Everything But Work

Hey-Hey! I’m Desmond. A hip-hop + bedroom pop artist, snapshot photographer, illustrator specializing in a doodling like a 12 year old, storyteller, & pizza party enthusiast.

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photo of me in [Mushashino-Shi] Kichijoji (05.02.2019)
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Bio

Name: Desmond Creighton Simmons
D.O.B.: 08.25.82 [Virgo]
Personality Type: INFP / INFJ-A (depending on which online quiz I take that day)
From: Detroit, Mi
Lives In: Eastpointe, Mi (East Detroit) with my wife + 2 fur-babies
Careers I wanted As a Kid: scuba diver, ninja, (mad/super) scientist, video game maker, adventurer, puppeteer, person that makes stuff
Likes: video games, animation, comics, (b-)movies, pixel art, kaiju, sci-fi+fantasy, bicycles, tokusatsu, folklore, nature, cool people, creativity, myths, nonsense, vespas, pineapple on pizza, podcast, dreams about flying, other eras, plants & animals, wire frames/vector graphics, people that can draw, syndicated/classic television, science, design, cel/flat shading, imagination, low poly, Spring + Fall, local programming, mid-century design, public libraries, broadcast edits of movies, retro-futurism, puppetry, lazy days, lofi, wandering, wondering, papercraft, watercolour, nostalgia, cool looking buildings and houses, & a bunch of other rad stuff.

FAQ

Inspirations + Influences

Animation/Visual

Tons of 60's-90's cartoons and works of artist/brands such as Masaaki Yuasa, Akira Toriyama, Sanrio, Rumiko Takahashi, Jay Ward, Charles Schulz, Rodney Alan Greenblat, UPA, Jim Henson, Keita Takahashi, Mitsuru Nakamura, Kiriko Kubo, Yujiro Koyama, Ryo Inoue, and many, many others.

Musical

60's-70's sunshine/vocal/psych-pop, 90's hip-hop, City Pop, Shibuya-kei, Underground Rap/Indie Hip-Hop, Trip-Hop, 80's-90's R&B, Funk, 80's Boogie, Disco, 90's-early 00's Alternative/Indie, Chillwave, Lo-Fi, Electronica, Beat Scene

Tools

Music/Sound Recording

Tascam PortaStudio DP-02CF, Akai Pro MPKmini, Roland Voice Transformer VT-3, MXL V63M condenser mic, LMMS, Audacity, Refurb PC (O/S: Windows 10)

Photography

Konica C35MF, Ricoh AF-5, Superheadz Black Slim Devil, Kodak KV250, Polaroid OneStep Close-Up, Fujifilm Instax Wide 210, Lomo'Instant, iPhone, VSCO Cam app, Epson Perfection V300 Photo scanner

Video

iPhone, VHS Camcorder app, Spark app, SuperSlo app, Flow app, Reverser app, Filmora

Illustration/Animation/Design

Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Medibang Paint Pro, RoughAnimator, GIMP, Wacom Intuos small tablet, HP x2 10-inch detachable laptop (OS: Windows 10)

Why's the site called 'Everything But Work'?

Simple: I like doing creative things. Whether it's drawing, making music, coming up with stories, collaborating with friends, or just daydreaming about future things I'd like to try. I don't consider it work at all because I actually enjoy it. Plus, doing this isn’t part of my day job so, it’s pretty much everything I do when not at the 9 to 5.

So, what is my dream job?

I used to think that being a creative full time was the dream & it still might be, but I worry that if people give me money there’d probably be some kind of expectation attached & I’d lose the fun of the creative part because I’d be pressured to deliver a product for a certain demographic/for mass consumption within certain guidelines or I’d be a part of a team that works on a product that I’m not personally invested in so it wouldn’t be very different than punching the clock at any other job. As long as I can do what I’m passionate about and there’s an audience that’s willing to let me experiment then I guess that would be cool.

What else do I want to do creatively?

I’d still like to create a show (maybe a puppet show?), comic, or story book some time. I used to want to make video games as a kid so, maybe I’ll tackle that someday…?

Snapshot Gallery

I rarely, if ever, take photos of myself but during vacations and other hang outs, other people will. So, here’s a bunch of photos of myself in case you’d like to recognize me on the street.

Discography

PreciseHero

Once upon a time I made underground rap music under the name PreciseHero. It was a name I dreamed up one night and since then, I just kinda rolled with it. I started off as just a rapper, then I got more into production, and then I put the PreciseHero thing on hold for a bit. Here’s a rundown of my early run under the moniker…:

Original Japanese Release via  P-Vine Records

Original Japanese Release via P-Vine Records

Released: 08.03.07
Notes: After releasing a vinyl called, “modest signal”, I compiled more material to create this release. Originally released via P-Vine Records, this was the project that got my name out beyond my small circle of friends. This project came about around the time that indie/backpack rap was on the rise & listening back to it in 2015, I can clearly hear that it was of that era.

Original cover illustration by  Celia Calle

Original cover illustration by Celia Calle

Released: 04.01.10
Notes: I have a love-hate relationship with this project. Love, because I got to work with my friend Obsidian Blue & it was a transitional period in my creative growth, but hate because there was a lot of life stuff going on during the time and I can hear it in the performance of the material. If any of my projects deserve a do-over, I'd elect this one. Maybe some day.

Original Japanese cover via  River-City Music Entertainment Inc.

Original Japanese cover via River-City Music Entertainment Inc.

Released: 07.17.12
Notes: Music creation became fun again! I was producing the material myself (sans Zach & Caleb’s contributions) and having fun writing lyrics & rapping. If “Particle (moments)” was my ode to 90s/underground/jazz-rap then this was me showing love for that + the DIY/lo-fi/distorted/trippy things that I’m into. It was also my last solo rap venture. Bored with doing things all on my own & my personality isn’t cut out for the music ‘business’. I’d had enough at this point.

Released: 09.13.10
Notes: I wanted to clear out my back catalog of b-sides, promos, & demos/scraps that I had on my hard drive at the time. Nothing too spectacular here. I was feeling really unproductive and wasn’t really in a music making mood at this point.

Released: 09.01.12
Notes: This was intended as background music to a game design I was working on. The game never happened, but the beats remain

Released: 10.15.12
Notes: A one-off collaboration with my buddy, Tim.

Released: 10.26.12
Notes: A project I did to break up the daily routine. A few beats I put together on weekday mornings to keep the creative juices flowing before I started the drag of working and adult responsibilities.

Released: 11.12.13
Notes: I was working on material with Beagles, Rheason Love, and a collaboration with Starling Electric under the moniker Separate Science. These were tracks that didn’t quite fit with any of those projects so, I put them together as a follow-up to “A.M. Stretch”.

Released: 01.06.14
Notes: Just something to kick off 2014

Released: 07.13.14
Notes: More tracks that weren’t used from other projects and odds & ends that I had on the hard drive. A few may see some use in the future or forever remain as a part of this collection. Only the future knows!
Update: "Foxx" was actually used on Caramel Ship's song "Morning Dew"

Notes: Sometimes life tosses you a pleasant curveball & this was one of those times. I got a chance to work on a tune for one of my favorite game series. This ranks up there with when SP got with me to create the “modest signal” vinyl & when P-Vine gave me the chance of releasing “Particle (moments)”. I can cross having my music in a video game off of my bucket list thanks to Gaijin Games (now Choice Provisions). It was a childhood dream to create a game of my own, but at this point (even with the easy to use engines) I have more fun dreaming up the ideas & leaving the heavy lifting to others. I’d be down to do more songs for games in the future though.

Notes: Soul Hug wanted some rhymes on top of a track he’d made, so I gladly helped him out. He later added keys to the Rheason Love track I produced, “Transitional Jive”.

Notes: I’d worked with River-City a few times in the past & this time they tapped me to work on a Winter/Holiday tune with Volta Masters. I drafted something up, asked Rheason Love if she’d be down to work on it as well, got all the vocals done and turned the song in. Even wandered around the back of my apartment with my iPod Touch & an 8mm app to shoot the promo. They released the tune under the title “Winter Radness”.

Suburban Sprawl Holiday Music Sampler.

I contributed songs from 2010-2013. Even when I wasn’t exactly in a musical mood, I looked forward to at least listening to these compilations & soaking in the holiday cheer from my local peers. My contributions were: “I Can See My Breath”, “It’s Different For Elves”, “Wishlist 198X”, & “Martian Kids Need Santa Too!”

Repackaged.

On 9.18.15 I decided to redesign all of the artwork to my solo ventures. I wanted to do something with a more uniform look. Mildly inspired by old book covers and series of things. I’d like to keep my catalogue carefully curated. Someday, I wouldn’t even mind if all of my favorite/best works were collected into some sort of boxset

WonderKind 202.

Since I stopped working on solo material, I mostly focus on collaborations. I released things through my net-label, WonderKind 202. WonderKind 202 was a mostly digital thing (only on Bandcamp) and released works from my band Caramel Ship (then: Beagles x PreciseHero) & a collaboration with Rheason Love. For funsies, I put out a super limited run of cassettes and a lathe cut record.

Notes: Caleb asked if I'd be down to collaborate on a tune for a solo project of his. Of course, I was! This can be considered the sister-piece to our other collaboration "Caterpillar".
Bonus Notes: We're actually performing this song in the photo I used for this page.
Double Bonus: Caleb & I talked about forming a duo called Separate Science. Check this blog entry to hear some demos.

Pixel portraits by  Chelsea Saunders

Pixel portraits by Chelsea Saunders

Notes: My buddies in the band minihorse hit me up and asked if I'd be interested in writing a verse to contribute to a cover they were doing of Dr. Octagon's "Blue Flowers". Why would I say no to that? It was an odd song to pick to do a cover of and I'm always down for the weird so, yeah, I whipped something up and what you're listening to is the result. They have a bunch of dope covers on the project, so feel free to give that a listen too.

Caramel Ship

Released: 01.06.16
Notes: This project was a compilation of everything we'd worked on up to a certain point. I was really in the groove of the 90's & early 00's alt/trip-hop sound at this time. Lots of stuff like Cibo Matto, Luscious Jackson, Buffalo Daughter, Cornelius, games like Jet Set Radio, Vib-Ribbon, Katamari Damacy, Pizzicato Five, Shibuya-kei, and that whole feeling of youthful cool. We were taking bits from childhood, movies, tv shows, and everything else we love and put it into a musical blender. We hope that that feeling of fun & freedom came through.

Released: 02.10.17
Notes: We wanted to followup "Playscape+" with something that sounded a bit different. The last project was more sample-based and on this project, it was more electronic/synth-driven. It was a fun exercise for me since I wanted to do something that I played myself & not construct from sampled loops. It's somewhat of a concept album and largely inspired by comics/cartoons. In fact, it's partially the soundtrack to a comic/animation project that I worked on.

Caramel Ship's project "Marjoram" was part of a bigger project. The 2nd phase of the project is an animation project that I'd been developing and pitching. Various doodles, scribbles, and early concept comics have been posted on this site, but back to the music side of things --

I wrote and recorded a simple, fun little tune for the opening. I had a good time singing & playing it. So much fun that there's a slightly longer version that I invited Yuki to join in on & with the vocals he contributed, it became an official Caramel Ship track.

Released: 05.24.19
Notes: After getting back from Japan, Yuki & I hopped on a new track. It’d be a while since we did anything together so, this was a good way to get back into our groove.

Sitcom Dad / Creighton & Scott

For the ending theme, I wanted to work with my friend Adam. We'd done things together here and there, but never really had a recorded collaboration before. Glad I was able to change that! I did the drums & bass and Adam played guitar over it. Imagine this playing as the credits roll. Oh - and the name of this one-off jam session: Sitcom Dad. It just fit & makes me laugh. We’re planning future collaborations under the moniker Creighton & Scott (or Scott Creighton ..it’s TBD…)

Creighton

Pixel portrait by  Chelsea Saunders

Pixel portrait by Chelsea Saunders

Creighton is a musical outlet for one-off tracks that don’t fit for PreciseHero, wouldn’t work in the context of Caramel Ship, & don’t make sense with any other musical expressions that I have going. It’s also my middle name. The alias came about thanks to some friends that asked if I’d perform while on a trip to Osaka in April of 2016. I hadn’t been recording as a solo artist in a long while, mainly focusing on the works of Caramel Ship & didn’t really want to revisit the old material so, I thought to do something outside of my usual style. The material as PreciseHero was rather self-serious ‘art’, Caramel Ship is more loose & a fun collaboration, Scott Creighton is another thing, and Creighton is where I really get a chance to play around & entertain myself. Instead of making albums, I decided to do a couple of playlist that I can keep adding to as I come up with stuff.

Late Show

Notes: I took my favorite songs from the stuff I’d been uploading to Soundcloud and fashioned a single out of it. It’s rough, unmastered, but I’m overall happy with it. Prior to posting it on Bandcamp, I was kinda thinking “What’s the point? Nobody buys music. Nobody’s listening. What’s the purpose of art?”, but there was also no point in not posting it either and besides, making stuff makes me happy. I feel like by posting these songs & sharing them beyond when I send them over to friends, I’ve shown a different side of myself as an artist and moved beyond my past. I’ve left some negative people behind, shed some self-doubt, & embraced a different method of expression. I had a bit of a block stopping me from trying to sing on tracks or play an instrument; I’m not hung up on being conventionally good as I am about trying something different to stretch my wings. But, now that I’ve broken that barrier who knows what the future holds or where I go after this..?

Feeling Music EP

Notes: I had more tracks that I generally enjoyed that I thought should be more available than only on my SoundCloud page. I have fun making the cover art & feeling like I’m doing something with these tracks. Even if in actuality, I’m just moving them to a different internet-thing. Ah well! Viva la mid-fi jams & being creatively free!

monolabo x PreciseHero

Notes: The same trip back to Japan that got new Caramel Ship material started, also inspired new hip-hop jams with my brother Kimi. I’d mostly put PreciseHero to rest, but a collaborative project was the only thing that could get me in that mode again. This song is actually 1/8 that’s being recorded for an EP.

In Marjoram

In Marjoram (shorts)

Originally pitched as a series of short-form animations about a girl (Lark) traveling across the land of Marjoram & collecting stories from the people she meets to preserve the memory of her hometown that was being forgotten. It would've been a silly & surreal adventure for kids without resorting to a lot of the hyper-silly things or talking down to it's audience while remaining whimsical and fun. Unfortunately, it wasn't what studios were looking to pick up so, I created a few rough shorts myself with the help of some friends, revised and simplified the idea a bit more than initially pitched, & put it out into the world. I even created this meta-narrative about it being a long lost show from the 80s & the videos were VHS recordings of episodes that someone uploaded to the net. It was a fun to work on & if I ever get the time (& maybe some proper backing), I'd love to return to this project because I've got plenty of stories to tell in this world.
 

Original Storyboards

The original doodles that composed the storyboards for a more anthology-driven version of the project. Each story would’ve been a short with an intro to the story then Lark & whomever she was with or met would tell the story with bits of banter between the characters interspersed. This was my first go at doing storyboards so I basically made a big comic. It may have been hard to follow, but I have it all mapped out in my head.

Zodie’s Contact

An early mini-comic that was the first story for ‘In Marjoram’. It’s the story of how Zodie, a dog-star, took a detour in space and crash-landed in Chambray’s backyard. The story follows Chambray, her friend Ferris, along with Baron Rye & IFNO Mk. II on a journey to Puff Summit, where they meet a band of Pigeon monks, to return Zodie to her family & home amongst the stars. It was designed to be very much like a children’s story and I would’ve loved to have actual kids narrate the story Peanuts-style if I would’ve gotten the chance to have it animated.

Related Materials
Some of the physical objects I mailed out during the pitching process, including: a copy of the musical cassette that formed the early origins of the project, a mini-comic, a comic with story ideas & character information, personalized mailers, a business card, and a postcard with a bit of a letter written on it. There were other In Marjoram related things created such as magnets & stickers that were bundled with the cassette release.

Misc. Doodles/Promo Art

I continued working on things related to ‘In Marjoram’ for a bit and even before it was officially a thing, I was doodling ideas. The character designs evolved a tad and ideas have shifted, but I still think that this is a worthwhile idea that I’d like to develop further someday.

Soundtrack

The anthology format allows different forms of music to be present throughout the series, but the core of the sound would have been a blend of electronic music and bedroom pop.

In Marjoram (Radio Drama)

InMarjoram-Season01-take2-smaller.jpg

At the end of 2018, I got the itch to do something else with the “In Marjoram” concept. After talking to my friend Adam we thought it would be cool to revive it as an old school radio drama. We decided to continue with the anthology theme and we planned to write new stories weekly. That was until regular life slowed the project to a crawl and we decided to put the project on hold until we had more time/resources to dedicate to it. A revamped theme song was created and I doodled artwork for the first (only) episode. I would’ve followed a similar visual motif for the upcoming episodes. The first story followed a redesigned Lark on an adventure to the front of a rainbow. Since we wouldn’t have time to properly produce it, we’re posting it here as a short story/spec script of sorts.

Where The Rainbow Starts

written by Desmond C. Simmons & Adam S. LeRoy

[Opening Theme Music]

Announcer:

[Opening music continues under announcer]

With ocean levels rising, some business men spend hours trying to navigate flooded highways and angry pirates. But smart business men know your own personal marine mammal is the key. Yes, dolphins are the safe, modern mode of travel. And with Big Doug Baker’s Dolphin Brokerage Service dolphin purchasing has never been easier! Simply download the app, pick your genus, and set sail. That’s right—Big Doug even let’s you pick the genus. Unlike other dolphin brokerage services, Big Doug won’t try to sell you a porpoise. Put a new sparkle into your commute today! That’s Big Doug Baker’s Dolphin Brokerage Service—we won’t try to sell you a porpoise.

And, now, this week’s installment of “In Marjoram”.

[Opening theme end]

Act 1: I Saw Her In The Rain

[scene: 5pm, crowded outdoor shopping plaza, lightly raining]

Lark is absent mindedly walking while browsing & humming to herself. She's making her way through the crowded plaza until she suddenly bumps into a stranger

Mysterious Woman:

Oh, excuse me young lady. Are you -- ?! [She stops mid-sentence]

Lark:

[startled & slightly confused she gasps] It's you!

The woman runs away and before Lark can catch up, the mysterious woman vanishes amongst the crowd.

She’s—she’s gone…

Lark:

[still in shock] That couldn't have been... It just couldn't have been... her...

Lark while fighting back tears runs back home

[scene: 5:45pm, Lark's home]

Lark flings open the door, runs through the house frantically

Lark:

Sis! Sis! I saw her!

Nette:

Who? You saw who?

Lark:

Grandma! She was at the shopping plaza!

Nette:

C'mon, Lark. That's not funny. You know grandma's not…with us anymore. It must've been somebody that just looked like her.

Lark:

No, it wasn't it! I'm sure it was her.

Nette:

Look, calm down. I miss her too, but that couldn't have been her. [Nette deeply sighs] Maybe you should head to your room and relax a little.

Lark:

[frustrated, but knows she's not getting anywhere in the conversation] Fine... but, I know what I saw. I know who I saw at the plaza & I'll find her again.

Lark walks off to her room & slams the door behind her. She pulls the chair from underneath her desk, sits down, and looks over to a picture of herself, Nette, & their grandmother that she kept there.

Lark:

[thinking to herself] Just wait grandma. We'll meet again soon.

And with this thought in her mind, Lark begins drifting off to sleep.

Lark:

[sleepily mutters] Grandma...

Act II: Come Morning

Morning comes fast after unexpectedly falling asleep. It's a very typical early-Summer morning with sun beams drizzling into Lark's room from a nearby window and birds chattering about in the distance.

Lark:

[sleepy eyed & yawning] I must've dozed off. [her voice slightly strains as she stretches] I should go see how Nette is doing. I know I must've sounded nuts yesterday, but I swear it really was her. Before I head down though; [Lark taps the center of the large bow she wears in her hair] Hey, Sine - what's the weather looking like for today?

After a chippy boot sequence the a.i. assistant in her bow wakes up

Sine:

[yawns] Morning, Lark. Today's forecast is mostly sunny with a 90% possibility of a late afternoon shower.

Lark:

Thanks, bud! Alright, let's get downstairs.

Lark races downstairs

Lark:

Hey, sis - you up?! [caught a bit off guard & in an almost repentant manner mutters out:] ..Oh...

Nette:

[attempting to hide the fact that she'd been sobbing] Oh.. Oh, hey. [sniffles] What's up?

Lark:

I.. um.. I was just coming to see how you were. I would've come out of my room sooner, but [nervously laughs] I kinda fell asleep. What were you doing?

Nette:

[returns the same nervous laughter] It's cool. I figured you did. I, uh.. just came across an old picture. Nothing really... [wipes her eye and sniffles as she tries to act as if nothing's wrong] So, what's the plan for today?

Lark:

Going for a walk around the park for a bit. I, um.. heard there's a new Juke-bot there and figured I'd check it out. Wanna come with?

Nette:

Sounds fun, but somebody's gotta run the shop today so, you go enjoy yourself. I'll see you when you get home.

Lark:

Ha, yeah... Alright. I'll see you when I get back.

Nette:

Yeah, sure thing, but before you go. One thing:

Lark:

Yeah?

Nette:

You should probably brush your teeth. Not even a Juke-bot would be able to take your dragon breath! I think I smelled you before you got downstairs. [begins laughing]

Lark:

[breathes into her hand to test her breath & seems shocked at the results] Whoa! Point taken. [Lark joins in on the laugh even if it is at her expense]

Lark leaves home and strolls through the tree lined park until she comes to a clearing where a small crowd has gathered around a new Juke-bot that's playing a song they've never heard before. Lark hears the crowd and the muffled sound of the music. She pushes her way through the crowd to get a better listen & look at the show the automaton is putting on.

[musical intermission]

Lark:

Sine, can you please add this song to my list?

Sine:

Yeah, of course, Lark. [beeps] Feeling any better?

Lark:

Oh…I guess…it’s just—

Sine:

You’re still sure its her?

Lark:

Can you play back yesterday afternoon?

Sine:

Sure. [in the background, the scene from yesterday begins to replay] We were out just after the big storm. You were just closing the store for lunch. It was still raining a bit, but just a little. You were looking at the rainbow. Then, that woman was going to ask you something and—

Lark:

--and why did she run away? And how can I find her again?

Mr. Mossback:

Oh, hey there Lark.

Lark:

Hi, Mr. Mossback. Enjoying the new Juke-bot?

Mr. Mossback:

Oh yeah…say, did I tell you about the first time I saw a Juke-bot?

Lark:

[without excitement] Uh, no, Mr. Mossback I guess not…

Mr. Mossback:

Oh, I suppose it was aught-4…no, maybe aught-7. No, aught-seven was when my brother Beamers--

Lark:

--Beamers?

Mr. Mossback:

Yeah, poor guy had eyes big as a pair of headlights. Anyway, started a factory to make cars made out of candy.

Lark:

Sweet idea.

Mr. Mossback:

Eh, not when it rained. Darn things dissolved. All that was left were some jawbreaker hubcaps and the scent of peppermint. Had to close up shop in aught-6.

Lark:

I thought you said he started in aught-7?

Mr. Mossback:

Well, Beamers was always ahead of his time.

Lark:

Ah…

Mr. Mossback:

…course those were the days of rainbows. ‘Spose you kids don’t know much about that. Well, good to see you Lark. Sine.

Sine:

Bye.

Lark:

Sure, good to see you—hey, Mr. Mossback, please…what do you mean by that? [nervous laugh] Rainbows and stuff?

Mr. Mossback:

Eh, what’s that now?

Lark:

I mean, did you ever see someone that wasn’t supposed to be there?

Mr. Mossback:

[laughs] I think you need to meet Beamers.

[musical interlude]

Announcer:

“Oh my,” they’ll say. “It’s lovely!” they’ll gasp. Yes, imagine the shocked guffaws and congratulations from neighbors as you sail across the lead-filled waters- and into your driveway--on your new dolphin. And it won’t just be any dolphin—it’ll be a Big Doug Baker dolphin. A name that is the industry gold standard. Other brokerage services simply can’t bring you dolphins of this quality. Our sellers guarantee dolphins that have sonar capable of detecting the pirates. Don’t forget: that’s Big Doug Baker’s Dolphin Brokerage Service—we won’t try to sell you a porpoise.

[theme music]

Act 3: When the Rain Comes

Lark:

I probably should meet him, but how? where? I've already got one person I'm searching for & have no clue how to find. Not sure if I can take on another right now. A little clue on where he's at would be swell.

Mr. Mossback:

Well, ol' Beamers only hangs out all around. Says the wandering is the only remedy for curiosity. Trouble with that is that he gets inspired by that curiosity and that leads 'em to more wandering. So, to answer your question - he's 'around'. But, a good place to start looking for him would be the grounds around the clocktower. They say he's been known to walk the grounds in the opposite direction of the clock hands. He has some kinda theory about time-space or something.

Lark:

Alright. Guess I'm off to see Beamers. Yo, Sine - map the quickest route to the clocktower.

Sine:

[beeps] Roger! Calculating... Map-ulating... Ok, Lark. The D-Train is leaving in 15 minutes. It passes by the clocktower on it's route.

Lark:

Thanks, Sine. Well, Mr. Mossback I've gotta run if I'm gonna catch the train in time. Thanks for the tip.

Mr. Mossback:

No problem. And, hey - if you see ol' Beamers tell him, I'd like to get the egg timer and laser pointer back that he borrowed last week. Darn fool & his experiments..!

Lark:

[already making her way to the train station, turns back] Ok, will do. See ya, Mr. Mossback!

Lark arrives at the platform just as the final announcements are broadcast across the P.A. system.

Announcement:

Now departing: M-Train, F-Train, & D-Train. Now departing: M-Train, F-Train, & D-Train.

Lark:

Whew! Just made it!

Lark boards the mildly crowded train. Not many people travel all the way out to Outer-Knoll. She's a bit nervous about meeting this eccentric genius, but feels that he could be the only one that can help her out. To kill a bit of her anxious energy she has a chat about nothing with Sine & mostly asks odd trivia questions.

Train announcement:

Now arriving at Outer-Knoll. Now arriving at Outer-Knoll.

Lark looks out of the window before the train comes to a complete stop and sees a figure in the distance.

Lark:

Sine! It's him! Let's move!

Lark rushes off of the train and runs in the direction of the figure that she saw.

Lark:

[huffing as she runs] Why could he be somewhere closer to the platform? Geez...!

Sine:

Maybe somehow he knew you needed the exercise? According to my bioscan, you've been napping a lot more than enjoying a healthy amount of cardio. Also...

Lark:

[cutting him off before he continues the statement] Sine! [huff] Let's table [pant] this [huff] 'til a bit later [pant] Ok?

Sine:

Roger. [disappointed beep]

Lark makes it to the clocktower and sees a path worn from constant tredding around the area. She looks around and sees no one. A few beats later a figure is rounding the corner.

Lark:

Heeeey! Mr. Beamers. Heeeey

Lark runs toward the figure. The figure stops stunned and confused. Lark gets closer to the figure and sees who the figure is.

Lark:

Beamers?!

The figure comes into the light and has come into view. A familiar voice speaks.

????:

Uh... Nope, but I know where he is.

Lark:

Nette! What are you doing here?

Nette:

A little birdie told me that you'd be heading this way to meet up with Mr. Beamers so I decided to come out here to see if I could find him myself. I saw how serious you were about seeing her so, I wanted to get to the bottom of it all too.

Lark:

Sis... So, where's Beamers? Did you find him?

Nette:

Yeah, look over there.

Nette motions toward a nearby tree. Beamers has climbed to the top and is studying the clock face.

Lark:

Um, he looks... busy.

Nette:

Yeah, he said he almost had 'it' figured out. He told me a story about what you might've saw

Story is told in Beamer's voice

Beamers:

Everything is energy. Energy can't be destroyed. It can be dispersed. It can change shape, but it can't ever totally go away. They say that the energy of the ones we miss can be found at the front of a rainbow. I'm not sure who 'they' are, but enough of 'them' have said it so, I lean toward believing there may be some truth to it. [giggles]

A light rain begins to drizzle.

Lark:

When I saw her... It was right after it stopped raining. There must've been a rainbow in the area!

Nette:

Maybe, but we can't predict where a rainbow will be...

Sine activates

Sine:

[alert beep] Judging but current atmpspheric conditions and solar positioning, there will be a rainbow originating at the West-edge district.

Nette:

One question: Does that count as the front or the back of the rainbow?

Sine:

[deflated beep] ..... I can't tell

Nette & Lark:

Thanks, Sine...!

Lark:

Let's head to East-edge! If it starts in the West and goes East, I'd think that it's 'headed' east because nobody ever 'butts' anywhere right? Who leads with their butt?

Nette:

[skeptical/confused but kinda gets it] I guess that makes 'some' kind of sense... Sorta... Let's go.

Lark:

Will we have time to catch the next train? Sine, what's the train schedule departing Outer-Knoll?

Nette:

[interrupts before Sine can chime in] We don't need the train. I rode the shop's delivery moped. Enough blabbing, hop on!

They hop on the moped and speed off. Beamers watches them speed into the horizon & wishes them luck before returning to his research. The rain gets heavier as they race toward the East-edge district. As they approach the area they both hear a familiar voice urging them on.

??? Voice:

Lark. Nette. I can't wait to see you again. It's been so long.

Lark:

[yelling over the sound of rain & the moped's engine] Nette. Nette!

Nette:

[yelling back] What?

Lark:

You heard her right? I think we're heading in the right direction.

Nette:

Yep! Let's kick it into high gear. [speaking to the moped] C'mon, girl. Just a little more. We're almost there.

They finally arrive in the East-edge. The rain begins to taper off and the rainbow is in full view. They scan the landscape looking for some sign that she's there.

Nette:

What gives? The rainbow is right there. We made it to the front of the rainbow and what did it get us? Nothing! I knew this was a waste of time. Why did I let myself get caught up in all this?!

Lark:

Sis, relax! You said you heard her too when we were on the way here, so she's gotta be here somewhere.

Nette:

No! I mean... yeah.. No, I don't know what I heard but I know I don't see her here right now.

As Nette finishes her sentence a disembodied voice comes from the rainbow.

Voice:

Give an old lady a break. I don't move as fast as I used to, y'know?

A familiar silhouette emerges from the light.

Voice:

So, now that I'm here - how's about a hug?

Lark & Nette:

Grandma!

Both rush over to her open arms for a big hug.

Grandma Belle:

Girls, listen. I don't have a lot of time, but take this jar. The treats inside are special.

Lark:

Huh? I don't get it.

Grandma Belle:

Don't sweat it, kiddo. You'll figure it out. When you get home, do granny a favor & have one. It'll make me happy.

Lark:

[sniffles] Ok, grandma. I will..

Grandma Belle:

Hey, Nette.

Nette:

Yeah, grandma?

Grandma Belle:

You're in charge of things so, be sure to keep the shop running while I'm away & help yourself to a treat whenever you like.

Nette:

[Nods in confirmation with teary eyes] Right! Will do!

Grandma Belle:

Now, why don't you head back. I think Lark could use a bit of rest. I can too.

Nette & Lark:

But...

Grandma Belle:

Girls. Get going.

Lark & Nette nod and turn away to go back to their vespa as their grandmother requested. The rainbow begins to fade away and so does Grandma Belle.

Grandma Belle:

See you, girls.

Grandma Belle disappears as they pull away and the sun washes over the damp landscape.

Epilogue: Sweet Memories

About a week has passed since their rainbow encounter. Nette & Lark are closing up the shop. They bid farewell to the last customers of the day and wrap up the final chores & tasks. They breath a sigh of relief at the ending of another work day & take a look around the shop. Their eyes trace the structure - every wall & every shelf until their gaze lands on the jar that their grandmother entrusted them with.

Nette:

So, in the mood for a snack?

Lark:

Snack? Yeah, I can go for one.

Nette takes the jar down from the nearby shelf and unlids the jar. A sweet aroma meets their noses as their peer at the colorful treats inside.

Lark:

Which one? They all look so good.

Nette:

How about this? We'll close our eyes and take one each at random.

Lark:

Deal.

Nette:

Alright. You go first.

Nette holds out the jar as Lark closes her eyes and reaches her hand in. After Lark chooses her's, they swap positions & they repeat the ritual.

Nette:

Ok, ready?

Lark:

Yep.

Nette:

Alright. On the count of three.

Lark:

One.

Nette:

Two.

Lark & Nette:

[both stuff the treats in their mouths] Three!

As they bite into the treats something magical happens: Lark is transported back to a birthday when her grandmother gave her Sine & taught her how to modify it. Nette is whisked back to the weekend when Grandma taught her to power drift on a vespa. Then with a final bite of the remain bit of their treats, they're zapped back to present day.

Nette & Lark:

Whoa!

Nette:

What the flip?!?!

[Closing Theme Music]

To Be Continued...

You Are Here

You Are Here (synopsis)

The story of two best friends that try to get a hook-up on the popular & hard to get game console, DokiDeck II, get wrapped up in an urban legend of a hidden staircase in a rundown mall. Their friend, Clark, claims to know a guy, ******, that can get the console if they make it down the staircase, but when they go to see ****** - he suddenly quits his job, but left a note on how to get to the stairs via the vending machine. Once arriving at the vending machines, they run into Van who offers a cryptic warning. They push pass him (or drop kick pass him) to discover the staircase and a stretching hallway where they’re chased by a katamari of granny panties and later of gassed by perfume samples. While in a delirious haze, the person that orchestrated it all comes forth from the mist. What’s going on? What’s the secret behind all of this?

Soundtrack

The sound of “You Are Here” is firmly rooted in synth-funk & electro-pop. If you’ve gotta be sucked into something that you thought was only a rumor whispered between friends, at least you can have some grooves!

The Fifth Wall

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Night after night, Nema poured over the fairy tales she was told as a child. Even back then, she could tell that these were more than just stories. The fairy tales lead to the folk tales & legends passed down through the generations which lead her to even grander myths. She came across 2 magnificent tales. Tales that not only are there multiple worlds, but that for each of those worlds, there were adjacent worlds attached. The second tale stated that worlds are endless and the easiest way to think of is that the three dimensions are bound by a fourth wall, but breaking the fourth wall will only get you so far. To really break through, you’d have to break through the ceiling; a seldom considered 5th wall.

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She thought “How could this be real?” At first it all seemed far too fantastical, but the more she observed, the more she started to see certain things line up. “Coincidences only go so far.” she muttered to herself as she noticed the hard facts of random objects suddenly appearing, more strange people and creatures, strange ideas & phrases that she’d never heard of were suddenly everywhere with no explanation of how they got there. She remembered a story of the dreaming world & the dreamed world. The collective imagination of one world creating another. Was her world merely a dream? She had to find out for sure.

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Curiosity fueled her legs as she ran to the furthest edge of the highest peak of her world. If her world truly was the dreamed world then she knew that she’d have to break through the ceiling of the dreaming world. Peering down into a sea of clouds, she jumped off. Falling, falling, falling… Something invisible cracked and then she was.. floating?! “Whoa!” she exclaimed which reverberated through the inkiness as she began zooming pass the stars & swimming through the vastness of space like a dolphin through the cosmic ocean until she broke through a foreign atmosphere to a world that she’d only dreamed of that had possibly dreamed her world into existence.

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Nema sank through the blue sky like a falling star surrounded by a pale glow to announce her arrival. Meanwhile, on a distant hill, a local lad named Bailey sees all this & is shocked to see the scene before his eyes. He hops on his monocycle & rushes down the road to the clearing ahead to check out what’s going on.

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“What the..?!”, Bailey shouted as he speeds off in the direction of the clearing. The speed of his cycle and Nema’s descent nearly matching.

To be continued…

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