"madam you're gonna have to do a better job explaining," the border patrolsman indicates scribbling on his pad which erases by shaking it. next to him is a barely-clothed Josh Duhamel in a cabana loincloth.
Doryce: whoa Josh i didn't know you were Cuban i mean cabana. it's quite the tale of woe actually. my friend here see is very sick, she can barely move to breathe. i was sledding her around town but the snows got so bad and bulky, she couldn't control them anymore and let them blow. i negotiated around leavesless tree stems as best i could but soon not even these sticks were registering in the white. i had to sit down and think about things which is not my role on this team but the freeze prevented me from settling into my nice bottom. when who should appear but Joar Leifseth! he was all cute and cuddly in his little mittens but he seemed to be in a rush.
Doryce: can i call you Seth Meyers?
"no," he communicated in his broken English, "if i win this race i finally can have girls. money. a life. it's all very important."
i sat him down on an uncovered stone and explained to him that friends were the most important things in life. i was missing my Bama dreadfully and it had only been a week. and i only knew Bama for a year. i didn't want to think about it harbor on it for i'd start to cry and could never stop crying. that's how much certain people grab ahold of you and spike you down.
Doryce: so, imagine how much i love my girl Gladyce. i've known her for longer than i've known myself.
Joar: i will help you to comfort.
to his credit Joar dropped everything and hugged me. we tried to kiss but i don't know if it was a chapped thing but the kiss didn't feel right.
Josh: were you wearing the Sword of Saad around your head? did you seduce him?
Doryce: no, i kept the Saad crown around Gladyce's head to give her all the energy i had. JUST THEN a huge saddleless war rhino crashed through the snowy atmosphere snapping all the masked tree trunks like twigs. this was Joar's chance to finish the Iditarod in world-record time!
Joar: it's not technically cheating. the rules actually stipulate that you don't have to use wolves. you just can't use drugs. personally i use Koi Wolves.
Doryce: but he decided to stay. he was sweet but it wasn't the same. i sent Bama a care-package of Fruit-Punch Kool-Aid powder to that train i hope he's still on, had a lot of free time. i scratched with my long fingernails a tribute at the butt of the sled.
patrolsman: it reads.............EXTEND-A-HO?
Doryce: little joke to keep spirits up. Gladyce always loved watching those MacDennis cranes fly overhead my house when they would fix my telephone poles constantly i could never get my phone line to work. i of course liked watching the crane operators. Joar gave up dreams to help a little old lady cross the street. the clock struck midnight and his Koi Wolves turned into cats who indignantly licked themselves and walked slowly away from the right coarse and into the woods. Joar lost the race but he learned a more valuable lesson that day, week, and years to come. the cats led him to the Canadian Ukrainians and Alaskan bush people who taught him what family really means.
the patrolsman sticks a tree trunk in his mouth and carves a wooden nailclipper for Doryce with his large stone teeth.
Jill Wine-Banks: he's a living breathing Mene-hune you see. his stone face is literally a god. speaking of godlike faces, i didn't know you had muscles, Josh, you read skinny on the silver screen.
Josh transforms into a car but it's not all-wheel drive 4x4 so it can't navigate the rough terrain of this volcanic atmosphere. he is not able to escape from Jill.
the Mene-hune has a frozen face of bewilderment. he puts on a red-and-black chequered Canadian moose hat with two brown flaps, which looks silly on top of his big head.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg: i like the strong silent type, he's like me. i like his blockhead. he can pinch me anytime.
Jill: oh that Ruth. she's not blonde but keep her around cos she's awesome and the best. you're not using the Sword right. you need to get what you want, what you imagine things to be.
Doryce: what are you doing today?
Jill: i should ask you. what brings you to Halx?
Doryce: no i meant why is everyone wearing orange robes on St. Patrick's Day?
Jill: the fuck you say it's Patricia's Day. and we will wear what we want. ain't that right, ladies? evenflow your empowerment.
the other crones are gathered under the balcony of the Temple of Mars getting ready for their scenes. Sally Quinn checks her book which she needs to hold with both hands.
Doryce: well the signal came from here. we think.
Sally: yes. it seems our Gladyce has a very strong hold on our homeland. it took all of her might to live with you all those years on the West Coast. she seems to be the prophesied one, the stranger who will come and save us all. and by extension save the world.
Doryce: uh, you could have saved us the trip if you knew.
Sally: that's the thing with predictions. until they happen they're wrong.
Doryce: this place looks rough. both meanings.
Sally: it was once as verdant as a virgin spring. but as you can see it's nothing more now than a series of thousands of mini volcanoes pockmarking the landscape. they erupt not violently, they dribble out their lava, but it's green lava, toxic noxious fumes which scatter across the planet. we've gotten used to the smell with our long bumpy noses but the Earthlings haven't, they see the green, they know it comes from us and are none too pleased. they think it black magic but surely they know our smoke is blue. we honestly can't control it or we would have bottled it centuries ago and sold it in our gift shoppes. water doesn't work on it, it's green lava. it's a symptom. Mother Earth is sick, She has one hell of a headcold.
Doryce: cure Gladyce and i'll promise to play with you.
Sally: i don't think she's the sick one, or rather she's taking it all in herself. she in fact is the cure. and this isn't a performance so much as it is a catharsis. see we crones playact our problems. it's a collective community-theatre way for us to express our troubles with each other and the world in a safe envornment. through the play we hope to gain insights we wouldn't have otherwise if we kept it all in.
Doryce: i'll gladly be Gladyce's understudy. i just hope you guys get some good writers on staff.
the two stumble-climb over a row of small volcanoes in the way---volcanoes steadily pumping out slime and ooze and green ash---to get to the proscenium. Katsuko Saruhashi is using the Sword as a curved stick to check the radiation levels of the lava.
Katsuko: it's getting worse. it's like a bomb went off in the world. the Sword of Saad is an invaluable tool of science as well.
Jill: got any hash?
Katsuko: i told you already lady i'm not here for that! that is not the type of green this place needs! stick to your drink.
Jill: are you sure you belong here? you're not blonde.
Katsuko: i've known that painfully well. it means i've earned my way up here to your little cabal. don't be a bad bridge.