A Touch of Magicbymy_lil_secret©
Ella made her way through the trees just outside of town. Dressed in the darkest hood she had, she carried with her only a mirror and a rolled up blanket. Her long dress and hood got damp as she walked through the edge of the field just outside her village, where she knew everyone must be sleeping. A jolt of excitement and fear overtook her as she passed a warning posted on one of the trees,
"Notice! Any citizen found outside the Township on the night before and the night of the Harvest Moon--will be deemed a diabolist and divinitor and shall be punished with the threat of death. Signed with the authority of the Bishop of the 39th District Parish, and by decree State Law."
Looking up at the moon, Ella put hurry in her step as she realized it must be almost midnight! It was the night before Samhain, and Ella knew full well what that meant--witching hour!
"Damn this dark night I can't see a thing!" She spoke to herself as softly as she could, aware that if she got caught out on this very special night, she might be burned--or worse!
The path Ella took wound its' way down the side of a hill into a tree line where she pursued a path she'd taken many times before, but never at night--and never on Samhain! Tonight the trees looked especially eerie as there was a damp fog overtaking them up to her waist.
Finding her spot at the edge of a bank which ran a cool stream of water, she positioned rocks in a circle so the water would pool, careful not to look into it.
Checking her dads' pocket watch, Ella saw that she'd made it just in time for midnight, as was her plan. She eased herself onto her back and scooted herself as far over the edge of the bank as she could. Pulling out the mirror, she put it up above her head and took a deep breath--focusing on her reason for coming here this night.
"Sands of time yet to fall,
Show your face--hear my call!
I request the face of my one true love,
Through this mirror and sacred water,
Give a sign to your loyal daughter!
Moon above, shine so bright.
Bring his face into the light!"
The sounds of crickets and the night waned as Ella concentrated very hard on the mirror in her hand as she held it above her head. Looking closely, the mirror reflected the moons' light in the water behind her head and she strained to see if anything was visible.
Suddenly a face did come into view, and the hair immediately stood up on her arms and neck. Ella was slightly startled to actually get an answer to her question..
There in the mirror was the face of a raven black haired, blue eyed man whom she did not know. His eyes glinted in the moonlight and his eyes seared into hers until she heard the grass and leaves beside her rustle.
"OH!" Ella had been so fixated on her spell and mirror that she hadn't even realized there was someone standing over her.
"Good evening." The dark mans' cloak brushed upon her hand as he leaned down in a crouching position to inspect Ella more closely.
Too surprised to answer, Ella made to get herself up when she noticed his warm hand was on her chest over her heart, not holding her down but preventing her from getting up. His scent which was strong and sweet like wood chips with a hint of patchouli, radiated onto her like a cloud of perfume.
"Might I ask what such a fetching young girl is doing in my woods on this night?"
Ella had no words that would come to her lips as she looked into this mans' enthralling gaze, fully aware of the contact his hand was making with her heaving chest as she prepared herself to fight and flee.
"Do not be afraid I will not hurt you," this strangers' voice was like music to her ears and Ella wondered if she'd gone too far into the dark woods--which were supposedly inhabited by many unknown forces.
"Who are you?" She asked.
"Tsk tsk, you didn't answer my question, do you?"
"Well, I'm not lost if that's what you're asking," Ella brushed the strangers' hand away nonchalantly and stood up. Perhaps if she acted like everything was normal, it would stay that way?
"Would you like an escort this night?" The mans' eyes wandered the woods generally in each direction as hers followed his lead until she realized that soon his were glaring into hers in pure intrigue.
"No, thank you, no. I must be getting home.."
"Oh, but these woods are not safe tonight for someone like you."
The stranger was standing a few feet from Ella and she could still smell his sweet musk which was intoxicating. This man was indeed out of the ordinary, and she wondered just what kind of life someone had to lead to attain such an aroma?
"I'm well aware of that, thank you." She made to turn, but couldn't take her eyes off this man. Was he a man? Her mind told her to leave, but the rest of her body refused to listen as she nonchalantly looked him up and down, attracted to his strange aura.
"I don't think you should go back tonight, there are search parties out all over this forest. I assume they are looking for you."
Ellas' heart sank and her stomach felt as if she'd been punched. That goddamn Bishop must have called city roll in the middle of the night! If she went back now, she might be held in trial by the very town she grew up in.
Her home, her family--all flashed before her mind and she realized how silly it was for her to be out on this night, casting such a trivial spell, no less.
The conflict on her face in the pale moonlight was apparent, and chills ran up her spine as the cool mountain air chilled her through her robe.
"You are more than welcome to stay at my home, this night. As my guest."
Silence ensued as she was torn between wanting to tell him no, but knowing that if she did the rest of the night she would be freezing and perhaps worse--if she were caught and interrogated! What would she tell them? She'd gotten enough views of town hangings to last a lifetime..
The sound of hounds broke through the air and thus the moment of her decision—Ella's eyes grew wide. The search party would find her for sure!
"If I carry you, your scent will be lost to the dogs, child."
Looking desperately into his eyes, Ella searched them to see if there was any clue as to whether she could trust him.
"I promise I will not hurt you, and that you may leave whenever you want."
Of course she knew his promise meant nothing at that moment. But faced with the dogs, she considered this for a moment before her body subconsciously answered for her. All she could feel now was the twist in her stomach at the thought of being cornered by the Bishops' hounds.
The mans' strong arms moved to pick her up as she nodded in absolute confused submission and she wrapped her arms around his neck as he bent over and picked her up—the baying of the hounds getting closer by the second. The stranger picked her up with ease, not surprisingly since she was quite short and petite.
"Where are we going?" Ella didn't know anyone lived in this forest, much less someone of his stature. His clothes were fine--accented with gold buttons, no less.
"Home." He said simply as they moved through the forest in silence, listening to the hounds baying in the distance get slighter with each step.
For what seemed an interminably long time, Ella lost track of their direction as they made their way deep into the darkest corners of the night.
"You live here in the forest?"
"Yes, I do."
"Why?" Her curiosity over rode her embarrassment as this stranger carried her helpless body in the most intimate embrace she'd ever had from anyone besides her family.
Ellas' head looked up into his face, their lips within inches of each other and her heart jumped as he smiled a half smile and adjusted her body in his arms.
A howl broke her gaze and fear immediately engulfed her whole body. The hounds had found them! Ella's arms held tighter onto her companion as she braved a look towards the direction of the hounds. Instead she found only one dog, and it definitely wasn't the Bishops'. He was the largest canine she had ever seen! The husky beast was as big as a small horse, and relief overtook her when she realized its' tail was wagging steadily in welcome.
The dark stranger walked right past the enormous dog, and its' nose sniffed her feet as they made their way up a stone walkway which led to a warmly lit stone castle home. The source of the strange smells she'd been getting from the stranger were definitely here; the entire area was wafted in exotic rough scents. Her eye was caught at the sight of a vine of purple flowers cascading down the front wall, and she felt more comfortable knowing that at least someone who would grow flowers can't possibly too much of a danger.
Ella was overtaken with surprise as she looked in awe at the beautiful statues which were staggered throughout the courtyard, encircled with lily blossoms and unknown flowers of origin the likes of which she had never seen before.
She saw a beautiful fountain in the center with benches positioned in a circle around it, and she immediately loved this place. Her body relaxed a bit at the knowledge that her choice of coming can't have been too bad. There wasn't an evident dungeon or stakes with heads for decorations, at least. The pathway led to a very large double door which itself was carved to look like a tree and its' roots into the underbelly of the earth.
Stopping here, the stranger put her down on her feet and Ellas' head felt light as she was placed back upright.
Perhaps, she thought to herself at this moment. she should have eaten something today. Her eyes glazed over and her legs felt weak beneath her as darkness closed around her in a tunnel within her eyes, and everything became dark as she realized she was falling...
She fell into a trance of restful sleep and Ella felt a presence on top her naked body, pushing itself onto her like a cloud of pressure--making her insides quake with anticipation and pleasure. She didn't have any defense but to just lay there taking in the feeling, with no thought as to where it came from or why. Just before she could feel the overwhelming arc of ecstacy, it would steal away and leave her alone in her bed, wet with sweat and cream between her legs. She rolled around in the soft sheets of her docile covers, deep in sleep. Feeling lips all over her body, she remarked in astonishment as something else she knew nothing about, slid in between her thighs as she unknowingly opened her legs for the welcome intrusion. Soft cold wetness, then pressure. Immediately her body was dragged back to reality however, by the feeling of a big wet tongue on her toes. Was that, a dog?
As Ellas' eyes opened, she immediately felt her head pounding into itself as she looked down past her feet to the enormous canine sitting at the end of her bed with its' head rested on the surface. Sure enough, he licked her feet again with excitement at her arousal. Memories of that night flooded in like a river, and she realized it hadn't been a dream; she wasn't at home in her comfortable bed, she was somewhere unknown. Looking around, she was in a room the size of her entire house. A canopy of silk encompassed her bed above and fell down at the corners, and a soft sunset light filled the room with warmness. It took a few minutes for her body to register the time of day, but when it did she realized it was her favorite moment that time had to offer—evening time.
Thump. Thump. Thump.
Thinking someone was knocking, Ella pulled the sheet up over her naked body before realizing that the sound was merely the dogs' tail pounding steadily on the floor. Then the realization that she was indeed naked, sent shivers of embarrassment up her entire body to her already perked nipples.
Sitting there, thinking about the sensations her dream had given her--Ella couldn't help but to feel excited and a chill ran up her spine and her thighs tightened in response. Was that real? No, it couldn't have been..
A real knock on the door interrupted her thoughts, and at the same time as the knock, in walked an aged chamber maid with an armful of linens.
"Good evening, my lady!"
"You've been sleeping since last night, your clothes were soiled with mud so I removed them, forgive me—here are some fresh clothes for you from my Master.."
"Oh?!" Ella exclaimed as the maid laid before her a very elegant purple and gold dress that tied up the back bodice. The gold lace shone in the lantern light like real gold, and Ella exclaimed when she realized that the ribbons crisscrossed from the shoulders down all the way down below hip level.
"He asks that you forgive him for not being able to provide more comfortable fashions, as he only has a limited amount of things from his late wife's wardrobe to offer you."
"These are nobility clothes, I'm not nobility ma'am." Ella set the beautiful dress back down longingly towards the chamber maid. Then a male voice came from nowhere.
"You are whatever you wish to be."
The mans' voice shook Ella to her core, and she realized her breasts were splayed out of the sheets as she had sat up to look at her dress. Recoiling in horror, Ella covered herself to her neck and watched wide eyed as the gentleman from last night walked up to the side of the bed.
"No need to hide such beauty," the dark stranger stopped just short of the point at which Ella would normally scream at the indecency, but tonight she didn't feel the stigma of social ritual. Tonight, all decorum fell away and she was in new territory. Strange territory.. In a moment of silence he stood there, this dark strangers' blue eyes examining her fresh full-body blush. It was flattering, actually, to have him fawn over her so inexplicably, and Ella could not stop her heart from beating out of her chest although in all appearances she was quite calm.
"Well, I don't quite know how to thank you for last night, kind sir."
"You just did." The dark stranger answered immediately, making Ellas' stomach flip around in his gaze.
"I was explaining, that I'm not nobility. I dare not wear such a garment, sir."
"Why not? You're already in deep trouble with the world of man, and here you need not be troubled. They cannot find you."
"Oh? How is that?" Ella was spellbound by his intriguing manner of speaking.
Snapping his fingers, a spark of light shot out of his hand just to dissipate as quickly as it appeared.
"Mens' eyes cannot see my home even if they were here right beside us."
"Sorcerer!?" Ellas' surprise overtook her and she stared confoundedly at the dark stranger as she whispered his title.
"You have no home left, your family has disowned you for fear of being labeled traitors themselves. If you don't believe me, here's the morning paper from your parish."
Ellas' eyes scanned the form, and found the section about her disappearance, and her warrant for 'questioning'.
"Perhaps, you might consider enter my world, young one?"
He looked entranced at Ellas' face, to see if he could read her answer.
They stood there, staring at one other--Ella wanting so badly to say yes. Every moment in her life seems mute and pointless, until now—like she existed only until this moment, for this moment. The childlike curiosity of what was to come, gives her breath life with every second. The words she sought caught in her throat, so she choked out a simple, "yes."
The mans' eyes got warm and happy, his entire body looking relieved at her answer.
"Good. I certainly didn't want to have to drop you into one of the outlying towns..There's no telling what would have become of you. Tonight you shall be brought into my world then, if it is still your wish a few hours time from now. There is a stipulation as to the process, please be prepared to make a very difficult decision."
Ella couldn't help but feel anxious at what he meant, and decided to ask this strange sorcerer his name.
"My name is Sander. Might I inquire as to yours mademoiselle?"
"Well, the name certainly fits such a beautiful creature as yourself!"
The dark stranger, now known as Sander--bowed his head and was gone before she could even recover her thoughts for any kind of response.
The chambermaid re entered the room with a tray of drink, food, and a mixture of yellow, red, and white roses and Ella sat in wonderment as she automatically ate and drank her meal; completely enthralled by her thoughts.
Stepping out onto the green grass outside the walls of the warm fortress she'd been enclosed in, she could hear beetles and crickets making their way through the foliage. The smell of grass had been forgotten to her mind until now, as she hadn't been able to see any since her family moved from the southern district many years ago. Ella felt the want to take off her new shoes and feel the earth sod between her toes. Holding her dress above the wet grass blades, she slipped the dark flat shoes she had been given right off of her tiny feet as she began to walk around the yard outside, in pure ecstasy.
The chambermaid, whose name is Alice, had spent hours helping Ella clean up and get dressed--even having ironed her hair into long, auburn curls! Tying the lace bindings up her back was the most tenuous part of her night so far, but Ella smirked at knowing that she was wearing something so taboo to her culture. She truly felt like royalty at this moment—how curious.
Fireflies started to glisten randomly throughout the outdoor garden as the sun fell behind the forest trees, and a gardener went around as she explored, lighting lanterns which marked a path that took her all over the incredible courtyard.
Unable to hide her childlike amazement, Ella exclaimed at the plants she found--which were seemingly from all parts of the world. Water fountains and streams ran all over the property without inclines or normal natural curves to keep the garden stream moving, giving the entire environment a sense of surrealism. Her feet crossed one in front of another as she carried her shoes with her, and she came upon a fountain whose water actually did flow backwards to gravity! Ella sat on one of the stone benches which encircled it--completely entranced by the beauty and the sound of dripping water.
The large dog--whom she had found out was called Athos--followed her around endlessly this entire time, pushing his head up beneath her hand each time she would stop. His huge frame sat on her bare feet as close to her as possible while she pet his large ears and massive noggin.
She sat there, stupefied and completely content when Sander appeared out of nowhere onto the pathway behind her.
"Are you enjoying your evening?"
Ellas' trance was quickly broken, and the smile in her eyes as she looked into his answered his question sufficiently.
"How did you do this?!" Overwhelmed, this was the only question she could form for the moment.
"I will teach you, if you want. Have you decided? Do you still want to enter my world?"
"Yes.. I absolutely do. This is what I've wanted my entire life. And, no matter the price."
Ellas' eyes burned with ferocity as she answered him with all her heart, overcome with the need to know what he knew.
"Ah. The price, yes. Well it's not so much a price paid to me but to the powers in stars.. There is only one way into this world, and that is through them. One must enter with a chaperone, and this night is the only night it can be done until next year. I can help you get there, but the Ceremony is meant for more, intimate partners."
"What does this mean?" Ellas' heart skipped a beat. What could that possibly mean?
"In order for me to share this world with you, I must share myself with you. The powers I have were given to me from another, and before then another had given them to her. In essence, one must enter this world through another.That's how it was meant to be, and that is how it must be. I must give myself to you, and you to me."