“Good evening, sir, this is Todd, Farnsworth’s Monster Emporium and Deathray Dealership, how can I help you?”
“I’m having some trouble hearing you over your television. Could you turn it down, please? Not your television, it’s your assistant? Okay, let’s see what we can do about that… What seems to be the problem?”
“You’ve purchased some Concentrated Evil but its the wrong brand. Can you give me your account number, please? I’ll hold.”
“Thank you, sir. It would seem you have purchased ‘Dr. Renfield’s Elder Chthonic Evil.’ A highly recommended brand, used by professionals everywhere. You don’t say. You were expecting a six-pack of ‘Dame Brimley’s Recalcitrant Poltergeists?’”
“That is unfortunate, sir. As I am sure you are aware, poltergeists are a Sorcerer Class 3 product. Elder Chthonic Evils should not be used without the proper control spells or Elder Signs. The rudimentary spell we ship with this product is only good enough for release in a designated area.”
“In other words, this is a ship and release product. In the event of an unexpected release of a Chthonic Evil, it usually will not be able to be forced back into its shipping container unless a Class 5 sorcerer is available. Class 3 you say? Please hold.”
“I assume the cracking sound is your assistant — oh your assistants; its spreading quickly. I am going to assume you are using a smartphone. Please stop screaming, sir. You will only attract the creature to your location. No sir, there isn’t much we can do for your assistants, their souls are being consumed.”
“Do you have summoning salt or a safety circle? Excellent. I will transmit the incantation and Elder Sign through your smartphone, but it will require a sacrifice of your blood to initiate the spell.”
“What was that splashing noise? Yes sir, if you are covered in the remains of another assistant, those remains can also qualify as a summoning agent. Viscera enhances the potency of the spell.”
“Please remain calm. I must reiterate, your pronunciation must be perfect to have any chance of compelling the creature to not eat you. Proffer your phone, Elder Symbol forward. Remember not to look at the symbol once you activate it. You will be driven completely insane if you do.”
“You’re already insane. Excellent. But it’s best not to chance it. During this time, you will have the opportunity to negotiate with the creature and be able to offer it an acceptable target. It will prefer someone close to you, a relative or deeply loved individual.”
“Backlash? Yes sir, your ex-wife would be an acceptable target. As for your child support payments, I am not at liberty to discuss such issues. I must remind you, as with all Black Magic, there is a possibility of backlash. If the target is more powerful than you are, or manages to repel the creature it will return to you, post haste and pissed off.”
“No. We don’t perform such destructive magic remotely, and recommend you hire a Class 5 sorcerer immediately upon your successful release of the spell should you survive. We can offer you a list of suitable candidates for a modest fee.”
<garbled sounds of cultists chanting, punctuated with occasional screams of terror>
“Please hold for the incantation. Should you survive your encounter, please remember Farnsworth’s Monster Emporium and Death-ray Dealership as your primary dealer in magical paraphernalia, clockwork mechanism and malefic enchantments. Good luck, sir.”
Call notes: Spell and Elder Sign delivered remotely. Line left open. Screaming, pleading and ripping sounds would indicate the need for a Level Five sorcerer to be sent to the client’s delivery address, stat. Please trace original sales representative to determine culpability.
A positive note: Elder Chthonic Evil deployed successfully and should be considered effective. Account closed until further notice.
More Tales of Tech Support © Thaddeus Howze 2016. All Rights Reserved
Thaddeus Howze is an award-winning essayist, author and journalist for various online publications, anthologies and websites which fancy themselves having discriminating tastes in speculative fiction, non-fiction journalism and critical thinking.
He is a known collaborator as the Answer-Man with Krypton Radio and the Good Men Project. He edits Future SF Magazine, right here on Medium and blows the doors off the Nerdist’s comic commentary when he writes on Quora.com. He also coordinates and works with the Afrosurreal Writing Workshop in the city of Oakland. In his spare time, he collaborates with Black Comic Creators in an effort to promote their work and the impending Black Age of Comics.
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