Flash Fic Challenge – The End Is The Beginning
Yep, another Chuck Wendig fash fic challenge, another quick fic. This one involves global warming and the supernatural. Enjoy!
I waited for the acid rain to stop before I ventured out of the armored ground transport, and only then did I start carving the symbols into the earth. The worst part was using my own blood to make them, but hey, the stuff in the corpse wouldn’t work. I knew that from hard experience.
Once I was done, I popped the vehicle’s trunk, and lugged out the corpse, which I dropped on the ground and dragged to the center of the circle. At least it was a thin dude, body ravaged by UV radiation caused growths, as unattractive as a fresh corpse can get, but light.
I painted the summoning symbol on his forehead in my blood, and only then slapped a bandage on the cut on my arm. The gray, hard ground drank the blood like water, and I could feel the energy in this place start to grow and change. I moved my breathing apparatus up to my forehead so I could say the words clearly, and I got my first whiff of the air out here on this blasted plain. It was tinny and sour, made only slightly worse by the stink of the corpse. It was hard to say which smell was more nauseating: dying Earth or dead flesh. They were all decay.
I chanted the words, glad I was alone out here since I always felt like an idiot during this part, and the wind began to howl around me, the slate grey sky suddenly boiling with clouds. The corpse twitched, its arms shuddering, and the eyes finally opened, “Oh, fuck me,” the corpse rasped.
“You really didn’t think I was letting you off that easy, did you York?” I said, pulling the breather back on over my nose and mouth. The smell still lingered in my nostrils.
York sat up, and looked at the hands of the body he was currently occupying. “You can never get me a big burley guy, or a cute girl?”
“We’ve been over this. I don’t do requests.”
“You should, Fury. I’m a good assistant. I deserve it.”
“If you’re so good, why did you bring me here? I’m looking for old man Summers’ stash. This is an empty plain, York. Nothing here but dirt and roaches.”
He stood carefully, not yet used to the new body or its rate of decay, and shook his head. “And you call yourself an occult detective? It’s hidden, Sherlock.”
“A reveal spell showed me nothing.”
He snorted, which was a feat since he wasn’t technically breathing. “Yeah, but Summers wasn’t your average black magician, was he? It’s time to bust out the big guns.”
I groaned. He could only mean I had to bring out the fetishes of Avamere, and I already felt like I had bled enough. But I had no choice.
I retrieved the ancient box from the back of my vehicle, and spread out the collection of hair and charred human bones in the circle, making York move his clumsy limbs. I then ripped off the bandage and squeezed more blood out of the cut as I began the stupid chanting again, feeling like such a dick. You think you’d get used to it, but apparently you don’t.
The air felt charged with static electricity, and there was a slight tremor as I finished the spell and the earth absorbed the fetishes and blood. I expected there to suddenly be a building, which is why it took me a moment to see the hatch.
It sat about twenty feet ahead of us in the hard packed dirt, a metal door with a single handle. I approached it while putting a new bandage on. My arm was starting to ache.
“See?” York said. “Been here all along, like I told you.”
I pulled up on the handle, and the door opened with a creaky groan. There seemed to be some dim light below, so I went down a tiny set of steps, almost expecting company. Sure, Summers had supposedly been dead for ten years, but that was no guarantee he wasn’t still around in some form.
As it turned out, he wasn’t. Summers had turned what looked like a small bomb shelter into an occult book depository, a room that could have been a den in an eccentric millionaire’s house. I pulled out the amulet of Merdaut, which led me instantly to the book I was searching for: Alchemie Arwann.
York didn’t bother with the stairs. He just threw himself down the hole. After all, it wasn’t his body, and he didn’t feel a thing. “So what’s your next move, chief?”
I found the page I needed, and smeared it with my blood as I recited the incantation. I knew it was working when my blood began to boil and curl up the page, filling the room with ozone heavy humidity. At the last second I threw it down, and the air shimmered over the open book, becoming a visible disc in the air. Through it, I could see another world.
Was it heaven, hell, Cthulhu’s realm, or something unknown? I wasn’t sure. But I didn’t much care either. The Earth was dying and beyond hope. And this rat wasn’t going down with the sinking ship.
York peered in. “Hmm. Don’t recognize it. You sure it’s safe?”
I shrugged. “It is or it isn’t. I can take some comfort in the fact that I’m one dangerous motherfucker.”
“Yeah. But it’s times like these that I’m glad I’m already dead.”
“Chicken.” I took the breather mask off, and let it drop to the floor. Wherever I was going, it was best if I had all the sensory input I could manage.
I took a last, deep breath of Earth air, and then stepped into my future.
Random pic: Dying Earth/Occult Detective/Ancient Book/Secret Room