Reader/ Editor Comments: What this short story succeeds in doing is to paint a picture of a damp and decaying small

town that the world has forgotten. The characters exist within a state of drug induced suspension of time and are very much incapable of clear thought. The atmosphere seems dim and foggy – as if neither the things nor the people can be visualized with clarity. The vocabulary in use and the way the sentences have been woven together create a sense of debauchery existing within the dusty apartment in the “rundown, shanty town”. The main plot seems to me to be a conflict for summary control of the world within which the characters exist. The e uations seem to have gone haywire after the exit of the old drummer. Therefore, the primary characters are !anchez and The "rummer who #ostle for space and acceptance within the band. The "rummer seems to be sleeping with both "ax and !ammy but giving !anchez the creeps. The grisly murder with the guitar is aptly built up to a violent showdown that has been waiting to happen. The "rummer of Timpani ma$es !anchez uncomfortable to an extent that he does not $now whether he is in control of the band anymore, a band he depends on for subsistence, a world where his existence is validated and beyond which he feels incapable and even afraid of stepping out. %erhaps the author could wor$ further on the character of The "rummer. !he seems depraved enough to elicit strong emotions within each of the band members. & understand the limitations of the short story structure and perhaps this particular entry to the anthology has a word limit. 'ut a paragraph dedicated to solely The "rummer, would be welcome. 'elow, in yellow highlights are a few thoughts and pointers. Than$s and all the best

#So Sanchez plays the lead guitar( Dax had completely submitted himself to the closing riffs of “Into the 0oid' # ass riff% 2ust listen to the song to find out( so Sanchez snorted some more dope. The neighborhood was archaic and hardly anyone was ever seen wal"ing around. Sammy was beaten up again today by Dax and last wee" Sanchez had assaulted Dax in a drun"en stupor.The Drummer of Timpani In an old apartment in the rundown. Sanchez* unclear what role. Sanchez tried to coax a response out of him now that six hours had passed but Dax 1ust grunted without even loo"ing at his lead guitarist. The band had decided to ma"e an experimental concept album. #$erhaps reconstruct the sentences to avoid repetition% &e may restrict “what with' to the former line alone( )haracter s"etches* +. shanty town Dax was tuning his bass guitar while Sanchez was getting stoned. or perhaps he was practicing his death growls. The venetian blinds #blinds in the basement%( were all shut and outside the apartment.uitar -. its light slowly illuminating the ageing trees. . what they had started to realize was that they were chasing a than"less and masochistic dream and now. Sammy was asleep upstairs. a full moon was rising. 4e "new he was an optimist at heart but now he felt that he had overestimated his strengths. Sanchez had occasionally complained about the social atrophy in this place but he "new that Dax was dedicated to the band and wanted to ta"e them in a different direction but tonight. Their apartment was. instrument he plays in the band /. &hen they first came to this small town in the swampland. Dax* ass . Tony Iommi3s #4eavy 2etal player reference%( chord play resonated unusually in the cobwebbed 5uiet of the basement. This was a dusty apartment. a brea" from their usual style of generic stoner doom. 4e had delivered an inspirational speech to his bandmates before coming here and now felt his words lingering powerlessly in the claustrophobic atmosphere of the town. #had been( an insulated haven that was beyond the contamination of the mundane lives outside. Sanchez had sworn to himself that he would not become cynical of the band3s aspirations as the others were. Sammy* 0ocalist Dax had not spo"en a word after their 1am session in the morning. Dax replaced the vinyl #so they were listening to a record 6 as a reader I had the impression upto now that they were actually playing( and snorted some cocaine and Sanchez heard the noise of a motorcycle pulling up to the curb in the distance and the sound unsettled him. Sanchez became moodier by the minute and wanted to escape from this rotting hellhole as soon as possible. a seemingly impossible one. The octaves went unheard what with Dax playing “Scream of the utterfly! really loud. he was hoping to spot some signals of disillusion from Dax. They had set their sights on artistic greatness but once they embar"ed on this adventure. what with all the pot in his bloodstream.

who had . She had responded to a flyer Dax had put up after their old drummer had left the band a year ago. Sanchez was profoundly uneasy with the boo"s the drummer "ept reading and handing out to the band members. he had hidden these concerns from the others and was scared of as"ing the Drummer outright. They started loo"ing out for a new drummer and after roping in The Drummer of Timpani. It was his idea to move away from the city.7ow he felt the banal chatter of the townsfol" transcending the physical barriers. careful not to ma"e a sound. Dax too" the glasses bac" and began pouring another round. Sammy had a great vocal range and he had added a whole new dimension to the band with his melancholic . the Drummer might burst in and try to "ill him with a "nife. Their lyrics were peppered with references to animism.#:ull stop here( although he was often accused by Dax of naivet. drug use. ut this did not dilute the potency of his nightmares which sprung from an old house in a deserted bayou. She had done a lot of time in prison for molesting children and although Sanchez was not able to verify any of these incidents. Sanchez sensed the dull shadows of the town fogging the band3s vision. Sanchez was a strong believer in rehabilitation. &hen he returned to the basement. #fact( and the word on the street was that the Drummer of Timpani was an ex8convict. 4e had had a long chat with their new drummer earlier in the evening.oth vocals. Their record label had forced them to churn out radio8ready hits and the tepid response to their previous album and a fast declining fan base forced Sanchez to consider changing the band3s musical style drastically. everyone called her by that moni"er. and $ollyannaish flights of fancy. Dax was mixing two fresh drin"s and handed one of them to Sanchez. his idealism had "ept the band together despite several setbac"s last year starting with their old drummer3s exit and Sammy3s drug problem. ut rumors can often reveal more truth than facts. up the stairway and pee"ed into the eyehole of the door where Sammy had loc"ed himself in. She was demented and her blind aggression was manifest when she started drumming and it had terrified Sanchez during their 1am sessions. Sanchez had en5uired about the new drummer to his friends and the locals and so far he had heard only rumors. existential nihilism and pagan worship. 4e saw Sammy masturbating the dead orchids and repulsed at the sight. imposing itself inside the apartment and constricting the band3s creativity. ut Sanchez reasoned with himself that his mind was playing tric"s on him and these visions were not real. far away from all the corporate shar"s and manipulative managers who claimed to have the best interests of the band at heart but gave themselves away when it was time to collect the paychec"s after the shows. She had introduced herself as The Drummer of Timpani and since then. arely sixteen. Sanchez stumbled across the hall. #)ould we mention some names of the boo"s%( She even read some of the more morbid passages aloud once in a while and poetry of the prematurely dead was never one of his strong points. one where anything could happen as long as it approached the grotes5ue. Sanchez went to chec" on Sammy. To distract himself from the spiral of despair. he retreated 5uic"ly. She was an incarnate example of the pernicious evil in this place. nightmarish visions. The band3s music was lately obsessed with death. who was the youngest member of the band. and blac" humor. 9ne of his weightiest fears was that at any moment of the day or night. &orse than a rabid beast. They both gulped it down without a word and after draining the whis"y until the ice cubes rattled. misanthropy.

The clay s"ull head was hideously painted in red and it radiated an extraordinary and intense ugliness. 4e imagined all this as he mixed the fourth round #what about the first three rounds% $erhaps we mention the number = only if the first / rounds were of significance%( of drin"s in the eerie stillness of the basement. ut let that wait a little longer>. #@ove this descriptionA( The Drummer had told Dax that she always dreamt of a gig at a grotty bar playing to an audience full of decaying corpses. 9r to any other place for that matter. The Drummer of Timpani was na"ed and was "neeling on the side as if praying over Sammy3s body. This anger had morphed into resignation and died a 5uic" death with indifference ta"ing its place. #5uiet( was no longer a sign of despair and stagnancy but an inspirational prelude to the more promising days in the offing. and the different expressions on her cruel face forever. bound with rope. treat the bandmates to a nice vacation. Seven drin"s down and Dax plunged into new depths of sobriety after falling from a steep alcoholic vertigo. The nagging stains of necrophilia refused to leave him however and he stamped the cigarette butt and he opened another bottle of whis"y and flopped down. 4e had decided to as" the Drummer to leave the band. Dax and Sanchez heard the sound of glass brea"ing upstairs and they both 1umped up and crossed the hall. #someplace sunnier 6 perhaps the phrase should be positioned here( pic" up some girls. The formless happiness throbbed inside him along with the alcohol and he started prophesizing. 4e could sense that she was beyond him in some way. The door was wide open and they could feel the cold breeze coming in from the open window of the room. The 5uite. $erhaps it was time to marry his sweetheart. and party hard. a ghetto of an indifferent and cosmic slum where even the most placid streets transmogrify into a ghost3s "ingdom. #cradled( Sammy3s . It was a small oblong box and when he pried it open he found a string of beads that was held together by a s"ull made of clay. a vista of possible futures were opening up and he wanted to choose wisely. 4e wanted to banish the different tones of her voice. Sanchez burst in and found Sammy spread8eagled on the bed. 9ne hand cradling.impressed them at her audition. replete with race riots and ugly s"yscrapers. 4is reverie was bro"en once he heard “Bnter Sandman' bellowing from the @$ player and he lit a cigarette and tried to sha"e off the feeling that he had fuc"ed a corpse last night. secret face3 these were scrawled in a loopy and crude font. 4is 1eans were in shreds. Dax struggled #with what%( and switched on the light. Sanchez had slumped to the floor and was now heavily stoned. 4e "new that he would be infinitely more comfortable without her playing with them. 2oonlit alleys where the children scream from abandoned houses and the mirrors laugh. the way she spoo"ed him with her subtle hints of physical danger. There was a note in the box that bore the words ?Say hello to your hidden. 4e remembered that the Drummer had given him a gift after they had fuc"ed last night and searched for it in his 1ac"et. they decided to write their new material away from the distractions of the mega structure that was their city. bounding up the stairway. She had described this as the poetic cartography of her interior dreamland. 4e wanted to leave these marshes and move bac" into the city. <t first he attributed his decision to his ineffectual songwriting which 5uic"ly turned to self8loathing and anger. Dax wanted to give up wor"ing on this album. Someplace sunnier. <cross the room the window was shattered and the pale curtains were torn and flowing against the chilly wind. her twisted cleverness. where chaos and uncertainty is the norm. a bro"en8down realm of horror.

She straightened up and and reached bac" to feel her head. 4e drew the guitar bac" li"e a baseball bat and hit her again. Sammy saw the whole thing from the bed.penis. The old house was no longer 5uiet. 4er pubic hair was white. mouth gagged and eyes wide open. Sanchez threw away the remnants of the guitar and tossed them on the floor beside the drummer. In #&ith%( the other she was s5ueezing her nipples. She loo"ed up at Sanchez and her pupils dilated and then she grinned. &hen he loo"ed up at him his eyes met with SanchezCs. She fell bac" against the floor. 4er hands stayed put. Sanchez pic"ed up Sammy3s guitar and smashed it against The Drummer3s blonde s"ull. for a minute. mouth open and nipples wilting. This time drawing blood. and in the distance they could hear Dax screaming as if he was a passing banshee from some obscure hell. . 4e didn3t stop hitting her until the guitar bro"e.

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