After what seemed like hours of work for that stern bastard, I found myself in the attic of the Fjord building, dusting clear a disturbingly stained altar which held in it a small, sinister-looking basin.
“I didn’t know the Fjord building even had an attic.” I said to Abode, who was working feverishly to set up some odd contraption of mirrors behind me.
“Neither did the builders. That’s the thing about contract workers; you never have people with their hearts in the work.” The professor huffed as he planted a large pole in the middle of the room. “Now, take the library in the old Belfry! There were some dedicated workers. If I’m not misinformed, their hearts were later integrated into some of the finishing touches.”
I shivered, and then, due to the immense dust, sneezed. The sudden noise startled the small rodents which had taken to inhabiting the attic into flight. They flooded the small gap in the middle of the room where the moonlight lit upon the floor and then just as quickly melted into the darkness. I had the overwhelming urge, at that moment, to simply surrender to the sheer weirdness of the situation I was in.
Abode approached the altar and as he drew close I was astounded to find that all around me a reflection of the moon gleamed from numerous mirror emplacements.
“Normally, we’d make a big to-do about waiting for the ‘witching hour’ and so on, but as it’s already far past twilight we may as well just get on with it.” He said, placing the coin into the basin and letting it clatter with the tinkling sound of silver. “I know this is terribly cliché and droll, but as I see you’re not too into this, I’ll need a drop of your blood to feed the belief section of this ritual.” He whispered, and with that I felt a sharp piercing sensation as he pricked my finger with a small silver needle. He pressed the finger into the cold metal of the coin and I hissed, partly from pain and partly from the eerie cool feeling of the texture.
The professor began to chant softly in harsh, guttural sounds. I can’t exactly remember the words, but I’ll never forget the slithering feeling the pure sound of them left upon my skin. He was still gripping my wrist with his bony hand tight, as if he was locked in a sort-of premature rigor mortis. It was at that moment that I noticed how disturbingly wan and wretched his wrinkled, aged face looked in the moonlight.
I sensed a crescendo in the chanting and suddenly a rustling began around us. The rats once again flooded the attic, parting around us as if some invisible barrier kept them away. A glittering sea of eyes shown in the moonlit clearing, and for a moment I didn’t know if I could take much more of the terrifying sight. Abode’s grip on my wrist was almost bone-crushing despite the weak look of his body at that point. His eyes seemed to have become pure white, almost glowing with the light of the moon. He began to shake as his lips formed the words, his booming voice now a ragged whisper. Suddenly, he dropped to the floor, his body completely limp. He fell silent.