Monday, 31 December 2012

Chapter Eighty One

Dory and Mira had been spending some time together in the aftermath of Pete's death.  They were watching the TV when Dory noticed there was a new channel, the weather channel.  Flipping to the new channel, they found reports running on strange changes to the whole world.  It appeared there was rain, snow and hotter weather appearing around the world.  Scientists had been studying the new phenomenon and historians had found some ancient records about weather which they were using to predict what would happen. 
After they had been watching for a while, Mira got up and wandered off without saying anything.  Shortly afterwards, Nik came in to talk to Dory."I'm sorry to add to your burdens Dory, but I've noticed your mother is acting a little strange recently.  She seems to be forgetting things from time to time and I'm a little concerned about her.""I had hoped I was imagining it, but if you've noticed too then something is going on.  Oh, Nik, whatever can I do?  How can I keep watch on the changeling and look after Mother if she's starting to act odd?"

"Well, I do have a suggestion, I've been in contact with some people back where I came from and if it would help I could arrange for someone to come and help us.  The person I've got in mind would look a little strange to your eyes, but she's got special magic which would enable her to track the changeling if it tried to go home and she'd be able to help around the house and keep an eye on your mother for you."
"That sounds like a good idea, but how much would her help cost?  We don't have Pete's salary coming in any more and Mum only has a small pension.  I'm going to have to go out and do a lot more tracking down of birds and animals to keep out income going as it is."

"Don't worry about that, she won't charge much, the experience of living out here will be a massive plus for her and she'll charge even less if you can put her up in the house or the outbuildings.  Besides, I do have a certain amount of income which I'm happy to share with you while I'm living here.  I'm afraid a lot of my work does take place at night, but I can't tell you any more about that as it involves certain things which I'm not allowed to share with mortals...  Anyway, I have a telephone number for the person I was thinking of getting to come and help and you can interview her and see what you think.  Her name is Ug-Laruka Grockiak" 
Nik then flitted away and Dory telephoned the number he had left her.  She discussed a lot of things with the woman on the other end of the line and arranged a trial period to see how things went.
While Dory was interviewing their new home-help by telephone, Pete had gone outside to attend an appointment he had set up with a representative of Dragon Falls' Social Services department. 
Greeting her pleasantly, he immediately began to weave a spell of words around her to convince her to believe what he wanted her to believe and to discuss what he wanted to discuss with her.

"Elenie is very close to her next birthday and will be required to go to school after that, however, as you will be aware, she was present when her father died and I'm afraid she's been terribly traumatised.  Her mother and I don't believe she will be able to cope with school at the moment."
"Well, Mr Splicablee, I will of course have to examine the child to consider what will be best for her and whether there is any additional support that we should be providing to both her and her mother.  Assuming that you are correct, there is a home schooling programme which I can set her up for as long as there will be someone in the house capable of supervising her schooling."
Nik nodded and then cast some fairy dust into the Social Worker's eyes.  "You have seen the child and agree with my suggestion.  You will go back to your office and recommend this.  You will not return to check on her."  toning down his voice from the command he had just imprinted upon the woman he continued "Dory is currently engaging a carer/teacher who will be able to provide some counselling for Elenie, supervise her schoolwork on the homeschooling program and also assist with her grandmother who is unfortunately starting to show the first signs of dementia."

The Social Worker nodded her head, agreeing with everything he said and returned to her office to put the required paperwork in place.
Nik then went on to his cupola where he used his mirror to contact his Queen.  

"Great Majesty.  I have succeeded in convincing the authorities in this place to allow the brat to be home schooled so that she will not go to school and I have also planted a compulsion to prevent them from checking up on her as long as her homework is submitted to the home schooling system on time every day."

"Good, good, and keeping her at home you will break her for me."  Her purr of satisfaction suddenly sharpened "But what is it you are keeping from me?  What failure are you avoiding reporting?" 
"Majesty, I must prostrate myself in shame.  It is the weather spell..."  His voice trailed off

"Well, spit it out you fool!  What happened to my lovely spell?  Did you ruin it?"

"No Majesty, the spell itself worked well, weather is returned to the mortal realms, but it is not having the effect you wished for.  The mortal realms have recovered in the years that weather has been absent and there have been no disasters.  Worse, the mortals have not panicked and their authorities seem to have it all under control."

"Hmm, there was always the chance that would happen.  I shall have to punish the fools who were not able to construct my counter spell soon enough to cause the chaos I desired.  In any case, you must go, the brat is about to age up and you must explain her new role in life"
The mirror went blank and Nik flew down from his hidden room heading for the nursery where Elenie had been left alone and had fallen asleep on the floor earlier in the evening.
She had woken up as she began to feel the first stirrings of her birthday.  It didn't feel comfortable and she was still so tired that she began to wail. 
No-one had come in response to her cries when she felt the first of the birthday sparkles envelop her and she pulled herself to her feet.
As she aged up, Nik entered the room and threw a heap of tatty clothes at her.  He turned his back as she pulled them on, including a very worn apron and a cloth which she tied over her black plaits.
Once Elenie was fully dressed, Nik turned around again and began to lecture her on her new life and what this would entail. 
"You are nothing, understand me?  You will not talk to any of the adults in this house unless they give you an instruction.  You are tolerated here only as long as you are useful, you will not be going to school, you will complete homework assignments and submit them online and you will work around the house for your keep." 
As he said this, he threw a sleeping bag at her.  "This room is not yours any more.  You can sleep in this out in the barn, it's all you're good for and you can thank me for allowing you to sleep indoors at all!  Oh, and by the way, here's a small sample of what will happen if you cross me at all"  And with that he cast a fairy trick on Elenie, making her feel horribly sick. 
Out in the barn, something more hopeful had happened, Misty had just given birth to a tiny female kitten (who would eventually be named Jewel). 
Elenie flew out to to barn clutching her sleeping bag.  She didn't understand what had happened to her.  It had been only a few days ago that she had been taken to the park by her loving mother and father.  Now, her father was dead, her mother wouldn't look at her or speak to her and this strange man was telling her she would be a servant in her own home.
She sat down on the cold hard floor of the barn and unrolled her sleeping bag.  Somehow she knew that she would have to find out what had happened to change her family and her life so drastically and as she settled into the sleeping bag, she felt the three cats and the new kitten come over and snuggle up to her to sleep.  
Back in the main house, Dory had been sitting down when she had received confirmation of what she had suspected.  The little roll in the hay with Nik had consequences and now she was pregnant again.  As she looked down at the barely visible swelling she promised her unborn child that she would never let him or her be taken away from her.
The next morning, she went down for breakfast to find that Ug-Laruka had arrived and had just finished fixing the washing machine.  Mira had come downstairs a little earlier, still wearing her nightclothes and was in the process of grabbing some leftovers from the fridge
As they ate breakfast, Dory explained to her mother that she'd hired Ug-Laruka to help around the house and to supervise Elenie's home schooling program.
Once Mira had finished eating, she decided that it would be a good idea to go and introduce herself to Ug-Laruka, whom she found outside looking after the bees.  Ug-Laruka however was very brusque and short with her.

"I will be watching you Mrs Yat Sen, so don't think you can leave or send messages to anyone about your crazy ideas.  Mr Splicablee has told me I can't eat your bones but I'm allowed to do anything short of killing to keep you in the house and grounds.  Your things have been moved to the upstairs of the barn next to my room so I can keep an eye on you during the night too."
Mira was stunned to hear what was effectively a house arrest pronounced upon her by a creature (who was clearly not human) who had been hired by her own daughter.  She went upstairs in the barn and found all her stuff from her bedroom in the house had been moved there and Merlin was waiting for her there. 
After she'd finished brushing his fur and had gained some measure  of control over herself, she sat down on the new sofa which had been added to her room and beckoned Merlin to jump up onto her lap.
As she stroked him, Mira poured out everything that had happened over the last few days to him.  It was a jumbled mess, but she knew that Merlin couldn't really understand her anyway and she also knew that for the moment she wouldn't dare do anything to contradict the new "butler", she'd just have to wait and watch developments.
Back in the kitchen, Nik had come down just as Dory was finishing eating and, as Elenie cleared the plates, Dory told him her big news.
Nik embraced her when she told him and assured her that he was utterly thrilled at the thought of her carrying his baby.  In truth, he couldn't care less except for the fact that this was another task his queen had set him which he had accomplished and it was always a good thing to accomplish such tasks as quickly as possible. 
He also knew what to do next to tie Dory and her new baby to him as thoroughly as possible and dropping to one knee, he magicked up a beautiful engagement ring.
"Dory, I know it's not long since your husband died, but would you do me the honour of becoming my wife.  I will care for you and your child whatever happens but please will you marry me?" 
Dory agreed and, caught in the magic of his gaze, she also agreed that they should have a quiet, private wedding there and then.  

Pet Spam

Town News
  • Christopher Karris-McKinley, Megan Sperie & Lenora Vamp-Roman aged to toddlers
  • Ieaun Glyndwr and Jenny McKinley aged to children
  • Sallie Mitchell-Crist aged to a teenager
  • Bernard McKinley and Christy Sabo had a baby girl called Corinna
  • Brook Harris-McKinley and Grant Sperie-Sabo are expecting a baby
  • Menolly Clemetis is dating Derrick Harris-Crist
  • Raina Sabo-Harris and Torey McKinley-Crist broke up as did Bobbie Clemetis and Salvador Harris

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Chapter Eighty

Once Elenie had been put in her cot and both Dory and Mira had gone to bed, exhausted by the events of the day, Nik summoned a small cupola into being on the roof of the barn and wove illusions around it to hide it from sight.  Flying up there, he summoned his magic mirror together with other useful magical items.  The mirror was the most important though as it was time for him to make his report.

As her face swam into view in the mirror he bowed low "Greetings great majesty.  I have much news to report."

"I have succeeded in slaying the woman's husband and so far she does not suspect me.  I cast the fire circle around her, her husband and the brat, then I rescued her and the brat.  He perished as you instructed and now she has asked me to stay while she deals with his death."

"Excellent" she responded, rubbing her hands together.  Then her eyes sharpened, "But you are not telling me everything!  What is it that you fear to tell me?"

"Great Queen, it is to do with the brat.  I know you wished her born and kept alive and that you instructed me to wait until she was a toddler, however I believe someone, or something, else has an interest in her."

"Of course they have an interest in her you fool!" snapped his Queen.  "She is important, or her line is!  But are you saying someone has found her?"

"I believe so Majesty.  Although neither the woman nor her husband were of our kind, it became evident when the brat grew to a toddler that she had become one of the lesser fae.  I have examined her tonight and I can tell that a spell was cast to bring out buried heritage from her father's line, but I cannot sense who wrought that spell, nor can I tell their intent."

"Hmm, if you cannot sense who wrought it nor their intent then the one who did this must be powerful indeed.  There are few who could achieve that.  Keep watch on her, and in the meantime we can use this to our advantage.  You have begun to enchant the woman?  Use the moppet I sent you to bring her completely under your will and convince her that the brat is a changeling.  Do not let the brat go to school, keep her close around the house, and break her spirit!  I want her totally broken by the time I am ready to make my move."
"Yes, Majesty, it shall be as you command."

"Oh, and by the way, once you have the woman under your control, get another child on her by way of insurance."
"Now, I have another task for you my knight.  I wish to spread some chaos around the mortal realm, and I have enchanted an old weather stone with a powerful spell.  It will appear on the island you are on shortly and you are to go to it and release the power I have imbued it with.  When you do so the weather spell those foolish Seelie Courts and their mortal helpers created all those centuries ago will be broken!"
As soon as his Queen's face had faded from view in the mirror, Nik hurried to do her bidding.  (He knew what would happen to him if he hesitated for one moment in following her commands).   He could sense her power building on the other side of the island and he reached the epicentre of that power just as a huge weather stone burst from beneath the sands.
As soon as it had fully emerged, Nik flew up and directed a  constant stream of magic towards the stone.  
It took quite a while and a lot of power, but eventually the stone thrummed with power in response and a huge stream of lightening shot up along the stone and into the sky, hitting the clouds which had rapidly formed as Nik had poured power into the stone.  He could feel the spell rippling out across the world and knew that it had succeeded.
He arrived back at Dory's home as the day dawned.  Luckily for his plans, Mira was upstairs playing with Elenie well out of his way.
He found Dory outside, at the back of the house, and wasted no time using the moppet his Queen had sent to complete the enchantment he had begun on Dory the previous night.
As the light from the enchantment faded, Nik began to weave a spell of words around Dory.
"I am deeply sorry that I failed to save Pete for you last night, and I am even sorrier that I must now share news with you which will hurt you more deeply, but it is something which you must know."
Dory stared at him, her eyes slightly glazed.  "What is it you must tell me?  I know you tried your hardest to save Pete, but what more is there now that my enemies have taken my love from me?"

"I am afraid that I have been mistaken all these years and my error has caused my failures to protect those whom you love.  It was not you that was the target of the attacks, I only realised when I found out that Pete was descended from my people, but he and his line were the target all along."

"Pete and his line were the target?  But, Elenie!  Is she in danger now?"

"That is what I must tell you, and that is what will hurt you all the more.  I am afraid that the toddler upstairs whom your mother is playing with is not your Elenie.  It is a changeling left by whomever has stolen your true child."No, that can't be possible!  Mother and Pete ran DNA checks on her!  She is ours!"

"I am sorry Dory, but it is possible.  How else would she be fae?  I know Pete was descended from one of my people, but he was too far removed from that ancestry to produce a true fae child.  I must tell you that the darker among my people are more than capable of producing a changeling whose genetics appear to match the child in whose place it is left."

Dory broke down into tears at this point.  "But what can we do?  Where is my Elenie?  Can we get her back?"

"It is possible, but to do so we must find out which of the many fae courts have taken her.  The best way to do that is to make the changeling unwelcome here and then at some point it will try to return home.  When it does, we can follow it and rescue your real child."

Nik's spell had worked well and Dory agreed to do whatever he advised, believing that Elenie was not her true child but a changeling.  So Elenie was left alone and ignored in her cot until she began screaming for food.
Nik had not gotten around to bespelling Mira at this point and so when she heard her granddaughter screaming, she picked her up and took her downstairs to feed her.  Nik came into the kitchen as she was watching Elenie finish the last of her breakfast and he immediately realised that Mira could ruin his plans.

"Get away from that brat and stop coddling it!" He shouted.
His interference sparked Mira's temper "How dare you call my granddaughter a brat!  She's not yours and you have no say in how she is brought up!"

"Pah" he sneered in response, "It's not yours either you foolish mortal, can't you see it's a changeling?  Leave the brat to fend for itself."
Mira drew herself up indignantly "Elenie is no changeling, nor is she a brat.  I don't know what you're up to but you can stop interfering or I'll have you out of the house!"

Nik attempted to cast a spell which would bring Mira under his influence as well as Dory, but quickly realised that for some reason she was more resistant.  As Mira railed at him he rapidly ran through what might work on her. 
After a few attempts he hit on the very thing.  A spell which would prevent others from believing anything she said, combined with another which would attack her short-term memory causing her to forget her intentions.  As he cast the spell and Mira shivered in the icy side-effects, he dropped his friendly mask and warned her not to interfere in his plans or he would make her regret it. 
Leaving Mira to absorb his words and confident that his spells and threats would have the effect he wanted, Nik headed outside to get to work on Dory again.
He began by flirting with her and complimenting her, with power threaded through his every word to make her memories of Pete dim and focus her on him instead.
He could tell that it was working when she gazed adoringly into his eyes and confessed that she thought he was her knight in shining armour who would always come and rescue her.
Building on the spell, he magicked up a bunch of flowers, imbuing them with a love spell, and presented them to Dory.
Sensing that she was falling deeply into his love spell, he leaned forward and sealed it with a gentle seeming kiss.
The whole process had taken much of the day, and the evening was beginning to draw in as he asked her to date him.  Caught deep within his spell Dory could no longer resist him and agreed, inviting him to move in completely and live with them.
With Dory's will now completely subsumed in his own Nik took her in his arms and moved his assault onto the next stage.  He held her close and kissed her until she could no longer think coherently, with every touch increasing the power of his spell and binding her closer and closer under his control. 
Finally, as night began to fall, Nik judged that she was deep enough under his power and led her over to a haystack which Mira had left out in the corner of Taliesen's paddock 

Pet Spam

Town News
  • Laurette Marlin-Mitchell and Todd Sperie aged to teens.
  • Glimmer Sabo-Harris aged to elder
  • Torey McKinley-Crist and Raina Sabo-Harris are dating.
  • Ramin McKinley and Adabella Sperie-Fields had a baby girl called Jolie