Sam's Story

The young, lovely couple joined hands, and smiled to each other. Things were going well. Their spells had been working for quite some time now, and with growing efficacy. The supplies that they had needed to collect were all available within a month’s time. Most importantly, they were able to construct the diagrams in accordance with their grimoires… it was all going perfectly. There had been some mild hesitation between the two of them when considering summoning Mother Nature herself into their living room, but it was decided, after a very short debate, that Mother Nature could surely appreciate being summoned and bound into a living room… she was all about life, wasn’t she? Besides, they were nice people… they’d all get along just fine. They’d even made some coffee, in case she was mad.

Just as they two of them began taking up positions on opposite sides of the binding diagram, they herd a thumping sound from the other end of the room. After a paused look to each others eyes, he said,

“I thought you put him to bed already.”

“Yes, dear, I know. I did, actually, quite some time ago, and I locked him in.”

“Well, it’s fine, but make sure you actually do it this time… we can’t have any interruptions.” She sighed… he’d obviously missed the part where she’d told him that she’s put their son to bed. But, it was no matter… why spoil a good evening with an argument (wouldn’t want to be poor hosts for the Source of All Life in Nature, after all).

Besides, their son wouldn’t be able to approach more than another foot or two. They’d already constructed a larger diagram of weak repulsion around their binding one, to make sure they didn’t have any interruptions. They weren’t going to have any mishaps tonight, certainly! Those sorts of terrible botched summonings happened to other people, like that odd lady down the street. No, they were professional about things like this.

She walked over to their son, outside the diagram of repulsion, and picked him up before he had a chance to get repelled. He was getting large enough that he was becoming uncomfortable to lift. Still, she enjoyed carrying him back to his room, as she woudln’t be able to carry him much longer, at the rate he was growing… unless Mother Nature could fix that? She’d have to ask her.

She put her son to bed, kissed him on the cheek, and told him to go to sleep. She locked the door and walked out of the room picturing her future superheroine self in tights… but she’d have to lose weight in her thighs to do so. That, too, would be easily enough fixed, she thought. She would actually have to ask about that one, first. Indeed, so caught up was she in her musing that she didn’t hear her son climb out of bed, thump to the floor (he was still quite clumsy), and walk to his door. Once there, he listened to his mother walking away. When the sounds of her footsteps quieted by the closing of the living room door, he told his own door to unlock and open, so it did. He left to go follow his mother again.

The husband had finished repairing the damage to the diagram that his wife had put on it by crossing it by the time she’d returned, and they both made sure it was fully repaired when they were inside it again. After consulting them, they put their grimoires down outside the binding diagram. No more interruptions, this time. They smiled at each other again, walked to their designated sides, and began to focus, reciting the words of power as they did so.

A moment of near silence passed. Their chanting continued. They tried to focus harder. The wife thought, “Maybe she’s in the middle of being summoned by someone else? If so, she surely wouldn’t mind getting paged here, then. Why else woudln’t she have arrived by now?” A car passed outside, playing tasteless music too loud. The husband thought, “Once we’ve got Mother Nature here, she’ll be able to enforce a lower-decibel maximum on all stereos that come in the neighborhood. And only smooth jazz, too. She likes jazz, I’m sure.” In hindsight, both of them would later reflect that they should have been concentrating more on the summoning instead of letting their thoughts wander. On the other hand, given how little time they both had to live, hindsight didn’t really mean much. The living room door opened.

A blue light appeared between them, above the center binding of the diagram. They both smiled again, and redoubled their chanting. It took on a form of soft mist, which began a slow pulse to the cadence of their words. It grew, and as it did, they unlocked one seal after another in their diagram, to let it expand. Their son walked to the edge of the repulsion ward. He found he couldn’t walk inside to where his mommy and daddy were playing with the floating lightbulb, so he squatted down, and blew as hard as he could at the funny squiggles on the floor that kept him away. The simple chalk the couple had used blew easily away, and the repelling diagram was broken. Their son walked in, and as he did so, he stepped on one very small part of the binding diagram, altering it subtly. Oh, well.

The soft blue light stopped growing, much to the confusion of the couple. They looked up and stopped their chanting, they were so confused. They looked at the light, as it contorted from the spherical shape it had acheived, into the oblong form it was twisting itself into. They both tilted their heads, looking at it. They could both tell that they had reached the most critical juncture of the spell, the intonation of the thing that they were trying to summon. But, they were still just so confused as to why the prepared energies that they had made would behave so oddly.

Their son, however, was not wasting his time. He’d been learning to read, somewhat, and he wanted to be part of mommy and daddy’s game. So, he walked over to their grimoire, opened it, and started reading words aloud.

The young couple froze in horror, eye both widened, as they turned their heads to see what was happening. Neither of them could move their feet, as their bodies had become part of the diagram. Neither of them could raise their voices, they realized, as they had given them temporarily to the spell. So, they both contorted as much as they could to look at their son, and whisper as furiously as they could to stop.

He couldn’t hear them, really. While his English wasn’t very good, it turns out that English mispronounced with a child’s lisp sounds exactly like Thari, the ancient hell-tongue of the priests of the Great Old Ones, demon-beasts of incalculable power and hideous evil, who had been banished beyond the veil of space and time with the changing of the ages. Who knew?

His chant only lasted a second or two when he saw them looking at him. He chanced a look up to see if his mommy and daddy were smiling. However, he’d stopped just as he’d finished the verse that (in Thari, mind you) sounded just like,

“I summon thee, oh dread Dggz’qwzt! I, thy faithful servant of evil, do call unto thee that you would make your form present, and I offer unto thee all here to you as a sacrifice! Please, come unto me, through this diagram that I have conveniently preconstructed for you, oh great Dggz’qwzt!” It was a very efficient language, that Thari.

Now, normally, this beseeching would have been pointless. Not just anyone can summon Dggz’qwzt, the Great Beast of Flesh. However, as it just so happened, this family was, unbeknownst to them, descended from an ancient line of priests who had worshipped and sold their souls to Dggz’qwzt before his banishment. What were the chances?

The couple continued their whispering, but as they did, the shape between them changed color from blue to red, and from red, to a sickly infected fleshtone, filled with purples and greens of all sorts, pulsating out of time with the thoughts of the Great Dggz’qwzt. The two noticed the change when it began bursting their binding seals (they handn’t been done right, anyway). They exchanged a look, and began doing as they’d intended should something go wrong… start saying the chant backwards, to banish anything they’d summoned. That really, really didn’t help.

The thing’s expansion grew, and eyes sprouting from muscle and sinew began to appear in the form between them. The couple sped up their chanting, though they were moving at a different rate from each other now. That also didn’t help.

Their son, however, sat down and watched. That part of him that hearkened back to his ancient, ancient heritage was curious, so he sat there, absent mindedly repeating the last words he’d read. That, most of all, didn’t help.

The thing was growing out of control, now, and Dggz’qwzt’s tentacles began snaking around the room, knocking things over and breaking them. They coiled around the young couple and their son, taking in the sweet, sickly smell of Human flesh, a thing so long denied it. It moved closer to them, preparing to strike.

The mother’s last words as she turned to her son were, “Sam! Sam, run! Get out of here!” But their son was too caught up in what was happening… it was too much for his quickly-shattering little mind, overwhelmed with the horrible, infinitely present might of Dggz’qwzt. The tentacles seized both the husband and wife, and pulled them into the portal. Wet smacking and loud cracking sounds came from it, and a spray of their joined blood spattered across their son’s face… and pretty much everything else in the room, too, truth be told.

When the tentacles of Dggz’qwzt turned their attention towards the son, however, it paused. Here was the source of the supplication, something it had not received in many thousands of years. Here, too, was a potential source of much, much more… Dggz’qwzt took its endless time, and pondered the situation. All the while, the son continued his chant.

So, thus did this last for nine years. The son sat there, his fractured mind reciting its only thoughts, Dggz’qwzt pondering what to do. The neighborhood went on. Occasionally, someone would come to assess the house for one reason or another. They were never heard from again, naturally. Locals didn’t think much of it, though the children in the area swore to each other that from time to time, they’d see a tentacle snap out of a window or the chimney to snatch passing squirrels or birds. The parents of these children simply told them not to tell lies, and pointedly ignored the house that periodically pulsed and breathed. You could do that, in Sunnydale.

One day, however, there came a knock at the door. Sam blinked, the first his body had moved in the latter two thirds of his life. He rose, his body creaking with a terrible audibility, and he walked, stiffly, to the door. During this time, the summoning diagram had faded in power… the father hadn’t chosen a very long-lasting enamel for the hardwood floor, and as it disintegrated, so, too, did the diagram. With a sudden fury, Dggz’qwzt attempted one last time to force itself into our world, but it was too late. Sam had already walked across enough of it to disrupt it further, and Dggz’qwzt was banished once again, to the Outer Black, its home.

He opened the door, and looked up into a set of eyes that looked back down at him. He couldn’t really see… his own eyes had nearly forgotten how to focus, and this was the first time he had seen the sun in nine years.

“Just as they said….”, said the eyes that looked down at him. Sam only blinked, confused at to what was happening. That language sounded familiar, he thought.

The eyes leaned in to the house and looked around, nodding curtly in confirmation. They leaned back as a body began forming in Sam’s vision attached to them. He asked, “Are you my mommy?”

The eyes now had a mouth beneath them, and that mouth smiled. “No,” they said, “I’m something better.” As the forming body did so, a hand reached up and brushed away ancient flecks of blood from Sam’s face, amused part of Sam’s mommy was still here.

“I have something for you, Sam. Something you’ll truly appreciate. You’re going to school, soon, Sam. You’ve never been, before, but I’m sure that, with all you’ve learned…” the face looked at the binding symbols that had held the Great Old One until just a moment ago, “You’ll do just fine.” The figure handed Sam a packet of clothes, as he had burst his own long ago, and some papers detailing his upcoming classes. “A driver will be along soon to take you to school, Sam. Make sure to practice everything you’ve learned.” The figure turned and walked away.

Sam closed the door. He quickly forgot the features of the face, and put on the clothes. He turned, and sat on the blood-crusted couch. His mind still reeled with everything it had seen in the last nine years. Pulsing flesh, twisting flesh, breaking flesh, growing flesh… for every occasion, a massive body of viscera still throbbed in his mind. Over the next few hours, it all faded into his subconscious, until the only thing he could remember was that he was going to school, because someone had told him he was.

He blinked, something he’d grown accustomed to not fear, and looked around. His mind, improved by such proximity to the brain of Dggz’qwzt, easily re-learned his native tongue. The papers said he wasn’t to start orientation for another five hours, and that the driver would be here in about one. Sam wondered what he was to do while waiting. Then, he spied a squirrel that Dggz’qwzt had taken for its food, and had carelessly dropped. Sam walked to the kitchen, and picked up one of the sharpest knives that his mother had had. No sense wasting time, he thought. Surely, this will be on a test somewhere.

Sam's Story

A.C.E. Acaedmy darkshifter