Welcoming the dark arts program

by Ahmad Dixon, Staff Writer

Not a lot of people know that San Diego State has one of the best dark arts programs in the California State University system.

‘Editor’s Note: San Diego State may or may not actually have a ‘dark arts program.’

We are second only to Humboldt, where half the undergraduate population is some sort of vampire.

I was able to experience this rather bizarre program first hand this semester when I took “Introduction to Necromancy,” the art of raising the dead, to fulfill a general education requirement.

At the beginning I thought the class was an easy “A.”

For the most part the class was just memorizing incantations and trying not to inhale the smoke that came out of the cauldrons.

The hardest part was probably the fact I had to be in the secret basement under Hepner Hall by midnight every Wednesday and Friday if I wanted to be on time.

Books were also kind of tricky to acquire.

To get the newest edition you had to go to the forbidden bookstore, on top of Dread Mountain, during the first full moon after the winter solstice and deliver a blood sacrifice to the gatekeeper who resides in the space between the third and fourth dimension.

Since I am banned from Dread Mountain due to an incident involving a goat and a forest fire, I asked my professor if I could get a used copy off of Amazon.

She said it wasn’t ideal but if I couldn’t get the newest edition it was fine.

I am using female pronouns for my professor just because her disembodied voice sounded feminine.

She appeared to us as an amorphous shadow that could only be seen out of the corner of our eyes.

I started having problems in the class when we got our first in-class assignment.

The week before our professor asked us to bring in a dead cat for class on Wednesday.

So, being the good student that I am, I scoured San Diego for a dead cat.

I eventually found one on the side of the freeway, but unfortunately I could only find the top half of the animal.

It was already Tuesday evening, so, not wanting to be late, I scooped up what I could and made my way to class.

When I got to class I saw all my classmates had cats that were perfectly intact.

What I found out later was that most students got corpses from a local animal hospital.

In hindsight, which is always 20/20, I probably should have gone that route instead of risking my life scooping up an animal carcass on the side of freeway. 

But on the bright side, I saved myself the awkward conversation with the on-staff veterinarian on why I needed someone’s recently deceased pet.

As I am sitting there, feeling kind of silly, looking around and seeing cats of various colors and shapes walking about the room.

They are purring, getting pet, swatting at cat toys, really enjoying their second lives and looking forward to their other seven.

I watch all this for about 15 minutes when my professor tells me that unless I attempt the ritual she will be forced to give me an “F.”

I take a deep breath, extend my hand and recite the spell from memory. Nothing happens. So I repeat the process. The cat lays there, mouth agape, eyes shut.

Again I recite the spell but this time I wrap my fingers around the animal’s skull.

I then felt a strange amount of energy leave my body and I let go of my grip.

Then the cat’s mouth shut and it’s eyes opened.

Have you ever heard a cat with only semi-intact vocal chords scream? I have.

So this thing doesn’t seem to appreciate the new lease on life I have given it.

It’s walking around in oblong circles, dropping internal organs as it goes.

The other cats are hissing at it.

My classmates are unphased by it.

When you hang around cadavers all day nothing really gets to you anymore.

I wasn’t entirely sure what to do until someone graciously handed me a needle, a thread and the rear half of a cat.

I spent the next three hours sewing the two halves together, which probably would have taken under fifteen minutes if it had stopped squirming.

At 3 a.m. everyone has left and I’m stuck in the basement with a total abomination that won’t stop screaming.

I thought it would be a good idea to get it some food and milk but it seemed to be too focused on the never ending agony that it’s existence has become to eat or drink anything.

I gave up on the thing and left. If you are ever in Hepner Hall and hear the hellish screams of the damned, don’t worry, it is just my cat.

All in all I would say the class was worth taking.

I learned a lot of new skills that would be attractive to potential employers and I learned a new language that was previously only known to the fallen elder gods of yore.

Full disclosure, I earned a “C” on the cat project.

I technically completed the assignment by bringing the cat to life, even if it wished it were still dead.     

‘Editor’s Note: The Daily Aztec does not condone the bringing to life of previously dead animals. If you don’t understand why, please refer to Stephen King’s ‘Pet Cemetery.’