Jeremy's first magic show, with his grandparents in the audience!
Jeremy swallowed hard. He was next. This was no time to get nervous. He’d practiced his magic show in front of his bedroom mirror every day for three weeks. He studied every afternoon. He recited his lines over and over. He knew everything by heart.
He gulped again as the stage manager, Uncle Bertie, motioned for him to get out there. Jeremy slowly inched forward, step by baby step. A hand pressed into his back, right between the shoulders. No, I’m not ready for this. Jeremy tried to back up. Whoosh, the hand strongly pushed him forward. Jeremy stumbled upon the makeshift stage in the nursing home cafeteria.
What was I thinking? I can’t do this!
The small crowd started clapping slowly. Jeremy’s grandparents beamed from the front row of chairs and wheelchairs. His grandfather nodded, almost nudging him to get started with the show. Jeremy stared at him mouthing the words, Ladies and Gentlemen. He suddenly remembered he was supposed to be performing his magic act.
“La...Lay... ladies and Gentlemen, I am … Jeremy… the Ma…Mag…Magnificent.” He said with a flourish, bowing low. His top hat fell off of his head and rolled across the floor. “My hat!” He scurried across the floor on his hands and knees trying to grab the magical apparatus.
His grandfather wiped his hand down his face, while he shook his head rolling his eyes.
His grandmother slapped at his legs. “Stop it, you weren't all that great to start with either,” she whispered. “And, I should know. I was there!”
Jeremy finally chased down the magic hat as the crowd giggled and laughed at his antics. He could feel the color rushing to his cheeks. He wanted to run and hide, but he also knew that he wanted his grandparents to be proud of him. He took a deep breath, stood up, and walked carefully over to his table, as his grandmother led the small crowd in a round of applause.
“That’s my grandson.” She looked around at the other guests, nodding and smiling at them. Then she looked at Jeremy, still clapping, “Everything is going to be fine. Just start the show with Mr. Bugs,” she nodded.
Jeremy looked perplexed, Mr. Bugs? He’s not first. Oh gee! What’s the next line? Oh my, why did I ever agree to do this?
Jeremy placed the hat on the table. His mind was a total blank. He scratched his head and looked at the ceiling, then the floor, anywhere but at the people sitting in front of him.
His grandfather was turning red and his great grandmother was starting to look anxious. She kept mouthing to him, Mr. Bugs, Mr. Bugs, as she rung her hands under her chin.
The hat on the table seemed to be wiggling. The audience took in a breath as one little white ear popped out of the hat. The ear twitched and wiggled. It flopped and then stood up straight. It turned to the left, and then to the right.
Jeremy was oblivious to what was happening around him. He grasped the stem of flowers from his sleeve and chanted “Sim, sim, sa, la, bim,” as he pulled the paper flowers out with a grandiose bow. He smiled and presented them to his grandmother.
The little ear disappeared back into the hat as Jeremy returned to prepare for his second trick.
Jeremy, fanned himself like he was hot, just like he’d practiced.
A little white ear popped out of the hat.
Jeremy, fanned some more, “Whew, it’s mighty hot today.”
A second little ear popped out of the hat. They twitched and they wiggled. They flopped and then stood up straight. They turned to the left, and then to the right. They went up and two little pink eyes peeked over the brim of the hat, and then they went down.
The elderly audience giggled as if on cue.
Jeremy grabbed his handkerchief from his pocket, “Sim, sim, sa, la, bim,” and pulled and pulled scarf after scarf out of his pocket.
The small crowd applauded. Jeremy started to feel more at ease.
The third trick took a magic deck of cards. Jeremy showed the audience the special cards. He shuffled and asked for a volunteer. His grandmother popped up. “That’s my grandson.”
She chose her card and put it back in the deck, and gave Jeremy a little peck on the cheek. His cheeks blossomed with color once again.
A little ear popped out of the hat, and then a second. They twitched and they wiggled. They flopped and stood up straight. They turned to the left, and to the right. They went up and two little pink eyes peeked over the brim of the hat, and then they went down.
Jeremy shuffled the cards again, “Sim, sim, sa, la, bim.” Magically, he pulled his grandmother’s card from the deck.
His grandmother popped up with a burst of applause. “That was wonderful Jeremy. Your grandfather couldn’t have done it any better.”
His grandfather turned and stared severely at his wife, “I beg your pardon?”
“Oh hush dear, you know it’s his first show.” Her eyes sparkled as she watched her grandson.
Jeremy smiled. His confidence was building with his simple tricks. He bowed to the audience.
Uncle Bertie cleared his throat rather loudly, trying to get Jeremy to hurry up.
He glanced over at Uncle Bertie, pointing at his watch with a strained look on his face.
“And, for my final trick today,” Jeremy waved his hands over his top hat. “Sim, sim, sa, la, bim.” Nothing happened. Jeremy looked in the hat, he looked under the table. He scratched his head. He held his hands a little higher, and said a little louder, “Sim, sim, sa, la, bim!”
Jeremy peered into the hat. It was black and empty. His cheeks started to burn. Tears welled in his eyes. His last trick had flopped. He didn’t even want to look at his grandfather. He’d let his family down. He was such a disappointment.
He picked up his hat. He shook his head, “I don’t know what happened. I’m sorry folks.” Jeremy put the hat on his head, tapped the top, as he dejectedly started to walk off the make shift stage.
Jeremy’s grandmother shot up as soon as she spied the little cotton tail under the brim of the hat. “Jeremy, try one more time.”
The audience started clapping, and saying, “One more try, one more try.”
Jeremy placed the hat on the table.
“Close your eyes, Jeremy, focus and concentrate on the magic words,” his grandfather said.
Jeremy closed his eyes. He raised his hands moving them slowly over the hat.
“Sim,” a little ear popped out of the hat, and then a second.
“Sim,” they twitched and they wiggled as Jeremy's hands swayed to and fro over the hat.
“Sa,” they flopped and then they stood up straight.
“La,” they turned to the left, and to the right.
“Bim!” They went up and two little pink eyes peeked over the brim of the hat.
Jeremy squinted to peek through his tightly closed eyes trying to see if the trick had worked.
There was Mr. Bugs, his paws resting on the rim of the hat and his ears flipping and flopping.
The cafeteria rang out with applause and laughter. Jeremy’s grandfather was leading the standing ovation. “That’s my grandson!” He beamed with pride.