A to Z Challenge: Balancing Act

For the A to Z Challenge, I’ll be writing flash fiction pieces based in the world featured in my upcoming novel, Where the Carnies Are. You’ll meet some of the characters and learn their back stories. These stories are completely original and are not part of the book.


Balancing Act

Victor knew that one of his balancing assistants was the right woman for him. He just didn’t know which one was the right one for him. They were both beautiful, great at balancing, and kind.

They were also both standing in front of him with arms crossed and glares that could kill.

“You were supposed to take me to the House of Mirrors for dinner,” Sandra said.

“Well, sorry to burst your bubble Sandra, but he is taking me to the Theatre. Run along,” Maureen said as she rolled her eyes.

Victor wondered how he could make the mistake of scheduling two dates in one night. Heat rose to his cheeks. It was time to make a decision and end the bickering. It meant that one of them would likely leave the company and they would have to find a new performer to take her place.

He did have one way to stave off the decision, but he hoped they would buy it. The fact that they were both standing there and hadn’t stormed off had to count for something. They cared about him and wanted to be with him even though he’d done something despicable.

“Ladies, I’m sorry for the confusion. I didn’t mean to cause a scene or hurt either of you. I know I have some explaining to do.”

The women before him were like two spinning plates on sticks that were due for another flick of the wrist. He only had time to save one from crashing to the ground. Unless . . .

“I’m really sorry, but I can’t go out with either of you tonight. I have a family emergency I need to attend to,” Victor said.

Both women dropped their glares and turned empathetic.

“I’m here for you, Victor,” Sandra said.

“If you need anything, don’t hesitate to come see me,” Maureen said as she took a small step forward.

Victor bowed his head and said, “Thank you. I promise to get everything worked out soon.”

The women left his camper and he gave more thought to which relationship he would try to mend and which one he would have to break off. He peered out the window as they walked away. Only one of them turned back as if she truly cared about his family emergency. She stopped herself from returning to the camper, but instead walked to the stand that sold his favorite pretzels. She gave the owner some tickets and pointed to Victor’s camper and left.

Moments later, the owner of the stand knocked on Victor’s door with a tray of pretzels.

“Miss Sandra said she would like you and your family to enjoy these.”

Victor smiled and grabbed the tray. He brought it into his camper and took two pretzels before running after her. Maureen’s plate would have to crash. Sandra is the one that really cared.

 


Where the Carnies Are

Where the Carnies Are blurb:

Olive is having a very bad day. She caught her boyfriend cheating on her, she lost her job, and she stumbled into a portal leading to a secret carnival kingdom which she can’t escape. The good news is she meets an eccentric, but stunningly handsome knife thrower. The bad news is she can’t go home for another two months.

The world she lands in is full of sideshow characters, terrifying amusement rides and her biological parents’ past. She was born a carny, but raised as a normal human. Magic lives in her blood, but it hasn’t reached her heart. To find out who she really is, and why carnies are disappearing, Olive must deceive the king with the help of Alex the knife thrower.

Olive and Alex play a dangerous game with their emotions when they decide to have a fling during Olive’s stay. They both lead very different lives and decide that being together for the rest of their lives is not possible, but a short affair is certainly on the menu. Will they make it through the annual festival with both their hearts and lives intact or will the king take matters into his own hands?

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