It’s 11am in the morning day before the concert a young woman 32 years in age pulls up to a nice modest hotel in Sunny Sacramento California. Her tan car vibrating from the loud music playing. Opening the door as she is grabbing her purse “From the Pinnacle to the Pit” just ends and the intro to “Cirice” begins just as she shuts off the ignition withdrawing the keys. Swiftly clipping her keys to her belt loop as she shut the door. The Fall sun intensely beating down on her tender flesh. A soft hiss emanates from her slender lips as she pulls her hood up forcing her thick braid over her left shoulder taking one last look in her car and locked the door. Making a beeline as her tender skin was sizzling or at least that’s how she felt. She bolted into the air-conditioned building pulling off her sunglasses her hazel eyes adjust thankfully quick to the fluorescent lighting. Thankfully there wasn’t a line she stepped to the front counter she got her credit card out and her driver’s license ready and when asked she provided both. “Raven Sonja,” the clerk said pleasantly but is cut off before uttering her surname. “Yup,” Raven stated thoughtfully “I was worried I would miss the check in time with all the last-minute errands I had to run before the big show tomorrow”. Her attention turned from the paintings on the wall back to the pleasant clerk vaguely aware a group of six men approaches her from behind waiting to also check in. The receptionist noticing the large group behind her current customer she smiles politely though somewhat unnerved by their appearances. After receiving her credit card and ID back she signed the receipt then signed the guest book with her artist signature instead of her legal name, she was here “incognito” of course. She walked out after receiving her key and putting her wallet back in her purse she groans in dismay having to go out in the sun again. She parked as close as she could to the entrance closest to her room and proceeded to haul her luggage up to the 6th floor. She didn’t even bother to check what room number she has been assigned. As she set her luggage down into the elevator and pushes the number 6. She opens the flap looking down and instantaneously bursts into maniacal laughter. The number on the door is 666. Gathering her things as she gets ready to exit as her floor is next. Opening her door and lugging her stuff through the threshold. “Boohoo this room doesn’t feel any different” she snickered bemused with her luck not that she was really expecting the room to feel any different. After all, 666 to her is nothing more than a number that is surrounded by a bunch of idiotic superstition.
Back down in the lobby Ghost in full uniform and their tour manager check in, the one called Omega idly scans the guest book noticing Raven’s Sigil signature. He was tired as fuck from the photo shoot for the ep and interviews and all that jazz. He just wanted to get some fucking sleep maybe get some swimming in before the next set of interviews that happen an hour before the concert tomorrow. Omega taking up a pen signing the guest book with his symbol showing it to the others especially Papa. After receiving their room keys they signed the guest book with obscure names much to Papa’s amusement. Their tour manager just rolled his eyes and signed his name. After which Papa did the same but stopped mid signing noticing the chaos sigil in the guest book. “Well, that’s interesting” Papa’s voice trailed off tilting his head to one side thoughtfully. “What’s interesting” inquired Alpha as he peered over Papa’s shoulder. The ghouls huddle around as Papa pointed out the sigil. “Oh, that... That’s what I was pointing out not the Ben Dover signature” Omega said somewhat dryly as he just wanted to get to his room. The others giggled. Immature sure but puns will never stop being at least somewhat amusing right? He was curious as well about the sigil but the urge for a shower and some sleep was far stronger. “Yeah I noticed that as I was scanning the guest book. I think it was the young woman in front of us.” He yawned behind his mask. “I think you’re right. We should find this woman. She intrigues me” Papa smiled his mismatched eyes glinted with lust filled mischief. After retrieving their bags Papa and the ghouls made their way to their rooms. Papa and Omega share a room 665, Alpha and Water share room 664, and Earth and Air share room 663. Normally Papa and Omega end up with their own rooms but there weren’t enough free rooms, but at least they were right next door to each other. Papa was first to hop into the shower despite Omega’s protests that he wanted to go first so he can get some shut-eye…. His shower suddenly was interrupted by the sound of a female singing. Her voice sultry but sweet like honey. He couldn’t make out the words she was singing. Papa finished rinsing off and wrapped himself in a towel drying himself off. He replaced his masked back on his face thankfully the skull paint had not smudged much in the process, and his clothes well he decided just to wear a bathrobe. “Fuck clothing for the rest of the day” he muttered as he had sweat is balls off despite it being Fall. Omega giggled in amusement as he pushed by Papa to take his turn in the shower. “I’m going to nose around next door, and hope to make the acquaintance of the source of that lovely voice. I hope her visage is just as lovely. “Papa whispered quietly. Omega just cocked his head to one side until he heard the lovely female voice. “What?... Oh, I thought that was your mp3 player” Omega whispered quietly. Papa had already dashed outside remembering last-minute to grab his copy of the key. He gently pressed his ear to the door marked 666 listening to only find the song had no lyrics it was only made of phonetic sounds kind of like a Gregorian chant. Suddenly from behind Papa heard a distinctly male voice speak just above a whisper “If she thinks for even a second that she has an audience she will stop.” Papa turns around to the tall man with slicked back hair that was dark looked either dark brown or black hair with blond highlights with a mask that covers from just under his eyes efficiently obscuring the rest of his face. It was studded and clearly made of leather. He was wearing all black leather as well except for his gloves. Taking a black glove off this mysterious man states just above a whisper “Forgive me. Where are my manners? My name is Jörn. I heard her sing for the first time a couple of months ago, and since then I’ve been trying to break her out of her shell and sing for an audience.” he nodded in greeting as he opened his hotel room door setting his belongings just inside the door.
Raven continues singing her song as she’s drawing idly passing the time waiting for the food she had ordered from room service to arrive. Upon hearing quiet voices, she stops mid-stanza and crept towards the door silently peeking through the peephole drawing a sharp breath seeing Papa just outside her door her eyes go as wide as saucers. Jörn sighs taps on her door pulling his mask loose from his face. “Raven I’m just letting ya know that I made it and I’ve got the room next door to you, number…... uh, 667", he sighed tiredly from his eight-hour drive. Raven opened the door as far as the chain would allow. “Cause you’re evil and then some” she gave him a cheeky grin. Jörn turns peering through the door at her now cocking his brow at her semi-confused, and Papa chuckles getting the joke. “Jörn, look at the number on my door I'm evil and you are staying in room 667 which makes you evil and then some” Raven giggled at him “Okay…you know I don’t buy into that shit” Jörn shakes his head slowly. “I know that and neither do I. I thought it was a funny joke” Raven giggles and shyly waves at Papa. “Come on out my dear and let me have a look at you.” Papa coaxed her gently nodding in greeting. Raven could feel her cheeks heat up. She noticed the tray with her lunch coming down the hall so she would have to open the door anyway. She drew a slow breath closing the door and undoing the chain then opening the door fully. “My my you truly are a vision of beauty” Papa licking his lips his casting his gaze subtly up and down appreciating her curvaceous form. “Thank you kindly Papa” she uttered shyly feeling him undress her with his eyes. she opened her mouth to say something but right then the cart with her food arrived. She held the door open for the young woman to bring in her tray, and set it on the round table by the sliding glass door. She thanked and tipped the young lady. She looked no more than 18, and she froze wide-eyed. “what’s wrong?” Raven inquired her head tilts slightly to one side. The girl she later found out was named Jamie scattered past her with the tip in hand darting around Papa and continued delivering other meals eager to get as far from that room as possible. Raven turned around seeing Papa had let himself into her room. She giggled “You scared the shit out of that poor girl you know. All though seeing you in a big fluffy house coat is hardly intimidating.” she teased. “I know my dear. We shall speak again later, but for now, I will leave you be so that you may eat” Papa smoothly rolled his r’s as he softly answered as he continued to stand leaning his weight against her door holding it open. She thanked him and he walked back to his room next door humming the tune to “He Is”. Bewildered at what just happened she watched as the door closed and she ate slowly and completely silent. Ignoring her phone that has been blowing up for the last few minutes. A knock on the door that joins her room to the one next door which startles her out of her thoughts. It was from the door connecting her room to room 667. Raven answered it finding a concerned Jörn on the other side because it is highly unusual for her to eat in silence let alone not answer texts. She explained who the man in skull paint is exactly. Jörn then confessed to catching Papa Emeritus outside her door listening to her sing. Raven’s face turns three shades of crimson before returning to normal figuring that’s why he wanted to speak with her later. Jörn teased her gently about having an admirer but warned her to be careful tomorrow at the show. “I will Jörn, you know I always am.” She gave her best cherub smile. “Okay just don’t do anything I wouldn’t” he called out as he went back to his room. “That doesn’t leave much on the don’t do list” she teased back and Jörn stuck his tongue out or at least that’s what she figured he was doing. “I’m going for a swim after dinner…Would you care to join me?” Raven smiled hoping he would join her. She pined for him and would shamelessly bed the man if he asked her. She rationed that he probably sensed it and is just biding his time or he is in a relationship with someone else. She wasn’t sure. Though, in all honesty, she thought about bedding Papa and the ghouls and how much fun that would be, but never thought she would get close enough to do so because you know everybody has their celebrity crushes. “Unfortunately, I won’t be able to take you up on such an offer Raven, but I have an important business meeting tonight that I can’t miss.” Jörn reluctantly declined her offer giving her a wistful smile from behind his mask and disappeared behind his room door. Raven finished her dinner in thoughtful silence. Stacking stuff back onto the tray she gingerly put it on the ground outside and to the left of her door for the staff to come and pick up later. She laid out the outfit that she would wear for her first ritual on the desk along with her mask. She contemplated for a bit and decided instead of wearing pants she would wear a short skirt. Satisfied with her choice she put on her Ghost bikini throwing on her midnight blue wrap dress that was sheer. She grabbed her favorite towel, her phone, room key, and slipped on a pair of flip-flops and meandered into the hallway that was silent and empty. She made her way towards the pool which was indoor with and an outdoor deck that was just down the hall and around the corner. Peering in through the small window on the door she uses her room key to unlock the door to the pool. Walking in silence a soft smile turns up the corners of her mouth as she is the only one in the pool area. Kind of odd given that this is the weekend and it was particularly difficult to obtain reservations even months ahead of the Ghost concert. An idle thought passed through her head that maybe it was because the band requested most of the hotel rooms for of course the band, crew members, the infamous harem of Ghost. She giggles at the thought dismissing it as ridiculous as she highly doubted that their crew was that large. There was a rumor flying around that Behemoth was going to make an appearance at this concert. She knew Combichrist was opening for Ghost, but wasn’t sure about Behemoth though. Laying out her towel on one of the lawn chairs in the back, she removes her wrap dress throwing her room key and phone on top of it then proceeds to fold the dress to keep her stuff together. Sluffing off her flip-flops she walks into the warm inviting water via the part that is supposed to imitate a beach. Swiftly and quietly streamlined through the water doing laps for a while. She submerges her head under the water she can hear the door open and feet shuffling across the floor.
Great, she thought, hoping it wasn’t some obnoxious asshole she has to deal with. Even though it’s 2016 some people had a bug up their ass about tattoos especial any sort of Pagan symbol. Reluctantly she came up for air. “Hi there” A familiar voice called to her from across the room. Her gaze shifted to the source of the voice to her shock and amazement it was Andy LaPlegua and the other guy she couldn’t see his face he was busy removing keys and all that jazz from his pockets. He had ear buds in and was nodding his head to the beat. Quietly he eases himself into the hot tub leaving his cell phone on the edge still nodding to the beat his back to them. Andy took his shirt off and shoes his stuff splayed across a nearby chair. “Hey there…” her voice trails off as she realized who greeted her. Andy did a cannonball into the pool behind her sending a wave of water over her head. She waited for him to pop back up before introducing herself properly. “Sorry, you just caught me a little off guard. I’m Raven by the way. I’m a huge fan of yours”, she giggled softly swimming on her back now facing away so she isn’t staring at him. She tended not to break eye contact when engaging in conversation, and most people for some reason find that highly unnerving. As she passed by him he grabbed her braid giving it a gentle tug, she squeaked in surprise. Andy laughed “I’m always happy to meet fans. I take it you’re here for the concert tomorrow then?” Andy said admiringly of how soft Raven’s hair is. “Yes I am. It will be the second time seeing you guys in concert actually. As for the other acts, I have never actually seen them live before. I’ve seen live videos but that is essentially different” She pondered quietly. “Well, that makes two of us at least, and Ghost from what I can tell gives one hell of a live show. No pun intended”. He leered. Raven splashed him as she swam away from him. He let her hair slip from his fingertips. He noticed her tattoos as she was swimming away. “Love the ink! I notice a lot of Scandinavian influences in it. Who’s your artist?” he inquired. “Jörn. He strictly does stick and poke style of tattooing. He’s based in Fredrikstad, Norway, but comes to the U.S. often. If you’re interested in getting ink done by him, I can get you in touch with him if you like”, Raven smiles as she exits the pool up the beach part her fingers beginning to prune. “That would be great.” Andy responded happily. Raven quickly dries herself off and gently unwrap her belongings before putting the dress back on. Unfortunately, I don’t have anything to write with or write on”, she looked to Andy questioningly to see if he had anything. The one time he forgot his cell phone. Shaking his head no. “Wait I have my phone with me. If you would like to give me your digits so I can pass it along to him. Stop by my room later and I can introduce you to him. He’ll be around later we are supposed to meet for dinner. I’m in room 666.” She gave him a wry smile as she gathered her phone and key slipped on her shoes. Andy obliged giving out his cell number before she sauntered out the door waving farewell. Andy watched her leave bemused wondering if he should bed her tonight as he felt his loins stir from beneath the cloth of his swim trunks. “If that is her intent.” He clicked his tongue thoughtfully continuing to swim.