September 27, 2012 Comments Off on Circus Acts by Dan Allawat
The circus was coming to town. Wesley learned this from his sister’s friend, Kylie, who, assuming he couldn’t go, had decided to taunt him with the news. The truth was, Wesley didn’t have enough money to go to the circus, or to do much of anything else. He really wanted to go but knew his dad wouldn’t have the money to take him, much less the desire. Determined to find a way, Wesley went door to door in his neighborhood asking his neighbors if they had any chores he could do in the next day or so.
Jim Benson told him that he had just paid a boy to cut his grass two days earlier, but to check back next week because, ”That boy didn’t do a very good job nohow.” Doris Daugherty, the 80 year-old widow that lived two doors down, said her great grandson, Willie, “Already comes over once a week to help her out,” but she thanked Wesley anyway. Wesley didn’t tell her that Willie smokes cigarettes in her backyard sometimes, or that he throws rocks at her cat.
At the Livingston’s house, he found Mr. Livingston sitting in a lawn chair in his front yard with a shotgun resting across his lap; a running sprinkler intermittently cast water down on him in a graceful arc, leaving tiny clear rivulets running down his forehead. Wesley noticed Mrs. Livingston, peeking out through the thick curtains of their living room window as he continued walking down the street in the early evening gloom, abandoning any thoughts of going to the circus.
At home, Wesley found Kylie still there, hanging out with his sister. They were giggling and carrying on about boys, as they normally do, in a manner that Wesley didn’t understand.
From her vantage point, sitting on the front steps that led into the house, Kylie spotted Wesley walking across the front yard and yelled, “Hey Wesley, you going to that circus? I heard they are going to have lions and elephants and clowns and even them trapeze people.”
Wesley looked up at Kylie and thought for a minute before replying, “Sure I’m going. Mr. Livingston is sitting down there in his front yard giving away tickets. You should go ask him for a couple.”
© Dan Allawat
Dan Allawat has had short stories published in Dead Mule, Skyline Literary Magazine, and The November 3rd Club. He also has had poetry published in Camroc Press Review, Calliope Nerve, FlashQuake, Skyline, Haibun Today, Word Riot, Leaf Garden Press, Heavy Hands Ink, and The Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from National University. He lives and works in South Florida.