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A Charming Coven

by Mr.RMA

Mr.RMA Inspired by Jada's witchy interpretations of a few of us, and also as some means of returning the favor, I've decided to write up a short story about how I became a member of a rather peculiar coven indeed. This involves a persona of mine, as well as those of
Ever wind up in a group, or some circle of associates of some kind, and you genuinely have no idea why or how it came to pass? I feel it can’t be too rare a scenario, right? I mean, we can’t always remember how we ended up hanging out with certain people on a consistent basis, sometimes it can be a wonder as to how we got roped into such a group in the first place. Life sometimes just seems to throw us into things like that, we find ourselves suddenly a part of a collective of some sort and, well, beats being lonely, you know?

Now you might be wondering just what I’m getting at with that preface… I’ll see if I can clarify just what’s been happening to me lately, but don’t blame me if it all sounds a little too preposterous. I’ll be right there with you when you start thinking that, I just can’t deny it as easily. What exactly happened? Well, the whole thing started when I went about doing something ostensibly quite normal, only for normalcy to be subsequently flung out a window.

This all happened in a dull period of time in my life. Fresh out of college and unemployed, I kinda needed to figure out something to do with myself… at least something that offered that lovely little thing called money. A decent starter-job could look good on my resume for something more lucrative, I figured, something that maybe stood out compared to the swarths of retail and food-industry positions. Fortunately for me, I did spend a lot of time as a child tinkering around with things and badgering my parents over the functions of every single object or tool I came across in the house, building up quite a knowledge of household appliances in the process. I figured I could turn this semi-trivial information into an opportunity, and applied for a local housekeeping service… or as they preferred to be called, a maid service, because apparently housekeeping infers something too upper-class for a large portion of the market… Still, in spite of this, they had no qualms with a guy like me applying for a job, especially when I demonstrated my proficient cleaning skills. So, no surprise, I got the job, and… well… I cleaned houses for a living. Uneventful for the most part, I just figured though, if I stuck with this for a few years, it could work somehow in my favor when I wanted to try something else. Just how? Guess I was hoping future-me would figure that one out.

Generally, I kept my employment to myself, figured no one would really be interested, certainly not anyone I spoke to on my frequent chatroom forays. I spent a lot of my free time online, guess I found it therapeutic, easier to catch up to people when you didn’t have to physically meet them somewhere and plan out a time for it and everything. Guess you could accuse me of being pretty lazy with socialization then, but, in my defense, I’ve always felt anxious whenever I tried to plan things out with real-life friends. Would I be contacting them at an inconvenient time? Would they hate my suggestions? What would I do if they had a counter-offer that I didn’t like? Those questions would always run through my head whenever I even entertained the notion of getting together with people I knew. The internet just made things easier. Drop in, see who else is around, drop out whenever the hell you wanted. Clear cut, simple as day. Should have known, one’s always susceptible to the weirdest things when they’re doing something in a place where they let their guard down…

One of my more frequent internet pals went by the handle Dwayna. Not a name I hear often, but, rolls off the tongue fairly nicely. It’s memorable, easy to recall, the sort of thing you’d probably want for a virtual nickname. She’d mentioned a couple times how she was a witch, and I always figured that was, y’know, traditional wicca stuff, spiritual studies, inner peace, a new-age rendition of a long-standing theology, whatever you wanna call it. I figured it ended at that, nothing bizarre in the slightest… but occasionally she’d… word things a little on the curious side. She’d mention magic in a way that… well, to put it frankly, it sounded like she believed she was putting together some genuine, arcane spells. Maybe it was all just an act, people liked doing that online, conducting personas, that kinda thing. Maybe she was just really into that sort of online RP stuff, and I mean, if that was the case, that’s fine, I can understand that, pretend can be an enjoyable escape.

No matter how peculiar she might have gotten, she was still a good friend to me, a few quirks weren’t going to scare me away. Hah, I mean, it’s not like it would suddenly change the course of my life in any overly spectacular way, right? Obviously, you know the answer to that rhetorical question already and I haven’t even gotten around to what actually happened, so, I’ll cut the bull and just divulge exactly what our last conversation was before things got pretty damn freaky:

I’ll preface this by saying Dwayna was discussing something about a coven she’d apparently founded, and it had collected quite a few likeminded sorts if she was to be believed.

“It’s really been coming along rather nicely, all things considered. Just have a tiny problem is all,” she’d said, and of course, as usual I played along with it.

“Really? What kinda trouble did you run into?” I asked, and truth be told I was intrigued by what kind of amusing conundrum she’d come up with.

“Well, we don’t really have anyone assigned to keep things neat and tidy is all. Not that we’re trying to cause any big messes of course, but you know, some spells can get out of hand.” Eh, reasonable enough logic, I figured… at least where this subject matter was concerned.

“So, none of you have some kind of… like… cleaning magic or something?”

“Nah, not really our specialties. We could certainly use a maid of some kind.”

Now, at this, I figured it would be an ideal and amusing time to bring up my line of work for once. Figured there wouldn’t exactly be another time where it would have much merit at least.

“Heh, well, y’know, I do technically work at a place that calls itself a maid service. I could probably tend to all of you if I had any magic.”

I expected an LOL or at least an XD emote, but instead, I got nothing, at least for a few eerily long minutes. Then suddenly, one single message:

“There’s an idea…”

And in an instant, she’d logged out before I could question anything further. At the time it just seemed she may have gotten busy, had to pull away from the compy for a bit to deal with those irl shenanigans. It was getting late over on my side of things anyways, so I decided to shut it down for the evening myself and went to turn in.

That night I slept surprisingly well. It was a nice change of pace from the tossing and turning struggle for a substandard rejuvenation that I’d gotten accustomed to the past couple weeks prior. Seemed like someone had flipped some kind of switch in my head that finally got my brain to realize sleep was a good thing. Hindsight makes that seem a lot less metaphorical.

The next morning, I felt absolutely fantastic, completely refreshed. Even before I opened my eyes I just felt an eagerness to actually get out of bed in a very un-zombified sort of way. Unfortunately for my jovial attitude, as I leapt out of the mattress that seemed a lot fluffier than it ought to have been, and looked around a bedroom that appeared a lot more Victorian than I’d ever seen it be, I started to get the sneaking suspicion I wasn’t in my house. Waking up in an unfamiliar living space is what you might very well call problematic, and as a feeling of panic began to spring up, I just then noticed what I was wearing.

It appeared to be some kind of dress, black with white trimming and a very light brown stitching up the center torso area with a stringy bow-tie of sorts around my neck with the same color. My hands were covered in gloves, once again the same beige-coloring, and they went down to at least my elbow. I did seem to have some kind of cotton pants or something of that description underneath the dress as well, along with black working shoes that were far more comfortable than they had any right to be. Completing this outfit was a black cap with an upward-facing crescent moon pendent attached to the side of it.

Now, confusing as it was that I was suddenly decked out in these garments, the exact design of my newly acquired outfit was really not the top priority on my mind at the time. My most pressing concern was the fact that, without any context, I had somehow been abducted from my house, brought into a different house, and dressed up by what I could only assume was the same abducting party, all without having been the least bit stirred from my previous slumber. This was very, very, concerning. I was very, very, concerned. Luckily for me there was a door in this room I’d found myself in, and, just as luckily, it was unlocked. I took the risk that there’d be someone nearby just on the other side and swung the door open in preparation to run as fast as possible in whatever direction appeared to house an exit… and instead, whoops, someone was on the other side of the door.

On the other side, I should be thanking my lucky stars it wasn’t some kind of psychopathic killer, but rather, a cheerful-looking woman in a dark green dress… jade maybe? She had light green boots with little points at the end, and in one hand she had a rather intricate-looking staff with a similarly light-green orb of sorts at the end of it. In the other hand she had… well… a dragon. Just… a dragon, clinging to her arm like it was a totally normal thing to do. As she smiled at me, I saw her teeth were uncommonly sharp and pointy looking, and upon noticing that, I saw her ears seemed to be green and fin-like as well. She just had… a whole dragon motif going for her.

“Ah, good morning, Arma!” The woman said in an excited but, strangely dignified fashion. Now, only a few people address me by that name. It’s not my real one, but… there’s a connection there at least. See, my handle online is usually just the initials RMA. It’s the uninspired result of using my real name’s initials just so I had something to put on my virtual online nametag. A small group of people started calling me Arma because they read it with that pronunciation in mind, including…

“Dwayna?” I asked, almost certainly with the dumbest look imaginable on my face.

“Yep! It’s so great to meet you in person, I’m sure you have plenty of questions, let’s just sit down and I’ll try my best to explain things, alright?” she said, and, at a complete loss, I just went along with it.

In summation, Dwayna explained to me that she had used some of her magic, which was clearly a lot more real than I gave it credit for, to reach out to me from my computer and teleport me to this place, which was apparently the base of operations for her coven. My new getup was the brainchild of one of her cohorts, Jada, an artsy sort who had planned the outfit over the course of that single evening. Impressive work, and apparently the reason for it was because… well…

“You did mention you worked at a maid service, and we needed a maid, so… congratulations are in order, as you’ve become that maid witch we’ve been looking for,” she said, even proceeding to politely clap her hands in a very aristocratic fashion as she spoke.

“Wait… You made me a witch? But… I don’t have any spells or anything,” I said, trying to ward off how this explanation was about as baffling as the mystery it was supposed to solve.

“Well, actually, that’s where you’re wrong. Congratulations again, you have witch powers,” she said, clapping some more before she reached under the bed and handed me what appeared to be a broomstick. A witch and a broomstick… classic combination. She explained this was something of a core for my abilities, I could use it to activate my powers, and to suppress them as well. The dress was essentially what I would manifest whenever the powers came into play. Apparently, that was part of the rules, special clothes. Despite the logic making no sense, if that’s the way of it, I guess that’s fair… and while I’m not exactly a dress guy, I had to admit it was at least very comfortable… and I’ll also admit I may very well pull it off better than I’d ever expected to. Just saying, if I have to wear a maid dress, I’m happy with the one I’ve got.

“But… like… okay, I’m glossing over something pretty important here, but I gotta ask it now. Where the hell are we? You called this your home base or whatever but… just where are we located? Can I… like… get back home if I want to?” I finally got that question out, and Dwayna laughed a little, probably on account of the look I gave as if she were about to say I was trapped here for good.

“Of course, you can return to your home, that’s simple teleportation magic, I can easily teach you how to get that to work, but as for where this place is? Well, think of it as a sort of magical hub, a space where all our magic stems from, the source, in a matter of speaking. Let me show you, we can introduce you to the others while we’re out there.” At that she took my hand and led me out of the room, through this peculiar hideout of hers until we were outside, and the surroundings were rather surreal. I actually have difficulty putting it to words, maybe I was just still adjusting to it all, but it seemed like we were in a… massive light void of sorts, something dream-like in nature, and it seemed to stretch out far beyond my line of sight.

Some of the other witches were there, and I was quickly introduced to them in succession: There was Kitty, who indeed had a very feline demeanor, with a white cat familiar curled around her shoulders. She seemed really kindly and pleasant and all the various ways to say ‘nice,’ but she also made it clear that she wasn’t the sort to be messed with. She can get threatening real quick when she has a reason for it… and that’s all the more supported by the baseball bat she carries around with her. A cat-bat, as I’ve decided to label it, though she seems to address it by the name of ‘Betty.’ Don’t do anything that’ll make Kitty take out Betty the cat-bat.

Next there was the aforementioned Jada, who, aside from her artsy talent, was also very energetic and spritely and just plain happy-go-lucky, to the point where it was just straight-up infectious. She seemed to be beside herself with joy when I mentioned how impressed I was with her apparent tailoring skills, and much to my surprise, she admitted she had done the outfits for everyone else as well. That is some insane work-ethic, I figured I’d need to find some way to repay her for doing something so kind without asking for anything in return… Still mulling that one over really, I’ll figure something out…

Moving along the lineup there was Shiny, a witch whose theme seemed to be a combination of stars and bunnies. Both things are very nice on their own, and it was made clear they’re a good combination, as two bunny familiars seemed to just always be around wherever Shiny went. Guess that’s the point of familiars but… still, those bunnies were hella-cute. He seemed to have a sort of… magical boy motif going, I’m gonna say? Or maybe something like those Vocaloid folks… Actually, probably a mix of the two, that’s my best guess. Either way, if he holds a concert at some point I’ll certainly be up to listen to him demonstrating his musical prowess. He’s undoubtedly got the charisma and energy of a pop idol sensation. Funny thing though, I swear I saw him kicking a soccer ball one moment, but then when I did a double-take, it was gone… When I tried to ask around about it, all I got in reply was “We prefer the word football.”

Rounding out the group I met that day was Linkachu. Linkachu is an honest-to-god Raichu… with a triforce on her hat. Even the mere description in words alone is the most adorable thing to imagine, and also, y’know, there’s a Pokemon in the group, that just makes everything about this coven all the more awesome to exponential degrees. But let’s look beyond these factors for Linkachu, because that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Linkachu is a delightful individual who I swear has something of a mentor-like presence among the group. Perhaps she actually teaches magic lessons, I’ll have to consult her about that at some point… and I’ll have to be sure to apologize again for mistaking her as someone else’s familiar upon first impressions. Still feel guilty for that one… plus the twitch from the thundershock is still fading off… Another thing is she has quite the affinity for pizza. Like… I thought I liked pizza. Hah, I’m not at all worthy of the kind of pizza-lover status Linkachu has.

I was told there were a few others beyond this group, and I mean, I thought I saw another Pokemon flittering by, a semi-pissed Vocarona with a toast pattern on their pointed hat. After the soccer-football incident though, I kept this sighting to myself. I’d meet the others in due time, but at that moment, with the first introductions out of the way, I was given a chance to test out my newly granted magical abilities. I was told to try one thing: fly. That was it. Still seemed like a tall order, I mean, flight’s one of those things that people tend to associate with activities that are difficult for people to pull off, but Dwayna gave me one simple bit of advice.

“Think of it like you’re in a dream, where you can just imagine it and it’ll happen. That’s all it’ll take,” she explained, and, as I held my broom tightly and attempted to put this advice into execution… I felt myself leaving the ground, just like that. Hovering in the air, still holding onto the broomstick for dear life, I slowly started to realize what was going on, and the funniest thing? Suddenly I wasn’t the least bit nervous about it. The next few minutes I was soaring through this magical void-realm, shouting with joy like I was on the greatest theme park ride ever invented, but it was better than that hypothetical ride because I was flying! Might as well have regressed fully back into childhood while I was up there, every confounding question, every logical befuddlement I had, all of it just didn’t matter anymore at the time. I’d save all that for when I was back on the ground… and even when that eventually happened, all of it just felt so petty to think about.

“How was it?” Dwayna asked me.

“Goddamn cosmic,” I said, still pretty giddy.

“Great! Now that that’s squared away you can get to work!” She said, pushing me back into the base until we stopped at a room that appeared to be at least 2/3 charred. “That fire magic can get pretty iffy. See if you can wash all this up for starters okay?”

For starters… Well, still wasn’t the worst thing I’ve had to clean in a house.

“Oh, by the way, check your pockets, should have plenty of cleaning supplies,” Dwayna made sure to add before seeing herself out. Pockets? On a dress? Lo and behold, it did indeed have pockets, with some cleaning supplies, and some really top-grade stuff too as I soon found out after setting to work. I gotta say, pockets on a dress should just be the norm, like, even with all this crazy magic stuff that I’d gone through, that was still pretty prevalent on my mind after that moment.

Somehow, I managed to get all the assorted messes cleaned up in a short span of time (like I said, top-grade cleaning stuff), and I was given a crash-course on the particular teleportation magic that gets people to this void-place from anywhere else and vice-versa. Waving my goodbyes to the bunch, I, thankfully, pulled off the spell successfully, arriving right back in my room… with the maid outfit still on, as if I needed any evidence to prove I hadn’t just had the craziest dream imaginable.

I’ve been back there a few times since then, I still hang out with the rest of the coven, mostly whenever they call me in to clean up their constant messes. I mean, it can get annoying sometimes, no question, seems like I have two full-time jobs going on now, but… considering the perks that come along with this whole maid thing, no way was I gonna give it up. Not when I can goddamn fly… and not when I’ve already made way too many insanely awesome memories with that crazy bunch of witches.

Like I said at the start, it’s hard to comprehend how life landed me in this circle of people. Seems like so many little random things just happened to come about in just the right sequence, and suddenly I’m flying around on a broom and sweeping away the destructive after-effects of a magically baked pizza that accidentally became both sentient and murderous… that’s a lovely story in its own right, and I still have to get around to talking about the rest of the coven too… Soon enough, I’ll get around to it. I think I just wanted to talk about this little turn of events, just to put it all down in words and maybe someday get myself committed if I finally decide I’ve gone completely mind-numbingly bonkers… Ah, hell, you know what? I don’t even care if I’m crazy, might as well be proud of it, it’s too much fun not to be.