“Yes, she’s far more adorable than a rabbit pulled from a hat, isn’t she, folks? Far more intelligent too.” I told the small crowd. Leaning down to Raine in her kitten form, I pretended to listen to her and then said, “Oh. They doubt you? No, look again. That’s not doubt, but awe.” Then I turned to the audience and told them “Give her a big round of applause, and maybe we can convince her to prove to you how utterly amazing she is.”
Luckily, most of the audience followed my instructions. Raine really did need the boost of confidence. I felt her shivering in my hands. Maybe this was too much too soon for the poor girl.
“Thank you! Thank you. What would you like to see her do first? How about teleportation?” I asked, looking around.
There were quite a few smiling faces, and, going by their expressions, a number of them liked the idea of seeing a cat do magic tricks. Kitten, maybe? I still hadn’t decided what to call Raine in her cat form. She was a bit larger than a young kitten but not really as large as a fully grown cat. I set Raine on the table and opened the door to one of the transparent tubes on it.
“Here you are, my lady.” I told Raine, gently giving her a pat.
She timidly stepped into the tube and used her mouth to pull the door shut, earning a small applause.
I then stepped away from the table and said, “Now I’m sure some of you are already making guesses as to how our little friend here will teleport from one tube to the other, but you can keep on guessing as I remain over here.”
When I snapped my fingers, mist filled both tubes while electricity seemed to shoot between the tubes. Aaliyah had explained in excessive detail how every part of each trick worked, so I even knew the physics behind the electricity. Hopefully, Raine would be opening the hidden compartment in the table and scurrying over to the other one as we had practiced. The trick was simple enough, and Raine was very fast.
A big round of applause came as the mist cleared from the tubes. Raine had switched and didn’t forget to shut the trapdoor this time. She stepped out of the tube and took a bow, which earned another round of applause.
“Isn’t she every bit as talented as I promised? For our next trick, I’m going to allow Raine to saw me in half. Yes, you heard me correctly. This cute cat will be sawing me in half.” I announced to the crowd.
The incredulous expressions were priceless. There were some laughs as I helped Raine into a lab coat for the trick. After I wheeled out the apparatus with the enormous sawblade, Raine and I demonstrated how easily the electric saw cut through a two-by-four. Then I wheeled over the box in which I was to lie, stepped inside, and was thankful the controls weren’t as complicated as they looked. In truth, Raine could hit any switch she wanted and have the same effect. Most of the tricks we were doing today used specialized computers to insure safety and proper timing. Aaliyah, of course, had designed all of it.
When Rained used one of her paws to pull down a big lever, the box I was in split in half, revealing to the crowd that I did appear to be in two pieces. The feet in the other box were props rigged to move around, but the tech controlling them followed voice prompts. I took turns asking the audience for various requests to prove I still had control over my feet. Afterward, I warned the crowd might not want to watch me being pieced back together, since Raine was “all paws” with the glue, though she held the bottle in her mouth. I also requested that they please excuse me if I start coming apart again later in the show, since the glue would occasionally break.
Things continued going well as Raine and I performed card tricks with the audience, did a few levitation stunts, and finally had Raine pretending to be psychic via a crystal ball. For the last trick, I discovered that Raine’s eyesight was far better than any human’s. Aaliyah had explained that the computer for the trick analyzed the subject and provided written responses in the crystal ball, which Raine then used to act out the answer for various inquiries. Two hours went by surprisingly smoothly, and I felt we were a hit with the crowd.
Given my natural magic and a crowd consisting mostly of junior high girls, I suppose the outcome was inevitable, but I performing magic tricks was far more entertaining than I’d have guessed. Part of me was hoping I would get to attempt this again sometime. The girls wanted to pet and admire Raine after the show, which was fine. Aaliyah had warned us that they might, so Raine was mentally prepared for it. We were to stick around until after the cake was cut. Then I needed to get the stage and props loaded back into the truck Aaliyah had procured for us. As I was about to leave, the birthday girl’s mother, Mrs. Vander, stopped me.
“Sorry to keep you, but I simply must ask… would you be willing to sell that cat?” she asked.
I stared at her in shock for a moment, replaying what she inquired in my mind to make sure I wasn’t hearing things. Then I said, “Oh. No. Sorry. She’s definitely not for sale.”
“Are you sure you can’t be persuaded? Given the large variety of things your business does, I doubt she’s really brought out that much, and we would give her a great deal of attention. As a best friend, I’m sure you can understand how important making my daughter happy on her birthday is, and she’s quite taken with your cat.” she stated.
“I really can’t sell her. She’s quite popular among my employees, and I can’t imagine she’d ever forgive me if I let her go. I would be quite willing to help find another cat suitable for your daughter if that would help.” I assured her.
“I can’t imagine training one so well to be very quick. I’m willing to pay a great deal if you’ll sell her to me this instant.” insisted Mrs. Vander.
“No matter the price, I can’t sell my friend. She’s one of a kind. Please excuse me. I do have another engagement soon.” I replied.
Mrs. Vander’s persistence was making me uneasy, but then she said, “Well, thank you for listening. I do understand. We all loved the performance. Don’t be surprised if we ask you here again next year!”
Raine curled up on the passenger’s seat and appeared to be napping before we had gone a block. I couldn’t really blame her, thinking of how stressed she probably felt from all the attention. If Mila was driving, I could be doing something else as well. I missed her. I was going off directions Aaliyah had shown me a couple days before, but I didn’t have any way to get updated traffic reports directly to my mind. Seeing a collision ahead, I turned off into an alley that I remembered connecting to a parallel street. The car behind me apparently had the same idea. Now we were both stuck as a semi was taking up the entire alley.
When the trailer’s doors opened, I found myself under attack. There were three people attempting to use magic to attack my vehicle. Stopping them was incredibly easy. They weren’t even on par with the twins, not that Ai or Mai were shoddy with their magic. I was simply accustomed to far more from training with Alma regularly. Four men had stepped out of the vehicle that followed me into the alley. One was retrieving traffic cones from the trunk while the other three were approaching. I didn’t see any guns out, but I could easily guess what this was about. I sighed, not really wanting to deal with this. I wasn’t even certain how I was going to deal with this. Alma probably would have killed the men, incinerating them to get rid of all evidence. There was no way I could get myself to kill someone, especially when they seemed practically helpless compared to me. Perhaps word of my abilities wasn’t widely spread.
The semi trailer was relatively empty, so I did some quick guesstimating regarding its weight. If only Mila was here, I could have a far more accurate estimate. I pulled all of the residual energy in the area to me, including the energy the men in the trailer were attempting to form into spells. I created spells to bind them and the three approaching my vehicle in place, and then used my guesstimation to lift the semi and its trailer with another spell. As the semi rose a bit more rapidly than I had intended, I realized my guess was a bit off. Nonetheless, I easily drove under it, made a spell to break its axle, and set it back down, hoping that no one driving by had noticed a flying semi. Since no one had suddenly swerved, I was betting I was fairly safe. I would be very surprised if any of them managed to pursue me quickly, especially considering I had put enough energy into the binding spells to keep them there a good minute.
As I continued home, nothing else unfortunate took place, but I found myself debating whether or not I should inform my girlfriend about the situation. I felt she’d approve of how I handled it, but I was concerned about whether or not she’d let me out of her sight again. She had been against me going on a job with Raine in the first place, and I wouldn’t really be surprised if she felt I should be in her company continuously, not that her company had prevented me from being shot on our first attempt at a date. If Alma and I did end up marrying eventually, I would have to crown myself king of in-law stories, especially ones that could never be told.