Dust and Shadow
Mecurio glides through the night, silent, stepping from shadow to shadow in his top hat and black coat. His movements seem unnaturally graceful, as if he is dancing slowly through darkness, performing for an unseen audience. Every aspect seems slightly exaggerated or melodramatic, his lips a little too full, his eyes dark and guarded, his hands flowing in time with his words. It is hard to pin down his age, at times he seems in his late twenties, but when he flashes a rare smile looks more like a teenager.
Late night strollers of the Seattle streets are often surprised by the figure emerging from the darkness. His offer to show them true magic evokes nervous smiles and backward steps. A man picks a card and is told to show it to his wife without looking at it. She sees the Queen of hearts, her face the image of her best friend, her body entwined around the image of her husband. Her shaking hand in turn draws a card, she cannot look and hesitantly holds the face towards her partner. His face suffused with rage, the man turns on the magician only to find him gone. ‘What did you see?’ she asks in a trembling voice. Slowly they both look at the others cards, they have changed, his is now the business card of a marriage guidance councillor, hers is for a divorce lawyer. A low chuckle emerges from the darkness.
No one on the streets knows who Mecurio really is. His magic can be entertaining, horrifying, hilarious or totally obscure. Some rave about his ability and generosity, others curse his name and never return to the street corner where he found them.