One hell of a trick by Patrick G Moloney

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Another tale from that place beyond the shadows.

Submitted: March 08, 2017

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Submitted: March 08, 2017



When David his manservant brought the breakfast tray he snatched the morning paper from him before he could even place the tray on the table. David greeted him with a cheerful morning salute, however he was already leafing through the paper frantically. When he got to the entertainment section he gave a sigh of relief as he read the headlines, only now did he decided to acknowledge David's greeting with a surly grunt. His head was buried in the paper and he could not see how the other man reacted to his rudeness, a look of utter contempt spread across David's face and something dark flashed in his eyes. However his actions remained the epitome of professionalism as he placed the napkin on his bosses lap and poured the coffee. When he inquired if the man at the table required anything else, Aldo the Great dismissed him with a distracted wave of his hand. David left the room meekly, however his mind was in over drive and he could feel the rage rising to a crescendo inside. He hated his boss with a passion usually reserved for a lifelong enemy, even his stage name made David feel like puking. Aldo the Great sounded exactly how it was, pretentious, as far as David was concerned he was nothing more than a third rate trickster.

A third rate trickster who had gotten a very lucky break , it had been Aldo's partner who had been the real magician. A magician of rare talent, who had mastered many illusions that no one else could equal. Aldo or as he was known as back in those days Peter, was nothing more than another prop in the act. Everything that Aldo knew he had learned from his partner, it was his partner who blazed a trail across the country. He had brought respectability to the trade, what had once been merely a fairground attraction had become a main stream form of entertainment. Yes Rick was an entertainer of immense talent and a decent honourable man, unlike his assistant Aldo the cockroach. Like everything that that miserable man had, David was passed down from Rick. He would often lament the fact that he had ever agreed to come and work for this despicable individual, however two things had caused him to agree The first was a practical one, not many vacancies existed for a manservant these days. The second was far more complicated, he had a burning desire to know exactly what had happened to Rick. They had embarked on a European tour with their magic show, as luck would have it David had fallen ill and was unable to accompany them. When Peter returned there was no sign of Rick, apparently a dreadful accident had occurred. They had run into a freak storm on the voyage home, his employer and friend Rick had apparently been lost overboard.

Aldo read and re read the reviews of his last performance, good but not great, that nagging doubt in the back of his head was driving him insane. He was still selling out the shows in all the major theatres, he still had a weekly TV show. But that constant self doubt was eating away at him like a cancer, he had made a fatal error. He should have waited until he knew for certain where that book of magic was, before getting rid of Rick. Rick had kept a journal of any new illusions he came across, in this book were secrets know to very few in the trade. His book of magic Rick called it, he was always eluding to the fact that there were things in this book that no one alive had ever seen. That stormy night when he pushed Rick over the railings he was sure the book would be found in his belongings, turned out the slimy bastard must have had it on him when he went into the drink. Now Aldo was left with what would soon become a jaded repertoire, he was always attempting to freshen up the act. But no matter what new tricks he introduced they paled in comparison to Rick's illusions. So now he had taken to scouring all the small venues in the country looking for something to take him above the rest, a major part of David's remit these days was attending magic show and reporting back to Aldo. But jaded as they were Rick's old tricks were still far superior to anything he was yet to come across, hence Aldo's growing concern and paranoia.

David tossed and turned in a fitful sleep, his mind plagued by disturbing dreams that he could not fathom out. The only thing that was clear in the jumbled mess of visions was a small side street, he was walking down a small side street towards a club that had a strange neon sign above the door. Something was compelling him to go to this club, a disembodied voice repeated the same thing over and over in his head. It said "Here is where the only real magic is". David woke the following morning with a strange mixture of emotions, the dreams had been both disturbing and yet exhilarating. However try as he might he could not put any of it into any perspective. All that day he went about his work in an almost trance like state, even the great Aldo's usual rudeness did not sink in to his mind. Later that afternoon his boss arrived back in an even more agitated state than usual, he had heard someone at the gentleman's club droning on about an amazing new magician. Aldo was far too conceited to personally check out the opposition, so David found himself detailed to check out the new magician.

The taxi dropped David in an area of the city he was completely unfamiliar with, he followed the directions to the venue that was hosting the show. He started down the narrow side street when he suddenly had the strongest sense of Déjà Vu, it was when he saw the neon light above the club door he knew this was the club from his dream. Above the door a neon sign declared "The Hades club" complete with a fiery red trident. David far from being disturbed by this, was in fact suddenly excited. It was as if he had found something he had been searching for, a thing he had wanted for a very long time. The show was everything anyone could have hoped for and then some, David could not have been happier. When he got to go back stage and meet the magician he knew that he had finally gotten his wish. They spoke for a long time and even though most so called normal punters would have been overwhelmed, David instead felt a deep and satisfying justification. The magician confirmed something David had long suspected, a revelation that most people waited a lifetime to hear. There was nothing left now but to inform the great Aldo of his amazing find, David made his way home with a renewed vision of life.

Aldo looked ridicules in the disguise as they sat in the very back of the small club, he was petrified some of his fans would hear that he came to watch another performer. David could feel the anger growing in Aldo with each amazing new illusion the magician performed, Aldo's own show looked like a clumsy child's effort in comparison. David could hardly disguise his glee as his employer fidgeted in the seat beside him. Before the show was even finished he hissed at David that he wanted to talk to the performer. Back stage later they waited outside the dressing room, Aldo stood sullenly sulking like a spoiled child. The more upset Aldo became the more David had to struggle to hide his glee, the whole thing was working out far better than he dared to hope. When the door finally opened Aldo pushed David into the room ahead of him, hanging back like a frightened child. Inside the magician sat in the corner of the small room, his face shrouded in shadow. David stood stock still basking in the growing atmosphere of tension emanating from the fidgeting man standing behind him, eventually it all got too much for Aldo and he began to talk. He begrudgingly congratulated the magician on his performance, before lapsing back into a brooding silence. David could not have wished for a more entertaining situation, however he was now anxious for the main attraction to begin.

David now took the lead as planned, he made the agreed pitch on behalf of Aldo. He could feel the tension begin to leave his employer who had now moved forward to stand beside him. The magician remained silent as David outlined the offer from Aldo, he was to be paid handsomely for his secrets and as a deal closer he was promised a share of any future earnings. David struggled to keep a straight face as he outlined this particular clause of the offer, anyone who even slightly knew Aldo would be aware that this would never happen. Another prolonged period of silence followed David's pitch, the atmosphere in the room was charged. Eventually the magician spoke for the first time, a loud sigh of relief escaped Aldo's lips. " I will show you one feat of magic and one only, but it is one that has only been seen by a small handful of people throughout known history" The sharp intake of breath from Aldo sounded unnaturally loud in the small silent room, greed is an awful affliction David thought to himself . All rational thinking had been driven from Aldo's mind, in its place was nothing but absolute unadulterated greed.

Aldo stepped forward without hesitation, the expectation was now reaching boiling point and he had to concentrate to stop himself from running towards the cabinet. A small rational voice in his head pleaded with him to stop this farcical charade, who in their right mind could believe that this magician could transport another human into a different dimension. But he was too far gone in his greedy quest, he had to learn the secrets of this magician. When he had them then who knows maybe this magician might meet with an unfortunate accident, stranger things were know to happen. Aldo stepped into the narrow magician's cabinet adorned with strange symbols, he shifted his weight from foot to foot testing for the presence of a trap door below him. The magician got to his feet and for the first time since they had entered the room, he stepped from the shadows. Just as he was closing the door Aldo got a clear look at his face, then the door was closed and locked. A new emotion came flooding over Aldo, it was a mixture of fear and disbelief. It could not be him, Aldo had watched him sink beneath the ink black waves. Just at the point where his mind would break he felt himself being pulled backwards at enormous speed, this could not be right he felt as if he was traveling an enormous distance.

Aldo opened his eyes and quickly shut them again, this illusion was terrifying realistic even down to the indescribable stench of the place. Strange frightening sounds surrounded him, the noise of scuttling creatures reverberated in his head. Something horrible reached from the darkness and touched his cheek, the cold scaly thing sending a wave of nausea through him. " Enough, I have seen enough" he screamed, but he was far from any place where another human could hear his screams. When the things in the darkness began to work on him, he screamed louder than he ever thought humanly possible, but here in this dimension screams were like music to the ears of the creatures that inhabited this place. In another dimension David sat in Aldo's favorite chair, the book of magic open on his lap. It had suffered quite a bit of water damage but most of the script was still legible, he took another sip of Aldo's most expensive whisky and thought to himself. It was little wonder his former boss had coveted this book so badly. Inside were the most amazing magical tricks, he paused from his reading and mulled over another problem. In the end he thought " David the magnificent" was a fitting name for a master magician.


  • horror

© Copyright 2018 Patrick G Moloney. All rights reserved.

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