Sunday 28 October 2012

Dark Fiction - Heavy Metal

Dark Fiction Image

Heavy Metal

By Casey Douglass

The fog deepened as he walked, the echoes of his footsteps swallowed by the milky darkness around him. He smiled to himself, it was a very fortunate occurrence, as fabricating a thick fog like this would be very draining for him. Sometimes nature just gave you a hand.
The street was empty, which was odd for this time of night in the city. High rise offices in the distance loomed like silent sentinels, blocking out the first stars of the evening with their black bulk. Small particles of moisture in the air swirled and eddied around dirty street lights, which strained to give off more light than a candle which was about to burn itself out.
He sighed heavily. He missed candles. Oh he knew they were around, but not like in the old days when entire houses were lit with them, the flickering flames dancing against the carefully sculpted d├ęcor...a much richer time for everyone, especially him.
Glancing down, he straightened his black t-shirt with its satanic pictograph, hesitated, and then messed it up a little once more. He caught sight of his ripped jeans, the heavy pewter chains clinking gently with each stride. Such vulgarity.
The sound of laughter pulled him from his quiet introspection as a group of teenagers rounded a corner ahead of him, their backs to him as they headed the same way he walked. He heard the muffled chirping of a mobile phone, the laugher coming every time it made the humorous noise.
The vein in his right arm started to throb. He wondered if it was hunger or annoyance, but he wasn’t sure. The gaggle of teens turned the next corner and began down the hill to the venue, other lone stragglers joining them from other directions as they got nearer to the main door, all converging on their place of worship, most wearing Lacuna Coil clothing. The vague thump of music reached his ears, the sound proofing doing a remarkably good job of not unsettling the locals who lived nearby. The river behind the building glistened in the reflected light that travelled from street lights to fog to water, a silvery serpent just moving through.
‘Ticket please?’
He flinched, surprised that he had reached the door with its surly guardian so quickly.
‘Of course.’ He reached into his back pocket and handed the scowling man the small slip of paper. The man tore the end and returned the main piece to him.
‘Have a good night.’
‘Thank you...and you.’ He almost smiled but dare not chance it.
Strolling inside, he found the outer foyer to be deserted, but the show had already started so he registered no surprise. Upon opening the second door, the rawkish music washed over him, the darkness married with the flashing lights above the stage dazzling and disorientating him. Everything swam around him as dark silhouettes jumped up and down, waving their arms to the music and bouncing off each other. A jolt of annoyance rose through his body, his teeth biting into his lip. He arched his back and pulled himself to his full stature, the room around him stationary and crystal clear once more.
Slowly he moved through the crowd, tracing a line around the back to where the bar was. The potential! The crowd erupted into applause as one tune ended and another seemed about to start. He ignored what was said by the noisy man on stage, tried to block out the screeching of guitars being adjusted and tested. He scanned the massed bodies, his stomach beginning to rumble.
The next song began. The music was excruciating, a mass of noise and shouting that seemed to reverberate inside his chest. His eyes fell upon a woman a few paces away, jumping up and down to the rhythm. She smelt clean and fresh, and had a hint of that earthy smell that he could never quite place, but that usually meant high quality blood.
‘You’ll do very nicely,’ he said into the ambient noise around him.
He began to move closer, teasing himself with the anticipation, his incisors pressing uncomfortably into his cheeks. He couldn’t do it here but he didn’t want to lose track of her if the crowd shifted.
A large fat man sidled into his path barring the way. He gently pressed the man's shoulder, transmitting the irresistible urge to urinate to the man’s subconscious. The man hunched over and quickly waddled away crying out as he went.
He stood right behind her now, the smell was intoxicating. He reached out about to enthral her when the voice began. He stared at the stage in awe as the dark haired female began to sing along with the music. What had seemed a cacophony of sound lacking all profundity, now sounded like honey dripping from a crystal spoon, like the sigh of a spring breeze on the fresh leaves of the season, he had ever heard before. With a jolt he realised that the woman was watching him, singing to him, her smiling eyes bewitching him. He shook his head from side to side, a feeling of sluggishness worming its way into his thoughts. The woman winked and turned away, the uncomfortable feeling vanishing as quickly as it had come.
He stood in a daze as song after song washed over him, not realizing that his original target was long gone, or that his mouth had fallen open, revealing more than he would usually have dared allow. Before he knew it, the crowd around him erupted and whooped, the members of the travelling band standing hand in hand, bowing down before them. He applauded without thinking, his claps louder than any others. Then the stage was empty, the crowd around him thinning to the point of isolation. His wits returning he made for the egress, and hastily slipped into the shadows.

He waited for a long time, his sensitive ears picking up scores of voices through a slightly open window at the back of the building. He strained to hear hers. He felt ill and weak, he hadn’t fed for months, not since that unpleasant business with the actress and her director. He could really do without that kind of exposure. His trembling hands toyed with the chain on his jeans, his grip flexing and bending the links until they snapped and tinkled to the floor. He didn’t notice.
‘I’m just going out for some air, it’s stuffy.’
He jolted to full awareness, it was her! Her voice sounded different, an exotic accent added a flavour to her words that didn’t come through to any great degree when she sang. It transfixed him. She was coming outside! A small side door banged open and she stepped out, still wearing her stage uniform which he had failed to notice before. She was petit, with a slender body, and her dark hair coiled around her collar. Her black jacket and trousers clung to her figure tightly as the heat had plastered them to her. She carried a small bottle of water in her hand which she sipped as she walked to a railing and stared out across the river.
He edged out from the shadows and soundlessly stalked forward, walking in that special way that, if compared, would make a slinking cat sound like a clumsy dog running on gravel. Nearing the door, he gently pushed it closed with one finger. No interruptions.
The woman ahead sighed and fanned herself with her free hand, the dank river air currents carrying back her scent to him. He stopped short and trembled. He might woo her instead! The trembling, the dazed mind, it might not be hunger after all, it could be love, truly and utterly. How could he feed from her against her will, a creature of such beauty and voice, it would be the most evil thing he had ever done. A tear stung the side of his eye as a leaden feeling pressed his stomach down. He was a monster. Maybe she could help? Maybe she could help him break his habits, his dark deeds. Maybe she would save him from his loneliness, help him find the light again, help him-
‘Don’t stand there all night, are you coming to talk to me or not?’ she said, her back still to him.
‘Oh...I’m sorry, I was being bashful.’
‘Come on, no need to be like that!’ she giggled.
He slowly moved towards her, he felt like he was floating.
‘I wondered what you’d think, a stranger accosting a pretty woman when she is alone in the dark, I didn’t want to scare you.’
He had almost reached her, he could feel the heat coming from her body, he could sense her pulse.
‘I thought you might be scared of me,’ she said. ‘Don’t worry, I don’t bite.’
He stopped. She spun around and buried something sharp and cold into the side of his neck. He opened his mouth to scream but she clamped a hand firmly over it. The world spun around him and he fell to his knees, she dropping to hers at the same moment, tightening her grip. Her eyes flashed close to his, mischief sparkling near their edges.
‘Didn’t you wonder?’ she asked smiling.
Gasping, he felt sticky fluid running down his neck and through his clothes, his eyes still locked onto hers.
‘Was that a “What?” I think it was! Didn’t you wonder why we always tour out of the way places that no body would ever dream we would play at?’ She wrenched the object out of his neck, the fluid having stopped moments before. He saw her glance at the ornate knife before pushing it into his chest. His eyes screwed shut as he felt it piercing his heart, a white hot feeling rushing through his breast. Even at this stage his mind wondered if the pain was from the knife or from the desire unrequited. A tear dripped down the side of his nose when he managed to open his eyes again.
‘We know where you are, what you are, and what you do. We arrange our little tours when news of one of you bastards gets to us.’ She spat at him.
The night seemed darker now, the shifting fog revealing more figures around them. Standing. Watching.
‘Finish him Cristina,’ one of them said. ‘I don’t think he is the one!’
‘Marco, did I interfere when you got that piece of shit in Milan? What do you mean not the one?’
‘Our vamp is older, greyer, you know...shrivelled prune type face.’
She turned and looked at them, ‘So who’s this?’
‘Must be a random.’
Turning back she smiled and in a mocking voice said, ‘Poor baby, chose the wrong gig to just wander into did we? What’s your name?’ She eased her hand away slightly.
‘Thomas,’ he spluttered.
‘A nice name. Well Thomas...’ she said it like she was trying to swallow some unpalatable meat, ‘goodbye!’
‘Thank you.’ Thomas said weakly, his vision dark, his hearing fading.
‘Thank you?’
‘Yes...I thought you would set me free....not in this way...I was...half right.’
She pulled the knife out and let the body fall backwards, the corpse disintegrating as it hit the hard concrete.
‘Why do they all fucking fall in love with me?’ she sighed and stood up brushing herself down.
Andrea walked up behind her and put his arm around her shoulders, ‘Why do you think we do so well compared to the others? Every trap needs a honey.’
‘Don’t you mean needs honey?’
‘No. I got it right the first time.’
A tittering came from behind them. Cristina turned and shouted, ‘Marco stop being a dick and do something useful, like finding a broom for that mess! And Cristiano! Find out where the hell our real guy got to!’
Marco muttered under his breath, ‘You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.’
Her hand cuffed him around the head, making his ears ring.
‘Hey!’ he shouted.
‘You wouldn’t want me to catch you Marco, do you know what happened to the last guy?’
She put her arm around him as they all moved back to the door, quiet laughter filling the murky air.



This story was written after I was lucky enough to go and see Lacuna Coil live. They were totally amazing, and it was the best gig I have ever seen. They were as good in person as one their albums and I really hope I get to see them again. I kept thinking about the gig and thought that this was a fitting way of paying tribute. I thought they might like the idea if ever they read it themselves at least.

Lacuna Coil are : Cristina Scabbia, Andrea Ferro, Cristiano Migliore, Marco Biazzi, Marco Coti Zelati and Cristiano Mozzati.

The Official Lacuna Coil Website :