The return of PIM STANSA...
The four friends looked up at the flaking paint of the warehouse doors. “You sure this is the place?”
“Yes I’m sure.” Robert Grayson angled his blackberry to show the sat-nav function to his companions. The red triangle was blinking inside a yellow circle. “See we’re right where we’re supposed to be.”
“Maybe it’s a joke. Getting saps like us to go to empty buildings while the real rave is happening across town somewhere?” offered Gina Tackett.
“No way.” Grayson slipped his mobile phone back into a jacket pocket. “This is the real deal. A friend of mine got the message last month. He went out to a farm near Penrith and had the time of his life. Got a blowjob off some girl at the end of the night…didn’t have to pay for it or anything. He said the music was bangin’ as well.”
Gina slapped Grayson on the arm. “Blowjob?”
Robert shrugged at his girlfriend, “Didn’t say I was looking for one. Just sayin’ he got one.”
The other two in the group, Denny and Jay Hawkins grinned and bumped fists. The cousins were up for anything (and free BJ’s certainly wouldn’t be refused). Denny did most of the talking and tonight was no exception. “Let’s go in an’ see what’s a-happ’nin’”. His accent was a mangled mix of cockney and west coast American. He’d never visited either location. The furthest he’d ventured was an overnighter to Manchester.
“Cookin’” added Jay. This was Jay’s current universal ‘good’ word. Last month everything had been ‘mint’. The month before everything had been ‘toasty’.
Gina pursed her lips. She’d happily ditch the ‘Doofus Brothers’ but Robert had been friends with them since junior school, so they were harder to get rid of than a dose of the fanny scabs.
“Let’s see the message again,” she held out her hand. Grayson handed her the piano black handset. She keyed a button. The screen glowed blue then displayed the text. The August underground rave is on! Follow these co-ords on Sat 17th. The night starts at 11pm. Bring your party spirit but leave your inhibitions at home. Guest DJ - Spin Masta.
Gina checked the GPS co-ordinates. They were correct. “Maybe there’s a back way in?”
The foursome headed to the rear of the building. Jay was half dancing as he walked, to a tune only he could hear. His hands moved like a child playing choo-choo trains.
“Hey-hey. This is looking more like it.” Grayson pointed to a grate at ground level. Flashes of red, blue and yellow pulsated silently from a basement level. Dozens of cars were parked along the side of the building.
“Cookin’” declared Jay. His hands now became even more animated.
Gina knew he was a bit of a retard. A lot of these northerners were like that…ten years behind the times as well. She’d been to proper raves years ago in London, long before she’d ever ventured to the North of England. She’d hated her dad for taking a job in Carlisle. If ever England needed a suppository, she’d know where to stick it!
Jay decided the sliding door was cookin’ as well. They all moved inside. A set of concrete stairs lead downwards. A tubular hand rail curled around the outside wall. It was cold to the touch. Faint patches of red paint hinted at its original colour. Some one had spray-painted ‘Pim Stansa was ‘ere’ in red block letters on the wall. As the four trotted down the steps, the steady beat of a tune became apparent.
Gina recognised it. An old ‘Techno’ classic. Nearly twenty years old. Probably just reached the Lake District.
Grayson pushed his way through heavy rubber doors. The music hit them like an auditory sledge-hammer. Bodies were writhing in every inch of the old warehouse storeroom. The Victorian tiled floor reflected the lightshow which pulsated in perfect synchronisation with the pounding music.
The four moved into the throng. No one paid them any heed. Hundreds of arms waved in the air. Beads of sweat flew in all directions as the dancers moved in a collective frenzy. Neon glow-sticks traced concentric circles as they were brandished with enthusiasm. Piles of jackets, handbags and other discarded clothes lay around the perimeter of the room. Grayson too threw down his jacket, his face a mask of pleasure. Jay and Denny looked at each other briefly then shuffled into the gyrating melee. Gina was left standing on her own. She stared at the raised dais at the opposite end of the room.
The DJ was dressed in an ornate cloak. Were those feathers? The cloak shimmered black and purple as he swayed from deck to deck. Large earphones clung to his head. Dark glasses crusted with rhinestones reflected the lights like a rectangular mirror-ball. Neon tubing on the front of his decks spelled the legend –SPIN MASTA.
She looked for Robert but he was already deep in the crowd. The Doofus Brothers were doing fair impressions of sea anemones. Their fingers were flickering in the air as if working imaginary switches on and off at a leisurely pace. But it was their eyes that bothered her. They were unfocused, sightless; empty.
Gina studied the face of the nearest girl. She was dancing with a raw energy but her eyes too were devoid of emotion or awareness. The rest of her face was slack as well. Most raves she’d been to had been drug fuelled to be sure, but the faces of these dancers were not high on E’s or Scoobies anything else she’d ever taken.
“Robert…” her voice was small, a glob of spittle in a sea of noise. A cold spider of panic clawed its way up her spinal cord. She moved back to the doors. They wouldn’t budge. They felt like a solid wall under her pounding fists. She turned back to the revellers. They danced at the same fevered tempo as before. “Robert?”
Jay Hawkins turned and looked at Gina for a brief moment. His face loosened as he looked at her. His eyes clouded over, each brown iris turning a milky white.
“What the f…?”
Gina’s vision jumped from face to face. Every pair of eyes had turned the colour of sour cream.
She stared across the room at the DJ. He was grinning like the fucking Cheshire Cat. A techno remix by Rammenstein pounded out with such force she could feel it in her chest cavity. Her heart pounded faster than the rhythmic dub-mix.
The DJ was now dancing as actively as the party goers. Headphones and glasses were discarded. The cloak spread wide behind him. He twisted and turned as if on wires. Gina had seen some of those Brazilian guys doing crazy spin-kicks and flips in their dances but this guy was in a league of his own.
The DJ Spin Masta launched himself out into the crowd. His athletic leap took him high over the heads of the mesmerised dancers. But he didn’t fall. Gina stared in disbelief. He hovered, suspended seven feet in the air. What she’d thought was a cloak expanded into two colossal shimmering wings. They didn’t flap just wavered slightly. The DJ locked eyes with Gina. He cocked his head to one side.
She knew what he was thinking; why aren’t you spellbound? She couldn’t tear her eyes away from him as he descended…inch by inch, like slowly melting wax. She felt intoxicated yet she’d only had a couple of vodka shots over an hour ago…nothing really. She moved as if submerged in molasses. Like in a bad dream.
The crowd parted to permit him a clear path yet none stopped dancing even for a moment. The DJ padded closer, the outermost feathers of his wings stroking the throats of the dancers as he passed.
Gina stared on agog. Rivers of dark crimson blood spurted from the ruined throats of the dancers he’d touched. She squinted, peering at the enormous feathered appendages. The tips were adorned with countless obsidian blades; each wafer thin and razor sharp. The DJ curled a lip in a cruel approximation of a smile. Behind him a score of dancers were now on the floor, pumping the last of their life’s blood out but still trying to dance. Like discarded wind up toys they thrashed where they’d fallen.
“What the hell are you?” Gina croaked.
The DJ took a step closer, his eyes transfixing her. The wings rose above his head. His ice blue eyes were that of a movie star, luminous, beautiful, and seductive. Gina tried to shout again for Robert. She only managed the first syllable before a three foot sliver of steel appeared in front of her face.
The DJ spoke for the first time. “One chance…” he let the blade fall to the tiles. Gina’s mind swirled in confusion. The winged apparition moved back into the crowd. More blood spurted, the wings darting out like twin cobras. She watched the Doofus Brothers fall. Jay’s head was nearly severed from his body and Denny slumped to the floor with both wrists sliced to the bone.
Gina snatched up the machete and quivered. The handle of the short sword was wrapped in what looked like black tasselled cords. As she raised the blade the cords wrapped themselves around her hand and wrist. A shriek escaped her and she tried to throw down the weapon. Nothing happened, it was stuck fast.
The DJ appeared in front of her again, that same sickening grin stretching his face. His eyes conveyed the unadulterated pleasure he was feeling. A membrane flickered over the blue of his eyes and for the briefest of seconds a pair of red tinged orbs with vertical slits revealed themselves.
Gina flinched and swung the blade instinctively. Spin Masta pivoted away. The machete sliced the air where his head had been a split second earlier. She followed and slashed at him again and again. Each time she swung the blade she seemed to be just a couple of inches short. Furious, she leapt forward and grabbed Spin Masta’s shirt. The DJ curled his wings around him like a protective blanket.
Now Gina smiled, “Fucker!” she slammed the blade home.
But the DJ slipped from her grasp. She tried again to throw the blade away. But it was punched deep into Robert’s chest. “No. Please God, no.”
Robert Grayson’s eyes cleared, regaining full awareness. He stared at Gina then looked down at the weapon protruding from his body. “Gina?”
He fell to the floor. Dead. The blade slipped from his ribs with a sucking rasp.
Gina Tackett screamed with unmeasured fury and anguish.
The DJ glanced at the sound system and silence descended on the room.
Gina’s face was a mask of grief. Tears streamed down her cheeks. Dead bodies lay in a crimson Rorchach arrangement around her. “Why?” great heaving sobs racked her “Who are you?”
The DJ unfurled his wings and smiled, enjoying – no, relishing her pain. As if in explanation he pointed to the DJ’s booth. The neon tubing that had spelled out his name writhed and rearranged into something new. Gina’s gaze flickered from the thing with wings to the animated lettering. It spelled out his true identity.
The DJ gave a candid wink. He loved this part. Just like a magic trick. The Pledge…The Turn…The Prestige. Like a prize fighter’s blows. A Set up…A Bone Rattler…The Knockout. The looks on the faces as they realised who they were dealing with. Aaahhh…
Police sirens cut into the eerie silence. Moments later heavy feet stomped down the stairwell. The rubber door now parted easily. Six officers raced into the room, H & K sub-machine guns levelled.
Gina turned but the winged apparition was gone.
“Drop the weapon.” the command echoed around the room.
Gina tried to discard the blade.
The armed officers took a step forward, each weapon trained on the girl. “This is your last warning. Throw down your weapon and get down on the ground.”
Gina began to explain. Then out of nowhere the DJ leered into her face. A serrated beak opened wide where his mouth should have been. Gina sliced with the blade in a desperate defence.
The demon that was sometimes Spin Masta was visible only to Gina.
The closest officer squeezed the trigger of his weapon. A short controlled burst of lead projectiles struck Gina Tackett ‘centre mass’, in the chest. A single round passed through her body and drilled into the DJ’s podia.
As the officers moved closer to the dying form of Tackett, a new song began on the turntable.
Another oldie…The perennial rock band Aerosmith began informing the steaming corpses that littered the room that ‘The Devil’s got a new disguise…’
Gina managed a final blink of her eyes before they turned the colour of sour cream.
James Hilton (not to be confused by Paradise Lost's creator) is an aspiring author who writes crime, thriller, noir, action, but predominantly horror and dark fiction. He is a regular at TKnC, and has also been published at Pulp Metal Magazine and has a raft of short stories at his own site at http://www.jimhilton.co.uk/