Hell’s Bells and Bikers
By Maureen Bowden
My name is
Brian and I’m a demon. Until recently I lived on a
council housing estate in the scuzzier side of Hell, and
I was a member of The Bluds: The Beelzebub Legion of
So much for the bio. Here’s the story.
It was the night of the winter solstice when the Big
Man, Mephistopheles himself, gatecrashed our clubhouse
party. “I’m dreaming of a quiet Yuletide, just like the
ones I used to know,” he said, “and I don’t need
pandemonium disturbing my peace. How do you lot fancy
raising Hell in the mortal realm for a change?”
Pandemonium was something of an exaggeration, as there
were only six of us, but I didn’t care. I wouldn’t have
to listen to his paranoid hyperbole much longer. My
inner demon punched the metaphorical air and yelled,
“Yee-Haw!” This was my chance to get the Hell out of
there, and I didn’t intend to return.
Our president, Colin, pretending we had a choice, said,
“I’ll call a meeting with the brothers, and get back to
you on that.”
Big M, oozing sarcasm, said, “You do that.”
Arthur, Leslie, Trevor and Keith, had girlfriends:
Perdita, Desdemona, Lorelei and Beryl. Colin and I were
single and still looking. Arthur informed their ladies
of our forthcoming sojourn up above. Noticing the
glances that passed between them, I suspected that this
was the best news they’d had in centuries. Leslie, ever
the gallant, said, “You can come if you like.”
They replied in unison, like a well-rehearsed
girl-band, “No, you’re alright, lads. Off you go. Have
We manifested outside the Citizens’ Advice Bureau in
Leytonstone, which is somewhere in the vicinity of
London. Across the street, music blasted through the
open door of a large, early twentieth-century house. I
had undertaken extensive studies of human social
behaviour and popular culture in the western world, and
I recognised the music as Meatloaf’s Bat Out of Hell.
It seemed appropriate. On examining the building’s
exterior, I formed the opinion that it was a biker
clubhouse. A Che Guevara poster hung in the window, and
a life-size cardboard cutout of Cher, wearing a basque,
leaned against the porch. We crossed the street to
investigate further. I was right. An inscription above
the door read,
‘Sons of Chaos MC, founded 1956
Colin said, “Sounds like there’s a party going on.
“I wouldn’t advise it,” I said. “Ring the bell and
A snarling giant, as broad as he was tall, with
enough facial hair to stuff a duvet, answered our
summons. He said, “Who the Hell are you?”
tilted back his head, to meet the giant’s stare. “We’re
“Yeah, how did you guess?”
“The horns and tails are a dead giveaway.”
“We bring you season’s greetings from Hell.”
“Hang on, I’ll get the Pres.” He turned to walk back
into the house, revealing the ‘Sons of Chaos’ skull logo
on the back of his jacket, and his name patch:
We waited. Five minutes or so later the president came
to the door. He had a shaved head and a forked-tongued
reptile tattoo on his neck. He said, “You’re on our
turf, uninvited. Are you brave or stupid?”
Colin held out a bottle of ‘Dungeon Dimensions’ Gut Rot.
“We come bearing gifts,” he said.
The president took a swig and nodded. “You’re in.” He
offered his hand, “Snake.”
“Colin.” They exchanged the Presidents’ Handshake, and
we followed Snake inside. The lighting was dim, the
music was loud, the bikers were drunk. If you want more
description, make it up yourselves.
A metallic rumble from the hall rose to a roar. “What’s
that?” I asked Snake.
“Moxy, trying to ride his bike up the stairs. He does it
“Because they’re there. Didn’t you ever try it?”
“There aren’t any stairs in Hell, nor bikes. We don’t go
far enough to need them.”
“You need them now, Brother.” He slapped me on the back.
We’re planning a beach party a couple of miles away. The
Bluds can ride pillion if you’re up for it.”
We were up for it, and we had our first encounter with a
fleet of Harley Davidsons. Heaven couldn’t be as sweet.
The Sons lit a bonfire on the beach. We entertained them
by dancing in the flames as they boogied on the sand to
the sound, issuing from digital devices, of George
Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers. Arthur, Trevor
and Keith played air guitar with Moxy, Jango and Scouse,
while Groper and Mocker did moonies in the moonlight.
Colin was preoccupied, watching a slim, dark-haired girl
skinny-dipping in the cold sea.
Snake watched him watching her. “Her name’s Annie,” he
said, “short for Anarchy. She’s with Jango. He reckons
she’s some kind of goddess.”
“She’s that alright,” Colin said.
Annie emerged from the breakers, and Jango threw her a
towel. She strolled across the sand to join us, raised a
hand to Colin’s forehead and stroked one of his horns.
Smiling, she snapped it off. He yelped. She took a bite
out of it, chewed, and spat it out.
“I forgot to mention,” Snake said, “Jango also reckons
she’s a horn grinder”. Colin rubbed his fingers over the
stump. He had tears in his eyes.
“Never mind, Col,” I said. “You’ll soon be tooled up
again. It’ll only take a couple of millennia to grow
I found my own goddess dancing at the water’s edge with
mistletoe in her golden hair. “Hi, I’m Brian,” I said.
“I’m Harmony. You can call me Harm.”
I can recall very little of the beach party after I
placed myself in Harm’s way, but I remember the ride
back to the clubhouse. She had her own bike, and I sat
behind with my arms around her, lost in the humming of
Back at the clubhouse we imbibed large quantities of
‘Dungeon Dimensions’ special brew, mixed with a mortal
realm concoction, ‘Chaos Punch’. A fair percentage of it
was regurgitated as pools of puke, but nobody seemed to
mind. In the mellow hours the Sons passed around strange
inhalers that filled us with goodwill to all human and
demon kind, and in the Yuletide dawn we fell asleep.
The Bluds awoke about noon with a ringing in our ears.
Hell’s bells were calling us home. “Time to go,
Brothers,” Colin said, “but there’s one thing I’d like
to do before we leave. Could I have a cup of tea,
Snake called to Mocker, “Teas all round. Make it quick.”
He turned back to us. “He’s a prospect. Doesn’t have his
full patches yet. They have to be earned. He does
whatever we tell him.” I took note of this. It was
Mocker shuffled into the kitchen and a few seconds later
shuffled back. He said, “There’s a turd in the tea
Snake said, “Tea’s off. Anyone for coffee?”
While we sipped our Nescafe Gold Blend, I said to Colin,
“I’m not going back. I’m leaving the Bluds and staying
“Big M won’t be laughing.”
“If he wants me, he’ll have to come and get me.”
We had a brotherhood hug before they left; then they
went to Hell. I said to Snake, “Can I prospect for The
Sons? I want my patches, and I don’t care what I have to
do to get them.”
“Right,” he said. “Start by mopping up the puke, and
when you’ve done that, you can get rid of the turd in