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14

Professor Klan trudged through the infirmary, located in its own little pocket off to the right of the dining hall. It was a quaint hall, its walls and stone white and kept pristine. Large, wooden crosses dotted every fourteen beds, eighty-eight in total, while stained glass stretched in between, bathing in the room in such colorful splendor. The beds, their frames were made of black iron, housing pure white mattresses on their strong, rigid, unyielding steel. Beside each bed was a simple, oak stand, with a copy of the Bible and a platter of fruits before a vase of lavenders and lilacs.

The good doctor grumbled as she came to last night’s newest occupants to her tidy, perfect world and its order, but she couldn’t help but feel a bit smug about it. How many people had he sent to her halls before, yet came out smelling like a rose? It was a shame his friend also suffered, but she always spurred him on. Why, if she were in charge instead of the kid’s grandfather, she would have purged him long ago. But no.

She wanted to forget he was ever brought down here, to simply let him bleed out, but she couldn’t ignore her oath, or the fear and worry on the succubus’ faces as they carried him and the frauline into her hall. They were both naked, but the boy still had a bit of his robes on his feet, torn away from the rest. The lass, meanwhile, had stains on her front, showing they had done something rather naughty. However, what exactly were they doing to have the tower crumble into his room?

Even now that dummkopf was mocking her. He had the biggest, silliest smile plastered on his goofy, once-heavily bruised face, and somehow had the capacity to wheeze out such buffoonish sounds even with the majority of his rib cage splintered into his lungs during. However, that wasn’t the biggest mystery; throughout the night, somehow his friend would find a way into his bed. No small feat for somebody whose spine was almost little more than dust. The fact her head and the first two spinal columns remained perfectly intact were nothing short of a miracle. Her face suffered the most, as if it had been sheared off by a high-impact blast, but it was already healed and back to its warm glow, nuzzling once again into the dummkopf’s neck.

She didn’t bother to separate them this time. Her job was done; they were healed. All she had to do now was wait for them to wake.

Which, wouldn’t you know it, happened right then.

“Nipple salads,” Mel blurted as he sat up. The sudden exclamation made Saliim jump straight up into the air off the bed beside and slam onto the ground, while Brin simply sat up, as well.

“You okay, Saliim?” Brin said.

“Yeah,” she grumbled, whimpering as she pulled herself back onto the bed. She nuzzled its pillow, relishing, savoring it. “I just let my guard completely down... Bed...”

“Who said you could have bed?” Mel said, and waved at Professor Klan. “Hey! She wasn’t allowed to have bed.”

“You should be thanking her,” Professor Klan stated, storming over. She stopped at the foot of his bed, glaring down at him. “I don’t know what you and your lady friend got up to, but you finally overdid it.”

“What did we d... Oh! You mean when I shot the cumehameha. Yeah. Yeah... After that, everything got kinda fuzzy.”

“You blasted a hole through the ceiling the size of a small truck,” Penelope mumbled, yawning, and tittered as she kissed his neck. “Won’t lie. It was hot, if painful.”

“I really shouldn’t go months without taking care of myself.”

She giggled, but huffed, pouting and crossing her arms.

“It’s not even fair. All I did was undo your robes.”

“It had been a long, hard day. Combine that with needing to release for months-”

“I do not wish to know any more details,” Professor Klan interjected. “At least I know now this was not with malicious intent. Benjamin warned me last night that there may be a conspiracy against you. Not that I can truly blame anybody for holding a grudge.”

“No doubt.”

She sighed, and pointed to the fruit platter beside.

“Have your fill, then get dressed.” She rolled her wrist, and red energy boiled and frothed at the end of the bed. Something thick slurped and glorped until the top of a chest could be seen just over the black iron railing. “You can find suitable attire in there... Guten Morgan, Frau Penelope.”

“Morning to you too, and thank you,” Penelope said, and the good doctor returned up the hall, checking on other patients. Penelope waited for her to at least be a few rows down before she picked up a certain long and yellow fruit from the bowl and rolled over into Mel’s embrace.

Who promptly electric-slid onto the ground.

Penelope started to giggle, her loving quip on the tip of her tongue. Crawling over the side to give chase, but stopped, watching as he clambered onto the next bed and rolled over Saliim to take cover behind her.

“Okay, ow,” the succubus muttered, rubbing her chest as she turned to glare at him. “What the hell?”

“Are you alright, master?” Brin said.

“Take cover, Brin!” He boomed, echoing through the hall, and pointed at Penelope. His hand shook, eyes wide as he panted. “Penelope, put down the banana.”

Penelope blinked, so many emotions cascading across her vision, none of them really sure if they should stick around or not.

“Mel-” She managed to say.

“Look. We can talk this out. You don’t need to threaten me with that... thing.”

“But... it’s just a bana-”

“Don’t point that at Saliim! Aim it towards the wall or ground.”

“Mel... it’s just a banana.”

“Oh, I know exactly what it is! I don’t want any trouble, Penelope. Just... gently... put it back into the bowl.”

“Mel... Look. I’ll peel it, and you can s-”

“No! Don’t!”

Penelope gripped the bottom of the banana and gave the squared rind a twist.

The banana started to smoke.

She held it out before her, the yellow fruit turning orange, growing in her palm, both longer and fatter. It steamed and hissed, its seam starting to burst, releasing more of the white smoke into the air.

“What the h-” She began to say, but cried out as Mel smacked it out of her hand. He caught it and threw it with all his might back towards the end of the hall.

Right towards Professor Klan.

She just turned around, smoothing out the sheet of one of the more unfortunate, and looked up in time to see the red rocket glide right towards her lips. She gasped, gagged as it went right in, then exploded with the force of a thousand bukakes, covering, smothering her in its off-white goop. The banana peel fell to the ground, limp, while all around the room was, also, washed in its essence.

Professor Klan wiped it from her eyes, spat out what was in her mouth, and spluttered. Her eyes were those of a crusader, searching for whom threw the first stone, and landed on Penelope. Alone.

Mel whistled a soft tune as he walked towards the dining hall, cut off by soft grunts, tugging his sash tight on his new robes. He did a sidestep here and there, adjusting his tennis shoes. He would have preferred flip-flops or boots, but was at least thankful it wasn’t the latter. It would have taken him far too long to lace those up before leaving the infirmary, and time was sort of crucial. He didn’t want to be there for when the real bomb went off- and there it was! Angry German filled the air, booming through the courtyard and into the dining hall, giving the other students pause, listening, as if enraptured in those heated words of true vehemence and anger aside with how crude and boorish they thrummed.

Ah, but it was Taco Tuesday again, so Mel simply ignored it. He walked the length of the table, sitting at the right end of the first table through the arch, facing it while Brin and Saliim took up seats on either side. They had been affected by the German blast, their faces pale, stunned by the language rippling through the brutish tongue, but soon its spell wore off on them as it did the others. The students, however, kept shooting glances towards Mel, but he wondered what for? Was it because he was preparing a taco, himself, seeing if it was spiced up enough for him to not need to... “alter” it? Was it because of the sudden German Inquisition –which, admittedly, is not as surprising as the Spanish Inquisition, but it does leave a stronger impression.

Or, as the eyes turned to look at her, was it the angry woman that stomped into the hall. Penelope’s eyes seemed to glow red, her face streaked with tears, and didn’t blink as she scanned the hall. Her motion was so fluid, so smooth, that it was a wonder if she was human after all. Could it be that the robots finally sent someone back? If that’s the case, where’s Mel’s personal Janie Connor? Or Janice- Julie? Juniper... as long as it’s not a guy, he was set; after all, that’d be hard to explain how he aided in raising the resistance. There was no way he could have done it; cyborgs are too cool.

Penelope’s gaze finally fell on him, though, and to say she stormed his way would be doing her actions a great injustice. If anything the storm paled compared to her ire. Not even a hurricane or Finger of God-Tornado held a grain of sand to the wave of rage hidden behind those eyes. The ground trembled in her wake, and shivered in anticipation for her next step until the table, itself, quaked, silenced with two open palms to it, ringing louder than the closest strike of lighting.

“W-why-” She began.

“I’m just going to cut you off there,” Mel said, wrapping his taco. He took a bite... and... eh. It was spicy enough... although-

She grabbed him by the collar, hoisting him into the air.

“What did you do!” She shrieked.

“Now now. Let’s talk this over before one of us ends up skewered on a berry bush-”

“Shut! Up!” She let him go, panting hard. If she could breath fire, this would be where her nostrils would be constantly flaming, already flared for the hot streaks, but, again, he was thankful that wasn’t the case. “Be serious for once in your life!”

“Technically, this would be the second time... and I tried to warn you, didn’t I? You can’t trust bananas.”

“Why did y-”

“I did nothing. Bananas, man; they just can’t be trusted.”

She growled, and clawed at the table, fresh tears frothing free.

“Then why did you leave me? How could you abandon your wife like that?”

“Whoa! WHOA!!! Who said anything about wife? In fact, who said anything about girlfriend, at that?”

“B...but yesterday- last night-”

“You mean during Opposite Day? Which you knew?”

She chuckled, trying to sound sheepish but failing just from the sheer rage she was still exuding.

“I thought it was over. We were out of Daisy’s place and all... I mean, if this was about you... well, you were just excited a-”

“You do realize that I was being teased and ridden all day by a succubus, right? That I was in the room of the finest piece of ass that currently graces these halls? I’m surprised I didn’t punch a hole through Daisy’s heavens.” He took another bite of his taco, shaking his head. “Besides, I take this as a sign. There were so many ways that cumehameha could have gone. It could have gone through the window. It could have blasted you or the succubustresses-”

“Succu-what now?” Saliim tried to inquire, but he simply kept going.

“It could have been aimed down and propelled me like a rocket into the headboard, which, admittedly, would have been a safer outcome. It would have hurt like hell, but we still could have continued. Instead, it pierced the roof and brought it down on us... It seems Destiny doesn’t want us together.”

“Don’t drag me into this!” The girl from Maine chided in from across the hall. “I don’t give two shits either way.”

“You know it to be true, Destiny! Don’t deny your love.”

“Fuck that! We have enough weird shit going on at home.”

“When was the last vampire outbreak, by the way?”

“About a year ago.”

“I think you are overreacting,” Penelope said, gripping his hand. She took a deep breath, held it for what seemed an eternity (long enough for him to not be able to take another bite of his taco), and let it out, slowly. Tears still wavered in her vision, but her gaze was soft now, piercing into his soul. “Mel... I don’t blame you... You were simply excited is all... In fact, that’s rather hot, that you couldn’t hold it any longer-”

“Is that what happened?” Lucille cut in, sauntering up to the table. She snickered, shaking her head as she spun a chair around by Brin on the right and sat at it. “Sounds to me you are packing a cannon. I both pity and envy any woman you set your sights on.”

“To be fair-” Brin started, but was cut off as Penelope slammed her hand on the table again.

“Will you go away?” She exclaimed. “Haven’t you done enough?”

“Eh? ‘Done enough’?”

“You already sent a prehistoric water monster and harpies after him; you ruined any type of relationship we had-”

“There was none to begin with, though.” Mel stated.

“See? Haven’t you gotten your revenge? Aren’t you sated?”

Lucille simply stared at her a second, unsure of what to make of the distraught psycho which was becoming and more akin to a yandere every day, which made Mel uncertain if he should continue to reject her advances or give in full-swing. He always dreamed of having a yandere girlfriend, watching her sink into despair and madness as he paid any mind to anyone and anything that wasn’t her. He wondered, though, what kind of death a yandere girlfriend would bring upon her lover; would they kill their lover, or would their fate be far, far worse. Mind-control, necromancy, puppetry in general; the sky was the limit. At least, now it was- ooh! Does this mean he finally had his platform? Maybe his lower brain was in the right pl-

Lucille broke her stoicism with a raspberry, leading into giggles that rumbled deep from within. She said something in her ancestral tongue, which, surprisingly, sounded more beautiful and eloquent than modern German, and wiped her eye, shaking her head.

“That is rich,” she said, sighing, and Penelope’s gaze turned almost jet.

“You think ruining our lives is funny?”

“Kind of, yeah, but I didn’t do a single thing yet. In fact, I was on my way over to spike yours and Mel’s food. I didn’t believe your lies for a minute, that you weren’t together or interested.”

“But I wasn’t lying,” Mel said.

“It seemed somebody beat me to it, though.” She sighed again, almost a pleasurable sound, and stood. She patted Mel’s head, tittering, still coming from so deep below, as if each utterance was straight from her gut in a stony mine. “Our debt is paid, Mel, but know this: I’ll be keeping an eye on you. How couldn’t I? This has become too damn entertaining.”

“Piss off, you barbaric slut!” Penelope shrilled, turned to a scream, fading across the courtyard. Smoke streamed after, coming from the sharp edge of a steak knife, pointed away as the blunt end pressed into her chest. The smoke changed direction, aimed down, and Penelope took off towards the starry sky, it and her screams fading as she passed the threshold and was dropped in her room.

Lucille hummed, rubbing Mel’s arm.

“You know, I still have this nagging feeling,” she said, “and, for whatever reason, I simply can’t get rid of it.”

“You should consult a doctor about that.”

“No! Not that kind of feeling... At least, not this time... For some reason, in the back of my mind, there’s this tiny voice that was saying that you were telling the truth.”

“Sometimes,” he said, and shrugged. He polished off his taco, and stretched, groaning. “Anyways, it’s time for Professor Negei’s class. I should go fetch her so we can go.”

“Professor Negei? What do they teach?”

“Eh? Don’t we all have the same classes and professors in this sector?”

“I’m actually not from NAEC; my boyfriend was. I actually take classes in AM, Asian-Mandarin.”

“Huh. Would have never guessed. You speak fluent English.”

“I’ve had this discussion with the ex before, but I’ll fill you in: the Institute has a Babel Enchantment. We can understand each other so long as we use our common tongue.”

“... Then... why couldn’t I understand Professor Klan’s German outburst?”

“Because she’s not German,” Saliim cut in. “She’s Swiss.”

“Huh. Small world,” Mel said, and popped his back again. “But yeah... I should go fetch the Poplio so we can go do spirit stuffs.”

“Ah. Spiritual. My favorite,” Lucille said, and gave Mel a small smile. “Take care... or don’t. Whichever is more fun.”

“No doubt.”

And so he left, not to retrieve his friend but to head directly to class. She’ll be fine... she knew where to find him, and wouldn’t be too long behind. Again, yanderes are so predictable and fun to mess with.

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