I started hearing his call the first time I got drunk.  The noise of the dive bar faded away the more I focused on the whisper that was repeating my name followed by what sounded like instructions I couldn’t make out.  Of course, everyone has the same experience when they drink, so I ignored it.  Years passed, I graduated, started working at a software company, got married, bought a house, got a dog, followed the ley lines… But the call continued.  Sometimes I thought I could understand it, but then I would wake with a start.  In bed, listening for the follow up to whatever sound must have roused you is the worst torture.  In what world did the event that woke you belong?  In these moments when I should have been alone, Moloch was always there.  So, it was no surprise that I was the first one in generations to fully receive his blessing. Sure, many of the most influential people in the world gained their power through offering sacrifices to Moloch, but they underestimated the potential of the exchange.  In the more honest times, a village would offer an infant, and that would be enough for them to make it through the winter. Now, the global elites sacrifice a vagabond every time they want to choose the leader of a country or start a new war.  I don’t know why Moloch chose me, but who am I to question the call. 


My wife had to go on a business trip for the week, so I took the opportunity to drink a little more than I can normally get away with.  The first night, I passed out on the floor, and woke up when I felt a presence.  In a fog, I rolled over and saw the button eyes of the puppy looking into my soul.  The dog and I both knew what had to be done, so I stood up and stumbled into the kitchen.  However, the Cutco chef knife seemed to be attached to the magnetic knife block with an unimaginable force.  “What’s wrong?” I shouted at the animal.  I let go and fell back to the ground.  As the reality of my actions set in, I began to cry.  There is a cleansing release in tears, and I cried loudly with snot filled shouts and fits.  “Why would you call to me and then reject me?”  Around the corner of the kitchen island, the small face of the puppy peaked out.  In the void of those black eyes, I found my answer.  Anyone can offer a lesser sacrifice.  In order to receive the true blessing from Moloch, I had to provide something that was of more value than a dog, or even myself. 


My alarm sounded, I let the dog out, made coffee, and took two Aleve.  Emails, Zoom meetings, and conference calls occurred, but I wasn’t present.  The whole day focused me on my only goal.  I might have indulged in a few swigs of whiskey throughout the course of events, but the penultimate moment was the phone call.  It was easier than I expected.  “Hey, I can’t explain it over the phone, but I need you to come over as soon as possible.”  There was a pause, “What?  Ha, are you fucking with me?”  I looked down at the puppy and replied, “No.  Just trust me.  Something important is going down, and I need you here.”  Foolishly, the best Perl developer in our company made his way to my house. 


The next part is barely worth mentioning.  He walked into the house with an indignant stride and never saw the chef knife that I drove into his neck.  It was too easy.  The blade separated vertebrae, severed the spinal column, and ruptured the trachea and arteries.  He fell to the floor, and I was disappointed as I looked down and noticed that I wasn’t covered in blood.  I thought it would be like the movies, but almost none of his life-giving fluid graced me.  It was just pooling on the floor.  For a moment, I thought I felt power, but it faded all too quickly, and then I was stuck with a mess to clean up.


It’s funny now, but I started to panic.  The dog was hiding from me, and I had to get rid of what I thought was a failed sacrifice.  Two gallons of old lawn mower gas and a half gallon of two cycle weed eater gas should do the trick.  I tossed them in the trunk of his car, and looked around.  My neighbors were obviously asleep by now, but I began to realize how ridiculous it looked to shove a corpse into the passenger side seat of a Miata.  I pushed those thoughts out of my mind and drove into the country.  Outside of the city lights, you become more aware of your surroundings.    


I slowed down when the road ended in a T and saw the head of a bull in the headlights.  His gaze never averted as I stopped and got out of the car.  It wasn’t until after I set the car ablaze that I thought about how I would get back home, or whether I should even go back home at this point.  But, I had a new found clarity.  I finally felt it.  Moloch approved of my sacrifice!  As I walked down the road, something caught my eye.  On the top of a powerline pole, I saw a barn owl and I heard the call with perfect clarity.  My sacrifice pleased him!  However, the joy and exuberation was fleeting.  He needed more.  And, I needed to prove to him that this was not simply an act taken without purpose.  For the first time this evening, I felt the chill of the north wind.  As I walked down the country road, I pulled my phone from my pocket and sent a signal message to Frew.  “Guess what!?  I’ll be in Santa Monica in 2 days!”  After I hit send, I opened Booking.com and started looking for flights.