THE OFFICIAL’S RULES:
1. The person performing the illusion must dig his way to a tomb with one way entrance.
2. The person must fill in any hole created with the soil from that whole.
3. The person is not allowed to use any technology in digging, or moving any soil – only his hands and feet.
4. The person in the grave is not to be allowed out by anyone, he must either escape himself, ala “KILL BILL VOLUME II” or die.
5. There is to be a live-feed camera in the tomb, which cannot be shut off.
6. No one is allowed to interfere with the illusion.
These were the parameters to a young magician’s, Pirlo, final illusion. A crescendo. Pirlo’s pinnacle performance was to be both a homecoming and a farewell to the art.
There was speculation. Despite reporters, scientists, and engineers, rummaging through the tomb, and finding no gadgets or trapdoors – there was speculation. Some assumed that the tomb had an escape hatch; others thought that he would never enter the tomb, but only appear to.
Famous at thirteen, for fermenting the Chicago River overnight, Pirlo had toured the world for years giving magic shows to packed arenas.
He bought a full block of real estate in upper Manhattan – the biggest retail purchase of a decade. He raised all the buildings in the area, and constructed an elaborate palace for himself, in which to live and work. He called it Giza.
The tabloids and news crews reported every step and maneuver as he prepared for the performance.
The Informant, a small-town southern news paper, announced that it had obtained segments of Pirlo’s “private magic documents”. Pirlo offered the newspaper billions to not reveal the trick. However, the editor, a man of modest means, released the concealed documents billions in a private film called “Pirlo’s secrets”. Teems of millions flooded movie theaters worldwide, but were frustrated by the inconclusiveness: no concrete explanation, no theory, no proof – the “private
magic documents” were all encoded. Rather than an unveiling, the movie was a dialogue of possible explanations, using fragmented analysis and extrapolation. The most convincing evidence was presented in the last scene of the hour-long film, when a computer programmer described encrypted blueprints of a lifelike robot, in the image of Pirlo.
Pirlo maintained that a robot was not the secret to his trick. He alluded to something “older and more primitive, more innate”.
Days before the performance an Fx-Tech, a video game blog, produced a decoded version of the blueprints for Pirlo’s robot. Thinkers in every field stated that it was technology from a century in the future, Pirlo’s robot cures cancer, joked the onion.
However, hope amongst the masses grew. Scientific America indulged the public reporting “if it can do the things, the blue prints, say it would be the greatest technological breakthrough in a millennia, maybe two!”
Millions scanned the feed for clues. And s the moment drew closer, the bars and homes and stadiums were replete with eager masses, awaiting the bodacious.
Pirlo eats dinner with the OFFICIAL, on the balcony of the highest floor of Giza, surveying his garden. The OFFICIAL, saintly white skin radiates, beneath her whip cream gown. She tells him he needs to shave, and look tidy. At ten he leaves his abode. With a backdrop of pouring rain, and devastating electric vibrations, Pirlo walks naked, through his garden. One hundred thousand white candles illuminate Giza. He kneels. His eyes closed, he places his forehead on the muddy ground. With a flick of the neck, and crack of the jaw, he punctures the earth. He engages the bubbling blackness, biting, clawing, and carving. He makes a dent. A hole. A tunnel. Hours pass before he reaches the tomb, and without flinching he lunges into the chasm. Kicked by his falling foot, the walls of his tunnel collapse and the dirt follows him into the grave.
The Defense department monitored the ground to ensure that there was no tunneling of any kind.
Pirlo walks up to the camera sobbing. On “Coffin-vision” Pirlo announces his failure. Then his regret. Then fear. “I mis-performed the procedure; I was never supposed to be in here. Oh my god help me, is anyone out there. It’s dark…” Millions watch silently; the feed is one way. “I fell in, the bot was supposed to fall in, but I did as well. He was supposed to be here alone. He was supposed to die here.” He presses. Presses a craftily made robot into the cameras, and says “yes, this is my trick, I’m sorry…You were all right, the rumor, the movie…” Crying, “I’m just a kid. I never wanted to do this, please. Mom I’m SORRY…” Pirlo cries, shivers, slams on the camera. The OFFICIAL watches from her bed.
TV Audiences everywhere sent billions of letters and videos, death threats, and lynch threats, to the OFFICIAL; pleading for her to forgo procedure and let the crew dig him up, chants of “let him live” were in every public square for weeks. From Moscow to Shanghai, from Barcelona to Reno, to Omaha, to Prague, there were the chants “LET HIM LIVE”, “LET HIM LIVE”. “LET HIM LIVE”…
However, a common trend in intellectual circles was to either accept and enjoy the fateful event – bask in the irony the rules he created; or to hold judgment till the last in order to not be fooled by his magic. Descartian precautions: it could camera tricks, a devious demon, dancing through our perception – cynics.
Still the masses: “LET HIM LIVE”.
The OFFICIAL did not flinch. She would not save Pirlo. She spoke of rules. Lawsuits, court orders, and procedures persisted, as the public and the government fought itself. Fought itself as to whether or not to allow The OFFICIAL to let die Pirlo. Even foreign nations sent in petitions stating their desire to not rescue the poor boy, “we cannot take the risk to wait and see if this man or machine. Save first, and then ask” – spoke Russian Federation President, Vladimir Putin. “
“Vlad: LET HIM LIVE”, tribune echoed.
Supreme Court Case characterized in the media as The OFFICIAL v. The WORLD, came down in favor of The OFFICIAL, and Pirlo or Pirlo’s robot in the cage was set
“TO DIE…”- times lamented.
Dusk, March, 21st, Pirlo dies. The world watches in silence, as Pirlo twitches, loses breath, and fades. Celebrities and politicians sprinkle the special, “Coffin vision”, with voice-overs and speeches – sermons of hope and wisdom. The general public shuns and lambastes the few critics that remain – insensitive brutes, cynics.
Pirlo lies on his back, eyes piercing the cameras stare. Minutes go by without a blink. His eyes close steadily, and he emits a baritone sigh, that steadily sputters and ends. Minutes, pass and his body remains still. The lids of his eyes creep open for an instance, then close, as a smile grows on his face…
Scholars, and politicians, and religious leaders would discuss the meaning and severity of his death, and the introspection it incites within them. How could a state, with laws and dignity, let this little boy die? Millions attended shrines
Three days later, The OFFICIAL is walking through bustling time square. She stops, her flowing white dress waving in the wind. She is smiling as she glances upward. She ignores autograph seekers, and pick up artists, and just stands glancing. A few around her stop and squint, searching for what absorbs her – a stick figure on top of the coke bottle. “It’s him!” cries a peanut vendor, the bustle seems to stop as thousands follow his finger into the sky.
“It is, it is, it. Look…”
Pirlo waves; the crowd erupts. He stands on the oversized advertisement, adjacent to a stereo and microphone. He picks up the mic and shouts full force. “I GOTTTCHAAAAAA SNNNNITITTTITITTCHESSSS”, repeats, repeats, repeats.
“Robot Died, PIRLO LIVES”,
announced Life Magazine.
Many Hated it. Critics raved it. The Press Consumed it. The young worshipped it. Christians were split; some thought it was an act of great understanding to bring the world together in mourning, others thought that it was blaspheme, a crude reproduction of the death of Jesus. Liberals thought it was beautiful, the Republican’s “don’t like to talk about that stuff much”. Time Magazine showed teary eyed grandma’s and studio executives glued to the “universal prestige special”, as it came to me known. The world gossiped through the cruelty and the brilliance, the dedication and the mystery.
The OFFICIAL immediately released all documents and procedures relating to the illusion. Including a letter sent to the Informant with attached “private magic documents; and the decoded robot blueprint emailed to the Fx-Tech.
The day after his resurrection Pirlo announced, through his friend and confident Andre 3000, his plans.
Andre approaches the microphone, “One Love” instrumental pulsating. The mass of youngsters, flippant from juking, cringes. In slow Shakespearean tone and rhythm:
“Prince of metacognition, prince of precision,
Through me, Pirlo proclaims, his fiercest collision.
One journey done – of that you know none –
The next really isn’t the one
Magnificent Pirlo visits the sun.
The public was enthralled. The man of the year.
Godspeed quoth Time.
Pirlo gave interviews, lectures, even stadium renditions of his life story. Oprah got an exclusive, from his car.
He wanted to have one last interview on the Tonight Show on the night of his departure.
On the air he gave a delight chuckling interview, and talked about how its time to go and that he’s not sad, and understands what he needs to get out of, and come free into the next step. Not in a preachy tone, more of a controlled pray like tone, like a southern reverend coming home for the end of tearful piece. The crowd laughed, cried, and danced with him for half an hour.
As he is about to leave to the shuttle, he gets up and something eerie had happened. He hobbles about and looks back and see that a robotic leg has fallen out of his hip. As the public saw this, the Band struck out a creepy, screeching rhythm. The camera shoots to the band, questioningly, and back to the Pirlo. He chuckles and says “um excuse me”. It was a procedure after “I went surfing in my youth in Hawaii, just kidding seriously, could you hand that to me.” Jay Leno jumps over and grabbed the leg and examined, the camera peals in. Marvelously computers flutter with graphs and colors on the monitor of the leg cover.
Pirlo slowly starts to laugh, then laugh and shake, and shout with laughter. Then shake. Then shake, and then burst into a thousand pieces of metal. All but his head burst into shrapnel, missing the audience and all those on stage. A fisherman in Indonesia and a car salesman in Kansas City shutter as they realize: He chose this.
The intact, robotic head lay on in the middle of the tonight shows stage. Jay Leno and the camera man, crawls from under his desk, and scurries towards the head. Coughing and beckoning the cameraman, the host simply pushes the microphone to the lips of the object. “You got me, I’m no Pirlo. Anyways I’m out you guys,” the head says chuckling, “we’ve had a lot laughs. Peace.” The system twists’ and malfunctions. Then it utters in twisted slow tone. “Through my father’s death, we hope, you’ve seen life.”
…and his eyes read “End”