Thursday, April 21, 2011

“Smoke And Mirrors”

“The art of a good magician isn’t the trick itself, it is the presentation.”
The Great Galetto sat on an elegant, high-backed chair, his legs crossed at the knee, looking more like royalty than carnival illusionist. His apprentice carefully watched his every move and noted his every word, as the magician conversed with the young woman sitting across from him. She was a reporter for the local paper, doing a special interest piece on of the carnival’s more popular acts.
Like many entertainer’s, Galetto’s ego fed on attention, and the pretty blonde was giving him a healthy dose. An interview, her short skirt, and the wide-eyes look of admiration she was giving him had Galetto firing on all cylinders. Give him an audience and he’d give them a show.
“The bigger the bang, “ he said with a wink, “the bigger the payoff.”
All his charm was turned on as he spoke, laying one hand on her knee. The lines were transparent, but delivered with such perfect timing that she ate up every word.
These were the secrets the apprentice had to learn. Not the illusions themselves, devices were easily mastered, but delivery had to be perfected. Or, as Galetto had just said, presentation.
“But what it really comes down to is knowing when to pull the trigger.” He gave her a smile that said more and she blushed.
That was the apprentice’s cue. It was time to perform some magic of his own and disappear. He got up and left the trailer. As the door swung shut behind him he heard Galetto asking the reporter is she wanted a glass of wine. Somewhere in the direction of the roller coaster there was a crash and screaming. More than usual.
He shrugged and began walking toward the cluster of trailer’s known as ‘nightmare alley.’ That was where the Professor’s freaks stayed. Maybe Jumbo Jenna was done for the night. He liked feeding her doughnuts. It was one vanishing act that didn’t require a lot of smoke and mirrors.


  1. I love that last line. Smoke and mirrors: great images of illusion and distortion. Every detail and image in this piece is perfect.
    Ann Carbine Best’s Long Journey Home

  2. I was confused with POV toward the end and had to reread to understand. But it was a humorous ending. Now I want to know about the crash and screaming.

    Tossing It Out

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