New to Quest Five?
The stories are best enjoyed when read in order beginning with May 1, 2009.

Welcome To Quest Five
Allison Beaumont is having trouble finding a job after college until one day the wealthy and powerful Joseph Candle offers her a job at his rather unusual corporation, where mistakes can lead to bare bottomed spankings. Adopting the alias of Virginia West, she joins four highly skilled colleagues, racing around the globe in search of mysterious treasures, but wherever she goes, trouble is sure to follow.
Note: Some stories contain scenes of a sexual nature, corporal punishment, non-consensual corporal punishment, and strong language which some reader's may find offensive. If you feel this material might be inappropriate for you please move on to another blog by clicking the next blog link at the top of the page.

April 30, 2010

Losing Control: Epilogue

The mind has a way of wandering once it is free of the physical world. I had failed and succeeded all at the same time in my quest. Had I known everything from the beginning things might have turned out differently, but as the water swept me away my only true regret was not being able to spare my nephew the fate we were both condemned to suffer. The pain in my chest subsided as if the wound had healed and my lungs stopped aching for air.

An image floated before my eyes, misty and unclear. I recognized Tom Clark, lying in a bed. Wires ran from his body to machines and a slow, steady beep filled the silence. Kyra sat next to him, holding his hand while tears slipped down her cheeks. I tried to reach out to her, but there was more than distance between us. Tom's eyes fluttered open and a sense of serenity washed over me. At least he would be alright, they would be alright. She loved him as he had always loved her and as I loved him as well.

The image faded into black and I opened my eyes once more. Turning my head in the darkness I watched as a glimmer of light grew from the staff still gripped in my hand. I was engulfed in a kaleidescope of color, falling still, but the water was gone, replaced by wisps of swirling wind. There were voices everywhere, whispering and shouting, laughing and crying, loving and hating. I gasped for breath and reached out for help, but there was only the blur of spinning, flickering lights and the rush of cold wind. It was but a second of eternity before it was over and I came crashing down onto solid ground.

The flickering colors of light all turned orange. Sparks of flamed kissed the night sky and logs of burning wood crackled in the heat. The warmth lured me closer, washing away the cold of a winter's night that had settled on my skin. I breathed air once more and watched as the frosty bits of my breath floated away, passed the flame of fire. Bright stars above, winked at me.

Through the crackle of flame, a girl's finger pointed at me and her voice screamed, "Witch! Witch!"

I rose up on my knees thinking to calm the terrified child, only to realize we were not alone. In the darkness I saw their faces like masks at a masquerade. White eyes in the black of night, stared at me. Men's eyes, greedy eyes, lustful eyes, all of them surrounded me. It was only then I realized I was naked.

"Arrest her," A man said and hands grabbed my shoulders from behind.

I pulled away. Every reflex told me to run and so I tried. I nearly made it to me feet, but before I could gain any traction hands were grabbing once more. The fire laughed at my futile attempt at escape. A proud little girl smirked at me. My head rocked with the blow of a blunt object and everything swirled away to emptiness.

The world continued to spin when I opened my eyes once again. Warmth had abandoned me and my skin prickled beneath rough material. I pushed myself upward from proneness and wished the world to remain steady and still. It was a nice, but futile thought. Unwisely, I shook my head to clear it.

"It's best to lie still for a bit," A kind woman said, gently pushing me back down.

"Where am I?" I asked.

"Jail, my dear," The woman replied.

"What happened?" I asked.

"They found you in the woods," She said. "Dancing naked by a fire or so I hear."

"I wasn't dancing," I said.

She smiled and said, "But you were naked?"

Ruefully, I nodded and said, "Unfortunately. I don't know how I got there, here."

"The Proctor's daughter, no doubt," She said.

"Who?" I asked.

"It doesn't matter," She said, sitting down beside me. "My name is Hester."

I hesitated a moment, considering the unfamiliarity of my situation and the choice of names I could give. In the end it was instinct rather than planning which ruled my decision. I said, "Virginia," and offered her my hand in friendship.

She grasped my hand and said, "I don't recall seeing you around before."

"That's because I haven't been here before," I said.

"A new arrival? It's a pity this is what we've become," She said, turning away from me and staring at the heavy, wood door beyond the bars. "We used to have such a nice town, welcoming any and all. I'm sorry you've been pulled into all this."

"I don't understand," I said. "What's happening here?"

"They'll come for our confessions in the morning," She said.

"Confessions? What are we accused of?" I asked.

"We're witches my dear," She said.

I blinked. I said, "That's preposterous."

"Of course it is, but there is no going back now," She said.

"But I'm not a witch," I said.

"Nor am I," She said, "but when the inquisitor comes in the morning I will confess, as should you."

"I won't confess," I said. "I'm not a witch."

"You can give your confession freely or they will beat it out of you," She said. "Either way, you will confess. It's best to save yourself what pain you can."

"How can you say that?" I asked.

"If you confess quickly, they are more likely to be merciful and merely hang you, but if you resist," She said, laying a sympathetic hand on my shoulder, "they will burn you at the stake."

"This can't be happening," I said.

Hester laughed without humor and said, "Welcome to Salem."


  1. Excellent Story... I see a possible another story with Allison with the way this ended,if you have the energy to write it. Thanks again for the fantastic story for the past year.
    AL :)

  2. Ash, unexpected ending, thank you, nasty end for Allison!
    An unsavory episode of history for New England, a time that they would very much like forgotten.
    Unfortunately the lesson still hasn't been learned.
    I won't try to predict what you will write next, I only know that given half a chance I will enjoy it.
    Sharing your creativity is much appreciated, thank you so much.
    Warm hugs,

  3. Ash,
    I am besotted by Allison. A natural leader, courageous in the face of mortal danger, energetic, sharply intelligent, witty with brilliant repartees, and at the same time, she knows when to accept severe corporal punishments from her family and bosses, she feels the pain and the shame that are not spared on her. She is my ideal woman.
    All main characters in a work of fiction are a projection of the author. Allison is you, in the same sense that Flaubert could say “Madame Bovary, c’est moi”. She is you, and that makes all what you write so exciting.
    A huge thank you

  4. Allison is a wonderful creation, and I'm left wanting a lot more. You opened up so many tantalizing narrative windows in this story, I can't help feeling that there's so much more to explore. Even the minor characters had much to offer. Allison's long punishment sequence is unparalleled. Thank you.

  5. Al, We'll see about a sequel. For now, I'm focusing on some smaller projects. I'm still considering whether or not to revisit this in a few months and plot out a sequel, but in the meantime I still plan to polish the edges on this story and make it available as an ebook.

    Paul, I think the possibilities for Allison's future are wide open with this ending, which was of course the point. It was indeed a nasty incident in history, but I think it goes to something of human nature. We tend to like easy answers and pointing the finger at someone else rather than looking in the mirror to solve our problems. Maybe someday our ethics will catch up with our ideas of morality. As for the coming stories, I suspect they will have a slightly wider appeal than Quest Five, but I'll still be telling stories with substance. I've decided not to say to much about the stories specifically until they are ready or nearly ready for release. It has been my pleasure to share Quest Five with you and everyone and it is very rewarding to know it was enjoyed. Thank you.

    François, Allison has become my favorite creation. She embodies many strengths which I envy, but she is far from perfect, which I believe is what makes her so attractive. I set out with two goals when I created Allison, the first was to create and adventurer with a sense of humor and the second was to make sure she was never just a victim. It is gratifying to know the end result is a character that is more than simply likable. She is a part of me, as every character I create is a part of me, but there is something special about Allison, which makes her more than me.

    Anonymous, You're very welcome. I agree, The Quest Five universe is full of interesting characters and situations which could make for some very entertaining stories in the future. After a year of writing on this project, I need to stretch and take a break from the demands of a serial story, but I have yet to say goodbye to Allison or the Quest Five universe. Right now, it seems fun to think about returning to all of this at some point and continuing the story or exploring some of those other possibilities with various minor characters.


  6. Ash,

    I'll have more to say to you once I've processed these closing chapters, but I just wanted to pop in and congratulate you on a major accomplishment. You've given us an exhilarating and uncompromising ride. And don't even try to pretend that the ride might be over. You've certainly earned a long breather and you should spend some time exploring other concepts, but this ending pretty much demands that you come back to it at some point. I, for one, would be extremely disappointed if this is the last we see of Allison.


  7. Michael, Thanks, it does feel rather good to have finished this project. I am looking forward to hearing your more in depth thoughts whenever you have the time. Eventually, I'm pretty sure I will return to Allison and this crazy world I've created, but there are a few places I want to explore first and I'm not really sure how long that will take. Quest Five was lots of fun and I think it will be lots of fun to continue with Allison's story although I'm honestly not completely clear on where it will take her. I guess you could say that's just part of the fun. In the meantime, I'm developing some new characters and situations which are doing a good job of captivating me. I hope they will do the same for you and all the other readers of Quest Five.


  8. Thanks very much for Great story Ashley.