Letter From Home

by Professor Spellbinder

Effect:

The Wizard, or Prophet, is rifling through some dusty books when an envelope drops out of one and falls to the floor. He picks it up and reads the date on the postmark: 1864. "This is from the time of the Civil War," he announces. "The letter is addressed to Alice Winston. Does anyone here know an Alice Winston?"

Alice Winston, mouth hanging open from surprise, timidly raises her hand. The Wizard quizzes her: "Do you know an Alice Winston? What? That's you? It couldn't be! This letter is dated 1864. Do you have any ancestors named Alice Winston? No? Then it must be for you. Do you know any body who fought in the civil war? Well, it doesn't say who it's from, so maybe it's not from a soldier. Would you mind if I ran a few tests before you open the letter?"

Getting Alice's permission to 'run a few tests,' the Wizard asks her, "Do you know the names of any ancestors you have who might have been alive in 1864? Do you know the names of any of their children? Do you know any of their occupations?"

As he asks these questions, the Wizard jots down Alice's answers on a large corporation-style chart or note pad that is on an easel and can be seen by all the audience. He just jots down a name or a word or a phrase from what Alice is telling him, not full sentences.

"Just for the record," says the Wizard, "can you tell me what year you were born? What month? What day? Why, that's today! Happy Birthday, my dear. Let's just open up that letter of yours and see what it says. It's too bad to tear into an antique that old. Let me use a letter opener and I'll try to be very careful. This isn't exactly an letter opener. It's what we Wizards call an Athame... a magical knife. It's very sharp, so it should do the trick."

The Wizard uses the Athame to cut open the top of the envelope and then spreads the envelope for Alice to see inside. "We're all curious!" says the Wizard. "You just got a letter from 1864. Would you mind taking it out and reading it aloud for all of us to hear?"

Alice reads: "Dear Alice,

I hope you remember me. I am your great, great, great grandmother Abigail Winston. We have had four long years of this awful civil war and it looks as if it's going on forever, so I am writing this to you who will live so far in the future, according to a wise old woman who came to my house one evening telling fortunes. I don't know if she made it all up or not. My son, Reginald who is becoming a fine lawyer, thinks she may be a witch, but we fed her and listened to her stories about the future, and in hopes that it will all come true, I am writing this letter to you. I suppose it will sit in a dead letter post box somewhere, but maybe some day it will find its way into your hands. According to the old woman, you will be born in (year) and will receive this letter on your birthday, so Happy Birthday, dear child, and remember your ancestors fondly. Please accept the enclosed gift kindly, even though they tell us the notes are not worth the paper they're printed on.

Abigail Winston."

After Alice finishes reading the above, the Wizard says, "Show everyone your birthday present, Alice... a confederate bill! I'll match that with a modern day worthless bill!" He removes a Wizard bill from his purse, puts it into the envelope along with the letter and confederate bill, and hands it all to Alice.

Letter From Home $5.00

Buy all 11 articles of this issue (#3) of the Wizards' Journal
$40.00

That's less than $4.00 per article if purchased together!

Back to Wizards' Journal #3 Contents - Back to All Journals Contents - Back to The Magic Nook