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Welcome boils and ghouls to our library. In here you will find written and artistic works on the subjects of Sex. Horror. Rock N' Roll...and things that once were...renanimated!

Writers: Dark Winter

Overkill
Horrorscope
(Atlantic Records)


   Crank the volume all the way up and dive face first right into the mother fucking pit with no regrets! Horrorscope is a bone crushing release that is just full heavy ass riffs and heart pounding drums. To me this has always been my favorite Overkill cd, and I have blasted this bad mother fucker ever since its release back in September of 1991.

   Now for those of you that might have been living in Amish country, let me bring you up to speed. This is another one of those hands down instant classics that you just can’t live without, and I’ll tell you why.

   This album sets a tone right from the get go that just dominates all the way through. The first Track on this cd (Coma,) is where it all starts by beginning with a little dark but mellow interlude. Then a very cool mix blends you right in to this shredding guitar riff, but not in your face. Now this feels more like a slow rise of energy that is about to give you a mad crazy adrenaline rush from hell; oh it does just that! That energy just builds and builds, track by track, but it is such a high end rush that you will never want it stop.

   When you get a few seconds into track 3 (Blood Money,) which just drives that rush so damn hard that you’re just ready to exploded, and that’s when it happens. Track 4, (Thanx For Nothin',) gives you the release of moshing ecstasy that you have been waiting for. Kicking off with a really brutal drum lick, that will make cum all over your self, and trust me you probably will. This track is just simply fucking great and there is no way around that.

   You will get a second to catch your breath on track 5, (Bare Bones,) which starts off with a Halloween-esque Mike Myers style piano. But don’t get too comfy because that will only last about two seconds, then back to the pit you go. Now its time for the crown jewel of this cd, well at least to me, and it is the title track, “Horrorscope”. D.D. Verni kicks this dark creepy number off with his 8 string bass, and oh man does it ever reiterate that tone that we mentioned earlier. This song is so thick and chunky you’ll think someone dumped a heavy metal salsa on you. Trust me, this song is a such a must hear and everyone in the band just shines on this track so much that you can feel it coursing through your veins.

   All the other songs on this grand slam of a cd are no slouches either, but there is one more I should mention, and that's the Edgar Winter cover of Frankenstein. Man, all I can say is WOW. This track is so amazing that you’ll want to grab a guitar and jam with it even if you can’t play. I think it is better then the original, but that’s just me. No disrespect to Edgar Winter, but god damn is this heavy.

   Now the overall mix is just brilliant and very crisp on the recording side. The song structures are very strong and well rounded, not to mention a great delivery on the dynamics. This cd is the real deal and a must for any thrash / speed metal fan. I highly recommend it so get off your ass and check it out!!! -D.W.

Mercyful Fate
The Bell Witch EP
(Metal Blade)
   
   Now I don’t know how many of you have had the pleasure of coming across this ep, but let me say it is very much worth the buy for any Mercyful or King fan. Now that we know that, this is a must have, plus, it kicks ass and all that shit. Let's talk about what it has.

   The first 2 tracks are right from the 'In The Shadows'(Mercyful reunion album) and those tracks are:

1. The Bell Witch
2. Is That You, Melissa

   Now the other 4 tracks are live and recorded from the reunion tour October 8th, 1993 in LA and here the track titles.

3. Curse Of The Pharaohs
4. Egypt
5. Come To The Sabbath
6. Black Funeral

   We obviously can see that it's all great songs, but how’s the sound? Well, the recording and mix is excellent and totally crisp as can be. Now the band sounds raw but in a good way. Like you're right there in the front row in a smaller venue and they are just jamming only for you. Sure, there are some spots where King's voice cracks a little bit, but who gives a fuck? I always thought that it just added to the character of his singing style a little and added to his ambiance.

   So yes, this definitely is a little treat, and I have to say go get it if you’re a fan. If you don’t know who King Diamond is well, let me recommend going over to his myspace and give him a listen for your self.

Hail to the King baby!!! D.W.

Dream Evil
United
(Century Media)

   Here I am digging through cd’s and what do I find but them shiniest of gems a band called Dream Evil. I hit play and discover a massive dose musical perfection of epic proportions. This 2006 release entitled United is just simply perfect from beginning to end and will easily sweep clean off of your feet with out any hesitation. Now all I can think of is how the fuck this slipped passed me.

   Try to picture taking the best parts from bands like Helloween, Black Sabbath, HammerFall, and a hint of Dragonforce then mix and volume then serve. Now that you have a power metal meal that just can not be beat. I just can not find one thing I don’t like about this cd every thing is right where It should be. From the over all sound quality to song structures and total dynamic possibilities it is all fulfilled its like a dream come true!

   Each song is so powerful yet beautiful so to the point it becomes difficult to pick a favorite and that’s not really a bad thing. I guaranty that this cd is a instant metal god for all times that will never leave your playlist and how once you heard it could you ever go without it. I swear that as soon as you start to listen to this cd you believe that you are covered in magical armor ready to batlle in all its glory without fear and full of honor / pride. So go for and get this god send of a cd or all the others that have been enchanted by its brilliance will most likely unite and hunt you done for being their enemy against the metal gods. -DW

http://www.dreamevil.se/
http://www.dreamevil.se/index2.html
http://www.myspace.com/dreamevil

Iron Maiden
Running Free (single)
(EMI)

   Now here is a crucial date in history for metal fans across the martial plain, February 8th 1980. That was when Iron Maiden released the single that would catapult them into the forefront of heavy metal. Running Free was Maiden’s first single released on 7" vinyl at 45 rpm which featured of course Running Free on the A-side and one of ARRY’S pre Maiden songs Burning Ambition on the B-side.

   I tell you the raw power from this single is just mother fucking amazing. The moment that first guitar roars in your just overwhelmed with a strong rebellious feeling. Then all of a sudden you just want to piss in your mothers face. Maybe finally tell her what a filthy cunt she is and just take off leaving your cares behind to live life your way. I know when I hear I still want to cram my foot right down someone’s fucking throat. Raw, clean, technical, mean, and just about everything else in between. Now almost 28 years later from its release date and it still kicks ass. What really fucking pisses me off was and is one of Maiden’s more radio air friendly songs but I have never to this day heard this song on a fucking radio station. What the fuck. That just never made any dam sense but hell that’s fucking American radio bull shit radio stations for you. Anyway this just oozes with nostalgia that can’t be beat, and it has that sound from the era but with a big ass set of titanium balls. This is a song that will always stand tall and proud like a anthem of metal in or hearts.

   Burning Ambition like I said on the B-side and I know there are probably a few of you younger rivet heads sitting there scratching your heads thinking what the fuck a B-side is. Ok so ill amuse you for a sec little metal dudes because if you don’t it is most likely your fault. Ok check out this link, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gramophone_record
This will explain everything about this madness I speak of and when you got it all figured out, come back here and it will all make sense. Now for those of you that already understand let’s skip ahead and don’t worry about the little dudes right now staring in shock at that old school cd looking thing.

   Alright let’s try this again, Burning Ambition though on the B-side of this single, don’t let that trick you into thinking that its not a good song. Don’t even get a stupid idea like that rolling around in that head of yours, remember this is Iron Maiden. First off what makes this track extra special is the fact that it has Doug Sampson on it and unless you have the Sound House Tapes this is pretty much your only chance to check him out as I studio drummer with Maiden. This song is got that up beat sound with a little bit of dreamy guitar goodness and it still captures that raw maiden aggressiveness. This is still one of my favorite Iron Maiden jams with out a doubt. It was written I believe back during the Gypsy's Kiss era of ARRY’s carrier.

   All in all a fucking great first single that set raised the sail for the Maiden voyage that we all have come to know and love. -DW

http://www.ironmaiden.com/

Metallica
No Life 'Til Leather
(Self Release)
 
   July 1982 changed the face of metal forever when this 7 song demo tape was sent out into the world. To this day this is still one of my favorite releases from Metallica. Though it is pre Cliff it still holds and is raw demo cassette it still after all these years kicks fucking ass. This is one of those mother fuckers where the crappy sound quality is one of the things that just adds to it greatness. Times were way the fuck different and it was hard as fuck to find killer unsigned bands. Now of days you could make a crystal clear studio quality demo that was recorded in your shitter and it could sound identical to something that a record company would put out. Not only that, you have the whole internet as a distributing tool which though can’t always get you signed but it can most defiantly get your music heard. Not the case in 1982 where if you did not have the money to get studio time you were pretty much fucked on quality. You would have to resort to cheap ass microphones and either a cheap 4 track or a standard tape deck for you recording process.
Then after that fun experience you get the pleasure of copying your demo. Now that alone would suck ass. Just think of burning each copy of your demo cd in real time. Then you get to pass them out and hope that someone digs it.

   Well as we all know this demo tape was proved that people dug it. NLTL spread across the globe like wild fire to the point where Metallica would roll into a town to do a show and the audience would know not just the song titles but the lyrics as well. Now the demo was recorded on an 8 track studio at Chateau East Studio, Tuscin, CA - and features this line up. –

    James Hetfield – vocals, rhythm guitar
    Dave Mustaine – lead guitar
    Ron McGovney – bass guitar
    Lars Ulrich – drums

NLTL included 7 tracks that of course ended up on Kill 'em All which were in this order. –

1. Hit The Lights
2. The Mechanix – later to become The Four Horsemen
3. Motorbreath
4. Seek And Destroy
5. Metal Militia
6. Jump In The Fire
7. Phantom Lord

Though I got into Metallica a little late and my first album by them was Master of Puppets, I still appreciate the raw power on this demo. I got my first copy of NLTL back in 1989 maybe 1990 and I played the shit out of it more then I played Kill ‘em All. I don’t think I would ever really be able to convey the nostalgic feeling that this demo give off and all I can really say is if you can find a copy get it. This is a piece of or metal heritage and should be cherished as such. The question is does it stand the test of time, and I can easily say fuck yeah it does. Go ahead and put this next to St. Anger you’ll with out a doubt see which has more raw metal to it. -DW

http://www.metallica.com/

The Sins of Thy Beloved
Lake of Sorrow
(Napalm)

    Well I didn’t have to dig too far into the library for this priceless jewel since this only came out in 1998. Though it is not that old some how you still don’t really ever hear too many people mention it. Now that is a fucking shame since this is a timeless piece of music. Try to keep in mind that this is their first full length studio album. Now I don’t mean that I am saying it is not a bad first attempt. This is quite the opposite… this album is just simply perfect all the way through. A beautiful display of artistic song structures and that just don’t come anywhere close to falling short or overdoing it at any point. Smooth and brilliant dynamic placements will set you a drift with the ethereal plains. The over all sound is so well balanced in the mix that all you hear is the hauntingly enchanting music touching you soul.

   Now that’s the key element to a great release. When all the other things are taken care of like the Mix, the recording sound quality, the math in the structures / dynamics, and that the artist pours their heart plus their soul into the music itself. With all of that shit out of the way you are able to do what is the most important thing to do with music… and that’s to enjoy it. Now that’s exactly what Lake of Sorrow allows you to do and it does it so well.

   From the moment this cd starts you will find your self basking in an essence of pure emotional indulgence. The music plays out like a soundtrack to which the only way I can best describe it is that it feels like a terrifyingly sad nightmare captured from the child with in us all. At least that’s how it made me feel but hey that’s me and you may have a totally different interpretation of how it makes you feel. On that note I have something in mind for those of you that can appreciate this cd as I do. I want you to send me some email on how this album made you feel mentally, spiritually, and or emotionally. What ever the case is if this if this album touches you in some way I want to hear about it. Now I don’t care how you write it… if you want to tell it in a poem or in a story of a personal experience of how it affected you. That’s up to you long as it is from the heart and true that all I care about. Now if your email nails what I am talking about I attach it to this review so we can show others how this wonderful album has affected other people.

   This album is so fucking deep musically and lyrically that you won’t want to come back from the world that it places you in. Gothic doom metal is what it is labeled as but fuck that this is just great fucking music. I really think anyone could enjoy this album no matter what you listen to as long as your heart and soul is honestly pure with the spirit of music. Hell I remember when my son was 4 years old and I was playing the song Until the Dark off this album. Out of nowhere he was all like "dad you got to put this on my Xbox for me this is just so cool." Then we just sat and listened to it a few times and it was just so kick ass to see how it just kind of jumped out at him. Anyway, this release was a classic when it came out, and from this moment till the end of time itself will be a classic. -DW  

Slayer
Seasons in the Abyss
(Def American Records)

   Who the fuck can forget the first time the heard this metal masterpiece? Unless you are one of those who have not yet had the honor of being blessed by its blood soaked glory. Originally released on October 9th 1990 and still remains one most killer albums of all times. I remember picking my copy up on Halloween of 1990 and it was also my first slayer cd. I slammed it in not knowing what to expect and then I was just captivated by it. After hearing this cd I became hooked not just on slayer but on way heavier bands that I would not usually have listened to before.

   Now for those of you that have never heard this cd you better prepare your self because we are taking the elevator to hell.

   The overall sound of this album is so fucking clean that it is insane. Now this also has a really dry but refined sound that will definitely put you in a great mood for murdering your entire family. The mix of all the instruments is fucking is nailed just like Christ on the cross, and that just makes you feel all warm and fuzzy like a hallmark Christmas in hell. The songs have excellent structures and have a dynamic road map that should be an example of what should be done when writing music. I wish more bands today would get this old school raw power recording sound that just makes you think that the band is playing right in your room.

   The songs themselves are all fucking great from beginning to end, and you would not expect anything less from Slayer. Like a bear on steroids and cocaine this cd starts off charging at you full fucking force. Another thing that is great about this album like most Slayer releases is when you play it all the way through. See playing a Slayer cd sounds more like a live performance then a studio project. It is almost like they walked in and did it all in one take with the way it is recorded.It makes you feel like it is your own personal Slayer concert.

   This is just one of those albums that you can’t go without for any true metal fan out there. Seasons is a album that has and always will stand the test of time. It is a true fucking classic and has earned a place in my top albums of all time. So for all of you that don’t have it go get it, and for those of you that do go dig it out and play it loud. I know for me when I play this I think of better times in my life and how things just were then. -DW

http://www.slayer.net/
http://www.myspace.com/slayer


The dark art of Sharaya Brooks

Born in a small town near Detroit Michigan in 1986, American artist, Sharaya Brooks began drawing in school and at home, deciding to become professional in 2008. That year She published the first of many Dark Art and Macabre Pieces, 'Proud Craftsman'.  Before then she had aspired to be a singer, actor and many other things never letting her creativity blossom as visual art. She specializes in dark and macabre art, particularly emphasizing fear and beauty and even often experimenting with various other styles as well.
When viewing a Sharaya Brooks piece, one might find it random and unnerving surprisingly in a sort of comfortable way. The renderings of her portraits are frightening and almost nightmarish, one expects to be watched by the object in the picture at times. Indeed, Sharaya's pieces have roots in both Dark, Surreal, and Lowbrow genres.






Remembering Ronnie James DIO
By K.K.


    The first time I heard the mighty voice of Ronnie James Dio, it was on the song “Neon Knights” from Black Sabbath’s HEAVEN AND HELL album. Tony Iommi’s charging guitar riff heralded the start of what would become for me one of my favorite songs of all time, but when Dio roared out “HERE IT COMES AGAIN!”
I thought Who the Hell is THAT singing for Black Sabbath?
     Instantly, any thoughts of Ozzy Osbourne fell by the wayside. Ozzy was, and remains, one of rock’s most offbeat and hardest-working showmen, but Dio was a singer, with one of the most powerful voices I’d ever heard. He had depth, range, and clarity; he could deliver an operatic ballad or scream and shout as necessary. Whereas most metal vocalists tried to scale the ionosphere reaching their highest note possible, Dio ruled the lower ranges with his deep bass delivery.
     Like most rabid rock fans, when you’re exposed to a great new talent, you try to find whatever other work they’d created. Dio made me investigate Rainbow’s early work (they were more well-known in the UK and Europe at that point), and while Ritchie Blackmore’s guitar skills made every Rainbow album decent, they seemed to ‘soften’ musically after Dio’s departure. Dio once said Rainbow “Became Foreigner in drag.”
     One of the top regrets of my youth was missing the “Black and Blue” Tour. I had tickets to see Blue Oyster Cult, and The Rockets were to be their opening act. Later I was informed that Black Sabbath—with Dio—would be the opening act!!! I was in metal ecstasy…but I was 15, with no car. My brother made some convoluted escape plan to see the show by telling my parents we’d be ‘camping’, but someone blew the whistle on us and I was grounded. This of course was when most parents thought Black Sabbath made teenagers swear allegiance to all the dark powers of the universe, and stay out real late, besides.
     They needn’t have worried. Something I’ve found is that the darker and more ‘evil’ a band pretends to be, the cooler they are as people. It ought to be remembered that Dio’s “Hear ‘n Aid” project was the only musical charity work that actually got food to starving Africans. Meanwhile, Dio’s songwriting was practically sonic Dungeons and Dragons, but I never heard him once espouse violence, vice or actual Satanism. When he was asked if he and his band were truly satanic or evil, he said “We’re the Last in Line (to find that question out).” To me, the consistent theme of his music was “LOOK OUT!” (His personal ‘catchphrase’…in my stand-up routine I’d joke “Dio, there’s a dog on the road! LOOK OUT! There’s a piano about to fall on you! LOOK OUT!”) Meaning that life was fraught with danger, but truly strong individuals would persevere. In the liner notes of Sabbath’s THE DIO YEARS, he wrote “In some ways I’m a very political writer, but I try not to make my points too obvious. For example, “Children of the Sea” is a cry against pollution, and “Neon Knights” is a reminder that even though we live in a Neon age, we should still strive to be chivalrous.”
     Fortunately, I was able to see Dio perform with Black Sabbath on their DEHUMANIZER tour in Miami, then with his own band on the SACRED HEART, DREAM EVIL, ANGRY MACHINES, LOCK UP THE WOLVES and IMAGICA tours. On Imagica in Las Vegas, he came out for four, count ‘em, four encores! On Lock Up the Wolves in Orlando, his stage show drained all the auxiliary power in the venue and the waitresses had to take drink orders using flashlights. If you were fortunate enough to see him on the SACRED HEART tour, you were treated to one of the most elaborate stage sets in metal history: Vinnie Appice played his drums on the back of a dragon; Claude Schnell played keyboards on top of a castle tower. Dio killed the dragon with a sword, appeared on video in a crystal ball to introduce the album’s title track, Vivian Campbell killed a giant robot spider with a rocket from his guitar, and that was in addition to the lasers, fog and actual music. Out of every other band in heavy metal, only Iron Maiden ‘brought more to the stage’, if you will. Dio’s stage sets were so fantastic (and costly) he tended to break even or actually lose money on some tours, but “the kids had a good time”, which seemed to be his overriding motivation through decades of making music. In an interview on Eddie Trunk’s Metal Show, he reaffirmed “If we don’t please the audience, there’s no reason for us to be there.”
     And to his everlasting credit, he always did. There was never a show where he was off his game, sick, or even forgot a lyric. You never left a Dio concert feeling cheated, only dazed, deafened and entertained to the maximum. He was once quoted as only wanting to be remembered as a good singer.
     He was a lot more than that.

Assorted Dio Trivia:
1.He played the voice of Dr. X on Queensryche’s OPERATION MINDCRIME 2.
2.Tenacious D wrote a song called “Dio” in which Jack Black claimed “You’re too old to rock, no more rockin’ for you!” and demanded “You must give your cape and scepter to me!” to which Dio said “No, sorry.” And in response he wrote “Push” (“Get out of my way!”) for KILLING THE DRAGON…later he and Jack Black appeared in each other’s videos, and also in Tenacious D’s film THE PICK OF DESTINY.
3.If you can find it (and good luck doing it) there’s a Russian import CD that has ANGRY MACHINES and the very first ELF album on it in combination.
4.For DREAM EVIL he recruited a Scottish guitarist named Rowan Robertson who was only 18 years old at the time.
5.Even though only approximately 5’4”, he could (and did) drink every band he toured with under the table.
6.He’s credited for bringing the “Horns Up” gesture to heavy metal, which was his Italian grandparents’ method of warding off ‘The Evil Eye’.
7.HEAVEN AND HELL not only resurrected Black Sabbath’s career, it also landed Dio his own solo-album contract (ostensibly just in case Black Sabbath split up again).
8.It’s rumoured that the word “Devil” is visible within the DIO logo if viewed from the proper angle, but if you’re doing that you’ve got way too much time on your hands.

THE WRITINGS OF AUTHOR RUSSELL KAINE

excerpt from the novel 'Bumble Bee' Reprinted with permission.

Available at LuLu.com.

appearing on AMAZON and BARNES&NOBLE.com in October.

via email at: bumblebeekaine@gmail.com

Beekeeping is a sweet business, but you gotta be careful or you'll get stung.

(John Cowen, Inventor: Cowen Honey Extractor)


Chapter 3


Bee Deadly


This was the first act in a play that was as yet unknown, even to the town’s new conspirators and in total, Ray Fleck and Linda Dobbins took seven other Bumble Bee residents to the hives. The lucky winners were Mary Litchfield, Tom Mikkelson, Debbie Jones (the 19-year-old daughter of the Jones couple) and the add-on Carter, Jimmie Pursur, his girlfriend’s brother Jack Shotz, and Grandma Pursur herself. They were chosen not by the café owner and his waitress, but by the tiny voice each of them was hearing. Each had serious skeletons in their closets –– at least one in every family does –– and if you’re a fan of the Bible, that’s how The Devil gets in. It was probably how The Voice worked as well.

The day stretched out to be a long one. A hot baking sun was now creeping down and pulling the blanket of dusk along with it. The greenish-brown tops of the nearby mountains contrasted against the blue, orange and red pastels of yet another brilliant Arizona sunset.

In the shadow of the café’s backside, the chosen nine stood in silent unison before Ray Fleck’s white box hives, receiving instructions. All were covered top to bottom in a squirming suit of live bees, tiny legs and wings tickling as they crawled. The Voice told them all how happy it was to be with them. The Voice told them how beautiful and perfect they all were. The Voice told them they must now murder the remaining residents. At this, the nine gasped together, but the Voice told them that now that they were seeing the world as it really was, they would see that their wives, husbands, children and others were not the perfect humans that the nine were, but terrible and disgusting monsters. Monsters that stole life. Monsters that ate baby bees. Monsters that must be punished.

It was the Jones family that got it first. Carter, sporting Bahama shorts and a Linkin Park T-shirt and Debbie, wearing tight jeans and a halter top –– both hiding something behind their backs –– entered the household just as night fell and the rest of the family was sitting down for supper. Dale Jones, father and king of the roost was, of course, at the head of the table with his wife, Arnette, to his right and their other child, Sammy, to his left. Two empty places sat waiting for Debbie and Carter.

“Hey, there you two are,” the father said, “Sit down before it gets cold.”

“Did you get Ray’s stove fixed?” Arnette asked, reaching for mashed potatoes and referring to the bullshit excuse Ray and Linda had used to get Debbie and Carter to the hives.

The two said nothing, but only stared. Debbie realized that The Voice had been right. In a flash, she remembered her life and growing up with her family –– the good times, such as playing at the lake near their previous home in Colorado, endless shopping excursions with her mom, family vacations twice a year, her high-school prom, her numerous boyfriends; and the bad times, such as the mean and rotten practical jokes her little brother would play on her, the time they were all frightened to death that she might have been pregnant, the long and drawn-out passing of her favorite grandma from cancer.

But now, she saw them for what the Voice said she would –– terrible and disgusting monsters. The three at the table were no longer the loving family she’d once known, but black, dripping lobster-like creatures made of blood and shit and decay. The food on the table had turned into piles of writhing bees, all crying out for Debbie and Carter to save them before the monsters feasted on their delicate little bodies. It impulsively made her angry that these monsters had pretended to love and care for her all those years, pretended to be nice, pretended to go to church –– all just to make a fool of her. It made Carter angry, too. In fact, it made them furious. That’s how the madness worked.

Dale opened his mouth to ask them to sit down again, but before he could utter a word, Carter produced the sawed off double-barreled shotgun from behind his back and fired. The top half of Dale’s head exploded, producing a bright red starburst on the wall behind him that reminded Carter of one of those large and brilliant head-dresses Las Vegas showgirls wore. What was left of Dale slumped, allowing large chunks of gore from the bottom half of his head spill into the pot roast and mashed potatoes in front of him. Meanwhile, Debbie had jumped on her mother, taking her to the floor. Only when the blade sank deep down into the top of her shoulder did Arnette realize that it was a meat cleaver from the café that Debbie had been hiding. She wrenched the cleaver out of her mom’s shoulder with a small, wet sucking sound and Arnette could only speak the word, “Why,” before Debbie –– her dear, darling daughter Debbie –– brought the blade down onto her face.

That left the boy Sammy who, at age twelve, knew enough from late-night TV movies that his only chance was to get to the handgun his dad kept in the bedroom. With Carter reloading and Debbie still hacking, he ran to the hallway, into his parents’ room and locked the door. He leaned against the far wall and slid down into a crouching position, convulsing from shock and catching his breath, but Debbie and Carter were finished killing his parents and now pounding at the door to let them in.

WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS!?” Sammy screamed with choking tears. “YOU KILLED THEM!!! WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU!!??

“C’mon, Sammy,” Debbie said. “It’s okay, we were just kidding, see?”

As sick of a joke as it was, Carter and Debbie started badly imitating the voices of Arnette and Dale. “C’mon, son, this is your father … open the door,” and, “Hey, sweetie, this is mommy … be a good boy, now!”

Sammy felt a small rush of anger from this and ran over to the bureau where his dad’s gun was. He opened it and found the pistol under some socks, but it was unloaded. Fumbling, his fingers found the bullets only a few inches further. Dale had taken his son out to firing ranges in the past and Sammy knew how to load the gun, but his frightened and trembling fingers failed him, dropping most of the bullets. Just then, Carter and Debbie broke through the thin bedroom door, laughing and taunting.

“BZZZZ –– times up, you little fucking monster,” Carter said, aiming the shotgun at him. “We know what you are!”

LITTLE FUCKING MONSTER!!!” Debbie hollered.

Too frightened to speak or do anything else for that matter, Sammy simply squeezed his eyes shut. The blast of the shotgun was the last thing the poor boy ever heard.


That night all over the small town of Bumble Bee, Arizona, the sounds of guns and death and screams could be heard until about 10 o’clock. A passerby would have thought that someone was simultaneously playing a war movie and Friday The 13th too loud on their TV. But in fact, eleven people had come to a gruesome end.

At the Pursur home, Grandma in her moo-moo giggled and made tea while Jimmie and Jack –– evoking the images of Tweedledee and Tweedledum –– stabbed and sliced their two women a total of one hundred seventy-eight times. Tom Mikkelson had violently strangled his wife and daughter (snapping the latter’s neck in the process so completely, that her head rolled round and around her shoulders until her twisting neck sprang back, forcing it to roll the other way), while Mary Litchfield, a slightly chunky lady in her mid 30’s with red hair, had hit her husband over the head with a baseball bat and stuffed a good portion of him head first into the oven, set at 450 degrees. The last to go was the Dobbins family. Linda enlisted Ray Fleck’s help in getting her husband and two kids to come over to the café for a free meal. The only free things for them, however, were the hunting rifle bullets that killed them and the overnight stay in the café’s walk-in freezer.

The next morning, the bright Arizona sun revealed evidence of the massacre. Under the direction of The Voice, the chosen nine worked quickly to clean up incriminating blood stains and stack the bodies onto an open flat-bed trailer in front of the Jones residence. Mary Litchfield was the only one that had an impossible time with her duties. Her husband’s face, upper chest and shoulders had become cooked onto the oven rack that had supported his weight while broiling. So much so that in the end, Ray Fleck and Linda The Waitress directed her pull him out of the oven with the rack still stuck to his head. That, of course, made him easier to carry and Mary Litchfield’s beau was the last to top the stack, rack and all.

Once it was all done, Tom Mikkelson had the job of backing his Ford truck up to the trailer, hitching it and taking the bodies to one of the defunct mines toward the end of town with Carter’s help. The remaining seven shambled to the hives behind the café to receive more instructions from The Voice. It told them it needed more. It told them that it would reach out and bring people in from the highway, but only those that wouldn’t be missed. It told them to leave the residents of nearby Cleator and Crown King alone and play dumb when they or anyone else The Voice didn’t want passed through, lest they be caught. It told them it would teach them all how to make and do wondrous things in preparation of the arrival of Ray Fleck’s banquet hall Queen.

All seven looked upward into nothingness and murmured, “When will she come?” Soon, The Voice answered, Soon.

For thirty minutes, the seven were statues, unmoving and covered in a tingling syrup of inspired bees. Their séance was broken by the arrival of a confused couple in a beat-up Chrysler.

“Mmmm –– BZZZZ –– fresh meat!” Ray Fleck said and went to greet them at the front of the café. They told him they couldn’t remember how they’d gotten there, but that they needed to stop anyway and get that annoying buzzing bee out of their car. The one that had seemed to come out of nowhere.

See? See how I promise? The Voice said to Ray. He smiled and ushered the latest victims into the Bumble Bee Café and General Store.

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