The man was running up the stairs. Blood was dripping from his shoulders. “I just escaped in the nick of time. If it wasn’t for my reflexes, I would have been a goner”, he thought. He heard a footstep on the stair. “Crap, he’s here”, he thought as he started to prepare himself to run again. “Tick, tock. Time is running. Hurry up and face your death, Mr. Giordano”, came a cold icy voice from below. He looked down the stairs and saw a man walking up to him slowly. His eyes were looking at him with murderous intent. He felt a chill running down his spine. The man started sweating heavily from fear. “What the hell is he?”, he thought as he pulled himself together.
Danny Giordano instantly felt his worse fears come true. “I really am going to die”, he sweated profusely. He ran from the stairs but came to a dead end. He panted heavily and looked around for a way of escape. He saw a window open on the floor. He was preparing himself to jump outside when he saw a figure emerge from the curtains. “Do you want to jump?”, he asked. “You….”, Danny shivered in fear. “How can you? You were on the stairs a moment ago!”, he exclaimed. He fell down on the floor. The man got up again and took his stand. “One last stand. A fight to the death. Let us see”, he thought as he took out two knives from his pockets. The man in front of him clapped his hands. “Bravo. A splendid show indeed!”, he exclaimed. His eyes showed a hint of excitement rather than the cold look before.
The man in front of him was wearing a white shirt tucked into a pair of black pants and a waistcoat on top. To top it off, he was wearing a tailcoat of a darker shade of black. He was tall to the same height of Danny. His top hat was tall on his head. He took out a pocket watch from his waistcoat and looked at the time. “Alas. It’s time”, he muttered. He placed the watch back in and took out a deck of cards. He fanned it out in both his hands and gave a sinister smile.
“Let’s dance”, he said to Danny as he took his stance. Danny was infuriated by his calmness. He lunged forward with his knife. The man in the coat dodged it. After that, he made a bow and said, “How rude of me to not introduce myself. My name is… Well, that’s insignificant. I’m called ‘The Magician.’” Danny looked at him and scoffed, “You’re the Magician? I don’t believe it. You can’t be him. He was killed in jail a few years back. How can you be him?”, he said. The Magician laughed out maniacally. “Kill me? Dead? How can I, The Magician, die at the hand of an ordinary criminal?”, he said with sarcasm.
Danny was already prepared that he was not The Magician. He spat the blood that was forming in his mouth due to his injuries and running. He was gasping for breath heavily. “Seems like you aren’t at full strength. What a waste of fighting someone who is not at full potential”, he said as he pulled out a chair and sat on it. “In mostly ten minutes, you will recover from this and then we will fight”, he said with disappointment. “Screw you!”, screamed Danny as he lunged forward again. The Magician sat on the chair and spun it on one of its legs to avoid his attack. Danny was furious but after he saw that movement, he knew he didn’t have the strength to move again.
He collapsed on the ground. His vision became hazy. His breathing became difficult. He looked around and saw The Magician walk towards him. “I told you to rest. But you were ignorant. Now look at what you have done to yourself”, he smiled as he said. He sat down on the chair again and said, “Fifteen minutes and you must be fine. Then, I shall give you the dance you deserve”, he said. He took out a book from his coat and started reading it. Danny lay down on the floor, unable to move, even if he tried to. He glanced towards The Magician and his mind was racing with thoughts.
“The Magician? He died in the most high security prison a few years back. How can this be him? But his attitude and the way he behaves is exactly the same as him. Could it be, that he didn’t die but staged an act? It can’t be. The doctors also confirmed that he was dead. Ah, he did have several scars on his back. And one of them was a very long scar from the neck which curved like snake around his body”, he thought. “Could you remove your shirt? I want to see if you’re really the person you’re claiming to be”, he said in a weak voice. “Sure. After you get up in two minutes”, he replied.
After two minutes, Danny moved his right wrist to check if he could move. He could move. He then got up and looked at him. “Ah, just give me a minute. Apologies for my rudeness”, he said as he started to remove his tailcoat. Danny looked at him with interest. He was expecting him to be a fake. After he removed his shirt, Danny saw it clearly, the scar of The Magician.
Danny stood up with a smile. His eyes were filled with fear. But deep inside the fear, The Magician saw the excitement, the thrill of the battle. “Yes, the trill of dancing”, The Magician thought. “Shall we dance?”, he asked. Danny nodded in agreement. He couldn’t contain the excitement in his blood. “I shall end him. The Magician is going to be mine”, he thought to himself as he steadied himself for offense.