A compelling, awesome, unique and imaginative story…so different it’s hard to explain, fantastically good!
“There there is breathtaking beauty behind the seamy and grotesque reality of the carnival. Gallagher, her handler, is as kind as he is cryptic and strong. The other “attractions”—mermaids, minotaurs, griffins and kelpies—are strange, yes, but they share a bond forged by the brutal realities of captivity. And as Delilah struggles for her freedom, and for her fellow menagerie, she’ll discover a strength and a purpose she never knew existed.”
“Welcome to the menagerie, where beauty and grace shine from every cage and peek from every shadow. You’ve never seen anything like the exotic wonders within, so keep your eyes open, ladies and gentlemen, because in our world of spectacle and illusion, what you see isn’t always what you get.”
“But if monsters could look like humans, and humans could look like monsters, how could anyone ever really be sure that the right people stood on the outside of all those cages?”
“Drea, why don’t you turn a circle and give us a good look?” the talker said, his chest all puffed out, as if he’d had something to do with making me perform.
“Fuck you,” I said, nice and clear, in spite of my fuller voice, so everyone could hear.
A couple of teens near the back of the crowd laughed, but the mothers scowled and covered their children’s ears.
“Sorry about that, ladies and gentlemen,” the talker called with an amiable chuckle. “Most of our exhibits were born and raised in the carnival, and they hear a lot of rough language.”
“Most of our handlers are full of shit,” I added, drawing more laughter from the back of the crowd. “I learned to cuss the same place all of your kids did. In middle school.”
“A wolf will growl to warn you that it’s angry and a bull will paw the ground before charging. Rattlesnakes rattle, cats moan and hiss, and hyenas grunt and cackle. But a man will smile right in your face as he drives a knife into your heart.”
“If you cut off my hands, I’ll write with my feet, and if you cut off my feet, I’ll write with my nose, and if you cut that off, you may as well cut my whole head off, because no matter how you slice and dice me, you can’t control what I think, or what I feel. You can keep me locked up for the rest of my life, however brief that may be. But you will never, ever own me.”
“She won’t serve her dish cold,” the oracle mumbled, almost with giddy joy as chill bumps rose all over her skin. “And two graves won’t be near enough…”