The package arrives unmarked at the motel room door, just like the email said it would. Magicians dont use the internet because scary things are in it, but those things don’t bother me at all. Not ever, because I can be a little scary myself and I’m really good at taking bindings apart and finding them. Which is why I sell a few passwords to religious websites to someone and get a black pistol in a box in exchange for it. It’s pretty small, but they sent what I asked for along with a small belt for it and not a single question at all when I asked if a kid could use it.
That part is a little weird but humans can’t help but be weird so I bring it inside, set it up in the bathroom and get ready for the night. One gun, a light jean jacket, jeans, shoes, t-shirt, all in dark colours and with extra bullets in my pocket, the motel door keys and my phone in another. I planned and timed it all perfectly and still the magician comes back in from getting a coffee just as I come out of the bathroom because that is what magicians do. Sometimes, they walk right between bindings and around them and never even notice at all.
I dive into the bathroom faster than humans can move, but the door slams too quick behind me.
“Jay?” The magician pauses. I hear him set his coffee down and walk over to the bathroom door. “What are you doing?”
I don’t even try to bind the bathroom door so he can’t get it. “Doing my hair, honcho!”
“Your hair.” He pauses. “And what are you doing with it?”
“Combing it, of courthe.”
“And since when have you bothered doing that before unless I forced you to?”
I say nothing. I guess I wanted to be caught, or at least I hope so. I open the bathroom door and glare up at him. “I could have been.”
He pauses again, staring down at me with a distant look, his magician’s face as he sees more of the world than people do. He crouches down enough to hold my gaze with his, which is often a bad sign. “You mind explaining to me what the hell you are doing with a gun under your jacket?”
“Going for a walk.”
“A walk. Explain some more,” he says, and a hint of power threads under the words. He’s still tired from a few days ago, but he’s a magician and he won’t let that stop anything if he has to.
“You read about the moon in the paper, right? It’th going to be huge tonight.”
“I am aware of that.”
“Yeth, but ith’ a perigree moon, so it’th really huge.”
“That’s like a peregrine falcon?”
I glare at him as he tries not to grin. “That wathn’t funny at all. The moon ith going to be big, tho I am going out to hunt werewolveth.”
“With silver bullets.”
“Duh.” I figure that explains enough of everything he wants explained. Honcho, of course, doesn’t think that at all.
He stands. “You are faster than humans, tougher than they are by far, and you can bind and unbind things. Why, precisely, would you need a gun to hunt werewolves?”
“Hello? Tradition,” I say, and he just stares in response. “Why do you think I have thilver bulletth?”
I go over to one of the two beds in the motel and sit on it. Honcho sits on the other, studying me. He’s not using the bindings between us to get information, not yet. He could easily, because I bound myself into his service when I entered the universe but he hates abusing that but he rubs his left temple and I can see the bindings about him shifting as a headache comes on.
“Do you have any idea what would happen to a ten year old kid without legal ID caught runnig around with a gun?”
I blink. He’s not smiling at all. I unbind some of his headache, stopping before he notices. “I –.” I gulp, and I’m sucking on my right thumb before I can stop myself. It lets me bind me a little, keeps me from hurting too much when humans just don’t understand. “It wath a joke!”
“Full Moon. Werewolveth. Gunth with thilver. I was going to have a dog whithle but the perthon on the internet thending it didn’t thend it in time. Okay?”
He sits back. “You got a gun off the internet faster than a pet whistle.”
“And this is a joke.”
“Yeth! Like how kidth would go looking for mutant ninja turtleth in a thewer and I thought you’d find it funny and laugh.” I throw the gun at him with my left hand. “You’ve been really thad all week and I thought it would be funny.”
“You thought it would be funny to hunt werewolves with a real gun.”
“I wathn’t going to actually thoot any.” I yank my thumb free with an effort and cross my arms. “You were going to feel what I wath doing through our bindingth and find me and I would explain –.”
“Better than you’re doing now?”
“Much better, and you’d laugh and be happy and everything would be okay and you’d actually get to watch the giant thuper full moon in a huge bloom inthead of thulking in a motel room and I really like it when you aren’t being thad and mopey and tho do you.”
The magician just stares at me in silence. I bite my lower lip, fighting my thumb wanting to me in my mouth again because that feels good too. Sometimes my lisp makes it hard to seem serious at all, and I hate that but I don’t hate it because it is part of me and that’s hard to explain to humans. “I could thay that without an eth,” I mumble. “Maybe.”
“No, it – it’s fine.” He stands. “We’re leaving the gun and bullets, though.”
“The moon is going to be full in twenty minutes.” He doesn’t even look at a window to know that, because magician. “You don’t want to miss it, do you?”
I scramble off the bed and grab his left hand, half-dragging him out the door. He follows, closing it behind us, and ruffles the top of my head gently as we go down the street.
I move away. “Thee?”
“I could have been doing my hair becauthe you keep doing that.”
And this time I’m not trying for funny at all but he starts laughing anyway and ruffles my hair again. “That’s a good point,” he says, and laughs some more.
The moon is really full and we only see one werewolf, but they’re busy watching the moon too so we go back to the motel in silence and he actually falls asleep on the other bed without having any bad dreams at all.
Now I just need to figure out what to do with the gun before Honcho asks what I paid for it.