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NOT ANOTHER VAMPIRE STORY
NOT ANOTHER VAMPIRE STORY
Sam closed the door of her apartment and breathed a sigh of relief.  The working week was over and she could at last be her real self.  A quick meal and a shower later she stood naked in her bedroom and opened her wardrobe.  What would she wear to the Cotillion tonight?
Sensible underwear first, so she slid a pair of Hello Kitty panties up her thighs.  Yes, she could have worn more appropriate underwear, but she disliked the way that the pantaloons felt around her butt.  But now it was time to get into character.  She took a pair of black lace hold-ups from her cabinet drawer and put them on.  Deciding to go braless tonight, she pulled her petticoat over her head.
Now for the top layers she thought.  First a long Victorian style dress that buttoned up to her neck, tonight a pale green one as she’d worn the black last week.  On top of this she slipped a dark corset and pulled the strings tight, enhancing her sm
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ELDEST - PART 6 :iconandrewbroomfield:AndrewBroomfield 1 0
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NOT ANOTHER VAMPIRE STORY

Sam closed the door of her apartment and breathed a sigh of relief.  The working week was over and she could at last be her real self.  A quick meal and a shower later she stood naked in her bedroom and opened her wardrobe.  What would she wear to the Cotillion tonight?

Sensible underwear first, so she slid a pair of Hello Kitty panties up her thighs.  Yes, she could have worn more appropriate underwear, but she disliked the way that the pantaloons felt around her butt.  But now it was time to get into character.  She took a pair of black lace hold-ups from her cabinet drawer and put them on.  Deciding to go braless tonight, she pulled her petticoat over her head.

Now for the top layers she thought.  First a long Victorian style dress that buttoned up to her neck, tonight a pale green one as she’d worn the black last week.  On top of this she slipped a dark corset and pulled the strings tight, enhancing her small breasts.  Finally she slipped a dark jacket over her shoulders and slid the black, knee length boots onto her slim legs.  The buckles on the boots always took an age to do up but the effect was worth it.

Dressed to kill she turned her attention to her make-up.  A lot of the regulars overdid the white foundation, hoping to pass as one of the undead, but Sam was an old hand.  She naturally avoided the sun and had cultivated a pale and interesting look.  All she needed to do was apply a pale foundation and blusher, and some black eyeliner to give her eyes an exotic look and she was almost ready.  She applied rich scarlet lipstick and looked at herself in the mirror.  She looked very recently deceased, but risen and recently fed.

Finally the hair.  Last week she had tried ringlets, but they had been more trouble than they had been worth.  Something more subtle this week.  She pulled her hair on top of her head and pinned it into place with combs, giving her a schoolmistress look, but a sexy one.  Remove the combs and she’d be revealed as the sexual animal that she truly hoped she could be.

Now all she needed was the more practical side of things.  She chose a subtle handbag and transferred her purse, keys and make-up into it from her day bag.  Reaching for the phone, she dialed her regular cab firm, noticing the one thing she had missed from her costume.  Having ordered a cab, she returned to her hand to search for a pair of opera gloves.  They might not have been precisely the same shade as her dress, but they were close enough.

And now for a night on the town…

-

Sam paid the cabbie and got out of the cab.  In front of her The Grand Guignol club stood imposingly in front of her.  The hottest club on the Scene, it attracted people from all over the state, all of whom were looking to share the glamour of the undead lifestyle.  In front of its heavy double doors Carl and Leo, the club’s twin bouncers were checking the identities of a pair of wannabes.  They had the general gothic vibe going on, but they were far too young to get past the immaculately dressed doormen.  She wouldn’t have that problem though.  Carl and Leo knew her intimately and that meant she didn’t have to queue.

She nodded to the boys and Carl opened the door for her, causing the peons in the queue to complain loudly.  Once through the door, she climbed the immaculately red-carpeted and slid into the club itself.  The evening was early, but a good crowd had already assembled.  She could see Scylla, mistress of the night and Lord Thanatos by the bar, holding court to a small group of their minions.  Never mind by the day they were Mindy, a sales clerk at the local mall and Tim, a paralegal for one of the bigger downtown firms.  Tonight they ruled.

“Greetings Dark Mistress Katrina,” Lord Thanatos said kissing her delicately on the neck, “and how has your week among the cattle been?”

“Fine my lord,” Sam replied “but better now that I’m among my own people.”

“No conquests, then?” Scylla asked.  Scylla was always interested in hearing the details about the others of their Guild hooking up.  It was part of her mortal gossipy nature.

“Well, there’s this guy at the office, who’s kinda hot but…”

“Remember my progeny, we don’t talk about our mortal lives in this Elysium,” Lord Thanatos interrupted sharply.  “We discuss the matters of greater import.  Matters, which are of an interest to all our kind.”

“Sorry Tim, I mean my Lord.”  Sam said humbly.  Tim had introduced her to the lifestyle a couple of years ago when she’d been temping at his firm and she’d been hooked ever since.  But then again, when she’d been younger she’d devoured the books of Anne Rice and Stephanie Meyer and had seen all the classic horrors, so it was a foregone conclusion that she’d become a member of this elite clique.

Lord Thanatos let the slip slide.  “May I introduce two new members of our enclave,” he said, gesturing towards a couple of younger Goths.  Sam could tell that they were new to the scene.  They were still wearing hoodies and black jeans, for god’s sake.  How they’d gotten past Carl and Leo was a mystery to her.

“Greetings, fellow children of the night.  I am the Dark Mistress Katrina, progeny of the noble Lord Thanatos.  And you are…?”

The young man spoke first.  “Hi.  Sorry.  Good evening my Lady.  I’m Harry and this is my girlfriend, Jen.  It’s our first time in the city.  We heard so much about this place on line so we knew we had to come.”  Jen shrugged.  She was obviously less enthused about being here than her partner was.

Sam raised an eyebrow.  They really were newbies on the scene.  They hadn’t even chosen appropriate gothic names yet.  “Those are your mortal names,” she said.  “Here we can be our true selves without fear of ridicule.  What names would you like to be known as?”

Lord Thanatos looked at her.  “We thought that you would like to choose their names.”  Sam felt honored.  Choosing a name for a newbie was like making your own progeny.  Tim had done it for her and now he, as the leader of their clique was granting permission for her to choose their vampire names.

“Let’s see,” she said thoughtfully.  “Here you will be Silas,” she said to Harry.  Turning to the visibly bored Jen, she tried to think of a name that would suit the sulky bitch but might keep her interested.  “And you,” she said, “will be Marissa.  You both will have to earn your epithets.  Are those fitting names, my Lord?”

Lord Thanatos nodded.  “You have chosen wisely.  Now I think its time for Bloody Marys all around.  Let the weekend commence!”

-

Three hours later, the evening was really getting started.  Sam had already worked out that it would be Marissa’s last night at the club.  She might have been a Goth but that was as far as she was willing to go.  Silas on the other hand had a great deal of potential.  Once he’d dumped the millstone around his neck, they she might even initiate him into some of the darker mysteries.  She wondered how Silas would like being tied up and whipped.

Other coteries stopped by their table and exchanged stories of their nighttime hunts and cotillions. They may have been fantasy but they gave everyone a sense of community.  Sam knew that some of them indulged in blood play, but that wasn’t a path she was willing to go down and they respected her choice.  However, if she ever chanced on ‘the real thing’, then maybe she’d change her mind.

That seemed unlikely tonight though.  Most of the club’s patrons were dressed in their full undead finery and spoke using flowery language.  Sam could tell the various cliques by the antique styles of clothes that they’d chosen.  Lord Thanatos’s clique wore Victorian style clothes, but a group on the next table was in impeccable jazz-era clothing, while others dressed as if they’d been lifted from the forties.  If they didn’t wear their coterie’s costume, they were almost invariably dressed in either off the peg Gothiquary or the hoodies and black jeans that the new neonates of their group wore.  Sam wondered if Time knew them outside of the scene, or had just opportunistically taken them in under his wing.

As she went to the bar for another blood-red cocktail, one patron stood out from the others.  How he’d gotten past the bouncers, she couldn’t begin to guess for her was wearing a denim jacket and a pair of faded jeans.  She knew of cliques in other cities were would dress as bikers or cowboys but he looked like neither.  His hair was cropped short and he wouldn’t look out of place on a construction site.  

She got to the bar and waited to be served.  There were loads of waiting customers so she had time to take note of the young man beside her.  The first thing that she saw was that he had four or five empty shot glasses in front of him.  Most patrons of the Grand Guignol were cocktail drinkers so this seemed unusual.  His hands were rough and slightly sunburned looking higher, she saw that his face was the same.  However, his eyes were the deepest blue and had a mixture of bright intelligence and great sadness in them.

“Didn’t your mother tell you it’s rude to stare, Ma’am?”  He spoke quietly and with a Texas accent.

Sam gulped and looked down.  “Sorry,” she said, “but you don’t look like this would be your type of club.  You look so different from all the other gentlemen here.”

He snorted and waved his hand towards a barman.  The barman looked disinterestedly at him as he pointed to his glass and then raised two fingers in a V-for-Victory sign.  Still, he poured a couple more shots out of a dusty bottle of vodka and brought them over.

He downed the first with a single gulp.  Sam expected him to do the same with the second but he pushed the glass in front of her.  “It’s nice to be noticed, Ma’am,” he said.  “Most of the other ladies here have been ignoring me all night.  Hope you like vodka.”

She looked down at the glass.  “Sorry.  I prefer cocktails,” she apologized.  “But thanks for the offer.”

He wasn’t offended and downed the other glass as quickly as his first one.  Calling the bartender over he turned to Sam.  “I was a bit thoughtless,” he said.  “I assumed that as you were talking to me, you were my kind of drinker.  Bartender, get this lady whatever she wants.  On me”

Sam smiled.  “Thank you my Lord,” she said coyly

The man smiled.  “I’m not anyone’s lord,” he said.  “I’m just a working Joe like the rest of these poseurs really are.  The name’s Dale Arden.”

Sam smirked.  “You do realize that…”

“It’s name of Flash Gordon’s girlfriend.  Yes I know.  My Mother’s maiden name was Dale and she wanted to keep it in the family.  How come a young girl like you knows something like that, anyhow?”

“It was on TV a few weeks ago.”

“It’s nice to know that they still show such movies.  Charles Middleton made a great Ming I thought.”

Sam looked puzzled.  “I thought it was Max Von Sydow, who played Ming.”

Dale nodded.  “Oh, you meant the recent one.  I grew up watching the classic Buster Crabbe serials back in Texas at the local picture house.  They used to like showing the oldies then.”

“How old are you then?”  Sam was getting interested in this newcomer.  He was nothing like the other men that frequented the club.

“Not that old,” he said, avoiding the question, as the barman brought Sam her cocktail.  “I’ve just had an interesting life, that’s all.”

“So how come you’re here tonight?  This doesn’t seem to be the sort of club you’d be seen dead in, if I’m being frank.”

Dale hooted with laughter.  “Sorry,” he said when he’d pulled himself together.  “That’s a private joke.  No, I go way back with Mike Casey, the owner.  He needs some work done on the upstairs of the club and it took longer to put together than I had planned, so he kindly let me run up a tab.  Saves me a trip to my usual haunts.”  He laughed again, as if he’d made another private joke.

“So you’re a builder then?”

“Jack-of-all-trades, master of none.  You?  I mean, when you’re not being Vampira.”

She looked at the floor.  “That’s my nine-to-five life.  It’s considered de rigueur to talk about such things in the club.”

He shrugged.  “Sorry.  I was only asking.  I didn’t know you’d have to break character to chat to a guy like me.   I’d better let you get back to your friends.”

Sam looked at her friends.  Lord Thanatos was glaring at her.  Talking to someone obviously not part of the scene was definitely not normal etiquette for the Grand Guignol.  But she found herself liking this rough and ready Texan with an unfortunate name   “I can stay a bit, if you want the company,” she said, sitting on the stool beside him.  She decided to start again.  “Hi, I’m normally known as the Dark Mistress Katrina, but my real name’s Sam and I’m an office temp.”

“Pleased to meet you Sam,” Dale said, shaking her hand.

-

Dale might be out of place, she thought an hour later, but he seemed to be far more real than the other guys in the bar.  He’d lived life, not merely played at undeath.  For one thing, he’d traveled.  While in the army he’d been stationed in Western Europe and Afghanistan, but had also traveled extensively throughout Eastern Europe and Pacific Rim.  Even after he’d left the army he’d traveled the States looking for work wherever he could get it.

Despite this, Sam had a feeling that he wasn’t telling her the full story.  For one thing, he seemed older than he looked.  He mentioned stories that his grandfather had told him about the Second World War, but when he told them it was like he’d actually been there.  The same was true about stories his father had told him about Viet Nam.  He was also quite vague about his family when asked direct questions.  Depending on what story he told, he had a younger or elder brother or sister, but only had the one sibling.

Still he was buying the drinks and was good company.  He also seemed to be holding his liquor very well.  He’d had seven shots and was still talking clearly and coherently.  By this time Sam was quite tipsy and was very tempted to call it a night, even though he looked like he could carry on for hours.

Suddenly she felt a hand on her shoulder.  She turned and saw Lord Thanatos in front of her.  “Katrina,” he said in low, even tones.  “We’re missing you.  You’ve been chatting to this guy for over an hour now.”

“Sorry,” she said to Dale, getting up from her stool.  “I really need to join my friends now.”

“You sure, Sam?”  Dale asked.  “I thought we were having a good time?”

“We are.  I mean we were.  But I’m here with my friends.  I’ve been rude and neglected them.  It was nice meeting you, Dale.”

“Can I see you again, Sam?” Dale asked.

“That’s not very likely is it?” Lord Thanatos said, stepping in front of Sam.  “Dark Mistress Katrina belongs to a different world to your mundane little existence,”

Dale slowly got up.  “I don’t know who you are or what sick little games you and your friends are playing here?” he said, squaring up to Lord Thanatos.  “But I’m not interested in your opinion.  I’m asking the lady if she would like to go on a proper date sometime.  Not some camp masquerade ball.”

“Do you know who you’re speaking to, Mortal?  I am the Lord of my coterie and my word carries weight around here.”

“So you’re a local big shot,” Dale shrugged, “so what?  You have a fancy wardrobe and a fancy way of speaking and that’s it.  I’ve seen actually done something with my existence not spent it play-acting.  If you’d ever seen a real vampire, you’d go running home to Mommy rather than facing it.”

“Well, so would you.”

Dale stepped up and put his face close to Lord Thanatos’s.  “Unlike you, I’m talking from experience.”  They stared at each other for a long moment.  Lord Thanatos was the first to break away.  There was a conviction in Dale’s eyes, which Sam had never seen before.  As if he had seen the real thing.”

Dale turned to the barman and handed him a bunch of notes from a well-stuffed billfold.  “Tell Mike that I’m not interested in the job.  Not if it means working with assholes like this guy here.  This should cover my drinks and the lady’s here.  Take the rest as a tip.  I’ll catch up with Mike sometime soon.”  He downed his last shot and strode purposely out of the club.

“It’s a good thing he ran like the craven mortal he is,” Lord Thanatos pontificated.  “He would never be able to stand up to the power of a Vampire Lord.”

Sam looked out of the door.  She’d liked him until Tim had butted in.  Maybe she would have gone home with him; maybe not.  But there was something authentic about him, something that made her want to know him more.

“Listen Tim, sorry Lord Thanatos,” she began.  “But I’m going after him.  It sounds like he’s met the real deal.”

“He’s bluffing.  The Children of the Night would never reveal themselves to an unbeliever.  Only we, as their true followers would ever be granted that dark privilege.”

“Why?  Because we dress up like what Vampires are supposed to look like?  Because of the dark rituals that we perform?  What if the real vampires are out there and are laughing at our silly little cliques and coteries?”

Lord Thanatos looked appalled.  “I didn’t know you took our Traditions so lightly, Sam.  Perhaps you’re more suited for the mortal world than I thought.”

“You’re wrong.  We may be gothic but he might be the real deal.  If he is or has met the real thing, then I want to know.  I’ll see you tomorrow night.  Maybe I’ll have a true vampire story to tell you then.”

“Don’t bother.  You go now, you’re through with our coterie.  Maybe another group would accept you but I doubt it.”

Sam thought long and hard.  She invested a lot of time and money on being the Dark Mistress Katrina and had made several good friends.  But she felt sure that she was onto the real thing and if she could prove that vampires were real, then she would go down in history.  In the end there was no choice.

“See you around, Tim,” she said cheerfully and left the club.

-
Once she’d passed through the club’s imposing doors and was on the street, she felt sick to her stomach.  There was no sign of Dale anywhere.  Had she given up her lifestyle as one of the undead to chase after a drifter who she’d only met once?   Maybe there was still a chance to go back in.  She’d have to grovel to Lord Thanatos but maybe he’d take her back, after she had been suitably punished of course.

Across the street a pair of headlights turned on and off slowly.  Dale was sitting in a battered pick-up in an alley opposite the club.  Knowing that if she joined him, everything would change, she hesitated, but then crossed the road.  The passenger door swung open and she got in.

As she closed the door she was nervous.  She’d never gotten into a car with a virtual stranger before.  Especially one who’d drank as much as Dale had.  But though she could smell the alcohol on his breath, he seemed far more sober than she was.

“You waited,” she said breaking the uncomfortable silence.

“I knew you’d come,” he said in a matter of fact voice.  “I’ve gotten to know many people over the years.  But few take the time to talk to an old cowboy such as myself or actually listen to what I saw.  When you did both, I knew that you were the right person.”

She braced herself and asked the question she’d been dying to ask.  “Are you a vampire?”

He turned his head slowly and smiled.  “No,” he said, “I’m a werewolf.”

For a moment his face remained impassive and Sam felt cold chills run up and down her back.  Then he threw back his head and laughed a warm, generous and friendly laugh.  Sam laughed with him, the tension broken.  “Of course I’m not one of the shifting breeds,” he said chuckling, “and I’m not a vampire either.”

Sam punched his arm.  “That was a terrible thing to do.  Make me think that you were one of the undead.”

“Look at me Sam.  Would one of your precious vampires have skin like mine?  Of course I’m not a vampire.”  He became serious.  “I do know a bit about them though.”

“You’ve met them then?”

Dale nodded.  “Vampires do exist, but they’re nothing like your friends in the club.  They’re very few and far between and you’d know if you’d see one.  They also need people like me to take care of them, since they can’t walk easily among the normal people like you and I.”

Sam whistled.  “You’re some sort of Renfield, aren’t you?”

“I kind of think of myself as a sort of Klove figure rather than a bug eating lunatic.  But yes, I take care of a vampire.”

“Can I meet them,” Sam blurted out before she had time to think straight.

“You won’t like him,” Dale said.  “Seriously, he won’t be what you expect at all.”

“Oh come off it, Dale! You knew that I was going to want to meet him as soon as you let me know your secret.  There’s no use pretending otherwise!”

Dale shrugged and started the pick-up’s engine.  “You’re right, I did know.  As I said, I’ve met people like you.  The right sort of people.  The sort of people who’d appreciate my charge’s true nature.”

“So where is he?”  Sam asked eagerly.

“It’s not far,” Dale said and drove off into the night.

-

Twenty minutes later they arrived outside a small suburban house.  Dale got out and opened the passenger door for Sam and gently took her hand.  “Sorry it’s not some Transylvanian castle,” he apologized, “but its better to be low key rather than ostentatious.”

“I know.  I’ve seen Fright Night.  Both versions.”

Dale unlocked the front door and stepped through it into a barely furnished lounge.  Sam followed shortly afterwards and sat down on the sofa.  “Forgive the décor,” he said as he poured himself a stiff drink, “We don’t stay in the same place for very long, so there’s very little time to accumulate junk.  Drink?”

Sam shook her head.  “When do I get to meet your master?” she asked eagerly.

Dale sighed and sat down next to her.  “Don’t be so impatient.  You do understand what is going to happen here, don’t know?”

“Of course.  I’m meeting the real thing.”

“Yes, but do you know what that means?”

Sam looked puzzled as he continued.  “You’re going to meet a vicious, hungry monster that wants to feed on your blood until you’re totally drained.  Not some handsome Hollywood heartthrob that only exists in the movies.  You’re very likely never to leave this house alive and if you’re really unlucky, he’ll make you into a soulless creature like him.  If you leave now, I’ll be gone by tomorrow and you can live your fantasy filled life, hopefully for many years to come.  You’ll know that vampires are real of course, but then again who’d ever believe you?”

She sat back and thought.  She hadn’t really considered the outcome of her meeting a real vampire.  This could be her last night on Earth.  Still, Dale was giving her a last chance to get out and back to the real world.  A world where vampires were the stuff of legends and she and her friends could pretend that they were special by play-acting the roles of their dark heroes.  

“I can really back out now?”

“Yes, Ma’am.  I’ll take you back to the club myself and we’ll never see each other again.  You have my word on that.”

“But if I decide to go ahead…?”

“I’ve told you the risks.  It’s really up to you to decide.  I’m happy either way.  But if you’re going to throw your life away, I’d much rather you do it sooner rather than later.  I’ve seen a lot in my life, but the waiting for a person to make up their mind is the hardest thing of all.”

Sam thought a bit more.  Sure, there were people who’d miss her, but she wasn’t really close to anyone outside of her coterie and she’d not got much in the way of family either.  The chance to meet a real creature of the night was more exciting than anything she’d ever offered in the past.

“Let’s do it,” she said.

-

The cellar door closed behind her when she’d gotten halfway down its stairs.  Now there really was no going back.  The door had obviously been put in recently and it was far more solid than the others she’d seen in the house.  Only something supernatural could ever have battered it down.  Dale had obviously taken a lot of precautions in keeping his charge safe.

Carefully she descended further, allowing her eyes to get used to the darkness that surrounded her.  She could hear nothing but her breathing.  What was waiting for her was obviously immobile at the moment, but she knew that once she finished descending the stairs, it would be on her before she knew it.  Her foot hit the cellar floor and she froze, awaiting the inevitable onslaught.

To her surprise, nothing happened.  The cellar was still as quiet as the grave.  Slowly she took one step forward and then another. Nothing.  Was she alone?  She had to find out.  Arms outstretched she slowly made her way around the room.  Still nothing.  No furniture, no large box filled with earth or coffin.  The room was empty.  

Her hands touched the rough brickwork of the far wall and she slowly moved around the edges of the room.  One hand kept touching the wall, the other flailed out in the darkness trying to find someone or something in the dark.  But still she was unsuccessful.  Dale had played a sick joke on her!

Slowly she reached the bottom of the stairs and began the slow and painful ascent.  Her hands touched the door and she felt her way down to the handle.  She turned it, but it was bolted from the other side as well as being locked.  She was trapped!  Silently she cursed her stupidity.  He’d been so convincing and now she was stuck in a dark cellar instead of meeting a true vampire.  If she was going to die, it was going to be from starvation not exsanguination.

In frustration, she banged on the door but Dale wasn’t coming back any time soon.  She kicked the door but it didn’t budge.  Forgetting where she was she took a half step backwards and suddenly found herself falling, her arms flailing helplessly.  She hit several stairs on the way down and crashed to the cellar floor.  Unable to move, her body twisted into an impossible mess, her last thoughts were that she thought she could hear something crawling towards her in the dark.

-

“Christ, what a loser,” Chuck the Bartender said as Dale opened the door to the house.  “She didn’t even spot that I’d been giving you water instead of vodka all night.”

“You were right about her not wanting to drink shots,” Dale replied.  “If she had, the whole gag would have been over before I’d had a chance to use my phenomenal acting skills.”

“Those stories were really good.  Where did you get them from?”

“Those?  My Grand Pappy and Pappy couldn’t stop talking about their army days, like it was some right of passage.  I just took some of their stories and added some bits I picked up on my tour of Afghanistan.  But I knew that she’d taken the bait when I fed her the line about Charles Middleton.  Made her think I really was that old.”

“Do you think she’s had enough time down there?”

“It’s been nearly a day now.  By now she’ll be so desperate to get out she’ll do anything we want.”

“Dale, you are one sick bastard.”

“But I’m a sick bastard that get first dibs.”

“How long do think we can get away with this gag?”

“Maybe a couple more times.  Maybe I’ll go with a biker look next time.”

“Perhaps you should dress like you fit in?”  Chuck laughed.

“Like those poseurs.  Fuck no!  If I wanted to look so fruity I’d go to a faggot bar.  Anyway, it’s your turn to bring the star of our little show up from the basement.  Make sure she’s not got any fight left in her first.  I’ll get the party favors set up.”

Chuck nodded.  “As long as you leave me a few lines.”

“That was only once.  Will never let it go?”

Chuck left the room shaking his head.  Dale opened a cabinet and took out several bottles of Thunderbird, a small plastic baggie and a mirror.  Opening a bottle, he swigged back its contents and then put the mirror on the only table in the room.  Carefully, he cut a few lines and taking a five-dollar note, snorted one.  He waited a moment and then snorted a second.  As he felt the hit, he could hear Chuck opening the cellar door and go down the stairs.

Five minutes passed and Chuck still wasn’t back yet.  Dale snorted another line and waited a bit longer.  Now he was pissed.  If Chuck had started on the girl first, he’d have to give him a good beating.  After all, he’d called dibs.  Leaving the lounge, bottle in hand he went to the cellar door.  The dumb fuck had not bothered to turn the lights on.  Dale flicked the switch and the cellar lit up.

Slowly he descended the staircase, not sure what to expect when he reached the bottom.  Chuck was nowhere to be seen; neither was Sam.   Had she gotten past Chuck?  No, if she had he would have heard her coming up the battered steps.  Battered steps?  Had one of them fallen?  If so, where was their body?

Dale reached the bottom of the stairs and looked around.  There was no immediate sign of Sam, but Chuck was slumped against the far corner of the cellar.  Dale walked over to his friend and checked for a pulse.  Nothing.  Maybe he had fallen down the stairs, but if so how had he gotten into the corner.  He lifted Chuck’s head.  A large chunk had been torn out of his throat and not by a fall either.

“You’ve been very bad,” Sam said as she shambled out from her hiding place.  Dale turned quickly and caught sight of her twisted form, her arms outstretched.  How she could still walk was beyond him. Her head rested at an obscene angle and her face was pale.  Pale as death.  But her eyes were the worst.  They stared ahead at him almost unseeingly but with a glare of pure madness.

“They were watching you in the bar, you know,” she said, her mouth twisting into a rictus grin, showing her bloodied teeth  “They don’t mind the cosplayers.  They’re harmless enough, even with their blood play.  But predators like you.  Hunting on their territory.  That, WE can’t have.”  Screaming, she charged at Dale, her fangs fully extended.

Sam had finally gotten what she wanted.

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MR CARTER’S CONDITION

Mr. Carter was not the most dynamic person.  For nearly thirty years he’d worked at one of the larger banks in Great Britain, although his rise through the ranks was not what you’d call rapid.  Still, by his fifty-fifth birthday, he had accumulated a large enough pension pot for him to retire at the earliest age he could do so.

His leaving do was rather under whelming.  Most of his colleagues turned up in the way that people do if there’s a chance of a drink or piece of cake, but few actually turned up because they liked the man.  No one really disliked the man either, but what few friends he had made in his time there had already retired some years previously.  He graciously accepted the standard retirement clock and then left quietly.  To be honest, he wasn’t really missed.

Mr. Carter went back to his lonely bachelor apartment and found himself at a loss as to what to do with his new free time.  He was quite comfortably off so he didn’t need to work and the idea of foreign travel appalled him.  Still, after a few dull depressing days he decided to do something that he’d once thought of doing in his youth, but had forgotten during his long dull years of employment.

When he was young, he’d seen a television program about the many strange stone circles and monuments that dotted England’s countryside.  At the time, the presenter had said that there was no definitive guide to these antiquities, and the young Carter had got it into his head that maybe he could be the first to do so.  Of course, life had gotten in the way of such childish ambitions, but now with his unlimited free time, he was well able to do this.

Equipping himself with a number of inexpensive tools and devices, as well as a laptop to store the details of his investigations he decided to start locally.  Living on the Sussex coast, with its vast swathes of wooded downland, there were bound to be ancient monuments in his locale.  Surprisingly there were not as many as he’d hoped, but there was one no more than twenty miles away on the outskirts of a small village.

One summer’s day, Mr. Carter made his trip to the site.  By day the nearby village was quite picturesque, although the local convenience store did ruin the effect by being one of a local chain.  The village’s pub, where he had a quiet lunch however was a delight even if the locals did stare at him coldly through his meal.  Once fed, he studied an old map of the area and found that the standing stones were marked as being a short distance through the nearby wood that lay beyond the church.

That afternoon he started down the footpath that led to his goal, passing the now disused church and its overgrown graveyard.  Once past this ruin, he had to cross an ancient wooden stile before traveling up the rapidly narrowing footpath

Finally in a small grove at the end of trail, he arrived at the standing stones.  The stones had been arranged in a rough circle and there were only a half-a-dozen of them.  Four of these stones formed an off-centre square and the remaining two were placed beyond them, giving the circle effect.  The stones ranged from three to five feet in height and were made of materials whose origins Mr. Carter could only guess at.  What united them was that their surfaces were inscribed with numerous strange symbols.  Mr. Carter, not being a scholar could only guess again at their meaning.

What he did determine was that others had been at the site recently.  Standing north of the odd square was a small cauldron dangling from a metal tripod.  Mr. Carter examined it and found it to be half-filled with a strange, potent smelling liquid.  Obviously it had been some type of stew, possibly left there by a local farmer or tramp.  It was now cold but he guessed if it were heated once more it still would be edible.

There were also signs that people had been sitting and lying in the circle.  The grass was flattened in numerous places and Mr. Carter guessed that local lovers also used the circle as a place to meet.  Though why they might of wanted the strange brew in the cauldron, he was entirely mystified at.  But such conjecture was irrelevant to his goals and he began to make his survey.

The technical details of his survey are irrelevant to his story.  It is enough to say that as darkness fell, he’d measured all the stones and the distances between them and had taken numerous photographs of the numerous glyphs inscribed thereon.  But as I said, the light was fading so he made his exit from the glade.

Walking back to the village and his car was more difficult than he’d expected.  The path, which had been so simple to travel down during the day, was now proving devilishly difficult to navigate.  It also seemed to have more branches than he’d noticed before and several times he took one or more of them and found himself back at the glade.

Several hours and several false starts later, he found himself yet again at the heart of the stone ‘circle’.  The moon was rising and he had a clear view of the stones, which gave the rather strange impression that there were more than there had been before.  But when he counted them, there were always the same six stones, no mater what the effect of the moonlight may have made him think.

He was now quite hungry and the stew in the cauldron still smelt quite appetizing, so he decided to risk reheating it.  Yes, he might regret it later he thought, but hunger was outweighing his natural reticence.  Fortunately he was able to find enough twigs and fragments to build a small fire and had fortunately come out with a good supply of matches.  Soon the stew was bubbling away merrily and if anything it even smelt better hot than it did cold.

Now came the problem of what he could eat it from.  He had no bowl to put it in or utensils to eat it with.  There was only one alternative.  He moved the tripod off of the fire, burning his fingers slightly and let the mixture cool down away from the heat.  Some long minutes later, when he judged the mixture to have cooled sufficiently, he carefully drank from the cauldron.

He’d been expecting some sort of meat stew. But this was something entirely different.  It had a savory taste, but had been made with roots and herbs, some of which he’d never tasted before and would probably never taste again.  It also had a surprising effect on him.  His head began to swim and he also felt himself getting hard as his body became intoxicated with extreme sexual arousal.

He must have passed out then for the next thing he could remember was waking up the following day.  He had not had a restful night as his dreams had been filled with strange intimations and imaginations.  He could swear he could saw the strange sigils on the stones glow with a green light.  That strange women came from out of the woods around the glade and had indulged in carnal excesses with him.  He could also remember that a great stag came from the woods and touched his antlers to his naked genitals.  But these images must have been the result of a bad trip

Though these dreams could not be real, he was in a state of undress and with a powerful, if rather sore erection.  The cauldron had been tipped over in his delirium but fortunately the fire had died out naturally.  Nothing remained of the strange brew, which he was strangely happy about.  He tidied himself up and gathered his scattered tools, although his laptop had been damaged beyond repair the previous night.  Returning towards the village, he found no difficulty in traversing the path nor to his surprise, they seemed to be no branches off of it at any point.

He managed to find his car and left the village, with the strong intention of never returning.  But on his journey home, he noticed two things about him had changed.  Firstly, he’d never been what you’d call a sexual person, but on that journey he craved sex like he’d never craved it before.  It was this that probably caused the other thing he noticed.  He seemed to be almost permanently erect and harder than he’d ever been in his life.  It felt like a teenage boy’s cock had been transplanted on his middle-aged body.

The journey was taking far too long for his increased libido and he pulled into a nearby restaurant to take care of business.  There was only one other person in the dining area.  A rather bored-looking waitress came over to him and started to tell him about the specials for the day.  There was only one special that he needed and he asked her if he could use the toilets.  She nodded and gestured towards the back of the dining area where two doors could clearly be seen.  Rushing as quickly as his boner would allow, he ran to the gents and dived into a cubicle, not even bothering to lock it.  He dropped his trousers and pulled out his solid cock.  Slowly as it still felt sore [possibly he’d gotten caught up in some nettles when he’d been hallucinating] he began to rub it.

For a moment he was lost in the indescribable mixture of pleasure and pain this simple action was making him feel.  Then, to his surprise, he felt another hand close over his.  He turned his head and saw the waitress standing behind him, her uniform unbuttoned, her other hand rubbing her breasts.  Through heavily lidded eyes she looked straight at him.

“Fuck me,” she breathed earthily removing her hands from his and sliding her underwear down to her ankles.  Stepping out of his discarded panties, she reached for his buttocks and pulled him towards her.  As if by magic, he slid into her very wet cunt and began to slam her against the cubicle wall.  Never before had he felt such passion, such naked desire.

He was brutal in his treatment of this anonymous lover and she loved it.  Her fingernails dug into the flesh of his ass, causing rivulets of blood to flow down the back of his thighs.  Rather than discouraging him, the pain drove him to greater heights of passion and as he pounded her unmercifully, she screamed out loudly as she orgasmed, her pussy milking his cock unrelentingly.  He stopped for a second and then came deep within her, not caring that he wasn’t wearing a condom.

Slowly they disengaged and adjusted their clothing.  Mr. Carter looked at his lover but she seemed to be no longer interested in him.  Quite frankly though, he was no longer interested in her either.  The overwhelming desire for sexual gratification had lessened although he still felt strongly aroused.  In fact, if she had been interested, he would have taken her again in ways that up until now he’d never considered before.

Quickly he left the restaurant, passing the cook and the other kitchen staff who’d come to check out the noise, and got back into his car.  He made it back home and tried to work out where this strange change in his character had come from.  It had something to do with his dreams, he was certain of that.  But why was becoming less important.  He needed sexual relief again.

He began to masturbate urgently, feeling that same mixture of pleasure and pain, but now it seemed to longer enough.  He needed another woman again.  But where could he get one quickly enough?  There were no single women in his block of flats.  He wasn’t even too sure if anyone would even be in at this time of day.  He looked out of his window, his hand still stroking his cock and he saw a respectable woman of his age walking past his flat.  She wasn’t as young as the waitress had been, but she looked good.

All caution thrown aside, he pulled his trousers up and ran to the front door.  He began to run down the stairs but coming up the stairs was Cathy, one of his neighbors.  She was in her thirties, pretty and with an hourglass figure.  The other woman was now forgotten.  Cathy was the only thing on his mind.  He knew that he had to have her and have her now.

“Good morning, Mr. Carter,” she said smiling at him as she carried her shopping up the stairs.  “How are you today?”

Her eyes traveled down his body and fixed themselves on his erection that was tenting his trousers.  “Don’t bother answering,” she smiled, “I can see how you’re doing.”

“Hello Cathy,” Mr. Carter said breathlessly.  “I need your help.  Urgently.”

“What with?” she smiled, her eyes not moving from his crotch.

“Oh God,” he moaned, torn between lust and respectability.  “I need…   I need you to…  Oh God, I need to fuck you so, so badly.”

She looked up and smiled.  “I’d thought you’d never ask,” she said and walked into his flat.

-

Cathy wobbled out of his door, her skin glowing her eyes bright.  She’d spent most of the day in his bed and he’d fucked her four or five times.  Each time, she’d wanted more and more as if his sexual energy was feeding her desires.  And she let him do anything that he wanted to do to her.  Anything!  She’d even allowed him to take her anal virginity, something that he’d never even considered doing before in his life.  As he lay back in bed, still stroking his erection, he remembered how tight that her ass had been and how she’d howled as he pounded her to orgasm after orgasm.  They’d agreed to meet again the following day for more of the same.

But would that be soon enough?  Mr. Carter was still turned on, more than he had ever been before.  Masturbating was no longer enough.  He needed another cunt to fuck, the words alien to him before today.  Cathy’s husband was probably back from work by now so she not an option.  At least, not until the next day.

It was no good.  He had to go out and find someone.  Anyone.  He cautiously descended the stairs, half hoping another neighbor would turn up but fortunately there was no one around.  He left the block of flats and started towards the nearby shops.  There would bound to be someone there who could ease the incredible pressure that was building up in him.

A group of schoolgirls passed him and he only barely managed to keep from asking them to come back to his flat.  He still had enough control to prevent that happening.  He had always prided himself on his self-control, but that was fading fast.  Now he was a pure sexual beast, needing gratification as soon as possible and in as many ways that he could.

A hand touched him on his shoulder and he turned around sharply.  In front of him stood a young woman, no more than in her mid-twenties.  He’d never seen her before in his life, but she was dark and pretty so he smiled, hoping that she would let him have his way with her.

“Hi,” she said nervously.  “You don’t know me.  My name’s Penny and I live in the flats opposite yours.  I couldn’t help noticing that you spent the afternoon sleeping with that woman. “

“And?”

“She seemed to be having an amazing time.  Since my boyfriend left me, I’ve not had sex and I’m missing it badly.  I’d quite understand if you’d say no, but would you be interested in…?”

“You want to sleep with me?”

She smiled,  “Not sleep with you.  I want to fuck your brains out.”  She put her hand to her mouth shocked by her forwardness.  “Sorry, I’m not normally like this, but what I saw this afternoon turned me on like mad and I can’t stop thinking about it.  Sex, I mean.  So, will you?”

-

The next few days were the best of Mr. Carter’s life.  Penny was a great screw and she too had offered her ass to him so that he could fuck it.  When he wasn’t screwing Penny, Cathy was available and between them they were able to keep his overwhelming desire barely under control.  Two days after they had both become his lovers, they had met and rather than being jealous, had teamed up for a threesome that had gone on for most of the day.

But now the weekend was here.  Cathy’s husband didn’t work on weekends and Penny had gone away with friends, so he was left in the flat alone.  Casually masturbating, he looked in the bathroom mirror.  Having had so much sex in the last few days had taken a toll on him.  His eyes were bleary, his face haggard and he swore that he’d lost weight with all the horizontal exercise that he’d been doing.

He had begun to notice other things as well.  His erection was almost non-stop.  He did deflate when he needed to go to the toilet, but as soon as he’d finish, he’d become hard once more.  It had also grown, both in length and girth, though not impossibly so

But the overwhelming sexual desire was a problem.  As he came for the first time that morning, he knew that he would have to have more sex soon.  Being without for any length of time now made him feel anxious and he could feel pains in his chest as a result.  What had happened that night to change him so?  Were his dreams really memories?  Was that even possible?  He just didn’t know.

He dressed quickly, and left the house in a hurry.  It was hell.  Every woman he passed, from the oldest of grannies to the far younger teens turned him on.  Valiantly, he tried resisting his urges, biting his tongue to prevent him from making unsuitable comments.  It didn’t help that they all smiled knowing smiles at him, as if they were ready for him to take them whenever he wanted.

Finally he reached the shops and began to stock up on his weekly groceries.  Holding the shopping basket in front of him to hide his erection he soon filled it.  His shopping done, he tried to make a quick exit, but as he paid and left the shop he bumped into a plump woman in her forties.  Straightening himself up he apologized and tried to leave.  She wasn’t having any of that though.  Stepping in front of him, she moved closer to his body, nestling his erection between her thighs.  It was no good, he couldn’t resist.

“I’ve got to have you.  Now!”  He hissed, losing himself in sexual desire.

To his surprise, she nodded.  “My van’s outside.  I’ll see you in five minutes.”  She thought for a moment.  “Oh to hell with it,” she said, “I’ll get my shopping later”.

-

Half an hour later, Mr. Carter gingerly got out of the back of her van.  Inside, his new lover lay lost in her orgasm, his copious seed pouring from between her thighs.  Still he needed sexual release.  Looking around him he saw a couple of girls in their late teens.  They smiled at him and then looked down at the large bulge in his trousers.  One licked her lips salaciously and they both came over.

Slowly they snuggled up to him, rubbing their firm bodies against his, driving him to further distraction.  Trying to keep control of himself, he frantically looked around him.  To his aroused horror, every woman he saw was looking hungrily at him while the few men who he could see looked at him with a mixture of both anger and resigned acceptance.  What had happened to him was affecting anyone else in his presence as well.

One of the teens whispered in his ear.  “You’re so hot for an old man.  Do you want to be the first man to fuck me?  Both of us even.  I bet you can teach us so many naughty things.”  She grabbed his hand and shoved it on her pert buttocks, her other hand rubbing the bulge in his trousers quite blatantly.

The other girl leaned forward, showing him her cleavage and her delicate breasts within.  “We really want this.  You can even take me up the bum if you like.”

For a long moment Mr. Carter was tempted.  Images of the two girls naked in his flat crossed his mind.  It would be so easy to take them home and give them the fucking that they so desperately wanted.  They’d never have sex so good again once he’d filled every hole with his sperm.  But the old decent Mr. Carter was still within the sex-crazed man he’d become.  As much as he wanted to, he knew it would have been wrong.

Disentangling himself from the two disappointed girls, he grabbed his shopping and ran for his flat.  Ignoring the pain in his chest, he knew that his only hope was to get inside safely and lock the door.  Cathy and Penny would be around early Monday morning and even if they had been affected with the same condition as everyone else around him, he could still fulfill his sexual needs.  If only he could last until then.

A mother pushing a baby in a pushchair blocked his way.  “You look like a nice man,” she said.  “I’d bet you’d make a great father as well as a great lover.”

Another neighbor grabbed his shoulder.  “Mr. Carter, it’s so good to see you.  My husband’s away in the States for a week or so and I’m so lonely.  Would you like to come around for coffee or something?”

He shook both off of him and started to run again.  The pain in his chest was now more intense than ever as he tried to keep some sort of control of his libido.  Suddenly it became too much and he slumped to his knees.  Someone, he wasn’t sure who stepped in front of him and dropped her jeans in the middle of the street.  She grabbed his head and jammed it against her rapidly damping crotch.  As blackness descended all her could do was smell the woman’s arousal and flick his tongue down her panty-covered slit.

-

He awoke suddenly.  In front of him a concerned [and thankfully male] doctor stood.  Behind him were two male nurses, while a third was holding the double doors to stop a horde of sexually aroused women bursting in.

“Hello,” the doctor said as he shone a light into Mr. Carter’s eyes,  “Do you know where you are?”

“Hospital?”  Mr. Carter said.

“And your name?”

“Carter.  Henry Carter.  What happened?  Was it a heart attack?”

The doctor smiled.  “No.  Your ECG readings show no signs of heart disease.  You just had a panic attack, that’s all.  Now have you been taking any exotic medication over the last few days or so?”

He thought back to the stew.  “I did have something that disagreed with me somewhat,” he admitted.

“No.  I mean have you been taking Viagra or something similar?  It’s just that your symptoms are very unusual.  How long have you had your erection?”

“A few days now.”

“And how’s your libido?”

“Through the roof.”

“Hmm, I see.”  He consulted his notes.  “If it wasn’t for the fact that any woman that comes into contact with you becomes very sexually aroused, I would think that you’ve taken some performance enhancing drugs.  Now, have you taken any such drugs or not?”

“Sorry, not that I know of.”

The doctor threw up his hands in despair.  “This is a total mystery to me then,” he said.  “I’m not too sure how we can treat this if we have no idea what’s causing your symptoms”

Mr. Carter lay back and thought for a moment.  He could feel his libido rising once more and he knew that something had to be done before he went out of control again.  Slowly an idea came into my head.

“Can you do something to do something to lower my libido,” he asked.  “I know they used to give Bromide to soldiers to keep their sexual desire down.  Is there a modern version of that you could give me.  Keep me calm, if you know what I mean?”

The doctor shrugged.  “I doubt that would do you too much harm, so we might as well try it.”  He ordered one of the nurses to get an appropriate dose of medication and a short while later he returned, slightly more battered than he’d been before.  He’d had to run the gauntlet of Mr. Carter’s admiring fans.

The doctor slowly filled a syringe with a clear golden liquid and injected it into Mr. Carter’s arm.  At first he could feel nothing but his ever-increasing sexual desire, but then it began to increase at a slower rate before peaking and then slowly he started becoming more like his old self.  At the same time, his erection began to slowly dwindle.

“How are you feeling now?”  The doctor asked.

“Sleepy,” Mr. Carter said as a delayed wave of tiredness washed over his body.  “But a lot better, thank you.”  Blackness once again descended on him but this time there was no pain.  Just an overwhelming sense of calmness.

-

Mr. Carter awoke far calmer and more rational than he had felt for some days.  His new state of mind had obviously communicated itself to his groupies for there were no longer any women outside of the treatment room.  In fact, there were several female nurses walking around but apart from occasional lascivious looks, they seemed too preoccupied to be sexually interested in him.

The doctor joined him again.  “Well,” he said, “The medication worked surprisingly well.  I’d still like to refer you to a hormonal specialist if I may.  You seem to be producing an extremely high level of pheromones, though your testosterone levels appear to be normal.”

“Am I cured,” Mr. Carter asked hopefully.

The doctor shook his head,  “I’m sorry but the answer to that question is no.  We still have no idea what’s causing the problem and the medication we’ve given you is only a short-term measure.  Without knowing the underlying cause, quite frankly we’re a bit stuck.”

Mr. Carter lay back.  “So this imbalance in my hormones is likely to return?”

“I’m afraid so.  We can give you injections to reduce your libido but they’ll get steadily less effective as time goes on.  Unless the specialist can find a cure, we may have to take stronger measures.”

“Which are?”

“Chemical castration.”

Mr. Carter thought for a moment.  “Can you refer me to someone who can do that for me?”

The doctor was shocked.  “I could, but it’s a highly unusual step to take.”

“I’m fifty-five and retired,” Mr. Carter said calmly.  “I’m a bachelor and when not some rampant sex fiend I’m quite happy on my own.  I don’t need sex.  I may miss it but its messed up my life over the last few days.  I’d much rather be alone and happy than getting laid and getting out of control.”

“Well,” said the doctor sagely, “If you’re really sure, I can make some calls.  It might mean that you have to have injections for the rest of your life.”

“I’ll take that risk.”

-

The Scottish island he’d been living on now for the last six years was one of the smaller islands on the west coast.  He wasn’t even sure that it had a name.  But he couldn’t stay in his old home.  Not after all the trouble he’d caused.  Here he could lead a solitary life apart from the weekly delivery of groceries from the mainland and his occasional trips to Glasgow to get his treatment.

In truth, he didn’t miss the people.  No one at work missed him and being among so many women was too great a temptation.  He couldn’t, no he wouldn’t submit to temptation once again.  His needs were few and his pension was big enough to cover them.  The sale of his flat had been enough to buy the land he now stood on.  It was better that he was on his own.

Apart from today that is, he thought.  Today was Friday, grocery delivery day.  He stood on the rough wooden jetty and watched the launch come towards him.  Usually it was only old Macgregor, the local harbormaster in the boat, but today there were two passengers.  Sometimes people would come across seeking permission to visit the island and see some of the ancient Celtic ruins that could be found there at low tide.  By now the locals on the mainland knew that he didn’t want company but still people tried anyway.

But these two were different.  It had been some years since he’d seen them and they, like him were older now.  But he still recognized the slim figure of Penny and the hourglass figure of Cathy, though they both had more lines around their eyes and their Cathy’s hair had streaks of gray in it.

“These two ladies said you knew them, Mr. Carter,” Macgregor said as the boat pulled up along side him.  As Mr. Carter moored the boat and Macgregor started unloading his provisions, both girls got out of the launch.

“Hello, Henry,” said Cathy, leaning forward and kissing him.

“Hi,” said Penny standing a way back from him

“Good morning,” he said cautiously.  “It’s nice to see you’re both well.  What brings you to my humble home?”

Penny looked at Cathy.  Cathy smiled and nodded.  “We were worried about you, Henry,” she said.  “We came around to your old place as soon as we could get away but you were gone.  We heard that you gone away for some treatment or another but couldn’t find out any more than that.”

“We really needed to see you,” Penny said.  “Not just for the mind-blowing sex, but I think we both realized that we love you deeply.  Even after six years, there isn’t a day that we don’t think about you.”

“You can’t love me,” Mr. Carter said sadly  “You were just a victim of my condition, that’s all.  That’s not love, that’s obsession”

“Love.  Obsession.  As far as we’re concerned they’re the same thing,” Cathy said sincerely.  “After you’d gone, sex with my ex was never as good and we broke up soon after.”

“And I never met anyone else who could make me feel the same way as you did” said Penny.

“So we moved in together,” Cathy said smiling “and made an unconventional family, just the four of us.”

Mr. Carter was confused.  “Four of us?”

Penny smiled.  “You didn’t leave us with just good memories.  We both became pregnant at about the same time.  I had a little boy, Ryan and Cathy had Bethany.   We’ve brought them up as if they had shared the same mother as well as the same father.”

Mr. Carter was taken aback.  “I’m a father?  At my age?”

“And they’re such lovely kids as well.  But they want to know their father.  That’s why we searched for you.”

“One of the reasons,” said Cathy mischievously.

“One of the reasons,” Penny reluctantly agreed.  “But mainly so you can get to know your children.  It took some doing we have to admit.  But we found you in the end.”

Mr. Carter looked at his two former lovers, still trying to process the fact that he was a father at his age.  “I’m afraid that I don’t have much money,” he admitted.  “Just my pension.  How am I going to keep you and two children on that?”

Cathy looked serious for a moment.  “We don’t need your money,” she said, her tone slightly annoyed.  “We both have good jobs so we don’t need your financial support.  We just want your children to get to know you, that’s all.  Well maybe not all.”

Mr. Carter sighed.  “I’m done with all that,” he said wearily.  “I’ve been given drugs that have totally eliminated my sex drive.  I’m afraid that I won’t be the lover you once knew.”

Both women looked disappointedly at each other.  “Can’t you stop taking them?” Penny asked.

Mr. Carter shook his head.  “Without the drugs, I’m an uncontrollable animal.  I don’t want to inflict that on anyone.  That’s why I live alone here.”

“Even if we want you to?”

“Even if you begged me to.”

Macgregor coughed as he finished unloading the launch.  “It’s time we headed back lassies,” he said.  “Your wee bairns will be wanting to see their mother’s before dark, I’m certain.  See you next week Mr. Carter?”

As the women got into the launch, Mr. Carter stood and thought for a moment.  He looked at their hopeful faces and wondered what his children looked like.  Maybe he couldn’t be the wild brutal lover that they’d enjoyed but perhaps he could be an absentee father as Cathy and Penny wanted.

“Can you come back tomorrow, Mr. Macgregor?” he said to the delight of his former lovers  “I think there’s some children who I’d like to get to know.  And maybe, ladies, you’ll come back and stay a while.  See if we can build something good from this mess.”

His cock twitched.  Maybe there was still life in the old dog yet?

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ELDEST – PART 6

It was fortunate for us that the rest of that first term was not as fraught as the first two weeks had been.  Amber still hated us with a vengeance but she seemed to be biding her time.  There were odd insults, jostling in the corridor and so on, but nothing major.  Raven was overjoyed but I knew that things were not over.  I could tell by the cold look in Amber’s eyes when she saw us at meals.

Miles sat with us now.  The day after the ruckus, he tried sitting elsewhere but Raven called him over, having saved him a place.  From that moment on, Raven tried her damnedest to make him her boyfriend.  She even asked me whether I’d be interested in trading lab partners but I had a feeling that the Trickster God wouldn’t have been amused.  Miles seemed to go along with it, although every time he looked at me, there was still that lost puppy look in his eyes.

Surprisingly Hall took Miles under his wing.  A lot of the other students made unnecessary comments about their sexuality, but it was merely a meeting of minds.  They seemed to like each other’s company and had several in-jokes that I totally didn’t understand.  Hall, it turned out had a big project, which was keeping very quiet about.  The only person he’d talk about it with was Miles and never in the company of us three girls.

Raven also had her big project to complete.  The clearing of the area under the stage seemed to be taking ages and despite all four of us offering, she wasn’t willing to let anyone else help.  She’d go into town occasionally, but always went to the second hand bookstore on the town square by herself.  I wondered if she was up to something, but every time I asked her about it, she’d clam up.

Melody was still the most sexy, most frustrating girl that I’d ever wanted to come across.  Since the night we’d almost made love I’d tried to get her on her own but she’d always found an excuse for us not to be by ourselves.  Maybe she was scared of hurting me or getting hurt herself. I know that her health wasn’t perfect; especially with the unnecessary drugs she was taking. Whatever the reason I tried to be the best friend that I could be, still hoping one day to be more.

That’s not to say I was only attracted to her.  There were numerous young men and women at the school who I found myself sexually drawn to but for various reasons it never happened.  Most of the boys were under Amber’s spell.  The girls wanted Amber’s approval.  Either way, none of them were willing to go any further than casual school acquaintanceships.  There were teachers that I was also attracted to.  Particularly Mr. Armstrong, but he was happy in his relationship with Charlotte Dalton.

After the events at the farm, I finally made my decision about the sports options.  Archery was so easy and if I ever got into a scrape like that again, it would be useful to have some form of defense.  Charlotte Dalton also ran a free self-defense class for the women students and I joined that.  Thought I’d proven I could take care of myself in an emergency, without my God’s protection I was far more vulnerable.   I also started training for the decathlon.  My speed and stamina were excellent for the race elements and I found that I enjoyed hurdling and jumping, but the shot put, javelin and discus were what I was worst at.
Being without the certainty of my God’s aid was very disconcerting.  I mean, I still prayed and talked to him as I had always done, but he no longer answered as he had done so in the past.   I also found that it was now more difficult to identify other worshippers and followers of my God.  I hated that I was now bound to a third God but her sigil did have one advantage.  The Trickster God’s power over me seemed to have been weakened.  There were several times I could feel his power try and touch me, but the sigil of the Goddess of Second Chances seemed to block his abilities.

-

For the month that I was banned from town, I took the time to explore the nearby woods and National Park.  As long as you let a member of faculty know which trails you were planning to take and were back by curfew, the faculty were quite happy to let their students wander at will.  With my Family’s natural advantages I found that I soon knew the wilds around Coburn almost as well as those back home.  I could also tell that a long time in the past, others of my kind had lived in the area.

Fortunately the National Park was a source of natural herbs and roots, which was good for me.  I had begun to run low on the medicine that kept my ever-present libido in check and through careful foraging I was able to restock my supply.  Another disadvantage of not being able to rely on my God’s help as much was that the ever-replenishing stock of herbs, roots and cash was heavily curtailed.  It seemed that I could have the balance one of them restored each month, but not all three.

It was one of these treks that I discovered a hidden pool.  It was far enough from Coburn to be a secret from the students but near enough to use whenever the weather was fine.  Though Coburn had its own pool, I didn’t like using it much.  For one thing it was Amber’s home territory.  She and most of her clique were on the Swimming Team and I’d been very impressed when I’d seen her in action.  The other thing was the chemicals that were used to keep the pool clean.  They had had a bad effect on me, so much so that I was excused from almost all swimming lessons.  Here though I could swim to my heart’s content and could worship my God in the same way that I had at his holy place at home.

I still missed home a great deal.  I wondered how my new brothers and sister were doing.  Whether or not my middle siblings missed me.  I knew that my parents were missing me but they understood my God-given mission.  The only person I didn’t think about was by eldest brother.  We had been so close to mating the day I had become a woman.  I really didn’t want to think about it or him.

I also visited the farm where I’d almost been in fear of my life.  I found it one day on the outskirts of the National Park and it had been abandoned.  There were signs that the police had visited it soon after they’d arrested my kidnappers and had found something illegal.  The pigs had gone as well and I hoped that they were still alive, though I had a feeling that was no longer the case.

As autumn began to turn to winter, I found that trekking the woods was becoming more and more difficult so I began to rotate my woodland trips with visits to the town.  Always I would go to see Moon Maggie and I’d spend the day helping her out.  Occasionally Grant would be there as well, always in the company of Joe Chee and got to know both of them quite well.  Under his flirtatious nature, Joe was a kind and gentle man and he really did like Moon Maggie, although she didn’t or chose not to see it.

Despite these pleasant times, Amber was constantly on my mind.  I felt that she was planning something so I never let my guard down.  Whatever she was going to do and whom it was going to be done to I didn’t know, but I felt that something was going to happen soon.

-

Before the trouble kicked off I was able to solve one mystery.  After one of Professor Dalton’s ‘instructional’ movie nights a student from the year above, who I didn’t know bumped into me as I was leaving the auditorium.  This wasn’t unusual as most people were always trying to find a way of getting into Amber’s good books.  What was unusual was that this student had never done anything like that before.

I walked up to my dorm and as I did so, I put my hand in my blazer pocket.  To my surprise I found a crumpled note jammed into it.  Making sure that no one else was watching me I opened it and began to read.

“Ellie.

If you wish to learn something to your advantage, be at the back fire door of the Computer Lab at exactly midnight tonight.  Knock three times and when someone answers, ask for Walt.

Tell no one.

A Friend”

I tried to think if I knew a student called Walt, but no one of that name came to mind.  It all seemed very mysterious and for one moment I thought that it might have been some scheme of Amber’s.  Why she’d want me to go to the Computer Lab at such a late time was completely baffling.  Still there must have been a reason why I’d received this mysterious message, so I decided to investigate.

Soon it was lights out and I lay awake in my bed, still puzzled by the strange message.  Melody had gone straight to sleep, but she was shifting restless under her duvet.  Raven was still awake and reading a book under her covers using a torch.  I didn’t know what book it was or where she’d gotten it from, but I had the feeling it was one of her occult tomes.  I was beginning to think that she’d never go to sleep, but at about 11:30, she finally turned the light off.

I waited ten minutes or so to make sure that she was really asleep, then got up.  The fire escape was at the end of the corridor next to the bathroom and I moved stealthily down it until I reached the quad.  From there it was relatively straightforward to sneak around to the Computer Lab. There was one moment I thought I’d be discovered though.  The Headmistress was still working in her office.  As I sneaked under her window, Katie must have heard me and got up and started to growl.  I froze as the Headmistress open her window and looked out.  But after a few moments, she closed the window again and I sprinted towards the Computer Lab, just as the school bell began to strike twelve.

I reached the rear fire exit door just as the last chime died away and knocked three times as the letter had instructed.  A few moments someone whispered, “Who is it?”

“It’s Ellie.  Ellie Sutter.  I’m looking for Walt.”

The door opened a fraction.  It was tight but I was able to squeeze through it.  On the other side stood a plump student from the year above me.  Again, he was not one of Amber’s crowd.  She would never be seen talking with someone with as bad acne as the young man in front of me.

“Are you Walt?”  I asked.

The young man burst into a fit of giggles.  When he finally composed himself, he answered “Good heavens, I’m not Walt.  I’m Martin.  Come this way,” he said directing me toward one of the labs, still chuckling to himself.

The Lab was empty or so I thought when I got there.  All the desks had been cleared out and apart from a few folding chairs, the only furniture in the room was a wide screen television.  The room was in darkness.  As I tried to get used to the darkness in the room, I heard the door lock behind me.  Martin had left me all alone.

Or had he.  “Ellie Sutter,” a strange metallic voice whispered from the back of the room.  “You have been chosen from all the students at Coburn as being one of the worthy.  What happens here tonight must not be divulged to anyone outside the circle.  Do you wish to receive enlightenment?”

I crouched in a combat ready position as Charlotte Dalton had taught us in self-defense class.  “What’s going on here?” I asked.  Strangely enough I didn’t feel threatened, merely confused.

I heard the sound of a keyboard clatter in the background, before the strange voice started to speak again.  “We are the Cahiers a noble society founded on noble principles.  We wish to offer membership of our most august order.”  

Oh great, I thought, this was a practical joke.  I’d say yes and then someone would film me performing an initiation ceremony, which would get circulated throughout the school.  “So what do I do to join your society?” I asked.

The keyboard clattered once more.  “Turn the TV on and press ply.  Play.  Press Play.”  The voice sounded more and more artificial but despite my misgivings I was curious.  I reached over to the television and turn it on.  There was a remote control on top of the screen and I pressed play as instructed.

One further clattering of the keyboard erupted from the back of the room.  “Sit back and receive enlightenment”, the metallic voice said.  I could hear people rising up from seats at the back of the room and they came down to sit behind me.  I tried to look at the others but a voice hissed, “Look at the screen.”  The voice was strangely familiar.

The person sitting behind me reached in front of me and put a box on my lap.  Though it was large, it hardly weighed anything and I could smell a sweet smell coming from it.  I lifted the lid and that fragrance hit my nostrils.  Popcorn.  I had been given a box of popcorn.

The screen went black and then a large symbol zoomed to the front of the screen.  I’d never seen the symbol before and it seemed to a shield with a two large letters inscribed onto it.  One was the letter ‘W’, the other a giant “B’.  The person behind me slid into the seat next to me and took a handful of popcorn.  “I hope you like the cartoon,” said Miles.

I looked around.  There were probably half a dozen other students in the room.  I saw Martin, the student who’d opened the door, the mysterious student whose note had brought me here and in the place of honor was Hall.  He smiled and then gestured towards the television.  The cartoon was starting.

I had never seen anything like it.  I can’t quite remember entirely what happened but there was a rabbit, a duck and a big monster that thought the duck was a rabbit.  All I know is that I laughed more at this five minute feast of lunacy than I had done in any of the full-length features that I had seen at the official movie night.

When it was over, Hall came down to the TV and pulled a CD from its built in player.  “Well Ellie,” he said smiling, “Did you enjoy that?”  I nodded.  “Would you like to see more?”  I nodded again.

Hall became serious.  “We are the Cahiers, as I said before.  We’re a small society of like-minded students who believe that there’s more to cinema than the officially sanctioned movie nights.  So we get together infrequently to watch movies which aren’t approved by Professor Dalton.”

I was impressed.  Hall and Miles were being quite subversive in their own way.  But there was only one thing I didn’t understand.  “Why did you choose me?”  I asked.

“Miles wants to get into your pants,” said the student who’d passed me the note.  A tall girl behind him smacked him on the head.

“Play no attention to Bryce,” she said.  “Miles thought you’d be a good candidate for our little society.  Hall seconded you and we voted you in.”

“Of course,” Hall said,  “this is an unauthorized Coburn activity.  If the Headmistress found out, we’d be on detention for the rest of the year.  So we had to be very cautious about how we invited you.”

“What about Raven and Melody?  Don’t you think they’d enjoy a society like this?"

“Raven’s too much of a wild card.  She’d let slip about the society’s existence and then it would be game over.  Melody, well not at the moment.  Perhaps in time.  So are you interested?”

I thought about it for a moment.  “Do you only watch cartoons?” I asked.

“Oh no,” Miles said, helping himself to another handful of popcorn.  “That’s just the opener.  We’ve got the main feature in a moment.  That is, once you’ve said whether or not you wish to join us.  We’ve decided that you’re a suitable candidate, now it’s up to you.”

“But if you do decide not to join,” Hall said, “We do ask you to keep our secret.  There are students and teachers who would like nothing more than to shut us down.  So what do you say, Ellie?”

There was only one answer for me.  “What are we watching tonight?”

“A Night At The Opera.”  Hall said smiling and started the CD player.

-

The spiders came for Melody the following week

She’d been particularly withdrawn in the days before but she’d insisted that she was fine.  But as we went into Chemistry that fateful day she seemed particularly disconnected.  The Trickster God was teaching us the finer points of crystallization when Melody started to scratch her arm.
It was a slow scratching at first, but it was enough to catch my attention.  It didn’t seem in character for her.

As I watched, she began to scratch herself faster and faster.  Not just on the arm this time but on both arms and her chest.  The Trickster God glanced at her and then looked at me with an amused expression.  Was he doing something to my friend?  I couldn’t tell.  Now other students were turning and watching her as she stood up, her fingers digging into her flesh.

“Miss Harker,” the Trickster God asked, “what is going on?”  Melody didn’t answer, but just kept scratching.  Her fingernails were bloodied now, as she scratched deeper and deeper.   “Miss Harker,” he said in a firmer tone of voice.  “What do you think you’re doing?”

“spiders”

“I didn’t hear that,” the Trickster God said, actually sounding concerned.

“Spiders.  Can’t you see them?” she screamed.

I looked at Raven.  She was confused and scared like I was, but Melody was our friend.  As one we got up and rushed to her side.  Miles was a step behind me, but the rest of the class backed away, not wanting to get involved.  I tried to get hold of Melody’s arm but she shook me away.

“Don’t touch me, you horned freak?” she shouted.  Then she realized what she’d said.  “I’m sorry.  So sorry.  Can you forgive me Ellie?”

“There’s nothing to forgive,” I said as Raven took her hand.

“I’m so sorry,” she said once again, shaking Raven off of her.  “I know,” she said smiling, “I know how I can make things better.”  She began unbuttoning her blouse.  “You like these.  I know you do,” she said cupping her breasts.  

“Melody, you don’t have to do this,” I said pulling her blouse closed.  Raven grasped her more firmly now.  “That hurts,” Melody whimpered.  “Just because you sold your soul, doesn’t mean you have to be so cruel.”

“I’m not being cruel.” Raven said as she began guiding her out of the classroom.  “I’m trying to take you somewhere we can get these spiders off of you.”

Melody smiled a weak smile.  “That’s really thoughtful of you Rachel.  Did you know that Ellie walks around the school buck naked sometimes?"

“I didn’t know that,” Raven said.  She was really worried.  She hadn’t corrected Melody for using a name that she despised.

“Mr. Steadman, Miss Moore.  Please take Miss Harker to the infirmary at once.  Miss Sutter, please take your seat.”  The Trickster God looked fiercely at me.

“I need to go with my friend.” I shouted,

“Miss Harker is quite upset enough.  You seem to be making her worse.  Don’t make me give you Saturday detention.”  He appeared to be angry, so I slunk back to my seat.  As he resumed the lesson, I sat shocked.  Melody’s health had never gone down so badly in my experience or so quickly.

The rest of the lesson passed interminably slowly.  I half expected Raven or Miles to come through the door but the lesson bell rang and neither appeared.  As the rest of the class got up to go, the Trickster God gestured for me to stay behind.

“Miss Sutter, do have any idea what happened today?”  The Trickster God sounded annoyed, but there was that mischievous look in his eyes again.

“No, Mr. Jones.”

“Has Miss Harker been taking her medication?”

“Yes, sir.”

“You might want to check on that.  Spiders can be nasty if not treated quickly.  Dismissed.”

-

I skipped the next lesson and ran as fast as I could to the infirmary.  Both Raven and Miles were sitting outside, their faces ashen with worry.

“Thank god you’re here,” Miles said hugging me tightly.  “She’s having a real psychotic episode.  They’ve had to call her parents, it’s that bad.”

“What’s going to happen to her?”  I asked.

“They’ll commit her to an institution,” Raven said flatly.  “They’ll pump her so full of drugs that she won’t even remember who she is and we’ll never see her again.”

“But why?”  

“My guess is SOMEONE tampered with her meds,” Raven said.  She’d come to the same conclusion as I had.  Amber must have been involved.

“How?”

“I don’t know!  Maybe she got to the nurse somehow!”

“Who’re you talking about,” asked Miles.

Raven glared at him.  “Your beloved sister,” she said coldly.

Miles put his hand to his mouth.  “You’re mad,” he said stunned.  “Amber could never do anything like that.”

“Now who’s mad,” she spat back.  “Ask anyone who was here last year about Marcy and what she did to her and her boyfriend.   I bet you didn’t know she killed herself as a result of what your sister had done.”

“That’s a lie.  Stop lying, you cold Goth Bitch.”

“Stop it, both of you!” I said, stepping between them.  “This isn’t helping Melody.  She needs her friends now, not you two arguing “

“Well I guess that’s me told,” Miles said and stormed out.

I ran after him.  “Miles, that’s not what I meant.  You’re as much a friend of Melody’s as me and Raven are.”

“Not if you’re trashing my sister I’m not.  I’ll see if I can get a new lab partner.”  I tried to grab him but he brushed me aside.  I slumped on the floor and started to cry.

-

That night Melody’s parents arrived.  I didn’t get a chance to see much of them as they were ushered into the infirmary as quickly as they had arrived.  I managed to find a hiding place where I could hear what was going on.  It was as bad as we’d thought.  Mrs. Harker was all for recommitting her daughter permanently, although her husband was more positive.  Yes, she needed rest and recuperation but when she was better she could possibly come back to Coburn.

My hopes at hearing Melody could be coming back were dealt a severe blow.  The Harkers had arranged for Melody to go into a sanitarium for the Christmas break and would be leaving that evening.  They needed to make the final arrangements with the Headmistress first and so while they joined her in her office, I took what could be my last chance to see my friend.

“Excuse me,” I said to the nurse as I came into the infirmary.  “Is Melody able to have visitors, yet?”

The nurse looked at me sympathetically.  “She’s quite heavily sedated and really shouldn’t be disturbed.”  Seeing my crestfallen face, she smiled.  “But it won’t hurt to let you see her for a few minutes.  Poor girl needs all the support her friends can give her.”

She let me into the small sick room where Melody was lying fitfully and closed the door behind me.  I walked over to her bedside and sat down.  I’m not sure that she even knew that I was there at first, but as I touched her hand, she gripped it tightly.

“Melody.  It’s Ellie.  We’re all here for you when you need us.  Raven, Hall, Miles and Me.  We want you to get better and come back soon.”

“I’m sorry,” Melody muttered in her delirium.  

“You have nothing to be sorry about, “ I said and kissed her gently on her forehead.  As I did so, I felt a strange tingling on my neck where my God’s sigil was inscribed.  I felt it flow from my body onto Melody’s, yet still remain in the same place.  How it was doing that I didn’t know, but I could see a copy of his sigil moving down her body and fade away before my very eyes.  I couldn’t understand why this had happened.

“Miss Sutter!”  The Headmistress’s voice rang out behind me.  “What are you doing in here?”  She stood in the doorway, Melody’s parents and the school nurse behind her.

“I just wanted to see how she’s doing.  Is that a crime?”  I challenged.
“She’s very ill.  We’re going to send her away for specialist treatment.”

“She’ll be back though?  Won’t she?”

Mr. Harper spoke up “Miss Sutter isn’t it?  Once the specialists have checked her over, she’ll be back here as soon as possible.  That’s right, isn’t it Helen?”  His wife nodded but didn’t look convinced.

“I think you’ve taken up enough of our time, Miss Sutter,” Professor Dalton said sternly.  “It’s late and it’s a school night, so go and get some sleep.  If there is anything that you need to be told about Melody’s condition, I will let you know.”

“May I say goodbye first?”

“No, Miss Sutter, you may not.  Goodnight Miss Sutter.”  She ushered me out of the room, leaving Melody with her parents.  As I left, I heard her begin to chastise the poor nurse for her compassion.

-

I watched Melody leave the academy from the window seat of my room.  Raven was off somewhere, so I was alone.  More alone than I had ever felt before.  One of my closest friends was going somewhere I couldn’t and I truly feared for her safety.  As I watched the ambulance speed off down the drive, there was a knock on my door.

I wondered who’d be knocking at this time of night.  Raven would have come in without knocking and Miles and Hall wouldn’t dare come to a girl’s dorm, even during the day.  I got up and went to the door.  To my surprise, Miles was standing there.  He looked wretched.

“Are you OK, Miles?” I asked.

To my surprise, he started to sob.  “I’m sorry about what I said earlier,” he said, tears rolling down his face.  “Amber was behind Melody’s breakdown, I guess.”

I grabbed his arm and pulled him into the room.  “How do you know?”  I asked, as if the question was the most critical question of all time.

“She’s holding a farewell party for Melody, right this minute.  I mean, would you do something that cold if you weren’t involved.”

I sat down on my bed, shocked.  Amber was a cold bitch, but I hadn’t realized how evil she could be.  Miles sat next to me, still sobbing.  I felt sorry for him and wrapped by arm around his waist.  We sat silently for a while as he slowly regained his composure.  Just sitting so close together was just what both of us needed at the moment.  I didn’t even mind when he kissed me delicately on the side of my head.

I turned and looked at him.  Maybe it was the shock of the whole day’s events, or maybe it was just teenage hormones, but I found myself kissing him on the lips.  He kissed me back and slowly our mouths opened, allowing our tongues to touch, tentatively at first and then more intimately.  Slowly we lay back on the bed and he slid on top of me, our arms tightly around each other.

I was wearing my Coburn uniform that day and was feeling constricted by it more than usual.  I gently rolled Miles off of me.  He looked surprised at first but I began to unbutton my blouse and soon was sliding it off of my shoulders.  Miles smiled and began to undress as well.  Soon, he was naked apart from his boxers, his pleasantly sized erection obvious through the white material.  I undid my skirt and let it drop to the floor.  Now I stood naked in front of him, and the illusion of my body that he saw was obviously to his liking.  I slowly got onto the bed once more and lay on top of him as his hands caressed my pert butt.

I rubbed my pussy lips up and down his bold erection, my juices flowing freely as he caressed my top breasts.  Slowly I slid his boxers down his hips and his cock sprang up mighty and proud.

“Ellie,” he said delicately.  “I’m still a virgin.”  I didn’t reply but slowly rubbed the end of his penis against my hot slit, sliding its head delicately inside of me.  Slowly I raised my hips and then slid down, his cock sliding into my tight cunt as if the two organs were made for each other.  Rocking back and forward I felt his lovely hardness plunge deeper inside of me as his hips rose and fell in time with my motions.

“Oh, God!” he said, his eyes rolling back in his head.  “You’re so good, Ellie.  You’re amazing.”  This was my second time with a man and the first time with someone I cared for and I was enjoying it as much as he was.  As the lights went out, his hips moved faster and faster, his hot cream shooting into the very heart of my channel.  I slumped down on top of him and kissed him deeply.

“I love you,” he moaned and looked at me adoringly.  Suddenly I realized what I had done.  

“Miles,” I said sliding off of him and wiping myself clean.  “I like you a lot.  You’re a really nice guy.  But I don’t love you.  We were both upset and needed something to make ourselves feel better.  You do understand that, don’t you?”

Miles had that little lost puppy look in his eyes, but he nodded.  “I still love you, you know.  I guess you’ll always have a special place in my heart now that you’ve taken my cherry.  Were you a virgin too?”

I nodded and he smiled.  This one lie would make him feel better I hoped.  But now there was a more pressing need.  “Miles, you need to get out of here!  Raven will be back in a minute and if you’re not back in your dorm they’ll come looking for you.  We’ll both get into trouble if they catch us together.”

“I don’t care.  I want the world to know that I’ve been with you.”

“Trust me Miles, if someone finds out.  If Amber finds out.  We’ll be both in trouble.”  I handed him his clothes and we began to dress.  In the darkened room, I led him to the door and let him out.  He tried to kiss my lips once more but I turned my head so that he kissed my cheek instead.

I watched him go down the stairs and sneaked down the corridor for a shower.  I felt better than I had earlier but knew that I’d probably made more trouble for myself.  As the water poured over my exhausted body, I heard the door open.  Stepping out of the shower, Raven was in front of me.

“You stupid bitch.”

“Sorry,” I said, not understanding what she meant.

“Screwing Amber’s brother.  That’s a recipe for disaster if ever I came across one.”

“We each needed someone after the day that we had.  He knows that it can’t happen again.”

“Are you sure?  He’s a guy.  Guy’s think with their dicks not their brains.  And another thing, how do you know it wasn’t part of Amber’s plan to get revenge on us?  She’s already gotten Melody.  We could be next.”

“Miles isn’t like that, I’m certain.”

“Well we see how he acts in front of his friends tomorrow.  If tries to act the big man, I’ll do to him what I’m going to do to Amber.”

A chill ran down my spine.  “What are you going to do to Amber?”

Raven smiled.  It wasn’t a very nice smile.  “Actions have their consequences.  Amber’s going to have to face the consequences of hers.”  She closed the door and left me standing in the dark bathroom alone.  

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IL GARDINO DELLE DELIZIE

Liam looked out onto the garden and despaired.  His uncle’s house wasn’t in the best of condition and was filled with junk, but the garden was worse.  It looked like it hadn’t been touched for half a century, almost how long as his uncle had lived there.  Trish would want him to make something of it.  She’d already gone around the house deciding which room was going to be used for what.

Trish came into to what she planned would be the nursery, when they’d gotten pregnant and slipped her arm around Liam’s waist.  Oblivious to his despair, she began to outline her plans for the garden.  “Once you’ve cut back the overgrown bushes and mowed the lawn, we can put some decking down and plant some shrubs.”

“We’ve got the house to deal with first,” Liam said wearily.  “There’s so much to clear out first and then we’ve got to get someone to see what needs doing.  The garden will have to wait for a while.”

“But it’ll be summer soon and I want to be able to sun ourselves on the hot days and invite all our friends for barbecues.”

“Your friends.  You don’t like my friends.”

“Hey, don’t get made at me.  You can’t help it that your friends are not the sort of people that we should be associating with now that we’re going up in the world.”

He snorted.  Trish had become quite the social climber since he’d got his promotion at the factory.  But then again, she’d gotten that from her mother.  She’d never approved of Liam, right up to the day of their wedding.  It had gotten worse when they’d had to move in with her after the honeymoon.  But now with Uncle Mark’s inheritance and the extra money he was bringing in, Trish and him might stand a chance of making it on their own.

His thoughts flicked back to the early days.  She’d been quite different then when they were at college.  She was a lot less inhibited then.  He’d almost been worn to a shadow himself with the constant screwing and she’d been up for almost anything.  But time and her mother’s influence had eroded that part of their life.  He doubted they’d slept together half a dozen times in the time that they’d spent living at her mothers.

“Look,” Trish said suddenly, pointing out of the window.  “Did you see that?”

Liam looked out the window and onto the jungle below.  He tried looking where she pointed but couldn’t see anything.

“Someone’s in our garden,” she said peering down into the overgrown tangle.

“I can’t see anything,” Liam said.

“I tell you someone’s in our garden, I saw their face quite clearly.”

“I doubt that even the neighborhood cats could walk through that mess,” he said curtly.  “Now let’s go and christen our new bedroom.”

He reached up and cupped her breast in his right hand.  Unlike the olden days, when she would have sought out his cock and kissed him passionately, she stepped back.  “Not now,” she said to Liam’s frustration, “We’ve got a house to clear.”

-

Despite the mess the house was in, it was in good condition after all.  Uncle Mark had been a hoarder sure, but a lot of stuff was easily disposable.  Trish was very strong on ecological disposal and there were numerous interminable trips to the dump with bags of free papers, broken furniture and valueless knick-knacks.  But after a week, they’d gotten down to the big furniture and several locked cabinets, which Liam hadn’t found the keys for yet.  It was time to bring in a professional.

The village that they lived in now was fortunately near enough one of the bigger towns and by consulting the yellow pages, they tried to find an antique dealer who’d come and appraise the furniture.  One said he could make it in a few days, so Liam and Trish went back to trying to make the house their own.

This was proving easier said than done.  Though the house had running water, for some reason it had never been fitted with gas and electricity.  It was fortunate that the kitchen stove was wood burning or else they would not have been able to cook nor have hot water.  Also the garden had grown to such a height that the kitchen window was almost totally obscured, giving the room a dark and sinister feel to it.  Trish was quite reluctant to use the room, as it gave her the creeps.  She was still convinced that she’d seen someone in the garden that first day.

Trish was also quite reluctant to return to her old, less-inhibited ways.  They spent their evenings in bed as they had done in the past but Trish was reluctant to sleep with her husband in his uncle’s old bed.  First she claimed that she was afraid of breaking the rickety piece of furniture, and then it was she was tired after spending the day clearing out Uncle Mark’s rubbish, and then she was planning their first dinner party with her friends.  Sorry ‘their’ friends, as she reminded him constantly.

Liam was feeling even more frustrated than he’d been at her mothers.  Trish was monopolizing the sorting of the house, deciding which of his uncle’s things they might want to keep and so on.  Liam had just started his holiday from work so he didn’t have that comfort to look forward to, so there was only one option open to him; the garden.

He had no plan about how to go about it.  He wasn’t one of life’s natural gardeners, but he knew that the first thing would be to cut the bushes back from the backdoor.  So he invested in some garden shears and some thick gardening gloves and planned to make a start on the pruning.  Opening the back door was tricky and as he did so several branches forced their way into the kitchen like arboreal invaders.  These he decided to deal with first.  The branches of the bushes were thick and took a lot of effort to cut, but he was glad when he’d finished that first task.  There would be more firewood for the stove tonight, he thought.  

Once the first bushes were cut back, he began pruning some of the small branches, putting the severed limbs into a large plastic bag that soon filled.  Two hours and three more bags later, he’d finally cleared the area around the back door big enough for him to stand in and he put his foot down on a large hard stone that had been packed into the earth.  Despite his lack of interest in gardening, he found it interesting that as far as he could, the rest of the garden path had been made out of similarly placed stones.

Now that he was actually in the garden, he could appreciate some of the wildness of his surroundings.  The air was filled with scents from numerous wild flowers, creating an olfactory cocktail, while he could hear the sounds of animals and insects running through the undergrowth.  He guessed that there might be hedgehogs and foxes using the garden as well as a badger or two.  That would possibly account for the heavier movement he could hear.  Those animals might have been nocturnal, but with the heavy growth of plants, it looked quite dark in the undergrowth.

Now that he could get out of the back door, he decided his first course of action was to clear a path to the back of the garden.  But not today.  There were too many bags of rubbish to clear away from his earlier efforts and it seemed to be getting dark.  He wasn’t too sure how long he’d been pruning, but it must have been most of the afternoon.  He turned and walked back to the kitchen, but as he closed the door, he swore that he could hear a girlish giggle from behind him.  Probably one of the neighbors’ kids, he thought.

He decided the next day that he’d make an early start and got up from his cold marital bed at dawn.  After taking the rubbish bags to the local tip, he stopped off at the garden centre and bought a few more gardening tools before returning to their house.  Trish was up when he got back and was on the phone to her mother.  Not wanting to interrupt such a vital phone call, he opened the back door.  He’d obviously done less than he’d thought, as the area around the doorstep was still quite overgrown, so he made a start on the days work.

Time seemed to lose all meaning as he cut back the overgrown branches and cleared more of the path.  It was strangely comforting dealing with this manual work, compared to his normal office job.  It wasn’t that he hated being in the office, but had enjoyed himself more on the factory floor with his mates and he’d felt proud when something he’d worked on was completed.  By the time he stopped for lunch he managed to clear about halfway down the path and had discovered that his uncle had planted several small fruit trees along its side.  There was no fruit on them yet, but they were covered with the remains of blossom.

He turned and walked down the path and back into the kitchen.  The next-door kids were obviously having fun as he could hear them laughing and chattering as he closed the door.  Once inside, he realized that he’d was really hungry.  Obviously he’d been in the garden far longer than he had intended.  He looked at the clock.  Instead of being midday as he’d thought, it was nearly five in the afternoon.

“Is that you Liam?” Trish shouted from the lounge.

“Yes darling,” he said coming to the lounge door.  Immediately he realized that Trish was not alone.  Sitting on the threadbare sofa was a plump, well-dressed man in his forties.  Liam guessed that he was the antique dealer who they’d arranged to appraise his uncle’s furniture.  By the look on his face when he saw Liam’s hot and sweaty body, he seemed more interested in appraising him.

“Liam,” said Trish “This is Major Cunningham.”

“Hi,” he said offering his hand to the major.

“Good evening, dear boy” he said in mellifluous tones, shaking the younger man’s hand enthusiastically.  “Your charming wife was telling we that you inherited these pieces from your late uncle.  I’m sorry for your loss.”

Liam shrugged.  “To be truthful, I didn’t know my uncle Mark that well.  Still as they say, every…”

“Cloud has a silver lining,” the Major said.  “And you want to know if any of these items could be worth something.”

“Something like that,” Liam said.

Trish piped up.  “The Major has been quite informative while you’ve been working away out there.”

“Indeed I have, dear boy.  The good news is that most of your furniture is desirable in today’s market.  I mean, there’s no Chippendales or any of the big names, but all the pieces I’ve seen today I’d be quite happy to take off your hands.  My only concern is your cupboards.  They’re all locked and your charming wife says you don’t have the keys.”

“Fraid, so,” Liam said.  Trish glared at him, annoyed at his informality.

“Pity.  I can’t take those off your hand until you’re able to open them and I can see what their condition is like inside.  Still, I can tell that they sound like they’re filled with mysterious morsels and I would definitely be like to be the first to have a look at what’s inside.  After yourselves of course.”

“So how much were you thinking of offering?” Liam asked.

The Major smiled.  “For the chairs, tables and incidentals, I’m willing to offer about five hundred.  Depending on the condition of the cabinets, possibly another two hundred more.”

“Pounds or Guineas?”  Trish asked.

“Pounds, my dear.  I couldn’t go up to seven hundred guineas for what you have here.”

“That sounds very reasonable…” Trish started but Liam stopped her.  “We’ll let you know,” he said.

“Well, when you do decide, you have my number.”  The Major said his smile slightly diminished.  “Anyway, I think its time that I made a move.  It’s getting late.”  Liam showed him out and then came back to the fuming Trish.

“That was a perfectly reasonable offer the Major made,” she said.  “We need the money to get better furniture than this old junk and that would’ve been a great step towards getting it.”

Liam had finally had enough.  “Money isn’t everything.  The furniture is quite good quality, you heard what he said.  I’d much rather have good solid furniture that’s going to last, rather than getting into debt buying modern tat.”

“It’s not good solid furniture.  It’s old and it’s worn out.  What will our friends say when they come around?”

“My friends would take us as they’d find us.  It’s only your friends that are stuck up snobs.  Do you even like them?”

Trish looked hurt.  “I know they’re not the sort of people you’re used to.  But Mummy says that they’ll…”

“Mummy says!  We need to live our own lives, not what your mother thinks we should live our lives like.  You used to be great fun.  Up for anything.  What happened to you?”

“I grew up.  When are you going to do the same?”

“That’s harsh,” Liam said and stormed into the kitchen.  Making himself a sandwich, he looked out the window.  It was still light, he could still get some work done in the garden.

-


Two hours later and Liam was still fuming.  As he hacked at the overgrown mess in front of him with his newly acquired hatchet, he couldn’t believe what she had said.  Living with her mother had been a mistake!  Now she was turning into a carbon copy and there was nothing that he could do about it.  He really didn’t hold out much hope for their relationship, not if she was going down that path.

He was lost in thought when the hatchet hit something solid.  It was a different sort of solid than the bushes, sounding almost metallic.  Slowly he looked into the undergrowth and in the fading light he saw something glint.  It was weathered and covered in bird shit but it definitely looked like an elbow.  He reached for his pruning shears and slowly cut around the limb, revealing more and more of a metal statue hidden amidst the overgrown garden.  The arm was thin and feminine and raised like a ballerina-like pose.  

He got closer.  Now he could see more of the dancer’s body through the overgrown shrubbery.  She was slim and life-sized and had been cast from some hardwearing metal.  But the skill that had been used to make her was simply amazing.  From what he could see, the dancer’s nude form was extremely lifelike, right down to the dimples in her buttocks.  Cautiously he reached in front of her and felt the front of her body.  Her breasts were small and the nipples were pointed, carved in a state of arousal for all eternity.  His hands slipped lower, traveling down her flat belly and over her mound.  Her maker had even cast her with a clitoris and his fingers slid between two cold metal labia.  He quickly pulled his hands back, feeling slightly ashamed for groping a statue and he turned to go back into the house.

“What have you been doing?” Trish asked as he came to bed.  “You look a right mess.”

“I’ve been working in the garden like you wanted me to.  Satisfied?”  He didn’t want another fight but he felt it was almost inevitable.

To his surprise, Trish giggled.  “You could have a nasty accident with your flies open like that.”  Liam looked down.  His trousers were undone and he was sporting a full-on erection.  He didn’t realize that the statue had turned him on so much.

“Listen,” she said, sounding more like her old self.  “I’m sorry about earlier.  It’s just that Mummy wants the best for us and I guess that I’ve been listening to her too much.  It hasn’t been easy for her since Daddy died, you know”

“I don’t want us to be copy of your parents.  I want us to grow together and make our own mistakes.  Most of all I want us to be back how we used to be.  Spontaneous and loving and adventurous.  Don’t you want that too?”

“I do,” she admitted, “But not right now.  When we’ve got rid of all the old furniture and built a nest that’s ours and not your uncle’s, then we can go back to the way we were before.”  She turned over and went to sleep.  Liam looked at her for a few moments; his gaze a mixture of love and pity before sliding into bed next to her.

-

That night Liam had a strange dream.  He was standing in the garden, but the garden had been cleared of all overgrowth.  There was no statue there either, just his uncle sitting in a deck chair reading a large leather bound book.  As he walked towards him, Uncle Mark looked up.  “Sorry dear boy,” he said, sounding a bit like the Major.  “I would have told you what to expect once you’d started to clear the garden but I didn’t have time.  Still you’re young.  Enjoy their gifts while you can and when you’re no longer able, just let the garden grow wild.  It’s better that way.  Wild places should be left wild”

As his uncle went back to his book, he felt a cold metal hand slide down the front of his trousers and rub his penis to erection.  He turned and faced the dancer who had seemed to become flesh and blood while still remaining metal.  She pulled him towards her and opened her legs, allowing him to slide between them.  He felt her hard yet soft breasts as she held his face to hers, her cold tongue sliding into his mouth.  As they embraced, she moved her hands down his body and slowly freed his cock, guiding it between her slick metal lips.  He pushed inside her, the cool steel grip of her cunt slick and warm and yielding.  He moved his hips sensuously against hers and she moved against him, guiding him with a rhythm that was ever increasing, Soon he felt himself come inside his iron goddess and rolled over, still feeling the coolness of her body against his.

-

When he woke, he was cold and wet.  Above him, the cloudless sky was lit with the first rays of dawn.  Looking down, he saw that he was naked, the statue in front of him flaunting her body as she had done during her dream.  He could see more of her in the early light.  Long hair cascaded down her back, her face turned half back towards him with an impish grin on her face.  To the left of her, a second dancer could be glimpsed through the overgrown bushes, while on the far side a male figure’s head stuck up out of the undergrowth.  He guessed that the latter’s face had been what Trish had seen on their first day in the house.

Trish!  How could he explain to his wife he’d woken up in the garden and in the nude no less.  Quickly he ran towards the back door and thanked god that it was open.  He ducked inside and checked the stove.  It was still warm and that meant hot water!  He put a few more branches in the stove to keep the hot water going and ran upstairs to the bathroom.

Ten minutes he was up and dressed.  Thank Christ, Trish hadn’t noticed that he’d gone.  He’d been dreading having to explain to her what he’d been doing.  What had he been doing?  For the first time in his life, he’d sleepwalked and had an erotic dream about a statue.  There was only one thing he could do.  He’d have to clear the ground around it and pretty damn quickly.

After a quick breakfast he was back in the garden, tools at the ready.  Though he’d been expecting the undergrowth around the statues to be as difficult to clear as the rest of the garden, he found it very light work indeed.  It was almost as if the plants and bushes wanted the statue revealed.  By midday [or what he thought was midday.  Time seemed to move slower in the garden] he’d managed to cut the overgrowth back to reveal the statue in its full glory.  

For one thing, it was a single piece, not three separate statues.  The three figures were obviously dancing around a central point, though none were touching each other.  The second figure was an identical copy of the first; it’s only difference being that it was in a different position.  Liam found it disconcerting that both figures had the same features as the statue from his dream, even though he hadn’t seen their faces the day beforehand.  

The third figure was the most startling.  As Liam had observed before it was obviously male and cast with the same level of skill as the other parts.  Where it differed from the others was it was obviously not human.  A pair of ram’s horns protruded from the sides of its head, while its lower body was hairy and with a pair of hooves instead of feet.  Whoever had designed it had taken extra care with its genitals.  They were impressive; the penis being at least eight inches long and an inch and a half wide, the testicles the size of tennis balls.  As Liam walked around it, he noticed that the male figure also had a small tail attached to the base of its spine.  It reminded him of a creature from Greek mythology, but he couldn’t remember what the damn thing was called.  Unlike the other two figures, it wasn’t dancing but playing a reed pipe.

“Liam?”  He heard Trish’s voice calling from the back step.  She couldn’t see him or the statue from where she was standing.

“I’m over here, Trish,” he shouted.  “Come and look what I’ve found.”

Trish walked down the garden path and joined him by the first figure of the statue.  “What is it,’ she said cautiously.

“I think I know what you saw when we first saw the garden.”  Liam waved his hands like a magician and presented the statue to her.  Trish moved closer to three figures and examined it carefully.  “Was this the face you saw?” he asked, moving behind the horned male.

Trish looked worried.  “It was and it wasn’t.”  Seeing Liam’s confused face, she added “It was definitely him, but it was further back in the garden.  And I swear it smiled at me!”

Liam looked into the male’s face.  “Well he seems to be very happy.  But who wouldn’t be, dancing with these beauties.”

Trish looked down at the male’s genitals.  “My God,” she exclaimed, “whoever designed this… this…  Well, he was obviously overcompensating for something.”  She leaned in closer.  “It’s amazing work.  I can see every vein and bulge.  It’s even more magnificent that yours.”

Liam let the remark go.  He knew there was no comparison between him and the statue.  “What about these lovely ladies,” he said, wrapping his arms around their waists.  

Trish looked up briefly.  “Very nice,” she said before turning her attention toward the male statue once more.  There was a tone in her voice that Liam hadn’t heard for some time.  She was getting turned on.

Flustered, she looked up.  “Have you been inside it yet?” she asked.

Liam was confused.  Following her gaze he saw the garden had one more surprise.  Beyond the dancers against the far wall was a summerhouse.  It wasn’t in the best of conditions but it looked intact.  Trish grudgingly tore her eyes away from the male dancer and walked towards it, Liam quickly following after her.

The summerhouse was not locked but the door was jammed, warped by wet weather.  Still, with a bit of effort Liam managed to push it open and the two of them went inside.  It smelt a bit musty but it was cozy and not at all cluttered, unlike the rest of the house.  In fact there was only one item of furniture in it, a wrought metal loveseat, with two large cushions on it.

Trish sat down and made herself comfy.  “This is nice,” she said, patting the other cushion.  Liam sat next to her.  “I wish we’d known this was here sooner.  It’s quite nice in here.”

”Well that’s two discoveries we’ve made today,” he said as she uncharacteristically snuggled up to him

“I wonder who made the statue?” she asked as he put his arm around her.

“I’ll guess we’ll never know.  It’s a nice piece of work though.  By rights, it should be in a museum.  Somewhere were people can appreciate it.  It really shouldn’t be hidden like this where no one can appreciate it.”

“Perhaps we can sell it?  The Major would give us a good price for it.”

“No!”  Liam said sharply, surprised at how much we wanted to keep it.  “I mean,” he said, regaining his calm.  “Maybe we can cut the grass around it and make it the central point of the redesigned garden.  That way people can appreciate its beauty, but we get to keep it.”

“You just want to keep it because of those beautiful girls,” she laughed, kissing his cheek.

“Well you weren’t shy about examining the other dancer.”

“Well I’ve never seen a Satyr before.  Especially one so well endowed.”

Liam slapped his forehead.  “Satyr.  I knew I knew the same of it.”  He turned back to Trish.  “There’s only one problem with being endowed like that,” he joked.  “It’ll put you off other men for life.”

“I doubt that,” Trish said, gently rubbing his crotch.  “I think that it might make people realize what they’ve got in front of them.”  She leaned forward and kissed him, slipping her tongue deep into his mouth.  They kissed for a moment, and then she lowered her head.  Undoing his flies she pulled his erect cock from his trousers and started to lick around its purple crown.  Liam lay back and let her slowly engulf him in her mouth.  It had been ages since she’d been turned on enough to do this.  Not since their honeymoon.

Slowly he lifted his hips and slid his trousers down to his ankles.  As he raised his arms once more, he slid them under Trish’s blouse and unclasped her bra.  Still sucking him, she reached up and undid the buttons on her blouse.  Carelessly, she slid the garment off her shoulders and threw it into corner of the summerhouse.  Her bra followed shortly after.  Lifting her head, she reached for Liam’s erection and slid it between her ample breasts, rubbing them up and down his stiff shaft.

It was all too much for Liam.  His cock jerked and sprayed Trish’s chin and breasts with come.  Still, she kept on rubbing her breast up and down his shaft, until no more of his salty seed was released.  Standing up in front of him she rubbed the sticky mess into her skin with one hand while the other slowly undid her jeans.  Letting them drop, she scraped the last dregs of his come onto her index finger and slowly licked it clean.

“I’d forgotten how good you taste,” she said, sliding her panties down, revealing her hairy bush.  Naked, she stepped towards Liam and gave another kiss that rocked his world.  She pulled him off the loveseat and sat down herself, her legs spread wide.  “Lick me,” she said, slowly rubbing her clit.  Liam didn’t waste any time.  He sank to his knees and licked her wet slit with long, languid strokes.  She put her hands on the back of his head and held him close as her breath became ragged with desire.

-

It was dark when Liam awoke.  He and Trish had fucked throughout the afternoon and evening, just like when they had been first dating.  She had been her old self once more and was now deeply asleep.  Liam shifted himself, making sure that he didn’t disturb her.  He needed a drink of water badly.  As he shifted, he felt something cold and metal under the cushion touch his buttock.  It wasn’t the loveseat; it was something a lot smaller.

He reached down and picked up the object.  It was a bunch of small keys.  The missing bunch that opened the cabinets.  Walking pass the three dancers, who seemed more lifelike in the dark he wandered into the kitchen and ran himself a glass of water.  He finished it quickly and went into the lounge where the first locked cabinet was kept.  It took him a little while but he found the right key and opened it quickly.  Books.  The cabinet was filled with books.  Not just any books though.  These were old books.  First editions by the looks of them.  He was glad that he’d found them and not the Major.

He opened one and flicked through its pages.  Victorian Erotica.  Something he’d never thought his uncle had been into.  He felt his tired member began to grow stiff as he read the graphic descriptions of innocent maidens being introduced into the world of adulthood.  It made him regret leaving his trousers behind in the summerhouse.  He looked at a second one.  A different style of writing to be sure, but it was more erotica.  On further inspection it seemed that most of the books were erotic writings, ranging from Chaucer to the early Twentieth Century.

Most but not all.  Other books in his uncle’s eclectic collection seemed to be treatises on the occult or occult based fiction.  He half expected to find a copy of the Necronomicon but the nearest thing he could find was a collection of early Lovecraft stories reprinted from Weird Tales.  One of these books resembled the book from his dream.  Cautiously he opened it at random and began to read it at random.

It began “August 12th.  My conjurations have born fruit at last!  Today I did summon a creature of the wild that told me much of the lore of his people.  The creature is manlike in form though possessing attributes of a goat or ram.  He claims to be an emissary of a Wild God and has many tales of congress between his kind and ours.  Tales that indicate that the unearthly pleasures I seek are within my grasp.  He is willing to teach me more of his lore so that I can summon those who are more to my liking.”

He flicked onto another page of the diary.  “September 6th.  Last night I did conjure a spirit of nature, which I proceeded to have willing carnal knowledge of.  The spirit is a beautiful creature and unparalleled as a lover from my experience.  I shall learn many things from these creatures I think.”

Again, he flicked forward.  “January 14th.  Today was the most effective of my summonings.  As well as my dear lovers and my good friend, I was able to call down the most powerful of beings I have yet summoned.  A veritable God himself.  At first I quaked before his awesome form but he was not displeased with the summoning.  In fact he honored me for the worship of and love for his people.  He will grant me great gifts but in return seeks a tangible sign of my commitment to him.  I begin work at once.”

“January 15th.  I’ve decided to have a statue built in my garden.  The statue will reflect the joyous rituals that I have partaken with my friends and lovers and honor the great god himself.  I know a skilled artist and metalworker that can provide me with what I want and will see him later today.”

Liam put the book down.  He needed to show this to Trish, so that she could understand what was behind her reawakened sexuality.  His uncle had done a deal with a nature god in return for some sort of sexual power, but something had happened which had led to the garden becoming overgrown.  He didn’t know what it was, but he guessed that further study of the diary wield yield that information.  He walked into the kitchen and out of the back door before stopping dead.

The dancers had gone!  All three figures were no longer in their places.  Liam didn’t know what this meant but he had the feeling that Trish was in danger.  He rushed to the summerhouse but she had gone as.  Only her clothes remained!

He felt a cold hand on his shoulder.  He turned and saw one of the girls standing behind him.  Her face had a benevolent, yet mocking look to it and she reached for his unresisting hand.  Delicately she moved it between her legs and he could feel a warmth and wetness between it that reminded him of Trish.   Enjoyable as the sensation was he needed to find Trish and he tried to pull away.

Carefully she raised her hand and led him deeper into the undergrowth.  He half expected to be torn to shreds by the sharp brambles they passed through, but the plants seemed to move away as they came near, forming a natural path.  How long they walked was a mystery to him.  They seemed to be walking for hours and hours and miles and miles.  There was no way that they were still in the garden.

Finally they arrived at a small grove.  Trish was standing in front of him, her arms held behind her by the other girl statue.  She was scared, but she wasn’t hurt.  The Satyr was sitting on a fallen tree that lay between them, blowing idly into his pipes.  Every so often, he’d adjust the reed until it made the sound he wanted.  Liam tried to get to his wife but the girl gripped him tightly.

When he was satisfied with the sound his pipes were making, he slowly rose to his feet.  Keeping in time with his slow dance around the glade, he began to play a simple tune.  Liam had never heard anything like it.  Sometimes the pipes sounded like a flute, other times the drone of a bagpipe.  The noise was primal and he found himself swaying slightly in time with the cadences.  Looking over to Trish, he saw that she too was swaying in time with the music.

Behind him, the girl released her cold hands from his wrist and slowly joined in the dance.  Trish’s captor too released her and Liam ran over to her, holding her in his arms.  Her cool naked flesh felt amazing next to his skin and he felt his cock grow hard once more.  One of the girls grabbed his shirt and tore it from his shoulders as she moved passed him.  Soon the other danced past him as well, tearing more of the fabric off of his body.  They were moving faster now and soon the rags that had once been his clothes hung limply from his body.

He tried to move but he was rooted to the spot.  Looking into Trish’s terrified eyes told him that she too wanted to run, but the strange force was affecting them both equally.  Instead, as the piper played a new melody on top of the existing tune, Liam found himself slowly stretching his leg to his side.  Trish stepped out of his embrace and stretched her arm outwards, leaning back and raising her foot slightly.  

The music was going faster now and both Liam and Trish were slowly circling the glade, their bodies moving in time to the primal beat.  Trish flung out her hand and it was caught by one of the girls.  The other girl grabbed Liam’s hand and then grabbed Trish’s other hand.  Fingers locked, the dancers spun round faster and faster while the piper’s tune grew wilder and wilder.

The girls let the human couple go but they still danced, the music burning deep into their souls.  Now all rational thought was gone from both of them; the dance was all!  All five figures twisted and turned as they ran faster and faster.  The music grew wild and wilder and then suddenly stopped.  Trish fell on the ground and one of the girls dived on top of her.  Liam tried to reach down to her and pick her up, but the two girls were now locked in a tight embrace.

A hand grabbed Liam.  The other girl was standing in front of him and she pulled him close to her body.  He felt a cold hand on his penis and then he inside her.  She was as wet as she had been earlier.  Or had that been the other girl?  He no longer knew or cared.  She pulled him down to the ground and he began to thrust into her, his moans synchronizing with those of his wife.  

The piper began to play a new tune, its rhythm and tempo matching the sounds of lovemaking that echoed through the glade.  It slowly became faster as both mortals reached their climax, but did not end then.  Liam pulled out of the girl, his seed dripping from her parted slit as the other girl rolled off of Trish.  Liam knew only one thing.  He had to have his wife and he had to have her now!

“Fuck me, Liam!” Trish screamed as he penetrated her with a single thrust.  “Fuck me hard like the beast I am!”

Liam roared. “You’re mine to do with as I please!”

“Yes,” she screamed again.  “I’m your bitch, your slut.  Whatever you want to do to me, you can do it and I’ll love you for it.”

This was better than Liam had ever hoped for.  Even at her most uninhibited, there were things that she had refused to do.  Though she held him tightly, he pulled out of her.  Her face was filled with a mix of anticipation and disappointment.  He rolled her onto her front and reached between her legs, rubbing her flowing juices around and into her virgin rosebud, while the dancers watched approvingly.

“Oh God,” she said realizing what he planned to do, “Just go for it!”  
-

“I must say, Trish, I love what you’ve done to the house,” Trish’s mother said as she made her first visit to their new home.  “Where did you find all this antique furniture?”

Trish smiled as Liam wrapped his arms around her.  “This is all Liam’s uncle’s furniture.  We were going to get new things, but we decided to keep the period feel.”

“I’m not normally one for old furniture, but I have to admit that it does work.  Especially as you’ve now had gas and electric put in.  Soon you’ll be able to invite your friends over for dinner parties”

“They were never my friends,” Trish admitted.  “I only kept up with them to keep you happy.”

She looked astounded “Don’t say that you’re hanging around with those hooligans you used work with Liam!”

“Actually,” Liam said smiling as Trish subtly rubbed himself against his erection, “I don’t see much of them either.  When we moved in, we made some new friends.”

“Well you’ll have to introduce me to them some time.”

“I don’t think you’ll approve of them, Mother”, Trish said.  “They’re not your kind of people.  They’re more outdoorsy than you’re used to.”

Trish’s mother shrugged.  “What’s in that cabinet?” she asked.

Liam smiled.  “My uncle was a bibliophile,” he said, knowing that Trish’s mother wouldn’t know what a bibliophile was.  “I’ve decided that I’m going to follow in his footsteps.”

Trish’s mother sniffed as she went to the front door.  “As long as you don’t do anything unsavory,” she said.  “Anyway, I wish you’d do something with that garden.  It’s such a mess.  I know some very good gardeners.”

“We like it how it is,” said Liam, kissing his mother-in-law on the cheek.  “Good bye.”

“Goodbye Mummy, see you soon” Trish waved as her mother drove off.  She shut the front door and slowly began to unbutton the front of her dress.  “Thank God she’s gone,” she said in a tone she wouldn’t have used some months ago.  “I’m dying for a fuck.”  Her dress dropped to the ground revealing her naked body.

Liam wrapped his arms around her, his hands sliding towards her pert ass.  “Front or back,” he asked.

“You’re so good at both,” she said smiling as she bent down on the stairs, her butt in the air, ready to be taken.   “But we mustn’t do anything unsavory.  Mother would never approve,” she said as Liam slid his rampant cock inside of her.

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THE INTERVIEW

“Don’t worry, Mrs. Karswell,” Jessica said as she put the tape recorder onto the desk.  “I promise you that I won’t ask any questions on subjects that you don’t want me to.”

Mrs. Karswell took a drag on her cigarette.  She was a well-dressed woman in her sixties, her gray hair cut into a 1920’s style bob.  She looked like she had been born to the manor where Jessica was interviewing her, but Jessica’s research told a different story.  She may have been expecting a little interview for a literary review, but Jessica knew if she could get her talking, she could dish the dirt on several of the major scandals in living memory.

“Ask anything you like, young lady,” she said, taking another drag of her cigarette and exhaling the smoke, near to Jessica’s face.  Jessica felt like asking her not to smoke, as it reminded her that she had given up four weeks, two days and five hours ago.  But it was her house, so Jessica had to play by her rules.  “Of course,” she added, “You might not like the answers.  Your choice.”

“I’m a big girl,” Jessica said smiling and sipping her herbal tea.

“And a very pretty one too, if I might say.”

“Thank you,” Jessica said.  “We can start whenever you’re ready.”

Mrs. Karswell stubbed her cigarette out into a glass ashtray.  “I’m ready when you are, young lady.  I’ve been looking forward to this for quite a while now.”

Jessica reached over and started the tape machine.  It was large and old fashioned but she had found it had the best quality for sound recording, far better than any modern device she’d found.  “Good afternoon, I am Jessica Patel and today I’m interviewing Mrs. Fiona Karswell for a syndicated article for the literary reviews.  Would you please speak into the microphone Mrs. Karswell, it helps us when we get the tape transcribed to be able to identify people’s voices.”

“Of course,” she said.  “And please, call me Fiona.  After all we’re going to be quite close after this interview.  What with you knowing all my dark secrets and all.”  She laughed, which Jessica kind of found unsettling.

“Fiona Karswell, you were born in the mid 1950’s to a typical suburban couple, Fred and Elsie Smith.  Though you weren’t poor, your family wasn’t well off either.  How was it growing up in those circumstances?”

“My, you have done your homework, Miss Patel.”

“Please call me Jessica.  I think it makes a far more friendly interview if we’re on first name terms.”

“I quite agree.  Far more intimate,”

“Quite, so anyway, tell me about your family.”

“Well, there’s not much to tell.  Father worked for an insurance company and Mother, as was normal in those days, a housewife and mother.  To be quite frank, my parents were boring and had boring aspirations for their children.”

Jessica was confused.  “I thought you were an only child?”

“Oh no dear.  I had an elder brother.  He was quite a bit older actually.  I mean that he was already a teenager when I was born and left the family home not too long after, so growing up I never really saw him.  Not until later that is.”

“So anyway, you grew up in the Swinging Sixties.  What was it like growing up in those heady days?”

Fiona laughed.  “They say if you can remember the Sixties, you weren’t really there.  I say, if you can remember the Sixties you were living in a dull town leading a dull life.  The Sixties happened to other people; we still lived in the Fifties metaphorically speaking.  Of course I wanted something different, but then again we all do.  I mean, Jessica you’re a prime example.  You’re what people of my generation would call mixed race, so your parents must have wanted something out of the ordinary or else they would have never met.”

“Okay, we seem to be drifting away from the subject.  What were your abiding memories from that period?”

“Were we?  Just put it down to old age.  Anyway, I remember the Beatles splitting.  For a teenage girl that was just heartbreaking although I think now they’d had their day before Sergeant Pepper.  I also remember The Crazy World of Arthur Brown on Top of the Pops.  Now he’s an absolute genius musically, especially with that flaming horned helmet he wore.  And then there were the movies”

“Ah yes, the movies.  I suspect that it was the big ones that stuck in your memory like Cool Hand Luke, Bonnie and Clyde and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”

“Oh no dear, that wasn’t my sort of thing at all.  My local fleapit had very lax standards about who they let in and I remember seeing a Hammer double bill, which blew my mind.  ‘Dracula, Prince of Darkness’ and ‘Rasputin, the Mad Monk’.  What was so freaky was that both those movies had the same casts but in different roles.  And of course Christopher Lee was simply mesmerizing.  It had a great influence on this ten year old girl, I should say.”

“So you’re a horror film buff then?”

“I was in those days.  My particular favorite was ‘The Devil Rides Out’.  The battle between good and evil with both sides using the powers of the occult.  What person wouldn’t find that wonderful.  And Charles Grey was very epitome of evil in that film, yet so handsome”

“You really know your movies, don’t you Fiona.”

“Well, it was my way of escaping from the dreary life I led at home.  I mean my parents were all right, not child-molesters or anything like that.  They were just very dull.  And the life I saw on the silver screen was far more enticing.”

“So you left home at sixteen and ran away to London.”

“You make it sound so romantic.  I actually took a train into London and quite fortunately met up with a bunch of like-minded people.  They had a squat in Ladbroke Grove and I moved in that evening.”

“This would be the Brotherhood of The Wild God, I’m assuming?”

“That’s right.  You really have done your homework.  But then again, someone with a first class degree would be used to doing a lot of research.  Yes, I joined the Brotherhood, although it was more a Sisterhood.  There were twice as many women as men in the group.”

“What was it like, living with such a wild group of people?”

“Quite relaxing actually.  I think I slept with the entire bunch while I was there.  I could wake up in one guy’s bed, fuck another two during the day and then spend the night screwing one of the other women.  All without guilt.  It was a good time in my life I just wish it had lasted longer.”

“Is that because of the trouble the Cult got into?”

“Oh no dear, that was later.  No, I got discovered one day in Portobello Road and got into modeling.  When I became successful I moved out of the squat and into a three bedroom flat with two other models”

“Did you know about the trouble before the news broke?”

Fiona’s voice became hard.  “That was the press, not my friends.  They smoked a little hash, indulged in a bit of free love and performed some old rituals.  Despite what the paper’s said, there was never any devil worship and everyone knew the consequences would be of their actions.  Not like nowadays.”

“Still two people died.”

“That was unfortunate, but I wasn’t there when that happened.  Overdoses and suicides happen in suburbia as well as Ladbroke Grove.  The press made too much out of it and then the police got involved and several very nice people got put into prison for too long.”

“But you were a ‘model’ at that time?”

“Yes, I was a ‘model’.  I didn’t model high fashion.  I had a good body those days, so I went into the adult industry.  Top shelf stuff, all very classy.  It was a good life.  I had men falling at my feet, could get into the best clubs and all that shit.”

“But you were busted for prostitution in the mid seventies?”

“Which never went to trial. No one could testify that I had done anything for money.  In fact more men said that I came onto them and slept with them without charging, than the police claimed I’d fucked for money.”

“Please, Fiona.  Can you keep the swearing down?  Some of my readers don’t like to read about authors who use profanity.”

“Sorry Jessica.  I’ve lived alone for too long and gotten too fixed in my ways to change.  But I’ll try.  Anyway, I was arrested for prostitution but no charges were raised.  But you know what that’s like don’t you, Jessica?”

“Sorry?”

“I mean, working as an unpaid intern on one of the nationals is great for your C.V. but not very good for your bank balance.  So you moonlighted as an escort on the side until you got arrested and fired from the paper.  How long has it taken for you to rebuild your journalism career?”

Jessica reached over and stopped the tape.  “How do you know all these things about me?” She asked.  “Very few people know what I did.  Besides that was a long time ago.”

Fiona smiled.  “So were the events that you’re asking questions about.  You have friends in low places.  Well I have friends in even lower places.  Now, shall we continue the interview?”

Jessica started up the tape machine again.  “Sorry about that,” I apologized, “there was a short break while I fixed a technical problem.  Anyway, Fiona after that business you were still a successful model?”

“That’s right Jessica, I was.”

“And that’s how you met your husband, Gerald?”

“Very good.  Yes I met Gerald in the hot summer of ’76.  I was sunbathing on a beach in the South of England trying not to be eaten by the hordes of ladybirds they had that year and Gerald was sitting next to me and offered to top up my sunscreen.  And the rest was history.”

“Did you know about his family history?”

“About him being the nephew of the ‘most evil man of his generation?  No not at first.”

“But when you did find out.  Didn’t it bother you?”

“No.  Why should it have done?”

“James Karswell, the notorious Satanist being related to the man you were dating.  If it was me, I’d would have been very cautious about having a relationship with someone like that.”

“Firstly, James Karswell was a self-styled pagan and not a Satanist.  He worshipped older Gods than Satan and tried to teach people the Old Ways and their Magicks.  Then, he never did half of what he was said to have done.  Again a lot of it was the tabloids making up juicy details to sell papers.  I mean, yes he took drugs but he didn’t sell them to kids or cut them with harmful substances, like that drug dealer a few years ago.  Now what was his name?”

Jessica felt a chill run down her spine.  Was she referring to Ben, the dealer she’d lived with for a couple of years, who’d been a complete and utter bastard?  She’d dumped him as soon as she discovered his sideline, but that was a part of her past that she had thought she’d successfully hidden.  Until now.

“So you met James Karswell, then?”  Jessica asked, trying to change the subject.

“Oh yes,” Fiona smiled.  “On two occasions.  The second time was when he was dying in that rest home in Eastbourne.  His mind had quite gone by then, it was a sad thing to see.  Gerald was particularly upset.”

“Are you aware that Clive Jennings, the founder of the Brotherhood of the Wild God was an acolyte of James Karswell?”

Fiona lit another cigarette.  “My brother never hid his association with James Karswell.  In fact, the first time I met him, James spent a weekend at the squat talking about the religion he followed and some of the basic Magicks that he had mastered.”

“Sorry, your brother was Clive Jennings?”

“Oh yes,” Fiona smiled “that’s how I met the Brotherhood.  Did you think an evil cult picked me up off the street?  I’d gone to London to look for him and I knew his last address.  He was actually there picking up some belongings when I went looking for him and he took me to the commune.  As I said, the rest is history.”

“But you said your maiden name was Smith?”

“My mother’s maiden name was Jennings.  He just adopted it after he founded the Brotherhood.”

“So, was it a coincidence that you ended up marrying the nephew of your brother’s mentor?”

“Some people say that the universe is made up of coincidences, while others say that there is no such thing as a coincidence.  Which one you believe in is up to you.”

“What was Gerald Karswell like?”

“If fucking was an Olympic sport, he’d be a gold medallist.  I mean he was well-hung and …”

“No, I meant as a person, and please could you not use that sort of language.  I already told you my readers might not like it.”

“Sorry, I forgot you were writing for the suburbs.  What magazine did you say this article was for, again?”

“So, Gerald?”

“OK, the clean version.  Gerald was a good, stable man.  He was already married when I met him but his wife was dying of cancer.  He adored his two kids and they adored him.  His only vice was that he was absolutely useless with money.  As soon as he got any, he’d spent it.  Julia, his first wife was loaded but when she died, she left everything to her children.  Gerald was able to live in the family home and had a small allowance from her estate.”

“So this house is Julia Karswell’s house?”

“House.  Stables.  The whole kit and caboodle.”

“So how are you living here now, since your husband has been dead for quite some time?”

“As I said, when I met Gerald, Julia was still alive.  In fact we met on more than one occasion.  And before you ask, yes she did know her husband and I were lovers.  Julia and I actually got on like a house on fire.  So much so that she put a codicil in her will stating that should Gerald predecease me, I’d get the same deal as her husband as long as I lived.  Of course that didn’t go down well with the children.”

“I can imagine.”

“We sorted things out over the years.  They haven’t been here since their father’s funeral, but as I don’t have any children of my own, once I’m dead then they’re free to do with it what they want.”

“Now you say you haven’t any children of your own.  I’m certain I read somewhere you have a daughter?”

“I did, but she’s dead.  Really dead, not just dead to me.  She and I never got on while she was alive.  Married a totally unsuitable chap and I don’t believe they had any children.  And if they did, they’d have no claim on the house and grounds.  Julia’s will was very clear on that point.”

“What about your daughter’s father.  Was he one of the Cult?”

“The Brotherhood was not a Cult, so could you please stop referring to it as one.  To answer your question, my daughter’s father was a member of the Brotherhood.  Which one though, I have absolutely no idea.  After all, I did sleep with all of them.”

“So you had some good years with Gerald and then he died.  That must have been terrible for you?”

“It was.  I didn’t get to fuck anyone for almost two years.”

“No, I mean it must have been terrible for you, a woman of uncertain age with a murky background to be left penniless.  So what did you do then?”

“Well I was too old for modeling.  At least of the type that I knew.  I had a small annuity but I’d also started my small donkey sanctuary, so I needed to make money to give my animal friends a comfortable life.  And that’s when James Karswell helped me”

“But surely he was dead by then?”

“Oh yes.  Sorry, I didn’t mean I summoned his spirit in a dark ritual or anything.  No, Gerald had been James Karswell’s executor and he had a lot of his papers in the attic when he died.  I decided to go through them and found there was enough material for several books.”

“Your books were based on Karswell’s writings?  I didn’t know that.”

“No one else does.  There you are, your first scoop of the interview.  Hopefully you’ll find the others as interesting.  I also found out that Karswell’s rediscovery of ancient Magicks actually had some practical applications.  So I studied them and soon had mastered some of the rituals.”

“I wonder if you’d revealed that the source of your writings was Karswell’s research, would your books have been more successful?”

“Probably.  They sold well enough, and there was an audience for them.  What was more important was the knowledge was being put out there, so anyone truly interested could learn from it.  Of course, I didn’t realize that some of the readers were local and that’s what got me into my other line of business.”

“I’m not sure if I follow you?”

Fiona stubbed out her cigarette.  “Certain families that have lived in the area for generations have some understanding of the forces that I write about.  When they I lived locally some of them decided to see if I was the real thing.”

“The real thing?”

“A priestess of the Old Gods.”

“Sorry, but you cannot be serious.  There’s no such thing as a…”

“Witch?  No I am a priestess of the Old Gods, not a mere witch.  Anyway, I proved that I was the real thing and soon word got around.  People came to me for healing magic, for weather spells and help in relationships.  And, of course, they were respectful and paid fair prices for my help.”

Jessica stopped the tape.  “Mrs. Karswell,” she said slowly and deliberately, “You must think I’m quite stupid.  If you don’t think that, the only conclusion I can come to is that you are totally off your rocker.”

“We were doing so well, Jessica,” Fiona smiled.  “I thought someone with your heritage would be far more open to the ideas I’m expressing”

Jessica looked confused.  “My heritage?”

“After all your mother was one of the members of the Brotherhood.”

Jessica sat back stunned.  “My mother was, sorry is the sort of person who would never get involved with that sort of thing!”

“Sorry, what I should have said is that she’s the daughter of one of the Brotherhood.  She was quite young when the trouble started.  They took her away from her real parents and put into care, from which she was later adopted.  The authorities made sure that she grew up the antithesis of her parents and, apart from marrying your father, that’s how she’s lived her life or so I gather.”

A horrible thought crossed Jessica’s mind.  “You’re not saying that you are my Grandmother, are you?”

Fiona laughed.  “No, of course not,” she said.  “My daughter died in a car crash with her yuppie stockbroker husband in the early part of the Nineties.  As you said, your parents are still alive.  Your grandparents however are a different story altogether.”

“Your grandmother was a gentle soul and I loved her like as sister as well as my lover.  But she took my leaving quite badly and overdosed.  When the police got involved, the tabloids also found out about it and used her story to sell their dreary little rags.  They demonized my friends but saved the worst of their venom for Clive, your grandfather.  He was hounded to his death by those jackals, especially when they discovered the Karswell angle.”

“So you’re saying that…” Jessica began incredulously.

“Yes, I’m your great-aunt.  Now do you wonder whether coincides are merely that or are they the fruition of the schemes of higher powers?”

“But I would have known…”

“I don’t see why?  Your mother was too young to remember her real mother.  I don’t think she even knows she’s adopted.”

Jessica reached for the packet of cigarette that Fiona had left on the coffee table in front of her and put it into her mouth.  She looked around for a lighter but couldn’t see one.  In fact, she couldn’t even remember Fiona using one to light her cigarettes earlier.

“Allow me,” said Fiona clicking her fingers.  The end of the cigarette began to smolder and Jessica took a deep drag.  Then she realized what had just happened.

“That’s right,” Fiona said.  “Just a small sample of my power to show you I’m being serious.”

“How did you…?”  Jessica gasped.

“You’ll find out in time, I hope.  James Karswell’s writings were very informative.  But then again I did have an advantage that most acolytes did not have.  I actually knew James, you see.”

“But you said you only met him twice?”

“Oh yes.  The first time that we met, we hit it off instantly.  He was looking for another acolyte that he could pass his knowledge onto and I suppose I was looking for a father figure that actually gave fuck about me.  So we spent the night together.  And for once, I don’t mean we fucked or anything.  Instead we performed a ritual which opened the way for me to become what I was destined to be.  Afterwards I found my natural talents with the ancient arts enhanced.”

“Such as your trick with the cigarette, I assume?”

“Assumption makes an ass out of you and me.  I’ve always liked that saying, especially given my work with donkeys and their ilk.  No, I found myself more sensitive to the immaterial world and could feel the patterns that the interaction between the spheres caused.”

“That sounds like mumbo-jumbo to me.”

“It is not mumbo-jumbo!  To put it more plainly, I had gained a small degree of prescience and could subtly manipulate people’s actions.  That’s how I got discovered as a model, though I didn’t realize that it would lead to my friend’s death or the end of the Brotherhood.  If I had done, I would have done things in an entirely different manner.”

“As time went on. I was able to use it more and more to my advantage.  For example, that prostitution charge.  In truth, I was guilty of selling my body for money.  But not all the time.  I fucked quite a few people for free back then.  I just made sure that the ones that might have gone to the police or the press didn’t, that’s all.”

“Then there was Gerald.  I knew that as James’ only living relative, he’d be his executor and would receive his papers after James’ death.  I merely allowed fate to move me to the best time and place to meet him in order to become his lover.  Although we would have been lovers anyway if we’d met by chance.”

“As you may have guessed, it was my abilities which also persuaded Julia to modify her will in my favor and also to keep her children at arms length.  But I was telling the truth when I said Julia and I were great friends at the end and the children did come round in the end, without using my powers.  The secret is simple you see.  If your goals are modest and you are careful how you use your powers, then you can achieve almost anything.  The more ostentatious you are and the larger the size of what you want to achieve, the more likely the power you use is to turn against you.”

Jessica finished her cigarette and the two women sat in silence for some time.  Finally Jessica raised the question that both of them knew was going to come at some point.  “Why have you told me this unbelievable story?”

Fiona smiled.  “Haven’t you guessed?  I’m looking for a successor.  Someone to carry on my good work.”

Jessica sat open mouthed as Fiona continued.  “A year ago, I was diagnosed with lung cancer.  I had all the conventional treatments and also tried healing magick, but with no success.  I’ve since discovered that healing magick only works on others, never the caster.  I have about six month’s to live.  My donkeys are going to be all right, as I’ve persuaded my stepchildren to keep them on until they pass away.  But the Karswell archives still need sorting and publishing and I’m no longer up to the job.”

“That’s why I agreed to this interview.  I wanted to know if there was a person who shared much of my life experiences who could take over from me.  I’ve found that you’re not as free-spirited as your grandmother, but could be once you’ve chosen to travel the path I have.  Let’s say I’ve been interviewing you as much as you’ve been interviewing me.”

Jessica got up and walked to the lounge window.  She looked out onto the grounds of Fiona Karswell’s house, still trying to get the events of the evening straight in her head.  “Why me?” she finally asked.

“Many reasons.  You’re my great-niece and you have a heritage of power behind you.  You are the granddaughter of my dearest friend and I owe her for ruining her life.  If I’d been less selfish, then she and your grandfather may have still been alive and your mother would have been brought up in a loving home.  Most importantly though, the forces that I evoke give me guidance in many areas.  It was they that suggested you would make my ideal successor and it was they that provided me with your background.”

Jessica turned suddenly and picked up the tape machine.  “You’re mad if you ever thought I’d be a party to this sort of nonsense!”

Fiona shrugged and opened the lounge door.  As Jessica stormed out and grabbed her coat, she had one last thing to say.  “I wasn’t expecting you to be overjoyed with the idea, Miss Patel.  But think about it.  You could do so much good for yourself.  Making a decent living publishing the Karswell papers.  Possibly restarting your career by a bit of subtle manipulation.  Only having lovers who are worthy of you and not the scum that you allow yourself to be with.  All this and more could be yours.  All you have to do is decide that you’ll be willing to open your closed mind to the possibility that other forces exist and you can learn how to use their power.”

“Goodbye, Mrs. Karswell,” Jessica said firmly as she opened the door of her Mini and deposited the tape machine in the passenger seat.  “I’m sorry to have wasted your time.”

“It wasn’t wasted, Jessica,” Fiona said.  “And it’s only Au Revoir.  Not Goodbye.”  Jessica ignored her and drove off into the night.

-

Two weeks later, Fiona was in the stables, feeding her donkeys.  The jacks were a bit skittish that day as they seemed to be aware that the jenny that had recently arrived was due to give birth any day now and one of them was the father.  She hadn’t heard from Jessica since that night but wasn’t worried.  She might not have much time left, but she trusted in her Gods and the choice of her successor.

As Fiona checked everything was OK with the expectant mother, she heard the sound of impractical heels clattering across the stable yard.  Someone walked up to the stable door and came in, obviously fuming.  Fiona could tell by the furious pacing.

“Hello Jessica,” Fiona said not looking up.  She knew who was there.

“You put a spell on me, you bitch,” Jessica said angrily.  “Since that night I’ve been unable to think of anything other than your fucking offer.”

“Now who’s being profane,” Fiona remarked ironically.

“Admit it.  You put a spell on me!”

“The only way that I could have put a spell on you, is if you believe I could.  If you believe that, then you’re almost ready to become my successor.  You have to admit, my offer was tempting.”

“You offered me power and knowledge that few actually have.  Who wouldn’t want that?”

“Careful now, I wouldn’t want you to get into something you don’t really want to.”

“Listen, you bitch, since that evening I’ve seen how shit my so-called life is.  A freelance journalism career that’s going nowhere.  Another useless turd of a boyfriend.  Few friends and a repressed family.  What you’re offering, even if it is some sort of scam is far better than what I’ve got right now!”

Fiona looked into Jessica’s eyes.  Sure the girl was angry, but beneath it she could see that Jessica was serious.  It had taken two weeks of thought to bring her to this point, but they’d been two weeks well spent.

“You’re really sure you want this?” Fiona asked.  Jessica had to say it clearly and definitely or else it wasn’t going to be possible for her to learn.

“I’m sure.  Teach me what you know and how to use the powers that you can call upon.”

“That’s my girl,” Fiona said smiling.  “Shall we get started?”

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AndrewBroomfield
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