|What's YOUR story?|
"What have you DONE to me!" The book cried as the Sorceress put it down on the table. It had a frightened woman's face rising out of the cover, looking around at the menagerie decorating the room.
"You came here looking for a story, so now, you ARE a story. One of those audio books I hear so much about I suppose." The Sorceress smirked,"Now I believe you had a companion which I must attend to, so sit tight. Oh, that's right, you can't do very much that way. Well then, try to get comfortable, and try to be more respectful, or things could get much, much worse for you."
"Much worse that this?" The bookish girl muttered as the Sorceress left, "How the hell could it get WORSE than THIS?"
"Trust me, you don't want to ask that question." Came a voice.
"Who said that? Hello?" She looked around as best as she could from her tilted position, hopeful that someone could rescue her.
"Up here. Higher." The male voice said as she looked up the wall to a strange thing that looked like a woman's head, with antlers and deer-like ears, mounted to plaque like a big-game trophy. Incredibly the head nodded and smiled, "So, what's your story?"
"Who- what are YOU!?" She gasped.
"Well- Just call me Buck." The horned head said in a not so feminine voice,"You could say I'm one of her trophies. Literally. And you are...?"
"Uhm... Donna." The bookish girl said,"God, am I on drugs, or dreaming, or..."
"Nope, sorry- plain old magic at work here." Buck said nonchalantly,"You must have really ticked off the Mistress to have her turn you into that and leave you in the study. This is where she leaves anyone who gets her really mad."
"But- I was just doing my JOB!" Donna cried,"My paper sent me out to do a story on reports of possible genetic monsters being created here- Two headed snake-women, cow-girls, talking trees- that kind of crap. So Alex, our photographer, and I come right up to the front door of the mansion..."
"The FRONT DOOR?" Buck chuckled, "Not a good idea."
"Whatever. She answers it, and I begin asking questions about the place. So she points at me and says some mumbo-jombo and suddenly I feel like- like... I don't know, like I'm folding up, and going down an elevator at once. Alex just looked down at me and took off like a shot when something slithered out the door. And SHE, whoever she is, brought me in here!"
"Well, SHE is the Sorceress- our Mistress." Buck said sadly, "And most likely Alex is being caught by the Hydra now..."
"What did she do to me? I can't move!" Donna asked.
"Huh? Well, did you say anything about books to the Mistress?" Buck replied.
"Uh- yeah, as a cover, we were saying we were doing a book on unusual architecture..." Donna frowned," That's when she said she didn't like liars, and did that mumbo-jumbo..."
"Ah. Well, the Sorceress likes to use cues like that on annoying people." Buck said, "Needless to say, you're a book."
"A... book? How the hell did she use genetic engineering to turn me into a... a freaking BOOK?"
"For a reporter, you don't listen very well." Buck said, "Or tell a very good story. Now, listen carefully- she, our Mistress, is the Sorceress- as in MAGIC. No genetics, no science, just plain old MAGIC. And she is easy to offend too, so be nice and maybe she will turn you into something that at least moves." Donna took a moment to think this through.
"And if I'm NOT nice?" Donna asked.
"Then she will turn you into something much worse. Like a plain old book, like those poor fellows on all these shelves." Buck nodded towards the shelf, grazing it with an antler. Donna looked at the books carefully- and saw some of them were looking back at HER!
"Those were PEOPLE?" Donna gasped.
"More of the Sorceress's victims, enemies and rivals. The not very nice ones by the way." Buck said a matter of factly, "Its sort of fitting- they all have their stories of how they came here. We all do. Take Paul here..."
"Paul?" Donna said looking to the window where Buck had tipped her antlers. With a start, she realized it had a man's head and hands. All the window-man could do was look back at her and rattle a little." How...?"
"Magic, remember? Paul came to the front door too." Buck chuckled as the window-man rolled his eyes," In fact, the guy was a pretty good looking window salesman. The Sorceress liked how strong he was, with an airtight sales pitch. Unfortunately, he was a bit of a pane, and since the Sorceress could see right through him...
"She made him a window." Donna finished,"Of course."
"Then there's Brunhilda," Buck nodded down to a shield with a stunned looking woman's face and gold breastplate,"Well, actually we don't know WHAT her name was. We know she had a problem with the Sorceress though. Came bursting in here one dark night screaming oaths, waving a freaking big sword, and going on about her enchanted armor would keep the Sorceress from violating her."
"So how did she end up like that if she had enchanted armor?" Donna said in a puzzled tone, "I mean, she coulda turned her into hamburger helper..."
"Ah, but the armor protected her from being violated. The Mistress likes to play with her victims- have fun and games and a bit of sex," Buck replied,"It wasn't able to keep the Sorceress from transforming her into a lot of different things while she tried to get her out of that armor. It did keep the Sorceress from having fun and 'violating' her. The Mistress finally got tired of it, and turned her into a shield, clothes and all."
"Clothes and... Wait a minute..."Donna said as a chill went down her spine,"I'm not wearing ANYTHING am I?"
"Of course not. Books don't need clothes. You might need a slip-cover though..." Buck said thoughtfully, flicking an ear.
"Oh, very funny smart guy. What's YOUR story?"
"Ah. That." Buck said, rolling her eyes,"Well, it's like this. I was a hunter- A GUY in case you wondered. And I had this beautiful stag in my sights when suddenly the Sorceress appeared, and told me she didn't tolerate poachers on her lands. So she turned me into a... a human stag. Hooves for feet, antlers, a tail, and hung like hell. I think she liked that part..."
"And then she shot you?"
"No! I was ticked off at her, and tried grabbing her to force her to turn me back. So she turned me into a She-Stag to curb my violent tendencies...."
"And THEN she shot you."
"NO! Who's telling the story here? I told her to turn me back, or I'd have her head mounted on my den wall. So- she did this to me."Buck said with a wry smile,"At least she lets me talk now and then to some of the new arrivals."
"Big help. I'm sure Alex will get back here with some help... Hey? Is it getting cloudy?" Donna said trying to look out the window. Being a book restricted her viewing options.
"Let me see- nope, it looks like the Mistress caught up with Alex and turned her into a tree." Buck said.
"But- Alex is a guy!"
"Like that really matters to the Sorceress." Buck said, straightening up her neck,"The Mistress is coming back in. Better be on our best behavior."
"Or else." Donna gulped waiting for her new Mistress to return to the study...