A Harsh Awakening
Mitzi awakens to find herself in a strange room and lying upon what seems to her to be a thick rubber mat but which conforms perfectly to her body. She tries to sit up but finds herself feeling disoriented and wanting to lie back on the mat again.
“Well, look who’s finally awake,” says a voice then above her is standing the blonde who had been introduced to her as Morgana.
“Up on your feet,” orders Morgana and pulls Mitzi roughly from the mat and onto her feet. Mitzi experiences a moment of dizziness and then gasps when she looks out a window and sees two suns in the sky.
“Where am I?” asks Mitzi near panic.
“You are in our apartment at Cloud Tower and on our planet,” replies Morgana harshly as if that was the dumbest question she’s been asked by anyone. “Darcy,” yells Morgana, “the little witch is awake.”
Mitzi looks on as a door opens in the wall and Darcy literally flies out of it and lands softly beside her. “You fly!” gasps Mitzi – her mouth open in amazement and Morgana rolls her eyes and says to Darcy in Witchspeak, “Goddess, she’s hopeless. She’d better have this power you say she has.”
“Yes, we can fly and so can you. Learning to fly will be the first lesson of the day,” Darcy replies in gentler tones. “Come with us.”
The Witches lead Mitzi out to a stone gangplank high on Cloud Tower. Then each of them take one of her hands and leaps to what Mitzi believes is to her death and then in freefall let go of her hands.
“Fly!” orders Morgana.
“I can’t! I can’t!” screams Mitzi as they fall but still she flaps her arms in a valiant effort to fly. When Morgana and Darcy see that she is indeed falling to her doom, they once again take her hands and fly her back up to the gangplank.
“Don’t mess with me, girl!” screams Morgana at Mitzi when they are once again on the gangplank. “Flying should be natural to a witch like you.”
“Please, let me go,” pleas Mitzi – the tears streaming down her cheeks.
“Maybe she can’t see the streams, Morgana,” says Darcy. “Let me try to fix that,” and touches Mitzi’s temple with her index finger. “Okay, now she should be able to see them.”
“Fine,” says Morgana and turning to Mitzi says to her, “Look straight ahead of you but don’t look down. Do you see the streams?”
“Yes,” says Mitzi but then she does look down into the vortices below, is overcome with nausea and wretches violently over the gangplank and down the front of her dress.
“I told you not to look down!” screams Morgana at Mitzi and smacks her so hard that she is knocked off her feet. “Get up!” she orders Mitzi, grabbing her by her hair and standing her on her feet. “This is like belly surfing on the wind. So fly!” and once again shoves Mitzi off the gangplank.
Darcy and Morgana follow Mitzi down who this time is able to break the rate of descent enough to float down like a leaf. But again, seeing that Mitzi was about to land too hard on the ground, they take her hands and bring her back once more to the gangplank.
“No more, please!” begs Mitzi as Morgana makes ready to push her off the gangplank. “I feel like I’m going to be sick again and I have to go really badly!”
“Morgana, ease up,” says Darcy. “Can’t you see that she’s terrified? We want her compliant not broken.”
“Nonsense,” replies Morgana. “I’ve found that a bit of fear makes for a good instructor,” and shoves Mitzi yet again from off the gangplank.
This time, Mitzi manages to make a soft landing on the ground but, before Darcy can object, Morgana has Mitzi on the gangplank and shoves her off again. However, instead of falling, Mitzi manages to fly around the gangplank and land, if not smoothly, upon her feet.
“Very good, Mitzi,” Darcy tells her.
“Well, it’s about time,” growls Morgana. “Okay, once more.”
“No, Morgana!” snarls Darcy with a hint of anger in her voice. “This suffices for the day. Let her go back to the apartment.”
“Very well,” snaps Morgana and shoves Mitzi hard in her back. “Get back there!”
When they enter into the apartment, Morgana then shows Mitzi into a small room. “Get undressed, put one of these clips on each of your clothes and drop them down the shoot here. Then shower and put on some fresh clothes. I’ll be waiting outside. The stench of you is making me sick.”
Within a few minutes, Mitzi comes out of the room stark naked and asks, “Where is the shower and how do I get fresh clothes?”
“Goddess!” screams Morgana, grabbing Mitzi’s ear and dragging her back into the room.
“Ouch! You’re hurting me,” Darcy hears Mitzi’s muffled voice through the door.
“Shut up!” yells Morgana and then there is a sharp smacking sound, a yelp of pain, and crying.
“Get in there and start showering,” orders Morgana.
“You could have told me that this is a shower!” protests Mitzi.
“I told you to shut up. Now, start showering or do you want another smack?!” yells Morgana.
“No,” replies Mitzi, sobbing, “but how do I turn this on?”
“You’re hopeless!” snarls Morgana. “Haven’t you ever heard of a sonic shower? Very well, place one foot here, one there, your arms apart, hands open with fingers spread, and your eyes shut. Don’t move or open your eyes until I say.”
Darcy listens to the sonic shower cycling thinking that it would stop after five cycles but when it reaches eleven cycles, she puts her hand to her mouth and thinks, “Goddess!”
“Now put your feet here,” comes Morgana’s voice from behind the door. “Same deal, arms away from the body, hands open and eyes shut. Don’t move until I say.”
A few moments later, both Mitzi and Morgana come out of the room. Mitzi is looking fresh if not refreshed and is wearing a comely disposable dress.
“Look,” says Mitzi tearfully. “If this is about all the bad things I said about Bloom, then I’m truly sorry. I’ll apologize to her and kiss her little feet if that is what you want me to do.”
“That’s the last thing you’re going to do,” says Morgana. “You are going to help us destroy Bloom and crush her friends into faerie dust. That’s what you want, isn’t it?”
“No, I never wished her dead,” protests Mitzi, “just put in her place because she thinks that she is better than everyone… and all that.” Suddenly, Mitzi’s eyes go wide in shock. “You mean that Bloom and her friends are real Faeries and those where real Faerie wings!” gasps Mitzi.
“Well, duh, Darcy!” snarks Morgana. “The little witch has finally put one and one together. Perhaps she’s not as dumb as she looks.”
“Then, I’m really a Witch?” asks Mitzi.
“Yes, as much as it pains me to say so, you are,” says Morgana.
“Time to eat,” breaks in Darcy. “Are you hungry?”
“Yes,” replies Mitzi hopefully, “starving.”
Darcy has Mitzi seated at a sunken table between them. “Start with these,” says Morgana, then takes a handful of what seems to be short pieces of spaghetti, shoves them into her mouth and then proffers the bowl to Mitzi. Mitzi looks into the bowl to see it chock full of white, squirming and slimy maggots then to Morgana’s face to see a maggot still wriggling out of the corner of her mouth, turns seven shades of green, and makes a beeline for the washroom where she wretches miserably into the sink.
“What now?” groans Morgana exasperated and makes to get up from the table.
“Leave her be,” replies Darcy, taking Morgana’s arm and bringing her back to the table. “Let’s finish our meal.”
Darcy and Morgana have just finished when Mitzi finally comes back shaking and as white as a ghost.
“You had better not have left a mess in there,” Morgana begins to tear into Mitzi, raising her hand, “or I’ll smack…,” but Darcy forces down her hand.
“I said enough, Morgana,” shouts Darcy. “Leave her be.”
“But…,” Morgana starts to protest but Darcy gives her a cold, hard look.
“Good night, Morgana,” says Darcy firmly.
“Whatever,” growls Morgana, giving Mitzi a dirty look and a derisive snort through her nose. Then, turning, she seems to be walking straight into a wall until Mitzi sees an invisible door open and then close behind her.
“You must eat something or you’re going to collapse,” says Darcy gently. “Do you think you can manage to eat at least a little something?”
“Yes,” replies Mitzi, “but not those!”
“I think I can find something that is easier for you,” says Darcy. “Wait here a moment.”
Darcy comes back and offers Mitzi a thick, rectangular, brown biscuit and a tall glass of water.
“What is in this?” Mitzi asks her.
“It’s a survival ration,” replies Darcy. “It is all vegetable matter.” Then, when Darcy sees a starving Mitzi about to cram the whole bar into her mouth, she grabs it away from her. “No! No! No!” warns Darcy. “This is highly concentrated foodstuff. Take only small bites at a time, chew thoroughly and follow with a few sips of water. Slowly now,” and hands the ration back to Mitzi. Darcy makes a hypnotic gesture and a crystal vial and a brush appear and seem to hang in mid-air. Darcy spills some of the contents of the crystal vial into her hands, rubs them together and applies it to Mitzi’s hair.
“What is it?” asks Mitzi as Darcy next takes the floating brush and starts brushing her hair.
“I don’t think it has a name in Terran,” says Darcy. “It is oil distilled from the bark of a tree native to Alfea that makes you smell great and puts a really healthy shine into your hair. You like to look pretty, don’t you?”
“Yes,” whispers Mitzi shyly.
“And if you can make it through the next few weeks, I promise that you will become even more beautiful,” coos Darcy in silky tones. “Now, you will have to get to sleep. Morning comes early on Alfea and you have much to learn. The mat there is very comfortable and adjusts itself to your body shape and temperature requirements for a good night’s sleep. I’ll see you in the morning.”
Darcy vanishes and Mitzi makes her way to the mat as the lights begin to dim. It is, as Darcy promised her, comfortable but, as Mitzi tries to fall asleep, fear again begins to find its way into her heart and tears trickle down her face. “Bloom,” she whispers, “if you are really here and can hear me then I’m sorry for being so mean to you. Please, come save me from these witches and especially from the one called Morgana!” Then silently she cries herself to exhaustion and to sleep.