Oogie Boogie?! How absurd! The moving sack of demon wheat calls himself a god. If we were not but in our infancy of immortality we could have disposed of him. He made us to look the fool. But I will say I really was drawn to playing his games. It is only now looking back on the moment that I realize we were in jeopardy. My recent despair allowed me to lower my defenses to this trickster.
He came upon us immediately after our newest member, Harbaz had a vision that we were all about to perish. We thought we were safe on Alice’s Island. But it appears that her powers are mere toys compared to others in this universe. Oogie Boogie, as he called himself, broke down Alice’s wards and wrapped us up in chains. We tried to fight the clot with magic fire and demon slaying weapons, but to no avail. He whisked us away to his lair of games and torture.
We found ourselves in darkness at first. Then bright neon lights that subtly stung the eyes and pricked our vampiric skin sprang all around us. A eerie dirge from a hellish pipe organ began playing from I know not where. The organ could not be seen, only the music could be heard. Before us was Oogie polishing with his smug burlap-like hand the brass components of a morbid looking slot machine.
“You wanna PLAY?!” He taunted in a Tim-Curry-esk tone.
“What the HELL is this?” Demanded Harbaz.
“Not hell, Ace, just a bit o’ FUN. Looks like we have a volunteer?!” With that he pulled on a brass lever just behind his left shoulder. As he did so, the chains that held Harbaz bound drew tighter and pulled him forward from the line we found ourselves in. Raven was dragged to the center of the room in front of the big slot machine. The chains immediately slackened and fell from his feet, leaving Harbaz free.
“Pull the lever and play. It is your choice. But be warned, Oogie doesn’t like it when his play things don’t play nice.”
Harbaz, a bit bedazzled by the bright lights, stepped up to the brass handled like a kiddie in a sweet shop. His curiosity took over and without a second thought his hands gripped tightly around the cold metal. He pulled.
Cogs began turning inside the machine. There were sounds of metal on metal. Then a bang, a 7 popped up. Bang the second slot locked in place, another 7! The third slot seemed to spin and spin. It was dizzy and nauseating to watch, especially with the now flashing strobe light coming from the red eyes of the skull on top of the slot machine. The third slot began to slow. It looked as if it were to land on a final 7. Oogie suddenly sneezed. Seemingly, the final slot jostled one cog further to a dreaded Bar.
An electric shock surged through Harbaz starting from his feet and working up to his neck. As it passed through his spine, his back arched rearward in bitter agony. He yelped at the intensity of the pain. Once it reached his neck, it suddenly vanished as fast as it came. Harbaz fell to his hands and knees. There was silence for a few seconds, then we all heard him give out a subtle sob. The awkwardness of seeing a grown vampire brought to such humility made me feel kind of sick.
“Oops! Better luck next time. A good looking smile I guess can only get you so far. Right, Harbaz? Speaking about good looking…how ’bout you, Angelboy! Give the handle a pull.” Oogie pulled another lever behind his shoulder. I was pulled forward and my chains were freed. Just like Harbaz the draw to pull the handle was so intense. I couldn’t hold back. Even after seeing Harbaz reduced to such by immense pain, I wanted to find out what my chances were. I grabbed the handle firmly and gave it a good Bob Barker throw down. The slots began to spin like mad. Cherry. Cherry. Seven! The skulls eyes light up purple and green. A victory noise and smoke came from the machine. Since I was not experiencing any pain, I took it that that spin was good. I stepped back into the line. I felt strangely invigorated. A bit stronger if you will.
“Excellent, Ponyboy, excellent! Don’t everything that Oogie did play fair. Now who else wants to take their chances. Don’t be shy.” My success seemed to blind us all of the recent event with Harbaz. One by one my compatriots stepped up to see their fate with the slots. Harbaz, though began to plot a way out of this madness. The pain had awoken him from this spell that Oogie was casting on us. Some of our spins were positive, most were negative. Raven could see that our odds were severely stacked against us. He too began to plot.
When Raven choose to attack Oogie, more chains came for all of us again. Everyone but me tried to dodge the chains. Some were successful. For some reason I didn’t even struggle. I figured that if I were ‘Playing Nice’, Oogie would reward me again. I began to grave the power I had felt from the successful pull of the slot. While everyone was trying to fight Oogie, I was focusing my psychic energy to telekinetically pull the handle several times. A plan of escape even came to my mind, but the draw to the slots was just to strong from me to even care. I imagined that if I were to free myself, I would wait for one of my companions to slice open Oogie’s burlap skin, whereupon I would quicky move forward in mist form and enter into his wheat filled body before the cut self sealed with new stitches (as had been happening with each cut of our weapons). Once inside Oogie’s body I would return to my body form and him completely open with Amaterasu’s flaming Demon Slaying blade from inside. But, none of this even happened, because I was too enthralled with the slot machine.
Eventually Oogie grew tired of our feeble attempts to take him out. New chains wrapped again around our feet and lifted us all high in the air. The floor opened up revealing a bubbling pool of fluorescent green acid. The walls closed in on the room leaving only a silo like room with no floor. Oogie departed into a passage that quickly sealed up behind him to be flush with the silo-like wall. My companions continued to struggle to get free and take their revenge on Oogie. But all was to no avail. I even joined in the desperation, sprinkling pixie dust on me to try to free myself from the chains. The chains only tightened when I became a smaller size. My mist also was unable to get free of the magic chains. All the while, we were being lowered closer and closer to the surface of the bubbling acid. All reminiscent of a Peter Fleming authored scene.
Oogie returned just in time to stop the chains. He offered to let us go if we were to play one more game and win. We were to play a high stakes poker game in Texas Hold ’Em style. We would be bargaining for our lives. Willie offered to play against Oogie. Suddenly in a whirl of purple smoke a poker table appeared.
Willie started off with two good hands that revealed nothing on the Turn, nor the River. Yet, with an iron-faced bluff was able to win the game. Oogie did not like that one bit. He tried to go back on his deal, but a goddess showed up and took us away from Oogie, while casting him off to be punished. We were taken to a cave sanctuary. Where we were introduced to Axé and Olokun. Both gods of the Pantheon of Batuque.
We discussed much of the current war. We discussed the role of the Queen Mother. We discussed a new threat, a seeding coven known as the Coven of the Twilight. They wished to bring about an apocalypse by connecting our world to another dark and evil world. Axé called us to be her champions and told us that she strives to bring balance to all races on the Earth currently. The Coven of the Twilight wished to disrupt this balance. They were being sponsored by two other member gods from the Pantheon, Xango and Ogúm. The Twilight needed to use the Blood King’s tomb and the chair of Xy as part of a ritual to connect these two worlds.
We made plans to infiltrated the Twilight Coven and stop their ritual. Yet, I am not too certain we can, nor should we. All these things are going far beyond my area of expertise. I have neither dealt with these gods, nor heard of them. I fear that we maybe being deceived. Though from which side I am uncertain. What I am certain of though, is that finally all the cards are on the table.