Part Zero, or, A Boy and His Prologue
It was a blustery day in Yadon Yanai Zivojinovich’s (we’ll refer to him as Yad, for short) neighborhood. Despite every attempt to try and find out what caused Bloodstone Avenue to act as a wind tunnel, no one could explain the inexplicable howling wind that blew down the small, suburban street. As usual, Yad was sitting in his room alone, flipping through his parents’ old magazines and listening to some classic jams. Currently, he happened to be listening to “No Quarter”, his favorite Led Zeppelin song, but his (self described) true appreciation for real rock and roll spread to a wide variety of bands, from the guitar nirvana of Van Halen and Jimi Hendrix, to the punishing mysticism of Morbid Angel or Incantation.
Yad had decided to spend the rest of the day reading early press clippings he had collected of Bathory, when something strange happened. His record player abruptly stopped, repeating the first note of the final phrase in the last solo of “No Quarter”. Being as attuned to the music as he was, Yad was quite taken aback and went to investigate his turntable.
Approaching it, he noticed that the sky outside was darkening, but as this wasn’t too strange a phenomenon in the town of Caravan, he paid it no mind. Examining the player, he noticed the needle hadn’t somehow managed to force itself into some kind of locked groove, but was instead literally resetting with no visible skipping. No movement backwards, just perpetual movement forwards…but in the same tiny amount of space.
Starting to feel queasy looking at the needle, Yad pulled away and noticed that everything in his room seemed a bit peculiar. The curtains were making the same, half-looping-half-skipping movement as his record player, and that all of his posters had mysteriously just become empty. Not of all of their contents, but of everything that mattered; there were no longer any band members or instruments in any of them, and even band logos had become some kind of black that Yad had never seen before. As he walked towards them, he began to see deeper into one of the logos, this one happening to be Venom’s. It was as if someone had traced a line around the lettering and replaced it with some sort of…
Suddenly finding himself incredibly cold, he turned around to notice that his record player had stopped playing the first note of the final phrase in the last solo in “No Quarter” and was now inexplicably playing “Detroit Rock City”. Knowing that he had never owned a KISS record in his life, Yad’s uneasiness continued to rise. It was at the moment he started thinking about whether or not he was dreaming that his record player sprouted legs and began walking towards his bedroom door.
Reacting without thinking, Yad vaulted towards the no longer stationary inanimate object, trying to stop it from moving when it just shouldn’t. He hadn’t yet taken three steps when all of the letters on the press releases he had been reading exploded from their articles and began circling around his head and, one by one, flew into his ears. His mind exploded with each entrance, and his vision became emblazoned with each one that entered his skull.
Crying out, he fell down onto the floor, trying to cope with the huge initial throbbing that each word inflicted on his head and the inability to see virtually anything with his vision being obscured by random, non-sequential gibberish. Every time he tried to piece together something and came close to regaining some semblance of control over his thoughts, the words would come at him even stronger, and at one point they were entering him so fast he thought his head might burst at the seams.
And then it was over, and he felt…fine.
Taking this calm moment to try and grasp what was happening, Yad felt his body up and down. Nothing had changed, and he was still wearing the same clothes, both unfortunate signs that this might not be a dream after all. He scanned for his record player, but it had scampered out of the room, and the door was now slightly ajar.
Deciding not to reflect on how it may have opened the door, Yad reassessed his situation. Besides his music-related belongings, nothing else seemed to be strange or tampered with besides the curtains. Wondering why this was, he slowly reached out to touch the curtains. Half expecting himself to blink out of existence, he grabbed them and they simply went back to acting like normal, regular curtains. Examining them closely, he noticed he had written down all of the lyrics to “Paradise Theater” on them as a kid. He flew backwards, not wanting a repeat of what had just occurred, and quickly vacated the room.
His house was quiet, not a huge difference but considering the circumstances not altogether welcome. His bedroom was on the first floor, opposite of the front of the house. All he could see of the living room was the TV, an old, outdated CRT that his parents had never bothered to replace since it was never used. He took a couple of steps closer, as he could hear chants of “Get up, everybody’s gonna move their feet” coming from the room. As he approached, he suddenly saw the reflection of a large, dark haired man in the television. He stumbled at this, and by the time he was able to glance at the reflection again it was gone.
His mind raced, trying to figure out who could be in the house. Deciding that whoever it was probably not a normal burglar given what had just happened, he took a look around to see what he could use as a weapon. Unfortunately, as hallways are apt to be, the area was vacant of any kind of item to use as a defense. Steeling himself for something even worse, he walked into the room with intense caution.
As he took his first steps into the room, he noticed that nothing here was changed. Despite the posters of Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, and Nick Drake scattered across the room by his mother, none of them had become empty, and neither had anything else become disturbed. Feeling slightly more comfortable with the abundance of normalcy in the room, he stepped fully into the living room and looked at where his record player had stopped at the base of his stairs. It was no longer playing “Detroit Rock City”, and after a moment of observation it was clear why.
“Hello, Yadon. You’re looking dreadfully pale. Have you stepped outside today?”
At the top of the steps was Gene Simmons, in full make-up and costume.
It was at this moment that Yadon knelt over, threw up, and passed out.