I’m not saying every word in this novella is essential (I don’t have enough fire insurance on my pants to do that,) but if you’re just joining the story here with part 30, a couple of sentences isn’t going to catch you up.
Well, let’s try.
Elmer – really old guy that is still young – in love with Ono, a young woman who is (less surprisingly,) young.
School of Amazing stuff – A place Elmer and his smart ass brother go to learn useful stuff like repelling dirt from clothing and going back in time.
That’s it – you’re on your own.
In Search of Sustenance
Wow! Who’s That Guy?
For some reason, though I could access the dial of second chances from any given remote location, I could not just concentrate and turn the knob of smoked sausage. Maybe it was because the sausages would only appear in the school cafeteria, and not out in my world, where a careless hand might flood all of Two in delicious smoked meat and meat byproducts pressed into natural intestine integuments.
I had a sense of misgiving along with that sensation of going underwater as I re-entered the school of amazing stuff. Dirk had warned me the danger of turning any knob or dial that I didn’t understand and in my recklessness I had tried to turn many in my search for a second chance.
I didn’t have that urgency or willingness to be reckless now. Sure, Mage-e-not was hungry, and I wanted to do him a favor, but he could get by on algae bars if he had to. His preference for food that was palatable wasn’t as important to me as my second chance with Ono.
Did the karmic principal of the school of amazing stuff grade your intentions along with your actions? Did I risk something worse than a failing grade on my cosmic report card?
But Dirk’s warning had been about fiddling with levers, knobs, and dials that I didn’t know. I knew the dial I was going to turn, and I knew what it did. It created delicious little smoked sausages that I could pack up and take with me. Nothing bad could happen.
I looked in my hands to confirm that Mage-e-not’s shirt came with me. It was a pathetic garment, and none too clean after so many hours of dirt slinging. I used my abilities to remove the dirt from the shirt. It left a little pile of dirt on the floor. I considered picking up the dirt and putting it in my pocket, but how could a little dirt cause any harm?
Some of the notices had changed on the school bulletin board, most remained the same – not surprising as I’d just been there the day before. I made my way to the cafeteria.
The stack of lunch trays was higher, and the pots were hanging from their hooks instead of soaking in the sink. I wondered if some cosmic cafeteria worker had been reprimanded.
The dial looked just as it had before – unlabeled, over a spout, with an unmovable bucket underneath. I tied Mage-e-not’s sleeves in knots and stretched out his shirt under the spout. Then I realized that I didn’t have any hands left to turn the dial.
Was there a lever, knob, or dial that would give me a third arm? If there was, would I want one? It might be handy… I wished hadn’t thought that thought. Puns – even unintentional and only in inner monolog are never in good taste. And then there are the cosmic implications of thinking in bad taste in a supernatural food preparation facility.
I gave up on the idea of obtaining a third arm. It would make shirts hard to find anyway. I just leaned over and nudged the dial over with my nose.
Sploootch. Red viscous fluid oozed from the spout and gathered into the warp and woof for Mage-e-not’s shirt. It was too solid for blood. What was it? It smelled tomato-like.
“Yuck!” I said to the pots and pans around me, as the full-bodied goo filled Mage-e-not’s shirt and slid onto the floor. “What is this stuff?”
“Tomato paste!” said a voice behind me. It was a powerful voice, so real and vibrant that it made me feel like I was made out cob-webs. “Turn off that dial, you dim-witted embryo.”
I turned, allowing more paste to ooze to the floor and beheld a man shining like the sun. His eyes were too bright to look at, but his overalls were the apotheosis, the perfect hope and aspiration of which any set of overalls might dream.
That wasn’t so confusing, was it? (why is my Hagar expando-waist band smoking under my belt?)
So if you care to know more about this glorious man in overalls and indescribable boots, you’ll have to tune in(or surf, or click, or mousify) next Friday, for the conclusion of chapter 14.
And now this:
And now this: