Hell To Pay

He fumbled the stick of chalk.  It was still greasy from its soak the night before.  His hands shook.  The chalk was slowly disintegrating with each line added to the rune.  Working in a circle, the bits of plaster from the crumbling ceiling were pushed aside.  His knees felt sore against the hard floor.  It was all coming together.  The rumbling in the distance grew louder.

He scraped his knuckles against the rough floorboards, holding the stub with the tips of his fingers.  Double check the design.  The dust was saturated with the blood of a chicken that was unfortunate enough to cross his path the day before.  Blood, no matter from what source, was a necessary conductor.  After draining it of its life force, it was all he could do to consume a few mouthfuls of the raw meat to keep his strength up.  Making a fire to cook it would have given him away.  Besides, he needed his last few matches for this.  Candles dripped hot wax along the walls of the room.  Their flames faltered and flickered with the gusts of wind that leaked in through the cracks in the walls.  The winds of war.

It was complete.  His lips begin to tremble as he mumbled the incantation under his breath.  If there were soldiers scouting outside, he wouldn’t stand a chance if they found him before it was complete.  The ground started to rumble.  It wasn’t his doing, not just yet.  The unmistakable metallic clinking and scraping was the sound of tank treads.

He had to ignore any distractions, no matter how near.  Drawing on his memory of the scrawled canvas he had seen so many times, he mouthed out the last few words.   The lines of chalk started to smoke.  The air was filled with the rancid smell of burning blood and old wood varnish.  The candle flames started to dance, almost in harmony.  He retreated into a corner of the room, knowing not entirely what would come.

It started to appear, rise out of the circle.  The dark leathery skin shone bright in the candle light.  Tentacles appeared from the darkness and lashed around the room, narrowly missing him.  The hulking beast started to strain against the ceiling, showering the room in more plaster and splintering lathes.  It continued its grotesque birth from the design on the floor.

It was aware.  It seemed to scan the room by whichever means it sensed.  More tentacles appeared.  The shadows danced on the walls from all angles.  A high pitch tone growled up from deep within its blob-like body.  It seemed like it was able to produce its extremities at will, attempting to make sense of its surroundings.

The wall shattered in an explosion of debris as the main gun of a tank swung its way through the house.  The beast was taken aback by the sudden beams of lights from the gaping wound of the structure.  This new thing had just become its enemy.

The tank plowed forward, pulling down one side of the building.  It rammed the floor joists, buckling the floorboards.  The summoning rune was interrupted just like that.  Rather than throwing the beast back from whence it came, it seemed to halt its entrance into this world like the blade of a guillotine.  Dark purple blood was splattered across the room, dousing several candles.  A roar of agony sprang from the creature.

Tentacles sprang from its body with dagger sharp tips, ready to maim.  The tank lurched back and turned to take aim with the barrel of its main gun.  Before it could fire, the thing jumped on top of it.  It took the full brunt of the massive slug that flew from the barrel, piercing it all the way through.  It continued on with an ungraceful crash through the opposite wall, and showering the floor with more purple blood.  Screeching filled the air.
The tank once again attempted to retreat, but the creature held tight.  A cacophony of creaking came from the war machine as the pristine barrel was twisted and bent into a form unusable.  The treads spun in reverse, spraying mud and bits of building in from it.  The thing held on, for dear life, for revenge, or simply for violence.  It refused to release the machine, as it drew out its tentacles to search for a potential weak spot.

The sight holes provided an easy path to reach the innards, like a switchblade through the gap between one’s ribs.  Echoing screams came from inside, as the vital organs of the machine had been reached.  The top hatch opened, but it just allowed for another tendril to find its way in.  The wails of the humans inside eventually abided and the tank finally ceased its convulsions.

The beast, having defeated its prey, seemed content, as if it had fulfilled its purpose.  It seemed to slouch down over the carcass of the tank, completely immobile.  The man, coated in plaster dust slowly combining with the purple liquid, quickly gathered up his things.  He made his way out through the brand new hole that had been created in the back wall, and he made his way out.  I doubt searching for me will be the least of their concerns now.

( I wanted to write something vaguely Lovecraftian.  I don’t really know how to do so.  Here’s this.)

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