Short Story of the Day, Flash Fiction, [title]: an excerpt By [name of author]

“I can bear any pain as long as it has meaning.”
― Haruki Murakami, 1Q84

Street Magician New Orleans, Louisiana

From my blog (I called it an “Online Journal” then), The Daily Epiphany, Thursday, December 10, 1998

Magic trick

Candy went out with some friends tonight, I stayed home with Nick and Lee.

I worked for a few hours, organizing the room. It used to be Lee’s but now is an office and guest room (Lee has moved into Nick’s room, Nick into the TV room). I am very happy to have a space with my computer, two big bookcases, fold out couch, and no television. I used the rearrangement as an excuse to try and get organized.

The books are now sorted. All the writing reference books; dictionaries, thesauri, quote books, books on grammar, books with ideas to help plow through writer’s block, are all arranged on one shelf that I can reach from my desk. Computer programming references are in another place, fiction that I intend to read in another, books I never intend to read are boxed, ready to send charity.

My computer desk is now neat and organized. I have too many floppy disks. I make these wooden boxes that hold a hundred or so each, I still didn’t have enough and bought some plastic boxes too. Floppies are like National Geographics, I can’t bear to throw them away ’til they go bad. You never know what ancient text file will become absolutely necessary to world peace some day.

Meanwhile Nicholas and Lee were up to something out in the living room. I kept checking on them, and they seemed to be alright. Things were quiet. Too quiet.

It was fine, they were devising a magic trick. They came back to fetch me, brought me to the living room, and had me sit in a certain chair, facing another large overstuffed chair that came with our couch. Nick was wearing a rust sweatsuit, Lee was shirtless with blue sweatpants. Nick wore Lee’s alien mask, Lee wore a hockey mask, both left over from Halloween.

The trick commenced. Nicholas tucked his brother down behind the other chair and began solemnly walking in circles around the furniture. He would have to climb over one arm each time before he dropped down behind.

It was a good trick, after awhile I noticed that it wasn’t Nick walking around anymore, it was Lee. They look enough alike that with the mask, you can’t easily tell them apart. Lee is shorter and had more trouble climbing over the arm of the chair, or I might not have noticed. Of course then I heard a lot of noise as Nick struggled to change his clothes unseen behind the other chair.

Sure enough, after what seemed like an eternity, the shirtless kid with the hockey mask jumped out and both took off their masks. I acted surprised to see they were switched.

I heated up some dinner for them and Nicholas explained, complete with diagrams on a piece of scrap paper, the inner workings of the complex trick. He said he had seen this on the Masked Magician’s show on television. “We can’t do most of his tricks,” Nick went on, “They are too dangerous.”

Now it’s late, I’m back typing in my newly organized room; I can see more open desk space than I’ve viewed in awhile. The kids are finally asleep and I will be soon. I guess we all have to look for magic wherever we can find it.

And now, a piece of flash fiction for today:

[title]: an excerpt By [name of author]

from 3:AM Magazine

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