Band Practice

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story of a band practice.....that goes awry!
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Submitted: August 19, 2014

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Submitted: August 19, 2014

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“Hey Doucher, I am almost at your place. You ready to go?”

“I was fucking born ready, Dillhole, just hurry up!”

Laughing, I press the hang up button on the steering wheel to end the call. I signal left to turn on to Geggy’s street. Tonight is band practice night; a night that has been put off and postponed for many more months than it should have.

I pull in the lane of Gegg’s and Bex house. They have done really well for themselves and Bex allows him to unleash the fury every once in a blue moon. We all in the band realize that our wives think we are somewhat troubled by the fact that we still get together for something as rudimentary as band practice but they allow it due to the harmlessness of it…and mostly because we get a kick out of playing rock star for a little while.

I am pleased that I had the foresight to move the jacket over the beer as Bex is outside watering the garden  when I pull up. She gives a quick wave of hello and turns the hose off, starts to walk over to the car.

“Hi, Kurty.” She says, giving a quick hug.

“Hey, Bex. How are ya?” I say. I haven’t seen these guys in what seems like a coon’s age. At this point in our lives, if we are not careful, we only see each other on big occasions like 40th birthday parties or shit like that.

“I am good. How are you? How is Marce?” she asks.

“We’re all good. Same old, same old. How are the kids doing?” I reply. It is funny how you don’t even see it coming but all of a sudden your initial greeting questions slide from “I heard the bar was jammed Saturday night?” to “Hey, Marce wanted me to grab that strawberry salad dressing recipe from you.” All you can do is sit back and ask, “When the fuck did that happen?”  The good part to our little band of friends is that we have all been around for over 30 years. That’s a rare thing to come by. We have been there through almost anything. When each other were down and up. Through fights and drunken nights. Weddings and as roommates. Nothing has broken the group which essentially makes us as tight, or you could argue even tighter, than brothers.

We celebrate each other’s victories while at the same time have no problem turning to one another and saying, in the most sincere tone possible, “Look….you are being an asshole…..cut it out.” To which the asshole would either be pissed off or take on the chin. Either way the phone call would come a couple of days later about going golfing or a wing night somewhere, which was always a blast as Gegg’s would look as though he fell into a vat of sauce by night’s end.

That’s the cool part about the whole thing. Nothing jammed us up. We never really acknowledged the presence of the bond but, deep down, I believe we all respect it and, without sounding completely corny and cotton candy about it, cherish it a little. It’s easier to walk through this fucked up thing we call life knowing that all the while you have a hand behind your back if you fall.

‘They are doing really well…sleeping now, but getting big!”

At this, Geggs walks through the door, Fender amp and guit box in hand.

“Kuuuuurtiiiiieee! Whats goin’ on brother!” he says, in his giddy voice reserved for such special occasions. It never ceases to bring a smile to my face when I pick him up for shit like this because he is no more than a kid at Christmas with a grin so wide you would swear his head was about to flip over backwards like a discarded Muppet.

“Nah much, kid, need a hand?”

“Nope, gotter!” he says. Walking to the car he gives Bex a quick kiss and “love you” with what has to be recognized as an unrealistic promise to not be too late. I mean come on, when the jams start flowing who knows when it will end.

I am lying, I told Marce I would be home before eleven but it is fun to dream. We all talk the talk about how it is “easier to apologize than ask permission” and all that bullshit but really when it comes down to it, it is just easier not to piss your wife off at all.

I pop the trunk and help him put his gear in.

“See ya Bex. I call. She has already returned to the hose and her domestics but still as enough sense to cast a “Behave boys and have fun!” over her shoulder.

“We will” Geggs and I say in union out he open windows as I pull out of the laneway.

The band consists of four members…well five if Len is, and as “band manager” he certainly is, considered a certified, or certifiable, member. Len, Geggs, Shags and I are friends from long ago. We have known each other since we were five and as each year goes by it is funny, you see less of each other but five months can go by and when we get back together, we pick up right where we left off. They are the shit.

Now, Dilly, our drummer, the heartbeat of the band is the only member who we have only met a few years ago but he fits in like an old shoe. He is a great deal younger than us but claims to have an old spirit which in my experience means only that he has smoked enough weed to consider himself a prophet. Regardless, he is just as much a part of this band as anyone else.

It is a good group of guys and we have a ton of laughs, and I guess I have to admit, sometimes…SOMETIMES, we are not half ass bad. Being the singer it tends to hinge on me. These guys are good all the time, but if I have to reach for certain songs, being the singer, it can sometimes sound disjointed. Which can make me feel a bit self-conscious. This guys don’t care though. All I have to do is look up from the mic and see Geggs doing his head bob thing or scoot across the floor as he gets into it. Dilly just plays….no real movement at all other than getting the beats just right. Shags is a bassist. He does the typical bassist thing aside from having the cigarette dangling out of his mouth while he plays. Len…well, Len drinks beer.

Tonight’s practice is being hosted by Shags but at his business beside his house. His wife, rightfully so, doesn’t like the noise (which is a spot on definition of our playing!) in the house while the kids are home and at some point that evening trying to go to sleep.

Shags owns a funeral home. Those residing there won’t complain of the noise but it is kind of creepy still practicing in the room next to the “fridges”. I will just try to do my best Morrison impersonation and channel the feeling of the place.  I giggle a little at the thought, prompting Geggs to ask, “Whats so funny?”

“Just thinking of the practice area for this evening…kind of bizarre,” I say.

“I know, right! I was there this weekend for dinner and we went over there and played a bit where he has us set up. If someone blindfolded you and put you in the room you wouldn’t know any different…but we do know different, I guess. You going to be alright or do I have to hold your nutsack for you while we are there?” he says with a laugh. Any chance to get a jab in is rarely passed up.

‘Fuck you, man” I respond, in that ever intellectual way.

The rest of the ride is filled with small banter in a language that very few can understand when around us, and to be honest, we can never define true origin. It just sort of happened, the way it does between good friends. We go over what songs he has learned and how I should just give the aforementioned nutsack a tug and sing the damn songs rather than worry about coming out like Plant. He is right, but I won’t admit it to him, another of those lifelong friend lessons.

The sun beats in through the windshield during our ride to Shag’s place and we relish the time with on windows down and the tunes blaring but off in the distance, dark clouds are gathering. Ominous and brooding, they roll relentless towards us. I only cast them a cursory glance, knowing that the ride home, or even the schlepping of the gear after practice, may take place in a rainstorm. No matter, practice will be a blast.

We turn onto Shag’s street and see the funeral home. It is as cookie cutter as you would expect. Nothing out of place or situated without meaning. Lawn edges cut, as if, by razor blade. Mulch meticulously placed and spread like icing on the top of a cake. The red brick façade and white pillars, crisp in the summer sun, add to the cover up that this is really a place of death. Where the releasing of personal connection to a being that was once held close and is now lost into that great unknown. It crosses my mind the trivialities of such ceremonies. The false pretense that we are actually there for the person in the box and to support a family that, more often than not, we barely know, rather than to justify our own feelings of guilt or, and more likely the case, happiness that we are still alive.

The skepticism of these thoughts makes me realize that perhaps Morrison has channeled a little earlier than expected tonight.

It is a beautiful building. When I die, I would like to be in a place like this, false pretense or not.

We turn in the parking lot of the building and see Dilly taking the last of his gear into the home. He gives a stoners nod, which consists of a smirk at the corner of his mouth and a knowing look that simply states, “What’s up Fuckers!?” Haven’t seen this guy in a while…love that guy.

I park the car, and Gegg’s excitement spills him out of the seat even before the tires stop rolling. We unpack our shit and head to the door.

The change in the light from outdoors to in plays with our perception for a second but we gather ourselves and make our way down the twelve or so stairs to the belly of the building. It is already a little cooler down here by a couple of degrees or so but emits a warmth that is parlayed by the comfort for the place.

I realize that Geggs was right, if you were transported into this room without knowledge, you wouldn’t know any different. A couple of tall, classy lamps stand in the corners, casting light that gives the room a shadowed feel that is perfect for band practice and casket perusal. The floor is covered in a tight woven rug that is cool on the feet. Pushed aside for this evening’s event are a comfy looking leather chair and matching couch, upon which I am sure many details for visitations and funeral specifics have been drawn out. The tope coloured walls give the calming feel of a therapists office. “Come in and sit, we will work everything out and all will be fine” that colour says, however, right behind where Dilly is setting up I see a door that is doing its best to overshadow the robustness of its meaning.

Through that door, whose only characteristic which separates it from any other door is the electronic security pad directly above the knob,  is where Shags does his business. The “preparation” for the eternal dance.  The very last “spa” day we will ever have. In that room are fridges with sliding shelves. On those shelves are the bodies of the recently deceased and the thickness of that door is all that separates them from where I stand right now. Well, that and about ten feet of carpet.  It doesn’t rattle me but still a quick chill goes down the spine.

“Kurty.”, Shags says, in that Eeyore-ish tone that is saved only for the cartoon character and those who play bass. I haven’t seen him in at least a year and yet nothing has changed. He is still that lanky, wirey guy who you know, somehow, could kick the shit out of anyone who dared to step up to him. Fucking bassist’s.

“Shags! How are things, man?” I ask. We partake in that “guy hug” that is half handshake and embrace.

“Good, good!”, Shags responds. “Well…good for me. When my business is good…it doesn’t bode well for others.”

Shags has always had this dronish, lethargic way about him, never really out of control but an absolute blast to party with. 

He was involved in one of those experiences that you really don’t recall from your teen years with great fancy but it sticks with you regardless and is now an epic tale to tell those who were not there. During a high school soccer final in our Senior year, a brawl broke out. Both teams gathered in that adolescent way, where testosterone takes over common sense and everyone started swinging. I remember Shags, calmly and almost eerily strategically, circling the mass of combatants. One kid was laying on the ground trying to get one of our teammates off of him while another was wailing on our guy. Shags calmly strolled over and, in a very WWE move, dropped is his fist onto this kids forehead, which ended the kids interest in the fight going forward. Shags, in his very distinct way, got up, brushed the dust off his uniform and walked away from the fracas. His definitive walk telling all that he had done his part and was done with the whole thing. When you bring this story up now, years past, he just kind of shrugs it off with a brief chuckle and a shrug. It was what it was.

“How’s Marce and the boy?” Shags asks. He turns to plug his bass into his amp.

“Same old, same old.” I say. “Busy as usual with soccer and lessons and everything. The kids still doing their sports thing?”

“Yeah. Every night seems like there is something else going on. I try to get out to as much as I can but it has been crazy busy lately.”

“I hear ya.” I reply. Something is off with him. I cannot put my finger on it but he seems more morose than normal.

Just then, the door at the top of the stairs opens, bright sunlight casting a silhouette that beats the owner down the steps causing a disruption in the conversation between Shags and I.

 “Beer is here, fuckers!”, Len enters the dim light of the basement room with a grin so wide it says that he has been looking forward to this night for quite a while as well. If I ever needed any reassurance from anyone regarding my part in the band, I simply look over in Len’s direction. Usually he can be seen bopping his head along to the music or, in the occasion that we give into his request for us to play one of the two original songs in our catalogue, he is singing along with me. Small thing, but really kinda cool. More often than not, he is there to be with the guys and pound a few beers back.

Len descends the stairs and has a beer open almost in time with the case touching the ground.

“Dirty?”, he asks, or instructs is more like it,  holding a beer out. The guys know that I need my “Rockstar Juice” in order to take the edge off of the shyness of singing in front of them. There is a fine line between taking the edge off and becoming a blubbering idiot and I have found myself, usually the morning after a practice, having gone way beyond said fine line.

Len travels the room passing out beers to the band members. Geggs has taken a spot on the inviting couch, Shags on broad leather chair, one leg trailing over the arm. Dilly, who is by far, and understandably, most finicky of the group is trying his best to get his gear set up…just….right. After the beers are dispensed, Len takes a seat on the opposite end of the couch from Geggs and promptly puts his feet up on the end of the coffee table. At this point the regular male banter takes over, where we ask each other, in more detail and less flighting attention than original greetings involve, what’s going on. We travel our way through the regularities without much hindrance. This kid is walking and that kid is talking…and all that shit. Along with all the lines of conversation, come a steady flow of beers from the case. The laughs get louder and more intense, as does the attention to the topic matter. Shags, however, is in a little more solemn of an attitude than usual, even for a bassist. This deviation from the prescribed giddiness is noticed at once by Geggy.

“Shags…shake it up fucker. Get the dick out of your ass and cheer up.” Geggs says, causing a low ripple of laughter through the small group. Shags does nothing more than have his head snap up from glancing at the mouth of his beer bottle and utter a soft apology.

“You okay man?” Dilly asks,

“Yeah, come on, you are in a safe place!” Len says, getting up from his place to give Shags a mock hug that Shags shrugs off quickly with a smirk on his lips.

“Got a lot on my mind is all.” Shags says, raising his beer to his lips. After the sip, his eyes look towards the floor in an attempt to break the curiosity coursing through the room

“Anything you want to talk about man?” I ask.

At this question Shags looks over at Geggs who utters, “Ohhhh that! I kinda forgot about you mentioning that might happen. Is he in there?” Geggs makes a gesture over his thumb at the door. Another chill rolls down my spine at this.

If there was a way to measure the total time used during the looks between Len, Dilly and I, you would still have under a second to get a field goal off in the Super Bowl.

“Who?” we ask in almost imperceptible unison.

There is another longish pause during which a number of looks between Shags and Geggs are exchanged. Geggs merely shrugs his shoulders in a What are you gonna do? gesture and takes a hit from his beer.

With a motion that exerts compliance, Shags settles further into the chair he sits in and lets out a sigh.

He raises a hand to his forehead and slightly covers his eyes, in a way that implies that he is trying to avoid saying this next bit but realizing that the cat is out of the bag. You can see him going through the “rules” of his trade in his head and doing math that tells him the risk reward of telling the group of us. Finally, understanding that there is no person here that would allow his lively hood to suffer by mere gossip, Shags asks, “You guys have heard of Mickey Temberton, haven’t you?”

I look around the room and watch the dawning of knowledge come across Len and Dilly’s face. The look they have, the colour drain from their face tells me this is someone I should know. Geggs nods in that “pre-knowing” way and I search my database to bring the name to the surface. It plays just out of the reach of my recollection.

“Who is it again?” I ask, admitting defeat.

Dilly speaks first and says, “He is that guy who has been…or was, I guess,… kidnaping teens in the area and….disposing of them.”

Then it dawns on me. I don’t read a great deal of local news (or any news for that matter!) so the name and the details are somewhat lost on me. Not to say I am completely oblivious to the happenings but I haven’t given it much thought in my day to day.

Shags continues to tell the full story of Mickey Temberton and his horrific escapades that held the region around the city captivated with fear over the past year or so. It had started off with a missing teenage girl, Samantha Jones, 17, who had gone missing after a dance night at the Teen Centre downtown (which was actually one of our watering holes in our early twenties that they since changed over). There was a county wide search for the girl for 24 hours, then it started gaining national attention in the next 48 hours, then hit international news when her body found was found naked amongst the rocks of a small beach ten minutes south of town. When she was found, nothing was really made of it. People figured she had gone with someone she knew, but her friends hadn’t as they said they didn’t see her after the midpoint of the dance, down to the beach for a little late night dip. The kind of dip that only teenagers take to as their body parts are still where they are supposed to be. The problem with a late night dip in the little cove is that, due to geographical design, the waters, or more importantly the undertow that rises, can be surprisingly strong and swift. Countless numbers of swimmers, both of the late night and daytime variety, find themselves at the mercy of the tempestuous waters and lose their life in the struggle. The rocks of the berm have long time been known as the “Filter” as most things that go into that area of the lake end up among those rocks. A buddy of ours on the police force had told us before that whenever there was a call from a fisherman about a finding, usually the case of a person missing from the past little while can be closed.

The difference in this case, once an autopsy was completed was the rape aspect and throat abrasions that didn’t rule out drowning, but definitely added another avenue to the whole thing.

When another body, Trista Conklin, 17, was found on an early Saturday morning jammed awkwardly into the tube slide of a local park, same throat abrasions and rape evidence along with broken leg and wrist from either the fight or the stuffing into the slide, things kicked up a notch. Murmurs of the case and the sordid details not only were rampant in the news, but, as in most small towns, the gossip spread like wild fire. That’s when the fear started to grab hold. The town went on shut down. Police couldn’t answer any questions, not out of lack of wanting, but more because they didn’t have the answers. DNA checks didn’t resolve anything, as the killer had used a condom, which flew in the face of every expert as rape is usually a power thing and very rarely are such precautions taken, and the physical scene evidence revealed nothing. They were stumped.

Whoever the killer was, he was smart and knew what he was doing. The police would have to be diligent and hope for something to jump out and grab them. Almost daily, the Police Chief was on the TV telling people the ever used clichés, have expecting his eyes to roll back in his head and spout off,  We have our best men on the case and We need the community to stay calm and keep an eye out for anything suspicious but do not take it upon themselves to help. Leave it to the professionals. It’s funny how, in times like these, people of some importance, police chiefs and politicians alike, can come across as boring as professional athletes can doing an interview.

To make a long story, or at least a 2 year story, short there were another six bodies that were found over the course of time. All were found in varying places, one a little more brash than the next in a challenging way as if saying Come get ME as fast as you can!!

Who would have thunk that it would be a dirty laundry slip up that was the “pop out” of the case. Mickey Tettleton, he of the reserved nature and introvert personality (aside from Bundy weren’t most of them!) had a bunker in his mother’s basement that he relied upon as his own laboratory where he schemed and devised his plans and next attacks. Where he planned for every hypothetical that could possibly arise, in his mind anyway, as if they really worked out in any approach we gave them. In the basement where his sickness gathered strength and festered like a growth in the depths of the brain. Hiding and waiting. Slithering and slurping on the matter around it.

Mickey had overlooked every inch of every scheme that had anything to do with the inches outside his doorstep. The condom for the rape, the gloves used for the strangulation to cover any possible fingerprints, even the waxing of the forearms and groin region to make sure that nothing got left behind. He wasn’t so worried about anything on his victims’ bodies as he had taken precautions with them as well.  Attacking from certain angles, he had even ensured that bruises had stayed consistent. He had considered the fact that if the bruises had come from different angles or different positions, it would have been reported. But if they weren’t different, maybe they would be overlooked. And he was right. If something was obvious, for the most part, it was passed over. You can’t see the forest from the trees sometimes.

However, Mickey had the small issue of keeping a trophy of his evening out. He thought that after the deed done, and all the precedential activity to ensure his security, that anything left in his possession was manageable at the very least. He liked to drive back from the scene with the souvenir in his hand, or even breast pocket if he was wearing a garment that presented one.

Here is a thought…Sometimes those around us are the scientists and we are the amoeba in the dish.  Who would have thought that good Ol’ Ma was the person that would break the case. Why so?

 She did the laundry.

Mickey, as said before, had a tendency of taking a souvenir of his “conquest” and it was of the panty variety. Usually, Mickey would bring it home and, although only hours removed from the original act, he would use the garment to wrench the sexual desires from his body. There was no pleasure in the act, it was merely an exorcism of the “evil” that resided within. Masturbation can sometimes be seen as the emptying of an evil, and then, in some households, the need to repent came forth with.

Not in Mickey’s house.

After Mickey’s third “excursion”, he left a “souvenir” on the floor. That was sloppy.

After Mickey’s fifth, Mickey’s Mom couldn’t turn her focus away from the irregularities and the fact that even if her son had have bought the “personal’s underwear, why would it have been left on the floor in a crusty mess.

For the next few days or so,  Mom wrestled more and more with the inner struggle of telling someone and, by doing so, drawing attention to her son, and the actual ratting out of her son, who by this point, and a great deal of perusal through the newspapers, she had come to realize he at the very least had something to do with the disappearances and ultimate killing of the young local girls. “I was heartbroken! I was destroyed and questioned how it was possible that I could raise such a person!” she had said in many of the interviews that followed the end of it all. The end of it all came after Mom went to the police, finally succumbing to the internal guilt and realizing that she had to put a stop to what was possibly going on.

The police, having very few leads at that point swooped down on any possible clue and were at the Temberton residence before his mother had completed her entire statement.

After knocking at the door for a number of minutes trying to persuade Mickey to “Come out quietly, they only wanted to talk”, the officer on point gave the nod for another to knock the door down. Mickey was scurrying out the back window to the basement that he had rigged as a pseudo escape hatch for just this situation. It lead directly to his car parked in an access lane that ran behind the houses of the street. The next thirty minutes were less dramatic than one would expect as Mickey did more or less the speed limit through the outskirts of town, ignoring the sirens and repeated blasts from the loud speaker to pull over.

The end of the confrontation came quick. Mickey had stopped the car and, after a moment’s pause, came out firing. The cops, not used to this sort of aggression in the small town, were at first taken aback. However, it did not take long for the training to kick in and they started firing back.

Mickey Temberton was shot five times. The kill shot being the one that severed the aorta from his heart. A shot that probably left more questions unanswered than most people would have liked and the police department took more heat than they deserved about killing him rather than brining him in alive for questioning. An understandable question, however, I would ask that anyone who did actually question the police procedure during the arrest attempt, that they put themselves in their shoes with bullets blasting at them, what they would do.

The rest was the regular processes that eventually found his body to Shag’s morgue.

“And he lays in there right now.” Shags says, coyly pulling the label off of his first beer. Shags has never really been that comfortable talking about his business. I can understand why though. All day having to empathize with families that have lost someone special, at some point you need to learn to disengage and separate regular life from business.

There is a sombre mood in the room after the story is told. Len breaks it saying, “Fuckin’ asshole. Who needs another beer?” as he gets off the couch.

 

 

 

I take the beer and turn to get the rest of my gear ready. My “axe” I plug into my amp and set in the stand. It will stay here for the majority of the practice as I have learned, although coming along in my playing ability, sometimes my picking up and playing along can be a distraction to the others. Basically, compared to them…I suck! But I am comfortable with my position and accept my role.

The mic stand I set up so I am against the back wall and facing Dilly. Again my eyes crawl over the door behind him and I am thankful he has set up there. I am sure that a good case of the heebie-jeebies might find their way into my mind if I were to have the door at my back.

With my gear good to go, I sit and take a few draws of beer while I watch the guys do their warm up thing. Gegg’s and Shags have been playing together for years and although you wouldn’t know it by looking at them, Shags in his khaki shorts and button down shirt and Gegg’s doing his best Chandler from “Friends” impression, they start with a few rocking licks to get the fingers warmed up. Dilly sits back and, cat-like, waits for his chance to pounce in and join the fray. In less than a minute, all three are rolling in it. Picking up small changes from one to the other, it is in no time at all that smiles begin to adorn their faces, intermingled with looks of concentration that say they are dialed in for the night.

Len takes his usual place on the perimeter, on a folding chair he always brings, turned backwards, forearms resting along the top of it, beer in hand, and watching the beginnings unfold. His eyes dancing from one to the other band member, enjoying what they each bring to the mix.

I find myself doing the same and, although very elementary at the guitar, it isn’t long until I find myself picking up my guitar and playing the odd power chord to be a part of the group like a kid jumping in during double dutch.

It is as rhythmic as that, the double dutch of the school yard girls, is band practice. Everyone finds their role for the evening, sometimes boastful and sometimes reserved, but each having its own little part to play and contributing to the greater whole.

I hit a few chords that I assume are close to the sound that Shags and Geggs are trying to hit and watch their faces to see if I am close, more often than not I miss but every once in a blue moon I hit one or two. Tonight is a night where my fingers feel lethargic. Where the notes are eluding my every effort and dipping and diving away from my ability. With a mild sense of defeat, I turn to my guitar stand and set my guitar down.

As if my rendering submission of my guitar for the first bit of practice changes direction, the boys start into a rendition of “Enter Sandman” by Metallica. This is a favourite for all involved as Dilly gets to go to town on the skins: Shags and Geggy get to get into it, and I get to stretch the vocals a bit. Because of the relatively monotone level James uses to sing the song, other than the parts that are “scratchy” and forced, I am able to keep up and at least hold my own during the first real warm-up song of the night. The response from the boys as I hit the first chorus fills me with a great confidence and I am ready for the night. The voice feels good. It feels like it might be a night where I don’t have to push it, which bodes well for the practice.

We travel our way through the second verse and the whole thing is picking up steam. I look over at Lenny and can tell he is as excited as I am. He looks over in my direction with a look that says, “You guys are killing to tonight.”

And he is right.

The positivity in the room is palpable.

I am about to hit the chorus and hear a loud bang that is form Dilly’s direction but was not generated from him. I look at Dilly who is busy staring at Gegg’s, watching for changes. I have a tendency to forget lyrics from time to time and the boys just push through until my memory comes back to me, so for Dilly to have his focus on Gegg’s and have not heard the sound is no surprise. I push it away and wait for the next chance to roll into the chorus to come along. With a deep breath I hit the Opening note hard, “EXIT LIGHT…..” and off we go.

For the next fifteen minutes or so we are moving along pretty well, getting through some of our “regulars” and go to songs that we can play well. New Orlean’s is sinking and I Wanna be Sedated, songs like that. Gegg’s stops to tune his guitar down to a dangerous step which means one of our originals is about to be played, “New Cricket Girl”, a campy little tune that we have played for years and we get a kick out of as we wrote the whole thing. Not a great tune, but kinda cool anyway. The only issue is that Gegg’s has to tune his guitar where the strings are incredibly taught and, at times, if he gets too into it, a string will snap.

Low and behold, right before the second verse, a “Fuck sakes!” comes from Gegg’s mic. A flash of thin silver is hanging down from his guitar.

“I will go grab some chips or something from the house.” Shags says, leaning his bass against the edge of the couch. He slumbers up the stairs and out the door. A quick flash of sunlight and then the door shuts. He seems to have been pretty rattled by the story he has told. Easy to hind behind his instrument and the distraction playing can sometimes allow but it seems to have hit him.

I hear a couple of odd notes from his bass that pull my attention back into the room and notice that Len has jumped at the opportunity to pick the bass up and hit a few notes. Thinking Fuck it, I am not worse than him!, I pick my guitar up and start playing a few chords from a song I have been messing with but am too cowardly to bring up to the guys yet. I look up and see Dilly looking at me, trying to figure a way into the groove as well. He starts playing along, tentatively at first, but then gathering steam as I play the four chord progression over and over to allow him to get a feel for it.

Gegg’s is up and passing around another round of beers. He sits down and searches in his guitar case until he finds the package of Super Slinky’s he is looking for to restring his guitar. As he sets about restringing the guitar, Dilly and I keep poking and prodding our new little creation to see what might come of it. Len has dropped off, admitting a defeat I know all too well, and is tapping the body of the bass along with Dilly’s beat. Even Gegg’s foot is tapping along with the rhythm of the tune.

Dilly is really getting into it, building and building, right to the point where he sets off on his attempt at a Bonzo’s Montreux of his own. I simply strike a few chords when I feel they are needed, letting him flow his way through it. He is relatively reserved so once he gets in a groove with it, you just have to let him go.

I ride the waves that Dilly is putting out, playing chords that seem to fit, knowing that it is coming back to us being partners in what we are putting down.

I am about to hit a power C chord with some emphasis when I hear the crash. It has the disguising sound of a snare drum pop, when sturkc with a higher emphatic purpose.

My eyes are drawn to where the door is behind Dilly’s kit and, as the door is torn away from the hinges, I see a hulking shadow billowing from the door frame. Dilly has felt the commotion behind him and his hands freeze in mid-air. Len and Geggs look dumbfounded and sit, unable to move, in their respective seats, while at the same time the door from upstairs whips open, followed closely by Shags yelling, “What the fuck was that?”

The thing in the doorway lunges forward, in a jaunting and uncoordinated manner, arms outstretched searching for Dilly with its grasp. Dilly tried to hurry out of its way, and although tripping on his seat, is able to duck under the things grasp by inches. The man, which I can see now that it has entered the dim light of the basement, stumbles forward and crashes through Dilly’s drum kit making a plethora of odd percussion sounds. We are all stunned, Dilly, the only one moving, even he is scooting away on his ass from the body. Shags has come down the stairs already is silhouette like beside me. For what seems like a long period of time, the man lays there struggling to find purchase underneath him to rise up. Len is the first to act as he pounces at the thing, jumping on top of him and trying to hold him down.

From beside me, I hear Shags whisper, “Mickey.” His eyes as wide as saucers, I can actually hear the internal workings of his brain trying to figure out what the next step for him is and possible outcomes.

“Will you fuckers get over here and help me!” Len yells.

Dilly is first to help. Looking briefly at his hand, where a broken drum stick is clasped, he drives it into the side of Mickey’s ribcage. This only causes Mickey to exhume a gurgling, murmured half shout and gets him moving again. He throws Len off to his one side and paws the side of Lens head like a bear getting a salmon out of a stream. Len is thrown to the base of the couch, dazzed.

This gets my legs moving, yet as I run over the few feet to where this is all happening, the stench of chemicals, presumably formaldehyde mixed with the stench of decay, punches me in the face and staggers me for a second. I get to Mickey, however, the second he rises on his knees, turning to Dilly to attack. The only thing I can think of doing is a wrap tackle. A technique left over in the depths of my brain from high school football. The problem, however, is that Dilly strikes Mickey in the chest with a double footed kick that sends Mickey backwards a bit and causes me to ring around him in my ill-timed, and most likely ill thought out, wrap tackle.

It feels as if two iron bars are closing around my torso as Mickey latches on and squeezes. I look up into his face. Complexion of old ham and the smell, bad before, helps take what little breath I have left from the bear hug this corpse is giving me. Spots start to raise in front of my eyes and I can feel my struggles waning.

Mickey and I are suddenly jarred sideways as Len has gathered his senses and has placed a right hook to the side of Mickey’s head. His lock on me subsides and oxygen rushes into my lungs.

I roll to one side, hoping that he is not behind me and grasping for me again but the shot that Len got in has caused him to stagger and fall onto his back.

As if history repeating itself, I catch a glimpse out of my peripheral of Shags in mid-air. He comes down on Mickey’s forehead, his left fist acting like a piston and crashes onto the bone.

Shags gets up after administering the blow and stands above Mickey, rightfully expecting that to be the end of it. However, whatever was left in Mickey Temberton was not ready to leave just yet.

As Mickey attempts to get back up, Geggs finally rushes into the action.

“Try this motherfucker.” Geggs yells, wrapping a guitar string, that only minutes ago was going to be placed on his guitar, around Mickey’s throat. Mickey’s arms flail in the air, fighting to be free of the string that is choking whatever is miraculously keeping him here out of his body.

We all leap onto the back of Mickey, and hold him down while Geggs puts more and more tension into the string. I can see the tendons in his hands sticking out, the string cutting into the skin as he bears down into the cartilage of mickey’s throat.

Finally after what seems like an eternity, the body lays still. None of us moves in fear that he may rise again, but after a few minutes, we all roll in different directions and take inventory of ourselves and each other. All the boys have sweat standing out on their brows from the struggle, but the worst of it all is the look in everyone’s eyes.

The look is one, predictably, of fear and “what the hell do we do next?”. 

I look over to Shags and notice that his head has fallen into his hands. In that gesture, is the fall of everything he has built. A successful business, a great life for his family. All of it possibly gone based on our next move.

“Not a single fucking word of this to anyone, guys. This shits stays in this basement….right? We help Shags clean this shit up and then it is over with. Got it?” Len says, as he looks around the room from his seat on the floor. He must have picked up what I was seeing in Shags’ posture and in true management style, took over the situation.

Dilly and I voice our agreement, both in a mumbled tone due to the levity of the situation.

Len turns to Geggs, who had not voiced his concurrence with the plan and says, “Geggs…..do you get what I am saying?”

Geggs sits still for a moment and then starts to laugh as he looks down at his injured hands. I can see the deep troughs the string has left after the battle.

We all stare at him, wondering if he has snapped his ghourd and just when I am about to say something, Geggs looks up at us, shirt askew, hair dishevelled, and says, “I choked that fucker out with a G string. Get it??” He leans back on the couch and starts to laugh uncontrollably.

 

 

 

More Morbid Details Surfacing Regarding Temberton Murders

By Josh Smails

Tuesday, May 12th, 2014

LONDON- AS if the murders themselves where not gruesome enough, the court has allowed some of the other details of the Temberton murders to be made public.

Mickey Temberton, now deceased, went on a two year kidnapping and killing spree that held the region hostage. There are three confirmed deceased with more investigations planned.

One of the details has shown Temberton to be fan of the rock band Metallica. In his car and room in his mother’s home, many copies of the bands self-titled fifth studio album were found. It is believed that Temberton used the music to “pump himself up” or gain confidence before going about his business of the kidnappings. Temberton also had the tattoo of “Sandman” in scroll down his right forearm which is leading investigators to believe that perhaps the track “Enter Sandman” from the Metallica album was his go to song.

Further details are to be released this week regarding the twisted details that surround the killings.

 

 


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