Stage magician who stumbled upon a magical ring.
Marvin ‘Marvelous Marvo’ Goldberg is a stage magician who stumbled upon a magical ring that always gave him good advice. Ignoring that advice, he decided to come to Occo City and see what other real magic he could get his hands on. He has no idea what he’s gotten himself into.
Marvin is a man of 42 with almost disturbingly perfect teeth.
The name is Marvin Goldberg, but for a while there I was known as Marvelous Marvo. See, I was a stage magician, and pretty good at it, too. Maybe you heard of me. I ran a magic shop out on the shore, too, sort of a side business – not much, but it kept me fed between gigs, you know? One day some schmuck walks in, I’m giving him the usual patter I give all the howdedodats, and he says, “You buy or just sell?” Now, I’m not happy getting interrupted, but I’m a professional, and I’m always interested in a new line. So I ask him what he’s got, and he pulls out this gimmicky-looking ring, cheap pewter from the look of it, with this ugly-assed face cast in it. Color me unimpressed, right? But I figure, hey, with a little marketing, I could probably unload ‘em on the summer crowd, ten bucks a pop.
“All right,” I say, "I’ll go five dollars a dozen, and I’m not buying more than a gross to start with."
“You got a deal,” says the guy. “I’ll come back tomorrow with the first shipment. But try that one on first.”
Try it on? What am I, a hand model? But he’s insisting, so I fine, I try the thing on.
Boom. Lights out. I wake up, I’m in the back alley, wallet conspicuously absent. Cocksucker rolled me. Some kind of knockout drug on the ring, I figure – and as pissed as I am, I have to give the guy credit for that one. Then I find out I can’t take the fucking thing off. Glued to my hand or some shit. I stand up, trying to yank the ring off without losing my finger in the process, then I hear this voice behind me.
“Bottle of Smoke,” he says.
I turn around, there’s nobody there.
“Bottle of Smoke,” says nobody. By this point I’m officially having a bad fucking day.
“Who the fuck is that?”
“Name’s Tim,” says the voice, which is officially coming from nowhere. “Bottle of Smoke to win the 5:20 at Kennedy Park.”
“Fuck you,” I said. “I happen to know that particular horse, and more to the point I happen to know it’s a 25-to-1 longshot that’ll be lucky to cross the finish line. I don’t take gambling advice from people I can’t fucking see, and I don’t have anything to put on the horse anyway, because I just got fucking mugged!”
“Then go to the fucking bank, asshole,” says the voice. “Christ, I’m only trying to do you a favor.”
Long story short. I get five hundred out, because what the fuck, it’s a shitty day anyway, if I’m going to lose on a horse I’ll lose in style, right? And the horse only fucking wins! That’s ten large in my pocket and a bookie with a very concerned look on his face. So the day’s a net plus, except I’ve still got this fucking ring on, and oh yeah, I’m hearing fucking voices. Then my new friend Timmy tells me that a few years back he got on the wrong side of a necromancer over in Occo City, wound up stuck in a ring. Now he only ever gives good advice. Me, I’m just smiling and nodding and smearing my finger with lube. I’ve worked magic my whole life, the one thing I know is that there’s no such thing. But if this is an illusion, it’s not like anything Marvelous Marvo’s ever seen before, that’s for damn sure. So, after a few more pieces of good advice, I decide that if there really is a real live fucking wizard in Occo City, I’ve got to go check this shit out. Tim tells me not to go, but hey, I’ve got a magic fucking ring, right? What the hell can go wrong?