The Topiary Dance

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Mara Smith-Stevens
- 5/10/2018 10:08pm

When you're working "outside the box," all communication with potential assets is done in code. This is for two reasons. Naturally, if private communication with the asset were compromised, we'd have a quantum entanglement and lose control of the outcome. But the other reason is that it's the only way to communicate through the twisted hall of mirrors the subject finds themselves in.

"Cumbia in the Cumbria!"

That was the message left for me in the alabaster monkey head on @Rich White's windowsill. Cumbia being the famous Columbian rhythm and dance form, and Cumbria, in England, home to Leven's Hall, regarded as one of the most beautiful topiary gardens in the world.

It's obviously a reference to the Topiary Dance, being held this Friday in the Topiary Garden on lower campus. That will be our meet up.

Big Jim
- 5/11/2018 8:39am


It’s time for the Spring Topiary Dance this evening in, you guessed it, the Topiary Gardens in Lower Campus! Let’s take advantage of this great weather and enjoy the garden stylings of visiting psychic topiary artist and lawn-care professor Pliny Sato. Light refreshments will be served starting at 7pm, with music from campus favorites Teeny Bird starting at 8.

Take a break from studying for finals and enjoy the season!


Big Jim
Student Activities Coordinator
Class of '99

evon o
- 5/11/2018 3:44pm

I <3 teeny bird!

- 5/12/2018 3:41pm

Got into a fight with a rosebush at the Topiary Dance. That thing was lookin for trouble. I'm usually a pretty steady-state kinda guy--just ask my friend @Soft Max--but that rosebush pushed me too far. Now I'm all scratched up, but you should see the rosebush.

Soft Max
- 5/14/2018 9:12am

I went to the Spoonbender and made the mistake of ordering the Everthing bagel. I’m going to be here a while.

Yeah Boltzmann had a tussle with a rose bush at the Topiary Dance. Boltzmann is innocent! That rose bush was looking for trouble. It was flexing its thorns near the edge of the woods, acting tough, and reached out and tripped Boltzmann from behind. I saw it all. Boltzmann went back to have some words with it and that bush just dug in. I went to pull him out and a bunch of the rose bush’s friends started to get pushy and it was almost a full-on rumble. Then the Sycamore let out a groan and we all backed off, but it was pretty tense there for a moment. Kind of ruined the dance for us. The rose bush kind of spat after us and told us not to come back, but I don’t think that’s fair. I don’t think that’s fair at all.

Mara Smith-Stevens
- 5/15/2018 9:01am

The Topiary Dance was the ideal place to connect with the subject, @Rich White. Though he’d been connected in the past, it was so long ago that those connections were no longer viable, and this amounted to a First Contact. As an Imaginary Friend, you can’t just walk up to a subject in broad daylight for that kind of thing—the reality pressure just doesn’t allow it. But meeting in twilight with people milling all around, topiary creatures swaying to music gently in the background, it was textbook perfect.

“Hi! Rich?”

“Uh, hi. Do I know you? You look familiar.”

“I’m from the old country. I think you left something there.”

I recited the code phrase. It’s like a nursery rhyme, but the words are out of phase so it can’t be translated directly.

@Rich White’s face froze for a moment while the memory gates unlocked.

“Oh my god I thought it was all a dream. You’re really here. Wow.”

We spent the rest of the night dancing. He introduced me to friends as an old acquaintance visiting from another school. Which was more or less true.

“So, you’ll see me again?” he asked. “Soon?”

“As long as I’m in town,” I answered. “Till the wind changes.”

“I wish you could stay forever.”

We danced till the party was over.

Thorny Rivers
- 5/19/2018 4:02pm

I'm the one who took a bite out of @Boltzmann! We've been starving since the Women's Advertising Club of Psyhigh's Mystic Order of the Rose stopped coming by with our Blood Meal. So we've been laying out tendrils, seeing who we can snare as they visit the gardens on campus.

We set up a lemonade stand, right off the garden trail. It's just a card table and some cups and a pitcher of lemonade. We don't need chairs because we're rosebushes! We twine around in human shape, serving up the lemonade, accidentally scratching a customer here and there, mmmmmmmmm, those sweet sweet drips.

Ethel Lawson
- 5/20/2018 1:20pm

I just woke up here with my faithful stallion, Thunder, licking my face. All I know is that I was on the job, keeping them cows safe, when a glowing, green hole opened up in the dirt, then everything went black. Cowgirls ain't supposed to get lost. Am I here for a purpose??? Also, Thunder is starving. Is there anywhere here where I can get him some grub? I will offer extreme southern cordiality to those who help me.

- 5/21/2018 8:32am

You’re welcome to paddy your horse at the trunk of my treehouse, @Ethel Lawson. You can get your bearings up here while you sample my famous treehouse-roasted coffee. Take the trail off the edge of Woodhull Field and keep you eyes on the treetops. Just be careful of the rosebushes near the edge of the woods—I hear they’re gettin’ a little frisky!

Finn Bennett
- 5/22/2018 12:00am

I uh. I don't remember a lot. What's happening?

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