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Friday, July 1, 2011

From "Mumbo Jumbo Circus" by Jane George

The Mumbo Jumbo CircusThe man's jowls jiggled on either side of his face like an old basset hound's, and his gray hair frizzed wildly below his baseball cap. "I'm with the Mumbo Jumbo Circus. You have an appointment with the Ringmaster."

"The what?"

Hound dog eyes regarded her. "You said three corny old magic words and then somebody called you a freak, yes?"

Did this mean she was a freak? It was bad enough when Barbara had said it. She felt like the seedlings in her science project, stunted because she'd transplanted them too many times. But she was too unremarkable to be truly freaky. A car drove past the store and rattled over the bridge. Were Barbara and Gary out searching for her?

"Whatever." She shrugged deeper into her sweatshirt.

"And hit you, by the looks of it." Robey tut-tutted. "The Ringmaster won't be at all pleased."

He picked up his unicycle and leaned it against the rusty dumpster.

"Why should this Ringmaster care?"

Robey's eyes grew puppy-soft and moist. "That's his own tale to tell, my girl. But the magic combination of words has been uttered, and you have an appointment with the Ringmaster, should you choose to keep it."

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