“In the beginning, a single desire drew together three friends. Create music to change the world. To reach supernatural heights of success, they needed to employ supernatural help.” Danny’s inflection mimicked a movie announcer.
“Hard to change the world headlining the Steele Jar.”
Lisa turned onto Monroe Street. She lived twenty minutes from the nightclub, famed for its underground punk and metal shows.
“This is like catching Slayer in a Huntington club before they sold out arenas,” Danny said. “Shit, it’s like when Disturbed played the Floozy Bloozy in ’99, remember? There were barely five people in that pit. Draiman came out in a mechanic’s jumpsuit like Michael Myers and the ‘Ooo-ah-ah-ah-ah.’ Dude talked with us after the set like it was no big deal, remember?”
“Yeah.” That was an awesome night of bragging rights. Disturbed was the closest Lisa had gotten to a big band—before they were big.
“Then holy shit, they blow up. Next time we see them play, it’s at Ozzfest and we’re a thousand people deep.”
“Yeah. Sucks to lose that intimacy.”
“Ain’t fair. It’s die-hard metal heads like us who breathe life into these bands. We support them before they’re popular. We make them. Then they forget us.” Danny stared out the passenger window with covetous eyes. “I don’t want that to happen with Suck-U-Bus.”
“Maybe they’ll stay down to earth. Look at Blessed Inferno. They should sell out huge theaters, not these dive bars. Steve and the guys are still super cool with fans.”
“Suck-U-Bus is blowing up. Only question is when,” Danny said. “It’s barely been a year and a half since they formed and already they have an album and country-wide shows lined up.”
“Touring coast to coast in a refurbished school bus driven by a sex demon?”
“Close.” His smile returned. “The bus is driven by humans, but it’s possessed by a sex demon.”
“Of course.” Lisa laughed.
“That’s supposedly the reason for their success. Origin story has it they made a deal with the demon.”
One street ahead, the Steele Jar’s marquee announced Howler and Suck-U-Bus.
Lisa was more than pleasantly surprised by the handful of tracks Danny played off From the Backseat. It was like no band she’d heard before. Yet it vibrated with familiarity. Lisa agreed to the evening because she valued their relationship more than a good night’s sleep. But now, aside from the silly demon stuff, she was actually excited for the show.
“You should know about this, just in case you’re chosen,” Danny said.
“Story goes The Mothers need to feed the succubus to keep their end of the bargain. So at the beginning of every show, each Mother selects one fan to bring back to the tour bus to have sex with the demon. That’s how the succubus feeds. Sex.”
“Do not tell me you’re here for a chance at sexual intercourse with a demon?”
“I’m here for the music. You liked ’em, right?”
They drove past a line of long hair and black leather waiting to enter. Lisa parked in the first available spot.
“I like what I heard. But I see that look in your eyes—like when you saw Jennifer Paisley in a bikini.”
Danny glared at her. “I’m here because I love this band. I’ve seen a ton of their shows and I want to meet them finally.” He stepped out of the car. “If I’m chosen to go on the bus, my dream comes true. And if it involves naked time with The Mothers, or a succubus, even better. That’s a double win.”
“Sex with demons is not as cool as you think.”
“Beggars can’t be choosers,” he said, too wrapped up in humorous self-degradation to notice her hint. “So if you’re picked and not me, I’ll gladly take your place.”
Danny laughed when he said it, but Lisa felt a pang of guilt. She shouldn’t have joked earlier about his struggles with women. Taking care of Lisa hadn’t made it easier on him. On one hand, she opened a ton of opportunities for Danny to talk to women. But once the ice broke, she never coached him. And she’d never seen him date anyone he met.
Jeez, he probably thinks sex with a demon is his only chance to get laid.
“Who knows,” Lisa said. “Maybe tonight is the night you meet a metal goddess.”
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