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© I. A. Phillips

Y’oakal the Devourer

I see numerous masked figures in dark robes scrambling around me with various ritual supplies. Some paint a ritualistic sigil with me as the figurehead while others set up nearby shoddy machinery. A few randomly breakdown and start to weep with unhealthy amounts of energy until they transition into repeated bows. Depressingly, it would be manageable if not for their leader. It looks nearly identical to the others except for the gold trimming on their robes, it acts radically different. As soon as they appeared their leader started to aggressively rub themself while staring at me. Adding to its disturbing aura you can tell it’s whispering even through its mask.

As they finish setting up, the leader slowly approaches me, saying, “Children, today is a blessed day. Not only because of the Seventh Blood Moon Ritual, but also because we have made direct contact with our god for the first time.” They quickly position themselves around the sigil then all chant at once “Hail Y’oakal! Hail the Devourer!”

“Yes, children we have finally found him. After long hours of searching through library texts and internet articles, we have found his host. Some of us were losing hope, but according to Wikipedia and neighborhood children, this tree was once struck by lightning twice in five years. The sure-tell sign of Y’oakal.”

“Now with the seventh blood moon of the year, during a leap year, under the year of the pig, and on a Saturday, we may commence with the Seventh Blood Moon Ritual! This ritual will release Y’oakal from his bark prison and allow him to devourer all the seafood in the world. Children, no longer will we have to fear our shrimp allergies, nor worry about weird looking fish when we go to the beach. Nirvana is near!”

“Our work is nearly done. We only have to wait and pray while the prophecy comes true. Initiates, bow before Y’oakal. Jerry, position the moon-tuning device. Elders chant louder. Martha, weep with the joys of tens of people. And the rest of you, pretend you are doing something useful. We have to hurry, there is only five hours left until all ocean life is devoured.”

As time slowly ticked by, I regretted everything I had done that might have caused this fate. Unsurprisingly the leader started to hype their followers long before the one-hour mark was reached. Finally, with one minute left the moon-tuning device had started to smoke, while Jerry gave a thumbs up and Martha was still being pathetic.

“Children the time is near and Y’oakal nearly freed. No longer will dolphins mock us with their superiority. No longer will we fear the Jaws theme song. The time of suffering is nearly over!”

At that moment the moon-tuning device caught fire and the crowd went silent. Unaffected I worried that they would flip when they realized I didn’t do anything. The leader slowly reached into their pocket trembling. Slowly a moldy piece of shrimp was brought out.

“It worked! Y’oakal has devoured all the seafood in the world”

“But that shrimp was not eaten?”

“How dumb are you Jerry? Y’oakal ate the shrimp’s soul. Come, let us storm the news building and proclaim our achievement to the world!”

Relaxing as they left, I thought, "Thank Y’oakal, they left”

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