The Contest

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: All Star Story Writers

Chapter 11 (v.1) - VILELET

Submitted: October 13, 2016

Reads: 148

Comments: 2

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Submitted: October 13, 2016

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Things weren’t progressing fast enough for Hugh who was becoming increasingly impatient. On his first date with Eemay he had taken her out for dinner and, afterwards, they had met up with her college friends. They had also been out horse riding and his first royal engagement with her was imminent. They had got along famously, and he found himself becoming more and more besotted with her every day, giving rise to intense jealousy. At the very mention of Scott’s name, the knot in his stomach tightened, and his steely resolve to win The Contest, strengthened.

“What to do, what to do?

I need to think of a way of getting rid of Scott but dare not risk getting into an argument or fight, as it could end in me being dismissed from The Contest instead.

He sat glumly staring into space deep in thought, when he had a sudden brainwave. He picked up his cyPad and ran a search for ‘Spells’.

Ah ha, this looks interesting, he thought, clicking on to a web page headed Vilelet’s Witchcraft Workshop - specialist in Cyber Spells.

He read on . . . . .

Witchcraft to meet your every need

At the most competitive fees

No more cauldrons to boil and bubble

Cyber spells are much less trouble

One click for instant transformation

Fast and efficient the perfect solution

Transform your rival into a dog

Or perhaps a more traditional frog

Browse the web site and you will see

My spells are all top quality

I guarantee total satisfaction

Or your money back without question

For a free consultation contact Vilelets.spells@witchcraft.cyb

Brilliant, the Princess is as good as mine. What could be wrong with turning Scott into a dog? He would no doubt go on to live a charmed life, be taken for long walks, fed good food and take a nap whenever he wanted. He would only have to gaze at his owner with doleful eyes to receive spontaneous affection. Wonderful, the perfect solution, in fact, I would really be doing him a favour. He would go on to have a much more enjoyable and fulfilled life, so what could possibly be wrong in that.

Without further hesitation, he sent a cymail requesting an urgent meeting with Vilelet.

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Vilelet’s Witchcraft Workshop was situated at the end of a long, winding country lane along which was a farm. Eager to get there, Hugh's patience was being tested to the limit. A robo sheepdog was herding sheep into a nearby field, followed by a hovering drone, guiding a herd of cows towards a robotic milking station.

Sitting on top of a five barred gate, the farmer co-ordinated the whole process using a remote control device, completely oblivious to Hugh's frustration.

“Get a move on, I haven't got all day.” Hugh yelled, his fingers drumming the steering wheel in exasperation.

Unruffled, the farmer calmly continued with his remote manoeuvres, and when the lane was finally clear of sheep and cattle, he clambered down, politely touched the peak of his cap and allowed Hugh through, who roared off like a maniac.

Bumping violently over a cattle grid, his cybmap announced his arrival, and he screeched to a halt.

Vilelet opened the door. “Prince Hughchube, please come in, I hope you found my directions helpful, I know it's a bit out of the way.”

“Your directions were fine, it's the farmer who has no sense of urgency, blocking the lane with plant and cattle.”

“Sorry Prince Hughchube, but you will never rush a farmer, they work at their own pace. There is no sense of urgency around these parts and getting all stressed up won’t make a scrap of difference, but you're here now, so let’s get down to business.”

Vilelet looked nothing like Hugh had imagined. She was short, and as round as she was high, with piercing blue eyes, plump red cheeks and a shock of wild bright red hair that stood up on end, as if she had just been struck by lightning.

She was wearing a heavily stained, shapeless overall that smelled overpoweringly of stale sweat. “Oh do excuse me, these are my work clothes,” she said, by way of explanation. “Messy business witchcraft, you know, it’s the potions they get everywhere. You wouldn’t believe it, but there’s still a huge demand for the old fashioned spells.”

Her chaotic workshop was lined with shelves crammed with dirty looking bottles. Smoke escaped from several of them, curling ominously into the air, while others glowed with a curious luminescent liquid. Others had toppled over, their dripping contents having burnt a hole in the linoleum covered floor.

“Can I offer you a cup of tea Prince Hughchube?”

“Er, no thank you, I'm fine.”

He noticed a large cauldron in which simmered a glue like substance that gave off a vile, nauseating stench, and in the far corner was a cyber-suite, equipped with the most up to date technology. “Oh yes, I’m also a cyber-wiz,” she said. “You have to keep up with new developments in the business.”

“Firstly, I must warn you that should we enter into a business agreement, it must remain strictly private and confidential between us. This is a legally binding document that you will be required to sign up to.

“Oh, absolutely,” Hugh confirmed.

Right, I understand from your cymail that you are interested in a Cyber Spell capable of changing a human into a dog.

No problem, Cyber spells are the latest development in witchcraft, clean and efficient. Spells can be sent via cymail to lap-tabs, cyPads or cyPhones. I will need a strand of hair or a droplet of saliva from the intended victim, to extract a DNA sample. In fact, either a used tooth or hairbrush would serve the purpose nicely. Individual DNA is then incorporated into the spell microscopically, using a technique similar to that used to culture a cyber-virus. This will ensure the spell is unique to the victim, and cannot be opened or activated by any other person. The process involves use of highly sophisticated energy forces, resistant to all forms of security software.

The spell is activated at the exact moment the message is opened, and total transformation will take up to five minutes, dependent upon the type of animal chosen. Oh by the way, cocker spaniels are highly sought after at the moment, frogs are just sooo yesterday.

I will need the cymail addresses of both the intended victim, and the proposed sender.”

“Proposed sender?” Hugh queried. “Correct me if I am wrong, but as I would be paying for your service, then surely it would include sending the spell through.”

“My dear Prince Hughchube, you are obviously not thinking this through properly. If I send it from my own address, then in all probability, the victim will delete it, thinking it to be spam or junk mail. However, if I send it through using an address of someone well known to the victim, then we can be absolutely sure it will be opened without delay. If you can let me have a suitable address, I will then ‘clone’ it, or in simple terms, copy it for the purpose of sending the spell through.”

With evil satisfaction glinting in his dark eyes, Hugh jumped up, punching the air. “This is brilliant, it cannot fail.”

“Oh I nearly forgot,” Vilelet intervened. “Witchcraft law states that transformation spells should not be permanent.” She went on to quote an extract from the Transformation Rights Act.

“Transformation spells that bring about an actual change to an individual’s identity and physical state, must automatically reverse after five calendar years. Early reversal spells must be made available upon request.”

I guarantee all my transformation spells for the maximum five year period, after which, reversal will automatically occur at exactly midnight on the expiry date. Early reversal spells are available, at an additional cost.”

“I was thinking more along the lines of a permanent transformation.”

“My dear Prince, a permanent transformation would be a serious breach of the Act, I could be closed down, lose my business, and sent to prison for life. If this is what you really want, then I am not the person to help you.”

“You do not state any of this on your web site, it appears you have wasted my time.”

“As I have already stated, the witchcraft industry is governed by the law of the land. The five year rule is the accepted standard to which all professional witches and wizards must comply.”

Hugh was feeling desperate and considered his options carefully.

By the time the spell expires me and Eemay should be happily married, but it does complicate things, as it would be disastrous if Scott returned in five years’ time to reveal the truth. I will just have to make sure he is disposed of well before then.

He was now so determined to win the Princess that he was prepared to take whatever deadly steps were necessary to achieve it!

“How much will the spell cost?”

“Well as you’re royalty I will do you a special deal. My fee for the spell will be 3,000 cyber pounds, plus administration costs of 500, making a total of 3,500, plus Sorcery Super Tax at 50% making a grand total of 5,250 cyber pounds, payable in cash,” she replied, studying her fingernails.

Hugh was shocked at the fee she was demanding. “Is that the best price you can do, it’s a bit expensive, and your web site clearly states that your fees are competitive.”

Her eyes remained focused on the task in hand which involved picking dirt from her fingernails and flicking it to the floor. “Take it or leave it, it’s entirely up to you, I make it my practice never to negotiate with clients.”

“Alright,” he said in desperation. “It’s a deal.”

“It’s very nice doing business with you Prince Hughchube. All I need now is your choice of animal, (handing him a catalogue from which to choose), the DNA sample and the cymail addresses of the victim and the sender. No doubt I will hear from you shortly.”

After escorting him to the door she turned round and waddled back into the filthy chaos that was her workshop.

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On his return to the palace, Hugh wasted no time. He knocked softly on Scott’s door, there was no reply.

“Scott,” he called. “Are you there?” still no reply.

He tried the door handle and was relieved to find it had been left unlocked. He looked around frantically to see if anyone was watching, before going in. In the bathroom he spotted a zipped toiletry bag, but was disappointed to find it contained only some deodorant and a tube of toothpaste.

With trembling hands he continued to search the shelves for a toothbrush, conscious that Scott could return at any second and catch him rifling through his personal things. He was just about to leave, when he saw a hairbrush, almost hidden by an electric shaver. He quickly stuffed it into his trouser pocket and bolted from the room, closing the door quietly behind him.

“YES” he said to himself, his heart hammering, as he made his way back to the safety of his room. He pulled the hairbrush from his pocket. A tangle of short blonde hairs in the bristles, sent an intense feeling of relief surging through him

Spurred on by his success, he now focused on getting the cymail addresses he would need.

The obvious choice, for the purpose of sending the spell through, was Eemay's address, which he already had. But now he had to think of a way of finding out Scott’s, without appearing suspicious.

Then a thought occurred to him. He clicked open the message from the King inviting him to stay at the palace, noticing with evil satisfaction that it had been addressed to them both. Excellent, he thought, forwarding it straight on to Vilelet.

“Job done,” he shouted, a sadistic smile slowly spreading across his face.

-------------------------------------

“Oh, Prince Hughchube, you’re a quick worker. Please come in,” Vilelet said, as they made their way through her cluttered, filthy workshop.

Hugh handed her the hairbrush which she examined closely with a magnifying glass.“Mmmm, are you quite sure this has been used only by the intended victim?”

“Well, it was on the shelf in his bathroom.”

“If you’re quite sure, then I will proceed but I must warn you that if someone else has also used the brush, then the DNA samples could get mixed up and the spell won’t work. If this does prove to be the case which, after close examination is a distinct possibility, I will still have to charge my fee for the work carried out.”

Hugh was in a panic, he had to remove Scott at the earliest opportunity, but could not afford to waste money on a spell that might not work.

“I will have to think of another way to get the DNA sample, and will be back as soon as possible,” he assured her, and left.

Back in his room he pondered over his dilemma. He needed to get close to Scott, so that he could somehow get a vital strand of hair. But how?

He suddenly had a brilliant idea. I will make a friend of him. Tell him I noticed something jump in his hair, which looked suspiciously like a nit or a flea. He will no doubt want me to take a closer look, which will give me the perfect opportunity to pluck out a strand of hair, before telling him I must have been mistaken!

He wandered down the corridor and knocked firmly on Scott’s door.

“Hugh,” Scott said, somewhat surprised. “What can I do for you?”

“I was wondering if you’d like to meet up for a drink later, we haven’t seen much of each other since we arrived, and I thought it might be a good idea to catch up.”

Scott felt uneasy and couldn't understand why, out of the blue, Hugh suddenly wanted to become all ‘pally’.

“Sorry Hugh, but I'm meeting Eemay this evening, maybe some other time,” he replied, shutting the door firmly in his face.

Hugh was now desperate. After careful consideration, he decided to wait until Scott was asleep, creep into his room and snip off a lock of his hair. What had he got to lose? If he woke up then yes, he would be caught red handed, but chances are he might not wake up at all. Even worse, if he did nothing, Scott could go on to win The Contest.

I never lose at anything, he reminded himself.

 

 


© Copyright 2020 Sue Harris. All rights reserved.

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