Whispers in the darkness

Originally posted in The Anchor

Joe King – Mediocre Investigative Journalist

Be careful when speaking the words of power while on campus.

In the still of night, the whispers can be heard about campus; calls to the Black Bird of the Woods with a Thousand Young, and the shrill cries of… turkeys?

Last Friday evening, the chatter in the Don spoke of unusual activity on campus—soft hints of a gathering by the woods near the west end of campus. Sitting alone at the shadowy end of the dining hall, a black-cloaked individual stared into an uneaten plate of turkey and gravy over mashed potatoes, and spoke in hushed tones.

“…and unto he that knoweth the signs and uttereth the words, all earthly pleasures shall be granted,” the voice said, and finished with a short chuckle. The mysterious person left the table and exited the dining center.

After leaving, the cloaked figure headed off into the night and crossed the campus. The chase led past the Murray Center and beyond Lot I, into the woods. Waiting hesitantly in Lot I was The Anchor’s news and defense against the dark arts editor, Elisha Kay Aldrich. Amidst the quiet of the tree-lined parking lot, subtle, guttural whispers eased their ways from the darkness within.

“Ia! Shub-Niggurath! Ia! Shub-Niggurath!”

Aldrich’s eyes narrowed at the words and bolted into the woods. Once past the tree line, the voices were jumbled and confusion ran amok. Left was down, up was right—the cardinal directions simply did not exist there! Aldrich wasn’t put off by the rouse, however; she lowered her middle and ring fingers while crossing her thumb under an upraised index finger and touched her lips and forehead.

“The Voorish sign,” she started. “A simple hand motion that allows the unseen to be seen.”

Within moments, Aldrich led the way out of the woods and onto a well manicured lawn, accentuated with prize-winning chrysanthemums—President Carriuolo’s prize-winning chrysanthemums.

A small group of hooded-robed cultists stood around burning coals and motioned the Voorish sign, continuing their ritual.

“Answer the cry of thy servant who knoweth the words of power,” the cultists said in unison.

Aldrich gasped when she heard the words spoken. She said they were seeking to summon Shub-Niggurath, an outer god—an Old One.

As the ritual continued, the cultists threw back their hoods, revealing RIC students, staff and administration: former SCG President Roberta Santini, Rick Nöse, Vice President Don Tencher, Campus Police Chief Fred Ghio and President Carriuolo.

The coals hissed in protest when Nöse cast perfumes upon them. Chief Ghio traced the sigil of Blaesu, and the group spoke as one, the words of power.

“Zariatnatmix, Janna, Etitnamus, Hayras, Fabelleron, Fubentronty, Brazo, Tabrasol, Nisa, Varf-Shub-Riccurath! Gabots Membrot!”

Aldrich’s faced squinted in confusion.

“Riccurath,” she said. “Not Niggurath…”

Then the Black Bird of the Woods with a Thousand Young came forth from the darkness. The myriad of gobbles were deafening as they poured from the woods and swarmed the campus.

Aldrich babbled incoherently and the world went dark.

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