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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Black Ring: Prologue, Part 2

It was just all so sudden: he walked over there knowing her parents wouldn't be home, walked in without knocking as he normally did when they were gone, and stepped into her bedroom to see Ian and Julie lying there nose to nose. What were they doing, or what would they say they were doing? What would be their excuse?
 “We were just discussing the deeper meaning of life and preparing for future lessons in philosophy for college when a seizure overcame me and Julie was giving me mouth to mouth and you walked in at the moment her tongue became disengaged from my throat,” Ian might say.
Or maybe Julie would chime in: “It's not what it looks like, I was just practicing on Ian what I was going to do to you later, after all he is a suitable stand in, don't you think? When I'm screwing Ian, in spirit I'm really screwing you!”
At any rate, it was over, for both of them. As he reached his house, he was determined to find his own way. Sure, he had already been accepted into the same college as Julie and Ian, but he didn't have to go there. He might have just barely squeaked out a 3.0 GPA when school was all said and done, but he'd find somewhere to start a new life with new friends and a new girl. Maybe he wouldn't go to school; maybe he'd just dive into the workforce. There might be a lot of sharks in the water ready to devour a small fish like him, but he was more up for the challenge of that then having to see either Julie or Ian ever again.
He made his way to his room avoiding any eye contact or words with his mother or stepfather, afraid the slightest bit of human interaction would send him into a barrage of tears and unstoppable shakes. As he went into his room he quietly closed the door, as much as he wanted to slam the door shut several hundred times he knew that would quickly arouse suspicion. Once he was in his room he quickly drew the blinds to make it as dark as possible in the room. Eventually, they would come to his house to tell him that what he had seen was an accident of some sort, and at that time he would alert his parents that he didn't want to see them. Of course, they wouldn't stop at the door, they would try knocking on the windows when the door didn't work and he didn't want to look at them.
Right now all he wanted to do was turn off his mind and give into a movie or TV show or something that didn't require a thought to enter his sad little brain. Maybe Tenacious D, the HBO skit “Death of a Dream” seemed apropos at the moment. What was the next step in the death of his dream? Maybe Door to Door Rocking? No, there's too many memories to be had with Tenacious D to keep his mind on the current situation at this time. An action movie might fit the mood better. For sure a few explosions would cheer him up a bit. Maybe Predator. The idea of a humanity murdering unseen alien force ripping through a team of special ops soldiers only to be thwarted in his scheme to take over the world by an overly ripped Arnold Schwarzenegger seemed to warm his broken heart. It seemed like an allegory for the soul: the Predator was his heartbreak, and now Schwarzenegger must be his mind fighting back the heartbreak and ultimately defeating it.
As he lay on his bed, huddled under covers and pillows watching his mental metaphor on film, it came much sooner than he expected. He heard the rat-a-tat-tat on the front door followed by the muffled sounds of his mother talking to someone. The edges of his sight became black and his vision blurry as his heart began to race with the sound of footsteps making their way down the hall toward his door.
 “Bryson, Julie and Ian are here to speak to you,” came the typically soothing voice of his mother through the door delivering this message of certain doom.
Thickly he replied, “I don't want to see them right now.”
 “Why not?”
“I don't want to talk about it. Please just tell them to go away.”
 “Okay,” the response seemed to almost question if this was truly his wish, but she reluctant seemed to trudge back down to the hall to deliver the message. He heard her muffled voice from the front door followed by the sound of it closing. He started to breathe a sigh of relief, but the sigh caught midway in his throat as he realized this can't be it. Sure enough, the steps came back down the hall once again. “Can I come in?”
 “Not right now, Mom, I'm indecent.” He felt like a fool as the words came out of his mouth. Was he now transported to the early nineteenth century that this phrase now issued from his lips. Of course, he knew he meant this more about his mental state than his physical appearance.
“Okay, well if you need to talk about anything, your stepfather and I are here for you.”
“Thanks Mom,” the words came out thicker than before and he had a hard time getting them out as a couple tears leaked onto his cheek. Of course, he would never talk to his parents about what happened this day, not in twenty or a million years. They'll question his choices once he makes them, but they were his choices to make and they'd just have to accept the fact that he made them. Right now wasn't the time to think about those choices though.

Not to mention the attack on his mental state wasn't quite over yet as the rat-a-tat-tat came to his window.

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Black Ring: Prologue, Part 1

Everything was beautiful outside when Bryson had left his house, or at least he thought it was. Now that he was returning there in shame everything was losing its color. What once was a bright deep blue sky now took on a gunmetal gray sheen, and the green grass he passed through was masked by what appeared to him as ominous shadows, an omen that should have foretold the coming doom that was spread out before him as he had left his house. As he reached the sidewalk he couldn't bear to even look at the cars that passed by for fear of more heartache and that doom would reach through the window of a passing car and rip his stomach out the way his heart had already been ripped from his chest. Such a thought didn't ease him any, and as he made his way to the nearest tree he felt all the life drain out of him, just as the sick spewed forth from the stomach that remained within him drained down the trunk of the tree.
How could this happen? Just a week after graduation, everything seemed to be in perfect order. He was enrolled in college, the same college that his best friend, Ian, and his girl, Julie, were enrolled in. It seemed like it would be the perfect set up. He was almost certain that when they got to school he'd be rooming with Ian, and Julie would be less than a stone's throw away. Maybe later on they could rent a house or a large apartment together, most likely after Ian found the love of his life like Bryson had. They could do everything together, and why wouldn't they: Bryson and Ian had been friends since they were six years old, and he had been dating Julie for the last four years. They were practically family.
Of course, “were” was the key word now. That one word incensed Bryson as he picked up the pace on his walk home. The walking pace didn't last, though; as he thought more about the word “were” he quickly went from a brisk walk to a run. “Were” ruined friendships. “Were” tore apart lovers. “Were” broke apart families. “Were” brought nations to their knees. “Were” caused the world to stop spinning. “Were” was a destroyer of the future. If the world ended today, aliens would pass by the wreckage and say, “There WERE humans there.” When you die you're conversations with other dead people would most likely begin, “If I WERE alive...” “Were” was the most useless, no, heartbreaking word in the English language. Then again, “Was” wasn't very far off, in Bryson's mind. “I WAS going to college,” he thought.
How could he have been so stupid, though? He always felt that Ian was making eyes at her, or whatever it was called nowadays. Bryson lived in such an old school world in his mind though that he never thought once of it let alone twice. Seriously, though, how could he have forgotten the way Julie looked at Ian though? Bryson knew he, himself, was lazy, but he could have taken Ian's place as captain of the soccer team easily if he had the ambition. He could have even run the Math League had he not been busy with World of Warcraft. Captaining the football team might have been a tad bit harder, but Bryson was confident he could pull it off. Okay, maybe he was kidding himself a little bit. Wait, a little bit, try a whole lot. There was no way he was as good a person as Ian, and that made things hurt that much more. He knew he had never been on his level. For Christ's sake, he would be lucky if he finished undergraduate school, let alone go on to further education like Ian had planned.
In all honesty, he could take betrayal from Julie more than he could from Ian. There was more than one occasion where she had left him in the past and he had always taken her back. Even Ian had wondered why Bryson had always taken Julie back. Bryson never had a question in his mind about it though. Each time Julie left him, he took her back with open arms, no matter what had happened. Why wouldn't he? She was the class president and captain of the volleyball team. On top of that she never neglected her jobs on the yearbook staff and as the editor of the Astronaut Herald at school.
All in all he wondered where he fit into their schemes and things. He tried playing sports his freshman year of high school but gave that up when the coach pissed him off. There was that time that he spent a little bit of time in school choir, but got himself kicked out when he had the whole boy's section cracking up in class as he made fun of the teacher. Now that he thought about it, he was more known for spreading joy through the lower levels of the student body with his shenanigans than he was ever known for his school spirit or academic valor while those closest to him embodied those latter qualities.
Now here he was, running the gamut through every emotion dealing with loss, while Ian and Julie lay canoodling in her bed. That's why he went over there; it was supposed to be him lying there nose to nose with Julie, not Ian. They had made plans today to lie around and do nothing, sit around and do nothing, or walk around and do nothing. Had she become so tired of doing nothing that she was driven to the arms of someone more like-minded?


Friday, October 25, 2013

The Story Behind "Bloodletting"

I’m torn on my feeling about this Social Fallout song. I enjoy it but I feel it’s a little too different from the rest of Social Fallout’s material. I also feel like some of my lyrics are a little too cliché. At the same time, this is also one of my angriest songs lyrically, and the lyrics serve the title in a personal sense for me. I was going through some personal issues where I felt that I was getting screwed from many different directions. I wanted to put my frustrations to song while being vague about my personal situations.

Another reason I’m proud about this particular track is the fact that it doesn’t contain any cursing. I wrong this around the time that Mushroomhead released XIII, and they created that album with no cursing. Seether’s Karma & Effect was also an album that had come out recently that contained no cursing. The choice to avoid cursing wasn’t a moral choice, I don’t find anything wrong in cursing; this was merely an artistic decision. I felt that using curse words would be an easy way out artistically and it was best for me artistically to avoid that.


While I do in retrospect find this song to be a bit of a mess (our attempt at progressive hard rock/metal that became more meandering than anything), I’m still proud of our attempt at experimentation. This song also probably took the longest to finish of all the songs that we did. I had a hard time finding the melody for the track, and the bridge was particularly difficult, which explains why I decided to devolve into screaming it besides giving those lyrics emphasis. You can catch the originally recording of the track as it appeared on Chapter 1: Peaceful Aggression below.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Bloodletting

Where did this all begin
When will it all end
At a time when we bleed the poor to feed the rich
In this sad sick nation of ingrates
Where we feed our ambition with the decision
To take what we can and desecrate the rest
The bones of our dead become fodder for crows!

Is this what we have left
To burn our cross in disgrace
Is it time to give in?

So slit the throat of our children's hopes
Cause the rich are getting richer
On keeping the poor where they are
So let's find hope in the hopeless
The truth in the lies
And die fighting
Or just sit on the sides!

Is this all we've become
Am I screaming to deaf ears
Is there no turning back?

Is this all we have left
To burn our cross in disgrace
Is it time to give in?

Make me believe
I am nothing
And I might back down
Give me the flame
Start up the fire
And I'll burn this down
Down to the ground!

Is this all we've become
Am I screaming to deaf ears
Is there no turning back

Is this all we have left
To burn our cross in disgrace

It's not time to give in!

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Story Behind "The Chalice"

I actually don’t have much to say about “The Chalice”. The idea came about because I hadn’t really worked with Flash Fiction before. Flash Fiction is a very short version of the Short Story. These stories are often 1000 words or less, and that was the length I set for myself when I wrote the story. I have since worked in Flash Fiction once before, but it’s still not a large part of my repertoire, so to speak. In all honesty, that was my main inspiration going into this story.


The actual concept of the story, I’m not really sure from where the idea came. If I may be so blunt, this is the story of a vampire transformation. I used to be really into the concept of vampires, and had even planned out a vampire novel trilogy at one point that I may or may not try to write at some point. The idea of leading up to the transformation and then cutting it out leaving whether it worked or not to ambiguity really sparked my interest. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Chalice

Jake looked down at the glass that was set before him. The thoughts that crossed his mind didn’t automatically turn to what would happen when he drank the contents. No, instead they turned to the contrast between what stood before him and the booth of the restaurant where he currently sat. The booth stood as a representation for the diner: very nondescript with a green and red theme running through it as if the owners wanted to remind everyone of Christmas when they entered.
It’s funny what runs through your head when your life is about to change, he thought to himself. Staring at the glass, Maybe it should be called a goblet or a chalice instead. He thought to himself that maybe they should have found a different area for this; a high scale restaurant where the cup wouldn’t seem so out of place. The men accompanying him thought differently though.
Ivan and Gerald sat across the table from him. Dressed in Versace suits and wearing their Ray-Bans, they didn’t quite fit in here either, especially in the middle of the night when only the drunks looking for something more substantial than Taco Bell would be apt to visit this particular venue. That was one of the reasons for choosing this place for the task at hand though: people were less likely to take notice of the peculiarity of the situation.
Jake picked up the glass and examined it closer. The entire chalice appeared to have been crafted of solid gold with the bowl encrusted with various emerald, ruby, and clear colored precious stones.
 “Is this the Holy Grail?” Jake asked Ivan and Gerald.
“Of course not,” Ivan responded.
“You can almost guarantee the actual Holy Grail, if it exists, is being kept somewhere deep in the Vatican,” Gerald chimed in. “We have no interest in that. Besides, anyone who knows anything about the myth of Jesus Christ knows that he was born a carpenter, not the king everyone was expecting. His cup was more likely made of clay and possibly adorned with lead. So if he did exist maybe the lead could explain his delusions of grandeur in later life. He should thank the Romans for executing and saving him from becoming as mad as a hatter in later life.”
 “So where did this come from?” Jake further inquired.
 “We can’t just give away trade secrets, Jacob,” Ivan chimed in. “Once you join us we can tell you more, but for now you just need to trust us.”
Jake wasn’t sure how much he could trust them though. They had initially met half a year ago in a tavern downtown. Ivan was about to get into it with a hothead who frequented the establishment and stood about twice Ivan’s size. Luckily, Jake knew the guy and talked him down. Jake had always been the type to keep the peace, and he didn’t like fights in his bar. He waved down the bartender and bought them each a shot. The hothead drank them both and was on his way. Once a week for the next several months Ivan and Gerald would run into Jake at the tavern, and since Jake was always a loner they felt the pleasure to keep him company.
Finally, a few weeks ago they brought up this meeting. It took Jake a few weeks to warm up to the idea; after all, he had never talked to Ivan and Gerald aside from at the bar at night. In the end he figured what harm could it do? Now that he was staring at the goblet he wasn’t so sure he wanted to go through with this.
 “Listen,” Gerald said, “there are sacrifices that have to be made, but that’s like anything. If you want to lose weight, you sacrifice food. If you want to get drunk you sacrifice sobriety. If you want to find love you have to sacrifice self. That’s all you’re doing.”
 “We started off right where you are,” Ivan said, “but we can attest to the way our eyes have been opened since we took the exact same step that you’re taking tonight. Sensory deprivation heightens the senses.”
 “To truly live, Jake,” Gerald said, “first you have to die.”
Jake shuddered at the thought of this last comment. He wasn’t ready to die, but they had told him before he would come back. That was part of the reason that they chose to do this here: so he would feel safer, and because the wait staff would just assume he was a passed out drunk. What if they were wrong though? Could they just be freaks who get off on murdering people in public?
Jake peered into the goblet. Knowing what was in it, he had to suppress the need to gag. It appeared to be red wine, and he made himself believe that’s all it was.
 “If you have your doubts still,” Gerald said, “we don’t have to do this tonight.”
 “No,” Jake said, “I’m going to do it.” Jake raised the chalice to his lips. After hesitating for a moment he poured the warm liquid down his throat. He suppressed the urge to allow the drink to return to its golden home, and didn’t remove the cup from his lips until it was all gone. For a moment he sat there swallowing the contents of his mouth to make sure that the drink stayed down, and then he spoke, “Now what?”

 “Now, we wait,” Ivan said. As soon as the words left Ivan’s lips Jake could see the vision at the corners of his eyes become blurry. He started to feel tired, sluggish. His arms which he had rested on the table fell limply to his sides. I hope this is for real, was the last thought that passed through his brain as Jake’s entire world faded to black.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Story Behind "How Happy Am I?"

For those of you who might have missed it on Armadillo & Sands I used to be in a hard rock/metal band called Social Fallout. I was the lead singer and lyricist for the band. Typically, the way our songwriting would work is that the guitarists, Robb and Tim, would come in with riff and as a band we would form that riff into a song. Sometimes I would write my lyrics as the rest of the band was crafting the song, other times we’d make a rough recording of the song that I would take home.

In the case of “How Happy Am I?” the song was actually crafted around a bass riff. Our original bassist, Jim Massey (who went by Jim Nasty because he swore that he couldn’t have his real name out there because I mobster-type was after him for sleeping with his girl), brought in the riff and we went right to building the song around it. The entire song was written in one practice session. It was the first song we ever wrote together. Jim wasn’t too happy with the finished product; he envisioned the song that would spring from the riff would be much heavier.

The melody to the song came to me almost immediately when I heard the bass riff, as well as the lyrics, “How happy am I.” I then crafted the lyrics around the idea of what people perceive when they see people in need. I felt, and still feel, that we put too much focus on what people will do with the help that we offer, than we do on the fact that we at least did something right.

The line, “How happy am I/ To feel dead inside/ When I give you life” deals with the idea that there must be something wrong in my life that prevents me from being able to find the joy in helping another human being. There is a certain duality to the speaker of the song. In the verse the speaker refuses to help, in the chorus they question their own willingness to not help someone who appears to be in need, and in the bridge (“Why does it matter/ As long as I do what’s right”) they realize the error of their decision.


This isn’t my favorite song that we wrote together, but I do think it was one of the most commercially viable. Being our first song, we didn’t write it with the concept of making something that was “radio friendly” or anything like that; we never had that in mind throughout our short “career” as a band together. This did feel to me like it could have been a single though. You can hear the originally recording of the song from our album Chapter 1: Peaceful Aggression below.

Monday, October 14, 2013

How Happy Am I?

See the man in the gutter down the street
He needs some money
For some food and a nice place to stay
So I walk right on by
And pay him no mind
Cause I know he just wants some booze
And I say

How happy am I
How happy am I
To feel dead inside
When I give him life
I say
How happy am I
How happy am I
To feel so dead inside
When I give you life.

See the woman walking down the street
She's got five kids
And no money to feed all of them
So I walk right on by
And pay her no mind
Cause I know she's never satisfied
And I say

How happy am I
How happy am I
To feel dead inside
When I give her life
I say
How happy am I
How happy am I
To feel so dead inside
When I give you life.

Why does it matter

As long as I do what's right

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Story Behind "The Soul of Andrew Scott"

“The Soul of Andrew Scott” started as a serialized short story that I wrote early on when I started Armadillo & Sands. I had the parts slightly mapped out, but the story still went a little longer than I originally anticipated. The story was originally meant to go for only four to sex posts, but ended up being seven posts long. I haven’t done any real revisions on the piece, although I did review for some small revisions when moving the story from Armadillo & Sands to here.

I’ve always been interested in the concept of Satan. He’s the ultimate villain, but you rarely see him humanized. I wasn’t really seeking to humanize him here, I did that in a ten minute play that I wrote that you’ll see here in the future. With “The Soul of Andrew Scott” I wanted to focus on the concept that the power that Satan has is given to him by the individual. This was in response to seeing Christians post comments about how we need to watch out for Satan.

The story was loosely, very loosely, inspired by stories like “The Devil and Daniel Webster” and “The Devil and Tom Walker” as well as “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”. The concept was mainly centered on reinventing the idea of selling your soul to Satan as well as defining the motives for his actions. I feel like the end result ended up being partially satirical and partially transgressional. It also sets up the character of Satan in my form of fiction for the possibility of future use, which is something that I have considered.

Naturally, this isn’t a perfect story though. This is just the beginning of this story, and I intend to do further revisions of this story. I feel that I do need to make it more concise and shorten the length. I also primarily placed the focus on the Satan character, and I want to revise it to make Andrew Scott the focus of the story. Since I just reread it for the first time in a while, I think I’m going to sit on it for a bit. I’ll let you know when I revise it though.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Soul of Andrew Scott, Part 7

Andrew slowly placed his head on the table as if fighting some unseen force that was pulling or pushing him down. After a moment he slowly lifted his head and looked around, and that was when the real fun began.
There was a flicker of recognition as he looked behind him to see a stage full of instruments with no band, and a banner behind it touting: Andrew Scott and the Great Wall of Thunder. Horror took recognition’s place as he looked around seeing that he was no longer in Maze, but rather in Billy Goat’s Rockin’ Pub. He looked at me like a little lost puppy dog and I couldn’t suppress my laughter any longer.
“Where are we?” he asked over my howls.
“We’re in Billy Goats’ my dear friend.”
Andrew further looked around the bar in astonishment before upchucking the contents of his stomach on the floor, with the exception of the Jack Daniels I had given him, which will never leave his system. “We shouldn’t be here man,” he said. “Why the fuck are we back here!”
This isn’t the first time I’ve pulled a job like this. As a matter of fact it’s a specialty of mine. Whenever I do such a job I have a little poem I recite to my “clients”. So when Andrew asked this question I felt obliged to recite it for him as well. I cleared my throat; ahem, ahem; and then I began:

Dreams are a place that offer peace
Until a nightmare takes its seat
It will remain even when you wake
You cannot run despite the light of day.

And in the midst I will stand
In that dream I will take your hand
Planting seeds that spread my hate
Until you as man know your fate.”

Open mouthed, unsure of everything he had seen and heard Andrew screamed at me: “What the fuck does that mean?”
Calmly, or as calm as I could muster, I responded, “I suggest you lower your voice, you’ve partially earned my ire and by raising your voice to me you risk so much more.”
Andrew closed his mouth and stared at me, attentive to every word.
“You don’t understand what you have, or I should say what you had. See, I’ve known the greatest love this world has ever been privy to, a love that would have lasted an eternity. I made one simple mistake, however, and I lost it, all of it. I’ll never know that love ever again. Every day that same love is extended to you and you squander it. Never letting it pass through your sad, ignorant brain more than once since you left your parents. The love I knew was near that of a mother and father for their child. Even Jennifer could have loved you, but you took advantage of that as well. If she wasn’t gone, she could have been redemption for you, but you’re an asshole, a creep. You’re the scum of the earth that I seek out, the refuse that no one wants.
“I’m the father of lost causes, the king of con artists, not because I want to be, but because I have to be. You are a lost cause. You should have followed your parents’ wisdom, boy. I’ve heard sheep at the slaughter whose final screams had more musical talent than your whole oeuvre, and no matter what I do you’ll never be rich and famous. You’ll never amount to more than a druggie on the side of the road with a few dreams and no way to facilitate them.”
At this point Andrew was nearly in tears. He had been duped, and with good reason. He wasn’t very bright, he hadn’t been schooled on how to deal with con artists, and no one had bothered to tell him that a hill of beans would mount to more than him in this crazy world. I didn’t feel sorry for him though. His life, no matter how high it rose on a scale of fortune and misfortune, led to this point.
Finally, with the trembling lip of a toddler he said, “But you promised.”
“What did I promise you Andrew? I promised you dreams beyond your wildest imagination. In those dreams I promised you adoration, sex, the ability to do anything you wanted without consequence, and you experienced it all. Never trust a man who puts his hands in a drink he offers you, Mr. Scott. Now you see how that deal ends.
“You’ve still missed the point of this little lesson, but I didn’t expect any less of you. You never knew how to deal with love and adoration; you have no idea what real respect is. I’m not a genie Andrew; I can’t grant you one wish let alone several. When you get screwed by a con artist it’s not the con’s fault if you got duped, it’s yours. Unfortunately, you got picked off by the wrong con. My waking you up from your little fantasy was not the end, it was the beginning. Really, you could look at that as an act of mercy. Be glad I didn’t let you wallow in your proposed fame even more before waking you up. It doesn’t matter now though, you belong to me. Everything you are, you promised.”
Andrew stared, the fright and horror exuding from every part of his being. He had never understood exactly where that part of the promise was heading when he made it, but now I needed to make it explicitly clear. That’s one of the shortfalls of dealing with the ignorant.
“I don’t care if you’re starving living in a cardboard box under an overpass, if I call you: you better come with bells on. If I ask you to jump don’t bother asking how high, but if you can’t reach heaven you can consider yourself a failure. I’m assuming you’re used to that though.” I stood up and looked at Andrew’s bewildered look and chuckled to myself. “Take care, Andrew. And always remember: I’ll be watching you!”
I walked out of the empty bar and didn’t bother to look back at the poor boy. I say poor because he lost everything that day. I haven’t kept much of a tab on him; after all, I had my fun with him. However I do know that he quit the band, moved out of Steve’s place, and has been wandering around California like a nomad. He looks over his shoulder constantly, and his nightmares and past haunt him.
The truth is I’ll probably never see Andrew again; my purpose with him is done. I pointed out the error of his ways while making sure that he never rectifies them. I own his soul only in as much as he thinks he has no other choice, and that to me is the true victory. You people don’t seem to understand the true meaning of free will, but if you have no will the power of suggestion takes over.

Meanwhile, I have other fish to fry. As I scan my mind for future candidates for my unique brand of torture my mind comes to Zhou Long of Madison, Wisconsin. Yeah, I think he’ll do just fine!

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Soul of Andrew Scott, Part 6

Before he knew it, Andrew was playing the Roxy Theater in Los Angeles under the banner of simply Andrew Scott. With my help he assumed the role of solo artist with The Great Wall of Thunder taking the role of just a backing band. The power of suggestion is a splendid thing! He soon found a home at record label One Haven Music and recorded his debut solo album at Jungle Room Recording Studio. Of course, he forgot about most of the recording session in a haze of coke, booze, and pricey prostitutes.
That didn’t seem to matter to the record buying public, though, as Mr. Scott found his album titled Broken Trust Fund on a slow burn to number one all around the world. The Germans were the first to cement its number one status, showing that they haven’t gotten much more musically inclined since turning David Hasselhoff into a musical celebrity. Next he sky rocketed to the top of the charts in Japan, but let’s face it, that’s really not that hard to pull off. Soon England fell to my, I mean his, dastardly charms followed by France, Italy, and even America.
It wasn’t the quick rise that he was expecting, but what more can you expect when you start off the charts at 63. At least he broke the Billboard Hot 100. Each week though he progressively sold more and more till he reached number one after six weeks on the charts. He celebrated with heroine, meth, and a party that would have put the orgies of Emperor Caligula to shame; trust me, I’ve been to them all. Andrew found out that with my help he could do meth, coke, weed, and heroine in one sitting and be completely unfazed with nothing more than the buzz he desired.
Andrew experienced a love and adoration from his fans that few artists this side of The Beatles and Michael Jackson have ever experienced and every artist wanted to work with him. He recorded duets with Madonna, Paul McCartney, Rolling Stones, Jay-Z and additionally had affairs with many actresses and female pop stars that shall remain nameless (only because everyone already thinks they’re sluts anyway, they don’t need my help in that department). With my help and guidance Andrew Scott could do no wrong.
That year he launched a worldwide tour that took him from Australia to Taiwan and back to America with ten countries in between. He won Grammy’s for Best Rock Album, Best New Artist, and Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance as well as performing at the ceremony with a surprise walk on appearance by Eminem. It was one of many award ceremonies he performed at in the wake of our agreement. He even had the honor of shooting a music video on the Great Wall of China (The Great Wall of Thunder did not appear in the music video though).
Everything was going perfect for Andrew Scott. One day, after the tour was over and before he was set to go into the studio to record his second album, Andrew decided to go to Prague on vacation. To be honest, I’m not sure Scott even knew where Prague was on the map, but he found out that at The Hilton in Old Town Prague there was a restaurant called Maze by Gordon Ramsay and he was a big fan of Ramsay’s show Hell’s Kitchen (no one bothered to tell him that there was a Maze by Gordon Ramsay in New York as well). So I met with him one night for fine dining and a cocktail to discuss his recent fame and our arrangements.
When I arrived he had already ordered and was about to dig into a Beef Wellington. “Watchin’ Hell’s Kitchen I’ve always wondered what Beef Wellington and risotto tastes like.” He cut off a huge chunk and shoved it into his mouth. The look that passed across his face was purely orgasmic, exaggerated to the point where he would have disgusted his fellow patrons if it were not for the fact that he was a celebrity. “Oh God,” he said with a full mouth, “this is delicious!”
“Yeah,” I said with a smile, “you enjoying your new found celebrity.”
“Oh man, I have to thank you for that. I never knew it would be like this. You were right, this is all way beyond my wildest dreams. I ran into Madonna the other day, I don’t want to say I tapped that. But, well, you know.”
“Oh, I know. Actually, Andrew, I’m here to discuss our agreement.”
“Do you want somethin’ to eat first? You can put it on my tab, anything you want.”
“No, that’s okay, I’m not the eating type. No, I need something from you, it’s time for you to honor your side of the bargain.”
“Alright, sure, that won’t be a problem. Hell, you gave me all this, I’ll do anything.”
“I was hoping you’d say that,” I smiled and leaned forward a little bit and motioned him to come closer. “I need you to wake up.”
He furrowed his brow as a quizzical look crossed his face. “What?”

“Wake up, Andrew!”

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Soul of Andrew Scott, Part 5

“I don’t know, I’ve had some wild fantasies,” Andrew replied, a dumbass smirk on his face.
“Trust me, the whores of LA ain’t got nothin’ on what I have in store for you. You think you’ve seen heaven, but what you really want is one hell of a ride, and I can give you that. My dreams will make your hair stand on end and when you get off the roller coaster you’ll compare those drugs you took in the past to aspirin. The girls there will never leave you wanting more because they’ll never be more than a cock thrust away. And you want fame, no you think you want fame, but here there will be true adoration. These people will never forsake you, not like your parents did. And your parents! Your parents will be sorry, Andrew, sorry they ever doubted you. Sorry they ever destroyed your CD collection and threw your porn collection in the fireplace back in ‘98. Sorry they ever considered military school as an option for you when you came home drunk after that night of hangin’ with Dennis. You can watch them burn Andrew, in my dreams, which I will give to you, you can watch your parents burn and you can light the fire Andrew.”
The look on Scott’s face was so priceless that it took all that I had within me to keep from laughing out loud. Sheep don’t look that terrified when they’re being compelled to throw themselves off a cliff.
“How d’you know about all that? I never told noone about that shit!”
“I know you haven’t. I know because I’ve been watching you.”
“What, you like that peepin’ Tom shit?”
“At this moment I’m going to request that you shut your mouth, drink your drink, and raise your hand before spoken to. I don’t want to treat you like a cum filled grade school child, but you really don’t want to piss me off.” Naturally, at my instance Mr. Scott took a sip of his Jack and placed his hands politely in his lap. “I’m not some sick voyeur, but I’m purveyor of souls, so to speak. I seek out likeminded individuals that I feel need to be enlightened. This may be well over your head, Andrew, but I kept tabs on you from a very early age. I really began to take interest in you, though, when you were thirteen. Do you recall what happened when you were thirteen, Andrew?”
Andrew nodded slightly, it looked like he was about to cry; like a dumb puppy who just had his nose rubbed in the floor he just pissed on. I was having the time of my existence.
“Don’t worry I’m not going to tell anyone. Jennifer didn’t either. She cried every night for the rest of her miserable life after what you did. No need to tell you how that ended. Personally, I thought it took massive stones for you to do what you did, and I applauded it then, and every life decision you made since then. After all, that’s why we’re here today.”
Andrew timidly raised his hand. I nodded. “Why are we here?”
“So you can officially join my ranks, and so I can show you the wonders of the world. We’d make quite the team, you and I. You’ve got a little evil in you, and some would say I’m evil incarnate.”
“Who are you anyway?”
“Need you ask? You’ve known who I was since the moment I walked in here. That’s why you came over, isn’t it? To find out the truth, to see if I was real?”
“I s’pose. So what you want from me?”
I leaned back in my chair and feigned contemplating exactly what I wanted. Needless to say I had my mind made up for years. I wasn’t going to tell him I was looking for another notch on my belt though. “I want you.”
“Me? Ain’t you got enough people, why you need me?”
“Who said anything about need? I always want one more, each person is unique, special. There are things I can get from you that I can’t get from anyone else. Who knows if I’ll ever use you, but I like knowing I got reserves all around the world in case the sticky meets the icky. So what I want is your allegiance. I don’t just want part of you: I want your entire being. I may never call on you, but I want you ready if I do and if I do, you come without hesitation.”
“Alright, and what do I get in return?”
I slowly leaned forward knowing at this point he wouldn’t, couldn’t, say no. The hook was deep in his mouth and all I needed to do was jerk at the rod to catch him. My warm smile belied the true nature of our conversation. “Your dreams: more real, more excellent, more vivid than you ever imagined them before. I will show you the gift of fame, love, women, drugs, and more without the come down or the consequences. Everything you’ve ever experienced in your life will be dwarfed by what I can show you, by the dreams I will give you.”
Scott sat there as if thinking for a minute, but the decision had been made long before I finished talking. The Cheshire Cat would have been mad with glee at the grin that broke out on Andrew’s face, and I was pleased at the understanding in that smile. He thought he had conned me! He stretched out his arm across the table seeking my hand. I took it heartily. “Where do I sign?” he asked.
“You don’t, you finish your drink.”
“What?”
“You finish your drink. If you would have turned my offer down you would have walked away with a partially empty glass. This, though, is the kind of deal you make over glass of whiskey, and to seal the deal you finish it.”

Andrew looked at the glass and laughed. “I’ll drink to that!” And down the hatch the contents of the glass went.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Soul of Andrew Scott, Part 4

I sat there and watched them play through their set. Scott up there gyrating and dancing around like he was having sex with a ghost in front of all six people who showed up for the display. Elvis’ hips had nothing on this kid. I’ve literally been through hell and the half hour they were on stage was pure torture. Even on the one song in their repertoire that was soft and slow Andrew’s voice emitted a banshee-like wail. Never once, though, did his eyes leave mine.
Finally, the racket ended with their would-be hit single, “Tango in Hell”; the irony wasn’t lost on me. Andrew started making his way obediently over to me; he could see my eyes beckoning him to me. He shimmied his way through the masses telling him they adore him and would follow him to the grave if he would just stop singing. He turned his eyes only out of politeness to those offering him misguided praise, but I didn’t mind by this point: he was mine and we both knew it.
The adoring druggies, I mean fans, finished saying their piece allowing Scott to make his way over to my table. Where everyone else kept glancing at me out of the corner of their eyes, Scott was cool, calm and collected. If anything he was more like a school boy who just figured out there was more to a penis than just the pee. All piss and vinegar, no off switch. He remained drawn to my stare and I could tell he was trying to figure me out, but my mind is incomprehensible. If he could have read my mind at that moment he probably would have soiled himself and spent the rest of his life crying in a corner of the bar until he succumbed to a brain hemorrhage less than ten minutes later.
He flashed me a wicked devilish grin, not realizing who he was giving it to. I returned it and the smile faded from his face. “Do I know you?” he asked.
“No, but I know you,” I replied, savoring the troubled look that started at his chin and rose to his eyebrows consuming his face. “I’ve known you all your life. Watched out for you, built you up when you were down, cared for you when no one else was around. I guess you could say that I’m something of your guardian angel, but I ain’t got no wings. I’ve pretty much known you since you were a small child.”
“So you’re an angel.”
“Pay attention, son, I said I’m something like your guardian angel, but I’m not an angel, not anymore anyway. Besides, angels don’t have time to be meddling in human affairs, nor do they particularly want to when they’re given the task. No, I’m no angel, but I’ve been there for you for years: leading and shepherding you to this moment, this meeting right here and now.”
“Ain’t nobody pushed me here though. How you been leadin’ me all this time an’ I never saw ya?”
“There’s more than one way to lead, kid. I do it mainly by hints and suggestions. You do as I say because you don’t know I say it.”
“What like ESP?”
“Something like that.”
“Sounds like bullshit to me.”
I allow the smile to fade from my face which prompts his to return. I lean forward slowly and he leans back. The smile on his face quickly fades, but only for a second. He’s completely unaware of how everyone is looking at us, unsure of exactly what’s been going on. “Tell me, Andrew, why did you come over here?”
The look on his face as it went from that shit eating grin to a blank stare to an utterly perplexed look of anguish was delicious. Naturally, my smile returned with a flash of danger I don’t think he quite noticed. “I just felt like I had to, like I needed to be here.”
“Because you’re a moth drawn to my flame Mr. Scott. Look around you. All of these people here are afraid, because they don’t understand. They are the darkness scattering away from the light, and none of them know why. They haven’t earned, don’t deserve, what I’m going to give you.”
“How can you possibly do that?”
“You don’t have a drink in front of you, are you thirsty?” I pointed to the still full glass of water before me, I wasn’t really thirsty when I ordered it. “See this glass, Andrew? When I came in here I didn’t get this glass of water for me, I got it for you.”
“I don’t want no goddamn water, I can get my own drink. Hey…”
“You didn’t let me finish, and I suggest you don’t interrupt me again.” I didn’t notice in my slight spell of anger, but Andrew looked around as if the lights dimmed. The barkeep ran into the backroom. “I knew you wouldn’t want water, but I don’t pay for drinks. So viola…” I stuck my finger in the glass and after a couple of stirs the clear liquid turned a dark amber color. “…and you’ve got Jack Daniels.” Just once I’d like to whip up a drink for someone with taste, but they’re harder to screw with.
Scott picked up the glass and examined it, wide eyed as a doe about to be hit by a truck. He took a sip, and set it down shaking. “How did you do that?” he finally asked.
“Does it matter? Isn’t the more important question why I’m here? Shouldn’t you be asking why me? Aren’t you wondering in the least bit why I’m just now showing myself to you?”
Andrew shrugged, “I guess.”

I sat back and laughed and the bar cleared out. “Well, doesn’t that beat all! You really don’t care huh? Wow, you really are a simple man. That’s fine though, that’s all right. Son, I’m here to show you things you’ve never thought about in your wildest wet dreams.”