A tale written for the Irish Rose and brought upon by the wonders of rugby, a sport she very much enjoys.

There was only one customer at the hotel bar that afternoon, but he was more than enough to get on young Claire O’Connell’s nerves. He was an American, a very drunk one who couldn’t tell the difference between a game of rugby union and their so-called Football. This was more than evident, by his constant shouting of the expression


followed by a burst of beer foam and hysterical laughter she could no longer stand. At first, she had tried to correct him, by saying that the correct designation for point scoring in the sport he was watching was in fact “try”, but ignored her remark and, in a sudden reversal of speech only people highly intoxicated are able to produce, said in return:

“I think I’m going to try to drink another pint! Pour me, sweet pie! Touchdown!”

Human patience has its limits and Claire ended up crossing hers faster than anticipated, after a dozen more Touchdowns !” and explosions of beer. Angry at the scenes she had to put up with it, she finally decided for a blunt response and reached for her purse, from where she removed a green crystal orb that was part of her family heirloom for more generations than the ones she could remember.

“Awaken, ways of old!” she whispered as she placed the orb on the counter. A faint glow enveloped the spherical object, and the drunk’s blurry vision speedily came to focus.

“Ah, that’s so pretty…” he drooled and dropped the glass onto the floor, where it inevitably broke into a million pointy shards.

“More pretty than you can imagine…” she said, leaning on the counter and showing him a hefty dose of cleavage. “In fact, it’s so attractive it almost makes you want to touch it, doesn’t it?” The glow became an aura and it called out to his every sense.

“Something wonderful will happen if you do so. Go on… Touch it!”

Slightly hesitant, the American reached for the orb, his trembling fingers sensing that her definition of ‘wonderful’ and his own wasn’t perhaps the same. Regardless of that, they descended upon it, crossed the verge of a magical abyss and then…

… His head jerked, his muscles stiffened, the alcohol on his bloodstream was purged in a flash. He got up, aware that he didn’t want to drink anything else that night, and that standing in front of such a compelling woman was a shameful thing to do. So when she said, loud and clear:


He thanked her, both mental and verbally, and knelt like the horny obedient toy he now was.

“Have you seen what you’ve done to the bar?” she asked, harshly. “Take off your pants, use them to clean the beer off the floor and then make sure to collect every single piece of glass, or I’ll punish you! Understood?”

“Of course, Mistress.” He replied with a docile voice and unzipped. Claire poured herself a pint of Guinness and devoted all of her attention to the game whilst her new thrall did what he needed to do to please the one that owned his sorry little ass.

He was a rather slow, but thorough worker, the power of the orb controlling his every gesture. The strings of authority were invisible to the naked eye, but they were there and everybody loves puppet shows….

When he finally finished, he didn’t say a word, just remained on his fours, desperately wanting to bask in her face, yet waiting forth rightful permission, first.

“Are you done?” she asked when she finally noticed him, again. Promptly, she checked the quality of his service and had no complaints to report. “Good, everything is clean and shiny. You did great, silly boy! I’m very pleased!”

“That’s all I wanted to hear, Mistress!”

“I know… I’ll reward you, now! You may stroke for me, pet!” she allowed.

The American drone used both of his hands at the same time to comply with her instructions. It was a strange sight to behold as if he was holding a sword and not a mass of intumescent, palpitating flesh. It was also something the hotel manager couldn’t possibly allow in his respected establishment.

“What the hell is going on, here?” Samuel Banning asked, as he entered the bar and scratched his toupee in amazement. “Claire, care to explain?!!”

“Hmmm, perhaps it’s best if this orb does the talking for me….” She said, blowing a kiss at it. The incantations inside it reacted with a more intense radiance.

As the American kept on stroking faster and faster, the breathing of her boss became slower and slower, and he walked towards the sphere to clutch it eagerly. Claire’s sole thought at the moment came unconsciously in the form of a single word, the only one that made sense if one considers the situation for a little while. That word was:


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