Writing Prompt #46 — The Better Things Come in Threes

Prompt: John got a new car; Tim got a new car. John got a pool put in; Tim made his indoors. John’s new entertainment system ran it all; Tim made sure his ran more. Then John summoned an eldritch horror from beyond.

Tim stood outside of John’s living room window, hidden by the shadows of the tall hedges flanking its sides. He wrote down the size of John’s sigil on the floor; noted the type of chalk he used, the color of the candles, the book and what writing could be made out within. The monstrosity he summoned, webbed in tattered clothes that shimmered under shadows, was also noted: its height, approximate height, and its features (deep, hollow eyes; no nose, nor mouth; thin, transparent appendages flowing like water).

Tim couldn’t hear what John was saying to the creature, despite him placing his ear to the pane. Probably wishing for a bigger house or something — typical, he thought, scoffing.

When the creature vanished in a puff of billowy, kaleidoscopic colors, and John began to mop up his ritual, Tim went back home, to prepare for his better ritual.

He made sure to purchase the highest quality of materials he could find in the city an hour’s drive away, even went so far as to buy even more than he saw John used. The more the better, he thought. Evening was settling in when he pulled back into his driveway, his backseat and truck brimming with bags. John was watering his freshly cut lawn, the ripe scent of which lingered in the air.

As Tim opened his trunk, John called to him. “Whatchu’ been up to?”

He pulled five bags over his forearm, gripping a sixth. “Oh, nothing… Just doing some shopping, you know? What about you, buddy?”

“Nada, just hanging out. Sunday’s, am I right?” He went and turned off his hose, then coiled it on the ground. “Need any help with those?”

Tim had all twelve bags hanging from his arms and hands, and a thirteenth one dangling from his neck. A vein stood out of his sweaty temple, and another rose from his jugular. He strained to shake his head. “Nope,” he spat, “I got it — I’m a one trip man.”

John laughed. “Yeah, me too — I remember one time I carried in twenty bags at once! Martha was impressed.”

What a damn lair.

“Oh, wow, nice!” Tim replied, struggling to get the keys out from his pocket. When he finally did, he fell against the door, shoving the key into the knob, unlocking it. He fell through the open doorway, spilling the contents of the bags on the floor. Before John could run over and help, he rolled over, and kicked the door shut. “Have a good night, John!” You jackass.

His sigil was larger; more detailed. There was double the candles and incenses, their colors were also deeper. He possessed three large leather bound tomes that spoke of strange things Tim could hardly understand, but he had them and could recite them, that’s all that mattered. If John can summon one thing, I can do three.

He flipped off the lights, and lit the candles, their soft, warm glow illuminating the room. Tim sat in front of the three books, then read one passage from each at a time, until all three had been entirely read. A wind blew through the house, extinguishing the candles, and a thick darkness fell over Tim.

“Hello…?” he said, dumbly.

The chalk drawn sigil glowed violet and pink, green and blue, the colors ebbing and flowing like the tide. Then the speed of their ebbing increased until there was nothing but a blinding white strobing through the room. Tim winced, covering his eyes with his arm, until it dulled and steadied. When he put his hand down and opened his eyes, three children stood before him.

They all shared the same grayish, bluish tinged flesh; the seaweed-like hair; the bloated fingers and shoeless feet, but each one had one distinctive feature. One was missing eyes, gouged out, seeping with black tar; one was missing its mouth, nothing but a thin, fleshly line crudely patched with staples and stitches; and the last was missing ears, the gaping holes on both sides of its head were connected, and when it turned a little, Tim could see the wall behind it, through it.

“You summon the Three,” the one with no ears gurgled.

“What do you seek?” the one with no eyes finished.

“I, uh… I don’t know…”

“Only one who wants something summons the Three,” a voice said from somewhere above him, but when Tim looked, all he found was the ceiling.

“If one does not have wants and summons the Three,” no-ears said.

“Then thee will be a part of the Three,” no-eyes followed.

“You’ll take me… if I don’t want anything?” Tim said, his voice trembling.

“Yes,” the voice said.

“Then, I… uh, want to have more than John— John Black, my neighbor.”

“Are you certain?” the voice asked.

Tim nodded his head.

“Then—” no-ears said.

“—it is—” no-eyes continued.

“—done.” the voice finished.

In a flash of white and black smoke, the Three vanished, taking along with it the chalk drawn sigil, the candles, even the books. They left Tim alone in the empty room, and he wasn’t sure what to do or say or think. He stood, then strode around the house, finding that everything was still the same.

“What a joke,” he whispered, coming to his bedroom. He flipped on the light and gasped. This one was the one thing John did not, could never have— his house wouldn’t allow it, couldn’t fit.

Tim smiled seeing that the room was now the size of his whole downstairs. His bed was the size of a car; the TV hanging on the wall was wide, flat, high-def. He took a step in and the satin sheets rippled as if something scurried underneath, then a blonde woman’s head popped out from the top. Then another, then another, then another… There were at least a dozen beautiful woman in the — his — bed, and from where Tim was standing, he found that none of them wore clothes.

Oh sweet Jesus.

He stumbled towards the bed, toppled onto it and crawled to them. His eyes were teary and wide, his mouth open, grinning.

Oh sweet fucking Jesus.

His excitement-filled fingers gripped the end of the sheet, then pulled it away—

small bloated bodies, tinged blue and green—

He looked up at their faces to see gouging eyes; sewn smiles; gaping holes where ears should be.

“You wanted more than he—” a voice said from above.

“—and now you do—” one of no-ear’d heads continued.

“—for we’re certain that he does not have the Three,” one of the no-eyes finished.

Read my previous prompt, “Hidden in Human Shells.”

Purchase my work on Amazon.

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