"Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe" ~ Neil Gaiman (A Game of You)


The Magic Feather

Jackson woke to a hard shove against his shoulder.  Harris towered over him -- well, maybe not towered, but from Jackson's angle lying on the floor, the midget looked a lot taller than his 3 foot 6 height.  Harris grabbed his shoulder and shook him again, though Jackson noted it wasn't with as much strength as you would expect from someone wearing a strong man costume.  The thought made him chuckle, which he immediately regretted as pain shot through his temple with the movement.

"Man, are you OK?" Harris asked.

"Huh?" Jackson asked.  He looked down at himself, saw that his baggy pink pants were smudged with dust and his polka dot frilled shirt had a tear along the elbow.  He tried to sit up, and his muscles screamed at the effort.  It took a moment for him to get his bearings, then his eyes lit up and he grabbed Harris by the strap of his tank.

"I was flying, wasn't I?  I did it!"

Harris frowned and tried to pull back, but Jackson clung to him tighter.

"You must have hit your head pretty hard."

Jackson shook his head vehemently.

"No, no, I remember, I did it.  I flew.  Just like in the story."

He looked around and saw the fake burning building, the clowns dressed as firemen crowded behind Harris.  He pulled his hand up to his face, but it was empty.  He pushed Harris aside and began searching on the ground.

"I dropped it.  That must be why I fell.  I was doing just fine until I dropped it.  It's got to be around here somewhere."

Harris scratched his head.  He turned to the crowd of people behind him and shrugged.  He turned back to Jackson and tried to get him to sit back down.

"Now, now, why don't you just stay put until the ambulance gets here, all right?  The doctors are going to want to take a look at you."

Jackson waved him off and continued searching.  Something caught his eye, a hint of black on the dirt surface.  He reached for it and waved it triumphantly at Harris as a siren filled the air, growing louder with proximity.

"See?  Proof."  He held a black crow's feather in his hand.  The medical technicians came running towards him, and he showed his prize to them.  They eased him back to a sitting position and began examining him.  Jackson smiled at them and tucked his treasure into his pocket. 

"I'll need this for next time," he said as they led him to the ambulance.  "I just got to remember to not let go."


This week's prompt:  Your character wakes in a circus tent. They are wearing baggy pink pants and a polka dot frilled shirt. A midget in a strong man outfit is shaking them awake asking if they are alright.

To play along, visit Write Anything's [Fiction] Friday.


Anonymous said...

Awesome Shelli! I love reading the story and then seeing the prompt. For a moment I thought maybe Halloween had come early, and even knowing what you said about elephants I didn't catch the whole dumbo thing until he found the black feather. Hahahahahaha. That was awesome. You're so clever.

dominique said...

Shelli, that was good. When I saw the prompt, the light bulb went off and I re-read it. Awesome job!

newtowritinggirl said...

Shelli that was great. I hope he makes it next time ;-)

Scott said...

Nice allusion. And I'm definitely interested in the "greater story" behind this. Good work.

Shelli said...

Thanks, Carrie! Dumbo was the first thing that came to mind when I read the prompt. Glad I wasn't too obtuse!

Thanks, Dominique -- It's good to see you here on this site. I hope I can always be counted on for a smile.

Newt -- Thanks! I'm sure he will. ;)

Scott -- Thank you, and welcome to my blog! I appreciate your kind comments.

John Pender said...

Great job Shelli. I really did enjoy reading this one. Your writing seems a lot more advanced in this piece than usual. Way to go!

Cathryn Grant said...

What a fun story ... I especially like this line: "...well, maybe not towered, but from Jackson's angle lying on the floor, the midget looked a lot taller than his 3 foot 6 height." It made me grin.

Never let go of the feather. ;)

Anonymous said...

Hi, I got to you through Cathryn - thanks, Cathryn :)
(was you comment about not being able to sleep unless you read, i'm the same way>) Looks like a fun blog you have, and I like your bookshelf list, very similar to mine. I'll def pop back in!

Shelli said...

John, thanks so much! Maybe the hard work is paying off, eh? :)

Cathryn -- Thank you! Yes, I have my own magic feather clenched tightly...

Jen -- Welcome! I'm glad you found my blog. I'll have to take a peek at yours as well. I love making new friends!

Adam B said...

Great take on the prompt. Very subtle use of Dumbo and nicely worked in.
Adam B @revhappiness