To an outsider, seeing Maxwell Penderghast perform his daily ritual would be perceived as an act of insanity. There he was, facing an empty wall in one of the many bedrooms of the family’s main estate, holding a silver key in one hand and turning it around in mid-air whilst humming a strange combination of sounds that didn’t belong to any modern language.
When the final turn was complete in perfect synchronicity with the last garbled syllable uttered from his lips, a wave of unseen, yet very much palpable energy caused the once solid wall before his eyes to give way to an ethereal, blue corridor that led to a charred door located beyond the threshold of the three-dimensional human world. The magic had worked, and he was now free to cross into that supernatural plane. However, first there were precautions that couldn’t be forgotten.
The door swung open far and wide the moment he approached it as if it had the ability to recognize him, and perhaps it did. There were a great number of things he still didn’t understand about the magic keeping that place together even though over twenty years had already passed since he learned the most important and well-kept secret of the family.
She still had the same beautiful complexion he had first witnessed when his father thought he was old enough to know the powers multiple past generations had inherited and wielded, mercilessly. Looking at her platinum hair and symmetrical face with glassy, green eyes no one would give her more than twenty to twenty-five years of age and yet she had been trapped there for over three centuries, never aging for the laws of our universe didn’t apply to her.
One thing was certain: her human appearance was nothing but a guise that had been forced upon her when the portal into her world was opened. There was also speculation that, underneath her smooth skin, existed nothing more than a shape-shifting mass of pure energy whose origin dated back to the very beginnings of the Universe, but even if that were true, it didn’t matter, for her fate was decided long ago, and Maxwell was honoring the family tradition as he was supposed to.
“Sybill, summoned slave,” she mumbled with her eyes down, facing the floor.
“Mighty Master, Maxwell…” Sybill whimpered, the pressure of the bindings causing her great distress.
Sybill crawled to him, as obedient as always, her mouth ready to receive the gift of flesh that represented the humblest act of submission. Nothing had changed much in her life over the course of the years, except the names of those she had to please. That was the reason of her existence and it would continue to be so for as long as the silver key existed. The Penderghast called the ultimate source of their power key of dreams, but the family’s dream was a nightmare for a free spirit that had never meant to visit the world of men, let alone be made a sexual captive in it.
Sybill continued her thorough work of pleasure until a white gush of semen exploded inside her mouth and both moaned with uncontained delight. Then, with no justification whatsoever, Maxwell hit her real hard with his left hand, leaving a reddish mark on her pale cheeks, whilst screaming:
“You’re nothing but a cock-sucking bitch, and this is what you deserve, isn’t it?” he said. It was so easy to use her as a punching bag for all of his real-life frustrations, because he didn’t acknowledge her as a sentient being, and he would never will. His father had been adamant when he had shown her to him for the first time and his words still resonated inside his skull, in a sequence of disharmonious reverberations:
The lesson had been assimilated, first giving rise to an angry teenager and finally an adult with sadistic tendencies. If things failed to go according to plan at work, Sybill was sure to pay; if he had a vicious fight with his wife, Sybill was sure to pay; if he had no reason at all except the sole wish of exerting vengeful, brute force upon a defenseless creature she was the rightful choice, because she would always be a weak and pliable prisoner.
“You’re supposed to thank your Master, now!” he spat as he picked up his jacket and prepared to leave her alone.
“Damn right I am, seeing how worthless you are! Be grateful that I visit you every day instead of just leaving you to rotten like you deserve!”
“My gratitude knows no boundaries… it is only surpassed by your magnificence!” Sybill acknowledged. From the corner of her eye, she saw the leather straps come to life again, about ready to resume their restraining function.
No one could have foreseen what followed. Sybill, contemplating the evil glint of the silver key responsible for all the torments she had endured throughout many generations, suddenly felt connected with a higher consciousness than the one that had been imposed upon her and, with a fast rotation of her aching torso, faced the leather beasts with increased vigor.
The shock was immediate and the subsequent reaction unstoppable. Power clashed with power, unleashing a prodigious wave of green and silver light that culminated with the disappearance of the two conflicting sources. The lines and circles faded into black, scattered across the rippling floor. As for the key, it became nothing more than a lump of metal, deprived of an identifiable form or aim.
The leather straps, now reduced to meaningless fetish items, could no longer keep her in check. Sybill had no trouble standing up after tossing them to the side. Even before he could try to escape, she was already sitting on his chest, growling:
He didn’t have the courage to do so, for she was something different from what he knew. Only the late Dr. Damian had seen something similar when struggling to contain her, and the fear he had felt at the time was real. Since he failed to respond, she continued talking:
The image he saw wasn’t the one of a scared man about ready to burst into tears, but rather a subservient representation of a drooling pet, locked in a cage of undeniable inferiority, a dutiful thrall ever yearning for a smile from her perfect lips whilst he obeyed her every command. This illustration was then placed deep inside his mind by means comparable to those of telepathic suggestions until he became the living embodiment of what he had seen. As his breathing slowed down and the last remaining traces of humanity were stripped away from him, Sybill got up and looked at him with unmistakable might:
“Maxwell, meager menial…” he droned.
“Supreme Seductress, Sybill!” Maxwell said, this time with absolute fervor.
And indeed, they were for many, many hours, the only ones where she didn’t feel any repulse of her human shell. Maxwell was a better drudge than a Master, no doubt about it, but all good things must end, and she had something different planned for him.
When the night had already sunk the Penderghast estate into a labyrinth of darkness, a lonesome figure stepped out of its cell with specks of blood visible upon her lips and platinum hair. Even with all the forbidden books from the study downstairs at her disposal, it would take her quite a while before she had all the power required to open a gateway to return to her own dimension.
She was going hunting….