Day 4: Nothing
No Novel November 2019
Several hands shot up from the crammed benches in front of
the ramshackle stage. The carnival had arrived at its final stop, and the crowd
had showed up with first-night enthusiasm. Everybody loves a big finish. And Mister
Mysterio, Master of Magic and Mysticism, intended to give them one.
“Yes, you! The lady with the intriguing hat. Come right up.
Don’t be shy.”
The volunteer tiptoed up to the platform where Mysterio took
her hand with exaggerated chivalry and walked her to an oversized box festooned
with patchy stars.
“And now, Miss…Sandra, thank you…Miss Sandra will enter the Shadow
Box where I shall make her disappear!”
Sandra giggled nervously and stepped inside.
Mysterio rolled his shirtsleeves to the elbow. “Nothing up
my sleeve.” He took off his worn bowler. “Nothing under my hat.” He stomped on
the boards. “Nothing under the stage.” Then he bowed to the lady and closed the
door with a click.
With a flourish of his wand, the magician tapped three times
on each wall of the box. There was a sound like blowing a bubble in reverse, then
he turned the knob and opened the door.
The only thing inside was an evaporating green mist.
The crowd erupted, and Mysterio luxuriated in the applause.
But when he headed offstage rather than back to the box, the cheers turned to angry
“Ah, ah,” he chided, wagging a white-gloved finger. “I promised to make her disappear. I never said anything about bringing her back.”
This story is part of No Novel November, a daily microfiction challenge. If you'd like to know more and/or join in, click here.