A/N: On the "Ask the Squishykins" tumblr, Twinings and I are currently offering ourselves up for two full weeks of filling fic prompts for our readers, varying in length from a hundred to a thousand-plus words. The project has been dubbed the Free For All Fic For All—or FFAFFA for short. This is one of those stories—and this is the boilerplate author's note you'll see on all of 'em. The current round of FFAFFA runs until July 15th, so if you want a custom fic written to any particular specifications, drop by and ask for it!
Prompt: Warren White/The Great White Shark reading alone
The yellowed page under his fingertip is gritty and smudged. Oil or coffee or…something else…brands another man's fingerprints to its surface.
(Whose fingerprints? Who knows?)
The leather binding is…odd, Warren thinks to himself, but the book is old. That's to be expected. The old man who sold it to him was also…odd…and, he thinks to himself with amusement, also just as leathery.
He turns another page, keeping one eye on it and the other on the translation notes next to the book. Of course, he can't actually read any of the foreign text within, but if the rumors are true, he won't need to…
Another page, scrawled with a dark reddish ink, is filled with drawings of humanoid—but not quite human—anatomy. Ah. Yes. This is what he's looking for. He glances at the translation notes, already drunk on the mere thought of the power that will soon be his to control.
"Kanda," he breathes, barely above a whisper. "Es-trata ta-toon…"
The book begins to buck in his hands, like an animal trying to escape. His anticipation, spiked by a delicious sense of fear, is overwhelming.
"Hazan sobar…" The book throws itself into the floor. A wind blows from nowhere and everywhere all at once, flipping the pages with wild abandon. Panic starts to rise, but it's too late to stop now. Limitless power will be in his grasp if he continues, power that will make the demonic forces of Arkham Asylum look like a summer breeze. "Nos-feratos!"
The wind roars even harder, nearly drowning out his voice. Pictures are pulled off the walls by the force, and he feels the claws of something invisible tearing at his clothes. The sting of talons scratches its way up his legs, over his chest and finally, a heavy…something comes to rest on his shoulders. His shoulder muscles are kneaded roughly by it, a push and pull that borders on the painful but not quite.
"Amantos!" He shouts rapturously. The tangible nature of this encounter pushes him forward, encouraging him to continue. He can feel it—whatever it is—and he wants it. He can taste it. Warren raises his arms, his sleeves whipping in the indoor hurricane. "Kanda!"
All at once, the book slams shut and the wind ceases.
His heart hammers away in his chest and his mouth goes dry.
"No," Warren whispers. He drops to his knees and starts to claw at the book cover, desperate to feel the power again. "No!"
The book stubbornly will not open no matter how he tries to force it. Its leather face, captured in perpetual scream, mocks him. Laughter tickles the edges of his consciousness, strangely coming from inside his head instead of the outside.
"I almost had it!" he sobs brokenly, trying to lift the book that now weighs a ton. "I…almost…had it…I did everything you wanted…everything…"
Don't worry…the laughter seems to whisper, growing raspier, deeper…more…sinister. I'll come for you.
"You…you will?" Warren sniffs, once.
I'll swallow your soul!
It takes three weeks and the combined powers of Doctor Fate, the Phantom Stranger and John Constantine to contain the Necronomicon Ex Mortis and undo the damage done by Warren White's haphazard summoning. The book is locked away for good in the Tower of Fate, under heavy magical wards that—hopefully—no two bit hoods in Gotham will be able to break.
It takes twice that long for Constantine to stop complaining that he'll never get all White's blood out of his favorite shirt.