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The BIOlogy of Ms. Fellows is a peculiar one that began with the 1940 Hurricane of South Carolina/Georgia. "Only 50 deaths," they praised in church the following Sunday. Yet Egeria sought to be the plus one aftershock that came in the wake of total devastation that left her without house, husband, or child.
Ms. Fellows did not dwell in the loss of meaning or purpose in her life. That was a matter for those still questioning the ending of it, and all the concern Egeria had taken up in the hereafter was how to find herself in it. Oleander poisoning did not work. She did not find her death on the rails, or by the hands of the steamer johns that she rented her affection and devotion to, by the hour, for ticket fare.
Her cavalier disregard for gravity also did not do her in when she took up climbing the ladders and poles to get to a rope or wire. Leave it though to the persuasion and sensibility of another woman to convince her that there was something left to be lived in life. It was not a revelation that came between two old friends amongst tea cozies and finger sandwiches, instead it came when Egeria was shot off the wire by the jealous wife of a prominent city banker.
It was a strange equation to her when she experienced that slowly bleeding out made for quite a convincing case in not wanting to die anymore. Not that any of her misdeeds in finding herself in her current state of mortal decline had a small part in reasoning that there wasn't anything good waiting for her on the other side.
In the late Fall of 1940,a curious fellow found her bleeding there on the train platform. His name was Sylvester Harris, a rigger and rousty at the time, and he brought her back to Monsieur Sombre which earned her a new lease on life and a short-sale on the one hereafter. He was a sliver of blood to color a vibrant brush stroke of red in her world of grey whether it is known to any, least of all him. Her affections and affinity have led her down a dangerous path dotted by question marks rather than primrose bushes, and has had her contemplating, in the dark and quiet times, leaving the Cirque 'for good,' which might allow her to be with the one she loves if only for one final time. As a thankful footnote, however, she had recently admitted her affections, but that does not mean that the dead, in one form or another, do not still find their way into the times they share a bed.
But, in spite of it all, she doesn't complain much - after all, everyone walks that fine-wire line one way or another.
Seventy-one years later has not made her the least bit curious as to what she had staved off when she signed her soul away to walk the wires for Le Cirque Noir, but those years were not free of their own toll taken on her. When stress or memory soaks deeper than brine sweat in her clothes in the summer or frostbiting cold through her flesh in the winter, psychosomatic blindness becomes very real and very deadly affliction. How often or how many times she has blamed it to the aftereffects of pills or tonics (that were never swallowed) just to keep her secret safe that it is her mind that is truly afflicted, is not known. Though knowing the value of a secret, she is swift and certain to keep the secrets of others to herself.
Egeria makes for a compassionate confidant to those that are willing to draw her in so closely, but she is not so often as quick to speak to her own life, old lives, that still creep up on her in the quiet times.
Surrounded by so many on a daily basis does little more than to remind her how lonesome she is, and how terrifying anticipating and experiencing the next episode of blindness will be, essentially, to one that is simply left alone in the dark.
Friends, former paramours, and most certainly enemies linger in and around the canvas tents. It is only a matter of time until they come around again.
We Can't All Be (Cuban National) Ballerinas When we Grow Up. Aracelle Graciela FortunataYou know her as Nada. Nothing, and nothing else either besides her last name. If you know anymore you either fucked her , downed pain pills with her, or were on the cutter that left during the Mariel Boatlift back in 1980. If you were curious enough to ask and she was weepy enough to admit - those were the three occasions she'd speak of her name as it appeared in the National Birth Registry. The rest isn't much of a surprise. Another short-sheeted sob story as told by a dry eye with a jackknife shrug of leather clad shoulders. It was 1988, there wasn't much left for another night in the motel. Canned tuna, crackers, and peanut butter turned her stomach off to more booze or better food so she spent the last of her cash before being considered homeless on distraction. That's where she heard it, smelled it. Even past all the animal shit, the noise, and human detritus, she smelled the bikes, she heard them too. They sounded like shit - not all of them - just a few. She saw the riders - they too looked like shit, in ill repair and barely held together in their leathers. Nada wasn't very much interested in fixing them, but the bikes - those could be managed.Sight unseen and accepting of only a promise and a signature, Nada met with Monsieur Sombre and agreed to keep the bikes in good working order indefinitely. Which was a longer shelf-life guarantee than a cop killer in Miami would have otherwise. For five years into her stay she kept the bikes in good working order and let the riders themselves be the only ones that would cough and hack, looking and sounding like shit.
On Sunday, every Sunday, she'd take her street bike out to participate in all those impromptu and legally frowned upon street races, stunts and show-offs that earned her a larger stipend that anything she got on the hour by Sombre. It might not have been a good life, but it was a better one that she could find anywhere else. She had everything she wanted, needed, and a little extra on the side in the form of unwanted attention when someone from the show reported back to her Sunday whereabouts. When she was called back to Sombre's office with a temp cast, road rash, a pocket full of cash, and a shit eating grin, she thought she was done for - instead - she was extended the opportunity to train for the Globe Act, and after another season of training, she was billed into the group nightly, indefinitely as the contract says.
You Were Meant for Me, Perhaps as Punishment. (Friends): It's hard to get by, or even through the day,forever damned, without friends. She has 'em, she has lots of 'em scattered through the tents. Like pills, it just depends on the type. She's quick an' easy to get along with, if you're up for a crass latina, no holds barred, that takes no prisoners when there comes a need to prove herself or hold her own. Be it with words or fists - but past all the ink and anger management write ups, there will be many acquaintances but only a few among this group are *true* friends. You know, the ones fortunate enough to hear her bitch and moan and the ones she'd scratch her bike or scuff her knees turning around in a practice session or desolate Sunday road to lend a hand to.
Objects in Mirror are Bigger Assholes Than They Appear (Lovers). Who ever is hot n' cheesy and delivered to her train car door in 30 minutes or less? If he keeps it just a little rough but still manage to make her laugh, she makes a good Friday gal - but anything lasting would be a tough act to follow. She did date a vice cop, after all, before she shot him execution style when things went very, very, very awry in their relationship. Though believe it or not, monogamy in secret is not a concept that is far beyond her comprehension.
Strangers in a Strange Land (Enemies). She doesn't expend much energy making enemies. It happens, often too, sometimes. Maybe they think she's too gritty, or mouthy, or someone finds themselves on the ass end of one of her snide remarks she would have sworn to make in good humor, the benefit of many at the cost of one shit, you know. There is one set of women that she might find to be chalkboard on nails irritating - in spite of her best attempts to grin and bear it - classically trained dancers. Been there, done that, had the audition at Julliard, sweetheart - so unless their mami left them for the sake of the stage and country, to which she might share an inkling of commiseration with them, those pointe shoes better be sturdy enough to step the fuck off - or better still - run.
"Shikata ga nai." Nothing can be done about it. If something could, what then? Where does one cease to scrub away the stains of kohl. The bleak marks. The day that the contract was signed? Or perhaps the one in which Sergeant First Class Nathaniel Acker thought to patronize the chanoyu, the tea house, where Masami collected her flower fees for so many incense sticks burned while in her company? No, maybe it ought have been the first of days that Sgt. First Class Acker insistently waited outside of the chanoyu, the one that he was forcibly excised from, in spite of America's occupation of every other nook and every other hanamachi in Kyoto and beyond. No, for all the trouble of incessant scrubbing, it might be best to erase the day of one's own conception and be spared the humility of the rest of it, when no doubt others might wonder why there is so much shameful filth beneath fingernails in spite of having cultivated such a pristine floor from all that scrubbing.
White as snow.
A member of the black circus since 1953 when the United States ended their Occupation of Japan and the American soldier she thought to start a new life with beyond the Flower and Willow world of Gion, Kyoto, left her waiting in front of the cooch tent in Fresno, California. She once entertained an Emperor, ministers, military officials, and business men as a person of art, a living flower - but stranded there at the circus with little money and even less proficiency in the English language she has been entertaining crowds for money that would not have even paid the cost of her hair ornamentation back home - but what can be done of it? Nothing now.
Masami is a quiet soul. There is nothing to be said as to what she does in her free time as there is little left at the end of her day but to sleep. Though she is far removed from the culture she clung to and thrived in, she has not lost the geisha's sense of regimen. When she is not performing her act (much of what she would do within the tea houses of Gion, only now suspended by her hair), she offers acupuncture in her tent for extra money. She also creates silk paintings that she hangs in her tent and offers for sale to feed the cost of the kimono she wears which range from simple yukatas to the more ceremonial Furisode. If she is not performing, painting, or treating clients, she is playing her flute or shamisen.
Love has not ever been a desired prize for a living flower, even less so for Masami when the only man she thought to love left her stranded. Though she has found a greater interest sparked in her prize of a boy stolen away from the father that betrayed her - that particular path has been a very strange one. Otherwise, if a pour of sake is liberal, she will engage in friendly banter, perhaps even flirt, and recite jokes or poetry but it never has gone farther than the table.
Friends are those with patience enough to deal with her curious ways. A cell phone and a computer are as much of the modern world as she has grasped, ideals included.
Clients will be far more plenty. She has many remedies in her tent for the aches and pains of day to day life, hangovers, accidents, even that occasional cold has a curious Eastern cure - mostly in the form of needles and herbs. For a nominal fee, of course.
Unless you might be able to make her laugh, and break through the severity of still being a stranger in a strange land.
Mari here is one fabulously available American pussy! At least, that is what she thinks any single white female with the most eligible and desirable of characteristics considers themselves on this side of the pond these days. She doesn't have a self esteem problem as much as she has an outdated pop culture one.
She will be proud to tell you that she learns all she knows of the Great Americas from soap operas, 'internets informationals,' and 'that sweet and funny little man that hosts the Ellen show.' The one and only thing that hasn't been lost in translation is her love of horses and the training of them. It's all she seems to spend most of her days doing - well - that and waiting for her husband. Mari is a Ukrainian mail-order bride who was very much in love with the idea of being in love with a man named Milton Johnstone from the chic urban metropolis of Milwaukee Wisconsin. Unfortunately for her, that 'most illustrious job of middle managment to fine dining establishment
Knowing nothing about their first meeting but to look for a man wearing a red carnation in his lapel, she followed three such flowers, and accosted one all the way to the black circus. She never left, but she still holds out hope that she will one day become Mister Milton Johnstone. Until then, she remains cheerful, optimistic, and very blunt. She also tries her damnedest to master the subtle nuances of the American Language. The very same inability to grasp the fine art of American chatter will most likely endear as much as infuriate those around her, but there is only one way to find that out.
Old Nettie here came to Le Cirque by way of a transatlantic crossing and two failed traveling shows. Mister McGivern's Golden Wyvern & Magical Menagerie and the Clarion Bros. In England, she was delivered into infamy perched atop throat stump of a stuffed and posed Shetland gelding (formerly known as Wee Mister Toddles) and billed as "the Centaur Maiden," where she spent the long and hot hours of a miserable summer or the chilling ice winds of an even more miserable winter, combing her act partner's tail and her own garishly ornamented wig while singing Operatic nonsense. According to Mister McGivern himself, the common wealth would much rather be fed horse shit from a magical pony-woman than to deal with the grotesque truth of the matter - that Nettie was born without a pair of legs, and seemed to lack even in the sockets that would accommodate them.
Her sculptor's torso had been corset trained from her early days of being a well treated, damn near doted upon in every which way, ward of Doctor Fredrick Owens - physician and purveyor of curious things that were best kept in jars with the lids shut tight. He denied little Nettie nothing in the way of fashions or tutors. Indulged her in the theater, hired her a choral instructor that helped develop the young woman's cords into those belonging to a rather talented mezzo-soprano, and saw to her having a peaceful, refined, if not somewhat solitary existence.
All of that ended upon his death - and just as her true father had done with her on the night of her birth, she was sold off yet again - this time - to McGivern. From McGivern to Clarion, from Clarion to -- well, free will so many lengths of sea and roads away from where she first started. She had never been happier to able to showcase her talent in her own tent, even if she may be better known for what she doesn't have - legs - rather than what she does - a talent for opera.
Her show is a perfect balance of those two, of the haves and the have nots. Though she would much rather be complimented on her voice than whatever notion of perseverance others might think of her possessing for simply getting around and living as long as she had from day to day. Not a single one of those days were carried through on legs and so she cannot say that she was ever left missing them.
For her years, and a long ago life she lived in ultimate refinement, she has been made into a well tempered snoot. A very good humored, bon vivant, snoot. Friends are most easily made with the older crowds, though for the price paid of a compliment she has been known to bestow her favor even on the fresh and wriggling masses of new comers, the 'been there a whiles,' and even a few gentlemen workers. Otherwise, it is not difficult for her to make enemies especially when others look to her as though the lacking of legs make her any less of a woman. You will become the butt end of her jokes and sordid little rumors, or perhaps on the wrong end of a commissioned act she hired another employee to enact. Lovers? But of course! She is no less of a woman, she might even venture to joke that she lacks the necessary parts to run away from a bore - but that is all that she is missing.
Alma started out as a little girl with big city dreams - the eighty something years that have come and gone since then did very little to change that. While her mind remains stuck in that notion of an old glamor she never truly possessed, she's adapted to the changing times - mostly through the fashions. As for the affairs of men and women? She's pleased as punch that being half-naked and wholly available to any man who gives her the time of day is back in style again - or so she figures.
Really though, she's just trying to keep up with that certain someone that plays the piano in the big top; the one who says he has a song for her whenever he comes back around. He's not hurting for company when that company isn't hers - so she doesn't bother to wait at home plucking daisy petals, and playing that he loves me, he loves me not game. To Alma, it's turned into a he fucks her, and she fucks him back game and if you ask her about it, that's all she says there is to it. But it's a long game to have played for eighty nine years with that being all there is to it.
But - not to be outdone by the piano man, she makes it a point to be surrounded by friends, like minds, and any number of sexual affairs; always. She likes to have fun, she likes to be that go to good time gal she always hoped she would be at the fancy parties in that big city dream. She's not very picky about her men either, and if she doesn't have to work at earning such attentions - her moral compass does not steer her clear of much. Whatever might get back to Oscar, whatever might make his brow flinch, or his teeth grit - is good enough for her.
She's not above or beyond making enemies in the pursuit of her own good time, and has gone to some extreme lengths in doing so, just to get Oscar's attention. Fake pregnancies, non-existent fiancees, and the constant threat that she's just going to up and leave in the night are always on the table for discussion with her. The more in her next little plot, the merrier - of course, she's just as happy with a one night stand or someone to share an intimate drink with.
More than anything though, she likes to fight fire with more fire. Whatever, or whoever, has claimed Oscar's attention only seems to inspire grander scale counter affairs for Alma - if for nothing else than to prove how un-bothered she by the old bore she "might have held a candle to"...once.
She just kinda, stood there in the doorway and watched her hanging there by an expensive string of costume pearls that were caught in the tines of the ceiling fan, and waited till the light slipped away from her eyes. It was made pretty clear before then that Pamela West needed to get lost. To pack her things and go. To move out and move on. Her room mate wanted nothing more to do with her, so by literal interpretation - Pamela just - let her do her thing, and if her thing was hanging by the throat, asphyxiating, while show tunes played on in the background - well what the fuck was Pamela supposed to do?
Alright, so, looking back - she supposed that two arguments could be made for what she did - or rather didn't - do, though she does agree that maybe adding a suicide note on Ashlyn's computer for her parents to find was a harsh kind of closure on a wholly accidental death. But fuck, it made sense at the time, right? If all of Ashlyn's kitty posters and animal memes taught her nothing but one thing, it was to grab life by the branch, hang in there, and make the best out of what you had. Well, the best she had was a date and time for a supposed audition at a "Cirque production," the only problem was, it was Ashlyn's audition. Not Pamela's.
Pamela had always been a 'behind the scenes gal,' prop mistress, costume assistant, barista. Ashlyn was the show stopping triple threat. So in a moment that made perfect sense at the time, Pamela thought it best to leave the the old Ashlyn behind, and let the new Ashlyn show up for that audition - because even the old Ashlyn wouldn't have missed an opportunity to do something amazing like that.
Really though, the old Ashlyn deserved to be there more - much more - than the new Ashlyn. What seemed, at first, to be a kitschy vaudeville outfit (to hang around for a few months) turned out to be a little less shiny than what either Ashlyn would have bargained for. Barely settled into her bunk and act, let alone her new identity, Ashlyn is just trying to stay afloat by the good graces of bad puns and being friendly. Cautious, but friendly. She didn't read the contract too close because it was Ashlyn's, and since Ashlyn was dead what difference would it make if she broke it for her? By the time they figured out they'd have to send a process server to a well manicured cemetery, Pamela would be in the clear and off to her next great idea.
She's not very well aware of her actual alternatives right now. She doesn't quite get the gravity of a bail out or contract breech here. She's just a little too occupied right now trying to be someone she's not. So she's testing the waters and finding her sea legs. Trying to be a mermaid is easy - trying to be another human being entirely? Well, not so much. In trying to see what works, she will attempt to gain friends and this is where old Pamela and new Ashlyn disagree on things. Sometimes she will genuinely try to be an acceptable volume of social, other times she will be over the top, and all the rest? She'll improv. See what floats and what sinks - it's not a personalty flaw, really. It's method acting, and she's trying really hard to be Ashlyn Merrick right now, ok?
In spite of her offer to make jewelry for the girls, or a good night for the boys - it's not hard to see that a first of may will have her fair share of enemies around cirque, especially when one of her test personalities chafe a fellow member a little too hard. Or if she seems disingenuous while trying to play that perfect role of Ashlyn. On that same note, this may or may not attract lovers. If the mermaid getup doesn't do it for her - sure she'll try a little harder for the sake of her act, but not too hard! Or, at least, she doesn't think so. She didn't remember the old Pamela or the older Ashlyn ever being too slutty. But maybe the new Ashlyn is? She's not really sure right now. She's trying to stay as close to her new role as she can, but every now and again the old Pamela likes to run things off script.
"Bein' born free don't mean nothin' but it bein' your own damn fault if you starve - but here I am anyway, still payin' my dues to Ole Saint Expedite for stealin' a slice of his pound cake when I was a much younger fool."
Some meet Nurse Coralee when they twist an ankle or poke a stye, and some others meet her on her way out in the early hours of a quiet Sunday. She's not one for conversation in either setting, but she's been known to indulge in the gab so long as it will help her in getting her own end of things done. She'll do what she can to ease the pain, but don't ask her where she earned her papers - she didn't. Coralee didn't go to any learning school for that. Everything she leaned to make a body feel better was learned under the oak and the elm when she wasn't busy being a maid for one of the wealthier families in New Orleans so long ago.
You see, she's a conjure woman, and has been one longer than she's been wiping tears and dressing boo boo's, but she doesn't say it's so. If you know what to look for, or if you tell her what you want from that "in-between place" where prayers go - then she'll be sure to nod her head or pass on your good intentions to the other side for a small price. Otherwise? Don't bother to ask what's being kept in the bowls in the fridge, and please say nothing about nothing of that jar of dirt between the cotton swabs and tongue depressors.
Forewarning aside, Coralee is a kind soul that minds her own. If you find your way to her table, and if you seek out her help in "other matters entirely," she'll oblige - but she isn't looking for no soul to save. There's not enough time in the day to do that, so she lets them come to her when they ache enough.
But maybe no body needs nothing from nurse Coralee? That suits her fine too, she can stick around for other things.
Friends are many in the older set, but the pool tends to shallow out with the younger crowd. Coralee is set in her ways, what others might term "old fashioned," and is just fine being that way. If anyone ever had a comment to say on the matter, it never reached her ears - and if it did, she'd just swat it away like any small and buzzing pest. Natives to the Crecent City are different, of course. Chances are if your family laid it's roots down there in the last century, she's probably at least heard of your kin - hell, maybe she helped one or two of them out too. She enjoys her ties to the city, even if they come in the form of loud and mouthy youth. Some in this group know where she goes and what she does when she's moonlighting, but they're wise to whisper low about those things.
Enemies. She can't say she has too many of these, or if she does - she either hasn't paid any notice, or care, for them. That, of course, isn't to say they don't come around, perhaps even often? Neither her work as a nurse or a conjure woman comes with any guarantees - and she'll remind any fool that pins the responsibility on her for their troubles when things go south. Let's just say that no one's struck up too much of a fuss about their displeasure with her --- yet.
Lovers. They're about as casual and unadvertised as her comings and goings on a dark Sunday hour are. If and when she ever did take a lover, not too many know about it, and by the time they do - the sheets have gone cold and she's back to other preoccupations. She does, however, enjoy the company of a man every then and again - but she ain't gonna break her neck to get in to, or away from, a gentleman. Her head tells her when something's over long before her heart does - and just like that first slice of pound cake she stole from the Saint's feet when she was a child - she will enjoy the sweetness while it lasts, but shed no tears when it's done and gone.
She and her husband, Clement King, have been lauded as the next "Johnny and June," of country music. Sad to say though the lights got too bright, the stages got too clean, and they turned their backs on that small and simple sort of Country that they came from.
Carolann didn't mind much, she enjoyed the spotlight - but not what it was doing to her husband, Clem, who grew to loathe the music they made, and the reasons they were making it. They got papers, each their own sets. Carolann was contemplating a separation, Clem was proposing a change of scenery. Unable to bring herself to "show him hers," that spark of a certain something in his eyes when he told her of their newest engagement reminded her of the man she met outside of a rickety old bar between the middle and nowhere. It reminded her of the old Clem, and their old Country. She signed, and regretting nothing about their whole ordeal - but for that short lived notion that it was time to part ways. She regrets that now more than anything, but she tries to lose herself in their music again, night after night of the same ole, unglamorous, same ole. But she loves her man more than anything, and this little break of theirs from the limelight - it's only for a little while, after all, right?
Still, even in (what she believes to be) the short time they are here - she isn't above or beyond being friendly to all the strange new folk they encounter.
Her long dead mother claimed that their bloodline could be traced all the way back to riders in the pharaoh's army. Be that as it may, the modern day Zaliki's were never a proud people. They were a circus family of great talent, but paltry means, under the drape of the Crimini Brother's Circus that went belly up shortly after the Black Sunday Dust storm that engulfed Amarillo Texas in the 1930s.
First went the animals, then the players themselves. With one owner cutting down the other from a tree and calling the whole deal a wash, the employees were left to fend for themselves. The show went on, however, each act getting a little more desperate, each meal coming by a little more scarce. By chance, and then by choice, many in their outfit became "gentleman cannibals," feasting on their dead as a means of getting by. Isla lost what remained of her final brother to the pleasantry, and with the very same case of Dust Bowl lung, she looked to suffer the same end.
Until she packed up and hobbled off.
When she found Le Cirque, a few train stops over, she had no well born horse to prove herself (and couldn't manage the "clumsiness" of the larger warm bloods in Sombre's employ) - only her mother's fortune telling props gave her any use, but they opened the door just enough for her to stick a foot in, and that she did.
For years she was the resident fortune teller, pretending to see the future - but working much harder to secure a small wealth (mostly through that of the unwitting patrons) until she could purchase the offspring of a proper Egyptian bred horse. The day the colt showed up was the day she handed her director her resignation and proved herself in the ring. She rides there still today.
It is hard for her to come to trust others in her family here, she sees the faces of her older, more desperate, family far too clearly - and even when she does warm up, she can be accused of being distant and aloof on most days. In the ring, and just off her horse, however - one might encounter a completely different side of Isla. A pleasant, and even happy one, but those days are few and far between, it seems.
Tiger Lil is a dreamer. It's all she had left to do in the hospital while recovering from a torturous captivity that ended for her on a burn pile. In her old life people told her that was an accountant, a cow, a pig, garbage - but now she's evolved from all of those things. They tried their best to make her look like a woman again, to patch and stitch and graft her back together, but she would never again possess that beautiful skin of hers that started all her troubles; and no longer wanting to be her, be human, she decided to make more of herself.
Moved by a painted tile over her hospital bed, made by a long expired juvenile cancer patient, she developed a kinship with the painting of the animal that visited her in her sleep. She drempt of that child's painting, of Tiger Lilly, and was visited by her nightly until she became her. The tattoos cover the burns, and her delirium covers the fact that she doesn't want to be reminded of her old life...the one as a human.
Reality deviation has come a long way into shaping her into the "creature" she sees herself as now, and her idealization of that tiger in the painting. Affectionate, aloof, playful, angry - confused. Should she walk on two legs or stalk around on four? The other animals don't wear clothes, why should she? She wishes to be a part of the big top show with the other tigers, but feels no affection towards them like she does for some of the human men. She has a callow heart, and very confused thoughts - and quite frequently, she rather keep to herself, or just get a pet or two when she is not on display, but she does enjoy the company of many species and, at times, takes on the traits she admires in both humans and other animals to fashion her own mood.
Coming soon. <3
This will also have words and things here soon too. So stop looking! I'm practically naked! Omg! -covers plotter-
stop looking! Plot with one that has their clothes on! Take your pick!
The BIOlogy of Fintan Ivers is best described as a slow, fate prescribed, burn that turned into a great conflagration.
Fin is unafraid of the more than certain likelihood that he will be going to hell one day, though as he understands it's really quite pleasant except for the smell. His greatest fear, however, lies in anonymity in life. Yet, to date, lest his fire-eating and transfer act draws you in by the sight of him alone - his two greatest acts of infamy go on to speak of any other cause but the true one - Fintan himself.
I. St. Joseph's Orphanage Fire, Cavan Ireland. 1943.
36 dead, his own sister included - which was ten years of cold nights, stolen matches, and humility hard-pressed beneath the knotty thumbs of the Sisters of Poor Clares,in the making. Suspected Cause: faulty electrical wiring and human error in the extraction and evacuation plan.
II. Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus Fire, Hartford,Connecuit. 1944.
168 dead, give or take as victim no. 168 was more of a collection of parts and pieces believed to be human that could have belonged to any number of circus patrons rather than an actual, singular, person. Countless others injured.
Under the big top of the greatest little show on earth, that day, a rain of paraffin wax and kerosine soaked canvas stripping fell down upon the masses. Fintan's tiny little spark of intention produced a scorching inferno that, two days outside of July 4th, made the score of Stars and Stripes Forever , coupled with the incendiary chemical and body-fed flames, an appropriate tribute to the Americas he recently fled to just the year before. Yet for all of the scorch marks and tally scores, it was yet another tragedy left to fate. Suspected Cause: Unknown Arsonist, though most likely careless disposal of a cigarette.
Only one man has recognized Fintan for his misdeeds. Monsieur Sombre himself. Days after what the nation recognized as tragedy, Fintan had hoped that Monsieur Sombre would recognize it as the young man's 'competitive edge' when he gave his confession after bringing him news of the current demise of his biggest competitor as it appeared in newsprint the next day. What pleasure could be taken in any measurable count by the owner of Le Cirque could not be assessed, only the certainty that should Fintan ever attempt a similar incident - that he would find himself unquestionably - doused.
To see him skulking around the Cirque grounds between acts, seemingly alive and well, is testament enough that he can control his heated fascination - but a man cannot be friends with the ghosts of memories and half-empty bottles alone. He is a curious friend to have, quiet - mostly - and a descent human being - sometimes - that seeks company and companionship like any other from Monday to Saturday. Come find him in the fire arts tent before or after a show, or visit him in his shared train car. Just don't poke around too closely when you're there - and don't expect to find him around on Sundays. It's a day of rest after all - at least something stuck with him from the Sisters of Poor Clares at St.Joseph's Orphanage.
The prophet son of a prophet son come down from the fertile mount of Appalachia, to a Kansas City dust bowl, who found himself near death in a hole in the ground. Some how he ended up worse and granted life everlasting in the Devil's Circus. Now ain't that some shit, for a preacher's boy?
Really though, what other fate could there be for a fraud? Death? That was the other alternative - an easier out taken by Malachi and Ester Nash, his parents, whom he shared that same hole in the ground they were put in after a 'faith healing' gone wrong. What his father lacked in his ability to heal the sick and the dying with condemnation and prayer, he was instead given the gift of charismatic persuasion, an affinity for snakes, and hypnosis - even convincing Eli's mother that she was a powerful healer rather than a wrongly glorified preacher's wife. Eli lacked in all of those things that his father was, until his father taught him. The lie, to lie, and the art of manipulating pliable minds wanting to believe in his family.
He wanted nothing to do with the snakes that nearly killed him as a child during their congregation's ritualistic laying with and handling of them - but he wanted everything to do with the power and the glory that came with being the congregation's leader - until his father's delusional pride condemned the wrong long suffering, and freshly dead (because of the Nash family) senator's wife. That National acclaim Malachi was looking for didn't amount to nothing but a cold and quiet hole in the ground, and a shovel split head.
Eli never forgot that old life of his. Try as he might. Still scarred by the snake bites, and the death that those healing hands of his has caused, he tries to shut it - and the rest of the world - out on most days. Though when he's out of the train car, he's a different brand of person. Always in his Sunday best, carrying a book and pen, his nicely lined pockets are never in short supply of the good cigars he never smokes (but is quick to pass around with an obliging smile), and his snifter (he hardly drinks from) is filled with the best rye whiskey to pour for a friend or a visitor.
But Eli doesn't have many real friends or any real visitors - most just think that they are. It's because he's a manipulative, judgmental, son of a bitch, who thinks the freaks are sick because they want to be, the performers are self serving pride gluttons, and Eli wholeheartedly believes that he's in the middle of it all just trying to stay afloat in a sea of sin and degradation. Convinced he's in a special sort of purgatory for his previous misdeeds, he makes himself to appear so genteel and hospitable to keep on the good side of others, or to gauge who he might next manipulate of his 'circus family' for his own benefit when they stop in a town that's too lean to empty the pockets of townies.
Friends will be anyone gullible, prone to being manipulated, just want to keep the peace with him, or are the type to be so intimidated by someone who might cause them wake up naked and braying like a donkey on top of the cook house tent. A truer friend might be anyone that shares in his interests. Enemies will be anyone that doesn't, and lovers? It depends how low the whiskey, cigars, coffers get or perhaps there might be a special someone(s) out there that is that guiltless pleasure that surely had been sent by the devil to drag him deeper down in to hell - and he just can't help himself.
Meet Walter Jaffey, the guy that replaced the other guy three weeks ago. He got the shit end of the stick when it came to that limited warranty immortality, didn't he? A sixty three year old former Teamster from South Philly who just lost his wife to the Big "C." He's not the prettiest, he's not the fastest, but he's not one to be taken for a ride.
Only Peaches, his recently deceased wife's Love Bird riding on his bowler (on most days he's not helping with the heavy lifting) get's a free ride and a comped lunch, so don't try to pull shit. He may seem old and prone to forgive, but really he's just scratching another tally mark on the wet side of his skull - going to save up all those little punk comments and bitch moves he is on the wrong end for, for something special for you if enough of them add up. Oh, and all that shit rolls over to the next month. He's not one to forget, and her's not the first to forgive either.
Otherwise, you do your job and you do it well enough so that some drippy dick kid doesn't have to do it *again* for you, or worse, Walter has to put in double time when he's already working sweaty shoulder to sweaty shoulder with the other punks. If you can manage that, you're alright kid.
Walter isn't normally chatty, but he can be. Having been a trucker and a Teamster Union Rep, and a resident of the City of Brotherly Love - Walter learned the value of observation and keeping one's mouth shut. He respects those with a similar life philosophy but if you manage to get on his more judicious side, he'll give you counsel if you find him after hours sitting in the sleigh seat of the carousel going round and round with Peaches on the rim of his hat.
So, new lease on life? He can piss clear and straight again now that the prostate cancer is gone and he's got a bird, that stupid little fucker, that talks back - and sometimes mimics his wife- one of so few of the breed with such a talent for recall - what more can a man want? He's still unsure of the whole "backside and fine print" of the contract - the jury is still out on that one, so he'd lend an ear real quick to anyone willing to let him in on it.
Friends, enemies - those uncertain in betweens. He's an old man who lost his wife a few months before joining, he doesn't see himself romancing, but he does see himself drinking - alot. If there happens to be a damsel in distress that reminded him of the good girl he married, he might knock someone's teeth out for them, otherwise, he's not so much a sucker for dames - even the old ones that look young. Now punks that do their jobs, rousties that don't give him grief when he's pulling the same man hours - and double time thereafter than they are - are going to be fine by him.
Gus, resident glass eater of the freak show circuit, doesn't remember much of his early childhood. Who does? He could guess though, that it was very much the same as all the years that came before the ones he could recall - with his stripper mother's closeness dependent upon the controlled substances she swallowed down that made her most affectionate when even the smallest notion of self-worth and personal space were stuffed as deep in her insides too.
The walls of their dirty little broken down house were the same, in their state of water logged and paint chipped decay. The sallow overhead lights almost worse in the daytime than the technicolor strobe was in the night time. The circumference of his little world in the big city of sin shored itself up tighter and tighter, every year. It just barely included high school, a favorite off-strip diner, and of course - George's titty bar and the strange little spittle-stuck together family he shared it with. Right there in the middle of that shrinking circle.
Gus thought he would be the man of the hour with all the kids at school for living in a titty bar.
And the kids at school thought it was pretty cool that Gus got to live in a titty bar too - until they googled the address, and found that it was George's (his father and his mother's employer's) titty bar. The place that should have been condemned, the people working in it quarantined from 'normal' society, and the walls fumigated before the wrecking ball came in so it wouldn't get herpes.
Gus was quick to learn that he had to work harder.
So he laughed along with them and stuffed the free drink tickets back into his pocket. He always hoped to make more friends if he snuck them in and got them drunk and an eyeful of naked women. He laughed with them all, instead, even if none of it was very funny. He laughed with them, at himself, till they found they rather liked the idea of having a scape goat and whipping boy around who did weird shit for them on cue. He was good at that. He had been for a long time. Long as he could remember being with his half-brother.
His half-brother being the current and for all time Director of the Freak show, Lucifer Quinlan, who takes his job very seriously. After all, he brought with him his own freak. One that he made himself.
Gus, sometimes Gus-Gus, is (almost willingly) ever at the mercy of his brother's whim and his own insatiable desire to grab the spotlight. He just, doesn't quite know how to go about it sometimes so more often than not it is a quick and dirty advertisement of the next thing he might stuff in his mouth or proffering up the next great stupid human trick he could do. It doesn't even matter in the end really if ya like him. If he won over your attention, for even a moment, that's all he's really after. He's from a small world in a big city with a very skewed perspective of personal space and normal human interactions - which makes his need to be a people pleaser an even more daunting task - especially when what pleases his brother, the director, might very well conflict with the relationships he is trying to strike up with his fellow cirque members.
As far as those relationships? It's very, very, easy to hate him on principle of who he is related to alone, however, if a body can manage to get past that then there is his well meaning, but sometimes peculiar, personality and general awkward approach to life to deal with. On most days, it's like playing 20 questions with a yip dog. Love him, hate him? Give him a hug or a punch in the gut - in the end, it's all attention to him - and he wants it all.
This former world renown polo player (and reckless social climber) seems to have lost all of his potency, but none of his bite. Much like the de-venomed yet still fanged snakes he handles in his act, he was quite the risky proposition in his natural state. He was left entirely to his own devices in New Orleans when his team and their attorney, tired of his antics and the inexcusable death of one of their polo ponies mid flight, abjured him.
This old Kentucky bluegrass boy that had found his way into the hearts, wallets, and beds of the world's social elite is now left to the poor company of himself and the last three of his snakes. He signed his life away on the dotted line, but feels this to be just another wrung of his climb that will get him back to his estranged family he left behind a while down the road.
In his time here, he will seek to make friends, care very little of the enemies he may acquire - and lovers? It all depends on how easily he may satiate his particular attraction. In Mr. Dalton's case, fame is more important to him than faces are. He made the evening time company of many men and women in his time - but remembers very little of them but for their titles. It is rumored that some of the titles of the company he has collected was even a pair of royals.
A prince, and a princess. Felix was their best kept secret - from each other - or so the story goes.
Friends will get him to where he wants, and what he wants (mainly the directors). Otherwise, he is sure to acquire a sizable collection of acquaintances, and without any effort expended on his part - preferably. The only genuine thing about a friendship with this man is the effort he puts into maintaining any given (worthwhile) alliance - otherwise he is blandly amicable, perhaps even bored by most others that mill around with their niceties without doing anything useful with them.
Unless of course, he is made to feel sought after and important. Need some social advice? What suit to wear? Wine to purchase? How to impress a male or female out of one's league - those are the things he would be pleased to entertain the unwashed masses with. Otherwise, nothing more than a mildly pleasant hello or goodbye need apply for Felix.
Enemies may be inspired by his back stepping efforts, and his general air that he's better than everyone else - because to him, he is. Even at his worst. How many could say that the papers either crafted or accurately reported that they fucked around with a royal family?
But you won't hear the truth of it from his smug face.
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[b]the [you] & [me] song[/b]
Tell me what's your poison, right here! <3
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