Not So Prestigious
“So this is totally safe, right?” Peter asks nervously.
“Absolutely, magicians have been doing this-” Joe begins to reply.
“They prefer to be called illusionists, don’t they?”
“Sure,” Joe says, “whatever, either way they’ve been doing this trick-”
“Illusion,” Peter interrupts again.
“Illusion,” Joe corrects, irritated, “for decades. Centuries even.”
Peter approaches the box with trepidation. He respectfully caresses the wood frame with his fingertips. He turns one last time to Joe, who simply nods his assuredness. Cautiously he steps inside.
“Now, in the show,” Joe pauses to allow Peter to correct this phrasing, if he so wishes, but no such correction comes and Joe continues, “we’ll have the bells and whistles and whatnot, but for now I’m going to make you disappear and then reappear. There’s a uh- A fake wall which you’ll turn around and hide behind and boom, magic!”
“Isn’t an illusionist never supposed to reveal his secrets?” Peter asks, worried, “Isn’t it… bad luck or… bad form or something bad?”
“Buddy,” Joe says in his most patronizing voice, “You are my assistant. You need to know the tricks in order to- you know what, forget it, I take full responsibility. If there is some higher power that takes chagrin to trick-spillers-”
“Whatever, if he’s pissed then his wrath will be on me, okay?”
“Fine,” Peter says, testing the wall behind him.
“Ok,” Joe says, “Now, I’m going to close the door.” Joe closes the door. He hears shuffling from inside the box.
“Peter, not yet, wait until you can feel me turning the thing. That way people won’t hear you in there.”
“Sorry,” comes Peter’s muffled voice from inside, “I’m a little freaked. I might be claustrophobic.”
“You might be?”
“Well I never tested it out be-yep, definitely claustrophobic.”
“Hold on man, you’ll only be in there for a few seconds. I’ll spin it around-” he spins the box three times, “open the door and- ta da, you’re gone.”
“Can you make me come back now please?” Peter says from behind the fake wall.
“Okay but don’t do that in the show man. I can’t have you freaking out in there.”
“The hidden compartment is even smaller than the main compartment Joe just hurry up and spin me again.”
“Okay okay,” Joe says angrily. “Can’t believe I’m taking orders from my assistant.”
He closes the door and spins the box one, two, three times, taps the side and opens the door to reveal – no Peter.
“Peter, dude, you have to come back out when I spin it the second time. The reappearance is the whole trick. Didn’t you ever see The Prestige?”
There’s nothing but silence.
“Peter just come out, we’ll try again from the top,” Joe tries. Silence again. “Buddy?”
He pushes the fake wall open to reveal an equally as empty compartment.
Just wanted to say a big thank you to Peter Ponting, who not only helped come up with tonight’s story but has been here since day ONE people, helping out and taking an interest. So thanks man!