Over Casting

Spent bullet casings rolled down the street picking up the detritus of city living (leaves, condoms, rattles, deconstructed windshields, bits of clay, a bloated squirrel corpse, sucked on suckers, and cat vomit by volume,) clogging the storm drains. It was raining. Had been for days, but that didn’t stop the dancing. It was spring witch season and their naked gyrations and drug-garbled tongue vibrations brought the clouds rolling in over the hills and up the river. The clouds had to take numbers and sit, puffy and silent, in windless boredom before being processed as Rain Makers.

The witches never tired thanks to the frog adrenaline I had synthesized over the winter to add to their midnight stew. They were used to merely imbibing the tongue remnants, which is great for maintaining throat health according to dubious wisdom, but the adrenal secretions worked with visible power. And they would never kill them all. For every witch the police fried with tasers in the streets, or beheaded with shotguns, or set fire to in an attempt at irony, three more would spring forth from the dying woman’s loins, already speaking in incantations.

It was looking like the whole town would be inhabited by witches by autumn, all except me. I would leave, however. I would leave because they would figure out my methods and I would be nothing but a useless alchemist in a land of witchcraft, always being pulled from my lab to attend moon dependent orgies and oversee the blessing of a new looking pool. As if I cared. I already have my bag packed.

I’m just waiting for the rain to stop.

Post-Orgy Concerns

Larry locked another day’s newspaper in the cabinet, breathing slowly to calm his shaking hands.
“When will it finally fall and rid us of these false-” he whispered to his translucent image in his darkened window, stopping short when the reflection revealed his eldest spawn, Blazetherion, appear framed in the doorway. He gathered himself and turned to greet his son.
“How’s it going there, big man?”
“Stop with your frippery, father. I am not the Big Man around here. That is why you censor the daily readings from me. That is why you will not tell me where the key to the Chest of Grimoires is kept. That is why, everyday, I must wither in the shadow of your word.”
“That’s enough now, young man. Have you had your dinner? Something smells great. Come on in the kitchen with me and let’s see what mother is whipping up for us.”
“Hah! You scoff at me. You of all people know that I am entering the Fasting Days before the blood rite of the crimson moon.”
“Oh, wow. Must have slipped my mind, slugger. You know your old dad. Scatterbrains.”
“Yes. Soon will come the day when your light shall fade, your mind slip into the darkness of the Abyss never to return, and I will be left to inherit your crown. I will hold the key to forbidden knowledge and I will do as I will until the end of time itself for I will not rest until immortality is mine.”
“Well, your old dad is pretty beat. If you’re not going to eat with us, then go on up to your room and finish that homework of yours while your mother and I relax around the table.”
“Homework? You think so little of my work that you would shit on it with your schoolboy prattle? You will rue the day you spoke so little of my machinations.”
With that, Blazetherion disappeared. Larry sighed, shook his head, and turned the lights out. The next few years were going to be difficult, but damned if resurrecting the spirit of an ancient warlock in the corpse of his dead son at a drug-fueled orgy wasn’t going to be worth it in the long run.
Just gotta keep the news out of his head, thought Larry. Don’t want him going crazy.

Horoscopes: III

Sagittarius, Mercury is rising in your house, turning the floors into shimmering pools of liquid metal. Do not become ensorceled by the quicksilver for fear of hydrargyria and especially do not step into the Mirror Realm.

Capricorn, you will meet an animal familiar of diminutive size. Perhaps a toad or a rat. If you’re lucky, it will be a small bird that brings you gifts at dawn. But odds are that it will be a filthy fucking rat. Welcome to Earth, witchling, Alpha Rat-hive of the Milky Way.

Aquarius, you will bump your head and wake up with the mind-shredding compulsion to acquire the skulls of three defrocked priests. Do not fight this urge. It’s only natural.

Pisces, you will face Rapture, alone. Seraphim will lead you to a small room with two levers. One is labeled fire. The other, water. Don’t be derivative. Pull the fire lever.

Aries, you will come into possession of some rather scandalous photos involving Santa Claus and his reindeer. Forget you ever saw them. It gets lonely on the road, twice as lonely for the immortal. Don’t be a dick and ruin Christmas.

Taurus, everyone will laugh at you when you graduate from Clown College. This will be confusing to your pride.

Gemini, you will begin to expect that the neighbors are lizard people from Iona Draconis. You are wrong. They are lizard people from the sewers of New York City.

Cancer, you will be given the chance to travel back in time, but no matter what date you choose, you will end up in northern Canada, alone in the wilderness, surrounded by wolves. You begin to suspect that the wolves were behind this particular time travel scheme.

Leo, one thousand flies will erupt from the next thing you bite down on.

Virgo, at a country gas mart, you will find a jar of pickled human eggs. What you do next will change the course of your life.

Libra, you will go on a Individual Liberty march by walking down the street, throwing confetti and honking a horn.

Scorpio, you will gain a supernatural healing ability. Go do all the stupid shit you want. Rub your dick raw. It won’t matter. You’ll be fine.

Meditation : Preparation

For me, the water dripping from the rocks after a morning mist has risen over the ridge, warmed by the Sun as he awakens Earth with a radiated roar, feels like drugs to the head every time I crawl and lick around. I feel it first in the back of my throat, the breath of gods gathering in my lungs. My eyes will not open to profane this moment. My tongues goes numb with the deep coldness of the granite from which I cannot peel away. Not yet. Not until my legs fill with blood-fire. Not until I can summit the Throne of the Old One and knock to see if I might borrow a cup of sugar to bake a cake for the celebration of the crumbling of consensual reality.

But no one will come.

Horned Altar

Sloppily slipping down the ridge and sliding on wet leaves, mud slick boots cracking acorns as he fell, Jah-Red cursed and watched the horned beast disappear into the morning’s mist. He had been sitting silently on his haunches, knees stiff and legs burning, for an hour, high on the herbs of the old witch. His legs had fallen asleep and when the buck game to lick water from the creek stones, he had stood, stumbled, and now he sat, soaking wet and beginning to shiver in the chill air.

He would return to the fire, he decided, before the cold hit his bones. He would return empty handed and the oldies would stare at him and spit his name from their lips in shame. They would know he had been to the witch, that he had gone hunting alone, and that he had failed. His pride would fall from him. But he would be alive and perhaps, someday, redeemed in their eyes.

He got to his feet and turned to climb the hill. Above him, the buck stood on two legs, a broken antler in its twisted hoof, sharpening the horn against a rock. The shhhppt of the bone sliding against the whetstone hit Jah-Red in the teeth, shook his jaw, and caused him to vomit into the mud at his feet. Laughter, much like a small child’s, came from the hill above. Jah-Red looked up from his sickness into the face of his prey.

The deer parted the fur on his stomach with the slick, sharp antler and slipped it into flesh. The blood stank and steamed as it flowed, nearly black so thick did it come running. And kept coming. The laughter began again and Jah-Red smelled his own piss. The hillside ran with rivulets of exsanguination and where he had stumbled and left boot prints, the low places filled with the beast’s fluid, gently and steadily. Bubbling like champagne freshly poured, the buck motioned for him to drink and the swirling behind the beast’s black eyes whispered Yes, Yes.

He stooped to drink and felt the first blow of the horn to the back of his skull.

Mutation: the Final Reward

A curtain of diminutive skulls hung between rotting logs, separating the passageway. Birds, infants, rats: their remains hung silent and still in the stale air. Though no door barred the thief’s way, he found himself unable to cross the threshold, to touch the profane bones. He had come all this way. Would he really be turned away from Radbathigustinak’s treasure by a simple curtain of fetishes? Breathing deeply and gathering his will, he stuck his hand out to part the strings of remains.

The flesh melted and dripped from his hand, finger bones bleached white by a burning orb emanating from the child’s skull. In his ear, the bird beak pecked and whispered to him his sins against his fellow man, accusations echoing around the pain. The rat skulls crawled tooth-first to his genitals and sank into feast. As his mind left, he heard a voice saying, “I see you’ve found my treasure. To be made a monster before passing into the abyss: this is my gift to those who seek.”

Last Step from First Words

Timmy: and the ground became dinosaurs when he learned to talk and on their strange lizard backs did he trod, barefoot before the feeling left. They had taught him words and so the sticks became the teeth of great beasts, tongues larger than himself sticking out of the hedgerow. The bees and bugs were working for the dinosaurs, of course, and the terrible lizards would buzz and shake and dance as if they were bugs and the definition of master and servant would fade out of focus as the ground buzzed and shook and danced under our feet.

The hole that swallowed Timmy was wet, like a mouth, and endless, like the appetite of the toothed horrors all around us now.