Fan Fiction

Introspection of the Perv
by Bren MacDonald
Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5 / Part 6 / Part 7

Introspection of the Perv part 1


The alarm was going off. Five AM...

God... So early...

Jack considered turning it off and sleeping in. He'd still be up before Sandra and Crystal.

Tempting...

Then he remembered the dreams. The MagiNet... all his friends... the only place he'd felt freedom from his problems since he'd f&%#ed over Sandra... everyone falling towards oblivion at the hands of that twisted bastard. All because Jack couldn't accept the idea that this could be too good to be true. With a sigh Jack got up and pulled on a 'perv' shirt. Bemused, he wondered how long before this one would be sacrificed to Sandra's fury. He brought this up with Tomie.

"Ten-o-one AM. What are the odds this time?"

"Ten twenty," Jack smiled, "At stake is my mint condition issue of 'Horny Girls: December Edition'."

"Oooo!"

It was mint condition because Jack hadn't read it yet. It was just another leftover from a previous life. Jack the naive was gone, J-Jack was dead, Jack the Plaid stood in their place.

Truth be told, his prized porn collection was collecting dust, only getting any use once a week at most. The primal urges that once ruled his free time were being put off for longer and longer periods of time. Jack kept his subscriptions going more to keep Sandra and Crystal from worrying about his sanity.
Jack took one last look at the bed, then began to light candles for meditation.

It was said that sleeping during meditation was among the dumbest things you could do as it was known to blur the edges of ethereal plane and trap magic users inside. It weakened the magic user's link to his body. Jack found his view of the ethereal plane was more vivid while sleeping. There was more risk involved, but as he had Tomie to guide him back and his plaid cloak permanently connecting the ethereal plane to his body, there was no real danger. The worst that could happen would be a couple hours of wandering in the wrong direction.

Sitting down, Jack promptly fell into meditative sleep. It was five-o-seven.


Introspection of the Perv part 2


The ethereal plane was much like outer space in many respects, Jack thought as he glided past a cluster of colors too rare and beautiful to have been named, it was infinite but had very little to fill the area. Then again, maybe it more resembled a library. The information gathered throughout all the ages of magic was scattered around this infinite plane of existence. Like a library it seemed there was more than could be read in a lifetime of study without sleep.

But Jack didn't have a lifetime. Sandra didn't have a lifetime.

He'd seen the demon take over once, and it had nearly killed him. Sandra had been dead, or close to it at least; shot clean through the stomach and missing a chunk the size of a basketball. Her body regenerated good as new in a matter of hours. But Sandra wasn't home.

Something else was at the controls...

That meant this "something else" was in there with Sandra from the beginning. The only reason it hadn't taken over, Jack had theorized, was because Sandra still clung on to the humanity she had left. But she was growing accustomed to being a demon, the incident last Halloween was proof enough of that.

It scared him down to his core.

He'd been tortured by two lesser demons. He'd died because of their torture. But Sandra was more powerful than the two of them combined.

Not for the first time, Jack questioned the randomness of the forces that had conspired to put Sandra into a demon's body. Magic just wasn't random. Everything was connected to everything else, and nothing happened without a reason. Cause and effect governed everything in magic as it did in science. He brought his attention back to the task at hand. A side effect of falling asleep while meditation was that the mind had a tendency to wander. Jack had to make sure his mind didn't wander too much, otherwise he could get lost. He expected this is what happened to the other wizards who'd began all this nonsense against sleeping while meditation.

There was a reserve of knowledge near him. Jack dipped his mind into it.

Boy, the wizard who'd left this nugget was a sick bastard; the reserve was full of love charm recipes and succubus summoning spells, not to mention an interesting sounding libido enhancing herbal potion. Jack made a mental note to come back later and moved on.

He'd explored thousands of these knowledge reserves, but hadn't really found anything of value towards Sandra yet. But Jack had to believe it was out here somewhere.

Tomie's voice spoke in his head.

"Jack, the candles..."

Jack pushed himself out of the ethereal plane and back into his body. The flames of the candles around him were half a foot high.

Reacting quickly, he grabbed Tomie and tossed him.

A moment later Jack was engulfed in fire. He screamed. Jack, who'd been set on fire more times than he wished to remember, had developed a very high tolerance for pain. That said, it was hard not to release a bloodcurdling scream when tendrils of flame burst through his skin and fried him alive.

Eight seconds later the flames stopped.

Jack looked at the clock. Ten-twenty-four. He smiled. Tomie was going to be disappointed. Oh well, time for breakfast.


Introspection of the Perv part 3


Jack headed downstairs to the kitchen, passing Sam heading the other way on the stairway.

"Morning Jack."

"Morning Sam."

It probably said something about this household that Jack was currently burnt beyond recognition and nobody considered it out of the ordinary. Then again, Sam was a giant rabbit with opposable thumbs. Ordinary didn't seem to have a place in this household anymore.

In the kitchen, Jack poured himself a bowl of cereal. He noticed with some dismay that flakes of his burned flesh were falling into his cheerios. Oh well, he thought, at least it wasn't someone else's.

The milk was a day over the expiration date, but Jack used it anyway. Not like the cereal can get any worse, he mused. He dipped a spoon into the bowl and raised it to his mouth. A little chewy at times, but the pain in his tongue drained out any flavor.

Jack no longer used healing spells to heal his frequent burns. Though most healing spells were fairly quick and easy to perform, the incantations to heal 3rd degree burns spread over an entire body took close to an hour to prepare. Localized wounds took less time as there was less area to concentrate the healing magic over. As such, it was often easier to heal a knife wound then a sunburn. And, as his body often healed in a couple hours on it's own anyway, Jack figured the time he would take to prepare such magic was better spent working on more important things. Like Sandra's cure.

Crystal was sitting at the dining room, her usual cheerful self. Jack was sitting across from her.

"Good morning Jack! Did you sleep well?"

"Ask me later, when my lips re-grow."

Strange, Jack couldn't remember walking from the kitchen to the dining room. He needed to watch that.

"Jeeze, you're in a sour mood this morning."

Feigning being hurt, Crystal got up and walked out of the room. Jack thought she was feigning, at least. It was always hard to judge Crystal's mood. She was much more mature than she presented herself; that's what Jack figured, anyway. He would have traveled longer along this train of though, had not, at that very moment, a long and disturbingly pointy finger tap him on the shoulder.

"Good morning Sandra. Nightmares?" Jack said.

"Don't act innocent with me Jack. I hope you weren't expecting me to wear it for your sick amusement." Sandra snarled.

If Jack were to turn around and look into Sandra's eyes at that moment, he knew they would be glowing white.

"Wear what? What did I do wrong?"

"Don't tell me you've forgotten the little present you left hanging on my door this morning."

"Sandra, I've been in a trance since five this morning."

"Who else would leave a bikini on my door handle?"

Crystal popped her head in from the hall.

"Was it pink with yellow flowers?" She enquired.

Sandra nodded.

"Oh, thank goodness you found it! I'm going to the beach today and I misplaced it this morning. I was afraid I wouldn't find it in time. It's still in you're room right?"

Without waiting for an answer, Crystal dashed upstairs to get her swimsuit.

"You mean I... and it wasn't... and you... oh god. Jack, I'm so sorry."

"It's okay, I'm used to it."

Sandra sat down in the chair beside Jack.

"No Jack it's not okay."

She looked away.

"I'm a monster." She whispered.

"No Sandra, you're not."

"Don't baby me Jack. I come this close to burning you to death practically everyday, and I do it for stupid reasons. I nearly killed you today over a goddamned swimsuit!"

Jack was about to make a joke when he heard a faint hiss coming from the floor.

Sandra was crying.

"I just want to be human again, Jack. I want everything normal again."

"I know."

Jack hesitated only a moment before walking over and hugging Sandra. She was surprised at first, but then returned his embrace and cried into his shoulder.

"Me too."


Introspection of the Perv part 4


The burns on Jack's shoulder from Sandra's were taking a long time to heal. He didn't mind too much.

The pain served as a reminder of the promise Jack had made to Sandra so long ago; he would not give up until a cure was found, no matter the cost.

No matter the cost...

How much had that promise already cost him? There was no way to go back to his carefree and perverted ways now. Too much depended on him. After he'd fixed Sandra and sent Sam home, he still needed to fulfill the promise he'd made to Dawn and the others.

His new sense of responsibility wasn't going to just go away once Sandra was Sandra again. Jack was still a wizard, possibly the last one alive now. And Sandra would never be able to live a normal life even with her own body back.

Last Halloween had demonstrated that clear enough.

Even Crystal wouldn't be able to readjust to a normal life. She couldn't even have a normal boyfriend.

How much had his failures cost them all?

Jack thought back on the many mistakes he'd made.

It was cruel irony that his greatest failures came directly following his successes. He'd banished a demonic evil, then f%$&ed Sandra royally. He'd saved Crystal from a mechanical happy face with a bunch of pointy attachments, then he'd opened a gate to limbo prematurely resulting in the destruction of half a city. He'd found paradise, then didn't heed the warning that could've saved everyone...

Jack turned his attention away from his failures. All he could do was avoid making any more and try to make up for the ones he'd already made.

He picked up Tomie.

"What are you thinking about." His friend's voice said in his head.

"I'm just thinking how great my Horny Girls: December Edition is."

"Oh quit rubbing it in."

"You'll win the bet next time, Tomie. And I'll throw in March and February as a bonus."

Almost absentmindedly, Jack opened Tomie.

"Jack, you've read me 400 times already, what would once more gain you?"

"You know, I've counted these pages three times and each time I ended up with a different number."

"Really? I never knew that."

Jack sighed.

"Tomie, I'm missing something obvious."

"I've had a thousand and more owners. You've studied me more thoroughly than any one of them. If there's anything relevant in my pages, you would've found it by now."

"I have to believe there's a solution, Tomie. If only for Sandra I can't give up. And my predecessors didn't study you as hard because they had more than one reference book."

"Well, yeah but... damn it Jack, you're going to kill yourself if you keep-"

"I've already died once Tomie. I'm willing to do it again if it means Sandra can have her life back."

"...I know, I... just don't want to lose you again..."

This wasn't the first time Tomie had mentioned this to him. Jack didn't know how to respond, so instead he stared blankly at a diagram in front of him. It described step by step the process of reanimating the dead.
"Do you belief the universe is random Tomie?"

"What are you getting at?"

"I've been thinking and I can't think of any way the universe could be random. I don't think anything is random. What we perceive as being random is just what we can't understand or can't see the pattern to."

"I think I know where you're going with this."

"Maybe the solution is slamming you shut again. Another shot of 'random' magic might just fix everything."

Jack began to slowly close Tomie.

"Forget it Jack. Even if you knew the pattern, which you don't, you couldn't control it. In all odds you'd end up making things worse for everyone."

"I'm sorry. You're right."

"Take a day off Jack. Please. You need it."

"...OK."

Carefully Jack closed Tomie. He did need a day off.

It was seven in the morning.

Time for porn he thought with a smile. He could actually read Horny Girls: December Edition. And while he had the time to spare, he might as well look more in depth into that knowledge reserve from earlier.


Introspection of the Perv part 5


Oh god, he'd needed this. He really hadn't realized how much he'd needed this. But wasn't that the case with everything in life? You never realize how much something is needed until it's too late. Tomie deserved seven issues of Horny Girls for suggesting this.

His body leisurely drifted along, this way and that.

It was so peaceful.

Was this what the ethereal plain was originally designed for? Was it meant to be a place for wizards to spend free afternoons relaxing? Or was it designed at all? Perhaps it was one of those places that existed on their own accord, oblivious to the comings and goings of those who visited.

Maybe it didn't really matter in the end, Jack thought. Or perhaps it was the most important thing in the world.

The knowledge reserve he'd been to the day before was on Jack's right. He moved over to it, and let his mind dip inside again.

First he checked out the herbal potion for libido enhancement. Sounded like it might work, but several ingredients made Jack's stomach turn, and the application methods were a little extreme.

Jack looked through everything in the reserve one by one, relishing in the perversion.

Then he found something.


Sandra wasn't the first to hear the scream, but she was the first to recognize it as out of the ordinary. She was the first to knock on Jack's door, and she was the first to see the still form on the ground.

She was also the first to see the porno rags spread across the floor and the bottle of hand lotion on the mantle, but at the moment that wasn't important. Neither was the circle of candles around the body burning with white-blue flames.

What was important was the candle lying horizontally by Jack's outstretched hand, and the flame that was rapidly consuming anything flammable. Specifically Jack's outstretched hand and the aforementioned publications.

Thinking quickly Sandra grabbed a blanket from Jacks bed and threw it on the flame. She then proceeded to stomp on the sheet to put out the fire beneath. She'd seen it in a movie once. Of course the movie hadn't featured a man's hand as one of the flaming objects under the sheet, nor did the stomping feet it featured sport the need for horseshoes.

Crystal appeared in the doorway. She looked at Sandra. She looked at her bother's crumpled form on the ground. She gasped.

It was at this point that Sandra noticed a mushy lump where Jack's hand had been moments before. She looked at it for a moment.

"Oh god..."

Crystal walked over to Jack and felt for a pulse.

"Don't worry Sandra, he's alive. He'll be able to fix it when he wakes up."

"It's not that... I can't smell him Crystal."

"You can't smell him?"

"I can't smell his soul."


Everything was... wrong...

It was all wrong...

Jack's head throbbed with dull pain.

He couldn't feel Tomie.

He shuddered at what that meant and tried to pull his plaid totem closer around his ethereal body-

-only to find it wasn't there.

That meant he was drifting along in an infinite mindscape without an anchor to the world, WITHOUT AN ANCHOR TO HIS BODY!

At that thought the throbbing in his head grew worse.

Pain...

He shouldn't feel pain here. The last time he'd felt pain in the ethereal plane was... When? Jack had a vague feeling he should remember...

Where was he?

Suddenly Jack was struck by vertigo. There was no ground. It made no sense, there had to be a ground.

Where...?

The ethereal plane, he was on the ethereal plane. He had to stay focused.

Jack wracked his brain to remember what happened. The knowlege reserve... He'd found something... What?

It felt like someone had mixed up his mind with an egg beater. He tried to clear his head, to bring together the pieces of his fragmented consciousness. Jack had to keep his wits about him. Without ties to his body he could be drifting out here forever.

He looked around. It was so beautiful. Infinite reserves of knowledge stretched across an infinite space, like the largest library in the universe. Now if he could only find the index.

Had he made that comparison before? His head hurt...

Pain...

He remembered the demons who'd made him feel pain here before. Then he remembered Harold and the thousands of his friends...

With effort he pushed his mind back to more pressing matters. The reserve.

What did he find? The answer was just out of reach; just out of his mind's eye. It almost seemed someone was holding it back, keeping it-

-trapped...

The thing had been booby-trapped. What was so important to be buried in recipes for perverted spells and potions, then booby-trapped? Jack couldn't help thinking he was asking the wrong questions, or expecting the wrong answers.

Wrong...

Something right, something wrong. Success succeeded by failure. The infinite cycle come back to haunt him. He couldn't save...

No.

He couldn't give up. Sandra still needed his help. He still had responsibilities.

He was trapped in the ethereal plane, but Jack'd been trapped in a mindscape before and made it out. He could do it again. Even if it meant he had to die again to do it, he'd find a way out.

And the first place to start was the reserve.


Introspection of the Perv part 6


Crystal wasn't at Jack's level in the magic department but she could hold her own if push came to shove. And at this moment, with Jack out of the running, push was definitely knocking at shove's door.

Fortunately the magical book had been unharmed in the fire. Crystal had been able to fix up a healing spell for Jack's arm in an hour. There was scaring, and no doubt the hand would have reduced mobility for a while. Sandra figured Jack could fix that when he woke up...

...if he woke up.

Crystal had theorized that Jack's soul was still in meditation world, or something, and that it would come back on it's own. Sandra hoped she was right.

What would Jack be like if he woke up without a soul? Would he be like Tool, or something else entirely?

Sandra shrugged off the possibility that Jack could be gone. Jack was lying right here. He wasn't dead, he wasn't dying, just sleeping... Sleeping so deeply that he didn't wake up when his arm was mangled.

Comatose.

But a coma wasn't the worst thing that could've happened, or even the worse that had happened, considering past events. Hell, if Jack could survive death, a coma should be a cakewalk.

Sandra'd insisted they him on his bed after the spell was complete. Just didn't seem right to leave him on the floor.

She was alone in the room with Jack. Crystal originally went downstairs to make coffee, but Sandra had heard her go out the door instead. This had affected her fiercely, Sandra knew. Sam was out for a walk, too. He'd been doing that a lot recently. Sandra hadn't even tried to stop him. She welcomed the solitude.

Jack's Perv shirt was bloody. Tenderly she peeled it off of him, placing the shirt on a couple of the burned and trampled magazines. She noticed for the first time that Jack's plaid totem shirt was missing and warning bells started to ring in her head. She shrugged them off.

Instead Sandra marveled at the dexterity she'd developed over the years with her claws. There was a time when she would've sliced Jack to ribbons trying the same maneuver. Now she could type, carve pumpkins, and even do a little drawing. She was really getting comfortable in her body.

And flying...

What would it be like if she couldn't fly anymore? Could she really handle just being human again?

The blood had soaked though his shirt and was caked onto his skin. Sandra went to the kitchen and poured a cooking pot half-full of warm water. She grabbed a cloth from the sink and went back upstairs.

Sandra could smell the mildew on the cloth as she dipped it into the water. Gently she mopped up the matted blood. Almost... motherly?

How many times had Sandra's own mother done the same? Picked her up when she'd fallen? Cleaned a scraped knee and bandaged it?

What would she think to see her only daughter doing the same? Probably ask her was going to give her old lady a grandchild. Sandra smiled at this, and a tear rolled down her cheek.

It sizzled on the bed, leaving a brown stain on the mattress.

This wasn't the first time she'd seen herself as a mother, but this was the first time she'd seen it as a desire and not as one of the things she'd never do or be as a demon. All the things absent from her life because Jack was "farting around" and slammed a damned book shut-

Sandra cut that thought short as she felt a trickle of warm liquid run down her hand. She looked down at Jack's bare back and was shocked to see two fresh gashes in the skin.


Introspection of the Perv part 7


"I am not crying. I will not cry. Keep smiling. I will keep smiling."

This was Crystal's mantra, and right now she was chanting it under her breath like it was the only thing keeping her feet moving. Perhaps it was...

"I am not crying."

Crystal was losing control over herself. Depression was beginning knock at the edge her emotional barriers. It was like a dark cloud creeping over her silver lining. Her smile wasn't as wide these days as it used to be.

The fairy tale was falling apart.

"I will not cry."

Those simple words were a way of life, a state of mind. She was beginning to wonder if there was more than attitude that governed the world. That perhaps suffering and not joy was the ruling component of the human condition.

Could there be pain behind every smile?

No.

"Keep smiling."

Crystal couldn't think along those lines. It was the quest for happiness that defined what it was to be alive. Suffering was but a passing moment between times of joy, not the other way around. Humanity was meant to be happy.

Humanity was meant to be happy...

Right now, her brother was lying in a coma. Her brother the wizard. Her brother the invincible. Where was the justice in that?

"I will keep smiling."

A tear rolled down her cheek.

Crystal wiped the tear with the back of her hand. This wasn't the time for tears. Jack wasn't dead, and his soul was lost in ethereal plain. She was the only person that could do anything about it. She was the only other person in the house that could read Jack's book.

Now was not the time for sorrow, now was the time to think.

What could've been powerful enough to tear Jack from his soul? Damn it Jack, what did you get yourself into this time?

If it wasn't for Sandra walking in to his room when she-

Crystal nearly missed a step.

That wasn't right...

If Jack's soul was missing... HOW THE HELL COULD SANDRA SEE HIM?

To be continued...