The magician strides onto the stage, tall and elegant, wearing a bowler cap and a black blazer to match his pants and suspenders.
He smiles, an empty smile. One that has been repeated every day for a different batch of little whiny brats. The magician raised his hands and the children continued yammering away. The twerps didn’t even notice him. He hated going after the clowns.
But this time, something is different. One child, a little girl wearing a dark dress stares intently at the magician. Realizing he actually had an audience for once, he leapt into action.
First he pulled a rabbit out of his little bowler cap. The other children didn’t notice a thing, of course, but the one child smiled faintly. Smiling back, the magician grew confident and was actually enjoying his job for once.
Pulled flowers out of thin air, made cards fly from one hand to the other, dancing handkerchiefs.
Noone else noticed him but that darling little girl. She was smiling widely now and clapped and giggled after every trick.
Then his act was over, and the tigers were dragged out. Of course that’s when the children all looked at the stage in excitement. The magician looked to the crowd, trying to get one last glimpse at his only fan. But her attention had turned to the tigers, the magician had been forgotten.
Saddened, the magician left the tent and trudged over to his trailer. After he closed the door behind him, he turned on his lamp.
The girl was in his trailer.
“Hello, mister.” She said sweetly.
“Hallo? ‘Ow’d you get in me trailer?”
“Well, anyways, wot can I do you for?”
She looked up at him with wide innocent eyes.
“Are you a REAL magician?”
He winked, “Best there is, missy.”
“Make me pretty.”
The magician was taken aback. She was a fairly pretty little girl already.
“Make me pretty.” She said it with a bit of force this time.
The magician looked at her.
“Missy, you’re already the most darling little girl I’ve ever seen!”
That’s when he noticed things he hadn’t noticed before, the differences between the skin tones between her face and hands, the way her eyes looked sunken in…
Like she was wearing a mask…
“MAKE ME PRETTY!” She screamed. This time the magician saw that she had no tongue and sharp sharp teeth.
The magician was terrified. He walked back, and tripped over a wand and landed on his rear.
“Please… Stay back…” She was stepping towards him menacingly, baring her sharp fangs.
“Make… me… pretty.”
Then the mask slid off.
It fell with a splat onto the floor, and the magician saw it was real human skin. He was too scared to look at the creature’s real face, so he stared in horror at the mask.
“Make me pretty…” the voice was less cutesy now… it was raspy and evil.
“I… I can’t…”
He glanced up and saw the thing’s horrible face. It was wrinkled and pink, with those sharp teeth, small black eyes, without a nose…
He couldn’t move as the creature lunged towards him.
The magician strides onto the stage, tall and twitchy, wearing his usual outfit, only this time it was stained horribly with something. The magician looked at the yapping children with black eyes and readjusted his mask.
His stomach growled as he looked at the children. He hadn’t eaten all day, he’d been too busy trying to look pretty.