Dreamscapes Anthology

Recently, my short: "Where the White Wolf Grovels" was published in an anthology. You might like to read it here, or pick up a free copy from the Publisher's website.

Buy the anthology here


"Where the Demons Rise and the White Wolf Grovels."
Pauly Hart
Copyright, 2014

...Were the lyrics I was singing as I woke up this morning. I had been performing to a massive audience just then. I had started the set "Everybody in this place is going to hell" and proceed from there. Each song in the set was a progressive story about the horrors that lay beyond the grave. The title lyrics were part of the chorus to the third song in the set: "The Reapers Gloves" that are at the end of the post. I woke up and realized that this dream had been pretty interesting and wanted to get it all down and wrote the following below. Now, an hour later, it is almost five in the morning. I might just wander into the kitchen and make myself some breakfast... But in the dream I just had? It went something like this:

It was late, late enough for the audience to start to frenzy. Alice cooper had not arrived and Trent Reznor was vomiting up everything that he had put down earlier. The demand performance of "White Wedding" was going to be an utter disaster. Rage against the Machine was tuning up, and the rest of Nine Inch Nails were there to supply extra background music where Rage would be lacking... But there was no lead singer.

It was Tulsa and the year was both 2017 and 2007 - I was pretty sure. I wasn't sure how I had come to be in charge of the stripping and waxing of the Gypsy Coffeehouse, or why Bradley had taken a trip to Fiji, or why even he had decided to have White Wedding and the strip and wax on the same night. My realtor was there also, but she was just checking in her inventory of wines into the Gypsy and so, I verified her inventory and she left. It was a new startup wine company that employed the floating balls just like Orbit Soda had. But the back room was a disaster and I was terrified at the prospect of the audience not having anything to drink.

I snuck around the many crazy rooms that almost had no purpose into the main dining area of the Gypsy. The bar was gone by this time too! The mid-shift girl Heidi had taken everything down and put it in the back. Only a couple of chairs were left and the bad news was that the opening bands Seether and Placebo were done and the main act: White Wedding was due to start in only a little while. I was furious that there was nothing to eat or drink... That the coffee-shop was going to lose money, but all we really had that was portable to a concert setting was bottles of water and Dr Pepper in 12 ounce bottles. Heidi showed me where things were at, and I asked her how she had moved the Cappuccino machine and along comes Joey who just pointed to his arm, flexed it, and we all laugh.

The Emcee for the night was Bullit and he was frantic. I had seen him running around side-stage talking to everyone, talking on his radio, talking talking talking. Meanwhile I was in the back assessing the drink issue. It had now been around twenty minutes since Seether had taken their gear off and Rage and Nails were ready. The techs were still scrambling with the snakes and mic lines here and there but it looked like it was almost ready to begin. I turned once more to the issue of appeasing the masses for this venue was quite different than most of the concerts that I had ever worked.

The concert hall itself looked to be a converted grade school theater. The walls had been knocked down on the left and the right and the ceiling had been removed and raised to the floor above to give a faux Opera-house look. The middle was fancy, but to the left and the right were really cheap aluminum bleachers, and in some parts, even tree stumps.The room was full of people dressed in their best Gothic Steam-Punk. Huge black ribbons, huge top hats. Everything was pretty, and everything was dark. And look: They already had drinks. And fruit. And a Champagne Fountain at the front. My little cart of Dr Pepper and water looked like an affront to the senses of this setup. The chocolate fountain and strawberry dipping area had been mostly grazed clean, but the bunt cake castle was still mostly standing. Around isle three, I turned around and left the snack oasis that I had not previously known about, taking my cart back up the aisle, to the cafe at the back of the theater.

But I didn't have time to do much. Samantha was there and she was in a black prom dress. "You have to sing Pauly. There is no one else."

To which I replied: "Are you kidding me? I don't know any of Trent's stuff."

Her eyes were saucers. "No. You don't understand. Ozzy was supposed to come tonight instead of Trent and Alice, It was going to be a surprise."

"Well then where the heck are any of these three singers?" I asked, a little perturbed that they were abandoning the wonderful people of this audience, who were my paying customers on a daily basis.

"That's just it man" said crazy Tom, appearing from behind a stack of umbrellas. "Nobody knows."

That Tom was here did not surprise me. That he was hiding behind a stack of umbrellas was a little disconcerting. I told them both that I would think about it, but that I needed to know what the songs were.

I went to find Bullit.

All throughout the break, people were not really upset or impatient. It was pretty cool. There was a joyful, almost playful attitude among everyone, almost as if they weren't at a concert at all, but more like just hanging out at Gen Con. I was relieved, I had seen some pretty terrible audiences in my days and I didn't want to this one fierce. There's nothing angrier than Gothic Medieval Steam-Punk Cosplayers who haven't had their Music. I walked down to the front of the stage.

"Bullit!" I cried, and there he was right in front of me, pushing people out of the way.

"I want to know five things." I told him. He nodded and motioned me to follow him. I only asked him the fourth thing. "Four!" I hollered for suddenly Rage and Nails had started doing an impromptu guitar sound check, playing Fugazi riffs. "Are you only asking me because I can sing and do impromptu?"

"Yes!" he hollered back. "And because you're cool too!"

"What?" I asked incredulously.

But he ignored me and said: "I need you on the stage in five minutes. Do whatever you need to do before then!" and pushed thru the growing crowd, leaving me there.

I was pretty pissed, excited and nervous all at the same time. Pissed because of the lazy singers. Why hadn't they done their job? Excited because this was the opportunity of several lifetimes... and nervous because... WHAT? They wanted me... Such a beginner at onstage band singing to fill in for the legends that were not going to come up on stage?

Ozzy Ozbourne, Alice Cooper, and Trent Reznor?

I looked up to the stage. The band was horsing around... "noodling" as it was known in the business. Not really giving the audience any riffs from their own songs to get them excited, but not doing nothing. Bands loved to noodle. Now they were doing a bit of Green Day.

I made my way to the back with my head swimming. How in the world was I going to pull this off? I knew absolutely none of their songs. White Wedding had been touring for around six months to the acclaim of all of the Rock world. It was a brilliant success, but they had not advertised one show via the traditional media. It had all been in secret dark internet convos. Usually even the location was secret, just mentioning somewhere in the state. The owners of the venue were asked to sign Non-Disclosure Agreements about advertising and the fans were not told where it was until two hours before the show started. This is why it was so small and so much fun here. The bands knew their fans would not only have to pay to get here, but really work to get here... The reward was worth the wait.

I went to my friend Beth. She was sitting in the bleacher section, watching her friend kneed some dough that he was going to cook biscuits with there in his portable oven.

"Beth!" I hollered as I mostly jogged over to her. "Do you know any of these songs?"

Her face cocked sideways at me. "You don't?" She asked. Oh I could tell already that she was angry. Everyone who had been following White Wedding on the internet had already memorized all of their songs. They had released nothing official, so it was all shaky hand cam from the audiences, but there had been a couple of genius fans who had done some compilations with some decent recordings and put them all up on Pirate Bay as their "official tour song list" even though it was not, for every set, they introduced two new songs and didn't play one of their oldest songs and one random song. It was an evolving song list, and it was getting mixed reviews.

"No. I only know some Rage and some Nails from back in the day." I told her with exasperation. Now she was really angry. She called me a bastard, threw some dough at me and wandered off. The kick drum started thumping, very slowly and very rhythmically. It was time to put up or shut up. The crowd had started a slow clap. They were facing the stage, but a couple of people in the know were turned to me, they had strong smiles on their faces, they had faith in me. They could trust me. They were true believers in the healing power of rock... They were they type of people who had no idea how hard it was.

I came up the side stage steps, the ones that led behind the curtain. There was Bullit, with a bottle of water, at the ready.

"You ready bro?" He asked.

"Maybe you could do some beat-boxing." I told him, a joke on our past musical history together. He laughed his jolly laugh. The one where his whole face contorts into a tiny space between his ears and becomes red.

"Oh no man. This one is all you." he said and then bounded onto the stage: "Are you reeeeaaaaaadyyyyyyy Tuuuuuuulsaaaaaaaaaaaaa!"


Below are the lyrics to the third song in the set: The Reapers Gloves. It sounds a lot like Ozzy would sing it.

The reapers gloves

Out in the night - the twilight's risen
The cold dead hand - of night begins
I feel the grasp - of the unforgiven
Cold cuts the knife - of their first sin

Blind is the ice - of frozen laughter
Yours is the night - not born again
The reapers gloves - make hollow rattles
They grip the scythe - to fell all men

I know the place of pain and sorrow
Where the Angels cry and my hope is bottled
You are the pain that I must swallow
Where the demons rise and the white wolf grovels

Down underground - the dead are rising
Dark in their crypts - their hatred grows
Free from the hope - among the living
They burn with fire - with molten glow

I know the place of pain and sorrow
Where the Angels cry and my hope is bottled
You are the pain that I must swallow
Where the demons rise and the white wolf grovels.