Suzie Tremors and the Barbarians of Speed

Chapter Four

Ken Preston

12 February 2024

An illustraation of an angry punk woman screaming into a microphone.

You got any more of that coffee?

And a cigarette, you got a cigarette?

Yeah, that’s better. It’s like, I just got to keep warm, you know? Look at me, I’m shivering.

Suzie played her first gig the next night with her new backing band. These guys, they were identical, like they were triplets. They towered over Suzie, and their instruments looked like toys in their massive hands. The one on electric guitar, I couldn’t work out how he could play that thing. His fingers were like fat sausages, you know, like the skin was ready to burst.

The bassist was the same, and the drummer hulked over his kit, looked like he could destroy it just by sneezing.

And their eyes, man, their eyes were black, like a doll’s eyes.

But when they started playing, when that first electric scream cut through the room, and the feedback swallowed it up, hard enough to burst eardrums, and then looped back down into a dirty growl that wormed its way into the pit of your stomach until you thought you were gonna shit yourself, yeah, that was it, that was when Suzie Tremors and the Barbarians of Speed announced themselves to the world.

Suzie screamed and wailed into her microphone, and her Barbarians carried her with that evil bass beat, and the drummer smashed his kit like he was murdering it. There couldn’t have been more than fifty kids crowded up against the stage. They’d come ready to mock Suzie, to hate her and abuse her like they always did.

Instead, they worshipped her.

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