Swirls of color danced around each other, enclosed by the man's tanned hands. Tiny sparks of light whirled around the myriad colors, which blended within each other. Blue and red, like wisps of smoke, yet swirled around together as liquid and violent as any waterfall. Bright flashes of yellow and green erupted from the swirling mass like miniscule fireworks.

The child gasped with wonder at the tiny explosion of fireworks. Some of the bright sparks landed on his tiny up-turned nose, warming it with its own source of heat. The child laughed with delight.

The lights of the swirling mass of color reflected in the man's black eyes. A deep, warm chuckle escaped the man's lips at the sight of the boy's evident pleasure. Slowly, he brought his fingers together so that his fingertips touched, completely closing the whirling ball of colors as in a cage. The boy's wide grin closed into a small smile, realizing the private audience was coming to end. He looked on wide-eyed as the lights showed the colors of the rainbow, winding in and out of itself as the man slowly closed his fingers around the mass of light. Finally he pressed his palms against each other and the colors disappeared in a whiff of light that escaped through the cracks of the man's weathered hands.

A soft sigh escaped the little boys lips as he looked sadly at the closed hands of the dark cloaked man. The man smiled down at the fair-haired boy and put his hand on his shoulder.

"Go now, and enjoy the festival," he said quietly to the boy. The small boy looked up and grinned up at the man, his eyes sparkling brighter and with more life than any magic colors that the man could invoke. The boy, the man guessed him to be no more than eight years of age, quickly ran off. No doubt to tell his buddies of what he saw, the man thought. Of course they would not believe the poor boy, the man added silently with a small smile.

The man looked up and around himself. He was standing behind a tent that was set up in the large city center square in front of an alley. The man could hear the shouts and laughter and bawdy music that came from the square due to the Festival. The man smiled again in anticipation of the events to come. The man grew still as he looked at the tent, yet not seeing it, staring at something beyond. He stood still as a statue, an imposing tall figure, draped in a dark cloak that covered his head, which he had wrapped closely over his body, in effect, hiding everything within its folds. He slowly took a step towards the tent, soundlessly, hardly making a ripple in the folds of black and then quickly in haste he entered the tent from the opening in the back. A moment later a man leapt out of the tent from the front in a most flamboyant manner, clothed in the bright clashing colors of the jester; red, blue and yellow. His bright robes hurt many a fashionable eye, yet the jesters cap that crowned his painted face of the selfsame colors brought a laugh of excitement running through the crowd that had gathered in a semicircle around the tent.

The black eyes of the jester twinkled and he chuckled with pleasure as he spotted a certain boy among the crowd whose deep blue eyes sparkled brighter than a thousand stars.

The jester spread his arms wide about him towards the public and grinned.

"Let's begin!"