Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Very Special Christmas Eve: A Short Story

Johnny and his little sister Stacy went to bed earlier than usual that night, but they didn't mind. It was Christmas Eve after all, and what child isn't willing to sacrifice a bit of play time when he or she knows that turning in early might just hasten the arrival of Saint Nick? The last thing they did before retiring to their rooms was to watch their mom place a cup of hot tea and a small plate of chocolate cookies on the counter for Santa. "The jolly old elf travels all over the world through the cold and snow every Christmas Eve to deliver toys to good little girls and boys," she would often tell them. Both children took her at her word because...well, didn't they receive the toys they asked for the last couple of years?

During the year Mom would often warn her children that Santa only brought presents to youngsters who behaved. Stacy generally tried her best to do what was right, never forgetting her mother's warning. She felt confidant that, after having asked Santa for some new dolls, that he would deliver the goods as he always had. The one thing she couldn't understand though, is why her marionettes would disappear during the weeks and months that followed Christmas. She knew that she loved them and took good care of them; yet, they would sometimes simply vanish from her room. Whenever she complained about these events to her parents, they generally brushed off her concerns dismissively, telling her that she simply needed to stop leaving her things outside where other kids or the neighborhood dogs could run off with them.

Johnny, being a couple of years older than his sister, really didn't buy into his mother's warnings that Santa only brought toys to children who behaved. Johnny had a secret. He knew what was happening to Stacy's dolls because he would sometimes sneak into her room while she was out in the yard playing with her girlfriends. He would then take them out to the nearby creek; and after pretending to drown them, would gouge their eyes out with his pocket knife before cutting off their heads and tossing them into a nearby trash can. Upon his return home from these occasional escapades, he delighted in hearing his parents chastise his teary-eyed sister for once again neglecting to take care of her things.

The boy had a mean streak when it came to girls and his sweet sister Stacy was not exempt from his hurtful machinations. Still, he felt confidant that Santa would once again bring him toys this Christmas Eve.

Stacy climbed under the covers of her comfortable bed; and with visions of sugar plums and new dollies dancing in her head, she fell into a peaceful slumber. Johnny on the other hand, decided to remain awake. He would listen until he could be sure that his parents had gone to bed. Then, he'd lie in wait for Santa, determined to catch a glimpse of him.

Within an hour the sounds from the TV ceased and Johnny heard, amid his parent's playful banter, the door to their bedroom close shut. He quietly climbed out of bed and gazed out the window, searching for any signs of Santa's sleigh or his reindeer. The snow, still falling on a gentle breeze, made the neighbor's colorful light display across the street seem all the more authentic. It's really Christmas, he thought to himself. Santa should be here with my presents any time now! 

His thoughts were distracted by a sudden pitter patter on the roof followed by the sound of footsteps. Johnny could barely contain his excitement as he stole quietly toward the living room, which contained both the family tree and the fireplace. That's where he knew he would find Santa. Reaching the end of the hallway, he poked his head around the corner for a first peak.

Without warning, a dark, hairy, claw-like hand  grabbed him by the shoulders, pulling him around the corner in one fluid motion. The boy gasped, but before he could even utter a sound one of the hands covered his mouth, making any cries for help impossible. Johnny struggled, but it was to no avail. Still, he couldn't see just who or what was holding him fast.

He heard a hissing sound just before his captor spun him around without removing the hand from his mouth. His blood ran cold as he gazed at the creature holding him in place. No, this wasn't Santa Claus, whom he'd been hoping to spy upon just moments before. Instead, he found himself staring into the face of a most hideous thing. The creature before him was tall and furry with a long snake-like tongue dangling from its mouth. Its ears were large and pointed; two curved horns grew out of its head. Attached to the body's backside was a long, pointed tail. Overall, the monster's body appeared somewhat man-like, but Johnny knew this was no man. The creature holding him seemed more like the Devil than any man he'd ever seen.

Pure terror gripped at him as the creature opened the top of a large wooden basket before placing Johnny inside and once again closing the lid. The boy screamed at the top of his lungs, calling to his parents for help-- calling to Santa, but it seemed that no one could hear his anguished cries.

His abductor strapped the basket to his shoulders before ascending the chimney to the roof where a sled awaited him. He gave a push with his left foot and the sled lifted off on the snow-laden breeze toward a destination only known to him.

Some hours later, the mysterious being approached a shadowy, misty castle that stood upon a mountain top populated by twisted, deformed trees. The large door at its entrance creaked open at his approach and closed shut again once he was safely inside. After disembarking from the sled, the creature removed the basket from his shoulders and opened the lid, allowing Johnny to climb out.

The boy's eyes opened wide in disbelief as he looked around the large, gloomy, torch-lit hall. He could hear the cries of other children, both male and female. Their moans seemed pained and anguished.

"Where have you taken me?" Johnny asked, crying. "I want to go home."

"Home, so you can steal your sister's dolls?" The creature asked. "Home, where you delight in her pain and her tears? I think not. This is your home now, and as you can hear, there are lots of other children here to play with. We're going to have lots of fun watching you learn what meanness really is."

The frightening being's tongue dripped saliva as he hissed once again while continuing to look down at the terrified boy.

"Merry Christmas, Johnny! Welcome to your new home: The Castle of Gruss Vom Krampus!"

The sound of his deep laughter reverberated throughout the shadowy chamber.

Copyright © 2014 A.D. Vick, All Rights Reserved

 The above illustrations are in the public domain.      


Friday, December 5, 2014

A Dark Dream

I have a Facebook friend with whom I've become acquainted over the past several months. There are a few things that really impress me about this lady. First of all, I think she'd make a wonderful Morticia Addams; that is, if they ever get around to making another Addams Family film or TV series. Another thing I appreciate about her is that she's really likes metal, and is solely responsible for posting an Insomnium video that got me interested in that band. 

A third thing that tickles my fancy is the way in which she often closes out her Facebook interactions for the day by telling her friends, "Happy Night and Dark Dreams!" 

This got me to thinking. Hmm, I wondered. Does she have dark dreams often? More often than me? Do I ever have them?  

After a bit of dream recall, I came to the conclusion that although my subconscious mind occasionally explores the darker realms while I sleep, it doesn't occur as much as it should, considering my indulgence with Gothic literature, horror movies and an abundance of metal and dark-wave music. A dream I had last night however, has given me a moment of pause. It was vivid, emotional and offered almost extra-sensory insights throughout its duration. This one was good enough to write about. 

The dream began with me being taken to the top of a mountain in an open-air, antique vehicle. The car resembled something people drove around during the decade between 1910 and 1920. I had a job to do upon reaching my destination, but I wasn't clear on what that job actually was or how I would accomplish it. What I did know was that I was dressed in top hat and finer Gothic attire than I can actually afford to buy. My destination was a church upon whose grounds a dark goddess had settled. She was reportedly, growing in physical size as well as power. 

I was impressed with what awaited me at the top of the mountain as the church was situated on grounds that offered a spectacular view of the community and extending landscape down below. The place of worship itself resembled such structures built during New England's colonial period. There was a bell tower, which extended upward from the front entrance, and the building extended toward its rear in a series of interesting archeological configurations, all the while maintaining its colonial/puritan ambiance. The grounds surrounding the church consisted mainly of well manicured lawns, which were bordered by sizable tracts of forest. 

My companions led me into the church through the back door, where I would apparently, be received by the church minister and perhaps part of the congregation. Upon entering, I noticed a somewhat spiral stairway leading downward. On those steps stood a man--a fearful man. He extended a crucifix in my direction with one of his hands as he crouched against the wall. His actions both amused me and made me feel powerful. 

"Your crucifix can't hurt me," I told him with contempt. "It has no effect at all."

As I stood facing the stairwell, I contemplated whether my darkness made me evil. My nature had certainly unnerved the man with the cross. Yet, I intuitively felt that he was just a weak, fearful person totally incapable of understanding me. No, I'm not evil, I realized, and neither is the goddess everyone wants me to confront. 

A small group of people greeted me as I stepped further into the hallway. The main part of the church lay just beyond. The minister was a youngish-looking man wearing a flannel shirt. As I stood by him and his small group I realized that they were members of a fundamentalist sect; and although they clung faithfully to their Bible-based beliefs, they were incapable of approaching any goddess. I viewed them as I had the man with the crucifix, weak and superstitious. Still, I remained courteous and respectful.

They led me outside the back door and took me to the edge of the lawn. Before me, and on a leveled off piece of land just below our high position on the mountain, stood what appeared to be a large statue. It was the goddess. She towered over everything else in sight and stood gazing out into the distance. One of her hands extended outward and somewhat upward. In it she held a burning torch, as if pointing it at the entire world. I'd never had any dealings with her before, but I could feel her power. What is she planning to do? I wondered. How will I even approach her? And when I do, what do I say to get a dialog going? 

That's where the dream stopped. I'll never know how things would have turned out. Still, the dream was dark and everything I could have hoped for. Now I know how vampires must feel.

Photo source: Gothic Pictures Gallery
Author unknown


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Vintage Halloween Graphics

The past five weeks or so have been rough. Between sickness and the family and a break-in a week and a-half ago that cost me my computer and passport plus a few other things, it's been a bit harder than usual for me to slide into the Halloween spirit this year. Of course, I did make my annual pilgrimage to the Halloween store and that helped. Also, the fall foliage approaching its peak serves as a reminder as well. 

Still, I needed another boost, so I took a trip down memory lane and checked out some vintage Halloween photos. There's just something about the retro and vintage works that bring this special event home to me. Maybe, it's because these remind me of my childhood and I'd be willing to bet that some of these were vintage even back then. I hope these several photos invoke the spirit of Halloween for you all as well.

The top photo shows the wicked witch doing a little house cleaning. Did she scare her cat? Possibly, mine doesn't like brooms very much either.

Ghosts on Halloween indeed! It is said that this is the time when the veil between the worlds is thinnest. I just love the owl and cat sharing the tree together.

Hmm...There sure does seem to be a lot of concern about ghosts with these two.


To the best of my knowledge the above photos are all in the public domain.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Melancholy Music For Autumn: The Swan of Tuanela

Ah, October! This is the time of year when the days become noticeably short and gloomy, the air begins to take on a bit of a chill and the wind once again rustles the treetops on moon-filled nights, signaling to all that Halloween draws near. This is the season when the darker genres of music beckon to us compellingly; and why not? Melancholy music compliments the mood created by this season of death and decay perfectly. For me, doom metal, dark ambient and neoclassical dark-wave create the desired effect better than anything else I can think of. Still, there are some classical pieces that work quite nicely.

There is one such composition that I'd like to talk about in this blog post. It's a symphonic poem composed by the Finnish composer, Jean Sibelius, and it's called The Swan of Tuanela, which in turn, is part of a larger musical work known as the Lemminkäinen Suit or the Four Legends from the Kalevala. Needless to say, this musical work is steeped in a very compelling piece of Finnish mythology.

As the story goes, a young warrior and shaman named Lemminkäinen falls in love with one of the daughters of Louhi, a sorceress, shape shifter and Queen of the dark realm of Pohjola. Louhi tells the warrior that she will allow him to take her daughter's hand in marriage only if he brings back the dead body of the Swan of Tuonela, a supernatural creature that swims around Tuonela, the haunted island of the dead that is ruled by the dark god Tuoni.

Of course, lots can go wrong for Lemminkäinen because he goes forth on a most perilous journey indeed. My purpose for this post however, is to introduce my readers to the beautiful but melancholy music inspired by the myth rather than delve too deeply into the story itself. It is an interesting tale though, and you can read how everything turns out by following this link.

As for Sibelius' symphonic poem itself, the piece serves as a wonderful musical accompaniment to the mythology that inspired it, or it stands alone as suitable listening on a rainy, blustery October afternoon. It was written for a small orchestra consisting of cor anglais (an oboe type instrument), bass clarinet, various horns and brass instruments, oboe, harp and strings. The cor anglais serves as the voice of the swan.

I hope you'll give this melancholic music a listen. It's not too long and it may just make a gloomy autumn afternoon even more enjoyable.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sedlec Ossuary: The Bone Church

Underneath the Cemetery Church of All Saints, which is situated in the town of Sedlec, a suburb of Kutná Hora in the Czech Republic, lies the Sedlec Ossuary. Otherwise known as The Bone Church, it is believed that Sedlic Ossuary contains the skeletal remains of between 40,000 and 70,000 people. What makes this particular ossuary unique is the fact that it takes the form of a  Roman Catholic chapel; one elaborately decorated with the bones of the deceased. Understandably, it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Czech Republic drawing an estimated 200,000 visitors per year.

The ossuary's beginning goes back to the year 1278, when King Otakar of Bohemia sent Henry, Abbot of Cedlec's Cistercian Monastery, to the Holy Land. The abbot returned with a jar full of soil he had collected from Golgotha, the alleged site of Jesus' crucifixion. Once Henry sprinkled the jar's contents in the abbey cemetery, that graveyard became one of the most popular burial grounds in Central Europe.

The Black Death arrived on the continent during the 14h century, extinguishing the lives of between 75 to 200 million people. The early15 century saw the beginning of the Hussite Wars, which also claimed many
thousands of lives. Needless to say, many thousands of people were buried in the abbey cemetery as a result of these two occurrences; and due to the dire need for more burial space, the graveyard had to be enlarged.

Around the beginning of the 15th century a Gothic-styled church was constructed in the middle of the cemetery. The church contained a vaulted upper level and a lower chapel intended to serve as an ossuary for all of the skeletal remains unearthed during construction. Older graves were also unearthed in order to make way for newer burials. The bones of these deceased were also stored in the chapel ossuary.

In 1870 the aristocratic Schwarzenberg family commissioned a wood carver named Frantisek Rindt to arrange the chapel's contents into some type of logical order. Mr. Rindt proceeded to decorate and create furnishings to the entire chapel with the human remains he was charged with, thereby making the Sedlec Ossuary one of the world's great macabre spectacles.



This spectacular chandelier (above), which hovers over the chapel, is said to consist of every bone in the human body.

Have you seen a cross made from leg bones and human skulls before?

Four corners of the chapel consist of huge piles of human skulls. Is it any wonder that a friendly group of goths would visit a place such as this?

And that dear reader, is the story of The Bone Church.

All photos appear courtesy of Mira Miramariann
and Morten Marius Hansen.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

What's Happening to the Goth Scene?

During the last two or three days of July, unsubstantiated rumors began making their way through social media stating that Alt-Fest, a U.K.-based event billed as a new-metal festival, had been cancelled. On August 1, event organizers release an official statement,
which verified the veracity of the rumors. The concept of this event, which had been considered unique by many, had been cancelled.
Had Alt-Fest occurred, it would have been much more than simply a metal event as plans called for four musical stages. The main stage would have featured performances by Marilyn Manson, Fields of the Nephilim and The Cult, to name a few. The other three stages had each been devoted to providing musical performances exclusively in the electronica, metal and goth genres.

In their official statement the event organizers pointed out that cancellation was necessary because they hadn't sold nearly enough tickets to cover band and other expenses. This admission seems to have set off a lively debate on social media as to whether or not Alt-Fest's demise reflects a slow demise of goth culture as a whole. The Vampire Freaks social site released its own Ode to the Organizers,
which concludes by speculating on the possibility that our culture and scene are slowly fading away. Others of course, argue that Alt-Fest was simply a first attempt by its organizers who sadly, were likely inexperienced and found themselves in over their heads. And let's not forget that there are still some highly successful festivals, such as Whitby, which occurs twice a year, and Wave Gotik Treffen. Then again, Prague Gothic Treffen, is set to take place at the end of this month in the Czech Republic. So, the scene is certainly not dead.

Still, Alt-Fest's demise and the ensuing discussions have me thinking about how the scene is faring, not only throughout the United States, but locally and regionally. In my last post, which I entitled The Demise of a Venue,
I mentioned that The Stolen Glass, that very accessible and likely, reasonably priced venue at which we had been holding our Darkness Resurrected Dance Nights, had closed its doors. Further, the Ravenwood Gothic Community had been planning to hold its annual reunion there as well. At the time, I considered the club's closing a bad omen indeed.

At about the same time, I noticed an event promoter in the Tulsa area bemoaning the sometimes low turnout for his events. He moved his affair to Oklahoma City and apparently, enjoyed a successful first night. The question is, will attendance remain high for the next event, and the one after that? Only time will tell.

There's a theory that keeps popping up and it's based upon the belief that musical preferences are slowly driving scene members apart. The argument goes like this: The more traditional folks, who tend to be older, prefer the music that the scene was originally based upon. They want to hear bands like The Cure, The Sisters of Mercy or even newer dark-wave/industrial groups. Younger people, on the other hand, tend to enjoy electronica more. My observation is that at times, various event organizers seem at a loss to bridge this gap. Quite frankly, I think Darkness Resurrected handled things well by playing the more traditional material during the first hour before focusing more on electronic music later on. I'm not sure if that's the answer for everybody, but it might be worth a try.

All things considered, it's hard to tell what might be happening with our sub culture. I know that nothing can remain the same and yet continue being vibrant. Things have to change somewhat; stagnation isn't good; and that most definitely applies to music. Yet, I also realize that things can change to the point that a sub culture is no longer recognizable. In places such as Germany, the United Kingdom and yes, even the Czech Republic, Goth is still doing well. But I am concerned about things here in the States and particularly, here in Arkansas and Oklahoma.

While working on this post I took a break for a minute and jumped over to Facebook, where I found a new post by Darkness Resurrected. Due to the closing of The Stolen Glass and other reasons, Darkness Resurrected Dance Night is being relocated to Little Rock for the next two or three years.While I totally understand the reasons behind the decision and I wish the event organizer every success with his endeavors, I have to admit that I've been overtaken by a cloud of sadness. Little Rock is about 175 miles from where I live and I seriously doubt that I'll be able to make it down there very often, if at all. At the moment, I'm taking solace in the fact that at least the metal scene is thriving up here. Still, metal may be my music of choice and a lot of neat people attend metal events, but it's not the same as going to a goth event.  I'll most definitely miss attending the latter as well as seeing the new friends I'd made.

As for omens, I think really do portend the future sometimes.
Photo source: Gothic Pictures Gallery
Artist unknown 

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Demise of a Venue

On Friday, May 23 Darkness Resurrected Dance Night celebrated its first anniversary with its first live show featuring Tulsa's Axis and Kansas City's Razorwire Halo. Unfortunately, that event wasn't attended as well as one would hope. More likely than not, this was because that Friday signified the beginning of Memorial Day Weekend, a time when Fayetteville's population is temporarily reduced by close to half, with lots of local folks heading out of town to camp, float the rivers, or whatever.

Little did we know that night that our anniversary celebration would be the last Darkness Resurrected event to take place at The Stolen Glass, a venue which struck me as a perfect fit for Northwest Arkansas' Goth community. On June 30 The Stolen Glass closed its doors forever. No one seems to know why, but such things are not exactly unusual around here; especially, as regards smaller clubs.

Still, this was a venue with a stage large enough to accommodate whatever a promoter wanted to book there, whether a band or deejays with lots of equipment. The Glass had a decent dance floor, a free pool table and sometimes sold test-tube shots for a dollar each.  I'll definitely miss those sweet but potent drinks. I also suspect that booking an event at the venue was a reasonably priced affair, due to its location outside the main entertainment district. I don't know that for sure though.

Now the question is, where do we go from here? I do know that the Ravenwood Gothic Community had been planning to book its annual reunion at The Stolen Glass as well. Now reunion promoters are looking for an alternative venue at which to hold the event. I can think of some possibilities, but wouldn't be surprised if a few of them might be considerably more expensive than we've been used to. Others might be more comparable to what we've been used to.

So, that's where we are this summer. As for me, I'm just hoping that something will eventually work out and that we'll find a new venue. I'd kind of gotten used to attending our Darkness Resurrected Dance Nights every few months or so. And even though I can't say that The Stolen Glass was a regular hangout, it was close to perfect in accommodating our needs. Farewell Stolen Glass. Thanks for the good times. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Gothic Summer Reading

Yes it's true. Even during the bright sunny days of summer I still enjoy delving into a good, dark novel--and did I ever cross paths with one recently!

It all began back in the end of May when I learned that the local public library had scheduled a book sale for Saturday, June 1. It was just my luck that the sale was planned for the same day that the Confederate Cemetery, one of the two that I take care of, holds its annual vesper services. No, there would be no going to the sale for me; at least, not until the best offerings would likely, already have been purchased. Although I wasn't exactly grieving over my bad luck, I was bothered enough that I spoke to my friend Jeff about it one afternoon.

"Watch," I told him. "I'm probably going to miss out on some good Anne Rice because of this."

As it turned out, he was planning on attending the sale, so I asked him to keep his eyes open for certain  novels written by her.

"If you happen to find Merrick, Blackwood Farm or Blood Canticle, could you pick it up for me?" I asked. "I'll pay you back."

Needless to say, I never made it to the library that day, but the next time I saw him he mentioned looking for the material I'd asked for.

"I didn't see anything by Anne Rice," he told me. "But I did pick up something I thought you might like. It's out in the truck."

So, when he was ready to leave, I followed him to his vehicle where he handed me a book entitled, Lord of the Vampires: The Diaries of the Family Dracul, by Jeannie Kalogridis. I was already intrigued by just looking at the title and the book's cover. Somehow, I just knew it was going to be good. I thanked him and shortly afterward, took my new possession home.

I was still reading a collection of short stories and so, wasn't quite ready to start in on my new acquisition. Still, as I read the cover description of the story upon getting home, my interest only grew deeper, and once I delved into the publication, it didn't disappoint.

Now, I need to point out that this post is not an official book review. As a matter of fact, I'm only about one-third of the way through it. Further, Lord of the Vampires is apparently, the third and final installment in the Diaries of the Family Dracul trilogy. Considering how much I'm enjoying this book, I feel some sense of loss in my not having been aware of this series beforehand. In that case, I'd have started with book one. Still, the story is very much holding its own as a novel in its own right and I have no complaints.

The story, which is told in diary form, opens in the late fifteenth century with the appearance of none other than Vlad the Impaler as he faces military defeat. Determined to attain to a state of immortality, Vlad enters into a grotesque pact with a being called "The Dark Lord." You can probably guess what he becomes after making that deal.

The reader is next moved ahead in time to the late nineteenth century with the written words, first of Abraham Van Helsing and then the vampire Zsuzsanna, who has already gained my sympathies. Vlad now calls himself Dracula and his evil and cruelty seem to have no bounds. Oh yes, he's in his castle in the Carpathians and a good part of the tale is taking place there. Dracula is scheming and has even brought the vampire Elizabeth Bathory into his plans. Will she go along with him?

Between events taking place in the dark castle, a generous helping of romance and eroticism, Van Helsing's tribulations and a plot that complements but does not alter Bram Stoker's original tale, this book has it all. My nighttime reading is transporting me into a wonderland of Gothic imagery and story telling. I can't wait to continue the adventure this evening!

Yes I know. I'm horrible at cropping and the above photo of the book proves it. Still, I'm sure you can get the idea of what the book looks like. I think I'm going to remove the outside cover until I'm through reading it too. It's already getting funky and it's far to attractive to see ruined.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sitting on the Fence

It's a very quiet and enjoyable Sunday afternoon here on East Mountain. The skies are darkening, the wind is kicking up, the temperature is dropping and the sound of thunder is in the air. A brief but refreshing summer storm is bearing down upon us and it should be raining in moments.

Things quiet down here during the summer months. The university students are gone and there's less traffic on the roads (yea!). Summer activities are in full swing though. On weekends folks seem to flood out of town to the lakes, rivers and favorite campsites. But in the world of Goth, there's really not much going on. As for my own personal life the last event I'd been looking forward to, The Vore 20th Anniversary Show is now a couple of weeks behind me. I don't mind; and as a matter of fact, I always enjoy these quiet times. Still, there is one opportunity that now presents itself that is both very exciting and disturbing at the same time. I'm really sitting on the fence over this one and it's a situation that only an introvert such as myself ends up in turmoil over. 

There is a non-profit organization here in town that has for years, talked about getting the rights to operate a low-power FM radio station. Recently, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) gave approval to some 2,000 organizations to operate such broadcasting facilities. The local group has both received approval and chosen a frequency. They are waiting for the FCC to complete certain paperwork and the issuance of their call letters. After that, they'll be cleared for broadcasting. 

Low-power FM stations are licensed to broadcast with a power output of between 10 and 100 watts. When you consider that our local public radio station broadcasts at 100,000 watts with a signal that reaches well into Oklahoma on the west and Missouri to the north, and way below the Arkansas River Valley to the south, you can begin to appreciate that 10 to 100 watts is not very much. The signal strength must be adjusted according to the height of the transmitting tower and how well the signal is able to bypass neighboring hills, buildings, etc. All things considered, Fayetteville's new all-volunteer community radio station will have a signal that should serve all of our community and will likely be one capable of extending outward for a few miles, thereby reaching, at least partially, into neighboring towns as well. 

Community radio stations determine their programming according to the needs of their respective communities as well as according to the interests of those actively involved with the station. At this point in time, it looks as though Fayetteville's community station will be focused primarily on talk and discussion shows. There will be a smattering of musical venues, which may include cool jazz, bluegrass and heavy metal. 

Heavy metal you ask? Yeah, that's me. Back in April I signed up to do a metal show and since that time my mind has been working overtime in terms of how I'd like to not only mix the music, but also incorporate the occasional horror theme into the programming. As I mentioned a bit earlier, this whole thing is, in many ways, a very exciting prospect. I love mixing music and I feel confidant that I'm capable of creating an excellent program--all with a classical but spooky touch. 

All I want to do however, is have a two-hour weekly program and otherwise, slide back into life as usual. After all, it's not like I don't have important personal projects and other responsibilities. But when I attended last week's open house I quickly came to realize that if I want to do this show, it's going to take a much bigger commitment than I'd bargained for. Before I knew it, I was on the programming committee; and although I'm not even sure what that will entail, I was asked to sign a skills list. Do I have construction skills? Got a truck? Can you write news or do web work? How about getting into fundraising or public outreach? By the time I left the place I was already free-falling into a funk--in other words, a depression.

There are three meetings set for this coming week that by all rights I should attend. I have to mention here that years ago, I swore off meetings and promised myself that I'd never attend one again. I absolutely loath them and truly don't like being thrown into groups of people that I'm suddenly supposed to become close to and work with.

I'm sure you can see where I'm going with all of this. If I want to do my metal show it's going to take much more of a commitment than I was expecting. I don't mind helping out a bit, but jeez!  

The rain has ended and the sunshine has returned. It's probably like a steam bath out there but I think I'm going out for a pale ale and a cream stout. I have a few more days to sit on the fence and put off any decisions. I'm still in the information gathering stage. I'll let you all know how things turn out somewhere down the road.



Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Vore 20th Anniversary Show

I saw Vore for the first time shortly after the band had come together. It was back in 1994 or 1995, if I'm not mistaken. This was before the Death Mistress, whom I've spoken about in earlier posts, exposed me to dark wave/industrial and dark music in general. The group played at an outdoor metal festival in the parking lot of a Wiccan store just off Dickson Street owned by a guy named Shadow Dragon. Not one with much regard for rules, Shadow Dragon organized his music extravaganza without getting a permit from the city. It wasn't surprising then that at some point the police came and shut down the whole affair. Still, Vore played before the forced shutdown and that memorable occasion was my first exposure to them. It wouldn't be my last.

At the time, I wasn't a big fan of metal. Sure, I loved the older rock bands such as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull and some of the other so-called precursors of modern metal. I even enjoyed some of the Black Sabbath I'd been exposed to. All in all however, I was and very much still am an affectionado of melodic music and I didn't yet have an appreciation for death metal's complexity and unique tonal qualities. As a result, I got into metal backwoods. Here's what I mean:

The first real metal band that I went absolutely crazy over was Type O Negative. The music on their Bloody Kisses and October Rust albums is pure genius, in my opinion. Still, that group's sound was commonly described as Gothic Metal--and with good reason! Type O was the first and perhaps, only metal band ever to win acceptance into Goth subculture. What thrilled me about the group was the spooky and melodic aspects to its music. The Gothic designation of Type O however, put the group into a category that differed from the metal I had been hearing. That was discovery number one; there are different types of metal.

My next and most important immersion into metal occurred upon my discovery of the Symphonic sub genre. To this day, I marvel at how quickly and completely I was won over to it. After all, it's hard-rocking music, undeniably metal, which has strong symphonic and classical elements. Although grunts and growls are sometimes present, so are clean vocals, many of which are performed by strong and even operatic female vocalists such as Tarja Turunen, Simone Simmons and Floor Jansen. I quickly came to appreciate the balance offered by these groups between the growls, so signature of metal, and the angelic vocals performed by these ladies. The thing is, each made me appreciate the other and I soon found myself delving in to other sub genres such as doom and melodic Death/Doom. Wait a minute! Did I just say death/doom? I think I did; and as I grew more passionate about that type of music I, at some point, realized that I'd come full circle. I now very much appreciate that which Death Metal has to offer; and over the past few years, I have enjoyed attending local metal events; some of which, Vore performed at.

Saturday night I attended the Vore 20th Anniversary Show at George's Majestic Lounge. From the first chord, the group's performance was superb. Within moments the band's thunderous brand of doom-laden death metal had the whole house hopping, head banging and moshing. One part of the performance I really enjoyed was when the Devil appeared on stage and began prancing around, invoking the audience into who knows what. The way his antics meshed with Vore's music was amazing. Talk about a cool mascot!

The group's current lineup consists of Jeremy Partin on bass, Remy Cameron on drums and guitarist/vocalist/grunter extraordinaire Paige Townsley. The three performed the first set by playing material from their latest album entitled Gravehammer and other more recent entries.  At the conclusion of that set, Page announced that bassist Jeremy Partin would be sitting out the rest of the show in order that two former members, guitarist/vocalist John Voelker and bassist Glenn Wheeler could take their old positions with the group. "Buy him a beer," Townsley suggested before introducing the former band members.

The second half of the concert was extraordinary because the four musicians had been practicing some of the older stuff for a while, specifically to give fans a treat for this 20th anniversary event. And a treat it was as Townsley and Voelker continued to go back and forth on grunts and vocals. Fans reacted so enthusiastically to the guitar and vocal trade offs that as one friend remarked, "things got pretty brutal in the mosh pit toward the end."

In addition to Vore, four other groups performed Saturday night. These included Auric, Macrocosm, Charnal and Apnea. While I didn't catch all of those performing, I caught some of Apnea's performance and thought they were totally awesome. 

In conclusion then, all I can say is that The Vore 20th Anniversary Show was truly epic. It's really good to know that the group is Fayetteville based. So then, please allow me to offer a toast to the next 20 years.

Here's the Official Vore website.

Monday, May 26, 2014

World Goth Day(s) Wrapup

You may have noticed that I added a tentative S at the end of the title. That's because I attended a celebration on Thursday, which was the actual World Goth Day, and again Friday night. My having two goth events to attend on back to back days made last week special indeed.

Thursday's event, as I mentioned in my previous post, was scheduled as a luncheon and photo shoot at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art,
which is located in Bentonville, Arkansas. You'd have to see this place to believe it; because not only does the museum exhibit some of the finest art ever created in the United States, but it sits upon a beautiful tract of land. There are some four miles of nature trails surrounding and leading to the museum as well as Crystal Spring, which runs alongside the building and creates a most tranquil setting for art lovers.

Dining in Crystal Bridges is a true delight as both sides of the cafeteria-like restaurant open to the beautiful landscape just outside its windows. Our hostess, Mimielle, saw to it that the luncheon would occur under a steel heart, which straddles the center of the dining facilities.

I always look forward to events orchestrated by Mimielle as her projects are always classy, relaxed and works of art. These events also showcase the another side of Goth. These are the times during which we like to dress up in our own particular styles while others gaze in our direction with curiosity. We often drink tea instead of alcohol and discuss our various creative endeavors.

It wasn't too many years ago that going to Bentonville in full goth attire might not have been a very good idea. Crystal Bridges Museum, a planned center for the performing arts and other cultural activities are transforming not only Bentonville, but the county it resides in. As during our first World Goth Day luncheon last year, we received friendly attention instead of hostility. Some other patrons not only approached and asked who or what we were, but asked if they could photograph us as well. 

I had a great time celebrating World Goth Day with this small group of friends and already find myself looking forward to next year. On the left is another photo of the group. This time you can see the steel heart.

Before retiring at the end of this wonderful day, I watched another episode of Dark Shadows. After all, that's what it's all about isn't it? 

On Friday evening those of us remaining in Fayetteville celebrated the first anniversary of Darkness Resurrected Dance Night.
I say those of us remaining because on three-day weekend holidays such as Memorial Day, Fayetteville really empties out. Nevertheless, there was still a lively crowd present at The Stolen Glass; after all, this was the first dance night featuring the sound of live bands.

The first group to take to the stage was Axis from Tulsa, which really warmed the crowd up with their unique mix of electronic, industrial, dark wave and welding. Did I just say welding? Indeed I did! As a matter of fact, I was playing a game of pool when I looked up at the stage and found Axis Stephen welding the 55 gallon drum that doubled as a...well drum. The sparks were really flying at the Stolen Glass that night. That most unusual of drums, at least in a musical sense, had a very unique sound by the way. I enjoyed it.

Kansas City's Razorwire Halo was next to take the stage and they really rocked. I guess you could call them a very energetic band--so energetic in fact that the group's vocalist somehow managed to completely break the top of his guitar. I'm not sure how that was accomplished but it was purely by accident.

Although the turnout for this event was lower than usual due to the holiday, there were some new folks in attendance, some of which I'd been looking forward to meeting.

In a nutshell then, I had the chance to attend two great events in the spirit of World Goth Day. Unfortunately, I have no photos from Friday night. My phone doesn't take very good photos in semi-dark environments and I've found that bringing a camera to such events is a bit cumbersome. Still, I'd like to offer my thanks go to Mimielle for her organizational efforts at Crystal Bridges as well as Axis, Razorwire Halo and of course, DJ Durandal whose continual work with Darkness Resurrected is greatly appreciated.  

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

World Goth Day 2014

It's that time of year once again! No, I'm not referring to Halloween; that's still several months away. Thursday, May 22 however, is World Goth Day--and that's the next best thing. It's a special day during which goths all around the world dress to the nines and celebrate their subculture.

This year, as previously, many diverse events are scheduled to take place. These may take the form of a picnic in your favorite cemetery or an evening in a nightclub socializing. If there's nothing going on in your area or if you're a solitary person, you can still celebrate by watching a good horror movie, playing your favorite dark-wave music, or simply getting comfortable reading some of your favorite literature. Anne Rice may work for some; and let's not forget that her new novel, Prince Lestat, has been released. That's right! The Vampire Lestat walks the darkened streets once more.

Then again, you might want to get hold of a copy of The Castle of Otranto by Horace Mann, which is considered by many to be the first Gothic novel ever written. If you don't have time or the ability to obtain the book, you can read it in PDF format here.

As for me, I plan on attending the 2nd Annual World Goth Day Luncheon
at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. That evening, I'll probably watch another gripping episode of Dark Shadows. 

On Friday evening the fun continues locally as Darkness Resurrected Dance Night presents its First Anniversary Show featuring live music from Razorwire Halo in support of their new album, The Occurrence, as well as live music by Axis, our friends from Tulsa, Oklahoma. It looks like Northwest Arkansas plans on celebrating World Goth Day in style. It's going to be a great week.

If you'd like to know if anything is planned for your area, you can check the listings at the official World Goth Day website.
Whatever you do, have a great time celebrating our day--and night, of course!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Dark Shadows: The End of the Beginning

Those of you who are regular readers here know that I've been watching every available episode of the original Gothic daytime serial from the 1960's, Dark Shadows, in chronological order. I've been taking my time about it, because when you consider that the series ran from June, 1966 until April, 1971 and consisted of 1,225 episodes, there is a risk of suffering burnout. So, I have not been trying to watch the show on anything near a daily basis and instead, put on an episode when the mood strikes, which means that I usually watch a couple of episodes per week.This way, every viewing is a special treat and I always have another episode to look forward to.

This past Tuesday night, I crossed a threshold as I took in Episode 209. Why is that significant, you might ask? Well, the first 209 episodes are categorized as "The Beginning." These original installments took place before the arrival of the Vampire Barnabas Collins and the many supernatural twists and turns that made Dark Shadows so popular during its later broadcasts. As a matter of fact, the serial's story line during its first few months revolved mostly around human conflict and only vaguely suggested the presence of supernatural forces. Over time however, the program began to fuse more occult aspects into the story line and eventually, the arrival of Laura Collins at Collinwood brought the preternatural to the fore. Overall, not many are familiar with what took place during Dark Shadow's first ten months. Since mid-September, 2012 I have been watching these nearly forgotten episodes.

During the last dozen or so installments the program has begun taking an exciting turn. The original theme and conflict upon which the serial began has been resolved. Now, a couple of unwelcome visitors have arrived at Collinwood. One of them, Willie Loomis, a dangerous and sociopathic young man, is fascinated with the Collins Family's jewels and a particular portrait hanging on the wall outside the reading room. In episode 209 we find him outside the Collins family mausoleum in a nearby cemetery. He hears a loud heartbeat as he stands, perhaps considering some despicable deed.

The stage is now set. The appearance of the Vampire Barnabas Collins is at hand!      

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Night of the Harvestmen: An Announcement

Last fall I submitted one of my stories, Night of the Harvestmen, to the Writer's Workshop competition at Horror I had almost forgotten about that submission when, early this past March, I received word from a Horror staff member that I had been named Writer's Workshop Winner for the class of 2013. To say that I was surprised is an understatement. After all, I've read some of the material created by others involved with that organization and I consider it pretty darn good.

Anyway, the staff person informed me that my work had been reviewed by four pros and that I had the opportunity to make changes to my story based upon their critiques. Considering the exposure my story would receive, I'd have been crazy not to take her up on the suggestion. Although it took me an additional 15 hours or so to decide when and where I wanted to incorporate their suggestions into my story, I feel as though the effort was really worth it and I truly believe that the critiques have made me a better writer.

So what does the winning the workshop mean? Well, Night of the Harvestmen has now been produced as a podcast complete with voice actors. It Episode 99 of Season 9 on the Horror Addicts' list of podcasts. It will sit at the top of their playlist for two weeks until the 100th episode replaces it on May 17. The overall production will also involve other features however, which include music and various other announcements. Night of the Harvestmen begins about 32 minutes into the podcast. Still, I'm quite proud of the fact that my piece of horror fiction is now a feature on their bi-weekly podcast.

It's easy to access the podcast. All you have to do is follow this link to Horror
and the player should start up within a few seconds. For the first two weeks it should begin with Episode 99. If you want to listen in after that, simply go to the player, which sits at the top right of the web page, and click on Episode 99. I invite you all to give the production a listen.

Horror also conducted an interview with me, the summary of which you can read by following this link.
So, until next time then...
Top photo source unknown

Horror Addicts.Net website

Interview summery


Monday, April 28, 2014

Beautiful But Deadly

Ordinarily, I would use the photo on the left to illustrate a scene that I might consider darkly pastoral, and perhaps, even beautiful. This picture however, is much more than that. If you look into the distance at its center you can see a tornado, which only moments later, destroyed the River Plantation housing division southwest of the central Arkansas town of Mayflower. The photo was sent to KATV 7 News in Little Rock by an anonymous photographer.The event occurred a little before sunset on Sunday, April 27.

Shortly after the storm destroyed the housing division, it continued into Mayflower and later, the town of Vilonia, bringing almost total devastation to both. Currently, the death toll from the storm stands at 16, but the count could easily rise as rescue workers continue searching for victims.

A friend and active participant in our local Gothic community missed being caught up in all the devastation by only a few minutes as he was traveling back toward Little Rock on I-40. He explained his experience this way:

"... it was about half a mile ahead of me on the freeway... There were blankets in rather odd places in smashed cars, demolished buildings and cars. I didn't take pictures of out of respect."

He did however, manage to get a couple of photos of the general devastation from his vantage point inside his vehicle. With his permission, I'm providing a couple of photos that he took while passing through the devastation

Although it was somewhat dark, you can see what appears to be a large truck that overturned while the tornado rolled along the interstate.

This photo gives the viewer a better idea as to the extent of the destruction.

To be quite honest, I'm relieved to know that this valued member of our local Gothic community was slightly behind the storm. Still, countless others were were not so fortunate. Many were hospitalized and upon release, will likely return to a community in which the home they once knew no longer exists.

The storms are moving eastward and this afternoon, Tupelo, Mississippi fell victim to a tornado described as being a mile wide. According to The Weather Channel, that city has been put under a state of emergency. There are yet other communities lying in the projected paths of these dangerous storms.

A thunderstorm hit here on East Mountain a little after 10:00 pm last night. I lit a couple of candles, turned the light off and stared into the night that existed just outside my screen door. I watched the flashes of lightning and listened to the rolling of thunder. I could hear the sound of hail as it slammed upon the leafy trees, the honeysuckle and even the glassy windows. For a short while the rain came down in torrents.

 Looking out the door from my candle-lit cottage, I had a sense of gratitude for the dark beauty that a thunderstorm flashing away in the night offered me. At the same time though, I had been reminded that these storms--so capable of capturing the human imagination, can turn deadly almost on a moment's notice. It's an interesting proposition indeed!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Blustery Day

A storm blew in over East Mountain late this morning. As far as storms go, it wasn't very large or particularly menacing. Still, it was a thundershower  powerful enough to change a somewhat sunny but cool spring morning into something different--something darker and more Gothic.

Mr. Gray (cemetery cat) must have known it was coming because I found him waiting by the front door when I got home. Perhaps he noticed the dark clouds descending upon us rapidly from the northwest, or he may have heard the rumblings of thunder in the distance. Either way, he seemed quite anxious to get inside and his instincts were right on. The rain began to come down just seconds after I took off my jacket. I listened to the sound of the raindrops hitting the windows and soaking the ground.  The thunder rumbled as the sky continued to darken.

Suddenly a brisk wind began to blow. Large trees swayed while the gusts picked up dead leaves and spring's early blooms, tossing them across the landscape. The heat emanating from the wood stove felt warm and welcoming as it provided ample protection from the elements.The storm exited the area after only about five minutes. Still, the wind continued and for awhile at least, the sky remained cloudy.

I wanted to take in the darkness and the wind--the feel of the moment. So, I took a walk in the woods, as I enjoy doing on blustery days, and visited some of the abandoned burial grounds.

This is the Wilson Family Monument. It towers over several small grave markers that are placed around. There is a city park here that's named after a prominent member of this family. I believe that he was one of the community's earliest merchants.

These two grave markers lie a bit farther into the woods. The tall stone belongs to T.J. Walker. The other bears no inscription. At one time these plots were surrounded by an extensive stretch of thick wire fencing, which now lies upon the ground. The burial place of Sally, which I featured and spoke about roughly a year ago,
lies off to the right a bit.

I call this guy the Guardian to the North. He loves to ride on the wind; his black robe trailing behind him as he soars on each gust. Although he inhabits a fairly shady area, the early morning sun has, over time, compromised the darkness of his robe.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Bats: White-Nose Syndrone Update

In January of last year, I posted an article here entitled North American Bats in Trouble.
The piece discussed the spread of a fungal infection called white-nose syndrome, which threatens bats by compromising their immune systems and imposing upon them a state of malnutrition. At the time of publication, White-Nose Syndrome, which likely has its origins in Europe, had spread to some 19 American states and four Canadian provinces. Katie Gillies, the Imperiled Species Coordinator for Bat Conservation International described the threat of white-nose syndrome this way: "We are witnessing what may well be an extinction event."

Locally, biologists and forestry officials implemented preventative measures, such as closing off popular caves to human intrusion. As of the winter of January, 2013, the fungus had not yet spread into the Arkansas Ozark region.

Bad news arrived several weeks ago in the form of an article appearing in the January 13, 2014 edition of Fayetteville's The Free Weekly newspaper. The piece, entitled White-Nose Syndrome Confirmed in Arkansas Bats, reports that as of January 11 of this year, five bats were found dead in a Marian County cave on land managed by the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission. Authorities brought two of the bats collected to the U.S. Geological Survey National Wildlife Health Center where experts confirmed that damage to various membrane tissue is consistent with that caused by white-nose syndrome. Researchers also discovered that the infected cave is home to three species of bat, which include the endangered Ozark big-eared bat, tri-colored bats and the northern long-eared bat. In October, 2013 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed that the northern long-eared bat receive endangered species protection.

Last summer, researchers discovered low levels of the lethal fungus in a cave in Washington County's Devil's Den State Park and in a private cave located in Baxter County. As of today, none of the bats tested in these caves have developed symptoms of the fungus. Still, white-bat syndrome continues to spread and threaten the survivability of these magnificent animals.

References: The Free Weekly: White-Nose Syndrome Confirmed in Arkansas Bats.

Photo courtesy Free Digital Photos Dot Net



Monday, March 10, 2014

Catching Up

Wow! I can't believe that it's been two weeks since I posted here about the up and coming Voltaire show, which is now less than two weeks away. Generally, I try to get something new up here every week to week and a half. Sometimes though, I just can't make it happen.

One week ago this past Saturday, I bailed out of my small cottage ahead of another major ice-storm threat. I put Mr. Gray (the cemetery cat) in a rather large pet taxi and went out to my sister's place for a few days.As has happened so many times before, the deadly freezing rain didn't materialize for very long and instead, we were treated to a sleet event. Still, no one can recall getting so much of the stuff and it froze rock solid. It took several days for me to get home. If I had to choose one word to describe this winter it would be ghastly.

During my time there, the TV was on almost constantly and loud enough, that it was impossible for me to write. So what do you do in situations like that? You surrender to them of course, and that can be a good thing. Let's see, during my four day s there I watched two Star Trek films, re-watched The Conjuring, viewed Alien vs. Predator, several episodes of House of Cards, several installments of Bones and three episodes of The Walking Dead. Now that's a lot of TV crammed into four days!

While I was away, I received some news that has me reworking one of my stories. I'll likely talk about this more in the future but for now, getting that finished to my liking is a priority. There are other things demanding my attention as well.

All things considered, I do have something of interest lined up for a post, which I hope to present in the near future. For today though, I just wanted to check in and let you know that I'm still here. We'll catch you later.   

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Return of Voltaire

After arising this morning, I plopped down in front of my desk and took my first sips of coffee. As is often the case, I grabbed my phone and took my first look at Facebook. "Ah, a notification," I said to myself. Opening it, I saw that it was an event invitation from a friend. As I continued reading, a surge of excitement ran through me. Within a matter of seconds, my morning caffeine fix became totally unnecessary (although I continued drinking anyway). "Oh wow!" I exclaimed. "He's coming back already?"

A bit more investigation on my part revealed the truthfulness of the matter: Voltaire himself is returning to Fayetteville for another performance at George's Majestic Lounge
on March 22. All I can say is, he must have had a good time with us last summer because I wouldn't expect him to return so soon. Appearing with him will be Annabel Evil from Vampire Freaks in New York City.

Today, I feel like a kid awaiting Christmas. The difference is that instead of visions of sugar plums dancing in my head when I next drift off into dreamland, I'll be seeing
Doom Ponies. The good times just seem to keep rolling on!   

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Saturday's Darkness Resurrected Dance Night

On the night of Saturday, February 15, the first Darkness Resurrected Dance Night of the new year kicked off at The Stolen Glass in downtown Fayetteville. The Valentine's Hangover Party, as it was so name, began an hour earlier than usual with the new 8:00 to 9:00 pm slot dedicated to a more traditional goth/dark-wave musical repertoire. As my personal reward for arriving early, I was treated to the sounds of bands such as Type O Negative, Clan of Xymox, London After Midnight and Celtic Frost; to name a few.

While I didn't try to count the number of attendees in any serious way, I suspect that last Saturday's affair brought in the largest number of attendees for any Darkness Resurrected night to date; encouraging news indeed for those of us hoping to see more of these events in the future.

Speaking for myself, I had a pretty good time. A little after my arrival some friends whom I hadn't seen since the Voltaire concert back in July startled me by sneaking up while I was nursing my first Guiness. It was good to see them and their appearance pretty much guaranteed that I would end up playing at least one game of pool before the night was through. I wasn't disappointed on that account even if my performance on the table was a bit below average even for me. Also, Saturday night was very productive in that I made some new acquaintances. Some of these were folks I'd seen before and had been wanting to meet and some were there for the first time. Needless to say, I'm looking forward to seeing these folks at future events.  

The Deejays for the evening included DJ Durandal (of course), DJ Axis Stevens from Tulsa, Oklahoma, DJ Deathjest; also from Tulsa, and DJ Anthony Bale. As usual, I thought all four provided us with a good mix of danceable music. I took secret delight in hearing the haunting melodies of Dead Can Dance and the teasingly danceable rhythm of Lucretia My Reflection w hile concentrating on my pool game. One thing I always find neat about these gatherings is that in the days following the event, each deejay posts his or her playlist for that night. That's how I found out  the name  of the Celtic Dust song that I enjoyed so much that evening. It's called Drown in Ashes, and I've been enjoying the heck out of it now that I have access to it.

While the next Darkness Resurrected Dance Night will likely not be held until some time in May, I can't help but wonder what it may hold in store. You see, when I entered the venue and paid my modest cover charge, I received a ticket for free entrance to a so-called mystery event that is in the planning for some time in the future. Ah yes, an air of intrigue should be the perfect tool to keep us waiting in anticipation for our next gathering--or perhaps the next!

Many thanks to all the Deejays, those who worked the door, the venue staff and everyone who came and helped make the Valentine's Hangover Party a night to remember.

The above photo appears courtesy of Darkness Resurrected. 


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Vampire's Day Soiree

The big day has finally arrived and once again, I find myself participating in the Vampire's Day Soiree, a special event sponsored by Holly, owner of the Blog Holly's Horrorland, a place where you can most definitely find a "collection of creepy curiosities." 

Since I don't have a valentine and since I'm not much for most celebrations created with the sole purpose of hooking people into spending money, Valentine's Day doesn't mean all that much to me. But the Vampire's Day Soiree? Oh yeah! The day not only serves as a marker for me indicating that the end of winter is approaching, but it serves as an alternative I can better relate to as I really enjoy vampire films, literature and programming; that is, provided that it's done well. What I consider well done might well serve as a topic for another post. For now, let's just say that I think there has been an over abundance of vampire material on TV--and it hasn't all been good. As a matter of fact, I just sent three episodes of True Blood back to Netflix without watching the last one. For the first few seasons I really enjoyed the series. I endured season 4 but as I got into season 5, I just couldn't take any more. As far as I'm concerned, they've run that program into the ground and I've lost interest. As I said, this is a topic for another day. 

What I'd like to do for this Vampire's Day Soiree is offer an excerpt from my own latest short story with a vampire theme entitled A Fall From Grace. Although this particular piece is complete in and of itself, I'm working on a sequel, which I've been struggling with a bit but hope to finish soon. Here then, s the excerpt:

An expression of wanton lust overtook her. She stroked his face sensually before beginning to slowly pace in front of him, only inches away. “I can sense the uncertainty in you,” she continued. “You fear me; yet, I sense your desire to surrender. I can smell it in your blood--and I love it!”
Unable to speak, his own level of desire growing by the second, Jessie could only moan in response.

She abruptly stopped in front of him and smiled seductively. Then, bringing her face to his chest, she began kissing and biting him passionately, working her way upward, ever upward, sending the man into his own private Heaven. When she reached the base of his neck she could no longer contain herself. Within seconds, she opened her mouth wide; biting him, penetrating his skin with two sharp fangs.

The predator moaned ecstatically as she greedily drank his life essence. In spite of her many kills over the years, no human’s blood had ever offered sweetness such as this. She could taste his innocence as well as the darkness he could never face. She reveled in the flavor of his fear as it meshed with an abject surrender to his fate.

As her victim slipped into unconsciousness and his body fell limp, the predator slowly eased him down to the floor before continuing to assuage her blood lust.   

Last but not least, I would be remiss if I didn't direct you to Holly's Site. She is after all, the creator of the Vampire's Day Soiree, which in my mind is fast becoming a February tradition. I would link directly to her January 14 post about the soiree because that's where you can find all the participants. Still, in this case, it might just be better if I link to her main page. That way, you won't miss anything if she posts more for the celebration tonight or tomorrow. If not, just scroll down the page and you'll find her original soiree post below the one entitled Quoth the Raven. There are currently 18 links to the blogs of all participants. I hope that you'll visit them as well to see what vampire-related material they've for  celebration.  And many thanks to Holly for holding this Vampire's Day Soiree 2014! Here's the link to Holly's Horrorland.

And now, if you all don't mind, I'm off to watch The Awakening, a horror film never before seen by me.