Warning: Dubcon, Character Death
Summary: There was something animalistic about spells, something that made his blood warm and his smile sharpen.
Arthur Kirkland was amazed by human ignorance. They ignored the signs around them, devoutly stuffing themselves into their jobs, homes, and family lives that they forgot to notice the small things, the peculiar things.
Things like Arthur Kirkland himself.
The townsfolk already found him a bit odd, as the strange man who lived on the decrepit house on the hill. They enjoyed labeling him as eccentric and a kook, not that Arthur minded. The less people willing to speak to him, the more secure he felt. And every day he had the same routine of visiting the same select shops and wandering the same, rundown districts of the town that no one liked to talk about or admit existed.
He was a scribe of average income, his opinion frittering and lofty and oftentimes overlooked. But he enjoyed the seclusion that copying documents gave him. And yet… he felt that he was always lacking. As if he needed that other figure in the room to share in his splendid seclusion and secrecy.
That was when Arthur ran into Alfred Jones for the first time. Alfred was young, about nineteen, and worked at a produce stand just outside of the main markets. He haggled boldly and confidently with even the most ruthless, penny-pinching housewife. And after several weeks of skulking around the produce stand, occasionally buying an apple or two, and following the boy home, Arthur found that Alfred’s personality was less than admirable. He was too loud, boisterous, and far too cock-sure for someone of his age. But for all of Alfred’s faults, Arthur couldn’t help but to be drawn to him – there was something about this boy that he must have, even if the boy showed no interest in him.
So Arthur did what anyone in his position and ability would do: he cast a spell.
It had taken him a few days to find a suitable spell; he hadn’t wanted Alfred’s love – no those spells were too unreliable, and he didn’t want Alfred to simply like his company more, or anything of the sort. He wanted Alfred completely and wholly – his mind, body, and spirit, to dominate and control and thoroughly enjoy. Arthur wanted nothing more than a puppet with Alfred Jones’ face and body and it would be far more satisfying to make Alfred his puppet, than to make a puppet into Alfred.
For weeks he sat in his basement pouring over old texts and grimoires passed down through his family line. He spent the nights collecting the correct ingredients in the precise and proper way. He waited until the moon was absent from the sky before lighting a circle of black-wax candles and beginning the ritual he had long anticipated. There was something animalistic about spells, something that made his blood warm and his smile sharpen. It must have been the power, the unadulterated greed that ran through his veins as he chanted the broken, jangling lyrics to a spell long forgotten.
Arthur felt that he couldn’t be tamed – refused to be tamed; to submit to the dreary life of an ignorant human – powerless and stupid. And when Alfred wandered up to his door that night, confused and disoriented by overpowering black magic, Arthur let him in and descended upon him.
It had taken weeks for the townsfolk to notice that Alfred was missing. Some had thought he’d come down with an illness, or had wandered off to visit his mother, a two day ride to the west – but when they found none of that was true, there was an inherit panic.
“Have you seen the boy at the produce stand? Young Alfred Jones – Mr. Kirkland?” people would ask him, some curious, some desperate to find him. Always Arthur would shrug, making sure to raise his impressive brows in a way that said ‘why are you talking to me’.
Each night he would return home from a successful day of blending in with the community, to find Alfred sitting on his plush loveseat, the fire cackling merrily in the hearth. He would curl a finger underneath the young man’s chin and kiss him, watching as a subdued fear flashed through those perfectly blue eyes before fading as the magic of his spell strengthened and squashed the emotion down. It was fascinating to watch, truly.
Alfred never resisted him, always stumbled forward when beckoned; shed his clothes with a simple command, and would lie back and spread his legs without a single complaint. The sheer obedience made Arthur’s heart beat faster as he took Alfred, night after night. In his arrogance he would ask the blond, “Do you want me to continue?”
He would watch Alfred try so desperately to say no, to reject him, but always, always his body would betray him as a breathy, forced, “Yes,” came from his parted lips.
Maybe he was disgusting for doing this, but he didn’t care. He’d never wanted anything more in his entire existence, and now that he had it, he wasn’t ever going to let it go – not even after death.
Arthur shouldn’t have been as surprised as he was when Alfred escaped after three months of captivity. In fact, he was infuriated, filled to the brim with lust and vengeance and he simply wanted to torment the entire town until his puppet came back into his arms. But there was no time to exact his revenge; not a moment to glance through his library for the most deceitful tricks and horrifying spells – they were already at his door, shouting and screaming accusations.
“Witchcraft!” they chanted, calling him outside, raising farming equipment and bludgeons as if it would frighten him. They were all peevish and ignorant. The only reason they were here now was because they believed what one silly boy told them, possibly frantic, possibly crying. Arthur could have escaped – it would have been very simple, and he’d done it many, many times prior; but there was one task that he felt compelled to complete, even if it cost him his long life.
He opened the door to his home carefully, only letting it ajar far enough for half of his face to be seen. “Bring me Alfred Jones, and I’ll relinquish myself to you.” For a moment there was a confused mutter throughout the mob and after a few of them began to shake their heads, seemingly unwilling to do as Arthur demanded, he added, “If you do not, I will cast a plague upon this town; infants will die, never taking breath, crops will wilt with disease, men will go mad with hunger and gout –”
“Bring the boy!” a man shouted nervously, his knuckles white as he gripped his shovel tightly. “Bring him here! What’s one person to a whole town?”
Arthur closed his door and waited until there was a hesitant knock upon his door. For a brief moment he pondered if what he was about to do was worth it – the likely possibility of death, but when he opened his door to see Alfred Jones on his doorstep, angered and shaking, Arthur decided that it indeed was worth it. “You fucking bastard,” Alfred said quickly as Arthur stepped out onto the doorstep.
“I curse you, Alfred Jones,” Arthur interrupted whatever the boy was going to say next, placing his thumb forcefully on Alfred’s forehead before anyone had a chance to react. “To me you’ll forever be entwined; mind, body, and soul.”
Alfred’s blue eyes went impossibly wide and Arthur decided he did rather like expressions on that handsome face. He barely felt himself being tackled to the ground, too wrapped up in himself and the jittery feeling that Alfred’s fear sent through his entire body. Arthur didn’t even care when they bound him and carried him into the center of the down, throwing him into an impromptu cage as they went about creating a stake for him to be burned at.
They thought he would weep over seeing his own death device being made, tremble at the premonitions and quake in fear. Arthur wouldn’t appease them. Instead he smiled at them as they past, occasionally making what lewd gestures he could until all the women refused to come out of their homes.
Dusk finally settled over the town when the townsfolk tied him to the crudely made stake in the square before the mayor’s home. Tinder and hay had been piled around his feet and a torch was lit in the crowd and carried forth by none other than his precious Alfred Jones.
“Before you burn like the abomination you are,” Alfred hissed lowly as he approached Arthur, holding the torch firmly and defiantly, “Tell me what you cursed me with.”
Arthur leaned forward as much as he could, hardly mindful of the licking flames near his face. “Didn’t you hear me before, silly boy? You’re mine – forever. I will meet you in the next life and the life after that, and forever – always you will be mine. My puppet.”
“Burn in hell!” Alfred seethed, his hands beginning to tremble.
Arthur only smiled, his head rolling to the side and casting a foreboding shadow over half of his face. “I will meet you there, Alfred.” Alfred dropped the torch into the piled hay and fled as the flammable tinder quickly caught aflame at Arthur’s feet.
The smoke was thick and oppressive, but Arthur continued to smile, calling out, “There is no escape, Alfred. There is no escape for you,” until his final breath.