The Great Markus, magician extraordinaire, was on his worldwide tour presenting his celebrated magic extravaganza in all of the world’s greatest cities. All was going well with great revues and rapturous responses from an adoring public.
Unfortunately for The Great Markus disaster struck in the great city of Baltimore named after Lord Baltimore in the 18th century. The disaster was that his long-standing assistant, Nancy, became hooked on the local delicacy, crab-cakes and ran off with Luigi, the sous chef from Faidley’s Seafood restaurant in Paca Street. The magician’s assistant is, it goes without saying, an important part of the act. A pretty, leggy girl in a fetching outfit, not only enhances the visual aspects of the show but is essential for misdirection. Nancy’s long legs and come-hither eyes, so distracted the audiences that Markus could have slipped a full grown elephant onto the stage without being observed. The loss of Nancy was devastating.
There was nothing else for it but to try to hire a local replacement. Markus splashed out the princely sum of $1.00 on a trial four week subscription to the Baltimore Sun and immediately placed an advertisement for an aspiring magician’s assistant.
There were several applicants for the post of acolyte assistant and The Great Markus set up a series of interviews at The France Merrick Performing Arts Centre where his show was scheduled to open in two weeks. There was no time to lose.
The first interviewee, Lucy Luv had experience as an exotic dancer and certainly had the looks and a confident, outgoing personality. As if to make the point Lucy treated Markus to a Sharon Stone leg cross giving him ample opportunity to see that she wore no underwear. Markus almost fell into her trap and was tempted to hire her on the spot, but there were still more aspirant showgirls waiting in the foyer.
The second interviewee, named Angie Everhart, claimed to have some experience in films but no experience on the stage. However The Great Markus was impressed. The woman was as cute as a button and a ready wit that made Markus smile. More important still she had a small, delicate frame – an important attribute in a magician’s assistant. There would be occasions when she would need to conceal herself in secret compartments in a number of illusions.
‘How do you feel about being sawn in half?’ queried Markus.
‘Oh that’s fine, ‘ smiled Angie. ‘So long as there is not too much blood. I hate the sight of blood.’
Markus entranced by her cute appearance and sense of ironic humour he hired her on the spot.
‘When can you start?’ he asked. ‘You will need to be trained and time is short.’
‘I could start tomorrow.’
‘Good. Be here at 9 am. I will book the rehearsal room. Have you ever been tied up?’
Angie thought carefully. ‘Well’ she replied cautiously, ‘I am happy to try anything.’
At 9 am the following day, Angie’s indoctrination began. There was a lot of ground to cover but the first essential consideration was Angie’s stage appearance - costume, shoes, make-up etc. Markus handed Angie the costume that Nancy wore on stage.
‘Here, try this. See how it fits.’
Angie took the outfit and looked at Markus enquiringly. ‘Where do I change?’ she asked.
‘Oh just slip it on here, love. When you’re in showbiz you get used to dressing and undressing in shared changing facilities. Don’t worry, no one will take a scrap of notice.’
Not entirely certain and feeling distinctly uncomfortable Angie slipped out of her frock, revealing the pale blue bra and pantie set below. As quickly as she could manage she put on the short blue skirt and sequinned top. The skirt was very short and scarcely covered her pretty panties. Markus looked at her closely.
‘That’s great kid. It looks as if it were made for you.’
‘The skirt’s very short sir.’
‘Oh don’t worry about that honey. You will be wearing proper stage underwear underneath. As good as cast iron. Would you like to try them now?’
‘Oh, er its OK, sir. I’ll do that later.’
Angie was a quick learner and soon learned her role, carrying on apparatus, how to maintain a pose on stage and most of all she had to learn the secret of those illusions in which she had a part to play. The Great Markus’s Piece de Resistance was an illusion he called The Vanishing Nude. It had top advertising on the playbill, illustrated with lurid artwork.
‘Oh goodness, sir, do I have to be nude, ‘ exclaimed the shy young lady.
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