Tale of the
Once upon a time…
There was an island in the middle of the ocean. This island was no ordinary island, for it was full of wizards who each had special powers. Every time a wizard was born, they were given a name based on what their powers would be. One wizard had the special ability to fight evil simply by cleansing it away with his spells, and this wizard was called the Wash Wizard. The only problem was that this island of wizards had no evil for the Wash Wizard to vanquish. While all of the other wizards on the island had spells that they used every day, the Wash Wizard did not. As a result, the Wash Wizard felt like an outcast on the island of wizards, destined to be useless and powerless.
One day, the Wash Wizard decided he had had enough. He wanted to travel the world in search of any evil that he could vanquish. And so the Wash Wizard embarked on a journey to the mainland, with nothing but the clothes on his back and the spells in his mind. After weeks at sea, the Wash Wizard finally reached the sandy shores of the mainland. He dragged his boat to shore and began to trudge through the sand and into the throng of trees and unknown that awaited him.
After hours of walking through the unfamiliar forest, the Wash Wizard decided to give his aching feet a much needed rest. The wizard found a smooth rock under a patch of sunlight by a lake and laid his ailing body down… The Wash Wizard sat up in a daze. The sun had disappeared, the world had gone dark around him, and the moonlight reflected off of the water nearby. But that wasn’t what had startled the Wash Wizard to jolt awake—it was the bubbling sound that seemed to be coming from all directions. The wizard stood up and all was silent, peaceful almost.
All of a sudden, the water in the lake began to ripple, and the top of a head appeared. And then a tentacle. Then another tentacle. Then a great, big serpent emerged from the water, towering over the Wash Wizard. This was his chance! Finally, some evil to vanquish using his special powers. The Serpent lunged at the wizard, dripping in slime and dirt, but the Wash Wizard fought back. He closed his eyes and cast a spell that shot blue beams out of his hands. The wizard opened his eyes, only to be met with a shocking discovery: it worked! The Serpent, once covered in grime from the lake, stood before him squeaky clean—and speechless. It appeared as though the Serpent was no longer an evil threat. So the Wash Wizard tiptoed around the lake and continued to walk through the forest, guided by the light of the moon above him.
Shortly after, he heard a rustling behind him. The Serpent was following the Wash Wizard!
“What do you want from me?” he asked the Serpent, who gazed at the wizard with one apologetic eye.
“You saved me from a life of slimy confinement,” the Serpent said. “I am forever grateful to you and I will follow you wherever you go from now on.” The Wash Wizard pondered this. He could use a companion, after all. So the pair set out deeper into the forest, with dawn now fast approaching.
Now in the middle of the morning, the hot sun started to beat down on the Serpent and the Wash Wizard. The Serpent, who could live both in and outside of water, still began to feel dehydrated. The Wash Wizard cast a spell that instantly brought moisture to the Serpent’s skin. The pair wandered on, eventually hearing voices as they approached a clearing ahead of them.
“But I wanted to be the hero this time,” one voice said. “You can’t be the hero because you’re the Dragon,” the second voice said. “I’m the knight, so I get to be the hero. Have you forgotten that my shield is coated with the rarest, strongest ceramic there is?” The Wash Wizard then stepped on a twig, which prompted the shining figure to whip his head toward them.
“Halt! Who goes there?” the Knight said, raising his sword and shield. Before the Wash Wizard could come forward in peace, the Serpent screeched and shot out streams of water at the Knight and his Dragon companion. The Dragon lurched back, trying to fight off the water with flames, but it was no use. The Knight used his powerful shield to cover himself, but he too, was soaked with the Serpent’s watery rinse.
“Stop, Serpent, stop!” The Wash Wizard said. The Serpent looked down at his friend, and with a sigh, stopped the merciless stream of water on the Knight and the Dragon. The Wash Wizard rushed over to help the pair. The Dragon coughed up water and smoke while the Knight emptied his metal armor full of water.
“Are you two all right?” the wizard asked. With a glare and a spit, the Knight nodded. The Dragon was still hacking up water droplets.
“I don’t know who you are or why you attacked us, but I suggest you get out of here before my friend the Dragon decides to flame you both,” the Knight said.
“I am the Wash Wizard, and this is my friend the Serpent,” he calmly replied. “We are on a quest to find what lies beyond this forest and vanquish evil along the way. I overheard your conversation about being a hero… Would you care to join us?” The Knight pondered at this proposition. He glanced at the Dragon, who was now using his breath to dry himself off. The brave Knight had always wanted to help protect the world from evil, after all.
“We will accompany you on your quest,” the Knight said. “Beyond the forest lies a village and a castle. We will take you there, as long as you promise to control the Serpent.”
The deal was made and the group set out to find the so-called kingdom. With the sun now high above in the sky, the Dragon began to complain of a dry mouth. The Serpent, still under the wizard’s water spell, showered water down at the Dragon to rinse and cool him. The Knight helped shade the Wash Wizard from the heat under his shiny, strong shield. Occasionally, the gallivanting group would stop to rest and the Wash Wizard would use a clean water spell to keep them hydrated and rid them of sweat.
Now nearing the golden light of the afternoon, the group was starting to get hungry for food. The Dragon eagerly offered to make a fire while the Knight and the Serpent went out to hunt and gather something they could all eat. The Wash Wizard stayed behind with the Serpent, waiting for the others to return. Suddenly, the Wash Wizard and the Dragon heard a distinct yell not too far from them. It sounded like the Knight! The Dragon leapt up onto its hind legs and listened for more, but they were met with only the sound of cicadas in the silence. A few minutes later, they heard the Serpent and the Knight come crashing back to the campfire, smiling, but they were not alone. Another figure stood with them, clad in armor as well.
“This is my good friend, the Bug Slayer!” the Knight said as he approached the campfire, slapping his friend on the shoulder with a grin. “We used to guard the castle together, before the kingdom fell under an evil spell.” The wizard raised his eyebrows—this was something he had not heard before.
“What evil spell?” the Wash Wizard asked the Knight.
“A long time ago, the kingdom was the most perfect place to live in all the land,” the Knight explained. “Everyone in the village was happy and healthy, and the royal family was kind to their people. One day, the king betrayed the castle witch. Legend has it that this witch turned evil and put a spell on the kingdom, one that makes it impossible to clean. Everything is dark and dirty, and no one is happy anymore. The Bug Slayer and I barely escaped.”
The Wash Wizard jumped up out of his tree-stump chair. “But I am exactly the wizard who can reverse this evil spell!” he said. “My powers are all about cleanliness and joy, surely I can help the kingdom become clean again.” The group began to cheer with glee, and they decided that they would get to the castle and the village as soon as possible so the Wash Wizard could help its people.
The Bug Slayer proved to be quite useful, as his special talent was warding off unwanted pests that hoarded the evening air. He also knew where to find all the best food in the forest. As the group sat around the campfire and ate fruits and nuts they gathered, the Wash Wizard was overwhelmed with excitement. It was finally his turn to use his powers for good. He thought about how this quest was his true destiny as he drifted off to sleep…
POW! A loud noise woke up the group. It was now nightfall once again, and the sky was churning up a thunderstorm. A crash of lightning cracked down close by, which illuminated a huge contraption looming over the group and a small figure standing next to it. They all screamed in confusion as their view went dark again. The Dragon used his dry, fiery breath to blow some light back into the campfire so they could see. Before the group stood what appeared to be a tiny witch with a big machine.
“Who are you?” the Wash Wizard yelled over the wind of the brewing storm. The witch cackled with an evil laugh.
“I am the Wicked Wheel Witch. I am the guardian of the kingdom and this is my device of terror, the Buffer!”
The Serpent recoiled in fear, the Dragon hid behind the Knight, and the Bug Slayer leaned into the shadows. Only the Wash Wizard stood tall before the evil witch.
“My name is the Wash Wizard,” he said to the witch. “I have come all this way from my island of wizards to find my destiny. I am going to reverse the spell you put on the kingdom so the people can live in cleanliness and light again.”
The Wheel Witch seemed to find his proclamation amusing. “You think you can just show up with your group of raggedy heroes and reverse my spell? I don’t think so. Buffer, seize them!” The Buffer began to grind its gears, spin up its wheels and creak as the witch brought it to life with her magic. The Wash Wizard’s posse knew that they had to fight in order to get past this evil witch and her wheeled contraption. The Serpent poised its tentacles, the Dragon took a deep breath, the Knight held up his shield, the Bug Slayer sharpened his sword, and the Wash Wizard began forming a new spell.
The Buffer machine lurched its wheels toward the group, ready to destroy them, while the witch cackled with laughter.
“Wait!” The Wash Wizard said. Everyone froze; the witch ceased her laughter. Before anyone could move, a bright blue light shot out of the Wash Wizard’s hands and headed straight for the wicked Wheel Witch. The orb blew the witch to the ground, where she lay motionless. The Buffer froze in its tracks. The Knight rushed over the Wash Wizard, frantically asking him what he had just done.
“I realized that I could use my powers in a different way,” the Wash Wizard replied. “Not only can I make the kingdom clean again, but I can also clean out the evil spirit inside the witch.”
They gathered around the Wicked Wheel Witch, in hopes that the Wash Wizard’s cleanse of evil was successful. After long last, the witch began to open her eyes, just as it started to rain.
“Where am I? What have you done with the Buffer?” the Wheel Witch asked.
“You are in the forest, just outside of the kingdom,” the Wash Wizard said. “How do you feel?”
“I feel… I feel refreshed,” the witch said. “Almost like I have been reborn again.” The group began to holler and yell happily. The spell worked! The Wicked Wheel Witch was no longer wicked!
As the rain began to pour down, the group, now including the Wheel Witch and the Buffer, headed toward the direction of the kingdom. Now, there was no stopping the Wash Wizard from curing the kingdom from the evil spell. As they entered the gates to the village, the rain made it nearly impossible to see. But the Wash Wizard and his companions could smell the vile stench of dirt and grime all around them.
“This destruction, this way of life… This was all because of my spell?” the witch asked in disbelief.
“We are going to fix it together,” the Wash Wizard replied. He grasped the witch’s hands, right in the middle of town square, and started chanting his most powerful cleansing spell. Their hands began to glow blue from the wizard’s orb, until a beam of blue light shot up from them straight into the dark sky with a whoosh. The sky cracked open as blue light washed over it and everything else in their sight. The rest of the group huddled under the Serpent and the Knight’s shield.
The blinding blue light faded, and the wind died down. Everyone opened their eyes. The sky was bright, the streets were clean, and the villagers were coming out of their houses to a brand new kingdom. The Wash Wizard did it! He and the witch reversed her spell and the kingdom was now clean and bright again. The Wash Wizard’s new friends all ran up and gave him many hugs, but the Knight held back. The wizard noticed, so he went over to him.
“What are we supposed to do now?” the Knight said to the wizard. “We defeated the evil spell, so you have no use for us anymore.”
“That is not true!” the Wash Wizard replied. “I could not have done this without all of your help. We make an excellent team. I think we could all use our strengths to form the most powerful, evil-cleaning group in the world!”
The Knight chuckled. “Now I see why they call you the Wash Wizard,” he said. It was true, the wizard had found his destiny.
The Wash Wizard remained on the mainland and continued to explore it with his new friends. After many years, one day the Wash Wizard used his powers to restore an abandoned, filthy old car he discovered to its original grand blue and chrome luster. It was then that the wizard decided that cleaning cars and carriages would be the fastest way they could help the most people. After long last, the Wash Wizard and his crew had finally figured out the perfect way to combine all of their special abilities into one singular useful purpose: a car wash! It was the perfect idea because everyone would have their own specialty task. The Serpent could rinse the cars, the Knight could use his shield to protect them with special coatings, the Dragon could dry them, the Bug Slayer could vanquish any bugs on them the Wheel Witch could clean the tires, the Buffer could buff out any imperfections, and the Wash Wizard could oversee it all with his magic spells and potions!
Nowadays, the Wash Wizard lives above his car wash, mixing up his specialty magic potions and waxes every night so they can be used the next day at the car wash to help ward off the evil dirt that wreaks havoc on the cars below. Late at night, if you look carefully at the car wash, you may just see the glow from his potion cauldron or the swoosh of the special yellow wax cloak he wears each evening.
And that is the story of how the Wash Wizard and his band of cleaning friends came to be to this very day. The end!
About the author:
Helen Widman is an undergraduate student at Ohio University. While studying journalism, Helen spends her time writing for Backdrop magazine as the Assistant Managing Editor and works as the secretary for Ohio University Society of Professional Journalists. Helen has enjoyed creative writing from an early age and has attended multiple journalism conventions. When she’s not writing, Helen loves to listen to music, spend time with her family, and take pictures of the sunset.