tagSci-Fi & FantasyIn a Bottle... Ch. 04

In a Bottle... Ch. 04



Smooth, slender fingers.

There were fingers on his arm. Fingers that slowly caressed him, comforted him. He blinked. The fog of sleep crept from his mind like a nocturnal animal retreating back into its hole. He squinted momentarily at the morning sunlight peeking in the window at him while those wonderful fingers continued to roam across his bicep.

Alan lifted his head to look over at the woman beside him as he gradually began connecting thoughts in a logical pattern once more. Lucky was asleep, yet continued to stroke the tender skin of his inner arm. He smiled at her as he remembered his mother once telling him that the most peaceful moments in life were spent watching your loved ones sleep. He hadn't truly known what she meant until now. His connection with the four genies in his life was wonderful. It felt normal to sleep surrounded by his art collection again, next to the hum of his computer, in his own bed, albeit still a little damp from the night before...

Thoughts of yesterday invaded his mind as he got his bearings. He realized then that he could no longer see through his wall. Had he ever been able to? He didn't want normal, not after the experiences he had been having. He felt a pang of longing for Misty as he remembered learning how much she had done for him. Had it been a dream? Did he imagine -- no, that wouldn't explain Lucky still being in his bed, and she was definitely real. And still very naked.

He decided there was one quick way to solve everything. He got up out of his bed, letting her hand slip lamely onto the pillow. He rubbed the last of the sleep from his eyes as he picked up his jeans and drew them back on, trying to focus his attention. He stared at his fingernails for an eternity trying to assume some form of control. Although he sort of understood the concept now, his experience was still minimal.

Though he was expecting it to happen, he couldn't prepare himself for what he saw. His fingertips abruptly dissolved into nothingness causing his breath to catch in his throat as a sense of panic gripped his heart. His conscious mind told him to calm down, told him that everything was going exactly as he needed it to. At the same time, however, the rational person inside his head was flailing about yelling that his fingers were gone and he would never get them back. This wasn't some fancy smoke-in-mirrors. This was the real deal. His fingers were gone, and his hand was slowly following.

Alan blinked. He wasn't seeing things, the invisibility that had begun with his fingertips was spreading and had now consumed most of his right hand. Even as he watched, it advanced slowly up his wrist.

Reason escaped his thoughts only to be replaced by panic.

He lost his calm demeanor and frantically started shaking his arm back and forth in an effort to fling the magic off his body as though it were a fungus growing steadily up his forearm.

Lucky sat up in the bed, awake now and looking to see what had him in such a state of distress. He looked at her desperately and reached out to grab her by the shoulders as his own shoulder was slowly being erased from existence.

"Lucky!" he began, gripping her tightly, his eyes wide with terror. At that moment, he realized that he could feel her warm flesh against his, and he grabbed for that one rational thought. Relief surged through his veins like ice water. He took a deep breath and sat down beside her on the bed, feeling a little flushed and light headed from the shock. His logical mind had regained control and was now reasoning with him. His hand wasn't gone or else he wouldn't be able to feel her shoulder. He wouldn't be able to grab her without a hand. It was working just the way he had envisioned it in his mind.

He understood now that magic was symbiotic in nature. It worked to achieve the result that he had pictured mentally through the means he had been expecting. He had wanted only to test it on his fingers, but as he saw them disappearing and the idea entered his mind that he could become entirely unseen, his magic adapted itself to his new vision.

The soothing fingertips tracing across his back continued to calm him as his face joined the rest of his body in its vanishing act. His body had become entirely invisible, but Lucky still knew he was there and could continue to touch him.

He stood up again and moved his body around feeling the familiar way the air resisted his movements slightly, the heat of touching his own body. His other senses all told him that he was still there. He was acclimating quickly. All the same, he was eager to return to normal and be sure that his wall becoming re-solidified was not a mistake. He tried to focus on himself again, but knew right away from the nagging memories instilled in the corner of his mind that since he wasn't creating an illusion, that wouldn't work. Instead, he focused on the illusion that already existed. It took him a moment to find the feeling -- he knew what he was feeling for, thanks to Magik, but had never experienced it or how it felt. Once he felt the illusion for the first time, he played with it for a moment and found he could grasp it with his mind almost as easily as a person could grasp a pen with their fingertips. He could banish it at will or keep it in existence, whichever he desired - complete control.

A smile crept onto his face. He decided against banishing the illusion to see if he could have a bit of fun just yet.

"Lucky, I'm going to the harem to explore this magical aspect of myself a little bit. Feel free to join me."

Without waiting for a response, he hurried across the hall to see if the other three genies were awake just yet. As he entered, he found all three of them awake and getting dressed, and they were now adorned in their wispy mesh silks, giving them the appearance of caressing the air as they moved gracefully around.

He had never quite understood just how they managed to get those enticing outfits to stay on without tying knots in the cloth.

Alan immediately walked up behind Carmella, who was brushing her hair in a mirror. He felt like he was having an out-of-body experience as he gazed into the reflection and saw only her face. She showed no indication that she knew he was there.

He paused for a drawn-out minute and just watched her. The curves of her pelvis showing just over the top of her silks. Her delicious midriff was exposed -- a flawless expanse of skin that joined with her full chest. It was a unique moment openly staring at her taut body without worrying that she was judging him or that he might be offending her. The anonymity of being unseen was emboldening. He felt around for his fly, unzipped it, and flopped his cock out, already starting to get hard from watching Carmella's breasts strain against the fabric of her silks. She stopped brushing for a moment and leaned her head to the side to get a better look behind her in the mirror.

Her eyes locked on to his. He froze. Their eyes held there for a long time, looking at each other in the mirror, before he took an experimental step back and realized that she was looking through him. She continued looking at the space where he had been, and Alan breathed easier. Carmella resumed brushing her hair after several seconds passed, convinced that nothing was there. Still, she had known that something was amiss.

Alan turned around to find Misty on the bed relaxing in her sheer red silks, conveniently wrapped to cover up his favorite parts of her anatomy. He enjoyed watching her recline on the mound of pillows littering the circular bed. His eyes traced the silk along her lean legs and up past her sensual belly button. He realized that he was now fully erect and still had an opportunity to surprise his genies. His grin returned and he slowly walked over to Misty, cock in hand, and drug the tip lightly across her lips. It drooled a little precum, leaving them wet. She stiffened briefly and then her tongue slid out tentatively to lick her lips. She seemed to recognize the taste and a perplexed look crossed her face. She glanced over at Magik and Carmella. Magik was patiently looking at the open door, waiting for someone to come in. Carmella was still brushing her hair. Neither looked at her.

She closed her eyes and lay back to relax again. Alan bumped his cock against her lips again, this time she did not tense up, but rather obligingly opened her mouth and pulled him inside. She swirled her tongue around his head teasingly and he let out a small gasp.

"There you are, master," she said, triumphantly opening her eyes and looking up into his, mentally seeing what wasn't visually there. She reached an arm out and groped for his backside. Finding his ass, she grabbed on and pulled him against her, letting his length slide all the way down her throat.

The other two genies turned to look at her and quickly realized what had happened. Carmella had already set her brush down and came over to feel for his presence. When she touched his bare shoulder she began massaging his invisible back.

"How did you know that I was here?" he asked, baffled. "Or that it was even me?"

"I heard your zipper," Carmella offered.

"I recognized the pitch of your voice when you sighed," Misty answered before returning to the wonderful things she had been doing with her throat.

"You are far from inept, master, but you lack the creativity of an experienced magic user," Lucky said, having just entered the room. She still wore nothing but a skirt and the sight of her wonderful bare breasts excited him now that he wasn't preoccupied with vanishing into nothingness.

He decided that invisibility wasn't all that great if it didn't allow him to sneak up on anyone without being noticed. He released the illusion, smiling as he watched his cock appear suddenly halfway down Misty's throat. She groaned, sending tingles up his spine through his erection.

"I was having fun giving my first invisible blowjob," she whined, letting his cock slip from her mouth.

"Sorry. I'll make it up to you," Alan replied, somewhat emotionally deflated. "I just didn't see the point in prolonging the illusion if you can all hear me. Losing the anonymity takes a lot of the fun out of it. Not to mention that it makes me more than a little uneasy being unable to see myself."

"Lucky has a valid observation, master," Magik chimed helpfully. "Your failure lies with experience, not ability. You should have simply amended your illusion to incorporate silence."

Surprised at the simplicity of her suggestion, he almost asked if that was possible, but realized that he already knew the answer. He really knew everything there was to know about illusionary type magic, he just hadn't thought of everything he wanted to know yet -- a one-of-a-kind problem that quickly seemed to solve itself with four genies sharing their experience with him.

More information that Alan wasn't aware he retained poured into his active thoughts. Illusionary magic wasn't solely based on visual stimuli. In fact, it was fully capable of appearing as real as life and death. Illusions could be sounds, smells, whatever they needed to be, except real. Illusionary magic could never directly affect anything or anyone, but that didn't mean that they couldn't be convinced that it would.

His mind was teeming with new ideas as he realized the expanded boundaries of illusionary magic. He could make things change, appear, and disappear with a little mental effort, though the fundamental structure of the world would remain intact.

Magik walked over to him fondling one of her purple silks, pushed him back onto the bed beside Misty, and straddled his waist, never breaking eye contact. He found himself again becoming lost within her mesmerizing eyes.

"You have time to gain experience, master," she cooed as she ran her fingers across his chest. "Your magic is effective, you simply need to better understand the things that you know. Such as how magic can be most potent when used for the benefit of someone besides th-"

Alan stopped her with a finger to her lips when he heard a noise come from his bedroom. He listened carefully for a moment before he realized it was his phone ringing. "As much as I enjoy what you're doing -- and as bad as I would like Misty to continue what she was doing," he said with a sultry glance in her direction, "I should probably see who is calling me really quick."

She pouted at him, but rolled over to sit on the bed. Alan got up and ran to his bedroom to answer his phone before it went to voice mail.


"Castillo," a gruff and all-too-familiar voice responded. "Hannigen here. I'm sorry to bother you this morning, but I need you to come into the office today."

Alan still never understood why his boss chose to address him by his last name, but had gotten accustomed to it and didn't pay much attention anymore. He already regretted answering his phone.

"I'm sorry. Is something wrong? I was planning on having the day off."

"I'm afraid I'll have to interrupt your plans. I'm trying to get ahold of everyone else to help out, so I should be able to split the workload, but I can't avoid using you for the day. I'll talk to you when you get here."

Before he had a chance argue, Alan was listening to a dial tone.

Feeling resentful, Alan trudged back to the harem to deliver his news. He paused in the hallway briefly and thought to himself, 'Why should I have to go back to work at all? Ever? I have the knowledge and ability to use magic. I have four hot women waiting to spend time with me...'

He stopped and looked at himself in the mirror as the surprising realization that this had quickly changed him hit him like a sack of bricks, leaving a heavy feeling in his gut: Regret. 'But did I earn any of that? Not particularly. Learn some humility, Alan. When did you become so self-righteous? You still need to pay your dues. Besides, maybe there will be a chance to improve upon some things around the office with this new gift.'

The harem wasn't at all happy that he was leaving them, least of all Magik, who had it in her head that she was going to jump his bones anyway. She asked if he would bring her with him to the office -- which he found very difficult to refuse with her slowly unraveling her outfit, one silk at a time. After swallowing the lump in his throat, he finally told her that he would get more work done and hopefully be home sooner without her there distracting him.

He showered, found some clean clothes to put on for work, and left before he could be persuaded to change his mind.

- - - - - - - - - -

Alan's mind was busy as he made the familiar drive to work down forty-sixth avenue. The other cars around him driving to their destinations drifted into the background as he mulled over thoughts of illusions. He was mentally cultivating ideas of ways he could employ his magic. As he did this, his mind sought the information which occupied one special corner of his consciousness and brought forth the answers he needed.

Alan thought about summoning illusions of exotic animals that would only be visible to a single person. His mind opened up a whole cascade of ideas about giving people personal fantasies, vivid nightmares, or even seeming to lose parts of their bodies like he had experienced earlier.

He wondered if he could make an illusionary sign above someone's head that would display their thoughts as they entered and left their conscious mind. Immediately, he knew -- again from the foreknowledge at his disposal -- that he would need to have access to those thoughts before he could display them, and reading a person's thoughts would be entering another type of magic altogether. A very unfamiliar type of magic. So much for trying to find a work-around.

The more Alan thought on the topic of differing ways to use his magic, the more he realized just how different all the unique types of magic were. Simply making an attempt at conjuration magic would be an unsurmountable task -- even with his extensive knowledge of how to access the part of himself that was responsible for magic. It was very much akin to knowing how to use your tongue to speak and then trying to talk to someone in a language you never learned -- the ability was always there, but that didn't mean he knew how to intentionally conjure anything, let alone what he had in mind.

Alan came out of his daydreams when he realized that he had reached his office building while driving on autopilot. He parked his car and strode wearily into his office. He could think of a thousand better ways that he could spend his Sunday than to come in to work -- several of which brought a hint of a smile to his face.

He opened the front door and walked in to be greeted by Mr. Hannigen, the office director, who mistook his fleeting smile for eagerness to be at work and uncharacteristically clapped him on the shoulder and smiled back.

Robert Hannigen was an older gentleman whom Alan assumed had climbed the ladder of success by sheer willpower, coming out on top with a head of iron gray hair and a few deep wrinkles across his forehead. He wasn't especially resourceful or intelligent, but he was determined. Alan both admired and detested his work ethic, the latter more so than usual today.

"Thanks for coming in today, Castillo. I have several special LPs that need to be taken care of by Monday morning, so I've split the project up between you and three others. Our corporate office put a rush on these fifteen loans and specifically asked for analysis today. I've already left the LPs in your inbox. Once you've completed the ARs you are free to go. I'll make sure that you get paid time and a half for coming in on your day off, so if you choose to stay and work on your existing accounts after you've finished the special project for a little extra bonus that's fine with me, also."

"I appreciate the offer, sir. Like I said earlier though, I would rather try and get these taken care of so I can get to my plans for the day."

Mr. Hannigen removed his hand from Alan's shoulder and continued to smile. "I won't argue with an attitude like that. A little hard work and we should both be out of here, am I right?"

"As often as is statistically reasonable," he replied, his standard retort around the office that still managed to get a chuckle from a few of the other analysis guys to the overused 'Am I right?' conjecture.

Alan sat down at his desk and brought his computer to life. Once everything was loaded he saw the existing loan proposal files that his boss mentioned awaiting him on the network. He dug in right away, fully intending on passing up Mr. Hannigen's offer to stay the full day and get some overtime pay. He made the necessary phone calls, which included contacting a few underwriters he knew personally at their homes to expedite the process, something he preferred not to do, and by lunch break he had compiled all of the numbers he needed for four analysis reports.

He ran down the street to grab some subway for lunch and got the same sandwich he usually ordered when he ate at work. When he returned, he headed to the break room to find two of his co-workers sitting down and eating already. Alan greeted one of them as he walked over.

"Hey, Max. How's it going?"

Alan took a seat beside Maxwell who continued to stare off into space as he answered a question he hadn't really heard, "Nothing much, you?"

Normally, Maxwell was one of the more amiable guys at work, and Alan really enjoyed his company. Many times they'd had discussions about Alan's taste in art or simply shared anecdotes about their lives. Before working here, Maxwell had been a math teacher in a school district full of delinquent kids and had plenty of stories to share about eventful days full of the unexpected. Today, however, something seemed really off.

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