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    Monday, April 14, 2008

    I discovered my Uncle was a Wizard in the late 70s


    Part 1

    I discovered my Uncle was a Wizard in the late 70s. He lived in a trailer whose floor was strewn with hunks of silver that he conjured from beer cans. He smoked Swisher Sweets, and when he exhaled dragons came from his mouth, circling the room until they were dissipated by the ceiling fan.

    His favorite shirt was dark blue polyester, decorated like a Jackson Pollock. He'd done something to it though. I remember watching a knife break against its surface as someone tried to stab him outside the bait shop where he bought his crickets. Seconds after the blade hit the ground, my Uncle pulled the man close and whispered something in his ear. The man ran away screaming, ripping out large tufts of his own hair.

    I'd come to stay with him for the summer when I was 9. My parents had gone off on a jaunt to Jamaica and decided I was too young to enjoy the trip. Really, they just didn't want me around. We all knew it was true and had all come to accept the fact. I slowed them down.

    I didn't realize what he was until I watched him light his cigar one night with a green flame from the palm of his hand. I had gotten up to get a drink of water and had frozen at the door at the sight of the flame dancing in his hand. He watched me as I walked across the living room and into the kitchen. He knew I'd seen him, and I guess it was then that he decided to let me in on the secret. He didn't say anything that night, but the next morning he woke me up by levitating me off the bed. I pissed myself when I realized what was going on. He broke out laughing hysterically and lost his concentration. I hit the bed and bounced onto the floor.

    After he'd stopped laughing he helped me up and apologized. He promised not to do it again and I believed him. I always believed everything he said, so later when he told me he was a Wizard, I just accepted it as fact. It was the only explanation after what I'd seen.

    Later I would come to the realization that my Uncle wasn't just a Wizard, he was the Rockford of magic. He was a private eye with something up his sleeve. I've never met anyone cooler, or more honest.

    It was a fateful summer and it made me who I am today. While I still can't turn beer cans to silver, I can conjure a green flame in the palm of my hand. That, and I can turn a shirt impenetrable. I've picked up a few hundred other small tricks along the way including one I just learned. One that I'll use as soon as I find the person who killed my Uncle.

    Most of the tricks I learned directly from him during the summers I spent in Florida. After that first summer I just kept going back and he kept letting me. As I grew older, we got to know each other better. I had my first drink with him. I also picked up his other bad habit. Not Swisher Sweets though, something about sugar and smoke makes me want to vomit every-time.

    The flame in the hand conjure was the first one he taught me. That same night I made my second visit to a hospital, my birth being the first. I told the doctor that I'd burnt my hand while trying to light kerosene in it. My Uncle pretended to be angry with me and the doctor gave me a lecture about setting things on fire in my hand, then he rubbed some ointment on the burn and wrapped it.

    That first lesson, my Uncle said, was the principle behind everything he would teach me. The conjuring is the easy part. Controlling what you Conjure was where the skill lay. I never forgot that, and when I think I might I make a fist with my hand, letting the scar at its center remind me.


    1 comment:

    Brad said...

    Nice. I'm waiting for more.