After tonight’s wonderful disaster, I popped in back home at Cypress Hill. It was then that I found a new, glimmering steel lined door in the place of my smashed-in apartment door. Wow. That was quick. I remember thinking, as I tried to open the door. It was locked tight. I then went back to the entrance and asked the receptionist.
“Hey. My door was replaced, but I don’t have a key.”
A large, plump elderly woman, whose name tag said Barbara looked up from her magazine, and gave me an intense glare. She then looks back down to her magazine and says, “What room, hon?”
“273,” I reply, trying to think of a reason why she’d give me that look.
“Well. I don’t have a key for your door, but there’s a package addressed to that room.” She reaches under the desk, and pulls out a brown package, with a red card attached to it. She slides it over her magazine, to the edge of her desk, and goes back to flipping through her magazine.
As “patient” as I am, I immediately read the card.
I trust the new door fits your accommodations. In this box is the key. The Apartment Manager has the other. Read the letter in the box only after you’ve shut and bolted the door.
I rip open the box, which proves to be a hasty move, as the box splits open and spills the contents onto the dingy tile. I quickly scoop it all back up, and examine what was dropped.
A letter, a heavy gray key, and a bundle of paper work. Rather than examine the papers, I immediately rushed up to my door and unlocked the door. I could feel it’s exceptional weight as I pushed the door open into the threshold of my living room.
I could see that whoever it was who installed the door didn’t clean up very well afterward. I didn’t care. It’s not like I was really ever here long enough to clean anyway. I lumbered back into my room, and flop onto my bed. It was almost dawn, I figured I would worry about the paper sh*t tomorrow.
As I near sleep, I get a phone call. This seems to be a reoccurring problem. Maybe I should change my number, I remember thinking, as I check the number. Private Number F*cking perfect. I warily answer, and prepare for some sh*t.
“Hello, SpYttE,” comes the deep, baritone reply of a voice unfamiliar to me.
“May I ask who is calling?” I reply, hoping that my voice implies my actual question to be “Who the hell is this?!”
“Forgive me,” He said. He introduced himself as Donovan Mathews, and then continued: “I am the head of a rather specialized management company called Night/Shade. More accurately, specialized to your… limitations,” He intoned, his voice sinewy, slick, and at length.
“What do you think my limitations are?” I reply, already having a decent guess at what he was implying.
“Why vampirism of course. I would know. You show generally all the signs, and bluntly I might add. Only awake at night, never seen during the day. Your lyrics either focus on unlife or vampirism directly. You never touch the booze nor the catering. Believe me, I’ve asked around a lot to know, and either you’re one strange man, like you’d want all the normal people to think you are, or you are exactly as I know you are, thanks to other contacts that I’ve spoken with. Am I right?”
I sit up in my bed, curious as to how much he knew, furious that he was basically stalking me, and intrigued by what he thought he could offer me.
“You have my attention. What do you have to offer me.”
“Well, for starters, I think you got my tempered steel gift, right?”
“You sent me the door?” I said at length.
“Yeah,” he replied, half chuckling.
“Why?” I bluntly asked.
“My people have been watching you for sometime. We saw you were in need. I provided, straight from my own pocket.” was his verbally flourished reply.
“Ok, then. Why did you provide?” I asked, with little patience and minimal self-control. I was too tired to play games.
“A gift. I figured a gift would be a great way to start the negotiations to a deal.”
I froze. A deal?
“Who is the manager to your act”, he asked, “Stripped Cog Nightmare”?
“You’re talking to him.” I say with a hint of sarcastic snark in my voice.
“How would you feel with a professional manager, someone who’s job is to find those gigs of yours for you?” He silkily asked.
“Depends. How much will it cost?”
“Not much. Just a portion of your gig profit. But with the gigs I’ll have you set up with, you will never have to worry about playing beatdown clubs or strip-bars ever again.”
“So how are you supposed to be specialized? What can I get from you that I can’t get from some other management prick?” I wasn’t particularly fond of his cost. It had better be worth it.
“You weren’t the first and definitely not the last to ask this question. Do you think another manager would worry about your needs? What do you think would happen to you if you played in daylight? Do you think any other manager would worry? Not unless you want to violate Masquerade. Not to mention, I have people in all the North American labels, and some of the European labels who might want to sign you, but how can they when you are nowhere near under their radar? Remember Dredge Symphonia? Another group we manage, whom I manage personally even. They have been signed to Nuclear Blast records, and I would love to see you meet a similar fate.”
He was convincing. I couldn’t help but admit he was quite a salesman, at least. I did my best to remain poker-faced (the concept sounds easy over the phone, anyhow), but his words excited me to no end.
“Well… Alright. I’ll see what you’ve got. But this had better be worth it. The moment this even looks like a scam, I’m after your blood.”
“Decent threat. You don’t seem to care about the consequences of killing another vampire, do you? The paperwork is in that box. If you accept the deal, bring those papers signed to the Vermilion Skirt. It’s a strip club, if that’s more for your taste.”
“Ha-Ha” I grate.
“Have a good day’s rest. I trust you need it after the adventure with your,” he sniggers, “drinking buddies. Tell the one with the Mercedes,” he means Buchanan, of course, “that his tags will be out of date in a month.”
I sat my phone back down. My head was racing. I was seriously concerned how the hell he was tailing us without any of us knowing. But I was also thinking of the possibilities. I would love to be signed to Roadrunner or even Metal Blade, but I also felt that this may be too good to be true. But this was a good shot. I’ll give him a shot, and if he screws me, I’ll reintroduce him to death, blood-hunt or f*cking not.
I stepped back into the living room to reintroduce myself to the paperwork.