These are a series of stories about a magician in his early 20s as he wanders america and walks in a world of small wonders, working little magics to help the world and dealing with problems magic is sometimes both the cause of and solution to. At the bone of it, magic is about banishing creatures from Outside the universe back to where they came from; the meat of it is far more complicated and involves needs and desires, wishes and wants and the limits of both imagination, will, and what the world will allow. The magician narrates most of the stories and is, thus far, unnamed in them.
Charlie has been travelling with him for close to a month. She is 17, all punk and cigarettes, and is both an eater of gods and carrying a god inside her. Said god was the monster under her bed as a child – she finds it safer not to think about theology knowing that. She scares people more than the magician does, when she lets her nature show, and is convinced he is only allowing her to travel with him so that he can bind and destroy her if the need arises: it was his working of magic that woke her to her nature, and magic does not allow one to evade responsibility in the way that true power does.
Jay appears to be a 10 year old boy. For one night, he even had fangs. Now he doesn’t and seems entirely human, even to magicians who should know otherwise. What is certain is that he is an entity from Outside the universe and was fleeing being devoured by another when he hijacked a student exchange trip between the universe and Outside [something the magician decided it was safest to not enquire about deeply] and ended up in the universe, on earth, and ran into the magician. He barely survived the transit and his nature was permanently damaged, causing him to have a lisp as a minor manifestation of it and causing him to bind himself to the magician as a servant in order to survive. He has effectively made them into his family regardless of what the magician or Charlie might want.
The magician has a family, but seldom talks about them. His father was a magician and he ended up burning him to ashes in a duel over abuses of magic and the murdering of people. He doesn’t talk about that much. Charlie’s parents, in turn, seem to have a fairly strained relationship and thus far her wandering off from school with a magician seems to have elicited no response from them.
The only other named person who has shown more than once is Mary-Lee, the oldest magician in the world. She is said to be a pharaoh by some and is all wrinkles, layers of clothing and an appalling smell. Almost all her magic seems to have fallen inward and is keeping her alive and, according to Jay, she actually isn’t human anymore. She seems to have some fascination with the magician but why and to what end is unknown.