During the coldest days of winter, nothing less than a Nomrohic Ritual could overcome the spirits of darkness and inertia which emanated from the stained, thirty-year old ratty grey carpet on the concrete floor of Lohbado’s apartment. He’d been warned to stay away from earth spirits. People who messed with magic sometimes ended up tearing off their clothes and dancing around like crazy until they collapsed from exhaustion.
Lohbado learned enough to get started years ago from grandmother Aida. She showed him how to work with dead flies collected from window sills and how to prepare OOO Cakes. She used to let him light the candles. Grandmother got into magic after her husband, Reverend Woodlot Stumps died of a heart attack in 1969. She spent the rest of her days reading esoteric texts and doing magic in a two-story house overlooking a lake in a forest at the end of a rut road. Eventually she died during a cold spell in February. They found her frozen body on the kitchen floor, in front of the wood stove which had burned out weeks ago.
Lohbado drew a pencil diagram of circles within circles, containing letters of the alphabet, to clarify the elements of the ritual. He had a jar of blood-soaked mud he dug up five years ago from where a drug dealer was shot. Lohbado took one look at the people involved and quickly left, after filling a jar of soil from where the victim had lain. In such cases, it’s best to know nothing.
He also had a blood-stained towel used to sponge blood from the head of a car crash victim. The accident happened in 1974, back in the days when people used to stop and have a look. A group of youngsters ploughed head-on into a rock cut on a windy section of road leading to grandmother’s house. The red Thunderbird had been going way too fast. It’s best not to describe the fate of the driver. A young man in the back seat kept swaying back and forth in shock, shouting for the driver to slow down, while another man staggered back and forth on the centre line of the highway. A white-haired woman tried sponging blood from his head. When the police arrived, the woman dropped the towel. Lohbado grabbed it. He kept such items in a medium sized magic suitcase, which belonged to his grandfather, the Reverend Woodlot Stumps, who preached at a wood church in the forest until it burned down.
The third key object was a very old white unicorn with a silky purple mane which belonged to a man Lohbado met in the hospital. The man called himself Norman Bates. He named the unicorn Mr. Bates. The stuffed unicorn had turned grey over the years and looked more like a stuffed sock.
Sometimes planning the ritual is as important, or even more important, than the actual doing. Rituals are a powerful way to restructure the mind, to shock it out of habitual stupor. Lohbado had been lost for weeks in a dull state of mind, alternating between depression and anxiety. A dream about his own funeral startled him from a deep sleep, about 3 AM. That’s when Lohbado knew it was time to have some fun.
First he needed to consult a reference book about zoology at the library. The book contained historical black and white photos of lions, giraffes, zebras, hippopotami, as well as a whole jungle of monkeys and birds. There was even a chapter about elephant death rituals.
Lohbado sat at a table in the library, opened the zoology book and gazed out the window at a tree. A plastic bag caught in a branch near the top of the tree waved like a plastic flag.
Lohbado faced the yellow brick wall across a little lane, opposite to where he sat with the zoology book. Lohbado stared at the half closed transparent curtains of a window. A dark shape moved in the space between the curtains across the lane. He couldn’t look away. A pressure built up in his forehead. His eyes burned as he stared, not daring to blink. A hissing sound echoed in his mind. A seventy-year old woman in a beige flannel gown appeared in the window. Rays of light from her eyes beamed into Lohbado’s forehead creating instant psychic connection.
Psychic vibrations told Lohbado to place Mr. Bates the unicorn in a circle and burn it in a vacant lot near the freeway. He could do it tomorrow afternoon, without attracting too much attention. Soak the stuffed pet in white gas. Drop a match. Let it burn for about five minutes. Be careful to not inhale toxic smoke. After five minutes, piss on the fire to put it out. Scoop up the remains into a paper bag or newspaper. Take it home. Bury it in the snow, under a hedge in the back yard. As the snow melted in spring, the earth would absorb the decomposing lumpy ashes and newspaper.
That night, Lohbado initiated the ritual in his living room. He drilled a hole in a new age book about spirals he picked up from a box of books put out on the curb for trash. It contained predictable fare, nothing of value to Lohbado, other than that it had shiny pages with spirals from stone age times up to William Blake and some photos of the cosmos.
Lohbado slid the soft horn of Mr. Bates in and out of the hole in the mystical book nine times, as the unicorn’s final contact with the material world, before it got taken out to be burned in a vacant lot along a freeway access road. The unicorn made a whinnying sound while penetrating mystic spirals in the book, or rather, Lohbado made various noises. After pausing for a cup of coffee, Lohbado gathered up the jar of blood-soaked earth, the blood-stained towel, the unicorn and the no-longer-innocent spiral book with the hole in it. Before going to bed, Lohbado drank a glass of home-made liqueur and went into a lucid sleep in order to see if there would be any further instructions via dream.
He dreamed about an all-seeing eye, almighty eye in a triangle. Rays of light surrounded the triangle. The triangle mountain drew the gaze upward to the all-seeing eye.