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Danica sat cross-legged, naked in the circle of candles. The small brown nipples that crowned her tiny breasts were hard in the cool air of Celia's basement. Her short black hair, both above and below, bristled with the strange energies of the ritual as she chanted the ancient words. At last she finished, and the 13 candles snuffed out at once.
"That was adequate" said Celia, turning on the lights. "But your mind was not completely focused. The candles should not flicker when you make the transition from praise to supplication. Hecate is a jealous Goddess and She resents insincerity. Never rush the words of praise, or She will make you pay for it."
"Yes, mistress" said the young woman, eyes down cast. "I am sorry for my weakness."
The older woman in the somber gray dress gave her a long penetrating stare, but at last relented.
"Very well, child. You will have plenty of time to practice while I am away. I want you to repeat the prayer to Hecate thrice daily--at dusk, midnight, and dawn--until I return. Also, by then you should have completed your reading of Zorgaph's Precepts of Power, learned its first five wards of protection, and memorized Thela's Chant."
"Yes, mistress" repeated the naked girl.
"Discipline, my young apprentice. Discipline is key. Remember, if you do not control the magic, the magic will control you."
"Yes, mistress. I must learn discipline."
The young acolyte had heard the speech dozens of times since she came to live with the sorceress last semester. It seemed lately that was all they ever talked about--Danica's lack of discipline. This was not what she had signed up for.
The older woman tossed her a mass of dark cloth.
"Put your robe back on." said the witch.
Danica complied, then followed her mistress up the stairs, three steps behind as was required of her.
"Now the phone number for my sister's place is on the fridge. Call me if there is any problem at all. Don't forget to feed the fish, but don't over feed them. Make sure you've turned the stove off every time you leave the house. Absolutely no parties. You can have one or two guests over when you have finished your duties, but don't take anyone downstairs. And most of all, don't touch anything downstairs that isn't on your shelf."
"Of course, mistress Celia," replied the novitiate. "I'll be good."
Her mistress patted her on the head.
"See that you are." she said, then she picked up her bag and her cat and at last she was gone.
Gone for two glorious bitch-free days! Yes!
The first thing Danica did, after making sure that her teacher had really left, was to loose the robe. It was ugly and uncomfortable and she hated that Celia made her wear it whenever she wasn't in public. She skipped naked down the hall to her tiny bedroom and pulled out clothes she seldom got to wear anymore--her party clothes. She slipped on a pair of bright yellow panties and a matching lacy bra and admired herself in the full-length mirror that hung on her door.
"You are hot, girl!" she said to her reflection. "What are you doing depriving the world of all this gorgeous?"
She had reason to be proud. She had soft shiny black hair cut in a short but feminine style, bright green eyes that she liked to think of as mysterious, and a lovely pale complexion that turned a pretty shade of pink when she got excited or drunk (or both). Her five foot two body was sleek and fit while still being a little curvy. Her legs were made for mini-skirts and had been known to cause traffic accidents around campus. The only thing she wasn't quite happy with was her breasts. The tiny yellow bra was more decorational than functional. Even a miracle bra couldn't give her cleavage. Not that she wanted huge hooters like her friend Marcia, but a little bigger would be nice. There were several little mini-dresses she had seen on her last escape to the mall that would fit her perfectly if she had just a little more up top. But they hadn't grown a bit since she was fifteen and now she was twenty. Maybe she should consider implants, once she could afford them.
"Or maybe I could magic them up a bit, if the old cow would ever teach me something useful," she said to herself.
Danica had always been interested in magic. When she came to college, she had joined a Wiccan group, but all they did was talk about their Earth Mother and chant and burn incense and make herbal 'potions' that didn't work any better than the stuff you could get at any drugstore. That wasn't what Danica wanted--she wanted power. The same power that Celia possessed.
Danica had met Celia at the Women's Center in the student union. She was a professor of psychology and also the chair of the Women's Studies program at the university. Something between the two women clicked, despite the difference in their ages. (Celia was well over 40, though she could easily pass for 30.) Maybe Danica had been looking for a surrogate mother, being so far from home for the first time in her life. Whatever the reason, she and Celia soon became good friends. Celia was fun to talk to. She new all kinds of stuff and she exuded an air of power that Danica admired and envied.
A few months later, Danica got an idea of just how powerful her older friend was. The girl had come to the Women's Center in tears. She had recently broken up with a guy--Steve--whom she had dated for a couple months. She had made it clear that she didn't want to see him anymore, but he just wouldn't leave her alone. He was following her everywhere, leaving notes, hanging out in front of her dorm late at night. It was really freaking her out. Finally, she went to Celia to ask her what to do. The professor had asked her if she had anything personal of Steve's. It just so happened that the psycho had slipped a 5 x 6 photo of himself into her book bag during class, and that was what had sent her to Celia. Celia took the photo, and said she would take care of it.
The next time she saw Steve on campus, a look of terror sprang to his face and he dropped his stuff and ran away from her. The same thing happened every time he saw her from then on until he finally transferred to another school. But that wasn't all. Her friend Marcia worked part time doing secretarial work at the medical center. She told Danica that Steve had been going to urologists, endocrinologists and psychologists ever since. Marcia peeked into his files and found out that Steve was completely impotent and seemed to be slowly going through puberty in the reverse direction. Wicked!
That is when Danica knew that Celia had the sort of power that she had always fantasized about having. She begged the woman to take her on as an apprentice. Celia had quickly agreed--she had targeted her as a potential student the first day they met. At the end of that semester, Danica moved to Celia's little gray house a few blocks from campus. She had become a neophyte sorceress.
She had also become Celia's bitch. It was astounding how rapid the change in their relationship has occurred. Whereas before Celia had treated her with respect, almost as an equal, once Danica had agreed to become her protegé she treated her like a slave. She told her what she could wear, what she could eat, when she could go out. She made her do most of the house work. As for teaching her magic, Celia kept her doing what Danica quickly concluded to be mindless busy work, usually naked. Danica was almost sure now that the older woman was getting off on watching her. It would have all been worth it, though, if Celia would just give her access to the power she so craved. But after almost five months, all she had really taught her was some cheap illusions and conjurings--exciting at first, but not particularly useful--and countless prayers, chants and wards that didn't do anything as far as Danica could tell, although Celia kept insisting that they were essential to protect her from all sorts of dangers that came with practicing magic. Danica was starting to suspect that it was all a ruse to keep her working for Celia's voyeuristic pleasure without teaching her anything useful.
But now she had 48 glorious hours in which she could do what ever she wanted and even had free reign of the house. She slipped on a green silk blouse and a black mini skirt, then made her way to the liquor cabinet. Celia had an extensive array of liquors. Danica was willing to bet that her mentor wouldn't notice if a little of it disappeared. She'd just make sure not to take too much from any one bottle. She poured herself a shot of cognac and quickly downed it. She loved cognac, but unfortunately so did Celia. Better go easy on that. She made herself a gin and tonic and went to call Marcia. She was going to get out of the house and party!!!
Three drinks and half a dozen phone calls later, Danica was still at home with no prospects of leaving. Not one of her friends with a car was home. Damn Celia! She had to stay home and keep her practicing stupid chants until everyone had already gone out. Now she was going to have to spend her Celia-free Friday night alone. Well damned if she was going to spend it sober!
.... There is more of this story ...