Mikey glanced back at Lynn and nodded. “I’m going to become their god.”
With that, he took one last hit from Lovecraft’s pipe and then got to work. While Lynn and Grace kept us updated on the fay-spiders’ progress, I watched Mikey assemble a crude mask that depicted (according to him) the likeness of the fay god, Lobos. Lynn informed us that the spiders had eaten through the front door in no time and were just starting to lead the Hoary Darkness down the hall to the panic-room as Mikey slid the finished mask on.
“And what makes you so sure this is going to work?” Grace asked, still sounding more than a little worried.
“Ancient Chinese secret,” Mikey said as he reached a hand inside his blazer to retrieve the crumpled remains of a dead fay-beast and the rest of us responded with a chorus of disgusted groans. Mikey continued, “While I was in the Orient a few years back, I met an old mystic who taught me a few tricks…”
Mikey snapped off one of the dead fay-beast’s legs and used it to coat his palms in a thin film of fay blood, which was mostly clear with a faint gold shimmer to it. “This one is called ‘the Perfect Mask.’”
Mikey pressed his hands to the mask, quietly chanted a few indecipherable words and when he pulled his hands away a moment later, we all screamed. The crude mask covering Mikey’s face had suddenly been replaced with something out of Freddy Krueger’s baby photos.
“Pretty neat, huh?” the twisted, demonic-looking infant face said to me in Mikey’s voice. I slowly nodded.
“They’re almost through,” Lynn nearly shouted, her tone bordering on actual fear. Mikey turned around just in time to watch the center of the panic-room’s steel door buckle inward and then burst open to reveal the horde of fay-spiders that began to swarm inside. They quickly dissolved the rest of the door, clearing a path for the Hoary Darkness in all its cloudy black glory.
“Hey, World’s Biggest Bong Hit? Now would be a good time to start running,” Mikey said as he approached the black cloud snaking its way into the room. The same face that I had seen before suddenly appeared out of the approaching darkness and a voice that sounded like several people talking at once asked…
“WHAT FOOLISH MORTAL WOULD DARE THREATEN ME?”
Mikey held up up his hands and replied, “I‘m Dead Things Mikey… and your shit is clown shoes.”
As Mikey clapped his hands together, the ring of fay beasts surrounding the doorway began to swarm the Hoary Darkness and I had to cover my ears with my hands to muffle the sound of what seemed like a thousand different voices crying out in pain.
After the Hoary Darkness had been consumed and Lynn and Grace had finally left, Mikey made his way out to the backyard where he found me reclining beside the rocky facade of a fake waterfall feeding into his pool. I had wanted to hang back so I could talk to Mikey one-on-one about his offer.
As he approached, Mikey said, “Wait, don’t tell me. Let me guess. You’ll take the job and you can’t wait to start.”
I forced a smile and sat up as Mikey lowered himself onto the chaise lounge beside me. I sighed and took a beat to formulate my response…
“I have some concerns.”
Mikey retrieved a remote from the small glass table between us and aimed it at the pool as he thumbed a button which turned off the roaring waterfall. The backyard was suddenly a lot quieter as he said, “Like…”
“Like how I couldn’t help but notice that you endangered the lives of a half a dozen people tonight just to prove a point.”
“I can see how that might not make the best first impression,” Mikey said as he turned to gaze into his pool. “But if you’re waiting for me to apologize, I have bad news. This is what I do for a living. My job is to deal with stuff like tonight on a routine basis.”
Mikey gestured at our surroundings, “And if you hadn’t noticed, business is pretty good. So, yeah, we go hard around here and for good reason. My people knew what they were signing up for; I made sure of it. It’s also worth noting that, despite everything, the only ACTUAL casualties tonight were two doors and the Brooks Brothers trenchcoat Mauricio lent Grace.”
I considered this and after a beat, I slowly nodded at the pack of fay-spiders that had obediently followed Mikey out here as I asked, “What are you gonna do with them?”
Mikey glanced down at the horde of disgusting spider-things and said, “Not sure yet. I was planning on organizing them into some kind of battle royale or something and then just flushing the last one but they’ve kind’a grown on me.”
“I wonder what you’d have to feed them.”
Mikey frowned and shook his head as he said, “Trust me. You don’t wanna know.”
Of course, if that were true, I wouldn’t have ended up taking the job.