(. . . the story of a magician and a sorceress.)
The magician dashed off stage. He had been ridiculed for his fast-sprouting carnations, yet again. No more flower tricks at these open mics, he begrudged, they don’t care for nature fast or slow. Not to mention, being booed for your favorite spell sucked bad enough, without it being pro bono. It was that night, feeling upside-down and fuming with rage and pity, that he fell headfirst in love.
Unaware of how the show had failed, fixated on her goal of getting a slot sometime soon, the sorceress entered the venue hyperventilating. She hoped that working one night there would lead to more. What she feared, however, was that the manager would only look at her as a face to post at the front end of a line selling tickets to hoodlums. It was late in the night, the middle of her career, she was desperate. And her life too precious to wait around.
Her days as an independent witch for birthdays and holidays had ended. Black was her bygone past, gray was the foreseeable future. There is some money to be had as a freelance artist, emphasis on the “free,” but mostly her afternoons had turned into a perpetual toll: when she wasn’t turning tricks into entertainment or pennies into diamonds for other people, she spent her leisure hours sulking. Nevertheless, the sorceress needed a new number, one to get out of her own head. Not even magic, she knew, can turn a stony heart around.
Every single night, each as empty as the last, in his laboratory of bloody blades and crack vials, over his head billowed dreams like heavy clouds that snowed and snowed. Sadness became him, the unrealized genius in need of recognition. Surrounding him instead of praise and warmth were snowflakes and a quilt of untapped ambition. Wouldn’t tonight conclude like any other, he pondered, lonely. Only time would tell, might as well linger here a bit.
(Meet cute story idea from this writing practice resource.)
The magician was adjusting his headband, as he walked with thirst to the bar. He wanted a conciliatory night cap before retiring home. The sorceress was reciting her pitch to the venue owner, as she back-peddled to order a confidence-boosting cocktail. In that instant, the two hexes bumped shoulders. A lion spread its wings over their heads, as the magician and sorceress met.
“What’s your name?” he asked.
“What’s it to you?” she bantered
He opened his cloak.
She ruffled hers.
“Libation?” he offered.
“Only if you drink the one I buy you,” she countered.
(Unbeknownst to him, the magician comes from the tarot; click here for meaning.)
Just then the venue manager burst into the scene. He was a short man of furry arms, a pot-marked nose and tiny shiny golden eyes. He slid across the room and rested his shoulder, bar-height, to the bar.
“Carnations again, really?”
The magician shook his head. “Carnations have a rich history,” he spoke.
“What’s that?” asked the manager.
“Oh,” replied the manager.
The sorceress began ignoring the magician, fixing her gaze instead on the purpose of her visit.
“Will you introduce us?” the sorceress spoke, saying it to the magician but keeping her eyes on the manager.
“I don’t even know you,” said the magician. “What’s your name?”
“Yeah, who’s this lady?” sneered the manager, straining upwards to see her, but liking what he saw.
“I’m . . .” she swung open her cloak and revealed a green glowing orb, “. . . Šïæς, the fortune-telling enchantress.”
The two gentlemen blinked, then busted out laughing.
“What does the orb say about me?” the manager asked.
Her hand hovered over the crystal glow. “Soon you will hire a new witch, you know this place needs to grow.”
The manager squinted. “A good fortune teller tells the client what they want to hear first, then what they need to hear second.”
The magician sipped his drink.
The sorceress hovered her hand over the orb again. “Your venue wants to grow, and as it grows it hungers . . . soon you will hire a new witch!”
The manager squinted, again. He looked at his watch. “We have no new jobs for fortunate-teller, sorry.”
“I do other tricks.”
“Can you work front of house?”
The voice inside of her yelled, No way, but outside she only said, “Sure.”
“Can you host open mics?”
“Not at first.”
When she said she needed a job, the manager turned to leave, yet the sorceress insisted. He repeated himself, no jobs. The sorceress sat down at the bar.
(The sorceress character, unbeknownst to her, also comes from Tarot; click here for meaning.)
The magician finished his drink. He hadn’t moved.
“What’s my fortune?” he asked.
The sorceress folded her arms over the bar and sunk her head. “You leave me alone.”
“You’re a terrible fortune-teller,” he said, bumping shoulders with her, like earlier, literally.
She mumbled, “What’s your trick?”
He pulled out of his back-pocket a carpet bag. Out of his bag he drew yarn, silly string cans, a white bunny, a yellow bunny, and a striped black and orange bunny, a can of soda, and a handkerchief.
Her eyes were glowing, as she turned up, now more radiant than before.
The magician put the handkerchief over his left hand. He asked her to blow a kiss on it. She did, after she smiled.
“Presto!” The magician removed the handkerchief and revealed in hand a bouquet of milk-white and dark red carnations.
She clapped. “What do I owe you for that?”
He handed her the flowers. “A story.”