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Excerpt from Chapter 6 of Six Dead Spots by Gregor Xane:
The magician made three passes with his wand over Frank’s body, from head to toe, from toe to head. With each pass, Frank felt more relaxed. And with the final pass, he felt his muscles liquefy, a heavy paralysis setting in. He tried to move his limbs, to wriggle his toes, and discovered that he no longer had control over his own body.
Frank was terrified. He didn't like losing control. He struggled to move, to right himself, to sit up and jump from the table, run out the front door and into the streets. But he was trapped. His flesh felt like three hundred pounds of wet cement poured over helpless bones. He tried to open his mouth to scream, to plead for release, but his tongue was dead. His jaw was limp and useless.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” the magician said, “prepare to be astonished!”
The magician circled the table and Frank heard a distant clanging sound, like a truckload of pipes rolling down a hillside.
The magician raised his right arm straight over his head and a pipe rose out of his sleeve. It performed a sleepy dance, like a hypnotized cobra. The magician took the pipe in hand and twirled it like a baton. The pipe was about three feet in length and hollow. It sang as it was whipped through the air.
“Now this won’t hurt a bit,” the magician said. He took the pipe in both hands and impaled Frank’s lower abdomen.
Frank would have jumped, would have screamed, if he could. But he was helpless. He could feel the pipe pass through him, but it wasn't painful. The magician had been telling the truth. It didn't hurt a bit. He felt instead a tugging sensation, like the terrible discomfort he’d suffered years ago when his doctor had sent a camera up his ass to inspect his small intestines.
Although there was no pain, there was blood. As soon as one end of the pipe was lodged into his gut, a splash of red burst from the opposite end. But instead of dribbling down the length of the pipe and onto the table, the crimson burst stayed fixed in the air, as if time had suddenly stopped. And then Frank realized that what he saw wasn't blood, but a bouquet of red roses pushed up through the end of the pipe.
The crowd went wild.
The magician threw his wand into the air and it spun like a propeller over Frank’s face, defying gravity for an incredible length of time, before it dropped again into the magician’s hand, transformed into a second length of pipe. The magician raised the pipe and drove it through Frank’s solar plexus.
Frank felt the uncomfortable tugging again. And this time he noticed the crunch of the pipe penetrating the wood at his back.
Or was that the snapping of my spine?
Frank stopped breathing.
Lotus blossoms sprung from the top of the pipe.
The magician reached up and plucked the roses from the first pipe and presented them to a woman standing in the front row. She blushed, gloated over her prize to her neighbors.
The magician returned to the pipe, waved his hands, and his wand was returned to him. It shot up from inside the pipe as if borne by a tightly coiled spring. The magician caught it and followed up with a grandiloquent bow.
He then plucked the lotus blossoms from the second pipe and tossed them to another woman standing near the back of the gathering. She yelped with surprise and giggled with embarrassment as she fumbled to catch the bouquet.
The magician called for absolute quiet. When all was still, he performed a variety of arcane gesticulations over the second pipe. And a third pipe telescoped from within, jumping into his hands. The magician twirled it overhead, turning in circles like a go-go cowgirl twirling a lasso in just her bra and panties, and then drove the third and final pipe straight through Frank’s chest.
Gregor Xane writes science fiction, fantasy, and horror stories in Ohio. His short story "It Came From Hell And Smashed The Angels" was recently published in TWO: The 2nd Annual Stupefying Stories Horror Special. His second novella, The Hanover Block, is slated for release in the first half of 2014.
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