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Kurt Yalcin

Coordinator @ Skillshare

14

2

The Magician

He walked into town without much, but what he brought was worth noting. In his right hand he carried a wooden stick, a wand of sorts, about a foot long. In his left hand he carried one of those foldable plastic tables. On his head he wore a large purple hat, its large flowing brim trimmed with gold.

As he walked past Mrs. Waight, he gave her a slow nod. Despite the gentleness of the gesture, the overgrown hat fell over his forehead as if tipped by an invisible hand. He leaned in close to ask her something. Without a word, she jabbed at Arrow Park. The man (wand, table, hat, and all) set off to the edge of the park where grass spilled over the sidewalk.

He put the wand in his pocket and methodically unfolded the table. When he was finished, he revealed more items hidden in his clothes: a large gold coin, a glass cup, a plastic knife. I couldn’t tell if he arranged his items out of neurosis or perfect control. Once the table was set up, he withdrew the wand from his pocket, straightened his clothes, and with a deliberate glance looked up at me.

When I caught his eyes I felt myself flush. I dropped my gaze and stared at the scraps of food in front of me. Fear fought with curiosity like oil in water. I realized that in order to get home I had to walk past the man's table. I found it hard to swallow my bland breakfast.

I pushed my plate away slowly and placed exact change on the table. I stood up, slid my wallet into my jeans, and stepped outside.

"You," he said as I passed him.

I looked around me hoping someone would appear in the deserted park, so that I could brush his words off with innocent confusion.

"Pick something," he said.

I hesitated.

"Something of yours?" I asked.

"Yes," he said.

The battle of curiosity and fear became a dance. For the first time, oil married water.

"Does it need to be on the table?"

"No," he said.

I looked at the items on the table.

"I’ll take the wand."

He smiled at me, appraising my choice. " Here you are," he said and passed the wand to me. Then, he cleared the table and folded it up.

"Thanks," I said. Without a word, the man headed back in the direction from which he came.

I looked at the wand in my hand. At the thickest end of the wand I noticed four words engraved in cursive: As above, so below.

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