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Spanish version: Toque Mi La
Cancion De La Muerte
French version: Le Sang Du
Matador Jaime Sublaran watches in
Huelva as a new torero, Xavier Cristo Cruz, fails miserably with his bull.
Evidently, Sublaran has demonic powers and is using them to cause the
failure of this young rival. When the torero fails to kill and the animal
leaves the ring alive, Cruz grabs a submachine gun from a Guardia Civil
and shoots himself in front of everyone. Sulblaran laughs wickedly at the
incident, relishing it, but is unaware someone has taken his picture, which will later
be reprinted everywhere and the horrified public repulsed. His own career ruined, Sublaran survives for two more years, until
he is gored through the face a la Manuel Granero and killed. After his
death, the stories abound of his involvement with demonic cults and a vow
to return from the grave as an antcristo taurino.
A quarter-century later, a group
of Americans rent out Sublaran’s massive mansion in Huelva for the
summer. The bill is footed by
professional wrestler, Dennis Flagstaff and his manager, one Freddie
Harmon, while his wife Patsy and her brother, Phil Cantron, tag along.
There is obvious resentment between Catron, a writer of modest income and
evident mental problems, and his bullying brother-in-law.
Catron starts to research the life of Sublaran for a book, but becomes
fixated upon and later subservient to Sublaran’s nature. People he interviews who knew the late torero and his
demonic influences end up being murdered after telling their tales. A
swordhandler and a gitana fortune teller both end up murdered, catching a
glimpse of their killer and seeing the face of Jaime Sublaran.
As far as Catron is concerned, the
house appears to be haunted. A painting of Sublaran in the study changes a
Gray, noises are heard in the house’s attic where Sublaran
finds bullfighting relics from the past that should rationally have been
moved out long ago and he dreams of dying in the bullring himself.
Dennis Flagstaff and Harmon
suspect something is wrong with Catron, but his sister will have none of
it, noting he has always been strange. Partly to get away from him, the
Flagstaffs spend more time outside the house, leaving Harmon and Catron
alone. They go to a bullfight together and halfway through the corrida,
Catron jumps into the ring,
mouthing that Sublaran lives again. He gets flattened by the bull and
taken to jail. After Harmon
bails him out, the tension continues to grow, as it is becoming obvious
Catron is being possessed.
At night, Harmon hears a noise in
the attic and goes to investigate, finding himself confronted by the ghost
of Jaime Sublaran, who kills him with a picador’s vara in the neck.
When he awakens, Catron finds a note from Harmon stating that he
has gone to Pamplona for a few days. He shows the note to Fkagstaff and
his wife. The former is suspicious, but the latter is not.
Flagstaff starts to trail his brother-in-law, following him to the
empty bullring where by
lantern light, he dances about pretending to fight a bull and dying like
Sublaran. Flagstaff goes back and waits in bed to confront his
brother-in-law upon his return. He does not hear him enter the house. He
does, as Harmon before, hear a noise in the attic. Leaving his sleeping
wife, he grabs a candlestick to use as a weapon and investigate, somehow
certain Catron has slipped in
In the attic, Flagstaff sets the candlestick down and investigates
a body propped in a rocking chair, to find it is that of Freddie Harmon.
He turns to see Jaime Sublaran holding the candlestick and is subsequently
knocked senseless with it. He wakes up propped against the wall, where
Sublaran, leering at him drives a banderilla through his eye and into his
brain, pounding his head like a grotesque plunger as he does.
The next morning, Patsy awakens and queries with her brother, who
is at work in the study, writing the books and has just finished an
uncanny set of flashbacks revealing just why there is so much disfunction
within the family. It also reveals why he would be such a likely candidate
to be possessed by Sublaran.
Catron taunts his sister about not going into the attic and like a fool, rather than go for the police, she does just
that. There, she finds the
bodies of her husband and his manager, turns to find herself confronted by
Sublaran and reaching for him, finds her fingers in contact with rubber.
The killer is wearing a Jaime Sublaran mask. She pulls it off and no big
surprise there, but Phil Catron is the one doing the killing.
The two struggle and Patsy falls down the attic steps, knocking
herself out. When she comes to, she finds her brother leering over her,
with a set of bull horns in his hands. He informs her they have all been
picked as sacrifices to bring Sublaran to life and kills her with these
horns. It is at this point the story takes an uncanny series of twists.
Now totally mad, Catron drags the body of his sister back up to the
attic, then takes the massive painting of Sublaran from the wall, bringing
it up to his bedroom. There, he carries on a conversation with the
picture, revealing he has simply used the Sublaran story and the bit about
returning from the grave as a ploy to add fear to his sister, kill the
others and gain revenge. He has no fear as to whether or not he will get
away from the scene, but simply relishes in his revenge in spite of
It is then he notices the painting has real eyes, staring at him.
Gradually, the painted figure turns to flesh and blood and frees himself
from the painting. He hears bullring music from outside the attic door and
the wild cheers of the crowd. Sublaran now stands before him with a sword
and Catron screams in terror.
Catron’s scream jolts him back to reality. He is alone in the
house and there is no ghost. Laughing at his own delusion, Catron rises,
still dressed in the bloody torero costume and opens the bedroom door,
telling the painting a fond “Adios.”
There, blocking his exit, stands Jaime Sublaran, his face an
expression of demonic delight. He has indeed returned from the grave.
The story winds down as the maid coming in for weekly cleaning,
finds the body of Phil Catron pinned to the bed, a sword through his chest
and his ears hacked off, which have been placed in front of the painting
of Sublaran. Did Catron go mad, kill himself and cut off his own ears
before driving the sword into his own chest or was he in fact, murdered by
this antichrist of the bullring?
The maid screams and turns into the hall where she notices the
attic door, which had been shut before, is now open ...
The book is available from the author in the USA direct, for those
interested in English copies. Go to http://www.myspace.com/playmethesongofdeath.
The author may also be contacted about ordering information at PierDal@netscape.net.
Once these copies are gone, the author plans to put the book on http://www.lulu.com.
For those speaking Spanish, there is a Spanish version already up
titled Toque Mi la Cancion De La Muerte and may be found by logging Dale
Pierce into search at http://www.lulu.com.