It was nowhere near as good as an electric guitar would've been. Toki Wartooth had decided immediately upon playing the instrument for the first time a few months ago that his ancient, beat-up guitar whose strings could barely stay in tune was much more than any electric guitar in the world. However, he had developed a fondness for the sorry guitar, since an acoustic guitar was better than no guitar at all. After all, playing guitar took him to a different place. He could pretend he was Tony Iommi or Jimmy Page, or anyone besides a lonely fifteen year old with abusive parents living in an abandoned village.
Toki bit his lip and started at his left hand moving across the neck as he played the opening riff of Black Sabbath's "Paranoid." His near-raw fingers plucked the strings as hard as they could, filling the empty house with twangy sound. His parents weren't home and his door hung open.
Toki would have never dared to even touch his guitar if his parents were home. Devout, strict Lutherans, they abhorred the idea of their son listening to any music besides the soft lull of hymns in church, especially heavy metal. Toki shuddered at the thought of what they would do to him if they found out about him playing metal on his guitar.
The burnette furrowed his brow and bit harder on his lip as the incident last week flashed through his mind. He had been sitting in the chair in the corner of him room, staring out at the snow outside his window with an open Bible sitting in his hands. He wasn't sure if he believed in what the book said, but he had been hearing the words it contained innumerable times over the years, and they held a sort of comfort for him.
The sounds of footsteps caused him to look up, where his mother, clad all in black, stood, a record in her hand. Toki felt something catch in his throat. It was Ozzy Osbourne's "Blizzard of Ozz," where on the cover the singer sat on the floor, looking crazed, a cross held above his head. He remembered laughing with some of the boys in town about how much offense his parents would take to the cover if they ever found the record.
"This is yours," she said, no hint of questioning in her voice. Her cold eyes bore into him, filling him with guilt even though he knew he didn't do anything wrong.
"I-" was all he could manage to get out before his mother cut him off.
"You know this is the Devil's music," she spat, now standing right in front of him. "You listen to this, and yet you sit there and read the Holy Book. Hmph! Little hypocrite." Her hand flashed out from the dark fabric of her dress like a talon and grabbed his arm. She pulled him up and dragged him out of his room.
I could fight back, he thought numbly, I'm stronger than she is. But he did nothing, being pulled along by his mother into the main room, speechless and limp like a rag doll. His father stood by the fireplace, tall and imposing, with Toki's entire collection of records in his arm. While he was staring up at his father, his mother pushed him into a chair and began binding his wrists and ankles to the arms and legs of the chair with rope.
"I thought you were on the right path," his father began, his voice thundering over the wood crackling in the fireplace. It was the same voice he used for his hellfire-and-brimstone sermons. "All your life, I tried my hardest to make sure you lived a holy life, following the word of the Lord. I thought you knew what was right, and yet I find this collection of the Devil's music in your room." He punctuated his sentence by tossing the first record in the stack in the fire. He went on talking, periodically tossing another record into the flames.
Toki sat completely silent, hands balled into fists with his fingernails digging deep enough into his palms to draw blood. Angry tears ran down his face. He felts as small and helpless as he did when he was six, and his parents made him sit shirtless in the snow, his bloody back bared to the freezing wind. He'd consequently been denied dinner for the next three days for having "the Devil's music" in the house, but felt that the loss of his music and the acrid scent of the burnt plastic and cardboard was more miserable than the hunger gnawing at his stomach had been.
He slammed his hand down across all six strings of his guitar, then muted them with his palm. Toki had been thinking as hard as he could, and he still couldn't conceive why heavy metal was the devil's music. The bands may have used upside-down crosses and pentagrams on record covers and referenced religion in lyrics, but that was just to shock people- people like The Reverend and Anja Wartooth. The music itself didn't make Toki feel sinful though, it made him feel good. Alive.
If only I could tell them that, he mused, staring at the torn skin on his fingertips, and ask them why it's the music of the devil. The Bible never said anything about it, I think. He briefly chuckled out loud. If I told Father all that, he'd call me blasphemous and make me sleep in the snow.
Toki decided to just stop thinking, since all he was doing was dragging his mind in circles. He took a deep breath and started playing "Paranoid" again, mumbling the lyrics, even though they were in English and he had no idea what Ozzy Osbourne was singing about.
The door to the house clicked, then opened, letting a blast of frigid air inside. Feet stomped against the doormat, crunching snow from boots. Toki didn't notice his parents were home from church until he looked up and saw the two pale faces wreathed with black in his doorway. He thought they looked like Death.
"We thought you learned your lesson," his mother said, sounding much too calm. It was frightening; Toki had learned that the calmer his parents sounded when he was in trouble- whatever that trouble may be- the worse the punishment would be. He gulped and dropped his hands from the guitar. Pricks of heat crawled up the back of his neck, and a knot began tying itself in the pit of his stomach. Whatever happened, it was going to be bad.
"Put it down," his father told him, also sounding eerily calm. Toki didn't want to, but he complied, and set the instrument down beside him, as if his father's words were puppet strings.
His heart was like thunder in his ribcage. I didn't do anything wrong. I didn't do anything wrong. I didn't do anything wrong. I didn't-
"I didn't do anything wrong," Toki murmured feebly, looking down at the scratches on the wooden floor.
"Look at your parents when you speak to them, Toki," came his mother's voice. He looked up, and saw his parents wearing identical stern expressions of something between anger and disgust.
"I didn't do anything wrong," he said again, voice slightly louder. "Where in the Bible does it say that metal is the Devil's music? Everything I've ever done is the Devil's this or the Devil's that to you. That," he pointed in the direction of the Bible on his bookcase, "is supposed to be about loving your neighbor and doing the right thing. That's what I was told since the day I was born, and you just use it as an excuse to beat me until I bleed!" His voice had been steadily growing louder, and now he was screaming. "You're both fucking liars!" He punctuated the sentence by standing up, grabbing the Bible, and chucking it in the direction of his father. It hit him square in the chest and fell the the floor with a thud and a fluttering of pages. He then ripped the cross above his bed out of the wall and threw it on the floor.
For a moment, it was absolutely silent. The only thing Toki could hear was his pulse pounding in his ears. The tension was suffocating. "Blasphemous little bastard," the Reverend growled, giving Toki a look that could've killed. He reached for the guitar on the bed.
"No! No, don't do it! I'm sorry, Father! I didn't mean it, and I'll go to confession and I'll-" Toki yelled, lying out of desperation. Anything but his guitar.
Crack. His father brought the guitar down over his knee.
Toki winced as he saw the neck break off from the body and as he heard the wood splinter and the strings whine. The two pieces of the guitar hit the floor. His mother stepped on the body, and that too broke under her foot. His ticket out of Lillehammer was destroyed before his eyes.
"I hate you!" Toki shouted, hands curling up into fists. "I hate you more than anything in the world!" He was face to face with his father now. "I wish I'd never been born! Being dead would be better than living in this God-forsaken hellhole with you!" Toki didn't feel like himself. It was like the blood of some Viking berserker ancestor had come to a boil inside him. "I'm leaving!" he growled, lip still curled up in a snarl. He grabbed his backpack off the coathanger by the door of his room. "I never want to see either one of your fucking faces again." He was halfway through the front room now.
"There's going to be a blizzard," his mother said, not sounding concerned for her son in the slightest. "You'll freeze to death."
"It's not like I haven't slept in the snow before!" Toki shot back before he slamming the door to the house.
He ran for as long and as fast as his legs could carry him. The cold winter air stung his eyes and the snowflakes that had been falling felt like needles against his skin. He had no clue how far he'd ran when he finally collapsed in the snow. The soft white powder was so cold against his hot skin that it felt like fire.
Toki was leaned up against a tree, breathing heavily. He unzipped his backpack and dumped its contents onto the snow. He had some money, enough to get him food for a few days, some random pages of guitar tabaliture, and his teddy bear. A few weeks ago, he'd crudely sticked a devil tail onto its backside, just because he knew it would piss his parents off. He had hidden the bear in the backpack after doing so, just in case his parents decided to include ripping up the toy he'd had since he was a child in some sort of punishment.
That was all he had. He shivered as he gently tucked his belongings back in the bag. "I can work at the record store," Toki muttered, just to hear something besides his heavy breathing. "Once I get enough money, I'll buy an electric guitar and start the biggest metal band that ever existed. We'll tour the world, and the only reason I'd ever come back to Lillehammer is to knock on my parents' door, tell them my job is to play the Devil's music, and laugh when I see the look on their faces."
First Metalocalypse fanfiction, and first fanfiction I've written in forever. Toki's my favorite character in the show, so I decided to speculate a bit about his past.
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