MAGIC FOR EVERYONE
Mark H. Newhouse
I’d never seen this store before? The sign above the shop said in large red letters, MAGIC FOR EVERYONE. I tried peering past the mirror sheen of the darkened windows when the door suddenly creaked open. Something invisible shoved me through the door and I heard the lock click behind me.
“Hello? Hello? Is anyone here?”
The wooden shelves were empty. Where were the magic tricks? “What kind of magic store is this?”
“Ha ha. Ho ho.”
Where was that coming from? “Is someone here?”
“Ha ha. Ho. Ho.”
“You think this is funny? Come out! Show yourself?”
“Happy to,” a voice said and instantly what looked like a black cat in a magician’s cape sprang out of a tall black hat floating in the air.
“You’re not going to use that on me? Are you?” I backed away when I saw a magic wand in the cat’s paw.
“Don’t be silly!” The cat said as he landed on the counter. “Come close. I don’t bite,” he laughed, a wild glint in his eyes.
“You’re a cat,” I said, staring at him perched on the counter top.
“Were you expecting a rabbit?” He laughed again and then looked serious. “And I think you want to purchase a magic trick?” the cat asked, wiping a white gloved paw on his whiskers.
“Y…yes,” I stammered, surprised a cat could know so much. “I want a magic wand to make everyone happy.”
“You don’t need a magic wand to do that.”
“Well I need something magical. Everyone seems so sad and gloomy lately.”
“Ha Ha,” the cat suddenly shouted and stared into my eyes. “Ha. Ha,” he repeated louder jumping up on his hind legs.
“What are you doing,” I asked, backing away from this crazy creature.
“HA HA HA HA! Repeat it after me,” he ordered, balancing on one foot.
“Ha, ha, ha, ha,” I repeated, thinking I was as crazy as the cat for listening.
“Good,” he said, leaning to the other side. “Now this time with feeling. Ha, ha, ho, ho, hee, hee!”
I repeated what he said thinking these were the strangest magic words I’d ever heard. “Ha, ha, ho, ho, hee, hee.”
He danced a jig. “Now repeat it five times without stopping.”
I didn’t want this strange cat with a magic wand that could do who-knows-what to flip-out, so I repeated his strange chant five times: “Ha, ha, ho, ho, hee, hee. Ha, ha, ho, ho, hee, hee. Ha, ha, ho, ho, hee, hee. Ha, ha, ho, ho, hee, hee. Ha, ha, ho, ho, hee, hee.” Before I knew it I couldn’t stop laughing. I was laughing so hard I thought my cheeks would explode.
The cat was laughing too. And the more he laughed, the more I laughed and then he laughed some more and so did I.
“Oh stop,” I finally gasped, my sides aching from laughter.
The cat pulled a giant handkerchief out of his hat and blew his nose into it. I watched in amazement as it turned into a white dove and flew up into the rafters.
“Can I do that? That’s real magic!”
The cat handed me a handkerchief. I blew my nose really, really, hard, but the hankie only got soaking wet. No bird. “You said the magic is for everyone,” I complained, the disgusting, soggy hankie in my hand.
“It is. I’ve taught you my best trick already.” The cat was balancing on the edge of the counter like a tightrope walker.
“But I still don’t know any magic,” I argued.
“Of course you do,” the cat said whirling around on the tip of his tail.
“I don’t understand.”
What is the magic trick that the boy learned? Use the contact form to send me the answer and you could win a free signed copy of THE STORY SHOP and CRITTER CAPERS in a random drawing on July 1. (5 winners) Meanwhile enjoy the Magic for Everyone and spread it around.