The Soap Bubble - Episode 8. The first on the list

(Said in a deep American voice just like a tv programme set over a full day and night) Previously on the Soap Bubble , – Intrepid journalist Andrew Walker started to undertake an investigation into those areas of the Red Bubble that are of interest to us all. Paul Vanzella had been kidnapped by Jo O’Brien and forced to take pictures of her, The Bubblettes a shadowy crime organisation led by Melissa Vowell plan to take over the Red Bubble with the use of a very addictive drug code named Scarlet Washing up Liquid . A visit to the seaside has revealed that Mel Brackstone in a lady of considerable size and strength a giant no less and as mad as a box of frogs ! The Bubblettes have sent out Jo ‘No Clothes’ O’Brien to kill our intrepid reporter who managed to escape into the Flibble dimension and ended up somewhere else entirely where he was told to find the 12 apostles and 13 muses. There is a bigger group of baddies out there called the Blackfriars who are up to no good and are watching the apostles. Our daring journalist was nearly blown up by a Bubblette bomb and is now starting a quest to find the apostles and muses whilst looking over his shoulder for the Bubblettes . If you want more details then go and read the previous episodes they are a lot funnier than this update…

Starting the list, well with these people being scattered to the corners of the Bubble, I first took a moment to undertake a time and motion study. I didn’t want to end up dizzy by going round in circles so I was going to start with those nearest and then join the dots up as I went along. It was because of this thinking that I stood in a rundown and beaten up part of the Red Bubble looking at grand buildings and wide roads that were in a really poor state of repair. On closer inspection the disrepair provided lots of fine detail and these small details were very pretty to look at, so this is where the Macro specialists all live, how odd. I guess when you concentrate on the miniscule the big stuff becomes a blur, the exact opposite of the Landscape artists I had previously met.

The Artist I was searching for was Catherine Doherty , because of my personal situation (namely the redecorating of my home by Bubblette bomb) I had been unable to undertake any previous research of her or her work. Tracking her down was going to be tricky especially as most of the people I bumped into in this part of the bubble seemed quite shocked by someone talking to them. It took me a couple of hours and some smooth talking to narrow my search down to a particularly shabby apartment block in an area of the Macro Village that appeared to have been built on a swamp. Signs of life were few and far between, water dripped off everything, I expected to turn a corner and see stalactites and stalagmites either that or a line of plumbers desperately trying to stop these water leaks .

I proceeded to search the apartment block, reaching the fourth floor I was expecting the damp to be subsiding, it didn’t! Water dripped down everywhere, a perfect home for fungus and mould. Down the hall was a brief flash of light, camera flash! I was in the right area, I knew it. Heading down the soggy corridor towards the area where the flash was coming from I became aware of a voice speaking over the sound of dripping water. Camera Flash… “shitshitshit”, Camera Flash… “shitbuggershit”, Camera Flash… “YES, youbeauty”. Looking into the room the scene that I beheld was unusual to say the least. The ceiling of the room was crossed by dozens of old rusty pipes, like an old windows screen-saver had been made real! Water dribbled from all of them and dripped down into the room like an indoor monsoon, the floor was littered with pans and buckets , all overflowing with water . In the centre of this strange scene stood a woman looking more like a drowned rat and wearing a bright novelty umbrella hat. She scurried around the room, far too quickly for my liking, she appeared to be moving in fast forward, slightly blurred at the edges, until she paused to bring a beaten up box to her eye and ‘FLASH’ ooooh it’s a camera in a home made waterproof housing! She rushed around the room taking picture after picture of water dripping from the pipes above and frequently cursing, oblivious to me standing in the doorway. The air was heavy with water, mould and moss climbed the walls, it really couldn’t be a healthy environment to live, to confirm this I sneezed. I opened my eyes to see her standing perfectly still staring at me, well I say still her eyes constantly danced as though they couldn’t stop. “you’re the guy from my dream last night!” she spoke rapidly with the words merging into each other, it took a moment for me to work out what she said. It was an odd start to the conversation and I really think that I won Catherine over with my reply of, “you look wet!”.

In the area of business meetings they say that first impressions count, it is critical to project the right image. Standing there in scruffy clothes that I had managed to escaped from exploding apartment in, with eyes watering from the smell of the rot and damp and with a string of snot hanging from the end of my nose following my sneeze. I had missed the killer first impression by inches (lots of them). Fortunately for me she didn’t seem to concerned and invited me to join her in her apartment for a coffee.

Her apartment was more a scrappy room kept slightly dryer than the room we had previously been in by a complicated web of plastic sheeting, the dripping sound of water was ever present and was beginning to get right on my nerves, Catherine appeared oblivious to it. Paint peeled off the walls in pretty patterns and crated a tactile pattern whilst bright moulds and mushrooms grew in the corners of the room. Talk about living for your art, this was ridiculous, it must have shown on my face because Catherine went on to explain her ‘talent’ although I thought it more a curse, “wherever I go the water follows me, it springs up all around me. I went to the desert once on a camping trip, where I stayed there is an oasis now. It’s okay, I guess, I’ve gotten used to it.” She proceeded to pour two large cups of coffee, I had never tasted coffee as strong as this before, not only would it put hairs on your chest it would burn them off again pretty quickly. She advised me to drink it quickly before it dissolved the metal mug. I winced as the ball of hot ball of caffeine landed in my stomach and promptly began to dissolve it. “I like my coffee strong” she explained “it helps me keep my reactions sharp to take pictures, have you any idea how tricky photographing dripping water is?”
Before I had time to answer the cheery and a little wired Catherine brought out her collection of used bus tickets to show me. Quite obviously she didn’t receive many visitors, initially assumed it was because of the damp and squalid conditions, after an hour and a half of being shown used bus tickets I revised my reason for the lack of company… She’s a Dork!
Despite my poor people skills the meeting with Catherine went really well. Well she hadn’t tried to kill me yet unlike No Clothes O’Brien , Mad Frogs Brackstone or Melissa Vowell ! So things were looking up, our discussion eventually turned to talk about her dream of last night. She explained that she only slept for an hour or two every other night due to the coffee (she was starting her sixth cup in 2 hours at this time) and the dripping sounds and this meant that she didn’t dream. Last night had been different; she remembered it in vividly. She proceeded to describe in detail my experience in the library with the old man (after all this lady lives for the detail) her description took 45 minutes, I really should have interrupted her but felt that it would have hurt her feelings.

She liked the idea of helping me on my epic journey across the Red Bubble and tried to convince me that she should travel with me (she wanted to collect more bus tickets). I declined the offer, explaining that I didn’t want to put one of the muses in danger, especially as The Bubblettes may still be on my trail (plus the damp that followed her was upsetting my dodgy knee). I spent a further hour in her company, during which time she drank another 4 mugs of coffee (I think she drinks so much so she doesn’t bore herself to sleep). Having taken her Bubble phone number and Bubble Mail address I left her soggy home and wandered off into the dark night, my stomach cramping at the hot ball of coffee sitting there. Relieved to have got the first muse on the list and also be away from the incessant noise of dripping water I walked into the approaching dawn (lovely girl Dawn, have you been introduced yet?). One down, 24 to go, I hope they will all be that easy to find…


The Soap Bubble - Episode 8. The first on the list

Drew Walker

Joined July 2007

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What if there was more to Red Bubble than just a website

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