The Invitation

You wake up in a cold sweat, the visions of what happened in the woods playing themselves over and over again. 

Who knew that a random camping trip would turn into such a life-shattering moment. 

One moment, you’re looking for a place to pee, and the next, you come across a bunch of people in brown robes chanting around a glowing green portal. 

And then, that..thing, with all the eyes and fangs and claws. You shudder as you play back the image of the demon clawing its way through the swirling green portal, it dripping with dark slime as it fell with into our world. 

One of the robed women walked over to the creature, said a few words, and then light streamed from her hands to the monster, and suddenly, the monster stopped thrashing about. 

The woman then beckoned to the beast, and it suddenly walked over peacefully, seemingly tamed. 

And then, you made the decision that changed everything.

You walked out into the clearing and asked how you could have some of that power too. 

One of the cultists laughed and walked over to you. He was wearing some sort of a skull mask, and he put his hand on your shoulder.

“If you truly seek the power to tame demons, you must also know the price. Are you willing to see the world burn?”

You think of all the tragedy in the world. The hate. The wars. People starving with others walking by. People judging each other as less than based on ideological bullshit. 

You answer before you even realize it. 

“Well then, my new friend. We are the Order of the Dark Wheel, and if you truly wish for demons to walk this earth, I will heartily welcome you into our fold. But now is not the time, for we have other errands to attend to this night.”

The masked man placed a small card into your hand.

“Meet me here at the given time, and I’ll answer all of your questions. Until then.”

The masked man took his leave, and with a motion of his hand, the rest of the cultists followed. 

The portal slowly closed, and in a daze, you look down at the card in your palm. On one side is a wheel with seven spokes and an eye in the center where the axle would be. You walked back to camp, to a fitful sleep, and every night since you’d had the same dream of seven eyes staring at you through an endless void.

Snapping back from the memory, you look over at your alarm clock. The 3:33 am casts a reddish glow over the dark room, and you turn over. You sleep a dreamless sleep knowing that your meeting with the masked man is only a day away.

Walk to the meeting place.