TITLE: Magic Is On The Inside
By Cindy Carver
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A middle aged bald man pulling rabbits from a hat, not what John had dreamed of when he was going to make it big. Dreams fade into reality, like his receding hair line that has receded past his neck, his dream is gone.
While preparing for another party for five year olds, John almost cries. It pays the bills, so he takes a deep breath thinking the show must go on.
John steps up on stage pulling a rabbit from his hat and finds himself smiling back at the rosy cheeked children staring up at him in awe. Their eyes appear as large as the saucers that hold their cake. Their high pitched laughter catching, and John finds himself having fun. Letting go of his big dream, another door opens he hadn’t even seen. The magic returns to him like breathing after being underwater. He feels his whole being fill up, like that first breath--he wasn’t a failure after all. He would have to plan a new magic trick, something for the children--dreaming bigger wasn’t gone.
That’s when he bought the bunny. The first ever black and white rabbit he’d ever owned. He starts training him for his new act. The first time Sarah, his wife sees him toting the black and white rabbit on his head, her eyes tear up and she holds her stomach as she laughs, “I thought you had a two toned toupee.”
Toupee it is, the name sticks as John continues training him, carrying the bunny around the house everywhere he goes.
Sarah enjoys it all, teasing him about his new ‘hare’ do.
At night, John puts his top hat in the bunny’s pen. Pretty soon Toupee hops in his new hat shaped home and falls asleep.
At the birthday party, Toupee is a hit from the moment he magically appears from under the giant top hat. He sits on Johns’ head like a crown. The birthday boy, with wide eyes and chubby hands reaches up to the stage as John hands him the bunny to hold for the rest of the act.
A drape covers the edges of the crate which hides the hole in the stage where Sarah will release Houdini, his small dog. Houdini will magically appear like a jack-in-the-box from the crate on the count of three.
John knocks twice on the wooden top of the crate, as Toupee, squeezed by the plump fingers of the birthday boy thumps against the metal chair. Sarah hearing the thumping of the bunny thinks it is the third knock and sends Houdini up through the hole. Houdini leaps, emerging, panting happily with his tail wagging, next to John. John not expecting him yet, trips on his top hat, falls off the stage next to the birthday boy who squeezes Toupee even more.
A high pitched squeal comes from the otherwise silent bunny as his back legs hit together on the back of the chair-- sending him and boy tumbling over on top of John, folding chair and all.
Houdini, though well trained, thinks this all in fun, and runs after the bunny. Toupee jumps on stage, hopping under the drape, falling through the hole in the floor on top of Sarah. Unaware of anything, Sarah is half asleep as Toupee lands on her head with a thump. Frightened, Sarah runs out screaming at the top of her lungs. Little boys and girls go flying, scattering chairs in a mad dash for their Moms and Dads who stand with mouths open unable to move. Thinking he has done a fine job, Houdini runs up to Sarah who still can’t see—the bunny covering her head and face like a beautiful fur hat. Houdini begins barking. Toupee in fear tries to climb higher, uncovering Flora’s eyes as she looks around at the toppled chairs and frightened families, she trips over Houdini, sending her, Toupee and Houdini flying on top of John and the birthday boy in a pile. Toupee lands on Houdini’s head. Houdini thinking the show is over leaps back on stage with the bunny on his head and places his feet in front of him, bowing and waits for applause. Toupee tired of all the noise and commotion hops down onto the stage and into the giant black top hat, disappearing from sight. Parents and children begin to laugh and applaud at what they think was the greatest magic show of all.
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