The Trouble with Magicians
by Clyde Andrews
|Table of Contents|
Part 1 appears
in this issue.
|part 2 of 3|
* * *
It was well into the afternoon when Shane woke from his drug- and alcohol-induced slumber. His head felt like something had hit it repeatedly, and his body ached like never before. He simply felt terrible. He staggered into the kitchen holding his head; he needed a glass of water.
“Ah, here’s the super-magician now,” a man standing in the lounge said. He was tall, handsome and had hair that looked blacker than coal. Shane wondered where everyone else was, as he could not see them.
“Who... are... you?” he said, his mouth dry and course and the words seemed difficult to form.
“Why, Shane, allow me to introduce myself: I am The One!”
“Yes. But enough about me,” he smiled revealing his perfect white teeth. “My, my, I have heard so much about you. I have a feeling — no, I know that you are going to be a worthy asset to our little Coven.”
“Thanks,” Shane said, sipping from the glass. He already liked this man that referred to himself as The One. He seemed to ooze a charm, a confidence, and Shane was at ease with him even though he had never set eyes on this man before.
“Are you a magician?” Shane blurted out, realising after he had said it that it was a rather pointless thing to say; The One was a magician, he had a presence that only a being of magical power seemed to emanate.
“Naturally,” he said, approaching Shane. “But nowhere near as powerful as you, my friend. You are our saviour.”
Shane was speechless. He had never been called a saviour before. In fact he had never been spoken of so highly. He just smiled.
“Anyway, enough business for now. Have fun, get drunk, get some girls, do whatever you want, Shane. We do not judge here,” The One said, patting Shane on the back. “Later I will take you through the initiation process, but for now, my friend, simply enjoy what I have provided.” He gestured for Shane to enter the lounge as he stepped aside.
Shane turned to where The One had gestured. What he saw amazed him. In the lounge were the other members of the Coven enjoying themselves. The reason for this enjoyment was simple, each member had a girl naked and groaning with pleasure as they performed various sexual activities on them.
“Go, join in the orgy. For you will soon be one of us. And we always treat our members well,” The One smiled.
Shane disrobed without thinking. Waiting for him on one of the lounge chairs was his girl. She was stunning, and Shane revelled in her.
After he had delighted in every girl and every girl delighted him, he drank beer and took hemlock pills freely until he passed out.
* * *
Shane was woken by the gentle hand of The One on his shoulder. “It is time, Shane, my friend,” he whispered into Shane’s ear. “It is time for your initiation.”
“I’m so cold,” Shane complained, visibly shivering.
“It’s only the hemlock, it’ll pass soon,” The One said. “Soon you will not need it. Soon you will be able to channel your powers without aid, without obstacle. You are the only magician I know that does not need to use everyday items to help them perform magic. You, Shane Upton, are a god. A living, breathing, walking on the Earth, god. And we worship you.”
“Um, gee, well...”
“Don’t be embarrassed, my friend. You do not need to feel anything other than pride. We should be the ones who are embarrassed, for we are nothing compared to you.”
Shane’s face flashed with an expression of determination. “What do you want me to do?”
“You only have to show us your loyalty. Your allegiance-”
“I’ll do anything you want,” Shane snapped, cutting The One off.
“I have a special surprise in store for you, my friend,” The One then wiped the smile from his face. Looking stern he clicked his fingers. Instantly the three other members of the Coven came into the lounge. With them was a distressed looking Joel.
“See what we found snooping around, Shane. A mere mortal, a nothing. I think for your initiation you should teach this misguided soul a lesson or two,” The One said.
“Joel, what are you doing here?” Shane said stunned by his presence. Why did he follow him, Shane thought? How could he be so stupid?
Joel just writhed in the tight unrelenting grasp of the other boys; it was then that Shane noticed he was bound and gagged.
“Prepare him, my friends, for he will feel Shane’s power,” The One elevated his voice so that it boomed and echoed though the lounge.
Joel, helpless, was then stripped and placed in a pentacle that had been pre-drawn on the floor boards. Once satisfied he was trapped within it, they removed his bindings. Joel, however, could not run away, he was trapped within the pentacle like a fly stuck in honey.
“Remove his gag... I want to hear what he has to say,” Shane commanded, stepping closer to the pentacle and looking down at Joel. “How could you be so stupid, Joel? Look at you, you’re pathetic. You shouldn’t have come here,” Shane spat.
“I wanted to help you, Shane,” was all that Joel said with a weak, soft voice. He was frightened, Shane could see it in his eyes.
“Help me? Help me? Help me from what?”
Joel looked around the room; all he could see were the others leering at him. Even the man in the room who referred to himself as The One just smiled deliciously down at him with a gleam in his eye. It seemed they were waiting with bated breath for Shane to make his move.
Finally Joel said: “Help you from yourself.”
Shane then saw red. “I hate you, Joel,” Shane said with a visible look of distaste drawn upon his face. Who was this boy, he thought, this non-magician, who was he to tell me what I should or should not be like? And with that Shane closed his eyes, reaching out with his mind, extending his power to touch Joel. Joel, trapped, naked, and frightened inside the pentacle, began to feel a pressure within himself.
Shane saw a vision of Joel’s beating heart as his power penetrated his flesh. With that sight Shane applied a tiny amount of pressure to Joel’s heart. The result, unfortunately for Joel, was massive and instant: Joel had a heart attack. He convulsed on the spot, with spittle flying from his mouth, and his eyes rolling back into his skull.
“Oh, marvellous. Simply marvellous, my friend,” The One cheered.
The other three then began chanting; they knew that Shane was on the threshold of permanently becoming one of them. Knowing this the chant was not an ordinary one, instead they chanted his name. Over and over, starting softly, then building up to a crescendo so that it filled the room with a life of its own.
Shane became overwhelmed by it, like waves upon a shore Shane slowly succumbed to the will of The One and his Coven. For to know Shane’s name was to have power over him, but they all needed to work together and combine their power to have any influence over a magician like Shane. Slowly they seduced him with their magic, and slowly Shane let them.
Their chanting continued, even though Shane was now completely under their spell. He was now part of them, and he would do anything to please them.
“S-s-t-o-o-op, Sha-an-e... pl-e-ea-se!” Joel forced himself to say, holding his hand up to Shane, pleading him to stop. Shane released his magical hold. A small spark at the back of his mind suddenly gave him a start. He looked down at Joel with a sadness in his eyes.
“Ah, my friend I see that our investment in you has not been underestimated. You are indeed a god. A god of all magicians,” The One laughed. “See how having a power over someone is the ultimate power! See how Joel is now begging for you to finish him. Just look at him. His flesh is weak, his spirit broken. He wants you, no, needs you to show him the way. FINISH HIM!”
“But he is... my friend.”
The others then changed their chant: “Shane Upton is our god!” They repeated it just like the first chant.
“We’re now your friends. You need no others,” The One shouted above the chanting.
Shane, once more intoxicated with the euphoria he felt, reached out with his awesome power, squeezing Joel’s heart tighter than before. He had a vision in his mind of himself holding the organ in his hand — Joel’s life in his hand. That vision made him feel powerful. Made him feel important. He was a god, and he smiled at that thought, looking down at Joel with eyes that glared a baneful intent.
Joel spluttered and spat once more, thrashing about inside the pentacle, urinating on himself. He convulsed until he collapsed awkwardly within the pentacle, now unconscious.
“Give him the ultimate gift, the gift of death. Release him from this mortal coil,” The One screamed, handing Shane a ceremonial dagger.
Shane let go of Joel mentally, looking down at the dagger. In his hand he now held the object that would not offer any resistance when plunged into Joel’s flesh. Shane only had to push it into him and it would be all over for Joel. He liked the idea that he could control so easily someone’s destiny, and at a whim could decide whether or not to use it. “Joel,” Shane said placing the blade on his chest, “I end it for-”
“I wouldn’t if I were you,” a voice bellowed from the other side of the lounge.
All in the room turned to see who dared interrupt them at this pivotal moment.
“L.J.P.!” Shane screamed, dropping the dagger, a line of blood tricking from the point where the dagger had slightly pierced the skin on Joel’s hairless white chest.
“Looks like I arrived at this party just in time, hey lads?” L.J.P. smiled.
* * *
L.J.P. turned his attention to Shane. “You look terrible, Shane. Pull yourself together and act like a man, not a machine. Stop, look, and think about what you are doing. You may regret it for the rest of your life.”
“GET HIM! Get that meddling magician,” The One cried. “Nothing must stop us, not now.”
“I wouldn’t come close to me. Do you think I came ill-prepared?” L.J.P. chuckled, removing a fresh stick of chalk from his jacket pocket, and waving it about, teasing them with it.
The three boys halted their advance.
“Don’t listen to HIM. Just get him!”
“I did warn you,” L.J.P. said, reaching once more into his pocket. From it he produced four mommets, each having a stark resemblance to every member of the Coven save for Shane.
On the mommet that looked like Mitchell, even down to the clothes he wore, L.J.P. scribbled a quick formula within a circle. Instantly Mitchell disappeared, a wisp of smoke wafting from the spot where he was last seen, the smell of sulphur rank in the air. L.J.P. had transported him far, far away.
There was now a stunned silence in the lounge. L.J.P. broke it. “I warned you I came prepared. Now Shane, be a good boy and release Joel. He did, after all, give me all the time I needed to make these mommets. Do as I say, Shane, or I’m afraid another one of your so-called friends will feel my magic.”
“You don’t scare me, magician,” The One growled.
“I was talking to, Shane,” L.J.P. sighed. “You just don’t listen, do you?” L.J.P. then drew on another mommet. This time Connor froze; he was now an ice statue. “I think, if I don’t get to him soon, he’ll make a bit of a mess on the floor as he melts. You’d better do as you’re all told if you want to see him back.”
“Bah, he’s not important. Only Shane is important.”
Adam glared at The One. “I thought we were all equal in this Coven?”
“You are unfortunately disposable, my dear fellow. Have you not heard the old saying: no loyalty amongst thieves? Or is that dark magicians?” L.J.P. smiled, playing with the mommet that looked just like Adam.
“Please, magician, sir. Don’t hurt me,” Adam said, now on his knees begging L.J.P. to have mercy.
“Why you traitorous dog!” The One screamed. Picking up the dagger he ran it through Adam from behind. The boy didn’t have a chance as the blade perforated his rib-cage; he was dead within a heartbeat.
“And you want to join these people, Shane? Tut, tut, now do you see the folly of your ways?” L.J.P. said.
Shane did not answer; oblivious to all that went on around him. He was becoming The One’s zombie.
The One wiped the blade with his shirt, handing it back to Shane. “Shane only sees what I want him to see. He is mine, magician. So keep back or I will command him to obliterate you.”
L.J.P. now needed to tread carefully. It was true: Shane, with a thought could end it for him. But L.J.P. decided to try a different tactic. “I see that he has not finished his sacrifice. Are you sure, dark magician, that Shane is at your beck and call?”
The One returned his attention to Shane. “Finish your work, my friend. Show this fool that you are a god, our god, his god, everyone’s god.”
Copyright © 2006 by Clyde Andrews