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 Knife Thrower and the King
Alex’s parents had wanted to home school him like most carny children, but as soon as Alex was old enough, he begged his parents to allow him to go to the small school. After protesting his wishes, they eventually gave in. The castle housed the school rooms in the east wing, and Alex’s first day of school was the first time he set foot inside the castle designed like a fun house. It was also the day he met Oscar, the prince who would be king one day.
From that day forward, Alex and Oscar were inseparable. Alex showed Oscar a side of the kingdom he’d never seen as a sheltered prince. They would often sneak out of class and go on the amusement rides. In return, Oscar showed Alex the deepest parts of the castle.
Just before they were to graduate, Alex and Oscar made a pact to never let anything ruin their friendship.
“I couldn’t run this kingdom without you,” Oscar said one day, while they were exploring the Twisted Tower.
“You’ll be a great king–with or without me,” Alex said.
“I hope so. My father puts so much pressure on me.”
After Alex left, Oscar’s father came to speak to him.
“Oscar, I don’t want you associating with that boy anymore. You are going to be king some day and the company you keep is important. A knife thrower is not an appropriate acquaintance for a king.”
“He’s my best friend!” Oscar protested.
“Enough. I’ve already told the fortune tellers at the castle entrance that he is not to be allowed in.”
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?