Editor's Note: This article is a work of fiction; it is not real. It pains me to have to point this out, but the state of critical thinking is very poor in the modern world, and so I must. Again, this article is not real.
NORTH LIBERTY, IA -- A local man's efforts to provide a boost to the Iowa football team's offense went horribly wrong earlier this week, resulting in a basement full of blood. Having watched his beloved Hawkeyes score just one touchdown -- and 15 points, total -- over a two-week span, North Liberty resident Anton May decided to try and find a supernatural solution to the woes encountered by Nate Stanley and company.
"I've dabbled a bit in the, ah, dark arts for a while -- you know, a little hex here, a curse there, a demonic possession every now and again -- so I thought I might be able to give the offense a bit of a jump-start. I was paging through my grimoire, looking for a spell that might do the trick, when I found an incantation for increased potency, which I thought would work."
As May discovered, though, invoking the incantation would be more difficult than he had anticipated.
"The components of the spell were pretty easy to round up -- who doesn't have a thumb bone from their greatest nemesis, am I right? -- but some of the logistics were a little challenging. To properly work, the spell needed a blood sacrifice. But I'm in Iowa, so it's not like I have go too far to get my hands on livestock."
May declined to say precisely how he obtained the quintet of sows used in his ritual, but North Liberty police disclosed that they were currently investigating the disappearance of five pigs from a nearby farm. May had no comment when asked about the investigation.
"So, like I was saying, I got the sows and had everything ready to go for the ritual. Robe, incense, three dozen candles, Iron Maiden's The Number of the Beast on vinyl -- the whole nine yards. And right at the stroke of midnight, I get underway -- the sows' throats get slit and I start chanting the words of the spell. I was feeling good at that point, like Iowa might even score three whole touchdowns in the game this weekend. But I knew something wasn't right after ten minutes, when I was just standing in a rising sea of pig's blood that was already halfway up my calf and nothing else was happening
"Like I said, I've been around the block with the dark arts a few times. I know my way around blood magic. When things are going right, you know -- you hear some ghostly laughter, or there's a brisk, icy breeze out of nowhere that makes your hair stand up. Maybe a portal to the nether realms opens up in your mirror and you can gaze upon the nightmarish denizens of the damned. But this time I got nothing -- just a lot of smelly pig's blood and some ruined Skechers."
May discovered what went wrong when he reviewed the words of the spell. "It turns out the spell didn't call for sow's blood, it needed cow's blood. So I had the wrong blood for the blood sacrifice. Classic mix-up there, you know?"
New problems for May arose when the owners of the house where he was conducting the eldritch ritual arrived home to find May and five inches of pig's blood in their basement.
"This wasn't my first rodeo with blood sacrifices, if you catch my drift. They're not exactly neat and tidy affairs. You butcher five pigs, you're going to make a bit of a mess. Can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs, can't complete a spell of forbidden knowledge without drowning everything in blood. So I've learned not to do rituals like that in my own house, because who wants to clean up all that blood and offal, am I right? Not me. So the Andersons got home, found me in their basement, and called the police. Apparently I'm guilty of 'trespassing,' 'breaking and entering,' 'vandalism,' and 'despoiling the natural order,' although I really don't think that last one is actually on the books."
May is currently being held in the North Liberty Police Department's jail, pending a court appearance. He expressed no regrets about the ritual, only that it had been unsuccessful. "Watching Iowa's offense the last two weeks has made me want to tear my eyes out, so I'm just disappointed I wasn't able to complete the incantation so that they could score some [expletive deleted] touchdowns against Purdue. It would be nice to think they could score points without the intervention of dark forces, but who are we kidding, you know?"
Editor's Note: Once again, this story is a work of fiction. It did not happen.