This Thursday’s Theme: Carnival
The Magician’s Apprentice
By: Robin Gagnon
Theo looked around for his mom, but had lost sight of her in the crowded carnival grounds. The smell of popcorn wafted by, as a couple walked by with a bag of it. He hadn’t eaten yet. He was young, only nine years old, and he had walked over to the duck shooting game to look at the giant stuffed elephant prizes. In that short amount of time, he had lost sight of his mother and his baby sister.
The giant red and white striped tent was a backdrop against the bustling people around him. His mother had told him to meet her at the tent if he had gotten lost, so he moved his way toward it.
As he moved his way through the crowd, he passed a young boy his age. The boy had the same blond hair, but his eyes were blue, not brown like his. Theo watched as the boy ate the pink and blue cotton candy. It stuck to his face and his hands, but he looked quite happy eating it. His mother was holding his left hand and his father ruffled his hair. Theo wondered if his mom would buy him some cotton candy if he wasn’t too busy with his younger sister.
Finally reaching the Big Tent, Theo stood there and waited patiently for his mother to meet him. He turned to look up at the giant tent and tried to see the top, but it stretched all the way up to the clouds.
“Hello there,” a voice interrupted his thoughts, causing him to turn around and come face-to-face with a man in a purple striped suit. “Would you like to see some magic?”
The man held out a white gloved hand and bowed slightly with a grin on his face. His suit jacket was long and the coat tails nearly dragged along the ground behind him. The goatee on his face was pointed and his mustache was swirled on either end. Theo’s mother had always told him not to talk to strangers, so he ignored the strange man.
“Watch this,” the man continued, taking the hat off his head and showing the boy inside his hat. “Nothing’s in here, right?”
The boy looked inside the hat and saw nothing, so he shook his head. To Theo’s astonishment, the man reached inside the hat and pulled out a white bird. Throwing the bird up in the air, it flew off and Theo watched it in awe.
“That’s not all,” he winked. “I can make myself disappear too.”
Theo didn’t say anything, instead he watched with anticipation as the man held up half of his coat and threw it over his face. A moment later, the coat folded over and collapsed to the ground. The magician was gone.
“What did you think of that one?” a voice asked from behind Theo. “Pretty nifty trick, isn’t it?”
Theo spun around to face the man with a grin on his face as he exclaimed, “That was so cool!”
The magician smiled and replied, “Would you like to be my apprentice?”
Theo looked at in him confusion and asked, “What’s an apprentice?”
“If you become my apprentice,” the man explained. “I can teach you all the magic tricks I know. I can show you how to disappear.”
Excitement appeared on Theo’s face and he nodded eagerly. If he could learn how to do magic his friends would think he was cool and his mom would be in awe by him.
Not too far away, Theo’s mother was calling out for her son while pushing her young daughter in a stroller. Walking through the crowd, she desperately asked people that she passed if they had seen him. She had told Theo to meet her at the Big Top if he had gotten lost, but that didn’t stop her from panicking. The place was crowded and noisy and everything seemed like a good distraction for a nine-year-old boy.
“Have you seen my son?” she asked a little old lady who was walking with her elderly husband. “He has blond hair and brown eyes. He was wearing a green top and a pair of jeans.”
“I saw a boy that looked like that,” the lady’s husband recalled. “He was with a magician right over there.”
He pointed to a spot right next to the wall of the red and white striped tent, but the spot was empty. The boy and the magician had disappeared.