a soliloquy

 
My name is Mike Kandinsky and I manage a Carnival.  We travel the Midwest, mostly, and Canada.  At the time of my story, we were just outside of Red Bow, getting ready to head on over the border.  It was early morning and I was reading my paper and on my second cup of coffee when Maude Lemon knocked on my trailer door…

“Come on in, Maudie.  Cuppa?”

“We need to talk, Mike.  It’s about Tiny and me.”

“What’s up, Maudie?”

“Tiny and me, well, we’re gonna get married and we want you for Best Man.”

I’ve known Maudie for many years.  Hell, we have a kid together. She lives with Maude’s  Aunt Polly back in St. Paul.  We don’t want her to be any part of Carnie life. So when Maudie tells me she’s gonna marry Tiny Tom, the sideshow’s smallest man, I’m thinking she’s a few bubbles off center.  And, like a stupid man, I tell her so.  She didn’t take it too well.

“Thank you for being a jerk.  Now, will you honor us with your nasty self at our dinner? Vows will be at Pastor Suzie’s trailer next morning.”

“Just let me say this, Maudie.  He barely stands to your waist, darlin’.  There’s a reason he’s called “tiny”.  You’re gonna break him.”

“We’re having a prenuptial dinner tomorrow night.   Antoine is making his special beef and I expect you to toast Tiny and me in an acceptable manner.”

And off she went. I shouted after Maudie, saying something about how she must have missed playing with dolls as a kid and she gave me the finger.  She was right.  I can be nasty.  Oh, I’ll propose a toast to the happy couple, all right.

The evening of the dinner was upon me and I was ready.  Did I happen to mention that Maudie is the Bearded Lady?  I know, I was drunk and she was drunker and we made a kid.  And our kid doesn’t know about Maudie’s career choice.   Aunt Polly’s always checking the girl for facial hair, poor darlin’.  I bet Tiny doesn’t know about Maudie and me and the kid.  And there’s something else I am sure she never told him as sure as I am that he’s never seen her naked.  I was on a mission to save Maudie.

“May I have your attention, please.  I’d like to toast Maudie, not only the best Bearded Lady I ever knocked up, but my favorite hermaphrodite .  And Tiny Tom, I was kinda hoping your wife in Toronto would’ve been here but she’s busy hooking and couldn’t get away.  And another thing…”

Well, I didn’t get to another thing.  Maudie hit me with that left hook of hers and Tiny climbed on the table and came straight at me.  Luckily, Maudie loves me and swatted him like a fly.   Carnies love a brawl and it was like a regular circus in there.

“Hermaphrodite, Mike?”

“Aw, Maudie.  I couldn’t tell ’em about, well,  the other  thing.

***

Flash Fiction Challenge #14
Word Count:  500

Prompt:  Oh, I’ll propose a toast to the happy couple, all right.

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