the OBSSEsed - continued
Issue No. 30, December 1999
(EDITOR'S NOTE: This gem first appeared in the mailboxes of OBSSE mailing list members last holiday season. We wanted it to be read and remembered again this year.)
"So shines a good deed in a weary world...." - W. Wonka
Ho Ho Ho....
Dana Katherine Scully sat quietly in yet another rental car, sucking on her fourth candy cane as unseasonable bright sunlight streaming blindingly through the windshield. She pulled off her gloves and punched the buttons of the radio automatically. The station changed with a harsh burst of static, then the tinny strains of "Jingle Bell Rock" -- again.
She stared at the radio and arched an eyebrow.
"What are the odds..." she thought dryly, "14 times in an hour and a half on four different stations."
"There is no God," she muttered and switched to CD. Alice Cooper shrieked out of the speakers at her. "Who do you think we are!!?? Special Forces in an Armored Car... SAY GOOD BYE!!!"
"Damn. Mulder's CD." She quickly ejected the offensive plastic, digging around till old Eric Clapton was playing over the badly tuned car speakers. Layla. She shrugged to herself in resignation.
"Ok, not exactly Auld Lang Syne, but neither is it 'Music to Kill Your Children By' either...."
"Children ... killing your children ... or your child...."
Down the block, she saw a flash of white motion as Bill's Navy issue sedan pulled up to their mother's house. Hunkering down low behind the steering wheel, she watched him drag his lanky frame out of the car. Still in uniform. How predictable. Clean crisp white. He must have come straight from Norfolk. He moved around the car briskly, a holiday spring in his step, probably whistling "Jingle Bell Rock." He opened his wife's door, and then reached back to lift the baby out of the car seat.
A year old ... so cute. Intelligent, already really talking. A true Scully. She really loved that baby.
She really hated that baby.
No, she really hated Tara.
Her mother was out on the street now, hugging her son, holding the baby - making such a fuss. She was almost in tears, clutching a tissue. Bill stood with his arm around Tara, beaming. She looked up at him adoringly. Her handsome sailor. The couple looked just like Margaret and Bill Sr. must have looked 40 years before, in front of the same house. Margaret said something with what must have been a wink, and Bill laughed, looking down.
"He must be blushing... aw shucks...the big dork," Scully muttered, then bit the candy cane in half with a vicious clack. Laughing and chattering, they moved toward the house. Suddenly Margaret paused, glancing back, looking for something -- or for someone. Checking her watch, she sighed and followed her son and his young family into the warm house. Scully could just make out the rich green of holly around the door.
"I think I'm going to be sick," Dana whined to herself, opening her laptop. Something, anything to stall that moment ... that awkward moment of arrival. She had been rehearsing it in her mind all morning as she drove. She'd walk in and her mother would hug her tightly and cluck about how it's been so long since her last call, months in fact. Then Margaret would whisper into her ear, "Dana, play nice."
On the fireplace, the stockings she and her mom had made years ago would already be hanging. Dad's and Melissa's would still be there, just like every year, hanging empty and morbid looking. Charles' would be just as empty but with a telegram in it. Regrets again. "Emily's should be there..." she thought, then bit the image back hard.
Bill would shake her hand in mock "big-brother" pomp, then hug her stiffly, as if his wife may be jealous. No that wasn't fair, it wasn't Tara's fault -- he had always been like that. Her sister-in-law would give her one of those pageant queen kisses, just brushing her lip gloss against Dana's cheek, and then offer her the baby. Bill would shoot Tara an uncertain glance and clear his throat stupidly, speaking volumes with a single sound. Then Mom would put her hand on his arm, squeeze it once and look sternly up at him, silently putting him in his place. The baby would just drool and look at her, waiting for some reaction. They would all be waiting for some reaction.
And then she would ... what the hell would she do. Hug it? Kiss it? Dash its little brains out on the coffee table? All of the above? As though any of it could change ... that. Nothing would ever change that.
"God, I am really getting pitiful...." Scully shook her head to clear her thoughts, cracking the window to breathe in the crisp, cold air. The cellular modem clicked twice as she came online. Finally. Passwords to enter, headlines to skim.
Then a notice, "She had mail!" Not surprising.
"Earn Money From Your Home," she thought.
But no -- MFLUDER@Tenochtitlan.com.
"Hmmm... probably a silly online card. He must have opened the gift."
She hated Mulder too.
It was a letter.
She settled back, having found the perfect excuse. "Sorry Mom, I had some mail to get through...."
Dear Scully,"That's it? Not even a card, the bastard. Wait...he got me a gift? What gift? What the hell is he...." A sharp knock on the window. She jumped suddenly, dropping the laptop, half reaching to the small of her back for her weapon.
Bill was leaning against the car, smirking down at her.
"Thought I'd find you out here somewhere, Dana. Mom's getting nervous. She's sure you've been waylaid by vengeful space zombies with that partner of yours. You coming in or do you expect me to move the tree out here?"
Scully cleared her throat awkwardly. God.... He sounded just like Ahab. Since when did he become patriarch? She swallowed her sudden resentment and opened the door. "Umm...yeah, sure." She got out of the car, smoothing her skirt automatically. "I was just ...I... I had some mail to get through."
Bill nodded and they walked back towards the house, both aware of how weak that sounded. The silence was stretched taut around them, as it had been since the day she was born. "Poor Bill," she thought as she watched her feet walking along the faux cobblestones. "He has never known what to do with a sister that climbed trees better then he did. He always wanted to be 'the big brother' so badly. Joining the Bureau just made it worse." Suddenly, he awkwardly draped one arm over her shoulder. Hesitantly protective, but against what, she couldn't say.
She tensed, and was about to shrug it off as she always had done in the past, but an unexpected sort of warmth filled her and she stopped. Such a Bill gesture....
For some reason, her thoughts suddenly snapped back to Mulder. She could see him, lit by the glow of the monitor, his face shaded green like some mad scientist, writing that little note. He was probably holed up in front of the TV by now, watching porn and cheesy sci-fi. "He probably has the right idea," she thought.
Then again.... She looked up at her brother, remembering a better Christmas past, the family around the tree, Dad making up silly verses to Rudolph, Melissa hiding under the piano and Charles in that stupid hat. How old had she been? It really didn't matter. She smiled softly to herself.
Bill looked down and grinned that goofy grin he always got when he didn't know what to say. "What's the matter, Sis?"
* * *
Father McCue froze and looked up. A noise? Was someone there? He had thought that the chapel was empty. No one came to the first mass anymore and certainly not this early. They all waited for midnight, with all the bells and whistles. But there was someone back there, near the confessional. He set his cassock down, pausing briefly before putting it elegantly over his head as he had done a thousand times before, and peered into the billowing shadows.
"Merry Christmas. Can I help you? Hello?"
The stranger hadn't expected to be seen. He smiled at his own nervousness, shuffling like a delinquent, late for confirmation class. "No, Father, thank you.... I was just here to leave a gift."
Father McCue stepped down off the pulpit, trying to see the stranger. "A gift? For whom? May I be of any assistance, my son?"
"Doesn't matter... I was just about done. Thanks anyway, Father." The stranger leaned over the candle he had just lit, closing his eyes briefly. Fox Mulder hovered there, more spirit than man as the cold breeze through the open doors caught his overcoat, opening it around him like a dark wool prayer shawl. He began to mutter to himself, so low the Priest could barely hear what he was saying as he moved haltingly down the aisle toward Mulder.
"Just for today... I wish you Peace. Simply Peace."
Father McCue watched the odd young man in the brand-new purple muffler ("Must have been a gift," thought the priest) finish, nod and then turn abruptly, as if fleeing the sanctity he had created, somehow unworthy, and wander out into the sunlight-streaked snow again. The priest watched him turn up his collar against the wind, glancing suspiciously at the cars parked along the tree-lined street and then hurry away. The elderly priest reflected for a moment that the young man seemed to take his own shadow with him wherever he went. Slowly turning back towards his pulpit he stopped as the single newly lit candle beneath the statue of St. Felicity caught his eye. It seemed to be burning so desperately, as if the very world depended on it.
"Simply Peace...." Father McCue mused, closing the doors against the chill and returning to his preparations.
* * *
"Huh? What?" Scully startled as she looked at her brother. She hadn't expected the question. Any question. Her mind felt a million miles away.
"What's the matter? Umm ... nothing, I guess. I just feel ... odd. Actually ... I feel good, Bill ... calm. I don't know what to call it." She was quietly surprised, not only at the feeling itself but that she was sharing it with her brother, now of all times.
Bill seemed to take it in stride, but his shoulders relaxed a little. It had been a long, long time since he had heard that tone in her voice. "Peaceful, maybe?"
He put his hand on the doorknob and swung it open dramatically. The sound of singing filtered out...Margaret was singing "Rudolph" to the baby. Ahab's Rudolph ... "Rudolph the Red Nosed Sailor, had a very sloppy rig. And if the XO saw it, he'd surely wind up in the brig..." Bill and Dana looked at one another, and began to smile, then giggle...finally to laugh.
Dana wiped her eyes and looked up at him, still laughing slightly. "Peaceful? I don't know...Maybe...." Scully shrugged and stepped into a scene that didn't seem quite so dreadful anymore.
"Y'know, maybe peaceful is the right word...."
* * *
[Author's note: "With many thanks and much awe to Sister Jezebel for the original image of Mulder as fallen angel, which was the leaping off point for this story. Carpe Hoop Skirt."]
Note: We all get them, every year - those annual holiday "newsletters"
from hell. Here we have tidings of evil and joy from the OBSSE mailing
list's FFamily: Mom NancyFF, Uncle Pilgrim, SwoodsieFF,
KirbyFF, AdrianneFF, SassejennFF, SpicedRumFF, and BorisAnne, the
Greetings to our friends, retainees, and those who fear us too much to just junk this letter unread! It's been a wonderful, productive fin de siecle here amongst us FFs. War, famine, hunger, pestilence, Ricky Martin ... in short, it's a bull market in evil, and we'd just like to share our bounty with all of you. No, not the actual bounty. That was spent at the arms dealer months ago.
We are most grateful for our new home. We finally intimid . . erm, persuaded Sisters Autumn and La.. of the wisdom in the old proverb "keep your friends close, but keep your psychotic, deluded hangers-on closer" and with the redesign of the OBSSE Abbey, the spacious, beautiful, smelly and dank FFamily Tower was constructed. La.. didn't seem to mind that we continued to subject poor Teshie-Poo to the "Pinochet Special" until construction was finished. Pilgrim does giggle so when I refer to the "Pinochet Special."
Speaking of my dear brother P, he is currently engaged in deep reflection and communion with nature after having experienced the life of Jack the Ripper (along with other previous lives, including Tzar Nicolas I, Mata Hari, Slim Pickens and Gordon from Sesame Street) through some up-close-and- personal regression and a timely attack by a vicious, rapacious crib monkey. When last seen, Saint Pilgrim the Moderately Evil had taken full control of Pilgrim's occasionally wandering psyche. He has sworn never to flame anyone ever ever again, contenting himself with smiling vapidly, blessing household appliances and pre-prepared breakfast foods and goosing the occasional deaconess then looking saintly. We have been pleased to discover, however, that much like Geena Davis' character in "The Long Kiss Goodnight," his reincarnation as a quirky and lovable man of random acts of ineffectual kindness has not diminished his capacity to strip and reassemble an AK-47 while blindfolded.
P felt that Il Pilgrino needed some fresh blood . . . erm, qualified guidance and so we added BorisAnne, Au Pair to Evil to the FFamily. Boris has proven particularly fleet of foot and quick of blade in mentoring the young one. Why, just the other day, Boris stood in the Abbey training facility, resplendent in her severe high-necked black velvet uniform, when Il Pilgrino emerged from the shadows with his epee ready for battle, thirsty for blood. In no time, Boris stripped to her Scully-specification white tank, Kitchen Crew camouflage cargo pants and black combat boots, and successfully disarmed him while simultaneously changing his diaper. Her extreme coordination and nurturance has not gone unnoticed; she was just put on retainer by Martha Stewart Omnimedia to develop and serve as editor of a new monthly, "Fear and Loathing in Child Care."
As for those quintuplets of mine, those McCaughey folks got nothing on me! (Okay, except for those negatives of me and Bob Barker dressed up like Yogi and Boo Boo. I still get chills when I hear the words "pick-a-nick basket.")
AdrianneFF has been doing her part this year to shape the minds of tomorrow's youth; her preferred method involves blunt instruments, but she would remind you that no one ever said learning was painless. Her work has been helped along greatly by her newfound associate, Dr. Heiko Blucher of Halle, Germany. Along with his bag of rusty dental tools, Adrianne and Dr. Blucher have discovered that even the most reticent child can be inspired to new heights of achievement. Her most significant achievement this year, however, has been the introduction of Pokemon cards into the American public school system as a delivery system for instruction in the fine art of grifting. Adrianne enjoys nothing more than to toss a hologram Charizard into a roomful of children and watch them respond like sharks to a bucketful of chum. In fact, her expansion into the elementary years has worked so well that she has taken a group of the most bloodthirsty young'uns, trained them in our EvilT ways, and had them outfitted in special TETINFF Inc. Army of Darkness reversible Old Navy Kevlar vests and cargo pants. They're just cute as the dickens, and Adrianne is currently in the midst of working out their pay in Jolly Ranchers. On a personal note, Adrianne reached a milestone in her development this year when she was able to successfully overcome her unfortunate tendency to stalk Tony Bennett, with the judicious application of the dulcet tones of Vic Damone.
SassejennFF has proven to be the Difficult Sheep of the FFamily this year. After a truly embarrassing incident at Fest in which she had to be reminded of the ages-old proverb, "FFs prance not," and a dose of supersecret double probation, she was welcomed back into the FFold with a minimum of grudging resentment. The fact that she was the mastermind behind that worshipful Duchovny song didn't hurt, and convincing Bree Sharp, while not holding any kind of sharp knife-like weapon at her throat whatsoever, to change the lyrics from "I wanna be Scully" to "I'm gonna kill Scully" was a truly an inspiration. Sasse went on to bring the plan for financial ruination of Mattel, Inc. to fruition, keeping in mind that Barbie dolls are too evil even for the FFs. Most recently, Sassejenn "Love/Baby Pants" FF has been observing a strict training regimen under the tutelage of The Fabulous Moolah in order to prepare for the annual FFamily FFeastday String Bikini Mudwrestling Extravaganza (FFSBME)*. She is bound and determined to avenge last year's humiliating defeat in her rematch with big sister Kirby "Dee" FF (who will henceforth be known as "The Silent Breeze That Draws Marrow From Your Bones.")
SpicedRumFF was also very busy this year. After finding out about her true parentage, she took on the moniker of "Barbie Joe." To further connect with her roots (and because this is the South, after all), she dated second cousin thrice removed Kyle McLachlan for a few months. I of course became incensed that one of my baby daughters was dating My Beloved Infidel and, to teach her that no one crosses The Mother of All Evil, banished her to California to monitor the activities of the 1013 offices. Her main thrust (snicker) of activity at 1013 has been to ensure that Krycek appear in as few episodes as possible, and on those rare occasions, to be represented by the pranciest wrong-assed body double available. We have not been able to confirm or deny that Barbie Joe was in fact the selfsame source of the supersecret Fox memo that resulted in a lawsuit, or the source of the rumor that Fox was considering recasting the role of Mulder with James Van Der Beek for Season 8, pending of course the outcome of litigation. Or the equally exciting rumor that Joshua Jackson would be cast as Krycek's younger but equally depraved brother, Skippy Krycheck, who actually changed his name to reflect the most popular ATXF spelling. Barbie Joe plans to greet the new millennium in the practice of general debauchery and the perfection of obscure techniques of torture, which are not mutually exclusive by any means.
SwoodsieFF has fulfilled her work as Coochie Coochie Coordinator by increasing the, erm, visibility of evil this year. She started out by assuring a young, naïve Britney Spears that it was certainly OK to appear on the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards like Spring Busting Out All Over, "after all, it's just the kids watching." Her work in the Boy Bands division has proven especially fruitful in providing a delivery system for our evil messages to the minds of adolescents everywhere; pretty soon the female teens of the land will all be wearing push-up bras to bed and telling their boyfriends that the Flowbee is a great way to get a kickin' do. She expanded (ahem) this ministry by working as a certified fitter for Maidenform, helping women in all walks of life to lock and load to eighteen-hour perfection. Her most notable achievement this year, however, had to have been the brilliant hack of the Ty, Inc. website announcing the retirement of all Beanie Babies, the production of the millennial bear "The End," which incidentally is stuffed not with polyfill but with the incinerated brain tissue of Fortune 500 execs who paid to have their brains "cryogenically preserved" (HAH!).
Do not think that I have forgotten about KirbyFF. In fact, we're all trying desperately around the FFamily Tower to forget about the recent troubling stealthy presence/maybe-presence of KirbyFF. You see, KirbyFF has taken on a new role. She has become the Man Pain Eradication Ninja. So in true Ninja form, we never know if she's actually in the room or not. We'll be sitting around the dinner table, carving up a nice slice of whoever's ticked us off this month (Kenneth Starr proved particularly tasty), and suddenly the chandelier will fall squarely on the evening meal, cord sliced clean. We've heard tell that Chris Carter has set about to find whomever is responsible for the rash of throwing stars embedded between the legs of his life-size portrait hanging in the 1013 office lobby, or the appearance of the CSM-as-Ray-Davies-of-The- Kinks black wig-with-jumbo-sideburns speared by a katana sword on the front door. We know nothing. We see nothing. Kirby "Dee/TSBTDMFYB" FF (see where she gets her AOL name?) has been training with The Fabulous Moolah's nemesis Wendi Richter to stay in top shape and become the first ever back-to-back FFSBME* Champion.
Now, not everything has been on the upswing for the FFs this year. We are still currently evaluating the Brother Dave situation; if you don't recall, Dave targeted the FFamily with some significant public slander several months ago (see "The Dark Tower," October Newsletter). (Note to Adrianne: talk to Rupert Murdoch about whether Dave is or is not actually The One, since Carter can't seem to answer straight about it.) But we feel this situation will be resolved soon.
Enclosed please find a ffruitcake, baked especially for you using our secret FFamily recipe. May terror and strife strike you and yours during this holiday season.
All our "love,"
The Evil That
*The FFSBME will be the main event at the annual FFeastday SlapDown! on New Year's Eve. Pay-Per-View privileges available for only $109.95 a minute.