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It's not easy to present a parlor or stage effect close up.
Certain stage effects are so deceptive that we magicians would love to be able to present them inches from our spectator's eyes.
But sadly, that's often impossible. Impossible? Really?
Tale a deck of cards from your pocket.
Take the 52 cards from their case and freely show everyone that they're all different. Explain that each of us has a natural attraction to a particular card. Some prefer hearts because of their association with love; others prefer clubs because they're related to luck, etc. Explain that your particular card is doubtless the king of spades.
Take the king of spades from the deck and show it while explaining that this card is endowed with a curious magical prowess. Show the card, invite your spectators to touch it over its entire surface -- there's nothing at all unusual. It's just a card, a king with two swords and nothing else.
Put your favorite card face up on the table and invite a spectator to chose a card from the remainder of the deck. For purposes of clarity, let's assume the card selected is the 10 of hearts. The card is lost in the deck, which is then shuffled and placed on the table. Pick up your favored king between your thumb and first finger, showing both sides. Your other hand cuts off half the deck and holds it a few inches above the packet remaining on the table.
The king is quickly slipped into the opening between the packets and just as quickly removed. To the surprise of all, one of the king's arms has changed! He's still proudly holding his sword, but the sword is OUTSIDE THE CARD as if the picture had come to life in a fraction of a second! The sword is still there, but as impossible as it seems, a tiny card is impaled on it! Yes, you read that correctly, a tiny face down card is impaled on the sword of the king of spades!
No one has ever seen such a king of spades. Turn over your card to reveal the face of the tiny card. Needless to say, it's the 10 of hearts, the very card chosen by the spectator!
A version of the well-known Card Sword, but this time performed close up!
Let me mention a few details:
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