Weekend Quickie #224

Weekend Quickie #224

Saturday, March 25, 2017

One Image, One Prompt, One Emotion

200 Words

Prestidigitation

Zemblanity

5 thoughts on “Weekend Quickie #224

  1. “I am here to give you magic, I am here to give you prestidigitation!” smiled the conman through the microphone in the rally as he played with a pack of cards.
    “What is he giving?” asked Audrey. She turned her hearing aid up a little to catch the reply from her husband, Bob. The cheers of the crowd almost deafened her.
    “I think he said precipitation, dear. It’s a good thing, what with the crops dying and all. There ain’t been no rain for months now,” said Bob, waving his flag.
    “Oh good.”
    “It will be better, cheaper, 100% prestidigitation! What you had before, it was bad, so bad! Now you’re going to have it good, so good! And now! Immediately! I will give it to you immediately!” screamed the conman. The crowd went wild and Audrey turned her hearing aid off. She clapped along with the rest of them. They all looked so happy, so ready for what was to come…
    …and that was 65 days ago. Looking through the REAL news, Audrey shook her head. Even Bob was forlorn. Sitting in the living room, yet another killing headline hit the screen, leaving her with a sense of zemblanity.

  2. Lili-Nichole. (200 words)

    It is Lili-Nichol, my niece’s 14th birthday.
    We, the family members, have been summoned to Zenellie’s burger joint by the matriarch.

    I sneak out the back for a quick smoke. Lili-Nichole is puffing away, swearing into her ‘phone.
    “I can’t f***king help it, she thinks I’m still a f***king kid. I’ll call you. Laters”.
    “What” Lili shrugs, staring. “What the f**k”.
    I light my cigarette. I shrug back “Whatever”.

    I see the proverbial hitting the fan; it is a knack I have, predicting inevitable calamities.
    Mother wanting to give her ‘Little girl’ a birthday treat.
    ‘Little Girl’ wanting to be with her beau, smoking weed, drinking beer, doing all the immature childish crap which seems so adult, at the time.

    It does not take a genius to see how today will end. But right now, I am the only one who could see that, because I am blessed with zemblanity.

    I also benefit being the ‘strange’ Uncle. The quiet one. The weird one.
    I can change the future.

    Something I prove as I bundle Lili into my van, the one with the Joker emblazoned on the side.

    It is an act of pure prestidigitation, preformed for my own, personal pleasure.

    Paul😊

  3. The Joker

    People gathered around the accident scene and gawked at the man lying in the street. The victim of a hit and run, Jack stared back at the on-lookers in silence. “This was’t the way it was supposed to end,” he thought as he winced from the pain.

    One of the by-standers stepped in. “That’s Jack Magic, the magician.” he said as he pointed his finger in Jack’s face. “You son of a bitch! You tricked me … cheated me. You’re a liar and a cheat!” A lady standing nearby stepped forward as well. “Yes, that’s him alright. That’s the man who stole my credit card with his slight of hand.” and she too pointed her finger at Jack. Several others standing around voiced similar claims as they also stepped in to make their accusations.

    Struggling to breath, Jack recognized every one he had cheated. The truth weighed heavily on his heart. His whole life had been rooted in deception and trickery. He wasn’t just a prestidigious performer, he was a thief and a swindler. Overwhelmed with grief over the ugliness in the very core of his being, Jack stretched out his hand, produced a card out of thin air, and died.

  4. Dead Man’s Hand

    I sat across the table from him… or should I say it? Thumbing my cards I glanced to the hulking abomination opposite me. I exhaled, steeling my nerves and trying to rid my nostrils of the beast’s dank odor… a mixture of carrion and rain-soaked dog.

    The dealer’s cadaverous hands looming from the shadows shuffled, squared and then cut the deck of cards with a flourish. The final hand dealt with an impressive display of prestidigitation.

    Cards in hand, I considered my spread, a straight run from the ten to the ace of spades; a royal flush.
    Good luck tempered with zemblanity reduced my smile to a grimace as my jaw tightened.

    I played my hand, and the creature’s tinged eyes racing in disbelief and flashing savage intent. His ears twitched up, nostrils flaring as he snarled and his lips peeled back over jagged fangs. The monster lunged, hurling itself forward, hideous jaws gaping.

    My six-gun exploded in vicious response, sending a volley of silvered bullets ripping through the lycanthrope’s chest! The beast’s attack was instantly cut short, I stumbled backward as it went crashing into the table reducing it to jagged debris.

    Final howl eclipsed, the beast lay impaled and motionless, reverting to a spent human form in a pool of crimson that slowly spread out beneath him. Sliding my gun into its holster I ground the heel of my boot down on his card hand; the lifeless fingers releasing two black aces, two black eights, and a hole card into the blood… dead man’s hand.

  5. The magician worked the crowd outside his shop inside Caesar’s Palace. His target was an old, arrogant, bearded fifty-year-old.
    The magician flashed a deck of cards, shuffling them in mid-air.
    “So, where you from?”
    “Hudson Falls, New York.”
    The magician danced around the man again, who was so insensitive he didn’t feel his belt buckle coming undone.
    “Never heard of it.”
    The crowd snickered.
    “Okay, this is a simple trick, you should be able to figure it out easy enough. Just pay attention to my hands and stop me when you think you see how I did it.”
    The old grump grinned.
    “Pick a card, any card.”
    The end of the belt had cleared most of the belt loops, hanging where everyone could see, if they did not focus on the cards. The magician pocketed the man’s wallet.
    The man withdrew a card. The magician shuffled the cards again.
    “Please put your card back in.”
    The man did. The belt was gone and the button holding his pants up was undone, the fly completely down.
    The magician turned the deck face up, showing everyone the entire deck, pointing at a card.
    “Now, wiggle your hips, and tell me if this is your card.”
    The pants fell, the old man was commando. His wife shrieked.

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