Tiny Stories: The Madd Carnival

Popular belief has it that the universe is comprised of atoms. In reality, the universe is actually made up of…

In the month that shares its root with the octopus, where the days are flush with falling leaves and chilly weather, winds through tree branches scream “Yowza! Yowza!” announcing the arrival of the Madd Carnival which has appeared in a vacant lot from seemingly nowhere.

“Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! Step right up, folks, gather ‘round and behold the wonders you’ve read about and heard your neighbors talk about! It’s the stuff urban legends are made of and it’s all here, all live, and starting right now! Forget your fire-eaters and snake girls, your midgets and tall men, those attractions are for lesser beings, not for the likes of sophisticates such as yourselves! In here you’ll see proper freaks! Strange people! Weird people! And downright frightening people! You’ll see what they do, hear what they talk about, so keep your eyes peeled and your ears sharp because you don’t want to miss a single minute of it!”

The booming, melodious trill of the Madd Carnival Barker’s voice traveled impossibly to all the neighboring towns and villages, rousing patrons young and old, which was basically anyone with even the tiniest smoldering ember of the youthful belief in magic in their hearts, from their houses and his witty banter delivered in poetic cadence, aided by the hypnotic designs sewn into his ostentatious suit, lured them all wide-eyed down the colorfully lit midway, like the rubes they were and most likely always would be.

The tickets had been sold and patrons rushed to seek their pleasures, some to behold wonders that defied the laws of science and the boundaries of imagination, others drawn by things supernatural and metaphysical, but one lone bedraggled man was unaffected by the Barker’s siren call.

He stood at the precipice of the Madd Carnival’s entrance, careful not to cross the threshold, staring at a sign that read:

His suit was threadbare, hanging off his unhealthily thin frame, and its pale gray color made his long features look sallow. He pointed at the sign and said, “I am here for this.”

“We’ve just opened, sir,” the Barker said, staring into the man’s faded blue eyes that seemed to be filled with more death than life. “You couldn’t have left a child…”

“No, I was left, years ago, and I’d like to see Madame Destiny, please.”

If the barker was caught off-guard by the man’s statement, he showed no sign, he simply said, “I happen to be excellent with faces and yours doesn’t ring a bell.”

“Neither does yours, so you can’t have been here long, but I’m widdit, you can bank on that. Or you can ask Madame Destiny, she’ll establish my bona fides.”

Widdit was carny slang used to let midway agents and talkers know that the person was with it, or that they worked at the carnival, so the Barker dropped the politeness act and asked, “What’s yer business, mack?”

“Recompense. I come to collect what I am owed.”

Not The End…

14 responses to “Tiny Stories: The Madd Carnival

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