The Dark Magician
Abby took notice of the strange magician at her friend’s sweet sixteen party.
She’d called him “strange” due to the way he looked (even though consciously she knew that was wrong). He was tall with long dark hair, wild black eyes, dark clothes and chain bracelets covering
his arms and rings the size of golf balls. Whenever you passed him or even met his eyes, there was this jolt that would go through you, like you were meeting the eyes of your role model.
Said friend, Elena, said her mom had hired him to tell fortunes. Abby knew Elena was in to that kind of stuff—who wasn’t, with the right touch of curiosity?—but the magician was a total stranger.
“C’mon,” Elena urged Abby. “Just get your fortune told by him. It’s simple and fun.”
“He’s probably fake, you know,” Abby said. “No offense.”
“None taken, but who cares if he’s fake? It’s just for fun.” Elena pouted. “It’s my birthday. Please?”
Abby sighed. She couldn’t defeat Elena’s logic, nor could she stand her look. “Fine.”
She got in line and peeked over the shoulder of the person in front of her.
The magician sat on the house sofa, crouched over the glass coffee table. Clutched in his left palm was a glass orb, like the top of a snow globe that had been yanked off. He held the hand of the
girl, who Abby knew as Kelly, sitting across from him in his right, muttering unintelligible words.
“Ah, here we are,” he said finally, sitting up to look at the girl. “The spirits tell me many things about you, girl. Many things indeed.”
“Who’s this guy again?” Abby whispered.
“His name is Landon Hunt,” Elena answered, sipping her Coke.
“Oh, that’s a relief,” Abby said sarcastically. “At least you know his name. Or at least the name he’s told you.”
“Like what?” the girl squeaked.
“Let’s see . . .” The magician held out the crystal ball for her to see. There was light coming from the inside. “Oh, I see everlasting beauty,” he commented, grinning at her, revealing two gold
The girl squealed and clapped her hands. “What else?” she demanded.
“Bimbo,” Abby muttered, rolling her eyes.
“Hmmm.” Landon stroked the edge of his chin. “What’s this? Now, that can’t be right.”
“What?” the girl asked.
“The spirits . . . they tell me of great misfortune for you, girl,” he replied. “Misfortune of the utmost painful.”
The girl jerked up from her seat and scowled at the magician. “Oh, please. I have better things to do.” She stomped off.
Landon sighed and looked ahead, and he and Abby met eyes. She felt a shiver run down her ribs and whip into her spine.
He also seemed to shiver slightly, but just grinned and broke eye contact. He rose and smoothed out his black vest and white undershirt. “Now, who is next?” he mused, looking between spectators.
Then his lips rose a little more and he said, “How about you, young lady? Yes, you, the one with the black dress and dark hair,” while looking straight at her.
Abby blinked. “Me?”
“Ah, yes, you!” Landon waved her to the girl’s wooden chair. “Come, and let’s see what the spirits say tonight.”
“Go, Abby!” Elena pushed her forward.
Abby frowned and sat in the chair.
“Your name, my dear?” Landon asked politely.
“Abby,” she replied in a tired sigh.
“Abby,” he repeated, gazing at her with a type of adoration. “Very well. Let’s see . . .”
His eyes went to the crystal ball. He crouched over like before and muttered in an otherworldly language. Abby folded her arms across her chest and tapped her foot patiently.
After about thirty seconds, he sat straight up and grinned. “Ah, sweet Abby. A fair future indeed.”
“Really?” Abby said in a flat voice. “Enlighten me.”
Landon’s expression was amused. “All right.” He looked at the crystal ball. “I see . . . a bright future. Oh, yes, a bright future indeed, full of promise.” He smirked. “A man or two, I see.”
“Hoo-rah,” she said. “Anything else?”
“Hmmm, oh yes, something else.” Suddenly, there was feral fire in his black eyes. “The brightness of that future is dimming. Of course, you will sill grow to be very successful, but . . .” He
paused. “A dark continuation for you, sweet Abby. One full of shadows. But a powerful future indeed.”
Abby blinked, surprised. Then she rose and shrugged. “Thanks.”
As she rejoined a scared-looking Elena, Landon, too, rose and clapped. The sound resonated throughout the party and caused the music to halt and everyone to turn and face him.
“Greetings, my audience,” he said loudly, like a ringleader. “I have a special gift for our birthday girl. I’d like you all to witness her receiving it.”
“For me?” Elena squeaked.
“Of course!” Landon glided to her. “It’s your birthday, is it not? Who am I to come and not give a gift?”
“O-okay,” Elena spluttered, looking frazzled.
Abby gave the magician a hard look. “Gift?”
He reached into his vest pocket and extracted a little velvet case, showing it to everyone. Then he gave it to Elena with a smile.
“Ooh . . .” Elena opened the case and gasped audibly. “It’s . . . beautiful!”
Lying in the soft plush bottom of the case was a necklace of silver string, with a stone that resembled a black spider attached. Elena smiled with glee and thanked Landon over and over while she
pulled it over her head.
Landon suddenly looked almost sly. He snapped his fingers and mumbled something no one heard.
The stone on the end of the string began to quiver against Elena’s chest. Then, in a swift movement, it grew darker and three-dimensional, racing across Elena’s collarbone and up to her neck, and
produced two large white fangs before biting her.
Elena gave a scream that made people around them turn and drop their drinks and jaws. She dropped to the ground, whimpering in agony, the spider still on her neck, as others ran up to her and
others went to get her mother.
Abby, stunned, began to bend down to help but a voice whispered in her ear, “Meet me outside for the antidote, sweet Abby,” making her mouth go agape with shock. She glanced around and noticed that
Landon Hunt was gone. Swallowing and shaking her head, she got through the crowd and grabbed her jacket before sprinting to Elena’s front yard.
Landon stood a few feet away, thumbs in his jean pockets, the cold wind ruffling his hair, a smug look on his face.
“What did you do?” Abby yelled at him, balling her fists in outrage.
“What did I do?” he asked, looking innocent. “I believe my friend Miss Spider performed all the pandemonium in there.”
“Who are you? What do you want?” Abby demanded.
He took a few steps toward. “I am a Necromancer.”
Landon rolled his eyes. “Ancient sorcerers whose powers come from the dead spirits of the Underworld. Caught up yet?”
“I want the truth!” Abby yelled.
He sighed and raised his hand, palm forward, and shot a yellow ball of power right past her. It crashed through the window, sending shards of glass to the ground and her own body, and from inside a
second scream erupted and was cut off sharply by a moan of pain, then silence.
“There goes that girl Kelly,” Landon muttered, disgusted.
Abby blinked, spellbound. “What do you want?” she whispered. “You said you had the antidote for Elena.”
“Ah, yes,” he said. “Well, I believe in fair trades. In order to get the antidote, you must meet my one demand.”
“What is it?” she asked, thinking, Money? Power? What could he possibly want?
“You have to become my assistant.”
Abby stared at him. “Excuse me?”
“What is a magician without his lovely assistant to accompany him?” Landon smirked. “It’s simple: pledge your allegiance to me, and the antidote is yours. You can save Elena.”
Abby stared at the grass in disbelief. “Why?”
“You’re exactly what I want.” He grinned.
“What will I have to do?” she asked flatly.
“I can teach you everything I know, and you can join my world,” he said. “You can become a Necromancer. But,” he added, “you’ll have to follow me as I leave here.”
“Leave?” she whispered, broken. “I’ll never see my friends and family again?”
Landon shook his head.
Abby felt faint. It was so simple. Yet horrifying real. Give up her life for Elena’s? Follow this creep around and assist him in magic shows? Or worse?
She felt her heart squeeze as she mumbled bleakly, “All right. I’m yours. Give me the antidote.”
Landon nodded and tossed her a small vial.
Abby raced back inside and her stomach dropped when she saw Elena, pale and ghastly, sweating up an ocean, her eyes glassy and lifeless. Abby got down next to her friend, uncapped the vial, and
made her drink the liquid inside.
Elena slowly gasped and coughed for breath.
Wordlessly, Abby went back to the front yard and met with Landon. He instructed that they were catching the next train to California to meet up with another Necromancer.
She felt her world shatter.
Together reluctantly, the Necromancer and his assistant walked off into the night.
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