Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "Spooked"

This poem came out of the January 3, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] callibr8 and my_partner_doug. It also fills the "magic" square in my 1-1-17 card for the Dark Fantasy fest. Based on an audience poll, this poem is the free epic for the March 7, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl meeting its $200 goal. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.


Myron the Miraculous volunteered
as one of the variety acts for
the Motor City Halloween Bash,
and had lots of fun meeting
the other performers.

There was a dark-skinned man
dressed as a genie offering
to grant wishes.

Myron secretly wished
that he could do real magic,
instead of just stage magic.

Nothing seemed to come of it,
and by the time Myron had gotten
through the ridiculously long line
for Cooper's Cloud Candy, he
had forgotten all about it.

Myron munched his way through
a Halloween-colored cone of
mango and licorice as he
made his way to the stage.

In the dressing room, he
touched up his costume and
gathered his props. Then he
put on his top hat and went out.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I give you
Myron the Miraculous!" said the announcer.

Myron waved, doffed his hat, and
reached in for his bunny puppet.

Something cold and slippery
coiled around his wrist instead, and
Myron yanked his hand out in shock.

A white snake with blue eyes
stuck its tongue out at him.

"Surprise," said the snake.

Myron managed not to drop him,
but that was mostly because the snake
had a death grip on his forearm.

The audience roared with laughter.

"What's going on?" Myron whispered
to the snake as it crawled up him.

"No idea," the snake replied. "Maybe
if we act casual, nobody will notice."

It was worth a try. Myron
took out his crystal wand
to do the candle-lighting trick.

"Oooh," said the audience.

Myron hadn't done anything yet.
He turned around, but still couldn't
see what they were excited about.

The audience started laughing again,
and the kids in the front row pointed.

"Look down," the snake whispered,
and Myron looked down.

The wand was trailing sparks,
which swirled around him as he turned,
like a puppy chasing its own tail.

Well, all right then. This wasn't
the spooky Halloween show that
he had advertised, but he was getting
more audience reaction than he ever had
in the past, so Myron decided to relax
and go with what was working.

When he brought out his linking rings,
they behaved fine until the end of the routine
when they were all chained together and he
was supposed to separate them -- but
instead, they turned to smoke rings.

The audience ooohed again.

Myron did his cup-and-balls trick, which
was intended to end with transforming
the ping-pong balls into eyeballs.

When he lifted the cup, a cloud
of confetti poured out and a string of
tissue-paper dancers twirled across
the table, dressed like ladies
at a masquerade ball.

The little girls liked that one
as much as the boys had
liked the snake.

When a spectator pulled
the Queen of Hearts from the deck,
it screamed, "Off with her head!" and
then turned into a handful of candy.

Well, that was sort of Halloween themed.

At the grand finale, Myron hadn't even
gotten his levitation gear ready when
he found himself drifting off the floor.

"Take a bow," the snake whispered,
"and pretend you're doing this on purpose."

Myron took a bow.
The crowd went wild.

He wound up clinging to the rafters
above the stage where nobody could see,
but the snake helpfully slithered away
to summon some assistance.

After the curtains were closed,
stagehands brought a ladder
and helped Myron down.

"Are you all right?" they asked.

"Yeah," he said. "A little spooked,
but I'm basically fine. We should
probably call SPOON, though."

That led to verification that,
yes, Myron had real magic now;
no, the mysterious talking snake
wasn't going to disappear and was
somehow attached to his magic;
and it could take a year or two
for Myron to learn how to master
his new superpower.

In the meantime, the show must go on.

* * *


Myron the Miraculous (Myron Roles)
-- He has fair skin with freckles, brown eyes, and short brown hair. He lives in Motor City. Myron is a stage magician who enjoys performing for a crowd. Nimble and adaptable, he is popular and has plenty of contacts in entertainment. He's not quite famous yet, but has hopes of moving up eventually. While good at planning shows, Myron frequently fails to think ahead in his personal life.
Origin: In October of 2014, he volunteered for the variety entertainment at a Halloween festival. There was also a man dressed as a genie offering to grant wishes. He wished for real magic -- and got it, but it never works as expected. He found this out when he went to pull a rabbit from his hat, and instead produced a talking leucistic snake.
Uniform: On duty, a classic magician's outfit of a top hat, a black suit and bow tie, and a white shirt. Off duty, he favors smart casual or business casual.
Qualities: Good (+2) Adaptable, Good (+2) Dexterity, Good (+2) Emotional Intelligence, Good (+2) Friends in Show Biz, Good (+2) Stage Magician
Poor (-2) Thinking Ahead
Powers: Average (0) Animal Companion
Poor (-2) Magic
Motivation: To entertain people.

Ghost -- He is a leucistic Texas rat snake, pure white with blue eyes. He is the magical companion animal of Myron the Miraculous.
Origin: Myron tried to pull a rabbit out of a hat, and got a magical talking snake instead.
Uniform: None. He goes nude.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Magician's Assistant, Good (+2) Snake, Good (+2) Wise
Poor (-2) Fussy
Powers: Good (+2) Magical Companion Animal
This metapower includes Human Speech and a connection to Myron's magic.
Motivation: Make Myron look impressive and keep him out of trouble.

* * *

Organic cotton candy is available even in local-America. :D

This is typical rabbit puppet useful for pulling out of a hat.

A magician's wand is customarily black with white tips, but other options exist. This one is crystal, and there are versions that light on fire.

Halloween eyeballs come in many fun styles and can be used for all sorts of purposes.

Learn how to make tissue paper dancers from napkins.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, magic, poem, poetry, reading, weblit, writing
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