Half Dozen

JAMM #6, the outdoor issue, Magic for a Summer's Night comes out later tonight. Any subscriptions that are in by today will start with this issue.

From the trick Faith in JAMM #6

A few minutes later she comes out back and finds me there holding a helium balloon.

“What’s this?” she asks.

“It’s a test of faith,” I say. “Would you say you have faith in me?”

“I suppose so….”

“I want you to take off your ring.” She does. “And I want you to tie it to the end of the ribbon on the balloon.”

“An-dy!” she growls.

“I promise I won’t let go of this balloon unless you have the ring firmly in your control. Have faith in me.”

“I know you won’t let go,” she says. She takes the ribbon and starts tying it around her ring. “You better not. You won’t. You’re not a psychopath. You better not. This was my grandmother’s ring.”

“Make sure it’s tied on there tight,” I say. She loops around another knot and pulls it tight.

I tell her to slide the ring on her finger and that I’m going to let go of the balloon. She is now wearing a ring with a helium balloon tied to it.

“I told you I wouldn’t let it go,” I say

“I knew you wouldn’t,” she says.

“But here’s the thing,” I say, “I want you to let it go.”

“Oh god,” she whines. “What are you doing to me?”

“I want you to slide your ring off. And then let it go.” I mime the actions and lift my head like I’m watching something float away.

“It will be alright,” I say. “Look, you just said I’m not a psychopath. If you believe I’m not the type of person who would have let your ring go and fly off into the air. Then I must also be the type of person who wouldn’t encourage you to do that unless I knew everything would be okay. Right?”

She stares at me and slides the ring off her finger.

“Faith, Lisette. Let it go.”

She continues to glower at me, and holds the ring tightly.

“Come onnnnnn….” Now I’m whining. “Look, it’s your grandma’s ring. I get that. You loved your grandma. I get that. And if you let that ring go and it floats off into the air and is gone forever, you’ll always regret that. But on the plus side, you will have found out I’m a latent maniac who convinced you to do that and you never have to spend another minute with me. Bullet dodged. But if instead we cut that ribbon off the ring and you put the ring back on your finger and you walk away, you’re going to have a bigger regret because every time you look at that ring you’ll think: What would have happened if I had let it go? I’m telling you it will be okay. Exercise your faith in me. Everything is so much more interesting if you do.”

She looks at her ring again, then stares me dead in the eyes and—without flinching—let’s it go.

“Oh fuck, what are you doing? I was kidding,” I say, and jump for the ring, but it’s too far gone.

“No, no,” I say. “I wasn’t kidding. It’s going to be fine.”

We watch the balloon as it rises, the ring being pulled into the summer evening’s air. Eventually the balloon is just a small black dot passing against the night’s grey clouds until it’s gone completely.

What happens next? Find out in The JAMM #6.