~ CHAPTER 4 ~
by Van © 1998
DISCLAIMER: All characters from the motion picture Practical Magic and the television series Charmed are the property of Warner Bros. , which has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with this fictional parody. This story is set in the First Season of Charmed.
The cat eased up to the kitchen door. Disgraceful! she sniffed, even for humans. Inside, the Halliwell/Owens coven was laughing, dancing about (in their hooting, human, monkey-like way), and devouring every scrap of food in the house... except the dry cat food, of course... which was over in the far corner... the other side of a gauntlet of human feet, increasingly inebriated human feet. The cat was feeling... peckish, but she knew one of two things would happen if she entered the kitchen: (1) She would get trampled by one or more of the drunken witches (who would be instantly apologetic, but what good would that do?); or (2) The Phoebe-witch would pick her up and subject her to an embarrassingly maudlin public display of kitty-kitty-koochie-koo affection. The food could wait.
The Piper-witch walked over to the suddenly silent boom box, and put in a new CD, and once again, human "music" filled the kitchen. Hmm... Bare Naked Ladies; not bad, the cat conceded. Speaking of which, the cat noticed that although the rest of the combined coven (all freshly showered and still toweling damp hair) were dressed in various combinations of sweat clothes, T-shirts, and pajamas (the exception being the Gillian-witch, who was wearing a borrowed bathrobe), the Pru -witch, was still naked, her hair hanging in wet strings, and still tightly bound from the initiation/rite-of-passage ceremony (arms folded behind her back, hands and wrists completely covered in neat, woven, hemp mittens, and tight strands encircling her arms and shoulders, and crisscrossing between her awkwardly protuberant primate breasts.) Unbalanced spell residue, the cat mused. Always a problem if you can't craft invoking cantos on matching time threads. The cat sighed. From the color of the her aura, the ropes binding the Pru-witch would probably remain intact for at least another hour, and the poor semi-hairless thing was none too happy about it.
The Sally-witch added some lemon pulp and a sprinkling of herbs to the already nearly full blender, closed the cover, and turned–the–damn–thing– on (...eeyow what an ugly sound...), making more of the bitter, fermented slop the coven had been consuming like hungry kittens for most of the last hour. 'Mar-ga- ri -tas,' the cat remembered, an import from the Chihuahua infested South. Yes, they were all getting systematically smashed on the vile concoction, especially the Gillian-witch. Well, the cat sighed, what else can you expect from a troop of ill-mannered, fruit-eating simians?
The cat pattered back down the hall and into the sitting room, as far from the kitchen as she could get without climbing stairs. Lemon juice! the cat shuddered as she curled into a ball at her regular station on the window seat. Why would even a half-drunken monkey want to drink lemon juice?
Pru tugged on her bonds for what had to be the millionth time. They were still tight and secure and she was still completely, inescapably, frustratingly helpless, and her sisters, new and old (especially Phoebe), were enjoying her predicament entirely too much. "The least you could do is get me a robe or something," she complained.
"I'm afraid it might interfere with your rope spell wearing off," Phoebe said with exaggerated sympathy, "isn't that true, Sally?"
Sally grinned and looked up from the kitchen's center island, where she was starting preparations for the third round of margaritas. "Well, not actually—" she began.
"—and we wouldn't want that to happen," Phoebe interrupted, ignoring Sally's answer, "...now would we?"
"It isn't fair!" Pru sighed.
"'Fair is foul, and foul is fair...'" Gillian quoted, then downed the rest of her margarita and carefully poured herself a refill.
"'Brush... up on your Shakespeare...'" Sally started singing.
Piper joined her; "'Start... quoting him now!'" They both collapsed in a fit of drunken giggles.
Pru squirmed in the varnished, wooden, straight-back chair to which she had been relegated by the rest of the not naked, not bound, celebrating coven. "Well get me a towel to sit on or something . How would you like to sit here on your bare bottom?" she complained to Phoebe.
"No thank you!" Phoebe said brightly, and brought a cold, salt rimmed glass of Sally's handiwork to Pru's pouting lips. "Drinkie, drinkie, little Prudence," she teased.
Pru swallowed her hurt pride, and a generous gulp of the cold, delicious drink. "Thanks," she said quietly, conceding that the situation was pretty funny, and she'd probably be just as big a pain in the ass as her little sister if their circumstances were reversed.
Just then Phoebe accidentally (maybe, probably) sloshed some of the cold, slushy mixture onto Pru's left breast. "Oh, what a messy little girl you are!" she scolded, as Pru yelped and squirmed in earnest.
"You did that on purpose!" Pru squealed, as the sticky liquid dripped down onto her lap.
"Oh, I did not!" Phoebe protested.
"You did to!" Pru accused.
The argument continued as Piper, with a theatrical, long-suffering sigh directed towards the giggling Owens sisters, walked over with a damp dish cloth and began cleaning her bound, helpless, "messy," big sister.
Just then, the doorbell chimed.
"Pizza!" Phoebe cried, and rushed towards the front door.
"My purse is on the sideboard," Piper called after her.
Phoebe grabbed some money from Piper's purse and opened the front door to find a delivery boy (about nineteen, blonde, and verrry cute, Phoebe noted) and a stack of three large, hot, slightly greasy, pizza boxes. (The contents smelled delicious!) The delivery boy's smile faded as she handed him the money.
"Oh, sorry!" Phoebe gushed, realizing she was leaving him almost no tip. "Hang on!" She put the pizzas on the sideboard, fumbled for more cash, then rushed back to the door, and—the pizza boy was already half-way down the front steps, whistling, headed for his car—and Andy Trudeau was standing in the open doorway, towering over the diminutive, openmouthed Phoebe.
"I gave him a ten," Andy said with a smile. "Is Pru here?"
Piper had been watching from the kitchen door. "Oh-Jeez-it's- Andy!" Piper squealed, turning back into the kitchen.
"Andy?" Pru exclaimed, bouncing out of her chair. "I... I can't... Get him out of here!"
"How can I...? What should I...?" Piper was as flustered as Pru.
Gillian slammed back the rest of her drink. "No problema compadres! " she announced. "Situation handled!" and sauntered past Piper and into the hallway before anyone could stop her.
"Get back here!" Sally called after her sister in a desperate whisper.
Piper, Sally, and Pru exchanged horrified stares—then suddenly Pru's eyes grew very wide, and she opened her mouth to scream!
Out in the hallway, Phoebe was equally flustered. "Pru? You can't see Pru... I mean she's not here... I mean she's here but she's tied up... I mean she's busy... I mean... I'll be right back! " She turned from the amused Andy (he was used to his encounters with the Halliwell sisters being a bit like a Marx Brothers routine) and headed for the kitchen. She made it about three paces down the hall, spun on her heel and rushed back. "Wait here!" she ordered.
"Okay," Andy grinned.
Phoebe spun around again and retraced her steps, and... was greeted by an incredible sight: Pru was walking towards them—but it wasn't a bound, helpless, naked Pru with wet, straggly hair—this Pru was completely unbound, and wearing the robe that Gillian had just been wearing, and her hair was shining and perfect, and her makeup was perfect, and her skin was glowing she looked so good, and... Phoebe stared, dumbfounded, as this perfect Pru glided past (giving her a perfect wink as she passed), took the equally dumbfounded Andy by the arm, ushered him into the sitting room, and slid the pocket doors closed.
Phoebe stared at the closed doors for a few seconds. "Her... aura was wrong," Phoebe mumbled to herself, then rushed back down the hallway. As she entered the kitchen, she was greeted by another incredible sight: Pru (this one bound, naked, and bedraggled) writhing on the kitchen floor, her eyes wide and angry as she howled through a margarita soiled dish cloth that was stuffed in her mouth. Piper was sitting astride Pru's bucking back, trying (with some difficulty) to hold the gag in her furious sister's mouth with one hand while helping Sally bind Pru's crossed ankles with the other.
Phoebe pointed back down the hallway. "Who...? What was...? That was Gillian, wasn't it?"
"What was your first clue, Sherlock?" Piper muttered sarcastically, "now help us tie her up!"
Phoebe rummaged through the cabinets and produced more wash cloths and a coil of cotton clothesline. "What the hell is going on?" she demanded as they hauled the struggling, totally berserk Pru back into the creaking chair and began binding her in place.
"It feels like more spell residue," Sally explained, as she knotted a folded drying towel across Pru's lips. "This time, it's some kind of snapback. Gillian let her protection down during Pru's, uh... preparation, and it must have somehow formed a feedback channel between a couple of planes in the process, and they're cycling on each other. This Andy guy showing up just brought it to the surface."
Phoebe knotted a towel around Pru's thrashing ankles and one of the chair legs, then looked up, confused. "Huh?"
"Never mind," Sally mumbled as she helped Piper tighten loops of clothesline around the mewing, struggling Pru and the chair, "just help me pick up the pieces by keeping an eye on Pru. Piper, come with me. The goddess only knows what's going on in that sitting room."
The cat looked up as the Andy-human was pulled into the sitting room by the disguised Gillian-witch. Oh Bast, she thought with a disdainful shudder. Will I never be allowed to complete a nap in this madhouse?
"I'm really sorry, if the neighbors were complaining about the party, Officer," Pru (Gillian) cooed.
"There's no complaint," Andy said, "none that I know about anyway. I just wanted to see you, and... Are you drunk?"
"Drunk and disorderly," Pru (G) giggled. "Are you going to arrest me?" She backed the flustered Inspector against the wall and began running her hands over his chest. "Oooo nice shirt!" she complimented.
"Uh, thank you," Andy mumbled, "uh, Pru I didn't come over here to"—(Pru (G) was running her right hand over the front of his trousers !)—"Hey!"
"...and I like the cut of this suit," Pru (G) continued, leaning close.
Pru's (G's) left hand were under Andy's coat and reaching behind his back. "Stop that!" he ordered, pushing her away.
"Whuuuu! Got'em!" Pru (G) crowed, dancing into the center of the room, swinging Andy's handcuffs in the air triumphantly.
"Pru!" Andy sighed, warning in his voice.
"We're going to need them if you're going to arrest me," Pru (G) teased. She struck a vampish pose and gave him her most provocative smile. "But first, you'll have to frisk me for concealed weapons," she purred, opened her robe (her only garment), and let it drop to the floor. "This will make it easier." Andy stared, openmouthed. Pru (G) clicked a cuff closed on her left wrist and reached behind her back. "What you think, Officer?" she asked, "Should we do it behind or in front?"
"Huh?" Andy asked profoundly. ("God she's beautiful," he thought.)
"I said behind...," Pru (G) did a slow turn so Andy could see her white, dimpled rear and the cuff poised to close on her right wrist. Pru (G) smiled sweetly and continued the turn, bringing her wrists together in front, near her pouting breasts (the cold steel just touching her erect nipples.) "...or in front? Which position would be S–F–P–D policy, Officer?"
"Behind," Andy answered, "but..."
"Then I'll do it in front," Pru (G) purred, "'cause I'm a naughty girl, with no respect for authority." Pru (G) slowly closed the cuff around her right wrist, ratchet by clicking ratchet. "Oooo, nice and snug," she whispered, and walked towards the flustered cop.
"Pru, stop it!" Andy ordered, as she began fumbling with his belt. Just then, the pocket doors to the hallway flew open. Piper and a woman Andy had never seen before were standing in the doorway. "I didn't... It's not..."
The brunette sighed and turned to Piper. "Time to put a stop to this," she said.
"Huh?" Piper asked. "How can I...?"
"Piper!" the woman scolded. "TIME... to STOP... this?"
"Oh," said Piper sheepishly, raising her hands.
Andy was confused and flustered (and more than a little turned on), but it was time to get things back under control. "I don't know what the hell is going on here—"
"—but..." He was sitting in his car in front of the Halliwell house, his shoulder belt on, the car running, set in park. I must... I was dreaming, he thought.
"Yes... dreaming," a voice seemed to say.
He looked around. The street was empty. "I need a vacation," he sighed, put the car in drive and released the parking brake. He craned his neck and looked up at the house, it was...
"Dark and quiet."
...dark and quiet, perfectly safe, nothing happening. He shook his head as he drove away into the night. "Never again!" he promised (knowing in the back of his mind that he was lying to himself.)
In the kitchen, Pru continued to howl into her gag and struggle like a madwoman, while Phoebe scrambled about, tightening and adjusting her sister's makeshift bonds as best she could. If this keeps up, she's gonna break that chair, Phoebe thought, ...and I like that chair.
Finally (after what to the laboring Phoebe seemed like a brief eternity), Sally returned hauling Gillian (the very naked and handcuffed Gillian, Phoebe noted) by the right ear.
"Ow, ow, ow, ow..." Gillian chanted as she was dragged along.
Sally released her sister. "Stay!" she ordered. Gillian pouted, then with a giggle, went to the counter and poured herself another margarita.
"Oh goddess," Sally swore in angry frustration, then went over to help Phoebe control Pru.
Piper bounced in from the hallway. "He's gone," she announced, "on his way home. What'll happen when that suggestion spell wears off?"
"He'll remember everything," Sally said, "but he'll probably convince himself he was asleep and it was a dream. It's the easiest way for him to deal with it."
"Even if he's already suspicious something weird's going on here?" Piper asked.
"And what about them?" Phoebe added, nodding towards Gillian's, Andy's, handcuffs.
"Uh... that does complicate things a little," Sally admitted. "We'll have to play it by ear." Pru's struggles to escape redoubled (her struggles to escape and inflict serious bodily harm on the inebriated Gillian), and Piper rushed over to help. "You're in big trouble, Gilly-bean!" Sally shouted in the redhead's direction. "What have you got to say for yourself? ...Well?"
Sally and the Halliwells (except Pru, who was continuing her angry werewolf imitation) looked towards Gillian... and found her gracefully reclined on the kitchen table and fast asleep, curled in a relaxed fetal pose, her cuffed hands cradling her chin, knees nearly touching her breasts, an angelic, childlike smile on her face.
"Oh, isn't that sweet," Phoebe sighed. "Can I kill her?"
"Get in line!" Sally hissed.
Just then, Pru convulsed and went limp. Her hemp bonds (what could be seen of them under the hodgepodge of towels and clothesline binding her to the chair) melted into loose coils. She looked up at Sally and her sisters. Reason had returned to her clear, blue eyes. "M'mmpfh?"
"What?" Piper asked.
"Uh, I think she want's to say something," Phoebe said.
"No duh!" Piper responded, "I'm not an idiot."
"Yeah," Phoebe snorted, "well I'm not the one who stood there and let Sleeping Beauty over there walk right past me and into the hall."
"M'Mmmf?" Pru queried, squirming in her remaining bonds.
"What was I supposed to do?" Piper demanded, "tackle her in the doorway? That really would have fixed things, wouldn't it? Andy never would have suspected anything funny was going on then."
Pru struggled in her chair, one hand groping through the mass of hemp, cloth and clothesline, almost reaching her gag.
"Well you should have done something!" Phoebe said. "I was out there handling Andy all by myself."
Piper giggled and put a hand over her mouth, hiding a smile. "Actually, it was Gillian who was handling Andy," she said with a snicker.
Phoebe gasped. "Was that what happened? Oh-my- God!"
Piper and Phoebe collapsed in giggling fits, as Pru finally managed to pull down her gag and spit the cloth in her mouth onto the floor. "Would you two comedians please get me out of this damn chair ?" she demanded.
Apologetic, Piper and Phoebe quickly untied their sister. Soon the Halliwells joined Sally, who was standing by the table, watching Gillian's peaceful, innocent slumber.
"She's really not as bad as she seems," Sally sighed. "It was the spell snapback, and the margaritas, and..."
Pru walked around the table and kissed Sally's cheek. "We know she's not bad," she said.
"...maybe twisted and evil," Phoebe ventured.
"A demon from the deepest pit of hell sent to torment the living?" Piper suggested.
Sally chuckled. "She's always been wild," she said, "always a handful for the Aunts, the Aunts who raised us," she explained, "...and for me... but I love her."
Pru kissed Sally again. "We love her too," she said. "That doesn't mean we don't want to kill her."
"Maybe just maim her a little?" Piper mused.
The coven laughed— pop — then was suddenly silent when Gwynona materialized in the middle of the group, gracefully bowed in a hovering spin, and landed on Phoebe's shoulder. The tiny fey tugged on Phoebe's earlobe and began whispering in her human friend's giant ear.
"Please tell me you see her too!" Pru whispered, her eyes wide with wonder.
Piper squeezed her sister's arm. "I haven't been introduced either," she whispered, "but her name is 'Gwynona,' and apparently she's Phoebe's... ah... friend."
As the tiny fey chattered, Phoebe's expression changed from attentiveness... to amusement... to delight! "Sally," she said with a smug smile, "do you think Gillian might profit from a little lesson in... restraint?"
Gwynona leaped into the air and hovered near the sleeping Gillian's face. She blew the redhead a gentle kiss..." Lick-lick-lick! — Pooooooooor Gilly-bean!"...giggled, and popped from sight.
Pru and Piper exchanged amazed looks. "Oh wow !... I hope she comes back!" Pru whispered. The sisters sighed, and turned to find Phoebe whispering in Sally's ear.
Sally listened intently, gazing down at her naked, handcuffed, slumbering, wayward sister. Phoebe finished and took a step back. Sally thought for a few seconds, then looked up at the Halliwells, a wicked grin on her face. "Do you have any 100 percent nylon rope?" she inquired.
Gillian slept through breakfast. She slept through most of the cleanup. She did not sleep through Phoebe ringing a small, brass, dinner bell about an inch from her right ear.
"Oh... please...," she groaned, and tried to roll over onto her left side—and immediately discovered that such an action would be quite impossible. She was lying on her back on the Halliwell's kitchen table, nude, her hands still cuffed together and raised above her head. (She couldn't see the cuffs, but she could feel the hard steel around her wrists and heard a dull clink when she tried to move.) Her legs were splayed apart, and when she lifted her aching (hungover) head and craned her neck to look, found her ankles, knees, and upper arms looped and bound in tight, wide bands of thick, braided, white, nylon rope; rope that was apparently also looped through the chain joining her handcuffs, and securely knotted somewhere around and between the table legs or other convenient lashing points below and out of sight (an impression she confirmed with a little halfhearted struggling.)
Phoebe and Piper were bustling around the kitchen, completing various domestic tasks, and (now that she had been awakened) ignoring the bound redhead.
"Okay, okay, verrry funny," Gillian moaned (... goddess her head hurt...) "You can let me go now."
Piper carefully folded a dish towel in half and draped it over a towel rod, then went to the kitchen door and shouted towards the upper floors. "Pru... Sally... The treacherous, evil, orange-haired BITCH is awake!"
"We'll be right down," Pru answered from above.
"Hardy har har," Gillian groused. "I'm too hungover for this crap. Now please get over here and untie me, or I'll..."
"Oh!" Phoebe gasped. "The nasty orange-haired bitch..."
"That's 'treacherous, evil, orange-haired bitch,'" Piper corrected.
"Whatever... The bitch is making threats! " Phoebe accused, gravely. "We can't allow that!"
Gillian watched anxiously as Phoebe ripped open the wrapper on a new, large, kitchen sponge (in a hideous shade of mint green not found in Nature) and wet it under the sink faucet. Meanwhile, Piper was tearing several strips from a roll of silver duct tape, and tacking them by the tip of one corner, one-by-one, to the edge of the table.
Gillian pulled on her bonds. "Hey, come on guys." she begged. "A joke's, a joke, but my head hurts, ..." (Phoebe wrung out the sponge and stepped to the table.) "...and I have to pee, and— M'murff !"
Piper held Gillian's head while her sister forced the damp sponge past the struggling redhead's lips and stuffed it into her protesting mouth. Then Phoebe grabbed Gillian's hair with one hand (a convenient handle, which also kept it up and out of the way), and cupped the other hand first over Gillian's lips, then under her chin, while Piper carefully stretched strip after taut strip of tape over Gillian's lips and bulging cheeks. Soon Gillian's face was plastered, nose-to-chin and ear-to-ear, with a tight, sticky, silver covering. Finally, both pairs of Halliwell hands pressed and smoothed the tape, making sure it adhered to the mewing redhead's lips and face.
"Sally told us how to make sure you'd be completely helpless," Phoebe explained to the exasperated Gillian. "Everyone knows 'cold iron' will hold a witch, 'cause she can't magick her way out of it..." (Phoebe reached up and traced the outline of Gillian's cuffed wrists.) "...and you were nice enough to clap yourself in 'cold iron.'"
"Coldly ironic, isn't it?" Piper asked.
"Oh please," Phoebe groaned. "Anyway, what we didn't know was that nylon rope falls into the same category, 'cause it's dead or something. I didn't quite catch it."
"'Cause it's completely synthetic and has almost no ectoplasmic resonance," Piper explained smugly.
"Thank you, Professor," Phoebe said sarcastically. Gillian's eyes darted from captor to captor, then settled on Phoebe as she continued. "Anyhoo, Sally explained that if we tied you with it, and made sure all the knots were out of sight and out of reach, you'd be completely ... helpless ."
Piper reached out and traced the outline of Gillian's right nipple with the nail of one index finger. "You are... helpless... aren't you Gilly-bean?"
Just then, Sally and Pru breezed into the kitchen. Pru was dressed for business, as was Sally, who was wearing her one and only "Power Suit."
Sally turned to the kitchen table. "Oh my no!" she gasped. "What have you done?"
"What? What's wrong?" Phoebe asked. Gillian mewed through her gag and twisted in her bonds.
Sally picked up the roll of duct tape and tossed it to Phoebe. "Don't you Halliwells know how to gag an evil bitch?" she demanded, shaking her head.
That's 'treacherous, evil, orange-haired bitch," Piper corrected. Phoebe and Sally both gave her several seconds of warning stare. "Okay, okay, sorry." she mumbled.
"Anyway... you don't just plaster the tape over her lips," Sally continued, "you wrap it around her entire head, at least three full turns, so the tape glues to itself." She leaned close to her sister's face and smiled sweetly. "Then the 'treacherous, evil, orange-haired bitch'..." (Piper smiled brightly.) "...can't loosen the tape with her tongue or by moving her lips."
Gillian glared at her sister and mumbled several well-gagged, very rude comments, then complained loudly (as loudly as she could) when Phoebe ripped a length of tape free from the roll, and with Piper's help followed Sally's advice. "Uh, Sally," Phoebe said quietly as the final circuit of tape was wound around Gillian's head, the tape torn from the roll, and the free end smoothed flat, "she mentioned something about a hangover... and having to pee."
Sally leaned down, put her right palm on her sister's forehead, and whispered a quick chant. Gillian's eyes rolled up into her head and she sighed in apparent bliss. "There. No hangover," Sally said. "Just because you're torturing someone, that's no reason to be cruel. Now," she continued, "this next part could get messy if I don't concentrate, so..." Sally closed her eyes and chanted for several seconds, then reached out and put both hands on Gillian's lower abdomen, her fingers just touching her sister's auburn pubic bush. This time, Gillian writhed under the touch, giggling through her nose and gag. "That one does tickle a little," Sally conceded. "Uh, someone needs to go to the first floor powder room and flush the..."
"I'm on it!" Pru announced and left the kitchen.
"Now, while you two are... playing with Gillian," Sally told the remaining Halliwells (while her sister mewed and struggled), "Pru's going to take me to meet a business contact who might want to carry my line of botanicals." She reached over and put her hand on Phoebe's shoulder. "I might also be looking for someone to set up a West Coast shop for me," (Phoebe smiled brightly and Piper squeezed her sister's arm), "but we can talk about that later. Let's see how your preparations are going." She led Phoebe and Piper over to the counter, where the Halliwell Book of Shadows/Ouroboros, a large tupperware bowl, and various ingredients were arranged. Gillian lifted her head and craned her neck anxiously, trying to follow what was happening.
"I see you've recopied the spells," Sally said, gesturing at a pad and pencil next to the book. "Always a good idea. It helps you concentrate. Now..." She thumbed through the book, looking for another spell. "Ah, here, " Sally said, pointing at a new page. Phoebe and Piper leaned over to read the indicated line. "Whatever you do, don't insert this canto..."
"Tormente erotikos tittilare...," Phoebe read aloud.
"...here," Sally continued, pointing to the pad, "in the recipe spell...," she turned and smiled at Gillian, "...because that would be very cruel." Gillian glared at her sister and mumbled more rude remarks, while Piper carefully copied the indicated words. "Also...," Sally held up a small glass vial.
Phoebe squinted at the label. "Cnidoscolus stimulosus —one dram," she read.
"The Old World species Urtica dioica might work even better, but I don't have any," Sally explained. "Anyway, never mix a dram of dried, powdered Cnidoscolus in with the catnip."
"Because that would be very cruel?" Piper asked innocently.
"Exactly!" Sally said. Gillian muttered a final gagged threat, then, with a final exasperated tug on her cuffed wrists, relaxed in her bonds, apparently resigned to her fate (whatever it might be.)
Pru returned. "We better get going," she announced.
Sally walked over to the table, leaned down, and kissed her sister's forehead. "I told you you were having too much fun being a villainess," she whispered. Gillian glared up at her gloating sister (...but there was just a hint of smile in her green eyes.)
After a round of farewells (...Gillian hadn't liked the gleam in Pru's eyes at all when the oldest Halliwell leaned down and kissed her forehead...) Sally and Pru left and the remaining Halliwells began preparing... whatever it was they were preparing. Gillian managed to get a look at the rest of the ingredients as Phoebe and Piper bustled about.Cnidoscolus, Gillian mused. I really should study the details of The Craft more, like Sally keeps telling me. Cnidoscolus... Cnidoscolus... Oh my goddess! Stinging nettle!"
- Heavy whipping cream—two pints;
- Fresh Catnip [It looked like something in the mint family, and Sally had mentioned catnip.]—one large bunch;
- Raw Honey—one small jar (with a piece of wax comb visible through the glass.)
- The glass vial, which Sally had said contained... Cnidoscolus powder?
Phoebe and Piper paused in their preparations to watch Gillian struggle and mew with renewed vigor. "Jeez! You'd think she'd never been tortured before or something," Phoebe remarked.
"It is surprising," Piper responded, "after all, she is a treacherous, evil, orange-haired..."
Phoebe gave her sister a significant look, picked up the duct tape and ripped a short length free from the roll. "This is your final warning!" she announced with a sardonic grin.
Piper made a coy little "X" gesture over her pouting lips and turned back to the counter. After reserving a few sprigs of catnip ("for garnish," she explained) Piper chopped the rest into a pile of fine, green flakes, which she transferred to the bowl. Next the two Halliwell sisters mixed in the remaining ingredients and (after consulting the pad one last time) recited a brief chant. Then Piper, her culinary skills coming to the fore, used a wire whisk to beat the contents of the bowl into a frothy, white (with a sprinkling of green) mass.
Gillian whined through her gag as Piper and Phoebe, broad grins on their faces, carried the bowl to the table. Each of the Halliwells dipped a basting brush into the bowl, and began applying the contents to portions of Gillian's skin, as if she were a bound, struggling, redheaded cake in need of frosting. Her breasts (which were somewhat stretched and flattened by the captive's hands-over-head posture) each received a careful, complete coating, as did her armpits, stomach, ribs, inner thighs, the soles of her feet, and her toes.
Gillian was relieved to find that although the white gloop was cool and clammy on her skin, the dreaded nettle powder seemed to be having no effect. The stuff seemed to almost dry on contact into a thick, fluffy paste. She flexed her body a little, and the coating moved with her, remaining in place. She looked up to find Piper loading a frosting bladder from the bowl.
"Presentation is very important," Piper explained with a smug smile. "Here, help me," she instructed her sister. "Place those little sprigs of catnip along that ivy tattoo above her breast while I tack them in place."
"I love that tattoo..." Phoebe cooed.
"...and if you get one, Pru will kill you," Piper remarked.
Phoebe pouted in silence, until the task of first covering then recreating Gillian's tattoo in green catnip was complete. "I still like the tattoo," she groused.
"Now," Piper continued, "I'll need three... no four pitted cherries, patted dry." Phoebe prepared the cherries as Piper used the bladder to dab decorative rosettes around the base of Gillian's frosted breasts, along the margins of her sex, and at other decorative locations on the squirming captive. Phoebe presented the cherries, then watched in fascination as Piper deftly slit a cherry with the tip of a paring knife, tucked a sprig of catnip into the slit like a tiny leafy stem, and closed the cherry over Gillian's left nipple, where it gripped like a glossy little red clamshell. Gillian's right nipple received similar treatment, and a third cherry, with its stem of green catnip, was tucked into the redhead's frosted navel. Piper prepared the fourth cherry, then parted Gillian's labia... (The captive yelped into her gag at the intimate touch.) ...and clamped it over the redhead's clitoris. Gillian yelped again when Piper used the bladder to squirt the last of the "frosting" between her labia and around the cherry.
Gillian squirmed in her bonds, but the indignant little cherry decorations failed to dislodge. This is certainly squishy and, uncomfortable, she thought, but it's hardly what you'd call torture. Now if I'd been... oops . Something was happening. Gillian felt something... a... crawling sensation over her body... over the parts covered by the Halliwell's white goop. The sensation settled down to an itch... a slight itch... a pesky itch... an itch she couldn't scratch. "M'mmrmh!" (You bastards!) she muttered through her gag (with grudging respect.) Gillian also noted a growing sensitivity in her nipples and loins... and her toes... and... She shuddered in her bonds, and glared at Phoebe and Piper's gloating expressions.
"Come on," Piper said to her sister. "Time to invite our guests."
"M'wff?" Gillian inquired.
Piper and Phoebe ignored their captive as they straightened and cleaned the counter. Gillian watched as Piper spread a silk scarf on the counter, surrounded it with several small candles, then placed a stoneware saucer on the scarf. A dab of "frosting" and a tiny sprig of catnip were placed on the saucer, and Phoebe snapped the lid on the still half full tupperware bowl and put it in the frig. The candles were lit, and the Halliwells joined hands and recited a different, more elaborate chant. Gillian strained to hear, but the sisters' voices were too soft for her to make out the words... but she could tell from the tempo and pattern that it was a Summoning of some kind.
The chant reached its conclusion, and Piper snuffed out the candles, and cleared away the altar.
Phoebe stepped to the table, took one long, gloating look at the squirming, fidgeting Gillian, then leaned down and kissed the redhead on her gagged lips. "Gwynona explained that they might be shy..."
Gillian forced another questioning sound past her gag. Who were 'they?' she worried.
"...so Piper and I will be leaving now," Phoebe continued. "If you need us, just struggle and moan, okay?"
"You're terrible," Piper scolded her sister, then leaned down and gave the struggling captive a kiss of her own. "G'bye, Gilly-bean. Have fun!"
The Halliwells left, closing the kitchen door behind them. Gillian heard their feet on the stairs and their fading, giggling voices. What the hell were they talking about? she wondered. Who... or what... did they summon?
Gillian's unspoken question was answered when she found a fey, a fey like none she had ever seen before (not that Gillian had ever seen that many of the Fair Folk to begin with) hovering above her head. It was tiny (about six inches), covered with fur, had butterfly wings, and looked half human and half cat! pop-pop-pop-pop... Suddenly, others of her kind (human-like breasts suggested it was female) winked into existence, in the air, on the counter, dozens of them, all about the kitchen. They were gray, and tawny brown, and white, and coal black, and tiger-striped, and calico, and spotted, and every other variation of feline coloring Gillian had ever seen (and some she hadn't.) The first "cat fairy," the one that had first appeared, gracefully landed on Gillian's upper abdomen, and took a few mincing bipedal steps towards the shuddering redhead's breasts. (The little fey had tiny claws Gillian was discovering. They didn't hurt, but they tickled like crazy.) The fey smiled at Gillian, licked its tiny, delicate chops, leaned down, and lapped at the "frosting" at the base of the giant captive's right breast.
Gillian shuddered again. The little thing's tongue was like wet sandpaper. It tickled. It really tickled , and between the tingling icing and the little fey's tongue, she could tell she was starting to loose it, and if this kept up — " M'MMF!" A second fey was licking her toes! Gillian struggled in her bonds — then went very still, when her movement caused the fey licking her breast to steady herself... with her claws. Oh goddess! Gillian moaned, as an entire cloud of the tiny feline feys descended on her bound body, joining the feast.
Gwynona was reclined on her stomach atop one of the kitchen cabinets, her chin resting on her tiny hands, a happy smile on her face, enjoying the party. She didn't particularly enjoy this variation of the cream and honey recipe Piper and her beloved Phoebe had cooked up for the occassion. The nettle powder did add a certain spicy kick, but she just didn't care for the taste of catnip.
However, she was enjoying the spectacle below. Bound, gagged, helpless Gilly-bean Owens was virtually buried under a pile of tiny furry bodies, fluttering wings, rasping tongues, and tickling claws. Gwynona's fey-feline cousins were having a field day... and the unhappy human was the field! Fidgeting, tugging on her bonds, giggling continuously behind her tight tape gag, the poor, captive witch didn't know what to do. Keeping still was impossible. Struggling only encouraged her "dinner guests" to use their tiny claws. Further, although the little feys seemed to be getting tipsy on the added catnip, they were taking their sweet time consuming the "frosting." Gwynona knew (and thought Gillian could probably tell from the expressions on the cat fairies' faces) that her "guests" were enjoying their "host's" predicament and reactions almost as much (if not more) than the offered food. Cat-and-mouse is also a favorite game of fey -felines... even when the "mouse" is a bound and helpless human who does not enjoy being tickled, licked, and tormented.
Gillian writhed and mewed through her gag. The little fey revelers had been busy for nearly an hour, and the "frosting" was still only half consumed. Gwynona sighed, savoring the desperate witch's plight."Humans Humans Humans!—Soooo much fun!"
It was early afternoon when Pru carefully, quietly eased open the door and walked into the kitchen and beheld a wonderous and piteous sight. Gillian was bound and gagged exactly as Pru had last seen her, but she was exhausted , and covered from head to toe with a glistening, slimy film. She looked up as Pru entered, her eyes begging for release.
And the wondrous part? —Pru could barely control her excitement. The kitchen was filled with tiny, furry, feline fairies, some slumbering peacefully, some watching Pru with grave, careful eyes, a few licking their tiny hand-like paws or each other's faces, and they were soooo cute! Pru had been coached on exactly how to behave. She bowed, slowly and respectfully to the feys, lowered her eyes, and whispered "Blessings be, honored guests." She knew she was in no danger from the... precious... little things, but one wrong move and they'd be gone in a flash. She smiled when the general mood of studied, feline disdain seemed to subtly change to studied, feline indifference.
Gillian mewed softly and lightly pulled on her bonds — then went very still . Pru almost laughed out loud when she saw that the redhead's movements had caused one of the cat fairies (which until then had been gracefully curled up and apparently sleeping on Gillian's upper abdomen) to stretch and stir. Pru winced (as did Gillian ) when the tiny thing began rhythmically kneading the base of the shuddering redhead's left breast with it's tiny, hand-like paws. Pru could see the fey's tiny, extended claws dimple Gillian's flesh as it purred and pushed. Pru grinned and Gillian rolled her eyes in despair.
Pru stepped to the refrigerator, opened the door, and brought out the sealed, tupperware bowl of "frosting." She removed the cover, began stirring the contents with a basting brush, and stepped to the table. Gillian noticed that all of the cat fairies had instantly perked to life when the lid came off, and the few that had been reclining on the table (and Gillian) took to the air at Pru's approach. Gillian's blood ran cold when she saw Pru's smile.
"Are you sorry you were such a bitch to me and my sisters during the preparations for yesterday's ceremony?" Pru asked. Gillian nodded to the affirmative. "Are you really, really sorry?" Pru asked. Gillian nodded enthusiastically, her eyes watching the slowly stirring brush with dreadful fascination. Pru seemed to consider Gillian's response for several seconds. "Okay," she announced, finally. "We forgive you." Gillian sagged in her bonds, sighing with exhausted relief. "I think you've suffered enough for the joy you took in tormenting us," Pru continued. "You promise to be a better little witch from now on?" Gillian nodded yes. "Gooood," Pru cooed. She began to turn away, then paused and turned back. "Oh that's right," she said. "There's also the matter of you messing around with Andy." Pru reached out with the goop coated brush and dabbed the base of Gillian's right breast.
Gillian mewed into her gag and thrashed on the table. The stuff was cold... cold... VERY cold... and it itched like CRAZY! The captive continued to struggle as Pru applied a second coat of "frosting" (less artistic than Piper's handiwork, but just as thorough) to Gillian's breasts, ribs, armpits, tummy, thighs, sex, feet and toes, and it was COLD ! "Don't ever, ever mess with Andy again," she told the desperate, writhing redhead, "okay?" Gillian nodded yes, yes, yes ! "Okay," Pru agreed quietly, and set the bowl and brush on the counter (slowly, carefully, so as not to startle her fey guests.)
Gillian continued to wiggle and mew on the table, but her struggles weakened as she either grew used to the itching, crawling, frigid sensation of the second coating, succumbed to her former exhaustion, or both. Pru leaned close to Gillian's face and smiled sweetly. "I'm glad we understand each other," she said. "One more thing," she added. "You're invited to join us tonight for dinner at Quake ... when you're done playing with your friends." Gillian glared up at her smug captor. (Pru was pleased to see there was still defiance in Gillian's eyes. It was one thing to torment her wayward coven-sister, but none of them wanted to break Gillian's teasing, playful, delightfully mischievous spirit.) "I assume you'll want to wear that black, spaghetti-strap sheath you brought?" Gillian nodded weakly. "Good! We've laid it out for you," she said, and softly kissed Gillian's tape-gagged lips. "Later!"
Gillian mewed in despair and squirmed in her bonds as Pru bowed respectfully to the cat feys, then slooowly backed out of the kitchen, quietly closing the door behind her. The cat fairies eyed her hungrily, licking their chops, filling the kitchen with their droning purrs, waiting for the bound, helpless redhead's body to warm their feast.
~ EPILOGUS ~
The cat pattered into her den, and jumped up on the desk. The Halliwell/Owens coven had just departed for Quake , the human restaurant which the Piper-witch had some hand in managing. (The cat never could keep straight the details of human jobs, professions, or the other obligations and relationships of their rather bizarre "culture.")
The Gillian-witch had seemed fully recovered from her ordeal, from being used as an involuntary communal platter at the feline fairy fęte... although she did seem to have scrubbed herself a tad overly pink in the long, hot shower she had indulged in after being released. (The cat shuddered. Her kitchen absolutely reeked of fey-cat magick, and would for days. Thank Bast the little monsters didn't do any marking on this plane.)
The coven had all gathered here at the desk shortly before leaving. She hadn't heard most of their chatter, but it had all had something to do with a coven needing to number in multiples of three... (Of course! What else is new? Simple humans!) ...and the Phoebe-witch had jabbered something about having had a vision of a novice witch in danger who needed their help, and who coincidently... (As if there really was such a thing as coincidence! Simple humans!) ...would bring their number to six.
The cat gazed at the open pages of the large, soft-covered book they'd been consulting before they left. It was a "Road Atlas," was open to "California," and someone (one of the witches) had lightly penciled a circle around "Sunnydale." Human political designations meant little to the cat, but she did recognize the position of the so-called "Hellmouth." "I hope they know what they're doing," the cat sighed as she settled in to guard the house in the coven's absence... in other words... ("yawn")... to take a nap.