Golan Jan

The Blue Wizard

The Blue Wizard

The audience was slowly dozing off.  A young magician was binding silver rings in the air. Everyone knew the trick, and if they did not know, then they were two minutes from learning the secret to it, on their smartphones.  Widespread technology robbed magic of magic.

He quickly ended the trick. A deep bow to the public got a round of forced applause. His red-haired assistant rolled up on the stage with an antique table. He took off his cylinder hat. As the hat was seemingly carelessly placed on the desk, the magician began to talk. During the banter in an unnoticeable hand movement, he touched a knob beneath the table.  He heard a soft click. The old mechanism hidden in the wooden frame was slowly transferring a rabbit into the piece of headwear. Now he only had to take the animal out.  He showed off his empty hands to the public, as he grabbed the edge of the noticeably heavier prop. 

In a majestic silence, he reached inside. His fingers felt a weirdly rough surface.  Writhing at his touch. He screamed. The hat vanished, and everyone saw a massive reptile, hitting the wooden stage with thunder. He jumped away hiding behind the curtain. The snake was curling and twisting, getting dangerously close to the first row of seats. Suddenly it froze. The green scales started turning grey. Seconds later the silver body started to break up. The snake was crumbling down, like a monument undergoing centuries of erosion in mere seconds. In less than a minute the only thing left of the snake was a layer of silvery powder on the stage. A sudden current of air dispersed the remnant ashes. First time in his career, he got a standing ovation.

Late into the night, he stayed on the stage, analyzing the mechanism within the table. Time after time he replayed the same trick, but in every single instance from the hidden compartment, a rabbit emerged. He thoroughly interrogated his assistant, the sound engineer, and even the owner of the hall, but they all were quite certain of the kind of animal that emerged from the forsaken cylinder hat. The piece of headwear itself was gone.

A group hallucination? More likely an extremely elaborate joke. But who would want to scare him to such an extent? His ex despite deep hatred was not even in a quarter sly enough for planning out such a hoax. Not to mention that according to her Instagram, she was currently on the East Coast. His high school friends have long forgotten about him. He did not have any other enemies or people holding grudges against him, other than maybe the senior Mr. Sodhun, who often reminded him about the unpaid rent for the last two months, but this was not some vendetta on a bad tenant.

The nightwatchman woke him up at 4 am because he dozed off laying on the stage beneath the table.

For three weeks nothing happened. He took part in corporate integratory events and children's parties. He had a few shows in cultural centers and nursing homes. Until the 13th of February. He was going through his tried-out-to-perfection routine in an old concert hall in Sacramento.  First an easy levitation of a chair with a volunteer from the audience. Then conjuring a dove out of a piece of cloth. After a few seconds of petting the bird, the animal returned to its scenic non-existence. The next trick required a far more advanced requisite. He brought out a dark blue chest. Locking Claire inside, he presented the audience with a pile of swords. He inserted the plastic blades one after another, slowly building up the tension.  Close-up, the blunt blades would not fool anyone, but high up on the stage, they looked sufficiently sharp. This trick simply could not fail. If Claire for some incomprehensible reason, could not get into the hidden compartment, she would just get hit in the head by a non-threatening piece of plastic. He took out the swords and opened up the doors of the chest. The audience did not clap. The audience was quite confused. Claire did not come out of the hidden compartment. The chest seemed empty.

‘Well, it seems my assistant has disappeared for good.’ This little twist on the well-known trick got some laughter from the public. Although he was far from laughing. Claire could have simply forgotten to get out of the compartment on time. But they have been doing the same trick for the last ten years without a single mistake. His instinct was on high alert. Masking his dread he continued the show going into some mind-reading.

After the show, he came up to the chest. ‘Claire are you ok?’ he asked to no effect. He opened up the doors. ‘Claire come out already.’ The more he looked inside the more Claire was missing from the compartment.

The chest was empty. He closely looked at the inside. On the bottom of the requisite, there was some object. Soaked in a dark, sticky, and wet substance laid a single bone. He dropped the piece with disgust, trying to desperately avoid jumping to the most horrid conclusion. She was not present anywhere backstage. Her phone could not be reached at the moment. He left the building scared to hell, rapidly packing all his accessories. He locked himself in the motel room. He had to decide what to do. After a night of deliberation, he booked a few shows in Oregon, to disappear from the radar of the local law enforcement units.

On the third time, he no longer was surprised.

He stood on the stage with a young volunteer from the audience. A signed card went back into the deck of cards, and after a few false shuffles, the card could be found on top. He was about to reveal the four of spades when the deck started trembling. The stack of cards slowly lifted up and cards began to separate and whirl above their head. One card left the moving mass and fell down on the hand of the youngster.

‘Is it your four of spades, sir?’ he asked with a triumphant smile. ‘Yyy Yes.’  said a completely dumbfounded teenager. Cards fell on the stage. There was a moment of silence, but then explosive applause.

His childhood fascination with magic returned with full force. He once again was excited by the prospect of the unknown, that could be hiding in the next trick. He wanted to be fooled and astounded.  This was why he was captivated by the craft in his teens. He spent long months learning all possible tricks from store-bought magic sets for children and reverse-engineered magic shows on tv. He showcased his passion when he won a school talent show. First and last success of his career as an illusionist. The failure to build a successful personal brand and differentiate himself from other magicians led him into the routine of mundane and easily effective tricks.

He did not know what he had to do, for the unexpected to occur on the stage. Still, the events started to occur with increasing frequency. After a month there was not a single show without some unearthly occurrence. Requisites were levitating above the audience. When the need came he knew the deepest secrets of the show comers, which developed into exquisite mind-reading stunts. Exotic animals materialized out of nothing on the stage. Stunningly beautiful assistants appeared in the oddest of places on the stage just to vanish within seconds. Without any effort, he turned cheap watches into gold-incrusted Rolexes. The laws of physics were suspended, to awe the public with his show.

He knew not, what will appear in his hand instead of an ace. He knew not what will happen during the next trick. He knew not if he would be alive after the next show.

He could no longer stop. Magic is chaos. He was the rider of the chaos.

Envoyé: 13:39 Sun, 15 January 2023 by : Golan Jan age : 21