The Summoning: A Short Story

Mon Aug 26, 2019

Lids bit her lip, frowning at the text that she had thought she would have been able to understand no problem. Apparently, as usual, she could not understand it no problem. 

The issue was that her Latin wasn’t exactly… stellar. She had taken Latin, yes. Of course she had, all students at Alistair’s Academy for Gifted Children were required to take Latin. But she hadn’t exactly learned a lot in that class.  

There was a knock on the door, startling her from her concentrated squinting. “Olivia!” Joseph’s shrill voice yelled, the word just slurred enough that she recognized that her friend was super drunk. “Aren’t you coming?” 

Lids had no idea where they were going but did know that she had more important things to do. “I’ll catch up!” She lied, knowing it was the only response that would convince him to leave without her. While there was a long groan on the other side, she did hear the sound of retreating footsteps a moment later and counted it a success. 

Setting the book on the ground and taking a breath, Lids surveyed the setup in front of her. She’d fashioned a pentagram out of rose petals, had lit as many candles as she could find (many of which were the flowery scents her roommate kept around, but there was also an AXE body spray one that she had found at a dollar store, which really threw off the scent combination) and had turned her roommate’s hanging cross upside down. Nodding in self-assurance, she looked down at the text, raised her arms, and read the passage. 

What she lacked in accuracy, she made up for in confidence. She made her voice as loud and booming as she could manage, channeling the old wizard she must have been in a previous life. 

When she had finished, she kept her arms raised for a few seconds, the room still. After a couple moments passed in disappointingly normal silence, Lids dropped her arms with a huff. What was she going to do for fun if she couldn’t summon a-- 

All of the candles in the room went out at once. 

It probably would have been a more dramatic effect if it had left the room pitch black, but as it was, the curtains were still half open and the 5 o’clock sun streamed in unimpeded. 

As if a spot in her vision slowly gained corporality, a figure seemed to mist into being at the center of her hastily-fashioned pentagram. It was long and slender, far too much of both to be considered human, wearing a cloak of black tendrils made of something like shadow.

“Hello,” Lids greeted cheerfully, very happy that she would not have to resort to attending Joseph’s party in order to stave off boredom tonight.

“Mortal,” the hooded figure rasped, extending a long, bony finger at her. “Have you any idea what you have done, toying with these dark magics? Do you know what you have just released upon the world?” 

Lids blinked. “I was hoping we could just kind of hang out.” 

The figure was quiet for a few long seconds, shadowy tendrils at the bottom of their cloak moving restlessly against her pink carpet. Lids opened her mouth to elaborate when the figure raised a hand again, this time with the palm down and the fingers splayed wide. “Will there be… nail painting?” It asked slowly. 

Lid’s mouth immediately exploded into a wide grin. “Of course there will be nail painting.”