“Is the trick being lamer than humanly possible?” asked my little brother while we watched a magician pull a never-ending scarf from his wrist. My brother Eli was only 10 but even he had seen that one before.
“Stop it,” I muttered.
“I’m just saying, if that’s what he’s trying to pull off, I’m impressed.” Some of his friends laughed at him and the magician took a little bow. I found him online. He went to a different high school and was an amateur; everyone had to start somewhere.
He pulled a quarter from behind someone in the front row’s ear. I hid a laugh when the magician frowned after the kid took the quarter and wouldn’t give it back.
“You wanted a magician for your birthday,” I reminded him. I wasn’t sure why I’d been the one tasked with handling his party. Mom said something about being a good big brother. Dad said something about proving I was responsible if I wanted a car. I think they just didn’t want to do it themselves. Eli was a tough critic.
“I wanted the guy I saw on TV,” he complained.
“Sorry we couldn’t book Criss Angel,” I muttered sarcastically. My parents hadn’t given me much of party budget. My present to my little brother was trying to pretend like this was quality entertainment.
“Or someone like him.” He looked at the spectacle in front of him with open disgust. “Not this.”
It wasn’t the magician’s fault he was an only child. Or at least his siblings weren’t the right age otherwise he would know that this 10-year-old crowd was too old for the bendy magic wand gimmick. Still, the magician had a smile that never wavered when met with this tough crowd. He also had curly dark hair, rich brown skin, and vibrant eyes. I don’t know. I kind of like him.
Wow. Did he have an actual rabbit for a pet or did he buy a rabbit for his act? Okay, he was a little cliché. That wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. If he was cliché, maybe he’d get me flowers and candies.
The rabbit was smart. The girls at least perked up when the adorable white bunny appeared from the top hat. Eli wasn’t swayed. “It would be better if he pulled that rabbit out of his-“
“Hey now,” I interrupted.
“I need a volunteer for this next trick,” the magician said. “How about the birthday boy?”
“My brother volunteers as tribute,” Eli said quickly.
The magician looked at me and butterflies appeared in my stomach. See, he was good.
I moved to the front and was instructed to pick a card. “Tough crowd,” the guy whispered to me.
“You’re doing great,” I encouraged.
He smiled shyly. “Maybe you could help me practice later.”
Our hands brushed as he took my card and inserted it back into the deck. Electricity. The trick hasn’t stared yet, but I’m already astonished.