Six Flags On Fire

A fifteen year-old boy wearing a top hat, cape and clutching a wand in his hand lies on the ground in front of the Magic Castle and wipes blood from his nose: “Despite the senior magicians’ claim that Frederick’s act was dangerous and lacking in basic safety protocols – hence his violent expulsion from the premises – the young man’s true error and breach of etiquette had been to endow all of his card tricks, sleights of hand, illusions (including the piece de resistance, called “Six Flags on Fire,” in which Frederick doused a scale model of Six Flags Magic Mountain Theme Park [which he had built himself out of Popsicle sticks and chicken wire and which, according to those in attendance, had an almost disturbing amount of detail, such as the bits of vomit next to the miniature trash cans and the stray pieces of popcorn littering the walkways] with lighter fluid, burned it to cinders, and then made reappear in pristine condition moments later) and stage patter (“This restroom right here next to the Colossus was the last time we saw our mother. She went in and we never saw her come out”) with a powerful aroma of melancholy, making the audience highly emotional in the process. The senior magicians, for reasons they could not fully articulate, and who hid their callousness and jealousy under a cloak of brotherly self-righteousness (later on, one senior magician, who would only speak under the condition of anonymity, said that Frederick’s ability to move those in attendance had been his greatest trick, one that none of the senior magicians knew how to do), found themselves feeling homicidal towards Frederick and told him that if they had anything to do with it his days of performing magic in the state of California were over. Frederick never did perform magic again (because of his obvious and totally understandable disillusionment with the profession rather than any type of organized blackball), but those in attendance at his Magic Castle performance still talk about it to this day, and, in the end, that must, or at least should, count for something.”

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