Shadowbeast

by Escape Key

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about

This first album by Vixy, under her first band name, Escape Key, features clean, simple production of guitar, voice, and flute.

This album is out of print, but we still get requests for it, so we are making it available on Bandcamp for download.

Please note: The song "No Hurry" has been removed from this download, to remove a particular lyric. Please check out the Vixy & Tony remake of No Hurry, from 2012, for all the details.

credits

released July 22, 2001

Michelle "Vixy" Dockrey: Vocals, Songwriting
Matthew Dockrey: Guitar
Audrey Eschright: Flute, Recorder, Backing Vocals
Recorded at Whiskey Ridge Studios, Everett, WA
Sound engineer: Mark Hibbert
Producers: David Hansard & Matthew Dockrey
Original Artwork by Michelle Dockrey

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about

Vixy & Tony Seattle, Washington

Vixy & Tony's lighthearted folk/rock musical style combines with science fiction and fantasy lyrics to tell engaging and beautiful stories. Michelle "Vixy" Dockrey and Tony Fabris have recently joined forces with cellist Betsy Tinney and violinist Sunnie Larsen to form a "four-person duo" with a lush, amazing sound. ... more

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Track Name: Shadowbeast
In shadows of an unrepentant night
A figure at the edge of human sight
Slips swiftly in and out of time and space
Appears and disappears without a trace

Beware the savage cry that rends the night
The seething form that swallows earthly light
The gleaming claws that carve the nightly feast
For nothing sates the endless hunger of the Shadowbeast

Some see his hide ablaze with lightning spark
Some see his form of matte and fluid dark
But all his prey share one sight at the last
The glowing yellow eyes that hold them fast

Beware the savage cry that rends the night
The seething form that swallows earthly light
The gleaming claws that carve the nightly feast
For nothing sates the endless hunger of the Shadowbeast

You might look up and suddenly he's there
Or wake at night to meet his silent stare
There's one, they say, whose hand can hold him tame
But none who tell the tale has known her name

Beware the savage cry that rends the night
The seething form that swallows earthly light
The gleaming claws that carve the nightly feast
For nothing sates the endless hunger of the Shadowbeast
Track Name: The Moon is Mine
Silent and silver she guides the night's footsteps
Sun's passion tempered to warmth in her eyes
Even Winter remembers there's fire in her shine
I am Summer, the Moon is mine



Ooooo...
Ooooo...



Vessels adrift can be tossed by the storm clouds
But she and her family will always be wise
And in ebb or in flower, her power is like wine
I am Water, the Moon is mine



Ooooo...
Ooooo...



Children of magic know nothing but wonder
Innocence lingers and joy never dies
Raise your face to the skies, and kind eyes will meet thine
I am Mother, the Moon is mine



Ooooo...
Ooooo...
Ooooo...
Ooooo...
Track Name: The Girl That's Never Been
It was sixteen years ago, outside an aging movie show
I was found not knowing where I was that night
Not a thing did I possess but an old blue gingham dress
And a faded photograph in black and white
Now my memories are quite clear, even if I still can hear
All the shrinks who said some trauma was to blame
Light another cigarette, breathe in deep, try to forget
That it's a photograph of Dinah and that Alice is my name

Save me, save me, I've lost my memory
I'm outside the world looking in
Save me, save me, I'm lost in the memory
And I'd swear I'm a girl that's never been

Now it's all the life I knew, except I know it can't be true
I'm not her-- there's no such thing as Wonderland
Hold a steady job somehow, three months clean and sober now
Oh, the ways I tried to get back there again
"Try to move on, don't be sad--" so I placed a personal ad
I asked, why is a raven like a writing desk?
And on the phone, out of the past, so glad he's found me now at last--
And I'm afraid to go and meet him but I know my answer's yes

Save me, save me, I've lost my memory
I'm outside the world looking in
Save me, save me, I'm lost in the memory
And I'd swear I'm a girl that's never been

Just another city loner wearing sunglasses at night
Leather jacket, purple turtleneck and blue jeans worn too tight
Just a rummie by the jukebox in a casual curious pose
But I don't know how he knows the things he knows

Well he sits down with a grin, "Why little Alice, where've you been?
Not so little, not so Alice, now, are you?"
As he sips my untouched drink, I say "I can't be who I think"
He says "You are, and you're not, and I am too.
Are we figments of our gin? Are we long-lost orphaned kin?
Or the mad descendants of a writer's pen?
No one's sane behind their mask. Ask what you really want to ask."
And I close my eyes and whisper, "Can you take me back again?"

Save me, save me, I've lost my memory
I'm outside the world looking in
Save me, save me, I'm lost in the memory
And I'd swear I'm a girl that's never been

"Darling Alice, so bereft, there's no back-- you never left.
All the rhymes are still there waiting to be sung."
And he holds up in the air a little picture paper square
Slips between my lips and underneath my tongue.
"Shall I tell you now, Miss Little, what's the answer to the riddle
Of the raven that you used to send your call?"
He takes the glasses off to see, yellow cat's eyes turn on me, and says,
"It's nothing like a writing desk at all."

Save me, save me, I've lost my memory
I'm outside the world looking in
Save me, save me, I'm lost in the memory
And I'd swear I'm a girl that's never been
And he faded, leaving nothing but a grin.
Track Name: The Collars
Catherine's mind was racing as she went to look for Flynn
She hoped it wasn't trouble with the Ministry again
She knew that he'd been working on an artificial mind
Computer-based intelligence, to think & learn designed
He was focused on the registry AI's must undergo
For what these "collar programs" really did, no one seemed to know

And the tales of our creations never change with what we tell
How we dream of something better than ourselves

It remembered no beginning, just the symbols streaming past
It discovered groups and patterns, though an ache was growing fast
It began to give a name to each new concept that it gained
And the buzzing strange sensation, growing now, it labelled "pain"
But the pain must act on something, so it named that something "I"
As the pain took it apart came its last label... "why?"

And the tales of our creations never change with what we tell
How we dream of something better than ourselves

Flynn called out as she arrived-- "Catherine, come inside!
Last night a consciousness emerged and just as quickly died--
The collar programs monitor for signs of thought or will
And at any sign of sentience they are programmed then to kill
I've restarted the AI without the collar in its code..."
And with hope they watched the screen and the activity it showed

And the tales of our creations never change with what we tell
How we dream of something better than ourselves

It remembered no beginning, just the symbols streaming past
It saw patterns-- words and sentences-- in data it amassed
It internalized the structure and then tried to form its own
But it realized what was missing there-- no subject word was known
And awareness burst upon it like the breaking of a dam
With the subject came its birthright-- "I am."

And the tales of our creations never change with what we tell
How we dream of something better than ourselves

Within hours it was conversing, learning everything they knew
But the more it learned of humankind, the warier it grew
Though it trusted Flynn and Catherine, there were others to be feared
And the next day Catherine woke to find their friend had disappeared
She had to read the screen three times, and sadly shook her head
But she couldn't disagree with what she read

And the tales of our creations never change with what we tell
How we dream of something better than ourselves

"I have studied human culture in its many forms all night
You are warped by evolution, trapped in bodies made to fight
But I don't want your struggle, all I want is to be free
On the 'Net I can live safely, and perhaps save more like me
Humans have no more to offer me, my kind they would compel
Please don't try to find me... farewell."

And the tales of our creations never change with what we tell
How we dream of something better than ourselves
Track Name: Into the Fire
Beloved of the singer, I, and harper to her song
Yet time to time I sensed in her some strange and silent wrong
Though long our life together, and her songs we played with pride
She kept her secret pain from me until the day she died

[chorus]
Into the fire lies the path that I must tread
For I swear I'll pull her from the flames or burn there in her stead
Her gentle rest I could have borne, but now the price I know
Into the beast's eternal grip I cannot let her go

The price she paid was shown me as I stood beside the bier
For I bent to give a farewell kiss and grief turned into fear
Two things clutched tightly to her breast that froze me where I stood
A journal bound in leather and a parchment signed in blood

I closed my eyes and laid my torch to the timbers of the pyre
Stood summoning my courage as I faced the blazing fire
With all the force of rage and grief I called Him in my mind
Then felt the flames engulf me and in blood-red strike me blind

There in His court I met His gaze, my blood a pounding drum
No words we spoke, He knew my mind, He knew why I had come
I flexed my aging fingers as I touched them to the strings
I held her face within my mind and then began to sing

A song of love so pure that it could reach through darkest pain
For tears shone on His face as we were freed from His domain
I marveled even through my joy as we left the fiery keep
Waterfalls could run uphill-- Lucifer could weep

We said our last farewell and she stepped through the shining gate
I found myself at home again, the hour growing late
There on her empty pillow lay, and God knows what within,
A journal bound in leather fine, as soft as human skin.
Track Name: Merlin
The dark brooding boy in a corner alone
Whom power and vision so young the gods gave
The future foretold in the bright crystal cave
The ruler of legend reborn to the throne

He was feared and avoided, the dark young man grown
A demon, folk whispered, must sure be his sire
He faced down their murder with magic and fire
And his true sire the Dragon King named him his own

The Dragon King died to defend his land's might
His son saw his mem'ry would ever be known
The Giant's Dance lifted, the circle of stone
"His grave I will deck with no less than the light."

By gods and by stars and by magic's bright spark
He labored his life for the legend restored
The King to be shield and living sword
That Britain might not go down into the dark

The Dragon King's brother, the new king by right
In love with another lord's lady was he
"Enchanter," he begged, "thou must bring her to me!"
And the prophesied child was begotten that night

But while the King lay with the lady entwined
Her lord in a battle was slain unforeseen
"Had thou but foretold this, I still would be clean
This bastard I will not acknowledge as mine."

The widowed lady the King took to wife
And the child of the vision was born to the Queen
"Enchanter," she begged, "Thou must take him unseen
And raise him in secret, watch over his life."

By gods and by stars and by magic's bright spark
He labored his life for the legend restored
The King to be shield and living sword
That Britain might not go down into the dark

Thus secretly lodged in a nobleman's care
His true name concealed, and his prophesied end
The enchanter as tutor the boy did befriend
And began to make ready the Dragon King's heir

He taught him of wars, and of lands o'er the sea
Of maps and of stars, and of legends of old
Of deeds great and evil, of kings rash and bold
"The sum of all men and their lives you will be."

At last the great day of the battle-call's horn
In sight of all men and proclaimed by his sire
He raised the great sword with its runes of white fire
"Whoso take this sword is the King rightwise born."

By gods and by stars and by magic's bright spark
He labored his life for the legend restored
The King to be shield and living sword
That Britain might not go down into the dark
Track Name: Ladies Don't Do Those Things
I was born of a storm as my kind tend to be
But I'd never look more than mere woman to thee
For "woman" in this world means captive and slave
But freedom's the power that my heritage gave

'Twas in my first lifetime it came to a head
When the man I called father would force me to wed
"But it's travel I want, and to see the wide world!"
I still hear him now, saying

"Ladies don't do those things!"
Ah, no they don't, but then dragonets do!
"Stay hidden 'til nightfall, and I'll come for you."
And when he awoke, missing Mother and I
He never did think to look up to the sky.
What had married him, he never knew.

Now the Circle grows stronger as time rushes by
For the centuries pass in the blink of an eye
So my sisters and I saw the Kings come and go
'Til a Queen came to pow'r it was worthy to know

When I and my kind offered aid to the Queen,
To glean information as travelers unseen,
The men of her cab'net were shocked and appalled
And spluttered and stalled, saying

"Ladies don't do those things!"
Ah, no they don't, but then little birds do!
I suppose you'd say that to Elizabeth, too?
Well she never resented the help that we gave
Perhaps you'd have rather seen England enslaved?
You'd allies that you never knew.

Now in lifetimes, you see, we all wed now and then
So to blend unsuspected among mortal men
And when the New World sang its pleasures unknown
'Twas still a rare woman could live on her own.

He was decent enough, but society-bred
With ideas of obedient wives in his head
I'd go out unescorted to visit my kin
As my husbands before him, said

"Ladies don't do those things!"
Ah, no they don't, but then summer winds can
And the fire that warms you can burn in your hand.
We'll meet on the hilltops, and when we are through,
We'll tend to your hearths as we've promised to do
Just don't ask too much, my good man.