The Trick

“You want to see a trick?”

Her eyes narrowed. “What kind?”

“Like nothing you’ve ever seen,” he said, and took a swig straight from the bottle. Red wine stained his teeth. “Promise.”

“All right.” She leaned back in the chair as he stood up, crossed to the centre of the room, and did some kind of odd shoulder-shrugging warmup dance. He’d left the bottle on the table, and she took it, wrapped her lips around it, and chugged what remained of the wine. She had a buzz going and wasn’t about to lose it.

Without prelude, without screaming, without any warning whatsoever, he burst into flames. In perfect silence he burned, staring into her soul with those intense grey eyes he had.

She dropped the bottle. It shattered, green shards everywhere. She wanted to scream but couldn’t. She stared as he was consumed.

There was a pile of ash and a black spot on the hardwood, and no other evidence he’d ever existed.


The door opened and he walked in. She leapt from the recliner, embraced him, and said, “How’d you do it?”

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