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The Sons of Iris Wick
This effect is a rebirth of an effect Vic Nadata first made available to the magic
community in 2015, under the title of “The Unrest.” With Vic’s permission, Doug
began an updated and edited version of the effect in 2021. The two began working
together on this new version in mid-2022. This is the result of their efforts.
Raven and Iris Wick, of Shamokin, Pennsylvania, have four sons. It is June, 1863. The
boys are about to fight in the Battle of Cemetery Hill at Gettysburg. Raven and Iris
both know about the casualties of this horrible war. It is hard to be a parent, and the
dread they feel is intense.
Raven has lost his appetite and paces randomly at strange hours of the night. Iris is
much worse. Every night, she dreams about the death of one of her sons. Each night
a different son’s death plays out.
Signs of her fatigue are showing. Exhausted, she seeks help. While walking home
from church one night, she recognizes an old woman sitting on her front porch. It’s
Goody Jones! Goody is the midwife who helped Iris with the birth of all four of her
As Iris approaches, the old woman raises her head. “Ms. Wick! Come sit with me and
have some tea.”
Iris climbs the steps to the porch and, after an affectionate hug, settles into the rocking
chair beside Goody. Suddenly, she feels the need to unburden herself and tells all
regarding her nightmares and accompanying fears for her sons. Goody speaks.
“The dreams you are having, my dear, are real. They tell the future. All four boys will
soon become casualties of war, and you and your husband will become childless . . .
unless . . . “
“Unless what?” Iris implores.
“Unless you accept the offer,” the old woman whispers. “I can save your boys from
certain death. I can make sure they remain healthy and grow old. I can do all these
things . . . for a price.”
“What price?” Iris asks.
“A deadly price, I’m afraid,” Goody replies. “A price not of money or of power, but of
sacrifice. Your choice will haunt you forever!”
“I can save three of your boys, but not all four. One of the boys must be sacrificed in
order to save the others. Four must go off to war, but only three will come home. And
you, my dear . . . you must choose the one who will perish! You have three days to
decide. If you agree, bring back with you a token of your decision . . . something you
love . . . something valuable to the heart: a photograph, perhaps, or a piece of jewelry.
Three days is all you have. Choose one to save three.”
Shaken, Iris heads for home. Can she really believe what Goody has told her? What if
it’s true? What if she could save three of her boys?
An impossible decision. If she were to choose, who would it be?
On the third day, her decision made, Iris returns to Goody’s house with a pendant. The
ceremony is brief and uneventful, and Iris goes home wanting to believe it’s all a hoax,
but she knows it’s not. She knows she has sealed the fate of one of her sons.
The next day, the four brothers are off to war. Iris hugs each son . . . one a bit longer
than the others.
On July 2, 1863, one of Iris and Raven Wick’s sons is killed at the Battle of Cemetery
Hill. Incredibly, it is Iris’s choice who perishes. When word reaches the family, Iris is
inconsolable. She spends the rest of her days in misery and passes in the autumn of
1878, her husband and three sons by her side.
In 1913, fifty years after the Battle of Cemetery Hill, the little town of Shamokin honors
the Wick brothers. Photographs of the boys are draped with red, white, and blue
crepe, and the town mayor lauds their bravery in battle. After the ceremony, the family
collects the photos and takes them home. Those pictures, along with other artifacts,
are now on loan to me directly from Wick family descendants.
Here. Take this pendant . . . the very pendant brought to Goody Jones by Iris Wick
over 150 years ago. Hold it tightly in your hand. Some say the pendant speaks to
them . . . leads them to the fallen boy. To the choice. To her choice.
I ask you now, to which son does the pendant lead you? Will you be led as Iris was?
Is the spirit with you?
What you receive:
- A small box containing a photo of Robert, a shimmed flap, and a lid containing a
- A locket containing a photo of Thomas
- Four photographs of Iris and Raven’s boys in Union uniforms
- A letter from President Lincoln
- An instruction manual, printed on parchment-like paper, complete with suggested