© Copyright 2016 - Vaughan - Used by permission
Storycodes: M/fff; studio; tv; magic act; magician; assistants; chair; bond; straps; boxes; encase; saw; cut; seperate; bag; costume; chainsaw; tickle; tease; cons; X
Extreme Magic Vignette: Studio sawing
The studio was quite noisy, mostly with the chatter of the audience, seated in the steep ranks of seating on one side of the vast space. Between them and the flat white expanse of floor were several studio cameras with their operators, each checking in with the gallery and readying themselves for they had been told would be an interesting evenings filming.
Audience had been briefed to stay mostly quiet unless the man introduced as Bob, the studio manager, held up a card for a reaction. He was earnestly speaking into the microphone of his head set. He went and stood in the middle of the floor and began waving his arms, causing the audience to quieten enough that he could be heard.
"OK, folks it's time to be as quiet as you can, because we are about to go for a take. Welcome Terry!" The studio manager walked forward and was lost among the cameras as the lights on the floor intensified and those illuminating the audience and crew dimmed.
A man in his early twenties walked to the centre of the brightly lit area. He was dressed in a black T-shirt with a tuxedo design on the front, black jeans and black trainers.
"When I tell people I am a magician most people think of one of four things; cards, doves, rabbits from hats and sawing women in half. Magicians have been doing tricks with cards, doves and rabbits for a very long time, but we have actually only been sawing women in half for less than a hundred years. That said, the sawing illusion has probably under gone the most changes in that period, from the original victim being entirely enclosed in a box to modern versions that have little or no cover at all. So I thought I'd do two versions of sawing a woman in half with the help of a couple of volunteers from the audience."
The studio manager held up a card which read, "Hands up to take part." The audience murmured as the lights went up and two of the four cameras turned to scan the audience. Of the 150 present about 20 had their hands up.
"Thank you; I had not expected quite so many potential assistants. Would you please stand up so I can get a good look at you? So I can choose the most suited."
Soon 15 people are standing as Terry comes closer to look for his assistants.
Most of the people standing were surrounded by seated people, but there was a group of three young women standing in a row.
"Would the three ladies on the fourth row, please come down?" asked Terry.
The ladies in question scooted passed the few other audience members between them and the aisle and then trotted down the stairs towards the front. It did not seem that the middle one of the three was quite as willing as the others, as the one behind pushed and the one in front pulled, but she was not actively resisting.
As they reached the bottom of the steps the studio manager handed them a microphone each and then directed them to Terry, who had returned to the centre of the white floor.
"Welcome to the magic! May I have your names?"
The first woman said, "I'm Jenny, and these are my friends Jennifer and Genevieve."
"Welcome my brave volunteers, the three Jens'!" announced the magician.
The audience indulged in some clapping and light hooting as written on the stage manager's card.
"I guess you know each other." Terry continued.
"Yes," agreed Jenny, "we work together in an office a bit down from the studio. We regularly come and watch recordings here for a night out."
"Great!" said Terry, "Jenny, it seems that you are spokesperson for your friends tonight. So I'll get you to assist me cut your friends in halves." For a moment Jenny looked disappointed. "OK, which one of your friends are we going to cut in half first?"
Jenny looked concerned at this question, but soon recovered and named Jennifer as the first to be sawn. When asked why, she replied, "Well, Jennifer isn't as into this as much as me and Genevieve are (she took some persuading to get her to stand up). If we don't do it soon she may get away."
"And how do you feel about this, Jennifer?" Terry asked.
Jennifer opened her mouth to say something, but evidently thought better of it. After a pause to gather her wits, she said, "I guess you'd better saw me now, before the peer-pressure wears off." She did not look particularly frightened by the prospect of spending part of the evening in two pieces, but she seemed not entirely thrilled by the idea either.
"Right, I'll be back in a moment." The magician strolled to the side of the performance area, pick up a rope and dragged a low platform into view. On the platform were a chair and a table. The table was a single sheet of glass about two and a half feet square, supported at a height of about two feet above the platform by a set of chrome plated steel legs at each corner. On the table was some stuff that nobody got a good look at, because it was too far from the audience and the cameras did to focus on it.
At the other end of the platform was the chair. It was solidly constructed and had the stark appearance of an execution chair. There were restraints for the occupant of this chair; at the front legs, on each of the chair's arms and at the top of the back, none of which did anything to make the chair seem less sinister.
"Please be seated, Jennifer." Terry invited.
"It doesn't look at all comfortable," observed Jennifer.
Jenny jumped in with, "It's for cutting you in half, not for watching the tele at home. Did you really expect something in chintz or a sofa?"
"Actually I expected one of those thin boxes on tables, kind of thing, like all the other magicians use."
Genevieve spoke up too, "But Terry isn't like all the other magicians. That's the point. Didn't you read the flyer we gave you about the show? 'Witness Magic you've never seen before'"
Terry seemed pleased not to have to defend the look of the chair, but quickly walked to the edge lit area and returned with a thin cushioned pad, which he placed on the chair's seat. He renewed his invitation to Jennifer to take a seat.
With evident reluctance, Jennifer stepped onto the platform and perched on the edge of the seat. "I'm afraid, I'm going to need you to sit back, so that your back is against the back of the chair and your arms on the chair arms." Jennifer repositioned herself as instructed, although she leaned forward a bit because of the neck restraint. The magician went behind the chair and unbuckled the strap, before guiding Jennifer's neck into it and refastening it just above the collar of her white blouse. Taking this as some kind of cue, Jenny and Genevieve began to strap Jennifer's wrists to the arms of the foreboding chair. Jennifer gave a pull on the strap holding her right wrist and it was obvious that with a bit of effort she might be able to extract her hand through the strap, but this idea was soon stopped by her friends strapping her elbows down too.
Gratified by the cooperation of his volunteers, the magician invited them to strap Jennifer's legs in place; which they did, first at the ankles and then after some adjustment of Jennifer's mid-calf-length skirt at the tops of her calves. Jennifer tested these bonds too and found them even more secure than the ones on her arms.
"So, Jennifer how do you think we are going to cut you in half?" Terry asked.
"I haven't a clue. I'm guessing not a chainsaw or a buzzsaw." Terry raised an eyebrow as if to ask why. "Because they would damage the chair and it does not look or feel like a one-time thing." She looked round and saw the item on the table beside her. "Maybe, it has something to do with that," she said nodding her head towards the item on the glass table.
The cameras and the audience focussed on the item. It looked like a spade with a short (8 inches), but wide (16 inches) blade, complete with a T-shaped handle; the other feature of this implement was a curve lip about an inch high on the handle end of the blade.
The magician picked up the tool and soon had it fitted in a previously unnoticed pair of grooves in the arms of the chair. The front edge of the spade-like device was pushed forward until it was millimetres from Jennifer's waist.
"Jenny," said the magician, "would you please move Jennifer's blouse out of the way; it would be a pity to damage it. And mind the blade; it is sharp."
After some fiddling Jennifer's blouse was untucked from her dark skirt and then, without as much as an 'Are you ready?' Terry gave a sudden push on the handle of the implement and the blade was through Jennifer, who let out a surprised squeal.
With a twist of the wrist the magician detached the handle and gave the cameras a look at what he had done. What they saw was a band of metal around the front of Jennifer's waist.
"Now for the bit that will amaze. Jenny, lift the arm of the chair on your side and Genevieve you do the same."
The two ladies lifted the arms of the chair, which, with the back, rose taking the upper half of Jennifer with it. The girls were so astounded that they stopped lifting and just gawped at their divided friend. Fortunately, they had lifted the upper half enough that the pegs that had located the upper half on the lower half of the chair came free. The upper half now rested on these pegs about an inch and a half above where it had previously been.
Terry went round behind the chair and lifted the upper half by the arms. He took a step backwards, sideways and the forwards before placing it on the glass table, where the blade that had been installed into the chair held Jennifer's torso an inch and a bit from the glass surface. He unstrapped Jennifer's arm and whispered something in her ear. She nodded and moved her hands to explore the gap below the blade where she would usually encounter her lower waist and hips.
Finally, the audience noticed that the studio manager had been holding up a board calling for applause and gladly complied.
While the audience applauded, Terry and Jenny moved the bisected Jennifer to the side of the performance area.
The applause died as the studio manager put down his 'applause' card. Terry drew Jenny and Genevieve close and said in confidential tone, "cutting people without covers is all very well, but sometimes in a box is the only way to do magic. I'll be right back."
He left the two remaining friends and went to the edge and dragged another low wheeled platform into the centre. This platform was about four feet square and was surmounted by a metal frame supporting a wooden box that currently had no top or front. Leaning against the legs of the supporting frame were other pieces of wood.
Genevieve looked nervous as she was fated to be in this box and it seemed that it was a little shorter than her torso and a little less deep than her thigh length.
"Before I saw you in half, Genevieve, I need you to take off your shoes. And Jenny I want you to tie this length of ribbon round Genevieve's waist."
While Genevieve leaned against Jenny and dropped her shoes behind her, Jenny took the several yards of ribbon and tied one end round Genevieve's waist.
"Good, now Genevieve, please take the ribbon from Jenny and wind it up into a neat bundle, so it doesn't get tangled."
Genevieve, aided by Jenny looped the ribbon into a neat coil. Terry was fitting an inverted 'L' sectioned bar into the base of the box so that three threaded bits of metal came out of the base about four inches back from the front, open edge, of the box. The magician fitted and tightened a wing nut on each thread; this held the section rigid in the box so that the horizontal part of the 'L' stuck forward two inches at the top of the six inch vertical section. The horizontal part had two features; a similar set of screw threads pointing out of the box and a pair semi-circular cut outs near the middle.
"Time to get into the box, Genevieve. Jenny, please help her." He produced a folding stool to aid Genevieve's ascent. "Please be careful of the bolts sticking out; we wouldn't want to damage your clothes."
It looked awkward, but did not take long to install Genevieve in the box in a seated position.
"Jenny, take the end of the ribbon and thread it through the hole in the side of the box and attach it to the clip by the hole. You'll need to lean over the side of the box, because I'll be at the front."
So, Jenny fiddled the end of the ribbon through the indicated hole and clipped it in place. Terry guided Genevieve's feet up to the edge of the box, so that her ankles were located in the cut-outs in the previously installed part, then he fitted another piece onto the front, holding Genevieve's shins in place; he secured this with another set of wing nuts, on the end of the threaded metal.
"Now, please put your left hand through the hole in the base of the box at the back." After some feeling about, Genevieve's hand emerged from the hole, "Jenny, can you confirm that that is your friend's hand and then clamp it in place."
"I can't see how it could be anyone else's, especially as it has her colour of nail polish," answered Jenny.
While Jenny adjusted Genevieve's hand and clamped it in place, Terry slid one of the pieces of wood, which had been leaning against the supporting framework, down a pair of metal lined slots in the front edges of the box, so that only Genevieve's shoulders and knees were now visible within the dimensions of the box and her feet, left hand, neck and head extending beyond its sides.
"Genevieve, I need you to put your right wrist in the dip in the front panel." She did as she was asked and that hand was soon extending from the box and unable to be pulled back, because the remainder of the front had been slotted in and a wide metal cuff was attached to the wrist.
"Now, for the top of the box," Terry narrated. He picked up a panel slightly smaller than the top of the box and Jenny picked up a smaller piece. "OK, Jenny, you first. Slot that bit in!" Jenny fitted the edges of her small panel into the slot at the top of the box and slid it until it would move no further and she fitted a couple of clips to prevent it sliding back out. Genevieve was leaning forward a bit, because the newly introduced panel was pressing against the tops of her shoulders.
"OK, Genevieve, I need you to scrunch down a bit, so that Jenny can position your neck in the cut-out, while I fit this final panel. In fact, would you please spread your knees so they aren't in the way either?" The young woman in the box wondered if she could manage to make herself any smaller. With help from Jenny, she fidgeted into position and the magician slid the last piece into place.
"Now that you are squeezed into the box, I have to make some additions to the framework holding things in place. Jenny, go and fetch the extra pieces, please!" Terry said pointing to the off stage area. Jenny trotted off and returned with two sections of steel framework. Terry took the smaller part, which he fitted to the existing frame to make a forward-jutting shelf on the front of the box about half way up the box. The second part fitted over the top half of the box, which had been above the lower frame. Some further adjustment saw Genevieve's neck surrounded by a metal ring that closely fitted and was smaller than her head.
"Genevieve, how are you feeling at the moment?" he asked as he walked out of sight and returned with a double handled lumber saw, which he balanced on the shelf in front of the box; teeth facing the box.
"I'm not sure volunteering was such a good idea."
"Our volunteer is having second thoughts, Jenny. Pull the ribbon and see if we can persuade her that it would be a bad idea to get out of the box!"
Jenny unclipped the end of the ribbon from beside the hole in the side of the box and pulled. After a couple of inches something emerged, attached to the ribbon. It soon became obvious that the item being dragged from the box was a woman's blouse. Genevieve's face registered shock and her eyes went wide as she realised that it was not only a blouse, but her blouse. Jenny kept pulling and soon the entire blouse was outside the box, clipped to the ribbon, which was threaded through the sleeves. The woman in the box's eyes went even wider when as the ribbon continued out of the box with her skirt and finally her bra attached to it and at last the end of the ribbon.
"Now we have done some persuasion, Genevieve would you like to get out of the box?"
"I don't really want to get out of the box, but I & "
Before she had a chance to express any reservations Terry and Jenny took hold of the saw and began to saw into the box. Before two strokes had been completed, Genevieve made her protests into a scream. The magician and his de facto assistant performed 6 further strokes with the saw, causing the sound of sawing into wood to be heard and the generation of some sawdust, which floated to the floor.
"Whoa, Jenny! Genevieve, why are you screaming? The saw hasn't even touched you. We got you clothes out of the way. And you volunteered to be sawn in half. Why are you making so much fuss? Jennifer, over there, I get the impression, didn't exactly volunteer, but she seems to be taking it quite well."
"You're going to be sawn anyway; you might as well enjoy it and you can't properly enjoy anything while screaming." Added Jenny, getting into the role of magician's assistant.
"You know what, Jenny? I think Genevieve has spotted the problem with this apparatus as it currently stands." Jenny looked puzzled, but the relief on the face of Genevieve was obvious. "You see, Jenny, if we just carry on sawing when the saw comes out of the back of the box, the upper part of our lovely volunteer will settle down onto her lower part and we won't be able to get the divider blades in."
Jenny tried to understand the problem, but continued to look perplexed; no-one knew if she was confused by the puzzle or not knowing the solution.
Terry mimed a thought striking and rushed off, quickly returning with a pair of blades which he placed in the struts jutting from the front of the cramped box.
"If we can't wait until after we done the sawing, we'll have to put the dividers in while we are sawing." He pressed the leading edge of the blade against the back of the saw and positioned himself so that he held the saw handle with one hand and the other held the nearest back corner of the metal sheets. Jenny took a similar, but opposite handed position, ready to continue the sawing of her friend. The magician turned to Genevieve, "Are you going to keep screaming? If so I'll get some ear defenders."
Genevieve was not sure what to say, said, "I guess I'll try not to scream, but I will scream if it hurts."
Without warning Terry started sawing again, which even took Jenny by surprise. Despite the fact that neither Terry nor Jenny could give as much force to the sawing as before, by doing it one handed, it did not take long for the teeth of the saw to reach Genevieve's squashed in shins.
A stroke before the saw touched her, Genevieve felt her stockings snag on the jagged edge of the saw. The next stroke she felt the teeth brush teasingly across the fronts of her legs. The following stroke she felt the saw bite into to her skin. Her eyes showed the tension and terror she had bottled up through not screaming, but the sound that escaped her mouth was a giggle. With each subsequent stroke of the saw, her laughter grew and the fear in her eyes diminished. Her giggle evolved to a snicker, then a chortle and it looked as she might hit hysterical before the cutting was complete.
Suddenly, Terry stopped sawing, again taking Jenny by surprise. "Calm down, Genevieve! How are you doing in there?"
"Um, I'm not sure. At least it doesn't hurt; in fact, it tickles. I think I'm OK, but I felt the saw go through my shins and my thighs. You've definitely ruined my stockings."
"I'm sorry! I should have thought of that and used a longer piece of ribbon. Are you OK if we carry on? But you'll have to try to control the laughing or the cut won't be straight." She nodded and braced herself for the next bout of sawing; the terror seemed to have gone from her eyes.
Terry and Jenny re-commenced the sawing, also maintaining the pressure on the blades that followed the saw's trailing edge. Genevieve managed to confine her response to having her body sawn through just below her ribs down to a few snorts and giggles, but as the saw emerged from the back of the tight box there was a broad smile on her face that reached her eyes. Magician and assistant continued easing the saw out of the box until the separation blades emerged. Terry took the saw and placed it on the floor in front of Jennifer, who was just about getting over the shock and awe of her own situation to start taking an interest in her friend having been stuffed in a box barely large enough to hold her and sawn through.
The magician had Jenny confirm that the hands, feet and head protruding from the box they had just cut through were indeed Genevieve's. While she confirmed, he adjusted and clipped the blades into place.
"Time to prove to everyone that Genevieve is in two pieces." As Terry positioned Jenny, Genevieve had a moment to wonder how many pieces she was in; counting her upper torso, lower torso, two knees, two lower legs and the fore part of her left arm she reached seven, but she was not sure whether this worried her more than her only remaining clothes being her panties and a pair of shredded stockings.
Genevieve introspection was cut short by the motion of the magician and his co-opted assistant lifting the upper box from the lower one. For a moment, Terry looked puzzled as to where they were going to put the detached part of Genevieve down. He steadied himself and raised his knee to support the front corner of the severed box. Releasing his hand, he put his thumb and finger to his lips and gave a shrill whistle that made Genevieve and Jenny wince. From the darkness of the back stage area rolled another low platform; this one had a glass topped table, similarly to the one Jennifer's upper half was not quite resting on. It was the work of moments to place Genevieve on the table and move both parts so that Jennifer could also confirm the genuineness of the parts sticking out of the two cramped boxes.
Once the stage-manager-prompted applause had died down, Terry took Jenny back to the middle of the performance area.
"OK, Jenny, what do you think happens next?" he asked.
Jenny was taken aback and took a while to think up an answer. "Um, I suppose, um, you put Jennifer and Genevieve back together and we go back to the audience."
"Well, that's exactly what I had planned."
Jenny's face showed a mix of relief and disappointed.
Jenny's face added apprehensive to the mix.
"I would have done them the other way round, if I hadn't had an assistant. Because I would have needed the person who was going into the chair to be on the other end of saw for the small box sawing."
Relief re-asserted itself.
"So having an assistant meant that I could do the sawings in the order I did them."
Jenny smiled, feeling that she had done the magician a favour.
"Thank you for being my assistant this evening."
Jenny's smile broadened.
"Of course, that leaves me with a problem, which stems from the fact I don't usually have an assistant; well not a proper one, anyway."
Jenny added puzzlement to the mix of emotions flitting in turns across her visage. Some of the audience were also puzzled, but a few had a feeling where this line of dialogue was leading.
Hesitantly, Jenny asked, "Why is having an assistant a problem?"
"Well, Jenny, If you have an assistant, but mostly perform stuff with audience members, people begin to wonder what your assistant is for; so you are obliged to perform an illusion on her that is more extreme than you have on anyone else. So you see my dilemma."
The relief that had been there vanished instantly. "You mean you are going to do something to me?"
"But, I'm not a proper assistant, just a helper from the audience."
"You helped strap Jennifer into the chair?" She nodded. "You helped saw through Genevieve?" She nodded. "You've been backstage, no matter how briefly?" Again she nodded. "Then you are a proper magician's assistant as much as I am a proper magician. So why aren't you dressed like one?"
Jenny did a passable impression of a goldfish; how could he expect someone he had pulled from the audience to be in the right costume?
"Wait here!" Terry instructed.
Not having any idea what else to do, she did.
He returned with a circle of grey fabric with a roll of more fabric round the edge. He dropped it on the floor in front of her before taking her by the hand and guiding her to step onto it. "Hands up!" he called. She raised her hands above her head as he raise the rim of cloth around her to wrist level. After about three seconds of shaking fabric of the bag he had drawn up around Jenny, Terry lowered the rim and guided her back out.
The crowd responded spontaneously to the miracle they had just seen. Only the stage manager and the people in the studio gallery knew that the magician was doing unplanned stuff. While Terry took the costume change bag back to the wings, one of the floor crew turned one of the monitors towards Jenny so she could see how she was dressed now.
Jenny took in her change of costume and caught between the urge to turn about to show off the comstume and the desire to faint, because she had never been seen in such revealing costume, except at the beach. Neither impulse won out, so she there looking totally stunned, until the magician returned.
During that wait, with the help of the image on the screen and several glances down she took in the clothes that definately were not the clothes she had been wearing while she was being groomed to be Terry's assistant. Her white blouse and bra had disappeared, to be replaced by a pink bikini and a tight sleeveless pink bolero jacket that enhanced her cleavage to an extent, she assumed would usually require expensive and highly restictive lingerie. Her hair, which had flowed down to her shoulder blades was now mostly in a bun high on the back of her head, apart from the short ponytail that emerged from the bun.
As she reached up to feel the bun and ponytail, to see if it was a wig that just happened to match her hair colour, she saw she had baggy sleeves from elbow to wrist, in a near tranparent material the same pink as her new top. Her fingers reached her hair and confirmed to her befuddled brain that there was nothing added to her head, but a pink ribbon around the base of the bun and a few hairgrips. Now she looked down, wondering what had become of her grey work skirt, her stockings, her shoes and, yes, even her knickers; it was at this point that she was seen to blush to almost become redder that her pink outfit. She saw she was clad from waist to knee in harem pants in the same sheer pink material as her sleeves, thankfully a swag of heavier pink cloth draped from the waist band not leaving her exposed. The final item of clothing was a pair of curly-toed slippers in the same pink.
As Terry came back, Jenny asked, "What happened to the usual little black dress or the red sequined number?"
Terry placed the board he was carrying on the floor where it stood on some four inch feet. "You may have noticed that I am sometimes a bit unconventential, so why would I want you in a boring old assistant's outfit. Besides, you look wonderful in that costume," several male members of the audience whistled their agreement, "and it won't get damaged by what I have planned."
This speech did not comfort Jenny, especially as while he was making it he had guided her ankles to a pair of cutouts in the edge of the board and fitted another stock section, thus trapping them with her slippers pointing under the board.
"Hey! What are you doing?"
"I am positioning you for your illusion, Jenny." A thought occurred to him. "That is unless Jennifer and Genevieve really think you should be let off." As he said this he took her hands and guided them to a pair of cut outs the other side of the board, a little under two feet from her ankles, and fitted another stock section. "I'll be right back."
Terry left the bent over Jenny and went to Jennifer and Genevieve. "Ladies, do you think I should perform some magic on your friend Jenny, over there?"
Jennifer was the first to speak. "She chose me to go first, and I've come to no harm; if you count being in two pieces as no harm. But she did volunteer me so I vote that she is a 'proper assistant' and should be in an illusion."
Genevieve spoke up too. "It's her fault I'm nearly naked and in seven pieces in two boxes. If she hadn't persuaded us that a magic show would be a nice thing to see, we would have gone to tomorrow's recording, which would have been much safer. I reckon you should do your worst."
Terry turned to the audience. "Do you want me to do some magic on Jenny?"
The overwhelming concensus was a yes.
The magician went back over to Jenny and sighed. "Well, at least I can try and make you a bit more comfortable."
From his next foray into the off stage area, he came dragging a trolley with a number of flat pieces of wood. The first one had a neck wide slot in the top. Terry positioned it so that Jenny's neck was in the slot, then attached the base to the board trapping her wrists and ankles. The next piece was attached to back of the base board and the previously attached board; this gave the construction some rigidity, allowing Jenny to rest her shoulders against the first panel. She felt less strained with a bit of support, but her worry increased as the magician inserted a smaller piece down the slot, ensure she could no longer raise her head.
The next panel added had a pair of shorter slots which while supporting her thighs left an embarassing amount of buttock on view. A roof was soon added to the box that enclosed Jenny.
"So how as you feeling, Jenny, my assistant?" asked Terry.
Conscious that she did not want her reply rendered as a series of high pitched beeps, she settled for, "It's not the most comfortable position. What are you going to do to me?"
"Well," replied the magician, "the position is very important to the magic; I'm sorry you are finding it a bit awkward, but maybe you should have thought of that before you helped saw your friends in half. As to what I'll be doing to you, you'll find out soon enough; and three seconds before it happens."
Terry took another panel and fitted it to the front of the box. There were still some sheets of wood on the trolley; many people wondered what they were for.
When the magician returned once more from the wings, Bob, the studio manager, was the first to spot what he was carrying. He rushed over to Terry and dragged him back into the back stage area, but not before many more people had seen that he object in his hands was a chainsaw with a very long blade. Jenny did not see this, but was further worried by the commotion.
Backstage, Bob was telling Terry that using a chainsaw on an unsuspecting member of the public was not something the studio could sanction. In turn, Terry reminded Bob and the staff in the gallery that their job was to record the magic and that it was his responsibility to do the magic and keep the participants safe.
Needless to say, this hiatus was edited from the show that was eventually broadcast.
Bob returned to his studio management duties, still worried for the safety of Jenny.
Terry made another entrance from the wings and, as he approached the boxed up Jenny, he ripped the saw into life. Jenny gave a scream that was lost under the noise of Terry gunning the chainsaw, then she felt an unaccountable calm; as if she had decided to enjoy the last moments of her life.
Without the preliminaries of using the saw to cut a piece of wood to prove, if there was any doubt, that the chainsaw was very real, he lined it up with the middle of Jenny's box and began sawing, sending up a cloud of saw dust and wood chips. Jenny screamed again, but not a scream of fear or desparation, but one of exhiliration.
The saw made short work of the box top and was soon making steady progress down the sides. Apart from a shower of wood chips and a slight pulling at the skin of her waist, Jenny felt nothing of the actual sawing through her midriff; she was even mildly glad that she could no longer see the monitor that had been turned her way after the costume change. As the saw finished the cut the box sagged a little, because the board trapping Jenny's hands and feet was no longer providing the rigidity of support.
The saw was extracted and placed, idling, on the floor in front of Jenny; she was simultaneously terrified to have her suspicions that she had heard a chainsaw confirmed and calmed by the lack of any red in the pale brown of the sawdust that clung to the blade.
Terry went to his trolley of panels and took the next, which he rested on the top of the box. With a bit of effort he parted the box by the thickness of the panel and lifted the sheet of wood to slot it into the gap thus created, where it settled a couple of inches.
"Jenny, I need you to lean your weight forward and backwards, so I can get the divider through."
Despite this, ordinarily, being a nonsensical request, Jenny leaned her weight against her shoulders in the front of the box and her upper thighs in the back of the box. The panel slipped down three inches, while the audience was treated to a look of bemused concentration on Jenny's face.
As the magician continued to slide the panel down between what Jenny had come realise were her two halves, she felt a rubbing in her belly that was pleasant like a massage, but eerie because it was internal. Soon the panel's edge emerged from the bottom board of the box and was touching the floor; after some adjustments it was attached to the back section of the box and formed a support for that section. Another panel was inserted to do the same duty for the front part. Terry briefly moved the two sections apart; the spectators applauded to see Jenny's head sticking out of one part with her hands through the base and her feet and buttocks visible in the other.
Jenny's sense of hope rose as she felt the box being clipped back together was soon dashed as Terry picked up the chainsaw again and oriented the blade so that it was horizontal. The implication was immediately obvious to all present.
"Hey," called out, Jenny, "what about the thing with with the parts settling on each other and not being able to get the dividers in?"
"You're a proper assistant. I'm sure you will manage."
"What?" squeaked Jenny, but no-one heard because the magician gunned the saw again and attacked the box worryingly close under Jenny's nose.
As the horizontal cut severed her arms she was glad that her upper torso was jammed in the top of the front half of the box, because otherwise she felt sure she would have fallen of her forearms and only been held up by her throat.
The sawing continued through the dividing panels and through her legs just above her knees; with her lower body also supported by the confining nature of the box, Jenny felt safe from falling off her knees, but she also felt that this risk was lower as things were in their usual order as far as gravity was concerned.
Terry switched off the saw and placed it beside the trolley. He took the first panel and inserted it into divide he had made in the front half of the box, it only reached the vertical divider. Jenny used the fact that she was squashed in to lift her arm stumps to allow the panel to pass. Thankfully the second panel in the front went under the first. A similar method was used to get the divider panels in the back part.
Another trip to the wings brought out another low platform with a pair of lower glass tables, just the same as the ones that held up the uppper halves of Jennifer and Genevieve.
The first received the box section containing Jenny's upper body turned so that her head was now through the upper face and facing the audience. The second soon displayed the upper rear section of the original box with Jenny's own rear visible through opening in the box and the sheer fabric of the harem pants.
Soon a further glass table was stocked with Jenny's boxed up legs and arms, once Terry had seperated the lower boxes once more, so that each of the four smaller boxes had one of Jenny's extremities facing the onlookers. Terry took the slipper from Jenny's feet to convince every one that they were real feet; they certainly react like real feet when he briefly tickled one, which prompted a shout from Jenny of, "Hey! Cut that out!"
Terry approached his divided assistant. "How do you feel?"
Jenny could not resist, although if she could have thought of somethng more original she would have said it. "I'm feeling quite proud of myself; I haven't gone to pieces," she smiled.
Terry groaned. "Folks, Please show your appreciation for Jennifer, Genevieve and especially my assistant, for the evening, Jenny."
As the applause subsided, Terry spoke again. "While I take the 'Three Jens' back stage as restore them to former wholeness, I would like you to watch a bit of filming I did the other day with some delightful ladies I met at a bowling alley. I am grateful to these ladies who are here in the front row tonight."
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