Trouble befell a local wedding this afternoon after guests spotted a known Alan Wake fan slipping the DJ a $100 bill, sources report.
“I wrote it, it’s my fault,” said Sam Poole, Best Man to the groom and longtime friend of the fan in question. “I sent a last-minute email asking if my buddy Remy wanted to come to Emil’s wedding with me, you know, as my plus one. I knew the risks. I knew he had just finished Alan Wake II. I knew he followed Ilkka Villi on Insta. But I still let it happen.”
“Now Remy, he’s a stand-up guy, don’t get me wrong,” continued Poole, who claims to have witnessed the moment his friend palmed a $100 bill to the DJ as part of an awkward handshake. “Kind of introverted, kind of twitchy; a little more Thomas Seine than Tom the Poet, if you get my meaning. I didn’t take him for a big music guy, so I was a little surprised when I saw him sidling up to the DJ with a look of yearning in his eyes so intense I had to immediately reassess Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. I remember thinking, what song could possibly be worth $100 anyway? But then, like a jump scare of a bald man screaming at you, it hit me.”
The DJ working the wedding, who goes by the stage name In-Zayne, said he didn’t know what to expect from the guest’s song, but that such requests—along with the welcome tips—are far from unusual.
“‘Herald of Darkness’ sounded like a pretty normal song,” said In-Zayne, admitting he had not watched the 2024 Video Game Awards and in fact did know video games were trying that hard. “I figured, what’s the harm? If it’s three minutes of thrash metal or something, that’s just three minutes out of hours of skillfully curated beats and jams. It couldn’t possibly change the entire trajectory of a wedding party.”
“So I put the song on, and I won’t lie, it’s weird right away,” the DJ continued. “I’m talking three different singers in the first twenty seconds. At one level there seems to be an interview taking place, and above that we have a kind of one-man Greek chorus narrating overtop. Then there’s a lot of extremely specific stuff I can’t parse and some slant rhymes that call into question the very nature of what it means to rhyme. I’d never heard anything quite like it, and I’ve gotten some weird requests over the years. But you know what? It slapped. God damn. It slapped! I was actually sad when the guitar riffs started to fade and I knew this strange music, this spiraling tapestry of a song, was coming to an end. Or rather, that’s the first of three times I thought it ended. The damn thing is thirteen minutes long.”
While initially confused about the song, as well as the biographical information it seemed keen on imparting, sources reported a noticeable shift in opinion from guests by the time the second chorus came around, with many partygoers taking to the dance floor for the first time that afternoon.
“I don’t know what it is about that song ‘Herald of Darkness’,” said newlywed Emil Porretta. “Is it the narrative and vocal layers? The unabashed camp? The lyrics that make almost no sense when you see them written down? Whatever it is, it hits like a flare in the mouth. I immediately went to ask the DJ for the artist, but he just shook his head and pointed me to Remy, who was doing toe tap warm-ups and spinning around in medical distress on the dance floor. I tried to help him, but he just kept saying it was ‘The Dance’, that we should all be doing ‘The Dance’. Whatever ‘The Dance’ was, I’ll admit it looked great in this one, extremely specific context, and presumably nowhere else.”
“God, was it really thirteen minutes? Felt like a lifetime,” continued Porretta, stone-cold sober save for the echo of guitar strings reverberating through his blood like Norse lightning. “When it was over, we’d just put it on again. I don’t know how many times it played. We had everyone singing ‘Show me the Champion of Light’, followed by the orgasmic release that comes from ‘I’ll show you the Herald of Darkness’. The wife and I even slow-danced during the sad part where the writer drowns his wife or something, then we all got back to it for the sexy self-aware jazz bit with the snapping toward the end. I have to remember to thank Sam’s buddy Remy. When I first met him I thought he was a little strange, but he’s actually a lot like Alan Wake, you know? Just a lonely, intense guy with drug problems that never get addressed and an outfit like a turducken. I didn’t think it was possible to wear a tweed coat over a parka over a hoodie to a summer wedding, and unless Remy recovers from his heatstroke-induced coma, I have yet to stand corrected.”
At press time, sources confirmed the Alan Wake fan had been successfully roused from a three-day coma using a technique doctors described as “playing that awful ‘I Told You I’m A Psycho’ song on loop” until the patient simply got up and left on his own accord.