Here’s a story I wrote some time ago, after randomly picking 5 Rory Story Cubes (reading, Big Top, ladder, magic, and a fish) to give me some “inspiration”.
Planning a night out
“Let’s go out tonight, honey”, said Tony Hamilton to Jennifer as he walked into the room reading a newspaper. She turned to him and as he caught sight of her, he almost jumped out of his skin. Her face was white and her eyes were 2 slices of cucumber. She looked like a Pierrot.
“Jeez, Louise!” Tony said nearly jumping out of his skin. “You didn’t say you were ready to go!” he laughed.
“Ha-ha-ha” Jennifer said, not sounding very amused. “I have to wear this mask for 30 minutes, I’ll take a quick shower, get changed and then I’ll be ready, dear. Where do you want to go?”
Seating himself, Tony said “I’ve found something…” and holding the paper in his left hand, he smacked the advert with the back of the fingers of his right “completely different to do tonight”.
Leave me in peace
“Go on, Tony,” Jennifer said, not sounding very intrigued.
“Apparently the Fernandez Circus is in town! Starts at 8pm.” Tony said with an air of triumph.
“You make it sound like “Gladiator”… but it won’t be”, said his wife.
“Well come on, let’s give it a try. Open mind?”
“All right darling. We’ll give it a try. Now go away and leave me and my cucumber in peace for half an hour at least! Please!”
‘We’re going to have to let Mendez go’
Mack Fernandez was standing outside the Big Top talking to his brother Jake on his phone.
“Did you see Mendez last night?”
Jake replied, “I didn’t make it last night. I was in Redditch sizing up that juggling act we’re thinking of pinching… remember?”
“Yeah, Jake… sorry, my mind’s going. I think it’s Mendez’s act. He was shocking. What a replacement for the Great Andreotti. You should’ve been there, just to see how bad he was. We should never have lost Andreotti. We’re going to have to let Mendez go… Cheer me up. Tell me about those jugglers…”
In the Big Top that night Jennifer and Tony were laughing at the clowns. The Charlie Cairoli lookalike was driving a medium-sized toy car over the pierrot clown’s foot, then reversing back over it, and doing this again and again. The Pierrot wasn’t at all amused, but Charlie was immensely pleased with himself. Pierrot hit Charlie with a trombone, knocking his hat off.
“Absolutely brilliant,” wheezed Tony. Jennifer gazed back at him indulgently. He worked hard and deserved some relaxation once in a while.
After the clowns left the ring, the moustachioed ringmaster came on to announce the Amazing Fratelli Family, gymnasts and acrobats. They proceeded to thrill and amaze the crowd. A human pyramid was the highspot, with all levels of Fratelli’s, from Grandad to smallest child taking part. The crowd were on the edge of their seats as the smallest girl, wearing freckles, a cerise tutu and ringlets of red hair, climbed the pyramid, part of it by ladder, to stand triumphantly at the top, arms shaping graceful arcs, requesting rapturous applause from an enchanted audience.
In a surprisingly confident voice, Crissy with the aid of the ringmaster’s microphone, announced the entry of the Great Magician, Emanuel Mendez!
“I’ve been looking forward to seeing him. I adore magic!” whispered Jennifer. Tony nodded in anticipation.
Mendez looked more nervous than you would expect a magician to look. He was a replacement for a really excellent magician, who was a member of the Magic Circle. Smart’s Circus offered him more and he took it, leaving Fernandez’s under a cloud. Mack Fernandez was furious, but there was nothing he could do. Money talks.
Pulled a fish
It was clear it wasn’t going to be a good night for the Mighty Mendez when he, unexpectedly pulled a plastic fish out of his sleeve, instead of the expected string of flowers. He was more surprised and disappointed than anyone.
The audience guffawed, and this was not the reception Mendez had hoped for. He followed this up by inviting an attractive lady member of the audience and her male friend to step into the ring. Asking the lady for her attractive necklace and the gentleman for his expensive looking timepiece, Mendez wrapped them in a brightly coloured handkerchief. While the audience chattered in anticipation, the magician smiled brightly at the audience as he smashed the hammer several times forcefully into the handkerchief.
He had intended to switch the cherished jewellery to break up only cheap copies, but realised during the ‘reveal’, he’d forgotten the switch and had destroyed both cherished items instead.
The audience roared its’ approval when the handkerchief was removed with a flourish to reveal the wreckage. The young lady was evidently distraught and her escort very, very angry. The ringmaster had to escort both from the arena, and outside Mack Fernandez wrote them both big cheques in compensation. The crowd found the whole episode hugely amusing, much to Fernandez’ relief and Mendez’s embarrassment
The next day, Mack Fernandez received a call.
“Hi, my name’s Tony Hamilton. I saw you after your new magician messed up last night. You looked pretty angry.”
“Listen Mr Hamilton, I don’t know what you’ve rung for, but if it’s just to laugh at me, don’t bother!”
“I was ringing you with a possible solution, Mr Fernandez.”
“Go on then. I’d love to hear about it,” mocked the circus owner…
“Jennifer, let’s go out tonight. I’ve had a hard week, opening factories here there and everywhere. Just like to forget about work, if it’s okay with you?” said Tony Hamilton.
“You bet”, said Jennifer “Where are we going?”
“How about the circus?” said Tony.
“AGAIN?” said Jen.
The new bloke
The following day Jake phoned his brother.
“Hey Mack. I heard great things about the show last night. A couple of friends were in the crowd and gave me the low-down. Said it was a superb night, especially with that new guy of yours. Went down a storm!”
“Mendez? Whoever thought you could turn a magician into a comedian! Brilliant. The new Tommy Cooper!”
The Midas Touch
“Tommy who?” said Mack, puzzled.
“Aw c’mon, bruv. You ain’t that young that you don’t remember him on the TV when we were kids. He was a legend!”
Mack started laughing down the phone and couldn’t stop. He’d get the publicity boys on it right away! The new Tommy Cooper… YES!
“They liked him then? It’s amazing what a bit of man-management can do, Jake.”
Mack still had the Midas Touch…
© adewils 2018
If you enjoyed this, try the story How Honey Got Happy which I entered (unsuccessfully 🥲) into a romantic story-writing competition!