Klay returned to his condo and happily set down the heavy bag of library books. The mystical “portal potion”, he put in his refrigerator. The man who had sold it to him hadn’t told him whether refrigeration was required, but Klay figured it couldn’t hurt. While he had the fridge open, he grabbed some of the chilled Doritos that he always kept on hand when he needed his brain to work extra well.
Eager to get started on his research, Klay grabbed the book on top of the pile, titled “Witchcraft in the Internet Age”, and settled in on his couch with it. When he opened the front cover and saw that the author of the book was a woman in her forties and not a medieval scholar of the occult arts, he was doubtful that the text would contain the information he desired, but he pressed on.
Two paragraphs into the first chapter, Klay was frustrated. Neither the word “portal” nor any of its synonyms had appeared anywhere in those paragraphs. He slammed the book shut, tossed it away from him, reached for the next one in the pile. This one, entitled “Simple Love Spells”, also did not start in a promising manner. After slogging through one entire page of it, Klay gave up again. The text was startlingly void of any reference to interdimensional portals, the creation thereof, or the use thereof to rescue unwise teammates; instead, it dwelled on techniques to attract a man to you. Klay had no desire to attract men to him. Did the public library have no standards when it came to the works it allowed within its walls of learning?
Klay reached for his bong and took some hits to calm himself down. The books obviously weren’t a good resource, but he was lucky to have an innate cunning that would allow him to conduct a ritual of his own design without instruction from ancient learned tomes. Besides, depending on the potency of his newly-acquired portal potion, he might not have have to do much actual…ritualing.
Knowing from years of experience watching horror movies that most occult practices involved candles in some way, Klay decided the time was right to repurpose the tri-candle centerpiece that was on his dining room table. It had been a gift from his mother and he felt bad about breaking it up, but he had no other candles in the house. The candles he arranged in a triangle on the living room floor and lit.
After another bong hit to clarify his thinking, he pulled up Google Translate on his phone. He could use it to translate the ritual incantations into Latin, which was the language that all incantation had to be before they would work.
Klay didn’t know what techniques Stephen had used in his ritual. The Three-Point Shooting Amulet itself might have played a role. Klay, annoyingly, didn’t possess such an amulet; the closest he could come up with was a thin gold chain that he wore approximately never. He put it on now and hoped that the unknown circumstances of its creation had bestowed it with some mystical power that he was not aware of.
As the final step, he closed all his drapes and turned off all the lights in his condo. The only light now was that of his phone screen and that of the candles. By this dim light he navigated to the refrigerator, pulled out the potion, and brought it back to the ritual site still not having a clear idea of what to do with it. Was he supposed to drink it? Douse the candles with it? Put it in the center of the candles? A quick Google search provided no useful results, so he proceeded by taking a small sip of the potion and praying that it didn’t instantly kill him with its magical potency.
The portal potion tasted like vodka, but that fact wasn’t concerning in and of itself. Maybe vodka was one of the ingredients of the potion. Klay didn’t doubt the man who had sold it to him. Now that the ritual had begun, Klay typed “Show me the portal wise ones,” into Google Translate. It was smart to invoke the gods with a flattering title so that they would be more likely to open a glowing portal to another dimension in his living room. He read aloud the translated words “Ostende mihi portal ad sapientes eius” in a booming voice, unsure if he was getting the pronunciation right. When nothing happened, he took another swig of the potion and said the incantation again, adjusting his pronunciation in case the gods hadn’t understood him the first time.
There was a knock on his door. Annoyed that his ritual was being interrupted, he answered it. It was Steve Kerr.
“What’s up with the darkness?” Steve asked.
“I was this close to opening a portal to another dimension to rescue Steph until you interrupted, no big deal,” Klay said. “What’s up?”
“Steph came back out of the portal, so you don’t need to rescue him anymore, not like you would have anyway,” Steve answered. “Hey, you just gonna walk away from your coach like that?”
“I can too open a portal. Just watch me,” Klay replied as he walked back to his living room to resume his ritual. He would show them that he wasn’t the idiot they thought he was.