Philo's Stories

The Heartache of Burnt Magic

previously: "Greater Plans For You" (posted 2 january 2024)
written based on this prompt: Magical Girl Who Isn't A Magical Girl Anymore

as she's shoved against the wall of her girlfriend's bedroom, Stephanie smiles a bit. she's tired of always having to play the hero and make lightning-quick decisions and wants nothing more than to give in, but something's wrong. her girlfriend's touch on her skin is rougher and more forceful than it's ever been before, and she hasn't leaned in for her customary barrage of kisses.
she looks into Emily's eyes and does not see her behind the purple that has replaced their typical brown. "it's time for your lies about protecting us to end" says a voice echoing from what was her girlfriend a moment ago. she tries to break free, but this purple-eyed girl is much stronger than Emily ever was. "oh, fuck." Stephanie says.
she calls upon her magic to push free, but the rush of power doesn't come and the Emily-thing laughs at her, echoing in a way no real sound can. "the more magic you try to use, the more we have to redistribute. watch out, Stephanie, you barely have enough to maintain your transformation and it'd be .. unfortunate if you ran out." the Emily-thing says, taunting her. she can feel her transformation fading; the force that has taken over her girlfriend is not wrong. "what do you want with my magic, anyway?" she asks, not expecting an answer. "'my magic' - how presumptive! magic is a scarce shared universal resource, and magical girls like you are hoarding it, keeping it from everyone else." comes the mocking reply.
Stephanie dispels her transformation in a flash of light, and for a moment, she sees Emily's eyes partially return to their normal brown. in that moment of distraction, she gets free of the entity's hold on her wrists. she runs for the lightswitch and flips it on, the bright bulb that Emily had always called the "anti-autism light" coming to life. the Emily-thing emits a tortured scream, distorted as though coming through a bad phone line from a distant dimension and she lifts off the bed, levitating and burning off Stephanie's magic. the air around her is hazy from the heat she gives off and from her distortion of local reality and Stephanie pushes through it towards her as though swimming.
"I love the girl you stole from me. begone!" she says and kisses her possessed girlfriend on the lips, her magical girl's sense of melodrama strong even when not transformed. Emily abruptly stops levitating, and when she reopens her eyes, they're brown with no trace of purple.

as Stephanie tosses and turns, trying to fall asleep, she feels something missing within her, as though a muscle was snatched away from her. her thoughts' fade into sleep is interrupted by the realization of what's missing: her magic. she cries, the tears welling up immediately behind her closed eyes. she is no longer a magical girl, having burnt all her magic both saving and defeating her girlfriend. she buries her face in her pillow, trying not to wake Emily up.