Witching Hour

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An Unexpected Survivor

Monday swept in so sinfully swift, stealing away Samantha’s few hours of sleep. Of nothing but sleep. Again. No dream nor vision was planted in her head overnight, nor has it over the last month. And, for once, there wasn’t anything lewd, either. Absolutely, truly nothing.

Her mind had been absolutely silent as she let the warm water pour over her in the shower. If it wasn’t the monotony of teaching, day in and day out, or creating lesson plans, day in and day out, it was the weekends of “fun” and “relaxation”. Which differed, depending on whom she was subjected to, but one thing remained consistent: she was too busy to dream. Which was for the best; if she was too busy to dream, then she was too busy to enjoy the dream during. And after.

Hopefully, with the start of a new month, things should simmer down. A touch. At least? But she still had to make the lesson plan... She was a... a bit miffed, but the water cooled her head for the day.

How do actual teachers do this? She thought, turning the water off. How did mom plan so far in advanced?

It still flabbergasted her how hard it truly was to teach. It felt as though she had repeated the first week for the last four. Any time she thought she would get ahead, she would host a review... and only a third of the class retained it. So she would repeat it –only to get the same results. It wasn’t even the hard stuff yet, but the same ones would constantly flunk those sudden tests.

Did she truly just forget about those students? Did she just continue with her plan regardless? Or... am I just that bad a teacher?

She huffed, and stepped out of the shower, metal already lazing before the entrance to the bathroom, but it would go wanting this day-

Shot towards the porcelain throne.

Monica squeaked, moving faster than the shards. They were aimed true, ready to impale her head, to slit her neck, to stake her heart; instead, they melted into the wall beside John, as if Monica was never there. However, her tittering, and her slaps on Samantha’s shoulder, put that hope to rest.

“Nice aim, teach,” she exclaimed, and hugged her. She was wearing a rather “modest” red bikini today. Its tube top actually covered the tops of her chest, after all. Meanwhile, her bottoms remained as subtle as a brick to the face, making one wonder where the fabric ended and the hair began. She kissed Samantha’s cheek, and cooed as she looked her over, biting her lip. “Man, you really do have a yummy body. Minos wasn’t kidding!”

“Why! Why are you here?” Samantha shrilled, stomping over to the sink. Her clothes were waiting for her, a nice, white blouse, a dark dress, red panties... and a pad already layered into it, then her legs hidden under long, black pantyhose. Her red heels were waiting out in the main room, where, thankfully, nobody else was to be seen. The door wasn’t even open, and, when she checked her cell, it was still thirty minutes before the doors opened –it was thirty minutes before the doors opened. “How did you get in here? How did you slip out?”

Monica giggled, and wrapped her arms down around Samantha’s neck... her hands threatening to cup her small chest.

“Silly Sam. I was here all night.”

“Y... you were?”

She sniffled. She whimpered a touch, lips trembling in the mirror. A bit too close to Samantha’s neck, seeing her fangs starting to jut free.

“How could you be so cruel, Sam? We had a movie night planned, and you gave no thought about me before hanging out with the others. So I decided to camp out in your room. I didn’t want to leave, so had to keep myself busy. I looked on your computer for some naughty stuff, and, wouldn’t you know, the first result in that lovely incog mode there was some downright sexy videos of minotaur porn. I downloaded them for you; no need to thank me.”

“W...” She shook her head, and shoved her off as she got dressed. Her head already hurt enough this morning without this tramp adding more. She stomped out into the bedroom and- started to sit at the desk when she noticed how... irrigated her chair was. If she had a mind to, she could have put a bit of soil in it and tried to grow some tomatoes, but, instead, it meant another chair to be destroyed. Instead, she leaned on the desk, slipping on her heels, and then checked her computer, to see what kind of damage-

“Five-hundred terabytes?” She boomed, wheeling back to Monica. But the concubine didn’t seem to hear the anger in Samantha’s utterance. She was all smiles, bouncing on her heels, threatening to split her top and let her round beauties spill forth. “I... I didn’t... my computer had that kind of space!”

“It didn’t starting out, but I asked Norman Sunday before he and Jack came to get you.”

Samantha... simply shook her head again, closed her computer, and promptly slammed her metal-coated fist into it until it was little more than shrapnel embedded into the wood.

“Thanks, Monica. It was absolutely smashing,” she said, and picked up her schoolbag underneath, making her way downstairs. The doors finally opened, her slams the announcement to the rest that it was time. Besides, she could always ask Lilith for a new one; in fact, she pulled out her cell in the classroom after she wrote the day’s notes on the board.

The students were messing with my laptop, and it suffered a serious virus. I’m going to need a new one... preferably one with a fingerprint scanner.

Her phone chimed quicker than she expected, making her jump a touch.

It will be down there today. That was an oversight on my part. I do apologize. Please make sure to clean up the remnants of the old one.

She blinked, and looked back at her original message before typing again.

Uh... I said it suffered a virus. It didn’t physically break.

Just make sure it is cleaned. Please?

She sighed and put away her phone. Freakin succubus and their mind reading, she thought, and waited for the others to roll in. It was a full house; even Minos joined today. And was back to his usual raunchy self. However, there was a certain... softness to his gaze, a warmth that put the others that had not known of his pow-wow session the other day at ease.

The day felt... whole again, and seemed to go by fast, though Samantha couldn’t help but notice some of her students were more fidgety than normal. Jack looked miserable, while Peter kept his head cocked to the door. Monica’s stomach could be heard from her seat and Lisa just kept... staring at her. She looked more focused than ever before. Her head was even raised, held, stiffened, unlike its normal, droopy self.

Samantha cleared her throat, ignoring those looks and the nigglings in the back of her mind. Though, if she weren’t careful, they would be true trifles, if not another travesty... She tapped the white board, even ignoring herself. There was a simple picture of a flower on it, fully blossomed, and the new board made it shine. It hadn’t suffered too many markers yet, no impurity to be had, and it reveled in it.

“Now, any questions, or are we good to wrap up,” Samantha asked. Lisa raised her hand. “Yes?”

“Can I indulge in your vagina?” She said, so quiet, so soft, yet the hunger behind it, the demand, the need made a chill run down and stick to Samantha’s spine. And made her listen to herself again. She eyed the door, even as the other students were laughing. Lisa looked around, confused, and Samantha did not like the agitation that fluttered across the poor girl’s brow... or the way the desk cracked under her fair hands. “What? What’s so funny?”

“Nothing is.” Ayn stated, and took her hand, leading her out of the place. She scoffed, glowering back at the class. “Bunch of fucking degenerates.”

She slammed the door on her final word, letting the echo of its boom rumble through the room. Thankfully for Samantha. She let it go, allowed it to roll over them all, to sober them up –especially her. Only when the final bit of frost let go of her back did she clear her throat.

“Okay. Anyone else- and no to anyone else who asks that, MONICA.”

She whined, and laid her head on the table. “Oh, come on! It’s the sweetest one can get.”

“Don’t make me come back there!”

Me and my fucking mouth, Samantha thought. She wanted to slap her forehead so hard, but kept still, stoic, like stone. A clashing contrast to the slut. Monica had lifted her head off her desk. Her eyes sparkled, dancing with her as she rocked in her seat, hugging herself. Her nips blossomed under her top, seen as clear as day as they dug into the material. And tore through, like bright, crimson bamboo shoots.

“And what are you going to do, huh? Huh! What are you going to do to me? Are you going to spank me? Tell me how bad a girl I am?” Monica leaped out of her chair, and seemed to fade it to Ayn’s desk, sat directly before Samantha. Monica waggled her rear at her, giving herself a small spank as her cheeks flushed bright. “Ooh, punish me teacher!”

“Yeah!” Minos said, and gave Monica a hard slap. She yowled, and the room filled with a strong scent as wetness seeped down her legs.

She gave Minos a half-lidded look, licking her lips. “Do that again. That was awes-”

He did, and she screamed even louder. Her juices practically rained down on the ground. Her thighs quivered, legs straining to keep herself up, but did manage to reach over and grip one of his horns, stroking it. He stiffened instantly, moaning, groping her rump-

Both were sprayed by the water bottle, and Samantha made sure to hit Monica where no one should feel that torrent of ice. Monica practically somersaulted over the desk, propelled by the blast, yipping and crying all the way back to her own seat, shivering. The rest of the class laughed at her, garnering a dirty look... silenced as Peter raised his hand.

“Y...yes, Peter?” Samantha said... but... he shook his head, instead. He simply stood and left the room. Samantha met him by the door. “Wait. What’s wr-”

He grazed by her shoulder.

And froze.

His eyes, after being closed for so long, opened. It was slow, slower than time should ever tread, but even then it came to stand still as she looked into those deep reds. Darkness pulsed in their middle, pulling, dragging her further into those crimson pools, plunging her into their depths. The smallest growl escaped.

But he bit his lip, and time returned as he rushed out of the classroom, leaving her with a whole new feeling. There was no anger in those eyes, no hate, no malice at all. Instead, there was nothing but sadness, misery, despair, and guilt, all mixed into one soul-sucking pocket that could only be called dread.

Minos caught Samantha as she fell back. Whom still watched after Peter.

“W-” She said, stammering, and found that she was shivering. Hard.

“He’s hungry,” Minos stated. Even his voice was far softer than normal. “You need to get back to your room. Now.”

“W-why?”

“Just do it! P... please. Professor.”

Her heart hammered. Goosebumps prickled under his hands, feeling him usher her up to and inside her room. Shut tight. No one knocked on her door, making her quake even more in her bed, kept in place by curiosity and terror. Mostly terror, though... The next day came, and no one was surprised to see that Peter wasn’t there. Though he did not participate normally, his loss stirred and grew the stone again in Samantha’s stomach. The others were just as disheartened, as wary. She barely made it through Maths, closing the final program, and turned around, finding them either doodling or looking out into space. Or, in the case of Monica, still glaring at her. Not her fault she was still wearing the same, soaked bikini. The only three that seemed focused at all were Junmei, Ayn, and Bella-

Whose hand shot up.

“Yes?” Samantha said.

“So what you are saying is,” and Bella went on to explain a lot of mathematics and theorems that Samantha tuned out, too fried to even comprehend the very examples she gave... Too well, in fact. Bella needed to snap her fingers four times before she pulled herself out of her mini vacation. “Isn’t that right?”

“What? No,” Junmei said, going on a tirade himself, which allowed Samantha to stow her Maths book and notes and prepare for Science. Today was anatomy –for basic human, anyways. The pair continued to have their exchange, the others already taking notes from the slides, the first of which had a detailed sketch of, of course, a penis entering a vagina, climaxing. Monica seemed to have noticed this at least, and squealed, cutting their argument short. Junmei groaned, slithering out from behind his desk, and approached the front. “Excuse me?”

“Yes?” Samantha said.

“You mind if I teach Science from now on? As an aide. I’ve been meaning to ask for a while, but now seemed the best time. Besides, I have a doctorate in himan biology, so I can cover it alongside this... What are you staring a- Oh. My apologies. I tend to get excited during a good argument.”

He backed up a touch, allowing her to recoil from those two smooth members, dripping, leaving a line to two blots on her red skirt. They pulsed against each other, each easily just under a foot long though a bit on the skinny side, little thicker than a pencil. Their sandy tone bruised a touch at their tips, giving them a purplish color, thinning out as it reached the base, disappearing into a slit.

He inhaled, held, and they slowly shrank back in, throbbing again and again until the slit closed. Samantha shook her head, her cheeks flushed, mind dazed. Her nose was filled with that musk, still looking into his eyes... able to look away at last with another shake of her head.

“You okay, Miss Coffey?” He said, reaching for her shoulder.

She reeled back a touch, tittering, and pushed his hand down.

“It- yeah! You can be my aide. Be my guest. I... I’ll just take your seat. A-all the w-w-way back in the b-”

“Nonsense. There’s a seat right here,” Minos said... as he picked up Ayn and her desk. He carried her to the back, exchanging it with the empty where it was returned to the front. He smirked at her, then Samantha, chortling a little, pointing to the blots on her dress. “I see he has already marked you for second seat, anyways.”

“Thanks, Minos,” Samantha grumbled, and took it. She tried to keep her voice even, nonchalant, but at least it seemed Minos was telling the truth. It really wasn’t the scent of another man that triggered him, but that didn’t stop Minos from giving Junmei a dirty look for the rest of the Science portion, gone whenever he caught her looking his way. That wasn’t very often, though. In fact, her eyes were practically spellbound on the naga, at how much energy he was putting into it. How he slithered about, how he made it seem so... easy. Second nature, even.

Samantha squirmed in her seat, finding herself scowling as well, looking around, seeing her, HER students jotting down so much and so fast, raising hands, questioning –actually questioning! Even as it came to an end, there were still so many hands, going down as she took the front again.

“Right! Thank you, Junmei. You were a big help.”

He bowed, taking his seat in the back, and Ayn gave Minos a bored look as she took her place up front again. Art went by fast enough, leaving only Music, and this day they were allowed to enter the music hall... mostly because Samantha finally found it. It was hidden behind the thirteenth door, the one she thought was saved for another student. It was at the other end of the hall, straight across from the classroom. It housed a half-dome chamber, slowly brightening as Samantha clicked on the four switches. Stands, chairs were set upon each of the fourteen tiers, leading down, down to a podium and a door, holding all the instruments –save for the percussion, of course, already set around the top level.

Could have told me sooner about this, Lilith, she thought, glowering down at her phone as she lumbered her way down the steps. Minos had already stepped off to the percussion section. He twirled a stick, its cottoned end thundering against the bass drum, rumbling, echoing in the room, but was dulled by the feet and chatter of the others working their way towards the back room. Norman was the first inside and to leave, a clarinet in hand. He gave it a steady blow, warbling fierce with the new reed. Bella disappeared to her room but scampered down to her seat in the woodwinds, her tenor sax in-hand. Buffy joined beside her, DWARFING her with the baritone sax. Monica had a flute. And the others filled the brass and the rest of the percussion, save for Ginger. Ginger had the... special task of making sure the the room was soundproof, and to report if she heard anything whatsoever come out of the stagnant, airtight room and into the hall.

The skinwalker gave a two... gloppy finger salute, and settled beside the door. What was left of her rancid skin stuck to and dribbled down it, and Samantha couldn’t shut the door faster, just in time before the smell could really take hold. She looked down at her foot a second and retched, waggling the maggots free that had stuck, before clearing her throat and looking upon the others, waiting for instruction.

“So... uh... We start with scales, right?” Samantha said.

“No! Not at all! Let’s launch right into Flight of the Fucking Bumblebee.” Ayn stated, the only member of the strings. Her bow thrummed against her cello, just as sullen as her, but with a hint of softness, of tenderness underneath. So completely unlike her.

“Why are we doing this, anyways?” Junmei said. “Music won’t get us ahead. It’s filler, fluff.”

“It’s passion, emotion, love!” Monica exclaimed, and actually played said song... perfectly... and only stopped as everyone looked at her. “What?”

“... Nothing.” Samantha said, waving her baton. “Right. G-major scale. A one-and-a-two...”

Samantha rubbed her head, sitting in her NEW desk chair. Yes, in; this one was made incredibly plush yet soft so she could sink right in. The bottle of ibuprofen laid beside, emptied... for once not because of Monica. The drums still ached against her head, dulled by the medicine, but each crash still rung, still crashed any time she closed her eyes... No. She couldn’t stay here.

She stepped out of her room, regretting every step down the stairs. It clacked so loud, seeming to grow with each clangorous boom, but she held on. It wasn’t that many, and would settle once she reached the bottom. Each of the rooms were closed, rumbling with the sounds of sleep, covering the buzzing. Funny; at first it was so prominent, so clear, but now, as time went on, it was little more than a tremble at the back of the neck, raising the hair there just a touch, and was almost missed as she left the Black Halls, walking the stone undercroft of the Academy.

Time vanished in those halls, wandering and wondering. Aimless, thoughtless, simply curious about how far these old halls go. And what shadows they held. Most of it was cast in darkness, the bulbs above blown long ago, never changed, forgotten, turning her around time and again.

She came to another four-way, and checked the walls. The left one was carved thrice over; she shook her head, and took the right. Her hand glowed, leaving a cut on its virgin stone. It would most likely get another round or so of lashings before she gave up on it, where it would be tainted, forever, for no true reason.

“Just how old is this place,” she mumbled, coming across a simple room. Two large mangers sat in the back, far too big for a human. They were covered- no, caked in dust, so thick that she removed an entire sleeve when she ran her hand over it... yet the wood under was still so smooth. Their insides were clear of all but what cloth hadn’t rotted away...

And blood.

Dried, of course, but there was no hiding those splatters. No way to completely cover those rivets that ran down the side, whatever was in there gutted and torn apart. She looked up, and the wall had its own ghastly map, showing two, tall beings. At least one of them had horns; a bit of the ivory was still stuck in the stone. She turned around, and there was a bit of fabric embedded in the wall. Its gray threads saw better days, and the very back of the hole was somehow still crusted with blood.

“This can’t be possible,” she grumbled. “Blood and cloth don’t stay too long, but...”

She kicked out, and a wave of dust rose from it, settling, coating up to her knees in its majesty... Samantha left the room, wandering further down. Her hand brushed against the wall, grazed and scratched along it until she felt a small divot, flowing into four long gashes. Below, hidden in the dust, was one of the claws that created it. Rather, a splinter of it. The middle cut was the longest, but it was the smallest that caught her attention. That one had nail, stuck in halfway, and even had a bit of hair, still so soft.

Fresh.

“Lycan, maybe?” She said, following it to a small room.

With a body. Still hanged.

Their silver eyes gleamed through the darkness. They were indeed lycan, their skin, their bones having seen better days. Samantha’s heart raced, mind buzzing, racking as it wondered yet commander her body to stay still, to wait to see if those silvers would leap out at her... but they didn’t. They were still, simply dots of light in the dark. She approached, holding out her hand, and an orb of blue light pulsed around them, showing it to have been an alpha. Its silver fur glimmered brighter than its eyes, though it was hard to see through the... cloth...

No. It wasn’t cloth.

“Web,” she said. “They were killed by a drider, but how the hell did a single drider overpower an al-”

Something crashed in the distance.

She left the room, careful to not let her steps echo as she closed in on whatever it was... and saw Lilith leaving a closing wall, humming away. She touched the stone behind, checked to make sure the steel door behind couldn’t be seen, and started walking in the opposite direction, heels clacking...

But stopped. As she looked back.

Samantha held her breath, hidden behind the corner. She held her breath, her mind as blank as she could make it, an empty void to match the darkness around. If anything were to give her away it would be her heart, hammering away, louder than any thunder out in the bayou... but... the heels finally clacked again... and faded. She still didn’t move, though. Not until they were but a distant memory.

Tears rose from her eyes, begging for her to breathe, but she would not dare, even as she crept to the wall Lilith came out of. She waited, counted the steps until there was another crash, and finally exhaled, breathing fast... oh, and opened the wall and door. Another row of doors waited behind, like her lovely Black Halls, but they were... open... empty, save for the one in the back. As she drew near, she saw, oddly, a set of chapel doors off to the left, chained shut. She would have tried them, but she was too focused on this closed door, instead. The only one without a shield.

Without a lock.

It opened with the smallest tug, and eight glittering gems shined from within. They did not seem to move, did not seem to have a shape, but she did not like how they gleamed. “Seeing” her. Samantha tried the switch, but no light flickered, forcing her to use her orb again. What she found, though, was little more than a drider’s skull, with its lower jaw. It seemed to simply smile at her from that plinth, their eyes “watching” her every moment, following as she walked around it.

At last, Samantha approached the skull. She picked it up, looking into its eyes.

It “blinked”.

She cried out as the lower lids tried to cover the largest set of purples, and dropped it on the ground... making it grunt.

Grunt?

She picked it up once more, and silver trickled over her fingers. She winced as it tore into her, but this time she managed to get some of the wind behind to flow through its “throat”, little more than a skin flap below its jaw.

“What are you?” Samantha said. The thing tried to garble something, little more than shrieks until the wind evened out. “What was that, sorry?”

“I... am Scarlette,” it said. Its voice was so soft, sweet. Too sweet for such a monstrosity. “I... am Johnny’s true love.”

“Johnny?”

“Lilith... stole him... took him from finally being h... happy... You’re a witch. Thought I... K... Killed you all. W... which witch are you? Cannot see. C... can’t blink. Can’t hydrate eyes.”

“I’m Samantha. Samantha Coffey. I’m new.”

“N... new witch? Im... impossible... Learned things w... while here. Never a new witch. Never anyone new.”

“What do you mea- Scarlette? You said your name was Scarlette?”

“Y-ye...yes... Scarlette Borden.”

“Oh my... I know your cousin. Bella Dahmer.”

“That’s... not right. Bella’s... d... dead.”

“No. She’s in the Black Halls. I teach there.”

The eyes flashed. “P... Please. T...ta...take me to her. She needs to k... kn... know. She’s in grave da...danger if still ali-”

There was a crash, and Samantha placed Scarlette back on the stand, looking down the hall.

Seeing Lilith.

“Fuck,” she hissed. Her mind was definitely going to need an oil change for the amount of miles it was going. All in such a short amount of time. She wondered what she should do- what could she do... until she took a deep breath... and ran down the hall. She ran into Lilith, gibbering, panting, forcing herself to cry. “L-Lilith! Thank gods! I took a small stroll because I couldn’t sleep and got lost and ended up here and- there’s a skull, Lilith. Why is there a skull?”

She cried into her chest, trembling, blubbering and spewing more gibberish... until, at last, she eased up as Lilith shushed her, caressing her back.

“It’s alright. It’s okay... I went to go check on you, actually,” she said, humming. “I saw your marks along the way... It didn’t try to talk to you, did it?”

“What? How would a skull talk? It doesn’t have lungs to push i- it’s a fucking skull! Why is there a fucking skull!”

“It’s okay... no need to worry about it. Let’s... let’s get you back to your room.”

She kept her mind a gibbering mess, not hard to do considering, until she was safely in her room. Now more than ever, though, sleep was the last thing on her mind. She took two of the wine coolers out, downing them to drown at least that new round of thrumming. And the new level of sanity she had reached.

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