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Lifting off November Oscar Whiskey!

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Your resident representative has left your town many, many months ago. Has it been years? Isabelle tells you nothing -- she only smiles and says she misses the mayor. The whole town is filthy. Weeds are growing everywhere; flowers wilting; villagers moving in (and out, once they realise what a state your town is in).

It’s so quiet. K.K. no longer comes to visit. You miss his dulcet tones with his acoustic guitar that barely covered his naked body. It’s so strange -- everything sanitised, even his body. Everyone wears tops, and yet nobody wears trousers. (When he first visited ten years ago you’d politely suggested him to wear an apron but apparently that would’ve ruined his groove, man). You’d give anything to hear that voice again.

You don’t know what they’ve done to Tortimer’s body. You prefer not to know. Isabelle is always there at her desk, smiling, grinning, like she knows something you don’t. You decide to take a sip of your coffee and pocket it away when you need to. Tanukis don’t feel scalding hot pain in their pockets, anyway.

 

There are fewer and fewer villagers every day.

 

All their houses still have their lights on. When you check their sign, they simply say ‘Gone to the Fault’.

Nobody uses town hall anymore. Isabelle is still there, still smiling, no coffee in sight. You go to the back room and take your laptop with you.

 

A search for ‘fault’ comes up with the two definitions:

 

  1. noun
    noun: fault; plural noun: faults

  • an unattractive or unsatisfactory feature, especially in a piece of work or in a person's character.
    "my worst fault is impatience"
    • a break or other defect in an electric circuit or piece of machinery.
      "a fire caused by an electrical fault"
      h
       Similar:
      Defect

The second one is more harrowing.

 

  1. verb
    noun: fault; plural noun: faults
  • (of a rock formation) can be broken by a series of faults.

 

Has the resident representative ruined the ecology of the deserted island? Of course, this was bound to happen, with every single villager scrambling to get on your deserted island getaway package; all keen to move away from the city. You remember hating the city. You just wanted to give everyone happiness that you found in small land masses surrounded by the sweet siren call of the sea.

The Wilbur brothers -- bless them -- know nothing at all. They simply smile at you and act sad when you ask them where everyone has gone. Numbers are dwindling, now. Used to be nearly twenty of you, going in and out of the island. The brothers say nothing.

Maybe it’s time to investigate the fault again. The trees no longer bear fruit. You manage to use your few remaining Nook Mile Tickets to go and gather supplies -- you can’t bear but grimace at the irony that you’ve created a currency only to be ruled by it.

On the sixth island you visit, there’s a villager. He’s cross-eyed and drifting around aimlessly, and you decide to approach him.

“Would you like to come and live on my island?”

He shakes his head, wordless. Instead he walks towards the cracks found in the cliff walls, and pushes himself so that his body is at one with the cliff. You take a step back, before breaking into a run back to the pier where Wilbur is waiting for you.

“Bellbottom electronica this is stovetop blowtorch, do you need assistance?”

Yes leaves your mouth as fast as it possibly can.

“Roger! Lifting off November Oscar Whiskey.”

There’s something wrong -- something amiss, but you can’t shake your head off of it as you gratefully take the plane back home.

As usual, the dodos salute each other before you can enter solid land. When you leave the airport gates, you soon realise that there’s been a huge mistake.

There are loads of villagers -- no, human villagers -- all standing by the dock. You try to return to the airport. They say to come back another day.

You give in. “What’s your name?” You ask tentatively to a pale girl with a kimono on.

“Sakura,” she says, with the utmost confidence that only a white girl could muster. “Come with me.”

As you follow her, drones of her followers -- all dressed in similarly Japanese garb -- trail behind, only stopping occasionally to hit each other with their nets, as is custom when dealing with humans.

“See this fault?”

It’s larger than the one you recognise in your own island.

“I entered this fault and I emerged beautifully,” she says, wide-eyed.

When you take a moment to look around, every single geological crack by the cliff sides -- even if they were affected by terraforming -- are all shaped to fit an animal or a human.

Idly, you think how much this resembles the sizing scales in the museum where you can poke your head through and admire fossil after fossil.

One by one, people start entering the fault. Your paws are frozen. Your aloha shirt clings uncomfortably to the nape of your neck.

They slide through the tunnels.

At first, with ease, until you hear muffled screaming.

You have to get back to the airport. You beg with Wilbur, but he just tells you that you've probably left something on the island and you better best find it. Do you need any tools, by the way? A flimsy axe is only a 100 miles!

You fucking cunt, Wilbur. He won't let you in on the seaplane, even when you hit him repeatedly with your net and emote angrily at him.

When you look at the entire village, you realise it’s a replica of a Japanese prefecture deep in the woods. You run -- faster than you ever have, because, dear Lord, these years have not been kind to you. Maybe you could’ve pulled this off when you began by owning Nook’s Cranny. Maybe. There’s chanting, and then --

You wake up in darkness. Your arms are stretched, christlike. Your face is embedded deep into the rocks. You scream, but in the fault, nobody hears you scream.

Your body expands.

            your     body    expands

 

your                 body                                                                                        expands

 

 

fin.