Tuesday, 21 October 2014

The Four Jacks (part 3)

//The following post contains an explanation of an iconic magic trick. Don't read if you wish to avoid spoilers!//
 "I'm sorry." I said. "Do I know you?"
"No, Mr Fletcher." The lady in the red dress said. "I'm just one of your fans. I work for Channel Four, in the department that deals with shows on Magic. We're thinking of a doing a show about magic and crime, and we'd like to recruit you."
I grinned and sat down in the lobby of the Channel Four building. "Tell me more."

Katie Morrissey was one of the best escapologists the country had to offer. I'd worked with her just the once on a group magician performance and it had been brilliant. The final trick that we had done was a recreation of Houdini's Water Chamber trick. I grinned at the memory of it. The crowd of a 1000 had expected Katie to do the trick, but instead I had, which had made it all the more impressive when I'd appeared at the back of the theatre and ran forward as she kicked open the chamber and climbed out. Of course, the magic trick was quite simply, even if it worked in a slightly different way to the original. At the beginning, I was lowered into the water, suspended by the ankles and as the locks on the top were locked, the locks on the bottom unclipped. Then Katie dropped a sheet was dropped on top of my chamber and the trapdoor opened into a pipe that led out into a pool. I was sucked down into the pool and climbed out, racing directly beneath the audience whilst being frantically dried by stage assistants. Meanwhile, Katie disappeared down a staircase out of sight and swam up the shoot, bolting the trapdoor as hoses in the corners of the chamber filled the chamber back up again. I then drew the audiences attention by shouting, "Over here!" ,whilst she undid the lid of the chamber and waited for me to whip away the cloth so she could jump out. It currently had over 50,000 views on Youtube.
The second member that they'd pulled together was Jimmy. He had no second name and was world famous for his prank tricks, like Saw the Football. He started by offering a deck of cards to a random member of the audience then burnt the card. Then he'd welcomed them to choose a random football from the selection. He'd drawn a saw and then asked her to cut it in half. As she was doing so, a character wearing a mask from Saw jumped out of nowhere to scare her half to death. Much to the annoyance of Jimmy, that'd only had 40,000 views.
The third member was the Infamous Blackburn, who I knew better as John Darwen, which was nearish to Blackburn hence the name. I also knew him as the man that had trained me in everything I knew, which it turned out was how I got this job. He was a tall man with the type of face and attitude that demanded a scarlet and black velvet cape along with a top hat and silver topped cane. He was known as the Infamous Blackburn due to a dice trick he once did without telling the venue holders in which he almost blew up the building they were in.
We were sat around a table in the Channel Four Building and the lady had a file. From it, she pulled a picture. "Anybody know who this?"
"Yes." We all moaned. It was Charles Desole, the famous critic. He'd given each and every one of us a bad review at least twice, and worst of all, he'd started a petition to have "The Infamous Blackburn and Fletcher" put out of the business. He was almost the perfect mark.
"The plan would be to break into his house and steal as much as we can whilst humiliating the police. Everything would be returned in the end and most of the work would be around filming the making of the heist."
"Could we put a bit in about humiliating the police?" The Infamous Blackburn asked.
We all laughed. "The Rozzers been upsetting you again, John?" I asked. He was infamous for being in trouble with the law, a great patron of the rock and roll age of Illusion.
"When aren't they?" Katie laughed.
"I'm sure we could work out something." The lady smiled.
"Baring the in mind," Jimmy said, "I reckon I've got a way to break in. If we were to blow the electricity, we could then race in under the cover of nightfall and drop a sedative gas into the air con."
"Let me stop you there." The lady said. "The house doesn't have air con and the channel would like the heist to include elements of magic. The house has two floors, a roof garden and a basement, and Mr Resole employs three members of staff."
I grinned. "The Four Jacks."
"None of us are called Jack." Jimmy pointed out. "But a great name for the show."
"No, I mean the magic trick!" I exclaimed. I drew a deck of cards from my bag and gave it a quick shuffle, then drew the four jacks and put them at the bottom. I fanned them out from the bottom and then realigned them. I took them from the deck and put them at the top and took the first card and put it at the bottom, then put the second half way through and the third just above, leaving the first at the top. "The Four Jacks, lost around the house. Then I give it a tap."
Then I drew the four cards from the top and showed them as the Four Jacks.
The others grinned and the lady said, "How did you do that?"
"A little bit of misdirection." I grinned.

To be concluded...

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