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Death Metal

by Mark All

Music from Hell has gone viral … and you’ll love it to death.

Devastated by the car crash that killed his bandmate, guitarist David Fairburn has given up on life—until Vince Buckley returns from the dead to complete the band’s final album. Jessica Chandler needs something new and different to save her struggling record label. But those who stand in the way of the music's release begin to die one by one, and when the first single is posted on the web, listeners become "Loopers," addicted to the music—and murderous.

As the violence spreads, David and Jessica must survive the chaos to prevent Vince from releasing the entire album on the Internet. But can David sacrifice the most brilliant work he’s ever done to save Jessica and prevent a global bloodbath?



By Mark All



Thursday, midnight

David Fairburn’s songwriting partner returned from the dead a year after the wreck that killed him and broke up their band.

Moments before, David had stood over the 1959 Goldtop Les Paul in his basement recording studio, gripping an axe in both hands. The guitar lay in its open case, cushioned on the plush lining like a corpse in a coffin. He resisted the urge to run his finger along the axe’s polished steel blade. It was sharp enough to make kindling of the useless instrument.


He had spent hours playing riff after lame riff on the Les Paul, trying to write a song. His collaboration with Vince Buckley, keyboardist in their band Penumbra, had been synergistic. Oblivion, the album they’d begun before Vince’s death, had exceeded the quality of anything they’d done before. Even so, David couldn’t bring himself to work on the unfinished tracks, and he seemed incapable of generating any worthwhile ideas on his own. What little he did come up with had grown more self-referential over time, until tonight’s recordings amounted to self-parody. It was time to accept reality. He was nothing without his partner.

David held the axe to his chest, bowing his head like a Crusader praying over his sword. “That last album was our destiny, Vince—but I can’t finish it without you.”

Blinking away tears, he focused his gaze on the traitorous guitar at his feet. The Les Paul had held only so much music and he’d used it up. The past year’s frustration, failure, and desperation welled within him. He raised the axe.

“What the hell are you doing?”

David’s breath caught at the sound of the familiar voice and he whipped around to see Vince Buckley beyond the studio’s plate glass window, in the control room. The keyboard player sat at the mixing board, staring at David, his expression unreadable.

David’s hands went slack and the axe nearly slipped through his numb fingers. His late partner looked just as he had the night he died. Before the accident, not after.

Vince leaned forward and hit the talkback button. “Put that axe down before your cut off your foot.” His voice sounded confident and cool in the hushed atmosphere of the heavily sound-treated room.

David experienced a detachment from reality, like the effect of a dissociative drug. The light from the control room window suddenly seemed extraordinarily bright.

“Vince,” he said tremulously. “You’re dead.”

Vince smiled cryptically but said nothing.

David placed the axe on the carpeted floor, his knees weak. He wanted to bolt from the studio, run screaming into the streets. Madness waited beyond the soundproofed wall of the control room. Yet he was compelled to go to Vince.

Without a conscious decision, he found himself crossing the studio, moving in a daze around the drum kit and past the line of guitar amps and cabinets, to the control room door. He fumbled with the knob, unable to grasp it firmly. With an effort of will, he wrenched it and shoved the door open, then stood breathing shallowly on the threshold.

“Speak of the devil and he shall appear,” Vince said. He looked right at home behind the mixing console, surrounded by the racks of preamps and signal processors he knew as well or better than David. Just like old times.

At the funeral, the body in the coffin had borne little resemblance to the man David had worked with for hundreds of hours in this studio, played with on a thousand stages, partied with on endless nights. The corpse had seemed to be someone else entirely, a flawed facsimile of his band mate.

Vince looked like himself now, but something was off. His skin appeared pale and taut, and David was sure it would feel dry and leathery, like old parchment. Even more unsettling, there was a wrongness about his eyes, and as the seconds dragged by, David realized that they weren’t blinking. At all.

Vince’s presence palpably filled the room, suffused by a faint fragrance of lilies with an underlying scent of (the grave) decay. He had always seemed brimful of a powerful energy like the libidinous drive of rock music, or the force of art struggling to create itself from the ether. Now that energy seemed darker, heavier, tainted by the sludge of primal fears and desires lurking at the bottom of the universal unconscious.

David’s mind reeled as he fought to assimilate the undead man before him into his worldview, struggled to retain his tenuous grasp on sanity. He wanted to deny the reality of it, but a beguiling voice deep within whispered, This is what you wanted, your second chance. It’s this or take the metaphorical axe to yourself. The guitar was just a rehearsal, and you know it.

Reluctantly setting aside an insidious, existential dread, David stepped into the control room.

“If you so much as scratch that Les Paul,” Vince said, “I will kick your ass.” The keyboardist’s tone was laid-back but raspier than even his smoke-and-whiskey singing voice had been in life. “I want that guitar on the album.”

“The album,” David said thickly.

Oblivion. I reworked the raw tracks and added new songs. I want you to finish it. With me.”

David shook his head and looked away from Vince, seeking some sense of normalcy from his familiar surroundings. He was having a conversation with a dead man—or worse, himself. Panic built within him like fire in an abandoned building. “I’m losing my mind. You’re fucking dead.

Vince ducked under the console and shoved a tiny flash drive into the high-performance Mac Pro on the floor, then started clicking the mouse. “Life, death, it’s all relative. I’ve just moved on to another plane of existence. I have unfinished work here, however.”

That concept at least made a kind of sense, offered some sort of plausible explanation for the impossible. Although his heart still raced like a meth-addled rat in a cage, David’s disbelief wavered and his agitation subsided marginally. As if Vince’s voice held some sort of hypnotic sway over him, he was coming to accept this insane situation as real.

Pro Tools opened across the two large computer monitors above the mixing board and Vince selected a file, clicked Play. Bone-shaking heavy metal filled the control room at the volume of a passenger jet.

David stumbled to one of the office chairs and fell into it. He recognized the verse and chorus as one of the songs from the band’s final sessions. A new pre-chorus and other sections had been added, and the arrangement filled out. Sections of the bass were obviously a software synthesizer, as were some of the guitars. The rest of the parts sounded like actual instruments, played adequately if not outstandingly, and the rough vocal was Vince rather than their singer, Alan Dillehay. The song didn’t sound mastered, but touches of compression, reverb, and delay made it presentable, and the audio quality was pro level.

The music was powerful. The layered instrumentation filled the room like the fog of pot smoke that occasionally clouded the studio, with as heady an effect on David. He’d never heard music like this, with striking modulations and mutations that wrenched his soul. Transformed almost past recognition from the first version, it was brilliant and startlingly original.

It was Art—but it was dark art. Penumbra had played a mash-up of modern, progressive heavy metal, and alternative rock with pop hooks, but this style seemed grounded in death metal. It was the sound of desolation, of nihilism, it evoked images of death. It seemed a portent of impending doom.

“Turn it off!” David yelled. “Make it stop!”

Vince thumped the computer keyboard’s space bar with his thumb and faced David again, his gaze intense. His eyes unblinking.

“Finish the album with me, David. It wants to come out. It wants to be.”

“No.” David shook his head. “No! That material’s scary. Disturbing. It’s fucking ominous.” It was also seductive, and what that said about himself frightened him even more.

“It’s real,” Vince replied. “It’s the soul crying out for meaning and finding none.”

David leaped to his feet and paced in a short loop, his eyes never leaving Vince. “If that’s the sound of your soul, you’re not in a good place.”

“I’m right here, David. This is our place. This studio is our mystical kingdom, where the magic happens—and this music is magic, isn’t it?”

David bristled with possessiveness at Vince’s verbal appropriation of the studio. He hadn’t been making magic here on his own for the past year, though, had he? The music was magic. It was the most powerful music he’d ever heard. He’d helped write it, it contained part of his own soul as well as Vince’s.

“Come on,” his late partner coaxed. “It’s genius and you know it. I shouldn’t have been taken from this life before we could realize this vision. The music wants to live. We can make it happen.”

A scary thought occurred to David. What if something snatched Vince from the land of the living to prevent them from finishing this album?

He shook his head again, confused. “This doesn’t sound like the music we started with. All the ideas are there, but they’ve…mutated.”

“David. You need this.”

“I don’t.”

“What have you done since I’ve been gone?”

David shifted his gaze to the studio beyond the window, only to find Vince’s reflection confronting him, blurred and skewed. “I carried on. Life continues, with or without us.”

“You haven’t produced anything, have you?”

That wasn’t exactly true. He’d produced a great deal of crap.

“You were always obsessive,” Vince said. “You practically lived down here after the wreck, trying to recreate the magic, coming out only to eat and sleep and teach guitar to dumb kids who’ll never amount to anything. You couldn’t recreate the magic, though, could you?”

David whirled on him, angry. “No, I couldn’t. Now you want me to play sideman on your album, which you wrote and recorded God knows where? I still won’t have produced anything on my own!”

“Not true. You wrote much of this music. You’ll add your parts to the new material, you’ll come up with riffs and rhythms and solos no one else but you could.”

“I’m suddenly going to be creative again?”

“Yes. You just need a partner. Alone, you dug yourself into a hole. Buried yourself here in this studio. Until Amber left you.”

“How do you know all this?” David’s cheeks burned and he suddenly felt the loss of his girlfriend more keenly than he had when she’d moved out. He’d emerged from a two-day marathon here in the basement that produced nothing to find her and all her things gone. The truly frightening part was that he hadn’t much cared.

“She was fine with you going on the road,” Vince continued, “leaving her alone so long and so often. Leaving her alone when you were in the house with her? That was more than she could bear. You needed her, David. You need people. You don’t have to do it all by yourself. It takes a village. It takes at least a team. Lennon and McCartney, man.”

David stared into Vince’s unblinking eyes. Everything felt surreal. He was talking to a dead man. He wanted to tear his eyes from his partner, to stand and shout that none of this was real, it could not be.

Vince was right, though. David did need this project. He’d never accomplished anything remarkable, never proved his father wrong, at least not yet. He needed to validate himself an artist, to put the lie to his father’s words, that he was a loser. The judgment of millions of music fans, bloggers, and critics could refute that damning accusation. Could erase the memory of his father’s scornful look every time he saw David with a guitar, a skinny kid too preoccupied with music to apply himself at school, let alone play sports or even hang with anyone other than what Daddy called “them sickly queer boys who played music,” his voice dripping with disdain.

Vince rolled his chair over, reached out and placed his hand on David’s arm. His fingers were cold and David shivered at his touch, but did not withdraw. He felt again the bond developed from the shared experience of creating art, in this studio and uncounted nights on blindingly lit stages.

“You need me, David. Accept reality for what it is, and make the best of it. I need you, too. I want my legacy, and you need yours.”

David nodded slowly, a nervous excitement building within him, the rush he always experienced at the dawn of a new band venture. Two men did not a band make, though. “We can’t do it all by ourselves.”

Vince removed his hand, sitting back in the chair. “Of course not. We’ll need to get the band back together again.”

“You’re going to…appear to all of them?”

“That might not be wise. I’ll just be your special friend. You can tell them you’re working from files of mine you found.”

“I found? Found where?”

Vince reached into a side pocket of his leather jacket and took out a key, which he pressed into David’s hand.

“Safe deposit box,” he said. “First Bank of Athens.”

David looked at the key, then back up.

Vince was gone.

David jumped to his feet, as startled by the sudden disappearance, now that he’d gotten used to the idea of talking to his dead friend, as he had been by Vince showing up in the first place. He scanned the control room, went to the studio door, and stepped through, finding the large room also devoid of life.

In the center of the sound studio, the Les Paul’s case was closed and latched.

The axe was gone.

The key was cold in his hand.


Friday morning

Jessica Chandler tapped her pen against her desk, scowling at the despondency in the voice on the phone. Danny Morgan verged on whining as he related the latest on the descent into chaos of his post-punk band, the Cranks. Although Spin had praised their first CD, the zine had just trashed their new release. Which, Jessica had to admit, sounded as if they’d recorded it drunk. Uninspired, sloppy, with about three hooks on the entire album. Danny sounded a little drunk now. At eleven a.m.

“Danny,” Jessica said, forcing herself to sound pleasant. “The CD just came out, of course it isn’t selling well—yet. That’s why you’ve got to finish the tour. Hence the term, ‘promotional tour’.”

The bass player sighed dispiritedly. “I just can’t see that happening.”

Jessica clutched her pen so hard it bent. She put it down. The last thing she needed was red ink on her new black satin vest, an understated accent to her outfit, black skinny jeans and a white blouse with puffy sleeves. The vest might be the last item of clothing she’d be buying for a while if her employer, Sage Records, couldn’t turn its own downward spiral around. Her part in that valiant struggle, for the moment, was getting this overreaching bar band to hang together and promote their shitty CD enough for Sage to at least recoup recording costs. If by some miracle they turned a profit on this one and the company kept the Cranks on, the band would have to record their next album themselves. Hell, every seventeen-year-old shredder from Atlanta to Bangkok was making their own album, these dufusses would just have to find an obliging techno-bud to do it for them. Except for the mastering. No way was she going to trust them with that.

She couldn’t lose another band, though, and she could make this work. It was her job and she was good at it. Music had been her life since she was a mature-looking fifteen, dating prima donna singers and egotistic guitar players. Even a drummer—in her defense, he had been super hot. She lived and breathed the Atlanta music scene and had more than passing familiarity with the venues in New York, L.A., and other Music Meccas. Jessica worked her magic with bands. She was the Musician Whisperer.

“Dude, it’s got to happen,” she said firmly but with a dash of optimism. “This is your dream.” And Sage’s money.

Danny sniffed. “Kind of a shit tour, anyway. I mean, Brewster Billy’s in Maynard? That bar is where has-beens go to die. We sold like five CDs after that show.”

“The last date on the tour is opening for the Shins! That could make your career!” If they didn’t suck.

“I realize that.” The guy sounded forlorn. “I don’t know if Pete does or not, but he will not perform with this lineup.”

Pete was the drummer. Jeff, the lead singer and guitarist, had stolen Pete’s girlfriend, Karen, the keyboard player. Intra-band relationships inevitably tore groups apart. It was no wonder the Cranks hadn’t moved any units at Brewster Billy’s. They’d had a knockdown drag-out on stage.

“Danny, we can replace Pete. I have five drummers who can audition today.”

The bassist sounded exasperated now. “We can’t replace Pete! It’s his band! He founded it, he’s the driving force. He says Jeff’s out, but Karen says she’ll walk if Jeff goes.”

“We can bring in a new drummer and another keyboard player, but we can’t replace the singer. That’s what any band is all about. People don’t give a shit about drum styles or guitar solos. As long as the drummer keeps a solid beat and plays in time behind the singer, you’re good.”

After a prolonged silence, Danny muttered, “Pete and I go way back. We’re a team. We’re the rhythm section, for god’s sake.”

Jessica’s eyes narrowed and her voice iced over. “You have a contract.”

“Yes, and we all signed it. Including Pete. We can’t throw him out of his own band.”

“Danny, I love you guys. I think you have potential. But we’ll sue you, every one of you, if we have to. I’d lose sleep over it, but we’ll do it.” She hated having to threaten her musicians, but they were behaving like high schoolers. Let them compare dick sizes with Sage’s Legal Department and then reassess their commitment to the tour.

After another sad silence, Danny said, “Get in line. You can’t get blood out of a stone, Jessica. The bank foreclosed on my house yesterday. My fucking house.”

At last she’d arrived at the real bottom line. “You’ve moved in with Pete, haven’t you?”

A sullen pause. “Yes.” A snuffling sound. “This music thing just isn’t working out. I’ve got to get a real job.”

That was hard to counter.

She looked up to see her boss, Ben Westfeldt, approaching with a serious expression on his face. He leaned in through the doorway and whispered, “My office. Now.”

Ben didn’t even spare his customary glance at Charlene Hanscomb as he passed her cubicle on his way back to his office.

This didn’t bode well. Frowning, Jessica returned her attention to Danny, who was again lamenting the sorry-ass state of his life, how he would be donating blood and sperm for money to buy beer next, and the like.

“Danny. I’ve got to go. Think about it, Babe. You can still do this. You need the money anyway, and you’ll get paid for the gigs.” At least enough for beer and gas, she didn’t add. “Audiences love you live. Don’t give up when you’re on the verge of making it!”

“I don’t know, Jess—”

“Get them together to smoke the peace pipe. You can pull it off, I know you can. I’ve got to go now. Call you tomorrow. Buh-bye.” She hung up before he could start in again, took a deep breath to compose herself before fighting the next fire, and headed for Ben’s office.

When she tapped lightly on the doorframe, Ben looked up from a spreadsheet on his computer and motioned her in. She sat down and waited as he turned to stare out the window at the Atlanta skyline.

Ben was a mentor to Jessica, if a bit paternalistic at times, but he was genuine. Genuine people were hard to find in the music business. Except for genuine assholes, who were as plentiful as starlings on a shit-covered statue.

He’d hired her as an A&R rep five years ago, confident in her ability to recognize talent, or failing that, commercial viability, in the endless parade of bands that formed, maintained a holding pattern for a while, then fell apart, and sometimes merged with the detritus of other broken groups. Although she knew she’d exceeded his expectations, things were not rosy in the recording industry, and despite the heroic efforts of her and the other adept reps, Sage was not doing well. As Ben sat silently ruminating, an oppressive heaviness settled over Jessica.

Finally he turned to her, folding his hands on the desk. “Jess, I just had a meeting with Jack Hurwitz. You know we’re not doing well. Digital piracy, lack of compelling product, blah, blah. You may not be aware of the extent we’re hemorrhaging talent. We’ve lost three of our more successful bands in the last month, one to another major label, one to an indie, and one thinks they can do better as their own publishing company, distributer, and online retailer.”

Jessica didn’t like where this was going, but she understood. “With bands having to do so much of their own promotion, they’re starting to view us as an unnecessary middleman. Financing themselves through Kickstarter, keeping all the profits.”

“Well, it’s worse than even I realized, at least for Sage Records. We’re going under.”

She went cold and her brain felt like it was on Pause, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Going under? She’d always believed she could deal with anything, but that phrase produced an unaccustomed feeling of helplessness in her, like bad news from a doctor.

“The board is panicking and issued an ultimatum. We have a month to turn things around,” Ben continued. “We need strong new bands, now. Artists in tune with the musical zeitgeist. Electronic dance, alterna-pop, maybe revive the girl rocker genre, that’s been on the wane for a couple of years. An act with the potential to break out in a big way. Possibly shore up our reputation with something different, like a relatable prog metal band, maintain at least a façade of the innovative company we used to be. Either strengthen our brand or rebrand ourselves.”

“Right, Ben. We can do that. I’ve found this Americana duo with serious crossover potential. They need polish, but—”

He put up a hand. “We need bands that are ready to be signed. Groups with an album in the can. If we don’t get some serious results within a month, they’re going to lay off ten percent of the staff. Everybody, not just VP’s or middle managers.”

Layoffs. She felt like a deer in the headlights, but the realization hit her that she’d known this was coming. She’d just been in denial. She was smart and perceptive, but she hadn’t wanted to face it.

“You’re my best A&R rep, Jess. You know that, I know that, I think even the senior VP’s know that. You have a well-deserved reputation as a Cool Hunter, but you’ve had a stretch of bad luck, and Accounting’s calling the shots now. If you can’t sign a significant talent in the next few weeks…”

This wasn’t happening. Except it was. She closed her eyes and remembered her father’s mantra: There’s always a way. Just believe that, and you could find it. She’d made the big time in her twenties, she could pull her own ass out of the fire.

“Okay, Ben. I’m on it. I’ve got some leads.”

She wished.

She’d find a killer band anyway. She was good at it.

At least she had been.

Where the hell was she going to find a killer band?


David sat behind the mixing console, staring at the neat stack of DVD’s, excited yet apprehensive, hesitating to find out what mysteries they contained. The discs were labeled Oblivion 1, Oblivion 2, and Oblivion 3. That had been the tentative title for the album Penumbra was working on before the crash killed Vince, the band, their hopes and dreams.

David had awakened with the key still clutched in his hand. He tried to convince himself he’d hallucinated Vince’s return from the grave. He’d never experienced a flashback in his life, never known anyone who had, but maybe some of the acid he’d dropped in college had returned to haunt him. That was more logical than his dead band mate coming back to life.

Still, that hypothesis couldn’t explain the key. So after a pot of coffee that did little to clear the fog of confusion in his mind, he made a pragmatic decision to put aside his questions for the moment, to accept reality as it presented itself, and see where it led. He needed a reason to live, and if believing in ghosts facilitated that, so be it.

He’d gone to the First Bank of Athens main branch, downtown on East Broad, and retrieved the contents of Vince Buckley’s safe deposit box. Not being family or heir, he’d had to argue the manager, Bob Finster, into it. Fortunately Bob was a long-time fan of Penumbra, and bought David’s story—that he’d found the key in an envelope with his name on it while cleaning out some of Vince’s gear left in the studio.

Now, back home with the discs, he inserted the first DVD in the drive, his hand trembling. He half expected the songs to be duplicates of the files he already had on his computer, but found himself desperate to fall again into that ephemeral universe of music, that alternate dimension of awe and wonder.

The file names on the disc were identical to those of several tracks the band had recorded before Vince’s death. With a mixture of relief and disappointment, he ejected the disc and popped in the second DVD. This one appeared to contain the rest of the old tracks. He was about to eject it as well when he spotted a folder titled Posthumous.

With a shiver, he double-clicked it to find a list of Word documents. He opened a couple with unfamiliar names to discover song charts with lyrics. Some of the words to the songs were complete, some consisted mainly of placeholders, la, la, la and the like, below the chord names. He opened more files. Four were for songs the band had begun but never finished. Even those contained entirely new sections, under headings such as Theme C and Bridge 2, some with new lyrics, some clearly instrumental, labeled Guitar Break, Bass Solo, Development Section 1, Development 2, and Cadenza. Pretty elaborate song structures.

Six of the Word files appeared to be entirely new songs. Adding them to the four the band had been working on made ten, a good number for a CD, although they were lengthy.

He read through the new songs again with growing excitement. The lyrics were provocative and imagistic, although scary, conjuring an uncanny world like a Hieronymus Bosch work painted with input from Francis Bacon and H. P. Lovecraft. Ancient rites, sacrifices, dark desires manifested. Yet they were eloquent, possessing a lyricism Vince had never exhibited in life.

Had never exhibited in life?

Did he actually believe Vince had come back from the dead with new music he’d written—where? Hell, knowing Vince.

David looked down at the safe deposit box key in his hand.

Could this all be real?

How could it not be? Here was the key, there were the discs, he was looking at new lyrics and song charts.

He wasn’t sure what he believed, but the songs’ words were creeping him out. He closed the file and ejected the second DVD.

The third and final disc lay before him on the mixing console, the title in Vince’s forceful handwriting visible through the clear plastic of the jewel case.

David was reluctant to play the DVD, but what if the music was as extraordinary as the lyrics, as the song he’d already heard? The song charts were as intricate as symphonic structures.

The album they were destined to make.

He snatched the third disc out of its case and inserted it into the computer’s drive. After a few seconds during which he found himself holding his breath, the DVD’s icon appeared on his desktop and he double-clicked it before he could stop himself.

The window displayed a list of folders, their names matching the new song titles. With a twinge of excitement laced with fear, he launched the first song file in Pro Tools. It opened to show a dozen or more WAV and MIDI tracks. He pressed the spacebar.

The music began with ethereal waves of synth sounds, panned to wash through the listening space of the studio so expertly that he was engulfed in a sonic sea, his soul drenched with almost liquid emotion, a desperate yearning. The shimmering reverbs and ghostly delays made him seasick, his very being adrift in an alien waterscape. Just when he thought would drown, a pulsing bass emerged from the bottom, bringing with it a heavy freight of despair, joined by a cannonade of furious drums.

As the uneasy realization came to him that he was literally physically experiencing the music, layered guitars crashed onto the scene, as if announcing the approach of a dark overlord come to shatter the universe and replace it with his own. Percussive strings joined the attack, striking like sparks from a live wire.

The real world receded and David drifted in an ecstatic trance. Eons seemed to pass as he descended to the depths of his soul, churning the primordial ooze of his id.

Eventually, the music ended, the reverb tail of the last cymbal crash slowly soaking into the sound treatment on the walls, leaving his ears ringing in the silence. He opened his eyes to see the time marker moving steadily off to the right past the ends of the color-coded audio and MIDI tracks, into endless hyperspace.

After some time, he was not sure how long, David leaned forward to tap the space bar and stop playback. He fell back in the chair, exhausted, his gaze unfocused.

“Holy shit,” he muttered weakly. The music was deeply, profoundly disturbing—but he’d never been moved so deeply by sound, by anything, in his life.

He toggled back to the list of files. What the hell was this music? The songs were magical, digital drugs, and he knew they would be addictive. The material needed reworking, many parts would have to be rerecorded by the band, the arrangements finessed, but this album would be a hit. This album would redefine hit. It would redefine music.

His gaze roved restlessly across the screen, then came to a stop on the Date Created column. Blinking, he scanned down the list of dates, unable to believe them, yet sensing their truth.

Vince had completed the album over the year since his death.

David brought up the second song and pressed the spacebar.


About the Author

Mark All is the author of science fiction horror novel Derelict and Death Metal, a Rock ‘n’ Roll horror novel, based on his experiences as a rock musician and set in Athens, GA. His paranormal thrillers The Spellcaster’s Grimoire and Mystic Witch are published by BelleBooks/ImaJinn. He has won two international writing awards and contributed to Computer Legends, Lies, & Lore.

Before a career as an instructional systems designer, Mark worked as a rock guitarist, FM radio announcer, and gravedigger. Mark earned a Master’s degree in Computer-Based Education and a Bachelor of Music cum laude.

Mark’s next book is The Story Generator.