Monday, July 27, 2015

Potions and Pizza: Short Fiction

Potions And Pizza
Chris Costello

The bedroom was shrouded in darkness, lit only by a few candles placed on the dresser in the far corner. Wax dripped onto the wood and ran onto the floor. In the center of the room was a circle, painted on the hardwood in brilliant white. There were odd symbols etched in the middle of the circle, the kind that were normally found on the inside of ancient pyramids.

Four figures stood on the edge of the circle, each clad in a simple brown robe. A book was propped up on the bed so that each of them could read what was written on the page.

The tallest figure cleared her throat and began the incantation. “Oh Slogth, Lord of the Unspeakable, we beseech thee. Grant us the power to destroy our enemies, to fulfill our destiny, and to take what is rightfully ours!” She opened a closed palm and watched as the white powder drifted down, striking one of the ageless glyphs. 

An ominous humming filled the room, and the lamp over in the corner began to shake. It was as though there was an earthquake happening in that spot alone. Gale force winds whipped about, nearly knocking the figures off their feet. The fact that the windows were bolted shut seemed irrelevant.

There was a knock at the door.

The tallest figure muttered an expletive and lowered her hood. She had unruly hair that was dyed a startling shade of red, and she was wearing enough eyeliner to flood Cambodia. She closed the book, and the humming ceased. The winds died down shortly thereafter.

“Oh, come on.” Said the figure across from her. “We were really close that time.”

“Shut up, Todd.” The girl snapped, crossing the room. She was careful to avoid stepping on the circle. The forces of darkness were a fickle bunch, and even the slightest mishap could result in the mayor being turned into a toad. “This isn’t my fault.” The girl pulled on the knob, and the door opened with a satisfying bang.

“Hey, Tammy.” The girl’s mother said. “Just wanted to let you know that I’m headed out. There’s pizza on the counter in case your little friends get hungry.”

“My name isn’t Tammy.” The girl said. “I am Mistress Ravensblood, Queen of the Night. And these aren’t my friends. We are a malicious church, dedicating to ushering in the total destruction of life as we know it.”

“Whatever you say, dear.” Her mother beamed and shut the door. 

Once she was out of earshot, Tammy turned to face the circle. “Well,” she said, letting out a deep sigh. “Let’s take it from the top. Again.”

“Actually.” Said Todd, putting his hood down. “I gotta go.”

“What?” Tammy did her best not to smash the lamp over his head. She succeeded, but only barely. “But we haven’t completed the ritual yet.”

“I know, but I have a calculus test in the morning. If I fail this, I’m gonna have to repeat the tenth grade.” He exited the room and clomped down the stairs.

“Lazy ingrate!” Tammy called after him, slamming the door.

She whirled to face the other two, rage burning in her eyes.

The figure nearest her shrank back, whimpering like a dog that had been denied a treat.

“ you want to try again?” The only figure left standing asked. He sounded uncertain, and he shot a furtive glance at the door.
Tammy sighed. “No, Chad, I do not. The ritual requires four participants. We’re screwed until Todd gets back.”

“Oh, well in that case...” The boy in the corner trailed off once Tammy directed her fiery gaze to him.

“Just go. Leave me to revel in the forces of darkness on my own. But when I find new disciples and raise Slogth, I won’t look favorably upon you.”

The boy yelped and took off like a bat out of, well, hell.

“So what about you?” Tammy demanded, rounding on Chad. “Are you going to desert the cause too?”

Chad smiled sheepishly. “Actually, I kinda want some of that pizza.”

Tammy sighed. “Make it quick.”

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