1st of February – Season 2
I'd heard all the rumors about me. "The Spell-Castor's girlfriend is as psycho as he is." Except none of this was true. First of all, I wasn't his girlfriend. And second of all, I wasn't a psycho. I was his apprentice. And as of yesterday, I was also a Relay Baroness. But to fully appreciate this story, we'd have to wind the clocks back to two weeks ago when I first showed up. True to their nature, these mundane imbeciles that called themselves racers had failed to even take notice that things were about to change now that I'd arrived...
TWO WEEKS AGO
18th of January – Season 2
I'd been sitting in the waiting room of Moodswing's office patiently for Blackcat and Moodswing to finish up. Staring at the glass windows that made up the walls of the waiting room, I weighed the reflection of the chocalte-skinned, petite young woman and her high cheekbones. While I had always been pretty, it was a beauty that had been compared to witches and vampires. Perhaps that's why I'd fallen into the crazy world of occultism.
While they didn't know it, I could hear everything they were discussing. It appeared that Blackcat's spell had worked and that the Club President was open to hiring a new face but under the condition that an old one had to go in return. It was at that point that Moodswing suggested a race for me to earn my spot against a face Moodswing was more than happy to be rid of: the rookie, Caliber Kid.
"Worry not, Fiona," Blackcat had said to me just before the race was to take place. "The spell we concocted this morning to get you a place in the series is still very much at work and will be with you in this race."
Of course, I had all the faith in the world in my teacher. So when I won the race and was awarded with Caliber Kid's contract, I was not surprised. Unfortunately, it seemed there were some that did not see how great this moment is.
"I hope you and your girlfriend are proud of yourselves," Touch Mkhize had said to Blackcat. "That kid had a bright future ahead of him and now you've stripped him of it."
Blackcat had answered for the both of them. "Nonsense. Caliber Kid had brought this on himself by way of his constant complaints. If he'd simply known his place and kept his mouth shut, he would not have found himself without a job right now."
As I listened, I found myself wondering why Blackcat hadn't credited the spell for my victory. Surely letting Touch know that the spells worked would only further the cause of letting people know the power of our craft?
"Yeah, look I know that the kid was acting a little ungrateful to Glen and Moodswing for not using him, but that doesn't mean he basically deserved to be fired. He was just acting out."
"What's done is done." While ordinarily, that's all Blackcat would have to say to end a conversation, it seemed that Touch wasn't having any of it.
Touch looked at me. "Not yet it isn't. Nothing is done until I can have her sitting across from me on my show tonight."
This time Blackcat looked at me to answer. "Have it your way, Mister Mkhize. There's nothing you can ask me that will stand in the way of my destiny."
ONE WEEK AGO
24th of January –Season 2
Despite my appearance on Touching Base the week before, I'd found myself barely making Formula-X news as everyone had been more concerned with Thawn and Solo's race over who should be the next Number One Claimant at The Scramble.
"This week, we cannot make the same mistake," Blackcat had said. "These qualifiers are important and can determine our immediate future, Fiona."
"I won't let you down."
"I know you won't, my apprentice. I know you won't."
This had bothered me when he'd said it as it felt less of a reassurance and more of an 'or else'. Either way, of course I didn't plan on letting him down in the Scramble Race qualifiers. Why would I? It was a huge opportunity for my own self too.
Unfortunately, having gotten entrance numbers one after the other, I'd been forced to deal with Blackcat's disappointment after walking out with the 14th best time only for him to come out with the 13th best. While he hadn't said it out loud, it was clear that he blamed her bad performance for his own bad performance.
I wondered if he'd have the balls to speak up and say something to me but he didn't. Perhaps he didn't want to give me ammunition to blame him for unfairly persecuting me. I can't really call him out for not saying anything. But he still reeked of accusations. Unfortunately, it wouldn't be until a week later that he finally spoke his mind.
TONIGHT AT THE FUEL SPEEDWAY
"I hope for both our sakes that you performed the chants correctly this time, better than you did last time."
I just looked at him. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"It means that this place is no place for weakness and I sense weakness in you my young apprentice."
"What do you mean? The spell worked. We have the Relay Titles now."
"I'm aware of what we have. But I speak of what we don't. We should have qualified higher for the Scramble." I was aware of how Blackcat made use of his baritone voice to strike fear into the hearts of those he spoke to, but it no longer had that affect on me. Still, hearing him say this to me struck something in me... anger. What was he complaining about anyway? Wasn't he the one who always said spells work in nystious ways, but they work? I've done everything the way he told me to: the chants, the ingredients. If tonight doesn't go his way, it's not my fault.
Those were the words whispering to me as we faced off in a relay race against the recently f former Relay Baronesses: Brenda and Doris Koek. While this wasn't a title race, it could have certainly led to one if they won. Unfortunately, the power of their spells fell short to experience. The Koeks won leaving me and a furious Blackcat to lick our wounds. Unfortunately, it looked like Blackcat couldn't wait until after we were away from prying eyes to rip me a new one.
"What did you do, Fiona?"
There was that tone again. "I didn't do anything, I swear."
"If you didn't do anything then why did we lose!? You must have done something wrong with the spell. The ingredients, the chant...?"
I was now also becoming angry and I furrowed my brow to show it. "Maybe you did something wrong, Blackcat. Have you thought that about that?"
He scoffed. "Nonsense. I know these spells inside and out and I assure you, my spellcraft is impeccable."
"Well so is mine."
Another scoff. "I doubt it. You forget that you're still learning." He seemed to finally take note of my anger. "Remember that I am the master and you are but a student. Or have you forgotten?"
He'd closed in on my personal space, finally managing to scare me. "No," I said, uncomfortable, "I haven't forg–"
"Good." Before he walked away, he turned back to say one last thing. "And don't you ever question my spellwork again." He then walked off, leaving her these on the finish line alone and humiliated in front of thousands of people.
LATER THAT NIGHT
While I still felt utterly humiliated by the turn of events – not helped by Brenda and Doris laughing their heads off at our expense – I was happy to have the edge taken off a little, drama-wise, by other events that took place later in the night. The first piece of drama was when Mandla Xulu walked out on his teammate, John Kloof in their relay race against Longitude and Latitude causing a stir in the crowd. He then topped himself with an interview shortly after where he challenged his long-time rival to a drag race at the upcoming pay-per-view, Heart-Break City.
This was followed later on by the feature race of the evening that saw last night's Scramble Race winner, Thawn Oberhauser, facing off with former F-X King, Jim Kieck to see who would challenge the newly crowned King Solo Magubane for the title at Heart-Break City. By the time Thawn won the race, my little spat with Blackcat was old news. I found it ironic that when the night began, I'd been frustrated that I'd been all but forgotten, yet by night's end, I was happy to hidden among the mundane.
Blackcat's parting words to me after the show were "don't be late for our training session on Wednesday," in his typical autocratic fashion. But I didn't mind. After all, there was a reason that I followed him in the first place and that was because he was the only one I could learn this brand of occultism from. I'd looked into becoming a herbal healer and a sangoma but had found them to be lacking in opportunities at self improvement. I had no interest in being a servant of some higher purpose. I wanted to be powerful beyond measure and this unique African occultism was the way.
While Blackcat might be content with being what he was, I wasn't going to settle for anything less than greatness. He may be a cat, but I considered myself a lioness... the great feline of the world. And all I had to do was put up with the Master Spell-Castor. But that was only until I, Fiona, became a Master Spell-Castor in my own right.