(Excerpt offered by permission of the author)
Genre: Humourous science fiction
1. The Necromantic Uncertainty Principle in Action
All of the ingredients – many of which were difficult to find in this heathen realm – had been collected. The eyes of various beasts were freely available at a specialty market in Kensington. Various herbs could be found in what the people of this realm called “supermarkets,” where they were sold for pittances. The blood of a virgin was a little harder to come by, but, after three tries, the wizard found one by surfing through a place on a magical scrying glass called Craigslist. The young woman – Gladys Kravitz of Niagara Falls – seemed immune to his charms, so the wizard drugged her drink – purely in the name of world domination! – and took the serum that he needed. When she woke up the next day, she would be weak and woozy and have an uncontrollable craving to eat jelly beans, but at least she would wake up the next day. For what good that would do her.
The wizard read the prognosticatory pages of many of the local papers (such as The Star and The Globe) to determine when the moon would be at its fullest. While there, he picked up this nugget of wisdom: ‘Today will not be a good day to start a new project’. And, indeed, it would not be a good day FOR THE CREATURES WHO LIVED IN THIS REALM! He would have laughed evilly at this thought, but the steam from the ingredients coming to a boil in the cauldron was playing havoc with his asthma, so the wizard settled for a wicked grin and the promise of much evil laughter to come.
“Alzabracheem fectid barada nictu,” the wizard intoned as his hands snaked in front of him and he put the fourth toe of his left foot in, he put the fourth toe of his left foot out, he put the fourth toe of his left foot in and he shook it all about. As the stench from the boiling cauldron contents started to grow, his chanting became louder and his motions more animated. Part of him suspected that his landlady, Missus Schmelson, would give him no end of grief if she was unable to get the smell out of the drapes, but it was a small part of him, easily ignored as the dark ritual reached its climax.
“ALZABRACHEEM FECTID BARADA NICTU!” he shouted, his motions becoming what can only be described as ‘frenzied’.
“ALZABRACHEEM KLAATU BARADA NICTU!”
Then, just as the wizard feared he would collapse from exhaustion before the climax of the ritual…there was a mild ‘poof’ and a wisp of pale grey smoke rose out of the cauldron before it was dissipated by the air conditioning. (It was a humid July night, okay? Where does it say that casting a world-threatening spell has to be done in discomfort?)
This was not what the wizard had been promised by the Malificient Malefactorum de Maliciosi. He was expecting the sky to darken and blood to rain from the clouds. He was expecting a rumbling so deep it shook the earth with a trembling, fearsome [MODERN ENGLISH TRANSLATION: a fearsome trembling]. He was expecting various demons to pour forth from a hole in the universe, create a little havoc, then await his command. He was expecting to hear cries of terror from the street, the horrific wailing of those whose comfortable, familiar world had turned into a nightmare. When you are expecting the horrific wailing of those whose comfortable, familiar world had turned into a nightmare, poof and a wisp of pale grey smoke just don’t cut it.
He couldn’t understand what had gone wrong – the wizard had been studying the Malificient Malefactorum de Maliciosi since his uncle Maladroissier had given it to him for his fifth birthday. He consulted the great book of evil spells. Over over sideways over under sideways down – he had clearly done the hand gestures properly. Same with the incantation – his southern accent may have distorted the words a little, but the meaning should have been clear. The contents of the cauldron were still bubbling, so the wizard tried the incantation again, this time enunciating the words more clearly and making the hand gestures more slowly and fluidly. He was rewarded with a ‘pop’ and acrid orange smoke. No blood raining from the sky. No horrific wailing of…you know.
It wasn’t because the wizard was fat BECAUSE THE WIZARD WASN’T FAT, OKAY? His…overabundance of physical presence was pure muscle. Mostly. Well, damn the pox-eyed pusillanimosity of Polidor, anyway, who said evil sorcerers all had to be tall and thin? Other than all of his teachers at Worthags, the school for evil sorcerers (where, okay, fine, sure, he had to admit that he had only graduated 23rd in his class – middle of the pack – not bad, but not enough to get you into the really top flight covens. Look, the important thing is that he did get his degree, and it qualified him to practice the dark arts every bit as much as Jimmy Malfantome, Marise Maldarictor or any of the other students who had graduated ahead of him, okay? Anyway, he would have done much better if he hadn’t had to take Zombies in seventh grade – zombies, uuuuuuugh! But, Animal Familiars was full – what can one do? He knew he shouldn’t dwell on the past so much, but, really…umm…what was he talking about, again? Oh, right…) And, all of the other students. And, his parents. And Evelina Malaproptor, authoress of The 25 Bad Habits of Really Successful Warlocks. Still, he thought, surely evil isn’t about how much you weigh, but about the content of your heart. Your dark, bile-filled heart.
The wizard screamed in frustration. Almost immediately – with unseemly haste, actually – somebody banged on his floor from below. “Sorry, Missus Rosinante,” he shouted. “I…I stubbed my toe. It was very painful, as you might –” The tenant below banged on his floor a couple more times with greater urgency. “Right. Right. Sorry,” he mumbled to himself. He imagined the blood raining down especially hard on her head.
It was late and he was discouraged. Deciding to call it a night, the wizard turned off the burner on the stove and moved the cauldron to a cold burner. A conscientious evil sorcerer will always clean up his workspace as soon as he has cast his last spell (or, so Evelina Malaproptor would have one believe), but his heart wasn’t in it. The cleaning would have to wait until morning.
The wizard went to bed, oblivious to the croaking that was coming from the street outside his window.
2. Faith, Hope and Severity
“Frogs?” Superintendent McCrae barked in disbelief.
Faith and Hope looked at each other as though that could somehow change the answer. It didn’t. So, they looked back at their boss and Hope responded, “Yeah. Frogs.”
“The size of cars?” Superintendent McCrae continued.
“That is correct,” Faith answered. “It makes sense, since…” she bit down on her lip, but the words had to come out: “the cars had turned into frogs.”
“The cars had turned into frogs?”
“What,” Superintendent McCrae asked in the certain knowledge that he was not going to like the answer, “happened to the people in the cars?”
If you wish to find out what happened to the people driving the cars that turned into giant frogs, buy “You Can’t Kill The Multiverse (But You Can Mess With Its Head) here: http://amzn.to/P11Rmn
To connect with Ira Nayman, use the links below:
WEB SITE: Les Pages aux Folles
FACEBOOK WRITER’S/FAN/WHATEVER PAGE: Ira Nayman’s Thrishty Friednishes
BOOKS: Alternate Reality News Service collections (Alternate Reality Ain’t What It Used To Be, What Were Once Miracles Are Now Children’s Toys and Luna for the Lunies!) and the novelsWelcome to the Multiverse (Sorry for the Inconvenience) and You Can’t Kill the Multiverse (But You Can Mess With its Head) can be purchased on Amazon.com
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