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The Circus Peanut

"Heh... I just, uh, tell the story. And try not to get eaten. Heh."

0 · 369 views · located in Jupiter, Florida

a character in “The Cabinet of Curiosities”, as played by blvkmvgic


The Narrator
or, commonly referred to as the circus peanut.

So begins...

The Circus Peanut's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Matthaus Ivano Character Portrait: The Circus Peanut
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Thursday, May 11th, 1952.
Jupiter, FL.

Overhead the sun is shining, coupled with wisps of smoky clouds. The temperature hasn’t dropped below 87°F in days. It’s been months since the sleepy town of Jupiter has been disturbed, much less by crime. The small township bustles to its usual melody; ice cream drips on the sidewalks as blissful toddlers clasp their mother’s hands, shop owners sweep and polish display windows, the milk man takes his usual route.

On the outskirts of town, a queue of trailers and train cars cough and wheeze their way toward the central points of Jupiter. They’ve camped a few miles out for a week or two. Painted in intrepid letters along the side of a colossal cart reads, “Fräulein’s Cabinet of Curiosities”. From an open train door, a large man sporting a handle bar mustache and suspenders dangles his feet while puffing on a cigar. Rambling in different tongues can be heard from the entourage. Pale horses toss their head and march on as they tread alongside a train track. Tinkering of jars, lamps, and ware echoes among bare trees. An adamant female German voice calls out, “We’re almost there, so don’t get tired yet meine kleine Familie!”

The brief tumult of Jupiter quiets as a siren rings out. Minutes later reports confirm that there is a murderer on the loose. The details are vague, but the public has been made aware that Delilah and Todd McBrady have been murdered in their home. Their two children are missing, assumed kidnapped for some sick game of ransom. Terrified pandemonium ensues, men busily escort their families indoors. Ice cream dries like thick paste on concrete.

A desert-like field on the fringes of town becomes a temporary home for a traveling circus. At its furthermost side, cattails sway and a small lake ebbs. A petite woman stands, knee deep, scrubbing costumes on a washboard. Conveyance and carts disperse and park along the spidery dirt paths. A blunt hammer is brought down on wooden stakes, soon to be tethered to a candy-cane striped big top. Dwarfs and giants alike work with sweat on their brow. Suitcases and carts are unloaded, not a single personage rests. Periwinkle robes skim the main trail through camp as an aged flaxen-haired woman voices commands and requests. Her troupe abides by her speech like it is law. A satisfied smile comes to her bold red lips as miraculous architecture is erected, to be the entrance of her grand show. It is marvelous in size, its devilish head sporting a wide mouth that can fit any who dare enter.

Progress is halted as a mob of police cars pull up to the entrance. Dust clouds the mouth of Fräulein’s Cabinet of Curiosities. Her ensemble stands at attention, naturally defensive. They’ve never had a friend in the outside world, let alone been able to rely on the police for their safety or justice. The blond emerges from the mouth of the devil, elegant in her garb and thick dialogue, “Officers, how may I help you?”

“You freaks wouldn’t happen to know anything about two missing children, would’ye?” The commanding officer’s southern accent is senselessly twangy.
“Oh nein, how tragisch,” she frowns, “But we have only just gotten into town, we know nothing of this.”
“So we have no reason to suspect you, in spite of yer’ appearance just as these youngsters disappear?”
“Officer,” she presents him with a small flier, the date of their last show, and the upcoming, “I assure you we know nothing. Please, do not waste our time or interrupt further.”

The deputy crumples the bill in his hand as he turns with a grimace. A few of his patrolmen cut the ropes holding lanterns and posters high at the entryway. They crash to the earth. I nestle myself further into a bag, where other circus peanuts reside. I am relieved when a finger stops just a centimeter away from my face, and Elsa speaks again.

“Pay no mind to the brainless buffoons running this god forsaken town,” a crooked grin spread across her face, “now, back to work! Tomorrow we open for business. And tonight, everyone must rehearse!”

I feel the bag jostle. I am bounced to the surface. I can smell the smoke and popcorn in the air. So far, no sign of a hungry hand. If circus peanuts could sweat, I would be wiping a drop from my forehead right now. I try to relax, my time hasn’t come yet, has it? Glitter speckles my vision as my bottom is pinched and hauled from my fellow peanuts. I am tossed carelessly into the depths of a sparkly performer’s mouth. I was so foolish. There are so many things I didn't get to see or do! The last thing I witness are his golden tresses dancing in slow motion. His mouth closes. Darkness comes. This is my final act.

But the show, must go on.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Giggles the Clown Character Portrait: Matthaus Ivano Character Portrait: The Circus Peanut
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All along the winding road and on the straights and the narrows, the carts and trailers, the people and the horses traveled their way through space. Their elaborate carts and decorated vehicles made their way through the country and the wide landscapes and they passed by forests, fields of grass, plains and deserts. The rolled on by like they have done all along, and sitting in one of the train carts that bumped and jiggled, the contortionists dangled his legs off of the ledge, a sketchbook in his lap. With his fingertips as black as charcoal, lines ran along the page and dots were speckled on top in layers. In a brief pause, his thumb wiped under his eye, smearing the dark grey before going on. But there was a bump in the track, and the cart swayed, leaving a long, black streak Imageacross the area he just drew. An irritable moan vibrated in his long, slim throat, leaning his face away from the picture, which was far too close in the first place.

The train jumped again, and with a loud holler from the familiar German accented voice, Matthaus grinned. He leaned forward out of the cart, smiling to the front of the vehicle before standing up and setting his book down. Grabbing the frame of the box, Matthaus leaned outside of the cart, passing the message on, knowing perfectly well that sound does not travel well on trains. "Almost there ladies and gents!" He pulled himself back and twirled around to his supplies,"So let the fun begin."

Not long after, the traveling came to a halt and the ritual of unpacking and setting up the tents began. Matthuas stepped off the train, items and supplies in tow, he previously bare face now adorned with makeup. Instead of wiping away the charcoal under his eye, he added a second smear under his other, then had added cosmetic glitter. And to top it off, almost reflective black lipstick. He was feeling rather lazy about makeup today after all.

With a long pack of poles and fabric in a hefty tarp dragging behind him, he selected a particularly grassy patch and unloaded his gear. First he placed a small block and traced a round circle around it, pulling at grass every few steps for where he would put his stakes. Before continuing, he grabbed a small, blank book, opened it to a fresh page, then slide the blades he grabbed inside. It was a quick process and it only took a second longer before he drove his stakes in, which was the hardest part. He's never enjoyed sledge hammers, nor the blisters they gave him at times. But it had to be done and the stakes were put in their rightful place. He spread the red and white tarp over the circle he had created, taking care to also place the center poles evenly between them. After that, it was almost as if he was on autopilot. Matthaus had done the same routine for over a decade and setting the ropes and pulling the poles up really was just a blur. In a mere 15 minutes, his personal tent was set up, and within another half an hour, his stuff was unpacked.

And now he was hungry.

Pulling out a small bag of peanuts he had saved, the witty man perked his head up like a coyote when he noticed dust clouds raging towards their camp. Plucking a peanut and placing the whole thing in his mouth, he chewed his way to the commotion. Commotion always followed authority, didn't it? Because in some places, people knew that the authorities had no authority at all.

This was one of those places.

Watching the scene as if it was a play held just for them, Matthaus munched his peanuts like popcorn, smiling deviously as Fräulein tells the men off. He was just about to see fireworks light off too when they gave up, throwing a small tantrum with the bill before they left. Fräulein had the last word, of course, and made sure there was no worry, but Matthaus knew better to believe otherwise. "More like Baboons." Buffoons was being awfully nice. Matthaus plunged another peanut into his mouth Imageand grimaced. "Yuck." He hated bad peanuts. It always ruined everything. Scraping off the pieces left on his tongue, he flicked the awful nut away and continued on with his snack. Matthaus headed back for his tent, because as Elsa so easily put it, rehearsal should be underway and he had a lot to do to prepare.

Along the path in which he took, he had the misfortune to pass by the clown cult. At least that's what he called it. They were always together like a high school cheer leading squad, talking and giggling at their horns and shoes and flowers as if they had something to hide. It was hard to forget their faces unfortunately, especially for one who made it a point to know his pride and joy like the back of his hand. So when a bloody masked clown was juggling two pins, Matthaus managed to pause briefly. Subconsciously he started to chew obnoxiously loud once he stopped in front of him.

At first he didn't speak a word, his long locks blowing in whatever breeze there was in the bloody heat. But finally after swallowing the last handful of nuts he had thrown into his mouth he nodded towards the pins,"I hope your missing pin isn't anything like your head." What a poor soul. He must be wanting to try out or something. If Matthaus knew anything, it was that it was going to take more than a grotesque face mask and some juggling skills to get in here. "We have enough dumbbells as it is." And that wasn't including the weights for the strongmen. Matthaus plopped another peanut on his tongue then sharply quirked his head with a sarcastic tone,"Good luck with your tryout."He winked, then left the man be.

Hopefully he wouldn't be seeing him again. Gaining another lemming for the cult would just be awful.