Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Chuck Wendig flash fiction challenge - three things

This week is easy enough:
Roll randomly on the three tables below, and you will select three things that must be contained within your story. A story that will be 1000 words long, posted at your online space, and linked back here by next Friday, noon, EST.
That’s it. Easy.
Use a die or a random number generator for the tables.
TABLE 1
  1. A spider
  2. A pocketwatch
  3. Betrayal
  4. A murder
  5. A journal
  6. Poison
  7. A strange bird
  8. A talisman
  9. A library
  10. A sword

1.  

TABLE 2
  1. An assassin
  2. A lost comic book
  3. A found dog
  4. True love
  5. The end of the world
  6. Survival
  7. A divorce
  8. A shopping mall
  9. Public drunkenness
  10. A vampire

TABLE 3
  1. War
  2. A magician
  3. A bomb
  4. A horse
  5. Resurrection
  6. A cave
  7. A forbidden tryst
  8. A gateway
  9. A shoebox full of photographs
  10. A prison

1.
I rolled 7,1,2 and here's my attempt. It is too late for the challenge... oopsies
*****
It was the show that everyone wanted to see. The Great Magnifico the magician. Magic shows were all the rage at the turn of the century. As 1900 ticked past into a new century, Sydney was a city with places to go and a burgeoning reputation to go with it.
The newly rich, courtesy of the goldfields, crowded into theatres in their best dressed to see all the new shows.
There was enough talk of this new fangled science stuff, but people still liked to see a bit of magic; be wowed by a bit of dramatic performance. A bit of razzle dazzle.
And they queued up for the Great Magnifico.
The crowd watched as things disappeared and reappeared with a wave of his wand, a flourish of fingers, or a magic word and a drape of fabric.
Tonight’s performance was marred as a woman close to the front stood up. The people behind her shouted at her to sit down. When she pulled out a gun they fell quiet.
She pointed it at the magician.
The crowd was confused; was this part of the show? A few people clapped nervously but she shouted at them and waved the gun around before targeting the magician again.
He said something to her that only the first few rows could hear. Police questioned them later and it seemed that he had said, “Oh, Alexandra. No.” Or perhaps it had been, “No, Alexandra.”
He was in the middle of the disappearing canary trick. He had already placed the tiny bird inside the little cage and he was about to throw the cloth over it and make it, and the cage disappear. It chirped happily at the delay, as the magician appealed to his assassin.
He waved at the cage and asked, “May I finish?”
Her voice shook, “The last of your tricks?” she asked. It sounded like an accusation.
The crowd held its breath.
He said the magic incantation and everyone felt that it was somehow different. An usher who had seen the show several times before said that the words were different and that he usually slapped his hand on top of the cage and it vanished, but this time the box under the fabric grew larger.
The Great Magnifico yanked away the fabric with a flourish that threw his arm and the scarf towards the assassin. An enormous bird of prey rocketed towards her. It screeched at her and she screamed, the gun fired, the audience shouted and all the house lights dimmed.
When they came back on, the woman stood looking utterly confused; Magnifico and the bird were gone. The stage was empty.
The audience applauded until someone shouted that a man was hurt and to call the police. Then the crowd understood that she had shot him and that she was not part of the show.
The police arrived before any real harm was done to her but she did have a scratch on her arm. She told them it was the bird. She thought it was an eagle. He didn’t believe her.
The theatre owner packed up the rest of the magician’s gear and locked it in his storage room. A few days later when the police asked to see it, he unlocked the room for them to find it empty.
He shrugged. “It’s magic,” he said.
The policeman rolled his eyes.