Are You Afraid of the Dark Wiki
The Tale of the Magician's Assistant
Season 2 , Episode 11
Air date September 11, 1993
Written by Cassandra Schafhausen
Directed by Ron Oliver
Episode guide
The Tale of the Shiny Red Bicycle
The Tale of the Hatching

The Tale of the Magician's Assistant is the Eleventh episode of the Second season of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, as well as the Twenty-Fourth episode in total.


Midnight Society Cast[]

Story Cast[]


That evening, Gary is impressed and tells all of his friend that he is glad to see that everyone is on time. Frank, remarks that he sounds like his homeroom teacher Mr. Drego whom he thinks is dumb and stale. Betty Ann, says that she likes Mr. Drego because she think he is funny. Gary also says that he likes Mr. Drego and thinks he is pretty cool. Frank claims that Gary doesn't even know him. But Gary says he does because he shops at his dad's Magic Shop all of the time and he is a prestidigitator.

Kristen, a little stumped asks he's a what? David, tells them that prestidigitator is a magician. Gary, then says Mr. Drego calls himself "The Amazing Drego". Frank doesn't believe what he is hearing, but Gary tells them he is serious and Mr. Drego been seen on T.V. David also says he has seen him on T.V. and he is pretty good. Kristen then says that you shouldn't judge people, because you never know we they're gonna surprise you. Gary (while bending over to pick up a long stick) tells her, exactly and that is what his story is about tonight.

Gary sits down on the storyteller's chair (holding the stick in both of his hands). Kiki, just sits down quiet the entire time. Gary tells his friends that, sometimes things don't turn out exactly the way you expect them to. People might not be who they seem to be and simple things could turn out to be far more amazing, than you could ever imagine. Gary submits his story for The Midnight Society's approval. Calling the story "The Tale of the Magician's Assistant", then begins his story.


Gary, tells the story. The story is about a teenage boy named Todd Marker. Recently Todd's father passed away, and his mother finally got a job. She was struggling to support them both on her job alone. His mom was an artist, and her job was drawing and designing storyboards for an add company. Her job was hard work and long hours, but they needed more money. Therefore to make ends meet, he applied for a job that he read in the paper. The job sounded like it was going to be fun. but if only he knew what he was about to get himself into.. he would have never answered that ad.

Todd, riding on his bike, comes close to a colorful roadside vehicle. It has the words: "Shandu, the Magician" painted on it. He knocks on the door, when nobody answers he lets himself in. When entering the room, he sees all sorts of interesting things. There are cages full of rabbits, ducks, and doves. Then in the middle of the room, he notices there is something interesting on a small table. The item on the small table a three foot long braided tree branch, with the top stick slightly bent over. He intriguingly and slowly walks over to it, and he is about to touch it with both of his hands. Then a voice calls out to him asking who he is.

He answers, by saying his name, and that he is answering the ad for a magician's assistant. He is about to change his mind and leave. Then suddenly as he turns around to leave, an older man is suddenly standing in front of him. The man is about sixty-five-years old and he simply introduces himself as Shandu. He also explains that he goes by Shandu the Magnificent. Shandu doesn't seem too excited for Todd to become his assistant. Possibly because he has no magic experience. Or he thinks that he just doesn't have what it takes to be a magician. Also Todd has no other work experience. Then taking a chance; Shandu hires him.

Todd's first task was to tidy up the entire room. Todd prepares to touch the interesting stick again. Then Shandu, gets very serious and tells him no to touch it. Also to never touch another magician's wand. Todd is shocked and cannot believe that it's a magic wand. Shandu confirms that it is indeed a magic and wand and for thousands of years, good magician's and evil sorcerer's have used wands like those to draw power from the earth. Also he explains to Todd that Magical rule number one is: "Never ever touch another magician's wand, unless he hands it to you". Shandu then hands it to him and tells him just like this. Then he takes it right back, so Todd will understand.

Todd's mom was always having to work late, long hours. Also at first, Todd isn't so sure he likes Shandu and doesn't want to continue working for him. This is because Shandu is such a strict and short-tempered boss. So he isn't sure if he can stand him. Then his mom was about to go back to work that night to finish more storyboards for a new add. She encourages him to never give up when the going gets tough. And that his dad would say the same thing.

During the next few weeks, Todd and Shandu rehearsed the magic acts. Todd made many mistakes though. Shandu next explained that Magical rule number two is: "Only let them see, what you want them to see". Shandu told him this while performing a magic trick. The trick is that a small cooking pot is set fire on the inside and closed shut with the lid. Then when the lid is opened the fire is gone and a dove comes flying out.

Whenever Todd made mistakes and mess up a trick, Shandu would get really mad. However the more mistakes he made, the more determined he was to prove himself. Next, they rehearsed an illusion trick. The trick was that Shandu would stand inside a tall box. Then only his head would be showing. After opening certain doors, it would make it seem like parts of his body were missing. This trick was probably done with mirrors but was not explained. Todd mistakenly looks in a mirror when rehearsing, and Shandu gets mad and scolds him. He reminds Todd what magic rule number three is. Todd, feeling bad says he is sorry for messing up. Also that magical rule number three is: "Never, ever get caught in your own reflection!" which is a cardinal rule. Which means the rule must never be broken.

Shandu gets out of the box, and he seem fed up and annoyed with Todd's incompetence, calling him hopeless. Todd tells Shandu that he should try and lighten up. This is because he always seems so nasty and miserable. Shandu explains to him the reason he is so miserable and unhappy is because years ago, and for a long time he was the top hit on Broadway. When he performed for the best shows in Europe. He even had his own film series. However now all of that is in the past and is gone. All he has are his old reviews, a couple of his faded movie poster and his old rundown vehicle and his films are not even on VHS. He doesn't like feeling like a has been and therefore apologizes for always seeming nasty and miserable. Shandu next on a whim decided to give Todd the bow tie he wore on his first performance for good luck.

Soon the big day came when they had their magic show. The magic show was entertaining kids at a birthday party. After a couple of impressive magic tricks were performed, the illusion trick was done, which made parts of Shandu's body seem missing. Todd and Shandu had the entire audience shout out the magic words "Shandu can do!". Then Todd correctly performs the trick and Shandu comes out presenting a birthday cake. After the show, Shandu tells Todd that he wasn't the worst assistant he's ever had, hearing this Todd seems a bit more pleased now.

The next day Todd comes to see Shandu, but the inside of the vehicle is a real mess. Everything is all tossed around and knocked over, as if all the animals escaped their cages and trashed the place. Todd is worried that something is wrong. Feeling he has no other choice, he takes Shandu's wand. Then he points it towards the room, and says: "Shandu can do!". With a slight puff of smoke, everything is all cleaned up and back in proper order again. Todd is amazed, realizing that the wand really is magical. Then he places the wand back to where it was just as Shandu comes back in.

Just as he gets home for the evening his exhausted mother announces that she has another project due for the next day. Which is a new four piece storyboard. Todd tries to convince her to do it tomorrow, but she insists on resting for an hour and doing it all night. Todd realizing that his mom can't go on overworking herself like this. If she does, she might get sick or have a nervous breakdown.

Todd makes an immediate decision. He takes his mom's tree plant which looks almost like Shandu's wand, but just lighter in color. He rips off all the leaves. Now it almost looks just like it. Then he goes over to Shandu's vehicle and he clandestinely switches the wand for his mom's tree plant. Then he gets back home and uses the wand on the blank storyboard panels. This time after saying "Shandu, can do!", the wand briefly catches fire and smokes again. However it worked! So a now the new four piece storyboard for his mom is all finished.

Suddenly in a blue aura, a beautiful spirit of a blonde woman appears. The spirit introduces herself as Nazrak. She tells Todd that she is the spirit of the wand. She tells Todd that the wand has special powers, that only he can bring out, and to use it anytime he wishes to. Todd tries to mention that Shandu told him not to use the wand. But she keeps telling him to use it anytime he wishes. Then she vanishes in the blue aura blowing him a kiss.

Todd goes back to Shandu's vehicle to return the wand. Shandu catches him in the act, knowing what he did. Shandu warns him not to use it if it wasn't handed to him. Todd mentions that Nazrak said it was all right. Shandu gets very worried when hearing that Todd saw Nazrak. Apparently after all these years Nazrak would be released by a mere boy. as a curse for using the wand without it being hand to him or without permission. Or by using a wand without enough proper training.

Nazrak apparently is a pure evil demon. An ancient powerful sorcerer, who's been imprisoned for centuries in the Vortex. Also Nazrak can take on many forms and isn't really a beautiful woman. Nazrak wants the wand to summon his evil and dark magic. Also if he gets the wand the world is doomed, and if Nazrak is released it could be trouble for the entire world. Todd trieS to apologize, by telling Shandu he didn't know. Shandu feeling upset and worried, just tells him to get out and Todd leaves.

Todd begins to ride off on his bike. Then he looks at the bow tie Shandu gave him, and heads back to apologize. However when he gets there the vehicle is all up in smoke. Todd comes in and call for Shandu and asks if he is okay. Shandu is heard saying there was a fire and he is trapped. Todd, without thinking takes the wand points it and says "Shandu can do!". The smoke all clears and everything seems fine and there is Shandu standing across the room.

Todd asks if he is all right. Then Shandu tells him that he is certainly is. Since he only needed Todd to use the wand one more time. Todd confused asks him what he means. Shandu then walks up to him and tells him "magical rule number two: "Only let them see, what you want them to see". Then he waves his right arm across his face. Then he instantly shapeshifts into a hideous green skinned demon, with bruised eyes, missing teeth, warts, long fingernails. Also wearing a black hooded cloak and evilly laughing. Todd knows he is Nazrak and points the wand at him and says the magic words, but nothing happens. Nazrak explains that wand will no longer work for him. Nazrak explains that he's been released and has switched places with Shandu. Now Shandu is trapped in the vortex instead of him. Nazrak demands the wand, but Todd runs off terrified.

Todd comes back home and catches up with his mom, who also just got back home. Todd tries to explain to her that he is not holding her tree, but a real magic wand and it's evil. His mom has no clue what he is talking about. So he tries to explain to her that he used it to finish her storyboards and goes to show them to her. Then much to his surprise, the storyboards are gone and he is left with a thank you note saying they were amazing, and that she took them to work right away. Suddenly his mom is glowing with a blue aura. Thunder can be heard, she tells him in Nazrak's voice: "Only let them see, what you want them to see!". Then she levitates while laughing.

Todd hides on the floor behind a counter, and tries to phone for help. But Nazrak intercepts the phone call, telling him that he can't escape and that there is nowhere to run. Todd then can see in the reflection on the toaster, Shandu contacting him from the Vortex. Shandu reminds him to remember the rules of magic and to use them to his advantage.

Todd tells Nazrak he knows the rules. So he can't take the wand from him unless he hands it to him and says he won't. Nazrak threatens to hurt his mother if he does not. Without a choice Todd makes an ultimatum to Nazrak: that he won't give him the wand unless he promises not to hurt his mom. Nazrak agrees and Todd hands the wand to Nazrak. Nazrak seems triumphant and victorious to have the wand, claiming that he has waited centuries. Nazrak then tells him his mom will be safe, but he won't. This is because he plans to send Todd to join Shandu in the Vortex. Then he prepares to zap Todd with an evil spell.

Then just as this happens, Todd tells him that he knows the rules of magic. Magical rule number two: "Only let them see what you want them to see". Then he gets out of the way, just in time. So Nazrak's spell hits a mirror, causing it to backfire and he zaps himself. This causes him to switch places back with Shandu. Then as Shandu returns, Todd says Magical rule number three: "Never, ever get caught in your own reflection. Shandu is very impressed with Todd's quick thinking and now he has much respect for him. Todd apologizes for not listening earlier. Shandu apologizes for not believing in him earlier. Also now he realizes that Todd does have the makings of a fine magician. So Shandu decides to hand ownership of the wand over to Todd, making him his successor. The wand is now his and in time he will learn how to use it properly.

Shandu tells him that he'll never be far away. Then he tells Todd one more rule, magical rule number four: "Always leave them wanting more". Then he bows and vanishes in a flash of bright blue light. Then his mom comes back in saying that she has had a crazy night. Then she mentions that something has happened to her tree. Todd smiles at the wand possibly planning to fix the tree with magic.


Then as the story ends, Gary mentions that Todd never saw Shandu again. His friends all smile at him impressed with the story. Kiki is heard telling him it was a good story. Gary then picks up the red water bucket and pours the water onto the campfire putting it out. After he does this he forgets to declare the meeting of The Midnight Society closed. Then as everyone has left, Frank picks up the stick Gary was using a story prop and taps it on something and just stares for a minute. Kiki asks him if he's coming or not and he catches up with them and leaves.

  • Noah Plener who portrayed Todd Marker also appeared in season one's episode "The Tale of the Twisted Claw" as Dougie Freeman.
  • Noah Plener is the brother of Benjamin Plener and Benjamin Plener appeared in the episodes "The Tale of Jake and the Leprechaun" and the series revival's episode "The Tale of Highway 13" as Justin.
  • Noah Plener was known for portraying the role of Frankie Ramone in the television series Ready or Not. His brother Benjamin Plener, also had a recurring role on the show as the goofy character Monkey Ears. Ross Hull also briefly joined the show as well. Ross portrayed the role of Danny Masters.
  • James Bradford, who portrayed Shandu, reappeared years later in the series revival as General Laing Candle in "The Tale of the Silver Sight" three part special.
  • Mark Bromilow, who portrayed the Nazrak Demon, later reappeared in "The Tale of Cutter's Treasure" as Mr. Noise.