Billy Silver

Billy Silver by Daniel Volpe

Billy Silver, a low-life, self-downtrodden junkie, needs some cash to get his next fix. After getting kicked out of his own band, Shit Fist, losing his girlfriend, and left with no other options, he decides to sell his flesh to the ink of a needle at a newly opening tattoo shop.

The mysterious artist, Talia, tattoos a cryptic design he’s never seen. Shortly after getting inked, compulsions burn underneath his skin. His need to satisfy a newly arisen addiction to self-mutilation begins a descent into darker places than his miserable life never dared go.

Eventually, violence against himself is no longer enough to satisfy his cravings. The urge to commit the grotesque brings his brutal tendencies to others… To strangers, to acquaintances, to his prostitute ex-girlfriend…When Billy finds out his band replaced him, with a new vocalist singing his lyrics on stage, Billy’s desires reach their peak, and Talia, behind the fire of his rage, bears witness to all.

The IndieMuse Review

Billy Silver by Daniel Volpe surprised me—in a good way.

It’s a story about a junkie—Billy Silver—who is a despicable human being. Really, there is no other term which would fit.

How bad can one man be?

Well, he’s worse than those who doodle in the margins or tears pages out of library books.

He’s worse than those who go to bed without brushing his teeth or taking a daily shower during summer. He’s worse than those ig’nant idjits who thinks they are better than everybody else and can judge others who are not the same as them. He’s worse than the low life bullies who target the weak and frail.

Billy Silver is an abusive heroin addict who is willing to lie, cheat and steal his way through life, as long as he can have his next fix and make things easier for himself.

Until the day he loses his band and girlfriend. He sees an opportunity to make some money by selling a piece of his skin to be tattooed by someone who needs practice.

When he wakes up, he seems to be cured of his addiction and things seem to improve, but the urges to self-mutilate and do violence to others take over…

I went into this thinking it will be an uber-violent splatterpunk story, but Volpe actually focused more on the main character. By the time bad things start to happen to him, the reader absolutely hates him and feel just about zero sympathy. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy, you sarcastically think to yourself.

But there are still victims and, while you cheer for the curse to end Billy in the worst possible way, you also feel for the ones he targets toward the end of the story.

Lessons to learn at the end of this one:

  1. Social distancing, people…come on, man, it should be a thing.
  2. Don’t smoke in a crowded room, not even in a mosh pit.
  3. Don’t give your band the name ‘Shit Fist’ and expect the lead singer to show up sober.

I am impressed by this story and I want to read more by this author.


Mort Stone lives in untamed Africa, where he rides his lion to work every morning to slave away as a scientist who learned how to fake competency.

Reading is his passion…well, the one he can admit to, anyway. As an aggressive pacifist, he chooses to fight vicariously through stories which can bring him no physical harm.

While he is almost confidant that his IQ is in the top 50%, his wife regularly reminds him of all the stupid things he does. He will neither admit nor deny the accusations of sarcasm, but he can act like he cares. Most of the time.

As an avid reader of horror and thrillers, and somewhat of a movie buff in those genres, he still blames his insomnia on Global Warming. Because he can.

He would also like to apologize in advance for any swear words which might slip through…he will blame that on the insomnia.


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