A Magical Moment

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I couldn’t believe my eyes as he reached out his hand to me. I had wanted to make it through the night without being noticed. But, apparently this plan had gone awry the moment Lissy sat down in the very front row of the Hendrix Theater.

“Lissy, I thought we were going to sit further back,” I tried to hide my face from the people around me, notably those on the stage.

“Oh, calm down, Meg. I want to be able to see what’s going on.” Lissy, said, pulling me down into a seat right smack dab in the middle of the row (in the front the stage.)

“But, I don’t want to sit here.” I whispered to her.

“Shush, the shows about to start.” She said, as the lights dimmed and the stage cleared.

The room was so black that I could no longer see my hand in front of my face. Then, the music started with an eerie sounding string line and a deep bass. I felt my heart beginning to pound as a light came on the stage. It was a sort of glowing blue orb hovering about five feet in front of me and three feet off of the stage floor. As I watched it closer, it seemed as if it was pulsing like a heartbeat.

The crowd was utterly silent. I couldn’t move. Then a terrifying voice sounded throughout the theater. “Hendrix Theater proudly presents, for your delight, the mystical and enchanting magician, Ace Carnegie!”

The stage lit up with flames and a young man appeared out of nowhere. My heartbeat faster in spite of myself. Lissy oohed and ahhed with the others in the audience.

He really was young. In fact, He couldn’t have been much older than me. I was entranced without even knowing it. He began the show, without looking in my direction even once.

His tricks were magnificent to say the least. He did every trick we had all seen before. Then, he began to search the audience for volunteers. He was about to perform another mind trick. I had seen some like this on the television before.

He made a big show of picking the right person, asking people their names, birthday or even their weight. But, he couldn’t seem to find the right one. Then he looked down, his eyes gazing the very front row. I tried to look down, away from his ever-nearing gaze.

Lissy nudged me, excited. I could tell she was hoping he would pick her. But, then she nudged me again. I looked at her. She tilted her head up, toward the stage. I slowly raised my head, nervous to see what was in front of me.

I looked up to see a hand reaching out to me. He had picked me, without a single question. I was expected to go up on the stage. This is exactly what I had feared. But, something about the way he looked at me with those piercing gray eyes led me to stand and step toward the stage.

As I walked up the steps, holding on to his hand, I couldn’t look him in the eye. I didn’t want to look him in the eyes. I let him lead me where he wanted me to go. He stood me in the middle of the stage, facing him.

“Don’t worry.” He whispered, so only I could hear. “This won’t hurt a bit.” He spoke into his microphone. The audience laughed. I felt my pulse quicken, though I didn’t know how it could beat any faster than it already was.

I watched with what must have been bug eyes. He smiled at me. I did my best to smile back without letting our eyes connect. He moved on quickly, turning to face the crowd.

“And now…” He went through the motions of a magic trick. But, I really don’t remember much about the trick itself. I did whatever he told me, subconsciously. The act must have gone well, because the crowd clapped and cheered.

“If you wouldn’t mind, miss, I would like you assistance for one last act.” He spoke to me, but he was looking toward the audience. I felt my head go up and down in a nod.

He turned me to face the curtain behind him. I felt strange standing there, with the audience staring at my back. I heard him say something about talking behind my back, and the audience laughed.

“I will need to know some more information from you, miss. I also require another’s assistance. You, come on up here.” He said as the crowd whistled. I wanted to turn around, but I couldn’t.

“Sir, what is your name?” He asked the newcomer.

“Luke.”

“Luke, would you mind coming to stand over here. Right there,” He led Luke over to where I stood. I felt a strange air move about me as Luke was placed, standing back to back with me, facing the crowd.

I was turning red, I could tell. Luke was breathing heavy. The lights from the stage were hot. I was beginning to get dizzy.

“Hey, Meg, this is cool isn’t it?” Luke asked, whispering to me. I wasn’t sure how to answer, because I didn’t know this man and I hadn’t told anyone my name. Then, it dawned on me, that voice was very familiar.

“Luke Duson?” I whispered.

“Yah, how are you?” Luke asked.

“Fine, I guess.” I wondered how, of all the people in the audience, he had managed to choose Luke and me. Luke had been in all of my classes in high school.

“And your name, miss?” He was speaking to me again.

“Meg.” I said, barely speaking loud enough for myself to hear.

“Meg.” He repeated into the microphone. “And how old are you?”

“Twenty.”

“Twenty.” He was standing next to me, only facing the other direction. I looked at him. He smiled at me again. “What is your phone number?”

I didn’t answer. He smiled bigger and the crowd laughed. “I’m only joking.” He whispered to me. I felt myself relax a little.

“Meg, this is Luke. Luke, this is Meg.” He pointed to each of us, but it’s hard to get to know someone when you can’t see his or her face. “Now that we all know each other, I’m going to, with Luke’s help, make Meg disappear.” The crowd oohed and ahhed again.

He went through out the steps, preparing the little box that he was going to put me in and having Luke step inside and try to find a way out. Of course, Luke couldn’t find any way out other than through the door on the front. I was placed inside the box, alone, feeling my claustrophobia begin to kick in.

I can’t reveal how the trick was done. And not because he asked me not to. But, because I truly don’t know, how he did it. One minute I was in the box, listening to him talk the trick through, with that eerie music playing in the background. And the next thing I knew it was silent. Nothing around me had changed, but there was no sound.

I was sacred, to tell the truth. What if I would be stuck in the box forever? And just when I was beginning to hyperventilate. I heard a knock on the door. I knocked back. The door opened and a hand reached in to pull me out. I was relieved when the light poured into the blackness of the box. I stepped out, back onto the stage, where the crowd screamed in joy. There was Luke, smiling at me.

“It worked.” Luke said, amazed. I felt like I was about to faint. No one else seemed to notice, though.

“Thank-you, thank-you,” He spoke to the audience. “Please, don’t forget to visit the souvenir shop on your way out.”

He walked over to stand next to me. “Take a bow, you two.” I did. He took my hand. The curtain began to close, leaving us behind it in the dark. The crowd was standing to leave.

“You were amazing.” I said, thinking I should give him some kind of compliment. He squeezed my hand a little. I couldn’t see him.

“I’m glad you thought so.” He whispered.

“Why did you pick me, out of all those people?” I asked him, while we were still in the dark.

He seemed to be thinking about how to answer. “I saw you before the show began… I wanted an excuse to talk to you, I guess.”

“Hey, Meg, you still back here?” Luke asked. I felt myself jerk back.

“Yeah.” I answered. He pulled me a little closer. I looked up to where I thought his eyes might be.

I haven’t seen you in a while and I thought it would be cool to catch up.” Luke was still talking. But, I didn’t know where he was.

“I don’t know.” I answered, still leaning closer to him. He was smiling, I could tell. “I should probably leave.” I whispered. “My sister will be waiting for me.”

“Oh.” He said. “Here, a little something to remember me by.” He placed something in my hand. “I’ll be in town for a few more days. Maybe I’ll see you around.”

“Maybe.” I said pulling away to leave. The lights were beginning to come on and soon, he'd be able to see how red my face was. He pulled back. I looked him in the eyes one more time, this time they seemed to glow.

“One more thing before you go.” He pulled me close and kissed me. I wasn’t sure what to think, other than I had never been kissed before. He let go of me and I opened my eyes. The lights were almost all the way lit and people were bustling about, trying to tear down the set. Luke was off in a corner, talking to Lissy, who had found her way back stage.

“Goodbye.” He said, looking at me. Our eyes locked for a second. I wanted to cry, knowing that I would probably never see him again.

“Goodbye.”

As I walked away, I looked down at what he had put in my hand. It was a piece of paper folded like a star. I opened it. He had written something on it.

Ace Carnegie
1-751-543-8824





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