Magic, when it was finally all worked out, proved to be at once disappointingly simple, and generally disappointing. The application of imagination and desire was found to be achieved by few and lusted after by millions.
Albert Mackeltonky put the finishing touches to his magical space engine. He had wisely judged his imagination insufficient to maintain a magically created spaceship, as well as make it fly and do all the other splendid things a vessel of the stars would be required to do. The craft was admired by neighbours, friends and the local press: fifteen feet long and lovingly polished oak, studded with brass and glass ornamentation that would gain life and meaning once he bent his will to it.
He would be the first magician to pierce the atmosphere and become a space-wizard, the envy of his peers (those poor few there were). Not one of his cheering companions saw the need to point out any one of many possible difficulties. Such is the allure of magic to the common and jealous man.
Albert sat within its woody embrace and poured into the force of his desires, saturating the ship and fuelling it with the elusive energy of his heart and mind. Sparks, bubbles ad rainbows fountained from Albert’s creation as he concentrated further. He conjured within his imagination the vista of the sun rising about the curve of the planet, the blackness beyond and his beautiful star chariot hanging there in the night. Onlookers gasped as the spaceship shuddered where it lay upon the slabs of his patio and then gasped further as it vanished with the familiar pop of a finger being forcibly extracted from ones own cheek.
Three weeks later Albert’s frozen corpse was discovered inside a large wooden coffin when it nudged a telecommunications satellite out of alignment. Scientists dismissed the death as more “obvious stupidity”, noting that the oft-omitted but vital third component to successful magic is intelligence.