Flash Friday 26/08/2016: Found Wanding
Trevor, dressed in his black suit and top hat, pulled a card from behind a boy’s ear. “Was this your card?” he said, presenting the King of Hearts to the crowd.
The boy’s jaw fell open. “That was!” he gasped. “But how–?!”
“Magic, my dear boy, and nothing less.” Trevor tapped the side of the nose. “Keep the card, I have plenty. Let’s hear it for Nate, everyone!”
The audience of children packed within Nate’s living room cheered. Trevor had performed in many venues before, but children’s birthday parties were always his favourite, mainly because nobody tried to work out how he did his tricks, and everyone believed he was magical. Some days, he wished he really was magical; for now, however, he had to rely on sleight of hand and illusions to get his kicks.
“And next!” he said, to the now very-attentive crowd. He took off his hat. “I will pull a ribbon out of this hat.”
The crowd didn’t doubt him.
Trevor picked up his wand from the table. It felt strange to him. He had used a black and white ‘baton’ since he began his career, but when he accidentally snapped it, he had to find a quick replacement. He found the solution in a strange little local shop which sold just about everything. The storekeeper’s eyes lit up the moment Trevor mentioned he wanted to ‘bring magic into his own life’. The storekeeper darted into the back and brought out what looked like a stick with a Christmas tree star stuck on top. Trevor said he wanted something a little more professional. The storekeeper said it would be free. Trevor relented.
Trevor tapped the hat with the wand. The wand glowed briefly. Ah, so that’s why the storekeeper was so enthusiastic about it. Cute.
Trevor placed the hat onto the table and reached within. The children watched in amazement as he pulled multiple feet of ribbon out of the hat. Trevor used both hands to emphasise how long the ribbon was, smiling as his audience watched, captivated.
Then, the ribbon jammed.
Trevor had never encountered this; not even in rehearsal. Everyone else seemed to think it was part of the show, giggling as Trevor frowned in confusion. Holding down the hat with one hand, he tugged at the ribbon with all his might.
“Just a minute,” he said, smiling to the crowd. “It appears my ribbon is being–”
Then the ribbon gave way.
Like something out of a cartoon, the huge head of a very annoyed-looking dragon popped out of the tiny hat. Its jaws were clenched around the end of the ribbon like a fish on a line. It gave a steely gaze to the audience; then, the owner of the ribbon that dragged it through.
The children fell dead silent.
Trevor, no idea as to what was happening, acted upon his tried and true magician fallback plan; if things go wrong, stuff it in a place where nobody can see it. Putting a hand against the dragon’s snout, he began to try to shove it back. The dragon, annoyed that it had been dragged through such a tiny hole, was now livid to discover it was being pushed back through it. It snorted and billowed smoke until, with the sound of a cork unfastening, the dragon’s head popped back in. The ribbon followed suit, shooting into the hat like someone slurping spaghetti.
The white-faced children slowly warmed into smiles. Then, applause.
“Thank you,” Trevor said, not entirely sure what he had just done. “Yes, thank you. All part of the trick, I assure you.”
But something wasn’t right. As the children clapped, he peered into the hat to figure out what had happened. Where the bottom of his hat should have been was instead a small hat-sized portal to another world. The view from the portal was quite high in the sky, which was emphasised by the fact the dragon he just pushed back through was flying directly below it. The ribbon still in its mouth, the dragon gave Trevor an annoyed look before flying away.
Now that the dragon was out of the way, Trevor could better see the other world from his sky-high view. He could see green hills and bustling cities. Giant lakes and towering mountains. Familiar animals and mythical creatures. Most of all, however, he could see magic. Magic everywhere.
Had Trevor done it? Had he finally cast a real magic spell? He didn’t know how he did it; everything he had used to this point was what he normally used for all his magic trick. That is, everything except…
As if answering him, the wand began to glow.
He picked it up. It had sensed home. It felt like a dog eager to be taken for a walk, sitting at the front door, tail wagging, waiting to be let out. It also reassured Trevor that it did, in fact, know plenty of spells to slow falls, should he decide to jump into any sky-high portals in the near future.
So that’s why he was given it.
Trevor looked at the crowd. They had since recovered from the dragon, and were now patiently awaiting the next trick.
Trevor smiled to himself. Oh, he had a trick alright.
“And now,” he said, slowly. “For my next and final trick…I will make myself disappear.”
He gave a wink to emphasise his point, tapped himself with the wand, then put the hat on.
Hats usually rest on heads. This one, however, didn’t come to a rest until it had hit the floor, ‘devouring’ Trevor as it went. It landed in a shower of sparks, and everyone applauded such an amazing trick. Even when they lifted up the hat, there was no sign of Trevor.
And thus, nobody heard of Trevor again; however, everyone agreed that it was a very impressive trick, and that it must have taken him years to practice, so they gave him five stars on Yelp for it.