Start the clock! Release the kraken! Let the hockey players sharpen their blades, let the audience stir restlessly and go one last time for popcorn and sodas and beer, glorious golden beer that tints the ice with its microbrewed haze.
Because there is a haze tonight, that’s for sure, folks. Tonight Seattle’s surrendered to the supernatural forces that have been creeping up like uninvited shoggoths in recent years. The world’s gone weird and wacky, and why not krakens, why not tentacles spilling out from the Space Needle, infesting the sky? It’s Seattle, after all; it’s raining so it’s not like they block out the sun.
Who’d have dreamed that magic and hockey would mix this way, a mash-up made of bloody sticks and smashed spell bottles? Seattle’s wizards have come out of hiding for this game, emerged from their lairs in Greenlake and Mercer Island, driven their Teslas over to park in interdimensional folds where they won’t get scratched like normal cars.
Only an hour’s worth of game, and then the magic runs out, deflates like a sodden pumpkin, milked for all that tentacle and terror juice. Will it be enough to keep Seattle entertained for another evening, keep it from imploding like Scherezade in reverse into ennui and coffee beans? Cities don’t resort to supernatural hockey games until they’re really in extremis and no one is really sure what this one will – or even can — achieve, given a world of murder hornets and sapient bananas and well, you remember the last few months as well as I do, particularly what happened to the butterflies.
The clock’s ticking. The skaters are moving back and forth over the ice, and things are stirring in the depths underneath it, things that will fuck a Zamboni up and shred ice like tissue paper. That’s how close the danger is to us all. That’s how dire things are.
Let’s stop now, before another spray of ice goes up, before another player gets a bloody nose and melts the ice with that, so things can crawl through from another dimension. It’s not too late. Where’s the entrance? Where’s the exit? Why does this ice hold me so fast?