the craft of O

Image of Juliet Berto, credit Jonathan Rosenbaum

Welcome, Ladies and Gentlemen, to the fifteenth of twenty-six interactive magic tricks that will lead you to your fortune as you determine it.

a-to-z_directionsAs per the 21 March intro to this magic act, my assistant, Juliet Berto, handed me the Collins Concise* and blindfold me, whereupon I riffled through the O’s and landed my fingertip randomly on a page. And when Juliet removed the blindfold, my fingertip was squarely on “occult.”

And while Juliet was offstage conjuring the banner you see at the top of this post, I wildly jotted down the flash below in the Moment Of Meant To Be.** Now, the rest of this trick is up to you, Ladies and Gents!

If it pleases you, merely read the flash below and record what predominant meaning the sum of those words strikes in your heart. And for every trick after this, from P to Z, you may do the same. And when I have pulled from the hat the essence of the random word of Z, and you have pondered its significance, you may allow the accumulative magic of all tricks A-Z to reveal to you your fortune.



“South Dallas Blues”

It was 4:30pm and Dean Bodin was sitting on a bar stool nursing his after-work pint in a South Dallas bar. He was deep in thought when a woman’s voice said, “Excuse me, is this seat taken?”

Dean looked around to see a tall, very chic and well coiffed brunette with a sparkle in her eyes. He figured she couldn’t be interested in the likes of him, as rotund and unkempt as he was, but he just shrugged and motioned for her to sit.

The bartender was in front of her in an instant, grinning his fool head off.

“Gin martini with a 3:1 ratio of vermouth, stirred, straight up,” the woman said, and the bartender dashed off to prepare it.

Dean ignored the heat of the woman’s eyes on him until he couldn’t take it anymore. “So, what brings you to a dive like this?” he said.

“I was going to ask that of you,” she said.

They introduced themselves. She was called Myrna. Their rapport was easy and he found himself telling her things he’d normally reserve for the closest of friends, one such thing being his most recent encounter with two witches.

“It was the wildest thing,” Dean said, “In this rat-hole apartment complex I lived in, on one side of me there lived a chick named Deidra who took up witchcraft a few months after I’d moved in. The walls there were about paper thin and I could hear her practicin’ spells kinda awkward-like. Not long after that, Fay moved into the apartment on the other side of me and from the get-go I knew she was a witch ‘cause she was real confident chanting her spells. Well, not long after that is when it all started. I was watching the game, like I do every Sunday of football season, and I could hear the both of them at it, so I turned up the TV. Soon as I sat back down, the beer bottle I was holding flew straight outta my hand and smashed into the wall on Deidra’s side. While I was cleaning up the mess I cut my hand pretty bad, then there was a knock on the door and it was Deidra wonderin’ if I was OK, then she saw blood comin’ through the rag I’d wrapped my hand in and she ran back to her apartment. I didn’t get a chance to tell her about the other witch but she must’ve figured it out, ‘cause before I knew it they were volleying spells back and forth at each other and I was gettin’ their fallout. After the beer bottle incident, the coffee table slammed into my shins and pinned me up against Fay’s wall, and it escalated from there. I tell you they nearly killed me tryin’ to get at one another spell-wise.”

Myrna gasped. “You can’t be serious!”

“Oh I’m dead serious, Myrna,” Dean said. “I wouldn’t joke about somethin’ like that. The final straw was when a dinner plate came spinnin’ out from the kitchen cabinet on Fay’s side like a buzz saw and straight at me. I ducked just in time to keep it from slicing through my neck but it gashed the top of my head, knocked me out. When I came to, I was on the floor with my head in a pool of blood. I staggered to the bathroom, the blood just rushing out, and I got a towel and held it hard on the gash and drove myself to the emergency room. They stitched it up and then I went to the nearest motel. The next day I rented a room at a fleabag hotel on the other side of town, been there for a couple months now. Never did go back to my old apartment, took care of everything by phone.”

Myrna swirled the olive around in her drink. “What makes you think the two witches were trying to kill each other and not you?”

Dean stared dumbfounded into his beer for a few moments, then he looked at Myrna and said, “Well now, that thought never crossed my mind…”

Myrna just stared back at him with a hint of a smirk on her lips.

Dean looked back into his beer and thought some more, then said, “I guess it made sense with the blows back and forth, from Deidra’s wall to Fay’s wall and vice versa, like a fight to the death, you know?”

“Have you never heard of cats toying with their prey?” Myrna said.

Dean looked at Myrna. There was no smirk, no sparkle, just a flat black stare.

“Don’t worry, Dean” she said, and shifted her gaze from his face to just beyond his left shoulder. “All that is behind you.”

Dean turned his head to follow her gaze and nearly jumped out of his skin when he saw Deidra and Fay walking toward him.

Deidra said, “Long time no see, Dean-o.”

Fay winked at him. “You ready to pick up where we left off?”



Share your predominant thought with the audience or keep it a secret. As always, it’s entirely up to you.

Until next time, look for the magic and you will find it!



The Grand Reveal – 21 March 2014
Trick A – Albanian – 1 April 2014
Trick B – Black Forest – 2 April 2014
Trick C – Claw – 3 April 2014
Trick D – Docket – 4 April 2014
Trick E – Endanger – 5 April 2014
Trick F – Finicky – 7 April 2014
Trick G – Grave – 8 April 2014
Trick H – Harvester – 9 April 2014
Trick I – Inevitable – 10 April 2014
Trick J – Jukebox – 11 April 2014
Trick K – Keyhole – 12 April 2014
Trick L – Liberal Arts – 14 April 2014
Trick M – Masking Tape – 15 April 2014
Trick N – Nonce – 16 April 2014


* The Collins Concise Dictionary Of The English Language, Second Edition 1988, Collins – London and Glasgow

**the Moment Of Meant To Be is the instant of lucidness that arises from the contemplation of any given thing and subsequently reveals the essence of it. These Moments will be dashed off in paragraphs of 200 words or less and may be dark or shining, delirious or rational, but each paragraph will stir thoughts and feelings that lead to a meaning unique to you.

4 responses to “the craft of O

  1. Hello. I wanted to leave you a note to congratulate you on your blog. I love the tone and the concept. So much work is put into each flash fiction post. Best of luck finishing the challenge.

    • Thank you, Elise, for your compliments and comment. And I can surely use your good luck wish : )

    • Yes, my dear, it did, but I will give you this: for H, my fingertip fell squarely on “Halloo” which in my current mood might have produced at least a fun little paragraph about calling hounds at a hunt or a more serious ditty about calling to an old dog friend who’s passed on perhaps… But I was in mental knots from pressure to produce and those ideas didn’t exist for me then, so in the MOMTB I spun the wheel again!

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