He watched intently, his eyes fixed and calculating, wanting to know the movement of each and every coin. Where it disappeared. How it reappeared. Almost instantly, curiosity evolved into action, and Allister began experimenting on his own. His family was the first to glimpse his skill. He began with a deck of cards. Asking an aunt to pick one. The two of hearts. The cards would then fly throughout the room. Fifty-two cards in fifty-two places. And Allister would pull the two of hearts from his pocket. Applause and praise would fill the room. Allister felt at ease. Completely calm. One could say he felt a kinship with the mystical world. Card tricks were simple for him. So simple in fact, that it was possible he felt a kinship with playing cards as well.
It was when his youngest cousin, Jules, walked up to Allister unexpectedly and presented him with that shiny coin that hesitation first crept into his body. It was not that he could not make it disappear. No, this he understood from such calculated analysis taken whilst watching the medicine show magicians. The wrinkles in his palms filled with streams of sweat, flowing freely from salty springs in his hands. He knew these coin tricks were expected of him. Magicians could not live on card tricks alone. So, it was with great apprehension, the smile nowhere near a concealing mask, that Allister accepted the coin from Jules. He looked Jules in the eyes, those little brown eyes, and shouted, "An ordinary coin!" He continued, "Minted, most certainly, in a seemingly ordinary mint. Therefore, it seems to reason that this should be a seemingly normal coin. Then, tell me..." At this point Allister closed his hand, letting gravity drain the sweat streams and collect them in a single pool. A pool that the coin was now resting in. "...How could it possibly disappear?" With this, he opened his hand and exposed the bare palm. The pool of sweat dripped like rain to the ground and there was suddenly nothing but palm. Dry wrinkle stream beds and palm.
Applause and praise once again filled the room. And those present would recollect that the smile that appeared on his face, one of full teeth stretching ear to ear, was just as magical as anything they had seen before or after that day. Allister felt relief. Pure and instantaneous relief. He bathed in the applause. Drank the praise. And it was only when he went to retrieve the coin from the leftest of Jules' two ears that fear crept back. He waited in a state between tension and patience, his smile retreating as the streams overflowed the wrinkle beds in his palms. The coin did not present itself. Allister looked towards the audience of blood relatives and searched for the right words. At long last, the words appeared in the form of, "No worry. This happens often. I need only another coin to dislodge the first." Uncle Vernon, the father of Jules, presented Allister with a coin of the same make and a look that Allister could only describe as the stare most likely given by lions in the great arenas of Rome to the poor slaves about to be devoured.
The coin sat in his palm, bathed in the sweat and, like the first disappeared. Also, like the first, it remained disappeared. Allister could see the fear magically travel from his eyes into Jules' little brown irises. Allister shouted, "Have no fear," unconvincingly. For he, too, was drunk on the stuff. And what a spell it was. In a matter of minutes praise and applause were turned into shouting and foaming at the mouth. It was like Allister had magically given his family rabies. Jules wept madly, throwing his head side to side, as if to say, "No, no, no!" But, few could hear what he was answering negatively to. This was because the entire family became engrossed not with the sounds of the words coming from Jules' throat, but with the tiniest ding of two coins clinging together somewhere inside Jules' skull.
The family was mortified. Jules shouted, "Get it out! Get it out!" Uncle Vernon went to lunge at Allister, fists swinging, but the pure drama of the moment swept into Uncle Vernon's brain and resulted in a sudden fainting spell. This, of course, caused more commotion as Uncle Vernon was a giant man. Jules wailed. Allister knew of no other way to retrieve the coins beyond waiting for them to drip from Jules’ ear naturally. But, he knew very well that coins did not then (and it should also be duly noted that coins do not now) naturally drip from someone's ear. He tried vanishing larger coins in another attempt at dislodging. This had to be done whilst Jules was restrained. Sadly, the only result was that the larger the coin, the louder the jingle. This Allister realized only after sending three more coins of varying larger sizes to rest next to the other two.
Allister was at a loss. He had turned his littlest of cousins into a human piggy bank. So, he did what any magician would do in such a time. Allister vanished. His calculative vision had notified him at just the right moment, a second before his family's rage erupted into violent action. However, this time the illusion was quite apparent. For, Allister did not vanish into thin air. He merely sprinted threw a side window as fast as his legs and the fear for his life would move him.
Soon after, Allister gave up coin tricks forever, relying solely on cards when he relied on magic at all. Though his parents eventually forgave him, Allister was never again welcomed at another extended family function. He had heard that Uncle Vernon, after awakening of course, felt so sorry for his son that he one day swallowed all the loose change in his pocket in an attempt to relate with Jules' affliction. This proved disastrous as the coins simply sank to his stomach, jingling from a completely different area. And eventually, once they passed through his digestive tract (which did not occur smoothly), they jingled no further. Jules eventually adapted, but was never able to catch anyone by surprise. He did, however, write Allister a sweet letter later on in his life, forgiving Allister, relating to him how eventually he came to think of the entire moment as somewhat humorous, and how the coin jingling later led him to a lifelong love of playing percussion.
Allister's extended family? Well, they remained scarred. From that day on, they cursed magic, cursed sorcery. Allister, though, was well aware that without one or the other you could not curse either.