Return To Me

Story by Doctor Mercurious
Art by Naga
Everyone has rituals, interconnected actions performed so often they take on a deeper meaning. I am no different than ordinary people in this respect, save that my most important ritual is of significant concern to my bed-partner of last night. Her existence as she knows it depends on it, in fact.

When I first awaken to the rays of the sun as they shine in my bedroom window, the first thing I do is stand in front of the wall-mirror opposite my bed. I examine the body I wear for signs that it is giving out; a sagging breast, neck wattles, wrinkles about the eye, or any one of a dozen warning signs. If all is well, then my bedmate will find a heavier purse when she leaves my tower; if not, then I promptly possess her body and and force her mind into the deepest part of her consiousnes so that she couldn't possibly retake it. One of the many reasons I prefer my own sex in bed; I certainly would want to be male. Ick!

This was one of those mornings where my current bedmate was unlucky; I noticed some small dark spots on my neck that weren't there yesterday. I took her lovely body regretfully - she was one of the most skillful lovers I've had in a while - and quickly so that she has no time to realize what's happening; I'm not without mercy, despite what my detractors say.

The ones that can still speak, at any rate.

Her mind has no time to issue protests as I completely take it over. I hear one last cry off in the back of my mind and then silence. As I left my old body its owner's mind came sweeping back, but before she could do much more than look surprised I waved my hand and turned her into a pillow that now lies with others on my bed. With that task done, I then go about reshaping the body so it looks more like me; lighten the hair to my customary silver blonde, make the eyes more almond-like and turn them green, lengthen the legs. I ponder the breasts for a moment - - I'm tempted to keep them, as they were significantly larger than mine - - but end up shrinking them to my smaller but still ample size.

A flapping noise signaled Bat's approach. My Familiar's tiny form perched on the windowsill, folded its leathery wings and looked me over. "Another one bites the dust?" she snickered.

"It's a shame," I sighed. "This one was particularly good in bed, too. Still I do like how her chin looks on me. Send the usual purse to her family and up it about twenty percent."

"Got it, Boss."

"So," I said, as I yawned and stretched my new back, "what's on the agenda for today?"

"Well," Bat mused, "there's hiring a new, apprentice for you to play with, needless to say. Would you believe there's still a list of willing volunteers?"

"Willing or not they'll do as I say, if they know what's good for them," I muttered darkly. "Anything else?"

"Hydra reports no intruders. Cow claims she's dried up and can't give milk. Does that mean steak tonight?"

I smile at Bat; she looks almost eager at the prospect. "Let me see if I can't convince her." Then I remembered something. "How's Threesum?"

Bat rolls her eyes. "Suffering in silence, most like. They're no fun, Boss. I can't tease them at all."

"I like spirit in my guests," I retorted. "Occasionally. Remind me to reshape them into something more mobile today. What else?"

Bat shrugged. "That's it. Pretty quiet today."

I frowned. There seemed to be something nagging at my memory, but I couldn't quite recall what. "You're sure?"

She flew off the windowsill and landed on my lap. "Well, I'm hungry. That I'm sure of." She looked at me hopefully.

I smile and bared a breast, forcing it to lactate. "Here you are. Just watch the teeth this time."

Threesum liked their new look; I'm usually not one to do requests, but I'm forced to admit that although their original form was more artistic, this one has significant erotic potential. Their single wide torso spouts three heads and two rows of three breasts; easily accessible by their four arms. Their hips are wide to accommodate their three legs, and they have two genitals. The center head not having any arms or legs of her own, is only along for the ride.

Even Bat looked impressed. "Yum," she says, licking her lips. "Boss, if you're not interested, can I have 'em?"

"Just what would you do with them, pray tell?" I laughed and scratch her behind the ear. "You're far too small!"

Threesum is laying on a couch in one of my sitting rooms, the sweat from their reshaping still dampens their skin. "I'm sure something could be arranged, Mighty Sorceress," the left head says demurely. The right head blows Bat a kiss, and the center merely smiles.

"Now, now. No orgies without me present."

The voice hits me in the back of the head like an icicle, a voice I haven't heard in far too long. Strong, warm arms embrace me from behind and a kiss tickles my ear.

"Hey, kitty-pet," he said. "Miss me?"

I turned to face the only man ever to share my bed. "Jonathan," I gasped, then my senses swooned as I hungrily devoured his lips. I ran my hands over his chest, through his sandy blond hair, gazed into his green eyes full of love and amusement.

"I'll take that as a yes," he chuckled, causing the room to spin. Or maybe that was my head; Jonathan's always had that effect on me.

"Hey, Mouse," he greeted Bat. "You keeping my girl honest?"

Bat glanced about uncertainly, giving me a wild-eyed look. "Uh, Boss?"

I tsked. "Now, Bat, you remember Jonathan. Is that any way to say hello?"

"Uh, no Boss. Sorry, Boss. Right, Boss. What's up, Johny?" Jonathan's always made Bat nervous, for some odd reason.

"Who are these three lovely ladies?" he said, giving Threesum a dazzling smile.

"Ah, my manners!" I declared. "See what you do to me, you male?" That with a poke to his ribs. "These are Threesum. Threesum, this is Jonathan."

Threesum stands up, and Jonathan walks over, taking a hand and kissing it. "Enchanted."

"A pleasure," they said in unison. The center head looked uncertainly at Bat as she settled on the chandelier.

"So, he said, "How are things?"

I laughed. "You disappear without a word - AGAIN, I might add," at this he wrapped his arms around me and kissed me, "are gone for I don't know how long, and then just waltz on in here and expect to..." he gave me an even deeper kiss. I pull back from him reluctantly. "How did you get by Hydra?" I asked.

He smiled. "I'm resourceful."

I snorted, long suspecting that Jonathan has magical abilities. "That still doesn't let you off the hook, male."

He gave me an innocent look. "How can I make it up to you?"

I rubbed against him suggestively, forgetting that Bat and Threesum were present in my desire. "Well," I said, sounding doubtful, "you could start by...." I whispered a few indelicacies in his ear.

He carried me upstairs.

-carried me upstairs where he used his magic to tie me to the bed you're my servant he told me you should serve me how i want i don't want it but i do as he said and began to chant felt myself change -

I bolted upright in bed, a scream strangling in my throat. The moon still shone through my bedroom window, casting everything in a cold, icy light. Jonathan awakened almost instantly, a hand on my shoulder.

"You okay, kitty-pet?" he said, concern etched on his features.

I shuddered. "A nightmare. A bad one."

"Well, that's the thing about nightmares," he said as he sat up in bed and embraced me. "They don't survive waking, unless they're true ones."

"True nightmares?" I murmured, burying my face in his chest.

"Oh yes," he chuckles. "Bad things that really happened to you can haunt your thoughts when asleep. Is it one of those?"

"No," I said with more certainty than I feel. "I'm The Sorceress. I'm happener, not a happened-to."

Jonathan cupped my chin, lifted my head up to gaze into his eyes.. In the moonlight, he looked like a stone statue.

"That's good to know," he smiled

Jonathan wanted to go horseback riding when I awoke the next day to gorgeous blue skies without a hint of clouds. The sneaky, underhanded male that he was, he plied me with breakfast in bed.

"This is not how I maintain my girlish figure," I insisted, gesturing at my plate with a fork. It held eggs, bacon, a generous slice of ham, and biscuits with sausage gravy. Just looking at it make my arteries scream for mercy. "If I ate like this all of the time I'd go through twice as many bodies."

"You're too skinny," he insisted. "Besides, you'll work it off during our hike today." He pushed the plate in front of me.

I pushed it back. "I don't have a horse. You don't have a horse. What are we supposed to ride?"

He leered at me. "Each other?"

That dirty male; I blushed to the tips of my toes while he laughed uproariously. "Keep this up and I'll turn you into -"

- you made it go away what am i something more suitable for an assistant call it paying for your training but i don't want to dont you know he sneered those with magic dont need permission and he forced me down again entered me -

Someone was shaking me violently; so paralyzed with fear was I that at first I didn't know Jonathan. My breakfast was in a heap on the floor, the plate a shattered ruin.

Jonathan gripped me tightly. "Okay, as of right now I'm officially concerned."

"You're concerned?" I tried to joke, but the smile wouldn't come. I was worried. Could magic be affecting me? Almost ridiculous to consider; all the world knew that The Sorceress was a mighty practitioner of the Arts, one not to take lightly. Surely no one would dare! Yet what I experienced could be nothing else but an attack, one that had swept my magical defenses aside with contemptuous ease.

"Maybe we'd better stay in today," he began, but I silenced him with a finger to his lips.

"No," I said. My voice sounded shaky, but I tried it again. "No. I will not give in to whoever is doing this to me. If he thinks I'll just curl up and whimper, he's in for a bad shock."

Jonathan gave me a dubious look. "If you're sure..."

"I am." Good; my voice was firm, as it should be. "Let me saddle up Pony and then I'll see to getting you a mount."

He shook his head. "No need. I'm set on that score." He frowned. "I thought Pony didn't work out?"

"She was always complaining," I snorted. "I finally turned her into a rocking-horse, just to get her to shut up. Perhaps she'll behave better, now she's had time to reflect."

"You might try riding her without spurs," Jonathan chided. "She's intelligent, just tell her where you want to go and let her do it."

"Now where would be the fun in that?" I thought about that for a moment and shrugged. "I suppose."

"Okay, let's stop here," I told Pony. She obeyed immediately without complaint; I marveled in the change of her character.

"You see?" Jonathan said from atop his chestnut stallion. He still hadn't told me where he got it; it certainly hadn't been made from one of my guests, of that I'm certain.

I smiled indulgently as I dismounted Horse, deigning not to comment. In a short bit we had a nice picnic lunch on a grassy hill, where my tower glistened like a fierce jewel. Most of my garden is heavily wooded save for a few areas; this hill was one of them.

"So," I said after we'd eaten our fill of fried chicken and potato salad, "did you fix me any dessert?" I gave him an arch look which I hoped he wouldn't misinterpret.

He didn't. "Oh, I've got something very special for you," he growled, giving me one of THOSE kisses. I responded in kind; I felt his hands on my bodice, gently unlacing

- unlacing my dress but I dont wear dresses you do now my dear so stop complaining youre making me tired of you -

The world snapped back into focus. I had somehow managed to stand up, lightning playing about my fingertips. Pony kneeled on the ground, eyes wide with terror, moaning. A swath of destruction gaped in the nearby forest, terribly close to my Jonathan; his eyes filled with concern.

I should be terrified. I'm not. My unseen foe made a critical mistake this time; my instinctive attack has pointed the direction. I could FEEL something there, a blot of anger and - despair?

"Stay here," I ordered Jonathan. "It appears that my foe has decided to come a-calling. It's time he learned that one does not trifle with the Sorceress so and continue to live."

"You may need help," he insisted.

"I never need help." I said. "And, unless your magical talents are equal to mine, I'd have to spend half my energy protecting you."

"My training stopped as an apprentice," he muttered darkly. "My teacher was a hard master; I escaped, after a fashion."

This was something I hadn't heard before. "Could this be him?"

Jonathan shook his head. "No. I killed him."

To quote a fictional character, curiouser and curiouser. I resolved to have a serious talk with Jonathan about the level of his training after trouncing my unseen adversary. "Kiss me for luck?"

He gave me a tender one. "Be yourself."

An odd note to part on, but vintage Jonathan.

I decided against taking Pony. Her improved temperament might not last under fire.

I didn't sneak up on the area where I sensed the emotions from;that might show my enemy that I considered him worth worrying about. I do have a reputation to uphold.

The feelings of anger and despair intensified as I travelled towards the source. My woods thinned out as I travelled; it appeared that my unseen foe had taken refuge in a clearing. Good, I won't have to worry about him using trees as cover. I had a suspicion as to who the culprit was; a relative of either one of my houseguests or would-be intruders, pledging vengeance on me. They're seldom this much trouble, though. Certainly none of them had been even close to this magically talented.

This might actually be entertaining. They'll make a wonderful addition to my home, I thought.

By the time I had gotten to the clearing, the anger/despair was so palatable that I had to make a concentrated effort not to be overcome. I cast about my surroundings to place where I was; It didn't look familiar, but at the same time -

- alive yet dead i warned you now youre a pigeon toliet please have mercy magic isnt about mercy he said you can stay here crumbling crumbling -


And I knew, with terrible clarity, where I was in my garden.

A statue, very much like the ones that dot my Garden and house, is here almost lost to kudzu and undergrowth. A statue of a young girl, barely sixteen, is revealed. Her pose is one of shocked surprise, caught in a state of undress.

It is the only statue I have not placed here; I don't know if she was a flesh-and-blood girl at one time like my other statues. I could never find it out.

She is the one thing in this entire world that scares me, so much so that I dare not even try to destroy it, and I don't know why. The fact that my unseen adversary knows this is cause for concern; NO ONE, not even Bat, knows about this statue!

"Do you think to scare ME?" I shouted to the woods. Flames appeared about my right hand. "I am the SORCERESS! Better than you have tried to kill me, and failed!" I punctuated this with a bolt of fire at a large tree, reducing it to cinders.

"Come out and fight!" I snarled. "Or are you a coward, playing mind tricks?"

No response. My fear has made me careless; I started throwing fire bolts all around me in an attempt to reduce my adversary's available cover. One such bolt strayed too close to the statue, nicking its arm. Instantly my own arm - the same one as hers! - is awash with pain; I cried out, my adversary forgotten.

I stared at the statue in newfound horror. "What are you?" I whispered at her.

"You don't remember?"

I spun around, saw Jonathan enter the clearing. "I thought I told you to stay back."

"I can help you; that's what I'm here for. Do you remember what day it was yesterday?"

"Jonathan," I pleaded, "this isn't the time for your enigmatic humors."

"It was your birthday."

I gaped. "What?"

Jonathan nodded. "I always show up when it's your birthday. Usually I stay for a few weeks to try to help you, and when you refuse I move on," he smiled. "It's never happened this soon; a good sign, I hope."

"I don't understand," I stammered. "Help me with what?"

He nodded towards the statue. "With that. You see, this garden acquired that statue on your birthday as well."


He strode forward, grabbing me by the arms with unexpected strength. "What's your name?"

I was completely confused. "The Sorceress, of course, Jonathan, you're...." He gripped me even harder. "That's a title. What was the name your parent gave you, before you were sold?"

"I wasn't - "

- im sorry but we cant afford to take care of you but this man can hes a wizard-

My world reeled back. "No," I whispered. "No, that's not true."

"Please," he begged, casting his eyes to heaven. "What's your name? Please remember!"

"My name is -"

- so youre my new apprentice well you dont look like much well have to see what we can do about that hmm my young lad -

Images ram through my eyes of an old man, bent with cruelty, eyes glittering with madness. For a moment I am furious with my parents; how could they trust such an obvious lecher? Then I shook my head violently, clearing it of these delusions, but not the emotions they raised.

"What's your name?" Jonathan persisted. "Come ON, say it with me!"

Despite myself, I took up his strange mantra. "My name"

"'My name is Jonathan'," he said, "Now, say it...."

"No," I gasped in terror. "Please..."

He continued as if he hadn't heard me. "'My name is Jonathan, and my parents gave me over to apprentice with an insane wizard who switched my gender and imprisoned me as a statue when I wasn't complaint enough. I magcily killed him and I've been crazy ever since. Sorceress is not me', come on," he urged. "Please say it."

"No...." I could feel my memories swirling, taking disturbing shapes. All those people...

"I'm not the Sorceress!" He bellowed. "Goddamn it, don't surrender! You're me, not this monster we've become! Say 'my name is Jonathan.....'"

"No..." In desperation I gather power without a purpose, collecting it.

"Please," he urged. "Please, God, if you care, let me get through..."


Suddenly I released all the power I gathered in one, great surge.

I awakened to the interior of my bedroom.

My face is slicked with tears. My body ached terribly; I can feel the bruises I will sport tomorrow. Bat perched on my windowsill, looking concerned.

"Boss?" She inquired. "You okay?"

"Yes," I replied, but uncertainly. There is an ache inside of me, a terrible pang of grief and sadness. "What happened?"

Bat shrugged. "Don't know; you suddenly appeared in the tower and collapsed. Hydra got you upstairs."

"How strange," I frowned.

"Not really," Bat says. "It's about par for the course when Jonathan shows up. Boss, next time, tell that guy to take a hike, would you? He's no good."

I gave Bat a puzzled look. "Who's Jonathan?"

"You say that every time," she muttered softly.


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