Monday, October 17, 2011

Face Off 2: Yellvis

"It's been nearly four months since Sean Archer allegedly disposed of long time nemesis Castor Troy, though some doubts linger about Archer's identity. Some question whether Archer, who allegedly volunteered to have his face removed and placed on the body of arch-Villain Troy. Troy, in a coma after getting blown into a wall by a jet engine in an airplane hangar, awoke to discover his face was missing. Somehow he was able to overpower a room of fully faced doctors and policemen, forcing them to restore Archer's face onto his body, then proceeded to burn the facility down with the doctors and police inside, thus eliminating anyone who knew Archer's true identity. After an unnecessarily long boat chase Archer (as Troy) was able to over come Troy (as Archer) with a harpoon gun. Afterwards, his face was transplanted back, and, at Mr. Archer's insistence, Castor Troy's face burned. From what we have learned Mr. Archer adopted Troy's illegitimate son who is roughly the same age that Mr. Archer's son Michael would have been had Mr. Troy not accidentally shot him while aiming for Mr. Archer. Mr. Archer's true identity was established probably by his wife because she's apparently some kind of doctor but does that really prove anything? Can we trust Sean Archer as chief of police or whatever he wound up getting promoted to? Let us know what you think when we eventually put this article on the Internet in about 2 or 3 years and offer a comments section."
-Santa Cruz Examiner August 7, 1997

Sean Archer wasn't Sean Archer, sure he was the same man that used to be Sean Archer, married with a confused teenage daughter who was trying too hard. But he wasn't the same after finally defeating Castor Troy. His life had become an obsession with catching Troy, extracting revenge but Troy was ever elusive and it never seemed as if his work would ever be done. After this last incident with the face switching thing Archer thought that Troy had one. He thought he was going to die with the face of his worst enemy while Troy went about ruining whatever was left of his life.

Now that Troy was dead the feeling of relief that initially washed over him was replaced by emptiness. Who was there to chase now? Local thugs, punks, drug dealers? None of this appealed to Archer any longer and two weeks after he retired from the police force he left his family and rented a room at  the Carribean Queen Motel in downtown Los Angeles. He began researching strange surgeries, limb replacements, eye transplants, even botched plastic surgeries. There were no known successful face transplants on record.

See Sean Archer had a dream, something he'd secretly wanted to do before all this Castor Troy nonsense had started. A dream to sing, to dance; to entertain. He would have to go to Memphis Tennessee to execute the first part of his plan.

Meanwhile Castor Troy was again in a coma. Being kept alive in a secret facility just outside of central Los Angeles.

The first part of Sean Archer's plan was unsuccessful and he was thrown off the grounds of Graceland and cited for trespassing. After pulling a few strings he was released and returned to Los Angeles. He had spent three months (probably) trapped behind the face of the man he hated most in the world. He was now determined to spend the rest of his life with the face of the man he'd admired most in the world. But Graceland was a tough safe to crack and there was no guarantees that even if he could get in that he'd be able to use the face of the King of Rock N Roll to replace his own. But now he had another idea and this one would be cheaper.

Meanwhile Castor Troy remained in a coma.

Sean Archer returned to the hospital where his face was returned to him. A plastic bag in hand, he searched out the world famous surgeon Dr. Johan Franktuesian.

"Hi Doc, I just wanted to thank you again for fixing my face, I gotta tell ya, you do great work, I can't even tell this puppy was off."

"Thank you Mr. Archer, I have to say I consider your procedure my masterpiece."

"Well how bout I give you another crack at it?"

"What do you mean?"

Archer produced a gun from his pocket and shooed the doctor into a near by operating room.

"I want this on my face," Archer threw the bag down on to the bed to reveal a rubber Elvis mask.

"You're, you're crazy that would never..."

:"Just do it."

Castor Troy.....Coma.

Dr. Franktuesian's surgery with what can only be described as breathtaking results. The resemblance to Elivs Presley was uncanny, even if Archer had to apply an expensive Nitro Glycerin Jelly to his face every four hours to keep whatever remaining rubber elastic enough to support his facial movements. After a month of growing accustomed to his new mug, he started booking appearances under the name "Agent Archer" singing mostly standards, peppering his set with an occasional Elvis song, closing with "My Way". Unfortunately he tried to make up for what he lacked in vocal range by raising the volume of his voice the result of which threw him further off key.

After his third show the club owner, a short balding man name "Cocktail" Earl, approached Archer.
"Kid, I'm sorry but I can't use you any more. Sure you've got a great look but your voice, it's just not there."

"I understand Earl, I understand. Let's just say you put me on for tomorrow night, and I, well," Archer unsheathed his .45 magnum "I'll let you live."

"Archer, Archer, relax. Alright, I'll keep you on. Just put the piece away."

Archer headlined the club for the next three weeks. The Los Angeles Gazette finally reviewed his act gave him the moniker "Yell-vis" and described "enduring" a set as "painful".

Undeterred Archer continued to do his act, making slight changes when he felt appropriate but the more he belted out songs the smaller the crowds got, until finally Cocktail Earl's was practically vacant. Without any other options Earl went to the police. At first he wasn't taken seriously and was sent to the "Small Crimes Unit."

But as fate would have it the Commander of Small Crimes, Mimi Van Rogers, was once an underling of Sean Archer demoted when Archer left the force.

"If what you say is true, Cocktail Earl," Mimi Van Rogers said "than there is only one man who can stop him."

Castor Troy was still in a Coma when Van Rogers and Cocktail Earl arrived at the hospital. His face burned as per Archer's instructions however the remains were kept in an undefined clear liquid in a jar near his bed.

"I need this man, we have people being terrorized in this city Captain and you want us to just stand back and let it happen?" Van Rogers shouted.

"You remember what happened the last time he was on the streets? It was like Demotlition Man or that show from the 80's Sledgehammer. He was a menace."

"But wouldn't you agree Captain that to stop a maniac, we may need to send a maniac?"

"No, I wouldn't. But this is your case, so I don't care what you do."

Castor Troy's face was restored with three coats of house paint and some Spackle. He was brought out of his coma and brought up to date.

"So you want me to go after Archer, what's in it for me?"

"Your freedom. A full pardon for all offenses against you."

Troy considered this for a moment while a cigarette dangled from his lips.

"Alright, but only because it's Archer. Now get me my guns."

Troy's twin golden Beretta's lay shining in the velvet green box. He strapped them into the back of his holster and draped himself in an electric blue suit.

A helicopter brought him to Cocktail Earl's.

"We can drop you on the roof, you can sneak in through the fire escape."

"Oh no, I'm going in through the front door."

Castor approached the entrance and kicked the double doors open.

The club was dark.

"I've been waiting for you." Archer's voice rang out from the darkness. "I knew you weren't dead."

"As long as you're alive I'll be here to haunt you. You need me. You need me to have purpose."

"Not anymore. I've found something new."

The Jukebox kicked on along with the stage lights bouncing off a disco ball above the dance floor. Archer stood in a a sleek white, jeweled jump suite holding two magnums gleaming with rhinestones. Troy produced his two guns and aimed them, a flock of doves flew in from the doors behind him. They exchanged a knowing grin and sprung into action.

As if in slow motion glass was shattering everywhere. Troy gained an early advantage sending Archer retreating behind the drum set on stage. Archer quickly reloaded and came out firing. Troy flipped a long wooden table and took cover behind it. A cloud of smoke and feathers hung in the room, the jukebox had been shot out and not just produced a tinny, distorted buzz. Troy looked up at the poster on the wall in front of Archer. "Every Weeknight, Come See 'Yell-vis'" it read.

"So you're singing now?" Troy yelled across the room. "Elvis songs? That's pretty cool."

"Don't mock me. I won't be mocked," Archer shrieked and fired a few shots towards his voice.

"No, I'm not mocking actually. I used to love Elvis, before all of this started. Before all of this madness."

"Yeah, me too. I don't know how we got started on this. You start off wanting to do the right thing and the next thing you know you forget who the bad guy is."

"I don't know. I'm not sure I've ever know if I ever knew what the right thing is."

"What's going on in here?" Van Rogers and the Captain burst through the door. "Troy, did you get him?"

"No, he's back there" Troy motioned towards the stage.

"What's the matter Captain? Had to send Troy to do your dirty work?" Archer yelled and fired a random shot.

"Sean, c'mon. This is over. Let's just end this before anyone gets hurt. You can go back to your wife. Your daughter."

"No, I don't want that. Not anymore. I'm a performer now."

"Sean, we've heard you sing, it's...well it's terrible. It's really God-awful, I mean I honestly, what is it 1997? I've been listening to music for 43 years, and it's seriously the worst thing I've ever heard in my life. Seriously, setting Graceland on fire and pissing it out would be more respectful to Elvis Presley than what you are doing. I mean that."

Archer's eyes swelled with tears. "You really don't think I'm any good?"

"Sean, no, it's unbelievably bad. We gave a pardon to a career criminal just to stop you."

"Alright, I'll...I'll come out. I give up."
Archer began to rise out from behind the drum set.

"No, Sean stop. There's no reason you should give up your dream just because they don't like it. No, if you want sing Elvis songs then you should do that."

"Well I do some standards too, it's not all just Elvis."

"That's what you should do then."

"Well he's not going to do it at my club! He's too terrible!" Cocktail Earl yelled.

"Troy, have you forgotten about our deal? You want to go back into that coma?" the Captain snarled.

"No, but I think I'm about to make a better deal, count it off Sean"

"One for the money..." Archer belted and emerged from behind the drums, guns out and firing at the Captain, Van Rogers and Earl.

Troy leaped slowly to his left firing at the trio as well.

When it was all over Troy and Archer burned Cocktail Earl's to the ground. Any and all evidence of their various deals and surgeries burned up with it. They stole a powder-blue convertible, like the one Nick Nolte drove in 48 Hrs and headed to Las Vegas.

They started an act; Yelvis and Troy, it didn't do very well and eventually Archer couldn't afford his Nitro Glycerin Jelly and his face became a hideous sight. Troy went solo, playing folk songs. In 2003 he provided the soundtrack and starred in an independent art house film
In 2008 Yelvis and Troy reunited for a brief stint. As of 2011 they have no further plans to work together.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Everybody Liked You Better When You Were Still A Boxer

               Oh it’s still dark green October out. Better go back inside, better get ready for some doom. Better do better tomorrow. No wait. Shut up. Enough of that. Everything has a little distortion on it in October.
               But man it gets loud in here. It gets scary in here. Heart beat speeds up. Hope I don’t pass out. Hope I don’t black out. Hope this helium in my head is just in my head. Hope this bridge isn’t just a ramp into the horizon. Hope everything’s ok with you.

                Panic starts and stops uninterrupted at any part in the day. Tumors and thick bloods running and getting stuck on vitals and other sugary conditions as of yet undiscovered in medical glossaries.

                Sorry dad, these are some dark songs, but these are dark times traced in neon lights. Uninterrupted, please.  No more arguments, please. We’ve been through this before.

                This is out of our depth. Throw rocks until all the windows are broken but they’ll just fix them tomorrow. No one will know. No one will care. A hundred years until tomorrow anyway.

                Sorry but I’m not really sure what I’m supposed to be doing anymore, anyway.  Confusion and disgust and indifference all get blurry and instead of putting on your deciphering glasses let’s just sum it up with a big shrug.

                Hopefully the roof stays put. Hopefully the car starts. Hopefully the water runs and the power is on. Hopefully it’s never anything serious. Hopefully the phone doesn’t ring.

                Study hall day dreams about scraping by; doing things you’re not sure you have any business doing. You’ll be the exception. Everyone else will get by. Everyone else will make it look easy but tell you that it’s really not. Everyone else will get over it.

                But it’s dark, October, cold breeze anchors, crayon-drawn trees, miserable uncertain ghosts; dress it up in orange and black, get it drunk, tell it everything will be ok and then send it off to bed and hope for a flash of optimism in the morning. . Maybe it won’t be so dark anymore.