Friday flash fiction – Cold Cults

It’s not as if we were ignorant of the challenges involved in summoning Hetchag the Ravener from His otherworldly dwelling in the Dark Crevasse. Our little association went to meticulous lengths to prepare the way for His coming. We planned for every contingency, or so we thought.

The Aperture between Spaces opened in the middle of Greenland. We organised supplies, a helicopter, and thermal parkas rated for forty below zero. Spells of guidance and a good GPS led us to the convergence point, where we made camp in high spirits.

We soon discovered it’s hard to keep ancient parchments free of snow, or to hold them still in Arctic winds and shivering fingers, or to recite Latin and Ancient Greek with your teeth chattering behind a full-face breathing kit. Our sacrifices – a goat, certain worldly goods, the virginity of young Master Blake and finally Master Blake himself – accomplished nothing. Hetchag made no response to our entreaties. I concluded within days that a wrathful rampage to lay waste to the realms of sunshine and hope was not on the cards.

In retrospect it was a bad idea to bring the satellite receiver.

Our rivals in the Infra-Vibrant Fraternity of Kylun the Anti-Saint skyped us as they successfully conjured a swarm of Chillwyrms from the Interstices of Hyul. The Soho Thaumaturgical Society’s cultural engineers boasted in social media back channels of sparking a worldwide craze for suicide by industrial freezer. And Bloc 29, the Ukrainian science-mystics, emailed gigabytes of peer-reviewed climate data proving their carbon sequestration runes would reverse atmospheric heat capture, generating a new Ice Age within months.

Our apocalyptic ventures were redundant.

Despondent, my companions took turns freezing each other solid with liquid nitrogen. Drawing the short straw, I was compelled to remain alive to smash them with hammers.

I returned south and established a snowshoe manufacturing concern in Portugal. It did very well over the next few years. I settled down in a fortified compound, with a cache of heavy weapons and a new family who were happy to wait out with me for the end of all things. Somewhere along the line, as I taught my kids to hunt for snow hares, herd shaggy sheep and grow greenhouse peas, I forgot all about Hetchag.

Eventually someone succeeded where I’d failed, or else the membranes separating realities became too thin to keep Him out. For months, He Ravened His way across the ice sheets, despoiling and slaughtering His way in my direction. He’d heard our entreaties after all. He was coming to grant that long-ago request for oblivion to the last of his faithful.

When at last Hetchag’s insatiable maw loomed over the barricades like a knife-edged chasm, I led my family in a different ritual. We pinned Hetchag with words of binding, banished His essence back to the Crevasse, and tossed his crystal bones into a boiling mountain spring.

Sometimes in life you get what you ask for.

It’s best to have a plan for that contingency too.


Thanks to Rob Small for spotting the typo in a previous story that became the title for this week’s story. If you liked this story feel free to leave a comment or click on one of the icons below to share it on social media. I’d get a huge kick out of mystifying LinkedIn users with this abject nonsense. Oh, and also pls sign up for my newsletter kthnx.

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2 Responses to Friday flash fiction – Cold Cults

  1. Ian Versace says:

    Awww, poor Hetchag, I think He got kinda shafted in that apocalypse. Great story Bro!

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