SURREAL ADVENTURES FROM THE SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Meet Nicolette Bixby, my alter ego

Do you really think one can get rid of the supernatural gang just like that? If you do, you must be joking.

Supernaturals get infatuated very easily with humans and their nicest personal features, start considering they’re irresistible playthings and fiddle about with them to end up creating all kinds of havoc or even becoming a real pain in the neck.

I started feeling paranoid about it. I didn’t want them running behind me with a knife just because I had abandoned my escort job. So I carefully planned my disappearance before my photograph was posted on bulletin boards, milk cartons, postcards and websites of South Sandwich along with a phone number to be contacted if a sighting was made.

It was dark when I left the house hurriedly. I had left no trace of my getaway in the flat. The coffee maker was still hot. My cell phone was on the table, next to my laptop. I had deleted all the compromising files and e-mails. My car was in the parking lot and the gas tank was full. Nobody would suspect that I was gone.

I took a few clothes and money and headed to see someone I had met at the Dumbass Industries: Rufus Villain. Needless to say, his name was the butt of all jokes. But he was a great guy.

Rufus Villain once was the official art restorer of the Dumbass Industries’ impressive art collection. He worked on the restoration of a portrait of the old King of Sandwich, the old crystal chandeliers at the Conference Room and the entire Auditorium that dated from the 19th century. He did a brilliant job, but one day Big Cheese got off on the wrong foot, thought he didn’t like it and decided to do without Rufus. After a horrible fight, he simply fired him.

Just like it happened to me when I had been dismissed, Rufus couldn’t find himself a new job: Big Cheese managed to ruin his reputation in the artistic circles and Rufus lost all his clients immediately. He tried to resist, but ended up closing his once-prosper art business and disappearing off the face of the earth.

A few months later, I accidentally came across him in the streets of Grytviken. He looked old, tired and very embarrassed when I asked him how he was doing. He gave me a vague answer and invited me to visit his new office in the old part of town. I accepted his invitation.

Apparently, Rufus was running a printing business that didn’t seem to pay much. I came to that conclusion when I saw the gloomy premises where his equipment and machinery were installed. There were cobwebs hanging from the ceiling and dust all over the room. He was very proud of it; but in all honesty, I couldn’t see why. I thought he probably had a sentimental reason for that.

But Rufus wasn’t really in the printing business. That was just a cover for his real occupation, because he did something completely different for a living. Something more exciting and really well paid: he was the best forger in Sandwich.

He could copy everything you’d ask for: artworks, money, id cards… and he would never be caught. He was a true artisan, in the style of the medieval copist monks.

For the moment, he produced and sold false identification documents for foreign workers in Orsinia and the Sandwich Islands. It was illegal, but I promised to keep the secret.

On my way to see him, I got the blues. I had failed at life. I could neither keep my job, nor face my financial obligations. I feared I would soon be stalked by a mob of howling supernaturals. Not to mention that I had screwed up my chances of a life with Ed, whom I dearly loved and missed badly.

But I couldn’t sit and cry out day after day. It was time for change: I needed a new identity, a new past and a brighter future. And Rufus could help me. I knocked at the door to his office and waited.

- Leni… what a nice surprise! Come in, please. What brings you here? –he smiled-
- Excuse me for breaking like this into your office, but I need your help, Rufus.

I told him my desperate story, omitting to mention my deals with the hell’s minions, which were beside the point.

- I'm hopeless –I said-
- I will help you, Leni.
- Tell me what your fees are and I will pay you in advance.
- Oh no. I’m not going to charge you.
- Come on, Rufus. It’s your work and your time.
- You were always very nice when I worked for the Dumbass Industries and I could never thank you for that, so let me just do this for you and for the good old times.

His watery eyes smiled at me. That touched my heart.

He took me to the back room and pulled a drawer from one of the filing cabinets. Three small green frogs jumped off it to land on a wooden table where the letters of the alphabet were carved.

- Come sit beside me, Leni. Allow my three little friends to find you a new name.

The started jumping on the letters. Rufus put his reading glasses on and noted down each one of them on a sheet of paper. When the frogs stopped jumping, he said:

- Alright. Your new name will be Nicolette Bixby. How do you like it, Leni?
- It sounds nice to me.

Rufus snapped his fingers and the three frogs jumped back to the drawer. Then, he opened one of his huge filing cabinets filled with bundles of papers, tied with red and blue ribbons, and took a small folder with the name ‘Nicolette Bixby’ written on it.

- Leni, here’s all you need to start your new life. New passport, id card and Social Security number. The rest is up to you. What are your plans for the future? –he asked-
-I’m leaving on a ferry to the North Sandwich Islands and I’ll look for a job there. I don’t mind accepting a revolting job; I could be a fart and sweat analyst, a pet embalmer or even a horse breeding facilitator. I just want to leave my past behind and start a new life there in anonimity.
- How sad, Leni. You were always merry and bright and now I see the blues in your pretty brown eyes. Your secret is safe with me.
- I appreciate that. I’ll come out ahead, Rufus.

I took my new documents, hugged him in gratefulness and rushed to the ferry station.

Outside, my old name was gone. But not my old me.



"She's leaving home" (The Beatles)

23 comments:

sage said...

the saga comtinues... you've got me curious where this will end up

Gorilla Bananas said...

That was a clever trick with the frogs. He must be a disciple of Dr Doolittle. I think helping horses to breed is an occupation one could learn to appreciate.

Crabbers said...

Ouf !! Réchauffement en vue :) j'ai eue le frisson du sujet précédent , Brrrr !

Le rêve de toute jeune fille , trouver le prince charmant !
Changer de nom ,sortir des grenouilles du tiroir et le cheval de la reconversion est un passage dans l'autre monde !!!
Tous les ingrédients des contes de fées
Vous croisez ( et non croassez ) une grenouille sur votre route , vous la prenez avec délicatesse pour qu'elle ne finisse en marmelade sous les roues d'un chauffard , ivre de vitesse , Splachhh ...Couic...La grenouille , Ouhhh... Badaboumboumboum , beurk !
Vous la déposez avec douceur près d'une mare , sans oublier le baiser et ... Plop !!! Elle se transforme en prince charmant , Bing bang ! Hou la la ! Hip hip hip hourra !
Et... Crac boum hue ! Chtagadagadagadac ! Il vous enlève sur son beau destrier "blanc" et vous toute de rouge vêtue ( et pieds nus )...dans la chapelle de son Castle , il vous épouse ! Hé ! Hé ! Et là vous changez de nom ...Pricesse " Nicolette Bixby ".


Idées tarabiscotées qui nous tarabustent
On s'attache , sans relâche, à trouver le mot juste
On baratine , soliloque , baragouine et radote
Mais quand les mots nous manquent , l'unique antidote
C'est cette langue des anges , étrange mélopée que l'on nomme onomatopée !
Dans laquelle tangue et se mélange le chaos syncopé
D'un antique message aux confins du langage
Hé ! Hé ! Quelques échos sauvages ...

(* Bisous d'un drôle de Sire "charmant ça vas de soit" :) *)

Skeeter said...

This story gets more interesting every time. New documents and everything. Ready for the next adventure.

Best wishes,

Skeeter

max said...

WOW Leni! So you're gonna be Nicolette now? I bet they will find you, hahaha.

BTW, If I were Ed I would be looking in my crystal ball and rushing to the North Sandwich Islands already!

Grass said...

Nice try sis. I bet Hellgirl will still find you even if you work as horse breeder! LOL In fact, she's probably in North Sandwhich Islands already waiting with her horses. ;)

I really wonder where Ed is.. If he's looking at his crystal ball like Max suggested, he's probably worried for you right now and may probably do something to help you. Oh well, that's wishful thinking. :d


xxx

Leni Qinan said...

Hi Sage! Yes, the saga continues and I'm glad to have you here reading.
Expect the unexpected, ;)

Leni Qinan said...

Mr Bananas, that trick with the frogs was funny. Three innocent small frogs deciding the future of a person. Nothing could be more unbiased.
Unfortunately Rufus can't speak with the frogs, just like Dr Doolittle would have done.
Probably one could learn to like the job with the horses -they're special and it's a special work too, but not for everybody-

Take care!

Leni Qinan said...

Cher Crabbers,

Malhereusement les trois grenouilles ne sont pas des princes cette fois, mais quelque chose de plus humble -quoique j'essaie de leur donner un bisou, elles resteront grenouilles-. Leur fonction ici est celle de choisir un nouveau futur innocent et anonyme.

Mon Prince Charmant est perdu il y à beaucoup de pages, mais j'éspère qu'il viendra me sauver bientôt.

(*bisous, mon cher Sire Charmant*)

Leni Qinan said...

Hi Skeeter!

The chapters continue and I'm glad that you read them. There are also short stories posted in between without any connection to this serialised saga, for those who prefer them. You're always welcome!

Take care!

Leni Qinan said...

Maxi, do you really think I'm going to be Nicolette for very long? Read Grassy's comment -she's more clever than you- and expect more adventures.

XXX

Leni Qinan said...

Hi Grassy!

You're right, as I wrote at the beginning of the post, it's not so easy to get rid of the supernatural gang (they can orbit, appear, disappear, teleport or whatever it is what they do to play with humans) so I expect them anytime, even in the North Sandwich Islands.

Ed is probably busy, but I'm sure that he is concerned about not having heard from me for so long. I'd be very disappointed if he did nothing to find me. ;)

Big hug.

PS.- The news about floods and typhoon in your country was alarming last week. I left a message in your blog, but i suppose you must be busy with baby, work and family (I just hope that you and your family are ok).

Dick said...

So when I'm near the lighthouse I have to look for "Nicolette Bixby"?

Leni Qinan said...

Sure, Dick, she is about to arrive in the next ferry, hahaha.
You may even see her feeding the seagulls on her way to the island. ;)

Grass said...

I thought so! Now, I'm looking forward to reading more about Hellgirl and your adventures ;)

Hmm, about the flood, it was the worst calamity to ever happen in Manila. In fact, there was no written report in the Philippine history of deluge that big. It was bound to happen. My family is okay, thank God but the towns near us are in a bad state up until now. And right now, two typhoons are threatening to hit us big time, again.

Like yahoo said "Philippines-doomed by geography, humbled by proverty"..


xxx

Leni Qinan said...

Grass,

I'm very glad to know that you and your family are ok. I just hope the uncontrolled forces of nature won't punish your country again.

Take care, dear!

mutleythedog said...

I once new a man with the name Bixby. Perhaps you will be related?

Leni Qinan said...

Dear Mutts, if he was a false Bixby, then we probably have a lot in common your acquaintance and me...

mutleythedog said...

He collected cucumbers - very odd.

Leni Qinan said...

Oh you mean the cucumber man! Yes, I know him well! I collected a few cucumbers with him not so long ago... ;)

Dick said...

Hi

Did you get the pictures?

rebecca said...

And so Nicolette Bixby is born....

Catching up amor on all the posts I've missed reading! I'm having a blast!

((abrazos))

Leni Qinan said...

Hi Rebecca, I missed you! But take it easy, dear (don't tell me that your energy reservoirs are empty after catching up with my posts, ok? small doses is the secret, lol).

Nicolette Bixby will be my fake name until I'm discovered, lol. Just wait and see!

((abrazos y besos))