Trev Rides Forth by Newton Webb
Heavy metal horror short story: When a group of juvenile delinquents raid an antique record store, they unleash a deadly curse.
Trev Rides Forth
13th March, 2023, Camden, London
Iggy shuffled around the small, dimly lit store. His arthritic hands moved across the rows of shelves, adjusting the vinyl records and CDs to the pounding sound of heavy metal music. The store was empty. In a world containing Spotify and that fruit phone, there was little interest in his archaic memorabilia. What precious little wall space wasn’t covered with shelves was papered with posters of heavy metal bands from the 70s and 80s. Each one a memory of a band he’d seen live. The air was thick with the musty smell of old vinyl and he breathed it deep. He didn’t care that his store was empty, he had enough money to get by. His life’s work was now to act as caretaker to this temple, this mecca to heavy metal music.
Heading back to behind the counter, he picked up his dusting brush. Walking to the store’s window, Iggy stepped onto the podium, past the rare vinyls on display. Taking a deep breath, he surveyed his pride and joy, a genuine, original, custom made, life-size statue of Trev, the demonic biker from the Spineslap album cover. He began his evening ritual, running his brush over the statue before he closed up for the evening. Despite his tender ministrations, the paint was showing signs of wear and tear.
Aren’t we all?
Iggy chuckled to himself. If only someone could brush over his cracks.
The door chimed as a group of hooded teens entered. Iggy regarded them suspiciously.
They aren’t dressed like my usual clientele.
“Can I help you?” he asked, keeping his voice mild as he approached them.
There were three of them. The oldest could only be nineteen. He steadied himself as they surrounded him and fixed them with a steely gaze. With a sinking feeling, he knew what was about to happen.
The first of them gave him a sinister smile. “Yeah, you can, old man.” He pulled a knife out of his black hoodie, using his other hand to point to the desk. “You can open up the cash register and give us everything inside.”
“You heard him, man!” One of the others chipped in, trying to hide the shaking of his hands by burying them deep in his grey hoodie pockets.
Iggy rolled his lip in disgust. “Fine. Wait here, you can have my money, not that there is much.”
“Nah man, I’m coming with you.” The first teen said. “You ain’t going nowhere without me.”
Iggy grunted, but let the teen follow him to the bar. He went to reach under the desk— “Stop! If you trigger a silent alarm, I’ll fucking knife you, old man.” The teen pointed the blade at the old man’s throat. “I’m not fucking around.”
Iggy snorted. “A silent alarm? In this place? Ain’t nothing down here except for a pricing gun and the keys for the till.”
The teen narrowed his eyes but stepped back.
“Oh, and this old thing—” he lifted an old tyre iron and smashed it into the teen’s wrist, causing him to drop the knife. The teen cried out in pain and backed away as Iggy kicked the knife behind him. “Now, get the hell out of my store, you punks.”
Iggy advanced as the teens recoiled, spreading out around him.
“Drop the weapon, granddad.” The wounded teen snarled. The grey hooded teen had a knife out now, as did his friend.
Other than the wounded teen, the only person not to be holding a weapon was the youngest teen. He held out his hands. “Guys, please, this is getting out of hand. Let’s just go.”
“The kid’s smart. Get out of my store!” Iggy shouted.
The wounded teen grabbed a framed vinyl. “This looks valuable.” He shook it vigorously.
“Put that back,” Iggy said, approaching him. The teen danced back.
Behind him, the teen in a grey hoodie had grabbed another vinyl off the wall. “Spineslap? Shitty name.”
“That’s an original record, you puke.” Iggy was breathing heavily, panic in his voice as they manhandled his collection.
Behind him, he heard shattered glass as the wounded teen smashed his frame on the corner of a display case. “Oops,” he said menacingly. “Look what I’ve done. Drop the weapon, old man.” He picked up another display case and retreated to the front of the shop as Iggy lunged unsuccessfully at him, moaning in dismay.
Iggy watched with horror as the wounded teen smashed the vinyl down onto Trev’s bike. The ancient vinyl shattered into pieces, a large scratch appearing on Trev’s bike. He ran to the statue and looked at the broken pieces of vinyl. The label was still readable. It was one of the few non-heavy metal pieces in his store, his oldest record, a vinyl by the legendary blues singer Robert Johnson from 1936. He whimpered in dismay and fell to his knees. “Why?” He turned to look up at the wounded teen who loomed over him.
Iggy watched wordlessly as the grey hooded teen passed a knife to the wounded teen.
“Guys, please, let’s just grab the cash and go,” the youngest teen pleaded.
Iggy blinked away tears of rage, “You monst—”
A slim knife stabbed into his throat, punching through the thick cartilage and reducing his cries to a pathetic gurgling. The wounded teen laughed. “Not so tough now are you old man,” he stabbed again and again into the dying man. Stepping back to survey his work with a grim expression, he passed the knife to the grey hooded teen. “Everybody stabs the man, so we are in this together.”
“Nah mate, fuck that.” The youngest teen legged it out of the store.
Iggy felt his life drain away, his blood pumping over the previously immaculately clean statue, over the shattered remnants of his most precious vinyl, and as the blood flow slowed, his heart gave out.
DCI Woodsworth arrived to find the small store in disarray. Vinyl records and CDs were scattered all over the floor, some smashed, a few intact. The shelves were overturned, and the walls were scrawled with a familiar graffiti tag. He swore. This was the fourth store this group had robbed in a month. He looked down at the markings where the victim had been. The gang who had done this had escalated from robbery to murder. The cash register has been emptied and left open. The store’s window was shattered and broken glass was scattered across the pavement outside.
Iggy, the store owner, was lying in a pool of blood with multiple stab wounds, and his throat brutally slashed. There were signs of a struggle, and it was clear that the store owner had fought back against his attackers.
Forensics were carefully examining the crime scene, collecting evidence and taking photographs.
DCI Woodsworth stopped one of them. “What was there?” He pointed at the empty space by the smashed window.
One of the constables brought up google maps on his phone and showed the inspector a photograph of the store. “Some sort of bike demon statue.” He paused.
“Yes?” DCI Woodworth waited.
“They’d need a van to get that out of here. You’d think we’d have found something like that on the traffic cams.”
The streets were filling up as Ryan walked through the crowds in Camden. When he got to the Chalk Farm end, he went round the back of a chicken shop and tossed the carrier bag holding his grey hoodie into it.
My first kill.
Well, if he was generous, it was Barry’s kill. He had just stabbed the man as he died, but it was still an achievement. He held his share of the measly haul in his shaking hands. That miserly old man had less than sixty quid in his till.
Had he even had a customer that day? Who dies for sixty quid? Idiot.
Even with Andy running off and forfeiting his share, it left him with barely enough to buy a few bottles of own brand vodka, let alone food. Walking away from the dumpster, he headed back towards the high street. The people walking past had no idea what he had been up to. He smirked.
As he strode up the pavement towards the supermarket, he heard a revving behind him. He ignored it. It revved louder. It sounded like it was on the—
What the fuck?
Behind him, riding impossibly slowly on his bike, was the statue from the record store. There were no thoughts, no considerations of how the fuck a statue had followed him. Instead, Ryan ran. He ran faster than he’d ever run before. Around him, people looked at him with shock and annoyance as he pushed past them.
Don’t they see the motorcycle on the fucking pavement?
Behind him, the ever present sound of the motorcycle revved. His breathing was getting ragged as he realised he was heading back into Camden. He saw the bridge and put on an extra burst of speed. Somewhere, in his animalistic panic, he recognised stairs and prayed for salvation as he tore down them to the canal side. The ever present sound of the engine followed him. With the last of his energy, he leapt onto the lock and ran across its gates, turning triumphantly—
The living statue waited. Gently revving his engines. Beside him, a couple looked at Ryan curiously, oblivious to the giant demon biker who finally stopped the engine. Stepping off the bike, he pulled a guitar from his back and strummed it. Ryan felt his head nod violently of its own volition. He reached up and held his head. The statue continued to play chords on it’s guitar, Ryan didn’t recognise the tune yet his head continued to nod aggressively to the beat, his neck lanced with pain as the guitar played faster and faster. Louder and louder. As the music got louder, his head nodded more and more aggressively. Through a red wall of pain, he saw people staring at him. A child’s laughter echoed from somewhere and he heard, “You go for it, man!” from some bastard. He tried to scream for help, but he had lost control of his voice.
But the guitar solo was relentless, and as it played the final closing melody, Ryan snapped his own neck with superhuman force.
Thirty fucking quid. My hoodie cost fourteen quid and now I need another one.
Their first murder and it only just broke even. Barry had bitterly dumped his hoodie even as he ran the numbers. They’d have to do something about Andy. The snivelling little coward knew too much to be left wandering around feeling guilty.
Never should have accepted him into the gang.
He’d thought that there’d be advantages to having a tiny member of the team. Easily controllable, could fit into small gaps, disposable if they needed a fall guy…
Loading up his smart speaker, he dropped a text to Ryan, suggesting they met for a pint. Nodding his head to the lyrical sounds of the rap band Headie One, he picked up his phone and rang Andy. On the third attempt, Andy picked up.
“Hey buddy, look, things got a bit crazy back there. I just wanted to make sure you were, okay?” Barry smiled, his eyes burning with malicious humour. There was silence on the other end of the line. “We have your share of the money. It isn’t much, but I know how much you need it.”
A thin voice came from his phone. “I’m not doing that again. I never wanted to hurt anyone.”
“Oh, come on, you didn’t even hurt anyone this time.” Barry rolled his eyes in disgust before putting on a friendly voice. “I’m sorry it got out of hand. Look, I know you don’t want to do this anymore so how about I give you the money and we part ways.”
“You aren’t angry?” Andy asked. Barry could hear the suspicion in his voice.
“A bit disappointed. But not everyone is cut out for this life. I only invited you into the gang because I know how much your mother needed the money.” Barry smirked. “I’m sure you can find another way to pay off her loan sharks.”
“Come on, meet us at the Dublin Castle at ten. Just before last orders. I’ll give you your money, we’ll have a final pint and then—”
There was a revving outside his front door. He was on the third floor.
“Look mate, gotta go. Someone is being a dick in the corridor outside. Will you be down the pub at ten?” Barry was looking over at his door with half an ear on the phone.
“Good man.” He hung up and glimpsed through the spyhole in his front door someone dressed like the statue from the record store.
What the fuck?
He was on a motorcycle.
How did you get that onto the third floor?
Barry backed away and went into the kitchen to find a knife. However, they managed it, they clearly knew something about the robbery. It was too much of a coincidence otherwise. Hefting a large knife, he picked up his phone to call Ryan.
Why the hell hasn’t Ryan responded to my texts?
The engine was even louder now. He walked towards the entrance hall and—
The motorcycle and rider were in his entrance hall, in front of a perfectly intact front door.
He backed into his living room and watched as the rider dismounted and strode in after him. It looked at the smart speaker, which blew up in a sudden eruption of flame. The scent of brimstone lingering in the air.
Barry blinked and blustered, not knowing what was going on. “Who the fuck do you think you are? Coming into my home.” Terrified, he raced forwards and stabbed with his knife. The knife jarred in his hand, failing to penetrate. Where it had struck, there was a shiny silver line of exposed metal.
Barry struck again and again, to no avail, until his blade snapped on its chest. He stood back, panting, and looked in disbelief. Apart from a web of scratches, it was unharmed.
He watched as it pulled out his guitar.
“I don’t know who you are, but I’m sorry, right? It wasn’t meant to go down like that.” He curled up on the floor into a ball. His terror turned from desperate aggression to primal fear. “Please, I’ll do whatever you want.”
It gazed at him with fiery eyes, then played its first chords.
A burning sensation covered Barry’s face. He reached up to his face and with horror realised his skin was soft, like putty. As the guitar solo continued, his face peeled, liquefied and dribbled down his skull as he screamed, the pain only ending with death.
Andy waited in the pub, patiently. He couldn’t afford a pint, so instead of drinking, just sat looking at his phone.
Come on… If Mum doesn’t get that money, I don’t know what they’ll do to her.
The kick out bell sounded. He looked down at a series of unanswered messages.
What are they up to? Where are they?
The sound of revving caused him to look up and scream. Patrons looked at him with surprise and bemusement. The landlord shook his head in annoyance. None of that mattered to Andy, though, because in front of him someone was dressed as—no, not someone. His eyes were flaming, something—the statue from the store. The thing sat on its motorcycle, revving the engine.
“I didn’t do nothing, I promise. I didn’t hurt anyone. I just watched.”
It stared at him dispassionately, then nodded as if to say that he understood.
Andy’s relief turned to horror as he watched the demonic entity dismount.
14th March, 2023, Camden, London
DCI Woodsworth stood outside the record shop, fury etched on his face. “And you are telling me that someone just returned this statue to the window, without breaking any tape or being spotted?”
The constable winced. “They replaced an old, framed vinyl too, it’s mounted over there. But, I’m sorry, sir, that isn’t the worst of it.”
DCI Woodsworth leant in closer and hissed in disgust.
The statue was holding the partially dried remains of two human eyes.
If you enjoyed this free short story, then please consider Tales of the Macabre, Vol. 1. My first collected works on Amazon containing sixteen short stories and novellas by Newton Webb.
Gripping . Loved it 👍
Well written, story really flowed well. Definitely enjoyed reading this and looking forward to reading his other works.