I huffed, my breath hung in the air, a thin cloud a vapor slow to disappear. My hand trembled, my fingers numb and blue, and I struggled to etch out clean lines for the containment sphere. The gentle flicker light of crystal fires bathed the room in an eerie flare.
“I still think this is a horrible idea,” a voice from behind me. I could hear his footsteps echo in the empty room. They had gone from uneven to pacing, his contribution completed. “The Summit’s already pissed at us – us in particular, I remind you – for what happened last time.”
I scoffed and continued my work, “and I remind you that wasn’t our fault. We specifically instructed everyone to stay still. It doesn’t matter, this time there are no idiot variables. You worry too much.” I could feel him scolding me, his eyes digging into the back of my skull.
“And you too little. What if — ”
“What if what?” I interjected, ceasing and looking over my shoulder to my shivering compatriot. “We’ve studied and practiced this circle a hundred times over,” I jabbed my finger at the diagram hanging on the wall, “we fought, scrounged, and haggled for neutral crystals and clean components.” And then I began to tick off precautions on my fingers. “we’ve warded the doors and removed anything remotely technological. We’ve got no thermal gear – my toes are about to chip off – and we’ve been on a liquid diet for a fortnight; which, by the way, I still don’t understand.”
“I’ve explained this to you. You have to – you know what, nevermind. Fine.” He huffed and crossed his arms.
I grinned, triumphantly, and turned back to my work. I etched out what remained of the circle, connection the lines between the positions crystal just as we had practiced. Once everything appeared to be ready, and we performed a once-over to ensure that nothing was out of place, the two of us met at the center of the circle where a much larger crystal sat, its surface reflecting an ebon purple.
A small dagger. A single drip of blood from our individual fingers. A soft purple glow ebbed from the point of contact and slowly expanded outward to encompass the entirety of the etching. The outer most crystal exploded in an astonishing light then disintegrated into the very floor. A low hum emitted while everything else fell silent. The center crystal now teemed with a warming light. A steady current streamed upward, lifting our hair and thin layers skyward.
“See.” I grinned at my brother and clapped my hands together. He offered a simple nod then we mirrored each others stance, mimicking each others gestures carving symbols in the air, and uttered the tongue of the plane we sought to invoke:
The humming began to crescendo. A hiss and crackle filled the room. Then suddenly everything fell silent, the air stopped and I watched my brother’s hair and clothes rest motionless. The crystal blinked and in the next instant all was pitch black.
“That, uh…that can’t be good…”
“I fuckin’ told you.” My brother’s grumbling echoed in the void.
“Oh, shut the –”
A brilliant flash of light erupted within the room blasting out from the once dormant crystal. Glowing tendrils of solid light exploded forth and entangled us, whipping us through the air and yanking us in. I felt disembodied, weightless and streaming through the ichor of time.
Daily Prompt: Create
Word of the Day: expostulate