She stands centre stage, alone, maroon curtains shut behind her. Nothing, but two pieces of the same maroon satin covers her. Expressionless, still, her hands held stiff to her sides… she could have been dead, but for the moving eyes, the slowly rise and fall of her chest and the beads of sweat slowly sliding down her mostly bare skin.
Staccato applause rings out from somewhere, echoing through the empty chairs of the vacant auditorium in front of her, and in a moment, she finds she can move. Yet the only movement she can make is to try and latch on to the maroon satin that billows from her body. But it isn’t enough. As she covers her modesty, she wonders what she has done to find herself in this impossible situation. Her otherwise petulant voice, always metallic in rebellion, now is rather subdued, as she feels his eyes on her naked body.
The magician had always been backstage. His devious eyes had watched as she, the one person in the audience who had not applauded, came backstage to scorn him, shout that his tricks were but dubious and any ten year old could do them without much practice. She always had that knack of getting into trouble, and as she walked back out to the stage area, to go back to her peaceful life back in the “real world”, he had decided to show her, his hidden tricks, as with a wave of his hand, she froze and her eyes drifted off into another world, as he proceeded to dress her as he wished.
As he inches toward her, she moves backward. She opens her mouth, only to find her voice now gone; another one of his “tricks”. She tries to dart away through the vacant aisles of the auditorium, only to find herself on her back, her hands stretched above her head by ropes that come from nowhere. She lies, still as she stood before, the satin now reappearing as it covers her eyes. She feels his lips, warm on her bare breasts, on the scar from childhood that ran between them, his fingers as they caress her, keeping her mind unawares. They move on her body, finding her most sensitive areas, vulnerable as she is. She feels as his body fuses with hers, gently at first, then hard, and her eyes, already in darkness, close to his movements.
She stands centre stage again, maroon curtains shut behind her, after he’s done with her; imagining a life of exile from her husband, her family… for this has surely put her life in ruins. She wonders if her once hard heart can now cry. She wishes she can scream out in protest as his lips lock onto hers. She feels his fingers hold hers close. She hears his fingers snap, and a feels a draft as suddenly she is clothed again, and her blindfold gone. She sees herself in a beautiful emerald dress, and stares into the audience to see him sitting there, in that same magician costume that he had on earlier.
She knew him. He’d never told her what he did for a living, but only to trust him. And she had, for she believed in their love. She hadn’t asked him since that day, but she knew now.
After eleven months, happily married, she could tell anyone who asked her, “My husband is The Magician”.
(’12. feb 06.) / (Sunday Whirl)