Sledgehammer Nightmare Rising
By Mike Stevens
A Sir Robert Tale
Sir Robert was sitting around, depression about no finding a job weighing him down. Ever since he’d disbanded his band, Sledgehammer Nightmare, he’d had absolutely no luck in finding employment. The opera world had turned its back on him, and he’d started his own business teaching opera to kids, but what a bunch of stuck-up b******s they had turned out to be. The first kid had insisted that the name Master be used when addressing him, and Sir Robert had quit in disgust. He’d tried a few more times, but all the kids were as obnoxious as Master, so he’d packed in that idea. Once again, he scoured the help wanted ads for work, but could find nothing. He was months behind on his rent, and had no prospects on the horizon to get him caught up. He was getting desperate. Sure, he’d been broke when he’d had the band, but at least there was always the promise of making big money. The more he thought about it, the better the idea forming in his brain sounded. Why not? He had decided; he was getting Sledgehammer Nightmare back together!
He’d called up all the former members of the band, and they had all declined his invitation to rejoin, one going so far as to say,
“What? Are you that stupid? Get a clue, the band sucked, and your sucked idea sucked!”
And when Sir Robert replied, “So, is that a no then?”, all he heard was cursing, until the receiver had been slammed down.
At last, the new Sledgehammer Nightmare was put together, and ready to rock. Sir Robert had commissioned an artist to build a gigantic, grinning skull that would serve as their background. Knuckles Magginty, the bands new drummer stood flexing his glove-with-no-fingers hand, looking at the backdrop and said,
“Looks sharp; maybe we should sacrifice a chicken, right on stage, you know, to show we love the devil!”
Sir Robert just stared at him in response. He couldn’t believe this guy; he actually WAS a devil-worshipper!
The plan was to all run out of the skulls mouth to begin the show.
“Ladies and gentleman,” which was only true if one of the all-male audience enjoyed wearing a dress and singing Barbara Streisand tunes, “would you please welcome, Sledgehammer Nightmare!”
The Paper Mache’ mouth opened, and Sir Robert and the rest of the band ran out on stage. One of the audience members turned to his friend, and yelled in his ear,
“Look, the skull’s puking band members!”
Knuckles Maginnty thundered out the intro to ‘Bless the Beasts’, and Sir Robert sang,
“Look at all the beasts, with their stomachs ripped open, ...”
The big finale was for fireworks to shoot skyward, and explode hundreds of feet above the stage of this outdoor concert, but when they were lit, instead of shooting skyward, they shot across the stage, scattering band members every which way as they ran for their lives.
They had actually gone over fairly well, and Sir Robert was pretty pleased, except for the firework disaster. It had been a miracle no one had been hurt. He was encouraged by the band’s response, and was already thinking up a different stage show.