Dear readers, tonight rather than an interview we print a short scene describing the circumstances surrounding an interview. While it may sound a bit meta, let us assure you that the interviewees are Circus people from a post-apocalyptic Europe, whose performances usually involve gunfire, bloodshed and some kind of mayhem.”
“A mountain never meets a mountain, but a man may meet a man.”
The lead trailer had pulled to a dusty halt, and the elephants followed suit along with the rest of the circus caravan.
Perched on the now-stopped tractor, Sparrow looked up from her snack, a half-cooked potato, and rested a hand on her pistol. “Oi, Blanco. We might ‘ave trouble.”
Blanco was dozing on a pile of sacks and blankets atop the wagon behind her, Daisy the dog curled up beside him. Blanco lifted his bone-white dreadlocks off his pillowed jacket. “Bollocks.” He pulled himself forward to look, complaining. “Why can’t it be the opposite of trouble for once?”
“What is the opposite of trouble?” Sparrow mused. “Not-trouble? A surprisin’ situation what produces a feelin’ of joy rather than swearin’ and bullets flyin’ every feckin’ which way? Is there a word for that?”
Blanco hopped down onto the pale, rocky track. “I’ll be right back.”
“If it’s not trouble, ask if they got food!” Sparrow yelled, as Blanco’s lanky form ran up the line, past the trucks, horses, vans and elephants.
At the front of the caravan, Baba Yaga’s mountainous bulk, swathed in a dress composed of geological layers of hessian and long-discarded clothing, loomed over a small local gentleman, who wore a worn brown suit and hat, and clutched a pencil and notebook.
Blanco looked around. It was a good ambush point. Mountains rising to their left, the road falling away to dry ravines on their right. “What’s occurrin’, Baba?”
Baba Yaga shrugged. “We is ambush by little man.”
Blanco, still worried, glanced at the man, whose smile was strained, possibly due to the semi-auto Baba held like a toy in one meaty fist.
Blanco puzzled. In the middle of Tajikistan or Afghanistan or whatever other –stan they were in, men in suits, holding pencils poised over paper, were generally thin on the ground. Blanco noticed the man’s feet were bare, but his tie was knotted and neat.
“Can we help you, sir?” Blanco asked.
The man seemed relieved. “In fact, it is also a question of how I can help you. I would like to interview you, and provide you with great publicity!”
Blanco shook his head, bemused. “Mate, if I’m not wrong, we’re a long way from anywhere or anyone what might benefit knowin’ about our…um, circus.”
“Famous already you are, sir,” the man assured them. “I am in constant communication with influencers from Eastern Turkistan to the Indian Ocean, and I maintain the journalistic duties of this entire region. Your progress is great news.”
Baba Yaga snorted. “To who? I see only goats and some lizard in this place. Also one snake. I kill and eat. It doesn’t taste like chicken.”
Blanco sighed. “We didn’t say it tasted like chicken, we hoped it tasted like chicken.”
“It tasted like snake,” she sighed, still aggrieved.Continue reading “Blanco and guests (of The Last Circus on Earth, by B.P. Marshall)”