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Romance Horror Fantasy

On the outside, Samantha didn't look like the type of girl who would date multiple guys at once. Let alone someone who would be juggling five relationships at the same time. Each of the five guys was in love with her. Each had a quality she had sought out. Each one possessed a little something that she needed. On this night, Samantha knew that each of her boyfriends were planning to declare their love. She had long ago decided which one she'd choose. Now all she had to do was sever ties with the other four...

Samantha's relationship with each of the guys had started just over six months ago, on the night of the summer solstice. To celebrate the longest day of the year, the city of Glengrove hosted a music and arts festival. The festival attracted people from all over the city and its surrounding towns. These towns, though they had their own mayors and city councils, were satellites of Glengrove. Together, Glengrove and the surrounding towns formed a large metropolitan area.

Each of Samantha's boyfriends lived in a different town. Samantha had done this on purpose to help make sure none of the guys found out about the others. It was traditional for teenagers to wear their school colors to the summer festival and so it had been easy for Samantha to choose guys who lived in different places. On the night of the summer solstice, Samantha had walked up to each of her boyfriends, handed them a cup, and asked them to have a drink with her. From there, each of the guys was smitten.

Christopher was the oldest of Samantha's boyfriends. He was a person with deep roots, but little growth. He had graduated high school almost a decade before but had never left his hometown of Hallsdale. Instead of people his own age, Christopher hung around with his younger brother's group of friends. Christopher was over six feet tall, with broad shoulders and an even broader belly. He wore glasses and was starting to go bald. At the festival, Christopher had stood out to Samantha, and not just because he towered over all his friends. Christopher possessed a steadfast innocence that Samantha found endearing. Christopher was not used to attention from girls. Once he got over his surprise that someone like Samantha would be interested in him, Christopher quickly fell hard for her.

Samantha's second boyfriend was named Toby. He lived in the town of Clear Spring. He was a quiet person with short blonde hair. Toby was very religious, and Samantha found his devout faith attractive. At the festival, Samantha saw Toby standing off by himself. His classmates were all drinking and beginning to get rowdy. Samantha could tell Toby wanted to be a part of the group, but didn't know how to do so without drinking. Samantha had walked up to Toby, handed him a cup that matched the ones his classmates were drinking out of, and assured him with a wink that it was non-alcoholic. Toby was grateful to Samantha for giving him a way to fit in while staying true to himself. Before the night was over, his gratitude had evolved into feelings of attraction.

Sean was Samantha's third boyfriend. He was an underachieving stoner, smart enough to do just enough to pass his classes. He had a gift for speech and was the star of the Denton High School debate team. Sean was short and stout with a rotund figure and curly brown hair. He had been the easiest for Samantha to attract. Her eagerness to get to know him at the festival meant that he didn't need to try very hard to get with her, which was basically his life's modus operandi. When Samantha had offered him a drink, Sean had chugged it down in a single gulp and then taken her into his arms. Samantha was slightly taken aback by his assertiveness, but it was his cleverness she found appealing.

Darren was the smartest of all Sam's boyfriends. He was tall and lanky with arms and legs that seemed too long for his body. Darren lived in the town of Prathersbend. He was a mathlete and was the captain of his school's chess team. Darren had been the hardest for Samantha to attract. He was too smart to take a drink offered to him by a stranger. It was this intelligence that Samantha admired and so she persisted in her efforts to woo him. Darren may have been smart, but he was also very awkward. Samantha had played on his insecurities, eventually goading him into joining her in a drink. Darren was flattered by her persistence and relented. Soon after, he and Samantha began dating.

Samantha was a junior at Glengrove High School. Although her classmates would have been surprised to learn she had four other boyfriends, it would have been nothing compared to their shock over her relationship with Chad. He was Samantha's fifth boyfriend and her classmates thought he was way too good for her. Chad was the quarterback of Glengrove High's football team and the star pitcher on the baseball team. He was tall and muscular, with a square jaw, perfectly styled red hair, and dazzling blue eyes.

Samantha was not the type of girl Chad normally dated. She was chubby with a plump face. She wore her hair in a natural bob but never styled it and she never bothered to put on makeup. She wasn't a part of any of the school's clubs and she wasn't popular. Samantha didn't have any friends, but this was a conscious choice. She had hidden talents and ambitious goals and had realized early in her life that friends would just get in the way of her aspirations.

At the festival, Chad had been surrounded by his fellow jocks and half the varsity cheerleading squad. Instead of offering Chad a drink, Samantha chose a different tactic. She sauntered through the group and walked right up to Chad and kissed him deeply. When she pulled away, she held Chad's face in her hands and stared into his eyes. Afterward, Chad had no interest in the other girls and only had eyes for Samantha. The two started dating the next day. Over the last six months, Samantha had dated Chad publicly while seeing her other four boyfriends in secret. She had been grooming each into the kind of partner she needed to accomplish her goals and tonight they would all play a part in what promised to be her greatest achievement.

It was Christmas Eve and Samantha stood in the Grand Suite of the Broadmoore Hotel. Samantha was a witch, who had spent most of her life honing her skills and learning how to draw power from otherworldly forces. Tonight, she planned to execute the most ambitious ritual she had ever attempted. Samantha's goal was to summon an entity from the realms beyond the mortal plain. Then she would bind that entity to a host and make it her familiar. Although they were unaware of their roles, each of Samantha's boyfriends would become a part of the summoning ritual.

The drinks Samantha had handed each of the guys at the summer festival had been laced with a potion that made them devoted to her. She had surprised Chad with a kiss to catch him off guard and bypass his natural mental defenses. Then she had cast a charm over him as she stared into his eyes. Over the last six months, Samantha had worked to maintain each guy’s devotion while preparing them to become the perfect sacrifices for her summoning ritual. She always wore lilac scented perfume around them, the same scent she wore when she'd charmed them all at the festival. She secretly passed notes and letters containing hidden spellwork to the guys. As the notes were read, the spells contained within were released and the guys would unconsciously carry out whatever Samantha desired.

Using the spells hidden within the letters and clandestine late-night visits, Samantha had been grooming her five boyfriends into the perfect vessels for the summoning ritual. She had compelled them to purify their bodies and to pray to the forces beyond the mortal plain. Her spellwork was so powerful that none of the guys realized they were not acting of their own volition.

Finally, after months of preparation, all five guys were ready. Samantha would have preferred to perform the ritual on the night of the winter solstice, but she needed the moon's light. Tonight, the moon would be full and the large windows in the Grand Suite would cast plenty of moonlight over the site of her ritual. Samantha had used a charm to gain access to the Grand Suite and none of the hotel's staff would remember that she had been there.

In the center of the Grand Suite, Samantha had drawn two large circles, one inside the other, separated by two feet of space between them. At each of the cardinal positions along the outer circle, she had drawn a square. These squares were connected to the outer circle by a string of interconnected runes. At the center of the inner circle stood a short pillar atop which burned a candle. Next to the suite's door, Samantha had placed a vase full of lilacs. She had also laid out a plastic tarp along the side of the room. Moonlight streamed into the suite, washing over her summoning circle, as Samantha stood at the window and waited.

Soon there came a knock on the door. Samantha opened it to find Christopher. She pulled him into the room, and he became entranced by the smell of lilacs and the very sight of Samantha. He was in so deep a trance that he was oblivious to the summoning circle in front of him. She led him to the East square, and he knelt down and produced a ring. In a dazed voice, Christopher declared his love for Samantha and asked her to marry him. Smiling down at Christopher, Samantha moved around behind him and produced a knife with a long silver blade.

Lifting Christopher's head back, Samantha slashed his throat with the knife and said, "With this sacrifice, I open the terrestrial gate. From the void to the light, new purpose awaits you." The blood gushed from Christopher's neck and streamed along the carpet, forming a line in between the two circles Samantha had drawn on the floor. The engagement ring hovered in the air above the line of runes as the blood poured out of the wound in Christopher’s neck. When all the blood had drained from Christopher's body, Samantha dragged his corpse to the side of the room and dumped it onto the plastic tarp.

Toby was the next to arrive. As Samantha led him into the suite, her spell overcame him, and he noticed neither the summoning circle nor Christopher's body. Samantha led Toby to the West square, and he pulled out a ring as he got down on one knee. He too declared his love for Samantha and asked her to marry him. Just like with Christopher, Samantha moved behind Toby. She cut his throat and said, "With this sacrifice, I open the spirit gate. Give up the cold, embrace the heat of life." Toby's blood poured from his neck a second line formed next to the one created by Christopher's blood. When all of his blood had poured out, Samantha dragged Toby's body to the tarp as his engagement ring hovered in the air in front of where he'd been kneeling.

Sean arrived next and Samantha led him to the South square. After he had produced a ring, declared his love, and proposed marriage, Samantha cut his throat and said, "With this sacrifice I open a tunnel through the darkness. May it be the beacon that calls you to a new home." Sean's blood formed a third line that crossed through both circles and his engagement ring floated above the South square.

No sooner had Samantha pulled Sean's body to the tarp, Darren arrived and knocked on the door. As with her other three boyfriends, Samantha led him into the room. Once he stood within the North square, Darren declared his love and proposed. When he finished speaking, Samantha slit his throat and said, "With this sacrifice, I open the mental gate. Lift the veil and look upon your new master." Darren's blood ran along the carpet, intertwining itself with the outer circle as his engagement ring floated in front of his body.

By the time Samantha dragged Darren's body to the tarp, Chad arrived at the Grand Suite. Samantha let him in and led him to the center of the inner circle. They stood side by side in front of the candle and Samantha began to chant. As the incantation rolled off her tongue in deep guttural tones, the four engagement rings began to glow. Beams of light shot from each ring, crossing over the circle and bouncing off one another, forming a lattice of light.

A dark sphere formed in the epicenter of the crossed light beams. The sphere expanded in size, hovering over the candle's flame. Staring directly into the sphere, Samantha placed a hand on Chad's shoulder and said, "Entities of the void. I offer this vessel to whichever of you be great enough to pass into this plain. I offer his soul in exchange for your eternal service. In exchange for life and worth, you will serve me. Declare me your master and claim your new form."

As Samantha spoke, misted shapes began to writhe and move about within the sphere. To Samantha, it was like looking down into a pond and catching glimpses of the fish swimming beneath the surface. After a few moments, a maroon colored entity pressed itself against the edge of the sphere. Slowly, the entity inched out of the sphere and crept toward Chad. The entity fluctuated between states, at times taking on the appearance of a cloud of gas and resembling a suspended liquid at others.

Samantha waited, barely able to contain her anticipation, as the entity reached Chad and began to wind itself around his body. Suddenly, the surface of the sphere rippled, and the entity ceased its advance. A new shape appeared within the sphere. This new entity was impossibly dark, even blacker than the void revealed within the sphere. The maroon entity began to tremble as it tried to retreat back into the void.

The dark shape surged forward, and long thin tendrils shot out of the sphere. Samantha watched, her mouth agape, as the maroon entity was pulled back into the sphere. The dark shape engulfed the maroon entity and its form began to shift as it moved to the edge of the sphere. Soon, the shadowed silhouette of a woman stood at the edge of the sphere in front of Samantha. The woman's hair floated around her in long strands, obscuring her face.

"Hello young witch," the woman said in a voice so beautiful that Samantha felt tears begin to form in her eyes. Samantha could sense great power emanating from the woman. The power washed over Samantha in waves, causing her to tremble in awe. "This is all quite impressive," said the shadowy woman as her gaze fell about the room. "You are obviously a very skilled practitioner. With my help you could become something even greater. Is that what you desire?"

"Yes," Samantha croaked, barely able to speak. "It is all I've ever wanted."

"Pledge yourself to me," the shadowy woman said. "Together we will change your world."

"I will do so gladly," Samantha said. Then she asked, "Tell me though, what should I call you?"

"I am known as the Queen of Shades. Now, pledge yourself to me. A few years in my service, and you will be strong enough to make this world tremble before you."

Samantha bowed low before the Queen of Shades and motioning to Chad said, "I offer this mortal's soul as a sign of my devotion to you. Great Queen of Shades, I am yours to mold and command."

A black tentacle shot forward and plunged into Chad's chest. For a moment, it looked as if there were two Chads, one standing in front of the other, as his soul was pulled from his body. Chad's soul dissolved into light that was quickly absorbed by the tentacle.

Samantha stood up as Chad's lifeless body slumped to the floor and the Queen of Shades extended her hand. Samantha took it and stepped inside the sphere, extinguishing the candle as she moved across the threshold between worlds. As the sphere shrank into nonexistence, the summoning circle dispersed into ash. The Grand Suite fell quiet as the ash floated about the room, leaving only the moonlight, the candle, the vase of lilacs, and the corpses of Samantha's five boyfriends.

December 26, 2020 03:44

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3 comments

Maya
04:37 Dec 31, 2020

This is such a creative story! I loved how at the beginning of the story as you were describing each of Samantha's boyfriends it seemed like they could have had a typical relationship, but then you added the plot twist of her being a witch. The way you then went back and explained how each of the details like the drinks and kiss were part of her spell was great. My only suggestion would be to maybe add in why Samantha wants to perform the ritual and serve the Queen of Shades. I think the reader would connect with Samantha more if they unders...

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Michael Boquet
04:57 Dec 31, 2020

Thanks for reading. That's a good point, Idefinitely could have included more motivation for Samantha. Thanks for the feedback.

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Maya
05:06 Dec 31, 2020

No problem! :)

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