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.
Sorry this one is late. I struggled to get this one just right for you. Hope you like it!
The Illusionist and the Incredible Incident
The annual festival had just ended and Carter was wandering the midway. His thoughts were on the low attendance he received at his shows during the festival. The heavy weight of doubt and despair rested on his shoulders. People walked past him as they prepared for another season of touring. They didn’t even seem to notice him.
Carter sat on a bench near a food stand and looked out at the moving crowds. Failure attacked his mind. He had failed to find a carnival manager that would take him for the season. He had failed to become a well-known illusionist. He had failed to meet any of the goals he had set for himself when he moved out of his parent’s tent. They were game runners, but he had somehow received the illusionist talent. They had always told him that he should just stick with the family business, but he had bigger dreams than running the Lucky Duck.
The Crescent Ferris Wheel loomed in front of him. It was the largest structure in the kingdom and commanded attention from everyone. The light bulb in his mind flickered and then shinned bright. The Ferris wheel was the key to all his dreams. This was his one and only chance. The sun was setting and the lights would come on soon.
Carter waited for the opportune moment. Every night, just after the sun set. The Crescent Ferris Wheel lights would be turned on for everyone to see, but tonight, he would control them. It was a daring move. One that might get him arrested, but he had nothing to loose.
As he stood just outside the gate that surrounded the Ferris wheel, Carter watched as the man who ran it went to flip on the lights. Carter smiled as the crowd looked up to the Ferris wheel, expecting all the lights to come on at once.
Usually, the lights would form a circle on the outside and within it, a crescent made of lights would spin around with the Ferris Wheel, but Carter used his talent to make some of the lights on the outer circle go out so that it looked like a large “C” and the crescent looked like a smaller “c” inside it.
Carter then used his talent to levitate above the crowd and address them.
“I am Carter Cosmic! The lights you see behind me are under my control, and tonight I’m putting on a little show for you all. As a community we are limitless and that is what I’m all about. I’ll test the limits and make it seem like anything is possible.”
Then, the lights on the Ferris wheel began to burst. Glass turned to glitter and rained down on the crowd. When they looked up again, the lights came back on as if they had never broken. The double “C” flashed into the night again. With a wave and a flash, Carter disappeared and the Ferris Wheel lights returned to normal. The crowd gasped and everyone began to talk about Carter Cosmic.
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?