The magician knows that what they are doing is by way of sleight of hand. They don’t pretend otherwise. But they create an illusion of the magical, of the supernatural, of the special.
This Magician stood at the stage, with his ravishing assistant Rhiannon, and he marvelled at the faces of the stunned children and teens. It never ceased to amaze him that after all of these years; he still had the power to wow.
Rhiannon jumped inside the crate. The Magician put a saw through the middle of the box and split the box into two. He put Rhiannon inside one of those cages you get at the zoo, threw a sheet over the cage, then pulled the sheet back and Rhiannon vanished. The Magician then reversed the trick and Rhiannon was back. The Magician was an artist. The crowd yelled and cheered.
“Thank you… thank you…” The Magician said.
The Magician was also a local man named Lawrence. He ran a local butcher shop. He volunteered within the community. He didn’t have children himself and he lived in a big house on Bunker Avenue – the house had six bedrooms and its own wine cellar. Five to six times a year Lawrence painted his face white, wore a purple robe, hired a local girl from the newspaper (or online as the times move) and performed for all the kiddies in the area. Lawrence was likeable, generous with his time and kind… People in the community trusted Lawrence…. They trusted Lawrence and loved the Magician.
After the show people thanked Lawrence personally and complimented the Magician. It took Lawrence a whole to differentiate between the two after the show. He hugged all the kids and they all adored the Magician.
After that, he was back to being just Lawrence again.
Plain old boring Lawrence.
But Lawrence could still conjure up his own magic tricks.
Rhiannon sat on the sofa with a margarita and complimented Lawrence on his big big house. She had those innocent, hungry eyes that the girls sometimes get. Lawrence snuck up behind her with his ‘magic’ saw. He’d slipped back into that purple robe and put the black eyeliner over his eyelids. This performance didn’t have an audience...
Lawrence’s first magic trick was the sleeping spell, it was cast in the margarita. It wasn’t magic of course, it was sleight of hand (and twenty five crushed lithium pills). The next magic trick was sawing in half, except it wasn’t in half, it was in about twenty seven separate pieces. And then there was making the girl disappear. That would involve quicklime and concrete. But the real magic was convincing the agency that the girl simply never turned up and probably ran off somewhere else to find a new job…
The Magician was loved by the community for his sleight of hand and false conjuring. But it was Lawrence that really made people disappear, twenty seven of them so far… Twenty eight after Rhiannon…
DINNER FOR TWO It was a pleasing ritual for Vivienne to cook a meal for her love Marco; especially during one of their most romantic nights of the year. Another monthly anniversary. Vivienne would light a candle, put the player on and play some soft Sade. She would stare into each of Marco’s beautiful eyes. Remind herself of how she fell so completely in love with this man. The love of her life. She loved him with every inch of her breath, but maybe… she loved him just a little bit too much. Tonight was steak night. With a side of home cut chips and a homemade garlic sauce that was ground and creamed all from scratch. A meal fit for a king, a meal perfect for a devoted-husband. Marco was her king. Marco was a solitary figure. Sure; when he was younger he was like any other young man. Marco was once impulsive. He was once ambitious. He was once rambunctious, fast living, with a devil may give a shit kind of attitude. But now – he was a quiet, gentle and wise man of solitary
It was the aftermath of the event . The landscape was torched and scarred, and the plains now had a purple poisoning which descended as far as the human eye could see. Duncan sat down on the crest of the plains and looked out towards the battered skyline. What have we done to this place…? The We was a plea to humanity. Right now, it was just about survival. Doing what they had to, in order to make it through each passing day. Duncan had done somethings he was not at all proud of. He shot a man over a can of Coca-Cola, his desperate urge to taste something reminiscent of normality outweighing his moral compunction to respect life. This was after the events of course… His life before the events was a dull and monotonous affair that didn’t involve any slaughter and pillaging. The event had changed humanity. And like the skylines descending over the earth, humanity also now had a purple poisoning deep inside of them. Whatever it was that was descending upon our natural world was descen
I was in a “DINER” – it was like an Ed Hopper painting. I’m English and we call them a cafeteria. But this has one of those truck-stop American vibes that you see in the movies (hell, I’d never even been to America) and everybody has trans-Atlantic accents. I hear the mumbled chat. The bikers were piling in, the waitresses chewed gum, the truckers wore those targeted T-Shirts that said how badass they are. I thought I was just turning off an A-Road from London and here I am in a diner in what felt like the middle of nowhere. The interior was lit with blinding artificial light and the outside was wrapped up in a fierce darkness. ‘What can I get you ‘hun?’ The waitress said. There I was pulling into a local eatery in my BMW and now I’m in one of those Twin Peak diners. There’s something amiss about this place. ‘Do you have a menu?’ I ask. She slaps one down on the table. She leans close into me. I feel the heat from her breath warm my entire body. Why am I so cold? ‘Where am I?” I ask. ‘