Friday, May 4, 2012

The best show in the world.

“Ladies and gentlemen, you are now about to see one of the most amazing show in the world. Do not, I repeat, do not ever try to do this at home. What we are about to see is the…”

   Brandon wasn’t given much attention all his life. He is the middle in a sibling of five and with both parents working, they rarely had enough time with their children, let alone to dote on any of them. Brandon was actually fine with that, he liked it that people rarely pays too much attention to him; he could do whatever he wants as long as he didn’t cause any trouble. It all however changed one day.

  It was quite a hot day so the windows were opened. The sounds of intermittent cars passing by could be heard through the opening, breaking the monotonous ticking sound of the clock. Other than that, the room was very quiet. Brandon’s heart however was beating in his ears. He sat on a chair opposite a desk, where a man with a pair of thick glasses was staring at him. He meanwhile didn’t want to stare back but he didn’t want to turn away an appear rude, so he directed his eyes to a miniature globe on the desk. It was displaying China and its neighbor which could only partly be read, with the letters ending in “STAN”. Brandon wondered what countries bordered China when he heard the door to the office. He heard his father talking to the secretary before he was led to the room. Brandon wanted to tell him a lot of things, explain everything that happened but the disappointed look on his face clammed Brandon’s mouth shut.

  “Are you Mr Smith? Come, take a seat. We are sorry to have to call you at this moment but this is,” the headmaster paused, “this is a peculiar situation. The school has never dealt with anything like this.”
His father gave Brandon another look, which made him wished he could disappear. His father then asked what the problem was.
  “It’s not easy to explain and the details are not very clear to me too. So why don’t we let young Mr Smith tell the story.” Both of them looked at Brandon. He wished he could die.
  After a long silence, Brandon finally spoke. He told them how the day began with him forgetting to bring a homework given by his teacher. His teacher was vexed with him but didn’t say anything and continued with the class. Later Brandon however, for some unknown reason, spoke when the teacher was talking in the front. He rarely volunteered when the teacher asked any question, let alone spoke when not asked so it was a surprise to everyone, including himself, that he interrupted the teacher. Moreover he contradicted the teacher. The teacher was very annoyed with that, so he asked him to tell the whole class the reason why the statement ‘all mammals live on land’, is wrong. Brandon, with all eyes on him, began to panic. He then disappeared.
  “What do you mean disappear?!” his father asked.
  “Well, the teacher was convinced Brandon played a prank with him because later they looked around and saw him came out of the cupboard at the back of the class,” the headmaster said. “His classmates, however, said he did disappear.”
  Mr Smith was silent for awhile. Clearly he didn’t believe the story but he didn’t want to say so and accuse his son in front of the headmaster, so he kept quiet. The headmaster however didn’t.
  “I can’t say I believe this story and must agree with the teacher with this but the 20 students really believed your boy here disappeared. He said he didn’t know what had happened and won’t tell me how he did it, so either your son is lying or not he…”

  “My son is not a liar,” Mr Smith cut in.
  “I am not saying he is but the situation is very, peculiar. The students are very agitated and, so, I think it’s better is our young man here to take a leave for a few days. How about that?”
Thus Brandon was suspended for one week.


  Back at home, Brandon’s parents were constantly talking about the incident which made him nervous all the time. They would talk quietly for a while then look at him for a long time. During the times he met their eyes, they usually beckoned him to come to them and tell them what really happened but he couldn’t. So after a while he tried to avoid their gaze. Their talks then grew less after a few days and they have even stopped altogether to coax a story out of him that he began to believe it was all over when suddenly, a very tall man with a briefcase came. He came with Aunty Maude and was introduced as a Mr White. Mr White was dating Aunty Maude and happened to be a psychiatrist. Brandon’s parents invited him to come and, in their words, “just talk to you.”
  Mr. White did talk to him. That is with Brandon sitting in the middle of the living room, while his parents and Aunty Maude on the sofa while the rest of the siblings sitting on the carpet. They were all staring at him. At first the question was easy, about his friend’s and schools but then Mr. White took out a few pictures of butterflies. They were all black and Mr. White asked him what he saw. He only saw butterflies so he told him so. After the third picture and the same answer, Mr. White began to grew exasperated. “Okay let’s do this again. What do you see in this picture? Just imagine this pattern, other than a butterfly, what do you see?”
  “I see an elephant. An elephant with two legs,” said his elder brother.
  “That’s not true. I see clouds,” her sister said.
  “Shhh, be quiet. Let your brother speak. It’s alright darling, tell Mr. White what you see in the picture,” his mom said. The whole room grew silent as they waited for his answer, all their attention on him. Then he disappeared.
  He was found 15 minutes later, in the washing machine. Another hour later, after disassembling the machine, his father finally managed to fish his son who was wet from crying while stuck in a literally tight fit. Needless to say there were no more tests whatsoever after that and Aunty Maude’s dating came to a conclusive end. The incidents were not discussed anymore and the family began to slowly forget until one holiday evening where it was brought up in the presence of Uncle Bob. At first he laughed at the story but when he saw Brandon’s face reddened, he began to listen carefully and later, asked very specific questions, such as what date and time the incidents happened, how long it happened etcetera. Afterwards he sat thoughtfully in silence.
  A few days later, he came with a friend. His friend didn’t talk much until he laid out the content of his bag. They were sharp, small knives.
“These are throwing knives and I can throw them very well. Do you guys want to see me throw it?” Without waiting for an answer, he threw it sharp into the carpet, into the wood below, just missing his own shoes a few centimeters.

  “My floor!” said the mother.
  “That’s not very far,” one of the boys said.
  “Bob told me he knew you would say that,” the man replied. “And he said Brandon here, really love to volunteer for my throwing skills.”
  Everyone, especially Brandon, stared widely at Uncle Bob. He just winked back at Brandon.
“This knife is very sharp,” the man said as he raised the blade to the light so everyone could see. Slowly he traced the edge, starting from the hilt up to the sharp end."It could cut flesh without any problem. If I missed, death is instant. However, I never miss!" Suddenly he threw the knife at Brandon, putting the knife up to the hilt into Brandon’s body. A few voices screamed.
  “Relax, relax,” the man said. He walked to Brandon, who everyone began to notice was alive, and took the knife out. “This is a fake knife, I changed it before I threw it just now and as you can see, it can retract up to the hill, which will stuck to what surface it is thrown at, making it appear as it has sunk into it.” The man afterwards sat and didn’t say anything else.
Uncle Bob just smiled.
  A few days later, he came back and took Brandon out. They both went out for a few hours and came back later, one smiling while another tired and scared. The parents were furious and didn’t allow Bob to take Brandon out anymore. Uncle Bob however began to explain.
  “Everyone has a talent, an ability. Some has a lot, some has a few, some has this, some has that..”
  “What is your point Bob?” Mr. Smith cut in.
  “Brandon here, has a talent. A super talent. An ability that many would. . . many would do anything to have. He can disappear.”
Brandon’s parents looked at each other.
  “So, a few days ago I wanted to do an experiment. I wanted to see what caused him to disappear, whether it was fear. That’s why I brought my friend who threw the knife at him. It seems that nothing happened. So today I brought him to the mall, where I thrust him unto a podium at the mall and do a public speaking. The shoppers stopped to watch and sure enough, Brandon disappeared.”
Brandon’s parents gasped.
  “Yes, it happened again. He disappeared. It is as I thought, there are certain circumstances that cause him to ‘do’ that. However, I believe he can be trained to control this and really do it. He can train himself to simply, disappear.”
  The room was quite for a few minutes. After further questioning about the nature of the training that Bob was illuminating to, they said it was actually up to Brandon whether he wanted to do it or not. A week later, Brandon packed his stuffs, said goodbye to his family and went to live with Uncle Bob. He went to live in a circus.

“…greatest magician of our time, Lord Piquet. He is going to try to escape from this locked box which is dropped into an aquarium full with fuel, fuels that will be ignited by our archers standing on the balcony above. We are now tying the great Lord Piquet and we would like to call two viewers to come and check these chains on his hands and feet.”
  The audience eagerly volunteers and two are chosen. After they are satisfied, the box is sealed and lifted above the aquarium. The box hangs for a moment in the air. The atmosphere is so tense that when the cord snaps and the box fell, the gasps from the audience feel like a draught blowing through. Two women even faint.
  At the same moment the box hit the liquid, fire arrows are released from four points. The aquarium burst into flames, bright blue flames. It is a spectacular view, to say the least. However the scene isn’t finished until a man in a black coat comes walking from offstage and bows to the audience. It is the magician himself and the crowd roars in applause.
  No one really knows that actually Brandon is more scared standing in front of the adoring audience than standing in the box, waiting for his death.

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