Magic is finicky. I’d seen it work before, but not too reliably and there were many charlatans around. But I trusted Damien, loved him. Still, this was one of his wackier ideas, crazier than their hasty marriage three weeks ago.
“You want to jump into that scuzzy water, be my guest. There’s no way I am.”
A frown creased his brow. “We’ve been over this. If you don’t jump in after tossing the coin the magic won’t work. I can’t swim.”
He massaged his head, revealing dark green marks on his arm.
“What’s that green smudge?”
Damien snapped his sleeve down, covering the splotches. He seemed unusually irritated. “Nothing, just some paint.”
I shrugged. He was the magic expert. With a flick I tossed the copper coin in the air. It arced high, then dove strait for the wish pond. Instead of a splash, I heard thump.
Curious, I leaned over to look, but a flicker of movement made me turn. Arms extended, Damien charged, the green ‘paint’ on his arms clearly textured like alligator skin. Yellow reptilian eyes shone with soulless intensity.
My heart shattered with understanding. Damien was a Gator Shaman, bound to the creatures by blood… and I was his next sacrifice. No wonder he knew so much magic. But he didn’t count on my reflexes. Damien tumbled into the water. He cried once before the alligator bit.
I guess he really couldn’t swim. At least I’d inherit his gold. Some wishes do come true.