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smurfy27
Joel
Artist | Student | Literature
Australia
I am currently studying Literature and History in University, aspiring to be an editor/publisher, if not a writer myself. Poetry/fantasy, with some dabbling in sci-fi and realism.
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Before I’d even decided to join the circus, I geared myself up to meet some fairly interesting folk. The stories you hear, even out this far into the sticks, they don’t even come close. Or maybe a couple of them did. Thing is, after seeing their acts, probably would’ve wanted to join them anyway, even if my family weren’t struggling to make ends meet.  But then they would of never dared let me go the circus route.  

As always, I’m getting ahead of myself.

My family has one of the largest farms in the area, and usually we’d be doing pretty well around that time. This year, drought had crept up on us. Everyone was doing poorly though, trying to scrape through. And so I thought I’d go work for a bit, earn something, help out like I should. My siblings, the ones who were capable, were thinking along the same lines, little jobs in the more populated areas. And until the circus came around, I’d been planning to follow suit.

***

I think it was the Thursday of the week we all planned to head out, that the circus started setting up on the Ackeman property.  They planned to stay a week, and the first night they opened to locals, maybe to encourage more visitors, or maybe to take pity on our hardships. Regardless, it was a fine night for us to go out and see something new. And it ended up being a sight better than even I’d been expecting.
Most of them were stunt crew of some sort. You always hear about exotic animals and tightrope walkers, maybe a few clowns in these smaller groups. The tent alone struck me with amazement; so huge, it made me tilt my head so far back I had to keep hold of my straw hat. These guys were everything I was, on a much larger scale. Two motorcyclists ran themselves round one of those spherical cages, while dancers shimmied and twirled around with flaming sticks, a fire breather in their midst. A bunch of flames and explosions, and a small fireworks display to wrap it all up. There was a large empty area in the back of the tent, but no one else seemed to notice.

Comparing these to my own little stunts, I was in awe. You get away with a lot on a farm; reckless driving on the unused acre, bonfires, not to mention when I got my first ATV. My older brother and I caused Mama a lot of stress when I turn thirteen, and started getting into all sorts of trouble.
Then there’s the incident she won’t let me talk about to people, where I first flew. First time I started bringing it up in company, she very nearly crossed herself. It’s not really Papa’s fault the still was leaking, but the exposed electrical cables he could’ve dealt with earlier. And she’s still sore at him for it, even now. I know now that it could’ve killed me, like a couple folk in Virginia did a few years later. But it didn’t, and when it sent me soaring - with major bruising on landing - it gave me the confidence to be the daredevil I am today.  

***

There was no official audition to join up with the troupe. I just came in and told them what I could do, asked if I could show them. The ringmaster gave a look over his shoulder, to the darkest of the three flame dancers. She just sort of shrugged and walked to the back of the tent, and wheeled out a small cannon into the empty space, facing a net.  Some sort of stage fright set in right about that moment. I’d never been in a proper cannon, just little things my brother had rigged up on his time off school. He was topping his class in science, but he studied in the city, a fair throw from our humble farm.  He worked the model off a potato shooter they’d made one day, just on a much larger scale. A bunch of stuff I didn’t really understand, but it shot me fairly well, right onto a pile of old mattresses we picked up before they hit the landfill. After tinkering with the cannon for a bit, the lady returned, and motioned for me to put on a helmet and climb on in.  

First thing I thought when I saw Sandra, as the fire dancer introduced herself, was that she was tiny. Later found out she was the same height as me. Petit is the word I’d eventually find perfect for her. Half the reason I found her tiny at first was the huge firework strapped to her back, and the giant cigar she held clamped ‘tween her teeth. That same cigar would send me sailing at every show.
She was the unofficial leader of the fire dancers, since she trained and led the girls in show. She’d also trained the cannonball before me, though she didn’t talk much about her, and I thought better than to ask. When I was ready, she led me up to the cannon, talked me through, and I jumped in. A little more sophisticated than my brother’s contraption, but not by much. Now, as Sandra fired me off with the ember of her cigar, I flew so much further.
I was in almost straight away. They agreed to let me do a few local shows, and see how I went from there. Plus, I would be getting payed and helping out with additional chores around the grounds and other acts. It sounded perfect, and I was overjoyed. I slept in the fire dancer’s tent that night, talking myself up to be ready for the crowd the next day.  

***

A small turnout for the first day was no surprise and didn’t get me so frazzled as a huge one might’ve. Sandra told me what she needed and no more, as she did with everyone. We spent the day watering the animals and practicing, and figuring out when my act would be on. Tonight I would be the finale.
As on the first night, I watched the other in awe, almost missing Sandra’s signal (a raise of her cigar) and as I rushed to my cannon the crowd cheered, largely made up of neighbours, people I’d lived close to nearly my whole life. The first night was mortifying as it took almost three tries to get the thing lit. Being stuck in a cannon in silence can be comforting, but not in front of a crowd for fifteen minutes, no matter how friendly.

       

The following nights were less eventful and far more enjoyable. And more people, certainly, as the other towns got word that the circus was in around. My act was moved around but eventually the ringmaster decided I should be the finale, especially then night before the troupe moved on. Fireworks, he decided, should also be added, just before I shot off.  Sandra grimaced at this, but didn’t vocalise whatever misgivings she had. I thought it was great.
The entire last day she carefully instructed the other girls on where to place and how to set the fireworks, mostly in the interest of safety. They had all used fireworks in their dances, but none as showy as the finale would be.
Burn Out
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This is now a WIP and clean up account. New acc queerphage.deviantart.com
  • Listening to: Alt-J
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  • Playing: Fallout 3

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"Beware sentimentality"
but that is all I have to hold onto.

What more is there to the glaze in your eyes
when you dissolved into bliss
(until I grasped at you
and you flinched.)

You did not know that he was ex
and I was why;
why poured into your mouth
into your chest
into your heat
your sex.

So what do I have beyond
sentimentality?
I stride between the fireplace and my sparse desk, opposite corners, the latter just out of reach of the flame's illumination. Empty the past several months. This lonely quarter has not seen sunlight for twice as long. The rest of the house barely  recognises me, groaning on the odd occasion that I explore its vacant rooms. Exploration is usually traversing the hall to the front alcove, where I've instructed the grocer to leave my weekly purchases. The week closes with them rotting this side of the door.
  The London winter should keep them; in most households I'm sure it would. Other houses don't keep their fire stocked and scorching all winter through. Other houses don't reduce their bed to ash. I found I had no need of mine anymore,the little sleep I am blessed with find me on the sofa beside my desk most nights. The upholstery is worn, stuffing peeks through the cracked leather.
The first punch I throw.
Before you come close enough to burn me,
before I am a flood of frustrated tears,
before I am cold empty, listening to the white noise drown the flames.
Ignite
First attempt
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:iconjokerjester-campos:
jokerjester-campos Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2015
Thanks for the fave.

If you are interested in seeing more of my works please follow me in Tumblr, Instagram, and Flickr (links are in the sig).

Here's a photo to show my appreciation:
jokerjester-campos.deviantart.…

Thanks.
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:iconfantasylover103:
fantasylover103 Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks for the watch. :D It means a lot to me. 
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:iconnuttelaaddict44:
Nuttelaaddict44 Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much for the watch, I really appreciate it!
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:iconsmurfy27:
smurfy27 Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2015  Student Writer
Hey, no problem! Just read Dear Rabbit... and can't wait to see what you do with the 100 themes challenge :3 
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:iconnuttelaaddict44:
Nuttelaaddict44 Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks!! Hug Huggle! 
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:iconbaron-of-darkness:
Baron-of-Darkness Featured By Owner May 11, 2015   Photographer
Thank you so much for the llama :-) and fave :-)
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:iconhazzdawg:
Hazzdawg Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist

Is... is this thing on?
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:iconchinnaru:
Chinnaru Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2015  Student Digital Artist
I'm glad you liked my Maka Albarn Artwork.

Maka Albarn by Chinnaru  
What did you like most about it :) (Smile)?

Just letting you know if you don't watch me or didn't see it that I made another version with Maka in her insane mode.

Insane Maka artwork below vvv

Insane Maka Albarn by Chinnaru  

Have a great day.
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:iconscarlettletters:
Scarlettletters Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2015  Professional Writer
Thanks very much for the fave.
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:iconhekkoto:
Hekkoto Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2014
thx for fav ^^
if you like it look on my gallery, I have many arts in this type :D (Big Grin)
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