Matrim felt an itching at his neck. Staring down, he saw the colar that
Egwene2 had placed on him. Out of the frying pan and into the fire, he
thought bitterly. He had been perfectly content to live out the rest of
his days under the rocks, but Oh no! He had to get mixed in with the forum
feuding. Well this was just great. Egwene2 had found him, somehow. If he
ever found out who tipped her off he'd put his spear to good use. Matrim
sighed. They were now back at the Great Mistress of the Dark's imperial
castle, where Egwene2 was showing off her new "pet".
"And if I want him to, he'll scrub the mildew off the shower stall. Plus, he comes with a handy...."
Matrim stopped listening. Bloody Mistresses of the Dark. Thought they knew everything. How could he have sunk so low? Him, Matrim Cauthon, who used to be able to fondle a girl AND milk a cow at the same time (Not that hard actually). It just wasn't a man's world anymore. If only he could do something, but what? The Mistresses were all powerful, and he could do nothing with his feeble attempts of rebellion. He sighed. He glanced down at his neck again. It was really starting to itch. He couldn't scratch it, though, because Egwene2 had handcuffed him.
"Egwene2? Honey, could you unlock...?"
"Quiet you!" and with that she went back to talking with her fellow Mistresses.
Matrim's ire rose. Bloody women. Since when had they the right to tell a man what to do? The itch seemed to respond to his thoughts by increasing in measure. Matrim scrunched up his nck. This was driving him insane!
"Egwene2, my dear, I really..."
"Silence!,,, and on top of that, he can massage my toes when they're feeling..."
Matrim was going crazy with agitation. He stared down at the collar and began to get worried. Blue streaks of lightning were popping out of the colar. It looked like it was malfunctioning, but why? Suddenly, he realized it. Around his neck, he still wore his Foxhead medallion. The thing that repulsed all forms of Power. Including the colar. If he didn't get it off soon they're was not telling what would happen. But Matrim did know that whatever happened, it would be happening to him first. Frantically, he tried to get the Mistresses attention.
"Please, listen, this thing is gonna...."
"That is enough, slave!" and she bounded Matrim with flows of air.
Matrim was sweating as he stared down at the collar and his foxhead. Both seemed to be in combat, as if they were measuring the power behind they're forces. Matrim tried to speak, but the air drew his mouth shut. The sparks began to rise to a crescendo, snapping and pooping with great noise. Finally, the Mistresses noticed.
"What is that sound.... what in the name of Dave is that?!?!"
Matrim eyes were like those of a deer before getting hit by a truck. A wimper managed it's way through the air flows. And then the collar exploded.
A great hush fell over the room. It was broken by the sound of Matrim
falling to the floor, the air strips no longer holding him up. He gasped
"As I was saying, Ladies," He mocked,"The collar is about to explode."
They all gave him looks increduality. And then something very peculiar happened.
The Elder one, Ariella, Matrim believed she was called, began to change. Her face sagged, as did her chest and buttocks. As Matrim stared wildly around the room, he saw the same happening to the other Mistresses. They became...... regular, again.
"Ummmmmm.......... oops?" Matrim said, with his customary grin.
"You...... you stilled us!" shouted Egwene2.
"The blast of the power must have overwhelmed us!" added Smoke.
"Oh, gee, that stinks," said Matrim. "That's the one there's no cure for, right?"
"You bastard!" shouted a much older looking Ariella, who, without the flows of air to keep her skin from dropping, was looking quite her age. "You insolent, mindless little prick! Look what you've done!" She pointed to herself and the others. "My empire.... ruined!"
"Well, it's not really my fault, if you had listened to me..."
"SHUT UP!" shouted all of the very distraught looking Mistresses.
Suddenly, Demandred beamed in. "I felt a disturbance.... It was like a weight being lifted from my shoulders...." and then, seeing the scene of chaos, "What happened?" They all looked at Matrim.
"Well," He said, "I kinda...... sorta..... stilled all of them. By accident, of course. So now all of they're powers are gone. Including the bonds they once held over you and all the others. Your free."
And with those words, Matrim smiled.
"We're free. We're finally free!" He did a little dance, and then exited, his slightly burnt Foxhead medallion swinging in the wind across his neck.
Matrim "Most Wanted" Cauthon
And then, Matrim woke up. There was still that damnable itch around
his neck, but when he reached up to scratch, he realized it was only the
lon-healed scar he'd gotten when he stepped through the doorway. He heaved
a long sigh of relief. It had all been a dream, then, a nightmare.
"Well, not entirely, Matrim," came a low, smoky voice from out of the shadows. Ariella stepped out of the darkness which was her home, her birthright, and regarded him with inscrutable emerald eyes. She looked... not old, certainly, but not youthful, either. Mature, he thought, but still enough to make any man's mouth go dry.
"Matrim, if you want to go, then go. None of the Sisters will pursue you, unless you wish it. We only catch men who want to be caught. You of all people should understand that, you who have chased more maids than any half dozen other men put together. But please, don't stoop to being insulting... just walk away like a man. And don't let the door hit you on the ass on your way out..."
With that, she stepped closer and gave him a gentle kiss on the cheek. "You know where to find us, if you want to play..." and then, she was simply gone.
Ariella, the Great Mistress of the Dark, now and always...