Come inside. Come see my show. I am the igniter of flames and deliverer of souls. I will play your mind and win its bet and show you how the illusions are met. Are you an illusion? One will find out, the other will stay and live in their doubt. I am Holden Dexter, The Illusionist.
It was meant to be a fun night at the circus for Keelie and her friends. They were graduating soon and this was part of their yearly tradition. Never in her wildest mind did Keelie think that the Illusionist tent at the edge of the woods was anything to fear. After all, the circus was supposed to be fun, right?
By the end of the circus show, the girls were exhausted from
laughter and the boys were ready to move on. Carver’s mood had gotten a little
brighter, but not enough to improve the night’s now ruined plans. Keelie wanted
to see the illusionist badly but the others wanted to check out the new Fat
“Fine,” she said finally. “I’ll go check his show out and you
go see the fat lady.” She left them all and walked off. She wasn’t mad at them,
but she was a little disappointed. Especially with Graham, he knew how much she
loved that sort of stuff. Sitting and making fun of an overweight lady wasn’t
fun to her.
“Hey Keelie, wait up,” Carver called to her. “I want to go
see the magician with you.”
“Really?” She was happy he was coming and all, but he didn’t
seem like the type to like a show like this. Especially after what he was going
“Yeah, why not.” He smiled.
They walked across the grounds and looked for the tent. They
finally spotted it in the far corner and made their way to it. Once they got
close enough they noticed it was surrounded by an odd fog, that only lurked
around the tent. Keelie got goose bumps across her arms and Carver pulled his
coat tighter. It wasn’t that cold outside but for some reason they both felt a
chill. No one stood outside to accept tickets nor was there anyone waiting for
the show. They were the only two people there.
“Maybe we missed it,” Keelie suggested.
“It says the show starts in ten minutes. Maybe we are just
early, that’s all.”
Keelie shrugged and got closer to the entrance hoping to
sneak a peek inside. But as she got closer she noticed a sign in front: “What
is the real illusion? Come inside to find the answer.”
It was alluring that was sure, but by the looks of the tent
it screamed darkness. Sure, she had seen the people on T.V. who did daring acts
that would scare her. But this wasn’t a freak show, it was a family circus in
the suburbs. This only made Keelie want a look inside even more. She got closer
and closer to the opening. Her breath catching in her throat as she touched the
velvet rope holding the curtains closed.
“Stop!” Carver shouted.
She turned to a frightened Carver, and retorted “I only want
to peek inside Carver, calm down.”
When she turned back around a woman stood in front of her
holding a burning cigarette in her hands ever so delicately. She looked like
she had come from another time and place. Her hair was glossy black and pulled
up on the sides by clips with black roses on them.
“Oh, sorry, nice costume,” Keelie said nervously.
“It is not a costume. Boy, aren’t you pretty! What are you
doing here?” the woman asked as she took a drag of the cigarette.
“I came for the show,” Keelie answered with a laugh. What
else would she be doing here?
“And you, boy, you came for the show too?” she asked Carver.
He nodded and his mouth fell open when the woman smiled and winked at him. She
was beautiful, in a gothic sort of way. Keelie eyed her suspiciously. There was
something strange about her for sure. And maybe a little familiar, too.
“Once you enter, there is no going back the way you once
came. I need to make that clear,” the woman said as smoke came out of her
Keelie laughed nervously. Was this was a trick to scare them?
She wasn’t some little kid entering a haunted hayride. She knew there was an
exit, just like there are ways out everywhere. It was dark and eerie outside.
She hoped this was just part of the act. It wasn’t what she was expecting, that
was for sure.
“Do you understand?” the woman asked again.
They both nodded and the velvet rope fell to the ground while
the curtain opened. Keelie strolled in with Carver right behind her. Once she
saw the stage in front of her, she was shocked. The inside was almost as big as
the circus show tent. The stage in front of her was lit dimly by a small light
in the center.
The gothic woman circled them a few times, looking them over.
Carver stood tall while Keelie shrunk in her nervousness. There was something
about this whole place that didn’t feel right. The air was thick and heavy, and
the feeling wasn’t welcoming at all. But still, she remained here. She didn’t
want to leave, her curiosity winning.
“You know, maybe we can come back for another show. I think
we need to find our friends,” Carver suggested as he grabbed Keelie’s arm.