Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Blue Winnabago

Sep wasn’t sure how he had ended up in the inside of the baby blue winnebago. He was walking home from work, the long way, past the trailer park, when he saw the same circus master from last week’s show, lying in the mud. Trouble always seemed to find him, at least that’s what his mother had always said. He was now staring up at the lavender curtains and dancing lights that adorned the trailer. The same circus master who had introduced the circus last week was standing in front of him. His buoyant stature that he had carried last week had been reduced to the frail shell rotund shell of an old man.

“So…” Sep scooted uncomfortably toward the door. The circus master’s fleshy palm stopped his shoulder.
“You came here to listen. Listen.” the circus master commanded.
“Listen? Sir, with all due respect I came here because I saw you lying in the mud outside of your trailer. All I did was help you up.”
“But you did listen, you came to me,”
“Yes, I did. But I’d quite like to be leaving now. I am supposed to be meeting some friends at 6,” Sep said tapping his watch, “It’s 5:45. That gives me 15 minutes to run home, grab my ball, change, and-”
“Then I guess you’ll never know, what I have to tell you,” the man said, a satisfied hollow smile stretching his shiny skin tight.
“Ok sir. If you need me to call someone I can, but if you are not in any physical state of harm, I am going to go,” Sep stood up. The man stared straight ahead. He’s probably just waiting for me to sit back down, ask if he’s ok, Sep thought, i’m not falling for that. He opened the door, pausing at 3 inches when he heard the old man start to ramble again. What had happened to the jovial circus master who had shouted out praise for the circus just 7 days ago, how did he become this chattering wisp of a man?
“I’m not a wisp,” the man said sadly. Countering Sep’s thoughts. “You don’t understand. You don’t see the stars like I do. I can read minds through them see the future,” He paused. “I see them for you,” His eyes glazed over a little.
“For me?”
“For you. For the two girls at your apartment who go to the greenhouse, and draw and talk. For your friend, for you.
“Some things are better off not worth knowing,”

“And I don’t believe this is one. I’m not sure if you understand, this matters. Something wrong is going on at the greenhouse, and now it involves you,”.

Monday, September 5, 2016

A Cotton Candy Night

Sep stepped out of Leek’s truck, exchanging the loudness of Leek’s blaring radio for a different kind of loudness. The kind of loudness that happens when a bunch of happy, excited people jam into a small space. The kind of loudness that happens when Sep, Leek, and 300 others line up for the circus.

Sep stood next to Leek and scrutinized the tiger face paint he had meticulously helped Leek paint on an hour ago. Sep and Leek had decided to go full on circus hype, complete with tiger striped face paints. (Well, it wasn’t really full on, seeing as the only thing that they had done to offset their normal jeans and t-shirt was the paint. Nevertheless, they were pretty proud of their feline faces).

Sep had met Leek a week ago. And completely by accident. He had been wandering again after work, and couldn’t resist the pull of the Winthrop park. It had been on his mind, the blood, the note, the police. Just as he couldn’t resist the allure of the park, he couldn’t resist the thrill of the game when he saw the court, clean of blood, even if the game was only free throws by himself.

He had been on throw 38, needle-like-concentration driving him to make just one more throw. It had been a perfect shot too, when BAM! A hot chocolate colored hand reached out and smacked the ball down. “Not bad,” said the voice belonging to the hand. And with a “not bad” a friendship was started. A friendship where Sep was now invited to play basketball with Leek and his friends on Tuesday afternoons, a friendship that made Sep regret his decision to move to Winthrop a lot less, and, a friendship, that apparently took Sep and Leek to the strange new circus that had arrived in town. (With a lot of convincing on Leek’s part, Sep had been reluctant, but Leek’s childhood memories and the promise of a free ticket soon persuaded him).

The line slowly trickled into the cluster on plum and white canvas tents. Sep and Leek were some of the last to get in, and their growling stomachs, and salivating mouths told them exactly which act they had to go to first: the cotton candy stand.

Apparently a lot of of the other circus goers agreed with them, and Sep and Leek waited in yet another long line. Sep looked at Leek, “I’m beginning to think the circus is just a trick to get people to wait in lines,” he complained, “I’m pretty sure I could get better cotton candy at the grocery store across the street!” “Sep,” Leek said with every ounce of seriousness he could muster with the flashing light and music dancing around them, “If you think there is any cotton candy the rivals the one at the circus, you are severely mistaken,” Sep looked at him skeptically. Leek took this as a right to convert Sep to the cult of circus cotton candy lovers, “It sweet, fluffy as a cloud, and it tastes pink! Even the blue kind!..” (Leek then proceeded to account in detail the wonders of pink-tasting cotton candy). When he finally finished, they were up next. Sep thought he might have agreed with Leek if not for the two girls in front of them who were taking forever.  

They were wearing matching crimson blazers, and dark jeans. The blond one with the nose ring was interrogating the cotton candy spinner, and holding up the line. “Is it possible to have half and half, blue and pink?”, she kept asking. The bored reply from the spinner was the same, “No ma’am, I’m sorry ma’am”. The girl's dark haired friend tugged at her sleeve. “Give it a rest Caroline,” she stepped in front of her friend, “15 blue ones,” she said decisively, ignoring Caroline’s indignant look and scolding: “Sail!” . The cotton candy spinner shook his head, ever so slightly, and got to work meticulously spinning the candy.

By the time Sep and Leek had gotten their two pink clouds of fluff, the only tent that wasn’t full to it’s capacity was the biggest tent, the one advertising: “Magic twins”. Leek was pretty angry about this, (he had wanted to see the lion tamer) but Sep reminded him that he’d better count his lucky stars: at least he hadn’t gotten blue cotton candy like the red-blazered girls.

Sep and Leek made there way inside. Despite the dingy, faded gold tent flaps of the outside, the inside was beautiful, and, surprisingly empty considering the long line heading towards the circus. Blue crystal decoration hung suspended from the ceiling on the left side of the tent. It seemed to spin and dance along with the soft music. On the right, torches attached to chandeliers were slowly rotating. Something about the soft music and spinning decor fascinated Sep, and he led Leek to the front row, which was conspicuously empty. “Sep,” Leek began, “Don’t sit there, they always pick the people-”. He was cut off by the booming voice of an excited man. “Welcome to the Ciiiirrricccuuuusssss!” He bellowed, bouncing out on stage. He was dressed in a green and blue pinstripe suit that fit his rotund body like a glove.  “Our fabulous, fantabulous, fantastic, main act will be out soon, and be prepared, these twins aren’t to be reckoned with. Fire, ice, you name it, they can create it,” his voice and performance seemed to be meant for a larger crowd, not the one of fifty sitting before him. “But first,” he continued, “We need someone to help them out,”. He walked towards Sep’s row, and with an “I told you so” from Leek, Sep was on stage. “Now the twins…” he called, gesturing as two teenage kids walked on stage. The boy’s eyes and demeanor didn’t match the grandeur of the tent and the circus master. But something seemed strange about the girl. Then Sep remembered the blond hair, silver nose ring; she was the girl from the cotton candy stand. “Hey aren’t you?” “Yes,” She answered. And then she grinned, devilish eyes sending a shiver through his body. And then the lights went out.