Scare It Forward

Note: Scare It Forward is a form of storytelling in the same vein as telling ghost stories around a campfire.  This year, there will be three different tales of terror written by 13 different authors who will contribute a chapter as they scare the story forward.  Every fourth day a new chapter will be published.  This is the second tale of terror in the series.

Dan Dillard

Chapter  1

Normally, the rumble of the bike underneath him was comforting. Normally, he loved the freedom of the road on two wheels, it energized him. Normally, he loved the raw power and speed. At that moment it all seemed like a sick joke. Rod “HotRod” McIntosh twisted the throttle back and watched the speedometer hit ninety… one hundred… one hundred and ten. It wasn’t fast enough. Nothing was fast enough.

Thirty minutes before he was playing slide guitar at The Crank. It was a banner night in the bar and his band, Barbarossa, was smokin’. They’d never felt the music so strongly and didn’t know if it was the whiskey or the cocaine but, forgiving the pun, everything fired on all cylinders. The tall red-head seated at the bar showed him just enough skin to catch his attention and just enough attention to let him know his night was only going to get better.

During the break after their first set, he’d gone to the bathroom for another quick line and she was waiting for him when he came out with a passionate kiss. It filled him with a warmth he’d never known. Then she slid a piece of paper in his pocket, never letting him go with her delicious green eyes. Then she lovingly ran her fingers across his left cheek and left him stunned  and leaning against the old, gray, plank-wood wall with the Harley Davidson sign dangling from a sixteen penny nail.

Then, after he got back on stage she seemed to disappear. He played through two more songs with the same ferocity as the first set, maybe a bit more sensuality to his style. It was as if he was trying to lure her in with electric sex. The saxophone player matched his intensity and the small crowd of fifty, maybe seventy-five roared in appreciation.

Rod nodded at the singer on the final note of their version of “Roadhouse Blues” by The Doors and then put down his black Les Paul for a quick beer and a switch to his blonde Fender Telecaster. It dawned on him he hadn’t read the note and he fished it from his pocket as he took another swig. The paper smelled like perfume, something he didn’t normally like, but it brought that warm feeling back. When he unfolded it, the feeling was replaced by confusion and nausea. Four words were written in what looked like calligraphy. The ink was crimson and had run like a bad paint job.

I have your soul, is all that it said.

Rod shrugged and looked into the crowd. She was seated at the bar again, staring straight at him.  He smiled. She smiled back with razor sharp teeth. Her eyes rolled over from brilliant green to all black and she licked her teeth with a blood-red forked tongue. Then the image disintegrated into a mist. Rod shook his head and thought about the combination of coke and Jack. Normally, it wasn’t a recipe for hallucination, but he’d used considerably more than usual.

A voice hissed in his ear, “Rod.”

He snapped his head to the right and she was there, under the entrance to the restrooms, sharp teeth and black eyes. She disappeared again. He closed his eyes and counted the heartbeats that pounded in his head, drowning out the sound of the crowd. She appeared again in the front row sliding one long claw across one of the patron’s throats, spilling blood on the edge of the stage. Then a few tables back… then as the bartender. Finally everyone in the building, including his bandmates had long, red hair, dragon teeth and black eyes. They chanted in unison, “Rod!”

He pushed his way through the crowd feeling as if his heart might explode and kicked the entrance door open. His bike stood waiting for him, just as he left it. It cranked up just like always and he left.

..ooOOoo..

As he continued down the road at lightning speed, he played the scene over again in his head. Had no one else seen her? All of her? That perfumed piece of paper was still sitting on top of his amplifier… maybe one of the other guys would see it. One hundred fifteen… one-twenty…

Then his ears filled up with that terrible voice again, “Rod.”

Jason Chalmers

Chapter 2

Rod continued riding into the dark mist, hoping he had only imagined the beautiful woman in the bar. But had he? The drugs and alcohol in his system were certainly drowning away the logic of such an intense evening, though Rod knew what he saw—he couldn’t escape it if he tried.

He sighed and thought further, and was quickly able to pull the remains of whatever strength he still possessed at the end of such a trying day. And one thing was definitely certain; he wasn’t going to fail, and he would do what he had to do regardless of any potential setbacks. Rod would stay as strong on the inside as his exterior portrayed to friends and foes alike.

His stomach began to turn as the tires swerved around the winding road, and his altered senses increased to madness as the mist became a thick fog. Furthermore, the image of those sharp teeth and forked tongue drenched with blood hung over Rod’s head below the full moon. Who was that woman, he wondered while trying to keep a good focus ahead? Was she human? Could it be that she was watching him the whole time, undetected by everyone except for him? Truthfully, there was no way to know unless he went back to investigate, and that was an unlikely bet—a bet a man with only one switchblade would lose.

Rod shook his head and made his way to a convenient store for a quick bite and gas fill-up. What he needed was a fresh breath of reality to get the horrible thoughts of disaster far away from him. What he needed was a real woman to lick his wounds, but it was unlikely to find such a companion so late in the evening. However, what originally seemed like a ghost town would soon become a lively event to be reckoned with.

As Rod stepped into the store to grab some jerky, he saw a group of ladies laughing amongst themselves by the magazine rack. Each one of them was quite beautiful and had a twinkle in their eye. The blonde, the only one of the three to not have a dark complexion, looked up from the pages of an obscure hemp issue to relay a smile in his direction. Feeling awkward, Rod returned a grin and then refocused his attention to the cashier who was counting the change. And once he got his money and bag of jerky, he left the store and went to fill his gas tank—praying the night would soon come to an end.

As the gasoline brought new life to his bike, Rod stared into the black night as if it were a crazed lunatic—a madman who waited patiently until the time was right to follow and dismember whoever dared to go deep enough into his embrace. Then suddenly, as the howl of a wolf pierced his ears, the blonde from the store walked up to his bike. She gave a charming smile and put her hand on the seat. Rod looked into her crystal, blue eyes and waited for a response, hoping it would resemble something kind and giving.

She licked her lips and said, “Hello, Rod. My name is Mindy, and I would like to know what you think about this?”

Bewildered, and unsure how the woman knew his name, Rod stared at her in awe and could not speak a single word, nor could he move his paralyzed feet. All he could do was continue to look in her eyes and imagine the possibilities of being with such a lovely woman, but one with similar features as he had seen earlier in the evening; a temptress who was brighter than the sun but twice as dark and depraved. But perhaps this event would end differently than the one at the bar. Either way, Rod would soon discover the truth behind Mindy’s glare—stunning, gorgeous, and hopefully willing.

Samantha Grant

Chapter 3

Mindy whispered into his ear and climbed onto the passenger seat on his bike. It was only a mile to his apartment, but Rod couldn’t ride fast enough to get her alone.

Rod felt his veins swelling, as he jiggled the key in the keyhole. He inhaled the perfume that seemed to surround and intoxicate him. Her sweet, yet cold breath danced across the back of his neck as she leaned on him.  He jolted the warped door until it released. The two stumbled into the dimly lit apartment. As Rod walked over to turn on the lamp that hung over his billiard table, Mindy quickly turned to lock the deadbolt on the door. Rod caught it out of the corner of his eye. “I just wanna make sure we’re not interrupted,” she said. Rod grinned as he realized that she was indeed willing.

He put the case of beer into his empty refrigerator. The dirty paper plates and empty beer cans strewn across the coffee table, signaled the absence of a woman. Rod suddenly felt the air in the room thicken as if every square inch of it was occupied by Mindy.

Mindy sat on the sofa taking off her black patent stilettos. “Make yourself at home, babe. I’ll be right back”, he said, as he kissed her on the side of her neck. “Beer’s in the fridge”. He hurried into the bathroom.

As he closed the door, he tried to catch his breath. He grabbed a towel to wipe the cold, clammy center of his palms. He picked up the singled edge razor blade that was laying on top of the counter and set up his line of blow. His hands were shaking so much that he struggled to roll the twenty-dollar bill to use it as a straw. He bent closer and inhaled the line straight in, while closing off the other nostril.

He jumped as the towel he’d thrown over the shower door earlier swung as if it had been swatted.  In an attempt to ignore his fear, he turned on the cold water and splashed his face.  He picked up the razor and began to shave. The feeling of Mindy’s icy cold breath traveled up the curve of his spine. The light bulb flickered and the image he saw in the mirror became blurred, dark, and wavy.

As the razor traveled down his cheek, it was followed by a trickle of dark, beading blood. His heart raced violently, as he watched his eyes change from blue to black rhythmically, in sync with the beat of his heart.  The mirror shattered and the face he saw laughed triumphantly and demonically. Thinking he just had a hallucination, he turned away and tried desperately to breathe slowly and deeply.

He pulled the cell phone out of his pocket and dialed. “Dude, what did you cut this with? It’s good stuff. No, man. I got a live one here. Yeah, later. Oh she’s willing. Bye.” He hung up and opened the bathroom door to see Mindy laying on the couch wearing only a t-shirt.

She was laying seductively sprawled on her back with her hand folded behind her head. Her long, toned legs were stretched out invitingly covering the length of the couch. She sipped a cold Corona beer. Rod pulled his shirt off and sat next to her. She reached around him dragging the cold bottle of beer down the center of his back. He remembered her cold breath. He remembered her smile at the convenience store.

Hungrily, she pulled him towards her. His parched lips were quenched by the cold beer on her tongue. He laid down beside her and she coiled her long legs around him, consuming him. He closed his eyes, surrendering. He tried to over power her but was quickly flipped below her. He struggled to move a muscle, any muscle but in exhaustion, resigned himself to being still.

His chest cavity expanded painfully, as she exhaled into his mouth. His breathing halted as she consumed him. He looked into her bottomless black eyes as his tongue glided across the sharp points of her teeth. From every corner of the room, he saw them approaching. A gust of wind threw open his windows and shutters. Their shadows grew to the height of the ceiling. In harmony, they circled around the lovers who were now reunited after centuries of separation.

The early morning sun streamed though his open windows. As he began to stir, he was puzzled by an empty Corona bottle on his coffee table that was crowned by a ring of siren red lipstick.  He couldn’t remember how it got there, but he longed to.

Chapter 4


Brandis Bishop

Rod reached for the bottle and inspected the crimson ring closely with his glazed eyes. Her euphoric smell still lingered through his apartment. A woman was here. Where did she go? “What the hell happened last night?” He slowly stumbled from the couch and to the bathroom, slamming his shoulder against the doorframe. Trying to anchor himself up he noticed the towel on the floor. In an instant, he remembered…the blow, her scent, the blood…the blood?! “Had to have been laced. That crap HAD to have been! That wasn’t real.” He looked into the mirror and his supposed hallucination replayed before him. Attempting to shave, trembling nervously. Her shape leering behind him, breathing down his neck. Cutting himself. He looked into the mirror and touched face. There was no cut, no wound. He looked down into the sink and then he saw it. The razor speckled with particles of blood…his blood. He picked it up staring intently at it, tremoring like a fiend just as he did the night before, this time with fear and confusion. Suddenly blood began to rivulet down his face. He looked into the mirror. There she was, smiling seductively and laughing. He suddenly remembered her name. He spun around swiftly. “MINDY,” he called out, but there was nothing there. He looked back to the mirror. His face was flawless and the razor that looked as though it had been in a crime scene just moments before was immaculate. “What the hell is going on here?”
Rod jumped into the shower, trying to shake it off, freaked out and completely lost. He stood under the hot springhead in attempts to wash away his hallucination. He tried composing himself, trying to rationalize what happened last night. “There’s got to be a logical explanation for this!” He continued his shower in hopes of reviving himself and mustered the energy necessary to go on with his day. If only he knew what lied in the waits for him. He had to find Mindy. He staggered into the kitchen to put on some coffee and grabbed a smoke. He took a long drag off his cigarette looking intently at his couch. He was slowly piecing the evening back together bit by bit, retracing his steps from the door to the couch. He began to remember. Her scent, her lips, her eyes. Her black eyes that stared a hole right through to his very soul. Something he thought he had lost a long time ago. Then he remembered the feeling of her pointed teeth nearing his neck, and the shadows. Shadows continuously swarmed about them as they kissed. Their ominous voices and cavernous eyes gazing upon them. With a sharp flash, he remembered amidst their last kiss Mindy whispered to him, “Join us!” The loud popping of the percolator snapped him out of his recollection. He had to find her. But where? He knew nothing about her, just her name. Was Mindy was even her name? “This is going to be a LONG day!”
Rod consumed with nervous energy hopped onto his bike and took off in a trial of dust. He rode down a few miles. Nothing seemed to strike a chord with him yet. He began to furrow his brow in frustration when he came across the store where he picked up Mindy. Maybe he might find a clue. He parked his bike and walked slowly to the door, looking back at the gas pump where he and Mindy rode off just hours before. He swaggered into the store and took a good look around. He saw nothing of any use to him and his plight. He glanced over and saw the cashier looking as bored as ever behind the counter, thumbing through a porn magazine. Rod approached him and began his game of 20 questions. “Hi there, do you remember a group of ladies that in here last night, a blonde in particular?” “Yeah, they were in here for an hour or so. Meeting up somewhere they were,” said Joseph quite lazily never once looking up at Rod. “Did you happen to hear where they were going or why” Rod asked inquisitively. “Look, they were going to set up for some kind of shindig at the old Ranford Ranch house on the top of that hill I guess. You know, the one the city is going to tear down next month,” Joseph answered clearly getting more annoyed by the minute. “But that place has been abandoned for over twenty years. What the hell were they doing wanting to hang around up there, “Rod inquired? Beyond irritated by his questioning, Joseph muttered back, “How the hell should I know? I just work here. Does it look like I am paid to eavesdrop? They were jabbering something about a welcome party for a new “keeper”. I don’t know! You gonna buy sum thing or not!” Realizing he was not going to get much more out of him, he grabbed a pack of Marlboro’s and was on his way. “The old Ranford Ranch huh? Well, that’s a start.” Rod anxiously got back on his bike and headed west toward the abandoned farmhouse. “I’m coming Mindy…I’m coming for you.”

David C. Hayes

Chapter 5

Rod rumbled toward the secluded ranch. His bike kicked up dust on the dirt road and he slowed, approaching the front gate (which hung open at an odd angle resembling pictures Rod had seen of old women with scoliosis). The full moon shone brightly, illuminating the desolate area, dilapidated ranch house and rotting stables. Once the dust settled nothing moved. Nothing made a sound… like not even the creatures of the night wanted anything to do with this place.

Rod looked around, unsure if he was in some bad b-movie or real life. The ranch screamed out late night midnight flick but he could still feel Mindy on his skin… and the redhead. So many questions.

He dismounted his bike and carefully, making sure to make as little noise as possible, walked it toward the front entrance.

As his eyes adjusted to the moonlight he realized there was some activity. A small, orange light shone in one of the broken ranch house windows. It looked like a candle or small oil lamp. Rod stopped short, staring at the light…

It moved, only a foot or two, but it moved. Rod smiled.

“Gotcha,” he breathed.

Rod parked the bike and moved toward the door, as stealthy as his rock-legend-in-the-making wardrobe would let him. Leather boots creaked, too heavy for sneaking on the gravel, rings and bracelets jingled. He glanced toward the window to see that the orange light had disappeared.

“Damn!” under his breath.

Rod, rock and roll ninja, continued creeping in his own way toward the door. He stood before it and took a deep breath. Rod reached for the knob, slowly. It took every ounce of Rod’s will to make his hand move, at a crawl, to the door knob. Within a hair’s breadth his fingers brushed…

As the door opened. Rod looked up, startled and bathed in light from inside the ranch house. He covered his eyes with his arm, startled.

“Aah! What the hell?!”

“Don’t be afraid, Roddy… welcome home.”
Rod recognized Mindy’s voice and, as his eyes adjusted, he took a defensive stance. Still blinded from the bright light Rod could only make out a large dark blur… or was it two?

“Awww. He’s so cute when he’s defenseless,” another voice chimed in. Definitely two.

“Whatever he is let’s get him in here.” A third voice… Rod knew it.

“Hey, I don’t know what…” Rod started. He looked up and into the light. Still bright but there was more definition now. He could make our Mindy, the redhead and a brunette. Each of them gorgeous, alluring… dangerous.

“You don’t need to know, yet,” the redhead said, “bring him in Mona.”
The brunette, obviously Mona, smiled and approached Rod. He flinched. She smiled. A toothy, hungry smile. Rod was afraid. Quite possibly for the first time in this weirdo show. Nevertheless, Mona’s smile spoke volumes.

“Two for flinching,” Mona said. She lifted her hand and blew Rod a kiss.

The little breath of air hit Rod like sledgehammer. His eyes drooped and he stumbled, Mona readied her hand again and shot another bazooka kiss. This one nearly bowled Rod over.

“What the fu… ?” was all Rod could manage before he blacked out.

***

Rod woke up, blinking at the gloom. The last thing he remembered was a bright light and three beautiful women. The room he was in was non-descript or, better even, bare as a bone. He looked around making wide circles with his neck and reached for this eyes… and discovered the issue.

Rod looked down to find that he was standing and his arms were stationary. He was holding his guitar. Legs, feet, none of it was in working condition.

“Hey! My guitar!”

Straining against some kind of invisible bond Rod tried to move. Gritting his teeth he grunted and groaned in vain.

“He works so hard,” a voice in the darkness declared.

Rod looked up quickly, trying to see anything in the dark. Flashes of white skin, red hair, blonde hair and shiny ebony swirled around him.

“Hey! Stop this! Let me go!” Rod cried out.

“Let me go he says,” that was Mindy.

“Stop this, how original,” the redhead.

Before Rod could realize what was happening, the women were mere inches from his face. Each of them nude, gloriously nude. Their alabaster skin seemed to be luminous, providing their own light. Rod reared back as far as only his neck would let him. Quite uncontrollably, Rod began to whimper.

“I don’t understand,” he whined, his voice a full octave higher.

“You will,” Mona leaned in to breathe in Rod’s ear, “you will. Tell him, Maggie.”

The redhead, Maggie, spread her arms wide. She smiled at Rod, licking her ivory teeth. If possible, her skin glowed even brighter.

“We need you Rod… we need you to play!”

Rod, confused, immobile and just a little bit dense closed his eyes in response. He whimpered.

Mindy took her fingers and placed them none-too-gently on Rod’s eyelids, forcing them up. Rod squealed.

“You heard the lady… play,” she said.

The guitar in Rod’s hands rumbled. Panicked, Rod looked down to see all six of the guitar strings snap with twings and twangs. He looked up to the women but they simply stared at him, fascinated.

Rod looked back down and his guitar strings were flailing around. They were anchored at the bridge like normal, but the strings had a mind of their own. Or, more accurately, three minds of their own. Mindy stood and two of the strings, the E and the A, plunged into Rod’s right hand. He screamed as the steel wires worked their way through the meat and gristle of his wrist and populated his first two fingers like gloves.

Mona stood and the D and G string repeated the process on Rod’s left hand. Like thin metal ticks, the string burrowed through muscle and wrapped around bone. Two more fingers populated.

Maggie stood. Rod could only watch, in agony, as the final two strings (the thicker E and B) rose with her and wiggled in front of his face. Maggie smiled.

“Please,” Rod whined, “no?”

The steel strings, with stunning speed, wrapped around Rod’s head and slipped themselves in his ears. Bursting through ear drums and basilar membrane the strings plunged into the auditory cortex near the base of Rod’s brain, sloshing around in the soft tissue and getting comfortable. Although with or without the strings Rod would have no idea what part of his brain was just violated, he knew something was wrong. Rod’s eyes rolled backed in his head as the E and B strings gave their final twitches.

Rod could only quiver in violated agony, a living instrument now. The women then joined hands and Rod began to play.

For the first time in Rod’s life, he could feel the music. He thought he jammed before or that the music touched his soul. This time, he was the music. It came from him and the pain faded and the fear faded and Rod himself faded until he was nothing more than rhythm, tone and melody…

***

Rod sat up in a panic. It was morning and the broken windows and dust let him know that he was in the old ranch. Remembering, he looked down at his hands to find nothing. No scars, not cuts, no strings. Rod reached for his head only to find the same old flesh and bone noggin’.

Rod remembered the music, though. He remembered being the music. His body sagged at the thought.

Rod stood and, as he did, a small white piece of paper fell from the folds of his clothes. He stooped, grabbed it and stood. Before he could even open the note he recognized the smell, a mixture of Mindy, music and lust.

The note read: Wonderful performance. Encore tonight.

Rod smiled at the thought of becoming again. That is what he decided to call it. Becoming.

He sat back on the floor, pressed the note to his lips, and waited.

Chapter 6

By BURT WARDALL

Rod got to his feet and began to pace around the room. He discovered that his body ached. And he felt sort of drained.  Was he coming down from whatever high he’d been on? Starting from the age of 15, at one time or another, he’d medicated himself with just about every drug that had ever existed. But never had he ever experienced a high like he had last night. Nothing had ever felt so weird – yet so wonderful… so real. Whatever it was, he had to have it again. And he had to have it soon. He didn’t just want it. He needed it.

Rod spent the entire day in the old ranch house. It seemed like an eternity. At various times he felt as if he should go home to eat, or to shower. But he couldn’t do that. The anticipation was too great. What if they were to come back while he was gone? He couldn’t risk that. Besides, he barely had the energy to wander around the house. Whatever had happened  to him had sapped his strength. He needed “the becoming” to get it back again.

Finally after several hours the sun began to set. Rod felt the time was drawing closer.  He continued to wander around the house, waiting… and waiting. Until out of the corner of his eye he caught a glimpse of that familiar orange glow. He quickly turned his head to focus on the light – only to have it disappear, followed quickly by the sound of playful female giggles. Rod squinted his eyes but saw nothing. He shouted out, “Hey, where are you?” But no reply came. Rod charged forward in the direction the voices had come from, only to find nothing. Then the sound of scurrying feet echoed behind him from the area he’d originally been standing.

“Over here Rod. We’re over here,” came the unmistakable voice of Mindy, followed once again by giggles, and the scurrying of feet.

Rod slowly moved across the room until he found himself staring down a long hallway. Had this hallway been here earlier? He couldn’t remember. He couldn’t remember anything clearly right now. All he knew was that something was pulling him down that hall. Rod made his way to the end and found himself in front of a closed door. Reaching out and turning the knob, the door blew open, bathing Rod in that same orange light.

“Hello Rod” an unfamiliar voice called out. Rod stared straight ahead at the statuesque female form that stood 10 feet before him. She stood at least six feet tall with long, flowing blonde hair. she was wearing a sheer red outfit which left nothing to the imagination. Mindy, Maggie and Mona crowded behind her, peeking out from behind her curves, smiling and giggling softly.

“Welcome Rod,” announced the tall form. “I heard you played for my lovelies last night.”

“Who are you?” asked Rod.

“I am Malina.” And in a stern tone she replied, “These are my girls. They belong to me. And now you do as well. Tonight you will play for me.”

Rod stood there speechless, but with scared and eager anticipation.

A seductive smile crossed Malina’s face. She turned her head and called, “Mindy?”

“Yes my queen?”

“Show my new toy Rod how we play. Warm him up for me.”

Mindy moved around in front of Malina and made her way over to Rod. Malina looked over her right shoulder and motioned for Mona and Maggie to follow as well.

The other two descended upon Rod until he was engulfed in a shower of limbs. Rod lost himself in the moment, unaware that his clothes had somehow been removed. When the girls backed away, Rod caught his breath and looked down. And there it was once again – his guitar was now held firmly in his arms.

Chapter 7

Rich Orth

Another morning he awakes to the clammy cold sweat.  It engulfs him, as if his very soul were drowning.  Now the three have been joined by a Queen, Malina.  Was she the controlling factor.  Rod was loving the attention, though sometimes questioning his sanity.  Maybe, just maybe, this was his ego manipulating his vanity.  Years of cocaine and alcohol fueled nights catching up.  At this point, seems it has caught up, passed him by, and is dragging him along.  Extracurriculars had driven his career, a career that in all honesty did not pay for beer or cocaine, let alone the rent.
Rod became tortured, incensed by the words resonating in his head.  Truly tormented, yet attracted to her, she, it, they!  They corrupt him, Rod is starting to love it….His true dreams may come true….Maybe!
The Becoming.  Lyrics were forming in Rod’s mind. Another night and another “session”.  He was the music, the ladies played him with reckless abandon.  The initial pain , well, seemingly was worth it.  Unequivocally frightening, but damn was it exhilarating.  Rod truly did not understand what was happening and despite awaking with no signs, he knew this was no dream.  His days repeatedly spent anticipating night.  For the command performances, the ecstasy of being the muse.  But this music needed words.  Rod had never delved into lyrics, he was happy with the good paying cover gigs. Well, good enough he once thought!  Where to begin, and would it please his evil, yet seductive Trinity and their new Manger, Malina?  Were they the ones controlling his thoughts.  What does it matter, Rod was their toy and as long he wasn’t a chew toy, he could live with the situation.  Out the door, onto the bike, it was time to clear his head, before filling it with his first attempt at an original tune.  Well, Music by the Trinity, lyrics surely by Hot Rod McIntosh…surely?
Rod’s ride was shortened by a flash storm.  He had past the Ranford Ranch House, but something told him to head home.  He needed to force pen and paper.  The song had manifested…it commanded to be heard.  Soaking wet, Rod finally had reached his destination.  Home, or was it?  Barely in the door, a Marlboro lit,  Bud from the fridge..it was time.  Pen in hand, paper found.  Thoughts bled words, they formed before his eyes pouring from the wounds.  Rod had imagined, well always dreamed, he would be a star on stage…Major venues, but cover bands were local at best.  Even major cover acts can bore, oh god they abhor.  Originality is the real thing, and Rod knows he has found it, or at least it has found him.  Barbarossa was in need of a new member.  No more bitching about who drives, what time to meet, or sloppy playing.  God how much he hated that band.  A rhythm section that was always in question.  The train wrecks that occurred much to effin often.  Now, He would shine, Rod would be the Star…………Not just tonight, not just in front of these girls, succubi, might be a term, but in front of the masses, black as they appear!  His new light..to a brand new day.
So as the page flooded with words….Rod not only lost himself..he was buried…suffocated, but damn, he smiled, sneered, worth it , YES!  Never, never could he have believed, I have climbed to the pinnacle…even if the words, well even if they deceive.
…………..
Becoming, belonging
Surge that I feel
The longing, seething
Soul they shall steal

Searching, longing
Merging as they deal
Smiling, beguiling
Climax so unreal

Trinity crucifies me
Laughter as I bleed
Push me, Manipulate me
Walk away or concede
continue on as they feed

continue on as they feed

Becoming, belonging
Secrets silently concealed
The longing, seething
Bloodlust slightly congealed

Searching, longing
Converging on the seed
Denials, Reviles………..
Horrors,,,,,,,,they retrieve

Trinity crucifies me
Laughter as I bleed
Push me, Manipulate me
Walk away or concede

Walk away or concede

Rod read the words.  Discerned the power… Yet succumbed to their wares.  His smile was no longer his…his life?????

Chapter 8

Bob Beideman

He awoke, slumped over in the threadbare chair that faced the kitchen. He shook his head to clear the fuzziness, and found it didn’t help.

Must have dozed off…so tired…last couple days have taken a lot out of me…

He remembered the lyrics; there were probably still on the kitchen table. He sat up and gasped out loud, his heart stopping.

The three of them were facing him. The black one sat at his kitchen table; thin, a neat fringe of beard on his firm chin. The two others were white; one leaned against his apartment door lazily, heavy and full-faced, jet black hair thick and combed back. The second was lean and wiry, with a cynical sneer and a strong equine nose; he sat on the sofa facing Rod. All wore black leather jackets, jeans just this side of ragged, and dark shades.

“Welcome back,” said the black man.

Rod found his voice after a long moment. “Who…”

The wiry one leaned forward cutting him off. “We don’t have a lot of time. Listen up.” He had an accent; English, but not the upper crust BBC one. This was guttural and hard; working class.

“You met them. You played for them,” said the black man. “Right now you’re feeling pretty good, even though part of you is scared to death. But you don’t know what you’re in for.”

I need to clear my head, thought Rod. Do a couple lines, wake myself up, make sense of everything…

The thick-bodied one stepped forward and in one easy motion slapped Rod across the face, hard. There was a flash of bright light inside Rod’s skull, and his head rang in pain. The man may have looked bloated, but there was serious muscle in that bulky frame.

The man leaned down and yelled in a deep, Southern baritone. “The coke ain’t gonna help ya, HotRod! Pay attention!”

The wiry one stood up. “They’re eating you alive. You know that? You’re exactly what they look for; weak, with a little bit of talent. You were halfway there before they found you; easy picking.”

“Now, what do you want to do about it?” asked the black.

Rod’s head was spinning. He croaked out, “Do…?”

“Do about it!” spat the large one. “Make no mistake; we don’t care! You want to end up dead in a pool of your puke, that’s your choice! You want to be on their menu? Fine with us! But you get a choice!”

“Everyone gets a choice,” said the Black.

“What you do with it is up to you,” said the wiry one. “We can help, but we’re not going to waste our time if you don’t want it.”

Rod was looking from one to the other, his head still pounding, but the words coming through loud and clear. “Don’t want it?”

“It’s a rush,” said the Black. “Better than any coke, better than any smack, better than anything you can put in your body.”

“It’s power,” said the wiry one. “It fills you up. But it’s not feeding you; you’re feeding them.”

“Nothing is from you, HotRod,” said the thick one. “Don’t you ever forget that! It’s all from them.” He walked over to the table, and picked up the lyrics Rod had written the night before. “’Surge that I feel…Soul they shall steal…Push me, Manipulate me, Continue on as they feed…’ You got it right.” He crumpled the paper into a ball and threw it easily at Rod. “Pretentious crap, but you got it right.”

The funhouse images of the last several nights came back to him: sharp teeth, black eyes, forked tongues, guitar strings like tapeworms burrowing deep. Music that soared higher and clearer than anything he’d done.

Than anything he could do…

He understood that now.

“Who are they?”

The three glanced at each other, then English spoke. “You don’t need to know that now. Just know they’ve been around forever.”

“They love music,” said Southern. “They love all art; painting, writing, anything…but music makes them cream like nothin’ else.”

“They just need a vessel,” said Black. “As near empty as possible.”

“That’s you, HotRod,” said Southern.

“You’ve got a little talent,” said English. “You’re not bad. But you’re nothing special either. You think you’re better, but you’re not. You coke up, you drink up…most of your mind’s gone already.”

“But they don’t want your mind,” said Southern.

“What…what do they want?” asked Rod.

The three glanced around again, and the Black slowly removed his shades. Rod clamped his jaw shut to stifle the scream, and just barely succeeded.

No eyes. Black sockets; no blood or meat, but no eyes or eyelids. The flesh grew into empty pockets.

“They want your soul, Rod,” said Black. “Just like the note said. They already have it; you gave most of it up yourself. They just want what’s left.”

Rod didn’t bother to ask how they knew about the note, just as he didn’t care how they got there or how they knew his name. He didn’t want those answers anyway. “Why? Why me?”

“Because you’re vulnerable, like we said,” said Black. “You want it. In a lot of ways you’d give anything for it, even though you know it’ll kill you. You’re the biggest junkie of them all.”

“They’ll keep you around a while; give you everything you want, make you everything you want to be,” said English. “But you’re everything they want you to be. They’ll use you, and they’ll feed and feed and feed. And when there’s nothing left…”

“Which won’t be too long with you,” interrupted Southern.

“Then you’re damned and done,” continued English. “Worse than dead. Not even a soul left.”

Rod swallowed, and after a long moment, he whispered, “Is that what happened to you?”

For a moment he thought Southern was going to hit him again; he could literally feel the hot rage pouring off him. But then his shoulders slumped, and his voice dropped low. “Yeah. Pretty much.” English looked up at him sharply, with his own rage in check.

Black spoke softly. “Some go quickly…”

“Others take a long time, whispered Southern.

“And some manage to break away, and think they’ve escaped,” said English. “So they take them another way. They don’t forgive, and they never forget.”

There was silence in the room now, heavy and dark as the night outside Rod’s window. Finally, Southern seemed to shake himself. “So…what’d ya want to do?”

Rod eyes opened wide, the change of subject startling him. “What?”

“You’ve got a choice, Rod,” said Black.

“But we’re not gonna waste our time on anyone who doesn’t want help,” said Southern.

“Doesn’t…want…?”

“You’ve been eating your own soul for a long time,” said English. “They’re just speeding things up a bit. You want the power? You want that rush? You liked it that first night; hate to tell you this, but it’ll never be that good again, but it’ll still be good…”

“You can keep that feeling right up until the day you die, Rod,” said Black. “None of our never mind.”

English leaned in close, inches from Rod’s face, and Rod had to keep from screaming again; he was sure he could see the empty sockets behind English’s dark glasses, and the intruder smelled of rotting meat. “You’re welcome to go to Hell any way you like. But if you want to get away…if you want out of their clutches…we can help.”

“If you want it,” said Southern.

“If not,” said English, “we go out the door and let you be. You go back to them and let them suck you dry.”

Rod licked his lips, trying to swallow the bile rising in his throat. He was scared, he was so thirsty, and his vision was blurring. He closed his eyes hard, and the memory of that first time came back; raw, immense, better than the best sex he’d ever had, stronger than his first taste of smack, electric and pulsing more than that perfect blues riff played long to the screaming, sweating bar crowds.

It was so good, and he wanted it again.

And that terrified him.

“Yes,” he whispered.

“Yes what?” shouted Southern, and Rod leaped in his chair.

“Yes…I want to be free of them.”

English stared hard for a full minute, then: “I don’t believe him.”

“Me neither,” said Southern. He pointed his finger and jabbed it hard into Rod’s forehead. “He thinks that’s what he’s supposed to say. He’s still weak,” and he spat his contempt at Rod’s feet.

“Yes, he’s weak,” said Black. “Granted. But he said ‘yes’.”

“He don’t mean it,” said Southern.

“Maybe not now, “ said English, and he nodded towards the black one. “But he’s right. He said yes. Benefit of the doubt, right?”

“Right,” said Black. He reached below the table and brought up a cheap metal cup and a crusty wafer, and laid them on the table. “All right then. There you go.”

Rod looked confused. “What?”

“Drink this,” said Black, indicating the cup, “and eat this.” He pointed towards the wafer.

Rod shook his head again to clear it. “That…that’s it?”

The three laughed abruptly, a short sharp bark from all of them before they looked at him soberly again. “Not even close, HotRod. You’re in the eye of the storm right now; it’s gonna get a whole lot worse before this is over.

“But it’s what you need,” said English. “I’ll warn you; it’ll burn like hell. But you need to do it.”

“What is it?”

“That’s not important either,” said Black. He stood up. “You drink it, you eat it, and that’s all you do.”

“No more coke, Rod,” said English. “No more coke, no more smack, no more booze, nothing! You stay clean!”

“You’re gonna need to,” said Southern.

“And whatever you do, don’t go near a guitar,” said Black. “Not now, not until this is over. Maybe never!

“Never?”

“Listen up, Rod,” said English. “I’ll say it again. You’re not bad, but you’re nothing special;, no more than any other working stiff out there. You’ve got a future of bar bands and cheap rooms and growing old with only a handful of people knowing who you are. You don’t want that, but there it is.”

Rod started to protest, and the black one cut him off. “I know you want more, Rod; but that’s not in the cards. You’re gonna have to live with that. Anything else is from them.”

Southern leaned down and stared straight at Rod, and his voice was surprisingly gentle now. “But you get to stand on your own two feet. You get to walk instead of crawl. You’re nobody’s dog; you’re nobody’s dummy. You get your own voice and your own life and your own soul. That’s something they’ll never give you.” He stood tall again. “That better be enough.”

The three started for the door, and Rod stood up quickly. “Wait!”

“Stay inside, Rod,” said Black. “Don’t go out, no matter who comes to the door. They know we’re here, and they aren’t happy.”

“Stay clean and stay strong,” said Southern. “You’ve no idea what’s coming.”

“But you’re not alone in this.” English reached for the doorknob, turned and smiled a wry smile at Rod. “We’ll be in touch.”

“See ya ‘round, HotRod,” said Southern.

And Rod’s jaw gaped open; he felt his legs tremble and give out, and he sat hard as he saw, actually saw, for the first time since the three had arrived.

John opened the door and held it. Elvis walked through; John followed.

And Jimi closed the door behind them.

Chapter 9

Mike Bacon

Rod watched his three visitors leave… He closed his eyes for a moment, trying to think.

“Man I really do have to get myself clean!” he thought to himself.  The last few nights were like ghost images in his mind. He could remember bits and pieces, but was beginning to blur reality into fantasy.

Was any of it real? Or was it all a drug and booze induced crazy hallucination? First the women… Now the intervention by three rock legends. Three dead rock legends.

Had they really been there? What the hell was going on? Rod remembered a book he had read when he was a kid. “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. The ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come…

The visitors that had just left his place somehow made him think of that. Rod started to chuckle… then he began to laugh. Soon he was laughing so hard tears were running down his face. After a few minutes of this Rod knew what he had to do.

He went to the bedroom, and found his stash of coke, and grass. He looked at it for a long moment, and wavered.

“Can I do this?” he wondered.”Do I really want to do this?”  He knew the answer.

He grabbed the stuff and strode into the bathroom with it. He emptied everything into the toilet. He flushed. The mercenary part of him thought; “That was $300.00 down the dumper. Literally!”

Rod didn’t have much, but he still had his soul. At least part of it, if he was to believe his three visitors.

Next he went into the kitchen, and opened the fridge.  There were the remnants of a case of beer. He grabbed it, and started pouring it down the sink. On the counter was a bottle of Tequila. That followed the beer.

Now for the really hard part… His guitars.  The blond Fender Telecaster and the black Les Paul…

Don’t go near a guitar!” he had been told…

Rod decided to leave the guitars for now. Maybe his three visitors had very little faith in him, but he was determined to follow their advice. He had already dumped his booze and drugs… He needed to clear his head.

He decided to get on his bike and go for a long ride. He grabbed his keys and went to the door.

He opened the door, and screamed. Malina was there, and she was not happy.  She bared her teeth in a rictus-like smile.

“Do you think you can get away from me that easily?”

Chapter 10

Richie Weird

He staggered backwards, the fear gripped him. Squeezed at his heart. He clutched his chest and gasped for breath as he fell against the wall, sliding down it into a crumpled heap at Malina’s feet. She’d stepped into the room, the door now closed itself behind her.

“So you met the boys?!” Her ruby red lips quivered in a sneer of loathing. “They told you to clean up your act, tried to help you to put the brakes on the downward spiral you’re in?” She shook her head, laughing with a distain only a woman stood towering over a pathetically helpless man on the floor could.

“They’re all gone! I’m off the gear… Off the booze… Off it!” Rod gasped. Already coming down, already feeling the monkey on his back. The cold chills running up his spine. The cold sweats running down.

“Off it?! You can say that again.” Malina gave Rod a gentle prod with the pointed toe of her stiletto. He winced. “Off your head, if you think you can escape from me. I know everything about you Rod. Do you really think all of this is some unfortunate accident of circumstance? I know what ‘the boys’ told you. I’ll tell you… You were chosen! Carefully chosen for your weaknesses, as much as your talents.”

“Go screw yourself! Bitch!” Rod shouted with all he could muster.

“If you insist,” she said flicking back her hair. “Are these yours?” Rod looked to where her voice and piercing eyes gestured. In out-stretched and up-turned palm lay a small pile of purple diamond shaped pills. Familiar to any Internet loser who’d been spammed for erectile dysfunction and herbal highs among other unsolicited solicitations the World Wide Web was famous for. Rendered speechless he could only glare in horror at his pitiable secret, which rested now in the palm of her hand. She smiled, and already knowing all the answers she wanted, closed her hand so as not to lose a single one on the journey to her opening. In a single swift motion she gripped and flexed and the pills hit the back of her throat and slid down her neck with an unnaturally lubricated ease. A forked tongue flickered briefly, tasted his fear and disappeared again.

“Impotent! You sad, sad little thing. You’ve lived your whole life creating every experience through chemical manipulation. Nothing about you is real. You’re a freak, awash with chemicals. Mr. So-Called-Rock-And-Roll.” As she spoke he noticed her hands move down her body coming to rest on her inner thighs. She eased her dress up, to reveal the full horror beneath. Rod recoiled in disgust, but found himself unable to turn away. There in the darkness between her legs he could see something growing, pulsating, stretching out towards him into the light.

“Who needs man? Good for pleasure, you bringers of pain. But what else are you really any good for?” The red eyes of the serpent glinted in the shadows. She grabbed it by its head, and forced it back into the darkness. “Even when you belong to me, your not worth having,” she said as she stood there. Holding back the still growing, writhing snake in her left hand, she pushed it downwards again, reaching round from between her legs with her other hand, she grabbed the head of the beast, trapping it between her legs. He watched in absolute stunned silence as she raised her right leg slightly, standing on the tips of her toes with both legs comfortably apart. She slowly began to gyrate her hips in a shallow ellipse. Dancing like Salome, slowly and seductively. It was a few seconds before he noticed along with her grinding, was a gnawing sound. Then the pool of blood moving towards him across the floor. The red rivers running down her legs. Having finally eaten though the very sinew of the scaly beast, she pulled her right hand from behind her back a raised its served head triumphantly into the air. There in her blood soaked grip writhed the remains of the scaly serpent, “I’ve been trying to get rid of that since the very beginning! Just would never leave me alone. Glad to be rid of him finally. Every day, since the Garden, every tormented day. Here you can have him, I’m done with him for good.” With this she threw the hissing demon at him. Fangs first!

Chapter 11

Brian James Lane

How many days had it been?  Rod was fighting his demons, both literal and figurative.  Time seemed to flash by while simultaneously dragging on forever.  He had cold sweats, sleepless nights, and long stretches of self-loathing.  He couldn’t keep anything down.  Rod thought about the box of saltines in the cupboard and ran to the toilet, barely making it in time.

Vomit spewed forth for the countless time since he had flushed his blissful escape down the same porcelain god he now knelt before.  Rod didn’t know if the sickness was brought forth from going cold turkey, or the repulsive visions he had seen, or the fact that reality had been creeping through in small doses.  He was starting to remember things.  Things that sobered him up more than being confronted with his addictions, chemical-induced impotence or the constraints of his own talent compared to what the coven could give him.

Coven.  Holy crap, Rod realized.  Malina and her subjects are witches.  Not the glamorized Hollywood version, or wanna-be new-age Wiccans, or even the seductive succubi Malina and the other women portrayed themselves to be.  These were ugly, horrid witches.  Old and diseased, inside and out.  Warts and all.  Witches – just like the cliché cardboard cutouts every child knows about from Halloween.

Memories from the night at the old Ranford Ranch came in a torrential downpour.  The women lured him in, seducing his flesh.  But flesh can be satiated.  When Rod had been spent, he caught glimpses of their true forms.  Horried, wrinkled, sickly old flesh, gnarled and liver-spotted hairy-knuckled fingers and toothless gaping maws doing things to his body and each other he could not push out of his memory no matter how hard he tried.  The reality of what they were and what he had done with them gave Rod uncontrollable dry heaves again.

His body was more than just fatigued from throwing up.  The muscles of his stomach were taught and ached on a level that convinced him he might just as well die to be rid of the hassle.  Rod almost wanted to eat something just so he could throw it back up.  These unproductive dry heaves felt like they were literally killing him.

When sex no longer held an appeal and the last vestiges of their façade had faded like the evening twilight, the coven explained their bargain.  Malina, Mindy, Mona, and Maggie each had a gift from their Dark Lord to bestow on Rod, should he serve the will of the coven.

“Gift?” Rod had asked in spite of himself.

Maggie had walked up to him, no longer a voluptuous redhead but a short, fat little sprite of a woman, as wide as she was tall.  Her lips wrinkled and covered in a brittle, white moustache.  Her nose was bulbous and a filigree of capillaries hinted at decades (perhaps centuries) of alcohol abuse.

“I can make your talent amplified.  Your best day doubled.  Tripled.  I can make you more of what you are good at, Rod.  I can make you better.”

She handed him his Fender Telecaster to demonstrate, seemingly pulling it out of thin air.  Rod played a familiar riff from one of the cover songs Barbarossa usually played at the Crank.  Something from Bad Company, he remembered.  The riff changed and evolved as Maggie held up her sausage like little digits and spoke a silent prayer.  Rod created and played like never before.  It was as addicting as any drug he had ever tried, and an unexpected smile had erupted across his face.

Maggie threw her hands down and Rod was suddenly unable to continue.  He tried again, only able to go back to Bad Company.  His smile vanished almost as quickly.  “Just a taste.” Maggie said, backing up.

Mona approached next.  Instead of raven-black hair and blue eyes, her eyes were red rimmed and eyelids at a perpetual half-massed state.  Her voice was slurred and Rod immediately recognized her as being high.  Her papery skin, no longer alabaster and flawless, hung lifelessly on her bony limbs and beneath her chin.  Rivulets of spittle occasionally ran from one corner of her mouth.

Mona said, “I can make you famous.”

Mona circled behind Rod as his mind flashed with images.  He saw Mona standing behind Poe as he wrote, Picasso as he painted, Jennifer Anniston on the set of Friends, Hendrix on stage playing the national anthem.  The last image jolted Rod back as he remembered Jimi’s recent warning.

Seeming to know her portion had ended abruptly, Mona opened her mouth as if to speak and then shut it again.  She retreated to the shadows of the deserted farmhouse.   Mindy was next.

Mindy was still blonde, but her roots were grey.  One eye was milky with a cataract and the other looked away at an impossible angle.  Her arms and legs were pock-marked with countless needle holes surrounded by inflamed and angry looking sores.  Spidery purple veins shot out from the wounds like an electric storm.

“I can hide the past.” Mindy explained.

Memories flooded back to Rod, then.  The time his mother’s live-in boyfriend molested him when he was eleven, the time his mother found out what they had been doing together and kicked him out of the house at thirteen, what Rod had to do on the street to survive, the time Rod split his girlfriends nose while he was coked out of his mind, the time he tried to OD on sleeping pills and vodka, the time –

All the painful memories abruptly stopped and Rod was so, so very grateful.  He almost fell to the floor and kissed Mindy’s feet in appreciation.  Rod remembered nodding and crying, almost begging for that gift alone.  She smiled and walked back, leaving only Malina.

Malina strut forward, looking skeletal in appearance.  Her red-forked tongue licked at puffy artificial lips.  Her cheeks were implanted with something artificial and her face was scarred with years of plastic surgery and attempts to reverse the ravages of time.  A black wig barely concealed a bald skull.  One breast sagged and the other still perked skyward, impossibly full and man-made by an overzealous surgeon.

She said nothing.  Rod waited impatiently.  “What?” He begged.

Malina smirked.  “My gift is only given when you concede.  It is ten times better than the other three combined.”

Rod found himself breathing shallowly and trying to imagine what gift she could give.  Did he have enough for payment, he wondered.  What could he do for these offerings?

“What, you want my soul?” He asked.

The four women laughed and guffawed.  No, Rod remembered, that wasn’t quite right.  They cackled.  His spine shivered at just remembering the sound.  It was an evil laugh.

“Silly boy,” Maggie had said, “I have your soul already.  I even told you that!”

Rod was confused.  “What then?  What could you evil-muses possibly want from me?” He had asked.

Malina answered.  “Use the gifts we give to lead others to our Dark Lord.”

“Huh?”

“Too bad one of us couldn’t give him smarts, huh?” Mindy said, cackling again.

“Bring the pure to us.  Lead others down our path.  Spread evil.  It’s really quite simple, you daft little fart.”

Rod shook himself back to the present as the phone rang.  Thankful that he didn’t have to relive any more of that awful night, he answered.

“What?” He asked in a stupor.

The voice of the King replied, “Buck up, cowboy.”

Rod sighed.  Was he hallucinating from withdrawal?

“I mean it, son.  Time to cowboy up.  Me and the boys gave you a week to straighten up and fly right.  I think the worst of it is in the past, son.  Now, heaven help us, we need you.” Elvis said.

“Is this real?” Rod asked.

“Lookie here, son.  You have got to realize that there is more at stake here than your sorry ass.  Pardon my French, but this is a most important matter.  We’ve got to get back to business, son.” Elvis explained.

Rod nodded.  “What can I do?”

Elvis continued, “As weak as your flesh is, and as blown as your mind has gone, you are still standing on the right side of eternity.  Don’t let them old biddies tell you the battle is already over.  Ya ain’t dead yet. Down lay down and pull the dirt over for ‘em, boy. It’s time.”

“Time for what?” Rod urged.

“Showdown.” Was all Elvis said before the line went dead.

Chapter 12

By Bill J. White

Rod placed the phone back on the cradle. Showdown—tonight–kept going on and on in his mind. Rod had moved towards the bed when it happened. You know those moments you can feel as the seconds of the clock tick by. Rod turned to go towards the bathroom when it exploded–the air seemed to be sucked out of the room.

The radio suddenly blared—“It’s raining–all over the world. Raining, all over the world.” And tonight’s the longest night, thought Rod. Where were they, the three? Rod could hear them speak–“We’re with you..in spirit. Now go kick some bitch ass.”

The radio started to blare again, but this time it blared a different tune. “Hope you got your things together. Hope you got quite prepared to die. Looks like we’re in for nasty weather. One eye is taken for an eye. Don’t go round tonight. For you’re bound to use you’re life. There’s a Bad Moon on the rise.”

Malina and her girls made their usual appearance. Rod felt completely in control of the situation for the first time since the hags entered his life. “Evenin’, ladies. Nice to see you again.”

Malina spoke, “Are you ready, Rod. Ready to help us?”

“Help you? How, Malina? Help you lead victims to your dark master?” Rod asked. “Malina, what did you and your sisters know about me before you decided to make me your chosen one?”

Malina’s face for the first time had a look of puzzlement on it. The red eyes on her paper-thin face looked towards her sisters. “We chose you Rod–you were weak–your mind was consumed by the drugs and the fame you had accumulated.”

“There was a reason I used those drugs, Malina. A very good reason. The three told me the memories would come flooding back–and they did.” Rod spoke. “You see, I used those drugs to forget. Forget the faces I had
killed…murdered.” Rod laughed as the words left his lips. “The fame made it easy, Malina. Easy to pick my victims.” Young girls who wanted sex from the great and mighty, Rod the Rock Star.” Go look at the moon, Malina.
For you see girls, when you were playing your little game of murder…I was playing too.”

“You see, Malina,” Rod continued to speak. “The three knew my little secret and didn’t tell you. They knew that once I was free of the drugs that controlled my life that it would make it easy for me. Easy to get revenge on you for destroying their lives.” The witches went over to the window. They saw that the moon was full.

“Yes, Malina. Rod laughed. “A full moon.” Maggie squealed, “We didn’t know, Malina. He didn’t appear to be one of them.”

“One of what, Maggie?” Rod asked.

“A werewolf,” Maggie spoke.

“Yes, Maggie–that is my little secret.” Rod growled. He felt his body writhe in pain as he started to shift. His fingers lengthened to that of claws. His body started to be covered in fur. His growls extended to that of a wolf. His fangs protruded from his wolf-like mouth.

“Your blood will make me even more powerful. Thank you, Maggie for picking me…now I own your souls,” Rod howled with glee. “Now I own your souls.”

The TV came suddenly came on–there was Mia Farrow. It was a scene from “Rosemary’s Baby.” No-no. This can’t be happening.” Mia wailed. “What have you done to my baby?” Rosemary cried.

Rod grabbed Maggie by the throat. “This one’s for Elvis and the boys.” Rod hissed. Maggie writhed in agony as his clutch tightened around her throat. “Forgive me Malina,” was Maggie’s last words as Rods fangs ripped Malina’s throat from her neck. Her blood gushed all over the bedroom walls. Her body spontaneously turned to dust. Rob howled in excitement with the taste of Maggie’s blood in his mouth. The other two sisters met the same fate. Each one had their throats ripped from their necks. Rod’s bedroom started to resemble a slaughterhouse. Blood covered everything. “Now–I saved the best for last.” Rod snarled in glee.

“You have no escape, Malina. Your powers have failed you.” Rod snarled. His eyes glared as he grabbed Malina by the arm. “Don’t you want to kiss me now, Malina?” Rod snarled. Rod ripped her mouth from her face. Malina’s body shook in agony. “You wanted my soul–I want your heart.” Rob snarled. He took his claws and ripped her heart from her body.

“He was right–the blood is the life, Malina.” Rod squealed. He stuffed her heart into his mouth and then proceeded to rip Malina’s body to pieces.

The next day the usual headlines appeared in the newspaper, “Israel to build more houses in the occupied settlements of Gaza. The UN prepares to sanction Israel if this occurs.” But way in the back appeared an article. Police are baffled by another “werewolf attack.” The article chronicles a murder scene straight out of the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” An elderly man reads the story with great interest.

“You know a witch who dies from a werewolf attack, becomes a werewolf after death.” The old man tells his wife. They both cross themselves.

That night the nightclub saw Rod again on stage. He looked even more youthful and beautiful than before. He played his licks onstage better than he ever played before. The girls were squirming in their seats with anticipation that Rob would notice them. In front of Rob were three back-up singers and his female lead singer. The club said it was the best act that ever played the club. After Rob had played his licks he sat at his usual seat at the bar. A young blonde female, obviously out for sex with her rock superstar idol in mind, placed a hit of coke in front of Rod. Rod thanked her and gave her a note, which she placed into her pocket. “That note has my address on it…”

“Carol,” she interrupted. My friends call me “Wolfbein.”

“How quaint,” Rob smiled.

Carol went outside the club and opened the note. It did contain the rock stars address–but it also had a quote. Four single words. “I own your soul,” was all it said.

37 Comments

  1. Richie Weird says:

    Okay! So Chapter 10 has been sent. Hope it’s not gone too far! ;)

  2. Bill, you know Elvis don’t you? Jimi? John? I’m glad the story finally took a turn!
    Now what? Angels vs. Demons? Demons vs. Demons? The damned vs. those who might be saved? Lesser of two evils?!
    Suddenly, I want a shot of liquor.

    • William Castle says:

      Or a shot at writing the rest of the story.

  3. Rich great job with your chapter, and to all the other writers keep up the great work. Rich thanks for the plug, lol, I can not wait to read the rest of this, good luck all, not that you need it.

    In Darkness We Trust,

    Aleister Price
    http://www.facebook.com/aleisterprice
    http://www.twitter.com/aleisterprice

  4. Rich Orth says:

    my pleasure Bob..always fun at Camp Castle :)

  5. Richie Weird says:

    Wow! Chapter 8, ‘rocked’!!! Pardon the pun. Just been emailed Chapter 9, so it’s on with my part… I promise Chapter 10 will take this story to some very dark places. Prepare for a hell-bent roller-coaster ride.

  6. Thanks, Rich! To be fair, it wasn’t Bob saying that to Rich; it was Southern saying it to Rod. :) Thanks for giving me a great jumping off point!

  7. Rich Orth says:

    pretentious lyrics huh?? LOL Great write Bob!!

  8. MIke Bacon says:

    Loved your chapter Bob… Tough act to follow but I am giving it my best…

    • William Castle says:

      And Poor you had to write your chapter twice because this dead man sent you the wrong chapter.

  9. rich orth says:

    To Bill, Do get Aleister Price involved next time we do this..We are working on collaborating together ..He is quite the talent!!

  10. angie says:

    Way to go Rich, Love the way the words of a song were added in for the musician,, Rod!

  11. bob antonelli says:

    ..so entertained by this collaborationn…& am thankful for the effort put forward by the writers..w/my master Of the thrill at the helmmm!

  12. Demon Boy says:

    Awesome! Just love the writings of Rich Orth! His part of this story is certainly intoxicating!!

  13. rich orth says:

    Thanks to the writers that preceded me & good luck to Bob & those that follow! And as always thanks to Bill for the opportunity!

    • William Castle says:

      Loving it!

  14. Howard Lever says:

    Sorry, but this story is plodding along like a lame donkey. Compared to this War And Peace is a fast paced roller-coaster ride of a novel. I am sorry, I’m not usually so critical, but this is painful to read. It seems that the writers are just going through the motions, regurgitating the same tired old cliches that have gone before. And it all started so well!

  15. angie says:

    Naw Richie, I love how it is going!! Very intense and looks to be that way right up to the ending!! :D

  16. angie says:

    Naw Richie, I love how it it going!! Very intense and looks to be that way right up to the ending!! :D

  17. Richie Weird says:

    Almost halfway through… Have we peaked too early? ;)

  18. As a fellow horror author and dark poet, i must say this is fantastic thus far. The story, and chapters blend well together, not a beat missed. Keep up the great work, maybe someday I will be able to contribute to a Scare It Forward Project, I do believe it would be spooktacular……..

    In Darkness We Trust,

    Aleister Price
    facebook.com/aleisterprice
    twitter.com/aleisterprice

  19. This is shaping up to be a very interesting story, that’s for sure. :)

  20. Mick Lea says:

    I’ll bet you think you got me hooked ! Well your right; I can’t stand it I need more…

  21. D. Kelly says:

    Impressed at how well the chapters flow together as though written by the same person.

  22. Debra Grieve says:

    Wow! Great story!! Can’t wait for more! Please hurry!! On the edge of my seat!

  23. angie dunnng says:

    Last years Angel Island was great and now this one seems to be headed in that direction as well!!! I’m hooked,,cant wait for more!

    • William Castle says:

      I am so glad we have such an amazing audience.

  24. Richie Weird says:

    Nice! I like the memory loss, that gives the next writer a place to go. Good job.

  25. Mick Lea says:

    MORE !!!

  26. Jason Chalmers says:

    Like where you took it in 3 Samantha.

  27. Richie Weird says:

    Well if it keeps going in this way, by the time we reach Chapter 10, it’s going to be pretty dark and depraved. I like the demonic woman theme, I’ve always wanted to use the Black Widow metaphor in a story. Perhaps that’s the way it could go.

  28. Jason Chalmers says:

    Could be, but the name “Rod” has great potential for many innuendos for many chapters to come. :)

  29. I’m starting to wonder if ‘Rod’ wasn’t the best name choice :) Can’t wait to see where this goes. “Planet Succubus” maybe? Or perhaps he’s trippin’ on something other than drugs.

  30. Richie Weird says:

    As we demented 13 scream down the dark road, not knowing what comes next, I can’t wait until road marker ’10′ is illuminated in our headlights. Keep up the good work guys, looking forward to what comes next.

  31. rich orth says:

    Great kickoff Dan, but of course that comes as no surprise..I am Chapter Lucky 7…can’t wait!!

  32. sheryl kubin says:

    Love it…

  33. Bill J. White says:

    Boy is this gonna be a great one. Fantastic opening, Dan. Loved the way you opened the story. What a phrase–I own your soul. I can’t wait till chapter 13, so i can Scare It Foward.

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