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The Future Perfect Prediction Chest

The Future Perfect Prediction Chest


The mentalist or magician displays an antiqued wooden chest, 3 by 5 by 8 inches, handmade in beautiful hardwoods and brass hardware and locked with a brass bar which runs through the chest. It is also tied with a ribbon. The panels of the box are seamless panels of wood.


The performer begins his act by handing it to the guest of honor in the audience, with the request that he examine it and guard it during the show.


At the end of the act, the spectator is invited to bring it back to the stage and place it on a table. "I don't want to touch it," the magician instructs him. The spectator takes a scissors and cuts the ribbon. The spectator unlocks the padlock with a small key.


He slides the bar from the chest then lifts the lid. The magician has him look inside. There he finds a tray, like a jewelry tray, within the box. Atop the tray is a manila coin envelope containing a 4 by 6 inch sheet of paper, folded into quarters. "Open it up," the magician tells him, "and read what it says."

The paper describes how the contents of this box were locked one week ago, with a record of several predictions made by the magician. The paper instructs the spectator to lift the tray and find the prediction envelope. The spectator does. Immediately beneath the tray is another coin envelope, the size of a playing card, containing a folded 4 by 6 inch sheet of paper. On the paper are a series of predictions, including a full description of the show that just transpired: the names of the spectators who assisted, what they were wearing, what cards they picked, what choices they made. Every person in the audience is assured of the impossibility of the prediction; many of them will be astonished to see their responses foretold.


Of course, the chest can be used in the traditional way, having been held by a committee for a week or longer, then revealing the newspaper headlines of the day's papers. There is nothing palmed by the magician, nothing concealed on his body. His hands are always empty and unprepared. There is no fake key or lock to deliver the prediction.


The final prediction appears on a standard 4 by 6 paper, folded in quarters, sealed in an envelope. It is not rolled or pleated in any other way. Most astonishing of all, the performer conducts it in a virtually "hands off" manner: the spectator examines the box, opens the box, lifts out the first envelope, removes the tray, lifts out the second envelope and reads the contents. No confederates responsible for the operation of the chest. No trick tables, no trick chairs. Not a single spring, catch, sliding or hinging panel involved. No batteries or electronics. An elegant, ingenious routine and a simple mechanism combine to accomplish the trick...perfectly.


And now, let me l tell you how it's done: Believe it or not, it's accomplished when the performer slides the box three inches across the tabletop with his finger. The envelope is silently loaded as everyone watches, and it's impossible for anything to be seen, from virtually any angle, even straight above. It's not a tricked table or tablecloth; the effect can be performed on a card table, desk or dining table—on a stage, in an office or a home.


You are supplied with everything: The antiqued prediction chest, inner tray, lock and key, sample envelopes and a special plexiglas tray which holds all the small props, plus full instructions . You'll marvel at the elegant secret of Future Perfect.

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