Disappearing Act

Disappearing Act

by Gavin Biddlecombe


“You really are the worst,” she yelled as she stormed in after Michael.

“I don’t want to hear it again,” said Michael, setting his top hat and wand on the dressing room table as he collapsed into the chair by the mirror. He loosened his bow tie as he studied his reflection.

“You said you were a magician and the best trick you’ve pulled all week is empty the auditorium.” Crossing her arms, she waited for a response. “Well?”

Michael rubbed his temples attempting to release the tension after another poor performance. He looked at her. “I’m working on…”

“Putting people to sleep,” Steph cut in, “yes, I can see. And doing an outstanding job at that.”

“As I was saying,” said Michael abruptly, “I’m working on something big. I just need to work out a few kinks.”

“It’d better be quick. The only reason we’ve stayed on this week is strong word of mouth.”

“That’s positive.”

“For the wrong reason,” she said. “No-one imagined something so awful exists that they come and see for themselves.”

“I don’t believe it.”

“What I don’t believe is I’m still here.”

“Just bear with me a little longer.”

“That depends,” she said, eyeing him with suspicion. “What’s this big thing?”

“Well,” said Michael, rising and posturing like the greatest showman that ever lived, regaining the confidence from his early days, “it’s like this.” Steph’s eyes widened as he began describing in detail every step, each time waving and gesturing with greater enthusiasm, eyes glazed over as if performing on stage at this very moment.

“And then you disappear,” he concluded, taking a deep breath, turning and bowing to an imaginary audience. He woke from his trance by an impressive slam of the door and looked about the room. “Steph? Steph?” He called out. “Damn. The nucleus of my act and I made her disappear before we could even begin.”

The weight of the world fell on his shoulders once more as he collapsed back into the chair.



A daily prompt flash fiction – Disappear

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