I grew up immersed in the Horror genre, movies mostly, but also some comic books. When I was a pre-teen and teenager, some local TV station had aSaturday night movie series called “ChillerTheater.” Today that has morphed into the DirecTV and DishTV channel “The Chiller Channel” or whatever it’s called now. It was on this show series I saw “Godzilla,” “The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms,” “The Crawling Eye,” and various Japanese and other monster movies, various zombie/ghoul/vampire/Frankenstein-type monsters and serial murder movies many of which starred my fave actor at the time, Vincent Price. Basically, if Vincent Price was in the movie, I watched it.
In my twenties, I started reading horror genre fiction but I thought horror movies were more exciting. There was one book–I have no idea what the title was but it’s one of the few I actually finished reading–about some vampire-like rock band that recruits roadies or fans or whatever and then turns them into vampires, but one small group of fans turns against the band. Eventually, the vampire band gets “burned” if you know what I mean. But I did not buy the book because it had vampires, but because it had vampires who were rock stars!
And around this time, Ozzie Osbourne was making it huge…And. Oh yeah, AC-DC, “Highway to Hell” and all that…
One of the reasons I began writing the books that make up the trilogy was the notion, which has some merit but which can also be debunked, that rock stars are all “devil worshipers” and rock music is “the devil’s music” which quite a few Christians still believe is true. Many supposedly Christian YouTube channels try to verify this over and over and over while mentioning a few, such as the guitarist for MegaDeath–I forgot his name–are avowed believers in Christ (as is rapper DMX). My point is not to prove rockers are not devil worshipers; some clearly are (such as Marilyn Manson). My point is wanting folks to get over the notion that listening to rock music is going to turn one against Christ or for Satan. As if listening to country music and someone like Miley Cyrus is going to turn one to Christ!
To contrast the band called Sound Unltd’s beginning and rise to fame and fortune with their inability to handle it wisely later, and then the coming trials and tribulations they face, I thought it would be a good idea to bring in the most debauched period of their ‘supremacy’ in rock music. This is where the horror comes in. There are no monsters or vampires or zombies or mass murders, but it still has horror themes including ‘rituals of the craft’ if you know what I mean.
The following snippet which is a bit long comes from Chapter Six of Battle of the Band. The scene is a Hellside Horror House party for the touring band Sound Unltd given by the estate owners Andre’ and Cheetah, owners of a horror TV channel who use snakes and lizards as props on their show. Both are occultists as well. The night of the party is Thursday, July 12, 1993, in the fictitious city of Richmont, California, in the Bay Area. Band guitarists Jack and Mick (the occultist of the group), drummer Tom, singer Erik and bassist Keith are all mentioned, as well as various groupies, some of whom are wiccans, and Adam Bloodlove, Mick’s ‘partner’ and rock superstar of satanic bent.
Ring around the rosy, pocket full o’ posy
Ashes, ashes, all fall down
“A song about the Black Plague? Can’t you play a happier song than that, Jack?” Cheetah asked as she, the guitarist and six others finished the gruesome children’s rhyme.
Another asked, “What about your song, Jack? The Rune of Seven Crag Mountain? About the burning children?”
“Right. All in the name of religion. I can barely tolerate Mick’s cultist crap, let alone Swami Negran.” He readied his guitar to play the song. “But I love playing this piece.”
Jack began the music as a skuz tray was passed around.
They rounded up the young ones
And tied them to the trees,
And lit the grass.
The wood did burn
And then young skins.
You could feel the screaming breeze.
Cheetah broke in at the end of three verses. “I got an idea. Why don’t we play like the song says in the woods by our pond?”
“Let’s do it,” someone said.
Mick, Andre’ Cool, and Adam Bloodlove lounged in Cool’s dungeon-like bedroom, listening to the guitarist’s tales of the Crag-Dwellers.
Cool asked, “Where’d you learn these stories?”
“I formed the Druid Family. Mostly, for fun—and sex. But these people weren’t really Druids, eh? My cult’s based on the Order of the Crag-Dwellers, a secret society that lived at the time of the Druid priests. The Crag-Dwellers were cannibals.”
“No shit? Cannibals?”
“Yeh. They turned cannibal when the Druids tried to drive them out of their huts by the crags. The Crag-Dwellers believed that if they ate the flesh of an animal, they acquired the spirit and power of that animal. So, they applied that rule to people’s spirits as well. If they ate Druid priests, they acquire the Druid’s power.”
“But why did the Crag-Dwellers burn the children instead of eating them?”
Mick said cynically, “Because children have no power. So, they fried.”
“What else did the Crag-Dwellers do?” Bloodlove asked.
“Well, they also— Hey, wait a bit, eh? You know, I could show you outside. Andre’, you got a pond here, eh?”
“Yeah, about a half-mile behind the house.”
“Okay, I’ll show you what they did, and, on the way, I’ll tell you about it.”
Mick proceeded to tell the story of how the Crag-Dwellers gouged the eyes of their victims.
Tom, Princess Tina, and Lady Moira Sedgewick sat at a patio table on the veranda, deep in discussion.
Her Grace said, “Now, Tom, I read an editorial in CounterCulture that said due to inflation, consumers were being priced out of live entertainment. For instance, the outrageous cost of your concert tickets. And sixty bucks is outrageous.”
“Yeh, but in our case, sixty is worth it. And if what they said was true, we wouldn’t be perennial sell-outs. You know what the gripe is? A lot of acts would love to charge what we do, but they can’t. They don’t have the reputations for excellence and outrage like we do.”
Just then, a rush of singing, partying people from the solarium passed the trio. Cheetah called out, “Hey, Tina, you guys want to play Crag-Dwellers and Druids?”
“Oh, how super! You want to Moira? Tom?”
“Sounds ducky to me.” The two women got up.
“Oh shit,” Tom said. “When is that Skinny gonna get off this Druid crap?” He got up, disgruntled, and followed them.
“You mean, they took skewers and jabbed them into the eye sockets and wriggled the skewers around ‘til the eye popped out?” Bloodlove now couldn’t wait to play-act the scene at the south end of the pond.
“Yeh,” said Mick, “and then they ate the eyeballs. Raw. Whole. Like this.” Mick made believe he had an eyeball on his finger and stuck the finger into his mouth. “Delicious!”
“So where we supposed to get the eyes?” Andre’ asked nervously. “We’re supposed to kill something?”
“Shit, man, just a frog or something,” Mick answered. “Don’t worry, we won’t kill one o’ your lizards.”
“Gila monsters, not lizards!” Cool performed surrounded by the poisonous pet reptiles. “And I’m not killing anything!”
“Party pooper!” Bloodlove sneered.
“Come on, Adam,” Cool yelled in annoyance. “You’re just sucking up to that devil worshiper to get a record contract.”
“No. I get high off doing this. I thought you did, too.”
“I just make believe. I’ve never killed anything in my—”
“Shut up!” Mick whispered loudly. “I see a frog and I’m gonna catch him.”
“But not kill it, Mick. This is my pond, and—”
“I won’t do anything.” Andre’s hesitancy wearied Mick. “We’re just playing, Andre’. Who told you I was a devil worshiper?”
“Well, I thought you were, with all those altars at your place.”
“It’s just décor, eh? I collect Druidic artifacts and other witchy things. And you should talk, with all that ghoulish shit in your own house. Anyway, I’m not a devil worshiper.”
“Come on,” Bloodlove said, “let’s get on with it.” He turned to Cool. “We can’t waste any frogs, eh?”
“Well then,” Bloodlove winked at Mick, “we’ll just have to kill you.”
He and Mick jumped Cool, sending the victim to the ground. Adam grabbed at Andre’s eyes.
“Get the hell off me!”
Bloodlove and Mick rolled off Cool, laughing with gusto.
Suddenly several bodies flailed at the three, chanting nonsense while grabbing at hair.
One of the new arrivals carried some twine and yelled, “Tie them up!”
The gang picked up the trio and shoved and marched them over to some trees. Mick, Adam, and Andre’, by now having been stripped to their ankles, were tied to an oak tree.
The curly blond among the gang got out his cigarette lighter and torched some tall grass under the trees, shrieking, “The Crag-Dwellers be avenged!” He gathered the others in a laughter-filled war-dance around the growing fire. “Burn the beastly Druids!” Tom’s face glowed orange by the budding blaze as he jabbed at Mick. “Skin them alive!”
Mick and the other two had enough and broke free of the bondage. “Okay, Shorty, put the fire out! Now!” The three stomped on the fire, and others used whatever devices they carried to take water from the pond onto the now smoky blaze.
Once the fire was out, Jack jibed at Mick. “So, you can’t take a joke, eh? What’s the matter? It’s you that believes this shit.”
Mick dusted himself off and snickered, “Did you have fun, Jack?”
The other laughed. “We need to do this again sometime.”
Tom joined in. “Yeh. Tomorrow night. Hey, Jack, you think we can do ‘im up during the show, a new skit?”
“Fuck you, Shorty!”
“Not in this lifetime.”
“Tom, I wouldn’t waste me time with this loony lad. But maybe we can grab our road manager, tie ‘im to our monolith—”
“Aaaaaarrrrrruuuuughhhhh,” came a blood-curdling scream from the pond’s north end.
“Everybody,” Bloodlove called out, “let’s see what that is. Quietly, okay? Let’s sneak up on him.”
Some carried wooden torches as they followed the satanic singer.
Another snippet that follows continues the bizarre party scene.
“God, Erik! You sounded like you enjoyed killing that poor baby frog,” Rona pouted as she squatted down to kiss her man for the evening.
The singer, still grasping the hapless amphibian, cocked his head to face the nineteen-year-old with cascading, shiny black hair. “Haven’t you heard? I eat frogs before I make love. That way, my pecker becomes more slippery and—juicy.” He ran his tongue over his sweaty lips and whispered, “Join me, luv, in my carnal feast.”
Their lashing tongues caressed each other’s mouths.
The frog squirted out of his grasp.
“Oh, no!” Rita shouted. “My frog got away!” She looked down at the writhing couple. “I thought you killed that frog, Erik! Why’d you let him get away?”
“Because,” the singer looked at her and smiled, “some things are more important than frog’s eyes for your witches’ brew, eh? Why don’t you and Lindsay go see if you can find that frog again, and Ro and I will catch you later, eh?”
Rita, disappointed, turned away. “Fine, Erik. Let’s go Lindsay. We’ll get our own frog, and we’ll make a potion and cast a spell on the two of them.” When she looked back, a naked Rona mounted a naked Erik.
Later, a torchlight parade saw the two girls coming toward them. “Witches!” Cheetah called out. “Burn those witches!”
The gang war-whooped and swooped down on the two.
“Wait! Wait!” Rita shouted. “We’re not witches. We’re hunting witches, and we got two of ‘em over there.” She pointed to where they left the lovers.
The growing throng danced down upon the passionate twosome, who got up immediately and ran furiously toward the house, still naked.
When Erik and Rona reached the veranda—the others in hot pursuit—they shut off the outside lights, then walked silently into the pool. The darkness caused three others to fall into the water.
Then— Flash went the lights. Crash! Went the music, to begin the next party round. Splash! Went half the wasted guests into the light-sparkling refreshment.
Untouched by the ‘witch-hunters,’ Erik and Rona walked arm-in-arm out of the water toward the bath house to towel themselves, their clothes still out at the pond. When they entered the small building, they found Keith and Lolita resting limp with exhaustion on the floor.
“Oh, sorry about interrupting,” Rona apologized.
Lolita covered herself with a towel.
“No need for that, girl,” Keith snickered. “They were just leaving.”
“Fancy meeting you here, bro.”
“Oh, fancy that. You still here.”
Rona sensed trouble between the two blood brothers. “Well, that’s okay. We just came in for towels and—”
“No matter, lovely wench,” Keith said. “We’ve been here long enough. Shall we go, my precious?”
He and Lolita strutted outside to a scene of rollicking hedonism exploding to the sound of gnashing metal and ghoulish cries.
Let’s party in Hell. We make it so well!
Move over, Sweet Satan for the party in Hell!
They ran, crying, “Let’s party in Hell!” as their momentum hurled them into the water.
There are more horror snippets I could have included but I figure this one is long enough as it encompasses most of the chapter. Want a much more serious horror scene? Buy the book using links here:
The Prodigal Band Trilogy © 2019 by Deborah Lagarde, Battle of the Band © 1996 by Deborah Lagarde, The Prophesied Band © 1998 by Deborah Lagarde and The Prodigal Band © 2018 by Deborah Lagarde. Permission needed to copy any materials off this page.