Friday, April 25, 2014

Part 3 (The Finale) Of My H.P. Lovecraft & Hunter S. Thompson Mash-Up, "The Shadow Over Las Vegas."

You ready? 

You only think you're ready.  Trust me. Nobody's ready for this madness. 

First, let's take a deep breath before leaning back and strapping in (and, my, doesn't THAT sound like, what?) and let me say if you are enjoying this, you might enjoy my new collection, Autumn in the Abyss, too. I mean...Jack Kerouac, or someTHING(s) using his form, make(s) an appearance in the title novelette.  Darker stuff, but bound to literary influences.  You'll see...

Okay, now that you've checked the book and fallen in love with the Sexy Beast on the cover and ordered a copy, allow me to intruduce you to...The TRUE Great Old Ones!

Yeah, when in Vegas--Holy Shit! Is that...? 

[lifts the cosmic veil.  Oh, yes, IS!]





     The main event, a cavalcade of Marilyns stomping across the stage, each one made to pout and prance and eventually end up above a grate that shot hot air into their nether regions, lifting their dresses to panty revealing height, much to the delight of the ogling eyes of those in the audience, as well as the so-called judges, a collection of  bottom tier celebrities, no names and nameless, forgettable sorts who gained fame hosting this or that game show, acting on this or that demoralizing “reality” show—really, nothing real there, try these drugs, they will show you things to make your pubes straighten—essentially filling space in the ever obese celebrity fifteen minutes of fame warehouse, was hosted by Mr. Warhol who understood the value of nothing and so made nothing his goal.  Talent, who needs talent? We’ve got faces and bodies and desperation on display and wouldn’t you like to be a star?  And what if they saw what I saw on these drugs, star-bodied creatures, fish-eyed with twinkling intent and who knows what purpose?  Observing this chow line to Hell, Nietzsche’s edict made concrete, the abyss not only looking back but laughing at us—humans--for the folly of our deteriorating existence, I felt the fear escalate; or was that disgust?  I mean, could we not expend a little compassion in this commemoration, instead of making it an extended sales pitch to 21st Century Fox and NASA, “Here, here’s your new star, she’s Marilyn incarnate.  Eat her soul as well.  Make her a star, or send her to one…”

    Pathetic I say, but my take on it would be more succinct: place a bed on the stage and make all of the Marilyns strike a death pose, clothing optional...except for the Marilyn I saw with the Disney-inspired anomalies. 

     What was I doing here?  People watching again, that was always the point of it all anyway, watching the natives stumble like drunken giraffes, flirtations bandied like bad sitcoms, a paradox if ever there was one: the mere format zeroed in on the lowest common denominator; and worse yet, watching the ugly make connections that should short out the electricity in every neon sign in Vegas if their copulating culminated in procreation but no, procreation was not their goal and so, if any sperm won the battle and invaded the egg, I was sure a morning after pill or a clothes hanger three months later would scrape the evidence away.

     People were my business. That and drugs.  Business was plentiful in this obscene parade of demoralized wannabe stars.  Stars, like what the yigs always made me see. 

     My attorney seemed particularly giddy this evening. As we awaited the event’s commencement, we grabbed a table with “Reserved for Josh Brande” posted on it--Brande’s claim to fame: former game show host, hidden video victim caught with his pants down in a most unflattering situation, culminating in a CD release of sappy love songs, his feeble warbling seeming more appealing to weasels than humans--and scribbled our names on it instead, blacking out Brande’s name, only to be accosted by Brande and causing a scene in having him escorted away for impersonating himself: “That’s the man, the imposter: Brande is in Hawaii, we have his itinerary here”—waving my notepad about as if any information within would verify anything passing from my lips—“and the police have been looking for him ever since.” 

     My attorney, giggling now: “And be sure he gets the full treatment, anal probes and gloved fist inspection, that’s where he keeps his stolen Screen Actors Guild card!”

     Brande looked befuddled but it’s probably the best (only) real publicity he (or his imposter?) has had in years.

     Our vibrations were shaky, impatient.

     “Stop this charade and get to the point!” I yelled, toward the stage, where some preliminary entertainment, as in not really entertaining but filling space, had dragged on for way too long.  My attorney handed me a couple of flat green pills that looked like miniature pyramids and said, “Take these.  You’ll really like these.”

     So, the time had come.  I was not about to turn him down, but now it was my time to make a move as well.  I may have seemed oblivious, but I was not dim beyond the duty at hand; I had been debriefed about events in motion, I just did not think it would really come down to me—where was LeGrasse?

     I stopped a long-legged waitress in full gallop with a “Whoa, darlin’,” and set the table for our defense: in defense of the human race.

      “We need two Grande triple shot espressos, double whip, jigger of soy with a pinch of almond and caramel and adrenochrome, and snap to it!”  It was a ridiculously unrealistic concoction, but the waitress only giggled and snapped gum, able to walk and chew with a modicum of efficiency.

     My attorney grew gruff.  “You know how I get around that stuff.  It makes me gassy and my brain hurts and…I want to be in control tonight.”  But he was already losing it, I could tell.  His resistance was already crumbling.  The Starlight Circus’ version of Starbucks was geared toward the space crowd, aliens and astro-wannabes of every sort.  Starbuckaroos: cosmic coffee for space jockeys, grim grounds that left a black hole in one’s soul.  I’m sure this would make him see the truth.

     It would make him see the True Great Old Ones.

     But I could use some help in my simmering battle, not sure how this was going to pan out and why did the FBI even think I could pull this off? 

     LeGrasse, my FBI connection, was supposed to run things, but since he was nowhere to be found, it was all up to me, and I only wanted to watch and ingest more drugs, as I had always done.  Of course, the FBI’s insistence that they could get me any drug imaginable, without recourse, was incentive enough for my cooperation.  But still…where was that fool?

     Our waitress slinked up and set our drinks down.  I paid her and patted her ass, “For luck,” I said.  I was going to need it.

     My attorney and I stared into each other’s eyes, searching for something, making a deal, unspoken, but understood.  We both knew where we stood: with our asses planted firmly in these too hard chairs as the cavalcade of Marilyns began to prance over the grate, and the hot breath of lust blew warmly onto their straining thighs, moistening their objectives. 

     After a slight diversion, entranced by the morbid exhibition, I returned my gaze to my attorney’s.  He had never broken his.  He spoke.

     “I will not drink any of this.  I cannot drink any of this tonight—”

     “Why tonight, my friend?  What’s so special about tonight?”

     As if playing it off, he said, “Nothing special, I’m just…” but words escaped him.  He drooled as the drink, one he had never tasted before, awaited his slithering tongue’s approval.  I had to find a way to break his will, to make him drink, to make him see the truth.

     To save the human race.

     “I’ll make you a deal.  I’ll take these pyramid-shaped pills—”

     “Nyarlathoteps,” he said.

     Nyarlathoteps.  Sounded vaguely Egyptian to me; my perceptions were still sharp. 

     “I’ll take these Nyarlathoteps as long as you drink some of that delicious, mind-altering, hallucinatory liquid magic.”

     He shivered as if a chill ran through him.  His drool was collecting in his massive belly, dripping further, a waterfall of desire. 

     As he continued to quiver, his will being broken by the smells and promise of exotic tastes within the cardboard cup, I tried to play it off as if nothing more was in motion, turning to see the most hideous sight imaginable on the stage.

     “Shades of J. Edgar Hoover, LeGrasse, what are you doing up there?”  But it was obvious what he was doing.  LeGrasse, my FBI connection, was wearing a dress and doing his best Marilyn impression, stumbling over stilettos and mortifying myself and all within reasonable viewing distance as the grate blew up his skirt and the stuffing in his white panties--not an FBI registered gun for sure--throbbed with a life of its own. 

     The groan that passed through the casino was of an eldritch resonance rarely heard.

     LeGrasse winked and cooed, “Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul,” puckered, and blew me a kiss, on the house.  I ducked, not wanting this sorry fool’s wayward affections to corrupt my flesh or focus: I knew his soul was already girdle-squeezed and shrinking with every wobbling stiletto step.     

     I turned back to my attorney, knowing full well that threats without follow-up were worthless.  I raised the two Nyarlathoteps to my lips and popped them into my mouth.

     My attorney took this as his cue to give in.

    “Shit!” he growled, taking the cup and tossing the whole thing down his throat.  He smiled and leered and attempted to grab mine as well, but I needed the caffeinated potion in order to counteract all the drugs that came before and direct the hallucination in progress.

     We were linked as one, my mind and his, mine in the driver’s seat.  His, trembling in the backseat, wishing it were in the trunk.    

     In our eyes the ceiling opened up, and a universe of stars seemed to align themselves in ways I could never imagine. 

     “The stars are right, the stars are right,” screamed my attorney.

     “Not quite,” I said, smiling as satellites within the star systems neared us.

     “What?  What is that?” My attorney scooted under the table.  Around us, people grumbled at our antics, not understanding the magnitude of what was unfolding within our vision.

     The True Great Old Ones ambled into view.  My attorney let out a sound drenched in such fear as to demote all previous definitions of the word to obsolescence. 

     It stumbled from the right side of the sky, the drunken master of dulcet blandness: Dean Martin.  From the left, the hideous cyclopean essence of the ebony one: Sammy Davis Jr. 

     My attorney whimpered with such abandon as to lose all hold on his masquerade, dissolving into a diseased, writhing mound of chum, a squiggly conglomeration of fish heads and tentacles and fins, flaking scales, aged green sea-algae, and serpentine madness.     

     From dead center, the ultimate in crooning egotism, the Lord of Las Vegas, the Grand Meatball…the dread that is--

      “Sinatra!” cried my attorney, falling under His spell.  “Sinatra!”

     As my attorney thrashed about, whiplash tentacles decapitating enough Marilyns to make this more a Jane Mansfield memorial the audience scattered, miffed. 

     All that was left was to let it play out.  As the concert went on--the celestial serenade--my attorney began to melt, captivated, and yet the spell they cast was the one thing that could deter his quest for world domination.   

     The stench attained a pungent magnitude that assaulted my nostrils.  The percolating eddies of his essence reverted back to their primal form, the first boiling seeds of life that swam in the seas.  I doffed my hat in remembrance.

     “You gotta clean that up, buddy,” said one of the casino bosses, dressed in a space suit and looking quite orbital, staring bug-eyed at me through his helmet. 

     “Do you know what I just did?  I just saved humanity from an eternity of slavery at the hands of the Lovecraftian version of The Great Old Ones—”

     “Yeah, yeah, well, we’re trying to put on a show right now and if you’re not going to at least sit down, I gotta ask you to leave.  I mean, there’s a stage full of headless Marilyn Monroes about to do a chorus line and…”

     His rambling fell on deaf ears.  I should have known better.  I was drafted into the role of savior, and what does it get me?  Ignorance from the very beings I was meant to save; annoyance from those who I had just rescued from the infinite drudgery of sub-human existence, cowering at the fins of the slobbering Great Old Ones.

     I felt myself shudder at the bad choices I had made. 

     I wanted nothing more to do with this pitiful race.

     I looked to the floor and my dead friend—yes, he was my friend, even if his intentions seemed nefarious, even if he probably would have eaten me at some point, he was a better friend than any of these castoffs and dilettantes salivating over the obscene display on the stage to my left.  On stage right, the grumbling persisted.

     I grabbed a menu and the marker we had used earlier as I stared at the still singing True Great Old Ones—corrupt, deceptive bastards, all--and began to float toward the stage in the skies.

     Passing by Sinatra, He winked as did Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr.--a momentary flux of blindness that shadowed the whole menagerie in the blackest gulf imaginable.  I gave them the single finger salute, the same one I felt inclined to flip toward the confused mob below me, growing smaller as I surged toward the stratosphere, and as insignificant as insects—I wanted to crush them all.

     Floating onward, I popped a few more shub-niggaruths, a few yigs, took a drink from the Milky Way, and decided anywhere but this ignorant galaxy was fine by me.

     “I hear there are great drugs in the great beyond,” I said. 

     “That’s true, but rumor has it that it will cost you your humanity,” Sinatra said.

     “Humanity,” I laughed.  “A cheap price for a good high.”

     He curled His brow as if a comet where streaking through it.  I held up my hand-scribbled sign, and He laughed, almost as if He understood. 

     I looked at it and smiled.  This choice could be no worse than the one I had foolishly made on Earth.

     I was a Man on the Move—rising higher, deeper into the stygian vista, referring to definition # 2, a., in Webster’s Dictionary: “dark and gloomy”—just sick enough to be confident, crazed…driven

     “Yog-Sothoth or Bust.”        
Well, now that you know the truth...
"The Shadow Over Las Vegas" was way too much fun to write.  Hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did having Lovecraft and HST trample through my brain and out my fingers via the keyboard.
Oh, the Josh Brande reference: in my first collection, The Dark is Light Enough For Me, Brande is one of the main characters in the final story, "Things That Crawl (In Hollywood)."  Yes, that's the story with the, um...the Mutated, Autononous, Still Living Body Parts of the Stars...and Brande's mutated body part, because of plastic surgery, is his...
Stop!  Don't give it all away, John Claude.
Here's Marilyn Monroe, that traitor, getting her groove on with some tentacled audience member, courtesy of artist, Edgar Sandoval.  I tell ya, it was a madhouse.  A Madhouse! 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

H.P. Lovecraft/Hunter S. Thompson Mash-Up, Part 2: "The Shadow Over Las Vegas."

A long day, just in, not going to mess around.  What's that saying? Do you know how to make God laugh? Make plans.  Well, yeah, so, here goes, without further delay.  Digging deeper into the misadventures of our fearless, loathing-worth, something-or-other narrator as the drugs take hold in the City That Never Sleeps. 

Part 2, we're settling in, setting the stage...before Part 3, and True Madness.





     My attorney had called in to the Starlight Circus on our behalf (NASA, in need of funding, had dropped the government and taken up with Vegas in mounting a more viable form of income), the event of which my reportage was deemed worthy being the 21st Century Fox/NASA sponsored Marilyn Monroe Weekend of Memories commemoration of the fiftieth year of her death, a perverse celebration littered with every conceivable Marilyn Monroe imitator this side of Jupiter, culminating in a contest to pick the very best Marilyn Monroe to carry on with a movie contract and manufactured career, and to promote whatever NASA needed them to promote.  Whores for the universe, prostitutes in league with Republicans, Satanists, and whatever other demented legions would flock to this horrid place this weekend.

     I always used a phony name when checking in during my writing ventures; my infamy was legendary, at least in my own mind.  But I did not always have a say in the name, especially if my attorney got hold of the reservations.  I looked at the piece of paper in which he had scribbled my nom-de-plume and cringed at his perverse humor. 

     “Sir,” said the fiftyish female hotel employee in charge of checking in the wasted souls, looking bored, but I was made squirmy by the bubbles rising to the ceiling as she harrumphed impatiently.

     “John…Wayne,” I said, hiding my face in shame.  I wondered how many others were checking in under the names of dead movie stars, self-destructive rock n’ roll musicians, or assassinated presidents.  My attorney laughed, slapped me on the back, and said, “C’mon, Duke, we can deal with this later.”

      I looked at him and could swear bubbles were floating from his mouth as well.  The ceiling was looking crowded.  I watched bubbles battle bubbles in a popfest of grisly proportions.  There was effervescent death everywhere. 

      I knew I should not have followed the shub-nigguraths with the yigs: if Las Vegas is no town for shub-nigguraths, it was definitely no place for the psycho-madness of yigs.  But they were the only ones handy when I reached into my pocket—and this, mere minutes after I had inspected the plethora of ingestible, mind-altering drugs in the trunk; idiot!  I was feeling like a rat in a cheeseless labyrinth, lost and confused.  What was I doing here?  What was the true purpose of this venture?  Would that demented fuck LeGrasse show up any time soon with answers, or would I just ride this one like an endless wave?

     After finding that we would have to deal with it later--our room was not ready--we wandered to the hotel bar, past hairy fish like beasts and star-faced denizens drunkenly swimming about.  I worried about my Acapulco shirt--would the colors run?  Would I run?  Was there any hope?  How long would it take for the yigs to run their insidious course?  I’d only taken two, but two amidst the constant ingestion of drugs over the last twenty-four hours must have been two too many. 

     I began to do the breaststroke across the bar, much to the annoyance of the fish-eyed denizens in attendance, when my attorney turned to me and said, “I advise you to head to the room now, before you get yourself killed,” and tossed me a green key that felt like the weight of the world--and me no Atlas.  I dragged the key on the ground as I slinked out of the bar and made way to the elevator.  One of what I expected would be the deluge of Marilyns was stepping out of the elevator, her dress showing much cleavage, and I sniffed her there, wondering if that is where they had hidden the Zapruder Tape—or possibly the lone gunman--and she said, “Oh, Mr. President, wait until Jackie and the kids go to bed.”  I pulled back, having almost been stabbed by her nipples; nipples that pushed at the fabric with impressions more akin to Mickey and Minnie Mouse.  I closed my eyes and yelled, “Disney have mercy!  Take these freakish things away from me!”

     When I opened them again, I was on the bed in the room, a pillow case stuffed in my shorts, mustard spirals decorating my nipples like exploding solar systems—no famous mice here, only condiments--and my attorney sawing wood in the same dissonant timbres as his singing.

     “Wake up!” I said, kicking at him.  “We have a job to do and…your snoring is the most horrible thing I’ve heard since your singing.”

     He smiled and pulled a harpoon gun from under the bed.  “Don’t make me use this.  There are plenty of scavengers hanging out at the window and I know they’d enjoy a little tender meat.”

     Tender my ass!  I was solid as SpongeBob SquarePants.  Squishy even.  I laughed, my mind skipping about and wandered toward the balcony where I saw them, these things crawling all over the window, eyeless, mottled flesh, flapping useless wings.

     “I need a drink,” I said, turning from the aberration, knowing I needed more than a drink.  But God would never show his face here.

     At least not the human incarnation of God. 

     It would all come down to me.
Tomorrow.  Oh, tomorrow... The final part is at least the length of the first two parts and, trust me, you don't want to miss it.
:-P  :-)
This handsome fella was found wandering through Vegas, looking for an All-You-Can-Eat Seafood place so he could feel at home...

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

H.P. Lovecraft Meets Hunter S. Thompson: "The Shadow Over Las Vegas."

Yes, been lean with the blog recently, let's get back to it with a story!  But...this one's longer than just one blog. The story is split into three sections, so let's roll with it like that, okay?  As if I can hear your response--a cheerful, "sure, John Claude," or a grumbling, "whatever."

The story is my H.P. Lovecraft/Hunter S. Thompson mash-up, "The Shadow Over Las Vegas."  This appeared in the excellent Cthulhu Unbound, Volume 1, from 2009.

I had received Terry Gilliam's mad cinematic adaptation of Thompson's Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas for Christmas a year or two earlier and had spent January the following year with that movie looped in my DVD player. Such a hallucinatory, madcap ride.  A few months later I had a passing throught, why not write a story based on Thompson's tale, but with Lovecraft riding shotgun. I re-purchased the book--one of my favorites--re-read it, and dived in.  This, my friends, was the demented result. Yes, I would probably tweak-edit the thing, but not messing with that now.


Without further adieu...

"The Shadow Over Las Vegas" by moi!




     I had the fear….

     We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to wear off, dissipating in dark, hallucinatory clouds, amorphous and alive.  I turned to my attorney, whose face had begun to melt into a writhing mass of tentacles and said, “You look a bit fishy; maybe you should let me drive.” 

     He shook his head—no--and grumbled something about feeling “gibbous,” strange word, that one.  I suspect it was definition # 2 in Webster’s Dictionary that most suited his condition: “More than half but less than fully illuminated …” as in, not completely wasted—but we could rectify that problem.  He chattered something more about needing “drugs, give me more drugs,” arms waving around like pterodactyl wings, his ponderous girth making the car shake or…could it be that we were pushing ninety in a vehicle not accustomed to such velocity?  I popped a couple of shub-nigguraths (black beauties shaped liked scrotums) into his beak-like maw and he immediately transformed into something almost human again, bloated around the gills but nevertheless unremarkable to those of the Vegas grind—and that was where we were headed: Las Vegas.

     There were no innocents in Las Vegas, hence, no reason to pussyfoot around that stained label.  The innocence in Las Vegas disappeared upon birth, buried under lights of neon and assisted by one-armed bandits draining money, integrity, hope, and life itself, all for a silver dollar or three, or ten, or…   

     I took a couple of the shub-nigguraths as well, a bitter, chalky, furry flush down my esophagus—it tasted like goat semen (don’t ask; don’t ask!).  I was in need of something to curb these weird vibrations, but I knew immediately I would regret it. 

     With a rush like an avalanche of night, unknown constellations dripped from the midday sky, streaking the hot blue horizon with black slashes like scars that bled onto the gray asphalt beyond the Big Black Tsathoggua—our vehicle nicknamed for some such hirsute frog, so said my attorney (“it’s bloated in the same way”), laughing, amused by his bizarre brain.  We had rented the vehicle from a used car dealership in Los Angeles a few hours back, putting it on the card—our open-ended expense account: unlimited credit in the hands of such foolhardy tourists as us--sponsored by the editors of Miskatonic Today, some cheap exploitation rag into the likes of alien abductions, never-was celebrities, obscure cults, and endless Elvis and/or Jesus sightings in out of the way, rarely-trod-by-human places--mostly in the southern states of the US of A--and/or staring back from used diapers or the sweaty wife beaters worn by some illegal immigrant looking to avoid the publicity--but look what God has blessed him with.  I was sure, much to their chagrin, that the kind folks at MT would regret the free ride they were giving me, hence, us, but I was also sure that the work was going to get done in due time, so that’s the price you pay for professional gonzo journalism.  Anyway, there’s no sense in doing anything unless one does it right and we were well on our way to doing it right.

     At least, that’s what my attorney kept mumbling over Cthulhu Crushes and mescal poolside at the Beverly Hills Hotel this morning, something about the stars being right, almost right--right for what?  It was probably the alcohol talking, or perhaps he hadn’t had enough alcohol yet. 

     The hour was young, we had time.

     I was feeling a bit amphibious—in need of something to drink, to keep me in touch with my own humanity, not that I was in any way related to the Great Old Ones that my attorney incessantly rambled on about and so unashamedly called family— interstellar sea-faring folks, he said (whatever that was supposed to mean), and laughed again; strange—an excuse he used to explain his sometimes green appearance.  I could never blame the drugs; they only enhanced the overall tint.  My attorney was singing in some God-awful timbres no human should ever have to fathom; my nerves were doing jumping jacks, the paranoiac adrenaline rush kept me ducking the unseen, the unknown. 

     Our vibrations had amped into overdrive as I screamed for him to pull over; I could not take it any more.  The shub-nigguraths were a nasty drug for the desert and would be worse yet if they lingered into Las Vegas.  

     I stepped out of Big Black Tsathoggua and wandered to the back.  “Pop the trunk,” I said, and my attorney obeyed posthaste.  I catalogued the vast cosmos within, dark stars and darker suns, nectar from Neptune, aether from Aldeberan, acid-crystals from R’lyeh, fungi from Yuggoth, a whole fleet full of nebulous drugs and drink to be ingested during our working vacation, the only way a reasonable person could be expected to make it through something as insidious as the Marilyn Monroe Weekend of Memories spectacle, our reason for this expedition to the far side of sanity.

     It was going to be a long, long weekend.

So, we've started on our trip. Tomorrow I will get the second part up. Friday, the finale. The finale--oh, my! 
You'll just have to wait and see.
This picture is of a Cthulhu Crush, as mentioned above.  Live octopus optional...
(The image is actually by Medvedi Mihail.)

PS. Yeah, let's not forget. My new collection, Autumn in the Abyss, is garnering great reviews and word-of-mouth goodness. Buy a copy and read what all the fuss is about.  Or the non-fuss. Just read it, wouldja? :-P :-) Please and thank you!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Heavy Metal Horror: Axes of Evil: "Louder, Faster..."

Music is an integral part of a lot of my stories.  The arts in general, from music to writing, sculpture, painting, etc., are places my brain enjoys going as I explore characters imbued with a creative side that is often damaged...(or just damaged characters without any foundation based on some sort of creative endeavor, which has got to be worse. I mean, can you imagine going through life with no creative outlet?  What's the point?  Go to work, come home, have a beer, grunt at the wife, scratch your belly, watch a sporting event, have twenty-four seconds of intimacy...then drop to sleep to do it all again the next day.  No, sorry, not on my to-do list. Creativity is mandatory for self-exploration, self-expression, holding on to my sanity...and survival.  So...where was I?).  Anyway, to the point, one of the places I have gone to on occasion with my fiction is Heavy Metal.  I've done it a few times in short tales, with one more in the just released anthology, Axes of Evil.  The story therein, "Louder, Faster..." is probably my favorite of that noisy batch o' tales.  

I wrote the story after seeing a Metal show with my ex-wife's husband about a year and a half ago.  Something of the little venue, just taking in the condensed fury, the people, the noise, worked its way into my head and birthed this short story swathed in Satanic Metal...and Love, Sweet Love.  But not in a cheesy way, no.  This one's got an appropriate hard edge,, wait! I can't give it all away.  Let's just say it's an odd one, for sure, and one I think you'll enjoy. 

That said, check this TOC. There's lots to enjoy:

1. Introduction by Alex S. Johnson
2. Mourningstar by Del James
3. All the Rage by Lindsey Beth Goddard
4. The Plaster Casters Rise Again by Persiphone Hellecat
5. The Cold and Lonely Tombstone of Angus Smith by Jeff Ö’Brien
6. Battle of the Bands by Joel Donald
7. The Doom to Come by Andrew Freudenberg
8. Sinister Cavan by Jim Goforth
9. Beyond Death by Chuck Rios
10. Rio Grande Blood by Chris Kelso
11. Tones of Skin and Bones by Michael Faun
12. Seven Goats by Mathias Jansson
13. Louder, Faster… by John Claude Smith
14. Ex-Punk by MP Johnson
15. An Unholy Statement by Kerry GiantSquid Lipp
16. Keltorrian by Jacurutu Scarry Garry-Shinigami Twenty-Three
17. Let Him Who Hath Understanding by Sylvia Bourgoin
18. Frygga: Dreams of Fire by Christine Morgan
19. Death Call by Christopher Hivner
20. Gargamathanga by Martin Garrity
21. Backstage Passes by Anna Haney
22. Rita by Mimi A. Mimi Williams
23. Die, Clown, Die! By Alex S. Johnson
24. Once Bitten, Twice Shy by Charie D. La Marr
25. Rock and Roll All Night by Sephera Giron
26. Hardcore Crust by Terry M. West
27. Unholy Concoction by Robert Holtgrewe
28. Axes of Discordance: A Bangalore Story by Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
29. Crush by Selene MacLeod
30. Harbinger Master by G Arthur Brown
31. The Dreadheads by Grant Wamack
32. Before the Ball by Ray Van Horn Jr.
33. To Hell With the Metal by Sean Leonard
34. Extremophiles by Lucy Taylor

(Yes, that does say, Lucy Taylor; only one of the handful of Major influences on my own writing.)

So, what's keeping you?  Crank it to 11 and purchase Axes of Evil HERE.