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.
The Giant’s Last Partner
Herald had been partners with Gerald for years. Their giant and dwarf act took off and became the center of the carnival they traveled with. They delighted people with their “Two Worlds in One” act. Their set was designed as a dwelling in which the two of them would pretend to live side by side without even knowing it. A bowl in Herald’s world was a small bath tub in Gerald’s. A plate Herald left unfinished was a feast for Gerald. A pencil used by Gerald would be a painful needle prick in the foot for Herald.
The comedic act gathered large crowds and their manager, Steve, was very pleased. After a show one night, Herald relaxed in the specially designed pop out camper with Gerald. Since he was a full six feet taller than Gerald, Herald sat on the floor and Gerald was in a tall chair so that they could see eye-to-eye.
“Herald, I’m thinking about retiring,” Gerald said abruptly.
“Retiring? You’ve never mentioned this before,” Herald said.
“I’m getting tired of traveling every summer and it might be time to settle down in the kingdom.”
“I can’t do this without you. Our partnership is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Don’t ruin a good thing. We’ve only had five years together.”
Gerald sighed and Herald crossed his arms.
“I’m just getting tired and bored,” Gerald said.
“Maybe we need to make some changes, then. Don’t retire yet.”
“I’ve already made up my mind. This is my last season.”
Herald’s felt like the world was spinning. he couldn’t imagine life without Gerald. “We’re like brothers. How can I possibly continue without you?”
“I’m sure you’ll find someone,” Gerald said. He then hopped off his chair and walked out of the camper.
Herald lost his temper. His voice boomed after Gerald, “Fine! I will find someone else to be my partner and he’ll be better than you!”
Hours passed and Herald stayed in the silent camper stewing over what Gerald had said. He was so angry that he began to clean. Anger had always driven him to clean the house. It was the only time he ever did so. Gerald was the tidy one. The thought of living away from Gerald was unwelcome in his swirling mind. Finally, he decided that if Gerald chose to retire, he would too. Working together and having the most successful act a giant and a dwarf could have had brought them close.
“He’s practically my brother, and if this will make him happy, then I will find a way to be happy too.”
Herald left the camper in search of Gerald. He found him at the food stand, buying a giant funnel cake. It was a treat they often liked to share.
“I was just going to come back and apologize for springing this on you,” Gerald said.
“No need. We’ll both be happier when we retire after this season,” Herald said.
Gerald smiled and they sat down to share their funnel cake and talk about their retirement plans.
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?