The Elixir of Al-Rūn
A College mage tries to steal an elixir of suggestion from his alchemy teacher, but winds up pranking himself pretty hard. Mature.
The evening bells rang out over the blue domes and white walls of the College, calling all its students to dinner in the Great Hall. By rule, only primes or those with special dispensation from a College Master were exempted. Martin was neither of these, but he had come to learn that during dinner, when the halls were nearly empty, was the ideal time to avoid being caught.
The sleeves of his blue fifth-year's gown were rolled up above his elbows and his dark hair was tucked behind his ears. On his desk before him, a sigiled blue flame lapped at the bottom of his glass alembic. A vial underneath the spout collected the thin, milk-white fluid, a distillation of white betony and hyssop petals.
Crouching down, Martin tapped the side of the alembic, coaxing a few more drops to run down into the vial. The betony and hyssop was spent. They had given him less distillate than he'd hoped, but he was sure it would be enough. He only needed to make it to the alchemy laboratory and back.
Within the laboratory, in the personal collection of Isidore, the College's Master of Alchemy, there sat a glass decanter, inlaid with gold and filled with a rose-red elixir. Martin had seen it only once, when Isidore had taken it from his study to show it to a sixth-year. It had been a gift from a friend of his, a Master at the great University of Al-Rūn, the cradle of alchemy itself. As Isidore described it, the elixir was made of camomile, saffron, a lock of hair cut from a slave's head, and the claw of a tame tiger. If drunk, it would render the drinker pliant and suggestible for a time.
This was his aim: to steal a portion of the elixir of suggestion, enough for several doses, and use it for his own ends. First of these would be Nicholas.
20 January, 2018
Sure, get your face painted like a tiger at the weird renaissance fair booth. What could go wrong? Explicit.
Stepping into the face-painting tent felt like stepping into another world. Perhaps that should have been a warning sign. The tapestried walls of the tent caught the sun, which illuminated their ornate wheels and intricate knots and meanders in silhouette, and bathed the small tent in bronze light. When the tent flap closed behind me, the noise of the fair became muffled and distant.
Sitting on a stool, behind a podium with 'Face Painting' stencilled on it in blackletter, was a woman in a flowing dress, which might have been purple, but the amber light transformed it into satin black. Her braided hair rolled down her back, to the laces of her leather corset. Leaning on her podium with one elbow, she held between her fingers a small crystal ball. She seemed more interested in it than in me, and she wasn't very interested in it.
"Hi," I said, to break the quiet. "You do face painting?"
Briefly, she glanced at me, then back down. "Hold on," she said, and sat up slightly. With a wave of a finger, a gleaming light flickered into the crystal ball. "Hmm. You came to the fair alone, didn't you?"
I made a shy, shrugging laugh. "Yeah, I guess so."
The glow from her crystal ball lit her arched eyebrows. "You want a more exciting life," she said.
That was fair to say of anyone at a renaissance fair. The way she said it was uneasily accurate, though, like she'd plucked the unrealized thought right from my mind. I nodded quietly.
"And you want me to paint your face...like a fairy," she said, with a lazy wave of her hand meant to be dramatic. "Right?"
A moment's silence passed as I came back to reality. "Um, actually no. I was thinking some kind of animal?"
With a a sigh, an eye-roll, and a snap of her fingers, the crystal ball vanished. "That's a lesson for you. Never buy from fortune tellers." She shook her head, then her eyes focused on me again. She stood from the stool and leaned over the podium. "So. What manner of beast does the fair lady wish to be? I've done panthers, griffins, leucrotta..."
I said, "A tiger would be cool."
5 December, 2017
A late Halloween story: Morgan pieces together a last-minute costume and really gets into the role. Mature.
It was one in the afternoon on Halloween. Costumes were splayed on the ground, hanging off the hooks, and half-stuffed back into their bags. Morgan wasn't the only person in the store, but the clutter and high shelves left him feeling alone as he searched for a suitable costume. Maybe he shouldn't have waited until the last minute, but he hadn't known that Faye was going to be at the costume party.
All of the good costumes were gone by now. What were left were the things no one wanted to end up in-character as. A cheap gorilla suit listed to one side on its hanger; he'd have a hard time flirting as a literal ape. An angel costume with halo was slowly shedding its foil stars onto the floor; good if he wanted to be a total goody two-shoes. If he was going to be stuck in-character for the night, he wasn't going to settle for a gorilla or an angel or a cop.
Morgan rounded the corner of the aisle and stopped in front of a tall barrel, big enough that he could have sat inside it. A hand-written posterboard sign was taped up behind it. 'Grab Bin!!' it exclaimed, 'Build a unique look from these assorted accessories. Pick out three for $10!'
Maybe he could piece together something Faye would like. Morgan leaned forward over the thick rim and tried to peer into the barrel. He stuck his hand in, grabbed the first thing he felt, and lifted out a pair of shiny black pumps. The shoes had slim heels and chunky soles and a cheap, plasticky-gloss surface. He was not getting stuck in-character as a girl for the night. He tossed the shoes off to the side and bent over to keep searching through the assortment..
Up on his tiptoes with his head in the barrel, Morgan couldn't see the black heels moving. They quivered, then inched across the floor. Once they were close enough, the black shoes reared back onto their heels, lifting their toes into the air right behind Morgan's feet. In unison, they stomped down on the back of his sneakers. His shoes popped right off his feet and the black plastic heels wriggled their straps up around his black socks.
10 November, 2016
A pitch for an advertisement for Cougr-Lite cigarettes. They'll bring out the cougar in anyone. Mature.
The cloakroom doors swing shut behind him. It's the most important party of the year, and he's young, strapping, and anxious to the point of shivering. He watches the door as he draws a handkerchief from his pocket and drags it across his brow. His nervous breathing fills the room. He tugs at his tie for air.
"You look like you could use a light."
He didn't think there was anyone in the room. He turns, startled, then freezes as he drinks her in. She's a lioness with a heavy gaze and a black velvet dress. Her hips are ready to tear free from her clothes. The way she's perched on her heels, she's ready to pounce. With her hair tucked behind her ears, long and straight, she wouldn't even spoil her hairdo if she did. Some part of him enjoys how intimidating she is, all curves and confidence and sly experience.
"Oh, that's fine, miss," he says, searching for words while his heart hammers. "I've got my own matches."
Her lips glisten, a patronizing smile. "No, not ‘a light'. A Cougr-Lite." She pushes the cigarette pack into his hands. He looks down at the silhouetted cougar, the fine lettering, the silver trim. He raises his head to speak, but she's already at the door.
"Whenever I need a bit more pride," the lioness says, "I reach for a Cougr-Lite."
With a flick of her tail, she slides her magnificent body out of the cloakroom. It's just him and the box of Cougr-Lites. Beyond the door, there's the buzz of conversation. He needs to be out there, but without his courage, that door might as well be a wall.
15 June, 2016
Beach Buff Blues
A trio of police officers on break at the beach find a bottle of sunblock that causes growth, arousal, and aggression. Explicit.
Caitlyn plucked a warm bottle of suntan lotion from the sand and shook it. It glorped heartily back at her.
"Hey, Sarge!" she called out to Jefferson. He was a short distance away, laying out a blue towel in the shade of a beach umbrella.
"We're off duty, Caitlyn," he reminded her. Caitlyn and Jefferson, and Brianna, who was getting the cooler from the car, worked together at the precinct. Even despite Jefferson's natural small stature and mild nature, being a mouse, he was partnered up with the two girls to keep them in line. Today, though, they were just friends hanging out on the beach.
Caitlyn corrected herself. "Whoops, sorry. Hey, Jeffy, check it out!" She held up the bottle of suntan lotion and shook it in his direction. "Free sunscreen!"
4 March, 2016
A nerdy tigress invents a device to steal her boyfriend's muscular build. Explicit.
The last time Sam had tried to spice up things in bed, she'd nearly given her boyfriend an electric shock.
She was a tinkerer by nature. She was never happy when something just worked. She had to know how it worked, why it worked, if it could do its job faster, and how many volts she could run through it before it started smoking. The inner workings of a device spoke more to her than most people did. She didn't get out a whole lot.
Somehow she'd found a boyfriend in Ivan. Actually, she knew exactly how: physics tutoring. Ivan needed it for his distribution requirements, and she wanted a chance to sit and stare at the cute hockey player while he tried to stomp his way around unit conversions.
They couldn't have looked more different. Maybe that was why Sam wanted to make it up to him by coming up with new ways to have sex: because she didn't feel like she was enough for him on her own. She was five foot four at her best, a tigress with stripes that almost looked like glasses and a soft midsection that spilled out a bit if she wore anything too close-fitting. Ivan was six foot five, broad chest, with the sort of shaggy handsomeness that arctic wolves were ideal for. She spent her time in her workroom messing around with disassembled microwaves and scrapped lab equipment, while he was out at the gym, keeping himself in shape.