You will know them by their calloused fingers, their nimble fingers. By their appetite for angles. Their unremarkable features and slight slouches. You will know them, if you will ever know them, by their hunger for wonder (look how this one sips on your astonishment).
These unhappy hunters of mystery with their queer seven of clubs, their three of diamonds, their hats and coins, handkerchiefs and gloves, their aces and sleeves.
Those children who had to give up their castles and return their keys. Who had to hide their awe like they had to hide their burgeoning erections. Who have now come to reclaim it all with their silent rebellion against the possible. They are coming for you.
—William Jones, 2015
A TRICK YOU CAN DO
The Pernicious Card!
Effect: The spectator is asked to choose a card, which is shuffled in with the others. The magician taps the back of the deck with his magic wand, and when the deck is examined, the card cannot be found. Several days will pass (or not) before the spectator suddenly finds the card in his billfold. He will be astonished. Later that night, he will find another copy of the card tucked into his pillbox, folded into fourths. When he wakes coughing during the night, he will find a copy tucked under his tongue. Next, in the morning, in the center of his bagel. He will call the magician and beg her to end the trick, but, as the magician will explain, the situation is out of her hands. When the spectator finally goes blind, a card will be found creased and folded into that space behind his eye.
Materials: You will need: a deck of cards, several copies of one card, a magic wand, a spectator, and a sweater.
Method: You must hunt them. Lie in bed with them, sleep close to them. It is fair to join them for breakfast or to engage them in conversation. However, lest they begin to notice you, you must be careful with your own warmth. To this end, I suggest that you wear a sweater so that you may creep close enough to press against their dreams, yet never let slip your own heat. The trick lies in the waiting. They will begin to unfold, and then you must take your card and place it gently into their cracks and hesitancies.
Eggs (Trick). There are so many trick eggs. A partial list could include eggs from which full-grown pigeons emerge; hollow eggs with silks hidden inside; eggs so heavy two men are needed to lift them; eggs so light they float an inch over the table; unbreakable eggs; eggs that can wobble and walk on their own; eggs that, when broken, scream.
History of Magic, The. A subject that, until the printing of this book, was in shambles despite the attempts of various minor authors.
Larson, Fredrick “the Great” (1950–2015). Fred died a few weeks ago when he filled his room with helium and lit a cigar. Not much was lost: a dollhouse, a few props, and one son of a bitch. He worked children’s parties where his tricks never quite went off (because he drank almost as much as he smoked). Good old Fred could not be trusted with money or your wife. You should sleep better knowing the bastard’s in hell.