Saturday, January 8, 2011

Not This Time

Fiction Friday prompt: Your character wakes in a circus tent. He is wearing baggy pink pants and a polka dot frilled shirt. A midget in a strong man outfit is shaking him awake asking if he is all right.

Jan opened his eyes and stared at the striped canvas ceiling. He closed his eyes and shook his head, trying to focus on what he was seeing.

A sharp jerk on his shoulder caused Jan to shift his gaze right. He looked into a small face. “Are you okay?” the face asked.

Jan slowly sat up and looked around. A small body in a loincloth belonged to the face. The little man spoke again. “Did you sleep here again last night?”

“Guess so,” Jan said. He rubbed his eyes and tried to clear the sleep fog from his brain.

“And you didn’t even change. Edna will have your head if you damaged the costume.”

Jan looked down at the polka dot frilled shirt and baggy pants.

The small man continued. “You know that Liebowitz doesn’t like us to sleep in the theater, especially on the stage. If you didn’t have a room, you could have bunked with me again. I’d hate to see you tossed out at this point in our run.”

The small man turned and began to walk toward the wings. Jan stood and stretched.

“Leo!” Jan almost shouted

The small man turned. “What?”

“Could you tell me where my clothes are?”

Leo sighed, the sound almost unimaginable from such a small man.

“Let’s start back in the dressing rooms and fan out from there. But call time is only a couple of hours away. It seems almost a waste to change into your street clothes now only to change back then. Maybe we just need to try and get the wrinkles out of that clown costume so you will be ready for the performance tonight.”

“Leo, you’re a great pal.”

“Yeah, yeah. Heard it all before. But tonight I sticking by you from curtain up to curtain down. You will not ruin this chance for yourself or for me. Not this time, Jan. Not this time.”

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