Vera works for a company called Loan Some, that loans out friends to the lonely and for other events. Previously… readers voted for Vera to perform the Aztec Lady trick with the World’s Worst Magician.
“What trick would you like me to help you with?” asked Vera.
“The Aztec Lady!” Romeo pulled a sheet off a big construction to reveal a tall rectangular structure decorated with the silhouette of a woman.
“What do I have to do?” Vera gulped.
“All you have to do is enter the cabinet, and I’m going to cut you in four pieces.”
Vera raised an eyebrow.
“Relax!” he assured. “You’re not really going to be cut up. You’ll just step inside, and then I’ll tie your wrists to the top sections of the box. We’ll close up the cabinet with you inside and then I’ll insert the blades, which will hinge downward.”
“Okay.” Vera couldn’t believe she had agreed to do this. She was literally getting paid to be tied and cut up. But would she get out? That was the question.
“Then, I’ll put in two swords.”
Swords? What kind of trick was this? What was she subjecting herself to?
Vera looked around, anywhere, for a chair to sit down in, although she was careful to make sure she wasn’t sitting down in some sort of magic death trap. She pulled out a handkerchief from her purse to dab the sweat from her forehead. She wasn’t scared of too much in life, except maybe intimacy, given her recent romantic problems, but the whole idea of giving a stranger a sword and submitting herself to a cabinet with blades gave her a bit of the heebeegeebees.
“I really appreciate you doing this,” he said, hanging his head sheepishly. He looked so young and almost childish in the moment. “I know I need the practice. I’d like to at least get myself out of the World’s Worst Magician distinction and maybe into America’s Worst Magician category.”
Vera gulped in air to laugh, but stopped herself, realizing he was serious. “No problem.” She sighed and stood up. “Let’s do this.”
“Great! This will be painless. I promise.”
Famous last words.
Vera entered the cabinet, and Romeo tied her wrists with ropes at the top. Then, before he closed the cabinet door, he smiled at her. “See you soon!”
Inside, Vera took a deep breath, breathing in the cabinet, which smelled like freshly carved wood. It was actually a comforting smell, almost like a cedar chest.
Romeo began to place the blades in the structure, and as promised, they did not actually pierce Vera.
“See?” he said. “Everything’s fine.”
Then, he placed the two swords in, and just as he said, she was not sliced into two Veras. Although the tips of the sword were visible.
“You’ll be out in a jiffy!” he exclaimed. “All I have to do is the magic word. One, two, three—Ginger Snap!”
Vera heard a snap, like the sound of firecrackers you throw at the ground. “Romeo?”
Vera wondered if maybe he had just stepped out of the room for a bit, to get a glass of water or something, but soon 15 minutes passed.
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