The Disappearing Act (conclusion)

April 10, 2010

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If you haven’t read the first part of the story, you’ll definitely want to read it first (it’s here).


Miranda paced back and forth and the stage and wrung her hands, obviously unsure of what to do next. Finally, she spoke again.

“Well, folks, I guess the show must go on. The next part of the act calls for me to push the box back together and have Sarah pop out of he box unharmed. I’m afraid it is too late for Sarah, but we can at least honor her memory by finishing the trick.”

Miranda moved slowly toward the two halves of the box. She pushed them together and halfheartedly uttered some magic words. She barely glanced at the box as she opened the door.

Miranda had already turned her back to the box and was walking toward the front of the stage when, to the amazement of everyone in the theater, Sarah popped out of the box and onto the stage. The crowd went absolutely wild – Miranda and Sarah received several curtain calls before finally retreating backstage.

After the crowd had left for the evening, there was a meeting in a back room at the Riverview Theatre. In attendance were Marcus, Miranda, and the three male members of the entourage.

Marcus immediately tried to take control of the meeting.

“I don’t know what you’re trying to prove with your stunt tonight – “ he began.

“Oh, shut up,” responded Miranda. “You don’t call the shots any more. I’m in charge.”

“How do you come to that illogical conclusion?”

“I’ve put up with a lot from you over the years. The verbal abuse, the condescension, and now the affair. You have no friends in this room. It’s the end of the line for you.”

Marcus laughed. “The end of the line? What are you going to do – kill me?”

“Oh, even better than that,” replied Miranda. “I know how fascinated you are with the Amazon. I’ve decided to give you the gift of a long vacation there.”

Marcus was now ever more confused. “And this is some sort of punishment?”

“It’s a rather remote spot. In fact, it’s my belief that this area has never experienced human contact.”

Marcus was still a bit slow to understand.

Miranda explained further. “Did I mention that this is a trip for two? We’re going to drop you and your mistress into the middle of the rainforest. If you and Sarah ever want to see other human beings, you’d be well advised to start breeding like those stupid rabbits you use in your tricks. Maybe you can start an entire race of sub humans.”

The next day, a plane flew over the Amazon and pushed Marcus and Sarah out the door. Their parachutes slowed their descent until finally they disappeared below the canopy of the rain forest and were never heard from again.

Weeks later, Marcus’ PR firm sent out a press release informing the media that Marcus the Magnificent would be taking a long sabbatical to re-discover himself. In the interim, his wife would be taking over his show. The media and the public had become jaded to Marcus’ antics over the years, and this news was barely a blip on the radar.

Thousands of miles away, one of the greatest magicians in the world was failing at some of the most basic tasks of a hunter and gatherer. The raw meat made him nauseous, but he had not yet mastered the ancient art of creating fire.


If you noticed the theme of scorned women taking revenge carrying over from last week’s story, The Proxy, don’t worry – it’s not the sole theme of my stories.  The two stories simply originated from the same brainstorming session.

The Disappearing Act

April 9, 2010

- See all 763 of my articles


Editor’s note: I’d like to welcome all my friends from Man Vs. Debt to The Soap Boxers.  Sit down in a comfy chair, kick off your shoes, and enjoy today’s story.


The third rabbit hopped out of the hat, looked around for a moment, and then quickly joined his friends. The three rabbits hopped off the stage, into the hands of the assistants.

“Those suckers multiply faster than a math teacher,” boomed the voice from the middle of the stage. The large crowd responded to the bad joke with a combination of laughter and good-natured boos.

Marcus the Magnificent was on his game on this hot August night. He was playing at the Fairview Theatre – his normal venue. The massive theatre was filled to the rafters with adoring fans.

The master showman guided the crowd through his act, starting with small tricks and gradually building to two big illusions at the end of the evening.

As the evening came to a close, Marcus called his assistant, Miranda, to the stage. He had Miranda step into a box, closed the door, and told the audience that he would make the women vanish.

“Look now – the lovely Miss Miranda has completely disappeared!” With that, Marcus yanked on the door of the box. To his surprise, he was greeted by an enormous plume of smoke, and then he felt himself falling. This was most certainly not a part of the act.

When the smoke disappeared, Miss Miranda was standing on the stage, but the magician was nowhere to be seen. The crowd was puzzled at this turn of events.

Miss Miranda quickly took the reins. She stepped back toward the box and peered inside.

“Marcus?” she called. “Marcus? Where have you gone?”

Miranda turned back to the crowd. “I’m afraid that Marcus the Magnificent must have used the wrong magic words – as he himself has disappeared! Perhaps we should continue with the act and try to make him reappear.”

The crowd murmured as Miranda closed the door of the box.

“Great magic box, I command you – bring Marcus back to us!” There was another plume of smoke. A moment later, Miranda yanked open the door to the box.

“Marcus, step forth!” she shouted.

But Marcus did not step forth. Miranda was still alone on the stage.

“I apologize for the inconvenience, folks. This has never happened before. I’m really not sure where to go from here. Should I send you home for the night – or do you want to stay and watch me perform a few tricks I have learned from Marcus?”

“Stay, stay, stay!” shouted the crowd.

“OK, OK,” she acquiesced. “The show must go on! I’m afraid I’m not very familiar with the schedule for tonight’s show. Johnny, can you bring me Marcus’ notes for this performance?”

Marcus’ assistant Johnny crossed the stage and handed several sheets of paper to Miranda. She took a moment to glance through the itinerary for the evening. She pondered aloud, allowing the crowd to hear her thoughts.

“Boring, boring, too hard for me, boring, stupid rabbit trick … ah, here we go. This is a trick I can perform.”

Miranda strode to the center of the stage.

“Ladies and gentleman, the next trick has amazed and astounded crowds for decades. In front of your very eyes tonight, I will saw a woman in half.”

As the crowed focused on Miranda and waited for her to perform the best illusion of the entire evening, Marcus the Magnificent began to regain his consciousness. To his great surprised, he found himself bound, gagged, and in the captivity of three rather mean looking men.

Miranda finished sawing through the box and pushed the two halves of the box away from her. The crowd could clearly see the woman’s head sticking out of the top half of the box and her feet sticking out the bottom half of the box.

The crowd gasped when the spotlight focused on a small pool of blood on the stage.

“Oh dear,” cried out Miranda. “I’m afraid this is the first time I have tried this trick with an actual person. Perhaps I should have practiced it first.”


How will this story turn out?  Come back tomorrow to read the conclusion!  (Or just subscribe via RSS or email to catch all future editions of The Soap Boxers)