People wonder about the abandoned house next door. It sits on a vacant lot, overgrown with what may have once been neatly kept landscaping. The house itself is in bad shape, with missing patches of roofing and siding that is more wishful thinking than air or water tight.
Or at least that is how the house appeared for decades.
But it isn’t that way any more.
Neglected by its owners, it sunk into the background on the block, and is generally ignored by all and sundry.
Then we noticed it one day, spruced up and looking livable. But we never saw anyone at work.
The only reasonable explanation is Brownies, but aside from the sort that aspire to sell cookies some day, there is no such thing as Brownies. Or, maybe there is. It certainly can’t be the flock of feral chickens that settled in the yard. Everyone knows that chickens don’t build houses.
But they do live in coops. And what is a house other than a really nice coop?
Simply coincidence that the chickens moved in, and six months later the yard is neatly kept, the paint is fresh, the roof is repaired, and the house is on the market.
They slowly gathered dust in the back room of the little theatre, in the dim light and away from prying eyes and fingers. Perhaps in the right hands, they could be used again to amaze. But before that could happen, they would need more than a little repair. And likely fresh paint.
The chair suspension had a loose leg, and could hardly support itself, let alone a volunteer.
The thin model sawing was missing a blade. Without it, the secrets would leak out under the bright lights, and then it would fail to be an illusion. ALthough to be fair the line between illusion and disillusion is always fairly thin. Even when all works perfectly, small slips by the performers add up and the audience may not be fooled in the slightest.
Most of the production props were aging, suffering badly from loss of flexibility. A compressible bowling ball is worthless if it crumbled to dust when packed, or takes too long to spring back to shape when released.
The egg bag seemed to be home to many generations of moths. If picked up and manipulated today, it would fall to pieces. In its glory days it would have been the keystone of an act that produced a dozen fresh eggs and the chicken that laid them.
In the darkest corner there was a box of appearing canes stuck open, and disappearing candles stuck closed.
If George ever remembered he’d left this show here, he was going to need to take some time to bring it back to its former glory.
Pullet was not the sort of man you would expect to have taken the risk of starting his own business. He was quiet, timid, and not at all brave. He seemed particularly ill-suited to the alarm business. And yet, here he was, running Big Red Protection.
His partner was his polar opposite. Where Pullet was unsure, Reynard was confident. Where Pullet was timid, Reynard was brash and outgoing.
In short, their partnership seemed doomed from the outset. But somehow, they persevered.
They had already survived their first year in business. Most new businesses don’t outlast their first birthday. Big Red Protection celebrated theirs by signing up their one hundredth client. While that was barely enough income to keep their doors open, it was still more than either had feared would be the case. Of course, Pullet still jumped when the phone rang. He was certain that the next call would spell the end for their enterprise, and was perpetually surprised when it was just a potential new customer.