The hay covering the showground was damp from the night before, but still smelt like poo. I trudged across it, carrying my step stool and box of tricks. The purple cape that Mum made was already tied around my neck and billowing out in the morning breeze. Today, I would show everyone what I was made of. Today, I would amaze them with my magnificence!
Mr Corky from across the road had said I could have a spot at the town fair today, AND he wasn’t going to charge me any of my pocket money. I was amazed at that. Maybe my magic really is powerful.
I put my step stool down between the Fairy Floss stand and the one where you could win toys by knocking stuff over. My box sat on a good pile of hay as I pulled it open. I had spent all last night cutting out silver stars and now I had to stick each one onto my stool with sticky tape.
‘Come oooonnn.’ I mumbled, as another piece of tape wrapped around my fingers. I waved my hand about but it wouldn’t come off. I sighed and knew I would have to wait for Mum to come by later to take that piece off for me.
My box had everything I needed and I had practiced and practiced all of yesterday so I knew exactly how to do every amazing trick. The only other thing I needed to pull out was the bowl I stole from the kitchen. I put the bowl on the ground in front of my stool and sticky-taped a sign to it which read, ‘MoNEy’. Standing back, I liked the look of it.
I threw the sticky tape into the box and closed it up tight. No one was allowed to see in, and I wanted to buy fairy floss before the show opened.
‘Come one, come all, to see the Amazing, the Magnificent, Toby Wizard! Watch as I make this card disappear.’
I went through the practiced movements, careful not to go too slow at the important parts. The card was safely tucked up my sleeve but I don’t think anyone noticed me put it there. In fact, I’m not sure anyone saw the trick at all! The crowd wandered by, some glancing my way, but they didn’t even slow down! But I knew what to do, my most amazing trick ever.
I dug down to the bottom of my box and pulled out my prop. I screwed up my face when I saw it had been squished and spent a bit of time making the paper towel roll go back to its normal shape. It had to be round.
‘Come one, come all to see the Magic Tube! OOOOoooooooo! I will pull an object from this empty tube. Come and test it for yourself, make sure there is nothing inside.’
The people kept walking past. The only person looking at me was a little kid holding her Mum’s hand.
‘Do you want to make sure the tube is empty?’ I asked, looking right at her. She just hid behind her Mum’s skirt.
‘As you are all satisfied that the tube is empty, I will now perform my magic. ABRA KAZOOODALY!’
And poof! Out came a purple scarf. I waved it around and the little girl screamed and stepped away from her Mum’s skirt. Now, I had an audience.
‘Do you think I can pull anything else from the Magic Tube?’
The little kid shook her head, holding her pig-tails.
‘ABRA KAZOOODALY!’ I yelled, and pulled another scarf from the tube. The girl giggled loud enough this time to make her Mum turn around and some other kids to look at me.
‘Now for the most amazing thing ever! I will need your help with this one. I’m going to make a ribbon come out of the tube, but I will need you to grab the ribbon and walk away with it to make it all come out. Can you do that?’
The little girl nodded and came closer.
And the end of a red ribbon came out. The girl squealed again and looked at her Mum before coming closer to grab the ribbon. I had to bend down cause I was so much taller than her while on my stool, but she held the ribbon between one tiny finger and a thumb and started walking backwards. The ribbon was long enough to go all the way across to the stalls on the other side of the walkway. I made sure it was. Cause then, everyone had to stop walking and watch my magic trick.
‘Behold, the Amazing, the Magnificent, Toby Wizard and his Magic Tube!’ I yelled to the crowd, before doing several bows in different directions. Lots of people clapped so I gestured to my money bowl. A few came up to give me money, including the little girl. When she came up, I pulled my hat off and bowed deeply.
‘Thank you for your help little one.’
She giggled and dropped the money before running off to hold her Mum’s hand.
The show started to slow down in the afternoon, and I was tired. I had worked hard all day but there was $8.35 in my money bowl. Amazing. I packed up my box and picked it and the stool up to walk home. It seemed so far away and I wish I knew the spell to make boxes lighter.
When I arrived home, I went straight to my room to put down my magic tricks and hide my new money. Then Mum called me in for dinner.
Sausages, mash potato and peas. Yuk. I wish I knew the spell to make dinner a pile of magnificent food. Guess I am back to the mundane. But I still smiled, because I know then whenever I want to, I can be the Amazing, the Magnificent Toby Wizard!
This piece received an Honourable Mention in the 2014 ‘Time to Write’ short story competition run by NMIT’s Bachelor of Writing and Publishing sector.