David ran through the streets of the city. The thought of being late terrified him so, that he almost tripped over the large black leather-bound case which he carried. Quickly however, he regained his balance as though his life depended on it, because it did. He finally reached his destination, a little alleyway between a local bar and a high street clothes shop. David stopped near the end of the alleyway and began leaning on the case to catch his breath.
He heard a rat run by and was then suddenly aware of the figure standing in a corner of the alley. “Did you get them?” it said in a cold, calculated voice. “Yes”, said David trembling from head to toe. “Bring them here.” David obeyed handing the case to the hooded figure. “And here is the scroll” said David removing a cylindrical case which had been hanging at his mid-riff, he quickly placed the scroll next to the person’s leg. The black case was smoothly opened and a bright green, almost jade-colored light, shone on what were now clearly female facial features. Slowly she began to smile, revealing a sinister side to her flawless face.
“If that’s all?” stammered David, even more nervous than before, “I’ll take my payment and leave you in peace”. The woman took her gaze from the contents of the case and looked at David. “Of course you will” she said closing the case while placing it on the ground. Once again there was darkness, until David noticed the strange light that seemed to surround him. He could feel his blood heating up to boiling point and his heart began to beat like a jackhammer. His blood became lava in his veins as his heart pulsed like a humming birds wings. Eventually it all became too much and David was no more.
The woman slung the scroll over her shoulder and picked up the case with a smile firmly embedded on her lips.
Jason blasted out chord after heavy chord of fast paced metal. He was the rhythm guitarist and singer in an up and coming band called La Bido. They were playing his favorite song, “Last breath, new hope”. He thought it was funny to play it as a last encore. After the last chord had been struck he threw his hands in the air “Thank you…good night!” he yelled into the microphone. Immediately the two or three hundred audience members crowded into the downtown nightclub began cheering and clapping. The band left the stage and in the back dressing rooms already waiting for them was their manager Lydia. “Excellent gig” she said, throwing her arms around Jason. Jason fancied her but at times he wasn’t sure of how she felt. “I have a big surprise for ye, I got ye a spot in the Metfest” The band immediately started celebrating, the Metfest was the largest metal music festival in the country. “And for you”, she said leading Jason into another room, "I have a special surprise”.
Jason saw on the dressing table a black, leather-bound guitar case. He opened it to find a black electric guitar in the shape of a gothic axe with green thorns and red roses painted on it. “And this.” she said giving him a page. “What’s this?” he asked, examining the page, the letters and words of which were unfamiliar, and looked like Latin or something. “It’s your new song” she replied. “What?” said Jason, turning to look at her. “It’s about demons,” she said innocently. Jason looked again, and this time the words made sense. “I want you to sing it as a last encore at the Metfest.” “But what about “last breath”?” he asked. “You can sing that before if you want” she said, dragging him back to the party outside.
The next few months were spent practicing and playing nightclubs. But with the bands upcoming big break tempers seemed to fray easier with small things turning nasty fast. Before long the only one that remained of the original lineup, was Jason. Miraculously, his manager had gotten in replacements for the Metfest. And although there wasn’t the same unity that Jason was used to, he had to admit that he played well with them. In fact they seemed very intent that he sounded the clearest out of the lot of them. At last, after months of preparation Jason’s big break was here. The drum kit and amps were set up with the microphone stands on stage. “Well” he said, strapping on the new axe, “This is it”. The others walked out on stage and she approached him. Her face was like that of an angel. Jason took a deep breath and then “I love you”. He blurted it out so quickly it surprised even him. She put her hand on his face stroking it and then kissed him. “I know,” she said, stepping away. Jason smiled and strolled out to face the crowd.
La Bido played a fast and heavy set churning out riff after chunky hard-pressed riff. The new guitar sounded better than anything he had played before. However, while playing an exceptionally heavy song Jason could have sworn he saw something very strange. He had seen a crowd move in unison like a living creature before, but never had he seen a face form out of a mass of people. But as quickly as it appeared it faded away and so Jason put it down to his imagination. At last it came for them to play the new song, which Jason had decided to call “Out of The Inferno”. Jason began playing the heavy riff while his new lead guitarist broke into a solo or two. Jason sang the opening verse and almost straight away noticed a change. The air itself started to solidify in front of him, faces seemed to appear and then disappear as if they were trying to break through some sort of barrier. Whole arms and torsos began to exist and then fade over the crowd. Even the band began to change, becoming more evil and demonic in appearance. When he reached the chorus those barriers broke, the band became winged skeletons whole taloned hands played living entities like instruments. The crowd that watched quickly became a banquet for demons as they ripped their way into this reality and began to feast.
Jason was horrified by this and had been trying to stop since he began singing but found he couldn’t. Some force moved his hands and forced his mouth to move for him. He could do nothing but watch the slaughter, until a thought pounded his head like a hammer. If he couldn’t stop playing, perhaps he could change the song. Slowly but surely he managed to change the tune to that of “Last Breath, New hope”. Unfortunately all this did was enrage the demons, which now began moving towards him. When all seemed lost, he suddenly felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned to see his beloved manager, her hair now dyed a dark red, her face pale, her lips ruby red and wearing a black gothic dress. “I love you,” said Jason, hoping that would end the nightmare. She put her arms around him and kissed him, then with one fluid motion ripped his heart out of his chest. Jason let out a final scream of death and terror. And the demon queen smiled a sinister smile…
… “Music to my ears”