Marelli sat in his dressing room. How many nights had he been sitting here getting ready to go out on the scenery? He didn’t know. He could hear the jugglers making the public go wild. A long time had gone by since he had made people applaud and shout like that.
He emptied the drink. He’d been an illusionist all his life. For many years he travelled the world before he ended up here in this theatre. Today would be his last show. He was tired now.
He poured another drink and left for the stage. Applause. Expectations. He was used to this, but his fingers were no longer as fast as they used to be, and neither was his mind.
He held his glass up in the air in a toast.
Tonight is my last show, he said. This is the last trick I’ll ever do. Goodbye.
He disappeared in thin air. A sigh went through the public. Never had they seen anything like this. The applause slowly faded as they realized nothing more was happening. The illusionist would not come back. There would be no show.
The director was walking through the halls backstage, shouting, pulling his hair.
Where’s that lousy alcoholic gone to? I have a business to run!
The jugglers shrugged. The dancers shook their heads.
Marelli was never seen again by anyone.