Friday, March 18, 2016

Today's #flashfiction The Raven In The Circus

“Loreal hair gel, because I'm worth it.”
Albert Einstein* #quote

If I were on the space program I'd put hot rod flames on the Mars rover. Just to give it some space street cred if some aliens found it. We want aliens to know we're cool when we make first contact right?

The Raven In The Circus

           I practiced walking the rope a million times. Literally inching up the height from the ground until adding a safety net. This could have happened to me during any of my practice performances. But no, the damn thing had to do this during my first real walk on the tight rope, when no safety net laid beneath me. When the ringleader couldn't say, “Come down and try again Thomas.” When the lights of the circus focused on me and not further on the road ahead. When dramatic music would drum out me saying anything about it.
          A little raven perched on my tightrope in my way.
          Do I go back from where I am? I balanced in the middle of the rope, and going backward to wiggle the rope to get the thing off would look bizarre and ruin the show. Would advancing and hoping my movement alone would move the bird be better? Stopping my act because of the bird...would that get me fired? I kept walking towards the animal and the drums still beat loudly, building the tension for the audience who were still oblivious of my additional challenge.
          My last hope for audience sympathy and the ringleader believing my story of a bird on the rope vanished when the spotlights panned slightly upward to show more of me and stop showing the rope itself. I knew that when I reached the bird no one on the ground would see it.
          I kept advancing and my feet neared the bird. The foot I had further forward touched the Raven's wing, and it still didn't move. I tried to lightly kick the animal and it just settled back into place. It refused to let me have my rope. There wasn't much time to think. If too much time passed then the audience, as well as my boss would not be pleased. I needed to come up with something.
          I jumped forward. There were probably many, many, better ways to fix my dilemma, but I was not thinking straight. It was my first performance, and the clock was ticking on what I should do.
          Only one foot hit the wire on my landing and I grabbed the rope with my toe. I threw my hand forward and it hit the rope next. I pushed down with all my might with that hand and the rope, the damn sturdiest thing I've ever seen, stretched like a rubber band towards the Earth then flung me upward. I cartwheeled upward and on this second launch into the air managed to land on both feet on the rope, wiggling like snake to keep my balance. When the rope finished shaking I noticed I was two steps from the end due to this miraculous jump. I made my way to the other side, my trick at an end.

         The audience clapped in an ecstatic uproar, they thought the entire thing was intentional. I looked back to the rope to see the damn bird was still there, unphased and looking rather bored.

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