Steele was a minister’s daughter. She was fourteen years old,
painfully pretty and she played the organ at all of her father’s
services. Her musical gift was startling. She could read sheet music
but didn’t really need to. She could feel music as if it were
something tangible. If she heard a piece, she could play it. It simply
made its way from her ears to her fingertips, warming her soul on
the way. The thought process was completely bypassed. However, never
one to show off she always kept a song book open on the music stand
and her eyes never strayed from it.
The entire congregation knew and admired her. She was the picture
of piety as she sat straight backed at the wailing monstrosity that
was the church organ. What they didn’t know was that the music
she played in church was only one of her loves. The other was Heavy
Metal. At night she would surf the net downloading songs by various
Heavy Metal legends. She listened to them on headphones and played
air guitar behind the closed door of her bedroom. Her father was the
last person she could tell about this passion. He believed that Heavy
Metal was the work of the devil. He wouldn’t even consider the
new Christian Metal bands that were starting to emerge.
One night Jessica was looking at electric guitars on an online auction.
Her heart skipped a beat when she came across the guitar of her dreams.
It was a Jackson Flying V with a Floyd Rose tremolo system. The body
of the guitar was black with a blue lightning effect spreading out
from the twin double coil Humbucker pickups. The fret board was inlaid
with ivory shark fins and the headstock was reversed. It was the most
beautiful thing Jessica had ever seen. Immediately she tried to think
about how to get her hands on her father’s credit card. The
idea of stealing from her father shocked her but not enough to stop
her thinking about it.
She had a look at the current bids section on the web site to see
what it would cost her father. The page showed no entries and there
was only ten minutes left. The minimum bid was set at 15 souls.
“What the…” said Jessica.
She quickly covered her mouth with her hand to prevent the rest of
her sentence spilling out. Not sure what would happen she navigated
her cursor to the “place bid” button and double clicked.
A new window opened. It read:
“Thank you Jessica, your bid has been accepted. Bidding closes
in eight minutes.”
The message alarmed Jessica; she had not entered any personal details
onto the site. With sick curiosity she watched the time count down.
Her breath was shallow and her heart was hammering in her chest. The
eight minutes passed quite quickly and were disappointingly uneventful.
She had expected a mystery bidder to take up the fight in the last
two minutes of the countdown. Instead, when the last second ticked
away, a new window opened on her screen. This one read:
“Jessica, congratulations on your purchase. This fine specimen
will be available for collection at your local post office as soon
as it opens. I.D. will not be required. You will be expected. Thank
you for shopping with demoneyes.com!”
The message faded to black as soon as Jessica had read it. Her emotions
were mixed and battling for dominance. Eventually serenity won. She
went to her bed and thought about her new guitar. She did not think
about how she might pay the bill.
The next day was a Saturday. She was up very early as the post office
in her little town only stayed open until noon. Cycling as fast as
she could she made it to the door of the post office in time to see
a hand flip the sign from “Sorry we’re closed” to
“OPEN”. Jessica jumped from her bike and it freewheeled
into the wall just after she opened the post office door and stumbled
The man behind the counter was unfamiliar to her. This was quite strange
as the town was very small and Jessica thought she had met everybody.
However, she was much too excited to bother with such trivial matters
and so she walked straight up to the counter and looked at the stranger,
waiting for him to address her.
“Hello Jessica,” he said.
She was beyond surprise now. A dreamlike quality had taken over since
her successful bid the night before and she had decided to just roll
with it. What could be more Rock and Roll than that?
“Hi mister,” she answered.
“I have a package for you today, but then you know that don’t
The stranger smiled and Jessica could see that he had only one incisor
in his upper row of teeth. It sat right in the middle of the row.
All other visible teeth looked like canines only they were viciously
pointed and spaced disturbingly. She thought that the man had a very
honest smile. She immediately warmed to him.
“Yes mister, I know. I’m really quite excited about it,”
she said. She returned his beautiful smile.
The stranger disappeared behind the counter and quickly rose to visibility
with a large package wrapped in brown paper in his hands. The fact
that it was a guitar was very obvious. The paper had been so carefully
wrapped that it looked like a coat of paint. Jessica almost started
“Now my dear,” said the stranger, “Here is your
new axe. I hope you make some beautiful music together.”
He started to hand it over and as Jessica raised her arms to accept
it he suddenly pulled it back. Jessica almost jumped at him in order
to tear it from his grasp. She now needed that guitar. The longer
she spent without it the more it pained her.
“There is just the small matter of payment my dear girl,”
Jessica’s heart sank and her anger rose. She was all too aware
of the fact that she was in possession of only one soul and had no
idea how to pass it on to this man. She certainly carried no spares
in her purse. A growl started to form in her throat. She needed that
“I know that you do not have the fee on your person at present,”
he said, “but that is not a problem at all. The bill will be
settled in due course. In the mean time I would ask you to study this
little book. It will help you to earn what you owe.”
The stranger slid a small glossy paperback over the counter and Jessica
took it from him. It was called “Screaming Riffs for Talented
Beginners”. She quickly thumbed through a few of the pages and
saw that it was filled with short melodies. They were the type that
you played loud and proud. She was very interested now.
She tucked the book into her backpack and waited impatiently for the
guitar. The man handed it to her without ceremony.
“Thank you mister,” she said.
“Oh don’t thank me my dear,” he said, “I’m
merely a messenger. Now off you go, it’s time for my coffee
Jessica strode out of the post office and turned sharply right. She
left her bike where she had ditched it, as the package she carried
was not very well suited to that mode of transport. The bike was no
longer all that significant to her anymore. Besides she was going
somewhere much closer than her father’s house. She was going
to her father’s church. There was a very nice Marshall amplifier
there that she wanted to test out. Luckily, there was a church picnic
in the nearby forest park starting at ten o’clock. Her father
and the entire congregation would be in attendance. She would have
the place all to herself for the whole day. She planned to make good
use of that time.
Jessica was back home before her father that night. As she pretended
to listen, the minister droned on about what a success his little
day had been. When he eventually stopped for breath Jessica told him
that she was going to have an early night and excused herself. This
was not anything out of the ordinary as Jessica always went to bed
early on a Saturday night. He kissed her forehead and wished her pleasant
dreams. His daughter smiled her innocent smile and went to her room.
It was all she could do not to skip all the way. Tomorrow couldn’t
come quickly enough. She was dying to share her new music with the
congregation. They were in for a real awakening. Even her father would
The next day, just like any other Sunday, Jessica sat at the organ
while her father welcomed the congregation to the service. Unlike
any other day, Jessica had to fight to keep herself from fidgeting.
She was nearly sick with excitement. When her father was done with
the pleasantries he nodded to his daughter as he did every Sunday
and Jessica’s hands fell to the huge ivory keyboard. Her fingers
formed the opening chord and pushed down. There was no sound. Jessica
made a theatrical expression of confusion and pushed down on the keys
again. Still there was no sound. After a third attempt the congregation
began to shift in their seats.
“Please excuse me,” said Jessica as she got up from her
stool and disappeared behind the giant instrument.
The minister calmly looked to his congregation and smiled. His patient
expression settled them somewhat and the shuffling ceased. There was
a low rumble as a small black box rolled out on castors form behind
the organ. When it came to a stop in front of the minister’s
feet all eyes were on it.
Feedback started to wail as Jessica strode out confidently still wearing
her Sunday best but with one new accessory. Her new guitar was strapped
to her shoulder. She stopped at the little Marshall amplifier in front
of her father’s feet and looked up at him.
“Plan B daddy,” she said.
Her father looked into her eyes and took a step backwards. She had
stars in her eyes. They were not the good kind. They were the ones
that certain people called pentagrams.
Before turning to her captive audience Jessica pin wheeled her right
arm and her hand crashed down on the strings. A heavily distorted
power chord filled the small church. Somebody screamed in agony. Jessica
smiled in ecstasy. She turned on her heel and played one of the pieces
from “Screaming Riffs for Talented Beginners”. It was
called “Pay the Man”.
Half way through the riff fifteen people seated in the front row bent
forward violently. Smoke began to billow from their eyes. As Jessica’s
music reached its crescendo the fifteen screamed in key. The effect
was stunning. As the final power chord was struck thirty eyes popped
from their sockets and hit the ground with a sickening patter. White
flames erupted from the empty sockets. The flames met at the headstock
of Jessica’s guitar. The entire guitar took on a powerful aura
and Jessica laid it at her feet. She stepped back from it and as screams
and feedback assaulted the ears of the terrified congregation the
ground under the guitar began to open up. The possessed instrument
floated above the crooked trench but the brilliant light was sucked
down into it. Tinny screams of satisfaction echoed from the void.
The fifteen damned walked blindly around the church. Without souls
to guide them they tore limbs from anyone within their reach. The
minister sank to his knees in the manner of the theatrical Catholics
and began to pray. One of the fifteen heard him and kicked him hard
in the back. He fell head first into the trench before him. His attacker
made a dreadful noise that may have been a celebratory exclamation.
As the guitar dulled back down to its original colour the trench began
to close. Before it sealed flawlessly one small voice rang clear in
“Thank you for shopping with demoneyes.com.”
Jessica smiled. She thought that she might like to learn the drums