Three siblings and their parents find themselves lodging in a spooky mansion with a mysterious wizard who preys on their carnal desires.
The Curse of Magic Mansion
by BD Long
It was a dark and stormy night….
But that’s skipping ahead. The day had actually been quite pleasant. The Wilder family’s station wagon was parked on the side of the road, and Howard took a knee by the passenger-side wheel. “Yep,” he said. “Definitely a flat.”
“Howard, we’re in the middle of nowhere,” his wife Donna said, leaning her head out the window.
“Forget that,” said Jane, their younger daughter, who leaned against the hood of the car on the driver’s side. “If we were in the middle, at least we’d have some idea where we are.” Typical teenage sass. Howard told himself that he’d become jaded to it, but it still made his nose itch.
“Oh, now, don’t you worry about a thing,” he said. “In fact, I brought along a full-size spare. You never know, on trips like this. Hon, why don’t you take the kids and go set up the picnic here while I get this fixed. Should only be a moment.”
“A picnic? Here?” Jane asked.
“Sure!” Howard said. “Why not? I mean look at the view!” He stood and gestured widely to the expanse of lush forest stretching to the horizon.
Donna gazed out into the forest and noticed a sapphire blue glimmer. “And maybe we can find a way down to that lake and go swimming later.”
Jane looked out on the same expanse. She knew her parents were former ‘flower children,’ whatever that meant, but she had serious concerns that they might still be a bit off. When she looked out over the landscape, all she saw was a mass of snarled trees, burned like matchsticks. The lake her mother mentioned, opaque and greenish-brown, had more in common with a pustulant boil than a pristine swimming hole. “Yeah,” she said. “It’s… uh… super.” She walked off to join her siblings, who had gathered at the edge of what turned out to be a witheringly steep incline. She had never been good with heights, and looking down made her stomach turn.
“Are we stopping?” asked her brother, Dan. The siblings were a year apart in age, and as the middle child, Dan had developed a weird zen-like personality that shielded him from the kind of breathtaking weirdness involved in having two sisters. His calm demeanor was reflected in his loose-fitting, natural colored clothes. His hair wasn’t overly long, and was actually the kind of bed-head look that Jane liked on boys, but it was less a style and more a staunch refusal to comb it with anything but his fingers.
“Uh huh,” Jane said.
“Here?” Tina, her older sister asked. Tina was, for a lack of a better description, mousy. To Jane, the rebel sibling, her older sister was the quintessential bookworm. Thin and with long legs and arms, she could be cast as a librarian in a sitcom, that is if she could overcome her crushing social anxiety. She had nice, slightly wavy brown hair, but she never did anything interesting with it. Granted, Jane’s idea of interesting involved dying her own hair candy-apple red, which drove their mother mad.
To the older girl, Jane had always seemed so at ease in her own body. She never was particularly athletic in any organized sense, but Tina regularly glimpsed her climbing a tree or fence, usually on the way to cause trouble somewhere. While Tina hid her thin figure under baggy sweaters and jeans or long, flowing skirts, Jane wore dangerously short cut-offs and a t-shirt that, while not skin tight, made the most of her young curves. Too many times for comfort, Tina had caught herself tracing the younger girl’s round edges with her eyes. There was something about the girl’s overt sexuality that gave the older sister a funny feeling in her belly, but she dismissed it as jealousy. “We’re going to eat here?” Tina asked.
“So you see it, too?” Jane said.
“It’s a wasteland,” Dan said.
“Like out of a book,” Tina said.
“I know,” Jane said. “Dad seemed to think it looks like paradise.”
“Well,” Dan said, “just try not to bring it up, ok?”
“Please?” Tina said. “We’re on vacation. Can we not fight? I just want everyone to be happy.”
“Fine,” Jane said. “But as soon as we get home, I’m asking them what they’re on.”
“Who’s on what?” Donna said, walking up behind them with the picnic basket.
“Uh…” Tina said, trying to cover for her sister.
“What road we’re on,” Jane said seamlessly.
“Oh,” Donna said. “The same one we’ve been on for the last few hours, I suppose. Why?”
“No reason,” Jane said. “Just wondering where we actually are.”
“I’m sure your father has it all on the map.”
“Nice view, huh?” asked Dan.
“Sure is!” their mother said. Dan gave his sisters a knowing look, but then shrugged it off. As Howard replaced the car tire, the rest of the Wilder family spread out the blanket and drew their picnic out of the wicker basket Donna had brought. Jane began to dig in, but her mother stopped her. “Wait for your father, Jane.”
For a second, mother and daughter locked eyes, and Tina felt her heart begin to race, but then Jane said, “Fine,” and leaned back on her elbows and looked out into the smoking wasteland. Tina felt a wave of relief hit her. As much as he hated the friction between her little sister and their parents, she secretly admired the girl and her blazing, demonically red hair. Jane may have been a constant source of bad noise in their house, but Tina wished that she herself had the willpower to break out of her shell.
Dan, on the other hand, thought the whole dynamic was humorous, and took pleasure every day in witnessing the fallout from whatever misadventure Jane had embarked on. He never wasted a moment worrying about his little sister, though. Whatever happened, however many times her plans crashed and burned, he had the sense that she would somehow stagger away from the wreckage a little singed, but none the worse for wear. What did worry him at this very moment was his parents inability to recognize the hell pit that sprawled below them—or, even more discouragingly, the distinct possibility that it was he and his sisters who were unable to recognize what they saw.
When Howard finally joined his family, he found them sitting silently, all looking out over the picture perfect landscape. He knew Jane was a city girl through and through, and figured her sassiness was just her way of expressing her displeasure with having to brave the outdoors for a week. Dan and Tina seemed unhappy, too, which bothered him. Typically, Tina would be off cataloging flora and fauna with a pencil and notebook, and Dan would be out scouting with the bowie knife Howard’s grandfather had given him when he’d entered the Scouts. Perhaps scouting wasn’t the best term for his son’s hikes. A year ago, the boy’s personality had shifted. Initially, Howard had attributed this to the death of Howard’s father, the man who had been Dan’s mentor, but there was something about the change that didn’t fit—something Howard couldn’t put a finger on. On his solitary walks, Dan would wander the wilderness with the knife unsheathed, but calm, like some sort of warrior monk. Although it was certainly odd, at least the interest was still there. But not today. None of the kids seemed interested at all in the natural beauty spread out before them. Thankfully, the longer he looked out onto the expanse, the less he seemed to mind.
Jane finally dug into the pile of sandwiches, calming her grumbling stomach. Nothing, however, could calm her mind. The feeling was an itch she couldn’t scratch, and she saw the same expression of anxiety and dread on the faces of her siblings. And the longer she sat looking out into the festering wasteland, the more she wanted to leave and never, ever come back. To this effect, she ate as much as she could, as quickly as she could, noticing that Dan and Tina were doing the same.
In no time, it seemed that they had eaten everything, and despite their parents’ protestations, packed up the picnic and returned to the car. “Well, that was a quick meal!” Howard said. “Everybody ready to hit the road?”
“Absolutely!” Tina said before Jane could say anything cutting. But it soon dawned on her that she couldn’t remember why they were on the road in the first place. As the car pulled off the shoulder and began again down the winding road through increasingly blackened trees, Tina leaned over to her brother and sister, and whispered, “Where are we going again?”
“You can’t remember, either?” Dan asked. Tina shook her head.
Jane also made a gesture of agreement. “It’s getting worse, too, the farther we go,” she said. Her siblings nodded. It was certainly getting harder to concentrate on anything but the feeling of unease in the pit of her stomach.
“We need to turn back.” Tina leaned forward to address their parents.
“Oh, dear,” Donna said. “Did you leave something at the last stop?”
“No. I mean we need to go home.”
“Why’s that, sweetie?” Howard asked, not taking his eyes off the road.
“I…” Tina stopped. “I… uh….” Her siblings looked at her with concern. “I can’t remember.”
“Oh,” their father chuckled. “Well, it’s probably nothing. If it was important, I’m certain you’d remember.”
Tina sat back in her seat, defeated. “What the hell’s wrong with you?” Jane said.
“I don’t know,” Tina said. “I tried to… say, you know… but I couldn’t—can’t.”
Jane punched her in the arm. “Get a grip!” she whispered. “All you had to say was that you… did… something.” She put a hand to her lips. “Oh, my god. I can’t either. I can think about… you know…” she gritted her teeth “… about turning around… away from this place.” She panted and gasped for breath. It had taken all her effort to force the words out.
“Something’s trying to stop you from saying anything,” Dan said at normal volume.
“Shh!” Tina said.
“What, are you worried that they’ll think you’re crazy?” her brother said. Tina nodded. “I don’t think you have to worry about that for the moment.” He clicked his fingers next to their mother’s ear. Nothing. Howard and Donna stared forward, completely oblivious.
“Oh, god,” Tina squeaked. “What’s going on? What is this?”
“Calm down,” Jane snapped. “You’re not helping.”
“What she means,” Dan said, “is that there’s clearly nothing any of us can do right now. Whatever this is, it’s taking us farther into the forest. All we can do is remain calm and keep control of our minds.”
“Just sit here and do nothing?” Jane said. “Fuck that.”
“That’s exactly what I mean,” her brother said calmly. “Did you notice how peaceful they seemed to think all this was.” He nodded toward the mesmerized adults in the front seats. “They eased right into it, let it take over.”
“The same might apply to us,” Tina said. “I felt afraid the moment I saw the wasteland. We give into that, and it gets us the same way.”
“Well, I’m not afraid,” Jane said.
“Maybe not,” her brother said. “But whatever it is that’s been gnawing at you, whatever seems easy right now, is what you need to not do.”
Jane opened her mouth to retort, but then shut it again. He was right. She was afraid, but doubted she was afraid in the same way her brother and sister were. She needed to take her own advice and get a grip. “Ok, so what now?”
“I guess we could keep a look out for anything that might give us clues about where we are or where we’re going,” Tina said, digging out her notebook.
“You’re gonna make a field journal?” Jane asked.
“Sure,” her sister said. “Why not? You see anything of note, let me know, and I’ll write it down. When we get wherever we’re going, we’re going to need to know as much about this place as possible. If we forget anything…”
“We’ll have a guidebook or even a map,” Dan said. “Good thinking.”
As they bumped down the road, Dan kept track of their direction and speed, scribbling a crude little map on the inside cover of the notebook, while Tina took notes. Every so often, the younger siblings would point out landmarks, and Tina would jot them down. Soon, the matchstick-like trees gave way to gnarled, more sinister flora, equally as blackened, but more expansive to the point out where the trees seemed to be reaching out for them with sharp, bony fingers. Jane pointed out the window at what they could only describe as a giant spider. It had something large cocooned in ropy spider silk, but the car zipped past before they could get a proper look. “Giant spiders?” Tina pulled her hands out of the sleeves of her oversize sweater and rubbed her face. “What’d we get sucked into someone’s D&D?” Dan snickered, glad for the brief moment of levity.
“Eh?” Jane said.
“It’s a game,” Tina said. “You know: swords and sorcery, might and magic?”
“Oh. How do people usually do giant spiders?” The car went silent again. “That bad, huh?”
“Not really, but usually your characters are magical or are, you know, armed,” Dan said, suddenly wishing he hadn’t left his knife in his luggage.
“So I should learn some magic,” Jane said dryly.
Tina held up a finger. “Well, actually, giant spiders are resistant to magic, so—”
Jane interrupted with a sigh. “Just forget I asked, ok?”
Gradually, the car began to bump as the paved road gave way to a dirt and gravel drive. Up ahead, the siblings saw an end to the menacing archway of trees. Tina took in a deep breath to calm her nerves. When the car cleared the trees, their spirits sank. A house stood up ahead, but as they drew closer they realized it was less a house than a mansion, looming large and dark, leafless brambles scaling its eerily smooth stone walls as if the it were almost a natural feature of the woods.
“Oh, come on!” Jane complained as her father pulled the car to a stop in front. “That’s obviously a haunted castle!”
“Right?” Dan said, sketching the main features as well and quickly as he could.
“This is wrong,” Tina said. “Wrong, wrong, wrong.”
“Oh, now kids,” their father spoke for the first time in what seemed like hours. “I know this hasn’t been ideal, but just look at this place!” He spread his arms out as if the grand beauty of the place was some grand chateau.
“Yeah, Tina,” Jane smirked, slipping on a sweatshirt to battle the chill coming from the creepy forest. “Just look at it.” Tina just shook her head.
“Uh, someone’s coming out,” Dan said, noticing the great, iron doors creak open.
“Oh, good!” Donna said. “It must be the valet.”
To the siblings’ surprise, the man who strode out to greet them was no caped dracula or monosyllabic monster butler, but a man of indeterminate age with a sharply angular, clean-cut face and dressed in an immaculate, black three-piece suit. “Greetings!” he said in a voice that sounded of honey, brandy, and a warm hearth, with a significant upper-crust cadence. But what else was to be expected from someone living in such an estate? Jane saw her brother take a small step back.
“How do you do?” their father greeted the man, shaking his hand.
“Well. Thank you,” the man said. “And you, madame?”
“Very well, thank you for asking,” Donna said, and the man took her hand and placed a gentlemanly kiss on her fingers.
“Charmed,” the man said. Howard turned to unlock the trunk of the car, but the man protested. “Oh, sir. You needn’t bother. I will have the servants take the car around to garage and bring your luggage to your rooms.” He raised his forearm effetely and snapped his fingers. Instantly, a man in a tuxedo materialized from within the house.
As he approached, Tina noticed that this second man, bald and slim, wore a mask, plain and white, with just a hint of gloss. “That’s certainly odd,” she said, futilely hoping that her parents would notice and snap out of whatever trance they seemed to be in.
“Ah, indeed,” the man said. “An ancient tradition, actually, from the old country.”
“What country is that, exactly?” Jane asked.
“I apologize,” Donna said to the man. “Kids today….”
“Oh!” the man dismissed the apology with a wave of his long, slender fingers. “No need to apologize, my dear. Natural curiosity and skepticism is a mark of the young. Indeed, it may be what keeps the human race going.”
Howard gave his daughters a look that told them to be silent. “You’re too kind, mister…”
“Magister d’X,” the man said, pronouncing his name ‘deex.’ “Master of Chateau d’X, at your service.”
“My!” Donna said, holding a hand to her heart. “I didn’t expect such a regal reception.”
“Nonsense,” the man said. “We receive guests rarely, and it is only proper to make sure they feel welcome.”
The servant approached, performed a half bow, and without a word held out a white-gloved hand. Howard placed the car keys in the man’s palm. Without a moment’s delay, the servant climbed behind the wheel of the car and drove away, circling behind the mansion. Monsieur D'X turned gracefully toward the chateau, and Howard and Donna followed. The siblings paused a moment and then Tina, looking over her shoulder and remembering the giant spiders, made the first step. Dan shoved his hands in his pockets and went next. Jane tucked her candy-apple red hair behind her ear and let her eyes drift upward, taking in the castle. She felt eyes on her and searched the windows, but found no one watching. Turning on her heel, she faced the forest and caught only the gnarled trees looming darkly. Walking backward toward the house, she scanned the tree line, but still found nothing. Turning again, she jogged to catch up with her brother.
The inside of the castle was not what Jane had expected. Oak, mahogany and ebony, smooth and polished to an almost metallic sheen, greeted them at every turn—and there were a lot of them. By the time they had passed through the foyer, the main atrium, and into the guest wing, Dan had completely lost track of their path. It certainly wasn’t the most conventional layout. He tried reversing their progress in his head, but couldn’t seem to draw a mental map. He could go for walks in miles of unexplored forest without a map and find his way back to camp, but he doubted he could find the front door to this house. He knew something was still affecting his memory, but even this worried him. He looked forward and noticed that his sister was not looking for the exit, but at the servants, all identical to the first, and who seemed present in every room, waiting upon the whim of their master.
Tina was indeed curious about these masked figures. Some appeared to be awaiting instructions, and others were going about typical kitchen and cleaning duties. Yet there were a few who simply stood like statues, and almost always in front of doors. Her better judgment told her not to ask what lay beyond, so she filed the questions away for later.
Jane found something off-putting about the atmosphere inside the house. At first, there was a general disappointment that the mansion wasn’t nearly as spooky or scary as she’d expected it to be. The servants were weird and the inability to remember the way back to the front door was disconcerting, but given everything else about the place and its surroundings, none of that was surprising. What drew her attention was the lighting. Chandeliers and wall fixtures glowed with electric consistency, but nowhere could she find evidence of wiring or switches. There were no power lines outside, so the question became, what lit the castle?
Eventually, the magister led them to a hallway with one solid wooden door on either side and one at the end. “We each get our own room?” Jane asked, momentarily forgetting that she was in a spooky castle.
“It would simply not do to crowd our guests. However,” he added, “there are only three rooms available. You and your sister can share a room, I trust?” Jane shrugged. “Then, never let it be said that the Master of Chateau d’X was anything less than generous.” He opened the first door. Inside, a hearth, already lit, cast a golden glow onto the two giant suits of armor that flanked the door. The massive bed was seemingly made of onyx, but there was something odd about it, as none of the light from the hearth seemed to reflect off of its polished surfaces. A large blue carpet with gold embroidery and tassels lay across the floor. The bed sat betwixt bookshelves that reached all the way to the ceiling, to the edge of each wall, and to the edge of the hearth. Ladders on wheels ran on tracks, allowing easy access to every book in the room. Tina let out a squeaking breath and stepped in. Dan grabbed the sleeve of her sweater, and when she turned he gave her a concerned eye. “Quite right, young master,” d’X said, having observed the silent exchange. “Why don’t we view our other accommodations?” A servant appeared as if out of the ether, and d'X instructed the masked figure, “Please bring the young lady’s belongings to this room. Fresh candles, as well. I suspect she prefers to while away her late nights immersed in books, given her excitement.” The servant bowed and departed.
Tina blushed and said softly, “Thank you.”
“Think nothing of it,” d'X said. “I believe you will find this library adequately stocked.”
“This library?” Tina said. “You have more than one?.”
D’X simply smiled a pencil thin smile and opened the next door. Dan looked in, and shrugged. A small, simple bed lay in the corner, a squarish chest at its foot. Aside from a bedside table and a dresser with a mirror, the room was devoid of furniture, its only other distinguishing characteristic being a small stone hearth on the wall opposite the door, a small stack of logs next to it. “Sure. Why not?” he said, studying d’X, who simply clicked his fingers and gestured to a servant.
“Absolutely,” said their host, beckoning her forth. “Please, mademoiselle.” She stepped up to the room. Boxy furniture adorned the corners, and a perfectly circular rug sat in the middle, its edges perfectly tangent to the walls. At the far end of the circle sat a smart, economical bed. This was definitely her parents’ style. Her father placed a hand on her shoulder and peered around and in. Stepping in, he looked around and nodded, running his fingertips across the top of a dresser.
“Impressive that you seem to have rooms perfectly suited to each of us,” Dan said. “I mean, what’re the odds?”
The magister simply laughed. “Indeed! They are quite slim. These are my elemental rooms. The four classical elements. Air: simple, light, and yet not entirely symmetrical. Always in motion,” he said gesturing to the room their parents had chosen. “Water and fire,” he motioned across the hall. “Knowledge: dynamic, fluid, suits whatever container it fills, but not without weight. Passion: fire, action, heat, life, entropy.” He motioned again to Dan’s room. “Earth: solid, slow to change, unforgiving, but not malicious. The rocks and the trees, but the wolves, bears and spiders, too.”
“Mister d'X,” she said, stepping into the room and turning, the suits of armor making her look insignificant. The magister turned back toward her, apparently not expecting a reprise. “Entropy?”
“A force to which most of us are subject,” he said, flicking his wrist wistfully as a servant slid past, depositing her and her sister’s belongings at the foot of the onyx bed. And then d'X turned to her family. “Please make yourselves at home. Dinner will be announced, but drinks and conversation will commence one hour from now. That is,” he interrupted himself, bowing slightly to their parents, “if our ways are permissible.”
Howard and Donna eyed each other, and Donna covered her mouth to disguise an embarrassed blush. “Well,” their mother said. “I… I suppose it would be rude to decline such gracious hospitality. But,” she said to Dan, Tina and Jane, “tomorrow is a busy day, and I’m not taking any guff from anyone who all of a sudden doesn’t feel well. Get my drift?” Her eyebrows raised, and Dan rolled his eyes.
Tina’s face scrunched into curiosity. “Wait, so we’re allowed to drink?”
“One glass of wine,” their father said, “with dinner.” Tina’s face brightened. Howard and Donna turned toward their own room, not even giving Jane a second look. D'X instead bowed silently and turned, consulting silently with a servant as they disappeared around the corner.
When they were alone, a circle of violet fire formed around each of the siblings. “What the—” Jane started, but just then, each of them lit up in a starburst of violet sparks. The rings of flames were gone.
“Oh my god,” Tina said. “Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god. This isn’t happening.”
“What isn’t?” Dan said.
“Yeah,” Jane added. “What the hell, Tina?”
Tina paled, and then stammered, “Uh … I think … ok this is going to sound crazy, but I think we just leveled up.”
“We did what?” Jane said.
“Leveled up,” her brother repeated. “Like in role-role playing games.”
“Like sexy nurse?” Jane wrinkled her nose.
“No!” Tina said. “What? Where do you learn that kind of stuff?”
“Like D&D,” Dan said.
“Like giant spiders?” Jane said, her lower eyelid twitching.
“The same,” Dan said.
“Hold on,” Jane said, shaking her head. “That’s bullshit. That’d mean we’re not real. Right, guys? I’m real. You guys are real. We’re not in someone’s weird game.” No answer. “Guys?”
“No,” Tina said. “No, we’re real. You’re right. Remember: magic. I think I … oh, god, I think this is my fault. I was thinking about the game Leroy hosted last weekend. I mean, when we were coming down here, it was my way of keeping my mind. D’X must have read me.”
Jane laughed, turned on her heel, and went into their room. Dan stayed, however. “I believe you,” he said. “At least, I believe you’re certain. At this point, I’m ready to admit that magic is real. Let’s just take it step by step, nice and easy, ok?”
“Ok,” Tina said.
“I left my knife in my bag, so if they took that, no biggie,” he said. “But I have my tools on me.” His tools, Tina knew, were code for his lock picking set. He’d ordered it online, ruined the lock to the shed, much to their father’s chagrin, but had quickly become an expert. Now nothing in the house was a secret. She only had to pray that he had the respect not to pick the lock to her diary.
“Be careful,” she said. “Remember: magic.”
He gave her a wink and turned. She, too, retreated to her room and shut the door.
Finding her self alone with her sister, Tina shut the door to their chambers and joined her sister by the fire. In Dan’s room, wood had been stacked by the hearth, but here nothing seemed to fuel the fire except itself. Still, it was warm, and the forest gave off an unusual chill.
Jane kicked off her shoes and turned toward the bed, which, she noticed for the first time, was not just onyx-black, but seemed to suck the light from the room. The ornate headboard had a figure or scene chiseled into it, but the material reflected no light, so she couldn’t make out the details. She reached out and felt it was warm on contact, but radiated no heat. More puzzling still was the electrical buzzing she felt against and through her skin. Perplexed, she pulled back and regarded her hands. They remained the same as they had always been.
But the electric feeling remained, slowly at first, but increasing in intensity—an itch under the skin, under the muscle, under the bone. But, she asked herself, there’s nothing under the bone, is there? She began to feel heat. “Oh, right,” she said thought to herself, trying to calm her nerves. The hearth glowed like a pulsing heart. “Fire.” She made a note to ask d'X how to turn the heat down in her room. In the meantime, she shed her sweatshirt and leaned back on the bed for a second. Eventually, the itch returned, as did the heat, but this time, it was deeper, more urgent. She felt a slight tingle between her legs, and drew a quick breath. Sex. Of course. Fire, passion, life, sex. Her eyes darted to her sister, but to Jane’s relief the older girl was otherwise occupied. With a frustrated sigh, she went back to the fire. Even if it was too warm in the room, she doubted the fire would send her into heat.
Hardly a heartbeat had passed from the time the door closed behind Tina to her assault on the bookcases. Where to start was the only question, so she chose a ladder at random, climbed to the top and began perusing the library. The titles on the leather spines were none she had ever heard of, and many appeared to be in languages she didn’t understand—and a few she didn’t know even existed. Eventually, she came to one with a title she could understand. “On the Essence of Soul Apparatuses,” she read aloud, drawing an odd look from her sister. Well, no one had accused the place or its owner of being normal. No author was listed, so she gently pulled the book from its space on the shelf and regarded the cover: simple green leather with silver lettering, well worn by time, but in remarkably good shape nonetheless. Still, there was no author name, so she opened to the first page. The instant the cover parted from the paper, an icy chill filled her bones. She shivered, but continued searching for an author, publication date, or any piece of information that might give her a clue as to the origin of the tome. Before long, the cold became unbearable, and Tina climbed down from the ladder and trotted over to sit by the fire.
“Ahhh…” Tina said, leaning back on the carpet. “Much better.”
“Holy crap!” Jane said, hugging herself. “What the hell is that thing?”
“Huh? Oh, a book from the shelf. It started to get chilly in here, so I thought…”
“It’s the book!” Jane said, and then stopped. “Have you forgotten already?”
“Haunted castle, giant spiders, magical forgetfulness? That chill, it’s the book!”
“Oh!” Tina clapped the book closed. “Oh, my!” And then, “So this guy is a wizard?”
“Let’s go ask him,” Jane said. “We’ll go right up and say, ‘Monsieur Whatsyername, are you planning on turning us into toads or whatnot?’ And then we’ll know, right? Because anyone who’s planning on turning you into a toad—I mean, someone like that wouldn’t lie to you.”
“Listen,” Tina said, ignoring her sister’s manic ranting. “Maybe Monsieur d'X is going to do something evil, or maybe he’s not. If he is, don’t let him know that you know. And if he isn’t, then just relax and enjoy the creepy ambience. I just wanted to know if you’re still, you know, not like our parents.”
Tina saw her sister pause, and as if a veil had lifted, the girl stopped fidgeting, bit her lip and stood. Jane said, “Sorry. It itches. I think I just need to get some air.”
“Wait. What—” but Jane was gone out the door. ‘It itches’? Tina pondered it for a second and then shook her head. Sometimes she just couldn’t figure that girl out. Closing the book, she lay back on the carpet and closed her eyes. Did the room just get warmer? She barely noticed because, around her, the carpet seemed to give under her weight, sliding away until she had almost sunk in and away.
Abruptly, she sat up. Looking down at the coarse weave, she saw deep blue threads. “Water,” she said to herself and lay back again. She pinched the material between her fingers, and it slid smoothly in a way that appealed to her most primal pleasure centers. But then there was an odd feeling against her back, something wet. Reaching back, she discovered that her sweater was soaked through. She squeezed and felt liquid run between her fingers, and heard drops hit the floor. Yet, when she brought her hand before her eyes, it was dry. She turned. No water on the floor or carpet.
She lay back again, reminding herself: magic. As ludicrous as it sounded, she could come up with no scientific explanation, so she let her mind explain the magic in its own terms. Water: fluid, life-giving, graceful, powerful. Grace, she thought, and images of a winding river filled her mind. The soft curves reminded her of her sister’s smooth skin, rounding hips, joining with other curves, and tucking away into… places. Tina shook the thought from her mind, but the river remained, and now she watched schools of fish swimming upstream. They were going to breed, the macro image of sperm. Her mind drew back and the river turned to semen, an arc of cum. She may have been a terminal bookworm, but that also meant she’d read about sex—and not just about the biological act. She’d read as much erotica as anything else, some of which had made her deeply uncomfortable, but which had made her come nonetheless. In her mind, she traced the arc of cum to its source, a beautiful thick cock. But when she traced it further, she saw her brother grinning back at her. She sat up, realizing that she had become wet in a very real way. A worried squeaking noise came from deep within her body.
Dan’s quarters were quiet for a while. The fire in the hearth was well made, and would require little attention for the time being. He was surprised that his belongings appeared to be untouched. ‘Appeared,’ of course, was the operative word. Little signs here and there, like a trace of warmth on the handle of his knife, showed that his belongings had been searched—for what he could not guess. A simple carpet made of coiled hemp lay in front of the hearth, and he sat crosslegged in its center and stared into the fire. A door slammed out in the hallway, and he heard the patter of bare feet heading out toward the main section of the chateau. Dan closed his eyes and tried to clear the intruding influence from his head. Whatever it was, he knew it was coming from this place. He knew his sisters knew, too, but it was easy to lose track.
He tried to stand, but nothing happened. He put his hands down, and found that once they touched the floor, they were rooted to it. He closed his eyes. Not real, he told himself. Not real. All in his head. He tried to move again, but again: nothing. He looked down and to his horror saw that his hands hand become part of the hemp carpet, his fingers now dried and woven strands of fiber. He reflexively pulled back, but felt the fibers stretch to their limits. A sick panic flooded his belly, but he pushed it back. Rooted. Earth. What had the man said? Solid, rocks, bears, spiders. Unforgiving, but not malicious. Beastly. Animalistic.
He allowed himself to venture into the untamed wilds of his subconscious. The further he went, the faster he went, until whatever legs carried him had grown hair and claws. What was that smell? Where was he going? Bursting into a clearing he caught sight of cloaked figures. They wore the white gloves of the mansion’s servants. The smell, it was them. The beast he had become took chase, and the figures began to run. He was savage, an animal, and he closed the gap swiftly. With a leap, he tackled both. One scrambled to flee, but he caught its cloak and brought it down again. As it fell, the figure rotated, landing on its back, its hood falling from its face. Jane! Why?! But the beast cared not. The smell had been coming from between the girl’s legs. Pointed teeth tore away the girl’s pants as she screamed.
Dan woke suddenly from his waking nightmare when Tina practically kicked down his door. He jumped, and found that he was no longer one with the rug. For a second, they locked eyes, trying to figure out which of them was more freaked out. “It itches,” Tina said, her face taut. Dan felt it, too. Down below the bone, somewhere far beyond the physical, there was a feeling as if his very being were turning to wood and dirt and stone all at once. He took a deep breath and stood.
“I know,” he said. “But how does it feel for you?”
Tina regarded him quizzically for a moment. “But Jane…”
“Jane’s fine, I’m sure,” he said. “First things first.”
Tina looked into his grey eyes, constant and steady as always. “It’s like I have a little river running under my skin,” she said. As he opened his mouth to speak, she added, “And, yeah, I know. I know it’s not real, but there’s something else. It’s—”
“Stop,” Dan said.
“I know. This isn’t me. I sound like Jane, at least before she stormed out.”
“No, I mean just stop,” Dan said. “If you were going to say what I think you were, I really don’t want to hear it.”
Tina turned as red as her sister’s hair, and clapped her hands over her eyes. “Oh, god! You too?”
“Just try not to think about it,” he said, now wishing he hadn’t. His eyes went to his older sister, searching out for curves or valleys on which to settle. Never had he been so glad that Tina wore form-hiding clothing.
For a few minutes, they sat on the floor, not looking at each other. “Look, I—” Tina started.
“No, no,” Dan said. “It’s okay. I mean, it’s not okay-okay, but it’s no one’s fault. It’s this place.”
Tina nodded. “Dan, we have to be careful.” He nodded, and she added, “Especially with Jane.” Dan nodded again, but Tina saw his eyes shift. Whatever had happened in his vision, she got the feeling that Jane had been part of it. Subduing the urge to ask him about it, Tina stood. “Uh, well, maybe we should go make sure that she’s safe.”
“Definitely!” Dan said, snapping out of his funk. Maybe if he could keep Jane safe, it would cancel out the terror he felt. Tina offered him a hand, and he reached out, but then drew back. “I’ll, uh, get up myself. It’s okay.”
Tina withdrew her hand. “Oh. Right.”
Jane found the sitting room easily, though somehow she knew that she could have walked blindfolded in a straight line and ended up there just as readily. In front of the hearth, which seemed to burn without any conventional fuel, there were four leather chairs the color of dried blood. Two black divans ran against one wall, each flanked by book cases. Unlike the ones in their bed chambers, these books were clearly off limits, locked behind a metal grate that covered the whole of the shelves. A globe of a world she didn’t recognize stood next to a giant bear, either stuffed by an expert taxidermist or frozen in time—she couldn’t tell. Masked servants stood on either side of the door opposite the one she’d entered. And in spite of the foreboding decor, Jane found the room soothing, smelling softly as it did of chestnuts and roses.
“I am pleased to see that you are making yourself at home.” Jane nearly jumped out of her skin. Monsieur d’X had either entered silently or appeared out of thin air—Jane wasn’t prepared to rule out either. She eyed him, and saw that his gaze led down to her bare feet, which now shifted upon being observed. The man’s lips curled up into what Jane forced herself to interpret as a smile. “Please,” he said. “We are so formal around here, but merely by habit. It is refreshing to have a bit of change. I trust your accommodations are pleasing.”
“Uh, yeah,” Jane said. “They seem to be designed to be pleasing.” Whether d’X had picked up on her subtle accusation, she couldn’t tell, but his eyes did seem to glow a shade brighter for a moment.
“Would you care for some refreshment?” d’X asked.
“No thanks,” she said as politely as she could.
“I assure you,” the man said, “the water here is absolutely pure. And if you would care for something a bit stronger, well, that can be our little secret.”
Jane hesitated. She hated not being able to tell truths from lies with this man. “Let’s just go with water for now,” she said.
“Very good,” he said, and disappeared as silently as he had appeared. Jane found a chair close to the fire, and found it quite comfortable. Unbeknownst to her, ever since she arrived, she’d been very tense. In this large leather chair, she finally felt her muscles relax. After a minute, a masked servant appeared with a glass of water on a silver tray. He—she assumed it was a he—placed the glass on the small table next to the chair.
“Hey,” Jane said. “Can I ask you a question?” The masked figure stood there, unmoving. “Not allowed to speak to the guests, huh?” Still nothing. “Oh, well,” Jane said, shrugging. “Thanks, anyway.” The figure remained, towering over her. “You can go now, I guess.” With that, the servant, bowed slightly, turned and left.
When the servant had gone, Jane lifted the glass and sniffed the liquid. Smelled fine. Tentatively, she tasted it. Fine again. She may have been inexperienced in life, but she knew that in this place, what seemed to be normal probably wasn’t. Still, she was thirsty from the day’s events, and drank half the glass at once.
Anxiety nagged at her as she waited for something to happen, but nothing did. The absolute silence of the house made the time alone even more unnerving. The servants flanking the exit didn’t move. Jane fixed her eyes on them, trying to catch one of them shifting their weight, scratching an itch, or even breathing, but they seemed to require neither comfort nor air. After she had exhausted that activity, her thoughts went to the place. If dinner were being prepared, wouldn’t there be noises from a kitchen? Or smells? Again, nothing he could sense from this room betrayed the goings-on within the rooms beyond it. Anxiety turned to fear, and she found herself wanting her siblings with her. It felt so immature to want to run to them for safety, and she told herself to grow up. The longer the insanity-inducing silence went on, the more she began to feel that all her attitude was just to cover the fear and insecurity she felt all the time. She touched her hair and withdrew it as if stung. Why had she done this to herself? The blindingly, primary red had irked her mother, and it had made Jane feel good, but was that the whole of it? Her introspection began to spin out of control, and by the time Dan and Tina strolled through the door, she was nearly ready to tear her hair out.
Seeing them, she leapt up and ran to her brother, hugging him. For a moment, the warmth was soothing, but she noticed that he didn’t hug her back. Instead, he seemed to want to separate himself from her. “Hey,” she said. “Is something wrong?”
“Wrong?” Tina said, lying badly. “No way! Nothing’s wrong! Why would something be wrong?”
“It’s just this place, you know?” Dan said. Normally, he was a better liar, but he eyed both his sisters awkwardly, and seemed to keep his distance from both of them. But his eyes caught hers, and he sighed. “It’s the magic. Something happened, I think. Did you feel anything strange earlier?”
“I, uh, I don’t know. Strange how?” But she remembered the feeling of arousal that had flooded through her when she’d laid down on the bed. Sexual arousal was no stranger to her, though. Not too long ago, it was as if a switch had been flicked inside her brain, and a big neon sign buzzed to life reading, “SEX.” She often found herself thinking of nothing else. Boys, she knew, were often like this when they reached a certain age. She’d definitely noticed when Dan had changed. His room smelled different, and late at night, she could hear faint grunts coming from behind his door. Most girls she knew, her sister included, were, at least outwardly, able to balance thoughts of sex with everything else in their lives, and Jane’s inability to do so made her feel a little like a freak. Still, she’d never actually done anything about her urges, except, of course to masturbate furiously at every opportunity. She desperately wanted to talk to her brother about her feelings, since he would most likely be the one to understand, but one didn’t talk to their siblings about such things, did they?
“You said you were itchy earlier,” Tina said. “Do you remember hearing or seeing anything else?”
“No,” Jane said. “Wait. Did you guys get itchy, too?”
“Well, uh,” Tina stammered, pulling her hands into the sleeves of her baggy sweater.
“Can we talk about this later?” Dan said, relieved, for the moment, that he’d found another point of concern. “What is this?”
The girls turned to him and saw him holding Jane’s water glass. “Water,” Jane said.
“How can you be sure?” he said, sniffing at the glass.
“Taste it,” Jane said. “It’s water.”
“But what if it’s evil magical water?” Tina asked.
Dan and Jane laughed out loud, grateful for a moment of levity, even if it did come from a very real concern. “Evil magical water?” Dan said, still laughing.
Tina shook her head and grinned, realizing how strange those words sounded. “Guys,” she said as her siblings laughed, and as she began to laugh herself. “I’m serious.”
“Evil magical water!” Jane roared, arms raised and fingers wiggling as if she were putting a heavy duty hex on the glass Dan held.
“Oh, man,” Dan said, wiping a tear from his eye. “That was awesome. But seriously, if it is cursed, what are we supposed to do? We still need food and water. Tina, you’ve got the library next to your bed, maybe there’s something in one of them about reversing spells. If we’re still able after dinner, maybe we can do a bit of research.”
“Wow…” Jane marveled. “This is really happening isn’t it. All this magic stuff is for real.”
“Seems that way,” he said.
“We have to treat it like it is,” Tina said. “At least until there’s a better explanation.”
“There is,” Dan said. “This is all a very weird dream.”
“Whose dream?” Jane asked. Faced in return by awkward looks, she waved off the notion. “Yeah. Never mind.”
“Never mind what?” their father said from the doorway.
“Nothing,” Jane said. “We were just wondering what’s for dinner.”
“An excellent question,” d’X said from the opposite doorway, again seeming to have appeared from nothingness. “And I’m sure you are all famished, so if you will follow me, we shall sit.” With that, he turned and left through the door. The servants who had stood in silent attendance finally moved and followed their master.
The dining room was far more crowded than they had expected. The long oaken table, draped in deep crimson, could seat two dozen, and when the Wilder family sat, it did. The size of the mansion suggested that other guests might have been staying with the enigmatic magister, but Tina specifically remembered him saying that he did not entertain often. Did that mean that he had received a sudden influx of guests? she thought nervously. Or were these not guests?
Tina immediately noticed that she and her family stuck out. The magister sat at the head of the table, near the Wilders, but the rest of the diners were dressed in silk, velvet and lace, faces hidden behind ornate masks. A woman, dressed in completely in black, wore a thickly obscuring veil that seemed somehow to be adhered to her face, but had a hole that revealed burgundy lips. As disturbed as she was, she found herself rolling her eyes. This was right out of some bad teen vampire novel. It did, however, make her wonder about that odd little musing they’d joked about. Could this be a dream? But whose? Certainly not her brother’s. Jane didn’t strike her as a moody goth girl. She discounted their parents on account of their seeming lack of concern about the whole affair. That left Tina herself. Could it be her own dream? She’d certainly read enough to create a bad gothic horror world in her head, but she’d never particularly enjoyed those kinds of books—she read them primarily to understand them. It could, then, be a collective nightmare, but again that led her back to how something like that might occur without magic or technology so advanced it might as well be magic. Around and around she went, until her brother caught her attention.
Dan’s eyes shifted to the rest of the room. As the guests ate, there was conversation, but Tina couldn’t seem to follow it. She could understand the words well enough, but they went in one ear and out the other, the thread of discussion unraveling. Her brother raised his eyebrows, and she frowned. Still, what was to be expected in this place? So she said nothing and ate, listening to her parents compliment d’X, and then immediately forgetting what they’d said.
This went on for another hour or so, but not without some measure of levity. Jane managed to sneak a second glass of wine, and then a goodly portion of a third before their parents caught on. Tina imagined the wine was of excellent quality, but had never really developed a taste for it, only drinking it because it was polite to do so. Dan, immediately upon receiving his glass, had drained it and complimented d’X, but said nothing for the rest of the meal.
After dinner, Howard and Donna sent the kids to bed. The girls retreated to their room, and Dan to his. The fire in the girls’ room glowed against the giant suits of armor that flanked the door. Each held an axe that looked as if it could cleave the family car in twain. Jane stood, admiring them, and wondered what kind of monster would fit into all that steel, but shifted her attention away when she heard shuffling behind her. Turning from the armor, she saw her sister drawing books from the shelves.
“These look promising,” Tina said, backing down the ladder, arms full with a tall stack of books.
“We’re reading all of those?” Jane complained.
“Just scanning,” Tina said, setting the stack down on the floor by the bed. “Here.” She tossed a thin one to Jane. “Start with that one.”
The cover read: DREAMS AND THE MYSITC VEIL. “Why am I reading about dreams?”
“You’re not reading about them,” Tina said. “You’re looking for anything that could cause someone to have one.” Jane looked at her sister blankly. In school, she had always been better at the arts than the sciences. Research was not a strength. “Let’s say someone had a dream or nightmare, right?” Tina encouraged. “And it was about something in particular. It doesn’t matter what exactly. Maybe they touched something. I just need you to look and see if the book mentions that kind of thing.”
“Is that what happened to you and Dan?”
“Maybe,” Tina said carefully. “We aren’t sure exactly what happened, but it was pretty scary, so we need to figure out how to reverse it.”
“How come I didn’t see anything?”
“I don’t know for sure,” the older girl said. “You kind of ran out of here earlier, so maybe you got a piece of it, but not the whole thing.”
“Okay, fine,” she grumbled, sat by the fire, and began flipping through the book. The memory of intense sexual desire made Jane fidget, though. She wondered if her siblings had felt it, too, and was curious about what they may have seen, but didn’t feel comfortable asking her sister.
The older girl sometimes complained that boys didn’t seem interested in her, but she had to know that she wasn’t exactly the most inviting person. Aside from her crippling anxiety, the girl was just awkward. Her long legs and arms always seemed to be getting in her way. She imagined that, from a boy’s perspective, they’d just as well make out with a scarecrow. A scarecrow with a pretty brown eyes and pink, soft-looking lips, but a scarecrow nonetheless. As Jane continued scanning, she remembered her own difficulty with boys. Sometimes, she thought, they could be such animals. Suddenly, the text on the page began to glow. “Hey! I got something!”
“Shhhh!” Tina hushed her. Outside, footsteps in the hallway sounded against the stone floor. In a moment, they heard their parents’ door thump shut. “What’s up?” Tina said from her spot on the bare floor.
“The writing just lit up!” Jane whispered urgently.
Tina hopped up and came over to her. Indeed the letters were illuminated in an amber glow that nearly outshone the fire, yet somehow did not cast light out into the room. “When did this happen?”
“Okay, okay,” Tina said thoughtfully. “Did you do anything? Say anything?”
“Uh uh.” Jane shook her head.
Tina read the passage title: “‘Man’s Primal Transfigurations.’”
“Oh,” Jane said, feeling the blood run from her head. “Oh no.” Tina turned to the girl, who said, “I was just thinking about, uh… things?”
“Yeah,” Jane said. “You know… things.”
“I was thinking how boys our age could be such animals.”
Tina’s eyebrow rose. “Any particular reason?”
“Uh, no,” Jane said. “Not really. You know me: just thinking about things, all the time, day and night.”
“Okay, whatever,” Tina rolled her eyes and sat, instantly regretting it. The deep blue threads of the carpet, primed by their earlier encounter, began pumping out waves of energy into the girl. Tina felt her heart beating heavily in her chest. Her mind yearned for more knowledge. She had always craved information, but books could only satisfy her so much. She thought of all the things she’d read and how she’d never actually experienced any of the things she’d read about. And with her mind so recently trying not to think about sex, it was the first place her thoughts landed. All those erotic novels flooded back. She could imagine a scene, but never knew what it might feel like. Now, the urge to know flooded into her.
Tina leaned into her sister ever so slightly, closed her eyes, and smelled the girl’s hair. Familiar, of course. She already knew what Jane smelled like, but she tried again, trying to smell what one of Jane’s boyfriends might. A thought occurred to her: what if she was in love with her sister? Absurd, she knew, but then why had her eyes so often gone to Jane’s young curves? Surely it was just jealousy, she told herself. “What’s up, Tina?” Jane said. Tina’s eyes shot open, and and the girl’s were looking up at her.
“Oh!” Tina blushed. Her heart raced and she sank back into place, forcing the rising tide down as best she could. “I was just trying to think.”
“Uh, about why they haven’t stopped glowing. I mean, it sounds like you started something, like a spell maybe?”
“Like, maybe?” Jane mocked her flustered sister. She didn’t know why Tina was so off kilter, but she was such an easy mark.
“I don’t know!” Tina blurted, feeling genuinely hurt for some reason. “I don’t know magic!”
“Okay, okay,” Jane said. “So how do we finish it?”
“Whoa! Finish it?” Tina wrung her hands. “I don’t know if that’s a good idea.”
“Or just stop it?”
Tina shrugged and smiled meekly. “No idea. What’s it actually say there?”
Jane scanned the page, but could barely understand the script, and told her sister so. Tina went to turn the page, and when her fingers touched the page, the script turned electric blue. Her thumb covered a letter on one of the spell’s lines, and the blue light seeped into her hand. “What the hell?” Jane breathed in awe.
“I don’t know,” Tina said. “I’m going to try something. Hold on to the book.” Jane gripped the book with her fingers, and Tina moved the rest of her hand over the glowing blue text. The light leeched into Tina’s hand until it had been completely soaked up. Tina removed her hand from the page, and held it in front of her. It glowed, and then began to itch. “Uh,” Tina stammered. “It’s feels weird. What do I do?”
“Don’t look at me,” Jane said. “This was your idea.”
Suddenly, the text flashed to life again, shining hot amber. Tina’s glowing hand began to ache, as if cramped. “It hurts!” she groaned.
“What do I do?” Jane said, a little panicked.
“I dunno,” her sister said. “But do something! You’re the one holding the book, maybe you have to trigger the spell.”
Jane looked at the page, and took a deep breath. “Okay,” she said. “Here goes nothing.” She pressed her palm to the page, and her own hand began glowing, this time fiery red. When she withdrew it, the page was blank. Somehow, the next step came to her naturally, as if the text itself had been written onto her eyeballs. “Give me your hand,” she told Tina.
When the girls joined hands, a ripple of energy coursed through them, and for a moment they radiated pure white light that drowned out everything in the room. The girls had to clench their eyes shut. When the light died, they opened their eyes and found that the text was back on the page.
“What just happened?,” Tina asked. Jane shrugged, and then looked down. They were still holding hands. It wasn’t unusual for them to do so, at least when Jane was little, but now there was something just a little strange about how it felt. Something about the way Tina gripped her felt more adult, more sensual. She shook off the feeling, though, as just the remains of whatever energy had passed though them.
Tina, however, felt her sister’s soft hand in hers and had trouble letting go. The magic carpet continued to pour erotic energy into her until she had to yank her hand away, lest she lose control. Taking the book from Jane, she clapped it shut, put it aside, and said, “I think that’s enough magic for one night.” She needed to get away from the carpet, and so she stood and stretched, stepping casually to the stone floor and feeling the surge abate. Unfortunately, the erotic energy in her was there to stay. “Boy, I’m beat. What do you say we hit the sack?”
“I guess,” Jane said, but remembered the brief feeling she’d experienced when she’d sat on the bed. “But do you mind if I sleep on the floor, next to the fire?”
Tina felt a both relief and yearning tugging at her. While she so badly wanted to feel a body next to hers, she knew that she wouldn’t be able to restrain herself for long. “Of course not!” she said. “Go ahead.”
“Thanks,” Jane said, and then to Tina’s horror, stripped off her shirt, revealing a red bra that covered, young and smallish, but pleasantly proportioned breasts. The older girl stood transfixed. Turn away, she thought. Run. Run. But her body refused her commands. She watched as Jane, oblivious to her sister’s ogling turned and stripped off her white cutoff shorts. Black panties covered a cute rounded ass, and Tina began to shiver nervously. Jane bent to dig through her suitcase for her pajamas. When she had changed, she, to Tina’s relief, removed her bra through the armhole of her flannel button-up pajama shirt. Dressed now in pink plaid flannel, she looked more like the girl Tina remembered from home. Jane turned back, and Tina willed herself to look busy doing something else. “You gonna change?” Jane asked.
“Yeah!” Tina said a little too enthusiastically. “Yeah, uh, just give me a moment. I’m having trouble finding my bedclothes.” She really was, and the longer it took her to find them, the more panicked she became. “I swear I packed them!”
“Dude,” Jane said. “Chill. You got the bed to yourself. Go commando if you want.”
“No!” Jane snapped at her. “You don’t understand!”
Jane recoiled. “Okay, okay,” she said, taking a pillow from the bed and tossing it down on the floor by the fire. “Whatever. Be a freak about it. But if you want, I’ve got a shirt in by bag. Got it at a metal concert, but it’s too big for me. Kind of my last-resort shirt.”
As Jane settled in by the fire, Tina dug through her bag some more, got frustrated and dumped its contents onto the stone floor, but after minutes of searching in vain, sighed and stood. “Ok,” she said. “I give up.”
“It’s in the bottom of my bag,” Jane said. “Please don’t dump out all my stuff to get to it.” Tina found the shirt and held it up. It would be big, even on herself. As if sensing her sister’s thoughts, Jane said from the floor, “They were out of my size, so I bought a size up. Turns out, I bought a men’s size up. You’re okay looking like a metalhead for a night?”
Tina regarded the black t-shirt. Skulls, skulls, skulls. Lightning. Skulls, skulls. One giant axe. An indecipherable band name written in jagged lettering. “It’s cool,” Tina said shrugging.
“Cool,” Jane said.
Tina waited until she knew her sister wouldn’t see her, and then stripped, slipped on the shirt, and practically leapt into bed, touching as little of the carpet as she could. The bed itself was as comfortable as the rest of the mansion was creepy, but even still, she found herself unable to sleep. The sexual energy was built up so much that when she closed her eyes, her mind flashed images of lips, hips and tender flesh. Most of it was of her sister, but Tina suspected this was only because the girl was so close. She felt like she would have sex with anyone, or anything, if given the opportunity, but she doubted anyone, or anything, would yield to her touch. She ran her hands over her body and found only fault. Her hips were less pronounced than her younger sister’s, and while her ass wasn’t as round, it was, she felt, firm. She did have full breasts, but she hid those under baggy clothes, because to her, they looked a little freakish on such a thin frame.
When her hands brushed her nipples, she arched her back slightly in pleasure, but ended up feeling only more frustrated. She held her breath for a moment, listening, and when she heard Jane’s steady, shallow breathing, she slipped her fingers into the front of her panties. Smooth and hairless, just as she liked it. She’d started shaving her pubes a year ago, and it was what kept her sexually sane. There was just something about smooth skin that made her soaking wet. She briefly wondered what, if anything, that meant, but then realized she was just too horny to psychoanalyze herself.
Just as Tina was getting ready to dip a finger into her aching slit, she heard a scratching at the door. She pulled her hand from her panties, and listened. Nothing. She began easing her hand back under the thin fabric. The scratching came again, this time followed by what sounded like a low growl. Tina sat up, frustrated. “Who’s there?” she called.
Jane started and grumbled, “What’s going on?”
“There’s something at the door,” Tina whispered.
“Of course there is,” Jane yawned. “It’s a haunted castle.”
“Shh!” Tina hissed. “Did you hear it?”
“It’s probably just a ghost,” Jane said. “Or one of wassizname’s creepy servants.”
“I’m glad you’re taking all of this so well,” Tina said. “But I—” the scratching returned, followed by a snarling sound. “Tell me you heard that!”
“That’s not a ghost,” Jane said, sitting up, now alert.
“Who’s there?” Tina called again.
This time, the response was more pronounced. A snarling bark sounded from the other side, followed by a flurry of deep-sounding scratches. The door shook as whatever it was on the other side tore at the door, trying to get in. “Oh god!” Jane said. “It’s a werewolf! It’s a fucking werewolf!”
Tina leapt off the bed and threw her body against the door, which now rattled violently in its frame. Her body felt as if was being tenderized as the thing in the hallway crashed into the door. Jane ran to join her, and both girls held the door against the savage beating, scratching and howling. “How do you know it’s a werewolf?” Tina shouted over the racket.
“What else could it be?” Jane said, her face now pallid with fear.
“Can you reach that axe?” Tina called, pointing to the one held by the giant suit of armor on Jane’s side of the door.
Jane reached for it, but couldn’t. The girl shook her head, but said, “I’m not going out without a fight! Hold the door! I’m gonna get it!” Tina nodded, and the younger girl peeled herself off the oaken plank and grabbed at the axe handle. After a moment, she was able to free it from the suit’s steel grip. At first, Jane had trouble holding the giant’s pole axe, but when she got used to the balance, Tina marveled at the sight. Small girl, big axe, she thought, and smiled.
When Jane gave her the sign, Tina backed away from the door. Encouraged by her little sister’s bravery, she shouted, “Come get some, you motherfucker!”
But as if the beast had understood what awaited it, the noise and scratching ceased. The girls heard a few perfunctory huffs and grunts, and then the fading tick-tick-tick of claws on stone as the thing retreated. When they could no longer hear the beast, Jane nearly dropped the giant axe. “Fuck, this thing’s heavy!” she remarked. Purple flames engulfed her, and as they had earlier, disappeared in a shower of sparks. “Level up!” she cheered, and then the axe no longer felt as heavy.
Tina ran to her sister and hugged her. “Jane!” she sniffed, on the edge of tears. “You. Are. Such. A badass.”
“Heh,” Jane said, feeling for a moment that maybe all that attitude of hers wasn’t just for show. “Well, I guess I am, a little.”
“No,” Tina said, holding her sister at arm’s length by the shoulders and looking into her baby blue eyes. “I mean it. I was ready to piss myself and die, but you…. You were incredible!”
“I’m pretty sure we were dead, anyway, if that thing decided to come through,” Jane said.
“Maybe so,” Tina said. “Maybe so, but I wouldn’t have died scared.”
“Or alone,” Jane laughed, as the adrenaline shakes made her shiver. “Speaking of which, can I get back in bed with you?”
“Of course!” Tina said without thinking, and then immediately felt anxiety clamp down on her.
“Thanks,” Jane said, trotting off to get her pillow from the floor.
Tina again leapt into bed, trying not to touch the carpet. The adrenaline was keeping the erotic tide at bay for the moment, but she knew she didn’t need any extra encouragement. She lay there, sheets up to her neck, trying desperately to clear her mind, when her little sister slid under the covers next to her. “Why do I get the feeling this is only going to get worse?” Tina said.
Jane rolled over to face her, kissed her on the cheek and said cheerfully, “Oh, don’t be such a sourpuss! We just fended off a werewolf! I, for one, count this as a win.”
In her excitement, Jane had forgotten her estranged relationship with the magic bed. Almost as soon as she had finished speaking, the itch returned. It started slowly, but soon enough it wormed its way into her brain. She tried not to think about sex, but the more she tried, the more she did. Her sister’s smell crept into her consciousness, and she tried to shake it out, but it hung tenaciously, teasing. She’d never really thought at all about another girl, sexually. Her world had always been boys, boys, boys. She thought maybe, just maybe, she could get her itch to subside by talking to her sister. Dan might identify with her urges more, but her sister was the eldest. Surely, she would be the wiser of the siblings.
“Tina?” she said, almost stuttering.
“Mm?” Tina tried to pretend like she was only half conscious.
“I…” Jane stopped. “I wanted to ask you something.”
“I was wondering,” Jane paused long enough for Tina to open her eyes and give the girl a quizzical look. Jane let out a frustrated breath. “I was wondering: what do you know about sex?”
Tina went rigid. “Sex?” Her sister nodded. “Not much. I’ve never had it.”
Tina shook her head. “None. Why do you ask? I thought, out of anyone, you’d be the one to know.”
“Me?” Jane almost laughed. “No, but I thought since you read all those books, you’d know a little something.”
Tina froze and blushed. “What? Uh, what books?” Jane gave her sister a look that told her to cut the bullshit. “Oh, well, I, uh… hey! You little snoop!”
“Don’t change the subject,” Jane said teasingly but firmly, feeling the erotic energy burning away at her resistance.
“I just read them,” Tina said, “like everything else, you know. It kind of an obsession. It’s like collecting stamps or whatever.”
“You don’t get off on it?”
Tina began to shiver with anxiety. She closed her eyes for a moment, collecting her nerves before continuing down a road she knew, at the very least ended up with her telling her little sister everything she knew about the erotic books she’d read—well, maybe not everything, but close. About halfway through her explanation, Jane touched her shoulder. “You’re shaking,” the younger girl said. “Are you nervous?”
Tina shook her head and said, “A little, I guess. I’m just not so sure I should be talking about this kind of stuff with my little sister.”
“Pshhhh,” Jane scoffed. “I guess I could go ask Dan.”
“No!” Tina’s body jerked in surprise. “No. I mean, he’s not a girl, right? What would he know? Anyway, it’s okay.” And then she continued, explaining the books in detail, pretending that she was taking it all down in a diary instead of spilling the beans to her very brave, very pretty little sister. When she finished, she said, “But that’s all erotic fiction. It’s not really how sex is in real life.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Jane said. “I just wish I knew, is all.”
“Well, you’ve got plenty of time to find out,” Tina said.
“I know,” Jane said. And just as she was about to roll over and try to go to sleep, the lustful flames burned away another thread of resistance. “Hey, that book about that flying saucer under that lake?”
Tina had debated telling her about it. It was a depraved little novella about a family that found a UFO. It was full of tentacles and incest, particularly between two sisters, not something that Tina had thought would find interesting, but she found herself thinking about it well after she’d moved on. “What about it?”
“Have you ever thought about other girls that way?”
“Uh, not really,” Tina lied.
“Why?” Tina said, a glimmer of hope sparkling behind her eyes. “Have you?”
“Is that wrong?”
“What?!” Tina’s head began to spin with confusion, fear, and lust. “No! And don’t let anyone tell you it is.”
“Oh,” Jane said, feeling heat behind her face, as if a fire had kindled in her skull.
Tina saw Jane’s face go red, and assumed it was from embarrassment. “Hey, it’s okay, really. What’s it like, to be attracted to a girl?”
Now it was Jane’s turn to laugh nervously, “Attracted? I don’t know. I’ve only thought of it, you know, like a possibility. Sort of like your books. Not for real.”
“Oh,” Tina said, a little let down. “Right. Of course.”
“But now that you mention it, you’re kinda pretty,” Jane said, not believing she had just uttered those words.
“Uh, what? Like in that way?” Tina nearly lost her mind, and now her lips quivered so much she could barely speak. Jane shrugged and averted her eyes. “Oh, uh, thanks, I guess.”
“I shouldn’t have said anything,” Jane said, turning to hide her shame. “It’s weird.”
“It’s okay,” Tina said, stopping her. “I’m just not used to anyone saying that about me.”
“You do kind of hide it under all those sweaters,” Jane said feeling an almost infinitesimal measure of relief by airing her feeling. “But you’ve got a pretty smile. You can’t hide that.”
“But I’m so lanky,” Tina said.
“Why are you so worried about what others think of how you look?”
“Because, look!” Tina said, pulling back the sheets. The younger girl’s breath caught in her throat. She didn’t know what her sister saw, but before jane lay a hot piece of teenage ass. She just couldn’t put it any other way. Yes, Tina’s legs and arms were a bit long and thin, but they were fairly well toned, and the skin was smooth and delicate. Sure, Jane’s own big black shirt hid away other curves, but the younger girl could tell there was something substantial underneath. Jane couldn’t help herself. She reached out a hand and ran her finger tips along her big sister’s leg, from the knee and leading up the thigh to where the shirt covered gently curving hips. Tina took in a short breath. “What are you doing?” she managed.
Jane drew her hand back. “Oh!” The girl blushed, but she couldn’t get out of her head how soft that skin had been. “I just felt like I needed to.”
Something in Tina’s stomach dropped. “Jane, just out of curiosity, have you been feeling any unusual urges lately?”
Jane’s eyes went wide. “Like, about, you know? Sex?” Tina nodded. Jane nodded, and then realizing what was going on, she added, “You, too?” Tina nodded. “Tina, what’s happening?”
“I don’t know,” Tina said. “Tell me how you feel.” Jane hesitated, but her sister said, “It’s okay.”
Jane took a breath. “It’s like there’s this burning in my skull, not painful, but like a storm. It started in my belly, but now it’s everywhere. It feels like I’m losing control. I just have this need to do… things.”
“Do you not want to do them?”
“I don’t know. I think I do, maybe, but the feeling is so strong, you know. It’s scaring me.”
“When did it start?”
“When I laid down on the bed?” Jane said meekly.
Tina’s eyes went to the onyx flames carved into the headboard. “Fire,“ she said.
“Fire?” And then it all fell into place for the younger girl. “Fire. Oh god. Tina, what’s happening to me!?”
“Not just you,” Tina said. “For me, it’s the carpet. I think they’re some kind of talismans. Maybe they resonate with our individual types. The magister said you’re fire. I’m water, and Dan’s earth.”
“Does it feel the same for you?”
“No,” Tina said. “For me it’s a desire to know. I feel like I have this ocean inside me, filling me up, and the only way to drain it is to replace it with knowledge. Uh…” she hid her eyes while she said it: “sexual knowledge.”
“What do you want to know, exactly?” Jane said, her heart pounding.
“Everything,” Tina said.
Jane now visibly shook, and had to sit up in bed. Tina followed, and Jane put her head in her hands. “God, Tina, I don’t know what to do! I felt like the fire started to go away when I touched you, but…” she shook her head.
“It did?” Tina felt the first cracks in the dam that held back her self control. Jane nodded, face still in her hands. Tina took a breath put a trembling hand on her little sister’s shoulder and said, “Do you want to touch me again?” The girl nodded again. “Okay.” Jane lifted her face, eyes puffy from holding back tears. “But,” Tina said. “I want to know one thing first.”
“Anything,” Jane said. And with that, Tina leaned in and kissed her. Jane’s eyes shot open again. Soft lips, any lips, against her own was a wholly new sensation, one that exploded into her brain and blasted away all other concerns. Just as Jane was about to return the kiss, Tina pulled away with a look on her face that the younger girl couldn’t describe.
“Okay,” Tina said. “Go ahead.” Tentatively, Jane reached out and stroked her sister’s soft, smooth legs. She couldn’t believe what she was doing, but far from being a scarecrow, her sister’s body felt amazing. Emboldened, Jane ran her hands up Tina’s thighs, pausing when she reached her hips.
Tina bit the side of her lip, nodded slightly, and then felt her sister’s smaller hands slide under the baggy t-shirt and up over her hips. It was nothing like she expected. Jane’s hands were warm and gentle, appreciating every one of the older girl’s curves. It wasn’t long before the caresses reached her breasts, but this time, the girl didn’t stop to get the go-ahead. Tina gasped audibly and closed her eyes as the nimble fingers caressed and explored her breasts. A thumb and forefinger gently pinched a nipple, and Tina let out a moan. Jane’s hands retreated a bit.
“Was that wrong?” Jane asked.
“God no!” Tina whispered. “But I need to know something else.”
“Oh yeah?” Jane said. “What do you need to know?”
“What yours look like.”
“I thought you’d never thought about another girl before,” Jane said, removing her hands from her sister’s breasts and beginning to unbutton the front of her pink flannel pajama shirt. Tina watched as slowly, button by button, the younger girl’s shirt split open. But whether purposefully or out of nervousness, Jane was just going too slowly. Tina grabbed the girl’s shirt by the lapels and tore it off her body. Jane shrieked playfully, and her hair tumbled around her head, mussed.
“I lied,” Tina said. Jane combed her hair back with her fingers, and her big sister admired her young, but shapely form.
“They’re not much,” Jane said, seemingly untroubled, “compared to these.” Tina tried to retreat, but got backed up against the headboard. Jane was quick and agile, and before Tina knew what was happening, the younger girl had gripped the waistline of the t-shirt and yanked it off of her body. For a moment, the sisters froze, taking in each other’s bodies. Jane had straddled her sister’s lap, and stared into Tina’s eyes.
“Oh, fuck it,” Tina said, and grabbed her sister’s head, kissing her again. Their breasts squeezed together between them, and both girls let out sighs of pleasure between kisses. Tina’s hands wandered down Jane’s back and over her hips, and came to rest on the girl’s tight little flannel-covered ass. She gave a little squeeze, and Jane made a little squeaking sound and opened her mouth to her sister’s kisses. For the first time, their tongues touched, and then probed, and then danced.
Tina’s hands circled around from her sister’s hips and up to her small, firm breasts. “Oh, fuck,” Jane breathed. Tina flicked her nipples gently, and Jane pulled back and leaned her head back breathing heavily as she enjoyed her big sister’s ministrations. Suddenly, Jane felt something warm and wet on her nipple, and she looked down to find Tina’s tongue licking circles around the pink little nub. The girl let out a little cry of pleasure and ran her hands through her sister’s golden brown hair.
Tina was ecstatic. Not only was she finding out what it was like to be with a girl, but she found she really, really liked it. She put her mouth over Jane’s sweet little nipple and sucked gently, making the girl moan in earnest. The horny young thing had even begun to rock those agile hips against hers, and Tina felt herself getting wet.
Jane gripped her sister’s hair, and pulled her away. For a second she got a look of confusion, but when she put her own tongue on Tina’s nipple, she heard Tina let out a quaking breath. She gently kneaded her older sister’s larger breasts as she licked and teased their nipples. Tina’s hands ran all over her back, and when she felt her sister’s long fingers slip down the back of her pants and grip her ass, she slowly trailed one hand down Tina’s belly until it reached the top of her panties. Jane hesitated for a moment when Tina’s breath caught. She lifted her face to her sister’s. “It’s okay,” Tina told her. “Do it. I want you to do it.” When Jane slid her hand under the thin fabric, she saw her big sister’s face change from pleasured curiosity to unbridled lust. She noticed that Tina was smooth, and grinned to herself. They had something else in common, it seemed.
When Tina felt her little sister’s fingers slide against her smooth labia, she nearly came right then and there. The girl’s baby blue eyes stared back into hers, and slowly but surely, the girl began to massage her pussy. “I can’t believe we’re doing this,” Jane said, still massaging.
Tina, barely able to speak, managed, “Do you want to stop?”
“Fuck no,” Jane said. “Don’t be ridiculous.”
With those words, Tina felt her sister’s finger slide into her. “Oh fuck!” Tina gasped. Slowly, Jane began to slide it in and out, causing sparks to go off behind Tina’s eyeballs. She’d had her own fingers, and on occasion a small vibrator inside her, but never before had someone else been at the controls. When Jane slid a second finger in and began to finger fuck her for real, Tina felt her breath leave her. Heat radiated through her body, and the dam that held her back began to spring leaks.
Jane, her fingers buried in her sister’s soaking pussy, loved the feeling of tight, wet warmth around them. More so, she loved seeing the usually mousy, timid girl writhe against her, moaning. She touched Tina’s clit, and the older girl went wild, whining like a bitch in heat. “Janie! Oh fuck! You’re so fucking good!”
Jane kissed her sister’s neck and whispered into her ear, “Of course I am. You’re only talking to the horniest girl ever.”
“Oh god,” Tina said. “You are horny, aren’t you? Well I guess we’ll have to do something about that, then.” As much as she hated to, she took Jane’s wrist and dragged the girl’s hand away from her aching pussy. With a mighty push, she shoved Jane backward on the bed. Peeling herself off the headboard, she crawled over her sister, grabbed the waistline of her pajamas, hooking her fingers into her panties, as well, and yanked them over the girl’s young hips and off her legs. To her delight, she saw that her sister made herself smooth. She removed her own panties, and drank in the sight of the youngster laying naked in front of her. That smooth little pussy did not disappoint, and though Tina wondered what it tasted like, she would have to wait just a little longer to find out.
Jane lay back as her sister crawled over her, smooth and warm. “And here I was,” she said as Tina kissed her neck, “thinking that this was all going to be some kind of nightmare.” Tina’s lips landed on hers, and again their tongues danced.
“So, it’s not a nightmare?” Tina said. Jane nodded, and then felt fingers brush her smooth labia. She heard a moan escape her lips. Tina’s fingers teased her pussy until Jane couldn’t help bucking her hips off the bed. When she did, Tina pushed her back down and then slid a finger into her.
“Oh!” Jane said. “Oh my god!” Jane had never before felt anything in her other than her own fingers, and Tina’s long, thin digits stirred up feelings she never knew she could have. Ecstasy rolled across her like thunder, and Tina’s fingering continued until Jane thought she could take no more.
“You ready?” Tina asked her, but she was only half aware of the older girl’s voice.
“Huh?” And then she felt a hot wetness against her pussy lips. She looked down, and from between her own breasts Tina’s eyes stared right back into hers as the older girl dragged her tongue from the bottom of her aching slit to the top, until it ran over her clit. “Oh god! What are you—! Oh shit!”
“Want me to stop?” Tina teased, her tongue in position for another pass.
“What?! No! Oh my god, Tina! Lick me again!”
Tina smiled to herself and traced her tongue up her sisters opening again. She was surprised by the taste, but not unpleasantly so. The best part, though, was watching the girl squirm when her tongue circled and flicked her clit. Jane eventually spread her legs farther, allowing full access, and Tina stopped teasing her sister, and began experimenting, finding what the girl liked. When, at last, she sucked her sister’s clit and ran circles around it with her tongue, Jane came hard and squealing. “Oh god Tina! You’re making me come!” Tina felt fingers grip her hair, holding her head in place as the young pussy drooled girl cum into her mouth. Tina lapped it up, savoring its taste.
Fireworks popped and glittered behind the young girl’s eyes, and she found herself panting and gasping for breath. She had made herself come many, many times before, even before she knew what sex was, but nothing so far had measured up to this. She shivered as her big sister planted one last kiss on her now slippery pussy lips. “Better?” Tina said, with a slight grin.
“Better?” Jane panted. “I… Tina, that was the best. You’re the best!”
“It wasn’t weird?”
“You know, with a girl.”
Jane sat up. “I’ll show you how weird it is,” she said, and tackled the older girl.
Tina felt herself falling backward, and by the time her head hit the mattress, she had forgotten why she had been been worried. Her little sister’s lips planted kisses just below her ear, hot breath teasing the tiny, wispy hairs there. Her head span, and her hips rocked up wantonly. Unexpectedly, she felt two small, nimble fingers slide into her, and she cried out, and then again when she felt the girl’s hot tongue trace urgent little circles around her nipple. When she looked down, her sister’s cinnamon candy-colored hair obscured her view. The younger girl looked up, and with a devilish gleam in her eyes continued running her tongue around its hard little target. Tina let out a breath. Jane’s fingers were curved just so, dragging across Tina’s g-spot with every pass. As if to make the coming events perfectly clear, Jane’s eyes locked with Tina’s as she ran her tongue from the older girl’s nipple, down her breast, over her belly, and to her aching mons. “Oh, Janie,” she managed. “Wait. I—I don’t—I’m—”
But her little sister paid her no heed. Fingers continued pumping in and out of her, and when Tina felt that hot young tongue slide over her clit, she spasmed. When she did, Jane’s fingers dove into her depths. “Ah!” she cried. Jane’s tongue flicked and fluttered over her clit, and Tina bucked and thrusted her young pussy into her little sister’s mouth. “Oh, Jane!” she moaned. “Don’t stop!” The blazing, primary-red hair parted around her long fingers as she pressed her sister’s head onto her pussy. Jane began sucking gently on Tina’s clit, and the older girl felt the dam in her mind break apart once and for all. Warmth flooded through her, and she gripped two fistfuls of that hair. “Aaaah!” she heard herself almost scream, feeling her eyes roll back in her skull as she began to come. “Oh, fuck! Fuck fuck fuck!” That sassy little tongue kept flicking round her clit as her orgasm peaked and her back arched off the bed. When finally she regained her faculties, she raised her head to find her sister staring back at her, head resting on her belly. For a reason she couldn’t discern, she felt as if she were laughing, and then felt tears on her cheeks.
“Why’re you crying?” Jane said, scooting up and caressing her.
“I don’t know,” Tina said, wiping away the tears. “I thought I was laughing.”
Jane giggled. “Okay, then. Why are you laughing?”
“I have no idea,” she said, and then did know. “Would it be weird if I said I love you?”
“I love you too,” Jane said.
“No, I mean like…” Tina kissed her sister deeply, tasting her sister’s and her own juices mingling. “That.”
“Yeah, dummy, I know what you meant,” Jane said, rolling her eyes. “This isn’t my first rodeo, you know.”
“But I thought you’d never—”
“Okay, okay. It is my first, you know, rodeo,” Jane said, punctuating her sentence by pinching Tina’s ass. Tina squealed and giggled. “But it’s not my first rodeo.”
“Would you stop saying that? I don’t even know what you mean.”
“Neither do I!”
“Oh, my god!” Tina said, scruffing the girl’s hair. “You’re so weird!”
“And you’re sexy,” Jane said. “But you don’t hear me complaining.”
“Of course!” Jane said. And for the moment, that was the end of it. The two young sisters wrapped themselves in each other, letting the silence and the beating of hearts speak in a language all their own. Eventually, Tina fell asleep, and Jane rolled over, scooted her shapely little butt into her big sister’s waist, and pulled an arm over her. Fit together like this, Jane drifted off to sleep, happier than she had ever been.
For Dan, the night had passed much less adventurously. After dinner, the girls had gone off to check out some of the books, and that was the last he’d heard from them. Sitting by the fire, he meditated on their situation. Surrounded by magic, and currently unable to wield any of their own, how were they to survive? It seemed a fantasy to try and redirect any spells, since he had no idea who, if anyone, had cast them. Hell, he didn’t even know if they were spells. If their predicament was simply a product of the environment, well, how does one fight that? The best thing, he decided, was to find out as much as he could about the mansion. He patted his hip, feeling his tools where they should be, clipped just inside the waist of his pants, and then headed out into the hallway. No sound came from his sisters’ room, nor from his parents’, so he padded out farther into the mansion.
He dodged and slipped by the servants where he found them, staying low and silent. A main staircase led up to the master’s chambers, but he needed more information before making a run at them. The far wing held the other set of guest quarters and another library, and Dan decided he would glean what he could from those rooms. Unfortunately, he had to figure out which were unoccupied by trial and error, but it kept him busy. One room seemed to hold a thousand glowing jars, each full of a thousand-thousand stars. He read their labels: names—people’s names—single and in groups. These certainly didn’t look like people. He kept reading until he came to one. “Wilder,” it read.
“Shit!” he whispered. But the jar was empty. Ok, he thought, I’ve got time. I can fix this.
Another room was full of porcelain dolls. “Nope,” he whispered to himself. “Too creepy, even for me.”
Each room held some kind of display, and he began to worry that d’X was a collector. But what—or whom—was he collecting? The thought had just passed when a low rumble shook the mansion. He heard a cross between a roaring fire and a crashing wave, and from down the hall, a wall of blinding white light approached. He ducked back into a room filled with animals, wild and domestic, all either frozen in time or stuffed by a master taxidermist. For a moment, he caught the yellow glint of a wolf’s eyes, and then the white light surged through the wall and smashed into him, sending him crashing into the collection.
When he came to, Dan righted himself, shaking off the pain, but not the fear. The door was open, and he slipped back out into the hallway. Servants were out and about now. He could hear them, and knew he needed to vacate the area before they found him. As he passed silently through the mansion’s many chambers and hallways, he noticed that the servants were not searching for him specifically. This was apparently not a regular occurrence. Still, here and there, he needed to stretch even his own abilities to remain unseen.
When he found the family’s rooms, he breathed easier, but decided to check on his sisters. No noise name from their room, and he worried about waking them, but he knocked anyway. No answer. He knocked louder. Still nothing. “Come on,” he groaned softly. One last knock, as loud as he dared. Nothing. Frustrated, he turned to leave, but noticed something first: long, deep claw marks in the oaken door, and many of them. How had he not noticed these earlier? Whatever had made them was absent, but, he realized with a chill, could return at any moment.
Back in his room, he lay on the bed, wide awake. He knew a door would stop whatever it was from getting in, but the terror and adrenaline kept his mind spinning around all he had seen that night. Before long, morning came, and he went to check on his sisters again.
When he opened his door, he nearly jumped out of his skin. A glint of metal and a blur from the left sent him diving back into his room just before a sharp clanging of steel sounded against the stone. He dove for his bag and pulled out his knife. Returning to the hallway, he crouched low and poked his head out.
“Dan!” Tina’s voice cried out in relief. “Jane, it’s him. It’s fine.”
Dan stood and scratched his head at a puzzling sight. His sisters were stalking the hallway, and Jane held an immense pole axe, each wing of its double blade three feet from tip to tip. His eyes traveled down a haft thick enough that the girl’s fingers just barely wrapped around it, and at the base was a long metal pommel, smooth and rounded, which when Jane held the weapon upright to her side, made a solid thunk against the stone floor. Whatever he was before, he was definitely awake now.
“What’s with the cutlery?” Tina said.
“You tell me,” he replied. In response, Jane gestured with the giant axe at the girls’ room door. He sheathed his knife and took a knee in front of the shredded oaken door. It looked as if an animal had tried to burrow through it. He picked a few splinters from the scratched area. They felt almost pulped. Whatever had done this had been drawn into a desperate frenzy by whatever was inside. “I noticed these when I got back last night. You guys make a new friend?”
“Very funny,” Tina said. Something was different about her. She wasn’t buried in a sweater! Tina had a loose flannel shirt on, which still hid her figure some, but Dan’s eyes found themselves drawn to curves he knew he shouldn’t be lingering on. “You’re telling me you didn’t hear a thing?”
“I snuck out to the other wing. When was this?” he asked.
“Just before midnight, maybe,” Jane said. “See, Tina? I told you: magic doors!”
“Magic doors? Plural?” Dan said. The girls nodded over their shoulders. The door at the end of the hall was gone. Just gone. Now the hallway dead ended into blank stone. “Any word from mom and dad?” The girls shook their heads.
“We haven’t checked the castle yet,” Jane said.
“Okay,” Dan said. “We’ll go and see what we can see. Put that axe away before you hurt someone.”
“What if I want to hurt someone?” Jane sassed.
“What’re you going to do, wave it around at breakfast?”
“If it gets us answers,” Jane said.
Tina put a hand on her sister’s shoulder. “Just go put it away, okay,” she said, and to Dan’s surprise, Jane did as she was asked.
While the girl was gone, Dan silently mouthed to his older sister, “How did you do that?”
Tina shrugged, but there was something, an upturn in the corner of her mouth that read to Dan a bit more of mischief than he was expected from her. Jane returned, and they set out, back toward the dining room.
The trouble began when they reached the stairs. Where the previous night there had been a single broad flight of steps along the wall curling around a bare central chamber, the morning brought them to a seemingly endless spiral of stairs around a central shaft that disappeared into a black abyss. Stopping at the top, the siblings debated their options, and then, with exhausted reluctance, Dan gave Jane the all clear to retrieve the axe from her room. The girl ran off and then trotted back, the giant steel-and-wood monstrosity propped on her shoulder. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Tina bite her lower lip and grin at the girl. Whatever that look meant, Dan had never seen it on his big sister before. Jane did look fairly ridiculous with the massive weapon, but somehow she carried it with a practiced ease.
“Can I see your new toy?” he asked, and Jane shrugged, offering it to him one-handed. When he took it, his back nearly broke. “What he hell?!”
“Heavy, isn’t it?” Tina said.
Dan hefted it level, but still found himself struggling with it. “It’s massive!” After a moment, he gave it back to his little sister, who propped it on her shoulder as she would a mop.
“She leveled up again last night,” Tina said. “Fending off that … thing.”
“I’ll say!” he said, shaking his head in disbelief. “Did you get any other perks with it, other than a massive strength boost?”
Now he knew something was going on with his sisters. The way they looked at each other when he asked about perks told him they had spent the night dealing with more than just a werewolf attack. What it was, though, was a mystery. What could possibly have happened? Did it have anything to do with the blast wave that had rocked the castle? He would have to keep his eyes open.
Jane volunteered to take the lead, but Dan objected. Tina rebutted with an esoteric argument about putting their tank out front, whatever that meant, and Dan rebutted her rebuttal by gesturing repeatedly at his little sister and her small stature. Both girls rolled their eyes at him, and he settled with taking the rear, so long as he could call the shots, navigationally speaking. So down they went: one flight, two, three, ten, twenty. Watching his sisters, Dan felt like they seemed off, somehow. Or maybe just different. Closer? Voices lowered, they chatted enthusiastically, occasionally giggling. They never chatted—or giggled. Not with each other, at any rate. What, he thought, was going on? They smelled different, too, which he was surprised to find. Instead of solely smelling like individuals, they smelled like one person, someone wholly new. He had never before used this olfactory sense so extensively, but he found it quite illuminating.
After descending twenty-five flights of identical stairs, Dan called a halt. “This is getting us nowhere,” he said. Jane leaned her axe against the wall, and sat on the steps. And then he said, “You smell that?”
Tina gave him a funny look at first, but then perked up. “I do!” she said. Then, looking up and down the abyssal stairwell, she took the bottom most button on her flannel shirt and tore it off. Holding up the little plastic disc to get her siblings’ attention, she stretched her arm over the railing and let go. The white speck dropped out of view, and after a few seconds a faint ticking sounded as it struck something, bounced, bounced again, and came to rest on something solid.
Dan ran to the edge and looked down, but saw only blackness. Still, his sister was right. He had smelled something. Baking bread, roasting meat, bubbling soups wafted up on the gentle air current that rose through the shaft. Jane grabbed up her axe and prepared to lead, but this time her brother put his arm out, barring her way. “Let me go first this time,” he said. “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” Jane looked at her sister, who just shrugged.
One more, two more, three more flights, and then they found at their feet a dense black fog. Dan tried to wave it away, but it remained. He tried to stick his arm down into it, but when his elbow disappeared into it, his hand rose through it a few feet away. He yelped and leapt back, his arm coming with him, and for a moment he sat on the steps flexing his hand and wiggling his fingers to make sure they were all accounted for.
“Cool!” Jane said. “Let me try that!” She leaned her axe against the wall and stuck her hand into the fog. Just as had happened with her brother, when her arm was in deep enough, her hand reemerged some distance away. “Hey, Dan!” Her brother looked up and saw his sister’s hand protruding up through the fog, balled up except for the middle finger, which extended proudly.
“Charming,” he groused.
“Hold on, guys,” Tina said, pointing to her shirt button, which had come to rest on the fog just out of reach. “Hey, Jane, give me the end of your axe.” Jane extended the base of her pole axe to her sister, who grabbed the pommel and positioned her feet on the steps at the point where the fog met it. “Now, slowly, lower me down.” Jane grabbed the axe where the blades met the haft and began lowering her sister, but realized quickly that she still weighed the same, despite her new strength. Tina plummeted toward the fog, but stopped just before impact when Dan grabbed Jane’s waist and sat back on the steps.
“I gotcha!” he said.
“Thanks!” Tina said. “That was close. Now just give me a sec and I’ll grab the button.” She reached for the little plastic disc, but when her hand neared the fog the blue aura returned to her hand, crackling and popping with electric intensity. There was a little pain, but the unexpectedness made it seem a hundred times worse. “Pull me up!” she cried. “Pull me up!” Jane and Dan pulled the axe toward them, bringing their sister with it until she collapsed onto the stairs.
“What the hell was that?” Dan said.
“I don’t know,” Tina said, examining her hand. “I thought it was just a fluke.”
“Fluke from what?”
“Last night,” Tina said. “Uh, right. So Jane and I, we found this book of spells.
“It was you!” Dan said, feeling some measure of relief. If the chaos in the mansion had been his sisters’ doing, he could handle that. He was used to that kind of chaos—knew how to deal with it. “That blast. The light.”
“Oh!” Tina clapped her hands to her mouth. “That blast was bigger than I thought. I think I must have absorbed some of it. But why didn’t you?” she asked, turning to Jane. “You did half the spell, right?”
“Hey,” her sister said. “Don’t look at me. I just work here.”
Tina scrunched up her face in thought, and then said, “Ok, guys, stand back.” As her siblings backed up a few steps, she closed her eyes and focused on the feelings she’d had the previous night. Memories of electric energy, fear, curiosity, lust, bliss, and orgasm coursed through her. She slid her hands up her body, tracing her own contours and feeling nervous excitement.
“Uh, Tina?” Dan said, watching his sister move with a sensuality he had not known the girl possessed.
“Shh!” Jane hissed in a hushed voice. “It’s working. Look.” Indeed, Tina’s hands began to glow again. Luckily for Dan, her hands stopped just below her breasts. Jane, however, let out a disappointed little sigh, which he noted and stored away. When Tina opened her eyes, they blazed with blue flame that left the rest of her face unburned. “Aw, wicked!” Jane said.
Tina took a deep breath, held it, and then blew. The black fog burned away, revealing that they only had one more flight of stairs to go. When she was done, the flames receded back into her eyes, and then purple flames engulfed her, dispersing in sparks. “Guys,” she said. “Did I level up?” Dan, mute in stupor, just nodded.
“Fuck yeah!” Jane cheered and high-fived her sister. “That was awesome! How do you feel?”
Tina grinned. “Check this out,” she said and clicked her fingers. Her hands came alive in flame, and once again her eyes burned, blue flames licking her forehead. She clicked her fingers again, and the flames puffed out of existence.
“Duuuuuude,” Jane said.
“Yeah,” Dan said, flatly. “What could possibly go wrong?”
“You’re just just jealous ‘cause you haven’t leveled up yet,” Jane said, sticking her tongue out and blowing a raspberry.
“Maybe not,” he said. “I don’t know.”
“What?” his sisters said in unison.
“I got knocked out for a bit last night,” he said, and then proceeded to tell them the account from the previous night.
“So he’s storing people in jars?” Jane said.
“I don’t know,” he said.
“Not people,” Tina said. “Souls.” Her siblings stared at her. “I can sort of see them now. Yours, I mean—just like you described them, a universe of stars. But yours looks different somehow,” she said to Dan. “I don’t know how to describe it.”
“Wow,” he said. “That makes me feel better.”
“Aw, don’t be like that,” Jane said mockingly. “Maybe you leveled up when you were knocked out. Think positive!”
Dan just turned away and started down the stairs. Sometimes his little sister was such a pain in the ass. As he neared the open doorway that led away from the stairwell, the smells of baked goods became even stronger. Dan’s stomach grumbled, but he pushed the feeling aside and peered around the edge of the opening. A long hallway extended for about a hundred feet, but beyond that, he couldn’t tell with any certainty what lay waiting for them. “Wait here,” he said, and moved quickly and silently down the hall toward the first door.
Light spilled from the crack in the open door, and from within, he heard clinking of pots and pans, staccato thumping of a knife chopping vegetables, and the bubbling of a tureen of soup. The smell made his stomach grumble, and he moved closer. “No!” a growling deep voice complained from within. “This one meat. This one no meat.”
“Er, sorry,” said a second similarly gravelly voice.
“You want to be turned into toad again?”
The resonant gong of an iron pan against thick skull, and then, “Then maybe I put you in soup next time. Now go get more meat.”
Heavy footsteps approached the door, and Dan flattened himself low against the wall, hand on the handle of his knife, ready to spring. What came out the door was something Dan had only imagined. Immense enough that it needed to stoop to pass through the doorway came an—Dan blinked to make sure he wasn’t dreaming—an orc. Rough greenish gray skin covering a frame the size of a compact car was offset by the creature’s apparel: chef whites, checkered pants, black clogs and a squat white toque. “Put me in soup?” it groused under its breath. “Put you in soup. One day, I head chef.” To his relief, it turned away from him, headed farther down the hall, grumbling all the way, and turned the corner and was gone, though, Dan knew, not for long.
Moving past the doorway, he snuck a peek at the head chef, who had busied himself with tasting a sauce. Like the underling, this orc towered above his station. It held the tablespoon between two fingers the size of sausages and sipped the sauce with a gentleness and grace Dan wouldn’t have expected. “Hrmm,” it grumbled. “It need more salt.” The orc turned, and Dan slipped from the doorway and continued down the hall.
He made it past two more doors, both closed, when he heard the heavy footsteps returning from the meat locker. There was nowhere to run, so he tried the door closest to him. Locked. Not enough time to pick the lock, either. He backpedaled and tried the door closest to the kitchen. Success. Silently, he entered the room, a small wine cellar by the look of it. But something behind the shelves moved. One of the magister’s servants poked its head out from behind a rack of dusty wine bottles. Dan found a stack of barrels and made himself as small as he could. The servant must have heard him, and moved toward the barrels. Dan began to freak out, and put his hand on his knife. Still, he got as low as he could. His heart thumped in his chest, and he felt an odd sensation, but the servant peered behind the barrels. He tried to unsheathe his knife, but found it wasn’t there. The servant reached down, but to his surprise reached over his head. Dan looked and saw the servant coming up with his knife. No! he thought, and lunged at the masked man, who reeled, tripped over a wooden chest, and splatted onto the stone. He grabbed his knife back and swiped at the man’s face. The white, semi-glossy faceplate skittered across the stone. Staring back at Dan were two blazing yellow eyes ringed by dead darkness. Dan leapt up, retreated, but fell over the same chest that had tripped the servant. “Zombie!” he screamed, and his knife fell from between his teeth. In that moment, as the zombie servant rose to its feet, hissing, he realized he was completely naked. He scanned for his clothes and found them behind the barrels where he had hid. He gathered everything up as quickly as he could, snagged a bottle of wine from the nearest shelf, and fled.
Just as he was making for the door, the orc, on his way back from the meat locker had heard the commotion and opened the door. A naked human hurtled toward him, and had the orc not been so surprised, he might have stopped the intruder, who instead caromed off the giant gray-green frame and made off down the hallway. The zombie came at him, but the orc simply grabbed the top of its head, lifted it off the ground, and tossed it aside like a bag of flour. Down the hall, the chef poked his head out of the kitchen just as the naked human sprinted past. “What d’ hell?” it said.
Jane saw the orcs and rushed to save her brother. As she charged, she felt a sexual charge rush through her body. When she was done here, she was going to jump her sister’s bones again, whether or not their brother was present. She was horny, and the closer violence came, the hornier she got. Dan ran past the charging Jane, who grinned admiring his body. Maybe she would try to get him to stay for the festivities. As this thought wormed its way through her mind, the chef orc stepped out into the hallway and put his giant hand out, stopping his fellow orc from pursuit.
“Why you stop me?!” it roared.
“Small naked human man no threat,” the chef said. “Where meat?” And just as he asked, the solid pommel of Jane’s pole axe smashed into his head, knocking him out. She tried to swing it at the second orc, but the blade caught on the narrow hallway’s wall, sparking. In her moment of hesitation, the second orc caught her by the neck, lifted her off the ground.
“Silly human,” it growled. “Night, night.” He moved his fingers in front of her face and flicked her in the forehead. Lights out.
“Jane!” Tina cried from the hallway entrance. She tried to advance on the orc, but her brother stopped her.
“No!” he said. “Run!”
“No!” Tina said, shaking him off, but the zombie servant appeared in the hallway behind the orc. From farther down, more white masks appeared from the darkness.
“Tina, they’re zombies!” he said. “We’re not strong enough. She’ll be ok. Look.” The orc set down Jane’s limp form and turned on the approaching horde. “We need to regroup and come back with a plan. Come on.”
“Fine,” Tina said, tears of rage in her eyes. “But we’re coming back, and we’re wiping them all out.”
“Of course,” Dan said, surprised and uneasy at her sister’s dark turn. “Of course. I’m with you.” With that, they ran for the stairs and began the long trek back to their quarters.
When Jane awoke, the first thing she noticed was her lack of clothes. The dungeon was a bit chilly, and she shivered. The second thing she noticed was that she was bound, arms above her and legs slightly apart, by heavy iron shackles attached to equally heavy chains. She struggled, but was clearly going nowhere.
A jangling of chains from outside the thick wooden cell door drew her attention just in time to see it open long enough for the former orc underling to kick his former boss into the cell and shut the door. “Why you do this?” the chef said, clearly still dazed.
“You treat Hurg bad,” the captor said through the small barred opening. “Now Hurg cook. Maybe Hurg put you in soup.”
“Hey!” Jane shouted. “What about me?”
“You try chop Hurg,” he said. “Bad try. You time out.”
“Can I at least have my clothes back?”
“No,” he said, and then laughed. “Maybe Grum keep you warm. Heh heh.” With that, the shutter to the barred opening slid closed.
“Worth a try,” Jane said to herself.
Her new cellmate, she noticed, was free of restraints, and when he stood, still clad in his kitchen whites, his muscles rippled below greenish skin. He would have been more than a match for this Hurg character had she not knocked him cold. “This is major bummer,” he said.
“Great,” Jane muttered. “And now I’m stuck here with a big dumb orc.”
“Hey,” the orc said, offended. “I not dumb. I graduate from O.U.”
“You hear of it?” the orc said. “It small school, but prestigious in own way.”
“Uh-huh,” Jane said. The sexual energy she had built up in battle was not stuck with nowhere to go, and idle chatter frustrated her. Still, at least her cellmate wasn’t intent on savaging her prone body—though as horny as she was, the thought did almost appeal to her. “What’d you major in? Smashing?”
“No,” he said. “Smashing intramural sport. Grum major in art history. Minor in philosophy.”
“And yet here you are,” Jane said, instantly angry at herself for doing so. Why would she want to aggravate the orc? She took a deep breath and prepared for the worst, but it didn’t come.
“Economy tough,” he said. “Grum take night classes at culinary school. Get job. Pay bills.”
“Your parents must be proud.”
“Don’t know,” he said. “Grum kill father. Don’t know mother.”
“Dude,” Jane said. “That sucks. I’m sorry.”
“No worry. Just orc way.”
A moment of silence passed between them. Jane felt her eyes undressing the orc, tried to shake it off, but only felt hornier for the effort. “So, what now?” she said.
“Don’t know,” he had. “Maybe just wait for end.”
“Hey!” Jane said. “That’s no way to talk. You can’t give up yet.”
“What Grum to do? Not strong enough to kick down door. Pretty naked lady strong, too, but chained.”
“You think I’m pretty?
“No!” Jane blurted. “No, just … you know … I thought orcs would just stick their giant dicks in anything.”
“That stereotype,” Grum said.
“Former,” Grum said. “Grum average size.”
“But you’ll stick it anywhere?”
“Grum no comment,” he said. After a weird moment he added, “Does not mean Grum not appreciate beauty.” The orc moved toward her, and she tensed.
“What are you going to do to me?” she said, her voice quaking in a confusion of fear and lust. His hand moved toward her, but only to check the strength of the chains holding her hands up. He yanked, and with a crack-thump the stones that anchored the chains crashed to the floor in front of Jane.
“Not what Grum expected,” he said. “Hoped chain snap.” Jane thought for a moment about her new strength, and tried to lift the stones, but doing so was awkward and she couldn’t get any footing. Grum knelt and inspected the chains at her feet. He tried gripping them and pulling, but the masonry on the floor was much more sound, and all he did was pinch Jane’s ankles in their shackles.
“Yeeow!” she yelped.
“Sorry,” he said, placing his hand on her hip as an apology. Jane had expected his skin to be as rough as it looked, but it was actually smooth—tough, but smooth. And it was warm, a welcome sensation in the drafty dungeon cell. She took in a small breath, and he drew his hand back. “Oh, sorry.”
“It’s ok,” Jane found herself saying. “The warmth was nice.”
“Pretty human cold?”
“Jane,” she said. “Call me Jane, ok?”
“Ok. Grum name Grum.”
“I got that.” After a moment, she said, “Are you going to put your hand back or not?” Grum put his hand back on her hip. Even on his knees he was a head taller than she was, and she had to look up to meet his eyes, which, it turned out, were a pleasant shade of green.
“Better?” he asked.
“Better,” Jane said. Though she couldn’t move her feet much, the relative unbinding of her hands left her some degree of mobility, and she rotated as much as she could of herself to face him. When she did, his large hand slid around to her stomach. The warmth and sensation of touch made Jane shiver with relief and desire.
“Jane still cold?” Grum said, and she nodded. He slid his hand back to her hip, but brought his other hand up to caress the other side. The touch was light for such a large creature, and Jane saw a gentle awkwardness in his smile.
“First time?” she said.
Grum nodded. “With human.”
“My first time was last night,” Jane said, “so I know how you feel.” She placed her shackled hands over his and urged them upward until his fingers rippled over her nipples. She sighed in pleasure, and Grum became more adventurous, caressing and gently kneading Jane’s young breasts. “Mmm,” she moaned softly. “That feels great.” Temptation became too much for her, and she unbuttoned the front of his shirt. Muscle moved under greenish skin, and when she touched his chest the skin prickled and she heard his breathing turn briefly ragged. She smiled at him, he smiled back, and then she kissed him.
It was a strange kiss, yes, but his breath was pleasant, almost naturally minty, and his lips were surprisingly soft, given the toughness of the rest of his skin. They kissed again, and Grum’s hands slid around to her back, pressing her into him. Her breasts pressed against his strong chest, she felt herself melt into him, surrendering to his caresses. His hands moved up and down her back, moving ever closer to her butt, and she pressed her face into his chest and sighed with lust when they finally found their marks.
“Jane like?” Grum said, massaging her buttocks.
“Jane like,” she said, pressing against his hands.
“Jane want more?”
“Jane want more,” she moaned, as his fingers, due solely to the size of his hands, came dangerously close to her smooth labia and tight little anus. “Just be gentle with me. It’s my first time with a man.”
“Grum thought first time was last night.”
“It was with a woman,” Jane said. Grum’s eyes lit up, and she said, “Long story. Tell you later, ok?”
“Grum look forward,” he said with a mischievous grin. After a bit more teasing, he moved one hand around front, and slid his middle finger along her slit. Jane gasped and saw stars. Grum brought his finger up, moist with her juices. Like a fine sauce, he tasted her, and then grunted.
“Everything ok?” Jane said, almost offended.
Grum let out a quaking breath. “Grum always hear human female juice aphrodisiac, but not believe. Now believe.”
Jane giggled, but then stopped short when Grum eased his finger into her soaking pussy. “Ah, fuck!” she moaned. His digit slipped farther into her, and then ran against her hymen, causing her to yelp. “Jane ok?”
“It’s my …” she started, but trailed off in a muddle of pain and pleasure. His finger was so big, it might as well have been a cock.
“Oh,” Grum said, backing his finger out until just the first knuckle was inside her.
“Just do it quickly,” she said. He nodded and rammed his finger into her, filling her virginal canal. Jane hugged him tight around the neck and squeaked in pain from behind clenched teeth. But as he began to move his finger in and out of her, the pain turned to pleasure. Soon enough, Jane was panting, and then moaning, and then grinding her hungry pussy against his finger. “Oh yeah…” she moaned.
Before she could come, Grum slid his finger from her and tried to lift her up, but was reminded in short order that she was anchored to the floor. He roared in frustration, and Jane froze in terror as she saw the full extent of an orc’s rage. This time, when he yanked on her leg chains, the metal snapped as if made of yarn. Jane stumbled backward and fell over, and Grum stood over her, his chest rising and falling with inhuman passion. He crouched and looked as if he were going to pounce, and Jane scooted away, but her hands were still anchored to the floor by the stones from the ceiling. Grum grabbed her ankles, spread her legs open, and then fell upon her, face first between her legs.
Jane’s mind careened in confusion, and then did a sharp U-turn when she felt Grum’s tongue, hot and wet against her sex. The orc, on his knees and elbows, shifted his hands up to her butt, holding it up off the ground and kneading it as his tongue explored every inch of the girl’s juicy pussy. “Fuck!” she gasped as his tongue, ran circles around her clit. He slid a finger back into her, and she bucked and wrapped her creamy legs around his head. “Oh fuck!” Orgasm smashed into her like a truck, and her eyes rolled back in her head. Grum continued to lick her until she went slack, twitching every so often.
When she regained her wits, Grum sat next to her, smiling. “Jane happy?”
“Jane happy,” she nodded.
“Want leave now?”
Jane crawled over to him and tasted herself on his lips. “What, when we have the room to ourselves?” She pushed him down to the floor and kissed him again, her legs straddling his chest. Moving down, she kissed and licked the strong chest and belly, until she reached the waistband of his pants. She took a breath, undid the front, and slid them down, revealing the orc’s large cock. “Jeez, man, I thought you said you were average size!”
“For orc,” he corrected. The cock before her was almost a foot long and as big around as the haft of her axe. It was slightly knobbed, too, which made it look even more alien. “Understand if too big for tiny human.”
“Who you calling tiny?” Jane said, and then placed her hand around his mighty shaft. When she leaned in and licked from the base to just under the head, he growled, “Tongue so soft. So good.” Encouraged, Jane licked again. She thought it would be weird, or that she would feel differently, this large, strange cock being her first, but she found herself comfortable with it. More than that, she wanted it. She wanted to taste it—wanted it inside her. She had wondered if she might only like girls after the night with her sister, but every cell in her body cried out for sex, not just with her, but with anyone and anything that would have her. She knew it was the mansion filling her with desire, but at the moment, she couldn’t possibly care less.
Jane’s lips rippled as they ran up the side of Grum’s knobby cock. One side, and then the other, she coated his hot member in her saliva, until, reaching the head, she opened her mouth as wide as it would go and felt his hot meat pulsing against her tongue. She took as much of him as she could, but it was scarcely half. He growled in pleasure and slid a hand down her back, over her firm round ass, and then dipped a finger into her pussy. Jane moaned, and the vibration made Grum growl louder. Jane sped up her bobbing, lost in ecstasy, and felt the orc’s cock become slick with her spit.
Suddenly, Grum pulled her mouth from his cock, and she saw a primal glint in his eyes. He pushed her back, flipped her over so her ass was in the air, and placed the tip of his throbbing member against her drooling opening. Jane felt the thick head spreading her labia, and grunted as they stretched to maximum. “Grum!” she squealed. “Go slow. It’s so big.” The orc slowed his push, but not by much. He was losing control, and just as Jane thought he would tear her in two, the head popped into her. Relief for a moment, and then his advance stretched her again. Two more inches, two more, one more, and then he bottomed out. He tried to press further into her, but she screamed as he jammed his cock against her cervix. The pain was blinding, and she tried to pull away, but Grum held her fast. He did back off a bit though, and she gasped as the pain receded.
Jane nodded furiously. “No more room,” she panted, beginning to feel pleasure as the stretching of her pussy mashed her clit firmly against his cock. He backed out a bit, pushed forward, backed out more, and pressed forward, always stopping just short of her cervix. She gripped the chains that anchored her hands to the stone blocks Grum had torn form the ceiling. How had she not done this before? There were a few boys at school who struck her fancy, and now she wondered how they would feel inside her. Certainly not the same as Grum, his knobby length filling her up in ecstatic rhythm.
But it wasn’t the filling up that shot electricity through her—it was the emptying. Every time Grum’s cock drew back, Jane shuddered with delight, eyes rolling back into her head, mouth agape in a silent scream. Warmth flooded her body, and she came. Her muscles locked down on the orc’s thick meat, and Grum roared in orgasm. Jane felt pressure inside her as hot cum filled what little space was left inside her. “Oh, shit!” she cried out, as the pulsing sensation made her climax again. When Grum grunted and pulled out, Jane felt a torrent of seed spill from her pussy and drip down her legs.
She collapsed forward, seeing stars and only able to make throaty gurgling sounds. The cold stone against her face and breasts hardly registered. Panting and woozy, she lay there for some time until Grum turned her over. “Wazzit, Grummmm?” she slurred.
“Grum make sure you not dead,” he said. “Been known to happen.”
“Oh, thaz nize’v you,” she said, barely able to feel, let alone control her lips. After a minute, she said, “You’re not sleepy?”
“Orc not sleep after sex,” he said. “But ok if Jane sleep. Grum can wait.”
Jane, slowly feeling her senses return, rolled over and got to her knees. One last glob of cum plopped out of her, making her shiver. “No,” she said, seating herself on one of the fallen stones. “No, we should probably get out of here.”
When Jane finally stood, purple fire once again engulfed her. “Ooh!” Grum said. “Jane level up.”