Latest posts by laserguru (see all)
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EXT: Pittsburgh Steelers practice facility. Antonio Brown and Markus Wheaton are catching passes from a Jugs passing machine:
Markus Wheaton: “Damn, Antonio! You can catch some serious fastballs from that machine. How many passes do you catch each day?”
Antonio Brown: “I guess a couple hundred a day. Give or take. Gotta stay sharp or you won’t last long in this league.”
MW: “Damn right. I’ve been watching you practice and I want to try and practice as hard as you do. I think you’re the best in the game man and any tips or help you can give would be great.”
AB: “I appreciate that. Thanks. Hell yeah I’ll help you out. We’re teammates and the better you get the more attention the defense is gonna pay to you and the less to me.”
MW: “Cool. Thanks for that.”
AB: “So what you wanna know?”
MW: “Well, if you could teach me how to be as fast as you that would be cool.”
AB: “That’s God given, baby. God given but I can help you with some training and some track suggestions.”
MW: “You know, AB? I’ve got something I need to ask you and it might sound a little strange.”
AB: cautiously “Go ahead.”
MW: “It’s just… sometimes when we’re in the game I notice some strange things when you’re running your routes.”
AB: “Strange how?”
MW: “Well, there’s been a couple of times that when you break away from a defender..I’m just gonna say this, it looks like you actually fade from view a little bit.”
AB: “Like what? A fade route?”
MW: “No dude, it’s like your body becomes like almost see through. I watched a game tape to confirm and I swear I saw the sidelines through your body just before you caught a touchdown pass.”
AB: “Shit, now your ass is just trippin’.”
MW: “No for real. And this other time you caught a touchdown pass and when you got to the endzone your pants and legs were all covered in mud!”
AB: “Football’s a dirty ass game, man. Ain’t nothing unusual about that!”
MW: “But we were in New Orleans! In a fuckin’ dome!”
AB: as he walks away shaking his head “You know what? Maybe I can’t help you. You sound like your ass has gone crazy!”
Antonio then walks off the practice field.
Darrius Heyward Bey strolls over. DHB: “Yo Markus. You might want to forget all that shit you were just saying. Ain’t no good can come from that.”
MW: “What? I was just askin’?”
DHB: “Yeah well, there’s some shit in this world you really don’t want to know the answer to. Remember Martavis Bryant from last year?”
MW: “Hell yeah I remember Martavis. He’s on a year long suspension for substance abuse.”
DHB: “That’s bullshit, man. Martavis ain’t on suspension. He’s gone crazy and his ass is locked up in a mental hospital. He’s the last one to ask AB about this shit. Find him and talk to him if you really need to know but I suggest you don’t. Forget this shit and let’s get back to film study.”
MW: “A mental hospital? For real?”
DHB: “Yeah, he’s in Southwood but trust me on this shit, leave it alone.”
Markus finishes practice, gets dressed and drives home.
Once he’s arrived home, Markus Googles the hospital and discovers that Martavis really is an in-patient there. He gets in his car and drives to the hospital.
MW: “Damn this place is a creepy ass motherfucker. I hope this is worth it.”
He enters the hospital.
Nurse: “Can I help you, sir?”
MW: “I’m here to see a former teammate of mine, Martavis Bryant? I understand he’s a patient here.”
Nurse: “Mr. Bryant is currently under our care but we don’t allow him too many visitors. His condition is a little, fragile you could say. But seeing as you are a former teammate I can make an exception with one stipulation.”
MW: “What is it?”
Nurse: “Will you sign my Terrible Towel? I just love the Steelers!”
Markus laughs and signs the towel for the nurse. He is then escorted down a dark and damp hallway to a common room. A single figure sits in a chair wearing a hoodie. The figure is rocking back and forth with his arms crossed over his chest.
MW approaches Martavis. “Dude, Martavis? Is that you? It’s me, Markus Wheaton. Your teammate.”
Martavis: looks up. He appears to be an old man and looks at least 75. “Markus? Markus Wheaton?”
He breaks down in tears. A couple of concerned orderlies start watching closely. “Nobody comes to see me! I’m just left here all alone! Nobody wants to see me, man!”
MW: “Martavis! What the fuck happened to you? You look like you’ve aged 50 years. DHB told me to visit you when he heard me talking to Antonio about some strange shit I noticed on some game film.”
Martavis: “I should have never fucked around with that juice. It was all because of the juice!”
MW: “Dude, talk to me. What’s this about juice? Tell me what’s going on. I swear there’s some strange shit happening when Antonio runs his routes.”
Martavis: “You better pull up that chair and have a seat. I have to tell somebody or I’ll really go crazy.”
Markus sits down.
Martavis: “It all started a few years back when AB and I took a trip to New Hampshire during the offseason. He has a sick mother who lives up there. We stayed at this old hotel on the beach that looked like it was swanky as hell during the 1920’s but not many folks stayed there these days. While we were visiting his mother we visited this old amusement park. Walking around the park we met this old dude who was repairing the carousel. He was a cool old dude and we became friends with him over the next few days. I guess he liked the Steelers too because he told us that if we really wanted, he could help us get downfield faster. He gave us a bottle of what he called ‘Traveling juice’ and told us to only use it when we really needed to score a touchdown.”
“We started pouring a little bit of the ‘juice’ into our water bottles on game days. It’s really hard to describe what happened but I’ll try. The old guy told us to drink a little juice and then when we started our routes we had to say this: ‘M-O-O-N, that spells moon’ and then something would happen.”
“First time I tried it, I had gotten just a step on the corner who was covering me, and I said the words and the goddamndest thing happened. A slight decline opened up in front of me and I started running UNDER the field. I swear to God, man! I could look above me and see the cornerback and the sidelines because the field was transparent, like I could even see a ghost shape of myself running past the defender. When I was under the field there was a moving sidewalk, you know, like in airports? Then I hit the sidewalk ran a couple of strides and then a ramp back up appeared. When I ran up the ramp I was back on the field with a full 5 yard lead on the defender and it was an easy touchdown.”
Martavis looked out of the corner of his eye at MW. “Shit sounds crazy right? But it’s the truth.”
MW: “What the fuck? Go on man. What happened to you? You were damn near a Pro Bowler. What happened?”
Martavis: “A few games later after we had been doing this Antonio took to calling it his “shortcut” and it worked every time.”
“One day I was looking around me as I was running under the field and I started to notice some really crazy shit around me that I hadn’t noticed when I was staring strait ahead. Sometimes we would be running through a muddy field. Other times we would be running on a beach or through a jungle but the ramp upwards always showed up.”
“Then the last time, I stepped off the moving sidewalk, and the ramp, the field, everything disappeared and I was left in total blackness. I was scared as shit man.
MW: “What happened? I remember your last game and you got knocked out with a concussion, You were out but just for a minute or two. What did you see?”
Martavis in tears: “Time is different down there man. I swear I was there for an eternity. I started having visions. In one I was a teenage girl taking a shower after gym class and the other girls were throwing tampons at me and yelling ‘Plug it up, plug it up’.”
MW: “Were they naked?”
Martavis: “Goddamn! Yes, they were naked but so was I and I was a 15 year old girl! I was crying and shit. Then another time I was lying in this bed in an upstairs bedroom when I looked out the window and there was this creepy as fuck little dude floating out my window and I was like ‘Goddammit little dude knock that shit off’.”
“Still another time I was getting chased by this big ass Saint Bernard dog and that motherfucker was pissed off!
“There was all kinds of crazy shit down there. Fucking car that chased me with nobody driving it. I saw most everybody in the country die of the flu, there was this big ass desert where this dude in black was chasing me. There was a field of roses and this big ass black tower. I felt like I was down there forever. But nothing. Nothing was as bad as this creepy motherfucking clown.
“I was forced to relive this over and over and over again. I would finally climb to the top of that tower and I was forced to start everything all over again. It was finally knowing that I could never stop reliving this that I couldn’t take it anymore so I clawed out my own eyeballs and clawed open my own throat just to make everything stop.”
MW: “But Martavis, you still have your eyes and you’re still alive. Nothing happened!”
Martavis pulls down the hood of his hoodie and his hair is solid white. “IT ALL HAPPENED! IT’S STILL HAPPENING AND IT WILL NEVER STOP! NEVER!!”
The orderlies rush over to Martavis.
Orderly 1 speaking to MW: “You need to leave here right now! RIGHT NOW!”
MW sprints towards the door.
Martavis: “I’VE SEEN SOME SHIT MAN!”
Martavis fights off the orderlies and claws his eyes from their sockets and begins clawing out his own throat. MW runs out as fast as he can.
EXT: Heinz Field. Game day.
MW approaches Antonio Brown. “Martavis told me everything man. I know about it all. The moving sidewalk, the traveling juice, the other world. Everything.”
AB: “You need to forget that crazy shit Martavis told you. None of it is true. Ain’t no ‘juice” ain’t no nothing. That motherfucker got concussed and was put on suspension because he wouldn’t stop smoking dope. What you see is just me. I’m fast. Really fast and everything else is just an illusion. Listen to you! ‘Traveling juice!’ You keep talking this crazy shit and they’re gonna lock your dumb ass in a mental home. Now forget that shit and let’s go out there and win this fucking game! We need it!”
The game kicks off and the Steelers get first possession. First play from scrimmage Roethlisberger drops back to pass and Antonio Brown streaks down the sideline on a “go” route. His route is so fast he is virtually a blur. Settling under the pass Brown makes the catch and dashes in for a touchdown. The crowd goes wild.
Announcer: “TOUCHDOWN STEELERS!!!”
AB while preparing to do a wildly suggestive touchdown celebration that will end in a 15 yard penalty and a fine from the league as his team stares at him in stunned silence: “What the fuck are you all looking at?”
Mr. Winkles: “SNARLCHOMPSNARLSNARLCHOMPGNASH!!”
Once again massive props to Low Commander of the Super Soldiers for the awesome photoshop work
Also massive respect and love to Stephen King for the inspiration.