Multiple POV pt.2

Creak. Groan. Shlunk. Creak. Groan. Shlunk. The house’s noises never stopped. Footfalls, heavy and plodding, light and fast, would meander to the edge of the stairs and stop. Pipes would bellow and discharge belches of air like a skin-diver bursting through the water’s surface. Devilish chuckling lurked and murmured on the other sides of doors. His familiar, the oil-black raven Werner, was perched on the dying apple tree outside and clacked and squawked in the language of the damned. Something, and it was not the furnace, shifted and rumbled in the cellar. With every window closed, a wind would slip through the house and cause his beard to dance. Spider webs, invisible gossamers of sticky damp, clung to his face at every turn. A heavy blanket of insect corpses and dust covered the woodwork and floor, revealing his pathways through the house and the accompanying shuffles and footprints from visitors foreign and unseen.

Bringing them through was easy.

The summoning was child’s play: A quick sketch of the star within a circle on the ground, a splash of rodents’ blood, and incantations. Some larger summons required the drawing of runes and more elaborate chants, but even then Osmond had the Book. With the Book he held all of the power. The Book gave him confidence. He was the master, the creator, and the dominator. Gone was the man who had spent half of his life hiding from his peers. Gone was the scrawny asthmatic who went unnoticed day after thankless day. Dressed head to toe in black, his acne-scarred face covered by a menacing beard; he was now a Summoner, a conjuror of dark and arcane arts.

With his outstretched hand curled into a claw, he shouted them into the world. And they came! He could direct them, force their actions and impel their movements. He was their god, they had no choice but to obey. And when they tried to disobey, which they always did, he would crush them. He snuffed them out with a simple word and a flick of his fingers. They would shriek and wither and disappear before his eyes, either dying or cast back to whatever realm they had been drawn from.

Bringing them through was easy.

At first they were small, the size of a lobster or a cat. They were covered in scales or tentacles or chitinous carapaces. They would squelch, shudder, and hiss as they stared at Osmond with stalked eyes or a single eye or, once, no eyes at all. These little ones disgusted him, and he would force them to contort their bodies into configurations of pain.

Bringing them through was easy.

As Osmond confidence grew, so did their size. They were the size of dogs, then children, and then horses. They were larger, their wings and talons more deadly, and their eyes and mouths filled with more venom and hate. In their otherworldly shrieks, it was clear that they did not relish their role as Osmond’s marionette. They pulled at their invisible tethers, straining Osmond to the limit of his endurance. He perspired and ground his teeth, and his limbs shook as he struggled against their resistance. He was ever conscious of his feet, for to step outside of the circle would release the being from its already tenuous bonds. Feeling his strength and energy sapped from his body, Osmond would scream the words to dispel them. They did not always go away. His body glowed and crackled with potential energy and he would bellow again. They would howl and grown in response, but then Osmond’s dispel would take effect and they would flicker and fade. And then they were gone in a bamf of sulfurous smoke.

Bringing them through was easy.

Osmond didn’t allow himself to admit that perhaps, just maybe, these things he summoned were beyond even his control. It was arrogance; a lust for power had become an addiction. Somewhere in his mind Osmond was scared of what he was doing, but he could not stop. He would not stop.

As the setting sun bled its red light through the house’s windows, he stood in the center of what was once the dining room. He had drawn the protective circle around him and had scratched numerous runes and charms within and without circle’s boundary. He held the Book open with his left hand and cast out his right. In a low voice he chanted the alien words over and over again. His voice rose in octaves and volume with each verse. The room’s air grew thick, humid with the labor of breaching the plane between worlds. Osmond’s face was slick with sweat. His entire body trembled as he intoned the summoning spell. There was a rumble and the floorboards before him seemed to bend and warp, defying physics and their own geometry. A dull light pulsed from below the floorboards. Osmond raised both hands above his head in a final shriek as the thing lunged into existence.

The air was still and silent. Osmond heaved and shook. The thing’s presence filled the room. Gigantic. A writhing mass of clawed arms bunched above a quartet of tensed limbs, a mouth overfull of slobbering teeth dwarfed its multitude of eyes. Great breaths, like sobs, wracked its entire body. The thing surveyed the room and focused its attention on Osmond. It leaned toward him, easily four times as large, and roared. The roar was deafening and Osmond cowered within his circle.

The thing continued to roar and it advanced on Osmond. With the thing looming over him, Osmond raised the book in defense and took a step backwards. He looked down and let out a cry of despair. His foot was outside of the circle. The thing began to chuckle. Osmond lifted his hand and screamed “No! No!”

Bringing them through was easy.


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