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The Cabinet of Curiosities

Jupiter, Florida

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a part of The Cabinet of Curiosities, by blvkmvgic.

Come, come one, come all.

blvkmvgic holds sovereignty over Jupiter, Florida, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

652 readers have been here.

Copyright: The creator of this roleplay has attributed some or all of its content to the following sources:

american horror story: freakshow

Setting

Located in Palm Beach County, FL, Jupiter thrives as a suburb of the metropolitan area.
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Jupiter, Florida

Come, come one, come all.

Minimap

Jupiter, Florida is a part of The Cabinet of Curiosities.

15 Characters Here

Matthaus Ivano [11] "And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor shall be lifted- nevermore!"
Paul Dellinger [8] WIP The Illustrated Seal
Aletea Applegate [7] "With silver bells and cockle shells..."
Hecate Alptraum [7] "I'm every nightmare you ever had, your worst dream come true, everything you ever feared"
Thalassa [5] "The siren waits thee, singing song for song."
Lottie Velkin [5] "Everyone looks up to me you see...I mean it's not like anyone can look down on me...seriously it's like not possible."
Krista Diane Grande [4] The Human Pincushion... "That doesn't hurt."
Augustus Tenebrae [3] "Man is not man, but a wolf to those he does not know."
Iaera Naaheed [2] "I am Iaera, The Swallower of Swords, The Eater of Fire, The Queen of Hearts."

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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.
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Character Portrait: Giggles the Clown
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Pop Goes The Weasel



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Walking in an odd shuffling manner, Giggles saw the new circus. Freakshow. . . He thought as he rubbed his hands together, dried blood falling from them in flakes. He stumbled in the back, hearing the deputy asking around, Giggles pulled out his juggling pins and juggled them as he walked around, better to hide his face that way. There was no way he was allowing this new attraction in town without a proper look-see.

It seemed to the clown that this was a serious deal. Might even be entertaining, oh yes. Brushing past performers, bumping into a crew member here and there, Giggles wasn't certain of how well they did their thing. He was deep in thought and because of that he didn't see the other clown in front of him. Thud, colliding with the shorter clown Giggles held up his bloodied hands as a form of apology. The other clown's eyes widened and he started stammering. Giggles tilted his head, putting a finger to his lips to shush the other clown.

"You never saw me." Giggles then winked slowly at the clown. Turning away from him he twirled his pin around and sang in a low voice.
"I've. . . No time to plead and pine,
I've no time. . . To wheedle,
Kiss me. . . Quick and then. . . I'm gone
Pop. Goes. . . The weasel."


Maneuvering slowly about the tents, Giggles breathed slowly, coming out raspy and strange through the mask. The setup seemed nice to him, all the ladies in a row. Set them up and knock them down. Little ladies in a row. . . His entire form seemed tilted to the right, a haunting visage of a bloodied clown with a freaky smile. He was looking around for some sort of sign, maybe a little friend for him. He was lonely, he was lonely. . . So lonely. Giggles peered into a tent, but sadly nothing was there. Maybe if he waited long enough someone might entertain him. Humming a song and juggling he waited.

Waiting around did pay off, just negatively. A man strolled up to Giggles, looking him up and down, judging him.

"Wait a second. . . I don't know you. You don't work here at all do you. . ." The man asked, trying to assert some sort of authority. Giggles just kept juggling, staring the man directly in the eyes. The man crinkled his brow.

"I'm gonna get the deputy-" Before he could finish, Giggles brought his juggling pin down onto the man's head with a satisfying crack. Blood trickled down the man's face, his eyes lolled back.

"Uh-oh, Mr. Whiny is broken. . ." With a chuckle, Giggles set his pins down and grabbed the man under the arms and drug him into the empty tent. Wiping his brow Giggles exhaled shakily, then he went back to his post. Now with one less pin.

Too bad, juggling with two pins isn't as cool.

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.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Giggles the Clown Character Portrait: Hecate Alptraum
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The ever constant rummaging of trunks and the trembling of carts as the train continued to twist down the winding roads towards the miserable little down did nothing to disturb the red headed woman from her peaceful slumber. There she lay in her personal cart, surrounded by the many objects and props she used for her astounding show. Her blood-red, glimmering lips her parted slightly, letting out long gasp and pants, her who body frozen completely still in relaxation. Underneath the locked eyelids, deeply painted with raven paint that swirled off her temple in majestic, 3D effects, her eyes fluttered aimlessly lost in the dream world.

As the train abruptly stopped, The Illusionist (who also went by the name, Hecate) was nearly knocked out of her seat, as she was quickly woken up from the thick German accent calling out to her and the other freaks who called this circus their little makeshift home.

Rising almost robotically, she lifted her stiff arms high above her head and straightened out her body until her limbs felt loose once again. Her eyes ventured to the window, scanning the field that would become their circus. Many acts had already unloaded, as Hecate would start to do momentarily. Placing both her frail hands on the handle if her trunk, she thrusted upward with all her might, managing to lift the case from the ground slightly, before she stumbled back, dropping the case and hitting her back on the carts wooden doorframe.

The red head growled, mentally cursing her frail build of only 115lb, and began the process once again of attempting to move the seemingly floor bound trunk.

Within half an hour, she was able to drag her trunk off the train, and halfway across the field, briefly stopping to eavesdrop on the conversation between Elsa and the local police officers of Jupiter. Murder, oh what a horrifying and wonderful occurrence. The intense amount of fear, suspense, hatred and dread it invokes in the citizens, the theories and list of countless suspects as people began to lose trust in one another. What a wonderful spree of emotions circling such a quant little area at one time, a person could just cut the tension in the air with a chainsaw. Oh, how Hecate loved it, the fear being her favorite part. Fear, the one emotion that could combine all of them at once, and to feel nothing at the same time. Fear being the emotion that drives a person to the brink of insanity as the growing paranoia continues to build up on their consciousness until they reach a final breaking point. True inspiration that lies within such a horribly overlooked emotion.

Now, nearly an hour later, Hecate finally managed to lug her trunk to a satisfactory area that she would like to set up her tent for the act. As she began the trek back to the train, prepared to begin the whole journey once again, she paused once she saw Matthaus talking to a clown whom she didn't recognize. Being the ever curious girl that she had grown to be, she casually ventured towards them, keeping her shoulder turned as her ears picked up on every word the man spoke. Hecate furrowed her brow, and felt the way he treated the poor clown to be rather rude.

Once Matthaus took his leave, Hecate emerged from her hiding spot, eyes traveling up and down the clown, soaking up ever detail like a sponge. His smile, while some might deem repulsive, intrigued her. Covering his hands were, what she though was fake, flakes of blood that brought his costume together.She smiled politely, deeming the clown as someone she could get along with.

"Don't mind him." she spoke with a casual tone, placing her hands behind her back and rocking on her heels, while simultaneously patting down the lace in her knee-length black and red frilled out skirt. "What a creative costume. Truly flawless."

She pursed her ruby lips, turning her head slightly to glance at the train, where the objects needed for tomorrows show still rested. "Say, you wouldn't mind helping a frail, petit woman like myself carry her stuff to her tent, would you?" She batted her eyelashes innocently, the smirk never leaving her plump lips.

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Character Portrait: Krista Diane Grande
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#, as written by Saken
Krista’s drab trailer lurched to a stop, marking the end of the circus’s journey to Jupiter, Florida. The woman, otherwise known as the Human Pincushion, peered down at the small glass of alcohol that had a few wickedly sharp, curved fish hooks soaking in it. She knew that the moment she managed to unpack and unfold her small tent, where her act would take place, that Elsa would be on them to start practicing – as if it took a large amount of skill to sink metal through her skin and pierce her skin and pluck the pieces out.

For some reason people seemed to be fascinated by how she could deal with the metal sinking into her flesh. They loved to watch her pull the metal free, the splash of crimson that would then flow from the open wounds. They’d wince in pain each time she’d pluck one out, or gasp in astonishment simply upon seeing her face when she had her glittering hoops and barbells in. A lot of the time the people acted as if they could feel the pain of the instruments they used – which would be pretty hilarious, considering that she didn’t feel it.

Giving her head a quick shake, Krista stepped out of her trailer just in time to catch a few snippets of conversation.

“Police…”
“Murder?!”
“FREAKS!”

There was a tension in the air, already. It seemed that wherever the circus went the ‘normals’ felt it was necessary to start something with the group. They’d sneer at them in the daylight but come nighttime they’d flock to the circus, wanting to see the strange people, the wolf-boy. The irony was hilarious, how much they craved to see those who were different, even as they feared those differences.

Still, the word, Murder, worried Krista, the trouble that was going to come to the circus would affect her family, and since she didn’t know the full story she would have to seek out someone who had not been lingering in their trailer when the police came around…

Besides, it wasn’t as if she particularly had to practice. She felt no pain. All she’d need to do before her performance is dress up, add a little bit of flair, and stick a few sharp instruments through her skin. No big deal for the woman who couldn’t feel any pain.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Giggles the Clown Character Portrait: Matthaus Ivano Character Portrait: Augustus Tenebrae Character Portrait: Hecate Alptraum Character Portrait: Krista Diane Grande
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#, as written by Fable



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Nocturnal as Augustus was - and had always been - it came as no surprise that by the time morning rolled around that day, he felt an almost unbearable force weighing upon his eyelids, dulling his senses and ridding him of his energy; fatigue was an interested thing, he reflected. Such a stark contrast to the previous night, when he had spent hours on end sat upon his own personal cart. His eyes had been drawn upwards, to the dark abyss that was the night sky, and the stars' pathetic attempts to bring forth light. Augustus was aware, it seemed, that it was not the darkness he loved the most about night, but the moon itself. More beautiful than the sun in many ways, and distinctly peaceful on the whole. Yes. It has to be the moon. He had sat there for longer than he could hope to keep track of, allowing the cacophony of sounds - that were as a direct result of the train trundling along at its usually slow pace - to fade into the buzz of the night, for it was silence that he hated the most. However, when the moon had begun to lower itself, and the sun threatened to rise behind him, he had thrown himself through the open window of his cart, grumbling quietly to himself. He never seemed to have enough time with his precious moon. The sun was always too greedy for his attention, which - of course - he was not willing to provide.

Augustus allowed his entire weight to fall onto the bed, fidgeting only to tangle himself in a mess of bed sheets. Thin as they were, they provided him with enough warmth that he might be able to drift into a peaceful slumber. This was made into a rather difficult task as the carts were being dragged over thickets of dry grass and bumpy terrain. There were a few moments where Augustus doubted he was even on his own bed, but instead an inch in the air; this became painfully evident as his face smashed into the equally bumpy mattress, and a revealed spring threatened to pierce his eyeball. Practically hissing at this, he sat himself up on his bed, deciding that he probably wouldn't be able to sleep as well until they arrived. Noticing that the sunlight had begun to spill through the open window, Augustus drew his knees up to his chest and wrapped his thick arms around them, burrowing his head into the darkness created by his arms. I hope we settle camp soon, he thought, an audible sigh working its way through the subtle gap between his lips. I need sleep.

It wasn't until Augustus became aware of a familiar voice shouting down to the carts that he finally dragged his heavily-fatigued gaze to the window once again. It was still bright out, but obedient was he in his devotion to Elsa, and so he peeled his eyelids back up and shifted his legs so that his feet were pressed firm against the dirty, wooden floor of his personal cart. "Euf," was the only sound that escaped him then, which was later accompanied by a grunt of effort as he applied pressure to his arms and lifted his behind off the bed. Blinking a few more times, he stretched out his long limbs, mouth parting wide as a drawn-out yawn filled the silence of his own cart, before he turned towards the case that held his clothes. Should probably get dressed, he mused, before snorting his amusement aloud. It wouldn't do to go outside practically naked. Shaking his head with in a few light, subtle movements, he forced his legs to carry his weight forward. His arms reached for the case, popping the hatch and allowing it to swing open. The outfit he chose consisted most notably of a red and grey checked shirt and plain black jeans; the shirt wasn't tucked in and his jeans dragged against the ground as he walked out of his cart, but it did well enough for him so he wasn't too fussed.

Augustus hesitated for a few moments as his eyes scanned the surrounding area, nose crinkling in dissatisfaction, before he turned back to his cart and jumped back inside only to grab the gear he needed for the setting up of his tent. He had it packed neatly within a duffel bag to the right of the entrance, on the opposite site to his clothes case, leaning up against the wall. Next to it sat a chest-like box, in which it held most of the equipment he might need. Mainly, this consisted of a cage (to be set up before the performance) and such. He began setting this up while the others began theirs, but his attention was drawn from his 'building' as the sounds of cars skidding up filled his sensitive ears. Wincing, he turned to face them as they pulled up near to Elsa. His expression changed within a matter of seconds, from relatively passive to wary. He tensed his musculature, but made no real move towards them. It was not his place to be involved in Elsa's affairs, he knew, but he was watching closely enough that he might be able to jump in if things went south. And, luckily for him, nothing did. The police left without much of a fuss, though they had been complaining about a murder or something of the like. Augustus needn't have worried; they'd only just arrived, after all.

He finished setting up his tent rather quickly after that, working his muscles to their absolute best as he hammered posts in to keep the tent in place, and then dragged his cases over to place them within. When he was done, he stepped out and grasped his own hands, flicking dirt away from them in the process, before he allowed himself the chance to look over their setup. Everyone had done a good job, he thought. Or, at least, nothing looked like it might fall and crush his skull as he walked past. That was good enough for him. However, now that all the work seemed to be done - on his end - there came the realisation that he had two options; socialise, or rehearse. The second would most likely earn him some goodie points with Miss Elsa, he reckoned, but the first seemed much more fun. And so, with a crooked grin settling upon his lips and revealing his two over-sized canines, he set off, hoping to find someone with whom he could have a relatively decent conversation. Although, the only two people he had seen wandering about so far were Matthaus and Hecate, and a rather odd looking clown he'd never seen before. Shrugging his shoulders, he continued his walk throughout the camp, allowing his gaze to analyse the structures around him, expression hinting at an almost gentle sense of curiosity.

It had been a long while before he came to a stop, having spotted Krista, or more commonly known as the human pincushion. It was interesting, he thought, that someone could go their entire life without feeling pain. He envied her, in some sense, but pitied her in others. Not having a sense of pain rids a person of their physical awareness, so that they don't know when to stop doing something. Augustus shook his head slightly. No. I don't envy her at all. Painting a smile upon his features, even though he knew it might not be well-received, he took it upon himself to approach her. He kept a reasonable distance away, due to her usually blunt nature. He didn't exactly want to be on the receiving end of a flurry of insults, truth be told. Regardless, he lifted his arm and gestured a hesitant wave. "Hey, Krista," he greeted. "Have a nice journey?" His voice was unusually gentle as he spoke.





Characters Present

Character Portrait: Matthaus Ivano Character Portrait: Paul Dellinger
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Paul was sitting on the train like everybody else. He was getting impatient though. He sat there as the train jostled along the rails and round the bends, his head bobbing side to side slightly. "Clickity-clack, clickity-clack." Paul smiled, amusing himself. "Clickity clack, down the track." He hoped anyone else with him would be amused as well. He didn't mind the train. The rhythmic "clickity-clack" the train made was somewhat calming, knowing there would be commotion soon after. Whenever this train stopped, the show would have to start.

When the car came to a halt Paul knew what he had to do. But he surely didn't want to. He wanted to set up his tent by himself, but his arms weren't long enough to do it easily. He would be slow, and then Elsa would be mad. He didn't like her when she was mad. Drudgingly, he got off the cart and thought to pull his trunk off. "Wait a minute.." He was in his own world now, mumbling to himself. "It'd be easier from up top.." So Paul climbed back up to push it off, instead of pulling it. Getting behind it, he put a foot on the side of it and gave it a shove. There was little friction between the floor of the car and the bottom of his trunk. It slid off and hit the dry ground with a poof He wasn't worried about it breaking, it was a sturdy trunk. After all, he kicked it from place to place.

After going down a second time, he was set on doing this himself. Maybe I won't be slow. He nudged the trunk across the grass, pushing it along with his feet as he walked until he found a suitable spot. Every time he set up he was determined to do it himself. Just because he was "disabled" didn't mean he was handicapped. He got it off the train just fine, and he's moving his trunk just fine too. Whats to say he can't set up his tent just fine? He got down to open up the trunk and lay out it's contents. He could do that just fine. He could put the posts where they needed to go. Paul was doing good so far, maybe he would do it this time.

He lined up the post and the hole to tether the tent down. That worked well. He didn't have the arm length to swing the hammer down though. He tried standing on it and jumping, but it only came out and sending Paul to the ground. Yet again, he would need someone's help to put them in the ground. He went to find Matthaus, he could be counted on. Working his way to find him, he found some police officers as well. Murder? Well that clown didn't look good. He had seen some weird bastards being in a freakshow, but that guy was just not trustworthy. He was a little dirty and had some grass in his hair after the fall. Getting closer, Paul tapped Matt's shoulder. "Can you help me with my tent? Hold the post, I'll jump on it like a kangaroo or some shit." Paul already knew how well jumping on it went, but if he got someone to put the stakes in the ground, he could do the rest. He wasn't gonna go ask that juggling clown.

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Character Portrait: Thalassa
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Excitement had faded to annoyance when the newest addition had hopped into the train cart Elsa had pointed to. Thalassa realized that she wasn't the only one in this cart, there were two others - neither struck her at familiar: she still hadn't met everyone. One went to introduce themselves as she took a seat on the other side, she simply nodded and added a quick, "Thalassa." Apparently, these two had heard of her and tried to non-nonchalantly slide their belongings closer to themselves. Thalassa scoffed and with a roll of her eyes began to read a book she "found" earlier that day in the light filtering in through some cracks.

The loud train whistle was something Thalassa had begun to grow tired up, each time it sounded she found herself jumping at the encompassing noise. She'd also begun to grow restless, the cart was beginning to seem very small and with that Thalassa stood quickly - too quickly - as she stumbled a bit earning her the attention of her two fellow train riders. One gave an apologetic smile, as if he knew this was her first train ride, as he went over and opened the sliding door wider to let some fresh air in. T steadied herself by putting a hand on the side of the wall, feeling the vibrations of the train as it skirted across the tracks. She closed her eyes as her other hand grasped the bridge of her nose and she began to steady her breathing. This was going to be a long ride.

It wasn't long til Thalassa discovered that the two companions were snorers, she threw daggers at them with her now opened eyes - envious of their ability to sleep so easily through the noise of the train. Insomnia waxes and wanes like a moon phase, cycling itself through life at the most inconvenient moments, casting its shadow and plunging her deeper into the fog. She feels like a zombie as she tries to find another comfortable position - failing to do so. Uneasiness has settled into the pit of her stomach as she feels her anxiety begin to feed on it. As inexplicably as it set in, the insomnia begins to fade. She begins sleeping, but it’s shaky, unstable - a fawn on wobbly legs. Soon the fawn falls and Thalassa has come to terms with the fact she wouldn't be getting the much needed sleep that night.

With her wide-eyes beginning to droop, the blonde watched the sun rise as the train was nearing its destination. The final whistle of the train jumps the girl awake as she squints in the now bright sun which hangs overhead. She offers to help the two companions with their belongings, which they politely declined. Thalassa shrugged, staying in the cart as they took as much as they could to the place where they would be setting up their tent. In one of the bags they left, she found an apple, quickly putting it into her bag as she heard them approaching. She acted as if she was collecting all her belongings - which wasn't much - two blue duffle bags and a shoulder bag. She hopped off the cart, stumbling a little with the weight of the bags. Waiting for her eyes to adjust to the bright sun, Thalassa scanned her surroundings the dust catching her attention. Thalassa's stature went ridged at the sight of cops, her eyes concentrated on their lips in hopes to understand what was being said. She read freaks and it hit her some way as she felt herself glaring at the officer, then she read that something was missing - with that she positioned her bags into a more comfortable spot in her hands and headed away from the scene.

She found a little spot, far enough away from the commotion of the officers, she let her bags fall to the ground as she took a seat on the bigger one of the duffles. Thalassa wasn't quite sure where Elsa would want her to stay being that she didn't have her own tent yet. Leaning down she began to rummage through her shoulder bag, grabbing the apple and taking it out of the bag. She held it in front of her face for a moment, examining the deep red color before taking the tail-end of her shirt and wiping it clean. She inspected the shininess before taking a bite of the apple. Watching as others began to put their tents up and retrieve their belongings, she didn't didn't know many of the others' names, but she knew a lot of them just by the acts they did. Curious as she was, she always found herself sneaking into acts to see what abilities each of them held. She knew she'd have to help with her tank later, but for right now she had an apple to finish - and with that she took another bite.

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Character Portrait: Matthaus Ivano Character Portrait: Lottie Velkin Character Portrait: Paul Dellinger Character Portrait: Thalassa
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It wasn't the sound of Elsa's voice that awoke Lottie, but rather the sudden stop of the train that caused her to hit her head rather hard against something near the side of her trailer that she had been propped up against. She had actually been sleeping-which was odd for her. Not that she had trouble sleeping, but it was rather hard for someone of her height-seven foot two to be exact-to get comfortable in her trailer-
especially when it was moving and constantly bumping into things.

“Fucking hell.”

She slowly picked herself up once the train came to a total stop, and rubbed her head before rushing to the mirror she kept in her trailer to make sure she hadn't bruised her face-she couldn't have a bruised face so close to a performance-how unprofessional. The side of her head that got bumped however wasn't bruised-it was slightly cut. Even worse. She wiped a bit of the fresh blood from her forehead with her hankie and winced a little. Oh well, it'd heal. And once it dried up, and she put some foundation over it it would hardly be noticeable. She briefly looked back towards where she'd fallen and sighed finding the culprit of her injury.

It was the corner of her own small desk-the one where she kept her journals and ashtray. The one she tried to keep dainty and nice, a little desk full of her big dreams. She always kept the drawers locked and the key in the small compartment under her ashtray-just in case anyone ever got too curious. Not that she was insanely close with too many of her fellow performers-not enough for them to care anyways-after all she was rather intimidating and her whole life people tended to stray out of her way. She often wished they wouldn't. She hated the hopeless feeling loneliness brought out in a person.

Lottie dabbed the small bit of blood that had gotten on her desk from her fall with her hankie before holding it back over her cut. She started for the door of her trailer- after all she was rather excited to see their newest home-Florida was so different from the north. And all the other freaks would be around for her to talk to. Most of them had tents-and seeing as she didn't have a tent (she was far too tall for that sort of thing) she liked to make herself busy with helping the others pitch tents whenever they moved to a new town. Not to mention Lottie being her size had quite the easy time setting up tents. She was half out the door when she realized she'd stepped on (squashed would be a more accurate word) her copy of The Great Gatsby tearing the cover off and bending it.

She quickly picked the damaged book with a look of disappointment and sadness in her face-not unlike that of a child who accidentally squashed a butterfly in their recklessness. Like a gentle giant she carefully picked up the book with her free hand(she was working very hard at learning to grip things lightly enough to not destroy them, but enough so that they didn't slip through her hands) and laid it back down on her desk glumly.

“I'll fix you later.” She said softly to half to herself and half to the now half cover of her book. “I'll ask for tape before I come back I promise-you're my favorite book. Hang in there old sport.”

Lottie was always a little eccentric like that-talking to objects like they could talk back. She looked at the book for a second more before walking out of her trailer into the bright Florida sunlight.

Not surprisingly the grounds were already abuzz with activity of all sorts. Lottie admittedly enjoyed the scattered busyness of setting everything up, and she liked watching the entire show to come together.

Still holding her hankie to her cut she squinted into the sunlight observing the scene before her.

“It's a hell of a lot hotter than back home.” She said out loud-not to anyone in particular. She spotted Paul talking to Matthaus and was half tempted to walk over. Every once and a while she'd help Paul with his tent-it wasn't like he could really pitch it himself after all-and nobody really enjoyed Elsa's yelling. But she got the impression that she was too overbearing-and that he wasn't exactly keen on her doing all the work for him.

“Matthaus would most likely help him out this time anyways,” She told herself looking her eyes wandering in another direction. She was almost startled when she saw a girl almost staring straight at her just a few feet away. She was a rather pretty girl-fair haired and small(well everyone was small to Lottie, but this girl had a kinda nymph like way to her) and she was simply eating a apple and watching everyone else-sort of like Lottie who was also just standing around watching(not unlike a giraffe she thought to herself). Since she couldn't really remember seeing the girl around before she figured she had to be new(with people coming and going it was easy to forget who was who) and she brought it upon herself to greet the girl.

Lottie waved and walked over to the girl, kneeling over a little in a vain attempt to be more at the girl's level before talking to her. “Sorry I didn't see you there-in fact I don't think I've seen you at all-but it's nice to meet you now eh? Nice weather eh? Back home where I'm from-Canada-it was hardly ever this hot. It's rather nice I think. Any how...” She made a small gesture with her hand not occupied with her cut, before holding it out to shake. “I'm Charlotte Velkin-but everyone calls me Lottie-that's what I'm known as after all. So what's you're name?”

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Character Portrait: Matthaus Ivano Character Portrait: Paul Dellinger
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It's a very intriguing image to see when one thought about minorities having prejudices and stereotyping other groups. At least it was in Matthaus' mind. This is mainly due to the fact that when he thought of prejudice or stereotype, he thought of southern white male preventing blacks from voting or preventing the Irish from getting jobs. He didn't think much about those Irish wondering around thinking similar things, and when other's did think of it, it sometimes passes as reasonable. But the contortionist can be sure that it is never reasonable. Especially his own.

Matthaus rolled his eyes merely at the thought of another clown running around with their magic coins and cloth. If there weren't enough clowns in the word already without it being a profession then he must have especially low standards when it comes to human intelligence. Or in this case, stupidity.

He tucked the note of the potential new member away in the file cabinet in the back of his mind, passing by several tents being put up and pinned down in their stable position. Some of the tents were done faster than others, some had more design or colour, Imageother's were plain. It all depended on it's occupants. For instance, Matthaus' was a red tent with yellow stripes going down the seams and with a black lace rim around the top. And Paul's wasn't even set up yet.

As the performer made his way back to his tent to, the androgynous man felt a light tap on his shoulder. Not too many people tapped his shoulder on any given occasion unless it was a curious child asking the innocent question of his name and whether he was a boy or a girl, which didn't happen as often as one might think. Usually he was just called from across the Big Top or his name would be yelled angrily for one reason or another. It was convenient at the very least and much more efficient than walking over and tapping him. Or maybe it made people uncomfortable because of the way he reacted when people tapped his shoulder.

For a brief moment, the blonde's eyes fluttered closed for that second as his shoulders fell forward, his scapula moving under his skin. His neck took a sharp turn and his chin raised over his shoulder and landed on the back of his shoulder. His eyes woke and his shoulder returned to their natural position which forced his neck to turn even more until his head rested peacefully as he continued to walk. It took a moment for the darkly coloured eyes to adjust to the light since their brief darkness, but Paul was a recognizable man, even with sun spotted vision. "Hello Paul." His gender neutral voice spoke in a coquettish manner. It wasn't very often that people responded with the same frisky sentiment, not that it was expected, but Paul seemed much less enthusiastic about the question than Matthaus, even when blonde knew how the interaction would end.

Paul needed help again.

There was always something particularly alleviating when Paul asked him for that favour. It wasn't the first time he helped pitch the tent and it wouldn't be the last, but the comfort that radiated off of the task never failed to better the set up times he had so long endured. Matthaus would like to think he knew himself well and understood why he thought or felt certain things or in certain ways, and although he knows the general answer as to why with Paul's case, he hadn't been able to pinpoint the actual source of this gratification. He knew it came from both the task and the question itself, but nothing specific ever came to mind, and he had put in numbered hours contemplating that very thing.

Nevertheless, Matthaus has never refused.

"Alright." The emaciated man lifted his chin so his head can return to it's rightful throne. "But I believe you'd have to be a Kangaroo because your other option doesn't actually move." If shit started jumping around then he wouldn't be sure if it would be the end of the world or the beginning of the ape's take over of it. Of course it was just a joke, but what a satire that would make.

Stopping in his stroll, he turned to fully face the picture book, running painted fingernails through his hair and pulling it up into a long tail. "Where are you pitching it?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aletea Applegate Character Portrait: Giggles the Clown Character Portrait: Matthaus Ivano Character Portrait: Augustus Tenebrae Character Portrait: Hecate Alptraum Character Portrait: Krista Diane Grande Character Portrait: Lottie Velkin Character Portrait: Paul Dellinger Character Portrait: Thalassa
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Atop a bobbing and jumping trunk sat a girl. Surely from how she sat, she couldn’t be more than five feet tall. No older than sixteen. The apples of her cheeks were an innocent flush of pink. Her eyes were dark and circular, soulful with the evercoming curiosity and mystery of a doll’s. On this particular day, the right side of her ample tresses were Prussian blue, while the other side was as dark as her gaze. Coan silk fashioned into a lavender bow was pinned slightly to the left of her head. Her small feet kicked above the floorboards of a train car that progressed on large pin wheels, adorned in matching Coan slippers. Belted, a blouse and skirt accentuated what waist she did have. If not for the slight curve of a womanly figure, she could pass for thirteen easily. A small gap in her front teeth showed behind parted lips. Her expression was nothingness.

Dusky eyelashes batted as all gravity ceased to exist, the queue of luggage and vehicles halting. The tired sound of a poorly tuned accordion drew to a close. It didn’t take much for Aletea’s small frame to go flying from the trunk - it following, and nearly crushing her. She scrabbled for a moment to evade danger, pulling herself toward the extremity of the oversized handcart. When she landed on the dry earth, Jupiter’s dust rose from the ground and enveloped her feet. She could hear Elsa’s vernacular in the distance.

This site was truly a sight. Though the majority of its acres were dictated by dry sand and dirt, it was quite the setting. Elsa would have a field day with it. There was so much space - so much more room for isolated acts. Or would she go for that? Elsa had trouble giving anyone their own act entirely, or letting them run a tent or stand alone. Aletea glanced around. Off to one side there were woods. Cattails hemmed the edge of a sort of reservoir off to the other, whose water was miraculously blue and clear. Arums reached toward the small waves created by a gentle summery breeze. Aletea made a mental note of their location. Fancied making wild bouquets, sometimes sold them if Elsa suggested and endorsed it. After all, the cabinet could use all the revenue they could get. One way or the other.

The petite girl wasted no time after watching the performers disperse. In less than a half hour the big top was up, then Elsa’s regal and delicate tent. Soon the grand entrance was assembled and as daunting yet, inviting as ever. Aletea actually liked the idea of the entryway, masquerading as a giant devil’s head, a portal into an unknown world. She was four steps out and hanging a lantern jar when a brief siren blared, and officers of Jupiter’s quiet little town braked hard and erupted from their cars.

Instinctively Aletea backed away, elfin feet quavering. She hadn’t realized until Elsa barked somehow quietly, that she’d stumbled into the circus owner in a backward fashion. “Go back to the main grounds and press my costume, püppchen. Do whatever it is you need to, and for crying out loud, stay out of the way. Geh, jetzt!” Aletea learned a few of the German terms over time. 'Go, now. Little doll. Shut up. Get to work. This is terrible. You look terrible. Fix this. Hurry up.' The usual commands, for the most part. The girl scurried and jolted to attention, removing herself from the situation with elective haste.

But, she couldn’t help but pause on her way to Elsa’s tent when she saw a peculiar and sort of lonesome looking clown. His mouth was ragged red, perhaps painted with anxious hands. The harder she looked, the more apparent his disguise became. Though half of his face was painted, the other half was covered with a mask held by a bit of yarn. Kind of ramshackle. He wasn’t one of the performers of Elsa’s cabinet. When she was within a few yards, she realized how colossal he was in comparison to herself. Taken by curiosity the girl went a bit bowlegged. Stared her usual vacant stare, eyes gaping and full of questions her mouth would never solicit.

The wolf, seal, contortionist, pincushion and all the others bustled around. Still hard at work. It shook Aletea from her pondering. She pivoted a bit, circle skirt rising briefly as she turned to see a dwarf cross her path and snap, “What are you looking at?” Again, as almost a rehearsed reaction, Aletea stepped back. Not a friend in sight. She sighed heavily and drudged toward the queenly tent beside the big top.

A short distance away from Elsa’s territory was Paul’s. He appeared to be having some trouble with the stakes. Aletea watched him exhibit his independence as he hopped sort of rabbit-like on one of the tent struts. Briefly she spoke up, a Southern inkling in her soft voice, “Would you like a hand?” She of course wasn’t surprised when her offer was not taken happily, Matthaus coming onto the scene in his arch way. With such grace demonstrated in his walk, so soft for someone who was so strong and pliant like a rubber band. Aletea cleared her throat and tried to stifle her slight embarrassment, maybe to give the notion that when she asked if Paul needed her assistance, that she was really just, coughing, or something. Obviously she knew he didn't need her help. Or didn't prefer it.

Pressed and hangered, a grand striped getup was hung beside a massive Oak armoire. Aletea admired her work, looked up at it, ran her pygmy digits down the fabric to ensure there were no folds, no wrinkles. Perfect. She exited the tent, its coral and violet draperies falling behind her head. Squatted, a blond girl polished an apple keenly betwixt tents. Aletea had never seen this one before. But, given her most recent rejection, she wasn’t going to speak up or try to make friends with someone who more than likely saw her as Elsa’s pet, just like the rest.

In a forsaken sway she swept toward the biggest tent. It’s ‘doorway’ was pinned open, fresh painted wooden chairs lined symmetrically before the stage. Humming, Elsa’s doll padded down the center walkway, studying the props on stage and singing every now and again as she lifted them one by one. Hoops and ribbons for the contortionists. Collars and shackles for the wolf. A classic microphone for Elsa. Various magic boxes and cases. A ladder for anyone who wanted to stand at Lottie's height. A particularly concurrent doll costume...

She heard Hecate in the distance. The mystic. It reminded her, before she had a chance to illicitly slip into the doll costume, that she wanted to ask something. About fortunes, futures, and bad luck. The small girl sidled toward the fluorescent haired performer and peeped, "Hecate? Could I ask you something?"

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Character Portrait: Aletea Applegate Character Portrait: Giggles the Clown Character Portrait: Hecate Alptraum
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Pop Goes The Weasel



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As Giggles stood, observing everything with curiosities galore, he was approached by a man. He could tell before the man even spoke, this ladylike man was a snobby spoiled brat. Then the man spoke and low and behold. Rude to boot.

"I hope your missing pin isn't anything like your head. We have enough dumbbells as it is." Then the man strolled away. Muttering under his breath Giggles clutched one of his pins tightly.

"Manners, manners Mr. Prince. . . Your crown seems to be too tight." He set his pins down as a young woman approached him. She smells nice. As she spoke to him Giggles smiled brokenly under his mask. She doesn't get it either. She then asked him if maybe he would help her carry things. Giggles tilted his head, his eyes focusing on the lady.

"I. . . C-can help you carry." His voice was low and raspy as he took the bags from the woman. The stench of rot and blood radiated off of Giggles. He turned to her and made soft breathing sounds.

"Carry miss Red's bags where? C'mon princess tell me." He asked, but before he could receive an answer a girl appeared asking the red one if she could ask something of her. The girl was perfect. A precious doll, a doll. . . A child. . . He dropped the bags and shuffled closer to the girl who just arrived.

"Little doll, little doll. . . May I come over and play? With your fancy gowns and your hollow eyes. . . Let me in, let me see. . ." He whispered just loud enough for her to hear. He grabbed her hand and looked up at her shyly, like some sort of wild animal, yet tame only for one. He became excited and pulled out a stained fabric rose.

"Can you take this flower of mine. . . Say you won't forget me dolly." He bowed his had and held up the blood-stained rose to her. He had this urge, I need to take her from here. My personal princess.

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Character Portrait: Cerise Mitchell
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Her whole life she had been enthralled by circuses.

These were above the exception, she loved everything about them. It was a coincidence that herself and Elsa Mars had arrived in the same providence not long after each other. It gave her more of a reason to go and watch the show come alive. She was always intrigued, the talents were what made her swoon. More than anything else.

She had left her daughter at home to get this job done, she believed it'd definitely pay her well for a full article.

As a matter of fact the woman was on the verge of losing her job because of her lack of focus on her job due to her attention going more to raising her daughter. The world of employment was never truly kind to those like herself so she had to do her best to prove her worth to her employers and scoop something interesting. This was her time, to write about something she was passionate about and would appeal to the masses everywhere.

She took a deep breath and felt her body tense, it was her second day within the area of Florida and she had felt very unwell due to jet lag. So what she did was go out for a stroll to pass her time. Make her feel somewhat less nauseous and anxious. The woman held her jacket close to her as she walked. One foot after the other.

Click, clack, click, clack.

Her boots made a sound that gave her a chill down her spine. However she had to stop, as an officer walked up to her. She cocked her head in confusion. "How can I help you?" She then asked. He then smiled to her, greeting her and asked, "Have ye seen two children around here?" Cerise shook her head. "Only arrived a day ago. Why?" The woman asked, he just looked at her "They've gone missing, 'tis a shame." He muttered and the blonde nodded in agreement. "Absolutely." She then thought, wondering if there was any other way to help the officer. "Anyone else you've asked, Sir?" Cerise inquired before he nodded.

"Heard that people ain't seen them, no useful hints. Not even the freaks seen 'em."

Then her eyebrow raised and her eyes lit up. "Freaks you say? Whatever do you mean?" She asked, he just pointed over down south from where she was. "There's a freakshow down south of 'ere, probably going to perform soon." He then suggested and the woman nodded. "Ah, alright." She added and smiled before he thanked her for her time and they departed.

What she had with her was a notepad and pen in a bag, she would write her experiences in her notebook as time went by and make an article from it.

She then walked south, hoping to maybe observe some of the people there and their behaviour, if not she'll wait and sneak around when they perform a show. That was her plan and knowing her and her way with words, she was confident it would work out in her favour.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aletea Applegate Character Portrait: Matthaus Ivano Character Portrait: Iaera  Naaheed Character Portrait: Lottie Velkin Character Portrait: Paul Dellinger Character Portrait: Thalassa
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With each bite of the apple the blonde began to realize just how muggy Florida was. She remembered vacationing in the state with her family when she was smaller. There was two things you couldn't forget about Florida - the humidity and the ocean. A dreamy look crossed Thalassa's normally stoic facial features as she reminisced on the serene, crystal blue water that beckoned on-lookers to come nearer as if the waves themselves coaxed them closer. There was just something about water that appealed to the blonde, the divine sound of waves crashing on the shore, the lure of the sunlight as it reflected off the surface, and the enticing warmth of the salty water as it lapped over your feet-

The dreamy look disappeared as realized that in her daydream-like state she had startled the tall maiden. Thalassa's eyes quickly flickered away from the girl as she waved, avoiding all eye contact once Charlotte began to make her way over. Thalassa knew almost everyone's name, she was good at putting names to faces and Elsa had advised her to know the names of all the cabinet. She awkwardly looked toward the sky, as if checking the weather, squinting as the right side of her face scrunched up - reacting to the bright sun as her lips parted revealing her sharp canines. Her attention was back on the girl as she spoke, particularly the cut that adorned the forehead as the tall girl bent over in an attempt to attain the same eye level. "How did you get that?" Thalassa asked, ignoring how rude she came across as she seemed to have disregarded what the girl had said before Charlotte held her hand out: it took T a moment as her attention flickered to the hand presented in front of her. She barely heard what the girl asked, let alone said - catching her comment on the weather, Thalassa bit back a sardonic joke about "How's the weather up there?" - luckily she already knew the girl's name. She shook her confusion away as she apprehensively shook Lottie's hand. "Thalassa." She muttered, almost mechanically now - she had gotten so use to having to give her name. She understood why they were called the Cabinet of Curiosities. "Do you need some help with that cut?" She asked before really thinking it through, she had no idea how she could help. Suppose I could get water and help her clean it..she thought to herself as she peered up at Lottie for a moment before looking back to the apple in her hand and taking another bite.

As she waited for an answer from Lottie her eyes flickered from one person to another. Matthaus had already set up his tent which took him no-time, clearly he was a pro at setting tents - A pro that Paul seemed to had recruited to help set up his own tent. The sight of the two going to set up a tent reminded the blonde that she needed to ask Elsa where she was to set up her own tent. Elsa made it clear she wanted Thalassa away from any of the valuable acts' tents - didn't want things to end up..missing. Her gaze flickered to a the doll-like girl who had made camp near Paul. Her name was unique, one that Thalassa couldn't quite remember - she knew it started with an A or T. Her gaze studied the deep blue color of the right side of the girl's head, it reminded her of the deepest depths of the oceans as the girl disappeared into the main tent where all the acts performed. Her thought process then took a left turn as she scanned the area looking for Iaera. She was the first person Elsa introduced her to, and T developed a sort of apprentice/mentor relationship with the beige goddess who ate fire - something she would never understand as a water lover.

Thalassa's attention was back on Lottie, hoping she hadn't zoned out again. She really needed to learn how to make better first impressions. She remembered Iaera telling her that she needed to learn to smile, make guests feel more comfortable around her. So, she decided to experiment as she gave a rather lopsided grin to Lottie - more so a smirk as the right side of her mouth curved more than the left. She sighed at her failed attempt at being "friendly."

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Character Portrait: Aletea Applegate Character Portrait: Giggles the Clown Character Portrait: Hecate Alptraum
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Before she could advance further into the depth of her inquiry, the lonesome clown appeared again. And it really did seem, as though he simply appeared. With washed out color in his hair, twisted into three vertical pieces, eyes wide with enthrallment, he shuffled away from Hecate briskly. The rhythm of his walk was all off. Something was terribly off. Wrong. Hecate’s luggage and setup was abandoned in the clown’s pithy expedition as he scuttled up to Aletea.

Straightening her mustard yellow shirt, she tried to fix an expression of confidence. He seemed to approach in halftime as the small thing tugged tiny fingers through the ends of her curls. The apples of her cheeks drained of their usual pinkish hue. Obviously he was a performer, or had been, or wanted to be. He had props on hand, and was in costume. If he was for any reason interested in her, she had to handle it with some sort of grace. Uneasily she shifted. Social poise was something she had lacked lately and, she was in no rush to make a fool out of herself in front of Hecate, too. For a girl, a newcomer with no friends, looked down upon really as a puppet, it felt like maybe some of her reputation was riding on this clown and whatever came out of his mouth once he figured out what he wanted to say.

"Little doll, little doll. . . May I come over and play? With your fancy gowns and your hollow eyes. . . Let me in, let me see. . ."


His void whisper sent chills up her spine. Was this riddle of his something she should be taking into account? Would he maybe make a great children’s addition to the cabinet? Of course it wasn’t up to her, nor would she try to pull strings. But should she have been talking like some professional, a true carnie? It of course occurred to her that he peered into her with this glassy look of fascination. What he was truly thinking or feeling, Aletea didn’t know. She couldn’t see his mouth.

He seized her hand, his digits engulfing hers with ease. She still hadn’t managed to think of a response for this all too perplexing encounter. But steadfast, she maintained eye contact with him, and tried not to flinch or grit her teeth under the pressure of anxiety. Somehow a smooth smile pressed itself into appearance, a tiny glimpse of the gap between her teeth showing as she stammered, “O-oh, what’s this?” Her voice became pint-sized, her eyelashes batting with confusion as he displayed knightly behavior in a grand bow and gift. She tried to conserve the polite look of bliss, but it was hard not to twist her face or vomit. Something smelled terrible. Rotted. Dead.

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The clown’s hands also appeared to be poorly painted, crusted with red debris. He grasped a fake flower, handing it to her. With a bashful wave of her skirt, she murmured, “For me? Thank you, sir.” As calmly as she could manage, she accepted his gift, replying to his request, “I won’t forget you, ‘sides, sure we’ll run into each other again. Look at where we are. Speaking of which, Elsa is gonna' tan my hide if I don't get back to work.” Nervously she laughed, patted the top of his hand, glanced to Hecate with doe-like bewilderment, and scurried away, forgetting all about whatever it was that she thought to ask of the girl.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aletea Applegate Character Portrait: Matthaus Ivano Character Portrait: Paul Dellinger
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Paul had tapped Matthaus' shoulder, expecting him to say yes. He almost always asked him for help, and he always said yes. Matt had been a life saver to Paul. Sure, some people helped him occasionally, but Matt was reliable and never seemed annoyed to aid him. What he didn't quite expect was for his shoulder to move under the skin he had tapped. After his little routine ended, he greeted him with his head on his own shoulder. "Well, you were always one to turn heads." Paul let out a fake laugh, "hahaha," hitting his chest as he couldn't hit his knees, they were too far away. He smiled and softly chuckled at it after. "I shoulda been a clown." He was partly kidding. It would of been neat, but he felt it would of been limiting. Might as well be funny with his regular act, instead of having one solely on being a fool. It was more respectable this way. "Though, then I'd end up like that guy." Talking about the stranger of course. "I don't like em. Not one bit. Shouldn't be trusted. He's not with us, is he?" He smiled and paused briefly. "Hope Elsa rips him a new one." Everyone knew how... "aggressive" Elsa could get, and Paul found it amusing that it might be aimed at someone else for a change. He probably should of taken note of how Matt spoke to him, but Paul saw it as harmless. He already dresses like a girl..

Like always, Matt agreed. "Alright. But I believe you'd have to be a Kangaroo because your other option doesn't actually move." Did he mean his arms? Paul feigned a frown, but soon smiled. "You mean these?" He flapped his shortened arms around. He got close and hit Matt's arms with his fingers playfully. "Where are you pitching it?" Paul pointed with his shortened arms. "See that gap where all the other tents are?" He started walking back to his spot, his battered trunk waiting for him.

When they came back he saw Aletea at his tent, or where it will be soon enough. Did she want to help him? Now he felt bad. He didn't hear her ask him if he needed help. She was so small and quiet, she didn't really pull attention to herself. She would for someone who'd never seen her before, a little bit of shock and curiousity bringing them in. She still could help him if she wanted to. Well, knowing that Matthaus liked to, might have to fight him for it. "Aw, I'm sorry. I didn't see you there dear." Paul called most girls 'dear'. It was just something nice to call them. He called Aletea it more often, because of her age but mostly her size, only coming up to his chest. He called Elsa it a few times, irritating her as he thought it would. He was going to ruffle her hair, but he saw she probably took a long time to get it that way.

"Okay, lets start... wait.. here?" Paul walked around, thinking of how to go about this. "If I want the front here.." He didn't want the entrance to be going out to the tent next to his. He wanted it to look like the rest. "Okay, so lets put a stake there then.." The two started working on it, and after a short time they were finished. Others had fancy tents with vibrant colors and little frills and borders to accent it. Paul wasn't to picky about his tent. Especially since it was such a pain to put up. He had a simple tent, with ivory white and sky blue repeating. There was still some time left before the show however. "Well Matt, what you wanna do now?"


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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aletea Applegate Character Portrait: Matthaus Ivano Character Portrait: Iaera  Naaheed Character Portrait: Augustus Tenebrae Character Portrait: Hecate Alptraum Character Portrait: Ramona Oh Character Portrait: Krista Diane Grande Character Portrait: Lottie Velkin Character Portrait: Kristopher Dahlia Character Portrait: Paul Dellinger Character Portrait: Thalassa Character Portrait: Cerise Mitchell Character Portrait: Jean Rainey
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Friday, May 12th, 1952.
Jupiter, FL.



Routinely busy pedways are barren in Jupiter, Florida. Not more than twenty hours ago, murders were confirmed in the placid pastel township. Businesses are dull, devoid of revenue and company. Managers idly kick rocks at the stoops of their establishments while a single cloud passes overhead. You wouldn’t think it was the beginning of a weekend. The air is stiff and muggy, whispers of homicide coating the silence with poisonous gossip. A word or two is spoken of the visiting Cabinet of Curiosities. The sun hoists itself up on an invisible string and cooks the world below as if it were putting the blame on Jupiter for its own tragedy.




“Did you hear about those freaks rolling in yesterday?”

“Police didn’t even think to check one of those tacky train cars for the missing children.”

“One of those weirdos could have eaten them!”

“I might buy a ticket, though.”

“God himself could not create creatures so monstrous.”






The police department finds nothing to go on, not even a hint as to whether the missing children are dead, kidnapped, or runaways. Their work is composed and tedious, even for a group of presumed hay-chewing imbeciles. Jupiter’s protective bubble disintegrates as citizens’ minds go amok with fear. Television screens flicker with washed out images and reports of no new found evidence. Ads aimed to put color into an otherwise drab world invite locals to a traveling freak show.

Two miles outside of town, the rented fairgrounds are aglow and engaged. Accordions, violins, and trumpets play a happy, upbeat tune. The hiss in between its melody gives a sinister warning to those who pay attention. Elsa Mars sways on a dirt path, smoke leaving her mouth while she gives pointers as her performers walk by. A woman that appears double her height passes. Fräulein glances up and croons, “Tonight I want you to hold my sweet Matthaus and Ramona on those strong shoulders. They will do the rest.” The amazonian beauty nods and continues toward her makeshift residence for last minute prep. In her wake comes a snarling dark haired boy, alpha aura rolling off of him like thick sweat. Elsa bats an eye at him, a carnal look of approval, but advisory on her tongue, “Keep the growling to a minimum, schönen jungen, unless you are in your cage. We cannot afford to frighten any customers away this time around. Rip your shirt off or something, the ladies will pay extra.”

While a tall, tattooed man combs his hair, a flaxen haired woman with lips as red as coral peeks around a corner. She has a pen and notepad on hand. She is quick to duck whenever Elsa looks her way. A dark haired girl walks past the wash troughs, a handful of clanking hooks held by pale fingers. An older man pushes a wheelbarrow full of other sharp, stainless steel behind her. He is quieter than the rest, with soot smearing his hands and neck. His eyes are flecked with era and knowledge, years worth of stories beyond them. He is a handyman. Behind him trots yet another part of the string of conveyance.

She is tiny and wide eyed, wrapped in periwinkle silk that matches her lipstick. Elsa snaps at her, “Don’t drag that fabric! Das ist schrecklich, Thalassa worked her hands to the bone ensuring that dress looked perfect!” Like a smaller twin or protégé, a girl with tow-colored hair and a round face cracks to attention and nods. She was the seamstress of which Elsa spoke. To avoid further madness, or upsetting Fräulein, a lithe young man scoops the periwinkle doll off her feet and carries her like precious cargo. He is careful in how he touches her, cautious not to let the adored fabric get caught on his scale-like skin. He doesn’t want to hear anymore complaining from Elsa about how careless her troupe can be. But he too, is quiet.

Customers line up an hour early, easily a hundred or more of them. They’re eager to throw their money into the ticket booth. Even women holding infants smile and keenly wait their turn. Others hold the hands of whining children. Hungry looking men stare after the glimpses of a tawny skinned woman carrying fire beyond the gates. She hums quietly and gives a brief word of encouragement to a girl with orange, sunshiney hair. The show is going to begin, in spite of it being much earlier than anticipated.

I have melted somehow back into one, lumpy piece. That’s the charm of the blazing southern sun, I suppose. I avoided being digested in a twist of fortune and find myself bonding to my other circus peanut colleagues. My wildest aspiration is to continue cohering until I form myself into the biggest circus peanut known to man. Then, I too, will have a spot in Fräulein’s Cabinet of Curiosities. My dreams are dashed for the time being, as my bag, my home, is handed off to a man and his family. He clenches the plastic so tightly I fear I may suffocate. We pass under striped fabric. I pray that I am alive long enough to finally see the show for myself. Elsa greets her audience in both German and English and the applause is tremendous as the music begins.

And I know, even if I am not long for this world, I can die happy, here in the presence of performers and exquisite curiosity.
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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aletea Applegate Character Portrait: Giggles the Clown Character Portrait: Matthaus Ivano Character Portrait: Hecate Alptraum Character Portrait: Lottie Velkin Character Portrait: Paul Dellinger
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Having pulled the black, stretchy ring from his emaciated wrist, his other hand grasping his hair at its base at a high point on his head, he quickly tied and double tied his now long and golden tail. Florida had always been hot, which was something Matthaus never liked. Don't get it wrong, he liked it much better than the cold, because the cold made it harder on him when he stretched than the heat did, but he didn't have to enjoy the heat itself just because he hated the cold. Everyone got all sweaty in the heat, and although that doesn't bother him directly, the reaction it got is what did. Everyone always moaned and groaned all day and complained about the smell. Maybe not the circus itself, but there is always, and he meant always, is at the very least thirty different customers who complain.

Those who have been around in the Cabinet even half as long as Matthaus has had long gotten used to the stick of the perspiration and the stench of raised arms, for they all sweat even in the cold at times. It just got to the contortionist when those who watched had the gull to bitch about it. Those salty sardines who always packed every show (except maybe a few recent acts) never have seen a hard days work in their lives. And better yet, they pay good money to walk around in the sun all day, which one should get used too anyway since it's good for you, and they sit shoulder to shoulder to watch even warmer performers doing outrageously hot acts, Imagesometimes with fire, and yet they still blame it on global warming and nature's revenge. If they can't even stand to sit in a tent for a few hours without melting, then why would they come in the first place? Things like that boil his water.

As well as strangers on the grounds.

Matthaus knew he had a crown too small for his head. Everyone did, or so he hoped. It helped keep his ego inflated after all. What good is one if it's not huge? As useful as an infected lab rat. But ego didn't mean his lens was any different. Paul thought the clown was strange too. Good. He wasn't the only one this time.

"Making us laugh
And banish that frown,
The simple duties
Of a clown.
" Matthaus glared over his shoulder, not too much unlike his reaction to Paul. He turned to Paul as if this was the first time he's stated the fact. "I don't like clowns."

But the day is still at hand and Paul didn't seem to get his joke. Good thing he didn't like clowns.

"No Paully, not your arms." Matthaus grinned, erasing any hint of a joke from his tone. But knowing Matthaus, he always quickly drew it back,"I was talking about your crap." He laughed, flinching comically at the nudge. The blonde's hand raised and placed over the tingling skin, his lower lip perching out in a bulbous fashion. "Ow. Some thanks." The lost stray look hardly worked on the eyes who has seen is more than it bargained for, but maybe that's what made it funny. And it was the humor in the sarcastic glance that made him laugh yet again, gently shoving the tall glass of nails back.

But back to the task at hand. The faster they all can get practicing the more money they'll make. And the more fun it will be. So Julian followed behind Paul with his head high, his discoloured eyes falling on the manikin girl along the way. The porcelain frame was admirable among any sane mind, it didn't matter what gender you were. If animals were intelligent, then it wouldn't even Imagematter what species either. But since animals didn't have half a brain to admire beauty even if they bit into it, Matthaus had the sight all to himself and to enjoy it. Or so he always thought. She was, in technicality, Elsa's property, but the poor doll was no property at all. She was a magnificent display of personality and life, and he tried desperately to make the most of every moment he had with the walking perfection he could.

She was always quite though. The poor dear wasn't even heard by any pair of ears besides his, and that was only because he was listening. It also helped that he had learned to read lips over the decade plus he's been in this mystery box. Paul apologized for not having noticed her offer, but Matthaus tried to assure the poor figurine by waving with his fingers. They briefly reached his lips in which he blew the light kiss off with a soft breath, and it floated to the air in her direction. She then went off to do good somewhere else. The little do gooder.

"Looks good, Paully." Matthaus smiled at the open space. As Matthaus prepared to get the tent up, his ears tuned in on his instructions, not that he particularly needed it. It was just polite, he guessed. "Alright, let's get this bad boy up then." He lugged the hammer on his shoulder, setting up the first stake. He then started pitching the tent with the seal, hammering the stakes in and getting the tent ready to get the main post up.

In hardly any time at all, the tent was put up and ready for Paul's sleepy eyes. But now that it was, it had to wait until nightfall, because both their eyes were awake in the sun. Set up was usually the time of practice and casual conversation, usually while one practiced. There normally wasn't a whole lot of time between set up and the show, and never nearly enough time as Matthaus would like. But if Paul wanted to do something then he supposed he could spare a few moments. His cornblue eyes flickered around.

The first thing he came across was their gentle and clumsy giant, in which he responded with a smile and downwards chromatic scaled whistle. Next he saw Hecate with the clown he told off, and with the poor Aletea rushing away. "I don't like clowns. " He repeated. "Come, just for a second Paul." He waved a finger as he himself walked nimbly on over to the walking doll.

"Miss Applegate." He called, placing his hand on the furthest shoulder from him. He spoke in his signature, corrective manner that sounded more like satirical sarcasm than anything. "What have I told you about dangerous crowds?" The irony is that he never recalled calling clowns a dangerous crowd at all. He's stated he never liked them, but the general terms of crowds never seemed to come up. But speaking of things he's never spoken of as if he speaks of yesterday was yet another abnormality about him. Which was, indeed, normal.

"Beware those quick to praise
for they need praise in return.
Beneath what seems a benevolent disguise
Perhaps is concealed a menacing surprise.
"

He loved it when two poems can come together like that. He's always loved Charles Bukowski, but his poems go so well with others to make a point. But Matthaus gestured to the blood stained rose as he spoke, however, not touching it for the sake that it might, heaven forbid, mean something to her.

Gifts from clowns are hardly gifts at all, but a slapstick waiting to happen.