A Deal With the Devil

  • “A” Characters: Elle Artier, Victor Machavello, Nancy Stillbourne, Stephan Kline
  • “B” Characters: Captain Roy Kandinski (Homicide Unit), Detective Christine Jackson, Detective Jake West
  • The Witnesses: Karen Green (Red Hills Publishing), Dr. Conor Rice, Anna Starr, Marriena Machavello
  • The Opposition/Antagonists: Trevor & Macey Speck, Allen & Carolina Munchaus, the “devil” (this is the overall metaphor of the novel; peaked with iconized religious imagery & symbolism relating to drugs, specifically xanax and cocaine)

Elle awakes in a dingy motel room one very early morning in the dead of winter. The snow is covering the busy city streets of Newark and at first, she hasn’t the slightest idea where she is, what happened the night before (specifically the amount of pills and blow she consumed), strangely, she felt as though she should be at home with her – what to call him? Boyfriend? Significant other? Labels being so tedious – at the very moment she woke up. Her eyes adjusting to the light, her eyes meet that icy dead stare of her best friend, Nancy. Anna Starr, Nancy’s “friend with benefits” (of all sorts – a very love/hate situation) is dead in the bathroom, appearing to have had some sort of reaction or great battle with something unknown at the time. Without a moment’s hesitation, Elle is out the door and in her car, off, fleeing away from the cold glares of dead girls in motel rooms.

Meanwhile, somewhere else in the great city of Newark, two detectives saunter into headquarters to start their ever-so exciting day. And even still elsewhere, Victor wakes with a start and is panic-struck, but for a seemingly unknown reason.

And thus begins A Deal With the Devil.

If I could choose a soundtrack for this opening sequence, that is to say if this were a screenplay instead of an opening sequence to a novel (and only a summary at that), I would have to say I would go with the first minute & a half of the title track of Otep‘s House of Secrets. For those who haven’t heard this track (which I suspect you probably have not) it’s a ghostly song that reminds me of the wild west or even a ghastly/grisly scene in Blood Feast. It’s just insanely creepy. The lead singer’s voice sounds almost hollow and ethereal, all at once. After that minute & a half (that should cover the waking of Elle and initial discovery) I would fade the track to a brief silence and jump right into the heavy beat and bass of “Cocaine Sex” by Nocturne. That song, oh that song, makes you feel as though you’re about to be ripped to pieces. The lead singer’s voice smashing and trashes around the hard hitting bass and beat in the background. If shattering glass could sound pleasant …

Cut to the scene of the two lone detectives bracing the icy cold streets after a rude and uncomfortable taxi cab ride to the station house. I think a simple piano, something dramatic like Scorsese would use, maybe; Victor can wake in silence, he isn’t the best of characters after all. Oh wait, you don’t know that yet. Ha.

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