Artifacts (a story)


Stacy thought she had the greatest job in the world! She worked for an agency that collected artifacts. She’d always wanted to be an archaeologist or anthropologist. And she loved hearing the provenance on the pieces she collected.
Today she was supposed to pick up a few things that had complicated histories. Things that were supposed to be magical. So she picked up a few lead lined boxes from the warehouse and hit the road.

Her first stop was to pick up a book. It was said that a dark magician had spelled it.
a spelled book
Stacy was very careful not to touch the book with her bare hands. She didn’t want to be drawn into the spell by accident. She put it into a small case and into the back of her van. And called into the agency to confirm a successful pick up.

The magical wardrobe was her next quest. She used a dolley and wore gloves again. She also padded the wardrobe, so that it didn’t come in contact with the other object. Last thing she wanted was their power mixing and creating a hybrid. When she had it properly stored, she called the agency again to confirm it’s pick up.

A picture is worth a thousand words had always been her fave saying. But she had never meant it as a magical rune. She watched the edges of the frame carefully. Funny, but she had thought the wardrobe would be the hardest pick up. This picture frame was unwieldly and had almost come to ruin a few times getting it in the van. But it was finally in, so she called the agency to report in.

The collar was gorgeous and very tempting. And she did find herself wondering if she would meet it’s standards. So she asked one of the locals to walk her to the van. She wrapped the box inside a silver mesh bag and put it in a bigger box. That shut down that thinking! So she called in. And reported the extra efforts needed. She was told to get a snack or a drink and not get into the van until a supervisor arrived.

When the supervisor arrived, he was driving what looked to be a refridgerated truck. But it was modified. The storage area was lead lined. He wasn’t taking any chances, since the collar had been so powerful.

Which meant that Stacy didn’t have to drive back to the warehouse now. She could look around the town she was in a bit. Just to sight-see. She always enjoyed people watching, so she was looking forward to it.

Stacy found a bar at the end of her day and had a dinner plate there and because she was driving, she had coffee. She was chatty with the bartender and they were having fun flirting. She might have taken him up on his hints, but she was kind of confused about how many of her thoughts about what he would do to her were so submissive. Not her at all! So she called the agency and told them what was happening. Her supervisor came back to collect her. And brought another driver for her van. It was hosed down with a special solution of silver oxide, holy water and sage tea. It was blessed by several priests and shamans.
And she was checked into a hotel and given some herbal tea to drink and told to take a shower with the solution as well. This was done several times during the next few hours. The submissive thoughts lessened after each shower. And she was getting pretty crabby with her supervisor.

As a final test, she was sent back to the bar, to the hot bartender. This time she felt a bit stiff at first and he noticed she was more aggressive in her flirting. He grinned and offered to take her up on her advances. She took a rain check, said she had to be at work early and still had a few hours drive ahead, with her boss. So she got his card and made a date for the next time she was in town.

And went back to the hotel to meet the supervisor. She’d passed his test. So they went back to the warehouse and made sure the collar was in the area of the place for the stronger artifacts.

Days like this were what put an extra spring in her step. Otherwise, she’d just be a delivery driver. But she was glad it was over, nonetheless.

A Spelled Book

It looked like any other book on the shelves of this old store I went to. But the moment I picked it up, i knew my life was about to change.
I have a guilty pleasure when it comes to reading. When I just want to kill some time, I read gothic romances. (Vampires, angels and demons, gargoyles, werebeasts, ghosts… ya know?) So I was all set to like this one. The only thing different was, it was a hard cover. A first edition. I was kind of excited by that. It was the first one I’d ever owned with the provenance papers given to me at the point of sale.
So when I got home, I looked up the author. He was apparently well known before his death in the late 1700s. There were rumours of black magic surrounding his life and death. I was excited. And I wanted to see how this genre had changed since the early days.
I finally cracked open the book. And it wasn’t an exaggeration to say that either. It sounded about like you broke a cracker in half. It seemed like I was the first one to read this, or at least in a good long time.
I glanced at the pages, flipping thru them, then skimming the last few pages. Ok so undead was sealed and set aflame and some girl was mourning him. Pretty predictable but that’s ok. Like I said, I like these books. They’re an easy read.
I put the book on my bedside table so next time I wanted a light read, it was ready. Which turned out to be that night, before I went to sleep.
The castle was described. Eerie, damp, covered in ivy and almost a ruin. Surrounded by a park. Perfect. It was night and the heroine came by in her car, I guess lost, because there really was no reason given for her being near the place. Not so far anyway.
The car stalls, so she goes to the castle for help. Just as the sun sets.
The major domo comes to the door and tries to get her to leave quickly. But she really needed the help. By then it was too late.
The master was awake. The major domo went white. And she started to worry.
I was tired, And pretty sure I already knew the plot, so I went to sleep.
Wouldn’t you know, the plot followed me into my dreams.
I was now the girl at the door, looking into the black eyes of the master. Feeling sure I’d met him before. And he was grinning a wicked grin at me. He looked like he wanted to devour me. And other than being nervous from the major domo’s fear, I wasn’t thinking that it was a bad idea. He was the perfect romantic dark hero. Or villain. The dark handsome type. And with the smirk on his face, I was thinking … villain.
I was looking for cues to tell me which he was. But other than the major domo’s fear, there really wasn’t much of anything.
But I was worried enough to wake up in real life. Then giggle at myself. I fell back to sleep and let the dream continue at will.
For the next several nights, I read of her and the master and then dreamt of the master and I talking, flirting, making out. It was an old fashioned book, so it was written for that audience. He had to seduce her. She was a “good girl”. Maybe, probably even a virgin. I was getting more heated. But then, I’m not a virgin.
Finally he got her dress off and things really began. He made promises he’d never be able to keep and he knew it. She believed him. And I went along with it for the romance. He’d take care of her. He’d always be with her. Their love was greater than anything the world could do to it. Eternal love! Sure…
So they had sex! And I went, “finally!” And looked forward to my dream. Gawd! I’d been masturbating for days over this book!
The next night, I saw strange letters or runes on the page. I tried to google them, but they weren’t available. But there were links to magic papers and books. So I thought I had found that the author was in fact into magic. I touched the letters and rubbed my hands over them. Then went to sleep.
I dreamt of the book again. I was in the castle. In the master’s bedroom. And we were lying on the bed, post coitus. He slipped his hands around my neck and kissed me hard and deep. I almost lost my breath. Then all i saw was dark, and his face.
Nothing else. His head was floating. It was a good long time before I woke up. I was spellbound. By his eyes. I was stuck in the book! How could that happen??

The Magical Wardrobe

I love to go to estate sales. But this particular one had a fascinating story. The house had been in the same family for generations. Which was kind of odd, considering the story that went along with it. If I had had the deciding vote for the family, I’d have left the place long ago. Probably burned it to the ground on my way out the door too.
Let’s see what you think…
It had all the watermarks of a murderous lineage. Yet there was never any evidence that anyone had died. That might have been ok in the olden days. People were lynched from this family after all. But more recently they actually had to find proof that someone had died, vs walked out of the house of their own free will. Yet some of the people who had supposedly done this walkabout were in pretty rough shape. Just had a baby an hour before, or were almost on their death bed. They stayed in the same room. Nobody outside the house knew which room it was.
And there were also ghost stories about the house. If noone had died, then maybe the place had haints or demons. And was scaring people off in the dead of the night.
I just knew I was never going to stay there after dark. Not on my own.
The house had been thoroughly explored by people looking for blood, for false walls and hidden passages. And also had had ghost hunters in, looking for signs of the haints and demons. Nothing, absolutely nothing.
There had been a few psychics… or should I say people who claimed to be psychic? They went thru the house, picking up their “vibes”. And they left all kinds of theories, but nothing came close to the truth.
So that is what I walked into at the estate sale. A house and family of mystery. But I wasn’t going to be alone in the house. And I had my alarm set on my watch, so I’d be out of there, and off the land before twilight. I was taking no chances! (Have you ever noticed that “night” is a common piece of a story? Dead time or the witching hour are always in the dark of the night? Like nothing evil or unexplained ever happens during the day?!)
So I was wandering thru the house, going thru the basement, and looking at the tools, some of which were antiques. None of the tools looked like they had been used for anything, let alone had anything that looked like blood on. They were in pristine condition. I hit them with a portable blue light I had brought along for just this type of opportunity. No blood, I swear! Not even in the joints.
I was wandering thru the kitchen and the dining room, looking at the dishes. They were gorgeous sets. And considering the luck of the family, I found it funny that so many of the sets were intact. They’d sell for a fortune! No ghosts or demons were smashing the dishes here. And it didn’t seem like they were feuding in the kitchen or at the dining table either. If you’ve ever lived in a dysfunctional household, you know that meals are a hot zone. So seriously, I was beginning to doubt BOTH those explanations for the disappearances.
So where the hell did they go?
Was it a curse, maybe? Or did they just have a really great mulcher in a shed somewhere? I planned to go over the grounds before I left.
I wandered up the stairs, to the servants quarters first. And they were pretty well treated, if their quarters were anything to judge by. They had lovely furniture, and well spaced and airy, comfortable rooms. And the most beds in one room were two. Mind, they could have added more, but got rid of them before the sale. So I checked the floor for marks. Where bed legs have been sitting for years and left a divet in the flooring. But there were only enough for 1-2 beds max. Seemed like the servants were well cared for and there were enough that the chores probably didn’t take up too much time in their day. At least not in the house. I doubted that the house servants were killing the family for vengeance. They probably loved the job and as a result, the family as well.
And finally, I went to the family bedrooms. The nursery was lovely. The cots were well lept. They had a caretaker suite for the nanny or governess and a classroom. And there was a patio for the kids to get air on. With a nice suite of lawn furniture. And swings and a sand pit too. The kids seemed cared for as well.
All that was left to explore was the master suite and the area for guests. I went to the master suite first. It was pretty and functional, but considering when the house had been built, there was nothing too ornate, or intimidating about it. The furniture was old. Probably antique, Someone had been taking good care of it. Probably the servants.
I went to the first guest room and found a lovely set there as well. I so enjoyed running my hands over the wood. It was all beautiful furniture and in fantastic condition. Very well cared for.
Either these people were OCD in their attempts to keep up appearances in front of the servants, or they weren’t the family of monsters they were claimed to be.The estate was well cared for and clean. Nothing looked out of place. Just the usual traffic of a household could be seen. A wear on the floors where people would walk and live. The furniture used, but not harshly.
I had run out of things to look for to explain why the people had disappeared.
Until I came to the last suite of rooms…
As usual, my hands were loving the furniture. It really was gorgeous after all. Over the bed and desk, over the chairs and the nightstand.
Until I came to the wardrobe…
I found a really strange design, that looked like runes. I opened the one side and saw the drawers and shelves for laying clothes out. And even a press area. For things that were freshly ironed. It was so gorgeous.
Then I opened the door for the hanging area…
And a hurricane force wind sucked me thru the door and into some strange land…. Where I found the people who had been missing. Nobody was dead, in fact they were well. They were still well! Though it had been many years in some cases. They certainly hadn’t left the other plane as well off as they were now either.
Back in the house. people were starting to ask about me. Starting to ask where I had gone. They had counted heads at the door and were trying to be sure everyone got out, before they locked up for the day. And I couldn’t be found.
The police were called, an investigation was carried out. And nothing could be explained. I was just gone.
Another story to add to the house.
Nobody had a clue to look at the wardrobe. It was sitting there waiting for the next person to open the hanging portion of it’s door. And now there was no way to tell if it would be in this house, or another.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Esp this one.
It was worthy of a book or two of how you felt when you first saw it. The colours lept off the page at you. The strokes were breath taking, meticulous. Gentle and yet forward in their capture of the subject. Bold, daring, imaginative, sensual, erotic. Gorgeous! Unique!
It was no great surprise that people were gathered in front of it for the fact that two people were having sex. Most adults would at least pause. Give it a glance and the nervous might titter at the content.
But then the audience should have turned away and gone on to the rest of the gallery. Don’t you think?
It was the breathtaking technical skill that captured you. A true Master had done this. You could tell as soon as you saw it.
But it wasn’t a cold superficial capture of sex. It was so emotionally mature that you felt the passion leak off the page and could feel your own sexual response to the couple’s heat.
It made you wonder if the couple had indeed been right in front of the artist. Right in the middle of making love, or more like rutting in a very primal act of capture and fucking.
It was raw, powerful and yet poignant. You could see that they looked at each other tenderly. They stroked each other softly between the harsh and hard, punishing pace and vigour of their rutting.
Steaming. HAAAAAWWTT!!
And that was without the story that went with the picture, on every tour. People wanted to see the picture. For it’s own merit. It was a brilliant piece of art.
But with the spell…
With the story of the spell…
An ape could have drawn three lines and a circle on a canvas and people would have gone for the story.
The audience went around the block. For days they lined up. Waiting to see this picture, hear this story. Tours were booked for a year ahead. It was a legend piece.
And as the coupe de grace, there was a sympathetic factor. The author had died under unclarified circumstances. They never did discover if it was suicide or murder. A young woman who had lived what seemed to be an exemplary life, just trying to be what she loved and few women of her era could be. An artist. Even with her geniosity, it was a hard row for her to hoe. But some might say that was the day. Though it still seems to be a struggle for talented women, it’s not impossible today. It might not be good tactic, even today, for a female artist to choose this topic. And her excelling at it might offend some. I mean, let’s be real, right?
So all those factors. And you’d have the fans and the protestors.
Why did they complain?
Sexual content brings out the prudes, right? Obv we all have sex or there wouldn’t be 7 billion or more people on earth. N’est-ce pas? (shrug) Besides, sex sells.
And they were both into it, a man and a woman. So could the feminists scream? Um maybe not as much?
The author being a woman brings out haters too. Art is a man’s world they’d say. Bring ten male artists to this one woman. But we don’t listen to that kind. That they exist is bad enough. Let’s not give them a platform.
Then there are the superstitious. Though with the story that this picture had with it of past showings, they might actually have a leg to stand on.
So there’d be doomsday prophets and preachers about sin and devils. Ugh!
But what really got the shit show rolling was the victims’ families… The story always brought out people who claimed to be dearly beloved by those who were harmed by this painting… Were they close? Does it matter if the story is true?
But then you haven’t heard the story yet, have you?
Just the fact that one exists should be bad enough. Shouldn’t it?
Oh you want to hear the story, don’t you?
It’s quite short, but is it true? Judge for yourself!

There is a spelled picture of lovers. It is said that if you touch it, you either lose your mind, or you have a heart attack or stroke. Your brain cannot handle the images you see in your head. YOU DIE OF FEAR!! So whatever you do, don’t touch it for gawd’s sake!!

Is the story true? Or is the fable one to keep many hands from damaging a beautiful piece of art? Or stealing it?

The Collar

There was a rumour that the collar had a history. But it was nothing anyone could prove.
The story was that those who wore it, who had the wrong head space, would be punished by the collar. They would be choked to death.
What is the wrong head space? How can you judge that? It’s so subjective, right? Or is it?
Well this collar was meant for people who engaged in specific types of play. Not for the type who went out for an eve at the club and got spanked. Not for the hubby and wife who spanked and tickled each other in cuffs either. Not even for people who were using bdsm to get laid.
This collar seemed to be handed down thru the groups who engaged in body mod, body art, … things that were more culturally bound. That were seen as group identifiers.
So the collar was intended for people who bonded with not only the group, but also the culture, the ethos. The groups were military, militia, warriors, gangs, prisoners. People who were bonded by ordeals and quest or vision seeking. It was said to once have been worn by a warrior who had gone thru the sundance and died with the collar on. The shaman of the group blessed the collar with the honour, courage and strength.
Those who survived wearing the collar were those who were trying to exemplify those values. Who were trying to rise out of a bad situation, and seeking the help and blessing of the gods to do it. Who were trying to change for the better and give something to the world, the universe. Those who believed.
Those who did not survive the collar were spiritually bankrupt. They were all about hedonism, rather than spirituality.
And knowing this was the risk, the requirement of the collar, the people still came to be tested by it. It got to the point where the guardians started prescreening the supplicants. Asking questions about their health and motives. Turning some away.
Those people were becoming more and more upset. They thought they were entitled to all possible experiences. That none should be denied them. Nothing could stand in the way of their pleasure or thrill. The greater the risk, the better the reward.
So they stole the collar and started trying it on…
They thought by only wearing it for a minute, they’d be immune to the curse. But they weren’t. Every one of them with skewed motives was found dead by the next morning.
At first the police and coroner thought the cause of death was poison. But no matter what test they ran, they couldn’t find any trace of such a thing. There was no medical explanation for the deaths.
And this day added to the myth of the collar.
The guardian of the collar became ever more careful of who got hold of it. And ever more careful of even knowing where the collar was, unless he had vetted them by the standards set. Then and only then were they shown the collar.


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