Brian stepped out like a king to his peasants as the mother hosting the party introduced him. He strode into the small living room with bold mystique and narrowed his eyes when he saw the look on the children’s faces, their eyes wide and bulging from their heads. He stopped precisely in the center of the room, made a small tug at the tip of his pointy mustache, and snapped a wand into his fingers. The kids exhaled with a stunned awe. Brian tipped his velvet top hat to the Mrs. of the home, a Mrs. who looked to be in the unfortunate process of returning to a Ms., and then slowly removed it from his head. He held it out in dramatic fashion and everyone waited with anxious curiosity. The moment held, the seconds stretched to unnatural lengths, and then a white fluff emerged from within the hat. There was a collective gasp of realization as the little bunny stuck its white head out. Brian smiled and plucked the rabbit from his hat and held it close to his face. He smothered the little bunny with soft, quick kisses while giving the woman a lusty look. She blushed a crimson red while the children cheered. The rabbit was released to the wilds of the living room carpet and the children that inhabited it.
The act continued on in spectacular splendor. Red roses were pulled into appearance from the palm of his hand, roses that made the divorcing mother smile with appreciation when they were handed to her. Butterflies were born from a small, glass bulb, butterflies that fluttered their way into the woman’s heart as they fluttered the children into a frenzy. Young audience members were drawn from the floor to pick at playing cards, playing cards that always yielded the queen of hearts and always appeard in some pocket of the host’s ensemble. She had seven total when that bit was through, one from each possible pocket. The finale was a dazzling array of smoke bombs that resulted in the birthday cake magically appearing on the table in the corner.
When the children rushed for the cake, Brian completed his act.
He struck up polite conversation with the future divorcée. She was pretty and charming but carried a sadness in her eyes. Like a spell, he wove the right words in the right order. He was tender and careful and thoughtfully made his way into her day planner. Their first dinner together was respectable and quiet. They learned of each other’s interests, trials, and heartaches. Brian spoke little on the latter, a fact that he explained with a wonderful sense of caring and concern.
Their second date was a bit more sensual. He held her hand from across the table, and she confessed her world to his listening ear. The divorce was tearing her and her family apart. She was fearful and alone and Brian knew these facts all too well. He comforted her as well as he could, which was far better than most. They ended that evening with a long but tender kiss on the lips. She blushed again, like she did when he kissed the rabbit pulled from his hat.
That’s when he knew he had her.
Within ten days after, he had drained her bank account dry. Jewelry was missing from her bedroom and one of her credit cards was nearing its limit. It was his third successful magic show in as many months.