Mr Maleaky

Dan encounters a old magician called Mr Maleaky who had a strange but strong connection with his late Grandpa. Can he trust Mr Maleaky?

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1. Mr Maleaky

Lights up on Dan (15 years old) sat on the floor of a park late one evening. He is chucking a stone about, sighing deeply and shaking his head.

 A homeless man enters (Mr Maleaky). He has wild grey hair and is in his mid 80’s. He is dressed in a suit, complete with a bow tie and waistcoat, he walks with a stick. Everything he is wearing/carrying is old and worn out.

Mr Maleaky (Smiles at Dan from behind him) Ahh, now that’s the face of someone feeling sorry for them self?

Dan (looks up towards Mr Maleaky) What?

Mr Maleaky You look troubled my boy, whatever’s the matter?

Dan (looks strangely at Mr Maleaky and starts to shift along the floor away from him)

Mr Maleaky Now, there’s no reason to be afraid, a strangers just a friend you do not know.

Dan Right.

Mr Maleaky I bet you’ve never heard of me, no one your age has. It was different when I was your age son, everybody knew everybody.

Dan I don’t want to sound rud-

Mr Maleaky I’m a magician. I’m very used to people questioning who I am, but that’s the fun of it you see; messing with people’s minds before they even know your name.

Dan Who are you?

Mr Maleaky I’m whoever I want to be. I’m whoever you want me to be.

Dan (looks at him blankly)

Mr Maleaky Yes, just what I thought; nothing, you don’t want me to be anything to you. (Sits down beside Dan) You don’t want me sat here and you don’t want me to keep on talking. People are only scared because they don’t understand. Trust me, I’m a simple man. You don’t need to be afraid.

Dan (Gets up to leave.)

Mr Maleaky Hold on, you never told me what was bothering you so much.

Dan (Looks down his nose at Mr Maleaky)

Mr Maleaky My name’s Mr Maleaky. You’re Grandpa would know who I was.

Dan What?

Mr Maleaky I’ve always been good with faces. You’re the spit of him. You really are.

Dan How do you know who my grandpa is?

Mr Maleaky Most magicians have a young glamorous blonde for an assistant, me? No way, I went with the best person I had in my life, and that was Ed, my best mate. He was the life and soul behind my shows.

Dan (joins him on the floor) He never mentioned you.

Mr Maleaky No, he wouldn’t.  He grew to be ashamed of me, any who, you never told me what was wrong.

Dan Why should I?

Mr Maleaky Well I don’t mean to sound rude but it looks to me like you’ve no one else to listen. I ain’t doing anything all day, I’ve had life experience you know, I’m sure there’s not a problem I haven’t had to deal with.

Dan It’s...

Mr Maleaky Speak up lad, there is no need to be shy.

Dan It’s my Grandpa. He’s dead. All my family do is argue about the inheritance. It’s torn them apart, he was the family man. Now, we’re just nothing but a pack of wolves.

Mr Maleaky (laughs uncontrollably)  

Dan It’s not funny.

Mr Maleaky (laughs harder)

Dan Will you stop? I thought you cared about him, he’s gone, and he’s dead.

Mr Maleaky Of course I care about him, but that money is mine!

Dan What are you, mental?!

Mr Maleaky No son. I’m most certainly not. He thought my shows were just about the money, he said the passion was gone, the magic was just tricks and I treated my staff like dogs. He packed up and left one day, all my money left with him.

Dan How?!

Mr Maleaky We kept the money in a guitar case so we could keep it close and count out profits each night. He emptied the lot and left a note inside saying, “Prove you’re not obsessed with the coins; stop the ticket prices, put the magic back into your magic shows. I don’t believe you have a passion for the art anymore, I can’t watch you abuse your powers. The money has gone. How will you cope?” I didn’t cope. I winded up with nothing more than this stick and a bag of rotting clothes from the shows.

Dan I don’t believe you.

Mr Maleaky I’m here aren’t I? What more can I show you?

Dan Look, I don’t know what you’re doing here, and I don’t know why you want to mess with me. But-

Mr Maleaky But what?

Dan I just want to go!

Mr Maleaky Go then, I was just trying to help.

Dan Help?! You’ve done nothing but insult by Grandpa!

Mr Maleaky I never insulted him. I admire him. He’s got morals; he set me straight when I took advantage of my gift. I may have nothing on the outside, but I have my pride.

Dan Oh, I didn’t realise. I thought you were angry because he took the money.

Mr Maleaky I came to realise over the years that your Grandpa were right. It’s magic that I loved, not the money. The money was a bonus. When we started earning we had so much more trouble than when we did shows on street corners for the old folk and little kids. I don’t need a house, or a fancy wardrobe, I’ve got what I love, my magic, and that’s worth more than everything money could buy.

Dan Money just gets in people’s heads. It stops them from seeing straight, from seeing what’s important.

Mr Maleaky Before I leave you with that message, can you do me a favour?

Dan I guess.

Mr Maleaky When they cremate your Grandpa, just pop this in the coffin with the family photos and stuff. (Hands Dan a folded piece of paper)

Dan I will.

Both stand up and go to exit opposite directions. Dan spins around.

Dan Wait!

Mr Maleaky yes?

Dan What do I do, about my family?

Mr Maleaky Money doesn’t make you happy, happiness makes you happy, and happiness is found in family.

Mr Maleaky exits. Dan smiles to himself as he opens up the paper.

It reads:

Prove you’re not obsessed with the coins; stop the ticket prices, put the magic back into your magic shows. I don’t believe you have a passion for the art anymore, I can’t watch you abuse your powers. The money has gone. How will you cope?”

I coped Ed. I found my magic again.

 

 

 

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