‘We’ll do it properly this time,’ Kurum said. Nia, his right-hand woman, nodded and they dragged the dead body to the side. The rest of the cultists wisely decided not to object and busied themselves with treating the ritual once again.
The unfortunate incident had extinguished all the candles and erased all the painted marks. Felinids were dragged out of cages and slaughtered, their blood collected in buckets. New candles, made from human fat collected from corpses, were lit and placed at the appropriate places. Nia helped Kurum get disrobed to lead the ritual. His tattoos and scars shone in the sputtering candlelight, making the heads of some of the novices swim. They depicted various battles of their God and his Lords of Change against the unenlightened masses.
‘Brothers and sisters, we stand at the precipice of change!’ Kurum said. His voice echoed through the catacombs and some of the cultists flinched. He made sure to remember them and have them murdered later; the Cult didn’t tolerate cowards.
‘The followers of the Corpse-God chant and pray in their blindness but it is we who can truly see!’ Kurum said.
‘Praise Tzeentch!’ someone said.
‘All hail the God of Change!’ someone else added.
‘Indeed,’ Kurum said. ‘As followers of his will, we shall bring about change on this wretched world. We shall summon one of his messengers, a Lord of Change, and offer this planet and its entire bounty! We shall be exalted beyond compare!’
‘Let us begin the ritual, Lord Kurum,’ Nia said. Kurum would have lashed out at anyone else for interrupting him but Nia was the exception. And she was right.
‘Very well then. Let us begin,’ Kurum said and began chanting. Nia and the cultists added their voice to his and soon, the catacombs echoed. Kurum’s tattoos began to glow and then to shine. The chanting seemed to reverberate through his very soul.
And then all of a sudden, Kurum dissolved into a puddle of flesh. He didn’t scream, he didn’t have time to scream. One moment, he was chanting and the other moment, he was gone. His absence left the cultists puzzled.
But not for long.
The puddle of flesh bubbled and boiled. Something took form from the remains. Something that never had the inconvenience of flesh, something that shouldn’t have flesh. It looked about the congregation of cultists with its multiple eyes, as if contemplating what to do next.
‘Blessed Emissary of Tzeentch!’ one of the cultists exclaimed, ‘Guide us with your wisdom!’
The thing screamed, not hindered by the lack of a mouth. The cultists standing closest to it died immediately, their heads caving. Others fell to their knees, bleeding from their eyes and ears. Nia and the remaining cultists pulled out laspistols and stubbers from their cloaks and kept firing at the monstrosity until it stopped moving.
The cultists looked uncertainly at the remains. Nia was the first to move.
‘Help me move the body,’ she said firmly, taking charge, ‘We’ll do it properly this time.’
About the Author
Ahmed Kamal Khan is an amateur writer who enjoys science fiction and fantasy stories. He has yet to finish his fantasy novel manuscript. One day, he might even write his third chapter. In his free time, he likes to make headway in his current attempt at a novel and tend to his lawn.