Deft fingers splayed with promise. I can make you see the impossible. Separate you from mundanity. But it comes at a cost. I tire of your what’s-my-card expectations. They press on me and I bow, one leg curled politely beneath the other. Still I hold my hallowed hands out. See, here they are for you, my attentive sceptics, slavering for one missed finger flick. The desire to lift the curtain, see the how-it’s-done of it all. Say you revealed the trick, dear audience. What is your reward? Merely to be drenched in cold reality. A grating light, it will strip away the comfort of the snap-click-tricks at my fingertips. Here you are, begging me to tell you there is something sparkling at the edges of your weary life. You ask too much of me. Here I am, a trickster for your amusement. Deft movements laboured over in a childhood room to impress my friends. Do not ask me to prove to you that heaven exists. I can no longer bear to look at your thirsty eyes. My hat slips. I shield myself from you. Unless, of course, that is the final trick. I have woven my spell so well that you dare not flick up the brim and peer under. You dare not find out what is lurking underneath.
—Semi-finalist in MacQ’s
Magician Ekphrastic Writing Challenge
is a writer, teacher, and runner who lives in London. Prone to musing over gender issues and eating cheese, she has an MA degree in Creative Writing from City University and she won the International Segora Short Story prize in 2016. Her short fiction, reviews, and blogs have been published on a variety of platforms.