TRACKED: Amy Reese and the Beastie Boys' "Don't Play No Game That I Can't Win" (Prophet of Chaos)

My writing has always leaned on music. Whether inspiration, mood, or energy to keep me going through the many hours of drafting and editing, it can be an important force and fuel for what I do. These tracks in particular were especially crucial, helping me build or refine a character, a scene, or a whole story arc. 

The Track

Santigold is someone who always projects swagger and mystery. A subdued Beastie Boys provides a perfect backdrop for her to really shine. It’s the perfect backstory for telling the story of a minion that became more, who grew into a danger. This song talks about everything that eventually found its way into Amy. As much as she may be a minion, she’s a real operator. She’s someone who reads people, who knows danger, and who knows how to play the game. Most importantly, she knows how to play people, and has done so for as long as she can remember. She’s one part femme fatale, one part manic pixie nightmare girl, and that throbbing and distorted beat coupled with Santigold’s confident and shady lyrics fits her perfectly. 

The Character

A lot of people underestimate Amy. With her strange hairstyle, her vintage clothes, and the fiery tattoos covering her back and body, they mistake her for someone she’s not. She’s well aware of that, though, and she exploits it to the hilt. Amy’s spent most of her short adult life as a recruiter and operative for Hell. Seamlessly blending in with every disaffected subculture she can: geeks, hipsters, metalheads, and EDM writhers, she’s always able to find a few disgruntled souls to join her Reverend Matt’s Church of the Second Redemption. Sometimes it’s her words, sometimes it’s her attitude, and sometimes it’s her body that wins them over. As a skilled Acolyte of both Hell’s Lord Hate and Lady Lust, men and women alike can’t deny her allure and her talent for always saying the right thing when they’re at rock bottom. 

Amy sells freedom. She sells an end to a life trying to conform to society’s oppressive mores, unfair economics, and the bible-thumping political players trying to bring the world to heel under their precious “Good Book.” In the end, she sells a chance to upend that very society itself. Amy’s a revolutionary, ready to overthrow everything about the oppressive modern order she sees around her. She’s risen in the ranks of Matt Renault’s church to be his most trusted agent, a recruiter and a tactician who can make his visions into something real. And his visions and plans are about to come to fruition.

As Reverend Matt’s plans slide into place, she just needs to grab one more enchanter to finish their greatest weapon. She’s even got Ryan Fletcher, a Defiler of Hell, along with her for the ride. Too bad that enchanter’s being protected by one of Limbo’s most dangerous players: the Prophet. So close and yet so far, she starts to wonder if Reverend Matt has the stomach to do what’s necessary. She’s never doubted him before, but after watching her courageous lover Ethan Morgan take on the forces of Heaven and Limbo by himself and nearly walk away victorious, she thirsts for something more. Reverend Matt’s schemes and grand plans don’t do it for her the way they used to. Neither does recruiting more social outcasts and frustrated disappointments to Hell’s cause. Amy wants action. More than that, she wants blood for what they did to her Ethan.