Warnings: Slight AU
Characters: Edgar Frog, Alan Frog, Sam Emerson
Spoilers: If you haven't seen the movie you're unlikely to be reading this. But still very few if any.
Synopsis: Edgar and Alan are less than pleased when a magic store opens up on the Boardwalk. That, however, turns out to be the least of their problems as they are forced to reassess preconceptions and see the world from a slightly different perspective.
The sun was warm, but there was a chill in the breeze that blew off of the sea ruffling Edgar's hair as he stood, arms folded, staring in distaste at the new store on the boardwalk. “Great,” he muttered. “Just what this town needs.”
Standing next to him, Sam's brow furrowed in confusion, “What do you mean?”
In reply, Edgar pointed to a recently taken over building sandwiched between a surfing shop and a fast food restaurant. Not yet open for business, the carefully hand painted sign above the door was still wet. Black, gothic style writing on a yellow-white background, it simply read 'The Cauldron.' In the doorway, an old man, possibly the owner, stood looking out over the beach.
“Cool,” said Sam.
“Cool?” Edgar turned to face him wearing a look of extreme irritation. “It's a magic store. You know, charms, curses, general mayhem? Trust me, Sam, this is the very definition of not cool.”
Sam rolled his eyes, “Oh, right. Sometimes I forget I'm hanging out with captain paranoia.”
“C'mon,” Edgar grabbed his shirt at the shoulder and tugged him away in the direction of the boardwalk. “The guy's looking at us.”
“Hey!” Sam pushed Edgar's hand away and straightened his shirt with a flick of his fingers, then followed him away from the new shop.
Anthony opened his new front door and inhaled a lungful of sea air. The Santa Carla boardwalk was bathed in sunshine so much warmer than the watery sunlight further north where they had come from. The sea reflected the brilliant blue of the cloudless sky. This was a good place. A place of great power. But it held an undercurrent of something dark, twisted. There was evil here too. Attracted by the same force that brought him here, it had settled, thick and viscous, invisible on the golden sand and sun-drenched streets.
But that was always the way. Places of power attracted creatures of power, and not all of those creatures were pleasant.
The scene in front of him showed a town populated by haircuts and clothes. Each person that walked past seemed to be attempting something never seen before, as though every resident of the town was silently screaming out for attention. If they knew what was out there, they might not be quite so eager to be visible among the masses.
Leaning against the low wall separating the boardwalk from the beach, stood a young man who stood out simply by virtue of the fact that he was not trying to. Among the throng of attention seeking sun worshipers and surfers, a boy of maybe sixteen dressed in black and military green with a red bandanna, arms folded as he surveyed the area, looked out of place.
Next to him stood another boy of roughly the same age. His hair was carefully styled, and although his attire didn't quite scream for attention, it certainly spoke loudly.
The boy in the military gear stared at the store with distrust, his friend with mild interest. Anthony gave them a smile and a wave, and was rewarded by a scowl. The first boy grabbed the other's shoulder and pulled him away, shooting back a glance at the shop. Anthony sighed. Hopefully the town's other residents would be more welcoming.
Inside, he could hear his granddaughter hard at work stacking the shelves. He turned and headed back inside, though his muscles protested at the mere thought of the carrying and lifting involved. There was a lot to do if they wanted to open on schedule.
The news of the new store cast an aura of gloom over the Frog's comics that Sam didn't understand. As Alan stacked the shelves with the weeks new issues and moved the older ones to the back issues boxes, Edgar sat behind the cash register brooding. Alan worked silently, as Sam watched, waiting for the new Superman comic to come out of the box and straight into his hands. “What's so bad about a magic shop?” he asked. “It's just a bit of harmless fun.”
“Harmless?” Alan stopped work as he turned towards Sam with a superior sneer that said the younger boy had no idea what he was talking about. “We're not talking about card tricks and disappearing coins here. Magic is dangerous.”
Sam smirked, “Sure it is. I'm quaking.”
Edgar got to his feet and shoved his face into Sam's so close that Sam stepped backwards and hit the shelf behind him, knocking the new issues of Batman to the ground. “You should be,” he said dramatically. “Magic is a corrupting force. It starts off innocently enough, but just think what the idea of being able to do whatever you want would do to the average high school kid. Love spells, curses on people you hate. The deeper into it you get, the harder it is to claw your way out.
“These places target kids, get them hooked on the power, then a few years down the line we'll find ourselves fighting people who we used to be at school with. That place is evil. It needs to be shut down.”
Sam gulped, “Okay. But how?”
“We go over there and strongly imply to the owner that he would be better off in another town.”
“What?” asked Sam. “You mean threaten him? I don't like the sound of that, guys.”
Alan finally retrieved the new Superman issues from the box and handed one to Sam. “Not threaten him,” he said, “more like let him know we're around and we know what he is. That way he'll think twice before he does anything.”
“Unless he decides to do something to us first.” Edgar added.
Sam tried to ignore that and turned to Alan, “Do you really think that's going to work?”
“I hope so,” he said. “Whatever else he is, he's human. We can't stake a human.”