Bohemia Village Voice  Bohemia Village Voice

For bohemians everywhere

Ben Randall

Disappearing Magic

Astral Shane swung back the doors of the cabinet. His assistant, Miss Melinda Forever, had indeed unexplainably vanished from inside the glitter-covered box.
The audience clapped as the outcome they had all predicted had somehow become fantastically true. With a cheeky wink from the magician, the cabinet was shut again. There was a tickle from Shane’s diamante adorned piggy fingers and a crack from a slightly mis-timed pyrotechnic. The doors of the box opened once more, but it was still empty. Shane fidgeted for a moment in the silence then quickly closed the cabinet in the hope that when he opened it again, Miss Forever would this time reappear.
Unfortunately, Melinda Forever would not be ‘re-appearing’ as she was already on her way out of the stage door. Still wearing her false eyelashes and sequinned fascinator, she zipped up her cagoule to face the cold night air. Melinda had had enough. Seven years she had been with Astral Shane and his Mysterious Trips Into The Cosmos show.
‘Ha!’ she thought, ‘more like mysterious trips into the compost!’
Before magic, Melinda had been a dental nurse. That ended the day Shane had come in to the surgery to have his teeth whitened. He was mesmerized by her ability to hand the dentist his instruments. At last, he had found his new assistant, Melinda, was a ‘très naturelle’, as he’d put it. Soon she was sharing more than Shane’s bed of nails. It was a glittering romance of magic and eternal love – for a while anyway.
The veil of illusion started to thin the day Melinda took Shane to her parents’ house to have dinner with them. After the meal he insisted on clearing the table. Naturally, being a magician, he couldn’t resist but to remove the tablecloth first. The glasses were indeed left standing; it was just a shame about the bone china plates.
As time passed, it was the smaller things that he did that upset Melinda. For example, just for once on her birthday she wanted to be given a bunch of flowers that weren’t plastic and hadn’t been pulled out from up Shane’s shirtsleeve, or when it came to paying for the weekly shop, why did he always have to pretend to pull the money out of some giggling checkout girl’s ear?
However, it was the events on the day of the show that caused Miss Forever to vanish from Astral Shane’s cosmic world. As she loaded the rabbit into the top hat, old Snowball latched onto one of her fingers. She spun around the dressing room trying to fling the rabbit off. Shane began yanking on the rabbit’s hind legs to help. After an ugly fluffy tug-of-war, Snowball decided to unlock his jaws, sending the magician tumbling to the floor.
Melinda stared at her bleeding finger and then at the illusionist, who was sitting crumpled in the corner; with no apparent concern for his assistant, he was trying to soothe the rabbit after its ordeal. Unbeknown to Shane, in the fall, his quiffed hairpiece had flipped forward and his stick-on waxed moustache was now dribbling off the bottom of his chin. This wasn’t the magical man Melinda had fallen in love with.
As Miss Forever continued her decisive strides through the cold night, she wondered to where their love had disappeared. She knew all the secrets to Shane’s illusions and realised that this was the trick they had both missed. Maybe, it was better to hide some secrets to keep the magic alive.

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