Request Mondays

We enter the final third of this story with an interesting twist coming into play. Hopefully I have handled this well.

Oh and I blame Jim Butcher's Dreasden Files for giving me the idea.



[11]


"We're sorry but this number is no longer in service." Ricky hung up, swearing under his breath as he did so. Alice was gone. No, gone would have been normal and understandable. Nobody in her apartment complex remembers anyone living in her unit for the past three months. Police have no record of her ever working there or anyone by that name.

Were it not for the things she had left at his apartment he would have bought the idea of her being some sort of post-traumatic hallucination. It worried him that she had disappeared so thoroughly, and even though the divinities out there obviously had their hands full with this Nemesis business he had to know just what happened.

It had been years since he had attempted a summons. It, in fact, wasn't strictly Egyptian so far as he had known. What he was doing more closely resembled the sort of thing one expects out of pagan ritual as propagated by sensationalist media. It took the better part of a day to gather everything and make everything ready.

Of course since his apartment was rented he couldn't very well do anything permanent he had to settle with a raised plywood platform for everything to work on. Nothing special there, just a four by four square of wood with studs along the bottom edge to give the whole thing a little rigidness. On top of this he drew the summoning circle and placed candles, with several glances at the compass he'd bought for this reason,, at the cardinal points. No internal pentagram though. Not only was it unnecessary, but if anyone chose to walk in he would have all manner of... problems ...what with the pentagram's association with satanism and such.

There'd be a fun headline. Pagan cultist arrested performing blood ritual. He did not take with Vouden's stipulations of colors holding purpose, but he found white and black to suit the aesthetics and with them spaced as they were there was a certain amount of balance in play.

Beer would not do, not even something brewed by his own efforts, not for this. He did not like what would be his best method of calling the god to him, so like anyone faced with unpleasant options he stalled. Oh he told himself he was going through a ritual cleansing of the body, and even though from a certain perspective that was true, he was most definitely stalling.

In his next act of caution/stalling he inspected the binding circle again. It was made with gold paint carefully rolled along a penciled in circle done with a landscaper's compass and chalk. In the gold border he drew a series of hieroglyphs that seemed to best suit his needs. A somewhat lax translation would go something like this, 'You are commanded to not cross this line. Failure to heed this warning will cause your soul to be thrown into the underworld to be consumed by the lion, the crocodile, the hyena, and the hippo. You are commanded to not cross this...' etc. etc.

If it worked it would be something like luring a wild lion to you with bloody steak then putting it in a big paper bag while you stand in front of it hoping it doesn’t decide to tear your head off. Ricky took a deep breath and exhaled before picking up a silvered bell, the sort that the salvation army uses when calling for donations.

Candles were lit at the corners and the other lights in the room were dimmed. He fought down panic and fear over what he was doing and approached the southern point of the circle. "Anubis. Lord of the Dead. Anubis, my lord. I call you to me in my hour of need." He brought one of his kitchen knives up as if showing it to some invisible spectator watching from inside the circle. "I offer a portion of my life's blood to honor you Lord."

He used the knife to cut across his left palm. It wasn't a deep cut, but it was deep enough to cause precious bodily fluid to fill his cupped hand almost before he could grab the bell in his other.

"Come forth." He swung the bell once.

"Come forth." Blood was threatening to spill on the carpet when he rang the bell a second time. He could not afford to pay it any attention though. His mind, in it's entirety, was focused on the calling.

"Come forth!" When he rang the bell a third time he tipped his left hand over a shallow bowel just inside the circle and quickly pulled outside it's parameter.

For a minute there was nothing. Just Ricky standing in his bedroom pressing an old t-shirt into his hand to keep from bleeding everywhere. There was no whispering of power, no manifestations. Nothing.

Other than grabbing something for his hand Ricky did not move. He barely breathed. Work! This has to work! I'm caught in something and I have nowhere else i can turn.

The candlelight stirred. Was it from the air conditioner kicking over? Still, Ricky did not move. His god had revealed himself, and he found it impossible to believe that he would be casually turned aside.

Shadows gathered, it was a subtle thing at first but soon grew more pronounced. Slowly a man-shape formed in the circle's center. It was, and was not, the same as Ricky had seen him before. This was the god in his natural form. Human, but exuding an aura, not quite of power but of self around him as the shadows fell away from his newly minted body.

When his eyes opened he saw Ricky kneeling, head down, on the outside of the plaform. "Bit of trouble you've gone to here Richard. What can I do for you?" Conversational tone, easy manner. He even gave an amused glance at the circle.
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