Summoning an Ancient One is affordable on a student’s budget
Seeing as this article was to be released the day before Halloween, my editor demanded something truly frightening of yours truly.
“If this doesn’t make me crap my pants, I’ll fire you so fucking fast your head will spin like The Exorcist!” she said. Being completely unaware that she had that level of corporate power, I, obviously caught off-guard, fled the office immediately in search of some truly terror-inducing transcription.
Regina has no shortage of horrible things about which to write; however, if I was to keep my job at the Carillon, I would need to go above and beyond the human limits of fear. Indeed, I would have to approach the brink of insanity itself. Thankfully, I happened to be passing the bookstore in a local shopatorium.
“If they don’t know insanity,” I decided, “no one does.”
The bookstore vultures were quick to descend on me as I entered the store. When asked if I required any assistance, I straightforwardly asked for the object of my quest. The old crone began to foam at the mouth and convulse violently. I stepped gingerly over her twitching form, and headed for the “New Age Spirituality” section.
It didn’t take me long to find what I was looking for. Bound in paper, and written in printer’s ink, the Necronomicon seemed to pulse with pure evil on the shelf. The other books parted like the Red Sea as I reached for the Book of the Dead. Even the four other copies of the Necronomicon seemed to tremble in fear at my selection. My mind was made up. For the Halloween issue of the Carillon, I would summon forth inter-dimensional horrors, the likes of which have driven innumerable men to complete insanity. That, or I was going to give it a really good try.
Of course, I had no idea what arcane evil I was now in possession of (for the low price of $8.99). I needed to seek professional counsel. I found it in the University of Regina’s Religious Studies Department.
“This purports to be a publication of the mystical book Necronomicon,” explains Religious Studies Department Head Dr. Bill Arnal. “The Necronomicon is supposed to be very difficult to come by. It’s an ancient, forbidden text.”
We were both fairly certain that the copy of the Necronomicon I had procured, though not bound in human flesh, was evil all the same. After we had determined that the Necronomicon was, in fact, sufficiently evil, I asked Arnal if it was advisable to perform any of the summoning rituals contained within.
“I encourage it,” Arnal said. “In fact, let’s try to conjure something right now.”
After many encouragements that the confines of Arnal’s office may not be the best place to summon an Ancient One, we moved on to the question of finances. If the summoning rituals were not affordable on the student’s budget then I was sunk almost entirely before I started.
“All of the summoning rituals seem to be thoroughly accessible to students,” Arnal said, carefully flipping through the text. “They do not seem to involve expensive or arcane equipment. They mainly involve drawings. And we teach the summoning spells in Religious Studies 100. It’s basically a question of having an appropriate stick and some dirt to carve the images in, and reciting the spells, and you’re good to go.”
We determined that public parks, the academic green, or the sandbox of a public daycare, especially at night, would serve those purposes excellently.
“The really excellent thing about lodging an Old One,” Arnal continues, “is that you don’t have to worry about your roommates after a while. I found in my own experience that any time Yog-Sothoth or Cthulhu shows up, for some reason, my roommates just tend to…stop living there. Their stuff stays, but there’s no trace of them. That may be because they’re just incredibly courteous people who just absented themselves to make room for these folks, but I found it didn’t, in the long run, prove to be a problem. The roommates just…don’t come back.”
On my way out of Arnal’s office, he stopped me.
“I want to express my devotion to Lord Cthulhu above all else,” Arnal said in a suddenly very raspy voice.
I noticed that the hand on my sweater sleeve was suddenly more skeletal than I remembered it being. Suddenly overwhelmed with the feeling that this was the last time we were to meet, I had the good Doctor sign the boilerplate of my copy of the Necronomicon. He was quick to scrawl a message, before retreating back into his office. On the way back to the Classroom Building’s stairs, I read the inscription:
“With evil forebodings – Will Arnal.”
“Sonuva…,” I growled, turning back around. I stopped outside of where I was sure Arnal’s office had been. There was only a solid brick wall where I was sure I had just had my meeting. A sudden blast of cool air shot through the hall, and the overhead lights began to flicker. Never one to mistake the presence of evil for a neglect of utility bills, I fled the building.
Armed with the knowledge that I had gleaned from Dr. Arnal—if there was in fact a Dr. Arnal, and not a highly-entertaining fragment of mine own shattered psyche—I stopped by the dollar store to pick up some arcane and occult materials. Even if they weren’t necessary for the summoning rituals, I found myself running shamefully low on black candles, incense, and ritual knives.
I found myself in the park that backs my house that evening. I held the Necronomicon (and its pronunciation guide) in one hand, and an “enchanted” tree branch in the other. I also had a pitcherful of arcane blood (it was really rank, fermented cherry Kool-Aid, but how the hell would the Ancient Ones tell the difference?). It was then, for the first time, that I actually looked at the ritual.
“Holy hell, this thing is twelve pages fucking long,” I groaned. I got the feeling that the Necronomicon in my hand pulsed with glee at my misfortune.
I had finished the unholy incantations of the summoning of Cthulhu. It was late, and the moon, when it wasn’t dodging in and out of coffin-black clouds, was blood-red and pulsating. I threw down the Necronomicon atop a pile of my own teeth and hair, both of which I had pulled out in a fit of madness, and waited. And waited. And waited.
Several shrieking and maddening hours later, I was still waiting for something to happen. In frustration, I picked up the Necronomicon and read past the incantations. As it turned out, after the recitations and the alignment of the stars, I had to go find the sunken city of R’lyeh. In the southwest of the Pacific Ocean. Dejectedly, I tossed my copy of the Necronomicon into a near by trash fire. The student newspaper may have some powerful resources, but it’s simply beyond our means to get there before the city sinks again. C’est la vie.
My attempt to summon the Ancient One was thwarted by geographic inconvenience. Fret not. I hear there are other Ancient Ones a little closer to home that I’m going to try to conjure before Christmas. If you’re interested in helping me out with those, don’t be afraid to get a hold of me. Happy Halloween, and Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.