I told Nurse Carothers that it might be a while before I was up for wrestling and that $700 is a hair more than I usually charge. This confused her because she didn’t know that I’m a wrestler.
I told her that I was flattered but that I didn’t want to have sex with her for $700. Then I felt dumb because that’s not what she meant either.
She meant my services as a magician.
She turned her Wrangler into the Mel Ray Mobile Park Home. It sits wedged in between a sewage lagoon and a used car dealership across the street from a vacant lot that used to be a drive-in movie theater. She parked in front of an avocado green number next to a charred frame that used to be her neighbor’s place. “Meth lab” she explained.
She invited me in but when I went to get out of the seat I had shooting pains through my right side below the ribs and I politely declined. She stared at me for a moment and said “You just want to sit here?” Yes. Yes I did. I told her I might close my eyes for a minute.
She came back a few minutes later dressed all in black with a winter hat on. Not what I expected.
“So you think magic is real huh?” I asked her.
“You tell me” was her response.
After a little more verbal footsie she told me her tale. When she was 12 her sister disappeared. Nothing magical about that. Five years later her mom told her that her sister had been kidnapped and murdered as part of a magical ritual. This resulted in her parents getting divorced and her dad trying to have the mom committed. He was also trying to get custody of Nurse Carothers but she turned 18 before that part all got worked out anyway.
For the next 7 years Nurse C and her dad tried to get the mom into various mental health facilities and drug abuse programs, while the mom tries just as hard to convince them that the magic cult is out there kidnapping and killing kids.
Nurse C and her dad lose track of mom for a couple years but then she pops back up saying that she’s gotten close with a biker who can get her to the truth about the cult. That’s it, they haven’t heard from her again in the past 2 and half years.
I asked her what that had to do with her thinking I was magic. She said that I literally got shot yesterday then this morning I walked out of the hospital.
She looked at me in the mirror of the car rather than directly at me “So is magic real? Was my mom right?”
I considered for a moment not telling her, it never seems to go well, but I try not to lie too much.
“Yeah, magic is real” I confessed” That’s how I healed myself.”
She started to tear up “So my mom wasn’t crazy.”
“One doesn’t preclude the other.” I told her. Not sure if that made her feel better or worse.