By the Pricking of My Thumbs (Open)
Posted: Posted October 15th, 2019 by Pierce Almswell
He didn't know why he was here. Why he was doing this. Why he couldn't just stash the book away, or even leave it where it laid to begin with. But he did take the book. He took it to his apartment, scanned over the pages, spent hours a night googling whatever didn't make sense within them - and there was a lot of that. The more he researched, the more engrossed he became. It was like a wiki for occult practices: incantations, setups for rituals, ingredients for potions, the properties of gems. What started as morbid curiosity became fascination transformed into fervent delving. Nary a free moment went by that wasn't spent immediately hunkering in his home to read more of this thrilling encyclopedia.
Two weeks had gone by since Pierce had pilfered the mysterious book from his long-lost family's empty manor. Now he was here, in this graveyard not but a short drive away from that estate. As for the why? Well, what orphan wouldn't, to some extent, want to meet their biological parents? Of course, such a wish was certainly made easier when the parents had not reportedly gone missing without rhyme or reason. After 21 years with no trace of them, it was safe to presume they were dead, to boot.
So then, how does one go about talking to the presumably deceased? That was why he was in a graveyard, sitting and staring at the names of parents he'd never known inscribed side by side together on a nice, marbled tombstone. How fortuitous that just enough time had passed for dead in absentia to allow for these empty graves. Luckier still that they were situated down a hill well away from the road, with only the woods bordering nearby. It helped abate the worry that the glow of the candles around Pierce on this night would go unnoticed.
Indeed, five sets of candles were placed near-evenly spaced around the circle etched into the ground. In the middle sat Pierce, an old towel placed under him for his own comfort, and before him was opened the very object of such interest. The tome was leatherback, perhaps once tan but now taking a much darker hue with age, and quite large. Hundreds of pages filled it, the apparent years also leaving their mark with the yellow coloring. Now which page this book, or rather this grimoire, was turned to was of the most interest for this night. It was a spell, the title for which indicating it was one for invocation of the supernatural - ghosts of the deceased surely being counted among them. With this setup, he'd followed the instructions provided as best as he'd been able, sans the 'suggestion' that multiple people be present for the spell. It wasn't as if he knew anyone that was such an expert in this sort of thing and would humor this outing.
And now, as Pierce drew in a deep breath, he allowed himself to temporarily forget all the skepticism and apprehension that plagued him up to this point. The grimoire detailed that the spirit's openness was necessary, and that must have also meant that there was power in belief. Slowly (if even a bit dramatically), the words to the incantation were read allowed. Pierce called upon the forces of the otherworld, to pull what was unnatural to this place, thinking of his mysterious parents as best he could all the while. During the reading, there was for but a moment what seemed to be a shift in the air, the flames of the candles around the caster flickering from a wind he wasn't sure he even felt. That.. sensation was gone just as quick as it'd been felt.
Dead silence came after the incantation's end. Pierce was paused on bated breath, gaze shifting between his father's name and then his mother's on the gravestone, and then drawing away to the area around it. All sights provided nothing of what he'd been seeing up to this point. The breath that had been held was released, a small scoff following suit, as if he was finally acknowledging the joke.
"Right, what did I even expect?"
The suspension gave way to a feeling of vindication for the cynicism regarding this whole thing, mixed so nicely with those emotions of embarrassment, relief... and a twinge of disappointment. Magic, indeed. The "grimoire" was shut with a haphazard fling of the arm, its new owner staring accusingly at the names of the complete strangers he was supposed to call kin etched into the marble in front of him, as if blaming them for making him do something so ridiculous. One last kick in the ass delivered from beyond the grave, he supposed.
If only Pierce had known. But he couldn't have, could he? No formal lessons to instruct him, not enough time for analysis, anything to let him know that the spell he, in his rashness fueled by a healthy amount of faithlessness, had cast, was not exactly as he pictured it. It was an invocation of the supernatural, certainly. But without further material or any casters beyond one neophyte, it had become more of an open invitation, welcoming anything not "natural" to be drawn to this spot. Alas, the young man was too clueless to appreciate the gravitas of the situation he had placed himself in. That naivete was something that was sure to soon change...
ooc: Really rusty, but here's my effort to get the ball rolling on this forum again! Along with being a bit appropriate for the Halloween spirit, hopefully~
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