I walk to the kitchen in my underwear. I put the kettle on and light a cigarette. I turn.
“Ah!” I cry out.
“Ah!” The Pirate, sitting at my kitchen table, responds, in Russian. I drop my cigarette. Belly, M’s dog, comes running over, suspecting a boon.
“Shit, No!” I bend down and snatch the cigarette up. Belly glares at me. I look back at the Pirate.
“Who the hell are you!” I demand.
“Magic!” he says, nervously. He picks up a coin and snaps it up his sleeve. “Abrah-kadabrah!” he says, in a thick accent.
I stare at him. I look at Belly. Belly looks at my cigarette. The kettle whistles. The toilet flushes. M steps out of the bathroom. He calls into the kitchen, “Will you pour me a cup of coffee?”
I turn off the stove without turning around. I point my cigarette at the pirate.
“You, don’t move.”
He holds up his hands, like in the movies. I walk out to the hall. I look in the bathroom. M is combing his hair.
“M, there is a pirate in the kitchen.”
M’s eyes go wide. “What!?”
“A damn pirate. No joke.”
M gets an excited look. He walks eagerly into the kitchen. I walk in behind him. He looks at the man sitting at the table. The man says something to him in Russian.
He turns to me, a disappointed look on his face, “I thought you said there was a pirate?”
“You must be joking?” I point to the pirate.
M frowns. “He’s a magician. He’s here to train me.”
I look at the pirate. He snaps his fingers and a coin appears. “Abrah-kadabrah!” he grins, two teeth, left of his front, are missing.
“See,” M says, then sighs, “man, you got me excited.”
He slumps down in the seat across from the magician. The magician pulls out a deck of cards. He tucks one card up his sleeve. I sigh and turn my attention to the kettle. I make myself a tea, M a coffee. I turn, both in hand. The magician has his whole hand pushed straight through the center of our cheap IKEA table.
“What the—“ I drop the coffee onto the floor. The Magician looks at me, looks at the coffee. He winks. The coffee cup pulls itself back together, drinks up the liquid and then sits on the floor, steaming. I look to M.
M shrugs. The magician smiles.
“Abrah-Kadabrah!” he says.
“How in the hell did he do that?”
M shrugs again.
I turn to the magician.
“How the hell did you do that?”
He screws up his face, thinking. The face of a man hunting down a word.
“Aha!” he says. He wags his finger, obviously proud of himself.
“Luck,” he says.
For Part II, click here