Night comes down on the parking lot; deserted, overrun with weeds, lying in a long forgotten outer salient of the city. Two opponents of conflicting ideologies descend on its runnel-ridden concrete, with scores to settle and reputations to enhance. A beam of moonlight shoots through the shattered roof and illuminates the small circle which will be their staking ground. Containment pillars act as mute sentinels to the dispute that is to follow, and a winter wind rustles through the dark and hidden recesses but there is no other sentience here tonight.
Goregrind is first on the scene. He is in his early forties and balding with a beer belly in bloom. He is wearing flannels over a faded Last Days Of Humanity shirt, shorts, and scuffed, white-soled Converse sneakers. There is a shiver in his bones and a bemused expression on his face; he doesn’t particularly want to be here this night, away from his wife and kid, and their traditional weekend movie marathon – they were watching Don’t Look Now when he left – but an internet altercation has escalated out of all proportion and has now become a matter of pride. He realizes that he has the faith of a thousand unsungs to vindicate and this faith has finally stirred him out of his indifferent slumber.
He reaches the pre-decided spot and looks around for leverage points. There are few of those but he does notice an upended garbage can in the corner with its ancient innards spilled out on the floor. Goregrind walks over to scope out if there are any weapons he can retrieve from the waste but there isn’t so much as a broken shard of beer bottle to be found.
“BLACK FLAMES OF CHAOS!”
A roar bellows out of nowhere, starting Goregrind from his surveyance. He looks around shiftily, and sees an imposing figure in silhouette against the entrance to the parking lot. The figure’s head is tilted up at an angle, and his right hand is held out with fist clenched. He holds this pose for a minute, then, with pose intact, starts marching towards Goregrind.
War Metal has arrived.
Both now stand opposed to each other like two pugilists. Goregrind appears more like a pugilist gone to seed, however; a retired pugilist if you will. War Metal, on the other hand, is in peak physical condition; he wears his hair aggressively cropped, and his barrel chest and hulking shoulders show signs of many an hour spent in the gym. He is wearing black sunglasses, something Goregrind finds inexplicable at this late hour of night. He is clad in black otherwise too; a black Blasphemy hoodie sits on top of black jeans tucked inside combat boots.
At least he’s dressed well for the weather, Goregrind muses.
Each stares the other down. War Metal’s hand is still extended with fist shut tight. Goregrind considers this an opportunity to break the ice, and extends his own in cordial greeting. Immediately, War Metal recoils and crosses his arms with a smirk and an expression of utmost disdain on his face.
“Ohh-kay, then!” Goregrind says, holding up his hands. “Just trying to be friendly, you know?”
“I am not friendly with unelitist scum who know not the way of war and bestiality,” War Metal replies.
“Come on, bro, we’re not online anymore. You can cut out the posing now and talk normally. No need to walk with a stick up your butt,” Goregrind tries to placate his implacable adversary.
“I’ll show you stick up your butt, faggot!” War Metal growls and bullrushes Goregrind MMA-style, lifting him clean off his feet and pinning him against the pillar behind. He then manoeuvres him into a guillotine choke hold and shouts at the skies:
“FEEL MY GUILLOTINE CHOKE OF WAR!”
Goregrind feels himself turning blue in the gills but manages to stutter out some words in a reedy voice: “OK, you want to play rough, I get it. But we are here to have a civil discussion. I see that civil isn’t happening, but can we at least have the discussion?”
“I refuse to acknowledge vermin like you!” War Metal says, tightening the screws on Goregrind’s neck.
“Ack, OK. Umff, I’m going to ask them anyway.”
War Metal simply lifts his head and free hand up to the heavens. His fist is clenched, as should be obvious by this point.
“Yeah, that! Why do you always have to stare over and above people’s heads?” Goregrind questions through gasps for air. “Why not simply look people in the eye, man?”
“That is to signify my contempt for sheep mankind. It is a symbol of my arrogant supremacism!” War Metal replies passionately.
“Ok. But what’s with the sunglasses, then?” Goregrind continues his interrogation.
“Ignorant rat! The sunglasses shield my eyes from the glorious sun when I look at the skies!” War Metal, indignantly.
“But it’s night now, man,” Goregrind probes further.
“Hmm yes, well, so it is,” War Metal says doubtfully. “But the great Father War Sun never sets on his warrior!” he adds, recovering his momentum.
“I see. That’s deep, man. But why are your fists always shut tight?”
“It shows my enthusiasm for the Social Darwinism project!” War Metal enthuses, shaking his raised fist in the air.
“Social Darwinism, my ass, dude,” Goregrind snorts derisively amidst choking sounds. “My friend teaches philosophy at the University and he has real Social Darwinist views when he’s outside school. If he ever met you, your ass would be the first to go into the ovens,” he explains.
War Metal rubs his chin thoughtfully for a few moments, then replies as if the proverbial light bulb has gone on above his head, “Aah, but does he listen to Tyrant Goatgaldrakona?”
“No, but he does like some Sibelius and Dvorak,” says Goregrind.
“UNTRUE, WIMP, LAMB POSEUR! This music is only for the true and the loyal! If you are false, do not fucking entry!” War Metal erupts violently. He easily scoops up Goregrind by the leg, raising him on his shoulder in a suplex position. Goregrind tries to gouge out his eyes which leads to War Metal groaning in blind agony; stumbling wildly, with Goregrind still perched on his shoulders, he staggers to where the garbage can lies knocked over, and dumps Goregrind on his back.
Goregrind sees stars as he gropes around in the filth and grabs a fistful of the first thing that he happens upon. As War Metal pulls him up by the scruff of his collar, his vision repairs itself and he sees that he’s holding a wad of old, stained tampons in his hand. A sudden surge of adrenaline from his younger years jolts through his veins in that instant, and he turns around to face his nemesis with a look that makes War Metal feel a little wary for the first time.
With the grace of an adept, Goregrind delivers a swift knee to War Metal’s testes while simultaneously shoving the ball of tampons up deep into his nostrils. War Metal makes strange, gurgling sounds but Goregrind is relentless now; he takes the garbage can and brings it down hard on War Metal’s head in a blow that lays him low and near-unconscious.
Goregrind kneels down and rubs War Metal’s face in the muck. He takes off the other’s sunglasses and flings them away, and then asks him, “What does it mean, you dumb gorilla? All of it. War Metal. You. What do you believe in?”
War Metal grunts in pain.
“TELL ME!” screams Goregrind.
“Black..flames…of chaos,” blubbers War Metal with great difficulty. “Celebration of war and chaos! War metal is not about hiding in the forests and setting churches on fire.”
“It is about destroying the false and the pretentious! It is not about writing stupid two note tremolo melodies! It is about instilling chaos and the black flame! A fight to destroy all things impure and disguised under falseness! War metal is only for the few true who have understanding, and not for the fake who want another genre to fill up their plastic lives!” he concludes in a stupor.
Goregrind grimaces in disgust and slaps the back of his prone foe’s head. He says,”You stupid prick, do you know how pathetic you sound? I’ll give you the lowdown on which side’s up. You and I, we both like to make noise, but the difference between us is that I understand how ridiculous I am. And I roll with it and have fun with it!”
“You, for all your talk of destroying the pretentious, don’t seem to get it through your roid-skull that we both have NOTHING to offer musically to the world, not at this late date. I do my little thing as a tribute to gore and horror and punk and grind, and that’s it! I have no ideological delusions.”
“But you, you stupid oaf! You think you’re making a philosophical treatise on the nature of war but what you’re really being is a jackass, a simpleton, and a primadonna attention whore! Everything you have to say is wholesale, bargain-bin shit; hell, even the music you make is ripped straight off from grindcore! What is original about you, you bleeding sheep? Take off your glasses, unclench your fists, stare at the camera for once, and see the world for what it is! Fuck!”
War Metal has passed out by this time, tampons still sticking out from his nose. Repulsed, Goregrind gets to his feet. He unzips his shorts, takes out his penis, and takes a long steaming piss on the back of War Metal’s head. Then he walks away into the cold, dark night.