Witching Hour

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Sista Siesta

She continued to need through the night, to hunger. She tossed and turned, groaning, moaning, feeling Minos slide over her lips, coating it in a thick, greasy sheen. He slapped it against, wet, dirty spanks against them and her cheeks, sliding back to her lips every time.

Minos grunted, squeezing her wrists tighter, pulling harder until she let out her moan, garbled against his meat. She panted, hard, lapping at it as best she could as he thrust in. Yet she never felt him bottom out, never felt his leathery palm come close, holding it firm for her to indulge. That didn’t stop him from trying, though, pushing ever more in, bulging out her throat with his sweet, succulent...

Sausage.

Minos finally relented on that log of polish sausage, wiping his hand clean on a bright blue napkin. He rolled his eyes at Samantha, cutting off the tip of his Italian sausage on his plate, sauteed in a red sauce with peppers and onions. She devoured four plates of it with such abandon, but paid for it when she teased Minos at the table about it. It took her a few gnashes, but she managed to ground it up enough to swallow the thick, greasy mess before washing it down with cranberry lemonade, freshly squeezed.

The sun bore down on her mother’s estate, and she knew the scene all too well. Her then-fiancee was being taken by Minos at the moment, but had the same air of... lurid conspicuousness. He might have been turned to her there, sitting on the patio, but he could see him casting glances back at her best friend, currently being taken by Norman. After she finished her sausage, Minos completely left her and went to sit with her along the long, white bench in the center of the garden. It was a hot summer, so most of the greenery was wild growth, seeking out the wetlands kept back.

The air was always heavy in this part of Louisiana, and, around those three, it was always a touch hotter. Samantha wasn’t interested in what they were doing. Though she should have, the sausage, the dirty rice, and the sheer amount of greens before her stole any attention she had for the two, even as her fiancee, as Minos returned and groped her leg under the soft, yellow tablecloth.

Her stomach growled, little more than a gurgle in its weakened state, and was her first warning before her alarm went off. Returning her to her other cell. In that moment, she wondered which was stronger: the need to feed, or for seed. Or, as time passed, to- no. It wasn’t important then. She needed to focus on the need that could actually kill her if she didn’t fulfill it. Although she felt like she wanted to die with the lack of the other. Only made worse after that dream... and seeing Minos in traditional Creole fashion. It accentuated certain parts of him exceptionally well –but that wasn’t important. Sadly.

Samantha shuffled to her entry and opened it, pulling out her phone. It was still a couple hours before class, so They should be along soon, right? So she wait for Them... and waited... and continued to wait, playing a puzzle game on her phone. It was nothing special, but at least it wasn’t made to swindle money from her. Like so many others made. Every so often, during a long chain or a dead spell, she’d check the time.

One minute.

Five minutes.

Thirty minutes!

An hour passed, yet not a single inkling, not a single sign of them. Surely, they got fed daily, right? They weren’t left to starve. Minos’s sheer size was proof of that... or how... excited Monica was... unless she really wasn’t getting fed. That sent a shiver down Samantha’s spine. If that was her starving, she’d be afraid to see her normally. No wonder she got around.

Even then, she gave Lilith a run-down of her usual schedule- Hell, it was Lilith that requested a daily schedule in the first place! Before she even arrived on the grounds, before she took the plane; when she contacted, she asked what sort of routine she had and wanted it in explicit detail.

“Room preferences,” she explained. “All professors of Vereor Nox Academy stay in the apartments near the school. In this way, we can better set up who you roommate with so not to make too much friction or stress.”

Sound logic back then, but now it mattered more than ever being essentially in prison! Her stomach agreed, agonizing over itself and messing up her combo. They, the food service workers, should be arriving with their meals soon, right! Class was due to begin in... thirty minutes... yet no one was showing up. No one was going to feed her students?

Alright. Fine! Samantha thought, and turned off the game. She wasn’t done with her phone, though, sending her personal Satan a message.

Do they eat?

Thankfully, she didn’t have to wait as long for a reply.

I take it you didn’t find the kitchen.

Samantha blinked. What kitchen?

Return to your room and feel along the left wall. Almost center.

Samantha did. At first, nothing seemed off about the steel wall. Its plating appeared to be just like the rest around and above it. Like the bathroom... and that’s when she rolled her eyes. As they settled, she scrutinized around the middle, like Lilith wanted, and noticed the smallest of blemishes, a bit of metal that was shone a touch brighter than the rest. She pressed it, expecting it to be like the bathroom... but found it wouldn’t go in.

Wha- she began, but shook her head as she realized she could cup her fingers in it. She pulled it, and it hissed as it followed. Steel hinges unfolded along the left, straightening as the door continued to arc until it was enough for her to squeeze in and see the chrome kitchen. Aside the marble bar in its middle, surrounded by four stools, the rest seemed to be molded from the polished steel, as if it rose from it, was born from the very metal it was a part of –and, knowing her mom, it probably was. All only grew glossier as it continued into a nook of counters, topped with the same marble, with a sink by the glass-top stove on the right side bend. There was a double-door fridge on the other side, the freezer on its bottom, as well as an ice chest to the right of the entry.

She rushed over to the fridge, and heard a choir of angels sing as she found it fully stocked and ready to be made. With most of her favorites, no less. There were skillets and pots underneath the counters, one for every occasion –and some even had three. However, upon standing, she saw that, to the other side of the ice chest, there was also a pantry. She checked it, and was thankful to see there were at least ten different kinds of cereal. Which meant she didn’t have to dirty more than a bowl and a spoon this morning, cleaned in less time than it took to eat, and she was on her way.

But not before sending a text to Lilith.

Of course, but I was simply worried about them. Do they have the same kind of set-up?

She didn’t slow her stride, though. She didn’t bother to check as she stripped and took a shower, slipping into her new suit: A yellow blouse with a white skirt... with black panties and bra. Samantha doubted she would see Minos today, but, if she did, she didn’t want to give him even the chance to see anything under. She looked at herself in the mirror, buttoning up her top, and grimaced at the fine line seen through her skirt for the panties, but that was it. The skirt was rather thick.

But that would just give him a reason to call me thicc.

She rolled her eyes, and finally checked her phone.

You have nothing to fear. They have the same amenities, for the most part, as you. The only difference, is the little gift under your desk.

Samantha cocked her head. Gift? What gift?

Before she had a chance to check though, another message came from Lilith.

Shouldn’t you be in class? It’s awfully rude for a teacher to check her phone during.

“Oh fuck you.” She grabbed her yellow jacket before slipping on her black heels and fumbled out the door and down the steps. She rounded it, started for the hall... when she had to double back to the classroom door. “Who was the first one t-”

Ayn. The one who called her, “a cunt”... This can only go well.

And... it did! It really did. It was an absolutely lovely visit. In fact, it was so wondrous, it shall now be described in three sentences.

Samantha knocked.

Ayn answered.

She slammed the door on Samantha’s face.

For it was indeed on her face. Not in it, as Ayn truly wished, thanks to Samantha’s quick thinking. The metallic shriek still rung in the air as it dribbled off her nose, mixed with red. It stung worse than the continuing drone that mingled with that shriek, following her, as if laughing at her as she returned to her room and sat at her desk, glowering at Ayn’s dossier. She found an ice pack in the mini fridge underneath, the “gift” Lilith was talking about, easing some of the blurriness away as she glared at the sister in the picture. It returned that dirty look, as if knowing, gloating.

She slapped the docket shut, and winced, wondering if it was too soon to indulge in what else laid in that ice chest. Though Samantha never mentioned her favorite drinks to Lilith, when did that ever stop a mine-reader. So it was packed with complimentary wine coolers, in her go-to flavors – a shame one had to suffer from her fury. A bit of the glass was still stuck in her bruised foot, bandaged more than a mummy, grumbling still but thankful that her new “apartment” was “blessed” with abundant convenience.

“Why wasn’t I told any of this?” She repeated again and again, yawning. The painkillers were finally taking effect. She had not seen the other students, but she was more than happy to call it after that first one. It wasn’t like she wasn’t ahead of schedule, anyways, thanks to her “diligent” students, so resting off the lovely concussion she was just given sounded like a fantastic idea. Who knows? Maybe, when she wakes up, she’ll be above, teaching a class that adores her... a class that wouldn’t try to kill her, aside maybe with kindness.

“Yeah. Fuck ’em,” she grumbled, and picked herself up out of her seat. She prepared for bed, but, as she prepared for bed, ready for either a short nap or the longest sleep (at this point she could go either way), there was a knock on the door.

It came again. Harder. It echoed, answering itself until Samantha did, and was met by a swirl of auburn and golden feathers that turned out to be a ball of energy manifested in harpy form. It swooped into the room, stole into her ice chest, and scooped out the broken bottle before slowing to show the petite speedster inside. It guzzled the drink, letting it pour straight down its gullet, opened wide before that broken neck until it was emptied.

The harpy energy sighed, belched, and threw the bottle into the trash can beside, feathers ruffling, slowing enough to show that it was actually alive. More than Samantha could say at the time.

“That’s the stuff,” she said, her voice... squawky. She smoothed out her purple shirt, but her tail raised and messed it up anyways, showing it was the only thing she had on, then shook Samantha’s hand. “Sorry. Smelled something fruity, got me craving; you know how it is.”

“I suppose?” Samantha said, shaking her head. “You’re... Marcy-”

“Marcy, yes,” she said at the same time as Samantha, and rolled her wrist, bowing with it. Her tail ruffled, lifting her shirt even higher, showing off soft down coating her legs and up her back. Even her front had that soft down as she righted. It faded as it headed lower, and even cleared for one area, showing off a pair of bright red lips in between her legs. She rolled down her shirt again, and rubbed her head, mussing her brown “hair”, cut short. Her orange eyes twinkled, beaming at Samantha, even as she hiccuped. “Glad to meet you at last.”

“You, too... Does this mean you want to cancel our appointment tomorrow?”

“Eh? Isn’t it already tomorrow?”

She pulled out her phone.

“Technically yes, so... guess we’ll get it out of the way.”

“Sounds good. Besides, you don’t look so hot. The extra rest in the morning will be good for you.”

“It’s not b... Let’s get the big one of the way.” Goodness knows I don’t need that headache later. “So you killed out of love, huh? That’s... odd, for a harpy.”

She huffed, and crossed her arms, their feathers bristling.

“Sorry, but my mama raised me old fashioned. Be faithful to your man.”

“Yes, but harpies are known to have multiple partners-”

“And trapped in their nest too, continuing to pump out and take care of eggs –which is not how I want to live. I want a normal life. I want my husband to look at me like an equal, not in fear of becoming my clutch bitch.”

“Clutch bitch?”

“Never heard that term? It’s quite common in the harpy community.”

“Common. It’s... common.”

“Yeah. Why do you think I hate it?”

“In that case, what do you hope to be when you leave the Academy?”

“In a better box than pine or not in an urn. I sure as Hell don’t want to be used for science. It’ll be my luck I’ll have the Steve of the lab who completely fucks u-”

“I mean alive. What are your hopes if you leave alive?”

“There’s a hope of that?”

“Yes?”

“Huh. That’s news to me. Mostly everybody says ’anyone who comes into the Black Halls is meant to die.’” She added flair with that, and stole away another wine cooler, guzzling it just as fast as the first. “After what happened last year- oop. Yeah. That’s starting t- h- hit... Anyways, i-ifff I did get out alive... No idea.”

“Then... how t-”

“Time is a lovely thing, isn’t it?”

“What?”

“Yeah. People always plan ahead, but forget they have the time in between to continue to plan ahead. We don’t need to plan ahead right this second, but we do need to plan ahead. So, I may not know right now, but I will in, say, a week? A month? When it’s ready, I will know. That’s a plan if there ever was a plan. A plan plan, if you will –plan, of course.”

“That’s... true.” Though if I have to hear plan ahead one more time... I am not sober enough for this. She leered at the open mini fridge, wishing now more than ever she hadn’t taken the painkillers... but shook her head all the same, looking back at the harpy. “What do you like? Any hobbies?”

She cocked her head... and almost fell over with it, giggling. Like a loon.

“Why would you want to know that?”

“I am your teacher, after all.”

“Yes. Which means empirically you should know everything I do at all times, right?”

“No, but if you like, say, music, that’s sort of important.”

“Why? Are you going to teach.” She blinked... and picked herself up off the floor. It was only a matter of time before her constant correct not to would land her. But she had a sobering realization, one that Samantha came to not soon after her next question. “You’re going to teach everything, aren’t you?”

“Unfortunately... Oh, no... I AM teaching everything!”

Marcy patted Samantha’s hand- fell into her, giving her a nice hug. “It’ll be all right. We don’t expect perfection. Especially from you... but yes. I love music. Specifically country.”

“You love your beer songs?” Of course you do.

“Yup. My favorite is I’m crying in my old beat-up jacked-up truck missing my ex-wife and dog while cheating on my girlfriend with my cousin.”

“I love that one. Especially the country rap remix.”

“Settle down, Satan!” They laughed, and Marcy shook Samantha’s hand once more. “Well, this was nice. See you later on.”

“Not next week?”

“Nah. I saw how many wine coolers you have.”

“No!!! Mine!”

“Not for long! Muahahahahahahah!”

Marcy winked, and was once more energy incarnate, leaving behind feathers as she bolted out of the room... and many more at the bottom. She left behind a bit of a star pattern of blood, as well, for the feathers to arrange around, and left a line. Samantha waited a moment by the door... then went to check the fridge one last t- she did. She had taken another.

Samantha simply shrugged, sighed, and was allowed to collapse on the bed, her bed, at long last... Only to get back up to take a wine cooler, nursing it, thanking it as it numbed her face even better. Only the smallest amount was left when she passed out.

It wasn’t long enough, though, as her alarm blared against her head. It drilled against her spine as she rose to its command. If it was one cooler more, it would have been a lovely addition to the wall. Instead, she turned it off with extreme prejudice, painted a lovely canvas of curses, and that gave her the power to stand. She held her own as she gallantly shuffled to the bathroom. Where she stopped before the mirror. Her bruised eyes, bloodshot; her hair, mussed and slick with sweat and blood. She was true beauty... Samantha groaned, flipping off that bitch glaring back at her. She had it coming, after all. How dare her try to be as beautiful as her.

She pulled her top off, and cupped her breasts, grimacing, feeling inferior to Miss Hooker from “yesterday”. She may not have been as large as Ayn’s, but she still dwarfed Samantha’s pair- and she even had the audacity to bring it up to her, knowing this. So much for being the best whore; it’s not only physical but mental and emotional facilitation. Doesn’t everyone know that from Courtesan 101?

Ah, but Samantha simply sighed, ignoring that wench in the mirror as she returned to her bedroom. She fished out a fresh suit from her drawers. It might not be her clothes, but leave it to the mind-sculptor to tailor to her likes... She would... yes. She would settle for the pale blue this d-

“Do you always walk around in the buff?”

Samantha jumped, and looked to the door. Open. And Ayn was standing there. Her dark skin clashed so much against her white top, tucked into a pair of blue jeans, cut just before a pair of flip-flops. Not even the nice kind that could be adjusted but the ones you could buy in a bargain bin, with the plastic hooks and all sticking out the buttom. Her top stretched so much, so hopeless against her breasts, tearing away down the middle, begging to be shown mercy from those dark tips, prodding, cutting through.

Ayn cleared her throat, pulling Samantha’s gaze back to her ruby eyes... but no lewd thoughts impeded. No tawdry affairs nor pervasive practices pushed into her mind, no matter how much those crimsons burned and bore into her. The way they glittered was too bright for passion, but Samantha knew the fire behind them all too well.

“Well? Going to answer me?” Ayn said, curt, that lovely Creole accent so clear, even to Samantha’s ears.

“I... I don’t expect people to barge into my room at-”

“Noon.”

“What! But my alarm was set at nine.”

“Well, it seems someone slept through it then, didn’t they? I just came by to give you my presence for a bit, since you wanted it so bad.”

“Yesterday. I wanted to meet you yesterday, when you slammed the door and caused this.”

“Shouldn’t have been nub-nosing then. Don’t stick your nose where it don’t belong. I tell you when we meet.”

“Is this really how you’re going to speak to your teacher?”

“As far as I can see, you’re just another nigger in my w-”

“Excuse me? What the fuck did you just call me?”

“What you are. A fucking nigger.”

“Well, that’s calling the kettle black isn’t it?”

“You think because we both black that makes us sisters? Fuck that. You snooped in on my privacy, you piece of shit.”

“I did no such thing! I was doing my job-”

“Then why aren’t we in the classroom right now? Why are we in your bedroom, you naked as the day you came outta yo mama’s crack-”

“You better watch what you say about my mama. I will fuck you u-”

“Just try me, nigg-”

The room rumbled, then cracked, thundering like a cannon. Of course, a cannon is only as good as its shot, and the one used destroyed the door to her room. It may have been open, but only enough to allow Ayn to lean back against. No more, though; it was blasted back, tumbling down the stairs, and crumpled around Ayn in its middle as it continued to tumble across the hall. The ceiling groaned, curving down, and caught her before she could smash against the far wall.

But her ride wasn’t done.

Samantha lifted her hand, the metal attached to the wall, pulsing with yellow as it balled her up. It cradled her in its embrace, made sure she was nice and snug before slamming her into the floor again and again and again. Four, five, ten, twenty; it wasn’t long before the cries and pleas turned to gags and gurgles. And only then were they answered.

Samantha let her go, and left to her bleed at the bottom of her stairs, wheezing. She huffed, and remade her door, settling it in place before hopping in the shower. Literally; her left leg was solid metal. Her right wasn’t fairing much better, but at least it spared her left arm, allowing her to twist the knobs. No matter how cold she made it, steamed followed, hissing, frothing against her skin. Her hand, hands dug into the wall, their silver tips, slowly disappearing, leaving the flesh under to be raked by the metal that had been clawed into. Blood ran down the walls, but she couldn’t feel any of it, even after they disappeared.

But, overall, that was a progressive and pleasant introduction... Buffy basically shared the same steps as Ayn when Samantha went to visit her. There was at least a quick, “hi” before the door was shut on her, and even her nose was spared. How cilivian in comparison... That morning really set a bar that would never be met, didn’t it?

At that point, though, Samantha didn’t care. She was still steamed, and both hoped that Ayn would show again but hide as well. But... one thought kept bugging her. Why didn’t she use her lust? Why didn’t she try to feed off her? Why did she not... exude lust?

Technically three thoughts, but they all come back to the same idea: why couldn’t she use it to her advantage? Why couldn’t she stop her magical onslaught? How could she not have seen it coming? The fact there was little blood showed she was able to defend against it, but...

She shook her head. And found she was standing outside of Minos’s door again... when she was on her way to Ginger, all the way at the beginning of the hall, opposite of Junmei. The shield was slid away, but, once again, she couldn’t see anything. Nor had thought of seeing anything. Why was she here? What drew her to this place?

I was already pissed, so why not feed it some more? She sighed as she leaned in closer. She looked inside, intent, but could see nothing but darkness. Not even the TV was on. She rolled her eyes. Probably back in the bathroom. Guess he really is full of sh-

She yelped, and jumped back as the door thudded, Minos staring back at her. He giggled, almost like a little school boy, as she patted her front, glowering at him as he opened the door. His laughter was cut by groans, though, as he cracked his back; being hunched over like that must have hurt him something fierce.

“You make the cutest sounds, you know that?” he said, moaning as three of his bones popped at once. “That’s the ticket... totally worth doing that.” He snickered as he leaned back against the arch of his door, looking her over, and whistled. “Looking good in the powder blue. Bet it would look good on my-”

She slammed the door on him, smirking as she heard him whine. His face had made a perfect indent in the metal, while his horns had pierced it altogether. She would have made sure he was fine, but she had a schedule to keep. The poor girl had been waiting long enough, so... he can take care of it. He was a big boy, after all. The question remained how big.

BUT... she knocked on Ginger’s door... and, surprise, no answer. Samantha slid the shield open, ready to see even more darkness- instead, however, she saw that her TV was on. Ginger was in bed, and Samantha had hoped that was all she had seen but it would be forever burned into her memory. In painful detail. Ginger’s telly was mounted on the wall, allowing it to warm the rotting floor, coated in fetid flesh that had fallen off over... however long the skinwalker had been wearing her “suit”. More was being slopped off the side as she rubbed under her blanket, fallen off her top. Dark fur jutted out of the bloated, mangled flesh, her sopping breasts little more than jelly, yet Ginger continued to tug on their blackened nipples as she watched a blond man sucking on another, black man’s rigid rod. He fondled the balls, groaned as the other pulled on his hair and thrust against his face, covering his chin in pre and sweat. The blond let him go, stood, and turned around, rubbing his member against another man that had been licking his rear, kissing him as pre smeared in between, rutting against one another.

“Hey!” Samantha shrieked, making Ginger jump and push aside the blanket completely. Samantha immediately regretted it, seeing the rest of her... “body”. What parts weren’t filled with maggots, lurching off and over the bed, or pouring out flies were covered in sores and simply holes, allowing dark pus and hair to seep through. Now, more than ever, Samantha doubted it was the TV that gave her that garish hue- and, finally, found the strength to shut the shield. It was all still there, though, and it will forever be there. Those cannonball-sized openings on her back will never be gone, nor the rows of sacks seeping out of other bugs as small nubs protruded, leather molting from them.

Samantha took a step back, swallowed her bile, and waited for the door to open. She had to remain somewhat composed. It was only a few minutes, then she can kneel before John again... It was taking its sweet time, though... far too long. Samantha managed to find the courage to slide the shield away again-

Ginger had resumed the po-

“That wasn’t a signal to simply pause, you know!” Samantha shrieked, gurgling near the end.

“Can I at least finish?” Ginger yelled back. Her voice was just as rotten, a fetid mix of soft, lilting tones and primal growls and snarls that made her think of wolf’s tearing into fresh carcass and a vulture squawking at carrion all at once. A poor, innocent kitten being torn into- No. No more.

“How about this: hobby?” Samantha spat out.

“Jilling.”

Sadly. She swallowed another wave of bile, regretting she ate anything. Ever. “Favorite subject?”

“English.”

“Won’t be teaching that.”

“You suck!”

“Agreed... Future plans?”

“Housewife.”

“What? Really?”

“Y-ahh-really.”

“Hey! Don’t you be touching yourself while I’m talking to you!”

“I can’t help it. Hearing you scream is turning me on so much more.”

“Well quiddit!”

“Ah! Yes! More!!!”

Samantha closed the visor... and bit the bullet, checking on Ayn. After that, she’ll accept verbal and even physical abuse. And what better place to release bile. There was always sexual, but she already visited Minos. Then again, it would probably be more depreciating to go see Monica...

Samantha knocked on Ayn’s door thrice over, waiting for an answer, not daring to touch the shield. She was shell shocked, now. She would doubt she could even open a can of soup and not see... She checked her cell, knocked again in ten minutes, then twenty, then f-

“You don’t take a hint, don’t you?” Ayn boomed through the door, a bit... nasally.

“I just came to check on you. I’m... I’m sorry I reacted like I did. I don’t appreciate people insulting my mama.”

“I wouldn’t either if she was a whino nigga like you.”

“Don’t make me tear this door off!”

“Shoot, hadn’t had enough beating up the impaired?”

“You’re only impairment is being an absolute bitch. Or would you prefer c-” She couldn’t hold it in anymore, and painted that door in a slurry of oat circles and milk... She wiped her mouth- just in time for another wave, splashing, echoing in the hall. “Fuck it! Fuck. it. I tried to apologize. If you want to stay angry, be that way. I at least am trying unlike yo nigga ass.”

Ayn... opened the door, and leaned against it- away from it, looking down at the puddle around. She sneered at it, then at Samantha, standing easily two head’s higher now that they were on even ground. Yet her chest dwarfed her in every way, though and looked just as angry, their dark tips glaring at Samantha.

“Now we getting somewhere,” Ayn said.

“What? Me swearing at you?”

“Yeah. Here’s all I want: I just ask you to be real with me. That’s all. Now, why you making personal visits?”

“It’s a small class. The better I k-”

“Now you being a nigga again. Tell the truth. Why are you talking to all of us, asking personal questions and shit. And why you paint my door like this? That’s just sick.”

“Ginger.”

“Ah. That explains that, at least.”

“How does she live like that! Can’t she smell herself?”

“No, and they complain about us stankin’. Look at that walking biohazard and dare say we black girls smell.”

“Yeah, no... You say want to know the truth, though.”

“If you can speak it.”

“You really want to know?”

“Nigga, that’s all I’ve been asking, and you still stalling like a nigger.”

“Fine! I’ll tell you. It’s because I need to know just how fucked I am! Okay?”

Ayn... huffed, and leaned against the wall. “You aren’t doing this by choice then is what you sayin’.”

“Fuck no! I wanted to be a simple tutor, not... a warden. I want to know how best to approach all of you without getting myself killed.”

“Shoot, you worried bout dying? After that magic show?”

“It’s... it’s best if I don’t use, if I can help it.”

“Ah... So what do you lose? Memory? Feelings?”

“Feeling.” She held up her hand, and the tips of her fingers shredded away, allowing the metal to protrude and extend down her arm as it seemed to melt away. She jerked her wrist forward, and a burst of air rushed into Ayn’s room, filling it with the rancid smell of bile. She lowered her hand, and the metal dripped away, slowly returning to flesh. “It’ll be back to normal in a minute or so, but that was nothing compared to what I did to you... still not wise to push.”

Ayn scoffed. “Dayum. Makes me wonder what would happen if you

really cut loose... have you ever?”

“... No.”

Ayn rolled her eyes, hearing, feeling the lie Samantha gave. Even she couldn’t make it convincing, and knew it. Ayn shut the door, leaving Samantha to trudge to her room. She collapsed on her bed, head spinning, trying to forget that day, forget how the water churned, how it rose and broke the levies. She was on the beach, glaring at her fiancee and his fuck-buddy, still in coitus as the winds shrieked, tearing them to pieces... again.

There was a knock at her door, jarring the memory, stowing it away once more as she answered to find Lilith waiting on the other side. She frowned at her, waving to the bent metal ceiling behind.

“I see you used force. Possibly against a student,” she said.

“No one was hurt.” She stated, and yawned, cracking her back. “Classes start next week. Been getting to know each one.”

Lilith sighed, and handed her a card. It was blue, with a solid, golden strip along its horizontal.

“This will allow you to leave the Black Halls in the morning.” She explained. “You are obligated to stay here, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed out. Just make sure that everyone is in their room before you do. The other witches are interested in meeting you, as well, to welcome you into the coven... They’re waiting until the weekend, though.”

“Good. As was I.”

“Good... Well, if there’s any issues, you have my Skype and phone number. Make sure to use it before lashing out next time, yes?”

“Will do.”

With that, Lilith nodded, and left. Samantha watched her go, her smile pained, allowed to shatter as she rounded the corner, and she gave the bent metal one last dirty look before closing the door.

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