The streets of London are always full of people, busy and rushing to reach their destinations. These people have no time for anything that interrupts their daily routine. Not when they have work to go to and shopping to do. Unless they're feeling in a particularly charitable mood, which is a sad rarity, they will never pause from their journey. They will simply ignore the beggars, the charity workers and the witnesses, as if they are nothing more than empty spaces.
He knew why people didn't stop for them, they asked for too much. They demanded that the every day citizen grant them time, money, patience and understanding. People in a rush barely had time to think about those things. Which was why Tobias Grimm only asked for their time.
'Watch.' Tobias spoke to the group of office workers he had managed to stop on their way to work. He stood before them with his hand outstretched and a small gold ring balanced on the palm of his hand.
The gold ring was a wedding ring that he had borrowed from one of them. The forty year old woman hadn't looked thrilled by the request to hold onto her ring, but Tobias had a knack for reassuring his audience, and with a little effort had managed to convince her the ring would be unharmed.
Which was why he felt a little bad when the ring burst into flames and melted in the palm of his hand. The woman shrieked in terror and clamped her hand over her mouth.
'What have you done!' She shrieked, her eyes wide with alarm as the flames consumed the metal ring, which melted and burned away to nothing.
'I've given it back.' Tobias spoke as he closed his hand and nodded to the woman's hands.
Slowly, the woman glanced at the palms of her hands and let out a new shriek, this time of amazement. Her ring was back on her finger, gleaming as brightly as always.
'Ta Da' Tobias said and smiled as his audience burst into applause and cries of amazement.
His job had been completed; one trick, two minutes for three people. It hadn't taken up much of their time and they had enjoyed themselves. It was a success on every level.
Well...almost. It would have been better if they had tipped a little better.
As they walked away with smiles on their faces Tobias counted the thirty pence they had given him with a frown.
It didn't matter how much he astonished them, English people were always tight.
He sighed and brushed off the palms of his fingerless black gloves and adjusted the sleeves on his tattered duffel coat. He would need a minute before we was ready to do his next trick, the question was; who would be the next target?
His green eyes scanned the crowd of people that walked through Trafalgar Square.
How had it come to this? How had years of hard work landed him with a life of scouring streets for money? Was there any difference between him and a common beggar?
A few years ago he would have been rolling in gigs. People heard of the Grimm family magicians and immediately demanded a show. Now things were different. No stage or agency would dare take a risk on the Grimm's. Not after all the dark rumors that surrounded his name.
Tobias ignored the bitter anger that surged through him. It would do him no good. He needed to be cheerful for his next target.