After receiving his “s-o-r-r-y” text, Cynthia tries several times unsuccessfully to get through to Jake, and finally decides to call 911. She tells them that Jake had stopped in at No Limits, the art supply store where she works.

Her next call was to William Forrester Hospital, where Cynthia was told that no information on Ben’s recovery could be given over the phone. Jake had insisted that he hadn’t really meant to hurt Ben when he had pushed him down his basement stairs… Cynthia then receives an awfully cool welcome from Police at Jake’s apartment when she arrives to pick up Puddle.  Jake’s cat had apparently been taken to the local animal shelter the day before.

“Has he contacted you, Ms.-?”

“Dusky.  Cynthia Dusky.  Look, two officers came to see me at work.  I just didn’t want his cat to go hungry.”

After a few more awkward questions, the police assure her that they will catch up to Jake. “We’ll be keeping an eye on your place, too.”

“Just don’t scare the pizza guy,” Cynthia said sarcastically as she left. What the heck had Jake gotten her into?

Cynthia’s sister Melissa volunteered at the local animal shelter, as did her friend Natalie, who confirmed that Puddle was indeed there. Cynthia was surprised to see another two officers stationed at the Shelter when she arrived. It was getting annoying.

“I just need to pick up his cat.  I don’t know where Jake is, honest.”

***

Jake had been travelling for almost a week. He had smashed the SIM card from his cell phone with a rock, cut up all of his credit cards, and put all the pieces in a sewer. He then hitchhiked a few towns over, and found himself at a travelling fair, celebrating butternut squash, of all things!

While enjoying a bowl of soup at one of the street vendors, Jake is struck with an idea to make some fast cash.

“I’m a magician” he confidently tells the girl at the registration booth. Smiling skeptically, she hands Jake a vendor form. He nervously writes the name Charlie Rivers.

At 10:50 Saturday morning Jake (AKA Chuck) is feeling rather anxious. The last time he felt like this was when the Police came to arrest him for assaulting Ben at the Lightning Strikers meeting. “Attempted Murder” they had called it.

Jake starts his performance a tad sloppy and unsure, but quickly gains confidence as more people gather.  He had picked up a few props at the dollar store: handkerchiefs; artificial flowers, lollipops and a bucket.

“Does anyone in the audience have a set of keys I can borrow?”

A man eating a hotdog offers his.

“Thank you, Sir! Anyone else?”

A woman next to him offers her set, too.

“This is great!” Jake shouts enthusiastically. “Now, which one of you drives a better car?”

To Jake’s relief, the crowd laughs at his meager attempt at humour.

Sparks suddenly fly as Jake tosses both sets of keys up into the air.  When the keys clash above their heads, it sounds just like thunder somehow! The audience applauds, and Jake is thrilled that his “powers” seem to be returning.

“Now, does anyone have a hat I can borrow?”

A young boy about 7 eagerly takes off his Blue Jays hat.

“Blue Jays!” Jake exclaims. “Any other baseball fans here?”

The crowd applauds again and Jake throws the keys even higher, using the hat to catch them behind his back.  This time, more sparks, and he sets off every car alarm around them!

“Whoa, that’s gonna get annoying real fast! You’re all gonna have to shout “thunder!” And I’ll clap my hands real loud, and we’ll try to stop it! Ok? Now!”

The audience yells but not louder than the alarms.

“Louder!” Jake shouts, and points to the sky, and suddenly there is another loud crack of thunder! Jake’s face turns red hot, and a bolt of lightning shoots from the sky, where a small red fireball appears above him.

The car alarms have stopped, and everyone is suddenly silent, watching Jake manipulate the fire.

“Marshmallows anyone?” Jake asks with a smile, feeling like his hour of “magic” has been a genuine success.

“Thank you everyone, I’m here all week!  But alas, the fair is only today, so please give generously! Jake “throws” the fire ball toward the bucket, and it vanishes into a puff of smoke.

“Help yourself to a lollipop!”

Appreciative laughter from the crowd also brings in a steady flow of coins.