The dinner wasn’t quite what they were expecting.
The university was still reeling from the destruction of Miskatonic Hall, but they decided to hold their gala event nonetheless the following weekend. I made it a point to secure an invitation for myself, though they were loathed to present me with one. I was forced to remove several teeth from the president’s mouth before he relented.
I had some words I wished to share with the faculty, staff, and some visiting dignitaries about staying off my lands and out of the Hollow.
I found myself a seat by the door, and I refused to eat or drink. I was quite content to smoke my pipe and bide my time. After the appetizers were finished and the second and third bottles of wine were opened at the tables, I figured it was high time I spoke to those gathered.
Before I could, Professor Malcolm Cummings stood up at the head table. He swept a hand over his bald head, adjusted his black bow tie, and invited those gathered to enjoy the fine, exquisite freshwater squid pulled from Blood Lake.
His words chilled me to my bones, and I knew there was no use in speaking.
Dinner would speak for itself.
The servers brought out silver bowls, each one holding a small, roasted squid.
Or what they believed had been squid.
I knew better.
There were no freshwater squid in my lake, though some of the Elder Gods had been known to spawn in the depths.
As the first of the guests dug into their meal, I stood up and walked to the door.
Someone called my name, their tone high and imperious, and when I turned back, I merely shook my head. A few of the professors laughed, but only for a heartbeat.
For those who had begun to eat, well, they began to burn.
Blue flames, the color of sapphire, burst from every orifice, searing and devouring flesh.
As the flames jumped from body to body, I closed the door behind me and made my way home.
My own dinner was waiting, and I was famished.