Breathing in Amber
Andrew R. Crow
Doorknobs Winner
After a while, he did it.

It wasn’t the first time he’d contemplated opening it. The ‘dusty grimoire’, as he’d coined it, discovered in the attic of the old farmhouse he’d recently purchased. Oh, he’d touched it a few times, held it even; but the leathery texture of the binding, almost translucent and greasy had nauseated him. Frightened him.

Which was why he’d finally opened it.

He’d had enough of being scared his whole life.

The pages contained symbols that made him dizzy. As his mind cleared, he saw snippets of strange phrases in English letters: “Az’rah neh”, “Ftul Nyarlathotep”.

Flipping at random, he came to a page with a title that he could at least understand: ‘Preparation for Everlasting Life’. More gibberish below, but a list of items that he could make out: salt, oak leaf, fingernail pairings, hair, pure water and a dram of blood. Not too difficult.

Damnit, he’d do it. The new him.

That afternoon, TV blaring in the other room for company, he mixed the items together in an old brass bowl he’d found near the book. He nearly ruptured his throat, repeating the strange words on the page.

A flash of light materialized, flinging him across the room.

He awoke, what felt like hours later.

The Sun had not moved.

The clock still read 4:17 p.m.

And the TV was frozen with an image of Klaus Barbie’s trial.

Immortality was living.

But frozen in time.


For eternity.

He screamed, but no-one heard.

First published: November 2016
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