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JESTER BUSKEE S1C13: Boy Wonder

THE MOI: He jumped.


DAVIDSON: At least give us the decency to allow us to find his body.


{The Moi had reported back to Davidson, Tako and Madam Cara in the mass tent.


The Moi understood the request, yet he wanted to take no more chances with this "Jester Buskee". He signaled to 2 Nightmarchers to the side of him with his head.}


THE MOI: Follow them out.


{The 2 Nightmarchers complied. Davidson led the way out of the tent followed by Tako, then, Madam Cara.


There was an uncomforting silence. Davidson was the first to speak life into the otherwise lifeless nightfall. He looked back towards Madam Cara who was several paces ahead of the following Nightmarchers. Yet he still whispered to be cautious.}


DAVIDSON: What if he survived.


MADAM CARA: The terror... of a fall of that magnitude may be enough to do the job.


{Tako turned back, but to speak to the Nightmarchers from over his left shoulder past Madam Cara.}


TAKO: Where'd he jump from?


{The Nightmarchers stopped without a word, and then pointed far west. So they began to walk west.


Silence had fallen once again in the dread of the night. Tako was the first to break the silence this time.}


TAKO: We're still alive. So that means he survived.


{Just then, Tako began to use his own analytical skills. It'd been some time since the "magical curse" was placed on him. And the insistence in the tent for Davidson to help.}


TAKO: You son of a bitch!


{Davidson and Madam Cara turn around.}


TAKO: We're not linked anymore! And Jester's dead!


DAVIDSON: Tako, calm d--


TAKO: When we find his body, he's mine. Be lucky I don't kill you right now.


{Tako stomps off with devious eyes past Davidson.}




[Down at the bottom of the ravine.]


{Darkness. The only sound: the animals and insects communicating. Darkness. When Jester opened his eyes, the only light was the reflection of the moonlight upon the water. He'd never experienced such a feeling. Nor could imagine it. His body felt numb yet full of matter all at once. He'd survived the fall. He tried to make out where he lay. On the edge of the ground and edge of the water. Covered in mud. Expecting to feel cold as he began to crawl higher onto the old leaves and sticks on the ground, but he felt only the movement of the dirt under him. Then, he turned to sit on his backside and investigated for cuts, broken bones and bruises. He found nothing, but more mud. So he laid back all the way and looked up at the night sky beyond the extended tree branches that hardly blocked his vision of the moonlight. He was alive.}




[Back up top on the Nightmarcher's sacred land.]



{The silence of losing a friend. Or maybe just the awkwardness of the long walk ahead. Davidson kept his head low. Madam Cara did also, but for different reasons. She was afraid the bottom of her dress would ball up under her sandals. Tako looked on ahead at the horizon. They eventually made it to the cliff Jester jumped from. From there...}


NIGHTMARCHER: LEFT!


{They were directed passed The Elder's Temple down a leveled and rocked path that eventually led them into a forest. There, Davidson decided to break the silence once more.}


DAVIDSON: Cara?


MADAM CARA: Yes?


DAVIDSON: When did you... decide you wanted to study magic for the rest of ya' life?


MADAM CARA: Well, let's see, I was about... 13 when I decided-- well I saw how much potential I had. I was 8 years old when I started practicing. My mother was so passionate about the craft. It was always second nature for me. It's all I ever knew.


DAVIDSON: And ya' natural element?


{As they talked, weaving through the forest was a natural distraction.}


MADAM CARA: Water.


DAVIDSON: I see.


MADAM CARA: ... You?


DAVIDSON: ... Neva' learned it.


MADAM CARA: Hm.


DAVIDSON: ... And too late fa' me to learn na'.


MADAM CARA: ... You seem to be really experienced in the craft.


DAVIDSON: My mutha' got me in the craft too. Just... never had the knowledge of all the elements n'... she was a great magician. Must be a different world over hea'.


TAKO: WHICH DIRECTION?


{The Nightmarchers pointed East.}


DAVIDSON: I haven't... been in this type of mud since I was a kid. I learned my first spell in mud like this.


MADAM CARA: And what was that?


DAVIDSON: It was a... a opossum. I learned to make it think it had eaten when it hadn't.




[Davidson's Flashback: Back in 1972.]


DAVIDSON: I caught it with my Granddad old slingshot. I placed the trappin' cage right up under a tree. I sat behind a rock. It was a huge rock. My Grandad loved the yard work-- said it reminded him of back home in Nigeria. So he bought big rocks for the yard. He said he used to catch wild animals wit' his bare hands as a boy but said one of his friends told him to use a slingshot in America-- he not in Africa no mo'. Use a slingshot or a gun. Ahaha, so he gave me this slingshot he'd been usin'. He went and bought him a new one, but I could use his old yellow one. I lined it up just like he taught me. Lined the cage at the angle to make sure I caught em', and I caught em'. I went and told my Ma', and she told me to bring em' to the barn so we can feed em'. But we didn't feed em'. She said...


[1972]

DAVIDSON'S MOTHER: Look at him. Do nothing but look. Now look at his belly.


[2017]

DAVIDSON: So I looked. She told me not to move, and she went and brought in sticks. She placed em' in a circle 'round the cage. Then, she put some cabbage we was growin'-- dipped it all in sugah, she put it on top of the cage. She said we wouldn't waste no good meat on em'. Then she set the cabbage on fiyah. She stepped back and closed her eyes. She formed her Mudras: "Wuta" and "Iska". The wind blew the flame. I'll never forget the way dat flame shook. Then it dwindled out. She opened her eyes and told me...


[1972]

DAVIDSON'S MOTHER: It is fed.


[2017]

DAVIDSON: I took my eyes off of the opossum for a second. Then I looked back at it-- the belly. It was largah den it was before.


[1972]

DAVIDSON'S MOTHER: I'll teach you.


[2017]

DAVIDSON: For the next weeks, my mother worked with me on the spell. She taught me the mudras she used, and I don't think she knew anyting about em', cause she never taught me da elements. But she knew the powah of using dem. After about a month, I still struggled to get the spell down. My Grandad walked into the barn wit' his silvah pistol. He nevah let me near his silvah pistol. It was his favorite gun. My mutha caught em' and...


[1972]

DAVIDSON'S MOTHER: Baba, what you doing?


DAVIDSON'S GRANDFATHER: ... This thing shoulda been dead long time ago!--


DAVIDSON'S MOTHER: We agreed... that you would let me raise my child?


DAVIDSON'S GRANDFATHER: You raisin' farji? He a man. He need to be a man! No man do no... no magic.


{Davidson's Mother looked down over at her son, then to her father.}


DAVIDSON'S MOTHER: ... Well this one do. He gonna be good at it. You ain't never seen em' like em'. He me yaro, and he gonna be powahful! Okay?


[2017]

DAVIDSON: I remember dat day more den most. It was da day I knew... my grandfather looked at me differently. I saw the look in his eyes when he looked at me before he walked out dat barn dat night. I still honored em'. Best man I ever knew. My mutha taught me the craft, but my grandad taught me to be a man. And how to dress, ahaha. I think I dress pretty good.


MADAM CARA: You're better dressed than I am, that's for sure. The pedicure after this is gonna be something. You ever seen a witch with a bad manicure & pedicure?


DAVIDSON: Ahahaha. In the movies. Salem, ahehe. You seen those movies about them witches?


MADAM CARA: Yeah. There's a few that make us... look that way. we must be the best dressed witches around.


DAVIDSON: Jester don't think so though. I see the way he looks at my outfits. You should've heard em' when we got here.


MADAM CARA: Ahaha.


DAVIDSON: I was wearing my sweater and blue pants with my gold watch when we got here, and Jester-- he says, "You wearing that???" Ahahahahaha

MADAM CARA: Ahahahahaha.

DAVIDSON: "You not wearing that!" Ahahaha.

MADAM CARA: Ahahahahaha.


MADAM CARA: He seems like such a lovely child. How'd you two meet?


DAVIDSON: I just met him. We met at his condo in Orange City, but... it feels like I've always known em'. I knew his father. We used to drink and talk about life togethah at the bars in the south. In America. Where we was headed, where we been. He always talked about his kids. Jester wasn't born yet, but... I knew he would be.


{Tako stayed quiet along the way listening to Davidson's story as he lead the way with his eyes, and everything else but his ears.}


DAVIDSON: I'm the reason he here right now.


{Madam Cara listened attentively trying to make sense of that final statement.}


TAKO: DOWN HERE!


{Tako hopped down from a small ledge onto a lengthy lakeside where there were brown leaves and mud. He approached the water, but stopped short and kneeled.}


TAKO: Here.


{Davidson, Madam Cara and the Nightmarcher follow.}


TAKO: ... Blood.


NIGHTMARCHER: Where is the body?


TAKO: It's not here. I can tell you that.


DAVIDSON: Did--

MADAM CARA: Maybe he washed away with the water?


TAKO: No, no. Looks like the mud is tracking this way. Out of the water.


DAVIDSON: You think somebody pulled him out?


TAKO: No. I didn't see any footsteps coming down. There are no steps tracking this way either.


{Tako gets up and walks left to check the ground for more tracks.}


TAKO: There are steps, but they're tracking away from the water. Only.


DAVIDSON: He survived!?


TAKO: No way. A fall like that?


{Tako turned to ask the Nightmarcher a question he already knew the answer to.}


TAKO: Anybody else here-- no, nobody else is on this island-- this land is sacred. There're only Nightmarchers here.


{Tako went into thought, but he had no logical explanation. He questioned the Nightmarcher once more.}


TAKO: Who could have-- what--...


NIGHTMARCHER #2 : There are no other beings on this land. Only the Nightmarchers. This is sacred land.


{Tako did not listen to the response. He was still pondering a likely hypothesis.}


DAVIDSON: ... We know Jester not a normal boy.


MADAM CARA: Then he survived.


NIGHTMARCHER #1 : I must report this to the The Moi. Follow me back.


{The 3 follow the Nightmarchers back onto a trail far left of the short ledge they leaped from to reach the waterfront. Tako behind the Nightmarchers, and Cara and Davidson still trailed slightly far off. There were several minutes of silence before it was broken by Madam Cara.}


MADAM CARA: The Devil is coming for this boy, and this is on you?


DAVIDSON: ... I made a mistake. This... was my biggest. I thought I was helpin' a friend when I did it. Never thought The Devil would be coming for em'. It was just a deal with a Demon.


TAKO: BUT YOU KNEW! YOU KNEW WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU MAKE THOSE TYPES OF DEALS... Don't...


{Tako turned back around to continue the journey to not become more ingulfed in annoyance. The silence grew louder now. Not another word was spoken. Though Davidson told Cara to watch her step more than once.


As they approached the hill leading up the way to the village, in the distance, a light was spotted.}


TAKO: HEY! YOU GUYS SEE THAT LIGHT?


DAVIDSON: WHA'?


TAKO: LOOK UP AHEAD! DOWN THERE! A LIGHT! THERE'S A LIGHT BURNING.


{Tako stops to turn to Davidson with a squint and waited until Davidson got closer to see what he saw. Up ahead, the Nightmarchers had already apprehended their forward march as they were the first to spot the light. Davidson stood next to Tako to put himself in his position of view and squinted off ahead.}


TAKO: You see it?


DAVIDSON: ... Yes... I think I do. What is it?


{The Nightmarchers started to march towards the light now. The light was placed directly on line of the path needed to pass to reach the village. There was no way around it. When they all moved a bit closer, they could see that the light... was a fire raging out of control.}


NIGHTMARCHER: Fire!


NIGHTMARCHER 2: Who set this!?


{The Nightmarchers started stomping toward the out-of-control flames while the others stood back and examined. seconds hardly pass when Davidson catches glimpse of a figure in his left eye. Far down to the left around grass and large tree branches and limbs, behind a tree he spots someone. Then his eyes in an instant made out the image. It was Jester.}



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