The Wrinkled Balloon by Alex Coronado

It was my birthday; an exciting day for any kid my age. Back then we lived at the little house in New Lincoln. I put on my favorite shirt. It had a white bunny inside of a top hat and read ‘Magnifico.’ Mom got it for me when she took me to one of his shows. I sunk in the couch and watched Mom frost. She lit a cigarette and press nine candles into the blue cake; one was for good luck.

“I have a surprise for you,” she sung with a smoky grin, knowing that I was dying to know what my present was going to be. I knew we didn’t have much money and I learned not to expect much. She brushed ketchup packets off our table, placed my cake on the center and licked her thumb.
“What is it?” I played along. She grabbed a beer.
Before she could say anything else, there was a knock on the door that made my heart leap like a cheerful frog. Mom leaned over the sink to look out the window to see who it was, like she did every time, even
though we had a peep hole. She smiled with an open mouth and scurried to the door. A very large man wearing a raggedy black tuxedo and a crooked top hat stood at the threshold. His face was sloppily painted white. On his chin black facial hair was obvious under the paint. On his cheeks were finger streaks of red, blue, yellow, and green.
“Oh my god,” Mom laughed. “I love you! I can’t believe you went through this much trouble!” She pulled him in the living room and walked behind him, draped her hands over his chest and rested her chin on his shoulder. She held her wet can with all her finger tips except the pinky.
“Neil, this is Aaron. He does magic! Isn’t that right, dear?” The man let out a modest chuckle.