This is a dime story (3 minute stories) I read tonight at the monthly Dime Stories at Barbé in Park Slope. Thanks for a great event!
The birds were dead. Every last one of the damn birds was as dead as last week's custard and Wee Dicky Drudge knew it was his fault. He vaguely remembered Oswald the Mystifying giving him specific instructions, something about lighting the small gas heater in the theatre's storage room after yesterday's evening performance. Something about this being a colder winter than anyone in Boston could remember. Something about doves not being penguins. It was all rather hazy in light of his current predicament. Every single god damn bird was frozen solid like a summer icy treat, Oswald the Mystifying was waiting in the wings for his doves, and several hundred already seated patrons had paid up to ten cents apiece to see doves disappear, reappear, burst into flames and then reappear again. Young Dicky had to think fast, and that was never really something you could have called him good at. His first instinct was to lie, but he wasn't particularly good at that either, and Oswald could always tell and would box his ears. He considered burning the theatre down, but quickly realized that this was probably more than the situation required. As he stood there contemplating arson, his eyes fell on the half open window just behind the cages In that moment his path became clear. You see there was one thing that Wee Dickey excelled at, one talent that he used to compensate for his apparent lacking of all others. Dickey knew how to run away. It had served him well thus far, and it was about to serve him again. He squeezed his small body through the slim window opening and quietly dropped into the alley behind the theatre. And then, he ran. As fast as he could. He ran and ran and never once looked back. He stopped to throw up his breakfast at one point, but that was for just a brief moment, and then he went back to running. He never again came back to Boston. And he never again worked as a magician's assistant, at least not until that time in Bombay after the war. . . But that my friends, is a story for a different time. �