by ”URN My Power“
As an enticement to visit more often, Charlie’s mother switched cars with him before he left. The car he was now driving was smaller, lighter and far more fuel-efficient than the Granada, with cruise control, a working heater and air conditioner, and a CD player. It wasn’t new, but it wasn’t a rolling pile of crap, either. Amelie seemed pensive as they drove back to the campus.
“So, how did it go?” he asked to break the silence.
“My eyes still hurt.” she replied.
“The test. When I gave her the medallion, it shone with a pure-white light that hurt to look at, but was so beautiful I almost couldn’t muster the will to look away.”
“Wow.” Charlie responded.
“I gave her what her parents thought was a pretty piece of costume jewelry. In reality, it’s a charm to protect her from detection by evil beings. The way she clung to the charmed bauble and the testing medallion, I think we can trust her not to take it off willingly.” Charlie reached across the gap between the seats and laced his fingers in Amelie’s.
“Good thinking.” Charlie said. “The last thing we need is to have her kidnapped by a real-life version of Lord Moldyshorts.”
“Who?” Amelie asked.
“Voldemort.” Charlie responded by way of clarification. When she still looked unenlightened, he added “From Harry Potter?” She rolled her eyes.
“A children’s book villain?” she asked. She released his hand, pressing both of hers to her temples and muttering a healing spell he remembered from when she’d gotten rid of his hangover. Charlie knew his comparison was ridiculous, so he couldn’t be mad at her. He put the matter out of his mind, for now. There was a highway exit ahead, and he had to be alert for cars heading for the gas station nearby or the overpass just ahead.
Once the little wide spot in the road was behind them, Amelie decided the time had come to reveal the story of her childhood. She’d been a good little girl, happy and helpful, living in the country, before her uncle had come to visit. She’d had no concept of why, but the man had terrified her. Nevertheless, she’d taken his tests and passed them. The soft, red glow given off by the spider medallion when she touched it had pleased him to no end.
When her parents had refused to let him teach her the ways of magic, he’d slain her father with a lightning spell and incinerated her mother with a fire spell. Then, he’d spirited Amelie away to his own home. Ten hellish years of training under a geas had given her the skill and power to overcome him, shattering his geas and ripping through his wards to turn him into a frog so she could feed him to his own pet snake. From then on, she’d taken her training into her own hands, determined that no one would ever take advantage of her again. She’d accumulated a large collection of spellbooks and magical items—rarely with the permission of the former owners—and strove to be the strongest, or at least the strongest she could be with her level of magical ability. She’d sought pleasures of the flesh as well, but none of it made her happy. Until she’d become Charlie’s, the closest she’d felt to happiness was a kind of self-satisfied smugness when she defeated a challenger.
Charlie pulled into a rest area, parking the little car and moving to the back seat. Amelie cast a spell to keep the activity inside from being noticed while leaving the vehicle visible (so that no tired trucker would ram into them trying to occupy their spot). She moaned as he undressed her slowly, seductively, his caresses as light as feathers. She came hard as he buried himself to the hilt in her hot snatch. Spurred on by her cries of ecstasy, he drove himself into her again and again, moving in the ways he was coming to know that pleased her most. She came again just as he was getting ready to cum inside her. They lay gasping in the back seat. Amelie whispered sweet endearments and devotions once she caught her breath. Charlie couldn’t pretend he wasn’t touched.
They dressed as best they could in the confined space of the little car, and Charlie drove them to the next decent-sized town along the highway, where he pulled off and headed for Taco Bell. It wasn’t fancy, but it wasn’t leftover Thanksgiving sides, either.
Artus and Brutus Myrdhynn waited in respectful silence as Ali Myrdhynn read the scroll they had brought back from the Vatican. His favorite pet, an Arial who had once been a Persian princess named Lal, knelt at his side, her wings folded.
“Good work, you two.” he said. “It seems our late, lamented brother was able to take steps to ensure that he would be able to seek out a successor even after his demise. This document records fragments of a spell overheard by the Templar Knight before he got close enough to use his sword, Wizardsbane, to fatal effect.”
“What is our next move, Master Ali Myrdhynn?” Artus asked, his blue-black hair falling in his eyes as he bowed. Brutus Myrdhynn didn’t have Artus’ problem, because he simply had no hair. The unusual manner of his gifts’ awakening had left him bald from his head to his feet.
“I will retrieve Tashi Myrdhynn’s grimoire and commune with his spirit to seek his counsel.”
“Pardon my intrusion, Masters, but I’m afraid that may be a bit difficult.” said a voice from the darkness. Ali Myrdhynn gestured, and a light shone on the Head Librarian. “Tashi Myrdhynn’s grimoire has disappeared, I’m afraid, along with an apprentice who was arranging books at the time.” He approached the Circle and held up a parchment bearing the seal of one of the investigator-mages who handled such problems as disappearing books and personnel. The parchment floated from the Librarian’s hand and into Ali Myrdhynn’s. The leader of the Order broke the seal and read the contents of the parchment.
“Thank you, Librarian.” he said after a time. “It seems Tashi Myrdhynn has taken things into his own proverbial hands.”
“What shall we do, then?” asked Artus again.
“Artus, locate the sword, Wizardsbane. There are still those within the Catholic Church who see it as their duty to annihilate all users of magic, no matter how they use it. Brutus, go to the scene of the disappearance and track the destination for the transportation spell that was used. You should be able to pick up the trail from there.”
“At once, Ali Myrdhynn.” the two said in unison, bowing. The two Myrdhynns disappeared without preamble, and the Librarian vanished with a quiet spell, leaving Ali Myrdhynn alone with Lal, who looked up at her Master for instructions. He bade her rise, and she did, stretching her lithe and sensuous body and following him through a rift he made, pure-white wings ruffling slightly as they trailed behind her.
“Dude, you traded up!” Steve said in greeting as Charlie and Amelie got out of the car. He noticed his roommate had someone with him—a curvy Latin lady with a look in her eyes when she looked at Steve that reminded him of Amelie.
“You gonna introduce me to your friend there?”
“Oh, my bad, dude. This is Claudia.” Claudia shook Charlie’s hand and returned to clinging to Steve.
“Steve, have you been messing with Amelie’s magical artifacts?”
“I’ve already scolded him.” Amelie said. She looked at Claudia. “Has he been taking care of you over Thanksgiving break, Officer?”
“Hmm? Oh, yes. But it’s just Claudia now. I lost my job as a police officer because I couldn’t bear to be away from Master long enough to go to work.” she said. Amelie glared daggers at Steve.
“Hey, hey, hey, it’s chill. I’ll figure it out.”
“All I can say is you better.” Charlie replied, pulling his covered canvas out of the trunk. “I don’t know if I’ll be able to restrain Amelie if you screw it up.” Hidden by the canvas, he winked at Amelie, who took it as her cue to glare even more balefully at Steve, who gulped. Charlie slammed the trunk with his foot—a maneuver he’d practiced often enough with the Granada.
“So, are we gonna storm the dorm en masse?” asked a familiar voice. Charlie turned, angling the canvas until he could see Chelsea approaching.
“Actually, we were thinking of a combination diversion and stealth attack.” Charlie replied with a smile. Chelsea smiled and kissed him behind the canvas. Amelie cast her invisibility spell over the women and herself, and Steve did a silly tap-dance on the way up the stairs to disguise the sound of the extra feet.
“Nice work, Happy Feet.” Chelsea joked when Amelie dismissed the spell in the dorm room. She gave him a sisterly peck on the cheek, to which Claudia responded by becoming even more clingy. “Jealous much?”
“We’ll leave you two to work it out.” Charlie said, looping his arms in Amelie’s and Chelsea’s. They walked through the closet, and found that they were not alone.
Iset Myrdhynn lay face-down on the floor. Behind her, holding the grimoire of Tashi Myrdhynn, was a girl in livery who appeared to be around eighteen. In a flat, monotone voice, she chanted a spell from the book. She pointed at Amelie. Charlie moved himself between the two sorceresses as a golden beam was unleashed from the mysterious girl’s finger. Predictably, the spell bounced, striking its caster instead of its intended target. The girl flopped to the floor like a puppet with her strings cut.
“Whoa!” Chelsea exclaimed. “How’d you do that?”
“Hostile magic doesn’t work on me.” Charlie said. “It just bounces off. Amelie, see to Iset Myrdhynn, would you?” Amelie knelt beside the fallen Myrdhynn, examining her carefully. Charlie took the grimoire from the other female’s limp fingers, looking at the open page to see if he could glean any clues to the purpose of the spell that he’d bounced back.
There was a presence about the grimoire that made Charlie feel like Gandalf regarding the One Ring on the floor of Bilbo’s house. The spell on the open page was in Greek, and there didn’t seem to be a translation or explanation in English—or even Olde English.
“It seems like she tried to make Iset Myrdhynn hers like I am yours, Master.” Amelie said. “I can transfer ownership to you, but there’s a trap-charm woven in, and trying to set her free would be fatal to both of us.”
“Go ahead and transfer, then.” Charlie said, glaring down at the prone sorceress. “If she can’t be free, then the least we can do is make sure she has a Master we can trust.” The spell was brief, and then Amelie was on her feet. “Here. What’s this spell do?” She took the book from him, going pale for a moment.
“The spell irretrievably erases the victim’s knowledge of past and self and makes them into a total slave.” Amelie said. “Thank you for saving me from it, Master. I can’t bear the thought of being enslaved to anyone but you.” She seemed about to continue, but regarded the grimoire strangely, as if it had sprouted a face or something. “Strange. I thought I felt something...”
“Like the book was watching you?”
“Yes. A presence...” Amelie said.
“Seal it up just to be safe.” Charlie said, and he knelt down beside the fallen Myrdhynn. “Sanna? Sanna, wake up, please.”
“Uhnn...” she responded groggily, forcing herself up to a kneeling position before she opened her eyes. “Master! I love you so much! I...don’t remember trying to avenge myself upon you, but I must have.”
“No. Someone else activated all that stuff I left in your head and tried to bind you to themselves instead. Amelie transferred ownership to me because of the trap-charm that would have made any attempt to set you free fatal to both of you.”
“Oh.” Sanna said. “I’m sorry, I don’t remember. I...Kamilah!” The Myrdhynn put her fingers at the girl’s pulse-point. “Kamilah, are you all right?”
“Was that her name?” Charlie asked.
“Yes, Master.” Sanna responded. Amelie screamed. Charlie whirled to his feet, finding a big, hairless man standing over Amelie, reaching down to pick up the book.
“Brutus Myrdhynn?” Sanna asked. The big man brought the book to Charlie, holding it out like an offering.
“The book will harm no one else as long as you don’t send it away again.” the man said. “Tashi Myrdhynn was always less than subtle.”
“What about them?” Charlie asked.
“I’m not sure what part the Librarian’s apprentice is to play. You’ll have to figure that out for yourself. And only a Myrdhynn can break the trap-charm keeping you from freeing Iset Myrdhynn.”
“So, you can break it then?”
“Apparently, you are meant to do it yourself, when you are ready.” Brutus said. “You have the perfect teacher right there.” He indicated Sanna with his chin. Charlie took the book from the big Myrdhynn’s fingers. “Farewell, Charles Lobo. Farewell, Sister Iset.” With that, he walked out through a portal of his own making, which closed politely behind him.
“I don’t want any more trouble out of you.” Charlie said to the book. More than just a vague presence, he now felt a kind of dry amusement emanating from the haunted spellbook.
The universe lurched.
He was being chased through a shadowed wood. The witch-hunter, though weighted down by his sword and armor, was tireless. A sticky resin, the mixture of certain sacred herbs mixed with dogwood sap and the ashes of a vampire felled by sunlight, coated his face and robes and prevented him from moving through portals or using other transportation spells. He reflected on how much nicer the Christians had been before Constantine’s time as he hopped across the river on some rocks that jutted above the water. One of them wobbled under his boots, but he managed to make it to shore without incident. He ran upstream. He heard the witch-hunter fall into the river behind him, buying him time. He paused to catch his breath, knowing the hopelessness of his situation.
“It...can’t...end...like...this.” he gasped. “I don’t...even...have...an apprentice!” He sank to his knees, listening to the swearing witch-hunter sputtering at the bank of the river.
Tashi Myrdhynn forced himself to breath deeply, forced his pulse to slow. He pulled out his grimoire. “The Church won’t get this if I have any say in the matter. Better that their magical countermeasures be limited to those damn swords of theirs.” He began to mutter a spell. At the moment of his death, his essence would be transferred to the grimoire, from which he would work to keep his tome from the hands of the mage-haters, and ensure that his works were passed on to a successor. He stuffed the book into an oiled, waterproof satchel.
“Now I have you, heathen!” the witch-hunter said. Tashi Myrdhynn used his thunder spell. It didn’t harm his executioner, but the lightning splashing against the sword’s negation-field blinded him for a crucial moment, during which the Myrdhynn set the grimoire adrift. “Your arts come to naught!” the hunter said. “Know the vengeance of God against His enemies!” There was an instant’s pain as the sword cleaved those portions of his neck surrounding his spinal chord. When the chord itself was severed, he felt no more.
At least, from his body.
Cold seeped through the satchel surrounding his grimoire. It was dark, but such was to be expected. He was, after all, surrounded by oiled leather that shut out light as well as water. There was, thankfully, enough air inside to keep the satchel afloat.
He felt his vehicle bump against something, but other than that, there was only the endless bobbing, the sound of the water outside, and the cold. Then, there was a lurch as the satchel was lifted clear. A small boy opened it, surprised to find a book inside. There was no magical potential in him, much to Tashi Myrdhynn’s disappointment. He flexed his power, compelling the boy to take him to town. A half day’s journey later, the boy came to a bookseller—also devoid of magical talent. The spirit of the Myrdhynn moved the man to give the boy a good price for the book anyway, as recompense for keeping the boy from the fields.
This was going to take a while, but he had nothing but time.
“Your Holiness, I thought you’d want to know that Cardinal Wolfgang has been making inquiries in certain directions.”
“I thought so. It was his own ancestor who slew Tashi Myrdhynn. I assume, then, that his means have been questionable?”
“More than questionable, Your Holiness.”
“We must proceed cautiously. Overt sanctions will reveal a schism in the Church to the public, and that would present a problem.”
“Also, Your Holiness, the Myrdhynns are searching for Wizardsbane.”
“Perhaps it is best all around if they find it, before Wolfgang provokes them to open combat.”
“Master! Master!” The words reached his ears in stereo. Amelie and Sanna knelt on either side of him, with Chelsea sobbing at his feet.
“I’m okay, I’m okay.” he groaned. He saw Tashi Myrdhynn’s ghost floating above the book in his hand. The apparition smiled and floated up through the ceiling. “I thought he’d never leave.” Charlie sighed. He got up and wrapped his arms around the weeping Chelsea. “It’s okay, Chelse. I’m all right.”
“I’m so glad.” she said, wiping her eyes. Amelie handed her a tissue. Chelsea blew her nose. “Sorry. I was really worried.”
“I saw Tashi Myrdhynn’s death. He cast a spell so that his essence would be transferred to his grimoire at the moment he died, then set the book adrift on a river in a waterproof satchel.
“They had those back then?” Chelsea asked.
“Oiled leather, tarred at the seams.” Sanna said. “We had to make do without plastic, but we did make do.”
“I wish he’d thought to tell me why he brought Kamilah too, before he left.”
“He left?” Sanna asked.
“I just saw his ghost float up through the ceiling.” Charlie said. Chelsea cuddled in his lap, having been more scared than she liked to admit.
“Perhaps it will become clear on its own.” Sanna said. “You should wake her, Master.”
“She’s not awake yet?”
“She won’t wake on her own. The awakening also binds her to a certain master, so it is best if you do it.” Sanna looked at the unmoving form of Kamilah, her expression brimming with concern.
“Yeah, I guess.” Charlie said. Chelsea slid out of his lap, and Charlie crawled over to Kamilah. “Wake up, Kamilah.” he said. The girl opened her eyes, rubbing her head for a moment, before her eyes looked with Charlie’s.
“Master!” she said, and moved around until she could grovel.
“Don’t do that, Kamilah.” Charlie said, blushing.
“Who is ‘Kamilah,’ Master?” the girl asked.
“That’s your name.” Charlie said. When she seemed about to respond that slaves didn’t need names—since the spell seemed designed to make the victims think of themselves as property, as expendable as the average paper towel—Charlie rephrased himself: “That is the name to which you will answer. Understand, Kamilah?”
“Of course, Master.” Kamilah responded. “Your slave will answer to ‘Kamilah’ as you command, Master.”
“Another thing, I don’t like groveling, mumbling to the floor or referring to yourself in the third-person.” he said. “Amelie, would you demonstrate the proper way for my slaves to kneel?”
“Of course, Master.” Amelie said, walking to Kamilah’s side and sinking to her knees, head slightly bowed but looking up at Charlie’s eyes. Sanna assumed the same position on Kamilah’s left. Chelsea hesitated only a moment before deciding to join the others, kneeling behind Kamilah, a warm smile curling her lips pleasantly. Kamilah mimicked the position eagerly.
“And before you say it, your health, well-being and,” he caressed Kamilah’s firm, young breasts, “pleasure are not irrelevant. Not to me.” Kamilah moaned softly. He caressed Sanna’s body next, receiving a matching moan from her. Next came Chelsea.
“You don’t have to count yourself among my slaves if you don’t want to, Chelse.” he whispered so only she could hear.
“I want to. Master.” Chelsea said. Charlie slid his hand into her pants, under the waistband of her panties, and felt her very wet slit.
“Okay.” he said. He moved to Amelie and pleased her body as he had Chelsea’s. She was panting with need when Charlie moved back to the front of the group. “Amelie, show Kamilah to the master bedroom and keep her occupied until I get there.”
“Yes, Master.” Amelie responded, and led Kamilah up the stairs.
“Sanna, Chelsea has asked to join my harem. I need you to teach me the spell that bound you and Amelie to me.”
“As you wish, Master.” Sanna replied. Opening Tashi Myrdhynn’s grimoire to the requisite page, she realized the problem. Rather than go into a lengthy explanation of the strange characters, she settled for writing the spell phonetically on a piece of notebook paper, using letters Charlie could understand, pointing out some of the stranger words and helping him with them. It was like teaching an American his lines in a Russian opera. Luckily, Charlie had some experience in that area, and a fairly good memory when he was sober. Soon he had both the spell and the counterspell down. “Not exactly what my teacher would have chosen for my first spell, you understand, Master.” she said. “But I’d say you’ve done well—and not only because I am your slave.”
“Thanks, Sanna.” Charlie said. He looked at Chelsea, who was naked and masturbating on the floor. Charlie politely waited for her to finish before trying out the spell for the first time himself. Chelsea didn’t scream, which had been his second fear—the first being that she would disappear entirely or change into something. He caressed her reposed face and kissed her unresponsive lips. Her eyes glowed the same soft, blue glow he’d seen twice before. He almost whispered the commands in her ear as he recited the same speech he’d given Amelie. At last, it was time to see if the counterspell worked too. Despite the raging boner he was sporting, he managed without any mispronounciations, and Chelsea’s mind returned to normal function, except for the alterations he’d worked upon her. If she hadn’t already been on her knees, she would have knelt to show her submission.
“Master, thank you!” she cooed. She crawled to him, unzipping his fly and taking his cock in her mouth. She’d given him head before, but somehow it was more intense since she was now totally devoted to him. He closed his eyes as his balls launched their liquid artillery into her willing mouth. He half-sat on a table to catch his breath, and had Sanna work a bit of magic to get him ready for round two.
“Bend over the arm of the couch, Chelsea.” he commanded. She obeyed him eagerly, her bountiful boobs bouncing with her enthusiasm. He slid his pecker in, enjoying the moans of pleasure she emitted as he filled her. She fucked back against his thrusts, working her insides in an effort to increase his pleasure. It worked. Charlie fired off almost as quickly as he had the last time. Chelsea’s screams of passion echoed off the walls of the manor.
“I love you, Master.” Chelsea cooed as Charlie slid out of her.
“Your turn, Sanna.” he said, beckoning the (former?) Iset Myrdhynn to the easy chair. Her body was unveiled before him in a slow reveal that was almost a strip tease. She hadn’t enhanced her assets as Amelie had, but she had smoothed away her liabilities over the course of her life. The results were not unappealing. He seated her at the front of the chair and leaned her back, gently opening her treasure chest to his gaze. She was trimmed, not shaven. She cried out in passion as he penetrated her.
“So long...been so long...so good...uhh!” She came twice before he came inside her. She licked him clean and restored his erection. There was one more to be claimed. Charlie led the recently-screwed women upstairs, where they predictably found Amelie and Kamilah engaged in Sapphic carnality of the best kind.
“Kamilah, it’s time.” Charlie said. Seeing his erection, she seemed nervous. Sanna and Amelie guided her, however, positioning her appealingly. Charlie inserted himself, easily piercing her hymen. If he’d known she was a virgin, he would have been gentler. “Easy, Kamilah, easy.” he said softly until she was recovered enough from the initial pain for him to continue. Now that the hard part was over with, she allowed herself to enjoy the act of serving him with her body—or such was the impression he got from her behavior. Her face screwed up a bit as she came. Perhaps it was her first orgasm ever, or perhaps only the first since she’d become his amnesiac sex-slave. He didn’t know, and she certainly couldn’t tell him. She cuddled affectionately with him in the end, however, and seemed happy in the afterglow. That would have to do.
Amelie kissed Charlie then, adding her own arts to the mix. The class was Pleasing Master 101, and Amelie had done her homework. The students watched raptly as the star pupil earned her A (and her “O”). At last, they nodded off in a tired tangle of limbs. The others arranged themselves around the couple and joined in the post-coital nap.
Hilda stepped out of her shoes and slipped quietly up the stairs out of consideration for her landlady, who went to bed at sunset, no matter the official time. Such a strange world in which to find one’s self, but she was slowly getting used to it.
“Don’t lose patience, Brother Hans, she’ll be here.” said a voice at the top as she neared the higher landing.
“You know I hate waiting, Brother Reinhart.” said a second.
“Patience is a virtue, mein freund.“ said Brother Reinhart.
“But not one of mine.” responded Brother Hans.
“Cultivate it, Hans.” Reinhart said in a commanding tone. “The little bird will come home to roost eventually. Then we will take her to the Cardinal, and she will tell him how to find the witch and her newfound master. Then, she will be ours to do with as we please.” Hans laughed in such a sinful, lascivious way that Hilda had no doubt what their pleasure would be. Or at least Hans’. Quietly, she crept back down the stairs, stepped into her shoes and slipped out the front door. The last thing she heard before it closed was a dire warning about what would happen if they botched it. She flagged down a taxi, taking it as a good omen that it arrived as quickly as it did.
“Airport!” she said more tersely than she intended. A tall, slim fellow and a short, stout one, both with blond hair, burst through the door as the taxi took off. Now she was glad she hadn’t put her money in the bank. It was all still in her purse, minus what she’d spent on airfare, rent, food and a few changes of clothes. She’d known her money would have to last until she received her first paycheck from her new job, so she’d been frugal.
She didn’t have enough for a commercial airliner, but a small charter plane should get her back to Spain—hopefully before Reinhart and Hans caught up with her. She felt terrified, but also betrayed. Her Confessions were supposed to be between her and God. Would one of the priests who had shriven her recently betray the sanctity of the Confessional?
That was the only way she could think of for these two, ostensibly under the employ of the Church, to have tracked her down. She had to warn Charlie. If Amelie was spared too, well, that was just part of the price of saving the life of someone she...cared for.