“Can you teach me to do that?” she asked, walking up to him.
“Make smoke come out of my hand,” she said. “I want to be able to do that.”
“Just hold up your hand and think of smoke,” he said. “It’s easy. You just…do it.”
She did what he said, but nothing happened. She tried sitting next to him, standing farther away and turning backward, but nothing she did, made the smoke appear.
“It’s not working,” she sighed, leaning against the wall. “Maybe I’m doing it wrong.”
“Did you turn on your magic?”
“Turn on my magic?” she asked. “What do you mean?”
“Well, you have to turn on the switch, or you’ll never be able to do anything.”
“Where’s the switch?” she asked, excitedly. “I didn’t even know I had one.”
“I think most people have one,” he snickered.
“Tell me where it is, please.”
“It’s here,” he said, tapping on the side of his head.
“On my face?”
“No,” he laughed, “in your mind.”
“Oh,” she said flatly.
“What?” he asked, frowning. “You can do it.”
“I don’t think I can. I think you have magic and I don’t.”
“Are you just going to give up?”
“I don’t want to give up,” she said, truthfully. “I just don’t believe I can do it.”
“But belief is the switch.”
She laughed. “No. It’s not. That’s just something people tell you. They say that if you believe it you can do it. It’s not true. I’ve believed a million things and I can’t do any of them and it’s not because I believed the wrong way, or didn’t believe enough, either.”
“You want to be magic?” he asked.
“Doesn’t everyone?” she laughed, suddenly feeling embarrassed. “Is that silly?”
“Of course not,” he said. “How old are you?”
“Then you can still do it,” he said. “When people get older, they forget about magic and all the things they believed in as children. You probably still look for the little folk too, right?”
She nodded and felt her face turn pink.
“They’re there you know. I bet they see you.”
“Do you really think so?”
“Yes. Do you give them gifts?”
“I leave food and treasures for them in the park.”
“Then they know you’re a friend.”
She beamed at him. “Really.”
“I’m sure of it,” he said. “Now, about the smoke.”
He handed her a silver cylinder. “Hold this above your head and touch this switch.”
She did and smoke came out of the small canister. It looked just like his smoke.
“Before you say anything,” he said, holding up his hand. “This is still magic. Magic is knowing how to do things and get the results you are looking for. It doesn’t matter if the smoke comes from you, or from the canister, it’s still smoke. It’s still beautiful and it’s still coming out of your hand. The one thing you have to learn, if you want to be happy, is that your imagination is the magic. As long as you know that, magic will be with you everyday of your life. Do you believe me?”
“Then open your hand.”
She opened her hand and there was no canister. She turned to say something, but he was gone. She was alone on the street, with smoke coming directly out of her hand.
Photo: Sylvain Gllm