A Familiar Fantasy (Part 1)

Derrick walked around the set up in his kitchen one more time, double checking the details of the ritual. It wasn’t something he’d told many people in his long, long life, across a string of shifting identities as he moved from place to place, but Derrick was a wizard, and a rather skilled one at that. The gift had been passed to him almost two centuries earlier by an older lover at the end of his own life. As far as wizards were concerned, Derrick was just now approaching middle age, and he appeared it…but he’d also found himself growing a bit lonely over the last few decades. This modern world was so strange–it was rather astounding how fast things were changing now. His own magic felt almost…unnecessary at times, now that he had a mini computer in his pocket. Still, there were some things technology couldn’t do–but one thing it could do was…facilitate meeting men, and Derrick had, much to his own surprise, found someone interesting. A man named Arthur who looked close to Derrick’s own age, and therefore often seemed childish to Derrick, and yet he was sweet…and he also had something else that Derrick found fascinating. Arthur’s fantasies–well, as far as he knew, they were hopeless. But to a wizard, well, nothing was quite as hopeless as it might seem.

It was always a bit nerve wracking conducting a spell he’d never attempted before-especially one which, he assumed, could have some rather…unfortunate side effects, were someone to miss a detail or two. Still, there was no way of knowing without trying, right? He focused, and began–in the center of the circle in front of him, a few strands of Arthur’s hair, and as the spell progressed, and the energy in the room thrummed about Derrick’s mind and body, he could see the strands began to pull into themselves, growing smaller and smaller. He stopped the ritual and broke the circle when he could barely see the hairs, the energy pent up released into the night, surging out in search of their target, and he searched about for the hairs–he hadn’t gone on too long, had he? In the end, he had to dig out a magnifying glass from a cluttered drawer of various tools, but he spotted them, and breathed a sigh of relief. Everything had gone as it was supposed to–now all he could do was wait. The two of them had already made arrangements to spend the weekend together, so Arthur would arrive tomorrow afternoon–and depending on how things went, he might not be leaving for a while. Derrick grinned at the thought–he was too energized to sleep, something which always happened when he performed magic too late–and he pulled a recently acquired grimoire from his shelf and perused it until the early hours of the morning.

What a strange day, Arthur thought, as he wrapped up his work on Friday afternoon in preparation for his weekend with Derrick. He was still a bit…surprised that he’d ended up in a relationship with him, or at least, it was a relationship to him. They hadn’t really made anything official yet, but Derrick didn’t really seem to be the kind of guy who liked making things official. In fact, Derrick was someone who kept himself frustratingly apart, so much so that more than once, Arthur had assumed he hadn’t really been interested in a close relationship–and yet, Derrick had pursued him anyway, and it was difficult to not feel a bit flattered that someone as impressive as Derrick would want him, for whatever reason. As far as Arthur was concerned, he didn’t really have much to offer anyone–he was just a middle aged guy, overweight, insecure, burdened by highly unrealistic fantasies which made sex rather uninteresting for him. He’d been to Derrick’s house a few times–a large manor on the outskirts of town, sitting on a few acres of property–but this was really the first time he’d be spending any sustained period of time with him. He was nervous, and as far as the day had already progressed, he wasn’t too confident that things would go well.

It wasn’t that anything particularly bad had happened, it was just that, all day, things had felt a bit…off. It was little things, really. His clothes had felt uncomfortable, his pants slipping down a few times, forcing him to tighten his belt a bit uncomfortably. Same with his office chair, which he couldn’t quite seem to find the right height for, no matter how many times he adjusted it. He’d been clumsy all day, his hands not quite grasping what he’d been trying to do, and he’d broken a coffee cup both in his own kitchen, and it the break room. He’d tried to chat with his boss about a project as they were walking, but found it oddly difficult to keep up. Everything had just seemed a bit more difficult than it should have been, and now he was feeling frazzled, exhausted, self-conscious, and wondering whether he should just call Derrick and cancel their weekend plans.

There was a buzz in his pocket–a text from Derrick: “Excited to see you! You coming soon?”

To cancel or not to cancel? Arthur’s thumbs hovered over the keyboard, and despite his doubts…why not at least give it a chance? “Leaving soon,” he typed, slower than usual, because his fingers kept missing the keys for some reason, “See you in an hour.”

He wrapped up his work as quickly as he could, got up from his awkward chair, put on the coat he’d worn in that morning, and to his surprise, found the sleeves were an inch or two longer than they should have been. Was someone fucking with him at the office or something? He tried not to think about it, and left. Down in the parking lot, he had to spend a minute or two readjusting his car seat, even though he hadn’t needed to touch it in months, and then headed for Derrick’s home, about a half hour drive away, still nervous, still not very sure about all of this–still not at all sure what Derrick saw in him. Last time had been awkward enough–they’d gotten a bit drunker than he’d intended, and Derrick had started kissing him, and that had been fine, but he hadn’t really felt like going further, and then everything about all of his weird…fantasies and fixations had just sort of poured out of him in a mess. A rather humiliating mess.

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