The Jackman Brothers: The Tale of the Sick Herald

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The Magician

The Magician

‘Hey kid! Want to see a bit of magic?’

The small boy sitting on the sidewalk looked up to see a man dressed in a sleek black suit with matching shirt. The only color was the red tie around his neck. The man smiled.

The boy stood and walked over to the man who stood on the edge of the empty lot.

‘What’s your name kid....?’ he asked.

‘William. What kind of magic?’

’Well only the best kind of course.′ the man replied as he produced a large silver coin that gleamed in the moonlight. He offered it to boy.

William took the coin and regarded it skeptically. ‘What’s so great about this coin?’

‘Excellent question! Come with me and I’ll show you. The Jackman Brothers Circus is about to arrive. It’s the most amazing moment and I always prefer to share it if I can. It’s my greatest magic. Well...almost my greatest...,’ the man said easily as he chuckled.

William followed the man to the center of the lot and waited. The man kneeled on the ground and dug a small hole. He extended his hand to William. Uncertainly William handed over the coin. The man smiled and with a small flourish flipped the coin into the air and watched as it disappeared into the hole upon its return journey to the ground. He covered the coin with dirt and motioned the boy over with a nod of his head.

‘We’re going to grow us a circus kid. And it needs some water...why don’t you spit on it.’

William crossed his arms over his chest and stared in disbelief.

‘Come on now. The morning will be upon us.’ the man urged.

‘It’s not even midnight...’

‘Now...now...will you spit on it or not?’

William leaned over slowly as he produced the necessary amount of saliva. After which he spat it out onto the small mound.

‘Good....’ the man stood and stamped his foot onto the soil. ‘Now let’s stand back.’

William stared and waited. ‘Well...? I don’t see anything....’

The man looked puzzled. ‘Hmmm....are you sure you provided a good amount of spit? I must admit the amount that you produced seemed a bit....well...let’s just say I don’t think it was your best effort.’

William gave the man a dirty look.

Suddenly the sound of a thump drew William’s attention back to the ground. The thump was soon followed by a slow rumble of the earth beneath their feet. The rumbling continued until there appeared the sight of a thick vine pushing its way upwards through the soil. It shot up in a short bursts and trembled briefly before coiling into a dive and streaking out along the ground’s surface.

The man calmly pulled William away from the living vine that grew and multiplied swiftly creating branches upon branches that in turn joined other parts. Soon leaves gave way to swirls of color as other portions of vines unfurled to produce long pieces of fabrics. The sounds of animals could be heard with the distinct sounds of laughter.

William turned to the man. ‘What’s your name mister?’

The man smiled and gave a brief nod. ‘You may call me The Magician.’

William smiled in wonder and continued to watch as the most spectacular feats of magic created the various tents and trailers. In places where the vines knotted up, the tension would cause small bursts of flame from which would appear rides, cotton candy stands, or free toss throws. Other flames trailed out cutting through the night air as they arranged themselves along doorways and along the tent tops. Men handling horses and costumed dance girls emerged seamlessly from vine branches. Soon all was done and the circus was there.

‘Hey Magician! The Ringmaster is asking for you!’ a voice called out.

The Magician turned towards William. ‘Thank you William for your help and may I be the first to welcome you to the Jackman Brothers Circus! Please be my guest. Shows start promptly at ten o’clock. Bring your friends.’

The Magician pointed towards the rising sun and then produced ten tickets from William’s ear.

William gasped at both sights. What happened to the night? He waved and turned to run home.


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