The Dark Arts

by The Cowl Editor on November 1, 2019


Skulls stacked upon each other to form a wall of skulls
Photo courtesy of

by Sam Ward ’21

The wood burned as the fire cracked and the occultist conjured unsettling images. Clowns and killers brandishing knives. “Dahbay!” The syllables erupting from the bottom of his throat; he threw sand on the fire. “Mugrodan!” His hand fell flat on the ancient tome. “Kasarah!” The fire exploded outward, sending him and the heavy book flying to the ground.

The occultist was nothing without his enchantress. How could he wreak havoc on humanity without her power? He only knew the one necromancy spell and judging from his blistered face and the decomposing body at the altar, he had done it wrong.

He stood up in the catacomb, the dying fire lighting only enough for him to see a fraction of the ornate design on the limestone sarcophagus. The limp body was far from the psychotic clown he had hoped to transform it into.

That’s when the walls began to shake and the fire burned a toxic purple.

“Who dares disturb me!” The voice oozed from the altar into the soul of the young necromancer. The ancient script on the catacomb walls lit up and the sarcophagus began to convulse and the feminine voice shrieked violently.

The occultist turned to go for the exit, running instead into a wall. A left turn yielded a similar result as the shrieking continued. Panicked, he fell to his knees and began searching through the sand for a match, a lighter, or a dropdoor: an exit or something that would illuminate such. He could feel the oxygen subside as if the room was shrinking.

The disquieted voice offered no reassurance to the dying man.

“The altar is closed for necromancy on Sundays,” she spit before the walls collapsed inward, finalizing his burial in the ancient catacombs.