(I enter my old story for the contest Sound-expressions)
It was dusk and getting dark. I was standing on the bridge over the river watching the gurgling water and enjoying with a tinge of sadness the fading skyline. The park in the distance with dazzling lights and varied plants and flowers looked alluring. A boat was seen swiftly moving down the river splashing water along. I had no interest to rush home as my wife was away at her parent’s place. She was expecting.
I heard a soft voice by my side ”Sir, sorry to disturb you. Are you inclined to see a little magic?”
Startled I turned around to see a middle aged man in a much worn out jeans and a faded T-shirt with a coat that had seen much decay. His face was slightly long but there was a twinkle in his eyes suggesting a pleasant personality behind. He wore a Hawaii chappal that must have been in long use.
I asked him “What do you want?” even as I put my hand in my trouser pocket looking for small change.
He smiled at me saying ”Please don’t bother. I am not a beggar seeking alms. I just wished to show you a magic if you are in a mood to witness.”
Feeling bad that I had hurt him I said “Why not? I would love to see your trick”
“Good. Give me a ten rupee note. I will transform it into a beautiful butterfly” he said with a faint wink of his eye.
Intrigued as I was as how he can change a tenner into a butterfly, I played along and proffered a ten rupee note watching his movements carefully. I thought I heard a sweet humming tone and as my attention was distracted for not more than a second, he produced a multi hued butterfly in his hands with the tenner vanishing in thin air. The insect fluttered its multi colored wings as he handed it over to me. I was bemused and totally taken by surprise by the sleight of his dexterous hands.
I asked him “Where is the ten rupee note?”
“It is in your hands, sir in the form of butterfly” he replied with a smile.
As I sheepishly smiled back at my naivette, he said he can transform a 100 rupee note into a 500 rupee one. I thought he did produce a butterfly as promised for a tenner and why not trust him for a 500 rupee note that surely would be in my hands.. Greed overpowered my caution. I parted with a hundred rupee note.
But this time I decided I would be extremely careful in focusing all my attention on him. As he took the 100 rupee note and asked me to watch carefully, I heard for a second a hissing sound of a viper by my feet and involuntarily I jumped to see nothing near my feet. Meanwhile he held in his hand a crackling new 500 hundred rupee note. I took it with eagerness and turned it several times. When I asked him whether he can change one more hundred rupee note, he declined saying “It is my promise to my guru that I would not use this magic for profiteering or for personal benefit”
I walked back home happily thinking of my good fortune. I rang up my wife and told her of my good luck.
It was three days later when I met my good friend at Adyar and related to him about the man transforming a tenner to a butterfly, he interrupted me and asked whether I got a 500 rupee note fin lieu of a hundred. Surprised I asked him whether he had spoken to my wife, he chuckled and said “You are a sucker. That fellow has been cheating all gullible folks like you. The 500 rupee note you have is a counterfeit one. Go to bank and check it”
It was then that I remembered the sounds of the tune and the hiss and became aware he was a ventriloquist too besides being a magician.