Author's Note: I finally saw the movie for the second time today. It got me thinking about Facilier, and I wanted so much to do an origin story for him that…well…here we are. After I finish this, I will still try to update "What You Need" tonight, but I can not guarantee that I will. I will try, though. As Facilier was never given a first name (that I know of) and I like to try to stay canon, we'll just have him referred to as only Facilier within this story. If anyone can get me his *real* first name, I'd be more than happy to change it.
Of Vital Importance: Before you start typing a review about something I got that's wrong, please finish the story. Some things that seem off are probably done on purpose. If you get to the end and something still doesn't make sense, then message me.
"What'd he do that's so great anyways?" The young man hadn't really directed the question at James, but James looked up anyways. Glancing into the distance, he spotted Eli La Bouff driving off in his Packard.
"Mr. La Bouff was born into money…his daddy made some real good trades on the market, bought pieces of property no one else wanted and turned 'em around so that everyone wanted them. You gonna help me with this or not?"
The young man crossed his arms, contemplating in silence. "What kind of luck does that take, I wonder…why not one of us?"
"I'm tellin' you, if you would just help me lift this load, we'd be done for the night and I could get home. My little girl's makin' dinner tonight."
The young man sighed, and grabbed the other end of a beam, helping James move it into a pile. "I'm sick of us breaking our backs like this, James. My parents had to do it too, and look where it got them. Both of 'em dead and gone, and nothin' to show for it. Nothing."
"They had you," James offered. "Facilier, you got to let it go. Wishin' bad thoughts on people who ain't never wronged you isn't gonna help things. You have to work for what you want. That's the way this world works." He set a hand on Facilier's shoulders. His dark brown eyes met James's, and James had to hold back a shudder. Those eyes were cold and bitter. "I've got to get home."
"All right. I'll see you tomorrow night…"
"I've found it," Facilier was saying one day, rubbing his hands together. He'd helped James finish the work, but he'd talked the whole time, fidgeting from his own excitement. "The way to get out of this place. There's a woman teaching me voodoo—"
"Voodoo?" James bit his lip and shook his head. "That ain't nothing to be messin' round with. You promise me you're being careful."
Facilier nodded. "Of course, of course. My teacher is very…insistent on these matters. She won't teach me the more interesting spells until I've mastered the use of the simple ones. Don't you worry about me none, Jimmy. I've got it all under control."
The next few nights, Facilier didn't show up to work. James asked his other coworkers, but no one had any idea where the young man was. Truthfully, James was the only one who cared. Facilier had long since burned bridges with the other men.
When he finally came back, he was angry, and he didn't bother to hide it. "She won't teach me," he muttered to James. "She told me she would, and then she just changed her mind. Something about my reasons being wrong. She claims Voodoo won't let me cast spells for myself anyways, but she's lying. She has to be lying…"
James awkwardly patted Facilier on the back, wondering for the poor man's sanity. "Maybe it's for the best. Voodoo doesn't have the best reputation. You should just forget about it."
"And what?" Facilier demanded. "Be like you? You work double, triple shifts, and for what? All you can manage right now is to take care of your family, how do you ever expect to open that restaurant? Dreams don't come true for people like us. Not down here."
"I think you're wrong," James said simply. He gave Facilier another pat on the back. "I'll talk to you later."
James was wrong about the last part, at least. This was to be the last night he would ever talk to Facilier, but not the last night he would see him. Certainly not the last night he would catch word of what the man was doing.
"Whachoo doin' sneakin' 'round my house for, boy?" Facilier turned to face Mama Odie. She glared at him. "Didn't I tell you I won't teach you no more? You need to get out my house before I force you out."
"What did you just say to me?!" Mama Odie demanded. Facilier smirked at her.
"You never mentioned the easier route."
"There ain't no easy route! Easy way is the fool's way, and in Voodoo it more dangerous than you could ever imagine!" She stared at him in horror. "Oh no…you…you not planning to?"
"It's so simple," Facilier mumbled, opening one of the books he'd come to steal and pointing at a spell. "No real incantation, no symbols to draw….just…" he grabbed a needle out of a nearby voodoo doll and stabbed his finger, "an offering and a bargain."
"Don't! They claim to be your friends, but they lie! You'll get in deep and there ain't no way to pay a Shadow back 'cept with souls!"
He ignored her, tracing the symbol in the book with his own blood. "Friends!" He called. "If you can hear me, I come seeking your assistance!"
Your offering? The voice echoed through the boat-house.
"I don't have one…yet…."
We shall allow you a credit. You are in our circle now…a brilliant purple light emanated from the book, striking Facilier and Mama Odie both. Facilier felt someone helping him to his feet, and was shocked to see his shadow moving of its own accord, helping him. It pointed towards Mama Odie, who was on the floor, groping desperately around for the gourd she used to cast.
"…She's…blind?" Facilier realized. The flash had been too bright for Mama Odie's old eyes to take. She'd already suffered from poor vision, and the 'Friends' had stolen the last bit of light from her eyes. "You're no threat to me anymore, then," Facilier realized. He momentarily considered killing her, but he saw no reason to go forward with it.
"You don't got any idea what you did now, child," Mama Odie's voice was sympathetic. Facilier frowned.
"No. No, I know exactly what I did."
A year later, James stopped in his tracks, watching as Facilier strolled by. James scratched his head, confused. This certainly looked like the young Facilier he'd known, but something about him had changed. The purple eyes were certainly new. He started to call out to Facilier, to see what was going on, if the man was all right, but before he could, his daughter interrupted.
"Daddy! Daddy, we need to go pick up some more shrimp for the gumbo tonight!" The girl frowned, tugging at her father's shirt. "Daddy?" She glanced after Facilier. "Who's that? Do you know him?"
"I…thought I did. All right, Tiana," he said, scooping her up and throwing her over his shoulder. "Let's go get that shrimp."
Facilier watched them from the end of the street with mild interest before his shadow tapped him on the shoulder. "Right. Of course. We still have work to do…and a debt to be repaid."