The Magician’s Assistant

It’s Halloween and time to celebrate. So here’s a Halloween story.

Brooks and Frank were not brothers although others thought they could be. No one could remember them when they were not together. Brooks was a magician; Frank was a fireman. Or at least, he liked to dress up as a fireman.

Brooks was often on stage, showing the world his trick of sawing a fireman in half. Usually magicians saw a woman in half, Brooks sawed Frank in half. People loved the trick. Frank showed up on the stage and Brooks introduced him to the box. Frank wore his fireman’s uniform. Once Frank was in the box safe and secure, Brooks set the box on fire. Then the sawing began.

Frank always thought of himself being like the one the knife thrower threw the knives at. It took steady nerves to stand there and let those knives come at you. He thought that the knife thrower’s partner could dodge bullets if she had to. She had that kind of concentration. So he worked on his concentration.

All was well and good for quite some time. Then it happened. It happened just as Brooks and Frank became a sensation and started to fill larger venues. Frank met Darla.

Darla was a tall, slender dark-haired beauty with only one ambition. She had spent years wanting to be a magician’s assistant. She saw Brooks on stage. She just knew what he needed. He needed Darla to hand him the saw. It was a matter of faith. Every magician needed a Darla.

One night during the show, Darla walked onto the stage. She had the saw in her hands. She lifted it above her head. Then she handed the saw to Brooks.

At first surprise, Brooks was taken aback. How dare this woman interrupt his performance. When he heard the applause, he changed his mind. As the three of them walked off the stage, Brooks whispered to his new assistant, “I can’t pay you much.”

Darla just smiled. She was happy her dream had come true.

Frank took one look at Darla and he was smitten. Cupid aimed his arrow, and kwhack, it hit Frank in the heart.

For several performances, the act went on perfectly. Brooks introduced the box. Frank walked out onto the stage in his fireman’s costume and crawled into the box. Brooks locked the box. Darla brought out the fire starter and set the box on fire. Then she raised the saw above her head. And the trick went off without a problem.

Frank couldn’t keep his love to himself. One night just before a performance, he walked up to Darla and whispered, “I love you.”

Well, Darla was having none of this love thing. She knew it could blow a good act. She had seen other acts go up in flames because of the jealousy. So she let her partner-in-crime know she wasn’t interested in a gentle sort of way.

Frank walked onto stage with tears in his eyes. He crawled into the box like always. Darla set the box on fire. Brooks took the saw from her hands. Things were going well just like usual. But Frank couldn’t concentrate. He just couldn’t concentrate.

 

Death, a poem

we treat death as a thief
and we name it so
death is not a thief

death is a gift
a field of flowers
where we shall dance
on feet in wonder

death is a magician
transforming us
into our better selves