The Elemental King

Andy Miles 8th February 2023 / 1st February 2024

Prompt: “Still round the corner there may wait, A new road or a secret gate”

Andy Miles 8th February 2023 / 1st February 2024

Elemental spirits are tricky things to deal with. They are not like the demons, angels or other veil creatures that we conjure to ‘assist’ us in our work. It is not unusual that whilst we can control the elemental we have summoned, they will call out to their brethren and where you wanted a puddle you have a flood, a light breeze, a hurricane, a pebble, a mountain or a spark, an inferno. They also remember that you have called them, and often return to exact a price for their work.

I try to use them sparingly, preferring to pull creatures from beyond the veil into our existence, which once achieved puts them under my command. Elementals have their uses though, they are easier to summon and tend not to be so obvious in their work. When people see an angel it tends to get reported on social media, a river bursts its banks and it is nature.

The ritual I was working on today was to summon an earth elemental to find a particularly loathsome individual and bury him. I took all the usual precautions, making sure the protective wards were all in in place and spoke the incantation. I felt unusually drained once the work was over and there was no sign of the elemental. They are sometimes slow to arrive so this was not a surprise, my exhaustion was though. A summoning ritual will always take a toil on you, it involves giving part of yourself to power the words, in my experience though this time I felt unusually fatigued. I retired to my bed to rest and wait.

I must have slept more deeply than normal as I recall dreaming of vast underground tunnels, a city full of new roads and secret gates. It was all carved from the rock and earth, making use of natural caves and voids wherever possible. I occasionally caught glimpses of the earth elementals as I wandered randomly through this world until I arrived in a huge cavern containing the largest elemental I had ever encountered.

To fully describe them would be impossible, a moving statue of crystal, mud and rock. I believe it turned and grinned at me as the rumbling started. The noise grew and the rumbling turned to shaking and I swore I could hear the barking of dogs and shrieking of cats.  The cacophony of animal noise was soon joined by the screams of men, women and children as I started to awake from my slumber.

I had not summoned any ordinary earth elemental to do my bidding. Unintentionally, I had caught the intention of something much larger. They are very literal creatures and you have to be very specific in your commands. As my house fell around me and it felt like the whole world was collapsing onto itself I resigned myself to my fate. I was sure my intended target had been buried in the earthquake, as I had been, and had a large part of West Yorkshire. Hundreds had been killed many square miles destroyed. The media blamed fracking, which incidentally was never allowed in the United Kingdom after this event, from beneath the rock that pinned me to the ground I knew better.