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Item #3 - The Mandrake, The Witch and The Big Apple


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Grabbed, shunted and tumbled, much of the remaining vegetation just flopped about like the limbs of a ragdoll, but the center was wrapped into a ball, that rolled away when his rescuer had let go. She’d pulled the pod free, but even before being beaten the mass had become infected. The wiggly bits come to a stop, burning from the inky poison eating away at the pieces and by now, none of it was moving. Mostly crushed away, the corruption spreads quickly across the mass and even the ball is eaten, and then a diameter of grass surrounding it. As the ball fell in on itself as an ashy dust, the enormous Mandrake flower that Kyon had cut was revealed.

As the Mandrake’s imbued main body was dropping away, a spearing of sharp and jagged life coiled up from a mound of overturned earth and into the core of the beast. Cracking through the embers it yanked upon the core of the beast and drug out the true body of Mandragora. Briefly stopping its movement, it was thorny bush without leaves structured like a lightning bolt. It then began then to withdraw and shrink back, carrying the dormant fetish back toward its base as a fresh gathering of mycelium join from below. Reforming the majority of his body from the fungal roots, the plant shrinks down into a right hand made of green flesh.

Reaching a free hand out the ashes he pulled them in a stream of black bit stamping themselves across his threads until he was suddenly cloaked. The what remained of the bone powder he save was wiped across his squirming empty face forming a new mask, even a bit stronger than the last. Glancing to the Mandrake, and around the area, Kyon laughed to himself as he started back towards Flahme. It was less than a foot long, just a cluster of root. The smoke was black and acrid, and the fury of their combined attacks had created quite the disturbance in the area, but he had further business here tonight and did not mind handling the cleanup here.

“I thought we weren’t going to do heroics?” Obviously in jest, he was both happy that she saved the pod and aware he kind of started it. He walked toward her seeing the woman recovering well, and leaned down to scoop up the fleshy colorful plant-piece.

“Thank you, for the invitation tonight, this was fun! We should definitely do it against sometime.” His green hand, which held a vibrant blue rose flattened into its palm, was extended to the woman to help her stand, but the offer of contact between their flesh had subtext.
March 20, 2019 11:53 pm


Turning back to Kyon, she saw the ‘body’ she had saved was falling apart, a round piece of it rolled away to disintegrate in on itself. Unsure what was happening she watched in fascinated silence as Kyon recreated himself from various plant materials at an unprecedented rate, using the burnt parts of the mandrake root itself. Finally, he stood cloaked once again. With a new mask covering his face, body remade he took her breath away. She had never seen anything like the way he regenerated.

Still sitting on her heels Flahme laughed softly at his quip about heroics, she was not supposed to endanger herself for him. Then she laughed louder, mostly with relief as he came towards her. As he extended a hand to help her up, she noticed a blue rose embedded in the fleshy part of his palm. It amazed her, and she reached out a finger to trace the outline of it, then with sparkling eyes grinned at him. “It’s beautiful.”

Accepting his hand, she got up off the ground, then gave his palm a squeeze in silent thanks. She took the mandrake root from him and cradled it in her small hands. “How did the mandrake ever grow so big?”

Before further discussion could take place, a thunderclap sounded, and Buer appeared. Time stopped.

Buer looked to the mandrake root in her hands and then to her. “You have performed well, child.” He paused as if weighing up his next words. “I did not expect you would succeed.”

“Did you know what we were up against?” She could tell from his expression he did. “You could have warned me. We could have died.” She gestured to Kyon and glanced at him expecting to find him suspended due to the temporal freeze. He wasn’t. She gaped a moment, and Buer also looked surprised. Kyon had some serious juju.

She turned back to Buer realising what he had said. “You wanted me to fail? You know what happens to me right?”

“Your father and I have an uneasy alliance, removing a mark was a bit much in my opinion. So, I gave you odds, a fifty-fifty chance of beating the Mandragora by not giving you all the information you needed. But now I see why he is doing this.” He continued in a soft tone. “You have no evil in you, child, just unfortunate circumstances.”

“Mark?” she honed in on this part as it was unique and she could barely understand his cryptic words.

Buer looked at her a moment. “Each item removes a mark from your soul.”

“I don’t understand.”

Abruptly Buer made a slashing motion with his hand. It was clear he would say no more. “Pass me the Mandragora, child.” He held out his hands to receive it as Flahme passed it to him. “Good luck. Meeting you may have saved my relationship with your father. He isn’t the idiot I thought him to be.” Then he was gone, time restarted.

The area came alive with insects chirping, leaves rustling, and she felt a cool breeze on her face. Heaving a sigh, with thoughts racing through her head, she turned to Kyon and found a smile for him.

“Thank you so much. I couldn’t have done this without you.” She leaned in and embraced him momentarily then looked around at the ground. “It was fun, but we sure made a hell of a mess.”
March 21, 2019 09:21 am


‘Buer’ appeared, and the old witch finally got a look at the one passing his name about. Their conversation seemed to Kyon to be somewhere between old foes and new business associates, but of what he had gathered from Flahme, herself, she was only partly involved in this series of event dictating her life, and want less than that to do with it. With time restarted and the task completed, the girl seemed happy, and he had to admit that was worth the effort...

However, it was not the payment he had chosen, merely an added benefit, and Kyon returned the woman’s sudden hug, nodding as she addressed him. “I’m good with plants.” His voice giving the illusion of a smile across his blank face, he continued, “You are welcome Flahme.”

Cradling the thick-petaled flower like a glass trophy, he gestured out to the field. “Don’t worry about that, I’ll clean up around here.” The offer sounding like he was doing another favor, when really he was thrilled to explore the former home of such a infernally-inflicted beast. There were sure to be treasures. “As for its size... I imagine It has been feeding upon negative energy for a long time, and then at some point began eating mortals... either corpses left behind or one It had made Itself.”

“You may call on me again.” Adding with a hopeful tone, he had quite enjoyed his evening with the woman.
March 21, 2019 11:02 am


Flahme had a lot to think on from this night. She had finally learned something new about her predicament though wasn’t sure it told her anything useful. Why does someone have marks on their soul? Who put them there? She would ponder this later. Perhaps another demon might have answers. But for now…

‘I’m good with plants.’

A giggle escaped her at Kyon’s understatement, and she watched as he cradled the mandrake flower. In her eyes, he was a god with plants. He would take care of the clean-up and Flahme couldn’t help but heave a sigh of relief at that. She should repay him somehow, though something about how he held the flower made her wonder if that was payment enough. “Thank you, I appreciate that.”

Taking the Mandragora down was a grizzly affair, though she was thrilled they had accomplished it. Kyon's explanation of its growth had her wrinkling her nose, and imagined the huge thing consuming corpses.

‘You may call on me again.’

His words sent a thrill through her, and she beamed at him. Now that the danger was over, she realised how fun this had all been. “I will take you up on that! Until we meet again, do take good care of yourself.” She smiled once more, waved, and blinked away, steadily moving to the edge of the park to find a cab and make her way home.
March 21, 2019 06:34 pm


He offered gentle nod as they parted, sure that they would meet again... but as he found himself alone the Old Witch’s mask turned to the remains and began to snicker. The noise grew into a belly laugh. She had thanked him so politely, and though her soul had depended upon the task it was Kyon who seemed gain the most from the evening. Looking down upon the flower and back to the charred bits,

“I would have given anything... for skin.”

Instead he gained the nutrients of three humans and a strong plant beast, he learned the alias of a demon, and he gained a friendship - all of which carried an inherent Magick within.

“They come in threes, don’t they?”

By his will, the ground began to squirm with mycelium, smothering the embers and eating the ash and smoking bits, while turning the soil. The tots pulled downward pulling first and carbon remains. Packing the earth down the grass was soon regrowing and only left the areas the looked like gophers had moved in. No muss no fuss. And with that he wandered away from the scene, but was not leaving the park quite yet.there was another reason the have come here, an excuse he used to make the trip worthwhile...

“Now to make friends with a tree.”

March 21, 2019 07:21 pm
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