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by Brett Pribble

Seth wept next to his wife’s casket after the funeral. He begged God to bring her back but had no luck.

Holding his face in his hands, he sat on the church steps long after the other guests left. A man wearing all black and sunglasses approached him.

“Want to see some magic?” the man asked.

“Can you bring my wife back?” replied Seth.

“The magic does what it wants,” the man said. He pulled a pack of cards out of his pocket. “Ten dollars to try it out.”

Seth searched his wallet and handed the man a crumpled ten dollar bill.

The man in black shuffled the cards and held them out to Seth. “Pick one, but don’t show me.”

“I won’t,” said Seth as he pulled the six of diamonds from the deck.

“Got it memorized?”

“Yes,” said Seth.

“Good,” said the man. “Now write your name on it.” He handed Seth a pen.

Seth wrote his name on the card.

“Now put it back in the deck.”

Seth did as he was told.

The man in black then rifled through the cards and held up the nine of spades. “This your card?”

“No,” said Seth.

“Well,” said the man, “that’s because it’s in your pocket.”

Seth reached into his pocket and discovered the six of diamonds. His signature was written across the card. “How did you do that?”

“Magic, man. It’s the magic.” He patted Seth on the shoulder. “Feel better?”

Seth looked back at the church. “I don’t know.”


Brett Pribble is the editor-in-chief of Ghost Parachute. His work has appeared in such places as Aquifer: The Florida Review Online, decomP, Stirring: A Literary Collection, Saw Palm, The Molotov Cocktail, Crack the Spine, The Airgonaut, and Bending Genres. Follow him on Twitter @brettpribble.

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