Unrestricted Magic (Teaser)
It began simply when Blairatrix looked up from her still giggling sister and her eyes locked with the unnervingly mismatched gaze of a woman on the other side of the room leaning against the wall. One of her eyes, the left one, was a light powder blue, even somewhat cheerful and transparent, but her other eye was dark as pitch and bottomless in its depth. Blairatrix jolted in surprise from the intensity of the woman’s gaze. She suddenly felt both naked and vulnerable as the woman continued to hold her attention trapping her and holding her hostage. It was like everything around her was blurry and muted as her vision tunneled in on the woman who then smirked. Blairatrix felt a warm hand grab her face and her eyes were ripped from the woman to meet the irritated gaze of Belledonna.
It took a moment for Blairatrix to come back to herself and at that moment all hell broke loose. The beat dropped, and the dry ice sprayed in a gray cloud on the sweaty bodies of the dancers, and in that second something wet sprayed across Blair’s body from where she was facing the middle of the room. Her first thought was that the dry ice had reached her, and now clung to her like sweat, but when she looked down at her white dress the coloration of the liquid that now covered the front of her was unmistakably dark and thick. She could feel it soaking through her dress. It was warm unlike the dry ice and the familiar coppery tang of blood overpowered the colognes and perfumes permeating within the club.
She looked up into the panicked eyes of her twin and all she could think of was how she had somehow ruined Belle’s dress. Then the screaming started drawing Blair’s gaze back to the dance floor where four people, two men, and two women, were splayed in awkward poses, all headless. Like broken dolls, she couldn’t help but think. Dolls carelessly beheaded by a child wanting to play in a deceivingly innocent way by mutilating their toys.
She was jerked from her shocked musing and forced down into a crouch by Belledonna who was glancing around the room as if searching for someone or something. She felt it then. The tingle at the base of her skull, like ants crawling along her skin. The humming that had dulled to a faint buzz after her run that morning was now thrumming throughout her body like a live wire. Blairatrix shivered. She knew this feeling too well. Most of all, she had never wanted to feel it again but even she knew that was unrealistic.
The sharp sting of pain drew her back to the present and for a moment everything was quiet. Then the sound and sights of reality slammed into her like a freight train. People were running, pushing, like angry animals attempting to escape a hungry predator. Panic. It was complete panic all around. She realized now that Belledonna had dropped them under the table to escape the mob that would have swept them away or possibly trampled them in their mad dash to the stairs. Pools of blood covered the floor, people slipping and sliding along the once reflective surface.
“Goddammit, Blair, are you listening?”
She looked up and met her sister’s gaze. “Do you feel it?”
Belledonna breathed a sigh of relief. “Thank goodness! I thought I was going to have to drag you out of here.”
“Belle, do you feel it?”
Belledonna frowned and began to shake her head before the implications of the question dawned on her. “You do?”
Blairatrix nodded. “It’s evil then.”
“Blair, can you handle it?”
She concentrated on the humming beneath her skin, like a raging animal, it was clawing to escape in any way it could. The tingle traveled along her spine and down her arms to settle like ice within her palms. Looking down, Belledonna gasped when she felt a jolt from where their hands were connected. It burned, making her drop her twin’s hand.
“Blair, can you handle it?” She asked again.
All Blairatrix could do was nod. “For a little bit at least.”
“We need to get out of here.”
Blairatrix looked over to the stairs and shook her head. There was no way they were getting out that way. She felt the hum and it drew her eyes back to the dead bodies littering the dance floor. There were three more added to the count. It was the pull as she called it. There was no other way to describe whatever this was. It was just a pull towards the dead. The need to touch them, to feel the lifeless corpses and worst of all, to breath command into them. It was her pull. The complete opposite of her sister’s. She could see the light glow of her sister’s affliction within her palms. Blairatrix knew they would be warm, had felt them once before on her own cold lifeless body, and yet she knew that as she was, as they were, they could not have skin contact at this time. Not only would it be painful, but it was also a hazard to their health. While Belledonna breathed life, Blairatrix was cursed to command the dead.
She looked down only to jump back. Somehow while distracted, she had inched forward towards the body closest to where they were hiding and was reaching out to touch it. Belledonna grabbed her arm, they both winced, and pulled her the rest of the way back. “Control yourself!”
Belledonna had opened her mouth to add to her reprimand but she never had the chance to finish as a dark figure flying into their table interrupted them. Belledonna screamed. Blairatrix had enough wits to grab her sister, shuddering at the shock of pain, and pulled them to safety. Then her eyes locked on the mismatched orbs or the woman she had seen before all the chaos. Her heterochromic eyes widened as if she was surprised Blairatrix was looking at her, then they narrowed as they dropped down to see Belledonna gasp in pain, and shove her sister away.
The dark figure released a guttural groan and leaped back to its feet and Blairatrix finally got a good look at it. The humming violently rippled through her body and she yelped as she felt the sizzle of power chill her hands where it collected. She felt cold as death as she stared into the red eyes of a monster. It stood at ten feet tall, towering over them with ease. Its arms hung low dragging across the ground as it slouched. With claws like daggers and skin ashen and stretched, it growled. Sharp jagged teeth protruded from a long haphazard jaw that dripped with a dark liquid that Blairatrix suspected was blood. On the center of its forehead was a sharp bone white horn with a strange symbol carved into. Blairatrix trembled as the creature lifted one of its arms and gipped its jaw between its long boney fingers, and with a sudden movement followed by a sickening crunch that overpowered the thumping music, it snapped its jaw back into place.
“Move!” the command was given seconds before the creature sprung forward, moving impossibly fast for something so big, but they were precious seconds Blairatrix used to push her sister one way while she jumped the other, both escaping by hairs as the creature reached forward to swipe at them. Blairatrix fell, tripping in her heels, which she cursed and quickly kicked off. Looking back up, she watched in fascination as the woman jumped forward carrying some sort of short stick in her hand, and with quick nimble movements, she ducked and dodged every attack of the monster, managing to get within the guard of the creature. With a flick of her stick, now held underneath the bloody jaw, the creatures head exploded spraying brain matter and bone in every direction. Its horn lodging in the floor inches from Blair’s hand. Blairatrix felt the same pull towards the now dead creature as she had towards the bodies only this time it was unbearably strong. As the headless body dropped to the ground Blairatrix stood and moved closer. The woman had turned to say something to Belledonna only for Belledonna to scream.
It was too late. The pull was too strong. Painfully, it drew her forward. She tried to resist but it was futile as her ice cold fingers wrapped around the ashen skin of the creature’s hand. She felt the lifeless stiffness of the still warm body and was filled with purpose. A command rose to her lips and she released it breathlessly.
The word released the power humming from within her. It burst painfully from her chest and down her arms where it escaped from her palms and slammed into the dead body of the creature. The shock was of dark energy that rippled along the ashen skin before the creature jerked up into a standing position and stood in headless attention waiting for Blair’s next order.
“Why the hell did you do that?” The lyrical voice drew Blair’s attention even as she released a breath of relief now that the build-up of power had been eased if only slightly.
She turned to meet the irritated mismatched gaze of the woman. “Well?”
“That doesn’t answer my question.”
Belledonna stood, finally kicking off her heels, and came to stand next to her sister. “She doesn’t have to answer your question! Who the hell are you?”
The woman crossed her arms over her chest, the strange stick hanging carelessly from her hand. She studied them for a moment before glancing over to the reanimated creature. Nodding her head in its direction, she asked, “What are you going to do with it?”
Blairatrix looked over only to shudder in disgust at the headless monster. “I don’t know.”
“Then release it before your control wavers and I have to kill it again.”
Blairatrix didn’t know who was more surprised at her comment, her, Belledonna, or the woman.
Blairatrix shook her head as her vision suddenly became blurry. The humming was back in full force throbbing throughout her body. The pull drew her gaze to the other dead bodies within the now empty club. She needed to release more of the energy, it was burning beneath her skin like the frozen bite of winter and releasing it eased the cold that was filling her veins. She reached down and touched the floor. Her body moving mindlessly and her vision clouding over in darkness. She felt the painful touch of her sister and heard her speak but it was as if Belledonna was on the other end of a tunnel. The humming surged throughout her body and into the floor before she was tackled to the floor and brought back to the present.
“What the hell is your problem?” The woman was glaring down at her, holding her pointy stick against Blair’s throat, as she hovered over her.
Blairatrix shuddered. The woman had blown the creatures head off with that stick and now it was under her chin, she thought absently. The woman was so warm though and the ice was filling her veins. She released a shaky breath that clouded between them. The woman’s face went from annoyance to one of understanding and she held Blairatrix to the floor with one hand firmly on her chest while lifting her wand to rest against Blair’s pulse point on her neck with the other as she sat up, one leg on either side of Blair’s body.
“With the light and darkness within me, unbind her,” she whispered and suddenly the violent humming within her body eased considerably, going back to the dull throb that seemed to always be present. Blairatrix gasped, breathing in the dark woodsy smell of the woman as she lifted herself off of Blairatrix and patted her leg.
“You’re new. I get it. Probably have no idea what you just did.” She frowned and glanced over to Belledonna who was whispering words quietly over the reanimated bodies that Blairatrix had managed to get before being tackled. As she spoke, wisps of light trickled from her fingertips and surrounded each headless body before they slowly crumbled into dust.
“No, not completely new. Yet to be brought in then. Do you have a mentor?” she asked Blairatrix as Belledonna turned the creature into dust as well as drawing the dark energy from its body and turning it into white specks that fell like snow to the floor where it disappeared. It was only then that Blairatrix realized how quiet the club was. She looked around only to see it was completely empty and though she couldn’t hear the music she could still see the speakers vibrating as if playing a silent tune. Odd, she thought and turned back to the woman and shook her head. The woman frowned. “Do you know what a mentor is?”
Blairatrix shook her head again.
“How long have you been able to wield magic?”
“Don’t answer that!” Belledonna came over and helped her sister to her feet. “Who the hell are you? Asking us questions like an interrogator. We don’t owe you anything so just leave us alone!”
Belledonna grabbed Blair’s hand only to gasp out in pain again. “Sorry.”
“Do you know why you can’t touch her even?”
Belledonna glared. “Yes!”
The woman crossed her arms again. “Why?”
“None of your business!”
The woman waited patiently yet her gaze bore into them in silent command. Belledonna frowned but Blairatrix answered for her. “Witches. I’m an evil witch and my sister is a good witch. When the magic gets too strong within me, when the darkness is too strong, I can’t touch her. It hurts.”
Blairatrix shrugged at her sister and turned back to the woman. “Now that I’ve answered your question, will you answer some of mine.”
The woman looked around, nodded as if coming to a decision. She came closer to them and Blairatrix wondered if she was going to attack them, but all she did was bend down and pull the forgotten horn from the floor where it was lodged by Blair’s foot, and stand back up pocketing it in a small pocket at her waist. It was only then that Blairatrix noticed the belt around her waist that held all types of small bags, like some strange type of utility belt. The woman smirked at Blairatrix, as if having read her mind making her blush slightly, then she snapped her fingers. Blairatrix hadn’t realized how quiet it had been until a strange gray shimmered within the club and suddenly the music was blaring and all the people had reappeared and were still clambering to escape the club down the stairs. Before either sister could ask, the woman stepped forward and grabbed both of their shoulders. A shudder of energy and power traveled down Blair’s spine before everything blurred and suddenly they were standing in an alley in front of a red painted door.
“What just happened?” Blairatrix voiced both of their thoughts as the woman stepped forward and pushed the button to an intercom that Blairatrix had only just noticed. It crackled before a deep voice answered.
“Speak the rote.”
“Light and dark have left their mark but gray will never falter.”
She stepped back when the sound of clicking and snapping filled the quiet alley. The door suddenly opened inwards and the woman glanced back to the sisters. “If you want answers, come.”
She then stepped forward through the threshold. Blairatrix met Belle’s gaze who only shrugged and grabbed her hand intertwining their fingers. Blair was thankful for whatever the woman had done as she could now touch her twin again. Whatever they would face on the other side of the door, they would face the way they had faced every other challenge in their life, together.
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