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Sunday, 23:45


“Tell me, does this look familiar to you?” Cadee asked her roommate, handing her an old newspaper clipping over the sofa where she had been lying.

“What!?” Anna asked, startled, raising her head over the back of the sofa.  She had been studying the ‘Shoggot on the roof’ script for hours, and obviously dozed off. She hadn’t even noticed Cadee had returned.  A quick look at her watch told her she had been asleep for at least a couple of hours. Damn.

Cadee was at the table, busily rummaging through her albums. Several thick folders laid open on the table, each one containing dozens of different newspaper clippings – all news related to strange or unexplainable events.  Some of them were pretty old, since it had been Cadee’s mother’s hobby for years, one that Cadee had continued.  Anne knew that those clippings had proved her useful time and again, but never understood the need for albums and albums of dusty old pieces of paper.  

“When are you going to scan all that stuff and enter the 21st century?” She asked her friend for the thousandth time, as she took the polyester-film folder.

“Just look at the damn thing, Annie,” Cadee answered, her voice strained. She had been looking for that particular piece of news forever, and was tired as hell.

“Ok, ok,” she acquiesced and looked at the date first; it wasn’t so old after all, just a couple of years.

“Young thugs savage attack on restaurant owner. ‘Magician’ saves the day” was the title. Interested now, Anne started to read. It was the usual recount of drugged teen violence, and her expression got serious as she went on. Ten young  teenagers  had burst into a restaurant about closing time, causing a nuisance until the owner managed to usher them out. Problem was, two were armed with knives and another picked a road-side railing to hit the owner with it. The gang managed to push the man around, hitting him in the head and even cutting his arm, when one of the restaurant customers got in the middle, somehow appeasing  the wild youths just by talking to them.

“It was incredible,” were Mr. Pitorri’s –the restaurant owner– words when interviewed about the events at Cornell Medical Center where he is recovering.  “He just talked to them, you know? With a soothing deep voice, and those… druggies just dropped the knives and calmly waited for the police.  I’d never seen anything like that in my life, they were like hypnotized or something.  I guess Niall is a magician all right. I just need to thank him, free meals forever.”

When asked about the ‘magician’, Mr. Pitorri expressed that Mr. Niall Tiergnan was a patron of the restaurant, and a magician by profession, evidently including hypnotism in his act. Unfortunately, Mr. Tiergnan didn’t want to make a statement.  

The teenagers –aged between 12 and 15– were derived to Social Services.


“Look at the pictures,” Cadee prompted next to her ear, startling Anne again. She had been reading over her shoulder, approaching her with that silent cat walk of hers. “The last one, does he look familiar?”

There were four pictures at the end of the article, one of the restaurant’s façade and  a couple of Mr. Pitorri, with a bandaged head and arm, lying on a hospital bed. The last one showed the mysterious ‘magician’. The picture’s grain was thick, so Anne guessed it had been taken from a distance, and it showed a man around his thirties, with dark hair and scruffy looks, standing in the threshold of an office and looking at the camera, as if he had caught the paparazzi in the act.

She frowned, the man looked familiar indeed, but she couldn’t place him; she turned to Cadee for help, and the blonde nodded.

“At the party, yesterday. Isn’t he the one who was helping get people out?” Anne slowly nodded as well, and Cadee smiled. “I knew it! I was talking to Logan earlier, about the attack at the party, and it struck me that I’d seen him before.  Now look at this!” she said, and handed Anne the heavy Manhattan yellow pages phone book, opened almost at the end.

“Logan, huh?” Anne teased, an impish look in her eyes, but at her friend’s serious look, she added, “all right, but don’t even think I’ll drop the matter.”

Cadee had circled one of the advertisements: “Niall Tiergnan: wizard for hire” The add was short and offered the wizard’s abilities for different issues; it was simple, it was neat, and probably a fake too.

“He’s not a fake, I saw him do magic at the party;  real, powerful magic.  The man is the real thing.” Cadee replied, and Anne realized she had been thinking aloud. 

Anne’s disbelief was understandable, and Cadee wondered what kind of true wizard offered his services to the world like this. But he was real, no doubt about that. She could use a sorcerer at the time and paying him would make things much easier too, she didn’t like owing any favors. And she certainly needed some help, or at least advice.

“So about Logan…” Anne interrupted her thoughts, and Cadee laughed, relaxed now that she had finally solved the mystery of Mr. Tiergnan.

“He came to the bar tonight, and walked me home.” Cadee answered, blushing.

“Cool! I want to hear all the dirty details,” Anne demanded, and slapped the sofa for Cadee to sit.  The blonde sighed and sat, preparing herself for an interrogation worthy of the CIA.





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