Jim Maijala's Phunk Phiction -- The Real Horror

From: jmaijala@juno.com
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 1998 07:12:07 -0500
Subject: Re:the Real Horror

On Thu, 26 Feb 1998 20:25:24 EST PEGASUSLIN writes:
>Hey Jim,
>You should write a story called, "The Horror Behind "The Real" Grand
>Funk Railroad"

All right. I'll try my hand at some drama ... Chapter One.

Roger watched the spinning CD slowly stop as the music had stopped playing. He wondered at what he had just heard as the lyrics of a new song from Grand Funk Railroad kept turning over and over in his mind. It had been many years since he had thought about that band and all the old feeling were starting to surface. Maybe he should also start recording his songs, but his recordings were linked with terrible deeds that the police had never solved.

"The police are idiots!" he thought as he absentmindedly picked up his Les Paul and started picking out the guitar solo from one of GFR's new songs called "Roadkill's Coming." He did not notice the slight changes in his appearance as he played the song, slowly at first. Beads of sweat began appearing on his forehead has he struggled with the intricate fingerings of the solo. "Damn, that Farner!" he grumbled as he stopped playing and disgustedly tossed the guitar onto a seedy sofa. Only the wise would have noticed the strange symbols and markings on the body of that Les Paul. Markings that could mean only one thing, this man was not an ordinary musician. He was into something darker, much darker. Roger starred, looking out the window. In the faint reflection he seemed to notice that his hair was slightly long. He reminded himself to get a haircut. He went back and picked up the guitar. Man, it felt good to hold it. He started to get the feeling that he never wanted to put it down, but dismissed that from his mind with a grunt. He continued to play the new Funk tune.

Roger awoke in the middle of the night with the Les Paul wrapped in his arms. But wait, it's not a Les Paul anymore, it looks like ... like ... oh good god! ... a Messenger. Roger screams in agony as he throws the guitar against the wall of his bedroom. The Messenger bounces off the wall and falls undamaged onto the floor. A hollow laugh drifts through the air as Roger is drawn to the cursed axe. He slings the guitar across his back, howling with the pain, as if the Messenger was a burning fire. However, as quickly as the fire starts, it becomes a cooling, soothing talisman. Roger now knows what he must do. He passes down the hallway toward the front door. Passing the vanity mirror, he doesn't notice that his hair is now half way down his back.

Chapter two to come later ...

From: jmaijala@juno.com
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 18:51:04 -0500
Subject: Re: real horror, chapter 2

At the travel agency, Roger completes his transaction and pays cash for his plane ticket to Indianapolis for April 17th. Under his arm is a Newsweek article describing the "Grand Funk Reserection." In that article it describes Grand Funk's comeback and mentions a concert swing through the midwest. Roger quietly looks at the travel agent and admires her comely features, blond hair, hourglass figure and the deepest blue eyes he has ever seen. It's a pity that she will never live to tell anyone that "Mark Farner" has bought a ticket to Indiana from L.A. Roger takes a cab back to his house in West Hollywood, tips the driver who comments that he has never met a "Rock Star" before. Roger laughs and gives the driver another 20 dollar bill ... too bad the driver didn't notice the satchel sitting on the floor of the cab as he drove away.

Roger returns to his study and picks up the Les Paul. He crys in agony as the burning pain once again pours through his body. He looks down at the guitar and notices that he is playing the Messenger. He doesn't seem to mind that a minute ago it was a Les Paul sitting in the corner. He smashes the button on the amp and then cranks up the CD player holding the Bosnia CD. While the sound system blares out the opening strains of 2001 Roger opens a drawer of his desk and retrieves an arm band, sterling silver with strange runes upon it. He straps it to his arm as the announcer shouts "Here's the group you've been waiting to see, GRAND FUNK RAILROAD!" With that, Roger jumps in front of a microphone and begins playing and singing the entire Bosnia set with absolute precision. The full wide mirror on the opposite wall tells the whole tale as "Mark" goes through the entire set, sweat beading up on his brow, the long locks of hair streaking with moisture.

Two hours later, Roger collapses with fatigue. He removes the Messenger guitar, with a blood curdling scream at the pain, and places it in the corner; there the Les Paul now sits. Roger drags to his bedroom and falls onto the bed, not bothering to shower after his workout. He falls asleep and dreams the dreams of the damned.

... more to come, unless you just can't take it!

From: jmaijala@juno.com
Date: Thu, 5 Mar 1998 19:19:03 -0500
Subject: Re: real horror, chapter 3

The next morning, Roger wakes up and peels the sweat soaked clothes from the night before and heads to the bathroom. He turns the shower on and unclips the arm band and puts it on the vanity top. He examines his arm in the mirror and notices that he has a permanent mark on his arm where the band was. He studies his face in the looking glass and does a double take. No wonder those people thought he was Mark Farner, he looks like Mark Farner! Upon closer examination he realizes that his reflection is not as strong as it should be ... almost like he is becoming transparent ... nnaaa ... couldn't be. He tests the shower temperature and gets into the shower.

After dressing, Roger goes and picks up the newspaper. The headline is particularly interesting ... "Cab Driver Killed in Gangland Style." The accompaning photo is quite grissly, "yuck!" he thinks as he flips to the local news section. Under the "Crime Log" he sees a small story about a travel agent, Rita Cromer, who was apparantly killed in an alley and then hung from a fire escape by a guitar string. "Lovely," he quips. In neither story do the police have any leads and are asking the public to come forward. Roger picks up the phone ... then laughs loudly as he puts it down again singing, "Get out in the street boy, and cut yourself some meat, boy. Get out on your own side of the road, and lighten my loooooad!"

While eating his breakfast, he turns on the "boob tube." He turns the channel to VH1, just in time for an 8-track flashback show. Suzanne Sommers is talking mindlessly about top selling bands in the 1970's and then introduces Grand Funk Railroad doing "Locomotion." Roger watches intently as the opening guitar riff starts coming from Farners' guitar. "Imposter!!" shouts Roger as he grabs a baseball bat from the corner of the room and bashes the TV's picture tube!! "I'll show you, I'll show yyyyyooooouuuuuu!!!!!"

Stand by for chapter 4

From: jmaijala@juno.com
Date: Sat, 7 Mar 1998 13:00:48 -0500
Subject: Re: real horror, chapter 4 (will the horror never end?)

Roger is packing for his trip to Indianapolis, he stands in front of the bathroom mirror, but the mirror records no such activity. Roger doesn't notice anymore. In fact, he doesn't think of himself as Roger, he is Mark. AND, he is out to get the guy who is impersonating him. However, deep in the recesses of his confused brain a voice trys to reason with him. He beats the voice back with a shout of denial and resumes packing. He picks up the Messenger from the corner, it no longer ever looks like a Les Paul anymore, and puts it carefully into its case. He has one other suitcase and a backpack. He hears the honk from a cabby out front and he goes out the door, locking it with a quiet turn of the key.

The flight to Indianapolis is about 4 hours long with a stopover in St.Louis. A few people stop him for autographs which he is only too happy to comply with. Roger revels in his role as Rock Star/Legend. A guy could really get used to this! The plane lands at the Indianapolis International Airport, Roger remembers when it was called "Wier Cook Airport." Outside the airport he hire a Limo to take to the Marriot Hotel, downtown. The Limo driver take I-465 to I-70 to the inner loop. Traveling through monument circle Roger notices the usual decay in a big city like Indy. The driver drops him off at the hotel after helping to carry his bags inside, but Roger carries the Messenger himself.

The hours go by slowly in his hotel room. He reviews his plan over and over again. He watches a news report that tells of the concert that night by Grand Funk and they interview Mel. "Hi Mel," says Roger, "I'll see you later this evening, be ready to Rock!" The concert is at 8:00 P.M. and it is 5:15 right now, time to go.

Don and Mel have already left for the van that will take them to the concert. Mark is still in his room performing some exercises designed to help him with his cronically sore neck. He always has to get the kinks out before a show, he doesn't want to dissappoint the fans. He is interrupted by a knock on the door and a shout of "Room Service!" "I didn't order any room service." Mark replies. "You're going to want to see this, Mr. Farner," replies the hidden voice. His curiosity peaked, Mark opens the door. In an instant of total recognition, Mark finds himself face to face with ... himself. With a thud, Mark goes to dreamland.

Roger drags Mark over to the bed and quickly changess clothes with him. Then he gags and binds Mark to the bed. He leaves the unconcious Mark laying there and hangs the "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door and locks it behind him. He hurries to the van, now waiting out front. "Man, I thought you'd never get here!" admonishes Don. "Sorry guys, my neck was still a little stiff, let's go," grins Roger.

It is almost to painfull to go on, Chapter 5 to follow.
Jim's a good mans brother

From: jmaijala@juno.com
Date: Mon, 9 Mar 1998 19:54:33 -0500
Subject: Re: real horror, chapter 5

On the way to the show, Don reviews the set list with Mel and Mark (Roger) ... "Okay, we'll open with 'Are You Ready,' and then move into 'Rock and Roll Soul' ... Rogers' mind begins to drift as he is well aware of the set list, at least he thinks he is aware until Mel pipes up and says, "Mark, did you get a chance to run through the new encore number?"

"Huh?!" retorts Roger, "What are you guys trying to pull on me? Cut the comedy!"

"Just making sure you're listening, Mark," relays Mel.

"Stop jacking me off, Mel," growls Roger.

Don smiles to himself, he hasn't heard Mark talk like that in a long time. The van pulls to a stop at the concert hall, Market Square Arena. The boys pile out and meet a group from the Robbie Roberts team. They are ushered inside after signing a few autographs for some fans waiting by the back entrance. "So far, so good," thinks Roger as he has fooled everyone so far.

In the dressing room, Mark and Don are sitting in front of a makeup mirror as an assistant puts the final touches on their stage makeup. Dons eyes go wide as he doesn't see Mark in the reflection. "Hey Mark, you going vampire on us or something?!" ... "Get real, Don," snarls Roger, "Just get ready for the show." Roger walks away from the mirror, that was a close one.

Meanwhile, Mark is slowly regaining consciousness. His confusion is replaced by two things. One, a rather large pain on the left side of his head and anger at being tied to the bed. It takes a couple of minutes, but he is able to spit the gag out of his mouth. He starts shouting for HELP!! He continues to shout for about 3 minutes until he hears a loud knock on the door. "Mr. Farner, are you in there? Open the door."

"I can't. I'm tied up to the bed in here!" explains Mark, loudly.

He hears and feels the security guard kicking at the door, but it won't budge. "Hang on Mr. Farner, I'll get the pass key!" says the guard, finally.

"Hurry it up, the ropes are cutting into my arms!"

"Back in a flash, Sir, don't move!" cautions the guard.

"Don't move?, what an asshole" thinks Mark with a painful laugh.

A few minutes later, Mark hears the jingle of keys as the manager has brought up the pass key. The door opens as 4 big security men and a detective from the Indy police department race into the room. Mark is immediately untied and they begin questioning him about who did it. "No time to lose, guys. We have to get to Market Square Arena, NOW. The others might be in danger!" Everyone runs to the elevator and then jump in a police van and race to the arena, siren blaring.

At Market Square, Grand Funk is now into "Footstompin' Music." Don can't believe how good Mark sounds and he seems to have his old agility back. Mark has been doing all the back bending moves he did when he was 20!

Roger is truly in his element. The fans are going crazy and he now undersatands that HE is the true Farner and the other guy was just holding him back. After the show he will deal with the imposter permenantly.

By now the opening lines of "Paranoid" are reverberating through the arena bringing the crowd to it's feet in an orgasmic display of unbridled Rock Power!! It's precisely at this time that Mark arrives at backstage. He sees Robbie Roberts standing there watching the band from the wings. Marks walks up to him and asks, "How's it going, Bobby?" Roberts turns to Mark and begins to answer and then does the most beautiful double take you have ever seen. "Pardon my french, Mark, But, what the FUCK is going on here?"

"You're excused Bobby, but that guy out there is an imposter. Has anything unusual happened?"

The sixth (and final chapter, at last) to follow ...
Jim's a good mans brother

From: jmaijala@juno.com
Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 08:18:20 -0500
Subject: Re: real horror, the sixth and final chapter

"No Mark, nothing strange has happened yet. Who is that guy?" asks Robbie with a grin.

"I don't know, but I'm about to find out. Keep the cops off the stage, this is my problem," Mark replys grimly.

Mark takes a look at Mel and Don. They don't notice him standing in the wings, they are concentrating on "Aimless Lady" and are watching Mark (Roger) pound through the solo. The crowd is going crazy which really makes Mark's blood boil. "This guy is stepping on my turf!" he thinks. It is time to put a stop to it.

Mark walk out onto the stage about 7 feet. Nothing happens at first, then Mel looks over and his chin hits the floor and he stops playing. Don looks at Mel with a question mark painted on his face, then looks toward what Mel is looking at, he does a double take and stops playing as well. Roger just keeps on going through the solo and doesn't notice that everyone else has stopped playing. Howard Eddy (remember him?) gets Roger attention and points over to Mark.

In a moment of abject anguish Roger stops playing. Now Mark and Roger are standing 4 feet apart. They stare at each other as a hush comes over the crowd. Some of the audience begins to rush out of the exits as others start to come toward the stage. Roger and Mark stand perfectly still as Mel, Don and Howard leave their instruments and approach the two.

Before anything is said, Roger grabs his guitar and swinging it like an axe, trys to kill Mark. It flys from his hands as Roger screams in agony! The Messenger misses Mark and hits the stage floor breaking into two pieces. Mark kicks the now transformed Les Paul to the side and takes a flying tackle at Roger. Roger fights like a man possessed as he struggles with the determined Mark. Roger in a moment of unholy power throws Mark to the side and dives off the stage into the crowd! Mark is not about to let him go that easy as he runs to the end of the stage and swan dives on top of Roger. The crowd of people back away as the two combantants wail away at each other. While all this is going on Mel and Don are acting like they are watching the USA Tuesday Night Fights and are calling the action! Howard, on the other hand, justs throws up his hands and walks off the stage.

At this very moment, two members from the audience step forward. They are wearing white T-shirts that say, "Roadkill" on them. "Jeff, what do you think we should do?" asks Phil. "I'm not sure, but this looks like one of my frat parties from school!" replys Jeff.

With that Jeff Cochran jumps on top of Roger and starts restraining him. Mark gets up off the floor and begins pounding Roger in the stomach with repeated lefts and rights. Roger collapses in agony and begins crying uncontrollably. By this time the police have shown up and start putting hand cuffs on Roger. Marks looks over at the two Roadkill guys and says "Thanks dudes! I'll never forget Roadkill again. Do you two guys need jobs?" "No, I'm a computer geek!" says Phil correctely. "Not me, I'm a gourmet chef!" intones Jeff. "Oh well, if you need anything, just give a shout," says Mark as he returns to the stage.

At this time Don walks up to Mark and says, "You're the real Mark, aren't you?"

"I guess you'll just have to figure that out for yourself, MORON!" Replies Mark.

The End.
(at last)
Jim's a good mans brother

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