A Magician Arrives

Patty was banging around in the kitchen area, preparing something for a mid-day meal. Just outside the doorway to the kitchen area was an untouched cup of Earl Grey tea, and in front of that, Christopher. He was sitting as casually as possible in a stiff wooden chair at the end of a lengthy Maplewood dining room table.

The crisp white cuffs of his button-down and his freshly pressed coal trousers just barely disguised the fact that he had lost a significant amount of weight. It had only been a month since he completed the freakishly lifelike wooden doll, Angeline. He had spent so much time working on her, and so little time eating, that his body more than rejected the large meals he had been accustomed to when he was healthy. No matter. Angeline was finished now, and that was all he cared about.

He was surprisingly calm, considering the impending visitor that was expected to arrive at any moment. One would find it hard to believe that mere minutes ago he had been raging about the house, flinging dusty books from shelves and pulling desk drawers from their humble homes, trying to find the letter he had received a few weeks ago stating that The Great Viktor Roscovitch would be arriving at his home today.

"A magician," Patty had mused, confused when Christopher had calmed down enough to explain what the letter entailed. "Why is a magician coming?"

"Never you mind," He spat, annoyed by her ignorance.

Of course he needed a magician! For obvious reasons! And not just any magician. He had clearly stated in his letter to Viktor that he was looking for a powerful magician. A magician that would be catering to his very private request and that would be paid a very large sum of money.

Viktor had understood completely. Viktor had written back stating that he was the most esteemed magician in New York, and had experience in many Arts of the magic variety. Christopher knew this already of course. Besides having seen Viktor's notorious act of killing animals and bringing them back to life with dramatic displays of incantations on television, he had done extensive research, and even hired investigators to closely follow the endeavors of this self-proclaimed master of the Arts. Viktor, as Christopher had found out from his watchful eyes up north, was known to practice magic that was darker than the average card trick. Much darker.

And now Christopher was expecting Viktor to use his skill in that blasted, God-forsaken black magic to give him back his Angeal.

Currently, he tried to nonchalantly bring the cooling cup of tea to his lips, but his hands betrayed him, shaking with excitement and anticipation.

"He's arrived, Master Wimblerson," Said a maid from behind him, startling him. He motioned with his free hand for her to bring the visitor in, and stood up. Viktor's presence was felt before it was seen. The hairs along Christopher's arms rose hastily, standing at attention beneath the cloth of his sleeves. It was as if a static energy were laying itself out like a red carpet, announcing the arrival of a Hollywood star.

The energy that was cultivating and dancing around him was drenched in anxiety. He felt as if a cold hand had reached into his chest and crushed his heart, and smeared the remains somewhere along his intestines.

The man who entered shortly after the static held an appearance that did nothing to make the nausea ensnaring Christopher decrease. Viktor was big man, at least six foot eight. Bright, beady black eyes buried themselves beneath a protruding forehead and thick, animalistic black brows. Sideburns ran past astonishingly small ears and gathered themselves into a pointed, albeit curved, beard.

"Mister Christopher Wimblerson. It is I, The Great Viktor Roscovitch," He said with a thick accent while displaying a great bow. Christopher took a minute to regain some composure.

"Yes, Mister Roscovitch, it is a pleasure to have you. You must be quite tired after your long journey here. Please, do sit down."

Viktor chose a seat somewhat midway down the table and sat down with perplexing grace. "Your letter to me," He began idly, watching Christopher carefully, "it did not say why you wanted me here exactly. And yet, it promised me a great sum of money. More than I have ever been offered."

"Yes," Christopher agreed.

"Be straight with me, Mister Wimblerson. What is it that you want from me?"

At this time, Patty bustled out of the kitchen with a large tray and served Christopher, and then Viktor. Her face was red and puffy from having spent hours in the steam of the kitchen, but even with the distraction of her uncomfortable body heat and the task at hand, she was determined to eavesdrop on this conversation.

"I want you," Christopher began, ignoring Patty completely, "to resurrect the dead."

Patty gasped, nearly dropping the platter of food she was setting in front of Viktor.

He had met Angeal only three years ago. Yes, he could recollect the exact date. July 16, 1954. It was another warm, sunny Virginia day. A perfect day to sell the useless artifacts his father obstinately collected.

There were good things and bad things about having a father that was aspiring to professionalize archeology. If he happened to be a raging, violent son of a bitch with a drinking habit, like Christopher's father, then you would agree that it was a lucky thing that he was always traveling and rarely home. However, if that particular father often seemed to forget that he even had a family to return to and failed to send money for their survival, then you would find it unlucky that you had to become a man before you wanted to, and support a home, your ill mother, and yourself on your own at the age of 10.

Thus was the luck of Christopher. He hated his father, but his father had left such old, valuable things behind in his study and in odd places around the plantation home, that he was mostly able to forget his father and make a living off his father's pride and joy- his artifacts. Mostly, Christopher had these artifacts moved into the barn a little way behind the house and removed items he meant to auction when the time for paying bills loomed over him. This only happened, of course, when his father was not around.

And so that day, July 16th, Christopher was out to find something that would help cover the cost of a car. He was 17 after all. It was past time for him to have his own car.

He should have known that something was not right the minute he realized that the lock was lying on the ground rather than hanging in its usual place where it secured the barn doors. But instead, he chalked it up to his own absentmindedness, and opened the barn door.

Immediately, he saw her. She looked as if she had been on her way to leave the barn, and was halfway between walking towards him and stuffing what appeared to be a doll into a knapsack of some sort. She was so clearly a thief caught red handed, that he almost smiled at her misfortune.

"I'm not stealing anything," she said, as if she could read his mind.

"Alright," He said, playing along. But he closed the barn door behind him and sized her up. She was small and thin. Beneath the conservative folds of her knee-length dress, he could tell that she did not have much of a figure at all. By this time, Christopher had had his share of women. He knew his preference was for older and larger women, with full, seductive bodies. This girl before him was shaped like a child. But something about her told him that she was a woman, perhaps a woman even older than he was.

Her skin was a sandy kind of beige, but that was a genetic trick. She was clearly of African descent. Thick, wavy hair styled in some wind-blown boy cut rested in bangs above large brown eyes. And the shape of her mouth was too inviting. He analyzed her mouth with care. Her rosy lips, even pursed in antagonism as they were, were too full to resemble European aesthetics. Her nose was rounder and less bold than the noses he had so familiarized himself with. Christopher had never been with a woman made up of such soft, unfamiliar features. The thought of touching her intrigued him. He thought briefly of how he would very much enjoy watching her in the thoroughs of passion. It was then, with the fantastical notion of her in his bedroom, that Christopher decided that he would have this girl.

"Who are you?"