Phineas' X-Day Vision

From: pnarco@REMOVE2REPLYslip.net (Phineas Narco)
Subject: MY X-DAY VISION (New Short Story!)

This short story could stand a little bit more work, but I wanted to
post it while there's still time.

"BOB" PILLS
by Phineas Narco

Phineas didn't know who the man in the hat was striding up to
him on the slightly muddied slope leading down to the amphitheater at
Starwood. Oh, he knew who he was SUPPOSED to be. The gray blue suit,
the 50's style hat, the slicked back hair and the pipe of course. The
pipe was actually real, a nice touch. Probably smoking frappy thought
Phineas. Well, there had to be at least ONE Sugbeenie dressed up as
"Bob" this X-Day. Just a LITTLE obvious, but okay. The man walked
closer, walking strangely without difficulty up the slippery slope. He
smiled at Phineas, a kind of unnerving smile. He didn't really LOOK
like "Bob" did he? Just sort of "Bob"-like. I mean, he's almost got
it. It's obvious that was the effect he was going for. He looked to
young to be Dobbs. Still, there was something different about this
guy. Something strange. Phineas couldn't quite place it.

The man was just a few feet from Phineas now, almost heading into
him Phineas dodged and felt his heel slip in the mud and instantly the
man's strong had grabbed his wrist. "Oh! Shit, thanks man" said
Phineas, embarassed, straightening up. A slight rain had been falling
all morning but now the sun decided to slide out from behind the
silver gray rainclouds bathing the scene in a diffuse golden glow.
Phineas looked up, and stared at the man's face which was backlit,
almost enveloped, by the ambient brightness. "Thanks a lot" he said.

"Don't mention it" the man replied, and smiled. Maybe it was a
trick of the light but it almost seemed like when he said it his lips
didn't move. Phineas shook his head as the man moved on behind him.
Must be the frop, Phineas thought, and plodded on. An hour earlier he
was in Sterno's tent. It only took Phineas about one hit to realize
Sterno had gotten ahold of some kind of incredibly potent Sao-Paulo
northslope trip-frop. 'Too strong for me' thought Phineas and had to
go lie down in his own tent with a wet towel over his head waiting to
come down for a while.

As Phineas neared the the amphitheater he could see a band pounding
away a menacing anti-music beat onstage. Defiant of any kind of rhythm
the singer stood in the middle of the stage improvising,
"Killme!Killme!Killme! Standing there! Nosy Parker! Killme said Smith!
Killme said Jones!" Applause rippled through the crowd which milled
about him, some restless, some enraptured, some naked, some oblivious,
most stoned. A grand Whitman sampler of Subgeniality here today. 500
some souls ready for harvest by last count. Strange he hadn't seen
that "Bob" guy before. He would have been hard to miss. He still
couldn't place what had been so strange about him.

Phineas looked down at what he now realized had been carrying
all this time in his right hand. Two pills. Just like aspirins. White
as chalk with grooves running down the middles. But with little
Dobbsheads on them. Brilliant, thought Phineas. The Dobbs wannabe must
have slipped them to him. Christ, SOMEONE had gone to some trouble to
make these things. I mean, they were obviously aspirins, but look at
the detail on the Dobbsheads. The colors were as saturated and defined
as the cover of Revelation X. Even had a slight sparkle to them.
Phineas shook his head again trying to clear the frop clouds out of
his mind. Phineas shivered and slipped the pills under his rain slick
into his coat pocket. Gotta show Onan these little babies, he thought.


The weather actually hadn't turned out to be that bad, but there
was just enough rain to keep it interesting.

As that Saturday wore on it turned out probably the most fun event
was The Battle of Armageddon which was something between The Road
Warrior and a pie fight scene from The Three Stooges. It turned into a
giant nude mud fight at the end both sides completely soaked and each
claiming victory, Legume shouting "I killed you! I killed you!" and
Stang shouting "You did not! You did not!" and laughing like kids.

There were bands going on constantly in the amphitheater and ranting
as well in the pavilion. "Kill Me" radio became the thing to frap out
to and go to sleep to during the dark nights. THAT R.E.M. song became
the station's theme song "It's the end of the world as we know
it...". Phineas had even spent a couple hours playing KPFA shows on
it. Saturday they played a 'greatest hits' montage from rants and
bands the two nights before in case anyone missed anything.

There were at least 3 miniature little video crews filming the event
for their own projects. Puzzling Evidence was one of them. True to
unpredictable form, he showed up even though he had been telling
everybody he wouldn't be attending. As the sky grew darker there was
massive nude baptism in the swimming pool and sickening conducted by
Jesus, at one point a 'Bobby' came up screaming "I can't see! I can't
see!" and Jesus said, "You've got your eyes closed" and the young man
opened his eyes yelling "It's a miracle. It's a miracle! He spoke the
word and made me see!". Bobbies swamped Jesus demanding to be healed
of everything from a 'bald patch' to 'can'tgetlaiditis' eventually
baptising HIM in a massive group dunking.

Around sundown more people started gathering in the amphitheater where
the main x-day festivities were to take place. Mark Mothersbaugh even
took the stage at one point doing a moving almost a-cappella version
of 'Gates of Steel' to some wonderfully minimal keyboard
accompaniment. Stang rivaled Rev. Syung Yung Moon himself by
authorizing close to a hundred couples, and triples, for a night of
unbridled fornication in what was probably the biggest short duration
marriage ceremony ever. Just after sundown things got rocking and
Janor provided his own pre-show by jamming with Sterno and a couple
other doktors in a sort of second version of the 'Doktors For "Bob"'
reunion. The campgrounds were lit by several large fires at this point
and things got downright pagan as "Told the Judge" became a mantra
reverberating throughout the area over the sound system. If the
spirit of the crowd was anything to judge by, the upcoming head
launching was going to be downright violent.

Jesus had been after Phineas to perform ""Bob"'s Way" again for
X-Day. It had been an instant hit with the crowd Friday night and
Jesus was enthused when he heard it. "We've got to showcase this! This
is great!" The infectious tune had already become an X-Day anthem.
Janor was going to go on for his comeback rant sometime after midnight
and Phineas was supposed to go on right before.

Night now, Phineas glanced at his watch. 1:32am. Stang's voice
flew out above the crowd like some beautiful bird. It was his 2nd rant
of the evening, the middle of a much worked on triad that was going to
culminate with the Xists landing. And what could be planned for that?

It was like that button in 'The Truman Show', 'How Will It End?'.
Phineas always imagined Stang would come out with some kind of
forwarded message from the Xists saying "Sorry, we can't make it we
have to drop pick the kids up from Alpha Centauri, we're running
late." and they would drag it on until it wasn't funny anymore and
just reschedule. Har har. Well, SHIT, X-Day was a mainstay of the
church, a mighty pillar that had always been there. And now it was
down to the wire. What would they do afterwards? They would have to
move the date up, that's all. "The new X-Day is August 20th, 2020". At
least something to look forward to. Hell, other religions did it. It
fit into the whole parody thing, you see. Christians have been waiting
for the world to end for 2000 years. We only had 20 under our belts.
Or maybe Stang would say "Bob" worked a deal out and saved the world
keeping it all behind the scenes. He doubted the church would have
much budget for any kind of elaborate end of the world special
effects. Still, they had to have something planned for it.

Phineas started to get a headache thinking about it. Maybe it was
going to be a downer. How could they top all the hype for the past 20
years? It would have to end humorously that's all. They had some kind
of joke planned to play on us. He fingered his breast pocket and the
pills inside. He'd forgotten about these. Aspirins. Gotta be aspirins,
Phineas thought. He reached for his canteen, his head throbbing.

Bevilacqua clasped him on his shoulder. "You ready?" he said
smiling. "Sure" said Phineas. "Okay two minutes, you're gonna do
great" and Jesus was off. "Did you see these...?" Phineas called after
him, holding the pills up but Jesus was gone into the srident crowd.
Stang was wrapping up. Phineas shrugged and popped the "Bob" aspirins
in his mouth and washed them down. As the pills slid down his throat
he realized what it was: The "Bob" impersonator. THAT was what was
strange about him! It had been raining. But the man he was walking out
in the open but he hadn't been WET.

And something else, thought Phineas his eyes opening wide. When
the sun broke through the clouds... He hadn't cast a shadow.

"...The San Francisco Bay Area's own ambassador and if I do say
so myself a DAMN fine Janor Device channeler. This is a guy who, well,
really makes me PEE. Please welcome, Phineas Narco!" said Stang and
the crowd hit Phineas with a wave of applause.

Phineas paused for a moment at the bottom of the steps, looking
at Stang who was holding the microphone out to him. What had he taken?
Who was that guy? Did he imagine it? What if he got sick onstage or
freaked out in front of everyone? It couldn't POSSIBLY... he had to
put it out of his mind. Whatever it was he had to perform, he had to
rant, this was the last time he was going to be able to do this sermon
because it was all about toward X-Day. This was it. Tomorrow it would
be a memory and he'd be on his way back to San Jose to his boring job
routing tech support calls. He started up the steps.

Mounting the stage, Phineas's eyes bulged like a self-focusing
camera as he eyed the throngs of the faithful coming out of the mist.
There was a pleasant disorientation in the cold night air, he breathed
in and yelled: "In a few short hours all THIS will be at the bottom
of the Atlantic!"

The crowd cheered. A "Bob" flag flew past the front of the stage
skittering off into the darkness. "And THESE are your lifeboat
boarding passes! THESE are your lifeboat boaading passes!" Phineas
screamed into the mic as he held his Church Membership card over his
head. The crowd screamed, fists pumped into the air, throats strained
as a primal collective screamed set the night air ablaze.

"You know friends a lot of people over the past 20 years have
said that The Church of the Subgenius is just a big joke! That "Bob"
is just a big joke!"

The crowd booed disapproval. "'Oh, The Church of the Subgenius?
Isn't that that joke religion? Oh the church of "Bob"? Isn't that that
Joke cult? A joke?! A joke?! My God! My Gahd! A JOKE! I guess it was
that JOKE! Subgenius JOKE! Guessweweren'tinontheJOKE! Subgenius JOKE!
What's that honey an unspeakable alien thing with nine heads and 7
dicks is FUCKING President Clinton in the ASS I
guessitwasthatJOKEweweren'tinontheSubgeniusJOKE!The JOKE!..."

Phineas's body jerked spasmodically as the spirit of the Janor
Device entered it. The crowd rippled before him like a cheap movie
morphing effect and so softly in the background he could hear the sky
straining to hear, threatening to rip like a bed sheet, the stage
started to breathe. The "Bob" pills were starting to do their dark
work. "SUBGENIUS JOKE!! SUBGENIUS JOKE!! I GUESS IT WAS THAT SUBGENIUS
JOKE!!" The crowd flailed in sympathy screaming in almost alarm as the
fit pitched and ended. Phineas's upper lip sweated into the cold mesh
of the microphone: "Well I guess at 7am we're gonna deliver the
FUCKING PUNCHLINE!!!"

And then the pills hit. The crowd looked like it was on the other
side of a lengthening tunnel, their collective voices echoing down its
walls as they fell away. Phineas felt himself falling down into a deep
sleep deep into nothing but blackness.

He awoke to the face of Jesus Christ. "You okay?" Bevilacqua
said. "You've been out for hours". Phineas gasped looking at his
watch. 6:56am. Good god, he'd almost missed it. The sky was light
above the crowd. "Come on, you're gonna miss the big show". We got
something special planned."

"Kill me! Kill me! Kill me! Kill me!" the crowd continued to
chanted as Phineas walked out from behind the stage. Their voices
rising up into the chilled morning air up to the sky that hung over
Starwood like a wet blanket. "KILL ME! KILL ME! KILL ME!" louder now.
Musicians wailed on their instruments building up to a dramatic
crescendo. Stang stood onstage, white robes flowing, his arms
outstretched looking to the sky. Flashbulbs popped. Tapes decks
whirred. Phineas looked at his watch. 6:58:33. "KILL ME!!! KILL ME!!!
KILL ME!!!" With no warning, as if on some strange cue a thunderclap
sounded in the sky. The crowd whooped and clapped. Phineas smiled.
Some laughed, others quietened as the boom echoed, growing louder as
it was passed from hill to hill. Someone nearby said, "Woah". More
chanting. It would be so cool if they came, Phineas thought... and it
went on. The sound was becoming deafening, challenging the gods
themselves as the music and voices built toward...

The ground shook.

It was as if all the Subgeniuses were like little toy soldiers on
a card table and a fist had come down on the edge of it sending the
group sprawling. Phineas fell back and into the speaker and fell flat
on his ass. What the fuck? The chanting had stopped. And for the
briefest of moments, but which seemed to last eternities, there was
complete silence. Not an animal stirred in the forest. Not a raindrop
dared fall. Not a breath was taken. Just silence, waiting, between 500
souls under a rainy morning sky.

And then out of nowhere a trumpeting wail filled everything. A
blood freezing cry, like some great trumpet. Confusion now was on the
faces of the crowd. This wasn't on the schedule. These aren't special
effects. A murmur started to ripple through the throngs of the
faithful growing louder, building underneath the steady cry of the
siren. No more chanting now.

Phineas could see... on the horizon... dark shapes approaching,
shapes he couldn't bear to look at, instead he looked at those around
him. Each face stark with terror 'THIS IS REAL' written on each one.
Screaming, bodies flew past running, running where, tables, chairs,
turntables, microphones sent flying as people scrambled out of the
way.

On stage Stang stood looking at the sky, a look of placidity on
his face. A slight smile on his lips. Phineas watched as the flesh at
the side of Stang's temple started to bubble and peel and convulse.

At the side of the stage was Papa Joe Mama screaming at the sky
'BUUUURN THEM!!!! BUUUUUUUUURRRRNNN!! THEMMMMMM!!!" Janor was pushed
into him a stoned smile sprawled across his face as he looked at
Phineas, "It's the ultimate freak out!" Phineas gulped and started to
back away from the stage. The ground was picking up a steady vibration
now. A stack of amplifiers collapsed onto a pile of chairs. People
began running en masse into the surrounding woods, others stood their
ground, their arms raised to the sky. And then there was Stang.

He was changing.

Phineas watched in horrid fascination as Stang's flesh began to
ripple and melt like wax under a blow torch, rivulets running down his
body... the cavernous mouth brought forth a noise, a scream oddly
familiar:

'Iyiyiyiy!!!!!'.

Phineas felt his scrotum contract. Stang's body wasn't only
collapsing, it was, growing, growing into something else, ribs
expanding like an inflating bladder snapping bringing something up
from within something dark and lizard-like, red eyes, scales, mouth
yawed open screaming

"IYIYIYIYIYIY!"...

Phineas ran. The siren grew louder and Phineas didn't look back
running full tilt across the field. The tree line was only 100 yards
away. If he could only make it before, before...

The rupture began.

Phineas felt the ground fall away from him, his legs still
bicycling through the air, his eyes clenched tight, a sick feeling of
ascension... "No no no nononono this can't be real. It can't be. It
was a joke! A joke! We were kidding! It was satire! SATIRE! Social
commentary! No. Some college students thought this up in the 70's.
It's not real. It's a parody. It's an inside joke. This can't be
happening. It's the "Bob" pills playing tricks on my mind. It's the
"Bob" pills. IT CAN'T BE REAL...!"

Summoning his courage Phineas opened his eyes to see the clouds
dropping away from under him. He felt the air around him getting thin.
Oddly through it all a calming acceptance came over him and he started
to relax. He looked around. The sky was filled with Subgeniuses rising
up like bubbles tumbling upward in a glass of beer. Silent, breathing,
he felt the atmosphere start to drop away. He looked up and saw stars
appearing. It was calm. So calm up here. Nothing but the sound of wind
rushing past. Even that growing quieter now as he ascended... Now he
could see the curvature of the planet and from its surface, thousands
rising up from all over. Up and up he fell...Phinny's face began to
ripple and twist, contorting into a mask of ecstasy. The sensation of
flesh starting to burn in the atmosphere was actually quite pleasant.
A shedding. The bodies of the Subs started to burst like a string of
fire crackers, one after another. Phineas felt the fabric of his skull
expand, shudder, and burst sending gray matter into orbit, ribcage
torn asunder in seconds, intestines sent into a careening pinwheel
somewhere over the African continent...

It was GLORIOUS.

And still he ascended, all IFE now all ESSENCE screaming with the
swarm of souls that raced upward from the planet in a rising cloud
headlong toward the fleet of Xist cruisers.

Bathing dissolving in the soul soup losing gaining, He was there,
he thought it SOUL now, thinking all though no body, around him like
an angry television snowburst seething static technicolor souls buzzed
with the expulsion of decades of pent up fury deep in the cloud his
self split and scattered to the four winds as he entered the
mothership, mingled with the soul swarm of millions of essences
pleasure and RAPTURE rippling in potent sweeps through brilliant ages
and it whipped around, ALL as ONE now, in a wild mad storm whirlpool
hurricane pulling him around his soul stretching like taffy, breaking
apart, and coming together, incorporating briefly and then breaking
apart again in the mix of wild ecstasy enveloping EVERYTHING...

A shock wave hit the ship and he had the feeling of billions of
pinks screaming somewhere below, wave of pleasure wave of pleasure
dark and down the garbage disposal of the ages, spit back out again
Phineas became a immense DICK the size of the horsehead nebula fucking
a black hole at the center of the galaxy for ten millions years
finally squirting his seed to form new galaxies hosting trillions of
Subgenius civilizations all happening in less than a second LESS THAN
A SECOND Universes rose and fall...

Phineas's glowing soul wandered lazily now into the dining hall
of the ship to check out the rest of the party....

The snacks were wonderful. "Try the Leonardo" said the god-like
Legume soul towering over the banquet.. Phineas looked down, even as
unto a god he was, and saw the writhing puffy-eyed black soul of
Leonardo Dicaprio impaled with a toothpick on a Ritz cracker. Next to
him was a buffet of Spice Girl canopes. "Try the Ginger Spice," said
the Nenslo thing. "They're spicy!" Laughter cacatenated against unseen
ancient hallways. Phineas reached down for a pig in a blanket. It was
the soul of Jesse Helms wrapped in barb wire ("BOB" wire) squealing
high pitched piggy squeals like that Fly in the old Vincent Price
movie. "Eeeeeee! NooOoOoooo!" Phineas popped the soul in his mouth
crunching it between his molars and would have made a face if had one.
It reminded him of a rotten walnut and he spat it out. Dozens of
darkly shimmering spermlike Bobbie souls scrambled for the pieces like
hungry vermin. "It's an acquired taste," said the PapaJoeMama-thing
his mad smile the size of the Grand Canyon as he ripped the leg of his
screaming high school gym teacher's soul off with his razor sharp
teeth, smiling and dabbing his lips with a KFC wetnap.

Janor's disembodied head, corporeal at whim floated up to him,
inches away, "I guess you could say I'm really a people person, said
Jones" it said and whisked off into the maelstrom again.

Anti-music pounded, he was the music, this was not something you
listened to anymore this was something you were. Interesting to be
music thought Phineas, became corporeal and bled into the floor and
out into space tear assing for a jog around the milky way stars
screaming past him. He slept dark dreams of 10 million eons. And back
into the ship now as the orgy began.

Phineas being floated into the hall where The Souls of Those Who
Rejected You in High School Were Now Your Sex Slave. Screams of
ecstasy filled the air, rivers of blood and sweat and semen converged
into a central drain on the floor leading into the Xist engine room.
There were party favors too. You could put the soul of the tormentor
of your choice into a slot machine and if the Dobbsheads lined up it
released a golden orb into the crowd called '10,000 Orgasms' which
were experienced by anyone it hit... If only they had KNOWN there were
such pleasures to be had, it would have been so different...

Phineas rose up into the higher levels of the ship where it
rained pills from the ceiling. He reached down and shoveled armfulls
into his mouth, eating himself into oblivion falling down elevator
shafts of ecstasy hit in the side of the head with a universe he found
himself sleeping sleeping sleeeeep somewhere... where you didn't even
have to exist anymore... somewhere... he couldn't... explain....

***********

The next day Phineas woke up in his tent. The waterproof tarp
felt cold against his upper lip, thick with drool. His eyelids felt
sealed shut but his head held a wandering buzz he pleasantly tried to
track down as he lifted his frame up. Onan peeked in from behind the
flap. He could see sunlight behind him and somehow it was golden and
pleasant.

"You're up?" Onan said.

"Yes, what time is it? I need to catch my plane. I hope I didn't
miss it". Phineas searched his damp sleeping bag for his watch.

"Come outside," Onan said, smiling brightly.

"You won't believe the dream I had," said Phineas "I hallucin--"

"Come outside," Onan repeated, withdrawing.

Phineas scooted forth, pulled the flap away and lifted himself up
into the light that he saw now emanated from a day-glo orange alien
sky.

He stood on a vast plane that spread out CONTINENTS before him. He had
never imagined horizons so far away. Verdant green hills and twisted
mountains stood guard in the distance. The colors and patterns of the
surrounding area seem to eke out a vast 'X' around him. Mansions
floated in the sky and saucers formed elegant patterns of intricate
navigation weaving and bobbing above him and above THEM far far above,
watching down... a face the size of a red giant sun, grinning down,
filling most of the sky, eyes... eyes glowing with a crimson fire,
mad, manic, wild, knowing, KNOWING eyes, staring at everything, the
smile... the smile was everything. Everything.

The pipe stretched forth, millions of miles long, smoke forming a
ring around the giant head, stars dancing in it's wake.

"One thing's for sure..." Phineas thought as he started to smileS.

"I won't be going into work tomorrow."

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