Lamp Seeker 1.5
I forgot to move some of this content over when I shuttered Patreon – sorry! If you weren’t a patron, here’s a brief interlude in my alt-future/fantasy queer erotica, Lamp Seeker.
More updates are coming soon.
While Willow showered, I did a few laps around the house to see the results of our banishment. The screaming was gone, and the Ikkilak wasn’t on the bedroom wall anymore. I clucked at the state of the dresser it lived over, but at least it could be replaced more easily than my sanity or my relationship. I’d also need to sweep all the butterscotch wrappers up… after we rested. Both of us felt drained from everything the sex magic pulled from us. I was just grateful it worked.
“I need ingredients for a locator spell.”
My apothecary’s eyebrows were surprised to see me again so soon, but she didn’t say anything about it. I stood at her stall on the ground floor of a repurposed mall, juggling my bag and cane and coin purse, desperately trying not to drop anything.
“I’ll need a few minutes, I have to get them out of storage.” She gestured to the gated shop behind her, then cleared her throat.
“If you’d like to take a seat while you wait, follow me.”
Willow and I had been shopping with this plump satyr for years, partially because of how nice she was. I appreciated being offered a seat instead of fumbling on my feet. I stowed the wallet and followed, inhaling with pleasure as I stooped under the gate. Once upon a time this had been some candle store, but now the glass jars lining the walls were overflowing with plant life or ground-up herbs, and the entire room smelled like a dryad orgasm.
I took a seat in a high-backed chair in a corner. Tilda clopped around the room, talking to plants as she trimmed cuttings from them, filling small vials with dried herbs.
“I should know better than to ask, but I can’t stop wondering what you’re looking for this time, Janus.”
I chuckled. “You know I can’t violate client privacy. I’ll give you a hint though: it’s illuminating.”
“Ooh! A manuscript?”
I was a little surprised her mind went there instead of the more literal interpretation, but Tilda had proven to be interested in religion in addition to her green thumb.
“That’s a good guess.”
She reached into a barrel full of rough crystals, removing some amethyst and sodalite, smirking as she sorted out the pieces. “But apparently not correct.”
“You know I couldn’t tell you. I sign each contract with a blood oath.”
“How does that work?” She gestured at my stone exterior. It was an invasive question, but she knew me well enough that I wasn’t offended.
“Oh, those things stopped requiring actual blood ages ago. You just have to experience pain now.”
“Huh… the more you know…” Tilda murmured as she scanned a row of dried herbs and selected a few jars, grabbing a tiny set of measuring spoons shaped like scoops.
“Yeah, I guess a better name for it would be an ‘unbreakable oath.’”
“No ripping up client contracts, then. What do you do if you can’t find the thing?”
“I ALWAYS find the thing. It’s my purpose.”
“Yeah, yeah, ‘purpose’…” She air quoted the word “purpose” and rolled her eyes. Tilda was never much of a traditionalist.
“I’ve heard your rant about personal choice, but it’s different for me. I was literally created by artificers specifically to find things. I have to devote my life to that purpose.”
“But your life has grown beyond finding stuff. You have friends, relationships, hobbies… you have more to live for now.”
“Yes, and I wouldn’t trade my partners or friends for the world! …but at least part of my life still has to be about locating shit. I’m compelled to do it. I start cracking if I don’t. That’s why I started the private eye work. It’s way more chill than when I was first created. It’s not like my maker is around to issue extra tasks or complain that Willow is distracting me.”
“Speaking of Willow, do ey need anything else while you’re here?”
“Nah, the banishment ate into our day.” I fished my coinpurse back out to remove a few gold pieces for my purchase and slipped them into my pocket.
“Just checking. And how’d that banishment go? You don’t always just do random rituals you find in the margins of old books, right?”
“Gods no. Not normally… but I didn’t have other leads.”
“You should’ve checked out the library on Bozeman Street, their occult and religion sections are robust.”
I made a mental note. My home library was extensive, but I don’t have room for every magical tome on the planet.
“Here’s your supplies, J.”
We traded, and I stowed the bag in the inner pocket of my jacket.
“Much appreciated. You should come over for dinner one evening, Willow would love to see you.”
“Oh, are you going to have a bacchanalia?”
“I mean, not as such, but I’m sure we could show you a good time.” I winked at her, chuckling.
She giggled and smoothed her hair.
“I’ll consider your proposition. Ask me again next time you stop by.”