Monday, July 27, 2009

at the circus: the socialist

for previous episode, click here

to begin at the beginning click here





the circus was in town, and gigi, hope diamond, and irma landed on top of the big top.

irma landed on her back. "this is real comfy. i could lie here all day."

gigi had landed closer to the edge and peered over it. "look at all the people. we can get lost really easy here."
"i think we should stick together, at least for now," said hope diamond.
"see you around," answered gigi, and jumped.
hope diamond ran to the edge and watched gigi float down into a crowd of people in front of a cotton candy stand.
nobody paid much attention to gigi as she trotted past the row of game stands and food stands and went back behind the big tent.



gretel, of the flying gingerbread twins, was taking a smoke break. she was from the black forest and didn't bat an eye when she saw the imp staring at her.
"hello. little devil girl."
"hello, yourself. what is it going to be, your body or your soul?"
"how about a cigarette?" gretel held her flat pack of turkish cigarettes out to gigi.
"ugh." gigi stared at her. "aren't you afraid?"
"i used to be a devil girl myself."
"i don't believe you."
"no. i was."
"what mage put his spell on you?"
"it's a long story. come over here and sit down. i'll tell you all about it,"

"what a dope," said hope diamond. "we'll probably have to rescue her later. come on, let's go find something to eat."
"i don't want to get something to eat," irma said. "i just want to lie here and look at the sky. and when i get tired of that i want to steal somebody's soul."
"all right i'll go find myself something. don't think i'm going to come back and bring you anything,"
irma jumped up and they slid down the side of the tent together.



they strolled down the midway. only a few children, who started to cry, took any notice of them. they came to a tent that caught their eye - "hungry jones - the world's eatingest man". a barker in a straw hat and suspenders was standing on a platform outside the tent..
"step right up folks, it all gets consumed inside," the barker shouted. "hungry jones, the world's eatingest man, who has astounded the crowned the crowned heads of europe, asia, the himalayas and the pyrenees with his superhuman appetite, the eighth wonder of the world, confounding the world's most renowned scientists! this man can eat! ladies and gentlemen, you think your farmhands can eat, i tell you this man can outdo any ten of them! and for one nickel, one buffalo nickel, you too can witness this astounding phenomenon of the ages. so step right up - one nickel, one buffalo nickel -"
"i think we know this guy," irma said. "hey bosco!" she shouted at the barker. "bosco! didn't you used to hang out at brother melville's mission on third street in stockton? i know you!"
the barker glanced over at them but quickly turned away and continued his spiel.
"he's ignoring us!" said irma "what a colossal nerve!"
'this is the most disgraceful thing i've ever seen," said a voice beside them. a tall gaunt man in a threadbare gray suit and a tight green tie stood beside them. "people starving all the world and in this country a spectacle can be made of gluttony - how many people could be fed with what is wasted in this disgusting spectacle!"



"all over the world?" irma looked up at him. "how about right here? how about me?"
" bosco!" hope diamond yelled." how about throwing some of that chow our way, old buddy, for old times sake!"
"you see," cried the gaunt man, shaking his fist at bosco, "these poor children are starving and you mock them with your freak show!"
"what are you, a socialist?" bosco responded, "if you don't like it here, why don't you go back to siberia? and take these devil girls with you!"
"bosco!" hope diamond and irma shouted together. "we thought you were our friend!"
"a crowd had begun to form behind them. "socialists! devil girls!" they began to mutter.
"folks, these little devils are no friends of mine, any more than mr socialist here. maybe they do things different in places like argentina or russia, but here in nebraska folks can work as hard as they please and eat as much as they please. am i right or wrong?"
"you're right! you're right!" the crowd grew larger and began to press in on the girls and the gaunt man. the gaunt man was pushed forward and fell on his face.
"let's find a good tree!" someone in the crowd shouted.
hope diamond and irma reached down on each side of the socialist and grabbed one of his hands.
"we'll save you, mr socialist!" irma shouted. they rose into the air with the socialist and started floating away.
"demons! witches!" the crowd shouted.
hope diamond looked back and pointed with her free hand back down the midway.
"look," she shouted, "free candy! free beer! free everything"
"what!"
"she's lying!"
"she's trying to trick us!"
"it might be worth checking out!"
with that the crowd turned and flowed away from the girls, who floated over the nearest tent and away. they floated away from the circus grounds to the town dump.
"wow, he's heavy!"
"let's put him down here." they floated down to the dump.
""whew." irma looked down at the socialist, who had passed out during the brief flight. "he must have gold bars in his pocket."
"no, he was just dead weight because he passed out."



the socialist opened his eyes. he sat upon his elbows. "that was neatly done, ladies. neatly done. these people hate socialism but they surely love free stuff,"
"right," said irma.
"just lie back and relax," said hope diamond,
"debs is the name, ladies. eugene debs."
"charmed, i'm sure," answered irma. she leaned down and bit mr debs on the neck.
he screamed and spasmed as if electrocuted and then fell back.
"are you sure you want to invade this character?" hope diamond asked.
"why not? pickings look pretty slim out there. besides, i still think he might have gold bars in his pockets."
"well, why don't you look in his pockets?"
"i'll do that." irma reached into debs pocket and took out a little pamphlet. it was titled "principles of world socialism". she tossed it aside, and as it hit the ground it burst into flames. karl marx and friedrich engels jumped out of the flames. the girls ran. karl marx chased hope diamond back in the direction of the circus. engels chased irma in the other direction, deeper into the dump.
irma outran him and ended up on a mountain of tractor tires at the edge of the dump. she looked back.
"religions, religions everywhere and not a soul to steal."




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2 comments:

hedgemonkey said...

Ace. This is my favourite episode so far though the girls featured here seem much more sinister than I previously thought. Also I intend to deploy the word "Eatingest" in conversation sometime today.

I am looking forward vastly to the next installment.

Peter Greene said...

Really, this is great. Original and entrancing.