FB4-98 "The Matter Of Filato"

FB4-98 "The Matter Of Filato"

A Chapter by dw817

Lilly and Tyr also looked around the area trying to find the source. The voice continued, "Use your key now. When the bell sounds again, use your key. Good luck, runner. May you find sanctuary."




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F U T U R E   B A R R I E R
( The 4th Novel )
Secret Technology, Unrequited Love, Absolute Vengeance

© May 2021 - Written by David Wicker
Please do not reprint without permission



* * *

This chapter is Rated: TEEN

Slice Of Life (05-14-21)

Good afternoon:

* Events have certainly been pressing down on me this past week. While I have had some interesting and good times it feels as if life itself weighs in on me too.

For one thing is I no longer feel the burning drive to write a new RPG Maker. Oh not the way I had planned. I mean I might in time write a procedurally generated RPG engine of a sort.

But not the kind where the editor can insert and build all the custom and original scripts and tiles. And that is surprising as for years and YEARS this is something I wanted to write. I mean I did so twice before. Scenario 1 RPGMaker, written in QBasic. Scenario 2 RPGMaker, written in GFA-Basic.

Scenario 3 RPGMaker ? Not so much interest now. Is it age setting in ? Perhaps.

So what would I code in the future ? Oh perhaps a few card games, maybe something that calculates odds on percentages based upon random factors, that sort of thing is always of interest to me.

But as for a real RPG Maker where decisions in design are controlled by a human, no. That ship has sailed and I bid it bon voyage to wherever destination the 'desire' may go. Likely the fire will go to someone younger and more full of inspiration than me ...

Also if you caught it, and it was pretty quick, "Tyr" was an alter-ego account of mine, directly from Future Barrier, that I used to keep track of members in an Online casino game I was assistant manager for years ago.

As there was no real structure available on the game itself, I wanted to have a site in Writer's Cafe that would explain the rules of play, my suggestions for gaining maximum coinage, and what the daily goals of each player should be.

While there are still a great many colored lights, animation, themes, and music, spinning slots in an online casino such as Zynga can provide, it is certainly not as much fun to me as it used to be years ago - so I closed up that account and moved on.

Occasionally I used this account though to see what it was my friends in Writer's Cafe would see - to ensure my webpages appeared properly when they used advanced methods of communication like multi-button input, tables, and forms. But now I closed that account so it should not crop up again.

So now let's talk about some of the good of last week.

One of which was Sunday. Chris took me to a fancy combination costume shop and magic shop called, "Magic Etc" and I saw an old fellow outside smoking a cigarette.

There was a big sign on the entrance that said, "Magic !"

He saw me and smiled. I spoke and asked, "So are you a magician ?"

He nodded and replied, "I sure am."

I was skeptical, "So show me a magic trick then."

"Alright." he held out his cigarette where I could see it. Then it just - vanished !

"Whoa, dude !" I was very impressed.

"I work here." he stated. Then he showed me his empty hand. Then he moved two fingers and it reappeared.

"Nice !" I told him.

"So you like magic then ?" he asked, standing up.

I nodded. "Absolutely."

He tilted his head to the entrance, "Come on in then. Let me show you what I have."

Chris and me followed and entering to the left was all kinds of magic tricks for sale.

He got behind the counter then looked at me, "Anything in particular you like ?"

I nodded, "When I was about 14-years old I had bicycled from Dad's house to a magic shop that just opened."

I described, "There was this interesting rod that had rainbow colors on it. You could flip it over and back to show it was the same on both sides. Then you could do a trick and it would change to one solid color."

He laughed, "That's a really old trick indeed. Let me see if I have any left."

He rummaged around and definitely found one, for $5. I took a look at it. The package had already been opened and it was a little beat-up but sure enough there it was.

He handed it to me and as the package was already open I slid it out and tried to do the trick as I did years ago.

Unfortunately apparently the trick was pretty easy if you had small hands, which I did years ago, but years of typing had worked its way into me and my hands today were huge and muscular, and not so easy to grip something with small sides.

Not very useful for such a small device. I showed it to Chris and did the trick the right way - with effort - and explained to him how I did it, but it was a real effort to do with my big hands.

"It's hard to rotate this at my age." I told the seller.

He nodded. "You might do better with one of these. He reached under the counter and then pulled out a different trick. This one was metal and instead of solid square colors it had little jewels, quartz I imagined.

He held it up, "Keep an eye on the red jewel." I did so.

He tapped the side of it and the jewel jumped two jewels down.

"Neat !" I told him.

He smiled, "Wanna try it ?"

"Sure." He handed it over. I did the same technique as I did with the earlier stick, then tried my trick - but it didn't work !

I examined the stick carefully and - there was no way to gimmick it the way I wanted.

"Hey !" I told him a little angrily.

He laughed, "This is a better stick. This one you can lock the colors down so anyone can examine it afterwards."

"How much ?" I asked.


I gave it back to him. "Maybe next time." But I took the Fanta-Stick for $5."

"Do you like card tricks ?" he asked after that.


"Here's a good one." and he brought up a deck and shuffled it. Then flipped through the cards to show me they were all different.

"Stop me, put your finger right there to stop me on a card you want to work with."

I did. It was the 7 of Hearts. I showed it to him. "That's fine. Now put it anywhere in the deck."

I did so. He shuffled the deck again. "Cut it." He handed me the stack of cards. I cut it short from the left end and returned the deck.

He smiled, "It would really be something if the card you chose was on the top, wouldn't it ?"

I nodded.

He turned over the card and there it was, the 7 of Hearts.

"Dude !" I exclaimed.

"Actually I had a slight advantage." he said and then flipped through the cards to show me they had all changed - that they were ALL 7 of Hearts now !

"Whoa, amazing !" I was very impressed. Chris was too but he had kept quiet all this time.

"Also, is THAT your card ?" he pointed to a stuffed demon sitting on the wall that suddenly and mechanically moved his hand to plain sight where it could be seen he was ALSO holding a 7 of Hearts !

I smiled but was a little frightened, "Okay, that's just creepy."

"Trick deck." he said. "Interested ?"

I asked, "Can you do any card besides 7 of Hearts ?"

He frowned, "No, that's the only problem with this deck."

I asked, "Do you have one where you can pick the card, it can be any card and requires no skill on the part of the magician to pull it out ?"

"Absolutely." he put away the first deck and came up with another. This one was sealed in plastic so he opened it up. On the front it appeared like a normal deck with the familiar Hoyle logo and text.

"I think you're gonna be impressed with this deck. Best seller."

He fanned out the cards, "We'll do it the simple way first. Pick a card."

I could see all of them. There, the 4 of Clubs. I took that.

"You can show it to me or not." I nodded and showed it to him.

"That's fine. Just put it back in the deck anywhere."

I did. "Going to cut the deck here. And you, you get to cut the deck."

I cut the deck and returned it to him.

Without any further words he lifted the card on top and it was my own.

"Neat !" I was impressed.

He fanned out the cards again, all face down. "This time don't show it to me."

I agreed, pulled one, the 9 of Diamonds. He held his hand out. I gave it back to him. He reinserted it in the deck.

This time he just held the deck in his hand vertically and moved two fingers up the sides of it. My card from in the middle slid up and no other card moved besides it.

"Whoa, amazing !"

He grinned. I guess I was a pretty easy audience.

"You want this deck ?" he asked.

I nodded. I was hooked. Especially that he told me this would work with any card in the deck.


I can do that. I brought cash.

"You'll want the book then. It explains all kinds of ways you can do this trick. And as you bought the cards you get a discount. Instead of $15 it's $10."

I smiled. I don't know if I was more impressed with his magic tricks than his ability to wheedle his cool merchandise on me.

I grinned, "Yeah, that'd be fine."

"You won't be disappointed."

So now I had 3 items from his part of the shop. The color-changing Fanta-stick, the trick cards that would let you pull any card out, and a book explaining ways of dealing with that particular deck of gimmick cards.

Then we went to check out the rest of the store. And of course they had Halloween costumes. Fog machines, the place was enormous, much bigger than any normal Halloween store you saw around October.

"You'll like this." Chris said and directed me to the back of the store - where there was a rope gate and a sign that read, "Employees only."

"What the hell !?" Chris was raising his voice so I quickly pulled back.

Sure enough his volume had attracted someone who worked there.

"What's the problem ?" she asked.

Chris pointed to the gate. "I was just here a year ago ! I know you keep your best costumes in here, I wanted to show my friend."

She explained, "We have changed that. Instead of selling these costumes they are now for RENT."

"Rent ?" I asked in a considerably quieter voice than Chris.

She turned to smile at me, "That's right. For rent. For fancy weddings, parties, and other events. They are no longer for sale but are for rent."

Chris pressed, "Can we see them anyways ?"

she bit her lip in thought, "Alright but don't you mess up anything in there. DON'T take anything off the hanger. We've got it nicely arranged in there."

Well she lowered the rope and I just followed after Chris.

Inside Chris was explaining everything. "And over here you have clothes from the 50s and 60s."

I looked to the Zoot Suits, the Poodle Skirts, and then some. And OBOY they had some of the most beautiful dresses I had ever seen !

Absolutely brimming over with glitter and jewelry, so pretty !

The lady who worked here was not near so Chris lifted one of the dresses and spoke to me, "Try and lift it."

I reached forward to hurriedly hold it and yeah it was really heavy !

"Can you imagine wearing that all day ?" he asked as he put it back on the rack.

I shrugged, "I guess if you pay $100 a day for it you get used to it."

We saw many more amazing costumes, like for Scarborough Faire of kings, queens, jesters, and then some.

We passed by an area of 20s clothing where they looked like something a gangster would wear, and then round about back to the lavish wedding dresses again.

I had my purchases, Chris didn't buy anything, we looked at the costumes a minute more and finally we headed out.

I am now checking the prices on Amazon for the tricks I bought and yeah he definitely charged a lot more than them. But that's fine. That =IS= his profession. To be a professional magician and to make a living at it. I admired him for it and vowed to return next week.

I'll check with Chris to see if he wants to go again this Sunday, and this time just to look at more magic.

. . .

So what is happening with QBasic on the RG-350 ? Well, quite a bit. First off I did not know you could use RUN in such a way as running other code directly inside your main code.

This changes quite a bit. Instead of me developing my own programming language for the next year, instead I can make a kind of word-processor that has an optional and changeable dictionary, QBasic keywords of course.

That is you choose the file to edit, "code.bas" Then bring up my program to edit it. Do you see a command labeled PRINT ?

You can add that to the dictionary so when you are typing, you press one special key on the RG-350 and it shows the entire dictionary.

In this case a choice of 200-possible words displayed showing 3-characters per word and a little information panel below showing the actual full name of the word.

Then press ACCEPT and POW that is added directly to your code. Here's a picture of how it looks so far minus a file to edit.

Now the way I coded it you can see the little controller at the bottom lights up its buttons when you press the corresponding button. Now it also checks to see if you're running in the IBM or the RG-350.

If it's the RG-350 then the buttons will light up according to that exact key being pressed.

If it's the IBM, then they will light up according to how I have coded them to the IBM-pc keyboard, for instance, A B X Y become D C X and S, easier for me to reach than the actual counterpart of right shift, left ctrl, tab, and pgup.

The 6-choices are RUN to run the program you just edited, LOA to load in a new file to edit, SAV to save off current, although SAVE also occurs if you choose RUN.

NAV to navigate, that is move the cursor above to any point in the code.

DIC to jump directly to dictionary mode where you can auto type out longer statements such as FUNCTION, PRINT, and DECLARE SUB, saving you from typing them out manually in the editor.

TYP is typing mode. That opens up the keyboard I wrote and doodled up the images for to the right where a single left-trigger key swaps between numbers and lowercase and symbols and uppercase. Now you may be aware there is an optional keyboard that appears with DosBox for the RG-350.

Unfortunately if you hold the arrow key to select other keys, it stays. That's right. To type from Q to P you have to tap the right arrow key 9 times.

In my own editor, hold the right arrow key down, it will rapidly move the cursor over the keys from Q to P effortlessly and only one keystroke.

Any space key you see is just that, a space. So you can easily reach and type a space by going to the far left or right of the virtual keyboard.

And that's it ! It will indeed be effective as you are truly editing native QBasic code. This makes the system far more powerful than I could ever have written it.

It might've been interesting to see my tiny little limited system and programming language, but ultimately this will be a lot better.

I still may develop a small yet advanced version of my own type of BrainFnck from the editor here, and post that as an EXE for you to try, in time.


Want to develop your own programming language ? KISS ! Keep It Simple, Stupid ! Start with some basics we all know computers have. INPUT, PROCESS, and OUTPUT.

If you come across something interesting, please write to let me know !

. . .

With that let's return back to Dev and company almost a quarter of a mile underground from the establishment that was earlier attacked by a terrorist group simply going by the name of the Sevens.

. . .

I asked Lilly, "Are you okay ? Not hurt ?"
She shook her head, "I'm just - rattled is all. I'll be okay.  Gosh, Mr. White didn't make it ? I'm sorry ... I don't know what else to say - but how do we get out of here now ?"

We all looked to Janet as clearly she had all the answers of this underground labyrinth.

She suddenly pointed off to the side, "This way." And we followed.

We crossed a small threshold of water and came up to this ugly orange metallic door with no visible door-handle.

I was just about to ask what to do here when a bell sounded and a masculine voice spoke, like on a computer.

"Runner, this is the last gate."

I turned to look yet it seemed the voice was all around me.

Lilly and Tyr also looked around trying to find the source. The voice continued, "Use your key now. When the bell sounds again, use your key. Good luck, runner. May you find sanctuary."

"Wha - what ?" I asked. That didn't sound even remotely like any of us.

I looked to Janet, "Are we - runners ?"

She shook her own head, "Aww hell, not this stupid thing. No ! This is completely wrong. Wow, let's get outta here. It's a little further down."

As we walked away the voice repeated, "Runner, this is the last - "

I shook my head. I swear I had heard that someplace before.

Finally we came up to an all-gray steel door. She knocked carefully while whispering, "Shave and a haircuit -" but she didn't do the last two knocks.

It was quiet except for some dripping water somewhere. She knocked the familiar pattern a little louder this time, once again deliberately leaving off the last two knocks.

I shrugged, tyr shrugged, Lilly shrugged. Hell I guess we all shrugged expecting something when suddenly there was the most godawful booming in resonance. Two very loud knocks that couldn't have come from anything human !

My eyes were open wide in fear. Then the metallic door in front of us slid open vertically and I could tell right then it was not a thin door by any means ! The thickness of it was over a foot and there was the loud grinding noise of gears !

Whatever lie inside was well protected. Or perhaps whatever was inside was being prevented from leaving.

In either case Janet stepped through and we three followed tentatively.

"This is the way out." Janet stated flatly. We stepped forward and entered I guess what was a huge cave, maybe even a quarter of a mile high ceiling !

Now we could see all kinds of things. Green glowing lichen lined the walls to give dim illumination. All of us could hear the gentle screeching of bats above, not agitated fortunately, just milling about, possible finding good flying things to eat up there.

"Wait, this doesn't look right." Janet said putting a nervous hand on her chest.

"Who's that, who's there ?" a creaky woman's voice called with a distinctly Italian accent. Now that our eyes adjusted we can see what was literally a log cabin made out in this massive area just a stone's throw away from what had to have been a natural and underground creek of water.

The door to the cabin opened up and a spry old woman came out. the first thing I noticed it that it was pretty clear all of her clothing was handmade and possibly from her. It didn't look bad by any means it just didn't look like regular clothing. As if all of her acruments were made from yarn.

"Come in ! Come in, girls ! Hot tea ! Hot tea for everyone !"

I stepped forward, "I'm not a girl." I insisted.

She hobbled over to me and looked me up and down. "Sure you ain't missy iffen you say so but what you want tea or not ?"

"Fine." I said and we stepped in, and surprisingly enough there was quite a bit of room.

Tyr was the first to speak as she put on the kettle. "What's your name if I may ask ?"

The woman who indeed hobbled still managed to get around quite quickly. She ran to one part of the room to retrieve some tea bags. "Filato !" She said. "That's my proper name right there, missy, Filato."

"Fellatio ?" Tyr giggled.

Janet cuffed her, "No, Filato. That is the Italian name for yarn, yet not a very common name I suspect."

I looked around and she had made very good use of candles and gas-powered lamps. There was fine illumination all over her house because of them.

"Here you go ! Here you go !" she said and apparently the water had boiled in record time. She was handing out cups of tea to everyone. On the tray were packets of sugar in paper and honey in plastic single-serve containers.

Everyone grabbed what they wanted to sweeten their tea.

At once she noticed that Lilly had hurt herself from the earlier shrapnel.

"Oh dearie dear. Dear, dearie ! You seem to have gotten hurt. Here now ! Let old Filato take a look at you. My my. That's quite the cut. I have just the thing."

She hobbled off top speed to the kitchen and opening up a glass bottle pulled forth this clear kind of gelatin in her hand.

"Put this on it dearie. You'll be right as rain. Yes rain is the right way."

Lilly did so and found it comforted the pain quite a bit. She sat down in a chair to smooth the gelatin over the open wound.

Filato herself sat down in a rocking chair, "So long ! So long it's been. I haven't had any - not any visitors. So what brings you here ? You're here and why ?"

"We're trying to find the exit." Janet explained as she sipped at her hot tea.

"Exit ? Exit to where ? Where are you exiting to ?"

* * *

Janet explained, "Mr. White has been killed. Do you know him ?"

Her eyes lit up and for a moment I swear I actually saw light inside of them. "Oh. Him ? Why ? He's the man that made me what the woman I am today."

"Were you married ?" Lilly asked, curious now.

She laughed, "Oh, heavens no. Not a bit. Not a bit. No, I've been down here - for - well - as long as I can remember. I make children though. The world always needs children. Children is what the world needs."

Now Tyr was curious, "But aren't you too old for that ?"

Filato got up and it was then I saw she was wearing oversized wooden shoes. "Pah ! Old enough ? Me ? Hah ! I'm over 200-years old. I've got a nice long life ahead of me."

"200 ?" I questioned.

Janet gave me a look rolling her eyes, like she was crazy. And maybe she was.

But she was reaching in a large wooden chest for something, and then she pulled it out, it was a girl doll made entirely of yarn and fabric.

"These ! These are my children. My babies ! Aren't they beautiful ? Aren't they special ?"

She thrust one to me and they weren't small at all, like a full-size child of age 5-6 dressed very nicely in a shirt and blouse as if ready for Elementary school. But the doll was really light since being fabricated from yawn.

"Very - nice." I said. I looked to the eyes and they did seem amazingly intense despite being a yarn doll.

I passed the doll to Tyr who, afraid, quickly shifted it to Lilly. Lilly looked it over with admiration and then handed it to Janet.

Janet nodded setting it aside. She asked, "Filato. We're trying to find out way out. The exit."

She laughed with her mouth wide open and for a moment I wondered if she had any teeth in her mouth at all, "Exit ? Why it's right there, girl ! You done just walked through it ?" And pointed to the front door we stepped in to enter her house.

Janet was patient, "No, Filato. I mean the way out to OUTSIDE."

"Outside ?" and the woman now looked fearful. "Oh heavens no ! You don't want to go outside ! Why everything we need is right here. Here. Here !"

Janet pressed, "Please, it's important we get outside."

The woman wrinkled up her face and picking up one of the dolls from the batch in her trunk she started to stitch up the back wordlessly.

Janet coughed gently to get her attention.

Finally Filato spoke again, "Alright confound ye ! Tomorrow though. Tomorrow it is. It will be tomorrow, I fix you a nice supper for now and you sleep. Get rest. Rest is good. Rest will help. Tomorrow - tomorrow I will show you the exit - to outside iffen that's really where ye needs to be."

With that she hopped up and with amazing speed tore off to the kitchen to open a sealed cardboard box. Inside were tins of meat and vegetables.

"I will make you a good meal, all of you." and with that she got to busy with a can opener and started cooking.

This gave us a chance to whisper amongst ourselves.

Lilly spoke, "She's crazy !"

Janet agreed, nodding, "Yes, but we need her help to get out of here. I don't know if you noticed outside of the door we went through to get here there was nowhere else to go ! If there's an exit, she's going to have to show it to us."

I nodded to that logic. We investigated the rest of the house and curiously found more of those full-size dolls in odd places. sitting in chairs. One was tucked up in bed with a yarn teddy bear. I had to see. I lifted up one of the yarn teddy bears to look at the eyes.

These had to have been some kind of semi-precious stone. I whispered to myself, "Onyx. Opal. Spinel. Obsidian - " I racked my brain trying to remember just what kind of jewel could look like this - and where was she getting them from ?

I looked to the eye in the teddy bear and managed to easily yank it free. I set down the bear on the side of the floor as I pocketed the "eye" jewel.

Just then I heard a long clanging sound. "Dinner is on ! It's on, it's dinner ! Come and get it ! Get it now, come on !"

I walked back to the kitchen area and saw she had set out a large banquet table. Naturally the table cover was yarn. But the chairs were sturdy, made out of some kind of thick wood, and there was enough for all of us.

I noticed though there wasn't a spot for Filato. "Filato ?" I asked. "Aren't you going to join us ?"

She shook her head. "Oh, heavens no ! I couldn't do that. No no no ! I will eat later. I promise you. No, this meal is for you. It's your meal. Later I'll eat."

And what a feast it was. She had opened up some tinned sardines, some canned vegetables, some bread which she must've had put away somewhere, and even some meat but we couldn't tell what kind of meat it was.

"Enjoy enjoy !" she said and seeing us all sitting down to eat she retired back to the living room to continue her knitting.

We ate in silence, definitely enjoying the good food. But finally we finished. I was the first to leave the kitchen to see her in the living room where she was working on a new doll. She had reached into her pocket and pulled out one of those strange jeweled eyes. I held my breath in anticipation watching without blinking.

"The Lord opens the eyes of the blind." I heard her say solemnly say directly to the doll as she carefully affixed two of those jewels to it's eye sockets. She sat the doll up in her lap and let go of the arms. Of course it slumped over having no life in it.

"Disappointing." she said. Nonetheless she got up to place the doll very carefully in her wooden chest which was already full of other dolls she had made.

"Oh are you done eating ?" she asked. I nodded. The others were checking out the house now to see I guess if there were any secret passages or something.

"Yes yes. Good. Eating is done. It's bedtime now. Now it is time for bed. Upstairs, I have many beds, you choose. Choose !" She quickly hobbled up the steps and we followed her.

Now at no point did we ever see her climb these stairs for anything but clear as day there it was, many different beds with yarn dolls in them yet 4 of them were perfectly empty.

"How - ?" I began to say.

But she interrupted me, "How will you sleep ? Well, I promise, you will sleep well. Welly well well."

Janet, Tyr, and Lilly each took the 3-empty beds and I took the 4th.

Janet started to ask something but was cut off by Filato.

"No no no ! No speaking. It's time for bed. It's late. The moon is out. The stars are out ! It's time to dream, children ! Dream ! Life is but a dream ..." and with that she closed the door.

"Stars are out ?" I got up for a second to look out the window. Once again I was reminded we were in a lichen-filled cavern still barely illuminated. I looked up, there were no stars, just the quiet moment and stirring of live bats way up on the ceiling wall.

I shook my head. "Stars." Finally I pulled the covers up over myself and despite my concerns, I fell asleep ...


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I thought of fellatio when I first read the title, too!

Posted 1 Month Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


1 Month Ago

I wanted someone whose root word meant, "Yarn." I figured, yeah, that would be an interesting word. .. read more
Managing an online casino sounds pretty interesting.

Magic shops are fun, but I was always more fascinated by the pranks.

Posted 1 Month Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


1 Month Ago

Well, now, Kari, that can get you in trouble.

I know one of my sister's friends from .. read more

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2 Reviews
Added on May 15, 2021
Last Updated on May 15, 2021
Tags: magic shop, Zynga, Tyr, BlitzMAX, GFA-Basic, QBasic, davidw, RPG Maker, procedurally generated, card trick, Fanta-Stik, Magic Etc, yarn lady, costumes for rent, demon puppet, fellatio, KISS, brainfuck

Future Barrier - The 4th Novel



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