I am nearly finished with Part Two of The Murder Rule and wondering how I will begin Part Three, which could be the final part of this novel…or not. Hopefully, Part Two will finish by the end of August and Part Three will begin in September.
I have already covered various spiritual and other inspirations for my The Prodigal Band Trilogy and its spin-off, The Murder Rule: Bible scripture and parables, occult and New Age beliefs, rock music, popular culture, occult symbols and rituals, good vs. evil, and more. The articles listed in the menu item Links to All Snippet Posts provide coverage of this topic.
However, I need to point out one more popular culture item not mentioned because this novel, which became a four-part-mini-series that I watched over VHS tape in the mid-90s, definitely helped inspire my trilogy—Stephen King’s The Stand. I am bringing this up now because I recently watched a ‘fan edit’ of this video series on YouTube here, in which nearly the entire series is included (a few parts were left out that likely don’t matter anyway). While watching this nearly six-hour video, I saw parts of it that I remember helped inspire the trilogy, especially the first novel, Battle of the Band. If you’ve never seen the series (even if you read the novel, which I have not), I recommend you watch the whole video, in whole or in parts. (Note: there were changes made in the video series such that there are differences between the novel and the video series.)
In short, Part One begins with a US military base in the California desert creating a flu-like virus that suddenly turns into a pandemic—sound familiar? Also at the beginning, a raven-like bird is ‘overseeing’ the pandemic. A security guard/MP, upon learning of the pandemic “breach,” gets his wife and child together and they leave, leaving a security gate open, and while he’s driving east, the ‘bird’ becomes a figure of a human; he sees the ‘human’ in the rear-view mirror, and then his family and then he himself develops the ‘flu’. When he arrives in a town in east Texas, he crashes into a gas pump that had just been shut off…his wife and child are dead, then he dies. Then, as news spreads about this pandemic, the government locks down the Texas town and removes all residents that had contact either with the dead guy or with those who had contact with the dead guy and puts them in a medical quarantine center in Vermont. This introduces the main good guy character, Stu, played by Gary Sinise. When everyone else at this quarantine center is dead, he escapes. Meanwhile, the other major characters appear, good or bad.
The good guys, including a pop star (Larry), a teen girl (Frannie, played by Molly Ringwald), an artist of sorts (Glen, played by Ray Walston), a judge (Farris, played by Ozzie Davis), a deaf-mute (Nick, played by Rob Lowe), a so-called retard (Tommy) who spells everything with ‘m-o-o-n,’ a farmer of middle age (Ralph), a woman (Lucy) with a young boy, and another woman, Dayna, who later infiltrates the bad guys in Part Three, all envision in dreams a spirit character called ‘Mother Abigail,’ played by Ruby Dee—the character that helped inspire my good spirit character ‘the witch of the Hovels’, aka Morwenna. They all meet together in Boulder, Colorado, in Part Two of the series. As with “the witch/Morwenna”, Mother Abigail is both human and a spirit being, but in dreams instead of sudden appearances to those whom God appoints for ‘missions’ as with ‘the witch.’
Also, in Parts One and Two come the bad guys. That ‘bird-become-human’ is in fact a carnation of a satanic character, and this character is who drives the pandemic, and leads a satanic-like cult of followers who take over Las Vegas (aka ‘Sin City’) in Part Two. His name is Randall Flagg (played by Jamey Sheridan), who uses a ‘Corion-red-crystal-like’ amulet made of a symbol that looks like a black stone or jewel of some kind to control his ‘followers’ (as Swami Negran’s red crystal of Corion is used to control the prodigal band and others). Plus, Flagg can turn that stone into whatever he chooses to convince his followers that he is god-like. His followers include a man named Lloyd (played by Mel Ferrer), in jail for theft and murder of a cop while in Arizona, who is starving because everyone else in jail is dead so no food or water; Flagg “rescues” him. Others include a woman called Nadine (played by Laura San Giacomo) whom Flagg later impregnated to bring about his satanic successor—Nadine tried to ensnare the pop star Larry (who later marries the woman, Lucy, with the young boy), but wound up ensnaring a friend of that teen girl Frannie (who later marries Stu) named Harold (played by Corin Nemec), a poet—who later commits an evil deed but repents of it on his ‘death-bed’ so to speak. Then there is ‘Trashcan Man’ (played by Matt Frewer) who, while claiming ‘my life for you’ to Flagg, winds up doing God’s will near the end of the series in Part Four as two of the good guys (Larry and Ralph) are about to be ‘dismembered’—Trash winds up blowing up the Vegas Flagg cult followers, and Flagg, as the two good guys are taken up to Heaven inspired by Mother Abigail, God’s agent.
Parts Three and Four feature the various plots and sub-plots whereby a team of good guys travels to Vegas, the ‘m-o-o-n’ guy named Tommy and that female infiltrator Dayna learn what Flagg’s ‘plan’ is, and other good guys are murdered by the bad guys (Flagg’s own ‘murder rule’ so to speak). Toward the end, Flagg is already defeated so-to-speak when Nadine realizes she’s been deceived by Flagg and learns she is carrying the future ‘anti-Christ’ within her, she jumps to her death and Flagg goes crazy, calling for the mock-crucifixion of the two good guys. But ‘Trash’ puts an end to that, by the Will of God!
Here is where it ‘meets’ the trilogy: one, just like Flagg is destroyed, so too are the satanic Negran, his successor Cole Blessing, and his successor Mark Besst—because they could not satisfy their lord (Satan), who is ultimately controlled by God, the Creator; two, the amulets worn by those deceived into evil, whether prodigal band or Lloyd and others; three, Mother Abigail and ‘the witch of the Hovels’ aka Morwenna, who communicate by ‘dream-spirit’ or by word of mouth to those whom God will use for good; four, pandemics of sorts: in The Stand, a disease, and in The Prodigal Band Trilogy and The Murder Rule, sex-drugs-rock n’ roll and other depraved lifestyles; five, the over-arching battle of good vs. evil; six, some of the bad guy characters in The Stand, Harold and Nadine, repent in the end, as did the evil Baron Torquay of the trilogy; seven, as with the ending of the trilogy, at the end of The Stand, God’s Will be done!
Hopefully, the next post will come in early September, introducing The Murder Rule, Part Three.
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