By David Eveleigh
Copyright 2016 David Eveleigh
“Efeu” is an open source character created by David Eveleigh. She may be used by anyone, for any purpose, totally free of copyright, under the sole condition that the work featuring her is accompanied by this paragraph. Feel free to use her as you see fit. Just make sure she doesn’t start using you.
Dedicated to Michele Lee and Gail Simone, who disillusioned me with everything that they stand for. Once, I aspired to win their approval. Now, I dream of being personally responsible for their nightmares.
“What is the essence of Atlantean art? I asked myself this question after a visit to a gallery today. To us, Mother Nature provides a perfect model. Thus, we have an objective standard of beauty to which we constantly strive. However, the surface world does not follow our lead. It did once upon a time, but not since the Untergeist, the spirit of weakness, convinced it that modernism equals progress. It instead places value only on the financial considerations of the work. If it sells, it is good. As a result, their art is forced to appeal to all that is low and base; sexuality, barbarism, degeneracy, faux intellectualism and even the scatological.
The surface dwellers cannot see the beauty which surrounds them at every moment and choose to see only the perverse. Thus, that is what they place value on. Their art is a poison, justified by buzzwords such as ‘edginess’, ‘grittiness’ and ‘innovation’. They do not create. They only deconstruct in an effort to find the next marketing hook. Try this as an experiment: Look at any piece of Greek or Roman sculpture, then spend a moment studying such ‘masterpieces’ as Picasso’s ‘Les Demoiselles d’Avignon’ or Matisse’s ‘The Dance’. Now tell me which is more deserving of being displayed in a museum.
What is the essence of Atlantean art? The enrichment of life through the creation of beauty.
What is the essence of the surface world’s art? Vice sells.
Even in music, this analysis rings true. I wonder if the brains of the surface dwellers are even built to withstand the psychic energy which our melodies produce. I’m certain that the mere sound would drive them insane.”
-Translated from Efeu’s private journals
It was the music. That’s what drove me to it. Why else would I have wanted to commit murder? I had everything I could have dreamed of. A successful music career. More groupies than my libido could handle.
And, of course, the fans.
I lived for their applause. For their adoration. Their love. I read every piece of fan mail with care, basking in the glow of their reverence for me and my brother. He was my partner in crime. We were a duo, inseparable to the end. Shavar had a thicker skin than I did. Whenever we received a piece of hate mail, as all celebrities inevitably do, he had a far easier time of letting it slide.
But not me.
Especially not this time.
I do not know who sent the letter. It arrived the day after Lady Gaga’s murder, which I’m sure you’ve read all about in the tabloids. The sender had sprayed it with bitter almond perfume and signed her name “Efeu”. I think it’s a German name, but I could be wrong. It consisted of a single sentence.
“Lady Gaga was just the opening act, you are the feature presentation.”
It sent chills up my spine just to read those words. Shavar was not concerned though. He waved the threat away and retreated to his hotel room to prepare for the night’s show. But I was haunted by it and I shall tell you why.
There were other bands out there. Bands who strove to create beauty. Compared to them, my brother and I were a sham. Our voices were autotuned, our music was purely electronic. Even our show that night was just an opener for Hatsune Miku, a damned cartoon character for Christ’s sake. But our faces were pretty, so they made money for the music label.
In a sense, we were killing the music.
What if the music had now decided to kill us?
I paced around my hotel room and tried to relax myself. I had a stash of heroin with me, but I was trying to save it for after the show. However, I knew it would calm me. I was just about to dip my hand into that cookie jar when there was a knock at the door. I froze, wondering if Efeu might be on the other side. I slid the lock aside and peeked out. I was greeted by a bellboy with a parcel in his hands.
“Package for you sir,” he said. I sighed in relief and let him in. He was a young fellow, blond, with a stick of bubblegum in his mouth. He handed me his burden, then disappeared out the door as suddenly as he had appeared.
I held the mysterious package and studied it closely. There was no return address, no sign of who had sent it.
Except for the smell.
My hands shook as I tore the paper off. Inside was an iPod, pre-programmed with a playlist called Efeu’s Party Mix. I pressed play and was met immediately with the sweetest music I’d ever heard. The melody cannot be described. The instruments were totally unknown to me. But it touched me in a way that no other music had ever done before nor has ever done since. It sent a fissure through my brain. Nothing I’d created could hold a candle to it. I felt ashamed. I wanted to wreck everything I’d made and start anew, with this new music as my muse and standard.
For the first time in my life, I felt truly creative.
An artist of destruction.
I picked up my phone and called my brother.
“Hello?” He answered.
“Shavar,” I said in a voice that I never knew I’d had, “it’s time to face the music.”
I placed the iPod next to the receiver and gave him a taste of true art. Within seconds, I heard him choking, as if being forced to swallow a bitter pill.
“Let’s pump up the volume, shall we?” I said. I played it louder and listened to his agonized cries. He screamed as though his entire world were coming apart.
My brother proved unable to withstand the power of the music. They found him dead in his hotel room with blood leaking out of his ears. The coroner thinks it was drugs, but I know the truth. I killed him with a melody that his mind could not handle.
That night, I took to the stage as a solo act. It was Judgement Day for the fans. Their moment of truth. I held my new iPod up to the microphone and let them hear Efeu’s Party Mix.
It took twelve blood-soaked hours for the police to quell the riot which followed.