There’s something untrustworthy about someone who can levitate. I mean, who can do that? I may only be ten, but I’m not your average believe-everything-you-hear kid. I’m a detective. Don’t believe me? I have a trench coat and brief case filled with all kinds of detective stuff to prove it. Because I’m a detective, I don’t believe everything I see like most of the dull minds around me. I’m too smart for that. I have to see the evidence. The cold hard facts. The proof is what I’m after.
But there comes a time in every detective’s life when the proof is questionable, the facts aren’t factual, and the evidence has been tampered with. Yes people, some things you see with your own eyes aren’t real. It’s shocking, I know, but you have to grow up and face the facts sometime.
This time of revelation came to me at a spring carnival. Bobby (my side-kick) and I were watching a magic show on a make-shift stage. The magician told us that he was going to levitate. I didn’t believe him of course. No detective would. He told the crowd to hold out their hands so they could catch him if he went too high. I kept my hands to my sides, but Bobby held out his arms to catch him, even though we were at the back of the crowd.
“You don’t have to do that Bobby. He isn’t really going to levitate,” I informed him.
“But he said he would,” Bobby said, keeping his arms out like a zombie in search of its next meal.
“Don’t believe everything adults say, especially if they tell you they are going to levitate.” My words of wisdom were wasted. Bobby wasn’t listening to me. The magician was turning so that his back was to us. He said some gibberish that was supposed to be magic words, then his feet moved a few inches off the ground.
“See L.C.? He did it!” Bobby bounced up and down on the balls of his feet. “He was off the ground!”
“It was a trick,” I told him, “No one can levitate.”
“But he just did! Didn’t you see him?”
See what I have to put up with? Kids are so gullible. I reminded myself to be patient. Bobby was only a sidekick after all.
“It only looked like was off the ground. He wasn’t really in the air.”
“Then how’d he do it?” Bobby asked.
“How should I know? I’m a detective, not a magician.”
“Then how did you know he didn’t do it?”
“Because no one—besides Harry Potter—knows how to do real magic.”
Bobby’s eyes got really big. Finally, he understood. I knew it was tough to have your childhood beliefs shattered, but my sidekick had to be informed about these kind of things.
“He’s from Hogwarts!” Bobby exclaimed.
“Of course Harry Potter is from Hogwarts…”
“Not Harry. Him.” Bobby pointed to the stage where the magician was taking a bow. “The only people who can do magic are from Hogwarts. He has to be from there.”
Note to self: Don’t try to explain magic to an eight year old by referencing Harry Potter. Bad combination.
“Think about the facts Bobby. He can’t be from Hogwarts. He doesn’t have an English accent.” Detectives are really good at being observant you know.
“Maybe he’s an American transfer student.” Bobby shrugged.
Kids these days. They have to argue about everything.
“He isn’t using real magic and he didn’t really float off the ground.”
I would just have to prove it to Bobby.
“He’s back on in thirty minutes,” I told Bobby as I read the sign that had the times that the magician would do his show. “We’re going to watch his show again and I’ll prove that he wasn’t really levitating.”
“How are you going to do that?” Bobby asked. “You just said you don’t know how he did it.”
“I’m going to find out. That’s what being a detective is all about. Finding out the truth.”
When the show started again, Bobby and I snuck behind the curtain. I didn’t see anything that would help him levitate, even after looking through my magnifying glass.
“See,” said Bobby, “It is real magic.”
At this point, most people would have given up, but not me. I don’t stop looking for the evidence until I find it. I crept closer to the curtain and peeked through the small space between it and the stage floor. Bobby came next to me and did the same.
“What are we doing?” he asked in a rather loud whisper. I put my finger to my lip. “All we can see is his feet. How is that going to…. Oh.”
My sidekick isn’t the brightest in the world. But he’s the only thing I have to work with at the moment.
We watched the magician’s feet as went through his card tricks and pulling things out of his hat tricks. Let me tell you, it was boring. Some of us couldn’t handle it. In other words, Bobby. He sat down and pulled some candy from his pocket from a carnival game he won. I kept at my post, ready to stay there to the bitter boring end.
“And now ladies and gentlemen, I will perform my most famous trick,” said the magician. Bobby scrambled to look under the curtain. Typical sidekick. They only help when the good stuff is about to happen. As he told the crowd to hold out their hands in case they had to catch him, his feet turned around so now we were looking at the front of his shoe instead of the heel.
He uttered some magic mumbo jumbo and his feet began to rise. Correction: his foot began to rise. The other foot was still on the ground.
“Hey. It’s not working this time,” Bobby whispered.
“It is working,” I whispered back. “This is what he did last time. We just could tell because from the audience’s view, you can’t see that he’s still standing on one tippy toe.”
Bobby looked angry. “But that’s lying! I thought he was doing magic.”
Growing up was tough sometimes.
The crowed clapped and his feet came back down.
“They believe him! That whole crowd thinks he’s doing magic.” Bobby got a very determined look on his face. “Someone has to stop this.” He jumped up and ran right through the curtain.
“It’s not real!” Bobby yelled to the crowd. “This man doesn’t know magic. He isn’t from Hogwarts! I saw his feet from behind the curtain. He wasn’t levitating! He was standing on one tippy toe the whole time. He’s a fake!”
A few people were booing and the magician was staring bug-eyed at Bobby, like he couldn’t figure out where he came from or how to get rid of him.
Bobby scowled at the magician. “What’s that?” he asked pulling something from his sleeve. Out came a bunch of multi-colored scarves already tied together.
“His scarf trick wasn’t real ether!” Bobby exclaimed.
I jumped through the curtain and joined Bobby. Someone had to tell him to be a little more gentle when breaking the truth to people.
“I’m sorry to disappoint you people, but what my sidekick says is true. We both saw that this man’s foot was still on the ground when he was supposed to be levitation. You see, it only looked like he was completely off the ground because…”
The booing was getting pretty loud. These people were pretty upset. If I were that guy, I’d be leaving right about now.
“Get off the stage!” someone called.
“Don’t give away a magician’s secrets!” called another.
“You’re ruining the show!”
These people were mad at me!? I was revealing a fraud. I was giving them valuable information. I was saving them from being tricked and cheated and they were mad at me?
I looked at Bobby and shrugged. “Think long and hard about being a detective Bobby, because this is the thanks you’ll get for revealing frauds.” I shook my head sadly. “Only a brave few can handle the truth.”
“I don’t feel so brave right now,” whimpered Bobby. He pointed to a security guard making his way to the stage.
I grabbed Bobby’s arm and pulled him with me through the curtain.
“Time to do a magic trick of our own,” I said, “Disappear.”