I almost jumped out of my skin when the phone rang. There’s never reception in the lab at the best of times, and I could’ve sworn that I’d turned it off. Mary had been trying to get hold of me for days, and I was dodging her calls like they were golf balls aimed straight at my head. It was why I was at the lab in the first place – the one spot I was guaranteed to be shot of her nagging voice continually playing over my answering machine.
I looked at the number and didn’t recognize it as local. Unlikely to be Mary, so I thought it would be safe. I clicked the little green button to take the call. Worst decision of my life.
“Y-mnahn’hrii ch’ph’-shugg. F’nog. F’nog.”
The line went dead. Not just the line. The phone itself. I was pretty sure I saw a puff of smoke emitting from the battery. I stared at the dark screen, pressing the on switch over and over again, as though the harder I pressed it the more likely it would be to come back to life. No such luck. Only, about a minute later, there it was, ringing again, that same strange number taunting me. I answered again, my curiosity getting the better of me.
“Stell’bsna ee. Stell’bsna orr’e. Stell’bsna fhtagn.”
“Sorry, man, I think you’ve got the wrong number.”
I didn’t need to understand the words for them to make my ears burn. Or was that my cellphone? I dropped it to the floor, where it smoldered, its black screen now cracked. Dammit, I thought to myself. As if I didn’t have enough expenses for the month.
I found a pair of tongs hidden away in one of my coworkers drawers and lifted the phone delicately, placing it on the table beside me. With a pair of forceps, also borrowed, I went to work on it, taking it apart piece by piece, as though the answer to life, the universe and everything was hidden inside. By the time I was done, 42 pieces of semi-melted plastic lay upon my work bench. I took one and placed it carefully under the microscope.
I’d never seen anything like it. Well, I’d seen things that were like it, at the aquarium and once in the clear blue waters off the coast of Thailand, but never under a ‘scope, and never anywhere near my cellphone.
I backed away slowly, keeping a close eye on the scattered remains of the phone, towards the door. It started to ring again, as though it could sense what I had discovered. As soon as I felt the cold steel of the handle against the small of my back, I opened the door up and made a run for it. Straight past the University with its turrets and towers, past Hibb’s Roadhouse and Velma’s Diner and right into the police station.
“They’re coming,” I shouted for all to hear. “They’re coming to Arkham.”
A roleplaying boardgame, a high-energy physics lab, and a cellphone that only receives calls.
Write a story of at least 500 words that includes some, or all, of the props. The props don’t even necessarily need to exist as physical objects in your story.
Arkham Horror was one of the games that got me into board gaming, and I am VERY into my board gaming. So I thought it appropriate to use that board game for today’s prompt. For those wondering about the weird language, it is R’lyehian, and take from this list of words is intended to mean:
“My worthless followers cross over beyond the realm of Earth. They come. They come.”
“Pray for answers. Pray for your soul. Pray for sleep. They come. They come.”
“They come. They come.”