The Evil Magician Boy

Submitted into Contest #42 in response to: Write a story that ends by circling back to the beginning.... view prompt

26 comments

Funny Creative Nonfiction Drama

His soft footsteps pad gently along the carpet of the backstage. He is the essence of coolness, complete with tuba and magician’s wand. His hair flows ever so neatly in the direction of his audience and they are watching in rapt silence as he demonstrates his talents. They are many. His teeth glisten like lined up marble marshmallows; straight and white in his mouth like soldiers of a bonfire army ready for battle. 

This boy is no ordinary boy, but instead a boy so full of shrimp and crackers that he barely has room for a brain beyond being marvelous and wanting everyone to admire him. This is a boy who knows nothing but greatness. His mother and sister, friends and extended family members cheer him on from the small crowd. They probably make up half of it anyway. But who wouldn’t come to watch this lovely person play the tuba and perform wittily commentated magic tricks? Apparently not them, because this is how they are choosing to spend their Thursday night, from six to seven in the evening. And me? 

I loathe every step he makes. He has been (probably) ruining my chances of winning this talent show since year one. This person, this wicked, wicked evil magician child, has a name and I will not disclose it because the letters foul my keyboard and leave my fingers feeling guilty of crimes not to be spoken of. I sit in the back of the lounge, arms crossed over my chest in a sign of discomfort and attempted nonchalance. On the inside, my heart is leaping and bounding and pretty much trying to beat me to death or jump out of my ribcage. Whichever comes first. I give this person a seemingly polite glare in which I hope I don’t show the intent of my darkening expression. He probably thinks I’m just constipated or something. He wouldn’t know because he doesn’t ask. This boy is a wonder of stars in his own eyes. He doesn’t speak to peasants like me. 

I nudge the contestant next to me, alerting her that the six and half (the half is the time he won by default when no one else bothered to show up) time winner has entered the room. I lean toward her and whisper that I wish he would give up once and for all so we could have a shot at winning. She just winces and shakes her head, not wanting the Great and Mighty Evil Magician Child to hear us whispering about him. Fine then. Be that way, Contestant Number Nine. See if I care. (I really don’t.)


The Evil Magician Child sits across from me and my head drops to my hands. I will not engage in a conversation with this demon. Not today, Satan. He looks at his phone, as does the girl next to me. How antisocial of them. I recross my arms and clear my throat. No one acknowledges my presence and so I wish I could shrink or float or just do something to be not here anymore. It’s much too late for that now. I signed the papers, I did the practices, I put up with the treacherous Evil Magician Child all these weeks and weeks of rehearsals, just like I have for the last six and a half years. 


This year, though, I’m ready to win. 

More like: Just beat the Evil One. (I’m shortening it because why not? It’s my story and I can do what I want to do.)


But still. I need to win. Or someone other than him needs to. 

I look at the tag on my shirt. In thick black marker, the tag reads that I have a name, my name is Soandso, and that I am contestant  number four. I don’t want to be a number. I don’t like being labeled so blatantly. But I keep the tag on and I glare silently up at the Evil One, knowing that he is going right before me and if he wins again I will inevitably lose my ever loving mind. Forget about finding it again. As far as I know, there’s no GPS for tracking down lost minds and misplaced senses and scattered marbles. 

A pretty girl in a twirling costume stands up and smiles nicely at me from across the room. She’s going first and I can hear them announcing her name now. It’s a light name with no substance, like she’s but a paper piece and could fly away at any minute. Too bad her talent isn’t kite flying. I wave at her. She could win third place, I guess, if she didn’t drop the batons or throw her flags at one of the judges. That was the worst case scenario. I mouthe, “Good luck,” and the girl with the paper piece name nods and goes up the steps that lead to victory or ultimate dishonor to us all. I tense. The music starts and I can just glimpse the back of the girl. She moves like the wind. She’s fantastic.

When she finishes, all the other contestants including me stand up and clap, holler, and whoop emphatically. She’s never competed before. We have hope in her to outrank the evil angel child and to win. She is our dancing angel, our high flying majesty. We are a common enemy against him; us the army of tryers, and he the one soldier alone in his battle. 

And yet he has won all these past years. 

Still. Our white flag of surrender has yet to go up. We are tryers and fighters and darn the metaphorical farm we are talented! This Evil One has been blinding the judges from our outstanding inner lights; covering our candles with his tuba and magical ribbons; his smug smiling and his polished frame. I can only hope that tonight will swipe that smile and, well, unpolish his frame. 


Next and third in the contest are a rather slumpy boy named Magellen and his pet raccoon doing a political debate, and a duet of siblings that sang a song called “We Are Banned From Ramen Noodles.” I love both of them, but they aren’t good enough to beat whatever the Evil Magician Child has up his ever conniving, ever ironed sleeves. I’m up next and my heart is still rioting. Have I ever swallowed a thunderstorm, to feel this way? 


I stand up and go to the stairs. My vision blurs and my knees knock. I’m so scared of losing to someone who has always won that I’m not giving myself a fair chance. I take a deep breath and step out onto the stage. This is NOT for you, Evil Child Who Plays The Tuba Among Other Things That Win Talent Shows Six Years in a Row. This is for everyone who you keep from shining. This is for me, and the raccoon and slumpy boy. This is for me last year, and the baton twirling girl. This is for me the year before that one, and for the children who never had a cup of sodium in noodle form. This was for our army of losers, and our hopes for the future. 


I finish my act to a couple of polite clappers and reserved giggling. The judges are not impressed. I bow awkwardly and stumble back down the stairs and into the lounge. The Evil One looks up at me and smiles so strangely I have to blink to make sure I’m not dreaming. “You did a good job.” He smiles again. I nod. Why is he nice to me when all I can think about is how to beat him? 


“Hmm. Yeah. You next?” I gesture towards the stairs and sweep my trembling hands back towards him. Why am I even talking to this person? He has cheated me out of so many medals and trophies. He doesn’t deserve my smile or wave or time or anything. I sit down and don’t wait for an answer. He’s already up the stairs and getting settled on the stage. I close my eyes and my clenched fists get tighter as the tuba music grows louder and louder and I know the magic comes from within it. 


The crowd goes wild at the end of his act. 

I don’t congratulate him when he wins first place. 


As I walk back to my car, after the lights of the county fair have quieted and I have eaten my last turkey leg, the Evil Magician Child approaches and I freeze.  “Hey.” He’s not wearing his costume anymore, which makes sense. What did I think, that he traipsed around his high school wearing a full cape and rabbit filled hat? No, he wears shirts and jeans, like any normal, non evil guy would. 


“Oh. It’s you.” I bite my tongue to refrain from calling him Evil Magician Child. “Um, what do you want?” I hope my face isn’t too marred by loose tears. I would hate to seem like a sore loser, after all. 


He looks at his feet. His eyes, I can tell, are stormy. Something is troubling him and I don’t know what except why should I actually care? This kid’s a lunatic. He’s won this thing ever since he was allowed to participate. We were both ten, waiting for the winner to be announced. We stood on the stage, our little, hopeful faces beaming radiance. I watched as he won, and I remember feeling just a little disappointed, but happy for him. 


And then he came back the next year like he had something to prove. And he won. The cycle of winning and coming back to beat us all again and again and again seemed like it would never stop.


“I just wanted to say you did a really good job tonight. I’m going to state next week and I wanted to know if…”


“If what?” I reached for my door handle. “I don’t have all night, darling.” 


“Would you like to come with me?” He smiles again and I kick him in the shins mentally. How dare someone evil be so stupidly nice? “There’s an open spot and I think they could give it to you.” He’s biting his lower lip and bouncing lightly on his heels. He’s nervous? Of what? The girl who’s lost over half a dozen times because of him and his wretched tuba? Well. What a weirdo. 


“Ummmmm. Why are you asking me?” I’m laughing now, laughing right at this ridiculous boy and his fantasy suggestions. “I didn’t even win second or third place… if anything I should…”


“It’s okay if you don’t want to. I just feel like you try so hard every year and don’t get appropriate appreciation of your talents. You’ve really improved over the years. I know I can come off like a Little Lord, but I don’t mean it.” 


“In a different setting, I think it would be okay, but I don’t know you. I don’t think I really want to know you. You have a condescending tone. All the time! You feel sorry for me.” He doesn’t dispute this. Pity scrawls across his face and I know it’s true. “Well. I don’t want the consolation prize. Bye.” I open the car door and get in. “But if you want to do me a favor, don’t come back next year.” 

He nods and backs up. “Huh, yeah, okay.” 

I start the car and start to the ice cream parlor, where I will eat the largest scoop of ice cream legally allowed to minors. I think about the evil magician boy while my brain freezes; about his soft footsteps padding gently along the carpet of the backstage. 




May 15, 2020 16:37

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26 comments

Orenda .
16:57 Jul 16, 2020

You said I'd enjoy it and I did🤎 You stories are always light and heartwarming and man, I look up to you, friend. What really happened to you, if you don't mind me asking?

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Jubilee Forbess
17:01 Jul 16, 2020

So basically, I entered this talent show three years in a row and (I always came in last place because though I can write- yay- I can't really sing, or dance, or do skits, or make speeches) this kid always got first place by doing this little magic show of his. It made me mad too because the rest of the contestants and my family were all enthralled by his *charms* while I was just plotting to ruin his career. And that obviously didn't work out and then he saved my sister and everyone was like, "Oh, great! Now you're a magician and a hero! Hu...

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Orenda .
17:07 Jul 16, 2020

lmaooo...that's sad..i hope he's securing the first place from last if he's continuing to show off his talents hihi..and what skills would you show? (I'm curious, don't mind me> <) and i as well, can't make any public speeches, i suck. i have to stutter over every word lol

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Jubilee Forbess
17:10 Jul 16, 2020

Well, I made a public motivational speech which bombed gloriously because the microphone kept falling over and my notecards got caught in the fan, I wrote and performed a skit about WW2 with my friend and that was okay but the judges didn't appreciate quality theatrics, and then the last time I did the talent show was tango. With my brother. Except we were doing a variation of tango in which it was half tango and half square dancing....?

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Orenda .
17:27 Jul 16, 2020

Omggg....but it must be really "phewww" after the performance. I can relate to you...

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Katy S.
23:02 May 17, 2020

This! I love her bitterness, and "The Evil Magician Boy" made me laugh each time I read it!

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Jubilee Forbess
23:27 May 17, 2020

Thank you! It is a very bitter story to behold, which is why I tried to balance it out with funny.

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Holly Pierce
18:45 Jun 17, 2020

I love that the narrator's name is So and so! It helps convey the way she feels like a background character/person. The bitterness is visible, and I like that the characters didn't have a perfect ending. I like the way the story progressed as we got to know the characters more. Awesome story!

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Jubilee Forbess
18:47 Jun 17, 2020

Thanks, Holly! The narrator is named that way because this is a true story starring me, Rhondalise. :) I was very bitter about the whole scenario until I wrote this, actually.

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Holly Pierce
18:49 Jun 17, 2020

That's understandable, that would be very annoying!

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10:26 May 31, 2022

How I Got My Ex Husband Back.. Am so excited to share my testimony of a real spell caster who brought my husband back to me. My husband and I have been married for about 5 years now. We were happily married with three kids, two boys and a girl. Four months ago, I started to notice some strange behaviour from him and a few weeks later I found out that my husband is seeing someone else. He started coming home late from work, he hardly cares about me or the kids anymore, Sometimes he goes out and doesn’t even come back home for about 3-4 days. ...

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Krishi Norris
20:34 Aug 07, 2020

Great story, Rhondalise! This definitely stuck to the realistic side of things. Also... lmaooooooo.... I saw the comment about what happened! I wish you the best of luck for next year (whenever next year is) and hope that we can defeat this evil magician boy. 😈 Oh, and do you mind checking out my latest story? Thanks!

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Sadia Faisal
07:23 May 28, 2020

nice story, please comment on my story and follow me and ike my story if you like it

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Daryl Gravesande
21:09 May 25, 2020

Yo, What Up???? I think I'll write that basketball one! I need ur opinion, though. Do you think anybody will be able to relate to it? Cuz I know some people on Reedsy play basketball, but for the rest of them.... Is it a good idea?

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Jubilee Forbess
21:57 May 25, 2020

If you write it similar to how you’ve been presenting past stories, I think it would be great. Maybe it would be a good insight to basketball for people who don’t know a lot about it too!

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Daryl Gravesande
22:14 May 25, 2020

Wow! Thanks! Now I'm just waiting for the next prompt that can correlate with the story!

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Jubilee Forbess
22:49 May 25, 2020

I’m not a big fan of basketball, so if you write a good story maybe I’ll change my mind 😂 #1 fan Rhonda

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Daryl Gravesande
22:56 May 25, 2020

Oh YEah!!!! That'll be my motivation! It's a REALLY fun sport!

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Daryl Gravesande
23:03 May 25, 2020

What do you think about this story idea? It's a little scrappy, but sounds a little interesting. Plot: Guy who’s a stalker creates an app where he gets DM’s from guys asking about girls they’re interested in. He gets stumped on this one girl for no reason in particular. Twist, maybe?

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Avani G
13:03 May 18, 2020

I loved the way this story was told! Nice job, Rhondalise!

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Len Mooring
00:13 May 16, 2020

Wonderful. You convey 'bitter and twisted' so well and even avoid a 'Hollywood' ending.

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Jubilee Forbess
00:57 May 16, 2020

***based on a true story that definitely didn't have a Hollywood ending***

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