Feature Writer: Autumn_Ash
Feature Title: Lupercalia, First and Final
Story Codes: Erotic Horror
Synopsis: A young witch binds a familiar on her coven’s holiest day
Author’s Notes: This piece was written for a contest with the theme “Lupercalia,” and a limit of 5000 words. It’s the first piece I’ve written with a word limit, and it was a real challenge not to over-indulge in details that called to me. It’s not perfect, but I think I learned a lot from the exercise, and overall I’m pretty happy with how this turned out. Please let me know what you think, and enjoy!
Lupercalia, First and Final
“You have to let me go! I have a family.”
“Riley, please shut him up,” Katherine called back from somewhere up ahead.
Riley looked down at the man hovering next to her. He was older than her. In his late twenties maybe? A handful gray marred his otherwise jet black mane. The spell was weakening and he was only a foot off the ground now. The effort of maintaining it was wearing on her. Surely they were close now. Woods all looked the same to her though.
“Shhhh.” She waved a hand, weaving a spell to bind his mouth shut. It worked, and he began emitting muffled grunts as the flesh sealed itself. Unfortunately, it also broke her concentration, and he fell to the ground. The mortal groaned. Riley gave an irritated grumble and kicked him.
“Katherine, I need your help!”
Once Katherine took over, they made good time. Somehow neither Katherine’s magical reserves, nor her concentration ever seemed to drain. Riley was worried she would be irritated, but she managed the sacrifice without complaint. The other initiates were terrified of her. She was a prodigy, and had a penchant for humiliating her opponents, but with Riley she was always kind. Protective. Riley glanced down at her as they silently walked, side by side, toward the ritual site.
Her dark hair was shaved on one temple, and long elsewhere. It fell over one eye, curling slightly at the ends, giving her a seductive aura that had lured in more than a few mortals. She was short, but her body was a stunning display of femininity. Wide hips, narrow waist, prominent chest. In comparison Riley was tall and lanky. Katherine had once confessed that she was envious of her height though. At least she had that. Katherine turned and looked up at her.
“Are you ready?”
“Ready for what? We still don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Katherine shrugged. “We go in, we do what Madame Frisia says, we come out with familiars.”
“Easy for you to say. What if I fail? What if I’m banished?”
“You won’t be.”
Katherine’s voice was steady and confident. Riley wasn’t so sure. Growing up, she’d watched the older initiates leave for Lupercalia year after year. Some came back, demonic familiar in tow, some didn’t. Now it was her turn. Their coven followed Azmodeus, the prince of lust, and Lupercalia was their holiest holiday. Initiates who had reached maturity summoned succubi or incubi and bound them. Beyond that though, she didn’t know much. The specifics of the ritual were kept secret by the older witches. She’d waited for this since the day she was taken from her mortal family and brought into the coven. Now that it was here though, she was a nervous wreck.
They walked in silence for a while, until flickering light in the distance peeked out through the trees. The only sound was the struggling of the mortal. Katherine had chosen him, but insisted Riley be the one to seduce him. He wasn’t her type, but she’d gone along with it anyways. Mortals were easy. The men especially. Despite being a witch in training, and part of a coven of lust, Riley had an air of innocence that drew them in. Within an hour they had their prey driving them into the woods for some “fun.” Riley smiled.
“Riley! Katherine!” A light, airy voice from somewhere beyond the trees.
“Jess?” Katherine called back.
Instead of responding, the girl burst through a nearby hedge, covered in leaves and dirt. Katherine groaned. Riley laughed.
“I thought it was you! Is this the sacrifice?”
Again, the mortal’s eyes went wide and he began to struggle against his invisible bonds.
“Yeah,” Riley answered. “Mark, apparently. He has a family.” She mocked.
“Everyone has a family, Mark.” Jess poked him in the cheek. “Mortals are so dumb.”
“Shouldn’t you be gathering firewood?” Katherine’s irritation was obvious.
Jess shrank back a bit. “Um, we’re done. There’s enough for the bonfire. Madame Frisia is just waiting for you two.”
“Abigail and Lisa are already back?” Riley blinked. She thought they’d beaten the other team of initiates back.
“Yep! About an hour ago.” She patted the mortal on the arm. “Your sacrifice is better though. They brought an old man.”
Abigail was predictably smug when they entered the tent. Lisa, ever the crony, stood silently behind her. Their ‘old man’ was probably only about forty. Jess hadn’t been wrong though. In Riley’s estimation they’d definitely taken a more attractive prize. Abigail wouldn’t care though. She’d measure the contest by whatever metric supported her victory. Not that it was a contest. Both teams were simply required to bring a mortal to the ritual. A reagent for the summoning. It had become a tradition though, for the girls to compete.
“Wow, that’s it?”
Abigail smirked and leaned against her sacrifice, standing on his own, and looking stupid. Some kind of hypnosis, probably. She wore meticulous, dark makeup and her onyx hair was tied back in a long braid.
“This is Jack. He’s a lawyer.” She withdrew a key from her pocket and dangled it in front of them. “And he was kind enough to give me his beach house.”
Riley could practically hear Katherine’s eyes rolling as she responded. “You really have a type.”
“Madame Frisia won’t let you use it.” Riley’s voice sounded whiney, even to her own ears.
Abigail took a step closer and narrowed her eyes. “Madame Frisia won’t care if she doesn’t know.”
Katherine thrust an arm between them, protectively. “We won’t tell her, but your thing for old rich guys is going to get you in trouble one day.”
Not wanting to cross Katherine, Abigail shrugged and walked away. They left Mark struggling in the corner of the tent and sat together on a cushioned rug. Riley’s heart picked up speed as they waited for Madame Frisia. The stern, hawk-like woman was their high priestess, and would lead the ritual. She was the only one in the coven able to speak directly with the dark lord. Riley had only seen it a handful of times. Even with the woman’s considerable power it always left Frisia weak and gasping for breath. None of the initiates knew anything about the binding ritual, but she assumed it would involve Azmodeus.
Katherine put an arm around her. Riley leaned against her shoulder.
“Cheer up. After today we’ll be full members of the coven. And,” She placed a hand teasingly on Riley’s thigh, “we can finally have sex!”
Riley jokingly slapped away Katherine’s hand. They both chuckled nervously. Contrary to what one might assume about a coven of lust, there were strict rules to preserve initiates’ virginity.. It was required for the ritual to succeed. Like all initiates, they still skirted the line. It was an unspoken understanding among the witches. Riley had enjoyed a few mortal relationships, and though she wasn’t able to have sex, she’d enjoyed pleasuring them in other ways. Katherine, on the other hand, enjoyed toying with mortals. Using her virginity as bait, making them more and more desperate, until they would do anything for her. Then she broke their hearts, often as cruelly as she could. Riley almost felt sorry for them. Almost.
Once made full members of the coven they would be free to indulge any way they saw fit. Encouraged even. After today they would have their own personal servant, and satisfying their master was one of the duties of a familiar. Since the day she’d been plucked from the orphanage where Madame Frisia found her, she’d been surrounded by witches with succubi and incubi in tow. It was the easiest way to tell an ascended witch apart from initiates like them. Mortals viewed the familiars as human, unable to see past their protective illusion, but Riley and the other initiates could see clearly, and looked often. The demons were as varied as their masters, each one suited exactly to the taste of the witch they served. Some lithe and beautiful. Some burly and statuesque. Riley wondered what hers would look like.
The flap of the tent rippled open and darkness seemed to cling to Madame Frisia as she strode in. Her golden hair was pulled into her usual severe bun. Her ceremonial robes clung tightly, and had a large slit up the side. The initiates fell silent and stood. She looked them over, before stepping wordlessly toward the sacrifices. Theirs was still squirming, Katherine had been maintaining his binding this whole time. Abigail and Lisa’s was barely awake. A moment later Frisia’s familiar entered.
Holox was an hulking incubus, nearly seven feet tall, with broad shoulders and a hard muscular physique. His skin was a pale blue, and his horns curved like a ram’s, nearly all the way around. He pushed the flap aside with an enormous wing, and stood waiting. It was hard to imagine him being submissive, but it was even harder to imagine Frisia allowing anyone, even her familiar, to see her vulnerable. Riley would kill to watch the two of them fucking. Any initiate would. While Madame Frisia took hold of the sacrifices’ jaws and looked them over, Riley’s eyes flitted down, admiring the sizable bulge lurking behind the curtain of Holox’s loincloth.
Like all familiars, he wore little clothing, if at all. She’d caught a glimpse of his manhood a few times. It was as big as the rest of him. A slab of meat nearly the size of her forearm. She shifted uncomfortably, trying to squelch the rising heat in her body as she pictured herself positioned above that massive cock. Riley decided she’d like a familiar like Holox. Katherine’s booted heel knocked painfully against her shin. She turned back to find Madame Frisia looking at them.
“Do I have your attention now?”
“…Yes, madam.” Hopefully the flickering torchlight would hide her flushed cheeks. Abigail snickered.
“Good. As I was saying, both sacrifices are acceptable. The ritual will begin at midnight. First Abigail, and Lisa will go. You two will follow.”
“Yes madam.” Katherines voice was firm and full of confidence. She was smiling, and her eyes held a fiery glint.
Drums and chanting marked the beginning of the celebration. Ascended witches would be feasting and drinking. Sounds of merriment echoed all around the tent. It was the one night of the year that the entire coven gathered, and things quickly grew unruly. By the end of the night, witches would be dancing and singing and fucking, all in service to their lord. Azmodeus, the Prince of Lust.
The younger initiates like Jess, the ones not ready to ascend, would be kept away. In a nearby tent where they would continue their studies, forced to listen to the sounds of revelry but unallowed to participate. Thankfully that part of Riley’s life was over. Or it would be, as soon as midnight struck and the ritual began.
“What kind of familiar do you want?” Katherine asked her.
Holox had remained inside, and loomed next to the flap. To prevent them from sneaking away to enjoy the festivities, or from getting cold feet Riley didn’t know. She lowered her voice so he couldn’t hear her answer.
“I’m not sure. Something like Holox would be nice.”
Katherine smirked. “You’ve been staring at him every chance you get for as long as I can remember.”
“Shut up. What about you?”
“I don’t know. I suppose I’ll decide when I perform the binding.” She shrugged.
“Do you think they care what shape they take?”
“Nah, they’re demons. The only reason they can even manifest here is thanks to us. The least they can do is look how we want them to.”
Katherine didn’t bother to lower her voice. Riley glanced nervously at the incubus to see if they’d offended him. His actions may be bound to his master, but he was free to act in any way that didn’t contradict her will. He’d clearly heard, but his only response was to tilt one side of his mouth up. His wings rustled as he adjusted them. The drums stopped.
“It’s time.” Like all demons, his voice held the vibrations of multiple tones. As if two people were speaking simultaneously.
Abigail and Lisa stood and brushed off their black robes. They lined up at the flap, giving Riley a withering glare as they passed. The sacrifices had already been taken. Holox opened the flap, and Madam Frisia’s voice boomed.
A raucous cheer rose up around them. The tent was situated at the end of a pit dug out for the ritual. Tables and benches surrounded the pit, filled with drunk and unruly witches. Glowing eyes shone throughout the crowd. Familiars, waiting for more of their kind to join them on the mortal plane. Frisia continued.
“Once again, we gather to give thanks to our lord. To celebrate the freedom he gives us, by savoring all that life has to offer. To welcome two new sisters to our side. And to give two new vessels into His service.”
Riley’s heart stopped. She looked at Katherine. Her friend stared back up with concern. In front of them, Abigail and Lisa did much the same. Madame Frisia didn’t elaborate on her cryptic words.
“Abigail and Lisa, step forward.”
They obeyed, Abigail was visibly shaken, but did her best to look confident as they stepped out into the pit. Once gone, her and Katherine stepped forward to have a better view of the pit. She wasn’t sure if they were allowed to watch, but Holox continued to hold the flap open. Now that she could see more, she realized that the two sacrifices were tied to stakes on the far side. They were both struggling, now held by ropes, rather than magic. They were both naked, and had been painted with red runes.
Riley tried to recall what she knew of runework. Father. Voice. She couldn’t make out the others. Some kind of summoning though. Were the sacrifices vessels for their familiars? It would explain why Madame Frisia said ‘two’ new sisters. Would only two of them ascend? Madame Frisia traced a finger along the older man, and the runes began to glow. He screamed into his gag. First in pain, then in pleasure. His member grew hard and his eyes rolled back. He fell silent. Madame Frisia removed the gag and he spoke.
“Loyal daughters!” The voice boomed throughout the woods. The sisters grew silent. Respectful. “I grant you my seed, that you may birth new servants, and that your number may grow.”
In unison, the sisters chanted, “The strong shall rise, the week shall serve.”
Riley felt goosebumps prickle along her skin. Katherine took hold of her shaking hand. Hers was firm. Madame Frisia gripped the sacrifice’s cock and began to milk him. Almost immediately he began to convulse. Frisia was ready. Thick white seed sprayed from his member, and she collected it in a small green bottle. She corked it, and ignored him as he continued. More and more of the stuff splattered against the packed earthen ground. More than any mortal was capable of producing. Eventually he fell still.
Madame Frisia brought the bottle of Lord Azmodeus’ seed, to the center of the pit and spoke too softly for them to hear. Abigail and Lisa began walking to opposite sides of the pit, knees shaking, and turned to face each other. Opponents. No! She looked down. Katherine was biting her lip. Her grip had loosened. Riley squeezed harder and turned her attention back to the other pair.
Frisia backed away. Mark watched, frozen with terror knowing he was next. Riley knew how he felt. If only one of them could ascend, it would be Katherine. She was smarter, stronger, better. Riley would be banished, never to return. Never to see her best friend again. Her bleak thoughts were interrupted when Frisia’s voice boomed, “Begin!”
The crowd began to cheer. Both girls sprinted toward the vial in the center of the arena. Halfway there Abigail crouched low and kicked, sending a wave of wind at Lisa’s feet. She wove a barrier, but that just widened the surface area for the blast to connect with, and she toppled over. From the ground she raised a hand, and a cone of fire burst forth, enveloping both the vial and Abigail in flames. Abigail’s barrier was more effective and she emerged from the fire holding the green bottle and glaring down at Lisa.
Lisa scrambled backward and stood in a crouch. Was the contest not over? Abigail began flinging more gusts at Lisa, who was forced to defend. Wind wasn’t very powerful, but it also wouldn’t drain Abigail’s mana very much. Meanwhile, Lisa was forced to defend with barriers that were overkill. She would run out of mana long before Abigail. It went on for some time, the girls flinging spells back and forth, but the outcome was obvious. Eventually, Lisa’s barrier shattered and she fell again. Abigail drew closer, and Lisa begged.
In her moment of weakness Abigail attacked her mind, rather than her body. Mind control was her specialty, but it was nearly impossible to use on another witch. At least as long as they maintained their composure. Lisa stood obediently, and parted her lips as Abigail uncorked the vial and tipped the liquid out into her waiting mouth. Lisa’s eyes went wide as she swallowed.
Immediately, she fell to the ground in a heap. Her body tensed up and she began to squirm in the dirt. She let out a scream, and as she did a red glow crept into her eyes. The hue of her skin began to shift. Her body seemed to swell, and grew thicker. More angular. She arched her back, thrusting her hips to the sky and a solid mass pushed outward against the fabric of her robe from between her legs. Her hand clutched at her clothing and began to tear it apart, revealing more skin, now a dark purple.
Reduced to scraps, the black robe fell away and left her naked. She rolled over onto her knees and hunched forward. Her new cock hung below her, throbbing. Wings sprouted from her shoulders, blossoming like flowers and flapping as they tasted the air. She smiled wide, exposing sharp pointed teeth. When she finally grew still, Abigail ordered her to stand. She obeyed immediately.
Tall and muscular. Not as big as Holox, but with both breasts and a monstrous phallus. A familiar, catered precisely to Abigail’s tastes.
“I bind you as my familiar. Orrex.”
The demon that used to be Lisa smiled and responded, “Yes, master.”
Abigail took hold of the cock, barely able to fit her hand around, and began stroking. Orrex took her in their arms and held her. Around the arena, many in the crowd had begun doing the same with their own familiars. Riley watched in horror as Abigail was lowered onto her servant’s cock. It disappeared beneath her robes, and she moaned. They fell into a slow rhythm. Orrex held her close and lifted her up and down with one hand on her waist and the other under her thigh. They began to kiss. Riley wondered if Lisa was still in there.
She needed to escape. She turned to Katherine to find her friend smiling. A cruel fire was burning in her eyes. Riley realized that Katherine’s hand had gone limp, and she was the only one holding on. She let go and turned, but felt an enormous hand on her shoulder.
“Don’t try to run. It won’t work. Besides, you could win.” Holox chuckled.
“Riley.” She turned back around. “It’s going to be okay.” The fire had left Katherine’s eyes. Her smile was kind and comforting.
Riley gulped. Holox was right, there was no escape. Madame Frisia called out again and the crowd fell silent. Abigail and her familiar had already left the arena. It was their turn. She took her place beside Katherine and tried to calm herself. True, Katherine was a prodigy, but she wasn’t invincible. She would underestimate Riley. Maybe she could use that and win.
The same scene played out with Mark. Lord Azmodeus’ words were identical. Either they were codified in the ritual or he just wasn’t concerned with distinguishing between initiates. When it came time to meet in the center, Riley learned what had been said to the other girls.
“This is the seed of our lord. Consuming it will turn your body into a conduit through which a demon can manifest. It will make your flesh its own. Take hold of your mind, and you will live the rest of your days as a puppet. So go the weak.” She was looking at Riley. “When I signal you may start.” With that she retreated. Katherine and her locked eyes. She tried not to cry. “Good luck.” Was all her friend said. Riley just nodded.
The moment Frisia signaled Katherine launched a wave of pure magical energy at her. Without binding it to an element, it would drain her much quicker, but it was also stronger, and Katherine had mana to spare. Riley threw up a shield and braced herself. The wave slammed into her and sent her sliding backward. She raised her arm to counter, but another wave was already coming. This one shattered her hasty shield and sent her flying. When she sat up Katherine was walking calmly toward the center of the arena. She stood and ran, weaving a levitation spell. The vial only moved an inch before Katherine overrode it with one of her own.
Instead of calling it to her, she simply locked the vial in place and continued walking, unconcerned. Riley felt something grip her ankles and realized Katherine had simultaneously woven a spell taking hold of the roots beneath the pit, and they had wrapped themselves around her, locking her in place. Katherine could weave two spells at once. Something many of the ascended witches couldn’t do. Somehow despite her respect, Riley had still underestimated her.
Katherine picked up the vial, cradling it with two hands and brought it to her. She was forced to a kneeling position by the roots, still coiling around her. Katherine uncorked the bottle and looked down at her.
Katherine’s hand on her cheek was warm. The rim of the vial was cold against her sealed lips. “Riley.”
She tried to shake her head, but the roots held her still. She’d lost completely. Katherine could easily force her mouth open, but that wouldn’t be as satisfying. Instead she whispered, “It’s okay.”
Tears welled up, and the world grew blurry as Riley slowly opened her trembling lips. Closed her eyes and felt Katherine begin to tip the vial upward. As the first drop of warm fluid met her tongue it began to go numb. Katherine praised her as the rest of the seed slowly filled her mouth. When it was done, she opened her eyes to see Katherine smiling down at her. Filled with that cruel, burning hunger. She licked her lips and nodded. Riley swallowed.
Heat moved down her throat and settled in her core. A moment passed, then it rushed through her in a torrent. Electricity began to spark through every nerve in her body. Burning her out. Breaking her. She screamed. Her muscles tightened and spasmed. Her whole body felt like it was on fire. The roots fell away and she collapsed.
Her mind split apart as a presence, the demon, invaded. She felt it seizing control. Felt herself losing more and more ground as it spread through her mind. She tried to resist, to hold onto parts of herself, but one by one, they were snatched away. The demon grew stronger as her body, and her mind were taken from her. She couldn’t move her legs, her hands, her arms. As her control was cut-off, the searing pain began to change, shifting into an intense euphoria that cut through her terror. The demon laughed, and Riley felt her voice laughing along. Then her body began to change.
Tingling pleasure rippled through her limbs. She watched through the demon’s eyes as her body was bent to Katherine’s will. Warped, as her skin stretched and tightened around the demon’s form. The world grew larger as her body shrunk. Katherine had always hated looking up at her. Now she would be the one to raise her head. To look up at her master.
We will serve. And you will watch, struggle, and feel.
Radiant pleasure exploded through her. Riley desperately wanted to moan, to writhe, to move in some attempt to find relief from the onslaught, but she wasn’t in control. All she could do was drown in ecstasy, barely able to form thoughts, as they rose to their knees. Katherine placed a hand on their head. The crowd around them had grown wild. Cheers and shouts filled the woods. Thrilled at Riley’s destruction, at Katherine’s ascendence.
“I bind you as my familiar, Risola!”
The demon spoke the final word, though it left Katherine’s lips. Their true name. It brought a giddy spark of happiness. It felt…right. No! She was Riley. She had to hold on to something. Katherine gripped their hair, longer now, and a dark blue that complimented their Azure skin. Knowing what their master wanted, they reached up and lifted Katherine’s robes. She yanked them forward, burying their face in her crotch and sighing contentedly as they began to serve their master.
They spent the rest of the night at Katherine’s side. Riley hadn’t realized how short her body, Risola’s body, had become. Katherine was now a full head taller than her. She felt Katherine’s approval each time she craned her neck up to look at her master. If Katherine felt any remorse at enslaving her best friend, she didn’t show it. She spent the evening feasting and drinking with the rest of the sisters, who flocked around her, showering her with praise. Riley tried to fight the demon, to shout, to call out for help. The demon just mocked her.
Katherine’s cruelty had never been directed at Riley before. She’d stood by as younger initiates, and mortals alike suffered at her hands. Now she was its primary focus, and she loved it. The demon had bent her mind and left her thirsty for punishment. Eager for any opportunity to taste that delicious torment. It was obvious that the demon was toying with her. It terrified her how easily it could shape her thoughts and will. It had already stolen many of her memories. How long before her presence was reduced to nothing? A nameless consciousness trapped and helpless, waiting for the next taste of pleasure.
Do not fear. You will enjoy your fall.
Her fear faded away. No, it had been taken from her. She knew, but didn’t care.
Katherine made them crawl across the threshold into her chambers. Soon she would move out, and find her own place, but for now she still resided with the other initiates. A small bubbly girl whose name Riley couldn’t recall watched her crawl past in awe, then asked.
“Wait, where’s Riley?”
“She was banished.”
The girl’s face fell. Riley tried to call out to her, to say that she was right here. Pathetic.
Katherine didn’t waste any time comforting her. She shut the door, leaving them alone in her room. Tingling anticipation gripped them. What would Katherine do to them in private? They couldn’t wait. They smiled up at their master.
“Yes master?” Riley’s voice was intertwined with the demon’s. They spoke as one.
“Is Riley still in there?”
“Does she want to speak with me? Is that possible?”
For the first time, the demon inside her felt frustrated. Hope bubbled up. Would Katheine free her? Could she? If anyone could, it was Katherine.
The grip on her mind loosened. She felt control of their mouth shift to her. “Kath-”
Slap! The sound echoed off the walls. Pain blossomed along her cheek.
“Know your place.”
Riley stared up, confused. Call her master. “Sorry,…master.”
“Good girl.” Katherine patted her on the head. “Do you want to be free?”
“Yes, please help me.”
Katherine frowned. “I’m disappointed. I thought you wanted to be by my side. Together forever.”
Her hope crumbled. Katherine wasn’t saving her, she was toying with her. Her master continued.
“I’ll make you a promise. I’m going to spend the next year breaking you. Teaching you every kind of pleasure imaginable. I’m going to do my best to reduce you to nothing. Let weaklings like Abigail have strong, capable servants. I’m too powerful for such things. All I need,” Katherine placed a finger tip on her nose, “is a pet. At the end, on the next Lupercalia. I’ll ask you again if you want to be free. If you can hold out, and stay sane, then I’ll grant your wish.”
Riley’s heart dropped. She tried to speak again, but Katherine cut her off.
“Risola.” Riley’s control was taken away as the demon gripped her mind again with claws like razors.
“It’s going to be a fun year. We have work to do.”
Riley felt her mouth start to water. The demon bombarded her with images of all the ways she could be broken. All the pleasures and pains the body that used to belong to her would be subjected to. That her helpless mind would feel. Which would send her over the edge? Which would break her? They quivered in excitement. Her, and the demon who’d taken her place.