Wandering around with a glass of chilled Champaign in one hand, while balancing a trio of hors d’oeuvres in a napkin in the other; Bunny Brunson mingled among the tuxedo clad/designer dressed partiers, chit-chatted some empty conversation, before deciding that actually she was bored to tears and she should just ask for her handbag and fake-fur and leave… that was until she heard a voice from her distant past, and knew fate had finally dealt her a chance for revenge.
Disposing of her fancy pastries in the nearest plant-pot, Bunny downed her Champaign, grabbed another from a passing waiter and pushed her hips in to the massed circle of doe eyed fans who hung on to every word of her ex-flat mate and foe, Brandon Blade, the UK’s most celebrated close up magician; only back then Bunny had known him as plain old Steve.
Steve hadn’t changed a bit; he still had all of the ladies, and some of the men, wrapped around his pinky finger as he connected three diamond rings together like a daisy chain, then made them disappear into thin air. Bunny rolled her eyes as she watched Steve rub his hands together, before pulling each ring out from three different women’s cleavages. The crowd roared with laughter, applauding the great magician, but Bunny knew his true character.
Thirty years previous, Bunny and Steve had been roommates, both piss poor and working in one of the less fragrant Soho night spot, known to its clientele as The Rancid Rat, due to the nightly sighting of vermin scurrying across the bar floor whenever someone dropped a homemade pork scratching.
Back then, Steve had promised they would be best friends forever, riding through the bad times in a vapour of Blue Nun, embracing the good times with a bottle of the house gin. Whenever Steve got pissed he would slur, “Me and you, Bunny are like swans, bonded for life, together we’re gonna make it to the big time.” Even when the hangover’s had subsided, Bunny had believed him; so it felt only right that Bunny would share all her secrets, from how she had lost her virginity, aged sixteen with the lad who’s dad owned the local chip shop, to more recent gossip that an up and coming magician had come to The Rancid Rat early that evening and was on the look out for help with his act.
Later that night when all the punters had left The Rancid Rat, Steve smiled through gritted teeth as Bunny spilled out her news in greater detail: “His name’s Paul and he’s a proper magician; pulls a rabbit out of the hat, card tricks, the lot. He said he’ll soon have his own show at The Ritzy and that if I joined him and this other girl, Debbie, I could earn twice what I’m getting now.”
Steve began to take more of an interest as he filled Bunny’s glass with a splash of tonic and a good glug of gin and told her to carry on.
“He asked if I was honest and said I needed to promise him that as long as i’m never late and never break the magician’s code, I can be part of his act. Aren’t you pleased for me Steve?”
By this point Steve was only half listening, as he topped Bunny’s glass with more gin, while giving his best alligator smile
The next morning Bunny had woken with her head banging ten bells a second, while her mouth felt as if it had just been sprayed with industrial strength dog deodorant. Pulling herself out of bed, she stared at the silent clock, both hands firmly stuck at midnight.
By the time she had managed to stumbled out of the house, catch a cab she could ill afford and eventually got to the audition, she saw Steve sitting were she should have rightly been,
Steve turned to Bunny and said, “Sorry Bunny love, didn’t I tell you I was also auditioning; you’ll like this, not a lot… but you’re never guess what, the Darling Mr. Daniels had offered me the job.”
Bunny tried to get Paul to change his mind, but his only reply was that he could not stand tardiness, and left.
By the time Bunny had managed to walk back to the flat, she found that Steve had already been and gone, taking anything of value with him.
Although the next few years were tough on Bunny, she too managed to get out of Soho and became the glamorous assistant to Fay Presto.
Bunny put all bitter thoughts out of her mind as she traveled the world with Fay and in time forgot all about her slime-ball flatmate Steve…until now.
Bunny pulled her top down a little, knowing that Steve aka Brandon could not resist a bit of breast and pushed her way to the front of his adoring crowd. Of course Brandon didn’t recognise Bunny, he just saw her as another admiring face, wanting to see him do his magic. With the rings all rightly returned, and a business card slipped to a woman young enough to be his daughter, Bunny knew it was time to break her promise and reveal the magician’s code.
With all eyes on Brandon, Bunny piped up, “Do you ever do anything more elaborate, then pulling jewellery from women’s cleavages?”
Everyone turned to see who had dared say such a thing to the great Brandon Blade. Without saying a word, Brandon turned his back and began to levitate. The crowd cheered and gave an applause; everyone that is except Bunny.
“Don’t you get bored of copying David Blaine’s magic? Said Bunny, “Don’t you think the world wants to hark back to some good old fashioned magic, say like…Paul Daniels?”
Brandon scoffed, “That’s end of the pier stuff, no real skill involved, just a lot of smoke and mirrors.”
Holding back her smile, Bunny pressed on, “Oh you’re right, particularly when they have those silly assistants, with their big hair, tits and teeth.”
With the champagne and adoration flowing through his veins, Steve found his tongue running away with him. “I couldn’t agree with you less, Paul Daniels would still be working the clubs in Soho if it hadn’t been for his assistants. As Daniels would whole heartily agree; with the big illusions it’s the assistances that do all the work.
‘Gottcha’, thought Bunny as she went in for the kill. “You mean like when he saws Debbie McGee in half.”
Caught in the moment, Brandon yelled, “Exactly!”
“But there’s no skill there”, retorted Bunny, “Doesn’t she just push a pair of mannequin legs through the hole?”
“That’s what I thought,” piped up someone else in the crowd, “Doesn’t the magician just wiggle a lever to make the feet move?”
Incensed beyond belief, Brandon threw his arms above his head and said, “Of course it isn’t a mannequin, it’s another person in there. They have to manoeuvre themselves into a tight spot and wiggle their stilettos on cue, it takes someone of great dexterity, not forgetting great legs!
Bunny threw her head back and laughed, “I heard Debbie had complained their assistant in the early days was forever farting like a trouper, making Debbie gag.
With a little too much champagne flowing through his veins, Brandon retorted, Oh Really? I think you’ll find it was Debbie with the tooting toosh, It was Debbie who farted.
By now the crowd had stopped smiling as metaphorical penny’s began to drop all around, but Bunny knew she just needed to push Brandon with one final comment. “Wasn’t it also true that Debbie complained that the assistant had blotch legs, didn’t she say they resembled a half baked Spotted Dick??!”
Unable to contain his anger, Brandon exploded, “That woman was always jealous of Paul’s hidden assistance and for the record, Debbie has breath like a cat!
“How would you know?!” Screamed Bunny in a tone that Brandon just wasn’t used to. Puffing out his chest Brandon shouted back, “Because I was the legs of Debbie McGee!”
The crowd quickly dispersed with the young woman tearing Brandon’s business card up and throwing it in his face. Bunny in turn looked around the empty room and said, “Wow, you’ve made them all vanish Steve; now that’s Magic!