Billy Wilson, Ultimate Supreme Archon

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: October 27, 2017

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Submitted: October 27, 2017

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Billy Wilson,Ultimate Supreme Archon  
 
By Brian Fussell
Born 1946, M, from Greensboro, United States
 
 
Billy Wilson, Ultimate Supreme Archon
by Brian S. Fussell

“ Five minutes,” Beau shouted, holding up five fingers. Billy nodded. ‘Thank heaven’ for the air blasting in the side door. It felt like it came from an oven, but it was the only thing keeping him from puking. He did not want to puke on himself, and he really did not want to puke on this horse, this huge, white horse he was sitting on.
Closing his eyes and leaning forward, Billy rested his head on the horse’s neck.‘ What am I doing? he thought, ‘ Sitting on a horse, flying ‘round in a helicopter?’ And then, ‘This is the biggest horse I’ve ever seen.’ Between his costume, the harness, and the straps, Billy was sweating like a pig. ‘Do pigs really sweat?’ He remembered reading that horses sweat twice as much as people Looking at the puddles beneath the horse, he could believe that. He didn’t know about pigs.
He straightened up and the horse looked around. Billy had only been this close to a horse once before, when he was twelve. He knew the horse with its own harness and straps, plus a huge diaper, was suffering. Looking into the horse’s eyes, he tried to tell; was it angry? Drugged maybe? With a dismissive snort, the horse swung its head around to face the open door. Leaning back down, Billy patted the horse and said, ‘ I know how you feel. I know just how you feel. You’re gonna be okay. We’re gonna be okay.’ All they could do was circle the stadium, and wait.
Beau came over, touched him on the shoulder and boomed into his ear, “ Three minutes, Billy.” ‘Billy,’ that’s what everyone called him when he was young. His father was ‘ Bill.’ He was ‘ Billy.’ That changed when he started practicing, and decided ‘ William ‘ sounded more mature, more professional. ‘ William ’ was elected councilman, then mayor, and finally, Governor. ‘ William ‘ had done all that, not ‘ Billy.’
Rex had called him ‘ Billy,’ earlier in the year, and then gave one of his typical apologies the next day. ” I did? Look, his friends call him ‘ Billy’... Right? ‘ Perfectly good name. Had a friend in sixth grade named ‘ Billy, ‘Billy ‘Sherman. Looked just like the kid from that kids’ magazine... The kid with the stupid grin and those big, I mean really big, ears. If people want to call him ‘ Billy,’ that’s OK with me. It’s a perfectly good name. ‘ Billy’ Sherman ... had huge ears... really, really huge ears.”
Earlier today, Rex had been late for rehearsal. Earlier, Harry Billy - a real alligator wrestler - had pinned the ‘gator down and secured its snout with duct tape. By the time Rex got to the stadium, Harry had been sitting on the ‘gator’s back for almost an hour. He was sweaty and tired. The ‘gator looked like it was asleep.
The plan was, after Rex and the horse had been lowered onto the stage, the horse would bow down, Rex would dismount, stride across the stage, and sit down on the gator, right behind Harry. Instead, Rex - twice Harry’s size – had bulldozed his way in front of Harry and plopped himself down, right behind the gator’s head.
Trying to keep from falling off, Harry let go of the gator and wrapped his arms around Rex. Suddenly, WHOOOSH! A burst of air made Rex’s hair start to float skyward. When Rex took both hands to grab it, the gator whipped its head to the right. Rex and Harry teetered to the left. The gator flung its head to the other side. Rex and Harry swung back to the right. The gator jerked its head back to the left and the duct tape came off. Harry lost his grip on Rex and fell backwards. Rex fell forward. The gator snapped its head around, opened wide its jaws, and slammed them shut, right on Rex’s head.
The gator went into a death roll. Rex’s body stayed with his head for the first roll but, the second time around, it just couldn’t keep up. One of the crew said it sounded just like ‘ when you pop the cork on a bottle of warm champagne, really warm champagne.’ Harry Billy slipped and slid up to the gator, and put a bullet between its eyes. Lying there with the new trophy in its mouth, Harry said it looked like that gator was ’ grinnin’, grinnin’ sumthin’ fierce.’
That was why Billy was here tonight, and Rex wasn’t; because an assistant (who moved to Australia after getting death threats accusing her of working for the other contestant) had bought cheap duct tape. You never know.
If he had opened his eyes, Billy could have seen the 100,000 people in the stadium, exactly 50,000 on each side. Separated by the new, higher wall, which divided the stadium and the parking lot, they had filed in through separate entrances. After they had settled in, two groups could see each other for the first time. On the field between them were two identical stages, each facing its own side of the stadium.
Like Billy and the horse, everyone in the stadium was suffering in the heat. Sadly, no one was calling for any rain ‘til Friday. Although everyone in the stadium was wearing standard issue beige smocks, the sides looked very different. Both sides had used chalk to get around the‘ No permanent alterations‘ rule for the smocks. Using black chalk, one side had covered their smocks with slogans saying what they were for and what they were against, a pretty drab group. The other side had thrown colored chalk dust all over each other, and looked like they had just come from a ‘ color run.’
As different as they looked on the outside, on the inside the groups were very similar. Each side was united by two things; a fierce, burning, rabid-like belief in their own contestant; plus a complete and absolute hatred of the other side. That hatred was so strong you could feel it in the air; almost see it, rising like the steam from a pile of fresh cow dung.
Everyone in the stadium was here tonight because they all had a unique way to make noise. Simulations had convinced advisors that it wasn’t a lot of people making the same noise that got the highest acoustic emission sensor reading, but rather the blending of many different sounds. Combining all those sounds was supposed to move the needle the most. Moving the needle is what mattered.
Every participant had been selected for an ability to produce a special sound. There were screamers, belchers (real and fake), farters (real and fake), crying babies,( real), rebel-yellers, whistlers, hand clappers, opera singers, rock and rollers, foot stompers ( size 15 and above), yodelers, chanters, funeral wailers, chest slappers, hog callers, football fans, ( pro and college), cheerleaders ( high school only), plus many more. All could make their own, unique sound. You had to make your own noise without any mechanical or electronic help. If you tried to bring anything in through the scanners, you were escorted away; as a penalty, so was the person behind you
There were only two contestants tonight, and the stadium was mostly full of their supporters. Surprisingly, there were also some supporters of contestants who had already been eliminated. They had joined the same group that had eliminated their own favorite. If you asked them why, they simply said; ‘Anyone from our side is better than anyone from the other.’
Each contestant had sixty seconds to make a presentation. Then their supporters had sixty seconds to make as much noise as they could. The acoustic emissions sensor would register the highest level reached. That reading was the contestant’s final score. After a brief media break, the other side would do the same. Whichever contestant registered the highest reading became the new “ Ultimate Supreme Archon.”
Down in the stadium, the first contestant leaped out of her camouflage painted helicopter just as it touched down on the stage. Dressed in full combat gear, she hit the floor, did a body roll, and came up blazing away with rubber bullets at the black clad figures at the end of the stage. Fake blood splattered everywhere! There were only two errant rounds. One of them struck a black figure in the crotch. The other hit an opera singer sitting in the third row in the head. (Both lawsuits were settled out of court.) Not bad for someone who had only said she “liked to shoot,” not that she was any good at it.
She threw the still smoking weapon aside (later sold at auction for $300K), and ripped off her uniform. Underneath was a sequined, red, white and blue, one-piece jump suit. Moving to the X on the stage floor, she stood still and raised her arms away from her sides. The drone flew down and fastened itself to her and lifted off.
Flying in a slow motion circuit, she showered the people on the stage with gold coins and candy. Twice she swooped down closer to pat the heads of children. It went well, except when the drone pilot in Albuquerque sneezed violently, and she accidentally knocked over one kid in a wheel chair. Continuing on, the drone set her down on a second, elevated stage, released her and left. She stepped in front of a full, tuxedoed orchestra, flanked on both sides by singers in sparkling, red, white, and blue robes.
When the orchestra and back-up singers launched into the unofficial national anthem, she flipped on her microphone and stepped into the spotlight. She could actually sing a little bit - better than she could shoot - and the soundman made her sound absolutely wonderful. At her big finish, fireworks and lasers illuminated the sky above the stadium. She spread her arms wide and bowed her head. Her presentation had taken exactly 58 seconds. On cue, her supporters leaped to their feet and let loose with all the noise they could produce. The meter’s needle went way over. Standing in the spotlight, with outstretched hands, she lifted her head, smiled, and thought, ‘ That was pretty damn good,’ and then, ‘I’m too old for this nonsense.’
Billy heard the crowd, and knew his opponent was getting a tremendous reading. Now, it was his turn. His helicopter was white, with huge national flag decals, hastily plastered over the gold letters of Rex’s name. Descending into the stadium, with spotlights bouncing off it, the chopper began spewing red, white and blue smoke. Exactly thirty feet above the stage, it stopped its descent.
The spotlights focused on Billy in the open door, wearing his sequined white costume and sitting on the huge white horse. Beau stuck Rex’s size 8, pearlescent 10 gal hat on his head, yelled “ Good luck, Billy!’ and slapped the horse on the rear. The horse hurled itself out the door. The sudden jolt made Billy’s harness come loose.
Down they went, lopsided, spinning slowly. A sudden gust of wind blew the over-sized hat off Billy’s head, and he watched it float away. The horse turned his head and gave him a ‘ What the hell is going on?’ look. Billy leaned forward and clung to the horse’s sweaty neck. He felt like a circus monkey. The spotlights followed them all the way down. Billy slowly slipped around until he was hanging upside down, his back pointed toward the stage. When they were just above the stage, the horse lowered his head, and Billy slid off. Lying there on his back, he realized he wasn’t even hurt. ‘ Thank you, Lord.’ he said to himself, and then, out loud, ” Thank you, horse.” Billy rolled over. He was starting to stand when the horse suddenly swung around. The diaper came loose, and its contents hit the stage with a loud splash. On the next spin around, the horse knocked Billy down. He fell, face first, right into the pile of fresh manure. The chopper eased the horse down next to him, released it, and flew away.
The horse lowered his head and gave Billy a nudge. Billy didn’t move. The horse nudged him again, as if to say, ‘you’re okay. Come on. Get up. Come on. You’re okay.’ Trying to stand, Billy slipped and fell backwards into the steaming pile. Unable to open his eyes, he gripped onto the horse’s mane and pulled himself up. He stood there, head down, facing the wrong way, arms at his sides. He remembered what his dad always told him, “Lose your temper and you will lose the fight.” He unclenched his fists. With the spotlight still on him, he slowly raised his head. There were some snickers, then, some more, then more and more. Snickers turned to laughter. Soon, one whole side of the stadium was roaring.
Realizing what was happening Billy’s team leaders turned to their frozen representatives and gave them the signal. 50,000 belching, farting, stomping, hog calling, rebel yelling, whistling, chest slapping Billy supporters let loose. The needle went to maximum.
There was a deafening clap of thunder and it started to rain. He smiled, and then he laughed. He leaned his head back and stretched out his arms, palms up. The rain came down harder. The horse bowed down. Billy leaned over and gave him a hug. Laughing, he turned to face his own side of the stadium. His people got louder. The cheerleaders on the other side screamed at their people,“ Shut up! Stop it! All of you! Stop it right now!”
His side started chanting, ”BILLY! BILLY! BILLY!” Some on the other joined in, and then the whole stadium was screaming his name, “ BILLY! BILLY! BILLY!”
Billy brought his hands back down, threw his chest out, bent his arms at the elbow, and held out his hands, palms up, one of Rex’s favorite gestures. Billy felt he should be embarrassed to do it, but he wasn’t. He did another slow turnaround, pausing to acknowledge both sides of the stadium. The chant got even louder. People swore the stadium moved, but engineers said that was impossible.
It was over. ‘ Billy’ Wilson was the new Ultimate Supreme Archon.
 
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