THE WITCH’S HUNT 1

Feature Writer: Vaginalpuppetry

Feature Title: THE WITCH’S HUNT 1

Published: 03.10.2020

Story Codes: Erotic Horror

Synopsis: A sex-filled scavenger hunt for 6 college co-eds

Author’s Notes: Hello all! This is my submission for the 2020 Literotica Halloween Contest…but really it was just my excuse to write up a story that’s been brewing in my head for the last several years and pay homage to my alma mater. I don’t explicitly name the school in this work but I have a feeling I’ll see a few comments from fellow alumni who understand. As always, my stories tend to be lengthy, and this is my longest piece to date, so if you aren’t a fan of long stories this probably isn’t the one for you. For the rest of you, I hope you enjoy and comments are always welcome!

The Witch’s Hunt 1

Kate checked her phone for the tenth time as she waited outside the dormitory. The autumn night was chilly against her bare legs, but she’d given herself one look in the mirror before leaving and decided her legs were far too sexy in this costume to cover with tights. Ignoring the goosebumps, she sent another text to her friends, urging them to hurry up. Just as she moved to put her phone away, it vibrated in her hand. She glanced at the screen hoping to see their reply, but instead found a message from Edward.

“Can’t wait to see you!”

She smiled, typing a quick reply and hitting send. Her annoyance with her friends evaporated as she imagined seeing the young man in whatever costume he’d chosen for the evening. They’d only been on a few dates, but Kate was quickly falling for his charm, not to mention his impeccable body. She’d so far resisted the temptation to explore it fully, but that could certainly change by the end of the night if he played his cards right.

Glancing down at her own outfit, Kate knew he’d need very little convincing. The firefighter themed dress fit tight on her slender body, highlighting each and every curve. While Edward was quite the gentleman, and had never pressured her for sex, Kate had a feeling he’d be quite willing to see those curves uncovered. She blushed at the thought.

“What’s got you grinning like a schoolgirl?”

Kate jumped in surprise, looking up to find her friends smiling at her from the door. Savannah asked the question, her natural auburn hair spilling out of the classic red hood of her storybook costume. A black corset and matching skirt made it clear this version of Red Riding Hood was for adults only. It was an incredibly sexy choice for the evening.

Then there was Alice, standing in four-inch heels and still barely coming up to her friend’s shoulder. She wore a sheer black body suit, the kind that fastened at the crotch, and a pair of black thigh-high stockings to match. The fake tail and cat-ear headband were the only tame elements to her costume, apart from the distinctive makeup.

Ignoring the question, Kate let her eyes wander up and down as she took in the view of her best friends, and she wasn’t alone. Heads were turning all around them as students shuffled past, some in lust and others in jealousy. None of them seemed to mind. That was the point, wasn’t it?

At least, in part. While Alice and Savannah were clearly enjoying the attention, Kate knew they were more concerned with impressing whatever poor fools Edward managed to drag with him. The three ladies, now in their junior year, had been friends since the very beginning of their college career. Kate, however, was the first to have what might be considered a serious relationship in the works, as opposed to the free-spirited encounters the other two enjoyed. Whether it was a sign of jealousy or maturity, Alice and Savannah had casually suggested to Kate that her new boyfriend-in-training might have a few cute friends he could introduce them to. She suspected it was the former.

With nothing to lose, she agreed to ask Edward if perhaps any of his friends were single, and dim. He’d laughed, which never failed to bring a smile to Kate’s face, but quickly replied that he could probably find two willing sacrifices. With Halloween drawing close, it only made sense to make the introductions at the party.

“Where is this party again?” asked Alice, as they finally departed.

“It’s at the Tavern. Both floors.”

“You’re kidding?” There was dread in Alice’s voice. “That’s all the way downtown!” Her arms were still shivering, but she refused to admit aloud she should have brought a jacket. It would have likely gone missing by the end of the night anyway.

Savannah laughed, immediately understanding Alice’s dismay. “Poor kitty is worried she’ll catch a cold.” Then, with a wink, she added, “Don’t worry Alice, I’m sure one of Edward’s friends will volunteer to keep you nice and warm tonight.”

Alice rolled her eyes. “Let’s just hope they’re half as good looking as he is.”

“I’ll settle for anyone that doesn’t have a small dick,” Savannah added. Her voice was far from a whisper, and they were drawing a few stares from that comment. She shrugged it off, ignoring Kate’s glare. “Let’s just say my last few ‘partners’ have been lacking in certain areas.”

Rolling her eyes, Kate said nothing as she continued to lead her entourage. They passed several dorms, parties already well underway in most of them. The stares became less frequent as they melted into the crowds of other students, with most of the girls equally under-dressed for the occasion. Kate could feel Alice’s jealousy behind her as the attention became less frequent. The phone buzzed once more in her hand, another message from Edward. “I brought the sacrificial lambs with me.” Kate smiled. She would have Edward all to herself. That would make it much easier to sneak away from the party early if she decided to continue the celebration back in her own dorm. The bedroom, to be specific.

It was nearly a ten minute walk to reach downtown, most of which was spent listening to Alice complain about the cold or Savannah making perverse jokes. When they finally arrived at the Tavern it was only to discover the place was spilling over beyond capacity.

“Great. How are we ever going to find them in all of this?” Alice asked, dismay clearly showing on her face. “Assuming we even manage to get inside.”

Kate turned in surprise. “Did you not bring your ID?”

Alice shrugged, waving her hands down her body. “Where the fuck would I put it?”

“Alice! You knew we were going to a bar!”

Savannah laughed. “Relax, Honey. I’ve got this.” Grabbing Kate by the hand, Savannah stepped quickly up to the bouncer at the door, ignoring the rest of the people gathered outside. The bouncer was a young man whose smile grew to unreal proportions when the scantily-clad fairy tale girl bounced up to him with her charming smile.

“Hey Miles! Nice costume!” Savannah said, earning more eye rolls from all involved.

“Thanks, Sav. You’ve really outdone yourself as well.” His eyes lingered a bit too long on her cleavage, but that played to Savannah’s intentions. She leaned in close and lowered her voice, giving him a better view in the process.

“I was wondering, do you think you could let us in? We’re supposed to meet some people inside.”

Miles turned to Kate and Alice. The former held her ID with her phone. The kitten, however, held only her shivering arms and a smile. “Sorry, Sav. You know I can’t let anyone in without their ID,” he replied, his smile now apologetic. Savannah wasn’t giving up.

She fluttered her lashes and squeezed her arms in front of her, pushing her breasts together and extending her cleavage. “Pretty please, Miles? Alice is a junior like me, I can vouch for her. I promise I won’t ask you for anything else again.” She played with her hair now, twirling it around her finger as she bit her lip. It was a bit theatrical.

Mile rolled his eyes. “You’re really trying hard with this one, aren’t you?”

Savannah surrendered with a sigh, her arms falling to her sides and standing straight. “Okay, how about this. You let us in right now, and I’ll show you my tits.”

Miles laughed, shaking his head the entire time. “Savannah, you know I’m gay, right?”

She looked quite surprised. “Then why have you been staring at them this whole time?”

Miles shrugged. “Because you’ve been leaning over! I may not want to play with them but I can still appreciate a good pair of boobs when I see them.” Then, grabbing the handle, he opened the door and waved them in with a smile. “You owe me for this, Savannah, and I’m thinking you can pay me back next time you talk to your dealer.”

She returned the smile and gave a wink, thanking him as she stepped across the threshold. Kate had questions about this so-called dealer, but that would have to wait. They were finally inside from the cold, and Kate immediately scanned the crowded bar for Edward. It didn’t help that he would likely be in costume, and she had no clue what it might be.

“Any idea where they might be waiting?” Savannah asked, craning her neck.

Kate shook her head. “I’ll try texting him. By the way, what’s this about a dealer? Since when do you do drugs?”

Savannah giggled. “Oh come on Kate, a little pot never killed anyone.”

“Did someone say pot?”

All three turned to find an imposing young man in a police officers uniform, though the plastic badge and handcuffs made it clear this wasn’t anyone official. Lowering the mirror-tinted aviators, Edward gave Kate the warmest smile she’d ever seen, which she returned.

“Oh my! Are you going to place me under arrest, officer?” Savannah held out her hands for the cuffs while Alice suppressed her own snickering. This probably wouldn’t be her first time in handcuffs, for one reason or another.

“You’d be disappointed,” Edward replied, twirling the plastic cuffs on his finger. “This costume didn’t come with the fuzzy kind.” Savannah pretended to pout, but Edward’s attention was now completely on Kate, taking in her firefighter costume from head to toe. “Well I’m certainly not complaining but my fellow officers might call me a traitor if I bring you home.”

Offering a flirty smile, Kate replied, “I guess you’ll just have to come home with me instead, officer.” She ignored the two girls behind her, stepping on her tiptoes to give her boyfriend a kiss. His hands felt good on her waist, and she couldn’t help but imagine how they’d feel in other places. When she finally released his lips, she turned to find her friends looking extra jealous.

“Not that we aren’t happy to see you again, darling,” said Savannah, “but I do believe there was some mention of friends of yours coming along?”

“Fear not, ladies. Your victims are waiting at the table. We got here early and saved seats.” Edward turned to lead them to the bar, but as he did, his shoulder collided with someone passing by. “Oh shit! Sorry about that!”

The girl was dressed as a witch, with short black hair tucked under a pointed hat and a velvet green dress clinging tight to her body. Were he a single man, Edward would have been tempted to buy her a drink, but he kept his eyes on hers as he said his apology, and away from her perfectly round ass. It didn’t go unnoticed.

“You’ll want to be more careful, handsome,” the witch replied, her eyes sweeping over him regardless of the girl attached to his arm.

Blushing, but undeterred, Edward brushed the comment away. “I’ll do my best. It’s just a bit crowded in here.”

Kate was used to the attention her muscular boyfriend received on a regular basis, but it did little to calm her frustration when the witch didn’t take the hint.

“Crowded indeed,” came her sultry reply. “But if you’re feeling claustrophobic, I know a place where you and I can escape the crowd and…stretch out. I could do with a good snack before I get started for the evening.”

Kate was staring daggers now, the audacity of this girl crossing a line she had yet to encounter with any before. Still, she held her tongue, knowing Edward was more than capable of handling this on his own.

The smile disappeared from his face. “I’m gonna have to pass on that, but good luck. I’m sure you’ll find someone in here up to the challenge.”

The witch shifted her gaze, taking in the three women for the first time. Her eyes swept over their outfits one after the other, a look of displeasure growing more and more evident on her face. When she reached Kate, with Edwards arm now wrapped around her waist, she smirked.

“I see. You’re more the charitable type. Good for you.”

Savannah was quick to react to the insult. “What the fuck did you just say?”

Edward blocked her with his free arm as she tried to step around him, her anger getting the best of her. “Have a good night,” he said, pulling Kate with him as he stepped away to diffuse the situation. Reluctantly, Savannah and Alice followed, the witch smirking as she watched them leave.

“You should have let me deck her,” Savannah finally said, still frustrated.

“I’m not letting you get kicked out of the party just because some random chick wanted to start drama,” came his reply. “At least have a drink first, and meet my friends. Then, feel free to get kicked out whenever you wish.”

The table was in the back corner, though it wasn’t until they’d managed to part the crowd and stand next to it that Kate could see the two young men sitting there. She took her seat next to Edward as he made the introductions.

“Guys, this is my girlfriend Kate, and her friends Alice and Savannah. Girls, this is Luke and Winston.”

As far as introductions went, Luke’s was rather awkward. Dressed as a headless horseman, his actual face was hidden below a thin screen of black fabric above the fringe of his shirt, while a plastic severed head sat facing them on the table. While he struggled to find the clasp holding his cover in place, the girls turned their attention to Winston. Dressed as a pirate, he lifted his eye patch to look at them proper. Blue eyes, short dark hair, and an athletic build made him quite the catch as far as the girls were concerned. “Hello,” he said, his voice betraying his shyness.

“Dibs,” replied Alice, causing Winston to blush and Savannah to roll her eyes.

Finally, Luke found the clasp and managed to emerge from the prison of his shirt. Taking a deep breath, his arm flexed slightly as he brought up a hand to run through his long hair, the fabric straining against his bicep. He was certainly no consolation prize as far as Savannah was concerned, and Alice was silently regretting her hasty judgment.

“Sorry,” said Luke. “Lost my head for a moment, but it’s a pleasure to meet you both.” The girls took their seats as Edward left to grab drinks from the bar, their previous encounter with the witch now completely forgotten.

Meanwhile, unseen to them just outside, the witch was not quite so forgetful. After their brief encounter she’d managed to slip outside, satisfied with her scouting mission and ready to move on to the next phase of her plan. Peering through the dirty glass window, she could just make out four culprits at their table, with two newcomers as well. She had hoped to find herself a tasty treat to make this next part a bit easier, but Edward’s denial of her advances left her too frustrated to keep up her search. She’d never been turned down before.

Still, she decided it best not to linger on her frustration, and instead she thought of a clever way to exact her revenge. Finally, after stepping away from the crowd, she closed her eyes and began to summon what remained of her power. There would be little room for error, and this step would nearly drain her, but if her plan worked it would grant her abilities very few of her kind had ever experienced.

She raised her arms high, standing completely still while she focused her energy. Costumed people all around were beginning to take notice. A boy dressed as a video game character pointed to her in concern next to his friend wearing zombie makeup. A few feet to her left, two girls, one dressed as a ladybug and the other as a Disney princess, were laughing at her obvious intoxication. The witch ignored them all, concentrating on the task at hand. When the image of Edward and his friends crossed her mind, a smile formed on her lips. The promise of vengeance was quite arousing.

Back inside the tavern, Edward was just returning with the drinks, the girls already working their charm as the glasses were passed around. “Political science?” Alice asked, surprised by Winston’s answer. He blushed.

“Yeah, seemed like the best way to get into law school, assuming I’m able to pass my tests.” Despite his shyness, Alice was quite impressed. The boy had both looks and brains, apparently. If only he could stop blushing so often.

“Aw, I think poor Winston might already be feeling his alcohol,” said Savannah, giving him a wink. “How much did you boys have to drink before we arrived?”

Before Winston could reply, Luke laughed. “It’s not alcohol. Winnie here just isn’t used to talking to girls.”

“Dude, I’ve asked you so many times not to call me that!”

Alice giggled. “Don’t worry about it, I’ve heard worse nicknames. And you don’t have to be nervous. I won’t bite. And if I ever do, it’s usually the kind boys like.”

“You’ll have to be careful saying things like that around him,” Luke answered, again to Winston’s frustration. Ignoring the glare, he continued. “We’ve been trying to pop his cherry for two semesters now, but the boy actually has a set of morals on him. They’ll eat him alive in law school if he doesn’t learn.”

“You’re really determined to embarrass me tonight, aren’t you?” Winston was quite annoyed now. Turning back to Alice, a curious expression on her face, he did his best to brush the comment away. “I’m not a virgin. Luke just likes to pretend he’s some sort of ‘Grand Master’ when it comes to relationships, like he’s going to mentor me or something.”

“I’m just saying, we’ve never actually seen you bring home a girl,” Luke countered.

“Well we’ve seen you bring home hundreds, so don’t act like you’re so eager to embrace monogamy yourself.” The comment was probably intended to make Luke seem less appealing in Savannah’s eyes, but Alice knew that grin could only mean one thing. Challenge accepted.

When Luke replied, it wasn’t what they were all expecting. “You know, I think Savannah might be right.” This raised eyebrows all around. “Maybe I have had too much to drink,” he explained.

“No,” Winston said, “you’re always an ass, regardless of how much you’ve had to–”

“I’m not talking about that,” Luke interrupted. “I think I’m starting to black out. I feel like I’m losing my vision.”

Before any of them could speak, someone crashed to the floor nearby. They all turned to see who had fallen, but Alice’s voice was suddenly far from calm as she joined the conversation. “Actually, I think I might be losing my vision too! It feels like it’s getting darker in here, and I haven’t even finished my first drink!”

Kate turned to her friend in concern, when suddenly she realized they weren’t alone. The world was going black in front of her. “Edward…” she managed to mutter, a scream and more falling happening just behind them. “Did someone put something in our…in our…” The world went black, and the last thing Kate saw were her friends staring back at her, not realizing they were just as impaired. She closed her eyes.

When she opened them again, and the scene around her was quite different from before. The tavern was dark, and the silence was jarring in it’s contrast to the commotion from earlier. The building was completely empty, the crowded bar and pool hall now barren and lifeless. Well, not completely.

“What happened?” Alice moaned, her eyes now open and groggily staring back at Kate. Kate stared back, her face a mixture of fear and confusion. “Why are you looking at me like that?” Alice brought her hand up to rub the grogginess from her eyes. What she found was not a face she was familiar with. The whiskers she felt beneath her fingertips were no longer painted, nor were the pointy ears now wiggling above her hair.

Standing in shock, Alice looked down to examine the rest of her body. Her feet were no longer clad with heels, her legs beginning with real black paws that extended all the way up to her thighs, the fur ending exactly where her stockings would before smooth skin resumed. The rest of her appeared to be unchanged, apart from the black tail that twitched rapidly behind her in anxious fear.

Her human hands now wandered hurriedly over the rest of her body, touching every square inch and pulling back her bodysuit to make sure nothing else was amiss. It wasn’t, but that brought very little comfort as she stared back at Kate with eyes full of terror. “Kate, what the fuck is going on? And what the hell are you wearing?”

Kate simply shook her head in disbelief, just as Savannah began to stir, followed by Edward. Luke and Winston were close behind. One by one they all began to wake from whatever dreams they were having and into a living nightmare.

“I must be dreaming,” Kate muttered, somewhat in reply to Alice, but more in comfort to herself. “Or maybe someone spiked my drink, and this is all a hallucination.”

Alice looked over at Luke, eyes still full of fear as he groggily peered back at her. “What the fuck happened?” he asked, his body leaning back in the booth. Unfortunately, his head didn’t go with it, remaining perfectly still on the table where he’d been sleeping, eyes rolling about in fear and confusion as the girls beside him shrieked. The severed head was no longer just a prop, a fact he was quick to discover as his arms flailed aimlessly behind his hair.

“Oh my God!” Savannah was out of her seat now, along with Winston, the pair of them having suddenly realized what was happening. Savannah’s changes seemed merely cosmetic in comparison to everyone else, her knee-length skirt and cape no longer made of cheap polyester, but a lovely combination of silks and cotton, the hood a brilliant shade of scarlet-red.

Winston was not as lucky on the other hand, one of which had been replaced by an actual hook. Though he didn’t lift it to check, he was somewhat certain the patch over his left eye was also no longer a prop. Like the others, his wardrobe had received a seriously realistic upgrade, but none of that was as alarming as the physical changes. He silently thanked himself for not opting for a peg-leg.

“Kate, are you okay?” Edward’s voice was the only calm and reasonable one in the room, and Kate turned to him for the first time since she awoke. Looking him up and down, she immediately saw the difference. His police uniform was a much darker shade of blue, a municipal police patch now emblazoned on the sleeve. As she watched, he pulled the firearm from his holster, and they both knew it was the real thing. Edward had some experience with guns, and he released the magazine to examine the bullets inside. “A Glock Nineteen. Where the hell did this come from?”

It wasn’t until his eyes landed on her that Kate realized she hadn’t done any form of self examination. Standing at last, she looked down at the uniform that now covered her slender frame. Form-fitting fireproof trousers clung neatly to the curves of her hips above a pair of heavy-duty boots. Suspenders were attached at the waistband, and beneath those she wore a perfectly fitted white t-shirt with the local fire department logo on the breast. Beside her, a heavy iron fireman’s axe sat ready for use.

Luke was the last person to rise from his seat, his hands finally having found his shrieking head and holding it somewhat above his neck so he could get a better view of the horror around him. “What the fuck? What the actual fuck is going on here?”

Again, Kate replied. “I’m dreaming, that’s all–”

“Kate, I don’t think this is a dream. And if it is, I’m pretty sure it’s more of a nightmare,” replied Savannah, her eyes shifting from Alice to Luke and back again.

“Then it’s a hallucination or something,” came the immediate reply. “Someone must have drugged us, put something in our drinks.”

Edward looked somewhat offended. “Kate, I brought the drinks, remember? Nobody put anything in them, unless you think I’d–”

“No! Of course not!” Kate answered, apologetically. She knew Edward would never stoop so low.

“Besides,” Edward continued, “I don’t know of any drug that can induce shared hallucinations on this level. This is unlike anything I’ve ever heard of.”

“Then how the hell do you explain this?” Alice shrieked, her hands waving over her feline body. Understandably, she was having a difficult time coming to terms with her new reality, though she seemed less put-off by Luke’s unfortunate condition than everyone else in the room.

“I…I don’t know, okay? But let’s all just take a minute to catch our breath and try to stay calm.”

“How can any of us be calm? Look at me!” Savannah replied.

“You? Are you fucking kidding me right now?” shouted Luke, tossing his head up like a volleyball and catching it in his hands. “I’ll trade a fancy new dress for this shit any day.”

Savannah said nothing, somewhat embarrassed by her outburst. Even Luke seemed to immediately regret his words, but neither of them spoke, deciding instead to take Edward’s advice and try to keep the panic to a reasonable and manageable level. To say it was difficult would be an understatement.

Before Edward could speak again, they heard a noise outside. Something large and fast ran past the entrance to the building. “What the hell was that?” asked Winston. He then looked down to realize his one functioning hand had begun to draw a sword from its sheath, the razor sharp steel glinting in the moonlight.

Officer Edward drew a flashlight from his belt, along with his handgun, holding them at the ready as if he were a trained professional. Slowly, he began to creep towards the doorway, the others reluctantly following behind. Whatever was outside, none of them wanted to be near it, but they knew they couldn’t just sit at the bar and wait for help to arrive. They’d be sitting ducks, especially since the rifle mounted above the alcohol was almost certainly deactivated.

With one last glance back at his companions, Edward cautiously opened the door with his foot, taking the first step out into the dark beyond as he swept the area with his light. The others followed silently behind into the deserted street, the doorman no longer at his station and the sidewalk completely empty of other people. None of the buildings seemed to be open, the only source of light coming from the moon above and the dim glow of the street lamps. A thin layer of mist hovered on the ground just above their feet, making it difficult to find the edge of the sidewalk as they stepped into the road.

“What time is it?” Savannah asked, searching for her cellphone. One by one they all searched their pockets, but none of them could find any trace of their former possessions. Not so much as their apartment keys had survived the transition.

Luke held his head as high as he could, looking south in the direction of the campus clock tower. He could just barely make out its face above the buildings downtown. “Call me crazy, but I think the clock says it’s just after seven.” What he also saw, but determined not worth mentioning, was the unusual pale glow emanating from the bell chamber just above.

“That’s impossible,” said Winston. “We were sitting at the table at seven. All of this can’t have happened in the span of, what, a few minutes?”

“Yeah, well, that’s the least insane part of all of this as far as I’m concerned,” Luke answered, putting his head back in place on his neck. It wouldn’t stay without his hand constantly holding on to his hair, but it made walking easier when his eyes were level.

“Whatever made that noise doesn’t seem to be around anymore,” said Edward, listening to their conversation but more concerned with keeping his friends and girlfriend safe. Still, he didn’t put the gun away. “I don’t see anything, or anyone. We’re completely alone out here.”

“Well, not completely.”

They all turned at once to the sound of a new voice. Edward brought the sights of his gun level to his eye, but the voice wasn’t coming from a person. The tavern, like many others downtown, had an outdoor seating area with several mounted TVs adorning the brick walls. Only one of these was on at the moment, but instead of highlights from the latest football game, a lone figure stared back at them as if her eyes could see through the glass. Kate recognized her instantly as the witch from earlier. Nothing about her had changed, a detail Edward was quick to note, though he said nothing.

“Can she hear us?” asked Savannah, earning a grin in response from their televised acquaintance.

“Loud and clear, my dear.”

“Who are you? Can you tell us what’s going on? Where is everyone?” asked Edward, hoping to get some answers. He had a feeling this girl knew more than any of them in that moment.

“Well, to put it bluntly, you’re in my world. Or more specifically, the world of the preternatural.”

“What does that even mean?” asked Luke.

“You’re saying this is, what, some sort of alternate dimension?” Winston asked, earning a satisfied smile.

“Well, aren’t you a smart cookie? You’re on the right path, at least. Your swashbuckling companion is right. This is the world I come from, a place that can only be accessed with considerable amounts of magic and supernatural power. The veil between our worlds is very difficult to cross, but on All Hallows Eve the barrier is exceptionally thin, allowing creatures such as myself to traverse planes. Or in this case, pull others across.”

Kate was the first to piece together what was implied in those words. “Are you trying to say you’re a real witch?”

“Something like that,” came the sinister reply through static and blue light. Then, her eyes turning to Edward, she added, “It’s quite unfortunate you decided to refuse my offer, Edward. I’d have found no reason to involve any of you like this if it weren’t for your denial. But you know what they say about a woman scorned.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” asked Luke.

The witch laughed. “I’ve decided to teach you all a lesson of sorts. Listen closely because I’m only going to explain this once. If you want to return to your world you’ll have to prove yourselves capable. Around this campus are six unique items which you will have to retrieve, one way or another. Collecting them won’t be easy, and some of them will be quite dangerous, but failing to collect all of them will result in your permanent stay here.”

“A fucking scavenger hunt?” asked Savannah. “What sort of items are we talking about?”

The witch continued. “You’ll have to figure that out for yourself, my dear. But don’t worry, I’ve left plenty of breadcrumbs for you to follow along the way. I’ll even make the first one easy for you.” Her eyes shifted to the right, and the group followed her gaze.

Under the awning of the tavern, an unusual looking spider was busy with its web. On closer inspection, Kate could see what appeared to be writing at its center, the spider using its own silk to form eerie sentences in the silver funnel. It was still writing.

“Follow this clue and you’ll come to your first challenge. After that, you’re on your own. I’m a busy girl, after all.” The smile grew wider on her visage. The teeth were unnaturally sharp, an image that sent chills down several spines. “But you’ll want to work quickly. In less than five hours time the clock will strike midnight.”

“What happens at midnight?” Alice questioned, though they all suspected the answer.

“The barrier is thinnest on Halloween, but time holds its own laws over magic such as this. Fail to bring me all six items before the bell chimes, and the veil will fall back in place and your presence here will become permanent.”

“Where do we find you when we have everything?” asked Edward, but the only reply he received was a wink, and the screen cut to black. The witch was gone, and they were left standing there in confusion to decipher everything she’d said.

“This is insane,” said Alice. “This is literally fucking insane! Barriers between worlds? Actual witches?”

“Sexy cat-girls. Headless fucktards.” Winston caught himself as Alice turned his way, the blush already forming. She said nothing, but the raised brow told him his comment hadn’t gone unnoticed.

Kate ignored them all, her gaze still on the spider writing in its web. Edward stepped silently next to her just as the last strand of silk was laid.

“Can you read it?” he asked, pointing his light at the web. It wasn’t the best calligraphy.

Beware, beware, the Siren’s call

Reflect upon your sins

Retrieve, for me, a single Scale

Your journey now begins

Kate read the words aloud, the others gathering around to listen. When she finished, she was just as lost as before. “What does that mean?”

Winston answered. “Well, my mythology is a little rusty, but I think sirens are Greek. Women who would lure sailors to their deaths by singing, leading their ships to crash into rocks, drowning everyone.”

“I thought sirens were like, beautiful women who would seduce sailors and drown them?” Luke asked, earning an eye roll from his roommate.

“Christian adaptation, where the image of a siren became synonymous with all temptations regarding women.”

“Well we can debate the origins later,” Savannah interrupted. “The clock is ticking. Now, where do we find these scaly bitches?”

Nobody had answer at first. Kate offered the only suggestion. “Where would sirens live? Near water, right?” They all nodded. “So where is the nearest source of water?”

“There’s Lake Hartwell. Plenty of rocks along the dike for them to sit on,” offered Edward. But Kate shook her head, something about the riddle catching her eye.

“Reflect upon your sins. You don’t think…?”

Alice gasped. “The Reflection Pond, in front of the library!”

“Jinkies, you’re right, that’s gotta be it!” said Luke. “And obviously the item we need to retrieve is one of their scales. It makes that part clear, at least.”

“Did you seriously just say ‘jinkies?'”

“Okay, enough chit chat,” Edward interrupted. “That’s a ten-minute walk if we get moving now, and we still don’t know what else might be waiting in our path. Let’s move.”

Kate nodded, falling quickly in step next to him, her axe held ready though her arms were covered in goosebumps. The others followed quickly behind, heads on a swivel — literally in Luke’s case — looking for danger as they made their way to the crossing.

He fell behind the others and joined Savannah in the rear, holding his head at his neck while he spoke. “Hey, I just wanted to say sorry for what I said earlier. About the fancy dress and all that. I was scared, and upset, but I shouldn’t have taken it out on you.” He expected her to nod and move on, but instead she offered a warming smile.

“It’s fine. You were right. It seems a bit trivial to complain about a new outfit when, well…” she nodded to his neck, where the seam was clearly visible.

“Guess you’re right,” he laughed. “It’s probably a bit off-putting.”

Savannah put her hand on Luke’s shoulder, much to his surprise. “You should see some of my exes. A severed head would have been an improvement.”

The journey to campus was thankfully uneventful, but the atmosphere certainly didn’t bring them any comfort. The mist at their feet made it difficult to walk any distance without stumbling or tripping. Only Alice, with her feline reflexes, seemed immune to this hazard. The sounds that filled the air were a chilling reminder of the dangers lurking in the shadows, with howling wolves and terrified screams sounding off in the distance. But for all the sounds far away, there was nobody around to be seen. In fact, it seemed as if the entire campus had been completely deserted.

“What’s that weird sound?” Alice asked, her perky ears now facing to the west. “It sounds like there’s a game going on at the stadium.”

The group paused to listen, and indeed there appeared to be a low roar echoing from somewhere in the distance, just at the edge of campus. His ears weren’t nearly as sensitive as Alice’s, but Edward knew this wasn’t the typical sound you’d hear during a game day. He urged them all to press on, his flashlight constantly sweeping the path ahead.

As they passed near the clock tower, Kate decided to ask the question on everyone’s mind. “When we get to the pond, what’s the plan to get one of these scales? I mean, the idea of encountering an actual siren is pretty ridiculous, but what do we do if it’s real? Just ask them to hand it over?”

Edward shrugged. “I guess we’ll have to play it by ear. The witch said this wouldn’t be easy, so I have a feeling asking politely won’t get us very far.”

He ended the conversation there, knowing that any answer they had would likely be put to the test in just a few minutes. They rounded the path to the amphitheater, following the descending concrete until the eerie black water of the pond lay before them, the reflection of the campus library glowing on it’s placid surface. In their world, the many fountains in its center would be churning the surface with a constant pillar of water. Here, however, the surface was still as glass. They stepped closer, the pool of black now completely in view, but they saw nothing waiting for them.

“There’s nothing here,” observed Savannah, keeping her distance from the edge. Alice was furthest away, her feline instincts proving quite powerful in the presence of water. Edward and Winston peered down into the darkness, the flashlight doing very little to penetrate it’s depths.

“That’s so odd,” said Winston, shaking his head. “Was the pond always this deep? I always thought I could see the bottom, even at night. There are usually koi in here, aren’t there?”

Alice perked up at the mention of fish, but came no closer. The rest of them were at the edge now, continuing their search. Suddenly, they all jumped back. Edward’s light passed over something pale, but it was gone just as soon as it appeared.

“What the fuck was that?” asked Savannah, already suspecting the answer.

“I think that was a face,” answered Kate, her axe now tight in her hands. She didn’t add that the eyes of that face had been completely black. She hoped that was simply her imagination, or a trick of the light.

“I have a bad feeling about this,” said Winston. Then, looking around, he added, “Do you guys hear that?”

They did. All six stepped back from the water, heads turning to find the source of the singing. It was so quiet at first, it could have been a radio left on in a window across the street. But the voices were growing louder, their dangerous melody sweeter than anything they’d heard before, and it was coming from the center of the pond.

“There!” Alice pointed, but they all saw it at once. A woman’s face, her long black hair drifting in the water around her, was peering at them, with only her eyes above the water’s surface. Then, slowly, she was joined by another, and then a third, red and blonde hair swirling in the glassy liquid. They hadn’t made so much as a ripple, and still their voices carried through the air despite their lips remaining completely submerged.

Then there was a splash to their right.

“Winston!” Luke shouted, their heads all turning at once to find their pirate friend had fallen into the water. No, not fallen. He had jumped, and as they all gathered at the edge and called him back, he began to slowly wade towards the center of the pond. Pirates were seafaring men, after all, and the song had been far too powerful for him to resist.

“I’m going after him!” Edward was already stripping away his belt, prepared to jump in, when suddenly the singing grew much louder. They all looked to the women, only to find they were no longer submerged to their eyes. All three were standing in impossibly deep water, the surface now coming just to their waists. They were completely bare, with hands wandering aimlessly over their own curves, from their breasts to their hips, in the most enticing musical display any of them could ever imagine.

Kate turned back to Edward just as he dropped the belt from his hands, his eyes completely locked on the women in the pool. Luke was caught in the lure as well, and Savannah immediately grabbed hold of his arm to keep him from jumping in behind Winston. Kate lunged for Edward, just barely grabbing on to his hips as he began to move toward the water. Both were big men, and despite the girls’ efforts, they wouldn’t be able to hold them for long. Meanwhile, Winston continued to swim to his death, and they were powerless to stop it. All, except for Alice.

“Alice! We can’t hold them much longer! You have to get Winston!” Kate shouted, having to drop her axe in order to hold Edward with both hands. He was practically dragging her along now, and Savannah appeared to be having no better luck. They would be in the water within seconds.

Alice trembled behind them, frozen in place as the scene unfolded before her. She heard the shouts for help, but instinct was a powerful thing. Nothing in the world could get her to go into that water.

“Alice! You have to help! He’s going to die!” Savannah shouted, desperately clinging to Luke’s sleeves.

Something stirred in Alice in that moment. She would have loved to pretend it was courage, but she knew in her heart it was guilt. She was terrified, and had no clue how she would ever save Winston even if she jumped in. But she also knew it wouldn’t matter if they found all the items and somehow made it back to their world without him. She would never forgive herself if he died and she could have done something to prevent it.

She took a step forward, telling herself to take one more, and then another. Her legs shivered in protest and her tail twitched wildly behind her, but she refused to stop moving. She stepped past Savannah and Luke, both now on the ground as she held tight to his ankle for dear life. His hand was wrapped around the brick edge of the pond and pulling himself forward, but the other hand still held tight to his head, so he wasn’t strong enough to keep going, at least for now. But a hundred pound girl could only subdue a two-hundred pound man for so long.

Alice took a deep breath, wondering briefly if she should do a countdown. She decided against it, gathering her courage and taking the plunge while there was still time. The water was icy cold around her body, though the fur on her legs offered a welcome measure of warmth. She wanted nothing more than to climb back out and run for dry cover, but Winston was halfway across now, and the sirens were beckoning him forward with their hands. She shouted for him to stop, but he barely turned his head, giving her a moments glance before continuing on his path. Their spell was too strong, but Alice paddled ahead as fast as she could, determined to catch up.

“Winston!” she shouted, struggling to keep afloat. This time he didn’t even bother to turn his head, focused straight ahead at the three temptresses. Alice could see them better now that she was closer, could see the blackness of their eyes and the sharpness of their teeth. The closer she swam, the more menacing they became, and she realized it was all part of the lure. Their song wouldn’t work on her because she was a girl, but the boys would see them as nothing short of divine. It didn’t help that they all had nice, perky…

The idea formed quickly in Alice’s mind, and immediately she knew it was probably her only chance of saving her pirate friend. Words and reason would not break the spell, but something else just might. She paddled faster, closing the distance as fast as she could, the shouts of her friends still urging her to help.

She finally reached him, fear blocking out the chill of the water as she grabbed hold of Winston and tried to pull him back. They were wading in the deep and unable to touch the bottom, but even with only one good hand he was still able to pull her tiny frame with him, his feet kicking wildly as he swam forward with the sexy kitty on his back. But Alice had one last trick in mind.

She pulled herself in front of him, trying to block his view of the women just a few meters ahead. Then, in full view of everyone, she reached up and pulled her corset down and over her breasts, letting them float in the chilly water for Winston to take in. He stopped moving forward.

“That’s it! Forget about those pruney bitches!” Alice shouted, determined to get Winston’s attention. Behind her, the sirens were growing angry, though she didn’t turn to witness. Their song grew louder, more desperate, and for a brief moment Winston seemed determined to swim forward once more. Alice acted quickly.

Pulling herself up with arms around his head, she shoved Winston’s face between her tits, her nipples hard and erect in the cold liquid. His head went partially underwater, but she held him there while he struggled to stay afloat, determined not to let go until the spell was broken. She silently prayed that her breasts were enticing enough to do the job.

Winston suddenly gasped for air, and Alice peered down into his eyes. Eyes that were looking only at her now. He blinked, seemingly lost and confused by the situation. “Alice? What are you doing?”

She smiled back, but they didn’t have long to celebrate. There was a splash at the edge of the pool, and Alice turned to see that Kate had lost her fight to keep Edward on dry land. He was nearly twice her size, so it had always been a losing battle. Now, he too was wading in the pool, swimming directly toward the singing demons. But the singing didn’t last much longer.

Realizing their prey was no longer under their control, the melody transformed into enraged shrieking. Alice turned, and the sight behind her was truly terrifying. The women were no longer the beautiful vixens they’d seen before, and were now completely covered in obsidian scales from head to waist, and likely underneath as well. Their black eyes were full of rage as one by one they disappeared beneath the water’s surface, leaving no trace of their presence. They were angry, and on the hunt.

“We have to get out of the water,” said Winston, already pulling Alice away from where the sirens had once stood and to the relative safety of the edge. She helped him swim, holding him by his hook arm while his free hand paddled. They only made it a few yards before the water around them erupted.

Winston was pulled under so quickly Alice barely had time to scream, the hook scratching her arm as it slipped from her grasp. She felt something claw at her feet, but she managed to swim away, arms flailing wildly until she made it to the edge. She climbed up and held her bleeding arm, but her focus was on the water. Winston was nowhere to be seen.

“Winston!” she called, but Alice saw no sign of movement in the water. Tears began to form in her eyes, the thought of losing him now after being so close to safety…

Something moved beneath the surface, and Alice froze and stared at what she thought was the glint of metal beneath the glass. Then, like a shark surging upward to snatch its prey, the raven-haired siren burst from the depths with Winston in her arms, shrieking in pain and anger as Winston continued to drive his sword forcefully into her chest. Then, just as quickly, they were submerged once more, and Alice could see no sign of them.

Seconds passed, and the only sounds were those of Kate and Savannah heaving Edward out of the water, the spell no longer pulling him to his doom. He made it to dry land, but there was still no sign of Winston. Alice waited, her heart pounding in her ears, until finally she saw bubbles rising to the surface. Suddenly a hand shot out of the water, and Winston gasped for air as he clawed at the brick. Alice grabbed on immediately, certain if she didn’t pull him out quickly he would be dragged under once more, and she knew he wouldn’t resurface a second time. Somehow she managed to pull him free, collapsing under his weight as he made it to the safety of the shore.

“Thanks for saving me,” Winston panted, still coughing as water left his lungs.

“No problem,” Alice replied, climbing to her feet.

“Not that I’m complaining,” he continued, “but you may want to…” He pointed at her chest, still uncovered in the glowing moonlight. Alice laughed, but just as she pulled the corset back in place, Winston screamed in pain. She peered around to find a long scaly arm grabbing hold of his ankle, the limb disappearing beneath the water as a siren made one last effort to seize her prey.

Alice was closest to the sword, grabbing it and slicing wildly at her foe. The blade caught the siren’s hand, and there was another shriek as she let go, but she didn’t sink back into the water until a gunshot rang through the night. As the figure made its hasty retreat beneath the surface, Alice and Winston turned to find Edward had run to their aid, his gun aimed high as he fired another shot to scare away any further attacks.

“Are you guys alright?” he shouted, Kate close on his heels.

“I’m okay,” Alice replied, but Winston began to laugh.

Looking at his confused saviors, he held up his hooked hand for them to see. There, pierced through the tip, was a single obsidian scale. “I’m better than alright. Thanks to you,” he added, turning to Alice.

Luke and Savannah joined them now, helping to pull their friends to their feet and away from the water. There was no sign of life beneath its surface, but there was no telling how long that might last.

“We have what we came for,” said Winston. “We should get the fuck out of here before those things come back.”

“And go where?” asked Luke. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad we have the scale, but where do we go from here?”

“We need to find the next clue,” suggested Kate, already looking around. “Maybe another spider web?”

They all began to search around them, figuring the clue couldn’t be far. Only Alice refused to join the search, her eyes still locked on the mirrored surface of the pond, in case the sirens returned. There was nothing there, nothing at all, except the glowing reflection of the moon above. She watched the water closely, seeing nothing but the images of the sky above. Then, she noticed something odd.

“Hey guys, look at this.”

They all turned to follow her gaze, staring out at the water and expecting to find danger. When nothing happened, Luke spoke up. “What are we looking for?”

“The reflection, of the clouds,” Alice answered, and the eyes all returned to the water, this time checking the reflection on its surface. The clouds above were not the ones reflected back at them. In fact, the clouds in the water barely seemed to be clouds at all.

“I think it’s forming words,” said Savannah, and her friends agreed. Despite their hesitation to be closer to the water, they all leaned forward to read the riddle now clearly visible before them, a message that could only be seen on the water and not in the actual sky above. Winston read it aloud.

One task complete, but time is short

Silent, you should tread

A Vampire’s Fang among the stacks

Could leave you all quite…

“Dead,” Edward finished, when Winston’s hesitance became unbearable.

“A vampire’s fang. How the fuck are we going to get one of those?” Savannah asked. Nobody had an answer.

“Okay, first thing’s first. We need to figure out where to find it,” said Alice.

“Well that’s obvious, isn’t it?” replied Kate. When multiple eyes turned to her, she sighed. “It clearly said ‘among the stacks’ in the riddle. So where would we find stacks on a college campus?”

Again, no answers, just a handful of confused glances and shrugs. Impatiently she continued, determined to get them away from the pond. “For fucks sake…library stacks! You know, books?”

“No offense, Kate,” said Luke, “but the only things I’ve done in the library are sleep during group projects, and get blowjobs in the basement.”

The girls rolled their eyes, though Savannah did so more for show. She’d done plenty of the same, which Kate knew.

“Well, that’s easy enough then,” Edward continued. Just on the other side of the pond was a concrete bridge, the campus library soaring two stories above with three more underneath, two being the basement stacks. It was as short a walk they could ask for.

“Well what the fuck are we waiting for,” asked Alice, surprising everyone by taking the lead down the concrete path. Truthfully, she was anxious to get away from the water, her feline instincts once again in full control. The idea of finding a living vampire at the end of the path didn’t seem as concerning, given the scene she was leaving behind.

The journey took just a few minutes, the library being so close at hand. They were all silently thankful, now that they had a moment to reflect on their time limit. The sound of a snapping tree branch stopped them in their tracks, but five pairs of eyes turned to find it was just Luke, prying a sturdy limb from a nearby oak.

“Winston, hand me your sword,” he asked. He sighed as Winston hesitates. “I’m going to give it back, jackass. I just want to sharpen this into a stake. I’m the only guy here unarmed. Even Kate has an ax.”

Kate brushed off the slightly sexist remark, having no desire to lead the charge into what could very well be a vampire’s lair. Luke made short work of the makeshift weapon, sharpening it into a capable point before handing the sword back to his friend. Savannah and Alice remain unarmed, but it’s clear they have no intention of getting into a fight if they can help it, so they made no complaint.

They’re standing at the glass doors soon enough, backs turned to the pond behind them. The sound of splashing caused them to turn in fear, but the ripples racing across it’s surface are the only sight to be found. Cautiously, they opened the door, the hinge squeaking much louder than any of them remembered.

“Is it just me, or does this place look different?” asked Luke.

“Doesn’t sound like you’ve been in here enough to know what it should look like to begin with,” replied Winston. But Luke was right, and they all knew it. They could barely see by the moonlight shining through the broken windows, but the shelves to their left and right had clearly been rearranged.

“It looks like a maze,” whispered Savannah, her voice still carrying in the silence. She wasn’t wrong. The shelves were only a few feet tall in some places, and the path was easy enough to see even in the dim light.

“Do you think we have to go through there?” asked Luke.

“No, the riddle said the vampire would be in the stacks. These are just reference shelves. The actual stacks are down in the lower levels.”

“Great. The fucking basement,” said Alice. Her ears twitched slightly in the darkness as she turned toward the stairs in front of them, the pathway clear. “I think I hear something.”

“Hear what?” asked Edward.

Alice shrugged. “I can’t tell exactly, but it sounds like music.”

“Somehow that’s even more unsettling,” said Savannah. Nevertheless, they all made their way toward the dark staircase. Edward used flashlight to light the path once the dim light from the windows was no longer available. He prayed the batteries would last for at least a few hours, knowing they would probably need it.

The descent to the lower floors took no time at all, their eagerness to meet the time limit almost as fervent as their desire to get out of the tight stairwell. They emerged on the second floor and discovered that Alice was right about the music.

“Is that a piano?” asked Alice.

Luke shook his head in his hands. “It’s a pipe organ. I know I’m not the best source for this, but I’m pretty sure we never had one of those in our library.”

The view ahead was just as mysterious as the sounds coming from beyond. The shelves, which were normally aligned in neat rows with rotating wheels on the side to move them back and forth, now formed a thick wall before them, with a narrow opening about three feet wide straight ahead. It was quite obvious what stood before them, given the scene they had left on the floor above. The library had literally become a labyrinth of knowledge, the book-lined shelves forming a giant maze. Unlike the one above, the shelves here were much taller, at least eight feet high and made of sturdy steel.

“Time’s wasting. Let’s get going.” Edward moved toward the entrance, squeezing his broad frame through the narrow gap. The others followed, Kate close behind their leader. She couldn’t help but notice the mass of his shoulders now that he was forced to flex his way ahead of them. She shook her head, trying not to get distracted and holding her ax at the ready. They all knew what lay ahead.

The maze proved to be more of a challenge than expected. They quickly came to a split, with Edward deciding for all of them to turn left. That lead to a dead end. They backtracked to the other path, only to find another split which led to another dead end. They backtracked once more and made some progress, moving slowly toward the sound of the organ in the distance. That progress didn’t last long, with their frustration growing as they hit another wall.

“Maybe you can try moving the shelves with the wheel,” Alice suggested, pointing to the rotating mechanism on the side. Edward gave it a good effort, but the wheel barely budged. It opened a gap of just a few inches, enough to see ahead but not wide enough to slip through.

“The path this way is open. Fuck, if only there were a way to see above it like we did with the one upstairs,” said Alice.

“Yeah, that would be nice.”

They all turned to the person who said it. Luke looked back with confusion on his face. A face he literally held in his hands. “What?”

A few seconds later, Luke was peeking above the shelves. None of them were carrying anything remotely capable of strapping his head to the wooden stake he’d sharpened just before entering the library, not even on Edward’s impressive belt full of tactical gear. They even tried Savannah’s stockings, but the sound of ripping fabric made it clear they wouldn’t make a tight enough lashing. Reluctantly, Luke agreed to let them try impaling his head on the sharp end of the stake, unsure of whether or not it would cause him any pain.

While Savannah looked away, pretending to focus on rolling her stocking back up her slender leg, Winston pushed the stake into the decaying flesh of Luke’s throat, careful not to stab too keep. Luke opened his eyes and sighed with relief, grateful for the lack of any sensation below his chin.

“We need to go back and take the left turn,” he mumbled, the stake in his throat making his voice a little harder to understand. They made their way back and waited as Luke lifted his head once more.

“Can you see anything beyond the maze?” Kate asked.

“Not really, it’s almost like a mist or fog. There’s light though, really bright, like a fire or a shit load of candles.”

“We’re wasting time,” Edward urged, interrupting the conversation. “Which way do we go?”

Luke rolled his eyes unseen above. “Right, then another right, then left. I’ll take another look when we get that far.”

They did as instructed, following Luke’s directions and using him to scout the path ahead ever few turns, making their way ever closer to the sound of the organ. The music never ceased.

“Anyone got an idea as to how we get the fang once we find this vampire?” asked Savannah.

“Maybe we’ll get lucky and find him asleep in his coffin,” suggested Alice.

“Not likely,” said Kate. “Pipe organs don’t usually play themselves.”

“Then we take it by force,” answered Luke, his hand pointing to the stake serving as an extended neck. “He can’t take on all of us at once. We move in quickly and jab him in the heart with my stake or Winston’s sword, or Edward can try shooting the damn thing.”

“Something tells me it won’t be that easy,” whispered Edward, but everyone heard. Nobody made further comment.

That light is getting brighter,” said Luke, now several minutes into their journey through the maze. The group was rather impressed with his ability to navigate, assuming they were still on the correct path now that the music was louder.

“I think I see them,” said Luke just a few seconds later. “Yeah, we’re almost at the end, just take this right and it comes back around to the left. Skip past the right turn on that hall and keep going to the end, that’ll take us to the exit.”

Edward plowed ahead, drawing his pistol as he made the turn. Luke lowered his head, no longer needing to navigate, and readied the stake in his free hand. He silently wished he could hold it firmly in both, but his head wasn’t going to stay on his shoulders without assistance.

They were forced to guard their eyes as they made their exit, the flickering glow of thousands of candles illuminating their path, a stark contrast to the dim pathway of the labyrinth. Red carpet muffled the sounds of their feet as they stepped quietly into the chamber. A short flight of stairs rose ahead of them, narrowly ending at the organ that continued to fill the room with it’s macabre melody. A lone figure sat at the bench, her back turned to them. They assumed it was a female, given the length of her snowy white hair and curve of her hips, resting on the plush cushion of the bench. Slender fingers drifted along the keyboard, their skin as pale as the ivory keys on which they fell.

They heard a sound above and all eyes turned skyward. Alice made a startled gasp as they took in the view. Dozens of bats lined the ceiling, their leathery wings twitching in their slumber. The discovery was short lived, as the melody began to softly wane and the seemingly endless tune came to a somber close, the final notes sending shivers down multiple spines.

The vampire spoke softly, still refusing to turn to look at them directly. “My, what foolish prey you are to have wandered into my chamber so willingly. Was the labyrinth not a proper warning to keep out?”

She stood, the red velvet of her dress falling to cover her milky legs. Turning slowly, the group was able to see her body from every angle, and all were quite impressed. When her face turned to gaze upon them for the first time, her crimson eyes sent a second wave of chills through their bodies, a smile spreading across her lips. The fangs were small but quite prominent even from this distance.

“How cute. You’ve come bearing arms.”

Her voice showed no sign of fear, even as Edward raised the sights of his pistol in line with her chest. Kate held her ax at the ready, but it’s Luke who seemed eager to charge ahead.

“We’ve got you outnumbered,” he shouted, holding the stake firmly in his grip. “We just need one of your fangs, and we’ll be on our way. There’s no need for this to get messy.”

She smiled wider, her voice almost playful and seductive as she replied. “Oh, you poor, poor human. I pity your naivety. I’m going to enjoy playing with you before I satisfy my hunger.”

Taking that as a ‘no’ to their deal, Luke issued a surprisingly loud battle cry, all eyes turning to him as he took a lunge forward. He didn’t make it ten steps.

Giggling, the lovely vampire raised her slender fingers and snapped once, the sound echoing throughout the chamber. A thud drew their attention to the left, and then another to the right. The sounds of dozens of bodies falling to the carpet surrounded them, forcing them into a tight huddle. From the hazy gloom of the mist they saw figures approaching, snarling in their direction. The small army encircled them, the last of the bats falling to the ground and transforming before their very eyes. These vampires were less graceful in their design, their bodies bent forward and faces nearly grotesque. Their fangs were much longer than expected, and all are bared at the trespassers. Luke was wrong in assuming they had an advantage in numbers.

The sound of giggling carried over the snarls as the new arrivals continued to inch forward. Edward twisted his gun around in all directions but didn’t fire, unsure of how they’d react. The vampire queen descended slowly down the steps, raising a finger to stop their advance. Her minions followed the command instantly.

“Silly little snacks. You wander in here to meet your death, and for what?” Her tongue moved slowly across her lips, hinting at it’s unnatural length, before caressing one of her ivory canines. “A fang? To what purpose?”

There’s a moments pause as they pondered how to best answer. Once again, Edward took the lead. “It’s for the witch.”

The vampire’s milky hair fell to the side as her head tilted slightly. “The witch? What witch?”

“The one who trapped us in your world,” he continued. “She’s tasked us with collecting…well, a bunch of shit. A siren’s scale, a vampire’s fang, and who knows what else after this. It’s the only way we can go home.”

Her eyes filled with something quite unexpected. Until now she’d seemed so confident of her position, almost amused at their situation. Now, those eyes were filled with confusion. Her minions seemed to sense the change in their master, growing agitated in their circle. Luke raised his stake at the same time Kate lifted her ax, unsure if the army would close in. Another lifted finger silenced them once more, the gorgeous bloodsucker above resuming control.

“How very interesting.”

She took a few more steps down, coming to their level and gliding forward, her feet barely moving beneath the velvet skirt. They tensed in unison at her swift approach, but she stopped short of Luke, just out of reach of his weapon. She eyed him up and down, licking her lips once more.

“Tell me, how did you acquire a siren’s scale? Surely it must have been a challenge?”

She turned to Edward for an answer, but his memory was still fuzzy from their luring song. Savannah answered for him. “There was a fight in the reflection pond. Our pirate friend here managed to scrape a scale off with his handy dandy hook hand.”

Crimson eyes turned to Winston. “And you did this up close and personal? You were able to resist their call?”

Winston blushed. “Not exactly. I had to break out of the spell first.”

“And how did you manage that?” Her grin widened, as if she already suspected the answer.

Winston stuttered, too embarrassed to answer.

“I shoved his face into my tits.” Alice was growing impatient with this conversation, anxious to get away from the encircling beasts. “Is that what you wanted to hear?”

The vampire giggled once more, the melody of her laughter just as seductive as her words. “Oh my! You lot have had an interesting night.”

“We’re just getting started,” Luke replied, hoping to sound more confident than he was feeling.

Her eyes turned back to him, once again looking up and down his masculine frame. Apart from the fact that his head was no longer attached to his body, he was still quite handsome. His hand grew sweaty around the stake, no longer certain he had the strength to take on this beautiful foe.

Her smile widened as a thought filtered through her mind. “How about we make a deal?”

“I’m listening,” said Edward, but she ignored him, focusing solely on Luke.

“I’ve grown quite bored down here, all alone.” She noticed their glances at the minions around them. “Don’t be fooled. My colony is quite useful for many things, but as you can see, they aren’t great for conversation.”

Her fingers stretched out to touch Luke on his arm. They were cold, sending a third wave of chills through his body. Her touch was quite firm, testing his muscles and feeling the ripple of his abs as they journeyed lower. Though the stake remained in his grasp, Luke couldn’t bring himself to move, knowing he’d get his friends killed if he made the attempt.

“They’re not good for pleasure, either. And down here, in this dark world you find yourself trapped in, a woman does grow quite lonely.” Her smile was menacingly seductive, the words causing quite a surprise among her audience.

“I’m sorry?” Luke stuttered, those crimson eyes taking him in like a tasty treat.

“We’re not leaving Luke with you, if that’s what you’re asking,” said Savannah, suddenly defensive.

More giggles from the vampire queen. “Oh, don’t worry, you delicious little snack. I won’t keep your boyfriend.”

“He’s not–”

“Instead, I have a little wager in mind.” She stepped around Luke, circling him like a shark while the others made room for her. “I’ve been dying to feel a worthy tongue against my body for so long. You go down on me, and I’ll go down on you. First one to cum, loses.”

Luke took a second to process her proposal. “Wait, are you suggesting, we…”

“Sixty-nine, I believe is the phrase you’re searching for, dear,” she whispered in his ear, loud enough for all to understand. “Don’t worry, I promise I’m quite good at this. My fangs won’t cause any…” She paused. “Mishaps. Unless, of course, you cum before I do.”

“What do you mean?” Luke stuttered, suddenly nervous.

More giggles. “It’s quite simple, darling. If you can bring me to orgasm first, I’ll gift you a fang and send you all on your merry way.” Another wide grin. “But if you cum first, well, let’s just say I’m going to keep sucking, and I won’t stop until you’re drained of everything I desire.”

“You mean…”

“Your blood, yes.”

The image formed quickly in Luke’s head, the unspoken words filling his imagination with nightmares. “What if I were to refuse that deal?”

She responded with a raised hand, her fingers poised to issue another snap. All around them, snarls filled the room, the minions ready to leap forward at her command and tear their prey apart for the feast to follow.

“Luke, this is insane. There must be another way,” Savannah pleaded.

Luke, however, shook his head. “If I can bring you to orgasm first, you promise to let us go with the fang?”

“Cross my heart,” the vampire replied, somewhat ironically.

“Luke–” Edward began, but Luke raised his hand to silence him.

“It’s okay,” Luke said. Turning back to the vampire, he continued. “I don’t even know your name.”

“Perhaps I’ll give it to you, if you earn that right.”

Luke sighed, but held his head steady. “Fine, let’s do this.”

She waved her hand behind her back, an unspoken order given to her minions. Two of them retrieved the silky bench from the organ and brought it down to the bottom of the stairs. Urging Luke to follow with her finger, she lured her reluctant prey to the seat and motioned for him to lay on its surface. The bench was just long enough to accommodate his back, knees bent at the edge.

Before climbing on top, those crimson eyes beckoned to the remaining humans. “I love an audience, so don’t go far.” As if it were even an option. The colony of servants blocked their escape from every angle, forcing them to endure the scene before them.

“Ready when you are,” said Luke, holding his head in both hands.

A leg swung over his shoulder, the velvet of her dress engulfing him briefly before her own fingers pulled the skirt to her hips. She wasn’t wearing panties. Luke then felt her slender fingers on the zipper of his mangled trousers, easing it down before pulling his cock free of his pants. He had somewhat of a head start, the thought of having all his blood drained through his manhood keeping him from growing hard even at her touch. The sight of her pussy hovering just inches from his lips did little to help with that.

Without warning, something long and wet slid eagerly along his shaft. Luke’s head start was short lived, his cock growing rigid almost instantly as her impossibly long tongue wrapped around his entire girth.

“Fucking hell,” whispered Alice. Beside her, Savannah averted her eyes, praying silently that Luke was much more capable than any of the men she’d played with on this floor back in their own world.

Caught off guard, Luke wasted valuable time before finally tasting the vampire’s offering. He held his head steady in both hands, focusing his attention on her clit and listening for the moans. She hummed softly at his touch, clearly enjoying the sensation, but her mouth was too full to moan properly. True to her word, she kept her fangs at a safe distance as she wrapped her lips around his shaft, effortlessly swallowing his impressive length.

Luke groaned as the tip of his cock entered her throat, the pleasure impossible to ignore. He was suddenly less confident in his ability to please her before exploding in her mouth. He continued to lick, teasing her clit and listening for sounds of pleasure. The moans still came, but they weren’t nearly loud enough to give him hope.

She released him from her clutches long enough to take in a deep breath. Her giggle met his ears as he flicked at her clit rapidly between her thighs. “You’ll have to do better than that if you don’t want to end up like those poor bastards out there.”

Terror filled Luke’s mind, his tongue coming to a halt as he carefully formed his words. “Those servants out there, the bats…”

“Surely you must have realized by now?” Her giggle faded away as she took him back into her mouth, tongue wrapping eagerly around him as her head bobbed up and down his length. The pleasure was unbearable, but Luke now had something else to occupy his thoughts. Dying was one thing, but to end up like one of those creatures would be an eternal nightmare.

He dove back in, tasting her folds with renewed vigor. Her moans were louder this time, and now that his mind was divided between the pleasure of her mouth and the nightmare of his possible future, Luke felt his orgasm fading into the distance.

“Come on Luke! You’ve got this!” Shouts of encouragement reminded him of what’s at stake. Realizing his rapid flicks on her clit were failing to do the trick, he slowed down, licking in slow, lingering strokes. The sucking between his legs came to a brief halt as her lips parted to release a moan.

“That’s it! Keep it up Luke!” Alice was playing cheerleader from a distance, but the vampire’s reaction made it clear he was doing something right.

Luke tested his luck, leaving her clit to tease further along those silky petals, licking at her opening and penetrating her with his tongue. Though not as long as hers, it certainly made an impression. Her moans were growing louder, the pauses in her strokes longer with each flick of his tongue.

The motion of her hand caught Luke’s eye. He glanced up to see the fabric of her dress slipping gently away from her chest, her fingers pulling the garment down just enough to free her breasts. They hung like perfect orbs in the candlelight as she teased her nipple between ghostly fingers.

Realizing he had another advantage to make use of, Luke lifted his head from his shoulders. If the vampire were expecting anything from her prey in that moment, it certainly wasn’t the pleasant warmth of his lips closing around her nipple, his tongue repeating the same motions as it had below. Not to leave her womanhood unattended, he slid one of his thick fingers into her depths, her body trembling around him as she accepted knuckle after knuckle. Juices dripped from her body at his touch, but his lips were still teasing the soft flesh of her nipple as she struggled to continue her work between his legs.

“Mmmm, no fair,” she moaned, but made no move to correct his behavior. Then, as if realizing how close she was to losing, her lips took hold of him once more and began to work him with renewed vigor.

Luke added a second finger to the mix, sliding easily into her body after rubbing himself in her juices. She tried to ignore him, but the sudden arch of her back was clear as day to anyone watching.

Feeling slightly more confident, Luke tried one last trick. He released her nipple, the groan of her disappointment very brief as he positioned his lips once more. Holding tight to his scalp with hair wrapped between his fingers, Luke turned his lips in a direction that would be impossible for any normal human. His tongue found her clit once again, lapping slowly for several seconds before moving to her folds once more, attacking from as many angles as possible.

Something swelled in his shaft, causing him to panic. Luke felt his balls tighten to his body as the tip of his cock found its home in that tight little throat once more, her tongue servicing him from every direction. Luke knew his time was short, and it was now or never. His fingers resumed their work, wiggling gently against her g-spot while his head ventured once more to that waiting nipple. Her moans were loud, but not loud enough.

A distant memory flickered into his mind, an ex who was particularly easy to turn on. When kisses and soft touches failed to make her panties wet, a tiny nibble on her neckline would always succeed. With cum quickly filling Luke’s shaft, it was his last Hail Mary.

Pushing his arms to their limit, he stretched as far as he could to bring his lips level with her throat. Her head continued to bob up and down, the several inches of his cock disappearing over and over with practiced skill between her lips. He eyed his target, fingers still wiggling inside her pussy as he went for the kill.

The bobbing stopped.

THE END OF CHAPTER ONE