Amaranth is for everyone who grows up dreaming of being a rock star...
It's 2099, and live music is dead. Only a few obscure bands have still survived the corporate takeover of FM radio, the internet, and all of "manufactured" music by corporations and conglomerates. Touring bands don't exist any longer due to the outrageous prices TicketFaster are charging. Only small club and garage bands still play just for the love of the music. (Original music is outlawed. Therefore these bands must hide to play live) Close to the color of raspberry, (the band's favorite group, The Raspberries) Amaranth is the 'synthetic' story of the world's most successful "all-girl" rock band in the wake of this corruption. The story of their rise and inevitable downfall is told from the POV of the only surviving radio DJ, Alethia Ulima, brave enough to battle the corporations. This DJ must be on the move 24/7 staying one step ahead of assassins) The main character, Alesha "Thunder" Justice, the lead singer, is rushed to the emergency room for an "apparent" overdose. Does she live or die? Does the band continue on in the wake of a tragedy that seems to be the end of the group? Join us in a wild ride sure to knock your socks off and kick out the jams. Can they revive the music as it was once heard around the world? Original songs and story are only available in the ninth Pseudoverse novel. Batteries, circuits, and molds not included...
This novel stars our main character, Alesha Justice, and a cast so rockin that it will take your ears days to recover from the decibels...
This is Amaranth...
"Dad, did you ever play music?”
Hesitating for a moment, he stopped the spoon dead in its tracks halfway between his bowl of soup and his mouth not expecting this question to come from his seven-year-old daughter, Alesha. Putting his index finger up to his mouth, he “shushed” her smiling. They continued eating their dinner staring at one another.
Bright eyed, intelligent, and very ambitious, Alesha would never take silence as an answer for very long and he knew it. After all, she was just a kid who knew nothing about days past when freedom of speech was taken for granted. Both knew that speaking in front of Robota would be the end for either one of them so she waited out this game of mental tug-of-war with her father, Jim.
The massive claw-like tips of his fingers extended out to touch her face. The razor-sharp talons of one hand were clutching something small, and it was dripping as the other hand stroked her young face. Looking up at the object Alesha reached out her seven-year-old fingers to grasp at the worn-out wooden quill pen. As quickly as it appeared, it was snatched away from her sight. His gruesome face appeared in front of her snarling wet black smoke from his nostrils. She jumped back, startled at the sight of his repulsive skeletal-like features stitched from a patchwork quilt of blood-soaked skin patches.
“Do you understand what I am asking of you?” His baritone voice reverberated in her head as the misty black fog rolled around her body.
“Yes,” she replied, shaking, staring at the wrinkled and burnt skin flaps hanging off his bones.
“What is your desire?”
“I want to be the best rock and roll artist in the world,” she replied with confidence.
“So it is written so it shall be done,” he told her, handing her the pen.
Clutching onto it, Alesha could feel the flesh in her palm getting hotter. She began to sweat profusely as a smoking piece of parchment paper was held up within an inch of her face. Trying to read the writing was impossible, as ancient Babylonian script was not one of her strong suits. The pen dripped crimson liquid as the smell of burning flesh wafted through her nostrils. “What does this say?” she asked with curiosity and fear in her voice.
“It says that you will be the greatest guitarist and singer in a world where music no longer exists. Now sign the paper I have another appointment with Mr. Johnson in fifteen minutes.”
The paper floated in midair in front of her face as she scribbled her name the best she could. The pen became so hot it dropped out of her hand. Clutching her burnt right palm with her left hand, he spoke one more time before disappearing.
“I will see you in twenty years, my dear―”
Standing in the middle of two intersecting dirt roads, she screamed a blood-curdling raspy shrill “help!” that echoed throughout the humid cotton fields. Alesha woke up sitting up in bed, sweating as if she had just caught the worst fever from unknown influenza within seconds.
A minute later, her father plowed into the room illuminating the lights kicking over a small trash can on his way to her bed. “What is going on?!” he asked, confused and upset. He searched the room for an intruder. An awful smell filled his olfactory senses as she held her hand crying. He sat down on the bed next to her and held onto her. Gripping him tightly, she rested her head on his shoulders as her salty tears dripped down her cheeks into her mouth.
“Dad, please don’t let go of me,” she begged.
“I would never leave you,” he told her, stroking her damp hair, “Did you have a nightmare?”
“Yes―something like that,” she told him as she stared at the five-pointed star sitting inside of a circle burnt into the palm of her right hand.
“We have done it before, and we will do it again.”
“Done what before?”
“We have taken care of business when the sales begin to drop off.”
“First of all what the hell are you talking about and who is “we”?”
“For over the last century, we have made sure that sales increase and continue to rise after an “accidental” death in a band. Particularly a lead singer is nice to get rid of when the shit hits the fan. We can stage a death, the fans mourn, and sales go up. Now we always like to wait until they are twenty-seven, or Saturn revolves around the Earth, but if we have to, we can do it around that age more or less. This keeps the conspiracy theorists swarming and the sales go up.”
“Are you crazy?”
“I didn’t start this trend. It has been going on ever since the rumors of Robert Johnson and the Crossroads. Shaking hands with the devil my ass. We have a lot of stock and money tied up in these bands. They are a product, nothing more.”
“So, you are telling me that you would kill off Amaranth to make a few bucks? They are the hottest thing to hit the music scene in over 150 years. They’re at the peak of their success. Are you nuts?”
“Like I said, we have been doing this since August 16th, 1938 and we will continue to do this for the sake of our stockholders.”
“Morrison, Joplin, Cornell, and all of the rest were—“
“—unfortunate accidents that happened because they were losing control of themselves. We put them out of their misery, and the company gets rich. It is just business. No one ever reads the fine print on the contracts—no one.”
"This is insane."
"You are either with us or against us. If you choose not to participate, well, I cannot be responsible for what happens next."