He had stayed way into the night and things blurred together because that is what happens when you hang out with bands after the moon sets. He found that he was on a bus with living room furniture, and when he looked out of the window it was almost like being in space, aside from the things that weren't like it. The Bassist was driving the bus, and called out formally "East of the Sun - Half Past West of the Moon, Artificer Centricity!"
The lead singer was by his side. "Are you ready?" he asked smiling ever so slightly. "There used to be a little river with a ferry, because that really amused them, but then they got very clockworky for a while so they created a road paved with pennies to walk on instead. Here, take this bumpershoot. It's reinforced."
The Tiny Alien declined the bumpershoot and activated the shielding on his ray gun instead. Together they walked down the coppery road. "Why do we need this? " asked our Hero. The explanation came on cue from pretty lilac shaped balustrades. Small copper disks spewed out of the lilac trumpets. The disks clinckled as they bumped off the bumpershoot and force shield landing to the side of the paved pennies. It was pretty, but the balustrade was pretty high up and the Tiny Alien would imagine that it could have smarted if visitors were not forewarned. Of course that might be the point.
When they got to the door it looked like a perfectly ordinary door, answered by a large light red rabbit in Edwardian formalwear. The lead singer had been about to knock, the rabbit had caught his hand.
"And good day to you sir, I suppose you will be about to try your luck at the shop? Hizzoner will greet you first and then you may take your chances with the Fixer."
The Tiny Alien wondered what type of chances those might be, but he was quickly distracted by the towering gray electrical being that was flashing lights from the inside and swaying on springs on the outside. The Tiny Alien was't truly sure of how he knew, but he was positive he was being offered a pot of tea. So he accepted. After all tea came with tea cakes and tea cakes were a Treat and one could not deny one's nature, doubly so here.
Their host pulsed and flashed at them and shared some cakes and some action potential pastries. A pleasant time was had by all. This of course was Hizzoner who graciously opened the shop door (which was quite gracious because it was two stories tall, and would have posed a problem otherwise).
Inside was a workshop, a wondrous workshop full of wondrous things. All the things you think should be made but are never made anywhere, might still be made here. And if they weren't made here and you really needed it, it would be likely that it would be made for you when you got here. To describe it in more detail would be impolitic, since it is the most wondrous workshop you can imagine and not the most wondrous workshop that we can imagine. It is quite presumptuous to do the imagining for you. So we shall not.
Please commence with imagining the Tiny Alien entering the most wondrous workshop that ever existed. When you are quite ready, and thoroughly impressed with your own brain for imagining such things, please take another moment, breath deeply and enjoy it. Then, gently, hopefully with a slight smile on your face, continue reading.
The Tiny Alien was there for real and did not have to imagine such a wondrous workshop and he gawked and stared and saw things -- the very things that everyone who ever thought about this workshop had imagined. He was so busy being impressed with such ingenuity that he almost missed the only being that might be able to help, standing on a hydraulic thingie with a giant silver wrench and a determined air. The lead singer made the introductions.
"Hullo there, I've brought you a present." The lead singer sort of pushed the Tiny Alien in front of him.
"Yes, he's quite present." The only one who could help seemed to be made of moon and copper, his goggles were gold and his skin was dusty bisque. There was no way to see his eyes but the Tiny Alien was quite certain he was being stared at. He was not sure if he was being squinted at or if imaginary eyebrows were being raised. Possibly both.
Hizzoner blinked and flashed: "He is the one who fixes things so that they may be maintained."
"Which things?" asked the Tiny Alien.
"The things that need it." answered the Fixer.
It was then that the Tiny Alien noticed what the Fixer was fixing. It was olive green and very intimidating but sleek with all sorts of knobs and dials and weaponry. It seemed to be fidgeting under the ministrations of the Fixer. There were driver's seats but the Sleek Dangerous Thing seemed to be talking to the Fixer directly in twirps and tweets and electrical bursts. It was understood somehow by all that the Fixer was repairing an area where the rain was getting in confusing the poor Thing.
The Tiny Alien thought of all the things that brought him here, all of the desire and crankiness and watches and tricks and treats and Indie Oracles and hanging out with the Band and Speaking to Old Men on docks and thinking about how much that was really a grand set of things to bring him here. He still wanted something, like a piece was missing. And he told his story to Hizzoner and the Fixer the best way he knew how. With a plaintive look and a slightly lowered ray gun, he looked upward and held out his bag and said shyly, "Trick or Treat?"
And the Fixer looked down from the Hydraulic thingie and clicked a button that opened a door that was on the top of the Sleek Dangerous Thing.
"OK." Declared the Fixer and he turned to the Tiny Alien and gestured with the wrench. "Come on in."
What does it all mean. Is the Sleek Dangerous thing a Trick or a Treat? Is the Tiny Alien a thing that needs Fixing? Is it really the end of the Vision Quest? The answer to these and other questions in the next and possibly final episode of Tales of the Tiny Alien . . . . .