THE MAGICIAN'S ABDUCTION
by Ed Parrish
His life was one of linking rings and balls sprung from the air,
Of coins and silks plucked out of here, reappearing over there,
Of silv'ry orbs that danced alone, and ropes cut and restored,
Then the flying saucer came for him, and he found himself aboard.
That night he drove a country road, his pickup old and tattered,
Between two towns, two shows betwixt, the ancient engine clattered,
It quit. He coasted to a stop. He raved against his luck,
Then a blinding light, a thund'ring flare, burst down upon his truck.
An act of tricks was in his coat; he clambered to the ground,
Wide-eyed, he stared up at the ship o'erhead without a sound,
Its power pulsed in through his mind, his brains were like to split,
And in a moment's flash, he knew - he was inside of it.
The little folk, the big ones too, they dragged him toward a wall,
But he shook them free, showed empty hands, then produced a sparkling ball,
The ball became first two, then three - and then it became four,
He vanished them one at a time, and the balls were gone once more.
He then produced a leather cone, with it a twinkling silk,
And from the empty kerchief, came a ball as white as milk,
This ball he passed through solid cloth; then it went beneath his cone,
It changed from white to black as night, then back as white as bone.
Next came his coins; he showed a dime and with a handy pass,
Transformed it to half dollars, which he dropped into a glass,
Then with a wave of magic hand, the coins, they changed to wine,
He quaffed the cup, which then became a ball of binder's twine.
The twine he then unrolled to find a tiny box of copper,
The little box he then transformed into his great show stopper,
The linking rings, he did for them, the metal melted gleaming,
Six separate rounds became a flower - and then a chain, so seeming.
His audience in silence watched, then backed away with care,
Conferring with each other, they pointed left to where,
A smoky wall then parted, and in came a tall, thin beast,
Who watched them for a moment, and then sat as if to feast.
The silence there was deafening, the beast glowered o'er a desk,
The magician quaked invisibly, but his certain walk was brisk,
He strode up to that table top, the beast on other side,
And drew from out his pocket, a bag he opened wide.
Three cups he spread before the beast; three balls, he showed them fair,
And then he did the ancient act with confidence and flair,
The astonished beast then spoke or thought it - he didn't know just how,
Of plans for his invasion, which he'd have to cancel now.
For though the beast's technology was far advanced to ours,
He couldn't risk war on a race with such transmuting powers,
He politely asked forgiveness, "And please don't atomize,
My invasion force, ten thousand ships. I didn't realize.
"And might I express my deep regrets for bothering your earth?
I shan't upset a sorcerer, the risk's to high for worth,
I'll subdue another planet in another galaxy,
Please let us go. I promise - you've seen the last of me."
The magician smiled his showman's smile and spread his hands again,
Then he produced - from clear, clean air - a largish fountain pen,
"I'll let you go," he offered, "Carnage tires my feeble mind,
But let's do it right. Let's make a pact, a treaty we'll both sign."
So written, so they signed it. The treaty's points, they give,
The aliens leave earth alone; the wizard lets them live,
"There's one last thing," the magician said, though not to press his luck,
"I'll appreciate your assistance. Could you fix my pickup truck?"
He woke driving in his pickup cab with music sounding clear,
The radio was playing. "Hasn't worked for seven years!"
The paint was new, the seats were fresh, the windshield's cracks restored,
Not a clue to how it happened, but the air conditioner roared.
In his fist, a scrap of paper. He rolled the window down,
It wouldn't do to trash this truck, so he threw it on the ground,
He checked his watch, "Three hours lost!" He'd be late for his show,
The cups-and-balls had saved the world -
but no one would ever know.
©2000, Ed Parrish. All Rights Reserved.
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