Author: Many Midnights PM
A rock groupie at a local bar finds herself in deep trouble when she goes there to follow her new favorite band.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Horror - Words: 2,624 - Published: 11-27-11 - Status: Complete - id: 2974484
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Sally fluffed her auburn curls in the yellow glow of the bathroom's streaked mirror. A smudged glass containing one third of the gin and tonic she ordered earlier sat next to her oversized, leopard-skinned purse on the sink's counter. Through the dull hum of the florescent light fixtures hanging from a ceiling badly in need of fresh paint, came the rhythmic melodies of her new favorite band:
She had been following them ever since she heard one of their songs on the radio. Love'sOpenWound was gaining airplay steadily, propping Scorpio up as it went along, and landing them secure gigs in a variety of local venues, including I-Rocks, where Sally was currently enjoying their set.
One of the stall doors swung open, momentarily startling Sally. She didn't realize that somebody was in the ladies room with her.
A petite woman stepped out of the stall and walked up to the mirror next to where Sally was.
"They sound really good tonight, don't they?"
Sally glanced at the girl, mentally noting that her hair was obviously bleached and styled way too short for her frame.
"Yeah, they do."
"Don't you think the singer is cute?"
Sally was beginning to feel annoyed. All she wanted to do was finish touching herself up and get back to her table where Josie and Fran waited for her. And listening to some wannabe groupie drone on and on about how cute she thought the band was wasn't her idea of a fun time.
"Yeah, he's okay."
In truth, Sally really liked the drummer. He was skinny, had a dark complexion, and a smooth playing style that just oozed confidence. She had done her research and found out that his name was Tad Soother. He joined Scorpio just before Love'sOpen Wound came out, and his rhythms could be found on all their latest tunes.
Realizing she was daydreaming, Sally abruptly scooped up her purse and drink, and exited the bathroom without another word. The door swung shut behind her.
"Where have you been?" Josie asked with a sly grin. "Did you meet someone already?"
"No," Fran chimed in, "she's only got eyes for the drummer."
"So what if I do. He's really talented."
Both Josie and Fran laughed.
"Oh yeah, that's what attracted you to him."
At that moment, the band finished the song they were playing (a cover of an old blues tune), and the singer approached the microphone.
"Thank you," he said in a silky tone. "We're gonna take a short break now." And with those words, all three of the band members began to unhook their equipment and leave the stage.
"Sally, now's your chance." Fran gestured to the corner of the bar where Tad Soother was sitting. He was sipping on a bottle of beer as he stared down at the bar.
"Yeah," Joanie giggled. "What are you waiting for?"
Sally couldn't help herself. Even if Josie and Fran weren't instigating matters, she still would have gotten up and made her way to the bar. It was just too good of an opportunity to miss. It might be the only time would get a chance to talk to a real live up-and-coming rock star.
" My name's Sally." She extended a manicured hand. "I really like your music."
Tad simply continued staring at the down at the bar.
"My brother plays drums too," she lied, hoping to jumpstart the conversation a little.
Still no response.
Feeling embarrassed, Sally fumbled with her drink. The thin plastic straw leaning against the side of her glass clanked as she swished it around.
"Are you guys gonna play Love'sOpenWound? I just love that song."
Sally was shocked when, at the conclusion of her question, Tad straightened up on his barstool, and turning his head, looked into her eyes.
"No, I don't want to play that song."
The odd choice of words, combined with his nervous expression, puzzled Sally to say the least. She decided to inquire about his strange behavior.
"What's the matter?" she asked while leaning closer to him. She could feel Fran and Josie's stares on her back. "Do you feel all right?"
Tad's gaze fell back on the bar. "You should leave," he mumbled. "And take your friends, and anyone you came with, and just leave. Now."
The tall shadow materialized from behind Sally, inching its way forward until it came up against her. She could feel warm, salty breath on the back of her neck.
"Let's go, Tad," the singer commanded. "Break's over. We got two more sets to run through."
Sally wanted to turn around, but resisted the urge. Woman's intuition; paranoia; or just a hunch, she wasn't sure which it was, but something stopped her. She stood perfectly still and watched as Tad nodded reluctantly to his band mate, stood up, and walked away with him, never once looking back at her.
Josie and Fran scooted up to the bar; confused looks stained their pretty faces.
"What happened?" they asked in unison. "Why'd he leave?"
Sally just sighed, letting her gaze drift over to the stage where the band was busy tuning up.
Tad was adjusting a cymbal stand, nudging it this way and that, when he looked directly at Sally. A look of lost worry reflected off his face.
"Thank you," the singer mumbled into his mic. "We'd like to start our next set with a song that's been getting a lot of airplay lately: Love'sOpenWound."
A large group of girls immediately shrieked in excitement, and ran up to the stage.
"Where do I go now, how do I see how..."
The smooth flow of the song's melody settled over the crowd like a warm mist, tantalizing with its harmonious blend of mellow, flowing rhythm and heartfelt lyrics.
Sally sipped the last of her drink, and tilted her head in the direction of the stage. Tad was playing a steady but imaginative beat, keeping a parallel sound with the guitar, bass, and vocals. However, she couldn't help but feel that he wasn't totally into it. That, in conjunction with the strange words he said at the bar, unsettled her.
You should leave. Take anyone you came with and leave.
Turning back around, Sally was about to ask Fran and Josie if they wanted another drink, but something stopped her:
her friends were in some type of trance.
Not even blinking, they were just staring at the band, their mouths hanging open, their arms dangling uselessly at their sides.
And Sally too, was feeling different somehow: lethargic; disoriented; peaceful. Everything around her seemed to melt together.
"Fran? Do you... do you see..."
Her lips felt as if they were fused together. Her eyes felt dry. Her throat burned. She tried to look over at the stage again, confused that despite everyone in the bar seeming to be in some sort of stupor, the band simply continued to play on, oblivious to all around them.
"Our lives are gone much too soon, leaving the heart bleeding from love's open wound."
Sally felt herself being pulled out of her seat. In her peripheral vision she saw others (Fran and Josie among them) doing the same. Purses; wallets; drinks; they were all left behind as everyone, even the bartenders and waitresses, stumbled toward the stage.
"Love's open wound, love's open wound. Were being bled dry from love's open wound."
Sally resisted, but whatever was pulling her was strong. She felt herself becoming weaker, less of an individual and more of a part of something much bigger.
Managing to tear her gaze away from the lead singer, whose eyes were glowing a baleful red, Sally tried instead to focus on Tad. She had felt the connection to him earlier, so she hoped there was something in him that could save her.
And then the band stopped playing. Feedback buzzed through the stale air of the bar as the equipment powered down. Both Tad and the bass player lowered their heads as the singer addressed the mesmerized crowd.
"You should all feel very lucky, my little sheep." His lips curled into a grin so wide it couldn't be human. "I have chosen this site to witness what no others have seen before."
Sally stood at the middle of the throng. She was watching Tad; everybody else was looking at the singer. She felt that if she focused on him, she might have a chance. The singer's power apparently derived from his eyes; he was flashing the red pupils around at the crowd.
"Behold," the singer cried with his muscular arms outstretched.
Tad dropped his drum sticks, and stood up. He moved aside his bass drum, and in a few seconds, reached the side of the singer, joining the bass player there. The two of them flanked the now demonic-looking leader of the band.
"I own you now," the singer cried. "And soon, I will own this world."
The crowd started to sway, and then, one by one, began to scramble up to the stage. As each came before the demon, they fell to their knees. The demon then reached down and quickly wrenched their heads from their bodies. With a vicious kick, he knocked the headless remains from the stage. The severed heads were then reduced to a bloody pulp by his strong hands, which he promptly swallowed whole.
"More! More! Come to me, my children. Come to a new world."
Sally wanted to look away, but couldn't. She herself was moving toward the stage; Fran and Josie in front of her.
And then she saw Tad look at her. There was a trace of compassion in his eyes, and he seemed to be struggling with his own thoughts. It was like he was a slave, as if he was being forced into helping the demon.
"Love's open wound," the demon cackled. "Your lives are gone much too soon. Love's open wound, love's open wound."
Tad took a step back from the demon."Go now," he silently mouthed to Sally. "Now is your chance."
Sally pulled her gaze away from the awful spectacle on the stage, and started to push her way past the other people. The fate of Josie and Fran, as well as the other people in the bar, weighed heavily on her conscience, but she moved it aside, concentrating solely on escape. If she could make it out she'd be able to warn the rest of the world, and that was far more important than the lives of a few dozen people. The lesser of two evils, or at least that's what she tried to convince herself of.
Nobody stopped her, and in a few minutes she was at the front door of the bar. The cool night air on her face never felt so good. She absent-mindingly reached for her purse to get her cell phone, but then remembered it was still in the bar.
Behind her, she could still hear the chaos from inside the building. The demon was shouting out the lyrics to Scorpio's signature song, and laughing hysterically. The words drifted upward, seemingly corporal entities unto themselves, crawling away from their horrible parent, seeking out new prey.
Sally stood in the parking lot, watching in disbelief as a pair of squirrels scampered by. Their glassy eyes were blank; their tiny faces focused on one objective:
reaching the bar.
She watched the rodents run up to the front door, and with a series of violent efforts, break through the glass, completely unaware of the injuries they incurred in doing so. And overhead, a small flock of crows soared by, only to suddenly veer downward, smashing into the roof of the bar. They too were trying to gain access to the building.
Feeling the haunting words from the demon wrap around her mind and try to entice her into flinging herself back into the bar, Sally resisted with all her might. She continued stumbling through the lot looking for her car.
The car swerved into the lot, narrowly missing a pickup truck before smacking into another car. Sally crouched down behind a station wagon, and waited for the driver to get out.
Was he drunk?
At first, she thought so, but when the man stood up, she could see it was the effects of the demon's song that was making him act so strangely.
I have chosen you to be my consort. Do not disobey me.
The words sliced into Sally's mind smoothly, delicately, as if using force would somehow dilute their meaning.
Sally became desperate. She lunged forward, knocking the guy aside, and flung herself behind the wheel of his car. The man didn't seem to care however; he simply got back up and began walking toward the bar.
Two familiars, my lady, and I have chosen them for you. The ones you call Fran and Josie await their ladies' return.
"No! Get out of my head!"
Slamming the gearshift into Drive, Sally pushed the gas pedal to the floor. The car immediately spun forward, kicking up loose gravel as it went. When she heard a loud thud, the possibility that she had run over the owner of the car crossed her mind. She had to suppress the natural urge to stop and check on the man's condition.
Sally, me and Josie are waiting here for you.
Sally kept driving.
The lead singer says he needs more members for his band.
"Stop that! Leave me alone!"
He wants you, Sally. He needs you. He loves you.
The car started to drift toward the side of the road. It came to a slow stop, the bright red brake lights glowing in the still night. The engine ran through a few hundred more revolutions before it shut off, blanketing the scene in a disturbing silence.
"Our lives are gone much too soon, leaving the heart bleeding from love's open wound."
The lyrics rang out through the bar. The hazy atmosphere dampened their affect slightly, but they still were heard by all in the establishment...
The chorus of Scorpio's hit song was repeated by a trio of lovely ladies off to the singer's right. Their beautiful voices harmonized perfectly with the flowing, hypnotic style of the lead vocals. They added a whole new dimension to the power of the song.
Sally was flanked on either side by Fran and Josie. They swayed to her manipulations, acting according to her desires. She was the consort, the Master's chosen one. Her instructions were above all, save for the Master himself.
Sally glanced back at Tad, and then at the Master. A sly grin spread across her pretty face, revealing perfectly straight teeth that were stained with blood and bits of human flesh.
The Master was pleased as he gazed out at the mesmerized crowd in I-Rockswith a malevolent glint in his red eyes. His reign had started without fault.
More and more people shuffled into the bar, streaming through the smashed front door in a chaotic but organized attempt to reach the stage. All ages and dispositions were present: young; old; wealthy; poor; men; women. No discrimination was discernible. No one was spared.
And beyond the bar, a seemingly endless parade of vehicles was clogging the roads. Vehicles that were jam packed with people. And all were heading in the same direction...
to I-Rocks bar.