Coyote sniffed the air, flicked his ears, and felt the breeze ruffle his fur. He padded down the quiet street with ears pricked forward and his bushy tail held high. It would be a good night, of that he was certain.
The night air was damp, but nature had provided nicely for his comfort. He felt the rush of adventure and his tongue lolled out because of his excitement. Yes, this was the proper time, no matter what the others said. The world had been ignorant far too long, and unless someone gave it a nudge the old ways would stay hidden in the shadows.
Coyote snorted. It was time to regain some of the power and the only way to do that was to stop hiding and step out into the world once again. Who better than he to dare such an undertaking?
He ducked into an alley, his paws making a soft noise on the pavement. It had rained, and the dampness made all of the scents of the alley come alive. Rodent and human smells caused his nose to twitch but he resisted the urge to follow any of the trails. Slinking behind a tall trash bin, he shook his thick coat one final time and blinked before sliding effortlessly into his human form.
Running his hands through his thick dark auburn hair, he glanced down and realized he needed something more appropriate than the buckskin breeches he usually favored. When he clad himself in appropriate jeans and soft cotton shirt, he stepped out from the alley and followed the noise of the crowd in the bar.
Why people found magic so distasteful was beyond him. Once, a very long time ago, people told stories about his exploits to their children. He was revered. Since magic went underground, those stories had nearly been forgotten. It was about time someone reminded the humans that magic still existed, and who better to do that than the infamous, bold Coyote?
The restaurant was abuzz with so many voices that for a moment Coyote felt overwhelmed. He hadn’t been out in a while. The others discouraged such meddling and mingling with humans – not to mention associating with those that were gifted enough to channel the energies that fueled magic. No, the others just didn’t see the potential in making an effort to bring back the old ways. They were content to slip into obscurity, have their stories forgotten; not Coyote, though. Oh no, he wasn’t the type to let himself slip out of the minds of humans and magical beings. He wanted to be front and center – and damn the consequences.
The men scattered around the bar watched the game on the television, sipping their drinks and talking loudly about batting averages and the great players who were now retired. He felt a prickle of resentment because that was what happened to him and his kind, wasn’t it? They were the greats of the past, retired now…replaced by science and technology.
At the end of the bar stood a large man with shaggy hair and a scowl that was near deadly in intensity. Coyote wedged his way into a small spot next to the man and ordered a single malt scotch. He leaned his back against the bar and looked up at the screen behind him, sipping the liquid with relish as he plotted his next move.
A crackling of electricity surrounded the dark man, and Coyote noticed that the man’s skin was neither black nor white, but instead was that shade of almost dark olive that made his ancestry impossible to discern. His hair was also an enigma, neither black nor brown, but some shade in between with a texture that couldn’t be categorized easily. The man was notable only for two reasons: His imposing size and the intricate tattoo across his collarbone that told of his profession. Coyote could just see the center of the design peeking out from beneath the man’s shirt.
Outside of a fewCaribbeanIslands, one did not often come across a man such as this one. Coyote glanced at him, assessing the power. Coyote focused his sight on the man’s back and tapped very lightly into his own power. The energy of the man glowed and sparkled, like tiny flecks of obsidian flowing around him with sparkles of garnet red and deep indigo swirling in the currents.
“Bokor.” Coyote whispered and gave a satisfied internal smile when the man’s head whipped around to glare at Coyote.
Coyote felt the magic surge as the man took his measure. It wasn’t so easy for those who practiced the arts, dark or otherwise, to see a purely magical being like Coyote. The Bokor needed a moment to register the fact that Coyote had no need to pull energy from the elements. The smaller man with the dark auburn hair just was magic, the currents flowed around Coyote as if feeding off of his energy and not the other way around.
The man’s dark eyes narrowed and his energy shimmered with sparkling black shards as his voice rumbled. “What do you want, ancient one?”
“Just a chat.” Coyote grinned and stood straight, taking his drink with him. He walked toward one of the high tables that surrounded the bar and glanced at the two humans who were sipping martinis, obviously on a first date if the nervous glances and stilted conversation was anything to judge by. As Coyote neared their table, the hostess approached, ushering the couple to their waiting table. Without glancing at the auburn haired man, the human trio headed over to a table in the corner and Coyote hoisted himself onto one of the now vacant chairs, gesturing to the other with his half empty glass. The dark man sat, leaning his elbows on the table, his bottle of beer between his two enormous hands.
“Have you ever wondered how long it will take before humanity accepts magic again?” Coyote said, taking another sip of his drink.
“They know it exists.” The man hissed, leaning back to get a better look at his companion.
“That wasn’t what I asked. You do not listen well, Bokor.” Coyote said, narrowing his own eyes. “I asked if you wondered how long until they accept it.”
“Most do not. If more saw the truth of magic, perhaps a Bokor would be more valuable.”
The man paused and leaned in closer. A hard glint was in his eyes. “What do you suggest?”
Coyote leaned back in his chair and grinned. “Certainly there is something one of your particular talents could think of that would make them take notice.”
The man frowned. “You know that is not possible, spirit. There are consequences for bringing magic into view.”
“Ah, yes. Consequences.” Coyote waved a dismissive hand in the air, causing all sound to become muffled as he pulled an invisible veil around the table. “You are already paying those consequences; that is why you are here. What if there were another way? What if instead of hiding in the shadows and serving the few who still believe, you were to step out and shed light on that which is confined to the recesses? What then, Bokor? After all, what benefit have you earned from doing as they demand?”
“You know they watch, spirit.” The man spat with such disgust that Coyote tilted his head to one side, as if weighing the truth of his companion’s words.
“Indeed. But they only watch those they fear.” Coyote swallowed the last of the amber liquid and set the glass back on the table. He stood and grinned at the man before turning and dissipating the curtain that kept their conversation quiet. “The question, Bokor, is do they fear you?”
Knowing he had said all that was necessary, Coyote walked back out in the night, without bothering to glance at his prey again.