“Many people believe that there is such a thing as fate, especially when it comes to matters of the heart,” the magician said. He was sitting in front of a friend of his, a married woman. “Think backtothe day that you and your husband were married. Didn’t you feel that ecstatic feeling that the two of you were perfect for each other, that you were meant to find each other standing there together on that day, ready to embark on a beautiful life together?”

The woman’s eyes look off into the distance, remembering how she felt on her wedding day. The magician could only hope to reach those heights of joy some day.

“Well, I want you to choose two cards to represent you and your husband,” he said, putting his aspirations aside. “Choose something that really means something to you. Tell me, which card do you think best represents you?”

“The Queen of Hearts,” the woman says. The magician finds the card in the deck and sets it on the table in front of him.

“Interesting choice!” he comments. “It’s a popular one. Now, choose a card that you think represents your husband.”

“The King of Spades,” she replies.

The magician takes this card aside too. He turns the deck over so that it is face up and puts the two selected cards on the deck—face up as well—and shows the spectator the two cards next to each other. “So that’s you and your husband, together side by side.” She smiles. “Now, the world is a very random place, full of confusion,” he explains as he shuffles the cards, “and we just never know who we’ll actually end up with.” He stops shuffling and cuts the cards for good measure. He instructs his spectator, saying, “Now, I want you to start to get a sort of hazy image of your husband when you first fell in love with him. I’m going to riffle down these cards, and when that image of your husband is most clear, when you get that feeling like he is there with you, say stop.”

The woman thinks of her husband, and when the time is right, she says stop. The magician breaks the deck immediately. He casually tells her, “Pick one,” referring to either pack. She chooses the pack in his right hand, so he lifts it to show her the bottom card of that pack.

Her eyes widen and she smiles, amazed. “Did you pick your husband?” the magician asks the woman. He turns the pack to look at the card displayed, and it is indeed the King of Spades. He smiles and takes the card aside, placing it on the table in front of them, face up. “You see, there is such a thing as fate. You could’ve stopped on any card. You could’ve dated anyone else. But you were fated to meet your husband. You were fated to choose him, just like you chose this card.”

“Now, if the power of fate can tell you the right moment to do things, your husband had to have the same feelings too. Go ahead and pick up that card, face up, in between your thumb and forefinger. Now, let’s concentrate on that special feeling of really trying to find that special someone. I want you to imagine with all your heart and soul that you are finding that special someone who fills your heart with love and happiness, and channel that energy from your heart and through your arm into your fingertips.”

The magician prepares a spread of cards. “Using that card, which represents your husband, I want you to channel all that energy into the card now, and when you feel that card being drawn to a card…” He begins feeding the spread of cards from his left hand into his right hand. “I want you to touch that card with the card in your hand. We will see if fate brings one and another together.”

The woman concentrates, and when she feels that the moment is right, she touches a card in the middle of the moving spread. “That one,” she says.

“Do you think that your husband made the right choice?” the magician asks her with a smile.

She smiles back. “We’re together, aren’t we?” she says.

Slowly, the magician reveals her chosen card, tilting his left hand to show the woman the card that she touched. She laughs with a great big smile. “Oh my God!”

“Did your husband choose you?” the magician asks, knowing that the King of Spades in the woman’s hand had touched upon the Queen of Hearts. He turns the card over to look at it, and it is indeed the Queen of Hearts. Turning his hand back down, he uses his left hand to shift it so that it is jutting out from the rest of the pack. Pointing at the card, he says, “So that’s you, right there in the middle of the pack.” He then slowly slides the selected card back into the deck, saying, “Now we’re going to go ahead and get you lost in there, in the middle of all of the world.” He closes up the spread while he does this.

“See, finding the right person isn’t easy. With each new love, we’re never sure if it will last, if it is the one that will lead to marriage. And this deck of cards that you—the Queen of Hearts—has been lost in, represents the whole world of other people that your husband—the King of Spades—could’ve ended up with.” He begins shuffling the cards again. “Like I said before, the world is a mixed up place that is verycon fusing. Your husband,” he says, pointing at the King of Spades that is still in the woman’s hand, “is sitting there alone, unsure of who he should be getting involved with, who he’ll end up marrying.”

After shuffling the deck yet again, he takes the top half of the shuffled deck and puts it down to the left of the bottom half. Then, he turns over the right half of the deck, saying, “Sometimes, the world can be completely upside down, and nothing makes sense and everything is messy and topsy turvy. We must have faith, we must rely and trust in fate to guide us at times.” The right side pack is now face up, and he spreads both packs to show that one is face down and the other is face up.

The magician closes up the spread and, on the table, shuffles the two packs together properly, showing the cards of both packs to be interlaced. He squares the cards up into a neat pile on the table. He picks up the pack at random points, showing that some cards are face up before setting the pack down. He picks it up at another point to show that some cards are face down, sets it down again, and picks it up one last time to show that there are even some cards that are back to back! He takes the pack in his other hand and uses his free hand to pick up the pack that is on the table. He shows the bottom card. “As we can see, you’re not on the bottom.” Jokingly, he says, “You aren’t his last choice.”

She chuckles, and he places the pack back down and places the first pack on top of it. He tells the woman, “Now, think about all the people you might have liked in the past. Think about how many different people you might have ended up with. Think about how many people are in the world that might have bumped into you and decided to ask you out and who knows what would’ve happened? Imagine being confused.”

He pauses for effect. “Now, I want you to imagine that you are your husband, and I want you to think about focusing on just one single person: you. I want you to imagine that he is searching high and low for you, and only you, because he sees something special in you that he doesn’t see in anyone else. When he sees you, everyone else gets blocked out and he only has eyes for you.”

“Take that King of Ace and slowly run it over this deck of cards. Think of how when you are with your husband, there will never be anybody else but him, and to him there will never be anybody else but you. Take that feeling of fate and faith in love and let it flow from inside you into the card, and move it over the cards.”

The woman does so with great concentration. She has waves her hand over it, and the magician looks at the woman. He looks back down at the cards, and he asks her, “Did you feel that?”

“What?” she asks.

“There really is such a thing as fate…” he says. He takes one hand and spreads the deck across the table slowly. Magically, from a mixed up deck of card face up and face down strewn throughout the deck, all of the cards were now face down, their backs visible…save for one card. “Look,” he says, pointing at the only card that was face up. “That’s you.” He gingerly fishes the Queen of Hearts out of the pile. “Your husband found you. You found each other,” he says tenderly.

I call this effect Love Story. I found the concept of the card location fascinating, but I wanted the spectator to locate the card. Using a variety of card forces and false shuffles, I was able to string along sleight of hand effects to tell the story that I wanted to tell. One thing I can’t figure out though is how to incorporate a color change into the act, whereby I show two hearts becoming one…I’ve been pondering this one for a while now. I do apologize for the clarity of this piece. I wrote this largely to remind myself exactly how its done, without actually revealing it publicly. In other words, I’ll read these words five years from now and I’ll remember how this was done.


Have the spectator select two different cards, it may be any card at all. It is best if the cards have special meaning to them. The cards are placed back into the deck and the deck is shuffled. When the magician riffles the deck, the spectator stops whenever they want. The card they stop on is the second selected card. The magician sets that card aside and says that the two cards are meant to be together. Using that selected card, they will locate the first card. The spectator touches a random card as the magician spreads through the deck. The card that is touched is revealed to be the first card that was chosen in the beginning. This first card is replaced into the middle of the deck and shuffled. From there, the deck is cut into two piles, with one pile flipped over to be face up. These two piles are shuffled together so that they are completely mixed, thus forming a deck that consists of cards that are face up and face down. The magician shows that the deck is as such, and uses the second selected card to turn all of the cards over to be face down. However, upon ribbon spreading the cards, one card remains face up. It is the spectator’s first selected card.