Category Archives: Deadly Metal Hatchet

DMH Fiction: Maccabee

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Yeah, tonight’s the Monday during Hanukkah and by rights, I ought to be bringing you the Musical Hanukkah Celebration. But there’s still more pre-celebration stuff to post, and hey, it’s fiction. Time’s flexible in fiction.

Fozzy held it out to Scott. One drawing, done. Complete with color. Every line perfect.

That’s how it went with Fozzy. He didn’t do things half-assed. That’s what made it worthwhile having him in the band. As far as lead guitarists went, he wasn’t the best out there, but he could hold his own among pretty much the rest of the pack.

“Go on. Take a better look,” Fozzy said.

Scott set his DS down on the couch beside him and took the drawing. A big building filled the background; it had a giant Jewish star on the front. Scott guessed that was supposed to be the Temple that got fought over in the Chanukiah story. It was so big and dominating, it was hard to look at the people in front, dressed in the usual short, white tunics and sandals with the gay straps that wrapped around the leg up to the knee.

“Them’s the Maccabee people,” Fozzy said, pointing to them. He picked up the paper Scott had handed him. “See? They’re right here. Headed off to war.”

Scott studied them. “They have the Hatchet.”

“Yeah.”

“You know they lost the war?”

“That’s what those papers said,” Fozzy said. He pulled on his earlobe. “But they won in the end, right? People remember ’em for trying. They got a holiday out of it. The Hatchet’s never been part of a holiday before.”

The DS beeped, but Scott ignored it. “I think we nailed this motherfucker.”

Fozzy bobbed his head, his wheat-brown curls exaggerating the movement. “The Hatchet comes through again.”

“Who knew the Maccabees had such an ally?”

“Then why’d they lose?”

“It’s a better story if they do,” Scott said.

Fozzy scrunched up his face, trying to make sense of that.

Scott left him. He wasn’t a fan of history, either, but trying to explain this to Fozzy would only make both their brains hurt. It was enough that the special t-shirt for the Musical Hanukkah thing had Judah Maccabee marching into battle, carrying the Deadly Metal Hatchet.

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DMH Fiction: Fozzy Stuck

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Have you been following along with this year’s Musical Hanukkah fiction? There’s been a lot so far. Not as much as I’d originally planned, but enough that you may have missed some. Here’s the start of a two-parter. And Happy Hanukkah, as the holiday began at sundown last night.

“Why’d we say we’d do this again?” Fozzy squinted up at Scott.

Scott looked up from his DS. “Because you don’t say no when ShapeShifter asks you to do something for them. What’s wrong?”

“The Hatchet. How can the Hatchet do its thing? Remember what happened the last time the Hatchet attacked a kid?”

Scott did. The shirt had sold like gangbusters — until they’d had to pull it or get sued by some mom who didn’t have a sense of humor. They’d been warned not to go near anything controversial with this shirt. This was a benefit. It was doing a good deed, it was giving back. It wasn’t supposed to piss anyone off. Fucking up could mean the demise of Deadly Metal Hatchet. The band and the Hatchet itself.

Fozzy had tried arguing that controversy got better news coverage, but no one wanted to listen. Scott told him to drop it and put some effort into making the Hatchet behave for the benefit shirt. It was the first year of the expanded party thing, part of the revival of the event after last year’s cancellation. Not a lot of bands had been asked to join in. That made Deadly Metal Hatchet special.

Scott put the DS down and came to stand behind Fozzy. He reached over the guy’s shoulder and picked up the papers that had been faxed over. “All about Chanukiah,” he read out loud.

Fozzy made a loud, keening noise.

Scott looked over the pages and put one down in front of Fozzy. “Stop it. Here’s your solution.” He waited while Fozzy quieted down and looked over the page he’d chosen.

The guy was quiet a long time. Then, slowly, his head started to bob as he caught on to Scott’s idea. He didn’t say a word or even make a sound as he began drawing.

Scott went back to his DS. Fozzy would take however long he needed to get this done. It’d be worth the wait.

Yep, some Three Word Wednesday woven in here, and I’ll be posting (and promoting) this as my Friday Flash. Be sure to leave comments, stop back for the conclusion, and to either buy more of my books for holiday gifts (I have print copies here if you need some autographs) or make a donation directly to the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation via the contests page. There will be a raffle for some awesome books for the folk who choose this latter option!

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DMH Fiction: Ysabella

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She was jailbait. Pure and simple. She was a worm, dangling on a hook, enticing the fish to jump and take a bite, get hooked, and that’d be it.

But dammit, Lido couldn’t stay away from her. Ysabella Hernandez. Only the daughter of one of the city’s mob bosses. Gorgeously blonde, with innocent blue eyes that loved to dance with laughter.

Everyone loved her. Even the gay guys lusted for her.

When it came to someone like Ysabella Hernandez, though, only one man would ever have her. Gabriel.

She’d been promised to him young, an alliance between families. Like the obedient child she’d been raised to be, she didn’t look twice at another guy. Ever. She was going to be Gabriel’s, and that was all there was to it.

That’s why Lido didn’t know why she would be downstairs every day when he delivered the flowers for his father. Why she’d always say hi and ask how he was.

“Just delivering the flowers,” he said to her that one particular day.

“Surely you do more than that?”

Lido jumped as her father entered the front hall. “Our flowers,” he said, his voice so icy, Lido was convinced he was about to be turned into gourmet fish bait. Mr. Hernandez did that sort of thing — and for lesser offenses than talking to his daughter.

“Yes, sir,” he said, tearing his eyes from Ysabella. Before she left his field of vision, he noticed the way she bit back a smile. He couldn’t react. For one, if he blew this account for his dad, he’d be worse than fish bait. For another, he’d sooner never return to this house than turn himself into one of Mr. Hernandez’ victims.

Even if it meant never seeing Ysabella again.

“You’re lucky your father grows the best flowers in a three-hundred mile radius,” Ysabella’s father said, his face turning dark.

Lido nodded, trying not to be rude as he stared at the darkening face. But he’d never seen a face turn black before. He should have been scared, he knew.

It wasn’t his smartest move.

Ysabella came to his rescue. “Dad, my day’s not complete if I don’t say hi to Lido. You’re the one who says a woman’s job is to make any visitor feel special and welcome.”

Behind her back, right at the edge of Lido’s peripheral vision, he saw the hand gesture she made. Telling him she was blowing smoke up her dad’s scary ass.

Still, Lido swallowed audibly. “I just deliver the flowers, Mr. Hernandez. That’s my business. It’s all I care about. Doing my dad proud.”

Mr. Hernandez nodded, as if satisfied by what he was hearing. Lido didn’t believe he really was. Rather, the man was calculating, weighing, figuring. When the best time to snatch Lido would be. How much concrete would be needed to make sure he didn’t float.

“I need to be going,” Lido said into the silence. “I have other deliveries to make and a schedule to keep to. Always nice to see you again, Mr. Hernandez. Miss Hernandez.”

As Ysabella held the door for him, she mouthed, “Meet me in the park at nine tonight.”

Maybe a smart man would have listened, but Lido wasn’t necessarily a smart man. Not when it came to Ysabella Hernandez.

***
DMH stands for Deadly Metal Hatchet, a small, up-and-coming band who sometimes populates these pages. This piece is set before the band; this situation with Ysabella is the eventual reason why Lido joins the guys and tries to get out of town.

This was inspired by this week’s Three Word Wednesday prompt, and I’m including it as a #FridayFlash piece, and posting it at Weekend Writer’s Retreat, too. That’s a lot of bang for one buck!

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DMH Fiction: Injustice

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It’s been awhile since we had a visit from the Deadly Metal Hatchet guys, and even then, this barely qualifies. It’s a tale that came to me and asked to be told. So here it is.

“Foz-zee!” Mark said, standing up and leaning over the counter so it’d be easier for Fozzy to try to slap his hand. The guy didn’t need the beer he’d come in here to buy; he already walked with a lurch, thanks to that stupid-assed way his dad had laid down that bike. Mark thought it had been a waste of a good bike. And a damn stupid way to try to off yourself.

“Doooood,” Fozzy crowed back, stopping in front of the counter and making sure he was anchored before going off-balance for the hand slap. “How’s it hangin?”

Mark adjusted the waistband of his jeans. “Loose, man. Got some good air flow happening today.”
He nodded, trying to look like he had it all going on. Fozzy couldn’t deal if a guy started telling him how his girl had walked out the other night, how blue his balls were, or how sucky his pay at this pissant job.

He looked past Fozzy, who was nodding and looking for all the world like he was trying to figure out what to say next. She was there again. The little girl with the dirty brown hair and the too-small t-shirt and those long, skinny legs. She must’ve been about seven. And she was always alone.

“Hey, little girl,” he said, gesturing to her. He eyed the security screens he’d made Hans put in when the beer had been cleaned out the third time, right under their noses. He wasn’t supposed to leave the counter, no matter why. But it was just him, Fozzy, and the girl in the store.

He knew what the girl was up to. He didn’t know how she pulled it off, not with that tight t-shirt and those shorts that had once been knee-length. But she managed to walk out of the convenience store every few days with something pretty significant. A loaf of bread. Peanut butter. Paper towels.

She looked over her shoulder at Mark and Fozzy, her eyes wide, her mouth open a bit. Mark figured she’d grow up to be a looker. If she got a chance to grow up.

“Man, isn’t she a little young?” Fozzy asked, leaning close so he could speak softly.

Mark pressed his lips together and shook his head slightly. The little girl turned back to the shelf.
She was eyeing the Cheetos.

He had Cheetos in the lunch box he’d filled before his shift started. The only way to get through some of these shifts at this shitty job was to eat. Otherwise, you’d fall asleep, or do something dumb like take some funny money, or give someone change for a twenty when they handed you a five. Of course, they’d never fess up. They always got that same smile, like they had a secret, and they’d fold up the cash and slide it into a pocket, even when they still had their wallet in their hand.

“You hungry?” he asked the little girl.

She looked at him again, her big eyes bigger. She bit her lower lip and nodded slowly.

Fozzy shifted his weight and scuffed his feet. Then he started rubbing at his arms.

Mark understood. Hungry little kids weren’t supposed to happen. Not where they lived, even though where they lived wasn’t exactly Hollywood or some other place where the rich people flocked.
But here she was. A couple of times a week.

Fozzy took off for the cooler the beer was in. Mark hadn’t expected him to stay as long as he had.

“You can’t keep coming in here and taking food, you know. My boss makes me pay for it.”

She didn’t answer. She just kept staring, half-turned like a spring that was all wound up and waiting for the release, so she could shoot across the room.

Fozzy paused, the door to the cooler propped against his bad shoulder.

No one moved for the longest minute, then Fozzy closed the cooler. “For real?”

Mark nodded. “Anything comes up short on my watch, I have to pay for.”

“How do they know?”

He shrugged. “They do. Somehow.”

Fozzy looked at the little girl and then at Mark. He frowned.

Mark wanted to groan. This was probably part of her act. Make ’em pity you and they’ll cough up the cash. She’d probably deliver it to her old man and he’d spend it on booze while she went hungry…

Fozzy left the store without his beer. The little girl followed. Mark let his eyes linger on the shelves.
Everything seemed to be there.

Except his self-respect.

.
Be sure to stop by the Weekend Writer’s Retreat for other great fiction being posted online!

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DMH Fiction: Weird

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I love it when my latest vision matches the Sunday Scribblings prompt.

“Weird.”

Fozzy supposed he should have had something else to say on the matter. After all, he’d woken up to find a fresh drawing sitting on his desk. He’d been drawing a lot since the accident, it was true. Then again, when all a guy could do was lay around and be miserable, drawing at least filled the time. So what if he’d had to learn to draw left-handed? It had been the sort of challenge he’d been up for.

But he didn’t remember drawing this one. It didn’t look like anything he’d been drawing lately. There were no skulls, no demons, no death. No horror, no screaming. No blood, no bones, no gore.

Nope. It was a drawing of a meat cleaver. Handle down, blade pointing to the left. That was it. Nothing more.

That alone was weird. This was the first time Fozzy had ever drawn something he couldn’t remember drawing. Maybe he hadn’t. But if he hadn’t, who had?

And there was no way he would have drawn on last week’s drafting assignment, either. It had taken him three times as long as it should have; he didn’t have that left-hand thing down yet. It had been a kick-ass project, too, one he might have tried making. He’d gotten an A on it, too. Fozzy didn’t get many As on things.

Now it had this weird hatchet thing drawn on it. You couldn’t see the drawing anymore. Just a few arrow ends here and straight lines there. So much for that A he’d earned.

That made two weird things he’d woken up to. Fozzy would have never let himself ruin something he’d worked so hard on. He wanted to get mad and throw things, but what was the point? His drafting assignment would stay ruined. And if he threw shit, something else might break and get ruined, too.

His counselor would tell him he was growing. Changing. Becoming at peace with the world.

His counselor was full of shit. All he was doing was realizing how pointless it was to have nice things, and to care about them when you managed to get your hands on something. It was stupid, all of it. The only thing that mattered in life was getting out of it.

That brought him back to the third weird thing. So he had a drawing he didn’t remember making, of a hatchet or meat cleaver or whatever the hell it was. It had appeared out of nowhere, ruining last week’s drafting homework. At least he’d already been graded on it. One. Two.

Three; the Hatchet was wearing a red Santa’s cap, complete with white fluffy thing at the tip and a white band around the brim.

The Hatchet seemed happy. But somehow, Fozzy knew better. It was like him: biding its time until it could go for the throat and take its revenge on this shitty life that had done this to him.

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DMH Fiction: Cheese

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If you haven’t met Deadly Metal Hatchet yet, they’re the *other* band around here. Young and hungry, but also incredibly stupid, they’re musically inept but they have a great gimmick. Read on!

“No. I don’t like it. Every single freaking heavy metal band out there has pictures taken in front of a gothic gate like this one,” Scott said.

“Do we have to take pictures?” Fozzy asked.

Scott, Gecko, and Lido turned and glared at their guitarist.

Fozzy wandered off toward the gates. Scott followed, taking in the sight. Heavy dark brick, probably stained with some sort of smog or soot. Maybe it was moss; it didn’t matter. It wasn’t something you’d see at home.

Scott still couldn’t believe the record company had flown them out East just for a stupid photo shoot. They’d claimed the woods behind the gate was the Hatchet’s natural environment. That the sand and brush of the desert had nothing to do with the Hatchet.

Fozzy had tried to explain that the Hatchet was a city dweller, born on a wide asphalt street. No one at the label had cared. They wanted the Hatchet associated with all the usual gothic shit. Iron railings connecting the two tall columns of stone. Yawn.

“How many other bands have taken their group pictures right here?” Scott asked Fozzy, who lit a cigarette and stuffed his lighter into the front pocket of his jeans.

“The Hatchet could like it here,” Fozzy said after a minute. “Lots of hiding places. Lots of victims probably come through here.”

“Yeah,” Scott sniffed. “All our competition.”

“So where do you want to do this photo shoot?” Fozzy asked. He narrowed his eyes like he did when he was expecting something good but stayed ready to brace himself for something less than okay.

Scott turned in a circle, his face tilted up toward the sky as he thought. It was easier to give Fozzy something good than spend the next five hours waiting for him to draw the Hatchet. They had a schedule to keep. This stupid photo shoot. “In a ferris wheel,” he said at last. “A shot from a distance. That’ll go over easier with Mr. camera-shy.” He slid a look at Fozzy, waiting for a reaction. None came. Lido bit back a smile. Gecko lit a cigarette of his own and scuffed at a leaf on the ground. It was damp; it turned his work boot dark brown.

“The Hatchet can be… anywhere,” Scott said. “In a car of its own, digging the ride. Jammed into the electronics and ready to strike the poor suckers stuck at the top. Taking freaking tickets for all I care.”
Fozzy held his cigarette like it was a joint. “That could work.”

“Now we’ve got to get the label to go along with it.”

Fozzy smiled, that ugly, thin smile that was the only one Scott had ever seen. “Let the Hatchet handle that.”

This actually compiles three writing prompts. There’s the Easy Street Prompt from September 25, the Your Photo Story, and this week’s Sunday Scribblings.

Links to more Deadly Metal Hatchet (in order!):
Thursday Thirteen — The Hatchet
Anonymous
Chapeau
Thursday Thirteen — Bits about Deadly Metal Hatchet
Fozzy’s Skateboard
Somewhere
Late Invite?
Fozzy’s Accident

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DMH Fiction: Fozzy’s Accident

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DMH, for those of you who haven’t met the other band around this joint, stands for Deadly Metal Hatchet. They’ve had lots of adventures, but this… this is essentially (although no one knows it yet) the origins of the Deadly Metal Hatchet.

Sheila paced circles in the vast waiting room. Really, a person could get lost in here. A smart person wanted to get lost in here. There were nooks, there were crannies, there were areas with TVs and areas without. Through it all, Sheila clasped her hands together and tried not to think. Only to keep moving, as if keeping moving would affect the outcome.

In her wake, a trail of tissue crumbs landed, barely visible even against the dark carpet. The tissue was in her knotted-together hands; she’d forgotten it was there.

The accident was the day’s worst so far. The boy was lucky to have his leg still attached and maybe he’d have been luckier if it had just ripped free.

That thought alone made Sheila gag. But there was more.

Broken ribs, collarbone. A dislocated shoulder. Road rash galore. Definitely a concussion, hopefully no brain bleeding, hopefully no internal bleeding or organ damage.

Scans, surgery – and no real way to pay for it.

When she next passed the volunteer desk on her endless rounds, the brunette waved her over. “This is Mr. Bergen, from billing. He needs to speak to you.”

The brunette volunteer showed them to another cranny, one Sheila hadn’t noticed yet. It was actually a room, but it was dark. Or it felt dark. It didn’t matter. Sheila knew what was coming. Knew she didn’t have insurance. Knew that asshole deadbeat who’d done this to her didn’t have any business being on a motorcycle in the first place, let alone would take even the slightest little bit of responsibility or involvement after this.

Sheila wanted to grab those paramedics, the ones who’d saved her oldest boy’s life, and shake them until they explained why the hell they hadn’t let that asshole bleed to death right there, on the spot where he’d tried to kill his kid.

She was afraid the answer would be that the asshole had gotten up and walked away. Just that easy. Just like that wasn’t his flesh and blood there on the pavement, his son’s blood spurting everywhere, his son’s leg… oh, Fozzy’s leg…

As the billing man droned on, Sheila hugged herself around the middle and bent in half, fighting that sudden wooziness that smacked her in the face the way the road had smacked her son. The way it had reached for Fozzy’s leg, trying to claim it like an unpaid bill.

The hospital’s finance man — what had the brunette said his name was? Mr. Bill or something? — touched her back. He looked concerned, but Sheila straightened her shoulders and unballed the tissue from her hand.

There was nothing left. Nothing to wipe her watering eyes with, nothing to dab at the wet corner of her mouth with.

“Mr…” she started.

“Bergen,” he said. “And if you can’t pay it all at once, I understand. Healing your boy takes precedence over payment. We can work something out.”

Sheila put her hand on his arm. “I’ll find a way. I’ll come work here and empty trash cans if I have to, but if you people save my son, I’ll pay every last penny back.”

Mr. Bergen cleared his throat.

Sheila removed her hand. Little white crumbs clung to his arm hair, remnants of Sheila’s tissue.

He pretended to ignore the crumbs, rolled his shirtsleeve down. As he fumbled with the buttons at the wrists, Sheila licked her lips and knotted her hands together again. She tried to remain sitting, but couldn’t.

“We’ll be in touch,” Mr. Bergen said.

Sheila licked her lips again and nodded. “I’ll make good on this. I will,” she said. Add the hospital and the cost of it to the list of things she’d have to face. She’d have to call her lawyer and see if he could help. Last time she’d had money problems, he’d told her to call. Maybe he knew of a way to lean on the asshole, too. Maybe he’d be able to shut off these stupid visits. Maybe he’d be able to squeeze blood from a stone and pay off the hospital fast. No matter how reasonable they said they’d be, they never were. They didn’t care if a family ate or not. They just wanted their money.

Sheila was already working two jobs. She didn’t know where more money could possibly come from. Fozzy couldn’t work, not for awhile. Not after this. And Curt wasn’t old enough yet.

All that had to wait. First, she needed to know Fozzy was okay.

Sheila left the little cranny of a room and resumed pacing the vast waiting room. When she passed the front desk, the brunette offered her a new tissue.

This was inspired, if that’s the right word, by this week’s Sunday Scribblings prompt, Healing.

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Deadly Metal Hatchet Fiction: Late Invite?

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They’d been waiting for it, saving up the gas money. Driving from Phoenix to Riverview wasn’t going to be cheap. They’d tried lining up some gigs, but it was a bad time of year to do that on your own. People were spending money on presents, not on live shows. The right-sized clubs wanted bands who could draw, not unknowns.

“But we’re not unknown!” Scott had tried arguing. “We’re Deadly Metal Hatchet!” Even telling the club owners and promoters that they were friends with ShapeShifter hadn’t helped.

Still, they weren’t going to miss the annual Musical Hanukkah Celebration up in Riverview. They’d agreed to sleep in their van if they had to, unless they could find a nice girl who was willing to let them crash on her floor. They even agreed they wouldn’t fight for her and her bed.

The only thing they were missing, really, was the invitation.

“What are we gonna do?” Lido asked. “It’s Saturday. The gig’s in two days and we gotta leave like an hour ago if we’re gonna make it there on time.”

Scott shook his head and held his hands up. “There’s nothing we can do. If they didn’t invite us this year, they didn’t invite us.”

“I thought they liked us,” Fozzy said, shaking his head. “Fuckers.”

“They ran that cartoon of the Hatchet last year,” Lido said. “Maybe that’s why they didn’t invite us this year. They need to rotate through all their friends.”

“There are an awful lot of people who are better friends with them than we are,” Scott said.

Fozzy got up and stalked across the room.

Scott shook his head, knowing what was coming next. “Don’t do it, man. They’ll never forgive us.”

“I’m not doing shit,” Fozzy said, bending over the notebook on the table, a pen already in his hand. “The Hatchet is.”

“It may not be personal,” Scott warned. “This might change that.”

Fozzy didn’t answer. He just spread his legs farther apart, bringing his face and body closer to the notebook.

Scott bent over, forearms planted down the length of his thighs, face hidden in his hands. “Fozz…”

“Not me,” the guitarist said. “It’s all the Hatchet’s doing.”

“Dude,” Scott said, standing up and adjusting his glasses. This whole scene hurt, and the Hatchet was only going to make it worse. “They gotta raise money. How much money can we help them raise? If it weren’t for our t-shirts, we’d be broke. It’s all about money, and we can’t help them much. I don’t blame them if they blew us off.”

“Maybe the invite’s just late,” Lido said, glancing nervously at Fozzy’s ass.

“Maybe,” Scott said, giving Lido a grateful look.

“I say we go anyway,” Gecko said. He gave Scott and Lido a small smile. “Maybe we can get tickets or something.”

“With what money?” Scott asked. He shook his head and turned his back on everyone. They just didn’t get it. The band wasn’t bringing in a lot of money. They should be practicing now, not waiting for Fozzy to finish letting the Hatchet destroy them. Letting the Hatchet loose on ShapeShifter… this was suicide of the worst sort.

Fozzy threw the pen down and stalked away. Scott held his breath.

Gecko picked up the drawing.

There was the ShapeShifter logo, or something close enough to it. Just like Scott had expected.

But instead of the Hatchet tearing it apart, the Hatchet lay below it, almost as if it was bowing.

And a tear escaped from its head.

“Maybe our invite is just late,” Gecko said.

“Maybe,” Scott said.

I hope you’ve been following this year’s Musical Hanukkah Celebration posts. Join the fun by getting your hands on the official 2009 t-shirt at the Merchandise Table. Remember that a portion of all profits from the sales of the t-shirts and my own book, The Demo Tapes, will be donated to the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation so that kids can make music of their own. And hopefully be better than the guys in Deadly Metal Hatchet.

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DMH Fiction: Somewhere

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“Where are we?” Scott asked, looking over Fozzy’s shoulder. He pushed up his glasses even though they didn’t need it.

Fozzy shrugged. “Somewhere.”

“Is that somewhere near where we’re supposed to be?”

Fozzy shrugged. “It’s somewhere in the mountains. Are we supposed to be in the mountains?”

Lido handed Scott the map. “Are there mountains in Texas?”

“No,” Scott said, wanting to grab handfuls of hair and tug until his scalp hurt. He wanted The Hatchet to come out of its blankets and chop down the mountains and get them to Texas. “We have a problem. We need to be in Texas in an hour.”

“This isn’t Texas,” Fozzy said.

“No shit, Sherlock,” Lido said. “I told you to take that right.”

“We have an hour before we have to load in, and we’re staring at the frickin mountains!” Scott leaned back in the seat and kicked, hoping he caught Fozzy in the butt. Idiot. How many times had he said, “Go East. Due East. We’re in Arizona, so there’s no way we can miss Texas”? How frickin dumb was the guy, and who the hell had stuffed him in the back seat where he wouldn’t be able to see well so he could catch this mistake earlier?

“So what do we do?” Lido asked. Scott could see the panic creeping into the guy’s eyes, hear it in his voice.

“Like I know?” Scott shot back. “If you’d followed the stupid map…” He grabbed it out of Lido’s hand and looked at it.

No wonder. Lido had been holding it upside-down.

“I guess,” Scott said, taking the deepest breath he could manage in the mountains’ thin air, “we turn around and go home. And hope like hell someone’ll hire us again once word about this gets out. You know it will.”

“There’s no way?” Fozzy asked.

“Dude, we don’t even frickin know where we are!”

“Gimme that map,” Fozzy said. Once it was in his hand, he carried it back to the trailer Lido’s dad had loaned them for the quick trip to Texas. The Hatchet was in there, sleeping.

Scott seethed while Fozzy waited for The Hatchet to do its thing. Lido hung his head, lit a cigarette, and tried to look cool.

Gecko just sat and stared at his hands, folded in his lap.

Scott wished he could be more like Gecko. Nothing bothered Gecko.

Including the confetti Fozzy brought back up to the front.

“Good work,” Scott said. “Now how do we get home?”

For every ShapeShifter in the world, there’s more than one Deadly Metal Hatchet. Hapless but well-intentioned. Talentless but with a great marketing gimmick. And hoping to make it big.

Explore more Deadly Metal Hatchet here. And be sure to leave a comment so I can return your visit, eh?

If you need a Trevor fix, there’s one I posted right below this one… Come on… you know you do!

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Deadly Metal Hatchet Fiction: Fozzy’s Skateboard

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So you came here, expecting to read about this fictional ShapeShifter band. Nope. Not today. I’ve been playing with this idea for the other band that’s starting to test the waters here, and finally had the time/energy to get it down. If you’re new to Deadly Metal Hatchet, they are a baby band — as compared to ShapeShifter’s world domination — who are more about the Deadly Metal Hatchet, their gimmick, then they are about music. In a word, they suck. But they aren’t letting that stop them.

Lido could only stare when Fozzy pulled it out of his road case. If it had been Scott or Gecko, he wouldn’t have blinked or thought twice or anything like that. But this was Fozzy. He who hated having his picture taken, even when he was wearing jeans and long-sleeved shirts. Not that he had scars on his arm, but that was Fozzy for you. He’d almost died in a motorcycle accident; he was allowed to be weird about certain things.

“You for real?” Scott asked as Fozzy set it on the floor and put a foot on the deck, testing its stability.

“Yeah.”

“But… Fozz…” Lido paused, not sure how to word this. Fozzy could be sensitive — too freaking sensitive, as Scott would say — about anything that might make any one of them bring up the motorcycle accident.

And, of course, Fozzy was glaring at him. Daring him to go there.

Lido could hear the Hatchet panting.

He held up his hands. “It’s just not you, man. That’s all.”

Fozzy laughed that bitter, harsh laugh that made Lido cringe. It was the sound of the Hatchet and as much as Lido loved the band’s gimmick, he hated when Fozzy tried to bring it into their lives like this.

“It’s not me,” Fozzy said and laughed again. “Like you’d fucking know.”

Scott eased over so he was standing beside Lido, like he was getting ready in case Fozzy charged. Scott was really the only one who could defuse Fozzy when he got like this, but Lido wasn’t so ready to hand the control over.

Without ideas of what to say next, Lido started to rethink that idea of control.

Fozzy moved his leg back and forth. The wheels made a cool sound.

“Do that again,” Lido said, tilting his head to listen. When Fozzy did, he sang a few nonsense syllables along.

Scott patted Lido on the shoulder as Fozzy nodded and stepped up onto the skateboard. He wobbled immediately and jumped off — and glared at Scott and Lido, as if he was expecting them to laugh at him.

Lido just shrugged. “Guess it takes practice.”

“We’ve got plenty of time for that,” Scott said, glancing at his watch as if it meant something. It didn’t. Not really. Their tour manager would round them up when they needed to get ready to go on stage. All they had to do was find a way to kill the time between now and then.

“I know,” Fozzy said. “That’s why I did this.” He tried the skateboard again and managed to stay on a hair longer.

Scott touched Lido’s shoulder, telling him to stop staring and come along. In typical Fozzy fashion, the guy didn’t want an audience.

It was enough to make you wonder why the guy had picked up the guitar in the first place. But then again, with Fozzy, most things made you wonder.

Like what you see? Want to know more about Deadly Metal Hatchet? There’s not a lot yet, but if you follow this link (or the one above, the first time their name appears), it’ll take you to their bio page, which links to more fiction about them. Happy reading and be sure to leave comments, even on the old posts!

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Thursday Thirteen #67 — Bits about Deadly Metal Hatchet

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I’ve been on this Deadly Metal Hatchet kick lately, wanting to make the time to explore them more, learn their back story, bring more of them to you.

Thirteen Things about Deadly Metal Hatchet

1. Deadly Metal Hatchet is four guys who have created a gimmick for themselves that works. Think Iron Maiden’s Eddy, only more gruesome.

2. That gimmick is the Deadly Metal Hatchet, their mascot.

3. Here’s links to other DMH posts. The first. An earlier Thirteen. Chelle and the Hatchet. The perils of being a baby band. And meeting a groupie.

4. Fozzy, the lead guitarist, is the only known survivor of a Hatchet attack. That’s why the Hatchet lives with him now.

5. Fozzy founded the band as a better way to cope with a bad motorcycle accident. The alternative was to crawl into a bottle. Which he tried.

6. Lido’s the singer.

7. He figured that being in a band would take him out of town and away from the woman he loved — and who loved him back.

8. Scott’s bass drum was a Hatchet victim. Thankfully, Scott wasn’t playing it at the time.

9. Unfortunately, though, the Hatchet did its work before a show. Scott’s tech was one busy man, but it wasn’t enough and the band had to take the stage without the drums. They returned in the second song. Thankfully.

10. By that time, the audience was booing. It was an ugly show.

11. It took them awhile to get booked again after that. And when they did, they had to play the frat of one of Lido’s friends.

12. Fozzy and the Hatchet had a long talk about desecrating the band’s equipment.

13. Notice how there’s nothing about Gecko yet? Like I said, I’m still working on these guys.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will try to link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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DMH Fiction: Chapeau

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You probably want to go take a peek at this week’s Weekend Wordsmith prompt in order to fully understand the ending of this. I stared at that thing for a good hour or so before this bubbled forth, sort of like a mud pot in Yellowstone (yes, pictures to follow). And for those of you who are confused, DMH means… Deadly Metal Hatchet. You got it.

Scott stared at the girls. “You for fricken real?”

“Well, yeah,” the skinnier of the two said. Skinny wasn’t the right word; skeletal was more like it. It was all he could do to keep from staring at her collarbones and the way they stuck out. This girl had problems.

Scott figured he had to have problems, too, because he was seriously considering her offer. Hang at her place, she’d said. She had a pool.

It was a hot August night. A pool would feel a hell of a lot better than the Winnebago.

Gecko came up right then, a beer in one hand, his index and middle finger of the beer hand holding a cigarette. He clapped Scott on the far shoulder and left his arm draped there as he leered at the girl. “Who’s this?”

“My friends call me Chapeau,” she said, thrusting her chest out. Like she had tits, Scott thought. There was the barest bump under her tank top, and it was a close-fitting tank top.

“Chapeau?” Gecko said, lifting both the beer and the cigarette to his mouth. He blew smoke at her. “That means hat or something, dunnit?”

“Think about it,” she said and winked at Scott. “We leave in ten.”

Scott didn’t have much to explain to Gecko. “She has a pool.”

It took him exactly four minutes to round up Lido and Fozzy. Chapeau was ready to go.

They should have stayed home, Scott thought as soon as they got there. There was no food in the fridge, and Chapeau got all nervous when they talked about ordering a pizza. And the pool?

The pool was one of those plastic wader things, barely big enough for one of them to sit down in, let alone the four of them plus Chapeau.

Fozzy said it felt good to just be able to stick his feet in. Then again, it was probably the first time in a month that Fozzy’s feet had gotten near water other than his own sweat. Lido muttered something about the Hatchet being needed here. This was a joke, he mumbled, something that the Hatchet needed to fix for them.

They stayed like that, not talking once Lido was done, sitting in folding chairs that made a circle around the stupid blue wading pool, drinking the beer they’d brought and staring stupidly at each other, until Chapeau showed them how she’d got her name, one at a time, in a not-so-private viewing that went around the circle to each Hatchet member in turn.

Hats, it seemed, covered heads. Pretty well, for someone as skinny and gross as this girl looked.

After Scott’s turn, he looked over his shoulder. Even though no one had moved, a set of wet footprints led away from the stupid blue wading pool.

It seemed the Hatchet had realized it wasn’t needed on this girl after all. And that the Hatchet walked on human feet.

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Fiction Outtake: Anonymous (Deadly Metal Hatchet)

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I’ll post links to past Deadly Metal Hatchet pieces, as this may be a bit of a jolt for those of you used to Trevor and his antics. The Hatchet is a young, up-and-coming band made up of four guys: Fozzy, Lido, Gecko, and Scott. They have a gimmick: the Deadly Metal Hatchet they are named after.

At any rate, as Halloween approaches, many of us are turning our thoughts to scary things. Here’s one for you, and I’m not talking about what the Hatchet gets up to.

Days like this were too nice to be inside. And it wasn’t like they could smoke inside anyway; those new rules about smoking were made by assholes in suits. Scott wished Fozzy could turn the Hatchet loose on them and the other upright and moral folk who’d decided that smoking was evil. Man, the world would have a few hundred million less assholes if he could.

The four of them were sitting on the curb outside the club, laminates on, blending in. Everyone else who milled around wore cargo shorts and black t-shirts, too. They were just four more guys sitting there, catching a smoke, not talking, soaking in the day and the nicotine rush.

“So what’re we gonna play tonight?” Gecko asked.

Fozzy shook his head. “Too early to do setlist.”

“Why are we wasting time with this talk again?” Scott asked. He sat back and adjusted his shorts. “We do the same fricken set for every same fricken show. Why don’t we just own up to that already and quit with the stupid setlist discussions?”

Fozzy screwed his face up. “It’s not like we have more than twelve songs in the first place.”

“…and time to play ten of ’em. Why don’t we ever play those last two?” Gecko asked. He ground out his cigarette on the curb beside him.

As he reached for the can of Coke he’d brought outside with him, two long-haired guys approached. They wore the code: black t-shirts, dirty flannel shirts thrown over top, cargo shorts, workboots left unlaced. “Hey, man, know where we can find Deadly Metal Hatchet?”

Gecko and Fozzy exchanged uneasy looks. Lido cleared his throat.

“Yeah,” the other guy said. “We want to hang with the Hatchet. We figure that when they make it big, we’ll be able to tell everyone we knew ’em when.”

Scott adjusted his shorts again; maybe it was time to find a laundromat already. “Got any clue who you’re looking for?”

The first guy, the one in the dingy red flannel, shifted his weight. “Deadly Metal Hatchet.”

“Yeah, we know,” Scott said. “But do you know what they look like?”

Red Flannel shifted his weight again. “Don’t they wear shirts with the Hatchet on ’em?”

Gecko smothered a laugh with his fist. Fozzy looked around. No one, band nor crew, was wearing anything with the Hatchet on it. Except their laminates, but then again, every person involved with the tour wore one of those.

“So,” the guy in the brown flannel said, “know where we can find ’em?”

“How can you be fans if you don’t know what they look like?” Scott asked.

The kid in red shrugged. “We’re not fans. Not really.”

“We think they suck,” the kid in brown said. “But one day, they’ll get big and we’ll be able to say we hung with them.”

Scott covered his face with his hand. Fozzy stood up; Lido jumped to his feet and the two went inside.

“Should we?” Gecko asked. “I mean, the band may not like it.”

“Fuck the band,” Scott said, wondering what the fricken hell he was saying. “They don’t need losers like you two.”

He and Gecko walked inside, shaking their heads.

“You join a fricken band to get noticed,” Scott said in the safety of the
band’s dressing room. “Not to get told you suck.”

“At least they think we’ll be someone,” Lido said.

“Dude, we already are,” Fozzy said. He ripped a sign off the wall and started drawing.

In short time, the Hatchet had gone to work on two guys in flannel: one red, one brown.

The members of Deadly Metal Hatchet cheered.

Some past links with the Hatchet:
Intro
Thirteen Hatchet Victims
Chelle and the Hatchet

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Thursday Thirteen #39 — The Hatchet

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If you haven’t heard, I’m at Cub Scout Camp with half of the Opening Act, so the Tour Manager’s in charge around here. Because the power’s going to his head, he probably won’t honor you with a return visit. I’ll have to do that when I get back, so look for a visit from me late into the weekend or early next week. Be sure to sign Mr. Linky even if you don’t leave a comment, so I know to visit you!

As for this week’s Thirteen… if you were here on Monday for Rhian’s poetry train, you’ll understand. For those of you who weren’t, Deadly Metal Hatchet is an up-and-coming band who have this gimmick: a Hatchet. Their fans are into them more because of the antics of the Hatchet than for the band’s music, and for good reason.

Really. Go read the outtake and then come on back. You’ll appreciate this all the more.

Thirteen places The Deadly Metal Hatchet’s been found

1. Lots of hearts. Deadly Metal Hatchet’s not quite the love-song type.

2. A lung (stop back for more about this!)

3. A full stomach, with contents in full detail, some of which a perceptive fan can make out but the rest of which make for unending discussion in fandom

4. A leg

5. In the breast of an otherwise curvy, attractive blonde whose come-hither face has been replaced by a scream of horror

6. Sticking out of the head of lead guitarist Fozzy, who is the only known survivor of a Hatchet attack.

7. Right smack in the middle of Scott’s bass drum.

8. A tour case. Rumor has it that the band has put the names of bands they don’t overly like on this case, but the truth is that the Hatchet went after one of its own band’s cases.

9. A beer keg. All involved agreed it was a terrible waste.

10. The driver of the band’s tour bus. This was actually a bit of an inside joke, as they had this driver who almost deserved his date with the Hatchet. He should have been in the Book of World Records for his complaining habit.

11. What appeared to be a CD put out by a boy band. Or a vanilla, generic girl who gyrated more than sang. Or both.

12. The logo for Treble TV, the hot music video channel that refused to play DMH videos.

13. A cover of Rolling Stone magazine. And this was before the magazine’s reviewers panned the DMH’s first three releases.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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Fiction Outtake: Deadly Metal Hatchet Intro (Post-Trevor’s Song Era)

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Welcome to this week’s Poetry Train! This is a multi-day commitment, so be sure you’ve got me in your reader. You won’t want to miss the fun that’s Deadly Metal Hatchet.

Security bought the band a measure of privacy in the club’s lobby. That and the fact that Deadly Metal Hatchet, the night’s headliner, was still on stage.

“So what do you think?” Daniel asked anxiously.

Val yawned and patted her lips with her fingertips in a gesture of bare politeness.

Mitchell ignored her. “I think their sound sucks, but that could be the venue, not the band.”

“How many times did we have that problem,” Eric mused.

Mitchell ignored him, too. “They’ve got a good following,” he said. “Does it extend outside of Phoenix?”

“I think so,” Daniel said. “I asked JR that, and he said people are talking more about the Hatchet than the band’s music, though.”

Mitchell stroked his chin and tried to think. If people were more into the band’s mascot than the band’s music, ticket sales wouldn’t necessarily follow. Daniel was hoping that they could find a support act that would bring in some people who otherwise would have avoided ShapeShifter shows. This wasn’t necessarily the band to do that.

As Daniel and Eric discussed the Hatchet, Mitchell wandered over to the poster of the Hatchet that Kerri was studying. “What do you think?”

“This is some nice art. Not technically great, but that’s part of its success. It’s crude enough to make you think this is some guy’s fantasy, disturbing as that thought is, but at the same time, that’s what makes it. It’s easy to relate to.”

“I meant the music,” Mitchell said, wondering if that was true. Of course he knew that when Kerri was standing in front of a piece of art and you asked what she thought, all you got from her was art.

She shrugged. “It’s okay. I like you guys better, but I’m biased.”

“Would you get excited about seeing the two bands together?”

“If I could buy a new Hatchet shirt, sure.”

He shook his head and told himself she was giving him exactly what he was asking for. Kerri may have kept her radio tuned to KRVR back in the days before they’d met, but that hadn’t meant she’d had a clue who he was when he’d introduced himself to her. She wasn’t a music fan, much as it pained him to admit that.

They rejoined the band. Daniel gave him an expectant look, which he answered with a shrug. “Talk to JR. I think you might be right that we’re a natural fit for each other and with a gimmick like the Hatchet, it’s only a matter of time before that band gets big.”

“As big as us?” Eric asked.

Mitchell shrugged again. “Not with that sound guy working for them.” He gave him a sly smile. “Maybe we should bring whoever it is on tour with us. Not give them the chance to get as big as us.”

“I don’t think they will,” Daniel said thoughtfully. “But the Hatchet sure might.”

Mitchell laughed. “Good. We get a piece of their sales, remember?”

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