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Sometimes a small pneumatic combustion cannon is the right tool for the job. At least when the job is spraying blood and gore into a fine mist, anyways.

FUNK brs @FUNKbrs

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The Cutting Garden: Chapter 12

Posted by FUNKbrs - February 8th, 2008


Chapter 12

When something seems unbelievable, it normally is. The devil, as they say, is always in the details. The voracious questioning mind seeks out the details, and many times finds the devil instead. This was in fact how Mrs. Black changed from a respectable widow and officer of the church into a practitioner of the dark arts. What began as an in depth study of fasting, meditation, and prayer led her to meet her first demon. This demon, posing as various angels and even God himself, led her down the left-hand path that ended in the violent miscarriage of an innocent young girl.

One of the hardest things about being a true teacher and mentor is pointing out your own shortcomings in hopes that your student may one day overcome them, and possibly avoid them altogether, like a parent explaining to a child about a raging drug habit from prost-pubescent years, or a machinist explaining away missing fingers to a protégé.

Caroline stared angrily at Mrs. Black as the left side of her face turned bright red from the full-handed blow.
"Maybe you don't understand why I'm doing this, so I'm going to have to admit to you something that may change the way you look at me, whether that be for good or ill." Mrs. Black took a pained breath and prepared to admit to her something she had never even told her own children. "I never intended to become what I am now. However, after my husband died I had nothing left to live for but my craft. I was too old to remarry, and all my children were grown and living on their own."
"So you became a witch." Caroline said flatly, the last word dripping with spite.
"No. I decided to be the best midwife I could be. Women were dying of shock and blood loss in childbirth, and babies were dying of the fever all around me. I dedicated every moment to prayer and service. I could no longer be wife or mother in my own family, but I could still function as caretaker to the village as a whole."

Mrs. Black turned her face away from Caroline and continued with her hands clasped behind her back as she stared at the wall. "It all went bad when I met my first demon. I had been fasting for six days, drinking nothing but water, and a beautiful face appeared in my basin mirror. The face claimed to be an angel named Justice, and that God had sent it to teach me the hidden secrets of medicine as a reward for all my hard work."

"How did you know it was a demon?" Caroline asked, her demeanor changing in response to Mrs. Black's guardedness despite still being bound to the chair.

"I didn't. That's my point. It lied to me, and I believed it, and there was no one to warn me about the danger I was in, not even after I saved Charlie Knocker."
"Charlie knocker? Is that the name of the boy who drowned?" Caroline latched onto the discrepancy, hoping somehow that this example was positive.

"Hah, yes, I see you've done your home work. It was the demon that taught me how to do that. I was lucky enough to be watching the boy from the shore of the lake. The demon had taught me to be able to see souls, and worse, how to manipulate them. I watched him die; I know he was dead long before they took turns jumping on his stomach trying to get the water out." Mrs. Black said with bittersweet misty-ness.

"So how did you save him? How can you return a soul to a dead body?" Caroline asked, her wrists beginning to chafe within their unnecessary bonds.

"I created an avatar of pure spiritual force, and bound the boy's soul before Death could take it into the afterworld. That innocent soul was bound for heaven, and I stopped it cold. After they got the water out of him, I slammed it back inside of him and held it in place with pure force of will. That's when he started breathing again."

"So the demon taught you this? I still can't see what's wrong with what you did. You saved that boy's life!" Caroline interjected.
"NO!" Mrs. Black shouted angrily, her eyes blazing. "That boy was dead! It was against God's will!"
"He lived, how is that wrong?!" Caroline retorted.
"I'll tell you. The second I let go of that boy's soul, it LEFT. God had called it, but the boy was still alive. The boy was alive, BUT WITH NO SOUL. His children had no souls. Their children had no souls. The grandchildren have no souls. For all of eternity, a race of soulless, all my fault Caroline! I wasn't the first, Adam was the first with his son Cain, but now I was guilty too!"

"Adam and Cain... you mean like Genesis?" Caroline grasped.

"Yes! Cain had no soul, because Adam used the knowledge from the forbidden fruit to save his son. With his soul already gone, Cain had nothing to lose when he killed his brother Abel. That was why God marked him, because killing a man with no soul is no worse than killing a dog, and all of Adam's descendents knew it."
"And your sin was creating another Cain?" Caroline finally understood.
"Worse Caroline. I created an entire race of Cains. I'm not the only one, but I'm partially responsible."

Mrs. Black nonchalantly began unbuckling the leather straps holding Caroline's wrists, still not quite looking her in the eye. "It gets worse, Caroline." She said, leaving her feet still bound to the legs of the chair. "But you know about Charlie, so then you know about Mary Folkshire?"

The question hung in the air like foul smoke form a cheap cigar in a dingy barroom. The name sounded familiar to Caroline, but on a subject she had tried to write off as impossible, the one story she had heard that day with Berry she blatantly didn't believe.

"You mean why this church is empty, don't you?" Caroline said gently, beginning to realize just how vast the repercussions of the forces she was involved with could be.

"That's one way to put it, yes. A very polite way. But I killed that baby, Caroline. I killed it, just like I killed all those other children, even though they had never really been conceived." Mrs. Black stared at the wall in a distant way Caroline herself had become all too familiar with in the past few weeks.
"But how? All I've learned about so far is scrying, and none of that can do anything real."

Once more, Mrs. Black looked Caroline square in the eye, the steely matron's reserve back in the line of her jaw. "There's a very important reason why I can't tell you that yet, and yes, before you ask, it's because I don't feel I can trust you with it, at least not now. You're not here for that lesson. There's something you'll have to see first to understand why, and me trying to explain it will only confuse you."

Thug stood in front of the window, exactly where Mrs. Black had told him to wait. To wait for what, he had no idea, but he was used to that. That's why when the bottle full of burning gasoline crashed through the window, his head was in the perfect place to intercept it without having it's flaming contents burst deadly hell all over the only escape route from the basement.

This of course happened at the expense of knocking him unconscious, but then again that was also part of Mrs. Black's plan.

Berry recoiled from hurling her Molotov cocktail through the window of 646 Cottage Church Lane and waited for the delicious explosion of flames that never came. She threw another that landed with a meaty thump, this time the sound not covered by the reverberations of smashing antique glass.

What had she struck? She walked slowly onto the porch and peered in the window to find Thug lying prostrate on the floor, both beer bottles full of volatile liquid snuffed by the impact. Thug! Truly something supernatural was on her side! How else could she have avoided killing her friend? Poor Thug; he was born in thrall to that evil witch. Apparently Caroline wasn't the only one of her friends needing rescue.

The power that helped focus her mind kept her on track. Now that the window was broken, she could see the door was unlocked. Why had she assumed Mrs. Black would have prepared for this rescue mission? Berry walked boldly through the open door and check on Thug. He was breathing, but completely unconscious. She returned her improvised bombs to her tiny purse. Her thoughts clicked as she realized Thug would try to stop her if he woke up.

Again, the new presence in her mind fed her the answer as if she'd thought of it herself. She unlatched her vinyl purse strap and used it to tie Thug's hands behind his back after a struggled to get his heavy arms into position. She used his own shoelaces to tie his ankles together for good measure in case he woke up and was able to walk towards someone or something that could free his hands.

With Thug now thoroughly packaged, Berry continued checking doors until she heard two female voices arguing. She held her ear against the antique wood and recognized a brief snatch of conversation...
"...a darker side of power, and the weakness of that power..."

Berry opened the basement door quietly and slipped like a kitten down the stairs unnoticed. As she descended the stairwell the voices fell silent. Berry turned to look and saw Caroline wide-eyed in shock as Mrs. Black pinned her wrists together over her head and delivered a full-mouthed sensuous kiss to her helpless prisoner.

Mrs. Black was still nose-to-nose with Caroline as her black latex cat suit created highlights over her surprisingly supple body. Lillith looked Berry straight in the eye. "Hello Berry. You're just in time to teach my student a very valuable lesson."

"Who are you?" Berry said, frozen in place by the blatant display of lesbian eroticism.
"Why, I'm Mrs. Lillith B. Black, pleased to make your acquaintance. You may call me Mistress Black, however." Mrs. Black casually placed the gag over Caroline's mouth before she had a chance to speak.

The new sensation in Berry's gut screamed there was something wrong, but the sense of danger only excited her all the more. When she'd thought of Mrs. Black, she'd always assumed she was some dykey old crone, but now she saw Mrs. Black as an embodiment of her own twisted fantasies.

"I've come to set Caroline free." Berry said robotically as she ogled Mistress Black and her part-time sex partner's exhibitionist display of bondage.
"Oh, but we shall. We shall set her free of all her sexual inhibitions, won't we Berry? Now be a dear and hurry down so you can help me discipline this disobedient girl."
"Yes Mistress." Berry replied, unable and unwilling to fight Mrs. Black's sudden unexpected sensuous onslaught. Mrs. Black was too much like her fantasies, too much for Berry to refuse. How could anyone who knew this much about pleasure be an enemy?

This was the lesson Mrs. Black couldn't teach Caroline with mere words: seduction as a tool of control. Just as The Glass had used sexual pleasure to distract and control Caroline, Mrs. Black applied these same occult principles to Berry. Berry's physical body was now only a pawn in a battle of wills between Mrs. Black and The Glass for control of Caroline's allegiance. Caroline, still bound and gagged, was unaware of this object lesson however.

"Bind her wrists, Berry." Mrs. Black demanded imperiously. Berry came to Mrs. Black's side like a spoiled lapdog, only to balk at such a sudden reversal in her own intentions. Mrs. Black glided silently behind Berry like a ghost, and gently licked the nape of her neck. "Now, are you going to be a good slave..." Mrs. Black whispered breathily into Berry's ear as her fingers penetrated Berry's coiffure, "...or a bad one?!" She continued, yanking Berry's head down viciously by that silky, elegant mane.

"Yes Mistress!" Berry shouted in orgasmic pain.
"Yes mistress what?!" Mrs. Black barked, still tugging painfully on Berry's scalp.
"Yes Mistress! I will be a good slave Mistress!" Berry blurted.
Mrs. Black's fingers relaxed without letting go and pulled Berry's head to rest her lips on her own supple neck, allowing her to speak directly into Berry's ear.
"Then do what you're told, like a good girl." Mrs. Black said huskily, gently pulling Berry away and pushing her towards Caroline's bound frumpy body.

Caroline fought dumbly against Berry's restraining touch, unable to exclaim through her gag her frustration at berry's sudden betrayal. One by one, Berry forced Caroline's wrists down and strapped them to the arms of Mrs. Black's chair. Caroline struggled and screamed into her gag, availing nothing.

Mrs. Black produced a razor sharp stiletto knife from the top of one of her skin tight latex boots.
"Now cut off her clothes." Mrs. Black demanded.
"Yes Mistress." Berry obeyed, unable to hide her perverse delight at taking advantage of the girl she had just recently tried to save. Who would want freedom in the face of such delicious bondage?

Berry started slowly, first slicing though the laces of Caroline's homely running shoes before pulling them off. Then she slipped her thin blade down the side of Caroline's white cotton socks, using her other hand to hold the fabric taught as she neatly bisected the material revealing Caroline's bony naked toes.

She worked around Caroline's ankle restraints and inserted the bright silver cutting edge into Caroline's black khaki pants leg, cutting the cloth all the way up her soft, warm, meaty thigh. She started again with the left leg, leaving only the knotted seam holding the underside of the crotch together.

Berry paused and tucked the knife into he neck of her own short skirted dress between her tiny breasts, freeing her hands to explore Caroline's newly exposed skin. Mrs. Black's empty glove struck with uncanny sting against the side of Berry's face.
"No touching until I say!" Mrs. Black barked again in that imperious tone.
"Yes mistress." Berry replied shamefully, pulling the knife out once more to cut the last scrap of cloth from Caroline's pants as her victim writhed furiously.

The knife severed the seam of the crotch, then sliced effortlessly parallel to the zipper, finishing just short of Caroline's navel. Berry continued the fluid motion, pulling the knife slowly through the lower hem of Caroline's work shirt all the way to the collar, then slit each shirt sleeve up to the shoulder and once again to the collar. Mrs. Black removed Caroline's unrecognizable pants with a single savage jerk as Berry slowly pulled her mangled stretchy cotton shirt from under her back.

Trickles of blood began to flow from various careless nicks caused by Caroline's struggles, staining her otherwise pristine bra and panties. Signaled with a nod from Mrs. Black, these too were removed, the panties with a slice just above each hip, and the bra with a single slash from between the breasts.

Mrs. Black took a step back, mentally detaching herself from Caroline's nakedness and vulnerability.
"Do as thou wilt." Mrs. Black quoted archaically, knowing full well she had left Caroline in the hands of a possessed woman.

The shard of The Glass within Berry struggled to maintain control against the same animal desires it had used to enter her. Sex is a more powerful force than prayer, and the presence of the demons of sexuality more powerful than The Glass by an order of magnitude was not lacking. The Glass was overcome, unable to control the knife in order to turn it against Mrs. Black. Rendered impotent for the moment, it waited in the dark place inside of Berry's mind for its opportunity.

Berry attacked her friend and lover with abandon, tracing her tongue down the zig-zag row of minor nicks that ran up her helpless partner's inner thigh. Caroline felt these sensations, felt the burning of saliva on her fresh cuts, but felt them absent of any eroticism in some strange mechanical way. The suckling of her clit felt robotic, the probing inside her of Berry's fingers missing the primal fire they'd once possessed.

Caroline focused through her hood, through the sensations, focused in the way that allowed her to see the dream world that had gotten her into this position. Immediately she saw Mrs. Black's presence, a dark pillar of concentrated force. Berry, however, was a prismatic green, the same color as The Glass, but somehow weaker and distorted.

"Do you see now?" Mrs. Black's voice cut in gently. "Do you see the true cause of these activities? Berry is possessed by The Glass, and that prismatic sheen is a tell-tale sign. Humans normally are some form of blue or red pastel, although some are white in rare cases. My own aura, black, tells the tale of the effects of my activities taint on my soul."
"But Berry's all over me. Normally this would be so hot! Me and her got off really hard on each other before. Why do I feel something's broken between us?" Caroline conveyed through the astral state, disconcerted.
"If you'd quit thinking with your pussy, I'd explain it to you." Mrs. Black project coarsely, "YOU were never attracted to Berry. You weren't gay before you met her, and you aren't now. If you'd read your history, you'd know demonic activity and homosexual blood orgies go hand-in-hand. While you were under the influence of The Glass, the demon used you to gain access to Berry's body. Berry herself is one of those soulless I'd warned you about; that's why you only see the faint aura of The Glass and not both auras, with hers reduced to a single kernel within the mass."
"Is that why this feels so...so...BLANK?" Caroline expressed as Berry sucked with animal need on her body.
"Basically...yes." Mrs. Black verified succinctly.

Caroline thought for an empty second.
"But if all that's true, why did YOU kiss ME? You've never presented yourself as anything other than some old church lady, but you're every bit as big of a dyke as Berry in that latex catusit. Who are you to preach to me now? Who are you fooling with this act? You could let me go at any time. You STOPPED berry from saving me with this deceit. If you cared at all about my well-being like you claim you do, you'd know I'm supposed be at work right now with Jaleesa, not tried to this goddamn chair!" Empathic feelings of resignation flowed through the empty void Caroline had created.

"Go ahead and fake an orgasm then. It's time to cut to the chase."

"Untie Caroline, Berry." Mrs. Black commanded.
Reluctantly, Berry obeyed and unbuckled Caroline's wrist and ankle restraints. Caroline immediately rose, reaching for her hood and gag as she stood naked and bloody in Mrs. Black's dimly lit basement. Before she could remove them, Mrs. Black gently pulled Berry towards her from behind and touched her lips to Berry's ear, whispering: "Now it's your turn."

Berry sat obediently in the chair, not struggling at all as Mrs. Black bound her with remarkable efficiency. By the time Caroline had removed her gag, Mrs. Black pulled it from her hand and placed it securely over Berry's mouth, then blindfolded the tiny girl with similar quickness.

"What did you mean 'cut to the chase'? Looks like you're really just going in for round two." Caroline spat acidly.
"Well, to be honest, getting Berry tied down for the exorcism was the only reason I had you tied up in the first place." Mrs. Black explained.
"Exorcism!?" Caroline exclaimed.
"Well, of course. You didn't think I was going to let The Glass get away with sending Berry down here to kill me, did you?"
"But she came her to save me!" Caroline retorted.
"Then why was she so quick to take advantage of you? People possessed by demons aren't under their own control. They're like animals, reacting in predictable and prescribed ways to environmental stimuli. By seducing Berry, more powerful demons than The Glass were able to exert external control of her. I assure you those Molotov cocktails in her purse are no joke, and if you go upstairs, the lump on Thug's head has absolutely nothing funny about it."

Mrs. Black found a plain brown dress for Caroline to wear as she explained the exorcism procedure to her form an ancient leather bound manuscript after taking time to tend her grandson's head.
"So let me get this straight: in order to exorcise The Glass from Berry, one of us has to create an avatar to take over Berry's mind and kick out the demon from the inside, while the other has to physically restrain her and keep her from killing the exorcist with her bare hands?" Caroline summarized.
"Exactly. However, demons get pretty nasty and they prefer to use a weapon if they can get it. Also, Berry's adrenaline is going to be really high, and she'll be considerably stronger than she looks." Mrs. Black filled in.
"So, when do we start?" Caroline said, watching her friend wait patiently for sex that was never going to come.
"Now." Mrs. Black said flatly.

Caroline relaxed her breathing and watched Mrs. Black form the avatar, this time an amorphous cloud of several tiny bees, climbing one by one into the astral aspect of Berry's mouth and nose. The kernel of green aura that signified The Glass's presence flared. Berry's physical hands tightened into tiny fists under her restraints as The Glass's aura waxed and waned inside of her. The bees used their stings to corral the green aura as the leather strap holding her left leg strained and ripped free with a resounding slap.

Caroline dived to hold the unrestrained foot, only for the right foot to break free as well, popping loose like a slingshot to knock her back across the room. Mrs. Black's bees drove The Glass's aura up into Berry's head, away from her heart and toward the mouth they had entered. Berry stomped her feet, bucking wildly to dislodge the chair still attached to her wrists. Caroline ran to tackle her as Mrs. Black muscled the first of The Glass from her face, only to be knocked back again as her left hand came free.

Caroline stared up from the ground as Berry stood, viciously ripping the hood and gag from her head with her free hand. Finally, the last of the green aura dissappated from her face.

"You fucking bitch!" Berry screamed, her voice cracking with rage. "I'm nothing again!" Berry, free of The Glass, raised the remains of her chair high above her head, bringing it down with a scream of primal rage across Mrs. Black's thin frame and smashed her down with an uncharacteristic crunch, breaking the chair to fragments.

Berry escaped up the stairs, still screaming incoherently. Caroline ran to Mrs. Black, rolling her over to reveal a mosaic of broken brown beer bottle glass and the reek of gasoline.


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