I was contacted recently by a person who would like to remain anonymous.
He had come to one of my shows and it had reminded him of a story his father had told him as a kid. After my show he asked his father about the story, and the following is what he wrote down for me.
I must admit, the similarities are eerie. I would love to hear the opinions of the readers of this fantastic tale.
It feels like a lifetime ago when I first saw him. I was seven or eight years old. My parents took me and one of my friends to a magic show. The excitement elevated in the small lobby as we waited to enter the theater. My friend and I had never seen magic before and imagined the most fantastic ideas. “I hope he makes someone disappear.” My friend said. “I hope he teleports to another room.” I said. The whole audience echoed with quiet whispers. No one knew what to expect. The lights dimmed. Music played and a voice over told us to get ready for the amazing master of illusion, Lefty. I remember thinking he had a strange name for a magician. I don’t remember him being left handed. Lights illuminated the stage and beautiful women danced in the most beautiful costumes. The audience vocalized their amazement. Then I saw the most interesting and memorable beard and mustache on a face I can never forget. “I bet that’s Lefty.” My friend said. He appeared friendly and polite and looked happy to be in front of an audience. He spoke of traveling the world, seeing incredible things, and practicing the mystic arts for a very long time.
I wondered if he would ask someone to join him on stage. As if he had heard my thought, he asked for a volunteer from the audience. My friend and I raised our hands hoping Lefty would ignore the dozens of hands in the first several rows ahead of us. He chose a hand close to the front row. A young girl around my age wearing a pretty, light blue dress climbed the stairs. “Hello, my name is Lefty. Thank you for volunteering. What’s your name?”
“Stephanie.” “Okay, Stephanie. You’re going to help me with a couple tricks. You’ll be my assistant. "Okay?” “Okay.” “First, I will have you hold a few things. Things like this. This is a magic wand. Some magic is too powerful for magicians, so we store it in things like this magic wand, then we use is to perform amazing things. You can hold this while I get a couple other things.” He placed the wand in her hand, and it fell limp like a noodle. The audience laughed but Stephanie looked confused and embarrassed. “What did you do?” Lefty said. Lefty took the noodle wand and straightened it with his hand. He gestured with it a couple times and pointed at a few things. It remained stiff and solid as before. “Okay, be careful with it this time.” He said. He handed it to her and turned away. It fell limp again. The audience laughed. “Oh no! I broke it again.” Stephanie said. The audience laughed louder. At the time, I didn’t know why everyone laughed. He threw the limp wand away and moved to the next trick; a card trick. He had Stephanie pick a card and put it back into the deck. He attempted to find her card with no luck, then asked her to check her dress pocket. I remember wondering why more dresses didn’t have pockets. The pocket held her card and everyone applauded. “Let’s give a hand for Stephanie. She was great. Thank you again, Stephanie. You can join your parents.” Lefty said.
The evening continued with thrilling magic. He even pulled a volunteer’s card out of his mouth to their amazement causing the audience to gasp the only time during the show. Afterwards, Lefty met people from the audience. My friend and I wanted to see him, but my parents didn’t want to wait in the crowd. After that, I checked the papers every day to see if he came back to our city. He never came. Many years passed. I had children of my own and they had children who later had children. I saw an advertisement for a magic show. I told the family and we took the grandchildren and great grandchildren. I saw the same excitement in my great grandchildren I once had. The whole audience echoed with quiet whispers. The lights dimmed hushing everyone. Music played and a voice over told us to get ready for the amazing master of illusion, Lefty. Everyone cheered while I sat dumbfounded. It couldn’t be the same magician. I knew the beard and mustache as soon as he walked on stage. It was him. But how? He had not aged a day in 75 years. “I’ve been traveling the world, seeing incredible things, and practicing the mystic arts for a very long time. The same mystic arts that help me stay pretty.” He said. He performed many of the same tricks I saw all those years ago and a few I had not seen. I didn’t know what to believe. I had to see him after the show. My family didn’t want to wait in the crowd, so I told them to leave. Many people confessed their admiration for him. While I waited my turn, I saw a woman near my age waiting. I wondered if she remembered him from before. I didn’t want to sound crazy. “I remember seeing a magician just like him when I was a boy.” I said.
“I saw him as a little girl. I even got to go on stage for a limp wand trick. I feel silly saying this, but he looks just like that man from before. He must be a grandson or something, but I have to see him up close.” “I was in the audience when you went on stage. You’re not silly. I think it looks like him too.” “We’ll find out together.” We were the last two. Everyone else wandered out of the theater. We approached him and he greeted us with a friendly smile. “Hello, Stephanie. It’s nice to see you again.”