The merry go round spins around and Angie watches from a safe distance. She is twenty-three, blonde and beautiful. She seems to have it all, but look closer. She studies the faces of the laughing and smiling children on the ride. They go up and down, along with the happy piped music. Some screaming in delight, some holding on to their painted horses with terror, trying not to fall. Yes, she identifies with them, most of all. The terror of the ride. Hold on. For dear life.
Angie is an orphan and though she is an adult now, she knows that being an orphan will never go away. It is a constant reminder and fellow traveler. She has learned to deal with it, but sometimes, she still tries to lose herself in the carnival. The smiles, the delight, the wonder of it all. Yes, those magnificent emotions are ones for the innocent. The loved. The wanted. They enjoy all of the carnival’s magic with wide eyes and laughter. A true blessing that most of them will never fully appreciate. Angie knows and she appreciates the wonderful happy emotions for them.
Angie was abandoned in a carnival long ago. She was just a tiny baby. Wrapped in a dirty blood stained cloth, laid on the fun house ride steps. The carnival owner discovered her himself, after hearing her ferocious howling at dawn. He picked up the bundled baby and gazed down at her in wonder. His life was not the most respectable. He had numerous run ins with the law over the years so, he decided to not involve the police in his amazing early morning discovery. He quietly gave the baby to the bearded lady. She smiled and told the carnival owner that she had always wanted a child of her own. The carnival owner already knew this fact. He had counted on it. The bearded lady had never had a hope in hell of bearing a child, she was really ghastly, but she had a heart of gold. She took one look at the tiny blue eyed blonde haired baby girl and fell in motherly love. Fate was set.
Angie was named and she was the darling of the carnival show, from her very first moment of arriving. She was Agnes’s daughter, the bearded lady, who had a quite a story of her own. She was in the process of becoming a nun, when she suddenly changed her mind and ran off to join up with the local traveling carnival. She grew her beard long and made more money as her facial hair grew. Who would have guessed? Her ugliness was once a curse, but now her blessing. Quite a money maker. She was ugly, scarred and yet, she had lots of love in her heart. Much love to give to a needy motherless child. Her Angie. She welcomed the child into her traveling circus trailer and the two, mother and daughter, were inseparable from the very first moment of introduction.
The bearded lady’s carnival tent was soon altered to add beauty and the beast. The bearded lady’s offspring. View the bearded lady, a beast, and her beautiful daughter, Angie. They made quite a splash in the carnival world news. As Angie grew more beautiful by the day, her fame, as well as her mother’s ugliness, gained national attention. Quite an intriguing duo and they made the happy carnival owner quite a lot of money over the years. Angie and Agnes, two from one, a monstrosity and a beauty. A wonder and quite the unusual carnival attraction.
Angie was raised with love, humor, tragedy and scorn, as well as adoration. She was loved for her beauty but, she always knew that it all was false. Only a lie. Her mother, the only one she ever knew, had confided to Angie, when she was just fifteen, that she was not really her offspring, and Angie was not surprised. She had cried herself to sleep and her adopted mother had confessed to her the awful truth. Angie was an orphan. Still, Angie dearly loved all of the carnival people for embracing her and taking care of her. She loved Agnes and often told her that she was far more beautiful on the inside than anyone else in this world. It was true. Angie had always been taken care of and she paid her own way, by her beauty. Mother and daughter were indeed one of the same giving and loving spirit.
Angie was dreamily watching the merry go round go around when she heard a young boy shrieking loudly, in terror. She spotted the young boy, about five years old, crying, riding upon a brown and black painted horse. She ran up to the ride operator and asked him to stop the ride. He lovingly smiled at Angie and said “Anything for you, dear lady.” The ride stopped and Angie grabbed the young boy off of the horse and whisked him to the ticket area beside the ride. A dark haired angry looking man approached Angie and said “Give me my son.” Angie explained to him that the boy was frightened and could have fallen off of the horse and hurt himself. The man looked at her coldly and said “How ever is he to learn to face his fears?” Angie was speechless.
She spotted a lovely blond woman by the dark haired man’s side, who was trying to comfort the scared boy. The angry older man grabbed the boy and told the woman with him “I’ll meet you at the car, he needs a spanking.” As they departed, the older blonde haired lady grabbed Angie’s hand and thanked her for helping them. Angie smiled and said “Well, it seems, I have made it worse on the poor lad, though I didn’t mean to.” The lady said “No, you didn’t, it is Hubert. He is always in a rage and I should have never married him.” Angie stared into her own eyes. Crystal blue and they held her spellbound. The lovely blonde lady said “I am Ann and I once left my baby here at this carnival. It was a place were I had my happiest times and I could not bear to have my little girl subjected to the cruelty of her mean father.” Ann said “I had no job, no way of supporting a baby and I wanted her to be happy.” Ann sobbed “I miss her and I love her. I hope you understand?”
Angie hugged Ann and said, “Yes, I do.” Ann smiled. Angie simply said “I am happy here but, I always wondered why.” Ann started crying. Angie said “Go and get my brother away from that man and be sure, you did the right thing.” Ann smiled and turned to go. Angie called to her “Come and see me when you can, I understand. I love you, Mom.” The lady took off running towards the carnival parking lot. “His name is Alan”, she screamed, as she ran off. Angie said “I will remember.”
Alan was dropped off at the carnival late one night. He crept into the bearded lady’s tent. Angie was waiting for him to come. The tattooed man quickly adopted him. A loving soul, the tattooed man loved him, raised him and trained Alan to give tattoos. He was well paid and appreciated. Angie confided in Alan, on his fifteenth birthday, the truth. Alan just smiled. They lived happily ever after.
Author’s note. When you visit a local carnival, you always look at the people who work there and wonder about their stories. Well, you do, if you are the curious sort. You never know. This life is indeed similar to a carnival ride. Ride on. Happily. Thanks for reading my carnival short story.