The Experiment: Chapter 6 – Lauren

The mysterious driver pulled away from David’s house.  He had found David quite amusing. Then there were the police sending him a warning to try to scare him. The driver had to laugh at this one. Neither David nor the entire police squad were a match for him. He drove back to the police station, as he was on duty for the overnight.

*          *          *

David could barely pull himself out of bed in the morning. He wasn’t used to operating on five hours of sleep. He skipped breakfast because he didn’t feel hungry and walked to school. Once again, the weather was gloomy, emphasizing the despair hovering over the town.

As he arrived, his friend Kory approached him, “So, did you hear the news?” Kory was not a close friend of David, but he was always up to date on the latest gossip. David found him somewhat annoying since he always butted into other people’s affairs. Sometimes, it seemed like he would talk so fast that David’s mind couldn’t keep up. He was a short kid with mischievous blue eyes and over gelled fiery red hair. He often hung out with the gamers; however, David knew that even the other gamers got tired of his constant gossip.

“No.” David responded, too exhausted to care.

“Lauren broke up with her boyfriend!”

Now if you were to splash ice on a tired person, you would not have seen a difference from that and David’s reaction.  “Really?” He replied, not able to successfully hide his excitement.

“Yes, I guess one of her friends caught the asshole kissing another girl. She’s free now; you should ask her out as soon as you get a chance.” David hated how the whole school knew about his attraction to Lauren.  He knew it was his fault for making it obvious. If he could just be like normal people and be more discrete.

“Me?  Ask her?  You know how I am with girls, Kory. I can’t just go up and ask her out.” David recalled a situation a few years back. He had been going to high school dances for over a year, but was always too afraid to ask anyone to dance with him. Eventually, a dance came around in which David had made the decision to go up and ask for a dance. The first girl he asked said “no.” He was discouraged, but he continued on. Within a half hour, he had asked five different girls to dance with him, and they all said “no.” After that, he went outside the dance and started to cry. Thoughts of suicide and worthlessness bombarded his brain. He had lost all courage. 

After he had sat down for five minutes, he began to approach the nearby Black River. There was a bridge, and he had made up his mind that he was going to jump to his death. He had felt depressed before, but this was the first time he truly felt like dying. 

As he arrived at the bridge, he began to crawl over the railing. He could still clearly recall the crashing water below him, calling him to his death. Thoughts raced through his mind, some were pushing him closer to jumping, while others were holding him back and telling him things would get better. Suddenly he felt a hand grab him and yank him back down.

“I had a feeling something bad was going on.” David had turned to see who had spoken and there stood Sarah, a look of concern in her penetrating blue eyes. David was surprised to see her since she was not at the dance. 

He explained to her what had happened. 

“Those girls are bitches!  They are definitely not worth taking your life over.” He knew she was right. They walked to the other side of the bridge where there was a gazebo. Sarah led him up to the gazebo. “It’s those girls’ loss, but I wouldn’t miss the opportunity to dance with you.”

Without music,3w2 they held each other in the gazebo under the moonlit sky and slow danced for several minutes.

David found Sarah very attractive, and if they had not been long time best friends, he would probably have asked her out at some point. Yet, he did not want to lose her friendship or make things awkward.

Kory’s voice brought him back to reality, “Come on bro, do you want to miss out? Many other guys are going to be pursuing this one; don’t hesitate.”

“We’ll see! It’s going to take me some time to build up the courage and figure out the right words to say.”

David thought all day about a good way to approach Lauren. The day slowly dragged by. David didn’t have much to eat because of his anxiety. This had been the first time since the murders began that he had not thought about the investigation.  Going to classes seemed almost pointless, as he could not focus on the teachers’ words. The classes he had with Lauren, such as physics and social studies, were even more difficult. He could feel his body shake from nervousness, and wanted nothing more than to get up and walk around, as sitting still was becoming torture.

He didn’t discuss it with Sarah because he knew her disdain for Lauren. In fact, he was trying to avoid Sarah, so she didn’t pick up on his nervousness since she would certainly ask questions. Lauren seemed more withdrawn than usual; perhaps saddened by the break up. This added to David’s nervousness because he thought that she would turn him down on the basis that she needed to get over her last relationship. Then again, maybe she was looking for another relationship.

The time finally came when he decided that he was going to approach Lauren. He figured he had nothing to lose, so why back down?

Eighth period was over, and he knew she would be at her locker. As he saw her standing there, his heart raced. He could feel the adrenaline, as it pumped through his blood. He slowly walked up to her, having second thoughts with every step. Nothing else was real too him, as his surroundings became a blur. He mustered up the courage to speak.

“Hi Lauren!” He could feel the nervousness rage through his body. How was she going to react? He thought that maybe she would look at him like he was an idiot. Heck, he felt like an idiot to even think she would consider dating him.

“Hey Dave,” she replied; her tone was friendly, and David relaxed a little bit. Maybe this was a good idea after all.

“How are you?” He asked.

“Oh, stupid English class, wants me to do an essay that I have no time for.” She said in frustration.

“That sucks, teachers tend to like to give more work than we can bare.” That’s it! That’s the best I can do? He thought to himself. My lack of smoothness and confidence is going to mess this up. 

“Yeah, really, then on top of it, I suck at essays. You know what I’m sayin’?” At least she was willing to talk to him, rather than have one-word answers and walk off.

“Yeah, although I am pretty good at essays, I am horrible at Social Studies.” David was becoming more at ease talking to her. The nervousness was still there, but it wasn’t like a wall was in his way.

Just then she turned to face him, her deep blue eyes made him feel almost hypnotized. “You know, since you are good with essays, maybe you could help me out.”

David was more than happy to have this opportunity. “sure, when would be a good time to get together?”

“Um, well…the thing is, I have gotten myself involved in too many after school activities, and then my other classes give so much homework that I can’t get to it all. I trust you with it, and I know you can do a better job than me.”

David was as little disappointed since he hoped to spend some time with her, but he would do anything to help Lauren out. “Sure, I’ll do the best I can on it.”

“Thanks sweet heart.” Lauren said batting her eyes at him.

David felt a sensation of joy when she called him “sweetheart.”

Just then the scene was interrupted by another student running down the hall yelling: “Beware, the Brotherhood of the Snake has returned, they are behind the murders, BEWARE!!!”

The Experiment: Chapter 5 – Fallen Angels

David stared at the letter for several minutes. He did not recognize the handwriting. He hoped the letter came from the police department for the sake of trying to scare him out of the investigation. He figured that it probably did since hardly anyone knew. David was too determined to allow the letter to convince him to stop investigating. He sat in his bed looking across at his light blue wall containing a large Ghost Rider poster he bought the year before at the theater in Old Forge, NY; one of his favorite movies.

A little bit of fear was put into him when he thought that the ones instigating the murders were behind it. How would they have found out? David didn’t view it as much of a possibility. He thought in his mind that maybe Officer Cook was somehow connected. Maybe he was so tough on David because David was on the right track. It also seemed strange to David that Cook was heading up the investigation, yet they were not getting anywhere.  Typically, Cook did a better job than this from what David had heard. He stopped staring at the letter when his mom called him down for dinner.

The night went by slow. He called Sarah and told her what had happened. They didn’t talk long, as Sarah was attempting to research something on the Internet. She told him to not worry and that it was probably cocky Cook, but he couldn’t suppress his concern. He got online and tried to find some new people to meet. He really wasn’t up for researching and concentrating. At 11pm he went to bed for the night, but his nerves would not allow him to sleep.

After midnight, he turned his bedroom light on because he couldn’t sleep, and decided to open the window because his room was feeling a bit stuffy. As he looked out, he saw a light blue mustang parked on the side of the road. As he tried to get a better look, he thought he saw someone sitting in the front seat. He tried to recall if he had seen this car in the area before, but could not recall. It did seem strange that someone would be sitting out in his car at this time of night. Perhaps he was feeling edgy from the letter and was looking too much into it.

He closed his curtains and tried to focus on the investigation, but his mind became muddled. He felt like he needed more info, but he didn’t have access to it at the moment.

However, something else was troubling his mind…his discussion with Dr. Loran about God. They were good questions that needed some answers. He turned on his computer, and while waiting for it to turn on, he peered out his window and saw the mustang still there.

He searched Google using different combinations of words until he saw an article titled: “The real reason why God led the Israelites to slaughter other nations.”

He clicked on the article and was not prepared for the information he was about to view:

“Many well meaning believers teach that the reason God sent the Israelites to slaughter other nations was because he was a God of justice, and sin needed to be punished. While this may be true, there may have been deeper reasons, especially where the slaughter of infants is concerned. One reason could have been because sexually transmitted diseases were probably not uncommon, since there likely were sexual rituals performed by other nations. I do not believe there is sufficient evidence to prove this argument. However, after putting years of study into this, I have come to the conclusion that there was another reason, more troublesome than that of disease. This had to do with the fact that some of those nations had among them, offspring of fallen angels.”

David held his breath at this. He had never heard of such a thing and read on to see if there was more evidence given.

David skimmed a little and continued reading:

“Genesis 6 points out that the sons of God came down and mated with human women, creating offspring who were heroes of renown. Some believe that the early church suppressed certain writings. One of these writings was the Book of Enoch, which goes into greater detail about these fallen angels, or Sons of God, also known as the Watchers. Fortunately, this book has become very accessible over the Internet, and if one views chapter six and the chapters after that in the book of Enoch, one will see in greater detail what was meant by Genesis 6. We see that the flood came and wiped away all but eight people. However, it is obvious that these “sons of God” did not stop after the flood. We see that when the twelve Israelites were sent out to spy on the land that God wanted them to conquer, they felt like grasshoppers compared to the men they spied out. Then you have the famous Goliath and David story.”

David started to make sense of it all. It appeared that God wanted to suppress the offspring of the fallen angels. If what he had read up until now didn’t shock him, what he was about to read definitely would.

“It is believed by myself and many other researchers that these activities have not ceased. At the time of Jesus, God’s people were no longer supposed to use violence as a method of conquering. That does not mean that fallen angels ceased to do their evil. At this time, the fallen angels and their offspring became more secretive. They went underground, but they were no less effective. Evidence suggests that these fallen angels and their offspring did all they could to corrupt the Christian church. They ended up becoming successful as the church became a major killing machine during the medieval period instead of a church of love as originally formed by Christ.

“Another great misunderstanding, is that the Bible is the absolute truth.” David didn’t like hearing this but continued on nevertheless. “We don’t have the original writings with us here today. In fact, some scholars believe the first five books of the Old Testament, often referred to as the “Torah” or “Books of Moses,” actually came from four or more different sources. These sources were written at a much later time than most people are led to believe. The four sources are generally referred to as the J, P, E, and D sources. Then there is the Redactor, or a few redactors, one of which many people believe was Ezra. It has been shown that one of those sources has a much more unmerciful version of god than the others. This was the P source, or Priestly source. This source seems to illustrate a more brutal god than the other sources. This source was probably written around 500 B.C., a much later date than the alleged period of Moses’ life. This may be why the Old Testament God seems contradictory at times.”

“Even so, this does not negate the idea that angelic beings possibly mated with human women, and an entirely new race was made. If these beings do walk the Earth, we may be in more trouble than we expected.”

David stopped reading but took all of this in. It was a little far fetched compared to what he was used to, but the passages were given, and he always believed what the Bible said even though the writer seemed to believe the Bible had errors. He had never heard of these four sources. What was this priestly source? He was too tired to focus on it any longer at this time. He made a mental note to look more up again at a later time.

He turned the computer off and peaked outside his window again. The blue mustang was still sitting there, so David made sure all his lights were off. He waited about five minutes and took another peak out the window.

The blue mustang was gone. Deep down, David knew that whoever was in the mustang was watching him, and waiting for him to go to bed. Probably someone spying to make sure he wasn’t going to involve himself any further.

The Experiment: Chapter 4 – The Note

David didn’t know for sure if this meant anything. He could not recall any of the other birthdays, but if they were at the beginning of the year, that likely could be more than a coincidence. He had to figure out the others’ birthdays.

He again had to meet with Dr. Loran. At first, he liked the psychologist, but he was beginning to get annoyed with him. He seemed to be a little bit of a know-it-all; almost like officer Cook without the cockiness.

It had already gotten back to Dr. Loran that David had talked to the police about the investigation. “I do suggest that you leave the investigation to the authorities. You know that if someone finds out there is a kid running around trying to meddle in their business, they might not be so merciful to you.”

“Yeah, but they will come after anybody involved in the investigation.” After saying this, David realized his defense was weak.

“True, but professionals know how to handle it, and you’re not a trained professional.”

“Well, I do believe in God, and I’m sure I will be ok. David said with earnest sincerity.

“Let’s talk logical. Many people I have talked to believe God would protect them. One example, would be soldiers who go off to battle. I would later find out that the same soldiers who thought God would protect them would be found dead.” Dr. Loran stated. “Even though sad, they died an honorable death serving our country, as they were well trained to do what they do. You, on the other hand, might just end up getting yourself killed if you’re not careful.”

“You mean, you don’t believe in God?”

Dr. Loran threw up his arms in protest, “I didn’t say I don’t believe in God. I’m just saying that if he exists, he doesn’t automatically rescue everyone who put their life in a risky situation.”

“Then what do you believe?”

“Well, I don’t know if it is my place as a counselor to bring up my personal thoughts regarding religious beliefs.” Dr. Loran said, seeming like he would gladly share his thoughts, but didn’t want to cross professional boundaries.

David wanted to know more. “Aw, come on, I won’t tell anyone.”

“Well, if I answer your questions, please don’t be offended. They are my personal beliefs, and I don’t want them to have a negative impact on the counselor/student relationship.”

“Ok, I won’t get offended,” David said, uncertain as to whether or not he would actually be offended.

“Well, first, I’m not sure if the Biblical interpretation of God is accurate.”

“How so?”

“Well, the Bible says that God is perfect, all powerful, all knowing as in he knows what is going to happen, and ever-present right?”

“Correct.”

“That would mean that in the beginning, when there was just God, everything had to have been perfect. Correct?”

David didn’t answer. He didn’t know where Dr. Loran was going with this and didn’t want to fall into a trap.

Mr. Loran continued on, “However, there came a time when God created angels. He created one that everyone knows called Satan. Now a perfect, all-knowing God who hates sin, will not create anything less than perfect, right?”

“Well, I don’t know about that. God gives everyone a choice.”

“Possibly, but to give everyone a choice, he would have to create that choice which goes against what he stands for. He therefore, had to create sin so angels and humans could choose to not follow him.”

David was stuck without an answer, and Peter continued to put the nail in the coffin. “God then had to create a place of eternal torment for those who do not follow him. After the angels, he made humans, which he knew would fall. He would end up having to send a vast majority to hell to suffer for eternity. After seeing this side of God, Hitler doesn’t seem like such a bad guy, according to my standards.”

David felt offended even though he promised not to be; especially by the last statement. Yet, he didn’t have any good answers. Dr. Loran pinned him in a corner rather quickly. He believed that Dr. Loran was wrong, but he wasn’t sure how to respond to this. He’d have to pray and hope that God would open his heart. David finally mustered up something to say, “So, what exactly do you believe?”

“Well, I believe that the definition of what is good and evil is sketchy. I do believe in some of the moral teachings of the Bible such as treating others with love. But then the Bible becomes extreme when someone must be stoned for picking up sticks on the Sabbath, or God telling his people to go slaughter nations including infants.”

“Where does the Bible mention that God ordered his people to slaughter infants?”

Dr. Loran was prepared with an answer; “I believe it is 1 Samuel 15 when Saul was instructed by Samuel to wipe out an entire nation, including the infants. I’d have to say that even America is more merciful than that since when we go to war, we try not to harm civilians.”

“Anyways, I need to ask you to stay out of the investigation,” Dr. Loran said suddenly changing the subject.

“I guess I’ll stay out of it.” David stated, caught off guard.

“You don’t sound like that is what you really intend on doing.” Peter shot back, reading David’s every move.

“What do you expect me to say? If I say I want to involve myself, you will tell me to stay out of it. If I say I will stay out of it, you don’t believe me.”

“I’m just trying to look after your safety. I support you wanting to be a detective and hope that is what you eventually go into if that continues to be your desire. However, you need to be trained to do that kind of work. Soldiers are trained before they actually go into battle. Police officers are trained before they do their job.”

David needed to manipulate his way out of this conversation. “I see what you are saying. I will consider it.”

“That’s what I’m looking for,” and with that the session ended.

David was glad it ended. He felt very frustrated. He wasn’t about to give up his quest to solve the murder mystery. He knew there were patterns, but he couldn’t piece it together. He was hoping to piece enough together to be able to stop the next murder, which might be in eight days.

*          *          *

Peter Loran kicked back in his chair and smiled to himself. He thoroughly enjoyed discussing religion with people, especially when it came to confusing them. Messing with people’s heads was a specialty of his. People like David even made it more fun; especially with how intense they believed. He knew David too well, and knew he wasn’t going to give up his faith over a simple argument.

If it were not for having to remain professional, he would probably not suggest that David avoid investigating the murders. In fact, Peter was hoping David wouldn’t listen to him. The police had virtually no chance of figuring things out, as they were overly rational. One would need a very open mind to even consider what was going on. Sarah might also be of use, as she seemed to be much more open minded that most people in the area. He knew that the more he tried pushing Sarah and David apart, the more David would cling to the friendship.

*          *          *

That night David went home from school exhausted and tired, for it had been a long day. He looked up at his light blue house, and memories came to him about the not-so-distant past before the murders began. He didn’t realize how peaceful things had been. Any kind of indifference seemed petty as compared to now. People in his church would argue over whether or not to put a cross on the wall up front. Some people believed it would offend people, while other more rigid believers would say that “the offense of the cross was needed, and if they were offended, they didn’t belong in the church.” With the murders, the petty arguments decreased. It just showed how human nature was. No matter what, people would find something to argue over. As he entered the door, he heard his mother say, “there is an envelope on the table for you, someone left it on the doorstep.”

David thought this was rather strange. Maybe it was a friend or someone he knew giving him a message. He secretly hoped it would be a letter from Lauren, telling him of her attraction to him. He knew that it wouldn’t be, but he could always hope.

He walked up to his room since he didn’t want to open it in front of his nosy mother. In fact, there were certain things that he hid in his room. He will never forget the day he came up to his room and found his mom reading his journal. He never heard the end of it. When he was angry with his mother one day, he wrote in his journal a few nasty things about her. Of course, she just happened to be reading that part when David walked in. David felt ashamed, but angry at the same time. It happened over a year ago, yet still put a damper on his relationship with his mom.

He shut his door and tore open the envelope; surprised that his mother didn’t have a look at it already. As he read it, he felt chills go down his spine. Unsigned in big bold letters, it read: “Keep your nose where it belongs, and stay out of the investigation, or else…”

The Experiment – Chapter 3 – Imaginations from the Other Side

The school bell rang, and David knew where he had to go; to the police station. It had been nine days since the last murder which left four days until the next one if his theory was correct.

He hoped to find Sarah, so he didn’t feel so awkward about going; however, she was nowhere to be found. Probably still fuming over him for whatever reason…women are a strange species. The police station was a bit of a walk from the school. The May rain felt nice with the light mist in the air.

As he arrived, he asked the clerk if he could speak to an officer, and she asked him to have a seat. At that point, he wished he had brought a book or something to do because he hated waiting with nothing to do. To keep his mind occupied, he counted the tiles on the chess-like floor. After close to a half hour, Police Officer Cook strolled out and quickly beckoned David into his office with an annoyed look on his face.

Officer Cook was a young officer who thought he knew everything. David was immediately disappointed to have to talk to him out of all the officers in the place. He was known to be especially demeaning toward high school students. His stone brown eyes caused others to feel as if they had a gun pointed at them, and on top of that, he was known for being one of the most physically fit officers on the police force. “So, what brings you here?”

“I just thought maybe…”

“First your name kid.” Cook interrupted. David could hear the demeaning tone in his voice.

“Sorry…David.”

“So, what brings you here David? My secretary said you think you might have a lead on the student murder case.” Cook did not attempt to hide his sarcasm. David was not certain if he wanted to tell Cook knowing he would be ridiculed, but he was here already and there was no point in holding back. “Well, I noticed that all the murders took place thirteen days apart.”

“And…?” Cook responded with his eyes drilling holes into David’s brain.

“Well, that’s it, you don’t think that means anything?” David suddenly felt foolish even bringing this up. Perhaps there was nothing to it; however, David believed that all angles should be considered no matter how insignificant they seemed.

“Look kid, I’m not here to waste my time on some teenager’s stupidstitious beliefs. I’m here to find criminals and put them in jail using hard evidence. Now, unless you have a real lead, don’t bother me again.” With that Cook mentally shoved him out of his office.

David was discouraged and angry, and the outside mist no longer felt good as it heightened his despair. He didn’t understand why Cook wouldn’t listen to him, and then be a jerk on top of it. He always thought it was better to hear someone out rather than dismiss something that could be important. Then again, Sarah often accused him of not listening when she wanted to discuss her conspiracy theories. It wasn’t easy having a difference in opinions from his best friend, but things were as they were.

*          *          *

When Sarah went home, she went to her bedroom and broke down in tears. How could my best friend not defend me against the school’s biggest jerk? She felt a strong mixture of anger and sadness. It would have been better if he hadn’t stepped in at all, but no, he had to make it seem like I was the one going too far! 

Her bedroom was her place of refuge. When she was home, she often stayed there to avoid her dad’s drunken tantrums when he arrived home on the weekends and evenings. She decorated her walls with posters of fairies and owls. She had an altar at the east side of the room with candles placed in certain places throughout. A single bed was at the other side of the room with a dresser between the bed and altar.

From childhood, she had a fascinating gift. It was one that she told no one in real life about. She could perform meditation, and enter into an altered state of consciousness where she would enter another world. She wasn’t sure if it was like a parallel world, but it was a place where she found peace. She decided to do this now and put in a CD with a Shamanistic drumbeat. The sound of the beat helped induce her into a relaxed state of mind, which helped her enter this other world.

Within ten minutes, she entered the other world. The beauty always put her at ease. She normally found herself in a wooded area with tall pine trees and bright green grass. The sun shone bright in the evening sky. Unlike the real world, animals were not afraid of her here. A squirrel walked up to her, as she bent over to pet it. After a few minutes, she began walking, and a little owl flew down to greet her. Its yellow eyes pierced Sarah to the soul. Then it turned its nine-inch brown and white speckled body and flew off. It flapped its wings a few times and pulled its wings in briefly for a time and repeated this process of bounding flight. This was nothing unusual for her. She had done some studying on Shamanism, and it was common for a Shaman to have an animal spirit guide while doing a spiritual journey.

Sarah followed the owl until she reached the edge of the forest. She came upon a familiar grove, which she sometimes visited while being in this world. When she came to this place, she often learned valuable information. In fact, a year ago, it was told to her that if she walked her usual path to the school, which led through the woods, she would be attacked by a rapist. Sure enough, a strange man had been discovered out in that part of the woods stalking younger females, and it was revealed in his records that he formerly spent five years in prison for sexual assault on a minor. Fortunately, no one was attacked that day since most of the females did not walk that path alone. Sarah, who always walked alone, would have been a more likely target.

She trusted the information given to her in the grove. The path in the forest led directly to the center of it. The grove was surrounded by olive trees. Their twisted appearance gave them an ancient feel. Sarah guessed that they were not much more than thirty feet in height. The green leafs gave off a silver glare; an unusual appearance compared to the trees Sarah was familiar with in the real world.

The little owl bound into the grove before Sarah and temporarily flew out of sight. When Sarah entered the grove, she no longer saw the owl, but instead a woman.

She stood close to six feet tall. Although young in appearance, her eyes shone with eternal wisdom. Around her body she wore a white toga, giving her a mystical authoritative quality along with her blue tunic. Her breasts were covered with steel along with her forearms and biceps. A golden battle helmet covered her head with a red plume in the center.

Sarah bent down on one knee to honor the Goddess Minerva. Minerva came over and put her hand on Sarah’s shoulder. Within her mind, Sarah could hear the voice of the Goddess. “My dear child; an evil plot is unfolding which might bring the world into a state of chaos and darkness. There has been great turmoil within the spiritual world, which may soon shift into the physical.”

Sarah then spoke back using her mind. “Is there anything I can do, my Lady?”

“Yes. Know that the happenings in your area are just the beginning of this great turmoil entering your realm. Keep your friendship with David strong, as that may be necessary in the future. There are forces operating to break apart that friendship. As strange as it may seem, your friendship may prevent things from going too far. Go now, show the world your light and love, and be an example. You may not see me, but I will be at your side giving you guidance and wisdom.”

With that, the Goddess disappeared, and Sarah was left alone. It was always an honor to speak with Minerva. In Roman mythology, she was known as the Goddess of wisdom, defensive war, and weaving among other things. She was also the Goddess that Sarah felt closest to. She was known as the equivalent of the Greek Athena.

Sarah walked back out of the grove and into the forest. As she walked, something grabbed her attention. She noticed a clump of grass, and within that clump, there were a few brown pieces of grass. In normal everyday life, this would not have grabbed her attention. However, she had never noticed decay of any sort within this realm. She knew what Minerva had spoken to her was true, but seeing this decay struck her heart sharply.

It wasn’t long after this that the Shamanistic drum beat came to an end, and she was able to bring herself back to the present. Sarah sat up in her bed and thought long moments about what she had just heard. The words, “your friendship may prevent things from going too far,” echoed in her mind. She could feel her pulse beating while she thought that in some ways, the deities depended on her to do the right thing. Yeah, she was angry with David but that would pass. However, she was concerned Minerva could see the bigger picture, and that a great challenge lay ahead for her and David’s friendship.

There was no way she could go to David about this. She could not even tell him about her spiritual journeys, as he would say that she was dreaming. Maybe one day he would be more open minded and she could explain it to him, but until then she would remain silent. She stared at the phone in the bedroom, hoping David would call and things would be fine.

*          *          *

After David went home and ate some dinner, he contemplated on whether to call Sarah or not. He knew she was angry, and he didn’t want an argument. Finally, he gave in and called her.  She seemed glad that he had called, but David apologized anyway “for earlier,” even though he didn’t know exactly what he was apologizing for. It seemed to work, and Sarah remained pleasant.

He told her about how the murders happened thirteen days apart, and that the cops would not listen to him.

“Of course the cops wouldn’t listen to an eighteen-year-old boy, especially if you talked to Cocky Cook. He’s got his head so far up his you-know-what that his stomach acids constantly burn away at brain cells of humbleness.” Sarah replied with sarcasm.

“Yeah, that’s for sure.” David said with a chuckle. “He shouldn’t even be a cop with his attitude.”

“Heck, with his attitude, he should be in a Nazi concentration camp. Maybe that would knock him off his horse of arrogance.”

“Doesn’t your father know him?” David recalled seeing her father and Officer Cook talking over coffee at a local restaurant.

At this Sarah was silent for a moment. David sensed that she was troubled. When she spoke again, she changed the subject. “Hmm, it is interesting that the murders were thirteen days apart.”

“Yeah. Do you think it means something?”

“Not sure, but thirteen is an interesting number.”

“Why? Because the number symbolizes bad luck?”

“No. It has deeper meaning than that.”

“How so?”

“I don’t know everything behind it. Many researchers recognize it as the day that the Knight Templars were rounded up and arrested. Some take it back further and relate it to the Last Supper.”

“The Last Supper…as in Jesus and his apostles?”

“No. The last supper we had together. We had thirteen candles lit, remember?”

“Huh?” David was confused.

“Of course I’m referring to Jesus and his apostles silly.  There were thirteen people there. Some believe that Judas was the last to arrive; therefore, the number thirteen is symbolic for rebellion. I also think that thirteen is a number used by secret societies, but I’d have to go back and figure that out.”

David didn’t say anything to that. He knew Sarah was genuine with what she believed, but it still irritated him. He could not fathom the idea that secret societies pulled the strings of government and were working their way to control the population.

Sarah interrupted his thoughts, “I will look into this more and see what I can come up with. It’s hard to go by since there have been only three murders. I will also see if there is any significance to the dates of the murders.”

“Sounds good to me.” David said; a little skeptical of the idea that the dates would have any significance. “I will continue to see what I can find out myself.” At that, they got off the phone.

David had many questions running through his head. Why would ordinary students be interested in the number thirteen?  What other bizarre things would he find out? Part of him was wondering if the dates did play a role.

That’s when it occurred to him – at least three out of six of the students involved had their birthdays early in the year. It seemed like they took place in January.

The Experiment – Chapter 2: Girls, Bullies, and the Number 13

David quickly found Sarah in the hall. Sarah was a girl with saddened blue eyes, yet they always shined with a glimmer of hope. She dressed in black with long dyed black hair. The black she wore only emphasized the beauty in her face, yet most people didn’t see this. They couldn’t get past the dark style of dress, and her lack of socializing with others. Many titles were pinned to her; such as “gothic witch,” “Hell’s maiden,” and even “Satan’s bride.”

Sarah had begun her “dress in all black” style five years before. Even though the insulting comments hurt her, she refused to change. This wasn’t the only thing that separated her from other people. The fact that she was a practicing Wiccan in a school whose population was generally Christian, further distanced her from her peers. She was often ridiculed for her beliefs and treated as an outcast by students, parents, and teachers alike.

She boldly wore her necklace with a Pentacle on it, which she said represented the elements of Air, Fire, Water, Earth, and most importantly Spirit. Her other necklace she referred to as the “Triple Moon,” which was a symbol of the Triple Goddess. She always explained the Triple Goddess as being three aspects of the Goddess. There was the Maiden, which represented youth and purity. Then there was the Mother, which represented fertility and growth. Finally, there was the Crone aspect of the Goddess, which reflected wisdom, old age, and even death. David didn’t really believe the same as Sarah, and never took the time to understand her beliefs on a deeper level.

The halls were full of students getting things for their next class and talking at their lockers. David could sense the sadness that hung in the air. He hoped the murders would end. There had been times between classes where a few people would break down and weep because they were close friends with a victim, a murderer, or both in some cases.

“So how was your visit with the ‘shrink’?” Sarah asked; not hiding her distaste for the counselor.

David shrugged, “It was OK…I guess.”

“What did he have to say this time?” Same Sarah; always straightforward and to the point.

In all honesty, David did not want to answer this question, so he tried to give a vague answer. “Not much. Just talked about the murders,” he said, as he shrugged his shoulders trying to pass it off as if it was no big deal.

“David, I know when you are hiding something. Just come out and say it.” She stated, but with a smirk as if to say, “ha-ha, nothing gets by me.”

David hesitated for a minute and cast his eyes on the ground. He knew there was no getting past her; she knew him too well.

At last he responded, “He thinks that I should stay away from you.”

“And…what do you think?”

“I think he is full of crap!” The smile on Sarah’s face put him at ease. The two of them spent the next few minutes telling jokes about Dr. Loran.

It was then that David noticed a bruise on Sarah’s jawbone. To see Sarah with a bruise of some sort was not unusual. However, to get an honest answer from her about how she received such bruises was like trying to set ice on fire. She would always make up a story of how it was some accident, or how she tripped, but David knew that she wasn’t that clumsy. He never liked her dad from the moment he met him. Something just didn’t set right.  Sarah’s mother seemed as harmless as a dove, and David believed she would never harm Sarah in any way.

Ever since David knew her mother, she seemed rather melancholy. He didn’t see her parents very often, but she also rarely got to see his mother since she was not allowed in their home. His mother was troubled ever since Sarah started practicing Wicca, and thought that if she was allowed in the house, she would bring demons in with her. David stood by her though, not because he had a crush on her, but because he knew her for who she was: a caring person who hurt inside. David never really understood why people would completely reject others based on faith, especially Christians like himself, who should be showing compassion rather than rejection.

He knew deep down that Sarah was abused by her father. He once anonymously notified Child Protective Services after Sarah came to school with a black eye and a welt on her cheekbone. Yet, they couldn’t prove where the black eye came from, and David guessed that Sarah had been forced to lie. He decided that he was not going to bring it up today because he knew it would only upset Sarah more.

David’s attention was instantly distracted away from Sarah. Lauren, a girl David had a crush on for years, walked by. Her hazel eyes caught his eyes. She walked past him, and her light brown straight hair seemed to fall perfectly, reaching slightly past her shoulders.

David held his breath, wishing he could muster up the courage to talk to her. As she reached her locker, another male student met her there. They gave each other a quick kiss, and David could feel the jealousy well up inside. He knew the guy she dated; Mr. Jock himself. His short brown hair was spiked with gel. He always walked the halls like he expected everyone to bow down to him and worship him. David sometimes wished that Evan would be choked by his own turtleneck sweaters he always wore. He was a football and basketball player. His father was a physician and his mother was a surgeon, so David knew they were quite well off. He knew he didn’t have a chance with Lauren with Evan in the picture.

“Do you want me to grab some paper towels to wipe your drool off the floor?” David snapped back to reality, and it took him a minute to register what Sarah had just said to him. “You’re pathetic to continue to chase after that girl. You’d be lucky if her brain is bigger than a pea. She is so snotty that I feel like wiping her with a giant tissue.”

“Hey, go easy on her.”

“I am.”  Sarah had that defiant look in her eyes. David decided not to press the issue, and changed the subject.

“Oh, and Dr. Loran told me that I can’t help with the investigation.”

“That’s dumb, you probably could do better than our clueless police force can. You’re not going to listen to Dr. “Know-it-all” Loran, are you?”

“Of course not. You know me better than that.”

“Yes I do, and I’ll help as much as I can.”

“What do you think you could help with? I mean you research conspiracy theories and alternative viewpoints of history. How could that possibly help?”

Sarah looked offended, “You don’t think there’s some kind of conspiracy here?”

David was never keen on conspiracy theories. They were theories, and that was it. In fact, there wasn’t enough evidence in David’s mind that the Illuminati still existed, or that the Fraternity known as the Skull and Bones are trying to control the government. Sarah needed to stop reading that crap as far as he was concerned. “Conspiracy is never the logical place to start an investigation of this sort.”

“But many murders take a conspiracy to some degree.” Sarah shot back.

“Yes, but you tend to look at larger conspiracies, like it is some secret society or something of that nature.”

“You have to admit; these murders are…um…rather bizarre!” Sarah made her sarcasm obvious.

“True, but that doesn’t mean there is a conspiracy…but I’ll get off your case and let you do your own research.” He knew there was no winning an argument with her.

“Thank you,” Sarah said with a smile. “As long as we can combine research.”

“Sure, anything helps I suppose.” David sounded doubtful.

Just then, another student by the name of Luke Dilton and some of his buddies walked up. Even though Luke was only eighteen, he was a youth pastor at a local church. He always carried a Bible with him along with a stone face. His blonde hair along with his icy blue eyes, sent chills up and down a person’s spine that had just met him. His attempts at being hip and trying to fit in seemed rather “fake” next to his fire and brimstone Old Testament attitude. He looked over at Sarah and said, “Hey witch, will you be having some snake stew tonight?”

Sarah was quick; “I’d rather save them, so they can bite you. I want to see if your holy flesh can handle it.”

“At least when I die, I’ll be in a better place…unlike you!” Luke taunted.

“Unlike me? I’d rather not enter Heaven if people like you reside there!”

“Ha, you’ll be burning as the maggots eat through your body; for eternity.”

“That’s why I don’t follow your god. He is cruel. The words of Thomas Paine, ‘belief in a cruel god makes a cruel man.’”

David decided to step in. “Come on Sarah, don’t go too far.”

“Yeah Sarah, why don’t you listen to David?” Luke and his buds walked away. David looked at Sarah and was taken back by her angry glare.

“What did I do?” David retorted.

“Isn’t it obvious, or are you too stupid to realize it?” With that Sarah turned around and stormed off.

“Well, looks like I’m alone on the investigation.” David said aloud, but Sarah was already too far away to hear him. He just wanted the arguing to stop. Luke was the one attacking her, not him. She shouldn’t be mad just because he asked her not to go too far. David felt Luke was a poor excuse for a Christian with his bullying tactics. Perhaps if he actually read the Bible he carries around, he would realize that loving others and doing good was at the top of the list of things Jesus taught.

*          *          *

David was sitting in physics class, not paying attention to anything the teacher was saying. It was easy to drown out Mr. Jenkins’s monotone voice. In fact, it wasn’t unusual for some students to fall asleep in this class. Sometimes one of the students, named Jake, would start to drift off to sleep. David would get his amusement out of watching Jake’s head tilt down and suddenly jerk up to wake out of his sleep, only to repeat the process. David was thinking about the murders and trying to see a pattern. He wrote down all the dates that the murders occurred, and just stared at them blankly.

“David, who invented the electroscope?” David snapped out of his daze at the sound of his teacher calling his name. He hesitated trying to recall what exactly the question was. Once he did that, he recalled the answer, “Michael Faraday.”

“Correct.” Mr. Jenkins said, and continued his lecture. David sighed in relief, as he was able to return his focus to the dates he was gazing at.

As he looked at the murder dates, he saw a pattern: April 24th, May 7th, and May 20th. Then it occurred to him…all the murders took place exactly thirteen days apart.

The Experiment Chapter 1: Dr. Loran

“So, how is it affecting you?”

Typical counselor question, David thought to himselfEveryone has been affected by the three murders. No one can forget the first murder, which happened on April 24th; about a month ago. Jennifer Alden was found strangled to death in her own apartment. The murderer? Jack Dixer, who was a champion football player and class president.

Soon after Jennifer’s body was found, they located Jack who had hung himself in the local park from a tree. The same rope used to murder Jennifer, he used to take his own life. Shock stung the community since Jack was known as a cool-tempered, good student. He seemed to be continually upbeat and happy. Being that he came from a well-to-do family, no one in their wildest dreams could ever picture Jack as a murderer.

The connection between Jack and Jennifer was uncertain. According to fellow students, they barely knew each other.  In fact, there was confusion over how Jack even knew where Jennifer lived.  The local police couldn’t gain any leads.

Rumors circulated that Jack had been secretly stalking Jennifer and killed her. Supposedly he had a secret crush on her, and she had turned him down. David believed this to be false. He reasoned that people were just looking for excuses to explain the murder.

Almost two weeks later, another bizarre murder had taken place. Michael Johnson, a quiet student, broke into his father’s gun cabinet, walked two miles to Trudy Calihan’s house, and gunned her down. The next-door neighbor heard both a shot and scream, and the police were on the scene quickly. They were able to pin Michael as guilty and arrested him at his own home. He made the claim that he had spoken with God, who had told him to do what he had done. Within minutes, a mysterious sudden death overtook him, and no further information was given.

A few days ago, the murder of Eliza Grant by her best friend, Geoff Zimmerman, took place. They found her dead in her parent’s kitchen in a pool of her own blood. Geoff was later found in a nearby woods slashed to death with his knife. Evidence seemed to indicate that it was a suicide. Some people couldn’t picture Geoff going through with such a task, but others thought guilt may have overwhelmed him when he came to his senses. The police had no leads on any of the murders. There seemed to be no patterns at all, aside from the fact that all the victims were female, while all the murderers were male. Some people thought someone was using hypnosis on the male students or some form of brainwashing. Yet to be able to brainwash three students to the extent to commit murder seemed virtually impossible.

Carthage, NY was a fairly small town situated in the Northern part of the state and experienced a very low crime rate until now. Immediately, parents looked for scapegoats such as rock music and TV shows.

Most professionals like the Sheriff, Detective, and the new School Counselor, believed that there wasn’t any connection with rock music, TV, and the murders.

A local punk band called Jaguar Sunday was being tagged as a scapegoat. They played at several village dances, and some parents believed that their influence played a part in the murders. Jaguar Sunday’s lyrics were not violent, so David believed that these particular parents were just trying to find someone to point the finger at.

“David?” David snapped out of his daze and looked up at the counselor. The room seemed overly silent, as David searched for an answer. The only sounds that could be heard were the ticking of the clock, the filter in the counselor’s aquarium, and the occasional footsteps in the hall.

The counselor’s office was cozy. It was adorned with brown furniture, and the counselor brought in his own overhead lamps as if to avoid the piercing fluorescent lights that occupied every other room in the school building. David always felt that his eyes were extra sensitive to fluorescent lights and wished the school would use something different.

When it came to Dr. Loran’s office’s atmosphere, only the plain white walls felt drab. The entire school had the same walls, and David would feel more enclosed as a result. School was more like a prison in his mind. Some days he wished he could quit school, but he knew if he did, he would likely wind up like his Uncle Vinnie who struggled all his life just to make ends meet.

“It’s scary…and tragic. I hope they catch whoever is behind the murders.” David always felt a little awkward expressing his feelings toward any adult. Especially over a situation so delicate.

The counselor was a middle-aged man. His eyes were continually unreadable as if he was able to hide his emotions from the best of psychologists. If one were to see him for the first time, they would probably write him off as a computer nerd with his overly thick rimmed glasses and evenly parted dark hair. Normally he wore a sweater, which he kept perfectly neat. He was never seen with a wrinkle or a stain on his clothing.

The counselor, whose name was Peter Loran, nodded his head while saying, “I see.” He stared at David with a thoughtful look. David twitched a little under his gaze. He hated being stared at, as he felt Dr. Loran was analyzing his every move. At last Dr. Loran spoke; “So, you want to be a detective?”

Oh no, David thought, here comes a lecture on how not to be involved with the investigation. He decided to still be honest. “Yeah I do.” He had been down to the police station a few times to offer any help he could give them. However, he was told that the investigation was too dangerous.

“Good…good. There needs to be more of that around here the way things are going.” Dr. Loran said, with a sarcastic hint in his tone. “Yet, I’m sure you know what is best and to leave this to the professionals.”

David felt a little irritated; he was really concerned and wanted to help. However, it seemed like no one wanted his help. He was trying to puzzle everything together in his mind to no avail. “Yeah, I’ll stay out of it.” David lied. He didn’t like lying, but he felt pinned in a corner with this one.

He had always been interested in solving mysteries. Scooby Doo had been his favorite cartoon growing up, and any mystery show that appeared on TV never failed to lure his attention. Solving riddles and puzzles were a specialty of his.

“OK, now that we got that settled, I believe it is time to bring up your friend Sarah. I have received complaints from your mother…”

David knew at some point in time the counselor would bring this up, so he was somewhat ready. “Listen, I’m not going to stop being friends with her!”

“But she’s the type of girl who is going to bring you down. You’re a good kid David, and good kids need good friends.”

David was annoyed. He had been best friends with Sarah since childhood. She had changed, but David didn’t see anything wrong with her. Sure, she wore black clothing, dyed her hair black, wore black lipstick sometimes, but she was still his friend. It was sometimes difficult living in a relatively religious town. It felt like everyone watched everyone else instead of minding their own business like they should. “I don’t know why you people have to always judge others…. You don’t know her like I do!”

Dr. Loran sucked in a breath. “I know her better than you think…and she may be a little paranoid, as you have said yourself. That is the last thing you need right now with what’s going on. You have told me before that her conspiracy theories are getting on your nerves. I think it would be best if you step back and take a break.”

David wished he hadn’t blurted that from his mouth when he was angry. He always would tell the wrong people the wrong things. Then he felt like he couldn’t go back on it. He remembered the incident when Sarah brought up the idea of ancient aliens and how they might still have influence in the world. She loved talking about UFOs and secret societies.

That day he was frustrated with Sarah and ended up blurting it out to the counselor. Sarah had shown very little frustration during the conversation. However, she was bothered by the fact that he stormed off and mentioned the ordeal to Dr. Loran. Now it was being used against him.

“Yeah, I don’t agree with her on some things, especially when it comes to conspiracy and religion, but we usually get along pretty well besides that.”

“I can’t tell you what to do David. I just think it would be for the best. I’ll let you decide though.” Knowing Dr. Loran, this would not be the last time he would push this issue with Sarah. He had a tendency to bring up the same subjects over and over.

David looked at the clock and was glad that this session was almost over. He hated being told what to do and was nowhere near thinking about ending his friendship with Sarah. He looked at her as the sister he no longer had.

He recalled the night his sister died. At age thirteen, the doctor found a tumor forming on her brain. They attempted to remove it, but during the operation, the doctor slipped and did fatal damage. From that day forth, David had a hatred for doctors. He was fourteen at the time. Even his parents attempted to reassure him that it was a mistake, but David could read the anger in their eyes. They couldn’t hide their own hatred toward that particular doctor from him.

From that day on, David did his own research into homeopathic medicine and natural healing. Sarah shared this interest with him, and they researched it together. It never ceased to amaze either of them how dangerous mainstream medicine can be when improperly used.

This time period also created an unhealthy fear of death in David. Sometimes he would second guess his decision at being a detective, but his passion pushed him on. He hoped to one day get over this fear. Sometimes he felt afraid to ride in a vehicle because an accident could happen at any moment. He was scared of visiting the doctor because they could find that something was wrong with him and he was going to suffer and die. Sometimes the thoughts would send him into a panic attack.

The session ended and David walked out and down the hall. An adult he didn’t recognize was walking toward him. Something felt strange about this person, as it seemed that he was trying to look away. David decided to pass it off as nothing but as they passed each other, David thought he caught an unnatural yellow in the man’s eyes.

The Experiment: Prologue – God’s Will

I will be posting my book in blog posts starting with this chapter and going right through. I hope you enjoy.

“Geoff, what has gotten into you?” Eliza yelled, terrified of what was once her best friend now was holding a knife and chasing after her. Her parents were out for the evening. Eliza thought it was strange since their marriage had been on the rocks for the last two years, and they did their best to avoid each other. Tonight, was different. They both dressed up as if they were going to a fancy restaurant. Eliza had no idea where, but she was glad for them. She had spent hours in prayer hoping for them to reunite.

“I do what I must.” Geoff stated with a matter-of-fact tone. There were no hints of emotion in his voice. It was a dark starless night out. Eliza wanted to scream, but she knew no one would hear. Her neighbors were a quarter of a mile away, and even if they did hear her scream, they wouldn’t be able to make it in time to save her.

Eliza stood at one side of her parent’s glass table, while Geoff stood on the other side. She hoped the table would work as a barrier to protect her. Geoff had shut the doorway to the kitchen, so she wouldn’t be able to escape using that route. “This is insane, have you lost it?”

“I do the will of God. Ask no more questions.” His usual gentle blue eyes were empty, as if there was no soul living within. There was neither hatred nor anger visible on his face. It was almost as if he was a zombie. The emotionless glare ignited more fear within Eliza. Geoff usually kept himself neat, but now his dirty blonde hair had the appearance of just being removed from under a powerful fan. His red shirt and blue jeans looked as if he just grabbed them from the bottom of a hamper of dirty clothes. Eliza never knew Geoff as a religious man, so even his response seemed bizarre. In fact, it was Eliza who was the religious one. Many times, she had talked to Geoff about God, and that he needed to be saved. Geoff was an agnostic, as he wasn’t sure what to believe.  Even among her youth group, Eliza was considered a “straight-laced” person, as she did not date, kiss, or lie.

“It’s not God’s will that you kill me! It’s one of the commandments that you don’t murder!” She said hoping this would place some common sense in him, or at least stall him giving her more time to think.

Geoff did not flinch. “I met God face-to-face. Do not question me about God’s will.”

Eliza yelled back, “You are making no sense! Are you losing your mind? Tell me what the heck happened to you!” Eliza knew people didn’t meet God face-to-face, but obviously, something happened that deeply affected her friend. Yet it seemed impossible that a face-to-face encounter would change a person to this extent. Something evil was going on in this town. She had heard about the other two recent murders, and now she might be the third to die.

Geoff gave no response. Panic was taking over Eliza’s mind so much so that she could no longer think of how to stall him.

After avoiding him for a minute behind the table, Geoff grabbed the table’s end and flipped it over. The sound of glass smashing on the wall and floor was deafening. She loved living outside of the town and in the country, but now she would give anything to live in the village near neighbors.

Quickly, Eliza scanned around the room for a weapon she could use to defend herself. She was disappointed when the only thing she could find was her parent’s antique vase sitting on the windowsill. Geoff stood between her and the silverware drawer; therefore, sharp knives were not an option.

The vase was worth thousands of dollars, but Eliza knew her parents would gladly see the vase destroyed if it meant saving her life. It was a silver vase standing a foot high. Anyone looking at it would see a grim out-of-shape reflection of herself due to its rustic appearance. Her parents had won it at an auction before Eliza was even born…back when they were young and not careful with their finances.

She grabbed the vase and Geoff lunged at her with the knife. Hating the fact that she may severely injure her friend, she aimed it right for his head. He quickly brought his arm up for protection, and the vase cracked falling to the ground in a worthless heap.

He was thrown off balance giving Eliza a moment to dodge for the silverware drawer. Her parents would be home any minute now, and she hoped she could hold Geoff off long enough.

She opened the drawer and scrambled for a steak knife. In her haste, she was having trouble finding one. Normally she could open the drawer and find one when she wanted. With adrenaline pulsating through her body, she could not hold still like she needed. A hint of relief came over her as her hand grasped a hold of one, and she began to pull it out of the drawer. I hate having to do this, but I need to save myself, she told herself. However, it was too late, as cold steel pressed against her throat. She tried to stab Geoff, but the pain of her own throat being cut paralyzed her. Blackness took over.

Interview with the band Alveole

Alveole are a modern rock crosser band (their style is undefined and unique) from Nürnberg (Nuremberg, Germany).  

You can see their video for “Do you Use a Knife” here.
Like Alveole on Facebook.
Follow Alveole on Twitter.
Visit Alveole’s Homepage.
Silvia: lead Vocals/Lyrics

N. A. Foy:How old were you when you decided to pursue a career in music and was there any particular musicians or singers that inspired you?

Silvia: Since my father plays piano and is a huge music fan I got into contact with music quite early in my life. In my teenage years I was inspired by Nu-Metal bands like Slipknot and Mudvayne, so I decided to take drum lessons at the age of 14. Besides my love for percussion instruments, I started singing and was inspired by Nightwish and the Guano Apes, but I’ve  never had the courage to sing in front of an audience or in a Band before I founded Alveole. I kept my music skills pretty much to myself, and secretly worked very hard to become a better musician. As the singer of Alveole, I suddenly took a big step forward and started noticing that I do not only love Music, but I also love performing. But it is not the idea of a career that gives me motivation – I simply want to create something I can be proud of.

Sebastian: Music has always been a major part of my life and since I’ve started playing instruments, the wish of turning my hobby into a career just grew bigger and bigger. The band that has inspired me the most over the years is In Flames. I love their guitar playing and also the amazing way they’ve evolved as musicians.

Marvin: Pursuing a career in music has been my biggest dream since I was about 12 years old. That’s when I picked up a guitar for the first time. I’ve always worked hard on my skills as a musician and I played in many bands, but I never got to the point where I could say that music was more than just a hobby. Now, being a part of Alveole, it’s different. For the first time in my life, I am convinced that we can achieve something truly amazing. There are a lot of great bands and musicians that inspired me, but it was Klayton from Celldweller who reinvigorated my passion for playing in a band again after I’d been on a kind of hiatus for a few years.

N. A. Foy: What background do you have in music? Did you go to music school or play in bands before Alveole?

Silvia: I love Music and I am passionate for it. Yes, I had some professional drum and singing lessons to get more knowledge about the techniques, but I think this is not what counts as an artist or musician. You have to love what you do, to go your own way, to create your own style and to be persistent. It is much more than a “career” or an “education “. No one can teach you how to become an artist. Be courageous, accept failure and try again.

Sebastian: I started tthe guitar in my youth and joined my first band “The Deputy Pimps” when I was about 17 years old. After moving away from my hometown for my studies, I founded the dark metal band “Adjust the Sun”, but we split up. Finally, a few years ago, I founded “Alveole”, which is supposed to be a band that gives me the limitless creative freedom that I thought I was lacking in my former bands. From time to time I also work on a few solo projects, but they don’t take high priority.

Alan: I started taking piano lessons when I was 6. I joined my first metal band as keyboardist at the age of 16 (I also had a Keytar to play shitty solos!). The drummer of my band was a really talented and I also met other young musicians at our shows, who played more than an instrument. That was very inspiring to me, so I decided to play the drums, but just for fun in the beginning. I founded my first metal band as a drummer with 17 and thanks to my previous musical experience and a lot of practice, I started to focus exclusively on drums. Since then, I have been in a lot of different bands in Spain. Then I decided to move to Germany with 23, where I joined “Adjust the Sun” and where I met Sebastian. After ATS split up, I decided to play with Sebastian in ALVEOLE and here I am, having an awesome experience!   Interview Question #3: Out of the lyrics on the first album, is there a particular one that you like the best? Is there a story behind it?

N. A. Foy: Out of the lyrics on the first album, is there a particular one that you like the best? Is there a story behind it?

Silvia: I can’t say that I like one of the lyrics best, but I can say something about my lyrics in general:

The lyrics I wrote for “Rhythm of Absurdity” have a very intimate character. They mirror the personal feelings and problems I had during the time we worked on the album. I sing about feeling sick, about feeling helpless, about problems in relationships and problems I have with myself. I think these lyrics are very sensitive and emotional. One exception is the Song “Do you use a knife?”. It’s lyrics are powerful, stubborn and rebellious. They can be seen as a foretaste of the lyrics I am currently writing for our next album. The lyrics for our new material will mirror a certain kind of anger – the feeling of becoming strong and healthy enough to defend oneself against the injustice and unfairness of our society.

But in the end, I want my audience to feel free to have their very own interpretation of my lyrics. I’d love that people feel like I am telling their own individual story while I am singing.

N. A. Foy: What do you like to do with your free time when you are not doing music: 

Sebastian: I don’t have much free time between work and music, as well. My favorite leisure activities are also watching movies and TV series, playing Play Station or doing sports, like cycling or longboarding.

Silvia: I am not only passionate for music – I am also a self-employed artist and designer. So I spend all of my time on music, design and arts – . When I need some leisure time, I do sports and I am deeply in love with my two Chinchillas ❤

Marvin: I barely have any free time between music and work. But If I have the time, I love playing video games or watching TV Series and movies. I love RPGs, such as Baldur’s Gate 2, The Witcher series and the Mass Effect series (except for the ending of ME 3, which was garbage and destroyed the meaning of the whole series, haha). As far as movies go, I really dig the Marvel Cinematic Universe and my favorite TV series are The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones.

Alan: I love to build huge Lego Sets! I also love to travel (for example: I regularly fly to Spain to visit my family and party there). And I like to see other bands or musicians and get inspired by them!

N. A. Foy: What are your top 3 favorite CDs of all time?

Silvia:

#1: HIM – Razorblade Romance

#2: Slipknot – Slipknot

#3: System of a Down: Toxicity

 

Sebastian:

#1: In Flames: Reroute to  Remain

#2: Enter Shikari: The Mindsweep

#3: Bring me the horizon: Sempiternal

 

Marvin:

#1: Machinae Supremacy: A View from the End of the World

#2: Celldweller: Wish Upon a Blackstar

#3: System of a Down: Toxicity

 

Alan:

#1: Wintersun: Wintersun

#2: Scars on Broadway: Scars on Broadway

#3: Leprous: Bilateral

N. A. Foy: This question is for the band members individually. How about some favorites. What is your favorite color? Number? Foods? Movie(s)? Book(s)? Aerobic Exercise? Or any other favorites you want to mention?

Silvia:

Color:  #008989

Number: 666

Foods: Chocolate & Pasta

Movie(s): The Great Gatsby, Fight Club, Pan’s Labyrinth

Book(s): Orhan Pamuk – The Museum of Innocence,  Paulo Coelho – Veronika Decides to Die

Aerobic Exercises: Running

Sebastian:

Colour:  White

Number:  my EC-PIN

Food: every fast food

Books: George Orwell – 1984

Aerobic Exercises: nothing

 

Marvin:

Color: Purple

Number: None

Foods: Pizza

Books: A Song of Ice and Fire Series

Aerobic Exercises: various (going to the gym)

 

Alan:

Color: Purple

Number: 9

Food: “Enblanco” (Spanish Fish Soup)

Books: The Shadow over Innsmouth

Aerobic Exercises: Jumping Lunges

N. A. Foy: If you could tour anywhere in the world, where would you want to go?

Sebastian:

I think Europe is a great place for touring. You don’t have to travel great distances to reach different countries, compared to other continents, and the music scene is very active everywhere in Europe.

Silvia: I like the Arabian culture – I’d love to go to Dubai or Abu Dhabi.

Marvin: I’d love to go to Japan. I’ve never been there and I would love to see the country, meet the people and experiencing the culture while I’m there. I’d love to perform with Baby Metal. They are one my new favorite bands in the world.

Alan: Japan would be really awesome!

N. A. Foy: Before hearing the band, I have never heard the word “Alveole” before. Is there a story behind the name?

Sebastian:

There is in fact  a story behind the name, not a happy one, but one with a hopeful prospect for the future. Right before founding Alveole, I had been lying in a hospital bed for some weeks with an injured lung. Several of my alveoli bursted. Luckily, the story had a happy ending and I recovered. But from that moment on, I realized that every little alveole in the human lung is crucial for us to be able to breathe and to live. All these little alveoli work together and form one much bigger organ, which makes human life possible. You see, even the tiniest things have an immense effect on our lives. This new perspective on life eventually led me to name my band “Alveole”.

N. A. Foy:  What is the main message you want to give to you fans through your music and example as a band? Is there anything else you would like to tell everyone before we finish?

Silvia: We mix different genres and styles – we rock, we rap, we dance and we love to mix electronic elements with metal . All in all, we love to create something new and don’t want others to put a label on our music. Don’t let guidelines or genre-limitations restrict you while working on your own unique style.

I am a female Singer in a rock band – still I don’t want to fall into any clichés. I walk my own way – some may like it , some may not.

My message is: Do what you love . Have the courage to go somewhere no one has ever been before.

Storm Moon – February Meditation

Tomorrow is the full moon.  Here is a meditation I wrote for the February Storm Moon.

Breath in to the count of 6, hold for 4, and release for 6 and continue this throughout the meditation.  Visualize yourself outside walking toward a castle.  Feel the rain as it is pelting down on your face.  At this moment, the clouds cover the moon and you can see lightning flicker in the clouds lighting up the area and hear the crash of thunder.  This storm represents the difficulties that you are currently facing in your life and they appear to be overwhelming you. 

Ahead you can see a bridge that leads to the castle and you draw close to it.  You walk into the castle and notice that it is not in good condition.  Rain is pouring through the window openings.  Tables are broken and the floor is a mess.  This represents your life and how everything seems out of order at the moment. 

Above the fireplace, you look and see a wand on the mantle.  You walk over and pick up the wand and feel the power flow through you.  At this point, you realize that despite the problems you are dealing with, you have the strength to overcome them.  Visualize yourself holding out the wand and a bluish white light comes out from the end.  Use the power to fix the broken objects that are surrounding you such as the tables and windows. 

Once you are done the castle feels like a cozy homey place.  Use the light from the wand to light the fireplace.  Feel its heat fill your face and allow that energy flow through you to cleanse you from negativity. 

Now walk back outside of the castle and notice that the storm is gone and the full moon is shining brightly overhead.  Raise your wand in hand and feel the moon’s energy flow though you and let calmness take over.  Know that everything is going to be ok as you slowing come back to the present and open your eyes. 

Character Building Blog 2 (Culture)

So in my first blog about character development I discussed race.  Along with race it is important to establish the culture of those involved in the story.  Fantasy writers have to work especially hard at this, but all writers should have an understanding of the culture that their characters are involve in.  Sometimes it is easiest to write a story based on your own culture, but involving cultures outside of your own with help put depth into your story.  I live in upstate New York, but if I want to write a story based in the New York City area, I should seek to understand the way of living there, as it would be different than here. 

If you are writing a historic piece you will want to read what the culture was like during the time your story is set.  What was the technology of the time?  What were the primary religions?  Was it an insult if a man wore a hat in a restaurant among other seemingly small things.  This is also good to figure out if you are writing supernatural books.  In one of the stories I am working on there is a ghost of a man who died in the 1920s so I have been asking myself questions such as:  What kind of slang was used?  What was the town like when he was alive?  What did he listen to for music?  What kind of vehicle did he drive?  And other things as they pop up?   Even with futuristic writing it is important to set up what the culture will be like.  This will take some creativity but having an idea what the culture is like that the characters are placed in will help the story to move along.

You may have to do some creating for non-human races such as vampires, zombies, and others. 

Fantasy writers especially can have a lot of fun with this.  You can create races right from scratch.  The Hobbits in J. R. R. Tolkien’s writings had their own little culture up in the Shire. 

Here is a list of things when looking into culture

          Government Style

          Most Widely used language and minor languages

          Religion and its influence on culture

          Various ethnic groups

          Modes of transportation

          Sources of entertainment

          Dress Style

          Food and drink

          Various jobs and occupations

          Money system (Bills, gold, silver, trade)

          Appropriate greetings (Handshakes, bowing, cheek kissing)

          Gender roles

          Education system

          How the military works

          Law and order – What is legal and what isn’t

          Taboos (What kind of things are rude and offensive)

Websites

http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/2010/08/11/the-best-sites-for-learning-about-the-worlds-different-cultures/

Cross Culture guide http://guide.culturecrossing.net/

Books that may be helpful (Affiliate Links):

World Cultures: A Global Mosaic, 5th Edition

Book of Peoples of the World: A Guide to Cultures

National Geographic People of the World: Cultures and Traditions, Ancestry, and Identity