The sun crested over the horizon. The new day dawned, cold and bright. Halloween. The final showdown.
“Morning.” Amber said, shaking Scott awake. He groaned and rolled over, shielding his eyes form the sun. “Hey, up and at ‘em. Don’t you have more stuff to take care of?”
“No.” he said, not opening his eyes. “I did everything I needed to last night. The rest we can’t do ‘til we meet with Cross later.”
“But, what if the girls are on the move?” she asked worriedly.
“So what? We know their plan.” Scott said, yawning. I’d be more surprised if they weren’t busy with last minute preparations. They’re running two major rituals tonight, the prep for that’s gotta be crazy. Besides, they won’t start anything until tonight. Full moon on Halloween night? Couldn’t ask for better magical conditions, the barrier of reality’s at its weakest.”
“Yeah, I guess.” she said absentmindedly. Scott sat up against his headboard.
“Alright, what’s wrong?” Amber tugged on her ponytail.
“Ahh, nothing. Not really.” He sighed and patted the bed. She sat down and he looked at her expectantly. “It’s just…it’s really here. We’re really going to move out tonight. And-” She gulped. “We…might have to kill my best friend. My former best friend. I know she deserves it. I know that. I know we have to stop her, no matter what. I know that we’ll try not to have any deaths tonight. I know all that. I just wish it hadn’t come to this. Why me? Why Stephanie? She’s killed so many. She didn’t used to be like this. She knew how precious life is. Or at least, I thought she did.” She looked out the window, at a robin taking flight from a tree.
“And?” Scott said gently.
“I’ve been thinking it over all night. What Stephanie did, is doing, is wrong. We have to stop her. I just hope we can stop her before something drastic happens that forces your hand. I…I’ve found out personally how horrible death is.” She looked down at her glowing hands. “I…I don’t want her to go through this. I don’t want anyone to go through what I went through. And I…” Amber stared helplessly at Scott. “I…don’t want you to go through that. Or Detective Cross. Or your parents, or mine, or anyone else.” she said quickly, the words pouring from her mouth faster and faster. “I know I can’t stop death, it’s a natural process. But taking someone before their time, is so…needlessly cruel! How…how could I… how could she…”
“Hey, hey. It’s all right. I understand.” Scott said, taking her hand and giving it a gentle, reassuring squeeze. “I know. I think I know better than anyone, even you maybe.” he said quietly. “The necrotic energy…I can feel it. I can feel what it means. But I can also feel it when the dead rise again. It feels like…throwing off a sleeping blanket of darkness. That’s the closest I can describe it. And it feels good. Like I’m defying what is, in favor of what should be.” He scratched the side of his head, blushing lightly. “Heh. This’s the first time I’ve tried to put this in words. But it’s no less true for my lack of elocution.” Amber chuckled, and so did he. There was a moment of silence after they finished, both waiting for the other to say something first.
“But…what if the worst happens tonight?” she finally said, voicing the question that had been burning in her mind all night. They both knew she wasn’t talking about the daemons.
“It’s not going to happen. I won’t let it. There’s a lot that can happen, but I’m not worried about that, because of one reason. Let me let you in on a little secret.” He smiled at her; not like in the past, wryly or actually a grin, just a pure, warm, confidant smile.
“No necromancer is scared of death.”
"Alright. Everything ready?" Cross said, shivering in the chill October wind. The sun was technically still up, but it was only a matter of moments before it fell below the horizon. It was still bright though; the full moon hung in the sky, a beacon in the fading light ushering in an age of darkness. Despite the chill she felt an anxious energy run up and down her body, making her feet sweat. It was the thrill of danger before an operation, giving her an itching desire for movement. Scott and Amber glanced at one another, and nodded.
"All set. We've got everything we need." Scott said, handing her the Necronomicon. "Here, keep this in the car. I'd rather not have anything happen to it while this's going down." She took it and bit her lip.
"Got it. Kid...are you sure you don't want me there? I'm uneasy sending you in there alone." He chuckled.
"I'm sure. You're most needed for phase three, as well as transportation. I'm not old enough to drive. And you needn't be so concerned. I'm hardly alone." He swept his arm to encompass the four rotting zombies freshly dug up from the yard they were standing in. "How'd the meeting go, by the way?" he asked. Cross snorted.
"At first, about as well as you'd expect. Twenty cops, told to help stop some teenage girls from summoning some demons and causing the apocalypse? They laughed and nearly walked out on me. They changed their tune quick when I had the zombie march out in front of 'em, though." She smiled at the memory. The officer had nearly soiled himself when he realized it wasn't a prank. "Thanks for telling it to follow my orders for awhile. Chris put a couple of shots in it, though."
"So I see." Scott said, examining the bullet holes. "Wondered how that happened. Well, that's it. See you soon, if we're all alive. 'Cept for you, Amber." he coughed, and she gave him a half-hearted swipe upside the head.
"Right. Lots of luck to you kids." She shook both of their hands, and got in the car. I'm off. I'll be circling around. If you need me, call me."
"Will do." Amber said, and they watched her drive off. "Here we are. Ready to go?"
"Yup. Let's go this." He cracked his knuckles and licked his lips. "Hastazemus, come forth! I summon you now!"
They sky got just a bit darker and a foul smell wafted across his yard. Black leathery smoke shifted from the shadows, unfurling into the daemon.
"Ahh, young master. It is time to strike?" he asked, unable to keep the wolfish glee from his voice. Scott nodded.
"We have to go to 23 Lestat Avenue. Take us there, and we'll raise some hell. Literally?" he asked, eyebrow raised. The daemon chuckled.
"Most certainly, master. Now, stand in close." They huddled in, and he howled "Away!" Reality blurred, shimmering stars and black space folding and unfolding upon themselves, and in the dimming light they found themselves across the street from Stephanie's house. They blinked.
"This is...new. I know her house was big, but she didn't live in an actual mansion before." Amber said, wide-eyed at the new property standing tall in the neighborhood.
"They, uh, must've done some remodeling." Scott said.
"Is everything ready?" Stephanie said, gliding down the staircase in a long, dark purple robe with a black catsuit underneath it. She had spent the last half hour ritually cleaning herself, focusing her mind on the task before her. There were to be no screw-ups tonight. The girls stopped what they were doing and bowed, all dressed in similar robes.
"Indeed. Everything has been prepared to the letter." Carla said, going over a checklist. "The circles have been drawn around the hearts in the basement, the sigils have been inscribed perfectly, and the fires have been lit in the braziers."
"Everything's ready at the party, too." Courtney put forth, smiling confidently. "I’d say we got ninety percent of the town there already, and it only kicks off in an hour. The circle's been drawn around the town square, and the idols have been placed in the four corners."
"All our parents are there, too." Ivory said dully. Ever since Bess's death, she had felt scared and numb. The only reason she hadn't headed for the hills already was because she was terrified of what Stephanie would do to her.
"Excellent. The sun is almost down, and the moon is full." Unseen, Brxthilas cackled madly and Stephanie smiled. "It is time to proceed. Carla, take Ivory and Courtney to the town square and await my arrival. I shall perform the ritual alone."
"What?" Carla said, sharing a glance with the other girls. "You're going to do the ritual by yourself?"
"Yes? Is there a problem?" Stephanie said, cocking her head. "If everything is already prepared, then all I must do is recite the incantations and perform the sacrifice. Your presence is better suited for managing things at the party in my absence right now, and I will be along shortly. Is there an...issue?" Carla's eyes went wide.
"No, ma'am. I understand." Reciting a spell, she grabbed the other two before they could protest and sank into the shadows, Stephanie chuckled.
"Well, Brxthilas? Shall we begin?" He popped into existence above her shoulder.
"Hell yes, boss lady! I've been waiting too long! Finally, I-" Suddenly, he became alarmed as he sensed something. Close. "Boss-!" The front door was kicked open.
"Sup, bitches!" Scott called as he strode confidently through the door. "Make way, make way! Necromancer here coming through, ready to make some corpses and raise 'em after! Ready to-huh?" He looked around the spacious parlor, only seeing Stephanie staring at him. "Where is everybody?"
"They have moved on to the main event." Stephanie sneered at him imperiously. I take it your presence here is not to join us?"
"Got that right!" he grinned back, and shrugged nonchalantly. "Oh well. I was hoping for a live studio audience to watch you getting your ass kicked, but I suppose a dead one will do just as well. Boys!" Four zombies came in and surrounded him in a defensive diamond pattern. Stephanie laughed
"Seriously? Do you think some moldy old bones are enough to stop me?"
"Boss, I don't think that-"
"Impetuous fool!" she cried. "I'll tear them apart with a thought and do the same to you. Watch!" She raised a hand and sent a bolt of purple flame at him. He grinned as a shadow reared up in front of him and absorbed it, reducing it to nothing. Four red eyes glared at her. Stephanie narrowed hers.
"I see I'm not the only one with an interest in daemonology." she said. Brxthilas fluttered around her in panic.
"Boss, this's bad! I know him, he's in the upper leagues! I don't know what that kid promised him, but I can promise you I'm not in his weight class!"
"And so what?" she said, shifting her gaze to him. "Are you just going to roll over and give up? I refuse. I've worked far too hard for this moment to be undone now. You forget my power. And the power of the girls. It will be enough. It has to be." Back below, Hastazemus growled to the necromancer.
"This arrogant witch. She is to be struck down?"
"Yeah. Kick her ass, will you?"
"So I SHALL!" Hastazemus roared, unfurling his cape into four batlike wings, the top set large, the bottom two small, baring his fangs and four-fingered claws. Eyes blazing, he shot forward, spinning his hands together like coiling rope to generate a wheel of fire. He threw it at her, but it was dispersed by a shield around her.
"It's not that easy!" Stephanie howled, running up the stairs, turning to face him as he wheeled through the air of the enchanted hall. "Tsathla!" A bolt of lightning shot out form her finger, which was easily deflected by a blow form a wing. The electricity arced along the ceiling and wall, scorching them.
"Ha ha!" he bellowed, tossing back his head. "Foolish woman! You could never hope to defeat me!"
"Like hell I can't! Zab astouth!" She pointed her hands at him, and twelve glowing orbs of energy poured out, speeding towards the daemon. He dodged and weaved through them, but Stephanie grunted with effort and flicked her wrist, sending one of them to clip his wing and exploding against it. He howled as he fell, the others homing in and bursting on his body, smoke billowing through the air. Scott whistled.
"Ha! How's that!" Stephanie cawed, throwing her hands wide and clapping them together. "I call upon winter! S'shan do athtorahk!" The daemon was suddenly encased in ice, crashing to the floor. She descended the stairs triumphantly, conjuring a sledgehammer. Hastezemus wasn’t finished, however.
“Nnnn. Graaaahh!” With a burst of strength, he flexed and shattered the ice, steaming as it flew away. She cursed and threw the sledgehammer at him with unnatural strength, and with a quick incantation turned it into a venomous snake. It flew through the air, hissing, and sunk its fangs into the daemon’s forearm.
“How do you like that?”
“Venom is nothing compared to the might of daemons.” Hastazemus said, smiling cruelly as the snake combusted. Clutching his arm and grimacing, he ripped it of at the elbow. The blood dripping out coagulated into another arm, good as new. He grinned and threw it at Stephanie, who leapt away. Which was the proper move, as the daemon flesh exploded where she was standing a moment before.
“Boss, I don’t know how much more I have to give.” Brxthilas moaned, panting and sweating with effort.
“Shut up! I’ll destroy him!” she snarled, firing purple bolts of energy in a close pattern Hastazemus’s way, which he merely flickered in and out of existence away from, laughing at her. “Aahhh! I’ve had enough!” She threw her hands in the air, drawing forth as much power as she could. “Bas fintall p’lyzmick athtawnas!” She swept her hands at the daemon, catching him off-guard at the content of the spell.
“Gurk-!” he got out as his form was suddenly changed into a frog.
“Got you, you four eyed freak! Now what do you have to say for yourself?” Stephanie said, cawing with delight. The frog laughed and bugled, morphing back into his daemonic form.
“Daemons can shapeshift!” Scott called helpfully from the sidelines.
“Such effort, all for such a waste! It seems there is much she does not know!” Hastazemus said, guffawing. Her eyebrow twitched.
“Shut up! Die!” She stomped her foot and said something undecipherable, telekinetically picking up a bookshelf and hurling it at him, which he easily shattered with one blow from a claw.
“Man. This’s a good show. Wish I had popcorn.” Scott muttered. Hastazemus grinned and teleported over, holding a tub out to him. “Wow, thanks!”
“Anything for my master.” he replied smugly, glancing over at the witch with one eye. Scott took it and ate some.
“Mmm. Perfectly buttered.”
“How dare you!” Stephanie exploded. “Do not! Make fun! Of ME!” Screeching indecipherable incantations, her form blurred and divided, splitting off three exact clones. “How’s this! Four curses coming at you at once!” Hastazemus looked at her and grinned.
“Fool!” Suddenly, each Stephanie was surrounded by four Hastazemuses, glowering down at her. “Four bodies, but only one consciousness to control them! Mortals can’t coordinate enough in only three dimensions!” Each daemon rained down blows upon the Stephanies, beating each to a bloody pulp. They tried to form shield spells, but were smacked around too much to respond. “Never try to outdo a daemon at their own specialty!” The Stephanies groaned and folded back into one, shacking, black and blue, barely able to stand.
“I…I think that’s enough.” Amber said, wincing at the sight of her former friend.
“Do you surrender?” Hastazemus said. Stephanie spat out blood from her mouth.
“Never.” she hissed.
“Then you lose.” Scott said, behind her. Her eyes went wide and he placed a hand on her head. “Sekh.” She screamed in agony as the necrotic energy shot through her, making her rot and decay form the inside out. He let go and she fell to the floor, twitching.
“I…I will never give up.” she groaned, trying to get to her feet, fury in her eyes. “The…the town shall be mine. The world shall be mine! Leo shall be mine!” she cried, defiant. Scott blinked.
“Leo? The guy has a girlfriend, you know.” he said.
“Wha? Really? I thought he just didn’t like me. Or was gay.” Stephanie said absentmindedly. Hastazemus took advantage of her distraction to chop her on her shoulders. “Swvah!” Her shield was the only thing saving her life, as the blow drove her through the floor and into the basement. She groaned and fell limp.
“Wow. Pretty spacious.” Scott said as the daemon levitated them down. Hastazemus was about to move in to finish her off, but then noticed the circle she was lying on.
“What? Could it be-?” He scanned the room, taking in each sigil, the braziers, the circle, the runes on the walls. He glanced over and saw the seven hearts in glass jars on the table. He grinned.
“All right. I don’t think she’ll be any more trouble, so all we have to do is get some rope and-” Scott said, striding forward, Amber and the zombies close behind.
“Master.” Hastazemus interrupted, a black smile on his face. I believe she was about to carry out a very specific ritual.” Scott turned to him in horror.
“N-No! No way!” Brxthilas shrieked, flying in front of the larger daemon. No fair! I was the one who did the work, I deserve-” Hastazemus gestured and the implike daemon popped, exploding into black ichor.
“I know what my favor is to be.” he continued.
“Oh. Uh, can’t…can’t we talk about this?” Scott said shrilly, glancing about nervously. The daemon shook his head. “Nooo…!”
“Master. By our pact, I declare that my favor is to consume the hearts of seven maidens and complete the ritual!” Hastazemus proclaimed. The magic circle began to glow a dark, daemonic red.
“No no no!” Scott cried, sweating. “Guys, get him!” The zombies surged forward, Bones at the lead, but with a glance the daemon flung them into the wall. Chanting echoed throughout the basement, ghostly tongues speaking forbidden, unholy incantations as Hastazemus lumbered over, twisted off the top of the first jar, and tossed the heart down his throat.
“No! You can’t!” Scott shouted, throwing himself forward, spells forming themselves on his lips, but he was tossed aside as easily as his zombies. The daemon slurped down another heart.
“Graaahhh!” Amber threw all her power at the daemon, and he swayed as if in a stiff breeze. He pointed a finger at her, and she screamed as her soul was shredded and reformed instantly. Hastazemus gulped down the hearts, the circle’s glow intensifying, until he reached the fifth.
“Ahh. I believe this is yours, my dear.” He said, reading the label. He opened his mouth to have his tongue shear off the top, snake around the heart, and withdraw to devour it. “Delicious!” He smashed open the other two, and consumed them both. The chanting ceased, and his eyes blazed white. The entire world held its breath.
“Yes…YES! I can feel the power!” He roared and flexed, tearing a hole in reality. Daemons of all shapes and sizes poured out, shrieking with joy, and flying out of the basement. After a minute, Hastezemus groaned and let go, collapsing the hole. “Even now, it is a strain. But a few hundred daemons is more than enough for a start. Now our business is concluded, and I have other matters to attend to Like Laying waste to the town. Farewell, ‘master’.”
“N-No. I…I deserve the power!” Stephanie said, forcing herself to stand. The daemon glanced at her contemptuously, and blasted her through the roof, her only defense a quick shield spell.
“Foolish mortals. Brethren! To me! I declare myself king of this realm! Hear me, and obey!” Laughing uproariously, he spread his wings and took off, dancing in the sky with the others.
Amber shakily floated to her feet. Scott groaned and sat up, rubbing his head. His zombies were squished, but their bodies cushioned the blow for Bones, at least.
“Least I still have one. You got it, Amber?” he said.
“Yeah, no problem.” she answered, trying to shake her disorientation off.
“Good. Phase two is complete.” He tried to grin, but grimaced in pain. “Ow. Phase two has pain. A lot of pain. Why does phase two have so much pain?”
The moon gleamed in the sky high and bright above the town. Four burning, baleful eyes filled with hate and dark glee took in the sight, chuckling. Hastazemus sat in a throne on a cloud, his court a multitude of daemons of all different shapes and sizes cavorting before him, staining the sky red with their auras.
“Free! Free! Free to annihilate this pathetic world! Oh, sweet freedom to run amok!” a monkey-like daemon gibbered above the din, in a language harsh and more ancient than the sands of Egypt.
“What shall we do first?” a daemon that was purely a mouth called out.
“Burn them!” A cacophony of answers rang out, whipping each other into a terrible frenzy.
“Hold.” One said, louder than the rest. Its physical form appeared as a furry cube. “There are many things that are to be done. We must provide a foothold here, so our lord may gather his strength to open a gate again. What say you, lord?” All senses turned to Hastazemus, smiling above the world.
“Can we not accomplish the same goal with different ways?” he bellowed, his voice like thunder. “The methods matter not. The goal shall be achieved. I can feel the hearts within me.” He pounded his chest, and belched. More power surged up within him. “I feel it. The power comes. Go! Go and erase the humans from this place. We shall wear their corpses as another skin, and spread from here to the four corners of the earth. Those humans who take up our banner shall be our slaves, toys to do with as we desire!” A cheer went up from the assembled daemons.
“And the portal? What of the Princes?” one called out.
“They will be brought forth in time. I shall shatter the dimensional barrier, and take my place among the venerable Archlords. The age of Hastazemus has come. This world shall wither and break. Sound the gong! Go! Destroy them! Destroy them all!”
He laughed as the daemons screeched with joy and descended upon the town, spreading the sky’s bleeding red stain in their wake. Hastazemus laughed; after all, the humans had allowed him into the world. And thus, their day of reckoning had come.
“All right men, listen up!” Cross shouted in the fading light, military-sharp. They were gathered at the cemetery, around Amber’s grave. The assembled men, all police officers, recognized her tone as not to be disobeyed at all costs. “I know tonight will be difficult. I know it won’t be exactly the work you’re used to. I know we might not all make it through the night. But you men took an oath when you signed up, an oath to protect and serve! Well, now you have to protect and serve the whole damn planet! You must do whatever is necessary! I understand this is a difficult position we’re in, but I’ve been dealing with this crap all along already, and are you men going to tell me you’re not as tough as a little old lady like me, are you?” she snarled.
“No ma’am!” they answered, and she nodded, pleased, glaring at them with a fierce pride.
“Right! Any minute now, this town is going to be under siege. This is not your concern! That will be taken care of. Our job is simple: we are going to send aid to the town, then proceed to the town square and protect the citizens of this fair town like we do every day! Got it? Good! Any questions?” A younger officer raised his hand. “Yes?”
“Uh, ma’am…who’s the kid?” he asked, pointing to Scott, who was kneeling on the ground, a towel on his head and eating orange slices.
“This, gentlemen, is the kid who is the lynchpin to the entire operation! We are here at his behest, to help him do what only he can do! You are to protect him with your lives, if necessary!” Cross barked.
“Wow, laying it on a little thick, aren’t you Detective?” Scott muttered.
“I’m sure she’s just nervous. And to be honest, you are the key to everything here.” Amber said, handing him a water bottle. The men who saw it had their eyes go wide, a water bottle “floating” up to his hand. A couple officers finished unloading the car and wheeled the line markers up to them nervously. They kept glancing at their helper; understandable, since it was a walking skeleton.
“Good, the materials are here. Men, take one of these printouts an draw a circle around the entire cemetery. These markings must be inscribed exactly as you see on the paper. Make sure they are exactly at the correct points. Both Scott and I will be around to supervise. Understood?”
“Yeah, Maggie. I’m looking at this thing, and it’s making my head hurt. This, I dunno, don’t feel right, like some kind of dark spell or something.” Tommy spoke up, giving the printout a once over and frowning. Scott grinned.
“Of course it does, officer. It’s dark magic, plain and simple. But in this case, it’s more…morally neutral than evil. In any case, it’s better than being eaten by a daemon, right?” he said. The officers murmured among themselves uneasily.
“Enough! You have your orders! Get out there and do ‘em, or else you’ll have me on your asses!” Cross snapped. They saluted and dispersed, grabbing the chalk and getting busy with the operation. Scott and Amber stared at Cross.
“Yeesh. Hard to tell who they’re more afraid of.” Amber said. Cross smiled confidently.
“Hey, Maggie.” A stocky, older man in a sweatervest said, coming up to her.
“Pete!” she cried, eyes lighting up. “What are you doing here?”
“Came as soon as I heard you needed men for a job.” He said, clasping her hand and giving her a hug. “Have to say, I never thought this’d happen. I’ve seen a lot in forty years on the job, but this’s easily the freakiest…stuff I’ve seen.” He said, glancing at Scott. Amber huffed. “All this…magic and crap. Can’t believe it’s real. This’s a game-changer, that’s for sure.”
“Like you wouldn’t believe.” Scott said.
“And nothing but a headache for me.” Cross said, rubbing her temples. “It’s been a nightmare. Anyway, I’m glad you’re here Pete, but…you’re not exactly a young man anymore.” She grimaced, but he only smiled good-naturedly.
“I know. I can’t help out with much, especially with this occult stuff. But I figure hey, a meatball sub never hurt.” He held up a bag and a soda.
“Food! Thanks!” Scott took the bag and slurped down the soda, but didn’t open the sandwich. “I’ll need this for afterwards. Thanks. Pete, was it?”
“Yeah, I-” There was a loud boom, like thunder. Everyone looked up into the sky. It was starting to turn a deep blood red.
“Oh no.” Scott said in horror. “Alright, people! We gotta move! Get it done as soon as possible, they’re on their way! You! No, you! That sigil isn’t like that, the lines have to be curved to the left more, like this!” He went around the cemetery, making sure the circle was correct.
After almost half an hour, it was done. The sigils were inscribed, the circle was drawn, and the police were baffled.
“Maggie, we’re done with this. Now what?” Tommy said. She looked over the circle, checked the paper, and nodded.
“Now, you leave.”
“You heard me.” Cross said sternly and glanced at Scott, who nodded. “Our presence is no longer required here. We have to move to the town square and protect the partygoers. The whole town’s there. I still have a job to do, but I will meet you there.”
“Then why did we go through all this trouble here?” he said, eyebrow raised. Scott spoke up.
“Because the coven’s still running around, but we’ve got an army of daemons breathing down our necks. But leave them to me. I’ll, ahh, call in some backup.” Scott smiled, and Tommy shivered. He could’ve sworn the kid’s brown eyes turned green for a moment.
“Whatever, man.” He and the other cops turned and left, only Cross staying behind.
“You sure you can do this, kid?” she asked. Scott licked his lips and nodded.
“I’ve never been more sure of anything else in my life.” he said, slowly walking around the edge of the circle. His heart was pounding in his chest. “This is what I’ve been preparing for. What I was born for.” Almost in a trance, he was pacing the circle’s edge and breathing steadily. The chalk, a plain uniform white, seemed to brighten and dim in rhythm with him. “There’s no one else who can do this. Would do this. I am a necromancer. I am ready.” He looked at Cross and Amber, his eyes glowing a brilliant toxic emerald green. “Are you?” They both shivered. Taking no notice, Scott clapped his hands together and began to chant. “Aztock, turath, neb emuu kashnoth serbaph jslatmon ha. Aztock, turath, neb emuu kashnoth serbaph jslatmon ha. Aztock, turath, neb emuu kashnoth serbaph jslatmon ha. Aztock, turath, neb emuu kashnoth serbaph jslatmon ha!” The ground began to shake. The air became heavy and thick. Amber and Cross looked around fearfully, but Scott tossed back his head and laughed, laughed like a madman. “Aztock, turath, neb emuu kashnoth serbaph jslatmon ha!” He could feel the power reach down deep, touching them, filling them all. “Ha ha ha! Yes! Aztock, turath, neb emuu kashnoth serbaph jslatmon ha! Aztock, turath, neb emuu kashnoth serbaph jslatmon ha! Aztock, turath, neb emuu kashnoth serbaph jslatmon ha! Yes!” The entire circle glowed as green as his eyes, the necrotic energy sparking form his fingertips. He let it flow through him, tossing it out onto the world and into the ground, laughing with joy. “Yes! Arise! Aztock, turath, neb emuu kashnoth serbaph jslatmon ha! Arise! Rise up from your graves! I command you! RISE!”
A hand burst up from a grave, boney and thin. The zombie, groaning, dug its way out. But it was not the only one. Scott looked to see them, all of them, bursting up from the ground. Moaning. Shambling. Rising.
“Yes! To me! Ha ha! I wake you from your eternal sleep! Aztock, turath, neb emuu kashnoth serbaph jslatmon ha!” A recently deceased elderly woman climbed out, shifting the earth, dirt cascading from her body. A tombstone nearly three hundred years old crumbled and fell as its owner dug out from underneath.
“Come forth! I, necromancer, use my mastery of the black arts to call you forth! Aztock, turath, neb emuu kashnoth serbaph jslatmon ha! Yes! Rise! Rise to do my bidding! Rise!”
“Scott, quit fooling around. We don’t have much time here.” Amber said sternly, not sounding impressed. Cross merely checked her watch.
“Yeah, how long is this going to take? I have to get over to the others, you know.” she said.
“Shut up, I may never get the chance to do this again! Let me have this.” Scott snapped at them, scowling. He turned back to his horde and cackled madly again. “Yes! Go, my zombies! Kill them! Kill the daemons! Kill them all! Tear them all to pieces! Protect the town! Save the people! GO!” Scott laughed, laughed as the zombies shuffled off, in various states of decay, into the town.