It had been over ten years since magic entered the world…
Not that anyone knew how to use it or if it could be accessed by normal people. However everyone knew the story. A group of four great magic girls harnessing the elements of Earth, Wind, Fire and Water… rising up to defeat some kind of demonic interloper from another dimension.
Video footage of the magic girls are not easy to come by given the strange aura they exuded in their changed states. However it was here that the final battle had taken place…
Here is where it ended…
Mark looked quietly at the sloping alcove across the vast country. A crater where it looked like a meteorite had impacted. He was a fairly tall man now in his twenties. A small plaque dedicated to the memories of the four unknown heroes before him. The crater itself was off limits and treated as a hallowed site.
He loved the magic girls of course. Then again every boy did when they were around. They were literal comic book heroes come to life. He used to love everything about them until…
“Hey Mark!” A voice called.
Mark glanced behind and paled slightly when he saw who it was. “Oh man- James?!”
James was just as surprised to see Mark. He was a shorter guy with short blonde hair and a touch thinner with less muscle. One might say he was slightly effeminate in his appearance with a longer face. “Mark!” He gave a rather sudden hug.
“Dude- uh-” James was surprised at the hug but didn’t mind it so much. “It’s good to see you.”
James grimaced a little looking back to the crater. “I know a way we can get to the center of it all. Want to go?”
“I don’t… think that would be a good idea.”
“Better late then never right?” James said with a knowing smile.
Mark closes his eyes and shivered. “I rather not go there.”
“Come on.” James showed him a way around where a ladder had been installed. The end of it had a lock on it but with a bit of work it was easily removed. “There’s not much to see down here either to be honest,” the blonde haired guy admitted. “I was hoping to find… something.”
“I bet,” Mark groaned folding his arms. Still curiosity or a sense of duty urged him to go with his friend. “This is where they fought huh...”
“I don’t think they are dead. Maybe they are just reincarnated you know? If they were dead then there would be four missing person cases at the same time.”
“That’s assuming a lot of things,” Mark pointed out. “A.. lot of things.” He paused when he saw what appeared to be the center. There seemed to be shattered crystals here of dark black. It was awkward to be here at the end of a story… but the truth was they knew nothing about them. Who they fought… who the girls were… how they got their powers- well- on that Mark might have ‘some’ idea.
“… did you ever… try to find them?” James asked.
“Of course not! Come on- just because I...” He lowered his voice. “You never told anyone did you?”
“No...” James said sheepishly. “It’s … it’s your secret. It’s our secret. I like to think it makes us friends… as much as two guys can be.” James looked a little low at that. He had been there when magic touched the world.. touched his friend in that way. “You never tried to use it?”
Mark clenched his fists. “I’m not one of them. Can you imagine what would have happened if they had found out who I was? Besides I was just a kid!” Mark got irritated as he thought about that day…
“I thought you looked rather nice. it’s not as if anyone would have known it was you. We could have gone to cosplay conventions if nothing else.”
Mark sighed. He stared around the crater again… “I couldn’t find them. I didn’t know how. Then I was grounded by my mom for sneaking out at night anyway and I just didn’t do it again after that.”
“You still have the thing though right?” James asked hopefully. “Can you… transform? Please?”
James looked a little uncomfortable. Of course he had ‘the thing’. It never left him. He just had to think about it and it would just appear… but he had not called upon it since that first time! He gently held out his hand as a soft glow of light appeared.
It was… amazing to James and perhaps even a little to Mark. The glow of magic itself.. of something else. “You have no idea how lucky you are…”
A small glass compass appeared in Mark’s hand. It was pretty innocuous but had symbols like a clock. Each a different symbol but their meaning was lost to him. Mark stared at it with quiet contemplation. “Would I have even made a difference?” He muttered. “I was just a kid. It’s not as if I was even important!” He kicked the ground. He didn’t want to be important- the magic girls were there defending them from .. whatever ‘it’ was- and he was just a boy who found the compass!
“I remember when you found it,” James reminded. “You don’t need to feel guilty… things just happened- I wish we had known more too- huh?”
the compass began to glow… the hands on it moving rapidly. Images stared to form. Four magic girls in a circle against some strange shadow. The situation frozen in time. Mark stared at them then at the compass. “It’s never done that before,” He thought.
“It’s like a hologram,” James circled the red haired girl… his favourite one who of course controlled fire. She had long hair going all the way down to her back. Interestingly she also had a fox-like tail which swished behind her. James looked at her face seeing one filled with great determination and strength. Of course she was also quite a pretty girl and young at about eighteen. He had an absolute crush on her back then… “If only I knew your name...”
Mark circled around the defacto ‘leader’ .. at least he assumed it was. A girl with Green hair. She radiated kindness, beauty and strength. Her element was of the Earth… twin tails behind her and gorgeous moon-coloured eyes. She was surprisingly young and probably only sixteen. Mark felt a bit saddened by it… these were ghosts right?
Next to her, holding her hand was the water magic girl… she appeared to be inside an orb of water. Within this orb was a girl with blue hair and what appeared to be a fin-tail for legs. She seemed to swim through the air using this ball of liquid.. interestingly though this barrier served to protect her as much as be a hindrance.
Finally, looking to the side and looking quite terrified and scared… The magic girl associated with wind. She had soft wings on her back and appeared to be flying. She looked like an angel with pure white hair and a slim body. Probably just barely sixteen but it was hard to tell.
“… why are they so young,” James quietly wondered. “They shouldn’t have had to die...”
Mark snorted. “That’s what happens to magic girls… why do you think I was terrified?”
James sighed. “At least it wasn’t in vain. They defeated whatever it was...”
Suddenly the ghostly image of the earth-girl turned to face them. Her face brimming in tears. “I’m sorry… we… lost...” the ghostly images vanished...
The ground began to shake. Mark stumbled as the shattered crystals around them started to turn into a black oozing liquid. They pooled together into some kind of vaguely humanoid creature.
“Oh crap!” James gasped. “What the heck!”
Mark stared at the creature… it began to look more human… except…
It was pitch black, almost like it was made of ink. Eyes on it started to form.. all over its body before pooling into it’s head, merging into three distinct eyes. Its hands were dark black and had a metallic sheen to them. It’s presence echoed inside their brains.
“A mortal… two.. mortals...” The voice echoed. “Well now.. how much time has passed… I think… yes… I could use a new servant...” He pointed to James as tendrils of black ooze coiled around him.
“Ah- No!” James gasped. “Help!”
The creature’s voice reverberated across their minds. “The will power of humans always astonish me. You will submit soon. You all just want to be lead.. it’s in your nature, your instincts… soon you will be very happy to call me master… let’s see what form I can make from you..”
Mark tried to pull James away from the tendrils but it was no use.
“Your turn will come soon. Let’s see what becomes of your friend… chaos magic doesn’t always give me free reign to choose… but I am usually happy with the results...”
While James had started effeminate there was no doubt now that he was turning female. His short blonde hair became dazzlingly long… A soft fuzz of fur beginning to form on his torso as his breasts expanded. He became shorter… slowly lowering to just under five feet. His features shifted as a muzzle formed on his face. Canine-like.. his legs shifting into paws while a fox-like tail pushed outside. His breasts were a bit on the large size for his frame as he- or rather ‘she’ stumbled.
“Ah.. what a lovely pet you are… you clearly had a thing for the one with fire magic...”
James stared down at his hands.. now almost paw-like. Everything around him was huge! “What the- Oh- crap-” he gulped.
“Interesting… I sense part of you likes this,” the dark creature grinned. “Well.. why don’t we remove the parts of your mind that ‘question’ it at all...”
Mark gripped the compass. He swore he would never do this. The words were already in his mind as if he had never forgotten them. “Magic girl time!” Why oh why did it have to be such an embarrassing thing to say!
“… what?” The dark creature paused.
The compass in his hand glowed as it started to float, moving into position as a medallion around his neck- yet no necklace held it up. He levitated in the air as the magic flowed. Around him. His hair started to change colour into trestles of Sakura coloured petals. He began to shrink.. turning younger as he did so. The explosion of power that had been uncalled for such a long time… he was dressed in a cute looking school-girl type uniform and a pink pleated skirt- as the new changed magic girl floated back on the ground.
Mark didn’t know of course but.. his magic girl form did not age at all… He stared down at the body ‘she’ now inhabited, now looking only about ten years old!
“… well.. this is interesting. I didn’t expect a little girl to be here when I awoke. You are with that.. other group are you not? The youngest one...”
Mark was still coming to grips with the fact that the magic-girl body he had was exactly the same as it was ten years ago! She was in some pre-pubecent girl’s body- and while it was awkward enough when he ‘was’ a boy back then it was far far far more awkward now. He focused on what happened to his friend. “Release him now! Or...”
“Oh.. what kid?” The dark creature suddenly used its tendrils and lifted Mark up!
“AH- let me go!”
“… heh.. cute.” The strange creature stared menacingly. “You don’t present any threat at all to me. Those four you had before were better and you are not even worth one of them!” He tossed her like a rag-doll.
Mark flew across the air.. holding out her hands as the new magic girl impacted onto the ground. She had natural resistance to impacts she realised but .. it was true. This body was about as strong as his normal male form… and certainly that was impressive in a ten year old body- just.. not so impressive trying to fight someone who possessed greater skills then that!
James was gasping as the creature invaded into his mind.. trying to take away memories- or add them? It was unsettling as it seemed to be re-writing aspects of his personality… the very core of who he was. He fought it hard… he knew what it was doing but-
“You resist better then most little fox,” The creature chuckled. “Your friend can’t save you… we’re going to start new… become my pet… and… what?” He glanced at the distance as the young girl was.. chanting.
Mark was slowly holding her hands out. “I.. won’t let- you-” she concentrated on the magic… magic she denied before but now needed desperately. she had to win! She had to save James. Just… a spell! Any spell! Slowly her energy began to form… it was enough for the creature to look- though not out of any fear but simple curiosity.
Awkwardly the creature walked towards Mark. “You know..”
Mark continued to chant. “Please… make… this form… do… something...” she stood up holding her ground marshalling every ounce of strength from the strange ether that her power came from.
“…. I could have just thrown you further away…” He took more steps…
“Magical light… something… something...”
“That’s … not going to work kid- you.. were never trained.. were you..” He took a few more steps.
“Magical… just.. flare.. something...”
He took a few more steps. “Powering up with not a real spell to say… you really think you can stop me? I could have ended you by now with a mere gesture. You could join those other girls...”
“… something… just… stop.. .him...”
The creature was close now. Very close. “I’ll give you a shot kid. Go ahead, hit me with your best… I’m curious to see the results. I’ll even stand completely still. See?” He gestured on the ground as bots of iron erupted and secured himself in a mocking way. “I am at your mercy. Go ahead. Hit me!”
“Magic.. Time… energy!” A swirling vortex of raw power began to spread from her fingers to the grinning ink-like being. It smacked him- and… that was it.
He laughed quietly. “Oh that is pathetic… I really wanted a challenge.” He sighed. “Tell you what let’s meet here next week. If you succeed in beating me I’ll change your friend back!”
“What- really?” Mark blinked.
“Yes. Oh, and here’s a hint. If you want to get better at your power, I suggest staying in that form for as long as possible.” He reached down and pinched Mark’s cheeks! “Go ahead cute little magic girl! Train yourself up and let’s see how you do.” With another gesture of power he vanished…