The magician used flash powder to create explosions. He had the rig all set. With the press of a button, a remote device would emit an electric spark to ignite the black dust. When he was ready, and all the cues were there, doves would rise with his upraised arms. The powder would blow, and yellow flames would shoot ten feet in the air. He smiled and his heart rose when the curtain fell to reveal the fruit of his labor. He created the illusion that it would all last, that the moment of surprise and rapture could endure the trial of time. Once the curtain lay crumpled, revealing the nothingness it was hiding, the smiles would fade, eyes would readjust to the dark, and everyone would go home. But the magician new that the yellow burst would remain burned in their minds-eye, the shock of joy seared into their hearts, and tales of disappeared elephants would dance on their lips.