by Rachel Walsh
The week before Adam's biggest show yet is about to begin, Jonathan is still putting the finishing touches to the finale, while Adam is pacing up and down on stage, shouting at Jonathan to do something about the smell of the monkey which is currently climbing up the backing curtains. Jonathan, blissfully unaware of the chaos and panic down on the stage, is scribbling in his notepad, mumbling to himself:
"Magicians, monkeys, music and .... what was it?" Jonathan looks up, and is greeted by the scene of stage hands on ladders trying to grab an ever climbing monkey, Adam screaming, shouting and tearing his hair out, and the 16 white rabbits supposed to be safely inside Adam's hat, hopping around all over the place, "and madness!" Jonathan finished, "how could I forget the madness?!"
"JONATHAN!" was the only word to come from Adam's lips until none other than Maddy, who in the midst of all the commotion had come looking for Jonathan, had removed the monkey from its newfound perch on his head.
Jonathan reluctantly stood up, and proceeded towards the stage. His mind was racing, why was Maddy here? He went through the usual reasons, burglars, cockroaches, dinner party dates, murders. He had found the answer. Climbing up the steps to the stage, he gave Maddy one of those looks she knew all to well.
"Ok don't look at me like that, I know that you know that I know that you know why I'm here."
"What?" replied a bewildered Jonathan.
"I know that .... oh never mind, you know why I'm here and I know it."
"What is it this time? Murder? Suicide? Burglary?"
"Well actually," started Maddy, " You're never going to believe this, but ..."
"Just get on with it then." Jonathan's temper was running short after the day he'd had today. Rabbits, Monkeys and Adam Klaus do not mix!
"If you'll let me get a word in edge ways I might actually get around to telling you. Thank you. Jason Golding ..."
While Adam is distracted by one of the stagehand in a rather short dress Jonathan drags Maddy over to the side of the stage out of Adam's ear shot.
"What do you think your playing at mentioning THAT name in here, Adam has people's heads in the guillotine for less than that!" Jonathan replied to Maddy in a rather harsh, loud whisper.
"Sorry, I know he's Adam's arch rival, but what I was going to say was, that Jason ... sorry, he was attacked the other night, in his theatre. You know he owns the one on King's Street, he was hit from behind, with a juggling club, left unconscious and the attacker disappeared. Strange thing was that when he woke up, 2 hours later, he was lying on the stage where he had fallen."
"What's so strange in that?" Asked Jonathan rather puzzled at Maddy's story so far.
"I haven't finished yet, I was just pausing for breath, and to let it all sink in. Anyhow, when he woke up, he felt the back of his head, it was damp and matted with blood, he had obviously bled heavily for quite some time, yet there was no pool of blood on the floor, only a smear where his head had lain. And that's not all, he was locked in, the attacker had taken his keys and locked the door behind him, leaving Jason to die."
"So Adam's not the only one who wanted him dead, mind you I'm not surprised, have you ever met him?"
"Yes, last night, he seemed very pleasant, he took me out for dinner."
"Oh yes?" Jonathan tried to hide the jealousy in his voice, he may have succeeded, but he felt his face showing it instead, and turned away.
"Yes, he took me to that new Indian place, it was very nice, but that's not the point, he wants us to find out who attacked him, and why."
"Well I should have thought that was pretty obvious!" Jonathan remarked.
"If that's how you feel, I'll figure this one out on my own then." Retorted Maddy, and began to storm out of the theatre.
Jonathan realised his mistake, if he didn't go with her, she would be on her own with Jason Golding all day, long enough for the sleaze bag to work his charms on her, a conquest it seemed he had already started on.
Maddy felt a hand on her shoulder.
"Ok, I'll help, but on one condition."
"What?" Maddy had anticipated this would happen, she knew that Jonathan wouldn't let her go alone to work on this case, especially as Jason Golding had one of the worst records in the business with women. To tell the truth she didn't even like the man, but he had offered a reward, something that would come in handy the next time she had a parking ticket she couldn't get out of.
"The condition is that you can't tell Adam about this, if he knew that I was helping, talking, even passing the opposition in the street, he'd fire me as quick at lightening."
"Adam can't fire you!" Maddy replied chuckling.
"And why not?"
"Because without you, he'd have no show, no one to sort out all his problems, no one to whinge to when things went wrong ..."
Jonathan liked the sound of this, Maddy did actually think a lot of him, she had noticed all the work he did, she knew exactly how much Adam relied on him to get his show going, maybe she did have feelings for him after all! Jonathan came back out of his daydream in time to hear the end of Maddy's little speech.
"Jonathan you really will have to stop being a doormat for everyone to walk over!"
Jonathan was left standing speechless as Maddy walked off, out of the building to her car, which she had left waiting outside.
After Jonathan had finally come to his senses and had run out to join Maddy in the car, they set off for Jason Golding's theatre. The whole journey was in silence, with Jonathan staring out of the window and Maddy concentrating on her driving, for once. They reached the theatre and parked the car.
"Jonathan?" Maddy spoke as they walked towards the entrance, "Are you ok?"
"Fine." Was his simple reply.
"Well just let me do all the talking ok? I don't want you to open your big mouth and tell him exactly what you and Adam think of him, I'm sure he much rather carry on living without having killed his fellow illusionist!" And with that she walked off.
Jonathan was left standing in bewilderment for the second time that day.
Inside the theatre it was dark, Jason was rehearsing, Maddy scanned the stage, but the magician was no where to be seen. Jonathan tugged at Maddy's shirt and they sat down to watch the show and wait. There was a drum roll, a puff of smoke, and a flash of light, but nothing happened. Jason came out from where ever he had been hiding, he was not happy. As he was hurling abuse at the stagehands, Jonathan turned to Maddy, "Do you know that this is the first magic show I've seen for 20 years which I haven't actually put together myself." He whispered.
"But it isn't magic Jonathan, it's just thinking around corners." Maddy replied with a smug smile, it was a line that Jonathan had often used on her, he was always telling her that things were never as they seemed, and all she had to do was not fall into the wrong and rather obvious conclusions.
Jonathan was rather taken aback, he was only trying to be nice, in fact he had only tried to be nice all day, and all he'd got for it was wise comments and stupid jokes. His puzzled thoughts were interrupted by another drum roll, a puff of smoke and another flash of light, and this time Jason appeared in centre stage, glowing with light. He spotted Jonathan and Maddy in the audience, and shouted up to them, "I'll be with you in a second, let me just ..." And he was gone again. A few seconds later the spectators heard a crash and another series of four-letter-words as Jason fell through the trapdoor and landed on the concrete floor rather than the matting that had just been removed by a parrot.
Half an hour later Jonathan and Maddy were in a small back room, discussing the event that had brought them here. Jason entered the room, and the pair fell silent.
"Jason, this is my partner, Jonathan, he has a mind for these things."
"So I've heard" Replied Jason running his eyes up and down Jonathan's coat. "Right! You want me to show you where it happened?"
"Er yes, I think that would be the best place to start. Jonathan will you bring my bag please?"
"What do you think I am, a porter or something?" Jonathan mumbled under his breath, but he was getting used to Maddy's behaviour today, and he followed without questioning it again.
The stage had been cleared of all the boxes, clothes, stagehands and animals which had littered the floor an hour ago. Jason took them to the middle of the stage, slightly forward of the central point.
"Here." He said simply, "this is where I was struck, from behind." He lay down, "And this is how I woke up."
"And you say that you felt the back of your head and it was covered in blood, yet there wasn't a pool underneath you?" Maddy inquired in her usual reporter-like manner.
"Yes, and the door was locked as well, from the outside."
"So someone stole your keys."
"No, I still had them with me, there's only one set, I always lock up. My last theatre was burned down after one of my most trusted advisors had stolen everything of value. He had a set of keys and I'd left him to lock up. This time, I wasn't going to make the same mistake again, I only had one pair of keys cut and that was for myself."
"Oh" Maddy was surprised, this was something she hadn't known about, she had assumed that the keys had been stolen.
"Mmmmmm" Was Jonathan's only word.
"A man of few words, your partner is isn't he? You say he's the one who figures these things out?"
"He's thinking, he's always like that when he's thinking." Maddy replied sticking up for Jonathan.
"Right well, I'll leave you to it then, I'll be in my office if you need me."
With that Jason Golding walked off. Maddy immediately turned to Jonathan, "Well?" She inquired. "How was it done?"
"Something's ... not right, it doesn't add up." Jonathan pondered slowly. "The blood, the keys, the attacker ..."
"Well I think we should go and get something to eat, we can talk about this tonight."
"Eat, tonight, ... what?"
"You know, food? Restaurant? Eat?"
"Oh ... yeah." Jonathan's mind really wasn't on food, it was solving how this thing was done.
"Come on then." Maddy began to walk away, slowly Jonathan followed, checking back over his shoulder every now and again, to check he hadn't missed something.
On the way out, they passed a window, Jonathan took an interest in it. He examine the paintwork carefully, it was new, untouched, not a speck on it. And he smelt the vague smell of paint.
"JONATHAN! WILL YOU HURRY UP?"
"Yeah, ok I'm coming." Jonathan tore himself away from the window, and walked slowly to the car that Maddy was now revving the engine of impatiently.
The restaurant was not particularly busy, so Maddy and Jonathan got a table near the window without too much fuss. They sat down and ordered their meal. Jonathan was already suspicious, Maddy had simply ordered a salad roll, most unlike Maddy!
"So?" Maddy broke the silence.
"So what?" Jonathan was in one of those moods, giving nothing away unless absolutely necessary.
"So who did it, and why?"
"Are you going to tell me what's going on?" Said Jonathan, totally ignoring Maddy's request.
"What do you mean what's going on? Nothing's going on."
"Oh come on, you don't think I'm that stupid do you?"
"What do you mean, Jonathan there's nothing going on!"
"First you call me a doormat, then you say I have a big mouth, which is something you definitely can't comment on. You continually make wise cracks at me, you think of me as your own personal porter, and you think I will come at your beckoning call. Well I'll tell you this, I don't like it and I'm not going to put up with it!" After Jonathan had finished he sat there staring at Maddy waiting for her to come back at him with her side of things, but she didn't.
It took Maddy quiet a few minutes to compose herself and answer him civilly. When she did, it wasn't at all what Jonathan was expecting!
"Ok" Maddy paused, collecting her thoughts and composing them into some kind of sentence. "I guess I haven't really been fair to you today, there is a reason though, something I can't tell you, something personal, something that in time I will be able to talk about, and when that time comes you will know."
Maddy watched Jonathan's face, he was surprised, but he swallowed it and apologised for his behaviour. If there was one thing Maddy was good at it was lying, after all how many good journalists do you know that can't lie? The truth was that Maddy was so obsessed with Jonathan, she had to do something about it, and by taking out her anger on him, and continually putting him down she was trying to convince herself that he wasn't worth obsessing about. It wasn't working. She now found herself wishing she had told him the truth. She drew in a deep breath, "Jonathan?" she asked nervously, "Um ..."
"You want to know how it was done?" Jonathan guessed.
Wrong though it was, Maddy nodded her head, she couldn't bring herself to tell him now.
"Well there's a few things that are still puzzling me."
"Well if he was hit on the head hard enough to be knocked unconscious and to lye on the floor for over 2 hours before waking up, he'd have been bleeding pretty heavily, right?"
"Ok" Maddy answered without really thinking, she knew that was the answer Jonathan was looking for. "Well, where did the blood go? It would certainly have made a rather large puddle in that time, it couldn't all have soaked into his head, and the floor was varnished, so it couldn't have soaked through that, and there was no stain."
"So you're saying what exactly?"
"Secondly, if he had been hit as hard as he says he had, he wouldn't have woken up, the amount of blood lost would have been fatal."
"You're saying he's lying?"
"No, I'm not saying that, but I am saying that he wasn't hit as hard as he claims to have been."
"But he was unconscious for 2 hours!" Exclaimed Maddy, persistent in her efforts to convince Jonathan that this was as straightforward as it seemed and that they only really needed to figure out who and why this was done.
"Yes he was unconscious for 2 hours, but who's to say that the attacker didn't hit him on the head, briefly knocking him out, and then inject some kind of sedative into his system?"
"Well ..." Started Maddy, but then trailed off, into her own train of thought.
"But why and how is another question."
"So what now?" Maddy spoke through a mouth full of a rather large lettuce baguette, that having arrived only minutes ago, was already now half demolished!
"Back to the crime scene, I'll meet you in Adam's office at 10:30 tomorrow morning."
"Can't we meet at your place," Maddy was angling to see Jonathan's windmill again, she loved it, it was so .... Jonathan. "I'll pick you up." She added as an after thought.
"I can't, I have to see Adam about his show, there's still something that's not quite right. 10:30 in Adam's office." And with that he got up and left.
As Jonathan opened the door to Adam's office he was greeted by a rather cross Maddy.
"You said 10:30, its now 11:15!"
"Sorry, Adam took a lot more sorting out that I expected, especially when the 16 rabbits had multiplied into 40 rabbits overnight, without any magical influence!" Jonathan slumped down in the chair that Maddy had just got up from.
"What are you doing now?" Maddy asked getting rather aggravated by Jonathan's I-couldn't-care-less manner.
"I was going to sit down ..." Jonathan saw the look on Maddy's face and changed his mind about reading the news headlines in the local rag. "I was going to sit down and tie my shoelace up again, it keeps coming undone."
"We're going to King's Street now, Jonathan. And if you had shoelaces on your shoes then you could tie them up in the car, but as it is I think even you would have problems making your shoes appear to have shoelaces in."
Jonathan looked down at his feet, she was right, he had put on the pair of shoes that had no laces in, that's what comes of oversleeping due to too much brain work!
Arriving at King's Street, Maddy parked the car, and Jonathan and her walked to the theatre. Jason himself met them at the entrance this time. He immediately took them through to his office, a small cramped room with a massive amount of mess!
"Do you know who it was yet then?" Jason asked almost as soon as he had shut the door.
"Not exactly, but we have made some progress." Maddy replied, "However we would like to see the scene again."
"I thought you might, so I cleared it ready for you." Jason said most helpfully. "I'll take you there now shall I?"
He opened the door and they filed out, Jason led them through the maze of backstage passages to the side of the stage. "If you don't mind I'll leave you to your own devices for a few minutes, there's something I have to do."
"Fine" Chorused Maddy and Jonathan together. As Jason left Jonathan walked into the centre of the stage, taking a good look around at the trapdoors and backing curtains. Maddy was kneeling on the floor close to the spot where it happened, examining the floorboards. Jonathan joined her.
"I suppose it is really blood." Maddy was saying, she was learning to be sceptical of these things after the case of Duncan Proctor jumping out of the window, seemingly killing himself as he landed on the hard concrete path below.
"We have no reason to think otherwise do we?" Jonathan replied assuring her.
Smoke was beginning to pour out of the smoke machines either side of the stage, Jonathan noticed it, and nudged Maddy.
"High-tech stuff they have here! These smoke machines should be in a museum!" Jonathan spluttered.
Maddy too was choking, "By the smell of what is coming out of them, the dry ice ... must have been bought at ... the same time as the machines, it was probably best ... before the year 1800!" Maddy joked, and then fell on the floor.
Jonathan too collapsed. After a few minutes the smoke machines were turned off, and Jason Golding returned to the stage.
"So our Mr Creek isn't as clever as everyone thinks he is!" chuckled the magician as he handcuffed Jonathan and Maddy and dragged them off the stage. He turned to one of the stagehands, and continued as they carried the two up two flights of stair to a small room. "I would have thought that our "expert" here would have at least figured out by now that I wasn't actually attacked."
Jason signalled for the stagehand to leave after they had dumped the bodies on the bed in the room, he did so, and Jason proceeded to unlock the handcuffs around Maddy's wrists and re-cuffed her hands behind Jonathan's body, so that there was no way the two could be separated. He then left the room, locking it behind him.
Jonathan and Maddy lay there on the bed motionless and unconscious.
Jonathan opened his eyes, he scoured the room where he lay, small, wood panelled, a tiny window on the west side of the room, through which he could see the sun was setting, it was late evening. He tried lifting his right hand, but realised that he couldn't, it was cuffed to his left, which Maddy was lying on. He stared up at the ceiling, trying to remember what had happened. After some time, Maddy lifted her head, then let it drop again, Jonathan groaned, it was right on his chest.
"Did you have to do that?" Jonathan complained.
"Where are we?"
"I think we're in a room above the theatre somewhere." Jonathan said calmly. "I don't know, but I imagine that Jason Golding has something to do with this!"
Maddy tried to sit up, but failing to do so as Jonathan was still lying on one of her arms, she fell down flat again, Jonathan groaned.
"After three we sit up ok?" Jonathan said taking control of the situation, "One, two, three." They sat up and looked at their situation. "Ok we can't get out of these handcuffs, but we can make it a bit easier to move around in." Jonathan said after sizing up the problem.
"How?" Maddy asking, impatiently trying to pull her wrists out of the cuffs.
"Not like that." Jonathan mused. "Look, I put my right arm over your head, like this. Now you put your right arm over my head, ... that's right."
"Now what?" said Maddy, still struggling.
"This is it, this is as good as it gets." Replied Jonathan, already looking around the room for an escape route.
"I guess there's a first time for everything." Remarked Maddy, making her way over to the edge of the bed, dragging Jonathan with her.
"What?" Asked Jonathan, slightly confused at what Maddy was talking about.
"There's a first time for everything," Maddy repeated. "What does it feel like to finally be wrong about something Jonathan?"
The light finally dawned on Jonathan.
"Oh ha ha, very funny." Jonathan said sarcastically. "How long did it take you to think that one up?"
"Well if you're not going to tell me ..."
"What good is it going to do be sulking? We need to have a plan. Now by my calculations its about 9:30 in the evening, the sun is just setting, now that means that we must have been up here for nearly 10 hours, even the longest of anaesthetics don't last that long. Whatever they used to knock us out was powerful, very powerful. But they will be expecting us to be coming around soon, so ..." Jonathan fell silent.
"What?" Maddy said loudly.
"What?" Maddy said again, this time in a whisper.
"I think I hear someone coming up the stairs. Quick on the bed."
"What!" Maddy exclaimed.
"Maddy, just do it." The two climbed on the bed, and Jonathan started to speak again. "Ok now pretend to still be out cold, then when you sense him getting closer, kick him."
"Use your imagination."
They couple fell silent again as the door creaked open. Maddy's mind was racing, how was she supposed to sense him getting closer? She heard the footsteps on the floorboards stop, and then she felt warm breath on her cheek, he was checking to see if she was awake. Seconds passed, and Maddy eventually realised that she had better follow Jonathan's instructions. She struck her leg out hard, the man winced in pain as he fell on the floor. Jonathan and Maddy both sat up and tried to get off the bed, in different directions. This blunder cost them their man, and as they both final decided on the same direction Jason Golding stood up and ran out of the room locking the door behind him, still wincing with the pain.
"Well that's just great isn't it!" Jonathan shouted. "Our only chance at freedom, and you go and muck it up."
"ME?! ... It was you who went the wrong way."
They turned their backs on each other, and promptly tried to walk in different directions again. They fell in a heap on the floor. As Maddy looked under the bed at the various junk thrown under there by what seemed to be many generations, she spotted something shiny, near her foot.
"Jonathan?" Maddy said rather smartly.
"What now." Was Jonathan's rather tired reply.
"What was the aim of actually getting Jason just now?"
"To get the keys and get out of here, something which you managed to make us fail at."
Maddy lent forward, pulling Jonathan over in the process, he was not happy about it.
"What are you doing now?" He said angrily.
"I'm just getting the keys to the handcuffs." Maddy replied simply.
"Well I wish you would tell me before you leant over and broke my ..." Jonathan paused as what Maddy had actually said sunk in, "Did you say you had the keys to the handcuffs?"
"Well what are you waiting for then?"
"Well I can't undo my own can I?"
"Give them here then." Jonathan took the keys and the pair stood up. Jonathan put his right arm over Maddy's head so that he was standing behind her, with his arms round her body. He pushed a key into the lock on the handcuffs round Maddy's wrists and turned it, it fitted, the satisfying click of the lock as it undid echoed round the practically empty room. Maddy rubbed her wrists where the cuffs had been, then took the keys from Jonathan and tried one in the lock, it didn't turn, she tried a second, no luck, the third however undid the cuffs and Jonathan was free.
Jonathan went straight over to the door. It was locked, there was no way out. Maddy on the other hand had been practising what Jonathan had taught her over the past few years that she had known him. She was checking the panelling round the edge of the room.
"What are you doing?" Enquired Jonathan.
"I'm doing what you always tell me to do." Replied Maddy. "I'm thinking around corners. You came to the automatic conclusion that the only way out was through the door, that's the conclusion that I would normally have come to, but what if there's another way out?"
"You mean a secret passageway through the panelling?" Jonathan sounded surprised and quite proud that Maddy had actually thought of something like that, but very pessimistic.
"And why not?" Maddy said indignantly, and then whispered half to herself, half out loud, "That smoke has certainly done something to your brain."
Maddy continued with her search, Jonathan in the end, joined in. It got later and later, and still nothing happened. No one came to the door to feed them, no panel hid a secret passageway, and no way out was found. Eventually they gave up.
"Its no use, Jonathan." Maddy sighed. "Let's face it, there's no way out of here."
"You're right, we'll just have to wait until someone comes up here to check on us. Why don't you get some sleep, I'll keep watch, I'll wake you if anything happens."
"Ok" Maddy agreed quite happily. She lay down on the bed and shut her eyes. Within in seconds she was asleep.
Maddy awoke to a scrabbling noise under the bed.
"Yes!" Jonathan exclaimed, it was followed shortly by a bang. "Ouch!"
"Jonathan? What are you doing?"
"Its Friday, the day that Adam's show begins, he'll be going mad if I'm not there soon." Jonathan began to explain.
"So that's what this is all about!" Maddy concluded.
"What's that then?" Jonathan asked.
"You mean you don't know?" Maddy sounded surprised.
"Adam's show starts tonight. Adam Klaus is Jason Golding's biggest rival, if it wasn't for Adam, Jason would be the biggest illusionist in town. Jason must know how much Adam depends on his, um what do you call yourself? An illusion inventor, so without him, Jason knows Adam will be in a panic, the show can't go on, Adam loses his audience, Jason becomes the best in town. All Jason has to do is find out who invents Adam's illusions and get rid of him! He finds out its you, and discovers the perfect way to lure you here, by pretending he needs you to solve a crime with no motive, suspect or solid evidence. Then all he has to do is knock you out, lock you up and keep you hidden until Adam's big night is ruined." Maddy finished proudly.
"Clever, I'll give him that. But not clever enough! Who would put a man who designs magic tricks in a room with a trapdoor?" Jonathan answered.
"What?" Maddy inquired excitedly, "You mean there's actually a way out of this room?"
"Yup" Came Jonathan's muffled voice from somewhere under the bed.
Maddy stood up, and tried wriggling under the bed like Jonathan had done. Giving up, she stood up again and moved the bed to expose a dark hole in the floor, which had previously been covered by a board and the load of junk under the bed. Jonathan's head appeared in the hole.
"Come on, I'll help you down, but we'll have to get out of here quick, as soon as they come up and see the bed moved, and us gone, they're bound to be down here after us."
"Jonathan, are we nearly there yet?" Maddy whined, "We've been walking for ages."
"You sound like a seven-year-old school kid who can't stand walking anywhere!" Jonathan retorted.
"I feel and probably look like a seven-year-old school kid who couldn't stand walking anywhere." Replied Maddy, "But there's no need to tell me."
"Sorry, I didn't mean to ..." Jonathan stopped mid-sentence, he also stopped walking and in the dark Maddy didn't notice, she collided with him, practically knocking him over.
"Sorry." Maddy apologised meekly.
"I think we're under the stage, listen." Jonathan explained his reasons for stopping.
Maddy listened for a few seconds, she could hear footsteps, talking and music playing. When she put her hand out in front of her to feel for Jonathan she realised he wasn't there.
"Jonathan?" Maddy spoke, her voice rather scared, she was worried that Jonathan had gone off and left her there on her own, her tone of voice showed it.
"I'm over here." Replied Jonathan to Maddy's great relief. She followed his voice, and bumped into the wall he was following with his hands.
"Ouch!" Maddy screeched surprised. "You could have told me that there was a wall here."
"I didn't know until I walked into it the same as you did, and I wasn't going to spoil your fun of finding it by yourself, I know you like to try and work things out in your own way." Jonathan said very seriously, but with a smug grin on his face, which of course Maddy couldn't see, if she could she'd probably never speak to him again.
Maddy was now following the wall with her hands as well.
"There's a ladder here."
"Well why aren't we climbing up it?"
"I thought you might not agree."
"Well you were complaining about walking a minute ago, I thought ladders might be a bit to much for you." Jonathan replied.
"Jonathan, for once in your life will you be serious." Maddy's voice came from above him. Jonathan moved back the way he'd come from, until he found the ladder, and began to climb it. Suddenly the tunnel filled with light, as Maddy pushed open the trap door at the top. Jonathan blinked in the sudden light.
Maddy looked around at what she saw when she stuck her head out of the trapdoor. A large band occupied the stage. Maddy climbed up and out of the hole, followed closely by Jonathan. Everyone in the band rehearsal turned and stared at them.
"Hello," Maddy started, "Don't mind us, we're just passing through." And with that she began to push her way through the surprised band members until she go to the front of the stage, Jonathan following. Maddy then turned round to the conductor, grabbing his wrist, sending the musicians into a frenzy as they tried to follow his baton.
Maddy returned to Jonathan's side.
"Its half past eight. If you want to be at Adam's show, we better get moving."
Maddy's car screeches to a halt outside the back of the theatre. Jonathan jumps out and runs to the back door. He hurriedly rushes through the passages to Adam's office, he pauses for breath and looks to Heaven before entering the room. Adam is there tearing his script into tiny pieces, cursing Jonathan, and vowing never to have a technical advisor ever again.
"Adam, I'm so sorry." Jonathan stuttered, out of breath and in shock at the site that met his eyes.
"Where the hell have you been Jonathan? You've been missing for nearly two whole days."
"I'll explain later, no time now, you have to get out on stage."
"I can't Jonathan, I don't have a show."
"Of course you do, you know exactly how to do every illusion in that show, and if you don't go out there, Jason Golding will have won."
"Did I hear you mention that creep's name in my theatre?" Adam fumed. "I'm cursed, nothing will ever go right for me again." Turning to Jonathan he says, "You'll keep for later. I have a show to put on." And with that he stormed out.
Maddy found Jonathan hiding in the wings of the stage behind a costume rack.
"Jonathan?" Maddy whispered.
"Jonathan, what are you doing here?"
"Hiding from Adam."
"Because I mention the name of Adam's arch rival in his precious theatre, and now he thinks he's cursed. He said I'd keep for later."
"Well while you were putting your foot in it, I phoned the police, in fact they should be picking Jason Golding up just about now. I'll let you give Adam the good news, I'm going to get a seat."
"Maddy?" Jonathan said as Maddy was leaving. She spun round.
"If Adam takes the news well, and I live for another day, will you have dinner with me tonight?"
Maddy just looked at him, and then walked off, leaving Jonathan to wonder whether that meant yes or no.
Maddy opened the door of Adam's office to find Jonathan lying on the floor with Adam's tiger sitting on top of him, with one paw on each shoulder, pinning him down. Adam was making Jonathan take some kind of vow, probably never to get locked up in a room by a rival magician again.
"Ah Maddy, I hear you were the heroine in your little adventure." Adam mused.
"Well I wouldn't quite put it like that."
"Maddy," Jonathan struggled to speak, "Will you get this thing off me."
Maddy knelt down and called the tiger, which promptly bounded over to her.
"How, what, Maddy," Adam stuttered. "She likes you. I wonder if you'd consider having a part in the show, I'd pay you of course, and you wouldn't have to do much, only ..."
"No way, I might be stupid enough to call a tiger off a defenceless man, but I'm not that stupid."
"What do you mean?" Asked Adam rather surprised.
"I wouldn't work for you even if it was the last job on earth." Replied Maddy. "Jonathan are you ready?"
"What for?" Jonathan asked looking confused.
"For dinner. You finally got round to asking me out."
"I did?" Jonathan questioned, then remembering, "I did." He said more convincingly.
"Lets go then." Maddy turned and started walking out of the door, towards the car, "Before you change your mind again" she added under her breath.