“Hurry up boy, we’re late for the show!”
“I’m coming,” Jake pants, trying his best to keep up. Behind him, he drags along the heavy wooden chest, filled with the wondrous gadgets that are the tools of Señor Dom’s trade.
The Señor looks at him and sighs, shaking his head impatiently. “This way.” He pats his face dry with a handkerchief, turning into the alleyway leading to the club.
Jake grunts. Covered in sweat, the brown-haired boy with the disheveled locks mops his brows. Aside from the trunk, he is also carrying the Senor’s cape, wand, and top hat in his other hand.
A rabbit sticks its head out of the hat. “I’m hungry, when do we eat?” Timmy puffs his cheeks the way rabbits do when they speak. He looks expectantly at Jake, wiggling his paws as he begs for a treat.
“Not now Timmy! After the show.” He pulls up to the alley just as the Señor stops at a faded blue door, squinting at the sign.
“Ah, this is the place.”
Jake looks up. The Tigress. He breathes a sigh of relief and pulls the trunk to the door, letting it fall with a loud thud.
“Careful with that!”
“Sorry,” Jake mumbles, rubbing his sore arms.
Jake pushes the rabbit back into the top hat, handing it back to the magician. “Rabbit’s whining again.”
He can wait.” the Señor says, glaring into the hat before flipping it onto his head, He smoothens his threadbare tuxedo and straightens his bow tie. “How do I look?” He asks, facing Jake.
Jake pulls at his own faded dress shirt trying to air himself dry. Summer time in Miami is hardly the season to be walking around in this get up. He shrugs. “Like a eighties magician.”
“Coming from you, that’s a compliment.”
Jake smirks and helps the man on his with his cape and hands him his wand. “You know, if you’ll let me find you some new threads…”
“For the last time, stop comparing me to those Hollywood magicians.”
A latch on the door slides opens, revealing a pair of intense eyes. “Yea? You the magic guy?”
“That’s right.” Dom says with a flourish. “Mago the magnifi…!”
“Whatever. You’re late.” The man slams the latch shut.
Jake suppresses a snigger. Behind the door, He can hear the sound of keys jingling as a burly man in a suit opens up. He has a bald tattooed scalp.
“You’re on in five. Sign in with Dorothy first.” The man indicates with his thumb. “The one in the green feathers.”
The señor smiles, trying to be polite. “Err…Dressing room?”
“Mirrors in the bathroom. Come on, we’re behind schedule!” He pushes Dom unceremoniously through the door before looking down at Jake. “Whoa, this is a men’s club, why you bring a kid here for.”
“He’s my assistant.” Dom says, signaling for Jake to bring the trunk in.
“No can do old man. The boss will have my ass for this if he finds out.”
“But he’s part of my act.” Dom protests. “I need him.”
Jake tunes out of the argument as a pair of dancers walk pass the door, flaunting their bits. One of the girls looks over at him and gives him a teasing wave. With his mouth hanging open, he waves back.
“Come on, he’s older than he looks.”
The tattooed man narrows his eyes. “Alright, but if I can catch him trying to get into the booze or the ladies…”
“He won’t” Dom slaps Jake hard across the head, pulling him out of his stupor. “Get the stuff!”
Master and apprentice settles into the bustling room as a dozen dancers in nothing but pink feather boas run pass, climbing up the stairs leading to the stage.
“Zoobies on stage. Mago, you ready?” A lady draped in green feathers and the face paint shouts, looking around.
“Here!” Dom says, raising his hand and waving at Dorothy.
“We’ll be making some changes to your act.” The green lady says, referring to her board. “No big deal, just some dancers to spice things up.”
Dom shrugs, turning to face Jake. “You ready kid?”
Jake is looking all around him, a wide grin splitting his face. “Yea, sure, whatever you say… ow!
Dom slaps Jake on the head again. “Cape.”
Jake ties the cape around the magician’s neck, taking extra care to make sure the props are tucked properly in their sleeves. Satisfied, he hands Dom the wand.
“Checked the batteries?” Dom says, making his final adjustments.
Dom snaps the hidden lever on his wand as a bouquet of plastic blooms burst forth from the tip of the wand, drawing applause from a few dancers relaxing nearby.
Jake smiles at them. “So we’ll start with fire, go into hoops, levitate the table, make yourself disappear, and end with the rabbit?”
Dom shrugs. “Management wants me to pull the stops, thought we might wanna jazz it up a bit to get some extra tips.”
“So skip the table, and bring out the saw… got it.”
Dom looks proudly at the boy, putting a hand over his shoulder. “Soon Jake. You’re almost ready to be a magician.”
“About time,” Jake says with a chuckle “Maybe then, mama don’t need to work no more.”
“Perhaps.” Dom says, smiling.
“Mago the Magnificent!” Dorothy shouts, “You’re on!
“That’s us.” Jake says, helping Dom to make some final adjustments. “Let’s kill this crowd tonight.” He drags the chest up the stairs and places it just off-stage, before unlocking it with the key around his neck.
A quiet applause signals the end of the last act as The Zoobies run off stage. One of the girls comes up behind Jake and gives him a kiss on the cheek. “Good luck!”
Jake turns to see the girl who had walked pass him at the door. He smiles at her. “Maybe we can hook up sometime,” he says, blushing at his own boldness.
“Maybe.” The girl giggles, running off to join her friends.
Dom comes up the stairs in time to see a flustered Jake smiling after the girl. “Keep your hands off the merchandise kid. Barrett will kill you if you touch any of them.”
Jake laughs. “You’re just jealous.” he says, watching as the announcers walks back out onto the stage,
“Here we go kid, big smile.”
“Gentlemen of the Tigress. For one night only, I give you your next act. Magoooo… the magnificent!”
– Was thinking of writing a piece about magic ever since watching Oz.
– Trying to tow the line between fantastical and possible here, like Oz
– Gonna try going for a very simple theme here, something like the Old Man & The Sea.
– Still too many as, when and whiles. Not sure if that is better or just quick full stops and short sentences.