The Flying Incredulo by Simon Kewin

November 28, 2011 Comments Off on The Flying Incredulo by Simon Kewin

The Flying Incredulo — Greatest trapeze artist on Earth! See him soar like an eagle! — missed the grab he had made a thousand times before and cartwheeled toward the floor of the big top. A blur of red and yellow canvas spun around him. A lurching sea of upturned faces, each mouth gaping the same O.

As he fell, all he could think of was Serena — Mystery Lady — She who converses with Angels and sees beyond the veil! — and all the things he had wanted to whisper to her in the shadows between the tents when the lights had all been switched off and the last punter had racketed home. Words he had never found the courage for. He who flew through the air without a net every night of the week. And twice on Sundays. How ridiculous was his last thought as he thumped into the ground.

When he came round, he knew it was bad. He wanted there to be pain, but his limbs lay numb and distant. Serena leaned over him, her face a knot of worry, mascara smeared. The sequins on her cowl sparkled in the spotlight they’d trained on him. His audience was small for his last performance: the Ringmaster himself, Clothear the Clown, the Family Chang — Chinese Acrobats Direct from The Forbidden City! — and Donald and Dee Dee the Nigerian jugglers, all whispering to each other, all anxious.

He wondered if his mouth would work. The words he’d wanted to say wouldn’t be denied now.


She had to bend low to hear his words. She smelled of incense and warmth.

‘Serena. Let’s run away from all this. From the circus. You and I together. Let’s get a little house. And a garden. Cups and saucers and a cat.’

She opened her mouth to speak but no words came. More tears welled in her eyes. Finally, she nodded her head.

He’d always wondered if she really could tell the future. After all, he didn’t really fly through the air.

‘Will we be alright?’ he asked. ‘Will we make it?’

She whispered into his ear, hushed so no one else could hear.

‘I haven’t the faintest idea. We’ll make a leap into the dark. Together.’

The Flying Incredulo closed his eyes and lay on his bed of sawdust, her hand clutched tight in his.

© 2011 Simon Kewin

Simon writes fiction and poetry. Some is fantasy, some SF and some can’t make its mind up. His work has appeared in many magazines and anthologies. He lives in the UK with Alison and their two daughters Eleanor and Rose. He is currently learning to play the electric guitar. He can be found at

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