Box of Swords

Prompt Day #128: Write a notebook entry in the secret diary of a famous magician, like Houdini.


Box of Swords


May 5, 1892: No success yet with the box of swords. I’ve lost another assistant to the trick. I was sure the trap door was the secret, but it appears my timing was off. If I had a real assistant instead of these unwilling, feisty things I am resorted to bringing home, I’m sure the trap door would have succeeded. This one was grislier with my sword penetrating her eyeball. Even with her hands and feet bound (as is necessary with these low creatures) she should have been able to work the lever of the door and escape. It pains me to have to rework this yet again. Why does this trick work so upon my brain? Why must I sacrifice so many to the gods of magic in order to find fame?

Recall the box I fashioned to appear that I am sawing a woman in half; I used up less than half the number of girls perfecting it and left only two permanently disfigured and lame. But this bane of my existence has seen me perforate twelve already, none of which have lived long enough for a second trial. I cannot continue to take girls home and force them to participate. It makes me feel bad. Yet, I must. I must solve the mystery of this magic.

Tonight, I shall endeavor to choose an unfortunate woman who boasts extreme flexibility. I believe the secret may not in fact lie in the trap door but in the assistant’s ability to contort herself around the predetermined locations of the swords! Yes. I am sure that is the secret to the hoax. The woman I choose tonight will perhaps survive the box unscathed. Her death will be for the sake of the ruse and the insurance of a fascination from the audience. My secrets can never be revealed.

In the afterlife, I shall find each and every one of these sorry lambs and make my amends. Until then, they will remain my muses of mystery.