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The Magicians and the Revenants

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One bright morning in late November, three years after the Restoration of English Magic and the disappearance of the Two Foremost Magicians of the Age, a country Attorney from the village of Todmorden, West Yorkshire, decided over his morning toast to visit his cousin in Leeds. 

The Attorney had almost completed the first leg of his journey when a large black coach, travelling at break-neck speed, struck his gig in passing.  Both carriages stopp’d and Mr. Weatherfield, a large imposing man with a law practice besides, and therefore unus’d to suffering injustice or insult even from the Rich, drew himself up to his full height and marched over to the other vehicle to demand renumeration.  The gentleman in the coach was exceedingly sorry; he desir’d to make it up to Mr. Weatherfield; would Mr. Weatherfield be willing to ride with him in his barouche-landau while they discussed the matter?  When an aspiring gentleman is offered a ride in a barouche-landau he does not refuse the offer – tho’ Mr. Weatherfield wasn’t quite convinced that it was a barouche-landau.  He got in.  The compartment when he enter’d it at first seemed to have a whiff of the charnel house, and he drew back in disgust – but a moment later he had forgotten it, for his pleasant host was asking him something and the air was fine, quite fine – in fact there were lillies and carnations to perfume the air. 

Mr. Weatherfield was sat next to his host, who desired to be known as Mr. Gielgud, and opposite the gentleman’s two friends.  All three were intensely interested in Mr. Weatherfield’s life and concerns, of which they seem’d to have some knowledge already.  Mr. Weatherfield was delighted that his firm must have garnered him a reputation amongst the elite, and was pleas’d to entertain his companions at length from his store of legal anecdotes.

At length he became aware that his companions had ceased listening to him and were conversing with one another.

 “The bite of one shall be sufficient, and the bites of many shall be a curse,” intoned the Romanian gentleman.

““Yr a rodaf idau ef hagen, kystal a chynt yd ymlad auory,” added Mr. Gielgud.[1]

THE OFFERINGS MUST NEVER CEASE UNTIL THE LAST HUMAN HAS BEEN SLAIN UPON THE ALTARS OF MEFISTO.[2] said the third gentleman.    

 Mr. Weatherfield began to be uncomfortable.The charnel smell was filling his nostrils again, and he suspected that he was in the presence of Enthusiasts.    

Mr. Țepeș asked him whether he would be willing to serve as their agent in a matter of Redress. 

“Oh! I would be happy to oblige you,” replied Mr. Weatherfield, “only I must be getting back home.”

Mr. Gielgud kindly invited him to be the executor of their Will.

“Oh! Oh! Of course, only I must return to Todmorden immediately.  I have so many affairs to attend to, and it is nearly Christmas.”

Mephisto summoned him in an awful voice to the destruction of their enemies.

“Oh! Oh! Oh!  Anything, anything – only let me go this instant!”

The door open’d, and Mr. Weatherfield found himself flung bodily out of the coach.  He tumbled in air and darkness for what seem’d an eternity before light return’d and he pitched headlong down the front steps of his home. His body fetched up on the street, convulsed twice, and was still.

“The English are going to be busy this winter,” observed Llwyd ap Cil Coed, closing the door.

 


[1] Middle Welsh: “And however many blows he receives, he will be just as able to fight.”  A quote from the Mabinogion, here invoking a fairy’s enchantment of invincibility. 

[2] A quote from the single “Reaping Death” (2010) by Swedish death metal group, Waitan.