Well this is a bit different from my usual work but I entered a hat competition (though was told it’s not serious enough….can’t think why ) Anyway I have made up some characters from a French circus and put them all on this hat. (modelled by Betty) I could say that it’s for my children but I enjoyed making it so much.
There is Pierre the Greatest Ringmaster of them all…Jeane-Claude the Death Defying Human Canonball…..Joze, Probably the Strongest Man in Mexico….Marguerite the Fearless Lion Tamer with ‘Benoir’ her Terrifying Lion….Fifi the Very Vivacious Acrobat and ‘Chouette’ her Baby Elephant….Pierre and Nanou the Delicate and Poetic Pierrot Clowns with ‘Gateaux’ their Performing Pug Dog.
I ended up getting inspired to write a short story about these characters and for a while I got a little bit carried away with who they might be. I like to think of it as a bit of a dark bedtime story for when my daughters are a bit older. Anyway here it is…
Pierre the Ringmaster has been married to Marguerite the Lion Tamer for over 30 years, though he knows she has always had eyes for Joze, the Mexican Strongman. This, combined with a general lack of enthusiasm for life, has led him to seek comfort in the arms of absinthe. Though some would say he’s never been the same since the departure of ‘Babu the Bearded Lady’ in 1955.
Marguerite believes herself to be an irresistable beauty, but is greatly deluded. Though once a sweet girl, she has long since gone sour and ‘Benoir’ her lion bares the scars for each of her numerous rejections.
Joze is aware of Marguerite’s affections though sadly cannot return them. He has felt for many years that there is some truth lying dormant in his heart that he one day hopes to face. He is in fact more than fond of his great friend Jeane- Claude the Human Canonball.
Jeane- Claude, an achingly beautiful man, feels the same, but suffers from such a crippling shyness that he fears he will never find his voice.
Thierry and Nanou, the Pierrot Clowns, have been married a lifetime and still love each other very much. But each night they dream of parallel lives, and each blames the other for their unfulfilled dreams.
Thierry had wanted to be an actor like Marlon Brando, and still hopes that one day a director of films will find him and the world will be his once more. From time to time, to restore his ego, he becomes entangled in various infidelities and infatuations. The last being for ‘Consuella the Exotic Snake Charmer’….A feeling that did not escape the watchful eyes of his wife and for which she ensures he is made to suffer daily.
Nanou had always wanted a little house by the sea……Every Friday at 2.30pm, when Thierry believes her to be visiting her sister Agnes in Paris, she is in fact to be found taking her seat at the roulette table of the infamous casino ‘La Plumiere’. This hopeless passion, fueled by her husbands faithless heart and the tears she will not let fall, has swallowed their life savings. Sunk beneath the tables of ‘La Plumiere’ lies her little house by the sea and the only thing she really lives for.
She returns home each Friday, crestfallen, accompanied by her dog ‘Gateaux’……gateaux, clothed in the pom-pommed bonnets of her unborn children, no longer has any teeth thanks to the chocolate spoils of too much mother’s love.
Fifi the Acrobat is only 21 and possesses the fickle and restless soul of youth. She, and her heart are on the loose and she has no reason to believe life could get ugly or unkind. Though not particularly pleasing to the eye, with anodyne features and sparrow legs, her appeal lies in the fact that she appears to need no-one….An illusion set to disappoint each of her suitors. She plans to see the world, never grow old and never settle down. This causes great embarrassment to her wealthy parents who still hope she will one day marry their friend’s son Gerard….a doctor.
This little world is played out each night in the dust and light. A group of people each with their own hopes and desires, whose lives are gently unfolding as the days become years……
THE END FIN
……..but wait…….Benoir the lion, whom everyone has taken a stick to, has found a way to make it look like he is eating his daily dose of tranquilizer, when in fact he has been depositing them into the straw lining of his mattress. He is able to imitate a sleepy, vacant state easily, whilst slowly gaining ownership of his mind once more.
He will definitely be disposing of Marguerite, but is waiting for his moment when her disappearance will not arouse suspicion. He wonders what she and revenge will taste like, and his days are sweetened by this thought…..