“The circus is coming to town!” the kids shouted.
It was nice to hear that sort of thing these days. With videogames and the Internet, wholesomeness like kids getting excited by the circus coming to town was refreshing.
Of course, nobody was looking forward to the circus itself, but what happened while the circus was in town.
Stampeding elephants down Main Street.
Murder-suicides among the sideshow freaks.
Food poisoning scares on the Midway.
And just because you can stuff twenty drunk clowns into a sedan, it doesn’t mean everybody gets a seatbelt.
You can’t fault the EMTs for laughing, though.
Suzy wasn’t cheap, but the Boosters were picking up the tab.
Every year, the same thing. Sort of a graduation ceremony for the football team.
She still had a scar on her lip from last year, thanks to a quarterback with a piercing and a thing for slapping.
They paid her double to keep her mouth shut, so to speak.
This time, it was behind the Science Building. Suzy found it funny that some didn’t even know where it was despite getting A’s and B’s from there.
She heard a zipper.
“Showtime,” she sighed, as the line started to move.
Abe walked over the hill and saw a circle of robed priests, chanting at a naked man.
Every five seconds, the man leapt into the air and fell back down to the ground.
“What are you doing?” whispered Abe to an acolyte.
“We are helping our master leap to the moon,” said the priest.
Eventually, the naked man was too tired to jump anymore.
While the naked man rested, Abe took his place. He was happy to help the chanters, and it had been at least a week since he’d been naked in public.
“To the moon!” he shouted, leaping.
Russia denies it was a stunt for desperately-needed cash. “How do spacewalk weddings work?” is legitimate research in their opinion.
“Bullshit!” NASA seethed, but it’s all fair game in the partnership contract.
The Sultan wore a specially-made Tuxedo-suit. In reality, it was just standard cosmonaut’s gear painted black with tails and a bowtie.
The bride’s gown was an elaborate sculpture of gossamer and a mile-long glittering silk train.
Dazzling, it was.
When the preacher said “You may now kiss the bride,” The Sultan lifted his visor and unlocked his helmet seal.
The Russians shrugged. The fool had paid in advance.
Across history, there was no name more loathed than Elias the Time Jerk’s was.
At any moment of his choosing, he and his Temporal Easy Chair would fade into sync.
He liked to watch History in the unmaking.
Not this time, however. A temporal rift had tossed him facedown in the dust of Yuma, Arizona.
Elias brushed himself and walked into a diner.
“Mafle Garfle Mumgle,” said the waitress.
“Great,” said Elias. “Phaseshift sickness.”
Elias smiled, gladly accepted some coffee, and headed to a mall for a new chair and radio parts.
Rebuilding was easy, all it took was time.
Every day at noon, I head down to Harry’s Hotdog Cart for a footlong with mustard, sauerkraut, and relish.
“The usual, Sam?” asked Harry.
“Work your magic, Harry,” I said.
Harry smiled and waved his tongs.
The man’s a hotdog wizard, I tell you.
Just as Harry handed me his latest masterpiece, a scream came from above. And then WHAM!!!! a red blur smashed into the cart, scattering bottles and buns everywhere.
I picked myself up and looked at a woman sprawled across the cart.
Red dress. Dark hair.
“No cutting in line, bitch!” I yelled.
Paco was a lousy groundskeeper.
Every flower he planted wilted, every tree he planted died, and the sidewalks were crooked and cracked.
Paco thought about using Astroturf for the grass at Park Tower, but the building owners said no.
“This is your last chance, Paco,” said the owners. “Make the grass grow, or you’re getting deported.”
Paco watched the grass slowly turn brown.
He panicked. In desperation, he spread fertilizer over the lawn, turned the sprinklers on full blast, and prayed for a miracle.
What he got was a five-hour nap, the miraculous Park Tower Lake, and a pink slip.