Mr. Moon waited in nervous anticipation in the wings as the horse riders finished their piece. Tonight, he was attempting a new illusion; one he had never attempted in a live performance before. He would not lie to himself; he was terrified it might go wrong.
The audience’s applause died out and the ring was left empty. Circus hands quickly made the changes, moving his props into the ring. Two circus hands began waving smoke from a fire out into the ring as he gave them the signal, and he swept into the ring through the cloudy smoke to raucous applause. Maria joined him, wearing a skin tight red performance piece. She looked breathtaking, and for a moment, Mr. Moon forgot about the act. Then he returned to his senses and made a sweeping bow to the crowd.
With a flourish of his robe, he produced a bouquet of flowers which he passed to a female in the front row of the audience. Her face flushed red. From one of the rigs, Bobo jumped down and landed on Mr. Moon’s shoulders, joining in on the act.
Mr. Moon called a volunteer up from the crowd- a woman with an incredibly large bag. He had her bow to the crowd, and then empty the contents of her bag onto a small table. Maria carried a box to the centre of the ring. Opening this, he showed the audience that it was empty. Bobo entered the box and Mr. Moon shut it with a padlock. He then had a circus hand bring on a white rabbit. He placed the rabbit in the woman’s empty bag and shut the clasp. Holding a hand over each, he uttered some words to make it more entertaining for the crowd, and then tapped each. He opened the locked box as Maria opened the bag. The rabbit came from the box, and Bobo from the bag. The audience, and the woman were amazed. They were on their feet, clapping enthusiastically. The circus folk, on the edge of the ring only gave a polite applause; they had seen this many times before. But they did not know what was coming.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, what you are about to witness is a feat I have never attempted in a live performance before. It involves incredible, real danger to Maria, and I ask that you all remain silent until I have finished”. The audience were on the edge of their seats. So, he noticed, were his circus kin. They were intrigued.
Two circus hands wheeled a large, rectangular box out into the centre of the ring. Maria and Mr. Moon moved over to it. He opened it, and she climbed in, flourishing her arms and swaying her body as she sank into it. He closed the lid, and wrapped two padlocks around it. Her head stuck through a hole on one end, her feet at the other. He heaved a sigh, Maria had to have complete faith in him, and he in her. If either made a mistake, it would result in her death. From behind the box, he produced a saw.
He placed one edge on the box, and glancing around to ensure no one was noisy, began to saw. He pushed the blade back and forth, back and forth, right the way through to the other side of the box. The audience and circus folk gasped collectively; they were under the impression he had just sawed through Maria’s legs. He moved the saw up on the box, and repeated the procedure to further gasps. Once done, he separated the three sections of the box. Everyone else believed Maria was dead, by his hand.
But then her feet wiggled from their box, and her head turned in its box. A woman in the audience- his volunteer from earlier, fainted and fell from her seat. He looked around and saw the shocked faces of his companions; each one believing he had just severed one of their own.
He moved the three parts back together again. He tapped each part, uttering quiet prayers, hoping he had not killed her. He grabbed the lid of the box, and heaved it up. Reaching in, he took Maria’s hand, and helped her get out. Together, they bowed as one, and the tent erupted into applause. Both the audience, and his circus companions were on their feet, cheering and screaming. A smile played across Mr. Moon’s lips and together, they left the centre ring.
Jerin, Dakota and Bartholomew all received them as they left and each sang their praises at pulling off such an epic feat. They were truly amazed. None could fathom how Mr. Moon had co-ordinated the trick, and he was not about to reveal it to them no matter how much they pleaded. Maintain the illusion. Never reveal the workings of the magic to those who do not practise.
Mr. Moon and Maria shared a hug, their bodies pressing off each other.
“Thank you for not keeling me, Matthias”, she whispered.
“I wouldn’t dream of killing you, Maria”.
Bobo launched himself at the pair then, screeching again. They both laughed and turned their attention back toward the centre ring.