So we have this package of wishes, $9.95, Inside there is a pencil, matches, a wish platform, and 50 wish slips (that works out to $.19 a wish!). You simply write down a wish - anything - and roll up the paper, stand it up on the platform, light it, and it burns down and then flies up and all but disappears. Cool, right?
We have an opened package behind the counter and, as there is time, or someone is interested, or if a young child seems bored looking at scarves with their mom, we pull these out. "Write down a wish," we say and hand over the pencil. Some folks, mostly adults, automatically write a fast wish, "a new car, peace on earth, health, or lots of money..." They hand the wish back to us and we "make it come true," by following the instructions on the package. The children take this much more seriously. When they are too young to write words, we suggest drawing a picture of a wish. I have seen this small piece of wish paper dramatically change into a masterpiece taking up to 5 minutes to create. Sometimes very secretive, hiding from parents or siblings, sometimes declarative, "I want it to snow on Christmas!" But it is after the wish gets written or drawn, that the magic happens.
We’re sure it has something to do with the "wish platform." When the wish - their wish - is rolled, placed upon the magical space and then is lit (yes open flame in a retail store), everyone just stops in awe of what happens. My favorite part, as the piece of flaming paper begins to float upward, is the face of the 6 year old little boy who believes whole heartily in wishes, and miracles, and Santa, and magic. The fire envelops the paper, and all that is left is a small wisp of cinders that floats slowly downward. Mouths still open; smiles are created.
I never much cared for magicians, feeling their craft was sneaky somehow. But just this quiet little "trick" we get to perform, feels not sneaky but indeed magical. Need some magic? Come see us. (written lovingly by Della)