The youth stood in the middle of the street, surrounded by onlookers. He looked remarkably like the stereotypical vampire, tall, pale, with spiked silver hair, a sharp nose and dressed in black and grey. Around his neck a long purple scarf was wrapped, hanging down past his knees, and sleek purple sunglasses hid his eyes. In his hands was a blood-red guitar, a wicked-looking member of ESP’s F-Series. Despite lacking a cord, amps or any sort of effect pedal, the guitar put out an aggressive, distorted sound as the youth played.
He finished and gave a flourish, the guitar’s sound still ringing in the air. The onlookers applauded as the youth played a quick solo and abruptly cut off. A preteen girl stepped forwards, a rainbow on her red sweater. “Don’t you need a cord and amp…?”
“Why would I? I’m a reality warper!” The youth flipped his guitar through the air with greater strength than his lean frame would suggest. It flew straight up and whirled like a buzzsaw before plunging back into his hands. He jumped, thudded his feet together and landed atop an amplifier. A cord seemed to magically snake from his guitar into the amp. “Are you happy now?”
A boy about the same age, wearing a baseball cap, stepped up to the girl and was about to speak when a deranged voice echoed through the air. Gasps escaped from the two kids as the youth slowly and literally turned on his heels to see a levitating pyramid with a single eye, bow tie and top hat.
“A fellow superbeing! Welcome to the ‘Falls! What’s your name?”
“This a friend of yours?” The girl asked the newcomer, pointing at the youth.
“I would learn your name, but I don’t feel like bothering right now,” the youth replied to the pyramid, ignoring the girl’s question. “Call me Z, Necrobane or Zombiejiger. I’m the Titan Prince of Death, Undeath and Heavy Metal. You’ve been lighting up my senses all day.”
“Name's Bill Cipher. And I take it you're some kind of living ventriloquist dummy? I'm just kidding, I know who you are, you just told me!”
“Oh yay, an Eldritch Thing that’s a smart aleck.”
“Eldritch Thing? Nothing of the sort! I’m a Dream Demon.”
Z stared at him for several seconds, then doubled over laughing. “Dream Demon? What did you do, make that up over breakfast? That’s priceless!”
“Don’t egg him on…” the girl warned. Z looked at her, a grin on his face.
“This loser? EVERYONE GET THE HELLMOUTH OUT OF HERE! Except for you two,” he motioned at the two kids. “You know him, I want you to watch.”
“If they’re staying, I’m staying too,” an older girl, dressed in flannel and wearing a lumberjack shirt stepped up to Z. She was almost as tall as the Prince, but he stood several inches above her. Soon there were only the three humans and two reality warpers left.
“Fine, fine. I read your memory, you’re safe to have around. Now step aside, I’ve got heresy to purge.”
“Heresy? I don’t think that’s a compliment.” Bill Cipher said, darting through the air above Z.
“It’s not.” Z snapped his fingers and the guitar, amp and cord all vanished, leaving him standing in the middle of the street. “First things first. We don’t want you running, now do we?” He threw his hands to the sky, turning it red. Images of creatures, things, and skeleton danced the new sky, attacking, killing and being reborn endlessly. On the ground the soil turned a bleached, dead white. Stones turned black, and tombstones and mausoleums rose from the ground. Twisted idols burst out of the dirt and grass, representations of the same creature, bipedal, fanged and tentacled. Thunder rumbled in the distance.
“Welcome to Necropolis! A small rendition of it, anyways! Home sweet home!”
The Prince stepped back, cracked his knuckles and brushed his clothes. As his hands slid down, the black jacket transformed into angular power armor that covered his entire body. He struck a dramatic pose and snapped, transforming back to normal.
“Quick vote, should I keep this form, go with the awesome armor, or go full-blown Titan Prince?”
Everyone, even Cipher, stared at him at a loss of words.
“Alright then. I’ll start with this, then go Prince.”
“We should set terms for the fight! You win, I leave. I win, you die and the town is mine!”
“Whatever. Sure. Not like I care, Prince of Death and all. I’ll just get some more townspeople for Necropolis if you win.”
“Then let’s go!” Bill crowed, firing a lightning bolt from his single eye. Z rolled his eyes and raised a hand, freezing it in midair.
“Puh-leeze, I deal with your kind daily. You’ve got to do better than that.” With a flick of the hand, the bolt turned purple and arced back towards the Dream Demon. The little pyramid teleported out of the way, leaving the bolt to dissipate.
Z turned back to face Cipher, his eyes glowing. He spread his arms, causing the wind to pick up and the bleached soil to spin around him. Waving his arms, he condensed the dirt into a whirling sphere and hurled it at the Dream Demon, who yet again dodged it. Cipher tipped his hat, sending the world spiraling upside down. Z rolled his eyes and crossed his arms as the sky flipped around and the colors changed into the inverse.
The Prince smirked and reached out a hand as the three onlookers started to fall towards the sky. Under their feet a stone plate appeared, and they fell in reverse up towards the upside-down ground. Z shifted in a blur, righting himself to face Bill Cipher. They faced each other for several minutes before the Prince snapped his fingers, fixing reality.
“You’ve got some nerve for an eldritch Dorito, trying to manipulate one of my worlds.”
“YOUR WORLD? THIS DIMENSION IS MINE!” Cipher bellowed.
“Huh, well, I certainly haven’t heard of you. I mean, I’ve been here for every major or minor war, every conflict in history, taking the Resting home. You? You popped up on my cosmic awareness… about, hmm, six months ago?”
“Longer! You just now decided to help us?” The boy asked, incredulous.
“Sorry kid, I’ve been busy. Nyaralathotep showed up in Necropolis, and I had to go and break his face. That’s a figure of speech. I broke everything about that loser. ‘Dark god’ indeed.”
“LISTEN TO ME!” Cipher turned a bright red fire light in his palms. The Dream Demon grew in size, larger than all buildings, larger and larger until he stood several hundred feet tall.
“Finally!” Z laughed. He threw his arms in the air like he was worshipping the towering pyramid. Around them the idols began to glow, purple energy flowing from them into the Prince’s open palms, eyes and mouth. Cracks spread across his body and clothes, purple light shining forth. Z’s body shattered, leaving only the energy.
The form began to shape and transform into the appearance of the small idols. Four tentacles in place of each arm, an angular head lacking eyes. A gaping maw rested both in the head and the chest, sitting amidst the dry, leathery skin. The Prince grew to the size of the startled Bill Cipher, and then even taller.
“This better?” Z asked, his voice now a quiet whisper. Cipher took a step back and raised one finger. From the tip a thin red beam fired straight through Z’s primary mouth. Almost immediately it burst out of the second in his chest and slammed into the Dream Demon’s eyeball. He screamed and clawed at his eye. The Prince’s soft, haunting laugh filled the air like the sound of a pile of bones falling down a well.
“Time’s running out!” Z hissed in a voice meant to be playful, but instead unnerved everyone else. Energy welled up in his mouths and both began to spit spiked purple spheres which slammed into the pyramid, hurling the Dream Demon backwards. He strode towards the injured Cipher, his feet not actually touching the ground. Eight tentacles coiled around his opponent, and the purple energy enveloped them both.
When it faded Z stood in his human form, a Dorito chip in his hand. He smiled broadly and popped the chip into his mouth, munched it for a couple seconds and swallowed.
“Delicious. Much better than the others.”
“What exactly are you?” The oldest girl asked slowly.
“Titan Prince, overseer of the universe. Here’s my card.” Reaching into his jacket, the Prince materialized a business card. It was printed in English, and read as such:
Titan Prince of Death
Call at 181-016-7734*
Visit at Necropolis, the Shroud
With another snap, Z removed the odd surroundings from the town. The ground cracked open in front of him, revealing stairs leading into the earth.
“Well, I’ve got to go meet my friends Sol and Akre, maybe we’ll meet again sometime. Call if you need me.” He hurried down into the stairs, and the ground closed around him. …
“And that,” Z said, sitting at a barstool. “Is how I killed some insane Eldritch being that thought a little too highly of himself.” Next to him sat two others about his age, one dressed in grey clothes, a jacket and a red scarf. He had rich skin, gold eyes and red and gold hair that seemed rather messy. The other was an Asian man, with flickering green eyes. He wore a Batman outfit and had a super soaker hanging on a strap around his shoulders.
“What did that thing call itself again?” The Batman asked.
“Bill Cipher. How much more ridiculous can you get…”
*181016 = RIP, 7734 = hELL