by Kaol, art by Pete Boggs

Denise buttoned up her puffy, white blouse, observing herself self-consciously in the mirror as she did so. She then pulled on a wide leather belt just below her breasts, fastening it behind her back. Reaching over to her desk, she picked up a black, tri-cornered felt hat with a paper skull and crossbones attached to it by some crazy glue. Turning back to her bed, she grabbed a plastic sword she had picked up at the costume shop and shoved it into her belt. All she needed was an eye-patch, a few scars, and she would be a perfect pirate wench. However, she only wanted to push authenticity so far, as it was only a sorority Halloween party she was attending. It was just as important to look hot as to have a decent costume.

Lauren knocked on the door and breezed into Denise's dorm room with barely a pause. "Very cool," she said, on seeing Denise. "Ahoy there, matey."

"Hey," Denise said back, looking Lauren over. Lauren's costume had required little effort. She had simply taken a number of ace bandages and wrapped her thin form in them. Denise wasn't sure if Lauren was supposed to be a mummy or the result of a very bad accident. Deciding it would be impolitic to guess wrong, Denise said, "Like your costume."

Lauren nodded, glancing down at herself. "Yeah, Sherrie helped wrap me up. It's a mummy sort of thing, with just that little tease of bondage thrown in for good measure."

"I wouldn't know about that," Denise replied.

"And that is your loss," Lauren replied in turn, though Denise suspected Lauren wouldn't know any more about it than she did.

"So, you thinking of joining Kappa?" Denise asked as she applied some eye makeup. She knew that pirates probably didn't wear eye makeup either, but then again pirates didn't exactly have to dress to impress.

"Nah," Lauren replied. "I can make friends on my own. Don't need to have them preselected, thanks."

"Yeah, but it would beat living in a dorm."

"Whatever," Lauren said, clearly not at risk for being swayed in this particular discussion. "So, are you and Bryan still going out?"

Denise wrinkled her nose. "No. Kathy is dating him now. No big deal."

"Hmm," Lauren replied noncommittally, sitting on Denise's bed and bouncing a mummified leg up and down. "You seemed to think he was a big deal a couple weeks ago."

"That was a couple weeks ago," Denise replied, refusing to snap at the bait. "Kathy can have him. He really wasn't my type," she finished, tilting her head one way and then the other as she studied her image in the mirror, her red hair swaying as she moved. Her true feelings on this particular issue were not something she cared to share with Lauren at the moment. Lauren was a good friend, but she was less than discreet and anything she knew became public knowledge quite quickly.

"No good in bed, huh?" Lauren asked.

"Ask Kathy," Denise replied, standing and adjusting her hat to a rakish angle. "Let's go before the beer's all gone."

They entered the sorority house, fittingly decked out in Halloween hysteria. Cotton cobwebs had been stretched in every corner with plastic black spiders nestled in them, and someone had come up with the idea of renting a dry ice machine, so that a thick fog covered everyone from about the knees on down. A CD player was blaring out, not surprisingly, "Monster Mash", and Denise had a hunch she would be quite tired of that song before the party was over. She leaned over towards Lauren and spoke loudly, "Looks like the party has started."

Lauren nodded in reply, seeming to search the crowd for something. Denise felt somewhat overwhelmed by the immediate stimulus overload. The lights had been dimmed for the proper atmosphere, with additional mood lighting being added courtesy of some black light bulbs. It was difficult to immediately recognize anyone, dressed as folks were in costumes of varying complexity and ingenuity.

However, by pure luck, of the bad sort she decided, the first two individuals she did recognize were Kathy and Bryan. They were huddled close together, one hand each holding a black plastic cup full of beer, the other hands familiarly about each other. Bryan was dressed as a cowboy with a red bandanna and (fittingly, she thought) a black cowboy hat. She certainly couldn't see him as one of the good guys. Kathy, (also rather fittingly, Denise decided) was dressed all in black as a witch. A slutty witch, granted, with a plunging neckline, but a witch all the same. But perhaps it wasn't fair to judge Kathy that way. What worse curse could Denise place on her anyway, other than being stuck with Bryan? Still, there was definitely some resentment in her heart as she watched the two. Denise didn't like being jilted, even if it was by a guy she didn't care much for.

"Let's get a beer," Denise called to Lauren, determined not to let Bryan spoil this evening for her.

Lauren, always more than ready to comply with such a request, grabbed Denise by the elbow and move with uncanny accuracy through the tightly packed throng of celebrants and towards the currently tapped keg.

The beer was good; basically because it was cold and free. Being a college student, Denise kept her tastes simple. Denise poured cup after cup down her throat in a fashion that would have made a true pirate proud...and shortly thereafter intoxicated. She was not normally such an enthusiastic drinker, but the presence of Bryan and Kathy was bothering her more and more with each drink she had, thus she continually drank more in hopes of reversing that trend. It seemed to her that they were intentionally flaunting their relationship at her. More than once she had seen Kathy smiling over at her, dark eyes gloating and triumphant while she moved her free hand up and down Bryan's denim clad thigh. Denise wasn't sure why she was so disturbed by this, as she and Bryan had only slept together once, and she really hadn't figured they would have much of a future. But it irked her to be viewed as the loser, which, she was certain, was what Kathy thought of her.

So Denise tried getting caught up in the dancing and partying, but none of the guys there that night were making much of an impression on her. All she could think about was Bryan and Kathy, and it was driving her nuts.

"What's the matter?" Lauren asked, suddenly appearing at her side. "You don't look like you're having too much fun."

"Nothing's the matter," Denise replied, but her voice lacked conviction.

"You want to head back to Yates?" Lauren asked, naming their dorm.

Denise glanced across the room towards Kathy and Bryan, their faces now melded together in a tonsil probing kiss. She wanted to barf. Denise frowned and looked back over at Lauren. "Yeah, this party sucks. Let's get the hell out of here."

They stepped back outside into the cool, fall air. The weather felt all the cooler after the steamy confines of the sorority house. Denise stopped on the porch of the house and tilted her head back, letting the breeze blow her hair off her ears. Taking a deep breath, she sighed and looked up at the sky. It was a clear night, the almost full moon gleaming in shades of grey and white. "Mmm, happy Halloween," she murmured.

"Yeah," Lauren agreed, stepping off the porch. "But you don't seem so happy."

"It's nothing," Denise insisted, and it did seem more like nothing now that she was outside. "I just didn't like seeing Kathy and Bryan together."

"She was all over him tonight, wasn't she?" Lauren commented. "She seemed pretty desperate."

"Whatever," Denise replied, not wishing to think about it anymore. "Let's head back to the dorm."

"Sure," agreed Lauren. "Let's take the short cut."

The two of them veered off the brick walkway towards a worn path through the grass heading towards the woods. The ground was slightly slick with evening dew, and Denise had to concentrate somewhat on keeping her balance against the beer in her brain. Darkness slid over them as they entered the concealment of the woods. Tall trees, mostly leafless, formed a canopy over them, hiding the moon and stars from their view. This path was not lit either, and Denise knew her R.A. had warned against them using these paths, especially late at night. But the hell with it. She wanted to get home where it was warmer. The cool night air cut right through her blouse and caused her to shiver reflexively.

"This is really creepy tonight," Lauren commented.

Denise looked around her, and decided Lauren had a point. "Yeah, I guess it is for some reason." She glanced around, but there was no one else on the path. Yet there was a definite feeling of being watched. "Do you think we should turn around?"

"No," said Lauren. "We're just spooking ourselves. If it wasn't Halloween, we wouldn't think anything of it. Besides, who's going to mess with a pirate and a mummy anyway?"

Denise laughed, but her heart wasn't in it. They continued walking along the path, the leaves that once decorated the trees about them now crunching beneath their feet. Above them she could hear a faint rustling as the nude branches of the trees rubbed against each other as if seeking warmth themselves. Her hands stroked her upper arms as she tried forcing some heat into them. Lauren tramped along beside her, and Denise could tell that Lauren felt something too, as she kept darting quick glances into the woods around them.

"Did you hear that?" Lauren whispered.


"That! That sound."

"I don't know what sound you mean," Denise replied, but she stopped and looked around all the same. These woods, which she had walked through so many times before, seemed alien and strange to her now. She shook her head, wishing she had not been quite so liberal in her drinking practices this evening. A chill crept up her spine and she spun around, expecting to see someone, or something there. Nothing. Nothing there. But if she kept on this path much longer, she would likely invent something, it was that kind of night.

"This is very weird," Lauren said. "I don't like this, Denise."

"Me neither. I think maybe we had better run the rest of the way, what do you think?"

"I think you can go ahead and try, but I don't think it will work," said a voice not belonging to either Denise or Lauren, causing startled gasps from the two.

They spun around to gape in surprise at the figure of Kathy standing in the pathway, blocking the way to their dorm. Denise was shocked, as she was certain that Kathy had not been there a moment before. It was as though she just suddenly appeared out of the thin air. But that was impossible. Surely she had been stalking them through the woods and had been the originator of the sound Lauren had heard.

"Kathy, Christ!" snapped Lauren, hand resting on her heaving chest. "You scared the crap out of me!"

Kathy shook her head, pointed witch hat and all. "You haven't begun to be scared yet."

Denise studied Kathy more closely, not liking the tone she had used. There was something very malicious about her expression, and something very odd about how she was behaving. Her last statement had concealed a clear threat. "What are you doing out here?" Denise asked. "I thought you were with Bryan back at the party."

"I was, until it was time for me to be here," Kathy replied.

"What is going on here?" asked Lauren, and Denise knew her friend also sensed the almost tangible aura of danger that seemed to have settled over the trio like a cloak.

"Your friend has brought you into danger, I'm afraid," replied Kathy, sounding not at all sorry as she addressed Lauren. "I think Bryan still has some feelings for her, and I can't allow that."

"What the hell are you talking about?" Denise asked. "He dumped me for you! Seems to me I'm the one who should be pissed here."

Kathy shrugged, pushing up the sleeves on her dark gown. "If it makes you feel better, go ahead. But we witches are incredibly possessive, and I want all of his heart, not just most of it."

"So, what, you want to fight me or something? I'm not fighting for Bryan. He's history."

Kathy laughed, though Denise failed to see the humor. "No, I'm not going to fight you! Why would I do something like that when I can do something far more final?"

"Oh shit, she's got a gun," moaned Lauren.

"Don't need one," replied Kathy. She made an odd gesture with her hands, almost like a baseball manager signaling a pitcher. Denise narrowed her eyes, wondering what was going on. None of this made any sense. They had just been minding their business, on their way home, when suddenly Kathy appears and starts making vague threats. What the hell was going on?

Abruptly, Denise's hands raised up to balance herself, as the ground beneath her feet shifted unexpectedly. She looked down in confusion to see the ground wobbling up and down beneath her like a waterbed. It felt less solid too.

"What is happening here?" asked Lauren, hand reaching out to stabilize herself and grabbing Denise's shoulder.

"I don't..." Denise began to reply, when one booted foot plunged through the leaf-covered surface of the ground, disappearing almost to the knee. The soil seemed almost to liquefy under her then, and her other foot disappeared as well. Lauren found herself in the same position, and they were now inexplicably knee deep in the path. From what Denise could tell, their was no solid bottom beneath her boots, and her striped pants were continuing to descend deeper into the mire.

"What's happening?" Lauren repeated, more loudly.

Kathy bent over, slapping her knees, and laughing. "It worked! Hot damn, it really worked!"

"What are you babbling about?" Denise asked. She tried raising a leg to step forward, but the effort only pushed the other leg deeper into the path. "Get over here and give us a hand out of here. Something's happened to the path."

"Why in the world would I come over there and give you a hand when I went to all this trouble to make that quicksand for you?" Kathy asked.

"Quicksand?" Lauren asked weakly, looking down at the mud which was now bubbling up around her thighs. "There was never quicksand here before."

"Of course not, not until I made it just now."

"What are you talking about?" Denise asked, trying to clear her head and think of a way out of this, literal, mess.

"You are so stupid," Kathy said, stepping closer. "I don't see what Bryan sees in you."


"I...made...this...quicksand," Kathy said speaking slowly as if to a child. "I'm a witch, get it?" she said, spinning about and showing off her costume.

"For real?" asked Lauren, now hip deep in the mixture. "A real witch."

"Yeah," Kathy said. "And I can kick Sabrina's ass."

"There's no such things as real witches," Denise countered, still trying to pull a leg free from the gooey soup. It was an odd feeling, as the mud was soft enough to let her body slide downwards, but too thick to allow her legs to move upwards.

"Yes, there are," disagreed Kathy.

"Okay, if you say so," said Denise, deciding she was hardly in a position to debate the point at the moment. "You've shown us what you can do, now get us out of here."

"What's the magic word?"

"Please!" said Denise and Lauren in unison.

"You're right," agreed Kathy, sitting down in the middle of the path.

"Hey, we said please," cried Lauren. "Aren't you going to pull us out?"

"I never said I would, I just was checking to see if either of you knew any magic. If 'please' is the most magic you know, I'd say you are very screwed. Much as I will be tonight when I get back to Bryan."

The quicksand was now past the girls' waists. Denise looked about her, trying to find a way out of this situation. She hadn't believed in either real quicksand or real witches an hour ago. However, at this point she was having a definite change of heart. Still, there had to be a way out of this. "Wait!" she cried out as Kathy began turning as if to walk away.

"Wait? For what? You're dead already. I've done what I came here to do. This power has made me really hot. I need to get back to Bryan."

"Yeah, but if you leave, then you can't be sure, can you? I mean, think about it, in all those movies the villain always leaves the good guy in some death trap, only to have the good guy escape at the last minute."

"Denise!" hissed Lauren. "What are you doing!"

An evil grin stretched Kathy's dark lips. "Good point. Besides, I've never seen anyone die before. I guess I can wait a few more minutes, it is quicksand after all. It shouldn't take long."

The quicksand was just below Denise's breasts now and she could feel its moisture soaking through her blouse. She looked over at Lauren who was glaring at her in annoyance. Denise didn't respond. She knew Lauren had to be thinking that Denise had sealed their fate, but Denise thought otherwise. She suspected they would have died here if Kathy had left. But with Kathy here, there might be a way to get themselves out.

Just what the way was, however, had failed to present itself.

Denise's arms were beneath the surface of the thick goo now, and she squeezed her hands open and closed, feeling the gelid mud move in response. The dark mire had slurped up her breasts like a giant with an ice cream cone, and she bobbed like a cork in a tub. Yet bob though she did, with each bobbing she descended ever so slightly downwards another inch.

"Denise," choked Lauren. "I don't want to die here."

Denise glanced over at Lauren and saw that she was deeper than Denise, the quicksand up past her shoulders. Denise turned back to glare at Kathy who sat at the edge of the pit, seemingly enthralled by the display. If Denise was going to do anything to save them, it would have to be now.

"Kathy," she said, glaring darkly at her tormentor. "It's too bad about this, but I guess it's better because this way you'll never know."

Kathy rolled her eyes. "What is this? What are you trying to pull now?"

Denise kept her cool smile. "Pull? I'm hardly in a position to pull anything at the moment. I can't even move my arms in this bog now. No, I just realized something I have over you and that's just a little victory for me."

Kathy's eyes narrowed and she frowned, sitting up. "What are you talking about? Is it about Bryan?"

Denise's smile grew wider. "Something you will find out sooner or later, and I only wish I could be there to see it when it happens."

Kathy stood up then, standing at the edge of the pit and glaring down at Denise like a haughty Gulliver. "I think you had better tell me now, or your death will be quicker than you expect."

Denise laughed. "You aren't in any position to threaten me, witch. As you said, I'm already dead."

Kathy grimaced and took a single step into the quicksand. Raising her right foot, she placed it atop Denise's head. "I suggest you stop the games or I'll push you down this instant."

Denise glanced up at Kathy, feeling the spike of the witch's high heel against her crown. "The secret is you should never step into quicksand voluntarily," Denise growled and reached up quickly, grabbing Kathy's leg and jerking her forward. Kathy let out a cry as she tumbled forward into the quicksand, falling almost directly onto Denise. For a moment Denise feared her plan had backfired and Kathy would inadvertently submerge her as she fell in. However, Kathy fought to keep her balance and so ended up about crotch deep in the slick mire in front of Denise. Denise wrapped her arms about Kathy's thighs, determined not to let go.

"You bitch!" screamed Kathy. "You dirty bitch! You'll pay for this!"

"Then we'll pay together," Denise said, her cheek pressed against Kathy's abdomen. "I'm not letting go of you and if I go down, so do you."

"What about me?" asked Lauren tremulously as she tilted her head back to keep her mouth free of the surface.

"Don't worry," Denise hissed, feeling herself continuing to descend into the quicksand. "Kathy here is going to pull us all out of here now, aren't you, Kathy?"

Kathy slapped ineffectively at Denise's head, but she didn't have the strength or leverage to make the blows count and Denise wasn't letting go no matter what. Denise had shifted her grip as she and Kathy continued to sink, pulling herself up Kathy's body as they submerged so that the top of her head was butting the bottom of Kathy's breasts. She could feel them tremble as Kathy sighed. "Oh, dammit to hell anyway. Fine, I'll get us all out of here."

Denise kept her excitement out of her voice, not wanting to do anything to jeopardize this moment. "Lauren first," she said.

Lauren's frightened eyes peered out of the mud, pleading, her mouth already submerged. Kathy sighed again and Denise could feel her movements as she made gestures towards Lauren. A moment later, Denise could hear Lauren's hacking cough from the side. She couldn't see anything when she looked up except Kathy's heaving bosom, but she heard Lauren cry, "I'm out."

"Now us," Denise snapped, the quicksand undulating just beneath her lower lip.

Again Denise felt movement, but nothing happened. She scooted her body up, feeling Kathy's breasts against her face as she did so. In spite of the seriousness of the situation, Denise had time to consider that this would make a very compromising photo if anyone should have happened along just then.


"It didn't work," Kathy said, her voice suddenly unsure.

"What?" asked Denise.

"It didn't work," Kathy repeated. "My magic didn't work. I must have reached my limit."

"How long do you take to recharge?" asked Denise, feeling her confidence slipping away.

"I don't know! A couple hours at least!"

"We don't have a couple hours!"

"I know!" cried Kathy, looking down at Denise now cradled against her as Bryan had been the night before.

"Here," cried a voice from the side. Denise turned to look and was hit in the face by an ace bandage. She saw Lauren standing on the shore, no longer a mummy from the waist up, her mummy bandages unwrapped and tossed out to Denise like a rope. Denise immediately released her grip on Kathy and grabbed hold of the makeshift rope.

"Pull, Lauren!" she cried, simultaneously trying to pull herself towards the shore.

"Not without me," snarled Kathy, grabbing Denise from behind. Denise ignored her, focusing only on reaching the shore. The quicksand was clinging and thick, and Denise's arm muscles began to burn from exertion almost at once. She saw Lauren's face in the darkness, twisted into a mask of effort. Yet for all the slowness of the project, Denise could see they were making progress. The shore was very close now, and after an unknown length of time, Lauren fingers were reaching out to brush Denise's. A moment later, they grabbed each other, and Lauren pulled the grungy forms of Denise and Kathy to the shore. All three lay there gasping, staring up at the darkness around them. Denise rolled over, chest heaving, trying to get her breath back. She glanced at Kathy in disgust and annoyance.

"She said it would be several hours until she had her powers back, didn't she?" asked Denise.

"That's what I heard her say," agreed Lauren.

Denise nodded. "Good," she said. "It's payback time."

Kathy's eyes widened as her intended victims now approached her. "No! Don't! I saved you! You can't do anything to me!"

Ten minutes later, there was a new mummy in the group. Lauren and Denise had stripped Kathy of her witch's costume and Lauren had put it on, removing her own mummy bandages. Kathy had now been bound as a mummy, but unlike Lauren, she had her arms bound to her sides and her legs bound together. The three of them now stood at the edge of the quicksand, Lauren on one side of Kathy and Denise on the other.

"On three," said Denise.

"No, please don't," whimpered Kathy.

"One," said Lauren.

"I'm sorry. I didn't mean anything..."

"Two," said Denise.

"You aren't like this, please..."

"Three," said Denise and Lauren together and pushed Kathy forward. She had to hop to keep her balance, and immediately was past her knees in the slushy earth. She was sinking more quickly than they had earlier, as the ground had not restabilized from the earlier churning.

"No!" cried Kathy as she twisted and turned, trying to break free of the bandages binding her.

"Wow," said Lauren. "She's really going down fast, isn't she?"

"Yes," agreed Denise.

"Um, we are going to get her out aren't we?"

"I suppose. We could let her use her magic," said Denise.

"But she can't move her arms now."


"Still, we can wait and see," said Lauren.

"I'm in no hurry," agreed Denise, sitting down and watching the show. She would get her out...eventually. At least she was pretty sure she would.

copyright 1997 Kaol

Click here for Pete Boggs’ original illustration for this story! Oooooh, scaaaaarrrrry!!!

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This page created on October 22, 1997