What: Day 5 of 31 showcasing #CODAL, my 400 page YA fantasy with black female protagonist and diverse characters set in a futuristic world that feels very deep south southern gothic.
Why: Because fear and I aren’t on speaking terms.
Day 5 – Meet the S________ Circus
A ragtag collection of thieves, charlatans, and a few folk outrunning the bounty on their heads, the S_______ Circus is the last performing troupe in the systems. And for all their former lives and lies, they’re rather talented. After all, there’s no law stating a con artist can’t also be a highly skilled caballera, or an escapee from the slavers quadrant can’t be trained in the art of wind-walking.
The circus is the closest family S.S. has, outside of her father. When death and dying pay better wages than working the soil, one best have a strong support system or one might find themselves sold off to the highest bidder. And in Q4, that bid ain’t much.
You’d think, from the stacks of performance contracts piled high atop the boss man’s desk the S________ Circus would be secure in silvers. Unfortunately most of those contracts are worth less than the paper they’re printed on. They’d better serve you as floor covering in your animal pens.
Though the S________ Circus performs for next to no pay and aren’t certain they’ll all survive to see the next season, theirs is the only respite for folk living beneath the backbreaking subservience of life in the lower quadrants.
2016 Deleted Scene
At the far end of the depot, S__ could just make out their turn crank music player as it pumped out a beautifully haunting melody. Instantly she recognized it from years of tinkering at Miss Rebecca’s piano. The melancholy rise and fall of minor keys, a mourners song, hadn’t played since the day Miss Rebecca sacrificed her prized possession for firewood, the piano’s death the one thing that kept the family alive during an exceptionally brutal wintering.
S__’s chest ached recalling how the matriarch’s fingers lit across the black and white keys, sorrowful remembrance in her eyes every time she played. And now, years later, the mourners song played again.