"Nothing up my sleeves, children," said Baron Samedi, affectionately known as the Magik Man by his fans and small children. His real name is unknown to many, but that's what we shall call him-Buvos, the Magician. He is the Ruler of the Dead, the Magician of Men, the Raven, the Wolf, the stealthy Feline...
"It's no use, Limerik, I am insipido, unmagical."
"But,"protested Limerik,"you are a magician, your are a ruler of the dead, surely you are joking, right, Buvos? You are magical, I'm sure of it."
Buvos shook his head, smiling sadly.
"I am none of it, I hold no claim to the titles and labels pressed upon me simply because I have a small talent,"he said, and touched Limerik's cheek, gently. "You would be better off speaking to Morgane. She is the true wielder of magic."
Limerik's bottom lip trembled, and she held out her hands in supplication. Buvos backed up a pace, and shook his head again, firmly.
"But.."Limerik tried again, but was shushed by Buvos.
"I am no wizard, no sorcerer or warlock. My title, the Lord of the Dead, is merely that-a title, and nothing more. I am sorry."
Buvos donned his top hat once again, pulling on his white gloves with deliberate movements. He nodded to Limerik, and swept out of the cathair she lived in, black cape swirling about him as he walked, the wind nagging at his hat. Limerik cast tear-filled eyes on him as he disappeared, and then ran into her cathair, throwing herself upon the bed.
Buvos sat, lost in thought, in his large home. The black walls, an illusion of a smaller space, were hung with shimmery stars, posters, and hooks to hold the Baron's magik bag, cape, and top hat.
"There was no way I could've helped Limerik,"he thought aloud. "She is an amphibian druid, and there's no way of getting past that. Still.." Buvos got up and paced.
"Perhaps there is a way, Buvos! Maybe, if you look deeper inside of yourself, there's a way to rekindle the magik of old.." He shook his head, trying to shake the strange, crazy thoughts in his head, trying to get them out.
"You said yourself there was no magik in you, insipido man..you're such a fraud.."
"Finally facing up to the truth, eh?" A sinister voice, full of seduction and voodoo caused Buvos to turn around.
"Morgane,"he breathed, fear and anger in his eyes.
"The one and only, although many others try to impersonate me.." A flash of scornful anger lit up her grey eyes like lightening.
"Why do you come here, Morgane? I told you I wasn't really a voodoo prince, and that I can't help you. And even if these hands held magik-" Buvos mumured, gazing at his hands, then back up at Morgane,"-even then, I still would refuse to help you."
"Pitiful mortal man.."Morgane hissed. "Think you that you could resist me? If I had need of you, you would be my slave, at the snap of my fingers." Morgane snapped her lily-white fingers, stained red--Buvos shuddered to think what that red might be--and instantly Buvos was on his knees. Another snap, and he was worshipping her, bowing over and over, hands folded, begging for mercy..silenty he cursed her, still able to move his lips, no sound coming from them. Morgane waved her hands over his head, and he scrambled backwards.
"Morgane!"Buvos shouted,"Get out of my house!" Morgane smirked, and whistled. A hawk came to rest upon her upraised fist.
"Remember this day Buvos..think ye that you could resist me? Think again, and live in terror of my name!" With these dark words, Morgane turned, and left.
Long after the sorceress had left his home, Buvos lay curled upon his bed, fighting back his deep terror. Finally, he forced himself to uncurl and go back to work. He skimmed through his 'magik' books, to no avail. It was as he had said; all he knew were petty magik tricks, nothing really powerful.
"O, Limerik, I wish that you would just deal with your amphibian shape!" Buvos cursed, his words incredibly colorful for one who had only seen nineteen years. He stalked his home, and finally decided he would feel better if he had a few chores to do..so he grabbed a bag and set off toward the Central Plaza.
The Plaza was decorated with bright streamers of orange and red, and the less colorful black..colors of Halloween. Buvos smiled. This had always been his favorite time of year, and no matter what, it always cheered him to hold his Fantastic Feats of Halloween..be they magik or simply magik tricks, the children loved them all, and were his favorite audience, merrily dressed in strange costumes; pretty, scary, and some just plain weird, the costumes that the children masqueraded in brought laughter to the dull faces of Danach's people.
"Baron!" A gaggle of children rushed toward him; he greeted them with smiles and embraces, and to some of his special friends he gave chocolate top hats.
"Happy Halloween!" the children yelled in delight, rushing off to their mothers, top hats held triumphantly in sticky hands.
Buvos smiled at the young ones.
"Sweet children, aren't they," said a soft, unhappy voice behind him. Buvos turned, to behold a somber Limerik, decked out in bright orange. Her face was much less cheery than her clothing, and she walked slowly toward him.
"Yes," Buvos agreed, taking Limerik's cold hands. He kissed both of her cheeks-a custom most people of Danach share-and grinned widely at her. Limerik didn't return the smile, she simply stared at the children with dull, glassy eyes.
"Limerik, what's wrong with you? You usually enjoy Halloween so much!" Buvos exclaimed. Limerik looked away, replying softly:
"I went to see Morgane, like you said to do...she gave me a vial of green water, and told me to drink it, so I did,"Limerik said, and then suddenly burst into tears and crumpled into Buvos' arms.
"I..I killed him, Buvos! She told me that if I drank it, I would lose my frog shape, and I had only to find him and show him my love..he got angry at me, so as he went, I grabbed his arm..and..and he fell! He just wilted, like a flower that's been picked!" Limerik sobbed uncontrollably into Buvos' shoulder.
"But my frog shape isn't gone! My love is dead, but I still have to become amphibian at first touch of moon.." Limerik stared pitifully at Buvos, and he looked sadly at her.
"I'm so sorry, Limmy..It was my fault, I told you to go to Morgane!"
"No, no, no, it was mine, I told her the wrong thing! I told her that I wished 'he would stop hating me'...I forgot to add anything about love or my frog shape, I just thought she would know; she scared me so badly.." Limerik turned and ran from the Plaza, tears streaming down her cheeks. Buvos cried out and ran after her, but stopped soon, realizing that she was too fast for him to catch her. All the pleasure of Halloween was gone from him; he could only blame himself for Limerik's plight, and remember the way she had looked at him...
"What have I done, to my best friend.." he murmured softly, sadly.
"She did it to herself, although you're right, it was partially your fault." Morgane's voice cut through the Baron Samedi's thoughts.
"Back off, Morgane," Buvos said through clenched teeth, not looking at her. Morgane angrily appeared in front of him, in a flash of red, black smoke swirling agitatedly at her feet.
"How dare you speak to a queen so, 'Baron Samedi'? Show me the proper respect, 'Lord of the Dead'." With a snap Buvos was on his knees again, in front of all the people of the Plaza. Morgane waved her hand and the movement of all, save her, ceased for a brief time. In that time, she whispered:
"Ech no deed a, la chat et mone' va, ca lupine in drio vanci!" Morgane smirked haughtily as Buvos felt his limbs twist themselves backwards..soon everything was a blur of black pain, as he felt his nose and lips elongate and his black hair spread..
"Pffft, mroww, hsst!" Buvos said, trying to speak. Morgane cocked her head to the side.
"What's that you say, sweet puss? Come with me, my pretty cat.." Morgane attempted to pick Buvos up, but he spat at her and scratched her hands, then ran as Morgane swore. Everything became noisy and the movement of the people in the Plaza unfroze. Morgane disappeared in smoke, and Buvos ran in terror to his home.
"Mrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrroooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!" he cried, wishing for lips and a more pliable tongue. Once at his home, he knocked books over and pawed through them, searching for anything that would change him back. Finally, he found a small spell.
"Mrrow meow prrrr hsst meow mew!"he said, and soon he could feel his bones return to their normal shape..
"Phew," Buvos said, tuckered out. He flopped down on his bed. His tail lashed in unhappiness..his tail? His tail! Buvos turned his head around to see a handsome, long black tail!
"Hmm.." he said, thinking. "Maybe I didn't do enough of the spell." Grabbing the book, he recited the spell again.
"Body changes can be hell, so now you can reverse the spell!" The tail shrank and disappeared inside of him.
"Whew.." Buvos shook his head.
Buvos returned to the Plaza, feeling happy and lightheaded, because he had said a spell-and it had worked! Maybe he was magik...
"Of course you are, Buvos, otherwise I wouldn't be bothering you all the time." Buvos groaned.
"Right, boyo." She appeared in front of him.
"Let's put our little differences behind us, eh? We could become quite powerful, together. I haven't done anything really bad to you, have I?" Morgane asked.
Buvos stared at her.
"You turned me into a cat!"
"But if I hadn't, you wouldn't have tried a spell, and it wouldn't have worked, right?" Morgane retorted, grinning.
"I don't know," Buvos replied, coldly. "Please leave me alone."
"Fine." All humor disappeared from Morgane's face. "If we are to be enemies, so be it. Just remember what I told you.." She turned and hurried away, her hawk flying over her like a morrigun.
Buvos smiled to himself.
"Perhaps I am no longer afraid of you, Morgane," he spoke softly to the twilight, as he walked toward the lantern-lit Plaza. Jack-o-lanterns were everywhere, as well as black and orange candles. The Cathairte Inness of the Cathair Utopian was certainly in the Halloween spirit. There was, after all, to be a Halloween clutch, perhaps..or, if it hatched late, this would all be changed to suit Thanksgiving! Buvos had no idea why the people of Danach still celebrated these Terran holidays, but he knew that he was glad of it. They were fun!
Buvos sat at a long table, where many others waited. It was two days before Halloween, and the people of this part of Danach always celebrated up until the midnight of All Hallows Eve, and then they would celebrate All Saints Day the next morning with a festive brunch. But now, it was dark and eerie. Fake ghosts-and real ones-swung and hovered in a chilly breeze, adding a spooky atmosphere to the waiting diners. Finally the first course was brought to the table; a salad with fake eyeballs in it-grapes. Along with this there was blackened bread. The main course was a deeply blackened salmon, with worms-pasta-underneath. The drink of the evening was blood-red wine-or pumpkin juice, or frothy witches brew-sparkling apple cider. The guests were merry and drunk by the time the feast was over, and each person staggered off to their homes by midnight, clutching small gifts of miniature pumpkins, candy, and small bottles of whatever they chose to drink that night.
Buvos skipped home, whistling cheerfully. Suddenly, the moonlight was blotted out by a dark shape. Buvos crouched in drunken terror-yes, he had drunk the 'blood'-as a humongous dragon landed. It was the Cathairte, atop her starry dragon, Edorth.
"Greetings to you, Buvos," Inness purred. It looked like she had had the 'blood' as well. "Do you know what? Edorth and I volunteered to help Find candidates for Baeris, and Edorth led me right to-*hiccup*-you."
"Is-is th-that s*hiccup*so? Well, I'll be happy to come, right after I gather my th*hiccup*things." Inness nodded, and both she and Edorth waited patiently for Buvos to come back.
By the time he got to his home, the drunkenness had worn off somewhat, and he was in a frenzy of excitement.
"A dragon! Me!"he murmured, as he packed all of his clothing and a few other things. Finally he was ready, and ran all the way back to Edorth. Inness helped him mount the giant beauty, and they quickly went parallel, where Buvos accquired a pounding migraine, and lost the rest of his drunkenness-and the contents of his stomach. Presently they reached the Healing Den, and Edorth dropped him off. Buvos weaved unsteadily, until a hand firmly grasped his arm. Buvos came face to face with a very attractive woman.
"Hello," she said,"I am Baeris. Welcome to the Healing Den." Buvos chose this auspicious moment to crumple into a pitiful heap.
Buvos awoke the next morning to someone shaking him repeatedly. He slapped at the person, and opened his eyes.
"Good morning, Buvos!" The cheerful face of Limerik made his eyes come unfocused. "Buvos! Wake UP!"
Buvos shook his head to clear the drowsiness.
"Where am I?" he asked, faltering.
"We are both candidates at the Halloween hatching, Buvos. Can you believe it? They Found me, a amphibian-girl!" Limerik dance around Buvos' bed, making him dizzy. "Oh, they gave me this, too." Limerik held up a tiny green dragonchen, sparkling and perfect. "They have an egg for you as well, and you'd better get ready-" The egg began to shake in Buvos' palm as Limerik handed it to him. She also happened to have leftover meat-her chen was not happy to give it up-and as a purple snout poked through the shell, Buvos was awake enough to feed it, and then cradle his new chen to him.
"Ah..Lavene.." Buvos was nearly speechless, but he managed to name the tiny purple chen anyhow.
"Mine is Amphib!" Limerik giggled. Lavene and Amphib trilled.
Buvos felt a little bit edgy; he had no idea what Morgane was up to..he hadn't seen her in a few days. A welcome respite, but still cause for worry. Morgane often did her worst deeds after a long while of peace. -Still, no need to tear your hair out, Buvos- the magik man thought to himself.
~That's true~ murmured the violet-red Vares, and Lavene chirped her agreement, almost a miniature Vares upon the dragon's huge shoulder. Buvos smiled at his two friends, and resumed his pacing.