FIRE MOUNTAIN

               "Hi Scov," John said as I slid in the back seat of his dad's
               "Hey, man.  What's happenin?"
               "Not much.  My dad  had to come to town today so  he offered
          to swing by and pick you up."
               "Well, thanks.   I appreciate it and I'm  looking forward to
          the weekend out at the big city of Mead, Nebraska, too."
               John  had come to  the school for the  blind shortly after I
          had arrived.  He was blinded from a hunting accident when  he was
          twelve.  He  and his buddy  were hunting in  the fields near  his
          home, thirty-five miles  west of Omaha.  They  had climbed aboard
          an old  broken down tractor and  tried starting it in  hopes they
          could ride.  John's gun slipped from his grasp, the butt striking
          the ground, and the right side  of his body took the full  impact
          of the shotgun blast.  He was in the hospital for weeks and often
          near death.  He still walks with a limp but the only other injury
          was to his eyes.  
               When he  arrived at  the Nebraska school  for the  blind, we
          quickly became friends.   He, like I, was not only  home sick but
          frightened of this  strange new way of life.  I helped him around
          the building until he became confident of his where-abouts and we
          spent many fun  hours together over the years.  He eventually got
          his ham radio license and we talked nearly every day on the radio
          during the summer.  We were even doing dope together.
               "I'm gonna pull in here and get some gas you fellas," John's
          dad said.  "I'll be back shortly.
               "Ok," we said in unison.
               "Did you bring the  stuff?" John asked as  soon as he  heard
          the slam of the car door.  
               "Yep,"  I said  triumphantly.   "I'm not  only carrying  the
          acid, I'm high on speed right now."
               "Really," John said in amazement.  "What you on?"
               "Oh,  there nothing  too much  and  they ain't  nothin' like
          shooting speed but they work good."
               "What are they," he asked again.
               "Oh, they're some diet pills and I take a couple of  hits at
          one time and they feel pretty good."
               "Hey," John  said conspiratorially,  "I'd like  to try  some
          when we get to my house.  You bring some with you?"
               "Sure," I  said, my words  sounding powerful in my  ears, "I
          brought several along.  We'll  test 'em out together when we  get
          to your place."
               The car  door opened and  his dad climbed behind  the wheel.
          "You boys ready to go?" and the engine fired.
               Placing the  two capsules  in his hand,  I heard  him washed
          them down with a  swallow of pop and said, "How long does it take
          for this speed stuff to work?"
               "Oh," I said feeling for  the couch in his basement bedroom,
          "less than an hour I suppose."
               "What does it feel like?"
               "Well,"  I replied  as I  thumbed through  the albums  I had
          carried  from the  car, "you  just  feel super  powerful.   These
          aren't as  strong, of course,  as the stuff  I shot up  the other
          night but it's  pretty good.  You  just feel strong;  like you've
          got a lot  of energy to burn.  You got  your record player around
          here somewhere?"
               He showed me and I placed a record on the turn table.
               "Tell  me about  your last  acid  trip you  had when  Sharon
          picked you up."
               "Yeah," I replied with  a laugh.  "That  was really a  weird
          thing.    She called  me after  I  had started  coming on  to the
          stuff...oh, maybe about 10 O'clock that morning.   She asked if I
          wanted to go  to the shopping  center with her  but I told  her I
          couldn't 'cause I was  stoned.  She said she thought  it might be
          kind of a cool trip if I'd come along so I did."
               "What happened?" he inquired.
               "It  was like  a circus  come  to town,"  I continued  while
          adjusting the  volume on  the record player  to a  lower setting.
          This stuff was called pink acid and that was right, too."
               "Why?" he  asked laying  down on a  hid-a-bed he  had pulled
               "'Cause...everything was pink.   Sharon's words, the  car we
          rode in,  the sidewalk, the stairs we  climbed; everything seemed
               "That'd be  kind of  a bum trip  if that's  all you  saw was
          pink," John said matter of factly.
               "Well," pink was just the main color.  It seemed to ooze out
          of  everything  I touched  like  pink icing  on a  cake.   Funny,
          though, black  showed up  a lot,  too.   You know  how sharp  and
          electric the colors all look when you're trippin?"
               "Yeah," John grunted.
               "Well, everything  was really  sharp and  three-dimensional.
          It all seemed  like one big cartoon  all morning long.   Going in
          and out of stores felt like we were getting on and  off amusement
          park rides.  There was music playing from speakers in most of the
          stores  which  seemed  like somebody  behind  the  walls changing
          records or something.   The main colors,  now that I  think about
          it, were  pink,  black, and  red.   We even  went to  eat a  late
               "What was that like?"
               "Well," I said after turning the record over, "I didn't feel
          hungry but  Sharon said they were ordering Alaskan pancakes which
          sounded really far out to me.  The whole trip seemed  so electric
          and circus-like.  Sharon ordered  some chocolate milk and I drank
               "How'd that taste stoned?"
               "It  is impossible  to  described  but I  can  tell you  one
               "What's that," he asked suspiciously.
               "It tasted brown."
               Laughing  loudly, John  said, "Why  does that make  sense to
          me."  It wasn't a question.  
               When I finally got home shortly after lunch, I continued, "I
          was coming off the stuff and I named the trip."
               "Named it?" John questioned.  "named it what?"
               "Well, because of  all the running around, going  in and out
          of stores,  the Alaskan  pancake breakfast,  and the  circus like
          atmosphere,   I  called  it  (The  Pink  Alaskan  Pancake  Hassle
               We both laughed in unison.
               A few hours later John said, "When you wanna drop the acid?"
               "Any time is fine with me," I said willingly.
               "Let's do it now then."
               Pulling a small tin foil package from my pocket, I unwrapped
          the chemical and placed a tablet in John's open hand.
               "What'd they call this stuff?"
               "They call it," I said with a note of poise, "Black Acid."
               "Black acid?"
               "Don't ask  me what  that means," I  said, "that's  what the
          pusher called it; black acid."
               "Well," John said placing it in his mouth, "as long as I get
          high.  Are you taking yours now?"
               "I  guess so,"  I said  but  I slipped  the package  into my
          pocket without swallowing the remaining tablet.
               Two hours later it was  10 P.M> and John was stoned.   I was
          still feeling the effects of the speed I had taken earlier but it
          was beginning to  subside.   John was  laying on the  bed as  the
          music played.  "How is it John?" I asked.
               "Wow!" he replied.  "This black stuff is pretty far out."
               "What you mean by that?"
               "It's just  pretty far out," was  all he could say.   "Hey,"
          John suddenly said,  "Why you asking me  what it's like?   Didn't
          you drop your acid?"
               "Well," I said apologetically, "no I didn't yet."
               "Why not?" he  complained.  "Here I'm trippin'  along all by
          my little self and you're over there in reality."
               Laughing I said,  "You're right.  I guess I'll  go ahead and
          drop mine if you're having a good time," and I did.
               Coming from upstairs loaded  down with pop and  potato chips
          and  corn curls, we retreated to the coolness of the basement and
          sat on the bed eating.  "You coming' on to the stuff yet Scov?"
               Crunching down on  a chip I said,  "I think so but  it isn't
          too strong yet."
               "You  think the speed we took  will have anything to do with
          the way we'll be tripping through the night?"
               "Naw," I  said as I swallowed some pop too quickly; its fizz
          burning my nose, "we  didn't take enough speed  to effect us  too
          much I don't  think."   A cricket  chirped in the  corner of  the
          basement;  its  chirp  shattering  glass.    "I  think,"  I  said
          hesitantly, "I'm getting stoned.
               After  midnight  I found  myself  setting in  the  middle of
          John's basement on the hard floor.   We talked some and  listened
          to the music on his record player.
               As I sat, I suddenly felt as though I was alone and far from
          anything or anyone.  "Hey, John," I called, "you still there?"
               "Sure,"  he laughed,  "where would  I  go in  this state  of
               "You're right," I agreed, "one  wouldn't want to get too far
          from home...he might get lost in all these colors."    We laughed
          together.  "Somehow, though," I sighed, "I feel pretty strangely.
          This black acid is really unusual."
               "How you mean?" he asked.
               "Well," I said,  thinking of how to describe   it, "like for
          example, as  I look toward you on the  other side of the room, it
          feels  and looks  like there  is a  wall of  cellophane stretched
          between us and someone has tossed water colors up unto it.  I can
          almost see  through but not quite.  The colors are pastels rather
          than  the regular sharp strong bold electric psychedelic colors I
          normally see."
               "That sounds kinda neat," John observed.
               "Well, sort of,"  I agreed, "at's  different than
          anything  I noticed  before.    There's  one other  thing  that's
               "Oh, yeah," John said, "and what's that?"
               "Well, it's kinda hard to  explain but every once and awhile
          the cellophane  wall of  colors wiggles down  in the  lower right
          hand  corner like someone  shakes it or  something.  Then  a tiny
          wave spreads across the shimmering colors just like a wave that's
          made from snapping a blanket on  a bed.  The wave travels  across
          the plastic sheet until it reaches the upper left hand corner and
          then as  the tiny wave passes off the wall  of colors, it makes a
          small snapping sound.  I can feel the snap inside my body when it
               "I'd have  to agree...that's pretty strange," John admitted.
          "You're ok though ain't ya?"
               "Oh, sure," I said a little too quickly, "I'm fine."
                    "How many times you tripped before Scov?"
               "This is number 9," I announced and we fell silent; lost  in
          our own psychedelic dreams.
               Finally   I   broke    the   silence,   "Hey,   John,    say
          something...where are you?"
               "I'm right here on the bed Scov.  Why?"
               "I kinda lost where I was there for a minute.  Say something
          again and let me come over there  to the bed.  I don't like  this
          feeling.  I feel like I'm floating around in space or something."
               He called out and  I felt for the bed.   Touching it lightly
          with my  hands, I moved  around to the  other side and  lay down.
          "Man," I said, "this is really weird."
               "I  guess I  don't  know  what you  mean  Scov," John  said,
          confusion underlining his tone.
               "Well,"  I  laughed,  "I've never  tripped  before  to learn
          anything but I have the weirdest  feeling that I'm about to learn
               Time  rotated slowly as  we lay on  the bed and  talked.  We
          played  more music  but finally,  because of  the  bewilderment I
          felt, and because  the music seemed to agitate  my uneasiness, we
          silenced the  record player.   Once again  I confessed  my belief
          that I was going to learn something on this trip.
               Rolling over on my back, I lay down and tried to see through
          the panoramic display of pastel blues, reds, greens, yellows, and
          pinks  wavering  before me.   The  cellophane shimmered  like the
          surface of a  pond as the sun  rose over it; colors  bouncing off
          it's slowly undulating surface.
               Suddenly  a sharp point  pierced the diaphanous  rainbow and
          plummeting to earth, it struck  my chest dead center; pinning me.
          I felt as though  I had been a  bug crawling along the  earth and
          someone stuck a spear through my body.   My arms and legs gyrated
          frantically attempting  to gain leverage but I was hopelessly and
          helplessly  pinned to the  bed.  The  colors began to  fall on me
          from the sky.   I  was caught  in a meatier  shower; the  flaming
          balls striking  me by  the  millions.   I  was a  magnet  drawing
          burning iron filings to my flesh.  I was a vortex sucking needles
          of fire into my center of being.  I was a tiny planet veiled in a
          luminous  cloud; of  fire; lightning  bolts  piercing my  surface
          thousands of times.  I was super heated iron in  the blacksmith's
          oven; sparks  showering my tormented  frame.  I was  buried alive
          under flaming  mountains of lava.   I was  drowning in a  lake of
          fire.  I fought desperately to free myself but the more  I moved,
          the more the colors became avoirdupois.   It felt as though I was
          being smothered  with tons of  hot burning sand.   I  could sense
          movement above  the mound  of sand but  I couldn't  ascertain its
          nature or origin.  It had personage, though; because I sensed its
               "What's  wrong  Phil?"  John asked,  raw  fear  touching his
               "I  don't know  John but  I can't  move," I  said struggling
          frantically against the force pinning  me to the bed.  "Something
          is holding me down and I can get out from under it."
               "You're  just having a  bum're freaking  out?" he
          said, his words canceling each other.
               As  I continued to  struggle against the  heaviness pressing
          against  me, I  could feel  the sensation  of physical  awareness
          drifting  away and  fear began  to  seize my  thoughts.   "What's
          happening to me?" I said out loud.  As I did so,  "I knew.  "It's
          Him," I  said flatly.   "He wants me."   As I fought  even harder
          against  the force that  had gripped me,  I began  to repeat that
          sentence over and over  again... "He wants me.  He  wants me.  He
          wants  me."  Each time  I attempted to  gain freedom of movement,
          another  blazing color  touched  my  body.   They  were now  tiny
          electrified, atomically charged, searing hot grains of sand which
          gave me the  sensation of being pinned  with millions of red  hot
               Eventually I was unable to move.  The burning grains of sand
          had piled high over my body  and covered every inch of flesh.   I
          lost nearly all bodily  sensation.  I couldn't  feel my body;  my
          hands,  arms, feet,  legs;  all  were gone.    I  could feel  the
          pressure against my  skin; burning, boiling, searing.   Something
          was still  moving at the  top of the  mountain of hot sand  but I
          couldn't see it.
               John rolled over against me and  grabbed my arm.  "You  keep
          saying (He wants you) over and over  Scovell.  Who - is - He?" he
          said, punctuating each word as though striking me physically.
               "It's God," I gasped.
               John rolled away and lay silent.
               piquant Words began to be  spoken which were not audible but
          I felt.  I understood them all, however, and I attempted to argue
          my position.  The Lord told me  He wanted me back and that I  was
          brought to this place  in order to listen.  The  longer I argued,
          the  more I  resisted,  the  greater the  pressure  and the  more
          unbearable it became.  I felt  as though emersed in liquid  fire.
          "Could this be what hell feels like?"  I wondered.  I would later
          confess I had been to Hell.  
               Once, as  I continued to  hear the  calling of  the Lord,  I
          resisted to the point  that I spoke out loud and  said, "You want
          me but you  can't have..."  My  words were savagely chopped.   It
          felt  like a large hand had reached  down and struck me; flinging
          me bodily across  the universe.  I  felt the blow physically.   I
          lay silent for some time; unable to speak; afraid to speak.
               Eventually, do to the pressure, the heat, and the fear in my
          heart, I cried out to God and said I wanted to die.  The moment I
          conceived that thought, I was afraid I might die and end  up in a
          place like what I was suffering at that very moment.  
               I don't know how long the experience lasted but it was early
          morning, about sunrise, when I  was able to communicate with John
          again.   Finally, I  surrendered to the  calling of the  Lord and
          said I would yield to Him.   I promised to serve Him and  to give
          up drugs  and rock music.   I  gave myself back  to the  Lord and
          repented of my sin.  At that precise moment, the presence  of the
          Lord  above the  mountain of  fire  disappeared.   The mounds  of
          burning  sands  began  to  dissipate,  loosing  their  heat,  and
          eventually the  physical feeling  of my body  returned.   I still
          found it difficult  to talk without  my words becoming  entangled
          with the neon  jellyfish like shapes floating about  the edges of
          my thoughts.
               Going  upstairs, John  came down  with something  for  me to
          drink.  We were both off the effects of the drug but I still  had
          not regained  complete  mental control.   "John,  I sighed,  "I'm
          going to have  to get in touch  with my Mom.   I'm going to  need
          some medical help to get off the stuff.  I don't think I can dial
          a phone though.  Can you help me?"
               Giving him my Mom's work number, he dialed and handed me the
          phone.  On  Saturday's she only worked  till noon and it  was now
          mid morning.  "Mom,"  I said in a  weak voice, "can you come  out
          and get me at John's?"
               "What's the matter sound terrible."
               "I feel terrible."
               "Are you sick?
               "Sort of," I replied.
               "Philip, what's  the matter,"  her voice  tinged with  fear,
          "did you and John have a fight?"
               "No," I said, "not with John but I was in one."
               "Philip, you're scaring me."
               "Mom," I tried comforting her, "I'm all right but I need you
          to come as soon as you can to get me."
               "Ok,"  she nearly whispered  into the  phone, "I'll  get the
          doctor to  let me off  and I'll be right  out as fast  as I can."
          Less than an hour later, she arrived.
               "I'm  sure  sorry  Mrs.  Scovell,"  John's  mom  was  saying
          apologetically, "I didn't  even know Philip  was sick until  John
          told me a few moments ago.  I hope everything is all right."
               "Yeah," I said, "I'll be all right.  I just don't  feel well
          right now but I'll be ok Mrs. Coyle."
               "Well," she said, "you certainly do look pale."
               "I'll be all right," I said again, "I just need to  get home
          and rest for awhile I think.
               After riding in silence  for a few minutes, I spoke.   "Mom,
          this is going  to be hard so  please listen carefully."   I could
          hear the air hissing  by and prayed it wouldn't suck  me from the
          car.   "I have  been using LSD."   She released  a sharp  gasp as
          though suddenly struck in the stomach.  I realized, for the first
          time, she had no idea  and had been in the dark all  along.  "I'm
          sorry Mom to hurt you but please just listen  till I get this out
          in  the open.  John and I were using LSD last night and something
          happened to me."
               "Were you hurt?  Was John  hurt?  How have you been  getting
          this stuff Philip?"
               "Mom, please let me tell you what happened."  Tears began to
          trickle down my cheeks  as I spoke.  "Last  night God came to  me
          and held me against the  bed for several hours.  I could hear Him
          speaking to me but I heard  no audible words.  It was like  I was
          on fire.  I think," I said, the words choking in my throat, "that
          I was in Hell."
               "How could  you have been in Hell,  Philip," Mom questioned;
          tears in her voice, "no Christian could be in Hell."
               "I don't know Mom,"  I said wiping the tears  with my hands,
          "I just know something terrible happened.  God spoke to me..."
               "What did He say Philip?" she interrupted.
               "He kept telling me how He wanted me back and that He wasn't
          going to let me go unless I surrendered my whole  life to Him.  I
          finally gave in and everything went  away.  I still have some  of
          the  drug  stuck  in  me  or  something  because  I  can't  think
          straight."  Often  during our  talk as we  drove into Omaha  that
          afternoon I would loose track of my thinking and became confused;
          my sentences fragmented.
               "Philip," Mom said trying  to gain control of  her emotions,
          "what can  be done to help you physically?   I don't know what to
               "There's a drug of some kind that is used to help people who
          have  had bad  trips.  It  somehow helps  them come down  off the
          drug.   I know the doctors you work for  would know what it is; I
          just don't know what it's called."
               During the  remaining miles, I  related in detail  all which
          had happened during the night.
               Turning on to our street, the  car slowed and stopped.  "Are
          we home Mom?"
               "No," she  said her  voice shaking, "we're  in front  of the
          church.  I want to take you in to see Pastor Anderson."
               Climbing from the car, I felt  the hot August sun strike  my
          head.   My skull felt as though it had  been cut open and exposed
          to the elements.   I remember thinking  it felt like my  head had
          been washed out  with water; my thoughts fluttering  out like wet
          multi-colored moths.   My thoughts were exposed to the sun.  Fear
          touched my heart again.  "Would I be crazy like this for the rest
          of my life?  Could I be brought back?
               Entering the church, we pushed into Pastor Anderson's office
          without knocking.  Mom  helped me to a chair and  the words began
          to tumble from her broken heart like a dam burst.
               Eventually  my Pastor  began to  speak with  me but  after a
          brief exchange, he realized I was unable to communicate properly.
          He encouraged Mom  to take me home and to contact the doctors for
          whom she worked.
               I lay in my sister's  bed at the back of our home  and heard
          Mom's hushed  voice talking  to the  doctor.  I  felt the  summer
          breeze  floating  in the  window near  me  and a  lawn  mower was
          running somewhere in  the neighborhood.  Again I  wondered if the
          doctor could help me return to normal.
               "Phil," he said, leaning over me.  "I'm Dr. glover.   Do you
          remember me?"
               "Yes," I replied weakly, "I know who you are."
               "Phil," he began, "this is very important.  How long ago did
          you take the hallucinogen?"
               "I can't  remember for  sure but it  was sometime  late last
          night.   I think  it was around  10 o'clock last  night.  Several
          hours before, though, I took a couple of diet pills."
               "Just two?" he wanted to know, "not more?"
               "No," I said confidently, "just  two and that was many hours
          before I took the LSD."
               He  was  silent  for  awhile  and I  knew  he  was  mentally
          calculating the hours that had passed to determine if it was safe
          to use the drug needed to bring me down.  "Phil," he said softly,
          "I think it  is safe to administer  a drug called Thorazine.   It
          will make you  sleep.  It's  mid afternoon  right now and  you'll
          probably  sleep through the night  until tomorrow morning.  Don't
          worry; that's normal."  I  could hear him preparing the injection
          and felt relieved it would all soon be over.
               Following the injection,  he said, "Phil,  you rest now  and
          just let the drug put you to  sleep.  I think everything will  be
          fine when you awake tomorrow morning.  You will be very  tired so
          rest over the  weekend."  I  heard him leave  the room and  again
          speak in hushed tones with my Mom  in the living room.  As I  lay
          on my  back, the colors began to fade  slowly from the corners of
          my mind.  The hum of the lawn mower in the distance began to fade
          and I closed my  eyes.  I slept.   An hour later, however,  I was
               "Mom?" I  called from the bed as I sat up.  "Mom?"  I called
          again  and crossed  to the  open door.    I heard  someone coming
          quickly down the short carpeted hall.
               "Philip,  Philip," are  you ok?"    Her voice  was high  and
          almost frantic.
               "I'm  fine Mom,"  I said  weakly,  leaning against  the door
               "Here," she said reaching for my arm, "let me help you."
               "I don't want to go back to the bed...take me to  the living
               "Setting on the  couch, I leaned back into  the cushions and
          sighed.  "Why are you awake Philip?  The doctor said  you'd sleep
          till morning."
               "I know,"  I said, my  voice raspy,  "I heard him  say that,
          too.  I don't know why I'm awake but I know one thin..."
               "What," she said too quickly, alarm in her voice.
               "The effects of the LSD are gone."
          Mom and my  youngest sister, Ruth, stayed with  me throughout the
          rest of the late  afternoon and evening.  I talked  with them and
          told of some of my  experiences and what I had done over the past
          six months.   My oldest sister, Saundra, had  felt something like
          this was going on and found it difficult to face  me that day.  I
          was able  to fall asleep that night but was totally exhausted the
          following morning.
               I pulled myself  from bed, Sunday morning, but  felt as weak
          as a sick kitten.  Mom  tried to encourage me to remain  home but
          remembering my promise of the night before, I dressed and went to
          church.   I  had  never felt  so  tired.   I  spent  most of  the
          afternoon in bed attempting to recover.
               The  next few  days were  difficult.   I  wrestled with  the
          feeling of guilt and deception.  I  had stolen money from my Mom,
          riffled  her drawers in search of  money, prescription drugs, and
          anything else  I could use to my advantage.   I had lied about my
          whereabouts for many weeks and kept secrets.  Now it was all laid
          to bare.  My family  found it difficult to know how to  deal with
          what  they had learned.   There was,  of course, the  fear that I
          might go right back to that life  style and my Mom was determined
          to isolate  me from that threat.   It was eventually decided, and
          with my full  indorsement, that I would  fly to Dallas to  stay a
          couple of weeks with my other older sister, Kay.  Her husband was
          attending Seminary and it was thought  that my stay might help me
          deal with all that had happened.
               My  last  LSD  trip  had  occurred on  August  8,  1969  and
          following the two weeks I spent in Dallas, it was time for school
          to begin.

                            End Of Chapter 8

                             LIQUID PURPLE


                              PHIL SCOVELL

                           Copyright 1991-2004

                            By Phil Scovell

                          All Rights Reserved

          Reproduction of the book  entitled "Liquid Purple" is granted  by
          the copyright holder, Phil Scovell,  if such reproduction is done
          in the  spirit in which it  was given.  It may  not be reproduced
          and sold  for financial gain  without written  permission of  the
          copyright  holder: Phil  Scovell.    Electronic  formats  may  be
          distributed freely  but this  copyright notice  must remain  with
          each  copy and  the  text cannot  be  altered in  any  way.   For
          convenience, this copyright notification may be placed at the end
          of the document  if reproduced electronically.   If chapters  and
          sections  of the  book entitled  "Liquid Purple" is  separated in
          file  form   for  convenience  of  electronic   reproduction  and
          distribution,  this copyright notice must appear somewhere within
          each individual file.


          Phil Scovell
          840 South Sheridan Boulevard
          Denver, Colorado  80226-8017
          Web:  WWW.RedWhiteAndBlue.ORG
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