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I blame David Blaine

THE SQUIRREL

I didn’t know how far it would go. It started out as a sweet nut ride of fun. You know? Something to do. Something more interesting than taunting dogs, and sitting on the back of a bench, eavesdropping on bored workers.

He also seemed like a good guy. Young. Thin. Inoffensive.

“You want this?” he said, holding an almond up.

One month later, and I’m in his magic act. Performing for drunk crypto bros. Performing for squealing toddlers.

“Anyone can use a dumb rabbit,” he said. “But you… you and me, we’re different. Now stand on this block of ice.”

 

THE EX

Breaking up is hard. Breaking up with a David Blaine impersonator is harder. They love the pain too much. They love waiting in the rain… on your lawn…like a dripping statue. Until they turn to ice.

Or until your whole family think you’re a bitch for leaving them out there.

“Go take him a towel at least,” your mother says.

“Look how much he loves you,” your sister says, laying a hand over her heart.

You look out the window and you just see Eli. Stubborn and self-absorbed as always.

“No.”

This is your life, and it’s not an act.

 

THE ER GUY

“I slipped,” the young guy in the black hoodie says. He holds out his hand, like a child, for you to see, while he turns his own head away. There is a large needle stuck through the pad under his thumb. You take the guy’s wrist and rotate his hand so that you can see how far it’s gone through.

You nod. But he doesn’t see you nodding, because his eyes are closed now. His icy cool has long sailed away.

“Are you going to pull it out?” he says, through clenched teeth.

“Yep. I’ll work my magic,” you say.

 

THE BIRTHDAY BALLOON GUY

It used to be enough to twist a head bobbing sausage dog. A teddy bear, with cute ears. A balloon rabbit or two.

You could get a laugh by taking a sip of helium and singing a line from Happy Birthday, like an Alvin the Chipmunk pro.

But now. Now.

Now it has gone wild.

“Can you fly?”

“I’m a balloon guy.”

“With balloons.”

“No.”

“Just over the yard? Like while the kids are singing Happy Birthday.”

“No.”

“Oh.”

You want to strangle David Blaine, with one of your balloons. But shit, he can also hold his breath for forever.

Week 40

For week 40 I wanted to write 4 x 100 word stories.

I’ve recently watched a documentary about David Blaine’s ‘Ascension’ project, where he takes to the sky, powered by balloons.

I love David Blaine, and the way that he approaches the art, science, and magic of his work – whether that’s being encased in ice, balancing on a pillar 100 feet up, or using needles in his street magic.

I have a low pain tolerance, am not great with heights, and am pretty phobic about needles. So I sometimes have to watch through my fingers, but I  find him a fascinating and brilliant human.

I really do admire him, so it was fun to think about what characters might not be so keen, and why.

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