"Love Me, Love Me Not"

Since I'm not talking to you in person, I'm going to do what I usually don't, and tell you my name. Believe it or not, it's Dark. Gremlin Dark. The first and last are all that you're getting, cause I'm not about to tell you my three middle names. Too much power is given to someone…or something…when you tell them your full name.

I could go into a long story about how I'm named after a species of mischievous creatures that saved my grandfather's life, but I'm not. Not now anyways. Suffice to say, I don't often go around telling people my name.

Who in the hell would name their kid Gremlin, right?

I go by the moniker of Grim, which people usually assume has something to do with my demeanor, so they don't ask for explanations. By the time they get to know me, those that stick around that is, they just accept me, and they still don't ask.

I would also like to start off by setting the record straight. I'm a Tapper. What's a Tapper, you ask? Besides a type of woodpecker? Well, the norms, as we like to call your kind, have come up with all sorts of names for our kind. Magicians; wizards; warlocks; witches; etcetera, etcetera.

We are people with the ability to tap into the natural magikal energies that are a part of every thing. And while it's true that some of our kind have promoted the usage of the words that norms have developed, Merlin in particular, the majority of us prefer to go by our original term.

For the most part, we are a good-natured lot, but, just like norms, there are those of us that indulge in using our abilities for darker, more selfish purposes. Thankfully, those types are few and far between, and mostly use their powers to further their own ranking within the norm society.

I could go on and on about the hierarchy of our kind, but I believe it would be mostly boring, and would eventually get a little more complicated that what you could follow. I'll just say it has a lot to do with astrology, birth rites, runes, and omens, and leave it at that.

Not many in the norm world know, or can accept, that we really exist. Probably because with that acceptance comes the knowledge that other beings rooted in the magikal ether are also real.

Vampires, werewolves, golems, and hundreds of other assorted beings, are as real as we Tappers, and just as diverse a mix as norms. They have their good and their bad, and they care about as much for the norm world as any of you do. They live their lives and they're usually happy just to get through another day.

Any how, as I was saying, most norms are unaware of us, so it was therefore a bit of a surprise when a young man showed up in my office, asking for me to perform a bit of magik on his life.

I have a web site, and I'm listed in the yellow pages. Do a search for repairmen or fixer, or look under the repair section in the big red book, and you'll find "G. Dark, Solver of Problems". You'd be surprised at how many calls I actually get in a day. A good number of them involve transactions of a less than reputable nature, which I turn down, of course, but there are also those that are truly people needing help.

Though norms don't see it, a lot of their problems come from the darker side of magik, and I've got no qualms about countering it with my own. Whether it be a jinx or curse placed by another Tapper or a full-blown possession of someone…or something…by any of a dozen different sources, I'm only too happy to help.

For a monetary consideration, of course.

As I was saying, it's not often that norms know us for what we are, and when Michael Ford came into my office, all of twenty-three years old and looking as thin as a scarecrow, I was quite surprised when he told me he needed a spell performed.

"A spell?" I asked, thinking that he was just another person that was fishing for answers to the occasional odd things that they saw or heard about.

"You're a wizard, right?" he asked, looking at me with eyes that were a blue-gray in color and pleading for help.

"No, I'm not a wizard," I answered truthfully. Michael had aura of trouble about him, that was for certain, but it would take a lot more than that for me to even hint that he might be onto something akin to the truth. "I'm a problem solver, but I can assure you that I solve problems in the most mundane of manners."

"That's not what Vic said," he countered, leaning forward in the chair before my desk.


"Vic Tacken." Something in my reaction to the name must have told him that I did indeed know Vic, for he continued with "He said that you were a wizard. I know, it sounds crazy, but on top of the stuff that I've seen lately, I really thought he might be telling me the truth."

I did know Vic Tacken quite well. He was one of the more decent Lycanthropes to inhabit the city. Though not the Alpha of his pack, Vic was generally allowed to do as he pleased unless what pleased him displeased Gerald. Gerald was the Alpha of Vic's pack, and he was a mean son of a bitch.

"Uh, look, Michael, why don't you tell me your problem, and then I'll see what I can think of to help you out."

"Okay," he agreed, shaking his head. "I need a love spell."

Fairy tales would have you believing that anyone of magikal inclination can whip up a love potion and poof, instant serendipity. Actually, getting someone to do something against his or her will requires major mojo. Getting someone to change his or her entire outlook and to fall in love with someone? That takes super mojo. And while I might be well endowed in the magik department, I would never attempt to force such a life upon someone, no matter what the reason.

"Well, Michael, it was nice talking to you, but…" I started, rising from my own chair with the intention of stepping around the desk and escorting him out of the office.

"No, you have to!" he practically yelled, a panic to his voice, and face, that had not been there a moment ago. "It's the only way I can stop her!"

"You can't force someone to love you, Michael. Who ever this girl is, you need to just let her…"

"No, no, you don't understand. It's not for her. It's for me."

"Excuse me?"

"I need you to put the spell on me, to make me love her," he said.

I can honestly say that that was a request I'd never heard before.