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Twisted

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  1. Twisted
  2.  
  3.  It was a good night for magic at La Berenjena Roja, the largest resort on the east side of Cozumel. Gary Cooper, better known to the mixed audience of tourists as Gerald Grandissimo, grinned as his assistant Carrie finished up her rendition of the Mexican Hat Dance, where Enorme the Chihuahua had appeared - then vanished under a simple sombrero on the raised stone stage.
  4.  
  5. "Where's Enorme!?" Gary asked, showing the empty sombrero to the audience, before handing it to Carrie, "Why - here he is!" Gary reached in, and pulled the tiny dog out of the sombrero. The audience applauded as the pair bowed, waiting for the finale. According to the rumors, it was something new to Gary's act. They bowed again, before Carrie moved to the side to put Enorme into his little cage.
  6.  
  7. "I want to tell you - you've been a great audience." Gary said, as he and Carrie went to a tall cloth-covered box and wheeled it out to the front of the stage, "And because you're such a great audience - I want to share with you a new take on one of my favorite tricks." With some flourish, Gary pulled the cloth off to reveal a peculiar reddish box that stood on four spindly legs. Atop it stood a smaller reddish box, just the size of a head to fit into. The entire contraption had an air of roughness about it, as if it had been thrown together by a careless rural craftsman. That was exactly the sort of impression Gary wanted to give. He had worked on it for weeks, trying to break away from the slick shiny look of the twister boxes other magicians used. In time, the green wood he had used would start to crack and warp, adding to the unusual feel of the twister.
  8.  
  9. "Behold - nothing to hide." Gary said, opening the twin doors on the front - and back of the rough cabinet. Carrie waved her hand through, before closing the back doors, and getting into the box from the front, scooching down and poking her head up into the smaller box. She smiled as Gary put a panel into place, pinning her legs into place, before he closed the doors.
  10.  
  11. "And now - for the twist." Gary said, taking the small box with Carrie's head and giving it a turn - and another. It made an ominous ratcheting sound as he did so. Carrie's head turned around and around several impossible times before Gary stopped, letting the audience see her slightly dizzy smile.
  12.  
  13. "Gary? What did you do to me?" Carrie said with a measured gritted smile that was part of the act. In truth, she was enjoying every bit of it.
  14.  
  15. "Why the same thing you do to me when you take me out shopping in the straw market." Gary said. Without missing a beat, Gary opened the doors to reveal Carrie's body, twisted up into a spiral of tan skin and white leotard. Carrie peered down and wiggled her fingers as Gary opened up the back doors of the box, and rotated the entire twister around. The audience applauded as he did the careful pirouette, revealing there was no trickery involved. It was after all, real stage magic.
  16.  
  17. "Now I know how it is with us men." Gary apologized, "The ladies will have us going around in circles in the resort's shops until we feel at least as twisted up as my assistant Carrie is right now. Trouble is, we need to have a special box like this to do the same thing with the ladies?"
  18.  
  19. "Gerald! Untwist me now or else~!" Carrie commanded, drawing a laugh from some of the audience.
  20.  
  21. "Oh yes - of course dear!" Gary said, stepping back to the box and closing the doors. He took hold of the small box, and turned it the other way several times, bringing it to a stop. With a relieved smile, Carrie opened the doors from inside as Gary pulled out the board. She scooched back down - perhaps more fluidly than before, and stepped out as the audience applauded.
  22.  
  23. "Thank you!" Gary said, taking Carrie's right hand and they both bowed, first to the left, then the center -then the right, to a growing amount of applause. Gary stopped bowing, and looked about with a puzzled smile, wondering why the applause was growing - and why Carrie seemed much further away from him than she should be if he was holding her hand.
  24.  
  25. "Uh - GARY!" Carrie hissed in a way that meant trouble. Gary looked at his beautiful assistant, puzzled - she looked fine, other than the fact that she was urgently pointing at her right arm.
  26.  
  27. Her right arm - which now stretched down to the floor like a long tan garden hose, and coiled about before coming back up into her hand which Gary held - perhaps too tightly as he stared at it in shock. Gary stepped back, pulling her arm out into a long curving arc, which swung back and forth over the stage for all the audience to see.
  28.  
  29. "As I said - something new!" Gary improvised, waggling Carrie's long arm, and joking, "Anyone for jump rope?" A girl who had been watching them astutely from the front row leapt up and dashed up on stage eagerly, grinning. Gary looked down at her as the audience laughed in earnest.
  30.  
  31. With a pained smile, Gary stretched Carrie's arm out a bit further - and using it as a rope, they played jump rope for a few skips, before Gary finally got the parents to reclaim their errant child.
  32.  
  33. "What the heck did you DO to me?" Carrie complained, rubbing her arm as they moved their props backstage and the jazz band set up for their performance. Once Gary had let go of her hand, she had managed to reel her suddenly elastic arm back to its normal proportions, "I mean - it felt great, but I don't need to play the part of a jump rope!"
  34.  
  35. "I don't know!" Gary said, checking the cabinet again. The scripts inside for the magic were correctly done, that much he could tell. "You're supposed to just get twisted - and untwisted inside of it. It's a simple, standard trick - with an added twist of local flavor?"
  36.  
  37. "Except that you had to make it." Carrie said, putting her hands to her hips, "And you're not a local."
  38.  
  39. "Many magicians do make their own props." Gary said, putting a few key items into the cabinet and wheeling it towards the exit, "I'll figure it out. Want to grab Enorme?" Carrie reached down, and grabbed the metal cage with the tiny dog in it. To her surprise, her arm stretched out as she stood up, the cage remaining in place as if it were bolted to the floor. Enorme whimpered in surprise.
  40.  
  41. "Gary - I can't." Carrie said. Gary spied what she was doing and sighed.
  42.  
  43. "Okay - you carry the sombrero." Gary said, doffing it on Carrie's head before he put the little metal cage under his arm, "Good thing we've got a room on the premises."
  44.  
  45. "Some room." Carrie said as they got into the elevator, and pressed the silvery metal button for the second floor "We have a prime view of the kitchen vents and the roof?"
  46.  
  47. "Well, the guests get all to good rooms. Besides, technically, we get the biggest balcony in the place." Gary said, giving her a hug, "Are you sure you're feeling all right?"
  48.  
  49. "And for the umpteenth time, yes - aside from a stretched out right arm, I feel fine." Carrie said, pressing the silvery button again, which wouldn't budge. In fact, her finger seemed to be bending off of it. "Why won't this work?"
  50.  
  51. "Allow me." Gary said, easily pushing the button. The doors closed, and the elevator rose, "You sure?"
  52.  
  53. "I'm SURE!" Carrie said, giving Gary a hug, "You know, it felt pretty good stretching like that?"
  54.  
  55. "Like you're doing now?" Gary asked, feeling Carrie's arm circle around his waist, once, then twice, then three times.
  56.  
  57. "Silly - it's my right arm that's stretchy, not my?." Carrie said, holding up her right arm - then she paused and looked down to see her left arm was coiling around Gary's body, "Gary!"
  58.  
  59. "Calm down!" Gary said, slightly amused, as the doors opened, "It figures both of your arms are elastic."
  60.  
  61. "Calm down?" Carrie said, as Gary stepped out of the elevator, pulling Carrie with him, since her arm was tightly wrapped around him, "Honey - we've done a lot of really freaky and may I add interesting things together with magic - but this beats them all!"
  62.  
  63. "Even the times with the multiple mix and match trick?" Gary grinned. That was their private game. Carrie gave him a pained look as she reeled her arm in.
  64.  
  65. "All right - I stand corrected." Carrie said, "But there was an easy restoration spell for that - this?"
  66.  
  67. "Is new - and interesting, "Gary said as they reached their room and he opened the door, "I thought you liked new and interesting?"
  68.  
  69. "I DO!" Carrie said, her face suddenly appearing in front of Gary's, "But I hate it when I'm surprised on stage like that! You should've warned me! And using my arm as a jump rope, honestly?"
  70.  
  71. "Trust me - I would never use your neck for that." Gary said, eyeing how Carrie's neck had stretched out over his shoulder so she could face him so quickly. Carrie gave out a little eep, and retracted it as quickly as she had stretched it out, "Let's get in - and experiment."
  72.  
  73. "Experiment?" Carrie said as they stepped into the room. Gary bent over and let Enorme out of his cage, "Oh - to see if I make a good chew toy for Enorme?" Enorme sniffed at Carrie's heels before trotting off to the kitchen where his bed and dinner dishes were located.
  74.  
  75. "No - to see how this has affected you. Have a seat." Gary said, "I know a few other tricks where this can or could happen?"
  76.  
  77. "Other tricks?" Carrie said, sitting down, "So you got them mixed up?"
  78.  
  79. "Not likely." Gary said, "Now - try stretching your legs."
  80.  
  81. "Huh?"
  82.  
  83. "I just want to see if you can stretch them out like your arms." Gary said.
  84.  
  85. "Oh - all right?" Carrie said, extending her legs and thinking, "Ummm - that's as far as they go?" Carrie's legs were extended, but unchanged.
  86.  
  87. "And your arms?." Gary asked. A smile crossed Carrie's face, and she reached out with her arms. Quicker than either could react, they stretched out across the room, coiling like a pair of pythons around Gary.
  88.  
  89. "You know." Carrie said, reeling Gary in more closely, "I may start to like this."
  90.  
  91. "I'll bet." Gary said, grinning back as he stood over her. Carrie pulled herself up with her elastic arms, and grinned, "I want to check a few other things out."
  92.  
  93. "Oh - bet I know which of those things are." Carrie said, leading Gary towards their bed.
  94.  
  95. "Not quite what I had in mind." Gary admitted. He wasn't about to complain though...
  96.  
  97. "Mmmm." Carrie mumbled. She could smell toast and eggs sizzling away in the kitchenette, and she could hear Gary whistling away, "Oh, that wonderful man." Carrie stretched - and her stretch felt distinctly odd, as if she were in a pile of herself. She opened her eyes to see her back, trailing down across the floor to the small couch on the other side of the oversized hotel room.
  98.  
  99. "ACK!" Carrie gasped, raising her head up on the end of her long neck - only to be jerked back down as something tumbled to the floor. She looked down to see her neck was coiled around the legs of the desk chair, which had toppled over because of her movement, "Gary!" Carrie managed to gasp out as the weight of the chair pressed down on her stretched-out windpipe.
  100.  
  101. "Huh!? Oh boy." Gary said, peering around the corner and spying Carrie's distressed looking head. He carefully stepped over her stretched-out arms and torso to right the chair, "Better?"
  102.  
  103. "Much!" Carrie said, breathing better and getting a better look at herself, "What's the big idea!"
  104.  
  105. "What?"
  106.  
  107. "Stretching me out like this?" Carrie demanded, looking at how her arms were criss crossed all over the room. Her upper torso rested on the little couch, while her head had been resting across the room on the desk chair. Her lower torso, and legs, which were not elastic, shifted uneasily under the sheets.
  108.  
  109. "I didn't do it- you've always been a restless sleeper. I woke up to find you did this to yourself." Gary said with a weak smile, "Good thing I've been reading up on Houdini, or I never would have gotten out of your grip?"
  110.  
  111. "That's why my arms are in the laundry basket?" Carrie asked. Gary grinned and shrugged, "Great - mind helping me out here?"
  112.  
  113. "Sure - I didn't want to disturb your sleep." Gary said, " Now where should we begin?"
  114.  
  115. "Bathroom." Carrie said, uneasily moving her legs, and swinging them out of bed.
  116.  
  117. "Bathroom?" Gary said, watching her legs stand up and walk unsteadily across the floor as Carrie's tan torso stretched out even further. Carrie gave him a cross look.
  118.  
  119. "Look - I have to go, and I need help - getting that end to the toilet, okay?"
  120.  
  121. "Why not stretch your neck out more?" Gary asked. Carrie tried, before stopped and scowled at him.
  122.  
  123. "I think my neck is as stretched out as it can be!" Carrie snapped.
  124.  
  125. "But it's only - oh, thirty or forty feet long?"
  126.  
  127. "GARY!" Carrie snapped. Gary held up his hands in defeat and escorted Carrie's lower half to the bathroom for what needed to be done.
  128.  
  129. "Much - better." Carrie said after relieving herself and pulling her elastic limbs back into their normal proportions. She checked herself out in the mirror before putting on her robe. "I think I have a thing or two to teach those yoga instructors down at the beach?"
  130.  
  131. "I'll bet." Gary said, putting down the plates on their little table, "Are you sure you feel okay?"
  132.  
  133. "Perfect - ready for another great performance." Carrie said sitting down and rubbing her hands together - before she tangled her stretchy fingers together, "We're going to have to figure out how to get this into the act! This will be great!"
  134.  
  135. "No, you have to figure out how to get it under control - or there won't be an act." Gary said, "Remember how you stretched out of your costume last night?"
  136.  
  137. "And remember how you really, really liked it?" Carrie said, untangling her fingers and reaching for the fork. Gary smiled, remembering how she had expanded on some of her better features.
  138.  
  139. They both liked that?
  140.  
  141. "Yeah - I liked it - but the audience might not like it if you stretch out like that on the stage. We are supposed to be pg rated here?" Gary said, watching Carrie try to pick up the fork, "Fact of the matter is, we've got to either get it under control - or reverse this."
  142.  
  143. "Great - we'll get in under control." Carrie said, struggling to lift up the fork. She paused and stretched her neck out to peer under the table. "Okay, where's the magnet?"
  144.  
  145. "What magnet?" Gary asked, puzzled. Carrie's head reappeared.
  146.  
  147. "The one that's keeping this fork stuck to the table." Carrie said crossly as she stood up and tried to lift the fork up with both hands. Her arms stretched out further, "Or did you superglue it to the table to make sure I follow my diet?"
  148.  
  149. "I didn't do anything to the fork."
  150.  
  151. "Liar!"
  152.  
  153. "All right - let go." Gary said, getting up. Carrie let go and watched as Gary picked up the fork - as if it were merely a fork.
  154.  
  155. "All right - fork it over." Carrie said, holding out her hand. Gary handed her the fork, and Carrie gasped as her arm suddenly stretched out. Her hand struck the floor with a loud thump.
  156.  
  157. "What the heck?" Carrie said, looking down at her hand, which was pinned in place by a simple fork resting in her palm. Gary watched in slight amusement as first Carrie tried to lift her arm up - then tried picking the fork up out of her hand with her other elastic arm. She might as well have tried picking up the entire hotel.
  158.  
  159. It wouldn't budge.
  160.  
  161. "A little help here!" Carrie said, noting Gary's bemused smile.
  162.  
  163. "Huh - oh, right." Gary said going to the cupboard, "I think we have some plastic silverware around here.
  164.  
  165. "Plastic?" Carrie cried dismayed, "What have you done to the silverware mister?"
  166.  
  167. "Not a thing." Gary said, laying out some clear plastic silverware in Carrie's place, then plucking the fork out of Carrie's hand. Carrie toppled backwards a few steps, landing on the chair with her stretched out limbs collapsing about her.
  168.  
  169. "It's what happened to you." Gary said waggling the fork at her as she reeled her arms in again, "Whatever happened has made you unable to pick up iron."
  170.  
  171. "Iron?" Carrie said, wrinkling her nose, "That's silver-ware. Silver, you know?"
  172.  
  173. "Actually, its stainless steel." Gary observed, reading the label, "Made in China. There's iron in it."
  174.  
  175. "So I can't use silverware." Carrie said, digging into her omelet, and reaching for the silvery salt shaker. Her fingers stretched out around it, unable to get a grip, "Or - this either."
  176.  
  177. "Or the elevator buttons." Gary said remembering the previous night, "Or Enorme's cage." Carrie looked down at the little dog, who was already in begging mode. She tossed him a piece of toast. Enorme snapped it up and trotted off.
  178.  
  179. "So I'll take the stairs." Carrie said, watching the little dog chomp down the piece of toast.
  180.  
  181. "Which have iron in the fire doors." Gary said frowning, "And it may extend to other metals too?"
  182.  
  183. "So I'll need an escort. Since Fabio's not in town, you'll have to do." Carrie said with a stretched-out grin.
  184.  
  185. "Carrie - I can't be everywhere. Like the ladies room." Gary said, "Besides, if iron is involved - this may be very serious."
  186.  
  187. "How serious?" Carrie said, taking another bite of her breakfast and drinking her coffee. When Gary didn't respond, her eyes stretched out, growing wide in panic, "Oh come ON! Something this much fun can't be that bad!"
  188.  
  189. "Not now - but later - who knows. Whatever happened to you happened half-way. You could turn half-purple and have your hands turn into roots. Or worse?"
  190.  
  191. "Oh-kay - I've had enough fun this way - turn me back to normal!" Carrie said in her commanding tone. Gary shrugged.
  192.  
  193. "We've crossed the line here - from stage magics to master mage magics." He said.
  194.  
  195. "Huh?"
  196.  
  197. "Look - I'm a stage magician - I use props to do magic in the confines of a stage, a box, a cape. Right now, the magic that's making you - stretchy - is not confined to the stage, a box, or what have you. This is more of a master mage class of magic. They don't need props or have these limitations." Gary sighed, wondering where he had messed up. He knew countless magicians that used local products with no effects like this. It completely baffled him.
  198.  
  199. At least he had one option to use. And it was a good one.
  200.  
  201. "Congratulations - you've graduated up to master mage." Carrie said smiling, stretching her arm out and patting Gary on the back, "Now about a cure?"
  202.  
  203. "I have no idea." Gary said, reaching for the phone, "I'm hoping my brother Barry might."
  204.  
  205. "Barry?"
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