Author Topic: Serena: a not so short story  (Read 4725 times)

Offline Sparky

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Serena: a not so short story
« on: 22. June 2022, 22:36:34 PM »
A while ago, I started a story over in the "Braces Stories and Braces Special" forum, called 'Serena: a not so short story'... so go there and read 'the story so far. You can also read it over on my Deviant Art page, at . My plan is to continue the story in here....

The story starts when Serena has her 16th birthday, when she is told that she is a witch. We quickly, and conveniently, fast forward to the day of her 18th birthday, the day she had to pledge to her coven (the Coven of the Light): it was expected that, like everyone else, she would pledge to follow the 'path of the light', but something stopped her from doing that: "I, Serena, reject the 'dark side', as it is not my place to carry out those terrible dark evils. However, I feel I can not blindly follow the 'light side' either. There are many shades of grey between the dark and the light - at least 50 of them I have been told - and I feel that my path must follow the light grey... so not fully the 'light side', but maybe 5 or 10 shades darker."

We slowly discover that Serena is actually a rather special witch, foretold by Prophecy.

Oh, yeah, Serena has braces (no surprise there), but it turns out that they are not only made of a special metal, but to carry out her objective, she needs rather more braces fitting: not just full bands, but bands that cover her teeth from top to bottom! And an expander, tongue crib, and a couple of lip bumpers.

We also meet Serena's wand, a special, and rather chatty, wand called 'Wanda' She is invisible unless asked to show herself, and she can only be heard by four specific witches. Wanda has been waiting hundreds of years to meet Serena, and is able to give her a lot of good advice.

We join the story at Chapter 17.....

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #1 on: 22. June 2022, 22:37:07 PM »
Chapter 17: Come here! Not when you feel like it, but now....

Serena didn't really fancy being particularly sociable that afternoon or evening, she was still very self-conscious of the huge amount of metal she had in her mouth, so she decided to read some of the books she had borrowed from Mrs Johnson. Clearly, she wanted to know, and try out, some simple dark spells, but in addition, she was trying to see if there were any indications of how a mix of dark and light magic might work together.

As she read, she couldn't help running her tongue constantly over her braces. Well, not so much the braces, they were fairly similar to the brackets she had before, it was more the expanders, the metal plate, the tongue rake, and those lip bumpers. I mean, that metal plate, although it was fairly hard for her tongue to get to, did feel kinda nice! The lip bumpers were taking some getting used to though, in a similar way that the headgear she used to wear took  getting used to.... they pushed her lips outwards a bit. Ok, maybe nowhere near as much as a normal set of lip-bumpers might do for normal people, but they were still noticeable. The good news was that they did keep her lips away from her brackets... or should I say mega-full-bands.

As Serena read, she tried speaking what she was reading, to practice. Suffice it to say, she had a pretty strong lisp. What she didn't realise (but would discover when she got her Herbsts fitted, thus completing her set of braces) was that already her braces were helping to improve her speech... without their help, her speech would be a LOT worse!

With her last set of braces, she had become quite used to them after 3 or 4 weeks, almost forgetting she had them. She would relax her lips slightly before moving them (for example, when smiling) without even thinking about it. She wondered how long it would take to get used to these braces - if she ever actually did.

Anyway, back to her reading, and the dark magic....

Another thing Serena didn't know was whether witches who practice light magic were even actually capable of using any of the dark spells... it might be that she would need to find a few willing 'test subjects' and try out a few things.

What she did find out was that there are also dark spells that sort-of match the light spells, specifically she found a section on teleportation: the spells were very similar to the light ones, but with an indication that they might be more powerful. She wrote the spell details onto a piece of 'mental paper', and stuck it onto her 'mental wall' next to the equivalent light spells. This was the way Serena's mind worked, she kept notes in her mind, on bits of 'paper'. When she needed a spell, she didn't need to dig into her memory, she just looked at her 'wall', and could instantly read the spell. No having to mutter words quietly, she just saw them and instantly things happened. Which meant she could do spells VERY quickly, much quicker than any other witch she had met, even Sarah.

"Hey, Wanda?"

"Yes, Serena?"

"You got any further with finding Luthifer?"

"Ah, yes, Lucifer... I've not found him so far, but things are looking hopeful, just waiting for someone to get back to me"

"Ok, well, keep on top of it... I could really do with thomeone to guide me with all thith dark magic. I mean, bookth tell you the relevant detailth, but you often need more than that, a bit of contextht. Unleth you can help me?"

"Well, I might be able to.... try me!"

"Ok, well, I'm theeing quite a few dark thpellth that theem to be versionth of the light thpellth I'm familiar with, tho I'm just thinking what would the effect me if I combined the two? Would they help each other? Would it be dangerouth for me?"

"Yes, I see what you're getting at... I'm not 100% sure, but I *believe* you should be ok, but I'll check"

"And am I right in thinking that the dark thpellth are actually thtronger than the light oneth?"

"Yes, most dark spells tend to be noticeably more powerfull, if used to their full extent"

"Now, I'm mainly a light-magic witch, ith there anything that might be able to help me with the darker magic?"

"Possibly. If you remember, your braces and I are both made from the un-holy chain of the angels and Satan. Well, the part we come from is a 'good' part, that still contains the goodness given it by the original angels. But I believe there are also darker parts of the chain, parts tainted by the evil of Satan: in the way that your braces and I can help with the lightness, and help protect against the darkness, I'm thinking that any 'darker metal' would help you with the dark magic. Not sure where you'll find any of the dark bits of chain though"

"And what would I need to do with the chain, to use it?"

"Well, in the same way that your braces are 'intimate' to you, you'd need to do something similar with the dark metal. But I'd suggest that whatever you did, that it be removable, you don't really want to be in contact with it long term"

"Ok, thank you Wanda, that ith all very utheful information.... I'll have to athk around... and maybe you could too? Hey, I don't thupothe you can do anything to thort of make my lithp not tho bad?"

"I'm afraid not, but once your braces are complete, they may be able to help you....."

"Yeah, they did thpeak to me earlier, but they've been thilent thinthe...."

"They aren't yet at full strength, so you'll probably need to wait till you have your last bits added in"

"Ok....". Serena let Wanda disappear, and she kept reading, finishing off the section on object levition and moving things.

"I can't just sit and read this, I need to have a play" said Serena to herself. She didn't want to risk things going wrong, so decided to investigate and compare some simple levitation and 'come to me' spells. Sat on her bed, she looked across the room, where there was a couple of books on a chair. Using light magic, she levitated the book by about a foot, then used another spell to bring the book to her hand, which took a couple of seconds. Then she did the same thing with dark magic. The actual spells in both cases were just words or thoughts, the big difference is the attitude needed to make them work.

Rather than a 'please levitate' attitude, you needed a 'get up in the air!' attitude. Instead of a 'please come to me' attitude, it was more of a "here, now!" attitude. She thought the first spell, looking at the pieces of paper on her mind's wall, but nothing happened.

"Damn you, jutht get up in the air, will you!" barked Serina. Without hesitation, the book levitated. "Now, come here, book!". The book flew straight into her hand.

"Hmm, pretty impressive" she thought to herself. "Now, both of you, back to the chair!". The two books obeyed without hesitation. Serena took a breath, and released the very slight anger she had needed to use.

"Ok" thought Serena, "that was interesting. Now, didn't I see something about a 'summoning' spell somewhere, it might be interesting to see how that one compares.  Oh, hang on, it's in that book on the chair....". Serena gently levitated and brought the book to her, using her normal light magic, then asked the book to open itself, before dropping into her hands. She flicked through the pages, and read about the summoning spell. Unlike the previous spells that moved the object through the air, the summoning spell was a form of teleportation spell, in principle the same idea used to teleport yourself, but this was to teleport something else. One big difference is that the object didn't actually need to be visible, or particularly near. She read the words needed for the spell, putting them on yet another piece of mental paper on her mental wall, next to the previous spells, then read more about the description of how to actually enact the spell.

She put the book she was reading beside her on the bed, then focussed on the book that was remaining on the chair. She 'said' the spell, but nothing happened. "Oh, have I got to get annoyed again? Well I am! I want thith magic to work. Book! Here! In my hand! NOW!!!!". Instantly it appeared in her hand. She put it down on the bed.

"Hmmm.... Ok, I want a biscuit from the biscuit tin in the kitchen, and I want it now, no messing around!" Serena smiled. "Ok, I'm starting to like this!" said Serena, taking a small bite out of the chocolate digestive biscuit that had just appeared in her hand.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #2 on: 22. June 2022, 22:37:34 PM »
Chapter 18: Come on Sarah, just do it!

Wednesday morning: Serena woke up, with a strange feeling and taste in her mouth. A very metallic taste. She tried running her tongue around her mouth, but found a few bits were getting in the way. Ah yes, she got her braces replaced yesterday, didn't she? A bit of a braces upgrade....

Unlike the first time when she got braces (so just over 2 years ago) when her teeth felt quite sore and delicate for a week or so, this time there was no pain at all. However, this time there was an awful lot more metal in her mouth. And she had a pretty bad lisp to go with it.

Brushing her teeth after dinner last night was fun! Having had the previous set of braces for 2 years meant that Serena knew, in principle, how to brush her teeth. The  'remove food from my braces' spell made things a lot easier, but she still needed to get used to brushing carefully around her new expanders and tongue rake.

As Serena lay in bed, she wondered if she could use some form of magic to make brushing her teeth simpler (and quicker!). Clearly there would be no 'off the shelf' spells, after all, braces is a pretty new invention. So she would need to look at a few suitable spells, and either modify them or combine them.

Serena was now awake enough to think about getting breakfast. But what to have? Coffee was a no-brainer, but what about food. Yesterday she had a word with mum, and they came up with macaroni cheese... nice and soft, and although the macaroni bits got everywhere, that wasn't too much of a problem, her magic could fix that ok.

It wasn't so much the after-effects of eating that was the issue, it was the actual eating. She had a feeling that eating toast with a pair of expanders and a tongue rake would not be easy. Maybe cereals would work a bit better? So she went down, and had her breakfast. Like yesterday, she didn't really feel up to going out in public, or meeting with her friends just yet, so, while she was eating, she texted Sarah (she decided it would be a lot simpler than talking on the phone with her lisp), to see if she could go over and do some magic practice with her. Sarah texted back to say it was ok, come over when she was ready.

So, shower completed, and braces all cleaned, Serena got dressed, then teleported over to see Sarah, taking the dark magic books with her.

"Good morning, Serena, how are you today?" asked Sarah

"I'm fine thankth" replied Serena with a lisp.

"Ah, yes, you got your braces updated yesterday, didn't you, how did it go? Sore?"

"Getting the new bratheth on wath actually thimple: they fit tho well, they themed to jutht want to fit themthelveth. And they don't hurt at all. I jutht have thith annoying lithp.... I hope you can underthand what I'm thaying?"

"Yes, I can, and it's good to hear they are comfortable"

"I have to get thome more bitth fitted tomorrow, but Wanda thinkth that will actually make thingth eathier for me, as the bratheth will then be at full power. Tho, Tharah, I wath hoping we could do thomething a bit different today..."

"Ok, what you thinking?"

"I'd like to try and teach YOU thome magic today! Thome very thimple dark magic"

"But I can't do dark magic"

"How do you KNOW that?"

"Erm.... that's actually a good question! I guess because I've never tried to do any"

"Ok.... tho how would you like to try thome? It's pretty bathic thtuff, I tried it out latht night"

"Yeah, ok.... so what sort of spells you thinking of?"

"Levitation, summoning objectth..."

"That sounds pretty harmless... go on"

Serena looked around, and saw a pen on the small table: she asked Sarah to use light magic to levitate it, and bring it over to her hand, but asked her to describe how and what she was doing. It matched exactly what Serena had done last night.

"Ok, now put the pen back, and do it again, but as fatht as you can". Sarah did it again, faster this time, because she wasn't describing it.

"Yeah, that's about the thame ath I can do with light magic.... go on, let me show you". Sarah put the pen down again, and Serena motioned it to her hand, at about the same speed, then put it back again. "Now, thee what happenth if I uthe a dark thpell... I jutht need to get thlightly annoyed firtht...". She took a moment to annoy herself, then called out "Pen, here, now!": it snapped sharply into her hand.

Serena walked Sarah through the dark spell, but despite Sarah trying several times, the pen stayed firmly on the table. Serena was staring to get a bit frustrated, not really with Sarah, but more the fact that the dark magic just didn't want to work. Maybe she needed to get her a bit annoyed.

"Come on Tharah, what the hell are you playing at? It took me jutht 2 minuteth to do it last night. Get a grip will you! Thtop messing around, and jutht DO IT, will you! All you have to do is to hate that pen, and tell it what you want it to do! Now try it again, before I REALLY get annoyed with you!".

Clearly that slightly upset Sarah, who looked at the pen menacingly, and said the words of the spell yet again. This time, the pen obeyed!

"Well done, Tharah! You jutht did your firth dark magic thpell! You jutht needed a bit of anger to make it work"

"So I CAN do dark magic!"

"Which is good, becauthe now you KNOW you can, the nextht one will be a bit thimpler....". Serena explained about the 'summon object' spell, and walked Sarah through it. Now that Sarah understood that she needed to be slightly 'dark' when executing the spell, she managed the summon spell first time: "Pen, in my hand, and no messing around!"

"The thing that interests me, Serena, is how you manage to do your magic without actually needing to say the words of the spell. From the day I learned my magic, I was always told you had to 'say the magic words'"

"Well, I DO thay the wordth, jutht not out loud. The way my mind workth, I imagine that I have a wall, and on the wall, I've stuck lotth of bitth of paper. Tho, my thommoning thpell ith up here" - she motioned with her hand. "Nextht to it ith the levitation thpells, one light, one dark.... and tho on" she continued, moving her hand around. "Tho, when I want to DO a thpell, I look at the relevant bit of paper. I already KNOW the thpell, tho I don't need to actually thay it, I justht read the thpell in one go, like you do when reading a thign...."

Wanda appeared. "I have an idea.... Serina, hold up some fingers"

"How many?"

"Any number between one and four seems reasonable" said Wanda, joking a little. Serena held up three fingers.

"Ok, Sarah, how many fingers is she holding up?"

"Three" replied Sarah.

"And how do you know that? Did you count them? One, two three?"

"No, I just looked, and my brain told me there were three"

"Ok, let's try this then... Serena, write the dark summoning spell on a piece of paper, so Sarah can read it. Now hold the paper in one hand, and the pen in the other". She did as Wanda said. "Ok, Serena, back to you..."

"Sarah, just glanth at the piethe of paper, READ the wordth all in one go, don't actually thay them out loud, juth in your mind, and at the thame time, focuth on the pen. Now, if you thay even ONE word, or you don't do it firtht time, I'm gonna be very annoyed with you!!".

Sarah glanced at the paper, looked at the pen, and in her mind thought something along the lines of 'Pen, if you don't get to my hand double quick, Serena and I will both get very upset with you!'. It did what it was told.

"Ok, so I get the idea, but I have no idea how I'm gonna get that concept into my mind... I think my mind works very differently from yours."

"Ok, I can underthand that.... tho maybe you need to think of your own way of vithualithing things. Hey, that's YOUR homework!!!" said Serena with a smile. "Hey, lets go make a cuppa, but do it with jutht the dark levitation and thummoning spellth, it will be good practithe for both of us!"

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #3 on: 22. June 2022, 22:38:00 PM »
Chapter 19: A mouth full...

Over the next couple of days, Serena met up with some of her 'normal' friends, and went swimming, which made a very pleasant change from learning to do magic.

Finally, it was time to get the last bits of her 'upgraded' braces, her Herbst appliances.... well, the 'piston' bits. Needless to say the fitting was simple and trivial: Serena having laid back in the treatment chair, with lip-spreaders in her mouth, Peter hardly needed to do anything: he held the 'piston' parts in the right place, with the screws ready in the holes at the end, then watched in awe as the screws simply screwed themselves into place!

As the last screw went in, Serena could feel strange things in her mouth. Power. Strength. A feeling of something that could control darkness. She closed her eyes.

"Thank you, Therena" said the voice in her head. "We are now whole, and we are here, at your thervice!". Serena was fine with the concept of a talking wand, I mean, she just talked out loud. But this was different. It was hard to describe... was it actually a voice, or was it just influencing her thoughts? Not that it really mattered, the end result were the same: her braces seems to be able to talk with her.

"Ok, braces" thought Serena to herself, "it's nice to be able to talk to you now you're complete, you've been pretty quiet so far.."

"Yes, we apolgithe for that, our power wath weak, it took a lot to thpeak to you the other day, tho we dethided to just wait until today.."

"Ok, so what can you do for me, to help me?"

"Now that we are one, you will find that, ath you train, you will find thingth to be a lot eathier to learn and to do. We can advithe you, lead you. You will be more alert, more aware of the otherth around you. We are altho very aware of the dark powerth... we know that you mutht learn the dark powerth, tho we will help you learn about them, but we will altho do our betht to help protect you from them...."

"Wow, a lot to take in...."

"Yeth, it ith, but we will help you ath and when you need it, and you can talk to uth at any time..."

"ok... by the way, thank you for not causing any pain, like most braces do, it's appreciated!"

"Why would we want to cauthe you pain? We are here to help you, and we know that having such exthtreme metal in your mouth ithn't going to be eathy for you, tho the leatht we can do ith to be painleth. By the way, we can adjust ourthelves if we're not quite in the betht pothithion for you"

"Hey, a question: how come you guys have such a lisp?"

"Oh, you athk thuch embarathing quethtions, don't you? Come on, Therena, we're a thet of exthtreme brathes, of courthe we have a lithp! But it doethn't mean that you need to have one, if you'd prefer not to?"

"Really? Oh, yes it would be rather nice to not have a lisp.... except maybe when I'm at school, or interacting with people from school.... they would think it VERY odd if I didn't have a lisp with you lot in my mouth!"

"Yeth, we can do that for you... do give uth guidanthe if we don't quite get it right. We are your thervants, we are here to help you, your majethty-to-be."

"You ok there, Serena?" asked a voice that wasn't in her head. Serena opened her eyes again, and saw Gemma.

"Yes, I'm fine, thanks, I was just having a nice chat with my new braces!" explained Serena.

"They talk to you? They are some cool braces.... and you don't seem to have a lisp any more!"

"You're right, I don't, do I? Sausages. Six sliced sausages! Sizzling slowly in the saucepan! Thanks braces!"

"Our pleathure...."

"Hey, do you know Wanda, my wand?"

"We know of her, her importanthe ith well noted in hithtory.."

"In that case... Wanda!" said Serena silently.

"Yes, your Serenaness!" said Wanda, appearing in Serena's hand. As ever, she was invisible to all others, and of course neither Gemma nor Peter could hear her.

"Please introduce yourself to my braces..."

"Hello there, Serena's braces! I'm assuming that you are now complete, and are now able to help Serena"

"Hello there, mighty Wanda! It'th a pleathure to meet you! Yeth, we are now complete, and ready to help the mighty Therena in everthing she doeth."

"Oh, good, my calculations were correct, you are sufficient! Tell you what, we can talk further tonight, when Serena is asleep, if that's ok with you"

"Abtholutely... thee you later!" replied the braces.

"All ok there, Serena?" asked Peter, raising her to the sitting position. He had already removed the lip-spreader while Serena was chatting with her braces.

"Yes, thank you. My braces seem to be very ready and willing to help me..."

"You have enough metal in your mouth then?"

"I believe so... hey, Gemma, got that mirror? I'd love to see my Herbsts..". Gemma passed Serena the mirror: she smiled widely, so she could see the new additions to her braces. At the top back she could see the Herbst tube had a bracket on its side, which was screwed into the fixings of her upper molars. The other part was a smaller rod, that fitted inside the rear tube, and had a bracket on it's end, that screwed into the fixing on her lower canines. The craftmanship was, like her other braces, absolutely excellent - smooth, shiny, and operated without her feeling a thing.

Now, Serena had done a little research online, and understood that normally, as well as holding your lower jaw forwards, a herbst stopped you moving your jaw side-to-side. Except hers didn't, she was finding that they were not preventing her from moving her jaw in any way she wanted! She wasn't quite sure what was going on, but she suspected that they were doing a similar thing to her tongue rake, and were acting like they were made of rubber. Serena decided not to worry about the details of what was going on, she knew that they were rather special braces.

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #4 on: 23. June 2022, 08:49:03 AM »
I'm glad that you came back to this story. No story should end before the author is ready for it to end.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #5 on: 25. June 2022, 17:58:07 PM »
Chapter 20 - look who's at the coffee shop..

After Serena got her braces upgrade, her mum collected her, and they both went in to town for lunch, Serena told her about the new bits on her braces, and how they were now magic enough to talk to her, and how they had got rid of the lisp that's she'd had the last few days.

Of course, eating her lunch wasn't trivial with all the metal in her mouth.... First it simply was difficult to eat with expanders and a tongue rake, plus not only did it get caught in her actual braces, around the archwires, it would also catch in her expanders, under and around her tongue rake, and in the bottom of her cheeks, where it was hard for her tongue to get to. Luckily her herbst was enough out of the way to cause major eating problems, and as for the lip-bumpers, Serena was able to remove them when she ate.

Cleaning up for her was much easier than it would have been for a normal person. Not only could she use the "remove the food from my braces" spell that Peter had taught her, her braces also did there best to clean up after she ate. After that, she just needed a fairly straight-forward (well, as straight-forward as you'd expect, with all that metal in her mouth) brush to freshen her mouth. Plaque was a minimal issue: plaque collects on the surfaces of teeth.... and most of hers were well covered and sealed in metal!

After lunch, Serena called Mrs Johnson, to see if it was ok to go around and change the books she had borrowed, and do some more reading while she was there.... and maybe blag a cup of tea too.

"I have an even better idea: why don't you come over at say 4 o'clock, then have dinner with me. That will give you a couple of hours to do your reading, plus I would LOVE to have some company for dinner for a change"

After telling her mum her plans, Serena decided to stay in town. She had been inspired by Samantha's new nose piercing, and decided she wanted to try something similar herself. She knew there were a couple of shops that would probably have what she wanted, so made her way to one of them. Luckily the shop was quiet, so she was able to explain to the assistant what she wanted: fake lip / nose rings. While she wanted to try the look, she didn't actually want to get her nose or lips actually pierced. The shop had quite a selection - they were obviously quite popular.

There were many to choose from: many were very cheap costume jewellery, covered in plastic or painted, but Serena decided she needed something that looked a bit nicer, so went for some gold-looking ones. Some were nothing more than a bent piece of wire, but Serena decided to go with the ones that had a sort of "nail-head" on the inside, they looked like they would be a bit more comfortable. Before leaving the shop, she used a mirror, and inserted one of the rings in her nose, and two, next to each other, in her lip: she liked what she saw!

Her next stop was the hairdresser. It had been a while since she had had her hair cut, and she was finding that it had become annoying. But the question was what should she actually do with her hair. The place she was going to, which is where she had gone about a year ago, was a 'younger persons' sort of place, and they had a nice system that could take a picture of you, and then show how different styles would look on you. So whilst she wouldn't be able to actually have it cut today, one of the stylists was able to spend 10 minutes with her, trying out ideas, and making suggestions, and after that, she made an appointment.

Finally she went to the pound shop, where she stocked up on things like paper and pens for when she went back to school, plus bought a few bits of cheap makeup, which she could try out.

As you might have worked out by now, Serena had decided that she was bored with how she currently looked, and wanted to change things, and actually give herself a fairly substantial makeover. I mean, if she was supposed to be the one to save the world, she should at least look a bit more like someone who actually could!

Shopping done, she dived into one of the (far too many) coffee shops, and was about to sit down, when she heard a voice: "Hey, Serena!". She looked to where the voice was, and saw Amber, one of her class-mates from school, along with a couple of other girls from school, so decided to go and join them. She smiled as she got to them.

"Hiya! I do like the new look!" said Amber. Serena had to think for a moment: she'd put her lip / nose rings in over half an hour ago, and had already got used to them. She suspected that, for some strange reason, her braces were helping with any discomfort or annoyance, they were nice like that. She was about to answer Amber, when she suddenly thought that she needed to have a lisp - the plan was to have one when she was at school, so if she didn't also have one now, people (or more specifically any of the kids at school) might be a bit suspicious.

"Hey, braces, these are people from school, can you give me a lisp, like we discussed" thought Serena.

"Thertainly, Serena, lithp mode ith engaged!"

"Oh, the ringth, only jutht got them about an hour ago. Yeah, I'm working on a thlightly new look, thethe are the firtht thtep!" said Serena

"Actually, I was thinking more about the other metal, the stuff in your mouth."

"Oh, right, yeah, my bratheth...". For the first time, Serena actually felt quite embarrassed by her mouthful of metal. Because they helped her so much, her braces had already become amazingly normal to her, and it was easy to forget quite how extreme they actually were. "My ortho had to give me a bit of an upgrade, to fixth thome problemth I theem to have". Serena hoped they would accept her rather simple explanation.

"Well, I'm glad it's not me, but they do look pretty different, but pretty cool at the same time. And yeah, the rings work too!" said Jenny, one of the other girls, who had her own real nose ring. Serena relaxed a bit as she realised that they were ok with her new braces... and rings!

"My ringth are all jutht faketh, although I might dethide to get real oneth, if I like them".

"I used to have a fake too... getting a proper piercing is sore for a day or two, and takes a week or two to fully heal, but in the longer term, it feels much more comfortable" replied Jenny.

"So, looks like you've been getting ready for next week too. Looking forward to getting back?" said Amber, referring to the fact that the new school year started next Monday, and that Serena had a back of school stuff from the pound shop.

"Yeth, I have.... and yeth, I think I am, in a way." Serena was pleasantly surprised that the girls were willing to chat with her - at school, although there was never any animosity, Serena had never really mixed with them. Maybe now that they were all in their last year, things would change? She sat with them and chatted for a while. With a lithp of course.

"Look, I have to go, I'm thupposed to be meeting up with thomeone at 4... thee you all on Monday!" said Serena.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #6 on: 27. June 2022, 20:19:21 PM »
Chapter 21 - more dark magic.

Serena arrived at Mrs Johnson's, and was taken to the library, where she replaced the books she had read. She then removed the 'locked book' from the shelf, and asked for the key, which Mrs Johnson got for her.

"You're welcome to take the book with you, if you wish, just keep it locked...."

Serena unlocked then opened the book. She instantly felt it's darkness, and almost immediately felt her braces starting to protect her. "Yeth, there ith a lot of darkneth there, but I think you mutht read it. Don't worry, we will protect you," her braces told her.

Mrs Johnson left Serena to read the book, and went to make them a cuppa.

The first chapter of the book explained many of the basic dark spells, including the levitation spell she had learned from the other book: as she expected most were amazingly similar to the light spells that she had learned in the last 2 years. She had just tried one of the spells, and had a small ball of fire in her hand as Mrs Johnson walked in with the tea.

"Oh, that's nice.." said Mrs Johnson

"Yes, at this size it is, isn't it? Here, I can make it a little bigger". The ball of fire grew from being the size of a tennis ball to the size of a soccer ball.... after keeping it like that for a couple of seconds, she extinguished it. She could feel her braces relax as she did so. "Probably better to play with that one outside, I don't want to burn your house down! From what I've read in other books, I should be able to throw the fireball with other spells... that will be fun to try, but definitely not in here."

"Yes, I'd be very grateful if you did it elsewhere. Anyway, a cup of tea for you."

Serena and Mrs Johnson talked for a while. Serena explained about her new braces, and how they were able to protect her from what she had been reading. "My braces are made from the metal of part of an un-holy chain, historically owned by both the angels and Satan, which gives it certain powers. The metal used for my braces came from the PineTree coven, and they said that other covens probably also have parts of that chain... does our coven have any of the chain by any chance?"

"Well, we do have a piece of chain, but we've never been 100% sure of it's origin"

"I don't suppose I can see the chain, can I?"

Mrs Johnson lead Serena to the dining room, where she opened a small wall-safe, retrieved a small metal box from the rear of it, and passed it to Serena. She explained that the metal of the box helped to 'contain' the power of the chain.

"Wanda, I think I'm going to need your skills here....oh, and make yourself visible to Mrs Johnson will you?".

"Certainly" said Wanda, as she appeared in Serena's hand. With Mrs Johnson several feet away, Serena braced herself as she opened the box: as she did so, she could feel power coming from the chain. Dark power. The chain was about 10 inches long, made up of small but chunky links - think of the sort of links you might have on a man's bracelet. The colour of the chain was similar to the colour of her braces, sort of silvery, sort of golden, but with a slight dullness to it. Serena waved Wanda closer to the chain.

"Yes, it is definitely part of the un-holy chain, but from a very different part of the chain, a much darker part. And if you're thinking what I'm thinking, then yes, this is perhaps what you need"

"Thanks Wanda... I think I need to see what my braces think too, after all, they are the ones that will be helping me if I use it...". She moved the chain to her mouth, and put the end link of the chain between her lips, touching her braces at the front of her mouth. She could immediately feel it's immense darkness. She left it there for a few seconds then removed the link from her mouth.

"Mmm, yeth, ath Wanda thaid, we think thith ith what you are looking for, but not too much of it though, If you have too much, we won't be able to protect you".

"So, how much do I need, Wanda?"

"Let me quickly chat to your braces...." There was a short pause as they silently conferred..." Ok, we think that two or three links is all you need, but no more".

"Thank you, Wanda!" said Serena as she returned the chain back to it's metal container. Serena explained to Mrs Johnson that she needed 3 of the chain links to help with her dark magic training.

"I will need to discuss it with the other elders, but I suspect we will all say yes" she replied

"Thank you, I'll give it back to you for the moment"

"So, what do you think you'll do with it?"

"I need to have intimate contact with it - that's why I held the end of it between my lips - so I was thinking about getting some sort of jewellery made with it... a frenulum ring, and some lip or nose rings like these maybe. Like that, they would be inconspicuous, looking quite normal. Didn't I see a book in your library, about magic jewellery? I think it was one of the darker books...."

"Yes, I think there is. Let me put this all back in the safe, then we can take a look."


"Mum, I'm back...."

"In the living room....". Serena walked into the living room, she was interested to see what she said about her 'piercings'. Mum and dad were in the living room.

"Have a good afternoon? You were going round to Mrs Johnson's weren't you, and staying for tea?"

"That's right, I did some reading, and brought some more books home to read." By this point, she was pretty much in front of her mum, who was looking at her, clearly trying to make up her mind about whether they actually WERE piercings, and whether she liked the effect. She also remembered that Serena was an adult now - and an important one at that - and she mustn't treat her like a child.

"Its odd, the rings look really nice on you, but I'm hating the fact that you might have just got yourself pierced!"

"Don't worry, these are fakes.... but I'm kinda thinking about getting real ones.... and I'm having my hair done tomorrow... I'm fed up with it being like this"

"What you doing with it?"

"Can I keep it as a bit of a surprise? It's a style I've never tried before, I'll tell you that much... And don't worry, I'm not getting it shaved!"

Serena sat on the settee next to her mum, and chatted with both her mum & dad, who asked about how her training was going. She explained that she was working well with Sarah, that both she and Sarah had done some simple dark magic yesterday - yes, it seemed that witches of the light could do dark magic. She'd explained about her braces over lunch, and that they had indeed helped to protect her from the dark magic she had tried whilst around at Mrs Johnson.

They watched a bit of TV, then Serena read a couple of the books she had borrowed, one was a history one, the other was the "dummies guide to dark magic spells" (or something similar!)

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #7 on: 01. July 2022, 21:41:07 PM »
Chapter 22: A new look

Friday: Serena had booked the appointment for her hair cut / restyling at 10:15. Her mum was really good to Serena, and once again let her borrow the car to go to there.

"Hello again, Serena" said the girl on reception, as she walked in. Serena was a few minutes early. "I'll let Jilly know you're here". While she waited, Serena had a quick word with her braces: "Guys, I think I'd better have a lisp for the moment."

"No problems, just let us know when you want rid of it!"

"Don't worry, I will! And thanks!". Serena got a very pleasant feeling from her braces, as if they were saying 'that's ok...', plus she felt they were a bit excited for her, getting her hair re-styled.

Sat down in on of the 'waiting chairs', looking around the place. It was strange, there were certain similarities to a hairdresser's and an ortho's surgery: people sitting down in a chair with a bib (ok, more like a cape here) on them, while someone else attended to them, potentially making major changes to the way they looked. She remembered the nervousness she had as a child, when her mum took her to the hairdresser to get her hair cut... to be honest, she was a little nervous now, kinda like she was when she got her braces: in an hour or so's time, she would look quite different!

"Hey there, Serena, come on over" said Jilly. "Now, the other day we chatted, and you said you'd like a clean traditional bob cut, with the hair pretty much the same length all around, with a fringe..." she added as she brought up the picture of Serena she had taken the other day, and changed her image once again to show her the sort of cut she described.

"Yeth, that'th the thort of thing I want. I have no idea if it will really thuit me, but there'th only one way to find out. Bethideth, it won't take THAT long to grow out if I don't like it!"

"Oh, I do like it when someone wants to try out something different. Ok, let's start by taking you over to the sink, to wash your hair...."

There aren't THAT many things in life that you do, where you have to do absolutely nothing (apart from simply sitting) while someone else does all the work, and Serena quite enjoyed the attention she got. An hour or so later, Serena looked at the face in the mirror, and hardly recognised herself: she absolutely LOVED the bob haircut that Jilly had given her!

Serena arrived back home, and walked in the door. "Hi mum, I'm back... where are you?". There was no reply. She put her stuff down, and walked through to the kitchen: out of the window, she could see her mum doing some gardening, so Serena went outside.

"Hi mum..." she called. Her mum turned around, and looked at Serena, but didn't actually say anything, but she did start to smile. "Give me a moment to just take it in..." she said, getting up, and walking closer to get a better look. "You know, it's very different from anything you've had before." She walked around Serena, taking in her new look. "Tell you what, I love the boldness of it, it strangely suits you... but more importantly than me liking it, do YOU like it?"

"Yes, you're right, it is rather bold for me, but I think I need to start being a bit bolder, if I'm going do what that prophecy says I will. But yeah, I like it. I was going to go and try out some new makeup, see what works with my new look"

"Well, you're old enough now to decide how you look, I'll try and be supportive, just don't mutilate yourself will you... I mean, you're not planning on doing something like cutting your tongue are you?"

Serena winced at the idea. "I think you'll be ok there, mum, having a split tongue does not appeal to me one tiny bit!!"

Serena made herself and her mum a cuppa, and called Sarah.

"Hi Sarah, what you up to?"

"Getting ready for next term. Boy, it's so boring... I'm hoping you are about to ask me to do something with you? Anything will do, to be honest!"

"Oh, THAT bad? Yes, do come on over if you like, I'll go make you a drink....". Sarah teleported herself into Serena's lounge while she was making her a cup of tea.

"Oh, wow, love it! You look so different! You happy with it?"

"Definitely! So, there's a couple of things we can do this evening. First of all, I got some different dark magic books from Mrs Johnson's library, including THIS one about dark jewellery"

"And that's relevant because?"

"The coven has a small piece of the un-holy chain, a bit from one of the not-so-good parts, and my braces and Wanda both feel that intimate contact with it will help me with my dark magic stuff. So I was going to see if I can get some jewellery made, something like these nose and lip rings..."

"You gonna be able to cope with that?"

"My braces tell me they should be ok as long as I don't go over 3 links worth"

"Ok, so what's the second thing?"

"I was thinking you can help me try out some different makeup - I got some new stuff earlier on."

"I could also help you with some make-up magic..."

"Sounds like we're going to have a fun evening!"

Offline silver-moon-2000

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #8 on: 03. July 2022, 09:57:22 AM »
While she waited, Serena had a quick word with her braces: "Guys, I think I'd better have a lisp for the moment."

That is such a unique concept.

I confess that I can't remember having read the first chapters. I really have to catch up on Serena  ;D

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #9 on: 03. July 2022, 18:07:30 PM »
Chapter 23:

Saturday morning Serena slept in a bit later than normal, and woke up feeling good and fresh. Both Serena and Sarah both enjoyed their evening together last night - Sarah because she was needing a break from preparing - as a teacher - for the new school year, and Serena because she learnt some new make-up spells, and tried out a few new looks on herself, to see which she fancied.

So, when she got up this morning, she tried out one of last-night's looks... fairly bold and colourful red eye makeup, bold red lips, along with the (fake) piercings. Last night she had painted her fingernails in a variety of colours.

Her mum and dad were both in the lounge when she finally went downstairs. Her mum looked at her with a combination of 'it's rather different', 'it's good', and 'omg, what the heck?'. Yes, she'd seen the new hairstyle yesterday, but Serena had now added in a completely new makeup look too.

"Tell you what mum, don't say anything for ten minutes, so you can absorb what you see..."


"I was going to put the kettle on, would you two like a cuppa?". Both her mum and dad said yes! About 10 minutes later, she brought three cups of hot tea into the lounge, along with some toast for her own breakfast. Noone said anything as Serena ate her toast.

"Ok, time's up, tell me how much you hate it then!"

"Well..." said her mum, "it's definitely rather different. Not something *I* would ever wear - for obvious reasons - but no, it actually goes pretty well with your new hair style. It's actually nice to see you trying out something new.". Serena didn't expect her dad to say anything: he was a man after all! "So, we're off to see grandma and grandpa Muffin, you said you might like to join us... do you still want to?"

So, grandma and grandpa Muffin are Serena's dad's parents. Her grandma is in her mid 60's, and is pretty healthy and mobile, which is just as well because just under 6 months ago, her grandpa, who is nearing 70, had a stroke. He can breath ok, and he can talk ok, and a bit more beyond that, but he's not at all mobile. He spends most of his day either in a comfy armchair in his living room, or in a wheelchair, which lets grandma wheel him about. Luckily they have a couple of really nice community care assistants, who come in every morning and every evening, to look after his important needs, plus get him in and out of bed. During the day, grandma copes pretty well - a bit of magic comes in useful at times!

"Yes, I really should do, I'm going to be busy from now on, what with school and with saving the world!" she said, part joking.

"You'll need to explain to them about your recent pledge - I'm sure grandpa will have something to say about that!"

All four of Serena's grandparents were still alive, and she not only loved them all, she actually got on well with them.

After lunch they drove to grandma and grandpa Muffin's place. Whilst her dad regularly went to visit them, it had actually been two or even three months since Serena had.

Grandma answered the door, and Serena went to her, and put her arms around her. "Grandma, it's lovely to see you again! I'm sorry it's been so long!"

"That's ok, you're here now. Come on in." Her mum and dad also hugged her as they came in. "Go on through and say hello to grandpa, I'll get the kettle on!"

Serena looked at grandma and grandpa. Grandma still looked pretty ok for her age, but grandpa looked like he had aged another 10 years since having his stroke. He was so used to always be doing something... ok maybe not too strenuous, but he wasn't one for sitting around when he could be doing something. Now, sitting and lying down was pretty much all he could do.

It soon became pretty clear that her mum and dad were both talking with grandma, almost completely ignoring grandpa.

"Hey, why don't you two stay her and talk with Grandma, I'll take grandpa out into the garden, and talk with him out there. Grandpa, would you like that?"

"Yes, that would be very nice, you can tell me what actually happened at your pledge ceremony, it sounds like you might have upset a few people!"

"Yeah, that WAS interesting, let me tell you about it!". Serena opened the french doors, took the brake off his wheelchair, then pushed him out to the garden, and over to where there was a small bench seat. She parked the wheelchair close to the seat, and sat down next to him.

"So, your dad told me you didn't actually pledge to the light then?" said grandpa.

"No... Over the previous few weeks I'd been getting... well, I'm not really sure how to describe it, let's just say 'strange feelings' that pledging to the light was just NOT the right thing for me to do. Mind you, actually pledging completely to the darkness was never an option either. I just felt, for some odd reason, that I had to accept a certain amount of darkness into my magic and my life. So I was moved to pledge to 'the light grey'."

"I bet that got quite a reaction!

"Oh, boy, did I get some dirty looks... I mean, has anyone in our coven EVER pledged to anything other than simply 'the light'?"

"Not that I've ever heard of... do go on..."

"Well, luckily, I was saved by Mr Jones, who stood up, and mentioned about the coven's prophecy that he'd recently re-discovered. And whilst that explained a few things, it also raised a load more questions..."

"So what does the prophecy say?"

"Well, I need to add in that I've seen a very similar prophecy from another coven too. Our prophecy described me as an only child, a young witch with above-normal abilities, and that I would choose neither the path of dark nor light, but something in the middle: it seems I need to be able to use both light and dark magic to protect the world. The PineTree Coven's one also says that I must first unite all the covens of the land, defeat the attacks of the darkness, and then......"

"And then...?"

"... and then live to become its queen. I'll be honest, that last bit is probably the scariest bit of the lot!"

"Don't worry, Serena, you'll be fine! I've known you since the day you were born, and if anyone can rise to the occasion and do stuff like that, then you can! So, it's time for the covens to finally reunite, eh? I have felt that should have happened a LONG time ago. You had time to work out how you're going to do that yet?"

"Not really, but remember a few years ago, we all went on holiday up to the Lake District, and I met a girl called Samantha?"

Grandpa thought a moment. "You mean that skinny girl who dressed a bit like a hippy?"

"Yes, that's her. Turns out that not only is she a witch, but she's going to be very important in what I do. Oh, yeah, so is Sarah - remember her, teacher at school, who has been teaching me magic?"

"Ah yes, she's helped quite a few teenagers in the last few years hasn't she?". It was more of a statement than a question.

"Anyway, first act of uniting the covens is we're having a picnic in the park for the three covens tomorrow: I would suggest you coming along, but I think you'd have problems."

"Yes, maybe not such a great idea, had it been six months ago, I would have definitely been there!"

"So, grandpa, how are YOU?"

"Well, as you can see, not a lot has changed since I first had my stroke. I have a tiny bit more movement in my left hand and arm, but not a lot. Thank goodness my brain is still sort-of working, and I can talk, although that also gets tiring."

"And what about inside yourself?"

"I have good days, and I have bad days. Today is a very good day: seeing your mum and dad, and you, that really cheers me up and makes the day so much better. But most days are pretty boring, I can't do a lot and I'm as frustrated as hell! There's only so much TV a man can watch. And reading gets pretty tiring. There's so many things I'd like to do, that I can't. I can't even do the simple things for myself any more. I have far too much time to think about my own mortality, and even how much I really want to continue to live."

Serena leaned over to her grandpa, and put her arms around him. "Grandpa, please don't think like that. The though of losing you.... well, it scares me!"

"It scares me too at times, but other times I think that it may, at some point, be a welcome release."

"What can I do to help you think good thoughts? Hey, I have a silly idea: how about I take you down the park, bet you've not been there since..... since your stroke?"

"No, I haven't," replied Grandpa after a short pause, "but yes, that would be nice! Very nice!". For the first time today, a small smile appeared on grandpa's face. Serena went in to tell the others what she was about to do.

"Yes, do go, and maybe we'll join you shortly...."

Serena pushed grandpa down the road, chatting as they went, around a couple of corners and along some other roads, and about 10 or 15 minutes later they got to the small park. Serena could tell from his continuing smile that grandpa was enjoying this. She suspected that it would be pretty hard work for grandma, pushing grandpa around like this (even with a magic assist), so guessed grandpa didn't get out like this all that often. Once at the park, they sat together, watching the trees, the flowers, as well as people walking, and children playing.

"So, last time I saw you, you had your braces in your mouth, but now... you seem to have even more in your mouth." commented grandpa.

"Yeah, whilst officially I guess they ARE still braces, they are a lot more than that. You ever heard about something called 'the unholy chain'?"

"No, what is it"

"Apparently a chain that used to be owned by the angels, but was taken by Satan, and many dark souls were put into it. It was re-captured many centuries ago, and many covens have a piece of it. Some bits of the chain are still good, and full of light, other bits are a lot darker. These rather excessive braces are made from one of the light bits, and they seem to be able to help with my magic. They say they can protect me from the dark magic too. Oh, plus they get rid of my lisp."

"They SAY?"

"Yeah, there's sufficient magic in my mouth that they are sentient, and talk to me, just like Wanda. Oh my, I've not told you about Wanda.... Wanda, you there? Meet my grandpa!". Wanda appeared.

"Please tell him I'm honoured to meet him!" said Wanda.

"So, this is Wanda, my new wand: it seems she is also made from part of that 'un-holy chain'. She says that she's honoured to meet you?" said Serena.

"She? And she talks to you? She looks very elegant."

"Definitely a she, and it seems that there's only 3 of us that she can talk to. But I will admit, I'm really growing to enjoy her being around." If wands could blush, I think Wanda would have just done so. "Here, hold her...". She passed Wanda over to her grandpa, who took a closer look at Wanda.

"She is a marvellous looking wand, and so light too!". He gently waved her a couple of times, before carefully passing her back to Serena.

"Serena, can you let me touch your grandpa for a moment?". Serena touched Wanda to her grandpa's hand. "He's in pain... ask him if we can do something to remove the pain".

"Grandpa, Wanda senses your pain, would you let us do some painkilling magic for you, you really don't need to suffer!". Grandpa nooded his head, and Wanda helped Serena cast a suitable magical painkiller.

"Thank you, that feels a lot better...", which wasn't too surprising, as the magic spell was just as strong as a good dose of morphine.

"Hey, dad, looks like you and Serena have been enjoying yourselves.": Serena's mum, dad and grandma had just arrived.

"Yes, she been telling me all about her pledging, and her new braces, and her lovely wand. And apparently you're all going to a special picnic tomorrow..."

All five of them sat chatting in the park for a while, and having a very relaxing time.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #10 on: 04. July 2022, 17:53:16 PM »
Chapter 24: Sunday: sunshine and picnics....

Serena decided to stay with a look similar to yesterday, so fairly bold and colourful makeup around her eyes, a bright but dark red lip gloss, plus the fake piercings on her nose and lip. Her clothes were all black: black jeans, and a short plain black t-shirt... so a sort of strange mix of brightness and goth! And, of course, her hair, recently cut, was quite different from what most people would have recognised.

The weather was excellent, and park was filled with the many members of the 3 covens. People had brought their picnic blankets, tables, chairs and all the sorts of things you'd expect to see at a picnic.

Serena was with her parents, and they had invited Sarah to join them. Serena had just seen Samantha arrive, so she waved her over.

"Samantha, it's good to see you again!". As they embraced, Serena felt nice feelings emanating from Samantha. Very nice feelings. In fact enough feelings that their lips seemed to want to move together. They kissed.

"Whoa, what was that?" asked Serena

"I honestly don't know, as we embraced I was getting some strange feelings, good strange feelings though... Hey, are those your new braces?"

"Yes, they are" said Serena with a big smile.

"Wow! Impressive! And definitely too many braces for one mouth! How are you managing with so much? And I'm not even detecting a HINT of a lisp!"

"Remember how I was telling you that my braces seemed to be slightly sentient - well, now I have so much more in my mouth, they have become so much more powerful, more capable. They speak to me, and they were able to take away my lisp. But you know what the funny thing is? My braces have a really terrible lithp!"

"Hey, stop taking the mickey..." said a voice inside Serena's head.

"Anyway, Samantha, come with me, there is someone that you must meet". She lead her over to her parents and Sarah.

"Sarah, this is Samantha, from the Coven of Love and Tranquillity. Indeed, Wanda described her as 'Samantha, witch of great love, passion, tenderness and care!'. And Samantha, please meet 'The Mighty Sarah', as Wanda describes her."

Samantha put her arms around Sarah in greeting, saying "I meet you in peace and love. Already I can feel a great connection between us...."

"Hello Samantha, it's so nice to finally meet you, Serena has said many good things about you... and yes, I feel that connection too - we must speak at length at some point, but probably not today". The three of them chatted together for a while.

"Excuse me, Serena," said Wanda suddenly popping up, "I think you really need to speak to everyone... welcome them, explain things to them".

"Yup, I think you're right, just give me a few moments..." said Serena. She went and stood alone for a couple of minutes. She needed to talk to her braces: 'ok, guys, I would appreciate a bit of help on this one, this is all rather a lot out of my comfort zone....'. She also needed to run a few simple spells. One to keep herself calm. One to help her speak clearly. One to make it easier for everyone to hear her (that last one is a sort of 'magic PA system').

They had brought various things in a crate, so she made sure it was empty, turned it over, and stood up on it, so she was a tiny bit higher. Not that she was particularly short to start with: at 5ft 11ins she was well above average height.

"Good afternoon, everyone" she said in a loud and clear voice. She paused to let the chatter die down. "Good afternoon... My name is Serena, Witch of the Coven of the Light. But from today, I hope that I can also be thought of as Serena of the Pine Tree Coven, as well as Serena of the Coven of Love and Tranquility... as well as of all the other covens of this land. I welcome you all here in love and peace. I also ask that you all come with a very open mind: today must be a day of rejoicing - it is the first time in a long time that so many witches of more than one coven have met together. Please make a big effort to meet with, and talk to, the members of the other covens. We are all very different, yet all very similar... so we must learn about each other, set aside any differences, and embrace the best of what we are!"

"Keep going" whispered both her braces and Wanda "You are doing well!"

"At least two of our covens have a prophecy - I believe I am part of that prophecy, and I believe that one of my first tasks is to unite the many covens of this realm - today is just the start of that! Please, do not under-estimate the importance of this task: the prophecies indicate that there may be dark times ahead, and that means that we must be united together, to meet and overcome that darkness. That is why you have all been invited here today." Again, Serena paused.

"Please, can I ask the elders of our three covens to stand up and let us see them..." Serena waited a while as three groups of people stood up.

"As elders of our three covens, I welcome you all, and thank you very much for being so willing to bring your members here today - if anyone wants to speak to them, I'm very sure that these wise and honourable seniors of our communities will be only to happy to talk to any of you". Serena stopped for a moment, allowing them to sit down again.

"And, finally, a very big thanks to everyone for coming along today, it's so amazing to see so many of you here.... please, have a really enjoyable afternoon!"

She got off the box. "Nicely said Serena!" said Sarah.

"Hey, you desperate to eat?" asked Samantha, "It's just that I think you should come and meet our elders. I know you met Miss Lambert already"

"No, and absolutely! Lead the way. Sarah, why don't you join us?".

They walked across the park, to where the elders of the Coven of Love and Tranquillity were.

"Good afternoon, Miss Lambert, it's so nice to see you again! I hope you don't think it impertinent of me to consider myself as part of your coven?"

"My child, if we are to unite as one, then I think we should all be thinking of ourselves as being members of all covens. By the way, some interesting news, we have found our prophecy, and it tells a very similar story to the two others. We have it with us, and I think you you need to read it."

"I will, but I would first like to greet the other elders of your... or should I now say 'our'.. coven". Serena was introduced to the elders, and they had a short but very pleasant discussion.

"So, Michael, can you give Serena our prophecy?". The prophecy document was passed to Serena.

It had been stored / transported in a sort of cardboard tube, and whilst it was clearly very old, it was in amazingly good condition: it was rolled up, and kept in place with what was probably a silk ribbon. Serena untied the ribbon, and held the prophecy, and started to read it. It told of a mighty young witch, with a mouth filled with magic metal, who would come to unite the dispersed covens of the realm, and with two others by her side would fight the dark forces. A third would not fight with them, but would always be nearby: she was a young witch with immense powers of love, passion, tenderness and care, and would inspire and care for everyone else.

"Thank you" said Serena, passing back the prophecy, "I'd like to read it fully at a more convenient time....".

To be honest, Serena did feel a little scared. She didn't really feel all that mighty - even calling the three covens together today had been quite daunting. And what did she know about fighting dark forces? And as for that 'queen' bit...

"Itth ok" said a voice inside her. "We, and many otherth will help you. You will never be alone...."

"Yeah, what they just said..." said Wanda, who had just appeared in her hand.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #11 on: 05. July 2022, 22:12:28 PM »
Chapter 25: entertaining the kids

It was busy afternoon. As she was effectively the 'host' of the event, she was having to go around and meet and chat to people. She especially made sure to talk with the younger members of the coven, many of whom were chatting to children from other covens. At one point, she managed to get several groups of the younger members together (she recognised some of them from her school, a small group were actually 3 or 4 years below her), to have a chat with them, as she was quite aware that adults were often not really willing to tell their children the details of what's going on. She explained how there are many covens in the land, but many hundreds of years ago, the covens split up, and, until now, have never really mixed. And explained about the many prophecies, all probably coming from one very old prophecy. And how, unlike everyone else in her coven, she had not pledged to the light, but a bit off it, to include some darkness.

"So what is it about your 'metal mouth' we keep hearing about then?"

"Well, do any of you have braces?". Several of them indicated that they did. "Anyone got an expander?" A couple said they did. "Anyone have a herbst?". No takers for that. "Lip bumpers or headgear maybe?". A couple were willing to say they did.

"Well, take a look at what I have in my mouth....". Serena smiled wide, letting them see the extent of the metal on her teeth, as well as her lip bumpers. Then she opened her mouth, showing what she had inside her mouth. Several of the kids winced when they saw what she had. "My braces are pretty extreme, aren't they? These are called 'full bands' it's how all braces were many years ago. I got braces to fix my teeth, just like yours, a couple of years ago, but last week I got them taken off, and replaced with these. They are made of a very special metal, and I need a certain amount of the metal in my mouth to be effective. The metal will help to advise and protect me from the effects of dark magic. The good news for you guys is that, eventually, you'll get your braces off: as I understand it, I'm going to be stuck with these for the rest of my life!"

"How come you don't have a lithp? I have an exthpander, and I have a lithp..." said a teen girl.

"Well, actually I do, but my braces are nice enough to stop my lisp. They said I shouldn't need to suffer, just because I have to wear a mouthful of metal to help everyone". Serena had a quick word with her braces. "Tho, thith ith wok I thound like if they don'k hewp me wiv my thpeech. And letth be honetht, I would have thounded wather thtupid if I had welcomed you all thounding like thith, wouldn't I?". Of course, many of the kids, especially those without braces, thought that was funny. Serena got her braces to remove her lisp again.

(The story writer thanks Serena's braces for their ongoing work of eliminating Serena's lisp, as it makes typing so much easier!)

"What's the difference between dark and light magic then?" asked one of the kids.

"That's a good question. I've only just started to learn some dark magic, and to be honest, it's very similar to the light magic that you will all learn, except it gets used for nastier purposes. Let me see if I can give you a simple example.... yes, take a look at the tree over there.... if I do this...." Serena brought the words she needed into her mind, then waved her hand, and a small branch a couple of foot long broke off the tree, falling to the ground. "so, that was a sort of 'bending and breaking' spell, but if I did something similar to your leg or your arm, then it turns from being good to being pretty nasty, doesn't it?"

"What dark spells do you know then?" asked one boy.

Serena smiled, thinking - why should we be hiding dark magic, they need to understand about it. "I've only just started to learn dark magic a few days ago.... ok, how about this one?" she suggested, and produced a small fireball in her had, like she had the other day. "Like that, it doesn't look that bad, does it, but if I make it bigger...." She put her other hand around the fireball, then opened her hands, allowing the fireball to grow. Unlike the other day, she let it get quite large, maybe a couple of feet across. "Now THAT isn't so nice is it, and if I were to throw it at you.... see where I'm going with this. Hey, let me do something I've been wanting to try out, but haven't been outside to do it".

She moved away from the group, to where there was a clear grass area. Making the fireball small again, she threw it some distance, and it landed on the grass, which was luckily damp enough to not catch fire. Concentrating, she could feel a bit of darkness rise up inside of her, but at the same time could feel her braces protect her. Fireballs appeared in both hands, and she threw them up as high as she could, creating more fireballs as her hands emptied.... it created a sort of mini-firework display. The kids loved it, in fact, a few more kids had come and joined them to watch.

"So whilst it looks rather pretty like that, I could burn your house down with them too!"

"Can you do lightning too?" asked another

"Never actually tried it, but I do know the spell... let's have a go..." said a Serena that had taken on some of the darkness. She thought a moment, then had a go launching a sort of lightning from her hands... it was pretty pathetic. "Braces, can I have a bit more access to my darkness, for just a moment?" she said out loud, mainly for effect. Serena could feel the darkness inside her get stronger for a moment, and she was able to let off a few good bits of lightning up into the air, which she followed with a rather big, and nasty, scream. She could feel her braces pushing the darkness away for her again.

Serena sat down for a moment, to catch her breath. "Sorry" she said, "that was the darkness starting to affect me... don't worry though, I'm in control again. Anyway, THAT is why all your mums and dads tell you not to play with fire at home!" she said with a big smile.

"Why can't we do dark magic?" asked a younger boy

"I'm not really sure. Maybe you CAN do some very simple dark magic. I think it's a bit like 'why are you a boy, and not a girl?', or 'why are you good at sport, and your friend isn't?'... I think it's just the way you are. You were all born to do spells of light, but for some reason, I was born to need to be able to do a certain amount of the darker spells too."

"Are you scared?" asked one of the older girls

"Yes, I am, in several ways. I worry that I might not be able to always control my darkness. I worry that I won't be able to do what's expected of me. I worry I'll let you all down. I worry that I'll not be able to get good enough grades at school this year! Luckily my braces and Wanda will be trying to help me. Oh, yes, let me show you something....". Serena held her hand out in front of herself, so all the children could see, then said "Wanda, could you come and let everyone see you, please?". The kids were impressed to see a wand appear in Serena's hand.

"This is my wand, her name is Wanda, and unlike most wands, she is very clever. She talks to me, helps me, advises me. She is made of the same metal as my braces."

"Talks to you?"

"Yes, I'm told that there are a very small number of wands around that can actually talk, she's one of them."

"Can she tell what I'm thinking?" asked a boy she recognised from 2 or 3 years below her at school.

"I don't know... Wanda?". "I'll have a go, if you like..." said Wanda to Serena.

"Come over here a moment" she said to the boy. "How do you want to do this, Wanda?". "Can you just gently touch him with me?". Serena softly touched Wanda onto the boy's cheek. Wanda giggled "he's thinking that he's glad his braces aren't as bad as yours..."

"Apparently you're thinking that you're glad you don't have as much metal in your mouth as I do in mine! Is that right?" said Serena with a big metal smile. The boy nodded.

While she had been talking with the children, both Samantha and Sarah had come over to join the group.

"There's a couple of people I'd like you guys to meet, some of you may already know them....". She waved the two of them over. "This is Sarah, some of you will know her as Miss Davis, from school. She is my magic teacher, she knows a lot of amazing light magic, and is also mentioned in at least one of the prophecies. And this is Samantha: I've known Samantha for several years, but only found out last week that she was a witch... in fact, that's how those of you in the coven of love and tranquillity got invited here today. Samantha seems to be really good at a different sort of light magic, all to do with love and healing."

The three of them chatted with the, now quite large, group of children that had gathered. One of the things they talked about was the need to not tell the 'normal people' of the world about the witches, explaining that it could cause big problems, plus it might lead on to them being singled out and bullied, or worse. It was very clear that the kids were enjoying the fact that the three of them were trying to explain stuff to them, stuff that noone else would probably have bothered to.

"Well, everyone, it has been really lovely to talk to you all. I'm sure there will be other gatherings, with many other covens, so I'm sure we'll meet again soon  - and if you like, I'll have another chat with you like this one. If you ever have questions, don't be scared to ask your parents. If they can't help, then you can always ask the elders of our covens, that's part of why they are there. And you can always ask us three too. So, I need to go to talk to some of the adults, but first I need to ask you all a big favour: if any of us three ask you for help at any time, please be willing to help us.... we won't be asking for no reason, we'll be asking because we really do need your help! That ok? Go on then, go and have fun...."

"Nice idea that, talking to them!" said Sarah as the small crowd of children dispersed

"Yeah, I just felt they needed to hear some straight taking, that maybe some of the adults won't, or maybe can't do. These guys are probably going to be 'our army' in the future!"

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #12 on: 06. July 2022, 19:27:02 PM »
Chapter 26: Serena orders some special jewellery

Serena had briefly spoken with the elders of her own coven, who confirmed that they were happy to let her have the small part of chain she needed, so she then went over to where Peter (her ortho) was.

"Hi Peter! I need a favour - can you introduce me to your dental technician?"

"Sure, he's just over there. Come on, let me introduce you.". Peter led Serena past a few people. "David, Serena asked me to introduce you..."

"David, it's good to meet you!"

"Hi Serena, I was kinda hoping you would come and say hello - how's those braces I made for you? Are you coping ok? I mean they were one heck of a set of metal!"

"They are absolutely superb, your craftmanship is second to none, and they fit perfectly" said Serena, smiling and letting him see. "Although I have a feeling that the braces might have helped you a little."

"Yes, I think you might be right there, they were amazingly easy to get right. Erm, so how come you don't have a lisp?". Serena explained to David how the braces helped her.

"Anyway, David, I need a big favour. You are clearly very talented with your hands and with metal: I need a little bit of very special jewellery making, is that something you might be able to help with?"

"I'm sure I can, what are you looking for?"

"I need some jewellery that I can wear, as needed, in my mouth, and on my face. So a couple of lip rings, a nose ring, and also a frenulum ring - kinda like what I'm wearing now. But I need to be able to easily remove them, yet keep them safe and near.... I was browsing a book on magic jewellery, which indicated that you could convert jewellery from one form to another, so I'm thinking that it might be possible to combine 3 or 4 of them into a sort of combined ring that I could wear on my finger"

"I think I could probably do that, it might be helpful to be able to see that book though. But I get the feeling you haven't yet told me the whole story..."

"Yes, you're right. I've just confirmed that I can have some metal from the unholy chain: our coven has a piece, but it is a lot darker that the metal you used for my braces. I believe that, if I can have close enough contact with it, like I do with my braces, then it will help me with the dark magic that I need to learn and do. So I thought of some mouth jewellery."

"Nice idea, and if you can then turn it into a finger ring, you can have it close at all times. Clever thinking! But what about when it's on your finger, won't it affect you then?"

"Yes, that is a problem, have you got any ideas?"

"Well....." said David, thinking. "How about if I was able to sort-of 'line' the ring with some of OUR metal, the 'light' metal, it might help to protect you.."

"Hmm, like your thinking.... Wanda, what do you think about that idea?". Wanda appeared in her hand: "Yes, I think that might work. When the metal is in your mouth or nose, I'm sure you'll get enough close contact with the dark metal. Ok, you'll get a bit of contact to your adjacent finger on your hand, but I think you'll cope with that ok, especially if you wore it on your pinky finger".

"Ok, David, Wanda thinks it's a good idea but the ring will need to fit my small finger, to help minimise the side-effects."

"You know, it can get very boring making the same stuff all the time. Your braces were very interesting to make, we don't get the chance to do much in the way of custom bands any more. But I'm getting quite excited about making this jewellery for you. It will probably take me a week or so to make, I'll need to fit it around my normal paying work, and I'm sure it's going to be delicate work, but it will be my pleasure to make it for you." He reached into a pocket, and pulled out his wallet, and retrieved a business card from it. "Here's my details - when you have the metal and the book, get in touch, and you can come and visit me."

"Thank you so much, David"

Serena walked away feeling both happy and worried. Happy because David was willing to help. Worried because she wasn't 100% sure what effect the metal jewellery might have on her. Also worried because she would end up with an awful lot of metal in her mouth!

It was just as well that she didn't mind the taste of metal!

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #13 on: 08. July 2022, 00:31:20 AM »
There's new posts in *only* 4 threads... let's make it 5, shall we?


Chapter 27: Hello there, braces...

It's still Sunday, at the picnic. Serena sat by herself for a few minutes, closed her eyes and concentrated, so she could have a quick chat with her braces and Wanda. "Guys, about these piercings: I have a couple of questions, but I need to ask them both for you to be able to answer, coz they're related. The first one is to do with healing: if I were to get real piercings in my nose and lips, it would normally take a couple of weeks to heal: can you guys do, or help with any magic that could speed that up? If not, I'll probably go with fake piercings for now, unless... and that leads to the second question: how much of the dark metal could you guys cope with on a regular basis.... two possibilities here: first, just the frenulum ring, or second, all 4 rings? Does that make sense?"

"Yeth, it doeth, you're trying to work out the practicalitieth of pierthings or not for thith new jewelry. Our inthtant feeling ith that we could cope ok with a thingle pieth, like the frenulum ring, but it would be much harder if you wore them all"

"Ok.... what about 2 pieces at a time, the frenulum ring, plus one other ring at a time?"

"If you really need to, then yeth, we would cope with that, but we would prefer not to"

"Ok, very fair comment. Wanda - what about the healing? Are there spells that we can do speed up healing?"

"Yes, there are - but you should speak to Samantha, I'm sure she has a lot more knowledge on this. But your thinking is good, you are clearly eager to try out the effects of the dark metal to see how they will help with your dark training."

"Indeed I am! Thanks for your help guys, I'll go chat with Samantha..."

Serena opened her eyes, and looked around. People had clearly understood that she needed a couple of minutes alone, so she was still alone. She stood up, and walked over to where Samantha's family was, and indeed where Samantha herself was. She sat down next to Samantha. "You got a moment?" she asked

"Yeah, what's on your mind?"

She explained to her about the metal with dark magic she was going to get made into jewellery, and how the light magic in her braces would be able to help control the darkness. And how she was trying to decide whether to get real piercings.

"The thing is, it normally takes a couple of weeks before the hole of the piercing is healed enough to be able to change out the ring, but if I want to be able to use the dark jewelry sooner, I'll need to just get fakes made. Unless you can do a healing spell to speed things up... or teach me how to do one. I mean, what did you do for your piercing?"

"You know, I know they are fakes, but those piercings work well with this new image of yours.... you're making me want some more now too!"

"Really? It was your piercing that originally inspired me!". They both laughed

"Yes, I can do healing spells, and yes, I did use a simple one on my piercing - although it was more of a 'don't get infected' spell. I'm sure I could do something for you. So 2 on your lip, one in the nose?"

"Yes, plus a frenulum one"

"Ooh, nice...."

"So how long to heal with a spell?"

"I've done spells on bad cuts that do the initial healing in a day or so, then maybe a few days for it really heal up. So maybe a week at most? Luckily piercings are normally good and clean to start with, so should heal much faster."

"Thanks Samantha. Mum will probably hate me for doing it, but I think I'll be getting some piercings pretty soon, so expect a visit"

Wandering around, she met a small group of teens that she knew from school, none from her own year, but from the couple of years below - none had been at Serena's earlier 'talk'.

"Hey, Serena, I like the new look!" said Nadya (a girl in the year below) really about her hair, makeup and fake piercings.

Serena smiled at the compliment, and decided to have some fun. "Which bit do you mean?" she said, smiling again so they all got a good look at her braces.

"Oh, wow, so it's true, someone said something about you getting a braces upgrade..." said Nadya, clearly a bit surprised at how extreme her mouth metal was.

"Look guys, I need to tell you about my braces, but you have to promise not to tell anyone at school, ok? Just like any other wicker or magic stuff...". They all nodded.

"So, these braces contain a lot of magic. I've only had them... well, less than a week, so I'm still learning about them. You also probably heard that, unlike everyone else in the Coven, I need to learn some dark magic, and the braces will help protect me from that. I've actually got a lot more in my mouth than you probably realise....". She opened her lips wide & tall, letting everyone see the braces and bands covering her teeth, the lip bumpers and the herbsts. Then she opened her mouth, tilting her head backwards, then downwards, letting them see the expanders, and possibly the tongue rake. There were a few "oooh"s, and a few surprised looks.

"Dang, that's a nasty mouthful, Serena! How come you don't have a lisp? asked Nadya, suddenly feeling a huge amount of respect for Serena.

"That's one of the better things about having braces with magic, they sorted it out for me. However..." (Serena has a quick word with her braces), "... at thchool, I'll have a lisp like thith... otherwithe people would thtart athking quethtions. I should be able to manage ok, but I'd really apprethiate it if you didn't take the pith out of me at thchool!". That last comment made everyone giggle, but the important thing was that they now appreciated why she had them, hopefully wouldn't make nasty comments at school, and would probably help stop other 'normies' from doing so too.

Even with lunch finished, people were staying in the park, doing what Serena had asked them to do: mingle with, and talk to, people from the other covens.

Finally, almost everyone had gone. Serena lost count of the number of people who came up to her and thanked her for coordinating such a wonderful afternoon.

"Well, Serena, that was a pretty amazing afternoon, it was just great to see so many people from the three different covens talking to each other. How many more covens are there that you still need to find?" asked Sarah with a sarcastic grin.

"That's an interesting question. Hey, have you ever searched online? It reckoned that over 50,000 people described themselves as 'pagan', and about 2,000 as 'Wicca' back in the last census? And for some reason, Croydon has the highest density!"

Back at home, Serena needed to get ready for tomorrow, which would be another big day in Sarah's life: the first day of her last year at school.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #14 on: 08. July 2022, 20:26:07 PM »
Chapter 28: Back to School!

Serena stood at the bottom of the short set of steps, in front of the main school entrance, looking up at the school. She was feeling nervous. Actually, no, she was more than nervous. Not quite petrified.... so lets just call it 'pretty scared'. School can be the nastiest place at times, and even more so for someone who is at all 'out of the ordinary', which means pretty much everyone! You're too fat or too skinny. You have glasses. Have an actual disability. You're too tall, (or short). Maybe dressing a 'bit differently'. Or have braces. And triple so if those braces are rather extreme...

Serena currently fit the last 3 of those: she was 5ft 11ins tall, so one of the tallest students. With her new haircut, makeup and (non-)piercings, plus the clothes she was wearing, she was definitely dressed differently - albeit also quite smartly - from the younger kids (standard school uniform plus minimal makeup / jewellery for the lower school). And she most definitely had braces, with at least two or three times as much metal as anyone else in the school had.

The good news was that today was the first day of being in the top year of the school, so that did help a bit. But only a bit.

"Hi Serena! You ok there?". It was Nadya, one of the girls she was speaking to yesterday, and who knew about her mouthful of metal, and sort of understood.

"Not really" replied Serena. "I'm jutht trying to dethide whether the firtht nathty bratheth commentth will be in the firtht 5 minuteth, or the thecond 5 minuteth....". Nadya put her hand on Serena's shoulder, and said a few words very quietly. Serena felt a certain amount of calmness come over her.

She turned to Nadya. "Thankth for that Nadya"

"That's ok, least I can do for you. Come on, I'll go in with you!"

"Tho, firtht day in the thixth form - you're probably as thcared ath me!"

"No, I'm not scared at all, I've been looking forward to this day for ages!"

"Good on you, Nadya, that'th a great pothitive attitude. Letth find out which clatheth and clathroomth we're in".

She walked over to the noticeboards, and found the one that said 'Sixth Form' at the top, and found out that she was in U6a, in room 502, which was at the other end of the school. Serena was walking along the corridor to get to Room 502, when she saw the headmistress coming the other way.

"Good morning, Mrth Topdog!" she said

"Oh, hello Serena! Serena, do you have a moment?" said Mrs Topdog

"Of courthe". Serena followed her to her office.

"Take a seat, Serena, and don't worry, it's nothing bad". Rather than taking the seat behind her desk, Mrs Topdog sat in a seat adjacent to Serena.

"First of all, well done on your 'AS' exam results... but then again, I think we all expected to you get straight A's anyway!" Serena smiled, it felt very good to get such praise from the school's headmistress.

"Now, you probably don't know this, but I am aware that you, along with a few others in the school have certain, shall we say, 'abilities' that most of us don't have. You know, I've been here at the school for over 10 years, 5 as its headmistress, and I'm very happy to say that I've never been aware of any incidents arising from those 'abilities', so well done to you all on that!"

"I'm also quite aware that Ms Davis has similar abilities, and has been working with you outside school. With that in mind, I want you to know that you were my first choice as 'Head Girl' for this year, but Ms Davies tells me that you are likely to be rather busy with 'other things' this year, and wouldn't really be able to do the role justice. The story as far as I'm concerned with is that I asked you, but you turned it down, if you're ok with that?"

Serena felt very honoured that she had been considered for the role, but at the same time very happy that Sarah had declined on her behalf. Yes, apart from her school work, she was probably going to be rather busy this year.

"Yeth, I'm very ok with that - I think it would have been very hard to give my all ath Head Girl thith year. Tho who are you making Head Girl then?"

"Cathy Benn has accepted the role: she doesn't know that she wasn't the first choice, you may feel it's better to keep it like that. For the same reason, I won't be asking you to be a prefect either - again, my story is that I also offered that to you, but you politely declined. No doubt you wanted to concentrate on your school work?" she suggested.

"Yeah, Cathy will make a great Head Girl, she'th a good choithe!"

"So following on from that, you're already aware that there's a lot of flexibility for sixth formers, but if you need any extra flexibilities for those 'external activities', then let Ms Davis know, and we'll do our best to accommodate you."

"Thank you!"

As Serena stood up, Mrs Topdog looked at her. "You know, before I became headmistress, even the 6th form had a pretty tight dress code, and the way you are today would certainly not have been allowed then. But looking at you, you actually look rather smart, in your own way. What I see is someone who wants to succeed, and isn't going to let anyone else mess with her. So, go out there, and have a really great year! Our expectations are, needless to say, quite high!".

Serena left Mrs Topdog's office feeling really good, and walked down the corridor with her head held high, and a big smile on her face. Head Girl, eh? She hadn't actually expected that: a prefect yes, but not actually Head Girl! As she walked towards room 502, she noticed a few heads turning, without doubt looking at the rather large amount of metal in her mouth, and her rather different appearance, but actually she didn't really care right now!

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #15 on: 09. July 2022, 22:10:45 PM »
Chapter 29: And her class tutor is....

As she walked into Room 502, she could see a few friendly faces there already, people who were in her class last year.

"Hi, Serena!" said James as she walked in. "I like the new look, suits you!"

"Hi, Jameth!" replied Serena, smiling, "and thank you!"

"Hey, you got your braces updated too!"

"Yeah, pothibly a bit more metal than I would like, but I'll be ok." Serena continued to be impressed with the lisp her braces gave her - enough to be convincing, but not so much as to be over-annoying! "Tho, how wath your holiday then?". Serena hadn't actually seen James since last term, but she remembered him saying he was 'off to sunny Spain' with his parents for a couple of weeks.

"Yeah, it was great, lots of sun, nice pools, great beaches, fantastic food!".

They chatted for a while about their holidays, and what else they had been doing over the summer break. One thing was certain: James was not a witch, so would have no idea what Serena had REALLY been up to. There was one girl and one of the other guys in Serena's class who were members of her coven who WOULD know, but also knew enough to say absolutely nothing about it!

So Serena made up some half truths, about spending some time learning to play the flute (she knew that she would probably be able to magic up enough ability to actually do so, if she ever needed to. Oh, and to magic up an actual flute too!).

As they chatted, other class-mates were arriving in ones and twos. Serena noticed Cathy Benn walking in.

"Yay, Cathy! I hear congratulathionth are in order!" said Serena.

Cathy smiled, slightly embarrassed. "I didn't think it had been officially announced quite yet?"

"Yeth, probably not, but I do have thecret contactth who have informed me that.... actually Cathy, I think you should tell them. They'll find out pretty thoon anyway!"

"Find out what?" asked Julie.

"I'm the new Head Girl!" said Cathy, proudly. Of course, everyone else in the room went wild. Cathy was a popular girl, and they knew she'd do a great job.

"You got your badge yet?" asked Julie

"Now that you all know, I guess I might as well just put it on". Whilst they called it a badge, it was a multi-purpose thing, and Cathy had it on a simple necklace, which she took out of her pocket, removed it from it's plastic bag, and put it around her neck. Serena went over to her, and hugged her, at the same time silently saying a simple 'confidence boost' spell. Serena understood that, whilst such a role as a leader was nice, it came with a certain amount of worry and stress, something that Serena herself had been working on with Samantha the last few days.

Most of the class was there, when Miss Davis walked in. In her hands she had various bits of paperwork.

"Good morning everyone... don't panic, we're not starting just yet, I'm a bit early!". She went over to the small table at the front, and put her things down. Serena suddenly realised what was going on.

"Tharah... thorry, Mith Davith.... Are you our form tutor thith year then?"

"Yes, I hope that's not a problem?". Clearly Sarah had known about this for a while, and hadn't said a word to Serena about it.

"Not at all, I just thought you looked after lower-thchool clatheth" replied Serena, smiling, and feeling very happy.

"I decided I needed a change, and I had heard such good things about this class. Ah, Cathy, I see you have your new badge on, I'm guessing you already told everyone - anyway, congratulations!"

"Thanks... " said Cathy

"Sorry" added Serena, "I kinda let the cat out of the bag!"

They were all chatting again, when, in the background, a bell rang, indicating the start of classes. Today, being the first day of the year, the first 'lesson' was a class admin one.

"Ok, everyone, if you can start to settle down, and take your seats....." said Miss Davis. Everyone knew that there was a certain amount of admin that needed to be done, so finished their conversations, and sat down.

"Ok, I think there should be 17 of you.... tell you what, if you're NOT here, can you put your hand up?" said Miss Davis, smiling. Her comment broke the ice nicely. "Ok, let's do the register, boring I know, but we need to do it. Serena, maybe you'd like to do it for me?", and she passed the piece of paper and a pen to Serena.

'Oh, crap' thought Serena, 'she's doing it to me on purpose, isn't she?'. In fact, Miss Davis wanted everyone to be aware of Serina's new braces, and to be able to accept her as she was, and hopefully be willing to support her.

"Ok guyth... Thimon Brown.....". Serena read the names out boldly, and whilst there may have been a few smiles as some of them saw and heard Serena's braces for the first time, there were no sniggers or anything like that. Everyone was there.

"Thank you, Serena. Now, officially, my name is Miss Davis. However, when we're in class like this, feel free to just call me Sarah. Some of you are already officially adults, and many of you will be joining that club pretty soon: to be honest, I'm not all that much older than you, so it seems silly to be so formal, so I'll be trying to remember all your first names too. However, out of the class, please set a good example to our younger students, and call me Miss Davis. Ok, we have a load of things to do, announcements to share, let's get on with things. Well, without looking at my sheets of paper here, I'm very pleased to confirm that Cathy Benn is our new Head Girl.... I'll tell you the other appointments in a few minutes. But Cathy, your first official job as Head Girl is... can you give out the locker assignments for me, please?". That took a few minutes.

"Ok, everyone, let's take a look at the announcements. Ah, yes, a really exciting one here: it seems they've re-grassed a lot of areas by the paths around the school, if you can try and keep to the paths, and encourage others to do so, it will be appreciated...". She read several other similarly un-exciting announcements.

"Ok, now the ones I think you DO want to hear. So, you know that Cathy is our new Head Girl". Sarah got up, and walked over to Cathy, and shook her hand. "Well done, Cathy, I have no doubt you'll do a great job, and I'm sure everyone else will support you!". Sarah walked back to her desk, and picked up the piece of paper. "I can also tell you that Julie Towse is the head of the lower school."

She then took a small plastic bag from her pocket, and walked over to Julie. "However, it seems that Julie's little secret wasn't leaked... Julie is one of our first Upper School Prefects! Well done Julie! I believe you all have a short meeting after lunch and before lessons start this afternoon." Julie proudly took her badge, and pinned it to her top.

Serena felt a little emotional. She knew that this could have been her, but she was very aware that she had much more important things to do.

"Ok, that's all the official stuff done. I need to chat to a few of you, in the meantime, feel free to chat amongst yourselves - quietly please, so we don't annoy anyone else. Actually, there's no reason you can't go sort out your lockers if you like, but come back in a few minutes.... However, can I have a quick word with you now, Serena"

Everyone else left the room, speaking fairly quietly, so as not to disturb the rest of the school.

"Mrs Topdog said she had managed to have a word with you - I know you would have made a good head girl, but when I explained a bit about what was going on to her, we both felt you probably wouldn't be able to do the role justice.... you ok about it?" said Sarah, in a low voice

"Yeah, I'm ok. Kinda a bit dithappointed, but you're right, I'm gonna be rather buthy with other thtuff. On the other hand, it'th nithe that I was conthidered. So how much doeth Mrth Topdog know about uth? And what other 'normieth' know about uth?"

"Mainly those who 'need to know', so top-most people in police, at schools and so on. Places where they really need an awareness. Some, like Miss Topdog, know the names of everyone here at school, others know the elders and a few others. Luckily, most people are pretty sensible, and don't do stupid things in public. To be honest, most witches these days don't really use their magic a lot, like you or me, and if they do, it's simple stuff, like spells to take away pain from their kids."

"Yeah, mum did that for me when I wath younger, although I probably didn't notithe at the time. I gueth thingth might be a bit harder, now our younger memberth know about uth?"

"That's one thing I needed to talk to you about: you did a really great job yesterday with the youngsters, explaining stuff, and our elders were hoping that you might like to regularly get together with our youngsters, and sort of 'mentor' them, helping them understand why they have to be careful about what they say, and that sort of stuff. Maybe you can get the other witches here in the sixth form to help you?"

Serena knew there were 4 other witches in the sixth form, 2 of them in the upper 6th, 2 in the lower 6th, and she got on with them ok.

"Ok, that thoundth like a good idea, I'm sure the 5 of uth can help them"

"Oh, yes, there's now 6 of you, we have a new witch student just started in the lower 6th today. I'll get his details later and pass them on. Ok, you'd better go and find your locker, everyone will wonder where you are!" 

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #16 on: 10. July 2022, 22:03:33 PM »
Chapter 30: Meet Mandy Miller

The bell had rung for break time, and students burst out of the classrooms in huge numbers. Whilst the sixth formers were trusted to go out and find their lockers during class time, the others had to wait until morning break.

Word about Serena's new metal smile had clearly spread quickly, as she was getting far more looks than she expected. She decided that the best form of defence was attack: don't hide her braces, but show them off proudly! 

Serena was putting a few things into her locker, and chatting with Julie, when Mandy Miller walked by. She turned, and stared at Serena, having a good look at her metal mouth. Serena was expecting her to make yet another of her catty comments - ah, yes, need to explain, Mandy was the top school bully. In the upper 6th like Serena, she was Queen of nastiness, snide remarks and put-downs. There were a couple of others, lower down in the school, but she had 6 years of experience. What she didn't know about being a bully was probably not worth knowing.

Of course, she was always surrounded by her 'team': like any good bully, whilst she did the bad-mouthing herself, her team would do anything physical - I don't need to explain, I'm sure you understand exactly what I mean.

Anyway, as she saw Serena's mouthful of metal, she smiled. And what Serena saw in Mandy's mouth made her smile too: Mandy also had braces on her teeth. Nowhere near as much metal as Serena, but they weren't your normal large steel NHS brackets, no, they were tiny, and golden, and actually looked amazingly classy. But they were braces!

For some odd reason, Serena felt this information might come in useful sometime.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #17 on: 11. July 2022, 19:22:16 PM »
Chapter 31: The new kid

Serena took the opportunity to visit the Lower 6th form common room, where she found Nadya and Janes, the two witches in the lower 6th.

"Hi guyth... got a thecond?"


"Can you both manage a quick meeting after thchool, there'th a couple of thingth we all need to chat about, should only take 10 minuteth"

Both Nadia and James said they could make it. "Ok, meet on the grathth over by the pavillion...."

Serena then went into the upper 6th common room, where she found Fiona. "Hi Fiona, theen Tham?"

"He was around.... why?"

"Can you manage a quick witches meeting after thchool, 10 minuteth maxth?"

"Sure, that should be ok"

"Ok, can you let Tham know too, pleathe?"

"Sure, no probs...."

The bell rang for the end of break, and Serena made her way to her first actual lesson of the new school year: Alchemy... (Ok, not ACTUALLY alchemy, but close: Chemistry!).

Over lunchtime she caught up with Sarah.

"Ok, I have the details of the new witch who has just joined us," explained Sarah, "he's in L6b, his name is Nitesh."

"Nitesh... ok. Anything elthe I should know?"

"Yes, he's actually a 'half-caste', dad is the witch, mum is normal, but obviously knows about us. They moved here a few weeks ago, and whilst the coven elders have spoken briefly with his dad, they've not come along to any meetings yet. Nitesh had his 16th birthday a couple of months ago, and this is all new to him - their old coven was also a closed coven."

"Ok, tho he might get a little bit of a thurprithed when I approach him? I'm trying to arrange a quick witcheth meeting for the thixth of uth after thchool" said Serena quitely.

"Yeah, go gentle, but that would be a nice introduction for him. By the way, his last lesson today will be in room A16"

Serena managed to leave her last lesson a couple of minutes early, and got to Room A16 just before the bell rang to indicate the end of lessons for the day. There were less than a dozen students in the room, but they were still talking, so she waited just outside until it was clear the class had ended. She gently opened the door, and went in. "Hi everyone, which of you is Nitesh?"

"That's me" said one of the boys."

"Oh, hi Nitesh, I'm Therena, can I have a quick word when you're packed up?"

"Sure...". Nitesh packed up his books, and followed Serena out of the classroom. Serena waited till they were out of earshot of any other students.

"Tho welcome to the thchool, but more relevant, welcome to the 'Coven of the Light'".

"Ah....... ok... thanks... so you're a witch then?"

"Yeth, I am... one of thixth of uth in total in the thixth form. Look, any chanthe you can thpare 10 minuteth for a quick meet-up with the otherth, I'm sure they'd love to meet you, pluth there's a couple of other thingth to tell you all..."

Nitesh checked the time. "Yeah, that's ok.... where we meeting?". Serena lead him to the grassy area by the pavilion, where three of the others were already there, and she could see Sam walking towards the pavillion too.

"Hi everyone!" she said when Sam arrived. "Come in clothe" she said as they all sat on the grass, then cast a spell.

"What was that?" asked Nitesh.

"Jutht a thound-blanket spell, don't really want anyone hearing what I'm about to thay. Tho, firtht of all, welcome to Nitesh who has jutht moved here a few weekth ago. Thith is Fiona, Tham, Nadya and Jameth... hang on a thecond....". "Ok, braces, you can turn my lisp off now!" she said silently. "As I explained, we are all members of the 'Coven of the Light'."

"Erm, Serena... how come your lisp suddently stopped?" asked Nitesh.

"Ah, yes, that's one of the things I guess I'll need to explain to you. So, as most of you know now, I'm the 'target' of a prophecy, the girl with the mouth of metal, blah blah blah, who is going to do lots of things, starting with reuniting the covens of the land. These braces are pretty extreme, but are made of a very special metal, a metal that is effectively 'sentient'. Eventually I'm told that the metal will be absorbed into my teeth. But the braces are there to protect me when I do any Dark Magic that I'm going to have to do to fulfil my prophecy. But one thing they are able to do is get rid of my lisp for me, like now... but clearly I still need to lisp when I'm around 'normies'. Unlike most people with braces, I won't ever be getting rid of this lot, so I'd REALLY appreciate your support around school..."

"Ok" said Fiona.

"They look pretty extreme" commented Nitesh, who hadn't been at the picnic, so hadn't seen them before.

"Yes, they are..." replied Serena, opening her mouth to let him see that she not only had full bands on all her teeth, but had a LOAD of other add-ons both inside and outside of her teeth.

"Oooh, nasty" said Nitesh.

"Actually not as bad as you might think, they are very nice to me! Ok, let's keep this short... the main reason for asking you all here is that we've had a request from our Elders: as you know, until a week or so ago, we were a closed coven, meaning that our under-16s didn't know they are actually witches, and all the stuff that goes with it. The other two covens at the picnic are open covens, so their kids know all about it, and the general feeling is that we need to be a lot more open, so we have decided to also become an open coven. Which is why a load of young kids from our coven were at the picnic yesterday... but it means that our kids have a lot to learn in a short time... things like not telling the 'normies' about us, and that sort of stuff... all things WE got told on our 16th birthday, one at a time. So they have asked if we can spend a bit of time with our under 16's, sort of mentoring them, they think it will come a lot better from us, than from a load of adults"

"That makes a certain amount of sense." said Sam.

"Yeah, my thinking too," continued Serena, "So I was thinking maybe we can organise some simple fun events for them, down the park or something, where we can show them some more magic, and talk to them in a relaxed environment. The last thing we want them doing is blabbing about magic here at school. Now, obviously Miss Davis - Sarah - knows we are all witches, but so does Mrs Topdog.... but that's actually not a problem, she's pretty impressed with us: in the 10 years she's been her at the school, she's never heard of a magic related incident... so let's keep it like that, shall we?"

"Sounds like we need to all meet up again soon, to organise stuff..."

"Well, maybe if we're all free tomorrow lunchtime? How about here at 12:15? We'll try and keep it short again. Ok, thanks for coming guys, see you tomorrow."

As Serena started to walk home, she realised that Nitesh was going the same way. "So where do you live then?" Serena asked him. He told her. "Oh, that's on my way home, you're not far from me. Want to walk together?"

"Yeah, ok... so what's all this about a prophecy, and what you said about yesterday?" Serena explained about when she had pledged to '5 or 10 shades darker than the light', and how it turned out that this was described in a prophecy the coven had. She went on to explain how she'd met the 2 other fairly local covens, and about their similar prophecies, and told him what happened at the picnic.

"So what about you? Where did you come from, and what was your coven like?".

Nitesh told Serena where he used to live. "Our coven is also what you call a 'closed coven', and from what dad has told me, they seem to be quite strict too. I guess that's why we've not come along to any of your coven's meetings yet, I think dad is a bit apprehensive."

"He shouldn't be, the Coven of the Light is a reasonably relaxed coven - I mean, when I suggested to our elders about becoming an open coven only a couple of weeks ago, it was an easy decision for them. Maybe I should drop by, and say hello to your dad, and explain stuff. I'm assuming he's at work now?"

"Dad's's an accountant, so yeah, he's at work. Well, we're almost at my place: why don't you come in and meet mum?"

"Sure, why not. She's not a witch is she? How does she cope with you and your dad being witches?"

"She seems to be pretty ok about it, not that dad or I really do much magic..."

"Any brothers or sisters?"

"I have a younger sister - of course, we don't know yet if she'll be a witch or not. Right, here we are...". he took out a key, and opened the front door. "Hi mum, I'm home!" he called out.

"In the kitchen, getting tea ready!" Nitesh took his bag off, leaving it in the hall, then led Serena into the Kitchen. "Mum, this is Serena...". Nitesh's mum was a nice looking indian-looking lady, dressed in contemporary English clothes, Serena guessed in her early to mid 40's.

"Nice to meet you, Serena! I guess you're in the same class as Nitesh?" she asked, in a very well spoken English accent.

"Actually, no, I'm in the upper 6th. We had a short witches meeting after school, and I invited Nitesh along to meet the other 6th form witches. I actually don't live far away, so we walked home together".

"Oh, ok. So, Nitesh, how did things go today?". For Nitesh, today had been quite a big day. Today was his first day in the sixth form: not in itself a big thing. It was also his first day at a new school: again, not a big thing, quite a few other students had joined the sixth form from other schools that didnt' have one. The really big thing for Nitesh was that he was also new to the area, so didn't know ANYONE else in the school.

"It went pretty ok, probably better than I thought it would." he replied. "And Serena introduced me to the other witches in the sixth form after school, which was pretty cool.". He looked at Serena and smiled, thanking her.

"Mrs Jones, I know you're not a witch, but I hope you'll come along to our coven and meet everyone sometime soon. I was telling Nitesh earlier that we seem to be pretty relaxed about stuff. For example, when I recently suggested we became an open coven, it happened very easily."

"YOU suggested?"

"Yeah, let me explain....", and as she told Mrs Jones the story, Nitesh gave her a glass of cola. "I'd really like to meet your husband, Mrs Jones. Nitesh has my phone number, so do get him to call me when he has a moment".

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #18 on: 12. July 2022, 22:00:29 PM »
Chapter 32: making lots of plans

The next day, the Tuesday, Serena went into town in search of a shop that could give her proper piercings. Of her 'fakes', she found that the two lip rings were actually quite comfortable, but found the fake nose ring to be a bit annoying, so she decided to get two piercings: a frenulum ring (aka a 'smiley' piercing) and a nose ring.

She knew that the shop would want ID to prove she was 18, so she made sure she had that with her. Already having the fake piercings made it simple to explain what she was looking for. Fairly quickly, the girl in the shop was able to find a couple of rings that Serena liked, and twenty minutes later, Serena walked out of the shop, her fake nose ring replaced with a piercing, plus a new frenulum piercing. Being her first piercings, the girl in the shop had spent some time to explain how important it was to keep everything as clean as possible.

Back at home, she explained all to her mum. "So, I got my nose pierced, plus I have an extra one..." said Serena smiling.

"What about the ones in your lip?"

"They are the same as before. I hope you're not mad at me?"

"As I said to you before, you are plenty old enough to make your own decisions, and they are actually quite nice and discrete. Make sure you look after them, don't let them get infected."

"I was going to get Samantha to do some healing spells on them later on."

"Good idea...."

Upstairs in her room a few minutes later, She called David, the lab technician who was going to make her jewelry, and they agreed that she could go to see him straight after school the next day. Her next call was to Mrs Johnson, the elder of her coven, to organise collecting the chain - it was agreed that she could drop by around 7pm.

Serena's final call was to Samantha. "Hey, can I come over for a bit? I just got a couple of piercings, and I'd like you do some healing magic for me."

"Sure, come on over, the bed is all yours!". What she meant was that Serena could 'land' on the bed any way she wanted. For a bit of fun, Serena lay on her bed and teleported to 2 inches above Samantha's bed, and fell the last bit. "I've wanted to try that for a bit" she explained.

Samantha took a careful look at Serena's two piercings. "Yes, they both look good, whoever did them knew what they were doing," and she cast several healing and 'keep clean' spells, teaching them to Serena at the same time. "A bit of antiseptic cream on the nose one won't hurt either, and be gentle with the one inside your lip, try not to play with it, if you can manage that... hey, maybe a 'don't annoy' spell will help..."

"Thanks, Samantha!" said Serena, and she then explained that she was going to pick up the chain later on, then go see David the next day.

"Hello Serena, come on in!". Serena had quickly got to like Mrs Johnson, she was a lovely lady, who now lived alone, and was always appreciative of anyone who visited. She had quickly realised how important Serena was, and helped her wherever she could... part of that was giving her pretty much unrestricted access to her library, another part was persuading the other elders to let Serena have part of the unholy chain.

"I'm going to give you the whole piece of chain: I believe you are getting someone to make you some special jewellery, so I'm sure they can cut off what you need much better than we can. You said 3 links, but if you need a little more, that won't be a problem, just bring the rest back to me."

As well as collecting the chain, she chatted to Mrs Johnson, plus picked up a couple of books that had useful information about magic, and dark-magic, jewellery.

So, after school on Wednesday, Serena went to see David. He took some pictures of Serena's existing piercings, and some closeups of the fake lip rings, so he could work out exactly what he would need to make. He also carefully measured Serena's little finger, which is where they would all would go when combined as a ring.

Serena also gave him the books on magic jewellery she had borrowed, specifically showing him the section on making jewelry convert from one form to another.

"Yes, that makes a lot of sense, some very clever magic there, which I should have no trouble doing for you. So, you have the piece of chain for me?"

"I actually have the whole bit of chain, we thought you would have the right tools to cut it"

"Yes, that's not a problem." He led Serena through to the lab area, Where she opened the small metal box, and removed the chain. Once again, she could feel its darkness.

"Braces, we ok with this?"

"Shouldn't be a problem for the short time you'll need..." they replied.

Serena passed the chain to David. "Oh, yes, definitely a darker bit of chain, I can see whay it's kept in a metal box - let's get this done quickly!". Serena watched as he used some strong cutters to take the three links off, then passed the remainder back to Serena to put back into the box. "I guess I'd better find something safe to keep this in..." and he went and found a small metal tin.

While she was there, David showed Serena some of the rather more normal braces he was making: as well as a couple of pairs of fairly plain Hawley Retainers, there was a quite complicated pair of removable appliances, each with several expansion screws in.

"That's not going to be nice for whoever gets it," commented Serena.

"No, but unfortunately they need to be that big and that thick so that the screw-modules all fit in, and so that the plastic won't break.". He then showed her a couple of fixed appliances he had made. "So, this is a very simple screw expander, it'll probably be more comfortable than that other removable one. However, THIS pair won't be so nice, but I'm sure you already know that!". He showed her an upper expander with an attached tongue crib, as well as a lower expander.

"It's odd, they look so much smaller when I'm holding it like this, than they do when they are actually in your mouth!"

"I never had braces, so I can't comment. Anyway, this is a 'work in progress'... it's the top part of a twin-block appliance." It was very much a 'work in progress', the labial wire was held in place with wax, as were a pair of adam's clasps on the molars, plus some ball clasps at the front. In addition, there was an expander screw, with wires coming out of it, in the middle. "So, there'll be substantial chunks of plastic over the rear molars, then on the lower one there will be large chucks at the front, so that this one pushes the lower one forward."

"So how DO you make the plastic then?" asked Serena.

"If you're not in a rush, I could show you....". As Serena watched, David brushed a bit more release agent over the plaster model, let it dry for a few minutes, then added a small amount of acrylic powder, followed by a liquid... he kept repeating this over and over again, slowly building up the acrylic. "The plate may look a bit over-thick right now, but I'll end up trimming a load of it off, as I slowly refine it."

"So when you make it, the plastic is all in one piece then?"

"Yes, I'll carefully cut it down the middle, so it can be expanded."

"So what do you use to cut it? And to reduce the thickness?". David showed her the small handheld drill, with the various 'bits' that could cut and grind.

"But that must leave them rather rough - those appliances you showed me earlier were so nice and shiny.."

"Yes, after getting rid of any excess acrylic, both in terms of the thickness, but also around the edges, and at the back, they get polished with this". He showed her the polishing wheel, and the pumice paste. "We also use thus to do the final polish on the fixed appliances after they've been made."

On her way home, she dropped off the remaining piece of chain, in its box, to Mrs Johnson.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #19 on: 13. July 2022, 21:53:11 PM »
Chapter 33: The new jewellery

The next week was relatively uninteresting (well, from the perspective of this story). Serena was busy at school starting the new sections of her courses. And then there was homework. At the weekend, she stayed over with Samantha on the Saturday, and they just spent time together, like normal girls do. Then it was back to school on the Monday once more.

Being in the upper 6th form gave her the advantage of seniority, meaning that no-one in the lower school (well, maybe excepting a small handful of girls) would dare say anything about her braces or lisp... although she still got the occasional stare. There were a couple of not so nice comments by a couple of the sixth formers, but her braces helped her, and she was able to simply ignore them. To be honest, the novelty of her rather extreme braces was wearing off by that second week.

Thursday lunchtime, she got a text, from David: 'Your jewellery is ready for you: feel free to drop by after school'. Even better for Serena was that she had a free lesson the last lesson, so was able to go see David a bit early (as well as miss the rush of kids at the normal leaving time!).

"So," said David, showing Serena the 4 small rings: 2 piercings, 2 fake piercings. "Here they are!"

"Oh yes David, they look just excellent!"

"Thank you! So, I used the magic from those books, and when they combine to become a ring, like this..." David picked up the 4 items and combined them into a small finger ring, "the inside is lined with a very thin layer of the 'light metal', the rest is your 'dark metal'. Also, as requested, it is possible to combine just 2 or 3 of the pieces...", and he demonstrated that too.

"Wow, that is pretty cool!"

"Yes, it is: the first time I saw them combine, I was pretty awestruck too! Try it on..."

Serena recombined all 4 parts into the ring, and slid it onto her small finger. "Braces, how you feeling with that?"

"No problem at all: that light metal is doing it's job well! You might want to ask Wanda too."


"Yes, oh mighty one!" said Wanda cheerily. "Oooh, do I sense the presence of some darker metal from the unholy chain?"

"Yes, you do, it's in this ring..."

"Very nice..."

"And if I remove it, it converts into the 4 piercings...". Serena converted them to the 4 piercings, then put them back together again, and onto her finger.

"Oh, yes, they are magnificent. I guess you'll want to test them out, won't you? Do you mind if I hide away while you do that?"

"Absolutely, that was why I called you, to let you know." Wanda disappeared.

"David, my braces and Wanda are all very happy with the finger ring... let's try them as face rings....". Serena again split the ring into 4. "I'm guessing this is my frenulum ring?"

"Yes, it is. Come and sit here, so you can use the light, and there's a mirror around too..." David let Serena sit down, and passed her the mirror. Serena had been using the healing spells regularly since having the piercings, and a couple of days ago, carefully removed then replaced her frenulum ring for the first time: she had done it a couple more times since, so as she removed the ring today, she was feeling pretty good about being able to fit the new one. David gave her a bit of alcohol to clean the ring, and with very little effort was able to fit the ring made of the darker metal.

"Yes, we can definitely feel that" said her braces, "can you?". "Yes, I think I can. Are you ok so far?" she asked them. "Yes, we're fine, do try the others...".

"So far so good," Serena told David, "my braces are coping well. Ok, nose ring....". In the same way she had swapped out her Frenulum ring, she very carefully swapped the nose rings over. "How's it feeling, braces? I'm starting to feel a slight darkness."

"Yeah, we're ok... keep going...".

As Serena removed the two clip-on lip rings, and replaced them with the dark metal ones, she started to feel the darkness inside her increase, and at the same time could feel her braces protecting her.

"We are definitely feeling that, but we are sure we will be ok.... I guess you need to do some sort of 'test drive'..." suggested her braces.

"Ok, David, I think we should go outside, but somewhere where we won't be seen." David took her out to a back yard, which had solid fences around it. She held out her hand, and with almost no effort was able to create fireballs. She was able to teleport across the yard just as easily.

"Keep going, we're ok," her braces reassured her.

"Ok... brown hardback magic book from my bedroom, next to my bed, I summon you!". Instantly it was in her hand. "Nice! Ok, 2 cups of coffee, for David and me! This instant!". She wasn't quite sure where they came from, but she was holding 2 cups of hot coffee: she passed one to David. "And where's the chocolate digestives then?" she added in slight anger. A packet of chocolate digestives landed in her hand. She put both the coffee and the biscuits down safely, as she now wanted to try a levitation spell, by which I mean leviating herself into the air. When she had tried the levitation spell before, even with getting herself relatively angry, she'd only managed to get a couple of inches off the ground.

"Ok, David, I'm going to try levitating myself, so don't panic. Braces, are you guys ready for this?". Serina looked at the relevant yellow square of paper in her mind, and cast the levitation spell: with little effort, she rose most of a foot into the air, and was able to stay there.

"Definitely feeling that one...." said her braces, "but keep going!". Serena cast a further spell, to move her around a bit, then dropped gently back to the ground. She was starting to feel a small amount of darkness, but two things were very clear to Serena: the dark metal made it a LOT easier to do dark magic, and her braces seemed to be able to protect her from the worst of the side-effects from it.

As the two lip rings were trivial to remove, she did so, combining them into a ring, which she put on her finger.

"Thank you, Serena, that feels a lot better."

"Ok, I want to leave the other two rings in place, I think it will help you to start getting used to having them. If it's a problem, I'll take them out."

"No, what you suggest makes sense, and we think that, as long as you don't actually do any dark magic, we'll be ok".

"Well, David, you craftmanship seems to work amazingly well, so thank you once again. I reckon we both deserve to sit and have our coffees now, and enjoy a biscuit or two!"

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #20 on: 16. July 2022, 22:55:03 PM »
Chapter 34: btw, she found him

It's Friday evening, and Serena has gone around to Sarah's, artly to be sociable, partly to let Sarah teach her some new magic.

"So, how was your second week then?" asked Sarah.

"I'm feeling strangely relaxed: it's my last year at school, but it's starting to no longer feel like school. I mean, most of the teachers treat us almost as adults, which feels good. And I'm so glad I didn't become head girl, that would have added so much stress - although Cathy seems to be coping ok."

"I suspect 'seems to be' is the important bit for Cathy, I think she's struggling at times. You get on with her, you should try and chat to her a bit more. As for your school work, I suspect it's going to ramp up quite a bit in the next couple of weeks. I'm rather hoping you're not using any magic to cheat in any way?"

"No, I'm lucky, I seem to be able to remember stuff pretty easily, which gives me more time to actually understand it. Ok, Sarah, you're a teacher, what's it like for you?"

"Well, my first few years as a teacher were pretty stressful: you have to work out what your gonna teach each lesson, create lesson plans and all that. Of course, now I can re-use a fair bit of what I've already done, so it's a lot easier. But the actual teaching side is always a challenge - you're the exception, most kids don't have such a good memory as you do, or they have problems understanding stuff."

"Do YOU ever cheat, and use a bit of magic?"

"Yes, occasionally, mainly when actually teaching, to help a few of my students better understand what I'm saying... I usually do things like put pictures into their head."

"Do you worry you'll get found out?"

"No, not really, it's really lightweight stuff I do. So, talking about magic, is there anything specific you'd like to do tonight?" Sarah asked Serena.

"Actually, yes, there was something I was reading in this book I borrowed from Mrs Johnson....".

Sarah and Serena got on amazingly well, despite the nearly 10 year gap between them: I guess we shouldn't be THAT surprised, as the prophecies did say that would end up fighting alongside each other.

"Hey, Wanda, you there?" asked Serena.

"Good evening, Masterful Mistress!" said Wanda, clearly having a bit of fun, "of course I am!"

"Fancy trying out some magic with me?"

"Oh, yes please!" replied Wanda, enthusiastically. They started of with some very light spells, which went pretty well, after which they talked about some of the dark magic that Serena had found.

"By the way, thinking about darkness, you heard anything about Lucifer yet, Wanda?"

"Oh, I am SOOO sorry, I completely forgot! Yes, they finally found him! I've asked them to give him the mighty Sarah's phone number, so, mighty Sarah, do expect a call from him sometime!" replied Wanda

"Thank you, Wanda. Hey, Sarah, a question for you..." asks Serena, "don't you ever get fed up or annoyed the way that Wanda keeps calling you 'the mighty Sarah'?"

"Nah, it doesn't really worry me, although I can appreciate her calling you 'your majesty' could get a bit annoying! Wanda: it's ok if you you want to call me 'mighty Sarah'!"

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #21 on: 18. July 2022, 00:26:38 AM »
A little bit of simple advice to make this chapter more enjoyable: just imagine that Lucifer is speaking with Tom Ellis' voice! Shouldn't be THAT hard to do...


Chapter 35 - Dinner with Lucifer!

Sarah's phone rang - she didn't recognise the number. She answered the call.

"Hello?" she said, "who is this?"

"Ah, good evening, Ms Sarah Davis? My name is Lucifer..." said a very suave and sexy voice.

"Oh, hello, erm... Lucifer, I was expecting to hear from you. I was rather hoping that you might be able to help me with some dark magic training for...."

"Let me stop you there! This isn't really something to be discussed on the phone... why don't you just join me tomorrow evening, for dinner?"

"Dinner? But I don't even know you?"

"I know. So come and have dinner with me at my restaurant, and we can get to know each other better!"

"Your restaurant?"

"Yes, I have 4 of them, actually, you must have heard of the small 'Brimstone' chain? Don't worry, I promise that you will be perfectly safe!".

Sarah thought for a moment. On one hand there was always a risk whatever you did. On the other hand, it seemed that, if she wanted to help Serena with her dark magic, Lucifer was probably the best person - or should that be demon - to help. "Ok, so where and when?"

"How does 7 o'clock sound? I'll text you the address. I look forward to meeting you!"

"Ok, I'll see you tomorrow."

"Good evening, I'm supposed to meeting Lucifer here?" said Sarah the next evening, as she walked into 'Brimstone' at about 2 minutes after 7.

"Ah, Ms Davis, please follow me!". She was led to the rear of the restaurant, and through a door, where she found herself in a small private dining room. Sat at one of the tables was a very handsome looking gentleman, dressed very smartly, clearly wearing custom-fitted clothes. He stood up, and came over to Sarah.

"Ah, good evening Ms Davis! Or would you prefer me to call you Sarah? Let me take your coat." Lucifer helped her remove her coat, and he hung it up. Sarah hadn't been really sure what to wear this evening, but when she checked up the restaurant online, it was clear this was a very upmarket restaurant, so she had dressed suitably, wearing a rather fetching knee length dress that plunged a bit at the front and the back. The lack of sleeves showed off Sarah's nicely developed arms, arms quite suitable for someone who would go on to 'fight alongside' Serena.

"I guess it would make sense to call me Sarah, if I'm going to call you Lucifer!"

"Well, Sarah, do please take a seat... a glass of wine?" asked Lucifer. To be honest, the wine question was more of a command than a question, as Lucifer started to pour it before he'd even finished the question.

Sarah took a look at Lucifer: he was as good looking as his voice sounded. A couple of inches under 6 ft tall, clean shaven, smart short hair. Immaculate manicure. He looked to be in his late 30's, but of course his real age could just as easily be 300, 3000 or 30,000 years old!

Sarah picked up the wine, and took a sip: it was clearly NOT a cheap wine! "So, what's for dinner then?" she asked. "I'm not seeing a menu...".

"That's simply because we don't need one. I've asked the chef to make us something suitable for the occasion."

"And how exactly would you describe this occasion?"

"Well, I am hoping it might be the start of a good friendship," replied Lucifer with a smile, clearly looking once more at Sarah.

The door opened, and their waiter came in, with 2 medium sized plates. "Good evening Sir, Madam....", and he put the plates in front of each of them, then left.

"These are matsutake mushrooms, fresh from Japan: marinated then grilled." explained Lucifer, "I hope you like mushrooms!". As Sarah ate them, she could tell from the taste that they were clearly quite expensive. And she DEFINITELY enjoyed them!

"So, do tell me about Serena then..." said Lucifer as they ate their stupidly expensive starters.

"Well, she is 18. Very bright, both academically, and with magic - already she can do magic that those of us who have actively done magic for maybe 10 or 20 years can not do."

"I assume you are just talking about light magic?"

"No, she seems to be quite able to do certain dark magic too."

"It doesn't affect her?"

"No, she has a mouthful of metallic braces, made from the metal of part of the un-holy chain."

"Braces, as in those things that teenage kids hate to wear, just to get their teeth made a little less ugly?"

"Yes, those sort of braces! But FAR more extreme than most mere normies would have."

"She's braver than I thought!" said Lucifer smiling, which revealed his own perfectly white and straight smile.

"And I'm guessing from your complete lack of comment that you know about the un-holy chain then?"

"Oh, yes, it does have a long history. I know I was responsible for some of the souls that went into it - something I'm not to proud of. Towards the end, I did try and save some of the better souls by putting them into the chain."

"Apparently Serina's braces contain enough metal from the un-holy chain that they are sentient: they not only talk to Serena, they can apparently protect her from the dark magic she will need to learn and do."

"Now THAT could be helpful! Sounds like they contain some of the better souls."

With their mushrooms finished, the waiter came and removed their dirty plates, and replaced them several minutes later with a larger plate with a small thick piece of steak on it. Separately the waiter put a dish of assorted vegetables and some sauce for the steak onto the table.

"This looks rather nice!" commented Sarah.

"It's filet mignon, we get it fresh from France, accompanied by baby courgettes, freshly picked broccoli, roasted baby carrots, along with some purple potato, and peas that will have been freshly picked earlier today." explained Lucifer.

Sarah put a little of each of the vegetables onto her plate, but started with the steak, over which she had poured some of the sauce. Her knife glided through the meat, and its taste matched its tenderness: Sarah had never eaten such a good bit of steak ever before. The vegetables were also cooked just perfectly, neither too raw, not too overcooked, all with a slight crispness - and amazing taste - to them.

"So, the prophecy: I've heard many stories about the prophecy of the covens, do tell me what you know," asked Lucifer.

"Well, we have seen three specific prophecies so far, from three different covens: their core is pretty much the same, but each add in some useful extra details". Sarah described what the 3 prophecies said. "Everyone is convinced that the events pretty much tie up with now..."

"Yes, that's always the problem with any sort of prediction or prophecy, isn't it? I mean, over the years there have been many 'plagues', but even something like Spanish Flu a few years ago died out quite quickly. And I'm pretty sure there HAVE been plenty of witches over the past 400 or 500 years who have not pledged to follow the light - although I'm guessing many of then went straight for the darkness! No, I'm tending to agree with what your saying, plus....."

"Plus?" asked Sarah.

"Well, over the last half century or so, there's been a growing dissatisfaction amongst members of some of the realms, so it must be about time someone actually DID something!" explained Lucifer.

"It sounds like you also believe this prophecy is starting to come true, and that Serena is the one named in it."

"Well, it's the best match I've heard of so far. As I understand it, unless you're a real 'dark witch', it's not easy for a witch who has pledged to the light to actually do any serious dark magic. Unless they are the one who pledged to 'somewhere in between'".

"Serena has taught me some very simple summoning spells, but for the distance I can summon, I might just as well walk and get whatever it is! Serena on the other hand is a lot more able".

As they talked Sarah continued to enjoy her dinner: normally she was a reasonably fast eater, but today, she was taking her time, and enjoying and savouring the lovely mix of flavours in the food.

"Ok, Lucifer, here's a very direct question for you: given a fight between good and evil, which side would you stand on?"

"Well, if you had asked me that a few millennia ago, it would have been the dark side. But I've come to see that darkness isn't really the answer. I'll be honest, I rather enjoy my life here with humanity, so I think I'll be wanting to support the good guys! How many times do I need to tell people, I really am trying to turn my - albeit rather long - life around!"

"But I'm rather hoping that you still have some dark skills?"

"Oh, once you learn dark magic, there's no unlearning it!"

"So, are you interested in helping me, and maybe some others, train Serena in her use of magic, specifically dark magic?"

"If she is as good as you seem to think she is, then yes, it will be a most interesting experience: it's been a while since I've trained someone in 'the dark arts'. Although this time there will be the interesting twist of working out how to use dark magic for something good!"

Sarah took the last bite of her main curse, and put her knife and fork onto the plate.

"Lucifer, that was just amazing! Thank you"

"Oh, we're not done yet. Lets sit and pause for a while, then you can be thrilled by the dessert. In the meantime, more wine?". While Lucifer refilled their wine glasses, the waiter came in at took away their plates. Lucifer and Sarah continued to talk: not only did Lucifer have a most amazing voice, he was also a pretty good listener. Not only did they talk about Serena, and her need for training, they talked about each other.

"Are you ready for the dessert?" asked Lucifer a while later.

"Yes, I think so." A few moments later, the waiter came in with two small plates.

"So, the starter had a Japanese theme, the main course had a French theme. The dessert is Italian: pieces of fresh Italian pineapple and kiwi fruits, served with ice cream - Italian of course! Oh, the cream might not be Italian though!"

"Lucifer, this is lovely!" said Sarah, thoroughly enjoying her fruit and ice cream."

"I'm glad you're enjoying it."

"Something tells me you enjoy nice food..." suggested Sarah.

"I do. A lot of customers come here because it's expensive, many come to just 'eat some food', but it is so nice when I'm able to invite someone like you here, because it's very clear that you have actually ENJOYED the food here tonight."

"I will say that I have liked absolutely everything you have served me tonight, it was quite amazing. the textures, the flavours... so... I have no word for it, will 'yummy' do?"

"'Yummy' is good for me. Of course, it's not just the raw ingredients - although they do play their part, it's the skill of the team that make it: come , I would love you to meet my chefs!". Lucifer led Sarah out of the private dining room, and out to the kitchen. "Tell you what, how would you like to tell these guys what you thought of their food? This is David, he prepared your mushroom starter".

"David, those mushrooms tasted just delicious!"

"Thank you, my pleasure", said David with a smile.

"Yoru main course was a bit of a team effort.. ladies and gents, your attention for a few seconds: Sarah, please try and describe your thoughts on the main course?"

"Well, that steak was just... divine! Those vegetables... perfect!". There were several more very appreciative faces.

"And finally, meet Suzi, she does most of the desserts"

"Suzi, thank you, it ended the meal beautifully!". Suzi smiled too.

"So, can I persuade you to come up to my apartment: we can have coffee, and if there's something you'd like to drink, we can arrange that too."

Sarah thought for a second, but realised that if Lucifer REALLY wanted to do something untoward to her, he wouldn't need her to be in his apartment at the time. Besides, he really did seem to know how to behave like a gentlemen. "Yes, ok then, but I ought to get my coat and bag."

"Don't worry, I'll get them as soon as we are upstairs!" He led the way to a small lift (oh, come on, you don't REALLY expect Lucifer to use stairs do you?). Once upstairs, he clicked his fingers, summoning Sarah's coat and bag. "I mean, if you know magic, you might as well use it occasionally...."

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #22 on: 18. July 2022, 19:55:48 PM »
Chapter 36 - Sarah did WHAT?

"Ah, Serena, got a moment?" asked Sarah. It was lunchtime the next day at school.

"Yes, sure," replied Serena, "something important?". Sarah took Serena to a quiet corner.

"Well, yes and no. Lucifer has agreed to come over to my place tonight to start your dark magic training"

"Oh excellent... so you've spoken to him at last then?". Serena saw the reaction on Sarah's face. "Ok, I'll take that as a definite 'yes' then... what's he like?"

"Oh, he's really very nice..."

"So, you had dinner with him then?"

"I might have done... how on earth did you work that out?"

"Oh, come on, Sarah, it's written all over your face. So come on, details..."

"Well, he invited me to one of his restaurants..."

"One of?"

"Yes, he owns several. Look, he's been around for a while, had plenty of time to develop the business model. Oh, god, the food was just so DIVINE! Then we went up to his apartment. FOR COFFEE! Ok, and a drink..."

"... and I'm guessing a bit of 'something more' too!"

"Who do you take me for?"

"Well, a hot-blooded teacher who's not had a boyfriend for a while?". Sarah went a bit pink. "Oh My God! You fancy him, don't you?" Sarah's face went from pink to red. "I bet you have a thing for bad boys!"

"Serena! This is neither the time nor place to be talking about....."

"About your love life?" Serena had a HUGE smile on her face. "Ok tonight... what time is your fancy-man coming over?" she added, smirking.

"Oh, stop it will you!! Just be there for about half seven will you?"

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #23 on: 23. July 2022, 23:29:46 PM »
Chapter 37 - Serena meets Lucifer

"I would say 'come on in', but you already are, aren't you?". Whilst Serena would normally teleport straight into Sarah's lounge, today she thought it might be a bit more discrete to land in her hallway, and call out to her. "Come on and meet Luce..."

"Well, hello there, beautiful!" said Lucifer in his normal suave tone, and looking up at Serena, whilst taking her hand. Whilst Lucifer wore shoes with slight heels on, to increase his height a tiny bit, Serena was actually taller than him, plus her heels were even bigger than his!

"Hello Lucifer! Thank you for offering to help me with my dark magic training."

"Completely my pleasure: I'm quite looking forward to seeing how good you really are" replied Lucifer.

Whilst this was happening, Serena's braces asked her "Is this REALLY Lucifer? Big Bad Lucifer?"

"Yes, it is, but we need to trust him. I have no doubt he has a LOT of experience of dark magic, and I need to learn as much as I can from him. Look, do your best, and let me know if you are struggling" she replied.

"Ok, we will. Will you be using your new jewellery?" asked the braces.

"No, I wasn't planning on telling Sarah about it yet. Besides, it will be good for me to see what dark magic I can do without it"

"Ok, that sounds good to us!" said her braces.

"So, we decided that today we will properly start you training in the area of dark magic," explained Sarah. "Luce will be working with you on the dark side of things, but I'm going to be here both to make sure he doesn't actually try and lure you fully to the dark side, but also to be here to put the dark magic into the context of the light magic"

"Oh, Sarah, please, who do you take me for?" replied Lucifer

"Erm, how about Satan's dark ex-assistant?"

"Yeah, ok, but I've told you, I'm trying hard to reform! I wouldn't be here if I didn't think this was the right thing to do.... and I must say, I'm quite convinced I need to help you, for the good of this and the other realms"

"Ok, Luce, calm down, let's get the ball rolling...."

"Right, Serena, let's start your training by helping you understand a few things. Your need of the dark magic is quite different from mine... or should I say 'from what mine used to be'. My use of the dark magic was for purely personal, evil and vindictive purposes. Your use will be quite different: it will be for the greater good, absolutely not evil.... but there still needs to be a vindictive or not-so-good undertone to it, so that it works properly. I think what I need to say is that you need to be able to use the dark magic, but control it carefully, maybe with some equally strong light magic. Although Sarah tells me you also have some special 'braces' that will also help."

"Oh, ok, that makes sense. And yes, my braces have already helped me when I've done some of the simple dark magic stuff." Serena smiled, letting Lucifer see the metal in her mouth.

"Rather you than me with that lot! Now, another thing you need to understand is that powerful dark magic can take a lot out of you, more so than the light magic, although hopefully your braces might help you.  Even so, what you have to do is try and be a bit more intelligent about things"

"What do you mean?"

"Well, imagine that you want to build a house, but right where you want to build that house is a massive oak tree, three foot wide trunk. You can cut it down with an axe.... yeah, I can see you doing that! Or you could use magic to get rid of it, but a big tree like that? It's going to be pretty hard to do, and take a while. But maybe, if you are clever, there's a better way"

"Such as?"

"Well, maybe the tree should have grown 30 feet away, or simply not been allowed to grow in the first place..."

"Right.... but that would have been what... a hundred years ago?"

"True, but why should that stop you using magic. You just need a different sort of magic" explained Lucifer.

"No use looking at me, Serena, I have no idea where he's going with this," commented Sarah

"That's because you only have knowledge of spells of the light. I'm talking about 'Retrospective Magic'. Retrospective magic is a very powerful, and very dark, form of magic. Trying to do anything of consequence is close to impossible, but you can do very small things. Even that needs a lot of very carefully planned and placed magic, which will be very tiring to do. But it can be done. So back to that tree... how about we ask a passing squirrel - a hundred years ago -  to pick up that acorn, and drop it 30 feet away. Or get the person who trod on it, and pushed it into the ground - which is how it started to grow - to just step 3 inches to the left. Small, relatively inconsequential actions that can have a much bigger effect later on."

"Ok, I can understand that. I guess you need to teach me the relevant spells...."

"Well, it's not quite so easy as that. Planning and research are so important with this one. If you get it wrong, you end up with three big trees instead of the one. Plus, the magic works a lot better the nastier the intent is. So, we need to work out something for you which probably won't have too much of an effect overall, but is, in itself quite nasty and vindictive. So what I thought is this: is there someone in your life who at some point has been a bit nasty to you? They probably never actually broke your arm or leg, but they caused you, and probably others, needless pain. Someone who you have thought 'boy, I'd like to get my own back on them one day...."

"Oh, yes, I can definitely think of someone like that!"

"I can feel some anger in there.... Tell me more.... and don't restrain yourself in any way! I'm sure Sarah will help you if you start to go TOO far - but Sarah, please don't do anything too soon, I need her anger"

Sarah had a quick word with her braces, making sure they would allow her to get a bit angry....

"Her name is Amanda Miller.... we called her 'Mandy Miller, the hateful killer', and other similar versions. She is a tiny bit younger than me, not in my class, but still in my year. I guess she comes from a pretty well off family, 'coz she always dresses well and expensively. Always has the latest iPhone - Android phones are far too beneath her! But she's the school bully. You'll never actually see her doing anything physical, if that's needed then she'll get someone else to do that. Most of what she does is psychological. If she can find anything 'wrong' with you, she'll tell you and everyone else about it. 'Oh, not a very nice colour of nail polish you're wearing, that's so last year'. 'oh, that dress is far too long - or short'. 'oh, dear, don't you go to a hairdresser any more?'. 'with a nose like that, I'm not surprised you don't have a boyfriend any more'. All said out loud, said with spite, and in the most public of places. I don't ever remember her saying anything nice to anyone"

"Do go on, tell me more...."

"Well, heaven help you if you had or did something more than just trivial. I know of at least two girls with braces that were brought to tears from her nasty snide remarks. Being called a 'metal mouth' by her was almost a compliment. No, she was much nastier than that. 'Who would ever want to put their tongue in a mouth like THAT?' and 'can you eat bark, like a beaver does?' when someone's teeth stuck out a bit, and got braces. Her remarks can make you feel an inch tall. No, Mandy Miller is just an evil, conniving, vindictive, horrible BITCH! She needs to be neutered!" said Serena in a rather loud voice.

By this time, Serena's braces were doing things to try and calm her, but she was ignoring those feelings. She was absolutely hateful of Mandy Miller, probably badly enough that, if she were there now, she would pull her limb from limb without a single thought!

"AAAARRRGGHHHH!!!!!!! I HATE her! I despise her! She - is - the - SCUM - of - the - earth!!!!!!!!!!"

"Ok, Serena" said Lucifer. "Now take all of that anger, those dark feelings, and contain them, hold them, do NOT let them escape! Feel them! Savour them! Understand them!  Because THOSE are the sort of feelings you will need to cast any form of strong dark magic. Do you want to vindictively pay her back for everything she has done to you and everyone else?"

"OH, YES, I DO!!!!!!" screamed out Serena, louder than she had ever screamed before.

"Ok, Serena, now, start to breathe and relax. Come back down. Pull that anger inside of you. Put it into a little box, safe within yourself. Do not lose it, keep it close, you will need it later. But control it, be in COMPLETE control of it!" coached Lucifer.

Serena started to relax, and let her braces, which by now were exerting all sorts of feelings on her, help to calm her down. Her braces took her anger, and protected her from it, helped her hide it in that small box in her mind, and contain it once more.

Serena sat down and cried. That was not her, well, not the normal her. That was clearly some long term anger deep within her, that she had finally allowed to come out. But she had controlled it, and had managed to put it back into a safe place.

Serena felt different in herself as a result: she felt highly empowered! And ready to do whatever was needed!

"Ok" said Lucifer a while later, when Serena was back to her normal self. "That was pretty impressive. If I was your psychologist, I might say you have a few anger issues there towards Mandy Miller! We just need to be able to channel that later on, but we do now have someone who will be the target of your vindictive humiliation - you just need to work out WHAT you need to do. It needs to be small, and simple, yet something that puts her nicely in her place. More importantly, you need to make sure that there is no way anyone can ever realise that that it was YOU that caused it! Even better if it seems she did it to herself!"

"Luce, you really can be evil, can't you!" said Sarah.

"Yes, I can be quite evil, but that's why you need me. Now, Serena, when planning a retrospective spell, detail is so important. So, you need to go away, and work out what the humiliation will be - I'd like to suggest that, as this is supposed to be a braces story, that it might include some braces. But you need to be very precise in what you want, only then can you work out, with precision, what needs to be done to get that desired outcome. But I think you've done enough for today, go away, and think on it. If it takes a day or even a week, then that's fine. Some of the best actions can actually take some time to properly plan."

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #24 on: 24. July 2022, 21:56:01 PM »
Chapter 38 - all about MM

"Good morning Mithth Davith" said Serena, "How are you today?" They were both quite early.

"Very well thank you.... hopefully you're back to normal after last night....."

"Yeth, I'm feeling fine, ath long ath I don't thee a certain girl who ith in my year. I have no doubt she will be taking advantage of thome of thothe younger newer thtudentth. Hey, can I athk a quick favour?"

"Yes, go on.."

"Any chanthe you could put thome thort of thimple calming protection thpell on me for today. I don't want to upthet, or be upthet by, that thertain girl....."

"Yes, I understand, follow me.....".


So, Serena was getting back into the swing of school again - it always took a week or two for most students to settle in after the long summer holidays. It had also finally sunk in that she and her classmates were in the TOP CLASS. There were no other students above them, they were IT! And that calmed Serena greatly.

Shame about Miss MM also being in the top year too.

Whilst the day at school had been good, it was also quite tiring. She may be a witch, but she still had to learn stuff, so she could get her A-levels... although she DID sometimes wonder quite HOW a set of good A-level grades would actually help her save the world. And become queen...

Luckily, she didn't have any homework that needed doing straight away, so Serena lay back on her bed, and thought.... and started to plan. So, Mandy had braces! She wondered when she'd got those. She certainly didn't have them at the end of last term. Whilst her 'meeting' with Mandy had been very brief, she had seemed to be relaxed with her braces, so Serena guessed it must have been soon after the end of term.

She needed to find out more, but how? She knew that MM was a non-witch, so if she had a probing walk around her house, she should be completely unaware. Ok, so she should be respecting people's privacy, but Serena felt that this is one of those times when 'the greater good overrides the needs of the individual'. Crap, that's a bit of dark magic side-effects coming out.... but that didn't matter, what she was doing was all a bit dark, so who really cared?

Where does MM live though? Serena couldn't go probing if she didn't know WHERE to probe. Damn, she should have asked Sarah to find out at school today. Never mind, she could probably find it out online. Serena flipped her laptop open, and started looking. Ok, so according to the phone book, there were 6 Miller's in the area. Ok, search the web.... hmm, ok, that eliminates two of them, so only 4. Maybe the quickest way was to just probe each of them in turn.

She took a quick note of the addresses, and had a look at the online map.... ok, yeah, she knew where they were. Serena closed the laptop, and leaned back on her bed. She removed the magic ring from her pinkie finger, and removed and fitted the frenum and nose rings, putting the other two rings back on her finger: she had decided that having the slight boost from 2 of her 4 dark piercings should raise her dark magic abilities enough to make things a lot easier for her.

She closed her eyes, and walked her mind to the first address. It was a very small house, and within moments of walking in, she could tell it would not be MM's house. Ok, that was good, that narrowed it down to 3. Next house. Yes, bigger. A family inside. A mum, a dad, and 3 quite young kids, but no Mandy. To be honest, 3 young kids and an older one was a fairly unlikely combination, and a quick look upstairs only showed her 3 kids beds.

Ok, on to number 3. Oooh, now THIS looks hopeful. Rather nice large house. Big driveway, with a pair of BMWs. This was much more like it: she had know for ages that Mandy's family was very well off, and they needed for nothing. Oh, yes, there she is!!!! Oh My God, is that HEADGEAR she's wearing? Oh, that gave Serena so many MORE possibilities. Number one on the list was clearly something like 'how can I make her wear her headgear to school?'. Wow, that would fit the bill so well! And there were many other options too.

Right, what does she need to know? First of all, who is her ortho? Next, when DID she get the braces. Hmm, I wonder how much she ACTUALLY wears her headgear. Clearly she wears it in front of mum and dad, but what about the rest of the time?

Ok, let's take a look around...... In the hallway - nice hallway, by the way -  she saw a calendar on the wall.... Oh, looks like she has an ortho appointment, in a few days time... that is useful information! How far back did the ortho visits go..... no-one was around, so she boldly looked back through the calendar. You're joking, first visit a week before end of term, and she got the actual braces fitted the first day of the holidays! MM, what a conniving little B........! Serena took a deep breath, she must stay calm. Take a note of the other ortho visit dates... ok, about every 3 to 4 weeks.

But who is her ortho.... there's got to be a card somewhere. She walked upstairs. Parent's room - very nice, but no.... younger sibling's rooms, no.... ah, yes, definitely Mandy's room: loads of makeup and jewellery on the dressing table. Clothes spilling out of the wardrobe. Clothes dumped around the room. Yup, it's hers!

Oh, what's this on the mirror? BINGO! An old appointment card... look through the mirror on to the back of the card. Oh, them! Interesting! It seemed that she went to the ortho that Serena had visited, but decided she didn't really like: she just felt him to be... well, how about 'old fashioned'? Peter, whilst not young, felt like a breath of fresh air compared to him.

Was there anything else she needed? She couldn't think of anything, besides, now she knew where she lived, it would be easy to pop back if she needed to. Serena walked out of MM's bedroom, along the hall, and down the stairs, where she suddenly found that MM was just starting to come UP the stairs, straight towards her - already she was starting to disconnect the headgear strap from her facebow. Serena panicked for a moment, but then remembered that she wasn't ACTUALLY there, she was just probing... so she just kept walking down the stairs, and straight through Mandy. Whilst Serena maybe thought it felt odd for her, it felt a lot worse for Mandy, who felt a sudden and strange chill go right through her body.

Back home, Serena wrote down the relevant details, in case she forgot. Her ortho's name was Jack Smith, and she included the dates and times of her appointments. Ok, now what was it Lucifer had said. Ah, yes, small actions. Tiny acorns. Serena decided that the first thing she would think about whether it was actually possible to, and how to, get MM to go to school in her headgear. There was absolutely no way she would do it unless it was pretty much forced on her.

Could her headgear get stuck maybe? Serena opened the drawer by her bed, and took out her old headgear: she no longer wore it, since she started wearing a pair of lip-bumpers instead. She carefully took out both of her lip bumpers, and fitted the facebow. Whilst she had molar bands before, which this headgear fitted in to nicely, they had been replaced by the molar bands connected to her upper expander, and the alignment was slightly different. But despite that, it seemed they weren't THAT much different: with a little effort, the headgear slipped into place. It also came out ok, albeit with a little extra jiggling. She tried a couple more times, but if anything, it got easier. So how would a headgear get stuck in place?

Serena did think about whether glue would work, but not only was that a big unknown, someone would quickly work out what it was, and how to remove the headgear. No, it needed to be fixed in some other way, like with wire or something.

Serena searched the internet, and to her pleasant surprise found many mentions about 'wired in headgear', many on a braces fetish site called 'bracesforum'. Further reading indicated that many believed that wired in headgear was actually a myth, no more than a way to just frighten kids into actually wearing their headgear. Serena thought back to when she first got her headgear... it had never worried her, although maybe that was because of mum's spells. Or maybe it was the braces themselves helping her?

But there were a few posts, and a couple of articles, that indicated that, whilst wired in headgear was actually used occasionally in the past, it wasn't used these days. That was a bit of a shame, so she kept searching. She came across a 'paper', all about methods to persuade kids to wear their headgear the needed number of hours. Written by a Mr O Fogey, it included a short study which actually included the wiring in of headgear. It seems that the study found that typically the headgear only needed to be wired in place for a week or two - the main problem appeared to be the social stigma associated with 'wearing the headgear in public', thus forcing the patient to wear the headgear 24/7 for even just a week seemed to 'break the ice', and gave long term patient compliance.

Serena's eyes were attracted to bottom of the report, where it listed the name and address of his orthodontic practice: it was exactly the same as the address of MM's ortho! Sadly not the same name. The date on the report was only 8 years ago, so Serena looked online a bit more: it seems that Jack Smith, the current ortho, actually used to work with Mr Fogey for several years, taking over the surgery 6 years ago. Interesting. So he would probably be VERY aware of that paper.

Ok, so how do we get him to a point that he offers to wire in MM's headgear? Would nearly 3 months of almost complete non-compliance, and thus close to no movement of the teeth, be enough? Hmm, Serena wondered what sort of patient MM would be? She could imagine that MM wasn't likely to be the easiest of patients, and maybe with the absolute tiniest bit of help, the butterfly effect could make her even worse. MM's next appointment could then be the third at which Mr Smith will have complained about her lack of headgear wear.

There was one other potential issues, one of the story site's rules. Lucifer had reminded her that this was supposed to be a story with braces in, so it would need to meet the storyboard rules.

The under-18 rule wasn't an issue, as Serena remembered that MM's birthday was a couple of weeks after hers, so she had, luckily, just turned 18. No, this was the one about 'coercion'. If MM was over 18, she was legally the one who took the decisions, so no-one else could force her to have any particular treatment.

Serena started thinking a bit more laterally. Half a moment..... GOLD braces... that's not free NHS treatment, that's private treatment! And private treatment is not cheap, especially with tiny GOLD braces. No, her mum and dad would be paying. So, what Serena needed was simply some 'leverage', and not any coercion at all! For MM to have got those rather nice GOLD braces, there must SURELY be some strings attached. You know, the sort of 'if you don't do x then you won't get y' that parents often use. And that is not a stick, it's a carrot on a string!

And if there weren't any string attached, then she would just need to add those strings. Serena's thoughts were definitely getting darker, but they were getting amazingly focussed ("thanks, dark jewellery and braces!").

She wrote down a list:

- check that there are strings attached / create strings if needed
- remind Mr Smith that wired in HG is a good and valid treatment option
- do something to make sure MM does not LIKE wearing HG / does not WANT to wear HG (or maybe both) so that she has a very low wear time = no noticeable tooth movement
- make her into an annoying patient, if not one already (might tie in with previous item)
- give Mr Smith (ortho) a bad day on the day of MM's appointment, so he's in a bit of a bad mood
- might want to give MM's mum a bad day too!
- make sure Mr Smith notices her lack of HG wear at all visits

That's seven things.... too many. But hang on, maybe they didn't all need to be retrospective? Maybe she could do something to help remind Mr Smith about the wired in HG sometime between now and her appointment. Giving Mr Smith and MM's mum a bad day can also be done on the day. So 4 things that need fixing, worst case: yes that's looking better.

Ok, tomorrow Serena could do a bit more probing and planning, tonight she was feeling tired, and needed to sleep.....

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #25 on: 26. July 2022, 20:06:01 PM »
Chapter 39 - cream slices

"Excellent research there, Serena!" said Lucifer several evenings later. "And I DO like what you're planning! Those 3 or 4 things that need to be sorted out in the past, they are all very small things, which you should be able to do fairly easily."

"So how does this retrospective magic work then? Do I need to somehow time-travel, and do some magic in the past?"

"No, nothing as exciting as that. It's more about sending targeted ideas back in time. For example, that last one: you just need to send back a few 'make sure to evaluate her headgear wear' reminders to her ortho just as Mandy arrives for her appointment. And send a few suggestions back to Mandy that makes her headgear wearing a bit more annoying for her - I don't know, maybe make it a bit itchy or something?"

"Ok, well I think I need to do some more research tonight on Mandy tonight, get a few more details. Her next appointment at her ortho is on Monday afternoon, do you think that gives us enough time to prepare everything?"

"Oh, yes, that's plenty. So if her appointment is on the Monday, you'll want to do this first thing on Tuesday. What you thinking of doing on the day?"

"Good point, not really thought much about that yet. So, she'll be coming to school in headgear that she HAS to wear, so she'll be annoyed. I'm thinking we somehow need to turn the tables on HER. Maybe we humiliate her in front of as many others as possible, just like she has humiliated so many other innocent kids."

"Who is 'we' then?"

"Ok, I guess that *I* will have to humiliate her! Jeez, how do I do that?"

"You effectively need to be her... in fact BETTER than her. I'm guessing she dresses smart?"

"Of course!"

"Then you need to dress even smarter. How does she get to school?"

"Her mum drops her off in a BMW"

Lucifer smiled. "How would you like to drive to school in a fancy sports car for a few days?"

"What, something like a sporty little Peugeot, you mean? That might annoy her a bit."

"Well, I was thinking of a PROPER sports car, maybe a Porsche or a Ferrari - leave it with me, I'll see what I can do for you."

"A Porsche? Yeah, that would DEFINTELY wind her up!"

"And you'll need to practice being fully in control of the situation, you need to appear to be authoritive, you need to be 'the one'. Nothing that a good bit of dark magic won't be able to do for you."

"Ok, so this list of stuff I need to do.... "check that there are strings attached / create strings": knowing Mandy, I'm pretty certain that her parents would have needed some sort of 'carrot' to persuade her to get into braces at all, let alone the headgear. I guess the upmarket gold brackets are part of it, but knowing Mandy, there MUST be more".

"Ok," said Lucifer, "then why don't you go back there tonight, and follow her carefully. Maybe put a few ideas into her head, maybe also into her mum or dad's - or brother's and sister's - heads. Try reading her thoughts a bit...".

"I think maybe you'll need to show me how to do those remotely, I have no doubt you have some suitable dark magic to help me?"

"Of course. Tell you what, take me with you to her place, so we can both see what is going on, then I can help fine-tune what you need to do." said Luce. "So, let's sit down together, I'm afraid I'll need to hold your hand for you to lead me there though."

"Don't worry," said Sarah, "I'll stay watching, make sure he behaves himself! Have fun!"

Serena and Luce sat together on the settee, and Lucifer took Serena's hand. With their eyes closed, she ran the probing spell, and led him to Mandy Miller's house.

"Ok, let's start in her bedroom, that will give you an idea of what sot of person she is...." suggested Serena. They went into the bedroom, to find that Mandy was there, on her phone. "Well, Luce, meet Mandy Miller. Hang on, she's not wearing her headgear!"

"Yeah, her bedroom door is locked on the inside, so no-one will walk in on her, so she probably feels pretty safe not wearing it." said Luce. "What else can we find out, I wonder? Who's she talking to?".

Serena listened closely to her phone. "Ah, I think that's Penny, one of her 'team' at school. Let's see what they are talking about....".

"So, what colour are you going to go for then?" asked Penny.

"I'd kinda like pink, but that's probably not such a great idea. I saw a rather nice orange one the other day, it looked pretty good! And I saw a picture of one in rather nice shade of green, sort of 'electric' green." replied Mandy.

"What on earth they talking about?" commented Serena. They listened a bit longer, but still couldn't work it out... besides they started talking about something else a minute later.

"Ok," said Luce, "let's meet the rest of her family...". Serena led him into the bedroom next door, where the older of her two brothers was - he looked to be about 15, and was playing a game on his PC: they watched for a bit, but it wasn't of any use. They went downstairs, where they took a quick wander around the kitchen, dining room and downstairs study. Finally, they found her mum, dad, and younger brother (he looked to be about 12 or 13), all in the very spacious lounge, watching TV. "Yeah, see what you mean, they are pretty well off, aren't they? What *I* would do is to somehow get her mum to catch Mandy without her headgear, and make her remind Mandy about her promise - I'd just assume she made one - then read Mandy's mind to see what she was thinking about... sounds like we know what to teach you tonight then!"

"Yeah, I'm ok with that...". They both returned back to Sarah's, and opened their eyes.

"I can imagine your Mandy being quite the bitch at school, I was getting some quite negative feelings from her. Ok, so I'm thinking that I need to show you how to plant small ideas into people's mind - at a distance... you're going to need to do that for a few of the things on that list. Reading someone's mind is hard, but maybe you will be able to pick up some feelings, maybe even a picture... Let's give it a go..."

They used Sarah as a slightly-willing subject. Luce explained how the magic worked. "We all ok?" she asked her braces. "Yes, we're all ready!".

"Ok, Sarah, maybe you could go into the kitchen for a few minutes, and I'll get Serena to put a thought into your head. You see, Serena, having a sort of conversation is easy, but what you need to do is effectively talk to Sarah without her actually realising that you are doing it. I think it's much easier with normal humans, because they aren't expecting strange things to happen to them, but people like us are a bit more aware. So, what idea do you want to put into her head then?"

"Well, I don't know about you, but I could do with another cup of tea..." suggested Serena.

"Ok, so let try it..." Lucifer suggested that, to start with, it might be easier if she wrote down what she wanted, so she could then concentrate on it easier. He then walked her through the actual spell (which Serena put on yet another yellow sticky in her memory), then let Serena cast the spell. She said the words of the spell, then looked at the wods on the paper, which she then said softly: "Sarah, put the kettle on, and make us all another cup of tea, then bring it in when you've made it. And don't forget to magic up some creamy buns too!".

"Yes, I think you did that nicely, I guess we need to sit and wait a bit." They only had to wait a few minutes, before Sarah came back in to the lounge.

"I thought you both might like a cuppa, plus I magicked these up for us". In her hands was a tray, with 3 mugs of tea, plus a plate with three cream slices, and dour teaspoons. "So, how's the magic going?" she asked, "I've not had any thoughts pop into my head though".

Lucifer and Serena smiled at each other. "Well, the magic seems to have worked perfectly" said Serena.

"What do you mean?"

"Well, those cream slices were EXACTLY what I was thinking of when I suggested you should magic up some cakes for us, to go with some tea."

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #26 on: 27. July 2022, 18:27:41 PM »
Chapter 40 - Put your headgear on!

"Well, I'd say you definitely have the hang of doing suggestions, and if Sarah didn't notice it, then you did it just perfectly. How about we try something at a distance? Something at your target's house?"

"How about I get Mandy's mum to see her without her headgear, and tell her off?"

"No reason why not... you need to get her mum fed up with her before her next ortho visit! So what you thinking of doing?"

"Well, how's about I persuade Mandy that she needs to go to the loo. Everyone else is downstairs, so she could easily just go without her headgear. Then I need to make her mum spot that she's not wearing it."

"Yes. So what's your timings?"

"So, tell Mandy to go off to the loo, no headgear needed. Then just as she's on the way there, tell her mum that there's she needs to go and ask Mandy: with luck, she will get upstairs just as Mandy is leaving the loo. Or do you think it would be better for her mum to arrive just as Many walks out of her room?"

"Well, the advantage of doing the latter is that if your timings don't work, you'd get a second chance at it for free..."

"Good point...." Serena picked up some paper and wrote down 3 things: first for her mum to go upstairs, second for Mandy to go to the loo, then third a couple of options for if the first bit don't quite work.

"Ok, so just like you did with Sarah: find the target, cast the spell, and clearly say what you want to happen. So, just like we did earlier, you can take us both there, and then I'll leave it up to you"

Sarah sat back in the chair, took Lucifer's hand, closed her eyes, then took them both back to Mandy's house. She started by confirming Mandy was indeed still in her room, which she was. Then downstairs, where her mum was in the lounge, watching TV: very conveniently, an ad break came on. Concentrating on her mum, she cast the spell, then said "You're going to make some tea, but first you need to go up and ask Amanda if she would like some". Quickly they went upstairs, and she waited outside Mandy's room until her mum was on the way. Then into Mandy's room: "Mandy, you desperately need the loo, don't bother with your headgear, everyone else is downstairs, so they won't see you". Mandy got up off her bed, looked at her headgear but promptly ignored it, then went to the door. She undid the bolt, and opened the door - there, directly in front of her, was her mum, about to knock on the door.

"Good timing there, Serena! Couldn't have done it better myself!"

"Amanda! Why aren't you wearing your headgear? You know you're supposed to wear it in the evenings and when you're in bed. Or don't you want the car then?".

"Car?" said Serena to Lucifer. "So THAT's what they were talking about on the phone earlier. OMG, I've found that carrot.... and what a carrot!"

"Umm, it was a bit uncomfortable" said Mandy. It was partly a lie, but hopefully partly true!

Serena smiled. "Don't worry, I'll make it doubly uncomfortable for you, Miss Miller!"

"Put it on, NOW... assuming you still want that new car?"

"Oh... mum....." complained Mandy. She walked over to her dressing table, picked up the facebow, then looking into the mirror, put it into her mouth. Next she picked up the neck strap, hooked on one end, then holding the facebow to steady it, hooked on the second end. Mandy really didn't like weaing her headgear.

Quickly, Serena decided to repeat the two earlier spells, to remind both of them what they were supposed to be doing. "Toilet" she said to Mandy, then "Cup of tea" to her mum. With her headgear on, Mandy walked out of her bedroom, to go to the loo. Her mum called after her "I'm making a cuppa, do you want one? Although you don't really deserve one!"

"Nice work there, Serena, I think we're done! That repeat was a good idea too.". Serena opened her eyes: she was back at Sarah's place.

"So, how did it go?" asked Sarah.

"About ten times better than we could have hoped for. My timings were just perfect, and her mum caught her without her headgear, PLUS... we now know what the 'carrot' is? Fiddlesticks."

"And what is it then? And why did you just say 'Fiddlesticks'?"

"A new car! She's not gonna want to lose THAT! And I have no idea why I just said 'Fiddlesticks'!"

Ok, I'm very impressed!" said Lucifer. "Three lots of 'suggestions' and you got all three perfectly right first time. How about we talk about the 'retrospective magic, and maybe try one out?"

"I'm up for that!" said Serena.

"Ok, so what do you want to do?"

Serena brought up her 'to do' list in her mind. "Well, we've worked out the 'carrot; the next thing on the list was to make sure Mandy didn't wear her headgear enough... but I think I need to work out what to do a bit more yet. Same for 'make her an annoying patient', so maybe we can remind her ortho to check on her headgear wear at each appointment?"

"Ok, so you'll need to cast an individual spell for each appointment - I'm assuming you know when they were?"

"Yup, they were nicely marked up on the family calendar. Now, I guess I could remind him in the morning, but I suspect it will work better if it's just before her appointment. How accurately does the time work in the retrospective magic?"

"For stuff like this, which is in the last 3 or 4 months, pretty accurately - well, assuming the clock didn't change in that period, which they haven't. So, let me demonstrate the spell to you." Lucifer said the words of the spell, then "make Serena say 'Fiddlesticks' in her first sentence, after we return from our remote probing session a few minutes ago".

"Ah, so THAT is why I just said 'Fiddlesticks'! So the time can be more descriptive than just 'at 12:17pm on that date' sort of thing?"

"Oh, yes, and things work even better if you combine things to pinpoint when you want it to happen. So, I'm thinking you might say something like 'when Amanda walks in for her 12:35 appointment, remind Mr X to look carefully at her headgear wear'... that way, if he's a bit early or a bit late, it happens at the right time. You don't want it to happen when he's in the middle of doing something else."

Lucifer explained a few more aspects of doing retrospective spells to Serena: like all magic, if you actually understood the way the magic actually worked, then you could make sure to cast the spells in the best way possible.

Then Serena spent a few minutes writing down some simple notes with details of Mandy's appointment times, and some suitable words to go with the spells (actually pretty similar to what Lucifer just used!)

"So, try and clear your mind, and get into some sort of negative mindset: the more negative you feel, the better it will work - remember, we're dealing with dark magic here. Then once you're ready, concentrate carefully on the spell, and on the details to go with it. As ever, you don't really need to say it out loud, but most people prefer to do that".

"And how do I know if the spell worked?"

"Good question. I find I get a sort of 'good feeling' if it works. Maybe you need to try out a retrospective spell that you know will work?"

Just then, Serena happened to be looking at the tray that Sarah had used to bring in the mugs of tea, and noticed that there were four teaspoons on it.

"Sarah, why did you put the spoons on the tray?"

"Good question, and I have no idea. Wasn't it part of the spell when you put the idea into my mind to make the tea and get the cakes?"

"No it wasn't..." Serena smiled as she realised she must have done it with a retrospective magic spell.

Serena sat back in her chair, took a couple of deep breaths top relax herself, then thought about Mandy Miller: she was definitely something negative! Next she said the words of the spell, followed by "when Sarah made the tea and magicked up the cakes a few minutes ago, make her put four teaspoons on the tray". As she finished the spell, she felt a pleasantly warm fuzzy feeling.

"Ok, yes, I see what you mean about having 'a good feeling'. I guess I can get on with these other spells then....". Once again, she relaxed, thought bad thoughts, said the words of the spell, then described when it should happen, then "make Mr Jack Smith, Mandy Miller's ortho, remember that he must positively check out the effects of Mandy's headgear wear". This time she didn't get that nice feeling. "Hmm, I don't think that worked....".

"I think you mis-pronounced one of the words, left a bit out.". Serena checked the spell, and realised that indeed she had missed out a tiny bit.

Once more, she sat back, thought of bad things and tried again... and this time got the good feelings. "I think that one worked ok! Ok, let me do the others." She repeated the process a few more times, getting good feelings each time.

"Nicely done there again, Serena, you really DO pick up magic quickly"

"So, Lucifer, is there a way to do the opposite of that... kinda 'schedule' a spell. I mean, that could be SO useful!" asked Serena.

"Sadly, not that I'm aware of. But at least you seem to be fine at doing spells at a distance, so as long as you set an alarm on your phone, you should be ok. Are you going to be ok to do the other retrospective spells yourself?"

"Yes, I think so."

"Ok, then I think we can leave your 'project' for the time being, and I'll teach you some other dark spells..."

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #27 on: 28. July 2022, 17:53:19 PM »
Chapter 41 - Go look at the printer

The next day, Serena finished school early once more, so was able to go home and do a bit more work on her 'MM project'. She took a look at her 'to do' list: one of the items was 'remind Mr Smith that wired in HG is a good and valid treatment option'.

In her bedroom, Serena lay back on her bed, and closed her eyes. First of all, she had a quick word with her braces.

"Hi guys, just warning you that I'm going to do some dark magic."

"With your jewellery this time?"

"Good idea, I think I'll put some of it in... how about I just go for the two lip rings? It will be interesting to see how much easier things will be". Sarah had taken out her dark jewellery yesterday, and put back the 'normal' stuff, as she didn't want Sarah to know about it just yet - she knew how Sarah could be sometimes. I guess, being a teacher, Sarah liked to 'be in charge' of what her students do.

"If it's just the lip rings, that that will be fine with us! Good luck!"

Serena removed her dark metal ring, removed the lip rings and fitted them, then put the now smaller ring back onto her finger. Laying back on her bed again, she relaxed a bit more, and let her mind wander over to MM's ortho's place. Yes, it looked pretty much the same as it did when she had visited for a consult, a couple of years ago. Now she understood more about braces and orthodontics, the place was actually quite nice. What Serena needed to do was to see if she could somehow interact with the computer, go bring up that wired-in-headgear article she'd found, and print a copy out on the printer. She needed to do it during the day, so that it was actually turned on and logged in, but not when anyone was around. Which wasn't now. Right now Jack Smith, MM's ortho was working on another patient, and his assistant was actually using the computer, so she'd clearly need to wait.

Serena wandered over to see what Mr Smith was doing. In the treatment chair was a teenage girl. Her lips were held open with a lip-spreader, giving Serena a chance to have a good look at her braces. Small white ceramic braces top and bottom at the front of course (we must remember that this is a PRIVATE ortho, NOT an NHS one!!). A palatial expander in the top of her mouth (which made Serena run her tongue over her own expander), and herbsts at the side (once again, Serena felt her own herbsts). The expander looked to be pretty well expanded, indicating that the girl would probably have the expander removed soon. Right now, Mr Smith was reinstalling the girl's upper archwire, holding it in place with pale blue ligatures.

As Serena looked at the girl's braces, she sighed, remembering that whilst this girl would eventually get rid of her braces, Serena's braces were more 'for life'.

It seemed that Mr Smith was almost finished with this patient, so Serena practiced putting ideas into his, and his assistants heads. She suggested to Mr Smith that it might be good idea to get his assistant to go and organise them both a coffee, as they probably had some time before their next patient, as well as suggesting that he should go to the loo. To his assistant, she suggested that she take her time and have a chat with the receptionist while she made the coffees.

Which meant that a couple of minutes later Serena had the surgery to herself. She went over to the computer: yes, it was still logged in. Ok, she now needed to use some other magic that she already knew to move the mouse around, and to type on the keyboard: not too easy, and a bit slow, but it worked. She opened a browser and quickly found the article about the headgear trial, saved a copy on the computer's desktop, then printed out a copy on the printer. Finally she closed the browser, and maximised the patient database program once again.

Whilst it had been a bit of a slow job to do all the steps, the job was done, and she had no doubt that her dark jewellery had indeed made it a bit easier. She waited until Mr Smith was back in the room, then planted another idea: 'hey, go look at the printer as you walk past it'. Which meant that he DID walk past it, and noticed the paper in the top. He picked up the paper and looked at it, quickly recognising the article that his ex-partner had written several years ago. With another idea planted in his mind, one specific patient came to his mind. A patient who he remembered did not seem to be wearing her headgear enough: ok, that could include pretty much all patients who had headgear, but there was one who was far worse than the others. He used the patient database to search for her, and check when her next appointment was: next Monday afternoon! While he had the page open, Serena confirmed the dates and times of her previous appointments, and they lined up nicely with what she had found on the calendar. Plus she noticed that there were a couple of summary lines for each appointment: it seems MM was given her headgear on the appointment after she had the braces fitted - again, Serena had assumed this would be the case, it's certainly what happened to her.

Serena felt very pleased with herself: another item on her list was complete, and with a slight bonus to go with it. All Serena needed to do before MM's next appointment was to retrospectively make MM wear her headgear as little as possible (which would probably be fairly easy, knowing MM!), and make her into an (even more) annoying patient.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #28 on: 31. July 2022, 22:44:27 PM »
Chapter 42 - don't wear your headgear!

With her visit to MM's ortho a success, Serena lay on her bed to think about what she needed to do to make MM not want to wear her headgear. It seemed to make sense to start the 'annoyance spells' when she first got the headgear. But what to actually do? Serena opend the drawer next to her bed, and pulled out the plastic zip-lock bag that contained her old facebow and neck-strap.

"Hey, braces, I need to take out my top lip-bumper, I need to wear my old facebow for a bit."

"Ok, go for it! We'll adjust the headgear holes for you as you put it in."

Looking in the mirror, she removed her lip-bumper, and put the facebow into place, then put her old neck-strap on. It had been a while since she'd worn it. She remembered when she first got her headgear that it felt quite sore on her molars for a bit. She also remembered that, if she didn't wear it for a day (which only happened a couple of times) it also felt sore for a while.... so the more she could persuade MM to NOT wear her headgear, the more it would hurt.

Then she started thinking about the strap. Yes, it was annoying, and hurt her neck a bit for the first few days but she got used to it ok.... again, if MM didn't wear it regularly, then it would probably continue to be annoying.

Now, another thing on the list was to make MM into an annoying patient, but the more she thought about MM, she realised that she was already an annoying person, she really just needed to make her feel it was actually ok to not wear her headgear, plus have another confrontation or two with her mum, like she'd organised the other night. And, as she had already planned, get her mum and ortho both annoyed on the day, and she had absolutely no doubt that things would naturally come to a head at her next appointment (and if it didn't , Serena would makes SURE it did!!!)

So, it sounded like she just needed to keep telling MM to just not wear her headgear. It would be boring for Serena to have to do quite so many 'retrospective spells', but it would hopefully be worth it. And hopefully, if she wore her dark jewellery, it would be easier to actually cast the spells.

So what time of day to send the reminders? She suspected that MM would have to put it on when she first gets home, at least for a bit. Then also after tea... those are both times her mum was likely to see her. And of course, there would be no harm in reminding her when she's in bed, whether she's actually wearing it or not.

Serena used her laptop to create a sheet with the dates down the left, and times along the top... then she could do the spells a few at a time, ticking off when they were done.

So, 'when she's in bed'... what time would that be? Serena decided that maybe, later than night, she could visit MM's place a few times, see what her typical bedtime routine was. Yes, a bit of 'intrusion of privacy' but let's be honest, it was 'for the greater good'.

Serena removed her facebow, putting back into its zip lock bag, and into the bedside drawer, and put her lip bumper back.

"Thank you, Serena" said her braces.

"My pleasure, but I'm going to put all of my dark jewellery in.. it's not that I'm going to do anything particularly nasty, I just need to do a load of 'retrospective' spells, and I think it will be easier with it all in. Let me know if you have any problems."

"Thanks for the warning, Serena, but I think we'll be ok: it's really when you do stronger dark magic that it starts to be an issue for us".

With her dark jewellery in place, she lay back on her bed again (if only because it was comfortable), and started retrospectively reminding MM about NOT wearing her headgear: it hurt whenever she wore it, and the neck strap was always uncomfortable. She did ten spells (varying the time and the message slightly each time), getting good feedback each time she cast one, then took a quick break, ticking off the dates / times she had done. Two and a half months is 10 weeks, so 70 days, it was going to take a while to do all the spells, but by the end, she hoped that MM would just not want to wear her headgear. Which is what she'd seen last night.

The more she cast the spells, the more she enjoyed doing it. She had just finished casting her 30th spell, and was ticking them off on her sheet, when Wanda popped up.

"Whoa! Someone is starting to feel rather dark!" said Wanda. "Serena, may I make a suggestion?"

"Sure, go on..."

"Take some of the jewellery out and take a break, it's starting to affect you". Serena realised that Wanda was quite right, so she took off the lip rings, putting them back on her finger: as she did so, her darkness lifted.

"Thanks for the heads up there, Wanda."

"No problems, that's part the reason I'm here. So how's this 'project' going?" asked Wanda.

"So far fairly well. I'm doing a whole load of very simple 'retrospective' spells, planting ideas onto Mandy's head, trying to persuade her not to wear her headgear too much."

"So why do you want to do that?"

"I guess you've not been around when I've been discussing it with Lucifer, have you? As you probably know, Mandy is the big school bully. She makes lots of peoples life hell - mine included. I'm going to try and take her down."

"Ah, yes, definitely not light magic stuff, but something tells me she probably deserves it. So what is it with the headgear then?"

"Well, part of her treatment is headgear... hey, let me show you..." Serena pulled out the bedside drawer, removing her old headgear once more. "So, like my lip bumpers, this is to pull my teeth backwards. And as you can see, it's rather visible, and amazingly embarrassing, so I only ever wore this at home."

"Ok... and?"

"So, the plan is to persuade the nasty Mandy to NOT wear hers enough, and get her ortho so mad that he effectively forces her into having her facebow permanently fixed into place, meaning she'll have to wear it to school..."

"Oooh, now that IS getting nasty! But why would she agree to it... surely she could just get rid of her braces completely, and put up with her crooked teeth?"

"Ah, that's the best bit: it seems that her parents have promised her a new car if she manages to complete her treatment"

"Ahhhh, yes, that's quite an incentive. And she wants the car that much?"

"Knowing Mandy, without a doubt. Lucifer and I were 'virtually there' the other night, and we managed to get her mum catching her without her headgear on, and she remided her of the car - needless to say, Mandy put her headgear on straight away."

"Oooh, Serena, I hope you are able to contain those dark thoughts?"

"That's part of the reason for doing all of this. It's going to be a combination of various bits of dark magic, and Lucifer is training me to be able to contain my dark thoughts."

"Oh, good, I knew Lucifer would be able to help you"

"You know, Wanda, you were right, he's not all that bad at all. And Wanda, it's nice to chat with you: I'm aware I've been ignoring you a bit the last few days..."

"That's ok, I know you've been busy. Hey, not that you really need it, but good luck with the Mandy project!"

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #29 on: 01. August 2022, 19:02:08 PM »
Chapter 43 - How to annoy an Orthodontist?

Serena had woken up a bit early on the Friday, so took the opportunity to look at her 'to do' list once more:

- check that there are strings attached - DONE - the car!
- do something to make sure MM does not LIKE wearing HG / does not WANT to wear HG so that she has a very low wear time = no noticeable tooth movement - DONE
- make her into an annoying patient, if not one already - not really needed!
- make sure Mr Smith notices her lack of HG wear at all visits - DONE
- remind Mr Smith that wired in HG is a good and valid treatment option - DONE
*on the day:
- annoy ortho
- remind ortho again about checking wear time (maybe while he's reviewing patient notes at start of day.
- annoy MM's mum
- make sure MM is ready to argue (pretty easy!)

Everything that needed to have already be done had been done, so she was now planning what to do on the day. First on the list was to annoy the ortho. MM's appointment was on the Monday afternoon, so what would annoy the ortho?

A couple of things came to mind, the first being a few emergency appointments for broken-off brackets. The problem was that, when she thought back to when she had rather more normal braces, she never had a bracket fall off. Yes, generally, she didn't eat the foods that she wasn't supposed to, but there were a few times - ok, maybe more than just a few times - that she 'broke the rules', but she still never had a bracket fall off.

She checked the time: not too early... so she called up Peter on his mobile.

"Hello Serena, what can I do for you this morning?"

"Hello there, Peter, I have a braces question for you..."

"Got a problem with your braces?"

"Not at all, no, this is a bit of a 'hypothetical'. I'm thinking about normal brackets on normal kids: how easy is it to knock a bracket off?"

"Well, if they were put on properly in the first place, not at all easy."

"What if they eat something hard, and catch a bracket?"

"Even then, you'd be surprised how well the brackets stick to the teeth with modern adhesives."

"What about with some magical help?".

"Hmmm..." Peter thought a moment. "You're looking for a way to knock someone's bracket off, aren't you? Even with magic to help, I would say it's not going to be at all easy. When I remove brackets, what I'm doing is to fracture where the glue either joins the tooth or the bracket, and that's where the failure is when one falls off. But if the tooth was cleaned and etched correctly, and the bracket was a good one, then it's going to need some force to remove it. You trying to upset me by sending me a load of kids with broken brackets or something?" Serena could tell that Peter was just joking.

"Sort of something like that, but definitely not you. Ok, how else could I p*ss off an ortho? I need him slightly stressed for a specific patient."

"You know, I'm not sure I should be helping you with this, professional ethics and all that...". Peter was definitely laughing as he said that. "But clearly you have a good reason for needing to do what you need to do. Ok, things that would annoy me... getting into the office late through no fault of my own; an annoying patient; problems with the equipment - I dunno, a dodgy batch of glue, or a dodgy UV curing lamp - although we have a couple of those so less of a big deal. Actually, if they weren't charged up on a Monday morning, now THAT would be annoying. Any of those any help?"

"Yes, I can see a couple there that might work, thank you Peter!"

"My pleasure. Remind me to make sure that I never upset you, will you?" said Peter.

Ok, so how could she make Mr Smith late to the office. Flat car battery? Run out of petrol? Or battery? Bad traffic jam? Broken down car? or bus? Something to think more about

She definitely like the idea of the UV curing lamps being out of charge: 'accidentally' turning off the charger would be the easy bit, but it would be a bit boring making them discharge in the first place: as far as she knew, they couldn't just be left on, they worked with a timer, so she'd need to keep activating it. But she DID have the whole weekend to do it! She quickly looked online for 'dental UV lamps'.

'WHAT? 400 uses on a charge? That's gonna take ages!' though Serina... but it had to be done. Yes, a couple of things she could do to increase Mr Smith's stress levels on Monday - so sorry, Mr Smith!

Second on the list was to remind Mr Smith about MM's weartime: to be honest, he was probably probably going to check anyway, but that was very much an 'on the day' thing, and a very simple thing to do.

Third was how to annoy MM's mum. Again, knowing MM, Serena bet that would be pretty easy, but a couple of nudges would always be worthwhile.... Actually, her mum didn't need to be annoyed with MM, should could just as easily get annoyed with herself. How to get a mum flustered? Being late was always a good one - maybe she doesn't sleep to well the previous night, and she falls asleep, making her late? Yes, that would work. Then have MM keep her waiting (she assumed that MM's mum would take her to the appointment - she certainly couldn't imagine MM walking there, or catching the bus). Maybe she needed to quickly pop over, and see how MM's little bothers behaved in the morning: Serena lay back on her bed, and moments later she was at MM's house. Yes, definitely some mayhem going on there. "Don't ask ME where you put your school shoes last night" sort of thing. Plenty of scope there!

And finally, make MM ready to argue... sounds like she needed to give MM a bit of a bad morning too. Maybe could she make MM have an argument with her mum at breakfast, that would get them BOTH in a bad mood for the day!

It was clear that Serena was going to be busy on the Monday, so would need to take the day off school. Annoying, but not a big deal: Serena was a good student, and learnt quickly, so all she would need to do is look at one of the other student's notes. Besides, Monday was a pretty light day for her. However, she'd need to let Sarah know.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #30 on: 02. August 2022, 22:33:07 PM »
Chapter 44: Getting things ready

Saturday afternoon: the staff had finally left Mr Smith's Ortho building, meaning that Serena could start to (remotely) work on discharging the UV curing lights. Serena had been there earlier, and had managed to drop a bit of dirt onto one of the charging contacts of one of the UV lights which they had been using that morning - anything to make her job easier later on.

The spec of the curing lamp said 'over 400 uses at 10 seconds', so at 20 seconds use, that would be more like 200 uses. Add in a 10 seconds pause each time, and that's 100 minutes in total, so getting close to 2 hours.

Of course, she was sure there would also be a spare unit around: there was, in the cupboard, so she had to work on that one too. Talk about boring! But she got into a nice rhythm. Eventually, on both units, the 'low battery warning indicator' came on, and she kept going a bit longer, until they both just came on for a second or two before going off again. She double-checked that the bit of muck was still stopping the lamp from charging: that would look SO much better than the power switch being off.

After doing that, she remotely went over to Mr Jones' house, to take a look at his car: it was an old Mercedes, and the tyres were getting a bit old too, with one of the tyres missing its dust-cap. Rather than being nasty, and give him a puncture, maybe she could loosen the valve a little, to let the air out... she had a quick play, and found that it was indeed something she would be able to do. Excellent! If she could cause a car to also break down on his route to work, he would be not at all happy when he got there. So, last thing Sunday, she slightly loosened the valve, hopefully enough to make the tyre completely flat by morning.

Sunday evening she also went around to MM's house. She started by getting her mum to 'accidentally' find MM not wearing her headgear again (which really wasn't surprising because she really did NOT find it comfortable to wear... I wonder why?). She also took the opportunity to slightly hide her brother's school shoes, plus make a couple of MM's books fall down behind her desk. After doing that, she found the shoes that MM liked to wear to school, noticing that the heel was starting to come away from the sole a bit... maybe she could make it a bit worse... good enough for her to actually wear, but bad enough to break (maybe with a little help!) once at school. Yes, that would annoy MM.

There was another thing that Serena did that weekend: she went out shopping with Sarah and Samantha for some new clothes: she needed to look rather different and smart on Tuesday, when she drove to school in a fancy sports car.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #31 on: 03. August 2022, 22:53:43 PM »
Chapter 45: Let's have some headgear fun!

Monday morning Serina had a lot to do. First of all, she checked Mr Smith's car: yes, he had a flat tyre! Next, she needed to do something to slow down the traffic: there was really only one sensible way he would go to his office, and it wouldn't take much to make the traffic worse. An inexperienced driver could easily stall their car and cause a blockage, the effects of which would have a knock-on effect for the next 30 minutes.

"Hey, Serena, take a break will you, the dark magic you're doing is starting to get to you" said her braces.

"Sorry guys, whilst this is simple, the intent really is rather dark - I hate to think about how many people will get wound up because of what I'm doing!". Serina stopped for a few minutes, to let her braces 'catch their breath', then it was on to MM's place.

Yes, it was indeed mayhem at MM's house. Her brother was having problems finding his shoes. She gave MM a couple of annoying interruptions that meant she made a couple of mistakes when doing her makeup. Then she had problems finding the books that had fallen off the desk. Her mum 'accidentally' spilt her coffee over her blouse, meaning she needed to change that. None of the kids bothered to put their dirty plates or dishes into the dishwaher ('it's ok, mum will do it!'). All helped along by a bit of dark magic.

By the time they all got into the car, they were running several minutes late, and MM's mum was NOT happy.

"Your appointment is at 1:30 this afternoon," MM's mum reminded her sternly as they finally got to the school, "so make sure your ready at the school gate by 1:15!". Serena was quite sure, with a bit of help, she would be a few minutes late!

Ok, she could take a bit of a break now, although she wanted to be at the orthodontist's to see how they reacted to a dead UV curing lamp! Sadly, it wasn't until his 10am appointment that he needed to use the lamp, and he discovered that it was only coming on for a couple of seconds at a time. His assistant quickly worked out that there was dirt on the charging contact, so it hadn't been charging properly. And of course, when they went to the cupboard to try and use the backup lamp, that was pretty dead too. As a result, the rest of Mr Smith's' morning appointments were running about 30 minutes late, and Mr Smith was definitely feeling a bit stressed.

Lunchtime came: whilst he should have finished his last morning appointment by about 12:30, it was actually closer to 1:00. Before going to lunch, he went and looked at the PC, to see who was his next appointment - Miss Amanda Miller. As the result of a nicely timely bit of magic, a bit of a chill went through Mr Smith. He had absolutely no doubt that she would have been skipping on her headgear wear - again. Another small spell did it's work, and Mr Smith smiled: maybe he should just wire it in for a few weeks! That might get her wearing it - assuming she wanted to even complete her treatment!

Back at school at lunchtime, MM had got her lunch. As ever, she was chatting to her friends, so it didn't take a lot to make MM ignore the time a bit. Suddenly she realised it was 1:14, and she was due to meet her mum outside in 60 seconds time. What the heck, it didn't REALLY matter if she was a minute or two late. On the way though, with a bit of help, MM's shoe heel finally broke off.

"Aaargh! Bloomin' thing!!" screamed MM. She wasted a couple more minutes trying to put the heel back on, but Serena ensured that her attempts failed. It was almost 1:25 by the time she finally got to the car.

"Where the HELL have you been? I've been here waiting since 10 past!" screamed her mum.

"My bloody heel broke off!" shouted MM back at her.

"Well, you shouldn't have left things till the last moment anyway, now put your belt on!".

Nice, neither MM nor her mum were in a good mood - the plan was actually coming together! It took a little over 10 minutes to get to the Orthodontic Surgery, so they were almost 10 minutes later.

After his late-running morning, Mr Jones HAD hoped that his 1:30 appointment might even be a few minutes early... but of course they weren't.

"I wonder if Miss Miller has been wearing her headgear enough?" thought Serena just loud enough for Mr Smith to also 'hear' it.

"Good afternoon Mrs Miller. Amanda, please come and sit in the treatment chair.". Mr Smith was doing his utmost to not get annoyed. Amanda sat in the chair, just like she had done several times before. A quick dark spell made Amanda a little worried: would he notice that she'd not been wearing her headgear enough? ('Heck, why shouldn't she be worried about it too' Serena had thought!).

Mr Jones fitted the lip-spreader, then tilted the chair back and adjusted the light, all letting him see the progress that Amanda's teeth had made. Or should we say 'the LACK of progress'? He removed the lip spreader, so he could talk to her.

"Miss Miller," he said very formally, "It's very clear to me that you haven't been wearing your headgear as prescribed..."

"I've tried..... but... well... it hurts so much.... and it's so annoying..." said Amanda.

"I've made it VERY clear to you several times now that wearing your headgear as prescribed is essential to your treatment. If you're not going to comply, then I might as well just stop your treatment today!" said Mr Jones.

'The car.... what about the car...' whispered a strangely magical voice inside Amanda's head. About two seconds later the reality hit her: no treatment = no car!!!

'Remind her about the car' whispered a very similar voice in her mum's head.

"Well, it sounds like we won't be needing to buy you that 'special thing' then," said her mum, clearly a bit annoyed.

"No, mum, no...... you can't do that! I'll do anything!..."

"Anything?" asked her mum. She turned to Mr Smith: "I'm really at my wit's end... beside she's 18 now, so I can't force her. I don't suppose you have any suggestions do you?".

"Well, there IS one possibility. It's not something I have ever done before, but...." began Mr Smith

"Please... please, I'll do ANYTHING!" pleaded Amanda.

"You really mean anything?"

"Yes, anything, as long as I can complete my treatment, and get my..... 'special thing'....". Clearly Amanda found it very awkward to actually say that if she didn't finish her treatment, then she wouldn't get the car that she had been promised.

"Well, a few years ago, my colleague - now retired - was involved in a research project, where they wired in the patient's headgear for a few weeks, meaning that the patients could NOT remove their facebows, it was fitted to their braces 24/7. The final conclusion was that the main problem was the initial fear for the patients of having to actually wear their headgear, and after 2 to 3 weeks, they had got used to wearing their headgear: after that, all the patients had no problems wearing their headgear as requested." He paused for a few seconds to let what he had just told Amanda sink in.

"So I'd have to wear it ALL the time.... like to school.... and when out with my friends?" said Amanda. The colour had completely drained from her face.

"Yes, ALL the time!"

Amanda sat there thinking for a few more seconds. Serena helped her thoughts along. The idea of having to wear headgear to school... well, it was abhorrent! And when out with her friends too? Noooo!!!! They would mock her! But the car... she SOOOOO wanted that car! She would do anything for that car! She finally realised that she'd actually brought this on herself, that no-one else was to blame. Her ortho had told her several times. Her mum nagged her incessantly. Even her dad had mentioned it a few times.

No, there was now only one thing she could do.

"Yes, ok, I'll do it!" said Amanda dejectedly, starting to feel really bad about her whole life.

"You are absolute sure about this? This really IS your last chance! We can make an appointment for 3 weeks time, and then review your progress." said Mr Smith.

The contents of Amanda's guts felt like they wanted to leave her body. Her social life was about to come to a complete stop. A minimum of 3 weeks of wearing headgear 24/7 - the idea scared her witless. But she so wanted that car....

"Yes, I'll do what you tell me..." said Amanda rather meekly.

Serena watched as Mr Jones 'wired in' Amanda's headgear. What he actually did was to fit the facebow, and then crimp a couple of tiny tubes on to the back of the headgear prongs, holding them in place. It was close to impossible for a patient to remove the tiny tubes, but an ortho with the right tools would have no issues.

MM and her mum were completely silent as they drove home, and once home, MM went and hid in her bedroom.

Part one of 'The Mission' was accomplished!

A little later that evening there was a knock at Serena's front door. "It for you, Serena!" called her mum. Lucifer was there.

"I have a little something for you outside, come and take a look....". Serena followed Lucifer outside: she was expecting that he would be lending her some sort of 'standard' sports car, like a Porsche, but no, this was no simple sports car, this car would be better described as a 'super car': it was a brand new, sparkling, electric green, Lamborghini Huracan Technica.

"Try not to break the 30 mph speed limit!" said a smiling Lucifer, giving her the keys.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #32 on: 04. August 2022, 18:48:24 PM »
Chapter 46: Something nasty is about to happen...

Serena woke up a few minutes before her alarm went off. Yes, today was the day the last couple of weeks had been leading up to!

Serena got out of bed, went and had a shower. After having breakfast, she went back up to her room to get ready for today, putting on her rather smart clothes, and doing her makeup. While she was at it, she decided that she would fit her dark jewellery - there was no harm in letting it 'help her along' with what she was going to do today!

A little while later, Serena arrived at school in the rather nice sports car that Lucifer had arranged for her. As she got out of the car, she could feel the anger inside her start to rise. Today, Mandy Miller was about to be taken down - and hard!

She slammed the car door closed, and strode purposefully to the school's main entrance. The combination of the car and the way she was dressed was getting people's attention.

"Where are you hiding, Mandy Miller?" shouted out Serena as she walked into the building. With the boost from her dark jewellery, she found her easily: as expected, she was with a load of other students by the 6th form lockers. With a singular purpose in mind, Serina strode down the corridors until she was at the lockers.

"Mandy Miller!!!" screamed Serena walking over to her. Serena looked at Mandy Miller: as expected, she was having to wear her headgear to school, but that didn't seem to interest Serena at all. She grabbed Mandy and slammed her backwards against the lockers. To say that Mandy was surprised was a bit of an under-statement. Serena quickly cast a spell to put up a 'protection barrier' around herself and Mandy Miller - she didn't want anyone trying to stop her, and what she was about to do.

"You are a real piece of evil, Mandy Miller!" said Serena pulling her forward, then slamming her hard into the lockers again. MM winced. "Why were you ever even born?". She slammed her into the lockers a third time, her anger increasing by the second. She pulled her right arm back, closing her hand into a fist, which she then used to punch Mandy in the middle of her face. Mandy's nose started bleeding - her nose was quite probably broken - and her facebow looked like it might have been bent a bit (so goodness knows what might have happened to her teeth - not that Serena would have cared right now). "You have made so many people's lives a misery!". Serena grabbed her, slamming her into the lockers yet again... then pulled her forward, and threw her in disgust into the floor.

"That is for all the kids who have had braces, including me, whose lives you made a living hell..." said Serena as she use her right foot to kick Mandy hard in the stomach. "And that's for all the kids that got glasses, or look at all geeky, whose lives you ruined!" said Serena, using her left foot to kick her hard again in the stomach. "And THIS one is for all the kids that aren't as well off as you, and can't dress up quite as fashionable as you like, that you openly despised!". Another kick landed on her body.

"And this one is for all the other kids whose lives you ruined, you uncaring B*TCH!". After the last very hard kick, she put her foot onto Mandy's chest, holding her down on the floor, and stopping her from getting up.

The anger inside Serena had almost reached bursting point, and whilst she had just made mincemeat of Mandy Miller, she actually didn't feel THAT much better.

"Serena!" called a man's voice. 'Probably one of the teachers, about to tell me off,' thought Serena. She closed her eyes, wondering what would happen next.

Offline xxxforce

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #33 on: 04. August 2022, 18:56:13 PM »
Nice try but this is just a dream.. for sure ;)

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #34 on: 04. August 2022, 19:03:41 PM »
Nice try but this is just a dream.. for sure ;)

Oh, what makes you say that then? I mean, she's wearing that new 'dark jewellery', which has an effect on her, ramping up her dark feelings. And Serena does have some anger issues with MM!

Keep reading for the next exciting instalment... :-)

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #35 on: 04. August 2022, 23:11:14 PM »
Oh, alright, you worked it out!!!! Chapters 46 and 47 were a last minute "hey I have a crazy idea" thing I got this morning! But it was still fun!


Chapter 47: Dad?...

"Serena!" said that same voice again. Serena opened her eyes, ready to face whatever consequences there would be for what she had just done. Her heart was beating hard and fast, and she still felt very angry.

But she wasn't at school. She was in her bedroom.

"You alright there Serena?" asked her dad. "You were shouting out loud...."

"I just had one hell of a nasty dream" said Serena... "Give me a moment will you?". She took a deep breath, and closed her eyes. "Hey braces, can you help me?".

"Well, you've not ACTUALLY done any magic, dark or light, so no. We think you need to quickly find that small box that Lucifer told you about, and put your anger back into it..."

"Yes, of course....". Serena imagined that small box again, and started to put her anger back inside. As she did so, she started to feel a better. As she continued putting her anger into the box, she calmed down. Finally, she closed the lid, and opened her eyes again.

"I think I'm ok now....."

"So what was the dream about then?" asked her dad.

"Well, you know I'm going to be 'sorting out' that bully girl at school?" Her dad nodded. "Well, I was basically beating the sh*t out of her. I mean, I knew I didn't like her, but I never realised I hated her THAT much!".

Her dad put his arms around her. "Better to work it out in a dream than for real. Your mum and I do worry about you, you know, the effect this darker magic you are having to learn about is having on you. Are you sure you can cope ok? It's a LOT for an 18 year old girl to have to deal with. Look, you know mum and I are here for you, whatever happens...".

"Thanks dad! I'll be ok... and I'm rather hoping I'm at least 19 before I need to fight the 'dark evil'!!"

"Ok, let's get back to sleep again, it's the middle of the night!" said her dad. Serena looked at her clock: yes, it was nearly 4am. "Hey, would you like me to do a 'go to sleep' spell on you, like I used to sometimes do?" he added.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #36 on: 05. August 2022, 22:14:46 PM »
Chapter 48: It's THE day.. the REAL one this time!

Serena parked the brand new, shining, electric green, Lamborghini in the school's car park, and she slowly got out. She needed to be seen. She needed to be seen getting out of the car. She needed MM to hear that she, Serena, had just driven to school. And not just in ANY old car. In a very expensive Lamborghini! A brand new shiny green one. That alone would wind her up so much. Already she could see other students getting their phones out.

Sarah and Samantha had helped her choose her power-wardrobe for the day: an amazingly smart dress, dark tights and high heels. With her recently cut hair still looking very crisp, and some equally crisp makeup, along with her (fake) nose and lip rings, she looked quite amazing. Completely cool. 100% in control (that bit was quite hard for Serena!). As she walked slowly and purposefully towards the school entrance she could see eyes turning to look at her. Phones being used to take pictures of her. Phone calls made, messages sent. The school's social media was suddenly very alive!

Good! There was no way that MM would NOT know what was happening in front of the school.

Serena felt VERY good. She knew that what she was going to be doing was not really a good thing, but that was the whole idea of it: to learn to use but also control her dark abilities. She did not feel alone: her braces had told her many times that they would be with her. Besides, this wasn't really for Serena, this was payback from probably half of the school, students whose lives had been affected - and probably devastated in some cases - by the years of MM's bullying behaviours.

As arranged, Sarah had arrived at the same time. Everyone knew that Serena and Sarah had some sort of special relationship, and would often talk together, so it seemed quite normal as they stopped and chatted.

"You ready to do this?" asked Sarah quietly.

"Not really" said Serena. "I'm about to do thomething pretty nathty to thomeone....". (Whilst Serena normally talked without a lisp, her braces always gave her one when she was at school... all trying to make things a bit more authentic!)

"True, but even I think that she deserves it. I've seen her be quite nasty to many students over the last 5 years. Don't worry I'm sure you'll make a lot of good come out of it.... Shall we go?"

"Yeth, let me juyht thtart my camera recording."

"You're gonna record it all?"

"Hell, yeah!" said Serena, the darkness staring to rise inside her.

Serena and Sarah walked into the main school entrance. Many eyes were looking at them... well, at Serena. Students were wondering how come Serena, normally a quite normal girl, had just arrived at school in a VERY expensive, and brand new, sports car. And yeah, she was dressed up rather nicely too, but you'd want to do that if you had driven to school in a really cool sports car, wouldn't you?

In the door, they turned right, and walked slowly. As they walked, they both did 'probing' spells around the school, to find where MM was.

"Nextht left, half way down the corridor" whispered Serena. They turned left, and could see MM not far away, next to the bank of lockers. Even better, there were quite a few other students nearby, getting their books ready for lessons too, and just generally chatting.

"Hold on a moment" said Serena taking a deep breath. "Ok, braces, time to help me do the dark stuff....." she said silently.

"Ready when you are" said a voice inside her head. They continued walking again, and slowly approached MM, talking together.

"Tell you what" said Sarah in a slightly louder than normal voice as they got close to MM, "that's a rather nice car you got yourself there... what it it actually? A Bimmer?"

"A Bimmer! Wash your mouth out, Mith Davith! I wouldn't touch one of thothe with a bargepole! It'th a Lambo!" said Serena, pulling the keyring out of her pocket, and shaking the keys in front of Sarah, making sure that MM saw them too. Serena could feel both pleasure and darkness surging up inside herself.

All of this had, as planned, most definitely got Mandy's attention. She was with one of her 'friends', and had turned and was looking straight at Serena, with a noticeable look of jealousy in her eyes - she had already heard about the car, this was just rubbing it in even more! Serena saw the facebow that Mandy was wearing, the facebow that she had watched getting fixed into place the previous afternoon, and smiled widely, artificially letting everyone see her mouthful of metal. Serena felt great pleasure, with even more darkness rising up inside her.

For a moment, Serena allowed the darkness to take over. "Oh, my, what a LOOTHER! Mandy Miller ith wearing a HEADGEAR to thchool! And I alwayth thought HEADGEAR wath for 12 year oldth? Oh, you poor thing - how EMBARRATHING for you! I mean, you'd never catch ME wearing one of thothe to thchool... no way!!!" said Serena in a rather loud voice, so everyone anywhere nearby could hear. And probably a few that weren't quite so nearby. There was, of course, no reply that MM could make that could rebuff what Serena had just said, and the fact that Serena spoke the 'takedown' with a lisp actually made it so much better!

As Serena started to walk away, she thought back to the dream she had last night... no, this was all that she had to do, violence would not achive a thing. As she looked around, as well as the look of shock and embarassment on MM's face, she saw many of the students starting to smile - a couple even started to clap - they had never seen a takedown anything like this: Mandy Miller, who had hurt so many of them was finally the one being taken down! Oh, how the mighty fall!

Serena felt so good! She had just done something that, a couple of months ago she would never have even considered doing. But she had done it! The planning had all come together, and she could see Mandy Miller feeing feeling such pain - exactly as she had imposed on so many others over the last 5 years or so. Even better was that there was no evidence actually linking Serena to the fact that MM was having to wear headgear to school today, it was (apparently) all her own stupid fault! Serena could feel the darkness inside herself exploding. Sarah sensed it too.

"Control it, Serena, hold it in, put it into that tiny box, and lock it away!" said Sarah quitely as they continued walking along the corridor. Serena could feel her own braces helping her, comforting her, helping her to control the darkness..... She took a couple more deep breaths.

"It's ok, I think I have it under control..... yes, I'm good..."


Over break time, MM was clearly hiding away, and the only talk around the school was of the rather spectacular put-down of the mighty Mandy Miller that morning before classes had started. Whilst several of the students in her own class had asked questions, she kept silent about what she had done. She also kept silent about why she ACTUALLY had a sports car, and why she was dressed the way she was. Those were several large cans of worms that Serena did not want to open...


At lunch time, Serena was sat in the canteen having lunch with her friends Julie and David. She saw MM walk in and sit down. Alone. Wearing headgear that Serena knew she would be unable to remove. Headgear that would make it very hard for her to actually eat. She did not look at all happy.

"Guyth, thorry, but I need to leave you......" she said. She picked up her tray with her lunch on, and went and sat with MM instead.

"I'm thorry, Mandy, what I did earlier wath rather nathty..."

"Its ok, I think I've had it coming for some time, if not from you, from somebody else" replied a rather dejected Mandy.

"The thing ith.." said Serena, "you're in the top year now, like me. We've made it... we have thurvived thix yearth of thecondary thchool, and we are now the 'top dogth'. You don't really need to prove anything to the other kidth any more. You jutht need to prove to yourthelf that you can get the A-levelth that you need."

"I guess so" replied MM, starting to feel a bit better for herself.... helped a bit by the spell Serena had just silently cast on her.

Serena had originally planned over lunchtime to anonymously post the video she'd taken that morning, but whilst it might be (darkly) satisfying to do so, it would actually serve no real purpose: she had achieved what she needed to do on so many levels. All the planning and dark magic spells had come together so well. She was learning to control the dark feelings needed to do much of the dark magic. And, of course, Mandy Miller would no longer be the threatening bully that she had been for so long.

So the video would just remain as her own private 'trophy'.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #37 on: 06. August 2022, 21:48:46 PM »
Chapter 49 - Serena needs Samantha's help

That evening, back at home, Serena was still feeing rather bad about what she'd actually done that day, so called Samantha on WhatsApp video.

"You sound to me to be a bit down" said Samantha, "so why don't you come over?"

"Ok, hey you're lying on your bed too..... ok, leave me some space next to you....."

Serena asked Wanda for a little help. "Did you already probe where you're going?" asked Wanda

"Erm, not exactly....". She concentrated, and could feel Samantha's bed, and Samanth on the bed. "Ok, I'm ready". She concentrated on the teleporting spell, and with a bit of a turbo-boost from Wanda, landed nicely on the bed next to Samantha. Needless to say she was a little exhausted from the teleport.

"Come here..." said Samantha, pulling Serena close, and putting her arm around her. Serena could feel something. Not a spell, but a really nice feeling flowing through her. It relaxed her.

She smiled at Samantha. "Thanks...." and she put her arm around her too, and they just lay there together for a while, then Serena explained the details of what she'd done earlier in the day and showed her the video she had recorded.

"I'm not surprised you're feeling a bit bad. Would you let me do a 'recouperation' spell on you? Actually, let me use my wand too, might make it work better...".

"Yeah, go on...."

Samantha picked up her ornate wand with the jewels in it: as she picked it up, the jewels started to shine. Holding Serena with one hand, she waved her wand over her with the other. "Does that help?" she asked

"Yes, it does, thank you!"

Samantha put her wand down, and held Serena again. "I've been thinking about the relationship we're supposed to have: I'm wondering if this is what you need me for, for when you are suffering from using the dark magic, or just a bit stressed out. Look, if you ever need my abilities, you only have to let me know..."

"Thanks...". They lay on the bed together, facing each other, and chatted for a bit.

"Hey, I don't remember seeing that nose ring before" said Serena. "It looks good on you though"

"Yeah, got it at the weekend. I was feeling a bit jealous of your braces and your bits of jewellery." (Maybe I need to add that, so far, neither Samantha nor Sarah knew anything about her dark jewellery. And, whilst 'working' on MM at school, she had left all 4 dark rings on her finger)

"Jealous of my braces?"

"It's odd, I had braces when I was about 12, hated them. But yours, they are kinda sexy. Extreme, but sexy..."

"Want a proper look?" asked Serena. Samantha nodded, so she opened her mouth, letting Samantha see the front of her mouth: her front metal bands and her lip bumpers. Samantha ran a finger over her lip bumpers, then back along the brackets on her bands, although that was hard, as the lip-bumper got in the way a bit. Then she opened her mouth, and tilted her head back, letting Samantha see her upper expander and the tongue rake. Samantha put a finger inside her mouth, and felt the rake - to her it felt stiff, and rather sharp.

"Is that some sort of plate up there, under that sharp bit?" asked Samantha

"Yes, it's a fairly thick metal plate, that goes from the back of my teeth, and almost up to my expander. Then in the bottom, I have another expander...." said Serena, dropping her head, and opening her mouth so Samantha could see.

"Wow, and is that a Herbst I can almost see there?"

"Yes, it is" said Serena, closing her mouth, and making a wide smile, letting Samantha see and touch her Herbst.

"Yeah, definitely too much metal for one person. I mean, when I had braces, all I had was tiny upper and lower brackets on my teeth. I can barely see any of your actual teeth!" Samantha put her lips to Serena's, and kissed her gently on the lips, and Serena kissed her gently back again. Samantha opened her mouth, pushing her tongue out, and ran it over Serena's lips, then between her lips. Serena opened her lips, and let her slip her tongue in: she ran it over her metal brackets at the front, then over the front of her lip bumpers. Serena opened her mouth a little, and Samantha's tongue went between her teeth, and up, and touched the smooth metal plate on the roof of Serena's mouth"

"Hello, you mutht be Thamantha...."

Shocked, Samantha pulled back from Serena. "What was THAT?"

"I'm guessing you just heard a voice in your head saying 'Hello, you must be Samantha', but with a heavy lisp... that was my braces, just saying hello to you!"

"Your BRACES?"

"Yeah, we talk sometimes. Don't worry, they won't hurt you, they are actually rather nice. Go on, kiss me again, and talk to them...."

Samantha started to kiss Serena again, putting her tongue inside her mouth, this time touching the tongue rake very gently. To her tongue, the rake felt very soft, not hurting at all. She also ran her tongue over the metal plate again.

"Thorry, Thamantha, we didn't mean to thurprithe you. Hi!" said the voice inside Samantha's (and Serena's) head

"Erm... hello there... erm... Serena's braces. OMG, this is weird!" thought Samantha

"Thank you for helping Therina jutht then, it helped her a lot more than I think you apprethiate"

"That's ok. Hey, how come you have such a lisp?"

"If you had as much metal in your mouth, I think you'd have quite a lithp too!"

"Fair enough. But hang on, Serena has you in her mouth, but she doesn't have a lisp"

"Yeth, we felt it was rather unfair that she had to thuffer with a lithp, thimply becauthe we were in her mouth. Mind you, we do let her lithp a bit when she'th at thchool, it would theme strange if she didn't, don't you think?"

"That sounds very nice of you, and yes, I understand about school.... so why DOES Serena even need braces... erm, you?"

"We are like you, we are here to help Therena with her many thtruggleth. For exthample, we helped her contain her darkneth today - itth not eathy for thomeone who has chothen to follow the path of the not-quite-tho-light to manage their darkneth, and that ith one of the many things we will do to help her fulfil what she must, according to the prophethieth"

"But why so much braces?"

"We believe itth thomethiong to do with phythicth... you need a thertain math of thtuff to have enough effect - kinda like the critical math needed to make an atomic bomb exthplode. Therina's wand was very helpful in working out exthactly how much math of brathes and thtuff she really needed. Tho yeth, we are thadly a lot of brathes in her mouth... Anyway, we will thay goodbye for the moment, and let you conthentrate on Therena, I'm sure we'll talk again, and you know where to find uth!"

"Thanks for looking after Serena...." thought Samantha. "How weird, I've just been talking to your braces." said Samantha out loud.

"I found it a bit odd at the start too, but I'm pretty used to them now. They do seem to be trying to help me, and they're so polite too!" said Serena.

They kissed again. "Hey, why don't you take out my lip-bumpers, it will make it easier to kiss" suggested Serina. Samatha put her finger and thumb onto the top lip-bumper, and tried to pull it out.

"It seems to be stuck!"

"Ah, half a moment.... guys, can you let her take them out for a while, we're safe here, so it's ok"

"No problemth" said a voice inside Serena's head

"They are a bit over-protective, but with good reason. Try now....". Samantha was able to now easily remove both lip-bumpers, which she put carefully on the bedside table. Their lips touched again, and Samantha was able to enjoy the sensation of her tongue running over the complete surface of Serena's teeth - or should I say metal bands (as her teeth are hardly visible), and then around to feel the front part of Serena's Herbsts. Then back inside her mouth, where her tongue could feel the smoothness of the metal bands that covered the insides of her teeth, then up to touch Serena's metal plate, which reminded her of the hawley retainer she had to wear after getting her braces off. Then her tongue reached the strangely smooth and soft ends of the sharp spikey tongue rake. The expander was too far back for her tongue to explore.

Next her tongue went to Serena's lower teeth, where the braces and bands, like her teeth, were smaller. Inside and just below her lower front teeth Samantha's tongue found her lower expander. Then, moving her tongue out and to the side, she explored the front lower mounting point for Serena's Herbst, then the front part of the actual Herbst.

"Serena, you have my greatest respect: that is one hell of a lot of metal you have in your mouth, and you're gonna have to wear it all... well, I guess for the rest of your life"

"I'm told it will probably get better with time: the metal will be absorbed into my teeth and gums, so I'll actually have metal teeth rather than metal braces"

"Oooh, I'm not sure which sounds worse, metal braces or a true metal mouth...."

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #38 on: 07. August 2022, 00:21:16 AM »
Very nice. A little girl-on-girl action there.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #39 on: 07. August 2022, 18:23:01 PM »
Chapter 50 - Serena in headgear

Serena woke a lot more refreshed the following morning - spending the evening with Samantha had been so good. Not only could she help her just by touching her, but her simple spells had removed all her tiredness from the teleport, as well as all the stress from the day. She was starting to understand why Samantha was so important to her.

She went and had her breakfast, then went back upstairs and had her shower. While she showered, she used the 'clean my braces' spell to get rid of all the little bits of food from her braces, her expanders, and everywhere else the food got to. She still needed to actually brush her teeth, to remove the slight plaque build-up, but that was easier now than it used to be with her older braces, as her braces helped to pull the brush bristles into all those awkward-to-get-to places.

She was getting dressed (similar to yesterday, but not QUITE as smart) when she remembered the plastic zip-lock bag in the drawer of her bedside unit. She thought for a few seconds, then took it from the drawer, and put it into her shoulder bag.

"'Bye mum, dad, see you tonight" said Serena. Outside she got into the lovely electric green Lamborghini sports car which she still had, putting her bag on the passenger seat, then drove to school. Strangely, driving the fancy sports car didn't feel quite so much fun today. She arrived at school, and parked the car. She picked up her bag, and opened it, removing the plastic zip bag, which she opened and removed the contents.

"Guys, I need to remove my top lip-bumper for a while..." she thought to herself, then gently removed it, replacing it with the facebow she'd taken out of the plastic bag (and putting her lip-bumper into that same bag). Finally, she put the neck-strap around her neck, connecting it to the facebow.

With the un-needed headgear in place, she got out of the car. As expected, many pairs of eyes saw her, but Serena didn't mind: with so much metal already in her mouth, a facebow hardly made much difference. She walked over to the entrance, where she found Mandy Miller sitting alone on the wall. She didn't actually recognise her at first, because today Mandy looked very different: no fancy jewellery, almost no makeup, and much more 'normal' clothes

Serena sat down next to her. "You look a bit different today. How you doing?" she asked.

"I'm actually feeling pretty good."

"How'th the headgear?"

"Actually, now that I'm wearing it as I should, the pain I was getting isn't anything like as bad as it was to start with. I can hardly feel anything right now."

"Oh, good, it'th alwayth when you inithially put it in that it's worthe. You're thounding a lot more relaxthed than you normally theem to be"

"Yeah, I had a really long and nice talk with my mum last night, something we've never really done before. It cleared the air between us, and I think we both have a lot more respect for each other. I think I have a lot more respect for myself too. It's probably going to take a while longer before everything sinks in, but I have to say I couldn't be doing this if it wasn't for what you made me realise yesterday" said Mandy. "Hey, what's with your headgear, you had it wired in too?"

"No", said Serena, putting her hand on Mandy's, "I don't actually need it any more, it'th jutht that I thought you might apprethiate a bit of moral thupport - I thuthpect you're gonna get a lot of sh*t in there today. Come on, let'th go in together."

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #40 on: Yesterday at 19:13:33 »
Chapter 51 - And your next task is....

"I hear that congratulations are in order! Quite a spectacular put-down I hear! By the way, you can keep the car for a couple more weeks if you like!" said Lucifer. The car was one that Lucifer had decided to buy on a whim - to him, the cost was almost loose change.

But, whilst the idea of having a Lamborghini for a couple of weeks was very appealing to Serena, it had served its purpose, and keeping it would probably just cause a lot of resentment. "It was fun to be able to drive it - thanks, but no thanks" said Serina, giving Lucifer back the keys.

"Ok, I can understand. But well done. Your planning was good, the spells were elegantly simple, and they worked exactly as you planned. How are you coping with the darkness? After all, part of this exercise was to make you use dark magic, and to 'suffer' the fallout from it"

"I'm actually ok. I could feel it quite strongly at the time, but Sarah coached me, and I controlled it, contained it. Plus I went and saw Samantha last night"

"Good, that is so important, being able to control it. I'm sure your braces played a big part?"

"Yes, they did. I'm sure I would have struggled without them."

"Well, that means we can move on to your next task: I want you to steal something."

"Steal something?"

"Yes, steal something. It needs to have a certain danger to doing it, and it needs to be something that, if you were caught with it, then you could maybe end up being sent to prison... so I'm not talking about stealing some sweets from the local shops."

Sarah looked at Lucifer, shocked. "You're kidding me? Stealing is not good at the best of times! And what you're suggesting is even worse!"

"Yes, I know, it's meant to be difficult and dark. And if you think THAT's bad, you're going to hate the task that follows this one....". Lucifer turned to Serena. "Once again the planning is important. Don't rush it. If you like, take a bit of a break before working on it"

"I might just do that, but it would make sense to do some training tonight, now I'm here."

"Yeah, no problems with that. Ok, so there's one skill that comes to mind that can help with covering your tracks when doing anything 'not so legal', and that's mind-wiping."

"As in making someone forget something?"

"Yes. It's definitely somrthing that's covered by the 'dark magic' banner. It's a relatively short term thing, so something like 'the last 10 minutes', or maybe as much as 'the last hour': short times are pretty easy, longer times take a lot more effort. Let me give you a demonstration. I'd like you to slowly start counting, one two three, trying hard to remember where you got to. After a bit, I'll do a 30 second mind wipe on you... I'm assuming you're ok with that?"

Whilst a bit apprehensive, Serena realised that, if Lucifer REALLY wanted to be nasty, he could probably do a mind wipe at any time, whether she agreed to it or not. "Ok, I guess I need to feel it to understand what I'm going to do. So... one......... two.......... three......... ".

Lucifer let her count for about a minute: Serena had got to 66. "Ok, you can stop now. Ok, and now I'll wipe the last 30 seconds from your mind....". He looked directly at Serena, and cast the spell.

"So, what was the last number you remember then?" he asked her.

"Thirty-one... then there's a strange blankness after that, until you asked me the question." said Serena.

"You ok?" asked Lucifer.

"Yeah, it just feels strange having a gap in my memory. And scary too. Out of interest, is there any counter to it?"

"Yes there is: it doesn't bring back any memories, but it does counter the spell from working in the first place. Ok, I know you like writing stuff down to learn it, so get pen and paper, and I'll give you the details". Lucifer gave Serena the details she needed, and as Serena wrote it down she also put the spells onto a post-it note in her memory.

"So, can I do something really short then, maybe just 5 seconds."

"Oh, absolutely, sometimes that's all you need anyway. And the shorter the time, the better it works, and the easier it is to do."

"This is a scary bit of magic... I mean, you could really screw up someone of you did 30 minutes rather than 30 seconds by accident."

"Yeah, although I think you'd soon feel the difference, and just stop the spell before you went too far."

"So what's the longest you can do?"

"The best I've ever done, and it was hard for even me to do, was about 90 minutes. Left me quite exhausted, so nature is stopping us do silly things!"

"And it's always 'up till now'? I mean you can't do a 'forget between 5 and 10 minutes ago'?"

"No, just 'up till now'. Now, a bit of warning from experience: it can often be difficult to actually count the time accurately. Sometimes you think it was only 2 minutes, but it was really only 1 minute or maybe it was 5 minutes. If you slightly over-estimate the time, you're ok, but if you under-estimate, it can be a bit embarrassing - as I found out once, And no, you don't get any more details!"

"And what about on a group of people?" asked Serena.

"Good question: yes, just widen your target a bit, and as you'd expect, the more people then the more effort you'll need."

Serena looked at both Sarah and Lucifer. "So who's gonna let me try it on them?"

"I think you'd better start with me," suggested Lucifer. "I'll trust you to be sensible!"

"Right, so I'll aim at a minute, that ok with you?"

"Sure, go on....".

Serena looked at Lucifer, plus in her mind thought of just Lucifer, then said the words of the spell, making it very clear that it was just a minute. Serena could sense that the spell had worked. "Ok then, what do you remember?"

"You asked about the effect of a group, and I'm sure I must have told you, but I don't remember. So, how long did you aim for?"

"She said a minute, but I think that was inside the minute you just lost!" replied Sarah. "I'm probably going to regret this, but you can try one on me, if you like. If nothing else, it might be useful for me to know what it actually feels like if someone does it on me!"

"That makes me wonder: does it affect normies any differently from witches?"

"From what I've seen, there should be no difference. And Sarah, maybe you should learn the protection spell too?"

"Will I be able to actually do it?"

"You'll never know if you don't try... so, why don't you try the spell out now, and see what happens."

Lucifer went through the spell with Sarah (and Serena listened in to: a bit of extra revision is always a good idea!), and then Sarah tried to cast the spell. "Well, it 'felt' ok... go on Serena!"

Serena concentrated on Sarah, and threw a 30 second mind wipe at her: she felt it 'bounce back' at her. "I'm guessing you still remember everything? I felt it come back at me."

"Yeah, I could feel something trying to get to me, but bouncing off, so I'm good, looks like it worked. Luce, how long does the spell last for then?"

"A few minutes, but it's an easy one to cast and then re-cast, as long as you're capable and remember to do it!"

"Could you also implant some sort of false memories, to cover the missing period?" asked Serena.

"I believe there are spells that can do that sort of thing, but I've never learnt them, and I suspect they are not so trivial. What you CAN do though is use some sort of 'suggestion' spell on your target, then wipe their memory, so they don't realise what you did - I've used that trick a few times!"

"Oh, yes, sneaky! But yes, I could see that being useful."

"It's interesting," commented Lucifer, "but when you say things like that, I can see you're starting to think more like a dark witch: as long as you make sure you can control it, it's going to probably help you!"

They continued chatting, waiting for 'a few minutes' to pass, then without saying anything, Serena quietly ran a 30 second wipe on Sarah: this time it felt like it worked.

"What the hell? Did you just hit me with a mind wipe? I have a strange nothingness in my mind..."

"Yes, sorry, I hope you don't mind, but I wanted to make sure I could do it without being too obvious about it. I guess I really need to ask Lucifer, coz you won't remember!"

"No, that was pretty good. And of course, if someone does see you getting ready to do a wipe, the wipe gets rid of that memory too!"

"Serena. Please be VERY careful with dark magic like this. I mean, from a general perspective, it is HIGHLY unethical to wipe someone's mind. But I understand you need to be able to do it. Just be careful is all I'm saying!" said Sarah very seriously.

"With great power comes great responsibility! Yup, couldn't agree more, and I think that's going to apply to a lot of the magic I'm learning. Sarah, you absolutely have my permission to tell me off if you think I'm over-stepping at all. But I'll try very hard not to... plus I think my braces will also be watching me carefully."

"Don't worry, we WILL!" said Serena's braces.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #41 on: Today at 17:23:54 »
Chapter 52 - Read some more books...

Serena decided to take the rest of the week off from training with Lucifer: her first 'project' had been quite stressful, so she decided to do some other bits. For example, it had been a while since she had been to see Mrs Johnson. She had finished reading some of the books she had borrowed, so wanted to return them, and borrow some others: now that she was starting to use some real dark magic, she had a much better idea what she wanted to learn about.

"Come on in, Serena, you know you're always very welcome - besides, it's also nice to have some company. Cup of tea?"

"Oh, yes, that would be lovely!" She followed Mrs Johnson into the kitchen.

"So, I know you're back at school again, how's it going?"

"Not so bad, starting working on my A-levels, although I'm not really sure how much help they will be whilst I'm fighting the 'dark evil forces' or whatever it will be."

"Yes, I can see that, although WHAT you're learning at school is probably less important that the skills of understanding and learning that you're developing. For example, those books you've brought back... they are less meaningful if you don't actually understand what they are saying. And thinking of which, were they of use?"

"Actually yes. Not so much the detail, but the descriptions and explanations helped explain a few things I wasn't sure about."

"So, are you looking for anything specific today?"

"Yes, I've been given the task of 'stealing something dangerous' as my next training task."

"I guess the stealing isn't the problem, it's going to be using magic to hide the fact that it was you?"

"And hiding what I steal too. I'm not really sure what to do, so I'm not going to think too much about it, but I was hoping that some of the books might inspire me."

The kettle boiled, and the tea was left to brew for a few minutes before Mrs Johnsone poured out two good-sized mugs of tea. She was a lovely lady, and if she wanted, she could be very genteel, and use her fancy cups and saucers. Today she was being not as genteel, but more pragmatic, thus the mugs. And some biscuits to go with the tea, of course!

"Come on, let's go through to the library." Once there, Mrs Johnson took the books from Serena, and replaced them 'correctly' on the shelves.

"How on earth do you remember where they go?" asked Serena.

"Well, the first hint is the gaps of course, but over the years I've looked at these shelves so many times, I think I can pretty much remember where everything goes. Although, I'm not QUITE sure what reasoning behind the order is: my late husband collected all of these books, many were from his father, and HIS father before that."

"Ah, ok, explains the very old books you have here. Wanda, you there?"

"Your exalted overlord, and infallible leader! Mistress of the universe, supreme god of all she surveys,  Serena! May your reign be eternal! Yes, I'm here!" said Wanda in greeting.

"What ARE you on about?" asked Serena

"Sorry, I've been getting a bit bored, so I've been working on alternatives to 'Your Majesty'"

"Don't go there....."

"Anyway, how can I help? Oh, please pass my greetings on to the lovely Mrs Johnson!"

"Wanda, you've definitely got too much spare time! Mrs Johnson, Wanda sends her greetings! So, Wanda, do you remember the books I looked at last time, but put back on the shelves?"

"I do, you looking for anything specifically?"

"Yes, there was one that had something about 'magic of deception'...."

"Ah, yes..... let me think.... try the top shelf, about 10 or 12 inches in from the right... If you are doing some background reading for you next 'project', may I suggest that you might want to do a search for  'mind control', it might be helpful, extend what you said you were doing with Lucifer the other day."

"Ok, makes sense I guess."

Serena climbed up the small set of steps, and took a look: Wanda was of course right, it was just where she said. She took the book down, and then sat down with Mrs Johnson. Neither of them was in a rush, so Serena had decided that she would be polite, and chat with Mrs Johnson for a while. Widowed she may be, but she was far from being stupid: in her time it seems that she had actively practiced magic - light magic of course - so Serena was very interested in trying to learn from her experience.

"Look, I have a couple of things I need to do," said Mrs Johnson some time later, "so why don't you look for what you need, and I'll come back when I'm done."

Serena ran three magic searches, one for 'theft' (and things related), another for 'improving effectiveness of dark magic', and one for 'mind control', as suggested by Wanda. She was successful on all counts. The most interesting was a small book that contained a report into research of 'the use of drugs with magic': it seemed that there were a couple of drugs that, when used carefully, could massively boost the effectiveness of many dark and light spells. Whilst Serena generally did not condone the use of 'recreation substances', discovering 'magic enhancing drugs' could be very useful for her future needs. As they say, 'it's better to have and not need, than to need and not have': whatever this evil was that Serena would have to fight, she wanted to make sure she had the upper hand, however that was achieved - legal or otherwise!