Dawn. Horses gallop in mist between here and nowhere. Windchimes knock against the doors of painted caravans
but magic has not yet woken. The marionettes, large and small, sleep strewn across each other in scraps of glitter and silk.
The fortune teller’s crystal orb hazes, a blind eye in waiting. Even the sword-swallower slumbers, his belly rises and falls full of jangling knives.
They do not dream of this small-time town, one of many from their shared map with little money and many children, rather an ocean, glinting and cool.
Rumours swell in the summer sun drifting along dirt clouds as bright-striped tents beckon I heard they have a man who – And a woman that can –
A thin-ribbed leader bangs a drum. ‘Arise troupe! Tonight we stretch the dreams of mortals!’ she cries, peering out behind the curtain.
Crowds trickle in with saucer eyes crunching roasted chestnuts. Greasepaint smiles are smeared in place and now, the show begins.
Jennifer Brough writes, edits and reads. Beyond these wordy pursuits, she is learning Spanish and dreaming of Mexico. Her work has recently appeared in Re-side, RIC Journal, Burning House Press and is forthcoming in Barren Magazine. Twitter: @Jennifer_Brough.