Attack on an Evil God
by Ásgrímur Hartmannsson
Maggi, a university student, accepts an offer to join the Lookout Beaver Club for something to do in his spare time. The club is dedicated to thaumaturgical research, which Maggi views with skepticism. He soon finds himself threatened by supernatural creatures, magical robots, and malicious goons working for a high government official who has ties to other entities not of this universe.
Chapter 3: Dream Quest
They sat around the long box on the floor, the one that supposedly contained the mara, and had some snacks while Freyja prattled on about spells and signs, and how they were mostly obsolete in this new world of electronic devices.
Maggi finished his cheeze-bits before he ventured to ask her the one thing that had been bugging him since he came to the cellar. “Why is there a swastika on the coffin?”
“It’s the sun-rune I told you about. That reminds me: let’s cover it up. What time is it?”
It was almost 22:30. Hansi and Freyja were unsure about this, because they doubted anyone would be sleeping at this time, which was apparently very important for this magic trick of theirs to work. But they covered the sun-rune with a cloth with some Christmas images on it, weighing it down with a tallow candle, which Hansi lit.
“Now I just need to make a call.” Freyja took out her phone, and selected three numbers to dial at the same time. And the three phones under the coffin rang in different tones.
They held hands, Anna and Maggi playing along out of curiosity and boredom. Freyja and Hansi said nothing, let out no sound, which Maggi though rather anticlimactic. He had expected some exotic formula entoned in an important-sounding manner.
The phones stopped ringing. Maggi looked Freyja in the eye; she was sitting opposite him. She stared back, expressionless, in a trance. He felt dizzy, as though after three beers.
* * *
Magdalena found herself outside her door. She recognized her surroundings as the part of town between apartment blocks, yet it was all strangely exotic. She found herself walking into the general store. She picked up some cheese and drifted out, unsure about it all. Had she paid? She walked across the parking lot.
Magdalena woke up on the couch, where she had fallen asleep with a book on her chest, confused by the vivid dream she had just had. And the first thing she saw on the table beside her was five different kinds of cheese.
* * *
They all snapped out of it at the same time.
“What just happened?” asked Maggi.
Anna looked from one to another, confused and scared.
“Whose idea was it to have her buy cheese?” asked Hansi.
“Mine. How’d you know she did that? You hypnotized me, didn’t you?”
“No, we just mind-controlled a sleeper,” said Hansi.
“But everything was so grey and unreal.”
“The dreamer’s perceptions are incompatible with your brains; that, and the information is all filtered through the mara.”
“I thought the mara was in the box. You said that. How could it control someone on the other side of town?”
“I don’t know. Magic, I guess,” said Hansi, grinning ironically.
“One theory has to do with quantum entanglement, but that’s way beyond our understanding.”
Freyja added, “You noticed there are skips in the flow? That’s when someone else takes control. Sometimes we all lose it, and then the dreamer goes on autopilot. Sometimes the dreamer wrenches some control for himself.”
“You do this often? To what end?”
“Mostly just to experiment, to see what we can do,” said Hansi.
“You’re doing science,” said Maggi in a flat tone.
Maggi still had his doubts, but both he and Anna were slightly more open to the idea of magic after this display.
Proceed to Chapter 4...
Copyright © 2017 by Ásgrímur Hartmannsson