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 The Circus IC Thread

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PostSubject: The Circus IC Thread   Sun Jul 05, 2009 7:32 pm

This is the IC thread for Freddie's Fantastic Flying Circus!


I am Freddie, your Ringmaster. The Cygnet is the only Ephean airship to venture out of Ephean airspace. Take a good, long look, because we won't be back for awhile!



I bring you wondrous and astonishing things to thrill, chill, and entertain you! We have acrobats and clowns, lion-tamers, and magicians, and the likes of things you have never before seen!

Come one, come all! To the greatest assembly of creatures and talent ever-before witnessed in all of Saiph!

Prepare to be amazed!




The OOC thread is here.

The Adult section can be found here.


Last edited by Dark on Fri Sep 11, 2009 7:46 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Let the Fun Times Roll   Sun Jul 05, 2009 8:44 pm

<<Freddie>>

Summertime in the Regency of Jan was bloody damn hot, in Freddie's opinion. Shading his eyes, he looked longingly to the East. That way lay home and the Ephean Sea. The Regent's City, Kurstayne, was North of the Tharan Desert ((about where the '1' is on the 12 on the map)), but was still far too close for Freddie's liking on a good day, and today he was in a particularly foul mood because courtesy dictated he dine with the Regent.

The Big Top was already half-way completed, and Freddie would have much preferred slaving away in the heat to enduring the Regent's leers and wandering hands.

Oxfen Esaur the Fourth, twenty-third Regent of Jan was not an ill-favored man, and his people adored him, but he made Freddie uneasy. It was nothing he could pin-point, exactly, nothing obviously threatening, but every glance, every seemingly casual touch made Freddie feel like screaming and running in the opposite direction. He couldn't do that, of course. Other than the obvious, Freddie needed the Regent's favor. The circus made a large profit each time they stopped in Kurstayne.

Freddie tugged at his outer waistcoat again, silently cursing the heat and the Regent's taste in big, buxom women. His clothes were over-large and billowy, as befitted the styles of the region, but all the extra, hidden cloth just served to make Freddie hotter and more irritated.

"Saquir?" He stalked around two men pulling on a guide wire, snapping, "Where in hells is Saquir?"

The acrobat was one of Freddie's oldest friend. He considered Saquir to be his best friend, as well as his business partner. They had built the circus together more than ten years previously. They knew things about each other that no one else knew, like the fact that Freddie couldn't control his body's behavior, or that Saquir preferred men to women as sexual partners.

Being a deviant wasn't a crime in the Confederacy; they tended to be very liberal about most things, unlike the majority of the rest of the world. But, it certainly didn't make it easy. Freddie couldn't honestly say which he preferred. It didn't seem to matter, anyway. People lusted after him. They couldn't help it.

This close to the Empire, some of these folks still had deep hatreds for non-human folk, and it was up to Freddie to protect them. He couldn't be a freak. He had to portray, at all times, exactly what the world expected. The men and women in his employ, in his care, depended on him.

The circus had a long list of regular engagements, staying in place only a week or two before moving on. There were disadvantages, of course, but the benefits made it all worthwhile. In this particular instance, it meant only putting up with the Regent for a very short amount of time.

Unfortunately, it wasn't a duty he could avoid. Freddie had to play nice so that he and his circus could continue to enjoy the money they earned here. Jan was a populated area, with soldiers looking for ways to spend their coin on their way to and from the border.

Jan was also famous for their fruit. Shipping the various fruits all over the world made them wealthy, and nowhere were they more proud of their orchards than Kurstayne. There were orchards everywhere, and even the poorest of citizens had at least one tree in their care. The blossoms of the fruit trees lingered on the wind.

He found Saquir as usual managing set-up of the Big-Top, but stress and discomfort made Freddie snappy.

"Why do I always have to go looking all over Hell's half-acre to find you?" he demanded, descending on his friend like a fury out of legend.

The other men hanging onto the guide wire while the wall went up flinched, but Saquir just raised an eyebrow. "Pissy today," he remarked without letting his attention be diverted from the task at hand. He knew Freddie hated this city, and why, and was willing to cut him some slack. Within reason, of course.

"I am not being pissy," Freddie retorted. He might have conceded to himself that his behavior was bordering on the irrational, but he had cause, damn it! He scowled back as Saquir smirked. "I'm off to the manor. Take care of things?"

"Of course."

The acrobat couldn't contain all his amusement over his friend's predicament, however, and Freddie's frown deepened. He barely held back the desire to do something completely childish and stomped to the waiting transport.

The expensive, private aircar and driver waited precisely where they always did. The circus came to the Regent's city about three times a year along their regular route. One day to set-up, their opening show the night after followed by two solid days of shows, a rest-day, then pack-up and off to the next.

With such a small group, each person had multiple jobs and all assisted. Although many stayed for a year or two or even three, their performers came and went quickly, and only a very few stuck around for any prolonged length of time. The show's organization changed accordingly; that was Saquir's job to manage.

All of which was a lot more pleasant than contemplating what lay in store at the Regent's manor.


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PostSubject: Re: The Circus IC Thread   Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:17 am

He could hear the other coming from nearly a mile off. He smiled as the other stomped over to him, amusement painting his face as he shouted to get the tent up higher, there was no way it was high enough just yet. "Pull, not limp out on me, come on guys!" He shouted, "Get those poles up!" He turned when Freddie stomped over to him and laughed, "Because you're always at the opposite end of the site that we set up in." He replied to the other's tirade.

He let the other chatter at him until he had to leave for the Regent. He chuckled as the other disappeared and trotted to where the platforms were being set up, snagging one of the raising trapeze swings, letting some of the men lift him up, his tail falling in dancing ribbons behind him as he pulled himself up onto the swing before he slid off onto the platforms, testing their sturdiness, jumping up and down on it, "All right, get that net up here!" He called, swishing his tail as he checked some things there, "Hey, Maury, are the other tents going up well?" He nodded at the affirmative from down below. He leapt off the platform and landed in the net, crawling off to check some other things.

"Get the rings set up!" he called out. "Where's the greenhorns? Are they cleaning the animal cages? Malcom, what the hell are you doing in here?" He snarled, frowning and shaking his head, "Get your ass to the cages." His tail flicked again as he hurried everything into motion for the evening's performance. "Hughs, get your team out, I want to see at least twenty clowns out there advertising for tonight. Pass out flyers, post up information, and make sure my seats are filled for the next few nights we're in town." He looked to the sides, "NO, No, NO! You're setting those seats up all wrong, don't you make me come over there! The bars go under over, not over under! Gah, greenhorns, they're going to kill me, Frank, get over there and supervise." He pinched the bridge of his nose. Ten years of supervising and putting the stuff together, and he still wanted to strangle the newbies.

"Freddie, I hope you're okay, you charismatic beast." He said softly, under his breath. He turned on his toes, his tail flicking as he propelled himself across the dirt, he had to check on the other two tents, the animal displays, and the 'freak show' which he sometimes took part in because, to be honest, he wasn't exactly human-looking. He chuckled to himself, "Not in the slightest."
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PostSubject: Re: The Circus IC Thread   Thu Jul 09, 2009 9:15 pm

<<Freddie>>

Built with white stone dredged from the desert, the Regent's manor house sparkled under the relentless sun. There was no long line of carriages waiting under the trees which lined the drive, so on one hand this would not be a formal occasion and therefore of much shorter duration; however, Freddie found the idea of an intimate setting appalling.

Groaning inwardly, because the show must go on, Freddie pulled his professionalism around himself like an additional layer to his costume and descended the aircar.

"Thank you kindly," he called up to the driver, who touched his cap in acknowledgment. Freddie faced the waiting servant with a polite smile. "Good afternoon. Thank you for meeting me."

The servant, polished like the manor, broke his veneer to smile. "Good afternoon, Mister Fantastik. This way, please. The Regent has arranged for supper on the terrace this evening."

"Splendid." Freddie's relief was genuine. The terrace was public, which meant there would be other guests, but not too many, and Freddie began to believe the evening would not be a total disaster.

He got through the greetings well enough, he thought, and eagerly accepted one of the icy fruit drinks common in the region. The shade on the terrace was nice, and smelled better, but the little breeze could not counteract the number of bodies crowding the small space.

"Freddie, my dear," boomed the Regent making Freddie jump. "You look a little flushed. Are you all right? Would you like to lie down before supper?"

"Thank you, no," said Freddie. "Your Honor is too kind. It is but the heat." He tried not to flinch at the hand which settled around his shoulder.

The Regent leaned in closer. "Truly, you look quite unwell. Let me summon my physician? No? A glass of punch, then? Anything?"

"Please, I am well, I assure you." Freddie lifted his glass to his lips, but his stomach told him quite sternly that it disapproved of that idea, so he only pretended to sip.

"Well, then, I shall keep you company, then."

Freddie sighed, wincing as the Regent clapped his hands together, but grateful for the breeze fanned his way by liveried servants. It was hot, dreadfully so, but it was only mid-summer, and not so hot as it could be. He did his best to avoid jn during their hottest months. Still, he was feeling quite faint by the time the servants brought in low tables and cushions and began serving the meal.

Feeling twice as heavy as when he arrived, Freddie skillfully and unobtrusively settled his concealing robes about himself, and did not argue the hand at his elbow assisting him to his seat. His head spun from just the little movement and his chest felt tight. He accepted his new drink and chugged with everyone else for the toast, closing his eyes for a minute to keep the beverage in his stomach where it belonged, settling into a cold, queasy lump.

He smiled at the Regent, waving away his concerns, but Freddie couldn't hide his dismay as a servant placed his first dish in front of him. He snatched up the napkin from his lap, holding it to his lips and breathing shallowly. Sweat dipped down the back of his neck. Around him came lip-smacks and murmurs of pleasure, and Freddie closed his eyes. Maybe if he didn't look at it, he wouldn't become ill.

"E-Excuse me, Your Honor," he babbled, lurching to his feet and dashing away as fast as his encumbering robes allowed. How he got to the privy he wasn't sure, but he made it before his stomach completely rebelled. Afterwards, he sat with his back to the cool, smooth stone, head on his knees and hoping the nausea passed swiftly.

He lost all track of time sitting there, but as his body cooled the nausea passed, leaving him weak and shaky, but otherwise fine. He rose by degrees, pausing to let the world stop spinning about, finally reaching for the curtain to exit the small chamber.

"Mister Fantastik?"

The soft voice caused Freddie to start, having not expected anyone to be waiting. He grimaced as the sudden movement jarred his aching head. "Yes?" he managed to ask in a fairly civil tone.

"My name is Ton. I'm the Regent's personal physician. Might I come in?"

"If you wish," he agreed with a sigh, sinking back down on the low bench. "I'm sure it's just the heat," he added when the healer pushed through the curtain to join him.

Ton hmm'd noncommittally, and then looked Freddie up and down, frowning pensively. He touched Freddie's face, looked at his tongue, and then pressed on his fingernails. Then he stepped back.

"Please disrobe now. I --"

"No." Freddie stood. "No, thank you, sir, you've been quite kind, but I feel fine."

"Sir, I have not --"

"Your interest is very flattering, I assure you, but I must return to my ship. Please give the Regent my kindest regards."

"But, sir!" He didn't quite grab Freddie's sleeve, but the healer hovered anxiously. "The Regent, sir, he's very concerned, sir. He shall be most displeased."

Freddie brushed past with an exasperated sigh. Of course he is, he thought. "The regent is very attentive, and I thank him for his concern, but I must return to my ship with all due haste."

"I -- yes, sir, and if you would please --"

Freddie lengthened his stride to leave the portly old gent behind. He felt drained, and just wanted to get home.
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PostSubject: Re: The Circus IC Thread   Mon Jul 13, 2009 12:10 am

Saquir had the tent set up and the people doing warm-ups by the time Freddie arrived back to the Circus. He himself was warming up, the clowns were out advertising, the horses were in the ring and the other animals were prepping for performances. He was stretching out on a mat, sighing when his back popped, his tail splayed out behind him, he still had to wrap it up to keep it out of his way when he tumbled and release it when he went up on the trapeze. He greeted some of the other performers before he went for his brush, combing out the feathering around his feet, making the silvery fur smooth and shiny before he resumed stretching. His various partners through performances were warming up also, "Jayne!" He called.

The woman came to him, a broad grin on her girly face, "Saquir?" She asked, arching a brow and flashing her cleavage at him (completely innocent, the girl was so naive, he doubted she realized it).

"I need you to help me go through warmups, you too Jayne." he said and he offered his hand, she grasped it and they were off, a chaotic, but graceful performance, plenty full of tumbles twists and slick moves that bodies really shouldn't be able to do.

He stopped, raising his head, "Jaynie, I'm going to have to take a rain check, Freddie's just got back and he'll be fit to be tied, you keep warming up though, or I'll send Lois after you." The girl squealed and scuttled off as Saquir did the same, in hot pursuit of his partner in crime, his partner in business, and his partner in everything else, except sex of course, because his poor amigo was so eye-shy he'd go beyond out of his way to avoid being seen beneath his clothes. "Freddie, I need your help." he grabbed a strand of bandage from the shelf as he passed it and scuttled up the ship after his friend, "I need you to help me wrap my tail." He said, finally meeting up with his compadre.
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PostSubject: Re: The Circus IC Thread   Tue Jul 14, 2009 1:24 am

((me and Wulff rp'd this in chat. it was fun. a lot of work, though. lol))

<<Freddie>>

The aircar ride back to the Cygnet was an effort in self-control that made Freddie loathe the contraption with an intensity usually reserved for politics, tariffs, and bureaucracy. He did his best to sneak and get inside as quickly as he could, but it was almost as if the world was conspiring against him for all that nothing seemed to want to stand still. Freddie hadn't gotten seasick since he was little, but this ... flu (or whatever) felt like that.

The one person he was trying to avoid; however, was not put off in the least, not even as Freddie ducked into the ship at the top of the gangplank. He had tuned out the other's words, but the nearness made him scowl back over his shoulder.

"Not now, Saquir."

"Settle down cowboy, just trying to see what's up," said Saquir, draping the bandage over the nearest drapeable object. "What's wrong, Freddie?" he asked, his voice dropping as he pursued the other through the halls. "Freddie." he called after the other, picking up his pace.

"Nothing's wrong!" growled Freddie, walking as quickly as he could given how light-headed he was. Damn squirrel-man just would not give up!

The Cygnet was all but deserted this late in the afternoon and Freddie got to his cabin within a few minutes, but he didn't quite get the door swung shut before Saquir could throw his body-weight against it.

Freddie scowled. "Leave off, Saquir. I'm not in the mood."

"Liar," Saquir retorted, trotting faster behind him, his tail swinging behind him as he scurried after him. He threw himself against the door as Freddie tried to throw it shut, stopping him and squeezing his foot between the door and the doorjamb.

"Let me in Freddie, I can be a persistent bitch about it if you don't talk to me. I won't have you bottling before the show, even if you fucking hit me, it's better than you not doing anything but sit and stew. You'll make yourself more sick."

"I'm not sick!" snapped Freddie. Then he stopped, startled, alarm and confusion warring on his face. "What show?"

"We have one tonight, per your request we've got one set up right when we land so that we have three nights, so we can get out of here as soon as possible." he said, squeezing and wriggling as he managed to get inside.

Freddie gave up on the door and sagged wearily onto one of the couches in the sitting room, dragging a hand through his hair before kneading his forehead with the heel of his hand. "Damnation," he swore softly. The show started at dusk, and he was already so tired. He knew he should eat something, but the thought of food made the nausea stir again and he groaned. "I forgot."

Saquir pushed the door shut behind him as he came cautiously into Freddie's stateroom. "I can make you some lonsen broth. So you have something in your stomach that's not likely to make your guts churn too much. You look positively green."

He said, his tail flicking to the side, "Settle down." Sitting next to Freddie, Saquir patted the other's shoulder. "What happened? Did you take anything from the Regent, you know he's been after you for years?" He gave his friend a worried look.

"No," sighed Freddie, half-curling into the corner of the sofa. He let his head fall to the cushions. "I left early, and he wouldn't dare." He waved off Saquir's concerns. Other people got sick all the time; Freddie could handle a little indigestion. "I'll take a nap and be fine, I'm sure. Quit worrying."

"Okay. Do you need someone else to run the show?" he asked, going to the cabinet in the other's room with the bandages. "You still need to help me wrap up." He smiled a bit. "I can't help it, I'm a bit of a worrywart. Especially when it comes to you." He gave Freddie the bandage and presented him with his backside.

"Hmpf!" snorted Freddie. He took the cloth obediently. They'd done this so often that he really didn't need to think about what he was doing. "There is no one else, Saquir. You know that." He frowned pensively, but there was no disguising the pride that lifted his voice. "I am the Ringmaster. There." He swatted the squirrel-man on the rump. "Go on, get out of here. I'll trust that when I walk out of here, I can straight-away open the show."

Saquir laughed softly. "Of course, of course," he murmured quietly. "I could do it, if you really needed to, though." He smiled fondly over his shoulder. "Yeah, yeah, Ringmaster, Schmingmaster." He flicked his tail a bit, yelping quietly when Freddie smacked his rump. "Easy on the merchandise, women pay big bucks to see this ass in action." Then he added, "Yes, everything will be ready when you get down there." He left with one last look back, shutting the door quietly behind him.

Freddie sighed as he felt his body shift a little, attaining those characteristics he'd almost come to think of as himself, from whatever deviant thoughts which lurked in the corners of Saquir's mind. They were friends, and Freddie reacted to him faster than anyone else, even his parents now. Desires changed over time, which was a blessing.

He let those happier thoughts lure him down into a restful doze and then sleep, curled into the couch. Showtime would come soon enough, and then it was back in the guises from which he'd become rich and famous. Or close enough to it that it didn't matter anymore.

He was Freddie Fantastik, Saquir was his best friend, and the sooner they got through the next three days, the sooner they could leave.
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PostSubject: Showtime!   Sat Jul 18, 2009 7:34 pm

((Make sure you read my announcement, k?))


<<Freddie>>

The chimes on his waterclock woke Freddie in time to prepare before the show. He washed up quickly, but ended up not wearing the outfits he'd originally planned, because he couldn't squeeze into the base suit. He swore determinedly and momentarily wished that the Regent was there so he could give him a piece of his mind.

Another option was to go find Saquir, since the little guy's version of a 'hottie' was far preferable to the large, chunky form the Regent liked, but for one thing that would require some rather embarrassing explanations, and, for another, Saquir would be far too busy getting prepped for the show.

So, Freddie just gritted his teeth and made do. It wouldn't be the first spanner thrown in the works, after all. He was quite accustomed to making radical changes at the last minute. At least he knew from previous performances what he was most likely to look like by the end of the show.

Outside, he found that Saquir had been true to his word; he found his crew and employees exactly where he expected: the clowns worked the crowd in front of the Big Top individual performers displayed portions of their acts, such as the Freak Show, consisting this time of a wagon with bars on the sides and a cat-like woman with artistically-colored spots and clothing snarled and yowled theatrically as Freddie passed. He gave her a hidden thumbs-up and she winked back.

The refreshment booth turned out popcorn on a stick and other goodies, the band played loudly and exuberantly from inside, staff members were busy closing down the petting zoo and pony rides, the oliphants, horses, and other performing animals waited in their queues at the back, and the techs were inside making one last check of the equipment.

The impromptu performance was a popular one, Freddie saw when he peeked past the curtain at the stage. The Big Top seats were packed, and there were more people pouring in as the five-minute warning sounded on the loudspeaker.

Few spectators realized that their seats (and the three performing rings) were actually raised. The circus took advantage of a natural depression in the ground to set up the Big Top, and there was plenty of room below for some of their more impressive disappearing-reappearing acts. Freddie was quite fond of his entrance for this show, and tested each of the trap-doors himself. Other performers lounged below, and the air was thick with anticipation.

Speakers in the corners of the hidden room made the performers leap to their feet to get ready, and Freddie took his place. A nod to his special effects chief, and the fancy cane Freddie carried turned into a microphone. He knew that, above, the lights in the Big Top had been extinguished, and there was a last-minute rush for seats as his voice rang out.

"Ladies and Gentlemen."

The drum roll began.

"Boys and Girls."

A fanfare from the trumpets.

"This is the moment you've all been waiting for! Introducing your host for this evening. The one. The only --"

A poof! of magic, and Freddie spun about on the arena floor. The inside of his coat glittered with brilliant colors as he held out his arms. It was almost blinding under the single spotlight.

"-- Fred -- die ... Fantastik!"

He waited a moment for the applause to die down, grinning at the gasps his sudden appearance elicited. Then he began his intro.

The oliphants entered the center ring behind him in their sedate, majestic pace and decorations and the ballerinas pirouetting on their ponys' rumps trotted into the side rings as more spotlights lit the stage.

They had a five-piece band backed up by pre-recorded music managed by the small special effects team, and they completely captivated the crowd as they played along to the performances.

It was as grand a beginning as Freddie could have hoped for, and he wished more locations offered the same set-up.

He was never more in his element than he was on the stage, dazzling the crowd with his subtle but over-the-top performance. He ran here and there, popping in and out of trap-doors, changing costumes and spouting commentary with a speed and panache that tricked the eyes and deceived the senses. He was everywhere and nowhere all at once, two and three people at a time.

He loved this! It was exhilarating!

And always over too soon.


((Make sure you read my announcement, k?))
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PostSubject: Re: The Circus IC Thread   Sun Jul 19, 2009 6:30 am

True to his word, Saquir had everything, literally, everything up and running for the show to begin, Freddie merely had to walk out, dressed and ready and announce the show. Everything else was more or less on auto pilot. He himself, once leaving Freddie's room to let him rest, hurried to go finish warmups and greet the crowd, posing and performing a bit with some of the others, as agile as a hetter monkey and as colorful as a seacock, he performed stunts that made children laugh before he headed inside and he had his makeup put on. The rhihorses were warming up with their un-horned counterparts, the oliphants he watched move and the swaying, towering grace of the solifa's cantered around the rings with their acrobatic trainers riding on their sloped backs.

The announcement went on and the animals were led off stage as it went dark, the lights, the sounds, Saquir enjoyed the tension of it all. It made him smile. At the announcement he watched the elegant, dancing clowns ride on stage first, a funny act almost always was first, no need to put the audience at the edge of their seats, the tension would be lost this early anyways. One had to build the tension, so the feats seem more amazing. He was one of the trapeze artists, performing either right after the clowns or second after, and when he scurried on stage he went straight for the poles, scrambling up with hardly a care, leaping off the platform and snagging his swing setting it to going, high, higher, release, fly, snag his partner's hands, this week it was Jayne, but next week it may be someone else. She had a sturdy grip on his small frame as they swung, him flying back and, oh, missing the swing, and falling. He laughed as he twisted, his feet landing on the net as the audience gasped at his descent, the net controllers launching him back up as he snagged Jayne's feet as she swung her way back. "Hi!" He said to her and she grinned back. He was flying! This was the best part of this job, it was almost like he had wings!

They performed for a bit, allowing enough time for the hands to get the other props set up for the animal act next, the neros were frisky tonight, tossing their maned heads and flashing their tusks, nearly as big as the horses, big enough for a full-size human to ride, the neros were no small feat to 'tame'. But Binbin, Me-sheng and Lo-fan had both been with the circus for many years and were fairly well behaved, save for when they didn't get new books to read, then they were downright ornery.

He somersaulted as he and Jayne were let down and scattered, waving as the audience applauded. He passed by Lo-fan on the way out, touching the nero's spotted pelt before he went on and he vanished into the shadows of the wings. The nero's roaring followed him as they began performing and he streaked through, making sure people were in place for the next act, after all, he wasn't on until near the end of the show, then he had a solo act, acrobatics, tumbling, and free-dancing on the ribbon tonight, tomorrow, he may do something else. Who could tell really?
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PostSubject: Re: The Circus IC Thread   Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:35 am

His day had been spent in the usual chaos of the circus, especially considering it was the first night they had been here. So many jobs, and most of which he dutifully avoided. He knew better than to try and help, for it was like a well oiled machine and everything worked according to the plans. His plans were mainly in the kitchen, in which he had already been making up the food for the party later on. So many things to do in the kitchen that even he was feeling the strain, as was always the case, but like the rest of the place, he had his little part under control. He had, after all, been doing it for a long time.

Finally though all the different dishes were prepared, set out, covered, and ready, and he still had to do his stint on the stage. He didn't perform too often, because to be perfectly frank, he didn't like performing. He hated all the lights and eyes on him, unlike many of the other performers who revelled in it. He was much happier in the kitchen where everything was as it should be and no one was watching. But he wanted the extra money because they were in a town notorious for its good markets, and he was wanting some new clothes, and he was still saving for something. He bit his lip a little as he looked at the door. He didn't want to go out there. Lynda had offered to be his stage doll today, and he was fine with that. She had good nerves and didn't flinch. Not too often anyway.

He knew what time it was. Saquir was on at the moment, and he would have to go now. Gritting his teeth and forcing himself to move, he set aside his kitchen apron, picked up a bundle in a cupboard by the door and moved out his haven and out into the main section of the ship, then out to the backstage entrance to the tent. People tended not to notice him, and that was fine. He likely wouldn't have heard their words anyway. The only person that made him pause was the sight of Freddie, but he could already hear the gasps of the crowd inside, and he couldn't let himself get distracted, now of all times. Moving dedicatedly forward into the area beside the stage, out of sight, he would quickly change his shirt and jacket into the one that was waiting for him. Saquir always had everything ready, even though he was performing himself. He glanced sharply towards the stage as he heard the collective gasp from the audience, in time to see him hit the net. Gods Saquir, be more careful!

Finally though he heard the riotous applause from the audience as the other finished his act, and the ringmaster's voice building up to his own act. Lynda came up beside him, already there and he would nod to her a little. Small talk was not his way, especially not when trying to focus, and she well knew it. When you got knives thrown at you, you didn't want to distract the thrower, especially if he was trying to miss. Moving past her, he made his way onto the stage to the applause of the crowd. Freddie was there of course, in the wings, doing the voice over that got the crowd more excited than he ever could have. He was not a player, he was not really an entertainer either, but he tried, for the money, and for the circus.

With a graceful gesture of his hand, his beautiful assistant came on and he would move over with her to the round board where he tugged at each bond before he strapped her on. She was beautiful tonight, and the audience appreciated it. Nothing like tying a beautiful women to a board, making her helpless. She played them as he could not, her ample buxom heaving. Stepping back, he did his best to woo the crowd with gestures and movements rather than words, slowly stripping off, showing the places he might have pockets, before letting the material drop. He was pretty fit, toned, lean and in all honesty not too bad to look at. He stood there in boots and tight fitting boxers as he spun the target around so the audience could see the back, proving there was nothing there before he started his act properly.

This was really what he was good at, and it showed. He slashed things, showing how sharp his blades were. Razor sharp. Deadly in fact. Then he began to throw them. He threw them with the grace and precision that knives like that deserved. He spun her around and threw them, he did cartwheels and back-flips and threw them, and never once did she get hit. The crowd gasped and feared, and she played them wonderfully, gasping, her attributes heaving in perhaps not entirely faked fear. He was agile like a cat, moving back and forth, upside down, standing on one hand, bent over backwards, all of his knives hit where they were meant to. By the end of the act, his assistant was carefully surrounded by the knives that were buried into the wood.

Moving over, when he had no more knives left to throw, he would spin her around, letting the audience see the knives stuck into the wood, stuck through the wood, before untying Lynda and letting her down to take a bow. She was shaking ever so slightly, but she looked confident for the audience as if she had known all along she would be all right. She had been fairly sure she would be, but some of his moves were dangerous, there was no safety net for her should he slip up.

He took his bow before giving the large target a shove to send it off the stage to the side where someone was waiting to catch it, before gathering his clothing, bowing again and moving off to retrieve his knives even as Freddie was pumping their applause up and getting them ready for the next act. It was over. For tonight anyhow. Standing at the edge of the stage, he carefully recovered his knives, putting them away in their holding cloth, before getting dressed, his gaze lingering a bit on Freddie, before heading back towards the kitchen where he would help move the food to the main room where their first night celebration would take place.
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PostSubject: Party!   Thu Jul 23, 2009 7:07 pm

<<Freddie>>

The lights came down one by one to slowly darken the stage as the last of the performers exited. Freddie gave his closing spiel from the wings. He finished reminding the crowd of their next performances exactly as the stage went completely dark. Then he moved to the center ring, virtually invisible in his final outfit: a black on black suit.

A single spotlight clicked on, and there were a few gasps and cheers as he bowed three times, twice to either side, and one, sweeping bow directly to the fore. Before he went down on one knee in the last graceful, full-Ephean bow, he plucked the black beret from his head and tumbled it down his arm. Grabbing the brim by his fingers, he flipped the fabric out and away, and the simple hat popped into a stiff top-hat. When Freddie bowed, the hair he'd pinned back tumbled free around his shoulders in a blue-black tidal wave of riotous curls.

He had only one more thing to say: "Thank you, my friends."

Then, standing, he waved and exited the Big Top through the main curatins in the back. Other stage hands came forward as the house lights returned to direct the customers out and away from the circus tents.

Grinning broadly, Freddie threw an arm around Saquir's shoulders on the way out. "Told you I was fine. Probably just a little indigestion. Wasn't tonight just amazing?" He always felt wildly energized after a show.

"You didn't look fine," the little creature replied, slightly miffed and giving Freddie the eye.

The Ephean ringmaster had been known to almost literally bounce off the walls, but the jolt of whatever high he rode on never lasted long. There had been that one remarkable occasion he'd found Freddie sitting atop one of the acrobats' platforms. Now Saquir tended to watch him (or he assigned someone else to do it) to make sure he didn't do some fool stunt and break his neck.

"You worry too much," said Freddie lightly. "C'mon, I'm starving! Where's that kid of yours? I want one of those cheese-filled sausage things."

Saquir looked at him suspiciously. "You hate those things."

"No, I don't."

"Yes, you do."

Freddie considered that for a moment, and then shrugged. "Well, I'm in the mood for one tonight."

Gathering up the bundle of his discarded costumes, Freddie followed his nose back to the ship and the main dining compartment. Several of the dividers collapsed into the walls or floor to make one large space while they were at a location so that the whole crew could relax and eat together.

He dropped his clothes and hat on a table and hovered over the mounds of food prepped earlier. Freddie usually filled a plate and left, but he had most of two sausages and their fried buns down his gullet before he even drew breath.

"Wow, these are good!" He blinked to see Saquir still standing there, staring at him. "What?"
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PostSubject: Re: The Circus IC Thread   Thu Jul 23, 2009 7:19 pm

He had been putting out extra things when Freddie and Saquir came in. He looked up at the hyper Freddie and blinked when the other went straight for the cheese and sausage rolls. He looked to the beaming Freddie then to Saquir. Moving over, he even heard the other professing his liking of him while Saquir frowned. Saquir very rarely frowned.

"Hey you know, Im not going to work any extra nights on the stage just cause you like these. You know that right?" he said to Freddie, not sure what was going on, but that was all he could think of why the one food that the the other had shown a consistent dislike of was now being praised. Freddie knew how much cooking meant to him, as well as how much his praise meant to him as well.
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PostSubject: Re: The Circus IC Thread   Sat Jul 25, 2009 6:42 pm

<<Freddie>>

Freddie gave Jasair an odd look. "Food comes out of the general budget. You know that." He picked up another sausage. "And I would never mock your cooking."

Pausing with the roll half-way to his mouth, he scowled at both of them. "What is with you two, anyway? I'm hungry! I haven't eaten anything all day."

He shoved the sausage in his mouth and stuck his tongue out at them before wandering away to pile an available plate high with food. He hummed softly to himself as he went up and down the tables.
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PostSubject: Re: The Circus IC Thread   Wed Jul 29, 2009 1:32 pm

<<Freddie>>

As the room filled with performers and staff, Freddie, took his plate and costumes back to his room to eat in peace. He flopped on his couch to devour his dinner in peace, but the little extra energy he'd gotten from the show vanished and his stomach was still growling as his eyes slipped shut.

The next day was one of three incredibly busy days. There was a matinee performance in the early afternoon, a light-hearted version of the previous night. Then, at twilight, the real show would start. There were many details to set in motion, and Freddie and Saquir were not the only ones running about getting things organized.

The evening's show had the majority of the special effects and tricks, but they would not have time that evening to set them up, so everything had to be done before people started coming for the day's performance.

The petting zoo and animal rides were set up, the games booths set up, and the kitchen had been slaving away since early morning for the treats to serve the customers. Inside the Big Top, a few acts rehearsed. Costumes were arranged and animals cleaned and groomed. The fortune teller put up her tent with the help of a couple others, and the bare bones of the encampment exploded into a frenzy of activity.

Freddie set out his costumes and went over the evening show's script with the special effects team, and sneaked into the kitchens to snack on some of the goodies. He was reaching for a palm-sized meat pie when something smacked the back of his hand. Jumping, he cradled his hand guiltily.

Jasair crossed his arms over his chest, frowning. A wooden spoon stuck out from one hand.
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PostSubject: Re: The Circus IC Thread   Thu Jul 30, 2009 4:25 am

Saquir sighed, reigning in his patience, when Freddie was in a mood, there was no stopping him, really. He was going to regret eating those cheesy sausages though. And the Ringmaster couldn't say he didn't try to warn him, really. He closed his eyes and prayed for strength. He greeted Jasair, hugging the cook sideways, "He's always insane after a show, you know that." He said to the other, "Just don't go blaming me when you've got the runs later." He said to Freddie as he ate. The other man just stuck his tongue out around the mouthful of roll.

He himself selected mostly greens (few ate them after shows, but Jasair knew he had a fondness of them, so he always cooked some every day, so at least Saquir could eat them. He switched his tail, flicking the other as he kept an eye on Freddie until he disappeared.

Saquir took his own refuge in his room not too long after, flopping on his bed and promptly passing out.

The next day was hectic for him, he was the one checking on every little task that had to be done, late to bed, early to rise, such was circus life as he ran from one end of their two plus acre lot, his feet pounding over the ground, "I want that scarabis scrubbed, not just washed. I don't care if he bites you, sit on him and scrub his ugly carapace!" He yelled at one of the greenhorns, "I mean it!" he hollered over his shoulder. He was a busybody before a show, fretting and taking out his frustrations on the greenhorns, most learned to respect his presence in the first few days of their coming.

In the time he wasn't running back and forth, he was trying to loosen up, to stretch, and get his muscles out of their sleep funk as he moved around. He went into the pit, making sure props were in their proper place and staging was perfect, and everything was right where it should be so the boss would be happy and everything, everything would be just right and just, "Perfect." He exhaled, already tired. "God, Freddie you love me to death, or I'm going to kill you." He muttered, already off and running again, hollering about how things were set up backwards, fecking people.
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PostSubject: Re: The Circus IC Thread   Sun Aug 02, 2009 7:18 am

The day had been super hectic. Everyone was in a state, and the kitchen was no different. He had been working his fingers to the bone all day, not to mention fending off would-be thieves from stealing the hot foodstuffs before they were finished.

So it was that his spoon seemed to take on a life of it's own before he even realised who it was, and even as the wood hit Freddie's hand his brain caught up. "Oh God, I'm sorry Freddie" he said, hiding the spoon in his folded arms, or trying to. "I didn't see it was you. But those ones arn't done yet, I have some here if you are hungry?" he asked, moving to take one of the finished and properly cooked ones and offered it to the circus owner.

As always, Freddie looked like the very epitome of what he would adore in a man. The guy couldn't help it, it was in his dna. Saquir had explained it to him once, but he couldn't help but be affected by it each time the other man was around him, responding to his presence rather than someone else's. Of course the fact that Freddie was a great guy didn't hurt either, it just made things all the better.

He looked into those grey piercing eyes, the tawny hair slightly streaked in places with white giving him that matured look, the striking nose, the cheekbones, the body he knew would be strong and leanly muscled beneath the clothing. "I could make you something else if you would rather have something different.." he didn't really have the time, but there was little he wouldn't do if Freddie asked nicely, and the man knew it.
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PostSubject: Re: The Circus IC Thread   Sun Aug 02, 2009 6:58 pm

<<Freddie>>

"Really?" he blurted, eyes lighting up faster than he could repress the instinct. "I'm starving!" He grinned enthusiastically as he started dreaming up all the things he wanted to eat just then.

"Pie," he said after a second's consideration, nodding solemnly. "I want pie. And one of those giant turkey legs with that spicy sauce you baste them in. Oh! And some of those tuber things, with the cheesy filling. Mmm! Cheese! Fried cheese?" he added hopefully. His stomach was grumbling now, as bottomless now as it'd felt before breakfast, as if he hadn't spent most of the day pilfering from the kitchen.

He tugged on one of the finished meat pastries. "Can I just have this right now? I've got a sound check in a few minutes."

If Jasair allowed, he'd take the pastry and ask, "Maybe two?" with as pitiful an expression as he could manage.
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PostSubject: Re: The Circus IC Thread   Mon Aug 03, 2009 5:44 pm

He was sort of surprised at the vehemence the other was showing towards food. He wasn't used to him being this demanding, but he wasn't going to pay it too much mind when he had just cracked a wooden spoon on the back of the circus owner's hand.

"Umm, sure, ok" he said, hesitant, still thinking of all the things he had to do. "It may take a bit of time, as I need to finish up all this stuff, but I could probably have that ready in maybe 45 minutes?" he said. He honestly couldn't afford the time, but what was time when Freddie was actually asking him for something? He rarely ever did, and while the man was appreciative of his cooking usually, this level of enthusiasm was new and pleasing.

He would hand the other two of the cooked pies "Ill ring your room when its ready, ok?" he said, hopeful that the other was going to allow him that much time. If only he said his name in the same way he groaned delightedly into that pie, he was sure he would make a mess of his pants.
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PostSubject: Re: The Circus IC Thread   Mon Aug 03, 2009 7:26 pm

<<Freddie>>

"Alright!" exclaimed Freddie, taking a big bite out of the first one with an appreciative groan. Swallowing, he swooped in to give Jasair a peck on the cheek. He almost skipped towards the door, calling back, "I'll be in the Big Top. I'll just come back, yeah? You're the best, Jasair!"

He had to do the sound check for the afternoon's show, but he saw Saquir over by the trapeze, warming up, and decided to stop by and heckle him some.

With a loud moan, Freddie waggled his brows at Jasair, his eyes sparkling with mischief over the meaty pastry he held. "I gots pie!" he crowed. "And you said it couldn't be done!"

Saquir rolled his eyes and folded in half to stretch out his back and legs. "I'd rather have ribs," he grunted.

"You're just jealous that Jasair loves me!" Freddie retorted, sticking out his tongue.

The pies were taking the edge off his hunger, but Freddie's mouth watered at the thought of the food that would be waiting for him in an hour. His mind wasn't on his performance as they went through the steps of getting the sound equipment and special effects, which, of course, made things take twice as long and he was getting short with everyone by the time he hollered, "That's it! Get this crap working right! I don't have time for this! Saquir!"

He stomped over to the netting where the acrobats were going through their repertoire. "Make them get it right!" he whined, pointing at the astounded techs. He left without waiting for an answer, mind full of visions of turkey legs and biscuits and cheese .... Mmmmmm! Cheese ....
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PostSubject: Re: The Circus IC Thread   Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:46 pm

Saquir shook his head, ten years and Freddie was still unpredictable. How did he do that? He had coaxed someone into wrapping his tail and braiding his hair for him, and as Freddie bounced over to him, gloating on his acquisition of edibles, he shook his head. "You're not going to like going up there." He warned as the other went to try and get involved with the electronics.

He sighed, resuming his stretching, putting down his hands and rising up onto his hands. He warmed up, his feet off the ground as he did his splits, walking on his hands as he thought about his current position. Freddie, honestly, was better off leaving people to do as they were supposed to, and not getting involved. This was why they'd hired specialists. And the reason he was around. He waited for it, three... two... one...

"Saquir!" He heard from the floor and he moved from his hands back onto his feet again. "Hm." He said, hurrying up into the tech booth.

"Freddie, shoo, I'm sure Jas has your goodies ready by now." He said, waving the other off as his hands flew over the equipment, setting it so it was right. He'd been around the equipment for years, he knew the ins outs ons and offs of the equipment so he could easily fix any problem with it that Freddie made, "There, all your cues are set now, all you have to do is push this button." He said and slid out of the tech booth to go find Jasair.

"Jasair." He said, sticking his head into the kitchen, "Do me a favor." He had peeked in after Freddie had come and gone a second time, "Try and go easy on the sugar you give the king, hm sugar?" He said, stepping into the kitchen and hugging him around the waist, after all he was significantly shorter than most folks around the circus. He climbed up on a stepstool, many lingered around the circus, for this purpose, as he looked over what the other was doing, "Anything for me?" He asked, pricking his ears to the other, tilting his head.
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PostSubject: Re: The Circus IC Thread   Mon Aug 03, 2009 9:33 pm

To say that life in the kitchen on days like this was hectic would be an understatement. You try cooking for a couple dozen hungry mouths, and then the few hundred spectators as well and see how you do. Jasair had, in one of those puppy-eyed moments when he was thinking about anything but his job, had agreed with Freddie to make snacks to sell at the more important shows. Only once the man had gone and his thoughts were once more reasonable did he realise what a nightmare it was going to be.

When Saquir came in, he would shake his head "He didn't want anything sugary, just stuff with sauce and cheese" he shrugged, juggling moving and stirring three different pans at once, taking things out the oven and talking as well. "I left your food over there under the bowl" Saquir was predictable, and so it made things easier for him. Dumping some stuff in a pan into another one, he started to dip apples in the chocolate mixture and put them on a tray to go beside the several trays already there. "We really need to upgrade a couple things in the kitchen, it would make my life so much eas.. HEY Get your hands off those!" he did throw a wooden spoon this time, but it was at one of the animal tamers. "Out my kitchen!" He turned back "Gods, why did I agree to this?"

However once Freddie came in for his food, his frustrated demeanour would melt away. "I made what you asked for" he said, pointing to a tray "Its over there". He made an effort to hide his fondness for the other man, and for the most part he was successful generally, because after all, Saquir had taken him in as a child, and it was thought by most that he must view Freddie the same way. It might only be those that really knew him that would note the difference. Still there was nothing anyone could do, because Freddie was too much of a wild card.
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PostSubject: Re: The Circus IC Thread   Tue Aug 04, 2009 3:54 am

"Well, we should go on to less salty stuff, he's bouncing off the bleeding walls." He muttered mutinously, hopping off the stool and going over to his little stash of stuff that Jasair set aside for him special. Usually greens and a bit of meat for him, like he liked it. He was good that way, Jasair. "Thanks. Should get some warm milk in him after the show, hopefully he'll pass out and stop interfering with other people's jobs. He's getting crazier and crazier every day we're here. Granted he's always like this, but still. He's nuts." He shook his head, hopping up on the counter, his feet kicking back and forth as he set the tray in his lap and set to eat. A bit at a time.

"So," He switched subjects abruptly, "How did you feel the crowd last night? Were you all right?" He asked, he knew that the other didn't like to go on stage, and he didn't get to talk to him yesterday after he performed, he was so busy. Now he had a chance to sit and talk with the other. "Come here." He gestured the other over, "You take a moment, put down that knife and give me a bloody hug." He said sharply, pulling the other into a quick embrace before he hopped off the counter, his plate complete, and trotted off to take care of things.

His tail bounced and bobbed behind him as he moved into the tent, checking things and grabbing his horse, the beast was enormous, making him look almost comically small atop the gigantic horse. He clicked the horse until it was in place and he shouted for places, "People! Places!" He shouted, dropping off the horse and assigning one of the others to make sure the horse didn't decide to wander off as he got the performers into place, suddenly customers were pouring in, children of all ages, laughing, giggling, delighted as he polished off his makeup and returning to his horse, needing a boost to get up atop him as they waited for Freddie.
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PostSubject: Re: The Circus IC Thread   Tue Aug 04, 2009 4:08 am

He would give him one of those 'looks'. "Salt won't make him bouncy" he said while dumping another load of stuff from the pan onto a cooling rack before shooing the other off the counter. He had very little useable workspace in the kitchen, and he was needing all of it right now with all the edibles for the audience. He dumped another tray down where the other had been while the other tried to talk to him.

Why, why why why did he have to pick now to have a little heart-to-heart? Of all the times when it would have been suitable, even welcome, now was certainly not the time. "Was ok" he said, using as few words as possible as he sprinked little coloured bits of sugar onto the chocolate apples and cooked up another huge batch of popping corn.

No sooner had he put the pan down again was he being physically hauled into a hug. "Saquir!" he said, clearly perturbed as the distinct smell of burned oil came to their sense. He pulled away quickly and sorted out the pan. Gods, that was going to be another few minutes wasted as he had to wash the whole thing out again and reheat it. Stressed did not even begin to cover it.
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PostSubject: Re: The Circus IC Thread   Tue Aug 04, 2009 7:36 am

<<Freddie>>

He ate and then he napped. He hoped this wasn't turning into a pattern. When he woke up, his stomach was still complaining bitterly, but this was a different kind of ache. This was like he was carrying around the ocean in his mid-section. Everything, well, sloshed.

"Ugh. What a nightmare," he muttered to himself as he cleaned up and got dressed. Passing the remains of his lunch, he covered his mouth and ducked away, feeling his stomach clench threateningly. "Too much to eat. I had too much to eat. Gods, I should know better." He usually ate little before a show, because he moved around so much and he didn't want to feel heavy.

He pulled on his costumes, layer after layer of brightly-colored and almost garish silks. Each layer was designed to resemble one of the fanciful animals of the Wildlands, because this was the family-friendly show. At the bottom of course was his traditional ringmaster garb, and at least that was fitting right today. He stuffed his props in his many pockets, grabbed his microphone, and stuffed some mint twigs in his mouth after scraping his teeth. The mint seemed to clear his head; maybe it would calm his stomach as well.

Walking quickly, because he thought he might pass out if he ran, Freddie hustled to the Big Top. Everyone else was in position, and Saquir stalked back and forth by the crew entrance making the greenhorns nervous and being ignored by just about everyone else. He and Freddie made eye contact, Saquir with a scowl and Freddie with a grin, and then he was up in his mini-carriage, the 'clowns' pulling him in to start off the show.

The matinee show was wild and noisy, and there was something always happening in each of the rings. Freddie was a bird, a monkey, a squirrel, just as random and causing ripples of laughter and cheers wherever he went. Sweat trickled down his back and he felt faint under the clothes that had never seemed quite this heavy before. His head spun, but he ignored it. He had a show to put on!

But as the show pressed on, he slowed down, having to time his words between gasps so that the crowd wouldn't hear him panting. More than one performer gave him an odd look, and the ground seemed determined to trip him up. Grabbing one of the tent supports during a particularly boisterous moment where he was usually way across the stage at Ring Two, he ducked into the back and collapsed over the nearest bucket to retch.

His face was pale under the make-up, chest heaving because the air felt heavy and thick to breathe. He sat up and was instantly dizzy, his stomach heaving again.

"Uhng," he groaned, slipping sideways. It felt so good to lie down. He'd close his eyes, just for a minute .... but his stomach clenched up again, spasming and rolling like a stormy sea. "I am never eating again."
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PostSubject: Re: The Circus IC Thread   Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:25 am

He kicked the horse, riding out as Freddie started the show. He carefully gained his balance and stood atop the horse, shifting to stand on his hands. He rode around the ring, moving to sit atop the horse's head as two more performers climbed up behind him before he changed to a teletor, monster beasts with thick, plush fur and long hooked teeth that he perched on as the long trunk curled around his waist and tossed him up onto the wire. He was on stage for a bit before he was off, this performance was non-stop movement, always something to keep eyes busy. He spotted Freddie's pallor, he looked ill, he thought.

He hurried to the next tent where he was performing, grabbing a rope and scurrying up to the walk lines that started descending and falling like stones. He climbed from walk to walk, leaping climbing, all part of the story, he, the hero, was trying to survive the falling stones so he could climb from the pit of despair, and blah, blah, blah, he had no time to concentrate on the story! Too much climbing! He leapt! And then he was out and the man who really played the hero, up on the final line, as he climbed onto the light rack, his feet clanging against the metal, the lights swaying back and forth, as he reached the end, jumping and grabbing the rope, sliding down until he hit the ground.

He padded over to where he'd seen Freddie disappear, hearing him mutter, "Never, ever again?" He asked, sidling up to the other as he rested his hand on the other's back, "You ate too much. Didn't I tell you to be careful?" he asked, his head tilting as he walked the other to sit down. "Sit, they'll be all right without you for now." he said, pushing the other down to wait until the other wasn't looking so... white.
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PostSubject: Re: The Circus IC Thread   Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:46 am

((he was already lying down. Not walking anywhere atm))

<<Freddie>>

Freddie tucked up his knees and curled his arms around his chest where it felt like his stomach was at the moment. Closing his eyes was worse because then the whole world seemed to be moving and if he stayed focused on one thing, then it was just his stomach sloshing around.

He looked young, and he knew he did, and he wasn't above taking advantage of that. The crowd on the other side of the curtain had gifted him with the looks of whatever the younger crowd's idol was right then, a younger version of the olive-skinned, dark-haired and dark-eyed beauty of the night before.

"I feel sick, Saquir," he moaned, shuddering. He'd never been sick like this before. Heard of it, yes. Asked about it in fascination, yes. But thought he'd ever experience it? Hell, no! In his entire life he'd only thrown up once before, during a bad bout of the flu that the entire circus had caught one year. They'd very nearly lost several people, and the older, original soothsayer had died, but Freddie's had been a mild case. The consistency of the circus had changed since then, but he'd nursed many of his employees and friends, including Saquir and his adopted son.

This, he thought, felt something like that, except with the flu he'd been feverish and everything had been rather dream-like. This he was fully conscious for, and the nausea stayed with him even though he wasn't vomiting anymore.

He tucked his head down as his stomach grumbled loudly and shifted to the left. Perspiring freely in the heat, Freddie was also starting to shiver. He groaned again, wanting to snap at Saquir for touching him. Everything felt so weird!
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