December 15, 2019

The Immortal Assembly

"Papa," my daughter asks hesitantly, "Why do you look so much younger than mama?"


"Because I am an Immortal," I replied sweeping the stray strands of dark hair from her face.


"You've told me that, papa; but what does that mean?"


"It's a long story, my dear; a story that carries the weight of a thousand generations. It is not becoming of a father to bestow such a burden on his daughter until she is of age to bear it."


Her blue eyes sparkled pleadingly. "Please, papa? I can handle it!"


I breathed a deep sigh. "I suppose you ought to know what future awaits you. Come and sit with me, little moonchild. I shall tell you the secrets that I have kept for centuries."


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She smiled wide and climbed up into my lap. We rocked back and forth as I drew from a story as old as time.


"When God scattered mankind at Babel, the human race spread to the very ends of this fruitful planet. But the archangel Gabriel saw that the human race was without sound leaders and wise people to guide these nomadic groups. So he selected seven people-one from every continent-to guide the masses. He took favor on these chosen leaders and gave them many gifts. Among other abilities, he gave them immortality."


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We grew up together. All but one.


"Immortals cannot die. There must always be 7 immortals to guide the lost sheep of this darkened world. We do not age, and we do not decay. We can only be set free by passing on our gifts to a worthy legacy. As you know, our family is of proud Indian heritage, and we bear the immortality of Asia with us always. One day, my daughter, you will receive these gifts as well. You are heiress to the immortal mantle and the archangel gifts that I bear. If you one day choose to accept my wings I will promptly wither away and die, but you shall live forever."


My daughter's eyes grew teary upon this news. "But papa!" she exclaimed defiantly, "I don't want you to die!"




I held her tight and gently wiped the tears from her eyes. "My dear little one, please do not cry for me, for I have lived for years upon years; centuries longer than any man should have to suffer through. I have laughed, loved, cried, and buried those who were dear to me. If you do not to take this upon yourself, I understand. But I do not think I could bear to one day see your grave."


We spoke no more and were contented to hold each other tightly, clutching the moment we were in like a cliffside as the abyss of time's cruel progression loomed darkly below us. As we wiped our tears away, there was a sharp and desperate knock on the door.


I rushed to answer it only to find Lee, the Immortal of North America. Her wings are made of arcing electricity, but they are not the normal bright blue that they tend to glow. Lee was hunched over, heaving heavy breaths. Her auburn hair was scattered from the wind and her brow was drenched in sweat. Her electric wings looked ragged and wilted. She continued to pant, unable to speak. "Good grief, dearie! Do you need some water?" I asked urgently. She held up a single finger, begging me to give her a moment to catch her breath. My daughter watched from behind the rocking chair, frightened at the sudden appearance of a mysterious stranger.


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Lee took a deep breath and forced herself to stand upright. Though normally calm and collected, her brown eyes were full of desperation as they flicked back and forth. "There's an emergency. Mr. Kova has summoned the Assembly of Immortals. We're meeting at the South Pole."


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I interjected. "The Assembly? But they haven't convened in millennia! And Kova is a joke. We always joked that he had been frozen in ice this whole time, remember? There's no way that there's still a surviving member of the original Seven! This has to be a hoax!"


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"I'm afraid not," said Lee, "Kova is real, and if he's come out of hiding, it means something big is going down."


I looked at my daughter, who was now joined by her sister and mother. My wife looked at me with knowing eyes. "Go," said my wife, the strongest woman I shall ever know, "I'll hold down the fort. Call me as soon as you can."


I stepped over and held my family tight. "Papa will be home soon, my dear." I assured them. "I will return as soon as I can. Everything is going to be okay." I kissed them all and wished them well. It had been many years since I had left my home, but I felt a disturbance in my soul as I stepped out the door.


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So I spread my wings of lightening and flew like hell.


Long live the King

December 13, 2019

No Such Thing As Sanity

I held her shaking shoulders as she sobbed.


"I don't want to feel this way," she cried, "Will I feel crazy forever?"


We held each other in silence, like lost little children who have realized that the sun is setting. I squeezed her tightly as I tried to remind her that there is always darkness before the dawn.


"It's quite alright to be crazy, my dear. And besides...


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... we're all mad here."


Long live the King

December 12, 2019

Queen of the Sea

"Who is that mermaid in the painting, papa?" my daughter asks.


"That is your mother, of course," I say as I brush her coffee-colored curls.


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"It doesn't look very much like her," she objects, "why does she look so different?"


"My little Sunshine, your mother was once a beautiful mermaid and queen of the sea. That is why she has ocean eyes. But she gave up her tail to be with papa."


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"How did it happen,  papa?"


"There was once a prince with hair and eyes as black as coal. He was estranged from his throne and took to traveling distant lands while researching all the cultures he found.


The prince found himself upon the cusp of clear lagoon that bordered the sea. He made camp for the night and awoke to see a beautiful woman in the water. Her eyes were a shining grey like the sea on a stormy night and her long, golden-red hair sparkled brightly in the morning sun.


Now Winter was quickly setting upon on this coast, and the woman asked the prince if he could keep her warm. Always the gentleman, the prince reached into his saddlebag and collected some spices and dried leaves that he had gathered on his travels to the Eastern Isles. He lit a fire and boiled the ingredients into a sweet, spiced beverage and gave it to the woman in the water. The drink was warm and aromatic as it tingled in the back of the woman's throat and warmed her chest. The prince had charmed her with his kindness and she fell in love.


The woman revealed herself to be the queen of the sea. She governed the vast oceans with the rest of the royal family and was charged with caring for all the small sea creatures. To some, she was known as the kindly Seahorse Queen. She showed the prince her tail, expecting him to flee as humans are known to do when faced with the unknown. But the prince was unfazed and kissed the queen's hand in greeting.


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The Seahorse Queen was taken with this prince of the land, and she gave him a token of her appreciation: the royal trident, Riptide. She knew he would use it to keep peace in the land of humans. The prince took it with gratitude, but he feared the queen would be left defenseless, so he reached into his cloak and retrieved his golden dagger which he called Midas.


"It's coated in pure gold, your majesty, so it won't rust under the water," said the prince.


"I shall carry it always, my sweet prince." said the Sea Queen.


"Will you be returning to the ocean now?" The prince asked hesitantly.


"I'm afraid I cannot return to my home," said the queen, "for a horrible storm arose behind me and washed me into this lagoon from which I cannot escape. I have been stuck here for many days as a large piece of land bars me from swimming back into the ocean."


"Then I shall stay with you, your highness. If you are to be stuck here, then so shall I be."


The queen was grateful, and the prince stayed by the shore for many weeks. In the mornings the young, dark prince would brew his spiced tea to warm the pair; come evening they would chat about the fantastic worlds they have seen and would talk late into the night.


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As time went on, the days grew colder and the rogue prince would dig his trench between the edge of the lagoon and the tideline of the ocean. After several days of tireless digging, the prince finally broke through the barriers on each end of his trench, creating a canal that connected the lagoon and the ocean.


It was a tight fit for the mermaid queen to swim through, but with enough wriggling she managed to swim out gracefully into the ocean where she waved a somber goodbye to the prince before disappearing into the murky depths of the sea from whence she came. The prince waved backed forlornly before trudging back to the camp that he had come to see as the two's home. He slept next to the shore as always, gazing up at the stars and wishing that he could see the beautiful mermaid just one last time.


The prince awoke at sunrise and began to pack up his horse as he no longer had reason to remain by the sea. As he went to brew one final pot of spiced Chai, he saw a beautiful head of golden-red hair emerge from the waters. The queen had returned with a book of spells that she had procured from the royal library beneath the waves.


"Why have you returned?" asked the prince, confused but elated to see the mermaid again.


"Do you want me to be with you?" the Seahorse Queen asked.


"Of course." replied the prince.


"Forever?"


"Forever and always." the prince said with confidence.


The mermaid nodded and quietly opened the book she had brought. She turned to a marked page and begin reciting words in a tongue long forgotten by most, and as she spoke the words enveloped her in light. The mermaid ascended from the water and her tail split in half and the halves turned into legs. She walked up onto the beach for the very first time and the prince threw his cloak around her. The two embraced and the prince promised to always keep her warm.


The two laid together in the prince's small shelter, but the prince would not find rest. He gazed at the queen's beauty and admired her in the moonlight. He felt uneasy as he glanced out at the vast sea and his anxiety grew. Eventually he could take it no more, and while the queen slept he mounted his horse and rode to a nearby gypsy encampment.


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The sun was beginning to rise as the prince reached the edge of the encampment. He sought out the council of a romany enchantress. The prince feared that the queen would not be content with him and grow to miss the blue seas that she gave up to be with him; So the enchantress gave him a vial of magic water filled with Seahorse dreams and a magic spell to recite.


The prince rode back to his camp in a haste and was relived to find the now-human sea queen still sleeping. He sprinkled the magic water over her and quietly whispered the spell in her ears before tenderly kissing her forehead. The red sunlight that bathed the queen's slumbering face seemed to shimmer for a moment and the prince breathed a sigh of relief. He stepped out and began brewing their morning tea, but this time he would make it the sweetest it had ever been. Today was to be celebrated.


When the queen awoke, she saw her reflection in the waters of the lagoon that she once dwelled in. Her eyes sparkled a bright blue like the very sea itself was alive in her irises and she felt the love of all the small ocean creatures warm her chest.


The prince had given her ocean eyes, so that no matter where they were she would always be able to see the sea and she would never tire of being with him."


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I finished brushing the ends of my little princess' hair. "And that, my Sunshine," I told her, "is how I met your mother."


Long live the King

December 1, 2019

I Have A Fantasy

"Do you have any dreams?" they ask.


"I suppose I do," I say, "But they are so very specific that I doubt they could ever be reality."


"What do you see when you close your eyes?"


Many things, dear readers. Many things. Here is one that has been persistent as of late.


Fred Rogers. Bob Ross. Jim Henson. Bill Watterson. Hayao Miyazaki. Brian Jacques.




All of them soft-spoken old men who saw the world through eyes untainted by malice or crushing realism. These were innovators of television, movies, art, animation, cartoons, and literature who all sought to change the world through the minds of humans. In my dreams, I am with these gentle-toned gentleman at a diner; Somewhere outside of time that is filled with only a few other patrons. Early-morning sunshine streams through the aged windows as the songs of sparrows can be heard in the distance. If one could strain their ear, they may even hear the far off sounds of a train.


We are gathered at a round, oaken table on this dull, autumn day. We dine on classic American fare, (steak n' eggs for me, of course). The old timers speak quietly about days of yore and their gentle gazes speak volumes on how they consider the world's potential. They share their visions in hushed tones as if the worlds they are creating around us must remain a secret. Being the young man of the group, I simply sit and listen, basking in the wisdom and imagination that exudes from these giants. (And since it's my fantasy and I can do what I please, Adam Young is with me and we are fanboying together as we snatch at the imagination that surrounds us, clinging to each enchanted tale. I feel like Adam and I would be good friends.)


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(Secretly I always picture it here, a place I visited annually as a child.)


I do have a fantasy: To be among minds that see the world not for what it is, but what it could be.


Long live the King

June 30, 2019

Fading Shades of Grey (PART 2)

(Read part one first, little macaron. https://longlivetheprince.blogspot.com/2019/06/fading-shades-of-grey-part-1.html)


Your King apologizes sincerely for the delay of this post. (I had to dive deeper than I first anticipated.) In part one we went over the story of Pneumonia White. In this continuation we will be performing a full synopsis of the mysteries in her blog. It took a very long time to piece together a coherent timeline, but hopefully we can finally put the last nail in this proverbial coffin. Spoiler alert: we solved the final puzzle. Enjoy.


CHAPTER ONE: WHO IS PNEUMONIA WHITE?

As I mentioned in part one of this adventure, our mysterious baroness Pneumonia White began as the most infamous figure of the debutante circle: Miriam Konig (primarily called 'Miri'). Like most of the debutantes, Miri began blogging in September of 2009 with a blog called 'California Noir'. In 2011, she changed into a character named, 'Pneumonia White', likely in reaction to her close friend being called 'Pneumonia Black'. From there she began building the most complex narrative on Blogger.











CHAPTER TWO: MIRIAM KONIG VS. PNEUMONIA
WHITE


When I discovered the original identity of Pneumonia White, I was forced to ask myself a question that many have pondered in reaction to both her and the other debutantes: "What is real?"


The reason this must be asked is because these bloggers seem to use a mélange of truth and fiction in their writing with very little delineation between the two. This begs the question: "Who is real? Pneumonia White or Miri? Or both? Or neither?" While I was unable to decipher which character (if either) is real, I thought it sensible to contrast the two characters to see how great the discrepancies are.


1. Miri is from Germany, while Anya is from Russia
2. Though both refer to their grandmas the same way, Miri spells it "grannie" while Anya spells it "granny"
3. Miri alluded to her mum being a psychologist, and Anya said her mum makes costumes for movies
4. Miri lived at her Grannie's old place in Silverlake, while Anya lived in her late-granny's mansion in Bel Air
5. Miri had been in LA at least since 2009, but Anya claimed to have arrived in LA on July 8'th 2011 for the first time in nearly five years.





Comparing these two characters is complicated but for the sake of creating a timeline of events, I decided to treat the story as if both character's stories are true. It is with that premise that I can present to you the next chapter.


CHAPTER THREE: THE TIMELINE


(I apologize in advance for this convoluted timeline. I included as many noteworthy events as I could find with little rhyme or reason as to what made the cut. At this point, it seems like everything could be important.) Here is the timeline as best I could decipher based on both Miri and Anya's stories:


{Miri (Anya/Pneumonia White) is born in Siberi, Karelia in Russia (1991)
{Miri and her family travel the world (because her mother makes costumes for movies) and spend a lot of time in Berlin, Germany
{Miri's family decides to cease travelling and move into granny's* [*likely her father's mother] old mansion in Silverlake (2000)
{White's brother Viktor drowns (2001) [White is 10]
{White's father dies (2001-2002) [White is 10]
{White meets her first love , Evan (2003) [White is 13]
{Miri begins writing California Noir (September 2009) [White is 19]
{Miri creates a Facebook page for California Noir (December 2009)
{Miri moves in with Belle Armed (February 2011)
{Pneumonia Black begins her blog (February 2011)
{Miri transitions California Noir into Pneumonia White (March 8'th 2011)
{Miri scraps the California Noir posts, rebrands Noir as a new blog: 'Holliday'.
{Pneumonia White begins posting while sharing a joint Blogger profile with Pneumonia Black (June 2011)
{Pneumonia Black stops posting (July 2011)
{Pneumonia White deletes all (two) June posts (July 2011)
{Pneumonia White begins posting and marks the beginning of her character's story (July 5'th 2011)
{White moves in to granny's old mansion in Bel Air, which she believes she inherited (July 9'th 2011)
{White references California Noir by leading with the phrase 'Woke up at 11', a nod to California Noir's banner text (July 11'th 2011)
{A boy named Joel is the first to publically drop White's name: 'Anya' (July 12'th 2011)
{Black moves in with White (July 13'th 2011)
{Black leaves temporarily to visit her family. White thinks she's hiding something (July 21'st 2011)
{Black and White find the mysterious (and likely metaphorical) golden key (July 28'th 2011)
{Black disappears, claiming to have left for a "walkabout" (August 2'nd 2011)
{White begins to gain attention and has been requested for interviews by various media outlets (August 4'th 2011)
{White changes the blog's banner (August 10'th 2011)
{White leaves and posts a goodbye message stating that she cannot talk about granny's funeral for legal reasons (September 22'nd 2011)
{White resurrects PneumoniaWhite.com and publishes a post exactly three years after leaving (September 22'nd 2014)
{White deletes PneumoniaWhite.com again, along with all three posts from 2014. (Somewhere between January and May 2015)


IWOKEUPATELEVEN


CHAPTER FOUR: RED HERRINGS


I was led down several paths that my grandfather would refer to as, "frivolous pursuits for untamed water-fowl" (i.e. wild goose-chases). It took me many moons to separate truth from fiction, so here are some conclusions that proved inaccurate.


{"Miri is not Pneumonia White, but instead Pneumonia Black." The only visuals I have of Miri from the pre-Pneumonia days show her as being a brunette, much like Pneumonia Black, opposed to being a blonde like Pneumonia White. However, it is quite easy to dye one's hair, and all the timeline evidence from Facebook points to Miri being Pneumonia White.





{"Cassidy Cole (the Silverlake Serpent / Hollywood Sign Girl) is Pneumonia White." In Miri's last post on California Noir, she posts a picture of Cassidy and tells of her crush on her. (Thus making the dynamic similar to White & Black's.) Also, Cassidy is a blonde, which fits in to the previously stated theory. Moreover, Cassidy commented on a post and linked Pneumonia White [PW] as if it was her own blog. (Linking your blog at the end of your comments was customary in those days.) However, this is where the trail of evidence linking Cassidy and White end. Also, under her Hollywood Sign Girl [HSG] alias, she commented this on one of White's posts:


[HSG]: "Anya, I have a small house party down venice with some friends tomorrow. Tried to text you on facebook, but check it and please get back to me, because all my friends are talking about you, and I am the most anxient to meet you! (I can promise you - you'll not be disappointed :) lots of kisses from your mortal friends ***"


[PW]: "hsg, i'll try to make it!!! i wanna meet you too. you seem so nice. XXX"


Unless they were clever enough to go that far to put off suspicion, (which I doubt), it directly implies that they had never met in person yet and were simply internet interests.


hollywood sign girl


{"Belle is one of the Pneumonias." Belle Armed was living with Miri around the time California Noir ended, so I considered the possibility that perhaps she helped contribute to the narrative as Miri's other half. However, Belle looks far too different from either of them and there is no evidence to support the claim.


CHAPTER FIVE: THE FINAL CIPHER


There were many difficulties in solving the final cipher. I had assumed that the solution would be something that was clued at in the narrative. Perhaps the password was 'Barbosa', a password that they created for their exclusive 7-Eleven. However, that did not pan out.


In some of the ciphers that were given public solutions, the passwords were things like 'golden' and 'evan', both references to thematic elements in the story. (One was the color of Black's secret key, the other was White's first love.) I honed in on the key aspect since Black's key was alluded to in many posts, especially near the end of the story. It started as a key that White stole, which she promptly gave to Black. The key was also supposed to be of great importance to granny's funeral. And White did not realize what it unlocked before having an epiphany in front of the Hollywood sign. However, nothing related to it appeared to be the password.





Also in association with the golden key, White referenced a Grey bird. White had a repeating theme of birds in the various imagery and poetry she used throughout the blog. She showed pictures of Quail, she mentions Pigeons, and she used images of Black Swans as an icon. Unfortunately, none of these were the solution to the final puzzle.


After trying for weeks to crack the cipher using the blog as my guide and finding nothing, I began trying to crack it using the source code. I managed to figure out that, whatever the message is, it was likely a very concise message. My progress ended there, and I turned to my last hope; a large kingdom far away called Reddit.


I had heard stories of the wizards and scholars that resided on Reddit, so I packed my bags and made haste to the large city and it's simple, yet humungous towers. Eventually I found the help of a very kind warlock who knew how to write mystical programs that would crack enciphered text. His name was u/jtm297 and he was a mind ahead of his time. After pleading my case in the Court of Mystics for roughly a week, he came to my aid and said simply this: "Solved. The password is Tomas. Have a nice day."





Tomas. And with that, the final mystery was solved. I finally input the long-awaited password and held my breath as the message was revealed. The message read simply, "I don't wanna sleep!". Needless to say, I found this quite anticlimactic. But it did leave me with some new questions. "Who was Tomas?" "Is he a character we are already acquainted with (like Mr. Mysterious)?" "If not, what is his relevance to the story? And why was he never mentioned?"


It seems like Anya still got the last laugh. We were the first to solve her cipher in 8 years and we are still left with more questions than we started with.


EPILOGUE: WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?


If you have stuck through and read the entire post, then I'm sure we are wondering the same thing right now: "What does it all mean?" To give you the short answer, I'm not exactly sure. To give you the longer answer, it could mean many things.


Anya's tale tells of the secret undergrounds that inhabit our world. She speaks frequently of the 'Secret Hollywood' and how it killed her brother & father and ended her blog. For instance, her blog's first banner read:


"I was 10 when he died. Now, a Bel Air orphan, with a hundred pairs of shoes I have only one desire left: To tell U of the secret Hollywood that killed them."






In response to people asking about her identity, she had this to say:
"Who AM I. Who IS Pneumonia White? People seem obsessed 2 know. Following me, Hacking my mail, lurking in the shade outside my morning cafés. But I'm sorry stalkers. As much as I hate the cage wherein I live, I won't let U liberate me.
U c the Hollywood I live in is different. It's not the famous, opulent, dramatic Hollywood of the stars, but the very opposite.
I live in the SECRET Hollowood. The one hidden deep inside the lush gated communities of Old Bel Air. The damp streets where you won't find any residential sidewalks. It is a Hollywood where a year at Marymouth High means more than any Academy Award. It's the Hollywood that don't shout, but whisper. But whose whispers gets movies gets done, worlds built, and others destroyed.
And if the price 2 stay here is secrecy, I pay the price and hide myself in veils of words, and this is all U get:

'My name is Pneumonia White and I've been blogging since I arrived here in LA the 6th of july 2011. I live (almost) alone in the house my grandmother left me in Bel Air. My goal is to fill the hole in my heart with so many Alaïa dresses and Alexander Wang shoes that I never will cry again. If I could have one superhero power it would b being able to never wake up again'"






And in her 'final' post where she closes the book on her story, she writes this:
"I love u
Loved ones. I think u have seen it coming. By the time your read this my life on this blog will be over.
There are many reasons. Most of them just hinted in the vague threats by my lawyer. I tell u, there are MANY things my part of Hollowood don't want the world to know. (And there's no shortage of lawyers here either). And as much as I don't WANT 2 care about those things, I do. I'm spoiled and afraid, and ever since
Black disappeared, I'm also lonely.
Also, this blog has grown to big for me. Every DAY I get mails from around the world telling me what a rich bitch I am. And  even WORSE: Everyday I get mails telling me how beautiful I am. How people look up to me. But I am NO Role Model. I'm an anxiety ridden wreck that runs on fantasies and self-loathing.
(There are also other things, weird dreams that started to come alive with this blog, and that I hope will die with it)
All this aside, YOU have changed my life for the better, and THAT I can never repay. If I EVER get my life back, I'll b back, right here, with U, the only place I felt safe, in a long time.
Love and blessings

Pneumonia "





She never revealed the secrets of the Hollywood underground. And she never gave any clues about the proceedings of granny's funeral. She left us one final cipher, but what she left us with was not enough to infer the details that she was forced to expunge. We can only speculate as to what went on beyond the veil of the Pneumonia White blog; was it meant as a work of fiction? Or perhaps a new form of meta-art? Or was it just the ramblings of a madwoman? None can know for sure, but I am at least honored to present to you the most interesting blog I have ever found. Thank you all for sticking by me and tolerating my talk of conspiracies and intrigue. You keep me going. Until next time.


Long live the King

June 28, 2019

Fading Shades of Grey (PART 1)

(If haven't read my posts about the debutante conspiracy, I suggest reading it for context. https://longlivetheprince.blogspot.com/2019/01/the-web-thickens-another-blogger-mystery.html)


I'm sure I've said it before, but this has been my most ambitious Blogger mystery yet. I have previously mentioned a most infamous debutante by the name of "Miri". Miri has been one of the most mysterious and elusive influencers on Blogger, and now we have found her in a new adventure that blurs the lines between reality and fiction. Except this mystery is not about Miri as we know her; it's about a brooding blonde baroness named Pneumonia White.


If you have actually heard about Pneumonia White, it would probably be no surprise. White managed to acquire a significant following back in 2011. She and her counterpart Pneumonia Black spent their time on Blogger telling of their elusive Hollywood escapades, all the while constructing a meta-narrative under the surface of their stories. Though it was often difficult to decipher what percentage of her stories were fiction, White managed to build her story through allusion to her history, defining her group of odd characters, and including enciphered text in her blogs. It took a long time to piece together her tale, but here it is as best I can interpret:


It was July of 2011 when Pneumonia White got the call from her granny's attorney. White described her grandmother as 'the queen of old Bel Air'. Unfortunately for Pneumonia White, the queen had fallen prey to the passage of time and unshackled herself from her mortal coil. Upon hearing the attorney's news of granny's death White and her family left the beaches of Venice, Italy and flew back to LA, California.


It had been five years since White had been in LA. In those days, she was simply called 'Anya'. Her mother and father settled in their old home in Silverlake while the funeral details were underway. However, Pneumonia White would not lay her head in her childhood home. Instead, her granny had left Anya her old mansion in Bel Air. As Anya gazed up at the white spanish walls hidden behind the lush greenery, she held her [deceased] brother's faithful teddy bear Aloysius tighter. Surely she would be able to survive this ordeal if she just held on tightly. Time went on and she missed her hometown in Karelia. She missed simpler days when her mom wasn't an alcoholic and her father wasn't asleep in his grave. And she missed her young brother Viktor, who never ceased to make her smile but had not seen the sun in a decade. Now all she had to remember him by was the shard of his soul that he left in his stuffed bear Aloysius. If only she could have Pneumonia Black by her side; she was indeed empty and filled with longing as her other half remained elusive.


no. 1


Night falls, and Anya heard a sound from the porch. Black was back. It had been five years since the pair had seen one another. As young teenagers they were as inseparable as they were irresponsible. Not only was Pneumonia Black finally by Anya's side, but Black went as far as to move in with her. The two were inseparable once more as they (and Aloysius) enjoyed the pleasures of LA living.





However, it would not be long before paradise fell. Aloysius had grown irritable and hostile because he had developed feelings for Pneumonia Black. Granny's lawyer postponed the date of the funeral, leaving the family members to wait with baited breath for the announcement. Anya was very vulnerable during this time, so it was especially difficult when the worst happened: Black disappeared. She left without a word and was off taking care of private business. White was devastated. It was here that the narrative began to fall apart as Anya wrote primarily about her daily struggles while the lines between her metaphors and her reality were gradually whittled away. Events were more vague, she was in a constant haze, and any meaning to be gleaned had to be interpreted more than usual.


pool


The attorney finally returned and granny's funeral arrangements were made. Pneumonia White started her blog as a result of her grandmother's death, so the funeral seemed like the logical climax to the story. But something broke inside our dear little Anya. There were many lawyers who didn't like her blog and were threatened by her revealing glimpses into the Hollywood underground. She was silenced from saying anything about her Granny's funeral and she quit her blog shortly after. Though she had a brief resurgence in 2014 exactly three years after leaving her blog, that portion of posts was deleted and she fell back into silence. But not all was as it seemed; for Pneumonia White left us one final puzzle: An encrypted message that has remained unsolved to this day.





There is so much to understand about this tale, the previous iteration of Anya/Miri, and the final cipher. I have been working tirelessly to piece together the full narrative, but that's a story for another day. Until next time.


Long live the King