and marched me away. I found myself back in the crowd of Adults, all Realities I’d never seen before in my life, and I realized there was no one else to help me MeToo them but me.