Old News

by Professor Spellbinder

Effect:

The Prophet explains that he has been having a feeling of déjà vu since he entered the room and that he believes that he has read a prophecy some time ago that is about to come true. He digs through some dusty old books, then notices that one of the books has an old newspaper clipping attached to it. "Ah, yes!" he suddenly remembers.

He removes the newspaper, showing that it is actually two newspaper clippings attached by a paper clip. He hands one of the news clippings to an onlooker to read aloud. First he has the reader note the name of the paper (The Daily Prophet) and the date (1905 or so). The reader then reads this passage aloud: "There will gather in the summer of 2006 (or whatever the current year is) a group of Muggles intent on challenging the prophet and seer (here insert your name) as to whether or not he has truly the Sight and the ability to prognosticate future events. It will be on the day the moon is (etc. - fill in to suit) and that day which on the muggle calendar is July 22nd (etc.). Among those gathered will be one Will Hancock, Emma Smith (actual names of some of the people in the room). They shall challenge the prophet, saying unto him 'Prove to us that you can truly see what lies ahead, for we do not believe you.' Then it shall be that the prophet YOUR NAME ... continued on page seventeen."

At this point the reader stops reading and looks up. The Prophet (that's you!) holds up the other piece of newspaper and shakes it saying, "Page seventeen." You then reach up high above your head where a ribbon dangles from the ceiling. Using the paper clip, you clip the second part of the news article to the ribbon and admonish the audience with "Not yet!"

"So, you doubt me, Will Hancock (or whomever was named in the paper clipping). Remove a dollar bill from your pocket and write the serial number in giant letters and numbers on this paper, but show no one what you have written." You hand Will a large piece of posterboard and a dark crayon or magic marker. "Stand over here where I can't see what you are writing."

"And you, Emma Smith, call out the name of someone you know who was born after the year 1905, who didn't even exist in 1905, and someone whom I could not possibly know." As she says the name, you write it on another piece of large posterboard.

"And let us add a thought so secret that it could not possibly be foreseen. I don't know your name, so don't tell it to me." Have the person write the word on a third large piece of paper, but keep the word hidden by standing where no one can see him write.

Now you ask the reader to take down the newsclipping from page 17, the continuation of the news article from 1905.

"...said unto them, 'write down a number, call out a name of someone not yet born, and think of a word so secret that no one can possibly foresee it.' When they had done as he asked, Will Hancock revealed that he had written: CD17604658A." As the reader reads the serial number, you indicate to Will to show the audience the number he has written, or, if necessary, grab Will's paper and hold it high so everyone can see.

The reader continues, "and Emma Smith did call aloud the name of Jessica Langford, who was born after our time, her own dear granddaughter." The audience has already heard the name and Emma will easily take your cue to show her sign, but may be shaken at the additional information that the prophecy revealed that the girl is her granddaughter.

The reader concludes, "Finally Roger Talbot did reveal his secret word 'MACHINE' and then it was the company believed that the Prophet truly had the Sight and doubted him no more."

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