Magically Dashing

Seven men, six in custom-tailored suits and one in a suit straight off the rack, gathered in a dimly lit bar with only one shelf, and it was the tops. They were surprisingly good-looking for aspiring magicians, even objectively dashing. They conversated with each other in hushed tones, shallowly letting their tongues run ragged with their knowledge of classic American culture.

“Buster Keaton was a brilliant man, it’s a shame you can’t get away with artful blackface these days,” commented the tallest.

“Charlie Chapman, what a class act, I respect a man who is unafraid to fight a taboo, Β even if it was taking on multiple teenage wives,” said the most attractive.

The group communally complained that they don’t make beauties quite like Greta Garbo anymore, but the men all agreed Sofia Vergara was passable.

By this point, Steven, the young man in the hackneyed suit had zoned out — life leaves you at a certain disadvantage when you grow up with only basic cable and parents that exclusively watch reality television. Worried about his social stature within the group, he walked into the center of the informal circle and put on his largest, most genuine, stage smile.

The group gave him their full attention, expecting a magic trick, an illusion or a witticism of new heights that was reminiscent of old ones. With all the flare of years of magic lessons and social rejection, Steven took off his top hat and whipped it around to prove that it was empty. He flipped the hat back towards his body, tenderly reaching his hand in and taking out a dove.

In great jest he yelled, “Who let the doves out? Who, who, who?”

Steven was never heard from again.


78 thoughts on “Magically Dashing

  1. Eva Rieder says:

    Hilarious post and lovely, Ashley. I particularly liked “They were surprisingly good-looking for aspiring magicians, even objectively dashing,” as well as several other lines. Nicely done! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Jim Cantwell says:

    “setting the hook” is such a hard thing to do as a writer, but you do it so well. Is this part of a book your working on and just teasing us?
    I really can’t think of a word that describes how good this post is, so I guess we will have to settle for Awesome πŸ™‚

  3. Joe Pineda says:

    Incredibly entertaining, and as the Coot already put it, the hook was really nice. It’s such a simple situation, and yet it’s disguised so cleverly. it leaves you with the satisfaction of being able to relate to Steven and lastly, it gives you food for thought.

  4. duffythewriter says:

    loved this, popped in my inbox and was perfectly timed and a welcome relief as I was suffering badly writing website content for an air conditioning company. The things a writer does to earn a crust…

      1. Celticcowboy says:

        And since when did expressing one’s self become about cultural reference? Hell with what you think someone else thinks they maybe want to hear or read. I, for one, was entertained and moved by that post. Keep it up.

  5. brennagee says:

    “…put on his largest, most genuine, stage smile.” πŸ˜€ I laughed out loud at the ending. My kids were in earshot and insisted I tell them what was so funny. I read them your post. They are too young to get most of the references and my 8 year old wondered what happened to Steven, but maybe someday they’ll be glad I read them stories instead of focusing on basic cable and reality t.v.;)

  6. J. R. Whitener says:

    Elitist career murderers clinging to bygone golden days of show and stage. Had they cared, really cared, about the state of entertainment they would have recognized Steven’s earnest attempt to revitalize niche history with popular references a worthwhile effort, especially considering his culturally barren background.

    I imagine Steven penned himself D.J. Cornelius Thirty-Cent and went on to sell-out the Staples Center while his former magicians-to-be entertained smoky cabarets.

  7. Bryan Edmondson says:

    Ashley this sounds like a professional magazine review. I was wondering if you are a professional author. Your writing is very well done in any case. It was nice to visit your blog.

  8. Tim Birchard says:

    I lived in Japan for a year. During that time, I ate all KINDS of different potato chips: shrimp flavored, mayonnaise flavored… you name it. But when I received a care package from my wife-to-be and opened the bag of Fritos, that was the moment I discovered the ONE flavor I’d been missing.

    Your blog is kinda like Fritos.

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