Doomsday Intro: Pick a Card (@vundablog)

Nano project #5 is the first novella in a series of 8, following 8 students through their 8 years at Doomsday Academy.

That means, of course, I need to figure out 8 students. Three I had pregenerated: The Catboy Samurai and his best friends Sianna the dancer and Sweetbriar the prickly. The other five…

Well, here’s a little something about one.

“Okay, pick a card.”

The caravan driver was being very patient, and you could tell. Then again, you’d been dropped on the caravan with two bags and a crossbow, and you were pretty sure that she felt bad for you.

And, really, you’d been dropped on a caravan with two bags and a half-sized crossbow, you were (you were pretty sure) just a few weeks away from your 10th birthday, and, while you didn’t really count the people that had just dumped you as parents, they were the only family you could remember. If you were going to take advantage of the fact the caravan driver was tolerating you, well, who could really blame you?

Besides, when you did particularly good magic tricks, she gave you an extra treat. You were a growing kid, right? Hopefully. You needed all the food you could get.

“All right, you’ve got your card in your mind, now put it right back in here, and I’ll just shuffle these up, just like this.” The guy you’d once thought was your father had taught you to shuffle, as well as several other card tricks. “And there we go. Is this your wallet?”

The cute smile was the trick. If you got that wrong, then you weren’t doing adorable magic tricks, you were a pickpocket. It was a thin line.

You held your breath. Slowly, the caravan driver smiled.

Today, you got to be a cute kid doing cute tricks.

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0 thoughts on “Doomsday Intro: Pick a Card (@vundablog)

      • Apollo Robbins is essentially a professional pickpocket. He’s made it into a stage performance where he’ll rob people blind (including once a group of Secret Service agents) and he does it so skilfully they can’t tell what he’s taking even as they hear the audience roar with laughter. And he’ll often have the victim laughing along with the audience if they aren’t too stunned.

  1. I remember reading an anecdote (don’t know where, of course) about the young Harry Houdini, trying to impress an impresario enough to get on a stage. He’d practiced a lot of card tricks and prepared a deck, but the man handed him a brand-new deck, unopened, in its box. HH thought he was sunk for sure… till he opened the box and found that the deck consisted entirely of aces of spades! And proceeded to put on the most amazing show the man had ever seen.

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