This tiny fic was written for a challenge on the 'Second Bananas' list. Go to to join up with us and join in on the fun :-).

Challenge: First line is "All I want is a tall glass of milk and eight
hours of shut-eye.".


All I want is a tall glass of milk and eight hours of shut-eye. No, actually, I also wouldn't mind a couple of dozen sardines and a mouse or two.

I swear to god that I'm never going to re-energise myself by siphoning soul energy from cats again. Just one more lesson to add to the pile I've already learnt today.

Lesson one: never underestimate your opponent. My name is Sebastian Faust. I'm a soul magician of the highest order. Despite my best intentions, I've managed to acquire several dozen powered friends who would be willing to help me if I'd thought to ask. I'm even a nominal part of the Sentinels of Magic, for heaven's sake. All this and I *still* managed to let someone overpower me simply because they caught me by surprise.

You see, when I entered the old warehouse I thought I'd be facing a hyped up street magician who was channelling some minor demonic powers. I didn't realise she was also a fairly powerful Empath.

Empaths and me... I just...

You see, the problem started when I was six months old, and my gracious and wonderful father decided he needed some extra power. He sacrificed my soul to a demon and was disappointed to learn that *I* was the one who ended up with the goods. Barring a brief and painful few minutes a year ago, I've been walking around soulless since then. And when you don't have a soul...

It's hard to *feel*. You do get shadows of the emotions, and you learn to react to them like other people react, but they're just not *right*. They're echoes, shades of what should be. Usually. But if you have an Empath pushing all of her powers into those shades... they almost feel real.

God, they almost felt real. And they almost felt like *mine*. They were powerful and overwhelming and after a lifetime of echoes... I just couldn't *cope* with them. I felt sad, and happy, and miserable and ecstatic and all I really remember after that was falling down and pulling myself into a ball and starting to sob. I couldn't react, could barely *think*. I dimly remember her walking towards me, and then there was the familiar tug of a draining spell and I was in no state to counter it.

I woke up in the middle of the warehouse floor hours later; too weak to even lift my arms. She'd left me there, hadn't even bothered to try and kill me. She'd regret that later but now... I must have lain there for at least half an hour wondering what to do before I felt the furry bundle sniffing around my feet.

If anyone tells you that animals don't have souls, they're lying. I skimmed the soul energy off eleven startled tabbies before I had enough energy to pull myself to my feet, and then I stumbled off towards home. Later I'll find her and stop her for good. Right now I feel cold, and hollow, and full of cravings for milk and meat related products and a nice warm spot to sleep and all I really want to do is go home and lick my wounds.

And I mean that in the most literal way possible. What an interesting life I lead.