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Arcane Animation

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Wally shivered slightly as he entered the dimly lit room, more from cold than fear. Inside, eight people stood around a pentagram, their faces illuminated only by candlelight. Six small forms were perched on one of the three coffins off to the side.

Taking a deep breath, Wally stepped forward, trying hard not to trip over the ceremonial robe he was dressed in.

A few seconds passed before Joey Drew broke the silence.

"Wallace Neil Franks, do you know why you are here?"

Luckily, Norman had helped Wally practice enough that the janitor could give the right answer.

"No, I do not."

"You are here," Joey said. "To be initiated into this group of ours--the Five Stars Coven. Henry, Norman, and Thomas have vouched for you."

The studio head turned to the aforementioned three. "Has he completed the tasks assigned to him?"

"He has," Norman affirmed. "He has given each of us a sufficient demonstration of his ability to use magic, and while he has not yet chosen a specialty, I believe he will find one soon."

"Good." Joey turned back to Wally. "I must warn you now, if you haven't already been warned. Should you declare yourself a member of our coven, that means you are willing to put it before everything else--your friends and family, your faith, even your spouse and children. If a loved one is on their deathbed, and you are called, you will kiss them goodbye and answer. Do you understand?"

Wally was already aware, having been informed only a short time ago. "I do."

"And with that in mind, are you certain you wish to join us?"

"I am."

"Then hold out your hand. Thomas, you shall be the bonder."

Wally did so, and Thomas took it. On the mechanic's hand, a mark resembling five stars forming a ring appeared, glowing with a dark grey light. A similar mark began to trace itself on Wally's hand, shining with forest green light.

"By the power vested in me as leader of this coven," intoned Joey. "I welcome thee into our circle. Thou hast been chosen as a worthy vessel of magic. Now, embrace thy destiny as a magician, and take thy place in the Five Stars Coven."

As he watched the bonding being completed, his partner speaking the ceremonial words, Bendy gave a grin. It was always gratifying to see someone take their first steps into the world of magicians. He remembered the expression of wonder and delight on Joey's face when the director had summoned him as his familiar, an expression he saw again and again as the coven slowly grew.

Shifting into his normal form, which greatly resembled the character based on him, the little demon wondered who would be the coven's next recruit.