The Crowe and I

                Sulfer lances the air, our excitement at the moment finally come to bear. In the dark, subterranean lair, peopled by unholy centrifuges, and shadowed glassware, darkened by flame, by the fecund spirits of the damned, we prepare…

A feral balance snarls in the corner; measuring only the weight of the lives it has claims, and even then only there innocence are lack thereof. Beakers full of bubbling, amber ambrosia hiss in response. To drink them fills one's head with wondrous images: a forgotten city, arch and black and overgrown, an oracle stretches from the brambles as they drag her into the fog in its center. She cries out in a language long lost, one that somehow in your fugue you understand. You, those who hear her, hear her detail the nature of their dooms and demises, gibber in the labyrinthine corners of consciousness, there terrible Gnosticism plants the seeds of madness.

 A golden statuette lies discarded and forgotten atop a pile of similarly disused acclaim. At the center of a pentagram, with a cup of virgin blood in his hands and a cruel sneer on his lips, kneels the man made Maximus, and discarded now by those who once feted and loved him so: The Crowe.

He nods to me, and I flip open the flea-bitten grimoire into which so much death is poured. Oh how it whispers to me, even in dreams, turned nightmares by its influence, turned bloody and brackish are the images in my mind. Oh how it begs to be read. Oh how torturous is the waiting! Oh how I long to fill these cavernous chambers with my clear, deep voice reverberating its words. Its power surging through me as I am become its conduit to the world. How long I have waited, and now, the time is nigh.

I remember, though how long ago I cannot recall, the first words The Crowe spoke to me, though so much had already been conveyed by thought, by glance, by deed, the darkness we had already worked together. I remember: "On my signal, unleash hell."

And here comes the nod, and here the words from rush me, pushing past the dam in me that held them back for so long. The gate opens, and Perdition ushers forth. A profane horde: And at its head dances the satyr Prince of Lies, wield a funneled inferno.

As for the Crowe and I? The flames consume us in an instant, the first of many victims in their race to claim Creation.