Do You Believe In Magic Part 2

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Cymbals clash.

Jake throws Dom’s cape into the air as he leaps onto the stage in a bloom of velvet red and black. With the spotlight shining on him, he gives a wide smile, waving to the silent crowd.
“Boooo, bring back the girls!”
Twirling his wand, Dom turns to face the heckler. “Trouble with men nowadays, they just don’t know how to treat a lady!” Dom lashes out with his wand, sending bouquets of flowers shooting over the audience towards the heckler, drawing grunts of surprised laughter.
“Tough crowd tonight,” Dom grins. Furling his cape, he flings it open with aplomb, sending a shower of poker cards flying through the air. “One… Two… Three.” He grabs at the cards fluttering down. “Four… Five!” With a flourish, he spreads out the cards in his hand, showing the royal flush of hearts.
The crowd starts to murmur, showing their approval with polite applause. From his position, Jake can see the men at the bar beginning to sit up.
“For my final warm up…” Dom runs, jumping off the stage and hooking onto the nearest stripper pole. Dancing a little jig around the pole, he waits for the spotlight to catchup before he spins around, drawing wild catcalls and howls from the crowd. With the audience riled up, Dom pulls his jacket open and thrusts his chest out. Laughter turns to open astonishment as five white doves flies out from his body, flying across the club.
The club remained silent for a split second, before breaking out in thunderous applause. Beside Jake, a dozen girls have squeezed up the stairs to witness the spectacular act.
“Oh wow, how did he do that?” the girl closest to him asks.
Jake grins. “Lady, you ain’t seen nothing yet.”
Dom returns to the stage. “For my first act…”
Jake reaches into the chest. He digs out the special torches, and lights them up with a flick of the switch.
“I give you… fire!”
Jake runs out across the stage, dragging the torches on the ground. The special cool burning spirit inside them spills onto the floor, leaving behind a trail of blue flame in his wake.
To the oohs and ahhs of the crowd, Jake crouches low and spins around, surrounding himself in a circle of flame. Rising up, he deftly juggles the torches before throwing one at Dom.
“Believe!” Dom catches the torch and flips it around, dousing the flame in his mouth.
Jake throws the other one at Dom before running backstage, grabbing two more torches. One of them, unlike the first two, burned with real fire.
“Volunteers?” Dom shouts from the stage. “Who wants to play with fire?” Hands go up across the stage while Jake lights up the rags at the end of the torches. “You sir!” Dom points at the heckler. “Why don’t you come up here and show the ladies a thing or two about magic.”
Goaded by the crowd, the man reluctantly obliges, stumbling onto the stage in a half-drunk state.
“What’s your name?”
“Billy.”
“Ladies and Gentlemen, please give a big round of applause to Milly!” Dom says, throwing one of the feathered boas on the floor around the man’s neck.
“It’s Bill…”
Ba Dum Tsss! The drummer plays, while the crowd roars with laughter.
Jake dances around the man. “Ladies and Gent…whoops!” Jake fumbles with the torch, swishing the flaming end past the man’s ear.
“Jesus!” The man squeaks, scampering to the side.
“Wrong club pal, Jesus’s is dancing over on Cloud Nine.”
Ba Dum Tsss! The audience is loving this.
Dom grins, feeding off the crowd’s energy as Jake hands him the fake torch. “Milly, the secret to magic…” Dom says, walking up to the man, “Is that you gotta believe.”
Jake smiles, he loves how Dom says that.
“Here, lemme show you.” Dom pushes the flame in front of Billy.
“Get away from me!” Billy runs, disappearing off the stage.
Dom laughs, “Sometimes, you just got to believe folks.” With a drumroll in the background, Dom lifts the torch to his face.”And tonight, I will make you believe. In magic.” Taking a deep breath, he blows hard into the flame.
The audience gasps audibly as a spectacular display of blue flames shoot forth from the torch and dances over their heads. Like a dragon, Dom waves his head left to right. producing a fiery display that sweeps through the air.
The crowd goes wild. Jake tries to shout above the noise, “Ladies and Gentlemen, give it up for Mago the Magnificent!”
Dom swallows the flame, ending his performance. Taking a bow, he moves to stand beside Jake.

“Skip the hoops. Bring out the saw.”

Author’s notes
– I am having a lot of fun writing this, didn’t know writing about magic can be so relaxing.
– Left myself plenty of loose ends in this intro, along with the rabbit in part 1, to play around with the story. Will remove the bits I choose not to follow up on next time.
– Last post of the week. Cheerio.

Do You Believe In Magic

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“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.
“Timmy hungry!”
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.
Jake nods.
“Flowers?”
“Try it.”
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!”

Author’s Notes
– 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.

Jon Crawler: Part 4

Jon’s mind is a blur. I’ve killed The Captain plays on repeat in his mind as he comes to terms with what just happened.

But I didn’t! Jon Crawler, a two bit criminal mutant who only wants the serum to become normal, has somehow managed to bring down the most powerful superhero in the known galaxy.

That makes him a super villain. Inside, he feels a sense of exhilaration, tinged with guilt and fear. No one will believe that it has been the serum, the military will deny all knowledge of it. Besides, the Captain did wilt under his blows, all the cameras caught it.
He tunnels aimlessly around the outskirts of the city, too afraid to head home. Above ground, the military and Super League are probably tracking him this instant. He stops to rest for a moment, plucking out the last remaining vial from his pocket. With his night vision, he can see the greenish liquid swirling inside. He could end this now, stop living as Jon Crawler, and become just Jon. That is what this everyone else has died for… right?
But he has only one vial left, one for so many. He pockets the precious serum and continues on his way, brooding to himself. By the time he decides to head home, it is way past midnight. His head pops up in the little compost heap he keeps perpetually in the backyard. It is not the Batcave, but it serves well enough to keep nosy neighbors away. Creeping into the house, he cleans himself off at the sink before changing into his PJs, falling exhausted beside his wife.
Margery stirs, turning around to hug him. She cries as she kisses his face, and pounds on his chest.
“Sorry honey…”
“Jon.”
“Mmm?”
“…Jon, what do you want for breakfast?”
Jon opens his eyes. Margery is standing over him, looking lovely in her nightgown. She cups a loving hand over his face and kisses him on the lips.
“You came home pretty late last night.”
Jon blinks, “Yea.”
“Why didn’t you come back sooner? We were all so worried.”
He winces as he tries to sit up.
“Poor baby,” Margery says, bending over to kiss him. “How does pancakes with strawberries sound?”
Jon smiles and nods, rubbing the sleep from his eyes.
“Take a shower, there’s still blood on your face.”
“Yes dear.”
Margery leaves the room as Jon gets up. He takes a quick shower and checks himself in the mirror. Jon Creedy’s face is clean now. Satisfied, he walks down to the living room.
“Morning dad.”
“Hey.”
His two sons, Aaron and Jake are on the floor in front of the TV, watching morning cartoons.
“Mind if I watch the news for a while?” Jon asks.
The boys let out a groan.
“Just for a while kids,” Jon picks up the remote and switches the channel.
“… Remly Manson, loving father and beloved Crime Fighter…”
“The superhero known affectionately as Captain…”
“… Dead! The superhero community is asking for anyone with the whereabouts of the mutant known as The Crawler to…”

Jake, his younger son, drops his spoon, spilling cereal on the table. “The Captain is dead?” He asks, staring with wide-eyes at the television.
Aaron turns around to glare at his father.
Jon flicks through the news channels. CNN, ABC, Fox, every channel is reporting on the same thing. Already a state funeral is being planned. Jon seethes, listening attentively to the commentary. There is no mention of the five people he killed.
Aaron stands up and storms to his room, while Jake sits there and starts to whimper.
“Honey please, switch back to the cartoons,” Margery shouts from the kitchen.
Jon sighs, flipping the channel back to Dora. He stoops over to pick up his son. “Why are you crying Jakie?”
“Cus the Captain is dead,” The boy sniffles.
“You liked the Captain?”
Jake bawls, “He’s my hero.”
Jon says nothing, feeling the wrenching in his gut. “Sweetie, the Captain isn’t that great, he’s just… well he’s like us.”
“Says who!” The boy says, struggling to free himself from Jon’s arms.
Jon bites his lips in disappointment. “Go watch cartoons in daddy’s room Jakie. Daddy needs to talk to mummy.” He lets Jake go and watch as the boy runs up the stairs.
“You okay hon?” Margery asks, bringing out breakfast.
Jon smothers his face in his hands, letting out his frustration. “I did the impossible Marge. I beat the man who cannot be beaten, yet…”
Margery sets down the plates and hugs him. “Let it go Jon, I’m just glad you made it out alive. I was watching the news together with Aaron. We thought you were dead.”
“I’m sorry,” Jon mumbles, reaching out for Margery’s hand. “But it was too dangerous for me to come back.”
“Did you get the serum?”
Jon hesitates before answering, “No.”
Margery looks away, tears welling in her eyes.
“I’ll try again hon, I promise.”
Margery laughs softly. “How? Everyone is dead Jon. How are you going to find the serum again anyway?”
Jon says nothing.
“That little girl they took in, they’re probably torturing her right now, trying to find out who you are.”
“She doesn’t know who I am Marge… None of them do…”
“How about the blood?” Margery says, flustering. “What if they test the blood on the scene and…”
“Enough, we knew the risk when we decided to do this. Talking about it now isn’t going to change anything.”
“I’m just saying Jon, them league-types gets to call themselves heroes while we get branded as the terrorists. It just ain’t fair.”
“Nobody said it was.”
For a moment, the couple sits quietly on the sofa, holding on to each other as they stare at Dora prancing around on the television.

Jon Crawler: Part 3

Jon blinks, barely flinching as the Captain staggers backwards.

He shakes his head clear and looks up, a stunned expression on his face. “How on Earth?” He lunges forward and tries a bear hug, crushing Jon between his muscular arms.

Jon barely feels the wind being squeezed out of him. With a wry smile, he forces his arms open, breaking the Captain’s grasp. In his head, he begins to understand what has happening here.

“Impossible!” The captain takes a step back and launches a spinning right hook, the same hand that had floored the Mantis and killed Siren only a moment earlier. Using his claw, Jon catches the fist in midair and twists it, sending the proud hero on his knees. The Captain cries in pain. Cameras click and film away. A horrified public watches in silence. No one knows what to do.

Jon launches a bevy of kicks and punches on the helpless Captain. Loss in the heat of battle, he sees nothing, only the face of the man who just killed five of his friends. Five people who will no longer be able to go home and see their families and children, all for a chance to be normal.

“Come on Captain! Someone screams from the crowd, “For justice!” Others break out of their stupor and join him, willing their beloved hero to fight.

The captain looks up at Jon and shouts a battle cry, forcing himself to stand against the pain and throws himself at Jon.

The cameras roll on.

“What did you do to me…”

Jon panics. The Captain goes into a frenzy, clawing and biting at Jon. He is so weak now, that Jon barely feels his feeble attempts. He tries to throw him off, but the Captain hangs on.

“Move in now! The Captain needs our help!”

Across the street, Jon can see the maniacal crowd fighting against the police, trying to force their way towards him. Jon blurts. “It’s not me! It’s the serum! The serum from the lab, it works! He head butts the Captain, knocking him senseless. All he wants to do is to get away now. He shoves hard, and the Captain flies through the air, like a rag in the wind. He feels so light.

Jon staggers to his feet. Looking down, he can see what is happening to the Captain. Slowly but surely, whatever it is inside that serum is eating him from the inside. The Captain writhes on the ground, slowly withering away. He seems to age years in a matter of seconds.

“Captain?” Jon asks, uncertain of what to do.

The Captain breaks into spasms. He lurches his head upwards to gasp for air, staring with wide unblinking eyes at Jon. His hair turns white before falling off, while his face wrinkles like a prune. He reaches out for him, but Jon moves back. With a final wrenching groan, the skeletal form that was once the Captain collapses back on the ground and stops moving.

Jon looks up, standing over the still body of The Captain.

“Keep the camera’s rolling! Ladies and Gentlemen… the unthinkable has happened. The Captain is down. I repeat, the Captain is down!”

Jon stares at his hands and down at the Captain. “No, I didn’t do this. It’s the serum!” He screams to the camera.

The reporter names Lynna Banks ignores his protests and continues. “…history in the making. This villain is the first known man to ever defeat and kill the Captain…”

Across the street, chaos breaks out as the stunned crowd howls in rage. “Oh my god… the Captain is dead! The Crawler killed him!”

Jon looks up at them. “No, I didn’t mean to. He threw himself at me, I just wanted the serum for myself!”

A large squad of armed men suddenly appears on the other side the building, carrying assault rifles. A man walks behind them, his face hidden by a pair of sunglasses. His voice booms over a megaphone, “Engage with extreme caution. Weapons are now free, engage, engage!”

Shots are fired. Jon goes to ground as automatic rounds pepper the rubble around him, showering him in dust and debris. “I didn’t mean to kill him dammnit!” He screams, crawling behind cover.

The lady reporter and her camera crew brave the barrage of bullets flying overhead and make their way over to Jon. “Crawler! How does it feel to be the first villain to take down a member of the Super League?”

Crawler looks at her, then turns his head to the camera. “I keep telling you it wasn’t me, it was the serum!”

“What serum?” The lady asks, crawling on the ground now but pointing the microphone at him.

“The thing we stole from…”

“Lady move!”

More shots ring out around Jon. He feels the wind from the bullets whizzing by. In front of him, one of the men moves in close enough to toss a grenade.

“Shit!” Jon kneels on the ground and starts to dig.

“Wait, Crawler! Do you have anything to say to…?”

The ground above Jon explodes in a brilliant flash of white.

 

End Part 3

 

– The traffic in San Francisco is the ABSOLUTE worst I have seen in my life. It’s amazing how close people live to the perpetually jammed highways.

– The people here are amazing though. Makes you think twice about what you should aspire for in life. Is money everything? I’m talking to you Asians here, if there are any.

– Going to a South Bay club tonight. Sexy boogie time!

 

 

Home… for a while

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What it includes
– Ducks pooping in the swimming pool
– Ducks pooping everywhere on the sidewalks
– Scrapping wet poop of the soles of your shoes
– Waking up to the wild mating call of a gazillion ducks every morning.
– Nasty geese that hiss and bite at you if you get near their young ones.
– Dirty old geezer who surfs porn beside you in the business centre.

Still, I wouldn’t trade the lovely spring weather for the humidity and tropical heat back home.

*Deep breath*

Ahhh.. . poop.