Dabbling with the Necronomicon

I’ve been reading the Necronomicon, or at least this paperback, and that’s what informed today’s exercise. It’s one of those ones that I think I definitely could have done better on, and maybe some distant day I will and maybe expand upon it. Definitely an SFD.

Hannah scowled at the much-beaten paperback in her hands. “It looks like they let a baby play with the keyboard for some of these names, seriously.”

“They have a basis in ancient Sumerian,” Kevin said without looking away from his computer screen. “Hey look, this person will supposedly go through the gates for you.”

“I think they have a basis in ‘sounds people make when drowning in pudding,’” Hannah said. She stuck the faded receipt Kevin used as a bookmark back in the book and set it down.

“I can’t believe people sell spellcasting services on eBay.”

“I can’t believe anyone buys. What are you looking for again?” Hannah leaned a hand on Kevin’s desk and peered over his shoulder.

“All these spells require engraving things on sheets of various metals. I’m hoping I can get a really small sheet and write really small,” Kevin said.

Hannah snorted. “You’d be better off studying with the time you have.”

“Well, for those of us that aren’t geniuses, sometimes the only hope is supernatural assistance.”

“From some paperback your roommate gave you?” Hannah scoffed. She looked over at Vince’s half of the room. He had draped black sheets over the posts of his bed, saying the light from the commuter lot kept him awake at night.

Vince was kind of hot, in the “high school goth who was taking a while to grow out of it in college” way. Hannah and Kevin were friends from high school, so they hung out a lot now in college, and one of the first things Hannah had done after moving in was to come find Kevin. After meeting Vince, she had revived her old punk wardrobe in hopes of catching his eye. They went out to coffee once, but after listening to him go on about all the demons he’d supposedly summoned, and then telling her all about how he was “polysexual,” she lost interest. Some thrifty hipster was probably enjoying their Goodwill store find of Hannah’s grommet and safety pin-pierced, pleated, plaid skirt by now.

Now every time she came to hang out with Kevin and saw Vince, knowing what a freak he was marred any enjoyment of his looks. And now he had Kevin thinking he could summon ancient demigods for help with his finals. The Necronomicon. Hannah always thought it would be bigger, definitely a hardcover, maybe bound in human skin. She read Lovecraft. Weren’t there only supposed to be a handful of copies kept under key by careful librarians? Not some mass market paperback sold in Hot Topic to wannabe warlocks.

“So, why can’t Vince appeal to the demons for you? Is it something you have to do yourself?” Hannah asked.

Kevin clicked through more listings. “He wanted way too much in payment.”

Hannah scoffed. “More than you’d pay for a sheet of gold or silver? Even copper pipes and wire costs a buttload these days.”

Kevin gave her a haunted look. “He didn’t want money,” he uttered.

“Oh. OH!” Hannah covered her mouth with her hands, to hold back a smile. “Speaking of a ‘buttload.’ Sleep with your ass against the wall.”

Kevin shuddered.

Hannah picked the book up again. “Kev, this is ridiculous. Did you see the timelines here? There are a bunch of gates to go through and each one takes a month of preparation. You only have a couple of weeks.”

“Seriously?” Kevin gave his mouse a shove.

“Did you even read this?”

“Glanced.”

Hannah flipped pages. “Did you see the pronunciation key at the front? You have to say all this shit exactly or you’ll get your soul eaten. Just studying how to pronounce all this would take longer than just studying for your tests.” She tossed the book back onto Kevin’s bed. “Want me to quiz you? We can camp out in the library for awhile.”

Kevin groaned. “Maybe that’s best,” he said, stretching his arms over his head. “Just let me gather up my stuff.” He bent to shove books into his backpack.

“Maybe we could stop by the dining hall? I’m getting hungry,” Hannah said.

“Sure.”

The door opened. “Hey dude,” Kevin said, still focused on packing, “thanks for the book but I think I’m going to do this the regular way.” He looked up at Hannah as she gripped his shoulder. “What?”

Vince stood in the doorway, not moving, his jaw slack and his eyes blank. “You okay?” Kevin asked.

There was a long pause before Vince replied in an awkward tone, as if finding his voice for the first time: “I am… O. K.” He shuffled in, staggering as though used to having more than just two limbs and not sure of how to manage without them.

Hannah and Kevin exchanged a spooked look. “Is he high or something?” Hannah whispered. Kevin shrugged. Vince continued on to their one window at the end of the room, leaned against the sill, and peered up at the stars.

“Maybe we should just go?” Hannah said. “Leave him to his weirdness?”

“Maybe,” Kevin said. “But if he’s fucked up, maybe we should make sure he’s okay first. I don’t want to come back to an ODed roommate. Dude,” he said to Vince. “Have you gone to dinner yet? We were gonna hit the dining hall if you want to come.”

Vince looked over his shoulder, his face shining with sweat, strands of black-dyed hair clinging to it. “I have… consumed,” he intoned.

Hannah leaned toward Kevin and hissed, “He’s creeping me out! Let’s go!”

“Okay, well, uh… we’re going. We’ll probably be in the library awhile. See ya later.” Kevin shouldered his pack and took off out of the room, Hannah at his heels.

Vince turned back to the window, muttering gibberish syllables, an uncertain but increasingly unsettling grin spreading across his pallid face.

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~ by Amber on June 8, 2012.

One Response to “Dabbling with the Necronomicon”

  1. I love how mundane this story is without reaching those pointless levels of a hohum routine. It tells a story and definitely sets up very human characters.

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