Author Topic: Serena: a not so short story  (Read 11565 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: 08. August 2022, 19:13:33 PM »
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: 09. August 2022, 17:23:54 PM »
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!

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #42 on: 10. August 2022, 17:36:20 PM »
Chapter 53 - Another stroke

It was just after school when Serena's phone rang: it was her dad.

"Hey, Serena, Grandpa's back home again, would you like to come with me and see him tonight?"

"Absolutely. So I assume they got all the extra help needed in place then?"

"Yes, there's carers coming morning and night to get him in and out of bed, and to 'attend to his personal needs'."

Serena felt rather sad: grandpa had had another stroke a couple of weeks ago, and had been in hospital since. She had been to see him a couple of times, but grandpa didn't deserve to be stuck in a hospital, so she was happy that he was back home again, he would like it so much more.

So, after dinner, Serena and her dad went off (her mum was doing something else she couldn't cancel that evening) to see Grandma and Grandpa. When they got there, he was sat in a big comfy chair. While her dad chatted to Grandma out in the kitchen, Serena went and chatted to Grandpa. The second stroke had affected him badly: he could now hardly move, and speaking was quite an effort for him, but he was happy to hear what Serena had to say.

"Grandpa" said Serena after a bit, "would you mind if I tried something?". Grandpa grunted a positive response. "Wanda, might need your help here....". Wanda appeared. "Wanda, I want to try and talk to grandpa, kinda like when I was probing at Sarah's, and we spoke."

"The problem with that is that you were both actively doing magic to make that happen, I suspect your Grandpa won't really be up to it. However, and you know I hate saying these sort of things, I suspect you can use some dark magic to help it happen."

"Ok, thanks, Wanda!".

Serena had been reading a LOT of books recently, some with light magic, some with not-so-light magic, and some with downright dark magic. She though carefully for a moment, and came up with an idea that might work.

"So, Grandpa, you know I've been doing some darker magic, I have some jewellery that helps me do it, so I'm going to put that in, and then try some dark-ish magic to see if we can talk more easily". She swapped out her clip-on lip rings (thus using 3 of the 4 bits of jewellery), then warned her braces what she was about to do. Holding grandpa's hand, she said the words of the three spells that she hoped, when combined, might let her talk to grandpa.

"Hi Grandpa, I don't suppose you can hear me, can you?" thought Serena.

"Hello Serena, yes I can...." said a familiar voice in her head. "That's some useful magic you can do!". Grandpa was speaking slowly and gently, but it was much better than him trying to speak through his mouth.

"Oh, grandpa, it's so good to hear your voice. How are you? Not so good, I'm guessing, but are you coping?"

"My brain seems to be running at only 10 mph, and I just can't seem to do a lot with this body, but I'm still here. It's so frustrating trying to tell anyone what I want". Tears were welling up in Serena's eyes: it felt so terrible seeing grandpa like this. They chatted for a few minutes.

"So, is there anything you'd like right now?" she asked him.

"I wouldn't mind a drink. And I don't suppose this magic would let me speak with your dad and grandma, would it?"

"I don't know... let me go get you a drink, and let me get grandma and dad. Now, you just stay here, don't go running off!" joked Serena, trying to make light of grandpa's condition.

"Grandma, grandpa would like a drink.... and... I think I might be able to let you guys have a chat with him."

"What do you mean?" asked Grandma.

"Well, I just managed to put together some magic that let me speak with him, I'm hoping that I can do it for you too. I'm assuming you'd both like that?". The unsaid part was along the lines of 'this could be our last chance to have a proper conversation with him'.

Grandma got him a drink: a plastic cup with a lid and a thick tube, like a straw, and they all went and sat with grandpa.

"Ok, so this is a mix of light and mainly dark magic I used a moment ago, I have no idea if this will work for you two, but I'm hopeful. So, if we all hold his hand together, and we three hold our other hands together too....". Serena closed her eyes, and repeated the previous spells she had used, and added another, 'just in case'.

"Hi again, grandpa, I'm hoping that we can all hear each other... grandma, say hello to grandpa! Just say it in your mind, and hopefully grandpa will hear you."

"Hello, Jack, it's Muriel...."

"Hello, my darling Muriel!" said grandpa softly and slowly, but clearly.

They talked for some time like that: maintaining the magic took effort... the dark jewellery helped a lot, but by the time they finished talking, Serena felt quite tired. But she didn't really mind, it was something so worth doing.

Grandma put her arms around Serena, and held her. "Thank you so much for doing that my darling! It was so good to be able to talk with grandpa, even though it was just for a while. I'm guessing it's probably not something your dad or I would be able to do?"

"No, unfortunately not. But I'll try and come again soon, so we can talk to him again. But grandma, do keep talking to him, like normally... you know he can hear you, he must feel very lonely and isolated like he is."

"Don't worry, I will. And just come over anytime you like, I don't think I'll be leaving the house a lot for the forseeable future. No need to call, just turn up....".

"Serena, thank you for what you did earlier." said her dad back at home. "I never realised that dark magic could be used for such good."

"Yeah, it's strange, whilst it still has a dark 'edge' to it, there's a lot of dark magic that can just as easily be used for good purposes. I guess I'm lucky, and am able to do the dark stuff as well as the light stuff."

"I hear that you've been doing a dark magic project, as part of your training to fulfil your role in the prophecy - you coping ok?"

"Yeah, it wasn't all that nice to have to do it, but you know that I need to practice magic to be any good at it. Lucifer has set me a second project, to help me develop some more dark skills, but having Sarah and Samantha there helps a lot, plus I know you & mum are always here for me too."

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #43 on: 11. August 2022, 18:23:20 PM »
Chapter 54 - Certain 'substances'

Serena found Trixie standing alone by her locker. Trixie was in Serena's year, and had a certain 'reputation'. Oh, I should add, Trixie is not a witch, and knows nothing about witches either.

"Hi Trixie, I hear you might be able to help me...." said Serena, a bit nervously. Trixie knew who Serena was - heck, since her 'takedown' of MM, EVERYONE in the school know who Serena was, but the two of them had never directly interacted before.

"Oh yeah?"

"I hear you might be able to supply.... erm... some small round coloured things..." said Serena quietly.

"Maybe.... although I never took you for the sort that wanted to 'dabble'".

"Yeah, looks can be deceiving sometimes, can't they?" replied Serena, smiling. "So can you help me?"

"Possibly, depends what you'd like". Serena pulled a piece of paper from her pocket. She had no real idea about drugs, but had found some references in one of the books she had borrowed, and the internet had helped her find the current chemical names, plus some street names.

"Don't suppose you have any of these, do you?" she asked, carefully showing her the piece of paper, which listed 2 possibilities.

"I'll be outside the shops at about 4 o'clock. You've never done this before, have you?.... I'll do you a couple this first time, I don't want you to hurt yourself" said Trixie, and gave her a price. "Cash!"

"Thanks, see you later...."

Serena got to the shops just after 4: never having bought such things before, she was a bit nervous. Trixie was there, waiting for her. Serena discretely passed Trixie a couple of banknotes, Trixie passed a small plastic bag that had 2 blue tablets in it, which Serena put into that small pocket in her jeans.

"Just do one at a time: this lot are good, and pretty clean too, so shouldn't do you much harm. Have fun!"

"Thanks, Trixie" said Serena, as she turned to leave.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #44 on: 11. August 2022, 18:24:16 PM »
Chapter 55 - Thunderbolts and lightning, very very frightening me...

It's the next day.

Serena was lying on her back, in the grass at the edge of a field, a couple of miles from home. Above her was a huge raging dark thunderstorm: the rain was very heavy, plus there was lots of loud thunder and bright lightning going on all around.

Serena had a massive grin on her face. "It's so pretty...." she said to herself, sending yet another lightning bolt up into the sky from her finger tips.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #45 on: 12. August 2022, 23:25:24 PM »
Chapter 56 - Anyone seen Serena?

Sarah's phone rang.

"Hi Sarah, it's Davina here. Is Serena with you by any chance?" (Davina is Serena's mum)

"No, she isn't."

"Oh, I've been trying to get in touch with her for ages, but she's not answering her phone, or replying to texts or mesages - normally she at least replies, even if to say she's busy"

"Ok, leave it with me, I'll see what I can do....". She ended the call with Davina, and tried calling Serena, then tried messaging her. No response. Next she called Samantha, but she'd not heard from her either. Sarah was now also a little worried: as Davina had said, Serena was usually very good at responding, even if it was just a simple 'ok'.

Sarah collected a couple of simple artefacts, plus something of Serena's that she had left at Sarah's. She then sat on her settee, closed her eyes, and concentrated.... she was doing a 'locater' spell, to find Serena. These spells work really well at short ranges, but the further away someone is, the harder they are. It took her a while, but finally she found her: she was about 3 miles away. She sensed that she was outside, but Sarah was getting some strange feelings, feelings that maybe Serena wasn't 100% ok.

Whilst a 3 mile teleport for Serena was quite easy - her magic had become quite strong - it was a long distance for Sarah. In such cases, it was often easier to do it in two or three hops. She looked at a map, to see where she could 'stop on the way', and found a convenient copse of trees. She quickly prepared herself. She probed.... she felt that there was no-one near the trees, so made that her first hop. It was raining quite hard, but the trees seemed to shield her from the worst of it. Another probe, for the second jump... she could feel grass. She could feel heavy rain. She could feel Serena, lying on the grass, getting very wet. Not quite knowing what was going on, she decided to teleport a short distance away, if only for her own safety.

She stood up, and concentrated on the teleporting spell.... The next moment she was about 20 feet from Serena, in the middle of a raging thunderstorm. Serena was lying on her back, with a huge smile on her face, her hand pointing upwards. Suddenly a huge flash of lightning came from Serena's hand, going up into the sky - Serena seemed to be 'playing' with the storm!

Sarah stood where she was for a moment, catching her breath, then carefully walked over to Serena, who noticed that she was there.

"Hey, Sarah.... do you like my thunderstorm? It's so pretty, isn't it? Look at all those beautiful colours..."

"YOUR thunderstorm?"

"Yeah, mine... I made it......"

"Wanda? You here?" asked Sarah.

"Hi Sarah! I'm so glad you're here at last.." replied Wanda, appearing in Serena's hand

"What's she doing?"

"Apparently practicing her dark magic. Her braces told me that she summoned this storm..."

"You're kidding me? She summoned the storm? That's strong magic.... how the hell did she manage that?"

"Hell probaby does come into it somehwere: she's wearing her 'Dark Jewellery', plus I'm pretty certain she's taken something, she seems pretty 'high' to me!"

"High? You mean on drugs or something? and what do you mean, 'Dark Jewellery'?"

"Her Dark Jewellery helps her with her dark magic, didn't she tell you about it? And yes, apparently certain substances can enhance magic quite substantially". Sarah thought a moment.

"We need Samantha, she'd be able to help us.... but it will take too long for her to get here."

"Maybe we can persuade Serena to summon her?" suggested Wanda. Sarah knew that Serena was able to do summoning using light magic: she'd taught her. Whilst most individual witches could maybe summon over a few metres using light magic, and a group of experienced witches could summon over maybe a mile or two, dark summoning was FAR more powerful.

"Can Serena do dark summoning already?"

"Take a look over by her bag...". Sarah looked around, and saw Serena's small rucksack. Next to it was a 3 ft long sword, and an almost foot-long dagger. "She summoned those before she summoned the storm. I have an idea" said Wanda, "Call Samantha, tell her to grab her wand...". Wanda then turned her attention to Serena: "Hey, Serena....."

"Yes, Wanda... do you like my thunderstorm?"

"I do, it's very pretty isn't it? You've done really well! You know, you should show Samantha what you've done!"

"Yeah, I should, shouldn't I?"

"Why don't you just summon her?". While Wanda was talking to Serena, Sarah was on the phone to Samantha, and using very few words had told her to grab her wand, and prepare to be summoned!

"Good idea, I need to practice my summoning, don't I?" She sat up, and waving Wanda said "My darling Samantha, wherever you are, I summon you to join me, to enjoy this pretty sight". Clearly she had also silently said the words of one of the the dark summoning spells, which in itself worried Wanda a little, but it didn't seem to affect her noticeably. Serena waved her hands dramatically, and a moment later Samantha appeared: she instantly put her arms around Serena, flowing her love into her. As she did so, she could feel herself getting wet, and could hear the storm raging around her. And she could feel a lot of darkness....

"Do you like my storm, Samantha?"

"Yes, it's very nice, Serena!" she replied, taking a quick look. She then turned to Sarah. "What on earth's she doing out here, in this weather?" Samantha asked Sarah.

"She summoned this storm herself, just like she summoned you... and those things over there". Samantha turned and saw the sword and dagger. "Wanda says she's been practicing her dark magic, and she thinks she's  high on something too."

Samantha looked into Serena's eyes: her pupils were dilated. "Yeah, I recognise that look, probably something like Ecstacy, makes sense... certain things like E's can really enhance your magic powers"

"And you know that because?" asked Sarah, rather surprised.

"Well.... erm..... mum and I may have.... errrr.... 'dabbled' a few times... we need to understand these things! It's our sort of magic."

"Oh.... ok.... do you know anything about her 'dark jewellery'?". Samantha looked at Serena, and could tell from it's look that the rings she had in her nose and on her lip were not the ones she had bought from the shop, they were less bright, and must therefore be the ones made from the unholy chain.

"Yeah, I guess this is her 'dark' jewellery, she said something a bit ago about getting something made, although I've not actually seen it before - shall I take it all out?"

"No, hold on for a moment. Wanda, do you reckon Serena could teleport herself, along with Samantha plus the sword and dagger, back home?"

"The way she is right now, definitely!"

"Ok, let me grab her bag, I should be able to get myself back to her place. Here, Samantha, take the sword and dagger, and hold on to Serena," said Sarah. Then to Serena she said "Serena, it's a really lovely thunderstorm you created, but we're all getting very wet, and getting quite cold too. Why don't we all go back to your place, so we can all can get nice and dry and warm again?". At the same time she tried a simple 'suggestion' spell to help things (although she didn't think it would actually work, the way Serena was right now, but it was worth a try)

"Yeah, ok.... but can I just do another couple of these first?", and she lifted her hand up to the sky, releasing two rather pretty and very large lightning bolts that went up to the sky, and into the storm.

Samantha was holding the sword and dagger in one hand, and had her other arm around Serena. Serena looked at Samantha, put her arm around her, smiled, then waved her other hand. "Home, Jeeves!" she said, laughing. Moments later, they were both on the floor in the middle of Serena's room. Sarah arrived a few seconds later.

"Get that jewellery off her quickly!" said Sarah to Samantha. Samantha carefully dropped the sword and dagger, then turned to Serena, putting her arms around her, and making a 'calming and relaxation' spell.

"Serena, I need to take out your jewellery....".

"Yeah, ok....". Samantha gently removed the nose ring and the two lip rings, then lifted up Serena's lip, and carefully removed her frenulum ring.

"Give them to me...." said Serena. "I need to combine them, and put it back onto my finger.". Samantha was a little confused, but trusted Serena, and passed them to her. Samantha and Sarah both watched as Serena took the 4 rings, put them into the right order, then twisted them together, transforming them all into a small ring, which she put on the little finger of her left hand.

"Oh, I feel so tired..." said Serena. With the dark jewellery removed, and the effect of the drugs starting to wear off, no-one was surprised. They helped her onto her bed, then Sarah did a 'dry clothes' spell on them all. Outside the thunderstorm was clearing.

"So what was that all about?" asked Samantha.

"Wanda, can you fill us in? And can someone explain about that jewellery?" asked Sarah.

"Well, the jewellery was made specially for her out of three links of the un-holy chain that the Coven of Light has," explained Wanda. "She finally got the jewellery a week or so ago, and has been practicing with it - it greatly increases her abilities to do dark magic. So far her braces have been helping control the dark powers, and protect Serena from its effects, but today Serena bought a couple of pills from a girl at school - take a look in that small pocket of her jeans - and tried one out: it certainly turned up her magic abilities.... she was summoning simple things to start with, then summoned the sword and dagger. Then she decided to summon the thunderstorm..."

"Well, I think she's definitely got the hang of summoning! Any idea where the sword and dagger are from?" asked Sarah, picking up the sword. She could tell that it was not merely a decorative sword, but one designed for real use.

"I suspect it came from the same place as me: the secret hidden armoury that is protected by the PineTree coven. If it is, then it's a sword and dagger that she was destined to have, just like I was destined to be her wand. And there's a load more stuff ready for her, when she needs it."

"Thanks Wanda. Samantha, can you stay with Serena, help her and make sure she's ok? I need to go speak to her mum, and I think later we both need to have a word with Serena, she can't go doing this sort of thing alone, it's far too dangerous for her, something could go wrong."

"Ok, I'll give my mum a call too, let her know I'm here"


About an hour or so later, Serena opened her eyes. She was lying on her bed, and felt a bit rough. Samantha was on the bed, next to her.

"Hey there" said Samantha, "how you feeling"

"A little rough.... I feel like I've been out drinking too much again..."

"Yeah, except it wasn't drink, it was one of these, I'm guessing" she said, showing her the little blue pill in its small plastic bag.

"Yeah, it was. I must confess, I didn't really expect it to work as well as it did... Hey, did I really summon a thunderstorm?"

"Yup. And you were toying with it, I saw lightning coming out of your fingertips... it was actually pretty cool, but pretty dangerous too. And that's before I remind you about the other things you summoned". She pointed to where the sword and dagger were.

"Wow, it's big, isn't it? So I guess you now know about my rings, don't you? Of course you do, you took them out for me, didn't you? That's really what today was about, I wanted to see what sort of things I could do when I wore it. I mean, I'd had a small play yesterday, but I needed to try it out properly. Although it wasn't till I took that pill that I could REALLY do stuff"

"About that... while you were sleeping, I had a chat with your braces - they were a bit worried, they were getting close to the edge of their ability to control your darkness you know. Next time, please let me or Sarah be with you, just in case....

"Yeah, ok, but please don't stop me, I *DO* need to practice the dark magic, including with drugs. So, you have that second pill of mine?"

"Yes, I've got it, I'm thinking that maybe I should look after it for you for the moment..." said Samantha.

"Ok, that's fine with me. Please don't get rid of it though, keep it safe, ready for when I need it. Hey, maybe I should get a few more, keep a small stock?"

"If you like, I can probably get some more for you - don't ask! - at least that way I can be sure they are fairly clean."

"Make sure you don't get caught with them..."

"Don't worry, I know how to hide stuff from normies! Hey, talking about 'hiding stuff' what you going to do with those?" asked Samantha, pointing at the sword and dagger. "I mean, you can't just leave them lying about here in your bedroom!"

Serena put the ring of dark metal to her mouth to help her dark magic, and quietly said a summoning spell: the sword was instantly in her hand. "This is quite some sword, isn't it? I wonder what it can do?" said Serena, looking more closely at the sword.

The sword was about 3 feet long, with a handle bound in what appeared to be leather, and a metal crossguard (bit between handle and blade). The pommel (that's the lump at the back of the handle!) was made of smooth round metal, with patterns inscribed in both it and the crossguard. Not that she knew a lot about swords, Serena could feel that the blade was of very high quality, although there were a few scratches and one tiny nick in the blade: clearly the sword had been used before, probably a long time ago. Overall, it was clear that this was a sword to be used in anger, not one to be used as a decoration. She also felt it contained a lot of magic, although she had no idea what sort of magic.

The dagger, about 10 inches long in total, was clearly made at the same time, looking like a smaller version of the sword, with similar inscriptions, and similar magic feel to it.

Wanda popped up. "Serena, please go careful with it, I believe it contains some of the unholy chain, both lighter and darker bits, plus it contains a LOT of magic. So you have the sword and dagger, where's the scabbards and shield that go with them then?"

"Scabbards? And there's a shield too?"

"Yes: the scabbards are to protect your dagger and sword, and in the same way that the sword and dagger can both be offensive, your shield can protect you. I guess you'll need to summon them all, like you did the sword and dagger." Wanda decided that maybe now was not the best time to tell her about the rather large number of other items that were available to her.

"Ok, let's give it a go then...." Serena took her ring off her small finger, split it into four, and inserted the rings into her nose, lip and mouth. "You ok with this, braces?" said Serena, starting to feel the darkness from the jewellery.

"So far so good" they replied.

Serena closed her eyes, letting the darkness inside her grow. "I summon my shield, to protect me!". Nothing happened. "Goddamn you, Shield, get your ass here! Now!" she called out more angrily. Still nothing happened.

"I think you need a bit more darkness in you, maybe like you had earlier, to summon it..." suggested Wanda.

"But I managed the sword ok a moment ago!"

"Yeah, and it was only a few feet away, and not only did you know where it was, you could actually see it. You don't actually know where your shield is hidden. By the way, you were talking about finding somewhere to safely hide and store your sword and dagger: may I suggest that walls are very good places to hide things!"

"Thank you Wanda, that all sounds sensible. Ok, so maybe something for another day. But while I'm wearing this, let me hide the sword and dagger. Sword, I summon you to hide in a suitable place in the walls of this house - choose somewhere you feel safe, and stay there ready until I summon you again...". The sword disappeared from her hand.

"Hey, dagger, over here!". The dagger appeared in her hand. "Definitely a bit easier to hold, and like the sword, I can feel magic inside it". She spoke to the dagger "Ok, dagger, you too need to hide yourself somewhere in the walls of this house, like my sword. And don't worry about your lack of scabbard, I'll get them for you both". The dagger disappeared from her hand, and hid itself too.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #46 on: 13. August 2022, 22:15:19 PM »
Chapter 57 - Meet the elders

Serena was asked to attend a meeting with the elders: whilst she could have teleported straight into their lounge, she thought it more polite to just arrive at Brian Johnson's (the chief elder's) front door.

"Hi, Serena, come on in! Tea? Coffee? Or maybe something stronger?"

"Actually, any chance of some cold water?"

"Of course". Brian's wife went to get her water, and took Serena into the lounge, where David Jones and Mrs Johnson (same surname, but actually no relation to Brian) were sat.

"I hear that you've been doing some 'practical dark-magic training'," said Brian.

"Yes I have, there's been a couple of 'projects', and both have improved my dark skills a lot."

"We are still just a bit worried about the dark magic having a long term effect on you..."

"Me too, but so far, with help from all these braces in my mouth, I seem to be controlling it very well, so don't worry too much!"

"Oh good, we'd hate for you to 'turn to the dark side'!" joked David. "So, the reason for asking you along was that we thought we could update each other on what's been going on recently."

"Yeah, good idea. Ok, so after the big picnic, which I thought went amazingly well, I had a chat with all the older kids at school, and they are all up for doing some mentoring with the younger kids. Already we've managed to get most of the Year 11 kids together and have a chat with them, and some of the others are working on things to do with the younger kids."

"Oh, that's good news. So I hear you've met the new family then? They came along to a social event last week, they told us you'd been encouraging them to join in a bit more."

"Yes, Nitesh is a nice kid, and I met his mum and dad too. Of course, his mum isn't a witch, but she seems pretty ok with things. I'm hoping to get in touch with their old coven, persuade them to join our united covens. I left them a message, but I'm still waiting for a call back from them. Nitesh's dad says they seem to be a bit of an isolated group."

"Oh, good. Well, we have a couple of leads on some other local covens - would you like us to follow up on those?"

"Yes please... I'll take any help that's offered, but if you need me to help with them, get involved in any way, just let me know. And I'd appreciate copies of any new prophecies you find, please."

"Of course. So, tell us a bit more about this dark magic training you've been doing..."

"Sure. So Wanda finally found where Lucifer was, and he's agreed to...."

"Did you just say 'Lucifer'? As in the Dark Lord himself?"

"No, that's Satan. Lucifer used to work for Satan, but he's changed, he's been running a restaurant in town for quite a while now. He's very much on-side, appreciates that any dark threat would affect him and a few of the other realms too. Anyway, yes, he's helping with my dark magic training. He's been very helpful: it's all very well just looking at the various dark magic reference books, which I've been doing, but he's helping me understand how I need to be, within myself, to get the best of the dark magic."

"Yes, Mrs Johnson says that you've been looking at her library..."

"Indeed, she has quite a useful collection - plus she makes great cups of tea to go with it!"

"Sarah told us about what you did at school - apparently you sorted out a school bully rather nicely?"

"Yeah, now that was a great example of using dark magic to actually get a good result. It turns out that she's actually quite a nice girl, just had a few... ok, a LOT of... issues, but I think she's gonna be ok now. In a bit of a dark way, it was actually fun to do. And I got to drive a very nice bright green car around for a couple of days"

"Oh, I heard about that," said David, "so that was YOU then? Nice one! So, you said you've done a couple of projects, what was the other?"

"Yeah... that nasty thunderstorm the other day - you can blame me for that!"


"I found a couple of books over at Mrs Johnson's that said that certain 'substances' can improve your dark magic: I can confirm that that is 100% true. I took a certain 'little pill', and my dark magic was good enough to summon that thunderstorm. And a sword and a dagger... Not that I normally condone the use of drugs, but knowing that they CAN help could be VERY useful in the future is important. It also made me realise how important having people like Sarah and Samantha around me is."

"Sword? Dagger?"

"Yes, remember I told you that the PineTree Coven has a hidden armoury ready for us, I believe they came from there. Let me get them for you - which actually leads me onto something else: thank you for the chain links from the un-holy chain: I now have 4 small pieces of jewellery that ALSO help with my dark magic. I keep one in my mouth most of the time, the other three, I keep on my finger." Serena removed the ring from her finger, showing how they separated into three other items, which she then fitted.

Serena held her hands out, said some words quietly, then said "Sword, I summon you! Dagger too!". The dagger appeared in her left hand, the sword in her right. She passed them both over, the sword to David, the dagger to Brian.

"I had a play with them earlier, and I get the feeling that, once I work out the right magic to use, I'll be able to cut through pretty much anything human-made with them. Already I can cut through wood as if it's like butter. But don't worry, only seems to work for me!"

"And your braces, all that metal in your mouth, they are protecting you from the dark magic you do?"

"So far, yes, they have been very good to me, help me manage the effects of doing dark stuff. And Wanda, my wand, she's quite amazing too, although - for good reason - she hides away when I do most of my dark magic. By the way, I guess I should warn you that I maybe needing to do something that's technically illegal shortly. Don't worry, I'll make sure it's just me doing it though."

"What's that then?"

"I'm not really sure yet: the idea is that whilst it will be technically illegally, morally it should be fine. And I'd rather not give you any more details when I do it, as the idea of having a criminal record  doesn't really appeal!"

They continued chatting for a while longer, including updating her about other relevant things.

"Serena, thank you so much for being so open with us. And don't worry, any details you give us will be treated as confidential: we'd much prefer that you trusted us, and continue to share, just in case something comes up..."

"It's hard enough being the only one that's doing this dark-magic stuff, but knowing you're supporting me does help a lot. Mrs Johnson, your library is not only amazing, there's some really helpful stuff in there, I'm so grateful that you trust me enough to have free access - there's some pretty nasty stuff in there! And I'll be honest, some of it really does scare me."

"Don't worry, Serena, I fully trust that you know the difference between good and evil, and that you know how far to go. As I have said, you are welcome at any time!" said Mrs Johnson.

"Well, thank you Serena for coming. We're trying to organise another Coven social in a couple of weeks time, I'm hoping you'll be able to come along?"

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #47 on: 14. August 2022, 19:38:05 PM »
Chapter 58 - Girls night out.

"Hey, what you doing Friday night?". Serena was on the phone to Samantha.

"Not a lot yet, I'm guessing you have an idea?"

"Yeah, I was thinking we could do with a bit of fun - fancy going out for a couple of drinks, then on to a club?" suggested Serena. "You can crash here afterwards - I don't want to get done for 'supping and spelling'!" (that's the witches version of 'drinking and driving'!)

"Sounds like an excellent idea. Yeah, let's do it! I'll go dust off my broomstick!"

"Now that raises an interesting question: broomsticks or no broomsticks, is there a flying spell?"

"Not that I've ever heard of..."

"I mean, I guess you COULD do lots of mini-teleports, but how long could you keep THAT up for? Oh dear, it's something I'm going to have to try out, isn't it!" said Serena, starting to giggle.

"If you do, can I be there to watch? Please???"

So, it's Friday, they've had a couple of drinks, and they are waiting to get inside the club. The police are keeping a watch outside, clearly it's a bit of a known trouble-spot (probably more so later on, as people's alcohol levels get a bit too high!). Finally, after 10 minutes they are inside, paying their entrance fee. There's a few signs around, one telling you not to cause trouble, the management reserve the right etc. Another saying they have a zero tolerance drugs rule.

To be honest, it's not a particularly good place, but the booze is a bit cheaper than the other couple of clubs, and Serena prefers the music here.

"Yeah, I'm sure that stops people" commented Samantha, as they went in. The bar was getting busy, so Serena decided to use her abilities to their advantage. She cast a couple of suggestion spells, along the lines of 'be nice, and let the ladies through'. Once at the bar, she cast a suggestion spell on one of the barmen: 'maybe you need to serve the tall girl next....'. Come on, magic has got to give you a few advantages!

They took their drinks, and sat down on a table next to the dance floor, and watched the few people who were dancing: it was still relatively early, so the place wasn't yet over-busy. Serena sipped her drink as they chatted... and when I say chatted, some of it was verbal, to make them look normal, but much of it was mind-to-mind. It was something  they had done a few times before, so it worked well for them.

"Hey, far side, guy in the green top...." said Serena. Samantha looked across the room.

"Umm, not seeing him..."

"Over in the corner..."

"Ah yes. You fancy him then? Wouldn't have thought he was your type - nowhere near tall enough for a start - although he DOES look like a bit of a 'bad boy'."

"No... just watch him carefully... I think he's selling stuff..."

They both watched him for several minutes, whilst just appearing to be two girls enjoying an evening out, which is what they came out for.

"Oh, yes... I think you're right." Samantha was in a slight quandry: what he was doing was, of course, 100% illegal. And the club made it clear that they have a zero tolerance policy. But on the other hand.... Yes, Samantha does very occasionally 'do drugs' with her mum. For 'magical purposes' obviously. "So, what you gonna do, tell someone?"

"Actually... no. I'm seeing an 'opportunity'."


"Well, remember I told you about my new task: I have to steal something illegal."

"No way, Serena, it's not just him, it's his bosses, and their bosses... they'd all be after you?"

"You're assuming that I'd let him remember... I've been learning some new magic that will help. Like mind wipes."

"Mind wipes? That sounds like scary dark stuff... But you can really do mind wipes?"

"Yup, it is a bit scary, and it COULD go wrong, I've never actually done a wipe on a normie, but I'm very confident. Anyway, the task is for me to do and learn from, so I'm thinking fast of a way to not involve you at all, or if I need to, then minimally. I'm thinking along the lines of letting him think he's going to sell me some drugs, take them, then make him forget. I should be able to be pretty accurate on the mind-wiping duration"

"But if you're standing in front of him, he's gonna see you and realise something is up when he suddenly loses some memories."

"Actually, one of the things about the wipe is that the memories aren't replaced with blankness, they are just cut out completely, but yes, being in front might not be the best idea. Ok, how about if I'm behind him, maybe I appear to be just walking past him." Suddenly a smile came to Serena's face. "And if I'm behind him, then I......". Serena told Samantha her idea, and as they apparently innocently drank their drinks, they worked on the plan.

"You probably don't want to be doing it out here either, too public."

"No, but I bet the patio is nice and quiet this evening. Ok, how about this....." Once more they fine tuned the plan: as Lucifer kept remining Serena, planning is everything. "Ok, well, there's no rush, I don't imagine he's planning on leaving for a while, fancy a dance?".

The two girls danced for a while, then got some more drinks, which they half drank, then put them on a small table to retrieve later. Samantha went over to the guy in green, and 'suggested' that she would maybe like to do some 'business', but not here, how about out in the patio, she'd meet him there in a couple of minutes. Serena was over near the door to the patio: near enough to see, but not close enough to be seen as Mr Green Shirt went out. As she waited, she took the ring from her finger, and added the two lip rings to the two she was already wearing: she'd already swapped out her nose ring.

"Ok, braces, I need to do some fairly lightweight stuff, then a fairly short mind-wipe, you guys ok with that?"

"Sure, should be fine. Just don't go summoning your sword though!". Serena smiled at the thought of having her three foot long sword, in a nightclub!

A minute or so later, Serena went out, walking straight past Mr Green Shirt, as if to go to the balcony to get a breath of fresh air. She actually paused behind him for a moment.

"Ok, Samantha, start the timer...." said Serena silently. Samantha was nearby, but not yet out on the patio. Serena touched Mr Green Shirt on the shoulder. "I believe that you might be able to sell me something that I need..." she said to him.

"Depends what you want," he said starting to turn around.

"No, don't turn around, I'd rather you didn't really remember who I am. You got something between a 'D' and an 'F'?"

"I might have some. How many?"

"Depends on how much?"

"I can do you 2 for 15 quid."

"Ok, definitely interested, do I get to look at them first?". He put his hand into one of his pockets, and brought out a little plastic bag with a small number of blue pills in. Serena gently leaned around him, and put her hand gently on his, and pulled it slightly closer. It was a balance between Mr Green Shirt feeling ok with things, and Serena actually being in control. She smiled when she saw the small image on the pills: it looked like a face with a pointy hat - a witch! She let go of his hand. "They look like they are probably ok. Do I get a discount if I buy a few: I'm off to a party later, could do with a few 'presents'. How about 12 for 70?". Serena planted an idea in his head 'it's not too silly an idea, but maybe she'll go a bit higher'.

"Make it 75, and you have a deal. I assume you have the money?"

"Of course!". Serena opened her wallet, and took out 75 pounds - she'd needed to borrow some of it from Samantha. "Here, look...". She showed him the money, but didn't let him take it from her. "Let's see all the goodies then." She watched from behind as he surreptitiously put his hand into his pocket again, pulled out another little bag, then counted out more of the blue pills and put them all into the first small bag. All the time his eyes were watching the door, in case someone else came out onto the patio - unlikely, as it was a bit cold out there tonight.

"Mind if I just count them?" asked Serena, adding the suggestion 'you know she has the money, and she seems nice enough. Besides, how can she run away, I'm between her and the door?'. Then to Samantha she said "start counting the time out loud will you?". Serena took the little plastic bag, ran a 'make invisible' spell on both it and the money.

"Forty four, forty five, forty six...." said Samantha. Serena dropped the now invisible items into her bag, and cast the mind-wipe spell for 50 seconds. Then she quickly grabbed his left arm, which was currently by his side, and pulled it up sharply behind his back. From his perspective, she would have only just walked behind her, then gone for his arm - so completely unaware of what Serena had just done to him.

"Don't struggle," she said, casting a calming spell on him, "or it will hurt a LOT more." 'You're screwed, she's a LOT bigger than you too!' suggested Serena. She promptly grabbed his other arm, and pulled that one behind him too. Yes, being taller gave you certain advantages. "I really hate people like you, you f*ck up people's lives.... Ok, let's go slowly, towards the door!". Mr Green Shirt wasn't saying a thing about his drugs, so clearly the mind wipe had worked just fine.

"Ok, Samantha, now....". The door opened, and Samantha came in. The idea was that Serena needed a bit of help, but she didn't want it to appear to Mr Green Shirt that they knew each other. As far as he was concerned, Samantha was just the girl he was supposed to be meeting on the patio.

"Problem?" asked Samantha, looking at the two of them.

"Yeah, he's a scum drug dealer, I was going to take him outside, I can't imagine the club wants him here... open the door can you, please?"

Samantha pretended that she wasn't over happy with what Serena was doing, but wasn't in a position to object, so she opened the door, letting Serena frog-march him through. The reality was that she was quite impressed that Serena appeared to have pulled off 'the heist'.

"Excuse me miss, what are you doing?" said a large bounce not long after, as Serena was walking Mr Green Shirt through the club.

"I saw him selling drugs, and I'm guessing you'd rather not have him doing that. There were some coppers out the front when I came in, reckon they'll still be there?"

"Yeah, most likely. Want me to take him?"

"No, I'm fine thanks, we don't want to risk him getting away... besides, I'm actually enjoying this!". The bouncer could see she had the drug dealer guy securely, so went in front, leading the way, and as they got to the front entrance, they paused, and the bouncer had a word with a colleague, who went outside, and returned quite quickly with a WPC. She then had a quick word with the bouncer, and then approached Serena.

"I understand you have made certain accusations about this gentleman?"

"Yeah, I saw him selling some drugs earlier. I bet if you look in his pockets you'll find some, plus the money he has taken."

She turned to Mr Green Shirt. "Would you mind if I do a quick pat-down?" she asked. 'I'd do what she asked if I were you' suggested Serena.. The police lady patted his pockets, and clearly felt something. "I think it's safe to let go of him now" she said to Serena, then turned back to Mr Green Shirt: "ok, you, turn out your pockets!". Surrounded by several fairly large bouncers, backed into a bit of a corner, with the police in front of him, he didn't have much choice. There was, of course, several plastic packets in his pockets, containing tablets of a couple of shapes and colours, and a good amount of cash. Police lady blipped her radio, calling her colleague in, and explained what she had found.

"Can we use your office for a few minutes" he asked one of the bouncers as he walked in.

"Sure, over here." They all went into the small office. The male officer spoke to Mr Green Shirt, while the lady officer spoke to Serena.

"Can you tell me what happened?"

"Sure. So, I'd seen him earlier, he had pulled the little plastic bags from his pockets, exchanging them for cash... he tried to hide what he was doing, but he wasn't especially good at it. Anyway, a bit later, I went out to the patio, to get a breath of cooler air, and saw him there. So I walked past him, then started thinking 'hey, maybe I can actually do something about this, I'm bigger than him', so just grabbed his arm, and pulled it behind his back. I probably told him not to struggle, then grabbed his second arm, and simply marched him out here. That bouncer there met me on the way, I told him what happened, and he lead me out to the front, where they called you guys".

"I'm interested why you actually did what you did..."

"There's a kid I knew at school who did drugs, screwed her life up for quite a bit. So I don't like what guys like him do."

"Fair enough. Don't suppose you have any ID on you, do you?"

"Sure". She opened her bag, and took out her phone in its case, which she opened, removing her Driving License (the phone case also contained some cash and a bank card). The police lady looked at it, and copied a few details.

"This still your address?"

"Yes, and I suspect you might like my phone number too," said Serena, giving her phone number.

"Would you mind if I just checked that you're not hiding anything?". This was the risky bit. Serena took out her keys and her lip gloss from her bag, and showed the police lady her now (apparently) empty bag (*) - the invisible cash and drugs were still in there, and as long as the WPC didn't actually feel inside Serena's bag, she would be ok. Serena then held her arms up, letting the police lady check her out.

(*note: whilst ladies are renowned for having huge handbags full of junk, this was a small bag that Serena used when going out, with absolutely minimal stuff in it.)

"Thanks for being so cooperative, makes our lives so much easier." she said very pleasantly to Serina. "How you getting on over there, Tony?"

"He's being surprisingly cooperative - I think he's a bit embarrassed that your lady there dealt with him the way she did! Once you have her details, I think we can take this gentleman back to the station...."

"Ok, well thanks... err... Serena for what you did. We probably won't need any more from you, but you never can tell".

"Sure, no problems" she replied. "Hey, Samantha, where are you?" she said silently.

"Sat with our drinks and a couple of reasonably good looking guys, waiting for you to return. All ok?"

"Yup....". Serena grabbed her few bits, and put them back into her bag, and went and joined Samantha again.


"So, what did you get then?" asked Samantha later on, when they had got back to Serena's.

"A dozen E's, and he had absolutely no idea what I did to him! Tell you what, it was scary but fun. I'm guessing you'd be happy to look after them?". Serena ran the 'reverse invisibleness' spell, and took the pills and cash out of her bag. "Ah, yes, some of this is yours too" she added, passing Samantha the two £20 notes she'd borrowed from her earlier.

"No problems. Let me just take a look at them..." Samantha took one of the pills out, and looked at it. "Oh, how ironic, it looks just like a witch, doesn't it? Let me test it...". Samantha called up her lovely jewel-encrusted wand, and used it to run a spell. "They seem to be pretty clean." she said. "Well, that saves me having to buy you some more."

"And I suspect that Lucifer will be happy with what I did too....."

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #48 on: 18. August 2022, 22:56:34 PM »
Chapter 59 - Chatting with Sam

Serena had a couple of free lessons, so had gone into the common room. Sam, who was doing two of the same courses as Serena, had also gone there, and they sat together. Sam, like Serena, was a witch.

"I hear you guys finally managed to do a session with the lower school kids. Sorry, I couldn't help." said Serena.

"Yeah, it went pretty well, actually. I think they like hearing stuff from us, if only because we're not their parents! I just hope they all understand why we can't go around shouting about being witches... although it would be hard for them to actuly PROVE anything, as they can't do anything till they are sixteen."

Serena giggled. "I'm just trying to imagine what would happen if 7 or 12 year olds could do magic! That would be so scary!"

Serena liked Sam. She actually liked him quite a lot. He was pretty chilled, quite clever, and not bad looking. And under any other circumstances, would probably have done something to encourage him to be her boyfriend. But now wasn't the time to have a boyfriend, things were just too busy right now. But they were good friends, and having friends around you is always a good thing. Ok, yes, she had Sarah, but she was almost 10 years older than her. And over the last weeks, she and Samantha were getting quite close too: it's just a shame she didn't live a bit closer.

"So, what have you been up to then?" asked Sam.

"Well, I've been doing dark magic training with Lucifer. I mean, yeah, I can learn a lot of the actual magic from books, but he's not only able to explain how some of it works, but also how it interacts, both with other magic, and your mood."

"What do you mean?"

"Well, the 'lighter' dark magic is actually pretty straightforward to do - you could probably manage to do some yourself, but to do the darker stuff, you have to have the right 'frame of mind'."

"Like when you 'took down' Mandy Miller?"

"Yeah, that morning I got myself into quite a dark place, but with the help of my braces, and some 'anger management' work I did with Lucifer and Sarah, I was ok."

"I'm guessing what we all saw that morning was just a tiny part of what you needed to do?"

"Absolutely. The goal was to cause humiliation, and I decided to do that by getting Mandy to wear her headgear to school. I mean, I know you had braces a couple of years ago, but I don't know if you had any headgear.... but if you did, would YOU have worn it to school?"

"What, and have Mandy make me feel like 6 inches tall? No way!! So I'm guessing you had to do something to MAKE her have to wear it?"


"So, go on, what DID you have to do?"

"The most tedious bit of it was having to do a whole LOAD of 'retrospective' spells..."


"Yeah, little ideas sent back in time. Let me give you an example.... ok, give me a moment.". Serena put on her dark jewellery, then silently cast a simple retropective spell, then removed it again. "So, on the way to school this morning, you went into a shop, and bought a packet of Fruit Pastilles, didn't you. But why?"

"Umm... how do you know about that? And I'm not really sure why I bought them."

"The reason you bought them is because I like them, and a moment ago, I suggested you should buy some, but keep them till lunchtime."

"You're kidding me, you did THAT?"

"Yup. I hope you still have them, because I would love one right now...."

Sam opened his bag, and retrieved the pastilles, passing them to Serena. "Thank you very much" said Serena, putting a couple of pastilles into her mouth, then passing back the packet to Sam. "So, I needed to make Mandy not wear her headgear, and noticeably so, such that her ortho would tell her he would cancel her treatment, unless it was wired in place."

"Oooh, nasty! But knowing as much as I do about her, I would have thought she would have just given up on the braces."

"Yes, you would, wouldn't you? So another thing I was doing was eavesdropping on her when she was at home, and it soon became apparent that she had quite an incentive to finish her treatment."

"Which was?"

"If she finishes her treatment, her parents are giving her a car."

"Holy crap, that is some incentive!"

"Yeah, isn't it just? So I just had to make it such that she hardly wore her head gear. I sent back thoughts of 'it's itchy', 'it's hot and sticky', just like I did with you. Plus a few more on her mum and her ortho. Close to a hundred retrospective spells!"

"You're kidding? That's a LOT of magic to have to do!"

"Yeah, then there was a few bits I needed to do in the days before. Like remind her ortho about using wired-in headgear: it turns out that his ex-partner did some research that showed that short-term wired in headgear made kids learn that wearing headgear in public isn't the end of the world, and they wore it as needed. I just had to go and use their computer to print out a copy of that research paper."

"How did you do that then? Break in at night?"

"No, I did it all remotely: I persuaded them both to leave the room for a few minutes, with the PC still logged in. I was surprised how easy it was to do. But that's dark magic for you!"

"Sh*t, that is devious: remind me to never get on your bad side! Hey, what about that car you came to school in?"

"Yeah, that WAS nice, Lucifer lent it to me. I hate to think how Mandy felt that morning when I came to school in a Lambo... I mean, she's just getting a boring Bimmer... Again, all part of the plan. A lot of work, but you have to admit, and it was amazing when it all finally came together... and it did all make her into a much more pleasant human being, didn't it?"

"Yes, very true. So a question: why were you so nice to her afterwards?"

"The purpose of doing it all was for me to learn new skills. A good side effect was that it made Mandy into a better human being. Beyond that, there's no reason to actually be nasty to her. Underneath that thick veneer of being the school bully, she's actually quite a pleasant person. So yeah, that was my first task..."

"First task? You've had more?"

"Yeah, the second one happened so much quicker. I was tasked with stealing something... something that, if I was caught with it, I could be in a lot of trouble."

"So stealing a million pounds, or something very valuable?"

"Yes, that was where I was thinking. So, last night, Samantha and I were having a night out, and I saw a guy selling drugs in the club."

"Ok... so what did you do to him?"

"All planned in about 30 minutes: I persuaded him to give me some E's, then wiped his memory of ever doing it, then frog-marched him through the club, and handed him over to the police!"

"I heard something about that - that was YOU? That sounds so cool!! And I'm guessing the 'thing that could get you into trouble' was the drugs?"

"Yeah. They were actually in my handbag when the policewoman took a look inside - luckily I'd made them invisible, but she still might have felt them."

"So what did you do with the drugs? Hand them over to the police?"

"And get asked very difficult questions? No, I need them..."


"Something not to tell too many people about, but feel free to tell the other four: it seems that I can do some rather powerful dark magic when I take some E's. Remember that nasty thunderstorm a week or two ago?"

"Yeah, what about it?"

"That was me! I summoned the storm. Hey, want to see something lit?"

"Go on...."

Serena put her dark jewellery on again, and summoned her dagger, and passed it over to Sam. "I thought it was probably not a good idea to summon my sword".

"Wow, that is amazing. So what's the sword like?"

"Similar style, but about 3 feet long. And with magic, it seems to be incredibly sharp...."

"Where did it come from?"

"You know the PineTree coven? Apparently they have quite a hidden armoury waiting for me."

"What's in it?"

"Not sure. I've not done any 'spelling under the influence' since the day of the storm, seems like it needs some pretty strong magic to get it to show itself. And I don't actually need it yet".

"So what's next then, training-wise?"

"Not sure, but I'm sure Lucifer will tell me when I see him tonight."

"So what's he like? I mean, he must be really nasty, he is from hell after all!"

"He's actually rather nice.... I have a feeling that he and Sarah are actually dating, but you never heard that from me!!"

"Heard what?"

"Yeah, just like that!".

Yes, Serena felt very comfortable talking with Sam. They chatted together for quite a while, then went to the school canteen for a bit of lunch.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #49 on: 21. August 2022, 21:03:05 PM »
Chapter 60 - And yout third task is....

"Oh, nicely done: thinking on your feet too, taking advantage of a situation... that's the sort of thing you'll need to do when fighting whatever the 'dark forces' are." said Lucifer. He seemed very happy with the outcome of the recent 'drug-stealing', and he particularly liked the fact that the pack of drugs were actually in her bag when she showed her bag to the police lady! Just invisible.

"And Sarah, don't worry, Samantha has the little blue pills...."

"Ah, good. So, Lucifer, what next for Serena? You said we'd probably not like it...."

Lucifer explained the next task that he wanted Serena to do. (and for the moment, to slightly extend the suspense of the storyline, I will not yet explain the task... but it will soon become apparent)

"No way! Lucifer, you can't ask her to do that!" said Sarah, a bit annoyed.

"Why not? It's something she's going to need to be able to do if she has any hope of defeating whatever this dark threat is. And she needs to be able do it without thinking."

"But Lucifer, Serena's only 18 for goodness sake!"

"Sarah, it's ok. Yes, it's pretty sh*t, but he's absolutely right: if I can't do this now, then I'll never be able to do it when I need to." said Serena.

"Thank you for understanding, Serena. Look, I don't care who your 'target' is, it could be that drug dealer again, but I think you already ruined his life for him - his bosses will NOT be please that you managed to get him arrested, and the drugs taken off him. But I'm suspecting you will want to choose some sort of 'low-life'. And once again, it's about planning so that there's no way that anyone thinks you were even involved. And as I said, this one is as much coping with the end result as actually doing it."

"Yeah, of course. So I guess I have some more research to do. Any relevant magic come to mind that you'd like to teach me tonight?"

"Well, I guess invisibility might be useful to you..." suggested Lucifer.

"I can make myself invisible?"

"Well, sort of: its more like when you throw a silence shroud around yourself, you throw an invisibility shroud over yourself - didn't that Harry Potter character do something like that? Plus it's a short-term spell, only lasts a few minutes."

It turns out that the magic needed to use invisibility was quite dark and difficult, meaning that Serena definitely needed to use her dark jewellery: now that Sarah knew about it, Serena was not trying to hide it any more, and it was probably good that Sarah could see how Serena could use it, and the effects it would have when she did dark magic. Even so, it took a couple of hours of very hard work before she was able to make herself, or other people and objects, invisible for more than just a moment.

"Wow, that was quite exhausting!" said Serena as she removed her nose and lip rings, replacing them with her normal jewellery. "By the way, thanks for your help, braces, I could feel you guys starting to struggle at times."

"That's why we are here, Serena!" they replied.

"I have a feeling that I'm going to need to practice this quite a bit more, at the moment it takes some time to cast the spell."

"You'll only be able to speed it up a little, I understand it's one of those spells that just takes its time, so you'll need to plan ahead a bit if you want to use it.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #50 on: 22. August 2022, 22:34:39 PM »
Chapter 61 - Serena spends time with her grandpa

"Hi Grandma! I have a couple of hours free time this morning before my next class, so thought I'd pop over"

"Serena, always nice to see you!". Serena had decided to teleport over and see how both Grandma and Grandpa were. Grandpa because he wasn't too well after his recent stroke, and Grandma because her life revolved so much more around Grandpa.

After making a cuppa, they went and sat in the lounge, where grandpas was in a comfy chair. Serena put her hand on his, and cast the spell that let her 'talk' to her grandpa.

"Hi Grandpa!"

"Hello my lovely Serena... it's nice to hear your nice voice..."

"Its not a long visit today, I'm between lessons. Hey, would you be ok with me looking after you for a few hours at the weekend, I was thinking about trying to persuade mum and dad to take grandma out, go somewhere, give her a bit of a break?"

"Of course, Muriel deserves to get out more than she does, but she's always stuck here looking after me."

"Ok, let me see if I can organise it!".  Serena let go of grandpa's hand, and turned to grandma. "I have an idea grandma: how about I ask mum and dad to take you out somewhere, either Saturday or Sunday. I'll stay here and look after grandpa, you go out and have a few hours break!"

"You sure?"

"Absolutely. You know we get on well, and he likes the idea too..."

"In that case, yes, that WOULD be rather nice."

Back home that evening she mentioned the idea to her parents, and they thought it was a lovely idea, so on Sunday, they went and had lunch with grandma (she was more than happy to cook them all lunch), then after lunch, Serena's mum and dad took grandma out for the afternoon, leaving Serena to look after grandpa.

"Take as long as you like, I'll be ok here. If there's a problem, I can always call you!" said Serena.

Despite it now being early autumn, it was one of those lovely sunny afternoons. "Hey, grandpa" asked Serena, "how would you like to go out in the garden for a bit?"

"That would be rather nice, but how are you going to do it? I mean, this is hardly a wheelchair!". Grandpa was sat in one of those rather large and comfortable electric recliner / situp armchairs, not renown for ease of being moved.

"Ah, remember my pledge?"

"You mean to the slight darkness?"

"Yes, that one. I've been learning some great dark magic.... people forget that whilst the magic may be deemed to be 'dark', there's noting stopping you using it for good things. I'm going to unplug you from the mains, then do a combination of teleporting and summoning: I reckon it should be easy to get you and the armchair outside!".

Serena unplugged the chair's mains plug, and temporarily tucked the wire into the side of the chair.

"I don't think you've properly seen my dark jewellery, have you? I don't know if you've heard of the 'unholy chain' but my 4 pieces of jewellery were made from one of the darker parts of the chain. She sat in front of grandpa, and let him watch as she removed the ring from her small finger. "It's actually 4 pieces, but I always wear one of them... let me take it out for the moment...". She carefully removed the frenum ring, and combined it into the ring. "So, I can wear it on my finger lime this: the inside is coated with a different metal, that shields me a bit from the jewellery's effects. Then I can take the ring off, and split it like this, and it's 4 smaller pieces".

"Oh, that is very clever..."

"Here, would you like to hold them, and look at them?". She put the 4 items into her grandpa's hand.

"These are lovely, made by quite a craftsman".

"Yes, they are rather nice, aren't they? It was actually the same man who made my braces for me: my braces are made from one of the 'lighter' parts of the unholy chain, and they help to protect me when I use the jewellery to do dark magic." Serena removed her nose ring, and put it into her pocket, then took the 'dark' nose ring from grandpa, and fitted it, followed by the frenum ring, and then the two clip-on lip rings. "So now, the dark metal is much closer to me, and it lets me do dark magic a LOT easier."

"Dark magic can be bad for you if you let it take you over, so please be VERY careful, Serena!"

"Don't worry, Grandpa, I'm very aware of that, and my braces really help me. And Wanda, my lovely wand, is always quick to tell me off too! Plus Sarah and Samantha are both there to help me. Anyway, you ready to go outside? Let me just get your blanket, just in case."

With her jewellery fitted, Serena was ready to take grandpa outside. "Ok, let me go outside, see you in a moment". Serena was getting very good at casting the 'talk privately with grandpa' spell, so even though she kept breaking the spell by letting go of his hand, she quickly re-cast the spell.

Outside, Serena warned her braces what she was about to do - whilst the braces were fine with simple dark magic, she always liked to let them know what she was about to do, that way they would be ready. Next, Serena concentrated on the large armchair, with grandpa in it - she didn't want him to suddenly appear without the armchair: that would be uncomfortable for him, and embarrassing for Serena. Then she cast a combination of the teleporting and summoning spell, and a moment later, grandpa and the cair ere safely outside.

"You ok there, grandpa?". The smile on grandpa's face made it clear that he was very happy with his new location.

"Oh, it's so nice to be able to come outside again! I don't think Muriel's magic would be up to do what you just did."

Serena summoned one of the outside chairs over to her, and sat down next to grandpa. "Let me just take the lip rings off, it helps my braces cope better."

Serena sat for a moment, looking at her grandpa: he was a very different man from the grandpa she'd know when growing up: that grandpa was a very happy, outgoing, caring and fun man. But the several strokes he had had recently had robbed him of most of that. His mind was not as capable, nor was his body able to interact as well with his mind. He was now pretty much immobile, stuck in the chair all day. Grandpa's situation saddened Serena.

"So, grandpa, how's things? How you feeling?"

"I feel isolated, a bit lonely." he replied slowly. "Grandma does talk to me, but we can't really have a conversation like we used to. I used to love being able to go out, meet with people, but I clearly can't do that any more. My brain always feels so.... fuzzy.... and whilst I can remember stuff from ages ago, I have problems remembering new things."

"Any pain?"

"The pills help, but I have odd little twinges and the like."

"Let me try doing some pain magic, although I have no doubt that grandma already does that for you". Serena did some general 'reduce pain' magic, in case it helped.

"So, what sort of things are you doing to help learn the dark magic?" asked grandpa: he clearly managed to remember that Serena was needing to learn a rather different magic from everyone else.

"Well, I've been reading a load of the books that Mrs Johnson has in her library - she's one of our Elders of course - there's some very useful books there, although some of them do actually scare me a bit"

"Being scared of magic is always a good thing. You must respect magic, it's not something that is a right, it is a gift given to us, to use wisely" said grandpa.

"Yes, you are so right grandpa! So, as well as the books, I've actually done a couple of 'projects' where I had to use what I'd been learning". She didn't want to go into a lot of detail, she didn't want to upset him by telling him some of the stuff she was doing. "So, is today a good day for you, or a not so good day?"

"Today is a good day - you have come to see me, and we can chat together. And you brought me outside too, that feels so good!".

"What about the not so good days?"

"That's most days. My carers, they are lovely people, but I do sometimes feel no more than a piece of meat, that needs to be undressed and cleaned every morning, then dressed and put into the chair for the day. The put back into bed every evening. It's not what I'm used to, it feels ... degrading!". Grandpa said all of this very slowly, but Serena didn't mind waiting while he said it: she hoped that simply being there, listening and talking to him would help him regain a tiny bit of of the self-respect that he had clearly lost.

Serena stood up, and put her arms around her grandpa, hoping it might make him feel a little better: if nothing else, it made Serena feel a bit better.

"Ok, well, we have loads of time, I'm thinking we could play a game" suggested Serena.

"A game? I wish I could get out of this seat an play a game with you, any game would do..."

"Ah, I'm thinking of a game you used to play with me when I was young. I-spy. You up for it?"

"I think I might manage that one... ok, I'll give it a go."

"Ok, you think of something, and I'll try and guess it...". Serena gave grandpa as much time as he wanted to think of something.

"Ok, I have something, it begins with 'B'. Although I'd doubt that there's any here right now, but I know they are here at some time in the year...."

"Oooh, 'B'. I'm guessing it's not as simple as a bee?"

"No, I wouldn't make it THAT easy for you."

"My braces? They are out here in the garden, but only when I visit!" That one made grandpa laugh. "Ok, how about 'bugs'?"

"Nice idea, but no...."

"Bracken? No, I've never seen that here in your garden. Hey, you haven't started to grow 'bamboo' have you? Oh, I know, how about 'bark', on a tree. There's plenty of that around!"

"Good guess, but I'd remember that THAT is always around...."

"Ah, yes, of course. How about 'brambles'? You got any of those?"

"We certainly used to, but no, not what I'm thinking."

"Oh, where were the brambles then?"

"In that rough bit behind the big shed."

"Ah, ok.... you've thought of a hard one...."

"It's autumn now, isn't it? Maybe you need to think of things you'd see in the spring..." Serena closed her eyes, and imagined sitting in grandma and grandpa's garden in the spring. Daffodils are flowering, and several other early flowers. The grass would be starting to grow again, with maybe a few dandelions growing in the grass. Then she suddenly remembered how, as a kid, she was fascinated by the lovely yellow flowers in the grass, but they weren't dandelions, they were buttercups! "Hey, you're not thinking about buttercups, are you?"

"Yes, I am. We used to have loads of them in the grass, didn't we?"

"Yes, we did, they were really beautiful, and so delicate. Hey, I wonder if it's possible to magic some up? I know it's out of season, but magic doesn't care about that! I bet Samantha would know!". Serena called Samantha, who had a word with her mum, who found a book with a suitable spell in it. Serena had got pencil and paper by this time, and write the spell down.

"Ok, grandpa, want to try a bit of magic, it's a pretty simple spell?".

Grandpa smiled. "It's been a while since I did any magic, but yes, I'd like that!" Serena repeated the spell to grandpa a couple of times, then they said it together: a small posy of buttercup flowers appeared.

They spent quite some time playing I-Spy: not only did it pass the time nicely, but it gave them things to talk about. After that, Serena made them both a hot drink.

Serena had a question for her grandpa, but wasn't quite sure how to ask it.

"Grandpa, can I ask you a very serious question?"

"Of course you can..."

"Well... what's it like getting old?"

"Something tells me that's not actually the question you're really wanting to ask, is it? You're wondering what it's like to be so near the end of my life, aren't you? It was something I wondered about too, when I was younger."

"You're right, I think that WAS what I was really wondering."

"Well, it feels both bad and good. The bad bit is not actually knowing what comes next... is this 'it', or is there something to come. I used to worry a lot about dying, but I'm feeling pretty ok about it now. I've had a lovely life. I've seen you and your cousins grow up from little babies to being lovely young adults that I'm proud of. I've done a lot of things in my life, and I feel very content that I've had a pretty good life. I know my health is deteriorating quite quickly now, and I probably don't have THAT long to go. I just hope that, when it does come, it's peaceful. One thing that really scares me is thinking about it being painful."

By now, tears were welling up in Serena's eyes: for the first time she realised the reality of things, that yes, grandpa would probably not be with them for a lot longer. "Oh, grandpa, when you do finally go, I'm going to miss you so much! But I wish I could do something to make sure you leave us peacefully....."

"I think the worst bit of it all is not knowing when I'll finally go. I think I'd happily die tomorrow, if I knew it would be peaceful."

"Why specifically tomorrow, and not now?" said Serena, feeling strangely a bit less morose.

"Because I'd like to talk with Muriel and your dad once more, before I go."

"What about Uncle Dennis?"

"Oh, we had a nice long chat the other day, I think we are both ok...."

"Grandpa, you have a rather morbid sense of humour!"

"Yes, well that what happens when you get close to the end...."

The two of them sat quietly for a bit. Serena used one of Samantha's 'love and good feelings' spells on grandpa: from personal experience she knew that it would help him feel a bit more relaxed.

"Hey, I wonder if there's some ice cream in the freezer?" said Serena. She probed into the kitchen, then into the freezer. "Yes, there is - would you like some?"

"That sounds like it could be fun!" said grandpa with a smile on his face.

They talked as Serena helped her grandpa eat the ice cream. The cold ice cream had a strange effect on Serena's braces: the extreme cold slightly contracted the metal in her mouth, slightly affecting them. It wasn't so much the brackets or archwires, it was the expander, the tongue crib and the metal plate in the roof of her mouth, she could feel them all pulling inwards a little bit.

"Hey, braces, you guys ok with the coldness of the ice cream?"

"Yeah, it's actually rather refreshing! Makes a change from the hot tea and coffee!". Serena liked her braces: when she wasn't doing nay magic, they were very relaxed about things. And even when it came to magic, they never really complained - after all, that was their job, to protect Serena from the dark feelings that come from doing dark magic. There was a good level of mutual respect, Serena tried to remember to warn them when she was planning to do magic, and they fed back to her how they were coping.

After the ice cream, Serena read aloud from the book that grandma was reading to him, which made her remember the times when she was really young, and stayed over with them, and grandpa used to read to her.

"We're back" said dad's voice. Serena put down the book, and got up.

"Did you guys have a nice afternoon?"

"Yes, we did, thank you Serena!" said her grandma, "And thank you for looking after grandpa - I hope you both had a nice afternoon?"

"Yes, I think we both enjoyed it. I hope you don't mind, but we raided the ice cream!"

"oh, I bet Jack enjoyed that treat, didn't he?"

"Yes, he did! hey, when you're ready, why don't you join us, and I'll 'host a meeting' for us all". After making tea, they all held hands, and were able to talk with grandpa.

"Serena, would you mind if I had a private chat with your dad?"

"Want me to do it like this for you? I don't mind"

"No, we'll just use traditional talking!" said grandpa.

"Serena, thanks for what you did this afternoon. Grandma certainly enjoyed being able to get out, and I get the feeling you two actually had a great afternoon together too...." said her dad as they drove home.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #51 on: 23. August 2022, 17:24:11 PM »
Chapter 62 - Very very dark magic

"Hi Samantha, I'm rather hoping that you are at home?" said Serena. It was the next day, after school.

"Yes, I am. Why? You wanting to come over?"

"Yes, but not just yet. Umm... I need to do some rather dark magic, and I suspect I'm going to need your skills afterwards."

"Ok. So what is it this time?"

"I'd rather not say just for the moment, if you don't mind."

"Ok. Well, I'll be here, just come over when you need to. And hey, be careful!". Samantha knew that when Serena did any serious dark magic, it affected her, and she knew that's why she was so important to Serena. She also knew that Serena was well past the 'dark magic is fun to do' point: any dark magic that she did was to get her ready for the future, when she knew Serena would need to do dark magic at the drop of a hat, to protect against whatever darkness it was that she would need to defeat.

Serena double checked the spells she needed to do: this was one task that she simply couldn't get wrong, it HAD to go perfectly. She had wondered whether to ask Serena for one of the 'pills', so she could take part of it, to enhance her magic, but decided that the level of magic she would be doing didn't really need it. The magic itself, although needing to be done very carefully, wasn't actually that complex. What worried her was whether she could actually carry it out, or whether she'd simply 'bottle out' at the last moment. It was something that she'd not told ANYONE about - if only because the potential consequences of being 'found out' were quite extreme.

She took a deep breath, and put on her dark jewellery.

"Wanda... I need a quick word please!"

"Yes, oh lady of the dark magic?" said Wanda, appearing in Serena's hand. Serena smiled: Wanda knew her far too well.

"Wanda, I'm about to do some very dark magic, and I don't want you anywhere near when I actually do it. However, I need you to be listening out, as I'll probably need to call you immediately afterwards, so you can help me to teleport over to Samantha's."

"Oh, right, THAT dark! Not a problem, mistress! I shall await your call, but I'll go and hide away in the mean time!", and with that, Wanda disappeared once more.

Ok, so this was it! Serena probed: she needed to be sure that no one else would be around. Good, no one else there, just grandma and grandpa, sitting in their lounge. Grandma was reading the paper, grandpa was lying back in his chair, listening to the radio.

Serena cast the teleportation spell, and she appeared right where she wanted to be: about 15 or 20 metres from the house, in a small group of trees and bushes. Close enough to the house to do what she was about to do, yet far enough away to not be seen or heard. Another deep breath - she wasn't 100% sure that she really wanted to do this. She was shaking a bit. She felt a hand gently touch her shoulder: when she turned around, she saw that Lucifer was just beside her.

"Don't worry, I won't interfere, I just thought that you shouldn't be alone the first time you do something like this. But if you need me, just ask.... You ok?".

"Not really, but I need to do this by myself...." Strangely, knowing that Lucifer was there with her calmed her nerves a bit.

"Of course, I understand completely. I'll keep out of your way." Lucifer took a step backwards, to let Serena not feel too 'crowded'.

Another deep breath. Serena both wanted to do this, yet didn't want to do this, and was actually very grateful that Lucifer had turned up. She reached out and probed once more. Yes, Grandma was still reading the paper, grandpa was still listening to the radio. She reached out to grandpa. "Grandpa, I love you so much, and I'm going to miss you... I'm so sorry for doing this..... I just hope I'm doing the right thing for you....". The first tears came to Serena's eyes.

She cast a gentle sleep spell, so that grandpa was lying peacefully in his chair. More tears came to her eyes. Serena reached out with another, very very dark bit of magic, and cut off the electrical pulses that ran grandpa's heart, which then stopped pumping. As she continued the spell, even more tears came to Serena's eyes. A minute later, when she finished the spell, she fell to the floor, sobbing uncontrollably - she was completely distraught.

"Wanda, I think Serena could do with your help!" called out Lucifer quietly. Wanda appeared in Serena's hand: she knew what she needed to do.

"Ok, Serena, take a few deep breaths...... that's good. Now probe, and check that Samantha's bed is clear...... that's right. Now, teleport yourself to Samantha!"

A sobbing heap suddenly appeared on Samantha's bed. Samantha had waited in her room, expecting Serena to arrive at some point, but it was still a surprise when she did. She ran over to her, and immediately cast a calming spell. As she put her hands onto Serena, she could tell that Serena wasn't in a good place, so she lay down on the bed next to her: in a moment she would wrap her arms around her, and pour out her love and whatever else she could into Serena, but first she needed to remove Serena's dark jewellery. The two lips rings were easy, they quickly unclipped. Then the nose ring, which was a bit harder. Finally, she opened Serena's mouth, and removed the frenum ring, and put all four rings on the bedside table: she didn't want the dark jewellery anywhere near Serena at the moment.

Next, she touched Serena's braces. "You guys ok?"

"Yes, we're coping. The problem isn't so much the magic she used, it's how it's affecting her. But thanks for taking out the jewellery, it's starting to feel better now... But I think Serena needs your help."

"You ok there, Serena?" she asked, with her arms wrapped around her.

"I just killed grandpa..." said a sobbing Serena.

Samantha (correctly) guessed that this was part of Serena's ongoing dark magic training - being willing to kill someone in a battle would be quite essential, so better that Serina deal with the after-effects now, rather than in the heat of battle. But why her grandpa? Why not just some nasty low-life? Anyway, that didn't really matter right now, Serena needed Samantha's help to deal with what she'd just done.

So, she didn't reply to Serena's comment, and whilst she was actually quite shocked by what Serena had just said, she knew there was nothing she could say to console her. She also realised that she was a little out of her depth here, so  she used magic to call out to her mother: "Mum! Please come up to my room straight away, I need your help! It's urgent!". Moments later her mum arrived, and could see Samantha trying hard to calm a very upset Serena, so went across to them, sat on the edge of the bed, and put her arms around both of the girls, and started to add her calming magic to Samantha's.

By about 15 minutes later, Serena had calmed down, and Samantha's mum cast a light sleep spell onto Serena. About 30 minutes after that, Samantha's phone rang.

"Hello, Samantha, it's John Muffin here, Serena's dad. Is Serena with you?"

"Yes she is.....". Samantha half guessed that her dad probably now knew about Serena's grandpa.

"She's not picking up her phone. Can I have a word with her please? Look, I know exactly what she's done, and I'm not mad with her for doing it, in fact I'm strangely ok with it..."

"She's actually asleep right now.... should I wake her?"

"No, let her sleep a bit more. When she wakes, get her to call me will you? I'm at work right now, but I'm about to go home. I'd like her to come with us when we visit her grandma."

"Ok, sure. By the way, my condolences, Mr Muffin."

"Thank you Samantha..."

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #52 on: 24. August 2022, 16:59:00 PM »
Chapter 63 - The consequences

Samantha looked at Serena, asleep on the bed. Her mouth was a little open, and she could see her braces. Most people when seeing Serena's mouth like that would see the metal, see the shape of some braces, and simply assume that she had pretty normal metal braces. If they looked a bit closer, then they would realise that there was a bit more metal behind the brackets, and if they knew about such things, might think that she had normal metal bands on her teeth (for some strange reason). At the same time, they might wonder why her lips were slightly pushed forwards, but would have no idea why: few enough people knew what headgear was, and even fewer knew about lip bumpers.

If a normal person took an even closer look, then they might see the expanders and tongue crib inside her mouth: many would have no idea what they were for, leaving just a small number who understood what they were used for. They would probably assume, correctly as it happens, that Serena was at the end of her orthodontic treatment, but would then incorrectly assume that she'd soon be getting her braces off.

And again, most normal people (even those who knew a bit about braces) would not understand why the bands on her teeth were quite so big, and covered quite so much of her teeth - in fact, they wouldn't see much white of Serena's teeth at all. And as for that metal plate that covered the front of the roof of her mouth - that would make absolutely no sense at all!

Yet Serena never complained about her 'mouthful of metal'. Yes, her braces could get rid of her lisp, and she could use magic to help clean the food from her braces, but she still the metal in her mouth, getting in her way.

Samantha had a deep respect for Serena: not only did Serena have the braces to put up with, but she knew that Serena hadn't asked for what had happened to her, yet she had accepted her role without question. She had accepted the need to learn the dark magic which, when she used it, affected her, especially when the intent of the magic itself was dark, like today. Mind you, having said that, Samantha had also taken on HER new role quite willingly. Any plans she may have had for her life, just like any plans Serena might have had, were out of the window: both of them had a completely different life ahead of them, one full of so many unknowns.

Serena stirred, and opened her eyes. Samantha sat down on the bed next to her. "You feeling better now?"

"Yes, thanks. I wasn't in a good place when I came over, was I?"

"No, you weren't, but with mum's help we managed to calm you down, and get you to fall asleep for a bit. Anyway, your dad called, he'd like you to call him back. And don't worry, he knows what you did, and he actually seems to be ok with it. He's probably home by now, and he'd like you to go with him to be with your grandma."

Just then, Samantha's mum popped her head in the door. "Ah, you're awake, I hope you're feeling a bit better?"

"Yes, I am... and thank you for what you did earlier, I appreciate it!"

"That's ok."

"Look, I need to go home, talk with dad, explain why I did what I did. Samantha, would you mind coming with me please?". Samantha looked over at her mum.

"It's ok, go with her..."

Serena put her hand down to her little finger to remove her dark ring, to find it wasn't there. "Where's my jewellery?" she asked.

"Ah, yes, I took it off you, it's on the bedside table....". Serena picked up her 4 pieces of jewellery, and put them in once more, then took Samantha's hand.

"I guess it's time to go and face the music... let me message dad, let him know I'm on my way. Ah, I left my phone at home, didn't I! Can I use yours?". After sending a short text, she took hold of Samantha's hands and cast the teleportation spell: they were in Serena's room moments later. Soon after, there was a gentle knock on her bedroom door, and the door opened: it was her dad.

Serena rushed over to him, and put her arms around him. "Dad, I'm so, so sorry for what I did...", tears welling once more in her eyes.

"Hey, it's ok, Serena. I'm ok with what you did... I mean, I'm sad that dad has gone, but I'm ok with it..."

"What do you mean?"

"Well, last night, remember grandpa wanted a word with me? He said that he'd had a lovely day with you, which he really enjoyed, and that you two had some pretty deep discussions, but that made him realise that he was actually ready for 'the next step'. He said that he thought you might try to end his life, but I shouldn't stop you, and I should tell you that he was ok with it.... And, strangely, so am I."

"You're really ok with what I did?"

"Yes, I am: I have no doubt that dad is in a much better place now. I just have a couple of questions for you..."


"First of all, did you make it peaceful for him? He was really scared about having a painful death."

"Yeah, he said that to me too, so I think I made it suitably peaceful for him....."

"Thank you. And is there any way that anyone could know it wasn't natural? It worries me that someone might work out that you were somehow involved."

"No, I made sure there was no one around who might see me... although strangely Lucifer popped up just before I did it. And I don't think it will look like anything more than his heart just stopped due to old age."

"Ah, yes, Lucifer, I had a quick word with him last night, he said he'd make sure you were ok. Are you ok?"

"Not really, I'm still very sad that grandpa has gone, but at least I know it was on his terms. I was really scared how you would react, but knowing you're ok with it makes me feel a lot better. Not that that really helped at the time."

"So who else knows?"

"Well, Samantha and her mum, Lucifer, Sarah - if she doesn't know yet, I will need to tell her - and.... well, you. I'm assuming you've said nothing to mum? Or grandma?"

"No, they don't know, and I'm not planning on telling either of them. To be honest, the fewer who know the better. Ok, well we all need to go and visit grandma: Samantha, you are very welcome to join us - your skills will be very welcome I suspect."

"If I can help, happy to come along...".

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #53 on: 25. August 2022, 17:30:50 PM »
Chapter 64 - kind words from Lucifer

Serena went over to see Sarah, Lucifer was also there.

"Serena, how you feeling?"

"Actually amazingly good. Dad already knew what I was going to do, and was amazingly ok with it. Everyone else felt it was a good death too - grandpa's health was clearly going downhill, so it was more a matter of when than if. I feel quite gratified that I was able to help grandpa in such a way."

Lucifer came over to Serena, took her hands, and bowed his head. "Serena, you have my utmost respect. When I asked for you to kill someone, I assumed it would be some sort of vindictive killing of an unworthy low-life. Instead, you turned something that could have been very bad into something that was surprisingly good - I had not expected that - but I should have! I should have remembered that, unlike me, you are driven by the light, and not the darkness. And the way you carried it out was absolutely faultless. And completely caring."

"Thank you, Lucifer: from you, those are very kind words. So, what do you have planned next for me?"

"To be honest, I don't think I can actually help you any more. My plan was to get you to understand how to deal with... how to cope with... the effects of doing dark magic, and you have proven that you know what to do. You also realise that, at times, you need to use other's abilities, like Samantha's, and there is nothing wrong with that. Yes, you need to learn a lot more dark magic spells I suspect, but you're more than able to do that!"

"So, it sound's like I just graduated the 'University of Lucifer'! Lucifer, thank you so much for your help!"

"Completely my pleasure. Look, if you need my help in the future, just ask. There's no doubt in my mind that the prophecies were completely correct: you are the one to lead everyone into battle to defeat whatever darkness comes."

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #54 on: 26. August 2022, 19:18:17 PM »
I try very hard to keep the time-line vaguely correct, and it's usually about 6 weeks from start of term to half-term... in this case, a lot has happened, so maybe there's been a slight time-warp, such that 8 weeks or so got crushed into those 6 weeks. It doesn't REALLY matter, does it? Besides, I believe I'm covered by Paragraph 79(b)(ii) of my 'Artistic License', which allows such things in fictional stories.   :) 


Chapter 65 - Holiday time

It's half-term break, it's a couple of weeks since grandpa died, and Serena's uncle and aunt are keeping an eye on grandma, so Serena and her mum and dad have gone away for the week, up to the Lake District again.

Yes, Serena has taken her books with her, hoping she might have SOME time to read through her notes. Luckily, in the same way that she has a really nice 'filing system' in her memory for her magic (the mental 'yellow stickies'), she is able to use that same system for her schoolwork - which is part of why she's an A-grade student. Although memory is just part of it - where 'it' can be either the school work or the magic.

They have all been out for a walk, and have stopped for a few minutes, sitting on a bench adjacent to a children's playground. In the playground is a young child, and her mum. Suddenly, there is crying from the child, and her mum rushes over, putting her arms around him to comfort him.

Serena overhears a few of the words, and instantly recognises them - they are not normal words, but the words of a magical 'calming' spell, exactly the same spell that Serena's mum would have used on her, when she was little.

Serena puts her little finger to her mouth, to allow her to do some simple dark magic a bit easier (but without actually fitting her dark jewellery). She looks at the the mum, and sends a silent message. "Good afternoon, I'm Serena. Please don't panic. I'm assuming you're a witch like me....".

The mum is a little surprised - it's not the sort of thing you expect to happen when you're out at the park. She looked up, and scanned around herself. Had she been a more proficient magic user - like Sarah for example - then she might have been able to reply equally as silently, but she couldn't.

So Serena spoke to her again: "Sorry for startling you. I'm the teenager sat on the bench with my mum and dad. Would you mind if I came and had a quick chat with you?". The mum looked over at Serena - who wasn't actually that far away, and nodded at her.

Serena stood up. "Back in a moment, I need to have a quick word with that lady...." she said to her parents, then walked calmly over to the mum. Serena guessed the mum was in her mid to late 20's, similar age to Sarah.

"Hi there, I'm Serena... I heard you using some rather special calming words a moment ago, so worked out that you're a witch. I was hoping you might be able to help me..."

"Hello... Serena... I'm Ellie. I'm guessing you're not local, otherwise I'd know you! And I'm guessing that you practice your magic a lot more than me, if you were able to talk to me like that."

"Correct on both counts. I'm holidaying here for the week with mum and dad. And yes, I've been trying out quite a bit of magic recently."

"Ah, ok. I hope you're enjoying our little corner of England?"

"Oh, very much so, you're so lucky to live here. Look, I need a very simple favour, you won't need to do very much. I'd just like to meet up with the elders of your coven for an informal chat."

"That doesn't sound too difficult - yeah, I'm sure I could do that for you."

"Thanks. Why don't I just give you my phone number, and someone can call me. We go home on Sunday, so time is a bit of the essence."


"So, is your coven open or closed?"

"What do you mean?"

"Let me put it another way: do your under-16's know about magic?"

"Ah, right, yes, they do."

"And what about your son, does he know yet?"

"Yes, he does, although I'm not really sure how much he does, he's only five"

"Can I show him a bit of fun magic, might make him smile. Might make you smile too..."

"Go on then...." Serena removed the ring from her finger, taking off the two lips rings from it, which she fitted, then put the nose ring back on her little finger. "Don't panic guys," she said to her braces.

Before doing anything, Serena scanned around: she didn't want any 'normies' to see her doing magic. She got onto her knees, so was down at the child's level. She magicked up two small fireballs, throwing one into the air, then magicked up a third, and briefly managed to juggle the three fireballs, before finally dropping them. Both the young child and her mum were smiling. Serena did it a second time, and managed to juggle the fireballs a bit longer.

Her simple bit of darker magic done, she removed her two lip rings, and combined then with the third ring on her finger.

"So, what's with the lip rings then? I'm assuming they're magic of some sort?"

"Yes, the rings are made from a very special metal, and it makes it a lot easier for me to carry out certain types of magic, like the fireballs," she replied.

The two of them chatted a bit more, before Serena finally left her, and returned to her parents.

"So what was that about then?" asked her mum.

"Oh, I overheard her casting a calming spell, so realised she's a witch. I've asked if she can put me in touch with the elders of the local coven."

"Ah, ok, 'reuniting the covens'..."

"Yes, I need to take every opportunity I can...."

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #55 on: 27. August 2022, 23:11:55 PM »
Chapter 66 - Meet the coven elders

Serena received a call on the Wednesday, around lunchtime.

"Hello, is that Serena? My name is John Munchin, I'm one of the elders here at the 'Lakes Coven'. I believe you asked Ellie if one of us could call you?"

"Yes, I'm Serena Muffin, and thanks for getting in touch. I'm not really quite sure how to explain this to you over the phone, but let me try. I'm from 'The Coven of the Light', but I also bring greetings to you from 'The PineTree Coven', 'The Coven of Love and Tranquillity' along with a few others. I'm guessing that your coven has a prophecy - I don't suppose you have ever read it, have you?"

"I've... heard of it... but never actually read it. What of it?"

"Well, your prophecy will no doubt tell of a young witch, a witch unable to fully pledge to the light, who will reunite the covens of the land, then will go on to defeat some sort of dark and evil threat. I think you, and the other elders, need to read that prophecy. You see, I believe I'm that young lady, and I'm currently trying to reunite the covens...."

There was silence for a bit. "What makes you say that?"

"Please, read your version of the prophecy, then let me meet you, and I think you will understand. Please trust me on this."

"Ok, yes, I'm sure we can do that," said a slightly hesitant voice.

"Please, it's probably more important than you might realise."

John agreed to speak to the other coven elders, and that they would indeed read the prophecy, then call her again.

Serena's phone rang again at about 7:30 that evening.

"Good evening Serena, it's John Munchin here again. We would very much like to meet you - when would be convenient?"

"Hello again, John, thanks for calling back. I can be with you straight away - can you give me an address?"

"Yes, we're at 17 Golden Avenue... Where are you?"

"That doesn't matter: let me look at a map, and I'll be with you in a minute or two... don't worry, I'll explain when I get there."

"Ok, well... we'll see you soon then!".

Serena checked the map on her phone: other side of the town, not that THAT mattered. "Mum, dad, I'm just popping out to meet the elders of the Lakes Coven....". Serena put in all of her dark jewellery, then she probed, found the house, and checked outside the front door, making sure it was both safe and that she would not be seen by any 'normies'. In the blink of an eye she 'said' the words needed to teleport, and was then standing in front of a rather large and imposing house. She walked up to the door, and rang the bell. It was opened by a man Serena guessed to be in his early 40s.

"Good evening, I'm Serena!" she said.

"Hello Serena! I'm John, we spoke... well, just a moment ago. You got here rather quicker than I expected... please, come on in..."

"Yes, why waste time driving when you can just teleport!" said Serena nonchalantly. As she walked in, she could see John looking at her, which wasn't too surprising, her look wasn't exactly 'conventional'. She got similar looks from the other 2 people waiting inside the house.

"This is my wife, Rachel, and this is George Melly, we're the three elders here." Serena shook hands with them, then sat down.

"I'm guessing you've read your prophecy?"

"Yes, we have, and it was pretty much as you said"

"In that case, maybe you should see copies of a few more prophecies, they are all similar, but slightly different. Wanda? And visible to all, please. Wanda, can you quickly organise copies of the prophecies from my bedroom, please?"

"Certainly, just give me a moment."

"Yeah, that's fine, Wanda." Serena turned to the three elders: "Oh, yes, whilst you can see her, you can't hear her. This is my wand, Wanda, she talks, and is very helpful. So how does your prophecy describe me then?".

John picked up an old envelope, and removed the contents. "Apparently 'you are an only child, and you pledged neither to the dark nor the light. You will learn great magical powers, and whilst some may be dark, you will use them for light purposes'. This next bit I really don't understand though: 'you will have a mouth of metal'.... and at the end it says you will become our queen, but not of your own choice'"

While he was reading, Wanda reappeared in Serena's right hand, and in her left were several pieces of paper.

"Oh, that's interesting, that last bit is slightly different from these versions. As for the 'mouth of metal', maybe I just need to show you!". Serena smiled widely, letting them see the massive amount of metal in her mouth: metal full bands, the herbst, the lip bumpers. Then she opened her mouth a bit, letting them see that there was metal inside her mouth too.

Serena passed the prophecy copies over to John, and the three of them read them.

"So, what's with the 'mouth of metal' then? asked Rachel. Serena explained that they were made from a special magical metal, that would help protect her from the dark magic. "They are the opposite to the metal my jewellery is made from: my jewellery is made of a much darker metal, that helps me with my darker magic. I could do with removing it, but first, I think maybe I should give you a quick example of the sort of thing I'm able to do."

"Ok, braces, I'm just going to summon my sword, then I'll send it back again, then I'll take the dark metal out again," thought Serena

"Thank you, that will be appreciated!" they replied.

Serena took a breath, and looked up the summoning spell on the yellow stickies in her mind. With her two hands held out, palms upwards she said "My sword, I summon you to gently appear on my two hands". The sword was resting on her hands.

"This sword comes from the PineTree Coven, they tell me there are many more such weapons, that we will use to fight the dark evil threat, whatever that actually turns out to be. Here, take a look....". She passed it over to George.

"You said 'we' then... you mean everyone?"

"No, I don't think so: if you look at the prophecies, you'll see that it says that there will be two others who will fight with me, plus a third who will protect us with her love and healing, so I'm assuming they will be for us. I've hardly played with this sword, but it seems to have some quite amazing abilities, probably not the sort of thing that most witches would be able to handle."

"Do you know who the others will be?"

"Well, one of them is my teacher, Sarah. Another, the one with the love and healing, that's Samantha, she's from The Coven of Love and Tranquility. But I'm still waiting to meet my third companion. Shall I take that sword back from you?".

With the sword back in her hands, she sent it back to hide in her house. "If you'll just excuse me a moment" said Serena, who proceeded to remove the two lips rings and nose ring, combining them together, and putting them onto her finger, then replaced them with her 'normal' jewellery.

"Clever magical jewellery, very nice! Well, it sounds to me that we need to talk a bit more," said Rachel, "would you like a tea or coffee?"

"Yes please, a black coffee would be lovely, thanks!".

As they drank their drinks, Serena explained to them the many things that had happened in her life, plus what she believed to be the background of the prophecy.

"How are you feeling about what the prophecy asks of you?"

"Well, the 'uniting' bit is starting to happen - I'm rather hoping you are wanting to 'join our club'. I can understand things were maybe 'rather difficult' around 300 years ago, when we all split up, but I'm thinking it is maybe a good thing for us to all reunite. I still don't see most witches wanting to to particularly use their powers that much, and we'll be able to use technology to keep in touch. My magic is starting to get stronger, and if I'm to believe the prophecy, I'm going to have the skills, equipment and people to actually defeat whatever it is. To be honest, it's the queen bit that I'm scared of, I mean who am I to presume I'll ever be good enough?"

"Although our prophecy does seem to indicate it won't be of your choice"

"Yes, that bit WAS interesting, none of the other prophecies actually said that."

The three elders had a quick conversation. "We're thinking that maybe you should meet some of the others in our coven: we are a fairly small coven, so that should be easy to organise. When are you planning on going back home?"

"We're due to leave on Sunday."

"Ok, well I'm sure we can organise something on Friday or Saturday. You said you're here with your parents: they should come along too!"

Serena got a call from John to suggest that they could all meet on the Friday evening: a small group of them would meet for dinner at a pub, then they would use the upstairs room to meet with others in the coven. After asking her parents, they agreed it would be a good plan.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #56 on: 28. August 2022, 19:25:27 PM »
Chapter 67 - Now meet the coven

It was nice for Serena to actually involve her parents in what she was doing for a change: much of what she did was really just with Sarah, or Samantha, or the other witches at school. In total, there was around a dozen who turned up for the meal, which was actually quite pleasant. Afterwards, they went upstairs and joined all the others: about 30 in total, with their ages going from 5 to 85.

"Good evening everyone, and thanks for coming along! We have a visitor with us tonight, plus her mum and dad: I'll introduce her in a moment, and let her speak to you, but it's because of her that we're all together tonight. A couple of days ago, Ellie called me, said she'd met this teenager who wanted to speak to us, the elders. So I called her, Serena, and she asked if we could read an old document that we have. She predicted pretty much exactly what the document would say, so we ended up having a much longer chat with her, and that's why we're here this evening. I'd like to read that document to you, then hand over to Serena. The document is actually something like 400 years old or so, and contains a prophecy...". John pulled out the prophecy from it's envelope, and slowly read it to everyone.

"And it's about now I hand over to Serena... Serena, you are very welcome here tonight!". After a quick round of applause, Serena started to explain:

"Good evening everyone, I come in peace to visit you all this evening. My name is Serena, and like my parents, I am from the Coven of the Light. I am an only child, and I'm still at school, and I'm just over 18 years old... which means that I recently had to pledge to my coven. A quick question for you: are you aware of anyone who has ever pledged to anything OTHER than pledging to the light?" She paused a moment. "No, I didn't think you would. And that had been the case in our coven too... until I pledged, that is!". Serena paused again. "For several weeks before my pledging, I was getting a feeling - a feeling which I just could NOT ignore, that I could not actually pledge to the light. I hasten to add that pledging to the darkness was even less of an option. I felt I needed to pledge somewhere between the dark and the light, and mainly towards the light. Needless to say, that did not go down too well: how would you have described the feeling in the room that day, dad?"

"Definitely a deadly silence, followed by feeling of distrust and 'what on EARTH?'...." explained her dad.

"Yeah, there were eyes wanting to bore holes into me. Luckily, I was saved by one of our elders, who mentioned a very old prophecy. It described 'a girl, an only child, who would pledge neither to the dark nor the light, with a mouth of metal, a will of steel, and a heart of gold, who would reunite the covens of the land, and defeat some nasty evil force'... in fact, very similar to what YOUR prophecy says.... and these prophecies too" she added, picking up several other pieces of paper. "Feel free to read them later on."

"Now, I'll bet a few of you are wondering about that 'mouth of metal', it is a bit weird. Well, at the time I pledged, I had what I believed to be quite normal braces. Except they weren't, they were actually made of a special magical metal, and it gave me strange feelings: good feelings, a feeling that what I was doing was the right thing to do. When I spoke to my orthodontist, he introduced himself as being from the PineTree coven, and he explained that this metal would help me with what I needed to do. I ended up getting those braces removed, and had a newer, rather more extreme set of braces installed, containing a LOT more metal. Let me smile for you...!"

Serena smiled, letting people see the metal in her mouth. "When these braces were fitted, they needed no glue, they fitted themselves to my teeth. Over time, I'm told the metal will become part of my teeth and my mouth. Their purpose is to protect me when I need to do any dark magic. Now, these bits at the front here, they are called 'lip bumpers', they are also made from that metal, and really like to stay in my mouth: hey, let me show you something...". Serena had a quick word with her braces, and removed her upper and lower lip bumpers.

"Now, these fit into tiny tubes on the braces at the back of my mouth, and I'm sure you can appreciate how fiddly they could be to fit back in. Not these lip-bumpers though! My braces are actually sentient, and can look after themselves!". Serena smiled widely, then tossed her lip bumpers vaguely towards her mouth, one at a time. As expected, they slipped themselves nicely back into place.

"And the best side effect is that they can compwetewy get wid of my lithp! So, yes, I am definitely a girl with a metal mouth, albeit not through choice."

"So, this prophecy says I need to reunite the covens of the land: several covens, in the area near where I live, have already agreed to re-unite, so that's why I'm here tonight. Yes, I'm supposed to be on holiday, but thanks to Ellie over there, I've been able to meet you all tonight, and I would like to invite you all to work with us to reunite all the covens around the country."

There was a quick round of applause. "Thank you Serena. The prophecies also mention that two others will fight alongside you, and another will be nearby, to inspire and care for you: I believe you know who these people are?"

"Yes, I have met two of the three. The young witch who will inspire us and care for us is Samantha, she is a member of the Coven of Love and Tranquillity. Then there's Sarah, actually my magic teacher, who is one of the two who will fight with me. But I'm not yet sure who the third one is yet."

"Well, thank you so much for visiting us, and telling us what's happening - I guess we'll be all having a talk about it this evening. In the meantime, please, everyone, make Serena and her parents very welcome!"

"Serena, let me introduce you to a couple of our younger members... let's start with Harper." Jon lead Serena over to a girl who was currently by herself. She was as noticeably short as Serena was tall: Harper was only 4ft 6in tall, but was quite muscular in build. Again, opposite to Serena, Harper's chest was well-endowed. Her long dark hair was tied up at the back of her head into a simple ponytail. Serena will discover later on that she's 25 years old.

"Harper, do meet Serena. Harper is a gymnast, and although she tends to not shout about it, she got a couple of gold medals at the last olympics." Harper smiled at the introduction, letting Serena see the lovely set of metal brackets on her front teeth.

"Hi, it's nice to meet you, Serena" said Harper, shaking Serena's hand.

"Weren't you at the European Games recently, I'm sure I saw you on TV?"

"Yeah, I was... that was another medal!". It was at this point that Wanda popped up in Serena's hand.

"Serena, your maj... sorry, your magical mistress! We need to speak as a matter of great urgency...." said Wanda getting VERY excited.

"I'm kinda busy right now, Wanda!" said Serena.

"But, your almighty tallness, this really is very very important!!"

"Your almighty tallness?" said Harper, smiling.

"Sorry, yes, it's Wanda, my wand, she gets a bit excited at tim.....". Serena stopped mid-sentence as she realised what Wanda was about to say. "Wanda, I think I know what you're about to tell me. You'd better make yourself visible. Harper, this is Wanda... and you heard her just a moment ago, didn't you??"

"Hello there, Harper!" said Wanda, getting all excited.

"That's pretty cool, a wand that talks! Hello Wanda! Nice to meet you!" replied Harper

"I have a feeling that she doesn't quite realise quite how important it is, the fact that she can hear me..." said Wanda. "But I really do believe that she is the one!"

"What do you mean, 'the one'" asked Harper.

"Well, you see, whilst Wanda is able to make herself visible to everyone, you and I are the only two here who can actually hear her, and as far as I know, there's only two others who can also hear her. One is Samantha, of the Coven of Love and Tranquillity, the other is my magic teacher, Sarah: they are my two other companions, as described in the prophecy..."

"So that means........?" said Harper.

"So that means that I think you must be my third companion. As in the prophecy. Welcome to my team, Harper!"

"Do I actually get any say in this?"

"Probably about as much say as whether you were even born, or became a gymnast...." suggested Serena.

"As much as that?" said Harper taking a big breath. "Ok, so what happens now then?".

Serena liked both Harper's sense of humour and her attitude. "Probably not a lot right now. I mean, it would be nice to introduce you to Samantha and Sarah at some point. I could probably summon them here, if you happened to have any ecstasy on you.." said Serena with a bit of a smile. Harper looked a bit perplexed. "I'll explain later in more detail, but it seems that certain drugs make my dark magic work better. Anyway, Harper, I know nothing about you, so tell me. For example, what do you do for work?"

"I work for myself, doing web site design stuff. Luckily that lets me work around all my gymnastic training. You said you're still at school?"

"Yeah, upper 6th, taking my A-levels this year. Shame there's not an A-Level for 'witchcraft' or 'how to defeat a dark enemy'. Would be more helpful than things like 'Alchemy'."


"Yeah, although the normies seem to just call it 'Chemistry'". Harper laughed, getting the joke.

"And I'm guessing you'll be off to Hogwarts University next year then?"

"If only... Hey, do you do much witchcraft yourself? I mean, that could come in useful with your gymnastics!"

"I can do some basic spells, but we decided that it would be safer to not actually learn too much, just in case I did something accidentally during a performance."

"I think that's going to have to change. Something tells me that part of the reason that you are 'the one' is BECAUSE of your gymnastic skills. Sarah and myself have no real agility skills that will help us with fighting, but combine teleporting, levitation and other stuff with what you can do, that would be pretty awesome!"

Sarah and Harper continued talking together, they seemed to get on pretty well.

"So, you're here on holiday? When are you going back?"


"Ok, so thinking aloud: would it help at all if I came back with you? I mean, in my own car. Then I could meet Sarah and Samantha. And work with you. I don't suppose you have a spare room I could use for a few days?"

"That sounds like a great idea! And yes, we do have a spare room - let me have a word with mum, but I'm sure it won't be a problem. But what about your work, and training?"

"Well, the 'season' has  finished, and I was actually planning on retiring this year - I'm getting quite old for a gymnast you know!  And I can actually do my work from anywhere, assuming you have half-decent internet."

"Of course we do... So, you said you still live at home: your mum and dad going to be ok with you coming back with us?"

"Oh, no problems there, they know I'm planning to retire this year, and they know I'm all grown up now."

"Good. Hey, come and meet my mum and dad....."

While all this was going on, John, her 'host', had overheard what was going on, and had decided that, if Harper was indeed Serena's third companion, then meeting anyone else for the moment was probably a pretty low priority for her.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #57 on: 29. August 2022, 22:10:00 PM »
Chapter 68 - Harper tries some magic out

The next day, Saturday, Serena's parents dropped Serena off at Harpers: they had arranged to spend much of the day together. Part of the reason was to simply get to know each other a bit better: if they were going to be 'working together', they needed to know and understand each other a lot better. Serena and Sarah had know each other for some time now, so Harper had some 'catching up' to do.

In addition, Serena wanted to show Harper some magic, to see how good she was.

They started off by having lunch with Harper's mum and dad: whilst she had briefly met them last night, it gave Serena a chance to explain things in a lot more detail to them all. After lunch, Serena and Harper went into the garden.

"We could do with somewhere with a bit of space, but with no one around...."

"Plenty of that around, once we get out of town, should only take 15 or 20 minutes to get somewhere suitable."

"Why bother with a car? Let's be eco-friendly..."

"What do you mean?"

"I can just teleport us there."

"But I thought teleporting spells only worked over short distances?"

"With Light Magic you'd be correct, but that's one of the joys of being able to use Dark Magic, I can go quite a long way. So, show me on a map where we want to go, and I'll take us there."

"That is a cool use of magic! But we'll probably want to take our coats, it's likely to be chilly there - did you remember to bring yours?"

"Ah, no, I left it in the car, hang on....". Serena had a quick word with her braces, to prepare them for what she would be doing, put on her dark jewellery, ran a 'find my coat' spell, then simply summoned it. "Ok, let's take a look at the map..."

"I always thought dark magic was something very bad, something we 'witches of the light' should never do, but you seem to be ok with it."

"It's like many things in life, as long as you respect it, and use it sensibly, it's not really all that bad. I mean, take your car: in the wrong hands a car is a lethal weapon, it can kill both the driver and others. But you still drive it, don't you? You're just careful how you drive."

"Yeah, ok, very fair comment. So have you ever used your dark magic for bad?"

"Depends on how you define bad. As part of my training with Lucifer, I had to publicly humiliate a girl... but the end result was that the girl, who was the school bully, and quite the b*tch, but she's now actually quite a pleasant girl. So was that bad or good? Then I killed my grandpa, but that was more of a mercy-killing."

"You KILLED your grandpa using magic?"

"Yes. Lucifer needed me to kill someone as part of my training: I mean, there's no doubt when we start to fight whatever this evil is, that we're going to have to kill someone or something at some point. He assumed I'd find some criminal lowlife and take them out. But I was talking with my grandpa - he'd had several strokes, and was pretty much incapacitated - and I got a very strong feeling that he was 'ready to leave us'. Turns out I was spot on: dad had spoken to grandpa too, and grandpa'd told him that he was ready to go. Having said that, it was still a pretty sh*tty thing to have to do". A tear came to Serena's eye as she remembered her grandpa for a moment. "So yes, it's quite possible to do good-ish stuff using dark magic. So, one of the things I'd like to do with you today is see how you get on with dark magic."

While she was talking, she was looking at the map with Harper. "Ok, I'll need to probe around, don't want any normies anywhere nearby, do we?". Serena closed her eyes and concentrated, probing to where Harper had suggested. Yes, it looked like it would be a good place: a large open bit of 'rough grass', surrounded by trees. She probed around, and there seemed to be no one within about a mile. She chose a landing spot and probed.. no, a bit uneven underfoot... ah, that looks better, over there.

"Ok, take my hand. I'll warn you, first time can feel a bit odd: I'd suggest you actually keep your eyes open though. A deep breath might help too." As Harper took the deep breath, Serena teleported them: she'd actually lied about the deep breath, she just wanted to distract Harper a little.


"Yeah, a couple more deep breaths will definitely help now!". Serena also took a couple of deep breaths: whilst she was pretty used to teleporting over distances, it still took a few moments to recover. "We ok braces?"

"We're fine, thanks, we're getting quite used to your teleporting now, you actually do it very gently."

"Well, thank you, guys! Anyway, I'm going to leave my dark jewellery on, as I want to try and teach Harper some dark magic"

"Ok, just let us know if you need to do anything especially dark." Serena turned to Harper. "You ok now?"

"Yeah, that was, well, 'amazing' doesn't do it justice!" So, what we going to do?"

"Good question. Ok, so I know you're a gymnast, but do you REALLY enjoy it? I'm thinking about things that could work well with your gymnsatic skills.!

"Yeah, I actually DO still enjoy it, it's actually quite exhilarating when I do some of the harder stuff."

"Ok, you up for learning to levitate? I'm thinking that could work nicely in the middle of one of your handsprings! I wonder if, say, you needed to jump up somewhere, the extra energy in the spin would help you, compared to just running and jumping".

Over the next half hour or so, Serena demonstrated the practicalities of simple levitation, then got Harper trying it: her gymnastics abilities helped a lot, as she found it very easy to balance.

"It feels a bit strange, just hovering in the air" commented Harper.

"Yes, it's not something I've used a lot, so still feels a bit odd to me too, but you seem to be doing really well. Would you like to try combining it with one of your gymnastic moves?""

"Yeah. I wonder if I can get enough rotation after pushing off my hands to use the levitation to let me do a second spin? Let me do a couple of normal double handsprings first, then I'll see what happens if I levitate a little bit."

The bad news is that Harper messed up the first 3 tries, but the ground and the grass were both soft enough that she wasn't hurt. The fourth time Harper managed quite a nice levitation in the middle of the handspring, landing on her feet afterwards.

"That was fun!" said Harper, smiling. "And I think it's something I can work on and develop in my own time. I wonder if there's a gymnastic coach out there who's also a witch, they would be able to help me."

"I think you might be pushing your luck there! Well, you picked that up pretty easily. How would you like to try out the dark version?"
"Ok. But what's the difference?"

"Like the teleporting, it's about 'how much'. So you were managing to get maybe a foot or two off the ground. With the darker version, you'll get a lot higher... you'll just need to think carefully about landing too! And making sure you keep the levitation going while you do other things - and that's just going to need practice."

"Ok, let's give it a go then!" It took Harper a while to get used to the 'attitude' needed to make the dark magic work, it wasn't something she was used to. "I'm a bit wary of pushing you too hard on this, in case it starts to affect you. I'm lucky, I have my braces to help protect me. Ok, let's try this again. Now Harper, you really must concentrate more, I'm not going to take 'I can't' for an answer on this. Take control of it! Stop messing around, and just tell the magic what you need!". Serena wasn't trying to be nasty to Harper, she was trying to invoke her negative emotions a bit more, to make the dark magic work.

"Yes, I CAN do this, godammit!". Harper repeated the dark levitation spell, and this time she floated up about twenty feet into the air: Serena decided to quickly join her, just in case anything went wrong.

"Ok, keep it going, don't lose your concentration. See if you can move around, it's just a matter of asking... sorry, TELLING the magic what you want to do!". Slowly Harper started to move forwards. "That's it. Now go slowly downwards.... your balance is really good....". As Harper 'landed', she went into a simple tumble, in order to control her landing.

"Yeah, that was a LOT harder to do than the light version, I was having to concentrate so much. And be a bit angry about it."

"Don't worry, it gets easier the more you do it, you get used to always needing to be extra assertive. Now, try and quickly clear your mind of the negayive feelings. Lucifer got me to imagine a tiny box in my mind, and to put any darkness and negative feelings into that box, then close it. I don't know it that will work for you, but worth a try."

They sat down on the grass together. "So, I CAN do dark magic then!" said Harper.

"Yes, as I said before, the darker stuff isn't that much different from the lighter stuff, but you really need to work on controlling those negative feelings afterwards - it's something we can work on together."

"So what else do you think I ought to try and combine with my abilities?"

"Teleporting is a very obvious one, both light and dark versions, but I think that's going to be another day. But if you can work with the levitation stuff, I think that's gonna be a pretty useful skill to have!"

As Serena relaxed, she looked around: this was a lovely place, full of nature, so peaceful. Harper was so lucky to live in such a beautiful place.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #58 on: 30. August 2022, 17:25:12 PM »
Not sure if it's good or bad news, but we are coming to the end of this story: after this chapter, there's only 4 more chapters left! Definitely good news though is that we have a load of braces in today's chapter!!!


Chapter 69 - Driving back to Serena's

They had decided that Serena's mum and dad would drive back by themselves in their car, and Serena would travel back with Harper, in hers. Not only did Serena know where they were going (ok, google maps helped a bit!), but it gave the two of them a load of time to chat.

They listened to the radio for a bit, and talked about where they lived, and their friends. Then Harper asked Serena: "So, those braces of yours, they seem a bit extreme. How long have you had them?"

"Well, I've not had these specific braces all that long, but I originally got my braces a little before I turned 16. My teeth were a bit of a mess back then, but my braces were relatively normal: I had metal brackets on all my teeth, bands on my molars. I also needed to wear headgear, to move my teeth back a bit, to make space at the front. I also had tiny metal springs on the archwires for a bit."

"So no expanders back then! Any elastics?"

"Ah, yes, I forgot about those... elastics from my top rear molars with the bands on down to my lower front molars, plus a couple of smaller ones at the front for a couple of months."

"So how long were you supposed to have them?"

"For a bit over 2 years, which means I would have been getting them off sometime soon. Of course, that changed when my braces got 'upgraded'."

"So what happened that you got 'upgraded'?"

"Well... as I was coming up to my pledging, I was getting strange feelings that I shouldn't be pledging to the light. So when I thought that I would need to pledge to the darkness, I seemed to get bad feelings in my mouth, but when I starting thinking about pledging somewhere in between, but mainly to the light, I got really good feelings in my mouth, as if my braces were telling me I was thinking the right sort of thing. When I actually pledged, they gave me some good feelings too, but it was a few days later, when I was doing some magic with Sarah... some slightly darker magic, when they showed me pain. It was then I decided to go and have a word with my ortho, Peter. He wasn't too surprised, and explained that they were made from a special metal."

"Special metal?"

"Yeah, comes from something called 'the unholy chain'...". Serena explained what the unholy chain was.

"Ok, so why such a big mouthful now?"

"He explained that I would need much more metal in my mouth, for it to be helpful to me, to help protect me from the effect of doing dark magic."

"But why in your mouth? Couldn't a simple bracelet have sufficed?"

"No, I need the intimate contact with it. With them. With my braces."

"You make it sound like they are alive!"

"They are, sort of. They are sentient, they speak to me. I'll let you meet them later on, when you're not driving!"

"So what exactly DO you have in your mouth?" said Harper, maybe a bit too enthusiastically.

"Where do I start? Upper and lower expanders. A tongue crib. Metal bands - very wide metal bands - on all my teeth. A metal plate at the top, at the front. And the lip bumpers.". Serena ran her tongue around her mouth to remind herself what she had. "The good thing is that when they fitted themselves, they kinda tucked themselves nice and closely to my teeth, so they aren't as much in the way"

"Fitted themselves?"

"Obviously I didn't see it, but Peter told me that as they put the various bits into my mouth, they sort-of 'shrunk' onto my teeth, and the expander bits moved as much out the way as they could. No glue needed. Same when he fitted the archwires."

"Sounds like you have a lot of metal!". It was odd, but the way Serena heard Harper say that, it sounded almost joyous. "So how come no lisp? I mean, if I had THAT amount of stuff in MY mouth, I'd hardly be able to speak!"

"That's the braces: not only do they protect me when I do dark magic, they also stop me lisping. Mind you, when I'm at school, or in public, they give me a bit of a lisp, otherwise people would ask awkward questions".

"Oh, ok. Sounds like you're ok with having such extreme braces then."

"Yes, I am, actually. So what about YOUR braces then? How come you never had braces when you were younger?"

"I actually didn't need them, my teeth were pretty ok." Serena felt that Harper was being very careful with what she was saying, not telling her the whole story.

"Ok, so what happened? What changed to make you need braces?"

Harper had realised a bit earlier in the journey that, at some point - whether it be in the car today, or somewhen else - she would need to talk with Serena about braces. After all, she had some herself, even though they were, by comparison to Serena's, rather plain and simple. So, it was clear that she needed to be open about things.

"Serena, we're only just getting to know each other, aren't we? But I get the feeling that you are actually quite open-minded, willing to accept different viewpoints...."

"I like to think I am. Why?"

"Ummmm... I think I need to tell you something, and I'm going to trust that you'll understand what I tell you, and that you won't laugh at me..."

"Well, you see, it's like this.... oh, gawd, how do I say this: I like braces."

"You like braces? There's nothing wrong with that."

"I like braces... a LOT! To be honest, for you to appreciate what I'm trying to say, maybe I just need to say two words: braces fetish!"

"Braces Fetish?"

"Yes.... braces fetish! Ever since I was a young teenager, and I first saw a girl at school in braces, I wanted some. I rather hoped that I might get some, but my teeth were nowhere near bad enough to need them: I was nowhere near the level to get them on the NHS, and if I'd have suggested going private, I have no doubt mum and dad would have just laughed at me. But I found braces to be so fascinating, and the more I saw people around me at school with braces, the more I wanted some. I'm not quite sure what it is about them that I like, but I can say that they give me good feelings!"

Serena was having a bit of trouble taking in what Harper was saying. She tried to think about things that she 'liked', and then try to extrapolate the 'like' to something stronger...

"I guess part of it's the look, the sight of metal on white teeth," continued Harper. "But I think it goes further than that. It's almost a feeling of bondage, a feeling that once you have them on your teeth, they restrict you, and you can't get rid of them easily." Harper stopped talking, to let Serena process what she'd just said.

"So you get enjoyment from seeing braces? Or from having braces?" asked Serena, starting to appreciate what Harper was saying.

"It makes me feel very good to both see others with metal braces on their teeth, as well as knowing that I have braces on my teeth. I will admit, I'm actually rather jealous of what you have though!"

"I suspect you might change your mind if you actually had this lot, especially without the magic to help. So you don't actually NEED your braces then?"

"Well, technically I sort-of need them, to correct a very VERY minor issue, but no, not really. Luckily I found a rather understanding orthodontist!"

"When we're back at my place, we need to go and see Peter at some point - he's my orthodontist, plus is one of the elders of the PineTree coven. I'm wondering if it would help at all if you got some braces - or even something else - made from the unholy chain, to protect you when you need to do some dark magic?"

"Hey, I'm definitely up for that. Ah, service area ahead, fancy a comfort break? Plus I could take a proper look at your braces!" said Harper with a rather larger than normal smile.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #59 on: 31. August 2022, 20:04:18 PM »
You all KNOW how much I have enjoyed writing stories for my fairies... so lets have another cross-over episode, shall we? I mean, magic users from the different realms need to work together, don't they?


Chapter 70: More cake

Serena and Harper were in Serena's room, chatting, and drinking a freshly made cup of tea. For some reason, the idea of having a 'nice slice of that disgustingly fattening cream-filled chocolate cake to eat, like what they do in that nice café in town' came to mind: it would go nicely with the cuppa.

And of course, once she began to think of 'that nice cream-filled chocolate cake', she remembered a certain fairy, who had given her her last slice of that nice cake. And she remembered that the certain fairy was a teeth and braces fairy.

"So, your braces," said Serena. "I know you like them, and I know you have a big thing for them, but are they really enough for you? I mean, I remember you said you were rather jealous of the metal I had in my mouth...."

Harper smiled. She was always happy to talk about braces, it made her 'feel good', if you know what I mean. "Yes, it WOULD be rather nice to experience something a bit more... 'extreme', but how am I going to get them? Hey, do you think your ortho would be up for it?"

"Peter? Not sure about un-needed braces, although if braces from the holy chain could help you, then yes, but apart from that I think he's pretty 'normal' as far as giving braces to people. No, I was thinking of magic."

"Magic? Is there magic that can just 'magic up' something, and fit them? It seems to be hard enough just moving something that already exists."

"You're right, OUR magic can't, but I'm thinking there's another sort of magic that might be able to. So, to change the subject a little for a moment: would you like a slice of disgustingly good fresh-cream filled chocolate cake?"

"The idea appeals, yes, but where you going to get some at this time of night? No, you can't steal it from some local café's fridge!!"

"No, I wasn't going to steal it, don't worry. It just needs a different kind of magic, just like if you'd like some new braces. Just watch, and be amazed: I was the first time!".

Serena cleared her mind, then said out loud "I wish Elida could bring me a couple of slices of that lovely creamy chocolate cake - she knows what I mean, but if she's too busy, then I don't mind waiting!". In preparation, Serena put on her dark jewellery.

"A witch making a wish? You've got to be kidding me! I mean...." said Harper, suddenly stopping in the middle of her sentence: two slices of cream-filled chocolate cake had just appeared next to them.

"Hello again Elida, thanks for coming! Let me just make you visible.". She turned to Harper: "Take my hand, Harper". Since her last meeting with Elida, Serena had looked up a few dark spells for making hidden things visible, that would hopefully work better than the previous one she had used: she wanted Harper to be able to see Elida too. Serena carefully said the words of the new spell, making Elida visible, then removed her dark jewellery once more.

In human terms, Elida was something like 5 or 6 inches tall, dressed in a black t-shirt over another top with green and black stripes on it, and a short white skirt. Her hair was ginger, a bit longer than her shoulders, with a fringe at the front, and the back hair tied up in a sort of bun with a white ribbon. Her wings looked very much like a dragon-fly, wispy with green and black highlights. On her feet she wore a pair of white trainers, and in her hand she held a small wand.

So maybe not quite the 'cute traditional' image of a fairy, but a more modern, more street-wise teenage version.

"What? who?..." stammered Harper.

"Harper, this is Elida, she is a fairy, actually a very important and very powerful fairy, we had a lovely chat a while ago, seems we have a lot in common. Elida, this is Harper, she's the third of my companions."

"Oh, you found her, that is great news! It's so good to see you again Serena, and nice to meet you too, Harper!"

"Hello there, Elida!" said Harper, not quite sure what to say to a fairy who had just appeared.

"Ooooh, you have lovely shiny braces.... would you mind if I took a look, Harper?"

"Sure," said a rather bemused Harper, "Go ahead!". As Harper smiled, Elida flew up and took a look at them.

"Oh, I'm so glad you you got nice large metal brackets, they look so much nicer!"

"Yes, they do!" said Harper.

"I think I need to explain a couple of things for both of you." said Serena. "So, Harper, Elida is by trade a teeth and braces fairy, and loves the sight of shiny metal braces, as I think you just gathered."

"Oh, yes, I think metal braces are so beautiful.... oh, let me see yours again, Serena!" asked Elida. Serena opened her mouth, and once again Elida looked at Serena's quite amazing mouth of metal.

"She's as bad as me!" said Harper.

"Yup, she is. So, Elida, Harper has a bit of a thing for braces too...." explained Serina.

"Oh, goody!!" said Elida, smiling. "And don't feel at all awkward, Harper, I have several other 'customers' like you."

"Anyway, I was hoping you'd let Harper make a wish...".

Elida smiled even wider, and spoke to Harper: "Something tells me that you would like some more braces... am I right Harper?"

"Yes, I would! Can fairy magic do that, because our magic can't?"

"Oh, braces on humans is pretty easy peasy, especially for me."

"What do you mean, 'especially for you'?" asked Harper.

Elida and Serena explained that not only was Elida a 'teeth and braces fairy', but that she was 'a Protector', and whilst she could never do any bad fairy magic, she was one of the most able fairies in the country. "As I said, we have a lot in common, although I get to do a lot of dark magic too".

"Oh, by the way, since we last met, and you mentioned about the future dark threat, we've set up a new computer system at FI5. It's based on the system we use to predict wishes being made, but we've tuned it to search for any form of darkness in the human realm."

"Oh, that sounds good. Seen anything yet?"

"A few little things, but nothing relevant. So far we're seeing fairly clearly about 3 or 4 months into the future, and rather more fuzzy beyond that - kinda like your human long-term weather forecasts! But if we see anything, we'll let you know. So, back to you, Harper, what extra braces would you like?"

"Um, this is all rather sudden, I need to think a bit.."

"That's ok, I'm not in a rush. Hey, any chance of some tea and cake then?" asked Elida.

"But of course! Let me get a cup and plate from my old dolls house for you. So, what do you fancy, Harper?" asked Serena as she went to her old dolls house.

"Oh, by the way, if you don't like what I give you, or you just get bored with them, you can just make another wish, and I'll remove them or swap them for something different, all part of the service!" explained Elida. "To be honest, it's kinda fun to do that for customers like you!"

"Well, I'd love to try out some expanders, like Serena has, and maybe a tongue crib too"

"That's gonna give you one hell of a lisp! You sure you want to do that?" asked Serena.

"I think that's part of the appeal. Besides, Elida, if you're ok with swapping them out, then why not?"

"I can do that for you, no problem. Want to throw in some herbsts while you're at it?"

"Oh, Elida, you are tempting me so much! Let me think while I have another bite of this amazing cream cake!"

"Yes, Elida, the cake is rather good today..." added Serena.

"I did a bit of work down at that Café, gave them a few ideas to make their cake even better, sounds like the ideas worked."

"Oh, yes, I think they did!".

The three of them chatted for a while, drinking their tea, and eating the rather scrumptious creamy chocolate cake.

"So, you ready for a bit more metal then?" asked Elida.

"Let me just go brush my teeth first.." said Harper.

"Don't bother, let me...." said Serena, throwing the 'clean braces' spell at Harper. "I'll teach that one to you later. So, what you going for?"

"I think just the two expanders, and the tongue crib for the moment, but can you try and make the expanders fit reasonably close to my mouth?"

"I'll try. Ok, I just need you to wish for me - a wish keeps all the paperwork in order... you won't believe what I have to do if I do something without a wish!"

"Ok, sure... 'I wish that you could give me nice chunky metal expanders, top and bottom, and a suitably annoying tongue crib.' That do you?"

"That will do just fine, thank you! Ok, just relax....". Elida called up her wand, and cast the relevant fairy spell.

"Holy thit, thith feelth amathing, tho much more metal in my mouth!" said Harper, clearly getting more excited as she felt around her mouth with her tongue. "Will you guyth excuthe me for a few minuteth, I need to jutht go and 'do thomething'..."

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #60 on: 01. September 2022, 22:47:57 PM »
Chapter 71: The Coven of the Unseen Moon call back

We need to rewind a bit here.

If you remember, first day back at school, Serena had met Nitesh, and gone home with him, and met his mum (not actually a witch). They had moved from another area, several miles away, and they had been members of a different coven. Serena had said that she would like to meet Nitesh's dad, and could he give her a call.

He actually called her later that evening. Serena went around and met Nitesh's dad, and told him who she was, and strongly invited him to come along and meet people at the coven.

"So, as I explained, my first 'task' is to unite the covens.... I don't suppose you could give me a contact for the elders in your old coven could you? Seems like an obvious 'next coven' to get in touch with."

"I'm happy to do that, but I'm not sure what sort of response you'll get from them. They keep themsleves to themselves..."

"Ok, thanks for the heads up."

Serena made the phone call when she got back home. The coven was called 'The Coven of the Unseen Moon'.

"Good evening, Mr Simpkin, my name is Serena Muffin, I'm from the Coven of the Light, Mr Jones passed on your number, his son has just started at my school. I was hoping you could spare me a couple of minutes..."

"Good evening, Miss Muffin, what can I do for you?"

"What I'm about to say will probably sound a bit strange, but please bear with me." Mr Jones (Nitesh's dad) had explained in a bit more detail how this coven was not only strict, but they were very slow to change their ways... so Serena could not expect them to be over-willing to join with other covens. "I strongly suspect that your coven has, somewhere, a very old prophecy: I'm rather hoping that you're aware of it..."

"Yes, I believe that we do have a prophecy, what about it?"

"Well, if it's anything like the 3 other prophecies I've seen recently, it will tell of several events, which match events over the last few years, then it will tell of a girl: an only child, who pledged neither to the dark nor the light, but somewhere between, but more to the light. She will have a mouth of metal, and a heart of gold, and substantial magical abilities. The prophecy will go on to explain what she needs to do...". Specifically, Serena said nothing about re-uniting the covens, she felt it better for him to discover that for himself.

"And that is important because?"

"Because many people, myself included, believe that I am actually that girl. Look, all I ask is that you find your prophecy, and read it. And if it does say what I just said, maybe you'd be willing to let me come and meet you, and talk with you about what the prophecy is asking me to do. That's all I'm asking at the moment." There was a bit of a pause.

"Yes, I think I can do that."

"Thank you, Mr Simpkin. Please try and keep an open mind: it IS rather strange to think that a 500-plus year old prophecy might be coming true in our lifetime, but we really think it IS the case." Before ending the call, Serena made sure he had her phone number.


So, several weeks on now, Serena had finally received a call back from Mr Simpkin, the elder of the the Coven of the Unseen Moon that she'd spoken to several weeks before.

"Good evening, Miss Muffin, this is Mr Simpkin, we spoke a few weeks ago."

"Good evening Mr Simpkin, and thanks for calling back". Serena had considered calling Mr Simpkin again, but decided not to: Nitesh's dad had said they were a very isolated coven. "I'm guessing that you've had a chance to read your version of the prophecy?"

"Yes, indeed, we have! I apologise for the rather long delay in getting back to you, but there has been rather a lot of heated discussion amongst not just the elders, but also the coven, about what the prophesy was about, whether it is actually pointing to the current time, and whether you are even the one described in the prophecy. There was also a lot of talk about what you - assuming it is you - have been called to do"

"I'm guessing you're talking about the uniting of the covens?"

"Yes, it is something that worries us a little."

"I completely understand that: Mr Jones explained that your coven is a very traditional one. Look, would you let me come and visit you, and talk to you all? If that's ok, I'd like to bring 2 other people with me that I'd like you to meet."

"Indeed, we would very much like to have a chance to meet you and talk with you, and yes, by all means bring a couple of others, if you feel it will help. When would you like to visit?"

"Maybe tomorrow evening, or any evening after that?"

"Tomorrow will be fine. 8 o'clock perhaps?"

"Yes, that sounds good, let me just confirm with the others, and I'll get back to you, hopefully within the hour."

Serena had decided that she needed to 'sell' the idea of the many covens working together, so had decided to take Harper and Samantha with her: both 'named' in the prophecy, and from different covens. First of all she went into the spare room, where Harper was working.

"Hey Harper... remember I said something about the 'The Coven of the Unseen Moon'?"

"They're the ones that isolate themselves, right?"

"Yeah, that's right. You ok coming along with me to see them tomorrow evening?". She explained that they needed to almost 'sell' the prophecy: for some reason she just felt that it was so important to get covens like that one to be part of the 'union'.

Next, Serena called Samantha, who was also very willing to help out.

"Great, see you tomorrow!"

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #61 on: 02. September 2022, 18:25:28 PM »
Chapter 72: Visiting the Coven of the Unseen Moon

Serena had dressed quite smartly, yet still in her own style. She wanted to come over as reasonably credible, yet still 'challenge' the coven's beliefs.

"Ready?" Serena asked Harper, taking a look at Harper's braces: they did so suit her! Since getting them 'enhanced' by Elida, Harper had decided that the tongue crib really was very annoying, so had wished for Elida to remove it, but she kept the two expanders. So, she still had a lisp, but nowhere near as bad.

"Yeah... you know, I thtill think it'th tho cool how you are able to teleport over such dithtanceth."

"It's the dark magic that helps, to be honest." She took off her normal nose piercing, putting it into a small pocket, then took the ring from her finger, split the 3 piercings (she was very much in the habit of leaving the frenum ring in place) and put them on. Taking Harper's hand, she said the needed words to both probe and to teleport: moments later they were standing in the living room at Samantha's house.

"Good evening Mr and Mrs Parsons, so good to see you! By the way, this is Harper.". Without thinking, Samantha put her hands onto Serena to refresh her: whilst Serena's dark magic made the longer-distance teleporting a lot easier, she still knew that it slightly affected Serena... plus she was about to do an even longer one with all three of them.

"Hello Harper! Nice to meet you, Samantha explained about you. So, Serena, good luck with this evening, Samantha's been explaining what you're up to." said Mrs Parsons. "And I do like the way you look, still very much you, but it all looks very positive..."

"Yes, tonight is probably the hardest meeting I'll have done with any other coven. Ok, ladies, are we ready?". They all held hands, and a few moments later they were in front of a rather old, yet nice house. Serena, removed the two lip rings, putting them back onto her finger. Yes, maybe she should have left off the extra (non-magical) lip rings, but that was her image... so why SHOULD she? Before going in, Samantha once again cast a quick 'recovery' spell on Serena.

Serena knocked on the front door, which was opened moments later. "Good evening, Mr Simpkin, I'm guessing? I'm Serena: this is Harper, and this is Samantha. All three of us come to visit you in peace." It was clear that Mr Simpkin was slightly taken aback by Serena's appearance, but that didn't worry Serena at all.

"Good evening, Serena. Please, do come in!". He led them through to a large lounge, where there were four other older adults. "Can I introduce my wife, Mrs Simpkin, Mr and Mrs Cleaver, and finally Miss Lovett: we are the elders of the Coven of the Unseen Moon."

"Good evening everyone, it's good to meet you all. My name is Serena, I am from the Coven of the Light, this is Harper, from the Lakes Coven, and finally, this is Samantha, she is from the Coven of Love and Tranquillity.". They all politely shook hands.

Serena knew that the Coven of the Unseen Moon were very formal, and that is why she had specifically introduced the three of them by first names, to make it clear that their covens did not have the same level of formality.

"Ladies, please take a seat: would you like a drink - I'm thinking tea or coffee?". They all agreed that tea would be nice.

With tea poured, and initial pleasantries exchanged, the formal business of the evening started.

"So, Mr Simpkin, when we spoke, we talked about your prophecy. I've brought along copies of the prophecies from our three covens as well as four others: they are, I am sure, very similar to yours, albeit with slight differences. We believe they all come from one single original prophecy, but when the covens split, many hundreds of years ago, the prophecy was known mainly verbally, thus the prophecies vary, depending on how well the details were remembered." explained Serena, as she handed the copies to Mr Simpkin.

Serena, Harper, and Samantha sat quietly as the four elders scanned through the many prophecies.

"Yes, indeed, there is a lot in common between them, isn't there. Perhaps you should see our prophecy." Serena took several minutes to read this new prophecy, which seemed to detail one thing much more than the other three: 'There will come a great plague, which will affect the whole world, known as the plague of the mask. This plague will not die quickly, but will continue for several years in different forms.'

"Well, that bit about the plague, it's rather specific isn't it, and I would suggest it describes Covid-19 rather well," suggested Serena.

"Yes, that's what many of us felt too."

"So, maybe I need to tell you a bit more about myself, which might explain why many of us believe I am the girl named on the prophecies. I am just over 18 years old: when I became 16, I was able to do magic, but I quickly discovered that I found magic to actually be VERY easy to do - I've spoken to several other young witches, and it is clear my abilites far exceeded theirs. At the age of 18, I was called to make my pledge, and whilst everyone else I've ever heard about simply pledged to the light, for some reason I didn't understand, I was unable to do that. I rejected pledging to the darkness out of hand, but was not able to make the normal pledge, instead pledging to 'the light grey': it just seemed to be the right thing to do."

"From just before I was 16, I've had braces: they were fitted by Peter Puller, a witch in the Pine Tree Coven: It seems the braces I was fitted with back then were a bit special, made from some metal taken from the un-holy chain..."

"Did you just say... un-holy chain? You know the stories of the un-holy chain?"

"I know some stories and history about it, my wand has told me. Ah yes, I guess I should maybe introduce my wand, Wanda, before I continue my story: Wanda, please show yourself to everyone. I teamed up with Wanda soon after I pledged: she is also apparently made from a part of the un-holy chain, albeit a different part." While she was speaking, Wanda had appeared in her hand.

"Please send my greetings to these fine people," said Wanda.

"Wanda extends her greetings to you all! So, yes, around the time I made my rather strange pledge, I was getting some very strange feelings from my braces, some good, some apprehensive, so I went and spoke with Peter shorthly after I pledged, and he explained about the metal, and that he felt that - if I was indeed 'the one' - then I would need much more of the metal, to help protect me from the dark magic I would need to use... and Wanda confirmed that. And that is why I have a rather extreme mouthful of braces, made from part of the un-holy chain." Serena smiled, letting them see the metal covering her teeth, thye herbsts, and of course the lip bumpers made of a thick zig-zagging wire. "I have a lot more metal inside my mouth too" continued Serena.

"Yet I'm surprised that you don't have any problems with your speech."

Serena spoke to her braces quickly. "Yeth, you are compwetely cowwect, but not only do my bratheth pwotect me fwom the dark magic, they advithe me, and in addithion, they are able to compwetewy wemove my lithp: they thay that it ith not my fault that I need tho much metal in my mouth, tho they feel they need to let me thpeak normally. OK, guyth, you can thtop my lithp now...."

"Since then, I have also had some special jewellery made: this comes from a darker part of the un-holy chain, a piece held by our coven. It helps me do dark magic a lot easier. It was how we were able to all teleport here this evening."

"You teleported here? That must be what, 30 miles?"

"Yes, something like that. From what I understand, most witches can teleport maybe a few hundred metres using light magic. I can teleport to Samantha's house using light magic, which is about 15 miles away, but it still leaves me rather exhausted. Using dark magic makes a a LOT easier to do, and far less tiring. So, yes, my magic abilities are pretty strong." continued Serena.

"And she's pretty good at summoning too!" said Samantha. "A week or so ago, I was called by Sarah. It seems that, with a bit of help, Serena had not only summoned her sword and dagger from hiding, she also summoned a storm: she was 'playing' with it, sending lightning up to it. Serena, you should show them your sword...".

"I can do that, as long as our hosts are ok with it, I suspect they might like to take a look at it.". The elders nodded their approval.

Serena removed her ring, and let it transform into the 2 pieces of dark jewellery (the frenum ring was still in her mouth, and nose ring in her nose), which she then fitted. "So I have 4 pieces of 'dark jewellery': I keep the one in my mouth pretty much at all times - my braces protect me from it. I normally remove my nose and lip rings when I'm not using them, they transform into that small ring, letting me keep it nearby at all times. Ok, let's get my sword shall we?". Serena took a couple of breaths, held out her two hands in front of her, then said the magic words, followed by her instructions: "I summon my sword to be with me, but come in peace, and lay yourself gently on my hands!" she said very assertively.

"So, this is my sword: from the little I've played with it, it seems to be very powerful when it is in my hands, but a fairly normal sword when others hold it", and she immediately handed it over to Mr Simpkin, then removed her lip rings once more.

"I can feel that this is indeed a mighty sword, it's the sort of weapon who is very choosy about who it will allow to wield its power. Seeing this, I am now very ready to accept that you are the person described in the prophecy." said Mr Simpkin, passing the sword to Mr Cleaver.

"Do you know where this sword actually came from?"

"Yes, I do. I was told that the PineTree Coven are the protectors of a rather large amount of weapons - of which I know nothing yet - and Peter from that coven assures me that this sword comes from their hidden armoury, along with my dagger." Serena paused as they all looked at her sword.

"So, maybe I now need to explain why I have brought Samantha and Harper with me tonight. First of all, you will see that one of the prophecies describes that I will fight with two others, and a third one will use her powers to care for everyone else. My teacher, my mentor, Sarah - of my coven - is one of those who will fight with me. Harper here, from the Lakes Coven is the second one I will fight alongside, and Samantha here, from yet another coven, will be the one who cares for us. I would not have found them but for the prophecy telling me that it is essential that the covens all be reunited"

The three girls continued to talk with the elders for a while longer.

"Excuse me" said Serena, "can I use your loo please?".

"Of course, let me show you where it is" said Mrs Simpkin.

Serena was on the way back from the loo, walking across the hall, when Wanda popped up. "Serena, stop a moment." Serena stopped.

"What is it, Wanda?" she asked.

"I sense something in this house, something somehow calling for you. Close your eyes and listen with all your seven senses". Serena closed her eyes, and opened herself up... and yes, she could feel something calling her. "Hello, I am Serena, who is calling me?" she thought. The calling got a bit louder, but was still rather indistinct, but it sounded like it was something she could not ignore. Opening her eyes, she returned to the lounge.

"Excuse me, Mr Simpkin, but a moment ago, I started getting a very strange feeling, a feeling that there is something in your house calling out to me."

"Do you know what it is?" he asked her.

"I have no idea, but I get the feeling it's something I shouldn't be ignoring. Let me sit down, and listen for it again.". Serena sat dowm, and once again opened herself up. Once more, she could hear something calling her, this time from a different direction. She opened her eyes. "It feels like it's coming from over there" she said pointing towards the back of the house. "Is there something in the room through there perhaps?"

"That room is the old study, there are a few old artefacts in there."

"Would you mind if we took a look?"

"Certainly, come with me.". Both Mr and Mrs Simpkin led her back to the hall, along the hall, and then into another much smaller room. As she walked in, without even trying, Serena felt something.

"Yes, it's in here" she told them. Once more she concentrated: "I think it's coming from the far corner". On the far side of the room was an old desk, probably a couple of hundred years old. To the side of the desk, and around the room there was a large assortment of furniture, including bookshelves with books, and other shelves, full of all sorts of stuff gathered over a very long time. "May I go over and look?" asked Serena politely, very aware that she was a guest in a house belonging to someone she hardly knew.

"Please, do....". As she walked further into the room, she could feel something amongst the many items on the shelves to the right of the desk. As she got closer, she felt it was at chest height... she ran her fingers over the various items: when they got to a medium sized wooden box, she knew that THIS was what was calling her.

"What's this box?" she asked.

"That box? Well, to be honest, it's a bit of a conundrum." said Mrs Simpkin.

"In what way?" asked Serena.

"Let me get it down, and I'll show you..." Mrs Simpkin took a few items from on top of the box, finding somewhere else to put them, then grabbed the box, and put it down on the desk.

"I've always just called it 'The Queen's Box', because of the carving on the front." she explained. The box was about 15 inches or so long, 10 to 12 inches deep, and 5 or 6 inches tall. Made of wood, it looked to be quite old, maybe 200 or 300 years old. As Mrs Simpkin had described, inscribed in the front was the image of a lady, wearing a simple old-fashoned crown. The strangest thing about the box was that there was no obvious join or opening to the box. "As you can see, there seems to be no way to get in. I know many people have tried. My father and some of his friends tried all sorts of magic on it, but to no avail. So have we. From the couple of dents on it, several people have also tried more forceful means, but it seems to be an amazingly strong box, no doubt protected by magic".

Serena walked to the desk, to see the box more closely. Yes, that was definitely where the calling was coming from. "May I?" she asked, indicating she'd like to touch and feel the box.

"By all means!".

As Serena placed her hand on the box to feel it, not only could she sense that same calling coming from the box, but she heard a quiet 'click'. As she removed her hand, she could see that the box was now open: the craftmanship was so good that the now obvious opening had previously been invisible. Mr and Mrs Simpkin were both completely stunned as she opened the box, revealing a large book.

"How DID you manage to open it?" asked Mr Simpkin.

"I'm not really sure, I just touched it.". She put her hand onto the book, and felt something very magical. She carefully opened the book: like the box, it looked and felt like it was well over 200 years old. The front page was blank, but as she touched the page, writing appeared:

"We are but a small group of witches, both light and dark, and we are humbled to think that you, the future Queen Serena from the prophecies, may one day read these words. This book is but the second book of two, containing a special combination of light and dark magic that we sincerely hope will help you in your quest to defeat the dark powers. You will need to find the other book of the pair, which we will give to another coven to protect it. Then you must combine the two of them - only then will the magic you need be revealed. We all remain your most humble servants", and there was a set of 8 signatures, and the date: May MDCCXXXVIII.

As Serena stood there rather stunned at what she had just read, both Mr and Mrs Simpkin came over and looked at it too. "Wanda, I think you need to read this....". Wanda appeared in Serena's hand.

"It was just blank, until I touched it..." said Serena.

"Yes Serena?" said Wanda. She looked at the book, then said "Your Majesty!": this time Serena didn't tell her off. "Wow" added Wanda. For the first time Serena could remember, Wanda was actually speechless.

Serena looked carefully at the date. "Isn't that seventeen.... thirty.... eight?"

"Yes, I think it is. So just three years after the witchcraft laws were created in England. To be honest, having seen what just happened, I no longer have any doubts about what you have told us tonight. I think we'd better take it all into the lounge, and show everyone else." said Mr Simpkin. Serena picked up the box - now very clearly 'her' box, and was about to follow Mr Simpkin, when she spotted something else in the box: four rings: she decided she could look at them in the lounge. They returned to the others in the lounge.

"Edward, remember that old box with the queen's head on, that no one has ever managed to open? When Serena touched it, it opened... take a look..."

Serena put the box on the small table in front of them all. "When I first opened the book, this page was blank" she explained as she once again opened the book: once more the page was blank, until she touched it.

"There's something else in the box" said Harper. "Yes, four rings...." replied Serena. She took them out and looked at them: they were fairly simple rings, with figures inscribed on them.

Once everyone had read the page, Serena picked up the book, and looked at it. "This book... it looks very familiar..." said Serena. "Will you all excuse me a moment?".

Serena sat down, and spent a moment feeling the book, trying to absorb it's 'character', then put it back on the table. After telling Wanda to leave, she once again fitted her dark jewellery, then leaned back in her chair, closing her eyes and concentrating. She let her mind wander to somewhere over 30 miles away. To the library in Mrs Johnson's house. She was sure that's where she had seen the book. It took Serena almost 10 minutes to find it: right up on the top shelf, second book from the left: carefully hidden in plain sight.

"I think I've found it!" she exclaimed. "Half a moment...". With her hand in front of her ready to grab the book, she said a dark summoning spell out loud. "Now get yourself here!" she shouted. The book landed perfectly in her hand. She put it on her knees, and opened the front cover: a blank page, but when she touched it, an almost identical message to that in the first book appeared.

Having once again removed her dark nose rings, she called Wanda. "So, Wanda, what do I do now?". Serena sensed a few confused people. "Ah, Wanda, better show yourself again! So what do I do?"

"Well, the words say to 'combine' the books, so I guess you just need to.... combine... them!"

"Yes, Ms clever-clogs, I worked that out, but how?"

"Put them together?". Serena picked up the original book from the table, and stacked it on the second book... so Book One to the left, Book Two to its right. As they all watched, the two books magically combined, and became something VERY different. Four very ornate books: one large one at the bottom, and three smaller ones on top. She opened the first book, to see what it said: the title page, hand written, simply said 'the Teacher'. She put it onto the table, then looked at the second book: 'The Healer'. Next the third book: 'The Jester'.

"I just realised what these are, they are for you three.... Sarah is 'The Teacher', Samantha, you are 'The Healer', and you, Harper.." said Serena starting to laugh, "I guess they didn't have gymnasts back then, so you are 'The Jester'! I wonder what my book says...?".

Serena slowly opened the cover of the fourth, larger, book, where it simply said 'Our Future Queen'. Serena quickly looked at a few of the pages, and discovered that there was helpful instructions and some very interesting spells, which she could see were a mixture of both light and dark magic - clearly something that she would need to read in detail later on.

"I'll tell you what," said Serena, "up until now, everything has been... well, fun, and a bit wishy-washy, but now everything has suddently become so much more serious. All that stuff in the prophecy... it really IS me, isn't it? I've got SO much to do.....". Samantha leaned over, touched Serena's hand, and cast a calming spell on her.

"Yes, it IS rather daunting, isn't it." commented Samantha. "You know, I think Sarah should join us..."

"Yes, you're right. Umm, excuse me, Mr Simpkin, I think you all need to meet my teacher, Sarah, the third of my companions described in the prophecies - plus she needs to see these books. Would mind if I summoned her to join us?"

"After what we've just witnessed, not in the least".

Serena phoned Sarah. "I hope you're not busy?" she said.

"No, why?"

"In that case, stand up, and prepare to be summoned!"


"Just stand up will you, unless you want to fall in a heap on the floor, and make yourself look stupid!". Still wearing her dark jewellery, Serena said the important words.

Serena introduced Sarah to the five elders of the The Coven of the Unseen Moon, then quickly explained to Sarah what had happened. "This is for you, I think..." she said, passing the 'Teacher' book to her. She then remembered the rings, and picked them up: suddenly the inscriptions on the four rings made much more sense: a jester, a teacher, a healer, and a queen! She put her 'queen' ring on the third finger of her right hand: not only did it fit perfectly (which didn't surprise Serena in the least!), there was something about it that 'felt right'.

"Guys, these four rings that were in the box, there's one of each of us." She gave out the rings, and as each of them put the rings on, they too felt the same thing. Harper was the last to put her ring on, and as she did so, they all felt a very strange - yet pleasant - magical connection.

"That's weird!" said Harper.

"Yeah, I know what you mean" replied Sarah. "I'm starting to feel some sort of strange connection with you three. Harper: I can sense you're not 100% sure what has happened tonight!"

"I guess you guys have been actively using magic a lot more than me, so yeah..." said Harper.

"It's ok, you'll be fine!" said Samantha reaching over and touching Harper to help calm her a little.

Once again, Serena turned to the five elders. "I know that your coven has a history of 'keeping itself to itself', but I'm rather hoping that, after everything that's happened tonight, I can persuade your coven to reunite with us all?"

"You know" said Ms Lovett, who had been relatively quiet all evening, "I believe I now understand WHY we have kept ourselves so isolated from the other covens. Over the years I've spoken with many of our older members, and seen a few old documents that didn't really make a lot of sense... until now. I think the reason our coven has been 'hiding itself' has been to protect what is clearly a VERY important treasure. And to think that we had absolutely no idea what this was! But now that our purpose seems to be done, I think we must do our duty, and rejoin the other covens!"


"Serena, Harper, Samantha, and also Sarah... thank you all for coming this evening. I'll be quite honest, my first impressions of you when you arrived earlier, Serena, were... how shall I put this without being too rude... rather negative. But how wrong I was! You are clearly a witch of her convictions, you seem willing to take on tasks which are not of your own free choice, but have been forced upon you: for that alone, you have my deep respect! But we have seen things tonight that completely validate everything in the prophecy, and I think we five, and the members of our coven have a lot MORE to discuss, but I think you can now count on our unquestionable support for whatever you need to do."

"Yes, this evening ended up being VERY different from how I thought it would be. I'm looking forward to inviting you all to meet the elders of our three covens!". Serena silently sighed deeply: she felt very relieved. To be quite honest, she hadn't felt all that positive when they had first arrived, but it continued to amaze Serena how things just 'seemed to work out'. Maybe re-uniting the covens really COULD be done after all. It was the bits afterwards that worried her!

Serena re-inserted her dark jewellery, and took them all back home.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #62 on: 03. September 2022, 16:22:34 PM »
Chapter 73: What just happened?

"There's so much that I don't fully understand" said Harper. "I mean, let's start with the prophecy... or prophecies..."

"The best I can work out is that back in the middle ages 'witchcraft' was more of a 'normal' thing, and I guess a lot of it was a knowledge of natural things that could help people get better, combined with some discrete magic. Some people got worried, I'm guessing they believed it was at one with their religious beliefs back then, and laws were passed, forbidding witchcraft. So through the 1500s and 1600 a lot of witches got persecuted and killed, which meant that those who were left had to hide away, leading up to the break of of the united covens. Of course, back then, most people couldn't write, so knowledge was shared verbally, often in stories. And I'm guessing the prophecy was one of those stories. Once people started to write more, then the prophecies got written down - but of course, over the many generations, the story changed, which is why the many prophecies are slightly different."

"But surely witchcraft is no longer illegal?"

"I hope it is! They passed several laws in the 1500s and 1600s to make us all illegal. Finally, in the 1700's they decided that witches simply didn't exist, so passed a law that said that anyone 'pretending' to be a witch must be a fraud! That finally got repealed back in the 1950's, replaced by a law to do with 'trying to deceive and make money'. That one got replaced about 15 years ago, replaced with one covering 'unfair trading'. So as far as the law goes, our skills just don't exist"

"And the covens never re-united?"

"No, they didn't. Let's be honest, while there's still many witches around, there's not a HUGE amout of witchcraft happening around the country. Yeah, I guess there'a few wacko groups out there doing rather dark witchcraft, trying to call on Satan and that sort of thing, and they give us a bit of a bad name! But your mum and dad, what do they ever do?"

"Yeah, not much, you're right. So you found out about the prophecies when you pledged?"

"Yeah, my pledging rather upset people, that prophecy probably saved me! And the more of them we find, the more obvious it is that there really IS something in it - or rather them."

"So these books you found tonight, where do they come from? And where did you get that second book from?"

"It seems they got written in the 1700's, just after they updated the law, by a group of light and dark witches: they must have really believed the prophecy to risk eight of them working together. That second book that I summoned came from Mrs Johnson's library: she's one of our coven's elders, and over the years her husband put together quite a library of witchcraft and magic spells, and I've been given full access to her books. When I saw the first book, I had a feeling I'd seen one like it somewhere, and the obvious place was Mrs Johnson's library. It was right up on the top shelf, almost against the wall - it was hard to find though!"

"So two books combined then split again?"

"Yeah, now THAT'S what I call a good use of witchcraft! The two individual books both seemed to be quite innocuous, and everything was magically keyed to me! Noone else would have been able to combine the two volumes. I mean, sheer genius! Then leaving them with different covens, one in plain sight, the other so well hidden. I'm actually wondering if they knew that I would be a member of The Coven of the Light? Otherwise, it could have taken a LOT of hunting to find that book - if it even still existed. All I can say is 'thank you Mr Johnson'!"

"So Sarah, how long have you been teaching Serena her magic?"

"Ever since she was 16, and found out she was a witch. We used to be a 'closed coven', hiding our abilities from the younger kids, although that changed recently thanks to Serena. From the start it was clear that Serena's abilities would quickly outstrip mine... and I've been studying for over 10 years, since I was 16."

"Ok... and what about you, Samantha. You're not in Serena's coven, how did you actually meet?"

"So, when I was about 12 or 13, mum, dad and I were on a skiing holiday out in Italy, and I met Samantha, we got on really well, and discovered we actually lived not that far from each other. Since then we've met up a few times during holidays, and always kept in touch. And neither of us had any idea were were both witches. I seem to remember I was on the phone to you, wasn't I Samantha, and you heard Wanda?"

"Yeah, it was just before the big picnic... and I heard this voice mention my name and say something about a picnic - that was Wanda. Next moment she'd teleported over to my bedroom! And that's when we worked out we were both witches." explained Samantha.

"Yeah, like when you heard Wanda the other day, and it meant you were someone a bit special, the same happened with Samantha! Tell you what, when the weather gets better, next spring, I think we need to have some sort of mega-picnic."

"Things are starting to make a lot more sense to me now! So, these ring we just got, what do we know about them?"

"Not a lot... hey, Wanda, what do you know about them?"

Wanda popped up. "Ah good evening once again Scholastic Serena, my Mystical Mistress"

"Don't you ever have anything better to do other than think of new silly names for me?"

"Well, I'm not allowed to call you 'your majesty' yet, am I? So I have to call you something... besides, it keeps me occupied. Talking of which, you want to know about the rings, don't you? Not had a lot of luck yet, but have got some feelers out. But I've heard of rings like this before, they help the wearer's 'keep in touch' and 'share their feelings'. But, given where these rings have come from, I suspect they might be much more powerful than that. Oh, by the way, now that Heady Harper has joined us, and your team is finally complete, maybe it's time to get those weapons that the PineTree Coven has for you."

"Weapons?" asked Harper.

"Yes, it seems that the PineTree Coven are the custodians of an armoury of weapons, but everything is hidden somewhere, just like my sword and dagger were."

"Yeah, I WAS wondering about those, how DID you get them?"

"I was wanting to how well ecstasy could improve my magic, so decided it would be fun to summon a sword and a dagger. To be honest, I wasn't really expecting them to appear, but they did."

"Ok, so you have got anything else yet then?"

"No, I've been dissuaded from mixing magic with drugs since then, and normal summoning doesn't seem to work. Which begs the question: Wanda, how DO we get the other stuff?"

"I would suggest that you start by getting in touch with the PineTree Elders, and visit their armoury."

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #63 on: 03. September 2022, 16:23:51 PM »
So, today you get TWO chapters.... and this is the last chapter of the story.....


Chapter 74: Time to get the weapons!

The four of them teleported to the front door of Maurice's house - he's the chief elder of the PineTree Coven. If you remember, Peter is from that coven too, and he had told Serena they existed to 'provide for she who will protect the world'. Whilst they could have just teleported straight into Maurice's living room, that would have been rather rude.

The house they stood in front of was actually very old, and quite big. When I say 'very old', I mean that some parts of it would have been well over 500 years old, dating back to the time when the covens of England were still united.

Sarah rang the doorbell: very quickly the door was opened.

"Good evening, ladies, do come in!"

"Good evening Maurice, Peter," said Serena as they went into the living room. "You've both met Sarah and Samantha before, but you haven't yet met Harper: she is the fourth one mentioned by the prophecy, it seems she will be on the front-line, with me and Sarah."

"Harper, it is entirely our pleasure, nice to finally meet you!" said Peter.

"Nice to meet you too. Serena told me that one of you is her orthodontist, and gave her her braces?"

"Yes, that's me."

"Ah, good, we were wondering if there would be any advantage in me having braces made from the same metal as hers: I've been learning some simple dark magic, and we thought they might be able to help to protect me."

"A good question, to which I don't actually know the answer... leave it with me, and I'll go speak to a few people, then get back to you."

"Thank you, Peter!"

"So, you said that you'd like to finally see what weapons we have for you?" said Maurice.

"Yes please..." replied Serena.
"In that case, why don't you all follow me..."

Maurice led them down to the basement of the large house: it was clear that this was part of the original house.

"Welcome to the Armoury!" he said. There were shelves on the wall, a couple of very old tables, plus a large old wooden chest, but apart from that, the place was empty. Completely bare.

"It's a bit empty for an armoury!" commented Serena opening the chest, to find it was also empty. She gently lay her sword and dagger on one of the tables..

"Yes, but according to our history, this room is a safe place for the various bits and pieces when they have been summoned. I assume all the pieces have been safely hidden, and that you need to summon them."

"Yeah, I succeeded with these two, but I was high as a kite at the time! Not managed with anything else yet."

Wanda popped up. "Oh, Serena Muffin, Eternal Beauty of the lands, Mystical Mistress, Lady of the Dark and Light magic...."

"You've been getting really bored yet again, haven't you? I'm rather hoping you can help us work out how to summon our armoury from hiding, without my needing to get high on ecstasy again!"

"Well, now that you are four, I think you just need to invoke the Power of Four"

"The power of four?"

"Yes, the Power of Four - capital P, capital F by the way! Oh, come on Serena, have you NEVER watched 'Charmed'? They used the 'Power of Three'...."

"What ARE you on about, Wanda?"

"Never mind, it was a TV series about three witches. The four of you need to link your magic together."

"And how do we do that then?"

"Well, I guess it needs to start with us wands: we four wands need to unite....."

"Ok, talk us through what to do..."

"Well, if everyone gets their wands out, and just let us all touch together."

"Ok, ladies, are we ready?". All four of them stood in a circle (or maybe it's a square?), and held their wands out in front of them, then touched them together.

Nothing happened.


"Yes, we seem to have a bit of a problem here. Give it another go...". Once again the 4 wands were touched together, but still nothing happened. "Harper, can I see your wand properly, please?" asked Wanda. Harper held her wand up, close to Wanda. "There's something not right with your wand. It should be bigger, longer, more ornate, as befits one of your importance: currently it's a bit plain and small".

"Excuse me" said Maurice, "would you mind if I took a closer look, your wand looks quite familiar..." Maurice looked at it more closely. "Give me a moment, will you ....". He went off, and returned a few minutes later with an apparently identical wand. "This wand has been kept with a small number of other historical artifacts, but no one has ever known who it was for. I wonder if it could be relevant?"

When Wanda saw the wand, she started to get very excited. "It's the missing twin! It's the missing twin!!"

"What do you mean, Wanda, 'missing twin'?"

"The twins, they must be reunited!" said Wanda excitedly.

"What? Just calm down a bit, Wanda. Take a few deep breaths.... Explain..."

"These two wands are twins. Alone they each are very plain and have a very limited power, but together they will become the wand that Harper both needs and deserves to have"

"So what does Harper need to do?"

"Harper: take one wand in each hand, and just bring them gently together." explained Wanda. Harper took the second wand from Maurice, and slowly and gently brought the two wands together. Needless to say, as they touched there was lots of magical sparks and flashes and some smoke, and as the smoke cleared, Harper could see that her wand was now very different. It was longer, white, and much more ornate: clearly a PROPER wand!

"Oh my goodness, it's so good to be back together again, it's been a while!" said two voices in unison. "Oh, hello, who are you then?" they asked of Harper.

"My name is Harper"

"Hello, Harper, why are you holding us?". Harper wasn't quite sure how to reply.

"Because she is one of the four, mentioned in the old prophecy!" said Wanda.

"Wanda? It that YOU? It's been SUCH a long time!"

"Hasn't it just?! Ladies, meet Yin and Yan, the twins of the mighty white wand. Yin, Yan, my owner here is Serena, the ONE named in the prophecy who was unable to pledge to the light. She is from the Coven of the Light, as is Sarah over there. Harper is from the Lakes Coven, and she and Sarah are the two who are destined to fight alongside Serena. The last of the four here is Samantha, she is from the Coven of Love and Tranquillity: she will not fight with them, but will be there to care for them and all the others"

"You mean the prophecy is finally coming to fruition? So many things are starting to make sense. Ladies, it's a pleasure to meet you all! So, the other two are being very quiet..." said Yin and Yan in unison, referring to Sarah's and Samantha's wands.

"Yes, I don't think they know what's going on yet - I think it's maybe time to wake them up." suggested Wanda.

"Wake them up? Ok..." said Serena, "so what do we need to do?"

"Exactly what you did before! Now that Yin and Yan are here and together, things might work this time: want to give it another try?"

Once more the four stood in a circular square (or was it a squared circle?), and touched their wands together. There was, of course, colourful magic sparks, flashes, and smoke, along with a load of other special effects (which put quite a dent into the story's budget!). There was a coughing from inside the smoke.

"Why, oh why, oh why, does there always have to be so much damn smoke whenever you wake me up?" said Sarah's wand.

"Oh, stop complaining will you! At your age you should be grateful to still be alive, and able to wake up!" said Samantha's wand.

"Now now, ladies! It's good to have you both with us again!"


"Yes, I'm here, so are Yin and Yan. I guess I need to introduce everyone.... So, my owner here is Serena, she is the ONE named in the prophecy who was unable to pledge to the light. Yin and Yan are with Harper. Ethel, you are with Sarah... Harper and Sarah are the two who will fight alongside Serena against the dark forces; and Madge, you are with Samantha, the one who will pour out her love and healing on the others."

The four wands started talking to each other, whilst our four witches just watched and listened. Basically, it seems they all knew each other quite well, and Wanda needed to explain what was going on to them all.

Peter and Maurice were looking on, absolutely bemused. They both knew that Wanda was able to speak to Serena, but apart from that, really had no idea what was happening. Serena noticed, and turned around, and explained about the wands, that they could all talk, and that they seemed to be catching up on what was happening.

"Ah, ok... look, I think you four... or maybe I should say eight... seem to have things under control: why don't we just leave you to it, you can always shout for us, or even summon us, if you need us." said Peter.

"Yeah, I'm ok with that..." said Serena. Serena could tell that, by now, the wands had shared the important details, and were just gossiping. "Ladies! Ladies!... Yes, you four wands...."

"I'm sorry, your majesty" said Madge, "it's just been a long time..."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah... oh, and Madge, leave off the 'majesty' bit will you...." said Serena.

"So sorry, your Royal Highness" replied Madge. Serena glared at her.

"Just call her Serena, that way you might stay friends with her!" suggested Wanda.

"Thank you, Wanda. Now, you said we need to invoke the 'power of four' to summon our weaponry: what do we need to do?"

"Ok, hold your wands in one hand, then put your other hands together."

"Ready to give it a try, ladies?". Serena, Samantha, Sarah and Harper stood together, and touched their hands together: whilst there was no smoke, they could all feel some sort of power rise inside them.

"Now what?" asked Serena

"Umm... try summoning your weapons?" suggested Wanda.

"What do I say?"

"Not sure, I guess you need to spell out who you are, and ask the weapons to come out of hiding." Serena took a big breath.

"My name is Serena, only child of John and Davina, a girl with a mouth of metal, a will of steel, and a heart of gold, who pledged neither to the light nor the dark, and therefore I believe I am the child described in the many prophecies. With me are Sarah, Harper and Samantha, also described by the many prophecies."

"I have already started to reunite the covens of the land, as required by the prophecies, but if I am to defeat the as-yet-to-be-defined dark threat, I believe I'm going to need some help. I already have a sword and a dagger, but my wand tells me there are a lot more things of both defense and offence available to me."

"My request is simple: please show me what is available to me..."

Over the next minute or two there was a lot of clanking, thudding and other expensive sound effects (yeah, there goes the budget again!) as a whole host of weapons, armour and so on appeared in the room. What started off as a rather empty room was now pretty full. More relevant for Serena, her sword and dagger were now both in rather nice ornate scabbards.

"Umm, Serena..." said Samantha.

"Yes?" replied Serena, who had been admiring the scabbards for her sword and dagger.

"Over to your left....." Serena looked over to her left, where she saw 4 people, who seemed to have arrived with all of the weapons and armour. They were dressed in some sort of lightweight traditional 'armour', and had various medieval weapons attached to them.

"Who on earth are you?" asked Serena.

"I could ask you the same thing.... and why have you brought us here?" asked one of the men in the group: his accent seemed to be Irish.

"My name is Serena, and I didn't bring you here, well, not that I'm aware of."

"Serena, as in Queen Serena, Queen of all covens in the four countries of Britain?" asked the same guy.

"Well, I'm not Queen yet, but yes, I'm that Serena... so who are you?"

Instantly the four newcomers went down on their knees, took out their swords, putting them on the ground in front of them. "We are but your humble servants, your Majesty!"

"Wanda? What IS going on?"

"Well, from what I remember you saying a few moments ago, you summoned 'things of both defence and offence available to you....', and I'm guessing these guys are part of the package!".

"Ok..." replied Serena. She turned to the newcomers. "So, please get up, and introduce yourselves, and tell us where you are from, and why you are here."

"My name is Aodh, this is Berach, Ciara and Deirbhile [*}. We four are all witches, and our prophecies called us together from four of the covens in the South of Ireland, to support Queen Serena of the covens of all England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, in her quest to defeat the dark forces that threaten our lands. We don't know why, but we felt that we had to meet together today for a very important meeting. At that meeting, we were talking, then suddenly we were teleported here - where are we actually? And I have a feeling that you might like to read these...".

[*Author's note: these are four Irish names, the first two are male, the other two are female]
Aodh passed over 4 large pieces of paper, copies of 4 prophecies, which Serena took and read - or should I say 'tried to read', but they used words that she didn't recognise. "Wanda, I don't suppose you can translate them for me, can you?". Serena held the prophecies up to let Wanda read them.

"Ah, they are written in the traditional language of Ireland. They are all very similar, and tell of four able warriors of both the light and the dark, who will come together from four different covens, and who will train in order to help the mighty Queen Of The Covens and her 3 loyal followers. They will pledge absolute allegience to their future Queen, and use all their skills and abilities to help her to defeat the evil threat."

"Well, I guess I need to introduce my three 'loyal followers' to you then: this is Sarah, my teacher, and this is Harper: our prophecy tells that they will fight alongside me; and this is Samantha, she is the one who will give out her love and healing to the rest of us, when we need it. Of us, I am the only one skilled at using dark magic, although the others have limited abilities. Here, I guess you might like to see some of our prophecies..." Serena summoned copies of their prophecies, and passed them over.

"And... you asked where we are - we are in the south of England. These are the cellars of an old house belonging to one of the elders of one of the local covens: they told us that they had a load of hidden weapons etc ready for us, so we came here today to summon them. It seems that you guys 'came as part of the package deal'."

The four newcomers read the prophecies that Serena had given them. "Teeth of metal?" asked Aodh.

"Yup, teeth of metal... do have a look!" replied Serina, opening her mouth to reveal her extreme braces.

"Ok, yes, I can't really argue with that!" he said with a bit of a laugh. "So how long have you been doing this then?"

"By 'this' you mean?....."

"Oh, sorry, the stuff in the prophecy, I guess."

"I had my 18th birthday about 3 months ago, that's when I pledged to the grey bit between the light and dark, and found out about the prophecy. And started to learn about dark magic. Poor Harper here only learnt of her involvement last week! As for this lot" said Serena, indicating the medieval weapons and armour, "apart from my sword and dagger, we only just summoned it... and you four seemed to arrive with it! How long have you guys been preparing for this?"

"About 3 months. Like it was for you, it was a bit of a surprise for us too!"

Serena looked around at all the rather old armour, and assorted weapons that had just arrived.

"Umm, is it just me?" said Serena, "But these weapons... and the weapons that you guys have...  well, they were probably ok maybe 3 or 400 years ago, but even if they are all magical, I'm not seeing them as being particularly 'up to the job'".

"I think I'm agreeing with you there, Serena" said Harper.

"Yup, I'm with you there, Harper" agreed Sarah.

"Wanda? Is there something we need to know about this lot?"

"Well, I guess you could try running an upgrade."

"An upgrade?"

"Yeah... like with your computer, you upgrade it every so often, don't you? What do you have now, Windows 10? That used to be Windows 8, before that it was Windows 7.... even Windows 95. This lot here is more like 'Windows 1738', it all probably needs a bit of an upgrade"

"And how do we do that then? No, let me guess: 'power of four'?"

"You're learning quickly, Serena! Yes, definitely a power of 4 thing. I think I need to tell you all a bit more about 'the power of four': by combining your powers together, you all four have access to the magic of everyone else. It actually doesn't matter which of you casts any spells, they will still work. If all four off you cast the same spell, it kinda turns the volume up on the spell. And it seems that's what those rings are for too, they help connect you, so for certain magic, you don't actually need to be together."

"Ok, and you know what magic we can do that way?"

"No, I'm afraid I don't... I guess you guys have some training to do! Maybe there's something in those books you got from the coven of the unseen moon? Anyway, do you want to run the update?"

"I guess we do...". Serena looked around at the three others, who nodded their agreement. "Hey, Harper, want to have a go with this one? With your computing skills, you must know all about doing upgrades!"

"Ok... I'll try, but don't all go blaming me when it all goes wrong!".

They found a space amongst all of the weaponry and armour, and - with the four newcomers watching on - once more invoked 'the power of four'. "Through the power of the magic of the four of us, please can you update the weapons and armour?" said Harper. Nothing happened.

"I'm thinking you need to TELL them rather than ask nicely. A bit darker, if you see what I mean. Go on, give it another try!" said Serena.

"Right! Through the joint power of us four, I COMMAND you all to get yourself updated, and NO messing around!!!". That seemed to do the job nicely: with the mandatory sparks, bangs and smoke (and another big dent in the special effects budget), something happened, and it wasn't until the smoke cleared did they realise quite the extent of what had happened. Whilst certain of the weapons (such as Serena's dagger and sword) and armour remained unchanged, the rest was now very up to date: high-tech, light-weight, carbon-fibre armour. Some very fancy looking guns and rifles. And a load of other modern tech stuff too.

And it wasn't just the recently summoned weapons that got upgraded: the four newcomers all seemed to have had their weapons and armour updated too.

Harper picked up one of the very modern looking rifles, and looked at it. Then she put it to her shoulder, aimed at the far end of the room, and pulled the the trigger: a ray of red light shot out the end, and promptly made a good sized hole in the wall. "Smeggin' hell, it's a bloomin' laser rifle - cool!"

Serena turned to the four newcomers: "Erm, I don't suppose any of you have military training, do you? We need to get ourselves trained up on this lot!"

And THAT is where this story ends!

Offline xxxforce

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #64 on: 05. September 2022, 16:59:47 PM »
ENDING when the adventure just begins?!

No No - that would be not fair to us - So jsut continue ;-)

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #65 on: 05. September 2022, 18:32:40 PM »
ENDING when the adventure just begins?!

No No - that would be not fair to us - So just continue ;-)

Whilst I do have vague ideas about what Serena could do, the amount of relevant braces content (= other than <"Hi braces, you guys coping ok?" asked Serina>) would be close to zero. And this IS supposed to be a "Braces Forum"....

I wrote this last week:

So, Serena has met her companions, and has got all her weapons etc, plus 4 extra members of the team she wasn't expecting.

So, yes, she needs to continue reuniting the covens, but beyond that, she would be needing to prepare herself and her team to be able to fight the 'dark threat'... and I think they could do with some serious military-style training.

So, how would she go about doing that? I'm thinking in this story that witches are probably about 0.1% of the population (the city where I live is about 50,000, so a coven of 50 would seem reasonable), so there must be a few witches in the military (I just looked, there's 150,000 in UK military... so about 150 witches) . Would they actually USE their witching skills: knowing the military, if they had wind of witches (and they've had plenty of time to find out about them!) then I would almost ASSUME that there is a team of witches, like the SAS / Seals / Paratroop regiment in the military. Their mere existence would be kept highly secret.

But THEY are the people that Serena would need to find, both to GET trained, but maybe to also get THEM better trained in magic to help 'fight the dark threat'. There is no doubt that traditional weapons would be of no use, magic MUST be used.

So how WOULD Serena find this team? She knows no one within the military. My only guess would be to start at the top, with the Defence Minister, or the Major General who runs the SAS... which could be an interesting task!

Your thoughts?

I seem to be ok at writing 'people interaction' bits, but not too sure about full-on fighting (I struggled a lot with the Lilly vs Dark Angel fight). So, maybe it's time to leave Serina, you can complete her adventures in your own heads!!!

I'm looking at a few previous stories, and wondering whether to continue any of them.... "Nanite Technology" is certainly one I could continue. How would you like a story about Carol? She's the "C" of "CJDL", that girl band, that I wrote that not-so-short story about Jenny (she's the "J") and Ben. I did actually start that story, but I'm not too happy with where it was going... so whilst chapter 1 was ok, not so sure after that!!!! Or did you all get fed up of CJDL?