Cloak Of The Wizard by Steve Lodge

Just before the Hotel’s mezzanine floor, the lift stopped and Tony’s double bass went through the ceiling a bit. The Lazy Minim Quartet were trapped. The lift light flickered. The early silence was broken by Rachel, the flautist. She punched the emergency button with no apparent success and then venomously turned on Tony. 

“You’re a jinx,” she snapped. “Our first paid gig and you’ve gone and got us trapped in the lift. A lift, I might remind you, that we only took because of you and your vast instrument.” 

Nick the guitarist laughed. 

“This is not the time, Nick,” Rachel virtually screamed at him. It was like she was having a seizure. I desperately tried to keep my tambourine quiet in case she made me her next victim. 

A bell rang. “There you go,” said Tony. “They know the lift is stuck. They’ll have us out in no time. I suggest we close our eyes, conjure up nice thoughts and just try not to think about our surroundings.” 

“Try not to think about it?” yelled Rachel. “This has given me a captive audience to tell you exactly what I think of you, Tony. We only got this gig ‘cos your brother is the Hotel manager. The playlist you selected for tonight is horrible. I mean Palotai, for crying out loud. The famous unknown composer. Who will have heard of his Transylvanian Wolf Virgin Symphony or his Cloak Of The Wizard? Tony, what you lack in good looks, you certainly make up for in stupidity.” 

The lift suddenly juddered and reached the mezzanine floor in no time. Rachel barged her way out of the lift, followed by Tony. As we came out of the lift, Nick turned to me. 

“They’re in love, aren’t they?” he asked me. 

“Totally.” I replied.

Published in Issue #7

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