Trick (Stories on a Theme – “Magic”)

“See this?”

It was the watch that always got their attention. People seemed to gravitate to the huge face, the sparkly dials and the complicated mechanism inside.

Gerag held the watch up in front of his targets. They stared at it entranced.

“A relic of the world gone by,” Gerag said, gently moving his wrist from side to side. The watch rocked back and forth like a pendulum.

It wasn’t true hypnotism, but it was enough to be a distraction. Lucen, dressed like any other tourist, pretended to peer interestingly at it as he lifted wallets and purses out of people’s pockets, passing them back to Imera who slid out money and cards, before handing the wallet back to Lucen to plant back onto their victim..

“Is it real?” one of the woman asked, reaching out to touch it. Lucen dipped his hand into her bag, snagging a few notes and a money card.

Imera nodded at Gerag. They had their haul for today. Maybe, today, they’d eat.

Gerag pulled the watch back, fucking into his coat jacket with ease.

“Magic,” he said, bringing out a deck of cards from his other pockets, “is all about the illusion.”

He ran through a few simple card ricks as Imera drifted over to the other side of the street. Lucen stayed, pretending to be interested. Instead, he was keeping tags on any police that might come wandering past.

As Gerag finished his third trick, Lucen tapped his forehead with two fingers. Two police approaching.

“And that’s all for today,” Gerag said, shutting the pack of cards and putting them in his pocket. With his other hand, he pulled out his cap from his back pocket, shoving it firmly on his head and pushed through the disappointed sounds of his crowd.

Lucen nodded as Gerag walked past. They’d rendezvous at the central fountain, as they always did when the police spotted them-

“STOP!” one of the police yelled.

Time to disappear, Gerag thought, pulling out some coins from his pocket and throwing them on the ground. The crowds around him turned instantly to the noise, diving for the coins.

One day, I’ll be a real magician, Gerag thought, turning off down one of the narrow alleys that led off the main square, not just earning money on the streets.

But for now, he was no entertainer. Now, he just had to survive.

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