Friday, 31 May 2013

#FridayFlash - The Oldest Trick

Emascula the Great prowled around the stage, brandishing the first sword for the audience. Stella climbed into the ornate lacquered box, smiling and waving as she settled herself in. Only her head and feet were visible, her body replaced by the black cabinet.

Emascula thrust the first sword into the box. Stella pulled an expression of surprise, and the audience gasped when she wiggled her feet. Emascula fetched a second sword from the basket beside the box, and thrust it into another slot. Again the audience gasped, and Stella continued to smile.

Four more swords were inserted, each at an angle to the previous blade. Stella's smile never wavered, and Emascula tired of the gasps of the audience. They gazed up at him with a mixture of awe and disbelief, as if they'd never seen this before. This was the eighty-second time he'd performed this trick, and he knew that illusionists besides himself used a similar approach. How could this be so new to them?

Bereft of swords, Emascula reached into his inside pocket and withdrew a wand. He waved it above the box, tapping the cabinet three times, and Stella squeaked. Emascula stifled a grimace, making a mental note to replace her as soon as possible. She couldn't sell the illusions, all she could do was smile and simper. He separated the two halves of the cabinet, spinning them around so that the audience could see Stella's head at one end, and her feet at the other. Swords protruded from both halves.

The audience gasped and cooed with delight, and Stella wiggled her feet to much applause. Emascula pushed the two halves of the box back together, and pulled the swords free, tossing them to the floor with a clatter. The last sword removed, he opened the box with a flourish. Stella clambered to her feet and posed, apparently unscathed. The audience erupted into applause and cheers, the deafening clamour rolling around the auditorium.

Emascula bowed and adopted his trademark final flourish, but sighed inwardly. These cretins were so easily fooled. Parting them from their money was the oldest trick in the book.

14 comments:

deannaschrayer said...

Ah, so this is why I've never like magic shows, apparently I'm too keen for that oldest trick. :)

Tony Noland said...

Poor guy. He clearly needs to step up his game, since he's lost the joy of it.

afullnessinbrevity said...

There is something fascinating about magicians and their tricks, the ability to deceive with great aplomb.
Adam B @revhappiness

John Wiswell said...

"Emascula" is such a great name, especially for someone who shoves swords into things for a living. I had a chuckle!

Sulci Collective said...

oooh that last line was a kicker! Like Jon I thought 'Eamsacula' was a redolent name, given the emasculation dealt out to 'slicing' up his assistants, plus his own jaded emasculation from life itself

marc nash

Larry Kollar said...

I had much the same thought as Marc — loved that name. I felt kind of bad for him, how his jaded outlook ruined his own satisfaction in a job well done, while wanting to distance myself from his distaste for the audience. (And his assistant.)

Tim VanSant Writes said...

I love the name too. Any performer with such disdain for his audience though doesn't deserve to be on stage.

Helen said...

Seems like he needs to do some new tricks to bring the excitement back into his life and his act.

modscheherzade said...

I liked his name too :) I thought it was woman at first! He better watch out, one day his discontent might show on his face and his audience might boo...

Shelli said...

Another poor schmuck stuck in a dead end job. I agree, Emascula is a great name!

ganymeder said...

The final line was the kicker. There's a sucker born every minute, eh? :D

pegjet said...

I am reading Dale Carnegie's book, and he talks of a famous magician who had the largest crowds, not because he performed his tricks best, but because he loved the audience--I guess Emascula is the norm and why magicians only get to perform at the Rotary Club and maybe on America's Got Talent.

storytreasury said...

Emascula is a great name. And also, he needs some real magic to bring some joy into his life again.

Katherine Hajer said...

I kept waiting for the "and then...". I am very pleased it never showed up!

And yes, Emascula is a wonderful name for a magician. Like he's giving the audience the finger right from the advertising posters, before the show even starts.

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