The Lokian Way - Part 02 - A Girl's First Spell

***** Wednesday *****

The next morning Mercy was proud of herself. She thought she was doing rather well being a girl. Sure some things were confusing or annoying but she managed. No freakouts yet. Of course, she hadn't been a girl for even one full day. It worried her how she might react to some real challenges. Would she panic then?

She also tried to control her trickster compulsions. It mostly worked. But somehow some toothpaste found itself under some doorknobs. She only regretted those pranks in one regard. They were pretty juvenile. She hoped she will get some better ideas. A life as a goody two shoes hadn't prepared her for a life as a trickster mage in the slightest.

Finally ready to go, mother and daughter headed to the mall. Mercy thought she would have trouble finding clothes and trying them on. After all ‘he’ had always hated shopping. ‘She’ however quickly found it entertaining once she thought of a small game. She wouldn’t call her mother prude but it was a close call. Picking the most deviant and sexy Dessous quickly satisfied her inner trickster. Of course, karma quickly came down on her. Her mother came to the conclusion that a screwed interest in clothes was better than none at all. So she ended up with quite a few risky underwear sets.

Thankfully Mercy let her mother talk her into buying a few plain bras too. After that, she decided that she should choose her pranks more carefully. Of course, if she argued before for risky underwear she could hardly refuse to wear dresses or skirts later. The irony wasn't lost on her as she wondered who she pranked more. Her mother or herself. Then again she didn't mind those girly clothes as much as she thought she would. That was strange in itself she reasoned.

When they left the mall to go to the meeting at the self-help center Mercy wore one of her new outfits. White blouse with a darker matching skirt and trainers. Somehow one too many buttons on her blouse would come off and show her lacy bra. Thankfully her mother pointed it out time and time again. Never seeing Mercy’s grin.

They arrived where it all started. The self-help center. They were greeted by two men. Her mother got her own counseling. The remaining guy introduced himself. ”Hi. The name is Allen. But most call me Al. Welcome to the trickster mages club. Well and sorry too. Well, let’s get some basics down. Okay?”

Al led Mercy to a small office and waited till they both were seated. “Okay, you probably noticed since yesterday that you like to do pranks now. Or to play tricks on people.”

Mercy nodded. “I did. It’s kinda strange. I never was into hijinx of any kind but now it’s like my mind always comes up with new ways I could prank someone. My mother said I could learn to control it.”

Al made a sour face. “Learning to control it is kinda a white lie. We trickster mages have to prank. To play tricks. Cause mischief. We can’t help it. What we can and will do is to teach you is to favor smaller pranks and to hide them better. You see trickster magic wants to be used. The longer you deny it the stronger the urge gets. Playing small pranks helps to avoid a big prank. Big as in something that might ruin your life. There is also the fact that your instinct to prank can be misleading. If a prank doesn't involve trickster magic it won't satisfy your urge or need for long. If at all. To learn and direct those urges is what we call the lokian way."

Disappointed Mercy nodded. The very magic that had turned her life upside down was now part of her life forever. More so she had to use it.

"Furthermore I have to warn you. The more magic you have the more it wants out. And I am sad to say you got quite a lot in the accident. That will also play a big role in your natural spells. You see new trickster mages get a spell that they are instinctively familiar with. They can cast those easily as if it is second nature. Later they can learn a few minor common spells and if they study hard to some degree the natural spells of other mages. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves”

"I thought someone could learn all spells equally and for all magic aspects, given time and dedication," a confused Mercy threw in.

"Normally yes, but trickster magic is different. For one it appears to have a will of its own. And making its mages jump through hoops is apparently one of its ways to show its hilarious humor."

"Like getting their mages get used to a new gender," Mercy threw in.

"Well." Al frowned a bit. "In recorded history, you seemed to be the first in that regard.

*Great,* Mercy thought. *I could have done without that 'honor' of being first.*

Al reached into his desk and pulled out a small audio recorder. Switching it on he addressed Mercy. “Now. Do me a favor. Ask me what my natural spell does.”

Giving a slight shrug Mercy complied. “What does your natural spell do? Al?”

Instead of answering Al pressed the rewind button on the recorder and then pressed play. “What does your big butt do, Al?” was clearly heard.

Chuckling Al answered. "Why of course it can fart among other things. But I asked you to ask me about my spell."

Mercy looked confused. “I did. I mean I said natural spell ..." She stopped after seeing Al's big grin.

“Yes, you did. I can exchange words in the mind of others. They think one thing but they say another and they won’t even notice. Don’t worry I only hit you with a small one. 10 mins tops. Now that you know mine how about we find out what yours is. Does anything comes to mind?”

Mercy thought for a moment. So far she only had played small pranks that everyone could do. Mage or not. They hadn't really felt satisfying. Thinking back she remembered some weirdness. Quickly testing out her guess proved it right. “I think I always know what people are wearing. Uhm all of it. Even things I don’t see. You do know the colors of your socks don’t match right?”

Al chuckled again. “Okay. Good start. And yes they don’t match. Sue me. But what you describe might only be a minor natural spell. With your amount of magic, it wouldn’t surprise me if you had one or two mayor spells and 2 or 3 small ones. Well, let’s test more. So my socks don’t match. Do you know the colors? Can you actually see them?”

Mercy did concentrate again. After a few moments, she saw them as if they were floating in front of her. Al didn’t seem to see them so she knew it was only in her mind. “Well yeah, I can see them. The left one is a bit lighter gray and the other is a bluish gray. With a hole at the heel.”

Al grinned. “Got me there. Ok good. Now ..” He stood up and took a book from a nearby shelf. “ .. most often, if a mage has multiple natural spells, they usually are linked in some way. That suggests yours might be linked on the theme 'clothes'." He turned some pages. “Ah here. Okay, let’s try this. Concentrate on the thought that I am to undress my t-shirt.”

Mercy did as told but for some moments nothing happened. Finally, Al cleared his throat. “Not that one huh? Let’s try the next one. Okay, that one is weird. Try pushing the thought into my mind that the t-shirt is made of living snakes.”

Closing her eyes she tried again. Again nothing happened. However, she quickly lost focus. Instead, she visualized how his t-shirt would look like if it was made of snakeskin.

“Well that is progress but I said living snakes,” Al commented dryly.

She opened her eyes and looked at Al. He was now wearing the same t-shirt she imagined.

“You can stop now concentrating.”

“I already did that, Al.”

He did glance between his shirt and her. Taking out his mobile phone he quickly snapped a picture and looked at it. “Interesting. It was supposed to trick the mind into seeing fake living snakes. Instead this. I can feel the snakeskin texture and it shows up on a picture. That rules out illusion and mind alteration. You can see it too right?”

As Mercy nodded Al started to page through his book again. Finally, he shrugged. “Congratulations. You appear to be the third mage in the entire history with the natural spell to change someone's clothes. It does say that it might be unnoticeable by the victim. Would explain the slight mental push I got. Here is a hint. We trickster mages have a slight resistance to each other's spells. Hmm now, would you mind changing my T-shirt back?”

Mercy concentrated again and complied. Well at least halfway. “Really? A pink hello unicorn shirt?” Al asked accusingly.

With an apologizing grin, she undid her work. Just then a sudden knock broke the silence.

“Looks like it’s all the time we have today. I want to see you again tomorrow after school. Got it? Good. Till then try to experiment a bit. But don’t go overboard with it. Remember a few small pranks are better than a big one. That is the number one rule for every trickster mage following the lokian way."

Joining the others they said their goodbye. Just as they were heading out of the door Al waved her over again. “Tell your mother I am sorry and … Uhm she should avoid the word ‘bra’ for a few hours.”

*****

Her mother decided to eat out instead of returning home right away. Sitting in the car Mercy did some experimenting. First, she changed her white blouse to a light lavender one. “Mom. Do you notice anything different about me?”

Looking over her mother spotted the change right away. “When did you change your blouse?”

*So Al said victims shouldn’t notice the change. But the people around do. Good to know,* she thought to herself. She quickly explained about her natural spell.

After a short drive, they arrived at the Italian restaurant they both liked. After being seated Mercy had to ask. “Mom. Al said I should experiment a bit. Mind if I try to change something about you and you try to guess what?”

She agreed. Now Mercy had to find something to change. Her mother's clothes were as always pretty conservative and plain. Charcoal gray cardigan over a white blouse and a black pencil skirt. A very plain set of bra and panties beneath. And below her usual flats.

Mercy got an idea. Her mother hated heels. She loathed them like they are all made in hell. Mercy quickly visualized the flats and then added a small heel of maybe one and a half inch. Even without looking she knew that her mother's shoes had changed for real. “Ok done. Try to guess.”

Her mother examined herself but said at the same time: “I hope you didn’t change my shoes. You know they are my favorite. They are the only pair where I don’t mind the heel.”

Mercy had to hide a grin. After a short while, her mother gave up.

"I made your skirt 2 inches longer. You really can’t tell?” Mercy lied.

“No. Was it really shorter? Honey. Can you change clothes were the targeted person notices the change?”

“Maybe. Gotta try. Do you mind an even longer skirt?” Her mother didn’t mind and Mercy tried again. This time she focused on the skirt and tried to push the idea that her mother would notice the change.

“It works sweetheart. Trickster mage or not this might be useful.”

Mercy sighed in relieve. “No more bra shopping in the open.”

Her mother quirked an eyebrow. “I thought you liked shopping for funbags keepers. You didn’t mind this morning.”

Mercy stifled an amused snort. She had all but forgotten about Al’s warning. “Mom I think you shouldn’t say the word ‘bra’ for a while. I forgot to tell you but Al, the teacher from the center, put a spell on you. He says ‘sorry’ he couldn’t help it.”

Her mother looked bemused. “What happens when I say funbags keeper?”

Again Mercy had to stifle a snicker. “Instead of ‘bra’, you say ‘funbags keeper’.”

That put a blush on her mother's face. The rest of their dinner was more uneventful. Though Mercy couldn’t help herself to color her mother's blouse the color of light rose. So her ensemble had at least a little splash of color to it.

*****

The evening was kinda tense. Her parents expected pranks like yesterday.  But Mercy had more fun testing out her new spell. The advantage was that her parents wouldn’t notice the change unless she wanted it or they noticed it by mistake on each other. And that was something Mercy avoided as it would spoil her fun.

By nighttime Mercy was wiped. A lot of things had happened today and she learned a lot. But thinking about the day she noticed something peculiar. She still hadn't a freakout about her new gender. That was equally curious and strange. Maybe playing around with her new spell distracted her? Somehow she doubted that was the reason.

In the darkness, she fished for her smartphone. She opened a new file she named "Mercy's list of strange things to figure out." Right at the top, the first point was "- not freaking out about new gender" followed by "body feels strangely familiar" and "no trouble with balance despite new center of gravity".

The next big point was "-Magic." There she wrote "one big and one small natural spell", "might have other spells" and "need to learn about limitations".

Satisfied she put her phone away. Then she thought about the next day. How would it be to return to school as a girl? Would she be treated differently? While musing what might be different she drifted off to sleep.

*****

Mercy's list of strange things to figure out:
- not freaking out about new gender (body feels strangely familiar; no trouble with balance despite new center of gravity)
- Magic (one big and one small natural spell; might have other spells; need to learn about limitations)



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