My dad is a wizard. Mum nicknames him ‘Merlin’ but you may know him as a children’s entertainer called Magic Eric. You may just think he’s just plain old card tricks, balloon animals, kind of magician, but this isn’t true. He is so much more than that.
At my birthday party today, the weathermen said it was going to rain. It rained everywhere except our little village. He made the garden gnomes come to life. He made the cake last forever, I swear it kept growing back after a slice was taken. What a treat! I got to eat so much. We had a paddling pool, and pop music, and party games… I was sad to have to say goodbye to all those people when the day was over.
But Dad was so pale and tired, trying to make the party so fun for me.
Dad is now taking me down to my room, without saying much. He closes the door, and sits beside me on my bed.
“You know the price for all this magic, don’t you son?”
He looks me right in the eyes, like the time he told me that our dog Arthur had died. Do I? I look up at him blankly. He shakes his head.
“Of course, you forget every time. It’s your youth.”
He puts his hand on my shoulder. What? There’s a familiar jolt. As I get weaker and weaker, he grips me tighter and tighter. Why? Why can’t his magic be for free?
I can barely keep my eyes open! I look up at him. His face looks angry. Why is he angry with me? His eyes look numb and wet.
I wake up the next day, in my bed, with my pyjamas on. I didn’t fall asleep in these. I feel very groggy. I stumble down to the kitchen and Dad is eating fruit salad, chatting to Mum. He gives me an over-the-top smile: “How’s my great little apprentice doing? All tuckered out after the party last night?”
Mum is smiling innocently at me. Dad is looking at me, trying to figure out what I’m going to say. “Yeah, it was pretty fun. Thanks Dad.”