“My Lord, what’re you doing? You can’t wear that to supper!”
“Shut-up Cockhead, I’m on a totally different plane right now. ”
“Sorry, master. I’m all out of sorts today. It must have been the grits I ate this morning. Bast has been trying to poison me ever since I sacrificed her favorite chicken.”
“Damn that strong-willed, biddy. Would you like me to reincarnate it for her? I mean, if it’ll settle things between you.”
“That’s mighty kind, but I’ll just bring an extra jug of milk home tonight.”
“Whatever suits you. Get on now and saddle our horses. I want to ride the white one and dangle a few more cow entrails around his neck so I look more terrifying. I’ve been losing weight in this be-damned heat and no one takes a skinny sea nightmare seriously.”
“Yes, ancient one.”
As Gug and his master prepare to leave, Bast arrives and states that she reconsidered her invitation and will accompany them to the banquet. They ride to the Icy Corral Inn and mingle with the slime-slinging guests before entering a large banquet room.
“Thank you for having us, Ithaqua, I adore the mangled-corpse centerpiece.”
“I am humbly grateful that it pleases you, lord. I had it commissioned especially for your arrival.”
” I shall reanimate the corpse and command it to trek toward my aquatic barn after supper.”
“I couldn’t be more honored. Gug, all smiles? It seems you are pleased by the piece as well?”
“It’s alright. I’m growing in a new set of teeth and haven’t been able to close my mouth for weeks.”
“Perhaps if we had a regular dentist come visit the sacrificial altar we could get that shit-eating grin fixed for you.” Ithaqua darts his icy stare at the great one.
“You forget yourself. Pass the whiskey. I have had a headache for nearly all eternity.”
“Take your fill, my lord. Besides, the more teeth Gug has, the more easily he’ll be able to gnaw tonight’s disappointing grub, right Gug?” Ithaqua nudges him, but Gug only looks to master, mouth agape, as if to say he is unsure how to respond.
“I tire of this topic. What is on the menu?”
“Consider the topic dropped. The beginning course is a soup seasoned with a priest’s weakened flesh after his bloodletting. The second is a seared liver taken from an occultist who blasphemed your name and the main dish is a surprise.”
“Excellent, I love surprises.”
“If everyone could take their seats please, Bast?”
“Yes, just helping Cyaegha carry the dishes in. She only has so many tentacles.”
Before Ithaqua took one spoonful of his soup, the master shot a question to him in his gurgling, ancient tongue.
“Have you found the statue, Ithaqua?”
“Your terribleness, I have my most able hordes terrorizing the surrounding settlements, torching churches, leaving ominous scrawls in the dirt, but nothing has turned up.”
“This unsettles me, minion. If you cannot produce the relic, I ensure that this will not end kindly.”
“Vast one, I am awestricken by your infinite supremacy and can only promise to dedicate my life to the relic’s retrieval. I am confident it will appear soon. Now, please, let us enjoy our meal.”
“If I find out otherwise…” The great one makes a slitting gesture across his throat as he takes a drink.”This whiskey… ugh, what is this? Whale piss?”
“You worthless, chum gobbler. It’s binding serum!”
Ithaqua takes a small jade statue encased in ice from under his robe and twirls it around on the table. Frightful gasps fill the room. “See here, pansy, I’ve found your relic and with it I have harnessed your power.”
“Ithaqua, what are you doing? Release master now or suffer the…”
“Silence you toothy freak! This putrid little relic was once carried by our lord himself, a tribute to his unbounded vanity.”
“You ungrateful fool, Ithaqua, do you pride yourself on your ignorance? Arise you mangled, fleshy construct! Arise!”
The centerpiece lies motionless.
“Problem, scaly one? The putrid saliva you dripped all over your horse has served as a surprisingly effective component in my serum. That which you speak carries no weight. ”
“You balmy, cocksucker!”
“What nasty anger. You might want to tone it down a notch since I have placed an entombment parchment beneath your seat. You shall eternally savor your shame at our modest dinner party.”
Bast stands up and raises her glass.
“I am grateful to have a new overlord. Here, here!”
“Bast! What are you saying my little dove?”
“Stay out of this Gug! Sit back and enjoy your final meal.”
“That’s the spirit, Bast. Let’s all enjoy our meal. No need to let a domineering cocksucker screw us out of our hard earned supper!”
With that, Ithaqua raises the soup to his lips. The frost on his breath nearly freezes the bloody liquid as it slowly sloshes into his belly. His eyes bulge as he slips from the table. The relic is knocked onto the ground and shatters. The master, freed from the binding spell rises, glowering at Bast.
Quickly, Bast speaks up.
“That soup was meant as punishment for Gug, my overlord, but I saw Ithaqua’s minion scurry to the horse stead and guessed he was up to no good. So, I went snooping around and found his little magic book turned to the binding spell. I convinced Cyaegha to let me help with the women’s work and switched the soups, then.”
“Bast, I am eternally grateful to your unwavering contempt for Gug. Had it not been for his bumbling chicken sacrifice, I may have spent eternity in this tacky dining room.”
With that, Gug goes to hug Bast. She swats at him and marches out of the room.