The Box of SurprisesAll I can say is that I'm not expecting today to be a good day. I mean, I kind of already hate having to spend 5 minutes with my entire family, but I have to spend the whole day with them.
The only thing worse than having to spend the entire day with your crazy family is being around hundreds of people at one time. Being in a room with only 10 people makes me shaky and nervous, but everyone is going to The Great Alabari's magic show.
So, I'm walking through a huge building, following my mom, my dad, and my little sister Katie. I mumble "Excuse me" probably 50 times as I squeeze through. I get stepped on by five-year-olds, coughed on by eight-year-olds, and shoved by people my age, 15.
"Karlee...." Katie yells above the loudness filling the entire building.
"What?" I yell back. I try not to drop the jumbo sized popcorn, cotton candy, Dr. Pepper, and Katie's toy lion she takes with her everywhere.
"Gimme some drinky." She talks like she's 5, but really she's 9.
"No. Wait til' we get our seats." I follow Mom down the steps, to the front row that costed my parents a boat load of money.
I see the workers setting up the platform. A girl in a sparkly red dress sits on one of the carts that's carrying the speakers. She giggles, and blows a big bubble from her gum. I can’t help but think of Harley Quinn when I look at her.
I sit down, in between Mom and Katie. Dad sits on the other side of Mom, and I pass out the food and drinks to everyone.
The Harley Quinn look alike is now walking towards the steps. I make eye contact with her, and feel myself locked in her stare. A big smile spreads across her face, and her gaze lifts off me. I feel my back slump, as if her stare was holding me up and when I looked away, I was dropped.
I spend the next 20 minutes explaining to Katie that nothing scary is going to happen. She thinks that a monster is just waiting to get its claws on her.
Finally, the lights in the huge stadium dim. One giant spotlight shines on the platform, and there's a huge red curtain covering the front half of the stage. The curtain moves, and the Harley Quinn look alike comes out, smiling and twisting her blonde hair around her finger.
"Hiya, ladies and gents!" she says. Her voice isn't quite as high as Harley's. "My name's Lacey. Welcome to the Great Alabari magic show!" Everyone erupts into a cheer, and confetti bursts out of two cannons beside Lacey's feet.
"Alright, settle down, now," Lacey says. "Mr. Alabari is almost ready to start, but he's asked me to get a volunteer." Almost every hand goes up in the crowd.
Lacey taps her chin as if she's thinking hard. "Is there a Karlee Mason in the audience?" I almost block out what's she's saying, but Katie is slapping my arm.
"That's you!" she yells. My eyes get wide and I look up. Lacey is looking right at me.
"Don't be shy, Karlee. Come on up, join the party." She laughs.
I stand up, and walk past the feet and jealous kids. A man in a black shirt opens the gate, and I walk towards the platform. My heart bangs against my chest, my palms are sweating, and my head feels dizzy. I feel hundreds of eyes on me.
"Hey there, Karlee. It's awesome that you're here!" She smiles. I give her a week "uh-huh."
"I can tell that you're nervous. But don't worry. This is going to be the thrill of a lifetime."
Two men wearing shirts that label them as "CREW" roll a big box out from behind the curtain. The box has blue swirls all around the frame. The door is a sliding door, with a lock on the front.
"Mr. Alabari wanted me to show you this," Lacey says. She waves her hand at the box, and it spins around to show the back. I feel my mouth drop open. Lacey winks at me.
"See here, this box has no exits," she says, waving her hand and making the box spin around.
The box is about 8 feet tall, and it's clear that the only exit is from the front.
"Mr. Alabari should be here in- oh, here he comes." The room grows silent as we wait for The Great Alabari to makes his appearance.
A huge cloud of smoke fills my vision, and in a second it's gone, and a tall, slim man stands in front of me, facing the audience.
Everyone cheers. Mr. Alabari bows.
"Yes, I know. My entrance was cliché," Mr. Alabari says, straightening his bow tie.
"I see you've all met my good friend Karlee," he continues. "She's a special one, ya know."
My cheeks turn bright red. I look down at my beat up Converse, and wish I would have worn something nicer than my Batman t-shirt and blue jeans.
"Ms. Karlee, how would you feel about stepping inside my Box of Surprises?" A microphone pops into Mr. Alabari's hand. He hands it to me.
You can see the microphone trembling in my hands. I hold the microphone up to my face.
"Uh..." My voice echoes throughout the entire room. "Well, if I'm going to, like, die or something than I feel extremely uncomfortable with it but if I'm gonna just, like, stand there or whatever, than I don't care." People actually laugh, as if I'm so hilarious.
"Well, then, in the box we go!" Mr. Alabari yells. He slides open the door, revealing a pitch black tiny room. He grabs my hand and helps me in. He steps back and Lacey stands in front of me.
"Listen here, Suga'," she whispers. "What you's about to do is prolly gonna be scary. See, this doesn't normally happen. But trust me, you'll be alright. I swears on my heart," she points to her chest, "you'll be just fine." Then, she leans in and kisses me right on the cheek. And she slides the door shut, and I hear the lock click.
I don't hear anything else. I stand there, listening and waiting. I stand there for 5 minutes, and nothing happens.
"Uh, what am I supposed to do?" I say loudly. My voice echoes back to me.
I put my hands out in front of me, but the door isn't there anymore. I stumble forward. I start walking and it feels like I'm walking down a hill or something. I walk for about a minute, and I look up.
My hair is sticking straight up. And then I realize I'm upside down. I start falling, and I let out a high-pitched squeal.