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CyberCornEntropic
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Gottfredson Macrauchenia

Inktober 2016 - 1

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An anthropomorphic Macrauchenia in Floyd Gottfredson's style from the 1930s.

The Macrauchenia was the last of the litopterns, hoofed mammals endemic to South America up to 20,000 to 10,000 years ago.  Why limit myself to leptictidium and saber-tooths?

Art © 2016 Marvin E. Fuller

Keywords
female 527,448, pin-up 3,377, macrauchenia 1, litoptern 1
Details
Type: Picture/Pinup
Published: 2 years, 4 months ago
Rating: General

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dmfalk
2 years, 4 months ago
...And while South America (Brazil, at least) is still relevant, with the Olympics and all...

d.m.f.
CyberCornEntropic
2 years, 4 months ago
But with 100% fewer groin crunches from Japan and doping scandals from Russia. :p  Them prehistoric tanukis and saiga antelopes are safe tonight. :p
EmmetEarwax
2 years, 4 months ago
Litopterna - extinct order of Mammals. Once a large order, it dwindled to the genus you mention, due to the connection of North & South America -and maybe it was exterminated by the humans .

Gottfriedson - best known artist of the Mickey Mouse serial.
CyberCornEntropic
2 years, 4 months ago
Thanks to its long periods of isolation, South America developed a third order of ungulates to match the odd-toed and even-toed hoofers of the rest of the world, resulting in the notoungulates and the litopterns.  Although I have my doubts about humans being the smoking gun behind the mass extinction following the end of the last ice age, they were a major contributing factor.  Even so, the South American ungulates were already declining for several million years before humans came along.

In any case, I gave litopterns another chance in my stories.  Needing non-sentient beasts to take the place of the ones that got anthropomorphosized in the Winterfur world, I decided to use recent, albeit extinct mammals.  I reasoned that they would have survived better if the animals they'd be replacing were suddenly anthropomorphosizing.  Thus, the skoits and plunkeys of Winterfur's world are modified and domesticated litopterns of some sort.
____

Back in an era when Mickey was a lot less bland, Floyd Gottfredson defined the mouse and his adventures, much as Carl Barks did with Donald Duck.  Among his more popular creations were the Phantom Blot and Eega Beeva, both of whom proved highly popular in Europe.
EmmetEarwax
2 years, 4 months ago
There was also a bird that was as large as an elephant and hunted prey. When panama connected the two Americas, carnivores came in and found its eggs good eating. Eggs were eaten faster than they could be produced, and this Dinorthis or whatever became spoken of in the past tense, or a thing accomplished (1st expression from a woman's threat in a British sitcom, and the 2nd expression from Dunsany's Pegana cycle.)
CyberCornEntropic
2 years, 3 months ago
They weren't quite as big as an elephant, but that's pretty much a major cause of how the terror birds of South America died out over time.  Like the litopterns, they did quite well until the isthmus formed, then began to dwindle.  Unlike the litopterns, the last terror birds made it into North America where the last of their species might have encountered the first humans moving in.
EmmetEarwax
2 years, 4 months ago
Eega Beeva - that guy from the Future, and his equally evolved dog. Since the stories were never translated, I had trouble understanding them, translating via a glossary proving tiring by & by.
CyberCornEntropic
2 years, 3 months ago
That's understandable.  There's lots of excellent (and not-so-excellent) comics in the world that we can't read because we don't understand the language they're written in.  It's very annoying.

Fortunately, Gottfredson's origin story and subsequent stories for Eega Beeva were originally in English, so we can at least understand them.  Also, a few European stories have been translated into English, although not very many.
EmmetEarwax
2 years, 3 months ago
Somebody posted an excellent pic of Condorito in DevArt, and I favorited it. I mentioned to him that I never understood the jokes because the magazine would not translate the jokes (Spanish only) and a few were sick ! He launched into me as if I was some terrorist or something, accusing me of insulting Chile. I tried to explain and apologize, but he rejected such. It was not long before he blocked me and made threats against me.

JoseRamiro (also Spanish) drew the first Condorito cartoons I could understand and I appreciate that.
CyberCornEntropic
2 years, 3 months ago
He sounds as if you're well rid of him.  I daresay he was wrong.  As I see it, your wanting to understand the jokes wasn't an insult to Chile and the Spanish-speaking world, but the complete opposite, a complement to them.  At least Ramiro understood making the cartoons accessible to a wider audience, so he at least had his head screwed on straight.
EmmetEarwax
2 years, 3 months ago
The crud's username is HighDarkTemplar .
I wish him baleful misfortune !
CyberCornEntropic
2 years, 3 months ago
And lobsters down his trousers.

...Except that would traumatize the lobsters, wouldn't it? :\  Poor lobsters. :(
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 11 months ago
Another joker I am well rid of is Tony Millionaire. You may be aware of his Maakies (title obscure in derivation). A total lack of consistency & continuity allowed him to go all-out in mayhem & murder. Early on, I made a comment to Tony Hundrednaire that while some of his strips were funny,others were sick. He has had it in for me ever since, and no ammount of apologizing has softened him to forgive me.

I changed my username and, for a while, things were peaceful. For a while. Then he became aware of my identity and started in again. BE GONE! he yelled.

Last year,he sent me an eMail stating that if I commented again,"something would happen". I did NOT comment any more, but NOT out of fear about any hacking of my account. No, it was because I was FED UP with this feuding.(some readers were clicking on it to see our latest feuding). Fed up up to HERE ! I wanted no  more of it.

A while ago, he did a strip where an aged Drinky and a senile Uncle Gabby retire to a Drunk Home and the announcement was made that the strip had ended. This was a hoax, but,somehow,I was never taken in. Last month,he DID shut down the strip, stating that the number of weekly papers that carried it had dropped too low. NYPress was one of them, and it had most of the strips I collected.

Well, it was never family fare, never meant for daily papers and general consumption. I think the last strip was Uncle Gabby shooting Drinky with a shotgun. Or was it his having Christmas Dinner with a German family (senile or deranged father, and his tactful diplomatic response to the outburst) ?

It will possibly continue as a book, like his BILLY HAZELNUTS.

KAZ also ran a piece in his UNDERWORLD where Creepy Rat is visited  by a well-dressed counterpart from a parallel reality, who explains that in his reality, Underworld was a national success published in daily papers, BUT to gain this, they had to water down their gags. The mainstream Creepy had integrity ,was the best, even tho he was consigned to a weekly paper,  not being family fare. As the parallel reality Creepy fades out, Creepy says -in depression- "I'm the best..."
CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 11 months ago
I am sort of aware of Maakies, but only as a name I've run across in passing, probably on the Belfry webcomic index, if it's still a thing anymore.  For some reason, I've never felt compelled to take a look.  Perhaps this explains why.
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 9 months ago
Some strips got a barrage of complaints. If you surf the net for Maakies,other than his website, you'll find a column by a weekly paper editor as to why they dropped the strip (some gag about a woman wanting a divorce because she "was on the rag" !)

Anyway, it's all over. One can expect a book of new strips -that's only logical. Or a new "Billy Hazelnuts" book.

Tony is an excellent artist, but his vindictive & unforgiving attitude .... !
CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 9 months ago
Certainly not the sort of person I'd want to model my behavior after, even were I inclined to do so.  Personally, I prefer to go in the opposite direction.
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 7 months ago
Maakies ceased publication, stating that the number of weekly papers has gone too low. Well, the strip was never suited for a daily paper. I was fed up with the insults,abuse and now an eMail threat , so I stopped -not because of a possible cyberattack.
CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 7 months ago
Some aggravations are best left to die of neglect.  It saves on energy and frustration.
EmmetEarwax
2 years, 4 months ago
One of my old hobbies was trying to compose classification tables of animals and plants, but that hobby has been long abandoned. New discoveries keep changing all the data, and not all is explained. I just abandoned the hobby . Notoungulata and Litopterna are not adequately explained in the Wiki, and even working with living or just-extinct species alone, causes me confusion and unpleasantness.

Four strange phyla in the Mesozoa (slips of tissue in certain cell arrangements) division of Animalia , having almost no fossils, left NO clues as to whether they were early experiments in evolving multicellular life, or were degenerated from higher animals. An exception, Edicarea ,once the dominant phylum of earth animals, prior to the Cambrian, is now limited to some small Mesozoans that resemble the larger fossils. Something like a walking or somersaulting mushroom ...

Mammals are divided into 3 distinct subclasses, Monotremata, Marsupiala and Theria. The first is almost extinct, save for 3 species (2 echidna, 1 platypus), but primitive mammal fossils pre-dating Dinosaurs at the peak of their evolution, may have been of this subclass. Going by bones, it's hard to tell and harder to convince ME, whether or not they laid eggs...

Birds may have evolved from a few thousand individuals who weathered the asteroid smash in Yucatan. Hence similarity in appearance, and difficulty in defining characteristics to separate the orders.

Look, I apologize if I annoyed you, but classification is a hobby I have up on. Even my old insect classification charts may be hopeless. (especially Muscidae and kindred families that have no distinct characteristics separating them).
CyberCornEntropic
2 years, 3 months ago
No, you're quite all right.  When I was in high school and for a little while afterwards, I liked to compile lists of many scientific things, like the scientific names of various species.  I didn't get as involved with Linnaean taxonomy as you did, but even at my level of involvement, changes in taxonomy still muddled things around.  Back then, I also had the usual interest in dinosaurs, but that's changed since then, my interest shifting more towards prehistoric mammals.

Telling if an extinct animal laid eggs or what sort of live birth they might have given can be deduced by looking at the pelvis of (one hopes) females.  For example, the extinct multituberculate mammals are believed to have given birth the same way marsupials do, going by the shape of the pelvis where the birth canal would have gone.  It's hardly foolproof, of course.  Without living specimens or even sufficiently preserved soft tissue, we can't be 100% sure.
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 11 months ago
I have an old discarded library book on Insects (Arthropoda in a general survey,Hexapoda in depth) pub.1924. It has many detailed keys to orders, families,etc., but I added to them in many places. Still, I wonder if the exact definitions of a family were changed in many cases since this book.

No sense in splitting a family just because of its size, even if some families (or genera even) are bigger than some phyla of worms. Some families show no "personality" being based on very technical characteristics, like the muscids I mentioned.
CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 11 months ago
Definitions of what makes up various taxonomic groups have shifted and changed over time, evolved even.  When a group gets split up, it's because evidence suggests that older definitions of what made the group were in error or needed refinement.  Take Insectivora, for example.  For decades, it was pretty much a dumping ground for similar apparently primitive mammals like shrews and hedgehogs.  Then someone took the effort to actually categorize the various Insectivora mammals, finally properly sorting them into something other than a wastebasket taxon.  Even then, it'll still be refined as time goes on.
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 11 months ago
This jibes with a descript of INSECTIVORA in the Wiki, breaking up the order ! More boggling . This is one hobby that I gave up on. MARSUPIALIA was broken up and its parts in a subclass, due to all the differnt forms. That I accepted, BUT break-ups like INSECTIVORA ?? Also The break-up of RODENTIA by first removing LAGOMORPHA and now putting mole-rats into their own order and now talk about taking Guinea Pigs out ??
CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 10 months ago
Like I said, taxonomy is an ever-changing part of science.  One of the main ways to tell mammals apart is by the teeth, which is fortunate as that's often all that's found of most fossil mammals.  It makes sense that the lagomorphs were removed from Rodentia quite some time ago as, among a number of physical differences, the number of teeth differ, lagomorphs having four upper incisors compared to only the two of rodents.  (Neither have canines.  Instead, there's a big diastema, or gap between teeth, in their place.)  Taking out guinea pigs and mole-rats doesn't really make sense as they have rodent dentition, unless something funky has been found on the genetic level.
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 10 months ago
Mole-rats are unusual in (1) Their bee-like social order in their colonies.Only the queen and king reproduce(pheromones secreted by the queen keep other females sterile). I saw a pic (on TV?) of a queen,bedridden with pregnancy, being tended by the king and by other mole-rats. (2) The incisors grow through the lips and enable them to use such as digging tools without getting dirt in their mouths, which remain closed during excavating.
EmmetEarwax
2 years, 4 months ago
The Howling spawned several sequels, incl. one where the Marsupial Wolves, assumed human form, and walked among men as men, pretending thus to be extinct. But under stress they may hulk-out and wreak havoc and uproar unless restrained or sedated. In one scene, a lab volunteer, having hulked out and been sedated, the doctors were amazed to find stripes on his body ! Thus it started to come out that some people, perhaps incl. prominent citizens, were Marsupial Wolves ! The sequence showing the development of a newborn into what can pass as a toddler ,was charming. It inspired me.

CyberCornEntropic
2 years, 3 months ago
I read about that one online a few years back.  (I'm not much of a fan of scary movies, so I've never watched it.)  From what I remember, there was supposed to be a scene in which a female character gave birth marsupial-fashion, with an underdeveloped newborn that had to climb into her pouch.  'Twas a curious and interesting take on the traditional werewolf story.
EmmetEarwax
2 years, 4 months ago
Concerning species of extinct animals, we can't open the past and see the life cycle for ourselves, so 2 or more species may well be different stages of the same species. We made mistakes on anatomy (skull had to be replaced on one dinosaur, as they grabbed a skull of a different species that just happened to be in the area !) and there are species of jellyfish where the larva may have been misclassified as a different family. Since they don't live in lab conditions,despite efforts, we are not sure . I got this from Grizmek's encyclopedia.
CyberCornEntropic
2 years, 3 months ago
" EmmetEarwax wrote:
...(skull had to be replaced on one dinosaur, as they grabbed a skull of a different species that just happened to be in the area !)...

The original version of Brontosaurus before they were reclassified as Apatosaurus.  Oddly enough, recent reexaminations of the skeletons indicate that, with the right head, Brontosaurus might have been real after all. :p

" ...and there are species of jellyfish where the larva may have been misclassified as a different family. Since they don't live in lab conditions,despite efforts, we are not sure .

Taxonomy is a constantly changing science, shifting about as new discoveries and reexaminations of old ones help scientists get a better grip on how organisms relate to each other.
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 12 months ago
In re: My fan-fics -
Well,sir, this will take a while. I will start with -THE MIRROR CRACK'D since it precedes my Oz opus. Right now, BONES is on...
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 12 months ago
It was an episode that I've seen before.
                                                                          THE MIRROR CRACK'D

     Poil, being a ghost, has this problem: she doesn't cast a reflection and she can't be photographed. People would tell her that she is pretty, and she'd have to take their word for it. A painting did help in showing how she looked, but not in putting on makeup...
     Wendy, after pouring over grimoires, librams, and such, to find a spell, found one that would capture & hold an image. Experimentation with magic was always risky - sometimes spells could backfire on the caster. And so it came to pass, that Wendy, with an improvised spell and a special salve, went to work on Poil's mirror in her boudoir. First she smeared on the salve, generously, and then making passes, uttered some space-tearing syllables "UIIU, HFTOL, THBL'LK, HEFONIM" and so on. Space-tearing or at least throat-tearing.
     There ensued a great CRACK , a flash and shock and Poil fell off her chair,sprawling. Did Wendy smash the mirror ? You do NOT need magic to do THAT ! She cautiously peered into the mirror and saw a nude white form with orange hair and a bow in it. Even as she looked, the image slowly faded. As it failed, it was outlined with a lambent aura, like things in the Triste House... even ghosts avoid THAT place.
     Poil did manage to apply lipstick,guided by the ephemeral reflection, "Gone - like the snows of yesteryear" she murmured as the mirror returned to normal."Gone, but it was beautiful. I was beautiful !" The two girls went off to see Casper & Spooky, but not intending to tell them of what had gone on. Spooky'd just make some coarse boorish remark.
     The room grew quiet and seemed to huddle after the left, after all the sounds had faded. Yet in the mirror, there seemed to be transient streaks of glow, Wendy felt the spell needed work, but she may have put TOO much personal force into it..,.
     Wendy & Poil went down to Madame Queen's Beauty Shoppe, next to the Ugly Parlor which was frequented by Wendy's putrid aunts. (I say that with qualifications - she was adopted as a foundling in a basket.).
     Casper soon arrived at Wendy's place, noted that everybody was out. He read first some grimoire, written in a foreign alphabet so he lost interest. Then a text in crabbed,archaic writing on invisibility. (spelled ynvysybyliyie). Something by Horrie Belle,from some antique sourse. This was odd, because Casper always eschewed magic, leaving it up to Wendy. So - why was he monkeying around with it now ?
    
CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 11 months ago
I like the "throat-tearing" snark. :p  Considering some angelic hierarchies and magic systems devised in real life, that's not too far off the mark.

It's a good opening for your Mirror episode. :)
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 11 months ago
Wendy was a foundling, and I know who the father is ! But - that's another story ! My upcoming CASPER IN OZ (somehow forgotten when I wrote my list of stories to you) after COOK'S TOUR and before this story. There is also THE TAMING OF THE BOO, which precedes my other stories, and was related as a flashback. Book 2 needs considerable re-writing.

After Wendy's experiment with Poil's mirror, there were -incidents. Poil was throwing a tantrum about having the right to have a reflection,etc., even tho she was a ghost, when she & Spooky noticed Casper looking at them through the window. He seemed to be - leering. Even Spooky who had been the target of Casper's disapprovable, saw some - wrongness- in Casper's face. Spooky phased through the wall to confront Casper, but the latter had left...

There ensued other -worse- incidents. Casper, in distorted, nightmarish form had scared & shocked patients at a detox facility, appearing as a frightening form in a window. The Ghostly Trio (not yet banished at the time of these events) felt that Casper had finally come to his senses ! Wendy confronted Casper about this, but he denied such. Wendy resolved that she'd dump Casper if he had gone over to his "uncles"'s side.

Even the Ghostly Trio became upset when Casper caused a highway smash-up ! He had seeped through the air conditioner of a moving car and gone "BOOGIE WOOGIE WOOGIE !" at the driver. He lost control, caused a chain of collisions, and flew off loudly laughing. There were 20 cars involved, but no deaths, just injuries. (TAMING OF THE BOO starts with Spooky causing similar mayhem, and even has pics photocopied from early Harvey tales) . The Ghostly Trio feel that it's no fun trying to scare a DEAD person.

Wendy was past forgiving Casper and had headed off to deal with him. She then heard that she had been seen at a gas station ,deliberately pumping gas onto the ground and was about to set it on fire ! The attendant at Fred's gasoline station , on edge from a rash of hold-ups , was quick to run out, and Wendy had fled. He had described her,as having a GREEN face.

Later Wendy,Casper and Spooky were discussing these events. Wendy was explaining why she didn't set the gas on fire, and set the attendant on fire. "We gotta start gradually, work up to REAL havoc, or people'll take arms against us." (such happened in TAMING OF THE BOO where people finally decided to kill Spooky.). They are interrupted by Poil, who hits Spooky with a whip, wrapping it around his head 3 times. She berates them for starting so cautiously. Spooky picks up his hat (an ectoplasmic one, his original signature "doiby" was lost in the events of TAMING OF THE BOO. Oddly, he was wearing - a top hat, like some British lord.).

Next Pearl was seen at a lady's auxillary, with a competition for flower arranging. Pearl noted that Mrs.Mhoan had won first prize, but Pearl had only won 2nd. Mrs.Mhoan had worked on Deadly Nightshade and Poison Ivy. Pearl slashed it apart with her whip, Pieces hit other ladies, including Mrs. Edgar Allen Ghast, who remonstrated with Pearl. She got verbally blasted in return.Then Pearl slashed asunder the other displays, reducing everything to street sweepings and confetti, before running out.

The chairlady wasted no time in phoning Pearl, accusing her of all the destruction, disqualifying her and revoking her membership. Spooky was astounded by all this. Pearl had never shown any interest in whips, even when aggravated never used unladylike language...

Then reports came in that Spooky had caused a scene at a bank. Invisible, he had taken a tray of money and ,outside the bank, started throwing the contents into the street,and finally hurled the tray itself at the people who were trying to grab all the cash they could.
CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 11 months ago
One might wonder if people really would be fooled by the evil twin concept, except there was once an incident in the US in which a man was accused of various nasty crimes.  Of course, he denied his guilt all through his trial and execution.  Then they caught the real crook – who looked just like the guy they'd executed.  Oops.
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 11 months ago
Which is why I am opposed to the death penalty if there is any the slightest doubt of the perp's guilt.
CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 11 months ago
Unfortunately, it was an era when public executions were still in vogue as entertainment and law enforcement was not under such scrutiny as it is nowadays.  Things have changed a lot in the century and a half or so since then.
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 11 months ago
One such person,realizing that he had been lied to,when promised acquital, delievered a curse on Springfield,Wisconsin and the people who lived there. After that, misfortunes came. Ed Gein, who killed 2 women, and dug up some 15 graves to make their residents into wall decorations, furniture and toys, seemed to be the culmination of that curse. It is said that people still think of Ed Gein when they hear of Springfield,Wisc., and some also wonder about Wisconsin being the home of so many serial killers... Nyarlathotep's summer home...
CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 10 months ago
One theme of an unfinished story of mine called Isen's Bane deals with a curse and many of the uncertainties that center around it.  As the wizardess protagonist Baksrit points out, the reason such a curse is so effective is that the victims are doing it to themselves.  They believe there's a curse, so unconsciously cause it to happen.  If there's ever a spelled curse involved, it typically just sets up the belief so it can perpetuate itself, as Baksrit did with Skady's koro.

"A curse isn't effective unless it's remembered." ~Baksrit Winterfur
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 11 months ago
Naturally Casper & Co. were concerned about who could be impersonating them, and why. Even as they discussed this, incl. a glimpse of the OTHER Casper,Wendy,Spooky, and Poil the night before, the mirror that Wendy had tried an experimental spell on, began flashing & strobing the COLORS it first made when Wendy had worked on it. Then - a figure began stepping through ! Wendy pointed her wand and there were shouts of "HIT HER !","INCOMING !".
     The figure more than suggested her aunt Zelma, but had a normal flesh color, and was not seamed & lined with crabbiness and wickedness. It looked more like Angela Lansbury, in witchly garb. Hooked to her belt was a knapsack or pouch. "Who - who are you ?" Wendy asked.
     "I was going to ask the same of YOU !" the Zelma-parallel replied "You look like Idnew-but,even if she had used La Jacque Brite Pink Skin Bleach-her face and voice are lined & seamed with evil. You seem as pure & innocent -as a newborn babe. That's IMPOSSIBLE for her."
     There came many questions, and everybody was asking so many,that it was all a babble of noise. The witch said "In answer to all your questions, I am Amlez, Idnew's aunt, along with Amleth and Selam. The impersonator that got you, Casper, in trouble is - Ripsack, a.k.a. EVIL CASPER !"
     They also asked why Wendy's ensorceling the mirror caused all this havoc, and were told that Wendy exerted more force than seemed possible. She created -an Alternate Warp Corridor to Ripsack's and Idnew's Earth ! Amlez,after all that said, had her wand scan Casper's Earth. It took some  minutes, as Amlez's eyes became unfocused, information pouring into her brain. Finally ...
     "This earth's history - its players - events - so much warped. Good & Evil switched so often ! Yet you might say the same about MY earth. Who's to say which world is right? There is NO right reality !" Casper was reminded of what Tollun-Orr did, according to the Blind Mage who sees all, on Earth -H3.(Cook's Tour). He somehow replicated one universe into - a hundred thousand thousand Parallel Realities.. Further convulsions and vibrations created the Divergent Realties. And even the Pocket Universes and the 2-D Planiverse (!!)
     Casper & Co., and Amlez then had a planning session to deal with Ripsack,Idnew,Ykoops, Lirp, and - Daymare !
     Then another glow from the mirror and DAYMARE came through ! The man-eating kelpie !
CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 11 months ago
I like that Mirror Casper's name was spelled differently than a simple reversal of the letters.  Also, the discussion on which world was the mirror universe and whether it really mattered is a good touch that mirrors some of my own thoughts (for example, there is no "correct" timeline, just ones that are more preferable than others).
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 11 months ago
In an earlier fan-fic,"A GHOST FOR ALL SEASONS" Nightmare admits to Casper that he is -a kelpie ! I don't think I have to define that or that you'll have trouble looking it up. Unlike the other kelpies of Scotland , he was good, and would NOT eat human flesh. He fled lest he be tricked or forced into doing so, for that would make him evil.(like a vampire that refuses to drink human blood). He soon met Casper and they had been inseparable since. (To my surprize this jibed with a Harvey story that I never heard of before -that introduced Nightmare and his meeting Casper in Scotland ! I accepted that as canon,therefore.). He will not assume human form.

His blood-red eyes fixed on Wendy and he snarled "I HUNGER ! FEED ME !". Wendy fished out some sugar cubes,but Amlez warned "He'd eat the sugar already -and the hand that offered it !". Amlez was fishing out of HER knapsack, some chains. So many that one would wonder how they were stored in there. (Wendy,at that time, had not acquired a Bag of Holding, but has since gotten one. Another story.).As Daymare lunged forward, Amlez cast the heavy chains on Daymare, and held down by them the monster screamed and cursed so wildly,that she was forced to speak a Spell of Silence on him !

"What IS that chain ?" asked Casper. Amlez replied that it was her rendering of Gleipnir ,the chain that bound the Fenris Wolf. It was forged from -the sound of a cat's footfall, the beard of women, the roots of stones, the  breath of fish, the nerves of bears, the spit of birds, and reinforcing agents such as the sweat of fish, moonbeams, cool night air, a promise, and just a touch of cobweb, Clearly Amlez was a pro at magicks. Wendy was still just an apprenctice.

"OH, WATCH IT, WENDY !". Even as Amlez explained all this, Daymare launched his next attack,tho held down by the chains,.Red,wet tentacles burst from the rippling hide of Daymare, and his head underwent changes ,not wholesome to describe. It hinged back and a huge tongue thrashed out. If the tongue or tentacles hit one, such would lay bare the flesh !
More tentacles. Casper & Co. having seen all they could endure,beat a retreat into the next room, until Amlez vanquished the monster. Poil ,seeing the disarranged furniture and debris of the battle, said "The next time you -or anybody- has a war with an unholy horror in my bedroom, please take it outside !". Amlez had placed the chained Daymare in stasis and stashed the bound monster in her Bag of Holding. Knocking her boudoir about like that ! She would not relax until it -and Ripsack & Co., were banished back to their Earth. Still, they could hold Daymare as bait for the others.

Casper said "I do not like fighting under any circumstances". Amlez reminded him that Ripsack loves nothing more than fighting, knows all the dirty techniques."

Amlez also cast wards to watch for the evil ones.

And it came to pass that Casper & Co. stood face to face with Ripsack & Co., Wendy was disgusted at Idnew. Wendy's face was sweet innocence, baby pink, her hair blond,her jumpsuit freshly laundered and neatly red.( by my last fan-fics she wore different outfits). Idnew's face was seamed & scarred with evil, a putrid green. Her hair manure brown, her jumpsuit battleworn & dirty. From the start,the time for words was past.
Nightmare was with Casper,as an edge. Daymare was still secured, so he could not help the evil crew...

CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 10 months ago
I imagine Nightmare is extremely glad to be of Casper's Earth.  Her sense of fashion and hygiene is certainly better. :p

You did mention you'd determined Nightmare was a good kelpie before (or maybe an eačh-uisage, which is basically a kelpie that lives in lakes rather than rivers).  I've already mousified them into the Squelpie of Bibil Brook.  (Presumably, there were other squelpies.)  Seamousies definitely don't like them.

Nice bit with the reference to Fenrir's chain from Norse myth.  Daymare definitely won't be getting out of that anytime soon.
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 10 months ago
Idnew struck first. Wendy heard her chant the harsh,fractious syllables of an unfamiliar spell -& then felt her feet suddenly grow TEN-FOLD ! She was effectively immobilized, could only stand. The Macropod Spell. (At this point, I turned attention elsewhere, first commenting that Earth-H, & this counterpart belong to the Eighth Continuum Cluster (greater than an universe but not the entire Multiverse).

Casper tackled Ykoops, Spooky's counterpart. While Spooky wears a black derby (ectoplasmic, since the one you are familiar with, was lost in the events of TAMING OF THE BOO), Ykoops effects a top hat. He kept jockeying for position, but Casper kept moving,too.
"Stand still, you !"
"Why, Ykoops ? Tell me why !"
"I wanna fight !"
"No. No, you do NOT want to fight, Ykoops ! People are using you."
"No !"
"Ykoops, listen to your heart. Then, listen to me !" Casper thus began his quiet & confidential talk with Ykoops. The focus was that Ykoops was being bullied by Lirp, forced and threatened by her. While Pearl is a kind,gentle considerate soul, that Spooky rescued from a wizard a while back, Lirp was mean,vicious, selfish & cruel ! She had urged Ykoops to hurt, even KILL people,. She would even use whips on him ! There was NO pleasing her !

Even as they conversed, the aforementioned Lirp and Pearl were having a real Donnybrook, a CAT fight ! "I'LL TEACH YOU TO WRECK MY GOOD REPUTATION !". Lirp slashed at Pearl with her whip,hoping to hit her in the face with it, but Pearl grabbed it from her and threw it into some bushes. "Without that whip, we can fight as equals !".Lirp furiously yanked on Pearl's hair and they both brawled,rolling over & over, so wildly that none could tell who was on top at any point ! A real mud brawl !

Spooky had been struggling with Ripsack,but broke away long enough to grab a flat stone and would make to hit Lirp over the head with it, but he hesitated,lest he give PEARL a concussion, so fast did the 2 girl-ghosts roll about ! So Ripsack grabbed him back ! Spooky did NOT like being used as a punching bag & he thought Casper's (and Pearl's) efforts to get him to stop scaring people were unpleasant enough!

And now back to Wendy & Idnew. Idnew was preparing a new untoward magic spell against Wendy, & Nightmare, having no opponent to clash with (Daymare was removed,as you recall.), decided to lend a hand -or hoof . "A witch ,to effect a spell, has to psych up,focus personal force. Much as I dislike doing it, I will STEAL that personal force !" Nightmare thought in a mo. Ghosts tap into mortals' energies,just by being near & a crowd of ghosts would noticeably weaken any mortal nearby. Nightmare then phased through Idnew ! Personal force ripped from Idnew & ingested,digested,metabolized by Nightmare !
Not only did Idnew stopped speaking the spell,stagger & fall, but Nightmare felt poorly,not stronger, so alien was this personal force he fed on.(like an overdose of insulin !). Wendy then chanted the syllables of a stun spell at Idnew & thus knocked her out !

During this imbroglio, brouhaha, fracas or whatever you call it, Amlez stood by, aloof, intending to act only if the tide of battle turned against the good guys. This was THEIR fight.

Casper had finally convinced Ykoops, and the latter, announcing that he & Lirp were FINISHED, headed back to the Alternate Warp Corridor,back to his own Earth (Earth-H2).

Pearl had finally worn Lirp down.(By the time of LIRP'S REVENGE, much later,she could not have done that ,as Lirp had by then developed innate means of destroying any ghost,mortal, demon...whatever ! It would take GhostBusters & even SORCERY to stop her then. ). Stretching her hair out * & trussing Lirp up in it, she then cut it off ! She now looked like she had a flapper crew-cut. "Like Berenice of the Ptolemids, you have sacrificed her hair !" Amlez was heard to say.

* I had developed running gags, like Spooky's BOOing, tricks with Pearl's hair, Casper's name being mispronounced...).
CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 10 months ago
Casper and Spooky's tactic of not fighting their own doubles was a smart one as it allows them to play to their strengths an opponent who couldn't counter it.  Even so, Pearl's ability to understand self-sacrifice clearly gave her an edge over Lirp, as Amlez noted.

Comparing Nightmare's indigestion to diabetes might partly explain why she was a good kelpie.  If consuming even a little bit of a human lifeforce made her sick (and Idnew's would "taste" worse than normal), she'd want to avoid it if she could, which would prevent her from developing "properly" into a full-blown kelpie.  Another comparison might be to vegetarians.  Some vegetarians are allergic to or, like myself, can't digest meat.  Others have ethical problems with eating and exploiting animals.  Nightmare could be a mix of the two, a diabetic who has to watch what she "eats" so closely that she's come to realize her people's cruelty towards the kine.
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 10 months ago
Point taken.
There remained only Spooky & Ripsack. Spooky was tired of being used as a punching bag by Ripsack, and,shaping his mouth into a cannon, focused and fired a terrific B O O !! into him. It blasted a hole through Ripsack's body,right through his back ! Ripsack,being a ghost,could not die from such an injury,but he WAS put out of action. He lay there with pieces of ectoplasm about, & a big hole through his chest & back.

Somebody then quipped "He's Napoleon Blownapart. He met his WaterBOO !"

At the same time, Pearl was carrying the tied-up Lirp back through the Alternate Warp Corridor between Earth-H and Earth-H2. (they had yet to visit Earth-H3.) It exited from a pier-glass into Lirp's bedroom -or torture chamber. Pearl noted the rack of whips, and other instruments of torture ,as well as ceramic masks of screaming contorted devilish faces. Dumping her trussed-up double there, Pearl was glad to quit that chamber and exit back to Earth-H through that Alternate Warp Corridor.

Even as she was leaving, Casper had arrived ,dumping Ripsack into that awful room. Then Wendy arrived to dump Idnew there. Amlez also arrived,and said she'd take Lirp's whip and Idnew's wand. "I don't think they'd be so tough without them." Idnew was a bad egg, not being brought up to be so. Daymare ,tied up, was in Amlez's bag of holding.

Amlez explained that one last thing had to be done: destroying the Alternate Warp Corridor. This entailed simultaneosuly destroying both mirrors. "As long as the mirrors exist, the threat remains. They can't be hidden." At her bidding, Casper & the others, exitted back to their own world,  and in 10 minutes Wendy would commence destroying the mirror. At the same mo, Amlez would be blasting the mirror in Lirp's chamber.

Even as her friends carried the mirror outdoors, Wendy found a spell had been indited in her spellbook - a blasting spell. Amlez must have inscribed it there. At the appointed mo,Wendy pointed her wand and yelled the syllables of the spell. Something like lightning shot out of her wand, and then a coherent beam hit that mirror. The glass rippled, boiled,peeled away and then the mirror disintegrated with a terrific clap of SOUND. Birds flew out of trees, wildlife ran ! A pillar of fire from where the mirror had stood.

Pearl then said "You owe me for a new mirror !" Wendy, knowing that Pearl's inability to cast a reflection or being photographed had not been resolved, said "If you'd rub reflective ointment into your skin, your problems would be solved."
Spooky then cracked "I'd be glad to rub it in for you !" ,but Pearl felt he was being fresh ! The others laughed.

(The destruction had NOT been entirely successful. As revealed in later stories, remnants of the mirror were gathered and used to forge a new mirror,now standing in a library, with the inscription "Measure thyself. Know thyself". It figured in my CASPER IN WONDERLAND,and even CASPER IN OZ.  Also, Casper & Co., would again encounter Ripsack & Co.)

We already summarized CASPER IN WONDERLAND, and I leave at this mo to decide what to summarize next.

CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 10 months ago
Nice job weaponizing Spooky's Boos. :p

I daresay the blasting spell had to be used in order to prevent breaking the mirror and incurring seven years' bad luck (which might not be a superstition in that setting).  Also, the destruction may not have been entirely successful because, no matter how well the two witches timed their spells, there'd be a slight difference in timing.

An interesting story.  I'm glad you didn't make the mistake some fanfiction writers do of going too far into the angsty side of things or incorporating things like adult humor for the sake of pretending its "more mature" than the original material.  Good work. :)
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 10 months ago
The next Casper tale I will summarize is - CASPER IN OZ. I deem it the peak of my writing, and that tho I was on a roll for the next book as well, a slow decline had already begun.

How well you enjoy it, will depend on how familiar you are with the Forty-Four Books of Oz, some of which Casper deemed non-canon, rewritten as Oz books to get them to sell. (Baum also wrote THE LAND OF OZ which did not involve Dorothy, and OZMA OF OZ, which are unflawed classics [the latter also introduces a recurring villain in Oz). After 2 more books, Baum decided to end the Oz series with THE EMERALD CITY OF OZ. Tho he tried to start a new series, after 2 books, Baum deemed it a failure and started new Oz stories. His last 2 books were published posthumously (GLINDA OF OZ and THE MAGIC OF OZ).

With no further Oz stories (one fragment was deemed too rudimentary to finish) from the late Baum's pen, other writers took up the title of royal chronicler. By now it was a tradition to publish a new Oz book every year. Ruth Plumly Thompson, John Niell (the artist for Baum's books- imagination tended to run away with him)Jack Snow (he was a bit Lovecraftian), by then the tradition of yearly additions had lapsed. Dick Martin ,now deceased, was the latest one.

I dismiss A BARNSTORMER IN OZ as non-canon, tho interesting enough to warrant being a parallel Oz, and the Volkov books unauthorized takes. The writer wrote his own Oz mythology.

OR I could go on with THE CITY IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE and THE THIRD LIFEFORM. You decide.
CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 9 months ago
Might as well continue with Casper.  I've read the first two Oz books, but the rest I currently only know via Wikipedia and TV Tropes.  Currently, I'm rather ambivalent about counting non-Baum books as canonical, but reserve judgement for the time being.
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 9 months ago
THE CITY IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE and THE THIRD LIFE FORM are Casper tales.

Getting all the data on CASPER IN OZ * necessitated my consulting with Scarecrow & his wife Scraps the Patchwork Girl (introduced in book 7). Even tho they had 2 sons (Russell & Terry) and 2 daughters (Taffy Etta & Clothilda) they still found the time to assist me.(the Scarecrow is no longer king of Oz) The Book of Records in Glinda's palace also helped.

I hope to include some of the dialogue, injokes,etc., & not just a summary. I included a map of Winkie Country (drawn by Wendy during their journey), and numerous illustrations.

The book opens with the statement "It had begun to snow". I then wrote the last sentence and then the rest of the chronicle in between. The adventure takes place after THE MIRROR CRACK'D, and before THE CITY IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE and THE THIRD LIFE FORM. CASPER IN WONDERLAND occurred between.

Casper,Wendy, Spooky & Poil., and Nightmare were in the local library.Spooky was reading a dubious book titled "Under the Broom". Nearby stood the mirror inscribed "Measure thyself.Know thyself". Casper had gotten out the 44 books of Oz and had stuffed so much data into his brain that his head bulged in places.

Wendy remarked "It;s going to be a fairly heavy snow". Spooky looked up from the book he was reading and said "AGAIN ?".
Casper returned with "Well, we are not in Cancun or Belize".**. The conversation drifted to interdimensional travel, and that it would be nice IF they could effect a trip to - Oz ! Cautioned to take care, lest they land in the WRONG Oz -or as Spooky put it ,"Beautiful downtown NOWHERE".

All this talk bothered a witch named Daehsgnilloh who was certain that the alphabet contained a hidden message, and was seeking to decode it. She did find "A mouth opened and ..." was working to decode more. She asked them to talk softer.This was a library, not Yankee Stadium.

Spooky wasn't focusing on Casper & Wendy's prepping, but was reading some newspaper article" Planarians give new clues to early migrations'.   (I then go into a bit of discourse on Wendy's focusing,psyching up & such to effect the parameters. ,Ritual passes, runes woven in the air.). The light subtly dimmed, the room grew quiet... The mirror no longer reflected the room, but,instead, a twisting,writhing roaring vertex !

A 5-D tornado ! Now ! All to step forward & INTO the Dislocation Engine (also used in COOK'S TOUR ...).

Blinding Darkness, deafening silence ! Then all the colors,shapes, sounds ...of the Fifth Dimension (and I DON'T mean the music group ). I also find I used the term Cerulean Tube. This was NOT something to try without all the aforementioned prepping, psyching up,etc.,.

It was Casper's & Wendy's plan to enter Oz with all their supernatural powers. The visitors in the Oz books came with no powers beyond what mere mortals use everyday. Think of what they could accomplish with THEIR powers !

After all the strobing light, strange vibrations (cycles perpendicular to each other),et al, the ground materialized under their feet. ...They stood in a wood, birds singing, wind sighing in the trees. The vegetation was all yellow. Not the sickly yellow of blighted plants, but a rich lemon yellow. "This is Winkie Country !" said Casper.

I see my allopted space has run out. There we leave our band in the "Winkie Wonderland" until next time.

South lay the Deadly Desert, & to even touch the sands meant DEATH ! Even the fumes made you sick. Casper even wondered that it was -abnormal for a desert to just suddenly -start. Just to play it safe, Casper took a fallen branch & flung it onto the sand. It smoldered,the leaves turned orange,then to black ash ! Then the branch collapsed into soot and smoke !

 

* The title jibes with traditional Oz titles.
** The band is currently located in Canada, after the events of COOK'S TOUR. Casper was working on the "Enchanted Forest" based on the Harvey fictions.
CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 9 months ago
Not an uncommon way of writing, starting with the first and last sentence before working out the rest.  After all, the joy/torment of a story isn't the final destination, but the journey there.

I guess Spooky didn't want to end up in Australia.  It might be less snowy, but there's not a lot to scare in the Outback. :p

Hollingshead?

Considering that Oz does alter visitors a bit (an important example being non-human animals gaining human speech), the group going in with their powers intact wouldn't necessarily guarantee those powers would stay as expected.  Since nearly nobody seems to die in Oz, ghosts might find things less straightforward than they think.  Maybe.

Even the dead found the Deadly Desert deadly, it seems.
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 9 months ago
After a frustrating morning, for various reasons, it was a pleasure to find your answer here.

Yes, you guessed the joke. Hollingshead was a British historian whose tomes I had the pleasure of perusing in the college library where I, until last year, worked. He started with fabrication woven from legends and myths (Scotland originating about 330 b.c., but only authentic after c.400 a.d., and,even then, not solid history until Kenneth I McAlpin,the first fully authenticated king of Scotland.(c.800). Wales back to 1500 b.c., and Ireland not at all. He regarded the Irish as animals.

He also recounted a story about an incident at the wedding of Alexander III of Scotland. The festivities were disrupted by the appearance of a horror,mostly skeleton with raw scraps, walking about. Within 2 gen., the royal family became extinct, incl. the princess who died on a voyage from Scotland to London to marrry the  Prince of Wales. Then began a civil struggle among the offshoots of the extinct dynasty of Scotland (lines originating with daughters of Scottish kings). The Balliols, Bruces and finally the Stuarts. When the Tudor dynasty was about to die out, Elizabeth I had arranged for the Stuarts to rule England. When the Stuarts were expelled, there was found a link between them and the Hanover line. And so England has been ruled by one dynasty from the late 8th cent. to today ! The Eternal Dynasty.

As for the immortality of the Ozians, I partially evaded the issue. Maybe some were immortal, but others aged and died. Philip Jose Farmer,in his BARNSTORMER IN OZ, in which Dorothy never returned to Oz, there never was an Ozma, so the Scarecrow remained king,... said that Glinda enforces a policy of births must not exceed deaths.(a herb prevents conception )The population more or less constant. The land has just so much resourses and the Deadly Desert being impassable, they must be conserved. So Oz was ecology and environomentally minded even before the rest of the world.

Baum said that the Scarecrow was deposed by a feminist backed by the Wicked Witch of the North. Ozma was found and installed as Queen of Oz, and has been ruler ever since. Baum also said that the Wizard later returned to Oz and, under Glinda's tutelage, became a real and powerful magician. Dorothy made several visits, first by accident and then by design (Ozma would be aware of a secret signal Dorothy would give, and then magick her to Oz) and finally moved there permanently (soon after, her parents were also magicked to Oz, where they all live happily ever after). Baum began mapping kingdoms around Oz,separated by the Deadly Desert (Ix, Ev, Mo, Burzee, ...)

Because it will take a while to do the next summary, and because I must go shopping now, I will do the summary itself when I get back. All in all, it was a joy to hear from you after the frustrating time-wasting mess that tied me up...
CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 9 months ago
I'm glad I could help ease your frustration. :)  Hopefully, my posts will continue to do so, although, as you've noticed, I can't guarantee being consistent about when I post them. :\

Daehsgnilloh is a curious enough name to warrant checking to see if it works in the opposite direction and not a nossob.*  I've been reversing names on occasion for much of my life, at least as far back as second grade when I probably annoyed my teacher by sometimes signing my name backwards to dull assignments just to amuse myself (when I wasn't sharing credit with fictional characters like Robin Hood).

That's interesting about Hollingshead.  The wedding-crashing skeleton idea is certainly worthy of filing away for some future story.  From what you say about the British Monarchy, it kind of mirrors a compressed version of Chinese imperial history, with a mythic prehistory including legendary emperors, although reliable history doesn't start until something like 4000 years ago (and even that is questionable at times, considering the occasional purge of written records unfashionable to those in power).  True, the Chinese also saw a number of imperial dynasties over the centuries, but we can also look to European monarchies in which any contender to the throne did his best to prove his legitimacy by tracing his lineage to a previous monarch.  Such tracings could get quite convoluted and even specious, but the divine right of the monarchy was arguably the European version of the Chinese Mandate of Heaven, which them "dirty commoners" didn't deserve, after all.

I think avoiding the issue of when/if the folk of Oz die was a wise idea of yours.  Most importantly, it would allow for characters to be in mortal danger, thus livening up their adventures.  Though it seems the presence of the herb allows Oz to avoid a China-like government-mandated birth control and instead be more like various modern European countries that have a negative birth rate – the number of natural deaths is greater than births – to the degree that European governments have had to continually encourage citizens to have kids.
_______________

" * nossob, n. Any word that looks as if it's probably another word backwards but turns out not to be. ~ Douglas Adams, The Meaning of Liff

EmmetEarwax
1 year, 9 months ago
PART 2
Chptr: Winkie Wonderland

Considering the vast "distance" Casper & Co. had to voyage to get to Oz, that they landed in the Winkie Empire was commendable. Then-things started to go wrong. The band notice that their powers are failing ! Wendy can only fly as well as the maiden flight of the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk, & casting spells ends in failure ! Casper is also having trouble flying.

Spooky notices a sign saying "Welcome to Oz. Please do not practice magic.". Ozma had outlawed using magic, save for her own trusted ones, as wizards et al, had wrought chaos with reckless magic use. Spooky kicks the sign, &, upon his back being turned -is kicked back ! He looks around, but can't spy anybody who did that !

The band works its way north, Wendy spies a -monastery ? She figures they'd get help,food,drink... there. Wendy knocked on the ugly thick door... The others saw a pond not far off, & Casper warned the others about going near it. "This is - the Truth Pond ! Drink from it, wash your face,bathe in it - & you pay a price !"
He then explained that contact with its water removes your ability to tell lies !
"What did you tell Mrs.Mhoan the other day about her new hat, Poil ?"
"I - I said it looked like it'd win first prize in the Easter Parade"
"And what did you actually feel about it ?"
"Actually it looked like she tied roadfkill into her hair, BUT I couldn't tell her THAT ! You know me, Casp ! I never make mean remarks !"
"If you fell into the Truth Pond, you would be unable to make a diplomatic kind remark ! You'd be unable to lie !"
Lies to spare one embarassment or humiliation, to avoid punishment....
------------
Wendy was greeted at the door by some monk (see Handy Mandy in Oz for hints at monks in Oz) & in an odd way.
He said " N + ~N =  1 "

Another monk, once she was inside, said "A^2=B^2+C^2-2AB.COS a ".
" I don't know what you are talking about !".
These monks, talking entirely in algebra, belonged to an order founded  by Pandu, who was the Abbot. They are - the Truth Ponderers and talk only in pure logic . "A^2=B^2+C^2-2AB.COS a ! " a monk insisted !
Wendy desperately wished she could still work the Translation Matrix spell.
More jargon. "(N)*(~N) = 0"
"(~A) * (~B)=~A +~B"
and even A^N + B^N <> C^N, and then that "A^2 = ..." thing again !

By now, the band was trying to get to the monastery, but unable to fly, phase through obstacles...
As they tried, they saw some monks rush out bearing somebody in red. They threw the small person into - the Truth Pond.
One sternly yelled "A^2=B^2+C^2-2BC.COS a !" at her with a crisp nod.
Suddenly Casper had an intuitive flash, derived from his experiences in Wonderland. He shouted at the monks "In an Oz town named Poot, the barber, who is a man, shaves all men who do not shave themselves. Who shaves the barber ?"
What they shouted was not the answer ."YAH !"

Casper was on a roll ! He shouted "Given the set of all sets not members of themselves, is it or isn't it not a member of itself ?"This problem floored Gotlob Frage and even caused him to ditch set theory as garbage, throwing away a lifetime of work ! Spooky was annoyed at Casper, but the latter did set the  monks running, their robes flapping behind them ! One fell, but got up & resumed running .
They pulled a spluttering Wendy from the Pond , & quickly she started criticizing everybody's looks. As Casper explained all this paradox business to the others, they failed to notice that Wendy had wandered off again.
As she wandered, she espied a fenced in town,with a 5-story tower & a watch-tower as well. Much closer was a gooseberry bush. Beyond were rolling hills.
Helping herself to the gooseberries, she became aware of a growing clamor & found herself surrounded by - geese !
She said "Shoo, you !" & made shooing motions at them. This only annoyed & angered them, & again she wished she had magic to fling them away.
Then - one of them spoke ! "You are under arrest ! You are under arrest ! You have broken the law !"
CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 9 months ago
Hm, that's right, Ozma did ban unsanctioned magic.  Probably not the best way to do it (forbidden fruit and all), but at least it was a working solution.

Too much of anything, even the truth, isn't necessarily a good thing.  Even trying to keep one's mouth shut wouldn't help because avoiding lies of omission would loosen the truth-teller's tongue.

To paraphrase Borusa (from Doctor Who), "Only in mathematics is there truth."

Ah, gooseberries that attract geese.  Better birds than another sort of goose.
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 9 months ago
This is my 4th attempt to go on with the summaries. Twice I started but a vague malaise caused me to give up, then Neongecko 06  posted an avatar I wanted to comment on and the website scragged my work.

Wendy demanded to know why she was being arrested. The goose with the cap showed a badge in his feathers and said "As head of the Goosestapo of Goose Downs, I find you guilty of theft. It is against the law to pick & eat the gooseberries which are for the inhabitants of the town. You are under arrest! Men! Men!" Some geese came goosesteping up and began shoving Wendy . They took her broom which she might have used to swat them away. A hour or so earlier she could span dimensions and now she was unable to fight geese.

Shouting for her comrades, Wendy was taken to the town which was surrounded by a chicken-wire fence. It was patrolled and guarded by authoritative-looking geese, as well as the guard tower, and there was that 5-floor tower near the front gate. Once inside she was shoved into a basket and geese on a treadmill raised it up to the top floor.

The squeaking of the pulley raising the basket told Wendy of her arrival. At a rude desk, waited the Magoostrate and his attendants. The Magoostrate asked her the questions -and then asked her if she had ever eaten a goose. Wendy wanted to say that she never did, BUT the truth pond magic caused her to say she did eat one, served  by her aunts on Yule last year.

At that, the geese went ballistic. "Murderer ! Cannibal ! This is a far more serious offense !" Wendy protested that it was NOT in Oz, and that the roast goose had not been intelligent . She was pent in a cramped cage, and the magoostrate flapped a wing in the direction of a black goose wearing a sinister cowl. "The executioner is very efficient and it will be all over in a moment !" .

The gang had arrived by now at the fence, but it was closed. Poil tried to run towards it and phase through. but - O W !!, she bounced off it, a diagonal of crisscross pattern all over her front.

Wendy had just been visited by the magoostrate and asked for food, but was told "We do NOT feed the condemned ! That is a waste of food !" Wendy asked to be released and said that she'd go away and never return. She was told "That is true ! Once you are taken to the executioner , you;d be then released from all further punishment , when he lops off your head. Once dead,you will have thus gone away and never will return. " Wendy then demanded  a lawyer, but was told that lawyers are a waste of time, and she had had her trial. She was told that once Father Goose, the Proper Gander, had arrived, the execution would proceed.

Outside there was a commotion. Nightmare had charged the gate and jolted it open,Spooky riding on his back. The Magoostrate and 2 others were knocked down, and then Spooky yelled ! B O O !!!  Wendy was making noise, by bouncing the cage over to the casement, and thus Casper looked up. By now, she had loosened 2 bars by her work and now got to the window. Jumping down the 5-floor shaft was out of the question, even if she didn't hit anything on the way down. She tried hauling up the basket, but the hemp rope broke and the basket crashed down and hit 2-3 geese ! Rope and her cage had been poorly maintained. The geese could fly up to the casement, but ...

Poil grabbed the axe that was to be used on Wendy and split the block. She had Casper put his hand in the split. Then once it was firmly in, the gang began pulling on Casper, trusting that his unflesh would be stretchy enough . They stretched him over to a post and wrapped his other arm around it. Now his legs were stretched over to 2 other posts. Casper was unable to do it himself, and it hurt !, but he was now stretched into a blanket !

JUMP WENDY ! JUMP ! came the call, and she gritted her teeth -and jumped ! Nightmare was kicking right & left, warding off geese that had tried to stop the "miscreants" from "aiding & abetting".

One addendum to finish this summary.
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 9 months ago
She gritted her teeth,jumped and landed on Casper. He felt her hit him. She bounced off and landed on Nightmare. Nightmare said "I feel as if Raymond Burr rode me !" They heard the Magoostrate yell "KILL THEM ALL !!"

Casper, his limbs numb and then burning with pangs as sensation returned, then heard Wendy cry out "My tools ! We must fetch them !" Nightmare assiste din breaking open the cabinet and retrieviing the items -and 3 strange ones. In a hurry, they grabbed them all. Then with the gang on Nightmare's back, they all raced away from Goose Downs ! Wendy was complaining that what she saw of Oz - well, they can have it !"

Coming up: the town of Stycks, the curse of the Perce...
CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 8 months ago
How well I know that heart-wrenching and maddening agony of having all my typing wiped out.  It doesn't matter if it's a mis-loaded website or a word processor crashing in a BSoD, it's still a frustration.

Also, apologies for my inconstant replies.  While sometimes, I'm up to being quick about my responses, there are also times when I'm not.  I don't know when these particular personal issues of mine will iron out.

In any case, I did finally goose myself into taking a gander at your synopsis.  I like the punning.  I'm reminded of Piers Anthony's Xanth series, except you lack his tendency to exposition.  Sometimes, Xanth just teeters on tediousness, which is something it shouldn't be doing.  You've avoided that.

The goose puns are spread out and paced well instead of rushing at a reader in a clump.  You don't lose the humor even when in the midst of the action (that's a unique way of serving pressed goose :p ).

Now, to see if our heroes can Styck to their itinerary. :p
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 8 months ago
After the yells of "ONK ! ONK!" faded in the distance, the gang soon after reached the town of Stycks, highly unusual in that there was nothing unusual in them. Made of flesh,bone & blood, No extra or missing body parts ...Stycks looked like an European village. Hard by was a castle, where king Peano the Loud and his wife Calliope ruled Fiddle'd'd. The people were highly musically inclined.
Here the gang heard a curious story. The King & Queen had a daughter,princess Whe, who had a vicious personality. Bad-tempered & ungrateful, disrespectful to her parents, impossible for tutors to educate,...one day, she kicked a cat & left it injured. She had no excuse to explain THAT & somebody noticed. In Oz, all things get noticed by ... That same day, a peddler effected entry to the castle, & revealed himself to be - the Wonderful Wizard of Oz ! He wasted  no time in stating his case, & whisked princess Whe away with him !
     She did not return.
     About 2 days later, a newborn baby girl was left on the doorstep of a respectable family,one Oom Papa & his wife Tweedle-Eedle-Eedle. Their own offspring had left home years before, & they were overjoyed to have a child again. The two named the baby girl Clarinette, & she grew up with them. She was a happy, dutiful & affectionate girl. While carrying greens to the market, she heard people talking about the mysterious disappearance of princess Whe & wondered about the girl.
     Clarinette had reached the age of accountability & was being courted, when the Wizard of Oz came to her parents. What he told them,they could not credit. He claimed that Clarinette was the missing princess Whe ! When they begged to differ, he said he could prove it. Even as Clarinette affirmed that her parents were Oom Papa & Tweedle-Eedle-Eedle, he took out of his satchel a chunky prism,touched it to her forehead & uttered a cantrip. There was a flash of light & a clap of sound.
     There stood Princess Whe, but with the memories & personality of Clarinette, no longer to be a pain & grief to her parents,the king & queen. Ozma, unlike Glinda, had no problem with magic that turned one person into another. She did not,however believe in an artificial personality installed in a tabula rasa, but preferred to let one grow naturally. This was the essential essense of the tale of the Girl with Four Parents.
     Somebody saw & heard Spooky acting out ,yelled "RUN ! IT'S THE PERCE ! HE'LL CHEW YOUR SCALP OFF !". Just then the gang saw & heard a commotion. A mob was attacking a minstrel. A constable came up to drive off the mob and Casper & Co. hurried the minstrel off.
     At this point, I am having trouble summarizing without relating everything in full. Suffise it to say that I will wrap up this segment, with a song the minstrel sang the gang. First she * tuned her lute and then sang the following :
"Beware the curse
of the perce
The terrible curse
of the horrible perce
If he grabs ye you're in a hearse
It's too late for a nurse
In yer blood he'll himself immerse
Yer skin he'll make into a purse
The meat on yer bones he'll make wurst
It goes from bad to worse
It's too much for any more verse
So -beware the curse
of the HORRIBLE PERCE !"

Terrible song -by a terrible minstrel. My Oz chronicle is peppered with songs,some better than this !

* The minstrel was actually Ozma herself, under a sudden compulsion to wander among folk as a minstrel
    
CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 8 months ago
The motif of a leader disguising themselves to wander amongst the people isn't an unusual one.  The leader often does it to take the pulse of public opinion or personally work as their own special agent.  Even Shakespeare used the trope in his plays.  At a guess, Ozma may have learned about our heroes (presumably through sanctioned magical means) and was checking them out personally.

Stycks must be a unique tourist trap.  "Visit scenic Stycks and be bored out of your mind!"  And get away with it.

It's likely most of the heroes wouldn't be frightened by the Perce, being dead already, although they might be in for a rude awakening in that regard since the rules aren't quite what they expected them to be.

As for Whe/Clarinette, that sounds like something Baum might have written.  It's kind of a Space Whale Aesop, though.  "Don't be mean, or you'll be turned into a baby." :p  Only in Oz can you be "reincarnated" without having to die first. :p
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 8 months ago
Well, your mention of the "space whale" made me think of 2 "sequels" to the Disney Pinocchio film, "Emperors of the Night" & a space adventure, but ... Neither had I ever seen as I was turned off by the idea.

The minstrel had introduced herself as Tip (Ozma's old name when she had been magicked into a BOY by Mombi,the Wicked Witch of the North -see LAND OF OZ by Baum) and Wendy then had to be hushed by Casper when she started a mouthful of negative criticism about Tip's  doggerel about the Perce. She was,of course, under the Truth Pond effect.
Spooky then asked Ozma about this - perce. Ozma said that the Perce is not a topic discussed by the people. Tip did and that's why she got pelted. The Perce was as big as a MAN and had white fur, a long tail, and eyes that blazed with fire !
And the teeth !

The Perce ravaged the cabbage & shattered farmer Wottel's barn, & his cows escaped. The word "perce" was an ancient oz name for a "night-bogey". He comes at night,smashes market stalls, eats & destroys merchandise, & has chased people ,slavering for their flesh. Tip had even been told that he even snatched babies from cradles, but this has not been substantiated.

Wendy stated that she is a witch, a good witch, & Tip hasted to remind her that magic is forbidden in Oz, save by the authorized. "It is our nature to right wrongs, to help folks, to ...". Casper hasted to tell her that they CAN'T police the entire world. "Well, we came to help -& stop this -perce !"

That very night the Perce came into town,slavering for food & pillage. (An Edward Gorey pic,photocopied from one of his little books, portrays the monster perfectly). The Woohoo family had put Casper,Wendy et al, up for the night. They had a debate on the lack of modern conveniences the people of Oz had (no TV, no phonographs, no ...)& Wendy had started the dispute. The other side of the coin was the closeness of the people's quality time. Their discussion was interrupted by a loud outcry: Mr. Yuhu the baker was under attack by the Perce !
The monster was chewing its way into his bakery ! Bashing,crashing,dashing, gashing,hashing, mashing,smashing, trashing... Casper & Co.,were storming their way over there. Knocking bottles off shelves (KLONGLE KLONGLE !). Casper tried to drag the Perce OUT by its scaly tail, but strength is not one of his strengths, even when he still had his powers. The struggle was further complicated by townspeople coming out & risking getting clonked on their heads,...

It was Wendy who acted. Despite the dampening of their abilities, somehow Wendy overcame that ! She seemed to faint,to collapse, but she was entering the Perce's mind, to search the maze of its neurons and find who or what the perce was. To know a foe,is to understand it, & to deal with it. She espied some -figure-in this maze & it rapidly receded from her. For about 1/10 of a second it was -disturbingly familiar, but then was rushing back away.,..
What Wendy had done was a harbinger of a future development. Ever since she used a certain spell in the superworld of Nemesis (Nabiru ?), she had been having brief things like this. (A TALE FOR TINY TITANS, early Casper work).At any rate, she collapsed -and so did the Perce !
Not out of sympathy for the felled Perce, did Casper & Co., haul it away into the forest, but to prevent townspeople from belaboring the body with pitchforks,clubs, etc.. He did NOT like needless violence.
Pearl detected it was still breathing, & so they stood around it as the perce slowly revived. Would there be more fighting once it did so ?

As the monster got to its feet,it - spoke ! "Hey,kiddo. Put DOWN that big rock before you hurt somebody with it !"
"You - spoke !"
"Certainly ! Don't all animals speak in Oz?"
As they conversed, it came out that the perce was actually Percy,the Personality Kid (see THE HIDDEN VALLEY OF OZ) who had been given man-size once he got to Oz. He also said that the Wizard of Oz sent for him,but as soon as he opened the door... "
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 8 months ago
(pt.2 of comment. 4000 characters is TOO short,for the intended chptr.)

The former Perce,now in his right mind as Percy the Personality Kid (a man-sized white rat from a lab), continued with a shrug. "...and that's all I remember ! Next thing, I wake up here with you scowling around at me,in these woods.". He could recall NOTHING between then, "..and if I was a murderous fiend, kiddo, well I am GLAD I don't remember it !".

Percy did not return to Stycks,lest he be attacked and mauled ! When he was the Perce,he could & would fight like a demon, but now he was helpless. So, he elected to remain where he was. Casper decided to tell the townspeople that they slew the Perce and threw his body into a ravine, Wendy would have blurted the truth, but Casper decided HE'd do the talking. Percy would make his way back to the Emerald City...

They heard from the townspeople who were grateful for their help, and had been generous with pies & such, that there was one person who could help them get to the Emerald City, a hermit to the north,named Dwarold, who had much information.
So they set out on an all-day trek through a lemon or golden yellow landscape. Wendy tried to use her scrying ball, but that was heavily disrupted by whatever was dampening all their abilities...kept fzzing out...
     "Are we there yet ?" (Spooky)
     " No." (Wendy)
     "Just asking..."
( repeated after a short while. )
It was evening again, when they finally came to a house & a small farm. Too small for supplying markets, it must have been for the dweller's own use. Then they saw the dweller.

He was not even as tall as Wendy. Oat yellow hair, a shabby antiquish hat with a ribbon, a coarse face with a miserable scraggle-beard and this head sat on a very short body. And the following conversation ensued.
     "Excuse us, sir, but we're looking for a man named Dwarold. Have you seen him ?" (Casper)
     "He does. I see him every day. Soon he'll be preparing his evening meal."
     "You know him that well ? Do you see him often ?"
     "Course I know him. I couldn't help otherwise. He's me !"
     They had found their man.

(This will be followed by the chptr "In the house of Dwarold" .)
CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 8 months ago
I don't think the two movies are sequels to Disney's film, but to the original book by Carlo Collodi.  Although basically a good character at heart, Collodi's Pinocchio isn't all that likeable.  He kills a cricket early on after getting Geppetto arrested.  He doesn't turn his behavior around until he's hung by the Fox and Cat halfway through the book (the original end to the story), eventually saving his father from a gigantic dogfish and then caring for the ailing Geppetto before being turned into a real boy through a dream.

Disney felt the character too unlikable and gave Pinocchio a literal attitude change, the cricket an upgrade to a major character, and thus turned the story from a morality tale to a coming-of-age story.  In my opinion, Disney's version is an improvement on the original.
______

"Are we there yet?"  "No."
______

Nabiru is the name of the 12th planet in pseudoscientist Zachary Sitchin's history of humanity's origins.  Orbiting the Sun in a highly elongated orbit, the planet is supposed to be the alleged home of the Annunaki, aliens who allegedly came to Earth millennia ago and set themselves up as gods to early humanity, screwing with our genetics and behavior patterns in the process.  They vanished a long while ago, leaving behind the advanced civilization of Atlantis which was destroyed by some sort of cataclysm (presumably the Great Flood).  Sitchin is pretty much dismissed by scientists as his "evidence" is either freely interpreted or highly questionable.  The name Nabiru is derived from Babylonian mythology where, I think, it's is the name of a god.

Nemesis, of course, was a hypothetical red or brown dwarf companion star to the Sun that occasionally bumped comets into the inner solar system.  Not only has nobody found the thing, but the supposed periodicity of "bumped" comets doesn't seem to exist.  Of course, we now have the hypothetical new Ninth Planet which seems to be kinder to us, having only nudged around a few of the far out objects we've found.
______

"Are we there yet?"  "No."
______

But enough of my natterings.  I find your story more enjoyable with its lighthearted adventure coupled with clever names and wordplay.  You've been doing a good job. :)
______

"Are we there yet?"  "Yes."  "Well, dang.  Now what do I say?"
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 8 months ago
The edition of the Pinocchio story I have has also a part on the art of puppetry. I also have the script for PUNCH & JUDY which portrays him as a serial killer. The book was illustrated by none other than Cruikshank. This book was in the library of a now deceased family friend (most of her books were in German,tho.).Very limited edition.1929.
I'm posting this separate from my synopsis to conserve space.

Disney's problem was that he had to re-invent a character as sympathetic. He failed with Reynard the fox, and with roosters. Don Bluth finally worked on the abandoned Chauntecleer rooster character, the movie was so-so and that was that.
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 8 months ago
In my fan-fics, Nemesis is a Dyson sphere world beyond the orbit of Pluto. Inside is its own sun and room for hundreds of sentient species. Sorcery is well known there (its sorcerors made Nemesis invisible to outsiders), and Wendy executed a spell to help defeat king Moof who was threatening everything. It is not one of my better works. The CASPER IN WONDERLAND novel is my first good Casper book, and the best.
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 7 months ago
ATTENTION !
We interupt the "Casper in Oz" narrative with this intermission:
Even as Casper & Co. met the mysterious rider on horseback, the Wizard of Oz had been observing them in the Magic Picture, one of Oz's main artifacts. When not in use, it just shows a country scene, but when one steps up to it and asks to see such & such, the landscape fades to what the user requested.
Osma was busy holding a council with some local petty kings, & so would not be interrupting. The Wizard then requested the picture show the room he was in ! Then he asked to see the Emerald City from the south some 3 miles away. Then - a request that nobody ever asked it to do before !
"Show me the same view - from 100 years ago !". He could make out himself being proclaimed king of Oz.That was long before he hid from public view as "the man behind the curtain". Then he had the picture go further back in time to show the city of Oz still under construction. He was there supervising operations. Derricks, vans, ...
Then the Wizard drew a deep breathe -and ,convinced that suborned under the Higher Magic, the Magic Picture could be a time machine,gripped its "levers" and   threw the "gears" of his new toy into FULL REVERSE ! The scene went into fast rewind, The illusion of headlong speed, He saw king Pastoria's castle, & what was there before it, & what was before THAT ! On & on the ever-changing scene went , boring & piledriving ever deeper into time until....
The Wizard made a sign & the picture finally halted -at a scene of YamaYamaLand , the original supercontinent that occupied the Nonestic Ocean, earth's 3rd hemisphere ! Oz's geozlogists named this primal realm after an ancient Oz word "yama" meaning "all". All-All-Land. A great range of mountains, some 10 MILES high ! Monsters huger than they had a right to be (footprints 10 feet wide !) fought & tore ! All life did so, to produce a new generation that would also fight & tear.
That mountain range had been named by geozlogists the Osohi Mountains. All their data was only to be found from the worn roots of these mountains long worn down by wind & rain to the plains.
The Wizard then made a sign & the picture showed progressively more recent scenes. YamaYamaLand broke up into all the landmasses & islands in the Nonestic Ocean. What would someday be Oz & surrounding nations was become a demonic hell. The illlusion-cloaked phanfasms,the ever-shapechanging mimics, and others of the prehuman ERB peoples. The Elder Gods (Ak, Kern,Bo) & their fairy servants slowly extirpated the erbs or sealed them under spells in places that man would not likely venture...Just before the final war, a child was born, one Ne-Claus who alone of all humans lived with the fairies in Burzee Forest (yes, Baum recorded this time in another of his books). The Elder Gods also knew that one mortal would be added to the ranks of the Elder Gods, but who would be deserving of IMMORTALITY ?
Because the evil ones threatened the growing Ne-Claus ,a final war of extermination was waged againsf all these demons.
(Ne-Claus would be known to the world as Nicholas, &, in old age, would be endowed with the unique Cloak of Immortality, to live FOREVER !) Ne-Claus -Nicholas -Saint Nicholas -Santa Claus !
Somewhere about this time, the super-technological Rivin Empire went down in atomic fire, just as Wendy saw it in that dream, the Deadly Desert created by the war ! The kingdoms of Oz formed, & eventually Oz established its hegemony over all the others.  At some point,the land was enchangted. There were monarchs: Ozmund, Ozwald, Ozbert, Ozred, Ozroar -whose tyranny was ended by the Fountain of Oblivion, Pastoria, the witches, the Wizard,the Scarecrow, the would-be tyrant Jinjur-& finally Ozma !
And now for the other Artifact of Oz, the Great Book of Records. Every event in the world would be recorded,as it happened. If a baby threw a tantrum -recorded. If a tyrant rattled a saber -recorded . The Word Processor the Wizard also had.

now back to story
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 12 months ago
THE MIRROR CRACK'D
THE CITY IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE.
THE THIRD LIFEFORM
DOMDANIEL DAZE
DARK LEGACY OF THE SHINING TETRAHEDRON
DIVERGENCE
THE OVERDUE LIBRARY BOOK (incl. IN THE CELLARS fragment)
FLY THE FIENDLY SKIES
LIRP'S REVENGE (fragment)
GRADUATION DAY (in progress)
THERE'S NOTHING LIKE THE PRESENT
THE EVE OF DEPARTURE

BARTELBY (see Bartelby tales by AlexReynard, to fully understand this)
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 10 months ago
I see I ran out of alloted space. There I must leave in mid-fight until next time.
neongecko06
1 year, 9 months ago
Well this is an exotic coincidence - unless prehistoric megafauna is discussed more often than I thought, I just came across this one in a board game yesterday.

Oh, and she looks adorbs. :D
CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 9 months ago
Thank you.  I'd hoped to be successful with that. :)

Curious about the board game.  At least they were trying to diversify beyond ground sloths, saber-tooths, and mammoths. :p  However, if you'd like more on prehistoric megafauna, there's a few spots on DeviantArt dedicated to all sorts of long dead beasts.  Plus, there's also TetZoo which also throws in living ones, too.
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 9 months ago
Well, your avatar was a scene from a Mighty Mouse cartoon, one in which he comes in at the end and decks the villain with casual ease !
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 8 months ago
IN DWAROLD'S HOUSE

When Dwarold led them into his home, Casper & Co. were struck by the sight of numerous shelves loaded with books ! All the books dealt with giants, like WHITE SNOW & THE 7 GIANTS and even GIANTS IN THE EARTH. "This last one was a fraud. It has nothing to do with giants. All my books are from Bookends, a town on the southern border of Oz, and the main publisher of books for Oz. I then asked the pageboy to please check carefully from now on, but I fear that they are hardbound over there."
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 8 months ago
Dwarold then stumped over to the stove & cooked dinner. He got down his best plate, Silver, gold and ozmium. (it was seldom when he had guests in to dine.)They all had a meal, the table set for 5. Nightmare grazed outside. Dwarold then stated that it was his fond dream to BE a giant ! Spooky looked at the dwarf & tactlessly said "Seems to me you got a long ways to go yet !" & Casper shushed him.
Wendy was the last one to settle into sleep, pouring over books to find a possible solution to Dwarold's dream. At last,even as her eyelids grew heavy, she found something in "THE SUNDRY & DIVERS TRIBES OF OZ" and put a marker at that spot.
..........................................
"Good morrow, me lass. Do you always sleep this late ?" she heard Dwarold say the next morning. "No, but I was up late looking up a solution to your problem. I think I found where you will become a giant !"
The others were baffled. Wendy could not lie, & her magic was willy-nilly (just as their powers were throttled by the same influence.). Wendy then began mapping out the route.(my book also holds a map she drew on their Oz travels.).

Dwarold said "I hope we don't go north to Nue. The nakes there do not wear any clothes and I'd die of embarrasment."
"We do not go north".
"I hope also we don't go east. The Grrmans are there and they are savages" (their entire language was GRR GRR GRR ! and it's the way they pronounce "grr" that conveys meaning.).
"No, we do not go east". Dwarold was also not anxious to go near Thin Mountain where the people are skeleton thin .
"No, we go southeast."
They set out after breakfast, Spooky argued with Casper about his "goody-goody nature".He doubted that they could trust a giant ! The trip would have been boring & tedious were it not for unexpected diversions along the way. A bush that attacked them (it was an am-bush). Snapped at by snapdragons, chased by dandi-lions, even having to avoid enormous ants that could smash a house (aleph-ants).This was the wildest ,least settled part of Oz, and Baum's map reflected that.
     Atop a knoll that overlooked a vast golden expanse, Dwarold stooped to pick up some metal shards. "Traces of the Rivin Empire of antique days. When the world was younger. Before there was an Oz." He then told of the advanced technological Rivin Empire . It all ended in an all-out thermonuclear war ! That night Wendy  had a dream of vast tripods ,imperial walkers, and skyships destroying all in their path ! The skyships in particular blasted out the Deadly Desert, lethal with gamma radiation ! The vast engines of mass destruction lay buried in the desert & even now there was a wall of gamma fire encircling Oz. It was enhanced by later magicks. What was now the Winkie part had been the center of the war,the most destruction. A rain of hydrogen bombs ! Some plants now had mutagenic properties,even.[Carter Green ate too much of such wild Winkie provender -and became Oz's version of the Swamp Thing ! (THE HUNGRY TIGER OF OZ)]
     Dwarold got out his tinderbox ,while speaking of the Rivin Empire, and managed to light the twigs Wendy had gathered. Spooky had been cussing because he tried rubbing branches together.
    The next day they knew they had strayed closer to the Grrman area than they expected. Grrranium plants, surly grrrbils, even the grrrapes were unpleasant to pick, growling at Spooky.
Spooky was murmuring to himself a song (the remnant of the first attempt to write this novel,years earlier, with different characters.)                                          "Tin does not rust
                                                               Powder it to dust.
                                                               The Tin Tyrant !"
When they came to the edge of a great abyss. Its depths were hidden by mist & fog,& a waterfall plunged into it. "The fabled Gulp Gulf. How to get across...".Wendy finally espied a row of pillars that one could,with effort, cross. They made their way across.
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 8 months ago
Hopefully this is the conclusion of this comment.
By & by, the pillars gave way to floating platforms. They gave a bit under Wendy's & Dwarold's weight,but ghosts have no real weight, not even Nightmare. (Wendy had stuffed him into her knapsack, tho, rather than have him try to walk those pillars. One mis-step and ...)
To make matters worse were the ARMS in the mist. Arms reaching for them, and voices murmuring "Pull them in.Drag them down. Make them one of us !" (I've a good drawing of this scene)
The platforms began to shift back & forth, & the gang had to time their jumps from one to another, even as arms reached for them. Arm-ies of arms ! It was far from pleasant & they hoped never to repeat that work, but they made it  to -not the other side, but to a pedestel separated from the other side by a good 30 meters. There were no platforms to carry them over, just 30 meters of misty abyss to jump, and no stairs going up the other side... They heard the voices say "We have them now ...".The prospect of going back over all those platforms and then to find a route around Gulp Gulf... It was evening again, and dawn would show a pedestel empty of inhabitants...
     Pearl was kicking dirt & pebbles around in frustration -and not all went over the edge. Some stopped in mid-fall . Puzzled she kicked the debris again, and more stopped in mid-fall. A path ? Wendy began throwing armfuls of rubbish over the edge and it seemed that a bridge came into view, an INVISIBLE but solid bridge. Some advanced,but with eyes shut, and Wendy & Casper carefully felt for a solid but invisible surface. Painstakingly they made their way across. Spooky even jumped the last 2 feet to the normal edge,wary of any sudden gap ... Finally a normal path.
     Dwarold was getting impatient of getting to where he'd become a giant. He spotted in the distance, across the forest, Thin Mountain, and shuddered. Their king was Redd Skeleton, their queen Bone Amy, and their guard-dog Bona Fide. Their women wear bonenets, their entertainers quip bone mots, the high priest Bonyface II, bone fires lit on holidays, and travelers wished bone voyage.
    Dwarold was discussing all this, when they came to a clearing -their destination ! No change in stature, tho. There was what looked like a collection of doll houses there. Wendy was, far from crossing the clearing,making towards the cluster of dollhouses. The wall surounding the houses appeared,as they approached, tiny figures on it, and now they seemed to be - moving. One then blew on a trumpet. It sounded like cricket chirps. Casper raised his arms and introduced him & his, ending with "Wendy will explain everything."
     She then explained that Dwarold, if they agreed, would be - their guardian giant ! He was about as tall as their tallest buildings, the Minikins being but a few inches tall ! The whole town,save for its drastically scaled down size, looked like a German city of antiquity. Looking within,one would think he'd be hovering overhead. They explained,tho they had to shout, that they were in need of a guardian giant to protect them from the dangers of the surrounding forests.
     A hustle & bustle of activity. A temporary edifice would be erected to house Dwarold until his own home & yard could be transported to the barren clearing hard by. Conditions for him to move about the area, to prevent danger to the minikins. With nobody else of normal height, to get perspective from, Dwarold could now see himself as a giant. Ozma would be informed, probably by the Book of Records or her Magic picture...
     They said goodbye to Dwarold & left him to get settled in, discussing size & such matters, when they heard hoofbeats & a voice shouting "Whoa ! Whoa !". Somebody on horseback had arrived & that -person- said "At last we found them ! You ! You are the ones we seek !".
     Needless to say, Casper & Co. were astounded at who this rider & his steed were !

(Next comment will explain all).
      
CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 7 months ago
That was precisely the solution to Dwarold's problem that I was thinking of the moment you mentioned his desire to be a giant. :p  It is rather obvious if one thinks about it, setting aside the possibility of a size-changing spell as a red herring.

Your synopsis of their journey kind of reminds me of Piers Anthony's Xanth novels, at least with his better passages.  I should say that the bone fire pun is indeed appropriate since that's how bonfires got the name, as people once burned animal bones in such fires in order to ward off things like spirits, witches, and the plague.

Oz's prehistory certainly comes across as grim, a far cry from the Oz Baum reported on.  Perhaps the Ozians learned the lessons of the ancients better than some of those elsewhere.
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 7 months ago
Since I never read the Xanth stories (burned too often by scifi & fantasy novels, I went off them.), any resemblance is just a coincidence.(like the Chasm).My Ruvians (long retired, when I stopped cartooning some 21 years ago) each have a wild talent, varying from gen. to gen. .

     OK, now to the novel. The arrival of this personage marks the start of pt.2 (we're off to see the Wizard) where the gang meets the person on horseback. Casper, who has read the 44 Books of Oz, instantly recognizes it as - Jack Pumpkinhead and the Sawhorse !! (real horses are not native to Oz)Jack fished out a card from his pocket & started reading it, but held it sidewards & then upsidedown, resulting in his saying gibberish ! The Sawhorse cracked that Prof.Wogglebug gave him that card as a memory aid, BUT it was hopeless !
     The gang wondered how Jack could see with empty eyesockets, or how he could speak with no tongue, vocal cords or lungs. (under his clothes were naught but sticks & planks).No nervous system, no digestive system, no muscles...Casper recognized it as Black Box Magic, something Wendy would someday learn from a prof. Hideoushi.
     Jack then read from the card "We have been sent to convey you to the Emerald City so you may stand in the presense of Queen Ozma !" Casper introduced Jack & Sawhorse to the gang, stating that they are ALFs (artificial life forms) of Oz, created by Ozma before she became a girl & before she outlawed magic throughout all Oz. Jack still called her "father" and Spooky saw him as a total idiot !
     "if we start off at once, we may reach the Tin Man's palace before sundown, & then see the Scarecrow & then get to the Emerald City before noon tomorrow." As they rode (the gang on Nightmare & Jack leading them on the Sawhorse) Casper recalled that Jack's head was not immortal & would spoil in due time. So Jack became a farmer and grew replacement heads (& brains). He would scoop out seeds from his head & plant them, growing new heads. When the new heads became ready, his old head was becoming mush. The new heads had impressions of his memories. So when he switched heads,tossing aside the old one, it was the same Jack Pumpkinhead. (Baum said that Jack eventually died,an idiot to the end, but later retconned everybody in Oz as immortal.)
     The dying, bleeding sun was hasting to its western grave, when the gang perceived a metallic glint in the distance.The sun was reflecting off a palace made of gleaming tin. Always there was activity as Tin Woodsman, the Metal Monarch, never slept (or ate or even breathed). Casper pondered whether he was ever human. His memory & thought patterns were copied into a metal head and his dismembered bod was later reassembled ,married Nimee Ammee -& came to regret it ! (Baum confused matters by adding the Tin Soldier who is not mentioned in later stories).. The Tin Man had met his original head &, without a heart, that head ran on pure cold logic.
     At that point, the Tin Woodsman emerged from his palace & welcomed the gang. he was the emperor of the Winkies.
"It's late,so we'll see the gardens tomorrow. I'm having a spot of trouble with tin pest at the mo."(Tin pest is a non-metal form of tin caused by prolonged exposure to cold.). Wendy & the ghosts could sleep, but Nick the Tin Man would spend the night reading and/or stargazing. So he had an extensive library.
    The gardeners wore goggles to block the sunlight glinting off the metal leaves,flowers,etc. . A small bridge crossed a decorative stream and one could espy tinfish ! Nick then said "I have a symphony orchestra & concert band. I have a tin ear ,but I do enjoy music."They did sound like an old cylinder record minus the surface noise. Pearl preferred the music of Arpeggiatura Glissando & her unstrung harp (this character turns up at apt moments, like when Casper had been made king of the world (he had since abdicated).). Spooky wondered if he'd ever see his shack again.

(I see space is full, so see next comment
CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 7 months ago
Many of the tropes in the Xanth series aren't original to it.  This isn't a condemnation, rather an observation.  Odds are the tropes weren't even original back in Roman times.  In the end, our originality is more in our presentation of the story than in the development of any new concepts.

It seems some familiar faces have shown up.  Not surprising since a group of strangers can't wander about the countryside without attracting official attention, especially when the officials in question have such an array of spy gadgets.
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 7 months ago
The new chapter is named "In my house are many mansions".
And they were off again, on the last lap to the Emerald City ! Casper wondered how the Sawhorse (& other ALFs of Oz) got their energy. They never ate or slept. What was the potentium ? The Sawhorse was strong. He could pull a waggon full of guests touring Oz (as in The Emerald City of Oz, Baum's intended END to the Oz series). Soon the golden yellow of the Winkie Empire gave way to the emerald green of Oz's original dominion, before it expanded to include all the other lands surrounded by the Deadly Desert. They galloped over a parkland, & past a large lake, & the green towers of the Emerald City were rising over the horizon. The Flags of Oz snapped & flapped in the cool breezes. As all Casper had to do was to ride Nightmare as the Sawhorse led the way, he pondered many unsolved questions on Oz. He knew why Dorothy never brought home any jewels that would have financially helped her aunt & uncle (& prevented their finally losing their farm to fore-closure). She had tried, but the perfect gems became common road pebbles once she got home. In Oz,silver,gold ,platinum, even diamonds were as common as gravel !
     They now proceeded down the main avenues of Oz, towards the grand palace of queen Ozma. (depicted in O'Niell's WONDER CITY OF OZ). Spooky was making hideous faces at the people ,causing many to throw things at him. Pearl warned him to stop it, or she'll throw him into a nearby house (which seemed to have a face).
     A footman (from the Foothills, & who looked like a shoe) went to inform the Wizard. Entering the palace, they were suddenly addressed by the Gump, a head mounted on a plaque. Casper again wondered about the immortality of Oz's inhabitants. According to THE LAND OF OZ, The Gump was shot & killed by a hunter,his head mounted on a plaque and finally left to gather dust in an attic room. There Tip (Ozma's male ID) found & brought it to life, while seeking escape from Jinjur the usurping tyrant who had overthrown the Scarecrow. The Gump must have been shot BEFORE immortality was bestowed on the peoples of Oz, before the reign of king Pastoria even.
     They soon were ushered into the throne room of queen Ozma. Spooky,Poil, Nightmare,Wendy, were all a bit daunted by the Lion on one side of the throne,and the Tiger on the other. It must have been here that the Wizard once held audience with the original entourage of Dorothy, in his illusions (or special stage effects) of giant head, etc. The Wizard now employed illusions to disguise himself when walking in public, lest he be mobbed by well-meaning people who thought he had the time to spend & help(or entertain) them all.
     Wendy was NOT sure that the Lion was safe,or was as cowardly as Baum made him out to be. She also was not sure that the Hungry Tiger was safe either. He MIGHT be wondering about how she'd taste if ... even tho his conscience blocked him from ever trying. As Ozma said "Please consider yourselves honored guests",Jack Pumpkinhead chimed in with "Are they polterguests, father?" prompting Ozma to make a "as you were" gesture to him. People tittered at his idiotic remark.
     Ozma stated further than she had been watching them in her Magic Picture, & also Dwarold, & had already made arrangements via the Magic Belt she had confiscated from the Gnome King (he was taken care of ,finally) for misusing it. Also the Book of Records kept track of the band of adventurers. She had, as planned, moved his home,books & all, to where the minikins lived. Also addressed was the mystery of why Percy the Personality Kid went savage & feral, & how Wendy,her magic nullified, managed to enter his mind & drive off whatever outside agency had affected him.
     Shown to their rooms,temporarily one hoped. Dante had been treated well by his host after his exile from Florence, BUT to always walk up & down somebody else's stairs & to eat at somebody else's table...well.
    I must now wrap this up.
CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 6 months ago
Considering most of the guests were ghosts, Jack wasn't really that far off the mark.  I'd also say that Baum didn't really depict the Lion as being all that cowardly since the Wizard humbugged the Lion into believing in himself.
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 6 months ago
The following installment contains some poetry,which I dabbled in from time to time. As a subchapter,it can be titled "Encounters in the hallway".
-----------------------------------------------
Poil snuggled down on a soft bed, but quickly got up again. She had been lying on a glass cat which complained. (It was an early creation by a Dr.Pipt a.k.a. Dr.Nikidik the Crooked Magician. When Ozma first issued her decree against unauthorized magic, he faked his death, & re-appeared as a Dr.Nikidik. As Dr,Pipt he created an earlier version of the magic ,used to create Jack Pumpkinhead & later the Sawhorse. Perfected it was used to create the Glass Cat -& another ALF.). I might also add that when Wendy & the ghosts had ,upon leaving with Dwarold to that place where he would become a giant, taken with them some beef stew in a thermos. The Wizard had,however, already stolen this.
     In the hallway, the gang encountered the Woozy,an unexplained phenomenum, all cubes & rectangles, bearing on its back a dinner with a candlelabra. They also saw Tiktok,a robot with packages. "Par-don -me. I - am - mak-ing- del-liv-er-ies." he chanted in his calibrated monotone. Clearly the creation of a constructionist which would not work outside Oz. Dorothy had found him in Ev, a kingdom northwest of Oz on the other side of the Deadly Desert.It lay east of Ix and Noland. Dorothy was of help in restoring the royal family of Ev (Book 3, OZMA OF OZ), but it was not until much later that she met the Wizard of Ev.
     Then all attention was drawn by seeing a lunatic on a bicycle, behaving in a way that it was a miracle she hadn't broken her neck ! As she drew near, she shouted "Whoop-de-doo ! Visitors !". Casper then recognized her as - Scraps the Patchwork Girl !He knew of her creation from a patchwork quilt and how Mrs.Nikidik carefully measured out the brain furniture to make her an obedient unquestioning slave. Ojo the Unlucky,however, messed up the formula and so Scraps came to life as an acrobatic lunatic spouting poetry when the mood -or muse- struck her.She perused the ghostly band and then sang -
"Well, you ghosts are a sight !
You want people to scare !
The one with a hat is a fright,
but me - I don;t care !"
She then added "Not too long ago, somebody put a plaque on my door. It said MAD AS A HATTER . It's a lie ! I never made a hat in my life !" She then also added that Ozma suggested that she write down her poetry and sell a book of it. Trouble was, she admitted, her poetry is spontaneous and trying to invoke the muse while writing didn't come so easy. She then shoved Spooky because he had stuck a pin in her ! Spooky could not believe that she was entirely made from a patchwork quilt and felt there MUST be a person inside that outlandish garb !
     Scraps said "Two can play at this game. I'm a good scrapper when pressed, & I've been in presses to get creases out!"
When she was asked about the Woozy, she launched into another song.

"Krizzle-krazy woozy !
"Makes anybody doozy !
Three hairs in its tail,
lands anybody in jail !
Go pick a 6-leaf clover,
Only then it's only all over !
Go draw water from a dark well,
keep it covered and all is well !
The left wing of a yellow butterfly,
without it the poor thing can't flutter by !"

There was also a well-dressed bum, the Shaggy Man, who likes Oz because he doesn;t like money. How he came to Oz was the subject of book 5,THE ROAD TO OZ, but Baum was by then,jaded about Oz & the book showed it.
There was also Eureka, a cat that Dorothy found & picked up somewhere. She was once banished from Oz because she had tried to eat one of the Wizard's miniture piglets . She came back eventually,but trying again to get at the piglets, was doused with pink dye that they dumped on her. The dye never wore off & she remained a pretty pink ever since. Poil handled her,but not too expertly.
Toto came by, & sniffing at Poil, said "You ! You smell of CAT !" Wendy tried to explain, but Toto said "Grrr - WOOF !"
To next co
CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 5 months ago
It's pretty good poetry, in my opinion.  I've dabbled with it myself for story purposes.

The unification and exploration of pre-existing characters also works well, as does your wordplay and clever ideas.  To me, they fit with the feel of Baum's stories.  I like these stories you've shared.  People can forget there's value and sometimes thoughtfulness in light fantasy.

Also, I apologize if my replies are so erratic and strung out.  There's been a lot of days this past year when I flinch away from replying to comments as I should.  Just go ahead and keep going as you've intended to.  At least someone is willing to comment on my submissions, and that helps stir me out of my doldrums.  (I just don't like anyone feeling obligated to comment.  I want people to comment because of the content, not because they feel sorry for me.)
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 5 months ago
                                                                       PART ONE: 7-9-2017

Casper was talking with Ozma. Inspired by her magic belt, he spoke of some comic superhero named the Green Lamp or something, whose power ring would perform any task he required of it. But mostly he spoke of the gang's adventures in Oz to that point.Ozma spoke of other visitors to Oz, some staying. They also discussed the Scarecrow whose being alive was never explained by Baum. Possibly a wandering spirit was enabled by Black Box magic to inhabit the scarecrow & use it as a real body.
In a full-pg illo, I showed Casper & the gang in the back yard of the palace looking at Billina,who defeated the Gnome King (eggs are kryptonite to gnomes.). Two of her current brood of chicks were carrying signs reading "Garding Oz !" & "Horrey U.N.O." (animals can't spell well). Walking by at the mo was Hank .A mule wearing a hat,boots & smoking a pipe was quite unusual. Note:U.N.0. is United Nations of Oz. Pearl saw Billina as a society lady in flowing yellow robes.
     Pearl later wandered into Aunt Em's rooms who saw her as a little naked girl. She scolded Pearl, asked to know where her mother was (letting her underage kid wander about nude) and made her don a dress. "Take great care of that !"she ordered,"it belonged to Dorothy !"she had retrieved it from the old homestead which a tornado ripped from Kansas to Oz.
She also explained that it's now a shrine and too far away to live in,so she lives in the palace. As Pearl emerged from Aunt Em's rooms all dolled up like that, she griped to Spooky "she didn't even offer me a cookie !".
     It was also explained that the two wicked witches died because they were -already dead ! Baum made it clear that both had long been dead and animated by their magicks, when Oz became enchanted. Casper had had an experience with the undead Queen of Clubs in Wonderland.(you read of this !)
     The footman (I already explained that he looked like a shoe) came to the Wizard. Hearing that the gang had arrived in Oz,confirming his suspicions as just who forced him to uncloud Percy's brain. Biding the footman "shoo !", he then consulted the Book of Records. He had used the Magic Picture as a portal and drawn the book all the way from Glinda's palace in the far south. He then wrote in the Book the following ...
"THE GNOME KING HAS RETURNED TO HIS TRUE FORM"
Elsewhere in Oz, a shelf in the conservatory was suddenly occupied by a short,wildly bearded long-haired irascible fat old man. Shouting horrible oaths,the Gnome King stormed out of the conservatory, making his way to the Emerald City, swearing revenge on Ozma & all. (After several attempts to conquer Oz and such, he had finally been enchanted into a cactus ,and no canon story has touched him since. See HANDY MANDY IN OZ).

(I wish now to cut this short as PART ONE to do PART TWO after I tend to some chores, like getting the paper. I, who can create the most fantastic beings, must needs do chores & such by myself. Also rereading my old text and summarizing it takes time,energy & commitment. Some can NOT be summarized & yet continue to do justice.)
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 5 months ago
Commentary on football:
I gloss over the recent controversy on football's dangers. Injuries, sometimes fatal, and cases of encephalopathy leading to criminal behaivor and even suicide.
I have a close friend who had once wanted to be a football player, BUT polio, while not crippling him totally, took the edge off his co-ordination and so he became a lab technician. I think fate spared him possible encephalopathy and even early death. He's a great guy to be with, and he's in his 80's now.
CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 4 months ago
It won't be a problem for me either.  My family weren't sports-oriented.  Football was that annoying program that kept overrunning reruns of shows we did want to see (no longer a problem thanks to DVDs).  They were all boring.  You can bet that I stayed well away from sports in school, even ignoring the pep rallies.  After all, who cares?
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 4 months ago
I stopped trying to watch shows schelduled after sportscasts. Some COULD have been shown, but the game was followed by things like "Kiner's Corner" which I did NOT want broadcast.
CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 4 months ago
For me, it was pretty much afternoon re-runs of the original Star Trek.  Later, I no longer had to worry after I got them all on VHS and later, DVD.
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 4 months ago
I now watch the show on channel 3, before Svengoolie. When I first watched the show ,we only had B & W TV.
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 5 months ago
PART 2: 7-10-2017
Casper & Co. now made a trip to Oz's university, run by Professor Wogglebug. (one fan-fic actually tried to tie him in with the Cthulhu Mythos !!).It resides in Munchkin country. There was no mistaking the huge colonnade fronting of this grand repository of learning. Pearl was actually un-nerved by the sight of this insectoid being,dressed as a man tho he was. Artists differ in how many arms he had.
Spooky thought as Prof.Wogglebug extended his tarsus in greeting "It HAS to be his HAND-it's at the end of his ARM !". He noticed the pulvilli at the end of the tarsus and the empodium between them.
Professor's full title was Professor H.M, Wogglebug T.E. (One student was overheard saying that H.M. doesn't mean Highly Magnified, but rather, Highly Megalomaniacal. And T.E. does not mean Thoroughly educated,but rather Throughly Exasperating. The curious curriculum was that most of the students' activity was in sports. Education in science, history, literature,etc,. was done by pills. Knowledge pills, Prof.Wogglebug's own invention. Each one constitutes a day's class and knowledge. Even the most lumpen schmuck would wax erudite upon swallowing a poetry pill. My pwn text has 2 pics of sports, tho the uniforms were c.1910's. Football was called the Great Game. (see my next comment,tho.)
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 5 months ago
PART 3:
I have to retype a whole comment.
The building of a whole new playing field for the university became the scene of excitement when the discovery was made of a colossal fossil. It was the skeleton of a hippocampus -on the campus! -and it was at least 100' long ! Undoubtably the site was once an inland sea of the primal supercontinent of YamaYamaLand when all the landmasses in the Nonestic Ocean (in earth;s 3rd hemisphere) were united. Professor Wogglebug wanted it removed at once, but others protested that clues would be destroyed in removing it from situ. Ozma would have to make a studied decision on this matter.
Casper and Spooky also examined a globe showing the Nonestic Ocean. Oz was depicted as surrounded by the Deadly Desert (created in the all-out thermonuclear war that ended the Rivin Empire.).Beyond the desert lay such kingdoms as Ix,Ev, Noland, Boboland, the forest of Burzee (where Santa Claus dwells), the demon lands (nasty enemies of Oz, blocked from conquering Oz by magicks, about the time Oz was enchanted), and even the domed over kingdom of Mo (stranger than Oz, and even stranger yet was TopsyTurvyLand which can be entered through an underwater portal there.).Merryland, and the land of Intelligent Apes (like Planet of the Apes), and further on the strange lands in the Nonestic Ocean, explored by Captain Salt,a former pirate and now royal explorer. North was the Rainbow and the Bent Sea beyond (perhaps a portal to the lands we know ?). A few details I came upon, but Baum and later writers set tales in these lands beyond Oz.
I find I am low on energy and having to force myself to continue. I will post this now.
CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 4 months ago
A reply to all three parts, and also a word of advice: asphalt is a terrible thing to hug.

This section seems to me to be a breather between the establishing adventures and later action, when exposition, both worldbuilding and plot-related can occur.  Of course, the rest of the world is still doing its thing.  Just think, a giant mer-horse from an era when things were bigger.

The Nome King – what a prickly personality there.  The Wizard definitely isn't backwards about being forwards protecting his adoptive homeland.  Wogglebug is basically the average professor with tenure.  That ex-pirate is obviously an old Salt.

I don't think I'd like Oz U's curriculum, since, as I said elsewhere, I'm not a sports person.  The pills are handy if one needs to regurgitate facts, but they don't bring much to another of a university's functions, adding to human (and other) knowledge.  Presumably, students and faculty who find the pills too limiting go on to do just that.

It makes sense that Baum would introduce nearby countries to Oz.  No land ever develops in isolation, Deadly Desert or no.  After all, Oz interacted with Kansas in the very first book, and it isn't even near the Nonestic Ocean (or any other ocean for that matter, even though it's illegal to hunt whales there)..
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 4 months ago
The colossal seahorse fossil was since given the name GIGANTOCAMPUS DENSLOWI.
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 4 months ago
The section you refer to is, indeed, a breather. Which is why I hope to get to the next action -& soon !

We now see a delegation of imps approach as Poil and Scraps confer about poetry. (We have first seen imps in the Baum short "Ozma & the little Wizard"(1913) where the two deal with 3 bad imps,Ertinant,Olite and Udent.). I think I did justice to imp physiognomy in depicting king Irius, claimant & rival Yriel, Rohper,Ress, Roove, Oster, Ulsive, Ure,Ortant, gaolor Rison,Ayle, Asto the painter, Ell, Atient, Asse, Acte and Eech, & last,but not least, Ossibelle -whose hair went everywhere!

Wendy also met the Cowardly Lion, walking down a path, and she blurted out that the ribbon in his hair did not suit him, that it's a little girl's ribbon and ...to her surprise, he slashed out with a claw Took off a few strands of her blond hair The Lion then calmly said :Notice the precision & care I took in my aim. i COULD have made a bloody mess of you, considering your remark, but I didn't. You would not have lived to learn the lesson. You are young & I took that into consideration. A brute lion wouldn't have .End of lecture.End of lesson." What was causing people in Oz to act this way ? Wendy went to see the Wizard, but found his door closed & locked, and when she knocked,it remained a wall.

Scarecrow & Scraps were bicycling down the Yellow Brick Road,They found an old hollow log, and only songbirds and an owl saw them sit down. Scraps began discussing her efforts to set down her poetry
The owl said "whoo?"
Scarecrow said "It's us,Scarecrow & Scraps !"
The owl said "Woo !"
"We;ll get to that. I believe in long engagements.".
Even as the witless owl watched, Scraps scribbled a 2-liner, THE COW FLEW ABOUT & ABOUT, WHILE THE MAID MADE SOURKRAUT.

Ozma was speaking to the people who had acted out of character, The Wizard was reviewing events. So far so good. The Book of Records was causing events not just recording what had happened. He had turned Oz's magic inside out,upside down & backwards. Good,good !

Spooky & Poil had visited the house of the Wicked Witch of the West, still residing where it fell all those years ago. It was now a sort of shrine, preserved just as it was, the day Dorothy ... save for the removal of all books & tools of magic that the undead creature had, The spot where Dorothy did a cleansing was surrounded by 4 golden stands with emeralds topping them and joined by velvet cords. An inlaid plaque told what had happened here, at least a century beforfe.  Dorothy never came there: there were too many unpleasant memories of this house.

Scarecrow & Scraps were suddenly interrupted by a figure that stepped before them. It's head was a kettle of - beef stew !- and it said its name was Stew-ard ! The way it moved bode no good. The two got up & made to leave,but the visitant blocked their way. "If you are here on business, your manner wants manners..."
"King Irius of the Imps wants you !"
The two were taken to a laboratory where they were greeted by the Wizard. "You are NOT the Wizard O.Z.Diggs I knew all my life !" the Scarecriow snapped.
"I DON'T have to explain myself to a straw-stuffed bag of rags with a painted face."
The Wizard was accompanied by a golem that seemed to phase through the wall, by molecular mixing. "You first, since you are the older by far !" The Scarecrow was submerged in a thick oily liquid. After he was taken out, Scraps was then given the same untoward treatment. Both changed a bit in color. Scarecrow did splutter "You are ! Beyond a doubt ! The most ! (Scraps' struggles drowned out the next disjointed remark). "I have ever seen !". Scraps also retorted:

"You let me go right now!
Or Ozma will give you such a blow,
You'd land in the next week,
or wind up dangling from a peak,
Glinda, the lion, all would do you in !
Your life won't be worth a pin - GLUBP !"

The Wizard said "I never did care for rhyme doggerel !"

Now I had hoped to get all this chptr in,in one entry,but you must go to the next.
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 4 months ago
PART 2: 7-27-2017

The liquid the two ALFs had been immersed in ,had altered their molecular structure,made them explosively inflammable. As it was, the Scarecrow's greatest fear was FIRE ! Before, he could beat out the flames, but now he'd go out in a FLASH ! Nitrocellulose ! Scraps the same way, GUNCOTTON ! The merest spark...Scraps snarled "If I had a gun, I'd shoot you !".
"You can try, but the bullet would not discommode me, and you'd risk a spark from the gun firing ! Turning instantly into air & water vapor ! FASH !"

The Wizard then went into high gear. He wrote something in the Book of Records and things began to happen !

The Sawhorse was endlessly,tirelessly running -and winning races with Man O'War, Shergar, Secretariat,...at Churchill Downs, and at the end of each race, was ready for the next race.

Billina was facing a whole army of gnomes. She laid eggs fit to kill ! She'd throw an egg & hit a gnome, and he'd dry up & blow away ! The Nome King rose up with a big shield of bones ...

The Woozy was wandering down a forest path, joyfully eating all the honeybees, & nobody bothered him.

Toto was king of a curious land full of picket fences, alleys, telephone poies, hydrants & dog biscuits. Everywhere there were bones to dig up.

Dorothy,her coronet at a jaunty angle, was skipping down the Yellow Brick Road, with a picnic basket & a butterfly net.The road went on endlessly but Dorothy was going nowhere particular at all..

Trot had hitched the Sawhorse to a red waggon and she & all her friends were off on a gallavant all over Oz.

Jack Pumpkinhead found himself atop a huge pyramid of pumpkins, all carved with all sorts of facial expressions. Raising his fists, he called "I'm king of all I survey !"

Omby Amby, the soldier with green whiskers, and the one-man army of Oz , was winning battle after battle, planting Oz's flag upon a heap of Oz's vanquished enemies.

The Tin Woodman was busy hewing down an entire forest. He got down the biggest trees, next the saplings, then the brush & vines, and finally the weeds. The job was hard,the job was long, but the Metal Man was tireless and now the bare ground was ready for planting...

Scarecrow & Scraps were riding in a carriage bet 2 endless lines of cheering people. Scarecrow stood up & read a short poem :
"O Scraps & I are very happy,
and soon married we will be !
For I'm in love with Scrappy
and Scraps' in love with me !"

Then he threw into the audience, some green rectangles of paper, all marked with complex ink patterns & numbers,and each with a pic of a bearded man.

The Wizard had written that these people would fall asleep & dream... Even the ALFs who never slept ,let alone dreamed, had done so for the first time in their lives...

The Wizard really went to town,and what he wrote ! There was commotion in the Deadly Desert, as fantastic WMDs emerged from the sand,the legacy of the Rivin Empire ! Imperial Walkers, tripods... all manned by doops of TikTok, and stone golems. They would go out, across the sands and conquer the lands of Ev,Ix,Noland, .... and then across the Nonestic ocean to lands beyond, and then...
The S.S,.Tyrannic ,armed with cannons & bombers, sailed across the sands with ease...

The Wizard called a Virtuoso (a virtual reality man in the real world) and wrote THE VIRTUOSO SENDS ASLEEP ALL HE TOUCHES. One person after another succumbs to sleep. Soon - all the palace is a bedchamber, all except the Gump;s head mounted on the high wall and helplessly viewing all with alarm ...

All were asleep, dreaming dreams they would not want to leave and not knowing they were dreaming !

The Wizard had won !
Casper & Co,. had been vanquished !!
Oz was the Wizard's !!!

(To be continued)

CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 4 months ago
And now the villain rears his head, not backwards in being forward in his plans for conquest or, at least, general havoc-wreaking.  That he should turn out to be a Wizard instead of the Wizard is a clever bit of misdirection.  However, presumably, there is something about Casper and Company that gives them a chance against his villainy.

I'm reminded of two imps who showed up in the Xanth series.  One was indeed Ortant, who'd fallen prey to an alligator clip, but was rescued when his daughter Quieta managed to rustle up a halfway civilized ogre (the protagonist of that particular book) to free Ortant.  She rewarded the ogre with a tiny, one-use-only (planned obsolescence, after all) soap-bubble mirror the ogre later used to stun a cockatrice.

Which reminds me that it occurred to me that, if you wrote these stories or similar stories, not as fan fiction but as your own original works, you could probably do quite well.  That you aren't familiar with the Xanth series yourself may very well work in your favor.
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 4 months ago
Once I tackle a redoing & error correction on a LIFE pattern, I will proceed to the next installment of my Oz novel. THIS part will be enhanced, as long planned, by drawing your attention to the last 3 pics in my personal art gallery on InkBun. Far from being a summary, they are the original text -and the very apex of my writing.
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 4 months ago
note 2: I forgot -too late to edit note 1- to also state that while chronicling these events, I could not commit myself to depicting what a wisp looks like. So I wrapped them in auras of colored light. Please use your imagination ...
CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 2 months ago
I imagine the tricky part was getting that uncertainty of appearance across to the audience.  After all, if you can't quite work out what a wisp looks like, perhaps there isn't anything concrete for them to look like beyond the glow.  Presumably, the wisps happen to be the Oz version of will-o'-the-wisps.
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 4 months ago
When the Wizard suborned the High Magic of Oz with his Higher Magic, he provoked the Highest Magic of All...
Where High Magic & Higher Magic oft roar, the Highest Magic of All may whisper...

The Gump alone was awake in the Palace, apart from the Wizard who was tampering with reality with the Book of Records. The Gump was but a head,mounted on a plaque, but he struggled to somehow escape,to give warning...I give a thrilling description of something -happening. A neck appeared,then shoulders, & then forelegs began to emerge ! He kept struggling, almost being jolted as frorelegs pulled free ! His chest half there, forelegs free, he was now able to push against the plaque,& slowly a body emerged, a body that was not there just a minute earlier !! Abdomen,tail, hindlegs -& then he fell !
     The crash to the floor completed the separation from the plaque, and the half-dazed gump, now a complete,living, breathing animal ,staggered to a mirror and admired his new body ! It took him almost a minute to realize that he should not waste this miracle by wasting time. He had a message to deliver ! But - who to deliver it to ?
     So it was that a gump ran from the palace into the southlands of Oz, where he recalled Glinda ruled. He now,however, soon tired,a weakness of living beings, & must relay the message to - the Wisps ! THEY could convey the warning !
     The actual form of a wisp is not known: they are very private denizens of the forests, and their small forms are cloaked in mantles of light, concealed even from each other. The color of the light conveys their emotions.
     The tired gump relayed the message to King Ignatz the Fatuous. Then off he went to find a place to sleep -and hoped that this was not but a dream...Here is the message
 "Dorothy is hungry. The Cowardly Lion will go to war. The sawhorse is all wound up. Scrappy & the Scarecrow are all wet. The Wizard will go to lunch tomorrow & the tiger has eaten. Tiktok is tin & Ozma is virtuous, Jack & the Clockman are pumpkins. Goblins & trillers." I'm afraid that the message was corrupted and I can not decipher parts .
     And THIS is what Ignatz the Fatuous related to Willow & Pat,the two wisps chosen to see Glinda.
"The Tiger ate Dorothy. the Coward Lion has warts. Tiktok is tiny & Ozma is a virgin ! Scrapping scary goblins are all wet. The wizard will eat tomorrow, and he saw the horse. Songbirds ate pumpkins."
     Given their mission to relay the message,Willow said "Yes, your Shyness".
     So it was that we see King Ignatz on a podium,two chosen wisps before him and the other wisps ranged behind, all listening intently to what the king had to say.
     I will now state that I refer you to the last 3 pics in my personal pic files in my account. These relate my original writing, and the best writing of all,my acme in fan-fiction.
    The two were supposed to reinforce each others memories, but by the time they got to Glinda, all Pat could recall was "a mission, a message, a mission, a message..." and Willow could only say
"Brenda, the tiger hates Dorothy ! The Coward has a wart ! Tiny Tim married Ozma ! Goblins fight & scare ! The Wizard ate a horse ! Songbirds ate pumpernickel !"
It was a miserable mess of a message, garbled ? No, garbaged ! But Glinda knew that wisps would not come in such haste just to say rubbish. So, she gave them refreshments and a cordial for any injury Willow had suffered, and, with appropiate tools, used some means to get to the Palace, pronto !
     And the dreams continued...

Thanks to my having a time ago, sent the original text to my pic files, I could relate as much as I did in the stingy allotment of characters this website offers, per comment. PLEASE let me know if my files can be accessed by you. My Oz book was illustrated !
CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 2 months ago
I read the pictures you mention and left messages.  They're pretty good, actually.


Hunh, well, it seems I guessed the wrong Wizard after all.  Even laying out the cards, you're still getting me to misdirect myself. :p

I suspect this wasn't your intention, but considering the ghostly nature of most of the main characters, I wonder if the gump had figured out how to manifest as a spirit after observing them.  After all, if I remember correctly, of the ALFs Tip/Ozma brought to life in book 2, the gump was the only one who'd been alive before, albeit whole in the body instead of just a head.  And it would further tie in how Oz and Casper & Co. were interacting.

However, that does bring up the question of why he'd get tired when racing to Glinda's.  My best guess would be that the ghostly gump had existed so long as a head and was so unused to having a body and four legs again, that it needed some time to adjust.  Perhaps it wasn't physical exhaustion that stopped it, but mental.  After the shock of having a body had worn off, it found it started needing to think through how to move its legs properly to keep them from tangling.  After some practice basically relearning to walk during non-crisis situations, and it'd be right as rain.  But of course, it didn't have time for that right at that moment, what with Emerald City in danger.

Naturally, I repeat that this is only my thoughts and doesn't necessarily reflect what you intended or would be good for your story.  (Still, it's an interesting idea that might be worth developing elsewhere.  Who knows?)


It seems Glinda is saavy enough to catch the gist of the wisps' warning.  The garbage may need to be tossed out, but the can it came out of is still essential.
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 2 months ago
When Glinda arrived at Ozma's palace, she found everybody asleep . They were all deep in dream . Among her skills was being a dreamistress ...
Each found their dream gradually beginning to be disrupted, & soon all seemed to be hiking over a prairie towards a cabin. It was Dorothy's original home, but not it actually, just the dream-image. As each stepped over the threshold, they were greeted by Glinda. Scraps perused a book on a rude shelf, but found the words gibberish (the most intelligible line was  "well up main the HAT bet that it sucks !"),but that's how books read in dreams.A book by Edgar Allen Poe would go on non-stop about "skulls","bedbugs","insecticide" or "exciphering".
In the shared dream, Glinda explained what happened & said "I will touch each of you, and then you will awaken back in the palace". They did see each one vanish as she laid a hand on that person's shoulder... Casper & Co., Ozma, the ALFs ,the court... all awoke & Glinda was there. She had determined that the trouble was in - the Wizard's rooms.
They made a sortie on there, and caught the Wizard writing something in the Book of Records, stolen from HER abode. Ozma's magic picture was also there. Ozma & Glinda were baffled as to how,if the Wizard had planned villainy from the start, how he could have hidden his intent for over 100 years !
(The ensuing magic fight was the first part of this chronicle I wrote). Scraps rushed at the Wizard, but went flying out the window, landing in a haywain loaded with hey hay (a variety of hay that complains if roughly handled.Naturally it complained.).The Wizard proved impervious to most assaults, BUT after a protracted struggle with Ozma & Glinda, CHANGED SHAPE !
He morphed into some figure seemingly out of Magritte, with a frock coat and a derby hat ! Casper immediately recognized him as - Maximilian Ernest, who had earlier taken over Casper's Earth as the greatest of all wizards in all universes. Also known as Loplop or Easelman. In his hand was a pen he called the Word Processor, & with it, he was altering reality by writing in the Book of Records. That ensorceled tome records everything that happens everywhere. If a baby throws a tantrum it's recorded. If a dictator rattles his saber it's recorded.Now it was being made to CAUSE events ! The Magic Picture being used as a time machine !
Somehow they had managed to make him leave their world, and now -he was endangering this one ! In addition, Loplop now called in his virtuosos (virtual reality figures in real space) who trooped in, & secured the band.Loplop gave his harsh judgement at once. "I am a god ! Fighting you is like fighting children -& children you shall be ! I have here some glasses of nice cold water, fresh from the Fountain of Oblivion *. Upon being made to drink of this beverage, you will forget everything you ever knew, & be as blank slates to be trained by me as obedient slaves. Who's first ? !"
Loplop, trying to be a god ,but with but a wizard's mind, had overlooked in the confusion & hurry of the subduing of Casper's & Ozma's sortie, that Spooky had escaped capture & securing. Even as Loplop was forcing open Casper's mouth to pour the water in, Spooky had snuck round to the Book of Records,and,using the Word Processor that Loplop put down to subdue Casper, - wrote something in the Book.
An event storm !
Loplop vanished !
So did the virtuoso holding Casper. In fact,so did ALL the virtuosos ! The glasses of water smashed to the floor !
The Book of Records no longer would alter reality. The Magic Picture would no longer be a time machine ! Loplop's magic no longer was ...
And - the powers of Casper & Co. returned !! They felt it !
Ozma rushed round to read what Spooky had written. The words were not Spencerian, BUT they suffised.
LOPLOP HAS RETURNED TO THE LAST DIMENSION ! And there he would stay ... Spooky had saved Oz, the world, the universe, even the Multiverse !
"Who WAS that man ?"
Wendy said "He was & is my father !"

* Used in book 7.


CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 2 months ago
Relatives can be such a pain, especially when they're rotten.  Looks like my original guess that the villain Wizard wasn't the Wizard was correct after all.  It wouldn't be the first time I second-guessed my second-guess. :p  Overall, though, I'd have to agree with you that the action scenes are shortchanged when summarized.

When I try to read in my dreams, I've tried to pay attention to what I'm looking at.  Occasionally, a word might be perceptible, but usually, I see only a blur that my dreamself knows is whatever it's supposed to read.  Retaining that meaning when I wake up is, of course, another matter entirely. :p
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 2 months ago
Harvey comics only said that Wendy was NOT related to her "aunts", but was found on their doorstep as a baby in a basket.

Maximillian Ernest, Wendy's father, the most promising alumnus of Domdaniel (my take on Hogwarts), abandoned his wife (Wynde)in Limbo (eventually rescued by Casper) and his daughter on the doorstep of strangers. He then voyaged to the Last Dimension, but could not return until Casper accidentally freed him (in early fan-fic).  Then he proceeded to conquer Earth !

He created the Virtuosos (virtual reality figures in real space) to enforce his rule. He also used ornithopters (bird-shaped flying machines), trilobugs, vans (powered by black box magic),  maybe more. He started to use such on Oz, after Casper got him to leave earth. He also, by writing in the Book of Records that they had done so, reanimated the Weapons of Mass Destruction lying in the Deadly Desert, and set them, manned by countless duplicates of TikTok, to invade & conquer Ev, Ix, Noland, and other realms beyond Oz, even the domed over land of Mo.

When Spooky wrote "Loplop has returned to the Last Dimension" in the Book of Records,. he had turned Loplop's magic against itself, and everything returned to normal. Everything save - WHERE WAS THE REAL WIZARD ?

Following: Chptr titled THE THREE SORTIES.

(Loplop was next intended to show up on Earth-2 where the JSA hold forth, and give THEM grief & care. THAT story was supposed to be a round-robin collaboration bet me & a former correspondent back about 21 years ago. After I did chptr.1. he was supposed to write chptr.2 and then I would write chptr.3, all using notes we would supply each other, etc., until the story was done.

 Before I could broach the subject to him, we had a falling out (his act, not mine) and the story lay fallow. I finally wrote chptr.1 IT ALL BEGAN IN ROCKEFELLER CENTER, with no plans to ever continuing the story. Preserved for archival reasons, in my last fan-fic BARTELBY, along with other almost completed stories.)
CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 2 months ago
Quite the storied villain.  However, like many villains, he seems to have trouble handling people on a personal level, getting so focused on his vengeance upon the heroes that he makes oversights that end up costing him.  Interesting though, that Spooky would be the one to slip past him.  Perhaps Spooky's experience in scaring people (and sneaking past his friends who try to keep him from scaring people) paid off.  It takes patience and stealth to get a prime scare.

Of course, just because the villain is defeated doesn't mean all the loose ends are tied up.

That's unfortunate that you and your correspondent had a falling out, but at least you got a bit of a story out of it.  Even if it's no longer canon or workable, it could end up inspiring something else in time.  One never knows.
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 2 months ago
Start of THE THREE SORTIES (chptr. 16).
Casper's gang wasted no time in exercising their regained powers. Casper underwent several fissions & fusions. Wendy whipped up a number of spectacular spells. Poil morphed into a kangaroo shape & stuck Spooky in her abdominal pouch. Nightmare shaped into a dragon. (He is a kelpie from the northern wilds of Scotland,as indicated in an early issue) and never assumes human form.).
Spooky also became a hoop and rolled about -until he came to the Book of Records. He then wrote in it with the Word Processor, OZMA DOES A CARTWHEEL DOWN THE HALLS. But the villain's magic had disappeared with him, and Ozma remained standing where she was. She did walk over and take the Word Processor -gently but firmly-away from Spooky. It was now just an ordinary pencil.
The thing to worry about was the Nome King who was making wild threats. He looked mad enough with his long hair and big beard waving about, with his wild dancing in rage, his absurd round shape, without his awful threats. "If I did but 10% of what I want to do with you, the world would think me harsh ! For every injury you did me, I will do 20 to all of you !". Casper & Spooky morphed into egg shapes and rolled towards the Nome King, but they were not real eggs and got kicked aside.He had also donned the Magic Belt which was the greater part of his power. Taken from him in OZMA OF OZ as war booty, he ever tried to (1) get it back and (2) conquer Oz.  He wasted no time in commanding the belt to turn Ozma into a conscious statue which he intended to smash !
To everybody's surprize -save Ozma- the Nome King instead turned into a small emerald ! The Magic Belt dropped to the floor with said emerald lying within. Ozma then stated that it was Casper who gave her the idea. Him -and his Green Lamp- who could tell his power ring to wait 10 minutes and then strike at his foes. (remember that throwaway statement a good time ago ?). Ozma got the idea of commanding the Magic Belt -for the next 24 hours- to turn anybody unauthorized to command it,into a small green emerald. Wendy said that it was similar to the BoobyTrap spell on her wand. Any unauthorized person would get hit by a fell spell in recoil.
Wendy fired a Grand Negation spell into herself, removing the effect of the Truth Pond. Whether it could work against foreign magic she wasn't sure, BUT she had been getting very effective.
Scraps then reminded the others that she & Scarecrow had been turned into bombs,incendiary devices by the Wizard for use by the Imps. Their colors were off, they had been weakened, and a spark could ... They also muttered about a "golem" who assisted the false Wizard in nitrating the two.
She opted to stay behind and look for this -golem who assisted the false Wizard. He - it - could very well be the missing Wizard.
Unable to locate the real Wizard by the Magic Picture or Book of Records, they did discover that several golems had been stashed in 3 hidden places. They did see the crashed vessels of Loplop's Air Army, incl. the S.S.Tyrannic that had gotten to the other side of the Deadly Desert before its crew became inert shells, its engines shut down ... and just stuck at the very edge of the Deadly Desert,protruding into Ev. Would be made into a hotel or housing ...
Ozma determined that these -golems were in (1)a deep forest,(2) at the bottom of lake Quad, and (3) under the hill of the Hammerheads (who were very territorial !).
So, as they set out to search for the Wizard among all those golems, and Pearl to search the Palace for the golem who or which could had been the Wizard, I draw this extract to a close.
CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 2 months ago
Spooky might have just been intending mischief, but what he did was a good check to make sure the Book wasn't going to be a problem any more.

A successful monarch thinks ahead, which Ozma certainly did.

And now, they're once more off to see the Wizard, albeit for a very different reason...
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 2 months ago
                                                                                            - 1 -
After the Apocalypse thermonuclear war that ended the Rivin Empire & created the Deadly Desert, Oz came to be ruled by such monarchs as Ozmund,Ozred,Ozroar,Ozbert,Ozman, Pastoria (an ineffectual man who was overthrown by a clique of 4 witches. By the time of Dorothy, two had been vanquished and Dorothy was fated to destroy the other 2.). After the abdication of the Wizard,the Scarecrow became king, due to his wisdom & knowledge, but was eventually deposed by a woman named Jin-jur. The tyranny of this usurper led to HER overthrow,and now she tyrannizes her husband ! The Scarecrow was NOT reinstated (and,indeed, he had come to be tired of dealing with the responsibilities of ruling Oz),but Ozma was found. Tho the daughter of Pastoria, she had been first a fairy,chosen to be born as a daughter to the king of Oz,guiding the land to its rightful place in the world.(fairies, like migicians, do NOT tell their secrets) Acheiving said position was a bumpier ride than expected, thanks to the Wicked Witch of the North. One of Ozma's first feats was to free the royal family of Ev from the tyranny of the Nome King. (see OZMA OF OZ).Since then she has acheived much in statecraft, (see but avoiding war at any cost.(see GLINDA OF OZ)
     (Jin-jur now regularly repaints the Scarecrow's eyes, and his trusting her to do so,surprizes me, as she first wanted to burn him !)
    End of interlude. Next,the three sorties get underway.
CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 2 months ago
You can get some secrets out of a fairy if you know their true name.  They're like Jellicle cats who have three different names: the name that the family use daily, all very sensible everyday names; a name that's particular and more dignified; and the name that no human research can discover – their true name, given to them at birth and known only to themselves and their mothers.  Once, people believed knowing someone's true name could give control over that person, compelling them to do things that they might not have otherwise done.  (In my Winterfur world, baptism is part of a rite that prevents this from happening.  Baksrit was baptized as an infant which would make using her true name to control her – assuming anyone learned what it was – pointless.)  Personally, I think this is because the more primitive and bicameral mind thinks that names define people instead of simply describing them.

It seems to me that the Scarecrow figured Jin-jur had done him a favor in deposing him and made this clear to her.  His forgiving her and trusting her with his eyes probably also prevents her from causing more trouble later on.  It's a risk, but appears to be a justified one.
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 2 months ago
In the webcomic SAGA OF ZANDER, Zander Skonk tried to control Adler Young,the lord of the elves (who appears to wear lounge pajamas) in DevArts,but now moved to Patreon,  by addressing him by his true name.. He soon told her that she was fed a line ! As an elf and almost 1000 years old, she should have known better ! It amuses him if somebody invokes his true name to play along with it at first,but then to ... he threw her out of Elfheim and she had to go back to the world of cars,planes and trains.
Her story started about 1100 years ago, and is now in Victorian times. It's  now on Patreon which charges !
Boh !

I read about cats' names also in a fantasy novel which claimed that humans were descended from cats, cats who had been punished by extensive anatomical changes ! I forget the author or title.
I found the piece you mentioned: THE NAMING OF CATS,first piece in OLD POSSUM'S BOOK OF PRACTICAL CATS by T.S. Eliot. A book on my shelves, orig, a gift to my father.
CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 2 months ago
It's probably not surprising he fed her a line.  The cleverer faeries (of whom a prince would need to be) would definitely make sure they couldn't be controlled by their true name.  They might not be liars, but that doesn't mean they can't be devious as all get out.

Correct about "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats".  I specifically went out to buy a copy one day some time after I'd gotten the soundtrack.  My Winterfur world makes a couple references to it as well, as a fancied up "Jellicle" is the name to one or two books of their version of the Bible, and one of the characters is a feline priest named Evan (so, he could be called Evan Jellicle :p).
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 2 months ago
                                                                                 - 2 -
    Pearl had stayed behind to (1) Find the Wizard,if he had been hidden somewhere in the palace, and (2)Find a way to restore the ailing Scarecrow & his fiance Scraps to health.
    During the struggle with the false Wizard,the Tin Man's leg got twisted and only just now,had it been restored to its proper temper. Also Jack Pumpkinhead had to get a new head .Thus a short delay.
    Sortie 1 was in that deep forest. The band was suddenly confronted by 2 kalidahs . Stepping out in front of them, the two desperado beasts shouted " STAND AND DELIVER !". (a few of these bandit beasts still remained unreformed.)
     "Deliver what ? The mail ?" snorted Spooky.
     "Your possessions AND your lives !". Spooky would not stand for that, but morphed into such a terrible ichor-dripping fanged anatomically insane tentacled form that the kalidahs turned & ran for THEIR lives ! Their worthless lives !
     "Good thing I knew that -monster! - was you. Else I'd shriveled it with a spell !" Ozma said.
     Glinda had also decided to use a skeropythrope when finding the golems, and had Wendy carry it. Normally the Wizard carried it, but ... So Wendy was given it to carry it in her knapsack (she now uses a bag-of-holding, but this is for a future tale)..
     They soon reached the cave where a legion on the hated golems lay,inert,awaiting orders,but only from the false Wizard. The hulking lumps suggested the countless pottery statues found in that Chinese tyrant's tomb.
     Glinda bade Wendy hand her the skeropythrope (Spooky called it a stereoscope,and was gently corrected with the proper pronounciation.). Placing a powder in the receptacle of the fancy almost steampunk device, Glinda then ululated a spell foreign to Wendy and the contraption showered violet violent sparks upon the golems. Such sank into the stone masses  without leaving a mark. the gang hoped that it would not restore them to their original forms,as Loplop had turned the worst criminals of their own earth (who would not obey him),into these walking rocks. (murder had been the least of their crimes).
     Glinda finally finished treating the golems with the skeropythrope sparks and, to test whether the magic worked (to make the golems obey HER), issued an order.
     "Golems, get up !"
     They stood up, "Golems,take one step forward !" They did so. The cavern trembled & echoed to the rumble of so many pillar-like limbs getting the stone monsters to move. Now ! What to do with them. She would not restore them to their true forms, as she did not need murderers & worse in Oz, nor did she need any standing army. Oz was ruled by PEACE, LOVE & UNDERSTANDING, True,there were still many tribes who did not know Ozma and would not,at first, follow her, but in time...
     Glinda issued a surprising command to the lumbering,shambling stone monsters...

Pearl had also found a golem, the golem that carried out the command of the false Wizard to dunk the two ALFs into the chemicals to make them walking bombs. It lay behind a brick wall, awaiting commands that would now never come...

Glinda had ordered the monsters to walk non-stop to the Emerald City and wait at the gate. That would NOT be their last destination. Ozma needed NO standing army.

I tire now, being wearied by care from personal problems. More next time ...
CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 2 months ago
It's a bit tough to deliver one's life when one's already lost it. :p

I imagine the golem army, while numerous, probably wasn't as numerous or as artistic as the thousands of terracotta warriors discovered around the tomb of Qin Shi Huangdi, the first emperor of unified China (221-207 BC) and a real piece of work, being harsh, autocratic, intolerant of criticism, and rather paranoid.  At least, let's hope there weren't that many men and women worse-than-murderers. :o  It may be that Loplop unwittingly did the world a favor by transforming them.

The terracotta army also inspired a similar one in Terry Pratchett's Discworld novel, Interesting Times.  It too ended up being a golem army (although not transformed from anyone), this time controlled by magical night vision goggles that played Lemmings.

Ozma might not have a need for a standing army, but what about a sitting one?  Or one that's lying down on the job? :p
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 2 months ago
Qin Shi Huangdi was indeed the tyrant I was thinking of, but his bad rep may have been exaggerated. Historians doubt that he burned all the books or buried scholars. What IS possible was the claim that his tomb was supplied with a lake of mercury ! The tomb has not been broken into, BUT the grounds outside the complex proved polluted by mercury,100 times the normal conc. !

Mercury is notorous for its toxicity, and app. life evolved without contact with the metal or its compounds (all deadly !). So we have no resistance to mercury, or metabolic use of it.
CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 2 months ago
He apparently was determined to keep looters out of his tomb.  Even so, although his destroying books might have been exaggerated, it's still in keeping with the Chinese in power throughout history, much to the regret of today's Chinese scholars.  In the early Ming Dynasty, post-1424 or so, the mandarins seized the throne from the then current emperor and gave it to his son whom the emperor had foisted off on the mandarins to educate.  One of the things those early Ming mandarins did was destroy a lot of "dangerous" and "seditious" material relating to the outside world – essentially burning a lot of books.  It was among the first steps taken that turned Imperial China from the leading world superpower to a xenophobic and isolationist nation vulnerable to European exploitation.
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 2 months ago
I am also reminded of a scene in DUCK SOUP. After a crazy interview, Groucho,dictator of Freedonia, appoints Chico (a peanut vender) his secretary of war. Chico says Groucho should have a standing army, because that would save money on chairs ! He got thrown out the door for that !
CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 2 months ago
It probably made him the cleverest war minister around, too. :p  If anyone would have made that joke, the Marx Brothers would have. :p
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 2 months ago
Poil had found a golem behind the wall,along with trash, but was unable to command it ,break down the wall, or even "possess" to make it break out into the room. The next thing was to find a cure for the Scarecrow & Scraps !
    The band had entered the forest,and Ozma warned of the trees which could move,fight,attack them ! It was the Great Trackless Forest and it was guarded by sen-trees.
    The Tin Woodsman said that he could & would deter them, even the Quickbeams, with his axe. The Lion kept watch on any starting to move at them. And,once again, they found a lot of golems. And,once again, Glinda performed the skeropythrope ritual (I am not making this up - see GLINDA OF OZ,the 20th and last Oz book by Baum)
    The trees of the forest remove any paths intruders make and close them up. Wendy then recalled three items she found in Goose-Downs in the cabinet where HER magic tools were stashed after her arrest & quick trial. (remember that episode ?)
Ozma & Glinda examined the 3: a ball of string, a flint,and a spindle. "AH ! These were the tools of Ella Kazam the Magic Ma'am ! I do not know what became of her,but I'm afraid her goose was cooked.".
These oddments - the ball of string could unroll to find any path out, the flint could set anything on fire, and the spindle could weave from yarn any fabric wanted.
    After some discussion, made difficult by mons-trees swatting at the band, a course of action was decided on. Spooky went ahead & tried BOOing the trees away, but scared his companions more than the trees. The flint was used to brandish burning branches at the trees & made them back off. Then,Spooky morphed into - a helicopter ! He could fly straight up, and the golems could stomp a path through the forest. (I admit this was a hard part to choreograph, and, even at my peak, I had,at points, lack of muse, Maybe the whole chptr should have been rebooted.)
    With the golems marching to the Emerald City to join the 1st band, there remained but the 3rd & last sortie. The golems in Lake Quod.
     Poil had managed to get hold of a sledgehammer & bashed a hole in the wall where the golem lay, but even with the wall down & the golem in full view, did not have the strength,esp. after that sledgehammer job, to haul out a 7' crude statue of rock.
     Out of the Great Trackless Forest, as the band looked at the golems shambling over the horizon, there came up a very strong wind ! Dorothy squealed as it grabbed at her hair & everybody tried to hold onto their headgear. Then everybody found,as the wind died down, that their headgear had been switched around !

Dorothy and the Shaggy Man (a well-dressed BUM !) were wearing each other's headpieces. "Who DIED & made ME ruler of Oz?" the Shaggy Man exclaimed.
Ozma found herself wearing Spooky's derby (actually a part of him) which did NOT enhance her regality. Spooky found himself wearing Ozma's crown & again declared himself ruler of Oz !
Glinda & the Tin Woodman were wearing each other's headgear. Ozma gritted "IF this was old Oz & IF this disrespect was done by a person, it would mean DEATH !"
Asked what she meant, she blamed the monkeyshines on the Trade Winds,an Ozian phenomenum *. They swap things with seeming sentience. Such as Mrs.Yuhu's striped cow with a green bulldog. They then saw that Casper was swapped with a dumpy blue groundhog,.Grunky by name who was glad to be away from his wife (blames me for everything,even the weather !).
     Spooky flew off to search for Casper. Grunky was from the east quadrant of Oz, There was a 2nd Yellow Brick Road, dating back to the Rivin Empire,judging by its condition. Or were the dangers here the reason ? Alighting he quickly was confronted by - THE ULTIMATE MONSTER OF OZ !
(Here I must pause til next time ..)

* Here I credit the late Dick Martin, one of Baum's successors (& with whom I had a bit of correspondence).He didn't live to see my first attempt to write this chronicle & ,I admit, I had only the merest idea for, then.
CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 1 month ago
It must have been some predecessor of Ella Kazam who provided Ariadne with the ball of twine Theseus used to navigate the Labyrinth (or perhaps Ariadne was the predecessor herself). :p  Good call-back to the Chekhov's Guns Wendy picked up from the geese.

I didn't doubt the skeropythrope ritual.  It makes sense that it would make an appearance, just as you've had other Oz regulars show up as the story called for them.

The Trade Winds are a logical extension of the fanciful notion that breezes and winds plucking at our clothes (especially hats) feel like the grabbings and gropings of invisible beings.  Oz is a good place for them.

While you may need to rewrite the one section, that's to be expected with an early draft.  At least you have it written down so you can better work out what you need to do to make it work better.
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 1 month ago
                                                           1  -     Spooky vs. The Ultimate Monster of Oz

    The branch of the Yellow Brick Road that goes into the east (blue) quadrant of Oz was delapidated, and Spooky suddenly was confronted by - Flaurna, spawn of the Thermonuclear War that ended the Rivin Empire. (the area she runs is hinted at in PATCHWORK GIRL OF OZ,chptr. 10).
 Picture Fifi LaFume,some 10 or 11 ft. tall, carpeted with grass not fur, & with small blossoms at random points. Belying her benevolent look were 2 Audrey heads, one from each buttock ! Each foot was rooted into the ground. Flaurna made small talk ..
"You look pale -but you'll do ! Why don't I have you over for dinner ?" Spooky saw the Audrey Heads twist around and smack their lips at him. "For dinner -or AS dinner ?" Spooky thought.He became aware of a faint perfume,wafting from the flowers on Flaurna's body. He described Casper,but Flaurna denied seeing him. Spooky was minded to just -leave, but I think the perfume seemed to be -numbing his will to do so... He saw a small animal suddenly being grabbed by one of the heads and slide down its throat ! A small flower was added to those already on Flaurna's body.
"I'd like to stay, but ,,." such was the will-sapping perfume that he did not continue, nor did he start when Flaurna told him about herself. Animals -& people!- swallowed by an Audrey Head were absorbed into her,becoming a flower on her body.
Flaurna then caused her tail to OPEN ,exposing a glistening interior. "I'll transform you into a servitor." Flaurna said as she placed Spooky in said interior. The novelty of changing such an unusual person into a servitor . "Infused,indwelt,infilled with my essense, you'll be my obedient unquestioning..." Spooky heard her say as the tail closed up. As his senses cleared, the thought of never seeing Poil again...
Flaurna soon realized that she was trying to convert UNFLESH, perhaps inedible & would not away...Then from the junctioned seam of her tail-part, she saw white stuff beading out. It pooled together and reassembled into - Spooky !
Even his derby reappeared (he lost his original one long ago). Flaurna snarled and went at him with fang & claw !
The air suddenly felt the S M A C K! of a most stupendous B  O  O  !! . A sudden flight of birds from trees, wildlife ran for cover. From that fell forest, Flaurna ran for her life ! Few could withstand one of Spooky's patented boos.
Spooky was soured on any further search for Casper. "Let him find himself ! I'm heading home !" .

2 - What Casper found ...

The Trade Winds had miscalculated with Casper, as he was weightless. He was blown far from Gilligan Country to over the Deadly Desert, He floated & hovered ,keeping above the fatal fumes of the sands. Originally radioactive, they were enchanted later. Their destructive power,being magic, could affect him ! It wasn't easy, but Casper finally calculated the direction to go. The sands seemed to go on forever, save for downed ships slowly being swallowed up forever. Then - he saw something glittering. Carefully he extended his left arm, to take whatever it was,and not touch the sand... He also reconfigured an eye to zoom-magnify the image...
Two objects. Grasping them and shaking out any sandgrains, he saw what they were. THE SILVER SHOES OF THE WICKED WITCH OF THE EAST ! For a century they had laid here,ever since they fell off Dorothy's feet in her being hurled by them all the way back to her yard in Kansas. Casper also noted that they fit his feet like a glove, such was their virtue.

I have drawn a wonderful pic of Casper flying back to his friends,wearing the shoes, I show an Oz face-house, a road and a farmer with his son,on a draybeast -drawn waggon taking produce to the market. They saw Casper flying with the shoes and wondered ...another mystery of Oz.

Coming up is the 2rd sortie -and Poil's 2nd mission.
CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 1 month ago
A curious monster.  Similar in some aspects to the Barometz or vegetable lamb of Tartary, only carnivorous.

That's the problem with eating a ghost.  There's no meat on them bones.  (No bones, either.) :p  And it does make them so cranky.  Another good use of Spooky's concussive BOOs.

The classic shoes have been found and recovered, a old loose end tied up.  (Yes, I do remember what happened with them in the first book. :p )  No doubt they'll prove useful for the group's return home.
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 1 month ago
3 - What Pearl did.

Pearl had given up on the golem in the wall, & now searched the Wizard's lab for anything that'd help Scarecrow & Scraps. She hardly knew where to look. (I drew the lab to combine waggons & bottles from my days as a lab technician in chemistry with my memory of "Billy Bean & his Fun Machine".* Wheels, knobs, levers & a screen. I loved that TV show.).

She finally found something promising. A bottle containing something called "Auntie Dote's Double Trouble Bubble Bath. Makes cloth like new. " & it listed "Mairzy Dotes' & "Dozy Dotes" as makers. She practically flew as she bounded out to alert the two ALFs.
Scarecrow was trying to get Scraps to stay awake. Don't leave me ! Pearl hasted to fetch a metal tub, fill it with water, & dump in the powder. She practically shoved the two into the bath as it boiled & foamed, with technicolor bubbles & such. (one of my best drawings as the two entered the boiling liquid, Scarecrow carrying Scraps as Pearl anxiously watched.).
The two emerged, fresh as the day either came into being. Pearl couldn't be happier ...

4 - The 3rd and last sortie.
The last batch of golems lay in the depths of Lake Quod, a large lake,almost an inland sea near the Emerald City. Here Glinda took some blue crystals from a tightly sealed bottle and cast them into the water., It crawled away from the crystals &, after enough were cast in, formed an avenue of parted water a good distance into the lake. "They are sensitive to air & have to be kept away from it until used." The crew extended the parted waters until the golems were spotted. On either side were walls of parted waters. Again the skeropythrope process was performed and the lumbering,shambling things were made to march to the Emerald City,joining the other hordes.
Then -trouble !
A large dark shape appeared in one of the walls of water. A rumbling voice spoke. "I am the Kingfish of lake Quod. I is regusted with all of you !" Ozma told him of her purpose here, but the Kingfish had bidden his subjects blow on the crystals. They started turning green. Glinda anxiously said that air turns the crystals green & they weaken. Soon they'll turn brown & lose all their power . Already water was splashing down on the crew, as Glinda hasted to complete the reanimation of  all the golems . Some crystals were going brown already.
Just then Casper arrived with the Silver Slippers. Spooky thought he was a sissy wearing women's shoes, & not a rugged,manly ghost ! "Everybody join hands." Casper clicked the silver slippers once,twice,thrice (he'd click them frice, fice, were that needed. The crystals had already all gone yellow & then brown as one watched. But,as the walls caved in, none were there to get inundated. The crew had returned to the Emerald City.
Their quest had been futile, but Pearl regaled them with how she saved Scarecrow & Scraps. As they pondered how to restore this golem Pearl found, she suggested that they all stand around the golem & wish with all their hearts. Hearing doubts that it'd work,Pearl retorted "But this is OZ !" She told of the Peter Pan play,not the Disney movie, where Tinkerbelle was dying, having drunk the poison that was set out for Peter Pan. The audience,at Peter's bidding, all wished Tinkerbelle to live -& she lived !

Spooky blushed and retorted that it was a scene, a maudlin scene in a P-LAY ! Pearl was,however, adamant. So they stood around the golem & ,as bid, wished with all their hearts. The golem glowed & from that light, walked a little man in a Master of Ceremonies outfit. It was the Wonderful Wizard of Oz, for real. Explanations all around.
"The last thing I remember was meeting an exact double of me on the stairs -& then I find myself here !"

I must conclude this account the next time.


* Either they renamed it,being an import from England, or my memory is fuzzed. I recall it being Charlie Cheen.
CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 1 month ago
I like how you built on the Auntie Dote pun with references to the song. :p  Clever punning like that is, in my opinion, good thinking (especially when delivered with a straight face and a total lack of "eh, eh?  Geddit?  Eh?").  However, if the Scarecrow was still stuffed with cash as he was at the end of Book 2, then Poil would be guilty of money laundering. :o

I must admit I'm not fond of protagonists making a wish to make things right as it smacks too much of a deus ex machina.  However, as I thought about it, I realized it might work if one were to think of the wish as a rite to cast a "poor man's spell".  Not everyone is a trained wizard, so a wish made with a "heart honest and true" could be considered a simplified casting of an unfocused spell.  It wouldn't work in all settings, not even all fantasy ones, but in some cases I suppose it could work.
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 6 months ago
I  might add that the Wizard eventually returned to Oz, but not by balloon, (book 4 DOROTHY & THE WIZARD IN OZ which showed Baum flagging after the brilliant effort of the first 3 books. )
CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 5 months ago
It makes sense since he appeared regularly in later books. :p
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 2 months ago
One month, 2 weeks ago, my latest synopsis of my Casper Oz novel was received by you, but I wonder if you're tired of my efforts, and ,so far, don't know how you received 2 actual pages of the story (rather than a summary). This silence worries me as I have had problems lately; health,etc., and your reply would have had helped. My next comment continues the synopsis.
CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 2 months ago
No, I haven't tired of your efforts, but I do understand your concerns.  I have thought of your story several times in the past few months and that you do deserve a reply to your posts.  You're not the only one I need to the same to.  Sorry about the wait.
EmmetEarwax
1 year, 1 month ago
As I typed the latest,inadequate summary it has been raining all day. I was GLAD I went to that spookhouse on Friday,instead of waiting to today (2 p.m.). I don't think anybody would go to it,the last day, in THIS weather. It was sunny on Friday, but it was dark when I came out of the spookhouse. (near 7 p.m.)
CyberCornEntropic
1 year, 1 month ago
I can imagine.  I've often put off or rescheduled day trips because of inclement weather, sometimes missing something I'd wanted to see or do.
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