All’s fair in love and magic tricks. Especially when your louse of a magician boyfriend is planning to leave you.
Destiny caught a glimpse of her worried reflection in the mirror as she applied mascara to her long lashes. Her large, blue eyes nervously darted back to the space between her toothbrush, an emaciated tube of toothpaste and a hair-clogged razor. Don’t panic, Destiny, she thought. Just because his toothbrush is gone, it doesn’t mean he’s leaving you.
In isolation, her reaction to the missing toothbrush may have seemed melodramatic. Five years as a magician’s assistant had taught her that things were never really gone. Normally, they were hidden in a secret compartment, squirrelled away in a hidden pocket, or they were never there in the first place. The old sleight of hand. However, after ransacking the apartment, checking all his pockets and ruining the lining of his best jacket, Destiny had a sinking feeling. This had all the signs of a poorly executed disappearing act.
“Pass me the razor, babe.”
Marvin’s wet arm emerged from the shower, and his fingers waggled, dripping water all over the floor. After years of being sawn in half, pecked by agitated doves and flapping about in water tanks she deserved an explanation.
“Marvin… Where’s your toothbrush?”
The water stopped running. Destiny folded her arms, narrowed her eyes and tried to look tough. Unfortunately, that was hard to do in a dolphin costume. Marvin threw back the shower curtain in exasperation, and gestured towards the brightly coloured zunga he was wearing.
“I’ve got an hour to get ready and an undercarriage that would frighten a yeti! Why does it matter where my toothbrush is?”
Deflated, she unfolded her arms and shuffled over to hand him the razor before he swept the shower curtain closed.
Marvin had convinced Water World Tours, to let him perform his electrifying show on their glass bottom boat cruise. He would be secured in a strait-jacket and lowered inside a diving cage into the water where swarm of electric eels would then be released. Then he would race against the clock to escape. The expedition had sold out. The promise of a man being shocked by eels before dinner was an enticing lure. Marvin argued that it had never been done before. Destiny wondered if this was because electric eels weren’t really that dangerous and hardly attacked humans. Sharks would draw a bigger crowd. But Marvin wasn’t having any of it.
“Eels are just as entertaining!” he’d insisted.
Destiny had accepted that, but she didn’t understand why she had to be dressed like a dolphin.
“It’s misdirection!” Marvin coaxed. It sounded more like Epiphany, an annoyingly attractive member of the diving crew. She always seemed to miss the top button on her shirt, yet astonishingly never missed their rehearsals. Marvin had taken to discussing the act with her and she was brimming with great ideas, like the zunga. All of a sudden Marvin was wearing cologne. Dressing smarter. Manscaping. Something fishy was going on.
When they arrived at the boat, Destiny was feeling less anxious. She was being paranoid. Marvin was about to pull off the greatest trick of his career and the person he wanted by his side was-
“Babe! Sorry I’m late. I just wanted to make sure I looked the part.”
Epiphany floated onboard in a floor length green and blue sequinned dress. Her vanilla blonde hair was scooped up on top of her head and a Stepford wife smile was plastered on her face.
Destiny had her fingers crossed inside her flippers in the hope Epiphany was here on a date.
“Marvin asked if I could assist him.”
Destiny’s temples throbbed. “I need an aspirin.”
Epiphany swung her bag towards her. “There’s some in there somewhere… Maybe take two. You look terrible.”
Destiny fumbled through the bag. It was packed to the brim with holiday stuff; clothes, passports, toothbrushes… Destiny’s heart sank.
“Did you find it?” Epiphany tilted her head to the side and pouted sympathetically. She had her hand on Marvin’s arm. Destiny’s nodded and waddled over to unpack Marvin’s case.
She refused to cry, choosing to angrily check the equipment. Locks? Check. Straight jacket? Check. Keys?
“Destiny! All ready?”
She smiled at Marvin and held up the spare key “Just about to put it in the side pocket. Oh, and thanks, Epiphany.” Destiny threw the aspirin back towards her and pat the straight jacket happily. “All ready for you.”
The boat buzzed with excitement. Destiny had kids poking at her, pulling her dorsal fin and screaming Baby Shark at her, but she couldn’t help but smile. Epiphany appeared on screens as she secured Marvin into his straight jacket on the deck. They exchanged a knowing look as her hand rested on the inconspicuous little bump on his side. A little girl tugged on the Destiny’s flipper. “Is that a mermaid?”
She bent down and whispered “Mermaids were actually sea cows. So your question should be: is that a sea cow?” The little girl screwed up her face and turned to the blue flashes of electricity beneath her instead. A mechanical whirr could be heard as the cage was slowly lowered into the water. Marvin began to wrestle with the straight jacket and the audience held its breath. Eventually one arm emerged and a collective sigh was released.
“Mommy, are the electric snakes going to bite the man?”
“No, sweetie, he’s going to get away. See that thing in his hand? That’s a key.”
“Actually, it’s not,” said Destiny smiling. “This is a key.” She held out the spare key for the diving cage then gestured at Marvin who was waving an unidentified object in front of him and flailing his legs about, as a swarm of curious eels drew closer.
“That is a toothbrush.”
A crackle filled the air followed by a hiss as the pinched faces of the crowd were washed in blue. Huh, thought Destiny. Marv was right, eels are just as entertaining.