magic_fratboy: (lifetimes before - with houdini's cuffs)
[personal profile] magic_fratboy
A tumbler shifted beneath the pressure of the lock pick, bruising his ego yet again as his heart all but skipped a beat in hopeful excitement. Drawing a deep breath, he held the pick steady and experimentally tugged his wrist against the handcuffs.

Nothing.

Cussing for about a minute as he hung his head with a sigh of frustration, Tommy forced himself to stay calm, a feat in and of itself. He had taken that much from his last lifetime, or so it seemed recently. The temper, the impatience, the unerring faith in his own skill…it wasn’t Tommy, and yet it was what he had become. The problem was, he didn’t feel as bad as he should about it.

Shaking his wrists, he settled in to try again. His fingers shook with tremors as he tried to keep his power at bay, forced his mind away from the memories that were right there at the surface, so close he could see them dancing in front of his eyes. They were so sharp, so clear he could hardly see the handcuffs past the vibrant colors of grease paint and velvet curtains, the gay blues and pinks of Bess’s costumes.

Removing the pick from the keyhole, he resisted the urge to throw it across the room yet again and instead sat back on the couch, staring up at the ceiling. For a long while, he did nothing but stare, his mind as empty of thought as it was of the knowledge he needed to free himself.

He waited for the echoes of long dead crowds to die in his ears...the irresistible voices calling his name, begging him for one more miracle. The crowds…

The eyes of a scoundrel, wide and blank with awe as his handcuffs sprang free. The roar of a packed British theater as he stepped out from behind the curtain surrounding his water tank.

“I am Tommy Karras.” He sighed at the ceiling. The words meant nothing to him. The crowd cheered on.

The deafening cacophony of Times Square filled him, power blazing in the blood rushing to his head as he hung in the sky, spilling from his mouth and eyes and pores to the crowd below.

“I am Harry Houdini.” The words meant even less, and yet he couldn’t get around the echo in his ears of voices chanting his name, calling to him for one more miracle.

Strike the cuffs, listen to the tumblers, it’s really not that hard.

The sound of metal on metal cut off the noise in his head. It came to him, simple as that first click of a lock, soft and pure as that shackle hitting the surface of the anvil.

“I am…a fanboy.”

It sounded ridiculous, but more beautiful words had never left his mouth.

Houdini knew just how to get through this. Tommy didn’t have a clue…but Tommy knew exactly what Houdini had done, and exactly how he’d done it.

He sat bolt upright and let his power go, snapping the cuffs open with less than a thought. The standard issue Smith and Wesson cuffs clattered noisily to the floor as he tore through the apartment, making a beeline for the guest room.

The cuffs were in his luggage…an amulet, a good luck charm, one of his favorite pairs from the old days. Single action restraints, a simple spring mechanism…

With a snarl, he smashed the antique handcuffs sharply against the wall. They sprang open immediately.

If he was going to do this, he had to start over. He had to walk the path again and return to his roots…his and Houdini’s.

After all, no one in the world was a more devoted student of Harry Houdini than Tommy Karras.

Muse: Tommy Karras
Fandom: Original Character
Words: 622

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December 2015

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